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Arlington Muslim Town Hall Meeting Bashes GOP Presidential Candidates

Nader Hasan Nawal Foundation

On April 9, I attended a Muslim Town Hall Meeting at the Arlington, VA Library.  The Town Hall was promoted as a “non-partisan community event” hosted by NOVA Muslim Americans and Veterans Challenge Islamophobia.   

The “non-partisan” description was what drew me to the event.  I fully expected there to be a thoughtful, educational, informative, respectful exchange of ideas.  But that was not what happened. 

Simply put, the organizers staged an event to bash VA Republican legislators, and presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.  The “Town Hall Meeting” was highly partisan, to the point of distraction from the advertised topic.  

There was no discussion about the tenets of Islam, no discussion about the tension between the Qur’an and the Hadith, and no discussion about the possible conflict within the Muslim community about their faith. 

The first speaker was Nader Hasan, cousin of Major Nidal Hasan, known as the Fort Hood shooter.  Nader described himself as “the epitome of the American dream,” and spoke about how he grew up in America, living a pleasant life.  Never did he experience discrimination until after the Fort Hood shooting.   

Nader then recounted how many friends he had in the military, highlighting one in particular:  a soldier who had been shot in the head in Iraq.  He actually showed on a screen a photograph of the soldier after his injury, face swollen terribly and apparently lying under sedation or in a coma at a military hospital.  Nader kept the disfigured photo on the screen for several minutes as he continued to talk.  I had to look away.  It was so sad and disrespectful to the soldier, I thought.   

Fortunately, the soldier recovered, and then Nader showed a picture of the soldier’s wedding to a Muslim-American woman, which Nader said he helped officiate.  There was something odd about this tale.  It all focused around Nadar and his friendships.  He said nothing about the shattered lives of the Fort Hood victims and their families. 

Nader Hasan said this about his cousin Nidal: “He drank the Kool-Aid and caused harm.”  Harm?  Is this the same as “death”?  His tone was soft-spoken, completely dispassionate and cold.   

Lastly, Nader spoke about the Nawal Foundation, with which he is involved.  According to the website, the foundation “offers programs that help defeat the extremist narrative.”  Its mantra is: “No Violence in the name of Islam.  Ever.”  But there is nothing more on the website, other than an invitation to join them on Facebook or Twitter. 

As the program moved through the next two panels of speakers, what attendees heard was consistent criticism of Republicans – ONLY.  The VA legislators and Arlington County Board members who spoke were Democrats.  The only Republican speaker identified was a representative of the Arlington County Republicans, and he sounded like an apologist for the Democrats.  Even the two British speakers bashed Republicans! 

Especially curious was hearing Delegate Alfonzo Lopez (D) mock “the Tea Party for wanting to ban Sharia Law.”  He was sitting right next to openly gay State Senator Adam Ebbin, whose life would be taken for being homosexual, according to Sharia Law. 

Del. Lopez condemned Republicans for “rhetorical flourishes that are wrong,” and then proceeded to blast Republicans for wanting to stop all Syrians from coming to the US, and called out “75-year old white Delegates in Richmond who want their VA back.”  He concluded by pleading that, “We need to completely embrace diversity and all religions.” 

I was saddened to hear several of the Muslim speakers portray “their community” as victims, not able to “own” their identity.  Nadar Hasan regretted, “The extremists and the media own our identity now.” Ghizlane Moustaid (Chair of the George Mason University Muslim Students Association, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood) lamented, “We can’t deconstruct the stigma on our own.”  Arlington County Board Member Christian Dorsey suggested that it’s “non-Muslims [who] have work to do to make the road less treacherous to travelers.”   

Dorsey also announced that, “Whoever claims ownership, the power, the majority looks to blame some other group when their power wanes.”  This was a clear indictment of those “75-year old white Delegates in Richmond” to whom Del. Lopez referred. 

Interestingly, the “victim” moniker has arisen in this presidential election year, as national Muslim leaders have called on fellow Muslims to unite with the Black Lives Matter movement.   

We learned that “tolerance” is no longer an acceptable word to use.  What is needed is “inclusion and integration.” 

There was a brief interlude for questions, but the speakers continued to take up most of the time blathering.  One woman in the audience, sporting a Palestine t-shirt, broke down crying as she spoke about the injustice Palestinians suffer at the hands of the Israelis.  I was wondering what Palestine had to do with “Islamophobia.”  (Was she part of the agenda?) 

Twice I tried to ask a question.  Each time the moderator made eye contact with me, nodding as if to say, “OK, I see you,” but she always steered in another direction to let someone else ask a question.  The questions – or comments -- were uniformly sympathetic to the Islamophobia topic, and played to emotions rather than informative discussion.  It appeared that the moderator knew beforehand whom she would call upon. 

We then moved into the second half of the program, beginning with two speakers from Britain.  Geoffrey Harris (author of The Dark Side of Europe: The Extreme Right Today, published in 1994) launched into a diatribe against Marine Le Pen of France (calling her a “right-wing xenophobe”) and a not-so-veiled condemnation of Donald Trump.  Said Harris, “We actually do live in one world … we have a common set of values” (which he never defined).  And he attempted to calm any fears by declaring that Muslim terrorists are a “tiny minority of people.” 

Baroness Uddin then took to the stage.  A community activist, born in Bangladesh, British Life Peer, and the first Muslim woman and second Asian woman to sit in Parliament, Uddin delivered a fiery address worthy of a Labor Party rally.  In fact, she joined the Labor Party “to collaborate for the greater good.”  Speaking about her experience in England:  “I’m not going to have any fascist tell me I can’t go in a shop. [We] transformed the area to make it a home for our kids, a legacy for our country. … We challenged the police all the time.”   

The Baroness was so proud of her family in the US: “My family in New York are fanatical Bernie Sanders supporters!”  Laughter and scattered applause.  And then this Muslim woman exclaimed, “The Pope is amazing!  He’s making real progress!”  More laughter

Remarkably, Uddin then opined that Sheik Abdullah bin Bayyah from Mauritania (a noted Hamas supporter) “has President Obama’s attention, but he probably won’t get Trump’s attention!”  More laughter

Next it was time for the local Republican and Democratic Party representatives to speak.  Kip Malinosky, Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee, began by decrying “hyper-partisanship and gerrymandered districts”, then spent the rest of his time delivering a hyper-partisan screed.  He assured the audience that the Democratic Party of VA has condemned “internment camps for Muslims.”  Kip blamed “talk radio and FOX News” for “promoting Islamophobia to boost ratings.” 

Eric Brescia, Policy Director of the Arlington County Republican Committee, began by opining on Thomas Jefferson and his statements about religious freedom, saying that Jefferson would have rejected the GOP candidates who want to stop immigration (i.e. Trump) and patrol Muslim neighborhoods (i.e. Cruz).  Furthermore, he said, “a lot of Republicans don’t live near Muslim populations” and that “the Right goes after ethnic groups.” 

It actually became difficult to distinguish Eric from Kip.  They both were trashing Republicans! 

Then Imam Rizwan was invited to speak.  He wants to go to the Naval Academy (presumably as an Imam).  He spoke about his efforts to counter Islamophobia by working with local sheriffs and prisoners in the Arlington prison, and exhorted attendees to get involved in the prison system. 

Rizwan spoke about Muslim respect for the community, evidenced by their blood drives on 9/11: Muslims for Life; and their 4th of July celebrations: Muslims for Loyalty.  What ironies! 

According to the Imam, Islamophobia is defined as: a fear of Muslims, and a fear of their religion.  He admonished that we must “remember our American values to overcome extremists.”  “Islamic extremism is conquering our principles.  This must be countered to save our country from fear.” 

Rizwan directed people to the website:  TrueIslam.com, where the headline reads: “Extremists recruit by distorting Islam.  But we can STOP them.”   

At the end of the event, a man from “Veterans Challenging Islamophobia” pitched his group and proudly declared that they are “disrupting presidential campaigns” with their signage “No Hate Speech Against Muslims.”  I leave it up to you to guess which campaigns. 

All in all, this event resembled a propaganda seminar, not a town hall event.  It was a dreadful disappointment, and a disservice to the Arlington community. 

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islamophobia

I would like to see this muslim veteran, swear on the qur'an that he does not believe sharia law should be the law of the United States of America, nor should the islam religious beliefs circumvent the way we live in America.
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If there is such a thing as islamophobia, which I do not believe in such a thing, it is because American citizens have the right to protect their culture against such extreme changes. If we as a nation allow foreigners to immigrate into our nation we have the absolute right to demand that they assimilate and change to our ways rather than them demanding that we change to accommodate their religious beliefs.
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If the progressives are successful in changing America to a muslim nation they will soon find themselves at the head of the line for beheading.
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In many ways the teachings of both Christianity and islam are very similar but the fact that islam has not had the reformation as Christianity has it is in opposition to the culture and life style that we enjoy in the free country called the United States of America.
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When we can feel that muslims reject any notion that sharia law should become the law of the U.S.A. and that their religion is not above the Constitution or our way of life then we might be headed in the right direction.
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islamophobia is a made up word by those who will not or can not accept the fact that we the people of the United States of America have the absolute right to decide our future, our culture and our way of life in accordance with the Constitution of the United States of America.

Muslim CULT

Name a Religion that tells its people its OK to lie to the Infidel (Racist statement) and if he doesn't convert to their thinking and Cultism that its also OK to either enslave, extort and even Murder them. I say every Muslim who worships the Koran is a Terrorist!!!! Muslims have their own Laws against ours they do not assimilate into our system and want Sharia law for everyone of us. They don't belong here they need to leave and go back to their own 3rd Century Countries and ways of their Muslim Cult and continue Murdering each other as they have and still are doing all over the world. They are the new Nazi's or Mao's of the World. Vietnam Vetcvchu