WRITE for ATol ADVERTISE MEDIA KIT GET ATol BY EMAIL ABOUT ATol CONTACT US
Asia Time Online - Daily News
             
Asia Times Chinese
AT Chinese



    Middle East
     Sep 15, 2010
THE ROVING EYE
'Dude, you have no Koran'
By Pepe Escobar

As Islamophobia in the United States reaches bonfire of the vanities proportions - involving a composite of talk show hosts, Republican politicians, Tea Party agitators and wacko preachers (see Nobody expects the American Inquisition Asia Times Online, Sept 11, 2010) - concerned citizens across the world should note that the anti-mosque hate festival this past Saturday in front of the proposed site of Cordoba House, the Islamic community center a couple of blocks away from Ground Zero in New York, totally fizzled out; according to ground witnesses, there were way more reporters present than rabid Islamophobes.

But as a graphic illustration of Islamophobia defeated, nothing beats what happened in Amarillo, Texas, the same day. David Grisham, the wacko director of one Repent Amarillo organization, who had planned his own Koran-burning session in support of

 

Gainesville, Florida, pastor and instant global celebrity Terry Jones, was about to commit the act in front of around 200 people when, out of nowhere comes ...

... the unlikeliest of heroes; Jacob Isom, a 23-year-old, bespectacled local skateboarder. Isom himself described what happened to the Amarillo-Globe News: "I snuck up behind him and took his Koran, he said something about burning the Koran, I said 'Dude you have no Koran,' and ran off." The righteous skateboarder even had time to add to a startled Grisham, "Youíre just trying to start holy wars," then handed the unburned Koran to a local Muslim leader.

Repent Amarillo is one of those typical wacko militia American groups, referring to itself as the "Army of God" and with a promotional material modeled on army recruiting pamphlets. Everyone is a target: gays, Muslims, liberal Christians, environmentalists, breast cancer events that do not highlight abortion, Halloween, "spring break events" and pornography shops. Repent Amarillo even led a boycott against the city of Houston after it elected Mayor Annise Parker - a lesbian. Their motto is, "We are the special forces of spiritual warfare, we're looking for a few good warriors."

A lot of people at the would-be Koran-burning site in Amarillo put their hands over a barbecue grill to prevent Grisham from lighting the fire. So this is not only a story about a righteous dude acting like a model citizen. Itís in the same spirit of another citizen observing the Hate Festival near Ground Zero, holding a piece of carton with the words "Real Americans don't burn Korans". At the center of this response is the respect for the constitution of the United States - which ensures the inalienable right of anyone to freely practice the religion of oneís choice.

Cairo, Kabul, Kashmir, Peshawar should read into this that the vast majority of Americans won't be cowed by fear and hate no more, and won't succumb to a new, politically engineered, religious crusade. (Radical) maneuvers by free thinkers and righteous skateboard dudes are showing the way; no paramilitary Christian fascist resists being reduced to ridicule. Now if only Americans could redirect their outrage against the Pentagon drone war against Afghan civilians.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

(Copyright 2010 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)


Terry Jones, asymmetrical warrior (Sep 13, '10)

US religious leaders condemn Islamophobia
(Sep 9, '10)


1. Terry Jones, asymmetrical warrior

2.  Pakistan's great deluge never happened

3. The 'tragi-terror' that is Pakistan

4. Kim's coming out is prime-time drama
5.Energy trumps all in Iran-China ties

6.Nobody expects the American Inquisition

7.Greening China, from a paint pot

8. Taliban and US get down to talks

9. Time running out for Japan

10.Nepal's army out of step with leaders

(24 hours to 11:59pm ET, Sep 13, 2010)

 
 



All material on this website is copyright and may not be republished in any form without written permission.
© Copyright 1999 - 2010 Asia Times Online (Holdings), Ltd.
Head Office: Unit B, 16/F, Li Dong Building, No. 9 Li Yuen Street East, Central, Hong Kong
Thailand Bureau: 11/13 Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin, Prachuab Kirikhan, Thailand 77110