Skip to comments.Will The Anti -"Bullying" Movement Become A Vehicle For Shari'a Enforcement?
Posted on 01/09/2012 12:21:05 PM PST by bayouranger
an Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In U.S. educational circles, the prevention of "bullying" has become somewhat of a cause célèbre recently, despite its historical omnipresence in scholastic institutions.
The trajectory of this trend, which is not what it appears on its face, is fraught with the potential of having a substantial corrosive effect on the First Amendment.
First, what is bullying?
Of course all of us understand what has been the standard definition of a bully, one who by their aggressive action, seeks to impose their will upon others. The Miriam Webster dictionary notes that bullying consists of "blustering" and "browbeating" done by a person who is "habitually cruel to others who are weaker."
A classic example of this would be schoolyard tough guy who extorts lunch money from those physically weaker than himself. That efforts should be taken to prevent such behavior would seem to be obligatory to the point of being obvious.
Scholarship on the bullying phenomenon is relatively new to social scientists. As David Farrington observes in a 1993 study, Understanding and Preventing Bullying, "Modern research on bullying in the English-speaking world began with the publication of Aggression in the Schools by Olweus (1978) describing studies of bullies and victims of bullying carried out in schools in Stokholm..." [source, http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/cjrr17&div=11&id=&page=]. As one can see the emphasis was clearly on examining this type of behavior in academic environments.
However over the last decade or so there has emerged a different definition of bullying, one so over broad, vague and politicized as to have the potential for the serious abuse of personal liberty and rights enshrined in America's foundational documents, especially the First Amendment.
Wikipedia has the following take on the term, incorporating some of the claptrap we have come to associate with leftist attempts at language manipulation and hijacking.
"Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power. It can include verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability.[ The "imbalance of power" may be social power and/or physical power...It typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation. Bullying can be defined in many different ways. The UK currently has no legal definition of bullying, while some U.S. states have laws against it." [source, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullying#History]
The Wiki posting includes the preposterous linkage of the aforementioned "power imbalance," as having been one of the important factors in precipitating both world wars, "In fact, on an international scale, perceived or real imbalances of power between nations, in both economic systems and in treaty systems, are often cited as some of the primary causes of both World War I and World War II..."
One must note the expanded range of actions which now seemingly fall under this modernized definition. We believe that is the intended result, establishing it as a precursor for future restrictive legislation which might well cover an extraordinarily wide range of actions hitherto not commonly associated with the physically threatening actions of the traditional bully.
In the context of the relatively recent [generally since 9/11] push by Islamists to brand their critics as Islamophobes - religious bigots - bullying would seem tailor made as another avenue to achieve the revolutionary goal of forcing Shari'a compliance on the West while sidestepping important American Constitutional protections.
And this is exactly what has happened with the Muslim Public Affairs Council [MPAC] already well into a campaign wherein bullying will be akin to Islamophobia.
At a recent MPAC training session Aziza Hasan, MPAC's Southern California Government Relations Director, took to the podium. During her presentation which dealt with the Islamist equivalent of community organizing, she stressed three methodologies which the organization will employ going forward, one of which was urging others to campaign with MPAC emphasizing the linkage between "Islamophobia" and bullying. Hasan urged attendees is to pressure legislators to adopt positions against bullying, preferably in video format which MPAC will then apparently put to further use.
The MPAC website [see, http://www.mpac.org/issues/islamophobia/register-for-mpacs-aug.-18-anti-bullying-forum.php] now prominently features anti-bullying content and providing additional opportunities for training in this emerging Islamist tactic.
In this effort MPAC is partnering with the Islamic Networks Group [ING, a Northern California based Islamist speakers bureau] whose website contains numerous references to its bullying [see, http://www.ing.org/index.php/component/search/?searchword=bullying&searchphrase=all&Itemid=705] and the Islamic Society of North America [ISNA, named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the U.S.' largest prosecution of domestic Hamas terror financing, U.S. vs. Holy Land Foundation] to equate bullying with Islamophobia.
For example this is MPAC president Salam Al-Marayati's take on the matter, "It is important to equip our youth with the tools in combating Islamophobia and any bullying..." [source, http://www.mpac.org/issues/islamophobia/register-for-mpacs-aug.-18-anti-bullying-forum.php]
According to the same MPAC web page, ING has taken a leadership role in these trainings, "ING piloted these trainings at two Muslim Youth of North America retreats earlier this year, as well as at the annual ISNA convention in July. The trainings are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge to answer frequently asked questions about Islam and Muslims, as well as how to respond to harassment and bullying at school. Take advantage of these trainings before the new school year begins..."
It's clear, that the Islamists have studied well at the feet of the hard left, adopting and in some cases perfecting their tactical use of politicizing language. In this case they are in a very public manner, attempted to hijack the bullying issue and turn it towards their advantage, conflating it with the increasingly threadbare term Islamophobia.
Stripped of its smokescreen, the bullying issue is in fact an attempted end run around the First Amendment. The term is intentionally not defined objectively, instead it is being redefined according to its supposed effect, whether "your heart hurts." Since bullying is not conclusively defined, it is whatever the complainant says it is, thus opening a Constitutional mine field - even if the "victim" will not identify his bully, the police may still step in. The accused not only is deprived of a chance to confront his accuser, he technically does not have an accuser.
If we allow this to happen, and the left appears to fully on board with this approach, the bullying issue might well serve as a particularly dangerous weapon in the Islamist arsenal, having significant potential to hamper the full exercise of the First Amendment, a primary goal among those bent upon incrementally forcing Shari'a on the West.
MPAC: Who’s Changing the Subject?
by Steven Emerson
June 8, 2007
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has a long history of clumsy attempts to dodge embarrassing allegations about the outrageous statements and activities of its officials. MPAC’s June 4th post on its website, entitled “Stop Changing the Subject, Mr. Emerson,” is the latest attempt, a textbook example of spinning the facts, failing to credibly and directly address the accusations, while conducting a personal attack against someone who exposed their double talk.
The post addresses the charges I made in my May 30th post, where I produced irrefutable evidence of Ms. Lekovic’s affiliation with al Talib following her denial of any such affiliation on CNBC’s Kudlow & Company.
MPAC now concedes that Ms. Lekovic did indeed work at al Talib, albeit qualifying her affiliation with the paper as “brief” (even though her name appears on the masthead of at least a dozen issues from October 1997 to May 2002). In defense of the fact that she publicly denied her involvement with the paper on CNBC, MPAC states that Ms. Lekovic had “a memory lapse,” rhetorically asking “how many people can recall with clarity all the things they did while they were in college?” The fact that a 30-year-old public figure would forget about her five-year affiliation with a newspaper, let alone as a managing editor, is quite preposterous, but we’ll give Ms. Lekovic the benefit of the doubt.
MPAC then proceeds to further minimize Ms. Lekovic’s role at the paper, claiming that, despite her position as managing editor, she had no control over the published articles. While this could be true, what is undeniable is that Mrs. Lekovic never publicly distanced herself from either the article glorifying Bin Laden or from the publication itself. If Ms. Lekovic was genuinely outraged by the article she should have resigned from the paper and made her disagreement with such outrageous views public either in al Talib itself or in any other venue. Of course, none of that happened. To remind you, she even proudly proclaimed her affiliation with al-Talib in an official MPAC bio a few months after 9-11. (See page 6) Ms. Lekovic continued to be involved in the activities of al Talib for three more years after her graduation, yet never condemned the al Talib articles until publicly challenged by me. How convenient.
Unfortunately the series of outlandish statements does not stop there. Having tried to downplay Ms. Lekovic’s role, MPAC then attempts to do the same with the gravity of what was written in al Talib’s articles. According to MPAC, al Talib’s praises for “our brother Osama bin Laden,” who is described as “a freedom fighter, someone who has forsaken wealth and power to fight in Allah’s cause and speak out against oppressors,” are to be viewed in light of the fact that they were published in “a pre-9/11 world.” MPAC even adds that “a brief survey of American publications and statements by public officials before the catastrophic events of 9/11 would also show that terrorists like Bin Laden were naively described as American allies and freedom fighters.” These statements border on the ridiculous and do not really deserve any comment. It suffices to say that Bin Laden’s name had been linked to terrorism in media reports since the mid-1990s and that a grand jury had indicted him in November 1998 in connection with the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa. As for the claim that American publications and public officials were calling Bin Laden a “freedom fighter,” MPAC might refer to al Talib and other fringe Islamist publications, but I dare them to produce such statements from mainstream American media outlets or any American government official.
In typical MPAC style, attempts to twist the facts can be found throughout the text. Rather than pointing out all of them, it is more useful to go the core issue: is MPAC a “moderate, inclusive and forward-thinking organization with a history of fostering a strong Muslim American identity, and combating terrorism and extremism,” as it claims?
Since 9/11 MPAC has tried to portray itself as the ideal partner of law enforcement agencies in the War on Terror: that it is a moderate organization that would combat radicalization at the grassroots level. Yet overwhelming evidence indicates that MPAC has pursued a deliberately ambiguous policy, publicly stating its desire to work with authorities on terrorism-related issues, while condemning any concrete measure taken by authorities on the matter. MPAC officials have constantly criticized virtually every arrest made by authorities since 9/11, and, even more troublingly, often described the War on Terror as a war on Islam and/or on Muslims and continue to deny the underpinnings of radical Islam.
To give but one example, MPAC Executive Director Salam al-Marayati, in the Los Angeles Times in March 2003, blasted what he called “the FBI’s policy of targeting people because of their race and religion” and added, “That’s what (the FBI has) been doing since the attacks, and we don’t know of any case that has resulted in the arrest, indictment or prosecution of a terrorist.” So according to MPAC, there is no war on terror, just a war on Islam. And a June 2006 study by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has concluded that the frequent use of “War on Islam” mantra specifically results in the radicalization of the “homegrown” jihadists.
At an April 2007 testimony before a House Homeland Security Panel in Torrance, CA, MPAC “hate crime prevention coordinator” Sireen Sawaf stated, “With all due respect, ‘jihadist’ is wrong terminology, because it is a very noble concept that all Muslims believe in. However, it is used and it simply strengthens the arguments of the extremists.” Apparently, we should be more concerned about how to label Islamic terrorists than with terrorism itself. In May 2004, Sawaf also told Inter Press Service that, “’The ‘war on terror’ is a war, really, on a community that is being connected to the (9/11) hijackers.’ Again, MPAC portrays U.S. law enforcement actions as a “War on Islam.”
But the problem with MPAC starts at the top. On May 15, as part of a Council on Foreign Relations conference call, Marayti said, “We don’t believe there’s such a term as ‘Islamic terrorism.’ There’s nothing Islamic about terrorism, nothing Islamic about fascism, nothing Islamic about radicalism even.” This is exactly why MPAC officials feel so comfortable labeling anyone who states that Islamic terrorism and radicalization are major national security issues as an “Islamophobe.”
And on May 26, Al-Marayati gave a speech where he said, “we demand from the Secretary of Homeland Security, from the FBI Director, from the chiefs of police, to the sheriffs of all the counties to speak out against Islamophobia, because Islamophobia is a root cause of radicalization.” As recently as this week, MPAC released a 19 page report entitled, “The Impact of 9/11 on Muslim American Young People,” which highlights only one root cause of radicalization you guessed it: Islamophobia. The report’s chief recommendations call for a government crackdown on “Islamophobia” and for the news media to censor “Islamophobic” points of view. Of course, MPAC considers anyone who criticizes, or even dares to mention, its long history of extremist statements and support for such terrorist groups as Hamas and Hezbollah to be an “Islamophobe.”
But Marayati and MPAC have it exactly wrong, as the CSIS report concluded, “The most important reason for radicalization is the perception that Islam is under attack from the West.” And claiming that that American law enforcement is engaged in a war on Islam is an MPAC specialty.
While MPAC has indeed opened a dialogue with the government, its overture is designed merely to sway authorities away from the source of the problems, through claims of victimization, cries of Islamophobia and misrepresentations. But when it comes to concrete cooperation, MPAC’s contribution has been non-existent. MPAC boasts about its cooperation with authorities in Southern California, where its headquarters are located. Yet, less than a year ago, when asked whether dialogue with local Muslim organizations had helped his office in any of the investigation it was conducting, Warren T. Bamford, head of the Counterterrorism Division of the Los Angeles FBI Field Office, responded: “At this time I don’t have any specific recollection of any times that it has helped our investigations.” And if MPAC’s cooperation with authorities is not focused on providing specific intelligence but in preventing radicalization, MPAC officials’ continuous endorsement of terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah is hardly comforting.
Which brings me back to the Pew poll that launched this discussion in the first place. According to the poll, 13% of American Muslims say “the use of “suicide bombing against civilian targets to defend Islam from its enemies” can be justified. It is great that the overwhelming majority of American Muslims do not support such tactics. However, the Pew center estimates that there are 2.35 million Muslim Americans, so according to their research, roughly 300,000 American Muslims support the violent jihad of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and Hamas. That’s a frightening number.
But back to Ms. Lekovic. MPAC expects us to believe that, “The role Lekovic played at Al-Talib was peripheral at best, insignificant enough that she simply did not recall it when she was asked about it on CNBC.” So her role with al-Talib was significant enough to include in her official MPAC bio (a point MPAC interestingly enough failed to address in its more than 2,000 word reply) but apparently not significant enough to “remember” before a national television audience. Lekovic’s and MPAC’s excuses, just like their self-proclaimed “moderation,” fail the laugh test, and MPAC’s latest evasion only serves to reinforce that conclusion.
~~~Am I the only 1 that keeps getting the “502” Gateway error when I try to visit the koranimals over at mpac.org, so I can give them a piece of my kafir brain?
Except the reaction and what we teach our children. Since nobody is responsible for their own actions, the actions of others or the actions of their parents, the government must control this outrage in the school system. WRONG!
This is a problem made worse by a touchy feely cumbaya society that teaches there is never a time for violence. Boys are bad if they ever get into a confrontation regardless of who started it. We can't play with balls at recess or keep score of anything or else someone’s feelings get hurt.
I was taught to never get into a fight. My father was strict. I was picked on and bullied (from grade 3 to 11). I was in 8th grade when my father modified the lesson to include the occasional time when a man should use violence. 1) To defend the helpless 2) To defend or stand up for yourself.
The next day at recess I punched Tommy H. in the nose. I had to sit in the principles office for about 4 days during recess. The bullying from him and two others stopped that day. I was in several fights in high school. Each one was morally justified whether I was defending myself or someone else (on one occasion both). When my private school instructors listened to the events, details and witnesses, my use of violence was excused.
Logic and reason is not allowed to be considered or taught in society today. But we would do well to teach our kids to not let bullies abuse others. Also, we should teach them to not be victims of bullies either.
Bullying will never end. All this is saying is that the government is picking and choosing who can be the bullies.
Without a doubt. Look at the speech trials of Geert Wilders of The Netherlands and Lars Hedegaard of Denmark for daring to criticize and warn about the real threat of radical Islam.
Looked at one way, this is another way of saying Peace through Strength. The aggressor nations saw an opportunity due to their perceived power imbalance with the enemy.
But I very much doubt that's what the authors meant.
Oh yooo hooo
once the touchy feely crap became the new standard, defending oneself became the business of the busybodies, and now, no one is safe, except the bully, from gettin his nose broken... the real bully now is the state...
Actually-—the government becomes the Bully and they have the force of law to punish everyone they “deem” is a “bully”. Vague definitions allow arrest or prosecutions of anyone that is the “enemy” .
We become slaves to whatever the state allows us to say or “not” say.
These laws are unconstitutional-—we have ALWAYS had the right to say obnoxious things and, of course, we used to have the right to flatten anyone with our fists. They are taking our agency away—just like Marx wanted.
They are destroying our fundamental rights of association and speech and religion which is the basis of our Constitution.
“Bullying” in public schools has become codetalk for saying or doing anything (real or perceived) that could be construed as “anti-gay”.
On the one hand, I’m sick of parents who let their kids prey upon other kids to bolster their kids self esteem. But, we had cultural norms, many right and some wrong, that maintained our society, that are being replaced by rules and laws that are easily dismissed when inconvenient. A sense of right and wrong is more important than a rule.