[UPDATED with New Anti-Muslim Rally Plans:] Video Captures Protesters, Politicians Berating Muslims at Yorba Linda Charity Function
Organizers of February's controversial and much-blasted anti-Muslim rally in Yorba Linda have issued an ultimatum to the Orange County Human Relations Commission: rescind the Community Leader award it is presenting to Islamic Society of Orange County Imam Muzammil Siddiqi at a May banquet or expect a rowdy protest outside the event at the Grove in Anaheim.
Orange County Register metro columnist Frank Mickadeit couches the alarming disclosure as one would expect from a media outlet that coddles the old, rich, white, conservative and racist: the group making the demand is referred to as "an anti-terror group," even though it was the one terrorizing American citizens Feb. 13 in Yorba Linda. Mickadeit also gives truth to the fantasy that there were two separate protests that day, and that Steve Amundson, who issued the ultimatum, only organized "the peaceful" part of it.
"The peaceful" part included the hate-filled, death-threats-laced rant of Villa Park City Councilwoman and Orange County Republican Party Vice Chairwoman Deborah Pauly.
But more curious than the Register's time-worn defense of the indefensible is Amundson's target du jour. Here is what I posted about Siddiqi 12 days before the Yorba Linda hate rally:
Siddiqi has a long and storied interfaith reputation. His Garden Grove-based Islamic Society of Orange County, one of the largest mosques in North America, started a program called Open Mosque, which allows people of all faiths (or none at all) to visit any time. He has spoken at the World Assembly of the World Council of Churches, presided over the Academy of Judaic, Christian and Islamic Studies in California, and he received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the National Council of Christians and Jews.
He wholeheartedly supported the election of George W. Bush, explaining at the time Muslims are attracted to the Republican Party's stands on social issues. In fact, he was scheduled to meet with Bush on Sept. 11, 2001. That morning's events changed everything. Three days later, Siddiqi spoke at an interfaith service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.; gave Bush a copy of the Quran; and accompanied the then-president to face the media. He later split with Bush over the Iraq War.
His Fiqh Council of North America in July 2005 publicly issued a fatwa stating Islam's condemnation of terrorism and religious extremism.
I posted about Siddiqi because he had just released a statement condemning Holocaust denies after he and other Muslim American faith and community leaders visited the Dachau and Auschwitz concentration camps:
- Imam Muzammil Siddiqi of Islamic Society of Orange County Condemns Holocaust Deniers
But Amundson claims Siddiqi is a terrorist. Here is the hate rally organizer's reasoning: A 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum lists the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) at the top of a list of "our friends"; A Brotherhood "Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America" includes the line, "work in America is kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within"; ISNA and the Muslim Brotherhood were among the hundreds and hundreds of "co-conspirators" identified by a federal prosecutor but never indicted for a crime before the 2008 conviction of five Holy Land Foundation leaders for sending $12.4 million to Hamas; and Siddiqi was president of ISNA from 1997-2000.
To his credit, Mickadeit reports that he "could find no record of Siddiqi being named an alleged co-conspirator or being involved in any way. Not even the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a private organization that has an online dossier on Siddiqi and questions whether he is an extremist, can link him to any wrongdoing."
The columnist then allows Amundson another out: that Siddiqi "supports the implementation of Sharia, the Islamic law, in the U.S." The harshest Sharia laws condemn homosexuality and some speech, which you'd think would appeal to the types of haters who attend anti-Muslim rallies.
Again, to Mickadeit's credit, he notes that "even Islamic scholars can't all agree on the parameters of Sharia, and Siddiqi is also on the record saying he doesn't support violence against gays."
He's on record for much more than that, Frank. Just check the Register archives. Start with the 2005 piece that had your rag naming Siddiqi one of the 100 most influential people who shaped Orange County in the past 25 years.