Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Hate Update

It's been a fascinating few weeks since I posted my thoughts on the video of last month's hate rally in Yorba Linda, CA protesting a fundraiser by the Islamic Circle of North America. For one, after my commentary appered at Huffington Post, I was contacted by David Elezrie, the rabbi who organized the rally, which you may recall drew politicos like local councilwoman Deborah Pauly, who called for event attendees to be "sent to an early meeting in paradise." Nice lady. Anyway, per Rabbi Elezrie's statement to me, his rally was specifically about condemning the extreme rhetoric of Amir Abdel Malik Ali, one of the speakers at the fundraiser, but that "another protest" sprung up at the same time, and the really nasty stuff was coming from them.

Okay, so let me first say that, having heard some of the things he's said over the years, I'm certainly not going to defend Malik Ali (and in fact I appeared on my NBC affiliate a few years back to condemn similar such inflammatory comments from him). In my view, rhetoric like his isn't remotely helpful at fostering dialogue, and I do wonder what the ICNA folks were thinking having a decidedly controversial figure headline what should have been a decidedly non-controversial event. That said, assuming we take Rabbi Elezrie's "it was that other protest what done it!" as a given, my response would be that yep, it really sucks when an entire group is blamed for the irrational actions of a bigoted few. Really, really sucks.

But, in a clear example of something going around and then coming right back around, it turns out the city council of Villa Park, which Ms. Pauly has done such a sterling job of representing to the citizens of the world, didn't take kindly to one of their own spouting hateful nonsense like that "early meeting in paradise" thing, and they've issued a statement re-affirming the "Constitutional right to freedom of religion" while also condemning "violence and threats of violence, and terrorism and threats of terrorism." And as far as how Pauly has responded to her bigotry going global, as well as other fallout from the vid, jump on over to the Orange Juice blog for all the high (and low) lights.

No comments: