Fifth Column Arab "Americans"

Half of racism is making generalizations about an entire ethnic group, and that is precisely what one Jeffrey Rubinoff does in a contemptible article for the conservative MichNews.com.

Rubinoff is worried that Arab-Americans are going out and voting, and wonders: "[B]ut we must ask ourselves two questions: Is this involvement due to an unprecedented acceptance of Arabs [sic] of the U.S. political system? Or, is there a hidden agenda that is only now beginning to reveal itself and reel its ugly head?"

The answer soon arrives:

I must say that their intentions are not noble. Arabs in the United State have overwhelmingly not accepted our Western Political system [sic], which supports freedom and democracy. These Arab "Americans" are not mobilizing to advance the American Political system, but they are setting the stage to advance their "Arab Agenda." This agenda does not take freedom, democracy and coexistence into consideration. Their objective is to change the U.S. domestic and international polices in such a way as to garnish sympathy for their Terrorist brethren in the Middle East.

Hidden agendas? Manipulation of an infiltrated system? Quote marks around "American" as in Arab "American", to assign alien loyalties? That sounds sickeningly familiar in a similarly Semitic context. Since MichNews claims to be pro-free speech, I'll oblige and just call Rubinoff a splendid jerk.

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  • ||

    "Half of racism is making generalizations about an entire ethnic group..."

    What is the other half?

  • ||

    It's noteworthy because people dislike corporate rich guys because of the things they often do, which are a function of choice. Being an Arab is not a matter of choice, and smearing them as a whole is simply racist. It's a simple as that.

  • ||

    junyo - forgive me, but i'm making the assumption that like many liberal pubs, most "conservative" rags boasting such laundry list of credentials are most interested in pushing legislative and legal solutions to problems which are, imo, as inconsequential as your broccoli example.

    maybe i'm wrong and they're crypto-libertarian types in disguise, but i don't think so.

  • ||

    On Saturday I went down the Tribune Center on the Mag Mile here in Chicago to check out the Anti-French Headgear ban protest. I personally was impressed at how westernized all the young people were... I guess in a way I expecting rock throwing or something, but walked away pleased. Yes, Arab Americans (many of these folks were prob. 2nd or 3rd generation) are just like you and me... Even though the young women had head scarves there was no mistaking them for giggling American teenagers.

    On the other hand though they were completely opposed to secularism (obviously) but no more so than any other church group.

  • fyodor||

    cdunlea,

    While the no-choice-in-the-matter aspect of ethnic heritage does make it worse, I would say that claiming that all "rich people" were traitors conspiring to commit heinous crimes would only be slightly less noxious.

    Junyo, good point, up to a point. It's silly when people act all aghast that someone would be pushing their personal interests, including a political agenda. Hopefully, though, as misguided as left-liberals may be about "corporate greed" and the like, I don't think we'd find them accusing CEO's en masse of mass murder. Well, not most of them, anyway...

  • ||

    dhex - I don't disagree with your last statement, just with what I felt was the imprecision of the first. Being anti-something is the merely basis of debate, or respected differences of belief, culture or opinion. It doesn't rise to the level of being antagonistic to freedom until you active seek to constrain another person's actions.

  • ||

    ...actively...

  • ||

    Speaking of fifth columns, did you see this on Sullivan's blog today:

    >>An Anti-War.com writer pleaded guilty to federal weapons and explosives charges. He was planning to fight for "Muslim causes."

    See: www.andrewsullivan.com

    Wasn't Reason pimping Anti-war.com last month? any comments?

  • ||

    fyodor,

    "I would say that claiming that all "rich people" were traitors conspiring to commit heinous crimes would only be slightly less noxious."

    I would agree. Do you have any evidence that any significant Democratic candidates are doing such a thing, or are you just spinning the denunciation of misdeeds by the few into a broad generalization of the many?

  • ||

    Is Rubinoff aware that Salma Hayek is an Arab-American?

    Who'd want to deny her entry?

  • ||

    junyo: perhaps not antagonistic, but certainly not pro-freedom. they seem to be pro-freedom in the same way so many people are - they're pro freedom for the things they like and pro-smushing for the things they don't.

  • ||

    "Who'd want to deny her entry?"

    Or we could just turn that around and say...oh nevermind, that would be too easy...

  • ||

    Would someone answer the Troll's question, please?
    I thought it was a good one.

  • ||

    Some members of Reason.com were "pimping" Antiwar.com.

    BTW, what does this fellow's arrest, etc. have to do with the merit's of Antiwar.com's statements, etc.? Oh no, wait a moment, I see a genetic fallacy on the way......

    Or to turn it back on the jackass who tried to insult me similarly (Slippery Pete), why is that genetic fallacies are so common amongst American commentators? :)

  • ||

    same reason they're common everywhere else. it's easy!

    1) they're bad
    2) you have some minor connection to them
    3) you're bad too! you suck!

  • ||

    but it's hardly an american fallacy. i've heard stories back from americans rolling about in various parts of europe getting everything from a hard time (you're american. bush is american. you suck!!!) to beer bottles and rocks. i'm hoping my honeymoon will be less eventful, at least the amsterdam half (i don't think anyone will care in ireland). i like the dutch, they're nice - if somewhat joyless - people, for the most part.

  • ||

    dhex and frenchie figured me out! Posting a question means I really hate reason! BWAHAHAHAHA me so evil.

    Actually I just wanted to know what they thought of the story, since they were touting Raimondo's site a few months ago. Plus some reporting - what's the writers connection was to anti-war, did people think he was innocent, etc.

    But go back to putting words in people's mouths.

  • ||

    dhex,

    Well, my comment was more of a dig at Slippery Pete than at Americans in general. I thought the :) made that clear. :)

    Troll,

    No, posting a question does not mean that you hate Reason (no one claimed that it was, so I don't see why you made this comment); and your question was fair grounds for predicting a coming genetic fallacy.

  • ||

    Sullivan's being his normal dishonest self when he insinuates that Royer was a columnist for Antiwar.com-- he submitted one essay in Sep. 2002. Many people do this. If Troll really wanted to know what was up he could have found all this out on Google in two seconds.

    Raimondo's comments on Royer:
    http://66.102.7.104/custom?q=cache:35aDFLiZyrkJ:www.antiwar.com/justin/j070203.html+royer&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

  • ||

    Trollslayer,

    Sullivan has shown a willingness to obfuscate in the past. That's not an absolute indicator of the truthfulness of all of his stories of course.

  • ||

    It's noteworthy because people dislike corporate rich guys because of the things they often do, which are a function of choice. Being an Arab is not a matter of choice, and smearing them as a whole is simply racist. It's a simple as that.

    Would the statement "Democrats are criminals" be any less ignorant and bigotted if I defended it by saying "well, they're Democrats by choice" and noted the millions of criminals who are or were registered Democrats?

    Similarly, while being an Arab is not a matter of choice, supporting Anti-American terrorists, which Arabs "often do" (using your definition of "often do", which is apparently "you hear about it a lot, but have no statistics on it"), is.

    It seems like your complaint here is that it's OK to slander rich people, because they can always evade the charges by ceasing to be rich, but it's bad to slander Arabs, because they can't change their ethnicity. I don't agree with that line of reasoning. It seems to me that taking the criminal behavior of some members of a group and using it to tar ALL the members of that group with the same brush is wrong regardless of whether they are members of that group by choice, or by nature.

  • ||

    Dan,

    Well written and argued. :)

  • fyodor||

    Joe, Joe, ol' buddy ol' pal,

    I was making a point. That being that the inherent and unavoidable nature of being an Arab was not the only aspect of Rubinoff's sweeping accusation that qualifies it as a quite noxious thing to say, as cdunlea seemed to imply. And in fact, you might notice that in the second paragraph of that very same post I actually take issue with Junyo's charge that Dean's statements are the equivalent. Well, I'll plead guily to adding a tongue-in-cheek qualifier at the end, but that was only to make light of the fact that many left-liberals (I didn't actually say anything about Democratic candidates myself) do harbor some pretty strong antagonism towards people who make more money than they do. But of course the left has no monopoly on acceptable bigotries, not by any means....

  • ||

    I believe that we can all agree that the comments qouted in the write-up are stupid and bigoted. :)

  • fyodor||

    Ah, Dan made the same point I was trying to. Kudos!

    However, I take issue with Dan's claim that anything "private" cannot involve two consenting adults. Why not? Because "private" implies only one person? Then why is child molestation private? I looked up the word and found many definitions indicate something individual, but others merely mean shielded from "the public." I strongly disagree that sex in a private bedroom is not private.

    Troll, maybe you're not saying Reason sucks because of this one columnist, but I'd say you're implying that all of antiwar.com does, and that's just as fallatious. If not what you meant, then I don't understand your question.

  • Larry||

    I remember JFK's election. His being Catholic and therefore "liable to follow the Pope's direction instead of being American" was a medium-size issue. I also expect PMS to be one whenever we have our first credible female presidential candidate, which is liable to be 2008. (Given the present situation that may be Rice v. Clinton)

    Bigotry is an equal opportunity disease. "We are pro-freedom, unless you're..."

  • fyodor||

    Apologies to Dan. Re-reading your post, I see you weren't saying fucking wasn't private, but rather that a private act isn't necessarily consensual. And right you are. But I think you should cut dhex some slack. Consensual was probably what he meant.

  • ||

    But I think you should cut dhex some slack. Consensual was probably what he meant.

    Yeah, but saying that there can't be any reason for banning or opposing consensual activities overlooks the fact that we have no objective standard for "consensual" that makes everyone happy. Has a person consented just because they say they have, or can extenuating circumstances nullify their consent (eg, they were drunk)? How can an uninvolved third party verify the consent (VERY important if we're talking about the law)? Is it still consent if it turns out the "consenting" party was acting on faulty information (eg, drinking poisoned wine that he had been assured was not poisoned)? Are small children capable of consenting to anything at all? Etc, etc. These are not easy questions.

    Scenario: a toddler tries to get at the bottle of rat poison under the sink. I forbid him from drinking it; he cries. Is this an example of me being anti-liberty? Or am I justified in this because, if the toddler really knew and understood what he was doing, he almost certainly wouldn't try to do it?

    This is an important question, because conservative Christians believe that sinful activity lands you in Hell. Sinners are like the child reaching for the bottle of rat poison; forbidding them from drinking isn't an affront to their liberty, because if they really knew what they were doing, they almost certainly wouldn't do it. It's a catch-22 -- the very fact that they are "consenting" to go to Hell proves their lack of capacity to render consent.

    I think Christians are wrong, particularly since I believe in neither gods nor Hell. However, I cannot prove they are wrong. Situations like this are what the free marketplace of ideas is meant to resolve.

  • ||

    That drelb at MitchNews definitely wrote an incredibly biased piece about Arab-americans.

    Unfortunately, this idiot is closer to the truth than he knows.

    The current situation with militant Islam is like no other we have ever encountered: the infrastructure of a major religion has been deliberately co-opted for inimical purposes.

    Islam is non-hierarchical [i.e. No Pope, Cardinals or Bishops] and consists of multiple [often antagonistic] sects. Under normal circumstances, it would be folly [and rankest prejudice] to characterize it in a political context [i.e. "All of Islam is our enemy"].

    Circumstances are not normal. The hard, Determined core of our enemy in this war is the Wahabbi sect - which happens to be one of the best funded religious organizations on the planet. It is almost solely responsible for all Islamic missionary work in world, it has paid for the construction of most of the new mosques in North America and Europe and its members are involved in most of the major Islamic charitable, cultural and academic organizations in the world. The reason Islam is the fastest growing religion in the US has a lot to do with the level of funding. And while only a small perecentage of the membership of these organizations are active foes of the US, the remainder unwittingly provide cover and concealment for that active portion.

    There is no historical parallel for this situation [certainly not the anemic Axis intelligence appararus in the USA in 1940] and that makes it difficult to deal with.

    Our tradition of religious tolerance causes us to view this as perfectly normal activity and look askance at anyone that might criticize it. It has been almost 400 years since any major religious war has descended upon Western Civilization - and our complacency in this area is fully understandable. Paradoxically, this tolerance is viewed by radical Islamicists as evidence of the weakness and decandece of thier foes.

    The good news is that these Islamiscist networks can be unwound by sound counter-intelligence work [which appears to be happening]. There have been no witch hunts, no detention camps or mass suspensions of civil liberties [aside from DUI checkpoints on New Year's Eve, of course]. Instead we are seeing a slow process of bringing formal charges and, by the standards of WWII, painstaking care in avoiding over-zealous prosecutions [except for the idiots at the INS who detained more people than they could process effectively]. We are also seeing more pressure being placed on the Saudi royal house to reign in the Wahabbis [tough to do, as they put the Saud family on the throne!]. So far so good.

    Just because some thought there were Reds under every bed back in the McCarthy era did not mean that the Soviet Union wan't running highly successful intelligence operations. Just because some bozo in Michigan starts ranting about how "all" Arabs are disloyal, does not mean there is no threat.

    This is an extremely complicated situation, for which there are few simple answers. Blanket dismissal of concerns about large groups of people is potentially as dangerous as blanket acceptance of them.

  • ||

    Similarly, while being an Arab is not a matter of choice, supporting Anti-American terrorists, which Arabs "often do" (using your definition of "often do", which is apparently "you hear about it a lot, but have no statistics on it"),

    First of all, "often do" means things that SOME corporate fatcats have provably done, ie the Michael Milken/Sam Waksal/Enron gang--if you dispute courts of law, that's your problem. Not all corporate rich people are a problem, and being rich is no sin--but it's a lot harder to raid a pension fund when you're not a CEO, and we all know what CEO comp plans for Fortune 500 companies look like, don't we? Just read these pages.

    Second, if you read my original post, you'll note that I never slandered, or even brought up, rich guys. junyo did. Again, my point is that you can choose or not choose to be wealthly, or to steal money, etc. You cannot choose your national heritage. Equating "Arabs" with "white collar criminals" or "Democrats" or whatever is trollious.

  • ||

    He may be generalizing, but he's half right. We are right to be worried. Take the headline on this link:

    Illegal Aliens Charged with Hezbollah fundraising in Dearborn.

    They were snuck in through Mexico. Given how just about every Muslim-American organization I've ever read about has very frightening beliefs, I think we're right to be worried. This is the kind of conversation people need to be having. It's very similar to the problem of communist infiltration imo.

    Given the author is in Michigan, I bet he has a lot of contact with Muslims since the largest Muslim community in the US is there. Much of this may simply be the result of conversations he's had with actual Muslims.

  • ||

    linden,

    Some people associated with "militia" groups blew up a building in Oklahoma, and others have been arrested and sent to prison for other planned attacks. Does this now mean that those involved in militia groups are "suspect Americans?"

  • ||

    " . . . just about every Muslim-American organization I've ever read about . . . "

    Well, that's it, innit? I've never noticed the media beating down the door to the organizations I've been peripherally involved with.

  • ||

    > These Arab "Americans" are not mobilizing
    to advance the American Political system,
    but they are setting the stage to advance their "Arab Agenda."

  • ||

    Jean Bart, yes. You may find this interesting: From the Southern Poverty Law Center: The Swastika and the Crescent:
    In the wake of Sept. 11, new light is thrown on the international ties increasingly linking Muslim and neo-Nazi extremists


    There's also stuff about the Nation of Islam teaming up with Klansmen. Yes, Klansmen.

    "Well, that's it, innit? I've never noticed the media beating down the door to the organizations I've been peripherally involved with."
    "Peripherally" being the optimum word.

    While I do think the author is generalizing too much, it's naive in the extreme to at least not be cautious as well as suspicious. Like I said, it's similar to the question of communist infiltration.

    "He would support a return, and beyond, of censorship and other laws with restrictions on public behavior.

    He has that right. He seeks to exercise it.
    Guess what! There are other groups who politics
    would not just roll back laws to the 1950s,
    but make them much more controlling,
    and do it constitutionally."


    Constitutionally, if they erase the Bill of Rights. Let's hope people like your friend never become the majority as it would be the end of this nation as a free country.

  • ||

    There's always this as well. Check out the police sketch of John Doe #2 from the OKC bombing and alleged dirty bomber Jose Padilla. The resemblence is uncanny. It's interesting to say the least.

  • ||

    Shit, even Ann Coulter would arch an eyebrow reading that polemic.

    :-

  • ||

    What do you expect from hacks who describe themselves thus:

    We Are:
    Pro-American
    Pro-Freedom
    Pro-Life
    Pro-Family Values
    Pro-Christian/Judeo Values
    Pro-Gun Rights
    Pro-Free Speech
    Pro-Marriage
    Pro-Religion
    Pro-Death Penalty
    Against Illegal Immigration
    Against Homosexuality
    Against Liberal Media Bias

    Who reads their crap, anyway?

  • ||

    schizophrenics convinced that invisible beings responsible both for their creation and ultimate downfall/aftermath are terribly offended by fucking.

    ya can't be pro-freedom and anti-[private act].

  • ||

    Wouldn't these pro-tyranny Fifth Columnists be the people who told the terror supporting governments back "home," "shove it up your ass, I'm going to America," or who were expelled by those same governments?

  • ||

    Good point Joe.

    Nice slam there dhex ... pretty accurate.

  • ||

    Speaking of manipulation, Rubinoff does a good one to general American fears concerning terrorism.

  • ||

    Let me just paraphrase that, turning the clock back to 1954...

    I must say that their intentions are not noble. ][Jews]in the United State have overwhelmingly not accepted our Western Political system [sic], which supports freedom and democracy. These [Jewish] "Americans" are not mobilizing to advance the American Political system, but they are setting the stage to advance their "[Jewish] Agenda." This agenda does not take freedom, democracy and coexistence into consideration. Their objective is to change the U.S. domestic and international polices in such a way as to garnish sympathy for their [Zionist] brethren in the Middle East...

    Maybe Rubinoff got his writing style from the KKK?

  • ||

    Who would think to deny Salma Hayek anything? Just in case she's surfing, you understand . . .

  • ||

    dan: fair enough. i guess private = consensual in my mind automatically. and since there is no objective way to determine consensuality, as you mention, we're sort of stuck with the age limits we have now unless someone develops a consens-o-meter.

    maybe i take it a bit further because people should have the right to do with their bodies as they wish - including sucide, drugs or bleach drinking - so long as they don't infringe on the bodies of others. their relative sanity or insanity is a pointless question in my mind because so much of what passes for "normal behavior" is absolutely fucking crazy.

  • ||

    First of all, "often do" means things that SOME corporate fatcats have provably done

    That's an interesting, if non-standard-English, use of "often do". It also means that it's entirely fair, and non-racist, to say "Arabs are often terrorists who plot to kill Americans", since there are numerous examples of Arab men and women doing just that.

    Here's what you said:

    people dislike corporate rich guys because of the things they often do

    Now you're saying that "things corporate rich guys often do" means "things a couple of corporate rich guys have done". I'm sorry, but no. When you say that group X often does something, it means that it's a frequent occurance for members of group X to do that thing. The rich do not "often" plot to help their "corporate buddies", and Arabs do not "often" plot to murder Americans. SOME rich folks do, and SOME Arabs do.

    Well, whatever. Liberals are often child molesters, Arabs are often psycho killers, and conservatives are often members of the KKK. At least, in cdunlea's version of English they are.

  • ||

    Some people associated with "militia" groups blew up a building in Oklahoma, and others have been arrested and sent to prison for other planned attacks. Does this now mean that those involved in militia groups are "suspect Americans?"

    It's possible you weren't paying much attention at the time (since the events in question were pretty much a domestic affair), but the answer to your question was, apparently, a big "YES". Both the press and the government made a concentrated effort to paint all separatist, militia, and survivalist groups as dangerous, violent, heavily-armed, and fanatical threats to the safety of the United States and its citizens.

    Anti-militia screeds every bit as absurd and ill-informed as Rubinoff's anti-Arab screed were all the rage in the major papers and on the major networks, in the years following Oklahoma City and Waco.

  • ||

    daddy mac will make you jump.

  • ||

    In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
    4] Do they not think that they will be called to account?
    [5] On a Mighty Day,
    [6] A Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds

    In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
    [53] Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful
    54] "Turn ye to your Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will), before the Penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be helped.
    [55] "And follow the Best of (the courses) revealed to you from your Lord, before the Penalty comes on you - of a sudden while ye perceive not! -
    [56] "Lest the soul should (then) say: `Ah! woe is me! in that I neglected (my Duty) towards Allah, and was but among those who mocked!'
    [57] "Or (lest) it should say: 'If only Allah had guided me, I should certainly have been among the righteous!
    58] "Or (lest) it should say when it (actually) sees the Penalty: 'If only I had another chance, I should certainly be among those who do good!'
    [59] "(The reply will be:) 'Nay, but there came to thee My Signs, and thou didst reject them: thou wast haughty, and became one of those who reject Faith!'"
    [60] On the Day of Judgment wilt thou see those who told lies against Allah; their faces will be turned black; is there not in Hell an abode for the Haughty?
    [61] But Allah will deliver the righteous to their place of salvation: no evil shall touch them, nor shall they griev
    In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
    7] Those who sustain the Throne (of Allah) and those around it sing Glory and Praise to their Lord; believe in Him; and implore forgiveness for those who believe: "Our Lord! Thy Reach is over all things, in Mercy and Knowledge. Forgive, then, those who turn in Repentance, and follow thy Path; and preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire!
    [8] "And grant, our Lord! that they enter the Gardens of Eternity, which Thou hast promised to them, and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their posterity! for Thou art (He), the Exalted in Might, Full of Wisdom.
    [9] "And preserve them from (all) ills; and any whom Thou dost preserve from ills that Day, on them wilt Thou have bestowed Mercy indeed: and that will be truly (for them) the highest Achievement
    In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
    133] Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous.
    134] Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men; for Allah loves those who do good.
    [135] And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins; and who can forgive sins except Allah? And are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.
    136] For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath; an eternal dwelling: how excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!

    http://quran.al-islam.com
    http://www.al-sunnah.com

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