Recently, Texas has reclaimed its cherished position as the nation’s “epicenter of right wing-extremism” with a few specifically bizarre occurrences that epitomize exactly what “right-wing extremism” means. But now, the Texas-size extremism is spreading to Arizona and it includes Texas-style armed biker thugs, conspiracy theorists, and anti-Muslim sentiments that set Texas apart as right-wing extremist central.
About a month ago anti-Muslim hate-freak Pamela Geller and her acolytes, none of whom comprehend that America is not a Christian theocracy, converged on Texas to insult and incite anger in the American Muslim community with a cartoon contest intended to mock the Muslim Prophet Mohammed. The event resulted in the death of two Muslim adherents which appeared to be the intent of Geller’s so-called anti-Muslim “Freedom of Speech Rally.”
Then there is the still ongoing Texas paranoia-fest over fears the United States armed forces are going to invade the Lone Star state, kill off Texas patriots, and send the remaining Texans to now-shuttered Walmart stores for permanent incarceration. The ridiculous “Jade Helm” conspiracy was embraced by regular Texans and Republicans alike, including a group of Republicans that met with Pentagon officials to demand a guarantee that President Obama was not using Seal Teams to wipe out resistance and take over the state.
Just two weeks ago, after learning two rival biker gangs intended on violence to regulate one another, police stood by and watched between 150 and 200 armed white motorcycle thugs stab, club, and shoot it out with each other, and some in law enforcement. After the bloodbath, law enforcement casually milled around while the suspected shooters leisurely and without restraints talked among themselves and sent text messages while waiting for a bus to cart them off to the local slam.
Now, not to be out-extremed, an Arizona group of biker thugs made explicit plans to converge on Phoenix Arizona to insult and enrage Muslims with cartoon images of the Prophet Mohammed during their Friday prayer service. It is possible the group of Arizona biker thugs were inspired by the Waco biker thugs looking for trouble, only instead of insulting each other, they are taking out their love of the First and Second Amendment on peaceful Muslims at an Islamic Community Center precisely when devotees gather for evening prayers.
In announcing their “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II,” the biker thugs are expanding the hateful anti-Muslim of Pam Geller’s “insult Muslim adherents” with their own contest of forbidden cartoons to mock the Muslim Prophet Mohammed. One wonders what evangelical fundamentalists would think if a group of Muslims showed up at a mega-church revival meeting with pornographic images of Jesus; it is certain they would hardly pause and celebrate the Muslims’ right to exercise their freedom of speech. Likely, if it happened in an open-carry state like Arizona, there would be Muslim blood being shed, but then again Muslim people are not prone to deliberate sacrilege just to exercise their First Amendment rights; that is reserved for hate groups like Geller promotes.
According to the rally’s organizer, Jon Ritzheimer, he expects the anti-Muslim biker thugs to show up armed “to utilize there [sic] second amendment right” against Muslims during prayers. After all, he did hear that the mosque is “a known place” where the would-be ambushers of Geller’s insult Islam hatefest in Garland Texas are rumored to have worshiped. On his Facebook event page, Ritzheimer sent out an all-call to biker thugs to arm-up for a peaceful protest against Muslims during their prayers.
The gist of the call to arms to insult peaceful American Muslim worshippers is thus; “Everyone is encouraged to bring American Flags and any message that you would like to send to this Islamic Community Center. People (white biker thugs) are also encouraged to utilize there [sic] second amendment right incase (sic) our first amendment comes under the much anticipated attack. Date will be Friday May 29th @ 6:15pm when they (American Muslims) normally host a large prayer. Bikers (armed white thugs) will meet at the Denny’s” and “there will be a Muhammad Cartoon Contest. Participants must show cartoon at the Rally” being held at the Islamic Community Center when Muslim adherents gather for a large prayer service.
Apparently, the armed biker thugs readying for the “much anticipated attack” against their precious 1st Amendment right to incite rage against a non-Christian religious group are too illiterate to understand that their precious 1st Amendment includes a guarantee of “free exercise of religion” that includes the Muslim faith . These so-called patriot biker thugs are using their freedom of speech to incite violence and there is Supreme Court precedence suggesting their actions may violate the law.
According to a landmark Supreme Court case based on the First Amendment in 1969, Brandenburg v. Ohio, government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless that speech is directed to inciting, and is likely to incite, imminent lawless action. Now, one can argue that showing up at a place of worship and displaying images under the cover of the First Amendment with the express purpose of inciting, or likely to incite, some kind of “lawless” response falls under the ‘exception’ noted in Brandenburg. Especially when a call was put out to ‘arm up’ for the “much anticipated attack” as retribution for what any reasonable human being would label pure hate to incite lawless action.
These anti-Muslim and well-armed biker thugs are deliberately looking for trouble by announcing ahead of time their intent is inciting a violent response from American Muslims who are guilty of nothing except gathering at their regular place of worship to pray. There is a “counter-protest” planned under the heading “Anti-Racism Muslim Solidarity Rally,” but it does not appear the participants will equal the number of RSVP’s as the armed biker thug rally. Hopefully there will be a robust law enforcement contingent and one unafraid of a thousand armed gangsters looking to exercise their First and Second Amendment rights against Muslim Americans meeting to pray and worship.
If these brave biker thugs want to wage war on Muslims, and obviously they do, they should be sent to Iraq and Syria and let them “exercise their Second Amendment rights” against Muslim extremists in ISIL. Instead, they are being hailed as patriots because they are willing to wage war on other Americans just because they worship in a mosque, and not the local Baptist mega-church.
What has not happened is any Christian group or Republicans condemning either Geller’s Texas anti-Muslim ‘rally’ or the call to arms in Arizona for a First Amendment attack on American Muslims for practicing the wrong religion. But that is the new extremist America; where the First Amendment means both open season to attack other religions as well as impose Christianity on the population by judicial and legislative fiat. And Christian fundamentalists and Republicans have the temerity to condemn ISIL as being extreme for doing precisely what Geller’s ‘patriots’ and Republican evangelical maniacs would do if they could only get away with it.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.