Abandoning hate speech and opening dialogue is key to understanding

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An incendiary banner that recently was posted on Washington Metro buses demonstrates that anti-Muslim sentiment remains a huge problem in our land.

THIS AD, SPONSORED by a hate group led by Pamela Geller, falsely claims that the Quran encourages Muslims to hate Jews. Her organization, Stop the Islamization of America, is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC also named Geller as a member of the “anti-Muslim inner circle.”

This is a propaganda campaign designed to incite hatred against American Muslims, and has been based on false information, taking things out of context from the Quran. Her SIOA group recently was denied a trademark after an appeals court ruled that the name disparaged Muslims.

The Quran clearly states the following:

“Verily, those who have attained to faith (in this divine writ), as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians – all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds – shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.” (2:62)

“SAY: ‘WE BELIEVE in God, and in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, and that which has been bestowed upon Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, and that which has been vouchsafed to Moses and Jesus; and that which has been vouchsafed to all the (other) prophets by their Sustainer: we make no distinction between any of them. And it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves.’” (2:136)

“O humankind! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware.” (49:13)

The right to free speech under the law is a freedom from government interference with speech. Still, we also hold it deeply as a value outside of the law.

Yet free speech is limited in many contexts. One can lose their job because of speech, and can be thrown out of all sorts of venues for inappropriate or offensive speech. It doesn’t have to rise to the level of crying “Fire!” in a crowded movie house.

Even hate speech must,
barring an incitement to violence, be free from government intervention. But that doesn’t mean we have to tolerate it in our communities.

INSTEAD, WE SHOULD employ the complementary principles of defending a broad and open debate, even when some views disturb us deeply, and equally strong opposition to hate speech.

That combination leads to progress, broader tolerance and greater harmony for us all.

(The writers are, respectively, the imam of the Islamic Society of Augusta; and the coordinator of the Interfaith Fellowship of Augusta.)

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myfather15
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myfather15 06/08/14 - 06:00 am
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Oh my goodness!!

"Her organization, Stop the Islamization of America, is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center."

The Southeren Poverty Law Center (Ultra left organization) said it, so it MUST be true, right?

Instead of wasting your time babbling about this woman and her organization, why don't you dedicate all your efforts on openly denouncing ANY and ALL acts of violence committed in the name of Islam; AND concentrate on educating people of the Islamic faith to denounce violence as well and STAND against it!!

That's something I don't know if I've EVER seen, and would love to see. A letter written by an Imam vehemently denouncing ANY act of violence and those who support radical versions of Islam!! But, I won't hold my breath!! Most would rather focus on the "hate" coming from American's, rather than bringing attention to radical terrorists!!

stuaby
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stuaby 06/08/14 - 06:18 am
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"That's something I don't

"That's something I don't know if I've EVER seen, and would love to see...But, I won't hold my breath!!"

Good call, my, because you'd be holding it for a good while.

stuaby
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stuaby 06/08/14 - 06:25 am
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At some level, labeling

At some level, labeling groups as "hate" groups is probably a business decision for the SPLC. There are people who work there and donations need to keep flowing to maintain income.

The more groups you can brand as "hate" groups, the higher the donation levels.

deestafford
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deestafford 06/08/14 - 07:51 am
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Is it hate speech...

Is it hate speech:

--To talk about a religion with tens of millions followers wanting to destroy Western Civilization? (There are approximately one billion Muslims in the world. If 10% believe that it's 100 million. 1% equals 10 million.)

--To talk about a religion which believes in honor killings of their daughters?

--To talk about a religion of which most of its believers want the state of Israel to be destroyed and not exist even though it was founded before the religion of Islam?

--To talk about a religion which believes in subjugating all who do not believe in it by forcing conversion or paying dhimmitude or being put to death?

--To talk about a religion which does not believe in the most basic of women's rights?

--To talk about a religion which has no freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion within the countries it controls? Just try to bring a Bible into a Muslim country such as Iran or Saudi Arabia and see what happens to you.

--To talk about a religion trying to establish Sharia law in cities such as Dearborn, MI.

--To talk about a religion which continues to this day to participate in the slave trade?

I find it ironic when the writers talk about freedom of speech; yet, the Muslim students on campuses are the leaders in shouting down or forcing pro-Israel speakers from speaking on campuses.

No, I find that the political correctness, for reasons I do not understand, has kept the truths for being told about Islam and when someone tries they are punished in one form or another. Anything can be said about Christians or Jews and there is silence from the establishment, but let anything negative to be said about Islam and all the establishment gets it panties in a wad and tries to bring its wrath down upon you.

Hopefully, European countries are waking up to how Islam is trying to conquer their countries through immigration and soaring birth rates while native birth rates are declining.

Muslims make up about 3% of US population and their influence is way out of proportion to that number. There is a movement afoot for Muslims to concentrate themselves into population centers so as to elect Muslims into office and increase their influence.

Just because a country is not being attacked by guns and bullets does not mean it's not being attacked.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 06/08/14 - 08:00 am
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Great posts

LTE--not so much.

historylover
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historylover 06/08/14 - 10:18 am
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Bigotry abounds

and is alive and well in Augusta. Just as I made my point yesterday, why would anyone want to locate a business in this oh so friendly city. I doubt any of the posters attended Church this morning, but if they should do so, they should pray for God to remove their hatred.

As for the Imam's letter, I think it was very well written and his point was made.

The SPLC opposes all hate on both the left and the right. They stand for the rights of all in our country. I am a proud and long standing member of this group. Guess that won't surprise anyone, but it's not meant to.

jimmymac
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jimmymac 06/08/14 - 10:29 am
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DEESTAFFORD
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I agree 100% with your statements. When the so-called moderate Muslims start campaigning against the radical Muslims actions, bigotry and mutilation of woman then they'll start to get some creditability. Until they start speaking out against stoning woman for so called sins of blasphemy just because some lunatic says so then maybe people will start to think the Muslim religion isn't stuck in the 8th century. Don't even talk about their persecution of gays and Christians. How come you never hear any Muslims speak out against these actions?

gaflyboy
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gaflyboy 06/08/14 - 12:12 pm
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"The SPLC opposes all hate on

"The SPLC opposes all hate on both the left and the right. They stand for the rights of all in our country."

With all due respect, the SPLC is nothing more than a left wing hate group itself!

The SPLC was implicated in the shooting at the Family Research Council headquarters because of the "hate map" they created, listing FRC.
http://washingtonexaminer.com/southern-poverty-law-center-website-trigge...

And they caused quite a stir when they got some Army leadership to teach soldiers that Evangelical Christians and Catholics are "terrorists groups", right up there with Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Ku Klux Klan, Sunni Muslims, and Nation of Islam.
http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/army-labeled-evangelica...

Historically, the SPLC has done some honorable work, but like so many organizations, they've morphed into something quite different ... and certainly nothing to be proud of.

myfather15
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myfather15 06/08/14 - 12:13 pm
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historylover

And once again, will you completely ignore people when they call you out?

"Just as I made my point yesterday, why would anyone want to locate a business in this oh so friendly city."

Augusta, and the CSRA is one of the fastest growing economies in the entire Country and that is fact!! Would you care to explain why business aren't coming here, when they ARE?? Or, would you care to just hit&run like you did yesterday, not answering the replies to your comment?

Biggest joke of the day?? The following sentence; "The SPLC opposes all hate on both the left and the right. They stand for the rights of all in our country."

Of course this had to come from a member, noone else was even attempt to pass them off as non-partisan!!

myfather15
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myfather15 06/08/14 - 12:16 pm
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gaflyboy

You're absolutely right!! Many organizations BEGAN with honorable intentions; just like the ACLU. But since have been hijacked by left wing radicals with a disguised communist agenda!!

I promise you, the SPLC is exactly one of those groups!!

stuaby
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stuaby 06/08/14 - 12:46 pm
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Wow. WOW. I went to the SPLC

Wow. WOW.

I went to the SPLC web site to see just what hate groups ON THE LEFT might be listed. I didn't see any.

But what astounded me, was that in their list of hate groups, right next to the klansmen and Nazis are: The Family Research Council, the 7th day Adventists, WorldNetDaily (!) and the American Family Association. All right there together. Wow. Go against gay marriage and get branded a hater. Total insanity.

stuaby
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stuaby 06/08/14 - 01:28 pm
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Since the SPLC has decided

Since the SPLC has decided not to compile a list of hate groups on the left, I've compiled my own list. In no particular order:

1. Planned parenthood. Hates and harms children in their mother's wombs.
2. Occupy Wall Street. Hates and harms successful corporations and capitalists.
3. Nat'l Organization for Women. Hates and harms republican women.
4. ACLU. Hates and hampers religion in the public sphere.
5. PETA. Hates people.
6. NAMBLA. Harms/exploits children (thus hating them in the process).
7. GLAAD. Hates heterosexuals who believe what the Lord of Heavens Armies said about homosexuality.
8. NARAL. Ditto 1 above.
9. Freedom from Religion Foundation. Hates God. Hates the country.
10. Greenpeace. Ditto 2 above.

I'm missing one or two, I'm sure.

Lee Benedict
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Lee Benedict 06/08/14 - 02:42 pm
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Are these two serious?

Hate group? Why? For stating factual data and for defending America and American principles that founded this country?

If you want to talk about hate...lets:
* who beheads anyone who will not convert to their "faith"?
* who sentenced a pregnant woman to death for not renouncing Christianity?
* who kills homosexuals?
* who commits acts of terror, or, as Barack Hussein Obama puts it, "workplace shooting"?
* who makes women cover all but their eyes?
* who murders women by stoning if they are raped?
* who straps bombs to children?
* who demands "tolerance" but then kills those who do not believe as they believe?

I will stop here because I think that you can answer the questions with one word, maybe two...ISLAM. Granted, there are many followers of Islam who do not act IAW the above tenets, but, they are outnumbered by a huge margin.

carcraft
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carcraft 06/08/14 - 02:51 pm
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Historylover? This lady in

Historylover? This lady in this organization is reacting to The face of Islam. A girl shot in the head because she advocates education for those of the female gender. 300 girls torn from their child hood and families, being raped and theatened with sexual slavery because they are getting educated. Now a few years back Salamander Rushdie had a fatawa and death sentance for supposedly insulting Islam and it's prophet . A felllow Theo van Gogh was accused of insulting Islam, and he was stabbed to death by a Muslim. Now where is the outrage over the girls kidnapped in Nigeria? Where are the fatawas? A major stands up and screams Allah Akbar and starts shooting people funny, no fatawas, little out cry. Where is the out rage over the treatment of Rushdie and van Goth. So this women starts an organization to push back and her group labeled a hate group? Well how many air planes has she flown into Muslim religious centers? How many Muslims has she advocated for decapitation? Well Imam Daoudland you need to start talking out against the excesses of Islam and is often said in the south "preach it brother preach it"!!

Lee Benedict
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Lee Benedict 06/08/14 - 02:51 pm
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Here's something else:

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/03/15/comment/coucil-of-islamic-ide...

The leading experts in Islamic Law met recently at the 191st meeting of the Council of Islamic Ideology and declared as un-Islamic any laws attempting to establish a minimum age for girls to be married.

At the 192nd meeting the Council of Islamic Ideology went further and declared that women are un-Islamic and that their mere existence contradicted Sharia and the will of Allah. "Women by existing defied the laws of nature, and to protect Islam and the Sharia women should be forced to stop existing as soon as possible." Women who express their own will (most especially non-Muslim women) will be the first targeted for extermination.

Lee Benedict
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Lee Benedict 06/08/14 - 02:56 pm
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Hatred

Hate and hatred have come to be defined as not following the left with blind allegiance. Racism has been defined as anyone who disagrees with Obama or any other radical leftist the media force-feeds the public. As for those who disagree with or even dislike Herman Cain, Ben Carson, Stacey Dash...for some reason they are not deemed racist. Why?

stuaby
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stuaby 06/08/14 - 04:41 pm
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"Here's something else:" This

"Here's something else:"

This has to be a fake article, or something. Surely no one is THAT insane.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 06/08/14 - 05:16 pm
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historylover

"I doubt any of the posters attended Church this morning, but if they should do so, they should pray for God to remove their hatred." I was in Church this morning and prayed that God would open the eyes of those who are deceived such as yourself! Those that call evil good and good evil.

allhans
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allhans 06/08/14 - 06:05 pm
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I often wonder what world

I often wonder what world those who are so knowledgeable about "hate" lives in.
Whichever, I'm glad I don't reside there.

Lee Benedict
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Lee Benedict 06/08/14 - 06:14 pm
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Oh historylover, a question:

"I doubt any of the posters attended Church this morning, but if they should do so, they should pray for God to remove their hatred."

What if we attended Church and what if Jeremiah Wright was the preacherman? Or perhaps Khalid Abdul Muhammad? Just asking.

Lee Benedict
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Lee Benedict 06/08/14 - 06:17 pm
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...maybe not Khalid since he's since deceased, so

what say you about Louis Farrakhan?

Lee Benedict
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Lee Benedict 06/08/14 - 06:18 pm
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Come on, KEEP POSTING

so this appears under "Most Discussed" and attracts more people to this ridiculous "Guest Column".

KSL
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KSL 06/08/14 - 07:02 pm
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The guest columnist, perhaps

The guest columnist, perhaps studies Obama's play book?

Bizkit
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Bizkit 06/08/14 - 07:15 pm
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So is the argument that

So is the argument that radical islam isn't motivated by "hate"? Come on after 9/11 and three thousand Americans of all ethnicities died because of radical Islamic fundamentalism there is a reason people are hesitant, resistant, or just not trusting. Local muslims don't do a good job of denouncing the radical-like most Christian groups denounce the Army of God. Don't complain about your PR if you do little to fix it-just calling groups that react to the radical ones as "haters" and because they "appear" to treat all the same is just ramping up more angst and distrust. Think of this way if your too slow-after WWII Americans didn't trust American Japanese to the point of putting them in camps. That hasn't happened to American muslims so why complain?

Bizkit
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Bizkit 06/08/14 - 07:20 pm
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The thought that any free

The thought that any free speech in America can now be classified as "hate" speech is against about everything every veteran has ever fought. We've allowed so much worse and now will bend to some political correctness disgust me beyond belief-who determines what is "hate" speech-anyone that speaks against a particular ideology, party, or belief?

carcraft
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carcraft 06/08/14 - 07:22 pm
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I was at Church this morning

I was at Church this morning at 8 am service. Now I am sure the Muslims went to the Mosques in America with no problem for Friday evening prayer. If I was in Saudi Arabia I could not go to church on Sunday morning because there are no church's there. Now If a Muslim wishes to join another religion in America no problem, in many Muslim countries that is a death sentance faced by many Christians that convert from Islam to Christianity!

carcraft
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carcraft 06/08/14 - 07:37 pm
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Oh, I don't hats Islam and

Oh, I don't hats Islam and neither does Jesus. He died for us all. But if I didn't warn of what happens in Muslim countries I would be in error. I DO NOT WANT THIS IN AMERICA! Consider this in response to rapes on a college campus in Canada. Al-Haashim Kamena Ayangana wrote the Toranto Sun and said "Canadian laws give to much freedom to women are the cause of sex attacks ". He further wrote "if women dress a certain way we should blame them (the women) ." No some Muslim clarics did condemn him.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 06/08/14 - 08:15 pm
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How can you tell a peaceful

How can you tell a peaceful muslim from a radical jihadist. You work with Nidal Malik Hasan who seems like a regular American soldier-perhaps a nice guy and a friend-just maybe a peaceful muslim. And then "According to eyewitnesses, Hasan had taken a seat at an empty table and bowed his head for several seconds when he suddenly stood up, shouted "Allahu Akbar!" and opened fire." "Days after the shooting, reports in the media revealed that a Joint Terrorism Task Force had been aware of a series of e-mails between Hasan and the Yemen-based imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who had been monitored by the NSA as a security threat, and that Hasan's colleagues had been aware of his increasing radicalization for several years. The failure to prevent the shootings led the Defense Department and the FBI to commission investigations, and Congress to hold hearings."
So let's talk about "hate" speech if you want to be honest rather than hide behind oppression of free speech and a venue to actually address it. What up with dat??????? Tell me how to discriminate people who live here and then drive jet airplanes into the Twin Towers from peaceful people.

Truth Matters
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Truth Matters 06/08/14 - 09:17 pm
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Those who dispute the

Those who dispute the existence of hate speech should explain why the Right still believes that President Obama is a Muslim and uses that to discredit him. Gen. Colin Powell said that if he were a Muslim, the question should be, "So what?"

Also, look how easily the father of Bowe Bregdahl has been threatened and accused of being a Muslim because of his beard---can anybody say "Duck Dynasty?"

Sorry, but I do not know of any left leaning organized groups that disparage people based on their religion and it results in threats against their person.

carcraft
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carcraft 06/08/14 - 10:02 pm
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Truth matters Bergdahl 's

Truth matters Bergdahl 's father cited the Koran in Arabic at the White House press briefing. Hmm sound like Duck Dynasty

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