The world quickly rushed to defend Dearborn Muslims against another anti-Muslim hate crime (and we rushed to condemn this apparent act of terrorism as well, and we still do). Dawud Walid, Executive Director of CAIR-Michigan, wasted no time in connecting the attempted firecracker attack to anti-Muslim bigotry:
"I believe it is a mixture of the two, between a person being mentally unstable within a society context of a lot of anti-Muslim rhetoric floating around. People can be on the edge and when they're exposed to enough negative information about a group of people... it may be enough to push them over the edge." (Source)
Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini (Imam at the Islamic Center of America) was quick to point out American hypocrisy:
"We always hear about Muslims being terrorists, we always hear about Muslims attacking innocent person. When America only talks about Muslims being terrorists, they will turn a blind eye on their own terrorists." (Source)
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad attributed Stockham's rage to a hatred of Arabs and Muslims:
"He picked Dearborn as a stop because of the huge Arab and Muslim population." (Source)
Numerous Muslims in the blogosphere were even declaring that Stockham is a "Christian terrorist." For instance, a Muslim who calls himself "thegrandverbalizer19," elated that he finally had evidence that Christianity is violent, posted an article titled "Christian Terrorist Arrested for Attempted Attack on Mosque," where he said:
"Thank God that the Christian terrorist who was planning an attack against a Muslim Mosque was thwarted by the very good citizens and policeman of the United States. Praise the Lord!"
There's just one problem with all these cries of "Islamophobia!" Like so many other anti-Muslim hate crimes, this turned out not to be an anti-Muslim hate crime at all.
I'll still need more information to make any definitive conclusions regarding this case, but here's how things look now. Roger Stockham is a convert to Islam. But he's a Sunni Muslim, and he wanted to toss some M-80s at the largest mosque in America, because he hates Shia Muslims. Stockham was given a court-appointed attorney (Mark Haidar), whom he rejected for supposedly being a Shia. Stockham speaks fluent Arabic and quotes the Qur'an during interviews.
Here's the latest from Fox News. (Note: This is the same courtroom where we spent five days on trial for having a peaceful discussion with Muslims in Dearborn. The Judge you see in the video is Judge Mark Somers, whose bias in favor of Dearborn police got Negeen convicted.)
Press and Guide adds more:
DEARBORN — The preliminary examination Friday for the man accused of making terrorist threats toward the Islamic Center of America was adjourned until next week.
Attorney Matthew Evans cited a lack of preparation in requesting the adjournment. Evans was thrust into the defender role just minutes before the request, after defendant Roger Stockham rejected his initial court-appointed attorney, Mark Haidar. The rescheduled exam is set for next Friday.
Stockham, a convert to Islam, said in court he wouldn't accept Haidar because — according to Stockham — Haidar is a Shi'ite Muslim who worships at the Islamic Center.
“I reject my appointed counsel. He is a Shi'ite and I am not. And he attends the mosque I am attempted of accusing (sic),” he said, before he was cut off by 19th District Judge Mark Somers.
Somers interjected, saying he wanted things to get off on the right foot and subsequently appointed Evans, who was already at the courthouse.
Haidar was not at the hearing. His stand-in, attorney Jeffrey Schwartz, said he was taken by surprise with the comments. He said Haidar is a Muslim, but was not sure if he was Shi'ite or if he worshipped at the Islamic Center.
“I don’t know what (Haidar) disclosed to him,” Schwartz said. “This kind of caught me by surprise, to be honest.”
Haidar could not immediately be reached for comment, but credible court sources said Stockham spoke fluent Arabic during their interview and quoted Qur’anic verses. (Read more.)
Now here's what's interesting. As soon as word got out of an attempted attack against a Dearborn mosque, people started accusing us (i.e. Acts 17) of causing the attack (through our "hate speech," "Islamophobia," etc.).
Our old friend Jem sent me this message:
hello, david; its been a while since i posted a comment.....but i feel the time is appropriate...to post my comment..... "this man's actions are both directly and indirectly a result of you work.... promoting hate towards muslims and islam......if you recall....sometime ago i posted several comments of the dire consequences that would occur for your irresponsibility...
1) hate speech/rhetoric
3) lack of moral responsibilty as a in a leadership position....
i'm afraid more hate crimes will continue to occur if you dont have a change of heart...and have the love, tolerance. patience, of G-D in your heart......
i pray the All Mighty give you guideance;;;;;
ps i dont mean to offend you...merely rebuking you as the scripture commands the believer to do....
It seems that our hate speech (i.e. drawing attention to disturbing facts about Islam, while maintaining our love for Muslims) somehow caused the Sunni-Shia split. Perhaps Jem believes that Nabeel and I constructed an Acts 17 time machine, travelled back to 632 and caused division in the Muslim community right after Muhammad died. Perhaps I went to Abu Bakr and said, "Hey! You should be leader!" Then Nabeel went to Ali and said, "You're better than Abu Bakr!" Fourteen centuries later, the division we caused led a Sunni convert to attack a mosque. Acts 17 must be even craftier than we thought!
A Muslim who goes by the name "Someone" left this comment:
May Allah guide us to the Truth.
Actually, sites like this are directly responsible for anti-Muslim feelings and Islamophobia rising in America and elsewhere; so, please, claim credit where credit is due, Mr. David Wood and bloggers and readers for yourselves for giving rise to terrorism against Muslims.
We're "directly responsible" for "giving rise to terrorism against Muslims." I guess Nabeel and I should be ashamed of ourselves for causing so much Shiaphobia among Sunnis with all our anti-Shia, pro-Sunni hate speech. In order to prevent future Sunni-Shia attacks, I'll go ahead and erase all of our anti-Shia hate speech. . . . There, done! (It didn't take long, since we've never posted any.)
The infamously deceptive Yahya Snow wrote:
OK, we have seen Islamophobic rabble-rousers on the internet hate-mongering against Muslims and distorting the realities in Dearborn. Some Islamophobes even take their fear-mongering to the level of presenting sex hoaxes about Muslims and some specifically target Dearbon by claiming there is "Sharia in Dearborn" and even visit the city looking for controversy under the guise of evangelsim.
Well, it seems Islamophobic lies and propaganda have affected a 63 year old man, Roger Stockham, to the extent that he attempted to BLOW UP a mosque in Dearborn. Apparently, he travelled all the way from the San Diego area to do so. This man has been buttered up by the Islamophobic propaganda - I would not be surprised if this fella was donating cash to the self-styled internet warriors against "jihad" and "sharia".
I just hope this chap learns it's a business - he was taken in by their Islamophobic rhetoric - a rhetoric which is designed to fear-monger and generate donations ($$$). Some folk are just so gullible!
Well, Yahya and I can at least agree that "some folk are just so gullible." Mr. Taqiyya himself accused us of "distorting the realities in Dearborn" and "buttering up" Stockham with our "Islamophobic propaganda." I wonder if we should return all the donations we got from Stockham. Perhaps he can use the funds to hire a Sunni lawyer.
Here's the interesting thing about our critics. Let me put it into dialogue form.
DAVID: "Is there any connection between (a) Muhammad's clear commands to fight unbelievers, and (b) Muslims fighting unbelievers?"
CRITICS: "No connection at all!!!"
DAVID: "Is there any connection between (a) Muhammad's sexual relationship with a nine-year-old girl, and (b) the fact that sex with young girls is so prevalent in the Muslim world?"
CRITICS: "Absolutely no connection whatsoever!!!"
DAVID: "Is there any connection between (a) a Sunni Muslim attempting to blow up a Shia mosque in Dearborn, and (b) our demands for equal rights and Constitutional protections in Dearborn?"
CRITICS: "YES! There is a clear connection! Acts 17 directly caused this Sunni to attack a Shia mosque!"
Get my point? If a man with mental problems were to be somehow inspired by us, this would be clear proof that we promote violence. But if a man with mental problems is inspired by his religious beliefs . . . well, that has absolutely nothing to do with his religion! I guess it's easy to be illogical if consistency doesn't mean much to you.
By the way, how long do you think it will be before one of the lying and corrupt police officers in the Dearborn Police Department convinces Stockham to say that we somehow inspired him? Given what I've seen over the past year, I wouldn't put anything past the likes of Chief Haddad, Sergeant Mrowka, and Corporal Kapanowski (not to mention City Prosecutor William DeBiasi). "Hey, Inmate Stockham, you want some cigarettes? We just need you to say a little something in court . . ."
(Click here for a complete summary of our experience in Dearborn.)