Stop Asking Where I'm From

Mosque Arsonist-Terrorist Randolph Linn Says He Learned About Islam From FOX News

Written By: humarashid - Dec• 20•12

But don’t worry – FOX News totally isn’t racist, nor is it perpetuating racist beliefs. That’s just your super-sensitive bleeding heart liberal bias in action. Try to ignore it as best as you can, just as FOX “News” honchos ignore their collective conscience.


Muslims individually and generally, our religious and charitable organizations, and our civil rights’ organizations (most notably the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)) have been blasting FOX News and other similar conservative channels and pundits for injecting hatred and bigotry and xenophobia into the public discourse by propagating lies about Muslims and Islam, which have the effect of actually, physically terrorizing and victimizing the American Muslim population.


But as usual, the concerns of racial/ethnic/religious minorities only gain validity when White Folks voice those concerns.


And in a truly bizarre turn of events, American Muslims are gaining a helping hand from the terrorist Randolph Linn, the man who drove from his Indiana home all the way to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo and set it on fire in a horrific arson attack that terrorized the Muslim congregation there as well as Muslims nationwide.


The federal judge that presided over the case said that domestic terrorist Randolph Linn was “no better than the terrorists or extremists” that he said he was fighting against.


Judge Jack Zouhary continued, “When you went through that door, you did not attack extremists or terrorists. Instead, you attacked the place where families come to pray. […] Ironically, it’s your own violence that was sinful and evil.”


Judge Zouhary asked domestic terrorist Randolph Linn (yeah, I will be repeating that phrase a lot, followed by his full name) if he knew any Muslims or if he knew what Islam is. Domestic terrorist Randolph Linn replied, “No, I only know what I hear on FOX News.”


I only know what I hear on FOX News.


I only know what I hear on FOX News.


I only know what I hear on FOX News.


I’m repeating that over and over so we can get a sense of how scary that phrase is. And it’s terrifying. Even if you’re not an American Muslim, that sentence should strike terror in your heart.


What is he saying?


He is saying that there is a TV channel. A TV channel that runs ‘news’ all hours of the day and night. He is saying that he watches this ‘news’ channel. He is saying that the things he saw on this ‘news’ channel made him drive across state lines (which is why this is in federal court). He is saying that the things he saw on this ‘news’ channel made him drive across state lines in order to set a house of worship on fire. He is saying that while he doesn’t know anything about Islam or Muslims, the things he saw on this ‘news’ channel made him drive across state lines in order to set a house of worship on fire because he hates Muslims and Islams.


I only know what I hear on FOX News.


It’s very simple.


There is a news channel that uses outright lies to tell people about something of which they had no prior knowledge, which causes them to violently hate said thing that they had no prior knowledge of, that drives them to try to destroy and possibly kill.


And that is fucking terrifying.


Remember when I wrote that long post about hateful Tea Party bigot, former Representative Joe Walsh, and how I blamed him and his bigotry personally for the spate of Islamophobic incidents around the country in which both Muslims and masjids were targeted with violence?


I blame the writers, interns, newscasters, producers, executives, advertisers, and fucking Saudi financiers at FOX News for the masjid fire in Toledo, and the other violent attacks on Islam and Muslims that take place with shocking frequency in this country. I blame them personally. I blame them for the violent hatred they inspire with their misinformation and outright lies about Muslims and the teachings of Islam. I blame them for persistently repeating the vile slander that Islam is evil and violent, that Muslims are terrorists, and that all terrorists are Muslim.


Pick up a goddamn history book if you’re even remotely considering taking any of that seriously. Or better yet, go find a Muslim and get to talking over a cup of coffee. We don’t bite, unless you’re a bigot.


Muslim leaders and Islamic organizations have always said that FOX News propagates this sort of hatred in the clueless lemmings that actually take that channel seriously. But their condemnation was rarely registered or reported on, and often summarily dismissed. (“Ugh, they’re just whining because FOX is talking about Islam and they don’t like what they’re saying. Get over it.” How many times have I heard that?)


Now, however, we have a great white savior who pleads our case very well for us. Thank you, domestic terrorist Randolph Linn! We have it straight from the horse’s mouth this time. He only knows what FOX News told him. He only drove across state lines to set fire to a masjid because FOX News scared the shit out of him.


To domestic terrorist Randolph Linn, this was an act of patriotism. He was protecting America from the vicious onslaught of Islam. “Fuck those Muslims,” he told his arresting officer when he was booked. He was keeping his countrymen safe from their violent, savage Muslim enemies, even when those violent, savage Muslim enemies are American citizens, Congressmen like Keith Ellison, soldiers in our armed forces, people that have also lost loved ones on 9/11, doctors that save lives at local hospitals, policemen that patrol the streets, hipster songwriters like Yusuf Islam, best-selling authors like G. Willow Wilson (check out Alif the Unseen), or criminal defense attorneys sitting at their desks somewhere in Cook County, who make a living defending people like domestic terrorist Randolph Linn.


(Wouldn’t it have been just a terrific stroke of irony if one of the attorneys on his defense team had been a Muslim? Fuck those Muslims, indeed.)


FOX’s audience generally knows nothing about Islam, becomes indoctrinated with lies and racist beliefs while watching FOX programming, and then some people in that audience take it one step further and act on that fear and on that misguided, misinformed rage to terrorize people that they claim are terrorists.


And make no mistake about it: Randolph Linn did terrorize people. People like him terrorize American Muslims every single time they shoot air rifles at masjid security guards, or hurl pork products onto the masjid compound, or throw homemade acid bombs at the masjid wall while at least a hundred people are praying inside, not even two feet away, which happened several times at my old Islamic school, or try to snatch hijabs off the heads of Muslim women.


They make American Muslims feel like we don’t belong here. That just by having the audacity to exist in this country, we are affirmatively inviting violence upon ourselves. That our beautiful Arabic names, the clothing we sometimes wear, the multitude of rich, poetic, lilting languages we speak, the color of our skin, the fact that we touch our foreheads to the ground five times a day, our love for a shepherd in seventh-century Arabia, and our belief in the God of Abraham  — all of these things are an attack on the American people and they are justified by hurting us and destroying our places of worship.


The majority of Americans don’t feel this way. That doesn’t matter. Enough psychopaths like domestic terrorist Randolph Linn do. And they make us fearful for our safety here. They make us look over our shoulder when we walk into the masjid. They make us tense when we venture out in public with our hair tucked under a silk veil. They make us reluctant to speak our Arabic words in prayer and greeting, words that are firmly engrained in our speech and our thoughts.


They make us feel like no matter what we do – no matter how educated we are, how wealthy we are, how involved we are in our towns, how much we give to our community, how well-spoken we are, how charming we are, how much we love the Sox or hate the Packers – we will never, ever belong here.


I’m always told that the majority of Americans don’t feel this way, so I shouldn’t worry about the psychos like domestic terrorist Randolph Linn. I understand the well-meaning intentions of those who urge me to let it slide right off my back.


But they’re wrong.


This misguided exhortation exhibits the privilege of a people who are secure in their cultural/racial/political domination and hegemony. It is very easy to be a white person, who is not institutionally or systematically oppressed by any other racial or religious group, and to tell minorities to just let it go.


But the reality of it is not the same. For racial/ethnic or religious minorities, we don’t have the luxury of being able to ‘let it go’ and accept that only a small portion of the population wants us gone, or dead. For one thing, minority groups do not occupy the same position of power that white people in America do. There is no way around that. And there is no way to cogently deny that.


More importantly, though, what this argument of letting it go does is confuse the issues. If someone calls you a fucking jackass for being a Packers fan, you can let that slide right off your back. If someone calls me a raging bitch for not backing down on something, I can let that slide off my back.


But if someone takes offense to your very existence in such a way that it inspires them to commit serious acts of violence … how do you let that slide off your back? You cannot. It is an attack on your beliefs, your identity, and your very person. Vandalism of a church, while horrible in general and upsetting to me personally even as a non-Christian, does not carry the same threat, nor does it come from the same place of power, as an attack on a masjid, particularly by a white person.


A white person in America carries in himself a position of power and dominance that does become very threatening when he commits even a micro-aggression against any minority group, including something as seemingly innocuous as asking to touch a Black person’s hair or announcing that he’ll call you a truncated, Anglicized version of your beautiful cultural name because he just can’t pronounce it the way it is meant to be said. And when a white person, who innately carries that power and dominance around in his very being in our political and social system here in America, commits an even more horrifying act, like a lynching or targeted arson, the sense of intimidation and fear felt by the minority group is immediate and raw and powerful.


Islamophobia does not exist in a vacuum, hanging out by itself in a neat little compartment for People Who Hate Islam and Muslims. Islamophobia is so closely tied up to notions of colonialism and whit e supremacy that it’s impossible to extract. And that is precisely why Muslims nationwide feel terrorized by an attack on a masjid in Toledo, Ohio, because the message is very clear.


I hate that you exist.


I am destroying your place of worship because I want to destroy you.


I only know what I hear on FOX News.


And I hope that you now understand, if you didn’t before, why Muslims are so terrified when we hear of these Islamophobic incidents, and why we along with rational, well-educated people everywhere are so vehemently against the unapologetically racist and fear-mongering bastion of white supremacy that is FOX News.


Domestic terrorist Randolph Linn was charged with one count each of intentionally defacing, damaging, and destroying religious property, using a fire to commit a felony, and using and carrying a firearm to commit a crime of violence. He has been sentenced to twenty (20) years in federal prison and will pay restitution for the masjid that he destroyed.


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