Missouri mosque burning: Imam says ‘tragedy’ will not ‘stop us’

US Politics
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Imam Imam Lahmuddin in the aftermath of an arson attack on the mosque he leads.
(Photo: T. Rob Brown/AP)

A fire completely destroyed Joplin, Missouri’s Islamic center on Monday, one month after an arson attack on July 4. 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is now offering a $10,000 reward for information about the fire that leads ”to the arrest and conviction of whoever may have caused [the] fire.”

The July 4 arson was caught on camera, but no one has been arrested yet.

For more on the mosque burning, I spoke with Imam Lahmuddin, who has led Joplin’s Muslim community in prayer since 2008. Lahmuddin uses one name. Below is a transcript of our phone conversation, lightly edited for clarity.

Alex Kane: Lay out what exactly happened on Monday, what you know about the arson.

Imam Lahmuddin: Well, during the month of Ramadan, we meet at the mosque for the prayers, and Sunday evening I was the last one to leave the building at about ten minutes after 11. I closed the door and the gate and went home and expected to come back the next morning at 5 o’clock to do the morning prayer.

But at 3:15 I got a call from the sheriff’s office. I missed the call and got a message that the call is from the sheriff’s office. When I heard “sheriff’s office” at that time, early in the morning, I sensed something wrong with the mosque. So I was preparing myself to eat suhoor [the meal before the Ramadan fast begins] and to begin fasting and I delayed that and left the house and drove to the mosque. It takes five minutes to get to the mosque, but from a distance I saw smoke from the sky, from the location of the mosque, and I hoped it’s not from the mosque. But when I arrived there, it is from the mosque–it was on fire. Part of the roof was covered by fire and the sheriff’s car was on the property of the mosque and I saw one fire truck behind the mosque. And I stopped at a neighbor’s driveway to look at the mosque for about five minutes, and the roof collapsed into the building and burned everything. And then I left.

I was very sad and could not do anything. They don’t allow anyone to walk on the property because of the situation. And that’s basically what happened and what I saw at the time. And while I was there, I met with the sheriff, who I met before, and with him there were three people, and the sheriff told me that this is the newspaper man who reported the fire to the authorities. So the paper boy said sorry and I thanked him.

AK: And this is the second attempted arson–though this time it succeeded-in one month. What are your thoughts on that?

IL: Well, yes this is the second one. For the first one, we caught the face of the man who did the fire. We have the evidence because we have the security camera and I helped the FBI agent get a recording. But this time, because everything was burned–the building, everything–the security camera was all burnt. And we don’t have anything for the authorities this time. And I don’t speculate whether this fire is related to the first one. The first one happened on July 4, and this one happened on August 6, just one month and two days apart.

AK: And there have also been past threats against your mosque?

IL: Yes, yes. Sometimes we hear people in their vehicles passing by and yell at the kids, and sometimes it happens when you’re outside the building. And in 2008, the [mosque] sign was burned, and we replaced it a year ago with a completely new sign that said the “Islamic Society of Joplin” with our address on it. We found that somebody shot an [air] gun on the sign–we saw the ball of the bullet.

AK: How big is the Muslim community in Joplin?

IL: We have about 40-50 families–not that big. And during the Friday prayers, we have about 30-40 men and boys attend the Friday prayers. But on weekend gatherings, like what we had on Saturday, there were 30 of us, but we had about 20 guests from different churches in Joplin who we invited to have breakfast with us.

AK: How would you describe the Muslim community’s relations with other people?

IL: We have very good relations with the people here in Joplin. People are nice and we have a good relationship with different people. And 80% of the members here are physicians at the hospital, and they deal on a daily basis with the residents of Joplin, who are Christians or of other faiths. So we don’t have any problems, I believe, with the residents of Joplin, because we feel that we are part of the city.

AK: And how do you and the Muslim community feel at this moment?

IL: Well, we have a lot of support from our friends from our Christian and Jewish friends. We feel good to have this kind of sympathy from them. And in particular, today I read the local newspaper, that the editor mentions that this is not only a tragedy for the Muslims. It’s a tragedy for the people of Joplin. So this is something that the people and residents of Joplin hate, and they don’t like to see this.

AK: Do you feel adequately protected by law enforcement?

IL: Oh yes, yes. They do their part, and we met with the law enforcement about two weeks ago at our mosque and we mentioned our concerns and they promised to increase the security and patrolling around the mosque. And we are very thankful for them–they do their best, they do their job.

AK: And what do you think the mosque arsons say about the political climate for Muslims living in the US?

IL: I feel that there are good people and bad people. And I was quoted in the newspaper that this is a test from God. From our point of view, we look at it that way.

AK: My last question is what will your next steps be, for the Muslim community in Joplin and your mosque?

IL: We have the obligation to worship our God, to serve God in this life. And this tragedy should not stop us from fulfilling our obligation. And as a community, we will go forward to continue our service to the community. And that’s basically our obligation. 80% of our members here are at the hospital, they are at work right now, it’s a working day, and at the same time dealing with this kind of situation. And at the same time, they have to do their prayer, and they did it when we had the mosque. So now we don’t have the mosque, but we still have to fulfill our obligations to God to pray five times a day at any place you can do it.
 

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist and graduate student at New York University's Near East Studies and Journalism programs. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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152 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    August 8, 2012, 9:11 am

    So sad. Horrific crime. Some of those so called Christian folk in Missouri who have pyro and hate tendencies. Know that Senator Liebermann makes sure that Jewish organizations and synagogues receive a disproportionate amount of Homeland Security funding for camera up to date surveillance apparatus for these facilities wondering how much of that funding he lets flow towards mosques? Probably not much. Wondering what the breakdown is?

    • hophmi
      August 8, 2012, 12:19 pm

      Wow, you know, it’s amazing Kathleen. Here’s this imam talking about how he’s gotten support from Jews and Christians and all you can do is be divisive.

      As you learned when we had the Homeland Security discussion, the money that goes to Jewish organizations goes there simply because Jewish organizations have been the most organized about lobbying for it. CAIR specifically said it had nothing to do with bias.

      Curious why you singled out Joe Lieberman. He is not the sole decision maker on where Homeland Security money goes.

      You sound like a pretty hateful person, Kathleen. You should follow the example of the imam in this interview.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 8, 2012, 3:19 pm

        Here’s this imam talking about how he’s gotten support from Jews and Christians and all you can do is be divisive.

        hophmi, you’re implying kathleen’s comment was divisive between muslims, christians and jews,and it wasn’t. it was directed at how funds were allocated for Homeland Security funding. and it is true Liebermann makes sure that Jewish organizations and synagogues receive a disproportionate amount of Homeland Security funding, instead of representing all of the people and securing enough funds to protect everyone who is vulnerable. that is not an attack on jews, but on a representative of the government.

        You sound like a pretty hateful person, Kathleen

        accusing others of hatred is a mainstay for hasbarists hophmi. can’t you frame your critique sans the hasbara mainstay of using overhumped bloviated hate-crutch? boring and impotent. #hasbarafail

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 3:54 pm

        ” it is true Lieberman makes sure that Jewish organizations and synagogues receive a disproportionate amount of Homeland Security funding”

        Based on what? Do you have a source for the claim? Or is it just that Lieberman is the most obvious Jew, so you’re assuming he must help his own? The Forward did an extensive study on the program. Joe Lieberman has nothing to do with it. We’re talking about a small earmark here, achieved by effective lobbying by American Jewish organizations, not some gigantic boondoggle.

        “accusing others of hatred is a mainstay for hasbarists hophmi.”

        You simply are incapable of seeing hatred in your own political fellow travelers. Explain to me how language like this:

        “Really in your face…a type of inside burglary”

        is not hateful, particularly when it’s demonstrably not true.

        If you want to prove the allocation is unfair, do a study of the number of applications submitted by each religious group, along with an analysis of whether they complied with the stated criteria, and show that Jewish groups were approved more often than anyone else. It seems to be good enough for CAIR. Why isn’t it good enough for you?

      • Mooser
        August 8, 2012, 5:13 pm

        Anne, you seem sort of ungrateful, frankly. Phil’s traveling, the Moderators are all drunk or otherwise indisposed (The bennies there include maternity insurance, I hope) and Hophmi has very generously offered to take over the editorship of the site, and moderating chores, besides. Why look a gift adder in the mouth, especially if you’re in range of its fangs

      • bigbill
        August 9, 2012, 7:23 am

        “Directed at funding”? Really? She seemed to know the religious beliefs arsonists when no one else even knows their names. To have that knowledge she must either be a psychic with cospmic knowledge, a co-conspirator who knows the participatants, or a racist who is making up the religious beliefs to suit her Christian-hate. Take your pick.

        Of course you could say that she didn’t even make a complete sentence so it couldn’t have been racial/ethnic slander: “Some of those so called Christian folk in Missouri who have pyro and hate tendencies.”

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 9, 2012, 9:08 am

        Yeah, bigbill, because one would to be one of those three things, in the United States, in 2012, to surmise that the person who so hated Muslims in Missouri probably practiced the Jesus worship.

        I mean, it’s not like one could notice the fact that the town is over 95% Christian, in an area of the country which is overwhelmingly Christian, and where that Christianity is of a virulently anti-hateful variety, in a country where opposition to Islam has been made for over a decade by Christian ministers and preachers on specifically Christian grounds, and where this terror attack was made in a manner ver reminicent of other attacks which were carried out by people claiming to be Christian, spurred on by Christian theology.

        Yeah, she must be a psychic.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 8, 2012, 3:27 pm

        “the money that goes to Jewish organizations goes there simply because Jewish organizations have been the most organized about lobbying for it.”

        Then that’s bullshit. It should go to those who are most threatened, not those who have lobbyist. Any decent person should be ashamed if that’s how it works.

        “Curious why you singled out Joe Lieberman.”

        Oh, I don’t know. Here’s a wild stab in the dark. It may be that it’s because he’s the frickin’ Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate. You think that might be it, hoppy?

        “You sound like a pretty hateful person, Kathleen.”

        And there’s nothing that a hateful person like you can spot, it’s a hateful person. Right hoppy? I mean, it’s almost as if you impress your deficiencies on other people…

      • Annie Robbins
        August 8, 2012, 4:53 pm

        he’s the frickin’ Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate

        just doin’ his job no doubt. determining who the most threatened group in america is.

      • Mooser
        August 8, 2012, 5:08 pm

        “just doin’ his job no doubt. determining who the most threatened group in america is.”

        For that we pay him? Seems like Jews do all the work. He just has to sit there and wait for “Jewish organisations”,”the most organized about lobbying for it” to come and tell him how much they shopuld get. Only anti-Semitism would prevent a man from seeing that the need for, and bill for, security is easily determined by who is “most organized about lobbying for it”.

        And besides, don’t most of the “faith-based” grant go to Christian organisations?

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 5:15 pm

        “Then that’s bullshit. It should go to those who are most threatened, not those who have lobbyist. Any decent person should be ashamed if that’s how it works.”

        I would simply say that those who are threatened should submit more grant applications.

        “Oh, I don’t know. Here’s a wild stab in the dark. It may be that it’s because he’s the frickin’ Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate. You think that might be it, hoppy?”

        Yeah, maybe. But he is not the one deciding who gets each individual grant. That’s a DHS decision.

        “And there’s nothing that a hateful person like you can spot, it’s a hateful person. Right hoppy? I mean, it’s almost as if you impress your deficiencies on other people…”

        You’re not shy about calling others bigots, Woody. I think to claim, repeatedly, that there is some sort of nefarious Jewish inside baseball going on here, when that is not the case, especially taken with everything else Kathleen writes, shows Kathleen’s bigotry. She seizes on stuff like this and then make the same post over and over and over again like the obsessed person that she is.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 5:47 pm

        “just doin’ his job no doubt. determining who the most threatened group in america is.”

        Again, if you can ACTUALLY SHOW that Lieberman has anything to do with who gets each grant, then present your evidence.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 8, 2012, 5:54 pm

        oh yeah, no inside baseball involved in that 97%, crystal clear moving right along.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 5:59 pm

        “oh yeah, no inside baseball involved in that 97%, crystal clear moving right along.”

        Then why isn’t Ibrahim Cooper crying racism? Please explain that to me. And please explain what concrete steps you plan to take to help mosques apply for federal funds to enhance their security. Isn’t that what you want?

      • Kathleen
        August 8, 2012, 9:58 pm

        Hop knows I made solid fact based statements and he can’t stand it. This is how he diverts and distracts. There was nothing hateful about those statements and questions. Did that Iman and his Mosque receive Homeland Security Funds if not why not? Will that money be distributed more fairly in the future. The Southern Poverty Law Center could be instrumental in determining which groups, mosque, churches, temples, individuals are under more threat. Should not be determined by who is better at lobbying.

        On Lieberman he is not only the Chair of Homeland Security he has cultivated Islamophobia himself. Will link when I can. He has made outrageous and inflammatory statements about Muslims. He has fueled some of these hateful attitudes.

        That 97% of Homeland Security money going to Jewish organizations should come under heavy scrutiny

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 9, 2012, 9:11 am

        “I would simply say that those who are threatened should submit more grant applications.”

        Yes, you’re not a decent person. I already knew that.

        “Yeah, maybe. But he is not the one deciding who gets each individual grant. That’s a DHS decision.”

        So what? You asked why Lieberman is challenged. The buck stops with him. If he were unhappy with the situation, he could change it.

        “You’re not shy about calling others bigots, Woody.”

        Not true. I’m not shy about calling YOU a bigot, because you’ve demonstrated it time after time.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 10:55 am

        “Yes, you’re not a decent person. I already knew that.”

        And you’re a blowhard with a brick for a brain. Next?

        “So what? You asked why Lieberman is challenged. The buck stops with him. If he were unhappy with the situation, he could change it.”

        How, exactly? The way to change the situation is for more Sikh and Muslim non-profits to apply for the grants. These decisions are made by state and federal agencies. Lieberman cannot simply grant federal money to non-profits.

        I’m complaining because not one scintilla of evidence has been presented here to show how Lieberman was involved in the creation of the NSGP. All that is going on is that you’re looking at the percentage allocation, making the assumption that Lieberman is the reason because he runs the committee and is a prominent Jew, and concluding that he’s responsible. That’s lazy, and it’s demonstrably wrong for the reasons I presented in other comments here.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 9, 2012, 11:14 am

        Then why isn’t Ibrahim Cooper crying racism?

        because he is not a crybaby. did anyone even ask him what he thought of the grant money? no. you can’t be co-opting him on your pov when the subject never came up. cooper, who is a total class act, said law enforcement had done their best. which under the circumstances might be absolutely true. of course their best might be improved if they had another few million to work with. it might even made it affordable to place more protection for the mosque.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 9, 2012, 11:27 am

        The way to change the situation is for more Sikh and Muslim non-profits to apply for the grants.

        or, as the chairman of the committee he could always allocate some funds to do a little research and assess who might be most deserving of the funds. what a brilliant idea, why didn’t i think of that! do you think the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate has any funds to research what are threats to our societies security? or do you think they just throw money at applicants and let the people decide?

        wouldn’t one assume the committee actually does their own threat assessment? why, pray tell, wouldn’t they do a threat assessment? or maybe they have and they’ve assessed muslims are the threat and therefore require no protection.

        anyway, you have clenched on this ‘applications’ excuse like a dog with a bone. you came into this thread accusing kathleen of hatred (ad hominem crutch) setting off a whole slew of insults flying back and forth and you have not even considered the other side of the argument which has a glaringly obvious 97% figure attached to it, and accused your ideological opponents of thinking in bad faith.

        not one scintilla of evidence has been presented here to show how Lieberman was involved in the creation of the NSGP.

        lieberman doesn’t have to have been involved in creating nsgp to have an effect on who gets the funds, nor (as i recall) has anyone claimed he created nsgp. you keep throwing up these kinds of strawman arguments.

        phff touche!

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 9, 2012, 12:00 pm

        “And you’re a blowhard with a brick for a brain.”

        LOL. Well, call me a blowhard if you like, but do you really think that saying that I’m dumb is supposed to be an insult? Would Usaian Bolt be insulted if called him “slow”?? Would Michael Phelps be angry if you said he couldn’t swim? No, they’d just laugh at you for being a fool.

        “How, exactly?”

        Do you really need me to explain to you how a committee chairman can go about changing the law?

        “The way to change the situation is for more Sikh and Muslim non-profits to apply for the grants.”

        That’s exactly the problem. If the problem is designed to address actual danger, it should be distributed based on actual danger, not on whether any particular institution has the resources or organization to navigate the federal bureaucracy. And if the program is designed to allocate funds for the elimination of danger, but the funds are not going to the people who are most at risk, it is clearly a failed program that is wasting taxpayers resources.

        “Lieberman cannot simply grant federal money to non-profits.”

        No, but he could change the program so the funding is in keeping with the threats. Jewish groups get 97% of the funding but do not represent 97% of those at risk. The Orthodox Union noted that 67% of the recipients were associated with the Orthodox community. Unless the threat to them is on an eqivalent scale, then the program isn’t working, and the congressional committees who are responsible (which, in the Senate is headed by Lieberman) have a resposibility to fix it.

        “I’m complaining because not one scintilla of evidence has been presented here to show how Lieberman was involved in the creation of the NSGP.”

        Who cares about the creation of it. What I’m saying is that, as the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, his committee has jurisdiction over the program, so if it isn’t doing what it’s supposed to be doing (and it’s clearly not), then the onus is on him to commence hearings to investigate it and to change the program by legislation, so that it accomplishes its goals.

        “All that is going on is that you’re looking at the percentage allocation, making the assumption that Lieberman is the reason because he runs the committee and is a prominent Jew, and concluding that he’s responsible.”

        Nonsense. I understand how the government works and what Lieberman can do if he wants to. The fact is that he doens’t want to. That is wrong, because the system is designed wrong. It’s not enough that everyone has the same opportunity to apply. It should ensure that the money is spent properly, regardless of the ability of a group to apply.

      • Fredblogs
        August 9, 2012, 8:10 pm

        Well actually, Woody, the preferred recipients are those who are at the highest risk. There are still far more anti-Semitic incidents in this country than anti-Islamic. However, regardless of who the preferred recipients are, these grants do require applications.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 10, 2012, 8:40 am

        “Well actually, Woody,”

        Yeah, yeah, yeah, Fredo defends Jews. Next.

      • ToivoS
        August 8, 2012, 5:05 pm

        Hophni exults: Here’s this imam talking about how he’s gotten support from Jews and Christians.

        The Iman’s obsequious tone is uncomfortably noted. I can’t criticize him for he lives in a very hostile environment and offending the wrong Jew or Christian can result in his being brought up on charges. I remember how Southern middle class blacks talked to whites in the 50s. It was painful to witness. The black power movement was a reaction, in part, to those overly respectful attitudes.

        These are words that obviously give Hophni great pleasure — letting him know that he the boss man.

      • American
        August 8, 2012, 11:28 pm

        “The Iman’s obsequious tone is uncomfortably noted.”…ToivoS

        Yea.
        He knows to be careful in what he says…..he’s not “allowed” to be outraged by the attack…..because then he would be attacked for daring to be outraged.

      • Kris
        August 9, 2012, 3:13 am

        //The Iman’s obsequious tone is uncomfortably noted. I can’t criticize him for he lives in a very hostile environment and offending the wrong Jew or Christian can result in his being brought up on charges.//

        Exactly right, ToivoS. I remember all too well how careful Southern blacks had to be when they spoke to whites, and this Iman’s words bring it all back. Lieberman is a puppet of the powerful Jewish organizations in the U.S. that have been promoting hatred of Muslims for a long time. Not only has this resulted in Muslims being targeted by hate crimes, but they are also at constant risk of being unfairly arrested and imprisoned for decades on trumped-up charges.

      • Kathleen
        August 8, 2012, 9:42 pm

        “as you learned when we had the homeland security discussion” Link? As I stated I had never heard or read that Jewish organizations get 97% of the homeland security funding money. As I stated above I had read within two years of 9/11 that Jewish organizations were receiving a disproportionate amount of the funding. Hop while I am responding to you I really do not give a rats ass about what you think of me. I don’t like what you have to say or how you think.

        Made solid points if the Mosque had received their fair share of homeland security money and could spend it on surveillance equipment etc this attack would more than likely not have happened or far less likely. Jewish organizations receiving 97% of homeland security money because they lobbied for it is bullshit. That money should be divided up based on need not on who is better at lobbying. And you are full of it if you do not think that Lieberman does not have huge sway. 97% for heavens sake that is fundamentally absolutely wrong and should sunlight should be directed towards how that funding is distributed.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 9, 2012, 11:01 am

        That money should be divided up based on need not on who is better at lobbying.

        obviously. but according to hophmi, if mickey mouse filled out hundreds of applications it would be quite likely disney would have been reaping the benefits.

        meanwhile, he acts like running the committee that distributes the money means like..nothing! and cannot fathom why anyone would take notice of lieberman’s role in this other than the oh so obvious anti semitic leanings of the observer. makes perfect sense! NOT.

      • Kathleen
        August 10, 2012, 12:36 am

        Hey Annie I realized my response to Hop never made it up where I let him know I don’t give a rats ass about what he thinks about me. I generally do not like how he thinks or what he has to say. Why would the moderator allow him to make inflammatory comments about what he thinks about me and not allow my response up?

      • hophmi
        August 13, 2012, 3:01 pm

        ” but according to hophmi, if mickey mouse filled out hundreds of applications it would be quite likely disney would have been reaping the benefits.”

        I said nothing remotely like that.

        “meanwhile, he acts like running the committee that distributes the money means like..nothing!”

        Again, this is not what I said. I think everyone here agrees with the principle that non-profits facing security threats should be eligible for grants under the program. We also agree that the money should be distributed more evenly. Distribution, as I’ve explained here a number of times, is a process that takes place on both the state and federal levels. There has been no showing here by anyone that the process itself is corrupted, ie, that one group is getting more because of who they are, rather than because they’ve simply submitted the lion’s share of the applications.

        ” and cannot fathom why anyone would take notice of lieberman’s role in this other than the oh so obvious anti semitic leanings of the observer. makes perfect sense! NOT.”

        For the simple reason that not a single scintilla of evidence has been presented here to show that Lieberman did anything wrong. All that people have argued is that the Jewish community gets too much of the money, and that it must therefore be due to Senator Lieberman.

  2. Woody Tanaka
    August 8, 2012, 10:59 am

    This is awful. Homeland Security funding needs to be sent there, ASAP, (and to the other places where mosques are under verbal and physical attack) as it is clearly needed.

    • ColinWright
      August 8, 2012, 3:51 pm

      “This is awful. Homeland Security funding needs to be sent there, ASAP, (and to the other places where mosques are under verbal and physical attack) as it is clearly needed.”

      As a thought experiment, it’s interesting to compare the probable popular reaction if xx million dollars were allocated to permanently put a guard on every synagogue versus the probable reaction if xx million dollars were allocated to permanently put a guard on every mosque and Sikh temple.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 5:54 pm

        “As a thought experiment, it’s interesting to compare the probable popular reaction if xx million dollars were allocated to permanently put a guard on every synagogue versus the probable reaction if xx million dollars were allocated to permanently put a guard on every mosque and Sikh temple.”

        It’s interesting, but none of it is happening. I believe, if $10 million dollars were allocated to place guards in front of Sikh temples and mosques, most Americans would approve. I certainly would.

      • ToivoS
        August 8, 2012, 6:01 pm

        Or another thought experiment. Imagine the reaction if DHS gave the ground zero Mosque $2,000 for a security camera?

      • Fredblogs
        August 9, 2012, 8:17 pm

        @Toivos
        Well, if they ask for it, they probably should give it to them. If any mosque in Manhattan is likely to be attacked, it’s that one.

  3. Kathleen
    August 8, 2012, 11:03 am

    Really wondering whether that Joplin Missouri mosque had received any Federal Homeland Security Funds and how that would compare to any Jewish Temples, Christian Churches in the region received from Homeland Security,

    Alex The U.S. Conference of Mayors released its First Mayors Report for the Nation: Tracking Federal Homeland Security Funds Sent To The 50 State Governments. Reading unable to link. Interesting read

    The way these funds are distributed needs to have a spotlight on them. Can you ask the Iman if they had received any funding to protect their mosque

    • Alex Kane
      August 8, 2012, 11:33 am

      Not sure whether they have–but I doubt it. As Josh Nathan Kazis of the Forward reported, 97% of all Homeland Security grants went to Jewish groups. 0 went to Sikhs; how many went to Muslim mosques and groups?

      • Mooser
        August 8, 2012, 11:36 am

        “97% of all Homeland Security grants went to Jewish groups.”

        Gotta wonder, how much did Jewish groups get in “faith-based” grants? Did we get a two-fer, or is the Homeland Security money to make up for the missed “Faith-based” money?

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 1:46 pm

        To put this in perspective, and to respond to Mooser’s point about faith-based grants:

        The $10m that was budgeted this year for the NSGP is a drop in bucket. In 2005, under President Bush’s faith-based initiative, $2.2 BILLION were disbursed to religious organizations. The vast majority went to Christian organizations, which doubtless used their muscle in the Republican party to get the Faith-Based Initiative up and running in the first place.

        I can’t find the religious breakdown anywhere; if anyone has the numbers, I’d be interested in seeing them.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 8, 2012, 3:23 pm

        “The $10m that was budgeted this year for the NSGP is a drop in bucket. In 2005, under President Bush’s faith-based initiative…”

        Exactly what “perspective” did you think you could impart by comparing the funding for two different programs 7 years apart?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 8, 2012, 3:37 pm

        The $10m that was budgeted this year for the NSGP is a drop in bucket. In 2005, under President Bush’s faith-based initiative, $2.2 BILLION were disbursed to religious organizations.

        hophmi, could you sustantiate your implication the NSGP, Nonprofit Security Grant Program, is related to Bush’s faith-based initiative? the $2.2 BILLION was likely related to 2005’s hurricane katrina which allocated thru church based distribution therefore it makes sense most of it was funneled thru Christian organizations. you’re mixing apples with oranges.

        the $10 million is for federal anti-terrorism grants.

        here’s the link, google is your friend:

        link to forward.com

        Jewish institutions throughout the United States will receive $9.7 million in federal anti-terrorism grants this year out of a total of $10 million allocated to not-for-profit institutions by the Department of Homeland Security.

        That’s $6 million less than last year. But thanks to sharp cuts this year in the overall pool of money available through this program, the percentage of funds going to Jewish groups has nevertheless jumped substantially.

        A full 97% of the available funds in the Non-Profit Security Grant Program for 2012 have been allocated to Jewish organizations, compared with 73% that went to Jewish groups from 2007 through 2010. In 2011, Jewish groups received about 80% of NSGP funds.

        The NSGP has disproportionately benefited Jewish groups since 2005, when it was first instituted.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 4:03 pm

        “hophmi, could you sustantiate your implication the NSGP, Nonprofit Security Grant Program, is related to Bush’s faith-based initiative?”

        I didn’t say it was. Your assertion that it was Katrina-related is unsupported. The year before that I believe it was 1.9 billion; from the beginning of the program in 2003 to 2005, the allocation increased around 21%.
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        The point is that here you all are complaining about a $10m earmark that even CAIR says is not nefarious, and the fact of the matter is that Christian organizations have benefited much, much more from programs like the Faith-Based Initiative (a program that most American Jewish organizations opposed), which came about in large part because of Christian lobbying.

      • Mooser
        August 8, 2012, 5:18 pm

        Hophmi, you dope, I was joking about the faith-based grants. But I should remember, a puppet dances when you pull the string, whether you want it to or not.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 5:53 pm

        To show that it’s certainly not unusual for religious organizations to get government grants, and that 99% of them do not go to Jewish organizations.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 8, 2012, 6:03 pm

        I didn’t say it was.

        no, you implied it was. otherwise why even bring it up? there’s a difference between money allocated for faith based groups and money allocated for federal anti-terrorism grants.

        Your assertion that it was Katrina-related is unsupported.

        Faith-Based Groups to Receive Katrina Funds
        link to npr.org

        that took me all of 10seconds btw, google is your friend.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 8, 2012, 6:04 pm

        earth to hophmi, quit morphing ‘government grants’ into one entity. you keep evading the point.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 6:09 pm

        “no, you implied it was. otherwise why even bring it up? there’s a difference between money allocated for faith based groups and money allocated for federal anti-terrorism grants.”

        This program is not the only federal anti-terrorism grant program there is. The point is that if you’re going to talk about lobbying by religious groups, once again, it makes no sense to start with the Jews.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 6:10 pm

        “earth to hophmi, quit morphing ‘government grants’ into one entity. you keep evading the point.”

        It’s you who keeps missing the point, which is that no one but this blog is alleging any nefariousness here.

      • Kathleen
        August 8, 2012, 10:01 pm

        And one focused on SECURITY

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 10:36 am

        “And one focused on SECURITY”

        It is clear, if you read what is required to apply for a grant, that the program is without question focused on security. To be awarded a grant, a non-profit must provide terrorism risk assessments, including those done by local law enforcement and by insurance companies. They must also provide investment justification, and show how the money will be used for enhancing the security of their physical facility.

      • Fredblogs
        August 9, 2012, 8:18 pm

        It’s not faith based, it is non-profit. Though not non-prophet.

      • Mooser
        August 13, 2012, 3:59 pm

        Woody, he takes the “bait”, every time. It’s like there’s a string I can pull, and hophmi hops around.

      • hophmi
        August 13, 2012, 5:44 pm

        “Woody, he takes the “bait”, every time. It’s like there’s a string I can pull, and hophmi hops around.”

        The vast majority of time, I ignore you. But it’s indicative of the useless role you play here that you apparently think it’s useful to frequently “bait” me. I wonder how Phil feels about that.

      • Kathleen
        August 8, 2012, 11:39 am

        Had read that a disproportionate amount of that funding went to Jewish groups. Had no idea 97%. That is almost criminal. What BS. Another example of Lieberman’s elitism and racism and the power of the I lobby. Just so unfair. People should be howling about this.

        Would be interesting to read an article about how that funding was distributed in the Joplin area.

      • justicewillprevail
        August 8, 2012, 12:52 pm

        97% towards the creation of a climate where attacks like this are ok. No direct links, just the constant repetition of the ‘us and them’ rhetoric which underlines every statement about the apartheid state.

      • Kathleen
        August 8, 2012, 11:42 am

        Would be an interesting question for the Iman. Wonder if they can get the funding they deserved to protect their facility before this attack and destruction now to rebuild. 97% to Jewish groups. Really in your face…a type of inside burglary. Lieberman the inside thug with the keys to the funding.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 1:18 pm

        It’s important to note a couple of things. One is that the grant program is pretty tiny. The whole allocation this year is $10m, a little more than half of what it was in 2011. The second is that Jewish groups have benefited simply from being better organized than other groups, not from any political favoritism. Last year, when the Forward reported this story in more depth, they found that the program was created in the first place largely because the Jewish community pushed for its creation. The second is that the program favors groups in metropolitan areas, where Jews are a larger percentage of the population. Third is that the grants are considered on the basis of worldwide threats, not just domestic terror threats; Chabad, for instance, based a number of its applications on the Mumbai attacks.

        Most importantly, last year, the Forward interviewed Ibrahim Hooper for its article last year. He made a point of saying that there was nothing nefarious about the grant process:

        “‘We have a real need for these kinds of grants,’ said Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Though he pointed to several recent attacks against mosques, Hooper said he did not believe that Muslims are intentionally sidelined by the grant process.

        ‘There is nothing nefarious about it,’ he said. ‘I just think the Jewish community is more plugged in than us and that is why we see this disparity.'”

        So if Ibrahim Hooper does not believe there is any bias here, I see no reason for anyone here to adopt that view.

        And when I see stuff like this:

        “Criminal . . . Really in your face…a type of inside burglary” I again have to wonder why Kathleen feels such hatred here, since it is clear that nothing like that is going on. It is also clear that these grants are made within DHS, not by Joe Lieberman as Kathleen asserts. Again, I’d be interested to hear what facts Kathleen has to support her view that this is “inside burglary” and that Senator Lieberman is the one behind this. If she doesn’t have any (and I think it’s clear that she does not), she should apologize and congratulate the Forward, a Jewish newspaper, for reporting the story.

        I’d certainly support increased grants to mosques for security purposes.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 8, 2012, 3:48 pm

        shorter hophmi ’10 million all for is tiny yada you hate yada yada hate yada’

        reagrding the view that this is “inside burglary” it’s only the american public shoveling public funds at one religious group who appears to have cornered the market on victimhood.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 4:06 pm

        “reagrding the view that this is “inside burglary” it’s only the american public shoveling public funds at one religious group who appears to have cornered the market on victimhood.”

        Oh please spare me. This has nothing to do with cornering the market on victimhood. Jewish organizations do face real threats here and around the world. We’re simply well-organized, and it’s a competitive grant process. As I said above, the American taxpayer has shoveled infinitely more money to Christian organizations over the years.

        Do you deny that Jewish institutions face actual threats?

        And yes, $10M is a tiny sum. We’re talking about roughly 110 grants of around $75K apiece. And this is not the only way for a non-profit organization to get a government grant to improve its security. As CAIR said, it’s mostly a matter of other groups needing to be better organized.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 4:14 pm

        It’s so typical of the nonsense that goes on here. There are many ways for Muslim organizations to apply for funds like these and to lobby Congress to create allocations for new programs, and if you wanted to help, you would call up DHS or your local Congressperson and ask what programs are available, and ask what you can do to ensure that more are created.

        But you don’t seem to care about that as much as knocking a program already created simply because it has disproportionately benefited the Jewish community, a program that, again, no one is alleging is anything more than an earmark that is par for the course in Congress, including Ibrahim Hooper, who certain has no trouble criticizing the American Jewish community.

        You care about ragging on the Jewish community more than helping the Muslim community. That’s the clear implication here.

      • Eva Smagacz
        August 8, 2012, 4:45 pm

        If the grant is allocated based on global threat, then Muslim groups should get most of the grant! How many Muslims were killed globally each year in comparison to Jews? ( and I mean pro rata)

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 5:57 pm

        Eva, it’s really very simple. It’s a competitive grant. You have to apply for it. It’s pretty clear, particularly given Ibrahim Cooper’s comments, that the Muslim community is not organized to apply for the grants like Jewish organizations are. If they were, there is no reason to believe that they would not receive the grants.

      • Kathleen
        August 8, 2012, 10:07 pm

        I read that long before the Forward article came out that Jewish groups received a disproportionate amount of the DHS money. Alex referred to the Forward story. Had not read it. Lobbying is a type of “inside burglary”. Lieberman is one of the most manipulative Senators. Sends young American soldiers off to a war based on a pack of lies while he himself deferred from serving. I also believe that none of this children or grandchildren have served. His votes and efforts to support Israel no matter what are well known. As the chair of Homeland Security and his influence you can be sure helped a great deal turning that 97% of that funding to Jewish organizations. Hop sure seems to be worried about this funding be more fairly distributed.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 10:32 am

        “As the chair of Homeland Security and his influence you can be sure helped a great deal turning that 97% of that funding to Jewish organizations. Hop sure seems to be worried about this funding be more fairly distributed.”

        I would definitely like to see a more even distribution, but mostly I’d like to see a more diverse group of organizations apply for funding. That is clearly the root of the problem, as Ibrahim Hooper suggests.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 10:39 am

        “If the grant is allocated based on global threat, then Muslim groups should get most of the grant! How many Muslims were killed globally each year in comparison to Jews? ( and I mean pro rata)”

        Again, there is no evidence that Muslim groups have been denied the grant. It is fairly clear, however, that not many of them have applied for it. The grant has to be applied for. It is not simply “allocated.”

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 9, 2012, 10:48 am

        “It’s a competitive grant. You have to apply for it. ”

        Yes, and that is exactly the problem. It should be based solely on need, and not on who is more “organized” or can direct campaign contributions to greasy palmed politicians.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 9, 2012, 10:49 am

        “So if Ibrahim Hooper does not believe there is any bias here, I see no reason for anyone here to adopt that view. ”

        So if Ibrahim Hooper said that the US’s support for Israel was based solely on the fact that US people have an irrational hatred of Muslims, would you agree with that, too?? I’m just trying to get an idea of when you, the self-appoionted Pope-of-Mondoweiss, deem it okay for us to disagree with Hooper.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 11:55 am

        “So if Ibrahim Hooper said that the US’s support for Israel was based solely on the fact that US people have an irrational hatred of Muslims, would you agree with that, too?? ”

        Obviously not. But given that the context is always important, I’d say it’s irrelevant here.

        The point is that if there was bias toward Muslim in the NSGP allocation process, it’s a fair bet that Hooper would call it out, no?

        ” I’m just trying to get an idea of when you, the self-appoionted Pope-of-Mondoweiss, deem it okay for us to disagree with Hooper.”

        I’d say the fact that you disagree with him here shows, pretty conclusively, that you will go out of your way to argue that a pro-Jewish bias exists, whether the hard evidence supports it or not. Here, the soft evidence is that Jewish organizations have been the recipients of 97% of the grants. The hard evidence is that Jewish organizations are also the overwhelming majority of the applicants, which is Hooper’s point, and the reason he’s not alleging any bias, when it is clear that if bias existed, Hooper would call it out.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 9, 2012, 12:27 pm

        “Obviously not.”

        Yeah, obvious.

        “… the context is always important… The point is that if there was bias toward Muslim in the NSGP allocation process, it’s a fair bet that Hooper would call it out, no?”

        Would he? Let’s talk context.

        We’re less than 10 years from a mass round up of Muslims in America at the start of a two-prong “crusade” in the Muslim world.

        We’re less than in a half-decade from when Geller and her brownshirts, aided by the supposed anti-bigotry advocate, Foxman, attempted to trample on the rights of the Park51 group (to great popular acclaim) because the Muslims had the gall to exist in lower Manhattan.

        We’re in a situation where the actual police force of the country’s largest city, with the aid of the country’s fattest governor, targeted massive numbers of people solely for being Muslims.

        Perhaps Hooper thinks that the best protection would be for Muslims in the US to keep their heads down, and not to get involved with a government which they fear — with good reason — might turn on them. And part of that strategy might be in not pointing out the obvious.

        “you will go out of your way to argue that a pro-Jewish bias exists, whether the hard evidence supports it or not”

        Baloney. I’m not arguing that there is a pro-Jewish bias. I’m simply saying that the results demonstrate that the system doesn’t work. I don’t particularly care why the system doesn’t work — be it pro-Jewish bias, anti-Arab bias, bias toward the well-organized, bias towards those with lobbying power, bias in review of application, or any number of reason why it could be a fucked up program. I’m just saying, it’s fucked up. Fix it.

        (Unless you think that 97% of the money should — based on the merits OF THE THREATS — be spend in the Jewish community. If that is your position, then support it with facts.)

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 1:02 pm

        “Yes, and that is exactly the problem. It should be based solely on need, and not on who is more “organized” or can direct campaign contributions to greasy palmed politicians.”

        I agree with you, and again note that it has not been shown by anyone here that the Jewish organizations who lobbied for this small earmark meant it to be used exclusively for them. The answer is not to criticize those who invest their time and resources into getting money for their institutions (and I would argue that Jewish organizations are deserving of the money they do get given the demonstrated security threat to Jewish institutions around the world as assessed by law enforcement and insurance companies). It’s to make sure those who can benefit are aware of the program and are applying for grants. That’s constructive progress.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 1:07 pm

        “Perhaps Hooper thinks that the best protection would be for Muslims in the US to keep their heads down, and not to get involved with a government which they fear — with good reason — might turn on them. And part of that strategy might be in not pointing out the obvious.”

        Come on, now. Hooper’s statements are available on the CAIR website. He is not at all shy. His point is that Muslim orgs simply need to be better organized to apply for these grants and do the legwork required to submit the application.

        ” I’m not arguing that there is a pro-Jewish bias.”

        OK

        ” I don’t particularly care why the system doesn’t work — be it pro-Jewish bias, anti-Arab bias, bias toward the well-organized, bias towards those with lobbying power, bias in review of application, or any number of reason why it could be a fucked up program. I’m just saying, it’s fucked up. Fix it.”

        The way to fix it is to encourage Muslim and Sikh organizations to submit more applications and to educate those who need it on the grant-writing process. A first step might be sending them the JCRC’s powerpoint on what is required to apply.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 9, 2012, 1:18 pm

        again note that it has not been shown by anyone here that the Jewish organizations who lobbied for this small earmark meant it to be used exclusively for them.

        hophmi, i missed the comment where someone alleged or implied that the Jewish organizations who lobbied for this small earmark meant it to be used exclusively for them. could you point it out for me please. please note the comment you originally jumped into this thread calling the poster a hateful person says nothing about this alleged allegation:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        why would anyone here show Jewish organizations lobbying for the money meant the grant to be used exclusively for them if no one is even making that allegation? or maybe i just missed the comment.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 1:27 pm

        “hophmi, i missed the comment where someone alleged or implied that the Jewish organizations who lobbied for this small earmark meant it to be used exclusively for them. could you point it out for me please. please note the comment you originally jumped into this thread calling the poster a hateful person says nothing about this alleged allegation: ”

        Here is what Kathleen wrote:

        1. ” Know that Senator Liebermann makes sure that Jewish organizations and synagogues receive a disproportionate amount of Homeland Security funding ”

        2. ” 97% to Jewish groups. Really in your face…a type of inside burglary.”

        You wrote:

        1. “oh yeah, no inside baseball involved in that 97%, crystal clear moving right along.’

        2. “it’s only the american public shoveling public funds at one religious group who appears to have cornered the market on victimhood.”

        You want to explain to me how that’s not an implication that Jews lobbied for this program so that it could be used for them alone?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 9, 2012, 1:28 pm

        Hooper’s statements are available on the CAIR website…..His point is that Muslim orgs simply need to be better organized to apply for these grants and do the legwork required to submit the application.

        hops, i went to the cair website link to cair.com

        and was unable to find the remarks you’re referencing about hooper making a point about the grant. could you link to it? i’d like to read it in his own words. thanks.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 1:39 pm

        “hops, i went to the cair website link to cair.com

        and was unable to find the remarks you’re referencing about hooper making a point about the grant. could you link to it? i’d like to read it in his own words. thanks.”

        He was interviewed for the article the Forward did on the NSGP last year.

        link to forward.com

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 9, 2012, 1:58 pm

        “He is not at all shy.”

        Or he could just be being measured and politically correct in an difficult and anti-Muslim environment like the US.

        “The way to fix it is to encourage Muslim and Sikh organizations to submit more applications and to educate those who need it on the grant-writing process”

        No, that won’t fix the problem; it will simply change the distribution, but maintains the fact that it is completely divorced from the goal which is supposedly sought to be achieved. It will do absolutely nothing to insure that those who receive the funds are those who are at the most risk.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 9, 2012, 1:58 pm

        1. saying ‘Senator Liebermann makes sure that Jewish organizations and synagogues receive a disproportionate amount of Homeland Security funding’ does not suggest Jewish organizations and synagogues meant the earmark was to be used ‘exclusively for them’. the criticism is directed at lieberman.

        2. whoever is allocating the money is responsible. ‘Jewish organizations and synagogues’ is thousands of people and volunteers. the chance someone writing applications for a grant at a synagogue has the intent for all the grant money to be used ‘exclusively’ for them is not the point, the point is they are trying to get as much money as they can.

        furthermore, the outcome, the result is the american public ends up footing the bill for shoveling public funds at one religious group, yes..at the expense of others who, evidence suggests, have a need. the result being (obviously wrt to this grant) the 97% figure supports they have “cornered the market” on victimhood as it pertains to the anti terrorism funds.

        “appears to have cornered the market” does not accuse the lobbying groups of themselves with having the intent to mean ” it to be used exclusively for them”.

        no one said everyone lobbying for this money did it to prevent others from having any. that’s like saying if 1000 jewish students applied for 1000 scholarships meant for minorities and of 1000, 970 went to the jewish students, the intent of the 1000 students was to make sure all of the scholarships went exclusively to them at the expense of others.

        you are purposely contorting the meaning to use it as fodder to slam people with it and diverting from peoples point. which is that the responsibility lies with those who allocate the funds. and yes, it is entirely likely there was inside baseball involved. but that inside baseball cannot be attributed to the 1000 students acting in unison. however, it would be likely someone(s) participated in informing all those students to apply for the scholarship (using my analogy) likely had some connection to those allocating the funds. so yes, they could take some credit along with those distributing the funds.

        but your contention, or implication, that someone accused each and every jewish recipient of the money, whether thru a jewish organization or a synagogue with an intent to “meant it to be used exclusively for them” is nuts. they probably had no idea all 97% would go to others jewish groups. but somebody knew. the chance it was simply a random act, a flip of the dice, for members of 2% of the population to receive 97% of the funds? talk about glaring inequity. especially when that 2% just happens to be the most prosperous minority group in the country. they (collectively) could afford their own ‘anti terror’ funds with a minor percent of the money they (collectively) shovel into illegal settlements every year. in fact, merely the tax deductions alone for donations to israeli charities is probably way higher than 97% of the grant funds.

        wake up.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 9, 2012, 2:07 pm

        “I agree with you, and again note that it has not been shown by anyone here that the Jewish organizations who lobbied for this small earmark meant it to be used exclusively for them.”

        Well, I can’t speak to that, but I do know that the OU released a press release touting the fact that 97% of the awards were given to Jewish organizations (and specifically thanking Lieberman among others). They may not have lobbied for it with it being aimed exclusively for them or maybe they did. I have no idea, so can take no position on it. But they don’t seem particularly concerned if those who represent less than 97% of those threatened are receiving 97% of the funding. That’s the problem, not the particular identity of the recipients.

        “The answer is not to criticize those who invest their time and resources into getting money for their institutions ”

        If their doing so means that the project fails to accomplish the goal it is meant to accomplish, then they absolutely should be criticized.

        “and I would argue that Jewish organizations are deserving of the money they do get given the demonstrated security threat to Jewish institutions around the world as assessed by law enforcement and insurance companies”

        Well, the “around the world” stuff is nonsense, because we’re talking about a US program limited to the US.

        So you think that 97% of the people who are at risk for the type of attack that the grants are designed to address are Jews?

        ” It’s to make sure those who can benefit are aware of the program and are applying for grants. That’s constructive progress.”

        No, it’s not. The underlying problem is still there, because it’s a systemic problem.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 9, 2012, 2:27 pm

        thanks for the excellent link hophmi, i recommend everyone read it.

        here is what hooper said:

        “We have a real need for these kinds of grants,” said Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Though he pointed to several recent attacks against mosques, Hooper said he did not believe that Muslims are intentionally sidelined by the grant process.

        “There is nothing nefarious about it,” he said. “I just think the Jewish community is more plugged in than us and that is why we see this disparity.”

        i would agree with him about who’s plugged in. i think his point is the Jewish community is more plugged in, not what you alleged, that His point is that Muslim orgs simply need to be better organized to apply for these grants and do the legwork required to submit the application.

        for one thing, according to the forward link:

        an ambiguous definition of what constitutes a terror threat has enabled many Jewish institutions to make a stronger case than non-Jewish counterparts. The criteria established by Congress and DHS requires not-for-profits to demonstrate that they “or closely related organizations (within or outside the U.S.)” have been subjected to prior threats or attacks by a terrorist network. Taking into account incidents overseas allows Jewish groups to describe their threat level regardless of what is happening in their own communities…….applicants pointed to terror attacks against Jewish targets in Israel as justification for the government funding

        btw, it was the forward who made your point, not hooper:

        And some Jews are more plugged in than others. The Forward’s analysis found that certain denominations and regions were more successful at winning grants because they were well-organized and proactive.

        i wonder if the forward also analyzed if there was any (back door) co-ordination between some members of the jewish community and those allocating the funds or those writing the ambiguous definition of what constitutes a terror threat? because ‘being plugged in’ is more than just about assisting in applying and filling out applications.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 2:39 pm

        Plugged in means a lot of things, but I think a big part of it is that we have more institutional knowledge on how to write effective grant applications, which is major organizational skill, and we are simply more proactive and well-organized about applying. If Hooper was asserting the plugged-in simply means we are better insiders, then I don’t think he would have qualified what he said by asserting that there was nothing nefarious going on.

        The Forward hasn’t analyzed whether there was coordination between fund allocators and those who wrote the definition of what constitutes a threat. There are those who asserted that the global definition benefits the Jewish community because Jews are subject to more general threats globally (Chabad has used the Mumbai attack as an example). But Muslims could just as well use that definition given that they have certainly been the victims of terrorism as well, so I’m not sure I agree with the Forward on that point.

        The important thing is simply to be proactive, and as I say, it’s easy enough for any organization, at least in NY, to follow the instructions that appear in the JCRC’s powerpoint on the grant application process.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 2:47 pm

        “Well, the “around the world” stuff is nonsense, because we’re talking about a US program limited to the US.”

        Obviously, though I don’t think it’s crazy to think in terms of global threats. Since applicants have to provide law enforcement and insurance assessments, I’d say that they have to show an actual relevant threat. In any event, the criteria is not just relevant to the Jewish community.

        “So you think that 97% of the people who are at risk for the type of attack that the grants are designed to address are Jews?

        Clearly not.

        “No, it’s not. The underlying problem is still there, because it’s a systemic problem.”

        And my solution is to change that by making sure other communities are aware and have the knowledge to submit grant applications.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 9, 2012, 2:48 pm

        They may not have lobbied for it with it being aimed exclusively for them or maybe they did. I have no idea, so can take no position on it.

        right, no one has made this point. it’s hop’s new strawman.

        Well, the “around the world” stuff is nonsense, because we’re talking about a US program limited to the US.

        according to the ‘ambiguous definition’ mentioned in the forward article hop’s just linked to the definition of how one is at risk it is not limited to the US targets. or something.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 9, 2012, 2:52 pm

        making sure other communities are aware and have the knowledge to submit grant applications.

        can’t criticize those who allocate the funds or the ambiguous definition of what constitutes a threat (ie relation to israel according to the forward)?

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 2:54 pm

        “according to the ‘ambiguous definition’ mentioned in the forward article hop’s just linked to the definition of how one is at risk it is not limited to the US targets. or something.”

        Yes, and as I pointed that, that certainly should not privilege Jews over Muslims. You would think it might disadvantage groups that face only domestic threats over those that face more global threats, but Planned Parenthood has won grants under this program in the past, so it does not seem to do so.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 3:03 pm

        “can’t criticize those who allocate the funds ”

        Well, that depends on who applied for them. If Muslim organizations are applying and not winning grants, then yes, you can criticize those allocating the funds. But I don’t think that’s what’s happening.

        “or the ambiguous definition of what constitutes a threat”

        You could, yes. But it would only have credibility if you analyzed what the actual effect was on the applicants, who, again, must provide law enforcement and insurance evaluations as part of their application. If Planned Parenthood can win a grant, then it is clearly not necessary to show a global threat. In addition, there is no reason that Muslims can’t show both domestic and global threats like Jews can.

        It’s also not clear that limiting the application to domestic threats makes sense. Part of the point is that terrorism is an international phenomenon that transcends borders.

      • Kathleen
        August 9, 2012, 3:18 pm

        Hop I am with you that any Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Bahai etc etc group that is under real threat should receive the funds needed to protect themselves. Within this process the determinations that professional terrorist watch groups make about the real threat a group is under should play the dominate part of the determination of where these funds go. Not lobbying or good grant writing skills. Real threats.

        Hop is any organization that you are involved with receiving DHS funds? Where you part of the lobbying, grant writing process for these funds for any group?

      • Kathleen
        August 9, 2012, 3:21 pm

        A large component for determining where these funds should go should be based on what Southern Poverty Law Center, F.B.I and other professional terrorist watch groups determine threats to be and to whom.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 9, 2012, 3:54 pm

        “Obviously, though I don’t think it’s crazy to think in terms of global threats. ”

        Yes, it is. What is occurring overseas has functionally zero influence on the risk faced by a specific institute in the United States.

        “Clearly not.”

        Exactly. The system is broken, and those who’ve benefited have done under a procedure which was not designed to actually address the problem. Then we must change the procedure. And the Chairman of the Committee responsible should be taking the lead to correct this problem/injustice/error, how ever you want to describe it.

        “And my solution is to change that by making sure other communities are aware and have the knowledge to submit grant applications.”

        And that is no solution. If you have a program which is designed to address the threats to A, B, C and D, but because of the poor design of the program, D, E, F, and G end up getting 97% of the money, it’s no solution to improve the grant-writing skills of A, B, and C, without also getting E, F, and G out of the program.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 4:22 pm

        “Yes, it is. What is occurring overseas has functionally zero influence on the risk faced by a specific institute in the United States. ”

        We’ll have to disagree on that. Terrorist organizations are international in focus.

        “Exactly. The system is broken, and those who’ve benefited have done under a procedure which was not designed to actually address the problem.”

        OK. I mean, this is sort of why I say that focusing on this program is a little silly. It’s a very small program in the overall scheme of things; The Urban Areas Initiative, of which the NSGP is a part, has a budget of I think about $400 million, and most of it goes to state and local law enforcement agencies. The important counterterrorism efforts in the metropolitan areas this grant serves are going to be undertaken by local law enforcement. Frankly, a couple of security cameras are not going to stop some gunman from shooting up a sanctuary. No one is frisking people at synagogues in New York. It’s just another preventative measure.

        ” it’s no solution to improve the grant-writing skills of A, B, and C, without also getting E, F, and G out of the program.”

        I don’t know why you’d want to take E, F, G out of the program. The funding this year was cut in half. That’s a little baffling. I would triple the size of the program and make sure there was a more diverse pool of applicants; one way is to stagger the grants so that the same institutions cannot get grants year to year. I think you’re making the mistake of assuming that some of the organizations that got money were not deserving, and I don’t think that’s true, or at least, not a judgment you can make until you examine the applications.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 4:24 pm

        “A large component for determining where these funds should go should be based on what Southern Poverty Law Center, F.B.I and other professional terrorist watch groups determine threats to be and to whom.”

        I agree. I don’t know that this is not the case. Again, applicants must include the threat assessments of local law enforcement.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 9, 2012, 4:26 pm

        If Planned Parenthood can win a grant, then it is clearly not necessary to show a global threat. In addition, there is no reason that Muslims can’t show both domestic and global threats like Jews can.

        you’re missing the point. you are being obtuse. obviously one is not required to show a global threat. my point is that sans the addition of the the wording (which i bolded, here i will do it again) “or outside the U.S.” it would be more difficult for jewish organizations to compete and may level the playing field as the forward points out (again, i bolded this earlier)“what constitutes a terror threat has enabled many Jewish institutions to make a stronger case”. there is nothing that says one must show a threat outside the U.S., it is that, according to the forward, “ regardless of what is happening in their own communities…….applicants pointed to terror attacks against Jewish targets in Israel as justification for the government funding

        shall we put a sign on them and say, “hi..i am related to israel and therefore i am a potential victim?” so if you took israel out ofthe equation many of these organizations may not have a strong case and have to compete like other groups based on threats in their own communities.

        comprendo?

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 4:43 pm

        “Within this process the determinations that professional terrorist watch groups make about the real threat a group is under should play the dominate part of the determination of where these funds go. Not lobbying or good grant writing skills. Real threats. ”

        I agree, and it is built into the grant application process. But in terms of non-profit institutions, someone is always going to have to submit an application for a grant, do the proper assessment work, and show how the money will be used. The government is not going to just grant money to religious institutions.

        “Hop is any organization that you are involved with receiving DHS funds? ”

        I’m not personally involved with any, but I know of some in institutions close friends and family are involved in. I do know some synagogues where I’m from in New York that have gotten the grants, and they are definitely deserving, at least in my view. One, for instance, is the largest modern orthodox synagogue in the country; on a normal Sabbath they have probably 1000 people passing through, and even on a normal day, there are hundreds that take advantage of programs at the synagogue. The Chabads too fit this mold; the average Chabad is up and running all day, every day of the week, and in New York, lots and lots of people are passing through.

        “Where you part of the lobbying, grant writing process for these funds for any group?”

        I have not been personally involved, no. The NSGP (I didn’t know it was called the NSGP until I starting looking it up for this discussion) has been on the radar in the Jewish community for a few years, though, and that is why, I surmise, the JCRC of NY held a session on it. (This is one reason I stay on this blog. I learn a great deal by researching what I write on matters like these and examining the links you post.) I had no idea, though, that such a large proportion of the grants were going to Jewish organizations, and I’m not surprised that the ADL and AJC are concerned about it. I have just recently gotten involved in Jewish-Muslim interfaith work in the city, so I will ask my Muslim friends whether they know about the program, and will offer any help I can in helping their institutions apply for the grants should they be inclined to do so. I think watching the JCRC presentation, which I think was done in conjunction with the New York State’s state homeland security agenda, is a good way to learn about what is required.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 4:51 pm

        “you are being obtuse. obviously one is not required to show a global threat. my point is that sans the addition of the the wording (which i bolded, here i will do it again) “or outside the U.S.” it would be more difficult for jewish organizations to compete ”

        No, I’m not being obtuse. I simply disagree with your assessment. I don’t think it would be very challenging for a Jewish organization to show a domestic threat. Local law enforcement in New York certainly perceives a threat to Jewish institutions.

        “shall we put a sign on them and say, “hi..i am related to israel and therefore i am a potential victim?””

        I don’t think Israel is necessarily the overriding factor. For Chabad, to take an example, Mumbai was a factor. Don’t you think assessing the threat globally makes it easier for Muslims to compete? Muslims can certainly point to more examples in which they were the target of international terrorism than Jews can.

        “so if you took israel out ofthe equation many of these organizations may not have a strong case and have to compete like other groups based on threats in their own communities.”

        I just think you’re incorrect. In Argentina, 87 people were killed in a terrorist attack in 1994. That’s not Israel. In Bulgaria, 5 people. Synagogues in Europe have been bombed over the years. There were the attacks in Morocco a few years ago. There’s been less direct targeting of Jewish organizations in the US, but that is at least in part because of preventative measures both Jewish organizations and local law enforcement have been taking for a long time. Much as the Riverdale case may have involved a bit of FBI encouragement rather than independent terrorist planning, it does not make me feel much safer that it was evidently easy to get a terrorist to think about blowing up a synagogue.

      • Kathleen
        August 10, 2012, 12:06 am

        Wonderful that you are willing to help Hop.. Do you know if part of the application process involves outside terrorist watch groups that are credible sharing what they know about threats to particular organizations. In one article I read they reported that the F.B.I. had been following that Page thug for 10 years. It would make sense that what these groups know about the amount of threats a particular group receives should play into how much funding they get. Not grant writing and lobbying experience. Great that you are going to help some of these other religious organizations find out and help them in the process of filling out applications. Good and fair.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 10, 2012, 11:09 am

        “We’ll have to disagree on that. Terrorist organizations are international in focus.”

        So what? The fact that an organization in the Levant rightly hates what some Jewish people are doing in Palestine does not raise the threat to the Smallville JCC more than an amount so small as to be indistinguishable from zero.

        “I mean, this is sort of why I say that focusing on this program is a little silly. It’s a very small program in the overall scheme of things”

        Who cares whether it is small in the overall scheme of things. If there was a small grant to any religious organization in the US who wanted it, except that no Jews were permitted to get it, it would be “a very small program in the overall scheme of things” but I doubt that you would like it too much.

        But the greater point is this: if this money is intended to prevent threats, then it should accomplish that goal. If it doesn’t, then it should be cancelled and the funds already disbursed should be clawed back and given back to the taxpayers.

        “I don’t know why you’d want to take E, F, G out of the program.”

        Because the program wasn’t intended to benefit them. If a program is designed to ensure needy kids don’t starve to death, but because the program is poorly designed, 97% of the funds go to Mitt Romney, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, it would be bullshit to change is so that only 50% of the funds go to them and the rest is given to poor people.

      • hophmi
        August 10, 2012, 11:59 am

        “So what? The fact that an organization in the Levant rightly hates what some Jewish people are doing in Palestine does not raise the threat to the Smallville JCC more than an amount so small as to be indistinguishable from zero.”

        Well, you’ll have to ask the actuaries at the insurance companies that question, as well as law enforcement. Regardless, I think you’re forgetting that Smallville JCC is not going to get money from this program, which is part of the Urban Areas Security Initiative and is for institutions in urban/metropolitan areas.

        “. If there was a small grant to any religious organization in the US who wanted it, except that no Jews were permitted to get it, it would be “a very small program in the overall scheme of things” but I doubt that you would like it too much.”

        Obviously not, but there is no allegation that anyone is restricting from getting funding under the NSGP.

        “But the greater point is this: if this money is intended to prevent threats, then it should accomplish that goal. If it doesn’t, then it should be cancelled and the funds already disbursed should be clawed back and given back to the taxpayers.”

        I believe it’s accomplishing its goal, but obviously not in a diverse way. So it should be expanded.

        “Because the program wasn’t intended to benefit them.”

        Well, I don’t know whether there are examples of non-profits who got money who were not the program’s intended beneficiaries, but that does not appear to be the case. I don’t think 97% going to Jewish orgs is the equivalent of 97% of a program for the hungry going to Mitt Romney, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

      • Kathleen
        August 10, 2012, 12:34 pm

        Hey Hop and I agree on something. Miracles will never cease. But on Hop demanding that I apology for my statements about Lieberman..he could start holding his breath when he demanded an apology. Just kidding hop

      • Mooser
        August 13, 2012, 4:04 pm

        “I would definitely like to see a more even distribution…

        Excuse my density, Hophmi, but how on earth do any stray decent impulses you claim to posess make any difference? You guys are always pulling thgis bit of crap “Well, I don’t think it’s right…” ” Well, I don’t believe that….”
        Is that supposed to make any differencve. Are we supposed to be overwhelmed because you can fake a decent opinion?

      • hophmi
        August 13, 2012, 5:42 pm

        “Excuse my density, Hophmi, but how on earth do any stray decent impulses you claim to posess make any difference?”

        Hey Mooser, maybe you can tell us what you have done to rectify the problem.

        “Are we supposed to be overwhelmed because you can fake a decent opinion?”

        No Mooser. I’m not expecting you to be anything other than the asshole you usually are.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 13, 2012, 6:51 pm

        “Well, you’ll have to ask the actuaries at the insurance companies that question, as well as law enforcement.”

        And they will tell you, if they’re being truthful, that the actual risk any one of these places face is low, without considering foreign terrorism and slightly-more-but-indistinguishably-so considering it.

        And most every insurance policy these days contain a terrorism exclusions anyway, but you can buy a policy for an added premium. Do you think that might have a bit of an effect on the insurance carrier’s opinion?

        “Regardless, I think you’re forgetting that Smallville JCC is not going to get money from this program, which is part of the Urban Areas Security Initiative and is for institutions in urban/metropolitan areas.

        Fine, pendant. Replace it with “East Orange JCC.” Same result.

        “Obviously not…”

        Then quit using excuses like “small program in the grand scheme of things here.

        “I believe it’s accomplishing its goal, but obviously not in a diverse way. So it should be expanded.”

        This is gibberish. It’s either accomplishing its goal, in which case you believe that Jewish groups represent 97% of the threats, or you believe it should be “expanded” in “diverse ways” in which case you concede that the poeple who should be getting money aren’t, in which case the program can’t be accomplishing its goal.

        “Well, I don’t know whether there are examples of non-profits who got money who were not the program’s intended beneficiaries, but that does not appear to be the case.”

        It has to be the case. Otherwise you’d have to say either (1) that Jewish groups represent 97% of the risk (which is nonsense) or (2) one of the intended beneficiaries are people who are not within the pool of people who are really at risk but who can meet the minimium criteria based on flawed program design which disproportionately benefits less-threatened orgs who have more resources to devote to grant writing.

        So which is it?

        “I don’t think 97% going to Jewish orgs is the equivalent of 97% of a program for the hungry going to Mitt Romney, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.”

        It was a analogy, purposefully loose for effect.

        If Jewish groups don’t represent 97% of the risk, then these Jewish groups are getting money which they don’t deserve, because the funds are supposed to ameriorate threats, which would mean that they’re getting money instead of it going ameliorate a risk that someone else is bearing. It shoudl not not benefit orgs who know how to game the system, lobby or write grant apps; it should go to ameriorate risks.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 10:37 am

        “How many went to Muslim mosques and groups?”

        Alex: Are you planning to investigate how many Muslim and Sikh organizations applied for the grants in the first place? Have you reviewed the grant application process? Doing so is part of your responsibility as a journalist, particularly since no Muslim or Sikh organization has actually alleged any discrimination here.

      • Mooser
        August 13, 2012, 4:07 pm

        “Muslim or Sikh organization has actually alleged any discrimination here.”

        I call pipul. When did thios become about alleged “discrimination”? I don’t remember anything about Homeland Security being some sort of affirmative action program.
        Or (as would be much more in line with my experience of you) are you saying ‘Well, wait until they get burned out or killed, and then we can throw those Sikhs a couple of bucks’?

    • American
      August 8, 2012, 11:59 am

      During the years this funding has been in effect at the DHS Jewish orgs have received 97% to 81% of the grants every year.

      link to forward.com

      “How an Anti-Terror Program Became a Jewish Earmark”

      Here is also a Forward editorial on it….at least some of the Jewish orgs recognize the unconstitutionality of it and the favoritism..
      link to forward.com

      It is pointed out that terrorism experts say that terror groups don’t target select groups like Jews in the US, they target larger general population areas and buildings.
      One thing I never see them express is any concern of the resentment this favoritism raises in the non Jewish population. I guess they think or know the general public isn’t aware of it. I don’t think it’s anti semitic of me to say that as a citizen and taxpayer I resent this, what is nothing but another “earmark” and ‘special’ funding for one select group in the US. It’s unfair. We’ve had hundreds of young people killed by nutcases, a lot of them slipping thru the radar of the public school and college systems and other mental counseling programs….that’s where the money needs to go.
      As the expert from the Rand Corp. said in the article, the Jewish groups claim they need to the money because ‘supporting Israel” makes them targets of terrorist.
      So consider how insane this all is—–the US supports terrorist Israel because US Jews supposedly support it. So then in addition to taxpayers sending billions to ‘support’ Israel for the US zionist and/ or Jews, we also have to support the private and religious Jewish infrastructure in the US of the Jews who support terrorist Israel.
      It’s insane. Totally absolutely illogical and insane.
      It reminds me of how Israel has twice blown up the Palestine Power Plant that US taxpayers paid for….Israel blows it up and the US pays to rebuild it, Israel blows it up again and US pays to rebuild it again. Also just like Lebanon, the US gave Israel the cluster bombs and money and jet fuel to attack Lebanon, Israel blows the fuel terminals and creates the largest oil spill ever and then the US has to pay into the UN fund to clean the up the oil spill in Lebanon Israel created and contribute to UN program to clean out the one million unexploded cluster bombs Israel dropped.
      And on top of all this we have special police and agencies funding to monitor and spy on US Muslims instigated not entirely but in large part by the uber zionst orgs and congressional minons.

      All this shit has to end.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 5:51 pm

        Yes, both the ADL and AJC have expressed concern about the program, in large part because most of the grants have gone to Orthodox organizations.

        “One thing I never see them express is any concern of the resentment this favoritism raises in the non Jewish population.”

        That’s because there isn’t very much, because most Americans are not looking to hate the Jews.

        ” I guess they think or know the general public isn’t aware of it.”

        And if they were, I think the general public either wouldn’t care, or would recognize that Jews do face certain threats in this world.

        “I don’t think it’s anti semitic of me to say that as a citizen and taxpayer I resent this, what is nothing but another “earmark” and ‘special’ funding for one select group in the US. ”

        Well, it’s not special funding. The number isn’t 100% and the criteria do not limit grants to the Jewish community

        Do you resent the billions given to Christian organizations by the government as part of the faith-based initiative?

      • American
        August 8, 2012, 10:50 pm

        “Do you resent the billions given to Christian organizations by the government as part of the faith-based initiative?”…hoppie

        Yes I do.
        Public tax money should go to PUBLIC infrastructure and institution’s security….NOT to private or religious organizations.
        This is just way for select groups to exploit 911 hysteria.
        AND….it’s unconstitutional.

      • Mooser
        August 13, 2012, 4:11 pm

        “That’s because there isn’t very much, because most Americans are not looking to hate the Jews.”

        Well, looky here! Hiophmi’s decide to uprate Americans from ‘rabid anti-Semites, to ‘possible anti-Semites’ all of a sudden. I guess nobody shot at him on the way to work today. Shall we go to Hophmi’s archive, and see what he’s said about America’s anti-Semitism before it was convenient to say the opposite?

      • Mooser
        August 13, 2012, 4:13 pm

        “Do you resent the billions given to Christian organizations by the government as part of the faith-based initiative?”

        Ah, so that makes up for the corruption in Homeland Security grants? Is that how the “Jewish organisations” lobbied for it: ‘Look, Lieberman, you’re giving those Gentiles (not gonna come out of my mouth) all that faith-based money, what do we get?’

      • hophmi
        August 13, 2012, 5:38 pm

        No Mooser, it just highlights how some here get all hot and bothered about a few million dollars that went to Jewish institutions and don’t seem to have any sense of proportion in the way they react to issues like these. Kathleen and Annie wish the mainstream media would make a huge deal out of this, and broadcast their narrative, which is that this whole program is the result of Jewish communal lobbying, and that the whole thing is a “Jewish earmark.” They don’t seem to have a sense of proportion about any of it, and I point out the Faith-Based Initiative, because it is an infinitely larger program, really is the result of religious lobbying, and is much more dangerous to our concept of church/state division than a clearly constitutional program like the NSGP that merely needs better PR outside the Jewish community. The point is people here look for reasons, no matter how small, to take shots at the Jewish community, and they do it in a scorched-earth way, because this is a program that clearly could benefit others, but rather than call for its expansion or more diverse disbursement, their first inclination is simply to attack the Jewish community for lobbying for it in the first place and to call for a widespread reporting of the Jewish community calling for it. I think that’s counterproductive and wrong.

        And another thing: If you insist on putting words in my mouth that I didn’t say, you better damn well back it up with a direct quote. I NEVER called American rabid antisemites, and you know it. It makes little difference to me whether you choose to be a buffoon around here, contributing nothing but laughs for your gaggle of political fellow-travelers that no one but them would find amusing.

        I will not allow you to slander me here.

      • ToivoS
        August 8, 2012, 6:12 pm

        American: I don’t think it’s anti semitic of me to say that as a citizen and taxpayer I resent this,

        Nor do I. Also this is the kind of story that should be spread as widely as possible to the citizenry in that it is something that the average American would resent as well.

        Hophni knows this as well and is trying to minimize the problem by saying it is only $10 million. To the average person 10 million or 10 billion are two very large numbers and their sense of outrage would probably not be much different. So this is a story that needs to move beyond MW.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 6:47 pm

        “Nor do I. Also this is the kind of story that should be spread as widely as possible to the citizenry in that it is something that the average American would resent as well.”

        LOL. Send it to whomever you want. I really don’t fear the American public; most Americans understand the threats Jews face even if you people do not.

        “Hophni knows this as well and is trying to minimize the problem by saying it is only $10 million”

        Hardly. Again, I wouldn’t care if the NY Times published the story. It’s not a major story, and $10 million is not a lot of money. I know plenty of institutions who got a grant through the program, and they were not secretive about it.

        “To the average person 10 million or 10 billion are two very large numbers and their sense of outrage would probably not be much different. So this is a story that needs to move beyond MW.

        Bring it, ToivoS.

      • Mooser
        August 13, 2012, 4:15 pm

        “most Americans understand the threats Jews face even if you people do not. ”

        You mean the arson’s and mass shootings at Synagogues we read about all the time, the beatings, the discrimina……Sorry Hophmi, I forgot about “certain white-shoe law firms”

      • hophmi
        August 13, 2012, 5:24 pm

        I’m sorry that you think that these things have to happen before you believe there is an actual threat. Most Americans understand that terrorism is a global problem, and there have been terrorist attacks on Jewish targets around the world. In this country, terrorists have been less successful in attacking Jewish institutions.

  4. Dan Crowther
    August 8, 2012, 11:42 am

    Lahmuddin’s a pretty impressive guy, huh? Multiple fires, people yelling shit at kids, using the mosque’s sign for target practice, and yet he has good things to say about the people of Joplin.

    I sometimes bristle at sweeping generalizations of people, but when it comes to rural whites in the US, I’m all ears. People here love to mention how small the Israeli left is, or how small the JVP crowd is in relation to the greater jewish consensus – but I gotta think the “enlightened” rural white crowd is even smaller as a percentage. And I know there is white racism in cities and so on, but rural white racism is to me much more distasteful, as it comes from probably the most heavily subsidized and voluntarily ignorant part of american society.

    • Ranjit Suresh
      August 8, 2012, 1:56 pm

      Well I hate to be blunt about it. But, southern whites used to target blacks not Arab Muslims. When blacks like jazz great Thelonius Monk affected an Arab appearance, they did so to escape racism. The New Yorker reported in 1948 of this phenomenon: “Many Negro boppers like to pretend that they are Arabs. Thelonius Monk sometimes foegets that he was born on W. 63rd St. and announces that he is a native of Damascus. Dizzy sometimes wears a turban to make people think he’s a Mohammedan. The large number of beboppers who have become Mohammedans want to escape from their American environment. ”

      Read more link to newyorker.com

      The obsession with “Islamofascism” is, by contrast, a relatively recent phenomenon. It is the product of a media and political driven propaganda campaign akin to that which, as was pointed out by a recent commentator on this site, was used to demonize the German Huns during World War I. When whites in this country attack Muslims, they’re essentially being used as tools for the sake of wars in the Middle East that scarcely concern them and for the infringement of civil liberties which they themselves howl about as soon as a Democrat is president.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 8, 2012, 2:37 pm

        The obsession with “Islamofascism” is, by contrast, a relatively recent phenomenon. It is the product of a media and political driven propaganda campaign ….. When whites in this country attack Muslims, they’re essentially being used as tools for the sake of wars in the Middle East

        absolutely. i was discussing this over the weekend with some other people around my age. when i was growing up there was none of the demonization of arabs that i was aware of. it was completely off the radar. this is all new and it’s being manufactured right before our eyes. the kids might now be aware of the ‘newness’ but anyone raised in the US during the 50’s and 60’s knows there wasn’t a drive to demonize muslims. not that i recall and i know i am not alone.

      • Dan Crowther
        August 8, 2012, 2:49 pm

        You guys are reinforcing my point. the “enemy” changes all the time – the one constant? Whack-a-doo rural whites blowing up churches and sht.

        The fact that it wasn’t always Arabs or Muslims is insignificant; in fact, its even more telling that the object of the hate can be exchanged, and people carry on with the same behavior. The context changes, but there’s continuity in actions.

      • tokyobk
        August 8, 2012, 2:44 pm

        Its the inchoate and ever-shifting nature of racism that makes it so dangerous. A family friend; black and from Alabama, used to dress up as an African diplomat to get served in fancy restaurants in DC (a segregated city) when he was a student at Howard in the late 50’s.

      • Mooser
        August 8, 2012, 5:29 pm

        tokyobk, that was a moving testimony about racism. But if you are a Zionist, you are an adherent of an ideology which has racism as its philosophical foundation, and cannot be effected without putting racism into policy and process.
        So why are you trying to BS us, or are you no longer a Zionist?

      • ToivoS
        August 8, 2012, 6:23 pm

        Tokyo imagine the difference — today’s Israelis is worse then 1950s Washington DC :

        link to timesofisrael.com

        Ghanian ambassador to Israel files a complaint with the FM because his wife is being hassled on the streets of Tel Aviv.

      • Roya
        August 8, 2012, 4:41 pm

        The obsession with “Islamofascism” is, by contrast, a relatively recent phenomenon. It is the product of a media and political driven propaganda campaign

        Indeed. Jack Shaheen’s Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies A People sheds light on Hollywood’s prominent role in inducing Islamophobia.

    • libra
      August 8, 2012, 5:33 pm

      DC: “I sometimes bristle at sweeping generalizations of people, but when it comes to rural whites in the US, I’m all ears…”

      Well Dan as I know you’re listening, I bet all those wilfully ignorant crackers back in the Corps didn’t even know what Semper Fi means.

      • Dan Crowther
        August 8, 2012, 6:54 pm

        Ha! Yeah, I have endless stories about the good ol’ boys in the Marine Corps. Sort of a “Deliverance meets Mall Rats” kind of crowd.

      • Mooser
        August 13, 2012, 4:20 pm

        “Sort of a “Deliverance meets Mall Rats” kind of crowd.”

        Dan, did you catch the NPR (American Life?) special on rape in the military “An Occupational Hazard”? It might be available in a webcast from the NPR site. Very interesting, very sad. And I gotta say it: those mall Rats and deliverance guys might be the smart ones, cause the girls and guys the Navy was recruiting out of college didn’t know squat, and the MR&D crowd is running all over them. Very sad.

      • Dan Crowther
        August 14, 2012, 11:38 am

        No, I didn’t catch that Moose, but it sounds about right. The military is in dire straits all the way around. I’d kill any son or daughter of mine that wanted to join.

  5. munro
    August 8, 2012, 12:57 pm
  6. Les
    August 8, 2012, 1:42 pm

    At yesterday’s press conference New York’s Sikh leaders singled out both New York’s Congressman Peter King and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for promoting hatred against Muslims that encouraged the murders at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Sunday. Aren’t the Ochs and Sulzberger families just as guilty for using their media to promote racial hatred against Palestinian Arabs, especially Muslims?

  7. Midwesterner
    August 8, 2012, 2:45 pm

    1988. According to the Oxford English Dictionary that’s when the word was rolled out.

  8. Blake
    August 8, 2012, 3:38 pm

    I was raised to tolerate all. Now these people who are intolerant and do such dastardly acts are not raised but dredged up out of sewers.

  9. whimsical dog
    August 8, 2012, 4:15 pm

    I’m an American and a Jew, and usually a hell-raiser, ready to rip into bigots of every stripe, particularly US white bigots of both the secular and evangelical fundy types, and Zionist bigots. But in this case, I’m not all that concerned with the sad, sick person who committed this hate crime. Rather, I see in this Mosque burning a classic case of the silver-lined cloud. I am absolutely sure that the people of Joplin, Missouri are by and large thoroughly decent people. And I hope to ***SEE*** that decency in action. I hope the people of Joplin, of all faiths, will spontaneously come together in a sort of loaves-and-fishes event, gather (buy, donate, find, scavenge, salvage, and otherwise accumulate) the materials necessary to rebuild the mosque, and working shoulder to shoulder to do exactly that.

    Please tell me if you have experienced the same impulse that I have, not only to see Joplin rise to the occasion and by their actions say, “ This is the real America, and this is most certainly the real Joplin. “, but to actually desire to travel to Joplin — while hoping, expecting, and discovering, with satisfaction but not surprise, that the rest of the country, like you, is headed for Joplin — to take part in the rebuilding.

    Sometimes an act of destructive anger can be an opportunity.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 8, 2012, 5:17 pm

      thank you whimsical dog

    • Blake
      August 8, 2012, 7:24 pm

      “ready to rip into bigots of every stripe, particularly US white bigots of both the secular and evangelical fundy types, and Zionist bigots.”

      I cannot argue with that. We would make a great team. Lol

    • American
      August 8, 2012, 10:56 pm

      ”Please tell me if you have experienced the same impulse that I have, not only to see Joplin rise to the occasion and by their actions say, “ This is the real America, and this is most certainly the real Joplin. “….dog

      Amen dog.
      We can hope.

    • bigbill
      August 9, 2012, 9:36 am

      “I am absolutely sure that the people of Joplin, Missouri are by and large thoroughly decent people. And I hope to ***SEE*** that decency in action. I hope the people of Joplin, of all faiths, will spontaneously come together in a sort of loaves-and-fishes event, gather (buy, donate, find, scavenge, salvage, and otherwise accumulate) the materials necessary to rebuild the mosque, and working shoulder to shoulder to do exactly that.”

      Now that is about as likely as all the “good decent Muslims” of the world rebuilding the World Trade Center, or the “good decent Hindus” of the world rebuilding the Golden Temple in Amritsar, or the “good decent Jews” rebuilding the West Bank, or the “good decent blacks” of Detroit rebuilding their city (or at least stopping the killing of other races).

      But surely you know this. If the “community” doesn’t routinely rebuild after all arsons, why should this one be special? Because of their white Christian race guilt? the fact that the tainted color of their skin makes them responsible for inter-ethnic crime no matter who commits it?

      Meh.

      If you want to rebuild, go rebuild. Don’t pretend you are waiting for inspiration from some guilt-ridden forelock-tugging white folks. That old superior-caste shtick just doesn’t work. You are commanded by God to be a “light unto the nations” by your example, right? Isn’t that what your rabbis say?

      So get on your “Freedom Bus” with your buddies and go to Joplin to rebuild, for goodness sake. Go be that good Jewish example and drop the moral preening.

      PS: the “real Joplin” is like the “real Tel Aviv” and the “real Cairo” and the “real Amritsar”, only with a lot less killing and butchery. Isn’t that why your g-gparents came here?

      • Mooser
        August 13, 2012, 4:23 pm

        Well, that was one incoherent, but disturbing little comment there, bigbill. I’m sort of glad I don’t understand it.

      • hophmi
        August 13, 2012, 5:18 pm

        They’ve launched a $250K rebuilding campaign and are doing well with the fundraising. It took them 3 days to surpass their goal last week. The vast majority of Americans, including those in Joplin, abhor what happened. You can like their page on facebook, and there are instructions on how to donate to the rebuilding effort.

        link to facebook.com

  10. whimsical dog
    August 8, 2012, 4:29 pm
  11. Kathleen
    August 8, 2012, 10:33 pm

    Lieberman is and has been such a turncoat over and over again. Pushing for war with Iran, serving Israel over the U.S.’s national security, campaigning against Obama, pushed the invasion of Iraq long and hard. The man is a sleazy, racist, elitist creep.

  12. Kathleen
    August 9, 2012, 8:19 am

    The DHS money should be distributed based on need and threats not lobbying ability or who is in congress batting for you.

  13. Kathleen
    August 9, 2012, 8:59 am

    The Sikh temple killings in Wisconsin. The Southern Poverty law center had been tracking the alleged killer Wade Page for 10 years. One wonders whether this temple had received any of the DHS funding to protect from potential threats

    • hophmi
      August 9, 2012, 10:26 am

      You can stop asking Kathleen. The answer is no.

      The question is why. In the aftermath of the shootings, the Jewish Federation of North America recommended expanding the grant program so that more organizations would be able to take advantage of it.

      It’s important to mention that virtually all of the investigative work on the NSGP has been done by the Forward, a Jewish newspaper comfortably within the mainstream of the Jewish community, so the notion that this is some secret is nonsense and the notion that Jews want the program to be a Jewish earmark is nonsense.

      The notion that Sikh temples cannot apply for the same funds is nonsense.

      The page for the NSGP is here:

      link to fema.gov

      You’re free to read through the materials provided on the criteria for application. Applicants must provide risk assessments by local police departments, insurance assessments, investment justifications, etc. I would be interested to know how many Sikh organizations applied for the grant and how many Muslim organizations applied for the grant, rather than what the allocation was. If Jewish organizations were smart enough to write good grant applications and Muslim and Sikh organizations were not, I see no reason to criticize Jewish organizations. If, however, other non-profit organizations are writing good grant applications and getting rejected, that’s a problem. But there is not a scintilla of evidence to suggest that that is the case.

      These grants are not easy to write. They require a considerable amount of planning, understanding, and institutional knowledge.

      This is a powerpoint that the Jewish Community Relations Council in New York presented at a workshop it held on how to apply for one of the grants in NY. I highly recommend it to any organization who wishes to apply for one of these grants. I also invite people like Kathleen to show me similar efforts conducted by other organizations (Muslim, Sikh, or anyone else) to teach their co-religionists how to apply. Save your time; I doubt you’ll find anything, because as Ibrahim Hooper admitted, the Jewish community has simply been more on the ball than other communities have been.

      That does not, however, mean other religious organizations cannot apply, and this powerpoint certainly provides them with the knowledge to do so.

      link to jcrcny.org

      • Kathleen
        August 9, 2012, 3:09 pm

        You are rather touchy about other groups accessing these funds based on need.

      • hophmi
        August 10, 2012, 11:09 am

        I am not touchy about other groups applying based on need. I am touchy when people try to suggest that Jews are trying to get a leg up on others through nefarious means and that Jews are not deserving of the grants they do get.

        Alex wrote this story about the Joplin Mosque burning. People here (specifically you, not me), turned it into a Jews-get-too-much-DHS-money story in the comments, a trope Alex picked up on by citing the 97% number. I showed, pretty conclusively, I think, that citing the number is misleading because it suggests that Jews have some unfair advantage in the allocation process, when that does not actually appear to be the case.

      • Kathleen
        August 10, 2012, 12:43 pm

        Clearly Jewish groups do get a disproportionate amount of DHS money. And you can be sure this is not fair or based entirely on need or professional domestic terrorist watch groups assessments. Hop you even mentioned earlier in this thread that “last year when the Forward reported this story in more depth, they found that the program was created in the first place largely because the Jewish community pushed for it’s creation”

        Do you think the “Jewish community” (wonder what the specifics are there) that pushed for these funds were looking to protect all other non Jewish organizations that were coming under possible threats?

        The one thing we agree upon is that the funds should be distributed according to proven need. A fair standing

  14. Kathleen
    August 9, 2012, 3:08 pm

    The Southern Poverty Law Center and other domestic terrorist watch groups like the F.B.I. should play a big role in determining which groups get how much money. Not whether you fill out a great application or lobby really well with your inside people. The funds should go to groups based on potential threats.

  15. American
    August 9, 2012, 6:10 pm

    Its all stupid…look at what some of the Jewish groups have spent the money on…putting a fence around their parking lot to make it ‘private’, one way windows and new doors and cameras….about as good a mid priced burglar system.
    Unless your going to get the same metal detecting equipment as the FAA and Army and hire guards to frisk everyone, forgit ’bout it—- anyone but a total idiot who wants to get in and get you, will get you. A nutcase will stand on the sidewalk and mow down people as they come or go. Nope, there too many ways for a determined person to get someone if they really want to.

    I saw on the news this am that UPS mistakenly delivered a sub machine gun to a guy in Calif that was suppose to be delivered to a gun shop in Pa….LOL
    You can make you own bombs and buy just about any kind of weapon you want in this country…you can even make you own poisons.

    If I was a serious foreign interest terrorist my target choice for the most dead and most panic would be poisoning the water systems of whoever or where ever, any city or building I wanted to attack…totally breachable almost everywhere.
    The fact is there is no such thing as totally safe from a real terrorist.
    And the fact this kind of thing hasn’t happened tells me we don’t have any real terrorist just domestic nutcases and amateur terrorist.

    • hophmi
      August 10, 2012, 11:13 am

      “ook at what some of the Jewish groups have spent the money on…putting a fence around their parking lot to make it ‘private’, one way windows and new doors and cameras….about as good a mid priced burglar system.”

      That’s pretty much what hardening a building is – the installation of security equipment. No one is going to install metal detectors.

      “Unless your going to get the same metal detecting equipment as the FAA and Army and hire guards to frisk everyone, forgit ’bout it—- anyone but a total idiot who wants to get in and get you, will get you.”

      That’s definitely true, though there is a lot more to security than the installation of equipment. Across religions, local law enforcement steps up its patrols at religious institutions in times of stress, and that is true for synagogues and mosques. There has also been an effort to create a volunteer patrol at a number of orthodox synagogues. Nobody, obviously wants to go as far as frisking and metal detectors.

    • Kathleen
      August 10, 2012, 12:44 pm

      Some of these efforts do slow terrorist down. I think

      • hophmi
        August 10, 2012, 4:37 pm

        The hardening of targets and so on should not be thought of as steps taken in isolation. It is one of many things institutions do to protect themselves. Bigger synagogues in New York tend to rely simply on security at the door. Institutions like the Center for Jewish History or the Anti Defamation League do indeed have metal detectors and more sophisticated security systems.

        In Europe, the security you see at Jewish institutions is even more robust and the security at synagogues rivals what you see at institutions in America. It’s not a fun thing to experience.

  16. Sumud
    August 9, 2012, 10:56 pm

    37 comments (from a total of 120) from hophmi all coming off the first 3 comments. Major threadjacking.

    Don’t feed the troll – he’s just presenting the same garbage over and over again, white noise.

    • hophmi
      August 10, 2012, 11:10 am

      “37 comments (from a total of 120) from hophmi all coming off the first 3 comments. Major threadjacking.”

      LOL. The depth of the hate here. I did not bring up the DHS issue here. Kathleen did.

      “Don’t feed the troll – he’s just presenting the same garbage over and over again, white noise.”

      I’m the one who posted the Forward article, Sumud. I’m sorry the facts contradict your BS nonsense.

      • Kathleen
        August 10, 2012, 12:50 pm

        But Hop others did write about the unfair distribution of the DHS funding before Forward did. A great thing that the Forward went into more depth. But I became aware of the disproportionate way the funding was being broken up through other sources. Can not find them but know it was not the Forward article.

        Hop it is truly wonderful that you are going to help Muslim organizations find out about the funding and how the process works. You seem to know a great deal. A fair and honorable stance

    • Kathleen
      August 10, 2012, 12:47 pm

      Semud if you keep reading Hop does start to get reasonable and agree that these DHS funds should be distributed more fairly based on proven need not on grant writing or lobbying ability. He even offers later in the thread to help Muslim organizations become aware of the funds and help them through the application process. This is actually wonderful and progress

  17. Kathleen
    August 10, 2012, 12:38 am

    Important read over at RACE FOR IRAN

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