Tag Archives | Extremism

Prison Interview with Glenn Beck-Inspired Gunman

Glenn BeckIn 2008 a Unitarian congregation in Tennessee was fired upon by a reported devotee of Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage. In the shadow of last summer's "ground-zero mosque" controversy, a NYC cab driver's throat was slashed after he identified himself as a Muslim. Were these the acts of disturbed individuals, already predisposed toward violence, or the natural outcome of so much inflammatory rhetoric being injected into the national discourse? Are hateful demagogues in any way responsible for the criminality of those who take them seriously? John Hamilton of Media Matters raises these questions in a new piece, in which he interviews Byron Williams, a jailed gunman who credits Glenn Beck and Fox for inspiring his ill-fated insurrection against the Tides Foundation and ACLU.
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United Against The Threat of Cartoons

Jesus as portrayed in 'South Park' (courtesy Comedy Central)

Jesus as portrayed in 'South Park' (courtesy Comedy Central)

Apparently endeavoring to prove that some Christians can be just as stupid and petty as some Muslims, we have geniuses like the Catholic League’s William “13-year olds are not children” Donohue, closeted Family Research Council celebrity Tony “Look How Perfect My Hair Is” Perkins, and conservobot talk show weenie Michael “I’m A Self-Hating Jew” Medved teaming up like a twisted version of the Super Friends to save Jesus from the threat of vile cartooning:

From Reuters/Yahoo News:

Comedy Central’s “JC” is in development, which means it’s still a couple of steps from getting the green light as a series. The project is about Jesus trying to live as a regular guy in New York City and wanting to escape the shadow of his “powerful but apathetic father.” Because Comedy Central recently censored “South Park” for its portrayals of the Prophet Muhammad, some Christian leaders see the prospect of a Jesus cartoon as proof of an offensive double standard.

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Russia Bans Scientology Writings as Extremist

Scott Rose writes in the Moscow Times:

Works by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard will be added to the country’s list of extremist literature for “undermining the traditional spiritual values of the citizens of the Russian Federation,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said Wednesday.

The ruling — initiated by transport prosecutors in the Siberian city of Surgut and Khanty-Mansiisk customs officers — is the latest use of the hotly debated law on extremism to target systems of belief that are not traditional in Russia.

Individuals in possession of extremist materials can be jailed for up to 15 days or fined 3,000 rubles ($100). The law also allows for harsher punishment of suspects convicted of other crimes.

Prosecutors said they intercepted 28 individual titles, including books, audio and video recordings by Hubbard that were sent to residents in Surgut from the United States. The materials were sent for study to “psychiatrists, psychologists and sociologists,” who determined that they should not be distributed in Russia, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

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Extreme Fans Would Give Up A Body Part For Their Team To Win The World Cup

world_cup_2010_logoA survey reveals that some soccer fans are so eager to see their national team win at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa that they’d give up a body part to make it happen. I really want England to win, but I’m not sure I’d go that far … would you? Reported by Reuters:

Fifty-one percent of respondents to the tongue-in-cheek survey of 20,000 people, who live in North America but hail from countries with teams in the June 11-July 11 World Cup, said they would starve themselves for a week if that would bring victory to their national squad.

More than 40 percent offered to give up dating for a year, while seven percent said they would gladly give up their job to see their country win the title.

A further four percent were willing to give away a body part.

The survey was conducted by U.S.-based international calling firm VIP Communications Inc (www.JoinVIP.com) ahead of the South African extravaganza featuring 32 nations.

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Muslims Target ‘South Park’ Creators With Violence

RevolutionMuslim.com posted a warning following the 200th episode of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "South Park," which included a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad disguised in a bear suit. Photo: SouthParkStudios.com

The offending caricature of the Prophet Muhammad disguised in a bear suit. Source: SouthParkStudios.com

The regular refrain of “Who Killed Kenny?” could get a whole lot more serious now that South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have been threatened with violence as a result of their popular TV series making fun of Muslims, never mind that they are equally scathing of Christians, Jews, Mormons, Scientologists and others who take their religion too seriously. Reported by Fox News:

A radical Islamic website is warning the creators of “South Park” that they could face violent retribution for depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit during an episode broadcast on Comedy Central last week.

RevolutionMuslim.com [note: site appears to be down as of this posting] posted the warning following the 200th episode of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s “South Park,” which included a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad disguised in a bear suit.

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Religious Fanatics Threaten Atheist Philip Pullman With Death

goodmanjesusLet’s hope the unhinged religious fanatics targeting Philip Pullman manage to propel him to even greater heights of fame and sales success. From the Times:

The novelist Philip Pullman has been threatened by religious zealots over his new book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ.

He has received scores of letters condemning him to “eternal hell” or “damnation by fire” and accusing him of blasphemy.

“Many refer to the title itself, for which there is clearly a passionate objection from some out there,” said Pullman.

Published next week, the book is written in the form of a gospel. It says that a man called Jesus lived 2,000 years ago but that Christ, as the son of God, was the invention of the disciple Paul.

“The letter writers essentially say that I am a wicked man, who deserves to be punished in hell,” said Pullman. “Luckily it’s not in their power to do anything like sending me there.”

Pullman is expected to have special security when he appears next Sunday at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival.

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Brother of Pentagon Shooter Describes a Path from Early Promise to Madness

In addition to the piece below from the Washington Post, I have included a video embed from what's claimed to John Patrick Bedell's YouTube Channel. The media reports first described him as a right-wing extremist, which has now been modified to him having an "anti-government" ideology. Ian Shapira writes in the Washington Post:
John Patrick Bedell was an independent-minded and skeptical teenager — bright and questioning, with strongly held opinions, like countless other young people, his brother remembered Saturday. Bedell, who went by Patrick, had vigorously objected to the government's role in the 1991 Persian Gulf War since high school, telling relatives that the United States was trying to enrich itself and oil companies, said his brother, 33-year-old Jeffrey Bedell. But, in about 2002, after the breakup of a long-term relationship with a girlfriend, his skepticism began to turn to deep-rooted suspicion. And soon it became paranoia, his brother said. Patrick would point skyward, convinced that "they" were watching him. He believed songs he heard on the radio were meant as warnings. Deeply concerned, the Bedell family and close friends tried to seek medical help for him, but Patrick refused, convinced that he was privy to information that warranted his mind-set.
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John Avlon: The Birthers Began on the Left

PUMAJohn Avlon writes on the Daily Beast:

The Birthers were back in force at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville.

The high-profile resurgence of the Birther claims on cable television provoked much self-satisfaction from liberals as the latest evidence of the influence of wingnuts on conservative politics.

But there’s an inconvenient truth liberals are going to have to confront: The Birthers began not on the right, but on the left.

Investigations for my new book, Wingnuts, revealed that the Birther conspiracy theory was first concocted by renegade members of the original Obama haters, Party Unity My Ass, known more commonly by their acronym, the PUMAs. They were a splinter group of hard-core Hillary Clinton supporters who did not want to give up the ghost after the bitter 50-state Bataan Death March to the 2008 Democratic nomination.

Read more of John Avlon’s article in the Daily Beast

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Changing the Conversation on Religion (Before it Kills Us All)

New York Times best-selling author Frank Schaeffer has strong opinions on religion, writing in the Huffington Post:
The media-labeled "New Atheists" such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have put forward what they regard as the answer to religion: grow up, human race, and abandon your myths! Most Americans, and maybe even most people around the world, have another answer to the extremes of religion that infect people like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who (allegedly) tried to blow up an airplane over Detroit: hunt down and kill the extremists. I think just about everyone has missed the real point: religion won't go away because -- like it or not -- people are spiritual beings. Telling religious people to be moderate is not going to solve anything once they are convinced everyone not like them is the enemy of "truth." Killing more people just makes martyrs. That being the case, the way to confront religious poison is to change religion, not try to win by eliminating it. And that change means we have to try and get to the next generation before the fundamentalists do...
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