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A weblog about the politics and affairs of the old and glorious City of Albany, New York, USA. Articles written and disseminated from Albany's beautiful and historic South End by Daniel Van Riper. If you wish to make a response, have anything to add or would like to make an empty threat, please contact me.


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February 6, 2017

The Attack On Islamberg

How some patriotic Americans turned aside a pogrom against a Muslim community

[Last May The Wife participated in an action to defend an isolated community of American Muslims located in the rural hills of Delaware County in New York State. The report that I’d written was buried inside of a post on this blog published in June and received very little attention. So because the ongoing threat to Muslims is imminent, and because very soon anybody who is considered an opponent of the ruling Re-pubs may very well receive similar threats to their property and to their bodies from rad righty thugs and neo-nazis, I’ve reposted the report with some additions and corrections. I’ve also included more of the excellent (under the circumstances) photos that The Wife took with her phone.]

Waiting For The Attack On Islamberg
Waiting For The Attack On Islamberg

In our present day perhaps the only group of people it is officially considered okay to denigrate and spit upon in this country is Muslims, or more specifically, lower income Muslims, especially immigrants. Rich Muslims, such as the royal family of Saudi Arabia or the totalitarian Sheik of Abu Dhabi who owns the Global Foundries chip fab in Malta north of Albany, are of course regarded as exceptional and acceptable. Money magically confers superiority. But if the Muslims are working class, immigrants and especially if they are black, then we have been repeatedly told that they are fair game for abuse.

Residents And Visitors Wait For The Bare Naked Islam Nitwits To Attack Islamberg
Residents And Visitors Wait For
The Bare Naked Islam Nitwits To Attack Islamberg

This past May The Wife got involved with physically opposing some of that “acceptable” discrimination of Muslims, this particular discrimination directed at a small group living in the back country south and east of Albany, harmless people trying to mind their own business. Islamberg is a small isolated town in Delaware County near the Pennsylvania border with a population of not much more than 200 people. From Wikipedia:

The hamlet was founded in the late 1980s by... a group of primarily African American Muslims who left New York City, reportedly to escape crime, poverty and racism. They built a community of some 40 family houses, with its own grocery store and bookstore and place of worship... "Holy Islamberg", as residents refer to it, is also the headquarters of the Muslims of America organization.

While the founder of Islamberg was an immigrant Imam, the inhabitants are mostly Americans born in America who have been following the venerable tradition of American religious groups leaving the Cities and establishing communities in the wilderness so they could practice their religious beliefs in peace. Famous examples are the Mormons and the Shakers. But please also note that the inhabitants of Islamberg are almost all black folks born right here in New York State, a central detail that seems to be mostly ignored in the sparse accounts of this incident.

Waiting For The Attack On Islamberg
Residents And Visitors Wait For
The Bare Naked Islam Nitwits To Attack Islamberg

In recent years Rupert Murdoch’s FOX “News” has aired no less than nine bogus reports about Islamberg with titles such as the smarmy “Islamberg: A Terror Compound in New York, or Misunderstood Neighbors?” from 2007, or the even more luridly false “Muslims Training for Guerrilla Warfare in New York” from 2015. This pack of dangerous sensational nonsense despite every single police agency, from the federal government which heavily investigated Islamberg after Nine Eleven to the local cops who keep a close watch, have repeatedly denied any claims of even the remotest sign of “terroristic” activity in the community.

In other words, FOX has been repeatedly spreading lies about this community. And obviously FOX does not care if people get hurt because of their lies, and they aren’t concerned if their lies cause any of their audience to harm these innocent people. Doesn’t inciting people to riot go beyond free speech and constitute a punishable offense, as specifically stated in the US Constitution?

An astonishingly large number of people obediently believe everything they are told by their TV sets without question. And an astonishingly large number of people are constantly looking for someone vulnerable to step on and hurt so as to assuage their own feelings of inferiority. The authoritative TV has been broadcasting permission to harass the people of Islamberg, and sure enough a group of knuckleheads and dimwits from way outside of the New York State area decided to act on that permission.

NY State Trooper Surveys The Road While Waiting For The Knuckleheads
NY State Trooper Surveys The Road While
Waiting For The Knuckleheads

This collection of knuckleheads from Virginia and Tennessee who call themselves Bare Naked Islam (seriously!) scheduled a motorcycle ride through Islamberg that they called “American Bikers United Against Jihad.” This “event” was heavily advertised, at least one of these clowns was quite adept at producing graphics and videos, and clearly somebody was financing their propaganda. So this was no secret, apparently these fools were hoping that they could generate and then lead an angry mob.

Residents And Visitors Grew Anxious As The Bare Naked Islam Knuckleheads Approached The Town
Residents And Visitors Grew Anxious As The Bare Naked Islam Knuckleheads Approached The Town

There’s very little information about who exactly are the people behind Bare Naked Islam other than what can be gleaned from disputes they’ve been having with other hate groups over ideological fine points. The organizers conceal their identities carefully and do not admit feedback on their website except for what look like fake comments. As a general rule these are signs of astroturfing, that is, persons or corporations with big money using their resources to fake a grassroots movement in hopes of starting one.

Waiting For The Bare Naked Islam Troublemakers To Attack The Town
Waiting For The Bare Naked Islam Troublemakers
To Attack The Town

So on May 15 a delegation from Albany, which included The Wife, joined a group of several hundred people traveling to Islamberg to meet the dimwit Bare Naked Islam motorbikers as they attacked the community. This response was primarily organized by the NAACP of Oneonta and the Unitarian Universalist congregation from Oneonta, the nearest “big city” to Islamberg. Actually the Albany folks decided to go down on their own, they were surprised and delighted to see the size of the Oneonta groups when they got there.

Tension Mounts Along The Line Of Residents And Visitors As The Knuckleheads Approach
Tension Mounts Along The Line Of Residents And Visitors As
The Knuckleheads Approach

The citizens who reside in Islamberg welcomed the invasion of outside supporters which temporarily doubled the size of the town. About 400 people lined both sides of the one street of the small downtown and beyond the edge of town at some spots elbow to elbow, with various people holding cameras interspersed among them. Many visitors held homemade signs. The locals distributed American flags to wave at the bikers, The Wife is keeping hers as a treasured souvenir.

The bikers were supposed to arrive at Noon, tension mounted as the Americans waited for America’s enemies to arrive. Despite the presence of both the police and real patriots, would they start trouble? Finally about 1PM the State Troopers stationed downhill at the highway radioed to the troopers stationed at the entrance to town that the Bare Naked Knuckleheads were on their way.

The Leading Knucklehead, Face Covered In Shame, Signals To The Others to Not Stop
The Leading Knucklehead, Face Covered In Shame, Signals To The Others to Not Stop

Five motorcycles followed by seven cars and pickups entered the main drag, past the Troopers and between the hundreds of flag waving patriots. The knucklehead driving the lead motorcycle made a gesture to the others as he drove and the parade of dimwits stared straight ahead and didn’t even slow down, they sped through the little town and kept going, presumably back to whatever unpatriotic toilet they came from. Thus for all their false bravado these would-be Christian Jihadists proved to the world that they are nothing but a bunch of spineless pussies.

The Next Bare Naked Islam Knucklehead
The Next Bare Naked Islam Knucklehead

 

Knucklehead Number Three
Knucklehead Number Three

 

Two More Nitwits On Motorbikes
Two More Nitwits On Motorbikes

 

Pickup Following The Bikers, Note The NY Plate
Pickup Following The Bikers, Note The NY Plate

 

This Knucklehead Had Virginia Plates
This Knucklehead Had Virginia Plates

 

Note The NY Handicapped Plate
Note The NY Handicapped Plate

The Wife told me that when the knuckleheads had sped past she overheard a little girl who lived in the town, who no doubt had experienced very little excitement in her life up to that point say, “Is that it?”

After The Threat Had Passed, A Sense Of Relief
After The Threat Had Passed, A Sense Of Relief

The Wife told me that as the knuckleheads passed she furiously clicked her phone camera and didn’t even watch what she was taking pictures of. (She was also instructed by me, as usual, to walk calmly away from any violence, which fortunately didn’t happen.) Blowing up the photos I noted that all the motorcycles had Virginia plates while all but one of the cars had New York plates. So the dimwits found a few like minded simpletons lurking locally and they tagged along. All the drivers of all the invading vehicles were, of course, white males.

What exactly did these jerks have in mind? With their heavy advertising for the event apparently they were hoping for a legion of supporters to join them, and clearly their idea was, at the very least, to frighten and intimidate the inhabitants of the town. Because their TV sets had given them permission to pick on these people, they must have thought that the rest of the world had also obeyed the Corporate Media and were ready to follow them.

Visitors And Residents Mill About And Socialize
Visitors And Residents Mill About And Socialize

The word for what they really had in mind was pogrom. They probably hoped to lead an angry mob to threaten the citizens of Islamberg, smash some storefronts, maybe loot and burn a few buildings, beat up a few innocents and perhaps even rape some underage boys. If maybe they had killed a few people then they may have imagined that sympathetic police officers would look the other way.

Evidently in their little minds all of America was ready to rise up and destroy the “Islamic threat” that was festering under our very noses, the “threat” that they had been told about by their lying TVs, and all that America was waiting for was for them to lead. But the pogrom didn’t happen. Instead the knuckleheads fled in fear from the patriotic Americans lining the streets. That is a valuable lesson for our times.

Chowing Down Under The Tent
Chowing Down Under The Tent

Afterwards the couple of hundred visitors and the State Troopers repaired to a big tent and were served tea and a great meal by the grateful locals. The Wife is always telling me how the Muslims she meets are gracious hosts who always want to sit you down and feed you. Even though this picnic took place outdoors the food was great and was served on real china plates with silverware and glass glasses. And of course they kept offering the visitors food until they could eat no more.

There was talk of more get-togethers between the townsfolk and the visitors, including organizing a joint kayaking trip on one of the nearby rivers which sounds like great fun if it happens. But The Wife said that even though it was the middle of May it was awfully cold up in those hills. There she was under the tent huddled over a glass of hot tea wearing her sunhat, while outside the tent she could see snow flurries.

But now, almost a year later, will there be another attack on Islamberg, this time without warning and this time resulting in death and destruction of the community? With an extreme radical rightist political party in control of this country, and at the head of that party a mentally unfit president whose chief advisor is an admitted neo-nazi, can the harmless people of Islamberg continue to live in peace? Indeed can any of us?

 


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Posted by:Paul
Posted on:02/07/2017
Comments:
Thank you for the play by play of this event. I really admire what you and your wife do for free speech and human rights. My best to both of you!


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