Archive for March 27th, 2008

Police Call Church Worship Music ‘Disorderly’

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

(CNSNews.com) – A Michigan church filed a federal lawsuit after police officers, led by a local prosecutor, entered the sanctuary at least twice without a warrant alleging the church’s music was too loud and, in one instance, threatened to arrest church musicians for disorderly conduct.

Faith Baptist Church, with a congregation of about 10,000 members, is suing local officials in the Township of Waterford, Mich., in a First Amendment case a church attorney said could have national ramifications in establishing what local governments can do in regulating churches.

The suit – alleging the township violated the church’s freedom of religious expression, freedom of speech and freedom of association – was filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Detroit after the church had been subject to what it describes as raids by the Waterford Police Department, led by township prosecutor Walter Bedell.

At least one of those raids occurred during a Sunday service, according to the suit.

The church played contemporary Christian music that included guitars, drums, and other instruments. Township officials contend they were simply trying to enforce local noise laws and that the church is being a bad neighbor.

But “praise and worship” music is a form of religious expression, said Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, a public interest Christian law firm representing the church.

“This is subterfuge to try to interfere with religious exercise that Faith Baptist Church has,” Thompson told Cybercast News Service. “The prosecutor and uniformed police officers violated their Fourth Amendment rights. They were not invited. They burst into the church. Unless they had an arrest warrant or a search warrant, they had no right to go there except for worship.”

Bedell said the matter has nothing to do with religious expression. He said he has received more than 10 written complaints about the noise from the church.

“The whole issue is not with the type of music – it’s the music and the volume, and people who are in their own homes trying to sleep, eat, and spend time with their children,” Bedell told Cybercast News Service.

“I have no problem with music. I play the guitar myself. This is about the volume of music and people who were not able to live normal lives in their own home,” he added.

The matter with police began during a Wednesday night youth service in October 2007 when uniformed police officers led by Bedell entered the church’s sanctuary where the church’s band was practicing, according to the lawsuit.

Bedell then ordered police to take down the names and addresses of all the people on the stage so they could be charged with disorderly conduct.

The following Sunday, Waterford Township Police returned, during an evening church service, the Thomas More Law Center said.

Officers were about to forcibly remove band members and order them to surrender their driver’s licenses and personal information before an assistant pastor at the church volunteered to bring the musical band members to the police station to avoid an uproar in the congregation.

Faith Senior Pastor Jim Combs told the attorneys he was approached by other uniformed police officers who apologized but also said they had to follow orders from the local officials. Combs is deferring comment on the case to the law center, a church receptionist said Tuesday.

Solden said the township only wanted the church to tone down their music. While he admitted there was consideration about charging church members with disorderly conduct, he stressed that action was never taken and that no church member was arrested or detained.

“It’s uncanny that it would go this far,” Solden said. “It’s unfortunate because it could have been resolved.”

“For them to say this was surprising is disingenuous,” said Thompson. He further noted that the township’s noise ordinance of no more than 70 decibels is rarely enforced and, if it were, would essentially outlaw lawnmowers and snow blowers.

Original Link.

CAIR Officials Convicted of Crimes

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

If anyone still actually believes that the Council on American Islamic Relations is anything other than a terrorist funding front group, this should help sway your opinion.

The questionable associations and actions by many of its leaders cast serious doubt on CAIR’s claims of moderation and restraint. Some have committed criminal acts themselves; others have ties to organizations with connections to Islamic extremism.

Those convicted of direct criminal activity include Ghassan Elashi, a founding board member of CAIR-Texas; Randall (Ismail) Royer, once a communications specialist for the national group, and Bassam Khafagi, the organization’s one-time director of community relations.

In the more egregious cases, the organization has tried to distance itself from the individuals, contorting both logic and the English language. As the IPT’s series on CAIR’s history and activities continues, we look at the suspect nature of these examples and others close to the organization.

  • Ghassan Elashi, who attended a 1993 Philadelphia meeting called by Hamas to discuss derailing U.S. peace initiatives, was convicted in 2004 on six criminal counts, including making false statements, conspiracy to violate the Export Administration Regulations and the Libyan Sanctions Regulations, and conspiracy to file false shipper’s export declaration forms. He was a defendant again in the 2007 Hamas-support trial of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), where jurors were unable to reach unanimous verdicts on the charges against him.

    Elashi served as HLF chairman and treasurer and vice president of Infocom, a computer export company. He was sentenced to 80 months in prison for making illegal computer shipments to Libya and Syria and conspiring to send money to Mousa Abu Marzook, an admitted Hamas leader.

    Seeking to minimize Elashi’s ties to CAIR, Executive Director Nihad Awad assured U.S. senators in 2003 testimony, “Mr. Elashi was never an employee or officer of our corporation. The fact that he was once associated with one of our almost twenty regional chapters has no legal significance … ”

  • Randall Royer, the former CAIR communications specialist, has a more colorful criminal history. Police who stopped his car for a traffic violation in 2001 found an AK-47-style rifle and 219 rounds of ammunition inside. Then, in 2003, he was indicted on charges stemming from participation in the ongoing jihad in Kashmir — specifically, doing propaganda work for Lashkar-e Taiba, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group, and personally firing at Indian positions in Kashmir.

    Pleading guilty to weapons and explosives charges in 2004, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

    Again, CAIR reacted defensively, seeking to downplay both his ties to the organization and, indeed, the nature of his crimes. “Notwithstanding the fact that any criminal action to which he pleaded guilty was done when Royer was no longer employed with CAIR and not at CAIR’s direction,” the group said, “it is important to note that the only crimes that he pleaded guilty to were weapons charges, not charges of terrorism.”

  • Original Link.

    Anti-Israel Egyptian Singer Makes Obama Song

    Thursday, March 27th, 2008

    It sounds like all Obama’s skeletons are coming out of the closet.
    We haven’t blogged about much of what is going on with him, but it seems that recently, the company he has kept in the past, is catching up with him.
    With membership in a church that espouses “a commitment to the ‘Black Family,’ the ‘Black Community,’ and the ‘Black Work Ethic,’ and ‘pledge[s] allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Values System'” (think what would happen if the word “white” was substituted for “black”. The outrage and backlash would be huge. But I digress…) to saying that the Sermon on the Mount supported same sex marriages, Obama seems to be getting himself out of step with his support base.
    Now, an anti-Israeli singer from Egypt, is going to release a song supporting Obama. This, coupled with the Muslims for Obama movement, doesn’t leave him in a very good light.
    If we elect this man, we can expect him to push his leftest agenda of anti-Israeli terrorist support.

    Shaban AbdelRaheem, of the “I hate Israel” song fame, is reportedly making an Pro-Obama song:

    The hugely popular Egyptian pop singer Shaaban Abdel Rahim, best known for his controversial political songs and outrageous style, will soon release a new track celebrating the end of Bush’s presidency—and endorsing Obama. In an interview last week with Dar Al-Hayat, Rahim said that Obama is (roughly translated) “a good man, kindhearted, and better than Bush.”

    Rahim, also known by his nickname “Shaabolla,” gained international notoriety in 2000 when he released the song “I Hate Israel.”
    (The song’s subtitle, “But I love Amr Moussa,” refers to Egypt’s former
    foreign minister and head of the Arab League.) Since then, he’s had a
    rocky relationship with Egypt’s censors. They allowed “Israel” to be
    broadcast but banned his follow-up tune praising Osama Bin Laden. (Its
    chorus: “Bin Bin Bin Bin Bin Bin Laden.”) Other songs he has rolled out
    include “Hey People, It Was Only a Tower” after 9/11, “Don’t Hit Iraq” in 2003, and “We Are All Out of Patience” about the Mohammed cartoon controversy in 2006.

    Now, the person who wrote this story is my very own good friend Gemmyhood, who is enjoying a stint of employment at Slate. Gemmy- who is an Obama supporter- had told me about the story before he published it, and I told him that it would be used to harm the Obama candidacy. He thinks I am exxagerating, but follow me on this, ok?

    Obama has a problem now: this is the third time in recent memory where he gets endorsed or supported by someone who is blatantly anti-semetic or anti-Israel ( Farakhan, Wright and now Shaabolla). While it’s not the man’s fault that he gets supported by kooks, it could totally be used against him in that slimy “we are just asking harmless questions” way usually employed by DC political hitmen. First they will start asking questions in an innocent way : “well, we are not saying that Obama is an anti-semite, but he certainly has a certain appeal to anti-semetic people, so it begs the question of ‘why is that?”. What is it that those people know that we don’t?” And that should get the ball rolling in the heads of people, especially that Obama so far looks too good to be true, and as we all know, that probably means he is not. Some people will start wondering if maybe there is something to the accusation of Obama being anti-semitic, especially that the man whom he considers his spiritual guide- and the man he won’t disavow- has had his share of Anti-Israel and -US sentiments. That will get the ball rolling, and it won’t stop there.

    Original Link.