February 12, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a few weeks ago that a settlement has been reached with the Southern California city of Lomita regarding its dispute with the Islamic Center of South Bay. The dispute revolved around the refusal of the City Council of Lomita to grant a rebuilding permit to the Center which was so expansive in scope it would have allowed the Center to build a two story place of worship to replace the present allegedly antiquated structures.
While the matter awaits a hearing by the U. S. District Court in Los Angeles, for now, the Islamists are cheering.
Thus we revisit a familiar formula:
Refusal to grant an Islamist group its request + Eric Holder's Dept. of Justice intervention = Islamists win suit + jizya.1
Some background is in order.
In March of 2010 the Islamic Center of South Bay applied to the City Council for a rebuilding permit in order to replace their present antiquated (as they were termed) structures. The five person council voted 4 to 0 (there was one abstention) to reject the request based on the adverse traffic situation that it was felt would result. Actually a study by the city had indicated that there would not be an adverse traffic effect. However a group of neighbors in Lomita, living near the Center, opposed the issuance of the rebuilding permit and took issue with the study, claiming that there would be an adverse traffic effect. Their spokesperson insisted that the original traffic study was flawed and failed to take into account two factors: first that not all cars would have multiple passengers, thereby making parking more of a problem than the study acknowledged and that the new structure with its multiple purposes would accommodate more than worshippers, thereby increasing the number of people who would visit the proposed Islamic Center.
The Islamic Center immediately charged "Islamophobia," asserting that there was an undercurrent of disdain for Muslims that permeated the City Council and resulted in its refusal to grant the rebuilding permit.
Enter the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) which, learning of the matter, went into action thorough its Washington, D. C. office. MPAC originated in Los Angeles and recently opened an office in Washington, D. C. and through its government engagement policies at the federal level alerted the DOJ. Meanwhile the Los Angeles/Anaheim Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) office announced a lawsuit against the city of Lomita which it would pursue working in conjunction with a civil liberties law firm.
MPAC participates on a continuing basis with the DOJ’s Civil Right Division interagency meetings. Indeed, the office in D. C. was opened for the purpose of involving MPAC personnel directly with government agencies and cultivating members of Congress and their staff. Valuable government resources are therefore available to Muslims in pursuit of this type of litigation - a very big hammer.
Both CAIR and MPAC have established a friendly working relationship with Thomas J. Perez, the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Mr. Perez is a frequent participant at conventions of Muslim organizations where he can be heard apologizing for government laxity in addressing Muslim civil rights complaints, urging more Muslims to make their complaints known, and, in addressing young people, asking them to come to Washington, D. C. and work in the DOJ.
Is there a shortage of Muslim complaints? I highly doubt it.
As a matter of fact official FBI crime statistics, complied every year continually prove, beyond doubt, that - far from being Islamophobic - in America, Muslims suffer almost zero violent crime which is attributable to their faith. This is a testament to the basic goodness of the average American. Bottom line, their is essentially no measurable discrimination directed at American Muslims. But facts seldom matter to those who play this malicious blame game.
This brings us to our second and third formulas:
MPAC + CAIR = team
Team + government = victory
The basis of the action against the city of Lomita is a federal law entitled the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) of 2000. It was passed to ensure that persons confined to institutions would not have to overcome substantial burdens in order to attend religious worship and to enjoy the fellowship intrinsic to such activity, and that religious buildings would not be subject to zoning restrictions on their property use. There is often a conflict between this federal law and the rights of municipalities to set their own zoning and land use parameters.
To cite an example of how this law has been used historically - years ago, the city of Chicago sought to expand the land used by O’Hare airport and in doing so sought to appropriate church land which included two church cemeteries.
Because the plaintiff [St. John's United Church of Christ] either did not or could not demonstrated that the church was "targeted" i.e. intentionally discriminated against, the city eventually prevailed, so the extant case involving the City of Lomita has not been settled, though we assume that upon appeal, the original decision might well be overturned...assuming precedent means anything.
What has been proven however is that under the current leadership the DOJ is quite willing to tip the scales of justice for ideological reasons. Thus DOJ has "tipped its hand," demonstrating that it is willing to disregard precedent to [at least temporarily] in order to "gift" the Islamic Center of South Bay exactly what it desired.
What may be lost in the weeds of this controversy is the fact that both MPAC and CAIR are Muslim Brotherhood front groups, not that it matters at all to Holder's corrupt DOJ.
For example, MPAC Senior Advisor and founder, Dr. Maher Hathout has considerable Muslim Brotherhood affiliations [detailed by this author in a December 24, 2012 Pipeline News piece - Islamist Muslim Public Affairs Council Dupes Pasadena Episcopal Church, and his handpicked MPAC CEO, Salaam Al Marayati, was recently identified in the Egyptian Arabic language magazine, Rose El Youssef, as one of six Brotherhood members in prominent positions in the United States.
CAIR was formally identified as a Brotherhood front during the successful federal prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development [HLF] which took place in 2007 through 2008 [the first hearing resulted in a mistrial, the second found all parties guilty on a total of 108 charges. it is believed that HLF funneled at least $12 million to HAMAS, the terrorist organization created by the Muslim Brotherhood.
As a matter of fact CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial by the feds [see, DOJ CAIR's Unindicted Co-Conspirator Status Legit].
Despite these troubling associations, judicial misconstruction [in our opinion based upon the St. John's precedent] of the applicable zoning law resulted the city of Lomita losing the first round of the legal battle and was ordered to expedite the renewed claim of the Islamic Center of South Bay.
Understandably, Lomita City Attorney, Christ Hogan, was concerned, stating: ”It’s a little alarming the federal government would come in and second-guess a land use decision like this.” While it was not necessary that the plaintiff prove discrimination, only that the decision placed a substantial burden on the Islamic Center of South Bay to conduct religious services, the federal government mounted a mini-Inquisition, descending on Lomita in March or 2012 and questioning 13 former and current City Council members, Planning Commission members, and other officials.
Kid glove treatment for the Islamists, and an iron fist for city officials trying to follow the law.
Now we come to kicker in the original formula - the aforementioned jizya.
If one looks at the history of CAIR and its war against those whom they allege "slander Islam" [a major violation of the Shari'a] - they consider the truth to be no defense against slander and therefore the usual route of apology and retraction is not enough to assuage them.
In their eyes the "offending" party must, in essence, render a tribute of some type, perhaps a contribution to a Muslim cause or attend a re-education course on Islam. Under classical Islamic law, the dhimmi must have his nose rubbed in his transgression like a poorly behaved dog.
Unbelievably, in the Lomita case, the City Council members face forced attendance at "re-education" classes explaining the RLUIPA and must make periodic reports to the DOJ.
And thus the circle completed, MPAC and CAIR have their jizya...
1. The jizya is an Arabic term which basically translates to "extortion payment." Historically, victorious Muslim armies have given the conquered population a choice, either convert to Islam, pay the jizya tribute money, or suffer the consequences at the hands of barbarians.
Even under this system, populations which have paid the tribute are still at best second class citizens with little in the way of rights when it comes to dealing with Muslims. This class of citizens are referred to derisively as dhimmis, an Arabic term meaning living in a state of constant humiliation. As if to drive that point home, in many instances the dhimmis were forced to wear religious identifiers around their necks, pinned to an outer garment or some other form of display. Jews were forced to wear large Stars of David and Christians of course were forced to wear crucifixes.