We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

U.S. Navy Scapegoats Riverside Muslims

by Kynn Bartlett, Inland Anti-Empire Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 at 9:35 AM
iae@kynn.com

The park in the Norco navy base (yes, there's such a thing) is closed. What's the biggest threat? No, it's not Osama bin Laden. It's Muslims from Riverside. Really. That's what the Navy says.

[This originally appeared on the Inland Anti-Empire blog]

So as part of my regular "news roundup" skimming of articles on the P-E, the SB Sun, the Californian, and others, I came across a very interesting article.

Because of the recent status change to "orange alert", you can't walk your dog or go fishing in the park that's on the Norco naval base, the Press-Enterprise reported last Saturday. Yes, there's a U.S. Navy base in the Inland Empire -- it's the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division and it's nowhere near the water.

The fact that they closed down part of the base, given the heightened alert (which was based on false information, by the way), is not surprising. What is shocking is what the Navy is telling the public about the biggest threat to the Norco base:

Last week, the Bush administration raised the alert to the second-highest level in the color-coded system, citing an "increased likelihood" that the al-Qaida network would attack Americans either at home or abroad.

Officials at the Navy's only independent analysis and assessment center said this week, however, that they are more concerned with local attacks on their division in Norco than with Osama bin Laden's organization.

"There might be local people in Riverside aligned with Islamic fundamentalists who would want to attack us," said Commander Jeff Taylor. "But I doubt Osama bin Laden knows where we are. He would want to take out the White House instead."

To lessen the chance of local attacks, the Navy no longer allows the public to walk their dogs around or fish at Lake Norconian, which is located inside the more-than-300-acre gated complex. The center is also home to a clubhouse, naval offices and various laboratories used for measuring instruments such as lasers and gauges.

Yes, you read that right. The biggest fear is not an attack from Osama bin Laden, but a fear from Muslims in Riverside. That is what Commander Taylor, the Public Information Officer for the Norco center, is telling us. Those nasty Muslims up in Riverside.

I couldn't believe it either, so I called up Stefanie Frith, the reporter who wrote the article. She confirmed that the quote was accurate -- and that the supposed threat from Riverside really was taken seriously by the Navy.

When your humble Inland Anti-Imperialist read this article for the first time, he happened to be sitting in a Starbucks which was just around the block from the Islamic Center of Riverside. So I skedaddled over there to see if I could ferret out some of these fundamentalists plotting to attack the Norco base under the guise of dogwalkers or fishermen.

I'd never spent much time in a mosque before, and it was foreign to my mainstream Christian upbringing. However, what was not foreign was the warmth in which this strange white man was greeted by the people who were there to worship. One young man -- as American as myself, as he was born and raised here too -- kindly let me follow him around as he did his ceremonial washing before prayers, and answered some of my questions. My goal was to meet with Mustafa Kuko (whose name I may have mangled), the leader of the center, but unfortunately he was not there.

I did get to meet with a number of other people, though. Many of them came from other countries originally, but now live, work, and worship here in America as do the rest of us. I told them why I was there, and about the quote from the Navy in the P-E article. They laughed, but it was a worried laugh -- not because I was "on to" some plot to attack Norco, but because since 9/11 it had become all too apparent how quick "good Americans" would be to scapegoat our brothers and sisters who follow Islam.

Make no mistake about it -- this is religious scapegoating. As a patriotic American who believes strongly in the ideals of our country, I cannot allow this to pass unnoticed -- not by an officer of our military speaking in an official capacity to the press. This is appalling and repulsive, and I will not stand for it.

I have written a letter to the Press-Enterprise, which I am also sending to the Norco base as well as to Secretary Rumsfeld. My P-E letter may not get printed, as they have run one of my letters within the last 30 days and their policy is usually "one letter each month." If you feel as I do about this issue, you may want to send your own letter to the Press-Enterprise. Be sure to follow their directions, and don't just copy what I wrote; use your own words.

My letter follows.

Letter to the editor of the Press-Enterprise:

As an American and a person of faith, I am shocked and appalled at the religious scapegoating of our Muslim brothers and sisters by the U.S. Navy base in Norco. As reported by the Press-Enterprise on February 15, 2003, the Naval Surface Warfare Center has closed the base to dog-walkers and fishermen ("Norco naval center limits public access").

What's the reasoning? The local Muslims in Riverside -- who may attack! -- according to Commander Jeff Taylor of the Norco division. "There might be local people in Riverside aligned with Islamic fundamentalists who would want to attack us," Taylor said, while dismissing fears of an internationally launched attack.

This kind of religious fearmongering is irresponsible and reprehensible -- a direct insult to the people of the Riverside Mosque.

As I read the story for the first time, surfing the Web in a Riverside coffeehouse, I realized that I was only a block from the Riverside Mosque. So I drove over to meet the people who constituted such a supposed threat to our national security.

I saw no signs of imminent attack against Norco. To a person, the people at the Mosque were warm, welcoming, intelligent, and devoutly religious -- in other words, indistinguishable from nearly any other resident of the Inland Empire.

By smearing these good people -- these good Americans -- Commander Taylor does a grave disservice to them, to our country, and to his service. An apology is most definitely warranted.

--Kynn Bartlett

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

test O06 10:01AM

test O06 9:59AM

test O06 9:59AM

100 Ways GOP Have Stolen Elections Since 1876 O06 12:03AM

Proximospective de l'univocité réifiée O05 6:27AM

“Kava-no!!!” O04 6:42PM

Trump & Palestine vs. Genesis, Rashi & The Land of Israel O03 6:29PM

The Criminality of the Elites O03 11:35AM

Business de l'inhumanitaire O03 7:51AM

Marriage Rape/Date Rape Highest Rapes O02 2:59PM

Women I Know Get Raped - Too Many Times To Count! O02 2:55PM

Women In USA Have Stockholm Syndrom O02 2:50PM

Shooting Drill's Are Political Actual Shootings O02 2:47PM

Dr. Ford's Father Works With CIA O02 2:44PM

Weaponizing Frequencies O02 2:41PM

Google Abuses: Worldwide Spying, Censorship, War Promotion, Spying On Children, Etc O02 11:08AM

Paraphysique de l'administration O02 8:34AM

Paraphysique O02 8:31AM

Affordable Rents? A State of Emergency Intensifies O01 11:36AM

A Few Of Many Impeachable Acts by Trump Sessions And Others O01 4:41AM

Désengrammation, l'éloge de la suite S30 7:01AM

someone Should Work In Hollywood - Good Acting! S28 2:55PM

Ford Gives Psych Drugs To Lower Class To Shut Them Up? S28 2:51PM

Hilllary Calls Ford Trailer Trash? S28 2:47PM

Most Rapes Are In Marriages S28 2:43PM

Nice Boys Dirty Deeds S28 2:41PM

Minnesota 2nd Largest Rape State S28 2:39PM

Paraphysique de la plus-value S28 7:18AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy