“Islamophobia” in Clovis?

By Vic Rosenthal

The Fresno Bee reports that a local (Clovis, CA) teacher has been accused of “making anti-Muslim statements” by the director of the local Islamic Cultural center.

“I don’t believe schools are a place to debate political views on international affairs or any other affairs that are not related to teaching our children,” [Kamal] Abu-Shamsieh said.

He said it was his obligation to “expose such hate-filled statements.”

The teacher is alleged by Abu-Shamsieh to have said that

Iranians are enemies of Americans and that they want to destroy Israel. The teacher also said that extreme Muslims and Iranians want to take over the United States, kill teachers and hire their own teachers for schools…

Some comments:

in 1979, Iran held 66 American citizens hostage for 444 days. Eight American soldiers were killed in a failed attempt to rescue them. In 1982, 241 American servicemen were killed when Hezbollah — an Iranian-supported terrorist proxy — bombed the marine barracks in Beirut. In 1988, Iranian-sponsored terrorists killed Col. William Higgins, US observer in Beirut. In 1996, a terrorist group sponsored by Iran blew up the Khobar Towers military residence in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 Americans. The US State Department says Iran is the world’s “most active state sponsor of terrorism.” Is it not correct, then, to say that Iran is an enemy of the United States?

Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinijad, not only “wants to destroy Israel”, he’s promised to do so on several occasions. Is this in dispute?

Extremist Muslims, some of whom are Iranians, do want to destroy the United States, which they refer to as “The Great Satan” (Israel is only “The Little Satan”).

Abu-Shamsieh is correct, however, in saying that extremists have not specifically threatened to kill and replace teachers, probably difficult in any event given the militancy of the California Teachers’ Association.

Although the teacher in question is possibly guilty of being off-topic, it is hardly appropriate to label his essentially true statements “hate-filled”.

Update [16 Feb 1428 PST]: I’ve asked Kamal Abu-Shamsieh to respond and will publish any such response.

Update [19 Feb 1941 PST]: Read the follow-up article here.

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