Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Chicago. Your co-pilot for this flight will be Rahm Emanuel and a drunken angry Imam. If you look out on the right side of the plane, you’ll see the United States Constitution burning. If you look out on the left side of the plane, you’ll see Chicago.
What a southwest suburban library had promoted as an educational forum this week on Muslim life in America quickly turned into a contentious debate about Islam.
Educational apparently does not mean a discussion. It means “Shut up and accept what we tell you.”
The tone for the Thursday evening event was set while the three panelists at the Orland Park Library were still introducing themselves. In the first of many interruptions, a half-dozen audience members stood up and demanded that everyone recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Nothing sets an uglier tone than the Pledge of Allegiance.
Library Director Mary Weimar denied their request. She explained that it wasn’t standard practice to recite the pledge at library events and requested that the attendees show more respect for the panelists.
If only he had suggested singing the Internationale. I bet Mary would have been belting it out. Followed by a dozen Spanish civil war songs.
So began a tense and often heated 90-minute debate — punctuated with frequent yelling and finger-pointing from audience members — over the practice of Shariah law, the meaning of jihad and the intersection of Islamic and American culture.
Together they repeatedly asked the audience to maintain an open mind about Islam. In return, they were peppered with questions about Muslim extremists and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Joseph Figliulo, a Frankfort resident and member of Act! For America, a national organization of people concerned about “the threat of radical Islam,” called Shariah “a totalitarian ideology along the lines of communism and fascism.”
Nearly a dozen audience members appeared to side with Figliulo. They often clapped and cheered for one another as they took turns explaining their distrust of Muslims.
Others in the 60-person crowd took offense at the frequent outbursts and told those responsible to “shut up or leave.”
Library officials called police after an audience member accused the panelists of being complacent in the face of terrorism overseas. The remark led to a burst of outrage from audience me
The article bends over backward to denounce the American side and yet it doesn’t say that he shouted or threatened. Instead good old Mary called the Chicago cops because he said the panelists were “complacent” when it came to terrorism.
Who would she have called if he had accused them of complicity? The Department of Justice?