Simple question regarding Qur’an burning suspect and lack of charges

Two days ago, the Ingham County prosecutor stated that no charges would be filed against a male who left a burned Qur’an at the front door of the Islamic Center of Greater Lansing on 9/11.  Yesterday, the City of East Lansing stated that they were not going to press charges against the male for trespassing.

So the question is, do government officials routinely post $10,000 rewards for incidences in which they believe that no crime was committed?

In this situation, it appears to be the case.  A $10,000 reward was announced by the city for information related to apprehension of the Qur’an burner.  Now, they’re saying he’s not even guilty of trespassing or even littering.  That’s quite bizarre.

I wonder if it would be considered Freedom of Speech under the 1st Amendment by the prosecutor of Ingham County if a noose was left to hang at a Black church (I’m a Black American by the way) or if some swastikas were left at the door of a Jewish Temple.

Meanwhile just yesterday, some mosques around the country including one in Michigan received threatening letters accompanied with pork bacon.  They were intercepted by the US Postal Service Inspection Service.

Community raises concerns over Israeli Mossad posing as U.S. agents to recruit informants

http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Community&article=3429

Community raises concerns over Israeli Mossad posing as U.S. agents to recruit informants
By Nick Meyer
Thursday, 09.09.2010, 08:59pm

The issue of FBI informants in mosques has been a hot-button topic in recent years for the Arab American and Muslim communities, and now, according to a recent report in the Washington Post, the subject of informant recruiting could take on yet another dimension in what officials of prominent civil rights groups are calling an issue of “grave concern.”

Washington Post writer Jeff Stein recently alleged that “Israeli agents have become more aggressive in targeting Muslims living in the United States as well as operating against critics” according to information received from former CIA officer Phillip Giraldi.

Stein also went on to write that there have been a number of cases reported to the FBI about Israeli Mossad officers who have approached leaders in Arab American communities and falsely represented themselves as “U.S. intelligence,” Giraldi wrote in a recent American Conservative magazine article.

The report ran on Saturday, September 4, on the newspaper’s website and elicited a press release in response from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) stating that the activities will have a negative impact on the trust between Arab and Muslim Americans with the U.S. Federal Government.

The ADC called on the Department of Justice, Department of State, and other appropriate agencies to thoroughly investigate any instances of people, including foreign nationals, falsely identifying themselves as U.S. government officials.

ADC National Legal Director Abed Ayoub said that the Arab American and Muslim communities have expressed concern over the reports prompting the press release.

Ayoub said that people should be aware of their rights in case they suspect anything suspicious.

“Of course we want them to know they have rights and that if they are approached by government officials or people claiming to be officials, they have the right to have an attorney present with them,” he said.

Ayoub added that people don’t need to answer questions if they’re uncomfortable with them and that they don’t need to let an agent into their home unless they present a warrant.

“We want people to use their best judgment, even when they do feel comfortable it’s always important to ask for an I.D., business card, or some kind of credentials,” he said.

“If you really suspect something, call the FBI field office or local agency, an FBI-trained government official will always comply and show ID and credentials.”

Ayoub said that the ADC hasn’t had a specific case reported to them regarding Israeli officials posing as federal officials yet but he urges those who do suspect something to call their local office or the national office depending on where it occurs.

According to Giraldi, the approaches made by Israeli agents posing as U.S. officials were “handled clumsily” which made them easy to recognize as being fraudulent.

The approaches took place in New York and New Jersey according to Giraldi as the agents sought to have American Muslims “inform on their associates and neighbors.”

While Michigan was not named in the report, Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid believes it is a strong possibility.

“We don’t have any proof that Israeli intelligence is here, however, it is safe to say that based upon the demographics they’ve targeted that they probably have been involved in similar activities in Detroit,” he said.

“This is a very serious situation and according to CIA agents themselves, they’re very troubled by the activities of Israeli intelligence within American cities.”

Walid pointed out that the practice is illegal under international law and called the practice unacceptable for any country.

“As an example, it would be equally unacceptable for Iranian intelligence to try to recruit spies or send spies inside of synagogues in America, it’s the same principle.”

With many local Arab Americans and Muslims already feeling tensions from FBI informants entering mosques in the local community, Walid said that the report could continue to add to their nervous feelings.

“This is something that the FBI should be investigating, it’s within their charter to investigate,” he said. “Any foreign entity spying on Americans, that’s totally unacceptable.”

Calls to local FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena and the FBI’s national office were not returned.

Walid also said that they have not released any specific information to CAIR-MI.

To report a suspected incident, contact the ADC legal department at 202.244.2990 or e-mail legal@adc.org, or contact CAIR-MI at 248.559.2247 or info@cairmichigan.org.

Justice Dept. to open Metro Detroit civil rights office

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100914/METRO/9140419/Justice-Dept.-to-open-Metro-Detroit-civil-rights-office#ixzz0zbZZHYGU

Justice Dept. to open Metro Detroit civil rights office

Robert Snell / The Detroit News

The Department of Justice will announce Wednesday it is creating a civil rights unit for the Detroit region.

The move comes at a time of thorny relations among police agencies and a Muslim civil rights group that has sued for information related to the killing of a Detroit mosque leader, who died during a shootout with the FBI.

Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights division, will make the announcement at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Detroit along with U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and Andrew Arena, special agent in charge of the FBI in Detroit.

Last month, the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter filed Freedom of Information Act lawsuits in Wayne Circuit Court against the Detroit and Dearborn police departments. The group also has sued the Michigan State Police, which was part of a task force that conducted raids that led to the death of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah at a Dearborn warehouse in October.

Abdullah was shot 20 times by FBI agents after he allegedly fired a weapon and killed an FBI dog.

The gunfire occurred during an attempted arrest in connection with an indictment involving dealing in stolen goods and other alleged crimes.

Why Qur’an burnings at mosques are not expressions of responsible free speech

Some well meaning Freedom of Speech advocates to anti-Muslim loons such as Pamela Geller do not believe that the recent Qur’an burning at the Islamic Center of Greater Lansing in East Lansing, MI and yesterday’s Qur’an burning at a mosque in Knoxville, TN are actual hate crimes but protected under the 1st Amendment.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2003 relating to cross burnings that acts that are meant to intimidate persons (minorities in particular) on their private properties are not protected under the 1st Amendment.  Therefore, it is illegal to burn a cross in the yard of a Black man, for instance, or at a Black church because this is a clear act of intimidation.  Likewise, to paint a swastika in the parking lot of a Jewish Temple would not be protected speech besides it also being trespassing.

And to burn the foundation of the religion of Islam, the Qur’an, at the entrance of a mosque on mosque property is also an act of religious hatred and intimidation.

By the way, this is not a new occurrence of the Qur’an being burned; there is a history of the Qur’an being burned when Crusaders came into the Holy Land and massacred Muslims during the First Crusade for instance.  The Qur’an was also burned during the Spanish Inquisition.

In short, if persons burn a cross or the Qur’an on their own private properties, that’s their right to freely express themselves.  However, if persons go to others’ private properties or houses of worship and do such while trespassing, this goes outside the bounds of responsible free speech.