Saturday, March 03, 2007

Signs of Denial in Charlotte County

Sheikh Gilani LaneI’ve written repeatedly and at length about the travesty of “Sheikh Gilani Lane” in Charlotte County, Virginia. My earlier accounts are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

A short version: Under the cover of its front organization known as the Muslims of America, the terrorist organization Jamaat ul-Fuqra operates a rural compound in Red House, which is in northern Charlotte County. The founder and leader of Jamaat ul-Fuqra is Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Gilani, and the residents of the Red House compound have named the muddy track that snakes through their compound “Sheikh Gilani Lane”. It is the officially-designated county name for the road, and in defiance of a recent protest by the Christian Action Network, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to keep the name as it is.

Christine is the Operations Director of the 910 Group. As reported earlier in the Charlotte County Files, she had a testy exchange of emails with Averett Jones, the editor of a local newspaper called The Southside Messenger. Mr. Jones had written an editorial supporting the name “Sheikh Gilani Lane”, and Christine made a valiant attempt to convince the man that there was overwhelming evidence showing that Sheikh Gilani is a terrorist leader. If you haven’t read this post, I recommend that you click the link and take the time to look at the exhaustive job Christine did in unearthing information on Sheikh Gilani.

No Evil!

But Mr. Jones was not to be convinced. He evidently had no desire to be confronted with mere facts.

He has been doing that little routine made so familiar to us by the liberals of the MSM, the high-toned journalistic version of a little kid who puts his fingers in his ears and chants loudly, “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA! I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you!”

Readers will enjoy the letters to the editor over at The Southside Messenger. Mr. Jones endured some pretty hard flak from people who took exception to his dhimmi-like stance.

Also, his latest editorial is worth reading [incorrectly closed quotes are in the original]:

Interestingly, ALL of the complaints regarding our coverage of Gilani Lane have come from out of the Southside Virginia area. Those that were not anonymous came from Fairfax, Virginia to California. Many of these are from a group calling themselves the 910 Group whose executive director is Christine Brim.

The ones that actually have content instead of just insults demand the answers to questions. Most say, “Why don’t you believe Christine?” Why didn’t you print ALL of the information Christine sent you?”

Our response to these “Christineeys” is “Why should your Christine be considered a reliable source? The links she sent do not prove Sheikh Gilani is a terrorist.

There are several interesting nuggets in that little snippet. So, most of the “Christineeys” who wrote him were 910 Group members, eh? I’ll wager that a lot of you non-910 Gates of Vienna readers went over there to The Southside Messenger and had a few choice words to say. Not to mention all the lizardoids who followed the link over here from LGF. But we’ll let that one go.

Mr. Jones has promoted Christine to “Executive Director” of the 910 Group. Whoa! I didn’t know Mr. Jones could do that. He must be a powerful man indeed. Or maybe he gets his facts about Christine as straight as he does the information on Sheikh Gilani.

But the key assertion he makes is that the links Christine sent don’t prove that Sheikh Gilani is a terrorist. Given how many links he refused to list, and given how little of the material he deigned to read, it’s not surprising that he thought the evidence failed to prove anything.

LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA! I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you!

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Christine read Mr. Jones’ latest articles and editorials and sent along her own rebuttal for me to post here. First, Mr. Jones’ own words:
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1. Key excerpts from Averett Jones’ Editorial “A Road Sign or Sign of Intolerance?

Our initial step was to research the groups involved and read the material presented by CAN. The first thing we noticed was that none of the links provided were official government websites. Since then, new links have been provided which are official but in my mind do not prove what is claimed. See sidebar at right: Links”

We then contacted residents of the village, who denied Gilani is a terrorist. They also claimed the road is named for a 6th century Sheikh of the same name.”

Every lane was named by the owner of the property not the county. The owners of Gilani Lane have the American right to honor anyone they choose.”

The second: Is Sheikh Gilani a terrorist? This is open for debate. However, the information sent to us by Brim flatly states he is not on the “Foreign Terrorist Organization.” See Sidebar: Links

Now Christine’s rebuttal:

2. The Sidebar: Links

Mr. Jones’ introduction: “Ms. Brim and others state these links provide conclusive proof that Sheikh Gilani is a terrorist, others disagree with this conclusion.”

Mr. Jones then provides two State Department links and a single link to the National Institute of Justice study. He seems to think he discredits the NIJ study by citing the standard disclaimer shown for any grant-funded study.

But in this case, he is trying to discredit a terrific 93-page case history of Jamaat ul-Fuqra in the United States, “Identifying the Links between White-collar Crime and Terrorism for the Enhancement of Local and State Law Enforcement Investigation and Prosecution” (report in pdf format), funded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Research and Evaluation. The grantee who actually did the study was the National White Collar Crime Center, a congressionally funded research center.

And Mr. Jones’ explanation for not providing all the links: “Other links were included, most based on the information in the 1995-1999 Patterns of Global Terrorism reports or complete with disclaimers equivalent to the aforementioned disclaimer.”

The weasel word is “most” — since he edited out all the links to important documents that are more recent than 1999, and that had no disclaimers.

Links that Mr. Jones left out

Here are two State Department links, where reporters repeatedly questioned the State Department’s reasons for keeping Jamaat ul-Fuqra off their list of terrorist organizations, one a transcript from the Australian government, the other from the State Department itself.

Here is a State Department link to testimony by Daniel Pipes about Gilani and Jamaat ul-Fuqra.

Here are reports on recent criminal activity by members of Jamaat ul-Fuqra in 2004, from the California Department of Justice on Organized Crime in California, Annual Report to the California Legislature 2004 (pdf format).

Here’s a report from the Colorado Attorney General’s office: “It is believed the activities of UL FUQRA across the nation continue.”

Mr. Jones does, however, remember to provide links for some letters to the editor.

We ask that he fulfill his promise: publish official government information about Jamaat ul-Fuqra and Sheikh Gilani. We ask that he keep his word.

If he doesn’t, we can only conclude that he has decided his job is to be a censor, and not a reporter.

On the remote chance that someone reading this is not a 910 Group member and lives in Southside Virginia, please drop Averett Jones (editor@southsidemessenger.com) a line. Tell him that you meet his selection criteria for having an opinion about Sheikh Gilani Lane. Then tell him what you think.

Be polite. Don’t call him names, or accuse him of being on the take. Visit some of Christine’s links, find some juicy quotes, and include them in your email. Deluge him with facts.

If he publishes your emails, he will discredit himself. If he doesn’t, he will have made it abundantly clear exactly what kind of “journalist” he is.

2 comments:

gun-totin-wacko said...

Hmmm. Seems to me he's anointed himself as "gatekeeper" of what's news and what isn't news.

Ah well: we must remember that it's guys like him that keep America safe for democracy. Or so they tell us.

siegetower said...

No I view the 'journalist' we are writing about as an impediment to democracy, not a champion of it.