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Marissa Lingen

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Rikki-tikki-tavi endorses this message [Jan. 22nd, 2015|05:56 pm]
Marissa Lingen
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So I was reading Slacktivist today, and I found out that the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins was telling people that some parts of Minneapolis are no-go zones for non-Muslims. I just wanted to reassure you: stand down, friends and family! We are fine here!


(I was going to say “there’s nowhere in this city you can’t go on the basis of religion,” but that’s not true. The inner parts of Mormon temples are just for Mormons, for example. But that’s, like, certain rooms in a handful of buildings. Not even the whole building. Much less a whole neighborhood.)


Rep. Keith Ellison invited Perkins to Minneapolis to see for himself, which seems like a terrible idea to me, because then we’d have Perkins in my metro. But still, he’s a politician, it’s his job to score points off idiots be welcoming for his city. But the thing that got me is: I have literally no idea where Perkins thinks he might be talking about. This is not the “figuratively” use of literally. This is just, really, like: huh? Where’s that, exactly? Or even roughly–we don’t have to be exact. I can think of neighborhoods with lots of Somalis in them–we have Somali neighbors ourselves, and they pet my dog–but that’s so very far from the same thing as to not be worth discussing. There are some places Christians (and Jews and atheists and pagans and…) can buy halal meat more easily than others, but I wouldn’t think that would stop anybody from going there. If you don’t want halal meat, don’t buy it; problem solved.


I asked Mark and Tim, and they had no idea either. Seriously none. And what I really don’t get is that this kind of lie is so easily disprovable. Lots of people have friends and family here in the Twin Cities–many of them in Minneapolis proper, even–and so if they hear this and call up Aunt Ethel to say, “OMG Aunt Ethel, I heard about your neighborhoods with sharia law there in Minneapolis,” Aunt Ethel will say, “Are you high?” And then Aunt Ethel will call your mother to talk about maybe having an intervention for the drugs you are apparently on. Minneapolis: it is not the moon. I do not live on a satellite of the moon, people. If someone says something about Minneapolis, we can find out whether or not it is true. It doesn’t even take a Large Hadron Collider. We can just, like…wander out and look.


It’s a good plan, wandering out and looking. I endorse it in general.




Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ckd
2015-01-23 12:58 am (UTC)
Similarly, trying to convince me that the entire city of Birmingham is a no-go area for non-Muslim residents of the UK is going to fail terribly, because even if they are no longer my cousins-in-law I am pretty sure that the people I know who live there would have mentioned such a thing.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2015-01-23 01:03 am (UTC)
See, and for us, that's totally true. We are people who know people. When there was a shopping mall shooting in Kenya, it was a mall two of my college friends had taken their kids to recently, because it's near one of their families. But I think that for a great many listeners to pundits like Tony Perkins, Birmingham, England, is a great deal safer to lie about than Birmingham, Alabama.

They still shouldn't do it! I do not endorse it! It's just that I get extra annoyed at shoddy workmanship when it comes to making things up, because then it's not just my moral sense that's outraged, it's also my sense of professionalism.
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[User Picture]From: ckd
2015-01-23 01:02 am (UTC)
Also, Dearborn? DEARBORN? I've been to Dearborn. In fact, the only time I've heard of any part of Dearborn was a no-go zone was when Muslim-Americans (and ThinkProgress) were removed from part of it at the request of Pamela Geller. Um.

Edited at 2015-01-23 01:02 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2015-01-23 01:04 am (UTC)
But if you drive past Dearborn you can see a mosque spire. I know because I have done. I've never stopped in Dearborn, and neither has anyone who thinks it's free of non-Muslims. But for Tony Perkins, that's all it takes: you can see the spire of a mosque.

Sigh.
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[User Picture]From: adrian_turtle
2015-01-23 03:15 am (UTC)
I've wondered about this since I first heard about state legislators trying to ban any use of sharia law in their state, or in some cases, any use of religious law. The distinction between halal meat and non-halal meat is defined by sharia law. (Just as the distinction between kosher and treyf food is defined by talmudic law.) So if somebody labels the food as halal, and it isn't, would it still be possible to sue the butcher for fraud in civil court?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2015-01-23 01:30 pm (UTC)
This is an excellent question.
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[User Picture]From: adrian_turtle
2015-01-23 04:28 am (UTC)
Blacks were unwelcome in Dearborn's parks and other public spaces in the 1980s. They were allowed to work, shop, or drive through, but it was police policy to ask blacks for ID in other situations, and ask them to leave if they were not residents. Unfortunately, it is not shocking for me to say a city discriminated against blacks a generation ago. I have no evidence that they are currently discrimination against blacks.

I know of quite a lot of religious discrimination in Dearborn's history, but it was not against Christians. It was unfortunately common (especially in the 1950s) for cities to limit where Jews could rent or buy homes. Dearborn continued this practice until the late 1970s, and in some neighborhoods into the 1980s. Again, discrimination a generation ago says little about current conditions.

There was an incident in Dearborn in 2012 that some Christians found troubling. It happened at a huge street fair called ArabFest. There were police directing traffic and standing around in case of trouble, like you have at big events like that. A group of evangelical Christians showed up with gospel tracts and a pig's head on a stick. They screamed about how the Muslims were going to burn in hell, and waved the pig's head in their faces while explaining to the police they needed to keep those people at bay, and had to use the pig because those people were terrified of pigs. There was a lot of shoving and yelling, including "Allah Ahkbar." There was a lawsuit (later dismissed) that the police were suppressing the Christians' first amendment rights by throwing them out. I don't understand the details of the settlement that had ArabFest paying out so much money to the evangelical Christian group that they had to cancel the next year's festival.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2015-01-23 01:30 pm (UTC)
Wow. I don't understand either, but that sounds awful.
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[User Picture]From: timprov
2015-01-23 04:23 am (UTC)
Hey, we've gotten a lot of mileage from having Perkins in our metro. Sure we don't eat there much any more, but I'm not ready to get rid of them.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2015-01-23 01:31 pm (UTC)
I don't think this guy sells peach muffins.
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[User Picture]From: redbird
2015-01-23 05:01 am (UTC)
If Perkins announced that 2+2=4, I would check it closely.
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[User Picture]From: sprrwhwk
2015-01-23 05:48 am (UTC)
"Going out and looking" is not a... particularly central value of the authoritarian worldview. It might be the exact opposite of a central value, in fact, whatever that is.
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