Sunday, August 10, 2008

Frankfort Township official crosses the line on Arab and Muslim hatemongering -- but some of the response is hypocritical

Frankfort Township Assessor Paul Ruff, whose government job is to serve as a liaison on their property taxes with the Cook County Assessor, seems to have expanded his duties recently when he sent out an email to a lot of people in his township that expressed his concerns about Muslims who live in America.

No one actually has the exact email that Ruff allegedly sent out, and Ruff is not returning phone calls or emails so we don't know if he actually wrote it, or more likely, received the email and thought it was worth forwarding to his email list (which is something so many people do often.)

But several groups are trying to organize protests against Ruff and they are partnering with some good groups and some groups that are not so good, like CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations which has a habit of browbeating those in the Arab and Muslim community who go too far in denouncing extremism and anti-American violence (more below on CAIR).

Here is what has been written in all the local newspapers about what Ruff wrote:

The e-mail, circulated in June, said America should follow the lead of Australia's former prime minister John Howard, who said Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law should get out of Australia.

"Once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our Christian beliefs or our way of life, I highly encourage you to take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, the right to leave," the e-mail said, supposedly quoting Howard.

The e-mail actually was based on a column by Georgia state lawmaker Barry Loudermilk.

"Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, American citizens will find the back bone to start speaking and voicing the same truths," the e-mail continued. "If you agree, please send this on."

Loudermilk is a racist and a bigot. I doubt that Ruff is a racist and he probably is just reacting the way most Americans do when they see Islamic fanatics make all kinds of threats against Americans (as they are doing targeting the Beijing Olympics), but only see many high profile Islamic "leaders" like CAIR waffle and walk carefully in their limited denunciations of "extremists."

What CAIR does is to denounce extremists and extremism, and violence. Yet, they do not hesitate to stand with fanatics and extremists who do not denounce violence and extremism. And, CAIR has walked a fine line, denouncing Osama Bin laden and al-Qaeda, but NOT denouncing Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which are terrorist organizations that use violence and the reprehensible and indefensible suicide bombing violence in which young, misguided Muslims and Arabs are brainwashed by their fearless leaders who convince them to sacrifice their lives for the cause while the fearless leaders do not sacrifice their own lives.

CAIR's Chicago spokesman is Ahmed Rehab. He is a very good person. Very genuine. But CAIR is sometimes "racist" (I define that as a group that discriminates againsts omeone else on the basis not only of race but also religion and ethnic and religious political views) and often engages in the same kind of hatemongering against individuals that it often denounces that is done to Muslims in America.

In otherwords, CAIR will denounce people like Ruff, but they remain silent when Muslim American extremists attack and denounce and intimidate Christian Arabs like myself and other secular Muslims.

The majority of Muslims in Chicagoland are moderates. They are not engaged in any anti-American activities. Yet, they are intimidated and browbeat by organizations like CAIR to shut up or be ostracized. (Just look at the case of Omar Najib, a Palos Heights based lawyer who has been the target of a hate campaign by extremist Muslims, many at the Bridgeview Mosque, and yet you WON'T hear CAIR denounce that extremism from among their own ranks.)

That's the hypocrisy that CAIR represents. Rehab is trying to change that but after waiting three years for him to do something, I think the time is now to put pressure on CAIR to either genuinely denounce extremism (including those extremists in the Muslim community right here in the United States and in the Chicago area) and stop being hypocrities about hatemongering, or there should be a formal campaign to ostracize CAIR and expose it for what it is.

Ironically, well intentioned groups like the Southwest Interfaith Team (SWIFT) -- the coalition of Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders -- are ignorant of the reality of the hatemongering that takes place inside the Arab and Muslim American community. They speak out against hatemongering against Muslims but DO NOTHING to stand up to the hatemongering by organizations like CAIR and others against Christian Arabs like myself and secular Muslims.

The Arabian Club of Orland Park is planning a public meeting where some of these issues can be discussed and I hope you will attend. Until then, here is some background on the issues discussed here:

Ruff's Township Assessor's Web Page

Story in the Southtown July 22

Story on Ruff's achievements in the Frankfort Station Newspaper April 8

The Council on American Islamic Relations Chicago Page

SWIFT Web Page

We were unable to reach Ruff for a comment.

-- Ray Hanania


  1. Muslims Against Sharia vigorously object to characterization of 'Muslims who want to live under Islamic law [need] to "get out of the country"' sentiment as anti-Muslim. There are many Muslims in America who left Islamic countries for a single reason: to escape the yoke of Sharia. We fully support the sentiment that if someone wants to live under Sharia, they should immediately leave the United States. On the one hand, there are plenty of countries in the world that are ruled by Sharia law; so Sharia proponents can be free to practice according to their beliefs. On the other hand, Sharia is incompatible with Democracy and installation of Sharia in the United States will result in denying freedoms for the vast majority of the population, including Muslims.

  2. Paul Ruff has really backed himself into a corner.

    His biggest supporters are people like Lavern Stemmons, a Tinley Park resident, who came out to the press conference and told reporters how she felt - she doesn't like Muslims.

    Great! Nothing like having supporters who judge an entire group of people (I think that's called stereotyping, right?).

    Paul Ruff had a golden opportunity to take the high road and address this issue privately with the Muslim community. The Muslims of Frankfort reached out to Paul Ruff to speak with him in private, without involving the media. The outreach came in the form of a letter. It was a civil letter asking for a meeting with him to discuss this email message.

    Paul Ruff refused! Paul Ruff refused to meet with his Muslim constituents to speak with them about alleged anti-Muslim sentiments he harbors. What hubris!

    Then he was given a chance to meet with the Muslims of Frankfort in an interfaith meeting at the mosque. He didn't attend.

    But get this: he sent someone from his office incognito. That individual attended the meeting and never introduced himself - even when the MC called out the audience to ask if Mr. Ruff was in attendance. What hubris!

    Now, at this press conference he further insults Muslims by saying about Islam that it "institutionalizes discrimination against women and non-Muslims." What hubris!

    This man is unfit for office. People of conscience in Frankfort Township should not allow a bigot like Paul Ruff to remain in office. He represents the worst of America.

    Thank God that he only represents a minority (albeit virulent) point of view.

  3. "Paul Ruff refused to meet with his Muslim constituents to speak with them about alleged anti-Muslim sentiments he harbors."

    What a load of crap! Ruff refused to meet with Islamonazis claiming to represent Muslims.