Dearborn, Michigan, may have started off as a no-account aggregate of farms and
modest homesteads but it would evolve into a singular omen. This
once-quintessential emblem of old-time Americana would stand out as a powerful
indication of important things to come. Dearborn encapsulates within itself
something akin to an ever-unfolding prophesy of America’s future.
perhaps no quirk of fate that the latest episode in Dearborn’s annals is about
protecting the honor of a prophet via anti-blasphemy laws – the draconian sort
which proliferate in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other centers of Islamic
enlightenment. It’s all along the lines of the international ban on anti-Islam
speech proposed at the UN General Assembly by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi
of the Muslim Brotherhood and darling of America’s own elected leader, Barack
This is hardly insignificant because the impetus for the outcry
about the supposed insult to Muhammad’s repute was given by no other than Obama
It was he and his administration’s mouthpieces who assiduously
disseminated the insult-narrative as the pretext for Muslim violence worldwide.
They repeatedly underscored, harshly condemned and profusely apologized for said
insult – even if in the same breath they also sanctimoniously preached that
rioting isn’t a proper response to what they nevertheless did portray as a
Obama’s flattery of fanatics constitutes a prime
feature of his outreach-to-Islam policy. His premise is that sycophancy from a
president boasting the middle name of Hussein should, in and of itself, create
an affinity, make Muslims trust him and accept him as a kindred
But what Obama in fact does is appeal with superficial
presumption to Muslim xenophobes, elevating their intransigence to undeserved
equality with the West’s carte blanche tolerance.
reinforces in his Muslim listeners the sense that they are actually wronged and
deserve redress. At this point his entreaties for calm are lost in the tempest
of unforgiving Islamic indignation which he helps stir up.
perception of righteous resentment, accentuated by their own favorite president,
brought Dearborn’s Muslims out for an extraordinary rally to urge that legal
prohibitions be legislated against free speech, if that speech is deemed hurtful
to “the religious feelings of Muslims.”
The inescapable subtext is a
campaign to silence freedom of expression and effectively submit to Islamic
censorship whatever is put out in the public domain.
Needless to stress,
in the hallowed name of the First Amendment, America tolerated the massive
Dearborn anti-First Amendment protest. It also turned a blind eye last June to
the stoning of Christian demonstrators in Dearborn, the American city with the
largest proportion of Arabs in its population (estimated at between 40 and 50
percent), as well as home to the nation’s largest mosque and Islamic center –
and there are numerous other mosques and competing Islamic centers in
It’s a far cry from what Dearborn once was. The township was
catapulted to prominence by Henry Ford, who was born and bred nearby (within
today’s city limits), would make it his home, headquarter his automobile
manufacturing conglomerate there and in it develop his innovative mass
production concept, replete – for better and worse – with the conveyor belt and
But Dearborn would imprint a heavy mark on humankind not
only in terms of modern industry and labor relations. If Ford could posthumously
catch a glimpse of this locale today, he’d apoplectically somersault in his
grave. He serially conjured up doomsday visions of ogre Jews taking over WASP
dominions. Yet in his direst nightmares he couldn’t imagine that Dearborn would
become the most Arab of American cities.
Dearborn, of course, cloaks
itself with good intentions in the best of American tradition.
to rally-organizer, self-proclaimed “moderate” Osama Siblani, “there’s a need for
deterrent legal measures against those individuals or groups that want to damage
relations between people, spread hate and incite violence.”
And so under
the cover of anti-hate laws, one group would seize for itself exclusive rights
to silence any opinion which it would denounce as an affront to its religion,
and to it alone. Through the distorting prism of Shari’a law, rights which we
consider inalienable might certainly be misrepresented as
hate-speech. But they are not. Non-fawning appraisal of any aspect of
Islam isn’t perforce hate.
On the other hand, hate is what’s propagated
blusterously by Hamas, which hardly comes under fire in Dearborn.
Hamas is highly popular there and is even actively supported via fund-raising
for ostensibly charitable causes. Many in Dearborn don’t dispute Hamas’s claims
to possess divine rights to annihilate an entire nation – Israel.
are no rallies in Dearborn against the blunt assertion in the Hamas Charter’s
opening section that “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam
eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.”
Nor is there any
quarrel with the definition of Hamas as a “humane movement,” which merely
stipulates that “safety and security can only prevail under the shadow of Islam…
Members of other religions must desist from struggling against Islam... for if
they were to gain the upper hand, fighting, torture and uprooting would
There is ample backing in Dearborn for the Hamas historiography
which maintains that Jews “stood behind the French and Communist Revolutions and
behind most all revolutions.... They also used money to establish clandestine
organizations... to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests. Such
organizations are: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rith, etc.
All of them are destructive spying organizations.”
Nobody, contends the
Hamas Charter, denies that Jews “stood behind WWI, so as to wipe out the Islamic
Caliphate... and established the League of Nations in order to rule the
world by means of that organization. They also stood behind WWII....They
inspired the establishment of the UN and the Security Council to replace the
League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their
Anyone familiar with Mein Kampf will discover kindred
insinuations about the insidious forces of “International Judaism.” Jews, avers
the Hamas Charter, citing the infamous fake Protocols of the Elders of Zion as
proof, are the instigat o r s of all strife on this planet: “There was no war
that broke out anywhere without their fingerprints on it.”
But this is
where the spirit of today’s Dearborn meshes so perfectly with the Dearborn of
yesteryear. In his heyday, Ford would have unhesitatingly approved all the
He, after all, published and circulated the
counterfeit Protocols in The Dearborn Independent, a weekly which he owned from
1918 through 1927 and which he used unabashedly as a vehicle for undisguised
In February 1921, Ford went on the record saying: “The only
statement I care to make about the Protocols is that they fit in with what is
going on.” The Protocols, he insisted had to be authentic, because he blamed
Jewish financiers for fomenting WWI. Conspiracy theorists throughout the
Arab/Muslim sphere would avidly subscribe to Ford’s circular
reasoning. But there’s more. Ford expounded his hate (as distinct from
critical consideration of the Jewish faith) in a weekly column he dictated to
Called Mr. Ford’s Page, it castigated the Jews for
everything – from short skirts and jazz music to sabotaging Ford car sales and
instigating international conflicts. Ford even accused president Woodrow Wilson
of taking secret orders over the phone from justice Louis Brandeis
(corroborating Ford’s allegations because Brandeis was, alas, a
Anthologies of Ford’s diatribes were published in book form from
1920 on. Several compendiums titled The International Jew: the World’s
Foremost Problem eventually saw light. This was no innocuous curio.
German reprint of Ford’s book had profound influence on one, Adolf Hitler – so
much so, that entire sections of this Dearborn original were plagiarized by
Hitler and were copied into his Mein Kampf, which resonates with Ford’s own
indelible legacy. Much of the Hamas invective appears lifted right from Mein
Kampf, which, unsurprisingly, remains the single most outstanding runaway
bestseller in the assorted bastions of Islam.
This is where a line should
be drawn between legitimate non-adulation of someone else’s prophet and
incitement. Only cynical propagandists blur the distinctions between disparaging
any creed and targeting a systematically demonized group for hostile physical
There’s a sea of difference here. When Muslims call for
the obliteration of infidels in the form of Jews – dehumanized as monkeys and
pigs – there are operative consequences to their incitement. When Ford inspired
Nazi mass-murder, there were horrific consequences to his incitement.
such consequences accrue from what Muslim inflammatory discourse prefers for its
own purposes to exaggerate as heresy.
Anyhow, it is our right as citizens
of the Free World to spout heresy all day long, if we so wish – against any
religion. No harm should befall us therefrom and no legal sanction should hang
over our heads because of it.
This is where it ought to also be noted
that Ford at some point seemed to recant, but non-too-convincingly. The fuehrer,
at any rate, was unimpressed with Ford’s professed change of heart and in 1938
awarded him the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest medal Nazi Germany
could bestow on a foreigner. Hitler kept an outsized photo of Ford in his
Ford would later go on promote his ideas through front men like
master of hate-radio Father Charles Coughlin. In time, Ford would blame Jewish
bankers for the outbreak of WWII as well. Just like Hamas still does.
we come full circle. Dearborn’s past and present aren’t entirely
It’s nothing that anyone should feel smug enough to shrug
off. Nothing that comes out of Dearborn should be dismissed as too trifling to
trouble us, especially when underpinned by presidential
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