Rios: The Muslims are Coming, the Muslims are Coming!

In the wake of the horrible attack on a “Draw Muhammad” event in Texas the other day, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association says that Muslims are “colonizing” the United States, especially Texas and Tennessee. Because yeah, I’m sure they’re just on the verge of taking over Texas, don’t you?

While chatting about the incident with a listener who lives in Garland, Rios warned that “there has been a real strategic colonization of Muslims around the country.”

“They’ve targeted, like, Tennessee, Texas, places that are strong bastions of conservatism and opposition and there have been some intentional stuff going on here,” Rios said. “The whole mode of jihad is to move in and multiply and gradually overtake.” Rios added that while she would “never mistreat” a Muslim neighbor, she would find it “hard to be gracious” since she knows that they are only moving to her community to wage jihad and she “recognizes what the end game is.”

And they would have gotten away with it too, but Sandy Rios and Pam Geller are just too smart for them! This is absolutely standard right-wing rhetoric, appealing directly to the dominant psychology of conservatives, a massive fear and distrust of outsiders.

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  • John Pieret

    Sandy Rios and Pam Geller are just too smart for them

    They’re worse than those pesky kids and their goofy dog!

  • John Pieret

    she would find it “hard to be gracious”

    Yeah, you Muslims … you’re right up there with gays and brown people and …

  • Larry

    Well, sure they are. There are reports of ISIS camps in Tx as well as the Jade helm exercises that are intended to install a caliphate in Austin and to drive Tx patriots into FEMA camps where jesus will be prohibited and gay marriages will be enforced. Their guns, of course, are to be confiscated.

    Any one with half a brain can see that.

  • Deacon Duncan

    The whole mode of jihad is to move in and multiply and gradually overtake.

    That’s what was so horrible about the jihads and Crusades back in the middle ages. People was just moving in and having babies everywhere. The Muslims would come in and have babies, and then the Crusaders would start having babies, and you couldn’t find a clean nappy for a thousand miles in any direction.

  • Sastra

    Wouldn’t it be lovely if wingnuts terrified of sharia takeover managed to pass a lot of bills ensuring that religion must stay out of government? And wouldn’t the expressions on their faces when they realized what they’ve done be splendid?

    If they can conjure up dark improbabilities, then we can conjure up lighter ones.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    This just proves that events like “Draw Mohammed Day” are NOT just innocent exercises of free speech, but are, in fact, doing more harm than good, by making significant efforts to goad both Christians and Muslims into a war that will benefit no one but the worst bigots of both sides. That’s what pond-scum like Pam Gellar want, and that’s why they stage stupid-assed insult-fests like that draw-Mohammed contest. They may not actually have blood on their hands — yet — but many of the people who participate in such events do.

    (BTW, I noticed that the mayor of Garland, TX, has explicitly tried to wash his city’s hands of that fiasco — and Gellar responded by falsely accusing him of being pro-jihadist or something.)

  • Chiroptera

    Rios added that while she would “never mistreat” a Muslim neighbor, she would find it “hard to be gracious” since she knows that they are only moving to her community to wage jihad and she “recognizes what the end game is.”

    You know what is sad? It’s that property values should be depressed if Rios lived in your neighborhood, but instead property values will be depressed if it is known that Muslims, especially if people of color, move into the neighborhood.

  • k_machine

    So being “colonized” is something bad now? Isn’t there a country founded by colonists somewhere?

  • Chiroptera

    Raging Bee, #6:

    People are making a distinction between Charlie Hebdo and Geller’s hate group. In fact, I read a headline (just the headline, not the article itself for what it’s worth) that Charlie Hebdo doesn’t want to be lumped in the same category as Geller’s hate group.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Good for CH. Je suis Charlie, mais je ne suis fucking pas Pam Gellar, nonmonseurbob!

  • John Pieret

    Charlie Hebdo and Geller’s hate group won’t remotely be in the same category until Geller holds a “Draw Jesus” day.

  • scienceavenger

    Charlie Hebdo doesn’t want to be lumped in the same category as Geller’s hate group.

    And the difference in behaviour is what exactly? For that matter, what is the difference between what Geller’s group is doing to provoke immoral people to violence and what MLK’s group did in the south to provoke immoral people to violence?*** I’m not playing devil’s advocate here. This actually came up in kid-time-with-the-news at my house and I had a hard time coming up with an answer. The best I could do was to point out that blacks in the south were fighting for more important and all-encompasing rights (full citizenship vs drawing a picture), and that their opponents were actual historical majority oppressors in the region, whereas Muslims are relative newcomers and a tiny minority. Punching up vs punching down if you will. Is that the best we’ve got?

    ***Obviously Geller’s group and MLK’s group are not remotely comparable morally as people.

  • raven

    but instead property values will be depressed if it is known that Muslims, especially if people of color, move into the neighborhood.

    LOL, I wish.

    There are a fair number of Moslems in my area.

    If they are depressing property values, no one has seen that.

    They are a mixed bag. Somalias, Bosnian refugees, Iranian refugees. But a lot of them seem to be gulf oil Arabs. Meaning they are loaded with money. Which means, they keep buying high end properties and…pushing property values upwards. And then park very expensive cars in the driveway.

  • Chiroptera

    scienceavenger, #12: ***Obviously Geller’s group and MLK’s group are not remotely comparable morally as people.

    You’ve just answered your own question. Geller’s goals are reprehensible and so everything she does to achieve those goals are deserving of censure (even while we protect her right to engage in legal activities); MLK’s goals were just and correct and deserves praise.

  • blf

    Charlie Hebdo and Geller’s hate group won’t remotely be in the same category until Geller holds a “Draw Jesus” day.

    Even then, they still wouldn’t be even remotely on the same planet.

    Geller, et al., is a hate group with numerous bigots.

    Charlie Hebdo is neither and goes after such groups and peoples (and other eejits); e.g., this week’s cover is a vicious parody of the current war within the French nazi party (FN) between the Le Pen’s.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    And the difference in behaviour is what exactly?

    The CH cartoons were about something other than offending Muslims for the sake of offending them. If you’d actually had a look at the CH cartoons, and the commentary surrounding them, you’d know this.

    For that matter, what is the difference between what Geller’s group is doing to provoke immoral people to violence and what MLK’s group did in the south to provoke immoral people to violence?

    Are you fucking serious? Have you never even listened to a recording of any of King’s speeches? Can you really not tell the difference between cartoons and substantive speeches? Can you really not tell the difference between cartoons drawn for no purpose other than to offend, and speeches that actually say things that need to be said?

    ***Obviously Geller’s group and MLK’s group are not remotely comparable morally as people.

    Then why the fuck are you being so blind to such obvious differences between their actions?

    Punching up vs punching down if you will. Is that the best we’ve got?

    If it’s the best YOU’VE got, then you have not been paying attention.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    There are a fair number of Moslems in my area. If they are depressing property values, no one has seen that.

    Yeah, I never bought that argument. The price you can get for a house depends on shitloads of factors that have nothing at all to do with your neighbors’ religion or skin color. Homeowners and real-estate specialists know this, and they have no reason or incentive to let themselves be haggled down by stupid bigots.

  • scienceavenger

    Are you fucking serious? Have you never even listened to a recording of any of King’s speeches? Can you really not tell the difference between cartoons and substantive speeches? Can you really not tell the difference between cartoons drawn for no purpose other than to offend, and speeches that actually say things that need to be said?

    Are YOU fucking serious? Do you really think anyone posting on this blog hasn’t heard Kings speeche? For that matter, how could you miss the point so obvious that I was talking about the marches and not the speeches? Groups don’t make speeches. And can you be so blind to not see the OBVIOUS point that I was speaking about the behaviors and not the purpose behind them?

    Honestly Bee, sometimes you seem more interested in ranting than adding anything productive to the discussion.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    For that matter, how could you miss the point so obvious that I was talking about the marches and not the speeches?

    The same questions I asked earlier still apply. The marches served purposes that recent Mohammed cartoons clearly do not serve, and were never intended to serve: to bring people together, to boost people’s morale by reminding them that they’re not suffering alone, and to show their numbers, and their ability to work in unison.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Honestly Bee, sometimes you seem more interested in ranting than adding anything productive to the discussion.

    “Honestly?” Are you really speaking honestly? I’m not at all sure of that.

  • StevoR

    @11. John Pieret : “Charlie Hebdo and Geller’s hate group won’t remotely be in the same category until Geller holds a “Draw Jesus” day.”

    Thing is that doesn’t offend Christians many of whom worship icons depicting him and their prophets. Its not really equivalent. I’m not sure what an equivalent Christian offence would be, although maybe attacking nativity scenes and plastic angles would be up there somewhere.

    (Even still there the Christians are unlikely to kill people for doing it, I think.)

  • StevoR

    angels a la that recent rather pitiful example of xn “maryrdom”.

    A plastic angle I guess by definition wouldn’t stay that way very long but be pretty fluid and shifting, yeah?

  • John Pieret

    StevoR @21:

    Its not really equivalent

    Oh, I suspect the kind of “caricatures” that Geller and her asshat tribe produced, if transferred to J.C., would raise the blood pressure of many Christians.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ John Pieret : I’m sure they would – I know they hated and attacked Serrano’s Piss Christ for example – but would the Christians actually go as far as trying to actually murder people over such blasphemous art?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Charlie Hebdo and Geller’s hate group won’t remotely be in the same category until Geller holds a “Draw Jesus” day.

    I’m not really sure what difference that would make. That would be just as pointless as “Draw Mohammed day,” no matter who it insults, or fails to insult. And it would not make “Draw Mohammed day” any less offensive or divisive, in either act or discernible intent.

    In fact, it could make the whole affair just a little worse, since it would be almost equivalent to, say, a Hispanic person saying “Look, I’m not offended at the word ‘sp*c,’ so you black people shouldn’t be offended at the word ‘n*gg*r.'”

  • Michael Heath

    scienceavenger writes:

    And the difference in behaviour [between C.H. and Pam Gellar’s group] is what exactly?

    My limited understanding of C.H. is that they’re a pro-speech group who practiced free speech in way that was uncomfortable and offensive to many. Pam Gellar’s group leverages U.S. protections in speech in order to advocate for polices that would have the government and the culture at large discriminating against Muslims from enjoying the protections of their rights equal to Gellar’s own.

    That’s an enormous difference.

  • colnago80

    Re Raging Bee @ #6

    Un. of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne posted on this issue a few days ago. Looking at the comments, I found it amazing that many of the commentors had never heard of Pam Geller and found an interview with her that Coyne posted to be quite thoughtful and and reasonable. Many of them seemed to ignore commentors like me who stated that ole Pammie was on her best behavior in the interview and hid well the fact that she is stark raving bonkers. I posted a link to the American Loons web site which has numerous links demonstrating Pammie’s insanity (many of them to posts by Brayton on this site and his previous incarnation on Scienceblogs). Didn’t seem to impress many of the commentors who had positive things to say about the interview. Stopped clocks and all that.

    https://goo.gl/5Jwg8K

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    …but would the Christians actually go as far as trying to actually murder people over such blasphemous art?

    Two Muslims tried to shoot up Pam Geller’s hate-fest. I’m sure that if you looked hard enough, you’d find two Christians who would be happy to try to kill Serrano or any other artist they don’t like.

  • StevoR

    I think Sandy Rios is totally wrong here btw.

    I’m not scared of Muslims either. Jihadist terrorists yes – but Muslims no & yes I know that almost all – 99.999 % or so – of Muslims are good folks and not the demons that the media tend to collectively paint them as being. (I wasn’t always as clear on that I’ll admit.)

    To get a sense of perspective xe should look at what’s happening in say, Jordan and Lebanon when it comes to having an influx of migrants from, say, Syria & Iraq.

    Australia – my country – is setting a disgraceful example here and when you look at the trickle of people coming here (& similarly into the United States too I think, right?) from there versus so many much poorer and less well able to cope places, well, our nations response and lack of sense of proportion is pretty embarrassing and pathetic really ain’t it?

  • raven

    but would the Christians actually go as far as trying to actually murder people over such blasphemous art?

    Yes.

    Especially if the Draw Funny Pictures of Jesus contest was run by…Moslems.

    I’ve gotten countless death threats. They’ve all been from xians. Not a single one was from a Moslem. None. Zero.

  • raven

    There have been dozens of firebombings and arsons on mosques in the USA. Usually they are never caught. When they are, it is usually xians.

    Xianity has historically been about the most violent religion on the planet. We’ve managed to tone down the violence in the USA over the centuries but it is never far from the surface. At least we are ahead of places like…Northern Ireland.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    There have been dozens of firebombings and arsons on mosques in the USA. Usually they are never caught. When they are, it is usually xians.

    Thanks for the reminder — incidents like those don’t tend to get as much media coverage as Pam Geller’s attention-hogging stunts.

  • abb3w

    @12ish, scienceavenger

    Punching up vs punching down if you will.

    As a sloppy summation? Yeah, pretty much.

    The formulation can be given more precision, I think. The exact definition of “merit” (versus demerit) and how individual merit and demerit aggregate into the attribute at the level of a group is a hard and messy one to do exactly. Fortunately, since we’re dealing with a kid, DC and Marvel comics provide some handy benchmarks. Most people would agree that a homicidal kleptomanic like the Joker is a rotten person, and that a hardworking dude trying to help people around him like Peter Parker aka Spiderman actually is a pretty good one. However, Spiderman also helps illustrate the difference between merit and reputation. During the years that newspaper editor Jonah Jameson was running an editorial smear campaign, large numbers of people didn’t think of Spiderman as a good guy, but more as a public menace; his public reputation was lower than his actual merit.

    Since people vary, going from individuals to groups inherently makes things inexact. However, a group like the Justice League is generally good guys, and the Legion of Doom generally rotten (leaving aside complications like the Kreuger/Ross Justice limited series). On the other hand, here in the real world most groups of people are basically “people”, and not all that different. Thus, many groups that are looked down upon really don’t deserve it; and similarly, some are probably looked up to that are hardly stellar.

    So, we can have people of high merit or of low merit, whose reputation may be higher or lower than their actual merit. Speaking out (particularly in the press) can help change people’s minds about a reputation — as Jonah Jameson demonstrates. However, as he also demonstrates, the change may or may not tend to make reputation line up closer to merit. In further nuance, while someone may have reputation higher than their merit, some criticism may try and push them lower than their actual low merit.

    Thus, we get to Pam Geller — whose reputation in her own mind is probably higher than in the rest of the world, and in both cases seems likely overrated from actual merit — seems to be trying to further lower reputation of a group who while hardly exemplary is underrated, by expressing messages which may not even be true. She’s not just punching down, but perhaps is doing it while standing on the backs of others.

    Contrariwise, dealing with this can of worms required packing in at least two more larger cans as the first step, so it should hardly be blindly accepted. Nohow, the can openers I use for those seem too heavy-duty for an explanation intended to help a kid.

  • dingojack

    Stevo – “Its not really equivalent. I’m not sure what an equivalent Christian offence would be, although maybe attacking nativity scenes and plastic angles would be up there somewhere.”

    Piss Jesus? [See section: reception].

    Dingo

    ———

    Everyone is aware that ‘Mohammed’ (and it’s variants) is one of the most common names on the planet, right? So why not draw him/them? (And how would one know if it’s supposed to be a drawing of Islam’s prophet anyway, there’s no image to compare it with, is there?) 😉

  • Who Cares

    @Raging Bee(#32):

    The reason that this attention hogging is occurring is that two dimwits decided to respond with violence. Which allows for juicy headlines and allows people like Geller to say: “See I was right”.

    The best response I’ve seen was by Muslims, they completely embraced the draw Mohammed day by subverting who to draw, pointing out that Mohammed is probably the most common name in the Middle East. But that doesn’t get headlines for obvious reasons.

  • eric

    Michael Heath:

    C.H. is that they’re a pro-speech group who practiced free speech in way that was uncomfortable and offensive to many. Pam Gellar’s group leverages U.S. protections in speech in order to advocate for polices that would have the government and the culture at large discriminating against Muslims from enjoying the protections of their rights equal to Gellar’s own.

    That’s an enormous difference

    In message content, yes. In message legality, no. And while you didn’t start this particular sub-thread (Bee did), I don’t really see any reason Bee etc. would bring this up except to try and imply that we should legally treat them differently because of the difference in content. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    The whole mode of jihad is to move in and multiply and gradually overtake.

    See, that’s why we need to legalize SSM. Then those muslin heterosexuals will stop getting married and having in-wedlock kids, just like the lawyers for Michigan etc. claimed. SSM is our secret anti-takeover sabotage weapon! :)

  • tomh

    @ #36 eric wrote:

    ” I don’t really see any reason Bee etc. would bring this up except to try and imply that we should legally treat them differently because of the difference in content. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

    Exactly right. Everyone knows what Gellar’s motivation was for this event, heck, the NYT even has an editorial about it today that ends, “As for the Garland event, to pretend that it was motivated by anything other than hate is simply hogwash.” She’s an awful person motivated by bigotry, but so what? I don’t see anyone arguing otherwise.

    The Times headlines its editorial, “Free Speech vs. Hate Speech.” which is not just confusing, but wrong. In America, hate speech is not vs free speech, it’s a subset of free speech. If you want to change that, advocate for passing laws outlawing hate speech, as so many countries have done, or passing blasphemy laws, as so many countries have done. Otherwise, you have to live with the speech laws you have, which, in America, allow for hate speech. Motivation is not a factor.

  • Michael Heath

    tomh writes:

    Everyone knows what Gellar’s motivation was for this event, heck, the NYT even has an editorial about it today that ends, “As for the Garland event, to pretend that it was motivated by anything other than hate is simply hogwash.” She’s an awful person motivated by bigotry, but so what? I don’t see anyone arguing otherwise.

    The NYT’s editorial [1] grades an incomplete with me. Yes, they noted that Pam Gellar’s practicing hate speech; that’s the no-brainer aspect of Gellar’s motivations. But they failed to note that her advocacy against Muslims includes her efforts to get governments to discriminate against Muslims because of their religion.

    Ms. Gellar celebrates the protected exercise of her right to speech along with other protected rights while simultaneously seeking to infringe upon the exercise of those very same rights by Muslims.

    I think it’s critical we make note of Ms. Gellar’s fascism when describing her form of blasphemy from laudable forms of blasphemy. Ms. Gellar goes well beyond mere hate speech, instead she’s deep into fascistic territory.

    1] http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/07/opinion/free-speech-vs-hate-speech.html?_r=0

  • StevoR

    @30. raven :

    “Yes. Especially if the Draw Funny Pictures of Jesus contest was run by…Moslems.

    I’ve gotten countless death threats. They’ve all been from xians. Not a single one was from a Moslem. None. Zero.”

    Okay, fair enough, that is awful and you have my sympathy and support there FWIW.

    If you don’t mind me asking, why were they threatening you with death? Not that death threats are ever justified or acceptable. I’d like to know and understand more here but if its triggering or you just don’t want to answer that’s understood and fine by me too.

    @31. raven :

    There have been dozens of firebombings and arsons on mosques in the USA. Usually they are never caught. When they are, it is usually xians. (I) Xianity has historically been about the most violent religion on the planet. We’ve managed to tone down the violence in the USA over the centuries but it is never far from the surface. At least we are ahead of places like…Northern Ireland. (II)

    I) True and fair point. We’ve also had mosques vandalised and firebombed in Australia too. Except that property damage is not murder. Both these are unacceptable criminal and wrong and unacceptable but murder is worse than arson.

    II) Also true but it also generalises and lumps together alot of very difefrent groupsand people that are very diferent intheri histories, doctrines, policies and behaviours – just like with Muslims or indeed almost all major reliegions. There’s a huge gulf with very deep rifts between say Quakers and the Westboro cult , between Catholics and liberal churches that support all the FTB values like there is between say Sufis and Wahhabis. Of course its a very easy thing to conflate all these as “Christian” or “Muslim” and, fuck knows, I’ve done that often enough myself but still..

    @34. dingojack : Yep. I’m aware of the Piss Christ controversy and remember hearing about it in the media at the time. Again, the thing I’d note here is that the religious extremist zealots are attacking the artwork itself not trying to murder the artist and others associated with it. I think that is a distinction worth noting although I condemn any attempts to destroy art that people disagree with as well – I just don’t think its quite a the same as trying to actually murder people.

    I think I basically agree with you and raven and others here on almost everything except adding a nuance about the relative degree of wrongs.

  • StevoR

    Really good article here :

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/07/us/muslims-garland-texas.html

    found via the Southern Poverty Law Centre fb page. Discusses with a lot of the complexities and perhaps surprising atttudes and opinions of a number of Muslim Texans and more. Starts off with :

    GARLAND, Tex. — When Muslim leaders in the Dallas area learned in February that a provocative blogger had rented space to exhibit caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, they decided to ignore her.

    They were well acquainted with Pamela Geller’s vitriol against Islam and figured that there was no point protesting and giving her free publicity.

    “We don’t want to be falling for her tactics,” Alia Salem, the executive director of the Dallas and Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said to her colleagues. “She’s trying to bait the Muslim community.”

    So it was that on Sunday night, Ms. Salem was at a festive interfaith women’s event with hundreds of Jewish, Christian and Muslim women when she received a text message from a friend saying that two gunmen had been shot and killed while attacking the center where Ms. Geller was hosting her event. First, Ms. Salem said, she started to cry, fearing news of more deaths. ..

    Continues with a lot more and think worth reading, contemplating and sharing.

  • dingojack

    Stevo (#39) – did you miss the DEATH THREATS AGAINST THE ARTIST?!? If your average Christian fundie weren’t so stupid & incompetent they’d be dangerous. (Still, they ‘only have to get lucky once’…)

    :( Dingo

  • StevoR

    @ ^ dingojack : I guess I did. Which ones specifically?

    I did see and acknowledge death threats against raven – and those are obviously totally wrong and unacceptable – but I’m not sure whether or not she is an artist or if that’s what you are referring to.

  • StevoR

    I think raven is “she” – my apologies if I have misgendered you raven.

  • dingojack

    Stevo – The threats directed toward Andres Serrano — the artist who created Piss Christ.

    Dingo

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523300770 stuartsmith

    Muslims are taking over Texas? Quick, call in the army!

  • StevoR

    @44. dingojack :

    Serrano received death threats and hate mail, and he lost grants due to the controversy ..

    Alright, yes, did not see that first time I looked there.

  • StevoR

    You were right.