Philly Blogger Learns a Lesson or Two on Rhetoric, Islam and Politics

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 24 | Posted Mar. 9, 2011

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Aaron Proctor, 29, publicly called the Council on American-Islamic Relations a terrorist organization.

Photo by Ryan Strand

Ever wonder what happens when reactionary extremist rhetoric blows up in everyone’s faces? Aaron Proctor could probably tell you a thing or two about that. Last month, the 29-year-old blogger took to his page on Examiner.com and accused the Council on American-Islamic Relations of being nothing but a bunch of terrorists: “CAIR is an Islamic group that forwards the false belief that Islam is a religion of peace when it is simply a terroristic world-dominating political movement and not a religion at all,” the Philly resident wrote.

And then he called out a politician, Republican Rep. Pat Meehan, whose 7th District covers Delaware and Montgomery counties. You see, CAIR’s Philly chapter is having its annual banquet in Delaware County this weekend, so naturally Proctor wanted to know Meehan’s thoughts. Specifically, if he was “with us or against us.”

It’s the first time Proctor, who makes a living off his daily Libertarian rants has called out a public official, even though he writes about politics all the time. His editorials show up in Google News regularly, and he’s spoken at a number of Tea Party protests. He has even appeared on Fox News as a commentator. All of this must have been impressive enough to get the freshman representative to respond because “his press secretary emailed me,” Proctor recalls, “and was like, ‘Oh, hey, you should have called me.’” And apparently, Meehan has “major concerns about the [March 12] meeting’s featured speakers,” the congressman wrote in a note to Proctor. “The event is sponsored by … a group which the FBI severed ties with in 2009 after CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial regarding the funding of terrorist organizations.”

Chalk that one down to either inexperience or naivety on Meehan’s behalf. And since Meehan has refused to comment on his comments, he probably knows it.

And then, of course, there’s CAIR. Moein M. Khawaja, executive director of CAIR-PA’s Philly chapter, fired off a letter to Examiner.com’s news director, Jay Keller, saying Proctor’s statements are “eerily similar to those who have committed hate crimes against Muslim Americans.”

The organization, which called Proctor “an amateur fear monger working to make a name for himself” and “a bigot who has found an audience,” claims to have handed over a picture of Proctor to police and security for banquet. Apparently, CAIR believes Proctor is a physical threat to the “families and children” in attendance.

“[The Proctor matter] was not something I wanted to do and we certainly are not advocates of censorship,” writes Khawaja in an email to PW , “but when a writer is slandering you and falsely calling your event a terrorist gathering, there is a real danger that someone who is not mentally together, or on the edge, may read that and act out on it.” Still, Khawaja says he’s satisfied that Proctor has gone on to discuss other things.

When Proctor found out he’d been suspended (then later reinstated), he went back to read his blogs. ‘This isn’t unlike any rhetoric you hear on talk radio,’” he recalls after reading them. “What’s the big deal?” The big deal, he realized, was that Meehan, a public official who’s already gone on record attacking Islam, had gotten involved. And in light of upcoming Congressional hearings, CAIR may have seen its chance to attack the politician for his knee-jerky reaction.

“They want to go after Meehan,” Proctor says. “And what better way to make a guy look bad than to put him in with an unknown weirdo like me who can easily be dismissed as a right-wing Glenn Beck guy.”

And Khawaja’s comments suggest Proctor may be onto something. “The matter we do not consider closed is with Congressman Pat Meehan,” he writes. “He was very quick to respond to a clear-cut bigot, Mr. Proctor… he has not responded to another constituent of his, us, CAIR-PA…We would also like to ask Mr. Meehan if he does indeed believe Islam is not a religion.”

But Meehan remains silent. He hasn’t responded to CAIR. And Proctor says he, too, can’t get in touch with the politician. “I just wanted to get him on the phone and say, ‘Can you believe this crap?’” Proctor says—and never got a response. 

Here’s what’s bothersome about Meehan’s comments: He was appointed chair of the counterterrorism and intelligence subcommittee by Republican Rep. Peter King in January. This week, Meehan, King and others will begin a series of McCarthy-esque hearings studying the alleged “Radicalization of Muslim Americans.” The hearings come on the heels of 13 states attempting to ban Sharia Law, legislation that is bizarre as it is meaningless.

Further, Meehan’s labeling of CAIR as an “unindicted co-conspirator” is ripped straight from Bush Administration prosecutors back in 2007 when listing 307 American Muslim organizations and individuals as such in a criminal conspiracy to support the terrorist organization Hamas. “Unindicted of course,” reads CAIR-PA’s rebuttal statement to Proctor and Meehan, “because there is zero court-admissible evidence to suggest that they are in anyway related to terrorism.”

The story is way too typical of today’s swift reaction—from all sides—to extreme rhetoric that’s become the norm of national media politics. Meehan’s congressional hearings are pretty much like a big witch hunt; CAIR is well-known in right-wing media circles for silencing critics; and Proctor is admittedly an Islam nonscholar. So the war of ideas goes on, but for the time being, it’s only Proctor, who’s silenced himself on CAIR-related matters, really learning the lesson. “They alluded to me using violence on kids, which is obviously something I wouldn’t do,” he says. “So, yeah, I’m nervous about the event. What if someone does something stupid or invokes my name? I don’t know. I’m just not going anywhere near Delaware County for anything.”

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 24 of 24
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1. Anonymous said... on Mar 9, 2011 at 11:02AM

“this is a perfect example of anti-muslim sentiment in this country. these hearings on "radicalization" of muslims are bigoted and perhaps even unconstitutional. where are the hearings on the "radicalization" of christians (like that nut in FLA who burned the Quran)?!? proctor may be defended by free speech, but there's also something called freedom of religion in this country and his attack on islam and even moreso the appaling behavior of meehan (who when elected to office pledged to defend freedom and democracy for ALL citizens) is reprehensible.”

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2. Rat said... on Mar 9, 2011 at 12:15PM

“Meehan may have pledged to defend freedom and democracy for all citizens, but does that apply to the "citizens" who want to strip us of our freedom and democracy?

Re: Islam

In the Hadith Mohammed urges Muslims to practice Jihad. Mohammed once was asked: what is the best deed for the Muslim next to believing in Allah and His Apostle? His answer was: “To participate in Jihad in Allah's cause “ (Al Bukhari vol. 1:25 )

Mohammed was quoted as saying: ”I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah “ (Al Bukhari vol. 4:196)

It's time to drop this p.c. bullcrap and stop with the kumbaya with people who do not even consider you a human being (and thus your killing would be justified) if you are not a fellow Muslim. Do your research people, fundamental Islam as a so-called "religion" advocates violence, genocide, jihad & world domination, and this is coming straight from their prophet Muhammed and their religious text (Qur'an).”

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3. Anonymous2 said... on Mar 9, 2011 at 12:31PM

“funny how you call islam a religion but when they make jabs against scientology it's ok to say how they are a fake religion. read up on islam and get back to us”

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4. Wtf said... on Mar 9, 2011 at 12:42PM

“Why are the comments supporting Proctor's beliefs being deleted? I used no racial terminology or profanity and did not violate TOS but apparently it's not ok for a commenter to make an anti-Islamic statement on here?”

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5. Grieker said... on Mar 9, 2011 at 12:51PM

“Anonymous1 - Your ignorance is impressive, A (1) nut in florida wanting to burn (he didn't) a koran vs Maj Hassad, the islamic terrorist that killed 14 in Texas...nice.”

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6. Proctor is right said... on Mar 9, 2011 at 01:06PM

“Anonymous1- Yes that nut in Florida who wanted to burn a book needs to be punished by death, right alongside anyone who dares draw a cartoon of a prophet who has been dead for hundreds of years.

There's a lot of nutty Christians out there too, but I don't see them flying planes into buildings or putting fatwas on journalists.

ISLAM IS NOT jUST A RELIGION. IT IS ALSO A POLITICAL MOVEMENT THAT COULD GIVE A FLYING YOU-KNOW-WHAT ABOUT YOUR FREEDOMS.
Goal= 100% Islam World by any means necessary and they're not even trying to hide that fact LOL 5 minutes of research will confirm that, ask google ask jeeves or ask their own holy book, its all in there.”

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7. pete said... on Mar 9, 2011 at 03:10PM

“Some of us who love Jesus pray for the conversion of all
Muslims to the True God. We pray for, instead of force
conversion, to the Gospel way. Procter is just stating facts
about CAIR that can be found by googling. However it
is the American way to allow for heresy among religious
devotees. It is also the way of Christ to allow for people to
make the decision to seek His Holy Face without compulsion.”

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8. Anonymous said... on Mar 10, 2011 at 11:03AM

“Aaron Proctor was correct! CAIR is an Islamic terrorist front group. I will debate any person at any time on this issue......including CAIR.”

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9. Kevin Kelly said... on Mar 10, 2011 at 11:07AM


“Aaron Proctor was correct! CAIR is an Islamic terrorist front group. I will debate any person at any time on this issue......including CAIR.”

Sorry - the "anonymouse" was pre-placed. The comment was from me.



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10. Ricky Slade said... on Mar 10, 2011 at 12:11PM

“Is it me or does this AARON PROCTOR guy look like JARED LEE LOUGHNER? This guy is trying (yet failing) desperately to be an amateur muckraker. By his writings, Im sure he didn't graduate college and is not gainfully employed. He should really concentrate on collecting those cans and bottles...”

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11. pbandj said... on Mar 10, 2011 at 01:49PM

“slade, if you read the article youll see hes employed. doesnt look or sound like a pot smoking socialist to me.”

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12. Anonymouse said... on Mar 10, 2011 at 07:53PM

“Why didn't the author include the ACLU comment that Procters commentary was **NOT** hate speech?

How ironic it is that CAIR has an imam speaking on saturday that is from the same mosque as 9-11 hijackers.”

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13. Jean said... on Mar 10, 2011 at 11:06PM

“http://www.thisiswhataterroristlookslike.com/

"Proctor is right" said "There's a lot of nutty Christians out there too, but I don't see them flying planes into buildings..."

Maybe you heard of a guy named Joe Stack?

"...or putting fatwas on journalists."

No. Just women who have abortions. Or I guess you haven't heard of Bobby Franklin, either.

A whole lot of selective perception is required to conclude that Islam is any more hateful, bloodthirsty, and flat-out insane than Christianity.

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14. Anonymous said... on Mar 11, 2011 at 11:19AM

“Joe Stack was a marxist, read his manifesto.

how come cities are ruining this whole country? go outside philly or la or nyc sometime and talk to people since youre all about 'coexisting'”

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15. Realist not Racist said... on Mar 11, 2011 at 11:33PM

“@Jean
"A whole lot of selective perception is required to conclude that Islam is any more hateful, bloodthirsty, and flat-out insane than Christianity."
Are you out of your F'n mind? Christianity's stated goal is not a 100% Christian world and Jesus said to love thy neighbor as thyself, not to kill thy neighbor if they are an infidel who does not follow the same God.
Yes Christians kill people as do Jews as do Satanists as do Athiests. But take a look at the statistics and you will see that as of recent times, Islam is responsible for more hate, death and violence then all of those groups combined.
I get it, we need to be P.C.,everyone is equal, blah blah, but read the koran and THEN come back and say that Islam does not advocate violence moreso than other religions? Yes, I have read it, had to for a paper I was writing in class- Islam preaches that all non-muslims are sub-human, that their murder is acceptable, and that the world must be made 100% Islam by any means necessary.”

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16. Anonylam said... on Mar 12, 2011 at 09:48AM

“all these lib-tards who protest hooters and want equal right need to know that sharia law will have women riding in the trunks of cars”

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17. WALSTIB said... on Mar 12, 2011 at 12:06PM

“All I need or want to know about iSLUM, I learned on 9/11.”

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18. walt said... on Mar 14, 2011 at 06:40AM

“nice to see the liberal paper moved the article off the front page after hearing the truth”

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19. Proctor right said... on Mar 14, 2011 at 09:56AM

“Read 'The Muslim Mafia' and find out how Cair was formed. Proctor is right. Islam is a theopolitical movement bent on world domination.”

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20. Proud non-believer said... on Mar 21, 2011 at 05:50AM

“Proctor is right. Let's just hope that one of these muslims doesn't go all religion of peace on him.

As for these hearings on "radicalization", the more they scream about it the better I feel. Evil hates the light, and what better way to shine the light on evil than through these hearings.”

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21. Rick said... on Mar 22, 2011 at 11:51AM

“Aaron Proctor does look a lot like Jared Lee Lougher. You can tell by his style and use of grammar that Proctor barely graduated high school and did not attend college. He writes about some alter ego who is continually hassled by the local government for collecting cans. If you call examiner.com gainfully employed, they pay between $1-5 per article, look it up.

http://www.writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/005364_05132009.html

Im sure he's sucking on the government's unemployment teet. Afterall, who would employ someone like this? it's funny how he doesn't think at all before he writes.”

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22. Dwight said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 11:03AM

“I wouldn't worry very much about Aaron Proctor. Check the scoreboard of Life. Life has an interesting way of chewing up and spitting out people like him.”

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23. The Walrus said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 12:27PM

“You have to understand why Aaron Proctor is so upset, wouldn't you be mad if your mom LOVED black penis AND you were part greasy nig???”

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24. Pasadena said... on Jun 1, 2013 at 01:11PM

“rumor has it that Aaron Proctor is dead - any truth to this?”

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