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Hundreds Attend Anti-Islam Rally in Waukesha

The proposed mosque for Brookfield motivated many residents to attend the VCY Radio event featuring Walid Sheobat.

With the big-name draw of Walid Shoebat, more than 200 people gathered at the Waukesha Expo Center Saturday night to hear the message that Islam is a growing threat to law and peace in the United States.

The rally was an especially strong draw for Brookfield residents who oppose a

Shoebat, who says he is an ex-terrorist, has been confronted about his past by media outlets like CNN, who reported they could find no evidence to support his background story. But he stood by his case Saturday, saying the media were the real frauds.

"Heck, sometimes even FOX News doesn't even like what I have to say, because I say Islam is not a peace-loving religion," Shoebat told the crowd.

Brookfield residents Chuck and Sharon Bloom left the rally Saturday with a plastic bag full of books sold by VCY America, a Christian radio station that sponsored the event. The couple was hoping to learn more about Islam and to build a case against the proposed mosque.

"More than just me and my wife, the community needs to be informed," Chuck Bloom said. "I think it's important to find out exactly what questions we need to ask to make sure there's no sharia law, etcetera."

Sharia law was the buzz phrase of the evening, especially surrounding the mosque. Shoebat said while he supports freedom of religion, Islam as an institution stretches beyond religious practice with sharia law. Sharia guides all aspects of Muslim life including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

"It's not the mosque I have a problem with," Shoebat said, making no specific reference to the Brookfield proposal. "It's, where is the funding coming from, and will the mosque sign and swear that they will never be sharia?"

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Brookfield aldermen were invited to the event and had reserved seats in the front row, but the seats were quickly filled by other attendees when it appeared they did not show up.

Brookfield Mayor Steven Ponto and Alderman Scott Berg have both they do not think the religion of Islam should be considered in deciding whether to grant the Islamic Society of Milwaukee the permit they need to build their proposed mosque for land northeast of the intersection of Calhoun Road and North Avenue.

But Shoebat's comments were echoed by the audience as the filed out of the Expo Center.

David Ball, a pastor from New Berlin, said he came "to find out if the message about what Islam really is is getting out properly."

"I hold freedom of religion very dear, but Islam is not just a religion; it is also a state government system, completely contrary to our system of government," Ball said. "Our Constitution should not be subverted to sharia law."

Brookfield resident Robin Couillard said she found out about the proposed mosque for the first time at the event. She said she was especially concerned about Shoebat's remark that a mosque is like an embassy for Islam and sharia law.

"I'm just shocked that this is being proposed for Brookfield," she said. "I'm concerned about Islam overtaking our community, and our country, and the world."

Organizers with the Islamic Society of Milwaukee have previously defended their proposal — and their religion — to opposition that surfaced at a meeting in March at the .

Related story: as well as past Patch stories on the mosque

Several residents said they want to mobilize opposition to the mosque, but did not have set plans for doing so, other than attending to the public hearing set for May 7 at 6 p.m. at , 2000 N. Calhoun Rd. There will also be a public information hearing May 2 at 5 p.m. in the public safety building courtroom at 2100 N. Calhoun Rd.

The Anti-Alinsky April 20, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Lyle, just because St. Paul embraced Christ, it does not mean he stopped being a Jew. All the Christian leaders in Paul's time were Jewish. But not too get too far off the original statement, exactly how did St. Paul sow the seeds of Antisemitism that led to the Holocaust? All of Paul's messages were of Christ's love and that we needed to respond with love and obedience in return. Your right as far as Christian leaders in the 30's and 40's not intervening into the Nazi's rise to power early enough, but the same can be said of secular leader's as well. You are correct that for 2000 years Jews were treated unfairly and often persecuted for their religion by Christians. Which is ironic since the Messiah and most of the New Testament was written by Jewish leaders and scholars. I can not change the sins of the past, but can only change today and tomorrow.
Lyle Ruble April 20, 2012 at 09:48 PM
@Anti-Alinsky....There was a clear separation between Jewish Christians of the Diaspora (Paul) and those in Judea. There is a 30 to 60 year period where the early Christians clearly separated themselves from Judaism because of the Jewish Rebellion. Paul and his followers became anti-Jewish out of survival to the Roman crackdown against Jews.. Check out first century history.
Craig April 20, 2012 at 09:57 PM
White Power: My comment was said tongue in cheek. I am not a hateful person, but I have a reputation for injecting humor in uncomfortable situations. Those who know me from my posts would generally agree I am not a bigot. Regarding that opossum for dinner- I would not eat anything that hangs out in the graveyards just waiting to dig me up and dine on me.
Nobias April 21, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Just to underscore your point...experts are human. Inherently they are biased and flawed. Just look at the Pope preaching that condoms won't help the AIDs epidemic....religion and rational, scientific, logic-based thought do not mix. Period.
Nobias April 21, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Dude, Gary, you're an idiot.
The Anti-Alinsky April 21, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Lyle, while there was a separation between Paul and the early church leaders, the distinction was whether or not one needed to be Jewish before becoming a Christian. Because Jews were seen as the "odd duck' for only worshiping one GOD, many people who accepted Christ did not want to first become Jewish. It was Paul, despite being a life long Jew, that saw beyond Jewish limitations and opened up Christianity to all that would accept Christ as the Messiah.
Kayla April 21, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I love how you guys keep quoting the Bible. It's rather ridiculous all this hate flying around. Do any of your realize that God and Allah are the same? You all worship the same deity, yet you fight over the details: Jesus is the son of God (Christians). Jesus is a prophet created by God (Muslims). Both think he'll return for the Judgement. What is wrong with you people? Why are you so afraid of Islam? True Muslims respect Jews and Christians because they know you worship the same God. The rest is fundamentalist bullshit and media information spun out of control. How do you guys allow the media to manipulate you like this instead of actually thinking for yourselves? Because if you looked at the facts critically and skeptically, you would realize how obnoxious and ignorant your opinions are and how unrealistic they are.
Kayla April 21, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Biased media sources give you false information. I know Muslims, moderate, liberal, and Islamists. I engage them in discussion. I live in Tunisia, I am up to my ears in Islamic culture. I used to live with a conservative Muslim family in Morocco. I also was a scholar in MENA studies, and I learned to look at credible sources (Fareed Zakaria is a great commentator, well-balanced and knows his stuff) and non credible sources (Huntington's the Clash of Civilizations long ago became a joke in the serious Islamic/MENA studies community). militantislammonitor.org is not a credible source, and the fact you look at it completely takes away your credibility. And no, just because I live among Muslims does not make me a Muslim, I don't believe in God on the terms religions lay out and never will. But I respect the beliefs of humans, including (non-Fundamentalist) Muslims. I also respect my constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech. Do some real research and then present your case.
Kayla April 21, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Damn, need to read before posting, I meant to write our Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion. Although, yeah I support free speech too, obviously, which is your right, but the right of free speech comes with a responsibility that we seem to forget about.
Lyle Ruble April 21, 2012 at 04:39 PM
@Kayla...What I have found is that Christians are generally ignorant of both your religion and culture and mine, Judaism. They don't understand that Islam and Judaism are cousins and Abraham is our common ancestor. We have a common understanding that Allah and YHVH are one and the same. For the majority of history, Muslims and Jews have been able to peacefully live together. That has not been the case with Muslims and Christians and Jews and Christians. Both our people have been subjected to Christian intolerance. Even today with the conflict over Palestine and Israel, we have more in common than differences. My children have bonded with many Muslims to find find long term solutions to our differences. I stand with Muslims and support your free exercise of your religion and culture.
Kayla April 21, 2012 at 05:28 PM
@Lyle, I like seeing support such as this, all religions have to work together and accept their similarities and differences. However, I'm not Muslim, I actually don't affiliate with any religion. I'm an American living and working in a Muslim country, so I get upset when I see people making comments like this because they have no clue what most Muslims are like.
Joseph April 22, 2012 at 12:15 AM
If you want to know about Islam: http://www.jihadwatch.org/ http://www.thestraightway.org/
White Power April 22, 2012 at 03:51 AM
@Joseph - Seriously? Those are your sources? So, just to be clear, you are preaching hate.
White Power April 22, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Seriously? Again racing with the defense of Palin? Again ignoring the statements made against Muslims? Yes, just like those of your ilk, you repeatedly claim to be ridiculed, after having called me KKK. Yes. Go on kissing the behinds of Beck, Steyn, Malkin, and the rest. Hypocrite.
White Power April 22, 2012 at 03:53 AM
On the contrary, I responded repeatedly, and you responded by accusing me of being a liberal.
White Power April 22, 2012 at 03:56 AM
More spin from you. First and foremost, you were not illustrating how women are treated differently under Islam even in the US. You saw a group of people and assumed they were Muslim. The defense you gave for this point about drawing conclusions was about a "If I saw a man with a dark complexion wearing a black panther uniform I would assume he would be black." Typical bigotry. I called you out on it. Now you're trying to cover your tracks by talking about Denzel Washington and Bruce Lee. You've already been outed as a bigot.
White Power April 22, 2012 at 03:57 AM
"As for the name calling, I will follow my father's advice and just walk away from stupid." You're calling me "KKK" and apparently you're the one suffering from the name calling. Again, a hypocrite.
Kayla April 22, 2012 at 10:19 PM
@Joseph, you want to know about Islam? Talk to Muslims & actually read the Koran. Jesus Christ you people really are hopeless.
Craig April 23, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Aynon mouse- The female mutilation issue still exists today in Africa.
lee April 23, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Show true tolerance...build Churches , Synagogs, etc. in Saudi Arabia & Iran.
Fuzz April 23, 2012 at 06:14 AM
You are asking a country run by a family that imposes the ridiculously strict Salafi interpretation of Islam on its people to show tolerance? What has to happen in Saudi is an overthrow of the monarchy. Then we will start to see the beauty of Islam permeate that country including God's protection of all his Believers. There is a reason nothing useful has come out of Saudi except oil. They are protective and paranoid to the point of ruination and they have not invested in the minds of their youth. They probably don't want the youth to get any intelligent ideas.
Kayla April 23, 2012 at 10:41 AM
1) Lee check your facts: Iran has dozens of Churches & Synagogues. No, Saudi doesn't officially allow open practice of religion (whatever, they're a bunch of dicks, ask any non-Gulf Arab their opinion of Saudis and their establishment of "religious law"). We have a responsibility to be tolerant and accept others. We have the First Amendment. I don't know how many times you guys have to overlook this. It doesn't matter in other countries what their practices are, what matters is how WE behave... But the more I read these things, the more I realize the truth isn't important, nor is the Constitution. The most important thing is perpetuating stereotypes, racism, and fear of change.
Terrance Jones April 24, 2012 at 02:38 AM
All the same there was an interesting article in The Guardian (British paper). England is a country which has embraced Muslims. Apparently, there is a huge problem there with female circumcisions being performed on young girls- really horrific things done to these young girls- and they are not able to stop it. Also there have been arrests with large groups of Muslim men forcing underage British girls into sex and prostitution. In England they have not been able to stop the culture which many Muslims bring with them from their native countries and instead these communities function out of the constraints of the law in many cases with honor killings, young girl marriages, female genital mutilation and the like. If large groups come to our area who are from traditionally Muslim countries I wonder how the US will be any different?
Kayla April 24, 2012 at 11:10 AM
For those of you who keep quoting "female circumcision", it is actually a SOCIAL, not RELIGIOUS custom, whose victims are Muslims, Christians, and Animists. It spread to Egypt, but is rarely, if ever, practiced in any other Islamic country. http://www.religioustolerance.org/fem_cirm1.htm I check my facts before forming an opinion because I think for myself. You should too. Those in Islamic countries who practice this ritual are from backwater, backwards mentality oriented communities, and this is NOT the mainstream. It is a cruel practice that the majority of Muslims condemn. In Tunisia an Egyptian Imam who has supported female circumcision in the past came to speak, and was received with much harsh criticism from his Muslim peers & although he did not mention this very controversial and much-condemned practice, the fact that he is a known advocate of this policy eliminated ALL of his credibility with the exception of a minority that most Tunisians consider an extreme, and unwelcome part of their culture. Every religion has its extremists, but they are not the accurate representation. Look at the terrorist Norwegian who murdered all those innocent children attending a camp in Norway. Should we say every Christian is like him? No...in fact he is rarely, if ever, even called a terrorist.
Fuzz April 24, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Every time there is any blog involving Islam in some way, someone always brings up cultural practices in some third world countries that even predate Islam and try to tie Islam to that practice. FGM (female genital mutilation) is a good example of that. It is largely practiced in Africa (not in the whole Muslim world so that that should clearly show you that it is not a tenet of faith). The following is a good article that talks about why this practice exists in that region, why Islam clearly opposes it, and even answers a previous bloggers question, "will these practices come to the U.S., as well." http://www.minaret.org/fgm-pamphlet.htm For those who don't have have the time to read it, some quotes... "One fundamental of the Islamic law is that what is not prohibited is allowed. This makes for a great deal of tolerance in the religious law." "If the Islamic law does not mandate female genital mutilation and tolerates only the most mild form of circumcision (and that only if it produces no adverse effects in the child), then how does it come about that so many people from certain countries with large Muslim populations insist that savage acts which exceed these limits are not only permitted, but required by Islamic law? The answer becomes obvious when one realizes that Christians from many of these countries also insist that the tradition is mandated by their religion as well. People often confuse traditions rooted in local culture with religious requirements."
Fuzz April 24, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Also I want to make sure you understand why I am addressing this issue of FGM. It has nothing to do with this blog. It has nothing to do with Islam. It has nothing to do with Brookfield and its masjid. It has to do with people bringing up these practices of the third world and tying it into Islam. This is wrong and spreads misconceptions and ignorance. I am trying to keep the ignorance from spreading with knowledge (the cure for ignorance). Some more quotes from the article... "It would be wise to remember that there is a great burden of proof that Islam puts upon those who wish to prohibit a practice, and that the requirement for such proof is a strength of the Islamic law. Toleration is a strength, not a weakness."
Lila April 24, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Islam is a political ideology, a way of life, not just a "religion". It is violent, it is intolerant, it is the same here (behind closed doors), as it is in the middle east. If those of you who equate Islam with other religions did some research, you would realize that Islam does not belong in the United States. Nazi + KKK = Islam
lee April 25, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Lila, I agree.
Fuzz April 25, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Lila and Lee...your opinions are noted and filed under "G" where they belong. My pity for your minds.
Kayla April 25, 2012 at 08:26 AM
Kayla 15 seconds ago @Lila, do YOUR research. Lila (and Lee for that matter), I'd like to know your responses to these questions: 1) How many Muslims do you actually know? 2) Have you ever lived in a Muslim country? 3) Have you ever lived with a Muslim family? 4) Have you actually ever been to a mosque? 5) Have you actually ever studied Islam/Middle Eastern studies in a scholarly setting? What you are saying is hateful and completely UNAMERICAN. It is people like you who make me sick, you help create the problem and ultimately this hate rhetoric further undermines our own national security because this helps fuel the extremists. The Irish Catholics who came to this country weren't welcomed, they were told there was no place for them here, African Americans have always been pushed aside, Jews were hated for a long time, and still are today. Face it, we hate something different, but what you are saying is completely false, and you're abusing your right of free speech. Lila do your research, then back it up.

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