Monday, January 18, 2010
CLICK HERE FOR ALTERNATIVE AUDIO PAGE
In the first hour Tom talked about Lawrence Mayor Willie Lantigua's second week in office including: swearing in Melix Bonilla as Deputy Police Chief without a vote of the city council as required by law, fired Planning Director Mike Sweeney, Inspector Myles Burke and Recreation Director Linda Schiavone. The City Council's responsibility in confirming the firings, Councilor Grisel Silva's latest outbursts and how she was FINALLY called to task by a fellow councilor, Lantigua's first school committee meeting and how he has already violated the charter and lied to the public about school department lawyers.
In the second hour we took calls from listeners about the Senate race between Martha Coakley and Scott Brown, Callers included Sam Mease, Bruce Tarr, Paula Porten, Paul Avella, Jameson, The Guy From Boston Joe Ligotti, and a Coakley supporter Chris Doherty.
Other topics included: giving money to Haiti, negative ads and the Fells Acre Day Care debacle.
Friday, June 13, 2008
The Valley Patriot was invited into the Selimiye Mosque in Methuen where an interview took place with several members, including Shaban, Yusef and Hussein. More than 250 families are members and worship at the Selimiye Mosque on Oakland Avenue in Methuen. Most are from Turkey and hail from Methuen as well as other cities and towns throughout the Valley.
Methuen Muslims Speak Out
In 2006, The Valley Patriot published a column by syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin regarding Islam and terrorism. And to show support for our colleagues in Denmark who were in fear for their lives for publishing cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad, (something forbidden by Islam) we published one of the cartoons alongside Malkins’ Column.
It was a sore spot for some of the Muslims at the Mosque in Methuen whom admitted they were Valley Patriot readers at the time. But it wasn’t until we published a letter to the editor last months (written by Dennis Walters) equating Islam to terrorism that the members of the Mosque decided to officially respond. At first, the Mosque’s leader Soner Ungz sent in a letter to the editor in response, but within days, asked for an interview for publication.
Soner Ungz did not attend the interview but seven male members of the Mosque did. Ungz, communicated through a translator via email after the interview.
“I use to read this paper,” Shaban said when he saw The Valley Patriot on the table. “I use to pick it up over on Lowell Street. I thought this was a very good paper. But then I saw that cartoon and the [column] attacking Islam and I tell you that hurt a lot of people. I just couldn’t understand it,” he said.
“I talked to the mayor about the cartoon when he came here and I asked him if he knew who you were, I said I wanted to meet you so we can know each other. So we can see each others face. We were very unhappy, the cartoon hurt us because [Muhammad] is our prophet too, we didn’t complain at the time we didn’t want a back and forth ‘he said –he said’ but I did want to meet you.”
Asked how Americans can attack Islamic terrorists in the media without offending Muslims, Shaban got passionate as did the rest of the group.
“You can say Islam and terrorists, but terrorists can not be Islam. When the terrorist says he is are [for] Islam they are using my faith. They are using my Islam. This is big power for him. Do you think he is a good Muslim? They hurt us more than anyone else when they use Islam for their terrorism. A terrorist is a terrorist and I don’t care what he says he believes, he is a terrorist and I hate him more than you do, he is hurting my religion more than anybody else.”
Hussein, a young man in his 20’s took particular exception to the letter to the editor written by Dennis Walters.
“I was born in Germany and I was in Germany on 9/11. After 9/11, the media painted Islam as violent and that we have to see in the Muslims a terrorist. We are Turks, we have been in Germany since 1916, and we have not created terrorism in Germany in that time. You can twist the verses, [like] this writer took some verses without the history or background, he says in his letter that Islam orders Muslims to kill unbelievers, it’s not true.”
“Jihad is not to kill unbelievers it’s for defense. If you are attacked by another we say ‘Jihad.’ The people [can] call the terrorists Muslims, I call them unbelievers. They change the background and meaning of Jihad, they misuse it, therefore they are unbelievers themselves. They’re changing the word of Allah. They are wrong, see Allah in the wrong way. This is what we want people to know.”
“This letter is dangerous,” Yusef added. “It’s sloppily written. Every verse in the Quran has a certain background. If it happened during a certain times in the Quran the verses have a different context.”
Asked how Americans can tell the difference between peaceful Muslims and the terrorists, Yusef responded;
“There are extremists in all religions that have the same dress and study from the same book as non extremists. How do you know the priest who is not a pedophile versus one [who] is, they dress the same, they read from the same book?”
“All I can say is that Muslims have a responsibility, one way or another to teach others about our religion. We are still searching for the right way to do that right now, Muslims don’t have much of a voice in American media today. Maybe once we do, that will help. But, I think if you are someone from Methuen you know you have nothing to fear from the Muslims because this mosque has been here since 1995, the Turks have been here since late 80’s. There’s been no problem. The [former] chief of police and the mayor come to this Mosque all the time. They come to our summer picnics. We have a good relationship with them. So if you know the Muslims in this area, you know we are peaceful and have nothing to fear. I’d like to think that the people of greater Lawrence know that.”
Asked if Muslims have an obligation to speak out against terrorism, Yusef admitted they do.
“Sure we do, we have an obligation to speak out against any wrong. Long before 911 we had that responsibility.”
Why has that not happened on a large scale?
“A lot of it is fear. But a lot of it is that someone like Sean Hannity is not going to put a Muslim on his show unless he is saying something outrageous and then he will have them on to get ratings.”
“Someone said after 9/11 that the terrorists had hijacked their religion, because if they dress themselves as Muslims, it makes it harder for fellow Muslims to denounce it. It is harder to denounce a family member than someone else. Since 9/11 there is a lot of fear.”
“But, we have to show the difference between us and them that is our responsibility,” Hussein responded.
Shaban said he believed that the terrorists who were using Islam “as cover” should not be associated with peaceful Muslims. “They are using my beautiful Quran and they hurt us so much. I say don’t punish the faith, punish the terrorists. If you are a good Muslim, you do good things for your religion, you help people, you respect people, you don’t hurt them. It is against our religion to commit suicide. How many people know that? These suicide bomber are no way Muslims.”
Osama Bin Laden
When the group was asked if Osama Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 none of the group would answer the question except Shaban.
“Well, who pushed the button? Who was the cause, we don’t know. Did he do it, Osama Bin Laden? He didn’t do it himself. Who did it? They all attack Islam but they don’t know and it has never been proven. They used them [the people who hijacked the planes]. They found someone stupid enough to do it But they can’t prove who did it.”
Soner Ungz leader of the Mosque later explained that because of Shaban’s poor choice of words he did not want anyone to think that they were denying Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the terrorist attacks on 9/11 .
“I believe that Shaban was trying to emphasize the Al-Qaida Network as a whole was responsible for the attacks and not necessarily the singular effort of Bin Laden. If I recall, correctly, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad was the mastermind behind it. It was more so a consorted effort. I don’t think Shaban wanted to down play the role of Bin Laden, but only to show that there are other major players behind the scenes. A quick example of this, Bin Laden had sought the guidance and edict of the Blind Shaykh, who is in prison now. Bin Laden needed to procure “scholarly” justification for what he and others were planning. I believe this is the common perception amongst American Muslims. They don’t wish to just single out Bin Laden, but stress that Al-Qaida is bigger than Bin Laden.
“The belief held by us at the Selimiye Mosque is that the prepretrators of the 9/11 attacks were not Muslims. We believe this because Islam, when examined in its original sources doesn’t advocate, or condone violence against civilians. He quoted the Quran passage: Sahih Bukhari Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 257. Narrated By ‘Abdullah: During some of the Ghazawat of the Prophet a woman was found killed. Allah’s Apostle disapproved the killing of women and children.”
“Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, had advised the Muslim army along these lines prior to their campaign: “Do not be harsh on them; do not kill children, old men or women; do not cut down or burn palm trees, do not destroy fruit trees, do not slay a sheep or camel except for food. If you see people who have taken refuge in monasteries, let them be safe in their place of refuge.”
“In this context, those who purposely contravene the teachings of Islam can’t be necessarily associated with Islam, or more simply put, bear the label of a “Muslim.”
The Muslims of the Selimiye Mosque on Oakland Avenue in Methuen invited The Valley Patriot back for more discussions in the future and though there were some language issues and misunderstandings we fully intend to take them up on that offer.
If you would like to comment on this article you can email Tom Duggan at Tdugjr@aol.com
Sunday, April 13, 2008
.. years after other newspapers have discussed and debated the issue a hundred different ways.
Today, however, the Alabama~Eagle FINALLY took a stand against Lawrence City Council President Patrick Blanchette's harassment of former assistant city clerk Jennifer Padellaro.
FINALLY (years after the fact) the Alabama~Eagle has acknowledged that Padellaro was the victim of sexual harassment at the hands of Patrick Blanchette's best friend Jim McGravey. Finally, the Trib. admits that Blanchette acted illegally in protecting McGravey. FINALLY! they have the courage (after the fact) to put the blame squarely on Lawrence city officials ...Finally!
But there were elements of the Alabama~Eagle's editorial today that looked SUPER familiar to us here at The Valley Patriot. Let's compare and contrast today's editorial by the Eagle and the column written in The Valley Patriot's FEBRUARY 2008 edition.
VALLEY PATRIOT'S PAYING ATTENTION! COLUMN
EAGLE TRIBUNE EDITORIAL
Poor handling of McGravey matter cost Lawrence dearly
Friday, April 11, 2008
Lawrence City Councilor Grisel Silva was rushed to the hospital Wednesday afternoon after a 911 call was placed to the Lawrence Police claiming the District "B" councilor was in her car and had taken a bottle of sleeping pills. (READ TRIBUNE STORY HERE) Officers Flemming and Beauleau investigated the incident and Silva was held for observation overnight. Police said last night that Silva will most likely, not be charged with driving while under the influence. Silva's husband Nelson, refused to comment to the Valley Patriot last night, but did threaten to sue the Lawrence Police the Eagle Tribune and the Valley Patriot if the police report or the 911 call was reported to the public. Oddly enough, Councilor Silva did issue a public statement last night only minutes after the Valley Patriot website posted the story and then was hacked into, making updates to the site impossible for more than two hours. (Grisel Silva's Press Release).
Friday, September 21, 2007
Ogonowski: Niki Tsongas Supports Amnesty for Illegal Aliens
I will Support a Border Fence and Deporting Illegals
Fifth District Congressional candidate Jim Ogonowski visited
I believe our immigration system is broken we have left our borders unprotected and therefore threatens our national security.”
“Securing our borders are not enough. We need to know who is in our country and why. To do that we need to pressure the Bush administration to implement a system of keeping track of those who enter this country with a tamper proof ID.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thomson Mothers, Sandy Gleed & Dawn Crescitelli
Absent TUFF Group
$1.65 Mil Override Passes
Without the support of the TUFF group
N. Andover finally approved an override,
rendering Diane Huster and the
"Desperate Housewives" completely
irrelevant and ineffective in town elections.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Thursday June 7th - 6pm
VIP Dinner - Wyndham HotelANDOVER.
Sunday. - June 10 - 6-9pm
Haitian Night 94 Broadway
Peruvian NightSt. Mary’s
Monday June 11 - 6-9pm
Colombian & Salvadorian Night
Tuesday June 126-9pm
Ecuadorian Night - TBA
Wednesday, June 13 - 6-11pm
Puerto Rican Night -Pemberton Park
Thursday June 14th 6-11pm
Dominican Night- Pemberton Park
Friday June 15
Hispanic Week Activities on the
Common begin at NOON!
Saturday June 16th Hispanic Week Activities
on the Common - Noon - 11pm
Sunday, June 17th
Hispanic Week Parade - Noon2-11pm
MORE festivities on the common
For more information you can visit Hispanic week on line atwww.semanahispana.org
Monday, May 28, 2007
Memorial Day Services were held all around the Merrimack Valley today in honor of those who lost their lives serving the United States Armed Forces. In North Andover, Massachusetts, Valley Patriot of the Month, Thomas Hudner, a Medal of Honor recipient, spoke to the hundreds of onlookers about the sacrifices made by the men and women of the United States Military. His speech is published below.
Also present were former Valley Patriot Heroes, James Cassidy, Ed Mitchell, John Doherty, Bill Callahan, LST Commander James Henderson, and several others who participated in the honoring of our servicemen and women.
(As a side note, I found it amazing that those who proclaim to support the troops, but not their mission in Iraq, were NOWHERE to be found today in Lawrence or North Andover (and I suspect around the nation) when our brave troops were being honored. If these cowards who reiterate the propaganda of our enemies while pretending to support our troops really and truly cared, why are they ALWAYS noticeably absent whenever Memorial day, Veteran's day or other days of commemoration for the troops roll around? The Valley Patriot would like to thank all those who honored our heroes today, and in their memory we have been granted permission from World War II and Korean War Hero Thomas Hudner to post his speech given at the Ridgewood Cemetery in North Andover Massachusetts at noon time today.)
In that battle and the ensuing war, a tiny nation stood up to the world’s greatest power in its quest for freedom. Because of brilliant leadership, a dedication to the belief that all mend are created equal and a relentless determination to attain liberty in the face of almost insurmountable hardships, that small group of colonies conquered its former oppressor and has since evolved into the greatest nation in the history of mankind.
Close by are memorials to all those patriots of generations past who gave their lives to preserve those liberties, not only for us Americans, but also for the people of those nations around the globe who looked to us to attain or maintain theirs.
Today we are observing Memorial Day which commemorates all those who gave their lives in the defense of that “New nation’s freedoms and equality of all men which are articulated in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. It is an occasion for the American people to reflect on the sacrifices in human lives which led to the independence and the growth and the maturation of our country and of the freedoms we now enjoy.
My generation has experienced three major wars; World War II, The Korean War and the Viet Nam War. World War II was fought by the great generation of Americans who saved the world from fascist aggression and secured the blessings of liberty or hundreds of millions of people around the world. Four hundred thousand American sided in that war and of over 16 million who fought in it, less than 4 million are still alive today. And, 100,000 more American lives were lost in Korea and Viet Nam in the cause of freedom.
Today, their descendants are fighting a global war against terrorism. They are serving and sacrificing in Afghanistan and Iraq and at other outposts on the front lines of freedom. The lives of every one of them are precious to their loved ones and to our nation. And each life given in the name of liberty is a life that has not been lost in vain.
This war in which we are now engaged, truly another world war, is a vicious guerrilla war, one in which religious zealots are determined to destroy us. It is a war between two cultures, one which values life and the dignity of man and the other which considers that any lives sacrificed for violation of Islamic Law, regardless of sex or age, are a tribute to Allah.
Although most fighting is in Iraq and Afghanistan, the enemy is striking in locations all throughout the world, intent on destroying the civilized world we live in. And it WILL be a long war.
We have taken the position that the terrorists must be confronted and destroyed where possible. We offer prayers every day for the safety of our troops and for their success in subjugating the evil that has been infiltrating through our and other societies for many years.
Our precious freedoms and our way of life envied throughout the world have been attained only through great sacrifice and the wisdom of those who came before us.
Today, also, we share the sorrow of the mothers and fathers and families and friends of those who never returned from the field of battle. They have suffered the greatest human tragedy – the loss of sons and daughters, spouses and brothers and sisters.
America has always been a beacon of hope for freedom for oppressed and threatened people of the world over. We have used our military might to enable other people, as well as our own, to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And it has been our veterans throughout history who have been the key players in making the world a safer and better place to live.
We must give special thanks to those veterans who bear the scars of combat, many of whom are disabled and in need of constant medical care. Our hospitals are full of veterans suffering from illnesses and injuries incurred during combat or from the rigors of military service, afflictions that prevent them from living pain free lives enjoyed by most Americans.
So, today we express our honor to those men and women who have followed in the footsteps of our forefathers starting with the colonists and the minutemen. They were, and are today, those who were willing to fight as necessary to perpetuate the way of life passed down to them by warriors of earlier generations. They know there is no glory in war; it can be utter hell. But, thanks to them, we are living here in peace.
In closing, let is be reminded of President Abraham Lincoln’s words in 1863 at the cemetery by the battlefield of Gettysburg, and I quote;
“The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which, they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they have the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shot have died in vain….”
With Americans fighting in the cause of freedom in a land almost half a world away, think of how applicable Lincoln’s words are today. Although eh spoke of he dead, his words apply equally to those men and women in uniform who are devoted to the cause of freedom and peace.
We are blessed to be Americans. Let us not, in the selfishness of forgetfulness betray those we honor this morning. Our legacy from them, obtained at the cost of the blood of millions, is priceless.
God Bless them, - And god bless us all. "
(All pictures (c) copyright, 2007 The Valley Patriot)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Front Runner Tsongas Calls For
Immediate Withdrawal from Iraq
Tom Duggan, The Valley Patriot
Tsongas is seeking to replace Marty Meehan who abandoned his position in congress to take a job at the University of Massachusetts after denying to The Valley Patriot that he was even looking to leave his elected post in Washington.
Shannon said he had had many opportunities to work with Tsongas on various projects troughout the years, adding “the number one priority has to be [to] send a strong voice to Washington and stop wasting the millions in the middle east and bring them home where they can do more good.”
Tsongas of said her number one priority, “it is clear to me that we can no longer pursue a policy of folly in Iraq. And as a member of congress, if elected, I would commit to ending that war and ending it now so we can no longer …” the applause in the room was so loud that Tsongas could to be heard finishing her sentence.
Monday, May 7, 2007
The only problem here is, this is a blatant falsehood (lie?).
There was only one "white American" who spoke at the ACLU meeting among all the cop bashing that went on and it was Kurt Charenza (who didn't bash anybody).
Charenza, a decorated military man, did not speak one word about police abuse, racism or police brutality. His beef (the only one who seemed to have a legitimate complaint that night) was that he was stabbed and beaten by civilians to the point of having permanent nerve damage to his face and, according to Charenza, the Lawrence police refused to investigate the crime.
This is a far cry from what Siglo21 described as: "white Americans at the meeting who gave their testimony regarding police violence."
It is sad, yet predictable that the Spanish language media cannot give an accurate portrayal of what happens at meetings like this because they are so beholden to an agenda of promoting fear and distrust among Latinos towards the police.
The only "Latino policeman" mentioned at that meeting was by Mr. Charenza who mentioned a "Latino" police officer he spoke with while trying to get his case resolved.
Mr. Charenza did not ever make an allegation that he was abused by Lawrence cops and the fact that Siglo21 would promote such a lie only goes to show what lengths people will go to promote hate.