Why Are People Surprised Orange County Has Anti-Muslim Loons?

Color me jaded, cynical, or wayyyyy too in to be able to see from the outside, but I'm shocked that the anti-Muslim* rally that happened last week in Yorba Linda has made the national news. Write-ups in Salon, Good, and other national publications? Really?

Sure, part of it is that the Council on American Islamic Relations released a pretty damning video capturing lunatics like Villa Park councilwoman Deborah “Sodomy” Pauly and congressmen Ed Royce and Gary Miller railing against Muslims–but if the national media thinks this is something unprecedented in the annals of Orange County, it's laughably wrong as it almost always is about Orange County.

OC Anti-Muslim roll call!

Orange County…

*is the place where the Republican Party turned against one of its own, Bill Dalati, when he ran for a seat on the Anaheim City Council just because he's pro-Palestinian and associates with CAIR (which the local GOP never seemed to have a problem with back when Mike Carona was doing it). Disgusted, Dalati is now a Democrat, and the Republicans turned off another group of brown voters.

*is where Republicans launched whisper campaigns against Todd Gallinger when he ran for Irvine City Council in 2008. There are many reasons to loathe Gallinger, who is a Larry Agran apologist and was the lawyer who made Orange Juice! blogger Art Pedroza run to the grasps of SanTana Mayor Don Papi Pulido–but his work for CAIR or his status as a Muslim ain't one of them.

*is where a guy like Tim Bueler–who, as a high school student came to Orange County and said he wished to kill Muslims for a living–can get a job with the Minuteman Project, which enjoyed Republican support for far too long.

*is where the California Coalition for Immigration Reform spews anti-Muslim rhetoric when they're not trashing Mexicans or gays–yet Republican politicians or their representatives show up for their blessings.

I could go on, but it's far too pretty a day to list every anti-Muslim incident O.C. has suffered over the years. Throw in the fact that most Orange Countians know next-to-nothing about local Muslim life besides the UCI Muslim Student Union, that Goat Boy got radicalized here, and that mosques have sprung up across OC in the past decade, and that we've never liked swarthy newcomers–and, honestly, what's the big deal with the Yorba Linda rally? The only reason any of us should be surprised is that it doesn't happen more often–and let's hope it doesn't.

*Yes, lunatics: anti-Muslim. The people who organized the fundraiser should've known better than to invite a bona fide loser like Amir Abdel Malik Ali as a keynote speaker–but, your side being your side, you couldn't resist just shitting on Islam in general instead of pointedly criticizing Malik Ali. Gracias for reminding the country how crazy and retrograde we truly are!

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