I hate giving morons free publicity, but sometimes it's necessary to spotlight the stupid as a sort of public service.
Such is the case with Tucson's notorious "slut-shaming" street preacher Brother Dean Saxton, who has garnered attention in the past by blasting University of Arizona coeds for wearing revealing clothing and therefore, in his cretinous opinion, deserving of rape.
Seems Saxton has been making the trek to Tempe recently to stand outside of the Islamic Community Center on Fridays (the Muslim day of worship), yell at people and tell them they will burn in hell.
He's even taken to tearing up a Quran in an effort to provoke a fight with worshippers, as you can see in this video, shot last Friday by members of the Tempe mosque.
"You guys are phonies," Saxton shouted from the sidewalk, as he ripped pages from Islam's holy book. "If you guys were real Muslims, you would kill me just for being an infidel. Not only am I an infidel, I desecrate the Quran."
Saxton also brought along a half-dozen other brain surgeons, some of whom held signs with such pearls of wisdom as "Muhammad is a liar, false prophet, murderer, child-molesting pervert."
Sure, the First Amendment protects Saxton as long as he remains on the sidewalk, but can you imagine what would occur if someone did the same thing to a Christian congregation, standing outside a chuch shouting invective while tearing up a Bible?
According to Liban Yousuf, spokesman for the Arizona branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Tempe mosque pretty much has been ignoring Saxton, who's appeared at the mosque every Friday for the last six weeks.
But since Saxton has been able to rally a few sympathizers of late, the mosque felt it needed to go public.
"The mosque didn't want to give it publicity," he told me. "But it has the [local Muslim] community alarmed. Community members are afraid."
Yousuf said local Muslims are concerned Saxton's efforts parallel incidents nationwide, such as an Oklahoma mosque's windows recently being shot out by a BB gun, and the February killings of three Muslims in Chapel Hill, NC.
Also, Yousuf says Saxton has been seen wearing a body camera, and CAIR is worried that if Saxton succeeds in provoking someone to fisticuffs, Saxton will have exactly what he wants: a viral video and a possible assault charge against a local Muslim.
So far, Saxton's obnoxious demonstrations have had the opposite of their intended effect, Yousuf says, with local Christians and others stopping by to express support for the mosque and ask if everyone is okay.
Indeed, today CAIR Arizona released a letter signed by 56 members of different faiths and religious groups, stating their "solidarity with our brothers and sisters in faith," and condemning Saxton's latest demonstrations as being "against all that we believe in."
To further combat Saxton's hate, ICC Tempe is hosting an open house tonight at 6 p.m."to push back against the hateful narrative and promote mutual understanding."
Other than Saxton and his prejudiced pals, everyone is welcome, according to Yousuf.
If you've never heard of Saxton before, VICE news produced an interesting mini-documentary last year on the guy, which is well worth watching, especially for the part where Saxton is stumped by a reporter's asking him to name his close friends.
The look on this loser's face, and the long pause, are hilarious.
Why give him any time on this blog? Well, as with the idiots at the Westboro Baptist Church's traveling freakshow, it's important for people to know about such folks and their weird agendas.
You know, like the Boy Scouts say: Be prepared.
And like I say: Be warned.
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