GOP: Islamic Rally Videotape Doctored

Orange County protest brings questions from all over

Saturday, Mar 5, 2011  |  Updated 2:21 PM PDT
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GOP: Islamic Rally Videotape Doctored

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An Internet video showing U.S.-flag-waving crowds yelling at men, women and children attending an Orange County fundraiser for an Islamic charity relief agency is making worldwide headlines and quickly turning into a he-said she-said scuffle.

But a Villa Park city council member who is prominently featured in the video says it was craftily edited to change the meaning of her words, and falsely make her look like she wanted Muslims raising money to feed the homeless to be killed by Marines.

Indeed, video of protestors hurling insults at the Muslims were shot in darkness, apparently several hours after a sun-splashed afternoon rally where two Congressmen and Villa Park council member Deborah Pauly spoke Feb. 13. That organized rally criticized the Muslim charity's invitations to two Islamic leaders who have supported Hamas or Hezbollah and anti-American policies in the Mideast.

The video features flag-waving protestors chanting, “go back home, go back home” at people wearing Islamic garb. As a family with children left the event, one woman protestor shouted “Why don't you go beat up your wife like you do every night? Maybe you ought to go have sex with a nine-year-old, and marry her.”

In the midst of those shots, Pauly points to the side and says “I know quite a few Marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.” The video is apparently edited to imply she is referring to the people inside the fundraiser, but she maintains she was referring to violent jihadists in the Middle East.

Waqas Syed, a spokesman for the Islamic Circle of North America, said the protest against the fundraiser preached intolerance and hate from within the Republican Party. Pauly is first vice chair of the Orange County G.O.P. Organizing Committee, and a Tea Party activist.

“This kind of protest from elected officials advocating murder is unprecedented,” Syed said on Saturday. “We need to address this kind of hate.”

Syed said his group will demand that Pauly resign her G.O.P. post and apologize.

The video features flag-waving protestors chanting that people wearing Islamic garb should “go back home, go back home.” As a family with children left the event, one woman protestor shouted “why don't you go beat up your wife like you do every night? Maybe you ought to go have sex with a nine-year-old, and marry her.”

In the midst of those shots, Pauly says “I know quite a few Marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise,” but the video implies she is referring to the people inside the fundraiser.

“This was edited to completely change the context,” Pauly said on Saturday. “I was referring to terrorists who believe their actions of violence will lead them to paradise, and not the people at the fundraiser.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations posted a video of the protests, and the charity fundraiser inside, on the web. Since then, the video has been featured on Internet news sites like the Huffington Post, Salon and has been broadcast by Al Jazeera.

Insults and jeers directed at the men, women and children raising money for the Islamic charity was videotaped in the dark, hours after Pauly and two congressmen had addressed a rally that was called because the two headliners at the fundraiser are supporters of Hamas and Hezbollah and opposed to U.S. policies in the Mideast.

The video shows a small group of protestors taunting and chanting outside the charity fundraiser as people entered and departed that night. Spliced into it were sections of speeches from earlier that afternoon, when Pauly and congressmen Ed Royce and Gary Miller spoke at a rally.

Syed stressed that the fundraiser's headliners, Siraj Wahhaj and Amir Abdel Malik Ali, are entitled to hold their own political views, but stressed the charity group that met in Yorba Linda does not share those views or support any political cause.

“We do not have any views on the Middle East,” he told City News Service Saturday. “We have excellent relations with all religions, Christian and Jewish and other.”

He dismissed claims by the protestors that they were targeted because of the Hezbollah or Hamas connections with the speakers. “We had a meeting with the protestors eight days before the event, and nothing short of actually canceling the event would have satisfied the protesters.”

“The event raised $60,000 for a homeless shelter, food bank and ‘feed the hungry’ program in the city of Riverside,” said Syed.

Pauly stressed that the protest rally was aimed only at the two speakers, and not at Muslims in general. As it was ending, she said, a small group of more-radical people gravitated to the fundraiser's doors and started hurling insults and chanting.

“We don't even know who these people are, they arrived as our event was ending,” Pauly told City News Service. “They are a splinter group.”

Syed said people attending the fundraiser recognized many of the insult- hurlers as persons who had issued similar anti-Muslim statements in Temecula in recent months, where the City Council unanimously approved construction of a mosque that was opposed by extreme Christian elements.

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