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February 3, 2011
DOJ's Thomas Perez encourages Muslim victimhood
The Department of Justice has announced its intention to appeal the ruling entered in a federal court in Florida wherein a judge found ObamaCare to be unconstitutional. Your tax dollars -the fruits of your labor- are funding that statist effort.
What else have the powers that be at DOJ been up to recently?
Last Friday, Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, visited a mosque in Davis, California "to discuss civil rights and other issues of concern to the Muslim American community." He was joined by the U.S. Attorney for that district, Benjamin Wagner. Wagner had met with a number of imams and Muslim groups leading up to the meeting, which was part of DOJ's "outreach initiative to enhance engagement with Muslim and Arab-American communities around the country."
The primary purpose of the meeting was to express to attendees that the DOJ, as Perez said, "is committed to responding forcefully to recent incidents of anti-Muslim discrimination and hate crimes." Since September 2001, DOJ has charged 49 people with crimes involving violence, threats, vandalism or arson against "persons perceived to be Muslim or to be of Arab, Middle Eastern, and South-Asian origin," resulting in 45 convictions.
In his introduction of Perez, Wagner interjected that one of the concerns expressed to him by the mosque's imam was congregants "getting into too much debt." Wagner said without qualification that "a lot of that [problem] in this area is due to mortgage fraud and predatory lending or other conduct that may be in violation of federal law," affecting an air of victimhood right off the bat.
Perez and Wagner each spoke briefly and obsequiously before fielding questions (a video is at the bottom the page here). They heaped praise on attendees for the "remarkably important" accomplishments of Muslims. The main message was a call for more dialogue and the building of a "partnership." Perez solicited grievances (even providing his email address) and emphasized the DOJ's readiness to take action against discrimination and other acts of intolerance.
Both attorneys pooh-poohed Rep. Peter King's upcoming hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims and added that, unlike King, who's seeking to score "political points," they are "not political."
Responding to a question, Wagner made it clear that if money paid to fulfill zakat winds up funding an act of violence overseas, no federal crime has been committed if the almsgiver was unaware of the ill intent.
Perez stated that "it is undeniable that we are sailing into a headwind of intolerance against the Muslim community." At one point he said, "We are a remarkably robust community of immigrants and that's what has made America great.
Thomas Perez and immigration. That sounds familiar.
Perez is "playing a leading role in the Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona's new immigration law," according to the Washington Examiner. And in September he lead the DOJ's lawsuit against Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Of Perez, Byron York wrote, "Of all the transformations that have taken place in the Obama administration, perhaps none is so radical as that within the Civil Rights Division. Under Perez, it is bigger, richer and more aggressive than ever, with a far more expansive view of its authority than at any time in recent history."
Perez , who worked on Barack Obama's campaign and served on his transition team, is a strong proponent of using "disparate impact theory" to prosecute discrimination. Under this approach, no proof of discriminatory intent is necessary and "a practice is said to be illegal if it results in racially disproportionate effects...even if it is neutral on its face, is applied neutrally, and was adopted for race-neutral reasons."