The leader of the Bay Area Nationalist Anarchists, the white nationalist group that got beat down by black bloc anarchists at an immigrant rights march last year, will join the right-wing furor over Sharia law by burning a Koran on Friday at a to-be-disclosed location in the Bay Area.
The group's leader, Andrew Yeoman -- whose true name is, ironically, Andrew White -- says he'll burn a Koran in solidarity with Pastor Terry Jones and his Gainesville, Florida-based church, which threatened to torch a bunch of Korans last year on September 11.
Surely readers remember this guy?
saying it was a poor decision to burn a religion's holy book for
many reasons, in this case because it could compromise the security of
American forces in Afghanistan.
Jones, who faced a severe backlash -- even from President Barack Obama -- backed down, only to follow though with his fiery actions
last month in a bizarre "trial" and "execution" of the Muslim holy book. He had a fellow pastor burn a Koran in front of 30 people outside his church. Alas, Jones will be back in action on Friday, protesting in front of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Mich.
right-wingers have gone wild about Sharia law because of a widely misunderstood ruling by a Florida judge. Salon.com ran an excellent interview
earlier this month explaining the backstory, and why the court ruling does not at all show that Islamic law is working its way into the U.S. judicial system.
But the issue has been heated enough that Tennessee and Texas
legislators introduced legislation banning the use of cultural or religious laws in the United States. It has also prodded Chuck Norris -- yes, that Chuck
Norris -- to write a series of articles on the issue.
Asked to give examples of what he views as the local Sharia threat, Yeoman points to the Islamic Finance Forum that was held this month at UC Berkeley.
Yeoman says he will probably be the only one at Friday's burning. So one Koran will apparently go up in flames.
But if we learned anything from BANA's last high-profile protest of the slasher film Machete -- where protesters had promised to come armed with machetes -- it's that they are usually a buzzkill. In that protest, it was only Yeoman and a couple of supporters with cardboard machetes,
passing out pamphlets at a Livermore cineplex.
Anyway, Yeoman claims that this burning "is not against Muslims, or a religion. It's
against a series of laws that prescribes death for homosexuality and
dress codes for women."
When we noted that his actions could be
interpreted as a sign of aggression, Yeoman responded: "That's an unfortunate side effect, and we have no problem with people
following a religion of their choice as long as our local traditions and
practices are respected."
You mean respected in that let's-burn-the-Koran sort of way?
Yeoman says he doesn't care too much if his actions harm America's mission in the Middle East.
"As antiwar activists ourselves, we're not
really concerned with the U.S. military achieving their objectives -- it's
really kind of irrelevant to us," he says. "What's more important is that Sharia
law is unacceptable in San Francisco and
across America, and we have certain rights that our people fought and
died for and if we don't exercise it,