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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

All the Best Jihadists Are in Columbus

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2007 at 9:43 AM

If you rely on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network for your news, you might have a slightly skewed vision of the world (for example, that Will & Grace was produced by Osama Bin Laden to turn America gay and end the procreation of Western society). Recently, one of Robertson’s crack reporters went out in search of terrorists hiding on American soil. Where did he find them? Ohio, of course. ... According to a broadcast aired last week on Robertson’s “700 Club,” the city of Columbus is one of the nation’s hotbeds for jihad, despite the fact that 92 percent of the city’s residents are too fat and lazy to take the stairs at the mall, let alone launch a holy war. Reporter Erick Stakelbeck interviewed Patrick Poole, a local blogger and right-wing wack-job, who considers himself a “consultant” on terrorism. The 39-year-old grew up in the affluent Columbus suburb of Hilliard, moved away to work for some conservative think tanks, then came back to Ohio to find that his beloved hometown had been converted into “one of the hottest centers of jihad in the country.” Ever since he came back to the area, Poole’s been on a Scooby-Do-like mission to smoke out the ter’rists and expose them for who they really are. The only problem is that Poole’s definition of “terrorist” may be a bit broad, including anyone who lacks a Chevy Silverado and isn’t nicknamed “Junior.” When the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio decided earlier this month to sponsor a speaking event at the Statehouse to promote religious harmony between Islam and other religions, Poole mouthed off on his blog, calling the event the “October Terror Fest” and accusing many of the planned speakers of having ties to extremist organizations in the Mid-East. Poole’s comments prompted the event’s organizers to ask the Ohio State Highway Patrol to investigate, but the patrol refused to waste its time. After all, one of Poole’s prime targets, a person he called the “foremost spokesman for Hamas in the U.S.,” was scheduled speaker Anisa Abd El Fattah, chairwoman of the National Association of Muslim American Women. Fattah interviewed earlier this year for an open seat on the Columbus Public School Board – not exactly the type to go around passing out dynamite vests. Despite his reputation for hurling bat-ass crazy accusations, Poole was treated as an authority on Robertson’s show, which has all the look and feel of a real news broadcast – minus the truth. But look at it this way: maybe more right-wing crazies like Poole will stay out of Ohio now. We’ll take suicide bombers over them any day. -- Soon-to-be-dubbed-a-terrorist Jared Klaus

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