Not as portrayed
THURSDAY, SEPT. 22, 2011
UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL
To the Editor:
Please allow me to comment on Robin Sunbeam’s letter to the editor posted 9/2/11 titled “Hating Muslims doesn’t help.” I would first like to tell readers who I am and how we conduct Ukiah Valley Patriot meetings. I am the “MC” Ms. Sunbeam refers to in her letter, although I am more correctly called a facilitator.
The purpose of the Ukiah Valley Patriots is to inform and educate the public, empowering people to make better decisions in electing our city, state, and federal leaders. I conduct meetings in an open and orderly manner. We start every meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag followed by a short prayer (not unlike the prayer that opens each session of Congress). I allow everyone in attendance to speak their mind as long as it is done in a respectful manner and time permits.
Contrary to information presented by the mainstream media, we are not an extension of the Republican Party, although some of our members are Republicans. We welcome people of all parties who share our core values of fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets.
The speaker at our last meeting has been studying Islam for over 40 years and boasts knowing the Qur’an better than most Muslims. He does not hate Muslims nor does he promote hatred of Muslims; his fears for our country drive him to research and present facts most of us would never discover on our own. Everything presented at the meeting was either taken from Muslim documents, web sites, or straight out of the Qur’an; he even quoted the book and line number so if anyone so desired, they could find a Qur’an and verify the truth for themselves (Qur’ans have been translated into English and can be found online).
After our meeting, I approached Ms. Sunbeam to ask her why she continues to come to our meetings when she does not appear to share our values and in fact has written many falsehoods about us in the UDJ. I asked her if her purpose for coming to our meetings was to ‘try and find dirt on us.’ It didn’t occur to me at the time that Ms. Sunbeam would construe this as a guilt reaction as our group has never tried to hide anything. It seemed clear to me that her purpose for being there was to try to discredit us with the lies she writes to the newspaper in order to eventually destroy our message and influence. She has stated in a previous letter to the editor that her progressive organization can only draw seven people whereas the patriot group generally has 30 or more in attendance. Does she think that heckling our group is going to help her cause in any way?
Neither our ‘chaplain’ nor our ‘prayer man’ ever said anything that would indicate hatred of Muslims or wishing revenge against them. They were merely showing kindness to Ms. Sunbeam and trying to answer any questions she may have had regarding our group or our values. I’m sure they were not expecting what they got in return.