Interfaith Group Turning Trashed Home into NH’s First Full-Time Mosque – Donations NOW MATCHED!

Multiple full truckloads of garbage and junk were removed this week, totaling hundreds of dollars in dump fees.

Multiple full truckloads of garbage and junk were removed this week, totaling several hundred dollars in dump fees.

It’s been a crazy week, but major progress has been made turning a house that was trashed by its previous “libertarian” tenants into NH’s first full-time mosque. The Masjid al Latiff and Interfaith Community Center (MALIC Center) is Will Coley‘s vision that is becoming a reality, thanks to an interfaith group of people who have over the last week been removing junk, cleaning up a unspeakably disgusting mess, repairing damage to the home, painting, removing trees, and more. Whether Muslim, Christian, Panentheist, or even agnostic or atheist, it’s been awesome to see that the MALIC Center is already creating an interfaith community despite not having officially opened its doors.

When Will, who will be the future mosque’s Imam and caretaker, approached the Shire Free Church about property availability in Keene for a mosque, I’d have been excited about just that opportunity to help him with that idea, but his vision was much bigger than that. In addition to its full-time mosque function, as an interfaith community center, the MALIC Center will also be usable by other smaller area religions looking for a house of worship, like the Quakers. Plus, Will plans to operate a homeless warming center in the colder months.

As the Shire Free Church is an interfaith peace church, the MALIC Center vision dovetails perfectly with the mission of the Church. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to assist with this by both donating the property in question on behalf of the Church and helping clean it up. Thankfully we don’t have to do it all alone, as it’s a big job. We’ve had multiple libertarian community members from across the state come to help us including a mayoral candidate in Keene, Bob Call who joined us early on to help haul out the initial junk and trash, and Libertarian candidate for governor in NH for 2018, Jilletta Jarvis who today was helping scrub the floors.

The interfaith cleanup crew has included Christians working alongside Muslims, and others!

The interfaith cleanup crew has included Christians working alongside Muslims, and others!

We’ve made great progress, as the video below documents, but one of the challenges beyond the cleanup effort itself has been fundraising. Will and his family have raised nearly 50% of their $11,000 goal at crowdfunding site LaunchGood.com and have made the move on faith despite not having reached their goal.

In order to assist further, the Shire Free Church is going to match donations from now until the $11,000 goal is reached! The fundraiser as of now has $5,256 raised by 93 contributors. Only six days remain. If you donate $10, the Church will double it to $20. If you donate $50, the Church will double that to $100, and so on. Please take a moment and give here at Launchgood. (Bitcoin and Litecoin donation QR codes are on the Launchgood page too!)

Here’s a megavideo compilation of the several facebook livestreams Will has done from the Center over the last week via his personal profile and the MALIC Center page:

Political Prisoner Christopher Cantwell: Exclusive Interview From Jail Cell

Pre-Racism Chris Cantwell talks about Bitcoin to attendees at the 2014 Cheshire Fair

For background on who Keene resident and white nationalist Christopher Cantwell was before his turn toward racism, please see my previous article, “The Curious Case of Christopher Cantwell” here. You may have heard that he was recently denied bail after being initially granted it by a different Albemarle county Virginia judge, regarding alleged pepper spraying of people at a violent protest involving despicable white nationalists and also-despicable “anti-fascists” aka “antifa”.

Chris recently received more than fifteen minutes of infamy when VICE news did a documentary about the hate-fueled protests a few weeks ago in Charlottesville, VA. Video of him spraying pepper spray in the middle of a fight between the protestors quickly surfaced and VA police issued multiple felony warrants for his arrest and he ultimately turned himself in. Despite having a history of attending court and no criminal history of violence on his record, Chris was denied bail, with the judge in the appeal actually citing his free speech, offensive as it is, as a reason for the denial! Judge Cheryl Higgins said, according to a paraphrase by Daily Progress:

while he may be a “shock jock,” his comments following the rally should not be ignored and “tend to show a certain level of approval of the violence that was used.

Chris Cantwell's Fourth Try at An Attorney, Elmer Woodard

Chris Cantwell’s Fourth Try at An Attorney, Elmer Woodard

She then stripped him of the $25,000 bond option that another judge earlier in the same day had granted. This after an hours-long bail appeal hearing where Cantwell’s bizarre attorney actually had him take the stand to testify – generally considered to be a terrible legal strategy this early in a case. According to the Daily Beast, Cantwell’s attorney is Elmer Woodard:

who appeared in court wearing an early-1800s-style red waistcoat with gold buttons, bowtie, white muttonchop whiskers, black velcro shoes, and a a 1910s-style straw boater hat. Cantwell said Woodard was his fourth choice for legal counsel after three other lawyers declined to take his case.

Inept attorney aside, Cantwell’s racism and his violent rhetoric, while despicable and deplorable, is not reason to deny bail. Unfortunately, far too many people, even supposed libertarians who should know better, are applauding his political imprisonment. I caution you to remember the famous poem from the World War II era’s German pastor Martin Niemoller:

Chris in Simpler Times, Acting as Security for the Hallowkeene Dance Party in 2014.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.

 

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

 

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.

 

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

Whether Chris shot pepper spray aggressively or in self-defense remains to be seen. He’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. To keep him in pre-trial detention harms his ability to prepare his defense and anyone who cares about a fair justice system should be outraged.

You can hear him tell his side of the story in this recent episode of Free Talk Live from this Saturday where we had him on live from his jail cell in Albemarle County, VA. It starts at about 44:29 in to the show:

NH Blogger Rails Against Border Patrol Checkpoints, Calls Out Libertarians

Border Patrol Agents

Border Patrol Agents Bothering Innocent Motorists

NH blogger Susan the Bruce has written an excellent post excoriating the police state and its invasive internal Border Patrol checkpoints, one of which was set up this weekend just south, curiously, of the NH Cannabis Freedom Festival. Sure enough, more people were arrested for drug possession at the checkpoint than were arrested for immigration, according to the article at the Union Leader.

In her blog, Susan writes:

NH was one of the states that fought hard against REAL ID. That opposition was in character with the “live free or die” philosophy we’re supposed to be famous for embracing. It was in character with our reputation as a libertarian leaning state.

Somewhere along the way we stopped fighting REAL ID and meekly submitted. Sixteen years of indoctrination – a combination of fear based agitprop and training to submit to authority, changed our tune from Just Say No to We Have to do this for National Security. REAL ID means that the state maintains a database of information on people, including Social Security numbers and photos.

She’s right. This year in the state house the supposed privacy nut state rep, Neil Kurk, capitulated after years of holding firm against REAL ID, and endorsed the state’s partial embracing of the federal ID standards. One who wishes to acquire a non-REAL ID-compliant card can still get one, but according to someone I know who visited the DMV this week, the DMV bureaucrats are pushing the new REAL ID version.

NH Internal Border Patrol Checkpoint

NH Internal Border Patrol Checkpoint

I recommend reading Susan’s whole post, it’s well-done and there’s very little she says that I can disagree with. Until the end, that is. She says in the final paragraph:

There hasn’t been a peep out of the liberty and freedumb crowd about this. Not a word from the allegedly liberty loving Free Staters. The folks who do the wailin’ about gummint encroachment on our lives are strangely silent when it comes to “show us your papers” stops. Their interest in gummint interference extends to deregulation and tax cuts. Actual violations of privacy and civil liberties don’t interest them in the slightest.

I may not be a “Free Stater”, but I love liberty and am friends with many of them. I have seen plenty of liberty people upset about these checkpoints and they have posted their outrage online… on facebook. Which means no one hears it except those connected to the person on facebook – such posts only hit the libertarian echo chamber. Sadly, most of the people who are here are not bloggers like Susan and me. They are just as outraged as she, but fail to communicate it effectively to a wider audience. (more…)

State Rep from Keene, NH Promises Full Body Wax if $50,000 Raised for Hurricane Victims

State Representative Joseph Stallcop, for Keene's Ward One

State Rep Joseph Stallcop will wax all body hair if his fundraiser reaches its goal.

Earlier this year, New Hampshire state representative Joseph Stallcop of Keene became the second sitting state rep to flip to the Libertarian party, and the first democrat to do so nationwide in two decades. Now, representative Stallcop has announced a fundraiser for the victims of the hurricane in Texas:

Obviously anyone can donate to the Red Cross anytime, but Stallcop’s fundraiser will be benefiting the Red Cross with a twist. If his fundraiser reaches its goal, he’ll be stripping down for a full body waxing – ouch! Plus, he’ll receive the waxing on video to prove it. He explains in his fundraiser that he’s a huge Rocky Horror Picture Show fan and generally dresses up each October, but this year he’ll go all the way and add a full body waxing (except his head & eyebrows) to his Rocky costume if the fundraiser makes it before Halloween.

Also, in case you were concerned, your donation goes straight to the Red Cross via fundraising site Crowdrise, not to Stallcop. He’s just putting his own body hair on the line to encourage you to contribute. I just threw in $25 on behalf of the Shire Free Church. Please contribute here.

Muslims Fundraising to Open Full Time Mosque in Keene

Ernest Hancock and Will Coley Broadcasting from Shirefest 2017

Ernest Hancock and Will Coley Broadcasting from Shirefest 2017

“America’s Favorite Redneck Muslim”, Will Coley has made a major announcement! The host of Muslim radio show, “Call to Freedom“, and his family are moving from their longtime home of Tennessee to beautiful Keene, New Hampshire and they’ll be opening a full-time mosque in property donated by the Shire Free Church! Fundraising has begun over at Muslim fundraising site Launchgood with an $11,000 target, the Coleys have already raised over $2,000 with just over two weeks to go.

He’s calling it the Masjid al Latiff and Interfaith Community Center, (aka the MALIC Center) and on his fundraiser page says it will be the first house of worship of its kind in all of New Hampshire! Though it looks like Concord’s Muslim community is also making similar plans, Keene’s seems on target to open its doors sooner than Concord. As one of the founding ministers of the Shire Free Church, I’m elated to be able to dedicate our property to this historic and worthy religious purpose. If it were just a full-time mosque, that would dovetail perfectly with our interfaith church’s mission to foster peace, but Will has promised that the space will also be usable at times by other area religions of peace, such as the Quakers.

In addition to the goal of creating a Muslim community in Southwestern New Hampshire, Will is also planning to conduct outreach to the community and helping dispel the pervasive myths that many Americans mistakenly hold about Islam. When I was in jail for civil disobedience I took the time to read the entire Quran and studied with a Muslim who was in my cell block. I’ve been grateful for Will’s many appearances on my talk radio program, Free Talk Live. We’ve had him on for multiple segments of “Ask a Muslim”, where he fields all kinds of questions from listeners who know little about Islam. I’m excited to have him on more often live in-studio.

Will Coley Conducting his Ramadan Dawah at Porcfest

Will Coley Conducting his Ramadan Dawah at Porcfest

Many who have attended the Porcupine Freedom Festival will recognize Will as the generous man who each year has come up from Tennessee to serve food to the festival-goers during Ramadan as his “dawah” (Muslim outreach). In addition to his generosity, he’s a talented speaker and is currently completing his Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic studies training in the Maliki school.

It’s truly an honor to assist in this new addition to the Keene community that will hopefully attract more Muslims to the area and bring a new level of understanding about Islam to the community at large.

Do you have a few dollars you can spare to help Will and his family make their move to the Shire? Please contribute to the Launchgood fundraiser here (you don’t need to be Muslim to contribute). Here’s Will’s vision for the MALIC Center:

The Curious Case of Christopher Cantwell

Only advocates of peace are allowed to blog at FreeKeene.com

Only advocates of peace are allowed to blog at FreeKeene.com

This week the Keene Sentinel published a front-page article about Christopher Cantwell, a racist, white-supremacist podcaster who lives in Keene. Unfortunately the Sentinel’s original version of the article, which appears in the print edition, erroneously claims that Chris Cantwell was a Free Keene blogger. Thankfully, the Sentinel quickly corrected that error in their online edition, as Chris has never been a blogger here at Free Keene. Free Keene’s motto is “Peaceful Evolution”. Chris’ message over the years has never been one of peace, so he never has been invited to blog here. People advocating violence and hate are not welcome to blog on this site.

If you search for his name on this site, you’ll find a bunch of articles about him. That’s because until the last year or two of his life, he’d been a libertarian activist with no known racist streak. Free Keene reports on libertarian activism statewide, so we’ve covered some of the things he’s done over time.

When Chris first moved to Keene several years ago, he was just an angry libertarian comedian who had a major hatred for the police. His then-beliefs about using violence against the state’s agents were immediately controversial among the various libertarians who’d moved here as part of the Free State Project. Those beliefs aren’t atypical of some libertarians, especially those who’ve been directly affected by the police state, as Chris had back in New York, where he was born and raised. However, they were voiced by him loudly enough to get him kicked out of the Free State Project and ostracized by a bunch of people.

Chris Cantwell Dead Cop Costume

Chris in Simpler Times, Acting as Security for the Hallowkeene Dance Party in 2014.

As I predicted, once Chris was able to connect with the Keene police, he started to see them as human beings, just as I had a decade ago after moving here with a similar axe to grind against police. Unfortunately, Chris’ anger shifted away from the police and onto people who look different from him.

A couple of years ago, he began down this road to his current skinhead-racist form and once that happened, we had to dump him as a co-host of my radio show, Free Talk Live. As libertarians, we believe in the individual and don’t see people as groups based on color, gender, or religion. Chris now only sees the group rather than the individual. He’s one of the few people who has turned away from the libertarian message after having embraced it.

As long as I’ve known him, he’s always fed off the hate directed towards him. He’s even said that the more people hate him, the more money he makes. Now he’s more hated than he’s ever been after this weekend’s huge publicity explosion for him after his involvement in the protests and fights down in Charlottesville. Here’s a 20 minute VICE documentary that has gone viral featuring his horrible, racist views.

Is this racist turn just a money-making scheme for him? Others believe Chris is actually an undercover agent or confidential informant for the federal government. While I don’t personally believe that about him, having known him pretty well for several years, I understand why they believe that. He fits the bill for an agent provocateur. The advocates of this theory say that Chris came into the libertarian movement advocating for violence against police, but when that didn’t work, he got reassigned to advocate for violence in the white supremacy movement. It wouldn’t be the first time the federal government had a radio host working for them inside the white supremacists.

Regardless of whatever the truth is about Chris and his motivations, his racist views are despicable and I think I can speak for all the bloggers here (if not, they can reply with their own blog) when I say we don’t support racism or hating people because of their religion or gender. Individuals should be judged on their actions and words, not the circumstances of their birth.