Jan 21, 2016 12:05 PM
CONCORD - A college protester got into an argument with a Trump supporter about whether all Muslims are terrorists as a crowd gathered outside Concord High School on Monday for Donald Trump's appearance there.
The verbal conflict raises issues about whether Trump's harsh language about Muslim refugees is inciting hate speech - and potentially hate crimes - against American Muslims. Or whether Trump and his supporters are raising a legitimate concern for national security and have the right to speak out as a matter of free speech.
"If you're a Muslim, you follow Satan," a Trump supporter, later identified as a former marine, Joel Weinrebe, argues in the video. "There's three hundred million of them out there trying to kill people.... They want to kill you, want to rape your girlfriend and rape your mother 'cuz that's how pathetic they are."
Facebook was quick to respond.
Legal Director Giles Bissonnette, of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, said he sees the videotaped interaction, however heated, as an example of free speech at work.
"My take on the video is that everyone's speech is protected speech under the First Amendment," he said. The appropriate response to "hate" speech is more speech, and that's exactly what happened. "This was an example of the First Amendment in practice," he said.
Robert Azzi, of Exeter, an American Muslim and a columnist for the Concord Monitor, said he does have concerns about the anti-Muslim rhetoric but doesn't hold Donald Trump solely accountable.
"This is way beyond Trump," he said, noting that attacks against Muslims in America have risen significantly in recent months.
But vilifying all Muslims, instead of identifying a narrow group of extremists and radicals as the problem, is the real national security threat, he argues, because it feeds into the extremists' hands and risks recruiting more people to their ranks.
"If we want to protect our national interest, we need to be careful how we define our enemy," Azzi said. "He's creating a bigger boogie-man," Azzi said of Weinrebe.
Does Weinrebe's talk make Azzi worry for his personal safety? No. "I won't change a thing about my life," he said, but he knows other good people do suffer as a result of the anti-Islamic rhetoric.
And Azzi said he will continue to speak out to those who are willing to listen. Which is just what free speech is all about.
"If only popular speech were protected, a First Amendment wouldn't be needed," Bissonnette said.
Weinrebe's friend, state Rep. Al Baldassaro, said he thinks Weinrebe's comments are being misinterpreted. Weinrebe has served with American Muslims in the military, he said. "Muslims that serve in the Marines were brothers," he said. Weinrebe was talking about Muslims abroad, not Americans.
"I don't think it has anything to do with what Donald Trump said," Baldassaro said of his friend's position.
16 hours 47 minutes agoHundreds of residents in the New Ipswich area reported hearing a 'boom' and feeling the ground shake, resembling an explosion, around 9 p.m. Wednesday....
Jul 26, 2017 12:15 PMThe woman who posted a photo on Facebook of two men who appear to be doing drugs on a bench hopes that it will...
Jul 26, 2017 7:41 AMThe New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau and the division of state parks has two events planned to help remove invasive plants from Mt. Washington....
23 hours 6 minutes ago
23 hours 50 minutes agoA Stoddard woman who shot and killed her estranged husband in February 2017 will not face any charges. (More)
23 hours 26 minutes agoNew Hampshire transgender woman weighs in on President Trump reinstating ban on transgender people in the military. (More)
Jul 25, 2017 5:28 PMThe AG's Office released videos, dispatch audio and photographs from a private citizen's cell phone of an officer-involved shooting on I-89 in May. (More)
Jul 25, 2017 2:27 PMA NH man was arrested by police Monday and charged with assault for the vicious attack in June on a Planet Fitness employee. (More)
Jul 25, 2017 2:00 PMNew signs put up around the Queen City aim to deter drivers from giving money to panhandlers and instead support resources for the homeless...
Jul 25, 2017 5:42 PM
Jul 24, 2017 4:05 PMA woman accused of trying to steal a 21-month-old girl out of a moving car lost custody of her own 6-month-old son because of...
Jul 24, 2017 3:29 PMRochester police have arrested a man accused of brutally attacking a Planet Fitness employee as she left work for the night. (More)
Jul 24, 2017 12:50 PMA 10-year-old girl has been struck and killed by a vehicle after getting out of a car that had pulled over on the Massachusetts...
Jul 24, 2017 2:36 PMJoe Sharron from Windham was involved in an accident while in Mexico last December. He stopped breathing for 24 minutes and suffered a spinal...
Jul 24, 2017 9:37 AMPolice say Martin De Los Santos was charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. (More)
Jul 24, 2017 7:53 AMA Haverhill, Mass., man is facing charges after police say he shoved the boy while in a ball pit at a party rental space...
Jul 24, 2017 7:26 AMThe home's cluttered interior caused problems for firefighters responding to the early-morning blaze Monday. (More)
Jul 23, 2017 10:53 AMA New Hampshire teen crashed into a tree sending both himself and his passenger to the hospital. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 8:34 PMAccording to Fish and Game officials, one New Hampshire man has been pronounced dead after kayakers find him in the Upper Ammonoosuc River. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 6:20 PMA police officer in New Hampshire was assisted by one local resident when trying to apprehend a fleeing suspect. (More)
Jul 21, 2017 3:56 PMIf you want to make a splash, you should look (at this story) before you leap. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 7:41 PMAuthorities in Massachusetts say a woman has been charged in connection with the death of her boyfriend. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 9:42 AMThe New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says emergency responders have removed the body of a hiker whose body was found in the Dry...
Jul 21, 2017 2:59 PMWhen the next car pulled up to the traffic detail, she frantically told police that a cat was trapped on the roof of the...
Jul 20, 2017 2:34 PMWork has begun on the property that will soon house New Hampshire's newest indoor gun range. (More)
Jul 21, 2017 8:41 AMThunderstorms hit quickly in parts of central and southern NHThursday afternoon, producing wind gusts powerful enough to knock down trees and power lines. (More)
Jul 20, 2017 9:53 AMThe Salem man's suit seeks $5.5 million for punitive damages after his car was towed and stored by a Methuen, Mass., company after an...
Jul 21, 2017 7:37 AMThe body of a New Jersey man who went missing in the White Mountains was found Thursday. (More)
Jul 20, 2017 5:11 PMNearly 4,000 customers are without power. (More)
Jul 20, 2017 4:27 PMAn investigation has determined that a gas-powered generator is to blame for the carbon monoxide poisoning death of a man in Litchfield earlier this...
Jul 20, 2017 11:16 AMThe owner of a truck may be facing charges after leaving his dog in a truck Wednesday afternoon when the temperature was in the...
Jul 19, 2017 11:15 AMChester police officer conducts adorable "traffic stop" on Edwards Mill Road Tuesday night. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 3:56 PMThe neighborhood where a 6-year-old boy apparently overdosed is familiar with the opioid crisis. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 5:38 PMThe community is mourning Ciara Brill who passed away Tuesday after battling a rare brain cancer. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 2:27 PMA Maine woman who fled to safety amid a deadly rampage says her boyfriend's father promised not to hurt her as he killed his...
Jul 20, 2017 7:11 AMArizona Sen. McCain tells Sen. Lindsey Graham, "I'll be back" following treatments after cancer discovered cancerous tumor last week. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 10:27 AMNew Hampshire is likely to get the second heat wave of the summer the next few days. Some tips on how to beat the...
Jul 19, 2017 11:22 AMAMR personnel revived a 6-year-old boy with Narcan after they found him unresponsive in Manchester. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 9:38 AMThe Manchester Veterans Administration hospital reported a "catastrophic mechanical failure" at about 4 a.m. which flooded parts of the facility. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 7:19 AMSeveral area fire departments help fight the afternoon fire. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 7:49 AMA New Hampshire lobsterman has joined an elite club after catching a rare blue lobster. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 3:22 PMA new study shows boxed macaroni and cheese has more than 4 times the amount of harmful chemical than other cheeses. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 8:13 PMNH will become the 22nd state in the nation to decriminalize simple marijuana possession thanks to a bill Governor Sununu signed into law Tuesday....
Jul 18, 2017 12:45 PMA Troy man faces 20 charges after he allegedly fled from police while drunken driving. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 12:18 PMA former dean of students at Pembroke Academy was in court Tuesday following two previous missed appearances. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 3:10 PMRochester Police had previously gotten reports that the wanted man would 'not be taken alive' and 'would shoot any officer that tried arresting him.'...
Jul 17, 2017 4:04 PMEight-month-old baby Colton recently diagnosed with a fatal genetic disease. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 12:16 PMSununu ranked towards the middle of the pack, coming in as the 19th most approved governor with a 57 percent approval rating. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 1:05 PMNew Hampshire's attorney general says a search is being conducted at a home where the bodies of two women were found in January. (More)