KATY ‚Äö√Ñ√Æ A Muslim group said it is no longer offended as Katy resident Craig Baker made good on his promise to stage Friday pig races next door to an 11-acre property the group has purchased to build a mosque. While members of the Katy Islamic Association attended afternoon prayer services, Baker was busy next door at 1918 Baker Road lining a track for 25 pigs to race on, assembling merchandise to sell to spectators and grilling sausages. About 100 people showed up for the event in the pouring rain.
Yesterday marked the first time that former DUMB@$$ AWARD wiener Craig Baker made good on his threat to stage weekly pig races on Fridays. What Baker sees as a legitimate and righteous attempt to protect his property and his rights has devolved into a Daily Show-quality farce. Baker may see himself as the aggrieved victim, but all he’s really done is to reveal himself as an unreconstructed bigot and DUMB@$$.
I can understand Baker’s concerns and those of his neighbors on Baker Road- to a point. They’re carefully couching their arguments in terms of property rights and concerns for increased traffic. What they seem unwilling or unable to recognize is that services at the Katy Islamic Center’s proposed mosque will involve a maximum of about 30 people. Even an unimproved two-lane road in rural Katy should be able to handle the additional traffic generated by 30 Muslim worshippers.
So what’s the real problem? Well, if Baker and his neighbors were to be honest, which isn’t about to happen, they’d admit that it’s about two things: Islam and 9.11. In the hermetically-sealed minds of Baker and his neighbors (and too many Americans) Islam is responsible for 9.11. The two are inextricably linked, and you cannot have one without the other.
If Baker and his fellow xenophobes would bother to remove their anteriors from their posteriors, they might recongize that the vast majority of observant Muslims roundly condemn those responsible for the attacks of 9.11 Then again, these folk aren’t listening. They’ve long-since made their minds up, and there’s no convincing them otherwise.
And they don’t want “terrorists” cavorting and worshipping next door.
A dispute erupted after the Muslim group announced plans in September to build a mosque and community center at 1800 Baker Road, south of Interstate 10 and adjacent to Baker’s marble shop.
Once the mosque is built, it will include a community center, athletic facilities and a school to serve about 500 Muslim families who live in the Katy area.
Katy-area resident Phil Canavespe was one person who was willing to talk about the community’s concerns. He said he purchased land and a ranch house from the Bakers, and he backs the stance Baker is taking with the Muslim group.
“This is not a racist or a religious issue,” Canavespe said. “It’s a two-lane, unmarked road with no shoulder or support for any type of church.”
Fair enough, but the leaders of the Katy Islamic Center have stated that most of the services and activities will not be attracting large numbers of worshippers. Does anyone really think that this argument would be taking place if a Baptist church had purchased the property next to Craig Baker? Of course not; if a Baptist church had moved in next door, Baker and his neighbors wouldn’t be making a peep. No, this is really all about Islam, and the fact that Baker and his neighbors don’t want “their kind” next door. The argument about traffic concerns is a canard designed to fool the unobservant into thinking that they have a legitimate beef.
His wife, Susan Canavespe, said what Baker is doing with the pig races is not “mean-spirited, it’s just Texas-spirited.”
Right. Apparently, “Texas-spirited” is indeed “mean-spirited”. How else could a reasonable person interpret racing pigs on the Muslim holy day? Nice message, eh? WE’RE IGNORANT, RACIST, KNUCKLE-DRAGGERS…AND WE DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT.
Baker said Kamel Fotouh, the association’s president, deeply offended his family, whose ties to the land goes back some 200 years, in suggesting that they pack up and leave. His 90-year-old grandmother, Anna Baker, was the first female bus driver for the Katy Independent School District.
Allam said if any interaction between the group and Baker was interpreted as a threat for Baker to vacate his land, it was unintentional.
“If we somehow communicated that to him, then we apologize,” Allam said.
Whatever the initial interactions between the parties involved, it provided all the ammunition Baker and his neighbors felt they needed to give their racist ignorance and intolerance free reign. Thankfully, Allam and his fellow Muslims were smart enough to realize that they really don’t have to do anything to expose Craig Baker and his neighbors as the unreconstructed, intolerant racists they are. If Allam and the Katy Islamic Association simple allow things to happen, Baker and his neighbors will hoist themselves on their own petards. Thankfully for DUMB@$$ AWARD fans everywhere, that’s exactly what’s happening.
Allam said the races, should they continue, would have no bearing on Friday holy day services.
“When things calm down and he realizes we’re here to say, we will talk to him to resolve our differences,” Allam said.
Allam’s intelligent enough to realize that Baker’s pig races and his overt, intolerant racism will only cause offense if they choose to take it that way. Eventually, Baker will realize that he’s being largely ignored by the targets of his idiocy, and he’ll realize it’s no fun if the people he’s trying to offend aren’t even paying attention.
Baker said people have made donations of $100 to $1,000 to sponsor the pig races. He plans to continue with the Friday pig races until attendance wanes.
Baker, who said media reports have miscast him as a racist and misquoted him, has put up a Web site, www.AmericanPigRace.com, to tell his story.
Apparently, it wasn’t enough to demonstrate to the Houston metropolitan area that he’s a bigot, a racist, and a world-class DUMB@$$. No, thanks to the power of the Internet, he can spread his knuckle-dragging xenophobia worldwide. We LOVE technology, don’t we??
It’s too bad that Craig Baker and his neighbors don’t possess the honesty and integrity to admit to what’s really driving their campaign against the Katy Islamic Association. They may feel that God, and the truth, is on their side, but all they’ve really done is to amply demonstrate their ignorance and bigotry. Nice job, eh??