Sunday, May 31, 2009

If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days because they get infections.... Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.
Newt Gingrich (b. 1943), U.S. Republican senator from Georgia, Speaker of the House of Representatives. remark during a history class at Reinhardt College, Georgia. See also Pat Schroeder’s response, under “sexism.” New York Times, p. A20 (January 19, 1995

In her latest foaming-mouth tome — Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America, released on Jan. 6 — Coulter spends the better part of three pages defending a group called the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which The New York Times had described as a “thinly veiled white supremacist organization.” Coulter begs to differ. The CCC, Coulter opines, is “a conservative group” that has unfairly been branded as racist “because some of the directors of the CCC had, decades earlier, been leaders of a segregationist group.” “There is no evidence on its Web page that the modern incarnation of the CCC supports segregation,” she says. “Apart from some aggressive reporting on black-on-white crimes — the very crimes that are aggressively hidden by the establishment media — there is little on the CCC website suggesting” that the group is racist. Indeed, its main failing is “containing members who had belonged to a segregationist group thirty years earlier.”
Contrary to Coulter's assertion, there is more than abundant evidence beyond their origins that the CofCC is a profoundly racist organization dedicated to white supremacy. For example:
The CCC’s columnists have written that black people are “a retrograde species of humanity,” and that non-white immigration is turning the U.S. population into a “slimy brown mass of glop.” Its website has run photographic comparisons of pop singer Michael Jackson and a chimpanzee. It opposes “forced integration” and decries racial intermarriage. It has lambasted black people as “genetically inferior,” complained about “Jewish power brokers,” called gay people “perverted sodomites,” and even named the late Lester Maddox, the baseball bat-wielding, arch-segregationist former governor of Georgia, “Patriot of the Century.”
One day, the CCC ran photos on its home page of accused Beltway snipers John Muhammad and John Malvo, 9/11 conspirator Zacharias Moussaoui and accused shoe-bomber Richard Reed. “Notice a Pattern Here?” asked a caption underneath the four photos. “Is the face of death black after all?” On another occasion, its website featured a photo of Daniel Pearl, the “Jewish Wall Street Journal reporter” who had just been decapitated by Islamic terrorists. In the photo, Pearl was shown with his “mixed-race wife, Marianne.” The headline above the couple’s picture was stunning even for the CCC: “Death by Multiculturalism?” The CCC Arkansas chapter ran an essay waxing nostalgic for the days “when racial separation was the norm.”
But to Ann Coulter, there is “no evidence” on its website that the CCC “supports segregation.” Mostly, she says, the group — which was formed from the debris of the White Citizens Councils that Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall once called “the uptown Klan” — is about “a strong national defense, the right to keep and bear arms, the traditional family, and an ‘America First’ trade policy.” Indeed, she says, The New York Times and other critics of the CCC are simply liberals “who have no principles.”

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Nadiyah Furqan, 18, in public wears head coverings and long, dark, loosely fitted garments — a look that easily identifies her as a likely member of the Muslim faith.
“We get a lot of stares,” Furqan said. “Sometimes I wish they’d stop staring and just ask us a question.”
Furqan, and other Baton Rouge Muslim teens, said they want other teenagers and adults of Christian faiths to understand them better and stop stereotyping them.
They see terrorists’ attacks as murder and say their faith does not remotely support such acts. Their faith teaches them the principle of peace (Salam), a term students use frequently in greeting one another, they said.
“My religion is a part of my life,” Furqan said. “We pride ourselves on being Muslim.”
Furqan graduated from Brighter Horizon School on May 10 and she plans to attend LSU and major in medicine or engineering.
Being part of a minority religion in Baton Rouge is challenging at times, Furqan said. But she is used to taking a stand. Her parents converted from Christianity to Islam years ago.
Many area Muslim teens attend religious and social events at the Islamic Center of Baton Rouge on East Airport Drive, where they also pray and listen to speeches on the tenets of their faith.
But teenagers will be teenagers, they said. Many students said they enjoy talking on the phone with their friends, meeting up in the mall, shopping at favorite stores, including Victoria’s Secret, watching movies, hanging out and just having fun.
Several Muslim teens said hardly a day passes when they aren’t asked a question about their Muslim faith or about the way they dress or how they feel about the violence in the Middle East.
What people may find different in Furqan’s school, Brighter Horizon School, is that it caters to a predominantly Islamic student body in grades pre-kindergarten through 12th.
Students gather and pray together daily in a carpeted room designated specifically for prayer.
Alicia Faical, 16, a Woodlawn High School student, chose to practice Islam. Her father is Lebanese and practices Islam. Her mother is Mexican and practices Catholicism.



The thin North Korean guard shuffles around in his dull green uniform, a pair of binoculars fixed to his eyes, while a squad of South Koreans in black helmets glare back silently from their positions across the border.
For more than a half century, this divided hamlet has been the front-line of a fragile truce that ended the three-year Korean War. Intimidation has been honed to a fine art here. But while tensions this week rose to their highest level in years, there was an odd sense of calm in the Demilitarized Zone.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Washington's abuzz about health care, but why isn't a single-payer plan an option on the table? Public Citizen's Dr. Sidney Wolfe and Physicians for a National Health Program's Dr. David Himmelstein on the political and logistical feasibility of health care reform.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Investigate officers for policy of routine use of violence
B'Tselem and ACRI demand that a Military Police investigation be opened, following the publication of testimonies by the Kfir Brigade commander and the Shimshon Battalion commander, which indicate a policy of deliberate violence toward Palestinians.

Palestinians displaced by Operation Cast Lead living in tents
According to the UN, Israel destroyed 3,500 homes in Operation Cast Lead. Some of the displaced persons now live in tents, in harsh conditions. Participants in B'Tselem's video project documented life in one encampment. 

Testimonies: Settlers assault elderly farmers
According to testimonies given to B'Tselem by Muhammad and 'Abdallah Wahadin, on 26 April, settlers assaulted them with stones while they were on their way home from their farmland, in Hebron District.

Army denies results of use of phosphorous
B'Tselem demands that the army stop all use of white phosphorous in Gaza, and that its use in Operation Cast Lead be thoroughly investigated. The conclusions of a recent army inquiry into the matter are completely divorced from the effects suffered in the field.

Testimony: Settlers throw stones with soldiers present
According to a testimony given to B'Tselem, on 3 April, soldiers allowed dozens of settlers to throw stones at homes and cars in the Wadi a-Nasara neighborhood of Hebron, and threatened Palestinians who protested.

CAIR Questions FBI Tactics in NY Synagogue ‘Plot’
New details of informant’s actions prompt Muslim group’s concerns

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/26/2009)  A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy grouptoday questioned the FBI’s tactics leading up to the arrest of four New York men for allegedly plotting to attack Jewish institutions in that state.

Based on early reports of a foiled plot to bomb a synagogue and a Jewish community center and to shoot down military planes, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) initially applauded the FBI and the other law enforcement agencies that took part in the investigation.

In a statement issued today, CAIR cited newly-revealed details of the case that indicate the alleged “plot” may have been based more on the financial inducements of a government informant than on the predisposition to terrorism of three petty criminals and a mentally ill Haitian immigrant. The Associated Press described the alleged plotters as “down-and-out ex-convicts living on the margins in a faded industrial city.”

SEE: Islam Not to Blame for Bronx Terror Plot (Huffington Post)

“This entire scheme seems to be the product of sending yet another FBI agent provocateur into an American mosque to instigate a ‘plot’ that would likely never have been hatched but for the rhetorical and financial inducements of the government informant. As a defense attorney said of the informant in this case, who was also the informant in a previous case, ‘Where he goes conspiracies blossom.’ According to the family of one of the suspects, the FBI informant even promised to pay for a liver transplant for his dying brother.

“We need to know who first suggested the specific targets in this plot and, if it was the FBI informant, why a government agency would create a scenario that may drive a wedge between two American religious minorities.

“These arrests seem to be based on a government formula for announcing law enforcement ‘victories’ that we have seen all too often in the past - take a paid informant, insert him into a mosque or community without probable cause of criminal behavior, locate marginal characters open to financial or rhetorical inducements, facilitate criminal actions suggested by the provocateur, and then announce ‘terror’ arrests with great fanfare.

“This formula, which could be used in any faith community, produces flashy arrests but rests on shaky constitutional ground and does little to advance legitimate law enforcement goals. It also serves to alienate an entire religious minority and provides fodder for those who seek to demonize Islam and marginalize American Muslims.”

SEE: Terrorism Arrests: Snitch, Sting, then Controversy (AP)

CAIR’s statement reiterated the American Muslim community’s longstanding repudiation of terrorism in all its forms and encouraged anyone who is aware of criminal activity to immediately contact law enforcement authorities.

SEE: Muslim Organizations Condemn Terror Plan: Is Anyone Listening?
SEE ALSO: CAIR’s Anti-Terrorism Campaigns

The statement also restated CAIR’s concerns about Justice Department guidelines, implemented under the Bush administration, which allow race and ethnicity to be factors in opening an FBI probe.

In an interview with the New York Post, the girlfriend of the alleged ringleader said the informant was constantly around, “It was like he was stalking him." The girlfriend of one of the other alleged plotters said: "They aren't radicals they were just financially motivated. They aren't terrorists. If [the informant] wasn't in the picture they would've never come up with this idea. This was not their idea. They make it sound like they sought him out and said we want to do this when he's the one who approached them. He enticed them with money.”

The New York Times wrote: “Everyone called the stranger with all the money ‘Maqsood.’ He would sit in his Mercedes, waiting in the parking lot of the mosque in Newburgh, N.Y., until the Friday prayer was over. Then, according to members of the mosque, the Masjid al-Ikhlas, he approached the young men.”

A lawyer who represented the last terror suspect tried in New York state called the FBI’s operation “a foolish waste of time and money.” He said, “It is almost as if the FBI cooked up the plot and found four idiots to install as defendants.”

SEE: FBI ‘Lured Dimwits’ Into Terror Plot (The Times)
SEE ALSO: Yet Another Bogus 'Terror' Plot (The Nation)

CAIR noted that the FBI informant in a similar case in California recently stated that he views Islam as a threat to national security.

SEE: FBI Spy: "Islam Itself is a Threat to National Security"

In March, a coalition of major national Islamic organizations announced that it is considering suspending outreach relations with the FBI, citing similar incidents in which American mosques and Muslim groups have been targeted. The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT) also called on the FBI to reassess the use of informants as agents provocateurs within the Muslim community.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif, 212-870-2002732-429-4268,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787 or 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

CAIR Applauds FBI for Preventing Attacks on NY Jewish Sites

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/21/2009)  The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded efforts by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies that apparently thwarted an alleged plot to attack Jewish institutions in New York.

Four men were arrested Wednesday for allegedly plotting to bomb a synagogue and a Jewish community center. The men also allegedly planned to shoot down military planes.

SEE: Synagogue Targeted in NY Plot, Four Charged (Reuters)

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

“We applaud the FBI, the New York Police Department and the other law enforcement agencies that took part in the investigation for their efforts in helping to prevent any harm to either Jewish institutions or to our nation’s military.

"We repeat the American Muslim community’s repudiation of bias-motivated crimes and of anyone who would falsely claim religious justification for violent actions. Members of the American Muslim community should remain vigilant in reporting any activities that could harm the safety and security of our nation or its citizens.”

CAIR also requested that media outlets and public officials refrain from linking this case to mainstream Islam and to challenge those who will inevitably exploit this disturbing incident to promote anti-Muslim fear and stereotypes.

Along with innumerable condemnations of other terror incidents, CAIR has in the past launched an online anti-terror petition drive called “Not in the Name of Islam,” initiated a television public service announcement campaign of that same name and coordinated a “fatwa,” or Islamic religious ruling, against terrorism and religious extremism.

SEE: CAIR’s Anti-Terrorism Campaigns

[NOTE TO EDITORS: American Muslims are often accused of not speaking out forcefully against acts of terror committed in the name of Islam. This statement, along with the many other past anti-terror statements by mainstream Muslim groups, reaffirms the American Muslim community’s unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms.]

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Community Affairs Director Faiza N. Ali, 212-870-2002718-724-3041, E-Mail:; CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif, 212-870-2002, 732-429-4268, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper202-488-8787 or202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787 or 202-341-4171, E-Mail:

Jack Silverman, Nashville Scene, 5/21/09

Perhaps motivated by recent news that Tennessee has become a stronghold for radical Islamic forces, leading Islamophobes from around the world will be gathering in Nashville at the Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel May 29-30 for "Understanding the Jihad in Israel, Europe and America," the first annual symposium presented by the online pub New English Review.

What is the New English Review, you ask? I'm still scratching my head on that one, too. There's no discernible mission statement or "about us" page, though there are individual bios of the various editors, publishers and contributors. A brief stroll through NER's current featured headlines reveals heady, reasonably well-written stories reflecting a nonetheless kooky, far-right stance. Think of it as The New Yorker for the Teabagger set. (Or is it the "Tea Bagger set"? For the sake of beleaguered copy editors everywhere, AP Style better settle this issue soon.)…

And therein lies the thematic thread running through NER: Islam is an inherently sinister religion, and it's coming to gitcha! It's all there in the Koran, people! This has nothing to do with complex geopolitical situations, poverty or extremism, folks. The problem is simply that Islam and its Koran are inherently evil, according to the folks at NER. (I wonder if they've read our "holy book" lately--some of the stuff in there is pretty ****** crazy too, no? Not to mention our beloved Rummy's use of Christian scripture to promote the war in Iraq.)

That's why you need to sign up right now for "Understanding the Jihad in Israel, Europe and America"! Don't delay--the future of white people everywhere depends on you! Registration deadline is May 25!

Read about some of the featured disseminators of hatred and intolerance speakers, after the jump. (More)


Doyle Murphy, Times Herald-Record, 5/21/09

Hamin Rashada came down out of the building just before 4 a.m., nearly an hour after all the police and federal agents had left and just about an hour before he would have to go out again for morning prayers.

A 21-year-old parolee named Laguerre Payen had lived upstairs in the rooming house on the corner of Broadway and Lutheran Street. Payen is notorious by now, his name sent round the world as one of four Newburgh men charged in a plot to shoot down planes at Stewart Airport and bomb synagogues. James Cromitie, David Williams and Onta Williams were also charged.

Since serving a 15-month prison term for attempted assault, Payen had bounced back and forth between Newburgh and Middletown, occasionally living on the street, Rashada said. Rashada had gotten to know the young man through the Orange County Transition Center a program that helps reintegrate parolees such as Payen.

“He’s a strange kid,” Rashada said. “He had a lot of psychological problems.”

Rashada is a senior life coach with the program and was working with Payen. He also encouraged him to attend Friday prayers at Masjid al-Ikhlas in Newburgh where Rashada is an assistant imam. Payen had told him he was Muslim, and Rashada figured he must have been introduced to Islam in prison. Misunderstandings of the teachings can occur in places such as prison, Rashada said, because educated teachers may be rarer. Rashada said at the Newburgh mosque, they worked to put teachings in their proper context. Payen attended only occasionally, however, he said.

“I guess when he got bored out here on the street,” Rashada said.

When Payen did come, he would try to impress other members of the mosque by spouting supposed knowledge of Islam, Rashada said. Often, he was so far off in his statements Rashada would have to correct him in front of people. Payen would go quiet then and wander off. He seemed passive to Rashada. Strange, yes, but never violent. (More)


Raffy Boudjikanian, West Island Chronicle, 5/20/09

A small mosque in a quiet, residential neighbourhood in Dorval has fallen victim to a third graffiti vandalism attack in the space of 11 months, with no suspects retained after the first two incidents.

"This person is not a graffiti artist. This person is trying to give a message," said Dorval Mosque's president Mehmet Deger, alluding to the nature of the scrawls left each time on one of the mosque's walls. (More)


Mary McCarty, Dayton Daily News, 5/21/09

Fatiha Elgharib expected to have been deported to her native Morocco by now, settling into a routine of living with her mother — and apart from her husband and four children.

Instead, the family is looking forward to a weekend of celebration beginning with a community “thank you party” Friday night, May 22, and ending with oldest daughter Sara Hamdi’s graduation from Northmont High School.

“I’m ecstatic,” said 18-year-old Sara, who plans to attend Sinclair Community College. “I’m really excited for my graduation now. If she wasn’t there it would be just another day. I wouldn’t be up for it.”

Elgharib’s husband, Youssef Hamdi, is feeling profound relief that he hasn’t been separated from his wife and the children haven’t been torn from their stay-at-home mother.

Elgharib left her Englewood home April 2, expecting to board a plane in Columbus that would take her back to Morocco.

She said goodbye to her four children, including 6-year-old Sami, who has Down syndrome.

He didn’t understand the situation, but family members said his mother’s sorrow and anxiety had affected his normally sunny disposition.

That has all changed since immigration officials granted her last-minute motion for a stay.

“Sami has gone back to his normal, happy, smiley self,” said Denise Hamdi, Elgharib’s sister-in-law. “He’s back to his ‘No, Mom!’ independent little Sami. We’re so thankful people have understood and cared about her plight.”

Immigration experts say that humanitarian measures are built into the law, but rarely exercised. The family’s attorney, George Katchmer of Yellow Springs, said that Sen. George Voinovich intervened in the last 48 hours before Elgharib’s scheduled deportation.

“I’m convinced it was the community’s concern that got the senator involved,” Denise Hamdi said.

The family also credits the intervention of the Council for American-Islamic Relations, a national organization, on her behalf.

Katchmer said he is exploring legal options to keep Elgharib, her husband and two oldest daughters in the country permanently.

Sami and his 9-year-old sister, Wafaa, are American citizens.

The family entered the country legally more than 10 years ago and registered regularly with immigration officials.

Deportation proceedings were initiated against Elgharib when she failed to make a court appearance that was sent to an old address. (More)


Sakina Al-Amin, Detroit Muslim Examiner, 5/21/09

Click here to watch the video.

The 70th anniversary of the American Moslem Society (AMS) mosque in Dearborn has come to pass. Muslim Immigrants put in the effort to establish AMS in 1937, and most bought houses around the area to ensure proximity to the new house of worship.

[AMS] is the oldest mosque in the State of Michigan, and also considered one of the oldest mosques in North America.

I just finished watching the news story on youtube and was filled with a sense of pride. When there wasn't a mosque for Muslims to congregate and pray in, they decided to make one. The put down their roots and made a community around that once little mosque and today, it now takes up over 100,000 square feet.

Featured in the video is the director of CAIR-MI, Brother Dawud Walid. He talks about how the mosque congregation might have initially been Yemeni Muslims but now it's a mixture of individuals with roots all over the Middle East and Americas. It was nice to hear because we all know that's what Islam is all about; egalitarianism and justice for all. (More)


Matthew Bigg, Reuters, 5/21/09

Islam is growing fast among African Americans, who are undeterred by increased scrutiny of Muslims in the United States since the September 11 attacks, according to imams and experts.

Converts within the black community say they are attracted to the disciplines of prayer, the emphasis within Islam on submission to God and the religion’s affinity with people who are oppressed.

Some blacks are also suspicious of U.S. government warnings about the emergence of new enemies since the 2001 attacks because of memories of how the establishment demonised civil rights leaders Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

As a result, they are willing to view Islam as a legitimate alternative to Christianity, the majority religion among U.S. blacks. (More)


Brian Albrecht, Plain Dealer, 5/21/09

Nabil Darwich, son of Muslim Lebanese parents, still remembers when discrimination was his childhood shadow. The classmates who made fun of his mother's hijab attire, or mocked his father's accent. The stern glares, or equally bad, the looks that passed right through him as if he were invisible.

Then Nabil didn't know if it was ignorance, ethnic profiling or people just being mean. He did know the reactions worsened after the terrorist attacks of 2001. (More)


Film Based on Gallup Poll Dispels Stereotypes, Reveals Muslim Views on Gender,
Terrorism and Democracy
PRNewswire, 5/21/09

WASHINGTON, May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think, a new documentary film from Unity Productions Foundation, explores the results of the Gallup Organization's first-of-its-kind opinion poll on the entire Muslim world.

One day before President Obama's long-awaited Cairo speech, this hour-long documentary will premiere at Georgetown University Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 and be introduced in a keynote speech by Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who recently testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on "Engaging with Muslim Communities Around the World." The film is designed to create discussion and dialogue with subsequent screenings planned at think tanks, on Capitol Hill, and other universities, before its national airing on PBS in Fall 2009. (More)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio

The head of the Minneapolis FBI office is asking for the Somali community's trust as investigators continue to look into the disappearances of a number of young Twin Cities men who are believed to be fighting along with hard-line Islamists in Somalia's civil war.

St. Paul, Minn. — Special Agent in Charge Ralph Boelter appeared Monday night on the weekly KFAI radio show "Somali Community Link." He acknowledged that the investigation has stirred up fears in the community, but said some of those fears are overblown.

"We've heard in the community (that) people have advised all residents, 'Don't talk to law enforcement. Don't talk to the FBI about this case,'" he said. "That's not going to solve this problem. ... The FBI can't solve this problem alone. We need to solve it in concert, in cooperation, with the community."

An attorney with the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations who also appeared on the show urged the FBI to examine its tactics. Young Somali-Americans say they have been randomly approached for questioning at malls and on college campuses…

Boelter was joined on the radio show by Taneeza Islam, the civil rights director for the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Islam urged the Somali community to cooperate with investigators -- and also to know their rights to have a lawyer present during questioning.

Islam also invited Boelter to begin a dialogue with her group. The national FBI severed its relationship with CAIR earlier this year after allegations that the Muslim civil-rights group had ties to supporting Hamas.

Islam praised Boelter for reaching out to Somalis and other Muslims in Minnesota by granting interviews with a number of ethnic-media outlets over the past several weeks. But she also said that the FBI's approach to interrogations has created more anxiety in a community already distrustful of government.

"It's a difficult time to start outreach now," Islam said. "I would like to have seen this relationship and trust built before a contentious issue arises. Without that trust, it's hard to work together when the times are hard, and that's kind of where we are right now." (More)


Nick Schou, OC Weekly, 5/19/09

As its name suggests, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in LA is supposed to promote the kind of cultural dialog that brings people together rather than pushes them apart. So it's more than a little bit odd that the center showed a movie last weekend that has been compared to the gold-standard of anti-Semitic propaganda: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The latter tome was supposedly written by the Jews who secretly want to take over the world. Actually it's pure fiction, but the book nonetheless helped pave the way for Russian pogroms in the 19th Century and the Nazi-era holocaust. The film in question, "The Third Jihad," was screened at the Museum of Tolerance last Sunday. Like the book before it, the film claims to provide evidence of a global plot of subversion, in this case a plot to subvert America by blood-thirsty terrorists posing as regular-guy American Muslims.

"The Third Jihad" begins with a disclaimer saying that most Muslims are okay folks, and that this movie only talks about the ones that want to kill all Americans. It was produced by a shadowy outfit called the Clarion fund, which according to an Institute for Policy Studies report has ties to right-wing supporters of Israel who oppose all talks with the Palestinians. 28 million copies were distributed to voters in 14 swing states just before last November's presidential election, perhaps to inflame fears that Barack HUSSEIN Obama might be part of this purported Muslim takeover plot…

On May 15, Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Greater Los Angeles Area chapter, sent a letter asking the Simon Wiesenthal Center to call of its showing of the film. "As an institution that claims as its goal battling hatred and bigotry across the world, I am disappointed to see the Wiesenthal Center engage in promoting hatred and bigotry against another minority--American Muslims," Ayloush wrote…

"Claiming that American Muslims are part of some world-wide conspiracy to take over America is nothing short of concerted hateful fear mongering that intends to build animosity and even eventual violence against Muslims," he argues. "The Holocaust in Europe and the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda did not happen in a vacuum. They were preceded with such baseless hateful material that dehumanized the intended targeted community and were promoted by many enablers who falsely hid behind the claim of "generating discussion and sharing views." (More)


Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton, IPS, 5/19/09

WASHINGTON, May 19 (IPS) - A new documentary from a shadowy non-profit, the Clarion Fund, has ties to groups widely accused of Islamophobia.

"The Third Jihad" purports to educate U.S. citizens about the threat of a "cultural Jihad" by the country's own Muslim-American population. The film goes to great lengths to define itself as an expose of radical Muslim elements, not the faith at large.

But a group called the International Free Press Society (IFPS), which attended the Washington premiere of the film and documented the screening on behalf of the production company on a social media website, has some dubious affiliations.

Two months ago, IFPS heavily promoted Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, a widely-known Islamophobe who has been tied to far-right European political parties.

An IPS investigation linked both Wilders and some of his U.S. and international supporters, including members of IFPS, with the Vlaams Belang (VB), or Flemish Interest. Vlaams Belang is a nationalist Flemish party that has demanded amnesty for Nazi collaborators in Belgium.

Wilders is known for campaigning to ban the Koran, Islamic attire and Islamic schools from the Netherlands, and for proclaiming that "moderate Islam does not exist". His views have even drawn fire from the strongly pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League, which described Wilders's rhetoric as "inflammatory, divisive and antithetical to American democratic ideals".

Wilders has been brought up on charges in the Netherlands and banned from Britain on the grounds that he incites hate.

That view doesn’t jibe with the slickly produced "Third Jihad" film…

Sharia, or Islamic law, has come into the spotlight as one of the principal goals of radical Islamists.

"Sharia is no different than Jewish law or Christian law," said CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper. "When he prays, Jasser is following Sharia; when he doesn't drink alcohol, he's following Sharia." (More)



I've argued in the past that Muslims and Jews in the West should make common cause in fighting against prejudice and tolerance - and in doing so, lead by example in terms of demonstrating the value of tolerance and respect based on our shared Abrahamic heritage. One ideal joint project would be for the ADL and CAIR to join forces and compile a national database of anti-semitic and Islamophobic incidents and hate crimes, for example, and perhaps start a group blog project discussing various issues.

Unfortunately, despite many previous examples of common cause that move such a vision forward, sometimes the innate prejudices of both groups moves the process backwards. Case in point - the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles will screen the grotesquely Islamophobic film The Third Jihad. As CAIR's Los Angeles chapter explains in a letter to the SWC, The Third Jihad is the equivalent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as far as its intention in portraying muslims in the United States and Islam as a whole as a fifth column, a Dolchsto├člegende for the modern era. (More)


Katie Glueck, Daily Northwestern, 5/20/09

A Harvard law professor who provides analysis on CNN has a lot in common with a scholar of Islamic law, said the Muslim-cultural Student Association's spring speaker Asifa Quraishi on Tuesday night. The University of Wisconsin law professor spoke to an audience of about 55 in Fisk Hall, drawing parallels between the U.S. Constitution and Islamic law.

"These two legal worlds are usually described as completely alien to each other, but as an American Muslim, I'm completely comfortable looking at similarities," Quraishi said. "We're at a place in the world's lifetime that it might help looking at similarities."

Azam Siddiqui, the co-president of McSA, said he hopes Quraishi could make Islamic law seem less foreign to Northwestern students.

"We're trying to clear up misconceptions about Shariah," the Weinberg junior said. "It's not what the media portrays, or how certain extremists have altered its meanings overseas. It was written 500-600 years ago, but it's relevant to our Constitution." (More)


Emily Hagedorn, Courier-Journal, 5/20/09

At a recent National Day of Prayer event, Bullitt County's judge-executive said Christians need to be put in office.

"We need to start putting Christians -- not Buddhists, not Muslims, not whatever -- in elected office," said Judge-Executive Melanie Roberts at the May 7 Shepherdsville event. "And I will preach that until the day I die."

When asked to elaborate after the event, Roberts said she prefers Christians to be in elected offices because "Jesus preaches to love one another, and that love is the answer to all of our social ills."

Also, "America was founded on Christian principles, and Christianity provides us our freedom."

She said she realizes that other people might not agree with her opinion.

Peter Anik, community-relations director for the Jewish Community Association of Louisville, called her comments "somewhat offensive" and objected to Roberts using religion as a "litmus test" for political office.

"I think it's understandable that people want to elect other people who reflect their own social values," said Anik, who was not at the event. "But I would hope that the American public would be tolerant enough to accept the fact that people approach the understanding of God in a variety of ways.

"Religious minorities have something positive to add," Anik said. "To suggest that they don't -- it seems to be at least contrary to the principles of the Constitution." (More)


Anna M. Tinsley, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 5/20/09

Nearly seven years ago, Haseeb Chishty checked into the Denton State School -- a mentally disabled man hoping to work on his behavioral skills.

One month later, Chishty, a 27-year-old Muslim American, was found lying in a pool of his own blood and urine, a victim of what his family believes was a hate attack.

Farhat Chishty, Haseeb’s mother, said her son was beaten so badly that he was left paralyzed and unable to eat on his own. A caregiver there, who admitted to hitting and kicking Chishty more than 20 times, was indicted by a Denton County jury, legislative records show.

"The culprit is doing prison time, but the family .?.?. they need their day in court," Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, told the House of Representatives on Tuesday. "I’m asking that you allow this."

The House did, voting 139-0 to give the Chishty family permission to sue the Denton State School, the Department of Aging and Disability Services, and the state.

Many members applauded after the vote. (More)


Pam Mandel, World Hum, 5/19/09

High on the list of reasons I lost my heart so completely to Hawaii?

The diversity. You’ve got your Pinoys, your Japanese, your mainland surfers, your Native Hawaiians, your Portuguese and Spaniards, the descendants of European shippers and missionaries, a whole mess of “hapa” types who are half one thing, half something else, be it Scottish, Korean, Hawaiian, Jewish ... If you’re looking for a slice of world culture, you’re as likely to find it in Hawaii as anywhere. All those cultures make for a lively and appealing place.

But a few spoilsports are calling for a boycott of travel to the islands because the Hawaii state Legislature recently passed a resolution recognizing “Islam Day.” (More)