TN: WORLD'S MOST RESPECTED ISLAMOPHOBES TO GATHER IN NASHVILLE FOR SYMPOSIUM - TOP 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
GA: POST 9/11, ISLAM FLOURISHES AMONG U.S. BLACKS - TOP 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)
WADSWORTH HIGH VALEDICTORIAN HAS HEAD-ON APPROACH TO SCHOOL, LIFE - TOP 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)
GROUNDBREAKING NEW FILM ON GLOBAL MUSLIM PUBLIC OPINION TO HAVE ITS WORLD PREMIERE JUNE 3 - TOP 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)