CAIR REPUDIATES PRAISE FOR FORT HOOD SHOOTER - TOP
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/9/09) The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today repudiated online remarks by a former Virginia imam praising Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who allegedly killed 13 people and wounded 29 others in a shooting spree last week at Fort Hood in Texas.
The posting on the web site of Anwar al-Awlaki called Hasan a “hero” and said American Muslim groups, like CAIR, that condemned the Fort Hood attack are “hypocrites” and traitors to Islam.
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“As American Muslims said with one voice when this cowardly attack first occurred, no ideology could ever justify or excuse such violence. To call the alleged killer a ‘hero’ makes a mockery of every Islamic principle of justice. The twisted and misguided views in Anwar al-Awlaki’s posting are not those of American Muslims and do not reflect mainstream Islamic beliefs or sentiments.”
Immediately following the attack at Fort Hood, CAIR issued a strong condemnation of the deadly shootings and urged the nation to remain calm and unified.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787 or 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
VA. MOSQUE REPUDIATES PRAISE FOR FORT HOOD KILLINGS - TOP
(FALLS CHURCH, VA., 11/9/09) - Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., today repudiated hate-filled statements made by a former imam who praised the recent killings at Fort Hood in Texas.
In its statement, the mosque said:
"As we understand the teaching of the scriptures, our mission and method as Americans of faith is to enrich our society with service, wisdom and beautiful preaching of God's love and mercy to all of mankind.
"We openly denounce the statement of Mr. Al-Awlaki as posted on his website. During Mr. Al-Awlaki's short employment at our center, his public speech was consistent with the values of tolerance and cooperation. After returning to Yemen, Mr. Awlaki now claims that the American Muslims who have condemned the violent acts of Major Hasan have 'committed treason against the Muslim Umaah [community] and have fallen into hypocrisy.'
"With this reversal, Mr. Al-Awlaki has clearly set himself apart from Muslims in America. We continue to send our condolences and prayers for recovery of all the victims of this godless act."
Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center is one the largest and diverse Islamic Centers in the nation. We are committed to service the community as a place of worship, education and social service. Learn more at www.hijrah.org.
CONTACT: Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, Director of Outreach, (202) 345-5233
Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center 3159 Row Street NW Falls Church, VA 22044 Tel: (703) 536-1030 Fax: (202) 536-1035 URL: http://www.hijrah.org Email: email@example.com
MUSLIM MAFIA AUTHOR: NOW IS THE TIME FOR A 'BACKLASH' AGAINST MUSLIMS - TOP Justin Elliott, TPMMuckraker, 11/9/09
A conservative author whose book was touted just last month by four Republican members of Congress is explicitly calling for a "backlash" against American Muslims in the wake of the Fort Hood shootings.
Dave Gaubatz, author of Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that's Conspiring to Islamize America, made the comment in a semi-coherent interview with the group Family Security Matters.
In assigning collective blame for the Fort Hood killings, Gaubatz said:
"Politicians, Muslims, and law enforcement are concerned about a 'backlash' against Muslims. Now is the time for a professional and legal backlash against the Muslim community and their leaders." (More)
VIDEO: CAIR DIRECTOR DISCUSSES FORT HOOD SHOOTING ON MSNBC’S ‘HARDBALL’ -TOP
CAIR National Director Nihad Awad discusses the Fort Hood shooting spree on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews.
CAIR: PRESIDENT, MILITARY ‘SETTING THE RIGHT TONE’ - TOP USA Today, 11/9/09
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano on Sunday echoed weekend remarks by President Obama cautioning against saying that religion played a role in the attack or that it was "terrorism."
Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an American-born Muslim, is suspected of being the lone gunman in the attack Thursday that killed 13 and wounded 29.
"Speculation could potentially heighten a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers," Casey said. Added Napolitano: "This was an individual who does not represent the Muslim faith."
Obama lauded the armed services' diversity. "They are Americans of every race, faith and station. They are Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and non-believers," he said.
Muslim and Arab groups have reported a few threats of violence, plus angry phone calls and hateful e-mails. So far, the harsh words haven't turned to action.
"We haven't heard of anything violent, which is a good thing," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group. "It shows our society has matured in how it responds to these incidents." He said the Obama administration and the military are setting the right tone.
Michael Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, disagreed, saying the response has been far too weak to protect Muslim military personnel. (More)
CAIR: AFTER FORT HOOD SHOOTING: ATTENTION ON MUSLIMS IN US MILITARY - TOP The alleged shooter last week at Fort Hood is Muslim. But the overall picture of Muslims in the military is hardly one of strife and fundamentalism. Gordon Lubold, Christian Science Monitor, 11/8/09
Washington - The Army's top officer is concerned about a backlash against Muslims in the US military following the shootings at Fort Hood. But, he says, the military's tradition of accepting people from different faiths must never waver.
As investigators sifted through the aftermath of the shootings at the Texas Army base, allegedly carried out by a Muslim Army officer, Gen. George Casey warned against drawing broader conclusions about the Muslim community.
"Frankly, I'm ... concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers," Casey, chief of staff of the Army, said on CNN's "State of the Union" program. "As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well."
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is suspected of a shooting rampage at Fort Hood last Thursday in which 13 people were killed and nearly 30 injured. The incident has sparked fear that Hasan was a religious fanatic, once again drawing attention to Muslims in the armed forces. But the overall picture that emerges about their service is hardly one of strife and fundamentalism.
At least 3,500 Muslims are known to be across the military. An additional 283,000 service members have not identified themselves with any religious preference, meaning there could be more Muslims who do not describe themselves that way for military records. Hasan's personnel files did not identify him as Muslim, for example.
In the years since 9/11, the military has made extraordinary efforts to encourage Muslims to join its ranks. Last year, the Army announced a program to pay $150,000 as a signing bonus to Arabic speakers, for instance…
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil rights and advocacy group in Washington, receives few complaints of harassment from members of the military, according to Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman. Most are limited to junior enlisted troops, he says.
"We get periodic reports, but it's not one of our larger areas," he says. "It does happen on occasion."
The use of the term "Haji" within the military is probably the most common form of harassment in the military. It has been used indiscriminately to describe any thing or person connected to Muslims. CAIR has worked to educate senior military leaders about the term and how, when used pejoratively or without understanding, it can send the wrong message. (More)
COMPLICATIONS GROW FOR MUSLIMS SERVING IN U.S. MILITARY - TOP Andrea Elliott, New York Times, 11/8/09
Abdi Akgun joined the Marines in August of 2000, fresh out of high school and eager to serve his country. As a Muslim, the attacks of Sept. 11 only steeled his resolve to fight terrorism.
But two years later, when Mr. Akgun was deployed to Iraq with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the thought of confronting Muslims in battle gave him pause.
He was haunted by the possibility that he might end up killing innocent civilians.
“It’s kind of like the Civil War, where brothers fought each other across the Mason-Dixon line,” Mr. Akgun, 28, of Lindenhurst, N.Y., who returned from Iraq without ever pulling the trigger. “I don’t want to stain my faith, I don’t want to stain my fellow Muslims, and I also don’t want to stain my country’s flag.”
Thousands of Muslims have served in the United States military — a legacy that some trace to the First World War. But in the years since Sept. 11, 2001, as the United States has become mired in two wars on Muslim lands, the service of Muslim-Americans is more necessary and more complicated than ever before.
In the aftermath of the shootings at Fort Hood on Thursday by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan of the Army, a psychiatrist, many Muslim soldiers and their commanders say they fear that the relationship between the military and its Muslim service members will only grow more difficult….
Muslim leaders, advocates and military service members have taken pains to denounce the shooting and distance themselves from Major Hasan. They make the point that his violence is no more representative of them than it is of other groups to which he belongs, including Army psychiatrists.
“I don’t understand why the Muslim-American community has to take responsibility for him,” said Ingrid Mattson, the president of the Islamic Society of North America. “The Army has had at least as much time and opportunity to form and shape this person as the Muslim community.” …
Many Muslims are drawn to the military for the same reasons as other recruits. In interviews, they cited patriotism, a search for discipline and their dreams of attending college. Some Muslims said they had also enlisted to win new respect in a country where people of their faith have struggled for acceptance. (More)
FORT HOOD: ARMY GAINS WITH MUSLIM SOLDIERS MAY BE LOST - TOP Mark Thompson, Time, 11/9/09
Less than 1% of America's 1.4 million troops are Muslim - and that number is only the military's best guess, since just 4,000 troops have declared their faith in their service records. By all accounts, the percentage of Muslims who are outstanding, competent or misfit soldiers is proportional to that of every other ethnic group. But that logic is increasingly hard to hear in the aftermath of Major Nidal Hasan's killing spree at Fort Hood in Texas. (More)
VIDEO: CAIR CONDEMNS FORT HOOD SHOOTING - TOP Kai Porter, KTSM News, 11/9/09
Days after a Muslim-American U.S. soldier allegedly went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood, the Council on American Islamic Relations is now condemning the shooting and has issued a warning to all Muslim Americans and their families.
National Islamic leaders want a federal probe into the recent vandalism of a Durham mosque after the third recent incident at the Masjid Ibad ar-Rahman on Fayetteville Street.
Amr Dabour, the imam at Durham's largest mosque, says since the building has been on Fayetteville Street, he has never experienced such blatant disregard for the sanctity of the mosque as he did on Nov. 2 when thieves broke in.
"Not only these doors were completely broken, but I guess six or seven doors inside the building, almost all of the rooms and offices," Dabour said. "We have been feeling OK, no problem at all for years, but this was really very strange."
After local mosque leaders filed a police report with Durham authorities, the Council on American-Islamic Relations based in Washington, D.C., sought the help of federal officials.
"We've also contacted the FBI to see what they can do with the incident," Ibrahim Hooper, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said.
The civil rights and advocacy group says they fear Muslims in recent headlines prompted the incident.
The police had already warned the mosque about potential backlash because of the recent terror arrests, Hooper said. "We believe that law enforcement authorities should investigate the incident with the possibility of a bias motive in mind."
Anyone with information that may help police solve the case can contact Durham Crime Stoppers at (919) 683-1200.