VIDEO: MAN MISTAKEN FOR MUSLIM HARASSED AT NY ANTI-MOSQUE RALLY - TOP
An African-American man who was mistakenly thought to be Muslim was harassed at an anti-mosque rally yesterday in New York City. A crowd shouting "no mosque here" confronted the man and called him a "coward." The man is led away by rally organizers while one man shouts "Muhammad is a p*g." One person shouted "he must have voted for Obama." When some rally participants seek to defuse the confrontation, one man says, "we're against the Muslims, not each other."
THE "MOSQUE" STORY IS NOT A "DISTRACTION" - TOP By Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com, 8/23/10
Opponents of the Park51 Islamic community center held a rally yesterday in Lower Manhattan, and a 4-minute video, posted below, reveals the true sentiments behind this campaign. It has little to do with The Hallowed Ground of the World Trade Center -- that's just the pretext -- and everything to do with hatred of Muslims. I dislike the tactic of singling out one or two objectionable people or signs at a march or rally in order to disparage the event itself. That's not what this video is. Rather, it shows the collective sentiment of those gathered, as well as what's driving the broader national backlash against mosques and Muslims.
The episode in the video begins when, as John Cole put it, "some black guy made the mistake of looking Muslimish and was harassed and nearly assaulted by the collection of lily white mouth-breathers at the event . . . At about 25 seconds in, he quite astutely points out to the crowd that 'All y'all dumb motherfuckers don't even know my opinion on shit'." As this African-American citizen (whom the videographer claims is a union carpenter who works at Ground Zero) is instructed to leave by what appears to be some sort of security or law enforcement official, the crowd proceeds to yell: "he musta voted for Obama," "Mohammed's a pig," and other assorted charming anti-mosque slogans. I really encourage everyone to watch this to see the toxicity this campaign has unleashed: (More)
VIDEO: KEITH OLBERMANN SLAMS RACIST NY ANTI-MOSQUE PROTESTERS - TOP MSNBC, 6/8/10
MOSQUE IMAM'S WIFE COMPARES HATRED OF MUSLIMS IN U.S. TO ANTI-SEMITISM -TOP By S.A. Miller and Jeremy Olsan, New York Post, 8/23/10
The wife of the imam in charge of the proposed Ground Zero mosque yesterday compared the treatment of Muslims in America to the discrimination against Jews.
"This is like a metastasized anti-Semitism. That's what we feel right now," Daisy Khan, wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, told ABC's "This Week."
"It's not even Islamophobia, it's beyond Islamophobia -- it's hate of Muslims. And we are deeply concerned," she said. (More)
SCARY FANATICS LIKE NEWT GINGRICH TURN GROUND ZERO MOSQUE DEBATE INTO UGLY, STUPID SPECTACLE - TOP By Mike Lupica, New York Daily News, 8/23/10
In the rain of Sunday morning they took to the streets of lower Manhattan, both sides of a mosque debate that will begin to slow down soon like a car running out of gas.
There were a thousand or so people there, some supporting the building of a mosque at Park Place and more opposing it, carrying signs about freedom and religion, speaking for God and about America at a place where just about every religion in the world lost someone on Sept. 11, 2001. (More)
DOES AMERICA HAVE A MUSLIM PROBLEM? - TOP By Bobby Ghosh, Time, 8/30/10
You don't have to be prejudiced against Islam to believe, as many Americans do, that the area around Ground Zero is a sacred place. But sadly, in an election season, such sentiments have been stoked into a political issue. As the debate has grown more heated, Park51, as the proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero is called, has become a litmus test for everything from private-property rights to religious tolerance. But it is plain that many of Park51's opponents are motivated by deep-seated Islamophobia. (More)
DUPAGE COUNTY TO CONSIDER CONTROVERSIAL ZONING CHANGE - TOP Amendment would prevent religious groups from opening facilities in unincorporated areas Chicago Tribune, 8/22/10
DuPage is considering amending its zoning laws to prevent religious organizations from opening facilities in unincorporated residential areas. Muslim groups say it's directed at them, but county says it's not.
While a national debate over a proposed Islamic center near ground zero in Manhattanhas intensified in recent weeks, so has a similar controversy over Islamic centers in DuPage County.
County zoning meetings have turned heated lately as residents have spoken out against Muslim groups seeking permits to open religious facilities or expand services near West Chicago and Willowbrook.
The tense hearings come just a few months after an Islamic group filed a federal lawsuit against the county, alleging discrimination in the rejection of a zoning proposal for an Islamic educational center and place of worship near Naperville.
Now, the county is hoping changes to zoning laws will head off similar controversies in the future. This week, the Zoning Board will debate a proposed zoning amendment that would prevent religious organizations from opening facilities in unincorporated residential areas.
The county says the measure is not directed at any specific religious group and its timing is coincidental. But constitutional law experts say the proposed amendment could create further legal trouble for the county under federal statute, while Islamic groups say the measure appears to be in direct response to the lawsuit.
"Given the situation with ground zero (in New York), there's a growing trend by various right-wing organizations to vilify Islamic organizations, and I don't think we can take that away from what's happening in DuPage County," said Kevin Vodak, an attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The council filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Irshad Learning Center, which had been proposed for a 2.91-acre site on 75th Street between Wehrli Road and Naper Boulevard in an unincorporated area near Naperville. (More)
FAR FROM GROUND ZERO, OTHER PLANS FOR MOSQUES RUN INTO VEHEMENT OPPOSITION - TOP Annie Gowen, Washington Post, 8/23/10
MURFREESBORO, TENN. -- For more than 30 years, the Muslim community in this Nashville suburb has worshipped quietly in a variety of makeshift spaces -- a one-bedroom apartment, an office behind a Lube Express -- attracting little notice even after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
But when the community's leaders proposed a 52,900-square-foot Islamic center with a school and a swimming pool this year, the vehement backlash from their neighbors caught them by surprise. Opponents crowded county meetings and held a noisy protest in the town square that drew hundreds, some carrying signs such as "Keep Tennessee Terror Free." (More)
CAIR-CT: A NIGHT FOR BREAKING FAST AND BARRIERS - TOP Julianne Hanckel, The Day, 8/23/10
New London - Nearly two weeks into Ramadan, 300 people from various religious and ethnic backgrounds gathered Sunday inside the Crozier-Williams College Center on the campus of Connecticut College to experience "Sharing Ramadan," an event that offered guests a chance to experience the Muslim month of fasting.
"We're gathered here today to share the month of Ramadan with our friends and reach out and create new friendships," said Mongi Dhaouadi, executive director for the Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CT).
"We'd like to send a strong message to many others, the skeptics, who doubted this was possible. We do share a common goal, we'd like to be friends, respect one another and listen to one another," he said. (More)
CT: RELIGIOUS COALITION TO PROTEST 'MUSLIM BASHING' - TOP Kate King, Conn. Post, 8/22/10
STAMFORD -- As the country debates the construction of an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan, local religious leaders are banding together to protest what they see as increasing anti-Islamism both nationwide and within the community.
"A lot of the public Muslim-bashing rhetoric has been getting to me," said Kate Heichler, president of the InterFaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut. "It's time to do something." (More)