AIR-MI: CONFRONTING 'ISLAMOPHOBIA' DISCUSSION AT EMU - TOP AnnArbor.com, 10/13/10
Dawud Walid, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan (CAIR-MI), will lead a discussion on "Islamophobia" on Wednesday, October 13 at Eastern Michigan University, according to a press release received by AnnArbor.com. (More)
AMERICA'S SHARIA HYSTERIA - TOP By Reza Aslan, The Daily Beast, 10/12/10
. . .When [Nevada’s Republican Senatorial candidate Sharron] Angle suggested last week that certain American cities like Dearborn, Michigan and Frankford, Texas, have been taken over by a "militant terrorist situation" wherein Muslims have instituted Sharia law upon its residents, many people were left scratching their heads at what she could possibly have meant.
It’s not just that Dearborn is - last anyone checked - still under the purview of the United States Constitution, or that there is no place in America called Frankford, Texas (I’m not kidding, look it up). It’s the rather bizarre notion that there may be a city in this country where the Constitution does not apply. "It seems to me there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our United States," Angle said about the real Dearborn and the imaginary Frankford.
Angle is right. There is something fundamentally wrong with this idea—it’s not true. There is no city or municipality in this country where Islamic law has taken hold. And yet, Angle is not the only one sounding the alarm over an imminent Muslim takeover of America. Indeed, now that the screeching over the building of the Islamic Community Center in Lower Manhattan seems to have died down, a new battle cry is arising from the radical anti-Muslim fringe: American Muslims, they say, are trying to replace the Constitution with Sharia! (More)
CAIR-OK: LEGISLATOR'S PROPOSAL WOULD BAN USE OF SHARIAH LAW - TOP By Bill Sherman, Tulsa World, 10/13/10
A proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that would ban Shariah law in the state court system is either a pre-emptive strike against encroaching Islamic law in the U.S. or an expression of Islamophobia, depending on who you ask.
State Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, authored State Question 755, which requires state courts to rely only on federal and state laws when deciding cases, and forbids courts to consider international law or Shariah law. It will appear on the Nov. 2 general election ballot. . .
"I would describe this as a pre-emptive strike," Duncan said. "We don't want to let it get a toehold."
Razi Hashmi, former executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American- Islamic Relations, said the proposal is motivated by hate for Muslims.
He said Duncan has a history of anti-Muslim bigotry, including backing a proposal to ban Muslim headscarves on driver's license photos and refusing to accept the Quran as a gift.
"A law such as this sends us backward, and is really bad for business, especially in an oil state that deals with the Middle East," he said. (More)
CONSERVATIVE MEDIA PUSHING FEARS ABOUT SHARIA LAW IN AMERICA - TOP Media Matters For America, 10/13/10
In an October 13 article, CBSNews.com political reporter Brian Montopoli notes that the "notion that Sharia law is coming to America has been percolating in the conservative media for a while." Montopoli cites examples from Fox News' Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade, and Newt Gingrich, among others. He later reports that "fears of an outbreak of Sharia law seem overblown at best. Even if there is somehow a serious push for the imposition of Sharia law - or any other religious law - it would quickly run up against the first amendment to the Constitution."
From the CBSNews.com article:
The notion that Sharia law is coming to America has been percolating in the conservative media for a while. Fox News' Sean Hannity suggested the arrest of the Christian missionaries in Dearborn reflected the possibility that "Sharia law is taking over in Dearborn," as did Fox News' Brian Kilmeade, who interviewed one of the men who was arrested.
At the Values Voters summit in September, Newt Gingrich said - to a standing ovation - that "[w]e should have a federal law that says Sharia law cannot be recognized by any court in the United States." He has also warned that jihadists are trying "to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of Sharia." (More)
FL: GOP CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE SAYS ISLAM IS NOT A REAL RELIGION - TOP By Matt Sedensky, Associated Press, 10/13/10
In his harshest assessment of Islam, he offered this unapologetic commentary: "Islam is a totalitarian, theocratic, political ideology. It is not a religion." (More)
CAIR: FLORENCE MOSQUE DEFACED WITH BACON - TOP By Alisha Laventure, WMBF, 10/13/10
A national Muslim civil rights and advocacy group is calling on the FBI to investigate a message written in bacon at mosque in Florence.
Three chair members of the Islamic Center in Florence discovered the words "pig" and "chump" written in strips of bacon on the walkway along the mosque Sunday afternoon.
Mushtaq Hussain was one of the members who discovered the message after concluding a prayer gathering. He initially thought the message was a practical joke.
"Then later on, we thought seriously and we thought, ‘You know, somebody doesn't like us,'" he said.
Florence Police Chief Anson Shells says the incident is currently being investigated a form of harassment. Because nothing was done to an actual person, no crime has technically been committed. They are looking into a possible bias motive for the latest incident.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says the Florence mosque was defaced.
"We urge the FBI to add this incident to the growing list of possible bias-motivated attacks on American Muslims and their institutions," CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper said. (More)
MUHAMMAD IMAGE FOUND AT YELLOWKNIFE MOSQUE - TOP CBC News, 10/12/10
Yellowknife RCMP are investigating what the city's Muslims consider to be a hate crime after an image depicting the Prophet Muhammad was found at their place of worship.
Nur Ali told CBC News that he went to the Islamic Centre of Yellowknife to pray early Monday morning when he saw the picture glued to the door that women use to enter the centre.
Ali said the picture showed the face of a bearded man wearing a turban and having eyes "like a crazy person." The name of Muhammad, the founding prophet of Islam, was under the diagram.
Other Muslims who saw the image, like Gailani Dawoud, said it was glued to the door. It has since been removed and given to the RCMP for analysis.
"It's a kind of picture from a computer, not a hand drawing," Dawoud said Tuesday.
Islam forbids visual depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. In some countries, it is an offence punishable by death. (More)
PARENTS OF MUSLIM TEEN, WHO SAYS HE WAS BEATEN REGULARLY, MEET WITH SCHOOL BIGS TO DISCUSS TRANSFER - TOP By Matthew Lysiak, Meredith Kolodner and Larry Mcshane, The New York Daily News, 10/13/10
The parents of a Muslim youth who claims he was relentlessly bashed by four cruel classmates met with officials Tuesday to find the traumatized teen a new school.
The Staten Island mom and dad are set for a followup meeting today about a "safety transfer" for 16-year-old Kristian, said Natalie Ravitz, spokeswoman for the city Education Department.
Jonathan D'Agostino, an attorney for the boy's family, said Mayor Bloomberg's office contacted the parents this month "and expressed their sadness" about the attacks.
D'Agostino, who was planning a lawsuit, cited two incidents in which teachers failed to report bullying incidents when he was a student at Edward Markham Intermediate School.
In one case, a teacher dropped the ball after she couldn't find security or an assistant principal, he said. In the second, the teacher gave a verbal rebuke rather than stern discipline, he said.
The terrified teen "receives psychological counseling, he has nightmares every night, and he's become withdrawn," the attorney said.
"According to the parents, he's gone from a joyful, smiling, all-American child to one who's withdrawn and quiet and sad." (More)
CAIR-CA: STUDENT SAYS FBI USED SECRET GPS TRACKING DEVICE ON CAR - TOP Free Speech Radio, 10/12/10
This week civil rights groups are seeking more information in the FBI's use of a GPS device to secretly track a 20-year-old college student in Northern California. The Santa Clara student, Yasir Afifi found a GPS tracking device under his car earlier this month. Afifi, a US citizen whose Egyptian father recently died, was then visited by FBI agents who questioned him and confirmed that he had been under surveillance. The incident calls into question the legality of GPS tracking of US residents.
For more details, we turn to Zahra Billoo, she's executive director with the San Francisco chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations and is representing Afifi in the case. (More)
CAIR: CALIF. MUSLIM WANTS CONGRESSMAN'S HELP WITH FBI BUG - TOP By Jeff Stein, The Washington Post, 10/13/10
. . . Last week Afifi retained Zahar Billoo, a staff attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, an advocacy group, to represent him. Earlier reports suggesting that the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California was taking his case were erroneous.
The ACLU, joined by the Asian Law Caucus and the San Francisco Bay Guardian weekly, filed a lawsuit back in August to expedite the release of FBI records on the investigation and surveillance of Muslim communities in the Bay Area.
Billoo said in a telephone interview that she was also preparing a Freedom of Information Act request for FBI documents related to her client, but she conceded she did not expect to receive anything revelatory in the near future, if ever.
Government documents related to national security issues are notoriously difficult to obtain and often released with most of their text blacked out.
Billoo maintains that the FBI’s electronic monitoring of Affifi was “unreasonable” and “an invasion of his privacy.”
The FBI, she charged, was “wasting tax dollars” by tracking Affifi and “not pursuing serious suspects.”
The San Francisco FBI office has declined to comment on the matter, "because it’s still an ongoing investigation," according to Wired magazine, which broke the story of the tracking device last week. (More)
VIDEO: AUTHOR DISCUSSES BOOK LINKING TERRORISM TO OCCUPATION - TOP
Robert Pape talked about a sub-project of the University of Chicago's Project on Security and Terrorism on "suicide terrorism," which compiles statistics and keeps a database of all the suicide attacks in the world in the last decade. In his remarks he focused on the conclusions of the data and presented a number of video clips from suicide bombers giving their last testaments. He responded to questions from the audience.