ROYCE STANDS WITH RELIGIOUS BIGOTS WHILE SANCHEZ STANDS UP FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND CIVIL RIGHTS - TOP Chris Prevatt, The Liberal OC, 2/16/11
On Sunday, several hundred protesters gathered outside the Yorba Linda Community Center. They were there to protest a fundraiser for a New York bases Muslim charity called the Islamic Circle of North America Relief USA. ...
Among those protesters was Orange County Republican Congressman Ed Royce(CA-40). ...
Two Congressmembers from central Orange County, representing two very different points of view. One voicing a message of tolerance, understanding, charity, and religious freedom, the other representing fear, hatred, and bigotry. In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said it best:
"We thank Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez for her principled stand in voicing concern about a larger trend to marginalize and treat the American Muslim community as suspect. Engagement is a two-way street, and American Muslims have had an impeccable record collaborating with law enforcement agencies. Other lawmakers, including Rep. Peter King, should take the Congresswoman's lead in working toward the goals of inclusivity and safety of all Americans, with the understanding that national security does not have to be at the expense of civil rights." (More)
SD LAWMAKERS REJECT BILL TARGETING ISLAMIC LAW - TOP Associated Press, 2/16/11
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Senate State Affairs Committee has rejected a bill that would have prohibited state courts from using certain foreign laws, including forms of Islamic law known as Sharia. (More)
DALLAS COUNTY MUSLIMS OUTRAGED OVER 'CHIEF MULLAH' REMARK AT COUNTY COMMISSION MEETING - TOP Kevin Krause, Dallas Morning News, 2/16/11
The local Islamic community is expressing outrage over a Republican speakers' use of the word "Mullah" to attack Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price yesterday.
Jeff Turner, who is active in the Dallas Tea Party, called Price "Chief Mullah" several times while criticizing the commissioner for how he handled the exit of county Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet last month.
Price also took offense and let Turner and others in attendance know that they could "go to hell."
Today, local Islamic community leaders announced they will hold a news conference this Friday at Dallas City Hall near the Reflecting Pool at 11 a.m. to denounce Turner's use of the word. (More)
POLL: MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WANT KING HEARINGS BROADENED - TOP Greg Sargent, Washington Post, 2/16/11
The other day, a number of groups called on Pete King to broaden his planned hearings into Muslim extremism to include other extremists, including ones of the home-grown variety. King scoffed loudly at the demand, dismissing it as "political correctness at its worst."
But it turns out that according to a new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, a solid majority of Americans hew to the "politically correct" view, and think it's a better idea to broaden such hearings so they don't single out Muslims:
Now, it's true that a majority, 56 percent, thinks hearings into Muslim extremism is a good idea. But a far larger majority, 72 percent, thinks the hearings shouldn't single out just Muslim extremism. So the first number may largely reflect the public's desire to reckon with extremism in any form.
What's more, this suggests that the public is rejecting one of the most basic of assumptions underlying King's push for hearings: That broadening the focus beyond Muslims risks sending some kind of self-defeating message that we aren't overly preoccupied with the threat of Islamic extremism. King himself has been very explicit on this point. But it appears the public disagrees. (More)
KING HEARINGS 'PROMOTE SUSPICION OF AN ENTIRE COMMUNITY' - TOP New York Times, 2/15/11
To the Editor:
Re "Muslims to Be Hearings' Main Focus" (news article, Feb. 8):
Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, first announced Homeland Security Committee hearings about the Muslim American community because of alleged statements that community leaders are uncooperative with law enforcement. Oddly, Mr. King now refuses to take testimony from the very law enforcement officials who expressed such concerns about cooperation.
Representative King claims that these sources are unwilling to speak publicly. This lack of attribution -- combined with the fact that law enforcement officials have spoken publicly about their positive relationships with Muslim American communities -- casts serious doubts on Mr. King's claimed bases for the hearings.
Nevertheless, the real problem with these hearings is that they will promote division and prejudice. Capitalizing on recent waves of anti-Muslim sentiment, the hearings will perpetuate the myth that Muslims are a monolith, disregarding the important contributions that Muslim Americans make every day.
At a time when politicians have called for unity, we deserve hearings that focus on real security threats, not hearings that promote suspicion of an entire community of faith.
Asim Rehman Vice President Muslim Bar Association of New York Brooklyn, Feb. 9, 2011
VIDEO: U.S. MUSLIMS CONCERNED BY RISING ISLAMOPHOBIA (CAIR) - TOP
CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper interviewed by Press TV.
Should the Constitution protect American Muslims? This question was posed by Lt. General William Boykin in an article published recently in which he attacked Islam, saying Sharia provides "no individual freedoms while virtually enslaving those who live under its authority."
Boykin served as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under Bush II from 2003-2007, in the heat of the so-called 'War on Terror'.
A born-again evangelical Christian, the retired army general is no stranger to controversy, having made anti-Islam statements before.
QURAN BURNING LEADER RUNNING FOR AMARILLO MAYOR - TOP News Channel 6, 2/16/11
A Texas man who tried to organize the burning of a Quran last September 11th is running for mayor of Amarillo.
David Grisham, leader of "Repent Amarillo," filed his papers Monday.
Grisham says he wants to lead the city in a new direction. (More)
HEARING TO STOP CONSTRUCTION OF MOSQUE POSTPONED - TOP Janet Kim, News Channel 5, 2/16/11
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A hearing over the fight to stop construction of a mosque was postponed until April.
On Wednesday morning, the Plaintiff's attorneys said they needed more time to gather information. They are challenging the zoning regulations saying it was unconstitutional.
Lawyers for the county were planning to ask a judge to dismiss what remained of the lawsuit.
It's been an ongoing debate since Rutherford County planners approved the project to build the new Islamic Center.
Critics said county planners made a mistake by approving the site. They fear the mosque will draw a terrorist element to Rutherford County.
The leader of the center said the group has been a peaceful part of the community for 30 years and just needed more room for worship.
In August of last year, vandals took matters into their own hands, torching heavy equipment at the site. Before that, the sites signs had been destroyed twice. (More)
SANTA ANA, Calif.--A former FBI informant who infiltrated a California mosque is seeking to have a grand theft conviction set aside arguing he should have had immunity. (More)
CAIR-PA REFUTES ANTI-ISLAM WRITER - TOP Alex Rose, Delaware County Daily Times, 2/16/11
A local Libertarian commentator recently caused a stir when he asked freshman U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, of Upper Darby, if he is "with us or against us" regarding a Pennsylvania chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations annual banquet being held in Springfield March 12.
"The group's infiltration into the Philadelphia area is not only problematic but extremely dangerous for law-abiding citizens here," Aaron Proctor said on his examiner.com local news feed. "CAIR is an Islamic group that forwards the false belief that Islam is a 'religion of peace' when it is simply a terroristic world-dominating political movement and not a religion at all."
He called the annual dinner at Springfield Country Club a "planned intimidation of law-abiding American citizens" and said Meehan and CAIR supporters should not get a "free pass" for allowing the banquet to go unnoticed.
Dennis Ciciretti, general manager of the country club, described CAIR as a very peaceful group that the facility had hosted for years. He said he hadn't received any pressure to cancel the banquet and that he didn't see any reason he should.
"We've got a great relationship with the country club, we're great partners, it's an event of more than 800 to 900 Muslim Americans celebrating their rights and celebrating their American citizenship," said CAIR Philadelphia Chapter Executive Director Moein Khawaja. "Everyone who's coming, including any politician or leader, they know that CAIR is a Muslim civil rights organization. It's something the community is proud of and they continue to support us." (More)
UK MUSLIM TRAPPED IN TORONTO BECAUSE OF U.S. NO-FLY LIST - TOP The Canadian Press, 2/16/11
OTTAWA--A British man says he's stranded in Canada after being denied permission to fly home because he's on the U.S. no-fly list.
Dawood Hepplewhite of Sheffield, England, turned up at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Sunday only to be told by an Air Transat official he couldn't board the plane.
"I got really upset at him -- 'How can you tell me I'm not allowed to go to my own country?'" Hepplewhite said late Tuesday in an interview.
An Air Transat spokesman did not immediately respond to an inquiry.
Hepplewhite, 30, divides his time between Sheffield and Toronto, where his Canadian wife Farhia and their three children reside. All five were planning to head back to England for an extended stay.
Hepplewhite says Air Canada and British Airways also refused to let him fly to England on Monday.
Airlines that operate from Canada have been known to reject passengers whose names are on the U.S. no-fly list. That's because many flights pass over American airspace or may be forced to land at a U.S. airport in the event of an emergency. (More)