CAIR: TENN. LEGISLATOR'S ANTI-ISLAM RANT REVEALS BILL'S BIAS - TOP GOP asked to repudiate comparison of Islam to Nazism, white supremacy
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/26/11) -- The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on state and national GOP leaders to repudiate a lengthy rhetorical attack on Islam and the Quran by a co-sponsor of a Tennessee bill that, in its original form, would have effectively outlawed basic Islamic principles (Sharia).
During a hearing today of the Tennessee House Judiciary Committee, State Rep. Rick Womick (R) claimed the proposed Material Support to Designated Entities Act is "not about religion," then launched into a lengthy attack on Islam and its revealed text, ultimately comparing the faith to Nazism and white supremacy.
Womick stated: (1:02:58)"[A Tennessee Muslim leader] says that the Quran does not support violence and that he denounces all violence. I believe him. But he is an exception, because those who truly hold the Quran for every word that it speaks cannot believe that. ...
(1:06:20) "With Islam there is no freedom of religion allowed within or outside of Islam. There is no freedom of speech or thought, no freedom of artistic expression, no freedom of the press, no equality of peoples, because non-Muslims are never equal to Muslims. There is one set of laws for Muslim men and different laws for women and non-Muslims. Under Islam, women are to be beaten. ...
(1:10:54) "It's when you ... demand that our Constitution take an exception to your beliefs, whether it be Sharia law or Nazism or white supremacy, it doesn't make a difference."
"Representative Womick's hate rhetoric makes it clear that Islam and Muslims are the true targets of this bill," said CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas, who has helped challenge similar anti-Islam bills in other states. "His rant is evidence of the hateful paranoia that will inevitably lead to this bill being used against peaceful American Muslims."
"Mr. Womick's extremist views are obviously based on distortions, misinformation and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims that must be repudiated by fellow Republicans," said Abbas.
He said the original form of the legislation was reportedly written with the assistance of David Yerushalmi, head of the anti-Islam hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE).
On its now password-protected website, SANE offered a policy proposal that would make "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison, called for the immediate deportation of all non-citizen Muslims and urged Congress to declare war on the "Muslim Nation," which SANE defined as "all Muslims."
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 Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
RON PAUL TO SEAN HANNITY: STOP WITH YOUR SHARIA! - TOP Andy Barr, Politico, 4/26/11
Ron Paul on Monday night dismissed Sean Hannity's fear that Sharia law is coming to the United States.
In a somewhat contentious interview with the Fox News host, Paul asserted that Hannity's perspective on American relations with the Muslim world is far from reality. Discussing the run-up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Paul told a perturbed Hannity that "the 9/11 Commission recognized there was a blow back phenomenon from the fact we were over there and had a base in Saudi Arabia." (More)
250 ACTIVISTS TRAINED AT CAIR-LA LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE - TOP
(ANAHEIM, CA, 4/26/11) -- Some 250 Southern California activists recently enhanced their leadership skills at a training conference held by the Greater Los Angeles Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA).
CAIR-LA's day-long "Transforming Our Communities: Leadership Conference 2011" offered workshops on civic engagement, media relations, the use of social media, civil rights advocacy, public speaking, and other topics relating to being an effective community leader or activist. (More)
"If Terry Jones becomes unpopular and not allowed to speak about his views publicly, then one day it might be the imam of the mosque. One day it might be myself who someone's trying to censure from speaking freely about their beliefs," said Dawud Walid, who heads the Council on American Islamic Relations.
He's a staunch opponent of Jones and his hateful speech against Muslims and says the prosecutor and court may have had good intentions, but by trying to silence Jones, they've turned up the volume instead.
"Terry Jones has gone from being painted as a racist and bigot to a First Amendment martyr and someone who's standing up for American principles, and this is the problem of the whole issue now," Walid said.
CAIR-MI: MUSLIM, CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS CONDEMN JONES TRIAL - TOP Sarah Cwiek, Michigan Radio, 4/25/11
Some Muslim and civil rights groups say Dearborn and Wayne County officials sent a bad message by prosecuting a controversial Florida pastor.
Terry Jones wanted to protest what he sees as encroaching "Sharia law" outside Dearborn's Mosque of America last week. But his plans were scuttled Friday, after a Wayne County jury found that his protest would "breach the peace."
Dawud Walid, Executive Director of the Michigan Council on American-Islamic Relations, says Wayne County prosecutors may have had good intentions. But he says their arguments against Jones's planned protest were offensive to Muslims.
"To say that there would have been a murderous riot in front of that mosque really is passively purveying Islamophobia, and feeding into exactly what Terry Jones said about our community here. So it's extremely disturbing."
Walid says prosecutors also made Jones "a First Amendment martyr" by prohibiting free speech. (More)
OREGON MUSLIM STUDENT GROUP RACIALLY TARGETED ON INTERNET - TOP Vinh Tran, Portland State University Vanguard, 4/26/11
An event hosted by the Muslim Student Association at Portland State, intended to educate the public about Islam as part of the Islamic Awareness Week, April 4 to 8, turned into a confrontation between the group and an unidentified attendant over a video recorded without permission from the organizers.
The six minute and forty second video recorded and disseminated by a YouTube member who goes by the username "LaughingAtLiberals," was also posted on several political blogs. It received a little over one thousand views and several racially insensitive comments from viewers.
The video begins with the speaker, Imam Mikal Shabazz from the Oregon Islamic Chapter, acknowledging an unidentified man who was videotaping his lecture with a Flip Camera.
"First of all, I see someone with a Flip Camera," Shabazz said in the video. "When I'm using my Flip Camera, I have permission to use [it]."
When asked what he's planning to do with the content of the video, the unidentified man said, "I don't know what I'm going to do with it until later on."
Shabazz then proceeded to ask the man to turn off his video camera since he couldn't give a reason for his intention with the video.
"I think it's proper protocol and courtesy that these things be clear with the organizer before," Shabazz told the observer. "You can't tell me what you're filming for, I would appreciate it if you don't film me when I'm talking." (More)
MI: APPEAL FILED AGAINST HATE GROUP'S ANTI-ISLAM ADS - TOP Jonathan Oosting, MLive.com, 4/26/11
Florida Pastor Terry Jones isn't the only controversial character fighting for the First Amendment right to bring a controversial anti-Islam message to Metro Detroit.
New York activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer last month won a temporary injunction against the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, which initially denied their application for bus ads that seemed to characterized Islam as a violent religion and encouraged Muslims to leave the faith.
The ruling effectively required SMART to run the ads on buses it operates in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties, but Crain's Detroit reports SMART filed an appeal Monday in an attempt to overturn the injunction ... .
But that argument was confused by the fact that SMART recently approved and ran a "Don't believe in God?" ad funded by an atheist group. Agency officials claimed the atheist ad was religious and the anti-Islam ad political, an inconsistency that Judge Hood ruled "illustrates the arbitrary decision-making allowed" under SMART's ad review policy. (More)