CAIR-TAMPA: ISLAM HAS NO ROOM FOR TERRORISM - TOP Hassan Shibly, Tampa Tribune, 7/7/2011
There are two groups promoting the concept that Islam is tolerant of terrorism. The first is those wishing to hijack Islam for their political purposes and have distorted and misquoted religious text to justify their abhorrent actions. The second are those who wish to spread fear and hatred of Muslims to suit their political or economic agendas, and similarly distort and misquote religious text to claim that Islam condones such abhorrent actions.
However, mainstream traditional Muslims are and always have been very vocal in condemning both such extremist groups.
There is no room for terrorism in Islam. One does not need a religious text to know such acts are reprehensible; nonetheless, the Islamic tradition is clear that there is no room for terrorism. The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) expressly forbade aggression and the killing of women and children and unarmed men in combat. Maulana Abdul Shakoor writes in his book, "A Brief Account of the Prophet's Life":
"Physical Jihad is permissible only for the persecuted and as a defense against tyranny. In other words, Jihad is another name for defense of independence. To look upon the battles of the time of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) as not conditioned by self-defense and self-preservation is not only un-Islamic but also ignorance." (More)
VIDEO: CAIR-HOUSTON BILLBOARDS TARGET ISLAMOPHOBIA - TOP Fox 26, 7/6/11
If you drive in the Houston area, chances are you've seen at least 1 of the 10 billboards from the Council of American Islamic Relations, Houston chapter.
They've been drawing a great deal of attention, both positive and negative.
The billboards are part of CAIR's "Peace and Unity" campaign. They've been up for about a month now and, like me, you may have wondered why the billboards are even up. And why now? (More)
MUSLIM PRISON CHAPLAIN SUES NY POST FOR $20 MILLION (ADWEEK) - TOP Janon Fisher, Adweek, 1/21/2011
Melody Rashada, a teacher at an upstate New York mosque and a chaplain in the New York State prison system, filed a $20 million lawsuit against the New York Post inManhattan Supreme Court on Thursday, claiming she was libeled in a September 2010 op-ed piece.
The article, written by Patrick Dunleavy, a former deputy inspector general within the prison system, suggested that Rashada helped radicalize four former inmates who were charged and eventually convicted of plotting to blow up a Bronx synagogue.
Rashada, who only advises female inmates in the Beacon Correctional Facility in New York, charges that the article is defamatory and was "written with legal malice." According to the suit, she describes herself as "politically moderate" and "abhors terrorism and violence." (More)
COMBATING RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE WHEN FREE SPEECH ENABLES HATE SPEECH- TOP John L. Esposito and Sheila B. Lalwani, Huffington Post, 7/7/2011
Religious pluralism, versus the defamation of religion and freedom of speech have become an increasing source of conflict in international politics and interreligious relations. Preachers of hate and activists in America, Europe, and many Muslim countries are engaged in a culture war. Far right anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim political leaders and parties warn of the Islamization of America and Europe to garner votes. The acquittal on June 22, 2011 of Dutch politician Geert Wilders on charges of "inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims," is a political victory for Wilders but also a sign of the times, growing normalization of anti-Islam bashing in the West.
The OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference which represents some 57 countries) lobbied the United Nations for more than a decade to address this issue. Initially targeting Islamophobia, it broadened its request to a resolution on "defamation of religions" that would criminalize words and actions perceived as attacks against religion.
Opponents, in particular the U.S. and E.U., maintained that the resolution could also be used to restrict religious freedom and free speech, and foster religious intolerance and violence against religious minorities Indeed, in recent years attacks against Christians and other religious minorities have risen in Egypt, Malaysia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh,Indonesia and Pakistan. These conflicts have varied from acts of discrimination to the bombing and burning of churches and murder. (More)
VIDEO: MUSLIM WOMAN FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST U.S. RETAILER (CAIR) - TOP Press TV, 7/7/11
In the high revenue world of American retail fashion every company tries to brand their own look.
But according to a federal lawsuit, the look of US Retailer Abercrombie and Fitch cannot include a Muslim Hijab.
California resident Nida Khan says she was fired by the chain after refusing a manager's order to take off her religious headscarf which women cannot do according to their beliefs. (More)
MUSLIM WOMEN CAN DECIDE WHAT TO WEAR ON THE SOCCER FIELD - TOP Amira Elghawaby, The Star, 7/6/2011
Just over a kilometre from where a monument stands honouring Canada’s "Famous Five" — activists from the 1920s who succeeded in getting women recognized as legal persons — a soccer game is scheduled to symbolize a similar struggle.
To onlookers, the women gathering at Major’s Hill Park Thursday afternoon will appear to be playing a casual game. But what these women will be doing is showing their solidarity with the Iranian women’s soccer team recently banned from taking part in a qualifying match for the 2012 Olympics on account of their hijab.
"There’s a whole generation of women who are becoming marginalized," asserts Farrah S. Khan, an artist and activist from Toronto, and the founder of AQSAzine. She is speaking at this week’s Women’s Worlds conference in Ottawa, where buzz about the soccer game is growing. Khan, who has posted an online video against the ban, argues that freedom of choice is paramount in the struggle for gender equality.
"We can find our agency from within our own faith, but can the West find the ability to support our rights from within itself?" she asks. (More)
IOWA CONSERVATIVE WANTS GOP CANDIDATES TO SIGN ANTI-SHARIA PLEDGE -TOP Stephanie Condon, CBS News, 7/7/2011
The pledge, entitled "The Marriage Vow -- A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family," includes 14 points, the Christian Broadcasting Network reported, including support for the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
The pledge is also a commitment to personal fidelity to one's spouse, the rejection of "anti-women Sharia Islam" and to downsizing government. (More