VERSE OF THE DAY: SHOW KINDNESS - TOP
"Do not forget to show kindness to each other. Surely God observes your actions."
The Holy Quran, 2:237
HADITH OF THE DAY: KINDNESS LEADS TO PARADISE
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Acts of kindness protect one from ruin wrought by evil ... The first of those who shall enter Paradise are the people who do acts of kindness."
Figh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 97B
The Prophet once told his wife: "Verily God is kind and He loves kindness."
Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1186
ISLAMOPHOBIC BULLYING IN OUR SCHOOLS - TOP
Engy Abdelkader, Huffington Post, 10/24/11
"You boys were so much fun on the 8th grade trip! Thanks for not bombing anything while we were there!" read the yearbook inscription penned by the middle school teacher.
The eighth grade yearbook was littered with similar remarks by classmates linking Omar to a "bomb."
"To my bomb man!" read one note. "Come wire my bomb," read another.
"What is this?" asked Omar's mother incredulously. He had handed the yearbook over to her moments earlier when he arrived home that afternoon.
Omar answered quietly, "I know, Mom, I know." He stared down at the kitchen floor. His eyes could not meet his mother's but he began to tell her what had happened just one month earlier.
In May 2009, Omar joined his classmates on a school trip to Washington, D.C. As they toured the Washington Monument, visited area museums and passed by the White House, the kids repeatedly told Omar they hoped he wouldn't "bomb" any of the sites. A teacher chaperoned the children, heard the comments and responded by doing... well, nothing, except leave a denigrating remark in Omar's yearbook a month later.
It was clear to Omar's mother that her American born and raised son was harassed because of his Muslim faith and Arab ancestry.
Unfortunately, this was not the first bias-based bullying incident involving Omar that school year. Only several months earlier a peer was intimidating Omar, calling him a "terrorist," during an elective trade course. Omar finally told his mother about the bullying when his report card indicated that he was failing that same class, while acing the others where he was not subjected to such humiliating treatment. (More)
CRITICS SAY NOVEL IS ISLAMOPHOBIC; AUTHOR CALLS IT 'VIRTUOUS' - TOP
Michael Hernandez, The National, 10/24/11
WASHINGTON // There is nothing subtle about Frank Miller's newest graphic novel, Holy Terror. The book opens with the quote: "If you meet the infidel, kill the infidel", which Mr Miller attributes to the Prophet. From there the jingoism, violence and Islamophobia take off.
Miller is no stranger to controversy. His stories, which include the famous Batman mini-series, The Dark Knight Returns, and comics-to-film 300 and Sin City, regularly explore the darker corners of society amid shades of moral grey. Any nuance, however, is all but absent in his latest work.
Originally envisioned as a Batman tale after September 11 attacks on the US, the comic features heroes The Fixer, and thief-come-love interest, Natalie, as they join forces to stop an Al Qaeda plot on Empire City, a thinly veiled New York City.
For some, the best-seller underlines a worrying shift in American entertainment.
"We are witnessing a growing industry of information and fear-mongering, and this work fits in the centre ... It's unfortunate that Islamophobia is becoming mainstream," said Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Muslim civil-rights group. He described the work as "shameful". (More)
It started out as a crimefighting tool. But over the years, an FBI effort known as "geo-mapping" evolved into something more expansive -- a method to track Muslim communities, without any suspicion of a crime being committed.
Last month, Danger Room revealed that the FBI was training its agents that religious Muslims tended to be "violent" and that Islamic charity is merely a "funding mechanism for combat." In response, both the FBI and the Justice Department promised full reviews of their training materials. But the geo-mapping effort indicates that the FBI may have more than just a training problem: The suspicion of ordinary Muslims promoted in those lectures may be spilling over into its counterterrorism tactics.
Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union acquired some of the FBI geo-maps (.pdf), like the one pictured after the jump, through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Although many of the maps are heavily redacted, they represent the first public confirmation that the FBI compiles maps of businesses, community centers and religious institutions in ethnic enclaves around the United States.
The ACLU -- where, full disclosure, my wife works -- blasted the mapping effort, and in an interview with the New York Times, FBI agent turned ACLU attorney Mike German tied the maps to the incendiary anti-Islam trainings first revealed by Danger Room. Agents who received the briefings might be "predisposed to treating everyone from a particular group as suspect," German said. (More)
MEET MITT ROMNEY'S RADICAL, SHARIA-PHOBE FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR - TOP
Jarad Vary, The New Republic, 10/24/11
Robert Kagan. Eliot Cohen. Michael Hayden. Dov Zakheim. Michael Chertoff. Skim through the names of Mitt Romney's recently announced foreign policy team, and you will be struck by the high level of experience, erudition, and pragmatism across the list. Indeed, since Romney announced his advisors on October 6, he has won praise for a foreign policy group that is unusually large and uncommonly strong.
But one name sticks out: Walid Phares, a Lebanese Christian academic who has come under fire from Muslim advocacy groups and academics alike since his inclusion on Romney's team. Muslim groups are decrying Phares's close involvement with right-wing Christian militia groups during the Lebanese civil war. Academics note his relatively sparse credentials.
But both complaints beg an obvious question: Just who is Walid Phares, and why would the risk-averse Romney add an obscure and controversial pundit to his star-studded foreign policy team? (More)
The Pittsfield Township Board of Trustees will consider a rezoning request by a group wanting to build an Islamic school at the intersection of Ellsworth and Golfside roads.
The decision at the board's regular Wednesday night meeting comes after the planning commission voted 3-2 in August to recommend that the trustees reject the request made by the currently Ann Arbor-based Michigan Islamic Academy.
The planning commission only makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees, which has the final say on rezoning requests.
Opponents' biggest issue has been traffic concerns, but officials involved with the school say two separate traffic studies have found there would be little effect on traffic. They say the planning commission bases all its traffic planning decisions on the studies and questioned why, suddenly, the traffic studies are meaningless. ...
The Council on American-Islamic Relations recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice alerting them to the situation. Lena Masri, a CAIR and Islamic Academy attorney, said the department is not yet monitoring the case, but CAIR did send a letter detailing MIA and Cair's concerns.
She said if the proposal is rejected, then the department could be asked to review the case.
"We hope that the township will not adopt the recommendation of the planning commission and allow Michigan Islamic Academy to move foreward with building a school," she said. "In the event of a denial, we are prepared to look into other options available to us, such as potentially asking for a justice department investigation." (More)
MN: ANTI-ABORTION ACTIVIST CHALLENGES MUSLIM REP. TO EXPLOIT AD LOOPHOLE - TOP
Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent, 10/24/11
Anti-abortion activist Gary Boisclair announced on Saturday that he is challenging Rep. Keith Ellison for the DFL primary. But Boisclair's campaign isn't about defeating Ellison, it's about exploiting a campaign loophole that will force Twin Cities media outlets to air explicit anti-abortion advertising. Boisclair works for Society for Truth and Justice, a group that opposes abortion whose employees are registering to campaign in elections across the country. (More)
GOING ON HAJJ? -- CNN SEEKING IREPORTS - TOP
Millions of Muslims of all nationalities are expected to make the annual Hajj pilgrimage toMecca, Saudi Arabia, beginning Nov. 4. It's a trip that every Muslim is expected to perform at least once if they are healthy and financially-able.
Are you planning to make the holy pilgrimage? CNN iReport is looking for travelers who are interested in documenting their journey for CNN. In a video of 2 minutes or less, tell us who you are, where you live and why you're embarking on this journey of a lifetime.