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Muslims in Ferguson – On the Ground and Active Since Day One

25 November, 2014 - 19:01

Muslims Americans, natives of the St. Louis area and from around the country have been working in solidarity with those who want to put an end to not only a culture of police impunity but a two-tiered justice system.

Patheos, By Umar Lee

Troops from the Missouri National Guard are prepared to deploy around Ferguson, Missouri, as the city awaits a grand jury decision on whether to indict a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in August, which ignited the city in waves of protest.

The events following the tragic police killing of Michael Brown Jr. on August 9th in Ferguson have drawn both national and international media coverage. The role of Muslims in Ferguson has been a frequent topic of conversation. Conspiracy theories have arisen in the right-wing media and amongst opponents of the protest movement in the St. Louis area pointing the finger at a sinister Muslim conspiracy in Ferguson. Within the Muslim community there has been debate regarding the appropriate Muslim response to the surrounding issues. This is a piece I have decided to write to help clarify the role of Muslims in Ferguson.

Let me start by giving readers a sense of place. Ferguson is a predominantly African-American, although racially-diverse, suburb of St. Louis located in North St. Louis County ( where I was raised). It is more accurate to think of events in Ferguson in the context of St. Louis rather than Ferguson alone. The majority of protesters you will see on the streets live in other parts of the St. Louis metro area and a number of the events associated with the protest movement have taken place outside the city limits of Ferguson.

North St. Louis County is home to a growing Muslim population. There is a historic African-American Muslim community in North City and County. Within a short distance of Ferguson is Masjid Umar (formerly the Institute of Learning), located in the rugged Mark Twain neighborhood of North City. Masjid Umar has a Nigerian-American imam and a predominantly African-American congregation. To the north of Ferguson in the city of Hazelwood, you have the Dar al-Jalal Mosque ( the largest mosque in the St. Louis metro area). Dar al-Jalal is a predominantly Arab (specifically Palestinian) congregation with a high percentage of store-owners in North City and County as congregants. Closest to Ferguson is the West Florissant Masjid in the city of Jennings. The West Florissant Masjid is a predominantly Nigerian congregation with a very diverse crowd at Friday prayers. Also, close to Ferguson in the Walnut Park neighborhood of North St. Louis you have Muhammad’s Mosque #28 of the Nation of Islam.

From day one, Muslims have been on the ground in Ferguson. The Facebook group Muslims for Ferguson and other efforts were just later manifestations of what was already happening. Muslims were in Ferguson first and foremost because we live in the community like everyone else and are concerned about its well-being.

Continue reading…

US Drone Strikes Kill 28 Unknown People For Every Intended Target, new Reprieve report reveals

24 November, 2014 - 21:06

Pakistan Drones

US drone strikes kill 28 unknown people for every intended target, new Reprieve report reveals.


US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan have killed as many as 1,147 unknown people in failed attempts to kill 41 named individuals, a report by human rights charity Reprieve has found.

The report looks at deaths resulting from US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan between November 2002 and November 2014. It identifies 41 men who appeared to have been killed multiple times – drawing into question the Obama administration’s repeated claims that the covert drone programme is ‘precise.’

While the US drone programme is shrouded in secrecy, security sources regularly brief the media on the names of those suspected militants targeted or killed in the strikes. Frequently, those individuals are reported to have been targeted or killed on multiple occasions.

Reprieve’s assessment is the first to provide an estimate of the number of people – including in some cases children – who are killed each time the US apparently attempts to assassinate a ‘high value target.’ Due to the US Government’s refusal to publish any information relating to the programme, or the ‘Kill List’ said to determine its targets, the analysis is limited to existing, publicly-available data from media reports and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

continue reading…


Pig’s Remains Dumped At Mosque in Perth Suburb of Southern River

24 November, 2014 - 20:35


via. ABC, By Graeme Powell

Imam Shabir, a spokesman for the Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Mosque in Southern River, said the remains were thrown at the building some time this morning.

“I think it’s common knowledge that [a] pig is something that is not consumable under Islamic law, and so [it was thrown] seemingly as an expression of hatred from certain elements within the society,” he said.

“Within the community they seem to want to express a hatred by throwing this animal at the door of the mosque.”

Imam Shabir said dumping the remains was a despicable act.

“We want to give consideration to this fact, and I think the Australian people should take consideration of this, that pig, while it’s not consumable under Islamic law, brutality against any animal is something which is strictly forbidden in Islam,” he said.

“I think we have to take cognisance of this fact – that the brutality … whatever has happened to it, is certainly something despicable.

“It is something which is unacceptable. Normal human behaviour would not accept this.”

The mosque, on Leslie Street, was previously targeted by vandals during construction prior to its opening in June.

Imam Shabir said the mosque recently held an open day so members of the public could visit and learn more about the Islamic faith.

“There’s been an effort in this regard and it makes us feel disappointed that what we would consider to be an open day which was highly successful [is followed by this] a few weeks later. The consequence in this way it makes us feel disappointed,” he said.

“It doesn’t dampen our spirits and it doesn’t dampen our morale in the concerted efforts that we are making to open the doors of the mosque and to open the doors of Islam for the broader community. It hasn’t dampened our spirits in any way.”

N.J. rabbi: Arabs in Israel ‘must be vanquished’

23 November, 2014 - 19:24


By Ben Sales, JTA

The rabbi of a major modern Orthodox synagogue in New Jersey has written a blog post that calls for Israel to collectively punish Arab Israelis and Palestinians until they realize “they have no future in the land of Israel.”

In the post, written Friday and titled “Dealing with Savages,” Rabbi Steven Pruzansky of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck offers suggestions that range from destroying whole Palestinian towns to uprooting the Dome of the Rock.

“There is a war for the land of Israel that is being waged, and the Arabs who dwell in the land of Israel are the enemy in that war and must be vanquished,” Pruzansky writes.

The post has since been deleted, but it’s cached here.

Pruzansky refers to “the Arab-Muslim animals that span the globe chopping, hacking and merrily decapitating,” and then writes, “At a certain point, the unrestrained behavior of unruly animals becomes the fault of the zookeeper, not the animals.”

So what should Israel do? According to Pruzansky, essentially end civil and human rights for many Arab Israelis and Palestinians. Beyond killing all terrorists and demolishing their extended families’ homes, Pruzansky says Israel should destroy entire Arab villages if more than one terrorist comes from them. All the residents of those villages, he writes, should be expelled.

He also writes that rioters and stone-throwers should be shot with live ammunition, and that reporters should be barred from these scenes and have their cameras confiscated.

Pruzansky says Arabs should be barred from the Temple Mount for at least six months, and muses that “perhaps the day will come in the near future when the mosque and the dome can be uplifted intact and reset in Saudi Arabia, Syria or wherever it is wanted.”

Pruzansky writes that Palestinians and Arab Israelis as a whole are Israel’s enemy — “and that enemy rides our buses, shops in our malls, drives on our roads and lives just two miles from us.” (“Us” apparently doesn’t include Pruzansky himself, who leads a congregation 5,000 miles from Jerusalem.)

This isn’t the first time Pruzansky has made the news for his views. Earlier this month, he compared The New York Jewish Week to Der Sturmer, a Nazi newspaper. Pruzansky’s congregation, Bnai Yeshurun, has about 800 member families, according to its website, and has been led by Pruzansky for more than 20 years.

Near the end of his post, Pruzansky wonders why Israelis haven’t come to the same conclusions he has. It’s an “enduring enigma,” he says.

Israelis across the political spectrum support safeguarding the state’s democratic character. Most have consistently backed a Palestinian state. But it bears noting that almost all of those who oppose Palestinian statehood still don’t speak anything close to Pruzansky’s language.

A telling example: Naftali Bennett, who leads the furthest-right party in Knesset and strongly opposes a Palestinian state, came out quickly and vehemently last week against an Israeli city’s ban on Arab construction workers. “99.9 percent” are nonviolent, he said, and Israel should not discriminate based on race or religion.

Witchcraft-obsessed GOP county chair: Muslims must accept Jesus or leave the United States

21 November, 2014 - 22:33


Was this man a raving Islamophobe before he found Geller and Spencer or was his nutty, fringe and warped version of Christianity triggered by his association with Geller and Spencer‘s SIOA? As important is the question of how in heck this guy ever came to be the chairman of a county Republican Party? I wondered if Big Stone County was in Michele Bachmann‘s neck of the woods, as that would explain a lot but it is not! Hopefully, the nearby Islamic Center of Willmar and its congregants will not be targeted because of this officials hate speech.

Raw Story

The chairman of a county Republican Party in Minnesota who believes that big government is actually a form of satanic “witchcraft” is not backing down from controversial comments he posted on his Facebook page about Muslims.

Big Stone County Republican chairman Jack Whitley said he opposed waterboarding terrorists because he believed that Muslim “parasites” should be killed.

“I am opposed to waterboarding muslim terrorists because it is a waste of resources,” he wrote Wednesday on Facebook “They are muslims, they are terrorist, we know where they are from, we know where their buddies are, we know where thier mosque’s are, we know millions of these parasites travel to Mecca every year and when…FRAG ‘EM! Simplicity. I love when it all comes together!”

The comments were first reported by the Bluestem Prairie blog.

Whitley said Thursday that he would not apologize for his remarks. He said Muslims should either convert to Christianity or leave the United States.

“This is where I’m making my stand,” he wrote in another Facebook post. “Muslims inTwin Cities Area are calling for me to apologize for a comment I made on facebook about them being. parasites and we need to frag them .I will not apologize and I will not compromise .They either need to repent except Jesus Chist or leave the country .Any Muslims or group of Muslims who do not stand against Jihad Muslim terrorist are consider part and parcel with the Muslim terrorist. I was just contacted by a reporter from the Minnespolis Star Tribune who will be writing a article on their blog site if you care to follow this story.Bravery is contagious , I am not a coward are you? If Muslims think they can come to this country and dictate anything that makes them terrorist ! Lets see if your love for God and country,patriotism,extends any further than your finger tips on the keyboard. If you want to consider this a call to arms,then so be it .”

Whitley told the StarTribune that he didn’t like Muslims because Islam was a violent religion.

“I don’t really see much of Islam being peaceful at all,” he said. “Don’t come into this country, infiltrating this country with your terrorist activities and terrorist agendas and call it a ‘holy war.”

He also explained to the StarTribune that he doesn’t believe Muslims deserve First Amendment rights.

“Your association with those in your religion who have those terrorist activities, and your unwillingness to call them on the carpet for it? No, you no longer have the right to practice that religion if it infringes on the peace and the tranquility of this nation and the people around you. That nullifies your constitutional right to practice your freedom of religion.”

On his Facebook page, Whitley has expressed concern about witchcraft and Satanism.

“An oversized government will always be an immoral government, creating entities where none are needed, to virtually control every aspect of the lives of its citizens, for the ‘greater good’, thereby creating rebels of the ones who will not bow to these corrupt entities. This is also known as witchcraft.”

He said that Hollywood, the NFL, the NBA, televangelists, the Christian music industry, the health industry, and academics were all part of the “government of Satan,” which he claimed had infiltrated the Christian church.

“American Christians or should I say ‘Westernized Christians’ are absolutely caught in the trap that satan has laid for them, and they dont even know it because it feels so good,” he said in another post about the movie Noah.

Whitley also expressed his opposition to the “feminization and homosexualization of the church” in his Facebook writings, and said he didn’t donate money to missionaries “unless they prove to me they stand against abortion and homo’s.”

Parliament Report: 88 pct of German Mosque Attacks Unsolved

21 November, 2014 - 22:00


via. IslamophobiaWatch

A report released by Parliament’s Human Rights Commission following the burning of three mosques in Germany in August has reached interesting conclusions in its study of Islamophobia in Germany, revealing that the vast majority of perpetrators of such crimes have gone unpunished.

Human Rights Commission President Ayhan Sefer Üstün reported on the comprehensive research carried out in Germany. The parliamentary report states that of the 297 attacks on mosques from 2001 to the present day, 244 (88 percent) of the crimes’ suspects or perpetrators have not been captured. According to the report, “A large portion of these attacks on mosques remain unpunished … opening the way for fear, worry and insecurity among members of the Muslim population.”

The Human Rights Commission, which has previously done research and prepared important reports on the problems of Turks residing in various European countries, decided to carry out the most recent research about attacks on mosques after three mosques were attacked on Aug. 11 and 19 in the German cities of Berlin and Bielefeld.

The commission, preparing its report with the help of the Turkish community and in the light of meetings with officials of the German government, found shocking evidence in its inquiry into the mosque attacks in.

The report cites figures published by the German government, noting that in the 13-year period from 2001 to 2014 there were 297 attacks on Muslim places of worship. It further notes that in 88 percent of these cases, those alleged to have performed the crime were not arrested. According to the same data, while the monthly average until 2011 was one or two attacks, in more recent years this rate has risen to three a month.

Read the rest…

Families Suspect Hate Crime After Muslim Cemetery Vandalized

21 November, 2014 - 21:21

Only Muslim headstones in the cemetery were targeted by vandals leading family members to suspect a hate crime was involved.

(SEATTLE, WA, 11/21/14) — The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) today called on law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting a Muslim cemetery as a possible hate crime.

Headstones bearing the Islamic star and crescent and Arabic inscriptions were vandalized earlier this week at the Islamic Community of Bosniaks in Washington State’s cemetery near Maltby, Wash. Community members say the Christian section of the cemetery was not vandalized.

“Because the perpetrators of this desecration appear to have targeted only the Muslim graves, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this troubling incident as a possible hate crime,” said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari.

Pictures from Bosnajci.net




CAIR Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Vandalism Targeting N. Calif. Mosque

20 November, 2014 - 20:00

Why was a mosque targeted with a Star of David and the number 26?

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 11/20/14) — The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting a local mosque as a possible hate crime.

CAIR-SFBA said vandals spray-painted a Star of David and the number 26 on a door of the Islamic Center of Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif.


“Given ongoing violence in the Middle East, coupled with the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in American society, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this vandalism,” said CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo.

CAIR recently reported a number of apparent hate attacks on Islamic institutions in the United States, including shots fired at a California mosque and a firebomb attack on a mosque in New Mexico.

NYPD Can No Longer ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ Whether It Was Spying on Muslims

20 November, 2014 - 19:52


No more evasion for the NYPD?

The Village Voice

The NYPD has been going to the legal mat recently to protect records that might shed light on a now-infamous spy program targeting Muslims in the New York City area.

In a bid to prevent the release of documents possibly related to the program, the NYPD broke out the big guns, adopting a controversial legal strategy — called a “Glomar response” — pioneered by the CIA in the 1970s.

If you’ve ever read a Tom Clancy novel or watched (sigh) HBO’s The Newsroom, you’ve heard someone — usually a sinister federal agent of some stripe — say that they can “neither confirm nor deny” whatever horrible thing they’re being accused of doing.

The phrase has entered the popular lexicon in all kinds of contexts, but it actually grew out of a specific federal lawsuit.

When a reporter sought documents related to a secret CIA operation in 1975, the feds worried that turning them over would reveal important security information. More than that, the CIA believed that if they explained why they were legally allowed to withhold the records, they would inadvertently reveal that the records — and therefore the double-secret program itself — actually existed. (Spoiler: It did.)

Prior to that time, in order to deny a request made under the Freedom of Information Act, the government at least had to cite a specific “exemption” to explain the refusal. The Glomar response was therefore a novel approach. But the court bought it, and since then it’s become a routine if not particularly common tool at the federal level.

(The rest of the back story is pretty fascinating too. This Radiolab segment will fill you in on the saga of a sunken Russian submarine, a company called Global Marine — whence “Glomar” was born — and a whole lot of Cold War shenanigans.)

That whole thing went down in the federal courts, and has never really been accepted at the state level before the NYPD successfully tried it in October. (We wrote about that case, which is being appealed, back when it happened.)

The suit we’re concerned with today, which is similar to the October case, was brought on behalf of Samir Hashmi, a student at Rutgers University, who believes he and the Muslim student group he belonged to were targeted for NYPD surveillance a few years back.

It’s not exactly a wild claim. The Associated Press revealed in 2011 that a wide swath of Muslim organizations — and in fact entire communities — were targeted for surveillance by the department’s highly secretive “demographics unit.”

The approach taken by the NYPD raised serious constitutional concerns, and also some jurisdictional ones. NYPD officers were found to be operating in New Jersey without the knowledge of local authorities, and while we commend them for taking the trip — we’d certainly rather remain anywhere that is not New Jersey — that also posed some problems in the legal realm.

The AP reporters who broke the story, Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, ultimately received a Pulitzer Prize for their work, and though the NYPD initially denied the whole shebang, they were ultimately forced into a tacit admission after disbanding the unit that never existed.

In 2012, Hashmi sought records that might show if he was, indeed, being watched by the police, and the department tried to use the Glomar response to shut down the lawsuit. It was a creative approach, because Glomar is rooted in federal jurisprudence, and Hashmi was suing in state court.

But on Monday, the judge nixed the NYPD’s claim, and said they had to follow the state Freedom of Information Law.

Robert Freeman, executive director of the state’s Committee on Open Government, which advocates for a robust FOIL, says the judge got it right in this instance, and that introducing Glomar as an option for New York agencies would “do damage” to the statute. As the judge pointed out, it’s really up to the legislature to determine whether the law should be altered to contain a Glomar-like provision.

Read the rest…

Rochdale’s Muslim Community Say They Face ‘Unprecedented and Unacceptable’ Racism

20 November, 2014 - 19:34


Manchester Evening News

Members of the Muslim community say they are facing ‘unprecedented and unacceptable’ racism in Rochdale – and are calling on all parts of society to take a stand against Islamophobia.

A group of local leaders have come together to speak out about the rise in violence and discrimination they say Asian people have been subjected to following the town’s grooming scandal.

They say the ‘excessive’ focus on the ethnicity and religion of non-white sex offenders has led to the ‘stigmatisation’ of their community – meaning that Islamophobia is now an ‘acceptable norm’.

The group, a coalition of local leaders under the name of Rochdale Muslim Community, say they now want to work with people in the town to eradicate the hatred.

In a statement passed to the M.E.N., they said: “It has become evident to anyone that follows events in the media that Islam is being portrayed negatively and that Muslims living in Britain are bearing the brunt of discrimination and violence.

“There is little doubt that this has resulted in not only the community feeling vilified but could potentially breakdown social cohesion within society. Irresponsible comments from senior local and national politicians are aiding the negative portrayal of the Muslim community.

“Time and time again some politicians and the media have attempted to equate issues such as grooming and the Muslim community as being one and the same.

“It is only natural that this sort of misinformation will stigmatise the whole of the Muslim community. This has meant that casual xenophobia towards Muslims has now become an acceptable norm.”

Their stand comes after a group of Asian taxi drivers went on strike in Heywood after their boss revealed his firm, Car 2000, would supply a white cabbie on demand. The drivers described how their cars had regularly been attacked or vandalised following the town’s grooming scandal.

In 2012, nine men from Rochdale were jailed for grooming girls and sharing them around the north west for sex.

But the coalition of the town’s Muslims said, while the paedophile gang was often refereed to as ‘Asian’, the ethnicity and religion of sex offenders such as Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall and former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith has never been mentioned – even though they too used positions of trust to abuse young children.

The group’s statement added: “Unfortunately, we are now facing a situation where a disdain of the Muslim community is something which is deemed acceptable.

“We do not wish to go back to a situation where discrimination against minorities becomes the norm. We believe that all segments of society have a duty to stand up against Islamophobia in all of its guises no matter how subtle or apparent.

Read the rest…

China Targets ‘Wild Imams’ In Mass Public Sentencing

19 November, 2014 - 18:54

Imam calls on Muslim Uighurs for their afternoon prayer with home-made iron loudspeaker on roof of Kuqa Mosque second biggest mosque in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region

(Reuters)China has jailed almost two dozen people including “wild imams” who preach illegally in the western region of Xinjiang where the government says Islamists are waging a violent campaign for a separate state, Chinese media reported on Tuesday.

The 22 suspects were sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to 16 years at a mass public sentencing in Xinjiang on Monday, the state-controlled China News Service reported.

As well as the imams, or Muslim religious leaders, those sentenced included religious leaders who engaged in religious activities after being sacked, as well as those who broke the law while at their posts, it said.

Others were accused of inciting ethnic hatred, using superstition to destroy the law, and picking quarrels and provoking trouble, it said.

Xinjiang is home to a mostly Muslim minority group known as Uighurs.

China has vowed to crack down on religious extremism, which it blames for a string of violent attacks this year in Xinjiang and elsewhere. Exiles and activists say Chinese controls on the religion and culture of the Uighur people is more a cause of the violence than well-organized militant groups.

Read the rest…


National Front Try To Disrupt Islamic Society Peaceful March in Newport

17 November, 2014 - 23:39


via. IslamophobiaWatch

Members of far-right party the National Front tried to disrupt a peaceful march of more than 500 Muslims from across Wales in Newport today.

The annual march, organised by the Islamic Society of Wales, commemorates the anniversary of Prophet Mohammad’s grandson, Imam Hussain, who was martyred more than 1,300 years ago.

The 32nd march to be held in Newport should have taken place last Sunday – the 10th day in the Muslim calendar – but was put back so the city’s Muslims could join in the Remembrance Sunday services.

But yesterday afternoon police stepped in when anti-Muslim protestors attempted to disrupt the peaceful march. As the hundreds of men, women and children walked along Commercial Street, two men carrying National Front flags attempted to enter the crowd from a side street.

They were joined by six more protestors who held up British and Welsh flags and shouted abuse including, “These are our streets” and “Muslims, burn in hell”.

Officers from Gwent Police and private security firms formed a barrier around the men. Two of the men were later seen in the Red Lion pub on Stow Hill, shouting abuse from inside while police blocked the entrance.

Fuelling Islamophobia in the US

17 November, 2014 - 23:33


(h/t:Saqib Ahmed)

via. AlJazeera English

By Khaled A Beydoun

The United Arab Emirates designated two Muslim-American civil rights groups – the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society – among the 83 institutions included in its new terrorist group list. The designations were announced on the state’s official news agency on November 15, marking a nefarious precedent where a government of a Muslim-majority state has designated a Muslim-American institution as a “terrorist organisation”.

While the classification of both organisations as terrorist groups is alarming, the allegation against CAIR is particularly concerning. The advocacy organisation based out of Washington, DC, which encompasses 28 chapters across the United States, has stood as a vital and vocal opponent of state-sponsored discrimination against Muslim-Americans. In addition, CAIR – principally through its chapters – has carried forward unapologetic initiatives aimed at eroding Islamophobia and defending Muslim-American individuals and institutions during the post-9/11 era.

Regional politics, not CAIR’s work stateside, moved the UAE to designate the civil rights organisation a terrorist group. More specifically, hearsay tying CAIR with the Muslim Brotherhood, a political nemesis of the UAE, is believed to be the principal catalyst behind the designation.

Although distant geopolitical concerns are behind the UAE designating CAIR as a terrorist organisation, what impact will the classification have on the advocacy group, its civil rights mission, and collaterally, Muslim-Americans at large? The ramifications are not only acute, but also extensive.

A widening ‘gulf’

Centuries old stereotypes, still embedded in the American imagination, conflate Muslims – regardless of their nationality or locale – as one and the same. Therefore, Muslim Americans – the overwhelming majority of whom have no connection to the UAE – are consistently lumped up with the prevailing stereotypes attributed to the people of the oil-rich state: endless wealth, modern slavery, and conspicuous expression of religious conservativism cloaking commercial insatiability.

Yet, the differences between Muslims in monarchical Gulf States and Muslim-America are as ample, and extensive, as the differences between Dubai and Detroit – their respective hubs.

The recent designation of CAIR as a terrorist organisation not only provides further evidence that Muslims are anything but a monolith, but also manifests a widening political and interests’ gulf between Muslims in the UAE and Muslim-Americans.

Since 9/11, the UAE has expressed only passing concern for the civil liberties crackdown experienced by Muslim-Americans. This apathy may be a surprise to everyone in the US aside from Muslim-Americans, who can point to the dehumanisation of Muslim migrant workers within the Gulf region to highlight how religious affinity is seldom a source of apathy.

With heightening state and societal animosity toward Islam in the US, particularly with the recent emergence of ISIL, the UAE’s designation of CAIR as “terrorists” shifts their state stance from apathy toward full-fledged assault. The designation has two considerable effects: first, it endorses specific allegations from right-wing US groups that CAIR colludes with terrorist networks; and second, functions as testimony, from a native state informant, deepening the stereotype that critical Muslim-American civil rights organisations are subversive and anti-American.

Abetting Islamophobia

CAIR is not designated a terrorist group within the US. However, the organisation and its leadership have fended off allegations of direct or indirect links with state-designated terrorist groups for many years. The allegations, although legally tenuous, curried public perception that CAIR itself had terrorist affiliations. This led to increased government surveillance of its Executive Director, Nihad Awad, FBI probing of CAIR chapters and community outreach work, monitoring of Muslim-Americans seeking their counsel, and intensified slander from right-wing political leaders and media pundits.

By classifying CAIR as a terrorist organisation, among the likes of ISIL, al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram, the move will embolden Islamophobic elements to pronounce their hateful rhetoric, and expedite draconian policies against Muslim-Americans.

Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director of CAIR’s Greater Los Angeles chapter, echoes that the designation will “fuel Islamophobia, and undermine the safety and well being of Muslim communities [in the United States] around the world”.

Furthermore, the UAE designation will further complicate CAIR’s ability to carry forward advocacy work protecting Muslim-Americans. Instead of marshaling manpower and resources to handling hate crimes cases, public workshops, and other direly needed initiatives, the designation will compel the organisation and its staff to respond to its placement on the terrorist list, and collaterally, deal with the barrage of political and private hate that is sure to follow.

Read the rest of the article…


Pig’s Head At Blackpool Mosque: Four Face Jail

17 November, 2014 - 22:47


Is it a shocking attack? Perhaps, but there have been many such incidences and to myself is not that surprising. Is it insulting? Perhaps since the intent was malicious but how long is it going to take for the Islamophobic dolts who continue to commit such acts to realize that Muslims aren’t going to melt at the sight of a pig, they just can’t eat them.

via. IslamophobiaWatch

A pig’s head was left in the grounds of a mosque in a “shocking” and “insulting” attack.

The offence, which took place just two days after the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby by Islamic extremists, “sent a shiver” down the spine of a volunteer at Blackpool Central Mosque, Preston Crown Court heard.

But today the mosque’s Imam, Ashfaq Patel, called on the judge in the case not to jail the four men who 
admitted religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress. He said: “I don’t think they should be put behind bars.”

However, a judge warned the four Fylde coast men they could potentially face up to two years in prison.

Blackpool Gazette, 15 November 2014

Read the full report here.

Islamophobia Doesn’t Only Harm Muslims

15 November, 2014 - 23:14


It’s well known that Islamophobia effects non-Muslims as well, it hurts those who are perceived to be Muslims or friendly to Muslims, this includes: Sikhs, Hindus, Arab Christians, Turkish Atheists, Norwegian teenagers and others.

It also effects economic relationships, remember the Dubai Ports controversy? Now in Australia, after a concerted Islamophobic controversy, a South Australian company is set to lose its contract with an airline giant.

The Advertiser

Fleurieu Milk Company, and other South Australian food and drink manufacturers such as Vili’s and Coopers, have been targeted by Facebook pages like Halal Choices and Boycott Halal in Australia for their decision to pursue the certification. Halal is a term used by Muslims meaning the food has been prepared or slaughtered according to ­Islamic law.

Fleurieu Milk Company sales and marketing manager Nick Hutchinson said the decision to drop the halal certification would mean the Myponga-based dairy would lose a yoghurt supply deal with Emirates worth around $50,000 a year.

Mr Hutchinson said the decision was regrettable, but that the company had decided the possible damage to its brand outweighed the benefits of being halal certified.

“We’ve copped a pasting online,” he said.

“We saw the barrage of comments on these sites and the calls to boycott our products and decided it wasn’t worth it. I suppose we’ve given in to a vocal minority.

“It is important for people to realise that being a business owner in Australia can be challenging. In order to remain financially viable companies are forced to look to expand into new markets. Fleurieu Milk had the opportunity to supply Emirates airlines given they became halal approved. We decided the $1000 annual fee was worth it and proceeded.”

The anti-halal sites make a number of claims about the certification, including that it is essentially a religious tax that forces up the price of food, that it is cruel to slaughtered animals and that money could be used to fund Islamist terrorists overseas. The sites encourage consumers to boycott any products displaying the halal accreditation symbol.

Mr Hutchinson said he believed the anti-halal sites were wrong in targeting Australian food producers.

“Other company’s make tens of millions of dollars through being halal certified and cannot walk away like we have,” Mr Hutchinson said. “These business owners are true-blue Aussies bringing a lot of international dollars back into the local economy and would prefer not to pay the certification fee as well.

“The question must be asked: what is worse – paying the $1000 fee or making hundreds of employees around SA redundant?

“People will argue for both sides, but what we want people to ask themselves is ‘are you directing your anger in the right direction?’ Do these business owners, in our case the local farmers, deserve this or should you be petitioning above them to stop the fee having to be paid?”

Iconic pie and pastry manufacturer Vili’s confirmed the company had also been the target of the anti-halal group, but said it had no plans to bend to pressure from “hate mail and ignorant comments”.

A spokesman for Vili’s said the company had been halal certified since 1997, and that it had helped the company grow both in Australia and overseas.

“From a purely economic viewpoint, halal certification brings a lot of money into Australia,” the spokesman said.

“Vili’s also tries to be an ­inclusive company. We have no plans to change anything.” The spokesman said while he would never tell the Fleurieu Milk Company how to run its business, he hoped that the company “isn’t being influenced unnecessarily”.

“When you look at these sites you get the impression that a lot of the comments are written in the same voice and probably come from the same source,” he said. “A lot of it is very similar, suggesting that these sites might not be as strong as they say they are.”

PHOTOS: W. Bank Mosque, Qurans Set On Fire In Suspected Hate Crime

14 November, 2014 - 23:44


via. +972

Speaking to +972, one local resident noted that this was not the first time settlers have set a mosque on fire. The man added that investigations into such incidents by Israeli authorities have brought no justice.

“This is a direct continuation of Israeli policy at Al Aqsa [Mosque],” the resident of Al Mughayir said. “Every mosque is in danger from the settlers.”

Last month a mosque in the village of Aqraba was set alight in a similar attack.

Palestinian police and firefighters were on the scene.

Israeli media reported that Israeli police had not arrived at the scene to investigate due to clashes taking place nearby.

In northern Israel overnight Tuesday a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a centuries-old synagogue in the Palestinian town of Shfar’am (Shefa-’Amr). The flames did not penetrate the building.

A man inspects a Quran damaged in a suspected arson hate crime against a mosque in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Local officials and Palestinian police stand in a mosque damaged in a suspected arson hate crime in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Human rights organization Yesh Din this week released a data sheet on Israeli police failures in investigating crimes committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

According to this data, in 2005-2014, a mere 7.4 percent of investigation files led to indictments of Israeli civilians suspected of attacking Palestinians and their property, reflecting a decline of approximately one percent in the rate of such indictments.

Over the past nine years, according to their data, only 7.4 percent of investigations “led to indictments of Israeli civilians suspected of attacking Palestinians and their property.”

In the past two years, following a spate of higher-than-usual settler attacks against Palestinians, the government ordered the creation of a special police investigatory unit dealing exclusively with what Israel describes as “nationalistic crimes.”

Since the creation of the Nationalistic Crimes Unit in the West Bank, “the failure rate of the Israel Police in properly investigating ideological offenses against Palestinians has in fact worsened,” according to Yesh Din.

In 2013-2014, a statement by Yesh Din said, that nearly 90 percent of police investigations in the past two years were closed without indictment due to what the organization terms “investigative failures.”

Read the entire article…

Read more: ‘Settler violence: It comes with the territory’

Germany’s new right: The unholy alliance of neo-Nazis and football hooligans

13 November, 2014 - 14:29

Hooligan-Demo gegen Salafisten

Der Spiegel says the riots by a united front of Neo-Nazis and Football hooligans was unexpected but is it really? The rise of violent Islamophobia amongst these two groups has been well documented and should’ve hinted at a possible hate alliance. (h/t: IslamophobiaWatch)

Hours after their coup, the rabble rousers were still reveling in their unexpected success. One hooligan going by the nom de guerre “Bo Ne,” happily posted: “We made it into the news around the entire world. Russia, Turkey, Switzerland, Spain, France — first goal achieved!”

It was a view shared by almost everyone in the four closed forums belonging to the group called Hooligans gegen Salafisten (Hooligans against Salafists). With more than 3,000 members, the network is a loose association of neo-Nazis, nationalists and football rowdies — and their posts made it clear that they didn’t think they were being monitored. One regretted not having brought an axe to the demonstration to “destroy all of Islam.” Bo Ne and others, however, were totally satisfied. Germany, he wrote, has now seen “what it means to deceive a people for 70 years.”

And: “Cologne was just the beginning.”

The rally took place on the last weekend in October and saw almost 5,000 demonstrators, right-wing extremists and football hooligans march through Cologne, many of them clearly looking for trouble. Riled up by the right-wing rock band Kategorie C (which sings lyrics like: “Today they are slitting the throats of sheep and cows, tomorrow it may be Christian children”), they filled the Cologne city center with their hate. Tourists and passersby got out of their way.

By the time the march came to an end, 49 police officers had been injured, a police van had been flipped over and plenty of other property had been damaged. Cologne police quickly assembled a special investigative unit made up of 36 officers. State prosecutors say that 32 suspects have now been identified and fully 72 investigations have been opened.

Unexpected Phenomenon

But questions abound as to how such a thing could have happened. And fear about what comes next is also widespread. Almost as soon as the violence in Cologne had come to an end, dates for further demonstrations elsewhere in Germany began circulating.

The phenomenon is an unexpected one. Thousands of hooligans appear to have left their football clubs of choice behind in favor of uniting against a common enemy: the presumed danger of Islam. In addition, they have joined forces with neo-Nazis and other racists. Nobody, it would seem, thought that such an unholy alliance was possible.

Political reaction was prompt. Lorenz Caffier, the interior minister of the northern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, quickly placed the issue on the agenda for the next meeting of state interior ministers. His counterpart from Lower Saxony, Boris Pistorius, demanded the creation of a special police task force. Meanwhile, representatives of football clubs around the country expressed shock and dismay at the violence on display in Cologne.

Yet despite the hurried reactions, the phenomenon is one that has been developing for some time now. Since February of 2012, security officials have had solid evidence that traditionally adversarial hooligan groups were establishing ties and drifting to the right-wing fringe. That month, the Borussenfront — a group of right-wing rowdies that had its apex in the 1980s — invited representatives of other hooligan groups to a “cross-club exchange” in a farmhouse in the Rhineland.

Members of 17 “firms,” as they call themselves in imitation of their British counterparts, came to the gathering from across the country, many of them aging veterans of past battles. They drank plenty of beer and reminisced — a kind of class reunion for thugs.

Read the rest of the article…

Caroline Fourest fined €6000 for defaming young Muslim victim of racist attack

12 November, 2014 - 14:26


Islamophobe Caroline Fourest claims to be a “Feminist” but it appears her feminism is of the Neo-colonialist variety.

via. IslamophobiaWatch

Saphir News has reported that Caroline Fourest – the French “left-wing” Islamophobe who wrote Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan – has been successfully sued for defamation over comments she made in June last year on the radio station France Culture.

Fourest was responding to the attacks on two Muslim women in Argenteuil, one of whom lost her baby after being kicked in the stomach by her assailants. This followed an earlier incident in which a 17-year-old woman named Rabia Bentot (pictured) was punched and kicked by racists, who also tore off her headscarf while shouting “dirty Arab” and “dirty Muslim”

Instead of Fourest declaring her outrage at the assaults, and her solidarity with the victims, this self-styled feminist expressed scepticism about the women’s accounts.

Fourest claimed that Rabia Bentot was being manipulated by her father and by the Coordination contre le Racisme et l’Islamophobie, assisted by what Fourest described as the “communalist” website Oumma.com, and she suggested that the story of an attack might well have been fabricated. Even if an assault did take place, Fourest asserted, the police had not excluded the possibility that Rabia was the victim of violence by her own family, who could have beaten her up as punishment for living too free a lifestyle.

Needless to say, Fourest offered no evidence whatsoever to back up these disgraceful slurs.

The Collectif contre l’Islamophobie en France comments that for someone who claims to be a feminist Fourest is very selective in her indignation, especially when it comes to Muslim women who wear hijab. The CCIF notes that trying to discredit the testimony of women victims of violence is a well-known phenomenon, and has been vigorously denounced by feminist organisations.

Rabia Bentot sued Fourest for defamation, and last week the Grand Instance Court in Paris ruled in Rabia’s favour. Fourest was fined €6000, half of which was to be paid in damages with the remainder to cover the plaintiff’s legal costs. Fourest has announced that she will be appealing the verdict.


France: Attack On Strasbourg Mosque Condemned

11 November, 2014 - 20:23



A fire at the entrance to the Grand Mosque of Strasbourg was quickly extinguished overnight Saturday. The attack, which took place at the entrance to one of the main mosques in France caused only minor cosmetic damage.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has decried the arson attack and has vowed to pursue those responsible for this “odious act,” an official statement said Monday.

The statement continued on to say that Cazeneuve “reaffirms his commitment to protect the places of worship of all religions from such outrageous acts and attacks which target them, and also to fight against all expressions of hatred and intolerance,” adding that “such acts went against the core values of the French Republic.”

The president of the Grand Mosque, Ali El Jarroudi condemned “with the greatest firmness this odious act” and said that a complaint had been lodged with the police, adding that there were images of an individual lighting the fires which he had handed to the police..

In a statement to AFP, Abdallah Zekri, president of the Observatory against Islamophobia, said that he feels “anger and disgust at those who want to create tensions between communities.”

The Mayor of Strasbourg Roland Ries, expressed his “outrage” against “acts which, as isolated they are, affect the serenity of cohabitation between religions and tradition of understanding and ‘openness’ of the city.

The President of the Union of mosques in France (UMF), Mohammed Moussaoui, also condemned “in the strongest force” the attack, calling on the “Muslims of France to be vigilant and calm in the face of these acts.”

The incident did not disrupt the Great Mosque musical program which took place Sunday which included hosting the London Zemel Choir, a Jewish choir chosen as part of a religious music festival which took place in Strasbourg.

(with AFP)

Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Accelerated

11 November, 2014 - 02:45

A camp for Rohingya, an ethnic minority, on the outskirts of Sittwe, in Rakhine State. Rohingya, who are mostly Muslim, are accused of being Bangladeshi migrants and face discrimination and violence at the hands of the Buddhist majority. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes or the country to escape bloodshed. Tomas Munita for The New York Times

A camp for Rohingya, an ethnic minority, on the outskirts of Sittwe, in Rakhine State. Rohingya, who are mostly Muslim, are accused of being Bangladeshi migrants and face discrimination and violence at the hands of the Buddhist majority. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes or the country to escape bloodshed. Tomas Munita for The New York Times

There is a lot of suffering across the world but the plight of the Rohingya people of Myanmar is one of the worst cases of state sanctioned brutality and persecution anywhere. Over the past two years, the Rohingya have been visited by one attack after another:

Massacres such as Buddhists killing 9 Muslim pilgrims, 36 school children and their teachers butchered in front of local police. Myanmar saw the near complete destruction of the Muslim quarter in the city of Kyaukpyu. Human rights groups have reported on the systematic killing and ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Rakhine State, where the Rohingya Muslim population is herded into concentration campsMosques, Muslim homes, and orphanages across torched in arson attacks. Numerous  internet sites are replete with Islamophobic dehumanization messages about Islam and Muslims spread by the extremist movement ‘969.’ Myanmar is where the “symbol of Democracy,” the Noble Peace Prize winning Suu Kyi not only says she won’t speak out for the persecuted Rohingya but denies their existence. Myanmar’s government has given official backing to the violent, extremist 969 movement. Ministers in the Myanmar government have backed discriminatory legislation that would limit Rohingya women to two children. Local officials have severely restricted humanitarian aid to Rohingya concentration camps and the rest of Rakhine State, where tuberculosis, waterborne illnesses and malnutrition are endemic.

While Obama has made some mealy-mouthed criticisms of the Myanmar government, not much has changed on the ground, and the desire/need for US companies to invest in Myanmar continues apace. When money is involved morality usually goes out the window.

Recently, the New York Times’ Jane Perlez had a heartbreaking report on the worsening ethnic cleansing situation. The title of their article: Myanmar Policy’s Message to Muslims: Get Out

SITTWE, Myanmar — The Myanmar government has given the estimated one million Rohingya people in this coastal region of the country a dispiriting choice: Prove your family has lived here for more than 60 years and qualify for second-class citizenship, or be placed in camps and face deportation.

The policy, accompanied by a wave of decrees and legislation, has made life for the Rohingya, a long-persecuted Muslim minority, ever more desperate, spurring the biggest flow of Rohingya refugees since a major exodus two years ago.

The crisis has become an embarrassment to the White House ahead of a scheduled visit by President Obama to Myanmar next week. The administration considers Myanmar a foreign-policy success story in Asia but is worried that renewed conflict between Buddhist extremists, who are given a free hand by the government, and the Rohingya could derail the already rocky transition from military rule to democratic reform.

Mr. Obama called President Thein Sein of Myanmar last week, urging him to address the “tensions and humanitarian situation in Rakhine State,” the White House said.

In his most public appeal to the government yet, Mr. Obama asked the Myanmar leader to revise the anti-Rohingya policies, specifically the resettlement plan. Myanmar must “support the civil and political rights of the Rohingya population,” he said.

The Rohingya have faced discrimination for decades. They have been denied citizenship and evicted from their homes, their land has been confiscated, and they have been attacked by the military. After one such attack in 1978, some 200,000 fled to Bangladesh.

The latest flare-up began with an outbreak of sectarian rioting in 2012, in which hundreds of Rohingya were killed and dozens of their villages burned to the ground by radical Buddhists. Since then, close to 100,000 have fled the country, and more than 100,000 have been confined to squalid camps, forbidden to leave.

As conditions in the camps have deteriorated, international pressure has mounted on the government to find a humane solution. Instead, the government appears to be accelerating a strategy that human rights groups have described as ethnic cleansing.

For many Rohingya, the new policy, called the Rakhine Action Plan, represents a kind of final humiliation, said Mohamed Saeed, a community organizer in a camp on the edge of Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State.

“People really fear this plan,” he said. “Our community is getting less and less. This is where they want us — out.”

Many Rohingya came to Myanmar in the 19th century when the British ruled all of what is now India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. But the government’s demand for proof of residence since 1948 is too onerous for many, who either do not have the paperwork or fall short of the six-decade requirement, human rights advocates say.

Those who can prove their residence qualify only for naturalized citizenship, which carries fewer rights than full citizenship and can be revoked. Moreover, they would be classified as “Bengali,” rather than Rohingya, suggesting that they are immigrants from Bangladesh and leaving open the possibility of deportation.

Under the plan, those Rohingya who cannot meet the standards for naturalized citizenship or refuse to accept the Bengali designation would be placed in camps before being deported.

Human Rights Watch described the plan as “nothing less than a blueprint for permanent segregation and statelessness.”

The government asked the United Nations refugee agency to participate in the resettlement, but the agency refused, a spokesman said.

The Rakhine Action Plan is but one element of a host of policies and tactics aimed at marginalizing the Rohingya. This year, in line with the government’s position that they are foreigners, the Rohingya were prevented from participating in the national census.

Legislation introduced in Parliament two months ago, and expected to pass, would bar Rohingya from voting in next year’s election. Parliament is also considering a bill that would ban interfaith marriage, a measure human rights advocates say is designed to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment.

The policies come on top of an increasingly dire situation in Rohingya camps and villages. In the camps around Sittwe, where about 140,000 Rohingya live, health services are virtually nonexistent.

The main medical provider, Doctors Without Borders, the international nonprofit group, was chased out six months ago and has not been able to return.

In the villages around Maungdaw, a Rohingya-dominated town near the border with Bangladesh, there has been a sudden increase in the arrests of young Rohingya men and boys, United Nations officials and human rights advocates said.

The Border Guard Police arrested more than 100 Rohingya on charges of holding illegal gatherings and over refusals to participate in the action plan. Chris Lewa, the director of the Arakan Project, said the arrests were part of a campaign to force the men to leave the country.

For many, the high-risk boat trips to Thailand en route to Malaysia, a Muslim country that quietly tolerates the refugees, begin at a gray sandy beach at Ohn Taw Shi, a fishing village fringed by coconut trees on the outskirts of a camp for the displaced.

On a recent day, a froth of waves lapped the shore, a few open wooden boats lay untended, waiting for use at night. The police slept in the afternoon heat in a wooden shack about 500 yards away.

A smuggler, Chan Thet Maung, a cellphone hooked to his pants and earplugs dangling from his neck, said that when the wooden boats were filled with Rohingya, they sailed north for about five hours to connect with larger vessels. There, in waters off the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, multideck boats sometimes idle for days or weeks, manned by armed and often brutal crews, waiting for a full complement of passengers bound for Thailand, the United Nations refugee agency said in an internal report.

The annual smuggling season, which begins in early October when the monsoon season ends, got off to a fast start, the smuggler said. The police wanted $2,000 — $100 for each of the 20 passengers — for a recent boatload, but the smugglers had offered slightly less, he said.

The trip was aborted, but another attempt would be made soon, he said.

Local officials abet the smuggling trips, according to Matthew Smith, the director of Fortify Rights, an organization that studies ethnic groups in Myanmar.

“The regional trafficking and smuggling begins with the complicity of Myanmar authorities,” he said. “We’ve documented Myanmar police and armed forces taking payments as high as seven million kyat in return for a boat’s passage to sea.” Seven million kyat is about $7,000.

In some cases, the Myanmar Navy escorted boats filled with fleeing Rohingya and operated by criminal gangs out to international waters, Mr. Smith said.

Read the rest of the article…

Also Read:

Atrocities against Rohingya: Money Extortion and Arbitrary Imprisonment