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Child Marriages in the USA is not a “Muslim Problem”

20 May, 2017 - 15:34

“They are for child marriages”. Who has not heard that myth about Islam and Muslims? But what about the USA? There are states in the USA that allow marriages of children aged 12,13 or 14, and has done so since the 1700s and 1800s. And guess what? It is mainly a “Christian” problem.

Most states in the USA prohibit child marriages, but not all, and there are “exceptions” in most states that allow minors to marry if a court okays it even if the minimum age is higher.

Source: Independent 

In Virginia 12 year-old’s were allowed to marry until last year when the minimum age was raised.

Between 2004 and 2013, 4,500 children under the age of 18 were married in the state, with more than 200 of them younger than 15. State authorities decided they had enough of this grossness and abolished laws that allowed parental and judicial consent for girls 12 to 13 to get married if they were pregnant.

In New Hamsphire the minimum age is 13:

It’s not often middle-schoolers get married in New Hampshire. But it’s still perfectly legal, after the Republican-led House killed a bill Thursday to raise the marriage age to 18. The rejection leaves intact a state law that lets girls get married as young as age 13 with parental consent and sign-off from a judge. Boys a year older can marry with the same approvals.

In North Carolina the minimum age is 14:

“If an unmarried female who is more than 14 years of age, but less than 16 years of age, is pregnant or has given birth to a child and the unmarried female and the putative father of the child, either born or unborn, agree to marry, or if an unmarried male who is more than 14 years of age, but less than 16 years of age, is the putative father of a child, either born or unborn, and the unmarried male and the mother of the child agree to marry, the register of deeds is authorized to issue to the parties a license to marry; and it shall be lawful for them to marry in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter,”

In New Jersey the minimum age is 18. But children can marry younger, with parental consent. Judges can even allow 13 year old’s to marry.

The minimum marriage age in New Jersey is 18. However, children ages 16 or 17 may wed with “parental consent” (with no process in place to ensure it’s not actually “parental coercion”), and children 15 or younger may wed with judicial approval (with no minimum age below which a judge may no longer approve a marriage, and with no instructions for judges not to approve marriages for couple at ages or with age differences that are considered statutory rape).

The situation

The last case, New Jersey, shows one important thing. There are exceptions to the laws in almost all states, meaning that if the law formally states that the minimum age is 18, the real minimum age might be below that age.

This is how it looks like if one disregards the exceptions.

Eleven other states — Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin—and the District of Columbia require parties to be at least age 16. Five states require parties to be at least age 15: Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland and Utah. Three states require parties to be at least age 14: Alaska, New York and North Carolina. One state requires males to be at least age 14 and females to be at least age 13: New Hampshire. Case law in Massachusetts, but not statute, directs that males must be at least age 14 and females must be at least age 12.

The number of “child marriages” are not high. As PEW research showed the numbers are below 1%. Child marriages in the USA are mainly a problem in some Christian communities, as has been described in several articles in New York Times, Washington Post.

170,000 children were wed between 2000 and 2010 in the USA, in 38 of the 50 states where data was available.

Some people spread myths about the “Muslim threat” and claim that child marriages is an “imported” problem. The “Muslims” are as usual the ones to blame. IT IS NOT AN IMPORTED PROBLEM. The laws of the states are in some cases hundred years old or more and most cases has to do with non Muslims.

Read more: Is Child Marriages a Muslim problem?

Edit – 5/20

Donald Trump Pledges Allegiance To Islam Ahead Of Saudi Visit

18 May, 2017 - 21:09

Well that was unexpected, to say the least.

In an historic announcement, President Trump asked his National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to let the American people know that he is pledging allegiance to Islam and that he “hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam to dominate the world” ahead of a visit to Saudi Arabia.

It was so subtle you might have missed it.

It seems that Saudi King Salman, the Custodian of the Two Holy Places convinced Trump, after securing an over $300 billion dollars arms deal for the kingdom, that it was in the US’ best interests to embrace Islam.

Sources close to the White House say that Trump also thinks this will help to end violent attacks on the US by groups such as ISIS and AlQaeda, who could not be reached for comment as they are busy trying to figure out what to do with all the unemployed men they previously provided jobs for, and are once again jobless.

In celebration of the world historical event Trump will hold a male-only star-studded gala in Riyadh, the capital of Wahabbi Islam. Headlining the event will be country star Toby Keith who has forgone his trademark songs praising US bombs being dropped on innocent Muslim children and drinking cold beers for more passionate songs in praise of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

Scenes of jubilation spread in front of the White House. Cheers of “USA!” were followed by “Allahu Akbars!”

*This piece is satire

Arab Muslim Comedian Ramy Youssef Kills It On The Late Show

18 May, 2017 - 18:13

It’s rare to see a not so cheesy, and or demeaning stand up routine from a Muslim comedian that is not defined simply by his Muslimness/Islamicness but crosses over without comprises to the dominant culture. I think he did good! What did you all think?

German Soldiers Plotted False Flag Attack To Blame On Refugees

12 May, 2017 - 18:00

At least two German soldiers have been arrested for plotting to commit a false flag attack and blame it on Syrian refugees. The intense focus on so-called “Islamic terrorism” obscures the threats of white nationalists and neo-Nazis that pose a greater threat to Europe than fanatical Muslim political groups.

The Independent

A second soldier has been arrested for allegedly planning a “false flag” terror attack to be blamed on refugees in Germany amid fears of a wider neo-Nazi network within the army.

The plot was exposed with the arrest of a German lieutenant, Franco A, who was found to be posing as a Syrian refugee in order to carry out a shooting attack targeting left-wing politicians.

One of his friends at Illkirch-Graffenstaden barracks in France has now been detained for allegedly covering for the soldier’s absences as he periodically returned to Bavaria to continue the ruse.

Maximilian T, a 27-year-old German national, was also a member of Jägerbataillon 291 and was arrested on Tuesday after being questioned by military intelligence officers.

He had joined his friend on a trip to Vienna in January – supposedly for an officers’ ball – where Franco A stashed an unregistered gun to be used in the attack at the city’s main airport.

Maximilian T was also part of an online messaging group where he, Franco A and other members exchanged far-right posts, photos and audio files, Der Spiegel reported.

Continue Reading…

A Victory For History Education In Florida

12 May, 2017 - 17:24


The Islamophobic strategy of targeting public school social studies and history textbooks that have sections on Islam by either having the books replaced with anti-Muslim histrionics or the courses removed all together was dealt a blow in Florida.

By Caroline Glenn, USA Today

MELBOURNE, Fla. — Ninth-graders in Brevard County will keep using a world history textbook, despite fierce debate over its chapter on Islam.

The Pearson textbook came under fire in 2013 and again last month, drawing the attention of the local chapters of ACT for America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. However, the school board ultimately decided Tuesday night to keep the textbook as is.

Leading up to their decision, opponents argued that the chapter ignored the “true history” of Islam and painted Mohammed and the treatment of women in an overly favorable light.

“I think we all understand that the challenges to the specific faiths that are addressed in this book are not random challenges,” said Philip Stasik, president of the Space Coast Progressive Alliance. “This is an organized challenge against the Muslim community, and frankly it’s an insult to the Muslim community.”

Others said it scared them to see people who want to challenge “years of documented history” because of recent political discourse.

“I’m pretty offended by and really afraid of people who are going out of their way to make me feel unequal,” said Alyssa Ardhya, a freshman at Satellite High School. “They want to recreate the truth.”

It’s amazing how low Islamophobes will go in their Crusade against Islam and Muslims. Like all fanatic extremists they will cut off their nose to spite their face: i.e. purposefully remain ignorant to knowledge and truth. Indeed, they make-up their own “truth.”

Previous attacks on the Islam sections of history books have occurred in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas. ACT! For America is behind a lot of the lobbying efforts and mobilization against the history textbooks. As RightWingWatch has documented, the basis of the strategy was detailed in a 200-page “national textbook study” called “Education or Indoctrination?”

Trump Supporter Attacks Muslims On Texas Beach

11 May, 2017 - 19:58

New York Daily News

A heavily intoxicated Donald Trump supporter, who verbally attacked an innocent Muslim family, turned a fun beach day into a nightmare.

Alexander Jennes Downing, 35, was arrested May 3 and taken into custody by the South Padre Island Police for the reported public intoxication incident, which involved Downing shouting slurs and threats to a family nearby.

Downing, a Connecticut native, also made inappropriate gestures toward the group, who had children in their presence at the Texas beach.

A member of the victimized family, Noria Alward, recently uploaded the fiery footage to Youtube, which has since gone viral.

Downing can be hearing in the clip shouting out, “You’re a f—ing Muslim, motherf—er … You will never ever, ever, stop me, my Christianity, from rising above your Sharia law. Your Sharia law don’t mean s–t to me.”

“When he called it his country … It is my country too,” Ahmed told the news site.

“America is my country whether he likes it or not.”

Noria concluded in the YouTube post that the group would not be making future plans to visit the same resort.

“Overall we enjoyed the lovely island and we will definitely go back to South Padre again, we surely will never go back to Pearl South Padre hotel, Texas again,” she said.

The Georgia Security Force: Islamophobia in the USA

9 May, 2017 - 17:31

There is an all white militia in Georgia calling itself the Georgia Security Forces (GSF) which is likely another iteration of the KKK.  We might need someone like General Sherman to take care of group’s like this if their racism and hatred gets out of hand.

Aljazeera has the scoop.:

“Exmuslims” that used to hate and has retained their hatred

9 May, 2017 - 07:44

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

There are several “ex muslims”, that hate Islam.  They were radical Islamists and filled with hate as Muslims, today as “ex Muslims” they claim that all Muslims are just as filled with hate and radical as they once where.
Today she claims that “all Muslims” are as filled with hate as she once was. But only 7 percent of the Muslims worldwide believed that the attacks against USA 2001 was justified, and only a fragment of those cheered when the twin towers collapsed.

  • The overwhelming majority of Muslims – 93 percent – condemned the Sep 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, and most said the biggest obstacle to better relations with the West was the latter’s lack of respect for Islam.

Mona Walter claims that all Muslims are like she was. But she was so extreme that most Muslims would have rebuked or condemned her. She belonged to the 7%, more probably the 1-2% or the most extreme radical islamists.

Hirsi Ali

Another such famous exmuslim, that has retained her extremist view of Islam, is Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

In 2014 she gave a speech at Yale, Great Britain.  She explained that she had a teacher in Kenya had radical ideas about Islam that affected her very much. She became indoctrinated with his ideas about Jihad, hate against Christianity, clothes, and that it was a good “to destroy the Jews” and “hang gays”.

He preached like all the others, incessantly about hell. … Jihad – we were to wage Jihad for the sake of Islam. Martyrdom, the best thing to ever happen to us was to die while fighting for Allah. We were to strive for the establishment of Sharia law in our society and beyond … be suspicious of Christians if they refused to convert to Islam … and aspire to destroy the Jews, all Jews, not only the ones in Israel. The preacher teacher would rant against gays, they were to be hanged, and women were to know their place … their place was at home (and they were to) sacrifice everything, even life and the lives of their children for the sake of Allah. … We were supposed to cover ourselves from head to toe when running errands outside the home.

This process of indoctrination that I describe, that affected me, I considered myself once a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s this the process of indoctrination that I have seen from up close and personal that makes my experience relevant. It’s this process of indoctrination that is overlooked. We focus on the Jihad, the violence, but we ignore the Dahoa, we ignore the years and years and years of preaching.

She no doubt had a weird childhood and youth.

In Kenya, she was beaten so severely by her Qur’an teacher that he fractured her skull. At Qur’an school, Hirsi Ali remembers a classmate who was bullied mercilessly for being a girl with an intact clitoris. … Hirsi Ali learned from her mother that Jews were her darkest enemy. In songs, children’s textbooks, and newspaper articles, Jews were routinely called pigs, donkeys, rats, and cockroaches. “Our religious tutors and the preachers in our mosques set aside extra time to pray for the destruction of Jews,” Hirsi Ali writes.

It is understandable that Hirsi Ali fled from that environment of hate. Unfortunately she still believes that all Muslims are as insane as those few that “affected” her in her youth.

There is no doubt a lot of mutual hatred between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East and the surrounding parts of the world. PEW polls and reports that was published some years ago tell us that only 9% of Israeli Jews were positive to Muslims. In the nations bordering to Israel only 1 to 6% of the Muslims were positive to Jews. In Palestine 1%, The negativity ratings are high. Above 90% view Jews in a very unfavourable way in large parts of the Middle East.

But prejudices and hatred is not the same as wanting to murder lots of innocent Jews. I have seen no polls about Muslim attitudes to killing Jews  because they are Jews but would imagine that very few share that idea, in Europe amd the USA hardly none. Homophobia is not uncommon and in some parts of the world homosexuality is punishable by death, in some Muslim nations too. But Muslims in the western world do not share that view.

The choice

This phenomena is one that is not limited to “exmuslims”. There are a number of “ex Jews” too that are gaining fame in parts of the world and that believes that all Jews are evil. One such is Israel Shamir, that is one of the most famous antisemites in Russia today. His worldview is exactly the same as Hirsi Alis, and because of that he claims that all Jews are like he once was.

As a Muslim you face the same choice as a Jew or a Christian: to “love your neighbour” or hate him or her. To let the things that happen in the Middle East affect your heart and mind so you hate, or to love, despite of power politics and wrongdoings of a corrupt elite.

As an “ex Muslim”, or “Ex Jew” or “ex Christian” you face the same choice. Either you describe the religion you once belonged to in the worst possible way, or you admit that not all are insane and radical. As an ex Muslim that once were filled with hate, you face the choice to describe all Muslims as just as radical as you once where, or to be more honest and show that not all would have agreed with the hate you once bore in your heart.

Unfortunately, too many “ex Muslims” claim that the view of Islam they once bore is the one all Muslims share: thus claiming that all of Islam and all Muslims are evil.



Paul Golding Spreads Lie That London Muslims Celebrated Paris Terror Attack

21 April, 2017 - 18:56

The meme that Muslims, especially Western Muslims, whether they be in New York or London, celebrate terror attacks is a persistent trope used over and over again by Islamophobes. Christian missionary David Wood uses it, President Donald Trump uses it and now the leader of a small anti-Muslim party named Paul Golding has tweeted a video he claims shows “‘moderate’ Muslims celebrating the Paris terror attack in London.”:

Sadly for Golding, as MEND Community has shown, the video is actually Pakistani cricket fans celebrating their team’s victory in the 2009 World Cup.

The tweet has been deleted though no correction/apology has been posted by Golding or Britain First.

The Muslim Blood Libel Myth

21 April, 2017 - 06:11

For centuries Jews have been persecuted and murdered because that Jews ritually murder children and eat them directly or use their blood in the baking of Passover matzah (unleavened bread). Today such myths spread about Muslims too: the myth that Islam allows cannibalism.

When doing comparative studies of antisemitism and islamophobia one can easily see the similarities between the two. The myths, slanders, rumours, and racist methods are almost identical but is directed against two different groups, Muslims or Jews.

One such myth that is almos identical is the “blood libel myth”. Thisantisemitic version of the myth looks like this:

“The “blood libel” refers to a centuries-old false allegation that Jews murder Christians – especially Christian children – to use their blood for ritual purposes, such as an ingredient in the baking of Passover matzah (unleavened bread). It is also sometimes called the “ritual murder charge”… The blood libel spread throughout the Christian world in the Middle Ages. When a Christian child went missing, it was not uncommon for local Jews to be blamed. Even when there was no evidence that any Jew had anything to do with the missing child, Jews were tortured until they confessed to heinous crimes.”

Today these myths are still heard all over the world about Jews. But there is an islamophobic version of the myth too.

Muslim blood libel myth

“Muslims eat Christians”. That kind of myth was spread during the crusades  in the Middle Ages.  Today it is sometimes still claimed that “Islam allows cannibalism”.

I will spare the readers the details of the Myth. If you want to  study what racists claim about Islam and cannibalism you can easily find articles from Jihadwatch and Pamela Geller on the subject by using Google.

The most common version of this myth claims that the Al-Azhar University in Egypt has published lots of books on this subject. This information popped up on the internet in 2009-2010, after President Obama had visited the university. In 2012-2013 an arabic TV-show of some kind claimed that Al-Azhar teaches that cannibalism is “ok”. Walid Shoebat, a Christian islamophobe, picked up this alleged TV-show and wrote a series of articles about it. Like this one:

“In the future, the Egyptian Islamists will not only be conducting systematic violence, but cannibalism against Christians and moderates.

In a recent video interview, one Egyptian scholar exposed the high school curriculum coming from Al-Azhar university, the most reputable of all Islamic schools, showing that it condoned cannibalizing non-Muslims:

‘We allowed the eating of the flesh of dead humans… under necessary conditions. It [dead human flesh] must not be cooked or grilled to avoid Haram (wrongdoing) …and he can kill a murtadd (apostate) and eat him.’

The interviewer commented:

‘The book that is being taught to general high-school students mentions that those who don’t pray can be grilled & then eaten’.”

From this TV-interview, that Shoebat popularized, stems most versions of the modern Muslim blood-libel myth. But currently the myth is mixed with similar allegations about ISIS. That “Muslims allow cannibalism” and the proof for that is that ISIS allow cannibalism (and sometimes it is claimed that the Al Azhar university authorized ISIS to eat its enemies).

Perhaps such a book exist, I dont know. The myth is nevertheless a typical racist myth. One or two alleged books allegedly published by one egyptian university somehow gives the “proof” that all Muslims, and all of Islam, allows cannibalism.

As for Shoebat himself he does not seem to be a cannibal, he prefers to nuke people.


A Trajectory of Manumission: Examining the Issue of Slavery in Islam

20 April, 2017 - 20:04

By Nathaniel Mathews Originally published on Sapelo Square

A number of years ago I gave a lecture on Swahili coast history to a group of educators and students on Chicago’s South Side. During the Q&A period one older gentleman asked me why I didn’t say more about Muslim-led slavery of Africans in the Indian Ocean. I responded somewhat inadequately that slavery in the Indian Ocean wasn’t a religious issue but an economic one. The gentleman wasn’t satisfied, explaining that he was disappointed in Louis Farrakhan’s silence on the issue and testifying to the continuing presence of slavery in African Muslim countries like Mauritania to this day, explaining that slavery was justified by sharia.

The man in question was not a conservative Christian, nor part of Islamophobia Inc. but rather part of a generation of Afrocentric black nationalists in the intellectual tradition of John Henrik Clarke. He was condemning the practice of slavery globally from his commitment to Afrocentrism and part of the broader tradition of black nationalist liberation politics in in the United States. He wondered why Muslims were seemingly behind in that fight or ambivalent to the practice of enslavement. In spite of my historical understanding of slavery and the slave trade as practices that many non-Muslim African as well as Muslim African societies often willingly engaged in, his words forced me to reckon more seriously with how Islamic law treats the abolition of slavery. I am especially interested in this issue as someone trained as a historian of East Africa, where the abolitionist movement predated and then became part of the first wave of European colonization of Africa, post 1885. My position is that the Islamic tradition has already developed an abolitionist ethos and a strong commitment to liberation, out of a set of social and political struggles, including resistance to European colonialism, that took place in the historical encounters between Islam, Africa and the West in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Afrocentrists often point to the Quran and Hadith’s sanction of slavery. It is true that Islam accepted slavery as a part of Arabian society, but there is no evidence the tradition actively encouraged the taking of slaves. If one wishes to speak of a particular ‘trajectory’ of Islamic interpretation based on the Qur’an and Sunnah, it is a trajectory of manumission, not abolition.1 The Prophet Muhammad assumed that if manumission continued to regularly occur, then slavery could continue to exist without being a trans-generational status, and would eventually die out.

The Prophet Muhammad challenged the practice of slavery in Arabian society by compelling the powerful to care for and protect the less powerful.2 If masters and slaves could share some basic moral assumptions, powerful masters would feel a social obligation to protect and show kindness to their slaves. In Islam this is exemplified by a hadith enjoining the believer to treat their slaves as they would treat their own children.3 Slaves in Islam would (ideally) function more like kin and less like a separate caste of sub-humans.4 Their offspring, again ideally, would be free to assume their place alongside the freeborn. None of these reforms radically challenged the ‘natural’ reality of slavery itself.5

Why didn’t Muslims abolish slavery earlier? This is a valid question and it is worth it for Muslims to reflect very hard and critically about, especially if one is seriously committed to practicing the tradition. But when Afrocentrists ask Muslims why Islam did not abolish slavery, there is a hidden assumption that non-Muslim African societies had already abolished the practice. But in fact many powerful non-Muslim African societies depended on slavery for their wealth and resented European imposed abolition for that reason, for instance, the Asante empire of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


Enslaved Swahili men in Stone Town, Zanzibar, c. 1890 (via BBC News)

Abolition as an ethical dilemma only occurs because we inhabit a very different time from the early Muslims, as well as most pre-colonial African societies. We often forget that for Jesus, Muhammad and other moral teachers of the past, the master-slave relationship was both a fact of life and a metaphor of our relationship with the Divine.6 The more relevant question then, is not ‘why didn’t Muslims abolish slavery?’, but ‘what makes our time different from the time of the early Muslims?’

One possible answer to that question is that we now live in a global society where we take the freedom of an individual as an irrevocable human right. Although this ideal is often traced to Western origins, it is important to note that it has other global, non-Western genealogies that are both Muslim and African. Haitian revolutionaries, among whom were African Muslims, were first among those insisting on this freedom in their struggle to end slavery in the late 1700s. At around the same time, the West African Muslim ruler Abdul Kader Kane sought to abolish the slave trade in his realm, in order to protect his subjects from the French-controlled slave trade at Saint Louis.7

Formerly enslaved Muslims also helped to reshape community perceptions of slavery.  In East Africa especially, the abolition of slavery coincided with the new popularity of Sufi brotherhoods as tools for the mass propagation of Islam. Sufism became the language by which formerly servile people appropriated the message of Islam to undermine the ijma around the social status of slaves and ex-slaves. In Lamu, Kenya, the ‘Alawi shaykh Habib Saleh angered the town’s former slaveholding elite by teaching ex-slaves. In Bagamoyo, Tanzania, an ex-slave from the Congo rose to become a Sufi shaykh and one of the most knowledgeable scholars of the region; he faced strong opposition from former slave owners.8  The first five decades of the twentieth century in Africa revealed Muslims reshaping the consensus on slavery. This process of reshaping ijma was not only an elite scholarly one; it included formerly enslaved Muslims, who contested their rights within the idioms of Islam, molding Islamic cultural repertoires to critique the exclusionary social practices of Muslim elites.

Traditions, Islam included, are not closed caskets but open conversations and debates often characterized by shifting notions of what is permissible. Slavery is one such shifting notion. There is nothing in the Islamic tradition mandating slavery. Thus, the overwhelming majority of Muslims today find slavery distasteful and have no desire to practice it. They have internalized a desire not to own people that is very modern. This is a direct result of the most oppressed and vulnerable elements of human global society forcing the world to accept a more robust and inclusive concept of individual freedom.  Concepts of abolition and freedom are the product of centuries of struggle by enslaved Africans and others to radicalize and decolonize the values of the societies they found themselves forcibly dragged into. They constitute a valuable tool that a range of activists today, from the Rabaa Square protests in Egypt to the garment worker strikes in Bangladesh to Black Lives Matter activists in the US, use to launch more radical critiques of global inequality, exploitation, and other conditions analogous to slavery.


Captured Africans in German East Africa (modern-day Tanzania), c. 1890 (via BBC News)

The Prophet Muhammad’s attempt to protect the enslaved and to grant them protections and rights, without abolishing slavery, was not a moral failing, but the advancement to the limits of what it was possible to envision within his era. If we do not acknowledge this, we will continue to reproduce two stale arguments of past Muslim apologists: that abolition is a Western concept that fetishizes consent and freedom, or that the Prophet Muhammad was an abolitionist. Neither of these are tenable positions, and there are severe moral costs to holding them, that compromise the moral compass of Muslims and leave serious and inquisitive outsiders with a suspicion that Muslims are more interested in theological apologetics than an honest reckoning with history. For instance, it is but a short step from the saying abolition is a Western concept to making the argument, like the late Islamist philosopher Abu Ala Mawdudi,  that we need to retain slavery as a mark of Muslim moral independence from the West.9 And there is simply no evidence from our tradition that the Prophet Muhammad ever contemplated abolishing slavery.

My argument is distinct from both of these extremes. I have argued that Western notions of abolitionist freedom have already fused with Islamic values, and that it is dangerous to try to extract one from the other. There are a number of positive benefits from embracing this position. For one thing, it provides Muslims with a powerful language not only to challenge slavery, but many other forms of similar domination and exploitation that go by different names. It seems to me that Muslims who are using this fusion of moral horizons to critique both Muslim and Western complacency with regards to forms of oppression analogous to slavery are engaged in an urgently necessary and positive reinvigoration of the Islamic tradition.


1  Trajectory hermeneutics originated with Christian theologian William Webb. For more on their use, see his 2001 book, Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis.

2 Jonathan Glassman. “The Bondsman’s New Clothes: The Contradictory Consciousness of Slave Resistance on the Swahili Coast” Journal of African History 32(2): 1991, 277-312.

Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī º30; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim º1661

4 The walāʾ system then, whatever its faults, was a social compact between master and slave, and thus often a tool of integration of the latter. See Ulrike Mitter. “Unconditional Manumission of Slaves in Early Islamic Law: A Hadith Analysis.” In The Formation of Islamic Law (ed. Wael Hallaq). New York: Routledge, 2008.

5 Unlike the status of ex-slaves even many postbellum Western societies, the formerly enslaved in the Islamic world could raise their status considerably. But that did not erase an existing hierarchy placing the enslaved at or near the bottom of society.

6 Luke 12:43-48; Qur’ān (Sūra az-Zumar) 39:36. The Apostle Paul’s advice to the runaway slave Onesimus in the Book of Philemon is filled with admonishments about a new community of belief between slaves and masters that does not upend the social hierarchy but nevertheless creates a sense of moral obligation between the two.

7 For the Haitian revolutionaries and their creation (not merely co-optation of) Enlightenment values, see Laurent Dubois, “Enslaved Enlightenment: Rethinking the Intellectual History of the French Atlantic” Social History 31(1): Feb 2006, 1-14. For the abolitionists, see Adam Hochschild. Bury The Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free An Empire’s Slaves. London: Mariner Books, 2006. For Abdul Kader Kane and the abolition of slavery in Futa Toro, see Rudolph Ware, The Walking Quran, Chapter 3.

8 For Habib Saleh, see Patricia Romero. “‘Where Have All the Slaves Gone?’ Emancipation and Post – Emancipation in Lamu, Kenya.” The Journal of African History 27 (3): 1986, 497-512. For Shaykh Ramiya, see August Nimtz Jr. Islam and Politics in East Africa. The Sufi Order in Tanzania. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1980, 45.

9 Abu Ala Mawdudi was unabashed about this stance. See W.G. Clarence-Smith, Islam and the Abolition of Slavery, 188.

Also read: Responding to “Hoteps”: Three Points On “Islamic” Slavery

Shaikh M. Tawhidi, the “Imam” the Haters Love

15 April, 2017 - 09:31

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The Australian imam Shaikh M. Tawhidi is becoming more and more an international celebrity. Some weeks ago he claimed that he was persecuted by “the Australian Muslims” and went into hiding. That made him famous outside Australia. The self proclaimed “Muslim reformist” Ayaan Hirsi Ali has voiced his support of the “imam“.  He is the latest darling of Jihadwatch and Pamela Geller. One Nation, the political party that wants to kick out all “disobedient Muslims” from Australia, loves him. He is a strange imam. Just look at this:

A strange imam indeed. He publicly states that islam is a dangerous religion. He wants to close all islamic schools and believe that no more mosques should be built in Australia. He claims that Muslims in Australia are not protesting against ISIS. He believes that all of Palestine belongs to Israel. And he claims that his father would not have moved to Australia if he had known that so many Muslims would live there in the future.

‘My father wouldn’t have moved from Iran to Australia if he’d known there’d be so many Muslims here’.

He makes an interesting slip of the tongue while speaking on the video above. He says that he does not understand “why Muslims believe” that they come to heaven by blowing themselves up, but corrects himself and say “well radical Muslims”. Interesting slip of the tongue. By “accident” he claims that all Muslims are terrorists.

The slip of the tongue is understandable if you know that Shaikh M. Tawhidi supports a racist political party that hate Muslims.  Here below is one picture he posted on social media recently, when he made offerings of roses to  One Nation posters. One Nation is a radical rightwing party in Australia that hates Muslims.

He supports One Nation and apparently they like him, or what should we say about the frequent posts the party representative in South Australia praising the imam?

Besides this, he apparently is a supporter of a Korean cult:

With his gold-trimmed white robes and pointed turban, the man who calls himself both an Imam and Sheikh cuts an elegant figure as a minder guides him out of the car, past more jubilant Koreans and television cameras, and into the surreal surrounds of an Olympic stadium filled to capacity, where tens of thousands of seated spectators holding coloured cards form a gargantuan human LCD screen.

Here he is ushered to pose for photographs with other similarly well turned-out men of faith, all of whom have been flown in from religious communities across the globe to take part in the World Alliance of Religions Peace (WARP) summit.

But the cheer squads are not really here for Tawhidi, and this is not really a peace conference. These ecstatic young Koreans are members of an allegedly dangerous religious cult taking part in a highly regimented North Korean-style stadium extravaganza to pay tribute to their controversial leader, Lee Man Hee.

Well I can agree with one thing the imam says: we certainly need to scrutinize some of the imams in Australia. Lets begin with the imam Shaikh M. Tawhidi! Who funds him? And why? 

US Culture of Death: Orgasmic Over “Mother Of All Bombs” Dropped on Afghanistan

14 April, 2017 - 19:32

This is the largest bomb ever dropped in the world after the two nuclear bombs that were dropped on Japan. In the US there have been celebrations and joy over the attack, with many describing it as “what freedom looks like” and praising the “red, white and blue.”

Fox News: Tucker Carlson Still Pushing “Islamic Indoctrination” Myth

14 April, 2017 - 19:23

Fox News has assigned host Tucker Carlson to subtly promote the right-wing meme that “cultural Marxists” in public schools are indoctrinating American kids into Islam. Guest contributor, Jonas Stubbings recently wrote about the origins of the myth:

Mawyer’s ludicrous claims of a Department of Education sponsored “indoctrination program” being met with nods from a gormless Tucker Carlson was an insult to journalism. A plastic spoon could scrape the surface of Mawyer’s alarmist claims which disingenuously conflate teaching ABOUT Islam with a government sponsored ‘creeping Sharia’  project to convert non-Muslim children.

Following up on his interview of the Christian Action Network’s (CAN) Michael Mawyer’s, Carlson interviewed two gullible New Jersey mothers who have swallowed the propaganda myth.

This is the challenge facing U.S. educators. And as if that weren’t bad enough, among this happily ignorant population are some tin foil hats who actually believe their children are being indoctrinated into Islam, by our public schools. And Fox News is happy to put them on air, completely uncontested.

Two mothers from the New Jersey suburb of Chatham, Libby Hilsenrath and Nancy Gayer, recently went on Tucker Carlson’s Fox show to complain that a simple cartoon that teaches about Islam is indoctrinating their 7th graders, in a story feverishly embraced by conservative media. …

Other conservative outlets also ran wild with it, falsely claiming that Christianity is banned from being taught in Chatham schools. Nonsense. State law requires all major world religions to be taught by the eighth grade, from Christianity to Sikhism, as teaching staff later explained exhaustively at a packed school board meeting.

The war on educating American kids on the basics of world religions is not new. Islamophobes have been at war against books for some time now. There is a Conservative network including Brigitte Gabriel‘s (who recently met with the Trump administration), ACT For America, that seeks to Christianize the US, part of that is demonizing Islam and Muslims. The strategy with schools is to undue social studies requirements and challenge history, in the hopes of producing a hate-mongering Islamophobic populace among a youth demographic that is trending to heavily favor diversity and multi-culturalism.

Bill Maher’s Use of Opinion Polls of Muslims is Ahistorical and May Justify Violations of Their Human Rights

11 April, 2017 - 15:13

Bill Maher and George Bush: Closer in thought then we ever knew?

By Ayman Fadel

A friend forwarded me a September 2014 video telling me “you’re swimming upstream in your defense of Islam.” Not knowing I was defending Islam (I see my political stances as defenses of human rights of people, including Muslims.), I replied, “only out of respect for you did I waste 3 minutes listening to Bill Maher.” He then wrote, “Who better than you, to point out where he’s right and where he’s wrong? Please share your thoughts.” Of course, there are many better qualified than me (see after the blog post.) But, after some delay, here they are.

I’m not going to fact check everything Maher said in the interview clip, which begins at 9:45. But as an example of an incorrect fact, Maher said that over 80% of Muslims in Egypt support execution of former Muslims who renounce the religion of Islam. If you look at the actual poll, it is actually 86% of the Muslims who favored making “Sharia the Law of the Land.” In Egypt, the percentage of Muslims who favored making Islamic law the official law in Egypt was 74%. So the number Maher should have cited was 86% x 74% = 64%.

But in this blog entry I accept Maher’s contention that vast numbers of Muslims reject the liberal views that he believes are essential for good society, and I’ll ignore the vast numbers of Muslims who do hold liberal views. I’ll also ignore the polls which show non-Muslims, including populations in the United States, who hold illiberal views.

I’ll ignore the arguments my brother makes on why it is possible for liberal polities to function with people with illiberal views.

My criticism is that Maher’s message is ahistorical and its policy implications are at best unclear and at worst genocidal.

In a few sentences, I want to say what Edward Said said in Orientalism & summarized in Covering Islam. A poll reveals a snippet of a person’s opinion at a given moment. Is the reason the person answered that way, i.e. held that illiberal view, that he or she is a Muslim? Or is the reason that the person’s analysis of his or her country’s history leads him or her to think that only Divine Intervention can improve it? What would a series of polls have revealed about Muslims? Have their ideas changed over time? If so, wouldn’t it mean that their opinions on things at any one time is more a product of their secular, historical circumstances than their religion? And the corollary would then be that a change of their secular, historical circumstances would change their religious opinions.

Are Afghanis who grew up with war and exile since 1979 likely to have liberal opinions? When the “civilized” and “liberal” world established the Zionist entity on Palestinians’ land in 1947 and then ignored Palestinians’ appeals to liberal ideals for 50 years, is it surprising that many Palestinians have come to see those liberal ideals as false? Why did ISIS start in Iraq & Syria? Does the United States’s destruction of Iraq have anything to do with it?

Focusing on the religion of Islam allows United States “liberals” like Maher to completely ignore policies which have contributed to the circumstances which gave rise to illiberal beliefs among Muslims.

Secondly, I ask Maher what does he think good liberals should do with this information. Should they discriminate against Muslims in housing and employment? Should they support policies which kill large numbers of Muslims, like invasions of Muslim-majority countries and unconditional support for dictatorships which promise to suppress Islamists and for Israel, the majority of whose victims are Muslim? Should they regularly accost their Muslim friends, co-workers, neighbors and strangers with criticisms of the religion of Islam? Should liberals oppose zoning of new masjids and private Muslim religious schools and cemeteries? Should they encourage popular culture portrayals of Muslims as bad people? Should liberals approve of any criticism of Muslims or of historical Muslim figures, regardless of their accuracy? Should liberals support ideological tests for immigration?

I’ll listen to atheists’ thoughtful criticism of Muslims, Islam, the Messenger Muhammad ﷺ and religion in general, but I won’t listen to them if they also support violations of Muslims’ human rights, like Sam Harris and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

In the course of writing this blog entry, I looked up other articles criticizing Bill Maher’s statements about Muslims. I did not use them, but I thought I’d include them below for reference.

Sonia Soraiya’s article ends with a passage worth contemplating:

I think Maher confuses compassion with idiocy. Compassion is a quality that has nothing to do with how smart or how right you are. It’s a quality that is at the root of not wanting to make generalizations, and at the root of wanting to say things that do not horrifically offend other systematically oppressed people. I fully believe that Maher doesn’t understand those well-meaning liberals, those politically correct assholes. I would just rather be one of them, I think, than to merely be right; I would like to be able to understand another point of view, from time to time. And especially on a day like yesterday, I would like to be able to feel compassion.

Bill Maher did in fact criticize the idea of a national registry for Muslims, although he did not explain why. I wonder if he would have done so had President Obama or candidate Hillary Clinton had proposed it instead of candidate Donald Trump.

Originally published on AymPlaying

Serpent-Tongued ‘Christian’ Michael Mawyers Dangerous Disinfo Debunked

10 April, 2017 - 20:58

By Jono Stubbings and Jonas Spooner

Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men Who devise evil things in their hearts; They continually stir up wars. They sharpen their tongues as a serpent; Poison of a viper is under their lips.

– Psalm 140

Michael Mawyer and his Christian Action Network (CAN) have taken up the crusade to redefine unchristian as a virtue. CAN are flagged by the SLPC as a hate-group; having first agitated against LGBT rights in the 90s and having only boarded the Islamophobia gravy-train relatively recently.  As the founder and President of CAN Mawyer draws a $175,000 salary from his hate-group-charity and in an act of nepotism that would make the Vatican blush CAN employs Mawyers wife, son and daughter. Mawyer’s latest hate-mongering hysterics can be purchased for $5.

Despite being roundly rejected by experts his latest attempts at naked and reckless scaremongering were predictably promoted (again) by Fox News.  Mawyer’s ludicrous claims of a Department of Education sponsored “indoctrination program” being met with nods from a gormless Tucker Carlson was an insult to journalism. A plastic spoon could scrape the surface of Mawyer’s alarmist claims which disingenuously conflate teaching ABOUT Islam with a government sponsored ‘creeping Sharia’  project to convert non-Muslim children.

Mawyer’s current target is Access Islam, an optional educational-aid provided online to assist teacher’s in educating their students ABOUT Islam. While it has received a DOE grant it is primarily funded by the Lily Endowment – which has a central Christian focus –  a fact which was surreptitiously omitted by Mawyer.

Access Islam urges teachers to read The First Amendment Center’s Teachers Guide – “a detailed guide for public school educators that clarifies the distinction between teaching religion and teaching ABOUT religion” and issues its only prerequisite: An introductory activity where students are informed:

  • The school’s approach to religion is academic, not devotional.
  • The school strives for student awareness of religion, but does not press for student acceptance of any religion.
  • The school sponsors study about religion, not the practice of religion.
  • The school may expose students to a diversity of religious views, but may not impose any particular view.
  • The school educates about all religions; it does not promote or denigrate religion.
  • The school informs students about various beliefs; it does not seek to conform students to any particular belief.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that this is absolutely Constitutional:

It might well be said that one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”

From his early days of  ‘outing’ Hillary Clinton as a lesbian and railing against “disease-carrying homosexuals” he has rebranded his fear-mongering to appeal to the largest and most profitable audience. Like Anders Breivik, he made a pilgrimage to Britain to meet members of the EDL. While there he was refused re-entry to a London pub along with Robert Spencer and Douglas Murray due to his overly-vocal hatred the night before. Perhaps his most ludicrous claim yet came on Hannity where he insisted Muslims were hiding WMD in America:

Mawyer: They have weapons of mass destruction…

Hannity: What kind of weapons of mass destruction?

Mawyer: Well, in some cases I can’t uh, even tell you, Sean.

He exhibits a callous and disturbing indifference to the “collateral damage” and unintended consequences from his propaganda. With the help of Fox News and without the aid of any legitimate evidence Mawyer warned the nation of the Muslims of The America’s terrorist training compounds spanning America. In what could be a seen as the warning-shots to Christian terrorist Robert Doggart’s planned attacks on the MOA Community in New York thirteen shotgun blasts were fired into the MOA’s sign in their Virginia Community.

The Deputy Director of the MOA called out Mawyer and CAN specifically for his “lies” and instigating the violence against their community. The local Sheriff’s Office was explicit; Mawyer’s propaganda was baseless “These people are American citizens, have broken no laws, and there is absolutely no reason for this rogue militia group to harass them in any way,” he said.

The armed ‘patriot” militia in Virginia feared an impending MOA terror attack. This was entirely consistent with Doggart’s later motive to butcher innocent American Muslim children.

Robert Doggart planned to “annihilate” every Muslim he encountered and burn the Muslim enclave in rural Hancock, New York, to the ground. He revealed his plans to carry out the vigilante massacre to a confidante. From the FBI wiretap:

“We’re gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with three extra magazines, and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds.

‘When we meet in this state, the people we seek will know who we are. We will be cruel to them. And we will burn down their buildings (and) if anyone attempts to, uh, harm us in any way, our stand gunner will take them down from 350 yards away.”

So why, as the children of Islamberg reasonably ask, did Robert Doggart want to kill them?  The answer can be found in Doggart’s plea agreement – “The defendant justified his attack on lslamberg by claiming that the residents of Islamberg were planning a terrorist attack.”.

The Islamberg community’s attorney Tahirah H Clark attributes the foiled attacks to fear-mongering disinformation by Fox News, the disgraced fraudster Wayne Simmons and Clarion’s own “expert” Ryan Mauro – A SLPC-listed “anti-Muslim extremist” who’d formerly worked with CAN.

The reality of life at Islamberg is world’s away from the vapid hate-mongering of Clarion and CAN reveals Capt. James Barnes of the New York State, who has had a 12-year personal relationship with the residents of Islamberg and who slams the fabricated threat. “I think there is a lot of misinformation that is out there, certainly on the Internet“, he says. Islamberg residents describe a peaceful and tolerant refuge for Muslims to escape from bigotry.

Craig Dumond, from the Delaware County Sheriff’s office also completely refuted the claims by Clarion’s Mauro on Fox. His office has been dealing with Muslim community there for decades and not once have they received a single complaint regarding armed guards. He also reveals that the after viewing the Clarion Project video his office believes that the footage “doesn’t come from anywhere near Hancock. “It’s a non-issue” Dumond says.

Conjuring up issues from “non-issues” and turning a profit appears to be Michael Mawyer’s raison d’etre; preying on the ignorant rather than praying to his God.

The residents of MOA are as demonstrably peaceful as Access Islam are Constitutional. Constitutional and extremely positive. In a climate of surging anti-Muslim hate-crimes and ISIS lone-wolf  terrorism educating the next generation ABOUT Islam and their Muslim neighbours is vital to the advancement of a healthy, pluralist society.

Muslims are the main Victims of Terrorism

8 April, 2017 - 05:07


Muslims are victims of radical Islamic terrorism too. As a matter of fact most victims of this terror are Muslims. Many more Muslims worldwide die from their bombs than Europeans or Americans. And, by the way, many of the American and Europeans that die in attacks are Muslims too.

In 2011 the National Counterterrorism Center stated that 82 to 97% of all victims of terrorism were Muslims. The reason the figure is uncertain is that we dont know for sure the exact religious affiliation of every victim.  But we know where the terrorattacks occur and that is revealing.

BBC wrote in 2014

”Between 2004-2013, the UK suffered 400 terrorist attacks, mostly in Northern Ireland, and almost all of them were non-lethal. The US suffered 131 attacks, fewer than 20 of which were lethal. France suffered 47 attacks. But in Iraq, there were 12,000 attacks and 8,000 of them were lethal.”

The German magazine Der Spiegel had an interesting article some years ago where they showed that 80% of the victims of attacks by Al-Qaeda 2004-2008 were muslims.

”Between 2004 and 2008, for example, al-Qaida claimed responsibility for 313 attacks, resulting in the deaths of 3,010 people. And even though these attacks include terrorist incidents in the West — in Madrid in 2004 and in London in 2005 — only 12 percent of those killed (371 deaths) were Westerners.”

The same thing with ISIS. If you look at the operations by ISIS in Iraq 2014 you find that thousand of people were killed, most of them muslims, sunni as well as shia.

”In the first eight months of 2014 Isis was the “primary actor” responsible for the deaths of 9,347 civilians in Iraq.”

In short

Of 167,221 terrorism-related fatalities reported from 2001 to 2015, almost all — 163,532 or 98 percent — occurred outside the United States and Western Europe, according to the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database. The U.S. government-funded GTD is the world’s largest public database on terrorist attacks…

GTD data on 25 Muslim-majority countries from Iraq to Malaysia reveal that these countries account for 75 percent of all fatalities from terrorist attacks from that period. The United States and Western Europe, with a combined 3,689 fatalities — including 2,977 from the attacks of September 11, 2001 — account for just 2.2 percent of terrorism-related deaths during the period.

The myths that all Muslims are terrorists and support terror are racist myths. Muslims are the main target of radical Islamistic terror and have every reason to be afraid of extremism. 


Theresa May Didn’t “Refuse” Saudi Leaders On Hijab Headscarf

6 April, 2017 - 19:01

Theresa May, the conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom did not make some “bold feminist” stand against the Saudi leadership by not donning the hijab or headscarf when she visited the kingdom. May, was simply dressing as many other female leaders have while visiting Saudi Arabia. (h/t: MEND community)

Theresa May has worn the hijab when visiting mosques in the UK:

All of this stupidity obscures the real problems in the UK-Saudi relationship: the carte blanche support the UK gives to Saudi Arabia in terms of military sales and diplomatic cover as it pummels Yemen and aides transnational “Salafi-jihadi” organizations.

Hindutva Activists Care More About Cows Than Humans

5 April, 2017 - 22:00

Hindutva “art”

Is India now a nation that reveres cows more than it does human beings? In India you can be killed on the allegation that you are eating or selling cows. Ironically enough India is also the largest exporter of beef in the world.

A Muslim man has died in western India after he was attacked by hundreds of Hindu cow protection vigilantes, the latest attack in a spate of mob killings in the name of the revered animal.

Police said on Wednesday that Pehlu Khan, 55, had died in hospital two days after a group attacked his cattle truck on a road in Alwar in the desert state of Rajasthan.

Gangs of “cow protectors” have been implicated in killing at least 10 people in the past two years as the welfare of the animal has become an increasingly charged issue in Indian politics.

Cows are revered by most of India’s majority Hindu community and beef consumption is permitted in only eight of the country’s 29 states and territories.

Read the entire article

Hindutva, is a Hindu nationalist movement with various strains of thought and political tendencies that was formed to impose a Hindu Rashtra (state) across India.

Myanmar Demolishes 200 Year Old Rohingya Mosque

5 April, 2017 - 21:39

Rohingya news sites, activists and social media users have been sharing reports that a landmark Rohingya mosque that is over 200 years old and predates British colonialism was demolished by Myanmar’s military. The state of Myanmar has systematically demolished Rohingya historic sites since the 1940s.

Buthidaung — A 200-year old historical mosque in Buthidaung Township was bulldozed by the Myanmar military on April 3, 2017.

It was located at the village of ‘Lawei Dek’ in Buthidaung and was built even before the British before the British occupation of Arakan, according to the local folklore.

“During the British time, there existed shops and bazaar at the both sides of the road nearby the Masjid. It was known as ‘Botoli Bazaar.’ The mosque was closed by the authorities only in the mid-1990s.

“But yesterday, the military from a battalion from a battalion nearby ‘Lawei Dek’ arrived with a bulldozer and razed the mosque,” said an elderly Rohingya man in Buthidaung.

Although the Myanmar government claims of putting its best efforts to end the crisis in the Arakan state, the Rohingya people are suffering from the persecution at all fronts including restrictions to freedom of worship. Majority of their places of worships have officially remained closed since June 2012.

Different Myanmar regimes throughout history have involved in systematic demolitions of the Rohingya historical monuments.

 [Edited by M.S. Anwar]

Who are the Rohingya?

The Rohingya suffered for decades under a brutal military regime in Myanmar, and now despite a “democratically” elected civilian government headed by so-called “human rights icon” Aung San Suu Kyi, the “slow-burning” genocide (as one Burmese scholar described it several years ago) has accelerated.

From October 2016 until February 2017, the Myanmar military conducted a horrific “clearance operation” targeting the Rohingya that displaced nearly 100,000. Reports and action alerts by rights groups, Rohingya activists and media organizations have been sounding the alarm to war crimes and ‘crimes against humanity’ for years now. These calls while gaining some attention have failed to garner the requisite awareness in proportion to the magnitude of the issue; it often gets swept under the carpet.

The UN recently published the most damning and devastating report on the Myanmar military’s crimes against Rohingya that I have ever read. The response has been one of categorical dismay from many who were unaware of the Rohingya cause.