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Updated: 26 min 45 sec ago

NBC: Northeast D.C. Mosque Vandalized Second Time in a Week

28 February, 2015 - 21:16

DC_Moque_Vandalized_Hate_Crime

The FBI is now involved after a DC mosque was vandalized twice in less than a week.

The Ivy City Mosque in the 2000 block of Gallaudet Street NW was first ransacked Monday night. Mohammed Mobaidin, the director of the mosque, said the damage was minor. Police had decided it was not a hate crime, because another vandalism was reported nearby around the same time.

Another vandalism was reported late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning at the same mosque. According to Mobaidin, vandals ripped religious hangings from the walls and broke furniture; a picture of the sacred Kaaba was stolen.

“Now that this picture is missing, I’m beggining to think it could have been a hate crime. That picture has value to the Muslims,” Mobaidin said.

“Something is wrong there, detectives will give us answers,” Nihad Awad with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (sic.CAIR) said.

The mosque had been unlocked and open to the D.C. community for 17 years.

Read the entire article…

Quebec Judge Wouldn’t Hear Case Of Woman Wearing Hijab

27 February, 2015 - 23:50

Rania_ElAlloul_Hijab

As Sana Saeed put it “Justice isn’t blind in Quebec” not surprising given the climate in Quebec. This is similar to another court case a couple of year back in Georgia when a judge jailed Sabreen Abdulrahmaan to 10 days in prison for wearing a headscarf to court.

Quebec judge wouldn’t hear case of woman wearing hijab

Judge Eliana Marengo is heard telling Rania El-Alloul courtroom is a secular place in audio obtained by CBC

By Steve Rukavina, CBC News Posted: Feb 26, 2015 4:28 PM ET

A Quebec judge told a woman appearing in her Montreal courtroom she would not hear her case until she removed her hijab.

In an audio recording of the proceedings obtained by CBC News, Judge Eliana Marengo is heard telling Rania El-Alloul on Tuesday that the courtroom is a secular place and that she is not suitably dressed.

“Hats and sunglasses for example, are not allowed.  And I don’t see why scarves on the head would be either,” Marengo says in the recording.

“The same rules need to be applied to everyone. I will therefore not hear you if you are wearing a scarf on your head, just as I would not allow a person to appear before me wearing a hat or sunglasses on his or her head, or any other garment not suitable for a court proceeding.”

El-Alloul was in court to apply to get her car back after it was seized by Quebec’s automobile insurance board, the SAAQ.

‘The judge should have known better. It’s not the first time somebody walks into a courtroom with a religious dress’- Sameer Zuberi, Canadian Muslim Forum’

The car was seized after police stopped El-Alloul’s son for driving with a suspended licence. In such cases, the board keeps the car for a month. If someone wants it back sooner, they have to appear before a Court of Quebec judge to make a request. That’s what El-Alloul was trying to do Tuesday afternoon.

When El-Alloul first appeared before Marengo, the judge asked her why she had a scarf on her head. El-Alloul replied that it was because she is a Muslim. The judge then said she would take a 30-minute recess.

Continue reading …

France: Atheist Jailed For Using Grenades To Attack A French Mosque

27 February, 2015 - 23:02

The assailant said “I am a Republican, an atheist, and what happened at Charlie Hebdo infuriated me.” Keep in mind that people have been sent to jail for over a year for simply speaking yet he gets a year in jail for throwing grenades. How would the charges and media coverage be if the roles were reversed?

Will the media now ask (not that they should) moderate atheists to condemn this act of terrorism I won’t hold breath.

Pensioner jailed for attacking French mosque

© AFP | Police outside a mosque in Le Mans, western France, after the building came under attack on January 7, 2015

A French court has sentenced a 69-year-old man to prison for throwing plaster grenades and shooting at a mosque in western France. The man said he had acted in anger over a deadly attack by Islamist gunmen on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

The court on Wednesday sentenced Jacques Chaillou, a former psychiatric nurse with no criminal record, to three years in jail. He is expected to serve only the first year as the rest of his sentence is suspended.

Chaillou launched four plaster grenades and fired a rifle at the mosque in the city of Le Mans on the night of January 7, hours after two gunmen killed 12 people in a deadly rampage at Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices. There were no casualties in the mosque attack.

Chaillou, who has been detained since his arrest in mid-January, told investigators he “doubted” there would have been anyone at the mosque at the time of the attack.

On Tuesday he told the court “he was not proud” and described being upset by the death of the Charlie Hebdo journalists. The pensioner said he had been drinking and his action was “spontaneous”.

“I am a Republican, an atheist, and what happened at Charlie Hebdo infuriated me. [The Charlie Hebdo attack] is a barrier to the independence of the press in our country,” he said.

Continue reading …

Dan Cali correctly captures the double standards of the way this would have been covered had it been a Muslim.

France: Israeli Embassy and its PR Man “Elad Ratson” Threaten Bloggers with Bombing

27 February, 2015 - 20:32

By Emperor

The Israeli embassy in France and Elad Ratson, its Director of PR (Public Relations) has threatened websites and bloggers, among them, Al-Kanz, (a website that’s previously tipped us to Islamophobia in France) with a Gaza style bombing. (hat tip: MuslimMatters)

Elad Ratson’s LinkedIn Profile:

Elad_Ratson

The image created by Israel embassy website (coolisrael.fr) and shared by its PR man:

u1bjtel3

By @EladRatson: “Islamists in France struck by a targeted Israeli strike”

Al-Kanz and its founder Fateh Kimouche have been targeted by many who want to see the website shut down. French blogger Oliver Pechter writes:

Hassen Chalghoumi, « moderate imam », with links to radical zionist organisations, has asked the Israeli government to take down his website (july 2013).

Frederic Haziza, journalist for the radical right wing Jewish « Radio J » radio station and French public TV station LCP, interviewing Jean-Christophe Cambadelis (leader of the socialist party) asked, earlier this month and in the aftermath of the killing that took place in a kosher store, how we should put an end to online « holocaust denying and antisemitic campaign » on the net, naming Al Kanz among the « bad guys » A crude lie : Al Kanz, let’s repeat it, has condemned clearly antisemitism and criticized those of his fellows that support bigot comedian Dieudonne M’Bala (2010, 2014). Nevertheless, Kanz « kept calm and carried on »

Pechter notes that the threats have continued and now you have Israel’s French Embassy getting involved in upping the ante.

coolisrael.fr, a website edited by the Israeli Embassy, wrote an article called « Islamists in France struck by a targeted missile from Israeli PR ». The so called missile is « symbolic » and refers to a stereotyped Hasbara video that was largely mocked on social networks these last days: « to which side do you belong ? ».

This is all in the backdrop of a new Hasbara (propaganda) campaign initiated by the Israeli Embassy in France that seeks to counter perceptions of Israel as uncool, murderous and suffocating of the Palestinians.

In doing so they think it is joyous to show a missile striking Gaza and creating a giant cloud of flames and debris, including no doubt human limbs and charred bodies.

This is a week when the Israeli Embassy in France launched on YouTube and Facebook a campaign entitled ” Whose side are you on? “against fundamentalism and Defence of Democracy (video shown at the end of article). Real missile targeted to Islamists but also anti-Semitic and anti-Zionists of all kinds, this Israeli communications campaign is a big hit. She made ​​the buzz on social networks and the numbers reflect this success. 78,994 views on YouTube 709,665 views and 1,748,480 people on Facebook Our article on this video has also become one of the most read and shared the month with more than 2600 shares…. (coolisrael.fr)

The Israeli embassy and its spokesman think the usage of such imagery to make their point is going to win them sympathy and support. Somehow they have also translated the number of views and shares into a victory, even though most are the result of their video being parodied and lampooned.

According to Pechter the websites targeted are not all of the same stripe but Eldad and the Israeli Embassy wish to conflate them all together in an attempted delegitimization.

Among other websites (two far-right antisemitic websites and Oumma.com, most visited Muslim website, known for his opposition to Muslim Brotherhood), we can see Al Kanz logo broken in two. At first sight, the picture (Gaza attacked) is, at the same time disgusting and childish. But it has to be taken seriously in a country with already so many « tensions » as France.

coolIsrael.fr

 

After Al-Kanz called both the Embassy and Eldad Ratson out they removed the links from their social media but have not removed the article, nor have they apologized.

The article was promoted by the embassy on social networks. When it provoked a « twitter battle » between Al Kanz and Israeli PR director, they withdrew the links, but not the article. Nor did they apologize.

The embassy is also directly connected to France’s chapter of StandWithUs:

Coolisrael.fr is hosted by the « Ambassade d’Israël » (Israel’s embassy), as we said, and edited by Laurent (« Epelbaumas »), French leader of « Stand with us », in charge of « digital communication » at the Israeli ambassy. « Stand with us France », unlike its US branch, is a tiny organization. Its website have been hosted by the Israeli ambassy in the past,  a new illustration of the links between SWU and the Israeli FM.

Whois registar of coolisrael.fr « siliconwadi.fr », another website edited by the Ambassy

Whois registar of coolisrael.fr
« siliconwadi.fr », another website edited by the Ambassy

« Laurent », editorial director

« Laurent », editorial director

Interestingly after we tweeted @EldarRatson about his message of hate, he blocked us:

Eldar_Ratson_Twitter

He wants you to know that despite happily posting articles with pics of indiscriminate bombing and then sharing them all over the media he is really cool and Israel is cool because he really loves sea life and coral reefs.

Hindu Center Targeted With Swastika And Message Of “Muslims Get Out”

26 February, 2015 - 21:19

Bothell_Hindu_Center_Get_Out_Muslims

Islamophobia in the heartland. Not so bright Neo-Nazis spray-painted hateful messages on a Hindu Temple and Cultural Center.

What’s that about Islamophobia having nothing to do with race again?

My Northwest, By Chelsea Hawkins

It’s not often you see a Lutheran pastor standing in front of a golden Ganesha. But that’s the scene as Christian, Sikh and Muslim leaders stand alongside Hindus in a united front against hate.

“The core value of all faiths and the core value of being an American is about love and care and tolerance,” says Reverend Paul Benz of the Faith Action Network.

Recent acts of vandalism at the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center and Skyview Junior High School in Bothell have members of the community concerned. The Hindu Temple was tagged with a swastika and the message “Get out.” Over at the junior high school a message read, “Get out Muslims.”

Read the entire article…

The Stream-AlJazeera: Austria Passes Controversial ‘Islam law’

26 February, 2015 - 18:33

Austria_Islam_Law

A big part of the issue is also that other religions are allowed to receive funding from foreign nations whereas Islam and Austrian Muslims are being singled out for particular scrutiny and a different law.

Muslim groups condemned the bill specifically stating the ban on funding is unfair because international support is still given for Christian and Jewish faiths. They are planning to contest the bill in the constitutional court. (CarbonatedTV)

AlJazeera America, The Stream

A bill reforming a centuries-old law governing the status of Muslims has just been passed by Austria’s National Council or parliament. The law has sparked discussion over the relationship between state and religion and the status of 560,000 Austrian Muslims. In a controversial move, the Islam Law bans foreign funding of mosques and religious leaders and reminds Muslims that state law takes precedence over religious belief.

The bill protects Muslim religious holidays; allows Muslims to consult clerics while in the military, prisons and care homes; and receive food in accordance with Islamic rules. The law encourages preaching Islam in German, instead of Turkish as is common in Muslim communities.

Around 200 protesters gathered outside the Austrian parliament to oppose the law while online they used #Islamgesetz (“Islam Law”):

Translation: @qaasimilli: Austrian Muslims speak up and defend yourself against getting forced into the corset of a church-like organisation. The Islam Law cannot be accepted”.

Translation: @omerigac: The new Islam Law in Austria is a governmental injustice and a setback for religious freedom”.

Translation: “@mpopp75: I can understand Muslims annoyed by the Islam Law. I would also be annoyed by a law on atheists or people with no confession”.

Meanwhile the President of the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland tweeted: “A very questionable Islam Law has been passed in Austria. Is this another sign for bad weather for Islam in Europe?”

Cartoonists were quick to play on the idea of Austrian Islam. Below, a man performs a “Jodel”, a traditional Austrian song from a minaret, while an Austrian says: “Islam, Austrian style. Wasn’t that hard was it?”

Translation: “@duduhier: Almost ingenious, Islam should become more Austrian. Bravo!”

Continue reading…

Italy: Getting Harassed for “Looking Muslim”

25 February, 2015 - 19:30

muslim-milan3

An interesting social experiment by an Egyptian Italian college student. The assumptions and connections people make if you dress a certain way are quite ridiculous. Some cultures are just more open than others it seems.

Students in six Italian colleges have also been banned from wearing the hijab

By:Lamiat Sabin

A student in Italy dressed in traditional Arabic clothing appears to have been the subject of a string of derogatory comments as the public’s reaction to his appearance was caught on camera.

Hamdy Mahisen, who is of Egyptian origin, attracted stares and insults as he walked around Milan for five hours, while holding a Koran in one hand and prayer beads in the other for a social experiment.

On a high street, someone sneers “Taliban s***” while, even more disturbingly, a woman pushing a pram with a baby in it seems to turn around as he walks by her to shout: “Taliban!”

A woman with a baby pram shouts ‘Taliban!’ at him Italy is currently on high-alert after a warning that Libyan militants inspired by Isis could make their way into Europe through the country.

This has fuelled Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment towards refugees who have fled Africa before setting off on treacherous journeys across the Mediterranean to Italy in unsafe and overcrowded boats.

Groups of teenage girls and boys do not hide their astonishment at the sight of his appearance and openly stare, laugh and turn round to look at him in the footage as he walks past.

A person within a small group of young men, in the video also published yesterday by Italian newspaper Repubblica, says “guys, you just missed the imam.”

Some people did not take too kindly to his robe and hat…

Continue reading …

Here is the video

Haaretz: West Bank mosque torched by settlers

25 February, 2015 - 17:56

Price_Tag_Israeli_Terrorism

via. Haaretz, by Chaim Levinson and Jacob Khoury

A mosque in a West Bank village near Bethlehem was torched overnight Wednesday, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Settlers that entered Kafr Jab’a also sprayed hate graffiti on the building, including “we want the redemption of Zion,” and “revenge,” Wafa reported.

The chairman of the Jab’a council told the news agency that the inner walls and furniture were damaged in the attack. Israel Police said that army forces and an anti-terror crime unit were in the village, investigating the incident.

Last month, vandals torched the door of a mosque in the village of Dir Istia, causing light damage. Hate graffiti was sprayed on the building there as well.

Read the entire article…

 

Islamophobic Sun News Network’s Failure

23 February, 2015 - 19:20

SunBanner

I couldn’t let this good news pass without comment.

The Sun News Network, geared toward a Canadian audience was forced to shut down its operations due to financial loss and poor viewership. Sun was known for being an Islamophobic propaganda outlet with programs led by the likes of Michael Coren and Ezra Levant consistently promoting Islamophobes such as Rev. Deacon Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.

This wasn’t very popular among a Canadian audience that saw through the cheap propaganda and voted to just watch something else.

CBC News

“Over the past four years, we tried everything we could to achieve sufficient market penetration to generate the profits needed to operate a national news channel. Sadly, the numerous obstacles to carriage that we encountered spelled the end of this venture,” Tremblay said in a statement

The network’s website featured only a Sun News logo on Friday morning.

The network began broadcasting in April 2011, launching a right-of-centre programming schedule, but it has had a constant challenge attracting viewers.

Its supporters blamed the CRTC for not giving it the same access enjoyed by news channels operated by CBC and CTV.

The federal broadcast regulator denied Sun News a guaranteed spot on basic cable TV packages in August  2013.

Data released as part of that application showed that while the network was available to 5.1 million households, it was only attracting, on average, 8,000 viewers at any given time.

That number was far lower than what well-established all-news networks operated by CTV and CBC were reporting. CBC, for example, said it had eight times as many viewers as Sun News.

Read the entire article…

CTVNews: Quebec Muslims Decry Media, Government Bias

23 February, 2015 - 18:47

Canada

Quebec Muslims decry media, government bias

An organization that represents local Muslims is pleading with media and politicians to resist exploiting fears linked to their faith.

The Canadian Muslim Forum articulated their objections to recent media coverage and political announcements at a press conference held in Montreal Friday.

Misapprehensions encouraged by certain politicians and media have even translated into face-to-face aggression on Muslims, say representatives.

“There are incidents on a daily basis unfortunately. Muslims can face comments at their workplace and at school,” said group member Sameer Zuberi.

The group has taken profound exception to a proposal from CAQ leader Francois Legault that new mosques require government approval.

“If he wants to apply it broadly to every single institution, every single religious institution that exists, that might be a legitimate debate. But to focus it solely on the Muslim community is irresponsible as a leader,” said Zuberi.

Some media coverage has also encouraged bad relations, according to the group.

“We have to be very careful when an incident comes, the second day it is on the front pages attacking Islam, and Muslims and Muslim figures,” said Samer Majzoub, President, Canadian Muslim Forum.

Norwegian Muslims will form a human shield around an Oslo synagogue

20 February, 2015 - 22:39

Hundreds of people gather for a vigil Feb. 16, 2015, in Copenhagen after a gunman killed two people and shot up a synagogue. (Michael Probst/Associated Press)

Norwegian Muslims will form a human shield around an Oslo synagogue

By Ishaan Tharoor February 18 at 12:40 PM

The headlines have been grim. Europe’s Jews face “rising anti-Semitism“; in some countries, many are leaving in “record numbers.” In separate incidents in recent months, gunmen have targeted Jews and Jewish institutions in Paris and Copenhagen. Even the Jewish dead have not been left in peace, with reports of graves being desecrated.

But the future of tolerance and multiculturalism in Europe is far from bleak. The bigotry on view has been carried out by a fringe minority, cast all the more in the shade by the huge peace marches and vigils that followed the deadly attacks. And some communities are trying to build solidarity in their home towns and cities.

One group of Muslims in Norway plans to form a “ring of peace” around a synagogue in Oslo on Saturday. On a Facebook page promoting the event, the group explained its motivations. Here’s a translated version of the invite:

Islam is about protecting our brothers and sisters, regardless of which religion they belong to. Islam is about rising above hate and never sinking to the same level as the haters. Islam is about defending each other. Muslims want to show that we deeply deplore all types of hatred of Jews, and that we are there to support them. We will therefore create a human ring around the synagogue on Saturday 21 February. Encourage everyone to come!

According to the Times of Israel, Ervin Kohn, a leader of Oslo’s small Jewish community, had agreed to allowing the event on the condition that more than 30 people show up — a small gathering would make the effort look “counter-productive,” Kohn said. Close to 1,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they will attend.

Continue reading …

 

Chapel Hill Murders: Between A Simplistic Media And Human Complexity

17 February, 2015 - 22:06

via. Inagist

via. Inagist

By Garibaldi

The shock I felt following the execution style killings of Chapel Hill students Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha and Razan Abu Salha has made it hard to write. These murders represent a low point: murders upon murders have left my heart paralyzed and I know I am not the only one, many of us feel this way. I question how much we are doing here and how much we have accomplished on Loonwatch.

Every week, more than ever, we seem to be hurled from one crisis to the next: the destruction of Gaza and thousands of its innocent lives, attacks on a Kosher market in Paris, a satirical/Islamophobic tabloid, the burning alive of a Jordanian pilot, the burning alive of a teenage Yemeni boy in a US drone attack, attacks on a Synagogue in Copenhagen, impending war in Iraq, the murders at Chapel Hill, the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians, and the many untold murders taking place everyday in our cities, along the US-Mexico border, in Central Africa, Nigeria, South Sudan and many other places I am unable to recount in this short space.

Media Hypocrisy and Double Standards

These events however do highlight the double standards and hypocrisy of media reporting, in which some lives matter more than others and many facts that matter are either ignored or conveniently dismissed.

Interestingly, Russell Brand, a sort of jester-philosopher, has proven to be far more engaging and nuanced in his breakdown of the media through his YouTube channel, Trews News, than most of what passes today for media criticism.

In his most recent episode of Trews News, Brand deconstructs media coverage of Chapel Hill by comparing it with attacks in Denmark:

Chapel Hill Vs. Copenhagen: Which is terrorism? Russell Brand, The Trews (E257)

He points out the reinforcement in the media of narratives about Muslims as dangerous terrorists and Islam as the culprit of evil ideas that along with its votaries are the chief threats to “Western values.” This is in contrast to the way Craig Hicks was depicted, a man who we were immediately told (after an initial media silence on the story until Twitter users picked it up) was simply motivated by some strange and inexplicable rage over a parking space.

A lot of ink was spilled to indicate how gentle he was, how he supported gay rights, religious freedom and even loved puppies. His atheism/anti-theism many have argued was inconsequential and not a factor in his killings. Care was taken to say and repeat, ad nauseum, that either this had nothing to do with religion or, in fact, there was something else behind the reason why Hicks just went ‘haywire’ and murdered his Muslim neighbors: perhaps he was radicalized by a movie or he was just a gun nut.

The Simplistic vs. the Complex: The Case of Bill Maher on Muslim Americans

This brings me to my point: when non-Muslims, specifically Whites carry out murders such as these, media coverage tends to look beyond superficiality and digs into complexity. Muslim perpetrators (and often victims as well) of violence are denied this complexity; Islam/Islamism/Muslim cultures are simply to blame.

Take one instructional example that parallels in many ways the events in Chapel Hill. When Bridges TV owner Muzzammil Hassan killed his wife, Bill Maher had a whole segment about the murder on Real Time.

Hassan, gruesomely killed his wife by murdering her with what Maher described in racialized tones as a “scimitar.” Maher, would repeat the line about the scimitar again during the segment and also did a cartoonish ‘Arab’ accent (even though Hassan was Pakistani-American), while swinging an imagined sword in the air in a mock imitation of Hasan killing his wife (all for cheap laughs).

To drive the points home that this was a unique Islamic murder, a degree worse than murders perpetrated by “red-blooded White American males,” and that there are no trustworthy Muslim Americans he had Islamophobe Brigitte Gabriel on the show as a special guest:

Bill Maher: He [Hasan] ran a TV station specifically to highlight how Moslems are being misconstrued in the public eye [audience laughter]…(laughs)…and then he cuts her head off with a sword…(laughs)…and so I wanted to have this lady come on and comment on this. I read about her many times, she is the founder of ACT! For America and author of They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam And How We Can Do It. Please Welcome Brigitte Gabriel. [applause].”

Now this scares people because people think here’s a guy living in America 25 years, he’s assimilated, we can trust him and then he takes a giant sword off the wall and cuts his wife’s head off.
(emphasis mine)

Maher implies here that Muslims, even those who you may know and are living exemplary lives, are untrustworthy, to be feared and a fifth column.

Now enter Gabriel to jump all over Maher’s offering:

Brigitte Gabriel: That’s right…[audience laughter]…and then he is touted as the exemplatory moderate Moslem who actually started Bridges TV which is an Islamic television to clean up the image of Islam. And what does he do? He beheads his wife, calls the police bragging about how he cut her head off and the police shows up and there’s the lady laying on the floor, in the TV station that they founded together and her head is next to her body and this guy did it in the name of honor. This is what we call a moderate Muslim businessman in the United States, it’s frightening. [audience hoots] (emphasis mine)

Maher: Well say what you really think…[audience laughter]

Gabriel: You can’t even make this stuff up.

Maher: I know.

Gabriel on Maher's Real Time.

Gabriel on Maher’s Real Time.

Be afraid, be afraid of Muslims anywhere and everywhere we are being told. They cannot be trusted. I wonder if that crossed Craig Hicks mind while he plotted and planned the murder of his Muslim neighbors?

Next, Maher asks the obvious question, why is this murder different than other instances of domestic violence?

Maher: Let me ask you the other question: C’mon there are red-blooded White Americans who strangle their wives and OJ killed his wife with a knife, it wasn’t a giant sword, you know. What about the argument that this is just bigotry towards the Moslems to extrapolate all of this from this incident?

Gabriel: No, it’s very different and I have to make it very clear that I do come from the Middle East, I am an Arabic woman from Lebanon and this is strictly an Islamic practice and here’s the difference: when Westerners in the West kill their wives they usually kill their wife and run away, they try to hide the problem, they try to lie, they try to hide the evidence, [audience laughter] they do not call the police and brag about how they killed her. [audience laughter] You know there’s a major difference there. [audience applause] (emphasis mine)

Maher is asking Gabriel to give some reasons to justify the preset conclusion that they have already made regarding the murder; that it is “Islamic.” First, I’d like to point out that it’s quite funny to hear Gabriel say she is an “Arabic woman” when she has repeated in the past that Arabs are “barbarians” who “have no soul.” I guess when it is beneficial, why not be Arab, especially if it will give you supposed credibility to bash Arabs and Muslims.

In any case, we are to believe that this is an “Islamic murder” and worse than when non-Muslims kill because the guy allegedly bragged about it! This is so idiotic that even Maher has to make the obvious quip that well, it doesn’t make much of a difference to a dead wife.

Maher: [laugheter] But that doesn’t make that much of a difference to the wife…[laughter]…[applause]…You think he had that scimitar up on the wall just as a conversation piece?…[laughter]…(Ay-rab voice)“I keep it up there to remind me how far we come.” And then one day the wifey went too far, and he went: ‘bitch you are (makes sword cutting motion)’…and cut her head off.

Although, Maher makes this slight joke, he is still all in on leading the racist, anti-Arab, Islamophobic train of hate that imputes Hassan’s actions as a consequence of Islam and Muslim culture.

Next, Gabriel in her quintessential ditzy fashion tears down all her earlier claims that this was an “Islam” inspired murder by contradicting her assertion that Hassan was (her words) “an exemplatory moderate Muslim.”

In fact, he had a serial history of domestic abuse, as she herself acknowledges.:

Gabriel: Yea…off with her head. Listen this is a premeditated, calculated murder. She has reported many times domestic abuse and remember this is his third wife and the other two left him because of domestic abuse because he was beating them. This lady wanted to leave him because she was fearing for her life and finally he killed her and it’s a tragedy and I thank you for bringing it to light because no one in the mainstream media is covering the story.

Maher: I know. You start a TV station to highlight how moderate the Moslems are and you make one mistake. [laughter]

Maher, caps the surreal segment with a buffoonish reassertion of the theme that in his back-and-forth with Gabriel he’s been driving home from the beginning: “Moslems” by definition cannot be trusted.

Not only is this rhetoric the type that shapes Western cultural attitudes (Real Time has millions of viewers worldwide), it contributes to an environment where Muslim lives are dehumanized, suspect and not worthy of the same respect as other citizens. It is no wonder that behaviors such as hate crimes, discriminatory laws and police practices, as well as invasions of whole nations are normative and accepted.

It also highlights how simplistic answers and mono-causal reasons (Islam/Muslim culture) are forwarded when Muslims are involved in violence: whether it is domestic violence related, as in the case of Hassan, or the shootings perpetrated in Denmark by Omar El-Hussein, a young man who had a history of violence.

Man Kills Three Muslim Students At University Of North CarolinaIt is not surprising that the week of the Chapel Hill murders, Bill Maher made no mention of them on his program. No doubt he was uncomfortable, maybe in the back of his head he just couldn’t compute how an avowed anti-theist and self-proclaimed militant atheist (much like himself) could commit these grisly and horrid murders.

Why didn’t he, as he did with Hassan’s murder, impute Hicks’ faith based beliefs? Couldn’t he do a segment about how Hicks was an “exemplatory” citizen for 55 years of his life and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he took those “conversation pieces” (dozens of guns) down and for some inexplicable (insert: anti-theism) reason used them to murder his neighbors?

No, he can’t because it doesn’t jibe with his belief in muscular “9/11 liberalism” and his confident hatred of Islam as the “worst of the worst.” He can’t because he won’t countenance his particular sect, New-Atheism, being twisted in this manner. Maybe, it also makes him uncomfortable because it highlights the fact that human beings are not simplistic beings but complex and that maybe there are many reasons and factors driving them to do good and horrible things.

Fear, Inc. 2.0: The Islamophobia Network’s Efforts To Manufacture Hate in America

16 February, 2015 - 20:57

Islamophobia_Fear_Inc

An 87 page follow up report/study to the original Fear, Inc. report that outed the funding of the Islamophobia network.

via.Center For American Progress

By Matthew Duss, Yasmine Taeb, Ken Gude, Ken Sofer

In 2011, the Center for American Progress published “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America” in order to identify and expose the organizations, scholars, pundits, and activists comprising a tightly linked network that spread misinformation and hateful propaganda about American Muslims and Islam. The report found that seven charitable foundations spent $42.6 million between 2001 and 2009 to support the spread of anti-Muslim rhetoric. The efforts of a small cadre of funders and misinformation experts were amplified by an echo chamber of the religious right, conservative media, grassroots organizations, and politicians who sought to introduce a fringe perspective on American Muslims into the public discourse.Watch this video to learn about the Fear, Inc. interactive websiteIn the three years since “Fear, Inc.” shined a light on the Islamophobia network and exposed the network’s key members, a number of them have been marginalized by the mainstream media and politicians. For example, the American Conservative Union publically reprimanded misinformation expert Frank Gaffney and made it clear that he is no longer welcome at their annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Conservative politicians from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to former presidential candidate Mitt Romney have pushed back against the “sinister accusations” of the Islamophobia network. And the anti-Muslim caucus in Congress took a huge hit by losing some of its loudest members, such as Reps. Allen West (R-FL) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

Although the American public largely dismisses such prejudiced views, the Islamophobia network’s efforts to target American Muslim communities remain significant and continue to erode America’s core values of religious pluralism, civil rights, and social inclusion. The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, offers the Islamophobia network a new opportunity to leverage unrelated geopolitical events in order to create a caricature of Islam, foment public anxiety, and push discriminatory policies against American Muslims. The Islamophobia network’s new effort to equate mainstream American Muslims with the perverted brand of Islam promoted by ISIS is a reminder of the ongoing vigilance needed to push back against the anti-Muslim fringe.

This report examines several key elements of the Islamophobia network, including:

  • The civilization jihad narrative and theories of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. government
  • The Islamophobia network’s influence among the religious right and faith groups combating anti-Muslim sentiment
  • The impact of the Islamophobia network on law-enforcement training
  • The response to the Boston Marathon bombing and the narrative of Islamic extremism
  • Politically motivated Islamophobia and pushback by mainstream conservatives

The first “Fear, Inc.” report sought to expose elements of the Islamophobia network by giving the mainstream public the information it needed to refute the claims and distortions made by the network’s misinformation experts. This report identifies the Islamophobia network’s ongoing efforts to promote policies that violate and contradict core American values and interests. The defense of these core values remains ongoing. As this report demonstrates, it only takes one individual with disproportionate influence to negatively affect the treatment of an entire group of American citizens.

Read the entire article…

Full Fear, Inc. 2.0 report

DemocracyNow!: Tens of Thousands Join North Carolina Moral March to Protest GOP Takeover, Racism & Islamophobia

16 February, 2015 - 20:38

MoralMonday

via. DemocracyNow!

Tens of thousands gathered Saturday in the North Carolina capital of Raleigh on Saturday for what organizers are calling one of the largest civil rights rallies in the South since the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965. The Mass Moral March is held annually to fight moves by Republican lawmakers to attack voting rights, education, the environment, healthcare and women’s rights. North Carolina Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the state Legislature. Today, the first official Moral Monday protest of the year will include a “people’s court” to indict them for pursuing policies that have hurt the people of the state. In an emotional address, two brothers who have lost siblings spoke side by side: Farris Barakat, brother of Deah Barakat, one of three Muslim students killed in Chapel Hill last week in what family members call a hate crime; and Pierre Lacy, brother of Lennon Lacy, an African-American teenager who was found hung to death under suspicious circumstances last year in Bladenboro, North Carolina. It was the ninth Mass Moral March led by our guest, state NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber.

As Houston Islamic Center Burns, Firefighter Posts, “Let it burn…block the fire hydrant.”

16 February, 2015 - 20:08

As Houston Islamic Center Burns, Firefighter Posts, “Let it burn…block the fire hydrant.”

On Friday morning, part of the Quba Islamic Institute in Houston went up in flames, and local firefighters spent over an hour battling the blaze before extinguishing it, saving the institute’s school and mosque. The building set ablaze, which stored religious books, was completely destroyed, and came after the center’s staff chased off a masked man from the premises earlier this week.

Houston officials believe the fire was set intentionally, and many are calling for this to be investigated as a hate crime. Unfortunately, the hate which likely ignited this fire wasn’t just contained to the blaze, for as news of the fire spread, a retired Houston-area firefighter who still volunteers for Crystal Beach Fire & Rescue posted the following:

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This arson attack happened in the wake of the execution of three Muslim-Americans in Chapel Hill, a likely hate crime which has shaken a Muslim-American community already reeling from an uptick in anti-Muslim hate crimes and speech since the premier of American Sniper.

Of course, this uptick must be placed within the backdrop of growing Islamophobia which continues to spread throughout American society since 9/11. Indeed, in the 13 years since 9/11, anti-Muslim hate crimes have been occurring at a steady and alarming rate. Today, Muslim-Americans are five times more likely to be targeted for such a crime than before the “war on terror” and the Islamophobia which now runs rampant in America.

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Also check out his other views on race and Islam. With views like this I would hate to see what he thinks of Black Muslims.

 

Chapel Hill shooting: My best friend was killed and I don’t know why

15 February, 2015 - 20:22

A heartbreaking article from the Chapel Hill shooting victims best friend. Also striking is her recalling a past encounter the victims had with the shooter “While he was at the door talking to Yusor, he was holding a rifle, she told me later. ” Amira Ata

Chapel Hill shooting: My best friend was killed and I don’t know why by Amira Ata

21-year-old Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha was shot in the head alongside her husband and her sister in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Tuesday. A preliminary police investigation suggests that the fatal shootings were the result of a parking dispute, but the possibility that it was a hate crime has not been ruled out. A 46-year-old neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, has been arrested and charged.

Here, Yusor’s friend, Amira Ata, a teacher, tries to make sense of the tragedy—and recalls an evening when the alleged shooter arrived at the victims’ apartment because he thought they were making too much noise playing a board game. He came to the door with a rifle, Yusor told her.

As told to Latoya Peterson.

Yusor Abu-Salha was like a sister to me.

We’ve always been together. Starting in third grade, we went through elementary school, middle school, high school, undergrad in Raleigh, North Carolina. We were inseparable.

I’ve never felt anything like this before. There’s always trends on Facebook and Instagram because of loss. You feel something, but you still scroll past because it doesn’t affect you. This time feels different. I still remember every outfit, where everything is in her room. It’s shocking. I almost don’t believe it happened. I can’t text her anymore. We were planning a trip for spring break. We were thinking about D.C. but we weren’t sure. It just doesn’t seem real. Even though it’s everywhere, it’s on the news, I still can’t quite believe it.

Words can’t really describe who she was. She’s such an amazing person. I feel like people always say that after they lose someone. This isn’t to boost her after her death—she really was a good person.

She always put others ahead of herself, just like her husband, Deah Barakat. I am the person I am today because of her. She’s a really sweet person, you never catch her angry. She’s patient, very loving, like her mom, she’s caring. She’s a good person. She was newly married and getting used to that life transition. She had just been accepted at Chapel Hill for dentistry.

Over the summer, Yusor went to Turkey. I’m a teacher at a small private school in Raleigh, and my school ran a collection drive for Project Refugee Smiles. My students were so excited to help. They collected so many toothbrushes and packages of dental floss that Yusor couldn’t carry it—she had to pay extra bag fees. She went with her mom to assist.

 

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Amira Ata, front left, with Yusor Abu-Salha, front right. Courtesy of Amira Ata

 

When Yusor came back, she brought cupcakes to say thank you. It was raining, and it was a wonderful treat. The kids left cupcake icing all over my dress. Everyone was happy. Yusor was always interested in the helping side of medicine. She’s been on the same career path since we were little, it’s what we grew up around. Her dad is a psychiatrist, her mom helps with the practice and in the home. I want to be a psychiatrist like her father, he’s been my inspiration since we were kids.

I feel sad, but I also feel happy because she didn’t die alone. I’m not really sure how I feel exactly. I wish I could see her again—last time I saw her was Sunday. We were just talking about pictures she had posted from her surprise bridal shower in the mountains. I was planning on seeing her tomorrow, just to hang out. It’s just very unreal. It doesn’t make sense. I’m trying to stay faithful.

I don’t know if I believe she was targeted for her beliefs. I don’t think so – I think the shooter, Craig Steven Hicks, is just an angry person. I know Yusor didn’t do anything to him – there’s no way she could have said even one thing wrong to him because she doesn’t get mad. She never says anything back even if someone yells at her. Her husband is even nicer, her sister is even nicer – none of them would have said anything to make someone that angry.

Three lives literally are gone just to justify…whatever he was thinking.

I understand people look down on our religion. They think a lot of things, like we are terrorists. People don’t understand us Muslims are embarrassed of these people who are using Islam in bad ways to justify being cruel. Yusor and Deah represented a big part of our community—they were two good Muslims. Yusor believes in her religion. She is peaceful and she was raised well. She chose a healthy way of life. We weren’t extreme. We are the middle path. We aren’t strict on stuff outside of the head covering. I think there is a lot of misinterpretation of what Islam is.

I can’t understand why someone would hate them enough to kill them.

I read articles about this guy and they say he’s an atheist, but I don’t really know if that’s the connection the media makes it out to be. I’m not really sure if he thinks his act is justified.

Honestly, I don’t want to say, “Why her?” because I don’t want this to happen to anyone. What we’ve been feeling over the last 12 hours I don’t want anyone to ever feel.

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Amira Ata, left, with Yusor Abu-Salha. Courtesy of Amira Ata

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Arson Investigators Probe Blaze at Houston Islamic Center

15 February, 2015 - 20:07

Houston_Mosque_Arson Arson investigators probe blaze at Houston, TX Islamic center By Camilo Smith Feb. 14, 2015 | 12:41 PM |

REUTERS – Houston arson investigators on Saturday were working to determine what caused a fire that destroyed a building at an Islamic institute in the city, officials said.

No one was injured in the early Friday blaze at the Quba Islamic Institute, fire officials said.

The fire destroyed one of three buildings at the center, which remains fully operational.

Arson investigators with the Houston Fire Department were working to pinpoint the cause of the blaze, but no official determination has been made, fire officials said.

In a video on the institute’s Facebook page, Ahsan Zahid, an assistant imam, said fire officials told him the fire appeared to be arson.

He also urged the Islamic community and supporters not to assign blame until the investigation concluded.

Zahid told Reuters a series of odd events preceded the blaze.

On Thursday, members were shaken when a man drove by yelling at them.

“We were leaving the premises, and a person driving a pickup truck was chanting in Arabic phrases, like terrorist do before they explode suicide bombs,” he said.

The chants mockingly repeated the name of Allah, he said.

Earlier in the week, a man with his face covered had to be chased from the property, he said.

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#ChapelHillShooting: Father Says This Was A Hate Crime

11 February, 2015 - 22:09

Deah Barakat, left, Yusor Mohammad, center, and Razan Mohammad Abu

Deah Barakat, left, Yusor Mohammad, center, and Razan Abu Salha

It seems remarkable that a parking dispute would lead to the apparent premeditated murder of three members of the same family! Usually parking disputes that to lead to violence occur spontaneously and in the heat of the moment.

Reports indicate that Hicks was an avowed anti-theist/atheist. How much of that ideology factored into what to me seems like an evident hate crime? The father of the murdered has stated that the three victims had run-ins with the terrorist neighbor and he had expressed hateful anti-Islam/Muslim views.

RIP to: Deah Barakat, Yosra Mohammad and Razan Abu-Salha.

via. HuffingtonPost

Three members of a Muslim family shot to death Tuesday in their home near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus may have been killed over a parking dispute.

The suspect, 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks, surrendered and was arrested on charges of first-degree murder. He is accused of killing Deah Barakat, 23, Barakat’s wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Yusor’s sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19.

Police responded to reports of gunshots at about 5:15 p.m., Tuesday, when they found the victims’ bodies. The shooting happened in a neighborhood that is mostly rental apartments where students live, and crime there is low, according to the News and Observer.

That night, frantic parents waited outside Finley Forest Condominiums, where police were investigating the triple homicide, the Daily Tarheel reports. One mother broke down in tears after she inquired about her daughter and son-in-law, while a father screamed, “It’s been hours! Just tell me if he’s alive!”

“Why do I cry?” Farris Barakat, Deah’s brother, wrote on Facebook. “So many times I’ve grabbed my phone to text my brother, Yusor, and Razan. Except seconds later I realize that I’ve taken them for granted and imagine their phone laying by their bodies. That’s not okay guys.”

On Wednesday, police said the motive behind the shooting may have been an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking, rather than a hate crime.

“We understand the concerns about the possibility that this was hate-motivated and we will exhaust every lead to determine if that is the case. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these young people who lost their lives so needlessly,” Chief Chris Blue of the Chapel Hill Police Department said at a press conference.

UPDATE 3:15 P.M.: In a press conference, Hicks’ wife of seven years, Karen, said she “never would have expected this.” She said that the shooting had nothing to do with race or religion, and everything to do with parking problems.

She said she didn’t know what drove Hicks to allegedly shoot three people, but her lawyers said that the suspect didn’t single out the victims and had problems with other neighbors in the past. Hicks’ ex-wife, Kristen, told The Huffington Post that she hadn’t “heard from or seen him in 10 years,” and had no further comment.

WATCH KAREN HICKS’ PRESS CONFERENCE

Still, the father of two victims, Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, believes hate led to the killings.

“It was execution style, a bullet in every head,” he told the News Observer. “This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime. This man had picked on my daughter and her husband a couple of times before, and he talked with them with his gun in his belt. And they were uncomfortable with him, but they did not know he would go this far.”

In a press conference Wednesday, Deah’s eldest sister Suzanne echoed Abu-Salha’s sentiments.

“We’re still in a state of shock and will never be able to make sense of this horrendous tragedy,” she said. “We ask that the authorities investigate these senseless and heinous murders as a hate crime … We ask that you celebrate the memories of our family members.”

WATCH SUZANNE BARAKAT’S PRESS CONFERENCE

The gruesome scene has sparked an outcry on Facebook and Twitter, as word circulated that Hicks described himself as an “anti-theist” and criticized religions online, according to The Independent. That revelation, as well as a lack of media attention to the shooting Tuesday night, reportedly led to a “#MuslimLivesMatter” hashtag.

Read the entire article…

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