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PakistanToday: Hindu woman saves 10 Muslims during Bihar clash

28 January, 2015 - 00:50

Hindu_Woman_Saves_Muslim

The heroic actions of Shail Devi reminds us that we must not essentialize any community and that even at the darkest moments there are beacons of light who are not willing to sacrifice their humanity or values.

Hindu woman saves 10 Muslims during Bihar clash

Shail Devi, a frail widow in her early 50s, risking her own life, gave shelter to her Muslim neighbours when a mob of more than 5,000 people attacked Azizpur Bahilwara village after a 20-year-old Hindu boy’s body was found on Sunday.

He was allegedly abducted and killed over his love affair with a Muslim girl.

“I provided shelter to my Muslim neighbours to save their lives because the mob could have killed them,” Shail said on Wednesday.

Shail, a poor woman fighting for her survival like many others in this village, said that she along with her two daughters stood guard outside her house when a mob was targeting Muslims in the village. She told them that it was a house of a fisherman.

“I lied to rioters that I had not given shelter to Muslims in my house. Though some people tried to enter my house but I stopped them and they returned,” she said.

“She has proved again that humanity is still alive, we are proud of her,” Arvind Kumar, a villager, said.

Ash Mohammad, a man in his 60s, who was one of the 10 Muslims whose lives were saved by Shail, said that she is like an ‘angel’ to them.

“Shail was like god-sent angel to us…,” Mohammad said.

Mohammad admitted that all of them could have been killed if Shail had not given shelter to them.

A day after she saved lives of her Muslim neighbours, some Hindu villagers warned her that she may be targeted by some people of the mob for doing it, Shail said.

“I was so frightened that I along with my two daughters and a son on Monday took shelter in Mohammad’s house but after district administration persuaded, I returned to my home,” she said.

Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who visited the village on Wednesday, met Shail. He lauded her role and compared her with legendary Rani Lakshmibai.

Manjhi also announced a cash reward of Rs51,000 for her.

Pamela Geller’s Ugly Islamophobic Ads Beautified By Muslim Super Hero

28 January, 2015 - 00:02

These are absolutely lovely.

via. Dead State

Anyone who thought that running Islamophobic ads on buses in San Francisco – a famously liberal city – was going to come without consequence, probably deserves any kind of humiliation they get.

That’s exactly what’s happening with ads disseminated by the U.S. branch of the Freedom Defense Initiative (classified as a hate group in the U.K.), which seeks to compare Muslims with Nazis.

fdi

Some quick-thinking person decided to ad a twist to the ads, by defacing their garbage message with pictures of Kamala Khan, Marvel Comic’s first Muslim superhero.

Here are some the of ads that the website Street Cred spotted and posted to their Facebook page:

ad 1ad 2ad 3 h/t io9

Fox News Host: “We Have Saved the Planet” with Wars like Iraq

27 January, 2015 - 21:10

Charles Payne

Charles Payne

Gawker perfectly summarizes the ridiculousness that is the most recent bout of #FoxNewsFacts.

via. Gawker, By Hudson Hongo

Remember the planet before America started invading parts of it? God, what a shithole. Just a total mess. Since then, though: pretty much perfect, right? That’s the improbable assessment Fox News’ Charles Payne delivered on Sunday while discussing criticism of American Sniper.

“It’s a pretty simple thing, you watch the movie, he saved American lives,” said Payne of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. “And he went through a tough struggle to do it, but it was a job that had to be done.” A mostly empty if not unfamiliar sentiment about the war in Iraq. Payne, however, was just getting started:

Look at the death toll that we had protecting people in a different country because that’s what America does. We’ve been the world’s policeman, and guess what’s happened over the time we’ve become the world’s policeman?

A billion people in other countries have moved into the middle class. We had India on TV earlier. If it wasn’t for Americans dying around the world, the rest of the world would be in abject poverty.

“We have saved the planet,” concluded Payne, “and if we go away as [the world’s] policeman, it’s going to be hell to pay for everyone.”

In most places—including the opinion page of The Wall Street Journal—America’s role as “the world’s policeman” is treated as a question, but to the Fox Business host, it’s just a neat fact. In case you were having trouble keeping track, here are all the accomplishments Payne attributes to American interventionism:

  • A billion people moving into the middle class
  • India being on TV
  • The rest of the world staying out of (?) abject poverty
  • The planet’s salvation

“So true,” agreed co-host Anna Kooiman.

[h/t Raw Story]

Anti-Islamization Leader Steps Down Amid Uproar Over Hitler Selfie

27 January, 2015 - 02:45

Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann styled as Adolf Hitler

Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann styled as Adolf Hitler

From earlier in the week…this one was a doozy and somehow so unsurprising.

Anti-Islamization leader steps down amid uproar over Hitler selfie

By: Eliott C. McLaughlin CNN Updated 6:24 PM ET, Wed January 21, 2015

As thousands-strong anti-Islamization rallies make headlines in Germany following the Charlie Hebdo attack, one of the rallies’ organizers has resigned as leader of a right-wing group after a newspaper published a months-old selfie of him posing as Adolf Hitler.

The photo shows Lutz Bachmann, leader of PEGIDA, which translates in English to Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West. It appeared Wednesday on the cover of German tabloid BILD.

Bachmann resigned as chairman of the group following the backlash to the Hitler photo, as well as another image Bachmann posted of a man in a Ku Klux Klan robe with the caption, “Three K’s a day keeps the minorities away.”

“I apologize to everybody who has felt attacked by my online postings. They were comments made without serious reflection, which I would no longer express today. I am sorry that I thereby damaged the interests of our movement, and draw the appropriate conclusion,” Bachmann said in Dresden.

Bachmann also posted a photo of a Ku Klux Klansman.

Bachmann also posted a photo of a Ku Klux Klansman.

The selfie was an act of satire, his spokeswoman Kathrin Oertel said on Facebook. While every citizen has the right to engage in satire, she wrote, insulting foreigners is not satirical.

Though Bachmann apparently has deleted his own Facebook account, screen grabs published by numerous media outlets suggest Bachmann posted the Hitler photo in September, while the KKK image is from 2012.

Bachmann told BILD, “I took the photo at the hairdressers, for the publication of the audiobook of the satire ‘He’s Back.’ … You need to be able to joke about things now and then.”

Continue reading ….

China bans wearing burqa in biggest Muslim city

25 January, 2015 - 23:04

uighur-china_3163099b

China continues to link Islamic practices to political violence, specifically targeting Muslim Uyghurs in an attempt to control and subjugate the populace in resource rich Xinjiang.

China bans wearing burqa in biggest Muslim city

Beijing (CNN)Legislators in China’s far-western Xinjiang province have passed a law to prohibit residents from wearing burqas in public, state media reported, in a continued campaign against what authorities view as religious extremism.

The new ban in Urumqi was approved by local legislators last month, and given the greenlight by the regional legislature at the weekend.

The ordinance name suggests it targets outer garments covering someone’s full body including the face, which is called a burqa in some Islamic traditions.

A spate of recent violent incidents has rocked Xinjiang, a resource-rich region long inhabited by the Turkic-speaking, largely Muslim Uyghurs.

The arrival of waves of Han Chinese, the country’s predominant ethnic group, over the past decades has fueled ethnic tensions.

Chinese officials have blamed the recent attacks on Uyghur separatists — whom they also label “religious extremists” seeking to establish an independent state.

Continue reading …

Al Jazeera Stream did a realy good show on the recent tension with Uyghurs in China.

What’s at the heart of mounting tensions between the Chinese government and ethnic Uyghurs?

First Post: Hindutva Parties BJP & The RSS Rewriting Dalit History To Target Muslims

25 January, 2015 - 22:55

 R.V. Moorthy

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat (left) releases books on Dalits written by BJP spokesman Vijay Sonkar Shastri (middle) in New Delhi on Sunday. HRD Minister Smriti Irani is also seen. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Narendra Modi‘s BJP and its ally the RSS have been condemned by Indian scholars and activists for rewriting Dalit history with “unsubstantiated claims” and “weird theories” in an attempt to antagonize relations between communities and consolidate the Hindu vote.

via. First Post

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) attempts at re-writing Dalit history has drawn sharp criticism from scholars and activists.

As part of its efforts to aggressively push the Hindu nationalist agenda and consolidate the Hindu vote, the RSS has sought to introduce communal overtones to the origins of caste in a never-before-heard-of take on Dalit history.

In three recently released books on the subject, top RSS leaders have held foreign invaders responsible for the emergence of certain castes. The books, authored by BJP spokesperson Vijay Sonkar Shastri, were released earlier this month by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. RSS leaders have written the preface for all three books.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, top RSS leader Bhaiyyaji Joshi states in the preface to one of the books, “To violate Hindu swabhiman (dignity) of Chanwarvanshiya Kshatriyas, foreign invaders from Arab, Muslim rulers and beef-eaters, forced them to do abominable works like killing cows, skinning them and throwing their carcasses in deserted places. Foreign invaders thus created a caste of charma-karma (dealing with skin) by giving such works as punishment to proud Hindu prisoners.”

Criticising the RSS for pushing a communal agenda with historically unsubstantiated claims, Dalit scholar associated with the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, Dilip G Diwakar, said “This is an unnecessary reactionary move by the RSS that is aimed to create antagonism between Hindus and Muslims. It is not merely a caste comment per se. This argument that is being made by the RSS is a very communal one.”

Having played a crucial role in the BJP’s stunning Lok Sabha performance, the RSS has been aggressively pushing its Hindu nationalist agenda. Recent headline-grabbing statements by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat calling on Hindus to unite and pitching India as Hindu nation have been interpreted as attempts to further consolidate the Hindu vote.

Asked if he saw efforts to rewrite Dalit history as an attempt in that direction, Diwakar said, “Of course. As long as Dalits see themselves as separate from the upper caste, consolidation cannot happen. One, the RSS wants to consolidate the Hindus and two, they want to create antagonism between the lower-castes and the Muslim community, which will indirectly benefit the consolidation process.”

The move also drew strong reactions from Dalit activists.

Read the entire article…

John Kiser: Abd el-Kader’s Jihad of Compassion and Courage

23 January, 2015 - 21:48

columnKiserHuysmans-15

Jan-Baptist Huysmans’ painting of Abd el-Kader saving Christians during the Druze/Christian strife of 1860.

If only there were more Abd el-Kader’s today.

By John Kiser, Rappnews

With radical Islam once again dominating the news, this time in France, it is important more than ever to know about the Islam of a great human being who was a Muslim and an Arab: Emir Abd el-Kader al Jazairy, the 19th-century military leader, peacemaker, reconciler, holy man, philosopher and statesman whose conduct, on and off the battlefield, remains an ever more relevant model of courage, compassion and chivalry.

columnKiserAbd-15-243x300

Abd el-Kader el-Jazairi

Abd el-Kader was born in 1808 in the Ottoman province of Oran, today’s western Algeria. His tribe, the Hachem, was dedicated to the study of the Koran, the traditions of the Prophet Mohammed and the settlement of disputes among the tribes. In the decades that followed, Abd el-Kader became admired from the Great Plains to Moscow and Mecca, not as a scholar but as a chivalrous David who united tribes under his leadership to resist the French Goliath who invaded Algiers in 1830. Algerians consider him to be their George Washington.

Like his contemporary, Robert E. Lee, he also knew when further resistance was a futile waste of life. Yet he won honor in France as an uncompromisingly stoic prisoner who forced its government to keep a pledge to grant him passage to the Middle East after he surrendered voluntarily in 1847.

During these years Abd el-Kader’s name would be given to a settlement in the Midwest (today Elkader, Iowa), to a champion race horse (Little Ab) in Ireland and a ship built in Newburyport, Mass. Ralph Waldo Emerson praised him as a model of reconciliation, Britain’s William Thackeray would dedicate poetry to him and his name would be placed on the presidential ballot by citizens of Bordeaux even as he remained a prisoner of the French government.

Liberated by Napoleon III in 1852 and living in Damascus under a benevolent French patronage, Abd el-Kader protected thousands of Christians during a Turkish-inspired pogrom intended to punish them for not paying the head tax. Queen Victoria and Abraham Lincoln were among the many heads of state to honor the emir’s humanitarian intervention. Upon his death in 1883, the New York Times eulogized, “. . . The nobility of his character won him the admiration of the world. . . . He was one of the few great men of the century.”

His life reminds Muslims that true jihad, or “holy exertion,” lies not in the zeal of bitterness to fight at whatever the cost, but in living righteously in accordance with Divine Law.

Unlike ISIS and al-Qaeda, Abd el-Kader treated his French prisoners respectfully, according to Islamic rules of warfare. These prohibit the destruction of nature, shooting someone in the face, mutilation of dead bodies, killing of women and children, priests and monks, rape and the mistreatment of prisoners. The emir ended the centuries-old desert custom of decapitating prisoners after they surrender. Accustomed to having the plunder distributed according their enemy headcount, the emir countered the angry protests of his soldiers by offering bounty payments for prisoners brought in unharmed. A soldier guilty of mistreating prisoners received a “reward” of 25 strokes with a cane on the soles of his feet.

During a life of struggle against French occupation, despair in prison and exile in foreign land, he never allowed the demons of hatred and revenge to trump compassion and forgiveness. The emir’s life story offers an alternative narrative about Islam, one that has been embraced by mainstream scholars today from New York to London, Lebanon and Turkey to Pakistan and Malaysia.

Read the entire article…

Third Charity Worker Abducted By Christian Militia In CAR

23 January, 2015 - 21:13

Christian_anti_balaka_terrorists

What if they were Muslim?

via. YahooNews

Armed men kidnapped a female UN employee in the capital of the strife-torn Central African Republic on Tuesday, a day after two aid workers were seized, said a source with the UN force. The gunmen, who appeared to be linked to the Christian anti-balaka militia, seized the woman from a van taking UN staffers to work in Bangui, the source with the UN’s Minusca force in the country said on condition of anonymity.

Two aid workers, including a 67-year-old French woman, were kidnapped on Monday in the capital of the strife-torn Central African Republic, the French government said. The pair, who worked for the Catholic medical charity CODIS, were stopped by four men carrying Kalashnikov rifles in the centre of Bangui as they returned from a town north of the capital, their driver said. The second aid worker is said to be a local man.

France Begins Jailing People For Ironic Comments

21 January, 2015 - 21:58

France begins jailing people for ironic comments charlie-hebdo-cest-de-la-merde

Mock Charlie Hebdo cover circulated after the murder of the magazine’s cartoonists. The text says “Charlie Hebdo is shit. It doesn’t stop bullets.”

It may sound like an ironic joke, but it isn’t. Less than a week after the massive rallies in defense of “free expression,” following the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, French authorities have jailed a youth for irony.

The arrest is part of a harsh crackdown on free speech in the country that has prompted criticism from national and international human rights organizations.

A 16-year-old high school student was taken into police custody on Thursday and indicted for “defending terrorism,” national broadcaster France 3 reports.

His alleged crime? He posted on Facebook a cartoon “representing a person holding the magazine Charlie Hebdo, being hit by bullets, and accompanied by an ‘ironic’ comment,” France 3 states.

The teen lives at home with his parents, has no prior judicial record and, according to prosecutor Yvon Ollivier quoted by French media, he does not have a “profile suggesting an evolution toward jihadism.”

The boy told prosecutors that he posted the cartoon because he thought it was “funny.”

The media reports do not include the drawing – presumably that could put journalists afoul of the law. So we do not know for sure what the youth is accused of sharing.

An actual Charlie Hebdo from July 2013 caused outrage for mocking Egyptian protestors killed after the military coup. The text says “The Quran is shit. It doesn’t stop bullets.”

An actual Charlie Hebdo from July 2013 caused outrage for mocking Egyptian protestors killed after the military coup. The text says “The Quran is shit. It doesn’t stop bullets.”

But the cartoon at the top of this page fits the description precisely. It was widely shared on social media, and published on 7 January on the website of the controversial French comedian Dieudonné. It is a mock Charlie Hebdo cover by the cartoonist Dedko.

The text says “Charlie Hebdo is shit. It does not stop bullets.” It appears quite heartless and cruel, but look at the copy of Charlie Hebdo that the person in the cartoon is holding.

It represents a real Charlie Hebdo cover that was published in July 2013, days after the military coup in Egypt. It caused outrage at the time because of its cruelty and insensitivity.

It shows an Egyptian protestor being shot through a copy of the Quran he is holding. The text says, “The Quran is shit, it doesn’t stop bullets.”

Assuming that the mock Charlie Hebdo cover is the one shared by the youth on Facebook, this incident sums up the sheer hypocrisy of France’s current national mood.

Anything mocking and denigrating Islam and Muslims is venerated as courageous free speech, while anything mocking those who engage in such denigration – even using precisely the same techniques – can get you locked up.

Continue reading…

Media Matters: Bill O’Reilly Lies About His Role Pushing Debunked “No-Go Zones” Myth

21 January, 2015 - 21:21

islamist

It is sad that Bill O’Reilly is one of the most influential news anchors on television.:

via. Media Matters

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly falsely claimed that he had no role in hyping the myth that Muslim “no-go zones” exist throughout France, just days after Fox News apologized for spreading the fiction. In fact, O’Reilly previously cited the so called “no-go zones” as one of the contributing causes of the Paris terror attacks.

On January 17, Fox correspondent Julie Banderas apologized for the network’s coverage “regarding the Muslim population in Europe” in the days following the terrorist attacks in Paris, explaining that there is no credible evidence to support the existence of Muslim “no-go zones.” Several other Fox hosts offered additional apologies throughout the day.

On the January 20 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, during a discussion about the Parisian mayor Anne Hildalgo’s announcement that she intends to sue Fox News for its “prejudiced” coverage following the attacks, O’Reilly denied that the Fox apology was about the Muslim “no-go zone” myth in France. He insisted that it was only about Steve Emerson’s ludicrous claim that the entire English city of Birmingham was Muslim-only and nobody else went to the city. O’Reilly also denied that he had anything to do with the “no-go zones” claim (emphasis added):

O’REILLY: All right, we got a minute. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said she’s going to sue Fox News for reporting on so-called no-go zones in Paris. They’re dominated by Muslims and police hesitate to go in there — at least that has been the reportage in some places. I didn’t have anything to do with this. But I will point out that the mayor is a socialist.

But on January 9, O’Reilly cited Muslim “no-go zones” in France as a cause behind the terror attacks in Paris (emphasis added):

O’REILLY: France brought a lot of this terrorism on itself. We just talked about the no-go zones that they allow. They allow, 10 percent of the population is Muslim. They are all in there, they’re radicalized, they don’t assimilate.

UPDATE: O’Reilly also claimed that Fox News “isn’t even seen in France, because they block it.” But The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple reports that a Fox spokesperson confirmed that the network reaches 13,680 homes in France but has a limited reach because it is only available in English and broadcasts on a U.S.-based schedule.

Arsalan Iftikhar is Right, Gov. Bobby Jindal is “trying to scrub the brown off his face”

20 January, 2015 - 22:53

Jindal_Henry_Jackson_Society

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s whole career path has been predicated on how much he can suck up to the racist White establishment/privilege elements of the GOP. He is, as Hamid Dabashi notes about the neo-colonized, a Brown guy with a White mask on; for the GOP he’s the token Brown politico.

This point was made by Arsalan Iftikhar who called out Jindal for championing the laughable and debunked conspiracy theory perpetuated by Islamophobes about “No-Go Zones.”

Not surprisingly, Jindal gave his anti-Muslim speech at the British Neoconservative think tank founded by Douglas Murray, The Henry Jackson Society, a hotbed of Islamophobia. When Jindal was pressed to name any so-called “No-Go Zones,” he deflected (blaming the “radical Left”), highlighting not only that this is a subject he is ill-prepared to discuss but that these are talking points fed to him by the likes of now discredited “Fox News terrorism experts” such as Steven Emerson.

For calling Jindal out and not apologizing for his remarks, (Iftikhar said he’d only “apologize to Bobby Jindal when he apologizes to seven million American Muslims for advancing the debunked ‘Muslim no-go zones’ myth”) Iftikhar has been banned by MSNBC.

What will the consequences for Gov. Jindal be, especially considering he has not retracted his ridiculous comments but instead has chosen to double down?

French Professor Refuses to Teach Because of Hijabi Student Then Disrobes

19 January, 2015 - 23:25

France_Professor_Hijab_Naturism

It’s heartening to see the solidarity that the “veiled student” received from her fellow classmates.

French Professor Refuses to Teach Because of Student Wearing Hijab

By

Gregory Lafarge, lawyer and professor at the professional school of the Barreaux of the Appeal Court of Paris (EFB), refused to teach his courses and left the amphitheater, in protest of a student wearing a headscarf, according to Le Figaro.

“The professor approached the veiled student probably to ask her to remove her veil, but her classmates prevented him from doing so,” said Paul, one of the students in the class, to Le Figaro.

Henri Leclerc, another student who witnessed the incident, reportedly explained, “the professor reacted very badly and immediately left the amphitheater, before returning, apparently furious, and taking off his clothes, yelling ‘my religion to me is naturism.’”

After the incident, the majority of students reportedly applauded and defended their classmate. They were astonished by the behavior of their professor.

Sebastian, a student, told Le Figaro that “There have always been veiled students, but we have never seen such incidents.”

The veiled student expressed herself later on Facebook, saying that “I respect those who find my outfit offensive, but I think I have a right to be here.”

Continue reading…

Electronic Intifada: Islamophobic rally in Texas as senators push for anti-Palestinian bill

19 January, 2015 - 22:42

garland-rally

H/T Lithium2006

Islamophobic rally in Texas as senators push for anti-Palestinian bill

By Patrick Strickland

A new bill introduced in the United States Senate demands that President Barack Obama move the US embassy from its present location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as reported by the right-wing Times of Israel website.

Sponsored by hardline Republican Senators Dean Heller of Nevada and Ted Cruz of Texas, the bill – the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2015 – is an updated version of previous bills that sought the same goal.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 grants the president “authority to waive certain funding limitations for Department of State acquisition and maintenance of buildings abroad until the US Embassy in Jerusalem has officially opened,” according to the US Congress’s website.

Heller’s and Cruz’s new bill, if passed, will eliminate the president’s authority to delay or not implement the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. In other words, it is an attempt to force the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Though the bill stands little chance of surviving both the Congress and the Senate, it reflects an increasingly reactionary and pro-Israel agenda of right-wing American legislators. Cruz’s sponsorship also highlights the influential nature of Christian Zionism among Texan legislators.

Cruz, a prominent member of the Christian Zionist community in Texas, has a long history of promoting reactionary policies at home and supporting Israel’s racist policies and ethnic cleansing abroad.

As Cruz and other Texas leaders push for anti-Palestinian legislation, Islamophobia spreads on the ground. Hundreds of right-wing protesters gathered in Garland, a suburb of Dallas, on Saturday to demonstrate against a conference being held by the Muslim community organization Sound Vision.

According to the event’s Facebook page, the annual conference’s stated mission is to combat Islamophobia and “stand against terrorism and hate together with the Prophet …” Expecting a large turnout, Sound Vision rented the Curtis Culwell Center from the Garland Independent School District, as many local religious and civic organizations often do.

Upon catching wind of the conference, the Garland Tea Party and other local right-wing groups began complaining to local news outlets weeks before the event took place. Unabashed racism was on full display.

A Facebook event to protest Sound Vision’s annual conference was created by a group of motorcyclists — it is laden with Islamophobic myths and violent rhetoric, often associating all Muslims with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Ahead of the protest, several of the bikers debated whether or not they ought to bring guns, despite it being illegal under federal law to carry weapons on school grounds.

One Facebook user, Jonathan Peugh, stated his intention to bring a pig to the protest — ostensibly believing that the mere presence of pigs is somehow offensive to Muslims. On its website, the Tea Party-affiliated nonprofit organization Voices Empower posted an article suggesting that a new Islamic educational complex is a smokescreen for plans to establish a “Muslim village” in Dallas.

Debora Green, the article’s author, was parroting the widespread claim that cities across Europe have so-called “no-go Muslim areas.” This claim, peddled by Islamophic hate groups and anti-Muslim figures, has been demonstrated as false time and again.

Once the event was underway on Saturday afternoon, protesters assembled outside, waving American and Israeli flags and taunting Sound Vision conference attendees. Ruben Israel, a protester who traveled from Los Angeles with the group Bible Believers, told the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate that Muslims are “trying to promote that they are a bunch of peaceful people. I have issues with that.”

Greg McKinley, another protester, claimed the conference’s attendees are “a faction of people who want to destroy [the United States],” as shown in another NBC report.

Others held up signs absurdly claiming Muslims are trying establish “Sharia” — Islamic law — in Texas and the rest of the United States. One man brandished a poster reading: “Go home and take Obama with you.”

“We pay our taxes to that school, and I don’t want [Muslims] here,” Lavona Martindale said, as bigoted chants like “You’re not welcome here!” rang out.

A similar protest is scheduled to take place outside a Houston hotel holding a conference for local Islamic religious organizations on Sunday night.

Read the complete article at Electronic Intifada

Moroccan man in France killed at home in front of wife in ‘horrible Islamophobic attack’

17 January, 2015 - 23:17

v2-police-france-french

I wonder if there will be marches?

Moroccan man in France killed at home in front of wife in ‘horrible Islamophobic attack’

The father was attacked after the man forced his way into the home

Lamiat Sabin Saturday 17 January 2015

A Moroccan man in France was brutally stabbed to death 17 times in front of his wife at his own home by a neighbour in what is described as a “horrible Islamophobic attack”.

Mohamed El Makouli was confronted by a 28-year-old attacker who forced himself through the front door at around 1:30am on Wednesday, shouting “I am your god, I am your Islam”, the National Observatory Against Islamophobia said yesterday.

The father of one, 47, was killed in the quiet village of Beaucet, near Avignon in southern France, while his 31-year-old wife Nadia tried to save him. She suffered wounds to her hands before she fled the scene with their child to call the police.

Observatory president Abdallah Zekri condemned the attack “as a horrible Islamophobic attack” and claimed that the victim’s partner was very clear about what the man had shouted regarding Islam.

He told AFP: “She is sure of what he [the attacker] said.”

The man was charged on Thursday with murder, attempted murder and possession of drugs before he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Montfavet. Police said yesterday that the claims of Islamophobia will be investigated when they start questioning the attacker.

He was reported to have been diagnosed with schizophrenia as he claimed he had heard voices and officials say that he was found at the scene in an incoherent state.

The attack is one of at least 50 Islamophobic incidences reported so far in the country

Continue reading …

 

The Latest attacks In France Are About More Than Free Speech

16 January, 2015 - 23:36

The flag draped coffin of murdered policeman, Ahmed Merabet.

The flag draped coffin of murdered policeman, Ahmed Merabet.

Original guest post by Razainc.

Paris attacks are about Al Qaeda trying to re-assert their power in light of the rise of ISIS

It has been a crazy, disturbing week with attacks in Paris and the massacre by Boko Haram in Nigeria, among many newsworthy worldwide events. I’ve been busy with school and doing research for future articles about Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, and ISIS but I wanted to highlight a few issues.

First, hopefully all responsible parties will be caught and tried in court and brought to justice. By trying them in court we will gain valuable information on their ideology and radicalization and also what connections they had to terrorist networks. However, it seems that the main suspects have been killed in police shootouts.

My hunch is that we should not expect it to be revealed that there was much planning for these attacks which are often ill-planned and not well though out. As professor Scott Atran describes in his book Talking To The Enemy, “Terrorism involves spectacular and often unexpected killings in order to destabilize the social order and promote a greater cause.” Atran also points out in a Guardian article that “publicity is the oxygen of terrorism” and of course there’s been plenty of that since the attacks.

Competition Between Al Qaeda and ISIS

What I want to discuss is the alleged connection between the Kouachi brothers and Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula(AQAP) and why it is relevant given the rise of ISIS. Terrorist networks are not static, they are constantly evolving and responding to their environment. At first, AQAP did not officially accept responsibility for the attacks, they did however praise them.

Now it has been confirmed that AQAP has officially accepted responsibility; it is likely that they are challenging ISIS, showing them that they are still “top dog” in terms of transnational terror.  This is worrying especially if this rivalry develops into a competition, in which both groups attempt to out-do each other in both operations and scale of terror attacks.

Interestingly, the hostage taker at the Kosher grocery, Coulibaly, claimed allegiance to ISIS. His later involvement begs the question: how much actual coordination is there between ISIS and AQ? (We will also have to wait and see if AQAP decides to forge their own path or if they are  seeking to ally with ISIS.) Either way at the moment their goals and even the extent of their coordination are a relative mystery.

AQAP’s  hand in the coordination, even if minor, is a power play to remain relevant and a challenge to ISIS. AQAP will attempt, to the best of its ability, to use the attack as a propaganda ploy and claim to be the real “defenders of Islam.” While the brothers’ full motivations are a mixed bag of statements and not altogether clear, it is worth noting that AQAP did not only say that this was revenge for the “honor” of the Prophet Mohammed but also for France’s involvement and crimes in “Mali and the Islamic Maghreb” and France’s support for the “annihilation of Muslims in Central Africa in the name of race cleansing.”

In what may be an attempt at stealing some of the “spotlight,” which as mentioned these groups need to survive, ISIS apparently hacked The U.S. military’s Central Command social media accounts (Twitter and YouTube accounts which have now been temporarily suspended).

AQ, Marc Sageman has pointed out has a very low acceptance rate, lower than Harvard’s, the connection to the parent organization, especially in their transnational attackers, was very weak. It was usually self-seekers (“Lone-Wolfs”) inspired by the group. People went looking for AQ, not the other way around and AQ was picky. The original AQ was very much a clan but transitionally AQ was not a command and control organization. It’s sympathizers and volunteers overseas (in the West) more closely resembled the violent strain of the late 19th/early 20th century anarchist movement, a largely decentralized movement.

ISIS on the other hand wants Muslims to join them and they are targeting young disenfranchised Muslims for recruitment. (I touch upon the subject of what draws youth to political violence and some of the motivations of ISIS volunteers here.)

ISIS is very good at propaganda and doing atrocious acts that garner them publicity. They have many young volunteers so they know well the problems youth face and are good at speaking and connecting with them. Unlike Bin Laden, Baghdadi allegedly has an Islamic education (though it may just be a degree in education) which is extremely rare for a terrorist organization; this has also helped the movement’s image. Another clear and obvious difference between the two is that ISIS have succeeded in carving out and holding territory.

As Chris Hedges and Lorreta Napoleoni point out, ISIS realized that their biggest threats were competing Jihadist groups. One can see this manifested in their confusing relationship with other groups: AQ initially broke off any relationship with the group in early 2014, later in the same year an AQ affiliate concluded a truce with ISIS.

How these attacks will affect the relationship between ISIS and AQ remains to be seen. They may either cooperate and join forces to commit attacks, or compete against each other in political violence vying for the vital “oxygen” that publicity supplies them. Either way neither will be beneficial for Western societies or Muslims in the West or globally.

It is true that European Muslims face some of the worst marginalization in France, Italy, or the troubling case of Greece, etc. though it should be noted, in relation to this fact, that people do not usually respond violently to personal humiliation rather they become compliant. Yet, as Atran has written in his work, the key change occurs when one watches a person he or she cares about or identifies with being humiliated; this will make one more likely to have moral outrage and respond violently.

It is likely the attackers saw themselves as protecting Muslims who they perceived were humiliated. It is best to not play into their game and let fear and paranoia takeover but it appears far-right and liberal Islamophobes don’t want to hear that. The governments’ overreaction across France and in other Western countries is not likely to help the situation but will only succeed in further curtailing our civil liberties.

How the media responds is vital. Hence people like Lassana Bathily and Ahmed Merabet are very important in shaping the narrative about French and Western Muslims. The more overblown and hysterical the political and media reaction, the more likely we are to increase the conditions which agitate these sorts of attacks because it will show that they work. A greater focus on humanizing victims will do more to counter AQ and ISIS propaganda of supposedly “defending Islam and Muslims.”

Killing of Muslim Eritrean refugee in Dresden exposes racial tensions in Germany

16 January, 2015 - 21:53

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Khaled Idris Bahray, a 20-year-old refugee from Eritrea, was found dead in the courtyard of the Dresden housing estate where he lived. Photograph: Facebook

Killing of Eritrean refugee in Dresden exposes racial tensions in Germany

Anti-immigration sentiment highlighted after 25,000 rally in support of far-right Pegida movement on night of murder
It was 8pm on Monday when Khaled Idris Bahray told his seven flatmates he was popping out to buy some cigarettes from the Netto supermarket about 100 metres away from his flat in a prefab high-rise in the south of Dresden.

The 20-year-old Eritrean said he wouldn’t be long. But a few hours later he still hadn’t returned. “We assumed he’d gone to stay with some other friends nearby,” said his flatmate, Abdulrezak Suleman. “So we weren’t really worried.”

But around 7.40 the following morning, other residents in the six-storey building found his body slumped in the inner courtyard of the housing estate.

According to his flatmates, in reports that the police will not confirm, he was covered in blood, with at least one deep cut visible on his body. Rigor mortis had already set in. “He was lying on his back, and had blood coming out of his nose and mouth, with drops of blood leading towards the door as if he’d tried to get in, but not made it, and drops on the grass,” said Abdulatif, 23, a fellow Eritrean who lives nearby but had spent that night in Bahray’s flat.

The police had first said there seemed to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding the young Muslim’s death, saying in their initial statement that on first appearance “there are no indications of foul play”. But just hours later they confirmed the results of the postmortem showed that Bahray had been unlawfully killed in what appears to have been a vicious knife attack.

“We now have evidence to confirm that a stab from a knife was the cause of his injuries,” said Dieter Kroll, president of Dresden police. “We can exclude the possibility that this was an accident. It is murder.”

Dresden police have launched a murder investigation in the east German city that has been making headlines recently for its anti-immigrant rallies, which, on the night of Bahray’s death, attracted a record number of 25,000 supporters. Tensions in the city have been high in the 12 weeks since the rallies began, with a reported increase in racist attacks.

The circumstances of Bahray’s killing are now under intense investigation, with police looking into everything, from internal strife within the large group of Eritrean refugees to a racial motive.

On Wednesday night Bahray’s seven flatmates, plus 16 others who had gathered in the men’s flat on the morning his body was found, were being questioned by police, as DNA samples were gathered from all of them.

But while the motive for his killing and the identity of his killer remain unclear, on social network sites the death of the young man prompted a flood of responses, from those who were shocked and horrified to others who expressed malicious glee.

“I cannot fathom this,” wrote one Twitter user. “Especially in Dresden, at this time.”

“A young man has died in our city who had his whole life before him,” a Dresden citizen wrote. “Can’t we find it in us to express our feelings for his relatives and friends?” But others, many of whom openly express their allegiance to the anti-immigration movement Pegida, spouted disdain for the dead Eritrean. “In Africa dozens of children and adults die every day and nobody’s interested in them. But as soon as a single asylum seeker pops his clogs, then the outcry is huge,” wrote Eric van de Hahns on Facebook.

Continue reading …

Stop the Islamization of Germany: AKA The Doner Kebab Threat to Judeo-Christian Values

15 January, 2015 - 01:24

Angela Merkel joined a rally to show solidarity against anti-Mooslamic-Islamization freedom fighters, PEGIDA–I wonder why?

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via. CBS News, By Mark Phillips

DRESDEN, Germany – Long before the terror attacks in Paris, anti-Muslim prejudice was on the rise in Europe. It was underscored Thursday during an anti-Islamic rally in Dresden, Germany.

“We are the people,” they chant. But this isn’t a chant about a society being united. This is a chant of exclusion.

They’re part of a movement protesting what they see as the threat to German culture from rising numbers of Muslim immigrants to their country. Chancellor Angela Merkel may have said Islam is part of Germany now, but not to these people.

They point to the events in France as justification. Felix Menzel runs a right-wing magazine that supports the anti-immigrant cause.

“Is there an ‘I told you so’ quality to this?” I asked.

“Yes that’s the scenario that they spoke about in the last weeks,” Menzel answered.

The weekly demonstrations have grown over the past months from a few hundred to somewhere around 20,000. But so has opposition to them. Other demonstrators tried to block the path of the anti-immigrant marchers, saying Germany should welcome Muslim refugees.

“Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here,” they chanted. But the marchers simply moved around them.

There were calls for this demonstration to be cancelled out of deference to the victims in France and to let passions cool. But it went ahead anyway and it was big.

Werner Patzelt of Dresden University says the marchers’ sentiments are misguided.

“They stir up un-delicious opinions and feelings,” Patzelt told me. “Ugly is maybe the proper expression for what can be seen and felt.”

Continue reading…

Muslim groups donate $100K to prevent Detroit water shutoffs

15 January, 2015 - 01:04

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Positive stories about Muslims in the media are few and far between, here is one which hasn’t penetrated national media but local outlets have been covering. In any case, I am sure the Muslims would tell you this isn’t about “hey, come look at how good I am,” but as the story mentions is being done to alleviate suffering with the “hope that this grant will encourage others to come forward with assistance since there is still great need.”

According 9and10news to “More than 31,300 customers have had their water shut off since January 2013.

Muslim organizations donate $100,000 to help prevent water shut-offs for Detroiters

Friday, 01.09.2015, 04:24 AM
DETROIT — The Muslim community of Michigan is stepping forward with a contribution to support Detroit residents who are facing hardship from water shut-offs. The Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC), in partnership with Islamic Relief USA (IR USA) –the largest Muslim charity organizations in the United States – is giving $100,000 to help the people of Detroit. 

More than 60,000 households in Detroit have faced the risk of water shut-off, creating great hardship for many. The grant will be divided evenly between the Detroit Water Fund in partnership with United Way of Southeastern Michigan and Wayne Metro Community Council, to be used in direct assistance to disadvantaged Detroit families struggling to maintain their water utilities or recover from water damage due to recent floods.  

The MMCC and IR USA hope that this grant will encourage others to come forward with assistance since there is still great need. 

The grant is part of a concerted effort by metro-Detroit Muslims to contribute to the city’s revitalization since Detroit has been an important part of American Muslim history and is recovering from difficult economic times. Other initiatives include the Huda clinic, which provides free medical and dental clinic to everybody; Zaman International, which provides food and material assistance to at risk-women and children; DREAM (Detroit Revitalization Engaging American Muslim), which reclaims and renovates homes for disadvantaged families; and the Ramadan Fight Against Hunger Food Drive and Oedhiya project, which distributes several tons of food annually to local food banks and community centers.

Continue reading …

As Boko Haram Kills 2,000 in Nigeria Attack, African Religious Leader Asks Why There’s No Response Akin to Paris Mourning

13 January, 2015 - 23:02

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During the midst of the Alqaeda attacks in Yemen and Paris we tweeted about Boko Haram‘s slaughter in Nigeria and the fact that it was receiving far less attention despite its horrific scale. As previous articles on Africa, including Ilisha’s series have made clear the most obvious explanation is that the lives of Africans and non-Westerners in general is valued far less. There are multi-faceted reasons for this, among them are the complicity of Western governments due to their own interests, legacy of colonialism and neo-Colonialist policy towards Africa.

Last month, Dorado reposted a report on the new Emir of Kano calling on Nigerians to arm themselves against BH. Recently, BH has also been defeated by the Cameroon army, who killed 143 of their fighters who tried to attack a village.

What BH is and who supports them is a matter of controversy and there is evidence for worldwide and regional intrigue that has led to the destabilization of Northern Nigeria and the horrific atrocities we have witnessed over the past few years.

In all of this Archbishop Kaigama makes an important point:

Atlanta Blackstar

As the world mourns the vicious massacres in Paris, one of Africa’s top religious leaders suggested that the lack of a similar outcry across the globe over the slaughter of up to 2,000 people by Boko Haram last week in northeast Nigeria is further evidence that Black lives don’t matter as much as whites’.

Ignatius Kaigama, the Catholic Archbishop of Jos and president of the Nigerian Bishops Conference, said the international community has expressed “solidarity,” but hasn’t done much to offer real help.

“We have always said that there should be concern expressed more concretely by the West beyond just expressing their solidarity,” Kaigama said. “They should do more than that. Compare what has happened in Paris and what is happening here. There is a great difference.”

According to Amnesty International, most of the people killed in Baga and the surrounding villages were women, children and the elderly, who were not able to flee in time. Reports say that the villages are overwhelmed with dead bodies lying as far as the eye could see. Amnesty International said it was the deadliest massacre Boko Haram has staged in the years of its murderous reign.

In addition to the dead, another 30,000 people are thought to have fled their homes, with about 7,500 seeking sanctuary in Chad and the rest adding to the tens of thousands of displaced people already scattered throughout that region of Nigeria.

On Twitter, Imad Mesdoua, a political analyst at consultants Africa Matters, said, “No breaking news cycle, no live reports, no international outrage, no hashtags,” while actress Mia Farrow and Stephanie Hancock of Human Rights Watch pointed out that there had been “no outrage or headlines” about the Nigerian slaughter.

Read the entire article…

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