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In One Xinjiang City, Beards and Muslim Headscarves Banned from Buses

6 August, 2014 - 21:02

xinjiang_restrictions

In One Xinjiang City, Beards and Muslim Headscarves Banned from Buses

By Alexa Oleson (Foreign Policy)

A city in China’s remote western Xinjiang region has temporarily banned men with beards and women with Muslim headscarves from taking public buses. The extreme security measure, to be implemented for the duration of a sports competition slated to kick off in northern Xinjiang’s Karamay city on August 8, is the latest example of the kind of religious intolerance that some say has fueled growing anti-government feelings and radicalized the region’s Muslims, particularly the Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking minority concentrated primarily in Xinjiang. The QQ news portal and other Chinese news sites that picked up the report also ran a graphic showing the “five abnormal styles” that weren’t allowed on Karamay public transport. It showed pictures of women in full and partial veils, headscarves, and men with full beards and even a modest goatee.

The new rule also bans anyone wearing star and crescent symbols associated with the Uighur separatist movement from taking a city bus during the games, which wrap up August 20. The announcement of the new policy, carried in the local state-run Karamay Daily newspaper on August 4, underscores the region’s high state of anxiety following a string of deadly rampages by alleged Uighur terrorists. An attack by knife-wielding assailants in two counties not far from the Silk Road city of Kashgar on July 28 left 37 civilians dead, with 59 attackers gunned down by police, according to the government account. Uighur exile groups say Chinese police opened fire on Uighurs protesting government policies. It was the deadliest instance of ethnic unrest since riots swept the regional capital of Urumqi in early July of 2009. Two days later on July 30, an imam who was considered supportive of the Chinese government’s policies in the region was assassinated outside his mosque following a morning prayer service. On August 1, nine alleged extremists were shot dead in a corn-field hideout on the outskirts of southwest Xinjiang’s Hotan city.

The cluster of violence comes at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and follows reports of Uighur Muslim civil servants being forbidden to fast during the holiday. It also roughly coincides with a report from the New York Times on July 30 that cited prosecutors who said moderate Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti had been formally charged with separatism. If convicted, Tohti, a passionate supporter of Uighur rights whose supporters say has never advocated violence or independence for the Xinjiang region, could receive the death penalty.

Read the entire article…

Rep. Justin Amash Slams “Disgusting” Rival

6 August, 2014 - 20:41

Smith-Amash Amendment

Rep. Justin Amash

Glad he slammed the hell out of the loser Brian Ellis.

Amash slams ‘disgusting’ rival

By Cameron Joseph (The Hill)

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) wasn’t ready to let bygones be bygones after winning his primary Tuesday night, blasting his opponent for running what he called a “disgusting, despicable smear campaign.”

Amash, who defeated businessman Brian Ellis by a 14-point margin, slamming Ellis and his allies for their highly charged negative campaign.”You owe my family and this community an apology for your disgusting, despicable smear campaign,” Amash said during his victory speech after refusing to take Ellis’s concession call. “You had the audacity to try and call me today after running a campaign that was called the nastiest in the country. I ran for office to stop people like you.”

In successive ads, Ellis accused the Arab-American Amash, who has two young daughters, of being “al Qaeda’s best friend” in Congress and of refusing to oppose gender-selection abortion.

“I’m an Arab-American, and he has the audacity to say I’m al Qaeda’s best friend in congress. That’s pretty disgusting,” Amash said in a follow-up TV interview.

Amash also went after those backing Ellis, including former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), calling him called a “disgrace” and saying he’s glad “we could hand you one more loss before you fade into total obscurity and irrelevance.”

Amash also attacked the Washington groups that went after him in his victory speech. The Chamber of Commerce endorsed Ellis, and though it didn’t spend on his behalf, the Michigan Chamber did.

“Everyday Americans are taking back their government from the crooks and the cronies … the insiders that have contempt for the American people,” he concluded, making it clear he’s going to keep being a thorn in the side of House GOP leadership and the Republican establishment.

“I’m going to go back to Washington, and I’m going to continue to fight for liberty, the Constitution and for you,” he finished.

Watch the full speech here.

Cruel déjà vu for Sikhs in US: a racial slur, followed by an attempt to murder an innocent man wearing a turban

5 August, 2014 - 22:15

Sandeep_Sing_Run_Over

Another Sikh man has been targeted by ignorant hate-mongers.

Cruel déjà vu for Sikhs in US: a racial slur, followed by an attempt to murder an innocent man wearing a turban

By Sujeet Rajan

NEW YORK: As efforts to stem hate crimes against Sikhs in the US, since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, have increased – including support on Capitol Hill with resolutions and bills, an ad campaign by Gap featuring turbaned actor Waris Ahluwalia, promises by the Justice Department to create more awareness all over the country and ongoing efforts by committed Indian American organizations to profile Sikh culture and their deep roots in communities – hate crimes against Sikhs have only increased.

The most recent example of a cowardly attack on an innocent Sikh man, based solely on his appearance – a turban and long beard – has left a father of two in critical condition, after being run over by a truck by an unidentified perpetrator in Queens, New York City.

According to a report in the Village Voice, last Wednesday, just after midnight, the victim Sandeep Singh, who owns a construction business, and three of his friends were crossing 99th Street at 101 Avenue in Richmond Hill, Queens when they crossed paths with a man in a pick-up truck. Witnesses say the driver called Singh a “terrorist,” and yelled at him to “go back to your country.”

Singh didn’t walk away in the face of such threats. He stood his ground, in fact right in front of the truck and engaged the driver in conversation, telling him that he was not a “terrorist”. His friends in the meantime called 911, to report the incident.

The scumbag who had racially abused Singh, panicked. All his false bravado vanished. And in a murderous attempt, he revved up his truck and ran right over Singh in a bid to escape. Singh got caught under the truck and was dragged for 30 feet, sustaining grievous injuries. He survived the brutal incident, has had around 30 stitches, and will need a skin graft surgery.

“He clung to the bottom of the pick up truck, so most of his injuries are along his back and his side,” says Amardeep Singh, director of programs for the Sikh Coalition, adding: “There’s a lot of outrage in the community. It’s a tightly knit Sikh community and they’ve experienced a lot of hate crimes,” Amardeep Singh says. “There is this frustration about lack of action [on the part of the NYPD].”

Despite numerous surveillance videos capturing the deliberate hit-and-run incident by the white pick-up truck, police have yet to find the culprit.

Read the rest of the article…

Rowan Williams says Islam makes positive contribution to society, ‘secularist’ groups disagree

5 August, 2014 - 22:00

Rowan_Williams

I’ve always liked the former Archbishop of Canterbury. He seems to represent the best of British society. Those eyebrows are fantastic as well!:

Rowan Williams says Islam makes positive contribution to society, ‘secularist’ groups disagree

Islam is restoring traditional British values such as shared responsibility and duty, a former archbishop has said.

Rowan Williams said that Muslims had brought back “open, honest and difficult public discussion” in one of their “greatest gifts” to Britain.

He used a speech yesterday to criticise sections of the press for portraying Muslims as “un-British” and complained of “illiteracy” about religion among figures in government.

Secularist groups accused Dr Williams of “foolishness”, but his remarks were welcomed by British Muslim organisations.

Keith Porteous Wood, the executive director of the National Secular Society, said: “I’m still smiling about the comments he made about Sharia law a few years ago. You’d think he’d have learnt his lesson.”

In 2008, when still Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Williams provoked controversy by stating that the application of some aspects of Islamic law in British courts was “unavoidable”. He also drew both praise and criticism after telling a literary festival in 2012 that the hijab gave some Muslim women strength.

Yesterday, Dr Williams, who stood down as the head of the Church of England to become master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, in 2012, told the Living Islam Festival in Lincolnshire that Christianity and Islam were shifting British values back towards the community.

He said that Britain was an “argumentative democracy” where “we are not just individual voters ticking boxes but individuals and communities engaging in open, honest and difficult public discussion. One of the greatest gifts of the Muslim community to the UK has been that they have brought that back to the people.”

Asked if he meant that Islam was rejuvenating British values, Dr Williams said: “Yes. I’m thinking of the way in which, for example, in Birmingham we have seen a local parish and a mosque combining together to provide family services and youth activities, both acting out of a very strong sense that this is what communities ought to do. ”

Earlier this year, David Cameron began a debate when he warned that a failure to be “muscular” in promoting British values had led to the rise of extremism.

Dr Williams appeared to offer a riposte yesterday. “It’s really important that we respect and try to understand diversity of conscience and belief and conviction in our environment,” he said. “These are not just about what makes us British, they’re about what makes us human.”

Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association, warned that the speech could undermine the UK’s social cohesion.

“Narratives that promote the view that religious belonging is necessary for social responsibility may be comforting to those for whom the promotion of religion is a profession, but in the UK they are totally unsupported by evidence,” he said.

Muslim groups praised Dr Williams’s intervention. Dilwar Hussain, chairman of the Muslim charity New Horizons, said: “That is a sentiment we would agree with, very much. We would also be concerned about any of those values being taken to extremes, whether it’s communitarianism or individualism.”

The Times, 2 August 201

See also “‘Muslim Glastonbury’ challenges perceptions of Islam in Britain”, Guardian, 1 August 2014

According to the Guardian report: “Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, one of a number of non-Muslim speakers, gave a talk entitled ‘What do British values look like and is there room for Muslims?’ He expressed his unease about focus on British values rather than values of human beings generally. ‘The setting-up therefore of British values against any kind of values, whether Muslim or Christian, just won’t do,’ he said.

Gaza’s Christians and Muslims grow closer in defiance of Israeli attacks

5 August, 2014 - 21:55

Gaza_Christian_Muslim Gaza’s Christians and Muslims grow closer in defiance of Israeli attacks

By Mohammed Omer (Middle East Eye)

GAZA CITY – Without prior warning, an Israeli missile hit the house of the Ayyad family last Saturday. The Ayyads, who are Christian, were the first family among the tiny minority in Gaza to be targeted since the offensive began three weeks ago.

The Ayyad’s home was severely damaged. Furniture was ruined and family belongings such as children’s toys were strewn everywhere as a result of the missile’s impact. But naturally the human cost was much greater.

Jalila Ayyad was known among the people of Gaza as a woman that had nothing to do with any militia groups.  “We are a Christian minority and have no links to Hamas or Fatah – we keep to ourselves and avoid problems,” says Fouad Ayyad, Jalila’s nephew.

Fouad is also the name of the bereaved husband of Jalila Ayyad. Standing in a white T-shirt stained with the blood of his wife and son – who was also seriously injured in the attack – he watches on as the nephew is interviewed.

 

Many tears were shed among the Christian minority at the service (AA)

A memorial service was held on Sunday for Ayyad at Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church on Sunday. The church has become a haven not just for Christian but also hundreds of Muslim families seeking shelter there as the offensive drags on.

“The church has been our hosts for the past two weeks, offering food, clothes and whatever we needed, their loss is our loss, their pain is our pain,” says 45-year-old Abu Khaled.

At the memorial service for Jalila, Archbishop Alexios said: “Another human being, an innocent one, has lost her life.” In the pews, crowds of Palestinian Christians sobbed as first from their tiny minority to be killed in the conflict was laid to rest.

In something that surprised local journalists, Jalila’s body was carried by both Muslims and Christians to the grave. It seems the shared wounds, mourning and rage are bridging past divides in war-ravaged Gaza.

Last week, Gaza’s Greek Orthodox Church also sustained damage by Israeli artillery shelling. Fifteen graves were damaged and damage was also caused to the Church’s sole hearse, says Kamel Ayyad, a parish member.

“The world must realise that Israel’s missiles don’t differentiate between Christians and Muslims,” said Abu.

At the memorial service a sad young man surrounded by attendees dressed in black gave a speech on behalf of the Greek Orthodox community and questioned the position of the international community in dealing with Israel’s crimes.

“Here is a Palestinian, an Arab, a Christian woman, martyred by Israeli shelling,” he said. “Bombs slammed into us and killed without differentiating between civilians and combatants,” he adds.

Christians and Muslims both helped to carry the coffin to the grave (AA)

Father Manuel Musallam, a former priest of the Latin Church, has always been an advocate for Palestinian unity.

“When they destroy your mosques, call your prayers from our churches”. 

There are approximately 1,500 Christians in Gaza. Mosques stand next to churches along the thin coastal enclave. George Ayyad, a relative of Jalila, rejects the idea that Christians will leave Gaza after this incident.

“This is exactly what the Israelis want, but where should we go?” he questions, before he continues “This is my homeland and we are Christians here in Gaza for more than 1,000 years and we will remain.”

During the memorial, bible scriptures were recited before Ayyad’s body was carried out and placed in a simple white coffin that had been decorated with a black cross.

Homeless Christians and Muslims brought out her remains together in the same community where Jalila will be buried, in the town she was born: in Gaza.

A Virgin Mary icon was placed in Jalila’s coffin while her relatives sang “Hallelujah.”

- See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/gazas-christians-and-muslims-grow-closer-defiance-israeli-attacks-372261379#sthash.vrx8ElCQ.dpuf

Are French Muslims integrated? Depends on what you mean by integration

3 August, 2014 - 00:46

france-flag

I don’t think we needed an academic to tell us this, it’s what a lot of us who have been watching France have been saying for years.:

Are French Muslims integrated? Depends on what you mean by integration

Jennifer Fredette, assistant professor of political science at Ohio University and author of Constructing Muslims in France – Discourse, Public Identity, and the Politics of Citizenship, takes up the misuse of the term “integration” in the French context, where it is reinterpreted to justify a one-sided and discriminatory demand for assimilation:

The social scientific definition of “integration” refers to a dual process whereby immigrants embrace and become invested in their new home and are, in turn, accepted as equals by those who were there before them. In French political discourse, however, the term “integration” generally loses the reciprocal connotation. Here, a “failure of integration” refers lopsidedly to the inability of immigrants to assimilate into local customs and attitudes, consequently retaining markers of social difference that set them apart….

Politicians on the far right are not alone in questioning the civic virtues of French Muslims: they are joined by politicians on the center-right and the left. The media are full of articles questioning the Frenchness of Muslims. Several respected intellectuals have gone so far as to critique Islam or practices some Muslims choose to follow as incompatible with the Republic.

When these shapers of public opinion consistently raise criticisms of Muslims and demand legal action against the headscarf in public primary and secondary schools, universities, and beach areas; against the niqab in public; and against prayer in the streets (which resulted from a lack of prayer space and open hostility at the municipal level to mosque construction), they rarely exhibit any self-awareness that they themselves are standing in the way of the second half of integration.

Monkey Cage, 29 July 2014

Video: Israeli soldiers destroy Gaza mosque, dedicate explosion to dead comrades

3 August, 2014 - 00:32

Givati_Mosque_Gaza_Revenge

The holy warriors of the Givati Brigade in action.:

Video: Israeli soldiers destroy Gaza mosque, dedicate explosion to dead comrades

By Ali Abunimah (Electronic Intifada)

This video uploaded to YouTube on 31 July is titled in Hebrew “Israeli army forces detonate a mosque with 11 tons of explosives.”

The Israeli soldiers apparently from the Givati brigade dedicate the mosque destruction to their fallen comrades and cheer as a massive explosion obliterates it.

“Long live the State of Israel!” a voice exclaims.

According to the narration by the videographer, the detonation took place on 30 July in Khuzaa, which is east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Human rights groups have already condemned Israel’s targeting of civilian homes, hospitals, mosques and other civilian objects as illegal.

This video, which suggests soldiers may have intended to destroy the mosque as a reprisal, could be evidence of a specific war crime that the soldiers documented themselves.

Atrocities in Khuzaa

Khuzaa is an area where Palestinians have still been unable to recover all the bodies of loved ones killed in Israeli attacks.

ITV journalist Rageh Omaar, who visited the area on Friday, found a neighborhood that “had almost been completely obliterated, looking like a post-apolcalyptic scene.”

“The stench of decomposing bodies filled the whole area,” Omaar said, as Palestinians returning to the area for the first time in three weeks during a short-lived “humanitarian ceasefire” began to recover bodies from the ruins.

The Daily Beast’s Jesse Rosenfeld reported that he saw decomposing bodies gathered in a bathroom of a house on the edge of Khuzaa amid “haunting signs of what looks like the summary execution of several Palestinians.”

Dedicated to dead Israeli soldiers

But for the Israeli soldiers destroying Khuzaa, the violence is cause for celebration.

This is the full transcript and translation, by Dena Shunra, of what the videographer says:

Khirbat Khuzaa, 30 July 2014, Operation Tzuk Eitan.

We’re waiting for the explosion of something like eleven tons of explosive above – and below – the ground.

This explosion is dedicated to the memory of the three people from the battalion who have fallen since the beginning of the operation – Amit Yeori of blessed memory, Guy Boylend of blessed memory, and Moshiko Dvino, of blessed memory.

The battalion has been fighting in the operation since it started, under task force 84 – a Givati brigade task force.

In the front you can see the mosque, where there is a shaft of a significant tunnel, which will also be part of the overall explosion that will be audible in a few seconds – throughout the village.

In these moments the commander of the battalion is giving the commands over the communication network of the brigade, the network of the battalion, and in a few seconds an explosion will be heard.

[1:26 - a victory shout is heard, with cheers and applause]

Long live the State of Israel!

Veiled Mona Lisa, Missiles over Big Ben: Israeli War Propaganda Hits New Lows

1 August, 2014 - 19:04

Israeli-embassy-Twitter-images

(h/t: Shawn)

Veiled Mona Lisa, Missiles over Big Ben: Israeli War Propaganda Hits New Lows

By Lior Sternfeld (Informed Comment)

It has been a month since the current war in Gaza started. The number of casualties is beyond our ability to comprehend. Every Israeli or Palestinian that dies breaks not only the heart but also any chance for rapprochement in the foreseeable future. While both sides are attempting to shape public perceptions (and some pro-Palestinian sites err in descending into anti-Semitism or making fruitless analogies to Syria), I want here to make some points about what is distinctive in this war about Israeli “Hasbara” or propaganda.

On the pro-Israel side, the publicity effort crossed a previous red line: outsourcing of the Israeli ‘Hasbara’ (propaganda). Following the spirit that overflowed Israel in the recent decades, the time has come to outsource the propaganda machine. Fox News has never been more popular in Israel, and memes taken from substandard newscasts pop up everywhere on the social media. Organizations such as “Stand with US” and “We Stand with Israel” disseminate false information that serves only to incite people around the world to make a stand against the Palestinians.

The Facebook page of “We Stand with Israel” still shows a picture from a public school in an Arab town in Israel of kids celebrating the miraculous night journey of prophet Mohammad, the caption however takes the photo completely out of context and explain that the kids were actually “rooting” for Hamas. The photo was taken two months before the war erupted and presented as if taken during the fighting. Even after the Israeli Ministry of Education clarified that the caption was taken out of context, this meme was still posted as “revealing the real nature of the Palestinians,” even those live in Israel.

Another active actor is “Ask Dr. Brown.” In the propaganda war, all means are legitimate. This map also went viral on the social media, asking, in English of course: “how did you sleep?” Asking Americans or Europeans how they slept might be addressing the wrong crowd. I would very much like to know how the people in Gaza slept the same night. Make no mistake, being at the risk of having rocket targeting your home is the gravest of all. One who never experienced it will never know. However, can someone really compare the risk of living anywhere in Israel, to the risk of living anywhere in Gaza?

The appeal to a common “Judeo-Christian civilization” became prominent in other media outlets as well. A usually highly professional source, such as NPR interviews on a daily basis speakers for both Palestine and Israel. The Israelis on air are usually U.S. born Israeli diplomats, who speak polished American English, or rather Republican-American English. The Palestinian speakers, no matter how eloquent always have this accent, which in the American popular culture is identified with the villain, hence once again (and I really do not know how intentional it is) signaling the Israelis are just like us. The Palestinians– well, think about it. Dehumanization is a huge part of the problem here.

Yet another campaign portrays cities in the West (London, NY, Paris) attacked by rockets or surprised by tunnels, raising yet again the question: “what would you do?” Is there any way possible to ask this question out of context? Is England currently in territorial dispute with any nation whose land it occupies or shutters its economy? Has NY City imposed a blockade on the civilian population of New Jersey that merited digging tunnels into the city?

Another facet of this out-of-context campaign is showing recognized symbols like the Mona Lisa, or Lady Liberty veiled in an equally recognized Muslim symbols (kafiyeh, green robes, veil), in hopes of associating everyday items in Muslim life with some sort of vague threat. This kind of campaign is even more dangerous than those listed above. This one can be used to fuel Islamophobia and other sectarian tensions in already highly intense times.

The point of this propaganda is aligning the world (i.e. the West) with Israel. Make them understand that we, Israelis, are more like you, Westerners. We are peace-loving people, not like those “animals.” But of course, there are only humans in this conflict, and none are more equal than the others.

Lior Sternfeld has just successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation in History at the University of Texas, Austin

Virginia GOP Official Questions The Contributions Of Muslim Americans

31 July, 2014 - 22:32

Huffington Post

Bob FitzSimmonds, treasurer of the Virginia Republican Party, is coming under fire from local officials for some eyebrow-raising comments he made about Muslims on his Facebook page.

FitzSimmonds said the following in response to President Barack Obama’s statement on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr:

Bob_FitzSimmonds

Virginia Republicans are denouncing FitzSimmonds’ comments.

State Del. David Ramadan (R), whose family is Muslim, told The Washington Post that “if Bob digs deep enough into his roots, he will find his ancestors came to this country looking for religious freedom.”

“Yes, we should thank every loyal patriot American — Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus or any other religions — for their contributions to our United States, the greatest nation ever,” he added.

Del. William Howell (R), the speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, told The Washington Post, “Mr. FitzSimmonds should resign. The comments are reprehensible and not reflective of the values of the commonwealth or its citizens.”

This isn’t the first time FitzSimmonds has made questionable statements.

In November 2012, FitzSimmonds posted on his Facebook page his view that “when Obama is 90 years old and he dies and goes to Hell, he is going to say ‘This is all Bush’s fault.’”

In February 2014, FitzSimmonds used the term “sexist twat” in a conversation about potential female GOP candidates for Congress. It took place, once again, on Facebook.

IDF Sniper David D. Ovadia Admits to Killing 13 Children in Gaza, Says, “Your Next Fucking Muslims”

31 July, 2014 - 22:23

These are real war crimes we are talking about people. Horrific:

David_Ovadia

Counter Current News

An Instagram post by an Israel Defense Forces sniper boasts of murdering 13 Gazan children in one day. An IDF Combat Engineering Corps Soldier, specifically, David D. Ovadia posed with a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle.

Ovadia posted his comments on the Instagram account of Palestinian Sherrii ElKaderi.

The image was quickly screen captured in case Ovadia came to his senses and realized that he could be prosecuted for his admission of war crimes. It is unclear and perhaps unlikely that the Barrett was used in the commission of such crimes, as this weapon is usually reserved for the best of the best marksmen. In any event, Ovadia is in active deployment and openly confesses to killing Gazan civilian children. While not specifying what weapon he used, the posting of himself with the .50 caliber rifle was obviously meant to be visually intimidating to Palestinians.

In the mean time, while more information is gathered on Ovadia, the “hacktivist” group “Anonymous” took control of his Instagram account, deleting it entirely. For “good measure” Anonymous sources said that they hacked the websites of the Mossad intelligence agency in Israel “for the brave IDF Sniper”, in reference to Ovadia. By 11:30, they had taken down the Israeli Ministry of Defense as well, and similarly attributed it as a response to Ovadia’s confessions.

If you agree that Ovadia’s admission of war crimes against Gazan children needs to be FRONT PAGE NEWS, share this with someone you know who cares!

Oklahoma School Film Blames Muslims For Oklahoma City Bombing

31 July, 2014 - 02:42

Oklahoma_City

By Mooneye

Jenks Freshman Academy, an Oklahoma school, has shown students in history class a “History Channel” film titled “Conspiracy: Oklahoma City Bombing.” Adam Soltani, director of CAIR-Oklahoma, was tipped off to the showing by a concerned parent.

Soltani viewed the “documentary” which largely blames Muslims for the 1995 bombing perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, Soltani writes,

Unfortunately, the film that is an approved selection in Jenks schools’ media library was little more than a hate-filled video that goes to extreme lengths to drag the blame for one of the most tragic events in Oklahoma history onto Islam and Muslims.

The video in question is currently being reviewed by Jenks’ school officials, however, by not immediately pulling the video from their shelves, the school administration is missing the point.

There is no question that this video should be pulled from the shelves. What kind of school in its right mind would air shows from the “History Channel?” The History Channel is well-known to be light on actual history and heavy on hearsay, UFO abductions, Bible codes and all around goofy/faulty history-telling.

The idea that Muslims were the real masterminds behind the Oklahoma City Bombing mirrors what disgraced journalist turned “terror expert” Steven Emerson claimed at the time, when he infamously stated that it had “a Middle Eastern trait.” Since then conspiracies claiming Iraqi secret agents covertly sent by Saddam Hussein used the easily duped, poor little McVeigh and Nichols for the attack have infested Far-Right Tea Party sites, such as Accuracy in Media and the ironically named American Thinker.

In the recent past we have seen concerted campaigns by right-wing, Islamophobic organizations such as ACT! For America, The Eagle Forum and Charles Jacobs’s Americans for Peace and Tolerance attempt to challenge, expunge and or edit-in their prejudiced views of Islam and Muslims into history and social studies texts.

The case in Oklahoma, while not directly related to those campaigns, highlights what may be a serious problem and requires further investigation. What exactly are schools teaching their children about Islam and Muslims? How many are teaching them, as in this instance, that Muslims are nefarious evil-doers who are behind all acts of terrorism?

Hopefully this glaring issue is resolved quickly and children can learn real, solid history and not be indoctrinated by just another sensationalist History Channel documentary that doesn’t deserve the dignity of being watched in a school classroom.

One last note is that there is an actual conspiracy revolving around the Oklahoma City Bombings that has recently been in the news and it has to do with the possible cover-up of evidence by the FBI, leading some to believe others were involved,

A Salt Lake City attorney is arguing in a lawsuit that the FBI has video of the Oklahoma City bombing that shows a second person was involved.

The case is at the heart of Jesse Trentadue’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago, which has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the deadly 1995 blast.

What some consider a far-flung conspiracy theory is at the forefront of his Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI that goes to trial Monday.

Trentadue says the agency won’t release security camera videos that show a second person was with Timothy McVeigh when he parked a truck outside the Oklahoma City federal building and detonated a bomb, killing 168 people. The government claims McVeigh was alone.

Unsatisfied by the FBI’s previous explanations, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups has ordered the agency to explain why it can’t find videos from the bombing that are mentioned in evidence logs, citing the public importance of the tapes.

Somewhat callously, the FBI has responded by saying it would be “burdensome” to search for the video,

The FBI says it can’t find anything to suggest the videos exist, and says it would be “unreasonably burdensome” to do a search that would take a single staff person more than 18 months to conduct.

This all sounds suspicious and raises many questions but the conspiracy about Iraqi involvement is a concoction from the fevered imagination of the right that has no relationship to these facts.

Hate Crime Cops Investigating Anti-Muslim Fliers Distributed In Bath Beach Apartment Building

30 July, 2014 - 20:19

muslim-flier Hate Crime Cops Investigating Anti-Muslim Fliers Distributed In Bath Beach Apartment Building

(Bensonhurst Bean)

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes unit is looking to identify the person who distributed anti-Muslim fliers in at least one of the Shore Haven apartment buildings near Cropsey Avenue and 21st Avenue in Bath Beach, according to Councilman Mark Treyger’s office.

The fliers were found throughout the building this week, showing a hateful message calling Muslims “the second holocaust” and claims “USA hates you”. There is what appears to be a woman in a burka inside a “No” symbol, and there is also an abundance of exclamation points.

“I am disgusted and saddened to hear of this hateful act in our community. There is absolutely no place for this type of hatred, especially in a city and borough as diverse and tolerant as ours. My thanks to the 62nd Precinct for their quick response and thorough investigation of this heinous act,” said Treyger in a statement. “I will continue to work closely with the NYPD and entire community so those responsible for spreading hate will held accountable and I urge anyone with information to come forward. It is my belief that an act of hate against one group is an act of hate against our entire community. The bottom line is there is no room in this day and age for these attacks against any member of our community.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

The above photo was shared by Twitter user @TakeOnHate.

Army rabbi exhorted “God’s army” before they massacred Palestinians in Shujaiya

30 July, 2014 - 05:33

Rontzki Army rabbi exhorted “God’s army” before they massacred Palestinians in Shujaiya

By Ben White (Electronic Intifada)

Prominent settler and former Israeli army chief rabbi Avichai Rontzki delivered a “messianic, fiery speech” to Israeli forces prior to the devastating massacre of the Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya, it was revealed today.

An account of the speech appears in a new piece by Nahum Barnea, a prominent journalist at Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, and is based on remarks made by a soldier present at the time.

The soldier related that before their invasion of Shujaiya, troops were gathered to “listen to the words” of Rontzki, who “praised the miracle of God’s army.” According to an article last week in Kipa, a religious-Zionist oriented news site, Rontzki has been performing reserve duty and “encouraging the combatants on the ground.”

The Electronic Intifada has already reported on the phenomenon of groups of Jewish mystics offering support to the Israeli forces currently shelling Gaza, as well as the Israeli army commander who declared “holy war” on Palestinians.

“Damned”

The anonymous soldier in Barnea’s article also recounts a similar event prior to the Shujaiya massacre:

We got close to Kibbutz Nahal Oz and then they gathered us together. You know how it is in the army – when told to gather, you gather. Waiting for us was a bunch of Breslev Hasidic Jews singing “Messiah, Messiah,” dancing and bouncing around. We formed a circle around them, and a bunch of fighters danced with them in ecstasy

Israel’s ground assault on the Gaza Strip began late on Thursday 17 July, with tanks receiving orders “to open fire at anything that moved.”  Over the next few days, the Shujaiya district of Gaza City was subjected to intense and indiscriminate bombardment, including 600 shells fired by an artillery battalion and 100 one-ton bombs dropped from the air.

Rontzki’s speech to Israeli soldiers recalls his time as Israeli army chief rabbi, when, in 2009, he told religious students that troops who “show mercy” towards the enemy in wartime will be “damned.” During Israel’s so-called “Operation Cast Lead” massacre in 2008-09, the army rabbinate under his leadership distributed inflammatory publications that referred to the massacre as “a war on murderers.”

Rontzki was one of the founding members of Itamar, a fanatical Israeli settlement colony near Nablus, where has also led a yeshiva, or religious seminary.

Israel now, Ireland next: Dublin embassy in propaganda pics storm

29 July, 2014 - 23:41

Israeli-embassy-Twitter-images Israel now, Ireland next: Dublin embassy in propaganda pics storm

An Israeli spokesman has confirmed that offensive images featuring European national icons were sent from his embassy’s official social media accounts.

Dublin was not the only city to come into the Israeli propaganda sights. A montage of pictures also showed the Mona Lisa in Paris wearing a niqab and carrying a rocket launcher. Michaelangelo’s David was shown in Arab headgear and wired up as a suicide bomber with a warning to Italy, while Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid was shown holding a gun.

The Israel In Ireland Facebook and Twitter accounts have been blasted for sharing the series of controversial posts.

An embassy spokesman told the Irish Sun: “Yes they were sent from the official Facebook but they were taken down, I don’t know why. Often things get deleted for space reasons but it wasn’t taken down because of any complaints.”

But disgusted online viewers called on the Government to take decisive action.

One said: “Feckin’ Facebook has taken more action against Israel in Ireland than our own Govt! Useless, spineless cowards. Further disgusting imagery from the Israeli Embassy in Ireland @IsraelinIreland.” Another fumed: “A disgusting piece of propaganda incitement attempt by @IsraelinIreland – embassy in Dublin. Simply disgusting. #GazaUnderAttack.”

The Israeli Embassy in Ireland has been slammed for previous outrageous social network posts. In December 2012, it was forced to remove a Facebook update which suggested that if Jesus lived in the modern world he would “probably end up being lynched in Bethlehem by hostile Palestinians”.

More than 1,050 Palestinians, 43 Israeli soldiers, two civilians and a Thai migrant worker have died as rockets and shells have flown across the Israeli Gaza border since July 8.

Sinn Fein foreign affairs spokesman Sean Crowe was shocked by the latest images. He said: “On one hand it’s childish and lacks maturity, but when you consider 1,050 people have been killed, it’s wrong to be making light of the situation.

“This is such a sensitive time, you would think an embassy would treat it as such and would send out messages of reconciliation, not fan the flames. I can’t understand why anyone would take time to post stuff like this.”

Irish Sun, 28 July 2014

Anger as Islamic charity with Bradford base has its bank account shut down

29 July, 2014 - 23:32

Ummah-Welfare-Trust-2

Muslim Americans have also been experiencing their bank accounts being shutdown without justification.

Anger as Islamic charity with Bradford base has its bank account shut down

An Islamic charity with a base in Bradford has been told that its bank account is being shut down, although it has yet to be told why. Now Bradford West MP George Galloway says he will “demand” to know the reason that HSBC has decided to shut the account of the Ummah Welfare Trust.

The registered charity, which has an office on Manningham Lane, believes HSBC has taken the action because some of the money it collects goes towards humanitarian projects in Palestine. It was this week given notice that its accounts were being shut in two months’ time. Although the account closure is not expected to hit the charity too hard, members feel it was morally wrong, and are calling for a boycott of the bank.

The trust had its account with Barclays bank shut in 2008.

Shoyeb Mayat, of the Bradford office, said: “We have no idea why they made this decision. We are in the middle of our busiest time for donations. During Ramadan we get 70 per cent of the donations we get each year.”

The group provides emergency relief in 20 countries across the world, including Pakistan, Palestine and India. It said the money goes towards providing medicine and grants to vulnerable people and children whose families have been killed or injured.

Mohammed Ahmed, one of the charity’s trustees, said: “From a commercial perspective it doesn’t make sense because charities like us are some of the most stable customers. We do have alternate banking in place, so this won’t effect our operations but we find it quite offensive that a bank would go out of its way to do this to a legitimate charity.”

Respect MP Mr Galloway said: “I will be contacting HSBC and asking them to reinstate the Ummah accounts and to demand to know the reasons why they want to terminate them. I’ll bet this doesn’t happen to any Jewish or Israeli charities. I will also be raising questions in the House about this and hopefully I all get together with the officers of Ummah over the weekend.”

A statement from HSBC said: “We are not able to comment on any customer relationship. In general terms, decisions to end a customer relationship are not taken lightly, but are absolutely not based on the race or religion of a customer. Discrimination against customers on grounds of race or religion is immoral, unacceptable and illegal, and HSBC has comprehensive rules and policies in place to ensure race or religion are never factors in banking decisions.”

A spokesman for the Charity Commission said: “This is an independent business decision made by the bank. Neither the charity or the Charity Commission are aware of the reason for this action. The Charity Commission’s regulatory concern is ensuring that another provider is identified, the charity can still operate and funds are not at risk. We remain in contact with the charity.”

Telegraph & Argus, 28 July 2014

See also “HSBC issues notice to Ummah Welfare Trust to shut down account”, 5 Pillarz, 24 July 2014

“Concern at closure of Ummah Welfare Trust bank account”, Muslim Charities Forum, 25 July 2014

And “HSBC to close bank account of Muslim charity working in Gaza”, Civil Society, 25 July 2014

Crisis in Britain First – Dowson quits, Golding calls off mosque invasions

28 July, 2014 - 01:32

Britain-First-Thank-You-James Crisis in Britain First – Dowson quits, Golding calls off mosque invasions

Jim Dowson, the brains (and money) behind the far-right Britain First group, has resigned from the organisation and indeed from political life generally.

In a rambling resignation letter posted on the Britain First website, Dowson announces “my retirement from all political activities forthwith and my withdrawal from Britain First with immediate effect”, a decision that he attributes to “recent political and personal events and family health issues”.

In an accompanying statement, Britain First asserts that the state “persecution” Dowson has suffered in Northern Ireland has been exacerbated by a media campaign instigated by Hope Not Hate (described, bizarrely, as “the biggest far-Left group in the country”) that has sought to “portray James as the ‘evil genius’ behind the ‘far right’ in Britain”.

But another of Dowson’s motivations for leaving the organisation would appear to be his disapproval of the “mosque invasions” that Britain First has been carrying out over the past few months:

“The media have put him under enormous pressure recently regarding our invasions of mosques across Britain and understandably this has forced Jim to distance himself from these activities, notwithstanding the fact that these mosque invasions have cause considerable exposure of issues such as Muslim female genital mutilation, second class treatment of women, extremism and grooming gangs.”

Even Dowson, it seems, is embarrassed to be associated with a gang of thugs who think it’s brave to barge into places of worship and harass elderly Muslims.

Judging by his letter, Dowson regards such stunts as a poor substitute for addressing “the root cause of our Nation’s demise”, which he identifies as a declining birthrate that has “left indigenous Britain an aging and dying country”, along with the “destruction of the family unit”, all brought about by “the liberal secularization this nation has suffered through the rise of atheist socialism these past 50 years otherwise known as ‘cultural Marxism’”.

Dowson adds: “Of course militant Islam is a threat to our future, we know that but Britain First was set up to tackle ALL the major issues that affect our people not just militant Islam. Even if every single Muslim left the UK tomorrow we would still be utterly doomed as a nation and a people.”

Shortly after publishing Dowson’s resignation letter, Britain First chairman Paul Golding uploaded a video in which he declares that Britain First has suspended its “tremendously successful” mosque invasion campaign and will be moving on to other things, including a return to its so-called “Christian patrols“.

Golding concludes with the upbeat assurance that “we’re going to get bigger and more successful”. With Dowson no longer around to bankroll the organisation, you’d have to say that sounds over-optimistic.

Update:  See “Britain First founder quits over MOSQUE INVASIONS which attract ‘racists and extremists’”, Daily Mirror, 27 July 2014

Dowson told the Mirror: “No matter how many times I told him [Golding] I did not want decent Muslims intimidated, he just continued doing it. I have come to the conclusion that no matter how hard I tried, you cannot escape from the fact that the group is being overrun with racists and extremists. I think he is fooling himself and lots of people that Britain First is a Christian group. Sadly, it has just become a violent front for people abusing the Bible. I think they’re becoming as much a problem as Anjem Choudary who they claim to oppose. They are just as bad as each other.”

Muslims should be treated the same as Hitler, DFer says

27 July, 2014 - 02:11

Mogens Camre Muslims should be treated the same as Hitler, DFer says

Mogens Camre, a Dansk Folkeparti politician who is a member of the Gladsaxe city council, tweeted recently that when it comes to persecuting Jews, Muslims in Europe have “picked up where Hitler left off, and only the same treatment that Hitler received will change the situation.”

Camre said that it is “obvious” that Muslims are persecuting Jews in Europe. “You also have an imam in Aarhus, calling for the killing of Jews and an extraordinary situation in Norway where the Norwegian police are armed to the teeth and patrolling the streets in front of parliament and at the borders,” Camre told DR Nyheder.

Camre said that he did not mean that every Muslim is persecuting Jews and that he didn’t have room to explain himself fully in his Tweet. “It is not every Muslim,” he said. “There is limited space in a tweet, but there are Muslims persecuting Jews in the major cities.”

Camre believes that Muslims pose a real threat. “People who attack democracy, must of course be defeated,” he said. “Those who repeatedly threaten holy war against the West must be defeated.”

Camre has been in hot water before because of anti-Muslim rhetoric. He was charged with racism in 2002 for saying that Muslims are just “waiting to kill us”.

Copenhagen Post, 25 July 2014

Camre has been backed by DF foreign affairs spokesman Søren Espersen, who stated that Camre “hasn’t said anything that isn’t right”.

Mogens Camre Hitler tweet

Right-wing rabbi’s ruling: Israel may totally destroy Gaza if necessary

25 July, 2014 - 00:25

Dov_Lior Right-wing rabbi’s ruling: Israel may totally destroy Gaza if necessary

(Haaretz)

Dov Lior, the rabbi of the settlement of Kiryat Arba, has issued a religious ruling permitting the total destruction of Gaza if Israel’s military leaders deem it necessary.

Lior is considered one of the more extreme rabbis on the religious right. In his ruling, he wrote that the Torah also teaches Jews how to act during wartime. In any war in which the people are under attack they are permitted to fight back against the nation from which the attackers come, he wrote.

“Therefore, in a time of war, the attacked nation is permitted to punish the enemy population with whatever measures it deems proper, like blocking supplies or electricity. It may bomb the entire area based on the judgment of the war minister and not wantonly put soldiers at risk,” Lior wrote, adding that “deterrent measures to exterminate the enemy” were allowed.

“The defense minister may even order the destruction of Gaza so that the south should no longer suffer, and to prevent harm to members of our people who have long been suffering from the enemies surrounding us,” he wrote.

After the ruling was published, the head of a left-wing party, Meretz’s Zahava Gal-On, asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to launch an investigation.

“Rabbi Dov Lior’s racist comments long ago lost the protection of the right to free expression,” Gal-On wrote to Weinstein. “These remarks follow his racist comments through the years, among them his many comments before the murder of [Yitzhak] Rabin and support for Baruch Goldstein,” the man who gunned down 29 Muslim worshippers in Hebron in 1994.

Middlesbrough football fans banned for life after Koran was used as confetti at away match

24 July, 2014 - 21:54

Love-Boro-Hate-Racism Middlesbrough football fans banned for life after Koran was used as confetti at away match

Boro have banned three fans for life for their part in a Koran ripping incident at an away match.

Six supporters were originally given temporary bans from The Riverside after the 2-2 draw at Birmingham City in December. West Midlands Police investigated claims pages of the Islamic text had been thrown in the air and three fans were later charged.

The club was unable to confirm which supporters it has banned for life.

A spokesman told The Gazette: “Middlesbrough Football Club has banned three fans for life following an incident at Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s Stadium on December 7 2013 in which a copy of the Koran was ripped up. Another two supporters have been banned for 12 months and a sixth fan remains suspended while he remains out of the country.”

Julie Phillips, 50, and Gemma Parkin, 18, from Middlesbrough, were found guilty of committing a religiously aggravated public order offence by magistrates in May. Phillips, of Kenmore Road, Netherfields, and Parkin, of Kimberley Drive, Pallister Park, were both fined and ordered to pay costs. Boro season ticket holder Mark Stephenson, of Napoleon Drive, Shrewsbury, pleaded guilty to causing racial or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and was fined £235.

The three were not issued with football banning orders by the court which would have prevented them from entering any ground in the country, but Boro have now taken their own action after reviewing evidence provided by Birmingham City.

Phillips, a Middlesbrough Council employee, told the court she only found out the book was the Koran when she was questioned by police after stewards saw what was happening. “I was mortified,” she said. “Very ashamed and disgusted in myself. It was just a book of some sort, I can’t remember if the cover was on. It was just white paper.”

Parkin said she took the Koran into St Andrew’s after she was handed it at Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market. She claimed not to have looked at the book, saying she had no idea it was the Koran. She said Stephenson, a purchasing manager, took the book from her bag before it was “turned into confetti”. “Everyone else was ripping it up so I just ripped it,” Parkin told the court.

Magistrates described her account as “unbelievable”.

A Birmingham steward told the court he heard chants about Muslims and the Koran as the book was passed around and ripped up. He later followed Phillips and Parkin and pointed them out to police officers after the match ended.

During his court case, Stephenson said he was “shocked and appalled” by his actions.

In the aftermath of the incident, Boro fans’ group Red Faction organised a Love Boro Hate Racism march.

Boro are next due to visit St Andrew’s on February 14.

Evening Gazette, 24 July 2014

India: Modi’s Ally in Shiv Sena Force Feed Fasting Muslim Staff

23 July, 2014 - 22:53

Shiv_Sena_Ramzan_Ramadan Anger, apology over Shiv Sena MPs’ Ramzan bullying

(HindustanTimes)

Video footage of a Shiv Sena MP forcing a fasting Muslim worker to eat at a state guest house triggered outrage in Parliament and social media on Wednesday, but the government said the allegations were unsubstantiated.

Opposition parties demanded action as television channels showed footage of the Thane MP, Rajan Vichare, apparently upset over the poor quality of food, thrusting a chapati into the Maharashtra Sadan catering supervisor’s mouth. The employee, who had his name tag on his shirt, was seen pleading with Vichare and 10 other Shiv Sena MPs to excuse him as he was fasting.

Two MPs almost came to blows in the Lok Sabha and parliament was adjourned over the incident, which is a huge political embarrassment for the ruling coalition as the Shiv Sena is a part of the National Democratic Alliance.

Read: Muslims say outraged by Shiv Sena MP’s action, demand his arrest

BJP member Ramesh Bidhuri and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi faced off as union heavy industries minister Anant Geete defended his party MPs. “Those who want to respect the month of Ramzan should not make false statements in the house … the Congress is trying to tarnish the image of the Narendra Modi government,” Geete said.

Pandemonium broke as South Delhi MP Bidhuri rushed to the well of the house, shouting at opposition members. Owaisi said Bidhuri charged at him shouting, “Muslims should go to Pakistan and even gestured to cut down them to pieces.”

Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, who tried to calm frayed tempers, said the government did not approve of Bidhuri’s actions and asked him to apologise.

However, Naidu insisted the allegations against the Sena MP had to be verified. “We are dealing with a sensitive issue … Don’t try to raise communal passions. Nobody knows the truth. Whether the incident has happened or not, we are not sure,” Naidu said.

The BJP did not issue a formal statement condemning the allegations against its largest alliance partner. BJP patriarch LK Advani was the only senior party leader to comment on the controversy.  “It was wrong,” he said.

Sena MPs initially denied the incident which was reported by Indian Express. But as the video footage went viral, Vichare finally apologised. “I came to know that the employee was a Muslim only after seeing TV footage and I regret it,” he said. He added that he was only trying to draw the attention of authorities to the poor quality of food served at Maharashtra Sadan.

Several opposition members wrote to the Lok Sabha Speaker demanding an inquiry into the incident which they said was an “attack on secularism”.

“We would request you to uphold the dignity of the house by ordering an inquiry … so that such wanton behaviour is no longer repeated,” they wrote.

The National Commission for Minorities said it would probe the matter following a complaint by activist Shehzad Poonawala.

Angry Muslims demanded the suspension and arrest of the MPs. “What is more shocking is Parliament took the matter lightly. What can we expect in the Modi government,” said Zafarul Islam Khan of the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat.

Read: Opposition MPs write to speaker Mahajan, seek probe

Read: I didn’t know he is a Muslim, says Shiv Sena MP

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