Well known Kahanist ideologue and former member of the terrorist JDL organization, Dov Hikind has been criticized for donning blackface for Purim.Black Leaders Call For Blackface Assemblyman To Resign From Leadership Post
Dov Hikind‘s apology for donning blackface at a party in his Brooklyn home is falling on deaf ears, as Black leaders intensify their criticism of the assemblyman, the Gothamist reports.
Led by Assemblywoman Inez Barron, a group of African American leaders and other public officials gathered in from of City Hall in New York City Tuesday to lambaste Hikind. Barron began her attack on Hikind by criticizing his vocal support of racial profiling.
“Dov Hikind’s latest antic is another reveal of who Dov Hikind really is,” Barron said. “His assertion that he did not know that appearing in blackface is offensive to black people is incredulous… Mr. Hikind, your egregious behavior is shameful, degrading, unacceptable and unworthy of a leadership position.“
Barron’s husband, City Councilman Charles Barron, went as far as saying that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Speaker Sheldon Silver should remove Hikind from his position as Assistant Majority Leader. “His inability to repent, to generally repent and ‘get it,’ is another problem,” Barron said. “The governor needs to say something, and we need to go beyond condemnation verbally.”
Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg sided with Barron when the City Councilman asked him to comment on Hikind. “This time, we agree,” he responded.
SEE ALSO: The Blackest White Folks We Know
Conrad Tillard, a minister at the Nazarene Congregational Church of Christ in Bedford-Stuyvesant, said that Hikind’s actions were inexcusable.
“The NAACP…fought against ‘blackface’ in the ’20s and ’30s,” he said. “For an elected public official to feel comfortable not only dressing in blackface but defending his actions is an outrage that says to me that the dignity of African-American people is under attack. As a clergyperson, I am here to say that we will defend our dignity. We will not allow public officials, corporations or anyone else to demean or deprive us of the dignity that we deserve.”
At first, Hikind was very dismissive of the outcry directed at him over his decision to wear blackface, a form of theatrical makeup that has a well-documented history of mocking African Americans during minstrel shows for more than 100 years. On Monday, he took to his blog to post his initial response to the outcry:
Hikind said he wore the makeup during a party in which he and other attendees celebrated the Jewish holiday Purim.
In an interview with the New York Times, Hikind said he was shocked that people would be so offended by the costume.
“My wife, you saw the picture, she was the devil,” Mr. Hikind said. “Believe me, she’s not the devil.”
“A lot of people just don’t realize, on Purim, in a sense, forgive me for saying this, you do crazy stuff,” he added. “It’s not done, God forbid, to laugh, to mock, to hurt, to pain anyone.”
Though, when you read the definition of Purim, it says nothing about offending people and doing “crazy stuff.” According to Judaism 101, “Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination.”
Moreover, the spirit of the holiday, as it is explained above, falls oddly out of step with comments he made to the AP regarding racial profiling–especially when looking for terrorist suspects. Watch the video below:
Bail was set at $20,000 cash or bond yesterday for a Hoboken man charged with bias intimidation and robbery in an incident in which he allegedly called a cabbie a terrorist and knocked off his turban.
Thomas A. Arevalo, 29, of Church Towers, is also charged with harassment in the incident outside Church Towers on Dec. 15 at 12:54 p.m. Arevalo's lawyer, John McGovern of Newark, said the allegations are untrue.
The victim told police that during the trip to Church Towers, Arevalo repeatedly asked him if he was Muslim and he said he was not, but finally said he was a Muslim to end the conversation, the report says. That's when Arevalo said "You're a f-- terrorist," the report says.
At Church Towers, the cabbie told Arevalo the fare, which originated in New York, was $73 and Arevalo handed him a crumpled ball of money containing $25, the report says. The driver got out to stop Arevalo from entering the building and told police Arevalo knocked off his turban and repeatedly punched him, cutting his nose, the report says.
Bullitt County residents applaud rejection of cemetery planRarely has a simple 10-acre tract of land so united a community.
But the staunch opposition to a proposed Islamic cemetery near the eastern edge of Mount Washington wasn't as uncomplicated as it appeared.
Strongly voiced objections on religious grounds were numerous at a recent meeting of the county board of adjustments, but they were hardly the only reasons residents on and around Hubbard Lane wanted to stop the plan.
Last Friday it was reported that City University in London had locked the room used by Muslim students for Friday prayers, having asked the organisers to let them screen Friday sermons, which they refused. The University claimed that it needed to be satsfied of the “appropriateness” of sermons at what are authorised campus events and had, according to the Huffington Post:
“repeatedly” asked the students leading the Friday prayers to work with the university’s Imam to “ensure that the process for selecting students is transparent and that the content of sermons is made known to the University in advance and is freely available afterwards for those unable to attend”.
The university’s spokesperson added: “Despite repeated requests and assurances, the information from those students leading Friday prayers was not forthcoming. Whilst this was a disappointment, the university could not continue to condone an activity taking place on its premises where it cannot exercise reasonable supervision.”
The University has also published a list of other places supposedly nearby where Muslim students could pray Friday prayers. The Muslim students affected have formed a group called Muslim Voices on Campus and have responded: “when you start submitting your sermons to be monitored and scrutinised then there’s a chance for it to be dictated what’s allowed and what’s not allowed”.
As the media reports say, concerns about the content of Friday sermons given out at City University (and a number of other British universities) were raised by the Quilliam group in a report titled “Radicalisation on British University Campuses”. Usama Hasan of the same group told the BBC that there had been “quite a vicious and nasty history”, involving the university’s Islamic Society being led by a confrontational group of Wahhabis during the 2009-10 academic year which had caused a lot of problems for both other Muslims and other students in general that year. However, that was more than two years ago, and student society leaderships change every year. The BBC said in their report that they had seen no evidence of similar events since, which raises the question of why the university has suddenly closed the prayer room now.
The University has also made mention of its own imam, which raises the question of why he is not leading the Friday prayers himself. The man is one Shaikh Musa Admani, who previously worked at London Metropolitan University, and a Google search for his name reveals that, although he studied at Deobandi religious schools in India, there is very little by him which is unrelated to the matter of campus extremism. There is very little about his history other than he was a chaplain at London Metropolitan University until 2011, and more recently at City, and various conferences he has spoken at on extremism and inter-faith issues and occasions where he has told the media about radicals on campus, but no evidence of him having worked as a straightforward imam at any mosque in the UK or indeed anywhere else. This could explain why people want to have a Friday prayer without him as the imam.
The university has also provided a guide to places supposedly nearby where students can perform Friday prayers. It should be added that a Friday prayer is only valid if offered in a publicly accessible place, so if only students or university staff can get to the prayer room, it is not a suitable place for Friday prayer anyway. However, the nearest mosque is a small one in Holborn, which is 20 minutes’ walk away and currently has three Friday prayers; the nearest full-size mosque is the Suleymaniye in Dalston, which at the most direct route is 30 minutes’ walk away, although it is run by the Turkish community and last time I prayed there, its sermons were all in Turkish which most British Muslims do not speak. Whether either mosque could accommodate all the Muslim students from City as well as their current congregation is unclear (although Suleymaniye is quite large). The nearest Asian-run mosque is Brick Lane, also more than 30 minutes’ walk away. The case for a properly-run public Friday prayer at the University itself is quite strong, then, although the college really should recruit someone with more authority in the community than Admani.
To a certain extent, the university is right to be concerned that the content of the sermon is not inflammatory or threatening, either to sections of the Muslim community or to people outside it. There are certain aspects of Islamic teaching that have no relevance in a country where we are not dominant; there are aspects that are simply not appropriate for a sermon on a mixed campus, and such sermons have often had far more of this material than sermons in proper mosques. The college has a responsibility to make sure everyone on campus is safe, and has no responsibility to act as a recruiting ground for every ridiculous ideology going. Parents who are funding their sons’ and daughters’ education (and a fair proportion of the students will be funded this way) have a right to expect that they will not be intimidated, turned against them or significantly distracted from their studies. Islamic societies are meant to maintain a prayer area and library, provide food for iftar in Ramadan, and the occasional lecture or other religious gathering, and Muslim students have a right to expect that if they pay subs to the Islamic society, it will not take on an overly sectarian character and be heavily biased against them.
So, prayer facilities are a necessity if there is a large Muslim student population and campus Friday prayers have become a part of university life in many British universities. If there is a known problem with the Islamic Society giving out inflammatory sermons, the university should hire a reputable imam (of which there are plenty in the UK) and organise the prayers in a hall that is open to the general public. If not, they should let the society get on with its business.
US Troops Attacked Afghan Hospital Before
Troops Stormed Clinic, Destroyed Medical Equipmentby Jason Ditz US officials continue to feign shock at the decision to ban special forces from the Wardak Province of Afghanistan, but as details of their behavior in the province continue to emerge, the only wonder is that they managed to operate for so long without such a banning.
The latest information comes from the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), which has reported that US troops once again attacked one of their hospitals earlier this month, in the Wardak Province, damaging the site and breaking equipment before eventually leaving.
This was the second time that clinic had been attacked by the US in recent months, and the exact same facility was the site of a two and a half day siege in October in which US troops inexplicably occupied the facility and took every patient and civilian within prisoner, before eventually releasing them all and leaving.
The US has an extremely poor history with respect to the Geneva Convention protections of remote hospitals, and had attacked a different SCA hospital in 2009, smashing the site up and ordering the doctors not to treat anybody else until they had reported their names to the NATO occupation forces.
NATO confirmed the most recent attack on the hospital, insisting it was carried out “in conjunction with Afghan forces” and that they had “compensated” the owners of the building for any damage caused.
Is the US maintaining death squads and torture militias in Afghanistan?
Afghan President Hamid Karzai and local residents insist that the answer is yes
In 2010, as WikiLeaks published hundreds of thousands of classified documents relating to the conduct of the US government, government defenders dismissively claimed that they revealed nothing new. Among the many documents disproving that claim were ones relating to a US policy in Iraq set forth in “Frago 242″, which ordered coalition troops not to stop or even investigate torture and other war crimes by the Iraqi forces they were training, but simply to “note” them.
And note them they did: the logs record thousands of cases of Iraqi forces severely beating, brutalizing and torturing Iraqi civilians while US forces, with rare exception, did nothing to stop it (when the documents were released, the Guardian detailed just some of the illustrative cases). As the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder wrote at the time, the documents contain “incredibly awful reports of systematized detainee abuse by Iraqi soldiers and security forces right under the noses of the American-led coalition, which appears to have had virtually no incentive to put a stop to them” (as usual, these documents were classified not to safeguard US national security but rather to conceal bad and embarrassing acts on the part of the US government: that is why it is not hard to understand why the US government is so aggressive about punishing Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and other whistleblowers and journalists who expose these secrets).
In Afghanistan on Sunday, President Hamid Karzai alleged that the US is doing something much worse: not merely standing by and watching their trained forces torture and kill, but actively and systematically participating. As the Guardian’s Golnar Motevalli reported:
“The Afghan government has ordered US special forces to leave one of Afghanistan’s most restive provinces, Maidan Wardak, after receiving reports from local officials claiming that the elite units had been involved in the torture and disappearance of Afghan civilians. . . .
“The provincial governor and other officials from Maidan Wardak presented evidence against US forces at the national security council meeting. The presidential palace later issued a statement saying: ‘After a thorough discussion, it became clear that armed individuals named as US special forces stationed in Wardak province engage in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people.
“‘A recent example in the province is an incident in which nine people were disappeared in an operation by this suspicious force and in a separate incident a student was taken away at night from his home, whose tortured body with throat cut was found two days later under a bridge,’ the statement added” . . . .
“Aimal Faizi, spokesman for Karzai, said the decision came after of months of reports of abuse.
“‘People have been complaining about US special forces units torturing people, killing people in that province, and nine individuals were taken from their homes recently and they have just disappeared and no one knows where they have gone,’ Faizi said.”
Since Sunday, the New York Times’ Matthew Rosenberg has written two detailed articles on these events. On Monday, he noted that the Karzai spokesman specifically cited “a raid on a village on 13 February, when American troops and Afghans working with them detained a veterinary student. ‘His dead body was found three days later in the area under a bridge,” the spokesman said.” This morning, Rosenberg noted that the student was actually beheaded.
Motevalli noted that “US military officials have rejected the allegations”. Rosenberg also notes that military officials express bewilderment over the allegation that these abuses are being “committed by Afghan irregulars who worked with elite American forces” and that “some Afghan officials believe the suspects are part of a force whose existence has been kept secret by the Americans.” And a NATO spokesman said that it was unable to confirm past claims of torture on the part of their Afghan forces.
But there’s no question, as Rosenberg notes, that “throughout the war,the United States military and the CIA have organized and trained clandestine militias. A number still operate, and remain beyond the knowledge or control of the Afghan government.” Recall that the CIA got caught making payments for years to Karzai’s suspected drug-running brother, Ahmed, “for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the CIA’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar”. These are the US-controlled militias, beyond the authority of the Afghan government, on which the US intends to rely if and when it “withdraws” from that country.
It may very well be that US military officials are telling the truth when they claim they are not involved with these specific units, but that the Afghan grievances are completely accurate. That is because, as Rosenberg explains:
“One possibility that would match the descriptions of attackers offered by local Afghan officials and, at the same time, exclude American military forces would be that the suspects were working with the Central Intelligence Agency, whose operatives run militias in a number of provinces. A spokesman for the CIA refused to comment on the issue.
“One senior Afghan official said it was possible: Afghans, he said, make no distinction between military-type outfits. Americans with weapons, high-end gear and facial hair were ‘all special forces. It’s a phrase that catches all.’”
What is absolutely certain is that what Rosenberg calls the “aggressive tactics” of US special forces have previously “resulted in abuses, and attempted cover-ups” of exactly the type being alleged now.
As but one illustrative example: in 2010, as I wrote at the time, US forces in the Paktia Province, after surrounding a home where a celebration of a new birth was taking place, shot dead two male civilians (government officials) who exited the house in order to inquire why they had been surrounded, and then shot and killed three female relatives (a pregnant mother of ten, a pregnant mother of six, and a teenager). When local villagers loudly complained, the Pentagon lied about what happened, claiming that the dead males were “insurgents” or terrorists; the bodies of the three women had been found by US forces bound and gagged inside the home, and suggested that the women had already been killed by the time the US had arrived, likely the victim of “honor killings” by the Taliban militants killed in the attack. US media outlets, needless to say,mindlessly recited the US government’s claims (CNN: “Bodies found gagged, bound after Afghan ‘honor killing’”), but the Pentagon was finally forced to admit that its Special Forces had killed the women and then covered-up and lied about what happened.
Whatever is true about these latest human rights abuses, the perception is widespread in Afghanistan that the US is responsible and that the militias it is training are no better than the Taliban. From Rosenberg:
“The action also reflected a deep distrust of international forces that is now widespread in Afghanistan, and the view held by many Afghans, President Hamid Karzai among them, that the coalition shares responsibility with the Taliban for the violence that continues to afflict the country. . . .
“But Afghan officials cited as even more troubling American Special Operations units’ use of Afghan proxy forces that are not under the government’s control. Afghan civilians and local officials have complained that some irregular forceshave looked little different from Taliban fighters or bandits and behaved little differently.”
So that’s where the US is after almost 12 years of waging war in that country, the longest war in its history. The US is blamed on equal terms with the Taliban, at least. It maintains and supports (if not directs) non-government militias which are perceived, with ample evidence, as being death squads and torture units. Thus do we find, yet again, that the fruits of US humanitarian interventions – liberating the oppressed and bringing freedom and democracy to the world – are little more than replicating the abuses of the tyrannical regime it targeted, just under a different owner. Most amazing of all, the next time a new “Good War” is proposed, none of this will stop large numbers of Americans from believing that both the goals and the likely outcome will be beneficent.UPDATE
A 2009 Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, found as follows regarding Afghanistan:
That last line is key: “in the name of restoring the rule of law, heavily-armed internationals and their Afghan counterparts are wandering around conducting raids that too often result in killings and being held accountable by no one.”
Does Philadelphia have a ‘burqa crisis’?
Daniel Pipes has written an article claiming that his home town of Philadelphia has “become the capital of the Western world as regards female Islamic garb as an accessory to crime”.
According to Pipes, “the Philadelphia region has witnessed 14 robberies (or attempted robberies) of financial institutions in the past six years in which the thieves relied on an Islamic full-body cover”. His solution? “Ban the niqab and burqa in public places, as the national governments in France and Belgium have recently done.”
Joel Mathis points out some flaws in this argument:
It’s important to understand, though, that Pipes’ “crisis” looks a little less disturbing when looked at closely. He justifies a ban because, by his count, at least 14 robberies have been committed in Philadelphia using Muslim garb … since 2007. That’s less than three a year. If you need more perspective, consider this: The 14 robberies that Pipes counts adds up to maybe one really busy shift for the police department. In the 28-day period ending Feb. 17, there were 507 robbery reports to city police – if 14 of those robberies had been committed by burqa-wearing assailants, that wouldn’t even be 3 percent of the total. Trying to calculate what those 14 cases look like compared to six or more years of robberies? You couldn’t even see a number that small with the naked eye.
So one doesn’t have to be politically correct to respond to Pipes by saying we don’t have a “burqa crisis.” All one needs, really, is math.
White People of privilege everywhere! There’s only two days left in Black History Month.
Every February, without fail, some white people ask “Why is there no White History Month?” In response, check this video to examine the concepts of equality, privilege and economic class in terms that even the most ignorant should be able to understand.
28 Common Racist Attitudes & Behaviour:View this document on Scribd
You’re welcome my fellow white people.
As usual – I welcome your comments below or you can reach me via Twitter @HotterThanCurry
This year, the Oscar goes to ... Islamophobia. Laura Durkay explains why.
Sheikh Yaser Birjas talks about the five stages of marriage.
The first stage of the husband-wife relationship is known as the “in-love” phase where the husband and wife start to get to know each other. Often times, this phase can take place during the nikkah or engagement phase.
The second phase of the relationship is the “newlywed” phase which acts as a honeymoon phase where the man and woman fall madly in-love with each other, wanting to spend all their free time with each other.
The third phase in the relationship is the “disappointment” phase where the husband and wife start to notice each others' shortcomings. The spouse seems to no longer be fulfilling the high expectations set by their partner. Additionally, each spouse starts to push the limit with their partner as the spouses work to establish boundaries in the relationship. The husband and wife will have disagreements and disputes during this period as they realize each others' differences and concerns.
After the third phase, the fourth phase of marriage is known as the “adjustment” phase where the husband and wife work to iron out their disagreements and differences. They establish boundaries and start to understand their partner's limits.
Finally, the fifth stage of the relationship is the “auto-pilot” stage where husband and wife understand their relationship, the disputes decrease, and the couple is able to function without major problems or concerns.
Before I got married, I read the book, Blissful Marriage: A Practical Islamic Guide by Dr. Ekram and M. Rida Bashir. The book was an excellent book when it came to explaining how an Islamic family should function. It gave advice to both husbands and wives in terms of how they should interact and respect their spouses. I would recommend Blissful Marriage to anyone interested in marriage (or anyone already married as well).
More recently, I read the book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex by Dr. John Gray. The book, while making generalizations and often stereotyping men and women, can be used as an excellent source on how to interact with the opposite sex.
The book does not really discuss innate differences between men and women, nor does it delve into the nature of communication very deeply. Instead, the book focuses on common differences between men and women when it comes to basic communication skills. It's intended for people to understand how men and women think differently while it doesn't even touch on the why of it.
The book focuses on the importance of respect and the art of listening when it comes to communication. Though much of it may seem like common sense, I found the book to be extremely informative when it came to giving the reader a basic understanding in terms of how men and women communicate ideas differently. I must admit that the book does make significant generalities of both men and women to a frustrating extent. Nonetheless, the book does provide insight to the a man or woman on how to deal with the opposite gender, especially when it comes to the “disappoint” phase as described by Sheikh Yaser Birjas. I hope to give a brief synopsis of the book in the following few paragraphs.
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus starts out by discussing the inherent differences between the values of men and women. Dr. Gray starts the book by making a note that men do no ask each other for advice. Men only seek advice when they are at a dead-end and need help.
Women, on the other hand, tend to offer unsolicited advice to those they love. They try to help the people they love by advising them on how to improve themselves. A man often times misinterprets the advice he receives by a woman as though the woman is trying to control and change him. Similarly, women like to discuss their feelings when they are upset. Men tend to offer solutions when they hear someone who is upset. However, a woman is not looking for a solution, rather she is looking for someone to listen to her and validate her feelings. A man often times tends to invalidate a woman's feelings when he offers a solution without listening to the woman's feelings.
Dr. Gray also delves into how men and women cope with stress differently. Men tend to pull away and want isolation as they think about what is bothering them. Women tend to want to discuss their problems. A woman may start asking questions and delving into her man's problem when she feels as though he's not himself. The man often times will get annoyed by the woman's inquiries when he prefers to be alone and deal with his stress by himself. The woman's inquisition into the man's problems may prevent the man from dealing with his stress, escalating the situation.
The book continues with how to motivate the opposite sex. Dr. Gray discusses how men feel motivated when they feel they are needed, while women feel motivated when they feel cherished. Men tend to grow close to those they love before eventually having the inevitable need to pull away. The author calls this phenomenon the rubber band theory where a man will come springing back to his woman after he has some time alone. However, if the woman clings to her man, he may never be able to fully stretch away from her and so he won't be able to spring back to her when he is ready.
Dr. Gray also discusses what men and women need from a relationship. Men tend to need a love that is trusting, accepting, and appreciative, while women need a love that is caring, understanding, and respectful. What often occurs is that men and women tend to give their partner the type of love they need themselves instead of the type of love their partner truly needs and cherishes. The author also discusses how men and women keep score differently in the relationship.
Dr. Gray also offers a dictionary on phases men and women use differently. When a man says “OK” or “it's fine,” it means something significantly different that when a woman uses the same words. The author explores why women sometimes don't ask for support when they need it and expect their men to know it without being asked. Dr. Gray also advises the reader on how to avoid arguments along with solutions on what to do when you are inevitably upset.
He recommends what he calls the “Love Letter Technique” which entails writing down your feelings where you make sure to cover how you feel in terms of why you are angry, why you are upset, what you are afraid of, why you are sorry, and what you love in your partner. I personally have not tried the “Love Letter Technique” but plan to keep it in mind for the future, in'sha'Allāh.
Overall, the book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex was a beneficial read and one I think will help me when it comes to interacting with my wife. It will help you when you don't necessarily see eye to eye with your spouse on a certain topic. The book has certainly helped me understand that my wife and I are inevitably different. And so I would recommend the book to anyone looking for some insight when it comes to interacting with the opposite gender. Again, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is not a be-all, end-all book. It also is not a book that will discuss theories of communication or psychology.
The book relies on generalizations and stereotypes. It's an introductory book into how men and women behave differently. And if there's one thing that's true, it's that men and women behave very differently!