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San Diego Mosque Sent Threatening Letter With Unknown Substance

Loon Watch - 12 October, 2014 - 04:35

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KUSI: San Diego’s News Channel

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A mosque in San Diego has received a threatening letter with an unknown substance in it. There are at least ten mosques in San Diego, and the one that received the threatening letter has not been identified.

The local chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations says the letter referred to ‘applying the death sentence’ and mentioned Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco, too.

As a result of this threat, all California mosques have been notified and asked to report any similar threats, and the FBI has been asked by the council to get involved in the investigation.

World 'deserves' a caliphate, says Isis advocate Ismail Al-Wahwah

The Guardian World news: Islam - 11 October, 2014 - 00:45

Bankstown sheik tells lecture in Sydneys west that capitalism has failed and an Islamic State caliphate is the way forward

A hardline Islamic leader from a group advocating an Islamic State caliphate says Muslims should be ready to make sacrifices to achieve it.

We believe this world deserves a new world order, Ismail Al-Wahwah declared at an event headed by the controversial Hizb ut-Tahrir organisation.

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Greens want to counter extremism among youth using outreach body

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 October, 2014 - 23:29

Christine Milne announces legislation to create a centre for social cohesion to help counter radicalisation, crime and gangs

Australians at risk of disengaging from the mainstream and becoming attracted to violent extremism would be targeted by a new national outreach body under a proposal suggested by the Greens.

The party plans to present legislation to parliament to create what it has called the Australian Centre for Social Cohesion. This body would oversee preventative programs to address social exclusion and stop young people from becoming radicalised.

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Voters support Australian action in Iraq, but say 'it makes us less safe'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 October, 2014 - 22:39

Poll also finds 40% oppose new counter-terrorism laws and more than 60% think terrorism hysteria puts Muslims at risk

Australians back the federal governments decision to join the military effort against the militia group calling itself Islamic State, but believe doing so will make us less safe, according to a new poll.

However the poll found strong opposition to new anti-terror measures that could see whistleblowers and journalists jailed for reporting abuses of power, with more than four in 10 saying the laws went too far.

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Hummus News: Muslims Finally Condemn Ebola, Expert Not Fooled

Loon Watch - 10 October, 2014 - 21:24

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By Yahya Ridwan, The Hummus News

Sparked by a reddit debate that ignited yesterday, the official spokesperson of Islam and its 1.5 billion adherents throughout the world delivered remarks from an open letter condemning Ebola.

“Dear Non-Muslims,

The current Ebola outbreak is a tragedy. We mourn with the non-Muslims of the world. Although we share some of the same DNA base pairs as Ebola, it does not represent our belief system as multi-base-pair DNA organisms.

We condemn the infection of host cells and the release of misinterpreted genetic instruction. It is a strict misrepresentation of who we are as people and the way that we are genetically programmed.

Mahmoud Bin Lamba

Official Spokesman of Islam”

This comes as a response to a sophisticated new interactive poll suggesting that a majority of Muslims are in favor of infectious diseases such as the Ebola virus.

ebola_survey

Sam Harris, organism terrorism expert, explained on “Real Time with Bill Maher”:

“Imagine three concentric circles: the inner most circle contains your Ebola virus and Human Immunodeficiency virus. The circle around that is your Muslimicists, Muslims who want to infect and use democracy against itself. These two circles alone constitute about 30% of Muslims. The outer most circle represents the fringe non-infecting Muslims. We have to be able to criticize bad genetic material, and Islam is the mother lode of bad genetic material.“

Harris seemed unconvinced by appeals to Ebola to cease its un-Islamic behavior from Muslim scholars across the word in their Open Letter to Ebola.

Harris says the majority of Muslims do not understand their Islamic imperatives, such as the pilgrimage to Mecca and spreading Ebola in Liberia.

Read the entire article…

Salman Rushdie: hate-filled rhetoric of jihadi cool is persuading British Muslims to join Isis

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 October, 2014 - 16:02

The writer argues that those who have horribly mangled the language of religion are targeting modernity

Rushdie shares award with Syrian free speech advocate

Salman Rushdie has attacked the hate-filled religious rhetoric that persuades hundreds, perhaps thousands of British Muslims to join the decapitating barbarians of Isis, describing it as the most dangerous new weapon in the world today.

Speaking at the award of the PEN/Pinter prize, Rushdie said he dislikes the word Islamophobia greatly. But it is right, the author argued, to feel phobia towards the oppression of the people of Afghanistan by the Taliban, towards the oppression of Iranians by the ayatollahs, and towards the death of people in Iraq today. What is being killed in Iraq is not just human beings, but a whole culture. To feel aversion towards such a force is not bigotry. It is the only possible response to the horror of events.

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Message from PEN Pinter prizewinner: My plea for Syria | Mazen Darwish

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 October, 2014 - 14:09
My hope is for a new social contract that frees my country from tyranny and terrorism and saves its children from sectarianism

Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed members of the audience: for a long time Ive wished that one day I might set foot in London, so that Id perhaps be able to touch the soul of that great city and discover the traces left by John Locke, Shakespeare, and the men who drafted the Magna Carta. Maybe Id be able to learn, from them, how to progress towards civilisation and modernity with utter constancy and rationality. So I cannot express strongly enough how proud I am that my name is present among you in London this evening, even if I am not there myself, and especially given that this has been made possible by PEN. PEN is an organisation that has earned my respect and appreciation by proving, in a short period of time, the great credibility of its commitment to its civilised goals and values. So, I am sincerely grateful for the huge honour of being given this years International Writer of Courage Award.

Allow me to take advantage of controversial writer Salman Rushdies presence among you this evening to tell him this: although we may have deeply disagreed with your views, we committed an unforgivable sin in the Arab world when we responded with indifference to the fatwas and calls for your death. So indifferent were we that we colluded even if just by our silent complicity in excluding and eliminating difference, while acting as if the whole thing had nothing to do with us. And so here we are today, paying the high, blood-soaked price of that collusion, and finding ourselves the main victims of the obscurantist ideology now infiltrating our homes and our cities. What a great shame that it has taken us all of this bloodshed to arrive at the belief that we are the ones who will pay the price for preventing those with whom we disagree from expressing their views and that we will pay with our lives and our futures. What a shame this much blood has had to be spilled for us to realise, finally, that we are digging our own graves when we allow thought to be crushed by accusations of unbelief, calling people infidels, and when we allow opinion to be countered with violence. The disastrous consequences of this are clearly evident today across the Arab world, and especially in Syria, my country, where the ugliest forms of fascism and the dirtiest kinds of barbarism are practised in the name of both patriotism and Islam in equal measure.

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Friday Links | October 10, 2014

Muslimah Media Watch - 10 October, 2014 - 07:00
Last weekend marked one of the major holidays on the Islamic calendar, Eid ul-Adha. The Egyptian women’s council offered a hotline for females to report sexual assault during the four days of the holiday, during which harassment usually is more prevalent. One teenager was killed defending women from  sexual harassment in Egypt last Sunday. Over [Read More...]

Staten Island: Teens Arrested For Throwing Pork At Muslim Woman’s Home

Loon Watch - 10 October, 2014 - 05:11

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via. silive

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Three teens threw uncooked pork ribs at the Eltingville home of a Muslim woman Saturday night, sparking a hate crime investigation by the NYPD, the Advance has learned.

The incident happened at about 11:35 p.m., Saturday, according to an NYPD spokesman. The victim, a practicing Muslim who lives on Mosley Avenue near the Eltingville train platform, got a knock on the door, and when she went outside to answer, she found raw pork on her doorstep, the spokesman said.

A law enforcement source provided additional details on the incident — three white teens, ages 16 through 19, threw uncooked pork ribs at the house, then fled in a four-door sedan.

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident, the NYPD spokesman said.

No one answered the door at the woman’s house Tuesday afternoon.

Muslims are prohibited from eating pork products, and bigots often use pork as a means to taunt or offend, according to Islamic-American leaders.

In August 2012, someone scattered pieces of bacon over the New Dorp Beach field where the borough’s Muslim community celebrated the end of Ramadan, sparking a hate crime investigation.

“It’s a prevalent misunderstanding. It’s not poison. We just don’t consume it. But it’s intended as an insult,” said Hesham El-Meligy, the founder of the Islamic Civic Association-Staten Island.

The incident took place on the eve of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice — which commemorates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim, or Abraham, to sacrifice his son.

Even so, El-Meligy said, he doubts Saturday’s incident was sparked by the holiday. Rather, he suggested, the incident took place “on the heels” what he referred to as last week’s “tempest in the teapot” controversy surrounding the removal of a Hajj banner at the Muslim American Society of Staten Island in Dongan Hills.

“Definitely there is an impact of such ignorance, and not even an attempt to understand,” El-Meligy said.

The Dongan Hills mosque had put up a banner depicting an airliner, in celebration of Hajj, which is the annual Muslim pilgrimage now taking place to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Scott LoBaido, a local artist and community activist, visited the mosque after, he said, he learned about the banner on social media from community members worried that it was linked to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Last Tuesday, he posted the following message to his more than 4,600 friends on Facebook, several of whom work for a variety of news organizations: “I regards to the airplane on the front of the si mosque, everyone hold on for a bit. I am going there tonite to ask them about it and aske them to take it down. I will post outcome.”

That visit, and the request to remove the banner, sparked a media storm, with Muslim-American activists criticizing LoBaido for perpetuating anti-Islamic prejudice by pressuring the center into removing a harmless sign. LoBaido maintains that he visited the mosque to “try to defuse a possibly ugly event,” and said he didn’t contact the media.

Beautiful Child by Shahroz

Muslim Matters - 10 October, 2014 - 01:42

A new spoken word piece by Shahroz

Beautiful child, beautiful child Whoever told you that you weren't beautiful is a liar Every man and woman judges you, putting you on trial it's wild, you're just a girl and they're treating you so foul Man, i'm sick of this society blinding our eyes entirely modifying our women – a plastic, silicone, irony We say we hate the fakeness, but that's what we're steady chasing Yeah we started from the bottom, and we're still stuck in the basement I want you to embrace it…you really don't need makeup Instead you're so worried about the likes on your facebook And I'm so sorry about the music you have to listen to Women degrading women, and men are just trying to limit you They don't care about your mind, only focus on the physical So please tell me how they're a role model to the youth? Self-esteem shattered cuz we don't care about what matters Now she's taking off her clothes on instagram just to matter It's so sad and pitiful, we made this world cynical Somehow we wore a lens that made everything sexual Bridge: (Hey) Beautiful child, don't cry I'll make everything alright (2x) We took our boys and we stripped them of their innocence All they watch is a bunch of vivid pornographic images And that's how they really think a woman is so they stay getting it, until it boosts their male ego to the infinite Let me pause right there and just say: Thats not what makes you a man! Please understand, we are not animals without a conscience You have hearts and minds that can stop you from being monsters Corporations are pushing products, where the body is just an object I blame the consumer more for purchasing without a problem It isn't hard to change your heart, inspire people all around you and if they think there's something wrong with that…they don't belong around you Now back to you child, don't ever let anyone tell you you're not beautiful Outer appearance is just a mere part of an individual Focus on your character, be a symbol of kindness and compassion And if they love you for that, then that's what really matters You don't have to live up to any pressure to look a certain way So look in the mirror, smile, and everything will be okay

The post Beautiful Child by Shahroz appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Bill Maher the Mother Lode of Lies

Muslim Matters - 9 October, 2014 - 20:38

Bill Maher is once again on his tirade against Muslims. For a standup comedian who's made a living out of mocking all things sacred, it's hard to understand why anyone would believe the misinformation he spreads. His vitriol against Muslims and Islam are well-known; he has declared quite openly that he's alarmed with a growing Muslim population in the West and fears a 'take over by Islam'.

Maher pretends that he's labeled as a racist for being a simple critic of Islam. Any honest observer, however, would recognize that he has a clear track record of launching baseless attacks on Muslims. He does this repeatedly by misconstruing facts, making unsubstantiated claims and cherry picking radical interpretations that support his pre-conceived notions of the faith.  Couple this with his condescending attitude and vile speech and you've got yourself a text book case of bigotry.

Take for example, his recent claim that 'vast numbers of Muslims around the world believe that humans deserve to die for merely holding a different idea, or drawing a cartoon, or writing a book, or eloping with the wrong person'. Maher makes these profoundly inaccurate and unsupported statements and passes them as facts on national television with no consequences.  This isn't mere criticism – it is a clear attempt to incite xenophobic sentiment with the intended goal of demonizing Muslims.

Maher often states there are 'polls' and 'research' to support his view that large swaths of Muslims are a violent and intolerant people – it's not just a few bad apples he argues. Actual research, however, has repeatedly shown that Muslims overwhelmingly reject violence; in fact they are more likely to oppose violence than other religious groups. As for religious freedom, Muslims yet again show near perfect support for it.

Another example of Maher's flagrant misconstruction of facts was on the recent flare up with Ben Affleck on his show. He again tries to give us the impression that Muslims are largely an uncivilized people by quoting a Pew poll which supposedly states that 90% of Egyptians support the death penalty for leaving Islam. The Pew poll he's referring to is most likely the 2013 edition- and he forgot to mention one important piece of information: the poll offers no direct statistics on Muslims who support capital punishment for apostasy.

Instead, the poll offers statistics on people who support such apostasy laws as a percentage of those who support the adoption of Shariah as the official law of their country. It excludes Muslims who prefer to restrict the Shariah to the private sphere, who are opposed to the idea of a theocratic state or those that don't have strong views on the subject. As a result, the numbers are misleading since the sample population for the survey doesn't represent the total population. When this is taken to account through extrapolation, the poll actually indicates that as a whole, most Muslims oppose penal codes for apostasy – something Ben Affleck deduced from common sense.

Bill Maher quotes the disproportionally high numbers for Egypt that stand out from the survey – as if the country represents the entire Muslims world. In fact, the numbers he mentions are completely wrong since the poll never offers figures for the country's complete population. Even if they were to be extrapolated (which introduces an error), the support would be at 64% – not the 90% he so forcefully claimed.

Maher also fails to mention the significant disparity Egypt has with other Muslim majority countries on this issue: Indonesia (13%), Lebanon (13%), Tunisia (16%) and Turkey (2%). Why single out Egypt and not mention the world's largest Muslims country, Indonesia? Clearly, Bill has an agenda to make overarching simplifications about Muslims that are rooted in nothing but misinformation.

As an aside, an important question to consider is that why it's only Muslims who seemed to be polled on such controversial questions? What would the stats be if similar question were posed to Israeli Jews, Christian Arabs, Indian Hindus, Catholic Filipinos and American evangelicals? If you ask questions outlandish enough to any population, there's bound to be support for it from a particular segment. More importantly, to what extent can we use polls to understand a population on such matters? These are important questions to consider.

Despite the contextualization I've offered to Bill Maher's lunacy, one would argue that sizable Muslim minorities still support apostasy laws and this doesn't explain the main grievance. I think that's a fair point and agree that the contentious issue of these penal codes still needs addressing by Muslim scholarship. How is traditional Muslim governance to adapt to the modern nation-state? What is the relevance of exacting classical penal codes when they are unable to uphold justice and their implementation leads to more harm than good?

Muslims are working through these issues and these need to be addressed from within; Tariq Ramadan's moratorium call is an example of this. There's no denying that the Muslims world is facing a multitude of problems, but mocking these from a Hollywood studio is not going to get us anywhere, unfortunately.

Bill Maher has no interest in actually understanding problems or offering solutions – he's an entertainer, and bashing Islam makes for very good entertainment. His formula is to take problems from one part of the Islamic world (or concoct them), exaggerate them greatly and then use it to dehumanize the global Muslim population. He caricatures an entire people with brush strokes of prejudice, using the ink of intolerance and his canvass of hypocrisy.

And his solution to problems of the Muslim world: abandon your faith, adopt sexual promiscuity and you'll be liberated. Clearly, Maher is a professional jester – it's a good trade for him, and he should stick with it.

The post Bill Maher the Mother Lode of Lies appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Australia's terrorism laws 'could criminalise preaching from Qur'an'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 October, 2014 - 03:42

National imams council tells parliamentary committee that Muslim preachers on social justice could face charges

Preaching from parts of the Quran calling on Muslims to defend their land could fall foul of Australias new counter-terrorism laws, senior Islamic clerics fear.

The Australian National Imams Council said the proposed broadening of the offence of advocating terrorism to include those who promote and encourage violence would have serious implications on free speech and will have a chilling effect on legitimate religious and political debate.

Continue reading...

Review: Human Universe

Inayat's Corner - 8 October, 2014 - 21:29

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It is almost two years ago now, that Professor Brian Cox, treated us to his splendid series The Wonders of Life, which I raved about here at the time. So, it was with a real sense of excitement that I watched the first episode of his brand new series Human Universe.

He began by asking us to consider the significance of the International Space Station. We are the only species on Earth that has managed to leave the ground and head out into space. It is a wondrous technological achievement. What made this possible?

Cox goes to the Ethiopian Highlands and visits a group of Geladas. Science has established that these primates are evolutionary cousins of ours. Around 250,000 years ago, our ancestors first began making spears out of Obsidian – black stone that forms as a result of volcanic activity. Yet why have the Geladas remained in that part of Africa while we humans – who also emerged in Africa – have gone on to colonise the world and even reach out into space?

The key difference, says Cox, is language and writing. Writing meant that knowledge could now be transferred much more simply and widely. It “freed the acquisition of knowledge from the limits of the human memory…[and]… created a cultural ratchet, an exponentiation of the known which ultimately led us to the stars”.

Cox’s lyricism here about writing is surely justified and will surely cause many Muslims to pause for thought, for the very first words of the Qur’an revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in Surah al-Alaq drew the attention of humankind to this very phenomenon:

Recite in the name of your Lord who created -
Created man from a clinging substance.
Recite, and your Lord is the most Generous -
Who taught by the pen -
Taught man that which he knew not.

(Qur’an 96:1-5)

Cox moves swiftly from the construction of spears to agriculture and the building of the earliest cities to space travel. It is a giddying journey. He finishes back with the astronauts of the International Space Station. While waiting in Kazakhstan for them to arrive back on Earth in their Soyuz module, Cox calculates mathematically exactly how the Soyuz module will first slow its entry into Earth’s atmosphere and then let gravity do its work.  It is all based on two equations that we owe to Sir Isaac Newton.

Newton was one of humankind’s true geniuses. Cox reminds us that when Newton was asked about his outstanding contribution to our store of knowledge, he famously said he had not done this by himself but had stood “on the shoulders of giants”. People like Galileo, Descartes and others all the way back to Euclid and the Ancient Greeks.

The first episode was entitled “Apeman, Spaceman” and is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer for another 29 days.

 

 

 


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