A Victory For History Education In Florida

Loon Watch - 12 May, 2017 - 17:24


The Islamophobic strategy of targeting public school social studies and history textbooks that have sections on Islam by either having the books replaced with anti-Muslim histrionics or the courses removed all together was dealt a blow in Florida.

By Caroline Glenn, USA Today

MELBOURNE, Fla. — Ninth-graders in Brevard County will keep using a world history textbook, despite fierce debate over its chapter on Islam.

The Pearson textbook came under fire in 2013 and again last month, drawing the attention of the local chapters of ACT for America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. However, the school board ultimately decided Tuesday night to keep the textbook as is.

Leading up to their decision, opponents argued that the chapter ignored the “true history” of Islam and painted Mohammed and the treatment of women in an overly favorable light.

“I think we all understand that the challenges to the specific faiths that are addressed in this book are not random challenges,” said Philip Stasik, president of the Space Coast Progressive Alliance. “This is an organized challenge against the Muslim community, and frankly it’s an insult to the Muslim community.”

Others said it scared them to see people who want to challenge “years of documented history” because of recent political discourse.

“I’m pretty offended by and really afraid of people who are going out of their way to make me feel unequal,” said Alyssa Ardhya, a freshman at Satellite High School. “They want to recreate the truth.”

It’s amazing how low Islamophobes will go in their Crusade against Islam and Muslims. Like all fanatic extremists they will cut off their nose to spite their face: i.e. purposefully remain ignorant to knowledge and truth. Indeed, they make-up their own “truth.”

Previous attacks on the Islam sections of history books have occurred in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas. ACT! For America is behind a lot of the lobbying efforts and mobilization against the history textbooks. As RightWingWatch has documented, the basis of the strategy was detailed in a 200-page “national textbook study” called “Education or Indoctrination?”

Al-Qaida tempts Yemen recruits with quiz offering AK-47 as top prize

The Guardian World news: Islam - 11 May, 2017 - 20:38

Militants are advertising a contest focused on Al-Qaida’s extreme interpretation of Islam in the build-up to the holy month of Ramadan

Al-Qaida is attempting to recruit new members in Yemen by holding a quiz, with an AK-47 assault rifle as top prize, according to local residents and media.

Militants have been touring the south-west city of Taiz in the build-up to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, putting up posters advertising the contest, residents reported.

Related: 'A more dangerous long-term threat': Al-Qaida grows as Isis retreats

Continue reading...

Trump Supporter Attacks Muslims On Texas Beach

Loon Watch - 11 May, 2017 - 19:58

New York Daily News

A heavily intoxicated Donald Trump supporter, who verbally attacked an innocent Muslim family, turned a fun beach day into a nightmare.

Alexander Jennes Downing, 35, was arrested May 3 and taken into custody by the South Padre Island Police for the reported public intoxication incident, which involved Downing shouting slurs and threats to a family nearby.

Downing, a Connecticut native, also made inappropriate gestures toward the group, who had children in their presence at the Texas beach.

A member of the victimized family, Noria Alward, recently uploaded the fiery footage to Youtube, which has since gone viral.

Downing can be hearing in the clip shouting out, “You’re a f—ing Muslim, motherf—er … You will never ever, ever, stop me, my Christianity, from rising above your Sharia law. Your Sharia law don’t mean s–t to me.”

“When he called it his country … It is my country too,” Ahmed told the news site.

“America is my country whether he likes it or not.”

Noria concluded in the YouTube post that the group would not be making future plans to visit the same resort.

“Overall we enjoyed the lovely island and we will definitely go back to South Padre again, we surely will never go back to Pearl South Padre hotel, Texas again,” she said.

Paul Nuttall stands by Ukip MEP who called Islam a death cult

The Guardian World news: Islam - 11 May, 2017 - 10:24

Party leader dismisses MEP Gerard Batten’s comments as a mistake in terminology and says he has not challenged him about them

General election 2017 – live updates

The Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, says he is standing by a senior MEP in the party who described Islam as “death cult”.

Ukip’s Brexit spokesman, Gerard Batten, prompted outrage by saying non-Muslims should have a “perfectly rational fear” of a faith he characterised as a “death cult” steeped in violence in a blogpost in March.

Related: Ukip leader criticised for disclosing confidential Hillsborough meeting

Related: General election 2017: Corbyn's manifesto could be as transformational as Attlee's, Labour's election chief suggests – politics live

Continue reading...

Four Muslim women allegedly punched outside university in Sydney

The Guardian World news: Islam - 11 May, 2017 - 06:20

Four assault charges laid after University of Technology students were allegedly assaulted by woman

Four Muslim women have allegedly been assaulted in Sydney in an attack described by New South Wales police as “bias-motivated”.

The women were allegedly punched outside the University of Technology in Ultimo on Wednesday, leaving one victim with a bloodied mouth.

Continue reading...

‘If a man can do it, why can't I?’: turning the tables on India's instant divorce law | Amrit Dhillon

The Guardian World news: Islam - 11 May, 2017 - 05:00

As India debates the validity of a law allowing men to divorce by uttering three words, one woman is blazing a trail by using the practice against her husband

As dusk was falling, Amreen Begum’s husband bundled her into his auto-rickshaw together with their two young children. He dumped them beside some wheat fields outside Meerut, a city 70km north-east of India’s capital, New Delhi.

“He didn’t even bother going the extra 2km up to my parents’ home,” says Begum.

Related: India's Muslim women fight to end triple talaq law that yields instant divorce | Amrit Dhillon

Related: 'I was so scared … I was tortured': Indian women lift the lid on married life | Vidhi Doshi

Continue reading...

Gillian Triggs tells of alarm over 'demonising' of Muslims in Australia

The Guardian World news: Islam - 11 May, 2017 - 04:15

Vituperative attacks on writer and presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied cited as evidence of the increasing normalisation of hate speech against minorities

Gillian Triggs, president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, has expressed alarm at Australia’s growing tolerance for “demonising” Muslims and hate speech directed at minorities.

Triggs said the controversy over an Anzac Day Facebook post by the writer and television presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied – “a hijab-wearing Muslim woman” – was an example of a “growing tolerance for demonising Muslims generally”.

Related: The Yassmin Abdel-Magied bash-a-thon is all part of the Anzac Day ritual | Richard Ackland

Related: Racial vilification laws protect those who are silenced by hate speech | Gillian Triggs

Continue reading...

Two men face 80 lashes in Indonesia after being accused of having gay sex

The Guardian World news: Islam - 11 May, 2017 - 02:33

Sharia lawyers in Aceh province say pair ‘confessed’ to being in a gay relationship after they were filmed by vigilantes

Sharia prosecutors in Indonesia’s Aceh province say two men on trial for gay sex should each be punished with 80 lashes, in another blow to the country’s moderate image after a top Christian official was imprisoned for blasphemy.

The lead prosecutor, Gulmaini, who goes by one name, said on Wednesday the two men aged 20 and 23 had “confessed” to being in a gay relationship, which was supported by video footage and other evidence found in their rented room.

Related: An Indonesian court has opened the door to fear and religious extremism | Andreas Harsono

Related: Protests in Jakarta after Christian governor convicted of blasphemy

Continue reading...

On hijab, ‘neutrality’ and threat

Indigo Jo Blogs - 10 May, 2017 - 22:23

Last week I heard a conversation between Shelina Janmohammed, the author of Love in a Headscarf and Generation M and a columnist for The National, a Dubai-based newspaper, and the LBC presenter Sheila Fogerty, about hijab and others’ attitudes to it. This had been prompted by a call from a woman to the station the night before who claimed that the country was becoming ‘overwhelmed’ by Muslims. Some of the responses sent to the two women on Twitter claimed that Muslim women’s dress, the face-covering in particular, was considered ‘threatening’, a long-standing claim of people seeking to ban it. Fogerty suggested that the caller the previous night might be “just racist”, and although I didn’t hear the call (I very rarely listen to LBC), this is a reasonable assumption when someone calls a radio station and spouts bigotry about a minority.

Fascists contacting the media and pretending to be ordinary Joes and Janes while spouting racist views is a long-standing tactic of theirs. The BNP in particular knew that the majority of people would not vote BNP, but if enough people with aggressive voices and working-class accents were heard spouting racist views on radio phone-ins and below the line on newspaper websites, mainstream parties would get the impression that this is what the real “man in the street” thinks, rather than those in the “elite” or “Westminster village”. Sometimes mainstream media writers were fooled: in 2008, Brendan O’Neill, then writing for the New Statesman, met one Charlotte Lewis whom he described as an “unemployed woman from Croydon … wearing a loud gold lamé jacket and black jeans” with “a south London twang”. His impression of her was of a “ditzy woman with a chip on her shoulder” but in fact she stood as a BNP candidate in the St Helier ward of the borough of Sutton despite being ineligible as she lived in Croydon. She complained of sometimes being the “only white person” on the bus which was “a bit distressing”; even though (and I’ve lived in Croydon) this is actually a rare occurrence in most of the borough, I never found it distressing to share a bus with people who weren’t white. Why would anyone — other than a racist?

The idea that women wearing niqaab pose any kind of threat needs to be challenged. As I said when the leader of UKIP tried to make an election issue of it, if it were a threat to public security, the security forces would have said so years ago, most likely not long after 9/11 and certainly not long after the 2005 bombings. They haven’t. It’s left to extremist politicians and to anonymous callers to phone-ins. These people must be challenged to explain why they regard a group of women who harm nobody as being threatening — as in, exactly what any one of them has ever done that constitutes a threat. Not rumours (like that story of the Somali terrorist who fled the country in 2005 wearing his sister’s veil) and not accusations that are unproven (like the women arrested in the anti-terrorist raid in London last week), but facts, and moreover what the niqaab has to do with those facts. I have never heard a radio presenter pin down a caller who claims the niqaab is threatening on exactly why.

A common excuse for banning hijab is that it allows for a religiously ‘neutral’ space; this was the rationale offered when the European Court of Justice ruled that it was legal for companies to ban hijab if there was a company policy requiring ‘neutral’ dress (rather than because a customer just refused to be served by a woman wearing it). This concession reflects the common fallacy that hijab is a ‘symbol’ of Islam when in fact Islam does not really do symbolism. Islam is represented by the word, not the image; The flag of Islam used the Shahada or profession of faith (the battle flag, currently used by Saudi Arabia, has a drawing of a sword on it in addition). Many flags of Muslim countries use the crescent and star to represent Islam, but this is actually an architectural feature found on mosques in Levantine countries that were previously Christian churches; the symbols were also used by Crusaders, hence their appearance on the insignia of the City of Portsmouth and its football club. It’s useful as it can be displayed on things that might be treated in a way Muslims would want anything with the shahada on it treated (e.g. on a football which will be kicked around), but it is actually an innovation to associate it with Islam. There is no tradition of wearing crescent and/or star pendants equivalent to the crucifixes or crosses and chains worn by Christians. The stated purpose of hijab in Islam is that women will be seen as respectable and treated accordingly; it has come to be seen as a ‘symbol’ of Islam only because, in most societies (not all), head-coverings of that type are only worn by Muslim women.

So, a woman wearing a headscarf to work is not displaying a huge identity badge; it’s not a defining garment of a Muslim. To wear hijab is not to preach; it is to live according to one’s religion. There is no set way of “wearing hijab”; it is simply a matter of wearing clothes loose enough to conceal the figure and cover one’s hair. You can get purpose-made headscarves for hijab (the “al-Amira” brand is very popular) but you can wear any cloth you like as long as it’s not sheer (and it’s clean, of course). Banning the normal dress of a locally well-represented religious group does not usually make for a “religiously neutral” atmosphere. To achieve that, one meeds only to have a rule saying that nobody is allowed to, say, preach or criticise anyone else for how they behave on the basis of religion.

What it makes for is an exclusive one: there is no reason why people should not be expected to tolerate one of them at work, or seeing one of them as a representative of a company they do business with, if they are part of the local community. If one sees Muslim women everywhere in town but are never served by them, the space is not neutral, but rather those women are conspicuous by their absence. Much as it’s often observed that “gender neutral” clothing and so on often looks a lot like masculinity, so “religious neutrality” just means everyone follows White, Christian norms. For all but the minority who wear it only because of parental insistence, leaving off hijab is not neutral to a woman who wears it; it represents a break with their religion, much as being made to eat pork just because “everyone else does it”.

A major obstacle to the wider acceptance of hijab is the lack of high-profile Muslim women wearing it, meaning politicians those with regular access to the media. Recently Nesrine Malik wrote an article in which she complained that Islam was being “splained” (as in mansplained, etc) to the public by non-Muslims and by a select few Muslims who are “ventriloquizing on behalf of non-Muslims”. She complains that “hijabi women … get most of the high profile exposure even though they are a minority within a minority” and that “there are more Muslim women in hijab fronting social activism campaigns than there are that do not wear the headscarf”, yet typically the women who get the most mainstream media exposure, including bylines in major newspapers both in Europe and North America, are those such as Nesrine Malik who do not wear hijab. While I do not blame ordinary Muslim women who do not wear the hijab, especially if it is out of fear of violence, Muslim female public figures who trade on their Muslimness or speak about Islam or on behalf of Muslims are betraying other Muslim women, at a time when violence against Muslim women is an ever greater threat, if they do so without hijab (even if they do not wear it normally, they should wear it for such occasions). It often seems to be a signal, a way of saying “I’m not like those others, I’m a modern Muslim, I’m more like you”. One should not complain about other people ‘splaining’ your religion to the public while contributing to the problem, even if unconsciously.

Possibly Related Posts:

A Muslim Sexual Abuse Survivor Pushes Back

altmuslim - 10 May, 2017 - 17:09
Regardless of these ongoing battles of community shaming, I am not defeated. I will not stop speaking out about my being a survivor of sexual abuse. I will break these barriers and keep the conversation going. I will share my story and fight.

Protests in Jakarta after Christian governor convicted of blasphemy

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 May, 2017 - 12:32

Religious tolerance under scrutiny as court sentences Basuki Tjahaja Purnama – nicknamed Ahok – to two years in prison

The jailing of Jakarta’s Christian governor on blasphemy charges has sparked outrage from his supporters in Indonesia, rights organisations and the EU.

On Tuesday, a court in the capital of the world’s largest Muslim-majority country found Basuki Tjahaja Purnama – better known by his nickname Ahok – guilty of blasphemy, sentencing him to two years in prison.

I know Ahok. Admire his wk for Jkt. Believe he isn't antiMuslim. Praying for BuVero&kids. Leaders must step up to protect tolerance&harmony.

When words fail, music speaks #paduansuarabalaikota #ahok #saveahok #peace #nkrihargamati #garudapancasila

Continue reading...

An Indonesian court has opened the door to fear and religious extremism | Andreas Harsono

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 May, 2017 - 04:34

By jailing the Jakarta governor Ahok for blasphemy, judges have sent a chilling message to moderates and non-Muslims

The Jakarta court that sentenced governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama to two years’ imprisonment for blasphemy against Islam has sent a chilling message to non-Muslims in Indonesia. How could religious freedom slowly decline in Indonesia? And how could political Islam shape the country?

Ahok, himself a Christian, is the biggest political figure to be victimised under the blasphemy law. He is not only the Jakarta governor, backed by Indonesia’s biggest political party, but he’s also an ally of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. Ahok and Jokowi were the dream team: Jokowi with vision, Ahok doing daily management.

Continue reading...

The Georgia Security Force: Islamophobia in the USA

Loon Watch - 9 May, 2017 - 17:31

There is an all white militia in Georgia calling itself the Georgia Security Forces (GSF) which is likely another iteration of the KKK.  We might need someone like General Sherman to take care of group’s like this if their racism and hatred gets out of hand.

Aljazeera has the scoop.:


Subscribe to The Revival aggregator