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Islamophobia in USA: New Yorkistan? Don’t r ule it out!

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  • Zafar Khan
    New Yorkistan? Don’t rule it out! By Shavana Abruzzo Courier-Life Last Updated: 5:06 PM, June 22, 2010
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2010
      New Yorkistan? Don’t rule it out!
      By Shavana Abruzzo
      Last Updated: 5:06 PM, June 22, 2010


      There’s no denying the elephant in the room. Neither is there any rejoicing over the mosques proposed for Sheepshead Bay, Staten Island and Ground Zero because where there are mosques, there are Muslims, and where there are Muslims, there are problems.
      Before New York becomes New Yorkistan, it is worth noting that the capital of Great Britain was London until it became known as “Londonstan,” degenerated by a Muslim community predominantly from South Asia and Africa, whose first generation of “British Asians” has made the United Kingdom into a launching pad for terrorists.

      In its Nov. 29, 2008 article, “Mumbai attacks: British Muslims and terrorist attacks,” the Daily Telegraph reported, “A number of young British Muslims with roots in Pakistan have been responsible for terrorist attacks, both in Britain and abroad.”
      Among the scum cited are: Omar Sharif, a student at King’s College London, who became a suicide bomber in Israel; Omar Khyam and his gang, who planned to bomb a shopping center and a London night club in 2004; Indian-born Dhiren Barot, a Muslim convert who recruited seven jihadists to bomb hotels in 2004; and the four July 7 suicide bombers of Pakistani descent, who attacked the London Underground in 2005.
      These lowlifes are among the offspring of hard-working Pakistani and Indian workers, who migrated to Great Britain in the 1950s through the 1970s for a better life, toiling in foundries, at Heathrow Airport and — in the British version of affirmative action — as staff for government agencies, including the National Health Service.


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      Planned mosque near NY's Ground Zero sparks debate


      (Reuters) - Plans to build a mosque near the site of the September 11 attacks have touched off a firestorm among New Yorkers nearly a decade after Muslim extremists linked to al Qaeda slammed planes into the World Trade Center.

      The Cordoba House mosque, part of a Muslim center to be built two blocks from what is now known as Ground Zero proposed as a conciliatory move, was overwhelmingly approved by a local community board in May.

      But the plans are being resisted by some New Yorkers who say a mosque would be inappropriate so close to the place where nearly 3,000 people were killed.

      Muslim group says FBI still on Nevada prayer case

      By KEN RITTER Associated Press Writer
      Posted: 06/21/2010 03:01:22 PM PDT
      Updated: 06/21/2010 03:49:53 PM PDT


      LAS VEGAS—A Muslim advocacy group representative accused the FBI on Monday of wrongly questioning five Muslim men in the Los Angeles area about praying in a shopping center parking lot in southern Nevada six months ago.
      Council on American-Islamic Relations attorney Ameena Mirza Qazi in Los Angeles said she was concerned that federal investigators still think the men detained last December by Henderson police were "plotting something or were some sort of suspicious group."
      FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller in Los Angeles said the men were interviewed by FBI agents "to clarify routine reports of suspicious activity" and were not arrested.
      "None of the men have been accused of wrongdoing," Eimiller said.
      Qazi, head of the CAIR Los Angeles chapter, dubbed the men the "Henderson 7." She said five of the men were questioned at their homes Thursday morning.
      "These young men were not engaged in any kind of suspicious activity," Qazi said. "The concern is that they are continuing to be penalized for asserting their First Amendment rights. I think they were wrongly questioned."
      Qazi called it "absurd" that the men continued to face government scrutiny, and said she was concerned that FBI agents showed one of the men a book with information on war tactics, titled "Afghanistan."
      The CAIR attorney declined to identify the man, whom she described as a 29-year-old U.S. Army veteran of Middle Eastern descent. She said agents told him Henderson police found two such books during a December search of the men's vehicle.
      Qazi said the man had no knowledge of the book, and denied he and his traveling companions had books like it in the vehicle. The CAIR official said a Henderson police lieutenant handling a CAIR complaint told her that he had no information about police obtaining the books during the December incident.
      Qazi has said CAIR wants discipline and training for the police officers involved, and compensation for the men who were detained.
      A Henderson police spokesman on Monday declined comment and referred calls to the FBI.
      CAIR has said the seven men were traveling through the Las Vegas area when they stopped to buy gas and food and perform one of five required Muslim daily prayers in a parking lot Dec. 20.

      Feds refuse entry to US citizens


      The Obama Administration's expansion of the no-fly list is barring American citizens from returning to the country -- at times, leaving them in limbo in third party countries.

      The FBI says it's necessary to keep air travel safe, especially after federal lapses in security over the failed bomb attempt at a Detroit-bound plane last Christmas and other recent incidents. Civil rights groups warn that the policy could violate constitutional protection and, in some cases, amount to rendition, when US citizens are sent to other countries to be interrogated.

      Yusuf Wehelie is a 19-year old US citizen detained with his brother by the FBI in Egypt. Although he was eventually allowed to return home, US officials took away his brother Yahya's passport and have not allowed him entry into the US. Yusuf spoke to reporters about the situation earlier this week:

      "A man wearing a suit soon entered and asked me some questions. When I asked him who he was, he claimed to be the CIA and said that I would not go home until I answered his questions and he put me in prison. He interrogated me for a short time, I then asked to use the restroom and I was taken to a small prison in the airport. I was kept there overnight. The next day, after only eating a small piece of bread, I was taken before an egyptian judge who allowed me to be released. But I wasn't released. Instead I was put into the back of an Egyptian police car, handcuffed, blindfolded and driven to what I believe to be the police ministry. I was there and I was placed in a corridor with other prisoners shackled to the wall."

      Muslim Student Union members shocked by suspension


      RVINE – UC Irvine's Muslim Student Union members say a year-long suspension came as a shock and that the university's action would deny Muslim students a sense of community, according to a statement released Monday afternoon.
      “Suspending the MSU would undoubtedly create a chilling effect and deprive Muslim students -- both current and incoming -- of a place where they can develop a sense of community with one another and with the broader UCI campus community,” said incoming MSU President Asaad Traina. “Depriving Muslim students a venue to associate jeopardizes their rights under the First Amendment and is an act of marginalization at a time when Muslim students and Muslim youth already feel besieged."

      Campus officials at UCI have banned the Muslim Student Union for one year and placed the organization on disciplinary probation for an additional year, according to the Jewish Federation Monday morning.
      Federation officials say they obtained documents from the university through the Freedom of Information Act, which show that the Muslim Student Union has been suspended on campus effective Sept. 1.
      MSU members said contrary to the federation's statements, the student group has not been officially suspended.

      How influential will anti-Muslim groups become?
      By Michelle Boorstein


      What is the future of the anti-Muslim movement in the United States?

      For years there has been a small but passionate group of people concerned with the influence of Islam, and their activism seemed to be largely focused on blogging and lobbying political conservatives. But their presence -- and the arguments they raise -- seem to be coming into the broader sphere of late.

      There's the fight over a mosque at the Ground Zero site, and this weekend the on-line electronic payment firm PayPal reportedly cut off the anti-Muslim blog Atlas Shrugs, saying it's a hate site.

      Needless to say, this has prompted a roar from Atlas Shrugs supporters who see political bias.

      Commentators across the spectrum, from the libertarian Becket Fund to the progressive Media Matters are asking: Where is this anti-Muslim movement going? How significantly will it steer the debate in this country about religious freedom and bias?

      UPDATE: Ms. Geller and some of her supporters objected to us characterizing their comments as "anti-Islam." She wrote the following at the bottom of this post, for those who don't read the comments:

      "I am not anti-Muslim. I love Muslims. I am pro-freedom and anti-islamic supremacism." (ironically, the next line is a threat to sue the Post)

      One reader sent a recent report of her comments at a protest of the building of a mosque in lower Manhattan:

      "We're not here today to condemn Muslims or Islam," but "to condemn the kind of mosque that will teach the very same radical ideology that gave birth to the 9/11 attacks." She reportedly went on to say that "building a mosque just several blocks away from Ground Zero is an insult and an afford to every single person that was killed on 9/11."

      Anti-Muslim Attacks At Minnesota Public Schools Reported


      The U.S. Department of Education has agreed to look into possible civil rights violations at two Minnesota public schools, after a group based in St. Paul filed complaints against the two districts.

      The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed the complaints in March, saying Somali and Muslim students were harassed about their race and religion.

      These included name-calling, vulgar language, derisive comments about Muslim traditions and obscene gestures, threats on Facebook and the refusal of a school bus driver in St. Cloud to pick up Muslim students at bus stops.

      Taneeza Islam, civil rights director for CAIR, a Muslim advocacy organization, said the organization is pleased that a neutral body will look into its complaints.

      Meanwhile, a St. Cloud Baptist minister is defending himself against charges of racism after he placed an ad in a newspaper claiming that “when Muslims take over a nation they will destroy the constitution, force Islam on society, take freedom of religion away, and persecute all other religions.”

      In a radio interview, the Rev. Dennis Campbell of Granite City Baptist Church insisted he was not racist and his ad was misjudged. Other religious leaders condemned the ad as fearmongering, shocking and untrue.

      Muslim group’s vehicle vandalized


      Before heading to a community barbeque on Saturday afternoon, members of the Muslim Students Association Northwest were faced with the unpleasant task of washing dog feces off of their vehicle.

      The van, which is owned by the Seattle chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America and is leased to various Muslim organizations throughout the Seattle area, was vandalized on the evening of Wednesday, June 23 in what members of the local Muslim community are calling a hate crime.

      The van’s owner, who routinely parks the vehicle in front of the Islamic Center of the Eastside in Bellevue, Wash., first noticed the vandalism on Thursday, June 24 after returning from afternoon prayers at the mosque. The van, which advertises the ICNA’s “Why Islam” outreach project and reads “Discover Islam,” features the project’s telephone number and web site.

      “The project’s biggest goal is to clarify misconceptions of Islam,” says Arsalan Bukhari, Executive Director of the statewide chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The project provides free literature on Islam and features a call center that answers questions about Islam.

      “This hate crime shows we have to work harder to promote proper understanding of Islam and to negate the poison and false propaganda being spread by misinformation,” wrote Secretary of the ICNA Washington Chapter Dr. Muhammad Ayub in a local press release.

      CAIR has called upon both the Bellevue Police Department and the FBI to consider this incident a hate or bias-motivated crime.

      As per Washington State’s “malicious harassment” statute, a hate crime is defined as an act in which victims are targeted based on their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability. Hate crimes are categorized as Class C felonies, carrying a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.

      At this point, however, the Bellevue Police Department is not considering the incident a hate crime. According to the Department, there is not sufficient evidence to warrant such an investigation, as there remains no surveillance or eyewitness accounts of the vandalism.

      “We have requested that [the police] question people and do some investigative work to see if someone saw something,” says Bukhari. “And we’ve put out a call to citizenry to come forward if they have any information.”

      “People should know that they can’t get away with acts like this. If there is a law against hate crimes, then it should be used against people,” he says.

      Sidney Elyea claims free speech right to slag on Muslims
      By Hart Van Denburg, Thursday, Jun. 24 2010


      Sometimes this whole defense-of-free-speech thing is darned annoying. Here we are, for goodness sakes, watching some guy from Waite Park named Sidney Elyea saying he's well within his constitutional rights to post flyers on utility polls outside a St. Cloud mosque depicting Allah boffing animals.

      Leaving aside his motivations -- he told investigators Muslims are anti-Christian -- it's been made pretty clear that he's a got a good 1st Amendment case. But that hasn't stopped St. Cloud City Attorney Matt Staehling from trying to find some way to go after Elyea.
      Today in an administrative hearing he's going to find out if he can prosecute Elyea for violating the city's ordinance against posting items on city poles without permission.

      Elyea's lawer, Ryan Garry, tells the St. Cloud Times that if Elyea had posted signs for a garage sale or a lost kitten, his client wouldn't be being targeted by the city attorney. (Elyea told investigators that Muslims are "anti-Christian" and that he found the images online and thought it would be "cool" to post them on utility poles.)

      "I'm sure that is what they will argue; I think we have evidence to controvert that," Staehling told the paper.

      Sign vandalized at future mosque site


      Muslim civil rights group files police misconduct complaint


      The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) announced today that it has filed a misconduct complaint against police officers in Henderson, Nev., who allegedly detained seven California Muslims for “suspicious behavior” after they prayed next to their vehicle in a parking lot as they traveled through the town.
      According to the CAIR-LA complaint, the men were detained after they stopped for gas and food at a Henderson shopping center. While in the center’s parking lot, the men took time to perform their sunset (maghrib) prayer, one of five daily prayers performed by Muslims. They prayed in a non-disruptive manner and neither the men nor their vehicle were blocking traffic or preventing others from parking.
      As the men returned to their vehicle, two police cars arrived and the officers asked the men if they knew why they were being stopped. When they said they did not know why police were on the scene, one officer allegedly said he was responding to a report about a bunch of guys doing weird moves.
      The officers questioned the men about their employment, schooling and places of birth for more than a half hour. The officers also performed a cursory search of the vehicle.
      According to the Henderson Police Department incident report, the officers responded to a report that 7 MIDDLE EASTERN MALES ACTING 425, BY A GRY MINI VAN, UNK CA PLTS, SEV OF SUBJS ARE KISSING THE GROUND. (The men are of various ethnic backgrounds, including Middle Eastern and South Asian. The police code 425 generally refers to a suspicious situation. Muslims place their foreheads to the ground briefly while praying.)

      Marine jailed for war crimes freed


      Sharia law, courts likely on 2010 ballot
      Mark Schlachtenhaufen
      The Edmond Sun


      EDMOND — State lawmakers say it’s a pre-emptive strike against Sharia law, needed to prevent here what has happened in the United Kingdom.

      An Islamic leader says it’s another example of a rising tide of anti-Islamic bigotry in America.

      State Question 755, which likely will be on the ballot in November, would make in-state courts rely on federal and state laws when deciding cases and forbid courts from using international law or Sharia law when making rulings.

      The proposal, which has an Edmond connection, would amend Article 7, Section 1 of the Oklahoma Constitution, and stems from House Joint Resolution 1056, dubbed the “Save Our State” amendment, passed during the just-finished legislative session.

      State Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Edmond, a co-author of HJR 1056, said he wanted to express his support very early for the legislation, which is needed because of the “onslaught” coming Oklahoma’s way.

      “I don’t think we should accept or encourage Sharia law in any way, shape or form,” Moore said.

      State Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, primary author of HJR 1056, said Oklahoma is the first state to pass such legislation and he hopes other states will follow.

      Oklahoma Muslims Asked to Challenge Anti-Hijab Legislation


      The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) today called on Oklahomans concerned with constitutionally-protected religious freedoms to contact their state representatives about a bill that bans religious headwear in driver’s license and other identification card photos.

      The bill, HB 1645, passed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Monday. An Oklahoma Senate subcommittee is expected to take up the bill next week.

      The proposed amendment states: “The photograph or image shall clearly identify the licensee or cardholder and shall depict a full front unobstructed view of the entire head and shoulders of the licensee or cardholder. Hats, head scarves, head garments…that cover or partially cover the head or shoulders are strictly prohibited and shall not be worn by the licensee or cardholder when being photographed for a license or identification card.”

      CAIR-OK believes the amendment proposed by Rep. Rex Duncan (R-Sand Springs) was introduced in reaction to CAIR-Oklahoma’s successful resolution of a dispute over a Muslim woman’s right to wear hijab in her driver’s license photo.

      Critical of Israel Posted by Letters Editor June 4th, 2010, 4:47 pm


      Regarding the letter (“Israeli defense move,” June 3) about the loss of life caused by Israeli armed commandos recently in international waters is more than regrettable, it’s a criminal act. The most important fact being ignored in relation to the killing of peace activists on the aid ship is that the three-year Israeli blockade of Gaza is illegal according to international law. The blockade is illegal because it deprives a civilian population of vital food, medicines and home building supplies. When the world’s fourth largest military starves a civilian population the rest of the world has the right, and indeed the obligation, to act to relieve the suffering. It is truly shocking that Israel’s government blames the victims of their pre-dawn raid on the humanitarian aid flotilla.

      Bomb That Mosque!


      Michael Berry, the former city councilman who hosts a talk show on KTRH each afternoon, has had a federal complaint filed against him by CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

      For some reason, they don't like the fact that when a caller to Berry's show supported building a mosque near Ground Zero in New York, Berry responded: "No, no, Tony, you can't build a mosque at the site of 9/11. No, you can't. No, you can't. And I'll tell you this — if you do build a mosque, I hope somebody blows it up...I hope the mosque isn't built, and if it is, I hope it's blown up, and I mean that."

      (This came after his first question, which was whether the accented guy's name was really Tony.)

      Berry has said on his blog that he went too far: "While I stand by my disagreement of the building of the mosque on the site, I SHOULD NOT have said, 'I hope someone blows it up.' That was dumb, and beneath me. I was trying to show "Tony" how much I opposed his opinion, but I went too far. For that, I apologize to my listeners."

      He tells Hair Balls the same thing.

      "The guy taunted me, and I am passionate that building a mosque on that site is an affront to the families of victims," he told us. (His blog, by the way, also states, "I did NOT advocate bombing any mosque," which is parsing Bill Clinton would be proud of. Berry's apparently not familiar with "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?")

      Berry says that his comment was a reaction to the over-the-top comments the caller made, but it actually comes well before the caller went into shouting mode.

      Berry under fire for mosque bomb remark
      Muslim group files FCC complaint against radio host, but conservative remains defiant


      Religious leaders join to condemn Cahill's comments on Muslim community


      Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim leaders, adorned in the vestments of their respective faiths, stood shoulder to shoulder on the steps of a Roxbury mosque today and strongly condemned Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill’s remarks blasting Governor Deval Patrick’s attendance last weekend at a forum at the mosque.

      The gathering included leaders from the Archdiocese of Boston, the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, the Massachusetts Council of Churches, some of Boston’s most prominent black churches, and several Jewish temples.

      Nationwide Muslim advocacy group urges FBI to investigate attempted arson in Tigard


      The Council on American-Islamic Relations is asking the FBI to aid local law enforcement efforts in their investigation into an attempted arson incident, where a man discovered a mysterious timed device near liquid accelerant in his parent's Tigard-area home Sunday. The Washington County Sheriff's Office said the residents of the home are natives of Afghanistan and Muslim.

      America's Muslims: Guilty Until Proven Innocent?


      Federal agency will investigate alleged harassment against Somali students
      by Ambar Espinoza, Minnesota Public Radio
      May 25, 2010


      The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has decided to investigate complaints of discrimination in the St. Cloud and Owatonna public schools after a civil rights group based in St. Paul filed complaints against the two districts.

      The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed the complaints in March. The complaints alleged that Somali and Muslim students were harassed about their race and religion and include that a school bus driver in St. Cloud left Muslim students behind at the bus stops several times and that some students and teachers made disparaging remarks about Somali students.

      Education department spokesman Justin Hamilton said the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race or national origin by recipients of federal money, such as public schools.

      "The complaint we received from Minnesota alleges that there has been discrimination in schools based on national origin," Hamilton said.

      Hamilton said the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) determined the CAIR complaints meet a basic threshold to proceed with an investigation.

      "There has been no determination of wrongdoing, but we will be there on the ground to look into these issues further and determine what the status is," he said.

      Hamilton said the OCR will send investigators to Minnesota to talk to CAIR, students who say they were harassed, officials from both school districts, and other relevant sources.

      "I think the best way to look at this is the beginning of a fact-gathering process," he said.

      St. Cloud superintendent Steve Jordahl said he was hoping his district wouldn't have to go through a federal investigation, but he understands the Department of Education is just doing its job.

      "I am not disappointed that the investigation is going to be done," Jordahl said. "I'm disappointed in the sense that it's a distraction to what we do as professionals to impact the lives of children because that's what we do as a school district."

      Jordahl said he's confident his school district is having a

      positive impact on students.

      "We know that we have solid programs in place, and so when something comes along that distracts us from doing that, yes, it causes a disappointment," he said. "But are we surprised by the distraction that it's going to happen? No. Were we wishing that it wasn't going to happen? Absolutely."

      Jordahl said he hoped the school district's internal investigation would have been enough to resolve the issues. The school district investigated 14 incidents and found that tensions have occurred among a small pool of students at two of the district's high schools. But it did not find any evidence to support seven out of eight complaints raised by CAIR.
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