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News, January 2011

 
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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

 

Islamophobia in the US:
January 1, 2011

Fla. Newspaper Exposes Growing Anti-Islam Hate Group

Anti-Muslim Activist Has Criminal Record

Backgrounder: Brigitte Gabriel and ACT! for America

CAIR-MN Named to List of 2010 'Difference Makers'

CAIR-San Antonio: Muslims Lend a Hand to the Homeless

CAIR-OH: A Mobile App to Build Religious Understanding

American Muslims a New Consumer Niche

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EDUCATING OR FEAR-MONGERING? THE CONTROVERSY OVER ACT! - TOP Deirdre Conner, Florida Times-Union, 12/26/10

When ACT! for America's Jacksonville chapter began attacking a local Muslim scholar this year, it might have appeared to be the isolated action of a fringe group.

Far from it.

Over the past year, ACT has engaged in similar skirmishes across the country that have raised the group's profile, its membership and its revenue.

It describes itself as educating concerned citizens and exposing the threat of radical Islamic terrorists they believe are multiplying on American soil. When the local chapter protested the appointment of University of North Florida professor Parvez Ahmed to the city's Human Rights Commission, they claimed he had ties to terrorist organizations, despite his written record of condemning violence and terrorism.

But the episode is also one of many reasons ACT has come under increasing scrutiny from critics. They say that at best, the group is promoting misinformation among an American public still largely uninformed about Islam, and at worst, it is exploiting people's worst fears to propagate bigotry and hate speech against Muslims.

Its detractors include Muslim civil rights groups as well as scholars and even the Southern Poverty Law Center, all of which say the group denigrates all Muslims, not just extremists. (More)

SEE ALSO:

ANTI-MUSLIM ACTIVIST WHO LED FIGHT AGAINST JACKSONVILLE COMMISSIONER OWES STATE MORE THAN $500K - TOP

McDaniels also has a criminal arrest record in Jacksonville that shows a DUI, a domestic battery and a charge of passing worthless checks.

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BACKGROUNDER: BRIGITTE GABRIEL AND ACT! FOR AMERICA - TOP

ACT! for America leader Brigitte Gabriel claims an American Muslim "cannot be a loyal citizen" and that Islam is the "real enemy." She once told the Australian Jewish News: "Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim." She also claimed that "Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word. . .it's the vehicle for Islam. . .Islam is the problem."

When asked whether Americans should "resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation," Gabriel said: "Absolutely. If a Muslim who has -- who is -- a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day -- this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America."

Gabriel stated: "America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam."

SEE: Tolerating Evil is a Crime

Along with her stated desire to have Muslims barred from public office, Gabriel has also claimed that Arabs "have no soul" and that Muslims worship "something they call 'Allah,' which is very different from the God we believe [in]."

SEE: A Case Study in Sincere Hypocrisy: Brigitte Gabriel Video: Brigitte Gabriel Says Arabs Have No Souls

Earlier this year, a person staffing an ACT! for America information table in Florida was caught on video bragging that he desecrated the Quran, Islam's revealed text, and urinates in the washing stations Muslims use to perform their ritual ablutions (wudu) for prayer.

That person states: "Their foot baths, I love pissing in them. . .The Quran makes worthless toilet paper. It just kind of scratches my a** a little bit. . .To me, I like desecrating their [Muslims'] holy stuff."

SEE: Person at ACT! for America Table in Fla. Brags of Desecrating Quran -----

OUR VIEW: DIFFERENCE MAKERS? - TOP St. Cloud Times Editorial Board, 12/26/10

The Times Editorial Board today lists the people and groups it believes are the biggest Difference Makers for 2010.

This is the sixth year the board has offered its picks. The idea is to cite people and groups who have made a difference in Central Minnesota the past year. . .

CAIR

The Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which asked the U.S. Department of Education to investigate reports of harassment and discrimination against Muslim students at Apollo, Technical and Owatonna high schools.

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ALAMO CITY'S MUSLIM COMMUNITY LENDS HAND TO HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS - TOP Karen Grace, KENS 5, 12/24/10

[NOTE- this initiative was sponsored by CAIR's San Antonio chapter.]

SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio's local Muslim community raised $4,000 and gave socks, blankets and food items as part of care packages for the city's homeless population.

SEE: CAIR-San Antonio: Muslim Youth Help the Homeless

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7TH HEAVEN: A MOBILE APP TO BUILD RELIGIOUS UNDERSTANDING - TOP The Techtics, 12/25/10

ONE-LINER: A social mobile app which allows you to get answers and similarities about Islam,Christianity and Judaism to build religious tolerance between their followers. . .

Julia Shearson, Executive Director of the Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says, "It's an enjoyable game. I think it will bring people together."

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WEIGHING UNTAPPED MARKET AGAINST TERROR FEARS - TOP Companies find opportunity in marketing to U.S. Muslims, but some face ugly reaction

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. In the ballroom of an upscale hotel a short train ride from New York, advertisers, food industry executives and market researchers mingled the men in dark suits, the women in headscarves and Western dress. Chocolates made according to Islamic dietary laws were placed at each table. (More)







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