Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, April 2011
Republican Orchestrated Islamophobia in the US: Anti-Muslim Hearings, Shari'a Craze, & Profiling
April 11, 2011
(CNN) Seven Muslims on Ballot in Suburban Chicago
The Muslim-Baiting Radio Host the GOP Can't Resist
NY Democrats Accuse Lawmaker of Holding Anti-Islam Hearings
NY Democrats: Muslims Unfair Target
Peter King Calls for Ethnic, Religious Profiling
Florida Senate Moves Anti-Sharia Law Bill
HADITH OF THE DAY: THE GOLDEN RULE - TOP
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Do you know who will go first on the Day of Resurrection to the shade of God? ... Those who when given what is right accept it, when asked for something give freely and who judge in favor of others as they do for themselves."
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1042
View the video.
MORGAN: Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, at least 12 people are dead after an attack on a U.N. building. The attacks sparked by protests against the burning of a Koran by a Florida pastor last month.
President Obama spoke out today condemning the violence.
And now, I want to bring in Corey Saylor, the director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Corey Saylor, terrible scenes in Mazar-e-Sharif. Do you condemn them?
COREY SAYLOR, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS: Absolute tragedy, Piers. And we condemn it utterly.
MORGAN: To bring viewers up to speed with the Florida pastor Terry Jones. There was an initial incident with him in which he said he would burn the Koran and then didn't. But a few days ago, he then conducted a trial of the Koran. It was found guilty apparently, and he and his fellow church members in Florida burned one copy of the Koran. And it's that that sparked what happened today in Afghanistan.
Pretty serious repercussions for what many are saying was an act of pure bigoted idiocy.
SAYLOR: Well, Terry Jones deserves to be ignored 100 percent. And by no means does what he did allow anyone within the faith of Islam to go out and hurt other people. And that should be condemned utterly.
I mean, Muslims -- Muslims, the example is Prophet Mohammed. There's a famous story that every Muslim knows, Prophet Mohammed went to a city called Ta'if, he preached, he was chased out of the city by people throwing rocks at him. When he got out of the town, he was bleeding profusely. And angel came to him and essentially offered him to have the town destroyed. And he said, no.
That's the example right there. Part of the explanation that he gave, I'm paraphrasing here, is we don't know what these people's descendants are going to be like.
So, when he was abused, he met it with patience and tolerance. And I would advise my brothers and sisters around the world to remember that example. Patience and tolerance is how we meet bigots like Terry Jones.
MORGAN: Given that context, was it sensible of the various imams and mullahs who called for a day of anger and protests of the Koran burning -- was that sensible? Was it right? Would you condemn them for calling for those protests?
SAYLOR: I think unfortunately it's going to put more fuel on the fire that was already lit today. And we just simply don't need any more of that. What we need is what we saw immediately after when Terry Jones burned the Koran last week. He was met with absolute silence. Nobody paid any attention to him. And that is what he deserves.
He certainly does not deserve any more attention. And, certainly, no one is doing the religion of Islam a service by calling for a day of rage.
MORGAN: Where will this end, do you think, Corey?
SAYLOR: Well, unfortunately, think all too often extremists on both sides, the violent extremists that did the attack today, the extremists down in Florida, Terry Jones, control this conversation. And what has to happen is that those in the center who want a reasonable conversation have to continue to assert ourselves strongly. We don't accept what Terry Jones does. We don't accept anything like what happened in Afghanistan today.
And those of us that are leaders have to remind the people who follow us about the teachings of our own faiths. Jesus did not teach violence. Prophet Mohammed did not teach to respond to these things like violence. And that message has to be made clearly in unison with representatives of all face.
MORGAN: It would be helpful if Terry Jones realizes there are consequences to acts of a kind of idiocy that he's been perpetrating the last week.
Corey Saylor, thank you very much.
SAYLOR: Thank you.
Source: CNN transcripts
SEVEN MUSLIMS ON BALLOT IN SUBURBAN CHICAGO - TOP Kane Farabaugh, Voice of America, 4/6/11
When it started last year, the non-profit group Project Mobilize, or Project M, hoped to change the political landscape in suburban Chicago by promoting Muslim Americans as election candidates. So far, there are no Muslim Americans serving as elected officials in the Chicago area. But Project M hopes that will change in municipal elections April 5.
In the countdown to Election Day, Maha Hasan is making a final push to get out the vote.
She is running for a position as a trustee with the Justice Public Library. Justice is a Chicago suburb. ...
Hasan is hoping to make history as the first Muslim American candidate elected to the Justice Public Library board. She is one of seven Muslim Americans on ballots in municipal elections in suburban Chicago April 5. Five are women. (More)
----- AUDIO: GOP CANDIDATE DEFENDS BAN ON MUSLIMS IN GOVERNMENT - TOP
Watch the video.
Today on The Laura Ingraham Show, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain went even further than he's previous comments regarding Muslims. He also painted Michelle Obama's garden as a ploy used by the administration to distract people from its failed policies.
@1:21 - "I want people in my administration that are committed to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. I don't want any inkling of anybody in my administration who would put Sharia law over American law."
@2:10 - "I have not found a Muslim that has said that they will denounce Sharia law, you know, in order to support the Constitution of the United States." (More)
THE MUSLIM-BAITING RADIO HOST THE GOP CAN'T RESIST - TOP Justin Elliot, Salon.com, 4/6/11
The host of a radio show that has become a regular stop for Republican presidential candidates is calling for restrictions on Muslim immigration to the U.S.
Bryan Fischer, who is the American Family Association’s Director of Issues Analysis, also called Islam a "toxic cancer" on his show today. This is not new rhetoric for Fischer, but what makes it interesting is that several potential GOP candidates have recently accepted invitiations to be on his show. That includes Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Haley Barbour, and Newt Gingrich.
"We really need to restrict immigration from Islamic countries," Fischer said today.
Here, via Right Wing Watch, are his latest comments: (More)
----- NY DEMOCRATS ACCUSE LAWMAKER OF HOLDING ANTI-ISLAM HEARINGS - TOP David Freedlander, Observer, 4/5/11
State Senate Democrats are out with a release today blasting Republican lawmaker Greg Ball for holding a hearing which they claim is designed to "isolate and vilify Muslims."
The hearing, called "Reviewing our Preparedness: An Examination of New York's Public Protection Ten Years After September 11" will be held Friday at 250 Broadway in Manhattan and will feature Nonie Darwish, a human rights activist who has attracted a good deal of controversy for her views on Islam, particularly the idea that the religion teaches its adherents to hate non-believers and to subjugate women.
The Democrats also blasted Senator Ball for inviting Frank Gaffney, a columnist who has questioned if Barack Obama was born in the United States. Ball said that Gaffney, in fact, will not attend.
"They are not people who are experts in security," said Senator Kevin Parker of Brooklyn. "They are folks who have developed their name by spending their time criticizing and attacking Islam, which is not where we think we ought to be as a legislature." (More)
NY DEMOCRATS: MUSLIMS UNFAIR TARGET - TOP Rick Karlin, Albany Times Union, 4/6/11
ALBANY -- As an assemblyman, Greg Ball wasn't shy about criticizing fellow lawmakers, especially those who the Hudson Valley Republican found too liberal or too spendthrift.
Now a senator, Ball, as chairman of the Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs Committee, has found himself in a battle with Democrats over the volatile issue of religious freedom and the Muslim community in the United States.
Ball was blasted in a letter Tuesday signed by 11 Democrats for inviting a nationally known critic of Islam to a hearing Friday that he's scheduled on public protection.
"The actions and words of some of the witnesses invited by you seek only to inflame hysteria and place an entire faith under suspicion," Brooklyn Sen. Kevin Parker said in a letter about the hearing, which Ball calls "Reviewing our Preparedness: An Examination of New York's Public Protection Ten Years After September 11." (More)
PETER KING CALLS FOR ETHNIC PROFILING IN ADDITION TO RELIGIOUS PROFILING - TOP Lee Fang, Think Progress, 4/5/11
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has caused an uproar with his relentless scapegoating of Muslim Americans. As chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, he refused to broaden his terrorism hearings into any non-Muslim groups. And given many of King’s public statements about Muslim Americans, including an argument that Muslim Americans aren’t Americans when it comes to war, many have accused him of prejudice.
In a public television appearance aired today with Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), King elaborated on his exclusive focus on Muslim Americans as terrorist threats. In his remarks, King justified racial or ethnic profiling as well as religious profiling. King reasoned that if racist white terrorists were suspected of an attack on an African American community, the same standard against Muslims could be applied to “a white guy walking down around Harlem." (More)
Watch the video.
----- FLORIDA SENATE MOVES ANTI-SHARIA LAW BILL - TOP Matt Dixon, Florida Times-Union, 4/5/11
During a Senate committee hearing Monday, Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, said a bill he was sponsoring did one thing and one thing only.
The bill "simply states in a courtroom of state of Florida, the only laws that might be applied are the laws of the state of Florida and the United States, period," he said.
He made no mention of the fact that his bill, SB 1294, is nearly a word-for-word match of model anti-Islamic religious - Shariah - law legislation that is posted on the website of the American Public Policy Alliance, a group that works "to defend free speech, preserve and promote human rights, maintain the sanctity of our US and state constitutions, and aid and promote public safety." (More)
MO: BANNING SHARIA IS FEARMONGERING AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL - TOP David Rosman, Missourian, 4/6/11
It is apparently not enough that our legislators in Washington, D.C., have held hearings on terrorism focusing only on our Muslim brethren. Now Rep. Don Wells, R-Cabool, wants to attack Islam by proposing yet another unnecessary and possibly federally unconstitutional amendment to Missouri’s constitution. And Rep. John Cauthorn, R-Mexico, who represents a portion of eastern Columbia and Boone County, has joined Wells’ team.
Their problem? Sharia law. Really?
This is an example of fear mongering — attacking an issue based on fear and misunderstanding, using propaganda and no facts — at its best.
House Joint Resolution 31, is specifically written to prohibit Missouri courts from using Sharia or international law in their deliberation.
A search of Missouri courts and the State Courts Administrator website shows no incident in which Sharia law has been considered in Missouri courts. The state Supreme Court verified this fact.
I called Wells’ office to seek his reasoning for wanting this action, especially after a similar amendment in Oklahoma has been put on hold by the U.S. District Court. He has not returned these calls. Rep. Cauthorn did tell me he was not familiar with the resolution. So why did he sign as a co-sponsor?
In Muneer Awad v. Paul Ziriax, et al. (Nov. 2010), the Federal Western District Court of Oklahoma was asked if the specific exclusion of Sharia law in a state constitutional amendment might conflict with the U.S. Constitution. What the court must decide is this: If the rule of the majority is in conflict with the Bill of Rights, can the will of the people be wrong?
The short answer, at least for now: Yes, there is a conflict, and the people can be mistaken. (More)
----- NY: CHILDREN ACCUSED OF ATTACKING MUSLIM CLASSMATE ORDERED HELD - TOP Jennifer H. Cunningham and Joe Kemp, New York Daily News, 4/6/11
Two troubled Staten Island schoolchildren accused of attacking a Muslim classmate were ordered held in a juvenile detention center without bail, authorities said.
Krystal Callender, 13, who was arrested this week, attacked a 13-year-old Muslim girl outside Berta Dreyfus Intermediate School 49 in Stapleton and attempted to rip off her religious head scarf, authorities said.
The arrest came days after 12-year-old Osman Daramy was charged for the attack. Both were charged with assault as a hate crime. (More)
----- FBI CONTACTING LIBYAN AMERICANS: CAIR - TOP Jonathan Dienst, NBC, 4/5/11
The FBI is contacting Libyan-Americans as a precaution due to the conflict in Libya, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Tuesday.
CAIR officials said in an email to members they "strongly support law enforcement" and said it was a "civic duty" to report any criminal or threat information.
They also advised community members of their rights to have an attorney and that cooperating with law enforcement is voluntary absent a subpoena. (More)
CAIR: FBI SEEKING INFORMATION FROM LIBYANS IN U.S. - TOP Carol Cratty, CNN, 4/5/11
Washington (CNN) -- The FBI has begun interviewing Libyans who are living in the United States in a hunt for any possible threats to Americans, according to a law enforcement official.
The official described this as a "proactive effort" spurred by the revolt in Libya and said the FBI has no specific intelligence to indicate Libya is planning terror attacks.
"We are making contact with Libyan visitors to determine whether there is a threat to Americans here or abroad," said the source, who was not authorized to speak on the record. The FBI would not comment. ...
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reacted to the FBI interviews by issuing a statement reminding American Muslims they are not required to talk to the FBI absent a legal subpoena. CAIR did not tell Muslims to refuse to speak to the FBI, but suggested they consider having an attorney present.
CAIR also told Muslims if they are aware of any criminal activity going on in their communities it is their "religious and civic duty to immediately report such activity to local and federal law enforcement agencies." (More)
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