JEWISH RECOMMITMENT AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA

While many of us have been concerned about, and appalled by the recent Islamophobic ads on NYC subways and buses and have responded to them in a number of different ways, we also recognize that Islamophobia extends far beyond those ads.

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Jews Recommit to Standing Against Islamophobia

by: Donna Nevel and Elly Bulkin FOR

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While many of us have been concerned about, and appalled by the recent Islamophobic ads on NYC subways and buses and have responded to them in a number of different ways, we also recognize that Islamophobia extends far beyond those ads.

As part of our commitment to challenging Islamophobia in all its forms and to bringing these issues to the forefront within the Jewish community, the coalition we are part of, Jews Against Islamophobia (Jews Say No!, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice), wanted to make visible the many manifestations of Islamophobia that we oppose and that we are committed to challenging. We created a short video that highlights the multiple ways Islamophobia is promoted – through police surveillance of the Muslim community, government institutions and policies, and the media as well as through Islamophobic ads in public spaces and demanding that Muslims pass a litmus test declaring their loyalty to the State of Israel before being considered an “acceptable” partner.

Some of us from Jews Against Islamophobia have also been part of initiating a new national network, J-NAI (Jewish Voice for Peace Network Against Islamophobia) that we hope will provide support and resources for those interested in organizing against Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism, and in making the connections between Islamophobia and Israel politics.You can learn more about these efforts at JVP.org/JNAI

We join our partners and allies from the Muslim community and from other communities who are organizing against Islamophobia and for justice and dignity for all our communities.

WATCH AS ISLAMOPHOBIA GOES LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD

And the Oscar goes to .... 'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

And the Oscar goes to …. ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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“It’s the only religion that acts like the mafia,” he said of Islam on his program, Real Time with Bill Maher, “that will f–king kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”

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Ben Affleck, Bill Maher tussle over Islamophobia


Actor gets visibly agitated by comments he considered Islamophobic, cutting off the host, author Sam Harris and N.Y. Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.
By Haaretz

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Ben Affleck at the 52nd New York Film Festival opening night gala presentation of the movie 'Gone Girl' in New York, Sept. 26, 2014. Photo by Reuters

Ben Affleck at the 52nd New York Film Festival opening night gala presentation of the movie ‘Gone Girl’ in New York, Sept. 26, 2014. Photo by Reuters

 

A week after sparking controversy over his anti-Islam comments, HBO host Bill Maher doubled down in a debate over Islam that pushed Ben Affleck’s Islamophobia button on Friday.

“It’s the only religion that acts like the mafia,” he said of Islam on his program, Real Time with Bill Maher, “that will f–king kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”

Earlier in the heated discussion, Maher and author Sam Harris were agreeing with each other that liberals do not hold up liberal standards when it comes to Islam.

“You and I have been trying to make the case I think that liberals need to stand up for liberal principles. This is what I said on last week’s show,” said Maher, referring to the previous installment when he stated, “If we’re giving no quarter to intolerance, shouldn’t we be starting with the mutilators and the honor killers?”

That debate drew fire from Islamic scholar Reza Aslan, who said on CNN on Monday, “The problem is that you’re talking about a religion of one and a half billion people, and certainly it becomes very easy to just simply paint them all with a single brush.”

On Friday, Maher said that liberals applaud for principles like “freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion you want without fear of violence, freedom to leave a religion, equality for women, equality for minorities, including homosexuals … but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what’s lacking then they get upset.”

“Liberals have rally failed on the topic of theocracy,” responded Harris.
He asserted that liberals criticize “white theocracy” and “Christians” but have failed to be critical about “the treatment of women, and homosexuals and free thinkers and public intellectuals in the Muslim world.”

He added,” The crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of Islamaphobia, where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry toward Muslims as people, which is intellectually ridiculous.”

Are you the person who understands the officially codified document of Islam?” Affleck queried Harris.

“Actually, I’m well educated on this topic,” Harris responded.

“I’m not denying that certain people are bigoted against Muslim people, and that’s a problem,” added Harris, but Affleck did not allow him to finish his sentence.

The actor jumped in, describing Harris’s generalizations about Islam as “gross” and “racist.”

“It’s so not,” interjected Maher.

“It’s like saying, ‘you shifty Jew!'” said Affleck.

Harris shot back, “We have to be able to criticize bad ideas… and Islam is the motherload of bad ideas.”

“That’s just a fact,” chimed in Maher.

“It’s just an ugly thing to say,” said Affleck.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tried to bring in some balance, telling Maher that the picture he is painting is “to some extent true, but it is hugely incomplete,” but his calm analysis was cut off by an agitated Affleck.

“It is certainly true that plenty of fanatics and jihadi are Muslim, but the people who are standing up to them – Malala, Mohammed Ali in Iran, in prison for 9 years for speaking up for Christians, a friend that I had in Pakistan who was shot this year, Rashid Rehman, for defending people accused of apostasy –,” said Kristof before Affleck interjected, ending his contribution to the debate.

Affleck argued that the others were stereotyping 1.6 billion people for the beliefs of a handful of radicals. “That’s just not true, Ben,” countered Maher.

Harris then gave an analysis, in which he described 20% of the Muslim world as being Islamists, basing his assessment on various polls, and then described a wider circle of conservative Muslims “who can honestly look at ISIS and say that does not represent us, we’re horrified by that, but they hold views about human rights, women and homosexuals that are deeply troubling.”

He argued that liberal Muslims have to be empowered, adding, “Lying about the link between doctrine and behavior is not going to do that.”

The debate carried on a little longer before Maher made his mafia comment. After that point, everyone agreed to disagree.

Aslan, commenting on Affleck’s aggressiveness during the debate, tweeted on his account, “Watching @BenAffleck go after Sam Harris & Bill Maher with that TONE really made me scared of white New Englander.”

RISING ABOVE PAMELA GELLER

Condemned by such noted liberals as the ADL, Dinesh D’Souza, and the Daily News, banned by the Great Neck Synagogue (but embraced by Chabad), Geller is the anti-Muslim wacko who takes ads on buses and subways to remind us all that followers of Islam are “savages” and that there’s no such thing as a moderate Muslim. (Someone better inform Dr. Oz.)
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We Are All Pamela Geller

Let’s Figure Out How We Rise Above Her

By Jay Michaelson

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Hate: One of Geller’s ads posted in the New York subway system.

GETTY IMAGES
Hate: One of Geller’s ads posted in the New York subway system.
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Well, now we know what it takes to stop Pamela Geller’s crusade against terrorism: an actual victim of it.

Condemned by such noted liberals as the ADL, Dinesh D’Souza, and the Daily News, banned by the Great Neck Synagogue (but embraced by Chabad), Geller is the anti-Muslim wacko who takes ads on buses and subways to remind us all that followers of Islam are “savages” and that there’s no such thing as a moderate Muslim. (Someone better inform Dr. Oz.)

Until yesterday, Geller was planning another assault on the citizens of New York, in the form of hateful bus and subway ads. But at the 11th hour, reason intervened, in the form of the family of James Foley, one of the Islamic State’s victims, who asked that Geller pull the ads.

The Foley family succeeded where an array of activists and municipalities have failed. Say what you will about Geller’s politics, her legal counsel is excellent. Her organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative — and its project, Stop the Islamicization of America — has won court victories that make it very difficult for the MTA, or its sister agencies in Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., to stop her. “Our hands are tied,” an MTA representative told the Daily News.

This is, after all, political speech, carefully lawyered to evade prosecution. And let’s remember that Geller has only committed to withdrawing those picturing Foley, which still leaves plenty of hate to be written on the subway walls.

Prior to the Foleys’ success, tactics have varied widely — with similarly varying results.

The best the MTA has been able to win is a disclaimer that SOIA’s views are not those of the MTA. Mayor Bill DiBlasio has proposed contemplation: Those “forced to view [the ads] can take comfort in the knowledge that we share a better, loftier and nobier view of humanity.” Alright.

San Francisco’s Muni system did better, posting their own ads a few feet from Geller’s setting forth Muni’s anti-discrimination policy and explicitly condemning Geller’s statements. Better.

Moderate Muslim organizations have started their own counter-protests: the #MyJihad campaign (which Geller has co-opted) and humor-based campaigns such as “Fighting Bigotry With Hilarious Posters,” which warns us that “the Muslims are coming — to your radiology department.” Nice.

And enterprising activists have made an art form out of directly “modifying” Geller’s posters, sometimes just with black spray paint but other times with pictures of Geller herself and witty speech-bubbles like “I’m obsessed and must struggle to stop.” I won’t name acronyms, but some left-leaning Jewish organizations have gotten in on the act too.

Here, however, I’d like to take a different tack.

Geller’s ads may have been pulled, but her presence is still felt keenly in our community, and I think it’s too easy to focus on Geller as a racist clown, thus giving all the rest of us a free pass. Geller is like a pro-Israel Barry Goldwater: in our hearts, many in our community believe her to be right.

So, rather than Di-Blasian self-satisfaction, I’d like to invite the exact opposite: self-questioning. It’s highly appropriate for this season of repentance, and it is a lot more productive. We should be asking ourselves: What views do I hold that enable, or resemble, such extremism? If I’m on the Left, do I call out my friends when their anti-Zionism slides into anti-Semitism? And if I’m on the Right, do I hold myself and my friends accountable for views which border on bigotry?

Let me give some examples, direct from Geller herself.

One of Geller’s new ads states that “Hamas is ISIS, Hamas is Al-Qaeda, Hamas is Boko Haram, Hamas is CAIR in America.” Factually, this is quite false. In fact, while Hamas has nominally supported ISIS in Syria — thus damaging ties with its historic sponsor, Iran — the Islamic State is a Salafist jihadist/fundamentalist movement that regards Hamas as impure and the Israel/Palestinian conflict as largely irrelevant. In fact, Hamas’s best friend today is Qatar, which is in the coalition opposing the Islamic State. Unsurprisingly, Geller is just ignorant here.

But to vilify CAIR in this way is defamatory, like saying that AIPAC is Baruch Goldstein. Do some CAIR members support Hamas? Probably. Did some AIPAC members support Goldstein? Probably. Does that make them identical? No.

Now I want to turn the question inward. Have I learned enough about the differences among Muslim groups, or do I reduce them all to the “Them” in an Us/Them dichotomy? Do I recognize that all religious and national groups have their moderates and extremists? That Paul Ryan isn’t Bill O’Reilly isn’t Pamela Geller — even if they’ve all intersected at times?

And do I appreciate the consequences for American civil society if I were really to believe, as another Geller ad insists, that “yesterday’s moderate is today’s headline”? Is everyone who has an expansive view of the Second Amendment the same as mass shooters in Colorado and Connecticut? Is every conservative in the KKK? Do we see what this kind of thinking would mean?

Let’s take a second example. “Jew-hatred: It’s in the Quran,” an AFDI poster blares. And indeed, the Quran has many violent passages, including some about Jews — most notoriously 5:60, which says that “some” Jews have been transformed into “monkeys and pigs.” It is definitely triumphalist in nature. (See, e.g. 4:101, 66:9, 28:66.)

But have you read the Quran, cover to cover? Including verses like 2:256 (“Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error”), or the many similar exhortations in 6:107, 11:28, 42:8, 65:26, and elsewhere? Or, for that matter, 2:47, which exhorts “Children of Israel! Call to mind the favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other nations”?

To be sure, ISIS’s barbarian shave not lived up to these nobler teachings. Nor did the Crusaders, of course, live up to theirs.

And have you read the Bible, cover to cover? Including Deuteronomy 7:2-3, which calls for the complete ethnic cleansing of the Land of Israel, along with similar exhortations in Numbers 31:7-18, Joshua 11:12-15, and elsewhere? And is not Judaism likewise triumphalist, sure that it is the one true religion?

All Western religions have teachings of peace and teachings of violence within them. All have followers who emphasize one or the other. All can be triumphalist, violent, and ethnocentric — or the opposite. In some times and places, the fundamentalists hold sway; in others, the moderates. This is reality.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the irony here. In condemning all Muslims as savage and violent, Geller is herself becoming like those Muslims who are. She is a fundamentalist like they are fundamentalists; she is irrational like they are irrational.

And another irony: So are we, if we simply assume that Geller is over there, and I’m over here. Moderate/Extremist is just another Us/Them dichotomy — one that gives me a pass just as Geller’s Us/Them dichotomy gives her.

Actually, we are all Pamela Geller to some extent: She is simply the manifestation of the fearful, irrational, and hateful parts of each of us. There’s a Geller inside me and a Geller inside you. I can listen to that part of myself and “know she’s right.” Or I can listen to it, reflect on it, and explore whether that’s the voice I want to obey.

Indeed, what finally defeated Geller — in this particular battle at least — was nothing more and nothing less than basic human decency. A grieving family with every reason to support her vitriolic rhetoric has instead asked her to back off. They have risen above vengeance to something better.

It is all too human to support Pamela Geller, and all too human to simply blow her off. But as the Foley family has shown, it is also possible to rise above her.
The views expressed in these two articles are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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No, Pamela Geller, the Qur’an Is Not Anti-Semitic

By Reuven Firestone

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Pamela Geller, left; Qur’an, right / Getty Images

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Soon you will see ads, courtesy of Pamela Geller, in the New York City subway system that state, “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s in the Qur’an.”

Is she right?

It’s easy to understand why many Jews might think so. Anti-Semitism has become a frightening force in much of the Muslim world, and a recent Anti-Defamation League study has shown that anti-Semitism is more common in Muslim majority countries than in any other region identified by religion, culture or geography. Muslims need to address this problem for many reasons, not least of which is that anti-Semitism reflects deep ignorance and a willingness to be manipulated by simplistic propaganda that is harmful to Muslims as well as Jews.

But anti-Semitism is not found in the Qur’an.

This may be difficult to fathom given the recent heated public discussion. Some people cite what appear to be obviously angry and seemingly hateful negative references to Jews in the Qur’an. Others argue that these verses are taken out of context. They cite counter-verses from the same Qur’an that appear to respect Jews and even refer to Jews using the same positive language reserved for followers of Muhammad.

So what’s the real story? As usual, the issue is not so simple, and many on both sides of the debate do us all a disservice with their hyperbole and naïve arguments.

Yes, the Qur’an contains verses that refer negatively to Jews. In order to understand these verses, we must read them both in relation to the fullness of the scripture in which they are located (synchronically), and also in relation to how other scriptures treat non-believers (diachronically).

Let’s start with the synchronic reading. Negative references to Jews in the Qur’an occur in relation to negative references to other communities, all of which opposed the emergence of the new Arabian prophet and his revelation. The Jewish communities of Arabia, like the Christian, Zoroastrian and native polytheist communities, did not accept the prophetic status of Muhammad. A few individual Jews and Christians joined his movement, but when they did they voted themselves out of their native religious communities.

This is a natural occurrence. No established religion is willing to discard the canon of its own scripture in order to accept a new prophet with a new revelation. Islam fits into this pattern as well, since it refuses to accept the prophetic status of new divine messengers who emerged out of its own tradition, such as the prophets of the Baha’i faith or the Ahmadiyya.

The Jews of Arabia were greatly respected and influential in Arabia during Muhammad’s lifetime. Because of their status, their refusal as a community to acknowledge his prophethood was a major impediment to the new movement and was condemned by the Qur’an as obstinacy, and hard-headedness. The Qur’an criticizes local Jews, for example, when it states, “Many of the People of the Book would like to turn you back to unbelievers after your having believed, because of envy on their part after the truth has become clear to them” (Q.2:109).

Established religions are never welcoming to new religions, and the disappointment, resentment and anger of newly emerging religions toward established religions that refuse to embrace them is found in all monotheistic scriptures. Many are familiar with the negative references to Jews in parts of the New Testament such as Matthew 23 and John 8. As in the Qur’an, these texts reflect the shock and resentment of those believing in a new redemptive and charismatic leader. They simply could not understand why members of established religions would refuse to join their program.

Negative references to Jews in both scriptures reflect reactive anger and zealous resentment. They do not represent a program to vilify, demonize or scapegoat Jews.

Jews are naturally sensitive to negative references to Jews in other scriptures, but are usually unaware of the same phenomenon of othering in their own scripture. The Hebrew Bible is full of reactive anger and zealous resentment toward competing religious communities. Canaanites, Egyptians and other members of established religious peoples are depicted repeatedly in the Hebrew Bible as spiteful, wicked and mortal enemies of ancient Israel. But most of those portrayed as evil opponents were simply members of established religions who felt threatened by Israelite successes in conquest and expansion. Like the Jews and Christians of Arabia, they opposed the emergence of a new, competitive religious community. The Israelite claims to being God’s chosen people with an exclusive relationship with the one God of the universe (who happened to be called the God of Israel!) could only have added to the tension.

These are all cases of the natural tension that occurs with the birth of new religions. Established religions resent and oppose them — just think of “cults” as new religions in order to understand the mindset. Like the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, the Qur’an includes material that reflects this frustration. It does not express anti-Semitism, Jew-hatred or racism.

Anti-Semitism is caused by different forces, which scapegoat Jews by manipulating people through deceitful deflection of criticism onto Jews. Those who engage in the deception use anything they can to further their aims, including scripture. Negative scriptural references to non-believers exist in all scriptures, and they are sometimes cited and manipulated by hateful people to encourage violence and even slaughter of the religious other. But it’s important for Jews to understand that anti-Semitism is no more basic to Islam than hatred of all non-Jews is basic to Judaism, an old anti-Semitic screed that was often claimed by citing scriptural citations from the Hebrew Bible.

Many writings single out and disparage particular communities, and any kind of “othering” is problematic. We need to be able to distinguish between normal even if problematic cases, and those that are truly hateful and absolutely unacceptable cases of racism, anti-Semitism or Islamophobia. Reacting to every negative reference to Jews as anti-Semitic is unwise, simplistic and dangerous. Don’t be fooled by frightened people into the naïve and simplistic conclusion that any negative reference to Jews is anti-Semitism.

Rabbi Reuven Firestone is Professor of medieval Judaism and Islam at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles and Senior Fellow of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. He is author of Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam and is President Elect of the International Qur’anic Studies Association.

PROTECTING PAMELA GELLER’S 1st AMENDMENT RIGHTS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TRASHING ISLAM

‘If you are white and can afford it you can say anything you want about someone!’

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The MTA said the ads violated its “no demeaning” language policy. But a judge ruled that rejecting the ads violated Geller’s First Amendment rights.

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Shocking anti-Islam ad campaign coming to MTA buses, subway stations

JENNIFER FERMINO FOR

Pamela Geller is launching a bunch of bus ads that feature Adolf Hitler.

An incendiary ad campaign that includes an image of American journalist James Foley just before his beheading in Syria is coming to 100 MTA buses and two subway stations.

The ads, paid for by flame-throwing blogger Pamela Geller, at a cost of $100,000, are intended as an “education campaign” to warn of the “problem with jihad” and Islamic sharia law, Geller said.

In one of the placard ads, Foley appears handcuffed, on his knees, next to the hooded, black-clad jihadist who is about to execute him — an image from the video released by the group Islamic State, which boasted of the execution.

The ad also contains a second photo, of the Briton suspected by some of being Foley’s killer. The Brit is shown in happier times, before he allegedly joined ISIS.

“Yesterday’s moderate is today’s headline,” the placard says.

A second ad contains a 1940s photo of a pro-Nazi Palestinian leader chatting with Adolf Hitler under the headline, “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s in the Quran.”

In addition to the 100 buses, Geller’s ads will appear at the entrances of the E. 59th St. station on the Lexington Ave. line and the Columbus Circle station.

In a statement to the Daily News on Friday, Mayor de Blasio said, “These ads are outrageous, inflammatory and wrong, and have no place in New York City, or anywhere. These hateful messages serve only to divide and stigmatize when we should be coming together as one city.”

He added, “While those behind these ads only display their irresponsible intolerance, the rest of us who may be forced to view them can take comfort in the knowledge that we share a better, loftier and nobier view of humanity.”

Geller is a prolific blogger who writes of a “global jihad conspiracy” and calls President Obama a “clown” and an “Islamic apologist.” Told of de Blasio’s criticism, she said, “Doesn’t Mayor de Blasio have bigger fish to fry?…New York is the softest terror target.”

Her ads will surely offend some bus and subway riders, but the MTA said it has no choice but to allow them.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

ALLISON JOYCE/ALLISON JOYCE FOR THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

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Pamela Geller, creators of the anti-jihad subway ads, speaks at an MTA meeting two years ago.

It tried to block Geller several years ago when she wanted to post ads in the subway that labeled enemies of Israel as “savages.”

The MTA said the ads violated its “no demeaning” language policy. But a judge ruled that rejecting the ads violated Geller’s First Amendment rights.

“If you read the court decision on this, our hands are tied,” said MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg.

Following that battle, the MTA updated its policy to force all viewpoint ads like Geller’s to contain language clearly stating that the opinions expressed are not the transit agency’s.

Geller’s new ads will contain the disclaimer.

In addition to the ads featuring Foley and Hitler, Geller has created a placard that links the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group known as CAIR, to the terror organization Hamas.

“Geller is a known hater and there’s no law in this country that forces her to tell the truth,” said Corey Saylor, a CAIR spokesman.

He said the group has considered suing her, but doesn’t think it’s worth it.

“Defamation law being what it is in this country, we understand it would be difficult,” he said.

9/11/14 ~~ THE BAR MITZVAH OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

Goldstone barred from grandson's Bar Mitzvah Published in Mail & Guardian on 22 Apr 2010

Goldstone barred from grandson’s Bar Mitzvah
Published in Mail & Guardian on 22 Apr 2010

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Actually, the demonization of Islam started earlier than 13 years ago, but 9/11/01 was the official date that it became America’s ‘proud baby boy’. Islamophobia took its place in history to replace the Cold War which ended shortly before the demise of the Soviet Union itself. America needed a new enemy so it created one, with a little help from its friends.

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'Demonization of Islam' "Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

‘Demonization of Islam’
“Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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Some of those friends were even caught dancing in the streets of New York in celebration of the Twin Towers’ attack …

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The mentally challenged US President at the time of the attack was seen reading a book to children … UPSIDE DOWN!

Duh!

Duh!

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We still do not have the answers to the role he played in the attacks … but he had enough warning  not to be in the White House when they occurred.

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"Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

“Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

There are still over 100 unanswered questions that can be found HERE

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Why does America refuse to admit that others are victim to the same forces of hatred and terrorism that attacked them thirteen years ago today? Worse yet, why does America continue to hide the fact that it is they who are orchestrating those very forces?

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al-qaeda-taliban-isis

'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

 

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Thirteen years ago today America was attacked. Civilians died. Thirteen years later it is still making headline news….
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Gaza is attacked every day. Civilians die every day. It never makes headline news in the West. It’s as if it never happens…. BUT IT DOES.
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A pro Palestinian blogger posted the following a few years ago, it says it all!

Dear America, your 9/11 is our 24/7.

Sincerely, Palestine.

That’s the entire post, short and very much to the point.
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The plight of those in Gaza and the rest of Palestine is not only omitted in the media, it is hidden from the eyes of the Western population altogether. Palestine, Gaza in particular, simply does not exist.
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To date, one of the best reports I have seen regarding 9/11 was written by my son Peter six years ago …
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I am Not a Conspiracy Theorist: 9/11 Facts or Fictions?

By Peter Amsel

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Living in the world today can be quite difficult, especially if you feel the need to avoid the moral and intellectual pitfalls that “modern” life provides. However, this is something that only becomes difficult if you feel a need to avoid compromising your moral compass (assuming such exists), otherwise it should not be a serious impediment. There are many things about myself and my character that I like to believe are true and reasonably noble, amongst that list would be that I am willing to take correction from others when I make mistakes and that I try to be as generous of my time, energies and resources as much as I am able. While these are not the only traits that I would like to trumpet, humility is also a trait that I am aware that I have, but am in need of more.

Having said that, there is one thing that I am truly thankful that I possess, and that is the ability to reason. This is by no means a unique gift as it defines our species in our ability to look at information and make decisions based on the facts that have been presented to us. Being reasonable means that we are able to look at information and ideas even if they come to us from people and sources that we may not immediately trust and assess that information. We look at material without prejudice, allowing the truth to be revealed, allowing the obfuscations and machinations of the special interest groups, lobbyists and anyone else with something to gain by the perpetration of lies to be shut out through the acknowledgement that the truth shall, indeed, set you free.

Unfortunately, alas, that is not how the “real world” seems to operate. Alas, that seems to be just the opposite as to how things work. Before anything else is said, there is one other trait that I am very proud to possess: I am not, in any way, shape or form, a conspiracy theorist. I believe that men walked on the moon. I believe that a lone man, using a single rifle (having been trained as a Marine by the United States and having attained sharp shooter status) assassinated JFK. I believe that Area 51 is, in fact, a Top Secret (UMBRA) Military Base used for the testing and development of new aircraft for the USAF (including the U2, SR71, B1, B2, F117, F22, F35, and the UCAV’s that are currently being deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan).

I am not a believer in conspiracies.

We have not been told the truth about 9/11; we have been lied to and the people that have told the lies know that the truth has been concealed from the public; furthermore, they know that the truth is not “out there”, it has been examined by experts in their field, experts that are willing to openly dispute the “findings” of the “9/11 Commission”, a work of fantasy and fiction that fed the American people a pile of obfuscation that stank of the stench of the rotting corpses trapped in the rubble of Ground Zero.

I will never be able to forget that morning; I was in the basement working on the computer when the phone rang. My step-father’s frantic voice told me to turn on CNN; a plane had just crashed into the WTC. The rest of that day I watched. I watched, prayed, wept, cried, sobbed, prayed, and cried some more. My parents are from New York and I spent the majority of my summer vacations visiting family there; even though I had been born and raised in Canada, this felt like an attack on my own home. I was talking to a friend in Toronto when the first tower collapsed. It seemed wrong then, too fast, too symmetrical … too … perfect. Then the second tower fell.

 

Continue reading this at his BLOG

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There are still other unanswered questions …. WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE?

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Uncle Sam still wants us to believe that 9/11 is a thorn in his side

'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

RADIO DAYS AND ISIS

A glimpse at yesteryear …

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Last night I watched a film on TV produced by Woody Allen. It was called Radio Days. I’m not a great fan of Allen’s, but this was a brilliant production.

The movie took me back to my younger years when we were glued to the radio on Sunday nights to listen to The Shadow.

It was meant to be fiction, but it made me realise that those very same forces of evil are at work today …. for real.

Last week I posted a piece where Fidel Castro made the following claim … Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro claimed on Monday that the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad was behind the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group,AFP reports. To date, I have not read one denial of that accusation.

Makes one wonder about a few other unanswered questions; as we approach the 13th anniversary of 9/11 …. WHO WAS REALLY BEHIND IT?

Who created Al Quaida??

Who created Taliban???

And finally, who really created ISIS???

Obviously, ‘The Shadow’ knows, but we want to know as well…

One hint was produced by Carlos Latuff a few days ago in the following …

Al-Quaida – Taliban – ISIS

al-qaeda-taliban-isis-altagreer

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Still another hint …

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Do we have to wait until Sunday night to get the answers?

WE DEMAND TO KNOW
THEM NOW!

TODAY’S SPOOF OF EUROPE, PAST AND PRESENT

Islamophobia replaces nazism ….

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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RABBIS AGAINST RACISM SPEAK OUT

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In recent years, Eliyahu sought to keep Arabs from moving into Safed, whose local college has some 1,500 Arab students. He said that selling or renting homes to Arabs “is prohibited by Jewish law.”

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Over 1,000 rabbis urge Jerusalem mayor not to pick Islamophobe for chief rabbi

Rick Jacobs, Julie Schonfeld, Asher Lopatin and Debra Waxman among signatories who say choice of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, now chief rabbi of Safed, would send ‘message of divisiveness and intolerance.’

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Shmuel Eliyahu

Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safed. Photo by Nir Kafri
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Over 1,000 liberal Diaspora rabbis have appealed to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat not to appoint Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu as the capital’s chief Sephardi rabbi, citing his history of anti-Arab remarks and rulings. Reports are that Barkat is leaning toward Eliyahu for the appointment, which is being fought over by Jerusalem’s Orthodox Jewish powers.

Prominent among the rabbis signing the letter were Reform Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Conservative Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, liberal Orthodox Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Reconstructionist Rabbi Deborah Waxman and Rabbi Brian Lurie, president of the New Israel Fund.

The letter notes that Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safed, “made a halakhic ruling barring Jews from renting apartments to Arabs, opposed military service for women, characterized Arabs and Muslims in racist and humiliating terms, while the attorney general said his candidacy for [Sephardi] chief rabbi was inappropriate.”
The rabbis told Barkat that appointing Eliyahu to the post would “send a message of divisiveness and intolerance” from Jerusalem.

In recent years, Eliyahu sought to keep Arabs from moving into Safed, whose local college has some 1,500 Arab students. He said that selling or renting homes to Arabs “is prohibited by Jewish law.”

On one occasion he was quoted as saying, “The Arab society has an agenda; they want to Islamicize the world. Arab society is, generally and without generalizations, a violent society.”

Another time he came out against girls serving in the army, saying it puts them “into inappropriate situations that harm their faith, emotions and often, sadly, their bodies.”

Eliyahu’s late father, Mordechai, was chief Sephardi rabbi of Israel and later a spiritual leader to many extremist settler youth, delivering a eulogy at Meir Kahane’s funeral.

 

Written FOR

 

WHEN IN DOUBT BLAME IT ON THE MUSLIMS

Finger Pointing is much easier than THINKING ….
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For a number of years I lived in a small city in Northern Ontario. It was a haven for many former war criminals from the Ukraine and Latvia. It was not uncommon to hear comments in the street blaming the Jews for anything that was wrong with society. One time I was at the meatcounter of a supermarket with my son Peter. We noticed that there was a marked increase on the price of pork products …. minutes later one of the Latvians referred to above started mumbling something about the ‘god damned Jews’ raising prices …
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The price of pork was controlled by Jews? This confused my son who was about ten at the time. He asked the man what Jews had to do with the price of pork …. the man took off like a bat out of hell. The last thing these criminals wanted was uncovering their unsavory past.
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The war criminals of today haven’t had ‘their day in court’ yet so they are a bit bolder and don’t run off that quickly (but their day will come). It’s not the Jews they blame for the evils in the world today as most of them are Jews themselves, zionists to be specific. To them, it’s the Muslims ‘that did it’ ….
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Here is the latest incident of this ongoing Islamophobia …
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Australia, then and now

 Anti-Semitic incidents in land down under may stem from import of hundreds of thousands of Muslims since 1980s

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The incidents include shattering synagogue windows, physical assaults on Jewish students, derogatory exclamations against Jews on the streets and hurling different objects on synagogue goers. The leaders of the Jewish communities in Australia are not particularly enthusiastic about publishing the figures and putting them on the public agenda for their own reasons, as if one can combat this troubling phenomenon and make it disappear by keeping quiet 

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In 1938, Thomas White didn’t want to “import” Jews, allegedly so as not to give rise to anti-Semitism in his country. Many things seem to have changed since then in the land of kangaroos and koalas, and it’s quite possible that these changes stem, among other things, from the import of hundreds of thousands of Muslims since the 1980s, including thousands of Palestinians.

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The full report can be read HERE

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How times have changed …

TWITTER AS A VEHICLE FOR ISRAELI ISLAMOPHOBIA

As Tweety would say …. ‘I tawt I taw an Islamophobe.’
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This morning, the official account of the Israeli embassy in Washington tweeted this astonishingly racist image. It appears designed to tap in to common tropes of Muslims as angry, irrational anti-American mobs.
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Israeli embassy in Washington tweets Islamophobic image

Ali Abunimah 
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*This morning, the official account of the Israeli embassy in Washington tweeted this astonishingly racist image. It appears designed to tap in to common tropes of Muslims as angry, irrational anti-American mobs.

This is precisely the kind of image whose dominance and role in American media Edward Said traced in his classic 1981 book Covering Islam.

The context is the US-Iranian rapprochement and diplomacy that has enraged Israel and its regional allies including Saudi Arabia. Having failed to win the argument that the US should go to war against Iran over its nuclear energy program, the Israelis are turning to even cruder, more emotive propaganda than usual.

It’s ironic that Israel would hope to convince anyone that an image like this – however one interprets it – can represent the whole of Iran, when Israel always insists any negative images of Israel are exceptional and non-representative.

Written FOR

LAX SHOOTING // IT WASN’T A MUSLIM SO IT ISN’T TERRORISM

Despite the government having fairly clear definitions of what constitutes an act of “terrorism,” the terms “terrorist” or “terrorism” are used not to describe actions but to label people.

It is clear these are racialized terms, applied in a discriminatory way to people perceived as Muslim, Arab or nonwhite. And as such they are terms that stigmatize entire groups of people and to justify the government’s increasingly unaccountable power.

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Why isn’t the government calling the LAX shooting “terrorism?”

Ali Abunimah 

LAX shooting suspect Paul Ciancia

 (AP/FBI)

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“Paul Ciancia, the alleged gunman who paralyzed much of Los Angeles International Airport [LAX] in a Friday shooting spree, could have turned the nation’s third-busiest airport into a massive killing zone had it not been for the quick response by airport police,” officials told USA Today on Saturday.

Using an assault rifle, Ciancia allegedly shot and killed Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39, a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer, and injured two more TSA officers and two civilians before he was stopped.

Ciancia was shot and injured by police and taken into custody. He has been charged, among other offenses, with killing a federal officer.

Based on available information, Ciancia’s alleged actions amount to a textbook case of “terrorism” according to the US government’s own definitions. But for some reason neither media nor officials are describing it that way.

It is instructive to look at how the US defines “terrorism” and compare the reaction to the LAX shooting to the aftermath of last April’s Boston Marathon bombing.

US definition of “terrorism”

As I’ve noted previously, the US government has no single definition of “terrorism” but the National Institute of Justice at the US Department of Justice points to two influential standards that are in use, one enshrined in law and the other provided by the FBI:

Title 22 of the US Code, Section 2656f(d) defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Both definitions of terrorism share a common theme: the use of force intended to influence or instigate a course of action that furthers a political or social goal. In most cases, NIJ researchers adopt the FBI definition, which stresses methods over motivations and is generally accepted by law enforcement communities.

These definitions, it should also be noted, are carefully crafted to avoid including state violence as “terrorism” even when in every other respect, except the identity of its perpetrator, it fits the descriptions.

Ciancia’s alleged motive

Based on information released by officials, Ciancia’s intent was not in doubt. USA Todayreports:

Investigators recovered a rambling note from the bag the shooter allegedly was carrying, which detailed an intent to “kill” TSA officers, said two federal law enforcement officials familiar with the message’s contents.

[FBI Special Agent David] Bowdich said the handwritten note made it clear that the suspect intended to kill “multiple” TSA employees and to “instill fear into their traitorous minds.

The officials, who are not authorized to comment publicly, told USA TODAY that the note was written in a way that suggested the author expected to lose his life.

One of the officials described the incident as a suicide mission.

The Associated Press described the materials that were allegedly in Ciancia’s possession as “Patriot movement propaganda.”

There is no doubt Ciancia’s alleged actions clearly meet the government definition of “terrorism”: there is evidence of premeditation, a clear anti-government motivation and an intent to “instill fear.”

If any example of violence deserves to be treated as “terrorism” then it is hard to think of a more clear-cut example.

Is it “terrorism” yet?

And yet, neither major media nor public officials have, as far as I can determine, applied the terms “terrorism” or “terrorist” to what happened at LAX.

While the incident received major news coverage, there has been no national panic on the scale that followed the 15 April Boston Marathon bombing.

Recall that after that attack, media and officials all rushed to declare the incident a “terrorist” attack.

President Barack Obama, after initially hesitating, described the Boston bombing as an “act of terrorism” the very next day even before the identities of the suspects were known.

With the “terrorism” panic in full force, the city of Boston was placed under an unprecedented curfew – effectively martial law – with thousands of police scouring the streets and invading people’s homes as the search for the suspects went on.

After 19-year-old suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured by police, Obama made astatement declaring: “We will investigate any associations that these terrorists may have had. And we’ll continue to do whatever we have to do to keep our people safe.”

He followed up with a video address to the nation, declaring that “an act of terror wounded dozens and killed three people at the Boston Marathon.”

Members of Congress demanded publicly that the surviving Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, be treated as an “enemy combatant.”

In fact officials of Obama’s Justice Department deprived Tsarnaev of his basic civil rights by questioning him for an extended period after he was taken into custody without reading him his Miranda rights. This violation met with broad public and elite approval.

After all, weren’t we dealing with “terrorism?”

Contrast

Contrast this with Obama’s silence after the LAX shooting. There’s no statement about it on the White House website as of today.

Obama has kept a low profile, speaking to officials by telephone, but saying nothing publicly to reassure an alarmed nation of his resolve against “terrorism.”

What’s important to remember is that in the Boston case, unlike the LAX shooting, there was and is no clear evidence of a political motivation that would meet the government’s definitions of terrorism.

The only “evidence” was that Dzhokar and his older brother Tamerlan, killed during the manhunt, were of Chechen ancestry and Muslim background.

Despite massive efforts, the government has found no credible evidence that the Tsarnaevs were acting on behalf of any group.

(More than a month after the bombing an anonymous official source claimed – rather incredibly – that the heavily bleeding Dzhokar had scrawled a note on the side of the boat he was hiding in when he was captured, stating the attack had something to do with US occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan).

Meanwhile, police have uncovered evidence that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was involved in a triple homicide in 2011, suggesting a hardened criminal who did not kill from a political motivation.

Not if it’s a white guy…

By now it should be clear that there is a pattern: acts of spectacular violence, predominantly by white men, are rarely termed “terrorist” even when all the evidence points in that direction according to the government’s own standards.

The LAX shooting is not an isolated case. Recall that on 18 February 2010, Andrew Joseph Stack flew an aircraft into an Internal Revenue Service building in Austin, Texas, in an apparent suicide mission.

Stack killed himself and an IRS worker, Vernon Hunter. And just like Ciancia allegedly did, Stack also left a note explaining his anti-government motivations.

Yet even as information about Stack emerged, the Obama White House and various public officials refused to label his suicide mission a “terrorist” attack.

Similarly, Obama refused to term the August 2012 massacre of six persons at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin a “terrorist” attack.

The shooter, Wade Michael Page, was a US army veteran and white supremacist.

Blaming “mental illness”

Instead of the “terrorism” label, the media immediately begin to pursue a line of thought suggesting that the suspect (if white) is “mentally ill” or a “disturbed” loner.

This is already happening with Ciancia, whom The New York Times described today as “a troubled 23-year-old, with an assault rifle and an apparent grudge against the government.”

Ciancia, we are informed, attended a Catholic school, but there’s no speculation about what role religious education might have played in his alleged actions.

“Several family friends, neighbors and classmates described him as having been a reserved, quiet boy who, along with his younger brother, Taylor, seemed to be scarred by his mother’s long battle with multiple sclerosis and her death in 2009,” the Times reports.

It quotes a 21-year-old server in a local diner in the family’s New Jersey hometown claiming that the Ciancia brothers “had some depression issues, and they both got obsessive.” The Times does not explain what qualifications the server had to make such a clinical diagnosis.

Aside from stigmatizing mental illness, the absence of this knee-jerk reaction when Muslims are accused reflects a bizarre belief that only white people can be “disturbed” or “mentally ill.”

“Terrorist” as a racial term

Despite the government having fairly clear definitions of what constitutes an act of “terrorism,” the terms “terrorist” or “terrorism” are used not to describe actions but to label people.

It is clear these are racialized terms, applied in a discriminatory way to people perceived as Muslim, Arab or nonwhite. And as such they are terms that stigmatize entire groups of people and to justify the government’s increasingly unaccountable power.

 

Written FOR

MUSLIMS IN ADVERTISING

The Anatomy of Advertising Deception Using Muslims

By Robin
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Where to begin? Let’s start with the advertisement itself. One that has “stirred controversy” yet according to the company who put out the ad, SnoreStop, their new campaign is supposed to be about diversity while it purposely stirs controversy. They have chosen to portray “couples” Couples who you “don’t see but which exist”

“As a snoring solution company, we’re in the business of keeping people together,” said Melody Devemark, spokeswoman and member of the family that owns the Camarillo, California-based company, in a press release. “So we found the most polarized couple and thought: ‘If we can keep them together, we can keep anybody together.'” 

The company said the ad is inspired by a real life couple — veteran Jamie Sutton and his wife Aleah, who is Muslim. (source) Note the spokeswoman says the ad was “inspired by”. She does not claim the couple portrayed on the billboard is an actual couple. Or do they? Five days ago “Stefanianne” who claims to be part of the promotion claimed on her  Instagram (note the comment by SlexyDayz and various hashtags)

Read what is purported in this San Diego FOX News report on the ad. “Officials said the models, U.S. soldier Paul Evans and his Muslim girlfriend are also a real couple.”

Are they? Let’s see. Starting with the female in the ad whose name is Lexi Panterra, “slexydayz” First question. Is Lexi a niqabi? Is this how she normally dresses as a conservative Muslim? You can judge for yourself from her own WEBSITEHERE is a music video of Lexi’s. Is niqab her attire as a conservative Muslim? Absolutely not.Now ask yourself these questions:


1. While the FOX News article claims Lexi is Paul Evans’ girlfriend. Ask yourself “do niqabis” have boyfriends? Besides, look at that wedding ring she is prominently showing on her finger on the billboard. The indication is that they are married.

2. Do conservative Muslim women marry non-Muslims? Answer is “no” they don’t.Per Islam, Muslim women marry Muslim men. Do mixed marriages occur sometimes between Muslim women and non-Muslim men? Yes. Among secular Muslims, not conservative Muslims who wear niqab, absolutely not. Can a non-Muslim male convert (actual proper term in Islam is REvert) to Islam and marry a Muslim woman? Yes, it happens often.  So the billboard might lead a thinking person to “assume” that since they are a “couple” as the company claims, Paul Evans must also be Muslim which is a very reasonable assumptioin due to the fact that there are many Muslims serving in the US military. Of course the woman in the ad is identified easily as a Muslim because she is wearing niqab. Paul Evans however is only portrayed as a soldier with no religious identity indicated in any way. Is this purposeful on the part of the advertising company and SnoreStop? I would say “definitely” otherwise the company would have clearly stated this is a Muslim COUPLE, not just a soldier, Paul Evans with a niqabi who has stated “”You know, as soldiers, that’s really what we fight for right there; I mean, we just want our freedoms, we just want that equality,” . (source) I ask Mr. Evans, did the US have to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, occupy those countries, in order for you and others to marry or DATE a conservative Muslim niqabi? Shades of WWII occupied Japan and Germany. Why not go further back and portray a US Calvary soldier with a Native American woman? After all, you became a soldier for “freedom” right? 
3. Are Paul Evans and Lexi Panterra (who is not a niqabi) a couple as both the company and Paul Evans claim? One needs to go no further than Lexi’s Instagram and Tumbler accounts to find the answer. On Halloween she posted an Instagram video “boyfriend’s makeup” Is that Paul Evans in the video? No it is not. It is a man named Sebastian Praga. How long have Lexi and her boyfriend Sebastian Praga been together? That can be documented per her Tumbler account to some degree by the pictures she has posted of him there. October 18,2013 “My boyfriend does my makeup tag“. You know conservative Muslim niqabis change out “boyfriends” easily right? They also take niqab on and off easily, one day making  sexy music videos, another day donning niqab as an ACTRESS in an ad to “keep couples together” by stopping snoring. 
SnoreStop must not work as claimed to “keep couples together” because if Paul Evans and Lexi Panterra were ever a couple in the first place, they sure aren’t now! #product fail #advertising deception #fighting wars so you can have the freedom to DATE slexidayz who dresses up as a niqabi and is NOT a niqabi #using deception in advertising to “stir controversy” when your product does not work as advertised LOL. 
To note, none of the above addresses the use of CONCOCTED political controversy when the US invasioins of Iraq resulted in the deaths of millions of Muslims and countless refugees, the longest US occupatiion of any country, Afghanistan which is an utter fail, the use of drones which have killed countless innocents. 
That’s a whole different aspect of this DECEPTIVE advertisement which is easily documented. 
Hat’s off to SnoreStop. You pulled a fast one all right.  Sleep tight! Don’t let the bed bugs bite. 
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Video on the making of this ad can be found in THIS article at Huffington Post. 
Written FOR

GIVING THE ADL A RUN FOR THEIR MONEY

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In a lengthy document published in 2006, the Anti-Defamation League accused CAIR of holding extreme positions on Israel and of having links to individuals and groups that expressed support for terror organizations.
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Jacob Bender Is First Jew To Lead Chapter of Muslim Advocacy Group CAIR

Philly Activist Faces Hostilty From Jewish Establishment

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COURTESY OF JACOB BENDER

By Nathan Guttman

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Jacob Bender is set to be the voice of Philadelphia-area Muslims, to take on discrimination they encounter in workplace and in the public sphere, and to fight expressions of hate.

And his Jewish faith, Bender believes, can only help him do the job effectively.

“The Muslim community is under attack from Islamophobic forces, and it is the obligation and responsibility of people of good will to stand up and say this is a bigoted attack,” Bender said. “This is fully in keeping with my life goals.”

The Council on American Islamic Relations’ Philadelphia branch announced the appointment of Bender as its executive director October 15. Bender is the first Jew, and the first non-Muslim, to serve as director of a CAIR branch.

“The needs of the Muslim community are really the needs of any minority community in the United States,” said Iftekhar Hussein, chairman of CAIR-Philadelphia’s board of directors. “Jacob, being Jewish, understands that from his own background.”

An activist on Jewish-Muslim interfaith issues who has been involved in the past on the progressive end of Middle East peace advocacy, Bender will face two entirely different sets of expectations in his new position.

He will meet a local Muslim community expecting a non-Muslim to represent its needs just as well as would a member of their own faith.

He will also face a national Jewish leadership that has all but deemed CAIR off-limits for any dialogue.

In a lengthy document published in 2006, the Anti-Defamation League accused CAIR of holding extreme positions on Israel and of having links to individuals and groups that expressed support for terror organizations.

Jewish groups have also pointed in the past to the fact that CAIR was initially named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case of the Holy Land Foundation, an American-based charity charged with raising funds for Hamas. But in 2012 a circuit court ordered that the reference to CAIR be expunged.

“CAIR is far off the radar screen of the Jewish community,” said Ethan Felson, vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “The Jewish community looked at their record and said, ‘We won’t work with this group.’”

While no official policy has been adopted, the Jewish community has excluded CAIR from all joint interfaith activities with the Muslim community and has focused on ties with the Islamic Society of North America and with local mosques and imams.

CAIR and Bender reject the Jewish organizations’ claims that the group is in any way extreme. “There will always be those who will try to demonize other groups,” Bender said. “As someone who has long supported Palestinian rights and was critical of the policy of occupation, I find no contradiction between my long-stated opinions on the Middle East and those of CAIR.”

Israel is not a top issue for CAIR, especially its branches, which tend to deal more with countering discrimination against Muslims within the local community. Still, for many in the Jewish community, the Arab-Israeli issue is viewed as the key obstacle distancing CAIR from the American Jewish establishment.

Could having an American Jew in a leadership position bridge the divides between the two sides? Most respond with a mix of hope and skepticism.

“There’s always potential for change,” Hussein said, while noting that building ties with Jewish organizations wasn’t the motivation behind hiring Bender for the post. “Those who are not in contact with CAIR should come to the table and understand that we are a civil rights organization.”

Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director, said in a statement to the Forward that “time will tell.” Bender’s Jewish faith, he said, does not necessarily matter. “Unfortunately, there are Jews who are anti-Jewish and anti-Israel,” Foxman added, “but we will wait and see.”

Bender’s interest in the Muslim community began after the 9/11 terror attacks. A video and television producer, he began organizing interfaith meetings and speaking out against expressions of Islamophobia that have increased following the attacks.

In 2009, the documentary he directed, “Out of Cordoba: Averroes and Maimonides in Their Time and Ours,” was released. The film is “about Jews, Muslims and Christians struggling against the hijacking of their religions by extremists,” Bender wrote in a short description accompanying the movie.

The film focuses on two historical contemporaries from medieval Spain: the Jewish philosopher Maimonides and the Muslim thinker Averroes. Through these two profiles, Bender sought to challenge “the propositions that there is an inevitable ‘clash of civilizations’ between the West and the Muslim world.”

For the past two years, Bender has been traveling with the movie to Jewish and Muslim communities nationwide, speaking about the need for greater interfaith understanding. In the 1980s Bender was active in several Jewish progressive organizations advocating a two-state solution. He later served as executive director of the American Friends of Meretz, the left-wing Israeli political party.

His job at CAIR-Philadelphia, one of a network of 20 independent chapters across the country, will focus primarily on countering anti-Muslim discrimination. In recent years the chapter has been among the key groups fighting against anti-Sharia laws proposed in Pennsylvania. It has spoken out publicly against anti-Muslim stereotypes following the Boston marathon bombing.

Bender’s background in filmmaking and public speaking, the group’s lay leaders noted, made him fit for the role of a spokesman for the organization and for Muslim civil rights.

“I’ve never had any question or negative feeling about CAIR ever since I came in contact with them,” Bender said. “I’ve never encountered any anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic sentiment. The opposite is true.”

 

Source

ZION’S ATTEMPTS TO REIGNITE THE COLD WAR

Some of you out there might remember when we had to check under our beds every night to make sure there wasn’t a Commie hiding under it ….
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Or ‘taking cover’ under our schooldesks for protection against a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union ….
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‘Those were the days my friend …. some hoped they’d never end’
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But, thankfully they did!
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For the time being, that is. Now the zios are Commie searching at US universities …. can we call this a part of The New McCarthyism?
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The Jerusalem Post (once known as The Palestine Post) published the following dribble in today’s opinion section. Proof that certain opinions are best kept to themselves ;)
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The region: How the far Left controls campuses
By Barry Rubin 
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There is no university more supportive of the Arab nationalist (historically), Islamist and anti-Israel line in the US than Georgetown U.

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There is no university more supportive of the Arab nationalist (historically), Islamist and anti-Israel line in the United States than Georgetown University, specifically it’s programs on Middle East studies.

Every conference it holds on the Middle East is ridiculously one-sided. The university has received tens of millions of dollars from Arab states, and it houses the most important center in the United States that has advocated support for a pro-Islamist policy.

One day in 1975, not long before he died, the great professor Carroll Quigley walked up to me when I was sitting in the GU library.

Everyone was in awe of this brilliant lecturer (remind me to write him a tribute explaining why). I thought he might have remembered me from my extended explanation of why I was late for class one day – I had rescued a sparrow and taken it to a veterinarian (true, by the way). I couldn’t think of another reason he would want to talk to such a lowly person.

“May I sit down?” he asked.

“Of course!” I said, stopping myself from adding that it was an honor.

Without any small talk, he launched into a subject that clearly weighed on his conscience: “There are many who don’t like your people.”

What was he talking about? Jews? He explained that he had just come from a meeting where it had been made clear that the university had a problem: It was getting Arab money, but on the secret condition that while it was for teaching about the Middle East, none of it could be used to teach about Israel. The purpose of the meeting had been how to solve this problem. The solution? Simple: They would call the institution to be created the “Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.” It was explicitly expressed that this was how the problem would be dealt with.

Quigley expressed his disgust to me.

Ever since then, I have referred to that institution as the “Center for Contemporary Arab Money.”

Georgetown University also accepted tens of thousands of dollars from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi – who was, of course, very active in promoting anti-American terrorism – to establish an endowed chair in Middle East studies. When the university president backed down due to bad publicity, the professor who had been named to the post responded by calling the Jesuit university president a “Jesuit Zionist.”

This same professor – and I am not joking when I say that by today’s standards he was a fine scholar and comparatively decent man – was a personal friend of Palestinian terrorist leader Nayif Hawatmeh, and an outspoken Marxist.

To his credit, he told me in 1974 on a visit of mine to Lebanon, “One day we will be ashamed of all the terrorism [against Israel].”

But I don’t think he ever spoke out publicly.

At my PhD oral exams, he said something like: “I don’t care whether you believe it or not, but give the Marxist analysis of development in the Middle East.” He did not ask me to critique it.

As a Marxist, even though he was the son of a Muslim imam he did participate in the traditional glass of scotch after they passed me. And they did pass me, something I doubt would happen today. These professors really did believe in scholarship and balance in the classroom.

ANOTHER PROFESSOR, however (I was sure he was not on my board – I had had open arguments with him), was an example of the new generation of indoctrinators. He had served in the Peace Corps and adopted two Kurdish children in the shah era. This teacher’s radicalism and knee-jerk hatred of Israel was so terrible that we used to joke about it. A right-wing Zionist in the class conducted an experiment: He wrote an exaggerated Marxist anti-Israel rant. It read like satire. He got an “A” from this professor. In retrospect, however, we should have seen that this wasn’t an exception, but a sign of far worse to come.

In one graduate seminar, yet another professor – an older anti-Israel guy but still a conservative and a gentleman of the old school – couldn’t stop the class from laughing as it discussed the ridiculous new book Orientalism, by Edward Said. We easily pointed out the holes in the book and Said’s claims of perpetual Western bias against Arabs. We viewed Orientalism itself as outdated but respectable, too anthropological and generalizing for our tastes. We saw ourselves as historians and social scientists.

But the idea that Orientalists were agents of imperialism was untrue. They were great scholars, though some did do political work in which their views weren’t shaped but often mistakenly implemented, just like such things happen today. Who would have believed that this ignorant and malicious book could ever take over the entire field and destroy scholarship? I guess we should have known, based on the fate of the professor I had openly argued with. He was the new-style leftist referred to above, the kind typical today. While I disliked him, he was clearly not a racist but the very model of the new Politically Correct falsifier.

Ironically, he was fired after being accused by an African student of alleged racial bias because he gave the student a low grade. No kidding.

I didn’t feel this was a victory, however, but rather that he had been mistreated. I faced similar situations. I will never forget how my job interview at another university, the only time I ever applied for a teaching position, was interrupted by one professor screaming at me, “How could you ever possibly represent the narrative of the Palestinian people?” To which I responded that obviously, I didn’t think I was supposed to represent it, merely teach about it.

Note that the professor at that interview who would have been willing to hire me was an Arab liberal. But he tried to hint to my naive younger self why I didn’t have a chance. You should understand that at that time, in the early 1980s, I had never written about the Arab-Israeli conflict. And although this professor had me in his Arabic class, I don’t think he remembered me, and I’m certain he knew nothing about me. No, I think the problem was my last name.

ALL OF this reminiscing is prompted by a news story I just read. An Arab professor at Georgetown, a place flush with Arab money, full of apologists for anti-American Islamism, a place where no Israeli or pro- Israel student dares to tread, has just launched a campaign claiming that he was discriminated against and fired for anti- Israel bias! So this is the long-term strategy: Take over a university or at least the relevant departments; spend 30 years or more in biased hiring practices and dishonest, propagandist “scholarship”; and no matter how many insiders know the truth, keep claiming the university is biased against the Left and defamers of America and Israel.

Those who don’t know better may believe it. The problem for this Egyptian professor is that there was no organized campaign against him, and no one outside the university even knew who he was. The fact is that his scholarly work, while highly politicized, wasn’t very good. Obscure media appearances are (as of yet) not sufficient to demonstrate academic excellence.

You could call this the “Juan Cole principle” after a radical professor whose pronouncements on contemporary Middle East issues were frequent – even though he was a specialist on religious disputes in the Middle Ages – and who missed out on a good job because of his lack of scholarly work, then claimed bias.

This tactic was sufficient in one notorious case at Columbia University for a crackpot extremist to get a promotion, although it didn’t work at Duke University.

At any rate, we now see that crying bias is the first refuge of scoundrels. The real victims never get far enough along in the process for them to build a case and can never muster support from a biased media, either.

THE ANATOMY OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

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The Anatomy of Islamophobia: Rehash an OLD Story as New: Set LOOSE in Internet Land: How the Clarion Project Did It

FROM By Robin

To open, what this story is not about. It is not about the Qatif Girl. She is but a prop in this instance, used by an organization that has rightfully been named as one of the top propagators of Islamophobia, The organization is the Clarion Fund, founded in 2006 by Canadian-Israeli Raphael Shore. Read about this organization HERE giving their history, and their agenda.

Now for the unfolding of the Anatomy of Islamophobia: the REHASH of an old news story, set lose on the Internet. How I saw this unfold (and it’s still unfolding as more and more sites are posting this “news”)

On Thursday Sept 26 Nick Kristoff posted the following on his Facebook page, linking to an article at Examiner.com by Timothy Whiteman (who Loonwatch wrote about in a very interesting article) Note how many followers Nick Kristoff has (623,734) Notice how many likes he received for the post.(1,084)

 

 

Then commenters, including myself, did just a bit of digging and realized that the article he had linked to, the story, had an uncanny resemblance to the story of the Qatif Girl. However, what the Whiteman article failed to note was that the Qatif Girl story was old news, she had been pardoned in December 2007 by King Abdullah. Whiteman’s  story is alarming! It is NOW and the girl has had her punishment increased to 200 lashes just this week! Due to  proof of how this story seemed eerily similar to the Qatif Girl, Nick Kristoff wrote:

 

 
More comments ensued, namely by myself, noting that the Whiteman article that he had posted, sourced an article on the Clarion Fund website as the only source of his “news”.  Note the date Whiteman says Clarion posted the article: Sept 22, 2013. 
I asked Kristoff to look into the the organization that had rehashed an old story as “news”, leaving out the resolution of the story, the Qatif Girl’s pardon. I asked him to look into the Clarion Fund because they are a top propagator of Islamophobia. He ignored me and eventually deleted the entire post writing: “
 
Nicholas Kristof Folks, I don’t have confidence in this article any more, and I’m going to delete this post. I think it’s the 2007 Qatif Girl case, just recycled.
When I tried linking to the Clarion Project link Whiteman gave, it didn’t work (at that time). So I went to The Clarion Project’s Facebook page and lo and behold it was there. That link worked. The article has since been removed from the Clarion Project’s Facebook page. As well, the article date on the Clarion Project’s website has been changed from September 22, 2013 to November 15, 2007 (in keeping with when the news was actually news) As well an UPDATE has been added at the bottom which reads
Update: Since publishing this article it has been reported that Saudi King Abdullah took note of the negative media coverage surrounding this case and that resulted in his direct intervention in the case and the pardoning of the woman.” 
That update was added yesterday morning after I left a comment there that has been deleted, calling them “Liars”, this isn’t news, and the Qatif Girl was pardoned in December 07. 

Unable to find the article in cache with the original date of Sept 22, I have found other proof that Clarion published the article as “news” on Sept 22, 2013. As well, since they did, this “news” has spread to page after page of Whiteman’s article and Clarion’s original article. Here is the screenshot of Googling this phrase “Clarion Saudi Arabia lashing: Note the date.

Now, here is what I would like you to do, read the comments on Whiteman’s article. It’s the usual, Saudi Arabia of course is mentioned, but most of the comments (as usual) are bashing all Muslims. Why? Because this is how it works in the Islamophobe Industry, search out every single thing you can find negative regarding Muslims and then paint all Muslims with that brush. Paint them all as women abusers. (and in Whiteman’s case call the Clarion Project a “women’s rights news portal which is beyond laughable) Yes Saudi Arabia is rife for use by the Islamophobe Industry but this is NOT about the Qatif Girl or Saudi Arabia, this is about smearing all Muslims any chance you can get, even if it means rehashing OLD news and omitting that the woman in question has been free since December 2007 and never received ANY lashings and lashings are certainly not imminent for her NOW. Indeed it is Whiteman’s article that is spreading like wildfire across the internet, now on page after page NOT saying she was pardoned, but rather she is in danger NOW. Shark chum, and boy oh boy are they biting. They always do.Now, just as Whiteman picked up Clarion’s Sept 22nd “news” story, another journalist has also picked it up through other sources writing after Clarion’s article and written

his own story at opposingviews.com. Jonathan Vankin has listed his sources as New York Times,Daily Bhaskar and AP. Note the dates on the sources. The NYT article is from 2007, the AP article is from 2007 but the Daily Bhaskar article is dated Sept 27, 2013 and gets it ALL wrong saying the woman was raped on Sept 22 just last week! Notice that the Daily Bhashkar article sites the Clarion Project as the source. (apparently not reading it very thoroughly because Clarion states the case goes back to 2006) How could Jonathan Vanig who has so many credits to his name get it so wrong? Answer, he did, and he didn’t put two and two together that the 2007 articles had an entirely different date on which the woman was raped! I have emailed Mr. Vankin but as of this moment he has not responded to me. How many times is Mr. Vankin’s article now going to be shared in Internet Land? How many times is it going to be used NOW as shark chum to bash all Muslims? 

This latest shark chum all started with the Clarion Fund on Sept 22.  They have attempted to cover their tracks, but it doesn’t work, for the proof is there above, they published on Sept 22 and since then one more “incident” has hit Internet Land. A woman is going to be lashed 200 times! Look at those EVIL Muslims who are doing this. That old saying, “Everything old is new again” applies.

To liars.

(I will post updates as they occur)

Read: Fear Inc.

Read CAIR’s Sept 2013 report 

Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States

ISLAM ‘EXPOSED’ BY NYPD

The New York Police Department’s dragnet surveillance program labeled mosques as terrorist organizations to justify infiltrating religious institutions.
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The NYPD’s bigoted logic: Mosques are fronts for terrorism

Alex Kane
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From left to right, David Cohen, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and former CIA agent; Mayor Michael Bloomberg; and NYPD chief Ray Kelly (Photo: EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT)

From left to right, David Cohen, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and former CIA agent; Mayor Michael Bloomberg; and NYPD chief Ray Kelly (Photo: EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT)

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The New York Police Department’s dragnet surveillance program labeled mosques as terrorist organizations to justify infiltrating religious institutions. The latest bombshell on the program, published by the Associated Press’ Pulitzer Prize winning duo Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, exposes the logic governing the NYPD’s post-9/11 activities: every Muslim is a potential terrorist.

Since the NYPD implemented its surveillance program with the help of the Central Intelligence Agency, at least a dozen mosques have come under the purview of “terrorism enterprise investigations” (TEI). Labeling a mosque a TEI means that every single person attending the institution is a potential subject for investigation. NYPD agents from its Intelligence Division were sent into mosques to record sermons and spy on imams. The AP reporters write that “many TEIs stretch for years, allowing surveillance to continue even though the NYPD has never criminally charged a mosque or Islamic organization with operating as a terrorism enterprise.”

The use of TEIs developed after 9/11, when former CIA agent David Cohen and current NYPD Intelligence Division official went to a federal judge to argue for changes in the legal framework governing surveillance. Cohen was largely successful, and the court agreed that the NYPD could open up TEIs. Cohen was also successful in convincing the judge to eliminate outside oversight of surveillance operations. Before 9/11, what are known as the Handschu guidelines required that an outside body review requests for investigations involving political groups. But after 9/11, the review process became only internal. A document published by the AP details the internal review process at one May 2009 meeting. Every single request for opening up a TEI into a mosque was granted by NYPD higher-ups.

But even with the loosened Handschu guidelines, civil rights lawyers still say the NYPD is violating the law. “The ways in which we think they’re violating the Handschu guidelines really rest on the fact that you still do need some information about criminal activity to launch an investigation,” Jethro Eisenstein, one of the original lawyers who filed a lawsuit against NYPD spying in the 1970s, told me in May. Instead, Eisenstein said, the NYPD is blanketing the “Orthodox Muslim observant community with surveillance. And that’s a violation of the Handschu guidelines.”

The latest AP story also contains other revelations: the NYPD attempted to infiltrate a prominent non-religious Arab organization, the police spied on guests attending a Brooklyn imam’s wedding and also asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to install eavesdropping equipment in a mosque. The FBI refused to do so, but the NYPD took other measures to spy on the mosque.

“These new NYPD spying disclosures confirm the experiences and worst fears of New York’s Muslims,” Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union told the AP. The ACLU recently filed a lawsuit alleging the NYPD program was unconstitutional. “From houses of worship to a wedding, there’s no area of New York Muslim religious or personal life that the NYPD has not invaded through its bias-based surveillance policy.”

Some of the new details on the surveillance program track with past articles published by the AP in that they show how prominent members of the city’s Muslim community, often with ties to the police, are routinely spied on. One of those members is Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American Muslim and a prominent leader in the fight against NYPD spying. Sarsour, who has been honored by the White House and has met with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly many times, runs the secular Arab-American Association of New York. And the NYPD attempted to get its own informants onto the board of Sarsour’s group.

Another subject of NYPD spying was Zein Rimawi, a Palestinian from the West Bank who immigrated to the U.S. A founder of the Islamic Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, Rimawi’s mosque was targeted and put under surveillance in 2003 by the NYPD.

Commissioner Ray Kelly defended the NYPD’s activities in an appearance on MSBCthis morning as following the law and meant to protect New Yorkers. But he had previously said that the NYPD does not use TEIs to conduct surveillance, according to Brooklyn City Councilman Brad Lander.

I asked Comm Kelly whether NYPD has “Terrorism Enterprise Investigations” into mosques. He said no (then & now). But: link to t.co

— Brad Lander (@bradlander) August 28, 2013

The new expose on the NYPD is based on documents that will be published in an upcoming book by Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo. An excerpt of the book was recently published by New York magazine. On MSNBC, Kelly said Goldman and Apuzzo were “hyping a book” that will include “a fair amount of fiction.”

The new revelations come smack in the middle of a nationwide debate on surveillance. As Goldman and Apuzzo write in the magazine, the NYPD’s activities are far more intrusive than the National Security Agency’s. “The NYPD went even further than the federal government. The activities Kelly set in motion after 9/11 pushed deeply into the private lives of New Yorkers, surveilling Muslims in their mosques, their sporting fields, their businesses, their social clubs, even their homes in a way not seen in America since the FBI and CIA monitored antiwar activists during the Nixon administration,” the reporters write.

Both the NSA and NYPD’s activities share a common root, though: they violate civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism.

 

Written FOR

GELLER’S ISLAMOPHOBIA BANNED IN BRITAIN

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Pamela Geller Barred From Britain for Anti-Muslim Rally on London Slaying

Controversial Blogger Planned To Speak at Far Right Protest

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By Liam Hoare

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LONDON — Pamela Geller, the controversial anti-Islam blogger and activist infamous for her staunch criticism and denigration of Islam, has been banned from entering the United Kingdom by Home Secretary Theresa May.

In a two-page letter which Geller uploaded onto her blog, Atlas Shrugs, the Home Office informed Geller that has been “excluded from the UK” on the basis that her “presence here would not be conducive to the public good.” Her previous history indicated to the Home Secretary that Geller may attempt to “foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.”

Below the letter in her blogpost, Geller reacted to the decision:

In a striking blow against freedom, the British government has banned us from entering the country. Muhammad al-Arifi, who has advocated Jew-hatred, wife-beating, and jihad violence, entered the U.K. recently with no difficulty. In not allowing us into the country solely because of our true and accurate statements about Islam, the British government is behaving like a de facto Islamic state. The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead.

Geller and her co-founder of Stop Islamisation of America (SIOA), Robert Spencer, who has also been banned from entering the UK, had been due to attend and speak at a rally in Woolwich organized by the English Defense League, the far-right movement which purports to share with Geller a mutual concern over the Islamisation of Europe, on Saturday, June 29. “Today is a sad day for freedom of speech,” EDL leader Tommy Robinson stated after Geller announced her ban.

It was in Woolwich that on May 22, the soldier Lee Rigby was murdered by two assailants armed with knives and a meat cleaver. One of the suspects, Michael Adebolajo, justified the action by stating that, “The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers.” Since the attack, several mosques and Islamic community centers across Britain have been desecrated with graffiti, including swastikas and the letters EDL and NF. On June 23, a small explosive device was left outside a mosque in Walsall, near Birmingham.

In a statement, a Home Office spokesman said: ‘We condemn all those whose behaviors and views run counter to our shared values and will not stand for extremism in any form.’

Under British legal provisions introduced in 2005 to combat terrorism and extremism, the Border Agency under the auspices of the Home Office has the power to either deport or deny entry to non-UK citizens who engage in “unacceptable behaviors.” This covers people who use the media or public speech to “foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs, seek to provoke others to terrorist acts, foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts, or foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.”

On the basis of Geller’s work with SIOA, Jihad Watch, and Atlas Shrugs, as well as her previous public statements, the Home Secretary personally deemed that if she were to “espouse such views” in the UK, Geller “would be committing unacceptable behaviors and would therefore be behaving in a way that is not conducive to the public good.”

Source

ISLAMOPHOBIA ~~ THE NEXT GENERATION

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How to perpetuate the hatred and the ignorance ….
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Greeting card turns children’s “Muslim” doll into “Terrorist” doll

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By Ahmed Rehab

We missed the humor:  CAIR-Chicago spotted this troubling greeting card (pictured below) in a local store.

The card features a photo of a Muslim doll with aHijab (headscarf) that many Muslim women wear out of religious observance. The The talking bubbles placed on top of the doll’s photo read, “The Talking Doll, Pull string for message, if you dare,” and “She’ll Love You To Death! She’ll Blow Your Brains Out!” The inside of the card reads “Hope your birthday is a BLOW OUT!”

 

The card is produced by NobleWorks Inc. with credit for its design given to “Ron Kanfi” according to the company’s website, http://www.nobleworkcards.com. The motto of the company printed under their logo on the back of the card is “modern cards for modern people.”

Notice that nothing identifies this doll as a terrorist in the minds of the card designers other than that she wears a Hijab. Moreover, she – like many Muslim girl who choose to wear the Hijab – is a smiling, non-threatening normal-looking female wearing a pink Hijab and a flower-patterned dress. The unmistakable message behind the “humor” is that even the most peaceful looking Muslims are synonymous and exchangeable with terrorists.

 

To make matters more disturbing, the card is based on an actual doll designed by Desi Doll Company (www.desidollcompany.com) called “Aamina, the Muslim Doll.” The doll teaches kids religious greetings and sayings in Arabic with messages like “Assalamu Alaikum is the Muslim greeting, and it means peace be upon you” and “Let’s play together insha’Allah, insha’Allah means if God wills it.”

The entrepreneurial mother of three who left a cushy job to found this company in the hopes of better teaching her kids Urdu and Arabic probably could not have fathomed that a benign and even laudable endeavor could be twisted into such a bigoted excuse from humor to by another entrepreneur who does not seem as concerned with the message he would be conveying to his own children, let alone hers.

From the company website:

My name is Farzana Rahman and I am the founder of The Desi Doll Company. I am mother to our daughter Zahrah and twin boys, Sami and Zain; my inspiration. It all started when my daughter was 2 ½ years old and I was trying to find toys that would help her to speak her mother tongue, Urdu. Failing to find anything, I embarked upon designing a talking Urdu doll myself.

It wasn’t long before I realized that there was a lack of language toys for the “Desi “ languages, ie. Languages spoken in the Indian sub continent – and so the project became to design a doll that was able to speak several languages. This was a huge project! And after 2 years working on and off the project I realized I couldn’t focus on this whilst working as well.

It was only after I had my twin boys in November 2006, that I decided to swap the world of Investment banking for Toy Design and manufacturing.

Realizing that the language dolls was technically a very complex project and would take some time; I decided, in the mean time, to launch our Arabic/English talking dolls, Aamina and Yousuf , which went from design concept to shops in just 5 months, just in time for Eid 2008.

 

Islamophobic generalizations and negative stereotypes often hit those who are most visibly perceived as Muslim, and women wearing the Hijab are often the group hit the hardest.

Many Muslim women around the world, certainly in the US, choose to wear the Hijab as a free-willed expression of modesty and self-respect. For them, it is a message that men should address their minds and not their bodies.

And yet all too often, they have to watch themselves being portrayed as oppressed and submissive on cable network talk shows, movies, and documentaries. While on the street, they have to deal with dirty looks, jeering, or in extreme cases, even physical assault, as has been documented by several cases reported to CAIR.

Most recently, conservative right wing commentator Ann Coulter claimed on FOX News that wearing the Hijab ought to be an imprisonable offense.

I recall walking in the mall with my younger sister who chose to wear the Hijab at 18 (my older sister has not of yet); not so used to the attention, I asked her, “why are people looking at you like that?” She said “what people, I don’t even notice it anymore.”

The case of the greeting card is particularly repulsive given the sobering realization that even the  innocence of our young girls and their toys are not spared. After posting an image of the card on a social network, a mother of an 8 year old contacted me telling me how upset she is. “My daughter loves the Aamina doll, she takes it with her everywhere. You press its hands and feet and it says the sweetest things. I am appalled.”

The greeting card is not the first time the pink-scarf clad, smiling doll has been used to represent terrorism. Act For America, cited by the SPLC, CAIR, and the ADL as a hate group, posted the below image on its wordpress blog with the message, “The latest toy has hit the shops… A talking Muslim doll. Nobody knows what the hell it says, because no one has the guts to pull the cord.” NobleWorks Cards is however the first company that is profiting from this blatant stereotyping.

 There are those who will claim Muslims do not have a sense of humor. But one would like to think humor comes with (even a minimal degree of ) intelligence. The notion that a doll, that looks like any other doll that any little girl in the world would play with, can be presented as a terrorist doll simply and only because it is a “Muslim” doll or because it has a “Muslim scarf” on its head is not what defines “funny” for a lot of people, but bigoted, ugly, idiotic, moronic, etc.

Contact the makers of the greetings card and let them know that you do NOT think that stereotyping Muslim women and girls is OK. Ask them if they would get a chuckle out of their daughters growing up exposed to messaging that criminalizes their basic identity for profit. (CAIR-Chicago has written an official letter to the company sharing its concerns.)

As always, be firm and polite.

NobleWorks Cards: 1-855-267-3163

He Who Eats Mud (local Chicago store that is selling the card): (773) 525-0616

You can contact CAIR-Chicago at 312-212-1520 or at info@cairchicago.org

Update: NobleWorks Card company also sells the “Shiite Pet Funny Greeting Card.” It pictures a scruffy bearded parody of a Chia Pet with the captions “This gift is the Bomb” and “Thrives in the Dark.” Shiism is a sect of Islam practiced peacefully by tens of millions of people around the world.

FROM

RUSHING TO JUDGEMENT IN BOSTON

Two related reports ….
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Obama’s rush to judgment: Was the Boston bombing really a “terrorist” act?

 Ali Abunimah
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President Obama has repeatedly claimed that the Boston Marathon bombing was an “act of terror” and that its alleged perpetrators are “terrorists.”

It may seem pointless to quibble with this description: after all what could be more “terroristic” than setting off bombs at a peaceful sporting event killing three persons, one a child, and injuring or horrifically maiming dozens more?

But in fact how the act is described is very important in determining government, media and wider societal responses, including ramping up racism and bigotry against Muslims, Arabs or people of color.

There can be no doubt that the Boston Marathon bombing was a murderous act, but does it –– based on what is known –– fit the US government’s own definitions of “terrorism”?

It is important to recall that other, far more lethal recent events, including the mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado and the school massacre at Sandy Hook, Connecticut havenot been termed “terrorism,” nor their perpetrators labeled “terrorist” by the government. Why?

Obama’s changing descriptions

In his first statement shortly after news emerged of the bombing in Boston on 15 April 2013, Obama pointedly did not describe the attack as “terrorism.” The term is totally absent from his statement. He does say, “We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.”

It was only the next day on Tuesday, 16 April, that Obama first called the bombing an “act of terrorism” after media had pressed the White House on the issue.

Last night, after 19-year-old suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev was captured by police, Obama made a statement declaring: “We will investigate any associations that these terroristsmay have had. And we’ll continue to do whatever we have to do to keep our people safe.”

In his weekly video address today, Obama reaffirmed, “on Monday an act of terrorwounded dozens and killed three people at the Boston Marathon.”

Official definitions of “terrorism”

The US government has no single definition of “terrorism” but the National Institute of Justice at the US Department of Justice points to two influential standards that are in use, one enshrined in law and the other provided by the FBI:

Title 22 of the U.S. Code, Section 2656f(d) defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Both definitions of terrorism share a common theme: the use of force intended to influence or instigate a course of action that furthers a political or social goal. In most cases, NIJ researchers adopt the FBI definition, which stresses methods over motivations and is generally accepted by law enforcement communities.

What was the “political” or “social” goal of the Boston bombing?

Based on these definitions, what distinguishes a “mass shooting” such as Aurora or Sandy Hook on the one hand, from an act of “terrorism” on the other, is that the mass shooters have no political goals. Their act is nihilistic and is not carried out in furtherance of any particular cause.

So far, however, absolutely no evidence has emerged that the Boston bombing suspects acted “in furtherance of political or social objectives” or that their alleged act was “intended to influence or instigate a course of action that furthers a political or social goal.”

Nor is there any evidence that they are part of a group.

Neither of the suspects is known to have made any statement of a political or other goal for their alleged action and there has been no claim of responsibility. Obama, in his statement last night, admitted as much:

Obviously, tonight there are still many unanswered questions. Among them, why did young men who grew up and studied here, as part of our communities and our country, resort to such violence? How did they plan and carry out these attacks, and did they receive any help?

So why is Obama calling them “terrorists?

Since Obama has no idea why the alleged suspects may have resorted to violence and no one else has offered an evidence-based explanation, why is Obama already labeling them “terrorists” when he himself warned against a “rush to judgment?”

The only explanation I can think of is the suspects’ identification as ethnic Chechens and Muslims, even though there is no evidence that they acted either in relation to events in their ancestral homeland or were motivated by any Islamist ideology.

Obama seems to be going on the careless, prejudiced assumption so common on cable television: they’re Muslims, so they must be “terrorists.”

This may be the easy and populist way of looking at it, pandering to prejudice as Obama so often does, but it is irresponsible and violates official US policy that Obama seemed, at least on the first day, willing to observe.

How acts are labeled is highly political: recall the controversy over whether Obama was quick enough to label the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last September as “terrorism,” and the continuing demands that the government designate the November 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, allegedly perpetrated by Major Nidal Hasan, as “terrorism.”

All of these cases reinforce the widely noted observation that acts of violence, especially mass shootings, carried out typically by white males are immediately labeled as the acts of “disturbed individuals” while the acts of a person identified as “Muslim” are to be labeled “terrorism” regardless of the facts.

These are unsafe assumptions and foreclose the possibility of full understanding. Moreover, by reinforcing popular stereotypes, they give new force to the anti-Muslim backlash that seems only to be growing stronger and more poisonous as the 11 September 2001 attacks recede into the past.

It is also important to note the contrast between Obama’s eagerness to label the Boston attack as “terror” and its alleged perpetrators as “terrorists” – without evidence – and hisreluctance to label last August’s mass murder at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin as “terrorism” despite the identification of the shooter as having a history of white nationalist and supremacist activism.

Perhaps the first serious consequence of labeling Boston a “terrorist” attack was the Obama administration’s decision to deprive the suspect who was captured of his constitutional right to receive a Miranda warning on arrest, a further thinning of the already threadbare pretense of “rule of law” in post 11 September 2001 America.

Could this be another “Columbine?”

Let’s consider another possibility. Exactly 14 years ago today, 20 April 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold executed a carefully-planned attack on Columbine High School in Colorado, using guns and bombs.

The two seniors murdered 12 fellow students and one teacher before shooting themselves.

Like the Boston Marathon bombing allegedly was, the Columbine attack was carried out by two persons, and it involved some of the same methods: homemade explosives.

But the Columbine attack is remembered as a “school shooting” or a “mass shooting” – perhaps the most iconic of a sad litany of such events – but not a “terrorist” attack.

In his essential 2009 book Columbine, Dave Cullen tells the story of the attack in meticulous detail, debunking many of the popular stereotypes that persist to this day that the attack was meant to avenge bullying by “jocks.”

The evidence that emerged is that Harris was a clinically sadistic sociopath who had no ability to empathize with other human beings. Klebold was a depressive whom Harris was able to manipulate. These facts lay at the heart of what happened.

It is definitely not any more desirable in the wake of such atrocities to have a media frenzy stigmatizing all people with mental illness as potential killers any more than we want them to stigmatize all Muslims as potential terrorists – in fact people with mental illness are no more likely to be violent than anyone else, and are indeed more likely to be victims of violence. And contrary to popular stereotypes fed by the media it is exceptionally rare for Muslims to become “terrorists.”

What we do need is patient, serious and informed analysis: could the relationship between the Boston suspects be similar to those of the Columbine killers? What other factors are at at play? I don’t know, but I cannot rule anything out.

Just like President Obama, I do not know what drove the alleged Boston bombers. What I do know is that when the media and the government, egging each other on, rush to judgment, the possibility of alternative scenarios is ruled out and getting to the truth is harder.

If Boston was “terrorism” based on the little that is known, then we must be able to answer these questions: can only white or Christian males be sociopaths, or suffer from other mental illnesses that under certain conditions lead to violence?

Can only two white Colorado high school students act as a pair without “terrorist” motives? Can “Muslims” or ethnic Chechens, or Arabs never be subject to the same kind of conditions or analysis?

Surely the survivors and families of the Boston bombing deserve no less of an accounting of what happened than the victims of Columbine?

We cannot and should not rule out that evidence will emerge that the alleged Boston bombers had a political motive. But it hasn’t so far.

What we have seen is the usual rush to judgment that has left Muslims and many people of color once again fearing collective blame and the governmental and societal retribution that comes with it.

 

Written FOR

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And of course, the anti-Muslim backlash …

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So here we are, nearly 12 years after September 11 unleashed a new wave of anti-Muslim hate. 44 percent of Americans say they have an “unfavorable” view of Muslims, according to a recent poll–and that was before the Boston bombings. How little has changed.

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Boston Marathon bombings unleash a new wave of Islamophobia

by Alex Kane
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Sharia
An anti-Park 51 protester in New York City in September 2010
(Photo: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons)
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It’s happening again: another collective freakout steeped in Islamophobia. The Boston Marathon bombings have unleashed the anti-Muslim sentiment that bubbles under the surface and always shines bright in times of national hysteria. The current wave of Islamophobia the country is perpetuating and experiencing–and it’s only the beginning–is the first since the Park 51 fracas in 2010.

The news that the main suspects in the bombing are Chechen Muslims will fuel the ugly hate that has intensified since September 11. But the hate was unleashed immediately after the attack, even before the public knew that Muslims were involved. How little is needed for the brash and bigoted side of this country to come out swinging against the “Muslim enemy” we have been been so trained to fear.

It’s very easy to see the most blatant manifestations of the ugly phenomenon of Islamophobia, which casts collective blame on all Muslims. The right-wing is always the place to start. But it’s also emanating from our mainstream institutions and figures, where it’s a little more difficult to identify the Islamophobia. It’s there, though. Powerful institutions and figures are focusing on Muslims and trying to justify even more animus and surveillance targeting the Muslim community in the United States.

Let’s begin with the easiest of places: the Islamophobic media. The New York Postled the charge on this front. In the immediate hours after the Boston attack, the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid fingered a “Saudi national” who was injured in the blast as a suspect. It turns out he had nothing to do with the attack.

The other easy place to see anti-Muslim hate is, of course, the Islamophobic blogosphere. Pamela Geller went from freaking out about the Saudi to freaking out about two innocent people featured on the Post’s front page to freaking out about a missing university student to finally arriving at where everybody else is: freaking out about the Chechen suspects. What tied them all together was they all looked “Muslimy,” the term Wajahat Ali aptly used in Salon, and denotes how Muslims have become racialized in this country. There was also Steve Emerson, the faux terror “expert” welcomed by AIPAC with open arms, who opined about the “Saudi national” on television, as Ali Gharib documented.

And then there are the anti-Muslim hate crimes. ColorLines has chronicled some of them. They include: a white man punching a Palestinian woman who wears a hijab in Massachusetts; and Latino men beating up a Bangladeshi in the Bronx because he looked “Arab.”

But how easy anti-Muslim sentiment migrates over into the mainstream. Sure, this form of Islamophobia is not as blatant as Pam Geller’s. But it’s just as dangerous–if not more so, since more people imbibe what the mainstream tells them.

The mainstream media is busy speculating about whether Islam played a role in the decision to blow up the bombs at the Boston marathon. I heard one reporter ask the uncle of the suspects whether they were “radicalized” in a local mosque, apparently not knowing that the vast majority of mosques in the nation are nowhere near “radical.” This is the soft bigotry the mainstream is engaging in.

Another culprit that has bought into Islamophobia, and therefore legitimizing it, is law enforcement. Return back to the Saudi national story. As The New Yorker’s Amy Davidson writes, “he was the only one who, while in the hospital being treated for his wounds, had his apartment searched in ‘a startling show of force,’ as his fellow-tenants described it to the Boston Herald, with a ‘phalanx’ of officers and agents and two K9 units.” Davidson goes on to ask: “Why the search, the interrogation, the dogs, the bomb squad, and the injured man’s name tweeted out, attached to the word ‘suspect’?” The question answers itself. He was Saudi. He was Arab. That’s enough for a lot of people, including law enforcement. It speaks volumes that the only injured person to have his home searched by law enforcement was the Saudi national.

Finally, let’s look at the man who runs the city that suffered the nation’s most catastrophic terrorist attack. Mayor Michael Bloomberg sought to reassure New York City in the aftermath of the Boston attacks. But he ended up exploiting the attacks for his own political purposes. At a press conference on Tuesday, he crassly said: “The moment that we let our guard down, the moment we get complacent, the moment we allow special interests to shape our security strategies, is the moment that the terrorists are waiting for. As a country, we may not be able to thwart every attack. We saw that yesterday. But we must do everything we possibly can to try.”

“Security strategies.” It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Bloomberg is referring to the New York Police Department’s tactic of spying on Muslim communities with no regard as to whether people are innocent or guilty of any crime. Don’t get complacent: stop criticizing the NYPD, the mayor says. They’re doing their job, and their job is to map Muslim communities, eavesdrop on conversations and catalog innocent people in police documents related to terrorism. And those “special interests”? That’s a clear as day reference to the Muslims who are fighting back against the spy program and to the allies who have joined them in that fight.

What Bloomberg doesn’t acknowledge is that the police department itself has admitted in court that their surveillance program has not stopped a single act of terrorism. Not one. Which begs the question: how can the “security strategies” Bloomberg is defending help prevent the next Boston? They can’t. But Bloomberg wants to justify a program that is Islamophobic at its core.

So here we are, nearly 12 years after September 11 unleashed a new wave of anti-Muslim hate. 44 percent of Americans say they have an “unfavorable” view of Muslims, according to a recent poll–and that was before the Boston bombings. How little has changed. 

 

 

Written FOR

 

ISLAMOPHOBIA GETS A NEW INFUSION

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
3-faces-of-islamophobia
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Even before the suspects in the Boston bombing are apprehended, the verdict has already been handed down and it apparently has been decided that they are Moslems.
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Needless to say, the corporate media is having a heyday with this  …
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According to several Muslims interviewed by the media, when a white man carries out a crime, he is looked at as an individual, but when the suspect is Muslim, the entire Muslim-American community is labeled.

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After Boston attack: US Muslims reliving post 9-11 experience

Some 6 million Muslims live in US, and in days following Boston Marathon attack, they say they are experiencing anew harassment and anxiety which took place after 9/11. Says one Muslim youth who was at marathon finish line and whose photo was posted online, ‘I’m afraid to go to school’

Yitzhak Benhorin*

Muslims in the US are living in fear, praying that those responsible for the bombings in Boston will be apprehended and shown to be non-Muslim. Over the last few days, reports of harassment of Arabs and Muslims have been coming up throughout the US, especially at places of employment and in schools.

Apprehensions were raised among Arabs and Muslims after the New York Post published the photos of two Muslim teens, who the paper’s headlines claimed, were wanted by authorities for questioning in relation to the Boston bombings.

A short time after the attack, the main headline on the newspaper’s site had stated that at least 12 people had been killed and that the main suspect was a Saudi who had been arrested by Boston Police. Law enforcement quickly denied the reports, saying they had not arrested a Saudi national, or anyone else.

On Thursday, the New York Post published a photo of the two youth, both 17. The paper wrote that Salah Eddin Barhoum and his friend, Yassine Zaime, had been seen close to the marathon finish line. Later the paper retracted its earlier report, saying the two were not the ones being looked for and that the FBI had identified other suspects.

But Salah Barhoum, a son of Morrocan immigrant parents and a high school track runner, was so shocked by the publicity, that when he noticed someone in a car outside his high school watching him and talking on a phone, he quickly ran back into the school.

הרגעים שלאחר הפיגוע בבוסטון (צילום: AP)

Police, runner react to explosion (Photo: AP)*

Barhoum said that after his photo appeared on the cover of the Post, he received over 200 messages, one from someone in Oregon saying, “How could you do that? Did you even think about the consequences?”

In an interview with the AP, Barhoum said he will not feel safe until the party responsible for the attack is caught. “I’m going to be scared going to school. Work wise, my family, everything is going to be scary.”

The Barhoum family emigrated from Morocco to the US five years ago, and the father, El Houssein Barhoum said he is afraid someone will shoot his son, and that he worries about the safety of his wife and daughters. He himself admits he is afraid to go to his job at a Boston bakery.

The BBC also spoke with several random Muslims they met on US city streets. One 10-year-old boy, identified only as Yusef, said when he arrived at his Ohio school after the attack, he was asked questions by classmates regarding his family. During a class discussion on the attacks, another student asked whether Yusef would blow up the school. The teacher, who did not understand Yusuf’s reply, pulled him aside and held him back until his school locker was checked.

Since the Monday attack,US Muslims are experiencing an intense change in the treatment they receive from others, as they did after September 11. Memories from 2001 are resurfacing for the estimated 6 million Muslims throughout the nation.

The greatest apprehension for Muslims following 9/11 was brought on by the fact that the attackers did turn out to be Muslim.

According to several Muslims interviewed by the media, when a white man carries out a crime, he is looked at as an individual, but when the suspect is Muslim, the entire Muslim-American community is labeled.

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