Saturday, March 31, 2007

Cultural warfare alert: Passengers sued over imams' removal

Passengers sued over imams' removal By PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press Writer
Fri Mar 30, 6:51 PM ET

MINNEAPOLIS - Six Muslim men removed from a plane last fall after being accused of suspicious behavior are suing not only the airline but the passengers who complained — a move some fear could discourage travelers from speaking up when they see something unusual.

The civil rights lawsuit, filed earlier this month, has so alarmed some lawyers that they are offering to defend the unnamed "John Doe" passengers free of charge. They say it is vital that the flying public be able to report suspicious behavior without fear of being dragged into court.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Call for Muslim States to Apologise for Slave Trade

Call for Muslim States to Apologise for Slave Trade
Christian Today

by Daniel Blake

Islamic and Christian historians have called for a number of Muslim states to apologise for their part in the slave trade during a live radio debate.

The programme, broadcast on Premier Christian Radio, featured Islamic expert and lecturer, Anthony McRoy and ex-Christian and Islamic convert, the author Abdul-Haq al-Ashanti.

The debate began with McRoy explaining how North African Islamic states raided European countries for slaves, and have yet to apologise for these actions.

"It's essential that all states that ever engaged in this nefarious activity [slavery] should themselves apologise. I think there is a special case for the North African states and the Ottoman Empire to apologise," he said.

"Between 1480 and 1830 one and a quarter million white Europeans and North Americans were raided into slavery in north Africa by the north African states. The only reason this stopped is because the British and French made them stop, using the military."

When asked about the effect an apology would have on the public's view of Islam and Islamic countries, McRoy said, "I'm advocating this as a way of undermining anti-Muslim feeling, of attacking Islamophobia."

"People are scared of Islam. Rightly or wrongly, they are scared. They are scared that one day Muslims are going to conquer the west again. To obviate that fear, the North African states and Turkey should issue a formal apology so that people in the west can breathe and we can silence the rantings of Islamophobes."

The lengthy debate also featured US-based lecturer on Muslim-Christian relations, the Rev Keith Small, al-Ashanti, who said: "I think it's a very important subject that needs to be discussed not only by Muslims but also non-Muslims as well."

"It's difficult to apologise for the sins of another." He added. "In those cases where there were clear, gross abuses of the Islamic text, those people [of Islamic states] have to make some kind of apology, we utterly condemn that [slavery]."

Abdul-Haq al-Ashanti, the Muslim representative at the debate, said: "Obviously those states that were complicit in abusing and contradicting, maybe even in some cases rejecting the statements of Islam with regards of slavery, they have to make some kind of apology and make amends for what they've done."

Al-Ashanti, a historical specialist, wrote his first book, Before Nicea, on the early followers of Jesus Christ through the eyes of the Islamic faith.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A culture that denigrates will benefit from strict cultural laws

Muslim GPs blab sex secrets
The Sun


MUSLIM GPs reveal women’s sexual health problems to male relatives, it has been claimed.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said female Muslims did not trust male family doctors in their close-knit communities.

She said: “If they talk to him about a situation concerning domestic violence or sexual health, they fear he will share that with members of the community.

“I’ve had Muslim women give me chapter and verse on very distressing confidentiality breaches by Muslim GPs.”

Last night Muslim doctors in Ms Hewitt’s highly-Islamic Leicester constituency attacked the 58-year-old’s comments — made in GP magazine Pulse.

Dr Vijoy Singh, chair of the local medical committee, said: “No GP would break confidentiality because they are liable to be sued. She’s out of touch.”

But the General Medical Council said: “Some groups of patients have added concerns about confidentiality.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cultural takeover? Why cultural laws would be so powerful

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar: Religion of Islam will take over entire world
YNet News

by Yaakov Lappin

Islam will enter "every house" and become the dominant religion across the entire planet, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said during a mass rally in Gaza this week.

Zahar was previously the Palestinian Authority's foreign minister. He spoke at a rally held for the late Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin, and his comments were translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) organization.

"The prophetic foundation is the message of the prophet Muhammad, that Islam will enter every house and will spread over the entire world," Zahar was quoted as saying.

"The divine promise made in the 'Al-Israa Sura' is that we will liberate the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, and we will enter it as we have entered it the first time," he added.

"Our position is the liberation of Palestine," Zahar declared, adding: "All of Palestine. This is the final and strategic solution for us. There is a Quranic message for us, that we will enter the Al-Aqsa mosque, and the entrance to the mosque means the entrance into all of Palestine. This is the message, no one can deny it. Anyone who denies it must check his faith and his Islam."

Commenting on Zahar's comments, PMW Director Itamar Marcus and Associate Director Barbara Crook wrote: "While the Hamas goal of destroying Israel is well known, its aspiration for Islamic subjugation of the entire world is just as basic to Hamas dogma."

Monday, March 26, 2007

Yet another reason why strict cultural laws against the trappings of extremism would be so effective

Muslim moderates threatened in phone call
CTV Toronto

Police have launched a hate-crime investigation after a phone call was received by the Muslim Canadian Congress from a man who vowed to "slaughter" members of the group unless they stop speaking publicly about Islam.

The message warned organization members that they must "cease from your campaign of smearing Islam" or "I will slaughter you." It was left on the voice mail of the secretary-general for the Congress on Monday.

The caller mentioned Congress founder Tarek Fatah and current president Farzana Hassan-Shahid by name.

Both have openly criticized the politicization of Islam and alleged influence of Iran and Saudi Arabia in Canadian mosques. They have also been threatened in the past.

After publishing her book "Islam, Women and the Challenges of Today," Hassan-Shahid faced hecklers and had her home vandalized.

"But swearing by God that `I will do this and slaughter all of you,' that's pretty chilling," she told the Toronto Star.

"He said that we are a Munafiq organization. Munafiq really means a 'hypocrite' and to call someone like me a hypocrite I think is totally erroneous and fallacious," Hassan-Shahid told CTV Newsnet.

"I have a different understanding of my faith and it's not hypocritical. I've been articulating it in a very honest manner so I think that that in itself is a fallacy and he needs to overcome it," Hassan-Shahid said, when asked what she would tell the caller if given a chance.

Known for his opposition to Sharia law, Fatah campaigned against a 2005 effort to introduce the religious arbitration courts into Ontario law.

A threat last August convinced him to resign as communications director for the Congress.

Jason Kenney, Canada's secretary of state for multiculturalism, said he was deeply disturbed by Monday's threat and notified Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day of the incident.

"Threats of violence against individuals for their political or religious views have no place in this country," Kenney told the Star.

"It's totally unacceptable and I would hope the whole community - both the Muslim communities and the broader community -- would stand in solidarity with those who are being threatened."

Reports say both Fatah and Hassan-Shahid won't stop speaking out but they are frustrated with the lack of public debate and the inability to air their views without the threat of violence.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Culture of polygamy abuses women and children

Culture of olygamy and brutalization of women and children go hand along with excess of disposable young males

In Secret, Polygamy Follows Africans to N.Y.

The New York Times

Aminata Kante left her husband after he took a second wife.


She worked at the Red Lobster in Times Square and lived with her husband near Yankee Stadium. Yet one night, returning home from her job, Odine D. discovered that African custom, not American law, held sway over her marriage.

A strange woman was sitting in the living room, and Ms. D.’s husband, a security guard born in Ghana, introduced her as his other wife.

Devastated, Ms. D., a Guinean immigrant who insisted that her last name be withheld, said she protested: “I can’t live with the woman in my house — we have only two bedrooms.” Her husband cited Islamic precepts allowing a man to have up to four wives, and told her to get used to it. And she tried to obey.

Polygamy in America, outlawed in every state but rarely prosecuted, has long been associated with Mormon splinter groups out West, not immigrants in New York. But a fatal fire in a row house in the Bronx on March 7 revealed its presence here, in a world very different from the suburban Utah setting of “Big Love,” the HBO series about polygamists next door.

The city’s mourning for the dead — a woman and nine children in two families from Mali — has been followed by a hushed double take at the domestic arrangements described by relatives: Moussa Magassa, the Mali-born American citizen who owned the house and was the father of five children who perished, had two wives in the home, on different floors. Both survived.

No one knows how prevalent polygamy is in New York. Those who practice it have cause to keep it secret: under immigration law, polygamy is grounds for exclusion from the United States.

Under state law, bigamy can be punished by up to four years in prison,

No agency is known to collect data on polygamous unions, which typically take shape over time and under the radar, often with religious ceremonies overseas and a visitor’s visa for the wife, arranged by other relatives. Some men have one wife in the United States and others abroad.

But the Magassas clearly are not an isolated case. Immigration to New York and other American cities has soared from places where polygamy is lawful and widespread, especially from West African countries like Mali, where demographic surveys show that 43 percent of women are in polygamous marriages.

And the picture that emerges from dozens of interviews with African immigrants, officials and scholars of polygamy is of a clandestine practice that probably involves thousands of New Yorkers.

“It’s difficult, but one accepts it because it’s our religion,” said Doussou Traoré, 52, president of an association of Malian women in New York, who married an older man with two other wives who remain in Mali. “Our mothers accepted it. Our grandmothers accepted it. Why not us?”

Other women spoke bitterly of polygamy. They said their participation was dictated by an African culture of female subjugation and linked polygamy to female genital cutting and domestic violence. That view is echoed by most research on plural marriages, including studies of West African immigrants in France, where the government estimates that 120,000 people live in 20,000 polygamous families.

“The woman is in effect the slave of the man,” said a stylish Guinean businesswoman in her 40s who, like many women interviewed in Harlem and the Bronx, spoke on the condition of anonymity. “If you protest, your husband will hit you, and if you call the police, he’s going to divorce you, and the whole community will scorn you.”

“Even me,” she added. “My husband went to find another wife in Africa, and he has the right to do that. They tell you nothing, until one afternoon he says, ‘O.K., your co-wife arrives this evening.’ ”

Men, in contrast, tended to play down the existence of polygamy, if they were willing to discuss it at all.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Important cultural warfare law

Hill bill protects flying public
By Audrey Hudson
March 24, 2007

House Republicans are pushing legislation to protect airline passengers from lawsuits for reporting suspicious behavior that might be linked to a terrorist attack.
Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican, introduced the Protecting Americans Fighting Terrorism Act of 2007 on Thursday, a week after a lawsuit was filed by a group of Muslim imams who were taken off a US Airways flight in November.
It is "unconscionable" that those who report suspicious activity could be "terrorized in our own court system in our own country," Mr. Pearce said on the House floor yesterday afternoon.
The lawsuit asserts that the imams were discriminated against by US Airways, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission and "John Doe" passengers to be named later.
A public interest law firm that fights against religious discrimination publicly condemned the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) yesterday for supporting a case it calls "legal terrorism" and said it will file a brief with the court on behalf of the passengers.

Excellent cultural law that will have far reaching effects in liberating women from degradation

Head-Scarf Ban Upsets Muslim Women
Science Daily

Head-scarf ban upsets Muslim women

ANTWERP, Belgium, March 23 (UPI) -- Muslim women in the Belgian city of Antwerp are fighting a ban on the wearing of head scarves by municipal employees.

The city council argues that the ban is not discriminatory because it applies to all religious symbols, including crosses and yarmulkes. But Muslim women feel that it is mainly aimed at head scarves, Expatica reported.

The government workers union says it has receiving hundreds of complaints from Muslims. Skender Baleci, the union secretary, said the council is "cynical" for giving department heads the power to order staff to remove head scarves after it recruited Muslim women to work as day-care assistants.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Education is an important cultural tool

Muslim Students Kill Teacher for Desecrating Koran

In Nigeria, pupils taking an Islamic Religious Knowledge exam were so offended by something their teacher did with a Koran that they ambushed her outside the school and beat her to death.

MUSLIM pupils at a secondary school in northeastern Nigeria beat a teacher to death today after accusing her of desecrating the Koran.

Oluwatoyin Olusase, a Christian, was adjudicating an Islamic Religious Knowledge exam at the school in Gombe state when the incident occurred.

The students attacked her outside the school compound after the exam and killed her, witnesses said.

It was not clear exactly what Olusase had done that angered the students.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cultural issues. Banning religious headgear and dress would expell extremists and encourage moderates

Australian imams urged to become lifesavers, firefighters.

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia’s Islamic clerics should volunteer as surf lifesavers and firemen to improve their image in a country which has “had enough of us,” an influential Muslim leader suggested Wednesday.

The president of Australia’s largest Islamic organisation, the Lebanese Muslim Association, made the call in a 16-page report to be considered by the nation’s clerics at a meeting this weekend. Tom Zreika suggests Muslims have become as unpopular as communists once were and accuses some clerics of inciting hatred and violence “on the preposterous justification that they are simply acting in self-defence in a time of war.”

“We are not at war,” says Zreika, who confirmed to AFP that details of his report published in The Australian newspaper Wednesday were accurate. “We have become the new communism, particularly in the West, and some people in our community are so repulsed by our actions it is making life unbearable for us and our offspring,” Zreika says.

Australia’s top Muslim cleric, Sheikh Taj Aldin al-Hilali, created a storm of protest late last year when he described scantily-dressed women as “uncovered meat” inviting rape. Faced with calls to get out of the country, the Egyptian-born cleric mocked the convict ancestry of many white Australians and said Muslims had more right to the country.

In a nation where beach culture is strong and public service volunteers are hailed as heroes, Zreika said firefighting and lifesaving could help Australia’s 300,000 Muslims improve their image.

“It would be great to see a turbaned imam fighting fires alongside other bushfire service volunteers,” Zreika, a lawyer, says in his submission to the Australian National Imams Council. “Organisations like the Surf Lifesaving Association should be joined as a matter of course by the imam and his followers.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cultural warfare at it's worst


Abduction of boys and girls by Islamists in northern state increasingly common.

Victor Udo Usen SOKOTO, Nigeria, March 14 (Compass Direct News) – Beginning in November of last year, 13-year-old Victor Udo Usen, a member of the Christ Apostolic Church in this northern Nigeria city, went missing.

On February 20, news that young Victor was spotted in a Muslim neighbor’s house jolted his family. A young Christian girl had raced to the Usens’ home in the Mabera area of Sokoto city with the news.

Victor’s mother, Esther Udo Usen, told Compass that she ran to the house where her son had been seen. She met him, however, even as he was making frantic efforts to escape from the house where he has been held incommunicado for six months.

“I quickly held his hands and dragged him along with me towards our house,” she said. “But within a twinkle of an eye, I heard shouts of ‘Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar [God is great]!’ I was shocked as I saw a large number of Muslims rushing towards us.”

The mob surrounded them and snatched her son away from her, she told Compass with tears in her eyes. Before she could send for her husband, who was not home at the time, members of the mob told her that her son was now a Muslim and that she and her husband were no longer his parents.

“They abducted him in November last year, and I only saw him today,” she told Compass. “How can someone force my son into his religion?”

Victor’s father, Udo Usen, told Compass that when he received the distressed call from his wife, he rushed home only to discover that the boy had been abducted anew.

Victor with his family “I thought, ‘If I force myself into the house of that Muslim to get my son, I will not only be placing the lives of my family at risk but also creating room for them to attack other Christians in Sokoto,’” Usen said.

Instead, Usen contacted his pastor, and together they reported the matter to other Christian leaders – as well as to police and the state security service.

“The police told us that they cannot do anything at the moment until the Sultan of Sokoto, the leader of Muslims in Nigeria, returns from his trip,” he said. “They have held this boy for six months without our consent. They have forced him into Islam. How can they do this to a 13-year-old child?”

Kidnapped and Converted

Esther Thomas Tambari, a Christian neighbor of the Usens, corroborated the facts of the abduction to Compass. “The Muslims, we learned, have changed Victor’s name to Abdulkarim,” she said.

Tambari said the Muslims had also threatened her son, Simon Thomas Tambari, several times.

“When the Usens had their son abducted, as a Christian I had concern for them and decided to help in any way I can to enable them to find their son,” Tambari said. “I took Victor’s mother to my pastor, who in turn asked her to report the matter to the police. Now the Muslims are after my son, Simon, and me. My landlady, who happens to be a Muslim, has threatened me with ejection from her house, and my son’s life is at stake.”

The Usens are not the only Christian family in Sokoto who have had one of their children abducted and forced into Islam; Christian leaders there say abduction of teenage Christian boys and girls has become a common phenomenon in majority-Muslim Sokoto state.

“Sometimes Muslims force our young boys and girls into Islam,” said Kevin Aje, Roman Catholic Bishop of Sokoto. “These are some of the challenges facing Christians here in Sokoto.”

The Rev. Reuben Yaro, chairman of the Sokoto district of the Evangelical Church of West Africa, has received reports of child abduction. In one case, Muslims forcefully took away a son and a daughter from a family in his church because the mother was a convert from Islam, he said.

“She gave her life to Christ, eventually got married to a Christian man and the marriage was blessed with the two kids,” Yaro said. But intense persecution followed, he said, with Muslims abducting the children and placing them in the custody of a Muslim cleric.

“The two children have been forced into Islam and are receiving Islamic education,” he said.

The Islamists also seized the mother of the two children – her fate is unknown – and forced the father to leave Sokoto in order to save his life, Yaro said.

Yaro said he has reported another case of kidnapping and forced conversion to the Christian Association of Nigeria, Sokoto state chapter, which is investigating it.

Pastor Tayo Atiniku, Secretary of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Sokoto state chapter, also corroborated claims of abductions of teenage Christian boys and girls in Sokoto. He cited two examples.

“Grace, a girl, 17 years old, was three years ago abducted by the Muslims here,” Atiniku said. “Her parents are members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God here in Sokoto, and her whereabouts are still unknown.”

Another Christian girl, daughter of a Christian police officer in Talata Mafara town, also was recently abducted, forced into Islam and married off to a Muslim man without the consent of her parents, he said.

“It took the father the use of a gun for him to rescue her from these Muslims,” Atiniku added.

Christian leaders are worried that the kidnapping trend is on the increase, creating tensions between Muslims and Christians.

The Nigerian government, they concur, knows of the abductions but has done nothing to protect Christian children from religious predators.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Germany is enabling the culture of extremism to flourish, thus squelching any moderates

At Spiegel Online, two paragraphs in a long piece on “Religious Divisions within Germany” illustrate a heartbreaking truth about the misogyny of Islamic supremacism: A Parallel Muslim Universe.

In another regional case, the judges had to decide whether a class excursion was mandatory for a Muslim girl. In their ruling of 2002, they parroted the language of a fatwa issued two years previously. The former chairman of the Islamic Religious Community in Hesse had stipulated that a Muslim woman not accompanied by a mahram, a male blood relative, must not stray more than 50 miles from her home - because this is the distance a caravan of camels can travel in 24 hours.

Camels are something of an anomaly on the German autobahn these days. Sympathetic judges nonetheless recommended sending the 15-year-old brother along as a mahram. Given her fear of losing her headscarf or violating other religious laws, the schoolgirl’s condition, they argued, was comparable to that of a “partially mentally handicapped person.” She therefore needed somebody to accompany her; otherwise, she should not be forced to take part in the trip, they reasoned.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Schools and teachers are the cultural target

3 Children Killed in Thai School Attack

BANGKOK, Thailand - A deadly attack on an Islamic school in Thailand's restive south that left three students dead and seven injured sparked hundreds of Muslim villagers to rioted Sunday in protest.

Police blamed the attack in the southern province of Songkhla on Muslim insurgents, but villagers said they didn't believe Muslims were behind the violence.

More than 500 protesters gathered outside the school, parading the dead children's bodies through the crowd and setting fire to two buildings at a nearby government-owned school. Some hurled stones at police.

The attack occurred late Saturday evening at the Bamrungsart Pondok school, a Muslim boarding school in Songkhla province, said police Col. Thammasak Wasaksiri.

Attackers hurled explosives onto the school grounds and opened fire with assault rifles into the sleeping quarters of the school, Thammasak said.

He said police believe Muslim insurgents staged the attack and hoped to convince local residents that authorities were behind it _ a ploy to win villagers over to the insurgents' cause.

But the protesting villagers said Sunday morning they didn't believe that Muslims had staged the attack.

"The villagers are accusing paratroopers of attacking the school," Thammasak said.

Thailand's three Muslim provinces have hundreds of religious Islamic schools, some of which authorities have accused of harboring insurgents and serving as a training ground for violence.

Drive-by shootings and bombings occur almost daily in Thailand's three Muslim-majority provinces _ Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, and increasingly in the neighboring province of Songkhla.

Gen. Virote Baucharoon, the army commander in charge of the restive provinces, said that security forces had recently raided an Islamic school and confiscated an M-16 assault rifle, bullets, a computer with suspicious material on the hard drive and other documents believed to be linked to the insurgency.

"This leads us to believe that religious schools are involved with the ongoing violence," he said.

Though Buddhist teachers have been targeted in the past, children have largely been spared.

The victims of Saturday's violence were identified as a 12-year-old and two 14-year-olds. Injured students, ranging in age from 13 to 17, were being treated for gun wounds and other injuries, Thammasak said. More than 75 students were in the school's dormitory at the time of the attack.

Violence in the south has increased since a military-installed government took power in September following a coup that ousted then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

A service of the Associated Press(AP)

Saturday, March 17, 2007


FBI: Extremists Driving Schoolbuses, No Reason for Concern

The FBI sent out a warning bulletin to police that members of extremist groups have signed up as school bus drivers in the US.

But there’s nothing to be concerned about.

WASHINGTON - Suspected members of extremist groups have signed up as school bus drivers in the United States, counterterror officials said Friday, in a cautionary bulletin to police. An FBI spokesman said, “Parents and children have nothing to fear.”

Asked about the alert notice, the FBI’s Rich Kolko said, “There are no threats, no plots and no history leading us to believe there is any reason for concern,” although law enforcement agencies around the country were asked to watch out for kids’ safety.

The bulletin, parts of which were read to The Associated Press, did not say how often foreign extremists have sought to acquire licenses to drive school buses, or where. It was sent Friday as part of what officials said was a routine FBI and Homeland Security Department advisory to local law enforcement.

It noted “recent suspicious activity” by foreigners who either drive school buses or are licensed to drive them, according to a counterterror official. Foreigners under recent investigation include “some with ties to extremist groups” who have been able to “purchase buses and acquire licenses,” the bulletin says.

But Homeland Security and the FBI “have no information indicating these individuals are involved in a terrorist plot against the homeland,” it says.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Moderate islam must rise and take back their religion or there will be no moderates left

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why cultural linchpin laws are critically necessary

The following are excerpts of an interview with the children of Palestinian suicide bomber Rim Al-Riyashi, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on March 8, 2007.

"How Many Jews Did Mama Kill?"

Interviewer: "Let's talk with the two children of the jihad-fighting martyrdom-seeker Rim Al-Riyashi, Dhoha and Muhammad. Dhoha, you love Mama, right? Where did Mama go?"

Dhoha: "To Paradise."

Interviewer: "What did Mama do?"

Dhoha: "She committed martyrdom."

Interviewer: "She killed Jews, right?"

Interviewer: "How many did she kill, Muhammad?"

Muhammad: "Huh?"

Interviewer: "How many Jews did Mama kill?"

Muhammad: "This many... "

Interviewer: "How many is that?"

Muhammad: "Five."

Interviewer: "Do you love Mama? Do you miss Mama?

"Where is Mama, Muhammad?"

Muhammad: "In Paradise."

Interviewer: "Dhoha, what would you like to recite for us?"

Dhoha: "In the name of Allah the Merciful the Compassionate: 'When comes the help of Allah, and victory, and you see people entering the religion of Allah in troops, then celebrate the praise of your Lord, and ask His forgiveness, for He is ever ready to show mercy.'"

That's the Qur'an, of course -- sura 110:1-3.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dearborn Muslim beats wife and children; then sues Michigan and local church

Dearborn Muslim beats wife and children; then sues Michigan and local church

the Arab American News

By: Khalil AlHajal / The Arab American News

Taylor — Protesters picketed outside of the Western Wayne County Children and Family Services office on Friday, in an effort to bring attention to a federal lawsuit filed by a Jordanian American man in January.

Plaintiff Abraham Ben-Abbad filed the suit against the Michigan Department of Human Services claiming that officials have denied him court-ordered visitation rights with his daughter.

He also alleges that the Department has allowed his ex-wife to involve a local church in official decision-making processes, preventing the 13 year old girl from seeing her father and being exposed to her Muslim heritage.

Parents for Children, a group that advocates throughout the state for parents who have been stripped of custody of their children, organized the demonstration.

"We just want to get our message out… to let them know that we're not going away," said Parents for Children founder Dan Wilson.

The group claims to have influenced cases in the past by demonstrating in front of courthouses and offices in several Michigan counties.

Wilson said that Friday's protest was particularly dramatic because it involves "Muslims and Christians marching together for a cause."

Attorney Janet Frederick-Wilson, also of Parents for Children, said that the actions of government agents involved in the case were probably more motivated by money than by religious issues. The group claims that grants awarded to agencies and performance bonuses awarded to Children's Protection agents cause them to "twist facts and blow situations out of proportion."

"They target minorities because they often have the least resources to fight them with… and they take advantage of cases with divorce issues and domestic discord."

Ben-Abbad's ex-wife has accused him of abuse.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The culture that threatens freedom of speech for others, but not itself

Students facing charges of 'desecration of Allah'
Hamas, Hezbollah flags used in college Republicans protest

© 2007

College Republicans at San Francisco State University desecrated the name of Allah by stepping on makeshift Hezbollah and Hamas flags, charged school officials who brought the students before a hearing yesterday.

The trouble began at an Oct. 17 anti-terrorism rally in which the students stepped on butcher paper painted to resemble the flags of the Middle East terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. The College Republicans say they simply copied the script from an image on the Internet and didn't know it bore the name of Allah in Arabic script.

University spokeswoman Ellen Griffin, however, told San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders the university "stands behind this process" of investigating the students for possible punishment.

"I don't believe the complaint is about the desecration of the flag," Griffin said. "I believe that the complaint is the desecration of Allah."

The university has 10 days from the time of the hearing to decide whether to sanction the students.

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, which represents the students, insisted the school has no basis for punishing them.

"The College Republicans engaged in unequivocally protected political expression, and it strains all credibility to think the SFSU administration does not know this," he said. "There is nothing to try or investigate here other than protected expression."

Ten days after the incident, a student filed a formal complaint with the university against the campus group, alleging "attempts to incite violence and create a hostile environment" and "actions of incivility."

FIRE argues the university's Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development could have settled the matter informally or dismissed the charges instead of pressing forward today with a hearing.

The legal advocacy group sent a letter to SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan Jan. 23 arguing no American public institution can lawfully prosecute students for engaging in political protest or for desecrating religious symbols.

FIRE asserted "incitement" and creating a "hostile environment" are legal terms not applicable to the College Republicans' actions of stepping on flags.

"SFSU has a duty to uphold the First Amendment rights of all of its students, even if their expressive activity offends the religious sensibilities of some," the letter stated.

University officials wrote back Jan. 29, saying the school would continue to investigate the complaint "to give all parties the confidence that they will be heard and fairly treated by a panel that includes representatives of all the university's key constituencies."

A follow-up letter by FIRE urged Corrigan to call off the hearing, warning "if you continue to ignore your constitutional obligations, you risk personal liability for depriving your students of their rights."

"This is not even a close call, legally speaking," FIRE Vice President Robert L. Shibley contended. "The First Amendment protects using or destroying flags in political protest, and even SFSU administrators must realize that they cannot prosecute students for failing to respect a religious symbol."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Polygamous societies are about the powerful preying upon the vulnerable. bad idea

Polygamy and sharia
Nuke's news and views

Mitt Romney made news recently for his family having historical ties to the practice of polygamy. Described by liberal pundits as “the ultimate Mormon oddity”, the truth is that the Mormon church officially repudiated polygamy in 1890. It was, in fact, a requirement for the admission of Utah to the Union.

Polygamy is an affront to the principle of equality between the sexes. You would think that this would be an issue that is championed as a women’s issue. Sadly, it gets little attention from international organizations, even on International Women’s Day.

The practice is common in the Muslim world, and is becoming common practice in Europe, as well:

“the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported statements from Norway’s Directorate of Immigration (UDI) that there are an increasing number of men with multiple wives in Norway. “The reason is married men travel to countries where polygamy is legal and then add a wife.” Though polygamy is illegal in Norway, “this is something that Norwegian authorities cannot prevent,” said UDI spokesman Karl Erik Sjøholt. …The Islamic Cultural Center Norway (ICCN), an immigrant organisation subsidised by the Norwegian state, advises Muslims in Norway to take several wives because polygamy “is advantageous and ought to be practiced where conditions lend themselves to such practice.”
Yesterday, LGF pointed to a reprint of an article at The American Muslim that encouraged the development of sharia law in America by using the model of Tribal Courts, as practiced by American Indians.

I recommend that as a first step, supporting organizations dealing with Islamic family law be established immediately. A professional association of Muslims in the law field (of whatever specialty) is a must. A law school students’ support group should be formed, and Muslim youth should be encouraged to enter this field. A second step would be to establish institutes in the U.S. which can supplement legal education with courses in Islamic family law. At the same time, pressure should be put on law schools to include courses in Shariah taught by Muslims.
This is not assimilation. This is not acceptance of American Civil Law. This is unacceptable. Inasmuch as the political left has resisted the logical step of protecting the institution of marriage through the amendment process, is there any other remedy that has legal and historical precedent? There is. And it goes back to that “ultimate Mormon oddity.” Joshua Trevino at Brussels Journal laid out the case in an excellent post from last year.

The precedent is the 1887 Edmunds-Tucker Act, which effectively disestablished the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints until that entity gave up its doctrine of polygamy. The Mormons were effectively declared an organized-crime outfit: their properties were confiscated, and their leaders were driven underground. It took three years, but in 1890 they abandoned polygamy, Utah became a state, and the Mormons … have been good, patriotic, and peaceful Americans ever since. One, Mitt Romney, even has a shot at being President shortly. They were forced to join the civilized world by the United States government, which cared more for the norms of American culture than the values of the Mormon faith – and rightly so. Looking back, it is difficult to deny that this vigorous action – in which no American was killed, deported, put into camps, or hunted down – was to the ultimate benefit of the country and the Mormons.
If we could act with that degree of sanity, self-preservation, and humanity in 1887-1890, why not now? If we cannot, it is not because Muslims now – or any other immigrant community now – are worse than Mormons then: it is because we have lost the self-confidence to do it.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Stolen kids turned into terrifying killers

Stolen kids turned into terrifying killers

Story Highlights
• There are more than 250,000 child soldiers fighting around the world
• Children are often brainwashed and drugged before they are forced to fight
• Their vulnerability can allow warlords to make them into coldblooded killers
• Child advocates see some signs of progress, but a long way to go

By Ann O'Neill

(CNN) -- Warlords are forcing children in conflicts around the world to become killing machines -- nothing more than what one child advocate calls "cannon fodder."

Some children are kidnapped from their schools or their beds, some are recruited after seeing their parents slaughtered, some may even choose to join the militias as their best hope for survival in war-torn countries...

Once recruited, many are brainwashed, trained, given drugs and then sent into battle with orders to kill.

There is no escape for what the United Nations and human rights groups estimate are 250,000 child soldiers today. These children, some as young as 8, become fighters, sex slaves, spies and even human shields.

Sometimes their guns are taller than they are. But the child soldiers can be frighteningly cold and effective...

Read more at ...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Mobilizing Islam's silent majority - speak up

Mobilizing Islam's silent majority--One American's journey through Islamic civilization.
Jerusalem Post


Although my ancestors have lived in the southeast of the United States for over three centuries, I personally have lived, travelled and worked in Muslim-majority countries for much of my life. At the age of nine, I moved to Iran with my family and was immersed in Persian culture for three years, from 1965-68. The sound of the Muslim call to prayer was thus integral to my childhood, as was the pluralistic, tolerant and spiritual form of Islam practiced by most Iranians.

While attending high school in Germany during the early seventies, I twice journeyed overland through the Middle East and beyond - to Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan - where I further explored Islam's diverse cultural expressions and rich artistic heritage.

During the 1990s, I was the CEO of an international telecommunications firm that sold a strategic stake to the national carrier of Indonesia. This led to my eventual retirement from the telecom industry, my relocation to Java and my study of its history and to the establishment of the LibForAll ("Liberty for All") Foundation in conjunction with Indonesia's first democratically-elected president, Abdurrahman Wahid.

SITUATED ON Islam's eastern periphery, Indonesia has long been known to have the most liberal, tolerant version of that religion practiced anywhere on earth. But back in the sixteenth century, newly Muslim city-states along its northern coast destroyed local Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms as they extended their power to the island's interior, causing great upheaval.

Flush with victory, fanatical adherents of the new religion - many of Arab or Chinese descent - spread terror as they sought to eradicate the island's ancient cultural heritage. Opposing them were indigenous Javanese - now led by Muslim saints and political figures, such as Sunan Kalijogo - who sought continuity and common ground between religions.

For nearly a hundred years, the opposing forces struggled for the soul of Java - and, ultimately, for that of Indonesian Islam - in a war whose decisive engagements occurred not only on the field of battle, but in the hearts and minds of countless individuals. For in this conflict between religious extremists and Sufi Muslims, the Sufis' profound spiritual ideology - popularized among the masses by saints, storytellers and musicians - played a role even more vital than that of military force in defeating religious extremism in Java. Indeed, my own lifelong appreciation for one of the world's great religious traditions had only been heightened by my exposure to the rich spiritual legacy of Sufism, or mystical Islam, which lies at the heart of most Muslim societies worldwide.

In the end, a new dynasty arose, which established religious tolerance as the rule of law, and guaranteed freedom of conscience to all Javanese - long before similar ideas took firm root in the West. The founder of that dynasty was a Javanese Sufi Muslim named Senopating Alogo, whose victory was based on the popular appeal of his message of freedom, justice and profound inner spirituality.

IN THE wake of 9/11 and a series of terrorist attacks in Indonesia, President Wahid and I established the LibForAll Foundation - inspired by the methods used by President Wahid's own ancestors to defend Javanese culture from religious extremism five centuries ago.

Within Indonesia, we have formed a network of opinion leaders in the fields of religion, education, popular culture, government, business and the media working to preserve their culture's enlightened embrace of religious tolerance and diversity in the face of a renewed tide of extremism that is sweeping the entire Muslim world.

We are also busy expanding on LibForAll's success in Indonesia to export the smiling face of Islam, by linking "moderate" Muslim leaders "in a network of lighthouses within the Muslim world that will promote tolerance and freedom of thought and worship." As a result, LibForAll's field of operations has expanded to include South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the United States.

The key to success in this global struggle is encouraging Muslim opinion leaders in all walks of life to join in proclaiming that "the emperor has no clothes" (that is, radical Islam has no theological validity), and thereby mobilize the "great silent majority" of Muslims to reject the extremists' ideology of hatred and violence.

The analogy of the emperor with no clothes is apt, and key to LibForAll's strategy. For despite efforts to legitimize their ideology of religious hatred by draping themselves in the "mantle of the Prophet" radical Muslims are in fact the heirs of the Kharijite movement - a violent, heretical sect that murdered the Prophet's own son-in-law, Ali, for being "insufficiently Muslim."

Our goals were aptly summarized by President Wahid when he wrote: "Muslims themselves can and must propagate an understanding of the 'right' Islam, and thereby discredit extremist ideology. Yet to accomplish this task requires the understanding and support of like-minded individuals, organizations and governments throughout the world. Our goal must be to illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity, and offer a compelling alternate vision of Islam as a religion of Divine love and tolerance that banishes the fanatical ideology of hatred to the darkness from which it emerged."

The writer is chairman & CEO of the LibForAll Foundation,, an Indonesia and US-based non-profit organization that works to reduce religious extremism and discredit the use of terrorism.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Cultural nightmare =

Saudi gang-rape victim faces 90 lashes

- A Saudi woman who was kidnapped at knifepoint, gang-raped and then beaten by her brother has been sentenced to 90 lashes -- for a meeting a man who was not a relative, a newspaper reported on Monday.

In an interview with the Saudi Gazette, the 19-year-old said she was blackmailed a year ago into meeting a man who threatened to tell her family they were having a relationship outside wedlock, which is illegal in the ultra-conservative desert kingdom.

After driving off together from a shopping mall near her home, the woman and the man were stopped and abducted by a gang of men wielding kitchen knives who took them to a farm where she was raped 14 times by her captors.

Read more at ...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Important cultural step

Soccer's ruling body bans head scarves from game

Soccer's ruling body has backed Quebec officials who banned a Muslim girl from playing in a tournament near Montreal because she wore a head scarf.

The International Football Association Board -- FIFA -- held its annual meeting Saturday in Manchester, England.

The board was asked to make a ruling on the plight of Asmahan Mansour, the 11-year-old who was told last weekend that she couldn't play in the under-12 tournament in Laval unless she removed her religious head-covering known as a hijab.

Brian Barwick, who spoke on behalf of the board, said it is important to be respectful to "people's thoughts and philosophies,'' but added that the rules of the game must be followed.

"We believe our football to be inclusive. It's part of what we believe our football to be," Barwick said during a news conference.

"But of course if you play football there are basic laws. And law four outlines what the basic laws are concerning gear. I think it's absolutely right to be sensitive to people's thoughts and philosophies but equally football has a set of rules it has to adhere to."

Law four lists the items a player is entitled to wear and head scarves are not mentioned.

Goalkeepers are allowed to wear caps and protective headgear.

The Quebec Soccer Association said the headscarf violated a no-headgear rule set down by FIFA for safety reasons.

The soccer referee who ordered Mansour to remove her headscarf was also a Muslim.

When she was ejected from the game for refusing to remove the covering, Mansour's coach withdrew the team from the tournament in protest.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The only way to get the muslim fascists to leave is to FORCE THEM TO INTEGRATE. Otherwise they will get more and more extreme.

The only way to get the muslim fascists to leave is to FORCE THEM TO INTEGRATE. Otherwise they will get more and more extreme.

German Islam Conference Rejects Forced Integration of Muslims
from The MEMRI Blog

A leading German Muslim official today lashed out at efforts to force the integration of Germany's 3.5 million Muslims.

Chairman of Annemarie Schimmel Forum Mohammad Aman H. Hobohm said during his opening address at the "Religion and Integration" conference in Berlin, "You can't demand integration, and it cannot be imposed by the state. The readiness for integration must come from within Muslims." He added that "the willingness of Muslims to hold a dialogue is often marred by public accusations."

Hobohm urged also Muslim leaders to focus more intensely on the issue of integration, and called on the Christian majority to play a positive role in the integration process.

The two-day Berlin conference is to focus on the incompatibility of cultural norms and values of Germans on one hand and Muslims on the other hand.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

new group is formed in Germany: Their goal is to help women and men to leave the religion of death without being stoned to death.

Germany: Ex-Muslim Says "Islam Inherently Radical"
A new group is formed in Germany: Their goal is to help women and men to leave the religion of death without being stoned to death.

Their goal is to help women and men to leave the religion of peace without being stoned to death. Or anything similar. And, of course, they've already received death threats from RoP-worshippers...

Islam is inherently radical:
Arzu Toker, deputy chairwoman, used a news conference to announce her separation from Islam: 'I herewith resign from Islam. That's it.'

Toker, a journalist who was born in 1952 in Turkey's eastern Anatolia region, is radical in her criticism of Islam. She does not accept its Sharia system of rules at all, saying they contradict both human rights and the values of the German constitution.

She added that Islam was anti-woman.

'It humiliates women and turns them into servants of the men,' she said, adding the Islam was anti-man as well.

'It reduces men to breeding animals controlled by their urges,' said Toker. She quoted the 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: 'He said, God is dead. One can live fine by taking one's own responsibility.'

She said she did not distinguish between Islam and fundamentalism.

'Islam is inherently radical,' she said.

Ahadi described her life to reporters and said, 'Political Islam has afflicted my life.' Born in Iran in 1956, her support for human rights had rapidly put her in opposition to the Islamic Revolution. She refused to wear a headscarf and was expelled from university.

Later her husband was executed. She had lived in Germany since 1996.

'I know all about political Islam,' she said. 'It ends up with us being stoned to death, even here in Germany.'
Death threats:
Ahadi has been put under police protection in recent days. Renouncing Islam can carry the death penalty in a number of countries including Iran, Saudi-Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan and Mauritania. In other countries people who turn their backs on the faith aren't punished by courts, but they are often ostracized by family and friends. It's a difficult subject among Muslim communities in Europe too.
Chairwoman Ahadi criticizes the Central Council of Muslims in Germany:
SPIEGEL: Together with 29 other immigrants from Muslim countries you have declared that you have renounced Islam. The campaign is similar to one launched in the 1970s by women who declared publicly that they had had abortions. What is your purpose?

Ahadi: I haven't been a Muslim for 30 years. I'm also critical of Islam in Germany and of the way the German government deals with the issue of Islam. Many Muslim organisations like the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD) or Milli Görüs engage in politics or interfere in people's everyday lives. They were invited to the conference on Islam (hosted by the government in Berlin last year). But their aims are hostile to women and to people in general."


Ahadi: They want to force women to wear the headscarf. They promote a climate in which girls aren't allowed to have boyfriends or go to discos and in which homosexuality is demonized. I know Islam and for me it means death and pain.

SPIEGEL: What will your organization do?

Ahadi: One example: One representative of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany said that a carnival procession float (during the recent carnival in Germany) showing Islamists with explosive belts had offended Muslims. But there was no evidence of that. The associations pretend that they represent everyone and to some extent are acknowledged as such by the German side. That's bad. We have to give a signal against that and say: Not in our name. We are secular humanists. We want to give these people a voice. Someone has to make a start. We're advocating human rights.

SPIEGEL: Some of your members are also active in communist organizations in their home countries.

Ahadi: Yes, many were active in left-wing groups. We have received more than 100 membership applications in recent days. We want to create a new movement, in other European countries too. We hope that soon there will be 10,000 of us representing many more people.

SPIEGEL: Won't your campaign just harden the battle lines?

Ahadi: I don't think it's possible to modernize Islam. We want to form a counterweight to the Muslim organisations. The fact that we're doing this under police protection shows how necessary our initiative is.
More clear-sighted women.

Update: More about Chairwoman Mina Ahadi:
Mina Ahadi was born in Iran in 1956. She started her political activities when she was only 14, by setting up discussion clubs and libraries and performances. In the Iranian revolution of 1979, she who was by then a university student was actively involved. When the Islamic government got to power and with Khomeini’s Fatwa for compulsory Islamic veiling, she did not hesitate organizing meetings and Demonstrations against this government. Her first major public speech was in a gathering of more than two thousand women in the city of Tabriz and soon after that she was expelled from University.

Mina, who had been recognized by authorities, had to go underground and a year later her house was raided and her husband and some other friends were arrested. She escaped only because she was not at home at that time. Her husband was executed soon after and she had to leave her home town and go to liberated areas of Kurdistan in 1980.

She stayed in Kurdistan continuing her struggles against the Islamic Republic of Iran for ten years and in 1990 she went to Vienna. Mina Ahadi has lived in Europe ever since and has been actively involved in struggles against the Iranian government and for women’s rights.

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