Tuesday, July 31, 2007



Accommodation as an Islamist Political Instrument

By M. Zuhdi Jasser

The Family Security Foundation, Inc.

July 27, 2007

Political Islam’s ideological battle fronts are many. They can include the obvious like the liberation of Iraq or the rampant domestic and foreign policy speeches given under the guise of Friday sermons in mosques around America . However, an ideological front which is gaining traction among Islamists is that of religious accommodations (or demands) in our free society. Every week, it seems we are seeing new iterations of the same issue. Soon we must all ask -- at what point do Muslim requests for accommodations to religious practices and beliefs cross the line of the fundamental basis of American liberty and freedom?

First, we heard about a large group of Somali Muslim airport cabbies in Minneapolis refusing to provide service to travelers carrying alcohol or using dogs. At first, the airport moved to accommodate, but then the Somalis lost the battle to impose coercive interpretations of sharia (Islamic law) upon airport travelers. We recently have also seen airports, schools and universities agreeing to install foot-washing stations for Muslim airport cabbies and students at a significant cost to taxpayers in the name of special accommodations for Muslims. In Lincoln Park , Michigan , a few Muslim women insisted that a co-ed health club to which they signed up provide them a women’s-only room for exercise. Fitness USA acquiesced under fears of litigation despite the fact that the Muslim women signed up for no such guarantee with their enrollment contract.

In the past few weeks we’ve seen the Islamist political agenda in the U.S. carry itself further bringing the debate to Carver Elementary School in Oak Park, California . A substitute teacher brought forth a complaint to the district’s school board that a 15 minute break in classroom teaching was carved out for Muslim prayers. The influx of over 100 Somali Muslim students from another failed school brought with it swift efforts by Carver administration to accommodate to their needs. The issue has since carried far beyond San Diego and simple personal accommodation. The debate centers on the limits to which accommodation can impose changes and obligations upon others and on the entire system. Some argue that religious freedom is secondary to classroom instruction time and the strict separation of religion and state. Others have contrarily taken the opportunity and suggested, in all fairness, that public schools have a more global “daily prayer time policy”.

While a host of groups all the way from the Thomas More Law Center to the ACLU are following closely these accommodation issues in California ’s second largest school district, few Muslims, save the Islamists, have weighed in on where this case highlights the differences between a personal, spiritual Islam and political Islam. It is imperative that other Muslims stand up to attempts by Islamists to Islamize western society on behalf of the name of Muslims and a single interpretation of Islamic practice in general society.

In submitting to the accommodation, Brent North, the SDUSD ( San Diego Unified School District ) attorney compared it to the 1993 court direction to San Diego Unified allowing lunchtime Bible fellowship meetings. He cited directives from the Department of Education guidelines which equated non-religious excuses from class with religious ones. North stated,

“What is unique about this request is the specificity of the religious requirement that a prayer be offered at a certain time on the clock….The district’s legal obligation in response to a request that a prayer must be performed at a particular time is to treat that request the same as it would treat a student’s request to receive an insulin shot at a particular time.”

Additional accommodations in the school include the removal of pork from the lunch menu at the school among others.

The non-Muslim naysayers to these accommodations enter the debate under the premise that taxpayer funded institutions should not be in the business of promoting a specific religion or making accommodations for one which they do not do for all. Even the notoriously anti-religious ACLU has been relatively silent in this case probably flummoxed by their own hypocritical conflict between minority advocacy politics and their underappreciated ideological incompatibilities with Islamism.

CAIR-San Diego’s representative, Edgar Hopida laid out a veiled warning stating, “our country is transforming demographically, religiously… our country has to now accommodate things that are not traditionally accounted for before.” And Ibrahim Hooper goes even further chiming in from CAIR’s national office stating that the school needs to go beyond providing a space and non-instructional time for prayer but rather should accommodate the daily schedule since Islam requires prayers at a specific time in the day. Hooper told Cybercast News Service, “Muslims just have logistical requirements that need to be filled.”

This behavior and Islamist commentary which exploits personal practices of the Muslim faith in order to make public statements and impose the mandates of one’s personal faith upon general society is classical behavior for Islamists. We saw it with the flying imams and now we see it with demands for the accommodation of an entire school time schedule for Muslim prayer obligations.

Just as we saw with the flying imams and their ill-advised trumped up Islamist lawsuit against US Airways and the reporting John Does, this also is not about prayer. Many of us Muslims grew up in pubic schools for decades and performed our five daily prayers at their prescribed times and never asked for special treatment or accommodation not afforded to every other individual in our schools regardless of faith. There is no doubt that a Muslim’s five daily prayers are a central part of our spiritual rituals and relationship with God alone and in congregation. But prayer is about a personal conversation with God. It is not about Islamizing society or imposing costs and inconveniences upon anyone else.

Schools and public places should whenever possible provide a place to pray as it does for non-religious needs of students. However, the time to pray is between an individual and God. A school should not impose that time and allowance upon the entire student body. Most Muslims believe that other than on Friday’s congregational noon prayer, the time for prayer encompasses five different relatively long windows of time from dawn to dusk. The comparison of the need for a Muslim to perform their prayer at exactly the prescribed time to giving insulin to a diabetic is pure deception by Islamists and misunderstanding by non-Muslims. This is one of the central problems of public accommodation—which interpretation of a faith does one apply? How does a school differentiate what is a reasonable religious obligation from a more unreasonable, rigid manifestation of political collectivism?

The Koran teaches Muslims that God did not make our faith to be too difficult. For example, prayer can be completed up until the time for the next prayer. Many Muslims, whether in class or at work will wait until a natural break in order to complete the prescribed prayer. Demanding a specific time with no flexibility within a few hours is not only too rigid, but crosses the line of coercion and imposition of the Muslim faith upon others. Carver may have placated this set of Muslims but what will happen to a society which becomes a dangerous competition of religious accommodations and placation? Which demand becomes too much for which the majority can acquiesce?

The Establishment Clause of our Constitution and the pluralism upon which our nation is based carries with it principles which should always be remembered. Our freedom to practice our personal faith should never be denied. And the courts have repeatedly endorsed this as a right guaranteed by our First Amendment rights to free speech and religious practice.

However, once that right begins to impose a cost, whether financial or experiential, upon another citizen, that right ends. For with that cost, it becomes an imposition---a coercive force. A political force—in this case, Islamism.

Our shared schedules, schools, legislatures, and neighborhoods in the glory of our pluralism must provide spaces for us to practice our personal faith and honor the liberty of individuals to choose their own practices or no practice at all. We cannot suffocate other faiths by the schedules and rules of our own. This is the definition of Muslim anti-Islamism—Muslims who believe in and practice their faith but refuse to allow its coercion in the body politic.

The protections afforded to minorities in the Bill of Rights must also be afforded to the majority. A minority cannot and should not impose its own prayer clock, diet, dress, rituals, and spiritual practice upon the majority and neither should the majority upon the minority. There will be those who will cite the celebration of Christmas as an example of mandated holidays and faith-based scheduling. Yet, the vast majority of our holidays are national in orientation and not faith-based. This exception rooted in a nation founded by Christians and yet maintained in an exemplary anti-theocratic ethos is hardly the rule. This example of the public recognition of Christmas actually becomes the foundation for the respect of other religious holidays from Yom Kippur to Ramadan.

Islamist organizations, like CAIR who never met a demand from rigid Muslims they didn’t like, will continue to demand ‘logistical requirements of faith’ all the while intimidating non-Muslims into allowing them to control public spaces and times. Whether cabbies in Minnesota , children at San Diego schools, or women at Michigan fitness clubs, the Islamist agenda is transparent. It’s all about accommodation with no sense of moderation. Necessary for the validity of these demands of accommodation is a deeply rigid uncompromising interpretation of Islam—salafism and Wahhabism. Flexibility and moderation would make these demands generally disappear.

We should understand that these are not the first Muslims ever in America to try and complete their prayers, fasting, holidays and other spiritual requirements in a secular school system. Some of us have done it for years with never a demand for accommodation but only a request for personal space and occasional ‘make-up’ of missed class time.

At the end of the day, it’s about the philosophical orientation of Muslims. Are we Americans who happen to be Muslim or rather are we Muslims who demand to be American?

There is no greater laboratory of religious liberty and freedom than in the United States . Most of our parents escaped our motherlands in order to practice our personal spirituality more freely here than in so-called Muslim lands. They did not come to exploit and impose. American freedoms and openness to accommodate will be exploited by Islamists seeking a Muslim body politic. This will all continue as long as other non-Islamist and anti-Islamist Muslims stay silent to the exploitation of Islam for the Islamist political agenda.

Monday, July 30, 2007



Sudan: Jews behind Darfur conflict

Sudanese defense minister says '24 Jewish organizations fueling conflict in Darfur'

by Yaakov Lappin

Sudan's defense minister, Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, has accused "24 Jewish organizations" of "fueling the conflict in Darfur" last week in an interview with a Saudi newspaper.

Hussein was interviewed during an official state-visit to the Saudi kingdom last week.

A journalist from Saudi Arabia's Okaz newspaper asked Hussein: "Some people are talking about the penetration of Jewish organizations in Darfur and that there is no conflict there?"

"The Darfur issue is being fuelled by 24 Jewish organizations, who are making the largest amount of noise over the issue, and using the Holocaust in their campaigning," the Sudanese defense minister replied.

Hussein added that the Darfur conflict was driven by "friction between farmers and herders and shepherds. Among the biggest problems is that of water, which is used to exploit the differences and fuel the conflict."

"Are these Jewish groups supporting (the rebels) financially?," the interviewer from Okaz asked Hussein.

"Yes, they provide political and material support through their control over the media and across American and British circles," Hussein said, adding that Jewish groups were using "all means to fuel these conflicts."

He added that Western reports of 200,000 people dying in Sudan were false, and said: "We talk about 9,000 dead as a result of either government or rebel actions."

'We came to Israel to look for a better place'

Several days ago, Sudan's Interior Minister, Zubair Bashir Taha, lashed out at Sudanese refuees who had sought asylum in Israel, and accused "Isaeli authorities of encouraging the Sudanese refugees to come to their country."

He added that his ministry was "very confused" by Sudanese citizens who came to Israel."

The Sudan Tribune quoted a Sudanese refugee as telling al-Jazeera television: "We were surprised when we came here. We met good people, who welcomed us and gave us food. We feel that we are extremely happy. We hope that the Israeli government would find a solution for us and our children. We came here to look for a better place."

Meanwhile, in the US, a number of Jewish organizations have attempted to raise awareness over the plight of Sudanese citizens who face mass killings and ethnic cleansing from the Sudanese government. Some 20 Jewish organizations joined the 'Save Darfur Coalition,' along with other religious communities and American civil rights groups.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Terrible cultural accomodation - exactly the opposite of what should be done

George Mason University: non-Muslim students asked to observe Muslim rules in common prayer area
Dhimmi Watch

by Robert Spencer

"George Mason University: non-Muslim students asked to observe Muslim rules in common prayer area And that's just one of the accommodations being implemented in schools around the country..."


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Frightening cultural implications for the entire West - The West MUST pass cultural laws

Cutthroats in White Coats
http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/_national_review_cutthroats_in_white_coats.htm ^ | Theodore Dalrymple

The question of whether doctors are more or less likely than others to involve themselves in violence is similar to the question of whether they are more or less likely than others to be great writers. Certainly they are more likely than dentists; but the question is a difficult one to answer definitively.

However, speaking personally, I was not at all surprised by the involvement of doctors in Islamist attempted violence in Britain. Osama bin Laden’s deputy, after all, is a surgeon. George Habash, the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and a man of unstintingly violent opinions and inclinations, trained as a pediatrician. It is no more surprising that doctors should become terrorists than that it should be members of the privileged classes who do so; on the contrary.

Doctors are the type of people one might expect to become terrorists: not all or even many doctors, of course, but some, because they have precisely the right psychological “qualifications” to do so.

First, doctors must train themselves to be dispassionate in the face of suffering, and be prepared to do things that might cause their patients discomfort and even pain, for the higher purpose of the good of the patients. The need for doctors to be able to distance themselves in this way is recognized by the old medical-school ritual of throwing medical students into the dissecting room on their first day, so that they learn to master and overcome their natural repugnance.

manhattan-institute.org ...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Isolation of women a key element in cultural limchpins

Sheikh delays plane over seating

Sheikh delays plane over seating

MILAN (Reuters) - A Qatar sheikh held up a British Airways flight at Milan's Linate airport for nearly three hours after discovering three of his female relatives had been seated next to men they did not know.

When none of the other business class passengers agreed to swap seats, the sheikh, a member of Qatar's ruling family, went to the pilot, who had already started the engine, to complain, an airport official said.

But the pilot ordered him and his traveling companions, the three women, two men, a cook and a servant, off the plane.

The London-bound flight took off nearly three hours behind schedule Thursday evening and around 50 of the 115 passengers missed connecting flights.

Traditions in the conservative Gulf Arab region bar women from mixing with unrelated men.

The right cultural move - gender isolation is a critical part of the repression of muslim women

School Stops Scheduling Class Time For Muslim Prayer

SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego school that drew international attention for setting aside time for Muslim students to pray in the classroom will no longer do so, it was reported Friday.

Instead, Carver Elementary's schedule will be reconfigured so students can say their required midday prayers during lunch. Courts have long upheld students' rights to pray on their own during lunch or recess, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

When the new school year begins, Carver will have two lunch periods, including one that will fall when Muslims typically say their midday prayer -- between 1 and 2 p.m., the newspaper reported.

Another controversial element of Carver's educational program geared toward Muslim students -- single-gender classes -- will be eliminated, the Union-Tribune reported.

Superintendent Carl Cohn stressed in a July 18 memo that single-gender education is legal under federal law, but at Carver it "has become a serious distraction from learning rather than a vehicle to promote learning," according to the newspaper.

Carver added the single-gender classes and a daily 15-minute in-class break for voluntary prayers last September after it absorbed a failed Arabic language charter school that served primarily Somali Muslims.

Since a substitute teacher publicly complained about Carver's practices in April, the San Diego Unified School District has been inundated by letters and phone calls from as far away as Europe and the United Arab Emirates, according to the Union-Tribune.

Some alleged that the school was violating the separation of church and state by giving Muslims time to pray. The district maintained that it is legally required to approve students' request for religious accommodation.

Radical islam will either expand or contract down to nothing.

Radical islam will either expand or contract down to nothing. Why it is so imperative for the West to legislate strict cultural laws moderating islam.

Inevitable Divergence
Real Clear Politics

by David Warren

There was nothing fey about Mustafa Kemal Pasa, a.k.a. Ataturk, the founder of post-Ottoman Turkey. Neither in his seizure of power, nor in what he did with it, was the man inclined to shrink from difficulties. An articulate and complex man (I have not been able to find a biography of him that makes him truly plausible), he was able to guide his independence movement as much ideologically as tactically, then shape the emerging Turkish republic to his own desires. Partly he did this by making himself, through his eloquence, the author of his own legend, and through that legend he personified, long after his death, what he wanted his countrymen to become.

Ataturk wanted a "modern" nation, by which he meant explicitly a secular one. It was his belief that the political power of the mosques would never voluntarily defer to a European-style civil order, and that the ancient Islamic customs of the countryside gave the imams great authority. He set out to break that authority. Among outward devices, he made the wearing of Islamic dress illegal, and among inward, he created an education system that would inculcate the modern European notion that religion is a matter only for one's private conscience.

Turkey prospered under his rule, and Ataturk's prestige grew with the prosperity. The country became urbanized and to some degree industrialized. In many ways it benefited from ceasing to be the centre of a large empire, for the expense of maintaining an empire is generally greater than the income to be derived from it (as each of the European powers in turn eventually discovered).

realclearpolitics.com ...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Uniforms are a great cultural move, except also ban all religious headgear and have a lot of interaction between boys and girls

Cleveland students get new dress code, single-gender schools
Cleveland Plain Dealer

by Angela Townsend

In an early kickoff to the new school year, Cleveland schools Chief Executive Eugene Sanders hosted a news conference Tuesday that briefly morphed into a fashion show.

The district's new uniform policy and next month's opening of five single-gender schools - including the Ginn Academy for high school boys - took center stage. Sanders first rolled out the initiatives last January.

"What happens in our school district is critical to the success of this city and critical to the success of our entire community," Sanders told several hundred people, including school district employees and religious and business leaders.

Students will report for their first day Thursday, Aug. 23.

Those in kindergarten through eighth grade will have to wear solid blue or white tops with collars (no T-shirts) and solid skirts or pants in dark blue, navy, black, khaki or tan.

For high school students, tops may be any solid color but must have a collar, and skirts or pants may be any solid color. Belts are required for any slacks or skirts that have belt loops.

No headgear, apart from what is required for religious purposes, is allowed at any grade level.

"I understand that this is going to be a cultural shift for students and parents in our community," Sanders said. "Trust me, our students will find a way to be very fashionable."

Five students modeled acceptable clothing combinations for the crowd.

Toran Brown, a sophomore at John Adams High School, shyly showed off his ensemble - a long-sleeved dress shirt, striped tie and belted black pants. He later confessed that's not his style; he favors polo shirts and Dickie shorts.

Cuyahoga County commissioners are chipping in $1.5 million to help low-income families pay for clothes.

Perhaps the most anticipated of the Cleveland school district's new single-gender schools is Ginn Academy, designed for boys who need extra academic and support services.

"So many young men that I've dealt with over the years, somewhere down the line, had to stay with me," said well-known Glenville track and football coach Ted Ginn Sr. He is the father of former Glenville and Ohio State star receiver Ted Ginn Jr., recently picked in the first round by the Miami Dolphins.

"I wanted to have that [same] responsibility of raising our young people in the Cleveland system so that they could become premier men in the country," Ginn said.

About 80 students have applied so far for one of 100 freshman and 50 sophomore slots at Ginn Academy. The district will continue accepting applications through Monday.

Students chosen for the academy will have a longer school day -- and perhaps a longer school year -- than their peers, said Principal Sherree Ray.

Ginn vowed to be a constant presence at the academy, which will be temporarily housed on the second floor of the former Health Careers Center, 1740 East 32nd St.

The academy could evolve into a boarding school by fall 2008.

"These kids need to be able to see you every day," said Ginn, who will serve as the school's director. He said he will be keeping a close eye on the young men.

"There will be ties and jackets every day," he said of the school's dress code, which will be stricter than the district's. "No polo shirts."

Sanders also announced that the district this fall is requiring all students to be registered for its universal meals program, which since 1999 has allowed the district to receive partial reimbursement from the federal and state government for all meals served. Applications will be mailed to homes next month.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why it's so vital to moderate Islam all over the West

Egypt’s religious adviser says Muslims can change religion
Daily Times / AFP

CAIRO: Egypt’s official religious adviser has ruled that Muslims are free to change their faith as it is a matter between an individual and God, in a move which could have far-reaching implications for the country’s Christians.

“The essential question before us is that can a person who is a Muslim choose a religion other than Islam? The answer is yes, they can,” Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa said in a posting on a Washington Post-Newsweek forum.

“The act of abandoning one’s religion is a sin punishable by God on the Day of Judgement. If the case in question is one of merely rejecting faith, then there is no worldly punishment,” he wrote.

Gomaa warned however that if the conversions undermine the “foundations of society” then it must be dealt with by the judicial system, without elaborating. In September, Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court is to hear the case of 12 Copts who converted to Islam and have been prevented by the state from reverting to Christianity on the grounds that it is apostasy.

dailytimes.com.pk ...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Why it's so vital to moderate the extremists with cultural linchpin laws

Unchecked abuse of Palestinian children

indoctrination of Palestinian Arab children to hate and seek to destroy the Jews living in this area is, again, nothing new. It is an ongoing violation of Israel’s agreements with the Palestinians that the rest of the world is content to ignore.

Nevertheless, every time I am presented with the latest example of this wicked treatment of impressionable young minds, my anger rises afresh.

What got my blood boiling this time was Sunday’s report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) concerning the newest episode of the Hamas children’s program Tomorrow’s Pioneers, which was previously hosted by Farfur the Mouse, who earlier this month was shown being beaten to death by an Israeli security agent.

In the episode broadcast over the weekend on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV, Farfur’s replacement, Nahool the Bee, tells his young audience that together they will “liberate the sad Al-Aqsa [the mosque that occupies Jerusalem’s Temple Mount] that is waiting for us. Yes, we will liberate Al-Aqsa from the filth of the criminal Jews, who killed my grandfather, and killed Farfur.”

Later in the show, a young caller says she wants to be a journalist when she grows up. Nahool encourages her to “photograph the Jews when they are killing Farfur and the little children.”

In a previous episode immediately following Farfur’s “martyrdom,” the show’s other host, a young girl named Saraa, confirms for a three-year-old caller that the “Jews” were in fact behind Farfur’s murder, and that they are “criminals and enemies” who must be expelled from the land.

PMW noted that the number of young Palestinians calling in to the show to assail the Jews is evidence that the indoctrination efforts are having the desired effect.

What I want to point out is the constant use of the word “Jews” instead of “Israelis.” Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, Syria, etc all constantly state that they have no problem with the Jews per se, but rather with the “Zionists” and the “Zionist entity.”

These children’s programs paint a different picture, though. They are teaching children to hate the Jews as a people, to view all Jews as blood-thirsty murderers and thieves. It is the same indoctrination that has been going on for centuries, and which paved the way for the Nazi Holocaust.

In addition to reiterating the utter dismay that I feel as a father when I see children the same age as my young son being taught such things, I would also like to again point out the thorough hypocrisy of the international community. If Israel was allowing any of its citizens to broadcast such venomous hatred against the Palestinians or Arabs in general, the international community would be in an uproar.

So, why is no one stopping this from happening in the Palestinian-controlled areas? The world pretends to care so much about solving the Israeli-Arab conflict, yet is not lifting a finger to prevent the Palestinians from training millions of children to perpetuate it indefinitely. Truly, we live in a sick and twisted world.


Monday, July 23, 2007

The culture that promotes this must be moderated

Unchecked abuse of Palestinian children

July 23rd, 2007 · No CommentsThe indoctrination of Palestinian Arab children to hate and seek to destroy the Jews living in this area is, again, nothing new. It is an ongoing violation of Israel’s agreements with the Palestinians that the rest of the world is content to ignore.

Nevertheless, every time I am presented with the latest example of this wicked treatment of impressionable young minds, my anger rises afresh.

What got my blood boiling this time was Sunday’s report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) concerning the newest episode of the Hamas children’s program Tomorrow’s Pioneers, which was previously hosted by Farfur the Mouse, who earlier this month was shown being beaten to death by an Israeli security agent.

In the episode broadcast over the weekend on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV, Farfur’s replacement, Nahool the Bee, tells his young audience that together they will “liberate the sad Al-Aqsa [the mosque that occupies Jerusalem’s Temple Mount] that is waiting for us. Yes, we will liberate Al-Aqsa from the filth of the criminal Jews, who killed my grandfather, and killed Farfur.”

Later in the show, a young caller says she wants to be a journalist when she grows up. Nahool encourages her to “photograph the Jews when they are killing Farfur and the little children.”

In a previous episode immediately following Farfur’s “martyrdom,” the show’s other host, a young girl named Saraa, confirms for a three-year-old caller that the “Jews” were in fact behind Farfur’s murder, and that they are “criminals and enemies” who must be expelled from the land.

PMW noted that the number of young Palestinians calling in to the show to assail the Jews is evidence that the indoctrination efforts are having the desired effect.

What I want to point out is the constant use of the word “Jews” instead of “Israelis.” Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, Syria, etc all constantly state that they have no problem with the Jews per se, but rather with the “Zionists” and the “Zionist entity.”

These children’s programs paint a different picture, though. They are teaching children to hate the Jews as a people, to view all Jews as blood-thirsty murderers and thieves. It is the same indoctrination that has been going on for centuries, and which paved the way for the Nazi Holocaust.

In addition to reiterating the utter dismay that I feel as a father when I see children the same age as my young son being taught such things, I would also like to again point out the thorough hypocrisy of the international community. If Israel was allowing any of its citizens to broadcast such venomous hatred against the Palestinians or Arabs in general, the international community would be in an uproar.

So, why is no one stopping this from happening in the Palestinian-controlled areas? The world pretends to care so much about solving the Israeli-Arab conflict, yet is not lifting a finger to prevent the Palestinians from training millions of children to perpetuate it indefinitely. Truly, we live in a sick and twisted world.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

A vital cultural linchpin that will instantly moderate the extremists

Preach In English, Muslim Peer Tells Imams
The Telegraph

By Tom Harper, Sunday Telegraph

Mosques should be banned from recruiting foreign preachers unless they speak excellent English, according to a senior Muslim politician.

Inayat Bunglawala called the plan 'completely unworkable'

In an attempt to tackle Islamic extremism, Lord Ahmed of Rotherham called for imams from overseas who apply to preach in Britain to undergo strict language and "Britishness" tests in their countries of origin. Those who refused would be denied entry to the UK.

The peer also called for non-English speaking imams already in Britain to be prevented from preaching until they master the language. Lord Ahmed, a member of Tony Blair's Preventing Extremism Taskforce, said: "We should not allow imams to enter the country who do not speak English and who do not understand our modern way of life.

"They should be tested to a much higher standard on language and British culture before they leave Islamabad, Delhi and Casablanca, and if they refuse they should not be allowed in."

The proposal sparked a row among Muslim leaders. Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, called the plan "ludicrous and completely unworkable". He added: "The move to English needs to happen as an evolutionary process. Many elderly worshippers cannot understand English."

At present, imams enter Britain under a special visa scheme for religious ministers, and need only basic English. Most preach in Urdu, an Asian language which many young British Muslims do not understand. As a result, according to Lord Ahmed, youths are increasingly turning to "Middle Eastern political preachers" who address followers in English but twist the words of the Koran, sparking disillusionment and anger.

A survey of 300 mosques by the BBC this month revealed that only 6 per cent of imams in Britain preach in English, while only 8 per cent were born in the UK. Shortly before stepping down as prime minister, Tony Blair introduced a voluntary scheme for imams to receive training in British language and culture. However, Lord Ahmed believes that compulsory controls are needed to thwart youths such as Mukhtar Said Ibrahim, the leader of the failed 21/7 London bombings in 2005, and Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. It emerged during their trials that both had been brainwashed by imams at Feltham Young Offenders Institution.

Lord Ahmed said: "You can't be 'wishy-washy' and implement English lessons voluntarily. They must be compulsory, like in Germany where all sermons have to be delivered in German."

Lord Ahmed, 50, who became Britain's first Muslim peer in 1998, said that the training could be funded by the Muslim community. He said: "Mosque committees have plenty of money - cost is not a problem. There is a willingness to do this amongst British Muslims. It is not a radical proposition to 95 per cent of the community, but certain self-interested parties, who also exclude women and children from mosques, portray it as a burden because their membership cannot speak English."

The Home Office tried to introduce a "Britishness" test for foreign-born imams in 2005 but scrapped it after protests from parts of the Muslim community.

Lord Ahmed spoke out after a meeting with Muhammed Abdul-Bari, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain. Mr Bari gave evidence this month to Lord Ahmed and other Muslim politicians as part of the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Tackling Extremism. Mr Bari said he did not recognise the problem of non-English speaking imams. He defended all-male mosques, and said the Government "could not ignore" the impact that its foreign policy had on creating home-grown terrorists.

Khalid Mahmood, the Muslim Labour MP who is the chairman of the inquiry, said that he was "deeply disappointed" with Mr Bari's comments and claimed the MCB was "hindering the fight against terrorism.

"Mr Bari's stance in blaming -foreign policy and domestic -conditions simply antagonises the situation. We are trying to move -forward and get a solution to this issue, while he is reverting to the same tired, old arguments," he said.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

These repressed women not only need sunlight but they need freedom as well

Women in hijabs 'need sunlight or risk illness'
This is London.com

Muslim women who wear the hijab are at risk of serious illness because they do not get enough sun, doctors have warned.

They said an alarming number of women who cover their skin are suffering bone deficiencies over a lack of vitamin D.

Most of the body's vitamin D - which prevents rickets - is obtained through sunlight acting on the skin. Only a little comes from food.

Doctors told a London conference today that people with dark pigment are at risk because of "cultural reasons" and because they are less efficient at producing the vitamin.

The bone disorder rickets has now broken out in young Muslim children as babies are not getting enough calcium from mothers' breast milk.

"If absolute power corrupts absolutely, does absolute powerlessness make you pure?" -- Harry Shearer

Friday, July 20, 2007

Why it's so important to moderate Islam with strict cultural laws

Moderate Muslims: Afraid and irrelevant

by Tristan Emmanuel

What, exactly, is a "moderate" Muslim? That's the question I asked three experts on a panel at this week's Christians United for Israel Summit in Washington, D.C.

CUFI is an organization to gather Christians of all denominational stripes in support of the state of Israel. There was broad representation at the event – all the way from "Zionists" and pre-millennialists to Christians who simply believe support for Israel makes good political sense. It is the only true democracy in the Middle East, the first line of defense in the war on terror.

It was a well-organized event. The group clearly means business. But the repeated refrain that we are fighting "militants" and not "moderates" got me thinking. Experts, including several at the conference, have been telling us for several years now that our war is with the "radical faction" of Islam, that the so-called "religion of peace" has been hijacked by militants.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Excellent cultural linchpin

Jewish Inmates Say Torah Now Banned-feds limit number of religious books.
Jewish Week

by Stewart Ain

Jewish Inmates Say Torah Now Banned Fearing Muslim ‘radicalization’ in prisons, feds limit number of religious books.

Stewart Ain - Staff Writer

The war on terror has spread to America’s federal prisons — and Jewish inmates appear to have become unintended victims.

Fearful that some religious books — particularly those of Muslims — might promote “violence and radicalization,” the federal Bureau of Prisons has removed all but 150 books per religion from its prison chapels. As a result, Jewish inmates who have long had access to hundreds of Jewish books, complain that now even the Torah is denied to them.

Victoria, an inmate in the federal prison in Tallahassee, Fla., said the removal of the Jewish books was “like a knife into our hearts.” In a letter published last week by the Lubavitch Youth Organization in Florida, she wrote that she and other Jewish inmates asked the non-Jewish chaplain “why the most important books, such as a Torah and Tanach [the Bible] and others were removed.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Not only is blame shifting a cultural tool of the Nazis, but a cultural tool of islamofascists as well.

Not only is blame shifting a cultural tool of the Nazis, but a cultural tool of islamofascists as well.

Ellison: Wrong To Compare Bush 9/11 React to Nazis

(AP) WASHINGTON -- The nation's first Muslim congressman said Tuesday that he erred in comparing the Bush administration's response to Sept. 11 to an event that led to Adolf Hitler's consolidation of power in Nazi Germany.

At an appearance before a group of atheists in Minnesota on July 8, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., called Sept. 11 "the juggernaut" that led to war, tolerating torture and increased discrimination against religious minorities.

"It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that," he said. "After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted."

Hitler used the 1933 burning of the Reichstag, the German parliament building, to suspend constitutional liberties.

"In hindsight, I wouldn't have used that reference point," Ellison told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday. "It was probably inappropriate to use that example, because it's a unique historical event, without really any clear parallels."

Ellison said he remains harshly critical of the Bush administration.

"I believe that they have exploited the fears that grew from 9/11, in order to pass legislation and even start wars they could have never gotten away with but for that tragedy," he said.

Ellison said he had gotten a call Tuesday afternoon from the Anti-Defamation League, an international group that opposes anti-Semitism, regarding the Hitler comparison.

"They told me they understood the point I was trying to make, but they didn't think it was the right way to use that historical example, because they thought any sort of comparison to the modern world we live in in some way diminishes the horror of the Nazi era," Ellison said. "I told them I feel they're right."

The ADL released a statement Tuesday calling on Ellison to apologize for his comments. The group's national director, Abraham H. Foxman, called the comparison "outrageous and offensive to all Americans."

"Whatever his views may be on the administration's response to 9/11 and the conduct of the war on terrorism, likening it to Hitler's rise to power and Nazism is odious and demeans the victims of 9/11 and the brave American men and women engaged in the war on terror," Foxman said. "Furthermore, it demonstrates a profound lack of understanding about the horrors that Hitler and his Nazi regime perpetrated."

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum also issued a statement Tuesday, saying: "Nazi Germany committed unprecedented crimes against Europe's Jews and others. Invoking the Holocaust to make a point about the United States is unfounded, minimizes the evil of Nazism, and is an offense to its victims."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

the culture of terrorism must be moderated

3 Ex-terrorists

Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem, Zachariah Anani

Promoting freedom, equality and tolerance for all, the three ex-terrorists will speak to the people of America on the root cause of terrorism and its proliferation.

Cultural appeasement will encourage extremism and discourage moderation and asimilation

State says it was wrong ask Muslim women to remove head scarves
Columbus Dispatch
AP News Story

Two Muslim women had the right to continue wearing their head scarves when sitting for a driver's license photo, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles said.

Clerks at separate bureau offices in southwest Ohio were wrong to insist that the women remove the scarves, also known as hijabs, which are expressions of faith and modesty, said Tom Hunter, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, which oversees the motor vehicles bureau.

The bureau's offices in Loveland and Mason retook the photos for free.

“It was just a misunderstanding on the part of BMV employees as to what the policy was,” Hunter said. “We want to be respectful to all people and all cultures.”

No one was disciplined, Hunter said, but an e-mail was sent to the state's 216 registrar offices in May reminding employees that head coverings, such as hijabs, are allowed.

People sitting for driver's license photographs can't wear head coverings, according to Ohio policy. But there are exceptions for wigs or hairpieces that a person customarily wears, along with headwear for religious reasons and medical treatments. However, nothing can cover a person's face.

dispatch.com ...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Our culture must not support the underpinnings of terrorism in any way shape or form

If You Support Terrorism in Any Way You Are a Terrorist!
The New Media Journal

by JB Williams

Following rather than leading Britain and Europe, America is indeed well on its way to losing the international war on terrorism. Though each of these nations has stated the correct position on terrorism on many occasions for benefit of their respective voters, they have all failed to adhere to those words in practice. Each remains under increasing threat of terror attack as a result.

▪ If you harbor terrorists, you are a terrorist. ▪ If you assist with the arming and or training of terrorists, you are a terrorist. ▪ If you provide logistical or financial support for terror activities, you are a terrorist. ▪ If you work against those who are trying to hunt, capture or kill terrorists, you are a terrorist.

Terrorism is defined in general terms as the use of violence or the threat thereof, specifically aimed against unsuspecting civilian targets, for the purpose of coercing entire societies by way of fear, for political purposes. In short, it’s the use of extreme violence against defenseless targets in an effort to force an extreme agenda upon the masses through death, destruction and fear.

newmediajournal.us ...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Schoolgirls butchered for going to school!

Schoolgirls in the gunsights of the Taliban

WITH their teacher absent, 10 students were allowed to leave school early. These were the girls the gunmen saw first, 10 easy targets walking hand-in-hand through the blue metal gate and on to the winding dirt road.

A 13-year-old named Shukria was shot in the arm and the back, and teetered into an adjacent wheat field. Zarmina, her 12-year-old sister, ran to her side, listening to the wounded girl's precious breath and trying to help her stand. But Shukria was too heavy to lift and the two gunmen, sitting astride a single motorbike, sped closer.

As Zarmina scurried away, the men took a more studied aim at those they had already shot, finishing off Shukria with bullets to her stomach and heart. Then the attackers seemed to succumb to the frenzy they had begun, forsaking the motorbike and fleeing on foot in a panic, two bobbing heads - one tucked into a helmet, the other swaddled by a handkerchief - vanishing amid the earthen colour of the concealing wheat.

Six girls were shot here on the sunny afternoon last month; two of them died.

The Qalai Sayedan School, considered among the best in the central Afghan province of Logar, reopened only last weekend, but even with Kalashnikov-toting guards at the gate only a quarter of the 1,600 students dared to return. Shootings, beheadings, burnings and bombings are all tools of intimidation used by the Taliban and others to shut down hundreds of schools. To take aim at education is to make war on the government. Parents find themselves with terrible choices.

"It is better for my children to be alive even if it means they must be illiterate," said Sayed Rasul, a father who decided to keep his two daughters at home.

There has been some progress towards development in Afghanistan, but most often the nation seems astride some pitiable rocking horse, with each lurch forward inevitably reversed by the back-spring of harsh reality.

The Ministry of Education claims that 6.2 million children are now enrolled - about half the school-aged population. And while statistics in Afghanistan can be unreliable, there is no doubt that attendance has multiplied far beyond that of any earlier era.

A third of the students are girls, a marvel in itself. Historically, girls' education has been undervalued in Afghan culture. Females were forbidden from school altogether during the Taliban rule.

But after 30 years of war, Afghanistan is a country without normal times to reclaim; in so many ways, it must start from scratch. The accelerating demand for education is mocked by the limited supply. More than half the schools have no buildings, the ministry reports; classes are commonly held in tents or beneath trees or in the brutal, sun-soaked openness. Only 20% of the teachers are even minimally qualified. Texts are outdated; hundreds of titles need to be written, millions of books need to be printed.

And there is the violence. In the southern provinces where the Taliban are most aggressively combating US and Nato troops, education has virtually come to a halt in large swathes of the contested terrain. In other areas, attacks against schools are sporadic, unpredictable and perplexing. By the ministry's rough count, there have been 444 attacks since last August. Some were simple thefts. Some were audacious murders.

"By attacking schools, the terrorists want to turn the people against the government by showing that it has not provided for security," said Haneef Atmar, the minister of education.

Atmar is the nation's fifth education minister in five-and-a-half years, but only the first to command the solid enthusiasm of international donors. He came to the job after a praiseworthy showing as the minister of rural redevelopment and has laid out an ambitious five-year plan for school construction, teacher training and a modernised curriculum. He is also championing a parallel track of madrassas, or religious schools; students would focus on Islamic studies, while also pursuing science, maths and the arts.

To succeed, the minister must be a magnet for foreign cash. And donors have not been unusually generous when it comes to schools. Since the fall of the Taliban, the US Agency for International Development has devoted only 5% of its Afghanistan budget to education, compared with 30% for roads and 14% for power.

Virtually every Afghan school is a sketchbook of extraordinary destitution. "I have 68 girls in this tent," said Nafisa Wardak, a primary school teacher at the Deh Araban Qaragha School in Kabul. "We're hot. The tent is full of flies. The wind blows sand and rubbish everywhere. If a child gets sick, where can I send her?"

The nation's overwhelming need for walled classrooms makes the murders in Qalai Sayedan all the more tragic.

The school welcomed boys and girls. It was overcrowded, with the 1,600 students attending in two shifts, stuffed into 12 classrooms and a corridor.

But the building itself was exactly that - two stories of concrete with a roof of galvanised steel. Two years ago, Qalai Sayedan was named the top school in the province. Its principal, Bibi Gul, was saluted for excellence and rewarded with a trip to America. But last month's attack caused parents to wonder if the school's stalwart reputation had itself become a source of provocation.

In the embassies of the West, and even within the education ministry in Kabul, the Taliban are commonly discussed as a monolithic adversary. But to the villagers near Qalai Sayedan, with the lives of their children at risk, people see the government's enemies as a varied lot with assorted grievances, assorted tribal connections and assorted masters. Has someone at the school provided great offence, villagers ask. Is the school believed to be un-Islamic? Many blame Bibi Gul, the principal.

"She should not have gone to America without the consultation of the community," said Sayed Abdul Sami, the uncle of Saadia, the other slain student. "And she went to America without a mahram [a male relative], and this is considered improper in Islam."

Off the main highway, 330 feet up the winding dirt road and through the blue metal gate, sits the school. It was built four years ago by the German government.

On Monday, Bibi Gul greeted hundreds of children as they fidgeted in the morning light: "Dear boys and brave girls, thank you for coming. The enemy has done its evil deeds, but we will never allow the doors of this school to close again."

These would be among her final moments as their principal. She had already resigned. "My heart is crying," she said privately. "But I must leave because of everything that people say. They say I received letters warning about the attacks. But that isn't so. And people say I am a foreigner because I went to the United States without a mahram. We were 12 people. I'm 42. I don't need to travel with a mahram."

Shukria, the slain 13-year-old, was a polite girl who reverently studied the Koran. Saadia, the other murdered student, was remarkable in that she was married and 25. She had refused to let age discourage her from finishing an education interrupted by the Taliban years.

A new sign now sits atop the steel roof. The Qalia Sayedan School has been renamed the Martyred Saadia School. Another place will be called Martyred Shukria.

Life as a second class citizenAlthough the power of the Taliban has been greatly reduced in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion, slowly but surely their influence, especially in the tribal south, is returning.

• In Badakshan, all women must get permission from their husbands before being allowed to visit a doctor.

• Women teachers are regularly subjected to beatings and assaults from roaming Taliban gangs.

• Mothers who send their children to school are also targeted by the thugs, who try to intimidate them into keeping their youngsters at home.

• Forced marriages and domestic violence feature regularly in the lives of many women who live in the south and eastern provinces of the country.

• Although more women are working in the media now, they are under constant threat. Shaima Rezayee, a popular MTV-style presenter, was shot dead after receiving death threats in 2006.

This article: http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1103532007

Who blamed the jews for all their self created problems?

Hitler and Germans blamed the jews for all their self created problems

Muslims blame the jews for all their self created problems

Bush like Hitler, says first Muslim in Congress
The Telegraph

by Toby Harnden

America's first Muslim congressman has provoked outrage by apparently comparing President George W Bush to Adolf Hitler and hinting that he might have been responsible for the September 11 attacks.

Addressing a gathering of atheists in his home state of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, a Democrat, compared the 9/11 atrocities to the destruction of the Reichstag, the German parliament, in 1933. This was probably burned down by the Nazis in order to justify Hitler's later seizure of emergency powers.

"It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that," Mr Ellison said. "After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted."

To applause from his audience of 300 members of Atheists for Human Rights, Mr Ellison said he would not accuse the Bush administration of planning 9/11 because "you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box - dismiss you".

Vice-President Dick Cheney's stance of refusing to answer some questions from Congress was "the very definition of totalitarianism, authoritarianism and dictatorship", he added.

Mr Ellison also raised eyebrows by telling his audience: "You'll always find this Muslim standing up for your right to be atheists all you want."

A convert to Islam who was previously linked to the extremist Nation of Islam, Mr Ellison, 42, has cultivated a moderate image since being elected last November, concentrating on issues such as health and education.

He is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq. But he angered his own anti-war supporters by voting for a budget bill that aims to end the war over the next 18 months. His followers want an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

After his speech was reported, Mr Ellison said he accepted that Osama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. But his demagogic comments threaten to plunge him in controversy.

Mark Drake, of the Republican party in Minnesota, said: "To compare the democratically elected leader of the United States of America to Hitler is an absolute moral outrage which trivialises the horrors of Nazi Germany."

Why strict laws against religious garb would be so effective in moderating islamofascism

Turkey's 'Creeping Islamisation' Divides Nation
The Telegraph (UK)

Turkey's 'creeping Islamisation' divides nation

By Gethin Chamberlain in Alanya, Sunday Telegraph

It could have been a scene from any beach in Turkey: a cluster of young women reclining on sun-loungers, soaking up the midday rays, thumbing through novels and smoking cigarettes, while fellow holidaymakers splashed in the sea.

Yet there was not an inch of bare flesh on them; these sun worshippers were clad from head to toe in headscarves and cover-all swimsuits. A couple of girls strolled past, their skimpy bikinis fighting an unequal battle against their contents. A teenage boy gawped, but if the other women noticed, they paid little attention.

A holiday complex on the gulf of Antalya seems an unlikely frontline for a clash of cultures that is dividing a nation. But the question of whether these two very different ways of living can co-exist, or whether one must inevitably impose itself on the other, holds the key to Turkey's future.

Next Sunday the country goes to the polls. Opponents of the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, fear that the Right-wing religious conservatives at the helm of his ruling AK party are set on diverting Turkey from its fiercely secular traditions down a path of creeping Islamisation. Educated liberals in cities such as Istanbul and Ankara look askance at rural incomers and what they consider to be their backwards-looking religiosity.

At the upmarket Bera Alanya hotel, a little way down the coast from the fleshpots of Alanya, middle- class religious conservatives are voting with their wallets. Most guests come from cities in Anatolia, while the rest are generally Turkish expatriates, and they have chosen the hotel for a reason: it has a swimming pool for women only. Every room has a copy of the Koran, a prayer mat and a sticker pointing towards Mecca. The bar serves no alcohol.

"It is better for my wife because she is a strong Muslim," said Mustafa Ekina, a 43-year-old furniture salesman from Rotterdam, staying at the hotel with his wife Nuriye and their 13-year-old daughter.

Mrs Ekina, resplendent in elegant silk headscarf, had packed both a bikini and a hasema, the two-piece swimsuit reminiscent of a shell suit with a close-fitting hood. The hotel shop sells the top of the range version for 120 Turkish lira (about £45). The makers claim it is possible to achieve a tan through the material.

"I have a hasema to swim in the sea and a bikini to swim in the women-only pool," she said. "Our beliefs say only our men should see our bodies, not everybody."

Her daughter is unconvinced, however. Eschewing a hasema, she had taken herself off to the pool in her Western swimwear. "My children don't like hotels like this," said Mr Ekina. "My daughter is more European. She wears a bikini. She can choose, however, when she is older. I will talk to her and tell her my beliefs. But I will never say to her what she must do."

People had the wrong idea about religious conservatives, he said. "We are strong Muslims but we do not want terrorism or a fight, we want only a holiday." This is certainly the view of the ruling AK party's leaders. The government claims the secularists are worrying about a threat that does not exist.

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

It points to the booming economy and the strides made towards joining the European Union, claiming it is the opposition parties, playing on growing Turkish nationalism, who have taken a more confrontational stance towards Europe and towards the United States.

Nothing encapsulates the divide between the two sides better than the debate over headscarves.

Many of the ruling party's women supporters - including the prime minister's wife, Emine Erdogan - wear them, yet they remain banned from official buildings under Turkey's strictly secular constitution.

"People ask 'Why do I see more women in the street with headscarves?'" said Egemen Bagis, Mr Erdogan's foreign policy adviser. "The answer is that in the past they were ashamed to go out. Now they are saying that the prime minister's wife wears it, so why should they be ashamed? I defend a woman's right to wear a headscarf as much as I defend her right to wear a miniskirt. We are against central government telling people how to live their lives."

This weekend the AK party is well ahead in the polls and is hoping to win the 367 seats - a two thirds majority - it needs to get its own presidential candidate elected, later this summer, in a vote by MPs.

Although Turkey's complex electoral system makes that unlikely, the party has pledged to hold a referendum on the direct election of the president. Either outcome would put it on collision course with Turkey's all-powerful generals, who see themselves as guardians of Turkey's secular identity.

In April the military, which has staged four coups since 1960, issued a stern rebuke to the government for putting forward the foreign minister, Abdullah Gul, as its presidential candidate. In the absence of a second chamber, the president is seen as a check on parliament. But Mr Gul's wife wears a headscarf - a political statement, many say, which shows he was not the man to defend the secular status quo and prevent the government pushing through a radical programme of Islamisation. The opposition argues that the Gul stand-off revealed the government's true colours.

"People want a secular country, but if you look at the lifestyle of the prime minister, it is not a modern lifestyle," said Sinasi Oktem, a candidate for the main opposition party, the Left-leaning CHP, in the Umraniye -district of Istanbul. They were just biding their time, he said. "With the AKP, Turkey is in danger."

But out on the streets, his party workers were struggling to get their message across. Three dejected canvassers sat at a stall, stacked high with election leaflets. No one was stopping. Just 30 yards up the street, the AK party caravan was thronged with people - including women in headscarves who stopped to pick up free gifts.

A solicitor, Hatice Kacmazoglu, her long red hair uncovered, said: "I'm modern and open minded. They don't force me to cover my hair. If the AK party thought like that, I don't think I could be a member." She giggled nervously. "It's not going to be like Iran."

Saturday, July 14, 2007

a culture that brainwashes it's children to hate and kill

Creating a Generation of Hate
Terrorism Paul Miller

A child watching educational television is a way of life in over 120 countries. Today children throughout the world learn valuable life lessons on how to get along with and treat people in addition to the alphabet and basic math. Children develop some of their first personal relationships with the characters on these programs. What if your child’s favorite character was brutally murdered in front of their very eyes?

The consequences would be devastating. Besides the mental anguish and scarring the child has endured, the impressionable youth would always remember who committed the violent act and develop a hatred for that individual or those they represent.

Last week, the Palestinian children’s program, “Tomorrows Pioneers,” on the official Hamas television station, Al-Aqsa TV, took the idea of teaching hate to an inconceivable new low, when they killed off their Mickey Mouse lookalike character Farfour. The terrorist rodent was beaten and murdered by an Israeli trying to buy his land, while the pre-teen host, Saraa looked on. She then informed the viewers that Farfour “was martyred while defending his land.” She went on to say, “he was martyred at the hands of the criminals, the murderers…the murderers of innocent children.”

That weekend, thousands of Palestinian children as well as Muslim kids throughout the world, went to bed believing that the Jews murdered Farfour. Imagine if children throughout the United States experienced the horror of watching Elmo beaten and murdered by an African American. We would create a generation of children who fear and hate an entire race of people. Tragically this has occurred. A new generation of Palestinian and Muslim children worldwide now have an embedded hatred of Jews.

The world views the Hamas television program and perpetrated murder of the Mickey Mouse wannabe character as disgusting, but an isolated incident. I believe the impact is much more severe and will have long-term consequences.

As a father of two pre-school boys who these characters, I understand how devastating viewing the violent demise of their childhood idol would be. However, Farfour was more than a television character. Muslim kids saw him in the same context of a prophet…a messenger of Allah. In their eyes, the Jews murdered God.

So what is being done to counteract “Tomorrows Pioneers,” as well as the Arab world’s education curriculum of hatred toward Jews? Can a real long lasting peace ever exist if countries that claim they will support a two-state solution and recognize Israel’s right to exist, continue to teach pre-school and elementary school students to hate Jews and glorify suicide bombing and Martyrdom? The answer is no. Children who are taught hate become adults who practice hate.

Headlines in recent weeks regarding the Middle East have been about the Palestinian civil war, which resulted in Hamas taking control of Gaza, while Fatah countered by dismantling Hamas in the West Bank. Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas has since dissolved the Hamas controlled government. These events have resulted in a renewed optimism by some to get the roadmap for peace, back on track.

Government and religious leaders are now holding conferences and meetings, making grand speeches and most of it is well intentioned. However, nobody wants to acknowledge the driving force behind the conflict…Hate.

The fact of the matter is that Presidents, Prime Ministers and Kings can reach agreements, which will usually serve political interests and strengthen a regime’s power. However, none of it matters until Muslim children in Arab countries are taught to accept, respect and live in a world with Jews.

The sad reality is that my children are being taught to “love thy neighbor” and are watching educational programs promoting friendship and sharing. Muslim children are being taught to resist the Zionist entity, while embracing Martyrdom and Jihad against the non-believers.

Can you think of a worse scenario for a peaceful coexistence? I didn’t think so.


Why strict cultural laws protecting women would be so effective against extremism

Exclusive: Women Under Islam (Part Two of Four)

Author: Adrian Morgan

Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.

Under Islam, even “normal” marriages, let alone forced marriages, can be viewed to Western sensibilities as trafficking in human beings, or bondage. FSM Contributing Editor Adrian Morgan reveals what Western governments are doing about it, and his report will shock you.

Legal Marriage And Forced Marriages

A man in Islam can have four concurrent wives, though a woman is denied more than one husband. In most Western nations, polygamy is illegal, but Britain allows tax-payers' money to subsidize welfare benefits for polygamous Muslims' extra wives.

Sheikh Ahmad Nutty of the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, writes: "The stated requirements of marriage in Islam are as follows: Full consent of both partners to the marriage, expressing the above consent through ijab (offer) and qabul (acceptance), finally the presence of two reliable witnesses. Apart from the above, in the case of females, their guardian's consent has been considered essential for the validity of marriage according to the majority of imams and scholars. Imam Abu Hanifah, however, is of the view that a mature woman is fully capable of contracting her own marriage. Thus in his view, marriages finalized without guardian's consent shall be considered as valid so long the woman has chosen someone who is considered as compatible."

The fact that a young woman has to have the consent of her guardian, or Wali, indicates that the woman is not really a free agent and cannot readily marry someone of her own choosing. In Malaysia last year, a 22-year old woman who had married a 32-year old man and was five months' pregnant, was taken to an Islamic court by her father. He claimed that, being her Wali, he was not consulted before the marriage. The Islamic court annulled the marriage.

There are other bizarre variations on standard marriage, including "temporary marriages" called mut'ah and misyar. Misyar is a Sunni custom and it became legitimized in Egypt in the early 19th century. Ibn Baaz, the Salafi Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia from 1993-9 made a fatwa sanctioning misyar, expecting it to make it easier for wealthy single women to get married. Traditionally, a Muslim husband presents his bride with a dowry or mahr, and misyar dispenses with this requirement. In misyar marriage the couple does not live together, but makes nuptial visits to each other.

On April 12, 2006 the Islamic Jurisprudence Assembly in Mecca gave its approval for such unions. Misyar marriages are becoming common in Saudi Arabia, with some Saudi marriage officials claiming that 7 out of 10 of their contracts are misyar arrangements. Misyar is a temporary marriage, but can be extended to become full marriage. It does not have a fixed time in which it must end, like Mut'ah marriage.

Some traveling Muslims use temporary marriages to engage in sex tourism 'Islamically". Last June, Indonesia's vice president, Jusuf Kalla quipped that he saw nothing wrong with Arab men engaging in "temporary marriages" with Indonesian women. In August 2006 five Saudis were deported from an Indonesian resort for engaging in temporary marriages with local women.

Mut'ah marriage can be engaged in for as little as a few hours, with the man paying the "bride" for this contract. Mut'ah is illegal in Saudi Arabia, but is allowed in Iran, where it is called sighe. Iranian sociologist Amanollah Gharaii Moghaddam has said of such marriages: "Short-term marriages are a form of legalized prostitution. A state must not and cannot legitimize prostitution."

Such a marriage appears to be sanctioned in the Koran, Sura 4:24, where it is written: "Also married women (are forbidden to you in marriage), except those whom you own as slaves. Such is the decree of God. All women other than these are lawful for you, provided you court them with your wealth in modest conduct, not in fornication. Give them their dowry for the enjoyment you have had of them as a duty; but it shall be no offense for you to make any other agreement among yourselves after you have fulfilled your duty. Surely God is all-knowing and wise."

Mut'ah is also, since the fall of Saddam Hussein, permitted in Iraq. It is allowed in Bahrain, where it has been condemned by women's rights activist Ghada Jamshir. Ms Jamshir said on Al-Arabiya TV: "This is a violation of children's rights! This constitutes sexual assault of the girl. What does 'pleasure from sexual contact with her thighs' mean? It means deriving sexual pleasure from an infant. How old is an infant? One year, a year and a half, a few months?"

In Singapore, where temporary marriage is illegal, a Muslim businessman convinced several women that such marriages were Islamic. He fathered 66 children, and also convinced some of his "wives" that it was lawful to have sex with his daughters. He was sentenced in April 2006 to 32 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for raping five of his daughters.

Another bizarre form of Muslim marriage contract is Ash-Shihgar, where a man marries off his daughter to another man, and marries the other man's daughter in exchange. No "bride-price" (mahr) is paid. In January 2007 two septuagenarian businessmen from Riyadh married each others' daughters. The brides were aged 17 and 19. One of the old men said: "I did not ask my daughter. I don't have to. I know what is beneficial for her. When I told her what I had planned, she was happy. If she hadn't been, she would have told her mother."

Forced Marriage

After briefly describing some of the ways that marriages can take place in Islam, where a young woman can marry a man only of her guardian's choosing, it is not surprising that forced marriages regularly occur. In 2001, Syria amended its constitution to outlaw forced marriage. In Saudi Arabia, forced marriage was made illegal in April 2005. This resulted from a fatwa issued by Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh. President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan referred to this fatwa to urge Islamists in his country to abandon forced marriages. In November 2005, Afghan leaders committed themselves to abolishing forced marriage by 2008.

In Afghanistan, the minimum legal age for a male to become married is 18, and for a girl, 16 years. Despite this, marriages are arranged involving girls far younger than 16. In October 2006, the Globe & Mail reported that a 13-year old girl, who escaped a forced marriage with a 50-year old man, was placed in jail. The girl's crime was to have broken the marriage contract, which had been arranged by her father.

In 2004 the UN reported that as many as 57% of marriages in Afghanistan involved girls under 16. Some were only nine years old. In 2005, the US State Department quoted the UN special rapporteur on violence against women, who said that "between 60% and 80% of marriages in Afghanistan are forced marriages which give women no right to refuse. Many of those marriages, especially in the rural areas, involve girls below the age of 15."

In July 2006 the New York Times produced a report on child marriage in Afghanistan, containing startling photographs by Stephanie Sinclair of young girls sitting beside their grizzled, elderly husbands. When a bride is pre-pubescent, and unable to make a decision on her future, such marriages can only be classed as "forced". A UN report from 2005 quoted Paul Greening of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) who said: "Badakhshan [northeastern province] has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country and one of the main reasons is under-age marriages - even as young as seven in some cases. This needs to be addressed." A midwife at Malalai hospital in Kabul said: "It is a shame to say that even in the capital Kabul we treat pregnant mothers as young as 12 years of age."

In Turkey, forced marriage continues, particularly in the Kurdish communities of the southeast. A 2004 report stated: A study in several provinces in east and southeast Turkey found that 45.7 per cent of women were not consulted about their choice of marriage partner and 50.8 per cent were married without their consent. Women forced into marriages are often under age. Those of them who refuse their family's choice of husband risk violence and even death. Men have used forced marriage to evade punishment for sexual assault, rape and abduction. There are also cases in which families, either deliberately or through neglect, fail to ensure that the sale of their daughter to a potential husband does not end up with their daughter being internally trafficked for forced prostitution. In other instances families fail to protect children from sexual exploitation."

On 24 May, 2006, Yakin Erturk, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women, went to Batman and three other cities in southeastern Turkey, to investigate a curious increase in suicides amongst young women in the region. She later concluded: "I have found that the patriarchal order and the human rights violations that go along with it - for example, forced and early marriages, domestic violence, and denial of reproductive rights - are often key contributing factors."

In the West, forced marriages are becoming increasingly common. In 2003 in Norway, the authorities moved to dissuade the custom by demanding that foreign marriage partners should be over 23, or capable of supporting a partner. Last year, a school counselor claimed to be annually contacted by five to six students, who said their studies had to cease because they were being married against their will.

In March 2004 Norway’s immigration minister Ema Solberg launched a campaign to inform all immigrants that forced marriage and female genital mutilation were forbidden under Norwegian law. In May 2005 two people became the first to be jailed for plotting a forced marriage. The Kurdish father and brother of a 17-year old girl had planned to make her marry a man from northern Iraq. Between 1999 and 2004, cases of forced marriage tripled in Norway, with 60 cases in 2003 alone. In September last year Terje Bjøranger, who advises a government taskforce, claimed that there were 2,000 cases of forced marriage between 2004 and 2006.

Norway was the only country in Europe where forced marriage was illegal until last year. In March, 2006 Belgium's cabinet approved a move to outlaw forced marriage. A study from 1999 found that 27% of Turkish and Moroccan women over 40 had been forced into marriage. Forced marriages affected 13% of Turkish girls aged 17 to 24, and 8% of Moroccan girls of the same age. The proposed legislation would invoke a jail term from one month to two years, or a maximum fine of between 500 and 2,500 Euros (equivalent to $596 and $2,978 US). In November 2004, a Belgian senator of Moroccan origin, Mimount Bousakla, was forced to go into hiding, after receiving death threats. Her crime had been to criticize forced marriages, at a meeting held by the Council of Europe on this subject.

In France in 2003 a report by the government body the High Council of Immigration found that there were 70,000 cases of marriages in the country which had been arranged using force. A French women's rights group claims that 30,000 forced marriages have taken place in France since 1990. One arranged marriage which began with apparent consent ended in tragedy. Samira Bari, a woman brought up in France, had married a man eight years her senior, who had been brought up in southern Morocco. When Samira refused to have sex with him, he ripped out her eyes, a court heard in March this year.

Many French forced marriages have taken place with young people involved, and as a result in March, 2006 the authorities raised the minimum age of marriage from 15 to 18 years. One obstacle faced by young women who are not born in France and are subjected to forced marriages is the law itself. Even if she holds a permit of residence for 10 years' duration, if she is taken to live outside of France for three consecutive years, she loses the right to live in France.

Many marriages amongst Muslims are "arranged" marriages. In October last year, the Islamists who then ruled Somalia ordered that any marriages conducted without parents' permission were against Islam. In many cases, it is hard to say where an "arranged marriage" becomes a "forced" marriage. In Britain, the majority of cases of honor killings have involved victims who rejected arranged marriage, or chose their own partner. Most British forced marriage cases involve a girl being sent to the Indian subcontinent to become wed to a relative.

In May this year, the Home Office reported that an 11-year old British Muslim girl had been rescued from a forced marriage, which had taken place in Bangladesh. A more typical case involves three sisters, aged 21, 22 and 15, who in 2000 had been sent to Pakistan, on the pretext of seeing their dying grandmother. Once there, the girls found that there were three men already arranged to be their husbands. The sisters were kept as virtual prisoners in their grandmother's house for six months. Narina Anwar said: "They wanted me to marry my first cousin. He was 26 and I had not seen him since I was 11. He was uneducated and could not speak English or even write Urdu." The girls escaped and telephoned the British High Commission who sent people to rescue them.

In 2001 the UK government suggested that it could make forced marriage a crime, but after many deliberations, it is still not illegal. In 2004, when 200 forced marriage cases were happening each year, the government again announced that it may change the law, and made the same claim in 2005. On June 6, 2006 the government announced that it had bowed down to Muslim pressure and had abandoned its plans.

The Muslim Council of Britain, co-founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, had argued that such a law would see children giving evidence at their parents' trials. This happens in abuse cases, and forced marriage is abuse. The MCB also said such cases would make the Muslim community further "stigmatized".

Sometimes, the threats and pressure involve emotional blackmail. In 2002, a marriage was annulled in Edinburgh which had taken place when the girl had been 16. Her mother later admitted that she had threatened to commit suicide to force her daughter into marriage. The girl had met her "husband" only a week before the wedding. The husband's mother had wanted her son to gain British citizenship.

In July, 2006 another forced marriage was annulled. The girl had been taken for a "holiday' in Pakistan, ostensibly to celebrate the end of her school exams. She was kept in Pakistan in a remote location, and had her passport removed. Both her parents threatened to commit suicide if she did not marry her cousin. After some months she relented and, aged 17, married. The judge in the case, Mr Justice Munby, told the High Court in London: "Forced marriages, whatever the social or cultural imperatives that may be said to justify what remains a distressingly widespread practice, are rightly considered to be as much beyond the pale as such barbarous practices as female genital mutilation and so called 'honor killings'."

In 2004 it was announced that The Council of British Pakistanis Scotland had found that nearly half the marriages between Scottish south Asians and a partner from abroad had involved coercion. Labour MP Ann Cryer announced that a 15-year old girl from Bradford was "sold" by her father for the sum of $30,000, to pay off his gambling debts. The girl was due to be sent to Bangladesh to marry a far older man, a friend of her father. Ms. Cryer said: "The girl is absolutely petrified. I am terrified the family will put her on a plane within the next few days."

In Scotland, which has its own parliament, it was revealed in one report that in Edinburgh alone, 85 people a year were being forced into marriage. Malcolm Chisholm, Scottish Communities Minister, suggested that imams and clerics who presided over forced marriage could be jailed for up to five years. This proposal was never made into law.

In Denmark, there is a law that requires that both partners in a marriage involving someone from abroad must be at least 24 years old. This law, introduced in 2002, has been claimed by Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to have reduced cases of forced marriage. The Danish Immigration Service has guidelines to "root out" suspected cases of forced marriage. Earlier this month the Danish Social Liberal Party launched a leaflet campaign, aimed at teachers, to help them identify the signs of young people being pressured into forced marriage.

In Germany, a study amongst female Turkish immigrants, conducted in 1996, found that 24% of respondents had been forced into marriage. ARD, a German national television network, claims that there are 30,000 women who are in forced marriages in Germany. There are an estimated 3 million Muslims in Germany, mostly from Turkey. In Austria, where Turks comprise most of the 400,000-strong Muslim community, the figure for women in forced marriages is said to be less than 1,000. In Germany, women in forced marriages also come from Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Albania, Iran and India.

There is strong opposition to interference with Germany's culture of forced marriage and "honor". Seyran Ates is a Turkish-born woman lawyer, who specializes in defending women trapped in forced marriages or on the receiving end of domestic violence. She has been fiercely attacked by male relatives of the women she defends, and was once shot by the husband of a woman client.

Seyran Ates has condemned the liberal climate in Germany, where the politically correct turn their backs on what goes on in Muslim communities, and thus ignore the plight of many Muslim women. She has written: "I want to know, and many thousands of Muslim girls and women have a right to know, why understanding and infinite tolerance is practiced with particular cultural traditions that are clearly oppressive of women. Human rights are universal and unconditional. And that goes most certainly for religious objectives.

It is only girls and women who are forced to wear head-scarves. And it's also a majority of girls and women who are affected by forced marriage. I don't want to enter into the debate about women and schoolgirls who wear the headscarf of their own free will, or about the difference between arranged and forced marriages. Just one note: silence cannot be understood as assent. But very many girls are brought up to be silent on such topics....

...Of course, we mustn't forget the boys and men. They too are affected by these archaic traditions. They are forced to play the man, the protector of morals and family honour. They bear the responsibility for keeping the sexuality of the female members under control. A free, autonomous life, the esteem for a person's individuality is seen to endanger the far more important community feeling, the group identity. In extreme cases, men are turned into murderers because the social system demands this of them. Because otherwise, they cannot live after their honor has been violated. What will become of the Muslims who don't have the personal strength to defend themselves against the community and the clan because of this outmoded tradition? What will become of the little machos who already play the Pascha in kindergarten and grade school?"

In September, 2006 Seyran announced that the constant threats to her life had put her into so much danger she would retire. She felt that her daughter would be placed at risk. She received belated support from politicians within her own party, the SPD, and has since returned to defending her women clients.

A 2005 report by the Council of Europe's Directorate of Human Rights makes for grim reading. Even though forced marriage itself is not generally illegal in Europe, there are nonetheless laws against kidnapping and false imprisonment on many country's statute books. Sadly, these laws are rarely invoked.

Figures on such marriages in the United States and Canada are scarce, but is highly likely that the authorities are not geared up to look for such cases. In such a laissez-faire climate, as Seyran Ates noted in Germany, this abuse may be more common than the authorities would wish to acknowledge.

In Australia in 2005, tough laws were introduced to prevent young girls being sent abroad to engage in forced marriages. Many of Australia's Muslims are of Lebanese origin, and a dozen Australian girls under the age of 18 had sought help from the Australian consulate in Beirut. These girls, with one as young as 14, had been taken to Lebanon by their families to engage in forced marriages. Under Australian law, anyone who forces someone to engage in marriage, even outside the country, can receive a 25 year jail sentence.

Chris Ellison, the Australian Justice Minister, said: "This is an outrageous activity, one we won't tolerate and we're intent on stamping out. It is an offence to traffic a young person, a juvenile, overseas for sexual servitude, or indeed bondage, and a forced marriage could well constitute that sort of behavior."

Many young people who are made to enter forced marriage are sent to their parent's homelands to be married off against their will. In Europe, young people have been sent to Afghanistan, Mali, Morocco, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey. For British victims of forced marriage, these homelands tend to be India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In the latter country, the traditions of marrying off children against their will carry on in full defiance of national law. What will shock Western readers is the way in which children as young as babies are promised in marriage, often to compensate a family for a crime committed by a male. Sometimes girls are sold in markets for marriage purposes.

Friday, July 13, 2007

cultural moderation is needed throughout islam

Exploring Islam's 'Death Cult'

by Michael Hirsh

It is the question at the back of many people's minds as they absorb the frightening details of the terror plot in Britain. Yes, we understand that many Muslims are angry—about the Iraq War, about Israeli policy toward the Palestinians and the usual list of grievances. But there are many people, in many different societies and cultures, who are angry about many things. Would any other culture or religion produce a group of doctors and...


The conservative commentator Cal Thomas also used a cancer metaphor in comments that provoked an outcry from the U.S. Muslim community in recent days. “How much longer should we allow people from certain lands, with certain beliefs to come to Britain and America and build their mosques, teach hate, and plot to kill us?" Thomas asked. "OK, let's have the required disclaimer: Not all Muslims from the Middle East and Southeast Asia want to kill us, but those who do blend in with those who don't. Would anyone tolerate a slow-spreading cancer because it wasn't fast-spreading? Probably not. You'd want it removed."


“When I look back at Islamic history over the last few centuries, there was a long period of comparative stability from 1400 onward, in which there was a kind of understanding that Islam deplored anarchy,” says Richard Bulliet, a noted scholar of the Arab world at Columbia University.


It remains so today, as we have seen most tragicially in the bloodbath between Sunni and Shia in Iraq. These schisms have prevented the greater healing—for example a pan-Islamic declaration opposing the use of terrorism against innocents—that must occur within Islam as a whole. Muslims must find a way to remove this modern cancer—this fundamentalist death cult—that has infected their religion. None of us on the outside can do it for them.

msnbc.msn.com ...

Thursday, July 12, 2007


British juror arrested after listening to music under hijab
Yahoo News

LONDON (AFP) - A female Muslim juror has been arrested in Britain after allegedly listening to an MP3 player under her hijab headscarf during a murder trial, police said Monday.

The woman in her early 20s was spotted by a fellow juror listening to music as she was meant to be helping try the case of a pensioner accused of bludgeoning his wife to death after 50 years of marriage.

She could now be charged with contempt of court and, if convicted, may be punished with an indefinite jail sentence and an unlimited fine.

Details emerged after the defendant was convicted and Judge Roger Chapple lifted a reporting restriction which prevented previous publication of the details for fear of disrupting proceedings.

The woman had repeatedly arrived late for hearings at Blackfriars Crown Court, central London, and prosecuting lawyer Peter Clarke asked for her to be dismissed.

The judge initially refused, saying it was not necessary, but a day later, he received a note from another juror suggesting that the woman may have been listening to music during the defendant's evidence.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said that police were called by a judge hearing a case at Blackfriars "regarding the inappropriate actions of a juror."

"A woman was arrested for contempt of court on the direction of the judge," he added. "Following the conclusion of the trial, the judge has requested that the matter be investigated."

Lawyer Benn Maguire, a member of the team prosecuting the murder case, said: "It is unique for all those who are connected with this court to experience a situation where the juror is suspected of listening to a MP3 player under her Islamic headgear."

He added that he expected the woman would go to prison if she was charged and found guilty of contempt.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Katherine Kersten: Why were Minneapolis cops barely visible in sex ring bust?

By Katherine Kersten, Star TribuneLast update: May 30, 2007 – 9:44 PM

Last week, law enforcement authorities busted a sex trafficking ring allegedly run by illegal immigrants based in Minneapolis. Many of the victims - trafficked across the border and forced into sex slavery - endured horrendous exploitation. One woman was forced to have sex with 44 men in one night. Though the ring operated from Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Police Department was hardly visible in this operation. The department's involvement was limited to securing the area around an apartment building where the arrests took place, according to Lt. Amelia Huffman, a department spokeswoman.

Other agencies -- including the federal government's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the St. Paul Police Department -- conducted the year-long investigation and made the arrests.Nevertheless, Mayor R.T. Rybak felt he had all kinds of explaining to do. He e-mailed explanations to the media and promised to review tapes of the incident "to make sure our policies were followed." Even so, immigrants rights groups condemned the department's role.How did we get to this absurd point, where the MPD seems to be trying to wash its hands from involvement in the take-down of a major criminal enterprise?Supporters of the city's hands-off approach point to a "separation" ordinance, passed in 2003. The ordinance prohibits police from becoming involved in routine immigration enforcement, where immigration is the main issue. Immigrants in the city won't cooperate with the police if they fear deportation, the reasoning goes.But the ordinance explicitly permits police involvement in investigations like the sex ring.
"Nothing in this chapter," it states, "shall prohibit public safety personnel from assisting federal law enforcement officers in the investigation of criminal activity involving individuals present in the United States who may also be in violation of federal civil immigration laws."On Wednesday, Rybak acknowledged that the ordinance doesn't bar police from engaging in crime fighting just because immigration is involved.

"When the issue is clearly prostitution, we will continue to stand strong against it," he said.But wasn't prostitution the issue in the sex ring bust? "The line between what is prostitution and what is immigration was blurry," Rybak replied.The St. Paul Police Department, for its part, wasn't troubled by "blurry" lines though it too has a "separation" ordinance. In fact, the St. Paul police helped lead the charge against the sex ring operators.Are Minneapolis citizens well-served when city leaders avoid law enforcement on the "blurry" lines theory -- when the crimes at issue may involve illegal immigrants?Mark Cangemi, now retired from ICE, doesn't think so.

Cangemi was special agent in charge of the sex ring investigation until December 2006. "In the guise of protecting citizens, the Minneapolis leadership is actually harming the most vulnerable," he says.Camgemi isn't asking Minneapolis police to become an enforcement arm of ICE. But to be most effective in stopping crime, he explains, they need to understand -- and know how to apply -- state and federal law, including immigration law.

"In certain cases," like human trafficking, drug-dealing, gangs and identity theft, "we [federal authorities] can provide the tools to get and keep criminals off the street," he says.Unfortunately, he adds, in many cases Minneapolis leaders have taken the position that the city doesn't need to use these tools. In Cangemi's view, Minneapolis' "separation" ordinance -- and its overbroad interpretation -- have created a wedge between city police and the feds. In an operation like the sex ring investigation, he says, officers would likely be hampered if they had to make an arrest. "They are afraid they will be chastised and disciplined for doing what they are sworn to do: serve and protect," he says."It's ICE that has created a wedge," Rybak retorts.
The agency has not removed the word "'police" from its officers' jackets, despite his request to do so. Rybak maintains that the word "confuses" people who believe that immigration and criminal enforcement should be separate. "But we are police!" protests Cangemi. Rybak, he says, "is way beyond his level of expertise" in making such a demand of a federal agency. "Police" is an internationally recognized term, used by law enforcement worldwide.

Last year, Cangemi sent Rybak an "open letter" making this point, but Rybak never responded, he says. Rybak's spokesman says he doesn't know whether that's true. Meanwhile, it's Minneapolis leaders' priorities that confuse people.


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