Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spencer & Geller's Anti-Muslim Movement Tied to Anti-Semitic Pro-Nazi Group

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller "are also notorious for their enthusiastic support of Britain’s far right English Defence League (EDL), well known for their riots, fascist roots, and thuggish intimidation of British minorities...So I have to wonder how Spencer and Geller will react to the latest news about their British allies...First, the news that one of the EDL’s leaders, John “Snowy” Shaw, has suddenly realized that he hates Jews as much as Muslims, and is raving about the infamous antisemitic forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion:”...And second: hardline activist and leader of the EDL’s “Jewish Division,” Roberta Moore (a sort of British version of Pamela Geller), is very publicly bailing out of the group because of “the Nazis within..."
Read the Rest: British Branch of the Anti-Islam Movement in Full Meltdown

"Muslim Americans are not part of the problem, they are part of the solution"

New Counterterrorism Strategy Unveiled By White House Official 

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's top adviser on homeland security unveiled a new national strategy for counterterrorism Tuesday, formalizing actions taken over the past two and a half years. The strategy also lays out a vision for U.S. operations going forward given the death of Osama bin Laden and the changing political climate across the Middle East.

Al Qaeda, "its affiliates and its adherents" will be the main focus of operations, said John Brennan, deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism.

"This is the first counterterrorism strategy that focuses on the ability of al Qaeda and its network to inspire people in the United States to attack us from within," he said in a speech at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. "Indeed, this is the first counterterrorism strategy that designates the homeland as a primary area of emphasis in our counterterrorism efforts."

Signaling a shift in emphasis from the policies of President George W. Bush, who once spoke of a "crusade" to defeat al Qaeda, Brennan said the strategy was not aimed at the group's "grandiose vision of global domination through a vioent Isalmic caliphate." That vision, he said is "absurd."

"We are not going to organize our counterterrorism politics against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen," he said.

Instead, as President Obama carries out his drawdown plan for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Brennan said the United States would no longer consider its best offense to be deploying large armies abroad, but instead, "delivering targeted, surgical pressure to the groups that threaten us."

Brennan made clear that counterterrorism efforts constitute a "war -- a broad, sustained, integrated and relentless campaign that harnesses every element of American power." He said Obama's approach to counterterrorism is "pragmatic, not ideological. It is based on what works."

Much of the speech recapped the efforts taken in the nearly 10 years since the Sept. 11 attacks -- improved intelligence, better airport security, a bump up in military special forces. It also included a nod to Obama's controversial maintenance of Bush's military tribunals to try detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. Brennan added the administration was still determined to close the detention facility there.

The new counterterrorism strategy, which will be posted on the White House website, calls for deepening security cooperation with other countries where al Qaeda may attempt to find a safe haven. That includes not only Afghanistan and Pakistan but also Somalia, North Africa and Southeast Asia.

"Rather than pursuing a one-size-fits-all approach, we recognize that different threats in different places demand different tools," Brennan said. Those tools include continued drone attacks in Pakistan, training security forces, working to shut down al Qaeda's financial pipelines and sharing intelligence with European allies.

Brennan said strong partnerships must be encouraged with Muslim and Arab Americans in order to help combat the spread of violent extremism at home.

"Muslim Americans are not part of the problem, they are part of the solution," he said.

"When we show that Muslim Americans are part of our American family, we expose al Qaeda's lie that cultures must clash. When we remembers that Islam is part of America, we show that America could never possibly be at war with Islam," he added.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Anti-Islam Candidate Claims Congressman is a "Radical Islamist"

SHARPTON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Anti-Muslim fear mongering is already at the front of one 2012 congressional race. One of the two Muslim members of congress, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, is being challenged by a candidate who is calling him a, quote, "radical Islamist," and accuses him of being pro-Sharia Law.

Lynne Torgerson first challenged Ellison in 2010 with the support of the Tea Party Nation. She ended up with just four percent of the vote, while Congressman Ellison easily won reelection with 68 percent. But Torgerson is trying again in 2012, accusing Ellison of, quote, "failing to oppose Islamic Sharia Law in the United States. He also failed to support that the Constitution of the United States should be supreme over Islamic Sharia Law."

Congressman Ellison responded to the attacks, calling his challenger`s campaign one of hate, division and fear. To discuss her campaign, let me bring in Lynne Torgerson, the candidate challenging Congressman Ellison.

You say Congressman Ellison doesn`t think the Constitution should be the supreme law of the land. You recently asked him about it. Let`s listen to his response.


REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: I believe in the United States Constitution, which has been amended well over 25 times, is the bedrock of American law. Just so you know, there`s no state, there`s no county, there`s no city, there`s no village, there`s no hamlet, there`s no unincorporated area that has introduced an ordinance or a bill to establish Sharia as the law of that area.

So to ban it suggests that you`re banning something that doesn`t exist, that no one is calling for.


SHARPTON: The first thing he said was the Constitution is the bedrock of American law. I mean, what evidence do you have that shows he`s not committed to the Constitution?

LYNNE TORGERSON, TEA PARTY CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS: Well, good evening, Reverend Sharpton. Thank you for having me.

SHARPTON: Good evening.

TORGERSON: I would -- I would just like to give a bit of background. I have been practices law for 25 years and have devoted my adult career to protecting the constitutional rights of people of all races, nationalities, walks of life and religions.

SHARPTON: That`s fine, but I`m asking you, you made a very serious charge on a very respected congressman. What evidence do you have that he does not respect the United States Constitution as the bedrock of American law?

TORGERSON: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton. And to answer your question, I do want to mention that I am not anti-Muslim in any way, shape or form. Mr. -- Congressman Ellison has long been associated with the most extremist groups around.

He has close ties to CARE, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which was a named co-conspirator to funding terrorism in the Holy Land Foundation trial, which resulted in convictions for funding terrorism.
SHARPTON: Miss, let me ask you again, third time. Do you have any evidence that Congressman Ellison has in any way, in shape or form, supported Sharia Law over the U.S. Constitution? That was your charge. Or were you just fear mongering and demagoguing to get votes?

Do you -- you saw you`re a lawyer. You gave the background. Evidence I`m sure is something you have had to come through in court. Do you have any evidence that Congressman Ellison, in any way, disregards, disrespects or undermines the regard and respect of the United States Constitution?

TORGERSON: Yes, sir. He was asked approximately a month ago in a public forum what he believes -- whether he -- does he believe that the U.S. Constitution should be supreme in the United States or Sharia Law? What Mr. Ellison did is actually refuse to answer the question.

If anybody asked me that question, of course, what I believe should be the supreme law in the United States, the first thing I would say is the U.S. Constitution.

SHARPTON: Well, he just did. I just played you the tape where he said that to you. So you were very clear. He said that. He said that to you, and we just played the tape. What do you mean, you would say that he said that?...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Politics of Defining Terrorism

[Below is a letter I received from Professor of English, James Holstun. We both agree that attacks by groups like Hezbollah against civilians are unacceptable.He continues to make some very interesting points regarding the political use of "terrorism". HS]

... I've come to the opinion that "terrorism" is just hate speech, which serves to highlight all violence by Muslims, and to deny all violence against Muslims. "Muslim terrorist" is no less hate speech than "Penny-pinching Jew," and I'm just not going to put up with it any more. 
And I just won't argue with anybody about terrorism until they define what they mean by the term. If they say "every group defined by the US government as terrorist," I'll say "those are examples, not a definition." If they say "violence directed against civilians in order to effect political change," that incorporates pretty much all military violence. Of course, the bombing of Hiroshima was manifestly terrorist by this definition.  Of course, Israel has repeatedly said outright that its violence directed against Gaza, Lebanon, etc., aims to effect political change. If they say "violence by non-state actors directed against civilians to effect political change," then I'll ask, "Why is it important for you to distinguish state and non-state actors? How is the former sort of violence better?" 
But the conversation usually won't get that far. Because they don't mean anything more than "Any violence of any sort exercised by Muslims."
Unfortunately what he said has lots of truth. And I think this is why some Muslims historically have been reluctant to use the label terrorist at times and may have at times even went so far as to under-use it.  Point is my dear friends: Any Human with a heart can agree that any oppression or violence against innocent life is unacceptable and ought to be condemned to the fullest extent-regardless of what you call it. Now let us move past the political rhetoric and work together to stand for the protection of all human life and the preservation of the rights and liberties that make America so great.

Clarifying Remarks I made Years ago regarding Hezbollah

Point of Clarification regarding the comments I made after the 2006 Israel War on Lebanon:

A statement I made 5 years ago about the 2006 Israel War on Lebanon has been repeatedly used by my detractors to paint me into something I am not (see here). However let me clarify that at the time, Israel justified its indiscriminate bombing of Lebanon costing countless lives and billions of dollars in damage on the premise that Hezbollah was a terrorist organization. When I was asked in 2006 by the Generation if the war would have been justified because Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, my response was in no way meant to support Hezbollah but to clarify the reality of the political landscape in Lebanon and that the devastating bombing of Lebanon was not justifiable under international standards. Let us be mature enough to realize that a person explaining something is not the same as him supporting something.

 My detractors condemn me for having once said as a 19 year old that Hezbollah is a resistance organization; a guerrilla organization; that they have popular support in Lebanon; and that they offer political and social services in Lebanon. CNN and BBC have also reported the same things about Hezbollah. I said those statements, as an American student of political science, simply to explain the strong connection, whether we like it or not, that Hezbollah has with the Lebanese society. The moral: military might and violence is not the solution.

Anyway my detractors have blown those statements out of proportion and context in an effort to  marganilze me as some sort of radical or supporter of terrorism. The reality is, however, I have always condemned all terrorism and each statement I said was not based on my own knowledge, but what is accepted both by scholars of political science and the main stream media. Furthermore, there is a big difference between explaining what an organization is and blanket support for the organization. For example, I can explain that Israel is a  democratic Jewish state, that does not mean I support or approve of how it treats Palestinians. Nor does the fact that I disagree with current and past Israeli policy make me unamerican. Is not being American all about freedom of speech and thought? Can we not work together despite political differences

Michael Walzer, in his book Just and Unjust wars basically states that if an armed group has popular support of their home country,  have a base of operation, wear uniforms, etc. then they are technically a guerrilla organization. He also states that such guerrilla organizations cannot be defeated through military might alone.  Me stating the Hezbollah meets those criteria in no way amounts to be supporting terrorism! Since then as I have grown and matured I have learned that they may have engaged in terrorist acts in the 1980's (interesting to note that the BBC also reports that the armies which established Israel also engaged in terrorist acts in their early years), however I in no way, shape, or form condone such acts.   

Furthermore, there is no dispute generally as to the fact that Hezbollah has large support from the Lebanese people and offers many non-military servies in Lebanon.They are in fact a part of the Lebanese government and thus a key player. Steve Emerson has wrote that I have
A track record of defending terrorist groups and acting as an apologist for radical Islam. Following the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, Shibly granted legitimacy to Hizballah by characterizing it as a 'resistance movement' that provides valued social services to the Lebanese people.

However,  CNN just published a few days ago that: "The group[Hezbollah] is a political party and a major provider of social services in Lebanon, in addition to operating a militant wing." Both the CNN and BBC and countless others have stated that Hezbollah was created as a resistance to Israeli occupation and that they provide valued social services to the Lebanese people. Does that make CNN and BBC apologists for radical Islam?

I am sorry but things are not as conveniently black and white as we may wish them to be. 

Yes, our government does classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, but that does not negate the reality that they meet the criteria of a guerrilla organization under international standards or that they have a large social/political presence in Lebanon. There can be no progress to peace if we do not fully understand who the key players are in the middle east, even if we do not like them. The fact is Hezbollah was started to end Israeli occupation of Lebanon and after succeeding in doing so, received wide spread support from the Lebanese people. This is generally an undisputed fact. I am not a supporter of terrorism for saying so and neither is CNN or BBC.

 I was definitely mistaken for having gone so far as to say as a naive 19 year old that "they are absolutely not a terrorist organization." Such a statement was only in response to whether the bombing of Lebanon was acceptable, and due to both my ignorance and the definition and implication that term has. I have grown and learned a lot since that time as is natural. See here for a discussion of the term terrorism

The reality is that there is a long brewing conflict between Lebanon and Israel...both sides have their views... and both have at times committed terrible unjustifiable crimes. The world is not simple and not black vs. white. As I have grown and matured, I have tried to view the conflict from the objective lens of law and political science.   For the most part, I do not buy the idea that one side is inherently good or evil. If a person is not intellectually mature enough to see things out side of  a black and white paradigm then they need to grow more. 

Peace cannot be achieved so long as wee see things as "us v.s them." While there are a few nutcases out there, we humans generally all want peace and security and freedom for ourselves and our families. Has the Arab Spring not taught us this? We (human beings) all share the blame for world suffering and we all ought to share in the work to peace and Justice. I want peace for everyone. I have no problem working with Israelis, Arabs, Americans, Jews, Christians, Muslims or people of any faith or culture to promote peace and justice. I condemn anyone and everyone who has ever taken the life of an innocent man, women, or child and believe that is never justifiable or acceptable. My statements in 2006 were not in anyway to support Hezbollah, but to explain the reality of the political landscape in Lebanon, so we know how to properly deal with situation and do not justify more indiscriminate bloodshed.

Finally I do not wish for the Middle East conflict to be the focus of my work. I only mention this story here because a few Islamophobes have used my statements to discredit my interfaith and civil rights work. Now that I have set the record straight, I hope we can put aside our political, cultural, and religious differences and work together to protect the civil rights of all Americans and build a better world for all our children. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Know Your Digital Rights

Can police search your cell phone, laptop, or other digital mediums? Do they need a warrant? What should you do if an officer requests to look through your cell phone or your laptop is taken at the border? 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released a free "Know Your Digital Rights Guide" that answers all these questions and more. Click the link to read more. Or click here to access the guide directly and learn about your digital rights and how to protect your privacy.

CAIR Tampa highly recommends you download the pdf of the guide and the one page summary 

If we do not know our rights nor speak out for them, we have no one to blame but ourselves when our rights are violated

Israel Group: How to" "Name-And-Shame" Without Looking Like a Jerk "

[Very interesting article. HS]

June 14, 2011
By David Bernstein

One of the more controversial tactics in a growing effort to counter the delegitimization of Israel is to “name-and-shame” – to go after those who actively delegitimize Israel and seek to delegitimize them.

There are even those, such as British journalist Melanie Phillips, who argue that our entire strategy should be to relentlessly attack the other side and to cease “defending” Israel.

While name-and-shame tactics can be put to positive effect, they can also easily backfire and do more harm than good. We need to learn the art of being disagreeable in the most agreeable possible fashion.

The vast majority of Americans are more sympathetic to Israel than to Palestinians. The latest Gallup Poll from February 2011 showed that sympathy for Israel stands at a historic high of 63% compared to 17% for Palestinians. Sympathy for Palestinians has hovered between 10%-20% in the past 30 years.

If you need a reminder of America’s positive attitudes toward Israel, re-watch Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent speech before the joint houses of Congress. The standing ovations could only happen in a pro-Israel country.

Our big challenge in the U.S. is not to bring down inelastic Palestinian numbers, but to ensure that Israel’s numbers stay up. Most Americans are already turned off to the far left-wing justifications of Arab rejectionism and violence. Protecting and expanding support for Israel in a pro-Israel country matters most.

Indeed, the current American political reality dictates an entirely different strategy to fighting the forces of delegitimization than anywhere else in the world. There’s a lot at stake in public support in the U.S.; there’s much less to lose, however, in the UK. Palestinians enjoy a considerable advantage in sympathy in EU countries. A recent study conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation showed that many but not most Western Europeans believe that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against Palestinians.

While it may seem counter-intuitive, the lower the support for Israel in a country, the more aggressive we should be in attacking the other side. Irredentist Muslim and Palestinian causes are held in relatively high esteem in Western Europe, so exposing them can only bring their numbers down and, moreover, has less downside risk given the low esteem in which Israel is held.

In the US, going on the attack could easily make us look overly aggressive – like Israel’s detractors, who turn off the average American. Borrowing from the anti-Israel playbook, however tantalizing, is not the best strategy for the American scene.

While we should focus our energies on positive advocacy about Israel’s quest for peace, commitment to liberal democracy and cutting-edge and life-saving technology, name-and-shame tactics, done right, still have their place.

As unpopular as Arab causes are among the general public, anti-Israel forces are gaining ground in left-wing U.S. circles, particularly on campus. There’s a real danger that if the delegitimizers make further inroads, eventually we may lose ground among mainstream liberals and in the larger American body politic. We can’t afford to give them a free pass.

The trick is to tar the delegitimizers as the anti-peace hate mongerers that they are, while minimizing the risks of alienating mainstream American support – to bring them down but avoid bringing ourselves down in the process.
Here’s how we can do it:
  • Start every critique with supportive words for peace or free discourse or both.
  • Don’t accuse anti-Israel forces of anti-Semitism unless they openly vilify Jews; accuse them of being anti-peace for opposing Israel’s right to exist.
  • On campuses and other places where anti-Israel groups act in a disruptive manner, write and promulgate civility petitions calling on all parties to engage in a respectful discussion. If the anti-Israel groups sign it, then they constrain their future actions; if they don’t, they can be accused of being uncivil.
  • In taking on an anti-Israel professor on campus, don’t focus on the substantive arguments they make. That will make you look like you’re trying to stifle discourse. Instead, accuse them, in the words of Professor Gil Troy, of “academic malpractice” for propagandizing the classroom.
  • When someone on campus justifies Hamas or Hezbollah, call them out by asking a question: Do you really support the Hamas charter’s call for killing Jews? Can that ever be justified?
  • Avoid indictments against all Muslims or Islam; preface any criticism of a Muslim radical group with an acknowledgement of peaceful Muslims.

Name-and-Shame is a must, but how we do it makes all the difference.

David Bernstein is Executive Director of The David Project

Sharia and the Lives of Muslim Americans

Abdul Malik Mujahid, Huffington Post, 6/26/2011

You might have seen a government-required sign at a McDonald's restroom telling employees to wash their hands. Muslims do this as a part of living their faith, which is called sharia in Arabic. The Prophet Muhammad also encouraged Muslims to wash their hands before and after eating. Muslim parents raise their children on many such manners. The first chapter in almost all books on sharia is about morals and manners of cleanliness, which Prophet Muhammad said is half of the faith. God's peace and blessings be upon him.
When Muslims begin anything they say, "in the name of God." -- that is sharia. When they greet each other, they smile and say, "Assalamu Alaikum" (peace be with you) -- that is sharia.
Similarly, when Muslims take short breaks five times a day to pray, this is another example of practicing sharia. Prayer is normally the second chapter in almost all books about sharia. (Read More)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

WOW: The 10 DAY manhunt for a known terrorist ignored by MSM

Assad's regime solely to blame for brutality

Hassan Shibly, Tampa Tribune, June 23 2011
Regarding "Children of a lesser God" (Other Views, June 19):
The notion that any culture or religion gives less value to the life of children than other cultures is completely ludicrous and the definition of bigotry and ignorant, convenient ethnocentrism.
James Zumwalt's column basically argues that Muslim parents and Arab parents do not value the life of their children as much as parents of other faiths and cultures. His support for that argument? The fact that the repressive murderous Syrian regime has tortured and killed Syrian children and that other regimes in the Middle East have used children in war.
What Zumwalt conveniently does not mention is the murderous Syrian regime is not even of the Muslim faith and that it has indiscriminately killed people of all religions, genders and ages.
In essence, Zumwalt is basically blaming the victim, saying the secular Baath Socialist regime is torturing and killing Muslim children, as well as about anyone else who speaks for freedom and justice, because the Muslim culture does not care for its children...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Video: U.S. Muslims Challenging Anti-Sharia Bills (CAIR)

The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle | Southern Poverty Law Center

The apparent recent surge in popular anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States has been driven by a surprisingly small and, for the most part, closely knit cadre of activists. Their influence extends far beyond their limited numbers, in part because of an amenable legion of right-wing media personalities — and lately, politicians like U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who held controversial hearings into the radicalization of American Muslims this March —who are eager to promote them as impartial experts or grassroots leaders. Yet a close look at their rhetoric reveals how doggedly this group works to provoke and guide populist anger over what is seen as the threat posed by the 0.6% of Americans who are Muslim — an agenda that goes beyond reasonable concern about terrorism into the realm of demonization.
Of the 10 people profiled below, all but Bill French, Terry Jones and Debbie Schlussel regularly interact with others on the list. Most were selected for profiling primarily because of their association with activist organizations. People who only run websites or do commentary were omitted, with two exceptions: Schlussel, because she has influence as a frequent television talk-show guest, and John Joseph Jay, because he is on the board of Pamela Geller's Stop Islamization of America group. Three other activists, Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes and Frank Gaffney, have interacted with many of the core group as well and also have offended many Muslims, but they are somewhat more moderate in their views of Muslims than those who are profiled below.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jihad Against Islam | Southern Poverty Law Center

Rarely has the United States seen a more reckless and bare-knuckled campaign to vilify a distinct class of people and compromise their fundamental civil and human rights than the recent rhetoric against Muslims.
It would also be hard to imagine a more successful campaign. In the span of the two years since the start of Barack Obama's presidency in early 2009, an astonishing number of people have turned into a kind of political wolf pack, convinced that 0.6% of the U.S. population is on the verge of trampling the Constitution and imposing an Islamic, Shariah-guided caliphate in its place. Like the communists that an earlier generation believed to be hiding behind every rock, infiltrated "Islamist" operatives today are said to be diabolically preparing for a forcible takeover.
Ironically, the Constitution seems more threatened by certain Americans who, prodded into paranoia by clever activists, opportunistic politicians and guileful media players, seem downright eager to deny Muslims the guarantees of religious freedom and the presumption of innocence.
Jihad Against Islam

"As an American Muslim, what is of most concern to me is that it is no longer only a small cadre of dedicated Islamophobes who are expressing bigotry and even hatred towards the American Muslim community — but sadly, also many among our elected representatives and government officials," Sheila Musaji, moderator of the website The American Muslim, wrote in an E-mail to theIntelligence Report. "It provides a veneer of respectability and reasonableness to what would otherwise be more easily perceived to be outright bigotry."
Read the Rest of: Jihad Against Islam | Southern Poverty Law Center

Copying a Copy: How to Distort Anyone's Words

How do you paint an advocate of peace into a supporter of terrorism? It is quite simple actually. Just take a statement of his out of context, change the wording and meaning a bit, and then pass on the distorted message to a  few other individuals, each who will add their own additions to it, until you have a completely different message than what was originally said.

Unfortunately, this is a common tactic used by those who wish to promote the idea that a large segment of Americans are "the enemy" and cannot be trusted because they have a different faith.

The same is true with how rumors develop.

When I was younger during Sunday School our teacher whispered a statement in the ear of one of the students and asked the student to whisper it in the ear of the student next to him and so on and so forth. By the time the statement made it to the end of the class, just like a copy of a copy, it did not represent the original statement at all. A statement like "Snickers candy is Sean's favorite " turned into "Sneakers are Candice's favorite Shoes."

Anyone who has attended middle school can easily understand how a message repeated many times by different people can warp into something completely unrepresentative of the original.

Likewise I find it quite amazing how my critics can pass rumors about me back and forth between themselves until they can make very alarming allegations about me which are completely unsupported by anything I actually said or did.

As a 19 year old student of political science, I once made a statement that Hezbollah was a guerrilla organization based on the criteria set out by Michael Walzer, in his book Just and Unjust Wars. I made that statement as a student of political science and it is a statement generally not disputed by political scientists. Then a sensationalist Islamophobe wrote an article claiming that I thus supported Hezbollah. based on that article, another was written that I heart Hezbollah, and based on that an article was written that I love terrorism and Hezbollah, and based on that an article was written claiming I wanted to actually fight with Hezbollah! What dirty tactics! All these claims are piggy backing off each other and depending on one statement I made that they are a guerrilla organizaiton and not a terrorist organization in the traditional sense. Since saying Hezbollah is a guerrilla organization, I have clarified and repeatedly condemned any terrorist attacks committed by the group. Amazing how Islamophobes can distort a statment of me saying hezbollah is a guerrilla organization to saying I love them and wanted to fight with them! That is dishonest and unfounded. Such tactics do not promote sincere honest or helpful dialog. It is the classic Straw Man Argument.

How did these rumors grow? Quite simply, each author ignored the basic element of investigative journalism, and embellished their article which was based on an already written article, based on another article, which was based on another article, which was based on a statement of mine that was twisted and taken out of context.

Lets have more integrity and honesty.

Let us stand together and stop these fearmongerors from attempting to discredit every successful American working to make America a better place to live for all faiths and cultures by distorting his words and message in order to promote fear and hatred of an American religious minority and to promote religious division within society.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Message to the Community: Importance of Friday

Asalam Alikom,

Jumuah (Friday) is the day of gathering for Muslims world wide. It gives us an opportunity to interact and exchange thoughts and ideas; remember our Creator; and unite as a community. In the Middle East, it has brought people together to call for freedom, democracy, and justice. In the past few months, the thoughts and ideas exchanged on Jumuah has lead to the downfall of oppressive dictators and a call for the protection of human rights and dignity.

Thus just as Muslims world wide gather together to reflect and worship every Friday, we thought it important to provide weekly updates of important news concerning Florida Muslims every Friday. It is critical we as a community stay informed and know what is happening around us. We must stay vigilant in protecting the liberties and rights that make America a wonderful nation. We can only do that when we are aware of what challenges our community and the community around us face. Only though knowledge can we bring about a positive change. Thus it is our hope that this weekly update will provide the Florida Muslim Community with important information about news that may have a direct bearing on our lives. Only when we as a community are aware of and understand the challenges we face can we together address the challenges and ensure our country remains the just and free nations we so cherish. The first step to empowerment is knowledge. Please take the time to read through the weekly updates and forward to your friends and family.

Waslam Alikom,

Hassan Shibly

CAIR Florida

Tampa Executive Director


Nezar Hamze, Miami Herald, 6/16/11

You can't turn on the news these days or pick up a newspaper without seeing or reading about Islam, Muslims or Sharia law. Unfortunately, most of what you hear is from politicians with a religious viewpoint or media outlets creating an illusion of an enemy.

They sensationalize Arabic words to feed on society's fear. The hottest topic these days is the Sharia. They claim that "Moozlims" are trying to replace the U.S. Constitution with the Sharia. Before we all run out with pitchforks and protest signs, let's understand what Islam is, and then we can understand the Sharia.

Islam is an Arabic term deriving from two words: Salam, which means peace, and Tasleem meaning submit to the will of God. So the textbook definition for Islam is peace acquired through the submission to the will of God. Therefore, Islam conveys a practical application of God's word to all aspects of one's life.

Islam teaches humanity how to believe, worship and maintain their relationship with God. Islam teaches humanity the significance of family values and how to honor: mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, husbands, wives, aunts, uncles and cousins. Islam also teaches humanity how to deal with society, commerce, education, friends, neighbors, the poor, orphans, government, justice, property and, most important, the sanctity of human life... (more)

27 Florida Muslims Wrongly Charged with Terror Related Crimes

Interesting... terrorism related charges were dropped against 27 Arab Florida Residents. This story highlights how easy it is for law abiding citizens to be wrongly charged with terrorism related charges which are hyped up but not substantiated:


Federal agents dubbed the case "Operation Cedar Sweep," zeroing in on South Florida head-shop owners of mostly Lebanese descent. Some were suspected of selling "cut" for cocaine and sending profits to the Middle East for possible terrorist activities.

But after a two-year FBI investigation with undercover police officers, Miami federal prosecutors lacked evidence to make terrorism support cases. And this week, prosecutors also decided to drop drug-related charges against 27 defendants, many of whom had been detained since their arrests early this year....
...Silverman, who represented Imad Mahmoud El Mokaddem, owner of the Sunshine Gift head shop in Miami, challenged the government in court papers on a different point. He accused federal agents of profiling Lebanese head-shop owners, calling the government's investigation "selective prosecution" of Lebanese Muslims....(More)