Tuesday, May 29, 2012

30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right

By Staff | Southern Poverty Law C. | Intelligence Report | [Original Article]

"The last decade has seen major changes in the American radical right....At the same time, there has been explosive growth in several sectors of the radical right, especially in the last few years, much of it driven by anger over the diminishing white majority...

...An anti-Muslim movement, almost entirely ginned up by political opportunists and hard-line Islamophobes, has grown enormously since taking off in 2010, when reported anti-Muslim hate crimes went up by 50%...What follows is an alphabetized series of short profiles of key men and women activists of the radical right — 30 to watch..." [Read More]

"Virginia Abernethy, Chuck Baldwin, David Barton, Don Black, Michael Boldin, Michael L. Brown, Kevin J. DeAnna, Tom DeWeese, David Duke, Lou Engle, Joseph Francis Farah, Bryan Fischer, Frank Gaffney, Pamela Geller, Morris L. Gulett, Michael Hill, Alex E. Jones, Cliff Kincaid, Randal Lee Krager, Alex Linder, Kevin MacDonald, Jason "Molotov" Mitchell, Elmer Stewart Rhodes, Kyle Rogers, Malik Zulu Shabazz, Samuel Jared Taylor, James Timothy Turner, Michael Brian Vanderboegh, Pastor John Weaver, David Yerushalmi"

Friday, May 25, 2012

In debate over Islam, let the facts be damned

Staff | TBO.com | May 20, 2012 | [Original Article]

"...The actions of radical leaders don't mean all Muslims are terrorists. These radical leaders don't represent all Muslims anymore than the KKK - the goals of which include an intent to "re-establish Protestant Christian values in America by any means possible" - represents all Christians.

Many readers took issue with the pejorative term "knuckle draggers" that I used to describe those who protested against Hassan Shibly, who spoke about Islam at Steinbrenner High School. Never mind the protestors have slandered Shibly by calling him a terrorist - I'm sure he'd swap that term for knuckle dragger. I have spoken with Shibly several times, and I have researched the facts surrounding the government's labeling of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Shibly leads its local office) and the Islamic Society of North America, and do not believe that he or either of those groups support terrorism.

The knuckles of Shibly's critics may not literally drag to the ground, but they are certainly ignorant to the facts.

Several months ago I invited one of the local leaders opposed to Shibly to appear on a radio show. He agreed to be a guest but quickly changed his mind when I told him Shibly would also be on the show - though not at the same time. He told me he didn't know enough about the issue to talk about it in such a public format. I suggested to him that before he goes labeling someone a terrorist, next time he should understand the facts better. He then asked me to lie for him about why he couldn't be on the show, instead of telling the truth about his not having enough information to comfortably discuss the matter in a public format....[Read Full Article]

I also received a healthy number of comments from people who were in agreement with me. Gary, a Christian, Republican and investment banker said, "[Your column], in my opinion, was the best you've ever written. Fear is gripping our nation from so many fronts it is difficult for many to understand what is fact or fiction. Thanks for writing something that brings some common sense and perspective to the forefront."

There is a lot of fear, leading to a lot of hate, and a lot of unfair attacks on anyone who is Muslim. This is hardly the Christian thing to do, and it is in no way patriotic. But it appears I am wrong about one thing: The Islamaphobes aren't ignorant; they just choose to believe only what they want to believe and let the facts be damned." [Read Full Article]

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Video: FBI Trainer Says Forget ‘Irrelevant’ al-Qaida, Target Islam

By Spencer A. and Noah S. | Wired.com | Sept. 20, 2012 | [Original Article]

“And during that June presentation, the FBI’s William Gawthrop told his audience that the fight against al-Qaida is a “waste,” compared to the threat presented by the ideology of Islam itself...

...We waste a lot of analytic effort talking about the type of weapon, the timing, the tactics. All of that is irrelevant … if you have an Islamic motivation for actions,” Gawthrop said. Even taking down hostile states like Iran is futile, since “there are still internal forces that will seek to exert Islamic rule again..."

"...The best strategy for undermining militants, Gawthrop suggested, is to go after Islam itself. To undermine the validity of key Islamic scriptures and key Muslim leaders...

...If you remember Star Wars, that ventilation shaft that goes down to into the depths of the Death Star, they shot a torpedo down there. That’s a critical vulnerability,” Gawthrop told his audience. Then he waved a laser pointer at his projected PowerPoint slide, calling attention to the words “Holy Texts” and “Clerics….”

"Outside counterterrorists disagree — strongly — with Gawthrop’s take. “This is mind-numbingly stupid and dangerous,” says Aki Peritz, a former intelligence analyst at the National Counterterrorism Center, now with the Third Way think-tank in Washington. “If we were to follow his idea to a logical extension, that means we have individuals in every single government agency, at top levels, from CIA to the Defense Department to members of Congress, that are part of this cabal to destroy Western civilization. If you truly believe that, then this is McCarthyism on steroids…."

“The single worst thing we’ve done since 9/11, the one thing that’s harmed us the most in interrogations, is these types of stereotypes,” said Matthew Alexander, the pseudonymous former senior military interrogator who helped take down the leader al-Qaida in Iraq. “It’s harmed us more than anything else, because we end up skipping the first step of any interrogation, which is analysis.”

“Gawthrop’s talk is a total nightmare,” added Jarret Brachman, who closely monitors online Islamist radicalization. “This kind of vitriolic snake oil is not only wrong but it serves to inflame the relations between Muslims and law enforcement, making both communities more suspicious of one another’s real intentions. Gawthrop and others ironically undermine years of my own work to convince online Islamists that the kind of training being provided to the U.S. government is objective and not against Islam. Gawthrop’s approach to training is indefensible and makes my job trying to simmer a bunch of online hotheads down a lot harder.”

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Expanding The Definition of Muslim Activism

By Daniel Tutt | Patheo.com | May 23, 2012 | [Original Article]

"...They wonder what it is that makes me want to be an advocate for Muslims even though I don’t practice Islam. My work seeks to educate Americans about Islam and I’m affiliated with several American Muslim organizations...

...The umbrella of Muslim activism is broad. Some see it as education, others see it as service, or social justice, and many see Muslim activism as a form of da’wah (a calling to Islam)...

...Even though da’wah is most commonly translated as making an invitation to Islam, most Muslims that I know see da’wahsimply as the example that a Muslim should set in public, at the workplace, and in the larger society. Da’wah is, in short, being the best Muslim that you can be for others. It is well established that Muslims do not see any compulsion in religion, and most Muslims do not see or enact da’wah as proselytizing at all times...

Despite this history of a tolerant and pluralist relation with people of the book (Jews and Christians) and even jahiliyya Arabs (pre-Islamic tribes and polytheists),...many Islamist movements have sought to focus da’wah on overt proselytizing... [Read More

When we work on activism that seeks to repair the image of Islam for the betterment of the world, we must broaden the terms of inclusion. We must also be very careful to separate any overt or covert attempts to proselytize and leave that at the door.

One of the unintended results of my activism is that it has made me feel more rooted and adjusted to my own religion of Christianity. Perhaps it has something to do with being around my Muslim friends and colleagues who are rooted in tradition and practice and whom bring a spiritual routine that has made me long for bringing back this sense of religiosity to my own life?..."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

More federal judge abdication

By Glenn Greenwald | Salon.com | May 4, 2012 | [Original Article]

"...That is how history will record the behavior of American federal judges in the face of the post-9/11 onslaught of anti-Muslim persecution and relentless erosions of core rights...

...Even worse, if you’re a Muslim accused of any Terror-related crime, your conviction in a federal court is virtually guaranteed, as federal judges will bend the law and issue pro-government rulings that they would never make with a non-Muslim defendant; conversely, if you’re a government official who abused or otherwise violated the rights of Muslims, your full-scale immunity is virtually guaranteed..." [Read More]

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Court Rejects Obama Arguments, Enjoins NDAA Detentions

By Jason Ditz | news.antiwar.com | May 16, 2012 | [Original Article

"US District Judge Katherine Forrest has issued a temporary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the portions of the National Defense Authorization Act 2012 (NDAA)that relate to open-ended military detention of “suspects,” rejecting the Obama Administration’s arguments that the eight plaintiffs in the case, including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg, did not have standing to contest such detention practices.

...She also ruled that the NDAA’s standards were too vague and overly broad compared to the 2001 Authorization of the Use of Military Force... [Read More

Yesterday, a number of top Bush Administration officials argued that any attempt to prohibit detention without charges would also be “unconstitutional” in that it would deny the president absolute and unquestionable power as commander in chief. Needless to say, today’s ruling does serious damage to that line of argument."

The enemy isn't Islam

By Chris Ingram | Tampa Tribune | May 15, 2012 | [Original Article]

"...The plight of my ancestors is similar to those of countless immigrants who settled in what would become the United States of America.

Despite the fact that most Americans have stories of their ancestors coming here under less-than-desirable circumstances, a few among us seek to deny those who don't share the same religious beliefs the very rights and privileges that make America the place to be for those looking for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Last Saturday a group of self-described "patriots" assembled in Tampa at what they billed as a "Stop the Cultural Jihad" rally. In an email announcing the event, organizers said the purpose of the rally was to protest the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which met in Tampa over the weekend...

Earlier this year the same bunch of knuckle-draggers were outraged when Hassan Shibly, a Muslim associated with a different group on the government's unindicted co-conspirator list, spoke to Steinbrenner High School students about Islam.

...While the immediate reaction of many Americans after the Sept. 11 attacks was to treat all Muslims with a suspicious eye, today, most of us accept the fact that not all Muslims are terrorists (or have an anti-American agenda), and that not all terrorists are Muslims. Remember Timothy McVeigh? He was a terrorist. He was also a Christian — and a Republican.

During the Crusades of the 11th century, Christians persecuted Muslims and Jews. For their part, Jews were called "Christ-killers" and given the choice of "accepting the cross or die." Needless to say, a lot of Jews chose the latter...
[Read More] 

...For their part, the "patriots" aren't bad people; they are just ignorant. The enemy isn't Islam, and we shouldn't feel threatened by those wearing a turban, any more than Jews should fear Christians or anyone entering a federal court building should fear Christian Republicans.

It is neither Christian nor patriotic to promote all this hate, but when people live in fear, they need an identifiable enemy — whether real or perceived"

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bush Found Guilty Of War Crimes

By Yvonne Ridley | inforclearninghouse | May 11, 2012 | [Original Article]

"In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were today (Friday) found guilty of war crimes.

Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.

The trial held in Kuala Lumpur heard harrowing witness accounts from victims of torture who suffered at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan."

"...The US is subject to customary international law and to the Principles of the Nuremberg Charter said Boyle who also believes the week-long trial was “almost certainly” being monitored closely by both Pentagon and White House officials..."

"...Moazzam Begg, now working as a director for the London-based human rights group Cageprisoners said he was delighted with the verdict, but added: “When people talk about Nuremberg you have to remember those tried were all prosecuted after the war.

“Right now Guantanamo is still open, people are still being held there and are still being tortured there.”

In response to questions about the difference between the Bush and Obama Administrations, he added: “If President Bush was the President of extra-judicial torture then US President Barak Obama is the President of extra judicial killing through drone strikes. Our work has only just begun.”..." [Read More

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In Recognition Of The Council On American-Islamic Relations

By Rep. Dennis J. K. | CapitolWords.org | April 17, 2012 | [Original Article]

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich: 

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Ohio Chapter.

CAIR is a nationwide, nonprofit organization whose mission is to ``enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.'' For the past ten years, CAIR Ohio has played an instrumental role in helping to bridge the divides between Greater Cleveland's diverse communities.

CAIR Ohio's Tenth Annual Banquet will provide a platform for vibrant discourse led by this year's distinguished speakers: Mr. Faisal Kutty, of Valparaiso University School of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University and KSM Law and Imam Abu Farah of the American Muslim Youth Leadership Council and CAIR-Tampa. I commend these speakers for their efforts to promote civil liberties and social justice.

Mr. Speaker and colleagues, please join me in recognizing the Council on American-Islamic Relations Ohio Chapter for their tenth years of outstanding achievement. May their efforts to promote dialogue and create a more inclusive world continue to endure."

World Evangelical Alliance condemns Quran burning in Florida

By 'Mastifunda' | khabrain.info | May 1, 2012

"NEW YORK: The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), representing around 600 million Evangelical Protestants around the world, has condemned the burning of a Holy Quran copy publicly by controversial US pastor Terry Jones in Florida.

In a press release issued by WEA, secretary general of the alliance, Dr Goeff Tunnicliffe, said that the burning of a “sacred text is wrong and unwanted” and added that the act does not reflect the biblical values.

“We appeal to Islamic leaders worldwide to understand that this self-proclaimed antagonist does not represent Christians. Indeed he violates the call of Jesus to love people everywhere. Such violence does harm to us all,” Tunnicliffe was quoted as saying.

The burning, attended by 20 people and streamed live over the Internet, was carried out by pastor Terry Jones’ church in Gainesville, Florida last month, and video of the burning was uploaded to YouTube by the pastor’s supporting group “Stand Up America Now.”..." [Read More]

Disturbing: Young American Supports and Justifies Anders Breivik Terrorist Attack