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03 Jan 2012 11:09


World: Daughter of Iranian ex-president jailed for fomenting political dissent

Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, will spend six months in jail ahead of Iranian parliament elections for “propaganda against the Islamic system.” She will also be barred from political activities for five years. source

16 Sep 2011 18:06


U.S.: FBI claims anti-Muslim training materials were work of one person

  • There may not be a ‘radical’ threat as much as it is simply a normal assertion of the orthodox ideology. The strategic themes animating these Islamic values are not fringe; they are main stream.
  • A FBI training presentation • Suggesting that mainstream — not just radicalized — Muslims are dangerous. The training materials, leaked to Wired by FBI whistleblowers, seem to suggest that normal religious behavior protected by the Constitution is a tell sign of terror ties. The training documents, some of which were produced solely by William Gawthrop, seem to support fairly controversial views he’s previously pushed forward on such sites as WorldNetDaily. The FBI responded to Wired’s article today, saying that the presentation was only given one time, was the work of one person (presumably Gawthorp), and doesn’t reflect FBI policy as a whole. “As of August 2011, the individual who delivered the presentation no longer provides training on behalf of the FBI,” their response states. “These corrective measures were made before recent media attention was given to this topic.” The real question: How did this guy get in a position where he could make such a presentation in the first place? This is a huge black eye for the FBI. (thanks kateoplissource

10 Aug 2011 10:07


Biz: Whole Foods learns that Ramadan promotions are headache-inducing

  • claim After the company faced weeks of criticism from right-wing blogs who perhaps equate Muslims with terrorism too quickly, Houston Press claimed that Whole Foods backed away from a Ramadan promotion, which was meant as groundbreaking but instead created a bunch of headaches for the company. Fail.
  • rebuttal However, Whole Foods claims that they never ended the promotion. “We never sent a communication from our headquarters requesting stores take down signs or remove parts from this promotion,” the company tweeted. Instead, they say one regional branch decided to back away from the promotion (which led to the criticism). source

02 May 2011 01:12


Politics: President Obama reassures American Muslims: ‘no war on Islam’

  • I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.
  • President Barack Obama • In his speech tonight, announcing that a U.S. special operation had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. The President takes a very good tact here in distancing bin Laden and his organization from the Muslim community writ large. His reminder that bin Laden had himself killed many Muslims in service of his terror campaigns (and within our nation, as well, with many Muslims killed on 9/11) is an important one, too often lost in recent politicking. Even amidst what looks like broad jubilation domestically at the news, it’s important to keep the celebrating a positive thing, not something that turns at all ugly on our Muslim brethren. The President clearly wanted to short circuit that, as best he could, by emphasizing solidarity. source

23 Apr 2011 13:12


U.S.: Terry Jones: A pastor, a rabbi, and two bigots walk into a courtroom …

  • Say what you will about Terry Jones and his obvious attempt to draw attention by protesting at the country’s biggest mosque, but dude knows how to wear a faded leather jacket. Too bad we can’t separate the bigot from the sweet threads. Despite being barred from doing so, Jones plans to protest at the Islamic Center of America next week. Jones incited violence in the Middle East by burning a copy of the Koran about a month ago. (By the way, the rabbi next to him, Nachum Shifren, is no saint, either.) source

11 Apr 2011 16:10


World: More on France’s veil ban: Who does this help, really?

  • Protests over French veil ban: As we mentioned earlier today, France has banned the full-faced Islamic veil (imposing a fine of 150 euros for violators), which is provoking some understandable dissent. A question for France: For a Muslim who wears the veil, how is this anything but crass discrimination? And for somebody without religious faith, how is this anything but the government fining people for their fashion choices? Any way you slice it, it comes out awful. source

02 Apr 2011 13:38


World: Nine people killed in Kandahar amid Koran-burning protest

  • Blood continues to flow over Terry Jones: Yesterday, we mentioned the deaths in Afghanistan that had occurred when a protest against Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones boiled over. Sadly, the violence has spread: 9 more have been killed in Kandahar, ostensibly because Jones burned several Islamic holy texts on March 20th. Not to belabor our earlier point, but it seems worthwhile to balance disdain for Jones’ self-serving and gross bigotry with some basic honesty about what it’s caused- namely, that a danger intrinsic to any religion that takes itself very seriously is that it can cause overreactions to slights against it. The deaths of 20 people in 2 days because somebody on the other side of the planet burned some books is a tragic example. source

10 Mar 2011 21:10


Politics: Even folks getting questioned don’t get Peter King’s hearings

  • I was overwhelmed by the number of Muslims who, while under threat from misinformed sources, were ready and willing to connect with law enforcement to help keep the peace.
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca • Speaking at Rep. Peter King’s totally effed-up hearings on radical Islam about the level of outreach he received from the Muslim community after Sept. 11, 2001. Baca, one of the four witnesses who spoke the hearing, called out the hearing’s entire premise as screwed up. You and everybody else, Lee. “This hearing is playing into Al Qaeda right now,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat who is exactly right. Basically, go back to what Keith Ellison said. It really nails it all. source

10 Mar 2011 10:08


Politics: Rep. Peter King has good reason to be afraid of radicals

Peter King says that he’s being trailed by around-the-clock police because of an unnamed threat from overseas. Glad he’s announcing that ahead of his Islam hearings. source

06 Mar 2011 20:01


Politics: White House official backs Muslims before Rep. Peter King’s hearings

  • You’ve sent a message that those who perpetrate such horrific attacks do not represent you or your faith, and that they will not succeed in pitting believers of different faiths against one another.
  • Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough • Speaking to a DC-area mosque this weekend to do damage control before Rep. Peter King, the chairman of the House’s Homeland Security panel, holds hearings on Islam radicalization. King defended his efforts earlier today: “The overwhelming majority of Muslims are outstanding Americans,” he said, “but at this stage in our history there’s an effort … to radicalize elements within the Muslim community.” Is ol’ Petey boy right? source