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Nov
24

The battle over Sharia and American courts

My Hannity Show debate was about State Question 755, which bans Oklahoma courts from considering Sharia in their cases. I am not a lawyer but as an American I see this as a direct violation of the First Amendment and blurring to the line separating state and religion. What’s worse is that this is snowballing into other states like Tennessee and Louisiana! It is an attempt to endorse the legal discrimination against an unpopular minority and their religion, which obviously further stigmatizes Islam in the public’s mind. It was later put on hold for its unconstitutionality which now has caused an uproar.

Shouldn’t Americans be more upset over a law that discriminates against others and that clearly blurs the line between state and religion? Justifying such a law, just like Talk show host Hugh Hewitt did, based on the growing number of Sharia courts in England, is a matter of personal perception but is not based on any facts on American ground. Muslims appreciate American civil law and don’t want to replace it with anything else, particularly Sharia. They appreciate our fair system that treats all people the same to preserve our freedom and democracy that they enjoy. I understand that some Muslims, just like Orthodox Jews and others, refer to their faith in arbitrating personal matters which can only be reinforced willingly. Furthermore, some prefer Islamic banking, which cannot charge high interest because Sharia bans making too much profit and the exploitation of others. Interestingly, the Center for Security Policy had recommended in its Sept. report “Sharia: The Threat to America,” that Congress should ban Sharia compliant banking.

It is ironic how Sharia is now being addressed as suddenly creeping into our society and legal system, when it has been around for decades. It is being enforced to various degrees according to state statutory requirements. For example, California courts wouldn’t enforce Muslim women’s dowry rights or Mahr since this state law forbids “profiteering from divorce,” while in other states, like NY it is enforced.  Over the summer, a NJ court denied a restraining order to a woman who was sexually assaulted by her then-husband. He wasn’t seen as having a “criminal desire to or intent to sexually assault” her because he claimed he was exercising his prerogative as a husband under Islamic law.  But that ruling was promptly overturned on appeal because the application of his “cultural defense” or Sharia application conflicted with civil law. Obviously, our legal system works efficiently and has its proper checks and balances, even when it considers Sharia and other faiths.

In the case of the 30,000 Muslims in Oklahoma, they actually didn’t lobby for Sharia to be considered in courts and never really advocated its use. So where is the threat? Obviously, State Question 755 and the uproar over temporarily freezing are driven by anti-Muslim fervor that we witnessed with the Quran burning and ground zero center controversy. We should be proud that our legal system embodies and reflects all our diversity as Americans instead of of limiting it for some based on personal preference or fear of a few.

Nov
23

Bill O’Reilly incorrect on “Muslim problem”

When Bill O’Reilly told Whoopi Goldberg that we have a “Muslim problem,” which she corrected as a “terrorist problem,” he attributed the problem to the fact that Muslim countries, like Pakistan, aren’t collaborating with us to catch the bad guys. He said that Pakistani Madrasas are basically camps where kids as young as 4 or 5 learn “Jihad.” O’Reilly couldn’t be more factually incorrect in his definition of Madrasas because these are simply schools where poor kids who can’t afford real education can at least learn to recite the Quran. It is strange he says Pakistan is not collaborating with the U.S. Maybe he arrogantly expects it to open its doors for our forces to invade it just we did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pakistani citizens have already paid the price of their government’s collaboration with the U.S. in its global war on terror: More than 6000 have been killed both by our US bombs and by the radicals lashing out at Pakistan for allying itself with the U.S. O’Reilly further ignores the underlying reasons why this terrorism problem happened in the first place. The unaddressed grievances that caused it to happen are clearly detailed below in the 9-11 Commission Report. The investigations show the clash with these Muslim terrorists is rooted in our policies and not really about civilizations or religious values, as some would like us to believe.

These grievances which continue to go unaddressed are further complicating our fight on terror as clearly stated by General David Petraeus in a closed Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in March 2010:

O’Reilly still defends his ignorant views that there isn’t much violence or bullying of Muslim kids leaning on statistics that show more hate crimes against Jews. He and Whoopi neglect to put these stats in context because obviously the Jewish population is bigger than the Muslim one. But the hatred of Muslims in more overtly expressed publicly on the streets, on TV and even endorsed by many politicians, including Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, who equates Muslims with Nazis! O’Reilly once again stated that 90% of terrorists are Muslims. Meanwhile, the FBI Database numbers below indicate otherwise:

Nov
16

An uproar in Arizona over a church mistaken for a mosque!

Nov
12

Setting the record straight on Hannity Show

I was supposed to discuss religious persecution in Iran and Pakistan on the Hannity Show. Instead, the conversation shifted to the old topic of the radicalism of Imam Abdul Rauf of the Islamic center near Ground Zero. Luckily this time around I had more time to set the record straight on the Imam as a person who personally knows him and actually read his contested book. This was also a good opportunity to draw a distinction between religion and its narrow interpretation and cultural application in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, who don’t represent the true spirit of Islam or the nearly 50 Muslim countries that are much more moderate. I actually enjoyed this debate with Sean Hannity and Brigitte Gabriel who leads an anti-Muslim crusade in the form of her NGO, Act Now America.

Oct
21

Campaign already started against NPR

Additionally, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee also called for governmental defunding of NPR, condemning the decision to fire Williams as “censorship… It is time for the taxpayers to start making cuts to federal spending, and I encourage the new Congress to start with NPR.”

Fox News Channel contributor Michelle Malkin said in her blog: ” Let CAIR and Soros pay for prog-tested, jihadi-approved propaganda: DE-FUND NPR.” She’s crying “lynch mob” and “political correctness is the handmaiden of terror trying to show that NPR decided to fire Juan Williams because of George Soros’ infusion of $1.8 million to NPR. That Open Society Foundation funding is actually intended to help NPR hire at least 100 journalists at its stations across the country in the coming three years in order to properly cover state governments and how their actions affect people, beyond the influences of money or politics. George Soros had already made a $1 million-donation to Media Matters in order to counteract the hateful and biased messages of Fox News.

This is not about intimidation or restriction of freedom of speech. This is about handling free speech responsibly so you don’t endorse an Islamophobic views on anything that has to do with Muslims and their faith. Judging people is based on their character and actions… Juan’s views were not necessarily about few terrorists. It was about him fearing Muslims when they’re on an airplane. That’s called racism.  Journalists in many established places keep their personal feelings and ideologies in their homes so that their work can be appreciated for its objectivity and balance without any outside influences of their personal views.


Oct
21

NPR memo to stations about why Juan Williams was fired


Oct
21

Juan Williams’ first comments after being fired by NPR


When Juan Williams met with Ellen Weiss, NPR’s senior vice president for news, he clarified his comments on The O’Reilly Factor by saying he gets “nervous” when he sees Muslims on an airplane.

Oct
21

NPR fires its analyst for his Islamophobic remarks on Fox

Justice is served. NPR terminated the contract of its longtime news analyst Juan Williams after his racist remarks on Muslims.

On the The O’Reilly Factor, Williams had said: “Look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.” Williams criticized “political correctness,” which he said  could “lead to some kind of paralysis, where you don’t address reality.”

NPR said, “His remarks on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR,” the statement read, according to a story on NPR’s website. His contributions to Fox News had already raised eyebrows at NPR in the past. In 2009, NPR had asked him to stop being identified on The O’Reilly Factor as a “senior correspondent for NPR,” even though that title was correct. In 2008, NPR received 378 emails of listener complaints about him.  NPR’s ethical response sends a strong message to the rest of the media that bigotry and racism is not tolerated in America. Thanks NPR for taking this fair and ethical stand!

Oct
21

George Soros donates $1 Million to fight Fox News

Billionaire philanthropist George Soros has donated $1 million to Media Matters for America in an effort to fight Fox News.The prominent Democratic fundraiser and donor has been a frequent target of Fox News hosts, particularly Glenn Beck. His first donation to the group is due to “recent evidence suggesting that the incendiary rhetoric of Fox News hosts may incite violence.” More on his statement is here.

Oct
20

After The View mishap, O’Reilly continues illogical crusade against Muslims


It seems that Bill O’Reilly is capitalizing on the fallout from his comments, “Muslims killed us on 9/11,” to launch an illogical crusade against Muslims. On the O’Reilly Factor, he brought Fox News analyst Juan Williams who supported his statement. Williams said: “I think, look, political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don’t address reality…I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

How illogical of Mr. Fox News analyst to say he fears all the people because one of them had committed a crime! Is that his indirect way to endorse the collective punishment and discrimination against an entire race of people because of few who aren’t even American! How fitting are his words for the civil rights movement that he has been writing about! I wonder what would MLK say about his words? Why doesn’t Bill invite one of the 9-11 Commission Report Committee members to tell him that it was US policies that caused these so-called Muslims to attack us. That would lift off the garb on the mainstream political correctness of blaming everything on Islam and Muslims. That would also help dress up his conversations with some facts and logic. I wonder what would Bill say to that? But Bill likes to invite guests who would agree with him or sit down like docile students in his class.

Interestingly, in this video, O’Reilly had said in an interview: “We can’t kill all the Muslims,” as a result, President Obama tries to win hearts and minds… His expression makes me think as if he’s talking about crushing roaches.  To put his ruthless expression in perspective, imagine if we just replace the word Muslims with Jews: “We can’t kill all the Jews.” How would people and the ADL react to that???

Oct
20

Celebrities condemn O’Reilly


Stephen Colbert followed Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar’s lead Tuesday morning, storming off set of “The View” in dramatic fashion. Unlike the show’s two co-hosts — who walked off the set Thursday in protest of Bill O’Reilly’s comments about Muslims and 9/11 — Colbert’s walk-off was a joke. He said, “Bill’s talking about emotion. Bill was not talking about what the facts were, Bill was talking about what felt right. And it feels wrong.”
That’s an interesting take on O’Reilly’s racist comments about Muslims. Indeed, he FEELS strongly that Muslims are a threat. Unfortunately, his feelings are feeding hatred, just like what Rosie O’Donnell had commented.

Glad to see celebrities like her and The View ladies standing up for what’s American, factually correct, and fair.

Oct
19

Media Double Standard Furthers Islamophobia


Read my Huffington Post article on this. It raises concerns about the consequences of his action on the media, and poses ethical media questions that affect all Americans.

Oct
18

The View reacts to Bill O’Reilly: “Disrespectful”


Here is more on the reaction of The View hosts to Bill O’Reilly’s statement: “Muslims killed us on 9/11.” Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set then. Behar defended her walk-off, saying, “on this show we always speak about standing up to bigotry, so I stood up.” Goldberg said that she found O’Reilly both “condescending” and “disrespectful,” and that she hit her “saturation point.” Meanwhile, Barabara wanted everybody to have a mature conversation where they differ in opinion but without fury, rage or walking off sets. Simply, if the guest’s record already foretells what would come out of his mouth, why invite him in the first place? Walking off the set is a bit immature but at least it shows a stand and draws a clear line between what’s right and wrong. Their reaction attracted the attention almost of all media to the bigger issue of common bigotry against Muslims in America that has to stop.

Oct
17

Fears of Sharia vs. undisclosed campaign funding

Which is more dangerous to our democracy and the wellbeing of our society: A fabricated Sharia takeover or undisclosed campaign funding sources? Click here for the article!

Oct
17

Potential alliances between British anti-Islam group and US Tea Party

Racist transnational alliances could infiltrate our US government. The English Defense League – which warns that Islamic fundamentalism will soon engulf Britain and which protests have sometimes turned into clashes with the police – is seeking alliances with some U.S. figures taking a similar Islamophobic stance. Figures like Rabbi Nachum Shifren, a long-shot Republican candidate for the California state legislature, plans to visit England next week in a trip sponsored in part by the EDL. The trip is organized by Roberta Moore, an English Defense League activist who has formed a “Jewish division” of the group. She said the rabbi will speak at an Oct. 24 rally in London. Shifren has given talks at Tea Party events. In a Washington Post article, he said: “I see England going down and I want to cry out and do everything I can to prevent that, to work with the EDL.” The English Defense League has also reached out to Pamela Geller, who started her crusade against the Islamic center near Ground Zero through her group, Stop Islamization of America.

Oct
16

To Brian Kilmeade: NOT “all terrorists are Muslim”


In response to Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade who commented, “all terrorists are Muslim,” here are Wiki lists of many other non-Muslim terrorist groups in the U.S.:

Here are more international terrorist groups. Obviously Kilmeade should have done a simple search on Wiki to get all these lists before rushing to defend pin head Bill O’Reilly. The latter was humiliated on The View as two co-hosts had left the set when he made a more bigoted statement: “Muslims killed us on 9-11.”

Oct
15

O’Reilly on The View: “Muslims killed us on 9-11″


With the words “Muslims killed us on 9-11” from Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, View hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar left the set after helplessly telling him, “it was an extremist sect within Islam and not the religion itself that attacked the U.S.” Then Barbara Walters reiterated: “It was extremists. You cannot take a whole religion and demean them.” Nonetheless, Goldberg and Behar were heavily criticized on the web as “rude” and The View was seen as lacking room for opposing views. Meanwhile, O’Reilly defenders like Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade made it worse. He said, “they were outraged that somebody was saying that there’s a reason that a certain group of people attacked us on 9/11, it wasn’t just one person, it was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorist, but all terrorists are Muslims.” Then on his radio show he insisted that this was simply a “fact.” In the past, he went far enough to ask if “its time for the military to have special debriefings” of Muslims because “I’ve got to know the guy next to me is not going to want to kill me.” Prior to that he said that Muslims “have to understand” being profiled because of “the war that was declared on us.”

I am not sure how bigoted people like Kilmeade and O’Reilly can actually keep their job after such racist and hateful statements that are WRONG. They are charging up the anti-Islamic sentiment in America with their false propaganda (below see lists of terrorist organizations that are not necessarily Muslim).  Imagine if we say all Catholics are child molesters for the raping of few kids by Catholic priests!  If Ric Sanchez got fired by CNN for saying the Jews are not an oppressed minority for their control of the media, then it is only fair that people like O’Reilly and Kilmeade get fired.  I heard Kilmeade will clarify his point on Monday, but even the word sorry doesn’t cut it. Sanchez had apologized but it was too late. There should be a respectable agreed upon standard for our US media.

Oct
12

Another casualty of Islamophobia: Muslims bullied in schools

Kristian is an American-born Muslim student whose life was made a living hell by four bullies who called him a “f–in terrorist,” “f–in Muslim,” beating him whenever they could in his Staten Island public school.  He father says, Kristian is now afraid to go outside alone. This is like a new kind of anti-semitism to Muslims, that erupted after the orchestrated crusade by Pamela Geller against the Muslim community center near Ground Zero. It also took place in a borough where Muslims were recently fought tooth and nail to terminate their plans of building a mosque described as another terrorism breading ground.

This story happened around the time of the horrible Bronx gang torture of two teens and an adult because they were gay.  Just as we try to create tolerance of homosexuality in schools and in the media, we should educate the public about understanding and respecting Muslims.  Such school bullying didn’t come out of a vacuum. Our national media give a wide platform to people like Pamela Geller to spread lies and hateful rhetoric that has become the talking points even for politicians, turning Americans against Muslims in rallies across the country and culminating in hate crimes documented by the Department of Justice.

If our media continue to perpetuate such coverage, we are then endorsing and feeding a new kind of anti-semitism against Muslims, called Islamophobia… The New York Daily News should be applauded for publishing this horrible school bullying story. But instead of publishing it as a separate story, it would have been great putting it within the context of the anti-Islamic rhetoric we’re bombarded with daily across media channels. Perhaps that connection will awaken the sense of journalism ethics and responsibility when a TV station is ready to book somebody like Geller to take the pulpit calling for a new crusade against Islam.

Oct
12

First it was the mosque, now it’s Campbell’s soup!

Campbell is embracing more of America’s diversity by offering Halal soup in order to accommodate the Islamic dietary requirements, besides its large collection of soups that suit every taste. But that’s not digestible to radical figures like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, who proudly refers to herself as ” the racist-Islamophobic-anti-Muslim-bigot.”  They assume the Halal-certified label by the largest non-profit Islamic organization in North America, ISNA, as an endorsement of Wahhabis and Hamas. For that they’re launching a campaign to boycott Campbell’s products, and in the process divide Americans more to marginalize Muslims. While I have nothing to do with these groups, as an American who advocates for freedom and democracy, I see they very  much have the right to legally function and represent their members just as much as her racist Stop of Islamization of America organization. The lady of controversies launched her crusade against the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero once it was unanimously approved by the city board in May 2010. However, Geller’s history of outrageous and false claims, particularly when it comes to issues related to Islam, led Media Matters for America to declare her unfit to make accurate statements publicly and “should not be rewarded with a platform on national television.”

Geller is really distracting from the bigger issues facing America: National debt, foreclosures and unemployment. I think Campbell’s Halal soup is pretty much a soup at the end of the day! But to her, the soup is another front to keep her name in the spot light, sustain her fight against Muslims and keep the funds flowing! Unfortunately, her sick war against Islam and demonizing Muslims is already igniting more hate crimes now than after 9-11.  I wonder how she could digest her non-Campbell soup knowing her hateful rhetoric, which clearly runs parallel with anti-semetism, is causing innocent American Muslims to get hurt and igniting the bullying of Muslim kids in schools where they’re labelled as “Muslim terrorists.”

Oct
11

Islamophobic ad for Republican candidate Renee Ellmers


For those who say the Muslim center near Ground Zero is not politicized, just watch Renee Ellmers’ Islamophobic ad for her campaign as a Republican House candidate in North Carolina. Her campaign is based on opposing the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” in New York City. Her ad declared: “After the Muslims conquered Jerusalem, and Cordoba, and Constantinople, they built victory mosques. And now, they want to build a mosque by Ground Zero. Where does Bob Etheridge stand? He won’t say, won’t speak out, won’t take a stand.” Ellmers herself then cut in: “The terrorists haven’t won. And we should tell them in plain English, no, there will never be a mosque at Ground Zero.”
CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Ellmers about how her ad uses the terms “Muslim” and “terrorists” interchangeably, and about the ad’s contention that Muslims would build “victory mosques” in places they conquered. Her answers were, well, much below what you’d expect from a Congressional candidate. Her website criticizes the State Department for using tax dollars to fund building mosques around the world because it was Islamic Jihadist who attacked us on 9-11. But that program, which was already in place under former President Bush, is intended for the restoration of all historic religious sites, not just Muslims. Ellmers facts are wrong and logic is flawed. Cooper later interviewed New York Times Best Seller Bruce Feiler who authored 4 books on religion. When Muslims got to Jerusalem and Cordoba they did build mosques, but they weren’t called “victory mosques.” Building religious houses of worship is consistent with the history of religion. When King David conquered Jerusalem, his son King Solomon built the temple. When Rome became Christian, they built St. Peters Church. “It is frightening,” Feiler said, that a political candidate comments on where Muslims in New York City where they should build a mosque. Perhaps Ellmers and other Islamophobes should read more about the history of religions, our Constitution, and what previous presidents like Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Washington had said about religion and Islam.

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