mistersandman: (SHAME)
[personal profile] mistersandman
A small US church says it will defy international condemnation and go ahead with plans to burn copies of the Koran on the 9/11 anniversary.

The top US commander in Afghanistan warned troops' lives would be in danger if the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida went ahead.

Muslim countries and NATO have also hit out at the move.

And the US Attorney General, Eric Holder, called the idea "idiotic and dangerous," but organiser, Pastor Terry Jones said: "We must send a clear message to the radical element of Islam."

The controversy comes at a time when the US relationship with Islam is very much under scrutiny.

There is heated debate in the country over a proposal to build a mosque and Islamic cultural centre streets from Ground Zero, site of the 9/11 attacks, in New York.

Speaking at a State Department dinner marking the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Hillary Clinton condemned Pastor Jones.

"I am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths," she said.

Despite having a congregation of just 50, the plans of Pastor Jones' church in Gainesville have gained worldwide notoriety, sparking demonstrations in Afghanistan and Indonesia.
Click for full article )


Everyone--and I mean everyone--has told these people that this is a bad idea.  Well too bad for them, AMERICA doesn't bow to kings and neither does Jesus.  (and by kings they mean NATO, assorted representatives of the United States government, the American military, the Vatican, and their local ordinances about open bonfires, did I miss any, aside from common decency?)
treesahquiche: (Default)
[personal profile] treesahquiche
For nine years after the attacks of Sept. 11, many American Muslims made concerted efforts to build relationships with non-Muslims, to make it clear they abhor terrorism, to educate people about Islam and to participate in interfaith service projects. They took satisfaction in the observations by many scholars that Muslims in America were more successful and assimilated than Muslims in Europe.

Now, many of those same Muslims say that all of those years of work are being rapidly undone by the fierce opposition to a Muslim cultural center near ground zero that has unleashed a torrent of anti-Muslim sentiments and a spate of vandalism. The knifing of a Muslim cab driver in New York City has also alarmed many American Muslims.

Click for the full story. )

Ingrid Mattson, the president of the Islamic Society of North America, said many American Muslims were still hoping to salvage the spirit of Ramadan.

"In Ramadan, you're really not supposed to be focused on yourself," she said. "It's about looking out for the suffering of other people. Somehow it feels bad to be so worried about our own situation and our own security, when it should be about empathy towards others."



Maybe it isn't in the spirit of Ramadan to worry about your own situation and your own security, but, uh, things in the States aren't exactly sunshine and daisies. Even the most selfless saint would be a little worried. I mean, what's next, getting lynched by Teabaggers?

It's not Muslims who need to salvage the spirit of Ramadan; it's the rest of America who just needs to get over themselves and remember how to conduct themselves with a little dignity.
mistersandman: (Justice)
[personal profile] mistersandman
The less said about Glenn Beck's latest crime against common decency on August 28, the better.  Any kind of exposure given to that man, his followers, and his sophistic ideals, positive or negative, runs the risk of letting another stupid white asshole think s/he is not totally alone and undeserving of love in this world.  Personally, I've tried to avoid any coverage of the event, in a half-assed attempt to stick it to Glenn Beck.

In spite of myself, I clicked on this video by New Left Media, associated with the Huffington Post and it was pretty entertaining.  One has to remember that the interviewer speaks to about 15 of the thousands who shambled to the Lincoln Memorial and is probably edited to get the most ignorant, and thus the most entertaining, responses.  I've already said too much on this subject.

In a similar vein, let's talk about the old figurehead of ignorant conservatism in our country, former President George W. Bush.  Filmed in the greatest city in America, Secret Pants Sketch Comedy asks us the most important question our miserable human cortexes could ever hope to compute: Bush or Batman?

The Bush administration gave us this and Stephen Colbert.
The Obama administration has given us Glenn Beck.
treesahquiche: (Default)
[personal profile] treesahquiche

Click here for the video transcript. )

Fareed Zakaria: Build the Ground Zero Mosque (Newsweek) -- A more detailed and in-depth argument by Dr. Zakaria in favor of the Muslim community center.

Thoughts on Abe Foxman's Speechlessness Over Fareed Zakaria's Return of the ADL's Humphrey Award

The dispute between Fareed Zakaria and Abe Foxman is not over. Foxman's faux "shock" over Zakaria's reaction to Foxman's efforts to stop the building of an Islamic community center a few blocks from "Ground Zero" may be masking efforts by Foxman to have Zakaria exit by the same route as Helen Thomas and Octavia Nasr.

Click for the full story )


I love Fareed Zakaria, and how he stands up against bigotry, entitlement, and the worrying trend of Islamophobia in the West. He is truly an intellectual treasure and a bastion of rationality and compassion here in the United States.
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[personal profile] treesahquiche

By Martha Nussbaum

In Spain earlier this month, the Catalonian assembly narrowly rejected a proposed ban on the Muslim burqa in all public places -- reversing a vote the week before in the country's upper house of parliament supporting a ban. Similar proposals may soon become national law in France and Belgium. Even the headscarf often causes trouble. In France, girls may not wear it in school. In Germany (as in parts of Belgium and the Netherlands) some regions forbid public school teachers to wear it on the job, although nuns and priests are permitted to teach in full habit. What does political philosophy have to say about these developments? As it turns out, a long philosophical and legal tradition has reflected about similar matters.

Let's start with an assumption that is widely shared: that all human beings are equal bearers of human dignity. It is widely agreed that government must treat that dignity with equal respect. But what is it to treat people with equal respect in areas touching on religious belief and observance?

Click for a coherent, objective, and secular defense of religious and expressive freedoms! )

[For more on this issue, visit the Times Topics page on Muslim veiling.]

Martha Nussbaum teaches law, philosophy, and divinity at The University of Chicago. She is the author of several books, including "Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America's Tradition of Religious Equality" (2008) and "Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities" (2010).


This article is a bit lengthier than the ones that I typically post here, but it is definitely worth the read. As a minority woman, I've been uncomfortable with Europe's burqa-banning tendencies, which to me seemed like sexism and bigotry cloaked in something societally acceptable. (Think about it -- male politicians and the majority populace are restricting women's freedoms to dress and practice their faith as they choose "for their own good.") I'm not Muslim, but "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

I've never really been able to articulate my feelings properly, since all someone would have to say is something along the lines of, "Well, it's a security threat," and my argument would fall apart because "I should hope that it'd take more than some cotton covering someone's face to stump a security check if I have to pay all those taxes for Homeland Security" isn't a very solid rebuttal.

I'm glad that Dr. Nussbaum has said exactly what I have wanted to say to those who would pretend that their own intolerance is a noble cause for the greater good.
treesahquiche: (Default)
[personal profile] treesahquiche
Bags are to be put over scores of surveillance cameras in parts of Birmingham with large Muslim populations, after local objections.

Safer Birmingham Partnerships (SBP) said 216 cameras were put up, including hidden ones, mainly in the Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook districts.

The cameras were financed through a counter-terrorism fund, but the SBP said they would tackle all crime.

Councillor Salma Yaqoob said people had lost faith in the authorities.

Full story under the cut. )


Oh ho ho, those rascally, Islamophobic Brits, livin' in their jolly police state.
treesahquiche: (Default)
[personal profile] treesahquiche

During the night, three fountains in Tel Aviv were colored with bright red color. The Committee Against the Siege who organized the action says: "We made it to remind people in Israel that the siege policy is only causing bloodshed."

Click for the full story and more images. )


I originally came across this on the LiveJournal version of ONTD_political -- I hope I haven't done anything wrong in cross-posting this. (If I have, please tell me so posthaste!)

Anyway, this is totally awesome.


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