Saturday, September 25, 2010

A DEFENSE OF FREE SPEECH BY AMERICAN AND CANADIAN MUSLIMS

(This was written in response to a hugely ignorant comment left here a few days ago.)

By Littlefish

It is important to separate the real issue here. The issue is not about whether or not drawing various religious icons is acceptable or not, the issue is: is it OK to threaten people with death? A religious Icon is important to someone who practices that religion. If one does not practice that religion, the icon is just an image. Whether it is offensive or not is a personal decision.

That is why government is not supposed to interject into religious issues, because it is individual and personal. Death threats, however, are exactly what government is supposed to concern itself with! It is a horrible state of affairs that a US citizen, exercising her right to free speech and working her craft as she is allowed to do, is told by her own government that she needs to go into hiding because they can’t protect her from some criminal that is threatening her life. How about going after the Criminal? The issue is FREE SPEECH. Please see below, I have copied a letter from The American Muslim along with the many signatories of the letter. Clear thinking people agree, this is not a Christian vs. Muslim issue. It is a human rights issue.



A DEFENSE OF FREE SPEECH BY AMERICAN AND CANADIAN MUSLIMS

We, the undersigned, unconditionally condemn any intimidation or threats of violence directed against any individual or group exercising the rights of freedom of religion and speech; even when that speech may be perceived as hurtful or reprehensible.

We are concerned and saddened by the recent wave of vitriolic anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic sentiment that is being expressed across our nation.

We are even more concerned and saddened by threats that have been made against individual writers, cartoonists, and others by a minority of Muslims. We see these as a greater offense against Islam than any cartoon, Qur’an burning, or other speech could ever be deemed.
We affirm the right of free speech for Molly Norris, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and all others including ourselves.

As Muslims, we must set an example of justice, patience, tolerance, respect, and forgiveness.
The Qur’an enjoins Muslims to:

* bear witness to Islam through our good example (2:143); 

* restrain anger and pardon people (3:133-134 and 24:22); 

* remain patient in adversity (3186);

* stand firmly for justice (4:135); 

* not let the hatred of others swerve us from justice (5:8); 

* respect the sanctity of life (5:32); 

* turn away from those who mock Islam (6:68 and 28:55); 

* hold to forgiveness, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant (7:199); 

* restrain ourselves from rash responses (16:125-128); 

* pass by worthless talk with dignity (25:72); and

* repel evil with what is better (41:34).

Islam calls for vigorous condemnation of both hateful speech and hateful acts, but always within the boundaries of the law. It is of the utmost importance that we react, not out of reflexive emotion, but with dignity and intelligence, in accordance with both our religious precepts and the laws of our country.

We uphold the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Both protect freedom of religion and speech, because both protections are fundamental to defending minorities from the whims of the majority.

We therefore call on all Muslims in the United States, Canada and abroad to refrain from violence. We should see the challenges we face today as an opportunity to sideline the voices of hate—not reward them with further attention—by engaging our communities in constructive dialogue about the true principles of Islam, and the true principles of democracy, both of which stress the importance of freedom of religion and tolerance.


SIGNATORIES:
Prof. Hassan Abbas, Quaid-i-Azam Chair, South Asia Institute, Columbia University
Anisa Abd el Fattah, Founder and Chairwoman, National Association of Muslim American Women (NAMAW)
Ammar Abdulhamid, Executive Director, Tharwa Foundation 
Imam Johari Abdul Malik, Director of Outreach, Dar-Al-Hijrah Islamic Center 
Mehnaz M. Afridi, PhD, Adjunct Professor (Judaism, Islam & Genocide Studies) Antioch University 
Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, PhD, Director, Minaret of Freedom Foundation
Ahrar Ahmad, PhD, Professor of Political Science, Black Hills State University
Prof. Akbar S. Ahmed, PhD, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University
Osman Ahmed,PhD, President Islamic Society of Essex County, Newark, NJ
Prof. Parvez Ahmed, PhD, Fulbright Scholar & Assoc. Prof. University of North Florida 
Barbara Al-Bayati, Co-Founder, Orphan Whispers
Aman Ali, writer, stand-up-comedian
Javed Ali, founder and publisher, Illume magazine
Wajahat Ali, playwright, journalist, and producer of “Domestic Crusaders”
Sumbul Ali-Karamali, JD, LLM (Islamic Law), author of “The Muslim Next Door”
Salam al-Marayati, Pres., Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
Shahed Amanullah, Editor-in-Chief, Altmuslim
M. Saud Anwar, Co-Chair, American Muslim Peace Initiative 
Abdul Cader Asmal MD, PhD, Past President, Islamic Council of Mew England 
Aref Assaf, PhD, President, American Arab Forum
Hussam Ayloush, Exec. Director, CAIR Greater Los Angeles Area
Hazami Barmada, Pres, American Muslim Interactive Network (AMIN)
Victor Ghalib Begg, Senior Advisor, Chairman Emeritus, Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan
Farah Brelvi, Board of Directors, ACLU-NC
Arsalan Bukhari, Executive Director, CAIR-WA 
M. Ali Chaudry, PhD, President, Center for Understanding Islam (CUII) 
Kamran Cheikh, Activist, Committee member, Muslims for Peace, Justice & Progress (MPJP), researcher for Deen Research Center (DRC) 
Robert D. Crane, JD, author of numerous books
Prof Golam Dastagir, PhD, Visiting Research Scholar, New College, University of Toronto, Canada
Almoonir Dewji, blogger - “That We May Know Each Other” 
Mustafa Stefan Dill, blogger;/PR/social media analyst for Muslim issues; musician 
Lamia El-Sadek, political and human rights activitist
Mohamed Elsanousi, Director of Communications and Community Outreach for the Islamic Society of N America (ISNA)
Mona Eltahawy, journalist
Aziz Enhaili, Political analyst, columnist for Tolerance.ca
Prof. Mohammad Fadel, PhD
Fatemeh Fakhraie, Editor-in-Chief, Muslimah Media Watch
Mike Ghouse, President, World Muslim Congress 
Iftekhar Hai, President, UMA Interfaith Alliance 
Rabia Terri Harris, Coordinator, Muslim Peace Fellowship 
Hesham Hassaballa, M.D., author, journalist, blogger - “God, faith, and a pen”
Amir Hussain, PhD, Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymound University
Iftekhar Hussain, Chair, Board of Directors, CAIR-PA
Arsalan Iftikhar, author, human rights lawyer, blogger - “The Muslim Guy”
Jeffrey Imm, Director, Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.)
Ghazala Irshad, journalist, blogger - “The Floating Lotus”
Nakia Jackson, writer 
M. Zuhdi Jasser, MD, President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy
Safi Kaskas, President & CEO Strategic Edge 
Prof. Muqtedar Khan, PhD, author of several books, Blogger - “Globalog”
Farah Kinani, Journalist, blogger - “Global Voices”
Shaikh Ahmad Kutty, Resident Senior Scholar, Islamic Institute of Toronto 
Faisal Kutty, Visiting Asst. Prof. of law, Valparaiso University School of Law and Adjunct Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School (Toronto)
M. Junaid Levesque-Alam, writer, blogger - “Crossing the Crescent” 
David Liepert, M.D., blogger and author of “Muslim, Christian AND Jew” 
Radwan A. Masmoudi, PhD, President, Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID) 
Melissa Matos, President, Al-Ghazali Legal Society, Saint Louis University
Shelina Merani, community activist, artist, blogger “Muslim Presence”
Melody Moezzi, JD, MPH, writer and attorney
Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore, author of many books of poetry
Ebrahim Moosa, Assoc. Professor of Islamic Studies, Dept. of Religion, Duke University
Lt. Col. Abdul-Rasheed Muhammad, U.S. Army Chaplain 
Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, President Sound Vision 
Sheila Musaji, Editor, The American Muslim (TAM)
Muneeb Nasir, President, Olive Tree Foundation, Editor IQRA Canada
Q. Amin Nathari, National Representative, Islam in America Movement (IAM)
Aziz H. Poonawalla, PhD, scientist and blogger - “City of Brass” on Beliefnet
M.Waheed-uz-Zaman Rana, Imam, Prof. Emeritus, Dept. of Surgery, Saint Louis University 
Hasan Zillur Rahim, PhD, journalist
Shaykh Ahmed Abdur Rashid, The Circle Group
Prof. Hussein Rashid, PhD, blogger - “Religion Dispatches”
Shafi Refai, President, United Muslims of America 
Muhamed Sacirbey, lawyer, diplomat, writer
Louay Safi, PhD, Common Word Fellow, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Christian Muslim Understanding, Georgetown University
Ghulam Abbas Sajan, Director Islamic Ahlul Bayt Assembly of Canada
Robert Salaam, blogger - “The American Muslim”
Raquel Evita Saraswati, activist, writer, blogger
Sarah Sayeed, President of One Blue 
Sophia Rose Shafi, MA, MTS, doctoral candidate (Islamic Studies), writer
T.O. Shanavas. MD, Vice President, Islamic Research Foundation, author
S. Abdallah Schleifer, Distinguished Prof., Dept. of Journalism & Mass Com, American University Cairo 
Ricka Shorish, M.S., R.N., volunteer/consultant, Avicenna Community Health Center 
Jihad Shoshara, community organizer and activist, Chicago
Jafar Siddiqui, blogger - “Penjihad”
Prof. Laury Silvers, PhD
Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, PhD, Sr. Lecturer, Islamic Studies & African American Religion, University of Florida 
Prof. Ibrahim B. Syed, PhD, President of Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc., author
Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, Nat’l Director, Office for Interfaith & Community Alliances, Islamic Society of N America (ISNA)
J.Tayeb, MD, President, CAIR-MI, ISNA founders committee member, Vice chair, HUDA free Clinic, Detroit 
Pamela Taylor, Co-founder Muslims for Progressive Values, Panelist for On Faith 
Tayyibah Taylor, Editor, Azizah Magazine
Dr. Hashim El-Tinay, President, International Peace Quest Institute (IPQI) 
Tarik Trad, writer, humorist, photographer, artist and activist 
Asma T. Uddin, Attorney, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and Editor, Altmuslimah 
Wahida Valiante, President, Canadian Islamic Congress and Chair of Islamic History Month Canada 
Jason van Boom, Host of “Islam and Authors”, writer 
Amina Wadud, PhD, consultant on Islam and gender, visiting scholar Starr King School for the Ministry
Danya Wellmon, Co-Founder Women Transcending Boundaries interfaith group
Svend White, blogger - “Akram’s Razor”, activist, writer
G. Willow Wilson, author of “Butterfly Mosque” and “Air” graphic novel series 
Ani Zonneveld, President, Muslims for Progressive Values

Friday, September 24, 2010

18 years is long enough Patty!

We want our seat back Patty! You can keep the misery!


Real Racism

It's sad and pathetic. Some people accuse tea partiers of being racist because we are upset with President Obama's policies, and apparently because the President is black, opposing his policies makes us racist - according to some on the Left.

While those accusations are totally false and insulting, real racism and race baiting exists. Case in point: Loretta Sanchez from deep in the heart of Orange County, CA. This story broke a couple of days ago on conservative blogs, and today was picked up by the LA Times, in a surprising show of journalistic integrity.

First, the video:



Second, Ms. Sanchez states that her opponent is "anti-immigrant..."

...pero, quisas, se le olvido, que el senor Tran es un immigrante. Yo creo que Ms. Sanchez, quien nacio en California, es la persona que tiene problema con immigrantes.

(Her opponent, Van Tran, is an immigrant himself. So maybe it's Ms. Sanchez who has a problem with immigrants, or at least those immigrants who hail from countries other than Mexico.)

She also attempts to walk her comments back by saying that "she was referring not to some entire ethnic group invading Hispanic turf but just to those Vietnamese who are supporting Van Tran." Riiiiiigggghhhht.

Oh, the OC Weekly also refers to Tran's supporters as "trannies."

Can you imagine the absolute outrage across the MSM if a Republican candidate had complained about the "Vietnamese trying to steal my seat," or if a newspaper called a Vietnamese candidate's supporters "trannies?" The double standard in the media is so ridiculous at this point that it's no wonder that they and their profits are tanking.

This brings me to our own local candidate with ties to a very racist organization, La Raza: Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, running for reelection to the WA state legislature, position 2, in the 46th district. Ms. Kenney is on the board of the National Council of La Raza. Allow me to translate that for you: The National Council of The Race. How is that acceptable in America today? How is possible to get elected to public office while simultaneously sitting on the board of an organization that calls itself "The Race." (BTW - my friend Beau Gunderson is running against her and would appreciate your help and your vote if you live in the 46th district. Kenney has been in office since 1997, me thinks it's time for CHANGE.)

First, check out how Kenney has voted on issues that really matter to you, such as raising taxes. She is a rubber stamp for the most liberal, tax and spend policies in this state. She has no interest in reforming the budget process or in increasing the prosperity of the residents of our state. No, she would rather sit on the board of a racist organization. In fact, she helped to spend all the money with no concern for the future or for the taxpayers - it is literally her fault our state is in a budget crisis. Last time I wrote about her, I think one of her staff members must have seen the post pop up on their Google news alert because almost immediately someone commented and tried to defend Kenney's involvement with La Raza.

I welcome her staff back to my site with this post, and I say this: As a fellow hispanic, it is shameful to watch people like you Ms. Kenney, and your Orange County counterpart, Ms. Sanchez, race bait in order to maintain your own personal power. You are both blemishes on the identity of Americans who happen to be of hispanic ethnicity. My abuelos would be downright embarrassed by your cheap attempts to turn the people of this country against each other using race to divide. You are both modern day conquistadors - dividing and conquering for your own personal gain. You know, I believe that neither of you are actually racist, rather, I think you would both use racism and race baiting to keep the seat of power that you believe now belongs to you. It's hard to give up those perks, eh?

For those who claim that La Raza is just a sweet, little book club for hispanics, I leave you with these, for a start. (Included in my indictment is MEChA, another militant, racist group that I had personal experience with in college.)



Do you think that any of these people know that as hispanics, specifically Mexican hispanics, that we are descendants of the Spanish who conquered this land?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How are these different?

Seattle Weekly cartoonist, Molly Norris, goes into hiding because of threats from radical Muslims; journalists ignore her plight and refuse to report on her story.

Mexican journalists offer a deal to the drug cartels and agree to stop reporting on the drug war so long as the cartels stop killing their journalists.

Monday, September 20, 2010

If only...

Mark Halperin on Sarah Palin:
You are right to complain that she is not offering specific policy proposals and that her inaccessibility to media outlets other than the one that pays her — Fox News — puts her beyond the kind of scrutiny and accountability we have come to expect for our leaders.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ahhh. Ah ha haha.

*Wiping tears from eyes*

Ahem. Where were you when we were trying to get you to scrutinize candidate Obama and his experience, ideas, and worldview? And where are you now that we are trying to hold him accountable? Things we have come to "expect" indeed.


Newsflash: You don't get a do-over

If you have been following Lisa Murckowscki's sad, sore loser rhetoric regarding her write-in campaign, you have probably noticed statements like these:
Believe you me, the easier path would be to pack it all up and go do something different,” she said. “If I had not heard this call from Alaskans, I would not be deliberating as I am...

It is people from all walks of life, every corner of the state, who are concerned about Alaska’s future and concerned enough to take action on it,” she said. “I’m a public servant. My job by definition is to listen to my constituents. And there was a process in place — a primary election — that’s certainly one way that you listen to your constituents.
Or like these:
Murkowski said Friday that Miller's tally was just 11.9 percent of Alaska registered voters, although state Republican Party Chair Ruedrich called it a Republican primary turnout record.

She said she kept hearing from Alaskans who felt they couldn't vote for either Miller or the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat, Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams.

Murkowski said that "to the tens of thousands of you who didn't vote in the primary, I ask you to join us. ... your vote has never, never been more important...
She's hearing from people who feel like they cannot vote for Miller or McAdams? Where were all of these people during the primary? She gives a shout out to the "tens of thousands" who supposedly didn't vote in the primary... but that's their own fault. In American politics you do not get a do-over. I understand that Murrkowskee and her supporters feel jilted. I would too if I had been lazy or cocky enough to stay home during a primary. These people are basically upending our system to suit their own needs. They didn't feel like doing the legwork to get Merkousky through the primaries and so now they are scoffing at the process we all agree to, because losing sucks and they apparently can't handle it. And losing especially sucks when you have no one else to blame but yourself.

Murkousckey - It's time to behave like an adult. You don't get a do-over.