Berlin - Rabbis and Imams biked together throughout Berlin Sunday evening in a show of solidarity between Jews and Muslims.
The group took part in Bicycle Week with the motto “Cycling Unites,” riding tandem bicycles with one rabbi and one imam on each bike, reports the Berliner (bit.ly ).
Cyclists started at the Brandenburg Gate and visited Jewish and Muslim institutions throughout the ride.
Project meet2respect, a campaign that promotes bringing together different faiths and providing education, with a specific focus on bringing together Jewish and Muslim faiths, led the ride (bit.ly ).
Cyclists Ferid Heider, an imam in various Berlin mosque communities, and Daniel Alter, a Berlin rabbi, work together via meet2respect and tour education and community events in Berlin promoting peace.
Hundreds of cyclists joined the rabbis and imams in the ride and followed them on their tour.
Arthur Chu on the Bigotry and hypocrisy of “New Atheists”
One of the most obnoxious refrains you hear when you complain about Islamophobia in the United States being a form of racism is “Islam isn’t a race, it’s a religion.” It’s a nasty derailing technique that’s endorsed by luminaries such as Richard Dawkins.
And it’s wrong for transparent reasons. You don’t need to look far for other examples where religion and ethnicity are conflated within the logic of prejudice. You only need to look as far as the Holocaust, the single bloodiest genocidal campaign in history, which targeted anyone of Jewish ethnic descent regardless of what religious beliefs they professed, based on stereotypes that explicitly invoked biological, racial difference.
You don’t need to look far in our own time to find people being targeted for “looking Muslim” regardless of their racial beliefs, and indeed, you can find Dawkins’ fellow luminary Sam Harris openly endorsing racial profiling as policy.
But the sheer hypocrisy of saying that anti-Muslim prejudice is a consequence of rational disagreement with the tenets of Islam rather than xenophobic distrust of people who look different from “normal” Americans becomes most obvious when you see how much of it falls on Sikhs.
As usual, the extremists on both sides agree: Heaven forfend there should be any inter-faith peace and tolerance or positive role models for Muslim kids. Naturally, Daesh also hates it and has called for the murder of its creator.
Added emphasis is mine:
Launched in 2006 - first in Kuwait after the approval of the state’s Ministry of Information, then in America and the rest of the world - The 99 was hailed as an exemplary model of inter-faith peace and tolerance by Barack Obama, and Dr Mutawa was invited to give two TED talks. He has since been featured in Forbes magazine, won prizes in the Gulf region and gained the approval of the Saudi state.
However, for some he is a defender not of peace but of profanity: ironically, he has hardline detractors in both America and the Arab world, though they hate him for opposing reasons. To US conservatives, he is a terrorist and a pawn of hardline Islam; to Islamist Arabs, he is a heretic and a pawn of the liberal West.
Both camps have, in the past decade, warned of the dangers of his creation and called for it to be banned. America’s God-squad even created enough moral panic about “radicalising children” to halt a Hollywood adaptation of The 99 - produced by Endemol and scripted by the teams behind Star Wars, X-Men and Spider-Man - from being shown in US cinemas or on its network television. (This leads Al-Mutawa to joke: “I have a fatwa from Fox News!”)
But now there is a more serious threat from within his home country. While the Kuwaiti government has endorsed his work, not everyone agrees with its message. In the past year, a Twitter campaign has accused him of being a blasphemer who should be brought to trial; and a legal case has been launched against him - not by the state, but by a fellow Kuwaiti suing him for heresy. (If he loses - and he firmly believes he won’t - he could face a prison sentence.) […]
Here’s a clip from several years ago that explains how The 99 got their powers. You can judge for yourselves how horrible it is. //
The all-Islamic super-heroes: Muslim children love 'The 99' comics http://t.co/piCPqTE41L
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -
A man is facing charges after harassing a rabbi outside the Ohev Shalom Congregation in Miami Beach, police said.
According to the arrest report, Diego Chaar, 24, first yelled out “Allahu akbar,” which is translated from Arabic as “God is great” or “God is greater.”
Police said the Rabbi David Weberman and a witness ignored Chaar, at which point he yelled, “Heads will be cut off” and “I will cut your head off.”
The victim feared for his life at that point and called 911. The witness followed Chaar in his vehicle while the victim followed him on foot. Police officers located the suspect hiding behind a car, filled out an incident report and released him at the scene.
The report states Chaar walked by the synagogue again and again began to scream “Allahu akbar.” Police were called for a second time, at which point Chaar was taken into custody.
Local 10 News reporter Roger Lohse spoke to Chaar, who admitted saying “Allahu akbar” but said he never threatened anyone.
“This is not a hate crime,” Chaar said. “This has nothing to do with them being Jewish. I just want to help them find peace within themselves.”
Chaar said he converted to Islam three years ago while serving time in prison on drug charges.
“Christians say ‘Jesus saves’ all day, every day,” Chaar said. “I was a Christian before until I converted. I’m trying to convert these people, but they seem scared. They want to be scared. They want to call the police.”
Chaar said the allegations that he threatened them are a lie.
“There’s no proof I said I was going to cut their heads off,” Chaar said.
Lohse asked Chaar why he would scream “Allahu akbar” in the first place.
“Because I don’t want them to burn in eternal hell forever,” Chaar said. “I want to help. They’re good people.”
Religion—you’re doing it wrong.
DON’T READ THE COMMENTS.
Yes because Christians “never” support gay rights, or support the right to an abortion. Also I’m not sure what ISIS’s stance on abortion is, exactly, but they’re hardly in favor of gay rights.
I wonder what the “best friend” of the LGBT community, Pamela Geller thinks of this. Jackson has basically just come out and said that Obama’s support for gay rights, means that he must be a Muslim Jihadist out to destroy America.
Oh and of course Taqiyya is “Lying for Islam,” even through it is actually not “lying for Islam” at all. Its basically lying to protect yourself from persecution.
There are moderate Muslims, ( for lack of a better word ), who oppose the extremists, just as there are moderate Christians who oppose the religious right’s anti secularism, anti gay, anti Muslim, anti American agenda. Let’s just ignore Muslims who condemn ISIS, and support freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
What’s more Jackson is so homophobic, anti choice, and so closed minded, that she fails to see how anyone could share her faith and disagree with her on those things. She also thinks Obama can’t be a Christian because he disagrees with her politically, and must therefor be an ally of ISIS. Fanatical Muslims belonging to groups like ISIS, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the government of Saudi Arabia, probably wouldn’t even consider Obama a “true Muslim” anyway, even if he was one, since he openly supports things like gay rights, not mention women’s rights, and freedom of religion. The American religious right, that she supports has far more in common with Islamic extremists than Obama. Way to show the world, how “educated,” “logical,” and “enlightened” you are, Ms Jackson.
Dr, Mehnaz M. Afridi, a scholar and observant Muslim, describes how a visit to Dachau in 2007 as a doctoral student became a defining moment in her professional (and I assume also in her personal) life:
Early in the summer of 2007, a doctoral student named Mehnaz M. Afridi traveled from her California home to a conference in southern Germany. Her official role was to deliver a paper on anti-Semitism in Egyptian literature, a rather loaded subject for a Muslim scholar. Seventy miles away, she had another appointment, and an even riskier agenda.
After the conference concluded, Ms. Afridi drove to the former concentration camp in Dachau, Germany. As she stood before the dun bricks of a crematorium, she prayed. “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un,” she said in Arabic, meaning, “Surely we belong to God and to him shall we return.”
“I didn’t know that moment would be defining my role,” Dr. Afridi, 44, said a few weeks ago. “I didn’t even realize then that I was at a crossroads. People see the Holocaust and Islam as two separate things, but these stories of faith and catastrophe are not opposites. They are companions.”
Dr. Afridi has made these seeming irreconcilables into companions in her life’s work. An assistant professor of religion at Manhattan College, she teaches courses about both Islam and the Holocaust, and she is director of the college’s Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center. Her book “Shoah Through Muslim Eyes,” referring to an alternative term for the Holocaust, will be published in July, and she is a member of the ethics and religion committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. […]
As you can probably imagine, her stance has also made her a target in some circles, both Muslim and Jewish. Read the rest of her story to find out more:
Muslim Scholar, Looking to ‘Speak the Truth,’ Teaches the Holocaust and Islam
This image has gone viral in the last week on Twitter, Facebook and countless aggregator websites, with this same accompanying story.
Chinese Imams Forced to Dance
URUMQI - In another crackdown on religious freedoms, China has forced the imams of eastern Muslim majority district of Xinjiang to dance in the street, and swear to an oath that they will not teach religion to children as well telling them that prayer is harmful to the soul.
During the incident, reported by World Bulletin on Monday, February 9, Muslim imams were forced to brandish the slogan that “our income comes from the CKP not from Allah”.
State Chinese news said the imams were gathering in a square in the name of civilization where they were forced to dance and chant out slogans in support of the state.
The slogans included statements glorifying the state over religion such as ‘peace of the country gives peace to the soul’.
They also gave speeches telling youth to stay away from mosques, and that the prayer was harmful to their health, encouraging them to dance instead.
Female teachers were instructed to teach children to stay away from religious education and made to swear an oath that they will keep children away from religion.
As with many viral Internet news items, this alarming report has some truth in it, and a lot of exaggeration.
I wanted to find the original source of the photo, which carries the watermark of the Xinjiang branch of the Chinese state media agency, Xinhuanet. Even using Google Image search, it look me quite a bit of time, given the hundreds of times the photo has been reproduced across the Internet. In addition, Chinese websites commonly copy each other’s content (especially items from the state propaganda office), so wading through the Chinese results took some time too.
Here are two publications of the photo from local media. The Xinhuanet impression is probably the original. The Shule County government website carries the same image. Click through the slideshows to find the dancing imams.
In any event, the image of the “dancing imams” comes from Shule County, near Kashgar, in Xinjiang Province. Most of the people living in this area in the far west of China — including the men in the photo — are Uighur Muslims. There has been unrest and violence between UIghurs and members of the Han majority group living in Xinjiang and elsewhere.
So, what about the dancing? As the state media report explains, the men were participating in a local dance contest organized to foster camaraderie and friendship. The banner in the background reads “故士安宁,心神安定” (gushi anning, xinshen anding) “With peace, there is stability.”
My Uighur friends assure me, however, that pious Uighur men, especially imams, would not dance in public willingly, so the report that they were forced into it is credible. They were not dancing in the street, however, nor were they the only group dancing. It was part of a community-wide performance held in a public square.
Whether they had to chant the slogan “our income comes from the CKP not from Allah,” however, I can’t verify yet. Since the men were dancing to the pop tune, “Xiao PingGuo” (Little Apple), which has its own lyrics, if the men had to do any chanting, it would have had to have been before or after their dance routine.
As @rachel_tln at Foreign Policy reports, government officials organized these dance performances last month all across western Xinjiang. Teams — some including hundreds of members — had to line-dance to “Xiao PingGuo,” which has been described as the Chinese “Macarena.”
Besides the men pictured above, described in state media as the “religious team,” there were also dance teams of children, villagers (men and women), and women alone. There were also performances by drum teams, comedians, dancers and others, depending on location.
This image may support the allegation that Uighurs were forced to wave Chinese flags during their dancing. The woman in the foreground in the “villagers team” looks less than happy dancing with flags clenched in her teeth.
It was yet another example of the Communist Chinese compulsion of staging elaborate public performances to build community, and not coincidentally, present a cheerful, harmonious face to the outside world.
Bread and circuses, as it were.
How were the imams coerced into performing? At this point all I can only suggest it was a kind of “mandatory option,” as my high school music teacher once put it. Sure, you can say no, but there will be unpleasant consequences if you refuse.
Every Chinese citizen has to pledge loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party and promise to maintain a “harmonious society.” When someone does something displeasing to local party officials, or to the bigwigs in Beijing, they can lose their jobs, be fined, arrested or detained, be publicly humiliated, or be tried and imprisoned for crimes against the state.
In addition, Chinese bigwigs expect prompt compliance with their directives, no matter how inconvenient or difficult it may be for other people.
The event in Shule was not the only Little Apple contest in Xinjiang. Foreign Policy links to this one in Kashgar city on the square in front of the Id Kah Mosque. This gala was even bigger than the one in Shule County.
These public performances are part of the government’s efforts to quell extremism in Xinjiang, where separatist groups have become real threats to the “harmonious society” favored by the CCP. The idea, one supposes, is that keeping Uighurs busy preparing for entertainment galas will lessen the possibility they will join extremist factions.
I have my doubts, as these big galas are PITAs and may only aggravate latent hostility.
As for the viral story’s allegations that Uighurs’ religious freedoms are being violated, including prohibition of religious education and prayer, I’m doubtful, but only somewhat.
The Chinese are trying to quash Muslim extremism, so it’s possible the prohibitions are only against extremist actions. On the other hand, my Uighur friends tell me of routine harassment by Han officials — most government offocials in Xinjiang are Han and/or are not native to the province — and there have been rules in some towns prohibiting young men from growing beards and women from wearing face veils, all in the name of fighting terrorism.
Islam is one of the religions formally recognized in China, and Muslims are free to worship in state-approved mosques. There are two relatively large Muslim minority groups, the Hui and the Uighurs. The Hui predominantly descend from ethnic Chinese who converted to Islam centuries ago, and for the most part, the Hui co-exist quite peacefully with the Han majority.
Uighurs, in contrast, are of Turkic descent and have resisted assimilation into the majority Chinese culture. They have their own language and customs — they typically do not celebrate the Chinese New Year, for example — and have more in common with their neighbors to the west than to the Beijing government in the east.
The Party, for its part, does not trust groups that do not bow to its power, and that includes Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims, and pro-democracy protesters, artists and writers. So any unrest in Xinjiang or elsewhere has been answered quickly and violently by the People’s Liberation Army. Reports of these altercations are quickly scrubbed from social media in China, and Chinese residents only hear about them (if at all) from foreign media. Controlling the Party’s narrative of a “harmonious society” is one reason why China has blocked Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, The New York Times, and other foreign media since PLA soldiers were recorded beating Tibetan monks in 2009
So, is the Chinese government telling Uighurs they can’t teach the Quran and prayers to children? And is the government forcing Uighurs to pledge allegiance to the Party, and not to Allah? It’s certainly possible, but proving it is another story.
Here’s the Audio clip Rightwing Watch found where she mouths off. She’s angry that Fox News, dared to apologize for spreading anti Muslim hate.
Yeah Muslim no go zones are “real.” I wonder if that’s why people not just in the United States, but also Europe, see Fox News as a joke now. Those people now include British Prime Minister, David Cameron who couldn’t believe how stupid Fox was. Also the entire idea, that that Sharia law will take over Europe or the United States anytime soon is ridiculous. Last I checked Muslims only made up about zero point six percent of our population, and its hardly accurate to say all, or even most of them are extremists, who would support turning America into a theocracy.
I wonder if this is why Fox News could get sued in France for their claims about “no go zones” in Paris. I guess its all fear of the Muslims, and the non existent “no go zones” that they live in.
As for her bizarre claim that for liberals Islam trumps gay rights. Its not like liberals never condemn homophobia in the name of Islam, just like they condemn homophobia in the name of Christianity. Its not like mainstream news organizations who reject the nonsensical idea of “stealth Jihad” or “Muslim no go Zones” haven’t reported on homophobia in Muslim majority countries. Pamela Geller on the other hand, Is only pro gay rights when Muslims are persecuting homosexuals. She doesn’t seem to care when Christians do it, especially if they’re anti Muslim like her.
Update 1/24/15 at 4:50pm.
Note: I originally stated that Muslims made up only point six percent of the US population, but it confused some LGF regulars so I changed it to read “zero point six percent” instead just to make it clearer as to what I meant.
A Muslim woman filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing Dearborn Heights police of violating her constitutional rights by making her remove her Islamic headscarf after they arrested her for driving on a suspended license.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Detroit, asks for Dearborn Heights to “modify its current policy” so that Muslim women can wear Islamic headscarves during booking procedures.
Malak Kazan of Dearborn Heights was pulled over by police in July on a traffic violation and then taken into custody on a traffic misdemeanor because of her suspended license, according to the lawsuit. The male police officer then asked Kazan to remove her headscarf to take her booking photo, which usually requires no head coverings or hats.
Kazan objected, saying her Islamic faith required her to cover her hair and neck in the presence of men who are not part of her immediate family, the lawsuit said.
For Kazan, “wearing a headscarf is a reminder of her faith, the importance of modesty in her religion … as well as a symbol of her own control over who may see the more intimate parts of her body,” the lawsuit said. “To have her hair and neck uncovered in public … is … deeply humiliating, violating, and defiling experience.”
Kazan said she asked to have a female officer take her photo, which he refused to do, said the lawsuit. The officer talked to a supervisor, who told him to proceed as usual.
The lawsuit says that wearing hijab is rooted in Islam, “based on…the Koran, the primary holy book of the Muslim religion; the hadith, oral traditions coming from the era of the Prophet Mohamed. … The word hijab comes from the Arabic word ‘hajaba,’ which means to hide or screen from view or to cover.”
The lawsuit was filed against the city of Dearborn Heights, its police department and police chief, saying that Kazan’s constitutional rights to free expression of religion were violated. It claims the First, Fourth and 14th amendments were violated.
Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko and Dearborn Heights Police Chief Lee Gavin did not return calls and messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit is the latest filed in recent months involving Arab-American Muslim residents in Dearborn Heights who say that police and school officials are being biased toward them. Last year, the Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights reached a settlement with the Department of Justice over concerns it discriminated against Arab Americans.
HURR HURR IT TEH SHARIA!!!!!!
Dearborn Heights is the whitey white white neighborhood where Renisha McBride was shot to death when she tried to get help after a traffic accident.
A white woman driving on a suspended license would get a finger shaken at her and told “You take care of that soon Ma’am! Have a nice day!”