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About ailamos

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  1. Chimera;937745 wrote: Women do not have to demand to live in peace in their own country, its their birth-right. The most sensible quote in this thread so far.
  2. I believe it's both the girls *and* the boys going wild. Let's not focus on one gender.
  3. N.O.R.F;931076 wrote: Maybe they don't see anything wrong with it. Hard for a non Muslim working for The Independent who will never set foot in the holy lands to understand. The author being a non-Muslim is besides the point, what about Dr. Irfan al-Alawi of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation and Dr. Sami Angawi of the Haj Research Center, who are Muslims and Saudis, do they not understand as well? N.O.R.F;931076 wrote: What worries/dissapoints many Muslims is the under development of Makka as a whole, the chaotic transport (what transport?) and the commercialisation of Hajj/Ramadan. True, it's ridiculous, but then again, managing an influx of over 2 million people every year is a huge task. As for the commercialization of Hajj, I'm saddened by the fact that the more money people have, the better accommodated they are in the Hajj, which is contrary to the principle that we are all equal while performing the duty. N.O.R.F;931076 wrote: The Saudi government is spending big on Makka to fix these problems and make things easier for worshippers.Thats what matters to those who matter. Sure they are and they must, at the same time, take into consideration the heritage and archaeological treasures of the city and surrounding landscape. Accommodate the pilgrims, build away, but in the very least they could easily establish museums to house these treasures. By the way, NORF, since when are you in KSA? Have you left the UAE for good?
  4. N.O.R.F;928833 wrote: This was a good thread that died at page 8. Welcome back ailamos! Thanx! I see there are lots of new people around.
  5. Haatu;927401 wrote: You're still alive? I've been busy. We got twins a few months ago, so our family doubled.. :-D
  6. Any thoughts on this? =========== Muslims are often criticised for not speaking out more vocally on key issues that affect their community. Barely a week goes by without the media asking why community leaders aren’t more vocal in condemning button topics such as terrorism or violence against women. It’s a difficult balance and often the criticisms are unfair. One the one hand ordinary Muslims cannot be expected to answer for everything that is done in their name. But at the same time silence and reticence from a majority simply allows the vocal minority to have disproportionate influence on how Islam is both practiced and perceived by the rest of the world. One area that you might think would see Muslims speaking out with one voice is the wholesale archaeological and historical destruction of Islam’s birthplace. Over the past twenty years, fuelled by their petro-dollars and intolerant Wahabi backers, the Saudi authorities have embarked on cultural vandalism of breath-taking proportions. Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities in Islam, are being systematically bulldozed to make way for gleaming sky scrapers, luxury hotels and shopping malls. The Saudis insist that the expansion of these two cities is vital to make way for the growing numbers of pilgrims in a rapidly expanded and inter-connected world. And they’re right. But does it really need to be done in a way where luxury apartments and $500-a-night rooms now overlook the Ka’aba in Mecca, the one place on earth that all Muslims are supposed to be equal? Most appallingly dozens of early Islamic sites – including those with a direct link to the Prophet himself – have been wiped off the map. The situation is so bad that the Washington based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 percent of the millennium old buildings in the two cities have been destroyed in the past twenty years. Much of this cultural vandalism is inspired by Wahabism – the austere interpretation of Islam that is the Saudi kingdom’s official religion. Wahabis are obsessed with idol worship and believe visiting graves, shrines or historical sites that are associated with the Prophet encourages shirq (the worship of false gods). The rampant commercialism meanwhile is inspired by something much simpler – greed. Muslim silence on this issue isn’t just cowardly, it’s deeply hypocritical. When an obscure group of foam-at-the-mouth Islamophobes got together in the United States to make an utterly pointless and deliberately provocative film about the Prophet Mohammad, or when a group of Danish cartoonists exercised their democratic right to lampoon a religious leader and the creeping self-censorship of the European press, protests broke out around the world. At Friday prayers, imams and sheikhs wasted little time in giving rousing speeches about how Islam was being sullied and the Prophet insulted. The mobs came out, people died (mostly Muslims). How many of those imams have bothered to get animated about what has happened in Mecca and Medina? How many are outraged that the house of Muhammad’s first wife Khadijah was pulled down and replaced with a block of public toilets, or that five of the seven mosques marking the Battle of the Trench outside Medina have been destroyed, or that religious police cheered when a mosque linked to the Prophet’s grandson was dynamited? It’s politically a lot more convenient to blame infidels for disrespecting your religion’s founder than it is to point the finger of blame at your own kind. But it’s not just the Muslim world that has kept mum. When the Taliban – fuelled by same anti-idol zealotry that burns within Wahabis – blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas the world was incensed. Governments spoke out, academics were outraged and column inches filled up. With a few notable exceptions the destruction of Mecca and Medina has largely passed unchallenged. Partly that’s down to the enormous influence Saudi Arabia wields. As the gate keeper to the cradle of Islam (since 1986 the Saudi monarchy has modestly awarded itself the title Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques), it controls who gets to go on the annual Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. Muslim countries are terrified that any overly critical statements about what is happening in the Hejaz might lead to a reduction in pilgrim quotas. Although the Muslim media has been pretty shamefully silent, credit should go to Al Jazeera who did manage to get in and film a documentary last year about the archaeological destruction of Mecca. [Note: That video has since been removed.] Equally, in the West, archaeologists and historians – who should be on the front lines of a no-cultural-destruction-of-Islam protest – keep quiet because they won’t be allowed in to the Kingdom again if they speak up, whilst governments prefer to keep the Saudis onside because of their enormous oil wealth and supposed commitment to the so-called war on terror. Inside Saudi Arabia itself there is a mixture of opinions. The wealthy elite think little beyond the gleaming shopping malls and hotels that keep them supplied with fat profits and luxury goods. But there is anger among many locals in Mecca and Medina who have looked on with horror at what has happened to their cities, especially among those who have been forcibly evicted from their homes to make way for this brave new world. The difficulty, of course, is that in a highly autocratic country where women still don’t have the right to drive and opposition to the Saud monarchy is ruthlessly supressed, there are bigger fish to fry. Archaeology and history come second to basic personal freedoms. But hope is not lost because people do care. When I first started investigating this subject a little over a year ago I wasn’t sure how Muslims would react. Last September we published a piece in which I described how Mecca was turning into a gaudy Las Vegas. Within hours it had gone viral. All across the Muslim world news sites, bloggers and readers were reposting the article. It stayed at the top of our most read list for weeks whilst on Facebook alone it has been reposted 37,000 times. And the response we got was overwhelmingly positive. Muslims were horrified by what was happening and they wanted to know what they could do. A few months later I was asked to give a talk on my research by the City Circle, a group of mainly young, professional Muslims who meet on a weekly basis. The crowd was as mixed as any London Islamic audience – Salafis in their three quarter length trousers and long beards, hippy looking Sufis, women in headscarves and veils, women without headscarves and beardless men in their pin-striped city suits. I expected the more orthodox members to defend what was happening in Saudi Arabia, instead everyone seemed to be equally upset. After the talk I remember one young Saudi woman in a black abaya coming up to me with tears in her eyes. “They are literally destroying the birthplace of Islam,” she said. “This is the place where the Prophet lived and prayed. We have to do something." Only Muslims will be able to save what little is left of the early Islamic heritage within Mecca and Medina. But I hope for both their own benefit - and the wider world’s – that they are successful. =========== Source:
  7. Apophis;865213 wrote: The odd thing is Secularism would actually work in favour of religion and religious plurality. It's thanks to secularism that Islam has penetrated Europe where the sword failed. +1
  8. Somali Exile in Finland Hopes to Become First Female President of Somalia:
  9. A trip on the Trans-Siberian railroad is off the list then. Risky traveling there with dark skin.
  10. Three elderly Kenyan citizens, after several hard years of campaigning, are finally being seen by a judge in a British court over allegations that they were tortured by the UK over 60 years ago, in a truly shameful episode from this country’s late imperial history. The British response to the so-called “Mau Mau rebellion” in the fifties, a sustained uprising against colonial rule, involved, as recently recovered documentary evidence appears to show, atrocities committed by colonial forces ordered to crush the insurrection. Last week, ministers acknowledged that British forces tortured Kenyan prisoners during the crisis and subjected the same group to “other ill treatment”. There are many reasons why it has taken such a long time for Kenyans mistreated under British rule to get a fair hearing here. The chief one being that the UK government spirited away all relevant documents from Nairobi on their exit from the country, and later destroyed or concealed much of the evidence. A cache of “migrated” documents that detail many of the very serious abuses that occurred was re-discovered last year. The papers recovered recorded many horrors, including the “roasting alive” of Kenyan victims; elsewhere, the horror of Colonel Arthur Young at the devastating “inhumanity” displayed by British forces in camps that were used to “screen” rebels. Writing in the Guardian, George Monbiot has been one of the few well-known journalists in this country to outrightly condemn such atrocities in fifties Kenya. Citing the intensive research of Harvard Professor Caroline Elkins, contained in her Pulitzer-Prize winning book Britain’s Gulag, Monbiot even argued that “ horrors of the camps were endorsed at the highest levels.” “There, thousands were beaten to death or died from malnutrition, typhoid, tuberculosis and dysentery. In some camps almost all the children died,” Monbiot added, drawing on Elkins’ work. In these ersatz concentration camps “people deemed to have disobeyed the rules were killed in front of the others. The survivors were forced to dig mass graves, which were quickly filled…Interrogation under torture was widespread. Many of the men were anally raped, using knives, broken bottles, rifle barrels, snakes and scorpions… The British devised a special tool which they used for first crushing and then ripping off testicles. They used pliers to mutilate women’s breasts… Men were rolled up in barbed wire and kicked around the compound.” You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be struck by the horrors contained in such an account. Sadly, the position of Her Majesty’s government on this matter, even at this late stage, appears to be one of squalid moral evasiveness. It seems that the powers-that-be hold that the UK handed over its liabilities to the Kenyan government along with its transfer of sovereignty in the sixties. Reportedly, Kenyan lawyer Paul Muite suspects that Britain is holding out in the hope that the complainants will simply die before any justice is eked out. Nothing could be more shameful, if true. But Britain, these days an enthusiastic sponsor of the International Criminal Court, has form in creating misery on a massive-scale with little apology. In the end days of empire, the UK’s exit from its former territories left in its wake an unholy legacy of lasting conflict in many lands, particularly Sri Lanka, Kashmir and the former British Mandate of Palestine. The separation of Pakistan and India was handled awfully, with much loss of life. Our little known involvement in depopulating Diego Garcia in the sixties and seventies to accommodate an American military base resulted in great suffering for those displaced. A candid wikileaks-released diplomatic cable between the Americans and the British dated May 2009 records a discussion about using a marine reserve to stymie right of return claims by former inhabitants of the tiny Indian Ocean Islands. A foreign office official “asserted that establishing a marine park would, in effect, put paid to resettlement claims”, the document records. It also stated that the government wanted no “Man Fridays” on the atoll. Under the sub-heading “je ne regrette rien”, the diplomatic memo records the same official admitting: “[w]e do not regret the removal of the population.” Remember, this was only three years ago. In the high places of government, it seems, colonial-era thinking has not died a long-overdue death. Going back to the eighteenth century, the English East India company turned a “dearth into a famine” in the Bengal, to quote Adam Smith, given that they forced farmers to “plough up rich fields of rice or other grain for plantation of poppies” that would produce opium. Over a century of British rule in Dhaka, a major city in the province, the population fell from 150,000 to 30,000; the numbers in the overall region were reduced by a million in the famine of 1770, owing chiefly to such practices. This was only one of many starvations in India during the Raj. Influenced by Malthusian population theory in the 19th century, several British advisors considered it appropriate to leave starving Bengalis or Irish or Africans, among others, to their fate despite the direct role that English policies had in creating or worsening the very famines they were confronted with. One of them, Sir Charles Trevelyan opined during the Irish potato famine “the judgement of God sent the calamity to teach the Irish a lesson.” But all that happened in the past, and Britain has progressively behaved in a more civilised manner, many would argue. This may be broadly true, despite the dirty tricks evinced in the 2009 cable. Nonetheless, in responding to the Mau Mau case the UK has an opportunity to demonstrate its growing commitment to human rights as a moral, not just a policy-based, obligation. By showing some rare magnanimity, to echo the sentiments of Bishop Tutu on the subject, the UK can somehow begin to apologise for its past. By contrast, to deploy legal technicalities or to claim that too much time has passed would be to yet again fall back on expedient cruelties to avoid doing what is right. Yet that latter, ignoble choice appears to be the one that Britain has once again taken: representing the government, Barrister Guy Mansfield QC argued without irony that for the plaintiff’s case to proceed to trial would be “contrary to principle and the balance of fairness.” Astonishing. The UK is faced with a stark choice: to take its past seriously or to stop pretending to care. Anything else is hypocrisy. Source:
  11. * * * Continued It gets stranger still. When media portrayals of everyday American Muslim life are produced, the very ordinariness is attacked as a lie. TLC’s show All-American Muslim premiered in November to favorable reviews. The show, which focused on five Lebanese-American Shiite Muslim families in the Dearborn, Michigan, area, was a bit of a yawner for racy reality TV, but it was a useful kind of ethnography for Americans unfamiliar with the stuff of daily American Muslim life. Immediately, the organized anti-Muslim network kicked into gear. The Florida Family Association, basically a one-man show run by David Caton, led a boycott of the show via e-mail that was quickly picked up by the extreme right-wing anti-Islamic blogosphere, and led to Lowe’s and pulling their ads. Caton’s e-mail read, “The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.” Follow the logic. The only thing accepted as “normal” for a Muslim is to act like an extremist. Ordinary Muslim folk appearing to live ordinary Muslim lives? That’s just plain suspicious. The same belief drives the NYPD’s surveillance of American Muslim communities. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly informed American Muslim audiences in 2007 that the radicalization report of that year was “never intended to be a policy prescriptive for law enforcement actions,” but we now know he was lying. In its Pulitzer Prize–winning series published beginning in August 2011, the Associated Press has reported on how American Muslims who were not suspected of any wrongdoing were spied on in New York and beyond by the NYPD, with the CIA’s help. The NYPD catalogued the locations of barbershops, cafes and restaurants, noting where the undercover officers—dubbed “rakers”—heard “political and inflammatory rhetoric,” though what that means, and the fact that it’s free speech, is never stated. Undercover officers chatted up bookstore owners, played cricket with Muslims and uncovered such unsavory things as a travel agency on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, where an officer “observed a female named ‘Rasha’ working in the travel agency, she recommended the ‘Royal Jordanian Airline.’” The department also spied on Muslim college students throughout the Tri-State area, including at Brooklyn College, where I teach. Soheeb Amin, president of the college’s Islamic Society, told me that the AP reports were more of a confirmation than a revelation. “We know that there are people who are looking for excuses to get you in trouble for your religion,” he noted, and so he has adjusted. “I don’t talk about politics. I don’t talk about anything controversial. I don’t do anything that can raise suspicion.” Like many American Muslims, he feels his rights to practice his religion and express his ideas have been compromised. He told me he prays the mandatory five daily prayers, “but now I know that there are NYPD reports that mention that people prayed four times a day, and I guess five is worse than that,” he added, only half-jokingly. Muslims from New Jersey, including a decorated soldier, recently filed suit against the NYPD for violating their constitutional rights. Does this mean that the United States is an Islamophobic country? Of course not. Large support for American Muslims exists in many quarters [see Laila Al-Arian’s essay in this issue, page 31]. Polls may suggest that about half the population is anti-Muslim, but that leaves half that isn’t. In many quarters of the country, there is genuine, not suspicious, interest in American Muslims and the realities they face, as evidenced by the fact that TLC produced All-American Muslim. Aasif Mandvi’s contributions to The Daily Show routinely deflate the power of this contemporary prejudice, and libraries, museums, classrooms and houses of worship across the country now regularly include Muslims and Islam in their programming in an attempt to further understanding and combat bigotry. American Muslims have responded to events over the past decade and the expansion of an anti-Muslim network largely by being more, not less, visible. The number of mosques grew 74 percent over the past decade, despite the opposition Muslims sometimes confront in their construction. Even if a 2011 poll found that 48 percent of American Muslims reported experiencing discrimination in the previous twelve months, they also showed more optimism than other Americans in the poll that their lives would be better in five years (perhaps, in part, because of today’s discrimination). The guiding belief in the American Muslim community today is that the country will recognize that Muslims have always been and will continue to be a part of America. An ordinary life is more meaningful than it sounds. It signifies being able to live your life as you define yourself, not as others define you, and being able to assume a life free of unwarranted government prying. In fact, ordinariness is the foundation of an open society, because it endows citizens with a private life and demands that the government operate openly—not the other way around, which is how closed societies operate. There is a real danger that the same tools that enable today’s Islamophobia will continue to migrate and expand with little or no public outcry. The FBI deploys a strategy of sting operations against Occupy protesters that is eerily familiar to American Muslims, to little outrage. The president enacts a law that allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens, and after a federal judge strikes it down as unconstitutional, Congress rushes in two days later to try to keep it on the books. American citizens can be assassinated by presidential decree, making a mockery of due process. Forget the Muslims. This mission creep is as good a reason as any to pay attention to Islamophobia today—because when the ordinary affairs of the United States include such actions, the stakes are nothing less than extraordinary. The Nation Magazine | Moustafa Bayoumi | June 14, 2012
  12. -- An excellent piece by a former professor of mine from Brooklyn College -- Read on. In August 2007 the New York Police Department released a report called “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat,” claiming that the looming danger to the United States was from “unremarkable” Muslim men under 35 who visit “extremist incubators.” The language sounds ominous, conjuring up Clockwork Orange–style laboratories of human reprogramming, twisting average Muslims into instruments of evil. And yet what are these “incubators”? The report states that they are mosques, “cafes, cab driver hangouts, flophouses, prisons, student associations, non-governmental organizations, hookah (water pipe) bars, butcher shops and book stores”—in other words, precisely the places where ordinary life happens. But the report wasn’t based on any independent social science research, and actual studies clearly refuted the very claims made by the NYPD. The Rand Corporation found that the number of homegrown radicals here is “tiny.” “There are more than 3 million Muslims in the United States, and few more than 100 have joined jihad—about one out of every 30,000—suggesting an American Muslim population that remains hostile to jihadist ideology and its exhortations to violence,” Rand’s 2010 report found. “A mistrust of American Muslims by other Americans seems misplaced,” it concluded. This year, an analysis by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security also described the number of American Muslims involved in domestic terrorism since 2001 as “tiny.” “This study’s findings challenge Americans to be vigilant against the threat of homegrown terrorism while maintaining a responsible sense of proportion,” it said. And a 2011 Gallup survey found that American Muslims were the least likely of any major US religious group to consider attacks on civilians justified. Every group has its loonies. And yet the idea that American Muslim communities are foul nests of hatred, where dark-skinned men plot Arabic violence while combing one another’s beards, persists. In fact, it’s worse than that. In the past few years, another narrative about American Muslims has come along, which sows a different kind of paranoia. While the old story revolves around security, portraying American Muslims as potential terrorists or terrorist sympathizers, the new narrative operates more along the axis of culture. Simple acts of religious or cultural expression and the straightforward activities of Muslim daily life have become suspicious. Building a mosque in Lower Manhattan or in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, or in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, becomes an act of “stealth jihad.” Muslims filing for divorce invokes the bizarre charge of “creeping Sharia.” A dual-language Arabic-English high school in New York is demonized as a “madrassa.” The State Board of Education in Texas determines that reading about Islam is not education but indoctrination. Changing your Muslim-sounding name to one with a more Anglophone tenor triggers an NYPD investigation, according to the Associated Press. Even the fact that some Butterball turkeys are “halal” was enough to fire up the bigotry last Thanksgiving, the most American of holidays. What happens when ordinary life becomes grounds for suspicion without a hint of wrongdoing; when law enforcement premises its work on spying on the quotidian and policing the unremarkable; and when the everyday affairs of American Muslim life can so easily be transformed into nefarious intent? Something has gone terribly wrong for American Muslims when, more than a decade after the terrorist attacks of September 11, anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States continues to grow. A Washington Post/ABC News poll taken in October 2001 found that 39 percent of Americans held unfavorable opinions of Islam. After dipping for a few years, the number rose to 46 percent in 2006 and reached 49 percent—basically half the population—in 2010, the last year the question was asked. (Other recent polls show similar results.) Such anti-Muslim attitudes are not merely absorbed by law enforcement and the military or reflected on the airwaves and in the words of our politicians. Rather, the idea that American Muslims are to be feared or loathed or excluded from the United States is being actively promoted. This past September, Wired broke the story that the FBI tells its counterterrorism agents in training that mainstream American Muslims are probably terrorist sympathizers, that the Prophet Muhammad was a “cult leader” and that the religiously mandated practice of giving charity in Islam is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.” The training materials, which stated that FBI agents had the “ability to bend or suspend the law and impinge on freedoms of others,” identify other insidious techniques Muslims use for promoting jihad, including “immigration” and “law suits”—in other words, the ordinary uses of the American political system. The revelations forced the FBI to remove 876 pages from its manuals. Another egregious example that recently came to light is that the NYPD, as part of its training, screened The Third Jihad, a film that claims “the true agenda of much of Islam in America” is “a strategy to infiltrate and dominate” the country. The film ran on a continuous loop for somewhere between three months and a year of training and was viewed by at least 1,489 officers. Yet another example involved Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, who taught a course at the Pentagon’s Joint Forces Staff College that informed senior officers that the United States would have to fight a “total war” against the world’s Muslims, including abandoning the international laws of war that protect civilians (deemed “no longer relevant”), and possibly applying “the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki” to destroy Islam’s holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Claiming “Islam is an ideology rather than solely a religion,” the class taught that the United States was “culturally vulnerable” to this threat because of its “‘judeo-christian’ [sic] ethic of reason and tolerance.” The Pentagon canceled the course in the wake of the revelations, and Dooley maintains a nonteaching position, pending an investigation. The consequences of these efforts to promote anti-Muslim beliefs and sentiments influence how American Muslims practice their faith, engage with their neighbors, cooperate with law enforcement, work at their jobs and study at school. Anti-mosque activity, according to the ACLU, has taken place in more than half the states in the country. And American Muslims, who make up 1–2 percent of the population, account for more than 20 percent of religion-based filings with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. There is legitimate concern about future acts of terrorism in the United States. But there is also plenty of reason to be skeptical of many of the plots that the FBI has disrupted, which are usually scripted by a paid informant, often with a criminal record himself [see Petra Bartosiewicz, “The FBI Stings Muslims,”]. Yet the publicity these “plots” receive feeds the anti-Muslim fervor. Media coverage plays a major role in ramping up anti-Muslim attitudes, for a very simple reason: 62 percent of Americans, according to a 2010 Time magazine poll, say they have never met a Muslim. (If you do know a Muslim, you’re less likely to harbor anti-Muslim feelings, polls also show.) Absent ordinary personal contact, most Americans will get their views of Islam through television, cable news, talk-radio, the Internet and really bad action movies. Because the counterweight of personal contact is missing, Muslim attitudes are easily ventriloquized and distorted, and Muslims themselves often rendered mute or suspect. The myth that American Muslims haven’t spoken out against terrorism, for example, continues to haunt the community, even though they do so loudly and repeatedly. Then there’s the myth, promulgated by Representative Peter King in his radicalization hearings last year, of American Muslim noncooperation with law enforcement. In reality, around 40 percent of Muslim domestic terrorism suspects since September 11, 2001, have been turned in by fellow Muslims, who have sometimes discovered later that the FBI was directing the operation. Republican politicians, meanwhile, have been falling all over themselves to vilify Muslims, especially during the presidential primary. Herman Cain proclaimed that “a majority of Muslims share the extremist views,” initially vowing not to appoint any Muslims to his cabinet. Rick Santorum endorsed religious profiling, saying that “obviously Muslims would be someone [sic] you’d look at.” Newt Gingrich compared Muslims to Nazis in 2010, when he opposed building an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan. “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington,” he said. And, in 2007, Mitt Romney said, “Based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration.” Whatever happened to the matter of qualifications? But hey, if you’re a Muslim, that’s all you’ll ever be. Romney has hired Walid Phares, part of the active anti-Muslim network, as a foreign policy adviser, and GOP voters continue to consider that President Obama is a Muslim in large numbers (52 percent of Mississippi GOP members thought so in March). * * * Continued The Nation Magazine | Moustafa Bayoumi | June 14, 2012
  13. I am yet to see a former Al Shabaab fighter tell his story in a book like that Sierra Leonean dude Ishmael Beah:
  14. So, who here was it that hacked into this man's account? ;-)
  15. IPSWICH, Mass. (AP) – AT&T says it is dropping its legal fight against a Massachusetts businessman whose company was on the hook for a fraudulent million-dollar phone bill. The telecommunications company said in a statement Monday it is no longer pursuing its claims against Michael Smith of Ipswich, "though we are entitled by law to collect the amounts owed." Smith said the offer depends on his dropping a countersuit. He'll meet with his attorney about it on Tuesday. Smith says someone hacked into his small manufacturing company's phone system in 2009 and made nearly $900,000 in calls to Somalia. AT&T sued Smith for $1.15 million to recover the cost of the calls plus interest. Smith told The Salem News he repeatedly asked AT&T to write off the bill. He said paying it could force his business to close.