Islamophobes fabricate story
Loonwatch.com, an excellent website keeping tabs on the Islamophobe industry, reported this week that the anti-Muslim blog FreePatriot.org published a story about a Muslim mob in Egypt that threw a 15-year-old Christian girl out a third-floor window. The FreePatriot story came with a photo of a woman falling out a window. Pretty enraging stuff, except that the story is completely made-up. The 2011 photo of a woman jumping from a fifth-floor window was shot in Shanghai.
The good news: The woman survived. The bad news: The 500,000-plus people who “like” FreePatriot on Facebook don’t care that the story is bogus. Of course, fabricating stories to demonize people is nothing new, and just last month, Loonwatch uncovered a false story about Egyptian jihadis using puppy bombs.
Bloggers praise false news about Angola
Speaking of false reports, did you catch the one about how Angola had banned Islam and was planning to raze mosques in the country? Anti-Muslim bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer both welcomed the false news. At The Daily Beast, Jacob Mchangama writes how the bloggers’ praise of Angola’s purported Islam ban contradicts their self-styled images as defenders of free speech.
Being mistaken for a Muslim can be dangerous
Some people get beaten up because they are Muslim, and others because they “look” Muslim. David Flores, a Christian, was wearing a skull cap when he was attacked by about 20 Hasidic Jewish men in Brooklyn who allegedly shouted: “Kill him, he’s a f—ing Muslim.” Flores shot at four of the men and was acquitted of attempted murder, according to the New York Post.
In Washington state, a Sikh taxi driver was left with permanent kidney damage and other injuries after he was attacked. His assailant, who was sentenced to 40 months in prison, used the most disgusting racist language the judge had ever heard, according to a local news report. Sikh’s being mistaken for Muslims and attacked is also not a new phenomenon.
A declaration against extremism
Despite the many times that Muslims have condemned terrorism and extremism, many people still accuse them of staying silent. So, here’s one more condemnation for the record: In his latest statement, Dr. Maher Hathout of the Muslim Public Affairs makes an extensive, reasoned case against terrorism, analyzes why extremism happens, and calls on people to fight against it. It’s a worthwhile read for anyone interested in what Muslims have to say about extremism.
Imam deported from England to go on trial in Jordan
A radical Muslim cleric deported in July from England to Jordan pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of conspiring to commit terrorism, and disputed the authority of the military court in Amman where he was being tried.
“I will not answer questions by this court because I do not recognize its jurisdiction,” Abu Qatada said during his hearing, according to a report from The Guardian. According to Al Jazeera, in 1999, the Palestinian-born preacher was sentenced in absentia, to life in prison for allegedly conspiring to attack an American school in Amman and other targets. The next hearing date is December 24.
Nigerian government ignores sectarian strife
Human Rights Watch released a report Thursday accusing the Nigerian government of doing nothing to stop Muslim-Christian violence in the central states of Plateau and Kaduna that killed more than 3,000 people since 2010. The 146-page report, “Leave Everything to God,” also charged the government with failing to hold accountable those behind the violence. “Witnesses came forward to tell their stories, compiled lists of the dead, and identified the attackers, but in most cases nothing was done,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “In the absence of justice, residents have resorted to violence to avenge their losses.”
More on Jefferson’s Quran
If you liked the little shout-out I gave in October to University of Texas Prof. Denise A. Spellberg and her new book, “Thomas Jefferson’s Quran: Islam and the Founders,” then you’ll likely enjoy the 45 minutes that the NPR program, On Point, devotes to to the third president. Joining Spellberg and host Tom Ashbrook was Congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress who took the oath of office on a Jefferson’s Quran — not without some controversy.
If you want to know more about Islam and the Founding Fathers and have more than 45 minutes, you may want to enroll in “Religion and Culture: Muslims in America,” at Princeton University. The course, taught by Aly Kassam-Remtulla, associate director for academic planning, provides “an overview of the long history of Islam in the United States, dating back to the slave trade in the 17th century,” according to The Daily Princetonian. There’s just one problem: The course, which begins in the spring, is already oversubscribed.
Policewomen with headscarves
In Edmonton, Canada, local police have approved a hijab, or headscarf, design for female police who are Muslim. “Regardless of race, culture, religion, or sexual orientation, it is important that anyone who has a calling to serve and protect Edmontonians, and passes the rigorous recruitment and police training standards, feel welcome and included in the EPS,” said Kevin Galvin, a police liaison with the city’s Muslim community. One question. How many Muslim policewomen are there in Edmonton?