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Archive for the ‘CAIR’ Category

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The inevitable has come to pass, and most of us who have been following this epic in the making are none too surprised to witness the imminent and much expected lawsuit arise as a result of obviously justifiable actions taken by US Airways regarding purposely inflammatory and choreographed maneuvers perpetrated by six imams on flight 300 last November, 2006.

I have covered this fairly extensively here and here and here and finally, here.

Commensurate to their modus operandi, the suit has been filed by The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the perpetually enigmatic organization whose dubious past and equivocal ties to known terrorists finds them conducting damage control on a fairly regular basis. Unfortunately, the resident climate of political correctness and all-encompassing multiculturistic acceptance fogs the minds of most western citizens preventing any sincere investigative spotlight from shining too directly and thoroughly on CAIR’s operations and business practices.

The November 30th spectacle was an effectively practiced performance designed to provoke a response by CAIR in order to concoct an Islamic civil liberties lawsuit designed to gift even more freedoms to Muslims and Muslim communities within the U.S. Due to the aforementioned state of the politically correct quagmire in which we now reside in the United States, I think it very likely the imams and CAIR will come out with a victory in this particular case, despite the cadre of undeniable evidence (and a plane full of defense witnesses who were on flight 300) as to the imam’s play-acting shenanigans before boarding the plane and during their short time on the aircraft itself.

Even in the justice-is-supposedly-blind courtrooms of the United States, no one wants to be labeled a bigot, or god-forbid, an “Islamophobe.”

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Press Release Source: Council on American-Islamic Relations

Imams File Civil Rights Suit Against US Airways
Tuesday March 13, 12:45 pm ET

 

Muslim Leaders Says Removal From Flight was Based on Race, Religion

WASHINGTON, March 13 /PRNewswire-USNewsire/ — The Council on American- Islamic Relations (CAIR) today announced that six imams, or Islamic religious leaders, removed from a US Airways flight in Minneapolis last November have filed a lawsuit against the airline and Minnesota’s Metropolitan Airports Commission alleging that their civil rights were violated.The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, claims US Airways’ alleged discriminatory actions were based on the imams’ “perceived race, religion, color, ethnicity, alienage, ancestry, and/or national origin.” It goes on to state: “Because of Defendants’ discriminatory acts, Plaintiffs were denied the right to make and enforce a contract, subjected to unlawful discrimination by a recipient of federal financial assistance, denied equal treatment in a place of public accommodation, and falsely arrested and detained by law enforcement officers.”

CAIR said the imams’ legal complaint, which cites federal statutes, the Minnesota Human Rights Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, also alleges: “Defendants, with the intent to cause harm to Plaintiffs’ reputation, maliciously, recklessly and without regard to their privacy and integrity, defamed and made false reports against Plaintiffs to justify their illegal action.”

In documents filed with the court by the Law Firm of Omar T. Mohammedi, the six imams refute many of the allegations repeated in the media about the incident.

For example, in response to claims the imams made political statements before boarding the plane, the complaint states: “At no time did Plaintiffs discuss politics or refer to Saddam Hussein or President Bush.”

According to the complaint: “This civil rights lawsuit is brought to ensure that the promise of equal treatment embodied in federal and state anti- discrimination laws does not become a meaningless guarantee for persons perceived to be Muslim and/or Arab and/or Middle Eastern.”

The imams are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, and a legal injunction to prevent future unlawful discrimination by US Airways.

    To read the full complaint, go to:
http://www.cair.com/pdf/usairwayscomplaint.pdf

“The decades-long movement to advance civil rights in this nation must not be sent into retreat because of post-9/11 fear and stereotyping,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “When anyone’s rights are diminished, the rights of all Americans are threatened.”

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com

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Imams sue over removal from plane

The six Muslims were barred from a flight after passengers became alarmed.

Last update: March 12, 2007 – 11:59 PM

Six Muslim imams ordered off a US Airways flight at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last November have filed a discrimination lawsuit against the airline and the Metropolitan Airports Commission, claiming they were removed from the plane because of their race and religion.

In a 38-page document filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, the plaintiffs said they were “horrified and humiliated” after police removed them, under pilot’s orders, from the plane in front of dozens of other passengers Nov. 20 “as if they were criminals.”

Andrea Rader, a spokeswoman for US Airways, based in Tempe, Ariz., said Monday that the company hadn’t seen the suit and couldn’t comment on it. Nevertheless, she defended the actions the airline took that day after several passengers and flight attendants became alarmed by the imams’ behavior.

“This was an unfortunate incident,” Rader said. “But we do not discriminate against our customers or anyone else. The actions we took and the police took and the FBI took, they took based on behaviors that were observed. And they believed that was in the best interests of the safety of that flight. And we absolutely back those judgments.”

Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the Airports Commission, also hadn’t seen the lawsuit, but said, “We believe airport police officers acted appropriately in responding to US Airways’ call for assistance.”

Airline officials have said the men were removed from the plane because of concerns about their loud praying, repeated use of the word “Allah,” seat switching, and several requests for seat belt extenders.

Over the next five hours the men were detained and questioned by federal law enforcement officials. The imams denied that they did or said anything that could be considered threatening, and were later released without charges.

Within days, however, the incident set off a nationwide uproar.

Bloggers and talk-radio hosts buzzed about the need to be vigilant against potential terrorists while civil-rights advocates and Muslim leaders saw the incident as racial profiling or discrimination.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also called for a congressional hearing about ethnic and religious profiling at airports.

Omar Shahin , one of the six plaintiffs named in the suit and president of the North American Imams Federation, declined to comment Monday. Other plaintiffs identified in the suit are Ahmed Shqeirat, Mohamed Ibrahim, Didmar Faja, Mahmoud Sulaiman and Marwan Sadeddin. All but Ibrahim, who lives in California, are Arizona residents.

Omar T. Mohammedi, an attorney from New York City representing the imams, could not be reached for comment.

Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for CAIR, said CAIR will discuss the suit at a news conference today in Washington, D.C.

Removed and handcuffed

In their suit, the imams seek unspecified compensatory damages from the airline and the MAC, claiming they incurred emotional and economic distress from the incident, which occurred after they boarded the plane the afternoon of Nov. 20.

The men were returning to Phoenix following a three-day North American Imams Federation conference in Bloomington.

The imams — prayer leaders — contend that the airline violated their civil rights by detaining them without probable cause, placing them under false arrest, and then refusing to sell them another ticket when they returned to the airport the next day.

They also contend that the airline failed to train its employees adequately to make them aware of religious practices, and unlawfully handcuffed them when no law enforcement agency requested such action.

The suit said they were told to face a wall and put their hands up so they could be searched and handcuffed. It also said the men were not told why they were removed from the plane.

When one of the imams asked a police officer what was happening, the officer said “I do not know. This is the airline’s call and not our call.”

The men allege that they were humiliated when police used dogs to help sniff out and search their belongings.

The imams were later taken to the Airport Police Precinct, where they allege they were questioned by federal agents — including members of the Secret Service — for five hours without food or drink.

They later flew back to Arizona on another airline without incident.

Passenger accounts differ

Pauline Klemmer, a passenger on the flight that day, said Monday that the imams’ account of what happened is “a total untruth.”

Klemmer said she believes the men deliberately acted out as part of a “repeated attempt” to weaken security and intimidate airline employees.

“They weren’t the victim,” Klemmer said. “If we had been afraid of them because of their race, or them loudly praying prior to them getting on the plane, we would not have gotten on the plane, and we did. They chose to make an obvious big scene.”

Rita Snelson, of Maplewood, who also was on the flight and sitting near several of the imams, agreed.

“I can’t explain it, but it was like they were definitely trying to raise suspicion,” she said. “The pilot did what he had to do, and we’re very honored by that. I told the airline afterward, ‘Thank you for watching over us.’ ”

 

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What follows is a tragic tale of hubris brought low, of pride diminished, and of ego (hopefully) deflated.

What do you know of Islam? Have you ever read the Qur’an? Do you know how the sura, the chapters, are laid out and organized within the book? If you do, kudos. If you don’t, you’re not alone. Even a self-proclaimed expert on Islam has recently been found to have no idea what is in the Qur’an, or even simply how it is laid out, chapter by chapter. More on that later.

Of my own accord, I have only been a part-time student of Islamic ideology and the concept of global jihad since the summer of 2006, about the time the Israeli/Lebanon war began. Among other bastions of information, including Chronicles magazine contributor, Serge Trifkovic, I have found Robert Spencer’s Jihadwatch.org an excellent resource on Islamic jihadism and the resulting destruction of the west and western values as a result of muslim extremism. Mr. Spencer, in my view, is one of the leading experts in this area who possesses one of the few voices of reason in a wilderness of Islamic apologists, capitulators, dissemblers, and seditionists who work to deflect any concept of Islamic imperfection and attack by those who simply wish to solicit much needed discussion on the topic of Islam and the Qur’an and the place of both in modern, civilized societies.

Spencer rightly points to that holy muslim book, the Qur’an, as the basis for the perceived justification of violent jihad that we see in the world today, as it was the basis for the comparable violent jihad of centuries past. In the eyes of muslims the world over, the Qur’anic prophet Muhammad is the embodiment of the perfect man–the man all the faithful should endeavor to emulate (despite his modern moral failings.)

Reading the Qur’an reveals pretty much everything one needs to know concerning muslim (particularly the extremists) traditions and actions and the subsequent violence preached there in, assuming you can understand it (the hadith, or traditions of the prophet Muhammad, is another source.) Muslim belief is predicated on the conceit that Islam is the one true religion and all other religions are not only false, but in need of eradication entirely through voluntary or forced conversion to Islam, relegation to demeaning Dhimmi status, or killed. Regardless, everyone will exist under the oppressive theocratic umbrella of the Sharia–Islamic law.

So that’s the most basic of what I have learned, which is meticulously, sensibly and, logically backed up by qualified voices like Robert Spencer and Serge Trifkovic.

Adversely, there are many vocal charlatans who claim Islamic scholarship–who even excel in deceiving adherents into blindly accepting whatever they happen to spew forth at any given time simply because they’re proficient in beguilement (and honestly, most are receptive mainly due to their lemming-like need to follow someone or something.) Such is the likes of best-selling author, Dinesh D’Souza.

D’Souza’s latest book, The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 is an exercise in inconsistency, and claims pretty much as the title reads–Hillary Clinton, Noam Chomsky, Justin Timberlake, and basically everyone liberal and everything decadently Hollywood, bears responsibility for the rise in modern jihad and the pushing of moderate muslims into the arms of extremists. Needless to say, many on the left and the right of the political debate find D’Souza’s claims and conclusions presented in his new book anything if not laughable.

Many have been extremely vocal in their disagreement with D’Souza and the concepts presented in The Enemy At Home, (with an exceptionally hilarious appearance on The Colbert Report where the obtuse D’Souza sat firmly in the butt-of-the-joke chair, unbeknownst to him) including Robert Spencer and Serge Trifkovic. After Spencer rightly denounced the book here, D’Souza’s response was rather defensive with a marginal amount of childish pedantry and a good deal of red herring thrown in for good measure. In fact, it seems that anytime D’Souza argues for a position, he often becomes entangled within a web of logical fallacies of his own making–straw men and ad hominem being two of his favorite squabbling tactics.

Never one to shy from debate, Spencer (who regularly encourages those who disagree with his assessment of Islam engage with him in polemic discussion on the subject) agreed to sit on a panel during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week with D’Souza as his opponent.

PART 1

PART 2

D’Souza excels at obfuscation and diversion (again, he employs many logical fallacies including those mentioned above.) He repeatedly ignores cognizant and commonsense statements made by Spencer while he recklessly sallies forth in defense of his stance to the point where he completely digresses from claims made in his book if only to appear the conquering hero to the collected audience, and be damned The Enemy at Home.

Regardless of that outcome, D’Souza felt the continued need to beat his chest and express his supposed superior position by treading the same ground that had been covered in the CPAC debate the day previous, despite the fact that Spencer adequately addressed every issue raised by D’Souza.

From D’Souza…

Letting Bin Laden Define Islam

Posted Mar 2nd 2007 1:35AM by Dinesh D’Souza
Filed under: Middle East, Politics, Religion

Yesterday I debated Robert Spencer at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in Washington D.C. The debate was aired live on C-Span. Our topic was essentially, Is Islam the Problem? My book The Enemy at Home says no, locating the problem in the way that liberal foreign policy and liberal values projected abroad have strengthened radical Islam and emboldened it to attack us. Spencer’s books collectively answer yes, the problem is with Islam itself.

But Islam has been around for 1300 years and the problem of Islamic terrorism is a recent one. How can Islam be to blame? For me the intelligent question is: what is it about Islam today that has made it an incubator of a certain kind of fanaticism and terrorism?

MORE…

What more can Robert Spencer do but respond once more to points that D’Souza either ignored originally, or misunderstood completely?

From Spencer…

D’Souza: Spencer “essentially agrees with Bin Laden”

Dinesh D’Souza has blogged here, in “Letting Bin Laden Define Islam,” about our debate yesterday. I am still at CPAC and don’t have much time to give a full answer, but since he repeats some familiar canards about me and my books, which I still think he shows no signs of having read despite his claims to the contrary, I thought I’d post some preliminary thoughts. For one thing, it is worth noting that he made exactly these points in the debate yesterday, and I answered them, but he takes no account here of the answers. Instead, he just continues to make the charges, as if I have said nothing in response at all. Personally, I don’t think this kind of thing is a very fruitful avenue for dialogue.

MORE…

This is getting almost as good as ringside seats at the battle of Badr. To me, and I would hope to any who have read to this point, Spencer has done nothing but logically and reasonably state his position without resorting to character attacks, fallacious analysis, or hasty generalizations as D’Souza frequently seems to do.

A recurrent theme that runs throughout the interactions between Robert Spencer and Dinesh D’Souza, whether in person for face to face debate, or over the internet through written discourse, is the continued question of not all encompassing expertise on the subject of Islam and Islamic ideology, but of something as simple as common courtesy–reading and understanding the works of your opponent. When one claims expertise on a subject, one is expected to have studied a considerable amount of material that not only supports an idea or concept, but one is also expected to have studied the antithesis of that subject in order to formulate strategies of refutation when confronted by the opposition. For example, and to bring myself into this, while I find I stand to the right of the political aisle on many issues, I prefer to get both sides of the story, so to speak. To do so, I personally subscribe to both the liberal publication The Nation and the conservative periodical National Review. I believe it is important for anyone who takes a firm stand on any given issue to do this in order to form a more fully realized concept of a particular subject.

While Mr. Spencer obviously adheres to this approach evidenced by his review of Mr. D’Souza’s book, the same, I believe, cannot be claimed by Dinesh. Over and over, Robert Spencer asks D’Souza if he’s even read any of his books. Dinesh usually waves Spencer away with a casual affirmative–of course he’s read Spencer’s books, or so he claims. As one who has read several of Robert Spencer’s books, as well as articles from magazines with daily visits to Jihadwatch and Dhimmiwatch, it has become evident to me that D’Souza has not read any books penned by Spencer due to the simple fact that D’Souza seems blithely ignorant of basic Islamic thought, which is the cornerstone of Spencer’s writing.

Unfortunately, this had not been proven… UNTIL NOW! (Apologies for the drama.) Enter Serge Trifkovic, author of such notable books as Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad, regular contributing writer to Chronicles magazine, and defiler of connivers and hypocrites. During his debate with D’Souza, something quite interesting, but not surprising was discovered–Dinesh D’Souza, self-proclaimed expert of Islam, knows not even the most general concepts of Islamic ideology, theology, and the Qur’an.

Here is an excerpt from that debate…

TRIFKOVIC: This is really rich. First of all, to claim that the Kuran is a pacifist tract…

D’SOUZA: I didn’t say it’s a pacifist tract.

TRIFKOVIC: Well, you do say that people like Spencer and I pick and choose. Have you actually read the Kuran? Have you ever actually read the Kuran?

D’SOUZA: Of course I have.

TRIFKOVIC: Do you know how are the Suras arranged?

D’SOUZA: They are… er… they are not arranged in any chronological order… er… [pause] and… er… [pause] and so I quote in my book both the violent and…

TRIFKOVIC: Just tell me how ARE they arranged.

D’SOUZA: The other point…

TRIFKOVIC: Can you just tell me how are the Suras arranged?

D’SOUZA: … right. You can’t just call…

TRIFKOVIC: Why don’t you just tell me how are the Suras arranged?

HENNEN: OK, one at a time here; your question for Dinesh, Serge, is?

TRIFKOVIC: In what order are the Suras arranged in the Kuran?

D’SOUZA: [long silence] I really don’t know what you mean by that. When you say “in what order” then… err… [pause] there…

TRIFKOVIC: … an interlocutor who tries to pass authoritative judgments on the subject is refusing to tell me how are the Suras and the verses of the Kuran arranged. They happen to be arranged by SIZE, from short to long!

Spencer adds…

The interview goes on for another 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile, Serge tells me: “To avoid misunderstanding, let me point out that my ‘explanation’ to D’Souza about the arrangement of the Suras in the Kuran (‘They happen to be arranged by SIZE, from short to long!’) was not a slip, it was the final proof-positive of his fraud, as HE DID NOT CORRECT ME but went on babbling…”

MORE…

Yes, at this point it is quite safe to say Dinesh D’Souza is a fraud. How can we believe his claim to have read the work of Robert Spencer if he hasn’t even read the one book he should have read in order to write his best-selling book. Even in my own limited time engaged in the study of Islam, I know the suras are arranged from longest to shortest, and I learned this very early on. Assuming one knows even a quarter as much as myself, this is not something one needs to think long about, nor was Trifkovic’s question an attempt at trickery–it was as straight forward as one could make it.

So it is no longer necessary to buy or read The War at Home, even though I would usually encourage everyone to investigate opposing viewpoints to their beliefs. Justifiably, D’Souza has been proven nothing more than the conservative author’s version of James Frey.

A final word by Hugh Fitzgerald from Jihadwatch…

Fitzgerald: That Operator Is Standing By

Anyone debating Dinesh D’Souza should be sure to do exactly as Serge Trifkovic did. Simply ask D’Souza a question or two about the most obvious and elementary of matters.

If nothing else, it will force him, after his “four years of studying Islam” to little effect, to actually have to start studying it — if only so as not to play the fool in public. Why, who knows? It may force him to learn something.

I can think of a dozen things right off the bat that Spencer or Trifkovic or others could ask D’Souza — very elementary things, but things I am sure he will not be able to answer.

He now has three choices:

1) Be shown up for an ignoramus, prating about things he knows very little, almost nothing, about.

2) Be forced to study Islam, and in so doing, he may have to modify some of his views.

3) Never appear where anyone can debate or even cross-question him about his knowledge of Islam.

I think Dinesh D’Souza will choose #3.

#1 is something he obscurely realizes he is, but like the mountebank hawking his wares at the County Fair, he has assumed that no one will call him on his hollow claims. But he can no longer assume that.

#2 requires work. It requires study. It requires thought. It requires making sense of many different things, of connecting the thigh-bone to the ankle-bone, in order the Hear the Word of the (Islamic) Lord. D’Souza long ago lost the habit of study, like so many of the pontificators of our day.

#3 it will be.

No more debates, for Dinesh D’Souza, with anyone at all. But what if — for him, a hellish What If — some of those interviewing him started to bone up on Islam, and asked him questions? What if on Talk Shows there were callers who would call up pretending that they were about to ask one thing, and then suddenly asked D’Souza one or more of those questions, the ones he cannot answer, to what should be his own great shame and chagrin? Then where would he be?

And the same can be done at those appearances he solicits for “Corporate Audiences” and “University Audiences.” It is perfectly legitimate, it is hardly harassment, to simply ask him a few questions to see if this self-minted and self-described “expert on Islam” who has “studied it for four years” in fact knows anything.

Why, let’s begin with the isnad-chain, and the work, and relative authority, of the muhaddithin. Or with “naskh.” Or “fiqh” or “tafsir.” Or for that matter, “Jihad” (give support for various definitions), or “dhimmi” or “Ahl al-dhimma.”

And say, just what did happen at the Khaybar Oasis? And who was Asma bint Marwan? And who was little Aisha, and of what contemporary relevance is her story? And who can issue a fatwa, and what is the difference between a fatwa and a rukh? And what is the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya, and why does it matter? And who was Abu Bakr? Ali? Hussein? And what does the phrase “al-masjid al-aksa” mean, and who decided what that phrase must refer to?

As I said, let’s keep it very simple — at first. By degrees, the questions can become more difficult.

Don’t worry. I have faith that no matter how hard Dinesh D’Souza starts studying now, he simply won’t be able to figure it all out. Not given the list of his authorities. Not given his mental incapacity.

There is more on the entrepreneur and world-conqueror Dinesh D’Souza, from the best source of information about Dinesh D’Souza: the Dinesh D’Souza website, where the copy is written by — Dinesh D’Souza.

Would you like Dinesh D’Souza to speak to your business convention, or perhaps to enlighten an annual meeting of the stockholders in Phoenix or Boca Raton? Well, you have come to the right place when you go to http://www.dineshdsouza.com, because according to Dinesh D’Souza at http://www.dineshdsouza.com:

“Dinesh D’Souza is one of the nation’s most popular and acclaimed speakers for business and university audiences, and has been a featured guest on many popular television programs, including the Today Show, Nightline, O’Reilly Factor, Good Morning America, and The Dennis Miller Show.He speaks at top universities and business groups across the country, and among his recent engagements are the annual World President’s Organization conference, Forbes CEO Summit, Harvard University, and the University of Virginia.

Mr. D’Souza is available to speak on a variety of subjects relating to contemporary business, politics and culture, including:

THE CULTURAL LEFT AND ITS ROLE IN 9/11

THE LIBERAL-ISLAMIC ALLIANCE

THE WAR AGAINST THE WAR ON TERROR

AMERICA AND ITS ENEMIES

ISLAM AND THE WEST: A CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS?

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT AMERICA

WHY AMERICA IS LOVED, WHY AMERICA IS HATED

THE MORAL DEBATE OVER TECHNOLOGY AND CAPITALISM

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION? NO. REPARATIONS? NO.”

Hurry and call now to book Dinesh D’Souza for your next corporate or university event.

Don’t delay. Operators are standing by.

No, sorry, let me correct that:

An Operator Is Standing By.

That operator’s name is on the cover of the latest issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. The issue appears to have been written by the Development Office, hoping to win favor from some rich Muslim alumni — for it is otherwise difficult to explain the special solicitude for the clear tone of apologetics.

The two articles listed on the cover (which has a nice crescent and star) under the main line “Understanding the Muslim World” are:

1) What’s New in Islamic and Arabic Studies, by Andrea Useem ’95.

In this article you can learn all about what students are learning about — and it isn’t the unadorned contents of Qur’an, hadith, and Sira. The words “dhimmi” and “Jizyah” are unlikely to be much in evidence in the Dartmouth classes on offer, but the innocent and impressionable students won’t discover that in most other colleges either — and will just have to pick up a real knowledge of “Islamic and Arabic studies” outside the confines of MESA Nostra (google “MESA Nostra” for more).

2) “Radical Islam: Why We’ve Got it All Wrong,” by Dinesh D’Souza.

In this article you can learn why “we’ve got it all wrong” — all of us: Snouck Hurgronje and Arthur Jeffery, St. Clair Tisdall and Joseph Schacht, David Margoliouth and Edmond Fagnan, Charles-Emmanuel Dufourcq and Hans Jansen, everyone who was a student of Islam in the Western world, in the golden, unafraid age, from about 1860 to 1960, when truths were told. Islam didn’t change. The texts and teachings of Islam didn’t change. What changed was the willingness of Western scholars to tell the truth about Islam. Now there is a climate of correctness and desire to blame the West. This attitude grew and grew until it now suffocates even baby truths in their cribs, as they attempt to let out their first squeals.

And “we’ve got it all wrong” if “we” are Ali Sina, and Ibn Warraq, and Irfan Khawaja, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Anwar Shaikh, and Azam Kamguian — “we” who have been born into Islam, pondered it deeply, considered carefully what it is about it that led us, each on his own, to come to conclusions that forced us to jettison Islam. “We’ve” got it as wrong as C. Snouck Hurgronje and Joseph Schacht.

But one person, above all other persons, has it right.

And his name is Dinesh D’Souza.

And he is right about Islam, as about so many things, when all the world has heretofore gotten it wrong.

Dinesh D’Souza, it should not be forgotten, is available for corporate and university speaking engagements.

For more information, simply click on http://www.dineshdsouza.com and then on “Events” or “Corporate Speaking” or “University Speaking.”

Then you may contact Dinesh D’Souza directly to find out more details — especially about the fees.

Don’t worry. Those fees are really, under the circumstances — what with Dinesh D’Souza getting it at long last right when all of the rest of us have “got it all wrong” — those fees are really very modest.

Don’t delay. Call today.

That Operator Is Still Standing By.

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I must admit, my knowledge of Representative Keith Ellison continues to be somewhat limited at this point. In essence, I don’t feel that I am competently educated about the man to create a cogent or informed opinion of who he is. However, since this is not the New York Times, but in fact a blog, I will endeavour to do my best.

I know about as much concerning Ellison as Ellison knew of the Symbionese Liberation Army when, back in 2000, he was passionately defending convicted terrorist and former SLA member, Kathleen Soliah, more mundanely known as Sarah Jane Olsen. From the proceeding article…

Before finishing his speech, Ellison admitted his knowledge of the SLA was deficient.

My point is that I remember the SLA. I was 12 years old when it hit the news in 1974. I remember the name, I remember the made-for-TV movie with Patty Hearst, who was ‘taken away by the SLA’ and by this black guy named Cinque, who strutted around and was real scary. And clearly these people were ‘bad to the bone.’ And as I began to read about the SLA, they were talking about rights for poor people. … I mean I’m not trying to say the SLA is – I don’t even know enough about the SLA to tell you about the SLA, but I can tell you what they stated … they were in favor of: It had to do with fighting poverty and fighting racism and stuff like that. I’m not even here to tell you how they did it, because I don’t know.”

Is this what Minnesota can expect from its congressman–a man who conducts no research into the subjects with whom he is championing? If I didn’t know better, I’d get the impression that Ellison supported what the SLA did; if I didn’t know better. Of course, what’s even more depressing is the fact that Ellison is simply more of the same in regards to America’s politicians–uninformed and uninterested.

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Muslim congressman called for terrorist’s release in 2000
Ellison spoke at fund-raiser for woman from group that tried to kill Feinstein


Posted: January 21, 2007
7:00 p.m. Eastern
By Jay Baggett
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Minnesota freshman Rep. Keith Ellison for his recent swearing-in ceremony, the controversy over his taking the oath of office on the Quran overshadowed his earlier role in supporting a terrorist whose group tried to kill policemen and allegedly twice tried to murder Pelosi’s fellow San Francisco lawmaker Sen. Dianne Feinstein. On Feb.12, 2000, Ellison joined Bernadine Dohrn, one of the founders of the 1960s radical group the Weather Underground, and several other speakers at a fundraiser for recently arrested Kathleen Soliah, a.k.a. Sara Jane Olson.


Kathleen Soliah, a.k.a. Sara Jane Olson

Soliah – who along with a small band of Bay Area radicals took in Bill and Emily Harris and Patty Hearst, the last surviving members of the Symbionese Liberation Army following the May 17, 1974, shootout in Los Angeles – had been on the run since the three SLA “soldiers” were captured in September 1975.

Initially charged with planting pipe bombs under two police cars in Los Angeles in August 1975, Soliah was later charged in Sacramento for the murder of a bank customer killed in an April 1975 holdup after the victim’s son exerted pressure through the media to reopen the case. Hearst, in her 1981 book, “Every Secret Thing,” described the bungled robbery as an SLA operation in which she, Soliah, the Harrises and several others participated.

Soliah, arrested in St. Paul, Minn., in June 1999 and living under the name Sara Jane Olson, initially denied being Soliah or a member of the SLA. The upper-middle class doctor’s wife was described by friends – several of whom were members of the state legislature – as an actress in community theater, a gourmet cook and a soccer mom who read books to the blind. People Magazine even did an article on her, featuring her well-appointed Highland Park home, and casting her as a Martha Stewart-type homemaker.

But as the long-forgotten story of the SLA was resurrected in the media and as the Los Angeles district attorney began to present the voluminous evidence, stored for over 25 years, Soliah-Olson shed the Martha Stewart image and presented herself as the victim of a politically motivated “witch hunt” and surrounded herself with SLA attorneys, ’60s radicals and their sympathizers.

On Feb. 12, 2000, Soliah-Olson and her supporters held a forum and auction fundraiser for her defense in St. Paul. Among the speakers was Keith Ellison, a local criminal defense attorney, activist and radio talk-show host.

His speech is still preserved on an archived copy of the now-defunct Soliah-Olson defense website.

Ellison, who frequently defended black gang members in his practice, linked the prosecution of Soliah-Olson to notable radicals Geronimo Pratt and Mumia Abu Jamal.

“For the people who want to incarcerate Sara Jane Olson, ain’t nothing changed,” said Ellison. “As a matter of fact, they want to settle scores with Sara Jane Olson and others who were fighting for freedom in the ’60s and ’70s.

“… And like many of my clients, Sara Jane Olson has a public defender. Do you understand what I’m saying? Because she cannot afford to pay for her defense all by herself. Do you understand what I’m saying? I mean, the reality is, Sara Jane Olson, basically – is a black gang member – as far as I can see.

“… I think, just like the people who want to come together and lock up Sara, we need to come together and free Sara. And all the Saras, because she’s not the only one.”

Ellison, crediting the speech given by Dohrn earlier that evening, continued.

“This is not about justice,” he said. “This is not about accountability, this is not about public safety. This is about symbolism. This is about making a point. This is about saying to you and to me that we are going to get you if you ever try to stand against what we’re about. We’re going to get you. And we’re going to lock you up and we don’t care how long it takes, we’re going to get you.”

Before finishing his speech, Ellison admitted his knowledge of the SLA was deficient:

“My point is that I remember the SLA. I was 12 years old when it hit the news in 1974. I remember the name, I remember the made-for-TV movie with Patty Hearst, who was ‘taken away by the SLA’ and by this black guy named Cinque, who strutted around and was real scary. And clearly these people were ‘bad to the bone.’ And as I began to read about the SLA, they were talking about rights for poor people. … I mean I’m not trying to say the SLA is – I don’t even know enough about the SLA to tell you about the SLA, but I can tell you what they stated … they were in favor of: It had to do with fighting poverty and fighting racism and stuff like that. I’m not even here to tell you how they did it, because I don’t know.

“… And so, I just want to welcome you for your contribution to the struggle and thank those of you who have been maintaining the struggle over the years, and say, “Hey, free Sara!”

Thirty-three months after Ellison’s call for Soliah-Olson’s release, she, the Harrises, and Michael Bortin, pleaded guilty to the shotgun murder of Myrna Opsahl, the bank customer killed in the SLA robbery. Soliah-Olson also pleaded guilty to placing pipe bombs under LAPD police cars. A fifth member, James Kilgore, was later captured in South Africa and sentenced for bomb possession and Opsahl’s murder.

The focus on the SLA in Soliah-Olson’s trial distracted attention from her own violent history before and after coming into contact with the group that kidnapped Patty Hearst. Over a year before the SLA came into existence, Soliah, her brother, Bortin and Kilgore were questioned in connection with a bomb factory discovered in a Berkeley garage. Bortin and a second man were arrested in connection with the bomb lab and convicted and sentenced for possessing an ammonium-nitrate bomb. Based on information developed by the Alameda County district attorney, the pair was suspected of 10 bombings in 1971 and one in 1972, the latter involving a tack-grenade bomb – housed in a beer can – tossed into a bar across the street from the San Francisco Hall of Justice frequented by police officers and court personnel.

During the latter half of 1974, when the Harrises and Hearst were hiding out on a Pennsylvania farm, Kathleen Soliah, her brother, Kilgore and Bortin were setting off bombs in the Bay Area under the banner of the New World Liberation Front, a name announced in the first SLA communique after the Harrises and Hearst came under the protection of Soliah in June 1974.

Vin McLellan and Paul Avery, in their 1977 book “The Voices of Guns,” documented more than 10 Bay Area bombings by Soliah’s NWLF in late 1974 and 1975:

  • Aug. 6, 1974: Bomb failed to explode at Burlingame office of General Motors Acceptable Corporation;

  • Sept. 3, 1974: Bomb exploded in the San Francisco office of Dean Witter and Company;

  • Sept. 13, 1974: Bomb exploded at the Palo Alto office of Dean Witter and Company;

  • Sept. 28, 1974: Bomb exploded in a warehouse of an ITT subsidiary in San Leandro;

  • Oct. 2, 1974: Bomb exploded in a women’s restroom of the ITT-owned Sheraton-Palace Hotel in San Francisco;

  • Oct. 30, 1974: Bomb exploded at the Los Altos Hills home of retired ITT president Robert Halleck;

  • Nov. 6, 1974: Seven meter maid three-wheeled motorcycles blown up in a Berkeley parking lot;

  • Dec. 19, 1974: Bomb exploded in the San Francisco office of General Motors Corporation;

  • Feb. 3, 1975: Bomb exploded at the San Jose office of General Motors Corporation;

  • Feb. 4, 1975: Double bombing at Pillar Point Air Force Radar Station near Half Moon Bay and the Vulcan Foundry in Oakland;

  • Feb. 6, 1975: Pipe bomb exploded at KRON-TV station in San Francisco;

  • Aug. 4, 1975: Three NWLF fire bombs exploded in the carport of the Woodside home of Charles de Brettville, chairman of the Bank of California, a director of Pacific Gas and Electric, Shell Oil, Western Union and Safeway Stores, Inc;

  • Aug. 14, 1975: The NWLF claimed credit for bombing of an Emeryville police cruiser.

By February 1975, the Bay Area was averaging one bombing every 16 days. The NWLF was linked to more than 70 bombings by authorities, mostly in Northern California.


FBI wanted poster

McLellan and Avery wrote:

“The NWLF messages had a standing invitation to other groups to adopt the name, and there were apparently one or more independent ‘NWLF’ units that became active in bombings – but according to Hearst’s FBI confessions, it was Bill Harris and the ‘second team’ who were behind most of the two dozen NWLF bombings over the following nine months. (‘The Harrises were the g*****n NWLF!’ said one Patty-briefed source, mixing admiration and exasperation.)”

After the FBI dragnet that caught Hearst and the Harrises failed to capture Soliah in September 1975, she and Kilgore continued setting off bombs under the name of the NWLF. On Feb 12, 1976, 24 years to the day before Ellison’s plea to “free Sara,” authorities say Soliah and Kilgore set off a bomb at the historic Hearst Castle on California’s central coast, causing $1 million in damage. The pair were identified from photographs by tourists who escaped the blast. The NWLF communique that followed demanded the Hearst family contribute $250,000 to the defense of the Harrises.

The following night, a deputy sheriff patrolling near Woodside in the south Bay Area was shot by two gunmen as he investigated suspicious activity beneath an electric transmission tower adjacent to the freeway. The officer interrupted the pair’s efforts before the bomb they were setting could be exploded. The NWLF took credit for shooting the officer.

One of the NWLF’s better-known targets in 1976 was then-San Francisco Supervisor Dianne Feinstein.

In 1995, Feinstein, by now a U.S. senator, testified at Senate hearings on terrorism where she explained why she carried a concealed weapon:

“Because less than 20 years ago I was the target of a terrorist group. It was the New World Liberation Front. They blew up power stations and put a bomb at my home when my husband was dying of cancer. And the bomb didn’t detonate. … I was very lucky. But, I thought of what might have happened. Later the same group shot out all the windows of my home. “And, I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself, because that’s what I did. I was trained in firearms. I’d walk to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon. I made the determination that if somebody was going to try to take me out, I was going to take them with me.”

Last week, Ellison was named to the House Judiciary Committee, which has oversight over civil liberties, immigration and the courts. He said he would like to see a ban on racial profiling and will work to restore civil liberties he says have been rolled back by the Bush administration, Associated Press reported.

Jon Opsahl, son of the woman killed by the SLA, told WND: “It does seem to confirm that, unfortunately, intelligence and integrity are not prerequisites for political office in this country in general and in Minnesota in particular.”

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Below are three segments from the British television show, Dispatches. This particular episode aired yesterday on British television and focused on various Islamic mosques and gathering places, particularly a Birmingham mosque where hatred and swift and unrepentant brutality against believers and non-believers alike are regularly preached.

Of course, this is nothing new. Islamists, taking inspiration from the Qur’an, have been evangelizing such loathsome exhortations for centuries, while elevating their prophet Muhammad as a symbol of the perfect man in whom all should strive to emulate. Muhammad, a man who via the “divine” word of Allah, teaches that marrying children is a noble practice (in fact he did so–the nine-year-old girl, Aisha was among his many wives), that killing non-believers is justified simply because they don’t believe, that beating wives is necessary, and polygamy should be encouraged, is the prophet whom all Muslims should aspire to imitate in word and deed. Even in this day and age, Muslims strive for jihad in order to create a sharia Islamic state throughout the world.

I don’t want this to happen. Nor do I wish to be relegated to dhimmi status under such an oppressive and fascist (interpreted as the nation of Islam) regime. I have lately been reading quite a bit about Islam, including the Qur’an itself, and though I’ve never really been one to denounce an individual’s right to their religious beliefs and practices, the more I learn about Islam, the more I see the Prophet’s “religion of peace” as nothing more than a thuggish cult bent on world domination. Go ahead. Call me Islamophobic (such a ridiculous word), but this stuff truly, and I believe justly, frightens me.

Now I would simply like to see someone here in America do a similar undercover investigative report into various mosques and the religion of Islam such as the documentary below from the BBC’s Channel 4’s (thanks for the correction Veronica) Dispatches program. Unfortunately, there seems too much political resistance and repression of free speech in the States right now to allow something of that sort.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

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If mankind minus one were of one opinion, then mankind is no more justified in silencing the one than the one – if he had the power – would be justified in silencing mankind.
John Stuart Mill
English economist & philosopher (1806 – 1873)

While mostly arising from conservative circles, the multitude of concerns being expressed regarding the hyper-liberalization of colleges and universities seems to rise exponentially on a daily basis.

While I do believe the university should be an institution of free thought, encouraged via the professors and teaching staff, evidence abounds that anything other than politically correct authoritarianism is being discouraged and squelched with extreme prejudice by the very leaders of these institutions who are taxed with ensuring the minds of students remain open and flexible to many ideas and ideals whether those leaders agree with them or not. Pushing one’s own singular vendetta on impressionable minds, while not offering alternatives to one’s personal beliefs is deservingly ignominious.

A tenet such as (x+5)(x-3) = x2+2x-15 isn’t really debatable. It just is. But the free exchange of ideas is being threatened on the campus and in the classroom. According to recent study conducted by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), more than 70 percent of universities and colleges ban protected First Amendment speech. Some go even further.

Michigan State University has been under fire for the creation of their Student Accountability in Community Seminar (SAC) program. SAC exhibits an overtly Orwellian approach to “unacceptable” speech and/or actions by forcing students who participate in such conduct into an “early intervention” or thought reform designed to strip them of their distasteful morals. Students can even have their university account frozen if they refuse to attend a required SAC seminar. Of course, what might be considered worthy of a timeout in the SAC chair is rather abstruse as presented by the MSU program. Needless to say, if it isn’t politically correct, it isn’t protected by the freedom of speech provision in the First Amendment. With SAC, Michigan State University has in essence, and without any reservation what-so-ever, entirely disregarded the First Amendment. This is a particularly heinous policy to support for any higher education institution in the United States.

The Gates of Vienna blog has posted a particularly potent and well-written piece concerning the subject of free speech in the west–on university campuses and in general. The writers’ intent to offend the reader is obvious. This does not in any way overshadow the importance of the message. In fact, the message is stronger in its timeliness because of the offense.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Free to Say What?

by Baron Bodissey

We have freedom of speech in this country, guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

We’re free to say anything we like, with notable exceptions carved out after 220 years of jurisprudence — direct incitement to violence and shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

Free speech must be punishedAnd we are about to add another exception: “hate speech”. A generation of college students has come to maturity under a regime in which free speech most emphatically does not include the right to say anything that might be construed as hateful towards minorities, women, gays, disabled people, animals, trees, etc.

These students are in the revolutionary vanguard of the softened-up, so that by the time Congress slips through a law that actually criminalizes “hate speech”, the constant repetition of the mantra “hate speech is not free speech” will have taken its toll. Everybody will already be used to the idea, will accept it as a given, and, after the required Supreme Court decision, the new, leaner version of the First Amendment will become the law of the land.

If you think I’m being paranoid or overreacting, then you haven’t seen Rep. John Conyers’ proposed kid-gloves-for-the-Koran resolution, H. Res. 288 (the full text is here):

Resolved, That the House of Representatives —

1.   condemns bigotry, acts of violence, and intolerance against any religious group, including our friends, neighbors, and citizens of the Islamic faith;
2.   declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith, should be protected;
3.   recognizes that the Quran, the holy book of Islam, as any other holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect; and
4.   calls upon local, State, and Federal authorities to work to prevent bias-motivated crimes and acts against all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith.

This is pernicious on so many levels that it’s hard to know where to start. It asserts that one person’s right to be respected overrides another person’s right to speak freely. It singles out a single religion, Islam, for special treatment. It accords the holy book of the Muslims more respect than is owed the flag of the United States.

This is a CAIR-sponsored Trojan horse, ready to be rolled through the gates into the First Amendment. And its sponsor is about to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
When I defend the right to free speech, what am I defending?

The Founders weren’t thinking about the right to print gay porn. When they crafted the First Amendment, they most emphatically intended to protect political speech. A lot of what passed for political speech in those days was insulting, libelous, vicious, and mendacious, but the framers of the Constitution were determined to leave it unrestrained.

But what about today? What words are so dangerous, so foul, so beyond the pale, that the force of law is required to protect them?
– – – – – – – – – –
The example I am about to give is so offensive that I will be in hot water for posting it here, even though I don’t subscribe to it myself, even though I find its appalling and repugnant, even though I would not willingly share the room with someone who uttered it. The amount of trouble I bring down upon myself will illustrate my point.

I’m displaying it here as an image, so as not to be indexed for the obnoxious phrase by the search engines:

READ FURTHER…

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Also, here’s more information on SAC at Michigan State University.

Michigan State University Engaged in Thought Reform

December 14, 2006

FIRE Press Release

EAST LANSING, Mich., December 14, 2006—It may be almost 2007, but it feels more like “1984” at Michigan State University. The university’s Student Accountability in Community Seminar (SAC) forces students whose speech or behavior is deemed unacceptable to undergo ideological reeducation at their own expense. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is challenging Michigan State to dismantle this unconstitutional program, which presents a profound threat to both freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.

“Michigan State’s SAC program is simply one of the most invasive attempts at reeducation that FIRE has ever seen, yet it has been allowed to exist at the university for years,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “As bad as it is to tell citizens in a free society what they can’t say, it is even worse to tell them what they must say. Michigan State’s program is an immoral and unconstitutional program of compelled speech, blatant thought reform, and pseudo-psychology.”

According to the program’s materials, SAC is an “early intervention” for students who use such “power-and-control tactics” as “male/white privilege” and “obfuscation,” which the university cryptically defines as “any action of obscuring, concealing, or changing people’s perceptions that result in your advantage and/or another’s disadvantage.” Students can be required to attend SAC if they demonstrate what a judicial administrator arbitrarily deems aggressive behavior, past examples of which have included slamming a door during an argument or playing a practical joke. Students can also be required to attend SAC for engaging in various types of constitutionally protected speech, including “insulting instructors” or “making sexist, homophobic, or racist remarks at a meeting.” When participation in SAC is required, “non-compliance typically results in a hold being placed on the student’s account,” an action that leaves the student unable to register for classes and thus effectively expelled from the university. Students are required to pay the cost of the SAC sessions.

Once in the program, students are instructed to answer a series of written questionnaires. In their answers, students must specifically describe how they are taking “full responsibility” for their offensive behavior and must do so using language that the director of the session deems acceptable. Most students will be asked to fill out this questionnaire multiple times, slowly inching closer to what administrators deem to be “correct” responses.

In a letter on November 20, 2006 to Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon, FIRE pointed out the stark contradiction between the SAC program and the values of a free society: “[A]t the heart of all concepts relating to freedom of the mind is a recognition of our own limitations—like us, those in power are neither omniscient nor omnipotent, and therefore have no right to dictate to others what their deepest personal beliefs must be. Concern for free speech and freedom of conscience is rooted in the wisdom of humility and restraint. The SAC program, which presumes to show students the specific ideological assumptions they need to be better people, crosses the boundary from punishment into invasive and immoral thought reform. We can think of no way in which the SAC program can be maintained consistent with the ideals of a free society.”

FIRE’s letter to President Simon also underscored Michigan State’s legal obligation to abide by the First Amendment. FIRE reminded her of the Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), a case decided in the midst of World War II that remains the law of the land. Justice Robert H. Jackson, writing for the Court, declared, “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.

Michigan State has informed FIRE that it will be reviewing the SAC program, but FIRE is calling for nothing less than its total dismantling.

“Michigan State’s SAC program shows a breathtaking lack of respect for individual dignity and autonomy. I urge anyone who cares about the rights of students and the sanctity of private conscience to take a long, hard look at the SAC program’s materials,” Lukianoff said.

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process rights, freedom of expression, and rights of conscience on our campuses. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty at Michigan State University and elsewhere can be seen by visiting www.thefire.org.

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Grasping at straws over the US Airways Flight 300 fiasco back in November, Somali Muslims and Muslim-rights groups living in La La Land (Iran?), including the perpetually dubious Center on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), are demanding a prayer space in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport be set aside solely for use by Muslims and only Muslims–no Christians (or any other religious group) allowed, further proving that Islam is the most intolerant religion on the face of the planet.

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press article…

“Where you have Christians and Muslims praying at the same time, it will create a problem,” said Fuad Ali, a Somali leader who spoke at a meeting of community members and airport officials Tuesday in Minneapolis.

While there are many Christians who could be considered intolerant, that is usually in spite of the fact they’re Christians. The Qur’an teaches intolerance to followers of Islam, so who do you think will be the cause of “problems” should Muslims have to share a prayer room with Christians?

From the WND article further down the page in reference to the November 20 US Airways Flight 300 with the kooky imams…

The Washington, D.C., based lobby group Council on American-Islamic Relations also complained, according to CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.
“Because, unfortunately, this is a growing problem of singling out Muslims or people perceived to be Muslims at airports, and it’s one that we’ve been addressing for some time,” Hooper said.

You singled yourself out with your incendiary and purposefully outrageous behavior. You perpetrated a choreographed stunt in order to garner attention towards Islamic religious discrimination that just wasn’t there. I don’t deny that Muslims face religious discrimination (or any other religious group), but the incident on US Airways Flight 300 was handled very professionally by the US Airways staff. Passengers, while alarmed, didn’t resort to panic or bigotry. The imams, on the other hand, acted like idiots and the public saw through their facade for what it truly was: a publicity stunt designed to generate a religious discrimination lawsuit.

Still, it could be morbidly amusing to witness a prayer room with Muslims and Christians together. One group might be praying for a safe flight home, while the other group prays for a speedy trip to paradise.

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Airport hesitant to grant Muslim prayer room

Somali immigrant leaders also ask directors for signs in native language, exceptions for cabbies

BY EMILY GURNON
Pioneer Press

Somali immigrants passing through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport want a private place to say Muslim prayers. The airport suggests they share a room with people of other religions.

Like a new couple learning to dance, immigrants and their adopted countries often trip each other up, and the prayer-room issue is just one of the latest tangles between Somali immigrants and other Minnesotans.

“Where you have Christians and Muslims praying at the same time, it will create a problem,” said Fuad Ali, a Somali leader who spoke at a meeting of community members and airport officials Tuesday in Minneapolis.

The prayer debate was sparked Nov. 20 when six imams — Muslim religious leaders — were removed from an airplane after they had been seen praying in public. According to witnesses, the men also made anti-American remarks, asked for seat-belt extenders they didn’t need and spread out to different areas of the plane.

The imams took another flight the next day.

But the incident drew worldwide attention. Muslims decried the treatment of the men, saying it was discriminatory, embarrassing and fueled by false rumors. Others praised the airline for taking the men off the plane, saying safety must come first in the post-Sept. 11 age.

Ali said Tuesday that he and other Somalis want a prayer room so they will not be faced with a similar incident.

“What can guarantee that will not happen again?” he said.

Airport Director Steve Wareham said if the airport provides a special area for Muslims to use, it potentially would have to accommodate other faiths the same way.

“Our request would be you try the quiet seating area,” he told the Somali immigrants.

That existing area is a carpeted room that contains chairs but no religious symbols. It has been used for years but was never obvious to travelers, said airport spokesman Patrick Hogan. The airport intends to install more signs directing people to it on the mezzanine level near the Chili’s restaurant, near the entry to the F Concourse.

At the same time, there is no restriction on praying in other parts of the airport, Wareham said.

Other issues continue to rile some Somali immigrants. Minnesota is home to the largest concentration of Somali immigrants in the country. The state estimates about 25,000 Somalis live here, though community leaders say the number is closer to 60,000.

Many of the airport’s Somali taxi drivers refuse to accept passengers who are carrying liquor, because their faith forbids it. The airport says it is a customer-service issue and has forced drivers who refuse fares to move to the back of the line, which can mean a wait as long as three hours for another fare.

Wareham said he would recommend to the airport’s management operations committee that it hold a public hearing on the matter. He favors stiffening the penalties against cab drivers who refuse fares for any reason other than their own safety.

“To be refused service by a taxi driver is, frankly, seen as an insult, and we don’t want our customers to experience it,” Wareham said.

Somalis assembled at Tuesday’s meeting at the Darul Quba Mosque in Minneapolis also wanted to know whether the airport would provide announcements and signs in Somali.

Probably not, officials said.

“The challenge is not inundating the air with messages people might start to ignore,” said Arlie Johnson, an assistant airport director.

At least the issue of the prayer room was met with some accommodation, said Abdirahman Hirsi, imam of the Darul Quba Mosque.

“It’s a kind of progress,” he said. “And we hope the future will be better.”

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Muslims warn of ‘problems’ in shared prayer room
Somali leader says Islam, Christianity incompatible


Posted: January 4, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com Muslims are demanding a private room to pray at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, saying there will be problems if they have to share an existing “quiet room” with people of other religions. “Where you have Christians and Muslims praying at the same time, it will create a problem,” said Fuad Ali, a Somali leader who spoke at a meeting with airport officials, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The meeting was a followup to an incident Nov. 20 when ticket agents and other passengers noticed six Muslim imams who had attended a conference in the area praying loudly before their flight, and shouting “Allah, Allah” when their flight was called. Officials said then they also asked to be scattered throughout the plane, rather than sitting together as they had been assigned. And some of the imams, although they did not need them, asked for seat-belt extenders. The pilot summoned security and the imams were removed from the flight, and then they alleged that they were discriminated against because of their religion. Now Somalis, who make up a large community in Minnesota and are predominantly Muslim, are demanding changes at the airport, including a private place for them to use for their prayers.

The airport, meanwhile, has suggested they share the room already set aside for such purposes.

The incident with the imams, who took another later flight, has launched both criticism and praise for the airline, US Airways. Critics say the airline was profiling based on religion, while those who praise the actions say safety must come first in the world since Sept. 11.

Ali said he just wanted a “guarantee” that something similar will not happen in the future.

But the airport already provides the generic quiet area, and if it would set aside a special area designated for Muslims, it could have to accommodate any – and all – other faiths the same way, noted Airport Director Steve Wareham.

“Our request would be you try the quiet seating area,” he said.

That is a carpeted room furnished with chairs – but without any religious symbols, airport officials said. It has been in use for a number of years, but hasn’t been obvious, so airport officials have promised to put up more signs to let people know where it is.

The airport also said people can pray in other parts of the airport as they wish.

As WND reported, one of the imams, Omar Shahin, is affiliated with a Hamas-linked organization and acknowledged a connection to Osama bin Laden in the 1990s.

Shahin is a representative of the Kind Hearts Organization, which had its assets frozen by the U.S. Treasury pending an investigation, notes Islam scholar Robert Spencer on his weblog JihadWatch


Omar Shahin displays Quran at Tucson Islamic Center in June 2001 (Photo: University of Arizona Daily Wildcat)

Treasury spokesman Stuart Levey in February said KindHearts “is the progeny of Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation, which attempted to mask their support for terrorism behind the façade of charitable giving.”

The imams had attended a conference in Minneapolis of the North American Imams Federation, said Shahin, who is president of the group.

“They took us off the plane, humiliated us in a very disrespectful way,” Shahin said after the incident.

The Washington, D.C., based lobby group Council on American-Islamic Relations also complained, according to CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.

“Because, unfortunately, this is a growing problem of singling out Muslims or people perceived to be Muslims at airports, and it’s one that we’ve been addressing for some time,” Hooper said.

CAIR, however, has its own ties to Hamas, having been identified by two former FBI counter-terrorism chiefs as a spinoff of a front group for the Palestinian terrorist organization.

A Sept. 28, 2001, story in the Arizona Republic that said Arizona appears to have been the home of an al-Qaida sleeper cell named Shahin as one of three part-time Arizona residents who “fits the pattern” of the terrorist group.

Shahin, identifed as being with the Tucson Islamic Center, said members of his mosque may have helped bin Laden in the early 1990s when the al-Qaida leader was fighting against the Russians.

The CIA at that time, Shahin said, called bin Laden a “freedom fighter.”

Witnesses to the imam’s explusion said some of them made anti-American comments about the war in Iraq before boarding the flight, according to airport officials.

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Since I discovered Jihadwatch.org (and sister-site Dhimmiwatch) several months back, I have found it the most reliable collated source presenting Islamist current events and coextensive opinion on the subject of Islam and jihadist machinations, albeit one-sided. Of course I wouldn’t want it any other way from writer and Islamic scholar, Robert Spencer–a man more than proficient in Islamic law and theology, and the violent and imperialistic proclivities of Muhammad’s religion of peace intolerance.

This may explain why I link to Jihadwatch more and more frequently. Too many other news outlets dull information on Islam today, particularly here in the west, with an overabundance of politically correct, honey-coated proselytizing and apologizing for a faith based around a basic concept of convert or die. I don’t need politically correct platitudes on this subject. Honest truth is more important to me, even if that means alienating a few friends and acquaintances along the way due to unpopular ideas–it’s not necessarily good holiday conversation.

Anyway, here’s an opinion by Mr. Spencer concerning a Washington Post article about the swearing in of Representative Keith Ellison. Or rather, the swearing in of Representative Keith Ellison with the Qur’an rather than the traditional use of The Bible. Further, Ellison will be swearing in on Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of the Qur’an.

There’s nothing constitutionally that claims one cannot be sworn into office with anything other than The Bible, nor do I believe should there be. To me this is sort of a non-issue that rings only slightly alarmist by traditionalists and southern-conservatives. Despite the fact that the United States is a country that tends to stand by tradition, there have been several public office holders throughout the history of this country who have taken the oath of office on The Bible in spite of their beliefs as non-Christians. Counter to that, several non-Christians and Christians alike have opted to swear on nothing at all for their oath of office.

Still, Spencer makes a succinct and reasoned (as always) point on the tradition of using The Bible versus the tradition (or lack of tradition) of the Qur’an. And as usual, Spencer encourages much needed open discussion on what Islam teaches and how it fits into our society minus the ad hominem cries of “racist” or “bigot” that CAIR and its ilk often ignorantly belch forth.

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But It’s Thomas Jefferson’s Koran! (Jihadwatch.org)

In the Washington Post (thanks to Davida), Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts report breathlessly that Keith Ellison will be using Thomas Jefferson’s own copy of the Qur’an for his swearing-in photo op.

This is allegedly a political masterstroke by Ellison, but it really just begs the question. Thomas Jefferson, obviously, was not a Muslim. In his famous statement on religious freedom he wrote about whether one’s neighbor believed in one god or twelve “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” But what no one is willing to discuss here is whether the Qur’an and Islam really fit into that framework. When I have mentioned that it sanctions lying to unbelievers (3:28 and 16:106, in the mainstream understanding of those verses by Islamic theologians and schools of jurisprudence; cf. Ibn Kathir and many others), people have responded that the Bible is full of nasty stuff as well. But people aren’t swearing on the Bible because it is full of nasty stuff, or endorsing any of it that might actually be there. The idea of swearing on the Bible arises from Christian belief and is buttressed by Christian theology — Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant — that requires honesty and eschews all dishonesty as coming from the “Father of Lies.” The permissions to be dishonest in the Qur’an are not mitigated by Islamic belief, tradition, and theology, but are in fact reinforced — by Muhammad’s statements that “war is deceit” and that lying is permissible in wartime, and more.

In short, to swear on the Bible is to affirm, among other things, that one is part of a tradition, and to swear on the Qur’an does not amount to an affirmation of the same tradition, no matter how much Glenn Beck or Ed Koch or anyone wishes it does or assumes it does. Islamic teachers daily use the Qur’an to establish principles that differ radically from those of Judeo-Christian tradition. These questions need to be discussed in a forthright and honest manner by Ellison and by the mainstream media, instead of being swept under the rug or condemned as bigotry.

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But It’s Thomas Jefferson’s Koran! (WashingtonPost.com)

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Wednesday, January 3, 2007; C03

Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, found himself under attack last month when he announced he’d take his oath of office on the Koran — especially from Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, who called it a threat to American values.

Yet the holy book at tomorrow’s ceremony has an unassailably all-American provenance. We’ve learned that the new congressman — in a savvy bit of political symbolism — will hold the personal copy once owned by Thomas Jefferson.

“He wanted to use a Koran that was special,” said Mark Dimunation, chief of the rare book and special collections division at the Library of Congress, who was contacted by the Minnesota Dem early in December. Dimunation, who grew up in Ellison’s 5th District, was happy to help.

Jefferson’s copy is an English translation by George Sale published in the 1750s; it survived the 1851 fire that destroyed most of Jefferson’s collection and has his customary initialing on the pages. This isn’t the first historic book used for swearing-in ceremonies — the Library has allowed VIPs to use rare Bibles for inaugurations and other special occasions.

Ellison will take the official oath of office along with the other incoming members in the House chamber, then use the Koran in his individual, ceremonial oath with new Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Keith is paying respect not only to the founding fathers’ belief in religious freedom but the Constitution itself,” said Ellison spokesman Rick Jauert.

One person unlikely to be swayed by the book’s illustrious history is Goode, who released a letter two weeks ago objecting to Ellison’s use of the Koran. “I believe that the overwhelming majority of voters in my district would prefer the use of the Bible,” the Virginia Republican told Fox News, and then went on to warn about what he regards as the dangers of Muslims immigrating to the United States and Muslims gaining elective office.

Yeah, but what about a Koran that belonged to one of the greatest Virginians in history? Goode, who represents Jefferson’s birthplace of Albemarle County, had no comment yesterday.

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