Archive | December 27, 2015

Despite Increasing Threats and Violence, Americans Show Support for Muslim Neighbours*

Despite Increasing Threats and Violence, Americans Show Support for Muslim Neighbours*

A professor of theology wrote that interfaith efforts in support of Muslims throughout the country “are shining lights into the darkness being spread by anti-Muslim fear-mongering.”

By Kit O’Connell

Paula Criswell, center, holds a sign as she joins others in a rally to show support for Muslim members of the community near the Clear Lake Islamic Center in Webster, Texas on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. Members of several churches showed their support as attendees made their way to the centre for Friday prayers. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

As Muslims in America face an unprecedented wave of violence in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, Americans of many faiths are coming together to show solidarity against these disturbing threats.

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest advocacy group for Muslims in the United States, there have been 29 cases of attacks or vandalism against mosques in 2015 — the most for any year since the organization began tracking incidents in 2009.

“November 2015 was the most significant spike, with a total of 17 mosque incidents, with all but 2 of those incidents occurring in the wake of the November 13 Paris terror attacks,” CAIR reported.

The increased threats targeting mosques accompanies an ever-growing number of incidents against Muslims and Muslim-owned businesses in the country.

But even as armed protesters become a disturbingly common sight outside mosques, there are also growing efforts across the country to show support for the principle of religious freedom on which the country was founded. Many of the strongest efforts toward offering support and creating a healthy dialogue about the role of religion in America are coming from the Christian and interfaith communities.

Writing on Sunday for Huffington Post, Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a professor of theology at Chicago Theological Seminary, wrote that these efforts “are shining lights into the darkness being spread by anti-Muslim fear-mongering and hateful speech, and many are also resisting violence.”

Here are five examples of America’s religious communities showing support for Muslims:

  • Interfaith service reaffirms religious freedom in Raleigh, North Carolina — WRAL reported that leaders from a variety of faiths gathered at the Islamic Association of Raleigh on Dec. 11 to reject divisive rhetoric by politicians like Donald Trump, who recently declared that he would implement a tracking database for Muslims in the U.S. Nancy Petty, pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, said: “[As] people of faith, as moral, ethical human beings, we cannot remain silent or invisible at the rise of intolerance, prejudice and hostility toward our Muslim brothers and sisters here in America.”
  • Thomas University issues messages of support, offers Muslim prayer room — On Dec. 10, Julie Sullivan, the president of St. Thomas University, a Catholic university in St. Paul, Minnesota, offered a statement of support for Muslim students and staff. It read, in part: “At a time of deeply troubling anti-Muslim political rhetoric in American society, we at the University of St. Thomas reiterate our welcome to Muslims as members of our community, our gratitude for the many contributions that Muslims make to our community, and our unwavering support especially for our many Muslim students.” Lindsey Seavert, a reporter at Minneapolis-based KARE, reported that the campus features a dedicated prayer room for Muslims, and Ayan Ahmed, a junior at the school, told Seavert, “There’s a shared commonality and believe in God and they are very accepting of Muslims.”
  • Irving, Texas, counters hate rally with a “peace march”: After the KKK backed out of a planned Dec. 12 rally at a mosque in Irving, a city near the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex, local residents transformed their plans for a counter-rally into a peace march to show solidarity with people of all faiths. One attendee told WFAA: “The activities happening around the community are really distressing to me. So I came here to show solidarity with my brothers and sisters who follow Islam, to say that my faith requires that I value all humans.” WFAA reported that many attendees also brought teddy bears which would be donated to Syrian refugee families that will soon be settled in the area.
  • Dearborn Heights, Michigan, opposes Islamophobic violence after shooting of Sikh man: On Dec. 17, religious leaders from Dearborn Heights, a city in the Detroit metropolitan area, gathered to oppose violence and reaffirm their support for religious freedom and interfaith unity. Niraj Warikoo, writing for the Detroit Free Press, reported that one inspiration for the gathering was a Dec. 12 attack on a Sikh clerk at a convenience store in Grand Rapids by a robber who accused the victim of being a Muslim terrorist. Warikoo reported that the Jewish, Muslim and Christian clergy attending “criticized hateful rhetoric against Muslims and immigrants being made by politicians and others. They worried that the heated atmosphere is leading to division and violence in some cases.” Rev. Lawrence Glass, president of The Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity, spoke out against profiling and stereotyping at the event, saying: “America is the land of diversity and the land of liberty.”
  • Chicago seminary calls on Christian women to wear hijabs in support of Muslim women: On Dec. 18, Alice Hunt, the president of Chicago Theological Seminary, called on Christian women to wear a hijab for the remainder of Advent as a way of showing solidarity with hijab-wearing Muslim women, who Hunt says face increased violence because of their increased visibility. “As people of faith, we embrace love instead of hate, community instead of alienation, and respect instead of fear-mongering,” Hunt wrote.

Jane Malin holds a sign as she waves to passing cars during a rally to show support for Muslim members of the community. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

MintPress News asked Ben Franklin, a representative of the Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church located north of Houston, what Americans can do to show support for Muslims during these dangerous times. Together with the Unitarian Universalist Voice for Justice of Greater Houston and Solidarity Houston, Franklin has organized successful efforts to support Muslims in the Houston metropolitan area and throughout the state. He stressed the importance of first making connections with your neighbourhood mosque or Islamic centre, and making sure you know their wishes before acting.

For Franklin, the Irving peace march was a perfect example of this — organizers originally planned a rally outside the mosque, but moved to a nearby park at the request of the local imam after the KKK canceled their event.

Franklin recommended sending a simple letter of introduction and support first, then attending a public event to introduce yourself in person and offer further help. “Tell them you support them being in your community,” he said.

He stressed the importance of establishing relationships both with local Muslims and pre-existing interfaith groups before these kinds of xenophobic events occur, so that communities can be prepared to rapidly oppose anti-Muslim groups.

He says interfaith efforts are becoming more organized on a state-wide and national scale.

“We’re attempting to build a rapid response network. I’m hoping we can set up nodes in different cities so if one of us hears about an event we can pass it on and all be more aware,” he concluded.


Related Topics:

7-Year-Old Texas Boy Who Donated Piggy Bank to Vandalized Mosque Gets Surprise*

Blindfolded Muslim Man Tells Parisians “Hug me if you trust me.”*

U.S. Anti-Islam Rallies ‘Fizzles’ Nationwide*

Inspiring Muslim Woman Donates $1 for Every Hate Tweet She Receives*

Apology to German Muslims from the PEGIDA Movement*

They get you to Hate Muslims so They Can Pocket There Wealth and Keep You Poor*

Birmingham Mosque’s Open’s Christmas Soup Kitchen*

Christmas in Damascus for Christians and Muslims*

Zionism and Organized Islamophobia – The Facts*

Waiting for God?*

Courage to Create Good in the World*

Cuba Ready to Provide All Needed Medicines for Syria*

Cuba Ready to Provide All Needed Medicines for Syria*

The government of Cuba expressed its readiness to provide all required medicines for the Syrian Arab Republic, said Syrian Health Minister Dr. Nizar Yazigi.

Syria_Health-Minister Dr.Nizar Yazigi with Cuban_Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz from Cuba

The Cuban government expressed its readiness to provide all needed medicines for Syria at the conclusion of the Syrian Health Minister’s visit to the Caribbean island State. Dr. Nizar Yazigi said that Cuba’s help was a reciprocal gesture in appreciation of Syria’s support of Cuba during the decades-long siege that was enforced on Cuba.

Earlier, on Thursday, Cuba and Syria signed a framework agreement on cooperation between the Cuban External Trade and Foreign Investment Ministry and the Syrian Ministry of Health. Also part of the framework agreement is Cuba’s Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry Group (BioCubaFarma).

The Vice President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba, Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, affirmed earlier during a meeting with minister Yazigi that Cuba’s support of Syria also comes against the backdrop of the war of terrorism that is being waged against the Syrian Arab Republic. Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz affirmed that the government in Havana is serious about offering all forms of support and aid to Syria.

Dr. Nizar Yazigi, for his part, thanked Cuba and recognized that Cuba is a pioneering country with regard to medical industries and that Cuban pharmaceutical companies are distinguished with supervision and quality. Cuba is one of the world’s leading international providers of medical aid programs including medicines, medical staff as well as surgery, including eye surgery to developing nations.


Related Topics:

U.N. Scam: Rotten Food, Expired Drugs for Syrian Refugees*

Death by Vaccine: 34 Syrian Children Die*

Massacred Syrian Town Ten Months under Siege Freed by the Syrian Army not the U.S. Coalition*

Iran and Greece Airspace Open for Russia to Send Humanitarian Aid to Syria*

Russia Constructs first Foreign Camp in Syria for Internally Displaced*

U.S. Plan to Spread Cholera across Syria and Turkey May be Failing*

Lebanese Boy uses Birthday Money to buy Syrian Children Shoes*

No Cheap Cuban Lung Cancer Vaccine For U.S. and Europe*

Iraqi Forces Take Control over Last ISIS Stronghold in Ramadi*

Iraqi Forces Take Control over Last ISIS Stronghold in Ramadi*

Iraqi security forces gather to advance towards the centre of Ramadi city, December 25, 2015. © Reuters

Iraqi government forces have seized the government complex in the centre of Ramadi – the last Islamic State stronghold in the western city, a military spokesman told Reuters.

“By controlling the complex this means that they [Islamic State, IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] have been defeated in Ramadi,” Sabah al-Numani, a spokesman for the Iraqi counter-terrorism units leading the fight, told the news agency.

Al-Numani stressed the complex is under full control of the Iraqi forces with “no presence whatsoever of Daesh [ISIS] fighters” adding that some militants could still be hiding in “pockets that could exist here or there in the city.”

According to al-Numan, a major clearing effort is still needed to allow Iraqi troops to move freely around the city as IS militants had filled the area with bombs and booby-traps. The necessity of a clear-up operation prevented the Iraqi government and the military from declaring a victory immediately, although some people in a number of cities were already celebrating, AFP reports.

Iraqi forces advanced to the provincial government compound in Ramadi overnight and encircled the terrorists in the complex earlier on Sunday.

The Ramadi offensive has been supported by airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition, but Iran-backed Shiite militias were barred from the operation by the government, in order to avoid sectarian violence in the mainly Sunni Anbar province.

Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar province, was seized by IS militants in May after about a week of fighting with the governmental forces.


Related Topics:

U.S. Airstrikes Kill 22 Iraqi Troops in Ramadi*

U.S. Stopping Iraqi Popular Forces’ from Freeing Ramadi from ISIS*

The Occult and U.S. Evacuation of ISIS/Israeli Military Commanders from Ramadi*

Bush Cancels Europe Trip Amidst Calls for his Arrest*

Bush Cancels Europe Trip Amidst Calls for his Arrest*

By Jeffrey Phillips

Will George W. Bush set foot in Europe again in his lifetime?

A planned trip by Bush to speak at the Switzerland-based United Israel Appeal later this week has been cancelled after several human rights groups called for Swiss authorities to arrest Bush and investigate him for authorizing torture. Bush has travelled widely since leaving office, but not to Europe, where there is a strong tradition of international prosecutions.

The Swiss group and Bush’s spokesman claim that it was threats of protest, not of legal action, that prompted the cancellation. But facing protests is nothing new for Bush. What was different about this trip was that groups including Amnesty International and the Centre for Constitutional Rights argued that Switzerland, as a party to the U.N. Convention against Torture, is obligated to investigate Bush for potential prosecution.

Amnesty’s memo to Swiss authorities cites, among other things, Bush’s admission in his own memoir that he approved the use of waterboarding. From Amnesty’s press release:

“To date, we’ve seen a handful of military investigations into detentions and interrogations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo. But none of these has had the independence and reach necessary to investigate high-level officials such as President Bush,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“Meanwhile, there has been virtually zero accountability for crimes committed in the CIA’s secret detention program, which was authorized by then-President Bush.”

Anywhere in the world that he travels, President Bush could face investigation and potential prosecution for his responsibility for torture and other crimes in international law, particularly in any of the 147 countries that are party to the U.N. Convention against Torture.

“As the U.S. authorities have, so far, failed to bring President Bush to justice, the international community must step in,” said Salil Shetty.


Related Topics:

Bush’s War on Terror in the Philippines*

Obama, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld Arrest Warrants Issued*

The Bush Syndicate: Kansas Children for Sale*

Venezuela Bans ‘Terrorists’ Bush, and Cheney *

Blair, Bush and Cameron: Deluded in their Hi-jack of God*

Occupy World: Judge Pursues Probe against Bush and Cheney*

Hillary Clinton George W. Bush’s Sister in Law*

German Group Files War Crimes Against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Other CIA Officials*

The Last Four U.S. Presidents on What to Do with Iraq*

Mirrors Brought to Protests to Force Police to Look at What They’ve Become*

Mirrors Brought to Protests to Force Police to Look at What They’ve Become*

In a move that is picking up international attention, the people of Ukraine have begun bringing mirrors to their protests.

They say they’re doing it to force police to look at their own reflection, in a piercing psychological reminder of what they’ve turned into.

The idea came about after police were seen violently attacking hundreds of Ukrainians who are upset with their government.

In one shocking video, swarms of police can be seen kicking, stomping, and trampling a defenceless man.

Warning: Graphic Content.

Now, police are being forced to face themselves in the mirror.

Several appeared to be ashamed or confused. Several others smiled as if to pretend that it didn’t get to them.

Others turned away, not wanting to look at all.

Many protesters also brought signs that read, “Who are you protecting?”

They believe that police have become an institution designed to protect criminal governments rather than families and communities.

The mirrors have had an intense effect on the psyches of many officers.

Some reports suggest that the government currently has plans to ban the use of mirrors at protests, labelling them as “potential weapons.”

Several officers could not even look at themselves in the mirror.

As news about the mirrors continues to spread online, it is sure to become a trend in protests around the world, with commenters saying things like:

“That is the most beautiful and brilliant form of protest I have heard of in a long time.”


“Unless you’ve had every shred of decency and humanity brainwashed out of you, how could you not be ashamed on some level to see yourself standing there; an iron-clad Stormtrooper armed to beat back your own people.

Congratulations, you’ve become a Nazi, your mother must be very proud. I will Never understand how someone could do that.”


“I don’t agree with the reason that Ukrainians are protesting (they want to be included in the corrupt EU), but this is a DAMN good idea. I hope it spreads”


Related Topics:

Against Spain’s Gag Law: The First Hologram Protest in History*

Protesting has Gone Flamenco, in Spain at Least*

Greek Special Forces in anti-Merkel Protest!

Tyranny in France*

Tyranny in France*

By Stephen Lendman

France’s national motto “Liberte, egalite, fraternite” is a meaningless slogan, spurned by police state authority – things heading toward becoming worse than ever.

Fundamental rule of law principles don’t apply. Article 13 of France’s 2014-2019 defence appropriation legislation permits monitoring, collecting and maintaining Internet user data – without judicial oversight.

Surveillance is authorized for any conduct authorities deem potentially harmful to French “scientific or economic potential.”

State anti-terrorism legislation eviscerates civil liberties protections, draconian measures substituting. Virtually anything can be called a national security threat – measures in place and coming to protect it fundamentally destroying the letter and spirit if a free society.

President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Manual Valls want draconian state of emergency powers institutionalized in France’s constitution.

If enacted, they’ll permit unrestrained extrajudicial house and community raids, mosques shut down, free expression and movement restrictions along with other draconian measures, transforming France into a full-blown police state.

Hollande wants the right to rule by state of emergency powers, with no limitation on their duration, along with greater Big Brother mass surveillance than already – despite no threat whatever to French security.

The only terrorist threats are state-sponsored. None others exist. On Wednesday, cabinet ministers approved Hollande’s proposal in principle, including letting authorities strip native-born French citizenship from dual nationals convicted of alleged terrorist crimes.

Hollande acted in response to the state-sponsored November 13 Paris false flag, killing scores, taking full advantage, telling parliamentarians:

“We must be able to strip the French citizenship of any person convicted of attacking the fundamental interests of the nation or of an act of terrorism, even if he (or she) is born French” – even if pronounced guilty when innocent.

France’s Nazi-collaborationist Vichy regime imposed collective nationality deprivations to strip thousands of Jews and others of their citizenship rights, especially individuals suspected of involvement with resistance activities.

Deportations to death camps followed. France under Hollande is a hair’s breadth from fast-approaching full-blown tyranny.

Fascism defines his agenda along with allying with US imperial wars – pretending unity with Russia’s anti-terrorism campaign while supporting ISIS and likeminded groups he claims to oppose.

The CRIF umbrella group representing French Jewish communities strongly backs Hollande’s draconian proposal. Following the November 13 Paris attacks, police and other security forces conducted hundreds of extrajudicial community and house intrusions, targeting Muslims, environmental activists and others threatening no one.

Expect a sweeping policy of state terror to intensify with constitutional authorization of Hollande’s draconian proposal – possibly equating criticism of Israel with terrorism.

Parliament will consider the scheme in February. Passage requires a three-fifths majority from both houses or national referendum approval.

Enactment into law assures full-blown tyranny – “Liberte, egalite, fraternite” officially consigned to the dustbowl of history.


Related Topics:

How France Loots its Former Colonies*

The French Government Staged the Recent Paris Attack*

Russia Tells the World about the NWO/CIA/MOSSAD/M16 Plan for Massacre in Paris*

Paris Attack Witness Describes Gunmen As White, Muscular, Clean Cut Mercenaries!

NWO: France Clamping Down on Cash in the Name of Terror*

France Gagging the Opposition*

France OKs Mass Surveillance*

France launches Airstrikes in Syria*

French Arrested in Assad Assassination Attempt*

French Presidency Has “Kill List” of People Targeted for Assassination*

Armed French National Caused Lockdown at Gatwick Airport*

French Teacher Inflicted Self Injury Blamed ISIL for a Job Transfer*

Holiday Season Holy Land Atrocities for Palestinians*

Holiday Season Holy Land Atrocities for Palestinians*

By Stephen Lendman

Israeli viciousness against defenceless Palestinians continues throughout the holiday period, deaths and injuries mounting daily – slow-motion genocide by any standard.

From October 1 through December 26, the Palestinian health ministry confirmed 138 extrajudicial Palestinian executions – premeditated cold-blooded murders, Israeli soldiers and militarized police authorized to use live fire freely. Killing Palestinians unaccountably was declared officially OK!

The horrific toll keeps mounting, including thousands injured, thousands more arrested for political reasons, multiple Palestinian communities terrorized daily, young children treated as ruthlessly as adults, women no different from men.

Eighteen Israelis died over the same period – only six by stabbing attacks, exposing the myth about knife-wielding Palestinian terrorists.

Resistance is either nonviolent or consisting mainly of stone-throwing – a David v. Goliath mismatch, its outcome since October 1 far different from the biblical version.

Israel targets all opposition to its ruthless rule for elimination. Its latest scheme may be an attempt to ban the Arab Balad party from Knesset participation.

Former ultranationalist Israeli foreign minister/notorious Arab hater Avigdor Lieberman urged new legislation permitting it.

Balad is one of four Joint List Arab parties, representing Israeli Arab citizens, despite having no say on official policy, treated disdainfully during Knesset sessions.

“Together we will kick terror supporters out of the Knesset,” Lieberman blustered.

“So I ask you, the public, anyone who cares about the State of Israel and thinks these terror supporters do not belong in the Knesset – to like, share and demand ministers and MKs from the Likud, Bayit Yehudi, Kulanu, Shas and United Torah Judaism to support the bill.”

He vented rage against Arab MK Hanin Zoabi, holding a sign reading: “Kick (Balad party member) Hanin Zoabi out of the Knesset.”

In response, she called him “a fascist,” aiming to score “cheap political points.” His legislative proposal “will not deter me or move me from my struggle for the values in which I believe: justice, equality, freedom and democracy. I will continue to struggle for my people and their just struggle.”

Non-Jews in Israel, especially Muslims, are denied fundamental rights. Dozens of ruthlessly discriminatory laws target them, affecting virtually all aspects of their lives – including political participation, judicial fairness, access to land, education, medical services and employment, as well as other benefits from budget resources.

Lieberman and numerous others like him are notorious racists. Earlier he called for “disloyal” Palestinian citizens to be beheaded, saying:

“Those who are against us, there’s nothing to be done. We need to pick up an axe and cut off his head.”

Balad leader Jamal Zahalka said

“(i)f Israel’s incitement laws” were applied to its Jewish population, Lieberman “would be in jail,” many other Israeli extremists with him.

Christmas day brought no peace and good will to Palestine. Israeli instigated clashes raged throughout the Territories. Deaths, injuries and arrests followed.

Elderly residents in communities attacked suffered from toxic tear gas inhalation. Invading Israeli forces murdered 22-year-old Gazan Hani Rafiq Wahdan, shot in the head at close range, at least 10 others injured in the same area.

Mahdia Mohammad Ibrahim Hammad threatened no one, was driving at normal speed. Israeli forces opened fire multiple times when she was about 100 feet away, then denied her medical treatment, leaving her to bleed to death unattended.

Middle East Quartet envoys visited Israel and Palestine last week – doing absolutely nothing to intervene responsibly, especially against Israel’s “shoot-to-kill” policy and other draconian measures, insulting brutalized Palestinians for coming – serving Israeli interests, not theirs.

Christmas in the holy land was another day of repressive collective punishment, an entire Palestinian population held hostage to Israeli viciousness.

World leaders able to intervene responsibly yawn and do nothing, backing Israeli ruthlessness without publicly admitting it, leaving Palestinians alone to suffer like always – even on Christmas day.


Related Topics:

After 2,000 years, Christians Disappearing from Gaza*

‘Israeli Planes Spray Crop-Killing Chemicals On Gaza Farms’*

IDF Whistleblowers Expose Reality of Occupation to Israelis*

Israel to Coordinate With Google, YouTube, to Censor Palestinian Videos of Conflict*

Palestine from Sovereignty to an Israeli Enclave*

Palestinians Now Forced to Live in Caves*

Threats from the U.S. as Palestine Submits Formal Complaint to ICC*

Israeli Soldier Strangle-holds Palestinian Boy*

Palestine Ends Two-State System, Returns to Occupied Status*

Israel Changes Bar Code To Avoid Boycott*

Former Israeli Combat Soldier’s Life Threatened for Speaking the Truth*

Boycott Israeli Products App Gets 350,000 Supporters*

Former Israeli Foreign Minister, Livni, Reveals Israel – Egypt Pact to Strangle Hamas*

Not in our Name: 225 Jewish Survivors of Nazi Genocide Condemn Israel*

Israel Laying Claim to the West Bank*

Israel Prevents Release of Palestinian Tax Revenues*

Pathological Israeli Security Forces Spray Raw Sewage on Palestinian Homes

U.S., Britain and Israel are the Biggest Terrorists on the Planet.

Operation Protective Edge: The Dead Have Names*

Israel’s ‘Eid Gift to Palestinians*