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November 10, 2013

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) voted in favor of NSA spying on Americans and other congressional leaders followed suite. Such decisiveness raises the question:  why would legislative  leadership vote for something that is illegal, invades the privacy of citizens and is detrimental to international relationships? The chair of the House Intelligence Committee – Mike Rogers – said recently, in a NSA spying hearing which he led, that there is no right to privacy in America. Does the Agency know something about them that we do not? As DSWright, writer at Firedoglake, an online news source,  put it -  “Intelligence is all about having as much information as possible, that’s the training and that’s the game.”

The breadth of the NSA’s newly revealed capabilities makes the emergence of such suspicions in our society inevitable. Especially given that we are far, far away from having the kinds of oversight mechanisms in place that would provide ironclad assurance that these vast powers won’t be abused. And that highlights the highly corrosive nature of allowing the NSA such powers. Everyone has dark suspicions about their political opponents from time to time, and Americans are highly distrustful of government in general. When there is any opening at all for members of the public to suspect that officials from the legislative and judicial branches could be vulnerable to leverage from secretive agencies within the executive branch—and when those officials can even suspect they might be subject to leverage—that is a serious problem for our democracy.

There is already prominent speculation about this threat.  Back in August,  General Keith Alexander, Director of NSA, was asked by a member of Congress, ”Can we see our own files?”  Alexander answered, “No.” David Sirota of NSFWCorp, Not Safe For Work Corporation, said,

“Consider the deep messaging of the NSA’s brand. Only forty years removed from the blackmail-tinged reign of J. Edgar Hoover, the NSA has developed an image which implies the agency is vacuuming up more than enough incriminating phone records, emails and text messages, etc., to politically torpedo any rank-and-file congressman, should that congressman step out of line...”

Whistleblower Russell Tice has also alleged that while at the Agency he saw wiretap information for members of Congress and the judiciary firsthand. Such fears explain why it is considered an especially serious matter any time elected or judicial officials are eavesdropped upon. The New York Times reported in 2009 that some NSA officials had tried to wiretap a member of Congress without a warrant. Members of Congress and perhaps the judiciary surely also noted a Washington Post report based on Snowden documents that the NSA had intercepted a “large number” of calls from the Washington DC area code due to a “programming error.”

Dark suspicions about the NSA will also draw powerful support from the historical record. Already a sitting U.S. Senator, Carl Levin, has invoked the memory of J. Edgar Hoover as a means of expressing misgivings about NSA spying. It can be useful to recall the history with a little detail. Journalist Ronald Kessler describes the former FBI director’s M.O. in his book on Hoover:

“The moment [Hoover] would get something on a senator,” said William Sullivan, who became the number three official in the bureau under Hoover, “he’d send one of the errand boys up and advise the senator that ‘we’re in the course of an investigation, and we by chance happened to come up with this data on your daughter. But we wanted you to know this. We realize you’d want to know it.’ Well, Jesus, what does that tell the senator? From that time on, the senator’s right in his pocket.”

Lawrence J. Heim, who was in the Crime Records Division, confirmed that the bureau sent agents to tell members of Congress that Hoover had picked up derogatory information on them.

“He [Hoover] would send someone over on a very confidential basis,” Heim said. As an example, if the Metropolitan Police in Washington had picked up evidence of  impropriety, “he [Hoover] would have him say, ‘This activity is known by the Metropolitan Police Department and some of our informants, and it is in your best interests to know this.’ But nobody has ever claimed to have been blackmailed. You can deduce what you want from that.”

Even in 1945, a month after taking office, President Truman wrote of Hoover’s FBI, “We want no Gestapo or Secret Police. FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex life scandals and plain blackmail.” Two years later he observed, “all Congressmen and Senators are afraid of him.”

It wasn’t just the FBI. In the 1970s, for example, the “intelligence” division of the Chicago Police Department similarly engaged in widespread institutionalized blackmail efforts. “A principal tactic of this operation was the dissemination of file material for the purpose of doing damage to targets held in disfavor,” writes Frank Donner in his chronicle of Cold War-era police repression, Protectors of Privilege.

Although Chicago under Mayor William Daley was the worst, Donner points out that these kinds of abuses by “intelligence units” were widespread during the Cold War, and before that, during the labor battles of the early 20th century.

If we allow the NSA to retain the powers it wants, it’s not at all crazy to worry about how those powers could be used now or in the future to grab even more frightening power through blackmail of ostensible overseers. And it doesn’t require crude, explicit blackmail to affect behavior and confer power through personal information. Even the vaguest threat or intimation of eavesdropping and exposure can introduce substantial chilling effects, even on those who may think they have “nothing to hide.”

In many ways such fears, although often unspoken, lie at the core of what so many people find objectionable about allowing government agencies such vast eavesdropping powers. The understanding that personal information about people can confer leverage over those people is at the heart of the privacy issue.

And again, even in the absence of any actual malfeasance, suspicion of such is itself a problem.

November 8, 2013

WASHINGTON - Pakistani survivors of American drone strikes who live in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of northwest Pakistan, spoke to members of the US Congress Tuesday, and called for an end to killing civilians with weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles.

Rafiqur Rehman; his son Zubair (12); and daughter Nabila (9) told a packed room in the Rayburn House Office Building that Momina Bibi, who perished on October 24, 2012, while working in a field near their home in North Waziristan, was “the string that held the pearls of our family together, and that string has been broken, and we are all lost”.

Congressman Alan Grayson, a Democrat, invited Rafiq to speak in Washington about the strike last October that killed his 67-year-old mother who, he said, was recognized around the region as a midwife, not a militant. Regardless, a weaponized CIA drone executed Momina in front of her grandchildren on Oct 24, 2012.

The US has not formally acknowledged the attack, nor taken responsibility.

“Nobody has ever told me why my mother was targeted that day,” Rafiq said during the Tuesday morning panel. “Only one person was killed that day. A mom, grandma, a midwife.

“The string that holds the pearls together. That is what my mother was,” Rafiq said in an emotionally choked voice. “Since her death, the string has been broken and life has not been the same. We feel alone and we feel lost.”

Speaking before members of Congress, Rafiq thanked Congressman Grayson for the invitation and said it was reassuring that some members of the US government were willing to try and shed light on a gruesome operation rarely acknowledged publicly in Washington.

If he has the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama, Rafiq said, he will ask him to “find a peaceful end to the war in my country, and end these drones.”

Rafiq said he has seen people living peacefully in the United States and wants a similar peaceful environment in North Waziristan and dreams that his children would be able to complete their education and help rebuild Pakistan.“We can achieve peace through education,” he said.

The US and Pakistan should work together to resolve the problem, he said.

“I am a teacher, my job is to educate,” said Rafiq. “But how can I teach this? How can I teach what I don’t understand?”

Rafiq’s 12-year-old son, Zubair, told Grayson and the few congressional colleagues that joined him on the Hill Tuesday that he was with his grandmother last year when she was killed shortly after the buzzing of a drone was heard hovering above them.

“As I helped my grandma in the field, I could see and hear (a) drone overhead but wasn’t worried because we’re not militants,” Zubair said. “I no longer like blue skies. In fact, I prefer gray skies. When sky brightens, drones return and we live in fear.

“We used to love to play outside. But now people are afraid to leave their houses so we don’t play very often,” the boy added.

Zubair’s sister, Nabila, was picking okra in a field with her grandmother at the time of the attack. She testified that she heard the noise from above. “Everything was dark and I couldn’t see anything, but I heard a scream...I was very scared and all I could think of doing was just run,” she said.

They were joined at the hearing by Robert Greenwald, a filmmaker who has been working in Pakistan over the past several months on a project related to the ongoing US drone strikes. Testifying on his own behalf, Greenwald suggested that the ongoing operations waged by the US as an alleged counter-terrorism operation are breeding anti-American sentiment at a rate that makes Qaeda jealous.

“Yes, there are 100 or 200 fanatics, but now you have 800,000 people in this area who hate the US because of this policy,” Greenwald said. Greenwald added that the research he’s seen indicated that 178 children have been killed in Pakistan by US drone strikes. “We’ve gone from being the most popular country among Pakistani to, according to the polling I’ve seen, the least popular,” Grayson said. “And if you ask people why, the reason is this program.”

“I hope that by telling you about my village and grandmother, you realize drones are not the answer,” pleaded 12-year-old Zubair.

Congressman Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat, said at the hearing that she would bring up the witnesses’ plight with the White House. Grayson said that “friends of the military industrial complex” in Washington would likely keep a full discussion from occurring immediately in Washington, adding that “I don’t expect to see a formal hearing conducted on this subject anytime soon.”

November 5, 2013

  Muhammad Tanvir was asked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, to spy on his Pakistani community. He refused, and so he remains on the No-Fly List--and he can’t visit an ailing mother.
Tanvir is now taking action, along with other Muslims, against the FBI’s attempt to coerce them into spying on their own community in exchange for getting off the No-Fly List. Tanvir, a resident of the Bronx, recently testified in court against the FBI for its no-fly practices.
Tanvir’s lawsuit, which the Center for Constitutional Rights, also referred to as CCR, has taken on, is putting the FBI on the hotseat. “Mr. Tanvir has been prevented from flying despite the fact that he does not present any threat to aviation security,” the CCR suit reads, according to the Courthouse News Service. “Instead, defendants sought to exploit the draconian burden posed by the No Fly List, including the inability to travel for work, or to visit family overseas; in order to coerce him into serving the FBI as a spy within American Muslim communities and places of worship.”
The No-Fly List, instituted after September 11, arbitrarily puts thousands of people on a list that prevents them from traveling. Tanvir is not the only one to have been pressured by the FBI.
A separate American Civil Liberties Union suit filed in 2010 represents other Muslims trying to get their names off the No-Fly List. One of them is Nagib Ali Ghaleb, a Yemeni-American. In 2010, Ghaleb flew to Yemen to see his family and meet with U.S. consular officials about delayed visa applications for his wife and children. But on his way back, while awaiting to board a plane in Germany, an FBI agent questioned him. According to a recent ACLU report, Ghaleb “was directed to submit to an interview with FBI agents, who questioned him about his mosque and the San Francisco Yemeni community. The FBI agents asked him to become an informant for the FBI in California, but Mr. Ghaleb said he did not know any dangerous people and would not spy on innocent people in mosques.” Ghaleb remains on the No-Fly List.
The practice of pressuring Muslims to become informants in their own communities in exchange for law enforcement help is one clear example of an apparatus running roughshod over the rights of Muslims in the U.S. It’s also a practice familiar to Muslims in New York City, who have to deal with a police department that has implemented a surveillance dragnet with the help of Central Intelligence Agency officials.
After 9/11, CIA officials strategized with the New York Police Department on how best to collect intelligence to prevent the next terrorist attack. The NYPD’s Intelligence Division ended up creating an operation where informants and undercover agents infiltrate mosques and student groups. The NYPD has labeled at least a dozen mosques as “terrorism enterprises” in order to infiltrate them. And in order to employ informants able to infiltrate Muslim communities, they usually strike a deal with people in trouble with the law. In exchange for spying on their community, the informant gets help from the NYPD in avoiding punishment for crimes.

October 29, 2013

  So what was it all about?  The Senate deal ending the shutdown and deferring a default until the next time has solved nothing. It is as if we have been given a break for Thanksgiving and the Christmas shopping season until the partisan wars resume.  The fighting and arguing have only ceased.

 

It is unlikely that any of the instigators have learned anything other than how a handful of parliamentary savvy kamikazes can bring the government to its knees in the name of a righteous cause—not to bring about change, but to try to stop changes they don’t like.

 

When the Ted Cruz missile against Obamacare helped trigger the melee that closed national parks, limited government services and disrupted the livelihoods of 800,000 federal employees and the lives of millions, many wondered why, when it was clear the extreme right was pursuing an unachievable goal.

 

Senator John McCain warned them that they couldn’t stop the health care reform, as did others in their Party. The White House stood firm, as did most Democrats. The Tea Party offensive was widely seen as offensive, or as an extortion ploy, an attempt to nullify a law, but also a non-starter.

 

That didn’t stop the true believers.  Like the Light Brigade of old, they charged on. Clearly this was a case of ideology uber politics, but behind it was a strategy.

 

First, they wanted to weaken the Republican center and they did, making Speaker Boehner look powerless and out of control. The best media line about him was that he was “herding cats.”

 

Second, they wanted to prove that if they don’t get their way, no one else can or will.

 

They conceded a short term tactical set back, but lived to fight another day for longer-term goals.  In that way, they can be “responsible” and continue to enjoy business support.

 

As some Democrats celebrated, AP reported. “Hold the champagne. Even after lawmakers complete their pending deal to avert a federal default and fully reopen the government, they are likely to return to their grinding brand of brinkmanship – perhaps repeatedly.”

 

“Brinksmanship” is another word for ‘systematic political warfare’.  This spasm of rebellion emboldened the fundamentalists among them; it did not weaken them.

 

Sure, they overreached tactically—if you assume what they were saying was their real agenda.

 

As former federal regulator William Black explained in an article about their “tactical brilliance but strategic incompetence,” their demands could not be met, but that was never the point.

 

Black writes,

 

“the means by which the GOP sought to extort Obama to sacrifice Obamacare made it impossible for Obama to surrender to the Tea Party.  The Tea Party was openly threatening to use very short-term extensions of the debt ceiling to repeatedly extort Obama to make enormous, humiliating concessions.  This meant that if Obama gave in to their extortion he was dooming his presidency.”

 

If you assume they knew this, what was the real strategy?

 

They created a crisis to show that they could create a crisis and milk it as long as they could. It was a way that Junior members of Congress could get press attention.

 

It was also a way of energizing their base, not just politically, but financially.

 

The Daily Kos commented on Instigator in Chief Ted Cruz’s claim that two million people signed his petition noting that he now has a much larger list of potential donors. In this respect, he sees himself as a winner, not a loser.

 

He used the crisis to build a media profile with a self-promotional filibuster that excited supporters, whatever it lacked in clarity, logic and analysis.

 

Noted Felix Salmon, a financial blogger for Reuters:

 

“The Ted Cruz “filibuster” … served no actual legislative purpose, and at the end of his idiotically long speech, Cruz ended up voting yes on the very bill he was trying to kill. That’s zombie politics, and the problem with zombies is that — being dead already — they’re incredibly hard to kill.”

 

To him, the Tea Party is a  zombie army, a movement, not a person — and it’s an aggressively anti-logical movement, at that.  So he argues, “You can’t negotiate with a zombie.” (Many Americans identify with zombies these days because of their overexposure on TV and in the movies.)

 

So, we need to understand, this confrontation was never about logic or even a clear political agenda; it was about movement-building and dominating the discourse through hostage taking to bully and intimidate centrist Republicans and Democrats alike. Most of all, they wanted to snub the Nation’s father figure—President Obama.

 

Behind their slogans, they were saying  to the folks at home: ‘look at me!’

 

In that respect, the zealots were wildly successful in keeping their faux rebellion going, cheered on by Faux News and the underbelly their visibility attracts, including the guy grinning like an idiot and waving the Confederate flag in front of the White House.

 

The Atlantic, and many liberal media outlets, have convinced themselves that the “Republicans Shut Down the Government for Nothing” but it was always all about them, not specific goals.

 

This strategy is, at bottom, about interests, not issues, power, not political advantage.

 

Republican consultant and former Boehner aide Terry Holt admits:

 

“The differences are not about objectives, the differences are about tactics. This is the muddle through Congress. We are going to lurch from disaster to disaster until we have the prelude, which is 2014 and then the next presidential election. There is no incentive for either side to give in - period.”

 

So there you have it - a declaration of permanent war in which, like guerillas in combat, the point is not to hold ground, but to keep moving and harass the enemy, keeping them off guard whatever the costs to the economy or the morale of the country.

 

They expect many Americans will surrender just to have peace, and that’s how a relentless minority can impose its agenda.

 

The Vietnamese General Giap who died last week at age 102 used similar tactics that were grounded in the idea that war is politics by other means.

 

Bloomberg interviewed a moderate Republican, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, who explained, “There are no winners in this process, everybody loses. The only question you guys are trying to figure out is who loses more? And how long-term the damage will be?”

 

Former veteran newspaperman Bernard Weiner, now the co-editor of The Crisis Papers, tried to explain all this to friends in France, writing:

 

“Even in the best of times, American politics rarely makes rational sense. But right now is almost the worst of times. From Europe it may appear that you are witnessing recess at a school for naughty, malicious children. While that’s true, we need to enlarge the frame of that portrait to get closer to the whole picture and to assign proper blame rather than just accept the mainstream media’s false meme that “both sides are equally responsible” for the governmental shutdown and debt crisis.”

Danny Schechter blogs daily at Newsdissector.net and edits Mediachannel.org

October 8, 2013

The most obvious and well-reported casualties of the last decade in program-slashing educational policy include traditional elective courses like art, music, and physical education. But these are not the only subjects being squeezed out or eliminated entirely from many public K-12 curriculums.

Social studies--a category that includes courses in history, geography, and civics--has also found itself on the chopping block. Whereas in the 1993-1994 school year students spent 9.5 percent of their time in social studies, by 2003-2004 that percentage had dropped to 7.6, despite an increase of total instructional time.

Why has a traditionally “core subject”, which was ranked in the same academic hierarchy as English, science, and math for decades, been sidelined in thousands of American classrooms?

The shift in curriculum began in the early years of the Cold War. While U.S. military and technological innovation brought World War II to a close, it was a later use of technology--the Soviet launching of Sputnik in 1957--that historian Thomas A. Bailey called the equivalent of a “psychological Pearl Harbor” for many Americans. It created deep feelings of inadequacy and a belief that the U.S. was falling behind in developing new technology and weapons, which led to the passage of the 1958 National Defense Education Act. This legislation pumped $1 billion over four years into math and science programs in both K-12 schools and universities.

Despite this extra focus on math and science, social studies managed to make it through the end of the Cold War relatively unscathed, in fact, the number of classroom hours dedicated to teaching social studies in grades 1-4 peaked in the 1993-1994 school year at 3 hours a week. But drastic change came a decade later with the passage of President George W. Bush’s ‘No Child Left Behind’ legislation.

No Child Left Behind was signed into law in an attempt to address the growing achievement gap between affluent and low-income students. It was a controversial piece of legislation from the start, mainly because of its “one size fits all’” approach: It uses annual standardized tests to determine how well students are performing in reading and math and then uses those scores to determine the amounts of federal funding schools receive.

Besides the obvious criticism that low-performing schools--arguably the ones that need the most increase in funding--are disproportionately punished for their low scores, critics also believe that No Child Left Behind has narrowed the curriculum. Since the standardized tests focus exclusively on English and math, and those scores determine the bulk of a school’s federal funding, schools have been forced to increase time and resources in these subjects at the expense of all others, including social studies.

A 2007 study from the Center of Education Policy supports this allegation: 62 percent of elementary schools, and more than 20 percent of middle schools, increased time for English language arts and/or math since No Child Left Behind passed.  At the same time, 36 percent of schools decreased the time allocated to the social studies. According to a study from the National Center for Education Statistics, this adds up to a net loss of four weeks of social studies instruction per academic year.

This devaluation of social studies as a core subject in the K-12 curriculum has troubling economic, political, and social implications. For one, social studies at all grade levels encourages students to develop skills in critical thinking--one of the top traits employers look for in a candidate. It also requires students become strong written and oral communicators who know how to structure and articulate their opinions. Unfortunately, a survey of employers done by the Chronicle of Higher Education found that these are the exact skills today’s entry-level workers are lacking. Without the skills gained from social studies, students are less attractive to employers.

Perhaps even more troubling, however, is that reducing students’ exposure to a solid curriculum in social studies leads to what a growing number of experts are calling a “civic achievement gap”. Closely related to the general achievement gap between affluent, mostly white students and low-income minority students, the civic achievement gap has made it increasingly difficult for those who grow up in low-income households to participate in civic affairs. According to data from Associate Professor Meira Levinson of Harvard University, people living in families with incomes under $15,000 voted at just over half the rate of those living in families with incomes over $75,000.

Many experts agree that a stronger curriculum in social studies could help close this gap.  A study from the Carnegie Corporation of New York found that students who receive effective education in social studies are more likely to vote, four times more likely to volunteer and work on community issues, and are generally more confident in their ability to communicate ideas with their elected representatives.

Fortunately, policymakers have begun to acknowledge the shortcomings of the recent decade of educational policy. “President Obama and I reject the notion that the social studies is a peripheral offering that can be cut from schools to meet [Adequate Yearly Progress] or to satisfy those wanting to save money during a fiscal crunch,” wrote U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in 2011 in Social Education, a journal published by the National Council for Social Studies. “Today more than ever, the social studies are not a luxury, but a necessity. We need to fix [No Child Left Behind] so that school leaders do not feel forced to ignore the vital components of a good education.”

While the Obama Administration has pledged to revisit certain components of No Child Left Behind, it has kept its fundamental model of high-stakes standardized testing with new programs such as Race to the Top and the Common Core State Standard Initiative. Like No Child Left Behind, both of these programs focus primarily on English and math.

It’s clear that something has to change when only one-third of Americans can name all three branches of government.

October 8, 2013

The European Times wrote about hockey fans in Washington state who had more to worry about during a recent hockey game than avoiding a puck to the face; the Department of Homeland Security, DHS,  tested their facial recognition system during the game, a technology that’s raising concerns among privacy advocates.

DHS utilized a sophisticated scheme of cameras to collect pictures of attendees in real-time from as far away as 100 meters and then match them up with images of faces stored on a database.

The exercise marked the latest drill for the DHS’ Biometric Optical Surveillance System, or BOSS, and when it’s fully operational it could be used to identify a person of interest among a massive crowd in the span of only seconds.

With assistance from researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, PNNL, DHS attempted to quickly compare faces caught on camera with the biometric information of 20 volunteers. The other faces in the crowd — potentially 5,980 hockey fans — existed as background noise to see the accuracy of BOSS when it comes down to locating a person of interest.

Facial recognition technology has been around for almost three decades. The mobile and social   revolutions are rapidly driving the field forward, along with digital photo proliferation, cloud computing power acceleration and software capabilities advancing.

According to Charlie Savage of the New York Times, earlier testing proved unsuccessful because it took operators roughly 30 seconds to identify a person caught on camera with its database of photographic mug shots. Biometric specialists who spoke to the Times told Savage that 30 seconds “was far too long to process an image for security purposes.”

As surveillance cameras continue to become pervasive in American cities, fixed on buildings and in traffic lights, facial recognition technology  could soon be used to pick people out of crowds randomly for essentially anything.  

“This technology is always billed as antiterrorism, but then it drifts into other applications,” Ginger McCall of the Electronic Privacy Information Center told Savage. “We need a real conversation about whether and how we want this technology to be used, and now is the time for that debate.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation hopes that it will have its state-of-the-art Next Generation Identification program, also known as NGI, rolled out in 2014, which will ideally provide the FBI with a database containing the biometric information of millions of Americans. Law enforcement will then be able to use that trove of data to compare persons of interest caught on film with images already used on state drivers’ licenses and other governmental files.

A lawsuit against the FBI filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, EFF, over the NGI program is currently pending. In the complaint filed earlier this year, the organization wrote;

The proposed new system would also allow law enforcement to collect and retain other images, such as those obtained from crime scene security cameras and from family and friends, and would allow submission of civil photographs along with civil fingerprint submissions that were collected for non criminal purposes.

“Facial recognition blows up assumptions that we don’t wear our identities on our person; it turns our faces into name tags,” said Ryan Calo, director of privacy at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society. “It can be good and helpful, or it can be dangerous.”

October 8, 2013

As the federal government shutdown emerges and the American workforce slowly comes to a halt, the question needs to be asked, “is America becoming Rome?”

The Roman Empire, a prodigious civilization, fell due to many reasons, decay of morals being number one. Corruption of politicians, the wealthy hoarding the wealth and political in-fighting were some of the major causes of its decline.

The government was constantly threatened by bankruptcy due to the cost of ‘defending’ the Empire and failing economics. Heavy taxation and high inflation along with debasing the Roman gold coinage, that followed a particularly long period of financial crisis, inaugurating the slow collapse of the economy, can be compared to America.  Much of the gold that was being spent by the Romans went to pay for luxury items and was kept among the affluent. This meant that there was less gold coins in use. As the amount of gold used in coins decreased, the coin became less valuable. To make up for the loss in value, merchants raised the prices on the goods they sold. Many people stopped using coins. The American economy is inundated with the use of credit/debit cards, the use of legal tender is declining.

The Empire saw many examples of antagonism between the Senators and the Emperors. Either the Senators didn't like the Emperor or the Emperor was at odds with the Senators. The current situation is the result of antagonism among Senators, Congressmen and the President.

Constant wars and heavy military spending was a contributing factor. The Roman army became over-stretched and needed more and more soldiers.

The use of cheap slave labor drove the unemployment of the working classes, the ordinary citizens of Rome became dependent on hand-outs from the state. The similarity is the rise in outsourcing American jobs to other countries along with hiring foreign workers that work for less compensation.

There were also natural disasters such as plagues, famines and earthquakes.

Much of the architecture of US government buildings and practices such as swearing of oaths before taking office reflect Roman culture. The American icon, the eagle, was the symbol of the Roman state. His Eminence Sheikh Gillani teaches, when you emulate a people you become like those people.

October 8, 2013

Imagine living in a country where prisons are private corporations that profit from keeping their beds stocked at, or near, capacity and the governing officials scramble to meet contractual “lockup quotas.” Imagine that taxpayers would have to pay for any empty beds should crime rates fall below that quota. Surprise! You already live there.

A new report from In the Public Interest (ITPI) revealed last week that private prison companies such as Corrections Corporation of America are striking deals with states that contain clauses guaranteeing high prison occupancy rates. The report, "Criminal: How Lockup Quotas and 'Low-Crime Taxes' Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations," documents the contracts exchanged between private prison companies and state and local governments that either guarantee prison occupancy rates, essentially creating inmate lockup quotas, or force taxpayers to pay for empty beds if the prison population decreases due to lower crime rates or other factors, essentially creating low-crime taxes. Some of these contracts require 90 to 100 percent prison occupancy.

The report notes that contract clauses like this incentivize criminalization, and do nothing to promote rehabilitation, crime reduction or foster humanity.

Reverend Michael McBride, of Urban Strategies and Lifelines to Healing said “...all people of any faith or no faith at all can claim it’s reprehensible to imprison someone for making money or financial motives...”

October 6, 2013

The controversial Florida Pastor Terry Jones was arrested Wednesday in Polk County, Fla., before he could burn almost 3,000 Qurans.

The county's Board of County Commissioners had denied on Tuesday Jones's request for a permit to burn 3,000 Qurans — the holy book of Islam — in a local park to mark the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Florida pastor Terry Jones has been charged with the unlawful carrying of fuel for allegedly planning to burn almost 3,000 Qurans, one for every victim of the 9/11 attacks. He has been taken into custody and faces felony charges.

Jones was arrested on felony charges after a traffic stop, a spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

According to NBC Miami, Jones was riding in a pickup truck with kerosene-soaked Qurans inside the truck bed. Additional bottles of kerosene were found in the truck bed.

He faces charges of unlawfully transporting fuel and openly carrying a firearm, NBC Miami reported.

Jones's website said he wanted to burn 2,998 Qurans at 5 p.m. "in memory of the 2,998 victims of Islamic jihad who were murdered on September 11th, 2001."

Jones, 61, is a pastor of Dove World Outreach Center. He was arrested along with another pastor, Marvin Wayne Sapp, Jr.

His church has famously staged Quran burnings in the past, the move at one point earning Jones the condemnation of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. (NBC News)

October 6, 2013

The US government shutdown, the first in 18 years , the result of the failure of Congress to reach agreement on the Federal budget that funds all government services, functions, departments and branches (including the military) and funding of innumerable programs is gradually engaging. It means that national parks will close, most routine food inspections will be suspended, paperwork will slow at government offices and many federal employees will be furloughed.

Only emergency and essential items would be able to operate, as a result of which lakhs of government employees would not receive their salary for the duration of the government shutdown.

Senator Ben Cardin alleged that the Republicans have manufactured a crisis that will cost taxpayers even more money while inconveniencing, if not harming, individuals, families and businesses across the country.

The partial shutdown of the federal government has seen more than 800,000 federal workers  furloughed, and numerous governmental programs have been forced to stop running. For example, the government shutdown has already caused as many as 19,000 children to lose access to Head Start. Many recipients of Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, more commonly known as WIC, will lose assistance as reported by Democracy Now.  The host Amy Goodman revealed that “the federal government shutdown began on Tuesday, October 1st, the same day a key facet of President Obama’s healthcare law went live nationwide. For the first time, Americans were able to begin purchasing health insurance from federal and state exchanges. Nearly three million people visited the federal website healthcare.gov, while New York’s state site claimed it had more than 10 million hits.”

“Meanwhile, The New York Times reported the new healthcare law will leave out two-thirds of the nation’s poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the nation’s low-wage workers who don’t have insurance because they they live in states largely controlled by Republicans who have declined to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid.”

President Obama met with Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress to try to end the deadlock, but there was no breakthrough.

Republicans, led by the tea party wing, have tried to tie continued government funding to measures that would undercut the Affordable Care Act. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid accused Republicans of trying to hold the president hostage over "Obamacare."

The more extreme elements in the Republican party on Capitol Hill are dead adamant regarding the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and have resorted to a political checkmate.

The ramifications of the stoppage of government funds on businesses in the US and abroad remains to be seen, with the president suggesting a meeting with business leaders soon.  Democracy Now guest Imara Jones, an economist who worked for the Clinton White House added a grave but real scenario: “One of the other interesting parts of the story is that the federal government is the largest employer in the United States. And regardless of whether or not one is furloughed or at work, you’re not receiving a paycheck. That means that two million families are not receiving pay. Because of unionization and anti-discriminatory laws, people of color are overrepresented in government jobs. That’s true for the federal government. There are more people of color in the federal workforce as a whole than the broader workforce. And so, what this means is that the employment crisis in communities of color, the economic crisis in communities of color, is accentuated and exacerbated and extended by this shutdown.

October 6, 2013

Americans must not tolerate extremism in any form and therefore must stop those who incite hatred in order to cash in on the spread of Islamophobia. According to the Center for American Progress’s report, Fear, Inc., tens of millions of dollars has been pumped into front organizations in the United States with self-styled representatives leading a crusade against Islam. There is a long list of parasites who imbed themselves into society, posing as patriots, but who in actuality have nefarious plans to wipe out Muslims and Islam from America. However, these enemies of America are instead bringing harm to the American people and our interests at home and abroad.

No one can stop the progress and peaceful spread of Islam. The socially rejected, known criminals, cheats and frauds continue to cash in on Islamophobia for the money, popularity, and attention while making millions. Terry Jones, Martin Mawyer, Sam Bacile others receive funds from aware and possibly unaware donors in the name of their organizations, which spread Islamophobia creating hatred between Muslims and Christians in America. Sam Bacile produced a very offensive, sacrilegious film against Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), causing uprisings around the world. What was his objective?

Americans must not capitulate to the actions of such extremists who wish to burn holy books. In his yearly attempt to garner attention for his hate campaign, the so-called Pastor Terry Jones, and former waiter, attempted to again set fire to Holy Quran, but was instead arrested. According to the Tampa Tribune, before Jones’s attempted his stunt, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin III, commander of U.S. Central Command, telephoned to convey his concern “that such activity is disrespectful to Muslims and needlessly puts innocent civilians and US military members in the Centcom area of responsibility at greater risk.” If such an act of barbarity is allowed, the world will continue to see the repercussions and negative implications which can only harm American soldiers abroad, diplomats, government officials and embassy workers.

No longer will Americans play into hands of these charlatans who were robbing people in the name of healing and, finding they were exposed, now set out to indulge in a most horrendous pursuit that is isolating America from the rest of world and inciting violence against Americans and American interests.

What reason do leading Islamophobes give for this constant attack on Muslims? Muslims did not destroy the World Trade Center, but instead culpability for the tragedy lies in the Zionist Israeli regime. Why victimize Muslims for a crime they did not commit?  Instead, the American people should stand up and put end to the unholy war against indigenous American Muslims who have done no harm to their country, revere the Holy Bible as the book of God and love Jesus, son of Mary, the second to last messenger of Islam.

September 30, 2013

  A federal court took a critically im­portant step towards placing a check on the government's secretive No-Fly List. In a 38-page ruling in Latif v. Holder, the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) challenge to the No-Fly List, U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown recognized that the Constitution applies when the government bans Americans from the skies. She also asked for more information about the current process for getting off the list, to inform her decision on whether that procedure vio­lates the Fifth Amendment guarantee of due process.

The ACLU represents 13 Americans who are blacklisted from flying. At oral arguments in June on motions for partial summary judgment, the ACLU asked the court to find that the govern­ment violated its clients' Fifth Amend­ment right to due process by barring them from flying over U.S. airspace – and smearing them as suspected terror­ists – without giving them any after-the-fact explanation or a hearing at which to clear their names.

The court's opinion recognizes – for the first time – that inclusion on the No-Fly List is a draconian sanction that severely impacts peoples' constitution­ally-protected liberties. It rejected the government's argument that No-Fly list placement was merely a restriction on the most "convenient" means of interna­tional travel.

According to the court, placement on the No-Fly List is like the revocation of a passport because both actions se­verely burden the right to international travel and give rise to a constitutional right to procedural due process.

The realistic implications of being on the No-Fly List are potentially far-reaching. For example, the Terrorist Screening Center [TSC] shares watch­list information with 22 foreign govern­ments and United States Customs and Border Protection makes recommenda­tions to ship captains as to whether a passenger poses a risk to transportation security, which can result in further in­terference with an individual's ability to travel as evidenced by some Plaintiffs' experiences as they attempted to travel abroad by boat and land and were either turned away or completed their journey only after an extraordinary amount of time, expense, and difficulty.

Accordingly, the Court concludes on this record that Plaintiffs have a consti­tutionally-protected liberty interest in traveling internationally by air, which is affected by being placed on the list.

The court also found that the govern­ment's inclusion of the Plaintiffs on the No-Fly List smeared them as suspected terrorists and altered their ability to lawfully board planes, resulting in injury to another constitutionally-pro­tected right: freedom from reputational harm.

The importance of these rulings is clear. Because inclusion on the No-Fly List harms the Plaintiffs’ liberty in­terests in travel and reputation, due process requires the government to pro­vide them an explanation and a hearing to correct the mistakes that led to their inclusion. But under the government's "Glomar" policy, it refuses to provide any information confirming or deny­ing that the Plaintiffs are on the list, let alone an after-the-fact explanation and hearing.

September 24, 2013

Most American Muslims—especially the indigenous Muslims and converts, make an honest effort to practice Al-Islam in letter & spirit— and thus abide by the Islamic dietary laws. The laws have a foundation upon clear, Divine commands in the Holy Qur’an and unambiguous examples of their implementation via the Sunnah (traditions) of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him). Unfortunately, greedy business owners and corporations have waged a full-scale exploitation of the ignorance of the masses, combined with store-bought “scholars” brought in from overseas issuing purchased fatawa (rulings) to justify illegal means of slaughter to achieve higher profit margins. To facilitate the mass consumption of chicken, these scholars, along with companies posing as Halaal meat-producing entities, have fraudulently made “halaal” what is haraam - that is, the machine-slaughter of chicken.

 

Substantial research has been conducted on the wholesale poultry distributors and slaughterhouses that claim they are distributing halaal poultry. Most of the facilities are owned and operated by non-Muslims, polytheists and/or atheists who have contracts or deals with “halaal certification” companies to provide their seal of approval. The major distributors that are owned by Muslims supply smaller markets and restaurants with machine-slaughtered chicken, which is haraam. The methods they employ, in an attempt to quell the concerns of inquiring Muslims who adhere to Islamic dietary laws, range from “blessing” the machine that slaughters the animals, “blessing” the shackles that restrain the birds, playing a cassette recording of the Tasmiya (“Bismillah Allahu Akbar,” meaning “With Allah’s Name, Allah is Greatest”), or (literally) driving around the slaughter facility and “blessing” it in the process. This is not only a mockery and direct insult to common sense and reason, but a blatant disregard for the Qur’anic commands that Allah Ta’ala has given and the perfect practice of the Sunnah—all for the sake of profit margins built upon the intentional corruption of Islamic dietary standards.

 

Allah Ta’ala establishes the dietary standards for mankind, saying: “O mankind! Eat that which is halaal and good from the earth! And do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed he is an open enemy to you!” (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 168) From this Ayat, we know, without a doubt, that all foods consumed by a human being (regardless of religion) must be lawful and there is no ambiguity in this. Allah Ta’ala further clarifies the meaning of halaal food, when He says: “They ask you what is halaal (lawful) for them (as food). Say: Halaal to you are (all) things good and pure and what you have taught your trained hunting animals (to catch) in the manner directed to you by Allah. Eat what they catch for you and pronounce the Name of Allah over it.” (Surah al-Ma’idah, Ayah 4)

 

Allah’s Name being mentioned is mandatory, to such an extent that the disregard for this is a transgression: “Do not eat of [meats] over which Allah’s Name has not been pronounced! For that would be a transgression.” (Surah Al-An’am, Ayah 121) and “And why should you not eat of that upon which the Name of Allah has been mentioned, while He has explained in detail to you what He has forbidden you, excepting that to which you are compelled. Indeed do many mislead through their inclinations without knowledge. Indeed your Rabb knows best of the transgressors.” (Surah Al-An’am, Ayah 119)

 

From the Sunnah (traditions) of the Holy Last Messenger (blessings and peace upon him) and the Blessed Companions (May Allah be pleased with them), it is clear that pronunciation of Allah’s Name over the intended animal, in conjunction with the cutting of the jugular vein, establishes the halaal slaughter of an animal. Rafi ibn Khadij (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates that Sayyiduna Rasulullah (blessings and peace upon him) said: “If the killing tool causes the blood to gush out, and the Name of Allah is pronounced, then eat (of the slaughtered animal).” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith 5498) This Hadith Sharif is a clear refutation to those who eat the meat of animals that have been slaughtered by the inhumane ways of mass-production, which include stunning, goring, electrocution, and the use of machines for mass slaughter.

 

Eating halaal is not to be taken lightly, for the prayers of a human, along with the establishment of salaat, depend on the belly being nourished with halaal provisions. Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Holy Last Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace upon him) said: “Surely, Allah Ta’ala is Pure and accepts only that which is pure. Allah commanded the believers with what He commanded the Messengers. And the Almighty has said: ‘O Messengers! Eat from the pure things that which we have provided you and perform righteous deeds.’ And Allah Ta’ala has said: ‘O you who believe! Eat of the pure things We have provided you.’” Then he (blessings and peace upon him) mentioned the man who journeyed far, was disheveled and dusty and who stretches out his hands to the sky (saying): “Ya Rabb! Ya Rabb!!” while his food is haraam, his drink haraam, his clothing haraam, and he is nourished with haraam. So how can he be answered! (Sahih Muslim)

The Islamic standard of slaughter has been in existence for more than 1,400 years and has been thoroughly outlined by every school of Islamic jurisprudence for Muslims who have lived in Islamic and non-Islamic environments—such as North America. Thus, we refer to the righteous scholars of Al-Islam, not paid-off clerics, to validate the proper position.

From the school of Al-Imam al-A’zam Abu Hanifah An-Nu’man (May Allah be pleased with him), Imam al-Haskafi (Allah’s Mercy upon him) has written: “An animal slaughtered by someone other than Ahl al-Kitab, such as a fire-worshipper, idol-worshipper, etc. will not be halaal. Likewise, the animal on which the Name of Allah was intentionally not pronounced (will be haram); however, if it was omitted due to forgetfulness, it would be halaal.”

 

From the school of Al-Imam Malik ibn Anas (May Allah be pleased with him), Shaykh-ul-Islam Al-Imam Ahmed Ad-Dardir Al-Azhari (May Allah bless him) has written in his Al-Sharh al-Kabir: “Tasmiya (the pronunciation of the Name of Allah Ta’ala) is necessary at the time of slaughtering the animal or sending for hunting if one remembers and is capable of doing so. Thus, it is not necessary for a person who forgets, neither on a person who is incapable and neither on the one who is forced not pronounce it.”

 

The statement of Shaykh-ul-Islam has been elaborated by Imam Muhammad ibn Yousuf Ad-Dassouqi Al-Maliki (Allah's Mercy upon him), with the assertion: “The meaning of the Ayah: ‘Do not eat of [meats] over which Allah’s Name has not been pronounced! For that would be a transgression,’ [Surah Al-An’am, 121] is that on which the Name of Allah was intentionally not pronounced with having capability of doing so. However, if the Name of Allah was not pronounced due to forgetfulness or incapability, then the animal would be halaal. An individual ignorant of the ruling will be treated in the same manner as the one who deliberately and intentionally omits the Tasmiya.” (Hashiyat ad-Dasuqi Alaa Ash-Sharh Al-Kabir, Volume 2, pages 167-168)

 

It is clear that the standard and accepted sources of Islamic jurisprudence substantiate that every single (non-fish) animal for consumption must absolutely be slaughtered individually with the pronunciation of Tasmiya and neglect of this process is unacceptable. What has been discovered, upon researching these so-called “halaal” distributors and slaughterhouses, is practices contrary to all of the above-mentioned prerequisites for Islamic slaughter. Depending on the size, these facilities reportedly slaughter as many as 100-140 birds a minute using machines. How can they guarantee that the recitation of the Tasmiya has been said for every bird that has been slaughtered?

In speed and precision experiments performed by simply holding a string of beads, the average number of times the Tasmiya was correctly recited was 63 recitations per minute. This was not done with a sharp knife in the hand in front of a moving, live bird about to be slaughtered. So, how can a company claim that the proper slaughter of a chicken—with the recitation of the Tasmiya done by the slaughterer every time a laceration is to be made—can be performed 100-140 times in a minute?! Or (hypothetically), if a machine is improperly used to perform the slaughter, how can a human tongue keep up with that many birds per minute? For the aforementioned number of birds per minute, the slaughterer would literally have to recite the Tasmiya approximately two times a second. Compound that with a standard 8-hour workday, and you see a literally impossible scenario, even if the company was playing a cassette. Nevertheless, a machine cannot replace the mandated hand-slaughter of chicken. This is haraam, according to Holy Qur’an, Sunnah of the Holy Last Messenger (Allah’s blessings and peace upon him and his family) and the Ijma’ of the Ulama of Haqq (May Allah bless them all). If one wishes to achieve the mass-slaughter of chickens, then he or she can simply employ the necessary staff to perform the job properly, thereby saving themselves in the Akhirah and guarding the rights of their fellow Muslims as well, by doing that which is halaal and shunning that which is clearly haraam and blameworthy.

 

The person slaughtering and the method of slaughter present two facets of halaal, but another is the condition of the animal being slaughtered.  Sayyiduna Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (ra) said: “If you were to pour alcohol down a well, and the fill the well up with dirt and grass grew from that well. If a sheep were to eat the grass from there, I wouldn't eat the meat of that sheep." Chickens raised for halaal slaughter have very few feed regulations, which means they are fed items containing haraam meat, blood and toxic chemicals. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) admitted last August that a feed product known as Roxarsone, manufactured by Pfizer, is routinely fed to chickens and contains arsenic, a known human carcinogen. It is obvious as shown in the lack of concern for any of the requirements of zabiha that these companies care nothing about providing halaal chicken. Rather, their prime concern is financial and  therefore they have compromised the Islamic ways of slaughter for the sake of better profit margins.

These facts lead to one conclusion - Muslims in North America be warned: companies who claim to sell halaal chicken, but in actuality sell haraam are exploiting you. It is insufficient to sit back and say “so-and-so said it is halaal, so the sin is on him, not on me.” Woe unto those who follow that thinking, because you have doomed your own selves with the statement alone. Shaitan (we seek refuge from him) is an open enemy and his attacks can come in many forms. The disestablishment of Salaat is one of the tools he uses, because Salaat cannot be established with a belly full of haraam provisions, therefore it is imperative to take a keen interest in the origin and slaughter methods of animals identified as halaal. Jabir al-Ansari (May Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Holy Last Messenger (blessings and peace upon him) said: “Every person nourished with haraam is deserving of the Nar (Hell-Fire).” (Related by Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal)

August 23, 2013

Between 2001 and 2008, mainstream media outlets predominantly featured anti-Islam organizations, leading to altered “contours of mainstream discourse.” That’s according to North Carolina Professor Christopher A. Bail’s study that used “anti-plagiarism” software to examine the coverage of Muslims in the mainstream American press. Bail surveyed more than “1,084 press releases about Muslims produced by 120 civil society organizations to 50,407 newspaper articles and television transcripts” during the seven crucial years after 9/11.

Bail told the British Wired magazine that journalists became enamored with the those spouting anti-Muslim rhetoric, and that even though “the vast majority of organizations competing to shape public discourse about Islam after the September 11 attacks delivered pro-Muslim messages,” journalists so closely followed extremists that the groups became perceived as “mainstream.” Muslim groups, as a result, were sidelined and became less influential. Bail painted a disturbing picture for Wired, saying:

“I think most Americans are exposed to anti-Muslim messages in the media and elsewhere. The danger, I believe, is that many Americans have not been exposed to the positive messages of Muslim organisations because they receive so little media coverage.”

An August 2011 Center for American Progress study, Fear Inc., The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,  Robert Spencer, Frank Gaffney and Pamela Geller are  featured prominently in  the study, three of the anti-Muslim, Islamophobia movement’s most paranoid propagandist, revealed that seven different organizations have given $43 million over 10 years to a small, interconnected group of individuals and organizations responsible for mainstreaming fear, bigotry and hate against Muslims and Islam in America. The money helped Islamophobic messages take hold.

The Wall Street Journal’s Muslims: Representing Islam in American Print News Media by Suad Joseph and Benjamin D’Harlingue, University of California, Davis points out the negative impact the Wall Street Journal (WSJ)  “Op-Eds,” had in shaping public opinion of Muslims and Islam prior to September 11. The articles during January 1, 2000 to July 31,2007  construct an unbridgeable difference between Muslims and the West. In the commentaries, Muslims, whether citizen or foreign, are frequently portrayed as “not us,” as the embodiment of the illegible, inscrutable other reflecting the binary of Samuel Huntington’s (1996) clash of civilizations – two cultures, two religions, two civilizations. This notion of unbridgeable cultural difference, traceable across multiple WSJ commentaries, portrays Islam as inscrutable and almost unintelligible to Judeo-Christian theology and philosophy.

As an example, in an April 8, 2003 article,  authored by Noah Feldman, entitled “Muslim Democrats? Why not!,” He writes: “Separation of church and state is an excellent idea, even, even a constitutional necessity, in a religiously diverse country like the U.S. Where almost everybody in a country is Muslim, however, a democratic state may nonetheless have a religious character”. The authors of the research note “Moreover, it assumes that a state governing predominantly Muslims is inherently more likely to have a religious character.”

What  the Journal pointed out is the discrete use of words and the hidden effect they have on the reader in planting seeds of discord and fear, to bring about a clash between Muslims and Christians.  Feldman's writings plaid partner in creating the Anti Sharia movement. The theme across the WSJ articles is anti- modern anti-democratic, repeatedly presenting Islam and Muslims as a threat to American standards of living and values.

As noted in the Study, in a reference from Pierre Bourdieu (2005), he argued that the journalistic field has an increasingly powerful hold on the production of meaning.  He explained, “...the journalistic field, which is increasingly heteronomous, in other words, increasingly subject to the constraints of the economy and of politics, is more and more imposing its constraints on all other fields, particularly the fields of cultural production such as the field of the social sciences, philosophy, etc., and on the political field” .

Over the past few years, the Islamophobia network - the funders, scholars, grassroots activists, media amplifiers, and political validators - have worked hard to push narratives that mosques are incubators of radicalization, and that “radical Islam” has infiltrated all aspects of American society — including the conservative movement.

And the network has had its effect. “The groups that were getting the majority of the attention, especially after 9/11, were some of the least representative groups, or what I call fringe groups,” Bail said.

Islamophobia Studies Journal, Spring 2012, Volume 1, Issue 1, UC Berkley

Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project,

Center for Race and Gender, University of California, Berkeley.

August 23, 2013

Berkeley, United States - President Barack Obama recently stated the United States was not taking sides as Egypt's crisis came to a head with the military overthrow of the democratically elected president. But a review of dozens of US federal government documents shows Washington has quietly funded senior Egyptian opposition figures who called for toppling of the country's now-deposed president Mohamed Morsi. Documents obtained by the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley show the US channeled funding through a State Department programme to promote democracy in the Middle East region. This programme vigorously supported activists and politicians who have fomented unrest in Egypt, after autocratic president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising in February 2011. The State Department's program, dubbed by US officials as a "democracy assistance" initiative, is part of a wider Obama administration effort to try to stop the retreat of pro-Washington secularists, and to win back influence in Arab Spring countries that saw the rise of Islamists, who largely oppose US interests in the Middle East. Activists bankrolled by the program include an exiled Egyptian police officer Omar Afifi Soliman, who plotted the violent overthrow of the Morsi government, Esraa Abdel-Fatah an anti-Islamist politician who advocated closing mosques and dragging preachers out by force, as well as a coterie of opposition politicians who pushed for the ouster of the country's first democratically elected leader, government documents show. Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, interviews, and public records reveal Washington's "democracy assistance" may have violated Egyptian law, which prohibits foreign political funding. It may also have broken US government regulations that ban the use of taxpayers' money to fund foreign politicians, or finance subversive activities that target democratically elected governments. 'Bureau for Democracy' Washington's democracy assistance program for the Middle East is filtered through a pyramid of agencies within the State Department. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars is channeled through the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), USAID, as well as the Washington-based, quasi-governmental organisation the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). In turn, those groups re-route money to other organisations such as the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Freedom House, among others. Federal documents show these groups have sent funds to certain organisations in Egypt, mostly run by senior members of anti-Morsi political parties who double as NGO activists. The Middle East Partnership Initiative - launched by the George W. Bush administration in 2002, in a bid to influence politics in the Middle East in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, has spent close to $900m on democracy projects across the region, a federal grants database shows. USAID manages about $1.4bn annually in the Middle East, with nearly $390m designated for democracy promotion, according to the Washington-based Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED). The US government doesn't issue figures on democracy spending per country, but Stephen McInerney, POMED's executive director, estimated that Washington spent some $65m in 2011 and $25m in 2012. He said he expects a similar amount paid out this year. A main conduit for channeling the State Department's democracy funds to Egypt has been the National Endowment for Democracy. Federal documents show NED, which in 2011 was authorised an annual budget of $118m by Congress, funneled at least $120,000 over several years to an exiled Egyptian police officer who has for years incited violence in his native country. This appears to be in direct contradiction to its Congressional mandate, which clearly states NED is to engage only in "peaceful" political change overseas. Exiled policeman Colonel Omar Afifi Soliman - who served in Egypt's elite investigative police unit, notorious for human rights abuses - began receiving NED funds in 2008 for at least four years. During that time he and his followers targeted Mubarak's government, and Soliman later followed the same tactics against the military rulers who briefly replaced him. Most recently Soliman set his sights on Morsi's government. Soliman, who has refugee status in the US, was sentenced in absentia last year for five years imprisonment by a Cairo court for his role in inciting violence in 2011 against the embassies of Israel and Saudi Arabia, two US allies. He also used social media to encourage violent attacks against Egyptian officials, according to court documents and a review of his social media posts. US Internal Revenue Service documents reveal that NED paid tens of thousands of dollars to Soliman through an organisation he created called Hukuk Al-Nas (People's Rights), based in Falls Church, Virginia. Federal forms show he is the only employee. After he was awarded a 2008 human rights fellowship at NED and moved to the US, Soliman received a second $50,000 NED grant in 2009 for Hukuk Al-Nas. In 2010, he received $60,000 and another $10,000 in 2011. In an interview with the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley, Soliman reluctantly admitted he received US government funding from the National Endowment for Democracy, but complained it wasn't enough. "It is like $2000 or $2,500 a month," he said. "Do you think this is too much? Obama wants to give us peanuts. We will not accept that." NED has removed public access to its Egyptian grant recipients in 2011 and 2012 from its website. NED officials didn't respond to repeated interview requests.

August 23, 2013

Have you ever wondered how the government’s misinformation gains traction?

What I have noticed is that whenever a stunning episode occurs, such as 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombing, most everyone whether on the right or left goes along with the government’s explanation, because they can hook their agenda to the government’s account.

The left wing likes the official stories of Muslims creating terrorist mayhem in America, because it proves their blowback theory and satisfies them that the dispossessed and oppressed can fight back against imperialism.

The patriotic right wing likes the official story, because it proves America is attacked for its goodness or because terrorists were allowed in by immigration authorities and nurtured by welfare, or because the government, which can’t do anything right, ignored plentiful warnings.

Whatever the government says, no matter how problematical, the official story gets its traction from its compatibility with existing predispositions and agendas. In such a country, truth has no relevance. Only agendas are important.

A person can see this everywhere. I could write volumes illustrating how agenda-driven writers across the spectrum will support the most improbable government stories despite the absence of any evidence simply because the government’s line can be used to support their agendas.

For example the Boston bombings, a conservative writer in the June issue of Chronicles uses the government’s story about the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to argue against immigration, amnesty for illegals, and political asylum for Muslims.

As soon as the authorities have the brother locked up in a hospital on life support, “unnamed officials” and “authorities who remain anonymous” are planting the story in the media that the suspect is signing written confessions of his guilt while on life support. No one has seen any of these written confessions. But we know that they exist, because the government and media say so.

The conservative writer knows that Dzhokhar is guilty because he is Muslim and a Chechen. Therefore, it does not occur to the writer to wonder about the agenda of the unnamed sources who are busy at work creating belief in the brothers’ guilt. This insures that no juror would dare vote for acquittal and have to explain it to family and friends.

July 31, 2013

Earlier this month the New York Times wrote about E-Verify, the system of employment verification tucked into the immigration legislation that passed the Senate in July. As the Times notes, E-Verify is "a linchpin of the legislation… [that] would require all employers in the country within five years to use a federal electronic system to verify the legal eligibility to work of every new hire, including American citizens."

We've expressed our concerns many times – about privacy issues, widespread opposition from across the political spectrum, and accuracy issues – but one thing that jumped out of the Times piece was supporters' contention that the system is highly accurate.

From the Times:

Of more than 20.2 million workers run through the system in 2012, only 0.26 percent turned out to be legally authorized after an initial erroneous denial, according to official figures. The system identified 221,155 new hires who did not have legal documents to work in this country. Officials said those figures proved the system was effective.

This framing is odd, to say the least, because it puts the number of wrongful denials in the form of a percentage while describing correct determinations as a number. So let's add flesh to those abstract numbers. Look what happens if you make this an apples to apples comparison: 20.2 million workers x .0026 (.26 percent) = 52,520 workers wrongly identified.

That means that we have 221,155 correct determinations and 52,520 erroneous determinations (where a U.S. worker has to face a daunting bureaucracy and contest the decision before making a living again). In addition, what the article doesn't say is that of 221,155 undocumented workers flagged by the system, 36,000 were people who just didn't contest their determination. In other words, they might have been undocumented but they also might have just moved onto a different job at a place that didn't use E-Verify.

Perhaps you think that a best case scenario where E-Verify catches 4.5 undocumented workers for every one U.S. worker wrongly identified is a trade worth making but, at a minimum, it's a trade we should clearly understand.

This issue is even starker when you consider what a nationwide E-Verify mandate means. There are currently about 154 million workers in the U.S. A 0.26% error rate represents a best case scenario where 400,000 people will be wrongfully caught up in E-Verify and forced to prove their right to work.

At the end of the day, efficacy may be in the eye of the beholder—though I bet it looks different if you're one of those innocent workers who gets misidentified.

July 13, 2013

The Vice Chancellor of the International Qur’anic Open University, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gillani, delivers a dynamic statement to the world to address disturbing lies forged by the patrons of Islamophobia who wish to paint a picture that is contrary to his lifelong mission as a teacher, reformer and guide. In 1979, His Eminence El Sheikh Gillani, a noble direct descendant of Ahlul Bayt, which is the family of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), traveled to America. The lineage of El Sheikh Gillani can be traced to his noble grandfather, the world-renowned and revered Ghauzul Azam El Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani (b. 1077 c.e.) (ra) of Baghdad. As head of the distinguished and influential Gillani family in Pakistan, His Eminence El Sheikh Gillani has continuously performed his noble duties to uplift and protect God's servants. Over thirty years later, El Sheikh Gillani emerges as one of the world’s greatest humanitarians, going wherever there is a cry for help.

 

When arriving in America, El Sheikh Gillani met a devoted group of indigenous American Muslims whose hearts were yearning for a leader and guide dedicated to the practice of Al Islam at a time when the deviant Wahabi ideology infiltrated the American Muslim mainstream. El Sheikh Gillani found this earnest group of American Muslims in an unlikely place- the depressed ghettos of the inner cities where drugs, crime and violence were rampant.  As unlikely as it seems, these Americans had prayed to Almighty God for relief, and after witnessing many Divine miraculous manifestations supporting El Sheikh Gillani’s mission, this group of American Muslims soon formed a devout community of faithful Muslims becoming known as The Muslims of America, Inc.

 

Today, in contrast to the horrifying ghettos of the inner cities, The Muslims of America, Inc., have established peaceful rural villages, where they live a clean life, focus on education, serve in local communities, partake in an agricultural lifestyle and raise the fourth generation of children who have benefitted from the care of His Eminence. Regardless of this great progress, in a post 9/11 America, there are those who have manufactured new careers and made vast fortunes masquerading as Christians, but who are actually peddlers of Islamophobia and not followers of the second to the last messenger, Jesus son of the Chaste Mary. Instead, they are bent on distorting the truth, spreading lies and falsehood, and attempting to bring about unrest and violence between unaware Christians and Muslims. El Sheikh Gillani remains steadfast under the attack of such frauds who have attempted to degrade years of service to mankind by using books and web pages filled with propaganda as well as deceptive editing of thirty-year-old videos to incite the panic that American Muslims are planning to harm  their fellow neighbors- an outright fabrication.

 

Coinciding with his travels to America, in the early 1980’s, another cry was heard from halfway around the globe as the innocent people of Afghanistan were invaded by the former Soviet Union (USSR) sending shockwaves throughout the world.  An immediate reaction rang out from the humanitarian community including the United Nations as well as a strong response from the United States of America who supported the “Mujahideen”, also called freedom fighters, so that the people of Afghanistan could repel the communist aggressors. El Sheikh Gillani, his American followers and Muslims from all over the world joined the international community in confronting the Soviets to drive them from Afghanistan. In the State of the Union Address Delivered Before a Joint Session of the Congress on January 23, 1980, President Jimmy Carter stated:

 

…at this moment, massive Soviet troops are attempting to subjugate the fiercely independent and deeply religious people of Afghanistan.…The integrity and the independence of weaker nations must not be threatened. But now the Soviet Union has taken a radical and an aggressive new step. It's using its great military power against a relatively defenseless nation. The implications of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan could pose the most serious threat to the peace since the Second World War.

The vast majority of nations on Earth have condemned this latest Soviet attempt to extend its colonial domination of others and have demanded the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops. The Moslem world is especially and justifiably outraged by this aggression against an Islamic people. No action of a world power has ever been so quickly and so overwhelmingly condemned. But verbal condemnation is not enough. The Soviet Union must pay a concrete price for their aggression….

 

As El Sheikh Gillani continued his efforts to help the people of Afghanistan, the devastation in that country over the next five years was horrific.  According to Amnesty International, “about 1 million Afghans died”. The United Nations News Centre reports, “…About 3 million refugees fled to Pakistan and 1.5 million to Iran. Many people were also driven from the countryside to Kabul, and in total more than half of the population was displaced…”.

 

In a radio address to Americans on December 28, 1985, President Ronald Reagan reiterated American support for the freedom fighters, the Mujahideen, who were instrumental in finally expelling the former USSR from Afghanistan:

 

 

In 1985, when the Mujahideen fighting in Afghanistan were invited and honored at the White House, President Reagan went so far as to say about the Mujahideen: "These gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America's Founding Fathers."

 

As Imam of The Muslims of America, and Vice Chancellor of the International Qur’anic Open University, Inc., El Sheikh Gillani has consistently performed the noble work of teaching and reforming those whose founding fathers indeed built America. Instead of paying due regard for the sacrifices and recognizing the successes of El Sheikh Gillani, forces who are against America have instead launched a barrage of media assaults falsely accusing The Muslims of America, Inc. as enemies of their fellow countrymen.

 

In the forefront of this assault is the President of the so-called Christian Action Network, Martin Mawyer, who released a book in 2012 titled Twilight in America, which prompted The Muslims of America,Inc. to file a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit in federal court. In addition to the book, Mawyer was responsible for the publication and propagation of a deceitful film portraying El Sheikh Gillani’s heroic efforts in Afghanistan and Indian-occupied Kashmir as training camps against Americans.

 

The best medicine for lies is truth.

 

El Sheikh Gillani takes a journey through time as he delivers a timely policy statement detailing the history of his mission, the victories and the current struggles as the enemies of Islam persist in their attack of innocent American Muslims who have done no harm to their own country.

 

His Eminence El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gillani:

 

I issued a Victory Letter in English. In it is written that Almighty Allah spoke to the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) and informed us that Allah ta Ala is going to dismember the USSR. In the Victory Letter, I gave a declaration to everyone to come and fight the Communists and that they would be successful. It was in that time that I was encouraged by the Pakistani government and the Reagan Administration to help Americans to fight against the Communists.

 

In America, I held Jihad conferences in New York and New Jersey, which were very known and public. I had letters with me encouraging people to go and fight the Communists. Then, I went back to Pakistan and gave a decree of Jihad in Peshawar where we signed to wage a holy war against the Soviet Communists. During this time, one of my partners was so respected by U.S. President Reagan that when he went to America, Reagan himself came to the airport and took him from the airplane in his car. The Americans gave us overwhelming respect and honor. Our family cousin A. Shah Gilani is still a very strong man there. I soon found out that people responded to the decree, the Qadris, particularly those lovers of Ahl Bayt, and followers of Abdul Qadir Gilani (ra). They heard my call and came out in the hundreds in Peshawar to volunteer to fight the Communists who were occupying Afghanistan. However, they suffered heavy casualties because they were unskilled, so I needed someone to train them.

 

I requested some of my American followers, such as Husain Abdallah and honored American Muslim veterans to come help me and help America, by training those who came forward so that they could go and successfully fight the Communists. As a Holy Man, a member of Ahl Bayt, I was a spiritual guide to people, making prayers and encouraging them to go and fight. A group came to Pakistan to the mountains of our Murree campus, a place where you can go today and still see the same backdrops and same scenery. It was in Murree that a video was made. For the sake of the video, I put on fatigues and a jacket to invite people in Pakistan and all over the world to come fight the Communists who had illegally invaded the country of Afghanistan. Do you understand that we never had any training camps against America? America is your homeland. My whole family are Americans. Everything that was done was supported by the United States of America, not against the United States of America.

 

Instead of doctoring the video to look like training against Americans, why don’t you instead honor those who are sitting there on both sides because they sacrificed much by going to Pakistan to try and fight the enemy of America? Those are American Muslim Veterans.  Similarly, when the country of Kashmir was illegally occupied, I did the same by going to the Kashmiri camps to make prayers and tell them to expel those who occupied their country illegally in spite of the UN resolution of 1948, which said Kashmiris would obtain the right of plebiscite to choose to be a part of India or Pakistan.

 

They have a video showing me as I visit the Kashmiri camps. My family is in Kashmir. Ninety percent of Kashmiris follow my ancestor’s Qadri (sufi) order. Kashmir is occupied illegally by India. Of course I will have to help the Kashmiri cause when 90% of Muslims have been occupied illegally by India. Why hasn’t the United Nations done something in Kashmir? They went to Timur Island, created rights for the people, and then sent the United Nations army and separated the island to bring peace. The United Nations did the same in Sudan. This is what they are doing everywhere, why not help the people of Kashmir?

 

The situation in Afghanistan was created as a vehicle to transplant the Jews from the USSR to the illegal state of Israel. They used America, Americans, American money and Muslims to fight their war. In the book, Al-Islam in America, there is a photograph that depicts these events. It attests to the large amounts of money, millions and millions of dollars, spent. It was the Jews’ war yet, now it is thought that some of our followers, and Muslims in America, are actually a danger for them and a threat to their existence.  They are not a danger to the United States. Martin Mawyer, the Christian Action Network and others of their ilk are the enemies -not of the Muslims-, but of the United States of America. That is why they have people like Martin Mawyer and others who burn books and make Hollywood movies in an attempt to degrade Islam. There should be some end to injustice. The most unfortunate thing in America is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who first chooses people as their friends to get their work done and then they terminate them. This is their ongoing policy.

 

As a matter of fact, not only Muslims in America, but the American people are under siege.  They are no longer independent. They are put into proxy war after war.

That is why I myself established the United Muslim Christian Forum (UMCF). Peace in America depends on Muslim- Christian unity and both having understanding. So, is Martin Mawyer following the teachings of Jesus son of Mary (as)? If he were, he would not lie or falsely accuse anyone as Jesus son of Mary never did. I tell the world – Muslims are the only one who brought the book, Holy Qur’an, which is the only Divine evidence that Jesus son of Mary was the result of legitimate birth. His mother was “Siddiqa”, a pious virtuous virgin who gave birth according to the Almighty’s plan. She was given glad tidings of his miraculous birth. The Holy Quran is the only book that establishes that Jesus son of Mary spoke in the cradle and told all that Allah has “made me a prophet”. In burning Holy Qur’an, Terry Jones in actuality burned the revelation according to Jesus, for the Holy Quran contains the pure and summarized form of the Holy Gospel found in Surah (chapter) Ali Imran and Surah Maryam. Holy Qur’an also contains, in condensed form, the Torah found in Surah Al Baqara as well as mentions the whole account of Moses (peace be upon them all). The truth is that those making fortunes on Islamophobia, their first aim is to bring about a clash between Muslims and Christians in America and their second objective is to use it as their means of livelihood. It is a big, ongoing business to abuse Muslims, falsely accuse them, attack their beliefs and then ask for a donation from here and there. All of them are the riff-raff, dropouts, drug addicts, scammers and frauds of society who have taken up the business of slandering Muslims who are American citizens. Such people are the cancer of society, enemies of the United States who do not wish to strengthen but instead want to weaken America by bringing strife between Muslims and Christians.  They know, as do I, that Muslims and Christians are brethren and will be united through Imam Mahdi. Not only do I know Imam Mahdi, but I have introduced him to some of my followers. Imam Mahdi is going to come and he is the one who will join Islam and Christianity under one religion. He will single out the common enemy who conspired to crucify Jesus Son of Mary and hurled false accusations against his blessed, chaste mother by calling him of an illegitimate birth. That is the purpose of Imam Mahdi- to deal with these people posing as Christians who have no resemblance to the followers of Jesus, son of Mary.

 

Martin Mawyer’s Christian Action Network (CAN) threw leaflets from an airplane to the earth bringing false accusations against me even after the U.S. State Department has acknowledged that I have had nothing to do with anything. Yet he continues to incite citizens and law enforcement to take action against me and members of The Muslims of America, Inc. Is there any law? Well, law is with Almighty God right now. Are Martin Mawyer and other people out there blind?

 

In our Muslim village of Holy Islamberg, New York, Almighty God’s personal name, Allah, is shining in the Holy Shrine. What does it mean? It is a sign of Almighty God. Those who oppress Muslims want to deny the existence of Allah and burn Holy Quran, but can you stop Allah Almighty?

 

Whenever Almighty God shows some sign there is always a reason. It is a stern warning for oppressors and glad tidings for the believers. Fear Almighty God. Think about what had happened to those people who denied and rejected the signs of Almighty God, they were destroyed. He destroyed the people of ‘Ad. He destroyed the people of Thamud. He sent tornado after tornado and wiped them out of existence. Now these signs can be observed here in America. Islamberg has become one of the holiest places in the world. Allah’s name had never shown in any part of the world in past history. Allah’s name has been shining for the last three years, and continues to shine up until now. It will keep on shining until Islam dominates. Allah will teach lessons, so take heed.  Respect the law. Why is there no justice? American Muslims are under attack because anyone is allowed to do anything. Not only do people have freedom of speech, they have freedom of action. What are Martin Mawyer's motives for publicly posting the address and then freely directing people to go to locations of The Muslims of America, Inc? Subsequently, one of our locations is attacked by a gunman while other locations have trespassers and intruders." What have American Muslims done? There are so many other communities living independently on their private properties. We are not an exception.

 

Also, respect international law. Innocent people, mostly children, continue to be killed by unlawful drones from above. Do you not see if you destroy one house in Pakistan, Allah sends a “drone” to destroy hundreds of houses through wraths like earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. This process will go on until your drones go home. His wrath has already been substantiated, but it is attributed to Mother Nature. There is no such thing as mother nature. It is Divine wrath and it is striking repeatedly. It will continue occurring. Try to stop it if you can. I am warning all to fear Almighty Allah for He destroyed many nations before.

 

I am responsible for continually guiding Muslims. Allah has presented miraculous sign after sign acknowledging and honoring me as the rightful Imam of the Muslims. Rainbow after rainbow has appeared and people see them and make not that it is still happening. It is my duty to guide the Muslims wherever they are and I will do so. Save yourself from the wrath of Allah. Leave Muslims alone. Let Muslims and followers of Jesus son of Mary become closer to one another without hindrance. No Muslims in America have committed crimes against the United States of America. No American Muslim has committed acts of terrorism.  

 

I am the one who, for the last 30 years, has been reforming and carving American youth- men and women both, into respectable citizens. Today, the fruits of my labor have materialized as I watch proudly a fourth Muslim American generation who are doctors, engineers, lawyers and businessmen. They have better cars than I have. They have more income than I have. I have lived with them, slept in their homes, ate with them. I helped their families purchase land as a gift that would keep giving. The third and fourth generation of Muslim Americans that were raised on these lands are the doctors, lawyers and teachers of today!   Who has done this before? What organization teaches young people lost in the ghettos to be straightforward, honest, ambitious, hard-working, independent, and to become good Americans? Has anybody done it before? No, because their educational and social system says let them do whatever they want to do.

 

No matter the contribution, anything Muslims do is totally rejected. We introduced the El Gilani Methodology. Our doctors, MDs, went to California to discuss this methodology designed to heal mental patients with select verses of Holy Qur’an. It is scientifically proven and successful.  The doctors of EGM spoke, showed and proved to them the recorded cases of healing of incurable mental diseases. We provided them the evidences from the Sufic Research Institute. Many rejected it because it came from the Muslims. In 1976 and 1977 under the auspices of WHO (World Health Organization), I proved the effects of healing with Holy Qur’an in Saudia Arabia in the presence of doctors from eight countries who were eyewitnesses to the success including the chief head of the international organization, Dr. Dennis Leigh and others who were from Egypt, Sudan, England, America and Pakistan. Did the WHO acknowledge the success and immediately begin to help people? Did they thank me as a scientist for my scientific research and methodology? No, because psychiatrists said they would be out of business if EGM was allowed to propagate. My books were even prescribed by the Saudi government for their university, but were taken off the shelves by these people. The methodology I invented, EGM, cures the incurable and it is saving lives. I revived a brain dead patient in Germantown hospital with EGM. Seek out Dr. Davis if you wish to know more.

 

We do not beg for anything from anyone. We are strangers to this world. Those who have tried to tell people to attack us should know that we love going back to Allah a million times more than you love your wine and women. We do not belong to this world. We came from Allah and unto Allah we will return. We do not look to our right we do not look to the left. We do not care what you say. Do what you can do.  Do it! You will be humiliated as Allah’s wrath is falling on you and it will continue to fall more and more as it seems there is no law, no humility, and no decency left in this world. Lying has become fun, an art. Media is no exception as Fox television lets everyone do and say whatever they want. Open your eyes and see, former Islamophobe Arnoud Van Doorn, the Dutch politician helped make a blasphemous film about the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon, and now, Van Doorn has become a Muslim. He was formerly a patron of Martin Mawyer, giving money and support.

 

All should know and understand that Muslims are the only people who acknowledge Jesus son of Mary as the second to the last messenger; his status is both loved and revered.

 

This is my message and this is my statement.  It can be taken any way you like.

July 10, 2013

A lawsuit filed against the NYPD accuses the city’s police of regularly violating the civil rights of Muslims. The suit claims that the NYPD unconstitutionally profiles and intimidates them, thereby discouraging them from practicing their religion.

“Our mosque should be an open, religious, spiritual sanctuary, but NYPD spying has turned it into a place of suspicion and censorship,” Hamid Hassan Raza, an imam named as a plaintiff in the case said.

The lawsuit was filed by civil rights lawyers on behalf of numerous religious and community leaders, mosques, and a charitable organization that were victims of the NYPD’s  surveillance of Muslim New Yorkers. The lawsuit requests the court to declare such spy initiatives unconstitutional and order the destruction of records related to the program.

The document lists Mayor Michael Bloomberg, police commissioner Raymond Kelly and deputy commissioner of intelligence David Cohen as defendants. Bloomberg has long defended the controversial spy program, claiming that it helps thwart terrorist attacks. But victims of the surveillance believe the NYPD has gone too far, prompting them to change their lifestyles to avoid becoming a target.

“When a police department turns law-abiding people into suspects because they go to a mosque and not a church or synagogue, it violates our Constitution’s guarantees of equality and religious freedom,” Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project.

The suit describes the fears held by Muslims like Raza, who works as a spiritual leader of Brooklyn’s Al-Ansar mosque. Afraid that he would be misquoted or that his sermons would be taken out of context and scrutinized by the NYPD. He avoids bringing up controversial topics and has witnessed a lagging attendance at mosques, due to the Muslim Surveillance Program.

“The surveillance program has prevented me from fulfilling my duty as an imam.” Raza said.

The lawsuit accuses New York City of violating the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Widespread domestic surveillance initiatives have left some Americans terrified, particularly Muslims whose daily activities are being secretly monitored by the NYPD.

July 8, 2013

Many Americans are unaware of the honored position Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him) holds in Islam, wherein there is no dispute of his immaculate conception as commanded by Almighty God.  His mother, the blessed Mary (Maryam in Arabic), was a virgin and an honored lady.  There is no discrepancy among Muslims regarding these facts because Holy Quran is the only book that delineates the virgin birth, it being a miracle and personal handiwork of God.  Numerous chapters throughout Holy Quran provide proof of Jesus son of Mary’s birth and mission.

The ignorance of Islam’s reverence for Jesus, son of Mary is now being seized and manipulated by individuals posing as Christians in order to wreak havoc against the citizens of our great country.  These religious zealots and criminals seek to dissolve Christian-Muslim unity in the United States, and all over the world, by spreading false propaganda, fabricating outright lies and using media to disseminate their anti-Muslim and anti-religious agenda. Individuals like Martin Mawyer and Rev. Robert Spencer; organizations like the Christian Action Network and the American Thinker’s, who promulgated a “Step-by-Step Guide to Smiting Muslims”, are all guilty of this.  The machinations of these individuals and groups include egregious lies such as labeling the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, a Muslim. Sensational stories have increased the popularity of these groups, which has allowed them to obtain financial support for their so-called crusade against Muslims.

Irrespective of the efforts of God’s enemies, truth will always rise above falsehood. Each day brings to light their notorious and evil schemes with the Almighty rendering their plots fruitless.  As American Muslims, we appeal and invite Churches, our Christian brothers, Muslims, friends and neighbors to stand firm with us against these conspiracies and promoters of hatred, Islamophobia and intolerance.  Our creed is enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong.  We denounce those who claim to be Muslim, but whose actions are against Islam and its teachings of peace, tolerance and respect of all faiths. Groups such as the Wahabis, Taliban and Takfiris are currently murdering Christians and Muslims who attempt to safeguard their lives according to Islam’s teachings as recently witnessed in Homs, Syria.  Evil and barbarism have no place in our world.  The United Muslim Christian Forum (UMCF) teaches by example how Christians and Muslims can impact the world and invoke positive change together.  Let the joint commemorations of the birth of Jesus son of Mary and Muhammad the Holy Last Messenger of God (peace be upon them) at both churches and masjids become a testament to what can be accomplished when believing people unite under the banner of Almighty God.

We appeal to every Christian leader, Muslim and American that loves Jesus son of Mary, to honor his teachings and examples by working diligently towards peace between people of all faiths. Defy the ways of his enemies and the enemies of the United States of America by opposing anti-Christian ideologies. Speak out against those who have hijacked Christianity and perverted it to support their ominous agenda that includes threats of a planned assassination of President Barack Obama and mass carnage through use of Weapons of Mass Destruction right here in the U.S. as proven in the recent radiation X-ray machine arrests of Glendon Scott Crawford and Eric J. Feight in Albany, New York.

Do not fall prey to the lethal practices of Martin Mawyer, Christian Action Network or any other individual or group whose agenda and behaviors are contrary to the teachings of Jesus son of Mary himself.

For more information, contact Matthew Gardner  (434) 825-2283 or info@umcforum.org.

July 2, 2013

Contact: Matthew Gardner

Public Relation (434) 825-228 Email: public.relations@iqou-moa.org

(Hancock, NY) The Muslims of America, Inc. is shocked to learn that two men from Albany, New York Glendon Scott Crawford and Eric J. Feight, were arrested June 18 by the FBI for acts of terrorism associated with the building of a weapon of mass destruction intended to be used against American Muslims.  The criminal complaint states the pair worked relentlessly for over a year to build a “radiation-emitting device that could be placed in the back of a van to covertly emit ionizing radiation…”. Their aim was to kill “enemies of Israel”, specifically American Muslims, while they slept. Additionally, court documents indicate the Albany plotters planned to use their weaponzied X-ray equipment against President Obama.  Crawford is a member of the KKK with ties to New York and the Carolinas.

These horrifying acts of planned terrorism against the American Muslim community come at a time when The Muslims of America, Inc. is experiencing deceitful and coordinated invasions upon their resident properties all around the country. In Hancock, NY, on June 16, two unknown trespassers with Eastern European accents and concealed equipment in the back of their Mercedes-Benz van unlawfully entered The Muslims of America, Inc. village of Islamberg, driving approximately one mile down a private rural path until they reached the community’s house of worship. A resident stopped the intruders from further advancing. The driver asked for directions to the “lakes”, but a glance at the GPS on the dash showed no bodies of water on the route. As they fled the property the trespassers were observed not following the directions provided. Two days later, a resident of Islamberg came upon two males, one speaking with an Eastern European accent and taking pictures of the property. The individual, when confronted, returned to his vehicle and sped away. The incidents were reported to the State Police and the FBI.

In Texas, the day of the Albany arrest, a small farming community of The Muslims of America, Inc. experienced a trespasser who identified himself as a land surveyor. The trespasser drove past the village farm repeatedly for approximately four hours and eventually entered onto the property uninvited. After misrepresenting himself as a homeland security representative, the trespasser informed another community member he was a land surveyor.  Shockingly, a few hours thereafter, concerned nearby residents reported to their Muslim neighbors that the man shared that he was collecting information for “Mr. Mawyer” in relation to a book. Martin Mawyer president of the ChristianAction Network is a defendant in a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed by The Muslims of America. Mawyer and his supporters have a long history of harassing members of The Muslims of America, Inc. on their property.

The frightening events transpiring in Texas and New York are more than coincidental, as other locations of The Muslims of America, Inc. have experienced unexplained and unwelcome intruders including Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee- most reporting strangers having the same Eastern European accents. Residents who came into contact with the trespassers are being sent to local hospitals to ensure no exposure to dangerous radiation. The FBI documents for Crawford and Feight do not indicate which Muslim community was targeted by the two Albany men, or how many accomplices remain at large who wish to bring harm to American Muslims.

Although a grave plot, the facts have been suppressed as few news media outlets have covered the story.  The Muslims of America, Inc. recognize this apparent Zionist plot to commit acts of genocide against American Muslims by using weapons of mass destruction and suppressing the facts. When Fox News falsely accused Iraq of having WMDs the story was repeated around the world for months. Today, a devastating weapon of mass destruction has actually been built on American soil to be used against Americans and there is virtually no media coverage from Fox or other news services. Appallingly, some irresponsible media are making jokes that the KKK does not have the capability of building this type of weapon. Nevertheless, the facts are clear and therefore not only American Muslims, but all Americans should be concerned as a weapon of mass destruction was intended to do mass harm- murdering innocents. Credible sources have already indicated the device was slated to be exported out of the country. For the safety of all citizens, The Muslims of America, Inc will utilize every available avenue to expose this plot and petition President Obama to demand immediate police and government protection.

[End]

USA TODAY: “Two Men Accused of Plotting to Kill Muslims in New York
With X-Ray Weapon”
http://www.themuslimguy.com/usa-today-two-men-accused-of-plotting-to-kil...
 

June 21, 2013

 

In the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy, American leaders from across the political spectrum vowed to do everything in their power to prevent another attack. Over the past decade, the government has developed dozens of new programs and spent trillions of dollars in the name of combating terrorism. One initiative finally receiving the attention it deserves, in light of its enormous cost and potential for abuse, is the creation of information hubs or so-called “fusion centers,” across the United States.

Unfortunately, these centers have not served as effective counter-terrorism tools, and in fact, have violated Americans’ rights in the process. This was made clear by a comprehensive investigation by the Senate Homeland Security Investigations Subcommittee.

Fusion centers are state and regionally based information-sharing hubs designed to pool the knowledge and expertise of state, local, and federal law enforcement, intelligence agencies, military officials, and private sector entities. Though they are not federal entities and have no federal legal status, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has said, “Fusion Centers will be the centerpiece of state, local [and] federal intelligence-sharing for the future.” Already, there are 77 fusion centers across the US, and the federal government alone has invested vast sums – the Senate subcommittee estimated as much as $1.4 billion between 2003 and 2010 – in their operation.

Are fusion centers being run properly? As the recent Senate investigation report corroborates, the evidence demonstrates the very real risks fusion centers pose to civil liberties – and the need for safeguards to lessen those risks.

For example, a report prepared for The Constitution Project found that several centers have issued bulletins that characterize a wide variety of religious and political groups as “threats” to national security, including Muslim hip-hop bands and supporters of former presidential candidate Ron Paul. Since fusion centers routinely share “suspicious activity reports” with other centers and the FBI, innocent Americans exercising constitutionally protected rights can end up in centralized counter-terrorism databases.

One of the dangers of the national fusion center network is that misinformation developed in one jurisdiction can rapidly spread to other law enforcement agencies all across the country.

National security and anti-terrorism concerns require confidentiality in some matters, these concerns do not justify the paucity of publicly available information about the actual practices and activities of individual fusion centers.

June 20, 2013

Have you ever wondered how the government’s misinformation gains traction?

What I have noticed is that whenever a stunning episode occurs, such as 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombing, most everyone whether on the right or left goes along with the government’s explanation, because they can hook their agenda to the government’s account.

The left wing likes the official stories of Muslims creating terrorist mayhem in America, because it proves their blowback theory and satisfies them that the dispossessed and oppressed can fight back against imperialism.

The patriotic right wing likes the official story, because it proves America is attacked for its goodness or because terrorists were allowed in by immigration authorities and nurtured by welfare, or because the government, which can’t do anything right, ignored plentiful warnings.

Whatever the government says, no matter how problematical, the official story gets its traction from its compatibility with existing predispositions and agendas. In such a country, truth has no relevance. Only agendas are important.

A person can see this everywhere. I could write volumes illustrating how agenda-driven writers across the spectrum will support the most improbable government stories despite the absence of any evidence simply because the government’s line can be used to support their agendas.

For example, a conservative writer in the June issue of Chronicles uses the government’s story about the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to argue against immigration, amnesty for illegals, and political asylum for Muslims. He writes:

“Even the most high-tech security systems imaginable will inevitably fail as they are overwhelmed by a flood of often hostile and dangerous immigrants.”

The writer accepts all of the improbable government statements as proof that the brothers were guilty.

As soon as the authorities have the brother locked up in a hospital on life support, “unnamed officials” and “authorities who remain anonymous” are planting the story in the media that the suspect is signing written confessions of his guilt while on life support. No one has seen any of these written confessions. But we know that they exist, because the government and media say so.

The conservative writer knows that Dzhokhar is guilty because he is Muslim and a Chechen. Therefore, it does not occur to the writer to wonder about the agenda of the unnamed sources who are busy at work creating belief in the brothers’ guilt. This insures that no juror would dare vote for acquittal and have to explain it to family and friends. Innocent until proven guilty in a court has been thrown out the window. This should disturb the conservative writer, but doesn’t.

Editors note: The Islamic Post (Post) is an independent news source, not answerable to any corporation or government entity. The staff of the Post reports the truth, without any predisposition or agenda.

@482

June 18, 2013

 

As the hidden hand moves forward in attempting to establish America as the seat of the new world order, education will no longer be a choice, especially for the less than wealthy. The cost of student  loans will double July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, more than what the big banks pay on their loans – 0.75 percent; the same culprits responsible for plunging the economy into a recession a few short years ago. The federal government has made drastic cuts in funding higher education, while raising the cost of burdensome student loans. Only a select few will be able to attend a college or university.

 

State colleges and universities have serviced the middle to low income students in their pursuit of a higher education after high school; these institutions have had a significant role in the dynamism that has long made America distinctive. The very same institutions are the target of federal government cuts, with an approval of a loan rate hike that American families will have to bear the brunt of the burden, making the price of education unaffordable for a certain socioeconomic group.

State and local spending for public university students dropped to a 25-year-low in 2011. Tuition and fees at public four-year colleges have jumped by more than 70 percent on average over the last decade. Costs increased to $8,240 in 2011-12, up from $4,790 in 2001-02, according to The College Board. Between 2008 and 2010 costs climbed by 15 percent due to state budget cuts, according to the data released in June by the Department of Education.

 

Some of the biggest cuts have come since the 2007-2009 recession. In order to compensate, some of the state colleges and universities have begun to aggressively recruit wealthy out-of-state and foreign students, creating another challenge for middle to lower income students – competition for admission.

It is reported the Obama administration is forecast to turn a record $51 billion profit this year from student loan borrowers, a sum greater than the earnings of the nation's most profitable companies and roughly equal to the combined net income of the four largest U.S. banks by assets.

The increase on the cost of student loans will not only wedge out a certain economic group from continuing their education, there is potential to create havoc on the economy. Regulators and officials at agencies that include the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Reserve Bank of New York have all warned that student borrowing may pose a threat to financial stability.

Middle to low income college students facing rising costs and having to compete against the wealthy have taken on more and more debt in pursuit of higher education, at the same time becoming disenfranchised. Very soon attending college will be priced unaffordable.