Archive for Ramadan

Altercation at New York amusement park after Muslim women banned from rides for wearing headscarves

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2011 by loonwatch

(Via Islamophobia-Watch.com)

Altercation at New York amusement park after Muslim women banned from rides for wearing headscarves

A New York amusement park was temporarily shut down Tuesday after a large-scale altercation erupted between Muslim patrons and park rangers over a disagreement on headgear rules.

Muslim women in a tour group at Rye Playland in Westchester County were reportedly denied access to several rides because they were wearing hijabs – their traditional headscarves, MyFoxNY reports.

“Our headgear policy is designed to protect the safety of patrons and safety is our first concern,” said Deputy Parks Commissioner Peter Tartaglia. “This policy was repeatedly articulated to the tour operator, but unfortunately the message did not reach some of the members of his group.”

The altercation began when park officials offered refunds and members of the Muslim group got in a scuffle, Tartaglia told The Journal News. Two park rangers were injured when they jumped in to break it up, he said, and were taken to local hospitals.

Dozens of police vehicles from nine agencies then rushed to the park, where officers arrested 15 people – mostly for disorderly conduct, authorities said. The disturbance involved around 30 to 40 people.

All other visitors were not allowed into the park between 4 and 6 p.m. ET, with exit ramps from I-95 closed as well.

The tour group – the Muslim American Society of New York – was at the park to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, an Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, MyFoxNY reports.

“Everybody got mad, everybody got upset,” Amr Khater, a Brooklyn resident, told The Journal News. “It’s our holiday. Why would you do this to us?” Khater said park rangers notified him of the headgear rules upon arrival.

Fox News, 30 August 2011

The Journal News reports: “Lola Ali, 16, of Astoria said she witnessed a group of girls and women wearing hijabs go to park security to confront them about the headgear issue. She said the women were upset and yelling. She said the security officers started pushing them away and the girls stood their ground, at which point the security officers grabbed them, pushed them to the ground and handcuffed them. Men within the park saw this and tried to intervene, Ali said, and the situation went downhill from there. ‘They were beating down the girls, then they started beating down the guys,’ she said of the security officers.”

Happy Eid! Have a Blessed Time

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , on September 1, 2011 by loonwatch

From all the writers on LoonWatch: Happy Eid!

Cairo, waxing moon

Facing Islamophobic Backlash, Whole Foods Instructs Stores Not To ‘Promote’ Ramadan This Year

Posted in Loon Sites, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on August 11, 2011 by loonwatch

Facing Islamophobic Backlash, Whole Foods Instructs Stores Not To ‘Promote’ Ramadan This Year

(ThinkProgress)

In the current era of Islamophobia, anything remotely “Muslim-ish” touches off paranoid delusions of impending jihad, particularly when it involves American emblems — like Whole Foods. Last week, the suburban staple decided to tout “Saffron Road,” a new line of Halal-certified frozen food, to coincide with the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Halal foods are items permitted under Islamic dietary guidelines. In a post on the company’s website entitled “What’s this halal about,” Whole Foods offered a chance to win free samples because “whether you eat halal because of your religious dietary guidelines or you simply prefer to choose food that’s made with high-quality, responsibly farmed ingredients, then Saffron Road has some tasty offerings for you.”

It seems that a “very small” contingent of consumers and right-wing bloggers simply preferred to throw an apoplectic fit. Thus, in apparent genuflection to this bloc, Whole Foods sent an email to all its U.S. stores specifically telling the franchises not to promote Ramadan this year. The Houston Press obtained a copy of the email:

“It is probably best that we don’t specifically call out or ‘promote’ Ramadan,” reads a portion of that email. “We should not highlight Ramadan in signage in our stores as that could be considered ‘Celebrating or promoting’ Ramadan.”

This reversal marks “a significant departure from years past, when Whole Foods has promoted its halal items during Ramadan with small signs that displayed a crescent moon, the symbol of Islam.” What’s more, the move is hardly likely to placate the small number of fringe bloggers who are already boycotting the chain for “pimping and promoting–’Canaan Fair Trade’ and ‘Palestinian Fair Trade’ Olive Oil.” But given the conservative credentials of Whole Foods owner John Mackey, perhaps its surprising the company even considered recognizing Islam in the first place.

Whole Foods responded that the company has not stopped the campaign. It states it is still highlighting halal but also maintained it is still “not specifically [promoting] #Ramadan after some negative comments.” In any event, as Gawker notes, the whole episode does serve as a kind of flow chart for future faux-controversies: “Are you a racist xenophobe who dislikes anything at all for any arbitrary reason? Simply complain loudly on your blog, and Whole Foods will obsequiously cater to your every last prejudice.”

*Updated*

Despite a wave of false rumors that it was backing out of its Ramadan campaign, Whole Foods has directly stated via Twitter that they are indeed standing behind their efforts.

“We are still carrying and promoting halal products for those that are celebrating Ramadan this month. We never sent a communication from our headquarters requesting stores take down signs or remove parts from this promotion. We have 12 different operating regions and unfortunately, one region reacted by sending out directions to promote halal and not specifically Ramadan after some negative online comments.”

Thomas Jefferson’s Iftar

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2011 by loonwatch
Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson’s Iftar

“Ramadan,” said President Obama at a White House iftar dinner in 2010, “is a reminder that Islam has always been a part of America. The first Muslim ambassador to the United States, from Tunisia, was hosted by President Jefferson, who arranged a sunset dinner for his guest because it was Ramadan — making it the first known iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago.”

The dinner to which the president referred took place on December 9, 1805, and Jefferson’s guest was Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, an envoy from the bey (chieftain) of Tunis who spent six months in Washington. The context of Mellimelli’s visit to the United States was a tense dispute over piracy on American merchant vessels by the Barbary states and the capture of Tunisian vessels trying to run an American blockade of Tripoli.

Mellimelli arrived during Ramadan, and Jefferson, when he invited the envoy to the president’s house, changed the meal time from the usual hour of 3:30 p.m. to “precisely at sunset” in deference to the man’s religious obligation.

Jefferson’s knowledge of Islam likely came from his legal studies of natural law. In 1765, Jefferson purchased a two-volume English translation of the Quran for his personal library, a collection that became, in 1815, the basis of the modern Library of Congress.

Salon.com: Fox: Why does Obama hate Easter and love Ramadan?

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2011 by loonwatch

Barack_ObamaBarack Obama

Hilarious piece by Alex Pareene, one of the anti-Loons of the year.

Fox: Why does Obama hate Easter and love Ramadan?

Can we all agree that the worst thing about “Fox & Friends” is how clumsy and obvious they are with their political agenda? (Ok, the second-worst thing, after Steve Doocy’s face. And voice. And the things he says.) Good propaganda is supposed to be sort of covert and insidious, right? Anyway, a couple months ago Fox attacked Obama for not issuing a “proclamation” for Easter, even though the president celebrates Easter every year with a massive party. If you wondered why they did this, the punchline came this morning, when Fox trashed Obama for issuing a proclamation… for Ramadan, the Shariah Easter!
(see video here http://mediamatters.org/blog/201108020009 )
It begins with what in a regular morning show would be “news” — the president recognized Ramadan — and then everyone sort of freezes and Gretchen awkwardly just brings up today’s designated attack line, attributing it to “some people.” “Some people are saying,” she says, more than once, to describe what she is saying. What “some people” are saying is that Barack Obama did not release a “proclamation” for Easter. Why didn’t he tell everyone when Easter was? (No president has released in Easter proclamation in at least 20 years.)

As MediaMatters explains, Barack Obama did not actually issue a proclamation for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. He did release a statement. There is a difference. (Proclamations have actual legal weight behind them!)

But none of that matters. The story is, Barack Obama hates Easter and loves Ramadan. I wonder what they’re suggesting, about the president? That he… doesn’t like chocolate?

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon. Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene More: Alex Pareene

In Norway, Ramadan Begins in the Shadow of a Massacre

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by loonwatch

In Norway, Ramadan begins in the shadow of a massacre

By Katell Prigent (AFP)

OSLO — Norway’s Muslims, reviled by the far-right extremist behind the twin attacks of July 22, began an emotional Ramadan Monday amid more funerals and ceremonies commemorating the 77 people killed.

The Muslim fasting month “will be filled with emotions and in honour of the the victims and their families,” said Methab Asfar, who heads the Islamic Council, an umbrella organisation for Muslim groups across Norway.

As in most other countries, Norway’s Muslims began fasting Monday, just 10 days after 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik carried out his deadly attacks in what he described as a battle against a “Muslim invasion” of Europe.

“Ramadan is always a special time, and we pray everyday. Of course we will be praying for the victims of the attacks and their families,” Samaia Elamin, 23, told AFP as she bought fruit and vegetables for the Iftar feast when the fast is broken after sunset.

Not far away, with the red, white and blue crossed flag of Norway flying at half-mast over the parliament building, the Scandinavian country’s political elite, headed by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, gathered inside to pay tribute to the victims.

With King Harald V and his son Crown Prince Haakon among the onlookers, the gathering observed a minute of silence before striking up Norway’s national anthem, “Ja, vi elsker,” meaning “yes, we love” in English and listening to parliament speaker Dag Terje Andersen read each of the victims’ names.

Stoltenberg meanwhile announced that a national day of commemoration and mourning would be held on August 21.

Several Muslims died in the attacks, including a 17-year-old girl of Turkish origin named Gizem Dogan, whose funeral Monday drew more than 1,000 people to the central-western town of Trondheim, including Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

The Muslim ceremony was held on a football field, since the local mosque was not big enough to hold the throngs of people carrying roses and pictures of the smiling, brown-haired girl, who wanted to pay their last respects.

“Gizem has gained a hero status in the Turkish people’s hearts,” Davutoglu told the crowd gathered around her white flower-covered coffin turned to face Mecca.

While they were the actual focus of the killer’s hatred, some Muslims felt the brunt of suspicion in the chaotic hours before Behring Breivik was arrested, when many commentators were speculating that Islamist terrorists were responsible.

“Muslims were attacked verbally and physically in the hours after the attacks,” Asfar said, adding that “this kind of thing should not happen in a democratic society. We need to be able to solve our differences without resorting to violence.”

According to official statistics, Norway is home to some 100,000 Muslims out of a total population of nearly five million people.

The Islamic Council chief had only praise however for Norwegian authorities, who he said “handled the situation very well.”

“They never pointed a finger at any group or individual based on ethnicity or religion,” he said.

Behring Breivik’s main target was the ruling Labour Party, which he blamed for its multicultural policies.

He first set off a car bomb in Oslo’s government quarter, killing eight people and damaging the offices of among others Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, before going on a shooting rampage on Utoeya island near Oslo, where the party was holding a youth camp.

Sixty-nine people, most of them teenagers, were killed in the shooting.

“Of course the attacks will leave a mark on Ramadan. Everyone has this in mind and we are especially mindful of the victims’ loved ones,” Asfar told AFP in a telephone interview.

“In one way, it is an entire nation that will be fasting,” Asfar said.

“The aim of the fast is to keep in mind those who are in difficulty. It’s a time for forgiveness, for reflections, for love and warmth. Muslim or not, our thoughts will be with the victims and their families,” he said.

Throughout the month of Ramadan, devout Muslims must abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn until sunset when they break the fast with the Iftar meal.

The fast is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca which able Muslims should do once in a lifetime.

Fox and Friends Attack Muslim Family Day

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2010 by loonwatch

Joe “nuke ‘em” Kaufman was on Fox and Friends saying Muslim Family Day was a terrorist sponsored event.

Fox & Friends’ latest vicious attack on Islam targets Muslim Family Day

July 20, 2010 1:48 pm ET by Justin Berrier

On what is rapidly becoming a regular feature, Fox & Friends this morning continued their incessant attack on Islam. Co-host Alisyn Camerota this morning hosted anti-Islam blogger and founder of the ironically named Americans Against Hate organization Joe Kaufman to attack Muslim Family Day at Six Flags Great Adventure. Camerota called it “insensitive” that they would host the event on September 12, “just hours after the anniversary of the September 11th attacks,” and added “but what’s even more controversial are the allegations that the Muslim group organizing the event could have been involved in financing the September 11 terror attacks.” Kaufman went further, employing what is becoming a familiar phrase among anti-Muslim bloggers: “The fact that they’re having it on September 12th, I believe they are actually spitting in the face of Americans.”

http://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/flash/player.swf

So what evidence did Kaufman give to back up Camerota’s claim that the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), who is sponsoring this event, “could have been involved in financing the September 11 terror attacks?” His first piece of evidence is a message from former ICNA President Dr. Muhammad Yunus making “a request calling on supporters to give ‘material support to groups associated with al-Qaida and the Taliban.” Here is what Yunus actually said, in an image hosted on Kaufman’s website: “Remember fellow Chechnyan Muslims in Eid Celebrations. President ICNA Dr. Muhammad Yunus has requested all Muslims around the world to include Chechnyan Muslims in their special Eid-ul-Fitr prayers. We must show our spiritual and material support for our brothers and sisters being oppressed by Russian forces.” For Kaufman, this justifies making the claim that “they may be themselves involved in financing 9/11.”

In case the name Muhammad Yunus sounds familiar, by the way, that would be Nobel Peace Prizerecipient Muhammad Yunus, developer of the microcredit and microfinance concepts.

Kaufman went on to try to associate ICNA with Hamas through more tenuous ties. According to his website, in 2006 ICNA was listed as a donor to the Al-Khidmat Foundation, a Pakistani charitable organization that, according to their website, “is dedicated to the services of humanity all parts of the world without any discrimination of creed, religion and political associaltion [sic].”  They provide funding for clean water projects, diagnostic centers, orphan homes, and other community-based programs. According to Kaufman, while ICNA was one of their donors, the Al-Khidmat Foundation made a one-time donation to Hamas. Kaufman of course has no evidence that ICNA was involved in the gift, or that their money was part of the gift, or that they had anything to do whatsoever with the gift. Kaufman has been pushing this connection for years, and even the Anti-Defamation League isn’t buying it. An October 5, 2007 Dallas Daily News article reported on Kaufman’s allegations. At the time, he was protesting a different Muslim Family Day at Six Flags Over Texas. They reported (accessed via Nexis):

Mohammad Barney, president of the Dallas chapter of ICNA, said the accusations are troubling and untrue.

According to its Web site, ICNA supports Islamic culture and education while promoting justice and understanding.

“It’s disturbing that they are writing false statements like that,” said Mr. Barney. “People have the right to say whatever they want, but that doesn’t make it true.”

The Anti-Defamation League – a pro-Jewish group – seems to agree. ICNA is not listed as a threat on its Web site.

“We don’t involve ourselves in that kind of activity,” said Mark Briskman, regional director of the league, who said his group would not participate in the protest. “He made a lot of claims … without clear documentation of those claims. His statements are problematic.”

So other than making what appear to be baseless accusations about an organization sponsoring a family outing, why would Fox & Friends bring Kaufman on to attack Muslim Family Day? Well, what he lacks in expertise or insight, he makes up for in dedication. What Kaufman failed to mention is that, while Muslims may be “spitting in the faces of Americans” for holding the event on September 12, heattacked the event in 2007, when it was being held on October 14. Kaufman and Fox also ignored that the reason why the event is being held on September 12 this year –the same reason it was held on October 14 in 2007 –is that it falls on the first weekend after Ramadan ends.

In a FrontPage article titled “Fanatic Muslim Family Day” Kaufman wrote of the October 2007 event:

ICNA’s Muslim Family Day that will occur on October 14, 2007 is nothing but a charade, created to spread hatred, but veiled in a way to make the sponsoring organization look harmless. Six Flags will play host to this dangerous farce. If events, such as these, are allowed to continue, more and more Americans could become desensitized to those groups – fifth columns within our borders that wish to do us harm. It is up to those concerned to speak out against these travesties that threaten our way of life.

He may have been on to something. Looking back at previous events, I was able to find evidence of ICNA members spreading hatred. Witness the horror: