Archive for Taliban

Pamela Geller “Loves” Soldiers Who Urinate on Dead Corpses

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , on January 12, 2012 by loonwatch

US_Soldiers_Urinate_Dead_Afghans

US Soldiers Urinate on Dead Afghans

Pamela Geller “loves” the soldiers pictured above urinating on dead corpses. According to her it may be the “infidel interpretation of the Islamic ritual of washing and preparing the body for burial.”

Interestingly, Geller often wears a necklace with the word “LOVE” showing, which is perplexing considering that to most rational people she is a hate-mongering-attention-seeking loon blogger. I guess this answers the puzzle of her “LOVE” necklace, she “loves” when Muslims are killed, urinated on or otherwise mutilated.

How sick and sadistic can Geller get? Why doesn’t her best friend Robert Spencer condemn her for such asinine comments?

Geller couches her approval and “love” of such actions by implying that those being urinated on deserve it because…they were “jihadis” and “Taliban.” She then trumps out the Nazi analogy, saying,

Would anyone have CAIRed if Marines urinated on dead Nazi soldiers during WWII? (Anyone besides CAIR and nazis, that is)

The US Army probably would care Pam, since it is a violation of their code of conduct, and since they are now engaged in negotiations with the Taliban.

She also goes on an off topic tangent about honor killings and clitorectomies, etc. as if those issues are linked to the actions of the marines.

Here is Geller’s vile screed:

Hamas-tied CAIR, once again sides with jihadists against the US military. Always. Apparently they are a  “Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization” for jihadists and Taliban and Al-Shabaab, Hamas, Hezb’allah, et al).

CAIR has whipped itself up into an Islamic frenzy because  a video surfaced that appears to show US Marines combat gear urinating on several dead jihadis.

Here’s the thing. Hamas liars, CAIR, say jihad and pure Islam is “fringe,” “extremist.” So why do they CAIR about disrespecting the Taliban? According to CAIR lies, Taliban and jihadists do not represent Islam, they have “hijacked Islam”; so why would CAIR care about “respect”? CAIR calls these Marines immoral, but considers honor killings, clitorectomies, forced marriage, child marriage, polygamy, subjugation of women, slaughter of non-Muslims, Jew hatred moral?

Would anyone have CAIRed if Marines urinated on dead Nazi soldiers during WWII? (Anyone besides CAIR and nazis, that is).

I love these Marines. Perhaps this is the infidel interpretation of the Islamic ritual of washing and preparing the body for burial.
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CAIR Condemns Alleged Desecration of Bodies by U.S. Marines

par CAIR, mercredi 11 janvier 2012, 13:48

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/11/12) –- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today condemned the alleged desecration of corpses in Afghanistan by members of the U.S. Marines.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said video on the TMZ website appears to show a number of Marines in combat gear urinating on several dead bodies. The person who reportedly distributed the video stated that it shows Marines from Camp Lejeune urinating on dead Taliban. A Marine Corps spokesperson said the incident allegedly shown in the video will be investigated.

SEE: U.S. Marines to Investigate Video of Soldiers Urinating on Corpses

http://tinyurl.com/7rkzvp4

In a letter faxed to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote:

“We condemn this apparent desecration of the dead as a violation of our nation’s military regulations and of international laws of war prohibiting such disgusting and immoral actions.

“If verified as authentic, the video shows behavior that is totally unbecoming of American military personnel and that could ultimately endanger other soldiers and civilians.

“We trust that this disturbing incident will be promptly investigated in a transparent manner and that appropriate actions will be taken based on the results of that investigation. Any guilty parties must be punished to the full extent allowed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and by relevant American laws.”

Update: Geller won’t back down. She is going all the way on this. She’s mighty upset that CAIR called her out on her vileness, and so published another pro-Urinating on dead corpses hate post titled, “Hamas-CAIR Attacks US Marines, Pamela Geller and Atlas Readers in Defense of Jihadists.” She is pulling the usual hate speech out against CAIR, calling it “HAMAS in America” and so forth. I think it is time for CAIR to start suing these individuals for libel, but I guess it would just be a waste of time. Some of what she says sounds downright threatening,

Hamas in America, CAIR, want to harrass and threaten anyone who doesn’t toe their line. Don’t do it. Do not be cowed. Push back.

Owner of car dealership labeled “Taliban Toyota” wins millions

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2011 by loonwatch

Owner of car dealership labeled “Taliban Toyota” wins millions

(Reuters) – The owner of a large southwest Alabama car dealership derided as “Taliban Toyota” by a competitor has been awarded $7.5 million in damages after a jury trial for his slander claim.

Iranian-born Shawn Esfahani, owner of Eastern Shore Toyota in Daphne, Alabama, sought $28 million in compensatory and punitive damages from Bob Tyler Toyota, claiming employees at that Pensacola, Florida-based dealership falsely portrayed him as an Islamist militant to customers.

“The feeling I received in the courtroom for the truth to come out was worth a lot more than any money anybody can give me,” Esfahani told Reuters on Tuesday.

Esfahani’s lawsuit said that Bob Tyler sales manager Fred Kenner told at least one couple considering buying from Eastern Shore Toyota in 2009 that Esfahani was of Middle Eastern descent and was “helping fund the insurgents there and is also laundering money for them.”

Esfahani, a naturalized U.S. citizen, fled his native Iran in 1980 following the Islamic revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed Shah and swept Shi’ite Muslim clergy to power, his lawsuit said. He opened his car dealership in 2007.

The Taliban, by contrast, are hardline Islamists in the central Asian nations of Afghanistan and Pakistan who follow an austere interpretation of Islamic law.

A Bob Tyler salesman was accused of telling the same couple that Esfahani was from Iraq and calling him a “terrorist” who put soldiers including the salesman’s brother in harm’s way.

“(Esfahani) is funneling money back to his family and other terrorists. I have a brother over there and what you’re doing is helping kill my brother,” the salesman told the couple when he called them on the Eastern Shore sales floor, according to the suit.

The jury deliberated for three hours before awarding Esfahani $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages on Monday evening.

Bob Tyler’s attorney Jeffrey Ingram could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, and Tyler and Kenner both declined to comment on the verdict through a dealership spokesman.

Esfahani said the dollar amount awarded by the jury was irrelevant unless the case sets a precedent by which other business owners can seek recourse against tactics he considers “un-American.”

“This case didn’t take aim at just Mr. Tyler,” he said. “It was intended to address any other business that resorts to those kinds of actions to win at their game unfairly.”

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Cynthia Johnston)

Original post: Owner of car dealership labeled “Taliban Toyota” wins millions

The Taliban are Against Park51

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by loonwatch

All the anti-Islam and anti-Muslim rhetoric is a boon for Taliban recruitment.

Taliban vs. The Mosque

Taliban officials know it’s sacrilegious to hope a mosque will not be built, but that’s exactly what they’re wishing for: the success of the fiery campaign to block the proposed Islamic cultural center and prayer room near the site of the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan. “By preventing this mosque from being built, America is doing us a big favor,” Taliban operative Zabihullah tells NEWSWEEK. (Like many Afghans, he uses a single name.) “It’s providing us with more recruits, donations, and popular support.”

America’s enemies in Afghanistan are delighted by the vehement public opposition to the proposed “Ground Zero mosque.” The backlash against the project has drawn the heaviest e-mail response ever on jihadi Web sites, Zabihullah claims—far bigger even than France’s ban on burqas earlier this year. (That was big, he recalls: “We received many e-mails asking for advice on how Muslims should react to the hijab ban, and how they can punish France.”) This time the target is America itself. “We are getting even more messages of support and solidarity on the mosque issue and questions about how to fight back against this outrage.”

Zabihullah also claims that the issue is such a propaganda windfall—so tailor-made to show how “anti-Islamic” America is—that it now heads the list of talking points in Taliban meetings with fighters, villagers, and potential recruits. “We talk about how America tortures with waterboarding, about the cruel confinement of Muslims in wire cages in Guantánamo, about the killing of innocent women and children in air attacks—and now America gives us another gift with its street protests to prevent a mosque from being built in New York,” Zabihullah says. “Showing reality always makes the best propaganda.”

Taliban officials say they’re looking forward to a new wave of terrorist trainees from the West like this year’s Times Square car bomber. “I expect we will soon be receiving more American Muslims like Faisal Shahzad who are looking for help in how to express their rage,” says a Taliban official who was a senior minister when the group ruled Afghanistan and who remains active in the insurgency. As an indication of the anger that is growing among some Muslims in the West, this official, who requested anonymity for security reasons, mentions the arrest of three Canadian Muslims in Ontario last week on charges of plotting to build and detonate improvised explosive devices. (A fourth individual was arrested in Ottawa last Friday in connection with the case.) The Ground Zero furor will likely add to that anger. “The more mosques you stop, the more jihadis we will get,” Zabihullah predicts.

 

Times Square bombing in retaliation for U.S. drone attacks, No connection to Islam

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2010 by loonwatch
The U.S.'s drones attack Pakistan; The Taliban sent their own drone to Times SquareThe U.S.’s drones attack Pakistan; The Taliban sent their own drone to Times Square

The evidence that the Times Square bombing was in retaliation for illegal U.S. predator drone attacks–and not because “they hate our freedoms” or because of some silly South Park affair–is very strong.

Hakimullah Mahsud, chief of the Pakistani Taliban (the same group that claimed responsibility for the failed Times Square bombing), had long ago promised to retaliate against the United States for the drone attacks; The Daily Mail reads:

Meanwhile the Pakistan Taliban’s new leader [Hakimullah Mahsud] has met with reporters for the first time since winning control of the militants and has vowed to retaliate against the U.S. and Pakistan for drone attacks along the Afghan border…

Mehsud said his group would avenge the killing of Baitullah Mehsud and strike back at Pakistan and the U.S. for the increasing number of drone attacks in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.

Unmanned drones have carried out more than 70 missile strikes in northwestern Pakistan over the last year in a covert program, killing several top militant commanders along with sympathisers and civilians.

I discussed the drone attacks in a previous article, but I’ll reproduce the most salient part below:

U.S. drone attacks on Pakistani soil have killed hundreds of Pakistani civilians.  According to Pakistani sources, upwards of 687 Pakistani civilians have died at the hands of U.S. drone attacks.  CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen placed the number a bit lower:

Since 2006, our analysis indicates, 83 U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan have killed between 760 and 1,050 people. Among them were about 20 leaders of al Qaeda, the Taliban and allied groups, all of whom have been killed since January 2008…The real total of civilian deaths since 2006 appears to be in the range of 260 to 320, or one-third of those killed.

Regardless of whether the number is closer to 260 or 687, the point is: the U.S. is killing Pakistani civilians–men, women, and children.  At least one-third of those killed are civilians.

UN human rights investigator Philip Alston has said that the drone attacks may “violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law”, and demanded the United States to prove otherwise.  The ACLU declared that this drone policy “violates international law” and is “unconstitutional”, and has converted “the entire world” into a “war zone.”  In a strongly worded letter to the President of the United States, the ACLU wrote:

The program you have reportedly endorsed is not simply illegal but also unwise, because how our country responds to the threat of terrorism will in large measure determine the rules that govern every nation’s conduct in similar contexts. If the United States claims the authority to use lethal force against suspected enemies of the U.S. anywhere in the world – using unmanned drones or other means – then other countries will regard that conduct as justified. The prospect of foreign governments hunting and killing their enemies within our borders or those of our allies is abhorrent.

Only 9% of Pakistanis support the U.S. led drone attacks–and only 6% amongst the Pashto speaking people who live in the NWFP (the area being bombed).  Pakistani officials have declared the drone attacks on Pakistani soil to constitute an “act of war,” a feeling shared by the vast majority of the country’s citizenry.

In January of this year, it was thought that Hakimullah Mahsud was taken out in one such drone attack.  However, Mahsud appeared in a TTP (Pakistani Taliban) propaganda video (allegedly taped on April 4th), declaring that he was in fact still alive.  As you can well imagine, Mr. Mahsud was not too happy with us after that, so naturally he promised revenge on America in the typical over-the-top “Jihadist” rhetoric.  He declared that his fighters had already infiltrated the United States, and would strike within one month.  That month elapsed yesterday (May 4th), meaning the attack on Saturday (May 1st) conformed to his promised deadline.  Furthermore, the video allegedly made on April 4th was released after the car bombing, indicating that it was the fulfillment of the threat.  The Telegraphreports:

Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud threatens US months after ‘death’

Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has vowed to attack major US cities in two new videos released months after his reported killing in a US missile strike.

The videos emerged after an attempted car bombing in New York City, for which his faction claimed responsibility in a third video, and provided the most substantial evidence so far that he survived a barrage of US missiles.

Mehsud threatened to retaliate against the United States within a month for the killing of Islamist militant leaders, appearing in a nine-minute video allegedly made on April 4, after his supposed death in January.

“The time is very near when our fedayeen will attack the American states in the major cities,” said Mehsud…

The video is the first showing Mehsud since January and was issued on the heels of a claim by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan that it was behind the attempted bombing in New York’s Time Square on Saturday…

“Inshallah (God willing) very soon in some days or a month’s time, the Muslim ummah (world) will see the fruits of most successful attacks of our fedayeen in USA,” Mehsud said.

He made similar remarks in an audio message in another TTP video Monday that was apparently recorded on April 19 and features Mehsud’s face next to a map of the United States showing multiple explosions across the country.

IntelCenter, a US-based group that monitors Islamist websites, said it believed all the TTP videos issued since the New York car bomb scare were credible.

“It is our assessment that this threat is credible and that there is a high threat of further attacks like the NYC attack during the coming days and weeks ahead,” it said.

The authorities have not confirmed that it was the Pakistani Taliban who did it, and we cannot ignore the possibility that the TTP is wrongfully seeking “credit” for this dastardly deed.  However, at this time, it seems that it is indeed the Pakistani Taliban who masterminded the failed Times Square bombing.  If they are in fact responsible, then the connection between the illegal U.S. drone attacks and the Times Square bombing is a very strong one, especially since:

Mehsud said his group would avenge the killing of Baitullah Mehsud and strike back at Pakistan and the U.S. for the increasing number of drone attacks in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.

So these Islamic extremists did not try to bomb Times Square because “they hate our freedoms” or because of an Islamic prohibition on depicting the Prophet Muhammad, or because the religion of Islam is diabolically evil and commands them to do so.  The motivations are largely political, not religious, in nature. Our country has attacked theirs and killed their countrymen.

The bewilderment of some Americans–”why are there so many Muslim terrorists!?”–is mostly a reflection of a deep ignorance of what our government does abroad.  It’s not really that hard to understand the simple fact that if we kill hundreds of civilians in another country, some people from that country are going to try to retaliate and kill some of us.  As Representative Ron Paul put it: “They don’t come here to attack us because we are rich and we’re free. They come and they attack us because we’re over there [attacking them].”

I could care less about Hakimullah Mahsud and his Taliban cronies.  But I certainly don’t want my taxes to fund the drones that kill hundreds of civilians…something that is not only morally atrocious but which also helps the Pakistani Taliban recruit avengers.  But if you’re OK with that, at least stop acting so bewildered when they keep attacking us.  If we attack them, they will attack us.  If we kill them, they will try to kill us.  It’s not rocket science.

Related Posts: Attempted Times Square Car Bombing; Is it Forbidden to Ask “Why”? and South Park angle unlikely; Marriott Hotel, not Viacom, probable target

UPDATE:

The Telegraph reports:

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s foreign minister, said yesterday that the failed attack could be retaliation for US drone attacks on the Taliban.

“This is retaliation. And you could expect that… let’s not be naive,” he told CBS. “They’re not going to sort of sit and welcome you to sort of eliminate them. They’re going to fight back.”

According to the New York Post, Mr Shahzad witnessed the drone attacks during eight months he recently spent in Pakistan and has told prosecutors that his bomb attempt was supposed to be revenge for the drones’ killing of Taliban leaders.

Of course, there will be a concerted effort to downplay the fact that hundreds of Pakistani civilians have been killed in these drone attacks, or that the drone attacks are illegal under international law.  Notice how the Telegraph says “drones’ killing of Taliban leaders,” even though far more civilians have been killed than Taliban leaders (a ratio of 50:1 according to Pakistani sources, and 16:1 according to CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen).

 

South Park angle unlikely; Marriott Hotel, not Viacom, probable target

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2010 by loonwatch
Faisal ShahzadFaisal Shahzad

Following the failed Times Square bombing and the arrest of a Pakistani-American suspect named Faisal Shahzad, questions remain about his possible motivations.  Some have suggested that the recent South Park controversy could have something to do with it: perhaps Mr. Shahzad was retaliating against Viacom, which owns Comedy Central.  According to this theory, the grievance was over a depiction of the Prophet Muhammad by the satirical cartoon show South Park, which runs on Comedy Central. The Viacom building is in close proximity to the intended blast site.

The police have not ruled out this South Park angle (and I do not think they should), although officials have conceded that it is one out of a hundred possibilities.  However, certain extreme right-wingers and anti-Islam ideologues (such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller) have invested a lot in this South Park-Times Square connection, and pray that it turns out to be true.  It would certainly allow them to paint the Muslim community in the worst possible light: “Those crazy Moozlems bomb and kill innocent civilians simply for drawing a cartoon of their prophet!”

Proponents of the South Park-Times Square connection argue that both the (1) location and (2) timing fit.  As for the location, it is said that the the parked SUV was in close proximity to the Viacom headquarters.  This is true, but it is unlikely that the blast would have significantly damaged the Viacom building.  Instead, it seems more likely that the intended target was the Marriott Hotel, which is right next to the blast site.  Most importantly, the reaction of the emergency response teams gives us a strong indication of what the terrorists’ target was.  It seems to have been the Marriott Hotel, which was evacuated and shut down.  USA Today reports:

NYC’s Marriott Marquis partly evacuated due to car bomb scare Saturday

Update, 12:13 pm: Earlier this morning, I learned more about what Marriott Marquis guests experienced last night from Kathy Duffy, who handles public relations for Marriott’s New York hotels. Since the suspicious vehicle was parked on the 45th Street side of the Marquis, NYPD told the hotel to evacuate that side of the building. Since the hotel was sold out, that meant evacuating several hundred people who had rooms between floor 10 and 45, she said. The Marquis provided the guests with temporary cots and blankets in the banquet room (see CNN iReport photo link below), where they stayed until around 2 to 3 a.m., when they were allowed back to their rooms, Duffy told me.

Because the Marriott Hotel–and not the Viacom building–was evacuated, it seems pretty safe to say that the former was the target and not the latter.  Furthermore, the attack was on Saturday night–after hours.  The Viacom building would likely have been virtually empty.  Wouldn’t a bloodthirsty terrorist have struck during peak office hours in order to kill as many Viacom employees as possible?  The New York Times commented:

Times Square on a Saturday night is one of the busiest and most populated locations in the city, and has long been seen as a likely target for some kind of attack.

We can further reasonably assume that a bloodthirsty terrorist would want to kill as many people as possible, and therefore a “sold out” Marriott and a heavily “populated” Times Square were the more likely targets than the unoccupied Viacom building.  If it was truly the Pakistani Taliban involved in the attack, the chosen target (the Marriott) would fit their M.O.  This is not the first time the Marriott would have been targeted.  In 2006, Islamic extremists detonated a bomb outside the Marriott in Karachi, the same city where Faisal Shahzad allegedly met with radicals.  In 2008, the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad was bombed, as well as another Marriott in Jakarta.  In 2003, the Marriott in South Jakarta was bombed.  In addition to the Marriott, several other hotels have been bombed in Pakistan.  In fact, two of the prime targets chosen by terrorists in Pakistan are consulates and hotels.

As for the timing of the attack, proponents of the South Park-Times Square connection argue that the bombing attempt occurred almost immediately following death threats made by Revolution Muslim. They argue: how can this just be a coincidence?  However, it is in fact the incredibly short time duration–between when the South Park controversy took place and the attempted Times Square bombing–that works most against the South Park-Times Square theory.  It is unlikely that the terrorists could have planned the attack so quickly.  Furthermore, and most importantly, numerous reports have come out saying that Faisal Shahzad went to Pakistan to receive terrorist training.  This happened long before the South Park controversy.  Hence, something else radicalized him and convinced him to bomb his adopted country.  If we assume that the Pakistani Taliban trained him (and instructed him to bomb NYC), then all this preceded the South Park affair.  Mr. Shahzad, and his Taliban teachers, had intended to bomb us long time ago.

It is highly unlikely that Revolution Muslim has anything to do with the bombing, as they are under constant scrutiny by the FBI.  They are known for their antics and tall talk, not for their actions and walk.  And surely they would have bombed the place first, before announcing to the world their intention to do that and placing themselves under the watchful eye of the government.

It could be argued that Revolution Muslim issued the call and other extremists hearkened to it.  However, as I discussed above, the bombing took place too soon afterward.  Furthermore, the Pakistani Taliban–who claimed responsibility for the bombing–have not (to my knowledge) ever expressed outrage over the South Park cartoons.  The South Park controversy seemed to be a decidedly North American affair, and it is unlikely that the Taliban took notice of it.  If they had, where were their bellicose condemnations and flamboyant threats?

Lastly, there seems to be no motive to attack Viacom.  Comedy Central had, to the dismay of the South Park creators, cowed to the threats from the Islamic extremists, and refused to show the Prophet Muhammad on their channel.  Faisal Shahzad is a highly educated man; certainly, he would have known that it would makes no sense to attack Viacom or Comedy Central, considering they met the extremists’ demands.  Had this recent bombing had anything to do with South Park, it would have been the creators of the show–not Viacom–whom would have been targeted.

In conclusion, it seems unlikely that the failed Times Square bombing had anything to do with the South Park controversy.  This is so because neither the location, timing, or motive fits.  Rather, the intended target seems to have been the Marriott Hotel and Times Square, both of which would have resulted in the greatest number of deaths.  As such, it is extremely unlikely that the Times Square bombing had anything to do with a cartoon’s depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.  I believe that the extreme right wing and anti-Islam camp wish to pin it on the South Park affair only to exploit the Times Square bombing to further their hate-filled agenda.

There is a concerted effort to hide the fact that our country’s horrific foreign policy–the interventionist policy in the Islamic world in general and the predator drone attacks in Pakistan in specific (which have killed hundreds of Pakistani civilians)–could be (and most likely is) what motivated the Times Square bombing. (I argue this here, and more convincingly here.)  Instead, it is easier to blame it on a heathen religion.

 

The Guardian: Against terror, our liberty is our best defence

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2010 by loonwatch
Wajahat AliWajahat Ali

by Wajahat Ali

The arrest of Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old US citizen of Pakistani descent, as the alleged driver of the vehicle used in the failed Times Square bombing represents an opportunity to respond effectively to a potential act of terrorism – instead of reacting with fear and hysteria that will inevitably be manipulated by extremist elements.

As of Tuesday morning, details are slowly emerging regarding the potential motives of suspect Shahzad, who was arrested at JFK airport as he planned to fly to Dubai, having recently returned from a five-month trip to Pakistan. Despite initial evidence and statements from law enforcement agencies suggesting this incident lacked the sophistication and planning of an international operation, the Pakistani Taliban has nonetheless claimed responsibility for this amateurish and failed attempt.

Their eagerness speaks volumes about their desperation to instil fear in the hearts of the American public by an act of terrorism on the US mainland. The instant resumption of New York’s kinetic lifestyle following such an incident clearly demonstrates American resilience and immunity to such intimidation.

Regrettably, however, similar moments of tension – though isolated – have in the past been used cynically by bigoted ideological pundits in both non-Muslim American and Muslim communities to sow dissension and enmity. We saw this tendency recently, when a mentally unstable Army major, Nidal Hassan Malik, opened fire and killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas. A Nigerian student, Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab, forever known as the underwear bomber, tried to ignite himself on an airplane on Christmas Day after, staggeringly, getting past security despite having been previously flagged (an unacceptable internal administrative mistake, revealing a lack of communication between security agencies).

Five young American Muslims were arrested in Pakistan for attempting to join a terrorist group after the children’s parents and Muslim American community members proactively contacted the FBI and assisted in their investigation (although the five have since protested their innocence). And, most recently, two clowns known as “Revolution Muslim” made veiled threats towards the creators of South Park for making a cartoon mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

These incidents of violence or attempted terrorism by radicalised individuals in America – as well as the blank space in the New York skyline that was once graced by the World Trade Center towers – serve as unending fuel for the rightwing commentators. And those bellicose pundits will inevitably squeeze every drop of righteous anger and fear from this failed Times Square plot, in order to promote a dangerously inaccurate image of an Islamic monolith comprising 1.5 billion diverse individuals as having an innate homicidal aversion to “our freedoms”. Attacks will, no doubt, be made on Barack Obama’s efforts at conciliation and partnership with Muslim communities – as evidenced by his al-Arabiya interview, his historic speech to Muslims in Cairo, and his outreach to Muslim American organisations and leaders.

Sarah Palin and her ilk will argue passionately on Fox News to “profile away” evil-doers – in effect, advocating racial profiling of ethnic minorities, especially of Middle Easterners and South Asians. Anticipating public anxiety, Obama reacted to calls for “greater security” following the failed Christmas Day bombing by implementing catch-all measures – recently amended – to extend special pat-downs and heightened profiling to individuals returning from 14, mostly Muslim, countries.

Despite overwhelming evidence showing that racial profiling and the erosion of civil liberties and due process are counterproductive in fighting terrorism, I worry that fear and divisive rhetoric will be used to undermine the mutual trust and co-operation that has been painstakingly built over the past two years between American Muslims and law enforcement agencies.

Rightwing demagogues who proclaim the virtues of the west, and argue that terrorism is unique to the “Muslim world”, should be reminded of evidence to the contrary. The recent arrest of nine members of the Christian terrorist militant group, the Hutarees, for conspiring to kill police officers and wage war on the United States government has largely been labelled an anomaly. The suicide flight of disgruntled Joseph Stack into the IRS building in Texas, which killed an innocent public employee, has been overlooked, even as Tea Party-type anger at federal government institutions has been allowed to fester.

Islam, too, has its reckless demagogues. Radicalised Muslim elements manipulate asinine episodes such as satirical cartoon depictions of the Prophet as categorical proof that the “imperialist” west is perpetuating its war on all of Islam and Muslims. Recent violence and threats against those cartoonists who have depicted the Prophet in a disrespectful manner do not emerge from a vacuum, but rather they are symptomatic of a sustained belief in a skewed and simplistic narrative of the “war-mongering west” that finds its evidence in the Iraq war, US support for Israel, civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and cozy US relations with brutal Arab dictatorships. These thugs ultimately bear the greatest blame for betraying the legacy and spirit of their Prophet, who urged moderation and civility.

In the face of the threat from extremists, the greatest mistake Americans could make would be to revisit the rhetoric and security policies of George W Bush, which proved to be disastrous in curbing global terrorism but highly successful in eroding the US’s standing in world opinion, and which damaged co-operation with Muslim communities. Ultimately, the best defence is the very same values of freedom, liberty and democracy they wish to defend and protect.

The sad reality of modern, globalised 21st century existence is that the threat of terrorism and violence is a constant, yet manageable and containable, aspect of daily life. Reactionary posturing, rampant ethnic stereotyping, scapegoating of minorities, and provoking mistrust of Muslim Americans and allies have only ever exacerbated the risks. Recent history has shown that a reasoned and moderate perspective, along with sound security measures, vigilant policing, protection of civil liberties and mutual aid are our best hope.

As more evidence in this case emerges in coming days, let us hope this philosophy prevails.

Wajahat Ali is a Muslim American of Pakistani descent. He is a writer and attorney, whose work, The Domestic Crusaders is the first major play about Muslims living in a post 9/11 America. He is the Associate Editor of Altmuslim.com. His blog is here

source: The Guardian

 

Reuters: European push to ban burqas appalls Afghan women

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2010 by loonwatch

niqab

(hat tip: MuslimMatters.org)

(Reuters) – A firm believer in women’s rights, the only thing Afghan lawmaker Shinkai Karokhail finds as appalling as being forced to wear a burqa is a law banning it.

Karokhail is one of many Afghan women who see a double standard in efforts by some European nations to outlaw face veils and burqas — a move they say restricts a Muslim woman’s choice in countries that otherwise make a fuss about personal rights.

“Democratic countries should not become dictatorships and Muslim women should not be deprived from all kinds of opportunities. It should be their choice,” said Karokhail.

“Otherwise, what is the difference between forcing women to wear a burqa and forcing them not to? It is discrimination.”

France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, as well as Italy and Belgium are considering proposals to ban all-enveloping burqas and face veils called niqabs. Many in the West see them as a symbol of the subjugation of women.

In France, government and opposition lawmakers call burqas an affront to the country’s secular traditions, though an advisory board has said a banning them may be unlawful.

In deeply conservative Afghanistan, the Taliban made wearing a burqa mandatory for all women during their five-year rule that ended with the U.S-led invasion in 2001. It is still widely worn in the Muslim country, especially in rural areas and the south.

Shukriya Ahmadi, a 35-year-old Afghan government employee, has ditched the burqa since the days of being forced to wear it during Taliban rule. Still, she has only scorn for Western governments seeking to outlaw them.

“This shows they use democracy, freedom of religion and human rights issues only when it suits their purposes,” Ahmadi said.

PUNISH THE MEN

She suspects burqa legislation will only help a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan gain support from outraged Muslims and win recruits for their insurgency campaign against the Afghan government and U.S.-led NATO forces.

University student Farida, 20, is another Afghan woman who says the move smacks of a double standard.

“I have never worn a burqa and do not like it,” she said. “But why would the West, which calls itself a supporter of democracy take such a decision? I am perplexed and sad.”

Even one of Afghanistan’s most outspoken and controversial women, former lawmaker Malalai Joya, is a staunch opponent of efforts to ban burqas or tight headscarves called hijabs.

She dislikes burqas, but wears it anyways as a cloak of protection from warlords she has been critical of in the past.

“As much as I am against imposing the hijab on women, I am also against its total ban. It should be regarded a personal matter of every human being and it should be up to women if they prefer to wear it or not,” she told Reuters by email.

“It is against the very basic element of democracy to restrict a human being from wearing the clothes of his/her choice. These governments better punish those men who force women to wear hijab, but if any woman wears it out of her own wish, there should be no ban on it.”

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