(DALLAS, HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIO, 6/3/15) – The Texas office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Texas) today applauded the failure of anti-Islam bills in that state’s legislature.
The legislature adjourned without passing the House and Senate versions of the so-called “Anti-Foreign Law” bills.
CAIR-Texas says the bills were similar to those introduced in state legislatures nationwide in a campaign to demonize Islam and marginalize American Muslims.
In a statement, CAIR-Texas said:
“We thank all the lawmakers who showed wisdom and courage in opposing this unnecessary and unconstitutional legislation and focused on the more pressing issues – like education, health care and the economy – that our state is facing at this time.”
NEW YORK — The New York Police Department is working to recruit more Muslims, and is asking for help within the community to better refine outreach aimed at stifling the lure of overseas terror groups, officials said Monday.
Right now, there are about 800 Muslim uniformed police officers out of about 35,000, according to the NYPD Muslim Officers Society. Of those, only about 20 are higher ranked officials. Lt. Adeel Rana, commanding officer of the community affairs immigration outreach unit, said there has been a slow increase over the past decade, but it has been rapidly changing in the past year and a half.
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — The apprehension usually hits the night before a job interview or a big court case, as Zahra Cheema, a young lawyer, looks at the colorful head scarves and flowing abayas in her closet and silently wonders: “Should I try to make myself look less Muslim?” She ponders: Should she wear a long, American-style skirt or the more conservative, full-length abaya that she prefers? There are no easy answers for an observant Muslim woman navigating the workplace.
WASHINGTON — The families of an anti-Qaeda cleric and a police officer killed in an American drone strike in Yemen filed suit in federal court in Washington on Sunday night, asking the court to declare that the strike was unlawful.
The lawsuit asks for the same consideration for the families of Salem Ahmed bin Ali Jaber, the cleric, and Waleed bin Ali Jaber, his cousin, the sole traffic police officer in their village of Khashamir. Both men were Yemeni citizens.
The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court here by Faisal bin Ali Jaber, an engineer and the brother-in-law of the cleric and the uncle of the police officer, with the assistance of the international human rights group Reprieve.
BOSTON — U.S. officials on Wednesday arrested an Iowa man and charged him with making online threats against a Boston mosque, including threats to shoot and kill Muslims.
Federal court papers unsealed on Wednesday charged that Gerald Wayne Ledford, 57, of Clinton, Iowa, made threatening posts on the Facebook page of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, including the post “we will destroy you” and photos of a person carrying a long gun.
A law enforcement official said that Mr. Rahim had become radicalized by militant Islam social media sites and that he posed an “imminent threat” on the morning that he was confronted.
Coming just a month after two Muslim men with ties to the Islamic State were shot and killed while trying to attack an anti-Islamic gathering in Garland, Tex., the case has also renewed concerns in Washington about the long reach of the Islamic State and other radical groups that have seized on Internet recruitment.
“These cases are a reminder of the dangers posed by individuals radicalized through social media,” said the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas, at a hearing on Wednesday. He added that Mr. Rahim had been under investigation because he was “communicating with and spreading ISIS propaganda online.”
Rahimah Rahim, a nurse, had tears in her eyes as she clasped the hand of her eldest son, Ibrahim, formerly a local imam. Behind them stood Usaamah Rahim’s wife, her face shrouded in a black veil.
It was the family’s first public appearance since Mr. Rahim, 26, was killed Tuesday by an F.B.I. agent and a police officer after the authorities said he threatened them with a large knife. A lawyer for the family, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., said that they knew nothing of his alleged affinity for Islamic extremists, nor of the reported threat to behead police officers.
A Boston imam and the aunt of the 26-year-old Roslindale man killed by police and the FBI on Tuesday say he was not a terrorist and blamed his “murder” on the media, an investigation gone awry and the strained relationship between cops and black men.
“Usaamah was tuned in a lot with online Islam,” said Yahya Abdullah Rivero, who attended mosque with Mr. Rahim in Miami. “He kept an ear to everything that was mentioned about Islam online. I know he used to listen to some extreme imams online.”
BOSTON — Usaama Rahim liked an Islamic State page on Facebook but also spoke out against the kind of violence Islamic State extremists are fomenting across the Middle East. Killing people is anti-Islamic, Rahim wrote, arguing a key tenet of the faith is “we do not fight evil with that which causes a greater evil.”
Terrorism experts caution that extremists often chat, plot and recruit not on open social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter but in darker corners of the Internet, such as chat rooms and on blogs not readily viewable or even searchable by the public.
A primary school trust has banned Muslim pupils from fasting during Ramadan, claiming the tradition can be harmful to the health of young children. Barclay Primary School in Leyton, east London, issued a letter to parents informing them that it would not allow children attending school to fast in order to ‘safeguard the health and education of the child’.
In the letter, the acting head said children would not be able to fast without meeting with him first. The move has been slammed by members of the Muslim community who said schools should seek to support parents instead of ‘blanket enforce’ their own rules when it comes to religion.