CAIR Welcomes AP Stylebook Revision of ‘Islamist’

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/5/13) — The nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today said the decision by The Associated Press (AP) to revise its Stylebook reference to the term “Islamist” is a “step in the right direction.”

Late last year, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) approached AP about modifying the reference, which had been added to its influential Stylebook. That entry read: “Islamist — Supporter of government in accord with the laws of Islam. Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi.”

CAIR suggested that AP change its Stylebook to incorporate language similar to that used in the reference to “fundamentalist,” which states that the label should not be used unless a group applies the term to itself.

Earlier this year, CAIR urged media outlets to drop the term because, “Unfortunately, the term ‘Islamist’ has become shorthand for ‘Muslims we don’t like.’ It is currently used in an almost exclusively pejorative context and is often coupled with the term ‘extremist,’ giving it an even more negative slant.”

In an update emailed yesterday to online Stylebook subscribers, AP modified the “Islamist” reference to read:

“An advocate or supporter of a political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam. Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists. Where possible, be specific and use the name of militant affiliations: al-Qaida-linked, Hezbollah, Taliban, etc. Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi.”

Five Star Movement Wins in Recent Elections, what does this mean for Muslim relations in Italy?

The new Five Star party headed by Beppo Grillo swept Italian politics during the most recent elections, winning more candidates in the Chamber of Deputies than any other party. Grillo, a former comedian, organized a movement that will likely bring the Italian government to its knees unless the traditional parties of the Left and Right can form a coalition, which is doubtful. Grillo has not made any direct comments about the Islam faith since the recent elections, however, back in June 2012, the International Business Times reported that Grillo believes, “Islam is not a fundamentalist religion and talks over the state of Israel have become taboo.”

Celebrating Darwin: Religion And Science Are Closer Than You Think

The MIT Survey on Science, Religion and Origins, which we’re officially publishing today in honor of Charles Darwin’s 204th birthday. We found that only 11 percent of Americans belong to religions openly rejecting evolution or our Big Bang. So if someone you know has the same stressful predicament as my student, chances are that they can relax as well. To find out for sure, check out this infographic.

So is there a conflict between science and religion? The religious organizations representing most Americans clearly don’t think so. Interestingly, the science organizations representing most American scientists don’t think so either: For example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science states that science and religion “live together quite comfortably, including in the minds of many scientists.” This shows that the main divide in the U.S. origins debate isn’t between science and religion, but between a small fundamentalist minority and mainstream religious communities who embrace science.

So is there a conflict between science and religion? The religious organizations representing most Americans clearly don’t think so. Interestingly, the science organizations representing most American scientists don’t think so either: For example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science states that science and religion “live together quite comfortably, including in the minds of many scientists.” This shows that the main divide in the U.S. origins debate isn’t between science and religion, but between a small fundamentalist minority and mainstream religious communities who embrace science.

Book – Europe’s Angry Muslims: The Revolt of The Second Generation

Bombings in London, riots in Paris, terrorists in Germany, fury over mosques, veils and cartoons–such headlines underscore the tensions between Muslims and their European hosts. Did too much immigration, or too little integration, produce Muslim second-generation anger? Is that rage imported or spawned inside Europe itself? What do the conflicts between Muslims and their European hosts portend for an America encountering its own angry Muslims?
Europe’s Angry Muslims traces the routes, expectations and destinies of immigrant parents and the plight of their children, transporting both the general reader and specialist from immigrants’ ancestral villages to their strange new-fangled enclaves in Europe. It guides readers through Islamic nomenclature, chronicles the motive force of the Islamist narrative, offers them lively portraits of jihadists (a convict, a convert, and a community organizer) takes them inside radical mosques and into the minds of suicide bombers. The author interviews former radicals and security agents, examines court records and the sermons of radical imams and draws on a lifetime of personal experience with militant movements to present an account of the explosive fusion of Muslim immigration, Islamist grievance and second-generation alienation.
Robert Leiken shines an unsentimental and yet compassionate light on Islam’s growing presence in the West, combining in-depth reporting with cutting-edge and far-ranging scholarship in an engaging narrative that is both moving and mordant. Leiken’s nuanced and authoritative analysis–historical, sociological, theological and anthropological–warns that “conflating rioters and Islamists, folk and fundamentalist Muslims, pietists and jihadis, immigrants and their children is the method of strategic incoherence–‘in the night all cats are black.'”

IFOP REPORT: The perception of Europeans on Islam

Over the past several years polemical and controversial issues related to Islam have emerged in European societies. Amidst a number of highly mediatized fundamentalist attacks, tensions have focused in recent years on debates about the wearing of headscarves, mosques being vandalized, and the integration and naturalization of immigrant populations, all of which are also mobilized by extreme right political parties.

Approximately 12-13 million of Europe’s 377 million inhabitants are Muslim (4% of the population), and most live in large cities. France has the largest population, followed by Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. These four countries have very different models with which to frame the aforementioned debates. This study examining the perceptions of Europeans in these countries on Islam had five principal findings:

That concern with Islam is present but secondary
That Muslim populations are perceived to have largely failed to integrate
That the visibility of Islam is a principal issue
That there is a general rejection of political Islam but an acceptance of private beliefs
That there are important generational differences in how Muslims integrate

French Father tries to set 23-year-old daughter alight for being “too emancipated”

News Agencies – February 28, 2012

Father tries to set 23-year-old daughter alight for being too emancipated. A man was being held by police after allegedly trying to set fire to his grown-up daughter in central Paris. Le Parisien newspaper reported that the man sprayed teargas in the young woman’s face and then covered her in petrol on Saturday evening. The father was apparently annoyed that the woman planned to go out with a group of friends that evening and considered her “too emancipated”.

The newspaper quoted a source describing him as a “Muslim fundamentalist.”

My Take: Is ‘All-American Muslim’ begetting all-American bigotry?

Editor’s note: Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, global media commentator and author of the book “Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era.”

Imagine for a moment that a major American corporation decided to remove its commercials from a reality television show highlighting the everyday lives of Latinos, African-Americans, members of the LGBT community or Jewish Americans because of coordinated letter-writing campaigns from right-wing organizations.

If you think this kind of bigotry could not happen in modern-day America, you would be absolutely wrong.
The hardware and building supply chain Lowe’s has pulled its TV commercials from future episodes of TLC’s new reality show “All-American Muslim” after a letter-writing campaign by the Florida Family Association, a Christian group.

The Tampa-based organization has urged companies to pull ads because it alleges the show is “propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law.”

This argument is lunacy and is a pretext for bigotry against Muslims, plain and simple. Using this sophomoric logic, the TLC reality show “Sister Wives” is a covert campaign to promote fundamentalist Mormon polygamy across America.

Muslim Medical Students Boycott Lectures on Evolution

28.11.2011
An increasing number of Muslim biology and medical students as well as trainee doctors at the University College London (UCL) are boycotting lectures on evolution, claiming they clash with ideas established in the Quran. As the Daily Mail reports, similar to the beliefs expressed by fundamentalist Christians, Muslim opponents to Darwinism maintain that Allah created the world, mankind, and all known species. Yet, Professors at UCL are increasingly concerned about the students’ boycott of lectures, as Darwinist theory forms an important part of the syllabus.

Pat Buchanan: Norwegian Mass Murderer’s Anti-Islamic Xenophobia ‘May Be Right’

It is far too soon after the tragedy to define Norweigian psychotic mass murderer Anders Breivik as bearing any mainstream political stripe, and yet his rambling, incoherent manifesto has landed him a number of adjectives– from “Christian fundamentalist” to”xenophobic anti-Islamist.” At least this much is clear: Breivik thought immigration was a threat to national identity and he’s apparently found one ally on that front in America: Pat Buchanan.

Buchanan penned an editorial on this Breivik monster for World Net Daily today (where else?), where he in no uncertain terms labeled Breivik “a cold-blooded, calculated killer,” “evil,” “coward,” and “deluded.” What he refuses to call Breivik, however, is “insane,” because he exhibited “some intelligence” in identifying what Buchanan agrees is the main threat to civilized European culture: Islamic immigration.

Islamic Cleric Pierre Vogel Delivers Speech in Hamburg

10./ 11.07.2011

Germany’s best known Islamic cleric, Pierre Vogel, delivered a pro-Islam speech in front of approximately 1100 sympathizers in Hamburg on Saturday, July 9th. Vogel is a Salafi-Muslim who is known for his strict (and fundamentalist) interpretation of Islam, his rejection of liberal ideals and religious diversity, as well as his sympathy for former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden (as reported earlier). Unlike other cities or even countries (e.g. Vogel is forbidden to enter Switzerland and the city of Koblenz banned him from publicly speaking earlier this year), the city of Hamburg did not prohibit Vogel’s speech last week. However, prior to the event, which Vogel had advertised via various media sources, the Police imposed a number of specific conditions, such as restrictions on completely covering up and the separation of sexes.

 

For several hours, Vogel talked on an improvised “stage” on the back of a truck about the role (and oppression) of women in Islam, the hijab and niqab, as well as the German army’s mission in Afghanistan. After he had finished his speech, seven sympathizers came up to the stage and converted to Islam, which is indicative of Vogel’s charismatic appeal.