In the days following the Boston Marathon bombings, Fox News has become a haven for talk about the extreme threats posed to the United States by Muslims. Day after day, the network’s hosts and pundits have warned about an Islamic menace which is poised to take down the country. At the most extreme has been “Fox News liberal” Bob Beckel, whose call on “The Five” to bar or severely restrict Muslim students from coming into America seemed to startle even Dana Perino, George Bush’s former spokeswoman. Beckel stuck by his comments on Tuesday, saying that some of the 75,000 Muslim students in American schools are likely to harbor terrorist ambitions. “It’s a risky situation,” he said. “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade has also suggested putting “listening devices” in mosques, and wondered aloud why there can’t be more racial profiling of Muslims and Arabs. He said this despite widespread reports that bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was actually shouted down at a mosque when he began making radical statements. There was also Ann Coulter, who called for Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife to be jailed for wearing a hijab, as well as a host of other virulently anti-Muslim commentators; and the state senator who has been calling for Dzokhar Tsarnaev to be tortured. Bill O’Reilly got in on the act on his show, shouting down the head of the Council on American Islamic Relations when he tried to point out that people like the Tsarnaevs are not representative of all of Islam. There were no signs that the campaign was letting up on Wednesday, as “Fox & Friends” took up the question of the “infection” of “radical Islam” in America.
Lord Ahmed, 53, who in 1998 became the first Muslim life peer, was reported to have made the comments at a conference in Haripur in Pakistan.
A Labour Party spokesman said: “We have suspended Lord Ahmed pending investigation. If these comments are accurate we utterly condemn these remarks which are totally unacceptable.”
According to Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper Lord Ahmed offered the bounty in response to a US action a week ago.
The US issued a $10 million reward for the capture of Pakistani militant leader Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, who it suspects of orchestrating the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people died as terrorists stormed hotels and a train station.
The British peer reportedly said: “‘If the US can announce a reward of $10 million for the (capture) of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of £10 million (for the capture of) President Obama and his predecessor, George Bush.”
28 November 2010
An alarming picture of the physical violence, intimidation and discrimination faced by many of Britain’s two million Muslims on a daily basis, was portrayed yesterday in new academic research.
The 224-page report from the European Muslim Research Centre, based at the University of Exeter, said that the bulk of incidents went unreported by communities who had lost faith in the authorities to do anything about them.
Released at a conference yesterday at the London Muslim Centre, the report called for “urgent” government action to tackle the problem after years of neglect.
Part of a 10-year study into Islamophobia throughout Europe, the report represented “an insight into the grim reality of a lived experience that is insufficiently acknowledged and understood outside of the communities where it occurs”.
Authors of the report, Jonathan Githens-Mazer and Robert Lambert, the co-directors of the research centre, said in their introduction: “We argue in this report that much anti-Muslim violence in the UK is predicated on the rhetoric and practice of the ‘war on terror’ that George Bush and Tony Blair launched against ‘an evil ideology’ in the aftermath of 9/11.”
An article by Newsweek describes and follows the connection between ‘Muslim’ and the 2008 US presidential election, from fabrications concerning president-elect Obama’s religious background to the rise in Muslims working on the campaign and surge in Muslim support for Barack Obama.
In this election, many Muslim Americans changed their party affiliation from Republican to Democratic – a stark change from the strong Muslim support for George Bush in 2000. Today, more than 2/3 of Muslim Americans consider themselves to be Democrats, while just four percent see themselves as Republican.
A major rift and shift occurred as many Muslim Americans became subject to wiretapping, mishandling of civil liberties, religious, ethnic, and racial profiling, in addition to mounting concerns over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With an estimated 89 percent of Muslim Americans voting for Obama, many cite him as the American every-person, the quintessential American mutt with veins to a pluralistic and diverse background that many in the diverse Muslim American community can relate to.
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Police stopped two Christian preachers handing out Bible extracts in a Muslim area of the West Midlands and accused them of a “hate crime” by allegedly trying to convert Muslims, it has been claimed. A police community support officer (PCSO) is said to have told them: “You have been warned. If you come back here and get beaten up, well, you have been warned.” Americans Arthur Cunningham and Joseph Abraham are threatening to take West Midlands Police to court under the Human Rights Act if officers do not apologise. The force said the officer, Naeem Naguthney, aged 30, had been offered “guidance and advice” following an investigation into the dispute in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham. Abraham, aged 65, said: “He told us we were trying to convert Muslims to Christianity and that was a hate crime. He was very intimidating.” Cunningham, aged 48, a fellow American Baptist missionary, said: “He realised we were Americans and then started ranting at us about George Bush and American foreign policy. “He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message. “I am dumbfounded that the police seem so nonchalant. They seem content not to make it clear that what we were doing was perfectly legal. To suggest we were guilty of a hate crime for spreading God’s word is outrageous.”
In 1683, a Turkish army reached the suburbs of Vienna. The outcome trembled in the balance until Jan Sobieski of Poland arrived with his army, threw back the Ottomans and finally freed western Europe from the threat of Muslim domination, thus completing the work begun by Charles Martel at Poitiers in 732. Or did he? Today, there are plenty of Europeans who would say: “Charles Martel, Jan Sobieski, you are needed at this hour.” There are widespread fears that Muslim immigrants, reinforced by political pressure and, ultimately, by terrorism, will succeed where Islamic armies failed and change irrevocably the character of European civilisation. I was in Vienna for a conference on post-Christian Europe and resurgent Islam. The history of all important cities is a duet for grandeur and original sin but, even by those standards, Vienna is a masterpiece of complexity and ambivalence. An imperial city which has diminished into the capital of a gem_tlich little republic, it was the nursery for so many of the glories of German culture – and for so much of the foulness of mid-20th century German history. So it was an appropriate setting for a pessimistic agenda. In contemporary Britain, there are many grounds for anxiety. Even so, we cannot rival the continental Europeans when it comes to pessimism. Our home-grown product is shallow and pallid in comparison to the length, depth and sophistication of its continental rival. This is hardly surprising. The pessimism of the European mainland is the product of shattered hopes and a failed century. The first half of the 20th century was the most disastrous epoch in history. The Channel spared us from the worst of the ravages and savageries, but those whose nations experienced them or inflicted them can be forgiven for their distrust of the human condition. After such knowledge, what forgiveness, especially as recent events have added fresh inspissation to the gloom. By 1990, it seemed as if whatever brute or blackguard made the world had decided to forgive mankind for the 20th century. The Cold War was won. George Bush celebrated a new world order. Francis Fukuyama announced the end of history. But history disagreed.
U.S. military commanders have apologized to community leaders in Iraq after a soldier used a Quran for target practice. The Muslim holy book was found at a shooting range near Baghdad, riddled with holes. The U.S. military said the soldier had not been identified, but is a deeply embarrassing incident for the military, still struggling with fostering trust among Iraq’s diverse Muslim communities. Major-General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of U.S. troops in Baghdad, said “I am a man of honor, I am a man of character. You have my word this will never happen again.” Saeed al-Zubaie, head of U.S.-allied Sunni Arab tribal council said that while he was feeling bitterness after the incident was first uncovered, he appreciates the apology and is ok with them. President George Bush telephone Iraq’s prime minister to offer a personal apology for the desecration of the Muslim holy book.
CAIRO – New York’s young Muslim hero who defended a group of Jewish subway passengers from a racist attack is being honored with an invitation to attend President George Bush’s State of the Union address at Capitol Hill. “He was as excited as we were in inviting him,” Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York told the New York Post on Thursday, January 24. “He immediately said, ‘Yes, I would love to be there.'” Bangladeshi-born Hassan Askari, 20, was thrust into the spot light in his Brooklyn neighborhood, Queens, last month after he saved four Jews from a racist attack aboard the Q train running between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The British government seems to have embarked on a new strategy on labelling terrorists and their recruiting agents as security officials believe that directly linking terrorism to Islam is inflammatory, and risks alienating mainstream Muslim opinion. Though the British Home Office stressed that no phrases have been banned, sources made it clear that the “war on terror” and “Islamic extremism” will not be used by top officials. British ministers have already adopted a new language for declarations on Islamic terrorism. In her first major speech on radicalisation, home secretary Jacqui Smith repeatedly used the phrase “anti-Islamic” in a carefully crafted strategy, sources said. In future, fanatics will be referred to as pursuing “anti-Islamic activity”. Security officials believe that directly linking terrorism to Islam is inflammatory, and risks alienating mainstream Muslim opinion. The shift follows a decision taken last year to stop using the phrase “war on terror”, first adopted by US President George Bush, Daily Mail newspaper reported.
By Farah A. Chowdhury NEW YORK – Although the federal government has always been a major source of money for charities, it has become more easier for religiously affiliated charity groups to get a piece of the tax-payer pie since President George Bush introduced his Faith Based and Community Initiative in 2001. For fiscal year 2005, more than $2.1 billion in competitive social service grants were awarded to faith-based organizations. The majority of recipients of federal funding appear to be predominately of the Christian faith. According to an article in the Boston Globe, Christian faith-based organizations with operations overseas received 98.3% of all federal grants or contracts between fiscal year 2001 to 2005. In 2003, only two Islamic organizations received any type of federal funding.