Boston Bombing Gives Pause to Immigration Reform

Two Republican lawmakers urged greater scrutiny of U.S. Muslims and the shelving of immigration reform during the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said Sunday the FBI should intensify its efforts to ferret out radical Muslim terrorists who may be living in the United States while Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., said he favored holding off on immigration legislation until more is learned about the two natives of Chechnya who were accused of planting the deadly bombings.

King and Coats were among the members of Congress who called Sunday for a close look at the potential reasons the Tsarnaev brothers were apparently not under law-enforcement scrutiny despite a lengthy visit Tamerlan Tsarnaev made to Russia and Dagestan in 2011.

Investigation Finds Women at Risk in Sharia Courts

7 April 2013sharia documentary

A Crown Prosecution Service investigation of a number of Sharia courts operating in mosques across the country found that these courts may be risking the safety of women by ruling in favor of possibly abusive husbands. Continue reading “Investigation Finds Women at Risk in Sharia Courts”

Glenn Beck: Michele Bachmann Under Investigation Because She’s Against Radical Islam

Glenn Beck suggested Tuesday that the ethics investigation into the erstwhile presidential campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is retribution for the congresswoman’s outspoken crusade against what she has called the threat of radical Islam.

 

“We have been sold to radical Islam,” Beck said matter-of-factly on his Internet show. “It has infiltrated and we have documented it.”

 

Beck continued, claiming that radical Islam is so powerful it affected the nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics, which, according to a Daily Beast report, is questioning former Bachmann staffers regarding “allegations of improper transfer of funds and under-the-table payments actions by Bachmann’s presidential campaign.”

 

Bachmann drew widespread criticism last year for spearheading a campaign alleging that high-profile aides in President Barack Obama’s administration had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Other Republican representatives and conservative pundits, including Beck, backed the discredited claims.

 

But Beck suggested there were other reasons for a supposed radical Islamic-linked backlash against Bachmann. According to him, she’d demonstrated her clarity on what was “going on” because she’d asked the State Department for answers on why it was sending Somali refugees to her district.

 

Online protest over Maldives’ rape sentence

The Maldives is a highly popular destination for British tourists. But its reputation is being questioned after a teenage rape victim was sentenced to 100 lashes for engaging in premarital sex. Justice campaigners are targeting the country’s lucrative tourism industry unless it improves women’s’ rights. The charges against the girl were brought by police who said she confessed to engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage. A confession was made during an investigation by officials into separate accusations that her stepfather had raped her and killed their baby. The girl is thought to have been abused by local men for some time and her mother is also alleged to have concealed the crime. The flogging sentence prompted outrage from human rights groups which condemned the punishment as “cruel, degrading and inhumane”.  Around 35 per cent of the Maldives’ economy is directly linked to tourism with around 100,000 Britons traveling to the Maldives each year, making the UK its third-largest market for tourism.

 

In Bay Area, a Fragile Relationship Between Muslims and the F.B.I.

Early one morning in 2007, Muhammad Chaudhry showed up at the Islamic Center of East Bay in Antioch, Calif., and found seven bullet holes in one of the building’s front windows.

Soon, agents from the San Francisco office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived and documented it and previous incidents at the center. In 2005, someone had left messages including “racial slurs” on the center’s answering machine, the agents wrote. In 2006, a single shot had damaged a window; a few months later, the same window was destroyed with a brick.

In a report written three weeks after the shots were fired, and obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, an agent wrote that no investigation would continue “since there is no current evidence to show this incident as being a hate crime.”

Six months later, arson gutted the center. F.B.I. agents opened an investigation, but members of the center wondered whether the fire could have been prevented if the agency had pursued the fusillade that preceded it.

Although the F.B.I. requires that agents examine all such claims, not all result in a full investigation. Some lack dependable evidence, and agents may determine that others do not include hate-crime components as defined by federal law. Ms. Sohn said that it could be hard to find proof of intent, a key element in demonstrating that a hate crime took place.

Also troubling, Mr. German said, was the decision not to start a hate-crime investigation after shots were fired at the Islamic Center of East Bay, given the escalating nature of the attacks there. An investigation, he said, could have solved or deterred crimes and helped foster trust between the F.B.I. and the center.

“Here was an opportunity to do something to protect the community,” Mr. German said. “There is concern in the community that the F.B.I. is viewing them through only one lens, as potential suspects.”

Investigation Looks For Muslim Bias In Texas Schools, Finds Christian Bias Instead

A bizarre chain email sent to district and school board officials in the Dallas area this October titled “IRVING ISD INDOCTRINATING ISLAM” inspired a recent investigation of “Islamic bias” in the district’s curriculum. Despite the outlandish claims, the district requested that an official from the organization that created the curriculum to respond. The results of a 72-page investigation done by the organization were not surprising: there’s a Christian bias in schools, not a Muslim one.

 

The official told the board that a bias toward Islam didn’t exist, even mentioning that “she hired a ‘very socially and fiscally conservative’ former social studies teacher who ‘watches Glenn Beck on a regular basis’ to seek out any Islamic bias in CSCOPE [the curriculum].” She “asked her to look for anything she would consider the least bit controversial.” The Dallas Morning News has the details of an investigation that mentioned “every religious reference in the CSCOPE curriculum, from kindergarten to high school”:

 

– Christianity got twice as much attention in the curriculum as any other religion. Islam was a distant second.

 

– The Red Crescent and Boston Tea Party reference mentioned in the email were nowhere in CSCOPE’s curriculum, although they may have been in the past.

 

– If there was any Islamic bias in CSCOPE it was “bias against radical Islam.”

This isn’t the first time Texas has debated the perceived presence of too much Islam in its school books. In 2010, the Texas Board of Education banned any books that “paint Islam in too favorable of a light.” The reasoning was head-scratching: “the resolution adopted Friday cites ‘politically-correct whitewashes of Islamic culture and stigmas on Christian civilization’ in current textbooks and warns that ‘more such discriminatory treatment of religion may occur as Middle Easterners buy into the US public school textbook oligopoly.’” A Texas based civil liberties advocate said at the time that “the members who voted for this resolution were solely interested in playing on fear and bigotry in order to pit Christians against Muslims.”

 

Iowa company: US probe into whether it falsely labeled items as halal could damage business

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The maker of a popular brand of food for observant Muslims says it is facing a potentially crippling investigation into whether it falsely labeled meat products as processed in compliance with Islamic law.

The Midamar Corp. said in federal court documents that investigators seized its main bank account and business records under search warrants executed last month. A judge last week upheld the government’s seizure of $454,000 in bank funds and rejected the company’s request to return the money.

No criminal or civil charges have been filed, and U.S. District Judge Linda Reade ruled that the government’s affidavit supporting its search warrant can remain secret so as not to “compromise an ongoing investigation.” The U.S. attorney’s office declined comment Monday on the investigation, which involves the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Internal Revenue Service.

Miramar said in court filings that the seizures relate to vague allegations that it improperly branded and sold meat products as meeting Muslim dietary requirements, called halal, when they did not. The privately held business, which has been in Cedar Rapids for 40 years, dismissed the allegations. And it claims federal investigators are trying to regulate something that must be left to religions under the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state.

Midamar says the matter does not involve food safety. Still, its lawyers made public a letter from USDA that noted the agency stopped voluntary inspections at the firm in 2010, after seizing what it called misbranded meat products, before resuming them last year. Such inspections are done at Midamar’s request to ensure their products meet requirements for export.

Investigators seized thousands of pounds of beef products that came from an establishment not approved for export to a foreign country and found falsified export documents for shipments to Indonesia and Malaysia, among other problems, according to the letter.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service resumed inspections after approving Midamar’s “corrective and preventive measures,” the letter says.

Toronto’s East End Madrassah School cleared of hate crime charges

News Agencies – November 9, 2012

A Toronto mosque that runs an Islamic school cleared of hate crimes charges this week said it was disappointed at the “rush to judgment and harsh comments” it faced over the controversy. “Our teachings embrace and celebrate the Canadian values of tolerance, understanding and harmony,” Aliraza Rajani, president of the Islamic Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Toronto said in a written statement.

The two-page statement did not address concerns raised by police that the investigation had identified teaching materials that, while not criminal, were produced in Iran, challenged core Canadian values and “suggested intolerance.”

The York Regional Police Hate Crimes Unit launched an investigation of the East End Madrassah, a school affiliated with the mosque, six months ago following complaints by
Jewish groups in Toronto.

More details of Kingston, ON “honour killing” emerge in book

The National Post – October 26, 2012

 

A lethal warning from Hamed in 2009, who was later convicted of first-degree murder along with his father, Mohammad Shafia, and mother, Tooba Yahya, is revealed in Without Honour: The True Story of the Shafia Family and the Kingston Canal Murders, a new book on the disturbing case by veteran journalist Rob Tripp.

Without Honour presents a striking portrayal of the profound disconnect between Mohammad Shafia and his adopted home after his family immigrated to Montreal in 2007. But the book, like the police investigation and the criminal trial, leaves one crucial question unanswered: How exactly were the women killed? Mr. Tripp said only three people know the true story: the three killers. And none of them have yet broken their silence.

Mr. Tripp delves into details of the family’s troubled life before the four ghastly murders and the investigation that unravelled the elaborate lies. The book shows that despite Mohammad Shafia’s professed embrace of Islam and love of family, he was, above all else, a money-obsessed, cold-hearted man. When his daughter wanted to get married, he turned to a relative to help him find a cleric to perform the service, because he did not attend a mosque. Shafia did not read the Koran, although he often evoked God’s name when berating his children, Mr. Tripp writes.

Vandalism on Harrisonburg Mosque

HARRISONBURG, Va –– The Islamic Center of the Shenandoah Valley was vandalized sometime on Thursday night. The center is a place of worship for people of Islamic faith.

We cannot show the vandalism in its entirety because the images were very vulgar. It appeared to be male genitalia and was spray painted as well as racial slurs against blacks, and vulgar references to Iraqis.

WHSV staff have contacted with police. We do know the FBI has been contacted about this as well.

“Given the nature of the vandalism and ongoing international events, it is important that a bias motive be investigated in this case,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

Hooper said that CAIR’s Washington state chapter recently held a news conference in Seattle to call for a bias crime investigation of hate graffiti, including the slurs “sand n**gers,” “doon [sic] coons,” scrawled on a rental vehicle used by a group of Seattle-area Muslims on a recent vacation trip to Chelan, Wash.