FBI searching for Mosque vandals in possible hate crime

OKLAHOMA CITY – The FBI said it is hoping surveillance video will help lead them to a pair of vandals who targeted an Oklahoma City mosque last weekend.

 

The American Muslim Association on the 3200 block of N.W. 48th St. was damaged when the suspects spray painted racial slurs and other graffiti on the walls.

 

FBI agents tell us they are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

Authorities admit the surveillance video is not the best quality but they’re hoping someone will recognize the suspects.

The video appears to show two males involved in the crime.

Oklahoma Senate panel approves bill prohibiting judges from basing decisions on foreign law

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma lawmakers are considering banning judges in the state from basing any rulings on foreign laws, including Islamic Sharia law.

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A Senate panel on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the bill, which has broad support in the Republican-controlled Legislature. The bill would specifically make void and unenforceable any court, arbitration or administrative agency decision that doesn’t grant the parties affected by the ruling “the same fundamental liberties, rights and privileges granted under the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions.”

“This is a way to protect American citizens … where somebody may try to use any kind of foreign law or religious law to affect the outcome of a trial,” said Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, who sponsored the bill. Shortey described it as “American Law for American Courts.”

“This bill is entirely unnecessary and creates significant uncertainty for Oklahomans married abroad as well as those Oklahomans who have adopted a child from another country or are seeking to do so,” Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said in a statement. “These Oklahoma families don’t deserve to have this type of doubt cast over them.

“It also creates an atmosphere of uncertainty for foreign businesses seeking to do business with Oklahoma businesses.”

US Air Force veteran, finally allowed to fly into US, is now banned from flying back home

Secret, unaccountable no-fly lists are one of many weapons the US government uses to extra-judicially punish American Muslims

OKLAHOMA CITY — A Muslim U.S. Air Force veteran, who had trouble entering the country last year to visit his ailing mother, was barred Wednesday from boarding a flight in Oklahoma City to return to his home in Qatar.

Saadiq Long, an American citizen, told The Associated Press he attempted to board a Delta flight at Will Rogers World Airport but was denied a boarding pass.

But now Long – unbeknownst to him – has once again apparently been secretly placed by some unknown National Security State bureaucrat on the no-fly list. On Wednesday night, as Associated Press first reported, he went to the Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City to fly back home to Qatar. In order to ensure there were no problems, his lawyer sent the FBI a letter ahead of time notifying them that Long would be flying home on that date (see the embedded letter below).

Long’s lawyer, Adam Soltani of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was with him at the airport and repeatedly asked agents why this was happening and who they should contact. He got no answers, except was told to contact the FBI. But both the FBI and Delta refused to comment to AP, while TSA spokesman David Castelveter would only say this:

“It’s my understanding this individual was denied a boarding pass by the airline because he was on a no-fly list. The TSA does not confirm whether someone is or is not on the no-fly list, as that list is maintained by the FBI.”

Long said he had been visiting his mother, who suffers from congestive heart failure, for several months. He was attempting to return to Qatar, where he lives with his wife and children and teaches English. He intended to travel via Amsterdam.

Long said last year he also had difficulty entering the country and that the FBI harassed him and his sister after his arrival. The harassment stopped after Long requested a Department of Justice inquiry, Soltani said.

Long and his CAIR lawyers have thus far been told nothing about why he is barred once again from flying.

Vandals shoot paintballs at OKC mosque

The Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City was fired upon by paintballs early Sunday, and the vandals fled the scene before they were apprehended.

About 2:45 a.m., the vandals pulled into the parking lot of the Grand Mosque, 3201 NW 48, and fired upon the building’s doors, Hassan Ahmed, the mosque’s imam and director said.

“A car pulled here in front of the main entrance and started shooting paintball guns, but at the time, I didn’t know it was that. I thought it was bullets they were shooting into the building. And I could hear when I was coming from the house, but before I reached there, they were gone,” Ahmed said.

Police arrived a few minutes later, but by that time, the vandals were gone.

GOP candidates show sharp differences on national security and terrorism

Clash on civil liberties: The Republican presidential candidates clashed repeatedly over foreign policy and national security issues Tuesday night, revealing clear differences on the pace of withdrawal from Afghanistan, aid to Pakistan, the Iranian threat, immigration, and the balance between protecting the homeland and preserving civil liberties.

The debate opened with a clash over the USA Patriot Act and the trade-off between civil liberties and homeland security. Paul called the Patriot Act “unpatriotic.” He said that there is no need to “sacrifice liberty for security” and that the criminal justice system had effectively dealt with Timothy J. McVeigh, who was responsible for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Gingrich responded: “Timothy McVeigh succeeded. That’s the whole point. Timothy McVeigh killed a lot of Americans. I don’t want a law that says after we lose a major American city, we’re sure going to come and find you. I want a law that says, you try to take out an American city, we’re going to stop you.”

As part of the discussion, Santorum said he would support profiling “radical Muslims” to prevent terrorist attacks. But he was quickly criticized by Paul, who offered: “What if they look like Timothy McVeigh? He was a tough criminal.”

In anticipation of Tuesday’s debate, the Democrats mounted a full-court press to preemptively challenge Romney and the Republicans and to promote the president’s foreign policy record. Polls show that the public gives Obama good marks on foreign policy and terrorism, in contrast to low numbers on the economy and the deficit.

Oklahoma anti-Shariah amendment heads to appeals court

An amendment to Oklahoma’s constitution that bans state judges from considering Islamic law will face its next legal hurdle on Monday (Sept. 12) when a federal appeals court considers its constitutionality.

Just weeks after it was approved by 70 percent of Oklahoma voters last November, U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled it unconstitutional, saying “the will of the ‘majority’ has on occasion conflicted with the constitutional rights of individuals.”

While judges routinely consider religious law when deciding family or contract disputes that could not be settled by religious authorities, constitutional law supersedes religious law if they are found to be in conflict.

Opponents say the Oklahoma measure would invalidate civil documents like marital contracts and wills, which some people draft according to religious guidelines.

While many Muslims viewed the Oklahoma referendum as discriminatory and fueled by Islamophobia, they say it has also given them a chance to educate non-Muslims about Shariah and Islam.

“We’ve stepped up our outreach efforts, and I think we’ve been able to change a lot of minds,” said Saad Mohammed, a spokesman for the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. “If the referendum were held again tomorrow, I think a lot fewer people would support it.”