Arizona GOP Favorite Doesn’t Want Middle Easterners In U.S. ‘Legally Or Illegally’

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer hasn’t even won the Republican primary for Congress in Arizona yet, but she is already facing attacks from the Democratic Congressman she is hoping to unseat in November over some incendiary comments she made in the past about Middle Eastern immigrants.

In an interview with a conservative website last year, Saucedo Mercer talked in depth about her views on immigration. A Mexican immigrant herself who became a U.S. citizen, she said the issue was important because people from places other than Mexico were among those coming across the border illegally.

“That includes Chinese, Middle Easterners,” she said. “If you know Middle Easterners, a lot of them, they look Mexican or they look, you know, like a lot of people in South America, dark skin, dark hair, brown eyes. And they mix. They mix in.

“And those people, their only goal in life is to, to cause harm to the United States. So why do we want them here, either legally or illegally? When they come across the border, besides the trash that they leave behind, the drug smuggling, the killings, the beheadings. I mean, you are seeing stuff. It’s a war out there.”

Saucedo Mercer was facing fellow Republican Jaime Vasquez in Tuesday’s primary in Arizona’s 3rd congressional district, with the results due later tonight. But her supporters and opponents both clearly expect her to win.

One in four people worldwide is Muslim, says study

Islam may be most closely associated with the Middle East, where it emerged in Arabia in the seventh century, but today the region is home to only one in five of the world’s Muslims, according to a study of the religion’s global distribution conducted by the Pew Forum.

Europe is home to about 38 million Muslims, or about five per cent of its population. Germany appears to have more than 4 million Muslims – almost as many as North and South America combined. In France, where tensions have run high over an influx of Muslim immigrant labourers, the overall numbers were lower but a larger percentage of the population is Muslim. Of roughly 4.6 million Muslims in the Americas, more than half live in the United States although they only make up 0.8 percent of the population there. About 700,000 people in Canada are Muslim, or about two percent of the total population.

The top five Muslim countries in the world include only one in the Middle East Egypt behind Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, in that order. Russia, the survey shows, has more Muslims than the populations of Libya and Jordan combined. Germany has more Muslims than Lebanon. China has a bigger Muslim population than Syria.

School boosts integration among immigrant students

Students at the Marius Torres school in Barcelona are studying the cultural traditions of their peers in an attempt to boost integration among the high immigrant population in the school. Approximately 90% of students at the school come from immigrant families who hail from South America, China, and North African countries. Students have shared food and clothing on special days, as part of the introduction to each others’ cultures. “Looking at how the kids get on, it’s as if they were all from the same country,” said one teacher. “We should learn from them, because they don’t have any prejudices.” The teacher also stressed that the lessons about each other are also passed from the students to their parents, resulting in a positive community strengthening.

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The changing face of American Islam

I recently got back to Thailand after a one-and-a-half month stay in the United States, where I was a student of Islamic Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, and where I spent seven years during the 80s and 90s. The tour revealed to me a very different Islam in the post-9/11 United States. In the face of widespread bias and prejudice, personal attacks, deep suspicion and misinformation about Islam marked by the prevalence of Islamophobia in the American mindset, Muslim society in the US has undergone a tremendous internal transformation, with the aim being to prove loyalty to the American nation by undertaking steps towards political, social and civil integration. The seven million-strong American Muslim community is emerging and evolving as both an integral part of the American socio-political milieu and a distinct section of the worldwide Muslim community. There is historical evidence to suggest that the presence of Islam in the Americas began around the 10th century, when Muslims from Spain and West Africa arrived in South America centuries before Columbus. Some Muslims are said to have accompanied Christopher Columbus to the Americas in 1492, as to have joined later explorations as well. With the end of Muslim rule in Spain around 1498 and the institution of the Inquisition in 1499, many Spanish Muslims fled to other countries, including America.

EU official outlines details of future “Blue Card” for immigrants

Brussels (dpa) – The EU is to grant a fast-track admission procedure and a decent salary to highly-qualified foreign workers wishing to relocate to Europe, a top EU official said Thursday. The initiative, which includes a future “Blue Card” – the EU’s equivalent to the Green Card in the US – is designed to counter labour shortages and entice more skilled workers from Africa, Asia and South America, most of whom currently prefer to seek employment in the United States. “We have to shift … our traditional way of thinking of migration as a world of loss and sorrow,” Franco Frattini, the EU commissioner who holds the immigration portfolio, said in a speech delivered to a conference in Lisbon, a copy of which was made available in Brussels.