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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Islamophobia’

Muslim Player’s Prayerful Gesture of Thanks Punished by NFL

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Capricious discrimination can be found even on an American football field these days, apparently.

A Muslim football player was penalized Monday night for offering a quick prayerful gesture of thanks after scoring a touchdown for his team in Kansas City.

NFL defensive back Husain Abdullah, who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, had intercepted a pass thrown by Tom Brady of New England, and returned it to the end zone for a touchdown, bringing his team to victory.

Right after scoring, Abdullah kneeled briefly and touched his head to the turf in a manner that imitated Muslim worship.

Referees who were officiating at the game punished the player with a 15-yard penalty for the move, calling it “unsportsmanlike conduct.”

Echoing Cease-fire, Britain’s Jews and Muslims Call for Peace

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

In the wake of an Israeli-Gaza cease-fire that may have been forced on both parties, Britain’s Jews and Muslims have issued a joint call for peace.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews “exists to promote and defend the religious and civil liberties of British Jewry,” according to the mission statement on the group’s website. “As the community’s democratically elected cross-communal organisation, the Board connects with Government, media and wider society, providing a unique means through which all British Jews can be heard and represented.”

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) “is an independent body established to promote consultation, cooperation and coordination on Muslim affairs in the United Kingdom.” The group describes itself in a statement on its website as a “non-sectarian body working for the common good without interfering in, displacing or isolating any existing Muslim work in the community. It is a broad-based, representative organisation of Muslims in Britain…pledged to work for the common good of society as a whole…”

The joint statement issued by the two groups was unprecedented and condemned anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. It was entitled, ‘British Jews and Muslims Call for Peace, Wisdom and Hope over Conflict in Israel and Palestine.’

The text of the statement, released Wednesday, read as follows:

There is no doubt that Muslims and Jews have deeply held views about the conflict in Israel and Palestine. We acknowledge that our communities may disagree about the origins, current reasons and solutions to end the conflict. But there are also points of agreement.

The death of every civilian is a tragedy, and every effort should be taken to minimise such losses. The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions. We pray for a speedy end to the current conflict and for a lasting peace for all.

In spite of the situation in the Middle East, we must continue to work hard for good community relations in the UK. We must not import conflict. We must export peace instead.

Whilst everyone has the right to voice their political opinion, be that in a rally or on social media, we must be mindful of how we convey our protest. There can be no excuse for racism, violence, or other forms of intimidation, when expressing views in the media, on the streets, outside shops or online.

We condemn any expression of Antisemitism, Islamophobia or any form of racism. We call for Muslim and Jewish communities to redouble efforts to work together and get to know one another.

We need constructive dialogue to limit our disagreements and identify the widest possible range of areas for cooperation. There are more issues that unite us than divide us.

May the God of Abraham grant our World more peace, wisdom and hope.

Reportedly there was, however, some disagreement over one line of the text: that which condemns the targeting of civilians.

Both groups agree that such behavior is “a tragedy” and “completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions.” But the Jewish group said it was willing to sign the document because it had no reference to mutuality of targeting civilians, since “it’s a known fact the IDF does not deliberately target civilians.” The Muslim group said it was willing to sign because it believed the document held both sides responsible for the same behavior.

 

 

What Kerry Doesn’t Know About Democracy and Islam

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

In practically his first outing as secretary of state abroad, John Kerry made some remarkable statements in a meeting with young Germans.

The main thing being widely quoted is his statement, “In America, you have a right to be stupid if you want to be… And we tolerate it. We somehow make it through that. Now, I think that’s a virtue. I think that’s something worth fighting for.”

Of course, there’s a right to be stupid in America! Indeed, just this week it’s been expanded into having a right to be simultaneously stupid and secretary of defense!

To be fair, Kerry’s statement was in the context of defending, albeit not very well, freedom of speech in America. (Kerry was obviously referencing President Barack Obama’s U.N. speech in his own talking points.) How Kerry defends it is what’s scary and dysfunctional.

He was basically saying: Yeah, we know that all these dumb people who don’t agree with us are wrong but we let them talk anyway because it works out okay in the end since nobody listens to them anyway. While he used the words “virtue” and “worth fighting for” those sentiments seem to be clumped onto the end for form’s sake. Kerry certainly doesn’t say–or understand–that people have rights and government has limits. Instead, he talks as if the ruling elite tolerates such fools because it’s so nice.

That is remarkably different from a more traditional defense of American liberty like: We have seen how in a free market place of ideas the best standpoints generally triumph, people are happier, and prosperity ensues. Or, we believe that people are endowed with rights by their creator and no one can or should take them away.

Now that standpoint is really “something worth fighting for” and Americans in the institution now run by Chuck Hagel have been doing so for a couple of centuries. No American goes into battle to defend the right to be stupid.

Oh, wait! Kerry apparently does think so since, as he put it, showing his superior grasp of the English language: “You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

So, you have the right to be stupid but watch out because if you are you might end up in the armed forces fighting to defend the right to be stupid!

In contrast to a proper approach, Kerry makes the American system sound like letting the deranged walk the streets as homeless people, babbling incoherently but doing little harm. Sure, let them cling to their guns and religion while we smart people make all the decisions. He’s merely turning around a traditional left-wing critique of democracy that comes from Herbert Marcuse or Noam Chomsky, of “repressive tolerance.”

And that seems to be what Kerry and Obama really believe. Ironically, they are the modern-day equivalent of what used to be called right-wing reactionaries ruling a patriarchal society that consists of aristocrats and peasants.

Another feature of Kerry’s performance was displaying the Obama Administration propensity for apologizing. The question Kerry was answering came from a young German Muslim who merely asked him about his views on Islam. There was no criticism of the United States. It was an invitation to go into a riff about America as a great, tolerant place not to cringe and insist that outside of stupid people the United States America isn’t horribly “Islamophobic.”

Implied in Kerry’s response was the video that supposedly inspired the Benghazi attack. As you know, this claim is either discredited or, in the words of Kerry’s predecessor, supposedly doesn’t matter. On the verge of his visit to the Middle East, repeating the false notes of the new Obama era national anthem—America the Guilty—is not a good idea.

Kerry added that he’s reading a book entitled No God but God by Reza Aslan, which he gushingly praises and accepts as his source on Islam. There are, of course, many books on Islam and Kerry is free to read whatever he wants. Yet the choice of this particular one is also revealing.

Erdogan: Zionism ‘Crime against Humanity’ (Video)

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan chose none other than the UN Alliance of Civilizations” on Wednesday to declare that Israel and Islamophobia both are a “crime against humanity.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sat non-responsively behind Erdogan as he spoke in Vienna.

In a chilling reminder of the United Nations’ “Zionism is Racism” Resolution passed by the United Nations in 1975 and revoked 16 years later, Erdogan stated, “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.”

His speech was the keynote address at the 5th Global forum sponsored by the UN.

“We witness on a frequent basis, the shutting out and despisal [sic] of the other, whereas understanding the beliefs, culture and feelings of the other is what should be done. It has become inevitable for Islamophobia to be seen as a crime against humanity, just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism,” he declared.

“None of the divine religions approves terror; and above all, Islam, which is a derivation of ‘silm,’ means peace. It is impossible for a religion of peace to encourage or approve of terrorism; we will never accept that. The Alliance of Civilizations is one of the most meaningful initiatives to remove prejudices and close the gap between sides.”

After his declaration that “understanding the beliefs, culture and feelings of the other” applies only to Islam and excludes Zionism, he mouthed off at the Western powers with a not-so-subtle swipe at the United States.

“We have to form an alliance between the permanent members of the UN Security Council. It is very difficult to reach a compromise at the Security Council. Whenever a member says no, the deal is done. This is something that needs to be addressed. Wasn’t the UN founded to maintain world peace? If so, the UN is in dire need of reforms.”

The United States, Britain, France, China and Russia are the five permanent members, and the United States has used its veto power, and the threat to veto, to block most anti-Israel resolutions.

His comments in Vienna came two days before he is to welcome U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Turkey on Friday.

Without Israel, without Iran, without Syria, maybe he wants to ditch the United States, also, and declare Turkey a diplomatic island.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/erdogan-zionism-crime-against-humanity-video/2013/02/28/

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