web analytics
May 26, 2016 / 18 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Muslim’

Trump Would Make an Exception for Muslim Mayor, Sadiq Khan Says, No, Thanks

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has urged a “total and complete shutdown” of US borders to Muslims. In his defense, he made that statement in response to the San Bernardino shooting last year, as a means of attracting enormous media attention to himself. “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” Trump said and America listened, even though the candidate failed to explain what “understanding this problem” actually means. Was he calling for a blue ribbon commission to examine Muslim immigration to the US? Was he envisioning a profiling system that would help law enforcement officials determine how dangerous any given olive-skinned person might be? Is Islam per se the problem — despite the largely successful integration of millions of Muslims in American society, quite unlike their situation in western Europe?

For all these obvious reasons, that rabble rousing statement now appears to be causing Trump more trouble than electoral gains, and so, in typical Trump fashion, he is ready to take some of it back. It began after the strong victory of London’s new Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan, the son of a London bus driver, who defeated a billionaire with Jewish family roots who is married to a Rothschild. On Monday Trump said he was “happy” that Khan had won, adding that Khan was just the kind of Muslim for whom he’d put aside his ban.

“There will always be exceptions,” Trump told the NY Times when asked about letting the new mayor visit the US. “I think it’s a very good thing, and I hope he does a very good job because frankly that would be very, very good.”

Khan for his part told Time Magazine he plans to visit the US “before January in case Donald Trump wins,” adding, “If Donald Trump becomes the president I’ll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith, which means I can’t engage with American mayors and swap ideas.”

Khan is familiar with the work of some US mayors. “I think Bill de Blasio is doing interesting housing stuff in New York, Rahm Emanuel is doing interesting stuff with the infrastructure bank in Chicago,” he told Time. “I want to go to America to meet with and engage with American mayors.”

So, for now, it’s a stalemate, where Trump would let the mayor of London in, but we don’t know whether that goes for the mayor’s family and entourage as well, because some of them could certainly turn out to be Muslim; and on the other side, Mayor Khan would never allow Trump to score points for letting one exceptional Muslim in because he does a very, very good job.

JNi.Media

Corbyn Skips London’s First Muslim Mayor’s Swearing In

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

Sadiq Khan (Labour) was sworn in as London’s first Muslim mayor on Saturday, having beaten Conservative billionaire Zac Goldsmith by a wide margin of 1,310,143 to 994,614 votes. It was a rare glimpse of sunshine for the Labour party, which has been enduring a string of defeats in both national and local elections over the past year, including a massive loss in local councils and in the Scottish parliament Thursday.

Mayor Khan, 46, was born in London to a working-class British Pakistani family. A Member of Parliament for Tooting since 2005 and a member of the Labour Party, he is a social democrat.

Jeremy Corbyn did not attend London’s Muslim mayor’s swearing-in ceremony. Khan had not supported Corbyn for the role of Labour party leader, voting instead for Andy Burnham. He distanced himself from Corbyn, and as mayoral candidate criticized Corbyn’s friendship with Hamas and Hezbollah, saying it gave Labour an “anti-Jewish” image. Khan also slammed Corbyn for not singing the national anthem last September. Corbyn, an anti-Royalist, stood in silence while God Save our Gracious Queen was played during a Battle of Britain remembrance ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral attended by the Prime Minister, Defense Secretary and military leaders. “He was very unwise. You are trying to be the British prime minister,” Khan told reporters at the time.

“I can’t quite believe the last 24 hours,” Khan told his supporters at his swearing-in ceremony at London’s Southwark Cathedral. “I’m determined to lead the most transparent, engaged and accessible administration London has ever seen, and to represent every single community and every single part of our city as mayor for Londoners,” he said.

Goldsmith, as well as Prime Minister David Cameron, repeatedly accused Khan of offering “platform, oxygen and cover” to religious and political extremists, including known anti-Semites such as Suliman Gani, a south London Islamic leader. Khan also attended a conference that was addressed by Yasser al-Siri, a convicted terrorist, and Sajeel Abu Ibrahim, a member of the now banned al-Muhajiroun group, which trained and activated the July 7, 2005 bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan.

JNi.Media

German Traveler to Dubai Finds Himself on Flight to Tel Aviv

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

A Muslim German national on vacation traveling with Pegasus Airlines flew from Germany to Dubai Monday night, but somehow found himself landing at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.

The incident has never happened before – but it is extremely serious because it might have ended quite differently, with an Israeli passenger landing instead in an enemy nation.

The bearded, black-haired 30-year-old passenger first landed in Istanbul where he was to catch a connecting flight to Dubai. He transferred his luggage for the next leg of the journey, according to a report posted on the Hebrew-language Ynet site, then proceeded to make the connection to his next flight with a carry-on bag – or so he believed.

It is not clear how he passed through all security and airline inspections with his ticket, which clearly was marked with Dubai as his final destination. In fact, he remained totally unaware of the error until the on-board announcement the plane was approaching its destination in Tel Aviv.

At that point, he jumped up, completely startled, and called the flight attendant to show her his ticket. After checking it with the flight manager, she confirmed that it was “certainly a mistake, you are not on the correct flight – but this is your own problem and you will have to pay for a return flight.”

Israeli passengers seated nearby immediately intervened, speaking with the agitated passenger and with the flight attendant, insisting that it was the airline’s mistake and he did not have to pay anything at all.

Upon landing, Israeli security officials came to the plane to interview the passenger, and after confirming the error and his veracity, took him off the plane, checked his bags, and put him on a flight back to Istanbul.

Pegasus Airlines said in a statement: “The incident is under investigation, and it is believed that due to the fact that two flights were close together, it is possible that the passenger passed inspection for Dubai, but got on the wrong bus for the passenger aircraft, instead boarding that which led to the flight to Tel Aviv.”

Hana Levi Julian

Labour MP ‘Outed’ Over Anti-Semitic Posts on Facebook

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

British Labour MP Naz Shah resigned Tuesday from her unpaid post as an aide after a virulently anti-Israel post and one that was plain anti-Semitic, both written on Facebook in 2014, were highlighted this week on the Guido Fawkes political website.

She apologized publicly Tuesday (April 26) on Twitter for both.

She was careful, however, not to resign from her position on the parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee – which is set to investigate rising anti-Semitism in Britain.

Anti-Zionist Facebook post shared and highlighted in 2014 by Muslim British Labour MP Naz Shah.

The first offensive post was displayed within the context of an article on the Guido Fawkes political website that explained Shah had “argued Israel should be ‘relocated’ to America and praised the ‘transportation costs’ of deporting Israeli Jews out of the Middle East.” (italics courtesy of Guido Fawkes site) “As these stories go, it is at the more controversial end of the scale…” the writer noted.

Shah had shared a graphic showing an outline of the State of Israel, superimposed on to a map of the United States with the headline “Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States.” The graphic adds:

• “America has plenty of land to accommodate a 51st state;
• The transportation cost will be less than 3 years of defense spending; Palestinians will get their land and life back;
• Middle East will again be peaceful without foreign interference;
• Oil prices will go down, inflation will go down, whole world will be happy.”

Shah added a comment to the graphic: “Problem solved and save u bank charges for 3 billion pounds you transfer yearly.” In the comments section she wrote: “Only problem with that is Israel would need to return all the land and farms it has stolen and give the Palestinians rights which is not possible.” She then added: “Therefore I will tweet Barack Obama and David Cameron and put this idea to them? Save them pocket money?”

All of her 2014 Facebook posts have since been deleted, prompting one to wonder just what else she had opined during that year in which Israel had been forced into another defensive counter terror war with Hamas in Gaza.

For example, Shah had also posted a link on Facebook to a newspaper poll asking whether Israel had committed war crimes, urging her constituents to vote “yes.” Her post screamed in capital letters, “URGENT ACTION… WILL TAKE TEN SECONDS (link) The Jews are rallying to the poll at the bottom and there is now 87% disagreeing and 13% agreeing. CLICK “YES” I AGREE WITH JOHN PRESCOTT THAT ISRAEL IS COMMITTING WAR CRIMES.” FORWARD ON TO ALL CONTACTS RIGHT NOW.”

As the Guido Fawkes site noted, she had also tweeted a link to a blog post comparing Zionism to Al Qaeda, and accusing Zionists of “grooming” Jews to “exert political influence at the highest levels of public office.”

Shah, who is Muslim, was elected to the British parliament the next year, in 2015.  She defeated incumbent George Galloway, who had declared his district off-limits to all Israelis, including tourists.

As she stepped down Tuesday from her unpaid position as Parliamentary Private Secretary to shadow chancellor John McDonnell, the virulently anti-Israel post and a another deeply anti-Semitic one were both made public.

It was the British Jewish Chronicle who had published that second post, reporting that in August 2014, Shah had tweeted the link to a blog called ‘Walk Together.’

On that blog an article entitled “Colonization, Israel, Palestinian resistance and…”, claimed Zionism was “like Al Qaeda.” This was the article that claimed Zionism is used to “groom” Jews to “exert political influence at the highest levels of public office.”

When the Home Affairs Select Committee publishes its report on its investigation into Britain’s rising anti-Semitism, the findings should be most illuminating.

Perhaps the committee members can begin with a mirror as an initial exercise.

A Labour MP said earlier this month the party is starting to look as if it doesn’t care about prejudice against Jewish people.

“We have now got a problem where too many of our Jewish members and people out there in the country think the Labour Party is apathetic to anti-Semitism,” said MP Wes Streeting.

Former Labour parliamentary candidate Vicki Kirby was suspended twice last month over tweets in which she called Hitler a “Zionist God” and said Jews have “big noses.”

Prominent British politician Lord Michael Abraham Levy sounded the alarm in March that anti-Semitism is rising in the Labour Party. Levy has threatened to leave the fold if something is not done to stem the tide.

The Jewish peer has been a chief fundraiser for Labour, and is a longtime friend of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Hana Levi Julian

Egypt is Colorful and Full of Love; Meetings of Conciliation between Muslim and Jew, in Egypt: Part II

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Dr Omer Salem of Yale and AlAzhar Universities envisions a borderless world open to movement and communication between all peoples. A traditionalist Sunni Muslim, he studied Hebrew Bible at Yale and had his PhD dissertation supervised by Al-Azhar University Professors in Cairo. His thesis – acceptance of the People of the Book in Islam, a theme that is pulling in the opposite direction of the less embracing schools of thought in Islam today, schools which have been propped up of late more by politics than religious doctrine.

In this spirit, Salem invited Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Nagen, Fullbright Scholar Dr. Jospeh Ringel, and myself to meet his colleagues in Egypt. Impossible! My smart aleck retort was, “sure I will catch the next train.” But within two weeks we were on Egyptian soil and in earnest dialogue with some of the best minds of Cairo today. Here is a small glimpse of what we dream will be many more encounters.

Al Azhar University was founded by the Fatimids in the tenth century CE and is the oldest university in the world still functioning. Today it is considered the center of Islamic and Arabic scholarship. The university administers about 4000 teaching institutes and a system of schools with about two million students nation-wide.

Enter the campus, humanity’s stunning variety greets you in the beauty of all its rainbow colors – Indonesians, Africans, black, white, some in western dress, some in traditional garb. This richness accompanied us to professor Awad’s office – an enormous room which over the next two and a half hours would host our marathon discussion, with students and faculty entering and exiting, some participating, some just listening. The atmosphere was respectful and congenial throughout, albeit the discussion veering into some very sensitive subjects.

Before our arrival, we debated an essential question – how can the Muslim ummah – nation – accept Jews? Assuming that the hurdles were largely theological, we discussed the approach that Jews can take to Muhammad; a Navi, prophet, has vastly different connotations in Jewish thought than in Islamic thought. Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik’s essay, “Confrontation” presents an illustration of how essential terms cannot be imported and exported across cultures, indeed, meaning is lost in translation. In Judaism, a Navi can be false and even wicked, as in the case of Bilaam (Book of Numbers). So when Muslims ask Jews, “Do you think Muhammad was a prophet?” the connotations differ vastly. What we can say is that prophecy for the nation of Israel ended with the prophet Malachi, but that does not mean that prophecy stopped for all nations. In the spirit of the Rambam, who dwelled in Egypt as physician and Rabbi, we can appreciate that Muhammad spread monotheism globally, and that he could indeed be a prophet for the other nations of the world.

We would see however that the theological hurdle is in fact not the greatest stumbling block to reconciliation.

“Welcome, welcome!” Dr Awad beckoned, along with staff and students flanking him. The men were removing their shoes, should I? Do women remove their shoes as well? They do, but I can remain shod if I choose. Both equality of women and free choice are basic premises in Islam, the professor would make quite clear. But that is not my emphasis just yet, I have something more important for you to hear.

Professor Awad’s thesis was on the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. He emphasized that dialogue is a primary tenet of Islam. “The Qur’an commands us as Muslims to engage in dialogue to reach truth.” He stated.

“The differences between people are G-d given.” And he quoted, “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other. .” Qur’an 49:13. (Arabic: لتعارفوا) Lita’arafu – to know each other. You can respect Islam and the prophet and the Qur’an, without necessarily following the sharia of Islam, and that is your right.”

He added, “There is no coercion in religion,” Qur’an 2:256

“Muslims are commanded to study the teachings of the prophet Moses. For you, learning about Muhammad is merely optional. That is an expression of tolerance inherent in Islam. The Qur’an has provided solutions for so many problems in the world, and it commanded Jews to judge according to their own Torah. This is evidence that the Qur’an is a very neutral, objective book. Jews have a right to study the Qur’an without anyone judging whether they believe in it or not. You are indeed welcome to read it with your good intention.”

Jewish Press contributor, Rebecca Abrahamson in front of Al Azhar University

Jewish Press contributor, Rebecca Abrahamson in front of Al Azhar University

I introduced myself as a Haredi woman, and added that I had traveled with the agreement of my husband and the blessing of my Rabbi. There I had braved it all the way to Egypt, overcoming personal and societal hurdles. I made that statement in order to express a living traditional value and to pave the way for more fundamentalist Muslim and Jewish women to join in social activism. When fundamentalist women act, they move large areas, they bring whole families and societies with them. And we know that we are not docile followers. I love the story from an African-American fundamentalist church in the southern United States, a woman stood up and challenged her preacher, “that’s not written in my Bible!” Fundamentalist women are in dynamic dialogue with their family and leaders. When we act, we actually move large areas of ground.

But I liked the professor’s response:

He looked at me a little sharply, “Women and men are equal. The only difference is she has a right to be provided for.” Then he ticked off her rights on his fingers, “she has freedom of work, dignity, employment, she may divorce, and she does not need her husband’s permission to travel.” I smiled inside.

Then the professor touched upon difficult subjects, and though his tone remained respectful, his passion and concern was evident. Something was irking him, it was clear.

Discovering a Stumbling Block

He wondered at the verse in the Torah that declares Canaan as cursed – where is the justice in that? All have free will, how can anyone be cursed from birth? “Certainly you are accountable for what you do.” (Qur’an 16:93) He wondered why Jews do not proselytize to other nations, is that an uncaring approach? And, with equal passion, Dr Awad questioned how the revelation at Sinai could have been in Hebrew – the Jews had just exited Egypt? This final question was expressed with as much concern as the previous two, though I felt that whatever language was spoken at the time of the Revelation at Sinai was surely less important that wondering if Judaism is discriminatory.

Rabbi Nagen responded – “you have raised the most important questions. My whole life I am searching for answers to these questions. We know that holy books sometimes have verses that seem troubling. For me, the verse that is most important is that all of humanity has one father and is in the image of God. Anything that seems to contradict this puzzles me and we struggle with it. We know that with both Torah, Gospel and Qur’an, people can quote verses to do great good or not good. Our task is to find a way to teach good from the Torah and Qur’an. The question is – what is the rule and what is the exception? What is the context? I read the Qur’an and I know that every sura begins with All-h is Rachman. If I find a verse that seems violent, I know this must be talking about a particular context and it’s not the rule. I have hundreds of students; I interpret the Torah and Talmud. I organized a prayer rally to protest the alleged arson attack in Kfar Dumas. I am part of a group of a thousand Rabbis, we put out a thirty page pamphlet that was read in synagogues that week.”

The professor could not be placated, there was something nagging at him. And then it came out:

“We as Muslims are not asked to judge others; however we cannot accept oppression by one people over another people or making mockery of one over the other.”

So that was it. Agree or disagree, this was the professor’s central concern, and it was echoed in our meetings with Dr Aly El-Samman, former advisor to Anwar Sadat, and with Professor Wagee AlShamy of Dar Oloom College in AlFayoum, a city south of Cairo.

Indeed, Dr Wagee Al-Shamy asked us to proclaim this message – “tell your people: the state of the Palestinian Arabs is of great concern to us. That is the real stumbling block to normalization. Please ease their plight; that will pave the road to better relations between our peoples.”

Agree or disagree, that was the message we heard throughout our trip. So it is not scripture or theology that divides. Negative light is shed upon Judaism when Israel is seen as oppressing its Arab residents. Looking for the cause of the injustice, our scriptures are held up as possibly blameworthy.

But is this not how we feel when presented with injustices wrought by other cultures? Do we not point to the source of an ‘Other’s’ impropriety as based in their basic tenets? As much as what I am saying may sting, and we can certainly feel the call to defend Israel’s need for self defense, or the real meaning of holy writ, we need to consider – if this is what prominent Egyptian Muslims are saying, and even asking us to proclaim this, it does mean that the situation is a lot more hopeful than if stumbling blocks to normalization were scripture and theology.

So what are we to do? Embark on a grand-scale hasbara (explanation) campaign? There are better places we can put our energy; injustices are best addressed, in my husband Ben Abrahamson’s words – by establishing joint Jewish-Islamic religious courts. They existed in Yemen, and they can exist now. This gives both Muslim and Jew a feeling of a common language. Once injustices are addressed in a framework that both sides revere, the view changes. The diamond tossed up to the light reflects various hues, constantly changing as it turns before the sun, yet the diamond remains the same. We do not have to change our very being; we just need to address concerns where all parties are heard in the language they revere the most.

“Show me the fatwa.”

Ben was once speaking to a sheikh who was criticizing Israel. Ben said simply, “show me the fatwa.” Instead of relying on media reporting, Ben challenged the sheikh to find an Islamic court which has investigated an allegation of injustice and issued a fatwa – ruling. Knowing of none, they both relaxed and fruitful discussion followed.

The best hasbara campaign to defend Israel and Judaism will never really be enough; there is not the trust and common language needed for such efforts. The gap can be bridged not via hasbara, which is likely to fall upon deaf ears, but via joint courts. Joint Jewish-Islamic courts will succeed in striving for justice, trust building, and an expanded narrative that finally will include all residents of the Holy Land. It will be a huge relief to us all.

We had been welcomed by the professors at AlAzhar in warmth and parted with love and hopes of future dialogue. Yes, things can get rocky in discussion, but if you believe that the Other is coming from an honest place, then only the late hour and weariness born from a marathon conversation brings it to a close.

And we will work for more such encounters. We must.

(Left) Rabbi Yaakov Nagen with Dr Joseph Ringel,

(Left) Rabbi Yaakov Nagen with Dr Joseph
Ringel,

Rebecca Abrahamson

Israeli Jew Convicted of Murdering of Jerusalem Muslim Teen

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

by Michael Bachner/TPS The Jerusalem District Court convicted Yosef Chaim Ben David, 29, on Tuesday morning of the abduction and murder of Jerusalem Arab teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir in July 2014. The teen was on his way to a mosque in his neighborhood, Shuafat, when he was kidnapped. The incident rattled the region and played a key role in escalating the tensions leading up to the summer war in Gaza.

Ben David, from the community of Adam, was the central suspect in the murder, along with two minors. His verdict was delayed by several months to determine his mental state, following claims by his lawyers that he was mentally ill and not responsible for his actions.

The court, however, ruled that Ben David “was not in a psychotic state, fully understood what he was doing, had control over his actions and had the ability to refrain from committing the crime.”

Abu Khdeir was 16 years old when he was abducted and burned alive in Jerusalem by the three Israeli Jews. The murderers claimed they wanted to avenge the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teens by Hamas terrorists just days earlier. The two atrocities sent tensions soaring between Israelis and Arabs from the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, culminating in the IDF’s 2014 Gaza campaign, Operation Protective Edge.

Ben David’s two nephews, 16 and 17 years old, were convicted in January of committing the murder along with him. One of them received a life sentence. The other was sentenced to 21 years in prison after the court ruled that he played a lesser role in the murder.

Before the verdict, Abu Khdeir’s father Hussein called on the Israeli government to demolish the homes of his son’s murderers, in keeping with Israeli policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinian Authority terrorists. “We need justice from the court,” he said. “These murderers should have their homes demolished. Such people cannot be granted parole. He needs to serve a life sentence.”

Following the conviction, the state prosecution released a statement saying that Ben David committed the murder “out of nationalistic vengeful motives, also dragging his underage relatives with him who participated in the heinous crime and were sentenced to many years behind bars.”

In the Palestinian Authority and in Gaza, people celebrate the murders of Israeli Jews, honking car horns and passing out sweets to strangers in the streets when an attack has taken place.

Public squares, special events and streets are named for especially “successful” terrorists so their deeds will be remembered and glorified for future generations.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Muslim Swedish Housing Minister Kaplan Resigns after Comparing Israel to Nazis

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Mehmet Kaplan (apparently no Jewish relation), 44, Sweden’s housing minister, resigned this week over comments he had made comparing Israel’s treatment of Arabs to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.

The Turkish-born Kaplan, a Green Party member, former spokesman of Sweden’s Muslim Council, and a passenger on the “Freedom Flotilla” that tried to break through the IDF security blockade of Gaza in 2010, denied any wrongdoing, saying he was resigning because public and media criticism were interfering with his ability to do his job. He said he opposed “all forms of extremism, whether nationalistic, religious or in any other form” and supported “human rights, democracy and dialogue.”

Swedish TV fished out footage of Kaplan from seven years ago, where he says, “Israelis treat Palestinians in a way that is very like that in which Jews were treated during Germany in the 1930s.”

Israeli ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman described Kaplan’s comments as “deeply anti-Semitic.” Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallström—remember her?—said the comments were “terrible.”

Wallström was embroiled in a housing scandal last year. Not connected to Kaplan.

“Let me be clear: [my resignation] is not a confirmation of reports about me that I consider wrongful. I know who I am and what I have done,” Kaplan told reporters in Stockholm. He had also come under fire a week ago, after Swedish media published photos of him dining with Turkish Swedish leaders, including the local leader of an ultra-nationalist group called Gray Wolves.

In 2014 Kaplan compared the young Muslims from Sweden who went to fight for ISIS in Syria with the Swedes who fought for Finland against Russia in WW2.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/muslim-swedish-housing-minister-kaplan-resigns-after-comparing-israel-to-nazis/2016/04/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: