Plans for a talk at West Point by a retired general known for his harshly anti-Muslim remarks were abruptly canceled on Monday after a growing list of liberal veterans’ groups, civil liberties advocates and Muslim organizations called on the Military Academy to rescind the invitation.
Lt. Gen William G. Boykin “has decided to withdraw speaking at West Point’s National Prayer Breakfast” on Feb. 8, said a statement issued Monday by the academy’s office of public affairs. “In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the United States Military Academy will feature another speaker for the event.”
General Boykin, a longtime commander of Special Operations forces, first caused controversy after the Sept. 11 attacks when, as a senior Pentagon official, he described the fight against terrorism as a Christian battle against Satan. His remarks, made in numerous speeches to church groups, were publicly repudiated by President George W. Bush, who argued that America’s war was not with Islam but with violent fanatics.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
New York (CNN) — Two prominent Muslim civil liberties groups called for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to resign on Thursday because of his participation in a film that they say paints all Muslims as terrorists.
“Involvement with ‘Third Jihad’ sends a clear message that the NYPD’s dealings with New York’s diverse Muslim communities are based on bigotry and blanket suspicion,” the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) stated in a press release.
Muslim activists say “The Third Jihad,” a documentary about radical Islam, vilifies the American Muslim community and teaches police officers to suspect Muslims as terrorists.
Muslim activists are also calling for Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Brown to resign, saying that he first denied and only later admitted that Kelly was interviewed for the film.
“They were not telling the truth about their involvement in the propaganda film against Muslims,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), adding that New York “deserves people they trust who do not discriminate against people.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK POST
Twenty-one-year-old Nadeem Abdel-Gawad hopes to attend his graduation ceremony at the American University in Cairo next month. But that depends on what happens in Tahrir Square this week.
On Monday, when we spoke via Skype, he described how it felt this time last year to be part of the uprising that ousted then-president Hosni Mubarak.
“January 25  was like a dream,” he said. “It’s hard when you spend most of your life with a dream of freeing your country, and everyone said, ‘you are crazy, nothing will change, be grateful for your education and leave Egypt.’ All these people telling me we can’t do anything, 30 or 40 people on the stairs of the syndicate, and a month later thousands and then millions [of people]. It really had a deep effect on me. I learned a lot. No matter what happens, there is magic in this world, somehow. We create our own reality; we are the reality. People always say ‘be realistic,’ but they forget we create this reality.”
Nadeem isn’t sure what led him to his first protest, but he said he has always been interested in politics, though even today, he is not a member of any official movement.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE VANCOUVER OBSERVER
Last January investigative journalist Tom Robbins broke the story of how the NYPD endorsed the scaremongering Islamophobic documentary The Third Jihad. The film was funded by the pro-Israel non-profit group The Clarion Fund, and it contends that few, if any, Muslims can be trusted. “Americans are being told that most of the mainstream Muslim groups are moderate,” says the narrator, “when in fact if you look a little closer you’ll see a very different reality. One of their primary tactics is deception.” Newly released documents show the NYPD knows a thing or two about deception as well!
When Robbins’s story appeared in the Village Voice, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne initially said no cops had watched what he described as a “wacky movie.” Later, he said it had only been shown “a couple of times when officers were filling out paperwork before the actual coursework began. It was not approved for the curriculum. It’s not shown for any purpose now.” But one officer told the Voice his instructor “introduced it with a warning that some people found it offensive.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM GOTHAMIST.COM
by Dr. David Liepert
I have a lot of great friends from a variety of religions, best evidenced by the outpouring of support, affection and prayers when my wife had major cancer surgery last month.
I was truly touched when I received word of prayer services in churches, mosques and synagogues literally from around the world. Words cannot express the depth of our gratitude for all your earnest kindness. My wife was particularly moved to learn that across her birth country of Pakistan and the Middle East, food was donated and hungry people were fed in her name. God bless you all.
But my agnostic friends also deserve a shout-out. Because even though they weren’t sure whether their prayers could do any good, they were in there with me throughout all the same, doing everything they could think of to help out too, as far as I’m concerned doing just as good of a job honoring God’s commands that we look after each-other as everyone else did, even though they’re not even sure whether God exists or not!
However, it’s the prayers I want to talk about.
Because although my Muslim and Jewish friends didn’t feel it necessary to clarify exactly which God they were praying to—because everyone of us knows we pray to the same one—many of my Christian friends; respectfully, kindly and to my mind tragically, felt they needed to assure me they were praying to the God of Abraham rather than to Jesus, because they thought I’d be offended otherwise.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE AMERICAN MUSLIM
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — A human wave of more than 20,000 surrounded the Muslim faithful as they prayed toward Mecca Friday, as anti-government demonstrations over spiraling fuel prices and corruption showed unity among protesters despite growing sectarian tensions in Africa’s most populous nation.
While violence sparked by religious and ethnic divisions left about 1,500 people dead last year alone in Nigeria, some hope the ongoing protests gripping the oil-rich nation will bring together a country that already suffered through a bloody civil war.
“It shows that Nigeria is now coming together as one family,” said Abdullahi Idowu, 27, as he prepared to wash himself before Friday prayers.
Labor unions, meanwhile, announced Friday they would halt their five-day strike for the weekend, allowing families stuck largely inside their homes to go to markets and rest. Union leaders also plan to meet President Goodluck Jonathan and government officials on Saturday for new negotiations, just ahead of a promised labor shutdown of Nigeria’s oil industry.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS