The Muslims Are Coming

It’s the hate directed toward Islam that has motivated so many to enter the political arena.

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For some Americans — those who support a travel ban, a wall along the Mexican border and increased restrictions on refugees, all while holding on to the ridiculous belief that the world’s 1.8 billion Muslim hate America, despite the fact that it’s home to nearly 3.5 million of us — that statement probably inspires fear.

But it’s true: Nearly 100 Muslim political hopefuls have filed to run for elected office this year. Only a dozen or so ran in 2016.

In July, The Associated Press interviewed Muslim candidates about this record number. The reporting revealed that it’s precisely the bigotry and hate that has been directed toward Islam — including in remarks and tweets by President Trump — that has motivated so many Muslims to enter the political arena, where they now stand poised to advance policies that directly reflect their faith and also benefit all of their constituents.

Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, a former state representative and a daughter of Palestinian immigrants, would be the nation’s first Muslim woman in Congress. Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American and refugee from Kenya, is predicted to win in November, replacing Representative Keith Ellison in Minnesota.

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FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES 

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Pittsburgh Shooting Is A Reminder: Jews And Muslims Are In This Together

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Robert Bowers was angry at Jews. But the 46-year-old alleged killer of at least eleven people in a Pittsburgh synagogue seemed most angry at Jews for one particular reason: They were helping Muslim refugees flee to safety in America.

In posts on Gab, the social media network favored by white supremacists, Bowers fixated on HIAS, the Jewish group that helps refugees resettle in the United States, including many Muslim refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Earlier this month, Bowers wrote that HIAS wants “to bring in hostile invaders to dwell among us.” Another white supremacist’s post on Gab that Bowers reposted read: “It’s the filthy EVIL jews Bringing the Filthy EVIL Muslims into the Country!! Stop the kikes then Worry About the Muslims!”

And hours before he barged into the Tree of Life Synagogue, yelled “All Jews must die” and opened fire, he wrote another post naming HIAS: “HIAS likes to bring invaders that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics. I’m going in.”

Bowers’ rantings should serve as a stark reminder that even some American Jews have forgot: The safety of we Jews in America is bound up in the safety of Muslims in America.

Bowers’ posts echoed a white supremacist conspiracy theory that grew in popularity after the civil rights revolution. Rather than acknowledge that black Americans led the struggle to topple the Jim Crow regime, white supremacists turned to their age-old target: Jews. They started propagating the false idea that Jews, the ever-powerful puppet-masters, were the ones pulling the strings of civil rights activists. Today, the theory is echoed in leading Republicans’ conspiratorial claims that George Soros is funding the caravan of Central American asylum-seekers currently making its way to the U.S. border to flee from the terror and repression of their home countries

 

‘Respond to evil with good’: Muslim community raises money for victims of synagogue shooting

October 28 at 8:05 PM

crowdfunding campaign organized by the Muslim American community has raised more than $90,000 for the victims of the mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The shooting, which claimed the lives of 11 people Saturday during a morning service, “made me sick to my stomach,” said Tarek El-Messidi, a Muslim American speaker and activist who started the fundraising effort as soon as he heard about the attack. In the first six hours, the effort, called Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue, reached its initial goal of $25,000.

“When I saw the news, I thought, ‘This could have very well been at a mosque or a Hindu temple,’ ” he said. “We live in a time where so much bigoted rhetoric is being amplified.”

On the fundraising page, he wrote: “We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action.” He also quotes the Koran as saying, “Repel evil by that which is better.”

The fundraiser, which at some points was taking in about $2,000 per hour on Sunday, is an effort to offset immediate short-term needs of the injured victims and grieving families. It also will go toward funeral expenses and medical bills. El-Messidi is partnering with the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh to disburse the money.

“No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way,” wrote El-Messidi.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST 

After Pittsburgh, the interfaith response sends message of solidarity across the religious divide

Thousands gathered for an interfaith prayer vigil at Pittsburgh’s Sixth Presbyterian Church in the hours following the mass shooting at the city’s Tree of Life synagogue, packing the pews with mourners from different congregations across the community.

Reverend Vincent Kolb, a pastor at Sixth Presbyterian, began the service by recalling the advice of the church’s former worshipper Fred “Mister” Rogers and said “it is in that spirit of neighborliness that we gather here tonight to be allies to our Jewish neighbors who have been victimized and traumatized by this tragedy,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Marylynne Pitz and Peter Smith reported.

Interfaith voices have been some of the loudest expressing solidarity for the victims of the shooting that left 11 dead on Saturday — the worst attack on worshipping Jews in American history according to the director of the American Jewish Archives. In addition to the vigil held at Sixth Presbyterian, interfaith services are being held across the country in the coming days.

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Why Muslims See the Crusades So Differently from Christians

image-placeholder-titleThey weren’t all battles and bloodshed. There was also coexistence, political compromise, trade, scientific exchange—even love.

Muslim forces ultimately expelled the European Christians who invaded the eastern Mediterranean repeatedly in the 12th and 13th centuries—and thwarted their effort to regain control of sacred Holy Land sites such as Jerusalem. Still, most histories of the Crusades offer a largely one-sided view, drawn originally from European medieval chronicles, then filtered through 18th and 19th-century Western scholars.

But how did Muslims at the time view the invasions? (Not always so contentiously, it turns out.) And what did they think of the European interlopers? (One common cliché: “unwashed barbarians.”) For a nuanced view of the medieval Muslim world, HISTORY talked with two prominent scholars: Paul M. Cobb, professor of Islamic History at the University of Pennsylvania, author of Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades, and Suleiman A. Mourad, a professor of religion at Smith College and author of The Mosaic of Islam.

HISTORY: Broadly speaking, how do Islamic perspectives on the Crusades differ from those of the Christian sources from Western Europe?
Suleiman Mourad: If we wrote the history of the Crusades based on Islamic narratives, it would be a completely different story altogether. There were no doubt wars and bloodshed, but that wasn’t the only or dominant story. There was also coexistence, political compromise, trade, scientific exchange, love. We have poetry and chronicles with evidence of mixed marriages.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE HISTORY CHANNEL 

China’s hidden camps

What’s happened to the vanished Uighurs of Xinjiang?

china campOn 12 July 2015 a satellite swung over the rolling deserts and oasis cities of China’s vast far west.

One of the images it captured that day just shows a patch of empty, untouched, ashen-grey sand.

It seems an unlikely place to start an investigation into one of the most pressing human rights concerns of our age.

But less than three years later, on 22 April 2018, a satellite photo of that same piece of desert showed something new.

A massive, highly secure compound had materialised.

It is enclosed with a 2km-long exterior wall punctuated by 16 guard towers.

The first reports that China was operating a system of internment camps for Muslims in Xinjiang began to emerge last year.

The satellite photograph was discovered by researchers looking for evidence of that system on the global mapping software, Google Earth.

It places the site just outside the small town of Dabancheng, about an hour’s drive from the provincial capital, Urumqi.

FULL ARTICLE FROM BBC NEWS 

The Saudi regime does not represent Islam

efaa3c4b81cf475fb1326562d52c9bc1_18The Khashoggi affair is yet another reason for the world to abandon the assumption that the kingdom represents Islam.

The recent disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has the world’s fingers pointed in the direction of the Saudi government, specifically at its de-facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen living in exile in the United States because of his criticism of the Saudi regime, earned the esteem of audiences that read his political commentary in both Arabic and English. He was last seen alive entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, when he visited to procure documents he needed to wed his Turkish fiancee.

Speculation about bin Salman ordering his kidnapping, or state-sponsored murder, rose to the fore, dominating mainstream and social media discussions about the missing journalist’s likely fate. On October 19, Saudi authorities finally admitted Khashoggi was killed inside the country’s Istanbul consulate. This admission merely confirmed a conclusion most had already drawn given the regime’s dismal human rights record and fierce intolerance to any criticism: The Saudi government was directly responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance and death.

And where Saudi Arabia is the subject of wrongdoing, Islam stands alongside it. Collaterally implicated and indicted as the source of the vile actions taken by a government that, since its inception as a sovereign state, has been popularly anointed as the living embodiment of the religion.

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Khashoggi case: A timeline

This, again, was the case with the Khashoggi affair. The unknown whereabouts of the journalist, widely regarded to be among the most courageous indigenous critics of the Saudi regime, implicated Islam in the minds of many. The “redeployment of Orientalist tropes,” as articulated by law scholar Leti Volpp, surged to the surface and steered the popular discourse, driving immediate conclusions that Islam itself is “intolerant to criticism,” “resistant to independent media voices,” and “suppressive of dissidence.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM AL JAZEERA