The forgotten Muslim soldiers who fought in First World War trenches for the Allies

gettyimages-83513318-e1541956064157They rarely get mentioned during Remembrance Day and Armistice Day tributes, but hundreds of thousands of Muslim soldiers fought for the Allied cause during the First World War — around 885,000, according to the British Royal Legion.

Some 400,000 of them hailed from the British Indian Army, whose 1.5 million troops comprised the largest volunteer force in history.

The idea is to give overdue appreciation for the Muslim contribution to the war effort and use the stories of Muslim soldiers to counter Islamophobic and anti-immigrant narratives in Europe and North America.

FULL ARTICLE FROM GLOBAL NEWS (CANADA)

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The Real Midterm Elections Wave Wasn’t Blue—It Was Muslim

first-muslim-womenThe Muslims are no longer coming—they are here!

Well, in reality Muslims have been in America and contributing to it even before the nation was formed, since approximately 15 percent of the slaves from Africa were Muslim.

But now Muslim Americans are “here” in a whole new way as a record number won their elections last Tuesday. And ironically many of these candidates were inspired to run in response to the most openly anti-Muslim president our nation has ever seen, Donald Trump.

This “Muslim wave” was led by the first Muslim American women ever elected to Congress in our nation’s history: Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib.

Omar’s story is especially inspiring given that Trump would have banned her from the country if he was in office when she was trying to immigrate here because she’s from Somalia, one of the nations listed in Trump’s Muslim ban. Now Trump will have to deal with her as a new Democratic member of Congress.

Other big winners among Muslim candidates included Keith Ellison, who became the first Muslim ever to win statewide office with his victory as Minnesota’s attorney general. In North Carolina, we saw the first Muslim American ever elected to the state Senate with the victory of 32-year-old lawyer, Mujtaba Mohammed, who is Indian-American. And there were also numerous other Muslim Americans winning elections in local races, including five Muslim American women who were elected in California’s Bay Area, from City Council to Board of Education. As the Council on American Islamic Relations noted, all told a record 55 Muslims won election last week from federal to local offices.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE DAILY BEAST 

Synagogue shooting prompts Muslims to act charitably—and humbly

muslim pittsburgh(RNS) — The hook was too appealing, as a news item and as an act of interfaith unity so many Americans were desperate to see: After 11 congregants of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh were killed in a horrific spray of bullets, Muslims raised more than $300,000 in support of their Jewish brethren.

The money was collected by Wasi Mohamed of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh and Tarek El-Messidi of Celebrate Mercy, an organization dedicated to honoring and educating others about the Prophet Muhammad (saw)*. These two remarkable men appreciate that one of the most immediate ways to help in a catastrophe is to cover the costs of those affected.

Mohamed and his fellow Pittsburgh Muslims raised more than $70,000 for the Tree of Life synagogue and its worshippers. Celebrate Mercy partnered with the Muslim political action organization MPower Change to come up with almost $240,000 more via a LaunchGood-hosted fundraising campaign. Their beautiful act of solidarity was heralded on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and on FOX News.

Fundraising efforts and other charitable acts like these can serve multiple purposes: Help those in need, provide anguished onlookers with opportunities to give back and change perceptions about marginalized groups. But they also live and die by publicity. How can money (or volunteers) be raised for any charitable cause if people don’t know what others are doing?

So we have hashtags, photos posted on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and other social media sites. Often there is a coordinated media campaign to draw attention to the plight of a particular tragedy or perhaps uplift a downtrodden group. How can we fund any charitable project or support our fellow humans if we don’t get the word out?

FULL ARTICLE FROM RELIGION NEWS SERVICE 

Muslim Women Win House Seats, Blazing a New Path

im-35355A Palestinian-American and a Somali ex-refugee become the first female Muslims in Congress

WASHINGTON—Two Muslim women from the Midwest were elected to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, making history as the first women of their faith to serve in Congress.

Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American, will represent Michigan, and Ilhan Omar, once a Somali refugee in Kenya, will represent Minnesota. Both received an overwhelming majority of the vote in their respective districts on Tuesday and join a surge of Democratic women coming to the new Congress.

President Trump has made inflammatory statements against Muslims and imposed a ban on travel from several predominantly Muslim countries that was upheld by the Supreme Court in June. The election of two Muslim women in safely Democratic districts illustrates the divide between progressive Democrats and Republicans who support the administration.

Democratic candidate Rashida Tlaib celebrating her victory with her mother in Detroit.
Democratic candidate Rashida Tlaib celebrating her victory with her mother in Detroit. PHOTO:REBECCA COOK/REUTERS

Ms. Tlaib, 42, and Ms. Omar, 37, align with the left wing of the Democratic party, embracing a goal of extending Medicare health coverage to all Americans and increasing the minimum wage to $15.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 

Muslims Hope To ‘Wake Up’ At The Ballot Box This Year

gettyimages-977267058-edit_custom-e2e3877fb3c8ff8c01f82c1d405411efff5c3f22-s1600-c85On a recent Saturday afternoon in an office in St. Paul, Minn., a flurry of calls went out to Native American and Latinos voters reminding them to vote Nov. 6. And there was a new group added to the list: Muslims.

Until last year, ISAIAH, a multi-racial coalition of faith communities in Minnesota, was mostly made up of churches. Now, 24 mosques have joined the voter turnout effort. The group is focused on getting communities of color to vote this year in reaction to what it describes as politics of fear and a rise of white nationalism.

With Muslims and immigrants used as boogeymen in political rhetoric, Imam Asad Zaman, executive director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, said, getting his community to the ballot box is vital. Zaman is leading the local Muslim effort to get out the vote and has been a leader on political engagement in the community for more than 15 years.

And there are more Muslims now running for office, hoping to be part of a “blue wave.” In Minnesota, nine Muslims are on the ballot for state, federal and local offices.

FULL ARTICLE  FROM NPR 

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 

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