Do All Republicans Hate Muslims? I Don’t Think So, Here’s Why…

2016-07-12-1468308759-6512953-FlowerPensinvase-thumbIn January friends of mine invited me to attend a silent protest at a Republican political rally. I’m not very politically active; my interests lie more in interfaith activities and building bridges between people who are different.

My friend enticed me to go because her main purpose was to take part in a silent protest against hate speech. That appealed to me because it seems that politics has become more about vilifying the other. Not just one’s opponent, but anyone who is different or holds a different opinion. That kind of rhetoric from anyone holding the microphone drives wedges between people, creating an environment of suspicion and hate towards anyone who is different.

As an American I feel that standing up against hate speech is in keeping with American ideals and something worth doing, so I decided to go. As a Muslim American who wears hijab I realized the rally would be an opportunity for me to make connections with people who had probably never met a Muslim before.

I was pleased to find attendees of the rally were welcoming. One lady actually said, “It’s really nice to see you here”. I didn’t feel anti Muslim sentiments from the people I encountered before the rally started. But by the time we stood in silent protest (there were about 8 of us) the crowd had been whipped into a frenzy by statements like, “Syrian refugees are ISIS supporters”, “they hate us”, “they are out to get us”.

When security noticed the 8 of us standing, silently protesting, they asked us to l leave. There were people in the crowd who shouted ridiculous things at us as we left, but for me, the most memorable thing was a woman who took my hand and said, “I’m so sorry this is happening”.

That woman and the rest of the welcoming attendees are the reason I don’t believe all Republicans hate Muslims. However, I know there is a great deal of false information out there about the religion of Islam and its followers which has caused some people to fear Muslims.

In order to ease some of those fears, God willing, I’m going to Cleveland during the Republican National Convention, July 18 – 21. I will try to connect with attendees of the convention in the hopes of having friendly interactions that will leave them with a positive image of Muslims and Islam.


ISIS singled out these American Muslims. So did this Ted Cruz adviser.

FrankGaffneyThe latest issue of Dabiq, the Islamic State’s propaganda magazine, publicized a hit list of prominent Muslims living in the West that it wants its proxies to target. The terrorist organization’s writers described these people as “politically active apostates,” a charge deserving of death in the minds of the extremists.

The list, says the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activity online, includes figures in the United States, Australia, Britain and Canada. Many are moderate clerics who have taken part in interfaith outreach and championed a peaceful Islam. Others are leading political strategists or advisers, who work or have worked within Western governments.

Some of the Americans in the Islamic State’s crosshairs include Huma Abedin, a senior aide to Hillary Clinton, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and diplomat Rashad Hussain.

The sad irony of this particular roll call is that it’s not just the jihadists who have it in for such respected Muslim Americans. A controversial foreign policy adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz, a potential Republican nominee for president, does, too.

Frank Gaffney has not called for the death of his domestic enemies. But as WorldViews noted last month, he has spent the better part of decade propagating conspiracy theories about an Islamist fifth column within the United States, poised to seize government institutions and bend the nation toward Islam.

These include attacks on Abedin, whom Gaffney has described as a “ticking time bomb” and repeatedly accused of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that Gaffney is convinced is primed to unleash “civilization jihad” in the United States through its well-heeled proxies.

Gaffney’s critics label him a bigot and an Islamophobe.

Speaking on MSNBC last month, Ellison described Gaffney as “one of the foremost haters,” who is nevertheless “treated like a legitimate political adviser.”

Hamza Yusuf, an influential cleric and scholar described in the latest Dabiq issue as “the pinnacle of apostasy in Americanist Islam,” went to the White House to consult with President George W. Bush in the days after the attacks on 9/11 and was mocked by some on the left as “Bush’s pet Muslim.”

An article in the New Republic in November 2001 reported that Gaffney, during a meeting of other conservatives, “questioned the presence of terrorist sympathizers at the White House.” He wrote an article highlighting the supposedly troubling ties between the Bush  administration and leading Muslim clerics, including Yusuf.


Trump is getting out the Muslim vote


(RNS) Salim Jaffer moved to the U.S. when he was 14 years old. His family, along with the rest of the Indian community, had been expelled from Uganda in 1972 under the violent dictator Idi Amin and sought a respite in America.

But he said he’s never felt in danger until this year.

“It’s as if someone is trying to take away my civil rights,” said Jaffer, a gastroenterologist living in Lansing, Michigan. “Donald Trump thinks we should stop immigration of Muslims coming into this country. Marco Rubio, he wants to close down mosques. Ted Cruz, he wants to see if ‘sand glows’ in Syria.”

That’s why Jaffer participated in his first-ever presidential primary last week (March 8), casting his vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. And it’s the reason he, a doctor who only superficially followed politics for most of his life, has just submitted paperwork to register a new nonprofit organization aimed at getting Midwestern Muslims to vote in November.

“From a Muslim standpoint, we’ve got to make sure we get somebody who is sympathetic to our cause and understands the sociology, the theology, the anthropology, and the history of Islam,” he said.

With Trump leading the Republican race, Muslim groups are launching voter registration drives in a push to ensure that the Islamophobic rhetoric of the election campaign is rejected at the polls.

“Anti-Muslim rhetoric is motivating Muslim Americans across the country to engage in the political process like never before,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress. “This is true in Minnesota, as well as in swing states like Virginia and Florida where Muslim Americans will play a critical role on Election Day.”

Almost three-quarters of Muslim voters plan to vote in state primaries this year, according to data from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“If you as a political candidate chose to spew hatred, bigotry, and to vilify Muslim Americans, you do so at your own political risk,” Altaf Husain, vice president of the Islamic Society of North America, said at a press conference in December. “We will use every democratic means and political strategy to ensure your candidacy never succeeds.”


There Is No “Other” America


the crowd goes wild

Taken at the 09/14 Donald Trump rally at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

“It is not American.”

That’s what most of my friends tell me when I tell them about the latest horrific comments made by Donald Trump, who at the moment appears to be heading towards being the Republican nominee for the highest office in the land. Even by the admittedly outrageous standards of Donald Trump, this seemed beyond the pale. Shooting Muslims by bullets dipped in pigs’ blood. This, not in an anonymous hate group website, but under the full glare of spotlights, from the mouth of the leading Presidential candidate, in a political rally.

This is America.

During a recent rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, Donald Trump talked about how he would protect Americans. To make his point, he told the story ofJohn Pershing, a U.S. general who took some 50 Muslims captive in the Philippines in the early 1900s:

“He took fifty bullets, and he dipped them in pig’s blood. And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the fiftieth person he said ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem, okay?”

As if the moral of the story was not clear enough, the GOP front-runnerreiterated the message for the mob crowd:

“We better start getting tough and we better start getting vigilant, and we better start using our heads or we’re not gonna have a country, folks.”

This is where we are as a nation. This is our America.



american muslimsNearly three-quarters of the nation’s Muslim voters intend to participate in primary elections this year and a large majority plan to support the Democratic Party, according to a new survey.

The survey, released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday, found that 74 percent of Muslim voters polled said they will be voting in upcoming primary elections, and 67 percent said they will vote for Democratic Party candidates. More than half of respondents said they’d vote for Hillary Clinton and 22 percent back Bernie Sanders. The survey was published hours before the Iowa caucuses.

When compared with the 17.3 percent of eligible American citizens who participated in statewide primaries for both parties in 2012—a record low—CAIR’s reported voter intention numbers seem remarkably high.

Despite Donald Trump’s plan to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.—an idea that a quarter of Americans agree with, according to a December poll by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal—seven percent of Muslim voters polled by CAIR said they’d vote for the real estate mogul to be the Republican nominee for president. Ted Cruz was the second-most-favored Republican candidate in the survey, at two percent, and overall less than 15 percent of Muslim voters said they’d vote for Republican Party candidates.

The number of Muslims who plan to vote in this year’s primary elections is higher than in the 2014 midterm elections, and “may be driven at least in part by concern over the rise in Islamophobia nationwide,” Robert McCaw, CAIR’S government affairs manager, said in a statement on Monday. Less than 70 percent of Muslim voters polled in 2014 said they planned to vote in that year’s midterm elections, said CAIR.

“Toxic political attacks from the Trump and [Dr. Ben] Carson campaigns are definitely driving interest” from Muslim voters to participate in the primaries, McCaw tells Newsweek by phone. He adds that not all people who say they plan to vote in the primaries will actually do so.


Iowans respond to Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering U.S.

GettyImages-493665342.0The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa has condemned statements Donald Trump made Monday calling for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

Trump, a Republican presidential candidate and businessman, said Monday the U.S. should not allow any Muslims to enter the country “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

“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 in a statement.

Connie Ryan Terrell, the executive director of the Interfaith Alliance, said Tuesday the group is “horrified and disappointed” by Trump’s comments.

“It is simply unacceptable for a candidate for the presidency to make such inflammatory statements that are based in bigotry and hatred about people for one religion,” Terrell said in a statement.

Democrat Ako Abdul Samad, an Iowa state representative and practicing Muslim, took to Facebook to express his own thoughts about Trump’s comment.

“Donald Trump’s bigoted words only divide people at a time when we need to be coming together and working as one country to protect and strengthen the ideals we hold dear as Americans,” Abdul Samad wrote. “As a practicing Muslim, and a proud American, I can tell you that the values of Islam are those of love, acceptance, and peace. We are as terrified, if not more terrified, by the terrorist attacks we’ve seen across the world. These violent acts in the name of Islam bastardize our religion–that is the fact.”


The GOP’s Planned Parenthood Hypocrisy 2016 Republican presidential candidates claim to oppose terrorism. They say they’re motivated not by pro-Christian or anti-Muslim bias, but by a consistent ethic of calling out and confronting religious violence. But their reactions to two recent incidents belie that claim. The first incident was the July 16 attack on military recruiters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, allegedly by a Muslim. The second is the Nov. 27 attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, allegedly by a Christian. In each case, little was known at the time of the shooting. Yet the candidates treated the two cases quite differently. In fact, after the Colorado Springs attack, several candidates completely reversed the positions they had espoused after Chattanooga. Radical Christianity, unlike radical Islam, was given a pass.

The day after the Chattanooga attack we knew a few things about the alleged gunman, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez. According to the New York Times, he was a naturalized U.S. citizen. He had been “born in Kuwait to Muslim Jordanian parents of Palestinian descent.” He had written online that Muslims should “submit to Allah.” He had never been on any list of terrorism suspects. And he was due to appear in court on a three-month-old drunk-driving charge. The Times reported that Abdulazeez had “made several trips to Jordan,” but the paper also cautioned that investigators hadn’t yet determined whether he was connected to or motivated by a terrorist organization.