About Me

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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Recession sparks interest in Islamic finance

By Mark Tutton

LONDON, England (CNN) -- With irresponsible banking practices taking the blame for bringing about the global economic crisis, there has been a surge of interest in Islamic finance.

Islamic finance is estimated to be worth $700 billion and has been growing by 15 to 20 percent per year.

Islamic finance is estimated to be worth $700 billion and has been growing by 15 to 20 percent per year.

Now, a slew of academic courses are springing up to meet the demand of those wanting to break into an expanding market.

According to ratings agency Moody's, the global Islamic finance sector is worth $700 billion and has the potential to be worth $4 trillion.

What's more, the ethical principles underpinning Islamic finance are seen by some as offering a more sustainable alternative to profit-oriented conventional banking. The result is that academic institutions are lining up to offer formal training in the area.

Read full article

Who is scaring Americans and why?

The homeland security business is an over $200 billion profitable industry. That's quite tempting.

A recent report published by Americas Program Policy Report details the who is who behind this new industry and the shady role some former Bush administration officials are playing in it. The report, prepared by is linked at the bottom of this message.

Here is how this business works, in simple steps:

1. With the help of government officials or agencies, create or find an enemy, e.g. Al-Qaida terrorists or Saddam

2. Exaggerate the enemy's threat and promote deceptive claims; e.g. Saddam has WMD that can destroy America. The few hundred Al-Qaida terrorists are a threat to the world's democracies and especially to the world's most powerful nation (that's us)...

3. Demonize and dehumanize anyone that can be labeled as enemy; e.g. portray every Muslim or Islam as a threat and advance Islamophobia. Now the threat is no longer just a few hundred barefooted cave hiding radicals; it is 1.5 billion Muslims. That's scary.

4. Promote policies of paranoia and fear that lead to the justification of illegal practices; e.g. PATRIOT ACT, airport no-fly list, NSEERS, illegal detentions and torture (Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram), illegal surveillance and monitoring, invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan, ...

5. Convince (or collaborate with) government, law enforcement agencies, media and the private section to pay for the "speakers", "experts", "consultants", "programs", "trainings and seminars", "equipments" (such as at airports), mercenaries (such as Blackwater), weapons, services (such as Halliburton), construction of what we destroy in wars (such as Parsons, KBR, ...), informants, and others who will supposedly keep America safe.

6. In order for all those parasites to justify and keep their profitable jobs and benefits, they need to keep the cycle running. Therefore, the cycle returns with step 1, with a few degrees increase in intensity. (That's why those same crooks (e.g. Cheney) are accusing Obama of making America unsafe for refusing to be part of this fear mongering cycle. It is not America that the President is making unsafe, it is the job security of the false "National Security" industry that is being shaken and made unsafe.

To read the full report, click below:

Former Bush Security Chiefs Find Terrorism Obsession Can Be Profitable

By Tom Barry | August 25, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

"Arranged" - Movie trailer

A must watch movie.
For more info., read:

An orthodox Jew + a devout Muslim = a great movie

I am a bit slow in catching up with movies. I depend on others recommending good one for me to watch. I just can't believe that the movie "Arranged" never made it on my radar screen until a friend of mine, a devout Mormon, strongly recommended it to me during my recent trip to the LDS Church's HQ in Salt Lake city.

I took note of the title and promised that I will watch it. I finally got the chance to watch it with my family.

It is a great movie with lots of positive messages. Even my teenager kids liked it.

The film, released in December of 2007, tells the story of two young women, a devout Muslim and a devout Orthodox Jews whose parents are trying to arrange suitable husbands for each.

The story, though intentionally over-simplistic, takes us into the inspiring journey of the two seemingly different young and smart women as they become close friends and as they realize how similar their traditions are.

The film challenges stereotypes about Muslim-Jewish relations, religious families and communities, and arranged marriages. It also reminds us of the challenges all religious communities face in a predominately secular society. As a bonus, the film also helps humanize and explain Muslim families, fathers, and practices.

It is a clean movie that is suitable for the whole family. Rent it and watch it. Let me know what you think.

Click to watch a trailer


Here is a good review to read:

Film Review
Publish Post

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Directed by Stefan Schaefer, Diane Crespo
Film Movement 03/08 DVD/VHS Feature Film
Not Rated

Rochel Meshenberg (Zoe Lister-Jones) is about to begin teaching special education at a public school in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. She is an Orthodox Jew of marriage age, and her parents are very excited about finding her a husband through a matchmaker. They are convinced that this process will be an adventure for her, "the most exciting time of her life." At school, she meets Nasira Khaldi (Francis Benhamou), another first-year teacher who is a Muslim woman of Syrian descent. Her parents have also begun to look for a husband for her.

Rochel and Nasira's supervisor, Principal Jacoby (Marcia Jean Kurtz) is a secular Jew who is saddened to see these two bright and attractive women dressing so conservatively and subjecting themselves to what she views as an outmoded and repressive patriarchal system. For example, she suggests that Nasira's wearing of a headscarf actually gets her more attention, which "defeats the purpose." Although she claims to want only the best for the two teachers, her criticism seems highly inappropriate to Rochel and Nasira, who start a friendship.

In the classroom, the kids question whether they hate each other since they have heard that the Muslims want to get rid of Jews. Rochel designs a unity circle exercise in order to help the students better appreciate differences and the benefits of choice and community. When Rochel invites Nasira to her home to work on a school project, her mother gets very upset. She worries about what the neighbors will say about her daughter having a Muslim friend and even if it might affect her prospects for getting a husband.

Rochel begins meeting men suggested by the matchmaker, but they are either too shy or too self-absorbed. She tells her mother that she'd rather wait than marry one of them. She even visits a cousin who left the Orthodox tradition for her own brand of freedom. Invited to "step into the world and see how it feels" by going to a party, Rochel tries to fit in but she feels extremely uncomfortable with the liquor, the drug use, and couples necking.

Nasira has an easier time getting rid of a suitor who is a middle-aged acquaintance of her father. She believes that she will meet a suitable husband according to God's will and besides, she knows the tradition of arranged marriage works since her father and mother are a good example.

Arranged is one of the most spiritually literate films of the year. Directed by Stefan Schaefer and Diane Crespo, it is carried into our hearts by two radiant performances by Zoe Lister-Jones and Francis Benhamou as Rochel and Nasira. It is a delight to see a film that celebrates the integrity and zeal of two deeply religious women as they question tradition but in the end discover they can support it as a path with meaning. This is the kind of small independent film that often gets lost in the shuffle of big releases. Make time to experience this rare religious drama that salutes the free choices of an Orthodox Jew and a Muslim as they create a deep friendship at a crucial juncture in their lives.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Who needs another crusade? Commenting on the "Palestinian child brides" fabricated story

Over the last few weeks, I received a steady stream of emails from friendly and not-so-friendly people forwarding to me a story about "Palestinians" and/or "Muslims" holding a recent mass wedding in Gaza in which 450 men were supposedly married to young girls, mostly under 8 or 9 years old.

The stories were written by "reliable" sources of truth and fairness such as blogs and sites with names like "The Last Crusade" (operated by a Paul L. Williams, Ph.D.; since he has a Ph.D., he must know it all), Israelforum.com, infidelsarecool.com, grouchyconservativepundits.com, and infidel bloggers alliance.

Almost all of the sites show a photo of very young girls walking alongside older grooms. Of course, the claim is that those little girls holding flowers are themselves the brides. Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of weddings in that part of the world knows that those girls are the flower girls who typically are the little sisters, nieces or cousins of the grooms.

Outraged about the hateful and false blog stories on this mass wedding, Tim Marshall, Sky News Foreign Affairs Editor, who covered that wedding, wrote an article on the Sky News blog. In his post, "Islamophobia. Ignorance Or Propaganda", Marshall wrote, "the party is for 450 grooms, the brides are elsewhere, some among the 5,000 or so guests. It's the way things are done here." "Dozens, and I mean dozens, of websites took the video of the event and wrote lurid stories about Hamas mass paedophilia with headlines about '450 child brides', and endless copy about how disgusting this was, how it showed how depraved Islam is, et al, ad infinitum. Site after site jumped on the story, linking from one totally wrong load of rubbish to the next," he added.

"...some people want to believe nonsense like this, as it re-inforces their prejudices," Marshall concluded.

I have to say that it was not very wise for the wedding organizers to set up the visual of the grooms walking to the stage with their young sisters and nieces.

In this day and age, they should have known that there are enough sick-minded perverts or hateful bigots who will use such photos to demonize Palestinians and Muslims.

And it sure is happening. Now every bigot (and their uncle) who wishes to justify and promote his or her bigotry is writing about how vicious, inhumane, evil, and monstrous Muslims and Palestinians are. And their evidence for that is the photos of those "poor little brides."

At first, I did not believe that there was a need for me to respond to such Islamophobic propaganda. I was wrong. Many people continue to allow themselves to be gullible victims of such hatred.

It is obvious that the purpose of this concerted and manufactured distraction - the hateful "wedding story" - is to demonize and dehumanize Palestinians in order to justify and distract from Israel's brutal occupation, apartheid wall, humiliating checkpoints, illegal building of settlements, and inhumane siege on the Palestinian people.

Next time, do me a favor - when you receive an email forward from "The Last Crusade" or any of their hateful partners making a case for how demonic those heathen and infidel Muslims are, please reply to all recipients of that message explaining how wrong and ungodly it is to hate, defame, and spread lies.

How about we start a new "crusade" against bigotry?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ayloush: Enough with the fear mongering - Washington Times

LETTER TO EDITOR: Enough with the fear mongering - Washington Times

President Obama is correct. In fighting against al Qaeda-like terrorism, we are combating violent criminals who try to hide behind religion in order to justify their views and actions ("It's not over until it's over," Letters, Thursday). We must not fall into the trap of those terrorists by legitimizing their false claims to the religion of Islam. Labeling them "Islamic" is the best PR gift we can hand to them as they try to recruit disenfranchised young people.

Abortion-clinic bombers and al Qaeda murderers are not Christian or Islamic murderers, respectively. They are murderers and criminals who must be stopped and punished, regardless of which Scripture they twist to rationalize their hatred and violence.

I am not surprised to read that Zuhdi Jasser, a longtime darling of the neoconservatives, is unhappy with the Obama administration's decision to retire the neocons' fear-mongering rhetoric and terminologies. Extremists on both sides -- the neocons and al Qaeda -- need each other's rhetoric of fear in order to justify their views and raison d'etre. However, the rest of us are tired of both sides' destructive behavior.

Executive director, Los Angeles Office
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Anaheim, Calif.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Will the Wiesenthal Center Do the Right Thing About the Museum of Tolerance

Will the Wiesenthal Center Do the Right Thing About the Museum of Tolerance

by Sheila Musaji

This month another 300 Muslim graves were dug up from the Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem where the Simon Wiesenthal Center is building a “Museum of Tolerance”. According to the Palestine Centre for Human Rights, the skeletons removed from these graves were dumped into one mass grave...

Ayloush and So. Calif. Muslim leaders visit LDS/Mormon Headquarters

Meeting of the faiths at Utah Church sites
Muslim, Catholic leaders' tour includes temple open house
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Mike Terry, Deseret News
Listening to orientation during Muslim leaders' tour of the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple are, from left, Steve F. Gilliland, Hussam Ayloush, Hedab El Tarifi, Judy Gilliland, Nancy and Kent P. Jackson, Shakeel Syed and Kalim Farooki.

Joining the throngs of visitors to Temple Square were leaders of Muslim and Catholic faiths from Southern California on July 15-17. They were escorted by Steve and Judy Gilliland of the Church's Los Angeles Public Affairs Council and hosted by Church public affairs in Salt Lake City.

Overall impressions of their visit included a general admiration for the Church's humanitarian services and the commitment of its members.

Brother and Sister Gilliland said the trip was planned to coincide with the open house of the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple so the visitors, after touring it, could have a deeper understanding of why members of the Church are so committed to faith, families and serving others.

"It gave them a better understanding of 'why,' " Sister Gilliland said. She added, "We have great respect for the interfaith leaders [in Southern California]."

The two-day tour also included visits to BYU, Welfare Square and the LDS Humanitarian Center.

The visitors all said they enjoyed their time in Utah and were grateful for the kindness and hospitality of those they met.

"It has certainly been a very exciting and inspiring two days," said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Southern California Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "I will certainly go back to our Muslim community in the Los Angeles area and share the success story and achievement that I've noticed here." He said he hopes that will solidify a partnership for good between the members of the two religions.

Of the commitment and faith he noticed, he said, "It reminds us that there are bigger things in life than our own selves, and that is to serve God. And we serve God by serving mankind. I certainly saw that in practice with every person we met here."

Kalim Farooki, treasurer of the Shura Council of Southern California and chairman of the Islamic Society of Corona/Norco, said what he observed at Welfare Square and the LDS Humanitarian Center "shows the result of teamwork, commitment and organization."

The commitment of volunteers also impressed him. He said, "When I went to the [Oquirrh Mountain] temple, I noticed there were hundreds of volunteers. All knew what they were doing and had smiling faces."

At the end of her visit, Hedab El Tarifi, vice chairwoman of the Muslim Public Affairs Council National Board of Directors and executive secretary of the Board of the Islamic Center of Southern California, said, "Now I can actually answer questions if I hear certain comments about the Mormons." She said it would give her greater ability to defend the Church from attacks as she would hope its members would similarly defend her faith from attacks.

"I certainly appreciated the visit to the temple," she said. "Not just the beautiful building itself, but understanding the spiritual activities and practices that the [members] do in the temple. To me, that was new knowledge."

Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, spoke of the commitment of Church members in serving others. He said that welfare systems should be run as the Church runs its, "not in a patronizing way, but in the spirit of serving people in humility and with grace."

The Catholic visitors arrived a day after the Muslim group, but followed the same basic itinerary...

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