- Hussam Ayloush
- 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
Saturday, July 31, 2010
1:26 pm July 30, 2010
I am deeply disappointed by the Anti-Defamation League, a group which was founded to fight vicious bigotry and religious intolerance, specifically that against Jews.
The venerable organization has now made common cause with the bigots and demagogues who are fighting plans by a group of New York Muslims to build a community near (not at) Ground Zero. The ADL’s statement is careful in its wording, acknowledging that the Cordoba Initiative has the “right” to build near the site of the Twin Towers...
What is not right is for the ADL to join with those who smear all Muslims as somehow associated with suicidal jihadists. That’s the very definition of prejudice.
As a Christian, I want nothing to do with murders like Scott Roeder, who killed a Kansas abortion doctor and claimed he did it in God’s name. If anyone associated my Christianity with his, I’d be quite offended. But the ADL has joined with those who associate all Muslims with the 9/11 wackos...
"It is shocking that a group claiming to seek 'justice and fair treatment for all' would side with those engaged in one of the most egregious Islamophobic smear campaigns in recent memory," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We ask the ADL to reconsider and retract this ill-considered and divisive statement. With its shameful statement, the ADL is exploiting and fueling the rising level of anti-Islam sentiment in our society."
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Ibrahim Hooper, spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): "We're seeing opposition to mosques nationwide. You're seeing oppositions not only to the Manhattan mosque, there's opposition to a Staten Island, New York mosque, a Brooklyn mosque. We're seeing opposition to mosques in Tennessee, Illinois and California."
Hooper contends it is much bigger than the "ground zero mosque" and that the fear of Islam is much greater, especially since the recent failed December bombing in Detroit.
Gordon argued that there are already "a hundred mosques in New York City" and that the ground zero mosque is a tower being built by foreign money. He likened it to Muslims building a mosque in Jerusalem and further argued that Muslims build mosques in cities they have conquered, using the historical examples of Constantinople and Jerusalem. Gordon also contended that the mosque will create an unsafe environment for New Yorkers.
Hooper called Gordon's arguments nonsense and pandering. A poll of Manhattan residents showed that the city favors the mosque, argued Hooper. He further stated that there was no evidence of a threat or risk to New Yorkers because of the mosque.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
From the Washington Post
PHOENIX -- A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona's immigration law from taking effect, delivering a last-minute victory to opponents of the crackdown.
The overall law will still take effect Thursday, but without the provisions that angered opponents - including sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.
The judge also put on hold parts of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places. In addition, the judge blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants...
Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) supports our universal human rights of freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and freedom of worship for ALL people — without exception. We reject protests against houses of worship. We reject violence and attacks on houses of worship.
But across America today, an anti-Islam movement of intolerance continues to grow against Muslim mosques. Coast-to-coast, north and south, this movement is growing across the nation. In California, in Tennessee, in Florida, in Wisconsin, and in New York (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island), groups of people are being organized to protest the building and expansion of Muslim mosques. In New York City, thousands have turned out for calls against the freedom of worship to build a mosque. In Tennessee, 600 have turned out in opposition to a mosques’ expansion, and Tennesseans have started marching in the street against a Muslim mosque in Murfreesboro. More opposition to mosques is growing in Chicago, Antioch, Tennessee, and other parts of America...
A major leader in the coast-to-coast mosque protest movement is the Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) group, founded by a European group Stop Islamization of Europe (SIOE) that focuses on protests against mosques in UK and Europe. SIOE has been criticized by moderate, pro-freedom groups such as British Muslims for Secular Democracy (BMSD). In May 2010, the SIOE protests against a mosque in Denmark attracted Neo-Nazi supporters, until photographs were taken of a Danish group’s Nazi swastika banner and the SIOE sought to pull the swastika flag down and dismissed them from the protest. The motto of the European group SIOE is that “Islamophobia is the height of common sense.”...
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Boston-based writer and activist
Posted: July 26, 2010
Imagine a fairly widespread, fairly mainstream ethos in which politicians, pundits, and academics convened to denigrate practitioners of Christianity or Judaism. Imagine that these commentators picked apart the New or Old Testament to find its most heinous contents, then used those phrases to justify their hatred and distrust. Imagine a world in which this was utterly acceptable, even encouraged. Now turn on your television.
The debate over the proposed Muslim community center near Ground Zero and the more recent community mobilization against a Muslim group's attempted purchase of a vacant convent in Staten Island are indicative of the unhealthy Islamophobia that has taken root in right-wing American politics. Far from being a fact-based movement, its leaders and thinkers propagate falsehoods and myths towards the discriminatory goal of silencing Muslims in America.
This type of race and religion-baiting politics is not at all new. The tactics and orientation of those opposing Muslim-American institutions bring to mind what Richard Hofstadter called "the paranoid style in American politics." Hofstadter, writing in 1964, described the hallmarks of this style: "heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy."
The idea that a vast Muslim conspiracy exists to take over the United States and Europe from within is simply ridiculous. Yet it serves as the grounds for their opposition to the freedom of American Muslims to practice their religion in their own communities, such as Staten Island.
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By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
July 28, 2010
A loosely organized protest planned this week over a proposed new mosque in Temecula whose organizers urged demonstrators to bring their dogs was sharply denounced by a Southern California Islamic organization Tuesday.
Organizers of the rally, to be held outside the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley during prayers Friday, appear to be associated with a southwest Riverside County political group affiliated with the "tea party" movement. In anonymous e-mails and website postings, organizers encouraged protesters to bring their dogs — considered an insult to Muslims.
"Opposing the rights of certain Americans to freely practice religion is not only shameful and immoral, but unconstitutional," said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Greater Los Angeles Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "I am confident that our fellow Americans from all faith backgrounds will join us in rejecting such KKK tactics of intolerance, bigotry and intimidation.''
The call for demonstrators to bring dogs was a purposeful effort to "cause offense," Ayloush said, because many Muslims believe that the saliva of dogs is impure and invalidates Islamic rituals performed before prayer.
The protest comes as the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley moves ahead with plans to build a 24,943-square-foot mosque on a vacant, four-acre plot in the southeast portion of Temecula. The proposal has stirred some hostility in the mostly conservative community in Riverside County, with opponents saying they fear the mosque will bring unwanted traffic and noise, as well as attract Islamic extremists....
Blanton said it's possible that the organizers could be local tea party members holding the rally on their own. She said the grassroots political movement by design lacks the formality and bureaucracy of a political party: "We're not even an organization. We're loose. It's the coming together of Americans," she said.
Diana Serafin, 59, an organizer for a tea party chapter in the neighboring city of Murrieta, also said her organization was not connected to the rally — but said she plans to attend...
Serafin said she has no problems with people of other races, religions or creeds, but feels that Muslims are amassing a "political movement" that would destroy the fabric of American ideals and values.
Leaders of the Temecula Islamic Center said they have been dismayed by the reaction because the organization has been in the city for more than a decade.
"It's their right to protest and we have the right to exercise freedom of religion too. It's surprising to see something like this happen in 2010," said Hadi Nael, chairman of the Temecula Islamic center. "We're getting a lot of support from Jews and Christians and many others … Unfortunately, there are always a few people in society who are opposed to everything."...
Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
July 27, 2010
A Muslim-American advocacy group today condemned a planned protest outside a Temecula Islamic center that wants to build a mosque in the city...
An e-mail and a posting on the Southwest Riverside County Tea Party website criticizes Islam as a political movement seeking world domination. It also accuses Muslims of killing dogs and treating women as second-class citizens. The missive encourages protesters to bring their Bibles, flags and dogs.
The executive director of Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations denounced the protest in a news release.
"Californians of all faiths should repudiate those who would target a house of worship using tactics specifically designed to cause offense," Hussam Ayloush said. "National and state Tea Party leaders should explain why their movement has apparently deviated from its agenda on fiscal responsibility and limited government to the promotion of Islamophobia."
Dogs are used by Muslims for protection and hunting, but are not allowed in many Muslims' homes because they believe dogs' saliva inhibits pre-prayer cleansing rituals, Ayloush said...
Los Angeles Times
July 27, 2010
A group that plans to protest a proposed new mosque in Temecula by holding a rally outside the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley during Friday prayers was harshly denounced by a Southern California Islamic organization on Tuesday.
Organizers of the rally, which appears to be organized with a Southwest Riverside County political group affiliated with the "tea party" movement, encouraged protesters to bring their dogs -- considered an insult to Muslims.
“Californians of all faiths should repudiate those who would target a house of worship using tactics specifically designed to cause offense,’’ Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations for the Greater Los Angeles area, said in a statement released Tuesday.
An announcement for the protest earlier this month had been posted on the website of the southwest Riverside County chapter of “We the People -- Citizens in Action,” but the notice can no longer be found on the site.
On the website, the group states that one of its missions is to “return the local Tea Party Movement to the people.’’ The website calls the Islamic faith "a radically intolerant belief system that is incompatible with the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.’’...
Saturday, July 24, 2010
FOUNTAIN VALLEY- Schools in the Fountain Valley district will not change the way they portray Islamic history to 7th-graders.
After a long, contentious meeting Thursday night, a unanimous school board declined to go further with a proposal by Fountain Valley resident Steve Jackson that they provide supplemental material to the district's 7th grade social science textbook. Jackson contends the textbook shows a "totally positive view of Islam at the expense of accuracy."
After listening to 18 speakers on the matter, board members said they felt they didn't have the authority to determine whether supplementary material, which had not been state approved, could be used in district classrooms...
Jackson had proposed the materials written by Textbook Alert to be used in conjunction with the state-approved textbook, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourts' "World History: Medieval to Early Modern Times." The material specifically addresses a 55-page section of the textbook regarding Islamic history.
John Shipp, head varsity football coach at Fountain Valley High School, was the first to speak.
"I would like to remind you that many of the students who attend our schools are of the Muslim faith," he said. "Many Muslims have died fighting for this country... Are we now to demonstrate the same intolerance that the extremists demonstrate?"...Superintendent Marc Ecker addressed the crowd near the end of the meeting.
"Quite frankly, common sense rules today," he said. "Unfortunately what we witnessed today were people that would claim that they're models of this country, but forget what the tenets of the original constitution are based upon and that is the order of law and the appropriate process by which to resolve differences of opinions."
...Islamic activists have strongly objected to the supplementary materials. Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the material quoted from the Qur'an, but without context...
FOUNTAIN VALLEY - Several local activists say they plan to go to the Fountain Valley school board Thursday to ask for changes in social science textbooks they say have “cleansed'' portrayals of Islamic history.
Fountain Valley resident Steven A. Jackson is asking the board to consider the introduction of supplementary material to be used with the district's current seventh-grade social science textbook. He contends that editions of the books adopted for use in California present “a totally positive view of Islam at the expense of accuracy.”
“We expect schools to teach the truth,” said Jackson, 64, who had five children go through Fountain Valley schools...
Fountain Valley School Board Superintendent Marc Ecker said he did not believe any immediate action would be taken on Jackson's proposal. He said the board would most likely decide to put the item on a future agenda for discussion or dismiss it immediately.
“What they're objecting to is material in a state-adopted book,” he said. “It's a state-adopted book for a number of reasons… I can't imagine the board spending a great deal of time on (the resolution.)”
He said the textbook was read and reviewed by district parents before its acceptance...
The supplementary material, written by Textbook Alert, addresses a 55-page section of the textbook regarding Islamic history. Textbook Alert Director Sandra Alfonsi described the group as “an independent think tank” with experience reviewing textbooks...
Islamic activists strongly objected to the supplementary materials. Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the material quoted from the Qur'an, but without context.
“It's a very selective use of quotes and misquotes, inaccuracies and half-truths and outright lies,” he said. “It's very easy for people who have a hateful agenda to portray a group in a hateful way by cherry-picking from a religious group's history.”
Ecker said he does not think the board will make a decision in favor of the resolution in the near future, citing the fact that the supplemental curriculum has not been adopted by California Department of Education...
Mansuri said he believed the material was a reflection of what he called “polemical views.”
“It would be a real tragedy for polemical materials such as those preferred by this group to be considered to be on par with the consensus and high standards of education professionals throughout our nation who are striving to advance a more accurate, balanced and nuanced understanding of our shared world,'' he said...
Friday, July 23, 2010
By Matt Coker, Fri., Jul. 23 2010
UPDATE: Facing a crowd of about 100, the Fountain Valley School District Board of Trustees told anti-Islam activists to go pound sand . . . in Sacramento (see end of this post) . . .
Local members of a national group "concerned about" Muslim terrorists posing as Mexicans to illegally cross the southern U.S. border, the FBI discriminating against Jews and Christians who apply to be Arabic translators and "anti-American, anti-Christian and anti-Jewish hate speech in mosques in America" (among many, many issues) shifted their fury to the Fountain Valley school board Thursday night.
The book, approved by the state education department, gives "cleansed'' portrayals of Islamic history, according to the group.
They want additional pages dropped into the textbook that present what they consider to be the true story if Islam.
The Orange County Register's Ryan Mac covered the controversy before and after the meeting.
School district officials said going in the board would accept the proposal without acting on it before moving on with regular business.
"I can't imagine the board spending a great deal of time on [the resolution]," Marc Ecker, the district's superintendent, told Mac.
The educator noted the book was previously adopted by the state and cleared by a panel of district parents.
Ecker was already familiar with the rabble-rousers; ACT! for months blasted the district for leasing space to the nonprofit Institute of Religion and Civic Values.
The group's former name? The Council of Islamic Education.
Dunt-dunt-dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn . . .
Founded in 1990, the institute or council or whatever they want to call themselves has worked with educators, publishers and policymakers to provide perspective on world religions in educational material.
To ACT!, the group should call itself the Council of Islamic Revisionism.
Revisionism is also what some Islamic groups accuse ACT! of practicing--especially when it comes to that supplement the group wanted to add to the social science book.
Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Anaheim-based state office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), accused ACT! of misquotes, inaccuracies and cherry picking negative events to put his religion in the worst light possible.
Not that he was surprised.
"ACT! for America represents a small, but vocal, minority of extremists promoting anti-Muslim bigotry and religious disharmony around the country," Ayloush told the Weekly hours before Thursday night's meeting.
He noted that the group's founder, Brigitte Gabriel, has said that Muslims should not be allowed to hold public office, that an American Muslim "cannot be a loyal citizen," that Islam is the "real enemy," and that "every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim."
No wonder her group, besides the previously stated concerns, sounds the alarm about Islamic paramilitary camps operating on American soil, radical Muslims posing as refugees to enter the U.S. and the growing number of Madrassas (Islamic schools) in the U.S., many of which "frequently teach hatred of Christians, Jews, Americans, and non-Muslims."
But not before recess!
"Involving ACT! for America in educational material on Islam," Ayloush told us, "is akin to allowing the KKK to educate American students on the history of African Americans or Judaism."
The Reg predicted a heavy turnout.
UPDATE: The Reg was right, but Ecker was wrong about his citizen bosses not spending much time on the matter. The board item discussion dragged on and on before the trustees officially declined to pursue the ACT! proposal, telling the Islamaphobes to take their case to the state Department of Education. "Quite frankly, common sense rules today," Ecker reportedly told the crowd of mostly groaners near the end of the marathon. But the best quote came from John Shipp, head coach of Fountain Valley High School's varsity football team: "I would like to remind you that many of the students who attend our schools are of the Muslim faith. Many Muslims have died fighting for this country. . . . Are we now to demonstrate the same intolerance that the extremists demonstrate?"
Damn straight, you goddamn terrorist!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I am thankful that some people took the time to go through my blog. Thank you for doing that.
The 2010 Top Muslim Blog Award
A message from the awarding group:
This award highlights the very best blogs about the Muslim faith on the internet as selected by our judges, and is designed to thank the authors for their contribution toward the world wide web we all use & enjoy.
Awards candidates are selected using two methods:
- Audience nominations
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After a list of candidates is compiled they are each scored by our panel of 5 judges. Each judge rates each blog across 20 different attributes providing it with a ‘subjective’ score.
These ratings are combined into an aggregate, and the aggregates of the 5 judges are averaged to give the blog its final rating.
The ratings are then compared, and awards are given out to blogs in the 99% percentile (meaning the top 1% of blogs receive awards).
In his statement posted on his website, Gingrich stated in part:
"There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over...
America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could..."
No self deception.
The time to take a stand is now - at this site on this issue."
American Muslims are not some Saudi or other foreign citizens on a tourist or business visit to the US. We do not need to beg his highness Mr. Gingrich for our equal rights in our country. We are not second class citizens and we will not allow him or others to treat us as such.
The rights of all Americans, Muslims or of any other faith background, are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and do not depend on how other countries treat their citizens or visitors.
Gingrich is hypocritical for regularly claiming to be a defender of our country's constitution and values, when in reality he is among the first to disregard and violate our Constitution and the freedoms it grants to all Americans.
Shame on Gingrich for his bigotry and hypocrisy.
(Rumor has it that Gingrich might be running for president in 2012. I guess that explains his anti-Muslim bigotry; he is just soliciting Tea Party votes!!)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Islam promotes social justice, equality and the rights of workers. The Prophet Muhammad preached that no one is a true believer until they love for others what they love for themselves.
Given that our religious beliefs exhort us to help reduce the suffering of others, American Muslims support the call for comprehensive immigration reform that would, among other things, create a path to citizenship for immigrants earned through working, paying taxes and learning English; keep families intact; regulate wages and working conditions to protect workers from being exploited; and create measures that safeguard the labor rights of both immigrant and non-immigrant workers.
We have a broken immigration system: the fact that there are an estimated 11-12 million undocumented workers currently residing in the United States, reflects that reality. Providing people who are not engaged in criminal activity a chance to correct their status and live with dignity and respect is a first step in fixing our broken system. The last thing we need in America is to have over 12 million undocumented people living on the margins and being exposed to abuse, whether it is economic abuse, sexual exploitation or domestic violence. Our strength as a nation is derived from our compassion toward our most vulnerable members.
July 29 - August 1 is National Weekend of Prayer & Action for Immigrant Justice
Visit www.iwj.org to learn what you can be part of the struggle for justice immigrants.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Of course, Stewart could not address Islamophobia without bringing up such Islamophobes as Pipes, Emerson, Spencer, and Beck.
Jon Stewart is the king of political commentary that is relevant and intelligent.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Wish You Weren't Here|
Saturday, July 03, 2010
Great Falls, Montana
By ELIZABETH L. HARRISON Tribune Staff Writer • June 27, 2010
Part of Islamic teachings is mutual respect and acceptance, according to Hussam Ayloush, a speaker at the Islam in America symposium in Bozeman in February and a Muslim-American from Anaheim, Calif.
Some Muslims disagree with American policies, Ayloush said, but that doesn't mean they hate Americans. "There are lines by the thousands in Muslim countries for visas to come to America," he said. "People are proud to visit here. There's no shame — it's the opposite."
MSU Adjunct Professor Thomas Goltz has spent years traveling in Muslim countries. "I have never, not once, felt uncomfortable going around the Muslim world because they were Muslim," he said.
Professor of Islamic Civilization Mehrdad Kia said the Muslims on campus at the University of Montana have been nothing but grateful to America."One thing I can generalize is overwhelmingly they love this town and this university," he said. "This is the means through which they start a new life in their country."
...Ayloush explained that al-Qaida is so unwanted in Muslim countries the terrorist organization must hide. "Eight out of 10 victims (of al-Qaida) are Muslim," he said. "Every political leader has spoken out against (them)."...
Read full article.