Radical Rabbis Gone Wild In The Holy Land

The New York Times ran a story today of a radical rabbi referring to President Obama as a racial slur in Hebrew and calling him an “Arab” as defiant occupiers violate international law in establishing illegal outposts in the West Bank.

The “progressive” Israeli paper Haaretz also reported that another radical rabbi called President Obama a “racist” simply because he has stated that Israel must cease building outposts that violate international law and United Nations resolutions.

Iranian backed Press TV just broke a story that more than 200 Israeli zealots stormed Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (the 3rd most holy site in Al-Islam) in Jerusalem to commemorate the destruction of the Temple of Solomon.

CAIR Questions Legality of FBI’s ‘Cruel Trick’ on Suspect’s Family

CAIR Questions Legality of FBI’s ‘Cruel Trick’ on Suspect’s Family

Family was told father and sons injured in car crash, fake doctor arrests wife at hospital

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/29/2009) ­ A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today questioned the constitutionality of what it termed a “cruel trick” played by the FBI on the family of a terrorism suspect arrested earlier this week in North Carolina.

Family members told the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that the FBI allegedly sent an informant in the case to the family’s home falsely claiming that the father and three sons had been injured in a car accident and then had a fake “doctor” arrest the wife at the hospital.

As reported by the Raleigh News & Observer:

“[The wife of the suspect] described a harrowing experience Monday afternoon when she answered the door to find a man she thought was a family friend wearing a shirt that appeared to be bloodied. He told her that Daniel and their three sons, Dylan, Noah and Zakariya, were in a serious car crash. He asked her to get into a Highway Patrol cruiser that would take her to Duke Hospital, where they were being treated.

“Boyd summoned her daughter and pregnant daughter-in-law. They wrapped their heads in scarves, grabbed their Qurans and flew out the door. For [the wife], it was a particularly painful experience. Her 16-year-old son, Luqman, died in a car crash near their home in 2007.

“When they arrived at Duke Hospital, the cruiser took them to a construction site at the rear of the facility. A man dressed as a doctor came out and asked whether she was the wife. When she said yes, he extended his hand. She told him she does not shake men’s hands. He then grabbed her wrist and handcuffed her.
“’I’m not a doctor. I’m an agent and your family is not in the hospital,’ he told her. ‘You’re being detained, and you need to cooperate with us.’

“[The wife] estimates she was then surrounded by 30 agents who frisked her and asked whether she had weapons or weapons of mass destruction.”

SEE: Wife of N.C. Terrorism Suspect Describes Elaborate Police Ruse (News & Observer)
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/nation/story/72639.html

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:

“As a matter or principle, American Muslims repudiate terrorism in all its forms and support our nation’s safety and security.

“Whether the suspects in this case are guilty or innocent – and everyone has the right to the presumption of innocence – the cruel trick reportedly used by the FBI in the detention and questioning of the family members shocks the conscience of anyone who values constitutional rights and due process of law.

“By falsely claiming that the father and sons had been injured in a car crash and thereby inducing the wife and other family members to get into a police vehicle, law enforcement authorities were in effect depriving those detained of their rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, which guarantee that an individual is not deprived of liberty without due process of law, is secure in their home and free from both unreasonable search and seizure and self-incrimination.

“I respectfully request that the U.S. Department of Justice investigate this incident to determine when and if the family members were informed of their constitutional rights, whether there was an arrest warrant for the female family members or a search warrant for the family home and whether the cruel trick used to detain and question the family members is in fact permissible conduct for federal or state law enforcement authorities. The entire episode could have been avoided by having properly-identified law enforcement authorities seek to interview the family members in their home, after informing them of their constitutional rights.

“As you know, the protections of the Fifth Amendment grow out of the historical use of coercion and torture to extract confessions. I believe any reasonable person would conclude that the tactic allegedly used in this case amounts to psychological torture, particularly given the fact that one of the family’s sons was killed in a car accident two years earlier.

“An unfortunate byproduct of such incidents is a decrease in the Muslim community’s trust of legitimate law enforcement conduct. In another case recently reported to CAIR, law enforcement authorities in Virginia allegedly falsely claimed to be firefighters evacuating an apartment building in order to draw a Muslim from his home to facilitate his arrest.

“In June, you committed to ‘using criminal and civil rights laws to protect Muslim Americans.’

[SEE: Statement of Attorney General Eric Holder on Department of Justice’s Outreach and Enforcement Efforts to Protect American Muslims]
http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/speeches/2009/ag-speech-090604.html

“I respectfully ask that you demonstrate that commitment by investigating this disturbing incident and taking appropriate action based on the results of that investigation. No American should be subjected to such apparently unconstitutional law enforcement tactics, no matter what charges their family members face.”

In March, a coalition of major national Muslim organizations announced that it is considering suspending outreach relations with the FBI, citing incidents in which American mosques and Muslim groups have been targeted. The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT) also called on the FBI to reassess the use of informants as agent provocateurs within the Muslim community.

SEE: U.S. Muslim Coalition Considers Suspending Relations with FBI
http://tinyurl.com/dj4hpf

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787 or 202-341-4171, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com

See why American Muslims can’t fully trust the FBI

A portion of an article that hit today regarding the 7 people arrested on North Carolina on terrorism charges.

***
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/nation/story/72639.html

Boyd, whose family lives in the Johnston County community of Willow
Spring, described a harrowing experience Monday afternoon when she
answered the door to find a man she thought was a family friend
wearing a shirt that appeared to be bloodied. He told her that Daniel
and their three sons, Dylan, Noah and Zakariya, were in a serious car
crash. He asked her to get into a Highway Patrol cruiser that would
take her to Duke Hospital, where they were being treated.

Boyd summoned her daughter and pregnant daughter-in-law. They wrapped
their heads in scarves, grabbed their Qurans and flew out the door.
For Boyd, it was a particularly painful experience. Her 16-year-old
son, Luqman, died in a car crash near their home in 2007.

When they arrived at Duke Hospital, the cruiser took them to a
construction site at the rear of the facility. A man dressed as a
doctor came out and asked whether she was the wife. When she said
yes, he extended his hand. She told him she does not shake men’s
hands. He then grabbed her wrist and handcuffed her.

“I’m not a doctor. I’m an agent and your family is not in the
hospital,” he told her. “You’re being detained, and you need to
cooperate with us.”

***

http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=128066&catid=57

Terrorism Case Triggers Skepticism Among Triad Muslims

Greensboro, NC — Terrorism arrests are stirring skepticism in the Muslim community. One local Islamic leader questions whether the FBI has a case against eight indicted suspects.

Wajeh Muhammad is a Palestine native who became a U.S. citizen thirty years ago. The engineer says that’s also how long he’s lived in the Triad.

He insists he’s proof Muslims don’t get a fair shake in this country. A frequent traveler, he says he gets knots in his stomach every time he’s at an airport because he gets questioned and detained so often.

“Because my last name is Muhammad,” he says, “people will stop me, because I have an accent, because I have a beard.”

It’s part of the reason for his skepticism of the FBI. He doesn’t believe the charges against North Carolina men accused of preparing for violent jihad. He questions whether the feds can actually back up what indictment documents show.

“Give me the proof that these people were planning this and I will be the first one to throw the stone at them,” says Muhammad.

He says news of the arrests troubled his wife so much she refused to even venture out to the grocery store on Tuesday.

Muhammad says she wears traditional Islamic clothing, and didn’t want to attract attention.

Audio from conference in Mali

Imam Dawud Walid with Imam Mahamadou Diallo, Pres. of AMPS

Imam Dawud Walid with Imam Mahamadou Diallo, Pres. of AMPS

Some audio from the 2nd Association of Malian Peace & Tolerance (AMPS) Conference in Bamako, Mali on July 18, 2009:

Interfaith Tolerance & Cooperation Panel from American delegation (Only partial audio. I’m the first speaker, and MSU Professor Emine Evered is the second speaker).

Brother from the Tijaniyyah Sufi Order reciting Salat Al-Fatih and praising Prophet Muhammad (SAAS)

Al-Qasidah Al-Burdah

Closing prayers for conference (I give the last supplication).

Abolish torture without exceptions

Iraqi torture victim

Iraqi torture victim

http://www.detnews.com/article/20090728/OPINION01/907280320/1008/Abolish-torture-without-exceptions

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Faith and policy

Abolish torture without exceptions

The Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Imam Dawud Walid and Rabbi Robert Dobrusin

The recently released White House legal torture memos call us as religious leaders to speak out against torture.

The memos authorize slamming detainees into walls, placing them in “cramped confinement” in coffin-like boxes and placing insects in the confinement box. The memos say “the use of waterboarding (a form of simulated drowning) constitutes a threat of imminent death.” Nevertheless, they authorize its use.

These practices violate core teachings of our different traditions, as well as the U.S. Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

As religious leaders, our primary concerns are moral and spiritual, but we are also concerned about the practical issues of torture.

Some people support torture, believing that it will make them safe. Torture will not keep us safe. It puts us more at risk.

Torture does not provide sound intelligence, and there are more reliable ways to get information. Brad Garrett, the former FBI special agent who repeatedly obtained uncoerced confessions from terrorist suspects, explains “If we want the intel, there are approaches that will render the information without torture.”

What’s worse, torture puts U.S. citizens and Americans abroad at greater risk. As 38 retired military leaders, including two former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explain, “If degradation, humiliation, physical and mental brutalization of prisoners is decriminalized or considered permissible … we will forfeit all credible objections should such barbaric practices be inflicted upon American prisoners.”

We need to face the truth about U.S.-sponsored torture. That is why we call for an impartial, nonpartisan Commission of Inquiry to study to what extent our interrogation practices have constituted torture and “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

Likewise, the United States must hold itself to the same standards that we expect of other countries. It is shameful that the torture memos authorize practices that the memos themselves admit the State Department condemns in other countries.

In the face of this double standard, we support “Golden Rule” to prohibit any treatment of detainees that we would not accept for U.S. detainees. This simple teaching we instill in our children is also a sound basis for our government.

There are often divisions between religious groups and conflict between religious and secular groups. Opposition to torture is an issue that unites. More than 25,000 people of all faiths have signed the National Religious Campaign Against Torture’s “Statement of Conscience” calling for America to “abolish torture now — without exceptions.” They stand with secular groups such as Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Torture does not make our country or the world safer. It puts us at greater danger. Moreover, torture is wrong. Now is the time to investigate and to legislate. Now is the time to end torture forever.

The Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs is bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, Imam Dawud Walid is executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations-Michigan and Robert Dobrusin is an Ann Arbor rabbi.

A few interesting observations of Mali

Imam Dawud Walid with Timbuktu Shaykh

Imam Dawud Walid with Timbuktu Shaykh

After just returning after 10 days in various cities in Mali meeting many scholars, community activists and government officials, I have enough info to write a small book about the trip.

However, I’d like to present some small, mundane observations that may cause you to chuckle or raise your eyebrows.

1) Most Malians thought that I was an Arab, not African-American.  “Ya Arab” and “Arabu” seemed like my name in the markets.

2) Villages that don’t even have running water and electricity had merchants selling Lil Wayne posters, youth were wearing 2Pac and 50 Cent t-shirts and buses passing through had pictures of President Obama on them and/or American flags.

3) I didn’t see one overtly pregnant woman on the streets of any city or village (culturally taboo).

4) Motor bikes are the primary transportation in Mali.  Ever seen 4 people ride a motor bike before or see a woman riding a motor bike holding a basket on her head before?!

5) I only saw 2 bookstores after traveling in 4 major cities (not what I expected from the land of the mythical Sankore’ University).

6) Despite mass poverty, I did not hear a single complaint about the living conditions in Mali from anyone I talked with.

7) At night in Mopti, young boys stand in the middle of the streets and walk down them reciting the Qur’an.  I’ve never seen this in any Muslim country before!

G-d willing, I will write in depth regarding the state of interfaith & intertribal relations, the current effects of colonalism and outside economic interests in Mali and the influence of outside Muslim countries in Mali regarding funding of religious schools and mosques.