On Terry Jones’ plan to protest Muslims in Dearborn

Controversial fringe pastor Terry Jones has announced that he’s coming to Dearborn, Michigan to protest Islam outside of the Islamic Center of America on April 22.

Jones, who recently oversaw the burning of the Qur’an at this church this past Sunday, shepherds a small congregation of approximately 50  persons.  May G-d guide those souls, who follow such a leader!

The reality is that Jones, who received international media coverage prior to aborting his “Burn the Koran Day” stunt on the anniversary of 9/11, is merely seeking attention.  Hence, this is why all major Muslim organizations in America and in Florida ignored his recent stunt in which the Qur’an was burned in his church.

The irony about Jones and the Qur’an burning is that it is customary for Muslims to burn the Qur’an as a way of discarding a copy that has page(s) missing or has typographical errors.  Jones is simply discarding the book the same way that Muslims do!

Anyone, who would attack Jones or place a bounty on his head is misguided.  There is no doubt about that.  Jones, however, is himself misguided if he thinks he’s going to eradicate the spirit or practice of Islam in Metro Detroit by pulling such a stunt.  In fact, he’s bringing attention to Islam that will attract more people to learn about it, which may cause some to change their religion.

If Jones wants to have a private conversation for a day in Metro Detroit about Islam and the Qur’an away from the cameras, I’m more than welcome to engage him in such.

Kamal Saleem’s ‘Ex-terrorist’ Story Does Not Add Up

So-called "ex-terrorist" Kamal Saleem

http://www.themuslimwatch.com/2011/03/kamal-saleems-ex-terrorist-story-does.html

Kamal Saleem is one of a number of Middle Eastern faces, who is currently profiting off of the cottage industry of Islamophobia with his “ex-terrorist” turned holy roller road show.

Saleem claims to be from a Lebanese Sunni Muslim family, which is a descendant of the “Grand Wazir of Islam,” and that he was a terrorist with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).  Furthermore, Saleem states that his terrorism affiliation with the PLO inspired by Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood ended after receiving the “Holy Ghost” and accepting Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him) in his life.  Saleem’s story like his other wannabe “ex-terrorist” comrades, however, just does not add up.

For starters as author Chris Hedges points out, there is no such title as the “Grand Wazir of Islam.” Saleem’s “Grand Wazir” lineage claim is also bizarre due to the fact that the adjective “grand” would not be used in front of the term wazir (advisor) to begin with. Even the title “Grand Wazir” was not bestowed upon Aaron (Peace Be Upon Him), who was a prophet and the wazir of Moses (Peace Be Upon Him) according to the Qur’an!

It’s also very interesting that Saleem claims to have been a terrorist inspired by Islam as a member of the secular, Marxist influenced PLO, whose long time executive committee member and long time spokeswoman, Hanan Ashrawi, was a Christian.  Saleem wants us to believe that Ashrawi, George Habash and the countless others from Christian backgrounds in the secular PLO were also inspired by Islam as he claims was his “terrorist” motive in dealing with the pesky problem of illegal Israeli occupation.

Furthermore the Muslim Brotherhood, who Saleem claims he had dual affiliation with, was averse to the secular, Marxist leaning PLO during the time that he claimed to have been a member.  In fact, it is also well known that the Muslim Brotherhood inspired Hamas was supported by Israel to be an “Islamist” counter to the secular PLO/Fatah. To this day, Hamas and the PLO have been at odds with each other to the point of killing each other in the streets of Palestine in recent years.  Hence, Saleem’s claim of being an “Islamist” terrorist in the PLO while having felicity to the Muslim Brotherhood is utterly preposterous.

The reality is that Saleem has made a nice career for himself collecting honorariums, writing a book and getting exposure from the hyper-Islamophobic Aramaic Broadcasting Network (ABN) since the tragedy of 9/11. If he were indeed an “ex-terrorist,” I’m sure that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would have deported him by now for fraud because people with terrorism ties cannot get entry visas much less obtain American citizenship.  And the FBI does not simply let “ex-terrorists” walk the streets because they claim to have received the “Holy Ghost” without detaining them for questioning.  Changing idelogies does not absolve persons under American law from terrorism ties that they admit to.

The unfortunate part about Saleem’s bogus career is not his snake oil peddling but that there are so many individuals who do not care about the truth and lack intellectual honest that provide him a platform.

Crazy Qadhafi, No-Fly Zone & Foreign Policy Hypocrisy

After the United Nations Security Council’s recent vote in favor of using force including implementing a No-Fly Zone (NFZ) in Libya, Tomahawk missiles (112 of them with the price tag of $1 Million per missile) were fired from U.S. Navy and British Naval vessels yesterday.

 

Though I know that Qaddafi has been a supporter of terrorism and has stirred up trouble throughout Africa by arming rebel groups and I believe that a NFZ should be implemented to protect Libyan civilians, I have two fundamental issues with our involvement in this matter.

 

The first is that France, Britain and America, with America carying the bulk, made a strategic error in being the first countries to enforce the NFZ and to use weapons of mass destruction in Libya. It would have been more prudent if Western nations played a supporting role by allowing Muslim countries to have been the first to use military force. Turkey, for instance, is a member of NATO and had the capacity to have been among the first nations to enforce the NFZ. Given Western nations’ roles in being involved in military operations in Muslim countries, which hold vital strategic importance and/or are oil producing countries fed right into Qadhafi’s (Al-Qaeda’s also) talk points of “crusaders” attacking Libya for its oil. Did we forget that quickly about what happen in Iraq and the terrorism that was fomented against Western nations as a consequence of military action? Not wise at all.

 

The next point is that the rational for intervention to protect civilians against the criminal Qadhafi shows the hypocrisy of American foreign policy. Our intervention is based upon American self interests not giving a damn about innocent civilians dying at the hands of a dictator or during a civil war. We didn’t take action in the Democractic Republic of the Congo, which was engulfed the biggest bloodbath in recent history since the time of Adolf Hitler because they have been our “partner.” More recently, there has been protests against the bogus regime in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), protest which started before Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, in which civilians continue to be brutally killed. It appears that we use the excuse of saving precious lives not for humanity’s sake but as an excuse to intervene when dictators are deemed to be replaced (“regime change”) and if they have a precious resource that Western nations’ economies depend on. In comparing Libya with Cote d’Ivoire, it’s evident that intervening in a land where oil is its most precious commodity is more important than intervening in a nation where coco beans are the largest export.

 

As the African Union (AU) has called for immediate halting of firing weapons of mass destruction by Western powers in Libya, I hope that America does not make the foolish decision to send ground troops into Libya. At the end of the day with all of the prognosticating that many are doing behind the safety of their laptops or on Al-Jazeera, the Libyan people are the ones, who are truly suffering right now. We can only pray that civilians deaths will be minimal in light of Qadhafi’s actions and the weapons being used by Western nations that will undoubtedly kill innocent civilians (so-called collateral damage.)

 

Ann Arbor synagogue vigils against Israeli occupation debated

http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Community&article=4013

Ann Arbor synagogue vigils against Israeli occupation debated

By Nick Meyer
Saturday, 03.19.2011, 08:55am

Since 2001, Henry Herskovitz and his friends from the Jewish Witnesses for Peace organization have held peaceful demonstrations in Ann Arbor to spread awareness about Israel’s inhumane, internationally illegal occupation and alleged war crimes against Palestinians.
Herskovitz and his group have also held peaceful weekly protests at Beth Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor each Saturday for the last seven years, pledging to stop in exchange for the synagogue’s removal of the Israeli flag inside. A prayer is also said for Israel at the synagogue as well, according to Herskovitz.

The vigils were debated at a January discussion titled “Can I Get Some Respect? Flashpoints and Controversies On Religious Freedom,” at the Ann Arbor Public Library, during which Imam Dawud Walid of the Masjid Wali Muhammad in Detroit, who is also the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan, was quoted in the Washtenaw Jewish News as saying that he denounced the vigils.

Walid referred to numerous incidents of harassment suffered by Muslim congregations around the country as part of the reasoning behind his denunciation of the synagogue vigils.

“We at CAIR-MI have expressed numerous times throughout the year our issues with people protesting in front of mosques on our most holy day and even badgering children,” Walid said in an interview last week.

“We’d be hypocrites to say it’s not civil in front of mosques yet to endorse it taking place at other houses of worship.”

Walid said that he and his group stand behind Palestine but not the methods of the demonstrators in Ann Arbor. He said that a member of JWP told him only a few others had joined their vigils over the years.

“We believe in the First Amendment and we are definitely against the illegal occupation by the Israeli regime of Arab lands, however there’s a time and place for everything and it would not be fitting for us as Muslims to protest in front of Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath day, there’s nothing in the example of Muhammad and the imams of his household to justify such behavior.”

Herskovitz said that it was “unfortunate” that Walid made the remarks and said that approximately 9 out of 10 people passing by support their message. He said many people in the area have expressed that they are “tired of paying for Israeli crimes with U.S. tax dollars.”

He also said that the synagogue has funded programs that sent kids to Israel to pose with armed soldiers in military vehicles and have shown their support for Israeli military actions against Arab countries in other ways.

Herskovitz added that he believed the numerous hate-filled protests in front of mosques and other Islamic events came about for different reasons.

“I think he’s talking about misinterpretations of Islam and it’s highly regrettable that people would use those misconceptions to launch a protest in front of a mosque. I am aware of the rise of Islamophobia and I find it highly regrettable,” he said.

“I would say that if a mosque was a Zionist mosque, as strange as that may sound, I would certainly not attack a group for protesting in front of such a mosque; we have protested in front of Zionist churches and synagogues before.”

Walid said he believes that other forms of protest would be more effective.

“For activists regarding the Palestinian issue my sincere advice is that they need to start thinking about the long-term good instead of things that make them feel good, that’s the fundamental issue at hand.”

Herskovitz said he believes the vigils have been effective, however.

“I have heard (criticism) for seven years and during that time I have yet to see a tactic that is as effective politically and media-wise that matches our vigils; if I were shown a better way I would do it,” he said.