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The reason progressive leftists like myself have such difficulty recognizing these aspects of Islamic revival movements, I think, owes in part to our profound disease with the appearance of religion outside of the private space of individualized belief. For those with well honed secular liberal and progressive sensibilities, the slightest eruption of religion into the public domain is frequently experienced as a dangerous affront, one that threatens to subject us to a normative morality dictated by mullahs and priests. This fear is accompanied by a deep self-assurance about the truth of the progressive secular imaginary, one that assumes that the life forms it offers are the best way out for these unenlightened souls, mired as they are in the spectral hopes that gods and prophets hold out to them. Within our secular epistemology, we tend to translate religious truth as force, a play of power that can be traced back to the machinations of economic and geopolitical interests.

I am certainly glossing over a number of different complications for the sake of brevity here, but what I want to communicate is the profound sense of dissatisfaction I have come to feel about my ability, as well as the ability of those I have shared a long trajectory of political struggle with, to understand how it is that the language of Islam has come to apprehend the aspirations of so many people around the Muslim world. I have come to question our conviction, however well intentioned, that other forms of human flourishing and life worlds are necessarily inferior to the solutions we have devised under the ban.. ner of “secular left” politics-as if there is a singularity of vision that unites us under this banner, or as if the politics we so proudly claim has not itself produced some spectacular human disasters. This self questioning does not mean that I have stopped struggling or fighting against the injustices-whether they pertain to issues of gender, ethnicity, class, or sexuality-that currently compound my social existence. What it does mean is that I have come to believe that a certain amount of self-scrutiny and skepticism is essential regarding the certainty of my own political commitments, when trying to understand the lives of others who do not necessarily share these commitments.

Saba Mahmood, The Politics of Piety

The reason progressive leftists like myself have such difficulty recognizing these aspects of Islamic revival movements, I think, owes in part to our profound disease with the appearance of religion outside of the private space of individualized belief. For those with well honed secular liberal and progressive sensibilities, the slightest eruption of religion into the public domain is frequently experienced as a dangerous affront, one that threatens to subject us to a normative morality dictated by mullahs and priests. This fear is accompanied by a deep self-assurance about the truth of the progressive secular imaginary, one that assumes that the life forms it offers are the best way out for these unenlightened souls, mired as they are in the spectral hopes that gods and prophets hold out to them. Within our secular epistemology, we tend to translate religious truth as force, a play of power that can be traced back to the machinations of economic and geopolitical interests.

I am certainly glossing over a number of different complications for the sake of brevity here, but what I want to communicate is the profound sense of dissatisfaction I have come to feel about my ability, as well as the ability of those I have shared a long trajectory of political struggle with, to understand how it is that the language of Islam has come to apprehend the aspirations of so many people around the Muslim world. I have come to question our conviction, however well intentioned, that other forms of human flourishing and life worlds are necessarily inferior to the solutions we have devised under the ban.. ner of “secular left” politics-as if there is a singularity of vision that unites us under this banner, or as if the politics we so proudly claim has not itself produced some spectacular human disasters. This self questioning does not mean that I have stopped struggling or fighting against the injustices-whether they pertain to issues of gender, ethnicity, class, or sexuality-that currently compound my social existence. What it does mean is that I have come to believe that a certain amount of self-scrutiny and skepticism is essential regarding the certainty of my own political commitments, when trying to understand the lives of others who do not necessarily share these commitments.

Saba Mahmood, The Politics of Piety

qalbesaleem:

Dalits According to the Quran?

A question arises: ‘Do the oppressed signify Muslims alone?’ Most Islamist groups the world over single out as beneficiaries of their multifarious projects as Muslims even in societies where there are weaker sections than Muslims

In the Quran, the word mus’taḍʿafīna (widely translated as ‘weak’ and ‘oppressed’) and its verbal derivative us’tuḍ’ʿifū and  is’taḍʿafūnī (be oppressed) occur 14 times. The chapters where these words are mentioned are 4 (al Nisa’-women); 7 (al A’araf-The Battlements); 8 (al Anfal-Booty); 28 (al Qasas-History); and 34 (Saba’-Sheba). In the historical narratives of the Quran, the word has been specifically used to describe the Mosaic society except in 8:26, where, according to Muhammad Asad, there is “a reference to the weakness of the believers in the early days of Islam, before their exodus from Mecca to Medina.’ Here, Asad says, ‘it is a reminder to every community of true believers, at all times, of their initial weakness and numerical insignificance and their subsequent growth in numbers and influence.’

As the weakness and powerlessness are not fixed attributes, but they wax and wane, ‘oppressor’ and ‘oppressed’ don’t remain the same. Those who are oppressed today can claim power in future and become oppressors. In the Mosaic tradition narrated in the Quran this transformation is clearly mentioned. The climax of Moses’ encounter with Pharaoh, the oppressor, is that God ‘caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the eastern regions of the land and the western ones, which we had blessed. And the good word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because of what they had patiently endured. And we destroyed all that Pharaoh and his people were producing and what they had been building.’ (7:137).  But, later, the same community of the oppressed whom the God made the inheritors of the earth came to be oppressors in their turn. When Moses came back after his Meeting with God with Revelations, he saw his people in open rebellion. He said, “How wretched is that by which you have replaced me after my departure. Were you impatient over the matter of your Lord?” And he threw down the tablets and seized his brother by [the hair of] his head, pulling him toward him. [Aaron] said, “O son of my mother, indeed the people oppressed me and were about to kill me, so let not the enemies rejoice over me and do not place me among the wrongdoing people.” (7:150)

In the context the Mosaic society, the Pharaoh ‘turned its inhabitants into diverse classes, holding a group among them to be weak’ (28:4)-the Quranic reference to feudalism. Here, God wanted to ‘establish the oppressed firmly on earth and to make Pharaoh and Haman and their troops witness at their hands what they once feared (28:5)’.  The Quran exhorts believers to fight ‘in the cause of Allah for the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, “Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?” (4:75).

A question arises: ‘Do the oppressed signify Muslims alone?’ Most Islamist groups the world over single out as beneficiaries of their multifarious projects as Muslims even in societies where there are weaker sections than Muslims. A friend of mine, who lectures in a professional college run by Muslim business tycoons, approached the administrators for scholarship for an Ezhava (belonging to the backward classes in India) student. He got disaapointed by the reply: only Muslims can benefit from the scholarship scheme in the college. Also, Muslims’ assistance and recognition of members from other communities is based on the latter’s potential for being Muslims. The fight that the Quran exhorts believers to undertake takes on the form of preaching Islam to others. They earnestly beg your help; and you tell them how far better you are than they in the sight of God.

This question has been brilliantly analyzed in Farid Esack’s Quran: Liberation and Pluralism where he examines the angle of liberation in the Exodus Paradigm of the Mosaic tradition in the context of the Apartheid in South Africa. Important themes in the Exodus paradigm, according to Farid Esack, are:

1, “Neither God nor Moses abandoned the Israelites before they reached the Promised Land despite their recalcitrance in kufr 2, an effective distinction was made in response to the Kufr of the Israelites and that of Pharaoh and his supporters…….4, During the period of slavery, Moses’ prophetic responsibility was essentially to act in solidarity with the Israelites, rather than to preach to them 5, Moses did not offer his people a balm to heal the wounds of oppression. Instead, he acted in solidarity with them in order to secure their liberation.” (Farid Essack, Quran: Liberation and Pluralism, An Islamic Perspective of Interreligious Solidarity against Oppression, Oneword Publications, page 196-7)

The chapter of the book where this analysis is done is titled ‘Redefining Comrades and Opponents’ which is crucial in our understanding and discussion of the oppressors and oppressed in the Quran. Essack says with reference to the situation in South Africa: ‘In South African liberatory discourse too, one finds distinctions made within the framework of the reinterpreted theological categories of Mu’min, Muslim and Kafir. While the progressive Islamists did not articulate these distinctions at a public level, it is evident that they refrained from using the term kafir to apply to the oppressed religious Other and withheld the appellation Muslim from the collaborating Muslim Self. Careful reflection in their rhetoric though reveals that all the Quranic vituperation against the kafir was reserved for, and unleashed against, the apartheid regime and all its supporters, irrespective of their formal religious affinities. On the other hand, all the texts consoling, encouraging and exhorting the mu’minun and the Muslimun were applied to the wronged, irrespective of their formal faith commitments, or even absence of them.’ (Ibid page 201-2)

In India, the communities who were oppressed in the theologically stipulated caste system which is similar to the feudalism exercised by Pharaoh are now categorized as the scheduled castes. There is concern among the activists who work for the oppressed group that this classification helps prevent people from embracing other faiths.  Once scheduled castes and scheduled tribes converts to Christianity and Islam, they will not be able to have the same benefits that they would have had, had they remained in the scheduled caste criterion. This means in theory that Muslims and Christians don’t hold people inferior by their birth, which several Muslim leaders claim with hauteur. In fact, among Indian Muslims and Christians, people in the lower strata are treated inferior in the same (if not worse) way than they are in the cast-ridden Hindu societies. So there is a just demand for using (reviving) the word Dalit to signify the oppressed. ‘Dalit’ is, under a minute observation, a translation of the Quranic mus’taḍʿafīn-a category which transcends religious and scared affiliations and denotes the victimhood out of the skewed categories of men.

I would prefer to read the etymology of the word ‘Dalit’ from the commentary of a noted Dalit scholar and rethink the divine verses on mus’taḍʿafīn from a new perspective: ‘Dalit is not a recently coined word. Many centuries ago, Kalidasa used the word in Sanskrit and Ezhuthachan in Malayalam. In Kalidasa’s Shakunthalam, Shakunthala, when she saw Dushyanda, pressed the petals of a flower and scratched them with her nails in a warm blush. The pressure exerted on the petals waxed and waned according to the fluctuations in her blushes. Kalidasa used the word ‘Dalit’ to denote the condition of those petals. Ezhutahachan called Arjuna, now battered and emaciated in the Mahabaratha battle, Dalit as in ‘Dalit-bodied Arjuna’. The use of the word to mean the oppressed is old, too. A working committee meeting of the National Congress in 1922, reflected on the condition of the Dalit and formed a committee for their emancipation. Arya Samajam leader Swami Shradhananda was elected the convener of the committee. When he resigned from the committee over its dismal performance, he submitted his papers where it was mentioned that he was the president of the Dalit Emancipatory Council’ based in Delhi (Complete Works of DR BR Ambedkar, Volume V, page 303). It means that the word Dalit was used in the beginning of the 20th century to mean the oppressed.” (Translated from Gandhi, Gandhism, Dalits, by Dalit Bandhu)

qalbesaleem:

Dalits According to the Quran?

A question arises: ‘Do the oppressed signify Muslims alone?’ Most Islamist groups the world over single out as beneficiaries of their multifarious projects as Muslims even in societies where there are weaker sections than Muslims

In the Quran, the word mus’taḍʿafīna (widely translated as ‘weak’ and ‘oppressed’) and its verbal derivative us’tuḍ’ʿifū and  is’taḍʿafūnī (be oppressed) occur 14 times. The chapters where these words are mentioned are 4 (al Nisa’-women); 7 (al A’araf-The Battlements); 8 (al Anfal-Booty); 28 (al Qasas-History); and 34 (Saba’-Sheba). In the historical narratives of the Quran, the word has been specifically used to describe the Mosaic society except in 8:26, where, according to Muhammad Asad, there is “a reference to the weakness of the believers in the early days of Islam, before their exodus from Mecca to Medina.’ Here, Asad says, ‘it is a reminder to every community of true believers, at all times, of their initial weakness and numerical insignificance and their subsequent growth in numbers and influence.’

As the weakness and powerlessness are not fixed attributes, but they wax and wane, ‘oppressor’ and ‘oppressed’ don’t remain the same. Those who are oppressed today can claim power in future and become oppressors. In the Mosaic tradition narrated in the Quran this transformation is clearly mentioned. The climax of Moses’ encounter with Pharaoh, the oppressor, is that God ‘caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the eastern regions of the land and the western ones, which we had blessed. And the good word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because of what they had patiently endured. And we destroyed all that Pharaoh and his people were producing and what they had been building.’ (7:137).  But, later, the same community of the oppressed whom the God made the inheritors of the earth came to be oppressors in their turn. When Moses came back after his Meeting with God with Revelations, he saw his people in open rebellion. He said, “How wretched is that by which you have replaced me after my departure. Were you impatient over the matter of your Lord?” And he threw down the tablets and seized his brother by [the hair of] his head, pulling him toward him. [Aaron] said, “O son of my mother, indeed the people oppressed me and were about to kill me, so let not the enemies rejoice over me and do not place me among the wrongdoing people.” (7:150)

In the context the Mosaic society, the Pharaoh ‘turned its inhabitants into diverse classes, holding a group among them to be weak’ (28:4)-the Quranic reference to feudalism. Here, God wanted to ‘establish the oppressed firmly on earth and to make Pharaoh and Haman and their troops witness at their hands what they once feared (28:5)’.  The Quran exhorts believers to fight ‘in the cause of Allah for the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, “Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?” (4:75).

A question arises: ‘Do the oppressed signify Muslims alone?’ Most Islamist groups the world over single out as beneficiaries of their multifarious projects as Muslims even in societies where there are weaker sections than Muslims. A friend of mine, who lectures in a professional college run by Muslim business tycoons, approached the administrators for scholarship for an Ezhava (belonging to the backward classes in India) student. He got disaapointed by the reply: only Muslims can benefit from the scholarship scheme in the college. Also, Muslims’ assistance and recognition of members from other communities is based on the latter’s potential for being Muslims. The fight that the Quran exhorts believers to undertake takes on the form of preaching Islam to others. They earnestly beg your help; and you tell them how far better you are than they in the sight of God.

This question has been brilliantly analyzed in Farid Esack’s Quran: Liberation and Pluralism where he examines the angle of liberation in the Exodus Paradigm of the Mosaic tradition in the context of the Apartheid in South Africa. Important themes in the Exodus paradigm, according to Farid Esack, are:

1, “Neither God nor Moses abandoned the Israelites before they reached the Promised Land despite their recalcitrance in kufr 2, an effective distinction was made in response to the Kufr of the Israelites and that of Pharaoh and his supporters…….4, During the period of slavery, Moses’ prophetic responsibility was essentially to act in solidarity with the Israelites, rather than to preach to them 5, Moses did not offer his people a balm to heal the wounds of oppression. Instead, he acted in solidarity with them in order to secure their liberation.” (Farid Essack, Quran: Liberation and Pluralism, An Islamic Perspective of Interreligious Solidarity against Oppression, Oneword Publications, page 196-7)

The chapter of the book where this analysis is done is titled ‘Redefining Comrades and Opponents’ which is crucial in our understanding and discussion of the oppressors and oppressed in the Quran. Essack says with reference to the situation in South Africa: ‘In South African liberatory discourse too, one finds distinctions made within the framework of the reinterpreted theological categories of Mu’min, Muslim and Kafir. While the progressive Islamists did not articulate these distinctions at a public level, it is evident that they refrained from using the term kafir to apply to the oppressed religious Other and withheld the appellation Muslim from the collaborating Muslim Self. Careful reflection in their rhetoric though reveals that all the Quranic vituperation against the kafir was reserved for, and unleashed against, the apartheid regime and all its supporters, irrespective of their formal religious affinities. On the other hand, all the texts consoling, encouraging and exhorting the mu’minun and the Muslimun were applied to the wronged, irrespective of their formal faith commitments, or even absence of them.’ (Ibid page 201-2)

In India, the communities who were oppressed in the theologically stipulated caste system which is similar to the feudalism exercised by Pharaoh are now categorized as the scheduled castes. There is concern among the activists who work for the oppressed group that this classification helps prevent people from embracing other faiths.  Once scheduled castes and scheduled tribes converts to Christianity and Islam, they will not be able to have the same benefits that they would have had, had they remained in the scheduled caste criterion. This means in theory that Muslims and Christians don’t hold people inferior by their birth, which several Muslim leaders claim with hauteur. In fact, among Indian Muslims and Christians, people in the lower strata are treated inferior in the same (if not worse) way than they are in the cast-ridden Hindu societies. So there is a just demand for using (reviving) the word Dalit to signify the oppressed. ‘Dalit’ is, under a minute observation, a translation of the Quranic mus’taḍʿafīn-a category which transcends religious and scared affiliations and denotes the victimhood out of the skewed categories of men.

I would prefer to read the etymology of the word ‘Dalit’ from the commentary of a noted Dalit scholar and rethink the divine verses on mus’taḍʿafīn from a new perspective: ‘Dalit is not a recently coined word. Many centuries ago, Kalidasa used the word in Sanskrit and Ezhuthachan in Malayalam. In Kalidasa’s Shakunthalam, Shakunthala, when she saw Dushyanda, pressed the petals of a flower and scratched them with her nails in a warm blush. The pressure exerted on the petals waxed and waned according to the fluctuations in her blushes. Kalidasa used the word ‘Dalit’ to denote the condition of those petals. Ezhutahachan called Arjuna, now battered and emaciated in the Mahabaratha battle, Dalit as in ‘Dalit-bodied Arjuna’. The use of the word to mean the oppressed is old, too. A working committee meeting of the National Congress in 1922, reflected on the condition of the Dalit and formed a committee for their emancipation. Arya Samajam leader Swami Shradhananda was elected the convener of the committee. When he resigned from the committee over its dismal performance, he submitted his papers where it was mentioned that he was the president of the Dalit Emancipatory Council’ based in Delhi (Complete Works of DR BR Ambedkar, Volume V, page 303). It means that the word Dalit was used in the beginning of the 20th century to mean the oppressed.” (Translated from Gandhi, Gandhism, Dalits, by Dalit Bandhu)

feministwomenofcolor:

I have spent the past hour and half trying to find magazines in the US for Arab or Muslim Women. So far, I have found nothing. Either the magazines are no longer produced or simply aren’t sold and distributed in America. When I did find some fashion magazines for Arab Women that were in English I was disappointed to find that all of the pictures used to talk about beauty tips, fashion and hair accessories were not only NOT Arab women but instead they opted to use generic pictures featuring white women. 

Case in point: here and here.

I’ve been dying to find some kind of representation of Arab women in magazines— something I could look at and resonate with on a personal level. Even if I’m not that into fashion I want to be able to say that I can buy a magazine and find women like me on the cover. No such luck. Very disheartening.  I’m going to go cry now.

faathima-dawood:

In reality, and in Islam, the rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of man, but they are not necessarily identical with them. Equality and sameness are two very different things. I think you’ll agree that, for one thing, women and men are physically very different from one another, although they are equal to each other in other important ways.

The rights of Muslim women were given to us by Allah (SWT), who is All-Compassionate, All-Merciful, All-Just, All-Unbiased, All-Knowing and Most Wise. These rights, which were granted to women more than 1400 years ago, and were taught by the perfect example of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), were given by the one Who created us and Who alone knows what rights are best for our female natures. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:

"O You who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at time of marriage) you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings
through it a great deal of good.” (An-Nisa 4:19)

The most basic right of a woman in Islam is the knowledge and recognition that she never has to ask or demand or fight for her rights which are guaranteed to her by Allah (SWT) Himself.

In the West, women may be doing the same job that men do, but their wages are often less. The rights of Western women in modern times were not created voluntarily, or out of kindness to the female. The modern Western woman reached her present position by force, and not through natural processes or mutual consent of Divine teachings. She had to force her way, and various circumstances aided her. Shortage of manpower during wars, pressure of economic needs and requirement of industry forced women to leave their homes to work, struggling for their livelihood, to appear equal to men. Whether all women are sincerely pleased with these circumstances, and whether they are happy and satisfied with the results, is a different matter. But the fact remains that whatever rights modern Western women have, they fall short of those of her Muslim counterpart! Islam has given woman what duties her female nature. It gives her full security and protects her against becoming what Western modern women themselves complain against: *being a “mere sex object.”*

aworldoficecream:

One of the things that I dislike so much about our desi culture is the twisted understanding of who constitutes a mehram, or a complete lack of understanding thereof. Your cousins are NOT your mehrams. “But we grew up together. He’s like my older/little brother!” No, he’s not. Who are you trying to delude? Your dad’s or mom’s cousin whom you call ‘chacha’ or ‘mamu’ are not your mehrams like your dad’s and mom’s real brothers. Your maternal and paternal aunt’s husbands are not your mehrams. Your dad’s best friend who treats you like his own daughter doesn’t become a mehram like your dad either. Don’t let him pat your head. Oh, and the big one, your brother in laws are NOT your mehrams even if they are “temporarily” haram for you in marriage. You are supposed to do hijab in front of him. This one annoys me the most, especially because of all the cheap desi jokes associated with being a “saali” (wife’s sister) and stupid traditions rampant in our society, mostly adopted from Hindu culture (eg: holding your brother-in-law’s little finger while coercing him to give out money to all the bride’s sisters during the wedding). These are acts of fahsha, indecency and have no room in Islam. All these non-mehrams in our immediate family and social circle are just as much non-mehrams for us as the random stranger walking down the street. In fact, we should be most cautious around them when it comes to preserving our modesty and observing hijab since our interaction with them happens more frequently, and there is greater room for fitnah and for Shaytan to cause us to slip. Allah swt has clearly laid down the injunctions in Quran about how to guard our modesty and who constitutes a mehram. Ignorance is no excuse.

“Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.” Surah Nur, 30-31.

thelittlekneesofbees:

There’s a new petition taking off on Change.org, and we think you might be interested in signing it:

Investigate alleged discrimination against Muslim family at this Shreveport, LA franchise

Sign Kutibh’s Petition

Subway: Investigate the hate-crime that occurred against a Muslim family at your franchise owned by Rep. John Fleming

Started by: Kutibh, Burlington, Vermont

For a family to be denied service and be forcibly locked out of a restaurant in the 21st century because of their faith is not only unacceptable, but harmful to the fabric of our society and a flagrant hate-crime.

“Mohammad Husain and his wife were looking for a bite to eat and a nice place to relax when they stopped in last month at a Shreveport, La. Subway owned by Rep. John Fleming (R-LA). But that visit soon turned turbulent, Husain told TPM recently, when he found himself locked out of the Subway franchise and his wife locked inside with an employee telling them they were not welcome there because they were Muslim.” - TPM

It is unacceptable to see this type of discrimination committed against two innocent Americans trying to have a typical family meal at a Subway. Even more inexcusable is Subway’s unwillingness to investigate the hate-crime. The Shreveport Police Department also has yet to return calls to investigate the situation even after Mohammad Husain had called 911 after his wife was locked inside the restaurant. Instead, he was patted down and searched by the officer as if he was a suspected terrorist. We demand that both Subway and the Shreveport Police Department as well as Rep. John Fleming who own’s this Subway franchise investigate the incident and issue respective reprimands to the employees involved.

See: 

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Muslim-says-restaurant-discriminated-against-him-4083401.php

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/12/john_fleming_muslim_subway.php

http://www.ktbs.com/news/Muslim-man-claims-discrimination-from-local-Subway/-/144844/17616930/-/15balp8/-/index.html

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/12/04/1283251/gop-congressmans-restaurant-accused-of-turning-away-muslim-couple/?mobile=nc

1. Please sign the petition to send a message that this is unacceptable behavior from their employees, and to demand that an investigation be started

2. File a Complaint with Subway by calling 800-888-4848

3. Demand the Shreveport Police Department begin an investigation by calling (318) 673-7300

Click here to sign Kutibh’s petition, “Subway: Investigate the hate-crime that occurred against a Muslim family at your franchise owned by Rep. John Fleming”.

You can also check out other popular petitions on Change.org by clicking here.

Steve Klein, the California ex-marine identified as a consultant for the anti-Islam film that apparently triggered violent protests in northern Africa and the Middle East, is finally seeing the fruits of his labor.

The Vietnam veteran, who says Muslims have “no choice but to hunt Jews and Christians down, torture us and murder us,” has been pushing Coptic Christians to join his anti-Muslim crusade for years. A hard-line Christian nationalist who conducts paramilitary trainings with Christian groups across the country, he believes that Copts have a divine destiny to “save” America from the twin evils of secularism and Islam.

In an undated essay titled “Why are you here in America” Klein compared secularism to an oppressive Islamist regime and said God guided Copts to America to help the country reclaim its supposed Christian roots.

“The Revolution was fought for YOU. So you could flee oppression and YOU could share the wisdom of your ancestors to improve this land,” Klein wrote in the essay, which appears on an anti-Muslim online “ministry” called “The Pen Vs. The Sword.”

Last year, he spoke to a group of influential Missouri pastors and Christian-right activists, urging them to increase their militancy against Islam. And together with Nasralla, he seems to have breathed new life and a new sense of purpose into Gary Cass’ Christian Anti-Defamation Coalition, a gay-bashing Christian-right organization that has recently expanded its efforts to include anti-Muslim activism.

Last year, Klein, Nasralla and Cass collaborated on a “911 Defend Students Campaign,” which consisted mainly of leafleting California schools with literature portraying the Prophet Mohammad as a sex-crazed pedophile

“When Muslims get power they subjugate all other religions,” Nasrallah said in a press release published jointly with Cass and Klein. “They follow the example of Mohammad who demanded that non-Muslims convert, pay onerous taxes to Muslims, or be killed. Islamic ideology is a threat to religious liberty everywhere and our children must be warned so they never have to endure what I’ve experienced.”

read full

(via praxis-makesperfect-deactivated)

(via jayaprada)

feministrobot:

[Trigger Warning: linked article has descriptions of sexual assault.]

pushinghoopswithsticks:

“We both realized they had been trying to set us up. So they didn’t have anything on us. They came for her early in the morning, too. They didn’t detain her parents, they just detained her. Tashnuba and I were then trying to figure out what was going on, what they were going to do, if they were going to release us.That’s when a lady walked in. She said, “What are you guys in for? We said, “We don’t know.” “I hear you guys did something.” “What did we do?” We were asking her for information. She said, “We’re going to take you to Pennsylvania.Tashnuba and I looked at each other, like, Pennsylvania? I said, “What are we goingto do in Pennsylvania? She answered, “They didn’t tell you? There’s a detention center there.”

Click the photo to read the rest of one 16 year old’s harrowing account of being, in effect kidnapped, and detained for months by FBI agents with no cause, no explanation and no legal recourse. Excerpted from Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post 9/11 Justice 

(via feministrobot-deactivated201203)