Thursday, September 17, 2015

Silicon Valley Opposes Islamophobia: Celebrates Texas Teen Ahmed

A 14-year-old Muslim teenager Ahmed Mohammad was arrested in Texas when he showed his teacher a clock he had built at home. The teacher mistook the student's invention for a bomb and called in the police who handcuffed the Sudanese-American teen and escorted him down the hallway, out the school building and to a juvenile detention center.

The incident was highlighted by the Council on American Islamic Relations, a American Muslim Civil Rights group, as another egregious manifestation of anti-Muslim bigotry that prevails in many parts of the United States.

There has been significant outpouring of support for Ahmed since the incident came to light. President Barack Obama invited Ahmed to the White House via a tweet that said: "Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great". It was followed by a tweet from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton that said: "Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe—they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building.

Many top Silicon Valley technology executives also took to the social media to support Ahmed. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg weighed in, inviting the Texas teen to visit the tech giant's Menlo Park campus. Google invited Mohamed to its annual youth science fair in Mountain View this weekend. And Box CEO Aaron Levie also extended an invitation. Twitter has also extended an invitation to Mohammad to visit its office in San Francisco.  Popular twitter hashtag #IStandWithAhmed in support of Ahmed Mohamad has been trending for several days now.

Some elite US schools, including Harvard and MIT, have invited Ahmed Mohamad to visit their campuses.

Would this story have found much traction without the social media? I doubt it. It was the growing power of the new media that led to the teen's release from custody on Wednesday after 2 days of detention.  During this time, he was elevated to the status of an American folk hero.

As we celebrate the meteoric rise of Ahmed Mohammad to celebrity status, we must not forget the long history of bigotry and violence against natives and minorities in this country. Even President Obama has been a frequent target of racists. Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump's vicious attacks on Mexican immigrants and his rapid rise in the national polls is an indication that racial and religious bigotry remain alive and well in the United States. We must support organizations such as CAIR and ACLU that stand against this tide to assure implementation of the Bill of Rights for all Americans, including women and minorities. We must also make use of social media to highlight social problems that are spun or left uncovered by the mainstream commercial media.

Watch this video apparently posted by Islamophobes on Obama's religion:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xbqw2t_obama-admits-he-is-a-muslim_news



https://youtu.be/eMk__PWjoSk




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Free Speech and Islamophobia industry

Silicon Valley Pakistanis

Saudi Prince Funding Hate Against Muslims in America? 

King's Hypocrisy

FBI Entrapping Young Muslims in Phony Terror Plots?

I'm Not Charlie; I'm Ahmed

30 comments:

Ali said...

He showed it to his science teacher first, which was okay, then took it to the English class and set up a timer to go off in the middle of it, which was not okay. Why do you suppose he did that, and what were the teachers supposed to do with his actions?

Riaz Haq said...

Ali: "He showed it to his science teacher first, which was okay, then took it to the English class and set up a timer to go off in the middle of it, which was not okay. Why do you suppose he did that, and what were the teachers supposed to do with his actions?"

Are you suggesting it's an arrest-able offense?

Would he have been handcuffed and sent to jail if his name was not Ahmed Mohamad?

Ramesh said...

You might thank ISIS for that as they have repeatedly told that lone wolfs would bring terror in USA. Just like muslims love to say that violent and abhorrent verses of word of god aka Quran has a context, this too has a context.

Ravi Krishna said...

"Would he have been handcuffed and sent to jail if his name was not Ahmed Mohamad?"

You obviously don't read.

"Police reacted to the possibility of a bomb threat by arresting the 14-year-old. They took the handcuffed youth to juvenile detention. However, the boy’s reaction to police questioning may not have helped to clear his name sooner. Officers described Mohamed as “passive aggressive” in his responses to their questions and did not have a “reasonable answer” to explain the situation while investigators said the student told them it was just a clock he was tinkering with as a project, according to the Dallas Morning News."

Riaz Haq said...

Ramesh and Ravi:

Your comments are a clear giveaway that you are both Hindu Nationalists who are just as hatful as the Islamophobes in Texas.

You'd probably a different view if you faced a similar situation that has been faced by brown-skin Hindus and turban-wearing Sikhs in America.

http://pluralism.org/reports/view/629

Riaz Haq said...

Harassment, punishment in school doesn't end with Ahmed #IStandWithAhmed by @mathewrodriguez #Islamophobia http://mic.com/articles/125446/meet-the-muslim-students-who-have-been-harassed-at-school-for-less-than-a-clock …


"In middle school, I was physically grabbed by a security guard and dragged across the lunch room," Talia, a 20-year-old Muslim college student from Queens, New York, told Mic. Not knowing which door to use, Talia (who did not disclose her last name because of her undocumented status) entered her middle school cafeteria through the wrong door for the second time. "He just grabbed me, dragged me across the lunchroom and took me to the other side. Nobody said anything," she said.

Talia never reported the incident, to avoid interaction with authorities. "You're supposed to do what authority tells you to do and as an undocumented person, I've always been taught to stay safe, put your head down, go to school and don't push back or anything," she said.

Talia is not alone. According to a 2006 report from Desis Rising Up and Moving, 26% of South Asian students are afraid to give any kind of personal information to authorities and among South Asian non-U.S. citizens, the number is 34%. The report, "Education Not Deportation," details South Asian students' experiences in New York City schools.

Talia is a youth leader at DRUM, a community-based organization that organizes working-class South Asian adults and youth around issues of racial and educational justice in Jackson Heights, a neighborhood in Queens.

Rishi Singh, educational justice organizer at DRUM, told Mic that Talia's stories reflect an increasing tension in New York City's public schools — and nationwide — since the adoption of controversial zero-tolerance policies.

"I think all students, particularly students of color, they don't feel like their school is a school, they feel like it's a jail," he told Mic. "They feel they've done something wrong every time they go through scanning in the morning."

Many New York City school students, including the Muslim students who spoke to Mic, must pass through a metal detector every day, which the New York Civil Liberties Union called "a potential flashpoint of confrontation between [school safety officers] and students," in a 2013 report on the school-to-prison pipeline.

"Every time I would walk through, I would get wanded," Talia said. Over time, she knew to point out to security guards where the metal pins were under her hijab, though that wasn't always sufficient. She was once asked to go to the bathroom to have her hijab inspected. The only female police officer available to search her was a sergeant carrying a gun.

"I was like, 'I'm not taking off my hijab, I'm not doing it,'" she said. They ended up giving her a rougher-than-usual inspection. "They were feeling my hijab, grabbing my hijab and my hair. I refused to go to the bathroom with the sergeant."

------------

DRUM's 2006 report found that 85% of South Asian students surveyed reported harassment by school or police authorities. Thirty-one percent said their harassment was due to actual or perceived race or ethnicity, while 29% felt it was due to actual or perceived religion and 17% felt the harassment was because of their immigration status.

For Singh and other DRUM leaders, this means that school's approach to justice must be reframed as restorative, rather than punitive, meaning infractions would not pile up and push students out of school. Singh hopes that schools can embrace a model where parties involved in confrontation can confront each other to find common ground.

r_sundar said...

It was gut wrenching to watch the photo of the innocent kid handcuffed, and without a doubt would not have happened if he was not a Muslim.
Islamophobia in the US is real, and only has increased drastically since 9/11 & for rightfully so. It is only human tendency to err on the side of caution, than getting blown up, and this incident is an unfortunate side effect of the mindset.
But how can you change the mindset of the populace?
It can only happen if the Muslims in the US can show unity and portray themselves (consistently in action- not just words/rallies) fact that US comes first, then being a Muslim. But even if the majority are true patriots, there are enough bad apples to rot the entire lot.

Riaz Haq said...

sundar: "But even if the majority are true patriots, there are enough bad apples to rot the entire lot."

Using you logic, let me ask you the following:

1. Should all white people be suspected as mass shooters until all mass shootings stop?

2. Should all blacks be considered criminal suspects until all blacks stop committing crimes?

3. Should all Hindus be considered Muslim mass killers until all Muslim killings stop in India?

4. How far will you take such stereotyping?

r_sundar said...

I am not stereotyping. I am referring to the stereotyping done by the general public against Muslims here in the US, and how you can play a part in alleviating. Simply stating "stop stereotyping" without follow up in action is not going to solve the problem.

Stereotyping in an intrinsic form of human behavior, and usually there is some truth behind it.


>>> 1. Should all white people be suspected as mass shooters until all mass shootings stop?
Whites form 70% of the population of the US. For the population, whites involved in mass murder is abysmal. Abysmal enough from being stereotyped.

>>>> 2. Should all blacks be considered criminal suspects until all blacks stop committing crimes?
Sad to say, black commit crimes disproportionate to their population ratio. Bet, you will not dare venturing in to parts of Oakland & Richmond at night.

>>>> 3. Should all Hindus be considered Muslim mass killers until all Muslim killings stop in India?
Totally irrelevant to this discussion.

>>>> 4. How far will you take such stereotyping?

Again I am not stereotyping. I am pointing out the cause of being stereotyped by others.
I have many Muslim friends, and believe it or not, some have said that being a Muslim comes before anything, even being an US citizen. That's were the problem starts ....

Riaz Haq said...

sundar: "Again I am not stereotyping. I am pointing out the cause of being stereotyped by others."

Blaming the victims is the oldest trick in history.

sundar: " some have said that being a Muslim comes before anything, even being an US citizen. That's were the problem starts ...."

And you don't that's true of many Americans? Have you heard about Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis who claims to answer to a higher Divine law than the US Constitution?

r_sundar said...

>>> Blaming the victims is the oldest trick in history

Who is blaming the victim? The victim has got itself an appointment with the president.

Saying "Blaming the victims is the oldest trick in history" is perhaps the oldest trick to avoid tackling the problem, and passing the blame on others.

I am not cordoning Kim Davis behavior. She got punished for it (just like the Muslim Air hostess who failed to serve alcohol in flight).

I rest from this discussion.


Riaz Haq said...

sundar: "The victim has got itself an appointment with the president."

Ahmed is just one of many victims. Most get little media coverage.

sundar: " She got punished for it "

Kim Davis also became a conservative Republicans hero in the process with millions supporting her actions, including several presidential candidates.

Syed Qasim Abbas said...

All in all I have found Americans as not racist,I find more racism in Hindus then the white folks I have met for the last 35 years in USA

Internet Hindu said...

@Syed

A Syed said it, so got to be true, right? Aren't Syed suppose to be direct descendants of Prophet Mo.

And Riaz sahib will always allow such comments to be posted, while blocking almost all comments from Hindus. Appreciate it.

BTW today RAW did it again.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/09/18/pakistani-taliban-down-but-not-out/

r_sundar said...


Syed, In the many years I have been in the US, I have never felt any need to be Racist towards any Muslim or for that fact, against anyone; and I have many Muslim friends here from India & Pakistan. So keep your racist rant to yourself. These useless racist rant is plain counter productive.

Riaz Haq said...

SQA: "I find more racism in Hindus then the white folks I have met for the last 35 years in USA "

Known data seems to offer support for your observation in the following:

1. 43.5% of Indians, the highest percentage in the world, say they do not want to have a neighbor of a different race, according to a Washington Post report based on World's Values Survey. This compares with under 5% of Americans and less than 10% of Pakistanis reported by the survey.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2013/05/world-values-survey-finds-indians-most.html

2. There's a lot of excitement and support for Modi among Indian-Americans. In fact, Modi's critics are under fierce attacks by many Silicon Valley Hindus. A report entitled "Hindu Nationalism in the United States: A Report on Non-Profit Groups" makes the following claims regarding the strength and nature of the Hindu nationalist movement in the United States:

a. Over the last three decades, a movement toward Hinduizing India--advancing the status of Hindus toward political and social primacy in India-- has continued to gain ground in South Asia and diasporic communities. The Sangh Parivar (the Sangh "family"), the network of groups at the forefront of this Hindu nationalist movement, has an estimated membership numbering in the millions, making the Sangh one of the largest voluntary associations in India. The major organizations in the Sangh include the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

b. Hindu nationalism has intensified and multiplied forms of discrimination, exclusion, and gendered and sexualized violence against Muslims, Christians, other minorities, and those who oppose Sangh violations, as documented by Indian citizens and international tribunals, fact-finding groups, international human rights organizations, and U.S. governmental bodies.

c. India-based Sangh affiliates receive social and financial support from its U.S.-based wings, the latter of which exist largely as tax-exempt non-profit organizations in the United States: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), Sewa International USA, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation-USA. The Overseas Friends of the Bharatiya Janata Party - USA (OFBJP) is active as well, though it is not a tax-exempt group

http://www.sacw.net/IMG/pdf/US_HinduNationalism_Nonprofits.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Can Digital India flourish without Freedom of Speech? PM Modi in Silicon Valley
by Priya Satia


Silicon Valley has forgotten the Modi of 2002. This is partly because the War on Terror has normalized state violence in America. The idea of denying Modi a visa to the United States now seems bizarre: the land of remote-controlled drone strikes and Ferguson is hardly in a position to refuse entry to anyone with blood-stained hands. To the contrary, Modi in America is perfectly fitting. And what better place to assemble the tools for a “Digital India” without privacy safeguards than the Silicon Valley that has given us a “Digital America” serving the NSA?
When a persistent few rake up unpleasant memories of 2002, the Modi regime shrewdly invokes 1984, when its rival the Congress Party connived in pogroms against Sikhs–as if the older unpunished atrocity cancels out or excuses the 2002 events. But they have a point; impunity builds on itself. Earlier this year, the traumatized Sikh diaspora persuaded the California State Assembly to recognize the Indian government’s responsibility for the November 1984 Genocide of Sikhs. Three decades of frustration with the Indian state produced this Californian acknowledgment. To be sure, the Congress PM Manmohan Singh, himself a Sikh, apologized for 1984 in the Lok Sabha in 2005, but prominent Congress politicians involved in the violence have never been brought to justice. They acted with impunity, and so too, then, does the BJP.
But if Congress was the villain of 1984, there is no love lost between the Sikh diaspora and Mr. Modi (whatever the BJP partnership with the Akali Dal in Punjab); Bay Area Sikhs plan to protest Mr. Modi’s exclusion of minorities from his nationalistic agenda when he is here. Perhaps they have learned through bitter experience that the Indian state is the problem, whatever the party in power. Its violent, stepfatherly approach towards minorities is in its DNA. Before 1984, there was 1947, when on the eve of the formation of the newly independent states of Pakistan and India, Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs were victims and perpetrators of violence at least passively abetted by the departing British government. The history of impunity is long in South Asia, and the diaspora expands with each episode. In 2003 and 2004, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom particularly noted that those who carried out acts of religious violence in India were rarely held accountable for their actions.

The faculty letter spoke from the West to the West (Silicon Valley people, not “CEOs”) about an event in the West; this was no imperialistic intervention in Indian affairs (even though the diaspora includes those who are casualties of “internal” Indian affairs.) The letter was a reminder that the arrival of the Indian prime minister is an opportunity for serious engagement. He is the PM, not a brand ambassador or a rock star. “Rock star” is a style, a claim to celebrity based, evidently, on the size of a person’s Twitter following. Style has its place and its own revolutionary potential. But a PM must deliver substance, too. Failure to deliver tarnishes the brand; ask any investor.

http://www.juancole.com/2015/09/flourish-freedom-silicon.html

Rajesh said...

What happened to this kid was unfortunate and is rightly being condemned.

At the same time, secular, tolerant, democratic and rule based societies have self correcting mechanisms like what is shown here.

In a country like Saudi, he will be simply called "Abid" (slave) in the classroom and not a whimper from anyone!

The Islamofascists would try to take advantage of such abominations to weaken the host societies and take away their ability to defend themselves. Like what happened in the Abu Nidal case where despite his obvious terror tendencies, no one had the guts to kick him out to avoid being called Islamofascists.

Unless these Islamists look honestly at the bigotry going on in their own societies, their pathetic whining doesn't impress anyone.

Riaz Haq said...

Rajesh: "In a country like Saudi, he will be simply called "Abid" (slave) in the classroom and not a whimper from anyone!"

That's the reason Saudi Arabia and other developing nations like it, including India, are so under-developed and backward. Western societies like the United States that encourage free thought and embrace diversity encourage innovation and creativity and greatly benefit from it.

Rajesh said...

Saudi is a rich country. Though it is unearned money. The issue is that no Islamic countries are secular and Muslims want theocracy when in majority. Across the board.

The minorities are just wiped out like what Pakistan did before turning on the non dominant sects like Shia/Ahmedi etc. The ethnic cleansing was overseen by Mr. Jinnah himself right at the time of partition.

India on the other hand chose to be secular and democratic, the only beacon of light in a vast, dark area for a thousand miles or more.

One just has to open the eyes and look at the facts, something not encouraged in Pakistan.

Anyway it is not about India. Muslims need to first practice in their own countries what they demand from non Muslims. Till then it is only munafiqat and everyone sees through it.

Riaz Haq said...


Rajesh: " Muslims want theocracy when in majority. Across the board."


Nothing could be further from the truth. Of the 50 Muslim majority countries in the world today, only one (Iran) is a theocracy. Most non-Arab Muslim nations are democracies and doing better economically, educationally and socially than Hindu-dominated India.

Rajesh: "he minorities are just wiped out like what Pakistan"

Pakistan's Hindu population is the fastest growing in the world..growing even faster than the Muslim population.

Hindu fertility rate (TFR) of 3.2 children per woman in Pakistan is much higher than national fertility rate of 2.86. With 3.33 million Hindus, Pakistan is currently home to the world's 5th largest Hindu population. By 2050, Pakistan will rank 4th with 5.6 million Hindus, surpassing Indonesia which is currently ranked 4th largest Hindu country, according to Pew Research.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2015/06/pakistani-hindu-population-among.html


Rajesh: " India on the other hand chose to be secular and democratic, the only beacon of light in a vast, dark area for a thousand miles or more."

India has taken a sharp turn to the right with the election of Hindu Nationalist Narendra Modi.A report entitled "Hindu Nationalism in the United States: A Report on Non-Profit Groups" makes the following claims regarding the strength and nature of the Hindu nationalist movement in the United States:

a. Over the last three decades, a movement toward Hinduizing India--advancing the status of Hindus toward political and social primacy in India-- has continued to gain ground in South Asia and diasporic communities. The Sangh Parivar (the Sangh "family"), the network of groups at the forefront of this Hindu nationalist movement, has an estimated membership numbering in the millions, making the Sangh one of the largest voluntary associations in India. The major organizations in the Sangh include the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

b. Hindu nationalism has intensified and multiplied forms of discrimination, exclusion, and gendered and sexualized violence against Muslims, Christians, other minorities, and those who oppose Sangh violations, as documented by Indian citizens and international tribunals, fact-finding groups, international human rights organizations, and U.S. governmental bodies.

c. India-based Sangh affiliates receive social and financial support from its U.S.-based wings, the latter of which exist largely as tax-exempt non-profit organizations in the United States: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), Sewa International USA, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation-USA. The Overseas Friends of the Bharatiya Janata Party - USA (OFBJP) is active as well, though it is not a tax-exempt group

http://www.sacw.net/IMG/pdf/US_HinduNationalism_Nonprofits.pdf

Rajesh: " Till then it is only munafiqat and everyone sees through it."

There's no bigger "munafiqat" than proclaiming to be secular while pushing Hindutva as Modi and his fellow extremists are doing in India.

Riaz Haq said...

#Obama says he supports Ahmed Mohamed, but his policies don’t. #IStandWithAhmed http://wapo.st/1imJHdI


Obama says he supports Ahmed Mohamed, but his policies don’t. By Arjun Singh Sethi in Washington Post

the counter-extremism policies that Obama supports seem to encourage such severe responses to normal behavior in Muslim youth. While it’s easy to dispel Ahmed’s case and what happened in Irving as an aberration, fear and demonization of American Muslims is the norm.

At a White House summit in February, Obama championed the Department of Homeland Security’s “countering violent extremism” program, which calls on teachers, faith leaders and neighbors to suss out early indicators of extremism and report them to law enforcement. This federal initiative, which largely targets Muslim communities, was piloted in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Boston, and it is now proliferating across the country.

Speaking at Harvard’s Kennedy School in April 2014, Obama’s homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, encouraged local communities to be sensitive to subtle behavior changes among their youth, which she called “warning signs” of radicalization:

What kinds of behaviors are we talking about? For the most part, they’re not related directly to plotting attacks. They’re more subtle. For instance, parents might see sudden personality changes in their children at home — becoming confrontational. Religious leaders might notice unexpected clashes over ideological differences. Teachers might hear a student expressing an interest in traveling to a conflict zone overseas. Or friends might notice a new interest in watching or sharing violent material.

This guidance encourages a hypersensitivity to the mundane behavior of young American Muslims and demonizes acts that are protected by the First Amendment. Innocuous activities like growing a beard, attending a fiery sermon, protesting U.S. foreign policy or fraternizing with Muslim political groups become “warning signs” that are reported to police under the guise of countering violent extremism.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/09/18/obama-says-he-supports-ahmed-mohamed-but-his-policies-dont/

Syed Qasim Abbas said...

I worked for an Indian his name was Shah..........he told me Mohmaddans(muslims)are trouble makers and all they know how to do is make babies.......needless to say never worked for a hindu again

Anonymous said...

"I said: it's sad they thought that kid had a bomb.
She said: they didn't think he had a bomb.
I said: yes, they thought he made a bomb and even called the police.
She said: They just wanted to humiliate a little Muslim, African boy. They didn't think he had a bomb.
I said: Don't be a conspiracist. They might be a little prejudiced, but I'm sure they thought he had a bomb.
She said: Ok.
But they didn't evacuate the school, like you do when there's a bomb.
They didn't call a bomb squad - like you do when there's a bomb
They didn't get as far away from him as possible - like you do when there's a bomb.
Then they put him and the clock in an office- not like you do when there's a bomb
Then they waited with him for the police to arrive.
Then they put the clock in the same car as the police.
Then they took pictures of it.
I said: Damn

They never thought he had a bomb"

Riaz Haq said...

"Athiests" Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins Trolling a child in the name of #Islamaphobia #IStandWithAhmed http://www.salon.com/2015/09/21/bill_maher_and_richard_dawkins_sink_to_new_lows_trolling_a_child_in_the_name_of_islamaphobia_is_not_passion_for_truth/ … via @Salon

Let’s say you want to be a narrow-minded bigot but you think far too highly of yourself to be lumped in with the trucker-hatted hoi polloi. You, after all, know the meaning of hoi polloi. You do the Saturday Times crossword puzzle in ink. You’re not some dumb hick. You’re an arrogant troll because you’re smart. That’s why you love Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher, because they make having terrible ideas seem boldly intellectual!

Over the weekend, both Dawkins and Maher eagerly leapt to question the motives of Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas teen who was handcuffed and arrested for suspicion of bringing “a hoax bomb” to school when he showed up with a homemade clock. Mohamed’s story — one in which a school system that already had a history of questionable sentiments toward Islam had an overreaction to a scientifically Muslim curious kid — has become an international news story, culminating Mohamed receiving an invitation from the president to the White House. But where some have seen an outpouring of support for an inventive 14 year-old kid, others have wondered if there isn’t something a little more… suspicious going on here.

First, Bill Maher, who’s already clearly stated that “Islam is the motherlode of bad ideas,” asserted on Friday’s “Real Time” that “This kid deserves an apology, no doubt about it. They were wrong. But could we have a little perspective about this? Did the teacher really do the wrong thing?” He drew applause when he said that the clock “looks exactly like a f__king bomb” and demanded that “Someone look me in the eye right here and tell me, over the last thirty years, if so many young muslim men… haven’t blown a lot of s__t up around the world…. It’s been one culture that’s been blowing s__t up over and over again.” Just a reminder: cultures don’t blow s__it up; extremist members of cultures do.

Then, full time crap-stirrer Dawkins took time out from retweeting fawning accolades from his fans on Sunday to just, know, ask some questions, posting a link to a YouTube clip from Thomas Talbot claiming Mohamed’s “a fraud” who didn’t invent or build the clock in question. The 74 year-old Dawkins didn’t dispute that it was wrong to arrest Mohamed, saying, “The real scandal is that he was denied his RIGHT to call his parents when being interrogated. The police violated the law.” But he did seem concerned about the alleged “fraud.” “If this is true,” he asked, “what was his motive?”

---------

Skepticism and curiosity are vital and sadly lacking nutrients in our daily public discourse. But it’s unfortunate that an intellectual who once had the power to provoke insightful, challenging debate has in recent years turned into a sour crank, eager to leverage his brand as a prominent atheist as an excuse to go big on Islamphobia and congratulate himself on his horrendous views on sexual assault. And it’s pathetic that Maher and Dawkins are wrapping themselves up not in the rigorous quest for knowledge they claim to stand behind but their own petty prejudices and fears — and they’re basically the same baseless, dumb crap you could get from a doofus like Sarah Palin. The difference is that their schtick has its following not among the “Duck Dynasty” watchers but the C-Span ones. And even as they peddle ignorance, they have the arrogance to believe themselves incapable of it.

Riaz Haq said...

Involve #India if #Pakistan becomes 'unstable': Donald #Trump http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/involve-india-if-pakistan-becomes-unstable-republican-presidential-candidate-donald-trump/article1-1392419.aspx … via @htTweets

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said India will have to be roped in by the US to deal with the fallout of Pakistan becoming “unstable” in the future.

“You have to get India involved. India’s the check to Pakistan,” Trump said during his appearance on the radio talk show hosted by Hugh Hewitt on Monday.

Hewitt had asked the businessman what he would do if Pakistan, which the radio show host described as “the most dangerous country in the world other than Iran”, became “unstable”, The Hill blog reported.

Asked by Hewitt if he would send US troops to neutralise Pakistan’s nuclear capability should the country go rogue, Trump said he wouldn’t reveal his military plans to a potential rival.

“People can’t know exactly what your intentions are,” Trump said. “You want to have...a little bit of guess work for the enemy.

“This has nothing to do with lack of knowledge, because I think I know as much about Pakistan as most other people...But I will tell you, I don’t want to broadcast my intentions.

“I want to be unpredictable with this,” Trump said. “I don’t want to be like (President Barack) Obama, where he’s always saying you know, we’re going to do this in two weeks and then we’re going to do that.”

Trump, however, said North Korea was a more immediate threat than Pakistan because it was already “a rogue group with nukes”.

“I said (during the second Republican debate) we’re talking so much about Iran, and they don’t have nukes at this moment,” Trump said. “You have a madman over in North Korea who actually has nukes and he says he’s going to use them.”

Riaz Haq said...

Ben Carson, the Islamophobe, an unworthy beneficiary of the affirmative action and race-based quotas. #Islamophobia http://michronicleonline.com/2015/09/22/the-folly-of-ben-carson/ …

...And let’s not forget the affirmative action policy at the university that took in to consideration his race, socio-economic status and other factors in determining his admittance....


Two decades later, the Ben Carson running for President of the United States is hardly recognizable from the one who so sat next to me on the panel at WSU and so eloquently spoke of the need to support and nurture the potential of poor and minority youths. Nor do we hear the words of the man who so eloquently praised the work and sacrifice of civil rights icons such as Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and even lesser well known black pioneers in science and invention.
On a national stage today, when the country badly needs to hear the inspiring and affirmative words of a man who managed to successfully navigate the traps of a harsh and often unforgiving ghetto, reinforced by institutional and structural racism personified in bad schools, red lining, an absence of work and neighborhood and police violence, all we hear from Carson is the self-righteous carping of a politician who claims he has the gravitas to lead the world, but comes across as someone with an embarrassingly superficial understanding of public policy and who is submerged in the politics of complaint and the art of victim blaming.
Indeed, it was only three weeks ago when he had the audacity to go to Ferguson, Missouri and tell an audience of beleaguered black residents looking for words of hope and inspiration, that racism was not a problem in their region and that Michael Brown; the 17-year-old unarmed black youth killed by a white police officer after a confrontation over him walking in the street, was a “bad actor.” And for good measure he called the grassroots police reform effort “Black Lives Matters,” “bullies” and “sickening.”
He has attacked President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which has provided healthcare to more than 16 million previously uninsured Americans; most of them poor, many minorities, as “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

Riaz Haq said...

#US created Islamic extremism:Those blaming #Islam for #ISIS aided Osama bin Laden in ’80s. #ParisAttacks http://www.salon.com/2015/11/17/we_created_islamic_extremism_those_blaming_islam_for_isis_would_have_supported_osama_bin_laden_in_the_80s/ … via @Salon

History takes no prisoners. It shows, with absolute lucidity, that the Islamic extremism ravaging the world today was borne out of the Western foreign policy of yesteryear.

Gore Vidal famously referred to the USA as the United States of Amnesia. The late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai put it a little more delicately, quipping, “One of the delightful things about Americans is that they have absolutely no historical memory.”

In order to understand the rise of militant Salafi groups like ISIS and al-Qaida; in order to wrap our minds around their heinous, abominable attacks on civilians in the U.S., France, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, Turkey, Yemen, Afghanistan and many, many more countries, we must rekindle this historical memory.

Where did violent Islamic extremism come from? In the wake of the horrific Paris attacks on Friday, November the 13, this is the question no one is asking — yet it is the most important one of all. If one doesn’t know why a problem emerged, if one cannot find its root, one will never be able to solve and uproot it.

Where did militant Salafi groups like ISIS and al-Qaida come from? The answer is not as complicated as many make it out to be — but, to understand, we must delve into the history of the Cold War, the historical period lied about in the West perhaps more than any other.

The newspaper noted that bin Laden organized a militia of thousands of foreign fighters from throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and “supported them with weapons and his own construction equipment” in their fight against the USSR in the 1980s. “We beat the Soviet Union,” bin Laden boasted.

The mujahedin, this international Islamic extremist militia organized and headed by bin Laden, is what eventually morphed into both al-Qaida and the Taliban.

“When the history of the Afghan resistance movement is written,” the Independent wrote, “Mr Bin Laden’s own contribution to the mujahedin… may turn out to be a turning point in the recent history of militant fundamentalism.”

Portraying bin Laden in a positive light, less than eight years before he would help mastermind the largest terrorist attack on American soil in decades, the British publication claimed that the “Saudi businessman who recruited mujahedin now uses them for large-scale building projects in Sudan.” In reality, bin Laden was setting the stages for what would be become al-Qaida.

Unheeded warnings
In Greek mythology, Cassandra was blessed with the power of prophecy, but cursed in that no one would ever heed her warnings. Eqbal Ahmad, the late political scientist, historian and expert in the study of terrorism, was a modern-day Cassandra.

In a speech at the University of Colorado, Boulder in October 1998, Ahmad warned that the U.S. policy in Afghanistan would backfire:

“In Islamic history, jihad as an international violent phenomenon had disappeared in the last 400 years, for all practical purposes. It was revived suddenly with American help in the 1980s. When the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, Zia ul-Haq, the [U.S.-backed] military dictator of Pakistan, which borders on Afghanistan, saw an opportunity and launched a jihad there against godless communism. The U.S. saw a God-sent opportunity to mobilize one billion Muslims against what Reagan called the ‘Evil Empire.’

“Money started pouring in. CIA agents starting going all over the Muslim world recruiting people to fight in the great jihad. Bin Laden was one of the early prize recruits. He was not only an Arab. He was also a Saudi. He was not only a Saudi. He was also a multimillionaire, willing to put his own money into the matter. Bin Laden went around recruiting people for the jihad against communism.

Riaz Haq said...

Are All #Terrorists #Muslims? It’s Not Even Close. #Islamophobia #ModiToadies #BJP #Trump http://thebea.st/1IvzdRs via @thedailybeast

So here are some statistics for those interested. Let’s start with Europe. Want to guess what percent of the terrorist attacks there were committed by Muslims over the past five years? Wrong. That is, unless you said less than 2 percent.
As Europol, the European Union’s law-enforcement agency, noted in its report released last year, the vast majority of terror attacks in Europe were perpetrated by separatist groups. For example, in 2013, there were 152 terror attacks in Europe. Only two of them were “religiously motivated,” while 84 were predicated upon ethno-nationalist or separatist beliefs.
We are talking about groups like France’s FLNC, which advocates an independent nation for the island of Corsica. In December 2013, FLNC terrorists carried out simultaneous rocket attacks against police stations in two French cities. And in Greece in late 2013, the left-wing Militant Popular Revolutionary Forces shot and killed two members of the right-wing political party Golden Dawn. While over in Italy, the anarchist group FAI engaged in numerous terror attacks including sending a bomb to a journalist. And the list goes on and on.
Have you heard of these incidents? Probably not. But if Muslims had committed them do you think you our media would’ve covered it? No need to answer, that’s a rhetorical question.
ADVERTISING


Even after one of the worst terror attacks ever in Europe in 2011, when Anders Breivik slaughtered 77 people in Norway to further his anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and pro-“Christian Europe” agenda as he stated in his manifesto, how much press did we see in the United States? Yes, it was covered, but not the way we see when a Muslim terrorist is involved. Plus we didn’t see terrorism experts fill the cable news sphere asking how we can stop future Christian terrorists. In fact, even the suggestion that Breivik was a “Christian terrorist” was met with outrage by many, including Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly.
Have you heard about the Buddhist terrorists? Well, extremist Buddhists have killed many Muslim civilians in Burma, and just a few months ago in Sri Lanka, some went on a violent rampage burning down Muslim homes and businesses and slaughtering four Muslims.
Or what about the (dare I mention them) Jewish terrorists? Per the 2013 State Department’s report on terrorism, there were 399 acts of terror committed by Israeli settlers in what are known as “price tag” attacks. These Jewish terrorists attacked Palestinian civilians causing physical injuries to 93 of them and also vandalized scores of mosques and Christian churches.
Back in the United States, the percentage of terror attacks committed by Muslims is almost as miniscule as in Europe. An FBI study looking at terrorism committed on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 found that 94 percent of the terror attacks were committed by non-Muslims. In actuality, 42 percent of terror attacks were carried out by Latino-related groups, followed by 24 percent perpetrated by extreme left-wing actors.
And as a 2014 study by University of North Carolina found, since the 9/11 attacks, Muslim-linked terrorism has claimed the lives of 37 Americans. In that same time period, more than 190,000 Americans were murdered (PDF).
In fact in 2013, it was actually more likely Americans would be killed by a toddler than a terrorist. In that year, three Americans were killed in the Boston Marathon bombing. How many people did toddlers kill in 2013? Five, all by accidentally shooting a gun.

Riaz Haq said...

Are All #Terrorists #Muslims? It’s Not Even Close. #Islamophobia #ModiToadies #BJP #Trump http://thebea.st/1IvzdRs via @thedailybeast

So here are some statistics for those interested. Let’s start with Europe. Want to guess what percent of the terrorist attacks there were committed by Muslims over the past five years? Wrong. That is, unless you said less than 2 percent.
As Europol, the European Union’s law-enforcement agency, noted in its report released last year, the vast majority of terror attacks in Europe were perpetrated by separatist groups. For example, in 2013, there were 152 terror attacks in Europe. Only two of them were “religiously motivated,” while 84 were predicated upon ethno-nationalist or separatist beliefs.
We are talking about groups like France’s FLNC, which advocates an independent nation for the island of Corsica. In December 2013, FLNC terrorists carried out simultaneous rocket attacks against police stations in two French cities. And in Greece in late 2013, the left-wing Militant Popular Revolutionary Forces shot and killed two members of the right-wing political party Golden Dawn. While over in Italy, the anarchist group FAI engaged in numerous terror attacks including sending a bomb to a journalist. And the list goes on and on.
Have you heard of these incidents? Probably not. But if Muslims had committed them do you think you our media would’ve covered it? No need to answer, that’s a rhetorical question.
ADVERTISING


Even after one of the worst terror attacks ever in Europe in 2011, when Anders Breivik slaughtered 77 people in Norway to further his anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and pro-“Christian Europe” agenda as he stated in his manifesto, how much press did we see in the United States? Yes, it was covered, but not the way we see when a Muslim terrorist is involved. Plus we didn’t see terrorism experts fill the cable news sphere asking how we can stop future Christian terrorists. In fact, even the suggestion that Breivik was a “Christian terrorist” was met with outrage by many, including Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly.
Have you heard about the Buddhist terrorists? Well, extremist Buddhists have killed many Muslim civilians in Burma, and just a few months ago in Sri Lanka, some went on a violent rampage burning down Muslim homes and businesses and slaughtering four Muslims.
Or what about the (dare I mention them) Jewish terrorists? Per the 2013 State Department’s report on terrorism, there were 399 acts of terror committed by Israeli settlers in what are known as “price tag” attacks. These Jewish terrorists attacked Palestinian civilians causing physical injuries to 93 of them and also vandalized scores of mosques and Christian churches.
Back in the United States, the percentage of terror attacks committed by Muslims is almost as miniscule as in Europe. An FBI study looking at terrorism committed on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 found that 94 percent of the terror attacks were committed by non-Muslims. In actuality, 42 percent of terror attacks were carried out by Latino-related groups, followed by 24 percent perpetrated by extreme left-wing actors.
And as a 2014 study by University of North Carolina found, since the 9/11 attacks, Muslim-linked terrorism has claimed the lives of 37 Americans. In that same time period, more than 190,000 Americans were murdered (PDF).
In fact in 2013, it was actually more likely Americans would be killed by a toddler than a terrorist. In that year, three Americans were killed in the Boston Marathon bombing. How many people did toddlers kill in 2013? Five, all by accidentally shooting a gun.