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  1. #161
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    Jan 2007


    Minnesota governor calls mosque bombing 'act of terrorism'

    BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Gov. Mark Dayton condemned Sunday the bombing of a suburban Minneapolis mosque as "an act of terrorism."

    He, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and other elected officials toured the site and met with local leaders of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington Sunday morning.

    Early Saturday, an explosive device shattered windows and damaged an office at the mosque, which primarily serves people from the area's large Somali community.

    "What a terrible, dastardly, cowardly terrible act this was that was committed yesterday," Dayton said. "As someone said in the meeting, if the roles were reversed, it would be called a terrorist attack. And that's what it is, an act of terrorism."

    Smith agreed.

    "That action is despicable and hateful, but it does not represent who Minnesota is," Smith said. "It does not represent the vast majority of the people who live in this fantastic state."

    State representatives Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, and Andrew Carlson, R-Bloomington as well as Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota.

    The FBI is seeking suspects and trying to determine whether the incident Saturday was a hate crime.

    "Anything I could do to put a stop to it, I would gladly do," Dayton said. "Because in Minnesota, we accept one another, we support one another, we respect one another. ... We're not going to let one bad person get in the way of all that."

    Asad Zaman, director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, said six Muslim groups have combined their resources to offer at $24,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.

    Mohamed Omar, the center’s executive director, estimates the mosque holds up to 300 worshippers for Friday prayers. The mosque opened at the site of a former elementary school in the suburb of about 85,000 and serves people primarily from the area's large Somali community. Minnesota is home to the largest Somali community in the U.S., roughly 57,000 people, according to the latest census figures.

    Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead noted the Islamic center has been in the city for six years.

    "It has grown to be an important part of our community going forward," Winstead said. "And we're happy to have them here. That said, when there's an attack on part of our community, it's an attack on our entire community."

    Police say there were no injuries, but the explosion damaged the imam's office.

    Investigators have recovered components of the device to figure how it was put together.

    Muslim groups are noting an uptick in anti-Muslim incidents across the country. There have been reports of arson attacks and vandalism at mosques, harassment of women wearing Muslim head coverings and bullying of Muslim schoolchildren. Just recently in Minnesota, an Islamic cemetery in Castle Rock Township reported it had been vandalized with spray painted profanities and swastikas.

    The national office of the Council on American-Islamic relations, or CAIR, recently released a report showing a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization also noted the spike in anti-Muslim incidents was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.

    CAIR and the Muslim American Society of Minnesota documented anti-Muslim Facebook posts responding to news of the bombing, including calls for more violence. Ellison said the uptick in hate preceded the election of President Donald Trump, but Trump has not helped the situation.

    "I could tell you that other (presidents), including President Bush, have spoken up for tolerance," Ellison said. "We're hoping for a word from President Trump to say that we want a tolerant community and we will condemn all hate crimes by anyone, including against the Muslim community."
    However, Ellison said, he's heartened by the local response since the bombing.

    "There is no better way to condemn the person who would throw the bomb into this mosque, this house of worship, than to react in a loving, kind and inclusive way," he said.

    Leaders at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center have setup a a Gofundme page to raise money to repair damage from the bombing. It is available at gofundme.com/support-dar-al-farooq-center. The page has raised more than $19,000 from more than 400 people in just under a day, as of Sunday afternoon.


  2. #162
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    Anit-Muslim hate crimes spiked 91% within first half of 2017, new report says

    On Monday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a new report detailing a 91% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes within the first six months of 2017 compared to the same time period in 2016.

    According to the civil rights group, 2016 was the worst year recorded for anti-Muslim hate crimes since it began documenting incidents in 2013. The new report also found that anti-Muslim bias incidents rose 24% compared to that same time period in 2016.

    There were a total of 946 reported bias incidents between April 1 and June 30.
    Source: Council on American-Islamic Relations

    From the second quarter of 2017, which is from April 1 to June 30, there were 946 reported bias incidents. Out of those 946 reported incidents, CAIR staff identified that “451 of these reports contained an identifiable element of anti-Muslim bias.”

    The most common type of abuse reported is harassment.
    Source: Council on American-Islamic Relations

    In the second quarter of the year, the most frequent type of incidents reported was harassment. Harassment accounts for 16% of the total 451 reported bias incidents. Hate crimes followed with 15%, then incidents where the FBI inappropriately targeted complainants of incidents with 12%. The last two common types of abuse and incidents were acts of intimidation and cases involving the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which accounted for 12% and 8%, respectively, of cases reported in the second quarter of 2017.

    A victim’s ethnicity or national origin was the most common listed trigger.
    Source: Council on American-Islamic Relations

    The study also said there were 358 cases where a trigger, or the provoking factor, was identified. A victim’s ethnicity or national origin accounted for 32% of the cases. Incidents where a victim is perceived as Muslim accounted for 20%, and 15% described a Muslim woman’s headscarf as a trigger.

    People of Middle Eastern and North African descent made up most of the victims of all reported incidents where a victim’s ethnicity or national origin was identified.
    Source: Council on American-Islamic Relations

    The study found 290 cases where a victim’s ethnicity or national origin were identified. People of North African and Middle Eastern descent made up the majority of the victims and accounted for 46% of the reported cases. South Asians followed with 20% of the cases.

    Zainab Arain, the coordinator for CAIR’s Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia, said that President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies has resulted in the targeting of the Muslim-American community.

    “The presidential election campaign and the Trump administration have tapped into a seam of bigotry and hate that has resulted in the targeting of American Muslims and other minority groups,” Arain said in a statement to Mic. “If acts of bias impacting the American Muslim community continue as they have been, 2017 could be one of the worst years ever for such incidents.”

    The most recent reported anti-Muslim hate crime in the U.S. took place on July 10. The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in Tennessee found bacon strips wrapped around the door, and anti-Muslim epithets spray-painted on their walls and basketball court.

    The police are investigating the incident as a hate crime. In the years leading up to the mosque’s construction, the Murfreesboro Muslim community endured acts of vandalism, arson and a bomb threat.

    “We’re not (strangers) to vandalism. ... We have been going through intimidation, harassment, arson, lawsuit, bomb threats, heard gunshots,” Saleh Sbenaty, ICM spokesman, told the Daily News Journal.

    The latest incident occurred within the center’s summer camp for kids. Sbenaty said he is having a hard time explaining the attack to the children.

    “It’s very hurtful,” Sbenaty said. “You cannot answer the questions to the kids who are asking, ‘Why do they hate us, what did we do to deserve this?’”


  3. #163
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    Muslim family in Kansas arrested after trying to deposit cheque from property sale

    An entire Muslim family were arrested in Kansas after the father attempted to deposit a large cheque from the sale of the family house at a bank.

    Sattar Ali, originally from Iraq, tried depositing a cheque of $151,000 (£114,000) into his account at Emprise Bank in Wichita after selling their property in Dearborn, Michigan.

    He informed the bank that he wanted to deposit the cheque so that he could buy a new house.

    Mr Ali told local news station KAKE: “I went to the bank to deposit the check and I took all of the documents with me to verify.”

    But a few minutes after he presented the bank with the cheque, he was handcuffed.

    He said: “I was talking to them for less than five minutes and I found the police behind me, handcuffed me, confiscated everything and took me outside.”

    Mr Ali’s wife, Hadil, and their 15-year-old daughter, Hawra, who were waiting in the car outside the bank were also arrested, and were detained for three hours at the police station.

    Police also ordered his 11-year-old son’s school to hold him because the family was in custody.

    “No one told me why I was being arrested until we were being released,” Ali told The Sunflower. “They didn’t read me rights or anything.”

    “We were devastated. Terrified. Crying the whole time,” Ali said. “We had no idea what the arrest was for.”

    Ali told The Sunflower that he believes he and his family were racially profiled because the large cheque came from someone with a Muslim name and not someone named “James or Robert.”

    “Let’s assume I made a mistake and gave them a bad cheque,” Ali said. “Why would they arrest my wife and daughter?”

    In a statement, Wichita police said that they were called to the bank for an attempted forgery.

    “Police officers on scene made attempts to verify the legitimacy of the cheque, and were unable to do so,” read the statement.

    Mr Ali said they lived in Wichita for many years before moving to Dearborn. He now believes that he was racially profiled and criticised Wichita for their actions against him and his family.

    The bank released a statement saying that it “can confirm that our team acted in accordance with our policies and procedures. If faced with the same circumstances today, we would expect our team to take the same actions”.


  4. #164
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    Muslim brutally attacked in front of his son outside mosque in east London

    21st September 2017

    A gang of teenagers beat up a man in front of his 10-year-old son as they were walking to their local mosque in east London.

    Maudud Ahmed, a father-of-four, was punched in his face and kicked by seven teenagers as he protected his son from getting hurt.

    The assault occurred in Plaistow when one of the teenagers tried pushing his son.

    Mr Ahmed defended his son before he was attacked, which resulted in in numerous cuts and bruises on his face and body.

    “I did not want to do anything,” he said. “I wanted to avoid them but they start hitting me.”

    Mr Ahmed stated that he was a victim of a hate crime because he was wearing traditional Muslim attire, but the gang ignored other members of the public who walked passed them without overtly ‘Muslim’ clothing.

    He said: “The youths were waiting to harass anyone like me going there. There were other people passing by at Jutland Road before me but they were not harassed or attacked the way my son and I was.”

    “My right hand was seriously inflamed,” he said. “The ambulance people thought it had been broken.”

    Mr Ahmed said that he is afraid of leaving the house alone or with his children, as this was the second hate attack he has been subjected to.

    He suffered a similar assault in the same area in March 2016.

    A police spokesman said: “This crime is being investigated as a hate crime.

    “An investigation has been opened into the incident, while no arrests have been reported so far.”



    He's a victim of a second hate attack and he still hasn't learned anything from it?!!! If you are living in such hostile places then at least some some self-defense so you defend yourself!!!

  5. #165
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    Muslim-Owned Cafe Defaced With Nazi Graffiti, Then Firebombed

    There may be more than one terrorist on the loose in Grand Forks, North Dakota, which has the Somali refugee community here living in fear.

    When police catch the man who allegedly burned down a Somali-Muslim owned restaurant in Grand Forks, North Dakota last week, their first task will be to determine his motive. Regardless of what authorities find, the arson feels like an act of terrorism to the Somali-Muslim community there.

    Two days before Matthew Gust allegedly sent his 40-ounce Bud Light bottle filled with gasoline crashing through the window of Juba Cafe, someone had vandalized the restaurant popular with the Somali-Muslim community by painting a crude Nazi SS logo on the window with "go home" beneath it.

    If Gust was not responsible for that act of vandalism, Grand Forks Police have another potential bigot to track down.

    For the better part of a decade, refugees from Somalia, Burundi, Bhutan, and Iraq have been vetted by the State Department and given safe passage to Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. About 100 men, women and children a year come to Grand Forks, said Chuck Haga, a now-retired journalist and columnist who works with the Global Friends organization, which helps refugees assimilate in the area.

    "These people, they've got nothing and all they want is a safe place to raise their kids," Haga told The Daily Beast. "The Bhutanese especially are just overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity. Many of them have spent as much as 20 years in refugee camps, never having lived in their own country."

    Acceptance of the refugees has been mixed over the years, said Jaylani Hussein, director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

    Exacerbating tensions are anti-Muslim grassroots organizations, conservative talk radio hosts, and Usama Dakdok, an Egyptian Christian who profits from this Islamophobic cottage industry that provides North Dakotans with misleading information regarding Islam, Hussein said.

    "Usama Dakdok has made Northern Minnesota and Grand Forks his home," Hussein told The Daily Beast. "He's just been kind of let loose, and there have been a lot of people who have been listening to him, including a city councilperson who has cited him as a good source of information."

    That would be Terry Bjerke, who has championed Dakdok's rhetoric in more than one event at the Empire Theater in downtown Grand Forks. At the end of Dakdok's November presentation, Bjerke held up the free copies of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the New Testament that were handed out that night, saying there was only one way enemies foreign and domestic would take them from the bombastic city councilmen.

    "From my cold, dead hands!" he yelled.

    A warrant has been issued for Gust, who has a minor criminal history that includes threatening workers at an adult video store, for which he was tasered by police and arrested, according to the Grand Forks Herald. His Facebook page doesn't provide clues as to his politics, or any anti-Muslim beliefs, just a few photos of himself and friends, one of whom is wearing a shirt that reads "Redneck Country."

    Despite what you might read on the Facebook links to news stories about the incident-and people are saying some especially vile things about the victims of what will likely soon be called a hate crime-Haga insisted that the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.

    A vigil was held following the fire; online fundraising has secured nearly $20,000 to help the owners of Juba Cafe rebuild.

    Overrall, Haga said, the refugees have been welcomed by Grand Forks, but some skepticism remains.

    "There's a range of them, the people who are perhaps not so welcoming of the refugees," Haga said. "There's some of them who are outright bigots. They think that there's a lot of tax money being spent on (the refugees); they think that the crime rates is going up, which just isn't true."

    The racist vandal's instructions that the owners of the Juba Cafe "go home" ignores that many of the thousands of Somalis who have emigrated there from their war-ravaged country have gone through all the proper channels to become American citizens;, even paying back the State Department for their airfare, Haga said.

    Grand Forks is as much their home as anyone else's, but that may be a difficult concept for people like Gust to understand, considering how easy it was for police to name him a suspect.

    It started with the brown glass from the bottle, then with a check of area gas stations, and finally a tip from one of Gust's acquaintances who police say overheard the hapless man bragging about torching Juba.

    With police working to track Gust down, one can only hope he doesn't take his moronic crusade to a more violent level and decide to flee, or worse, fight.

    Hussein said Muslims cannot be the only ones to stand up against mindless bigotry, whether it takes place at a California mosque or the south side of Grand Forks.

    "It has to be the average North Dakotan that says 'I may not understand everything about Muslims or Islam, but you cannot burn businesses, and you can't threaten people with violence-because in this country we don't do that
    ," Hussein said.


  6. #166
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    Jeffrey Barry found guilty of murdering refugee after calling him rapist and terrorist

    Killer was released from secure psychiatric ward hours before launching knife attack

    A man has been found guilty of murdering a Kurdish refugee after accusing him of being a rapist and terrorist.

    Jeffrey Barry, a paranoid schizophrenic, had been released from a secure psychiatric unit hours before he stabbed Kamil Ahmad to death in Bristol in July 2016.

    The court heard that the sustained knife attack ended with Barry slicing off his victim’s penis, leaving his mutilated body in a bedroom.

    The 56-year-old admitted killing Mr Ahmad, but only pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

    But after a two-week trial at Bristol Crown Court, a jury concluded he deliberately targeted his 48-year-old neighbour and was of sound mind at the time of the incident.

    Ms Justice May told the jury Barry’s mental illness “wasn’t one that was enough to reduce the offence in this case but it exists all the same”, adding: “It is a chronic, enduring mental illness that requires treatment.”

    The jury heard that Barry had previously assaulted his neighbour and made racist remarks, telling police he believed he was a rapist, paedophile and terrorist in a phone call weeks before the murder.

    On 24 May last year, he told support workers he wanted to be notorious and murder a member of the public, adding: ”Kamil would be top of my list.“

    In a phone call to police the following day, Barry told an operator: ”He has raped a vulnerable person.

    “He has committed two acts of theft and he has broken a television. He is a paedophile and a terrorist in Iraq.”

    He also wrote notes saying that he planned to kill people living in his shared accommodation, including Mr Ahmad.

    Barry relapsed after he stopped taking the drug clozapine in November 2015, due to it compromising his immune system, and was known to be drinking heavily, smoking skunk cannabis and behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner.

    On 13 June, he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after being filmed on CCTV performing a sex act while wearing only a police hat.

    He was taken to Callington Road Hospital in Bristol before being transferred to the Cygnet Hospital Kewstoke in Weston-super-Mare.

    The court heard Barry he was discharged the day before he attacked Mr Ahmad, after a mental health tribunal ruled he was well enough to be released and made him promise not to drink or take drugs.

    Dr Roger Thomas, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, told the jury the tribunal was unaware of how long Barry had been off clozapine, his relapse, or concerns raised by staff at the Milestones Trust, which manages the Wells Road property.

    They had reported that Barry was becomingly increasingly obsessed with Mr Ahmad and was being sexually inappropriate but he left the hospital on 6 July without a care plan in place.

    Staff at the Milestones Trust, who only informed of the decision hours before his return, attempted to obtain an injunction to protect Mr Ahmad but it did not come through in time.

    On the day he was freed, Barry spent more than four hours drinking in local bars before returning to his flat in Wells Road shortly before midnight.

    Police said he had consumed at least a litre of rum by 2am, when he climbed the stairs to the second floor and knocked on Mr Ahmad’s door.

    He murdered Mr Ahmad in a “savage and sustained” knife attack that included 25 wounds to his face and eyes.

    In a recording played to the court, Barry was heard telling the police: “I just killed Kamil”.

    “I need to be arrested, I’ve got injuries to myself as well,” he added while breathing heavily, before confirming his full name and postcode.

    “I warned him, I warned the crisis team ... they ignored me. He’s dead now.”

    The same call saw Barry make continued unfounded allegations against Mr Kamil and state his intention to claim diminished responsibility.

    Prosecutors described the attack as “racially motivated and unprovoked”, saying Mr Ahmed was stabbed more than 40 times and that his body had been mutilated.

    The Kurdish refugee was originally from Iran and had lived for around two years at the shared property, which provides residential care and support.

    John Penny, from the CPS, said jurors disregarded grounds for Barry’s diminished responsibility over the “horrendous” attack, adding: “They made that decision on the basis of expert psychiatric advice along with the Crown’s evidence of Barry’s long-standing animosity towards Mr Ahmed, which was based in large part on Barry’s racist views.”

    Detective Chief Inspector Richard Ocone, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Jeffrey Barry may have a history of serious mental illness but at the time he attacked Kamil he knew exactly what he was doing.

    “He deliberately armed himself with a knife and purposefully went to Kamil’s flat and brutally attacked him.

    “It is clear in the 999 call he subsequently made that he was already thinking of his defence and the jury rightly recognised he was fully responsible for his actions.

    “The public are now much safer with him off the streets for he is an exceptionally dangerous man.

    “Kamil’s family have been extremely dignified throughout the duration of this case and I’d particularly like to praise them for the way they have dealt with the harrowing evidence shown in court.”

    A spokesperson for Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust extended its condolences to Mr Ahmad’s family and friends after his “tragic and brutal death”.

    “We remain committed to close cooperation with all agencies in an effort to prevent such an event happening in the future,” he added.

    “We have reviewed and strengthened our ways of working with other service providers, including the police, to improve our sharing of clinical and additional relevant information.”

    John Hoskinson, chief executive of the Milestones Trust, said an internal review was being conducted into the case alongside NHS England and the Bristol Safeguarding Adults Board.

    “We do understand this is a very difficult time for those involved but are unable to comment further until the results of these investigations are known,” Mr Hoskinson added.

    A Safeguarding Adults Review has been commissioned to examine the circumstances of Mr Ahmad’s death.

    Barry is being held at the high-security Broadmoor Hospital and will be sentenced in due course.


  7. #167
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    White men kill, brown men found guilty

    I dread US airports. From the moment I enter until the moment I leave, I feel as if I am trapped by my own fears generated from countless experiences of racial profiling, prolonged interrogations and baseless suspicion.

    I have done nothing deserving of incrimination. True, I have been very critical of successive US governments for their horrendous foreign policies and immoral wars abroad, as well as the devastating social injustice and economic inequality at home. But what is the worth, or even the use, of being an intellectual or a journalist if one turns a blind eye to injustice?

    The first time I was held for hours was at JFK Airport in 2003. The hyped fear of terrorists lurking everywhere was at its peak. Expectedly, Muslims stood accused, paying the price of unwarranted US military adventures in the Middle East and the resulting terrorism and violence everywhere else.

    "What do you have against our president?" a large officer with a black baseball cap asked, as if my criticism of George W Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is a violation of the US's most sacred laws. He expected no answer, and carried on rummaging through my belongings in a small, poorly lit room.

    Soon after, I was held at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. The ill-informed officers found a receipt in my bags that read: "Halal Restaurant". One officer tried to argue that my culinary choice reflected my extremist religious beliefs. I told him that his logic would indict half of the city of London due to the proliferation of halal kebab restaurants there.

    But the harassment never stopped. In fact, it worsened, progressively becoming routine. Good Americans are asked to remain vigilant. "If you see something, say something," they are constantly reminded.

    The underlying message seems to always point at reporting dark skin men and women, usually Muslims for behaving "suspiciously", as in speaking Arabic, or uttering the word "inshallah", which means, "God willing".

    Per the above logic, even blatant racism goes unpunished. Numerous accounts of Muslims being thrown out of aeroplanes, often kicking and screaming, is becoming an acceptable norm.

    When Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, 26 was kicked out of a Southwest Airlines flight last year for speaking Arabic on the phone, the agent who escorted him reprimanded him for using his mother tongue in public considering "today's political climate".

    More recently, Anila Dualatzai was shamelessly dragged down the aisle of a plane heading to Los Angeles.

    Her lawyer described her ordeal in an interview with the Washington Post. She was "profiled, abused, interrogated, detained, and subjected to false reporting and the trauma of racist, vitriolic public shaming precisely because she is a woman, a person of color, and a Muslim".

    None of this is new. It has become the norm for many years in a country that consistently makes a spectacle of other nations for their poor human rights records and mistreatment of minorities.

    Stories of abuse of US Muslims are numerous and constantly growing. Only some of them become news, because of the sheer inhumanity or absurdity of the events. In 2015, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was detained and hauled off to a police facility in handcuffs when he brought a handmade clock to school to proudly show his teachers. Instead, they reported him to authorities for making a bomb.

    Such anti-Muslim hysteria, stimulated by media fear-mongering is precisely the type of verbiage that an opportunistic, populist president like Donald Trump needs to present himself as the protector of the nation. His incessant efforts to prevent citizens of Muslims countries from travelling to the US only feeds such irrational fear and distracts everyone from the real problems that continue to afflict his country.

    Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric has been taking place for years, especially after he ran for the Republican Party's presidential nomination. The more his popularity grew, the more detestable his anti-Muslim propaganda became. In a statement he issued in December 2015, he called for a "total and complete shutdown" of US borders "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

    He bemoaned Muslims' purported "great hatred towards Americans".

    "Without looking at various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension," he said.

    But a quick look at the polling data may surprise Trump, who has hardly been a fan of facts to begin with.

    Newsweek reported on statistics first assembled by Mother Jones showing that white men have committed most of the country's mass killings. Since 1982, the "majority of mass shootings - 54 percent - were committed by white men," numbers show.

    Stephen Paddock, the 64-year-old white man who massacred 58 people and wounded hundreds more at the Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas on October 1 was only one of an ever-growing list.

    Countless government officials and journalists have fanned out to find out "why" Paddock would carry out such a heinous act, as if white man's violence is a rare phenomenon in a country supposedly threatened by blacks, Mexicans and Muslims.

    Some sunk to new lows, attempting to connect the deranged Paddock to the Middle East - as if such a connection can offer the only rational explanation for his reprehensible act.

    "Investigators remain stumped as to Paddock's motives, but said he visited the contentious region (of the Middle East) on a cruise," reported the Independent. The fact that he has also travelled on 11 cruises with numerous destinations and many stops seemed a superfluous fact.

    Yet the truth is the white man's profile is the most violent in the United States, according to irrefutable data.

    "White men commit mass shootings out of a sense of entitlement," John Haltiwanger wrote in Newsweek.

    Research conducted by Eric Madfis from the University of Washington argued in 2014 that in the US "middle-class Caucasian heterosexual males in their teenage years and in middle age commit mass murder ... in numbers disproportionately high relative to their share of the population." He ascribed this finding to "white entitlement" and "heterosexual masculinity" among other reasons.

    Yet, a whole race, gender and religion are not held suspect. Christian white men are not dragged off planes or interrogated for hours in airports about the type food they eat and the political ideas they champion.

    Earlier this year, two officers sought me from within a crowd at the Seattle airport. They seemed to know who I was. They asked me to follow them, and I obliged. Being an Arab often renders one's US citizenship almost irrelevant.

    In a back room, I was asked numerous questions about my politics, ideas, writing, my children, my friends and my late Palestinian parents.

    Meanwhile, an officer took my bag and all of my papers, including receipts, business cards, and more. I did not protest. I am so used to this treatment and endless questioning that I simply go through the motions and answer the questions the best way I know how.

    The fact that I am an American citizen, who acquired high education, bought a home, raised a good family, paid my taxes, obeyed the law and contributed to society in myriad ways is not enough to exclude me from the suspicious "brown men" category.

    I remain an Arab, a Muslim and a dissident, all unforgivable sins in the new, rapidly changing America.

    Certainly, anti-Arab and Muslim sentiment in the US has been around for generations, but it has risen sharply in the last two decades. Arabs and Muslims have become an easy scapegoat for all of America's failed wars and violence.

    It mattered little that, since September 11, 2001, the odds of being killed by terrorism are 1 in 110,000,000, an extremely negligible number compared with the millions who die as a result of diabetes, for example, or shark attacks, for that matter.

    "Terrorism" has morphed from being a violent phenomenon requiring national debate and sensible policies to combat it, into a bogeyman that forces everyone into conformity, and divides people between being docile and obedient on the one hand, and "radical" and suspect, on the other.

    But blaming Muslims for the decline of the American empire is as ineffective as it is dishonest.

    Arabs and Muslims are not responsible for the death of the "American dream", if one truly existed in the first place; nor the election of Donald Trump; nor the utter corruption and mafia-like practices of America's ruling elites and political parties.

    It was not the Arabs and Muslims who duped the US into invading Iraq and Afghanistan, where millions of Arabs and Muslims lost their lives as a result of unchecked US military adventurism.

    In fact, Arabs and Muslims are by far the greatest victims of terrorism, whether state-sponsored terror or that of desperate, vile groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) and al-Qaeda.

    Shelving all pressing problems and putting the focus on chasing after, demonising and humiliating brown-skinned men and women is certainly not the way out of the economic, political and foreign policy quagmires which American ruling elites have invited upon their country.

    Such unlawful and undemocratic behaviour may feed anti-Muslim hysteria a little longer, and give the likes of Trump more fodder for their useless efforts targeting innocent men and women. But in the long run, it will do the country much harm, damaging its democratic institutions and contributing to the culture of violence founded on entitled white men touting guns and shooting at innocent people.


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    Southwest Airlines kicks Muslim off a plane for saying ‘inshallah’, meaning ‘God willing’ in Arabic

    Khairuldeen Makhzoomi came to the US in 2010 as an Iraqi refugee. 'I lived under Saddam Hussein - I know what discrimination feels like,' he said

    by Rachael Revesz - 5 October 2016

    A Muslim man was told to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after another passenger overheard him speaking Arabic on his mobile phone.

    Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, a 26-year-old Berkeley graduate, was removed from the plane at Los Angeles International Airport in April this year.

    Once seated, he had made a brief call to his uncle in Baghdad
    , telling him how excited he was to ask a question to the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, during a dinner the previous day.

    Before hanging up, he said the Islamic phrase in Arabic of "inshallah", meaning "God willing".

    He noticed a woman staring at him as he hung up the phone. He thought at first she had been irritated by how loud he was speaking.

    "One guy came with police officers within two minutes
    — I can't believe how fast they were — and told me to get off the plane," he told CNN.

    An agent escorted him outside and asked him why he was speaking in Arabic considering "today’s political climate".

    "You need to be very honest with us with what you said about the martyrs. Tell us everything you know about the martyrs," the agent said to him.

    The political science graduate explained he had only said “God willing”, and the questioning soon ended - but not before dogs were brought in to sniff his luggage, he was searched and his wallet was taken away.

    "The US is the land of freedom. People respect the rule of law. How could people be humiliated like this? That was the real shock," he told The Independent. "I lived under Saddam Hussein. I know what discrimination feels like," he added.

    Mr Makhzoomi came to the US in 2010 as a legal refugee with his older sister.

    He was not allowed to reboard the Oakland-bound plane, and was given a full refund. He booked another flight with Delta.

    Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Brandy King said in a statement that staff had decided to investigate "potentially threatening comments" made by the passenger.

    "Since that time, we have researched the event internally and also reached out to the customer.

    "The internal review determined that it was the content of the conversation, not the language used, that prompted the report leading to the investigation. Our crew responded by following protocol, as required by federal law, to investigate any potential threat. We regret any less than positive experience a customer has on Southwest. Southwest neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind."

    The student said he was left feeling "shaken" and could not sleep for days afterwards. He has called on the airline to apologise since they have failed to do so since 6 April.

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has filed a complaint with the US Department of Transportation Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings against Southwest Airlines for "racial and religious profiling of a Muslim passenger".

    "We don't want this to become 'normal'," said Saba Maher, civil rights coordinator of the local CAIR chapter.

    "We are looking for a federal investigation and for the Department of Transportation to hold Southwest Airlines accountable."

    Mr Makhzoomi said he is applying for his masters and is grateful that the US has provided him with "the best education, and so many opportunities".

    "This our home. We don't have another home. The experience [in April] was just unpleasant," he said.


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    Pig's head thrown through window of Asian family's home

    Police have called it an 'disgusting act against an innocent family'

    by Neal Keeling - 3 OCT 2017

    A pig’s head was hurled through the window of an Asian family’s home in what is being treated as a hate crime by police.

    The culprit first smashed the front window of the terraced house in Chapel Road, Hollinwood , Oldham , with a brick.

    The animal’s head, wrapped in plastic, was then thrown into the lounge.

    Ajaz Mahmood’s wife, Ghazala Kauser and their four children were in the property at the time.

    Mr Mahmood’s son, Hammas, aged 14, and daughter, Zeina, 6, were in the front room when the attack happened
    at about 10pm on Saturday.

    The brick flew just inches from Hammas
    , who was sat in a chair next to the window watching TV.

    Mr Mahmood said: “I am not sure whether it is racial or Islamaphobic. My family have been living in this area for 29 years and in this house for 11 years.

    “We have never experienced anything like this. It took the police three hours to come out, but I don’t blame them - all the officers are at the Tory conference.

    “They have taken the pig’s head away and will do forensics to see if there are any fingerprints from the bag.

    “I am not living in a predominantly white area, there a Asian families here too. It could possibly be a case of mistaken identity.

    “I was at work when I took a phone call from home and could hear hysterical screaming.

    “It was not a nice experience, especially when your family are in the house, and they are vulnerable without me there.

    “I’ve never had any trouble in Oldham. The only incident like this I have heard of was when bacon was left outside a mosque down south.

    “It’s strange and very disturbing. The kids are absolutely petrified. The glass was smashed first and then the head was thrown in straight afterwards.

    “I have worked in Newton Heath, Moss Side, and have always gone on with people, my mates are white and Asian. It’s baffling.”

    Police have established that a Vauxhall Corsa pulled up on the road with three men inside.
    One of the men got out of the back seat and then threw the brick and the pig’s head at the window. He then ran back to the car which drove off. He was around 18-years-old and was wearing a black hoody that was pulled up over his head.

    Det Chf Insp Chris Downey, from Oldham CID, said: “This was a disgusting act against an innocent family who have lived in this community for years and were enjoying being at home together on a quiet Saturday night.

    “We are treating this appalling incident as a hate crime and are doing everything we can to find those responsible. No one should be made to feel scared in their own home.

    “The family were extremely shook up by this and we have been out to see them to offer assurance that we will do everything in our power to track the offenders down.

    “Neighbours and the community as a whole have been extremely supportive and I want to thank them for this.

    “We have spoken to residents, carried out forensic work and have been reviewing CCTV, while officers will continue patrols in the area.

    “I would ask anyone who knows anything about this attack to please call us.

    “Maybe you saw the car in the area around that time? Any information you have, even if you think it is just a tiny detail, could really help us.”

    Information can be passed on by calling 0161 856 8972 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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    Arabic Speaker Detained From Flight After Islamophobe Passenger Complains

    November 20, 2015

    A Philadelphia man says he is humiliated and upset after he was briefly stopped from boarding a flight from Chicago when another passenger overheard him speak Arabic, making him uncomfortable.

    Pizza shop owner Maher Khalil emigrated from Palestine 15 years ago. He says he had never experienced discrimination before the incident Wednesday at Midway International Airport.

    "We came to America to have a better life," Khalil explained on Friday. "Everybody in America is from different countries. I'm one of them. I'm an American citizen."

    Khalil said he was chatting with a friend while waiting to board a Southwest Airlines flight. When he approached the gate, he said, they were told they couldn't board because another passenger felt uncomfortable.

    "We were just chatting, like everybody else," Khalil said in a telephone interview. "I'm like: 'Are you kidding me? Are you serious? Is this a prank or something?'"

    Khalil called the police for help, but when they arrived, some passengers assumed it was because the officers were responding to a terrorist threat.

    The two men were later allowed to board.

    As Khalil walked to his seat at the back of the plane, some were suspicious of a white box he was carrying and asked to see what was inside, he said. To ease the tension, Khalil opened it and shared the baklava he'd bought with a few passengers.

    "When we walked onto the airplane, I told my friend to smile so (other passengers) can think there's nothing wrong," Khalil said. "Everybody started giving us that look."

    Southwest Airlines Co. said the flight departed 10 minutes late after a disagreement with two customers. The Dallas-based airline says its employees are trained to address "passenger situations" to ensure the safety of flights.

    "I swear, I never had that feeling before," Khalil said. "I felt like we're not safe no more in this country. Because I'm Arab, I cannot ride the airplane? The person who complained is the one who should be kicked out, not me."

    Khalil's experience is just one of many in an ongoing targeting of Arabic people in Western nations since the Paris terror attacks.

    In Canada, a man who posted a video threatening Muslims was arrested, and in Florida, a man was arrested by the FBI after he threatened to firebomb two Islamic organizations.

    A long-established bookstore was also targeted in Colorado likely because it's named ISIS -- after the sun goddess -- a brick was thrown through the window.


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    Threats against mosques pour in after NYC attack

    By Chris Perez - November 2, 2017

    People have been calling in threats to mosques
    following this week’s terror attack in Lower Manhattan, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

    The advocacy group’s New Jersey chapter released a statement Thursday, calling on state and federal authorities to investigate the threats as hate crimes after they were made against mosques in the city of Paterson — where Manhattan truck rampage suspect Sayfullo Saipov is from.

    Police have confirmed that several threatening calls were made in the wake of Tuesday’s attack, but haven’t released any more details.

    “We urge local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to treat this and all the other cases of threats and violence targeting American mosques with the seriousness they deserve and to bring the perpetrators to justice,” said CAIR New Jersey Executive Director Jim Sues. “We ask that law enforcement officials be especially vigilant at a time when the risk of backlash against the Muslim community is most severe.”

    The threats were made at the Masjid Omar Mosque on Getty Avenue — where Saipov is believed to have worshiped — and the Islamic Center of Passaic County on the Paterson’s Eastside.

    The Islamic Center reportedly draws about 2,000 people each week for communal prayers.

    Omar Awad, who is president of the facility, told NJ.com that they have received at least eight threats since late Wednesday.

    Each time, the callers used profane language and threatened violence, saying they would “kill” the other person on the line.

    “We’re going to burn your mosque down,”
    they added.

    Awad said the threats have been reported to Paterson Police and Homeland Security.

    “We have received threats in the past but nothing of this magnitude,” he explained. “The national rhetoric is affecting our lives here.”



    These are the real terrorists who come out to terrorize and harm Muslims at every opportunity and they do it knowing that their people will approve of it instead of arresting them.

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    Man Who Threatened to Kill Entire Tenn. Muslim Family Released from Jail

    CAIR Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Racist Harassment Targeting Tenn. Muslim Girls, Knife Attack on Father, Threat to Kill Entire Family

    October 25, 2017

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on law enforcement authorities in Tennessee to treat as a hate crime an incident in which a man harassed Muslim school girls, pulled a knife on their father and threatened to kill the entire family.

    Christopher Beckham, 32, was charged with two counts of assault and one count of aggravated assault for harassing the Muslim girls when they got off a school bus in Nashville, Tenn.

    The girls, who both wear Islamic head scarves (hijab)
    , say Beckham told them to “go back to [their] country,” that they were “not welcome in America,” and said he was going to beat them up. When the girls’ father arrived at the scene, Beckham reportedly pulled a knife on him. After Beckham was arrested, he continued to make racist comments about the victims and threatened to kill the entire family when he gets out of jail. Beckham’s bond was set at $20,000. His first appearance in court is set for Thursday.

    CAIR is calling on law enforcement authorities to revoke bond in the case because of the continued threat to the family.

    “The allegations in this case clearly warrant consideration of a hate crime enhancement in the sentencing phase if the suspect is found guilty,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Because the suspect reportedly made threats to kill the entire family once he got out of jail, we urge that his bond be revoked and that he be held in custody.”

    Tennessee law allows a judge to enhance a sentence if the defendant intentionally selected the victims because of their race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, disability or sexual orientation.


    Man Accused of Harassing Muslim Girls in Nashville
    Man Accused of Harassing 2 Muslim Girls As They Got Off School Bus
    Man Arrested for Harassing & Assaulting Two Teenage Girls & Their Father

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    In Face Of Islamophobia, This Group Hosts 'Meet A Muslim' Events In Kansas

    by Sarah Ruiz-Grossman - October 10, 2017

    After President Donald Trump’s election and a corresponding spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes, one small group in the Kansas City area started organizing monthly “Meet a Muslim” events ― an effort to show community members who Muslims really are in real life, as opposed to the negative stereotypes they might see in the news.

    The events were an idea from the nonprofit Crescent Peace Society, which has been seeking to raise awareness and improve understanding of Muslim cultures through interfaith events and dialogue since its founding in 1996.

    The volunteer-run group was started by a handful of Muslim parents after the Oklahoma City bombing, when some of their kids were afraid to return to school because classmates said they were responsible for the attack.

    Since then, the group has been organizing annual interfaith dinners, local “visit a mosque” events, and a yearly iftar to break the Ramadan fast ― all with non-Muslim community members so they can get to know Muslims face-to-face and counter misconceptions.

    But late last year, almost exactly two decades after the group’s founding, Trump won the presidency with a campaign full of anti-Muslim rhetoric. Crescent Peace Society, which is based in the suburb of Overland Park, Kansas, received a wave of requests from neighbors around the Kansas City area “who wanted to do something for the Muslim community but didn’t know how ― or had never even met a Muslim,” the group’s president, Ahsan Latif, told HuffPost.

    That’s when he started the monthly “Meet a Muslim” events, inviting non-Muslims to sit around a table with Muslims and just talk ― about current events, their families, their faith, anything. The events, which are free and open to the public, have been at locations including an Islamic Center, a church and a synagogue. The first drew about 200 people and subsequent events have brought in about 150 each.

    “I was surprised by my own misconceptions, particularly about the lives of women within the Muslim religion,” participant Becky Plate, who is non-Muslim, told HuffPost by email of her experience at one event. “I consider myself a pretty well-informed individual ... but even I had allowed news stories, about things like women secretly learning to drive in Saudi Arabia, to color my opinions.”

    For Latif, this type of myth-busting is exactly what the events are all about.

    “It distills our mission down to one event: getting to know people on a person-to-person basis,” Latif said. “It’s harder to demonize someone or think they’re monolithic when you actually get to know them.”

    “We speak as average people, not as mosque officials,” he added. “So people get to know who regular people are who practice the faith.”

    Latif, a 36-year-old attorney who had attended the organization’s annual dinners when he was younger, became president of the group three years ago after “one of the aunties asked me to ― and I don’t like to say no to the aunties,” he said.

    Latif usually kicks off the events with a short introduction about the group and Islam in general and then hands control back to the tables ― which each have at least one Muslim “moderator” ― to carry on their own, more intimate discussions.

    The tables all have handouts to help guide conversation, with facts about Islam and Muslims in Kansas City and the U.S. After an hour or so, the Muslim moderators rotate to new tables. Latif said he makes a point of ensuring a diverse group of Muslims are present, with moderators including everyone from an Iraqi refugee to a Somali-American couple to an African-American recent convert, “so they can see we come in all different looks and ethnicities,” he said.

    Table moderator Zehra Shabbir, who is Muslim and has been a member of Crescent Peace Society for four years, has attended several events. She was “surprised” both by the level of concern for and solidarity with Muslims she saw from non-Muslim attendees, as well as by some of the misconceptions people had about Islam, including everything from the veil to women’s rights.

    “How can there be such a negative outlook on a group of people that nearly 60 percent of Americans have never even spoken to?” Shabbir told HuffPost by email. “That stat alone makes initiatives like this important. We all fear the unknown, but that fear can be broken once you sit down with someone different and just talk to them.”

    This photo was shared to the Crescent Peace Society Facebook page in June by a community member who had attended an interfaith event. It included the comment: “Gracious, warm hospitality accompanied by amazing cuisine. Thank you for giving us the chance to break bread together. This is exactly how real communities are built, made stronger. We were honored to be your guests.”

    The Crescent Peace Society’s “Meet a Muslim” events are one of a handful of similar initiatives that have sprung up across the country since the election. One Muslim couple started a “dinner with your Muslim neighbor” project in Seattle, for instance, and a Muslim veteran has been traveling the country with a sign reading “I’m Muslim and a U.S. Marine, ask anything.”

    When asked whether such projects place undue responsibility on Muslims to have to humanize themselves to non-Muslims, particularly in an environment of increased fear among the Muslim community, Latif demurred.

    “There’s a lot of discussion in progressive circles on whose job it is to humanize people, and I understand it’s off-putting to explain, ‘I’m just a human being just like you are,’” he said. “But we’ve found in our work that waiting for other people to do the work doesn’t get anything done. You have to take that first step and hope that other people will join you.”

    “If we don’t speak, then other people write the narratives for us,”
    he added.

    Amid a recent rise in anti-Muslim hate groups nationwide ― and spate of hate crimes in recent years in the Kansas City area ― Latif recognizes the effect and reach of the group’s events are small. But even if they touch only a few hundred people, he believes they still have value.

    “There are so few Muslims and so much said about them,” Latif said. “Even just meeting people who [already] support us, they can say to their extended families: ‘I’ve met a Muslim person and this is what I found out,’ so it’s a ripple that hopefully reverberates further out.”

    “My goal is to make a difference with people around me,” he added. “There are things happening in the world I can’t control ― what I can control is to project the message and get to know people in the local community, and hopefully do good that way.”


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    All Muslims are often blamed for single acts of terror. Psychology explains how to stop it.

    You can’t fight prejudice with name calling. Here’s one strategy that actually works.

    On Wednesday, President Donald Trump retweeted anti-Muslim propaganda videos from a known hate group. The videos — one of which has been revealed to be fake — purport to demonstrate the dangers Muslims pose to Western society: that Muslim migrants beat up white Europeans, threaten Western culture, and mock Western religious figures.

    As my colleagues at Vox have pointed out, Trump’s retweets fit with a pattern: He feels that the whole of Islam, collectively, is a threat to the United States and the West. He treats Muslims as a monolith, a group of millions who deserve to be banned from the United States. There’s a psychological theory that helps explain this tendency: “collective blame,” when we punish the whole for the actions of a few.

    In some ways, Trump is channeling how many people in America feel about Muslims. We see collective blame rear its head after an act of terror committed by a member of the Islamic faith. “Maybe most [Muslims are] peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible,” Rupert Murdoch tweeted after the 2015 terrorist attack in France. A similar sentiment often repeats on Murdoch’s Fox News.

    There’s nothing logical about condemning millions of people — who are spread across the globe and are unrelated to each other except by religious tradition — for the actions of a few. You wouldn’t blame all white people for the actions of Dylann Roof, who walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and killed nine African-American worshippers. You wouldn’t blame all Christians for the meanness of the Westboro Baptist Church.

    Yet collective blame happens, with ugly consequences.

    As psychologists learn more about the phenomenon, they’re also gathering ideas about how we might combat it. And a series of experiments, forthcoming in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, demonstrate a crafty, nonthreatening way to get people to realize that when they engage in collective blame, they’re hypocrites.

    Behavioral science researchers — like Emile Bruneau and his colleagues Nour Kteily and Emily Falk, who co-authored these studies — are usually better at describing the psychological problems that fuel conflict than they are at offering solutions. But their new work offers tantalizing clues for how to break the cycle of collective blame and retribution.

    You can’t decrease prejudice through name calling

    Collective blame doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it’s correlated with many other ideas and behaviors that increase hostilities toward Muslims. In his studies with Kteily, Bruneau finds that collective blame among American non-Muslims is correlated with blatant dehumanization — thinking others are less than human.

    It’s also correlated with support for anti-Muslim immigration policies, and prejudice against them. People who engage in collective blame of Muslims are more likely to agree with statements like, “We should ban the wearing of the Islamic veil,” and, “We should ban the opening of any new mosques in this country.” They’d rather the US government spend money building surveillance networks in Muslim-majority communities than building libraries in those communities.

    “If you collectively blame an entire group for the actions of individuals, it makes it totally reasonable to exact your revenge from any person from that group,” Bruneau, a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania, says. “You get a cycle going on where each cycle is motivated to commit violence against totally innocent members of the other group.”

    Bruneau sees collective blame as a place to intervene on many of these measures and break the cycle.

    But so often, advocates fail to find a message that will change the minds of those who are already prejudiced. Simply calling people out on their prejudice doesn’t work, as Vox’s German Lopez has thoroughly outlined. Name calling provokes defensiveness, not understanding. Same goes for shaming. And we’re often making a grave mistake in trying to argue: The arguments we personally find convincing are often unlikely to convince an opponent.

    But highlighting hypocrisy can help

    Here’s where Bruneau and his colleagues did something unusual for psychology. Instead of crafting an intervention around a psychological theory, they went out to advocacy groups and asked them: What videos do you use to combat anti-Mulism prejudice?

    “I don’t think scientists are best ones to create interventions for the real world,” Bruneau says. “That’s not a scientist skill set.”

    The organizations sent him 60 videos, which the researchers pared down to eight (see them all here on page 50). The experiment that followed was kind of like the A/B tests marketing companies use to find the most compelling ad copy.

    Some of the videos focused on humanizing Muslims — showing how they are diverse, hardworking members of their communities. Others pointed out data that shows that the Muslim world, overall, views Americans favorably. Another showed a news clip of a young white conservative man who had a change of heart after being invited inside a mosque. Yet another was a clip from Last Week Tonight in which host John Oliver calls out Fox News for conflating Muslim refugees with terrorists.

    The researchers randomly assigned 2,000 participants to watch either one of these videos, a control condition with no video, or a “negative control” video in which an Arab woman endorses the idea that all Muslims are to blame for global conflicts. After showing the videos, the researchers gave participants a survey testing their propensity for collective blame.

    The only video that worked to reduce the collective blame of Muslims compared to a control group was one that explained how hypocritical it is to blame all Muslims for the actions of a few. The video (which you can see below) features a Muslim guest on a news program. “The Westboro Baptist Church, they were Christians,” she says. “The KKK was lynching people in this country — they were also Christians. This fixation and obsession with asking Muslims to condemn all acts of terrorism ... is ridiculous, and it wears me out.”

    Among participants who saw this video, not only did collective blame decrease but so did support for anti-Muslim policies and Islamophobia (by an average of 10 points on a 100-point scale).

    The “negative control” video did the opposite: It made participants even more likely to collectively blame Muslims.

    Here’s the hard part: how to get people to realize they’re hypocrites

    The result from the video test was interesting, but the researchers didn’t want to stop there.

    They wondered if they could design an exercise to get participants thinking more deeply about the hypocrisy of collective blame and then change their minds.

    So they designed a questionnaire that led participants through a series of questions. The first:

    On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and during a prayer service killed nine African American parishioners. Roof cited his White identity as a motivation for the attacks. How responsible do you think you are for the acts of Dylann Roof?
    How responsible do you think White Americans are for the acts of Dylann Roof?

    The exercise continued with questions about how responsible white Americans are for Anders Breivik, a Norwegian white nationalist who killed 77 in 2011, and how responsible white Americans are for the actions of the KKK.

    The exercise ended on these questions.

    Muniba is a Muslim who owns a small bakery in Southern France. How responsible do you think Muniba is for the Paris attacks [in 2015]?
    Ahmed is a Muslim who works in a bank in Jordan. How responsible do you think Ahmed is for the Paris attacks?
    Tareq is Muslim who is an apprentice architect in Paris. How responsible do you think Tareq is for the Paris attacks?

    After completing this exercise, levels of collective blame dropped by nearly half compared to a control group (a nearly 18-point decrease). The people who completed this activity also were less likely to dehumanize Muslims, showed less support for anti-Muslim policies, and were less likely to agree to sign an anti-Muslim petition.

    Why? “It’s uncomfortable to hold conflicting views about yourself,” Emily Falk, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania and a study co-author, says. “If you think hypocrisy is a bad thing, and that holding Islamophobic viewpoints would make you a hypocrite, then you need to change something.”

    More recently, Bruneau has repeated this exercise with a group in Spain. There, he found the effects lasted for at least a month. “This was significant both because it allowed me to determine if the effects ‘stick’, and also because in that time there was an attack by Muslim extremists in Barcelona that killed 15 people and wounded over 100,” he says. “Therefore, we were able to see if the effects of the intervention were persistent, even in the face of a violent attack.”

    Again, the key to this exercise is that you can’t start by calling someone a hypocrite outright. You have to lead them to that thought.

    It’s similar to the approach that was used in an experiment to decrease transphobia in the real world. Here, experimenters didn’t tell transphobic voters directly that their views were wrong. Instead, they asked them a series of questions designed to get them to reassess their prejudices.

    Maybe “the best way to change someone’s heart is to change someone’s mind,” Bruneau says. And he stresses that even though the videos that use a humanizing approach didn’t work in this paper, it doesn’t mean the approach is hopeless. It’s an enormous task to create a few-minutes-long video that could change someone’s heart.

    A final lesson: even experts on behavior often don’t know how to change someone’s mind

    The authors of the paper did one final, very interesting thing in their experiments. Before they ran the test on the eight videos, they showed those videos to a wholly different group of 938 participants and basically asked: What do you think will work to change somebody’s mind about collectively blaming Muslims for terror attacks?

    Overall, these participants didn’t pick the winning video. They thought a John Oliver rant would help (it actually made things worse). Which goes to show the rants and messages we post to our Facebook walls might not always work to change another persons mind (shocker!).

    “The real-world message that I would love for people to take from this is, number one, to be skeptical about your intuitions about what is going to work and what isn’t,” Bruneau says. It might feel good to shame prejudicial people for being hypocrites, or it might feel good to post a rant from a late-night comedian. But take a step back and think: Is this really helping or changing anyone’s mind?

    There are some caveats to this work. One is that it was conducted in a series of online surveys. In the real world, you can’t always force someone to pay attention to a video or an activity. And we’re constantly distracted. In her work, Princeton psychologist Levy Paluck finds “watching [an important, alarming news story] with distraction depresses your interest in a topic, even more so than if you have not seen it at all.”

    Bruneau is currently working on extensions to the experiment to see if the intervention works in messier real-world settings. But for now, the finding offers a glimmer of hope.


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    Anti-Muslim online surges driven by fake accounts

    Social media bots and image manipulation are spreading Islamophobia, analysis reveals

    by Mark Townsend - 25 November 2017

    A global network of anti-Muslim activists is using Twitter bots, fake news and the manipulation of images to influence political discourse, new analysis reveals.

    Many have recorded significant growth in their social media followings over the past year, co-ordinating to push the message that Islam is an “imminent threat” to western society. Researchers from the anti-racist organisation Hope Not Hate found that the impact of tweets from one controversial US activist, Pamela Geller, who is banned from the UK, is magnified by 102 bots, automated or semi-automated accounts that automatically tweet or retweet their content.

    Researchers also monitored a sample of popular anti-Muslim Twitter accounts in Britain and the US between March and November this year, and found that, on average, there was a 117% growth in followers.

    Geller, described by critics as a figurehead for Islamophobic organisations, produces the Geller Report, which doubled its viewers to more than two million people each month between July and October. The Gates of Vienna counter-jihadist blog, described by critics as a training manual for anti-Muslim paramilitaries, also doubled in visitors per month during the same period.

    Patrik Hermansson, researcher for Hope not Hate, said: “The growth among Twitter accounts and websites spreading anti-Muslim hate is alarming. In such a key area of public interest, it is an indication of increased interest in these views and, as each account or site grows, more people are exposed to deeply prejudiced anti-Muslim views.”

    The study also charts how terror attacks in the UK have been exploited by anti-Muslim activists over social media, with several prominent anti-Muslim Twitter accounts in the UK acquiring a significant number of followers in their aftermath.

    During the hours and days following the Manchester attack, Tommy Robinson, former leader of the English Defence League (EDL), gained 40,042 followers, an increase of 17%, with the majority – 29,396 – coming within 48 hours of the attack. Robinson gained 22,365 after the Westminster attack: he had a weekly average increase of 6,422 followers from March to November 2017.

    The aftermath of the London Bridge attack in June was used to illustrate how anti-Muslim activists took advantage, with 32 of the top 100 most shared tweets about the attack expressing negative sentiments about Muslims.

    The study also accuses Breitbart, run by Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon, of spreading fake news, stating that “its reporting on Islam and Muslims is largely indistinguishable from the anti-Muslim movement’s rhetoric or even that of the far right”.

    The study says a network of online forums and image boards serves as an echo chamber to amplify and spread fabricated anti-Muslim social media campaigns.
    The most notorious recent example was the exploitation of a photograph of a Muslim woman walking past a group of people helping a victim of the Westminster attack in March 2017.

    The image gained traction after a Twitter user called @Southlonestar claimed the image revealed the woman’s indifference to the victim being treated. It was recently revealed that @Southlonestar was one of 2,700 accounts handed over to the US House Intelligence Committee by Twitter as a fake account created in Russia to influence UK and US politics.

    The image of the Muslim woman – who has since spoken of her distress at the attack and the abuse she suffered afterwards – was later superimposed on pictures after the Manchester attack.

    Researchers claim in their report that bots were employed to amplify Geller’s messages on Twitter, identifying at least 102 accounts that exhibit characteristics of bots, including only exclusively posting content with links to Geller’s website and being highly synchronised, meaning they post the same content at almost the same time.

    The simplest bots follow and retweet other users. A user with a large number of followers is generally easier to trust and may seem more “legitimate”. The more advanced bots often mix human control with artificial intelligence, and are notoriously difficult to detect.



    This is what the enemies of Islam and Muslims are doing to against Islam and Muslims. What are the 1.8 BILLION Muslims doing?! Muslims need to get active on social media to counter these attacks, even learn to use bots and fake accounts themselves. This, below, is the kind of images the Islamophobes create and spread on social media. They take a picture of Muslim family and write their lies on it.

    A Closer Look at Islamophobia

    It may be in the headlines this week, but Islamophobia isn't new. We take a look at the well-funded political movements that have fueled anti-Muslim bias in the U.S. for years.

    video: https://www.facebook.com/closershow/...6978040684297/

    The so called "Ex-Muslims"


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    Islamophobia even worse under Trump than after 9/11 attacks, says top Muslim activist

    by Andrew Buncombe - 5:29 PM 12/27/2017

    Muslims in America are more vulnerable to bigotry and Islamophobia as a result of Donald Trump’s behaviour and actions than they were after the 9/11 attacks, according to a leading Muslim activist.

    As the country approaches the anniversary of Mr Trump’s first year in office, Ibrahim Hooper said such was the level of anxiety and apprehension, many Muslims were fearful to public display signs of their faith. A number of Muslim women, for instance, were deciding not to to appear in public wearing the veil.

    “It’s not just Americans Muslims [who feel anxious],” Mr Hooper, a founder of the Council On American-Islamic Relations, told The Independent. “We have have seen white supremacists emboldened under Trump.”

    The President sparked outcry by retweeting a post by a right-wing British political group (Twitter)

    Mr Hooper said many people of colour and the minority community had been deeply dismayed by many of Mr Trump’s actions, including his Muslim travel ban and his administration’s crackdown on undocumented migrants.

    He said the President’s failure to speak out against white supremacism and extremism – as in the aftermath of neo-Nazi-led violence in Charlottesville in August which left one woman dead – had the impact of allowing such views to become mainstream.

    Many white supremacists, including former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, praised the way Mr Trump responded to the violence, claiming that there was blame “on all sides”.

    “It’s worse now than even after 9/11. He has empowered and mainstreamed white supremacy and bigotry,” he said. “After 9/11, bigotry was under the rocks and hidden. Now these bigots are out in the open and saying they are proud of their bigotry.”

    Asked if he believed the alleged increase in Islamophobia was the result of Mr Trump’s presidency, he said: “There is no other explanation.”

    When asked about Islamophobia, Sean Spicer instead spoke of ‘radical Islamic terrorism’

    Mr Hooper said several episodes of anti-Muslim violence had made international headlines. Among them was an incident in May, when two men were killed and a third badly injured, after they tried to intervene on a train in Portland, Oregon, when a man started screaming anti-Muslim insults at two women. In Quebec City, Canada, six people were killed and 10 others injured after a lone gunman opened fire.

    Mr Hooper’s organisation said it had been collating details of other alleged hate crimes and incidents of Islamophobia that did not always get widespread media coverage.

    Between January and September 2017, the organisation recorded 1,656 so-called “bias incidents” and 195 hate crimes. That represented a 9 per cent increase in bias incidents and a 20 per cent rise in hate crimes compared to 2016.

    “Based on preliminary estimates, it’s fair to say that 2017 is gearing to be the worst year on record for incidents of anti-Muslim bias since we began our current system of documentation,” said research and advocacy coordinator Zainab Arain.

    “Additionally, this year we’ve noted a disturbing trend of perpetrators invoking Trump to express racial and religious animosity.”

    Donald Trump's least presidential moments so far...

    During the 2016 election campaign and after he took office, Mr Trump frequently talked about Muslims in a way many felt was derogatory. In late 2015, he said he would call for a complete ban on Muslims entering the country.

    He did so in the wake of a deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people. The attack was carried out by a married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. Farook was a US-born citizen of Pakistani descent while Malik was a Pakistani-born lawful permanent resident.

    A week after Mr Trump was inaugurated, he signed the first of three executive orders designed to prohibit citizens of half-a-dozen Muslim majority countries from entering the country. While the order was at first blocked by the courts and the White House scrambled to to say it was not a ban on Muslims, Mr Trump’s ally Rudy Giuliani said the President wanted a “Muslim ban” and had asked him how to go about enacting one legally.

    The ban is currently active while further legals challenges proceed.

    Mr Trump most recently sparked accusations that he was stirring fuelling Islamophobia when he retweeted three inflammatory videos originally posted by the right-wing UK group Britain First.

    The videos, which the White House admitted it had not sought to verify, depicted purported Muslims assaulting people and, in one video, smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary.

    The White House did not immediately respond to inquiries for comment.


    Muslim Kicked Off a Greyhound Bus at 3 a.m. Because His Name is Mohammad

    By Graham Lanktree - 11/21/17

    A Ph.D. candidate who was traveling on a Greyhound bus from Dallas to a conference in Kansas City, Missouri, this month says he was kicked off at 3 a.m. during a stop in Wichita, Kansas, because his name is Mohammad.

    “The driver lady came to me and woke me up and asked for my ticket. I showed her my ticket on my phone. Seeing my name on the ticket, which is ‘Mohammad,’ she told me ‘Your ticket is not acceptable and since you don’t have a printed version of it, you have to leave the bus,’” wrote Mohammad Reza Sardari on Facebook early this month alongside video of his argument with the driver.

    Reza—who specializes in urban planning and transportation engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington and won a scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—said he retrieved his printed-out ticket in his backpack and showed it to the driver. “Again she asked me to leave the bus. I asked for the reason and she responded ‘I don’t want to talk to you!’” he wrote.

    “You're not going with me. I don't want to talk to you no more. You get off my bus. Police is helping you out. Don't worry, police is coming. You're not going with me,”
    the driver is heard saying in video Reza shot of the confrontation.

    “You’re not going with me! So stop talking to me,” the driver says as Reza is seen holding his ticket and asking, “What’s the reason?”

    A spokesperson for Greyhound told an NBC News affiliate in Texas that the driver's behavior was unacceptable. “Greyhound does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and is taking these allegations very seriously. We’ve identified the driver and are currently conducting a thorough investigation into the matter,” they said.

    Reza wrote that the driver called the police after he insisted that he would stay on the bus until he got a clear answer about why he was being removed. The only hint, he said, was his name and the fact that he is an Iranian-American international student.

    Discrimination against Muslim Americans has risen sharply over the past two years. Hate crimes against Muslims rose 20 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to FBI statistics released early this month. In 2015 hate crimes against Muslims were up nearly 70 percent on the year before. A report published by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) early this year found a 57 percent increase in incidents of anti-Islam bias in 2016 over the year before.

    When the police showed up, Reza said, they sided with the bus driver, and told him that since it is private property, the driver can refuse to provide him service.

    Stranded 200 miles from his destination early in the morning without a ride, Reza told NBC News that he hailed a Lyft driver to take him the remaining distance at a cost of nearly $250.

    After the conference, he decided to catch a flight back to Dallas rather than use the return ticket he had bought for the bus.

    “I stayed calm and courteous throughout the ordeal,” he said, urging people to share his story “to prevent these attitudes in future.”


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    UK: The Sun reveals motorists named “Mohammed” are being charged more for insurance


    A recent survey by The Sun newspaper has found that motorists named “Mohammed” are being charged more for their insurance than those called “John Smith”.

    The survey by The Sun found top insurance firms quote drivers named “John” almost £1,000 less than those named “Mohammed”.

    The most shocking example we found was an Admiral quote via Go Compare where identical details apart from the name were inserted, The Sun reported.

    When it was “John Smith” wanting fully comprehensive insurance for a 2007 Ford Focus in Leicester the quote was £1,333.

    But for “Mohammed Ali” it was £2,252 — £919 more.

    One victim of the scandal — Mohammed Butt — said: “its racism, pure and simple. They cannot say Mohammeds are worse drivers than Johns.”

    The Sun received 60 quotes after entering details into comparison websites including Go Compare, which show results from each specific insurance company.

    A Mohammed Smith living in London was quoted more for a policy than a man with the name John Smith.

    And a John Smith living in Southampton was able to insure a 2009 Renault Clio for £992 with one company.

    However, a Raj Singh living at the same address would have to pay £1,023 – £31 more even though all of the details were the same.

    But one company today told The Sun: “We do not and never have used a customer’s name or any other piece of information to rate on race.

    “The insurance quotes were not like for like.”


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    Gay racist sentenced to life in jail for killing neighbour because he thought he was Muslim

    A homosexual racist was sentenced to life in prison last Tuesday for shooting his non-Muslim Arab neighbour dead because he thought he was Muslim.

    Stanley Majors claimed that he feared that his “Muslim” neighbours would persecute him for being gay.

    An attorney for Khalid Jabara’s family said the 63-year-old killer “deserved every single day” of his sentence for turning up to his next door neighbour’s doorstep and shooting him in August 2016.

    Prior to the murder, Majors subjected Mr Khalid and his family to years of abuse at their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and even ran over his victim’s mother, Haifa Jabra, with his car in September 2015, leaving her with a broken arm.

    He committed the homicide two months before he could stand trial for that offence, with a judge ruling last Tuesday that he should serve life without parole.

    During Majors trial, his defence team tried to blame the crime on mental illness, and said he had killed Mr Jabara – who was a non-Muslim of Lebanese origin – because he feared he and his family were Muslim, and thought they would target him because he was homosexual. That came despite Mr Jabara having a warm and cordial relationship with Majors’ husband, Stephen Schmauss.

    In a statement read by the Jabara family’s attorney, Julie Doss, after the sentence, they said regarding Majors: “We do not believe this defendant is worthy of any more attention.

    “His time to turn his life around has come and gone.

    “Love is something this defendant never had and never will have, and he will spend the rest of his life in prison where he belongs.”


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    NY Islamophobes attack Sikh man, call him 'Osama Bin Laden'

    August 9, 2014

    Just days after a Sikh man was hit and dragged by a truck, another Sikh man and his mother were attacked here by a group of teenagers who called them 'Osama Bin Laden' in an apparent hate crime, sparking fresh outrage among the community members.

    The Sikh man, a physician scientist, said in a statement that he and his mother were attacked in a Queens neighborhood on the night of August 7.

    He said that in accordance with Sikh religious beliefs, both he and his mother wear turbans and maintain uncut hair.

    They were confronted by about 10 teenagers who called them Osama bin Laden and asked the duo to go back to their country.

    The teenagers also used derogatory language against the man's mother and made fun of her facial hair.

    The Sikh man told them to stop, but the teenagers surrounded him and punched him in the face and neck. They also tried to throw a bottle at the Sikh man and then fled.

    The man, who chose to remain anonymous, said he tried to pursue them but could not as he was in a lot of pain. He then called the police and was treated at a hospital.

    "I want the New York Police Department to investigate this attack as a hate crime and arrest the people who attacked me before they hurt someone else. I want witnesses to come forward and contact the police immediately," the man said, adding that his mother was visiting him from India.

    "She thought that Americans respect religious freedom and that the police and the government here do everything in their power to prevent violence and arrest criminals. I don't want her to lose faith that justice will be done," he said.

    Rights group Sikh Coalition called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to work with the community to end violence and discrimination against Sikhs.

    "Enough is enough," it said, urging witnesses to call federal authorities giving any information they may have on the 10 teenagers. The group included a white male and three females while the rest were black men.

    "We're tired of being targeted again and again by bigots, but Sikh Americans are not afraid and are not going to let a small group of narrow-minded individuals get us down," Rajdeep Singh, Director of Law and Policy at the Sikh Coalition, said. "We look forward to working with the New York City government, including the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio, to arrest the attackers, stop hate crimes in New York City, and make all of our communities safe," Singh said.

    Sikh Coalition said it has requested the intervention of NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force.

    The attack occurred just days after 29-year-old Sandeep Singh was brutally injured when he was hit and dragged nearly 30 feet on a public street in Queens by a pick-up truck following an argument with the truck's driver who called him a "terrorist" who should "go back to your country."

    Members of the Sikh community and civil rights groups had gathered in Queens earlier this week for a support rally organized by Sikh Coalition calling for justice for Singh and that the attack be investigated as a hate crime.


    The only terrorists here are these people who think this is their land rather than Native Indians'. They should be deported back to Africa and Europe and then they can say "it is their land".

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    Anti-Muslim Assaults In The U.S. Are Increasing

    Between 2015 and 2016, the number of anti-Muslim assaults in the United States increased significantly, according to FBI data published by the Pew Research Center. In 2016, there were 127 reports of aggravated or simple assaults against Muslims in total, higher than the modern peak of 93 which was recorded in 2001.



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