9/11, wars and Islamophobia

This is a video from the USA called Gainesville Muslim Community Organizes Vigils, Teach-Ins to Counter Planned Quran Burning.

USA: For nearly a decade, Washington has exploited the shock and grief surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to justify wars of aggression abroad and attacks on democratic rights at home. Now, the ninth anniversary of 9/11 is overshadowed by the confused and repulsive media circus surrounding a Florida religious crackpot’s proposed burning of the Koran: here.

The War Pornographers Keep Waving The 9/11 Bloody Shirt: here.

Thousands Of Afghans In Anti-Quran-Burning Protest: here.

Police have opened fired on over 10,000 demonstrators in an impoverished Kabul neighbourhood as they protested against the massive Western military presence in their country.

Europeans may still like Barack Obama more than Americans do, but they’re turning against him on Afghanistan: here.

Korans vandalized in New York, Washington on 9/11 anniversary: here.

“On 9th Anniversary of 9/11, A Call to Close Guantanamo & to Hold Accountable Those Who Authorized Torture”: here.

Protesters marching for and against plans to build an interfaith community centre near the site of the September 11 2001 attacks rallied in Manhattan on Saturday waving placards reading: “The attack on Islam is racism” and “Never forgive, never forget – no WTC mosque”.

Coalition to Stop Islamophobia Denounces 9/11 Quran Burnings: here.

The Hip-Hop Response to Islamophobia: here.

USA: End of Summer Sees Growing Threats to Abortion Clinics and Mosques: here.

The image of the United States as a bastion of religious tolerance is reassuring—and utterly at odds with the historical record: here.

Bill O’Reilly promotes 9/11 “truthers”: here.

U.S.: 9/11 Rescue Workers Still Waiting for Healthcare: here.

Check out the Democracy Now! archives for extensive reporting on Sept. 11 related health issues: here.

Survey: Americans don’t know much about religion: here.

After France, Israel considers ‘banning the burqa’: here.

15 thoughts on “9/11, wars and Islamophobia

  1. Rallies Concerning Islamic Center Bring Controversy To Lower Manhattan

    A large crowd of supporters of the Park51 Center on Park Place demonstrated behind police barriers on the west side of City Hall Park. They said they were standing up against the anti-Muslim sentiment sweeping the nation.




  2. Emergency Mobilization Against Racism and Anti-Muslim Bigotry



    March Against Racism and Anti-Muslim Bigotry

    On the ninth anniversary of September 11, thousands of people marched against racism in a diverse show of solidarity that far outnumbered the Tea Party-led hate rallies.

    “We had at least 10,000 people,” said Sara Flounders, one of the coordinators of the Unity and Solidarity Rally. “And the rally program – with speakers from the labor movement, immigrants’ rights coalitions, and clergy from synagogues, churches and mosques – featured the dynamic diversity of almost every community in New York.”

    Once the opponents of Park51 had made September 11 into a racist attack on Muslims, the question was whether progressive forces were going to allow this poisonous hate campaign to go unchallenged.

    Today that question was resoundingly answered in a dynamic anti-racist rally that attracted over fifty speakers and featured noted personalities such as anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, former Congressperson Cynthia McKinney, and former U.S. Attorney Ramsey Clark.

    Protesters carried a wide range of placards that read “Unity Not Racism,” “Tea Party Bigots Funded by Corporate $,” “No to Racism and Anti-Muslim Bigotry,” “Jobs, Schools, Healthcare, Not Racism and War” and “The Attack on Islam is Racism.”

    Just naming the rally’s co-chairs gives a modest idea of the breadth of the rally’s support: In addition to Flounders, they were Sayel Kayed of American Muslims for Palestine; Dr. Asha A. Samad-Matias of the Safrad Somali Association and the Muslim Women’s Coalition; Lucy Pagoda of the May 1st Coalition for Worker and Immigrant Rights; and Amadi Ajamu of the December 12th Movement. Another 48 diverse speakers and cultural groups gave greetings or performances.

    The message from the nearly 50 speakers on the stage of the Emergency Mobilization action was a strong one of solidarity and unity — solidarity with the Muslim community in the United States and unity of all the forces who came that day in the struggle against all forms of racism and scapegoating, against U.S. wars abroad and for jobs, education and social benefits at home.

    Larry Holmes of the Bail Out the People Movement rallied the crowd around the lead banner’s slogan, “No to Racism and Anti-Muslim Bigotry – YES to Unity, Respect Jobs and Justice!” He explained the need to stand up to racism to build the unity needed in the fight for jobs and against war. Describing the mobilization, Holmes said, “We brought out the real New York City — a city of workers and peoples of color from all around the world. This mobilization started because we were forced to defend our Muslim sisters and brothers. It will continue because we have to open up the struggle against war, against racism, and for jobs, education and health care. There is much more to fight for and now we all know who we can count on.”

    “What makes the Tea Party dangerous is that they are not in fact a grassroots organization,” Flounders said. “They receive millions of dollars from oil billionaires like the Koch brothers and other allies of Wall Street.”

    “But knowing this makes it all the more impressive that a truly grassroots, people’s mobilization like the Unity and Solidarity Rally — without the benefit of buses coming from all over the country and without the backing of media personalities — was able to outnumber the forces of bigotry on September 11.”

    “With the other unity rallies in Gainesville, Florida and Buffalo, New York, these displays of anti-racist solidarity represent the potential to turn the tide against anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant backlash and become a peoples’ movement for jobs, housing and healthcare.”

    There will be a followup evaluation meeting this Wednesday, Sept 15 to discuss where to go from here, at the Solidarity Center, 55 W. 17th Street, 5th Floor. Let’s keep this going for as long as it takes!

    For more information and reports see:


  3. Emergency Mobilization Against Racism and Anti-Muslim Bigotry

    WHERE WAS THE 70%?

    Despite Massive Funding and Publicity for the Tea Party Crowd, the Strongest Rally Took Place Against Racism

    > September 11 Unity & Solidarity Rally Roundup
    > After Saturday’s Inspiring Outpouring, What’s Next? Come to the Follow-up Meeting:
    > Wednesday, Sept 15 — 6:30 @Solidarity Center 55 W. 17th St. New York, NY
    Updates on:
    * Oct 2 DC March for Jobs
    * Oct 7 Harlem March to Defend Public Education

    photo: AP

    photo: AP

    Forced into action by a vicious anti-Muslim rally meant to stop construction of a downtown Islamic Center, on September 11 thousands of people took to the streets of New York to say no to racism.

    The picture above, taken from up high, shows the Unity & Solidarity Rally march stretching back three blocks, disappearing into the horizon.

    By any estimate, the people who came out against racism and bigotry far outnumbered the Tea Party crowd.

    What organizers of the anti-racist march found most striking was how their experience invalidated the poll reporting 70% in favor of moving the Islamic Center.

    The group organizing the anti-Center rally had considerable resources to organize with – enough money to buy bus ads from the MTA and feature a huge jumbotron screen at the rally. The Tea Party itself is bankrolled by the oil-billionaire Koch brothers.

    In addition, the racists’ rally received free daily nonstop media coverage, as every politician from the New York governor to electoral candidates weighed in, most unable to stand up against the anti-Muslim campaign.

    The New York Times and other media regularly published the names of speakers who would attend the anti-mosque rally — right-wing, big-name media personalities who were chosen specifically to draw attention to the demonstration.

    By contrast, press conferences by the Unity & Soldarity Rally held to publicize its September 11 rally were attended by dozens of media; but coverage of those same press conferences were pushed out of the airwaves as the corporate-owned media focused on the circus in Gainesville, Fla, where a bigoted pastor threatened to burn Korans on September 11.

    The issue became an outrageous drama in the days leading up to September 11. The racists got all the free publicity they could want. Every time the bigoted Florida pastor uttered a word, the media covered it. Billionaire Donald Trump inserted himself into the fray. Every online news site featured a poll on the issue. Talk about a recruitment bonanza!

    With promotion like this, the 70% of citizens who supposedly wanted the center moved should have been doubly and triply galvanized to get into the streets and protest.

    But this phenomenon never materialized – at least not like the right wing claimed it would.

    Sara Flounders, IAC co-coordinator and an organizer of Saturday’s rally, said “The point is not that the anti-Muslim and Tea Party movements aren’t dangerous. The cab driver whose neck was slashed and all the other hate crimes nationwide showed that.

    “The point is that the movement against racism was more easily organized into the streets – with no budget, less time to organize and far less media coverage.”

    And the progressive rally gained support not only against an anti-Muslim drumbeat. It grew against a related media campaign insisting that any protest held on September 11 would be disrespectful.

    All of this shows potential for building the kind of movement that the scapegoating campaign was trying to deflect, especially if we act now and capitalize on the momentum.

    “We brought out the real New York City — a city of workers and peoples of color from all around the world,” Larry Holmes of the Bail Out the People Movement said on Saturday. “This mobilization started because we were forced to defend our Muslim sisters and brothers. It will continue because we have to open up the struggle against war, against racism, and for jobs, education and health care. There is much more to fight for and now we all know who we can count on.”


    Channel 5 New York:

    New York 1:


    More YouTube:

    German News Agency:

    RT TV:


    There will be a followup evaluation meeting this Wednesday, Sept 15 to discuss where to go from here, at the Solidarity Center, 55 W. 17th Street, 5th Floor. Let’s keep this going for as long as it takes!

    For more information and reports see:


    See also here.


  4. Wednesday September 15, 2010

    Thousands of Afghans stage anti-U.S. protest in Kabul

    By Hamid Shalizi

    KABUL (Reuters) – Police fired into the air to disperse thousands of anti-American protesters in Afghanistan’s capital on Wednesday, witnesses and police said, with one person killed and at least five wounded.

    Demonstrators chanted “Death to America”, “Death to Christians”, and “Death to Karzai”, the latter referring to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in the biggest protests since unrest erupted last week over plans by a U.S. pastor to burn the Koran.

    “There are more than 10,000 of the demonstrators and some of them are waving the Taliban flag,” police officer Mohammad Usman.

    The protests come three days before a parliamentary election which the Taliban have vowed to disrupt. The election is a key test of stability in Afghanistan before U.S. President Barack Obama conducts a war strategy review in December.

    They follow three days of protests at the weekend over plans by an obscure U.S. pastor, which he later abandoned, to burn copies of the Koran to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked airliner attacks on the United States.

    Three people were killed in those protests. Observers including the top U.N. diplomat in Afghanistan had warned the Taliban may try to exploit the Koran-burning protests.

    A police source later said one person had been killed and five wounded, and that the toll could rise. The protests were the

    Reuters television pictures showed protesters waving large white flags, the symbol used by Taliban supporters.

    A spokesman for the the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the hardline Islamist group was aware of the protests but had no role in them.

    “People may have raised the Taliban flags to show their sentiment and sympathy for the Taliban,” Mujahid told Reuters from an undisclosed location.

    At the Pul-e-Kandahari, or Kandahar bridge in Kabul, police were ordered to advance towards one group of hundreds of protesters who were throwing stones and shouting “Death to American slaves” at police.

    Police were seen firing into the air and dragging away several protesters. At one point, volleys of gunfire could be heard. The protesters scattered, some sheltering in nearby houses in the mainly ethnic Pashtun and Tajik area of Kabul.

    The protesters earlier gathered in the west of the capital, burning tyres and blocking a main highway link to the south. Thick black smoke rose above the area and police kept journalists several hundred metres back.

    Reuters witnesses at the scene saw two unconscious people, covered in blood, being carried away suffering what appeared to be gunshot wounds.

    (Additional reporting by Sayed Salahuddin; Editing by Paul Tait and Sanjeev Miglani)

    (For more news, visit Reuters India)

    Copyright © 2010 Reuters


  5. NATO soldiers kill Afghan civilian

    15.09.2010 14:05

    NATO soldiers killed an Afghan civilian near a security perimeter they set up after a roadside bombing in south-eastern Afghanistan, the alliance said Wednesday, DPA reported.The soldiers shot and killed a man who was trying to approach the site where a convoy of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was bombed Tuesday in the Sharan district of Paktika province, an ISAF statement said.

    The soldiers said the victim “failed to stop after receiving several verbal and visual warnings.”

    Civilian casualties at the hands of foreign troops is the most delicate issue in Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly warned that such deaths erode popular support for Western forces and his government.



    If the 9/11 terrorists wanted to cause the deaths of many Americans, Republicans in the Senate are aiding and abetting them.

    That may sound like a monstrous, sensationalistic accusation, but there is really no other way to characterize a GOP filibuster last week to prevent funding that would assist the medical needs of 9/11 first responders in serious ill health due to exposures to toxins at the site. ABC News headlined the act of betrayal, “9/11 Health Bill Falls Short in Senate Test Vote: Senate Republicans block bill to help 9/11 responders, survivors sickened by trade center dust.”

    As far as the federal budget goes, this is small potatoes: $7.4 billion. But the Republicans were sticking to higher priorities at the time for them: a vote on a tax break for the super rich. Now that the bank accounts of billionaires have been padded, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York holds out hope that the 9/11 first responders will receive financial assistance that could be the difference between life and death, but at a price.

    The Republican Senate caucus demands that the $7.4 billion be offset by spending cuts or revenue enhancements in the federal budget, while the GOP demanded no such requirements in supporting their tax cuts for the ultra-rich. The public cost of the tax giveaways to a small group of super-affluent Americans is roughly ten times the cost of the bill to aid responders (which is a one-time allotment to create a fund), and that is for just one year of padding wallets big enough for a horse to choke on.

    In another exemplary act of picking up the slack that the corporate media should be carrying, Jon Stewart devoted his last “Daily Show” of the year to the plight of the ailing 9/11 emergency public workers and lambasted the Republican Party for its hypocrisy. As Stewart pointed out, for years you practically couldn’t hear a GOP or Bush message point that didn’t solemnly invoke and pay tribute to 9/11 or the 9/11 first responders. Then, as Stewart noted, when it came to a choice between saving the lives of those responders and tax cuts for billionaires, the Republicans shamelessly and unapologetically chose the latter.

    It is hard to imagine a more cynical betrayal of such Shakespearian proportions.

    Stewart dramatically criticized the corporate media for not adequately covering this story, and particularly drilled in on FOX. In an assemblage of clips, Stewart showed just a small sampling of how FOX had used 9/11 and the 9/11 responders to paint their station and Republicans as super-patriotic, but barely took note of the shoot down of a fund to keep many of those 9/11 responders alive.

    So, who is aiding the 9/11 terrorists in letting Americans die?

    Why it’s the Senate Republican caucus, led by Mitch McConnell. And you can take that provocative accusation all the way to the bank, GOP style.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout


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