‘Allahu akbar’ is terrorism??


This 11 February 2017 Dutch video is about police having closed down shopping mall Winkelhof in Leiderdorp village.

According to the video, on 11 April 2017 two boys in shopping center Winkelhof had shouted ‘Allahu akbar’!

That means ‘God is the greatest‘ in Arabic. It is a very common saying in mostly Muslim countries; eg, at funerals. The expression expresses the hope of the person using the saying that the forces of good will ultimately prevail, even in difficult circumstances.

In a very small percentage of the saying being used, it is by ISIS or similar terrorists during acts of violence. It was also said by Canadian islamophobic terrorist and Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen supporter Alexandre Bissonnette as he commited mass murder at a Quebec mosque, as a cynical reference to Islam intended to wrongfoot police investigations.

However, in far over 99% of cases, saying ‘Allahu akbar’ has nothing to do with terrorism. Just like saying ‘Thank God’ or a similar expression from a Christian tradition in the big majority of cases does not mean that the person saying it is a Christian fundamentalist terrorist aiming at killing supposedly ‘un-Christian’ persons.

How did police react to the reported saying of ‘Allahu akbar’? According to a newspaper report (translated):

The shopping mall was searched for suspicious objects and the environment was closed off. Police allowed no one to go inside.

The police took the threat seriously and called on people to avoid the Winkelhof area. The bowling center and the gym could not be reached any more. A police helicopter was deployed to track down the perpetrators.

Who ultimately could not be found. Because no hazardous objects were found, the shopping center became accessible again at approximately 18.45.

Would police have reacted as massively to some non-Islamic saying?

When you send a helicopter to catch a candy thief — no really, they did that in Canada.

Saudi autocracy destroying country’s historic buildings


This video says about itself:

Armored vehicles attacking Al-Awamiyah – Feb 23, 2016

The Saudi security forces have attacked farming areas today Tuesday 23 Feb 2016 in Awamiyah; Eastern province in KSA, and killed a young Bahraini person (Ali Abdullah) and injured many others.

The security authorities in KSA confirmed the death of Ali Abdullah and repeated their usual justification in such circumstances by claiming Ali was wanted by the police.

Today’s events increased the tension in the Eastern province which is already very high after the execution of Shaikh Nimr Alnimr on 2nd Jan 2016.

Angry protestors replied by blocking the roads by burning tyres. Black smoke was seen in the sky.

The Saudi absolute monarchy is not only destroying beautiful historic homes and other buildings as part of their war on Yemen. They are also destroying the beautiful historic homes and other buildings of their own country. Not with warplanes, like in Yemen; but destruction is destruction.

From Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain in the USA:

ADHRB and UN Experts Urge Saudi to Halt Planned Demolition of Historic Awamiyah Neighborhood

Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula. Having experienced political turmoil in its Eastern Province associated with the Arab Spring in 2011, Saudi Arabia’s state practice is presently characterized by human rights abuses including widespread torture, arbitrary detention, censorship, and arbitrary execution. Read more here.

5 April 2017—Today, the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on poverty, cultural rights, and housing called on the Government of Saudi Arabia to immediately halt the planned demolition of the historic Mosawara neighborhood in the Eastern Province town of Awamiyah. The rapporteurs warned that the demolition may result in the forced evictions of many of the neighborhood’s 2,000 to 3,000 residents and may exacerbate an existing housing crisis, leading to a further increase in housing and land prices. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain strongly agrees with the UN experts and calls on the Saudi government to immediately halt and cancel all plans to carry through with the demolition.

The Mosawara neighborhood is an historic quarter in the town of Awamiyah with a rich history and significant cultural heritage. The neighborhood’s architecture is unique: it is a walled village with mosques, farms and farmers markets, Shia places of worship, and businesses. According to Karima Bennoune, the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, “the planned demolition would erase this unique regional heritage in an irreversible manner.” Despite its significance, the Saudi government is planning to redevelop the area into a commercial and service zone. Philip Alston, the Rapporteur on extreme poverty expressed concern that in the process of moving residents from the area, the government would “remove people from the areas where they live and work, resulting in loss of livelihood and difficulty in securing housing.” In this way, the redevelopment may worsen an existing housing crisis that is exacerbated by increasing housing and land prices.

The government is planning to move ahead with the redevelopment plan despite housing concerns and the concerns of the neighborhood’s residents. The experts noted that, “the demolition has been announced without any meaningful consultation with the residents, without having considered less damaging alternatives, or adequate[ly] informing them about the demolition plans.” The government has also pressured the residents to leave their houses and businesses, including by cutting the power to the neighborhood and refusing to allow charities to help elderly and sick residents.

“The Saudi government’s actions towards Mosawara and its residents are demonstrative of its high-minded approach to development. Though the plan for the neighborhood will surely harm hundreds of Saudis, the government seems not to care for their well-being,” states Husain Abdulla, Executive Director of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain. “Authorities must immediately halt the planned demolition and re-evaluate any development scheme, so as to place the needs and welfare of its citizens at the forefront of any future moves.”

Authorities’ demolition of Mosawara’s cultural heritage is emblematic of the kingdom’s view of cultural heritage sites. The Saudi government has embarked upon the concerted demolition of ancient landmarks, archaeological heritage, and cultural sites since before the kingdom was founded. Since 1925, the al-Saud family has overseen the destruction of tombs, mosques, and historical artifacts in Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, al-Khobar, and Awamiyah. It has destroyed sections of two cemeteries where family members and companions of the Prophet Muhammad were buried. The destruction encompasses secular as well as religious sites. During the government’s project to expand the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi authorities destroyed 10,000 properties in Mecca, including 126 mosques and whole neighborhoods. As a result, the government has destroyed more than 90 percent of the country’s landmarks.

The planned demolition of the Mosawara neighborhood despite local concerns is illustrative of the Saudi government’s approach to historic and cultural sites. The destruction of the neighborhood will not only erase a unique historic area and a symbol of the region’s past, but has the potential to have significant detrimental effects on the residents of the neighborhood. The demolition may entail the forcible eviction of hundreds of residents and increase the level of poverty in the town. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain therefore calls upon the Saudi government to immediately halt and cancel the planned destruction of the neighborhood and to re-evaluate its development standards so as to protect culturally and historic significant sites.

United States Muslim solidarity with vandalized Jewish cemetery


This video from the USA says about itself:

Muslims Organize Fundraiser For Vandalized Jewish Cemetery

22 February 2017

An anti-semitic act of vandalism is being fought with love and solidarity. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.

“There has been an outpouring of support around the vandalism at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery.

“There is a concept in Jewish teaching and thought known as tikkun olam — It translates literally into ‘repairing the world,’ but what it means more broadly is that we all have an obligation to one another and to be of service,” wrote Greitens. “It is in moments like this that the world is in most need of repair, and we must do our part.”

A fundraising campaign organized by Muslim Americans — Linda Sarsour of MPower Change and Tarek El-Messidi of CelebrateMercy — has raised more than $64,000 in support of the rebuilding efforts, more than triple the initial goal of $20,000. The funds remaining after the cemetery is restored will be contributed to repair other vandalized Jewish centers, the campaign said.

“Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America,” the campaign wrote on its fundraising landing page. “We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community who has undoubtedly been shaken by this event.”

On Wednesday, Missouri’s governor and community members will gather at the cemetery to help clean and repair the damage. As of Tuesday afternoon, the cemetery was able to reset about 50 headstones.”

Read more here.

European Muslims’ numbers overestimated


This video says about itself:

Young Muslim Americans react to Islamophobia

14 January 2016

Fusion interviewed a group of young, Muslim Americans about the rise of Islamophobic rhetoric in the U.S., and common misconceptions about Islam and Muslim people.

Dutch NOS TV reports today about a poll by Ipsos Mori.

How many Muslims are in the Netherlands? 19% of all residents, Dutch respondents estimated. The real 2010 figure was 6%.

How many Muslims are in France? 31% of all residents, French respondents estimated. The real 2010 figure was 7.5%.

How much of terrorism in Europe is by Muslims? All of it, the racist extreme right says. Most of it, the ‘moderate’ ‘center right‘ says. In fact, international police organisation Europol calculated that in 2009, 0,4% of all terror attacks in Europe were by Muslims. Most terrorism in Europe is by white nationalists.

Sanders wins Michigan, USA, as Muslims prefer Jewish candidate


This video from the USA says about itself:

Michigan‘s Muslim Vote Delivers Sanders Big Primary Win

8 March 2016

It turns out Michigan’s Muslim vote went heavily in favor of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary election. Why do Arabs have issues with Hillary Clinton? Ana Kasparian, Cenk Uygur, John Iadarola and Ben Mankiewicz of The Young Turks discuss.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pulled off an upset victory in the Michigan primary Tuesday, picking up the majority of delegates in a state seen as a must-win for him to maintain a place in the Democratic race: here.

Polls Got It Seriously Wrong In Michigan’s Democratic Primary. A swing and a Mich for pollsters, who said Hillary Clinton would easily win the state: here.

The victory for Sanders was powered by an 81 percent margin among voters younger than 30. Sanders won nearly every county outside the Detroit metropolitan area. He more than doubled his support among African-American voters, from 15 percent in recent primaries in the South to over 30 percent: here.

Bernie Sanders Wins Big With Michigan Muslims — And Political Pundits Can’t Quite Believe It: here.

British Muslims’ anti-terror, pro-peace campaign


This video from England says about itself:

AHMADIYYA; ISLAM’S MESSAGE ON LONDON BUSES

22 January 2010

Buses in London are carrying Islamic messages of peace and respect, as part of a national campaign launched today to reassert the peaceful principles of the faith.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Muslims use buses to promote peace

Friday 4th December 2015

A GROUP of British Muslims released pictures yesterday of a new bus campaign that would drive forward the message of peace in the wake of last month’s Paris terrorist attacks.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is to cover 100 London buses with the French flag’s colours and posters proclaiming unity against extremism.

What a shame that the London mosque of this liberal Muslim organisation was recently attacked by racist arsonists.

Its British-based leader Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said the Ahmadiyya community has repeatedly condemned extremism and that the Paris attacks can never be justified.

He said: “Under no circumstances can murder ever be justified and those who seek to justify their hateful acts in the name of Islam only defame it in the worse possible way.”

The group will also publish full-page newspaper adverts and distribute 500,000 leaflets nationwide with their “Love for all, hatred for none” ethos to emphasise the need for peace.

Rafiq Hayat, the community’s head in Britain, said: “We stand united with all who oppose extremists.”

Jews rescued from Nazis support Muslim refugees


 Some of the 700 Jewish refugees aboard Hamburg-America liner St Louis in 1939 Hulton Archive/Getty Images

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Jews rescued from the Nazis believe in helping Muslim refugees

Jewish children with no home and, soon, no parents, were not really welcome in the United States during World War II

Petula Dvorak

54 minutes ago

Our nation of immigrants has been afraid of refugees before.

Jewish children with no home and, soon, no parents, were not really welcome in the United States during World War II when they were desperate to escape the Nazis.

“They told the foster mothers not to speak German or Yiddish at all. They wanted us Americanized, they didn’t want us to talk to each other,” said Herta Baitch, who was just the kind of child refugee that many Americans feared then and fear now.

This week 27 U.S. governors and Republican presidential candidates lined up to announce their rejection of Muslim refugees from Syria. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) even insisted that he would not allow a “3-year-old orphan’s” entry. On Thursday, the House voted to tighten the flow of refugees from Syria and Iraq over the objections of President Obama, who has pledged to admit 10,000 Syrians over the coming year.

Baitch was 7 when she arrived in this country — one of about 1,400 lucky children who made it to the United States at a time when we turned away at least one ship filled with hundreds of Jews fleeing for their lives. For Baitch, 83, hearing the harsh tone of today’s conversation about refugees hurts.

“It’s a horrible reminder of the Holocaust years, when boats were turned away,” she said.

In a poll that was published in Fortune Magazine in 1938, 67.4 percent of Americans who were asked about allowing German, Austrian and other political refugees into the country agreed that “with conditions as they are, we should try to keep them out.”

In fact, the United States did turn them away. Most infamously, the German ocean liner St. Louis was denied port in Florida. And a quarter of the 908 Jewish refugees aboard who were returned to Europe were killed in Nazi death camps.

When the country of immigrants was closing its doors, a few humanitarian organizations found ways to bring small groups of unaccompanied children to the United States, where they lived in foster homes or found shelter with distant relatives.

Baitch’s parents ended up dying in concentration camps, but her mother’s last act before she was sent to a camp was to find a woman who would take her daughter to the United States.

Baitch now lives in Maryland, a proud great-grandmother, an active member of her community and the constituent of a Republican governor, Larry Hogan, who wants to shut the door to Syrian refugees.

“It’s the children I ache for,” she said.

“So many times, the doors were closed to us,” she said. “They let so few children through.”

Michel Margosis’s family went from Siberia to Belgium (where Margosis was born) to Spain as they fled the Nazis. They hid on a French farm, lived in the slums of Marseille, escaped a detention camp after only one day and crossed the Pyrenees.

Sound familiar to today’s headlines? See the pattern?

In the end, only Margosis escaped, coming to the United States alone as a 14-year-old.

More than 70 years later, he presides over a French conversation club at his Springfield, Va., retirement community, volunteers at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and is a member of the Fairfax County Human Rights Commission.

He enlisted to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and worked for years as a research chemist for the Food and Drug Administration.

But, at 87, he has never forgotten what it feels like to be a refu­gee. Listening to politicians who want to block refugees in the name of safety, he said, feels “very xenophobic and very regressive.”

“People like [Sen. Ted] Cruz, being the son of an immigrant himself, how can he close the door behind him? That’s not our country,” Margosis said. “We have to keep the door open, or at least ajar. If we don’t keep the door open, the people rejected by us will turn around and join ISIS.”

Eve Boden’s parents were sent to Auschwitz, where they were killed.

She was a little girl when she was sent to a detention camp in France, where she lived in mud up to her knees for five months before a humanitarian organization rescued her.

On her seventh birthday in 1942, she came alone to a country that didn’t really want her. It was a time of American isolationism and anti-Semitism, she said.

The attitudes, the fears, the conversations about refugees “were just as awful then as they are today,” said Boden, who is 80 and runs a psychotherapy practice in Syosset, N.Y.

“Back then, the British opened their arms to 10,000 children. Americans opened their arms to about 1,000,” she said.

“I really understand the fear, the terror the Syrians are experiencing,” she said. “And now, Americans hear ‘Syrian,’ they think of a guy with a mask and an AK-47, not kids who are muddy and skinny and scared.”

She can understand that there is fear among many Americans about Islamist extremists, but too many Americans had similar fears about German Jews.

“You lose sight of the children and the women who are struggling,” she said. “All of these migrants are escaping war. That’s what they want. Escape. Like we did.”

FIGHT TO KEEP SYRIAN REFUGEES OUT JUST THE BEGINNING Republicans are reportedly drafting bills that would deny access to asylum seekers. [Bloomberg]