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]

Muslims, Jews commemorate Paris victims together


This video from the USA says about itself:

‘Why Don’t Moderate Muslims Condemn Terrorism?’ – They Do.

10 January 2015

Every time an extremist who is Muslim commits an act of terrorism, people ask where the moderate Muslim voices condemning violence are.

(Interestingly, as a Jew, I don’t usually get asked to condemn extremism when it is perpetuated by Jewish fundamentalists like Baruch Goldstein, who shot 29 praying Muslims do death, and injured 125, at the Cave of the Patriarchs, or Yigal Amir, who killed Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.) And the same thing is happening following this week’s deplorable, pathetic, and tragic killing of 12 people at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Read more here.

NOS TV in the Netherlands reports today that this afternoon, 14:15, a demonstration to commemorate the victims of the Paris violence will start at the Al Kabir mosque in the Pijp neighbourhood in Amsterdam; it will finish at Casa Migrante. Amsterdam synagogues and mosques organise this demonstration together.

In The Hague today, Muslims and Jews will together present flowers at the French embassy.

Analysis of the Paris violence by the Angry Arab blog: here.

Lebanon observed a day of mourning Friday for 43 people killed in a a pair of suicide bombings that rocked the southern Beirut working-class suburb of Bourj el-Barajneh on Thursday evening. The savage bombings, which targeted a busy commercial and residential street at the peak of evening rush hour, also left at least another 239 people wounded, according to the Lebanese Health Ministry, and the death toll is expected to rise. The first bomb was detonated outside the entrance to a school. The street surrounding it was filled with families gathering after the end of the workday. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack, which included a third suicide bomber who was killed in the blasts before he could detonate his explosives. It was the bloodiest attack that has been seen in Lebanon since the end of its 15-year civil war in 1990: here.

Hundreds of Muslim pilgrims dead in Saudi Arabia


This 24 September 2015 video from Saudi Arabia is called GRAPHIC: Hundreds dead in Mecca stampede during Eid al-Adha.

By Bill Van Auken:

Catastrophe in Saudi Arabia, pillar of Washington’s Middle East policy

25 September 2015

The horrific and massive death toll stemming from a stampede of Muslim pilgrims near Mecca is symptomatic of a deepening crisis of the Saudi monarchy, a lynchpin of reaction and key pillar of US policy in the Middle East.

Thursday’s catastrophe was reported by Saudi officials to have killed at least 717 people and injured 863 others, with warnings that the death toll would almost certainly rise. The head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization said that the number of deaths is expected to climb to 1,500, which would make it the worst disaster at the site in recorded history, surpassing the deaths of 1,426 pilgrims in a similar incident 25 years ago.

The Saudi monarchy’s instinctual reaction to the latest tragedy was to blame the pilgrims themselves for allegedly not “respecting the timetables,” as Health Minister Khaled al-Falih told local media. Prince Khaled al-Faisal, head of the regime’s central Hajj committee, went further, blaming the stampede on “some pilgrims with African nationalities” in a clear appeal to reactionary anti-foreign and racist sentiments.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saudi issued a statement insisting that the catastrophe in no way discredited the country’s security forces.

Aside from a general desire to deny the obvious blame that befalls those responsible for controlling the crowds—the same armed forces upon which the power of the monarchy ultimately rests—it appears there may have been a far more specific reason for King Salman’s disclaimer, one involving his son and eventual heir, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud.

The Lebanese daily Al Diyar reported late Thursday that the stampede was triggered by the arrival on the scene of a large militarized convoy transporting the 30-year-old deputy crown prince, who is also the country’s defense minister.

“The large convoy of Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, the King’s son and deputy crown prince, that was escorted by over 350 security forces, including 200 army men and 150 policemen, sped up the road to go through the pilgrims that were moving towards the site of the ‘Stoning the Devil’ ritual, causing panic among millions of pilgrims who were on the move from the opposite direction and caused the stampede,” the newspaper reported.

The formal title of Saudi Arabia’s king is “the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques [Mecca and Medina].” Thursday’s disaster, which follows close on the heels of another 107 deaths in a September 11 crane collapse at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, inevitably is politically damaging to the monarchy. If his son played a direct role in triggering the mass slaughter, it may well prove fatally destabilizing.

Indeed, on the eve of the latest disaster, a letter surfaced written by an unnamed grandson of King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia, calling on the royal family to convene an “emergency meeting” essentially for the purpose of deposing the king and his key supporters.

The letter indicts Saudi interventionism in Yemen and Syria as “totally miscalculated” acts that have “weakened the trust of our people and [incited] other people against us.”

It points to the country’s growing economic crisis, fueled by the collapse in oil prices, which in turn has been driven in large measure by the monarchy’s decision to continue full production with the aim of inflicting damage on Iran and Russia. The result has been a sharp decline in revenues, threatening to raise this year’s budget deficit to as much as 20 percent of GDP. If the monarchy is forced to implement austerity measures, cutting back on social spending, it may well trigger an explosive revolt in a country where an estimated 40 percent of the population lives in poverty, and where 40 percent of young workers, between the ages of 20 and 24, are unemployed.

The letter concludes by asking the House of Saud to “isolate the incapable King Salaman, the extravagant and vain Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and the rotten thief Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salaman.”

As defense minister, the deputy crown prince is no stranger to mass killings and contempt for human life. He has been the monarchy’s point man in the six-month-old Saudi-led war against Yemen, pitting the monarchical dictatorships of the richest countries of the Arab world against the people of the poorest.

Saudi warplanes, supplied, armed and refueled in mid-air by the Pentagon, have carried out non-stop bombings that have killed thousands of civilians while destroying schools, hospitals, factories, residential neighborhoods and world heritage sites. More than 1.5 million people have been driven from their homes, and at least 21 million, 80 percent of the country’s population, have been left in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

The war is part of a more bellicose foreign policy pursued by the Saudi monarchy since the succession of King Salman at the beginning of this year. It is directed in the first instance against Iran and all those perceived to be in its orbit. This has included not only the Houthi rebels in Yemen, but also Syria, where Saudi money and arms have been key to the war for regime change fought by Al Qaeda-linked militias, also with US coordination and backing.

War abroad has been combined with the intensification of hideous repression at home. The Saudi regime is already on track to double its number of executions compared to last year. According to an Amnesty International tally issued in late August, the regime put to death, either by beheadings or firing squads, at least 175 people over the previous 12 months. This is more than triple the number of state killings carried out during the same period in the US, which has 10 times the population of the Saudi kingdom.

In the face of international outrage, the despotic monarchy is preparing to execute Ali al-Nimr, who was arrested as a 17-year-old high school student for taking part in a 2011 protest. He is sentenced to death by beheading, with his headless corpse to be publicly crucified. Like most sentenced to die, he was convicted in a drumhead trial, based on a confession extracted through torture.

Incredibly, Saudi Arabia has recently been selected to chair a key UN human rights panel. A State Department spokesman this week said that Washington “welcomes” this grotesque move, because Saudi Arabia is a “close ally.”

As the proverb says, “by your friends shall ye be known.” That Saudi Arabia is Washington’s closest ally in the Arab world is the clearest exposure of the predatory and criminal character of US imperialism’s protracted intervention in the Middle East.

It likewise is an undeniable refutation of every propaganda claim made to justify the successive US wars of aggression. Washington has supposedly waged a “war on terrorism,” while allied with a Saudi regime that is the principal font of Islamist ideology and main paymaster for Islamist militias throughout the region. It has claimed to wage proxy wars for regime change in Libya and Syria in the name of “human rights” and “democracy”, while giving its unconditional backing to one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies, infamous for its beheadings, floggings and torture.

In the final analysis, however, that Washington counts on Saudi Arabia as a pillar for its drive for hegemony over the Middle East only underscores the fact that US imperialism’s policy resembles nothing so much as a house of cards, set to collapse into new and ever greater debacles in the face of inevitable crises and mounting social struggles.

We have seen evidence the true death toll of the Saudi Hajj disaster may be in the thousands: here.

HAJJ STAMPEDE DEATH TOTAL RISES The death toll from the Sept. 24 disaster in Saudi Arabia has reached at least 2,177 pilgrims, almost tripling the original number reported dead. [AP]