Shariah experts to proclaim ‘Our Day has Come‘
Muslims who are working to stage the “Our Day Has Come” day of prayer at the U.S. Capitol have discussed views that include an Islamic takeover of the White House, from where they say President Barack Obama is providing their inspiration.
Building on the Islamic interest in Obama’s inauguration, when Muslims claimed in a magazine that “It’s our time,” the event planners are calling for 50,000 Muslims to attend the 4 a.m. event on the National Mall on Sept. 25
The organizer is Hassen Abdellah, who leads a Elizabeth, N.J., mosque, and two special guests for the event, according to the website, will be Sheik Muhammad Jebril and Sheik Ahmed Dewidar.
According to the website, Jebril’s degree is in Islamic Law and he learned the Quran by the age of 9.
According to blogger Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs, Jebril specializes in Shariah law and served as the imam of an extremist mosque in Cairo starting in 1988.
Likewise, the prayer day website reported Dewidar studied law at the University of Alexandria and took a master’s degree in Shariah. He moved to the United States to lead a Muslim community in New Jersey and later established the Islamic Center in Manhattan.
In the interview, Dewidar talked about sermons he’d heard that “Muslims should march on the White House…”
The interviewer asked for an explanation.
“One cleric said in his sermon: ‘We are going to the White House, so that Islam will be victorious, Allah willing, and the White House will become into the Muslim house,’” he said, according to the MEMRI report.
Dewidar denied that this was a plan for a physical occupation of the building.
“They say that through the domination of Islam and its ideas, the White House will change,” the report quotes Dewidar saying.
Atlas Shrugs also cited Dewidar’s comments for a Muslim Brotherhood website that American society is controlled by Jews.
His translated comments include, “Whether or not these events were planned, or pinned on the Muslims, or something else – [it] provided an opportunity for [the American government] to legislate dubious laws that restrict the growth and presence of Islam in the U.S,” Atlas Shrugs reported.
Organizers themselves have credited Obama’s advocacy for Islam for their inspiration.
While he praised Islam during his inauguration, Obama elaborated during his speech in Egypt months later.
He carried a greeting from “Muslim communities” in America, complained how Muslims had been “denied rights and opportunities,” and stated, “I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam at places like Al-Azhar that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s renaissance and enlightenment.”
Besides crediting Islam with significant responsibility for the development of civilization in Europe, Obama also said Muslims have served similarly in America.
“And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States,” Obama said. “They have fought in our wars. They have served in our government. They have stood for civil rights. They have started businesses. They have taught at our universities. They’ve excelled in our sports arenas. They’ve won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building and lit the Olympic torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same holy Quran that one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, kept in his personal library.”
According to a Daily India report, Abdellah confirmed the idea of the event “germinated” after Obama’s inaugural speech, then was reinforced by the Egypt speech.
“For the first time in my lifetime,” Abdellah said. “I heard someone of his stature speaking about Islam and Muslims not in an adversarial sense, but in the sense of being welcome and acknowledging we are integral citizens in the society-that we’re gainfully employed, we’re educated.”
Gellar wrote of another event organizer, Abdul Malik.
“I highly recommend taking a look at Abdul Malik’s Facebook page, and watching the video – during which he says many interesting things including: Polygamy is an American tradition,” she wrote.
She also cited this comment from Malik: “Democracy is not revelation, and democracy does not equal freedom, for in democracy you have apartheid, you have slavery, you have homosexuality, you have lesbianism, you have gambling, you have all of the voices that are against the spirit of truth; so no we don’t want to democratize Islam, we want to Islamize democracy. That’s what we want.”
“It is a mockery of the Christian faith,” Safa told the magazine. “It’s a mockery of all of it. In a sense, I’m happy for it because the church needs to wake up before it’s too late.”
The prayer day website says, “The Athan will be chanted on Capitol Hill, echoing off of the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other great edifices that surround Capitol Hill.
“Our Time Has Come.”
Obama repeatedly has denied he is a Muslim. His presidential campaign website contained the statement, “Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.”
But as WND has reported, public records in Indonesia listed Obama as a Muslim during his early years, and a number of childhood friends claimed to the media Obama was once a mosque-attending Muslim.
In Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” he acknowledged studying the Quran and describes the public school as “a Muslim school.”
“In the Muslim school, the teacher wrote to tell mother I made faces during Quranic studies,” wrote Obama.
In an interview with the New York Times, Obama described the Muslim call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”
The Times’ Nicholos Kristof wrote Obama recited, “with a first-class [Arabic] accent,” the opening lines of the Muslim call to prayer.
The first few lines of the call to prayer state:
Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that Muhammad is his prophet …
Some attention also has been paid to Obama’s paternal side of the family, including his father and his brother, Roy.
Writing in a chapter of his book describing his 1992 wedding, Obama stated: “The person who made me proudest of all was Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol.”
Aaron Klein weighs pros and cons of strike during opposition protests
By Aaron Klein
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
JERUSALEM – With the Tehran regime distracted by growing opposition protests, is now a good time for Israel to strike Iran’s nuclear sites?
Iran is defying the international community and thumbing its nose at President Obama’s proposed dialogue over the nuclear issue. Israeli intelligence is warning it could be a matter of months – not years – before Iran has enough uranium that, if enriched more, could produce one or two nuclear devices. With time swiftly running out, should Israel use the opportunity of the current drama in Iran to attack the country with the goal of setting back its nuclear program?
Here are a few pros and cons of an Israeli strike on Iran during opposition protests there:
- Pro: The possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities has so thoroughly penetrated the news cycle and international political discourse the past few years, it’s probably the most talked about “secret” military strike in recent history. That coupled with the massive operation required to hit Iran’s dozen or so nuke sites, some underground, makes a surprise Israeli raid on Iran a near impossibility, much unlike the Jewish state’s strikes in 2007 against Syria’s lone nascent reactor or its surprise raid of Iraq’s singular plant in 1981. With Iran focused on quelling the opposition protests, now may be a good time to take that regime by surprise.
- Pro: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as well as the country’s police and other security forces, like the Basij plainclothes militia, are so involved in quelling street protests they may not be ready militarily to immediately respond to an Israeli military raid.
Surely, Iran’s nuclear sites are still well protected. Iran has built a dense aerial-defense system that will make it difficult at just about any time for Israeli planes to reach their targets without encountering some resistance. Some layers of resistance Israel can expect will come from the batteries of Hawk, SA-5 and SA-2 surface-to-air missiles, plus SA-7, SA-15, Rapier, Crotale and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles protecting the sites.
But those stations are manned by the same units whose leadership now is involved in fighting the opposition protests. Iran also has about 1,700 anti-aircraft guns protecting the nuclear facilities in addition to 158 combat aircraft that would need to be deployed by the currently bogged-down Revolutionary Guard commanders.
- Pro: For Israel, the sooner an attack occurs, the better. Every day Iran is not confronted provides Tehran another 24 hours with which its nuclear scientists can work to furiously assemble the ingredients necessary for a nuclear weapon.
- Con: An Israeli airstrike would surely bring the opposition protests to a screeching halt and likely would be used by the ruling mullahs to unite the country against Israel. As it stands, the riots in Iran overtly oppose the recent election results but are not openly protesting the country’s Islamic theocratic dictators, specifically the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Still, there are anti-ayatollah undertones. All this would end as soon as the first Israeli missile reaches its target, allowing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to solidify his rule under a national emergency scenario and granting a blank check to Khamenei.
Israel, however, does need to weigh this con against its belief that opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi is not much different ideologically from Ahmadinejad. Mousavi was prime minister from 1981 to 1989 – after the Islamic revolution. During Mousavi’s term, his country exported terrorism worldwide and started the initial foundations of what became the Iranian nuclear program.
- Con: President Obama’s administration would likely be furious at Israel and could retaliate diplomatically. Obama has been touting his policy of direct negotiations as the solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Obama wants the opportunity to test his engagement strategy. If Israel strikes before Obama’s opening talks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could expect a very upset White House.
Still, it seems Obama is unlikely to support an Israeli strike at any time in the near future. Israel may want to cut its losses and at least attack during a time it would have some element of surprise. Also, Israeli officials are quietly nervous Obama’s diplomacy could be dragged on for a long period, granting the Iranians a much-needed smokescreen to put together nuclear weapons.
- Con: International condemnation. The world community, particularly Britain, which seems heavily invested in the opposition protests, will blame Israel for putting an end to any hopes of “reform” in Iran, even if opposition leaders are not exactly real reformists. International condemnation could take the form of boycotts of the Jewish state; anti-Israel U.N. resolutions, etc. Israel, however, needs to weigh all this against the likelihood of condemnation sure to come its way whenever Israel carried out an attack against Iran, whether now or in years to come.
The Iranian revolution unfortunately will probably fail because the of the complete misunderstanding of the Middle East mindset. This has caused foreign policies of the West that have been based on a false premise, serving its so called perceived interests that also encompass UN corruption, stability of oil supplies and a failure to understand the domination of Islam in the Middle East.
George W. Bush’s policy of encouraging democracy in the Middle East was well intended but misguided and the current policy of appeasement by President Barack Obama while at the same time deliberately finding problems with a real democracy and ally Israel is equally flawed.
The West has had two main issues with the Middle East that it always fails to understand through a combination of greed and ignorance of the Islamic culture. The Arab and especially the Islamic culture are based on pride and shame. Islam shuns freedom and democracy; Sharia law is all encompassing in the Middle East and cannot be compatible with a free open democratic society. Islam is a political and constitutional government subservient to no other government system. Its objective is world domination like Nazism but worse because God told them to do it, not Hitler.
The Western government foreign ministries and the US State department have always chosen to ignore there own so-called values (freedom and democracy) when coming to do business with Middle Eastern leaders. We hypocritically are willing to ruin the environment in the Middle East but here in America we feign environmental responsibility by vilifying oil companies and stop them for drilling and the exploitation of fossil fuels. America could easily be self sufficient in energy as well as pursuing better environmental alternatives, which in effect would strengthen our moral positions when it comes to dealing with Middle Eastern tyrants. Oil companies have also played an immoral card too but that is for another article.
So what is the best policy to solve the Middle East problem? It is very easy, ignore and isolate them. Because we depend on their oil we currently cannot ignore them but must engage and continue to patch our relationships with questionable allies and we reason with our enemies which now is President Obama’s new policy. So we must do the opposite and start now to be serious about developing our own sources of fossil fuels which we definitely have and at the same time develop technologies of alternatives energy, as well as technologies that use existing fossil fuel supplies more efficiently. If we were self sufficient in fossil fuels we could tell the Saudis to whistle Dixie, provide unqualified support for Israel our ally, without having to accommodate “the Palestinian propaganda lie, ” which we do in order to curry favor with the Arab tyrant.
For the potential revolution in Iran to succeed with a more friendly government to the US and the West, as well as a dismantling of their desire to acquire nuclear weapons is a potential windfall to save Israel and the US from a military confrontation; this can only succeed with major united stand from the Western leaders. Unfortunately the US administration is failing to take the opportunity to exploit fully the overthrow of the mad Mullahs of Iran.
Just like George Bush Senior who formed a coalition of nations outside the UN to defeat the Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War, so should the current president form a large coalition of countries willing to place major diplomatic pressure on the Mullahs to step down and to even place troops from the USA on Iraqi boarder as well as Afghan border which will alarm the Mullahs. A major gambit is now required that the political climate in Iran dictates. Unfortunately the US government will appease and stand off allowing the Mullahs to crack down on the protestors who will give up in a few weeks when the West as usual fails to take advantage of the situation and we return to the game of chicken with President Ahmajinadad.
The weakness of the West compares exactly to the 1930s. We will suffer great long term repercussions based on our failure to act upon this opportunity. Fear to act boldly always emboldens the enemy to be even more aggressive., any student of history can tell you that.
Director Walid Shoebat Foundation
‘This is first time protected status given to whatever sexual orientation one has’
Members of the U.S. House today approved a plan to create a federal “hate crimes” plan that will provide special protections to homosexuals and others with alternative sexual choices, but leave Christian ministers and pastors open to prosecution should their teachings be linked to any subsequent offense, by anyone, against a “gay.”
The vote was 249-175, and came despite intense Republican opposition to the creation of the privileged class.
Bishop Harry Jackson Jr. of the High Impact Leadership Coalition also condemned the action, offering a warning about the future of the United States.
He was interviewed on the issue by Greg Corombos of Radio America/WND,
Jackson said the action simply puts “sexual orientation” in a specially protected class under federal law.
“Based on history, it really isn’t something that needs to be protected,” he said. “There’s a problem that this is going to mark the first time that a protected class status is given to … whatever sexual orientation one has.”
He said the history in other nations is a fairly certain prosecution of Christians. In Sweden, for example, a minister who preached out of Leviticus was sentenced to 30 days in jail – for preaching out of Leviticus.
Similar state laws have resulted in similar results. In Philadelphia several years ago a 73-year-old grandmother was jailed for trying to share Christian tracts with people at a homosexual festival, he said.
U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said H.R. 1913 will create “thought crimes,” and U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., said it will end equality in the United States.
U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, charged the plan will divide America into groups of more favored versus less. He again cited USC Title 18, Section 2a, the foundation of H.R. 1913, which says anyone who through speech “induces” commission of a violent hate crime “will be tried as a principal” alongside the active offender.
But there is no epidemic of hate in the U.S. he noted.
U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., introduced a striking argument: If Miss California, Carrie Prejean, who supports traditional marriage had slapped the homosexual judge who derided her on the stage under H.R. 1913 she could be indicted as a “violent hate criminal,” facing a possible 10 years in prison. But, Forbes said, if the homosexual judge had slapped her, she would have had no special protection under H.R. 1913.
Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, said, “The Anti-Christian Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives has acted today to lay the legal foundation and framework to investigate, prosecute and persecute pastors, youth pastors, Bible teachers, and anyone else whose Bible speech and thought is based upon and reflects the truths found in the Bible.
“A pastor’s sermon could be considered ‘hate speech’ under this legislation if heard by an individual who then acts aggressively against persons based on ‘sexual orientation.’ The pastor could be prosecuted for “conspiracy to commit a hate crime,” she said.
“This Democrat-controlled Congress has now elevated pedophiles and other bizarre sexual orientations, as well as drag queens, transgenders, lesbians and gay men to the level of protection of that already given to African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities in the law,” she said.
House Republican leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the Democrats simply have placed a higher value on some lives compared to others, a decision he said is unconstitutional.
Not happy with just making Christian teachings on homosexuality illegal, noted officials at Liberty Counsel, supporters have approved the law that also provides grant money for so-called “sensitivity-training” to provide pro-homosexual propaganda.
When a plan virtually identical to the current Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 was developed in the last Congress, Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., admitted during a hearing on the bill it could be used to prosecute pastors merely for preaching against homosexuality under the premise that they could be “inducing” violence in someone.
The bill ultimately failed then because President Bush determined it was unnecessary – the crimes banned in the legislation already are addressed by other laws – and it probably was unconstitutional.
“The federal hate crimes bill is bad news for everyone,” said Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute, who testified in Congress against the bill two years ago.
“Instead of treating all crime victims equally, it creates a caste system where select groups, such as gays and lesbians, are given greater priority in the criminal justice system. This is not progress; it is political correctness. In other nations and states, the adoption of hate crimes legislation has been the first step toward widespread suppression of speech and ideas critical of homosexuality,” he said.
Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel has spoken out against H.R. 1913 a number of times.
“As has proved to be true in both Europe and Canada, this Orwellian piece of legislation is the direct precursor to freedom killing and speech chilling ‘hate speech’ laws. It represents a thinly veiled effort to ultimately silence – under penalty of law – morally, medically and biblically based opposition to the homosexual lifestyle,” he said.
Barber said the 14th Amendment already provides that victims of violent crimes are afforded equal protection under the law “regardless of sexual preference or proclivity.”
Barber cited FBI statistics showing there were about 1.4 million violent crimes in the U.S. in 2007, but only 1,512 were presumed to be “hate crimes.” And two-thirds of those involved claims of “hateful” words, touching and shoving.
Under the specifications of the law, a Christian needn’t touch a homosexual to face charges, he noted.
“If the homosexual merely claims he was subjectively placed in ‘apprehension of bodily injury’ by the Christian’s words then, again, the Christian can be thrown in prison for a felony ‘hate crime,’” he said.
WND reported previously that the plan was introduced by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who said, “The bill only applies to bias-motivated violent crimes and does not impinge public speech or writing in any way.”
Section 10 of the act states, “Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.”
However, critics cite United States Code Title 18, Section 2, as evidence of how the legislation could be used against people who merely speak out against homosexuality. It states: Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.
Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern, warned Christians to speak up before the legislation passes. He said they are acting like the proverbial frog in a slowly heating kettle that boils to death.
“They need to wake up and take action to oppose this threat to religious liberty.”
Pro-lifers challenge Planned Parenthood to be equally open
The full 47 minutes of a video done by Live Action Films revealing Indianapolis Planned Parenthood staff members covering up a reported statutory rape has been released, along with a challenge from pro-life activists for the abortion industry leader to be equally open.
The video, available on the Live Action Films website, reveals in real time the sequence of events highlighted in an earlier edited release.
As WND reported at the time, the video shows a staff member for Planned Parenthood counseling a “pregnant 13-year-old” to avoid mandatory statutory rape reporting laws by suggesting the patient look into the states that surround Indiana.
In Indiana, sex involving an adult and a 13-year-old is a felony, and any time a minor under 14 is involved, law enforcement must be contacted immediately. However, the video released by LiveActionFilms.org reveals a counselor suggesting how the requirements can be avoided.
Just days earlier, the organization unveiled a video about a pro-life activist, 20-year-old Lila Rose, going into a Bloomington, Ind., Planned Parenthood facility undercover where a “nurse” ignored the apparent felony of a young teen pregnant by a 31-year-old and coached the “patient” to protect the assailant.
Now Live Action has released the full 47-minute video of the undercover operation in Indianapolis, with the unedited footage showing the story in real time as clinic employees met Rose, again posing as a 13-year-old, and heard her describe how a 31-year-old man had impregnated her.
“Once in the counseling room, a Planned Parenthood nurse assured Rose that she would not report the statutory rape and instructed her how to obtain a secret abortion across state lines,” the organization said.
But Rose also challenged Planned Parenthood to show transparency.
Citing a letter released earlier, Rose called on Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, to release the company’s data on how often it provides birth control, pregnancy testing, STD testing and abortion services to minors under the age of 14 and how often it has reported these cases to Child Protective Services.
The organization has not responded, Rose said.
“If Planned Parenthood has concern for the children of Indiana, as they claim, why don’t they disclose the statistics that will help law enforcement apprehend the scope of the problem?” Rose said. “We are willing to be open and transparent about our methods and activities because we have nothing to hide.
“Can Planned Parenthood of Indiana say the same?”
The organization eventually may have no choice. Rose said state authorities in Indiana now may open an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s handling of statutory rape cases.
The video is part of Live Action Films’ Mona Lisa Project, which across the summer of 2008 documented inside information about the abortion industry.
The project says despite “a consistent pattern of lawlessness and abuse, Planned Parenthood receives over $300 million from taxpayers.”
The tax-exempt “nonprofit” also netted $100 million in profits last year.
One Planned Parenthood staff resigned following release of the Indianapolis video. When the similar video was released from the Bloomington, Ind., Planned Parenthood, one employee was fired.
“Lila Rose exemplifies the new wave of pro-life activism and best reflects Operation Rescue’s own efforts to expose illegal conduct in our nation’s abortion mills,” Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said.
“Her work has helped raise public awareness of the seedy underbelly of the abortion industry and has helped to launch criminal investigations that we pray will eventually hold out-of- control abortionists accountable for their criminal acts,” he said.
TV stations cave to homosexual lobby, refuse to reveal LGBT agenda
By Chelsea Schilling
Several television stations are caving to pressure from the homosexual community and refusing to run “Speechless: Silencing Christians,” a one-hour paid program sponsored by the American Family Association.
WOOD-TV 8, a television station in Grand Rapids, Mich., has decided against airing the special about the agenda of homosexual activists and their impact on families and freedom of religion.
According to the Grand Rapids Press, “In a letter promoting the program, the American Family Association asserts that most Americans get their ‘information about the homosexual movement from the secular news media and Hollywood, which not only support but promote the gay agenda. What people know is tainted by pro-homosexual propaganda.’”
“Speechless” features stories about Christians who have been arrested and charged with felonies for preaching the gospel. According to the film, many are living in situations where they have been intimidated into silence.
A former lesbian speaks about her conversion to Christianity.
“The gay community wants tolerance,” she said. “They can’t tolerate a story like mine that says, you know, I used to be gay, but with the help of Jesus, I’ve been able to overcome that.”
According to one man in the film, Christians are often portrayed as “mean and hateful.”
“It creates a context where violence is being perpetrated against Christians,” he said.
The special, hosted by talk show host Janet Parshall, emphasizes the media’s role in promotion of homosexuals’ “radical agenda,” and includes examples of how television shows and movies such as “Friends,” “Will & Grace,” “The L-Word,” “The War at Home,” “ER” and “Entourage” attempt to persuade viewers that aversions to homosexuality stem from bigotry and ignorance.
“Speechless” explores the homosexual lobby’s impact on school curriculums. Videos promoted as anti-bullying actually endorsed “gay” lifestyles, and students were forced to view them during school hours. It claims homosexual lobbyists also push for “gay” literature in schools.
According to the program, the homosexual activist agenda demands same-sex “marriage,” teaches children that homosexuality is normal, promotes homosexual service in the armed forces, pushes for hate crime laws that threaten freedom of speech, calls for laws forcing Christian business to hire homosexuals and insists upon reserving minority status and preferential treatment for them.
“If you think that agenda is bad for America, you must do something,” a female voiceover states.
While WOOD-TV 8 moved the original airing from a Monday slot before President Barack Obama’s 8 p.m. news conference to a Saturday afternoon spot, it finally decided against running it altogether.
“We made a gesture of the 2-3 p.m. Saturday time period. It’s been 24 hours and we had no response,” station General Manager Diane Kniowski told the Grand Rapids Press in a statement Wednesday.
“Our station is being bombarded with calls and messages, and we find ourselves in the middle of someone else’s fight. Ours was a fair offer and we are removing ourselves from this matter,” Kniowski said.
The Human Rights Campaign, a pro-homosexual organization, issued a national alert against the film and urged people to call for its cancellation.
“I am so proud of our members who answered the lies and distortions of the AFA and stopped this campaign of hate and deception,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Our community stood up and would not let those lies stand.”
“This should be our wake up call. We are poised to make real progress, for the first time, for millions of LGBT Americans. We know it and so do our opponents,” added Solmonese. “We must stand guard and not allow them to stop these overdue, basic protections by rolling out the same, tired script albeit in new packaging.”
He continued, “Today’s action proves we have the voices and the power to demand a fair fight and a fair debate.”
Network challenges Islam’s image as ‘religion of our enemies’
In an ambitious attempt to improve the image of Muslims, two businessmen are preparing to launch North America’s first English-language Islamic television channel next year.
The founders of “Bridges TV,” aiming for a summer 2004 launch, find some of the rationale for their venture in America’s attitude toward Muslims since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
In its promotional material, the network quotes leading figures such as Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, saying, “Islam is the religion of our enemies,” and the Rev. Franklin Graham, calling Islam a “wicked and evil religion.”
“American Muslims saw their entire faith hijacked as the perpetrators of these murders claimed Islam as their religion,” the fledgling company said. “The Muslim victims were not only the 358 innocent souls that perished that day, but the entire 7 million American Muslims.”
Some analysts believe the U.S. has considerably fewer Muslims, perhaps as few as 2 million, but the venture’s founders believe they have an audience among rapidly growing Muslims and “mainstream” Americans.
Bridges TV’s CEO is Muzzammil S. Hassan, most recently a bank vice-president in Buffalo, N.Y. Its chief investor is Omar S. Amanat, founder of Tradescape, an Internet brokerage firm sold to E*Trade last year for $280 million.
Despite his success, Amanat said as a Muslim he never felt fully accepted on Wall Street.
“I realized that the only way to undo misconceptions was to create our own media forum from which our stories and culture would be shared with the world,” he said. “Other cultural groups have gained acceptance and increased understanding through the media. Why can’t Muslims do the same?”
Bridges TV sees a successful niche-market model in channels such as Telemundo and the Black Entertainment Television network. Its research shows about one-quarter of American Muslims are of South Asian origin, while the rest include African Americans and Arabs.
The venture distinguishes itself from foreign-language broadcasts geared to Muslims, such as the Arabic ART TV, which are popular with immigrant parents but not among U.S.-born Muslims.
“Our channel is in English and about life in America,” said Amanat. “We want a Muslim child who grows up in America to be able to watch our channel and identify with the characters, or to be engaged by the dialogue of issues pertinent to him or her.”
Broadcasting from Manhattan via cable and satellite, the channel plans to “emphasize news stories and talk shows, wholesome sitcoms, advice shows, children’s programming and movies about Muslim life in America.”
Bridges TV says it wants to “celebrate the rich diversity and talents of American Muslims and to build bridges of understanding and friendship between American Muslims and mainstream Americans.”
The launch date depends on how quickly the network can gather the 10,000 paying members it believes are necessary to demonstrate public support.
Among its “key advisers and supporters” are Nihad Awad, executive director of the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Others include Iman W. Deen Muhammad, president of the American Society of Muslims, boxing great Muhammad Ali and NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon.
Awad emphasized the importance of North American Muslims having “our own media outlets, our own timing and our own kind of programming.”
“Therefore, we can decide what kind of messages we send out,” he said.
CAIR’s communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, said Bridges TV “is just an example of the growing maturity and sophistication of the American Muslim community that people are even at this stage where we can contemplate this kind of network.”
“So I think it’s a good sign for the community, and we encourage every one to support it,” he said.
Bridges TV said most of the programming will be original since very little exists that would be of interest to U.S. Muslims.
Amanat wants to see stories that highlight the contributions of American Muslims to modern science, art and entertainment.
The network plans to feature sitcoms that represent American Muslim family life, modeled after the “The Cosby Show,” the hit program that portrayed an African-American family.
Amanat said the company successfully completed its first round of fundraising last year, netting $1 million in seed capital, mostly to cover legal, filming, marketing and licensing fees. The next goal is to secure 10,000 paying monthly members. The network’s sponsored studies indicate American Muslims are willing to pay as much as $10 per month above their current cable or satellite fee for the channel.
The response so far has been overwhelming, Amanat said, with more than 1,000 paying members signing up in just one month.
“An American Muslim television channel is the greatest need of our times,” he said.
The plan is to broadcast four to six hours per day in the first year and within four years evolve into a 24-hour network.
FROM ‘THE EARLY TODAY’ DASHBOARD
We have opened our doors to the people of various faiths for so long. We have tried our best to accomodiate our Muslim brothers in our own land of a rich and vibrant Christian Hertiage.
But, WHAT HAVE THEY GIVEN US IN THEIR OWN LANDS?
They continue to persecute Christians all around the Muslim countries.
Refuse to give us citizenship.
Refuse to provide us places of worship.
There is not even one Christian radio or television in any muslim country.
They continue to harass Christians at workplace and subjet them to inhuman treatment.
Refuse to give us religious freedom.
Deport us when we try to defend our religion.
There is no media fairness and any one critical of Islam is hanged.
Block Christian websites and materials.
Don’t allow us to carry Bibles or materials.
Confiscate our Bible in Airports.
Carry out raids on our secret gathering of prayer.
They don’t respect our woman’s right.
It would be a terrible mistake to allow a Muslim channel in North America without asking them to open their countires first for us. There more we opened ourselves the more bombs killed our sons. I would encourage you to write a protest letter to President Obama or contact your senators or to write an article in your local newspaper.
Abusing our goodwill of Democracy and Liberty including religious freedom is not right and must be stopped.
I am not against a Muslim channel or against the Muslims but I need a fair play for my people who has bought this great and mighty land with blood of our sons regardless of Democrats or Republicans.
By Lynn Davidson
Are you a conservative? Then you’re a d***, and there’s something wrong with your brain. At least that’s what “24″ actress and comedienne Janeane Garofalo believes.
According to the former Air America radio host, a conservative starts out an “a**hole,” and the politics come later. She asserted, “The reason a person is a conservative republican (sic) is because something is wrong with them...It really is neuroscience.”
In this February 12 interview with the environmentalist celebrity blog Ecorazzi, Garofalo also claimed the “irrational” emotion center of the brain, the limbic system, is what creates conservatives (text reformatted, profanity edited, all bold mine):
The reason a person is a conservative republican is because something is wrong with them. Again, that’s science – that’s neuroscience. You cannot be well adjusted, open-minded, pluralistic, enlightened and be a republican. It’s counter-intuitive. And they revel in their anti-intellectualism. They revel in their cruelty.
I don’t know if you heard me talking to Jenny a while ago, but I was saying that first you have to be an a**hole and then comes the conservatism. You gotta be a d*** to cleave onto their ideology…
Sarah Palin didn’t escape Garofalo’s ire either. She said Palin is “small-minded and mean-spirited” and “is what the Republican Party has become: obstructionist, contrarians, small-minded, all of these things (sic).”
Garofalo raved that “[t]here’s definitely something wrong” with Palin, and she’s successful with some Americans “because she represents that lesser segment of the country. It’s about people’s lesser nature…”
Ecorazzi then dangled some bait:
E: I think it’s safe to say [Palin's] done some pretty nutty things.
JG: It’s not even nutty. It really is neuroscience. I truly believe that it has something to do with their limbic brain. I really believe that some people’s limbic brain dominates more than others. Our limbic brain controls all our emotions and it causes us to be irrational. Our limbic brain goes into action when we’re ecstatic, frightened, when we’re having sex. I really believe that if a neuroscientist examined the brain of somebody who identified as a conservative, they would find it’s wired differently.
Maybe a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who is fond of angry, vitriolic outbursts should take a look at the limbic system in her own brain for the excessive emotion and fright that she attributes to the right.
Garofalo also attacked Republican beliefs from Ronald Reagan forward, railing, “Their policies have destroyed us and most of the world–that’s a fact not an opinion.” She was baffled that “conservative republicans” (sic) (her sneer quotes) are allowed to participate in politics, asking “why do they still get a say?“
That certainly isn’t very inclusive. She also seemed a little confused about the difference between fact and opinion.
When discussing politics and neuroscience, perhaps Garofalo was referring to several questionable studies that tried to link political beliefs to the brain or childhood, or perhaps she was just projecting her own personal demons onto conservatives.
One thing is for sure-she didn’t get the message from the left that we are all supposed to put politics aside and come together for the good of the country. How “obstructionist,” “contrarian” and “small-minded.
Argues fewer people stimulates economy by cutting cost to state, federal government
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., defended huge sums of money for “family planning services” tucked into President Obama’s proposed economic stimulus package, claiming contraception will reduce government costs.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services,” Stephanopoulos asked Pelosi, “how is that stimulus?”
“Well, the family planning services reduce cost,” Pelosi answered. “They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those – one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”
Stephanopoulos immediately gave Pelosi, herself the mother of five children and grandmother to seven, the opportunity to retract a suggestion that it would help the economy if the government spent millions to help people stop having babies.
“So no apologies for that?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“No apologies,” Pelosi answered. “No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.”
As WND reported, President Obama is attempting to pass through Congress an $825 billion economic stimulus package, composed of both spending increases and tax cuts.
The effort comes less than six months after Congress approved a $700 billion bailout package, leaving many critics wondering if Americans will accept more government spending.
“I think a lot of Republicans will vote no,” Boehner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “because they see this as a lot of wasteful Washington spending, padding the bureaucracy and doing nothing to help create jobs and preserve jobs.”
Rep. Mice Pence, R-Ind., said, “The American people know we cannot borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy.”
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has already announced he will vote against the plan.
Pelosi expressed caution and the need for accountability under the watch of wary voters.
“Whatever we have to do will have to be clearly explained to Congress and to the American people as to what the purpose of the money is, why it is urgent, and then accountability for it as it is distributed,” she said. “So hopefully this next second installment will help turn our financial crisis around, but it’s not – if they come back – there’s going to have to be a justification, because people will be very, very disappointed in how his money was dealt with at first.”