US DoD white paper: wearing hijab is "passive terrorism"

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Countering Violent Extremism: Scientific Methods & Strategies, a 2011 publication by the Air Force Research Laboratory, was just re-released with a new introduction that touts, "the wisdom contained in this paper collection is more relevant than ever." Read the rest

Southwest Air kicks Muslim woman off plane for switching seats

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A Southwest Air flight attendant ordered the removal of a woman of Somali descent in a headscarf from a Chicago-Seattle flight after the passenger asked her neighbor if she could switch seats with him. The flight attendant said she "did not feel comfortable" with the passenger onboard. Read the rest

Baby sues US government for searching his diapers in racial profiling/War on Terror case

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A four year old John Doe is the lead plaintiff in a class action suit against the US Government that alleges that his diapers were searched when he flew as a seven-month-old baby and the TSA designated him a terrorism risk. Read the rest

United pilot orders Arab-American family off his flight for "safety"

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Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley, her husband, and their three small children were removed from a United Airlines flight prior to takeoff from Chicago's O'Hare airport, after the pilot said they posed a threat to the plane's safety. Read the rest

Man with Muslim name blocked from playing video game

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Muhammad Zakir Khan, An assistant professor of speech communication at Broward College in Florida, was blocked from signing up for Epic Game's Paragon beta this weekend. When Khan entered his first and last name in the online form and hit the submit button, he was informed that he'd been blocked from registering because his name.

The form said, in red letters:

"Your account creation has been blocked as a result of a match against the Specially Designated Nationals list maintained by the United States of America's Office of Foreign Assets control. If you have questions, please contact customer service at accounts@epicgames.com"

LinkedIn lists 16,031 professionals named Muhammad Khan in its database. It's more common than Joe Smith, which has 10,070 listed professionals.

Khan tweeted a screen grab of the form, and said, "@EpicGames My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist. #Islamophobia"

Khan told me Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney replied to Khan's tweet with a couple of tweets of his own. "He basically talked about how they were using a system where they blocked based upon the names the Treasury Department circulates."

I contacted Epic Games, based in Cary, North Carolina, to learn what happened. "We don't have any company statement, but Epic Games founder and CEO responded on Twitter, as well as answered a few questions" said Epic Games spokesperson Nick Chester. "Please note that there should no longer be an issue with sign-ups for any users (it was addressed by us as it was flagged by a user)."

I asked Chaster, "What was flagged by a user? Read the rest

"Je Suis Charlie," but your free speech is terrorism

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It's been a year since the horrific Charlie Hebdo attack and the subsequent outpouring of defense of free speech from all quarters -- the insistence that free societies demand tolerance of viewpoints, even deeply offensive ones. Read the rest

CA state Corrections worker hit and threw hot coffee on volleyball-playing Muslim guy in park

Denise Slader attacking an American man who happened to be Muslim. [Rasheed Albeshari]

A woman who works for California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (they handle prisons and parole and stuff) is under investigation after she was filmed mocking a Muslim man who was praying in a Bay Area park.

Read the rest

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks out against anti-Muslim hate

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Facebook CEO Executive Mark Zuckerberg said today that he supports Muslims in America, and around the world.

Read the rest

Another day in America, another pig's head left outside a Muslim community center

The pig's head tossed at a Philadelphia mosque today

A local CBS affiliate in Philadelphia reports that city police are investigating a pig’s head dumped outside an Islamic Center in North Philadelphia.

Islam's holy book, the Quran, forbids Muslims from eating pork.

The pig’s head showed up outside the Al-Alsqa Islamic Center early this morning.

A man who works for a nonprofit inside the center told local TV news the first time Al-Asqa was threatened in this manner was right after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. They received a voicemail: “Allah… is a peace of pork [expletive]! Allah Sucks!””

Philadelphia Mayor-elect Jim Kenney said in a statement today, “The bigotry that desecrated Al-Aqsa mosque has no place in Philadelphia… I ask all Philadelphians to join me in rejecting this despicable act and supporting our Muslim neighbors.”

Just last Sunday, President Barack Obama gave a national address about terrorism, and rejected the wave of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim violence sweeping America. Many blame the inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric of GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump for an uptick in hate crimes like the pig's head.

Michael Nutter, the outgoing mayor of Philadelphia, had some thoughts on Donald Trump's hateful comments against Muslims. Said the mayor, “He's an asshole.”

Police Investigate Pig’s Head Found Outside Philadelphia Islamic Center [philadelphia.cbslocal.com] Read the rest

UK "anti-radicalisation" law can take kids from thoughtcriming parents in secret trials

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The Conservative Party's "anti-radicalisation" laws call on teachers and other public servants to report brown children who espouse "radical" ideologies -- and now the other shoe has dropped, with the Family Division of the Judiciary promising to steal those children from their parents. Read the rest

'The Muslims are Coming!' Judge overturns NYC subway's ban on ads for Muslim comedy movie

The Muslims Are Coming! ad in NYC subway station.

A federal judge says a New York transportation agency was wrong to label some funny subway posters for a documentary on Muslim-American comedians as "political," so they could ban the posters from the NYC subway.

One of the six ads for "The Muslims Are Coming!" included the statement: “The Ugly Truth About Muslims: Muslims have great frittata recipes.”

Photo: themuslimsarecoming.com

Another one of the unfairly banned posters read, “Muslims hate terrorism! They also hate: People who tell you they went to an Ivy League school within 10 seconds of meeting them ... When the deli guy doesn’t put enough schmear on your bagel ... Hipsters who wear winter hats in the summer ... the pickling of everything ...”

The judge said it was “utterly unreasonable” for an MTA official to decide an advertisement including the word “Muslims” was political for that reason alone.

Photo: themuslimsarecoming.com

In the movie, comedians Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah lead an all-star Muslim comedy troupe performing in “big cities, small towns, liberal enclaves, conservative hotbeds, rural and everything in between to explore the issue of Islamophobia.”

The film also includes comedy bigshots Jon Stewart, David Cross and Lewis Black.

From The Guardian's coverage of the MTA ad brouhaha:

The ads for the film The Muslims Are Coming! were rejected this year by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subway system and the rest of the nation’s largest mass transit network. The MTA, which had first approved the ads, later concluded they violated its new ban on political ads.

Read the rest

Did NYPD police chief violate code of conduct by lying about Islamophobic video?

Gothamist digs into whether NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly's statements and actions regarding the production of an Islamophobic propaganda film "screened on a continuous loop for over 1,200 NYPD officers" may have been a violation of NYPD conduct codes. If you're new to the story, first read this NYT item, then this followup. Read the rest

Rep Allen West pens "dumbest thing ever written on congressional stationery"

According to the Miami New Times, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) penned "the dumbest thing ever written on congressional stationery" when he sent this one-word ("NUTS") letter to a local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR wrote to Rep West about his ties to radical anti-Islamic rabblerousers, arguing for their basic American constitutional right to be "afforded equal protection under law" and "to worship freely or participate in the governing of our society."

West has appeared on stage with Pamela Geller (cofounder of "Stop Islamization of America") and Brigitte Gabriel (who says she voices "what many in America are thinking but afraid to say out loud, for fear of being labeled a racist, bigot, Islamophobic, or intolerant").

For my part, I suspect the competition for "dumbest thing ever written on congressional stationery" is probably stiffer than this. I wouldn't give even odds on "dumbest thing ever written on congressional stationery by a Florida congressman" or even "dumbest thing ever written on congressional stationery by a Florida congressman this century."

But it's pretty dumb.

‘NUTS!’ — Allen West’s Strange, One-Word Response To Being Called Out For Ties To Islamophobes Read the rest

Pundits deploy retrocausality to blame Islam for Norway attacks

"It is not disputed that Breivik technically did it: the question, surely, is who is going to have made him do it? Europe awake. Yestermorrow there will was be going to have been Jihadi retrocausality to contend with."

From China Mieville's stirring rant about the pundits who declared that the Norway attacks must be the work of Islamic terrorists, then shamefully backpedaled and made excuses about how Breivik was a Paladin of the West, or was inspired by Islamic terrorists, or that in some way, Islam was to blame for Breivik's rampage. Read the rest