An independent civilian appointed by New York's mayor will monitor counterterrorism activities of the New York Police Department, the New York Times reports that lawyers said in court documents Thursday. The news comes as those lawyers attempt to settle two lawsuits about the NYPD's surveillance of Muslims after 9/11.
Read the rest
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
Images and video in this post contain graphic images of death, and may be disturbing.
The city is nearing a settlement with several Muslim clerics who filed a 2013 federal discrimination lawsuit alleging illegal NYPD spying.
“The beauty of women can hurt her and attract evil,” it reads.
New York-based filmmaker Bassam Tariq shares the most beautiful images from his story project, 30Days/Ramadan
, where photos from the Muslim holy month of Ramadan reveal that media stereotypes of Muslims aren't nearly as colorful or interesting as snapshots from within the community.
Since 2009, New York City-based twentysomething comedian Aman Ali and photographer Bassam Tariq have spent the Islamic holy month of Ramadan visiting mosques around America and documenting Muslim culture in the US. They've also guest-blogged individually and together for Boing Boing in the past. Bassam today sends word that with this year's incarnation of the project, they're trying to "curate some of the best and most powerful user uploaded photos during Ramadan from the world." Check it out: 30daysramadan.com.
Read the rest
Bassam Tariq of 30 Days Ramadan points us to a series of images making the rounds on Facebook, Twitter, and the like today. The snapshots are ostensibly reactions to the recent violence related to a weird, anti-Islam YouTube trailer for a film produced by a mysterious character with a shady past.
The whole story behind that video and the attacks linked to it is perplexing, and the more that comes to light, the more it feels like a strange disinfo job. But I have no idea by whom, and to what end.
More images here. I don't know who shot them, and am unable to verify that they are what they appear to be as I post.
More: Boing Boing news archive for "Innocence of Muslims." Read the rest
Update: The whole thing sounds like a weird disinfo job. But, by whom and to what end? The AP has outed "Sam Bacile" as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, a Coptic Christian who claims the film supports the concerns of Christian Copts about their treatment by Muslims. On The Media notes that there's something fishy about the film dialogue. And Gawker has spoken to one of the actresses in the film, who says she had no idea what the film was really about.
The Associated Press identifies Sam Bacile as an Israeli filmmaker based in California who made an independently produced and financed anti-Muslim movie that's sort of "Birth of a Nation" meets "Bed Intruder." The YouTube trailer is embedded above, and it unapologetically attacks Islam’s prophet Muhammad. Bacile has no known prior history as a filmmaker.
His D-grade web trailer inspired (or, alternately, was used as cover for) attacks by ultra-conservative Muslims on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya. J Christopher Stevens, America's ambassador to Libya, and three American members of his staff were killed today in resulting violence.
From the Associated Press:
Read the rest
Speaking by phone Tuesday from an undisclosed location, writer and director Sam Bacile remained defiant, saying Islam is a cancer and that the 56-year-old intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion. Protesters angered over Bacile’s film opened fire on and burned down the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. Libyan officials said Wednesday that Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed Tuesday night when he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack by a mob firing machine guns and rocket propelled grenades.
[Video Link] The 30 Days Ramadan guys have put out a wonderful new short film in their series of profiles on Muslim life in America. This one was directed by Zeshawn Ali, and focuses on a father-son legacy of music, in Brooklyn. Snip:
Mohammad Boota walks the streets of NYC walking Muslims up with a dhol drum during Ramadan - a rich tradition he inherited from his family in Pakistan. He came to America in 1992 and spent 9 years saving enough money to bring the rest of his family over. Now, fully reunited with his family, he rekindles the bond he has with his son over their love for drumming.
As you watch, remember that these are the regular people the NYPD and DHS want to surveil all the time, every day, solely because of their heritage.
You can subscribe to the 30 Days Ramadan YouTube channel for more great videos like this.
"30 Mosques in 30 Days" returns for Ramadan 2012
A moveable mosque: One young Muslim woman's daily photoblog ...
Read the rest
The "30 Mosques" guys are producing some wonderful "30 Days Ramadan" videos this year that really give you a sense of what it's like to be a Muslim person in America. I enjoyed this one, featuring a young woman named Deena who loses her job, then decides chronicle her life through a photoblog. More about the project here. Subscribe to their video channel here. Deena's photoblog is here, and full of beautiful things. (thanks, Bassam Tariq!)
Read the rest
[Video Link] Aman Ali, one of the guys behind "30 Mosques," tells Boing Boing, "Instead of doing a roadtrip this year, we're releasing short films."
I love this one. In it, a Muslim nerd "is excited for the new Dark Knight movie," but it releases on the first night of Ramadan.
The short film stars Aman Ali, is directed by Musa Syeed, and was shot by Omar Mullick. Subscribe to their YouTube channel for more.
"30 Mosques in 30 Days" returns for Ramadan 2012
The "30 Mosques" guys visit "The Ground Zero Mosque"
Letters to a friend: Convicted terrorist's former friends asked, "what ...
30 days through Muslim America, a photo essay
Two Muslim guys photo-blog 30 NYC mosques in 30 days.
Read the rest
The AP has published more documents today which offer further evidence
that the The New York Police Department "kept secret files on businesses owned by second- and third-generation Americans specifically because they were Muslims." The NYPD monitored these people based solely on their religion. Read the rest
Saudi Arabia is reported to have used Interpol's "red notice" system to locate and arrest journalist Hamza Kashgari, 23, (image at left) over tweets perceived as an insult to the Prophet Muhammad.
The international police organization denies involvement.
On the day observed as the Prophet's birthday, Kashgari published three tweets that described an imaginary meeting with the Prophet.
The one that caused all the hysteria (including "arrest him!" campaigns on Facebook and Twitter):
"I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don't understand about you … I will not pray for you."
[translation via AFP].
Kashgari later apologized, removed the tweets, then fled the country as calls for his arrest grew.
More from the Guardian:
Police in Kuala Lumpur said Hamza Kashgari, 23, was detained at the airport "following a request made to us by Interpol" the international police cooperation agency, on behalf of the Saudi authorities. Interpol later denied that its notice system had been involved in
the arrest of Kashgari.
A spokesperson said: "The assertion that Saudi
Arabia used Interpol's system in this case is wholly misleading and
Kashgari's tweets are said to be blasphemy, and blasphemy is punishable by execution in Saudi Arabia. Read the rest
Balayla Ahmad, an observant African-American Muslim student at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming she was sexually harassed by a male student in 2009 for months on end, but that university officials showed "deliberate indifference" to her repeated complaints—and that she was then reported to the FBI in revenge for having complained. From the Associated Press
When she complained to a teacher, she was told that the university generally doesn't get rid of students right away over such incidents, the lawsuit said. Another teacher asked her if she were married and asked her not to report it to the dean because he would speak with the harasser, the suit said.
Read the rest
Ahmad then reported the harassment and fears for her safety to the university's president and dean, who promised to meet with her. But she said when she met with the dean, he said, "My hands are tied. What do you suggest I do?"
After reporting the sexual harassment in April 2009, Ahmad said she was approached by two university security directors who told her someone had made allegations against her and they threatened to call the FBI and have her arrested.
Later, two FBI agents knocked on Ahmad's apartment door, questioned her and left a business card, according to the lawsuit. She said she learned that her harasser or his associates had fabricated a story falsely accusing her of being a terrorist in apparent retaliation for having made a sexual harassment complaint against him.
PHOTO: Bosnian Muslim woman Alic Mina cries near the grave of her son Mihrudin before a mass funeral in the village of Memici, about 30 kilometres from Zvornik, June 1, 2011. The remains of eight people, victims of an "ethnic cleansing" campaign that former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic is accused of instigating, were retrieved from mass graves in Zvornik and buried during the mass funeral on Wednesday. Mladic, extradited to the Netherlands from Serbia on Tuesday after 16 years on the run, will appear in court on Friday, according to a statement issued by the court on Wednesday. Mladic was indicted over the 43-month siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo and the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the town of Srebrenica, close to the border with Serbia, during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)
Now that the Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic is safely behind the bars in the Hague international war tribunal, some questions are becoming more urgent.
Where was Mladic hiding all these years? Who helped him evade justice? Why did his protectors stay silent and unpunished? Will there be a investigation and a punishment for them, too? In Serbia, in the Hague, in hell?
In 2008, Radovan Karadzic, Mladic's best-known ally and also a highly wanted war criminal, was arrested in Belgrade while posing as a New Age medical guru. Karadzic had been living undercover for years, with a semi-public persona as a quack medical expert. He often appeared in conferences and wrote for fringe medical papers. Read the rest
Video journalists Bassam Tariq and Omar Mullick (who have guestblogged for and been featured on Boing Boing in the past, respectively) have a wonderful little video up at TIME about a Hindu man in Pakistan who edits and publishes a newspaper for his community (they're about 5-6% of the population). This is, in fact, the first Hindu newspaper in Pakistan.
The guy literally carries around a desktop PC on his shoulders to get the prepped content to the printer; he taught himself how to use the computer over the course of 8-10 years, and learned how to do desktop publishing with tools we'd consider antiquated in the wealthy US. He sells the paper for cheap, because the audience is poor; mostly boot-polishers and farmers. On some nights his family goes hungry because he uses all their resources to put out the paper. An inspiring story.
A technical note: TIME's video player annoyingly crops out all the subtitles, play it full screen so you can read them (unless you're a Hindi speaker, in which case you won't need them).
Video Link. Read the rest