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:
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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!)
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[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:
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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.
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
A splendid new Tumblog of Greatness dedicated to MUSLIMS DRESSED IN THEIR GARBS.
Former NPR analyst Juan Williams, among other ignorant people, has an irrational fear of Muslims, and thinks you can identify them based on what they look like. Here I will post pictures of Muslims wearing all sorts of things in an attempt to refute that there is such a thing as "Muslim garb" or a Muslim look.
Above: "Like the king of Jordan, actor Alexander Siddig is also fond of Muslim Star Trek garb."
Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things. (via Peter Kirn) Read the rest