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October 28, 2015

Time magazine names Ahmed Mohamed to \’Most Influential Teens of 2015\’

Time magazine names Ahmed Mohamed to ‘Most Influential Teens of 2015’

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Time magazine named 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed yesterday to its list of “30 Most Influential Teens of 2015”. He was made famous after being taken into custody by police when a teacher thought a clock he brought to his Texas school looked like a bomb. Mohamed joins the ranks of influential teens including US President Barack Obama’s daughter Malia Obama, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

Ahmed Mohamed at Ames Research Center in 2015
Image: Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Mike Honda.

Time said of Mohamed in announcing the news: “Not many people make national news by bringing a homemade clock to school. But the ninth-grader’s arrest, after teachers and authorities mistook said clock for a bomb, kicked off a national debate over racial profiling”.

Cquote1.svg The ninth-grader’s arrest […] kicked off a national debate over racial profiling Cquote2.svg

Time magazine

Texas student Ahmed Mohamed and NASA Astronaut Alvin Drew at the 2015 White House Astronomy Night.
Image: Harrison Jones, hjonesphotography.

Mohamed traveled to the White House last week where he met with US President Barack Obama. His family said last week that they would move from Texas to Qatar, where Mohamed was offered a full-scholarship to a well-respected school in the country.

The September 14 incident in Irving, Texas triggered a wider discussion about Islamophobia within the community. The Twitter hashtag #IStandWithAhmed became part of a social movement in support of the youth. After news of the police response was reported, Mohamed received support online ranging from US President Barack Obama to Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.

Mohamed brought the digital clock he made to school on September 14, and a teacher mistakenly thought it resembled a bomb. Police arrested and questioned the student. Images of the boy wearing a NASA T-shirt and handcuffed by the police were quickly posted and reposted online.

Cquote1.svg Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? Cquote2.svg

—US President Barack Obama

The Twitter attention led to outreach from Google and Mohamed was invited to their Google Science Fair. Mohamed was a VIP guest at the Google Science Fair, and met finalists at the event held at Google’s headquarters located in Mountain View, California. Co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, personally met with Mohamed during his visit to Google.

US President Barack Obama tweeted using his @POTUS account: “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.” Twitter gave Mohamed the option to come to their company for an internship. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg tweeted to Mohamed and said the boy was welcome to come and tour the company.

Both the Irving Independent School District and the Irving Police Department have asserted that the boy’s religion and name were not a factor in the manner in which they approached the situation.



Related news[]

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  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Ahmed Mohamed clock incident
  • Commons-logo.svg Ahmed Mohamed clock incident
  • Wikisource-logo.svg We Stand with Ahmed – and We Hope He’ll Join Us for Astronomy Night

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September 22, 2015

Texas student Ahmed Mohamed inspires social movement

Texas student Ahmed Mohamed inspires social movement

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

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News of police response to a boy’s digital clock in Texas last week has inspired a global social movement in support of the youth. Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old boy from Irving, Texas, was arrested at his school by police after he brought a digital clock he had made to school. After news of the police response was reported, Mohamed received support online ranging from US President Barack Obama to Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. Yesterday Mohamed received VIP attention at Google headquarters in California at the Google Science Fair — and tommorow he plans to meet international dignitaries at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

US President Barack Obama tweet to student Ahmed Mohamed
Image: Twitter/Barack Obama.

Mohamed brought the digital clock he made to school on September 14, and a teacher mistakenly thought it resembled a bomb. Police arrested and questioned the student. Images of the boy wearing a NASA T-shirt and handcuffed by the police were quickly posted and reposted online.

Cquote1.svg Hoping that the #istandwithahmed movement translates into a substantive national conversation on race, punishment, and incarceration. Cquote2.svg

Marc Lamont Hill

The Deseret News observed that the hashtag on Twitter, #IStandWithAhmed, had become an international phenomenon. The Straits Times noted what began as individual messages to Mohamed had grown into a “support movement”. American academic and professor Marc Lamont Hill commented, “Hoping that the #istandwithahmed movement translates into a substantive national conversation on race, punishment, and incarceration.”

The Twitter attention led to outreach from Google and Mohamed was invited to their Google Science Fair. Mohamed was a VIP guest at the Google Science Fair this weekend, and was able to meet finalists at the event held at Google’s headquarters located in Mountain View, California. Co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, personally met with Mohamed during his visit to Google.

On Wednesday, Mohamed and his father are to travel to the United Nations. His father Mohamed El-Hassan Mohamed said he was taking his entire family to the U.N. headquarters in New York, because international dignitaries wanted to meet with his son and express their support.

Psychology major at University of Texas Arlington Amneh Jafari heard of the incident and wanted to issue her support to Mohamed. She chose the hastag #IStandWithAhmed and posted to Twitter. Jafari said she felt Mohamed had been subject to Islamophobia and her hashtag created greater awareness about this issue. The hashtag took on a life of its own, and was used in messages on Twitter over one million times by Thursday night.

NASA tweeted support of Ahmed Mohamed via its account International Space Station
Image: Twitter/NASA.

US President Barack Obama tweeted using his @POTUS account: “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”

Twitter gave Mohamed the option to come to their company for an internship. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg tweeted to Mohamed and said the boy was welcome to come and tour the company.

Executive director of the Dallas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Alia Salem said Mohamed wishes to use his newfound fame and attention to spotlight social causes including the treatment of Muslims in the United States.

University of Texas Arlington Muslim Student Association president Sehar Memon said the large amount of positive feedback for Mohamed had helped make his situation much better. Memon also said she believed the social movement in reaction to Mohamed helped improve Muslim/non-Muslim.

Both the Irving Independent School District and the Irving Police Department have asserted that the boy’s religion and name were not a factor in the manner in which they approached the situation.



Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Ahmed Mohamed clock incident
  • Commons-logo.svg Ahmed Mohamed clock incident
  • Wikisource-logo.svg We Stand with Ahmed – and We Hope He’ll Join Us for Astronomy Night

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July 29, 2010

Tennessee Lieutenant Governor suggests that Islam is a \’cult\’

Tennessee Lieutenant Governor suggests that Islam is a ‘cult’

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

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While answering a question regarding a proposed mosque in a Tennessee town, that state’s Lieutenant Governor, Ron Ramsey, questioned if Islam is a cult.
Image: Paul Cruickshank.
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A Tennessee politician has been criticised by Islamic groups and Islamic leaders by suggesting that Islam is a cult and is therefore ineligible for protection under the first amendment of the United States constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion.

Though Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, at a campaign stop in Chattanooga earlier in the month, said he’s “all about freedom of religion”, he also said that “[y]ou could even argue whether that being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult or whatever you want to call it”.

Lt. Gov. Ramsey had been asked about a proposed Islamic mosque and community centre that has been slated for construction in the town of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and also about the “threat that is invading our country from Muslims”.

Ramsey’s comments have been scrutinized by groups all over the country, while Ramsey’s rivals for the lieutenant governor position tried to avoid the controversy.

Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called Ramsey’s remarks “part of an unfortunate trend in our society” and part of “a disturbing trend in our nation in which it is suggested that American Muslims should have fewer or more restricted constitutional rights than citizens of other faiths.” Hooper also encouraged Ramsey to find people “who can offer him balanced and accurate information about Islam.”

Ramsey’s Republican rivals, U.S. Representative Zach Wamp and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, both tried to avoid the controversy about the cult comments. According to campaign spokesman Sam Edelen, Wamp declined to comment as he was “busy with voting”. Meanwhile Bill Haslam’s campaign spokesman Dave Smith stated in an e-mail that “The mayor’s faith is very important to him, and he respects the right of others to practice their faith, so long as they are respectful of the communities in which they live and the laws of the land.”

Later, Ramsey clarified his position by stating that he has “no problem — and I don’t think anyone in this country has a problem — with peace-loving, freedom-loving Muslims that move to this country and assimilate into our society.” However, Ramsey said he’s concerned that “far too much of Islam has come to resemble a violent political philosophy more than peace-loving religion. It’s time for American Muslims who love this country to publicly renounce violent jihadism and to drum those who seek to do America harm out of their faith community.”

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, there are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world and 7 million in the United States. The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has stated that there are 63,000 Muslims in Tennessee, or 1% of that state’s population.



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September 23, 2008

Mass delivery of anti-Islamic DVDs in swing voting states

Mass delivery of anti-Islamic DVDs in swing voting states

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

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Voters in swing states across the United States began receiving a one-hour DVD of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West over the weekend. The video was produced and distributed by Clarion Fund, a non-profit organization connected with Zionist and pro-Israeli organizations. The DVDs were delivered with leading newspapers mostly in swing states such as Ohio, Florida, and Michigan.

Obsession:Radical Islam’s War Against the West has stirred both outrage and praise.

The film focuses on drawing parallels between “Islamo-fascists” and Nazis, and opens with a series of videos of terrorist acts. It features interviews with counter-terrorism analysts, footage from Arabic TV, and interviews with former terrorists.

The film’s website states that the filmmakers “are against the Radical Islamists [sic] who want to impose their violent, oppressive world view, with little value for life and the manifold pleasures within”, but that they feel they share the same values and fears as most Muslims. The goal of the film, they say, is to raise public awareness, link isolated terrorist events to global origins, correct media misinformation, recognize efforts for Muslim tolerance, and promote efforts to fight “the Radical Islamic threat”.

Obsession has drawn both criticism and praise in the U.S. “Obsession is without exaggeration one of the most important films of our time,” wrote CNN’s Glenn Beck. The film received awards at numerous film festivals like the Liberty Film Festival.

But outraged Muslims have objected to the film and its distribution. According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has received a large amount of calls over the matter, Muslims feel it is “an attempt to not only marginalize and demonize the American Muslim community, but also to sway the election by targeting swing states”.

The film has been criticized for misquoting sources, poor fact checking, and including biased witnesses and testimony. Several of the analysts featured in the film have been criticized as being racist and anti-Islamic. Daniel Pipes, one of the talking heads in the film, was reported as saying that Muslims in America present “true dangers to American Jews”. Nonie Darwish, also featured in the film, has been widely criticized for his belief that “Islam is the devil” and thinks “Islam is cruel, anti-women, anti-religious freedom and anti-personal freedom in general.”

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Clarion Fund, which also sells a DVD titled The Third Jihad, states copies are being distributed to 28 million homes but there is no intent to sway voters. The organization’s focus, however, is only on radical Islamic threats to national security, and the group also runs a website RadicalIslam.org which recently endorsed John McCain.

An investigation by Inter Press Service in 2007 revealed that Obsession’s production was… closely tied to right-wing Zionists both in America and Israel. Rabbi Ephram Shore, brother of Clarion Fund’s founder Raphael Shore, is the head of an Israeli group which was involved in the film. Various weblinks on the group’s website focus on anti-Semitism and Israel.

The funds for the production of the movie were reported as having been borrowed, but there is no word on where the funds for the distribution came from. A spokesman for CAIR, Ibrahim Hooper, commented that he “can’t imagine that you can produce, package, distribute and advertise this product for less than 50 million dollars”.

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October 27, 2007

New bill will ban Muslims from wearing veils at polls in Canada

New bill will ban Muslims from wearing veils at polls in Canada

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

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In some countries women cover their faces almost completely, as illustrated here.

A new bill will propose a law to amend the Canada Elections Act to ban Muslims from wearing veils (or niqab’s) while at polls.

“During the recent by-elections in Quebec, the government made it clear that we disagreed with the decision by Elections Canada to allow people to vote while concealing their face. That is why, in the Speech from the Throne, we committed to introducing legislation to confirm the visual identification of voters,” said Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Peter Van Loan. “Today, with the introduction of this Bill, we have fulfilled that commitment.”

“While there was no apparent case of fraud in the recent Quebec by-elections, it was widely reported that numerous individuals voted while purposefully concealing their face,” said Member of Parliament Lawrence Cannon. “This caused people to question the credibility and integrity of the voting process. In a democratic system, it is crucial that confidence in our democracy be maintained. This Bill will maintain that confidence.”

Muslims will need to uncover when voting at all federal elections, by-elections, and advance polls. Citizens who are vouching for a voter who doesn’t have an ID will have to uncover their face as well. People who are medically required to have their faces covered are given an exception but will need to show photo ID and two pieces of other ID, or they will have to be vouched for by someone, who is not wearing a face covering, or removes their face covering. Alternatively they can make an oath saying it would be against the rules of their doctor or be harmful to their health to remove their face covering.

Elections Canada volunteers would need to, somehow, suit the voter to their religious needs, if necessary.

According to the press release it will allow “someone to be recognized, who is attempting to commit an offense at the polls (e.g. someone trying to vote twice),” and it will “restore public confidence in the electoral process.”

Bill C-31 allowed voters to wear veils as long as they showed two pieces of ID, with one displaying their address. If they only brought one piece, photo ID or not, they would be required to remove their veils. If the person had a voting card, the problem would not exist. However, the new proposed bill would require Muslims to remove their veil regardless of if they have a voting card.

The Chief Electoral Officer for Elections Quebec refused to come to agreement with the Federal Government’s opposition of his position of letting voters only remove their veils when they only brought one photo and no other ID, so they could compare their identity to the photo. He could have supported the Federal Government’s opposition and change the requirements, but since he didn’t the Canada Elections Act has been proposed to be amended.

“If anybody had actually bothered to ask the women that are actually concerned, and we are talking about a very small minority of women, they would have told them that they always take it off to identify their faces. And they do it at the bank, they do it at border crossings, they do it at the airport,” said Sarah Elgazzar, a spokeswoman for the Canada Council on American-Islamic Relations in September.



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September 10, 2007

Elections Canada stands by decision, Muslims not required to remove veils at polls

Elections Canada stands by decision, Muslims not required to remove veils at polls

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Monday, September 10, 2007

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A niqab.

The Canadian government is in heated debate regarding a law which allows Muslims to wear veils at the polls. It has been decided, amid concerns from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, that the law will not change, and women are still allowed to wear veils when appearing to cast votes at the ballot box.

PM Harper says a ruling which Elections Canada made in July to allow veils was wrong. Over the past week politicians from all three major federal parties are agreeing with Harper’s stance on the issue.

“I have to say that it concerns me greatly, because the role of Elections Canada is not to make its own laws. It’s to put into place the laws that Parliament has passed, so I hope they will reconsider this decision,” Harper said in Australia after the APEC summit officially ended. “But in the meantime, if that doesn’t happen, Parliament will have to consider what actions it’s going to take to make sure its intentions are put into place…We just adopted this past sitting in the spring, Bill C-31, a law designed to have the visual identification of voters. It’s the purpose of the law … and I think this decision goes in an entirely different direction.”

By disallowing the wearing of veils Elections Canada can determine if a voter is voting twice on the same day. But about eighty-thousand Canadians voted by mail during the 2006 general election, which makes the problem seem even more complex.

“It’s primarily because no (Muslim) groups came forward requesting special treatment,” said NDP leader Jack Layton.

“We would ask Elections Canada to reconsider its decision, and to require veiled women to unveil their faces to confirm their identities,” Liberal leader Stephane Dion said in a statement on September 7.

The Bloc Québécois proposed a bill asking people with veils to take them off on when they vote in federal elections, as well as Quebec premier Jean Charest, who made his complaints public on September 7 [1]. They wrote a letter to Elections Quebec asking that Muslim voters be required to unveil in three upcoming by-elections next Monday. The decision ended allowing Muslims to wear their veils. “In the case of a niqab or burka during the federal byelection that’ll take place Sept. 17, the [chief electoral officer] has made the identification of electors impossible,” said lawmaker Michel Guimond.

“We designed the bill to improve the possibility of identification of the voters…It’s not a question of numbers. When you go to a polling station, you must show your face,” Guimond said at a press conference in Ottawa earlier on Monday, before the final decision was made.

If Muslims don’t want to unveil and if they don’t have ID with them they can just make an oath verifying their identity and provide an address before voting, says Marc Mayrand, Chief Electoral Officer with Elections Canada. Elections Canada volunteers at the voting stations can also ask for the unveiling of a voter. Or another person, who lives in the same riding, can verify their identity. If the voter only brings one piece of information then they may be asked to unveil (but are not required), although a picture (or unveiling) is not required if two ID’s are presented. However, voters are always asked to use the election cards that were mailed to them. It is the safest and most effective way to vote.

“The prime minister has indicated that he feels I may have misinterpreted the act,” Mayrand said. “I can only presume it’s because it’s been raised so actively in the media . . . probably people did not pay enough attention (before).”

“If it’s not clear to the chief electoral officer, then as of this afternoon we’ll make it clear,” Minister of Transport, Lawrence Cannon, said.

But Sarah Elgazzar, a spokeswoman for the Canada Council on American-Islamic Relations, says that Muslims aren’t afraid of unveiling: “If anybody had actually bothered to ask the women that are actually concerned, and we are talking about a very small minority of women, they would have told them that they always take it off to identify their faces,” she said. “And they do it at the bank, they do it at border crossings, they do it at the airport.”

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states:

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

– Section One of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

– Section Two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, under the heading of “Fundamental Freedoms”.

Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of the members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.

– Section Three of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Elections Quebec, in charge of voting in the province of Quebec, during the provincial elections in March, were forced by all three provincial party leaders to disallow the wearing of veils. There were many protests among the Muslim community and a few organisations.

Currently in Canada if a person does not have a voting card on election day they need, at least, two pieces of ID, and one must have their address, neither is required to have a photo. Just last year an American residing at a Toronto university voted at a polling station with ID and a bill showing his name and address. Elections Canada volunteers approved it, without knowing. It was later found out that he spoiled his ballot, meaning he drew over the circle.

“I invite Parliament to review, and if it wishes to do so, amend the provisions governing the conduct of the vote in light of the many comments voiced by politicians and the public,” Mayrand said.

Layton and Dion both say that they accept the decision made by Mayrand. Guimond and the Bloc Québécois continue to disagree with the decision saying they will “strike back” with another bill.



Related news

  • “Muslims told not to wear veils when they vote in Quebec” — Wikinews, March 24, 2007
 
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March 24, 2007

Muslims told not to wear veils when they vote in Quebec

Muslims told not to wear veils when they vote in Quebec

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

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Muslims in the province of Quebec have been told to remove their veils on next Monday’s Quebec general election.

A niqab.

Marcel Blanchet, Quebec’s chief returning officer, says he is using special grants to make this law. He also hired two bodyguards after the office had received threatening phone calls and e-mails. Some residents were also promising to wear the niqāb, a veil which covers the whole face except for the eyes, on Monday’s vote.

But before he made this decision, Blanchet allowed voters to wear the niqāb on voting day only if they showed their ID and voting card. Blanchet, however, was criticized by all three main Quebec party leaders for that decision.

“Relevant articles to electoral laws were modified to add the following: any person showing up at a polling station must be uncovered to exercise the right to vote,” he said.

Sarah Elgazzar, of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, said, in her opinion, that this will discourage Muslim voters to show up on election day.

An eleven-year-old Ontario girl, who played at a soccer tournament in Quebec in February, was removed from the tournament after she refused to take off her headscarf at the request of the referee. A Muslim woman, who worked at a prison in Quebec, last week, was fired from her job after she also refused to take off her veil.

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December 9, 2006

Listeners call for tattooing of Muslims in America, supporting comedy skit

Listeners call for tattooing of Muslims in America, supporting comedy skit

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Saturday, December 9, 2006

When radio host Jerry Klein suggested that all Muslims in the United States should be identified with a crescent-shape tattoo,”the switchboard went from empty to totally jammed within minutes.” Some callers agreed with Klein, one saying that, “Not only do you tattoo them in the middle of their forehead but you ship them out of this country … they are here to kill us.” Another caller added that America should, “set up encampments like during World War Two with the Japanese and Germans”

At the end of the show Klein revealed that that it had been staged as a hoax. “I can’t believe any of you are sick enough to have agreed for one second with anything I said,” he told his AM 630 WMAL audience which covers Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland

“For me to suggest to tattoo marks on people’s bodies, have them wear armbands, put a crescent moon on their driver’s license on their passport or birth certificate is disgusting. It’s beyond disgusting.”

“Because basically what you just did was show me how the German people allowed what happened to the Jews to happen … We need to separate them, we need to tattoo their arms, we need to make them wear the yellow Star of David, we need to put them in concentration camps, we basically just need to kill them all because they are dangerous.”

Council on American-Islamic Relations Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper commented:

Cquote1.svg The public reaction to Mr. Klein’s courageous parody should be a wake-up call for American religious and political leaders who remain silent in the face of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in our society. Americans of all faiths must come together to marginalize extremists and to challenge ethnic and religious bigotry. Cquote2.svg

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May 17, 2005

Muslim leaders don\’t accept \”pressured\” apology

Muslim leaders don’t accept “pressured” apology

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Image from the Al-Andulas 12th century Quran manuscript

Newsweek magazine apologized to the victims of last week’s deadly protests in Afghanistan, which were sparked when a Newsweek report stated that U.S. officials defiled the Koran.

But Islamic parties in Pakistan say the Newsweek apology is a transparent attempt to defuse Muslim anger. Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the head of an Islamic party alliance told the BBC on Monday that Newsweek’s clarification held no weight. “There have been reports by the prisoners who have been released from Guantanamo Bay of desecration of the holy Koran, and different atrocities perpetrated on them.”

On Tuesday Mr.Ahmad said,”Whatever (Newsweek) magazine has done now is under pressure (from the U.S. government),” he said. “It has not denied what it has reported and many people freed from Guantanamo Bay have narrated the same thing.”

The Tuesday edition of the Pakistani daily newspaper the News quoted Hafiz Ehsan Saeed, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, as saying that the Koran was routinely desecrated at Guantanamo.

Reuters reported that Muslims said they suspected that pressure from Washington was behind the magazine’s backing off. On Monday, presidential spokesman Scott McClellan had criticized Newsweek’s initial response to the incident, saying it was “puzzling.” Later in the day, Newsweek retracted the story which the White House said was a “good first step”.

Newsweek defended its reporting and said its investigation is continuing into allegations that the Koran had been desecrated by U.S. personnel.

“Unfortunately relations are so bad at this point that the perception will linger;” said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Many people won’t believe it. They’ll believe the magazine was pressured into doing a retraction.” Hooper said.

“We will not be deceived by this,” Sadullah Abu Aman, an Islamic cleric, told Reuters in Afghanistan.

The magazine said it had made a mistake in its May 9th report regarding the accusations, which led to violent anti-American protests in Afghanistan. Over 16 were killed, and more than 100 were injured. While many officials supporting the protests vowed for non-violence, some in the streets threatened to start a religious war against the United States.

Newsweek’s Editor, Mark Whitaker, said the magazine’s error was reporting confirmation by U.S. military investigators that Guantanamo personnel flushed the Koran down a toilet. The source initially said he had read of the event in a military investigative report, but the source later told the magazine he might have seen the account of the Koran incident in other investigative documents or drafts.

Mr Whitaker told Reuters, “As to whether anything like this happened, we just don’t know. We’re not saying it absolutely happened but we can’t say that it absolutely didn’t happen either.”

The Newsweek report was not the first public allegation alleging Quran desecration at Guantanamo Bay. News stories came out in August and October 2004, reporting that British citizens who had been released from Guantanamo claimed U.S. guards threw their Qurans into the toilet. Also, in January, 2005, Kristine Huskey, a lawyer representing Guantanamo detainees, said a detainee witnessed a guard tossing a Quran into a toilet.



Sources

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