Will American Drone be the Next Best Picture?

In the film American Sniper, Chris Kyle is the American hero who never wavered in his mission to kill as many Muslim terrorist savages in Iraq as he could. More »

Reclaim Martin Luther King Day: #BlackLivesStillMatter

Reclaim Martin Luther King Day by demonstrating that the civil rights movement has never ended and demanding an end to racial profiling, mass incarceration, and police brutality. More »

Ferguson: The End of the Myth of a Post-Racial Society

Ferguson – only the first of many signs of the police militarization and tone deafness of a “post-racial society”. More »

USA vs. Rasmea Odeh: Judge Reverses Prejudicial Bail Ruling

Before the Judge would not admit Odehs close ties to the community. Why now does he recognize the “Defendant’s dedication to her community work and the people that such work assists?” More »

 

Will American Drone be the Next Best Picture?

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By Bill Chambers

The Chris Kyle played by Bradley Cooper in American Sniper was not a drone operator, but he had the same mentality of killing terrorists from a distance. As the very first sound you hear in the movie, “Allah Akbar” proclaims, these terrorists are Muslim. WARNING: PROPAGANDA SPOILERS!

Reclaim Martin Luther King Day: #BlackLivesStillMatter

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By Bill Chambers

Last Tuesday, a homemade explosive was set off next door to the Colorado Springs chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  The bomb was placed in front of a barber shop next door to the NAACP office. There were no injuries and only minor damage according to the police. “An improvised explosive device was detonated against the building, but it was too soon to know whether the nation’s oldest civil rights organization was the target,” FBI spokeswoman Amy Sanders said. The only reason there were no injuries is that a gasoline can placed next to the bomb failed to ignite. Even so the blast was heard throughout the neighborhood. The FBI sent members of its Joint Terrorism Task Force to help investigate. Sanders said investigators were looking for a balding white man in his 40s who may be driving a dirty pickup truck. This was not the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four African-American girls and injured 14 others during church services in 1963. But this was the sound of a civil rights movement that is far from over.

State-Sponsored Terrorism: Cases of Aafia Siddiqui & Alicia Partnoy

Photo by Al-Jeezera TV

By Ameen Omar

Why do citizens of a democratic society ignore state-sponsored terrorism? As U.S. citizens, we have seen numerous cases where our own state was the chief perpetrator of torture and human rights violations but have hesitated to speak out against it. Do we think our government always acts in our best interest or do we overlook these cases because we believe that the victims deserve it? Let us look at two stories that indicate U.S. involvement in human rights violations that offer no evidence as justification.

Framing Islam

Julian Burnside, Australian Lawyer and Human Rights Activist

By Renner Larson

Reporters hungered to cover Monday’s gripping standoff and continued to feast after the situation ended and #illridewith you became the talk of the town, but whether about the horror of a terrorist or the compassion of those who stood by innocent Muslims, these stories illustrate a dangerous flaw in how we define objectivity. The meaning of a picture is changed drastically by how you frame it.

Ferguson: The End of the Myth of a Post-Racial Society

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By Erik Allgood

The most interesting article is sometimes the one you don’t write for one reason or another. This has been a problem for me since the first time I wrote an article critical of established authority. The school pool had burned down (don’t ask), and I was then Editor-in-Chief of our school newspaper. The girls’ swim team had been forced to wake up an extra hour early to take a bus halfway across town and back to get their morning swim. By most accounts, the administration was sitting on their hands instead of getting the repairs done in a timely manner. Something that wouldn’t have happened if, say, someone had used grass killer to write F*** (school name) across the football field, which happened and was fixed within the week. One of the upperclasswomen on the girls’ swim team had written a vitriolic, but substantial, list of questions aimed at the administration. We had every intention of publishing it, until I was called into the principal’s office and told that in no uncertain terms that it would not be published because of the “unfair scrutiny” it would put on the school. Even before the high school diplomas are handed out, we learn that power has a way of protecting itself through intimidation, coercion, and control of the narratives of powerless people, which is important when considering Darren Wilson, the power he represents, and the protection he received from St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch. Seven years have passed since the pool burnt down. Now I get to watch the myth of a post-racial society burn down from my southern perch in the Mississippi Delta (while educating children in a fourth grade classroom and attending graduate school).

USA vs. Rasmea Odeh: Judge Reverses Prejudicial Bail Ruling

Photo by Bill Chambers

By Bill Chambers

On November 10 with the courtroom packed with Rasmea Odeh’s supporters from Chicago, U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain revoked Odeh’s bail and sent her to jail until sentencing on March 10th.

“Odeh doesn’t have ties to the Chicago community. She has apparently done good work at the Arab American Action Network, but that work is not a substantial tie to the community. She could do this in another country.”

With this blatant ignoring of the facts, Judge Drain agreed with the government that Odeh was a flight risk and deserved to be incarcerated in a remote County jail for four months. Yesterday, the same Judge Drain ruled in favor of a defense motion to release Odeh on $50,000 bond.

“Defendant’s dedication to her community work and the people that such work assists, as well as the presence of relatives in Chicago, demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that she is not as significant a flight risk as originally believed.”

Before the Judge would neither admit evidence of Odeh’s close ties to the community nor see with his own eyes that community inside courtroom at every hearing. Why the change?

A Muslim-American Take on “Serial”

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By Lena Shareef

“Have you heard of this podcast called Serial?”

When three different people (with absolutely no connection to each other) asked me this question in the span of 48 hours, I figured it was time to give Serial a shot.

Big Data or Big Brother? Census Bureau might count Arabs

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By Nasir Almasri

As I completed my applications for graduate school this week, I filled in the information and navigated the tedious process. Perhaps the most perplexing question on all six of my applications was my race. When people ask, I identify myself as an Arab-American; but these new-fangled online applications are not so simple. I am not white or Caucasian, although that is the answer they seek in my case. I am not Asian, according to their definitions. I do not usually have the opportunity to select “other” and enter my information.

The Religion of Thanksgiving

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By Remal Hindi

When people think of Thanksgiving, they think of how much food they will eat, the outfits they’ll wear, football, and of course, Black Friday. Despite its more superficial modern associations, the essence of Thanksgiving is universal, and has spiritual significance that reflects values of people from all faiths.

The Loss of One of Our Own – A Tale of Two Brothers

By Walid Sankari

The world was repulsed yet unsurprised as the so-called Islamic State beheaded another western hostage on camera. A video released by ISIS on November 16th titled “Although the Disbelievers Dislike It” depicted the death of American Peter “Abdul Rahman” Kassig, purportedly in retaliation for American military intervention in Iraq and Syria.