Orlando Shooting - How the FBI Turned LGBTQ Hate Crime into Terrorism

How did the killing of fifty LGBTQ people in an Orlando nightclub become another example of homegrown Islamic terrorism? More »

Muhammad Ali - Muslim and Activist

Muhammad Ali was first and foremost a Muslim activist his entire life – opposing war and racism wherever he found it. More »

Why Has the West Forgotten About the Violence in South Sudan?

Alexandra Kirchner explores why the US media continues to ignore the rise in violence in South Sudan after the peace agreement in 2015. More »

Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi Forced to Address Rohingya Muslims Issue

Burma’s Suu Kyi response to the oppression of the Rohingya is inadequate, but social media has been effective in fighting for their rights. More »

 

Chicago Activists and Teachers Occupy City Hall for Community Control of Police

(Photo by Bill Chambers)

By Bill Chambers

Protestors from the large coalition fighting for community control of the Chicago Police were joined by hundreds of members of the Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) before the Wednesday City Counsel meeting to demand an all elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). Mayor Rahm Emanuel had planned to have “the final details worked out on a comprehensive plan to fundamentally reshape our system of police accountability” and introduce his plan at this City Council meeting.

But seeing the planned protest that grew to an occupation of three floors of City Hall, the Mayor blinked and “postponed” announcing his plan.

Kenya Set to Close Largest Refugee Camp in the World

Dadaab

The world celebrated International Refugee Day on June 20, almost a month after Kenya announced its plans to close the largest refugee camp in the world. Dadaab, home to at least 340,000 refugees, most of whom are from Somalia, is scheduled to close by November. The camp is located near the border Kenya shares with Somalia. The camp has been steadily increasing in size since its establishment in 1991. The camp has acted as a safe haven for those fleeing Somalia due to poverty, famine, and persecution for the past quarter of a century.

Orlando Shooting – How the FBI Turned LGBTQ Hate Crime into Terrorism

Orlando-Shootings-Thumb

By Bill Chambers

At the very first press conference after the Orlando shootings, FBI Special Agent Ronald Hopper, said he could not provide the name of the suspect yet, but he did say that they were looking into suggestions that the “suspect had leanings toward that [Islamic extremism] ideology.” This theme continued at the second press conference. Hopper said the suspect had “pledged allegiance to the Islamic State” on a 911 call and revealed agents had investigated Mateen in 2013 and again in 2014 regarding terror threats, but lacked evidence to pursue charges. He provided no detail about why Mateen had been investigated other than “comments made to co-workers” in 2013 and potential association with a terrorist suspect in 2014. Hopper continued “the FBI is known for slow and methodical investigations…we look forward to being as completely transparent as possible.”

Four days later, John Brennan, Director of the CIA, told the Senate Intelligence Committee, that the agency has not been “able to uncover any link” between the Orlando shooter Omar Mateen and ISIS.

Syria – The Future of Proxy Wars?

The situation in Syria has been a proxy war almost from the very beginning. Conflicts in the past have been characterized as proxy wars if the conflict is between foreign powers but takes place on third party soil using third party civilians to fight. The situation in Syria fits this definition similar to the proxy wars waged by the US and USSR that we witnessed during the Cold War. But now the foreign powers that have a stake in the war are not limited to two entities. The US, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Israel, Qatar, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, and Lebanon all are involved in Syria in some way. In addition, there are not only “foreign powers” involved but also non-state actors like al-Nusra and ISIS who have their own part to play.

We are not in the Cold War era anymore.

What Do the Presidential Candidates Really Believe About the Israel-Palestine Conflict?

Candidates-on-Palestine-Thumb

Have you ever wonder where did the presidential candidates accumulated their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Well today you will be reading about Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump previous relation with Israel and Palestine and their views about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Not surprisingly there are changes from their previous to their present views. Particularly, there has been a transformation in the views of Hillary Clinton over time. Even though Hillary Clinton has wrapped up the Democratic nomination, there will be a party platform fight between Clinton selected and Sanders selected representatives on this issue at the Democratic convention. At a time when many young Americans are shifting to be more sympathetic to the Palestinians, for two of the leading candidates the move has been to more pro-Israel support.

Dump Trump Coalition Gears Up to Protest Republican Convention

Protest-RNC-Thumb

The spread of ignorance in depicting the Muslims as haters of everything American; the blatant bigotry that Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists; the debasement and objectification of women on national television—this is Trump’s America.

 

Op Ed – Open Letter to the Muslim Community on the Orlando Shootings

Muslim-Letter-Orlando-Shootings-Thumb

Following the recent mass shooting at the Pulse bar in Orlando, Muslims took over the internet, expressing their grief, and giving their condolences to those affected by the attack. While I am pleased that many Muslims sent their love and support to the victims of this tragic incident, I was frustrated to see a large amount of Muslims once again coming to the defense of Islam.

Op Ed – Rebuttal to Mayor Rahm Emanuel Proposal for Police Accountability

Youth-Rahm-Protest-Inline02

On May 13, 2016, Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued an opinion stating that the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) would be abolished, and that he was going to oversee the drafting of a new ordinance to tackle the issue of police accountability. He added, “The framework for the new structure was outlined in the Task Force’s reforms and is driven by core principles that lie at the heart of the police accountability: independence, integrity, transparency and citizen participation.” Let’s not forget that members of the Task Force he refers to were handpicked by him. He plans to unveil this new structure on June 22, 2016.

Governor Rauner’s Failing Record on Minority Inclusion

Rauner-Minorities-Thumb03

Governor Bruce Rauner was elected in Illinois in 2014, replacing the interim governor Pat Quinn who took over after the indictment of Rod Blagojevich. While one of the biggest criticisms of his administration has been the state’s failure to pass a budget for over a year, what many critics fail to further recognize is Rauner’s questionable track record concerning minority inclusion.

Palestinian Community Leader Rasmea Odeh Moves Closer to a New Trial

(Photo by Bill Chambers)

By Bill Chambers

On Monday morning, over 100 of Rasmea Odeh’s supporters gathered from five states at the Federal Courthouse in Detroit to hear the results of her hearing on whether she would be allowed to present her full story and potentially be granted a new trial. In February, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to the original District Court Judge Drain, saying he had wrongfully barred the testimony of a torture expert that was critical to Rasmea’s defense.