Category Archives: Editorials

Broad Coalition Stops Anti-Boycott Bill in Illinois

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By Bill Chambers

In December 2013, the American Studies Association (ASA) , the largest association of academics devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history, passed a resolution to endorse the 2004 call from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel endorsed by the great majority of Palestinian civil society organizations. Since that vote, there has been a backlash of bills and resolutions introduced at the national and state level that condemn academic boycotts for “singling out Israel” for human rights abuses; suggest that boycott supporters are anti-Semitic; and in some cases threaten public universities with the loss of funds when their faculty support boycott activity of any kind. A broad coalition of human rights, civil rights, academics, and graduate student groups mobilized and stopped the bill and the resolution in Illinois.

Unmasking the Wonderful World of Disney

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By Bilal Hussain

After learning about the cancellation of the cable television series by ABC Family channel, Alice in Arabia, I found it interesting that a major network such as ABC would make it seem like they were trying to disempower Arabs and Muslims. With that in mind, I find it even more interesting that the Disney Company owns Marvel, the same company that releases the Ms. Marvel comic books. There is a connection between what is being promoted with Alice in Arabia and what is being promoted with Ms. Marvel. While Disney is reinforcing stereotypes of Muslims, Disney is also trying to shatter stereotypes and misconceptions of Muslims with the release of the Ms. Marvel comic book.

Noor Tagouri Faces Islamophobia

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By Chloe Bremerchloe-cm

Noor Tagouri was at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, speaking about combating bigotry and bullying.  On her way out of town, she stopped in Murfreesboro to cover the hearing for a mosque cemetery at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.  Tagouri found herself squarely in the line of fire, due to a heated debate that has been surrounding the cemetery for several months.  Former GOP congressional candidate, Lou Ann Zelenik, and community members subjected Tagouri to ignorant remarks and hateful comments regarding her faith and religion. 

Not a Terrorist?

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By Hesham A. Hassaballa

I first learned about the incident through a tweet from Boston-based journalist Omar Sacirbey: “Did you hear we caught a terrorist last week?” And I said to myself: “Why, no, I did not.” In fact, most probably, much of the nation did not hear about the terrorist that was caught in the Houston area on March 27.

Planet Fitness Kicks Muslim Woman Out

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By Dounia Mshaiel

Albuquerque ‘s Planet Fitness refused to let Tarainia McDaniel wear her religious head cover when she attempted to workout at the gym. McDaniel is a 37-year old African American woman who converted to Islam when she was 16, she has practiced the religion ever since. Islam is now apart of her identity and she is also raising her two kids as Muslims.

New Civil Rights Education Data Shows the Bigger Picture

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By Alishba Malik

The new data from the Education Department’s Civil Rights Data Collection (released on March 21, 2014) gives prominence to a troubling pattern of zero-tolerance school disciplines policies that unevenly impacts minority students also leading down to preschoolers.

A Christian Response to Islamophobia

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By Hind Makki

Early last week, the mosque down the street from my house was shot at by persons unknown during early morning prayers. Approximately 40 worshipers were in attendance, and thankfully none of them were hurt during the attack. I’ve written before about local resistance to the building of this mosque. In 2004, a series of contentious town hall hearings reflected the post-9/11 trend of local communities trying to block the building of new mosques in residential areas. However, years later, the mosque has existed in this residential area with little violence, and in fact, mosque-goers have been very active in building interfaith relationships with our neighboring synagogues and churches. As active members of the Southwest Interfaith Team, the mosque regularly hosts interfaith dialogues and iftars, and creates interfaith community service opportunities for the youth in our town.

Muslim-American Faces Terrorism Charges Based on FBI Informant

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By Bill Chambers

Mohammad Hassan Hamdan, a  22-year-old from Dearborn Heights, Michigan was arrested on Sunday, March 16 at Detroit Metro Airport by the FBI who said he allegedly told an undercover informant that he planned to fly to Lebanon to join the militant group Hezbollah to fight in Syrian.  Hezbollah, classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, currently supports Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces against anti-government forces. In the complaint the Special Agent of the FBI, part of the Detroit Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), states that  the FBI learned of his plan to travel to Syria with the help of a confidential informant who told the FBI about Hamdan’s plan.

From Wonderland to Saudi: ‘Alice in Arabia’ Set to Air on ABC Family

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By Samia Shameem

TWITTER–Yesterday, beginning at 1PM CST and continuing long after, tweets bearing the hashtag “#AliceInArabia” expressed dismay and weariness towards ABC Family‘s upcoming drama about Arabs and Muslims.

Alice in Arabia is the aspiring TV-drama written by ex-U.S. soldier Brooke Eikmeier. The plot follows an American teenage girl as she is abducted by her Saudi-Arabian grandfather and taken to Saudi Arabia, where she is imprisoned within his home. Wait, I thought Alice was in Wonderland…

The After-Party: #EmpoweredMuslimWomen

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By Samia Shameem

On March 4th, Sabina Khan-Ibarra hosted a Twitter party, with Aisha Saeed and Laila Alawa helping to moderate it. The cause: to celebrate #EmpoweredMuslimWomen. The conversation gave Muslim women the chance to define themselves, instead of everyone else doing it for them. The result: #EmpoweredMuslimWomen was trending in the United States. Empowered Muslim women were trending—talk about foreshadowing.