Saturday, December 23, 2006

the hair splits again

The Progressive Muslim Union North America's chair (Pamela Taylor) and Executive Director (Ani Zonneveld) resign...

Since our resignations, Tarek Fatah, owner and moderator of the PMUNetwork, has placed the entire list on moderation and seems to have no intention of allowing any discussion, Pamela and I have set up a list where former PMUNetwork members (and anyone else interested in joining us) can continue our conversation and information sharing. The name is Muslims for Progressive Values, and you can join at: . While I understand that there are concerns about the situation that precipitated our resignation, we do not intend for that to be a subject of discussion. Let us not get distracted but let's carry on in our task of providing an alternative Muslim voice. Onwards and upwards!

Pamela Taylor
Ani Zonneveld

And then there were four left at the PMUNA.

Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur
Mona Eltahawy
Tarek Fatah
Ahmed Nassef, Chair

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

An open letter to PMUNA board member

Following is an open letter from Seven Oaks Magazine (Canada) to the right wing board member of the right wing Progressive Muslim Union North America: Tarek Fatah

The following letter was sent to Tarek Fatah some ten days ago. The response was so flailing and off topic that we felt it was worthwhile to post the original note to him as an open letter, though we have no illusions of generating a coherent response or a change of course. Mr. Fatah’s slide to the Right – in his case from the NDP to the Liberals, and from opposing Israeli apartheid to collaborating with authorities and some of the most repellant columnists the corporate media has on offer – is hardly unique, but disturbing nonetheless.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

the racist brooking institution

I have covered the liberal imperialists at the Brooking Institution on this blog here and here. A few days back they invited over the racist anti-Arab "Israeli" Avigdor Lieberman, and of-course, as can be expected he was warmly met with the likes of Hillary Clinton.

As often is the case these days, most Muslim groups chose to stay silent about this bigot's visit. Lets see who gets the invitation to go to the next year's Brooking conference in Doha - maybe that will throw some light on the reasons behind this silence.

So, who is Lieberman, well amongst his statements include:

In 2002, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted with dismay one of Lieberman's many disgusting proposals. If the Palestinians did not comply with Israeli dictates, he suggested, the occupying forces should "bomb all the commercial centers... gas stations... [and] banks."

Lieberman's ghastly plan for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel was to drown them in the Dead Sea. He offered to provide the buses to transport them.

In May, 2004, he said that 90 percent of Israel's 1.2 million Palestinian citizens would "have to find a new Arab entity" beyond Israel's borders. Lieberman, an immigrant from Russia, claimed the Palestinian citizens of Israel "have no place here." Russians do, of course. This newcomer has the nerve to tell Palestinians with ancient lineage to "take their bundles and get lost."

Despite the vitriol of this hatemonger, the Brookings Institution is proudly hosting the former nightclub bouncer on his upcoming trip to Washington. Officials at the Institution said they were "honored" to host Lieberman's first address abroad since joining the government.

more here

Unfortunately, it is not only the proggies who have cozied up with the neo-cons, and have acted on their recommendations. There are also other Muslim groups who, while not obviously distorting and insulting Islam like the proggies, are nevertheless involved in an opportunistic game of attempting to gain a seat next to the empire. To reflect this reality, to provide coverage, a historical record and an archive of such actions, the name of this blog will be changed in the near future.

Some names I am considering include sitting with the emperor, imperialist muslims, sellers of the deen, the court jesters, court muslims, muslim sellouts, muslim collaborators ----

stay tuned...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Blair British Program For Muslims

The recently issued thinly veiled threat to Muslims by the Blair regime can be stated in a single sentence: "conform to what we tell you to do or leave Britain," readers of this blog know that this is not an idle threat.

Both the Bush and Blair regimes have instituted a war on Islam. This is not only a hot one attacking and killing Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, but also a "cold war" that is focused on changing the face of Islam to make the tradition empire friendly.

To this end, the British government has favored (and funded) the neo-con Sufis, and "traditionalists" associated with the Radical Middle Way group.

Crescent International has an article by Fahad Ansari of the Islamic Human Rights Commission in their December issue that further discusses this trend (excerpts) :

Although it (the radical middle way) is being presented as a grassroots Muslim initiative, the website and the entire project are in fact funded by the Foreign Office, through the Home Office, with the objective of fighting “extremism”. The hidden aim is to pacify Muslims into accepting an ‘Islam’ that is submissive to the agendas of the West. This project is not to be understood in isolation but as part of a larger effort at social engineering of the Muslim community. This effort has been going on since September 2001

We should not be surprised by such intricate plots by the enemies of Islam; they have been taking place in vain for over 1,400 years. The sheep should not look to the wolf for protection. What is more worrying is the change in attitude of the shepherds of the Ummah, those entrusted with its guidance and protection, its own leaders and imams. It seems that the events of 11 September 2001 in the US and 7 July 2005 in London have paralysed these people, and forced them to implement the RAND and Operation Contest recommendations in record time. The very groups and individuals named in the latter document are those we see today at the forefront of this attempt to ‘reform’ Islam.

As the Sunday Telegraph has stated, Operation Contest has been implemented primarily through the Radical Middle Way Project. One of the schemes of this Project was a national roadshow of Muslim scholars flown in from all over the world to preach a more pacific message to British Muslims. Perhaps we should not question the intention of the scholars themselves, and certainly many of those associated with the project are sincere and well-meaning, but it does seem that they have allowed themselves to become pawns of the government, letting themselves be manipulated by it to complete its agenda. The roadshow has become a platform from which to bash so-called Wahhabi groups in the most cynical manner, as Muslims begin to divide themselves even more along lines drawn for them by the West. In doing so, these speakers take on the very characteristics they so vehemently attack.

In all this darkness, there is one light. History shows us that one of Islam’s wonderful characteristics is that the more it is pushed down, the higher it rises.

Slowly but steadily, more and more Muslims are realising that it is not terrorism or extremism or the niqab that is being targeted, but Islam itself. The enemies of Islam will continue to attempt to divide Muslims and to ‘reform’ Islam as they have done throughout the centuries. At such times, it is vital for Muslims to educate themselves about these plots but to always bear in mind Allah’s words that “they plot, but Allah also plots; and Allah is the best of plotters” (Q. 8: 30).

Read complete article here

Monday, December 04, 2006

the veil and the Orientalist/Islamophobe elite

Hot Coals, an online zine that usually publishes insightful articles regarding Muslim issues, unfortunately, ended up publishing an article on the niqab that is orientalism at its worst.

The author, Yasmin Amin, has, in the past, written critically about the proggies, including this critique of Asra Nomani. However, this article can only be described as an expression of borderline hate of the type that the Progressive Muslim Union North America (PMU) and their supporters, engages on a regular basis.

I would like to encourage readers of this blog to read that article, and respond on the Hot Coals comments section. However, here are some points that will give folks an idea what the article is all about:

Amin, writing in an extreme orientalist manner, does not even allowing the sister wearing the niqab, the courtesy of being a human individual - for her, this person is a "something":

Before the sentence was complete, something entered the room.

Note also the emphasis, and indeed, what appears to be a fear of the color black, in the excerpt below. The orientalist Islamophobe is often not just fearful of the religion, but also of the colors of those who follow Islam, and who are often of a darker shade. So, they fear not just the beard, but specifically a "black beard." Those who have internalized this form of racism/orientalism also express themselves in very similar words.

It was a bit of a shock to me to see this mass of black! A black niqab, where even the two tiny holes where the eyes would be were covered in black gauze, entered the room. Thick black gloves sticking out of two wristbands attached to the shapeless black garb, tightly fastened, allowing only the black gloved hands up to the wrists to escape the dark cloud were placed the right hand on top of the left one on the chest, as if in a silent prayer.
Further down the article, Amin again refers to the individual person as a "black creature" - and again as "that black being, now dangerously armed" and yet again " black niqab then turned to the next victim" and once more "a faceless black creature."

Such Muslim orientalist-racists get a significant amount of attention these days because of the continuing war on Islam and Muslims - and this article appears to have gotten wide circulation on the various blogs and websites - including this Hindu right wing web site.

And finally, this "desi" web site included the following racist/orientalist image along with the article: