A French satirical magazine famous for its provocative and inflammatory cartoons was met with backlash on Thursday after it released a cover that characterized Hurricane Harvey victims as neo-Nazis. Continue reading Charlie Hebdo Now Criticized Because It Mocked White Texans Rather Than Muslims
When it comes to domestic terrorism in America, the numbers don’t lie: Far-right extremists are behind far more plots and attacks than Islamist extremists Continue reading Muslims are terrorists?.. No. White Christian men are.
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It’s not Trump’s ban. It’s an American ban, since Trump was democratically elected by the Americans.
That is a fact.
On Monday, Americans through US Supreme Court partially revived President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, agreeing to hear arguments in October and allowing the administration to suspend travel for some foreign nationals and refugees until it decides the case. Trump immediately took to Twitter to declare triumph, but many travellers he hoped to ban can still enter the US, claiming their own victory.
And the Court has not reached the merits of the case that pits executive power on issues of immigration and national security against prohibitions on religious discrimination. That, along with a host of other legal issues, are weighty determinations the Court may be eager to avoid.
Until the Court issues its final decision, the ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States”. That connection would allow those with familial ties and students and employees to enter. But for those who cannot satisfy the requisite connection, the Court held, “the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.”
Seven Muslim-majority countries – Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya – for 90 days, and suspending the refugee programme for 120 days, with an indefinite restriction on Syrian refugees.
As a Muslim of West African origin living in the United States, my Muslim-ness is always contested by Europeans, Americans, and even clueless Africans. They ask me questions like:
“Are you Muslim?” and “Were you born Muslim?”
I get asked these questions a lot by Americans because Islam is something that was made to sound foreign to them.
“I’ve never seen a Muslim from that country wear Hijab.”
Believe it or not, many Africans ask this question as if they are well-travelled.
Is your country predominantly Muslim?”
I get this question from European Muslims as if they had just discovered ‘water on Mars’. In their minds, Black Muslims are an oddity. Because I have been around many of them, I now know the reasoning behind asking such questions. They have the idea that All of Africa is uncivilized and only non-Muslims live there.
The strange thing is many of them have heard of Mansa Musa, the Malian African Muslim King. Why they won’t add two and two together to infer that Islam has always been an old religion in Africa and in the USA, I don’t know. In addition, the US census has a record of approximately 300 slaves that had a Muslim surname who fought during the Civil War for freedom.
Throughout all these irritating questions, I try to keep my cool. I keep the frustrated comments, I want to utter, in my head, smile, and move on. However, what I want to tell them is Islam came to West Africa not too long after the 10th century. My ancestors were traders and this was how Islam came to us Mandinga. Islam has always been a religion of business. Furthermore, this also means that many West Africans were exposed to Islam before it was spread to Europe during the Ottoman empire and America via the Moriscos and the Transatlantic slaves.
According to Lost Islamic History, one example of an African Muslim who brought Islam to America is Bilali Muhammad. There are also others like Ayub Job Djallo, Yarrow Mamood, Ibrahim Abdulrahman ibn Sori, Ummar ibn Sayyid, (Omar ibn Said) and Sali Bilali.
Born around 1770 in the area of Africa which are known as Guinea and Sierra Leone today, Bilali Muhammad was an elite of the Fulani tribe. He knew Arabic and was knowledgeable in hadith, tafsir, and shariah matters. Because he was educated, he was allowed to rise in status in the slave community. Bilali Muhammad even wrote a 13 page manuscript on Islamic law from the Maliki Madhab called the Bilali Document that he gifted to his friend before his death. The manuscript was thought to be a diary until it was deciphered at al-Azhar university in Cairo. His manuscript is also known as Ben Ali Diary or Ben Ali Journal. Read more here.
Ayuba Suleiman Diallo
Ayub Job Djallo was born in Senegal from a respected Fulbe Muslim family. He was also known as Job Ben Solomon. He wrote some memoirs and was a slave in Maryland for a couple years. Sold into slavery as a result of a confusion, he eventually returned home in Senegal to his aristocratic roots still a Muslim.
Born in Guinea, Yarrow Mamood was born in 1736 and died in 1823 a free man. He arrived at the age of 14 years old in Maryland with his sister. Knowledgeable in Arabic, he practiced Islam openly until his death. Read more on him here.
Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori
Ibrahim Abdulrahman ibn Sori was born in Guinea. He was also known as The Prince Amonsgt Slaves. Son of King Sori from the village of Timbo, Abdulrahman was a military leader. He became a slave as a result of an ambush and sold to a slave owner by the name of Thomas Foster in Mississipi. Ibn Sori got married and had children. Abdulrahman worked for 40 years before his release. He died during his trip back. He had even wrote a letter to his family in West Africa in Arabic which was read by the Sultan of Morocco Abderrahmane who found it deeply touching and petitioned U.S. President John Quincy Adams to release him.
Omar ibn Said
Ummar ibn Sayyid was born in Fuuta Toro, Senegal in 1770. Captured in 1807, he became known as Omar Moreau and Prince Omeroh according to Muslimofusa. Though there are reports that say he converted to Christianity later in his life, many sources say that there was more than met the eye in his situation. Nevertheless, he was known to be an Islamic scholar, knowledgeable in many fields from arithmetic to theology who wrote several Arabic texts.
Sali Bilali was born in Mali and captured in 1782. It was reported that his last words on his death bead were the shahada according to the Abolition Institute. Robert Abbot, founder of the Chicago Defender, is his descendent.
In conclusion, all the continents contributed to the spread of Islam, Africa included. So how can they deny such a legacy?
In the first chaotic hours after the Quebec City mosque massacre, police detained two men: a French Canadian and one born in Morocco.
Plenty of outlets reported both arrests. But no one did it quite like Fox News.
The Canadian, Alexandre Bissonnette, was mentioned nowhere in Fox’s tweet Monday, which announced: “Suspect in Quebec mosque terrorist attack was of Moroccan origin.”
Mohamed Belkhadir was quickly released and cleared of involvement, but Fox’s tweet stayed up for nearly two days — until the Canadian prime minister’s office wrote the outlet to demand a retraction.
Belkhadir later explained that he’d been trying to help people killed and wounded in the attack when police picked him up.
“He said he had been clearing snow off the steps outside the mosque when he heard gunshots,” the Guardian reported. “When the noise stopped, he called 911 and entered the mosque.” He fled when an armed man arrived — not realizing it was a police officer.
Bisonnette, meanwhile, surrendered and is now charged with carrying out the attack by himself.
Anyone who clicked the link on Fox’s tweet would have read a story in which Belkhadir’s ethnicity led the news.
“One of two gunmen who shouted ‘Allahu akbar!’ as they opened fire at a mosque in Quebec City was of Moroccan origin,” Fox wrote, quoting a witness and local reports, according to a Google cache of the original story.
Along with the erroneous tweet, those details spread online into anti-Islamic circles and helped create a false narrative that the attacker was Muslim.
“As I predicted last night, the shooters in the Quebec mosque attack are Muslim, as is generally the case in these circumstances,” blogger Pamela Geller wrote, linking to the Fox Story.
But Fox didn’t seem in any hurry to take down its old tweet about the Moroccan mosque suspect, which kept being shared for another day — until the leadership of Canada took offense.
“These tweets by Fox News dishonor the memory of the six victims and their families by spreading misinformation, playing identity politics, and perpetuating fear and division within our communities,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s communications director wrote to Fox.
“To paint terrorists with a broad brush that extends to all Muslims is not just ignorant — it is irresponsible,” wrote spokesperson Kate Purchase, who shared the letter in a tweet.
“We ask that Fox News either retract or update the tweet to reflect the suspect’s actual identity.”
Sure enough, Fox then took down the offending tweet and released a statement of its own.
Six people were killed and eight wounded when gunmen opened fire at a Quebec City mosque during Sunday night prayers, in what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a “terrorist attack on Muslims”.
Police said two suspects had been arrested, but gave no details about them or what prompted the attack.
Initially, the mosque president said five people were killed and a witness said up to three gunmen had fired on about 40 people inside the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre. Police said only two people were involved in the attack.
“Six people are confirmed dead – they range in age from 35 to about 70,” Quebec provincial police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe told reporters, adding eight people were wounded and 39 were unharmed.
The mosque’s president, Mohamed Yangui, who was not inside when the shooting occurred, said he got frantic calls from people at evening prayers.
“Why is this happening here? This is barbaric,” he said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement: “We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge”.
“Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country.”
The shooting came on the weekend that Trudeau said Canada would welcome refugees, after U.S. President Donald Trump suspended the U.S. refugee program and temporarily barred citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States on national security grounds.
A Canadian federal Liberal legislator, Greg Fergus, tweeted: “This is an act of terrorism — the result of years of sermonizing Muslims. Words matter and hateful speeches have consequences!”
The premier of Quebec province, Philippe Couillard, said security would be increased at mosques in Quebec City and Montreal.
“We are with you. You are home,” Couillard said, directing his comments at the province’s Muslim community. “You are welcome in your home. We are all Quebecers. We must continue together to build an open welcoming and peaceful society”.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said police were providing additional protection for mosques in that city following the Quebec shooting. “All New Yorkers should be vigilant. If you see something, say something,” he tweeted.
‘Not safe here’
French President Francois Hollande condemned the attack.
“The terrorists wanted to attack the spirit of peace and tolerance of the citizens of Quebec,” Hollande said in a statement on Monday. “France stands shoulder to shoulder with the victims and their families”.
Like France, Quebec has struggled at times to reconcile its secular identity with a rising Muslim population, many of them from North Africa.
In June last year, a pig’s head was left on the doorstep of the cultural center.
“We are not safe here,” said Mohammed Oudghiri, who normally attends prayers at the mosque in the middle-class, residential area, but did not on Sunday.
Oudghiri said he had lived in Quebec for 42 years but was now “very worried” and thinking of moving back to Morocco.
Mass shootings are rare in Canada, which has stricter gun laws than the United States, and news of the shooting sent a shockwave through mosques and community centers throughout the mostly French-language province.
“It’s a sad day for all Quebecers and Canadians to see a terrorist attack happen in peaceful Quebec City,” said Mohamed Yacoub, co-chairman of an Islamic community center in a Montreal suburb.
“I hope it’s an isolated incident.”
Incidents of Islamophobia have increased in Quebec in recent years. The face-covering, or niqab, became a big issue in the 2015 Canadian federal election, especially in Quebec, where the majority of the population supported a ban on it at citizenship ceremonies.
In 2013, police investigated after a mosque in the Saguenay region of the province was splattered with what was believed to be pig blood. In the neighboring province of Ontario, a mosque was set on fire in 2015, a day after an attack by gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris.
Zebida Bendjeddou, who left the Quebec City mosque earlier on Sunday evening, said the center had received threats.
“In June, they’d put a pig’s head in front of the mosque. But we thought: ‘Oh, they’re isolated events.’ We didn’t take it seriously. But tonight, those isolated events, they take on a different scope,” she said.
Bendjeddou said she had not confirmed the names of those killed, but added: “They’re people we know, for sure. People we knew since they were little kids.”