Tuesday, October 19, 2010
When he's not chasing down stories for ABC News, Andy Field acts as a media and presentation coach for clients who want to look good on Oprah or 20/20. A little over a week ago, his classroom was a hotel banquet hall in Arlington, Virginia, and his students were several dozen Muslim activists from across the country. The students were of mostly of Arab or South Asian descent, with the men sporting beards and blazers and many of the women wearing hijabs, or headscarves. Their goal: learning how to present themselves and their faith better on-camera.
Monday, October 18, 2010
New Yorkers got not one but two vivid reminders Sunday that they live in the nation's media capital when simultaneous rallies took place in Midtown Manhattan, organized by groups that feel wronged in very different ways.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Just when we were led to believe getting a mosque built in New York was guaranteed to cause controversy, here's an article in the Brooklyn Eagle that says otherwise. This $2 million project in Brighton Beach, meant to serve a community of about 5,000 Turkish-Americans, is set to be Brooklyn's largest mosque, but hasn't generated opposition:
After nearly a decade of fundraising and construction, the four-story American-Turkish Eyup Sultan Cultural Center on Brighton Third Street is scheduled to officially open in early December.
The mosque opened temporarily in August for Ramadan, and unlike the controversial Ground Zero cultural center, received very little attention. The Turkish cultural center also escaped the scrutiny of the Bay People, the Sheepshead Bay organization that has feverishly protested a proposed mosque on Voorhies Avenue.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Did you watch "The View" Thursday morning? Neither did I. But it's certainly worth watching this clip, if only to see two of the hostesses-with-the-mostesses, Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, actually walk off the set of their own show. Is that allowed??
The tete-a-tete-a-tete took place over Park 51/Cordoba House/Ground Zero Monster Mosque. Whoopi and Joy didn't like O'Reilly's opposition to the project, and decided they'd had enough when he said Muslims attacked the Twin Towers (as opposed to saying "extremists" did it).
For extra credit, watch this longer clip at Entertainment Weekly. After the two storm off, Barbara Walters slams them for doing so, then turns to O'Reilly and slams him for equating all Muslims with terrorists. He apologizes, kind of. And Joy and Whoopi return to the sofa after about 90 seconds, suggesting that this was ultimately just a carefully coordinated bathroom break.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Yesterday, during a press conference held by Muslim leaders, voicing support for Park51, one of the organizers, Zaheer Uddin, noted that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf hadn't attended their one-day summit on the project. Security concerns, according to Uddin, had kept Rauf away. According to CNN, he's now avoiding New York City and is getting protection from the NYPD.
Monday, September 20, 2010
There was a time when the immigration policies of various European countries might have seemed well outside the purview of a humble blog such as this, but Park 51 has changed all that. After all, the star of the September 11 rally opposing Park 51 was Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician whose Freedom Party has rapidly gained power on the basis of his anti-Islamic proposals, including taxing headscarves and banning the Koran. The prime organizer against Park 51, Pam Geller, also helps run Stop Islamization of America, part of a network of groups that includes Stop Islamization of Europe, Stop Islamization of Denmark (and England, and France, etc.).
So Americans are now participating in a much broader debate on the integration of Muslims into Western society.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The Anti-Defamation League caused a firestorm when it came out in opposition to the Islamic Center near Ground Zero. It claimed, with a rationale that has become common among critics, that while the developers had the right to build there, it was not right to build there. Many people in the interfaith community felt ADL had betrayed its core values.
Last week, the ADL surprised a few more people by announcing creation of an Interfaith Coalition on Mosques. From the release:
Monday, September 13, 2010
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Every year, with NYPD sponsorship, 200 young kids, most of them Muslim, gather in open spaces to yell and throw and hit. More specifically, they're praising glovesmanship, bowling carrom balls, and knocking Dilscoops: They're playing cricket for the "NYPD United."
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Just in case you missed it, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf emerged from his two-month silence on Park 51 with this op-ed in the NYT:
We are proceeding with the community center, Cordoba House. More important, we are doing so with the support of the downtown community, government at all levels and leaders from across the religious spectrum, who will be our partners. I am convinced that it is the right thing to do for many reasons.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
A group known as the Majlis Ash-Shura of Metropolitan New York, aka the Islamic Leadership Council, braved the furious heat (remember, observant Muslims aren't even drinking water these days) and the questions of a sizable press contingent as they tried to reframe the story of the planned Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero.
Monday, August 30, 2010
The 10th parallel is a latitudinal line situated 700 miles North of the equator. More than half of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims live along it, as does 60 percent of the world's Christians. Journalist and poet Eliza Griswold has recently returned from a seven year journey, on which she traveled between the equator and the 10th parallel. She spent time in countries like Nigeria, the Sudan, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, and documented her journey in "The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam."
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Monday, July 05, 2010
Lebanon's top Shia Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah died yesterday. He was revered for bridging religious divides and for promoting social services and women's rights. Rami Khouri, Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, remembers the cleric. Khouri says that Fadlallah was an enlightened and progressive man in the class of Martin Luther King. However, the cleric was also known as a spiritual leader to Hezbollah and Washington labeled him a terrorist because of this association.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Pakistan has temporarily blocked access to Facebook and YouTube due to "blasphemy."
Here's the context: It started with South Park. The intentionally incendiary cartoon comedy came under criticism for making an image depicting Mohammed (an act offensive to many Muslims). Comedy Central ran the episode in question, but heavily censored it; among the protests from Muslims was one from a group named "Revolution Muslim." The group posted a lengthy response to the episode, including language bordering on death threats. So another cartoonist came to the defense of free speech, and made a joking proposition that there should be an "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day."
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010