Word Power: Australia Senator Pauline Hanson wants to Ban Muslims

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Presidential Candidate Donald Trump called on the United States to bar all Muslims from entering the country until the nation’s leaders can “figure out what is going on” following the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California.  After the Paris Terrorist attacks he wanted a database to track Muslims.

Attacks on Muslims and people who have been mistaken for Muslims have increased in this country.   While many Americans were outraged, Donald Trump continued his attacks.

President Trump, intends to restrict immigration from Muslim countries that ‘pose national security threat’ by Executive Order tomorrow.  Trump is also expected to restrict access to the United States for refugees and some visa holders from “terror prone” countries Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, according to aides.

Last year, Pauline Hanson was elected to the Australia Senate representing the State of Queenlands . Hanson, has consistently opposed immigration in this country of 24 million people. Australia’s footprint is nearly the same size of the Continental US.

Last year after the attack at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Senator Hanson called on a Muslim ban.  “We have laws here that we don’t bring in pitbull terriers because they are a danger to our society… we have laws to protect Australians

Hanson is one of the co-founders of  One Nation Political Party. Through the years she has called for the restriction and changed to Australia Immigration policy.  She believes  Australia has to take a strong stance against Muslims, Islam, its teaching and its beliefs.

One Nation wants a ban on building new mosques until a royal commission into whether Islam is a religion or a political ideology has been held, and installing cameras in all existing mosques

Senator Hanson said Australia was in danger of being swamped by Asians. Believed Africans would bring disease into Australia. “Do you want to see your daughter or a family member end up with AIDS or anyone for that matter?”  

Her language is often harsh, and many Australians believe she is racist and is a detriment to the country.   However, members of One National believe they are  preserving Australian values.


As leaders, the power of the words used by Senator Hansen and President Trump can generate peace. 

The politics of Senator Hanson and President Trump has put many Muslims and people mistaken as Muslims at risk.  Much of what they have said isn’t based on fact, its simply irresponsible propaganda.   Peace isn’t the objective, as unprovoked attacks on American and Australian born Muslims increase daily, they are silent.

Many Muslims, Sikhs and others live in a constant state of fear. Afraid to leave their homes in the country they were born in.  They are attacked on social media. Sadly, this isn’t just happening in America and Australia.

History has eerie way of repeating itself.  I was one of millions of people who marched last Saturday, every faith, every hue, and every age group.  One Voice.  I remembered the last line of Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous quote.

 Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.





Sacratomatoville Racism 2016A

Photo: Google

A good friend was attacked last week in a parking lot of an shopping center here in Sacratomatoville.  She pulled into parking space and had gone to the rear of her car to get a few bags.   A car backing out of the space  to her right stopped and the passengers in the car began screaming at her. A woman sitting in the rear seat jumped out of the car pushed,slapped and spit on her.

She didn’t repeat what they said to her, which is just like her. In the 15 years or so I’ve known her , I have never known her to swear or say anything disparaging about anyone.   She is Sikh and has lived in Northern California all of her life.

It was a common and sad case of mistaken identity.

Her husband said, she was called a terrorist and a few other choice words.  He was angry because they as a family agreed to never go out alone.   Their world has become more hostile, and not from just whites, they have been verbally attacked by blacks and hispanics. Attacks on members of  Sikh community has been on the rise in resent months.  Many are targeted  because of turbans, many confuse Sikh with Muslims

I was sad when the call ended.  I couldn’t imagine living in a state of awareness (I wont say fear-because that not what I sense.)

In 2016 America, their world and the world of Muslims was similar to the world of my parents and grandparents and other people of color, not too long ago.  I remember the stories of the carte blanch abuse of people where my parents grew up, a child could slap my grandparent and  recourse did not exist. It was a world where the Klu Klux Klan had political clout    That’s a world I know nothing about,  however with the resurgence of White Supremacy Groups, is history repeating itself?

I get angry when members or the Muslim community are asked to publicly condemn the actions of other Muslims.  Most of the acts of terrorism in the country  has been conducted by  Christians.

Moving On

I strongly believe most of our differences is borne out of ignorance.  People need to respectfully talk about race.   I understand the fear, talking is key to understanding.  Its not an issue of agreeing ,its about understanding.

Being a very large black man has its advantages and disadvantages.  My struggles are  often with men, my extra large footprint intimates, especially white men.  Which can be a disadvantage, potential employers who fear you are not likely to hire you.  Now before you say ahhhh.  I’m not a victim nor am I angry.  I was WELL prepared by my parents who long warned me of the challenges that  lie ahead.

What I find interesting is women. They seem to be less intimidated by my hue or footprint.

Naturally curious, I often talk about race.  My family is multicultural and perhaps due to that. I’m not uncomfortable with people of different backgrounds and different hues.  We all have a story and if you dare to listen you may discover similarities

 On my nine to five , I briefly talked  about race with with my new superior.  I can sense he has minimal private interactions with people of color.  I shared my professional challenges with him.   I sometimes struggle with white males, who are often afraid ask questions or make requests.  I later learn via management, some often say their questions go unanswered and their requests ignored.   Fiction.

I could see he was uncomfortable, people often are, they are worried about saying the wrong thing and being misunderstood.  I also sensed he didn’t completely believe what he was hearing.  This ins’t his world ,he cannot relate.   He may believe this is just another excuse or another complaint by a black man,perhaps I have a chip on my shoulder.

While I sometime struggle in my nine to five world. Being black and having a large footprint has worked to my advantage in my creative world.    I cant spell celebrity and most people don’t know my name but I am recognized at meetings and conferences all over the country.  I’m greeted with,” Hey, you”





The GOP EXPRESS is on track to offend all minority voters.


With less than 13 months to go  and 16 remaining presidential candidates, the opportunities to insult and offend a large group potential voters grows by the hour.

One of the GOP priorities after Mitt Romney’s defeat was appealing to Hispanic voters, more Hispanics voted for George W than Romney.  It was a priority that faded.

Fast forward to Spring 2015, DT offended not only Hispanics he offended  other people of color, other immigrants who are struggling to assimilate AND no one from the GOP corrected him and the GOP Express was on its way.

First stop, Rowan County Kentucky, Mike Huckabee pledge his allegiance to Kim Davis, the clerk who refused to issue marriages licences to anyone because of her religious beliefs (she is against gay marriage) .Huckabee said people need to wake up and realize that people of faith in the United States are “genuinely under attack.” Its was what I call the criminalization of Christianity,” and suggested the Supreme Court ruling wasn’t valid.    For the most part the GOP remained silent.

Ms Davis was jailed and when she was released, he was there (with the soundtrack Eye of the Tiger) holding her hand.   Senator Ted Cruz arrived by bus and wanted to join in the celebration but was blocked from the stage by a testy Huckabee aid.

Repeat Offender 

Next stop, Rochester, New Hampshire. Fresh from a humbling (at least for him) debate performance.  The first question in a Town Hall meeting was from a man who wants to rid the country of Muslims and  called the President a Muslim.  DT did not correct his supporter  and said he wasn’t obligated to correct the questioner and did not respond to the riding the nation of Muslims.   Some of the presidential candidates have criticized his not correcting the questioner however most are silent  on the get rid of the Muslims.   Feeling the heat, he now says he would add a Muslim to his cabinet.  In a phone statement ( an unflattering statement understood by many people of color) ”         ” Many of my friends are Muslim”  So far he hasn’t said the Muslim people love him-but its only Monday.

The GOP EXPRESS last stop was in  Greenville, South Carolina. On Sunday, Responding to a question on “Meet the Press,” Ben Carson said, ““I do not believe Sharia is consistent with the Constitution of this country,” Carson said. “Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.

Article Six of the Constitution

 ” No religious Test  shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

 He adds: The only exception he’d make would be if the Muslim running for office if he “publicly rejected all the tenants of Sharia and lived a life consistent with that.”

 “Then he wouldn’t have any problem,”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) an influential Muslim Civil Liberties organization  has called on Ben Carson to withdraw from the race.

“We ask Mr. Ben Carson to withdraw from the presidential race because he is unfit to lead because his views are in contradiction with the U.S. Constitution.”   The group believes he should apologize to the Muslim community and the American people. We do not know how he can lead and take the highest position in this land,”

Beyond the Primaries 

Try as they might, the GOP are trapped in a Box and the contents of that box is getting smaller with every passing year. The leap from the base has been difficult.   From suburb to the cities.   How, after offending Mexicans, Gay’s and Muslims and others groups does a candidate leap back ,how do they recover?  The simple answer, they don’t.

Can Trump throw it in reverse and charm Hispanics in Florida, New Mexico, New York, Texas and California?  Will the Muslim populations in Michigan,DC and Chicago forget Ben Carlson statement by November 8th 2016?

The GOP needs a sacrificial lamb, a candidate or candidates  who can offer another choice. There are pro choice Republicans, Gay Republicans, and  other members who are currently voiceless in the party.   A candidate who would appeal to the moderates in the party, those disenfranchised individuals who are currently sitting on their hands.

As it stands today, a Democrat will occupy the White House in 2016. and unless their are some critical changes in the GOP its very possible a Democrat will occupy the office from 2020 and beyond.

India: Fastest Divorce in the World (A Muslim man can legally divorce his wife via phone, e-mail or text)

Women’s groups in India are calling for a review of the way Muslim men are allowed to divorce their wives.

A process known as talaq, based on the Arabic word for divorce, allows Muslim men to end their marriages by pronouncing their intention three times.

According to Islam, that should happen over a period of three months, to give both parties time to think through the consequences.

Women’s groups have long argued that the declaration is being uttered in one go, effectively resulting in instant divorce.

The so-called “triple talaq” is banned in many Islamic countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Now rights activists say the opportunity for “digital divorce” is leaving women even more vulnerable, with men exercising the option of “triple talaq” through social media sites such as Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp.

It’s adding to pressure for reforms, but is there an appetite for change in a patriarchal society that has historically favored men?

Al Jazerra

Expanded view

Kenya legalises polygamy without wife’s consent

Kenya legalises polygamy without wife's consent
Polygamy is very common among traditional communities in many parts of Africa, as this family in South Africa. PHOTO/AFP

NAIROBI – Kenya’s parliament has passed a bill allowing men to marry as many women as they want, prompting a furious backlash from female lawmakers who stormed out, reports said Friday.

The bill, which amended existing marriage legislation, was passed  to formalize customary law about marrying more than one person.

The proposed bill had initially given a wife the right to veto the husband’s choice, but male members of parliament overcame party divisions to push through a text that dropped this clause.

“When you marry an African woman, she must know the second one is on the way, and a third wife… this is Africa,” MP Junet Mohammed told the house, according to Nairobi’s Capital FM.

As in many parts of Africa, polygamy is common among traditional communities in Kenya, as well as among the country’s Muslim community, which accounts for up to a fifth of the population.

“Any time a man comes home with a woman, that would be assumed to be a second or third wife,” said Samuel Chepkong’a, chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, the Daily Nation newspaper reported.

“Under customary law, women or wives you have married do not need to be told when you’re coming home with a second or third wife. Any lady you bring home is your wife,” he added.

Men fear ‘women’s tongues’

Female MPs stormed out of the late-night session in fury after a heated debate.

“We know that men are afraid of women’s tongues more than anything else,” female legislator Soipan Tuya told fellow MPs, according to Capital FM.

“But at the end of the day, if you are the man of the house, and you choose to bring on another party — and they may be two or three — I think it behooves you to be man enough to agree that your wife and family should know,” she added.

A clause in which a partner who had promised marriage but then backed out of the wedding could face financial damages was also dropped, as male MPs argued it could have been used to extort cash.

They also argued that marriage should be based on love, and not have a financial cost placed upon it.

Parliamentary majority leader Aden Duale, a Muslim, said that men marrying more than one woman was part of the Islamic faith, but also highlighted Biblical stories to justify Christians not asking their wife before taking another.

“I want my Christian brothers to read the Old Testament — King David and King Solomon never consulted anybody to marry a second wife,” Duale told the house.

Women are not allowed to marry more than one man in Kenya.

The bill must now pass before the president to be signed before becoming law.

‘Please don’t be Muslim’: Fears of racial, ethnic profiling in the wake of Boston bombing

A man pauses at the makeshift memorial on Boylston Street to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing April 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston continues to return to normal, as businesses and streets are reopened following two bomb explosions at the finish line of the marathon that killed 3 people and injured over a hundred more. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

A man pauses at the makeshift memorial on Boylston Street to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing April 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston continues to return to normal, as businesses and streets are reopened following two bomb explosions at the finish line of the marathon that killed 3 people and injured over a hundred more. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

As the news broke of the explosions at the Boston Marathon on Monday, I thought how horrific and tragic it was that people trained all year for a race that ended for some in the loss of limbs or even death.

Just as my heart went out to the victims of such terrifying violence, my mind raced to thoughts of the perpetrator: “Please don’t be Muslim,” I muttered to myself, joining what seemed to be a global chorus of Muslims on social media, fearing the kinds of ethnic and religious profiling that could fuel calls for violent reprisals against entire communities.

Conservative commentator Erik Rush’s tweet declaring Muslims, “evil” and urging “Let’s kill them all,” certainly did nothing to assuage my fears.

“Be careful,” my mother said to me when she called that day—careful that the Boston Marathon bombings might be part of a wave of more attacks to come in major cities like New York, and even more careful that people may mistakenly and unjustly think I had something to do with it because of my perceived ethnicity or religion.

We’ve got 99 problems

It certainly happened to a 20-year-old Saudi man, himself badly hurt from the Boston explosions, who was tackled by a bystander because people thought he looked suspicious. Being Muslim in post-9/11 America means worrying about being the victim of a terrorist attack and worrying that I might be blamed for that very attack; it means Muslim v victim s are invisible while Muslim perpetrators are the only Muslims we see.

If “Please don’t be Muslim” is the new choral response to a violent crime by an unknown perpetrator, it is only the newest verse in an old song. “Please don’t be black,” we used to sing (and still do!) when hearing news reports of a particularly heinous crime, especially serial murders and mass shootings.

We’ve got 99 problems, and the last thing we need to add is some deranged individual mucking it up for the rest of us. I still watch news reports of crimes, waiting with baited breath for the perpetrator’s description: If he or she is black or brown, the reporter will almost always say so; if he or she is white, it sometimes seems that particular descriptor goes unmentioned.

Terror comes in different shades

Profiling is of course a legitimate investigative tool; but racial, ethnic, and religious profiling constitute lazy law enforcement—a laziness that is the privilege and tool of a majority class that it seldom uses against itself. White criminals are invisible, as white criminals. Imagine a search for a “Christian terrorist” in a predominantly Christian country.

Even though America has had its fair share of white Christian terrorists (the Ku Klux Klan, Timothy McVeigh, etc.), there is an implicit understanding that there are many different kinds of white Christian men, so many different kinds in fact, mere religious and racial identifications are useless. In a country full of white men, a search for a white male suspect requires going beyond his racial or ethnic description to include more specific details—physical markings, behavioral patterns, signs of mental illness, etc.

Plurality and diversity (and even insanity) should not be a privilege accorded only to whites, but to all people. Without doubt, there have been Muslim perpetrators of terrorist acts; but they have been, and should be seen, as just as aberrational to our communities as white serial killers and mass shooters are to theirs. The overwhelming majority of Muslims in America are as law-abiding as any other religious group, and has repeatedly denounced terrorism.

Muslims are not monolithic

There are many different kinds of Muslims, too. Not all of us are black or brown—some of us are even white. And not all of us speak with a foreign accent—most of us do not. The diversity of our communities defies racial, ethnic, or religious profiling; attempts to flatten us into a singular profile are a disservice not just to us, but also to any serious law enforcement investigation.

So far, there have been no arrests, although authorities are developing leads in the case based on evidence from security cameras near the bomb site. On Monday, CNN provided the frame for a racial, ethnic, and religious profile when it reported that investigators were on the lookout for a “darker-skinned or black male with a possible foreign accent.”

Most in law enforcement, however, have followed the responsible lead of President Obama in cautioning against jumping to conclusions: “What we don’t know yet, however, is who carried out this attack or why, whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual.”

The Boston Marathon bombing may well have been carried out by a self-identifying Muslim or a white Christian. If the suspect turns out to be a white domestic terrorist, I doubt white people in America will feel any collective guilt over the act of one individual, nor should they; if the suspect turns out to be a black or brown Muslim, neither should Muslim Americans feel any collective guilt for the act of one individual.

I know I won’t. But until we find out, I’ll still be saying, “Please don’t be Muslim.”

By Zaheer Ali/The Grio


For those who want to confine women

A certain group in society has recently said women should be employed in jobs that put them in direct contact with men and are unsuitable to their natures. This group has claimed this will help lower women’s unemployment and ensure that they can be financially independent. In reality, however, this group wants to confine women in a place where they can take advantage of them.

I hope no one will object to me citing the example of women in the West. Despite the openness and liberty enjoyed by Westerners, sexual harassment of women is a rising phenomenon regardless of the countless laws and punishments that await perpetrators.

Such is the plight of women in these countries that they appear in sexually provocative advertisements and even as bartenders serving men!

Here is another example that is close to us. During the end of the 20th century, there were calls in Egypt to attract the “honorable and chaste” Egyptian woman to work. These calls culminated in an event in which women demonstrators publicly burned the Hijab (veil) on March 20, 1919.

Further calls for women’s employment continued through movies and other media outlets always under the slogan of “freedom and sustenance.” The latter was used to employ women in pornographic activities.

Today Muslim Egyptian women are returning to the Hijab but they are still suffering from alarming high levels of verbal and physical harassment. According to a report recently issued by the Egyptian Center for Women Rights, 2010 witnessed a remarkable rise in assault and sexual harassment cases involving women.

The report said out of a total of 1,300 crimes committed against women, 933 or 71 percent were physical harassment crimes. Not only this but 72 percent of married and 94 percent of unmarried women were reportedly subjected to sexual harassment on public transportation, streets and other crowded places.

Women no doubt represent half of society and the breeder of its other half. She is an effective partner in the development and progress of society. We absolutely respect her right to work but asking her to do jobs not suitable to her nature will make her an easy prey for human wolves. We should not copy the examples of societies which called for the employment of women at any cost only to suffer the painful consequences years later.

  • Lastly, the renowned British academic and feminist Germaine Greer, who was a staunch supporter of equality between men and women, recently backed off from some of her ideas. She admitted that there were basic differences between the two genders and said giving a woman her rights did not mean sacrificing her femininity. Why don’t we benefit from the experiences of the others and start from where they ended?

By:Abdullah Munawar Al-Jamili/Saudi Gazette