Articles of Interest, February 7th, 2008


Life in America: Muslim American Women Speak w/ special guest Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur

“Life in America: Muslim American Women Speak” with special guest Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur Muslim author and activist.

“The American Muslim Radio Show” tackles the issues concerning American Muslim Women live on Friday, February 8, 2008 at 11 p.m. Eastern Time


February 8, 2008 – “Life in America: Muslim American Women Speak” will be the focus of BlogTalkRadio’s “The American Muslim Radio Show” ( with hosts Robert Salaam and Alia Sajid on Friday, February 8, 2008, at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time.


The show will feature Muslim author and activist Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur and welcome calls from listeners.


Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur’s 2005 book “Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak” is the inspiration behind the show. We will be discussing her book and issues concerning American Muslim Women.


Callers are welcome to join the conversation during the show by calling

(646) 652-2599 . The live, Internet talk-radio show will stream from the host page at


An archive will be available at the same link immediately following the show or listeners can subscribe to the archives via the RSS feed located on the host page. Read more about the host and the discussion on The American Muslim site at


About The American Muslim Radio Show

“The American Muslim Radio Show” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on the lives and issues concerning American Muslims. Hosts Robert Salaam and Alia Sajid explore American Muslim issues and perspectives concerning religion, politics, and current events. Callers are encouraged to call (646) 652-2599 to listen or ask questions. The stream and archives are available at The show is live every Friday night at 11 p.m. Eastern Time/ 8 p.m. Pacific Time. The show is hosted on BlogTalkRadio.


About BlogTalkRadio

BlogTalkRadio is a free, web-based platform which allows any user with a phone and a computer to host a live, interactive Internet broadcast. Hosts call into the service by phone, managing callers on the web-based host dashboard. Shows stream live directly from the host’s BlogTalkRadio web page with archives available for all past shows. BlogTalkRadio’s social radio network can be found at

  • I know it’s not an article, but you should support me anyway 🙂

 Obama raised $7.2 million in the first 48 hours after Super Tuesday.

Obama raises $7.2 million since Super Tuesday

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Democratic Sen. Barack Obama has raised $7.2 million for his presidential campaign since the first polls closed on Super Tuesday night, his campaign said Thursday, a remarkable figure that is causing concern among supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Meanwhile Thursday, the Clinton campaign asked Obama to debate once a week, but he demurred.

Obama, riding a wave of fundraising from large donors and small Internet contributors, also raised $32 million in January.

Clinton acknowledged Wednesday that she loaned her campaign $5 million late last month as Obama was outraising and outspending her heading into Feb. 5 Super Tuesday contests. Some senior staffers on her campaign also are voluntarily forgoing paychecks as the campaign heads into the next round of contests.

While not matching Obama’s pace, Clinton also saw an online surge of donations — raising $4 million from 35,000 new contributors since midnight Super Tuesday, Clinton campaign aides said.

Obama and Clinton outpaced all candidates in 2007, with each raising $100 million.

The Obama campaign said on its Web site that $7.2 million has been received since Tuesday evening. Campaign spokesmen said they were confident the figure was accurate.

  • I’m convinced that Clinton is on a sinking ship. I predict Obama will win all the remaining contests in February.

Obama on pace to raise $30 M in

Romney suspends presidential campaign

(CNN) — Mitt Romney suspended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination Thursday, saying if he continued it would “forestall the launch of a national campaign and be making it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win.”

“In this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror. This is not an easy decision. I hate to lose,” the former Massachusetts governor said.

“If this were only about me, I’d go on. But it’s never been only about me. I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, in this time of war I feel I have to now stand aside for our party and for our country.”

Romney made the announcement Thursday afternoon at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

With Romney out, Sen. John McCain is locked in as the front-runner in the GOP race.

Romney had won 286 delegates in through the Super Tuesday contests, compared with McCain’s 697.

The crowd booed when Romney mentioned McCain, saying, “I disagree with Sen. McCain on a number of issues.” Video Watch as Romney bows out »

  • Can’t say I saw this coming, but it is becoming increasingly clear that we may have a McCain vs Obama general election, that is if Hillary doesn’t cry or do something else to swift boat Obama.

Israeli soldiers suspended for mooning Palestinians

The Israeli army said on Sunday that it had suspended several soldiers after they were filmed exposing their bare buttocks to Palestinians in the south of the occupied West Bank.

“All personnel implicated in this unfortunate affair have been identified and immediately suspended from all professional activity,” the army said, without specifying the number of servicemen concerned.

“This affair dates to a month ago and does not characterise the values taught to our soldiers,” a statement said. “It will be settled today and the soldiers implicated will have to answer for their actions.”

On Sunday the YNet news website posted a video, filmed and first distributed by a peace activist group last week, that shows two soldiers in full combat gear exposing their buttocks and a third flashing a victory sign with his fingers.

The video was said to have been shot outside the southern city of Hebron, with the troops allegedly exposing themselves to Palestinian shepherds in order to try and make them leave an area near the flashpoint city.

“The soldiers frustrated with the failure of the Lebanon war could finally make a victory sign by showing their posteriors to unarmed Palestinians,” Israeli Arab MP Ahmed Tibi told YNet in condemning the incident.

  • I’m certain this will help the peace process.

Super Bowl massacre averted at last minute

A distraught Tempe man was within sight of the Super Bowl on Sunday with an assault rifle, but a change of heart kept him from unloading 200 rounds of ammunition on the crowd, court records show.

Drunkenstein’s bar name scares off Tempe

Kurt William Havelock, 35, turned himself in Sunday to Tempe police and the FBI at the urging of family and confessed his plan, which he hatched in retaliation for the Tempe City Council rejecting a liquor license application for a restaurant and bar he owns.

According to court records, Havelock is charged with mailing threatening communications in the mailing of eight copies of a “manifesto” explaining the planned massacre.

“I will test the theory that bullets speak louder than words … I will slay your children. I will shed the blood of the innocent,” Havelock wrote. “No one destroys my dream. No one.”
Magistrate Judge Edward V. Ross said in a hearing in U.S. District Court on Tuesday: “I haven’t read more chilling words, and I’ve been doing this a long time.” Ross found Havelock was a danger to the public and ordered him held without bail.

Havelock on Sunday mailed copies of the manifesto intended for friends and media from a post office at 59th and Peoria avenues in Glendale, but authorities were able to intercept them.

In the letters he says his family has been attacked and the futures of his children have been destroyed.

  • So what kind of terrorist is he? I mean since everything a Muslim does of this nature whether they actually do it or not is attributed to their culture or religion, what should we say about this guy?

Real history of Islam and the West

On the eve of the second Christian millennium, the Crusaders massacred some thirty thousand Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem, turning the thriving Islamic holy city into a stinking charnel house. For at least five months the valleys and ditches around the city were filled with putrefying corpses, which were too numerous for the small number of Crusaders who remained behind after the expedition to clear away, and a stench hung over Jerusalem, where the three religions of Abraham had been able to coexist in relative harmony under Islamic rule for nearly five hundred years. This was the Muslims’ first experience of the Christian West, as it pulled itself out of the dark age that had descended after the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, and fought its way back on the international scene. The Muslims suffered from the Crusaders, but were not long incommoded by their presence. In 1187 Saladin was able to recapture Jerusalem for Islam and though the Crusaders hung on in the Near East for another century, they seemed an unimportant passing episode in the long Islamic history of the region. Most of the inhabitants of Islamdon were entirely unaffected by the Crusades and remained uninterested in western Europe, which, despite its dramatic cultural advance during the crusading period, still lagged behind the Muslim world.

Europeans did not forget the Crusades, however, nor could they ignore the Dar al -Islam, which, as the years went by, seemed to rule the entire globe. Ever since the Crusades, the people of Western Christendom developed a stereotypical and distorted image of Islam, which, they regarded as the enemy of decent civilization. The prejudice became entwined with European fantasies about Jews, the other victims of the Crusaders, and often reflected buried worry about the conduct of Christians. It was, for example, during the Crusades, when it was Christians who had instigated a series of brutal holy wars against the Muslim world, that Islam was described by the learned scholar-monks of Europe as an inherently violent and intolerant faith, which had only been able to establish itself by the sword. The myth of the supposed fanatical intolerance of Islam has become one of the received ideas of the West.

As the millennium drew to a close, however, some Muslims seemed to live up to this Western perception, and, for the first time, have made sacred violence a cardinal Islamic duty. These fundamentalists often call Western colonialism and post-colonial Western imperialism al-Salibiyyab: the Crusade. The colonial crusade has been less violent but its impact has been more devastating than the medieval holy wars. The powerful Muslim world has been reduced to a dependent bloc, and Muslim society has been gravely dislocated in the course of an accelerated modernization programme. All over the world, as we have seen, people in all the major faiths have reeled under the impact of Western modernity, and have produced the embattled and frequently intolerant religiosity that we call fundamentalism. As they struggle to rectify what they see as the damaging effects of modern secular culture, fundamentalists fight back and, in the process, they depart from the core values of compassion, justice and benevolence that characterize all the world faiths, including Islam. Religion, like any other human activity, is often abused, but at its best it helps human beings to cultivate a sense of the sacred inviolability of each individual, and thus to mitigate the murderous violence to which our species is tragically prone. Religion has committed atrocities in the past, but in its brief history secularism has proved that it can be just as violent. As we have seen, secular aggression and persecution have often led to a heightening of religious intolerance and hatred.

This became tragically clear in Algeria in 1992. During the religious revival of the 1970s, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) challenged the hegemony of the secular nationalist party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), which had led the revolution against French colonial rule in 1954, and had established a socialist government in the country in 1962. The Algerian revolution against France had been an inspiration to Arabs and Muslims who were also struggling to gain independence from Europe. The FLN was similar to the other secular and socialist governments in the Middle East at this time, which had relegated Islam to the private sphere, on the Western pattern. By the 1970s, however, people all over the Muslim world were becoming dissatisfied with these secularist ideologies which had not delivered what they had promised. Abbas Madani, one of the founding members of FIS, wanted to create an Islamic political ideology for the modern world; Ali ibn Hajj, the imam of a mosque in a poor neighborhood in Algiers, led a more radical wing of FIS. Slowly, FIS began to build its own mosques, without getting permission from the government; it took root in the Muslim community in France, where workers demanded places of prayer in the factories and offices, incurring the wrath of the right-wing party led by Jean-Marie Le Pen.

By the 1980s, Algeria was in the grip of an economic crisis. FLN had set the country on the path to democracy and statehood, but over the years it had become corrupt. The old garde were reluctant to attempt more democratic reforms. There had been a population explosion in Algeria; most of its thirty million inhabitants were under thirty, many were unemployed, and there was an acute housing shortage. There were riots. Frustrated with the stagnation and ineptitude of the FLN, the young wanted something new and turned to the Islamic parties. In June 1990 the FIS scored major victories in the local elections, especially in the urban areas. FIS activists were mostly young, idealistic and well educated; they were known to be honest and efficient in government, though they were dogmatic and conservative in some areas, such as their insistence upon traditional Islamic dress for women. But the FIS was not anti-Western. Leaders spoke of encouraging links with the European Union and fresh Western investment. After the electoral victories at the local level, they seemed certain to succeed in the legislative elections that were scheduled for 1992.

There was to be no Islamic government in Algeria, however. The military staged a coup, ousted the liberal FLN President Benjedid (who had promised democratic reforms), suppressed FIS, and threw its leaders into prison. Had elections been prevented in such a violent and unconstitutional manner in Iran and Pakistan, there would have been an outcry in the West Such a coup would have been seen as an example of Islam’s supposedly endemic aversion to democracy and its basic incompatibility with the modern world. But because it was an Islamic government that had been thwarted by the coup, there was jubilation in the Western press. Algeria had been saved from the Islamic menace; the bars, casinos an discotheques of Algiers had been spared; and in some mysterious way, this undemocratic action had made Algeria safe for democracy. The French government threw its support behind the new hardline FLN of President Liamine Zeroual and strengthened his resolve to hold no further dialogue with FIS. Not surprisingly, the Muslim world was shocked by this fresh instance of Western double standards.

New Meaning of Dirt Poor: Hungry Haitians Resort to Eating Dirt

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – It was lunchtime in one of Haiti’s worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud. With food prices rising, Haiti’s poorest can’t afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies.

Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country’s central plateau.

The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.

“When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day,” Charlene said. Her baby, named Woodson, lay still across her lap, looking even thinner than the slim 6 pounds 3 ounces he weighed at birth.

Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies also give her stomach pains. “When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky too,” she said.

Food prices around the world have spiked because of higher oil prices, needed for fertilizer, irrigation and transportation. Prices for basic ingredients such as corn and wheat are also up sharply, and the increasing global demand for biofuels is pressuring food markets as well.

The problem is particularly dire in the Caribbean, where island nations depend on imports and food prices are up 40 percent in places.

The global price hikes, together with floods and crop damage from the 2007 hurricane season, prompted the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency to declare states of emergency in Haiti and several other Caribbean countries. Caribbean leaders held an emergency summit in December to discuss cutting food taxes and creating large regional farms to reduce dependence on imports.

At the market in the La Saline slum, two cups of rice now sell for 60 cents, up 10 cents from December and 50 percent from a year ago. Beans, condensed milk and fruit have gone up at a similar rate, and even the price of the edible clay has risen over the past year by almost $1.50. Dirt to make 100 cookies now costs $5, the cookie makers say.

Still, at about 5 cents apiece, the cookies are a bargain compared to food staples. About 80 percent of people in Haiti live on less than $2 a day and a tiny elite controls the economy.

  • Terribly sad. What are we willing to do? How many favors of our Lord will we continually deny?

Vista SP1 discs

Vista SP1 – Day 1

On Monday the 4th of February Microsoft announced that Windows Vista Service Pack 1 had been released to manufacturing. Although the code has been finalized, Windows Vista users won’t start to get their hands for a few weeks. I’ve been fortunate to be sent the SP1 installer files, along with a complete copy of Vista with SP1 integrated into it. It’s time to fire up a test system and see what happens.

Tobacco could kill 1 billion by 2100

NEW YORK – Tobacco use killed 100 million people worldwide in the 20th century and could kill one billion people in the 21st unless governments act now to dramatically reduce it, the World Health Organization said in a report Thursday.

Governments around the world collect more than $200 billion in tobacco taxes every year but spend less than one fifth of 1 percent of that revenue on tobacco control, it said.

“We hold in our hands the solution to the global tobacco epidemic that threatens the lives of one billion men, women and children during this century,” WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said in an introduction to the report.

The WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2008 calls on all countries to dramatically increase efforts to prevent young people from beginning to smoke, help smokers quit, and protect nonsmokers from exposure to second hand smoke.

It urges governments to adopt six “tobacco control policies” — raise taxes and prices of tobacco; ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; protect people from second hand smoke; warn people about the dangers of tobacco; help those who want to quit smoking; and monitor tobacco use to understand and reverse the epidemic.

“The tobacco epidemic already kills 5.4 million people a year from lung cancer, heart disease and other illnesses,” Chan said. “Unchecked, that number will increase to more than 8 million a year by 2030.”

Teacher Shot, Stabbed by Husband at Ohio Elementary School; Husband Later Found Dead

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — A teacher’s husband charged into her fifth-grade classroom Thursday morning, then stabbed and shot her as students watched, police said. He later was found dead in his home after apparently shooting himself during a standoff with police.

The teacher, Christi Layne, was in critical condition at Cabell Huntington Hospital in nearby Huntington, W.Va., a hospital spokeswoman said.

The shooting happened around 9 a.m. at Notre Dame Elementary, a Catholic school on the main road of a town in southern Ohio near the border. Student Emmaly Baker said she hid in the classroom’s coatroom when the gunman came in.

“We heard gunshots, and we heard her yelling. I was scared,” she told WSAZ-TV. “The police officer came and got us and she was still laying there and she was hurt really bad.”

The suspect fled, and for hours after the shooting, a SWAT team surrounded a house about two miles away. Neighbors said they heard gunshots coming from the home and police firing back. Police Chief Charles Horner said after the conflict ended that the man apparently shot himself.

Kim Harris, who cares for a man who lives next door, said police “told us to get down on the floor and stay in the back of the house,” she said.

Michael Andrews of New Orleans attends a reading of the names of murder victims outside of New Orleans City Hall on Jan. 11.

Crime wave has grip on New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS — The crime wave that hit New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina shows little sign of abating, more than two years after city officials said taming the outbreak was among their top priorities.

The rates of killings and most types of property crime have kept pace with the city’s population increase, according to police records. Sporadic violence also marred the city’s famed Mardi Gras celebration since Saturday, with at least nine people wounded by gunshots, including some that were fired near a parade route Tuesday.

Recent crime figures show that the number of thefts reported in the first 10 months of 2007 was 51% higher than the same period in 2006; the number of robberies increased 54%, according to police records.

Such crimes are increasing despite an aggressive federal, state and city campaign that includes patrols by the National Guard and state police. For instance, more than 1,000 officers, state troopers and National Guardsmen were positioned along Mardi Gras parade routes this year.


Parade magazine cover story, 'Why I Choose to Serve' shows U.S. Marine Jamal Baadani in uniform

Arab-American Soldiers Stress Loyalty, Patriotism

As American troops battle Islamic extremists in Iraq and Afghanistan and try to bring stability to the region, here at home the Pentagon is reaching out to Arab and Muslim Americans, trying to interest them in joining the U.S. military. At least 15,000 Muslims, including about 3,500 Arab-Americans, are already in uniform. In fact, Arab-Americans have been fighting, and dying, for this country since 1776. The Pentagon regards Arab-Americans as especially valued members of the U.S. military because of their important language skills and their understanding of the cultures of the Middle East. The armed services make efforts to accommodate their religious needs on base, such as building Islamic prayer rooms and hiring Muslim chaplains. But many Arab American soldiers say, 5 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, they still feel they need to prove both their worth as soldiers, and their loyalty to the United States.

That sentiment prompted Marine Gunnery Sergeant Jamal Baadani to establish the Association of Patriotic Arab-Americans in the Military, or APAAM. The organization serves to empower Arab Americans “to stand up and say ‘We are patriots.'” In reaching out to the American community at large, Baadani says, APAAM’s goal is “to bridge the gap of misunderstanding” between Arab Americans and mainstream culture “so we can be united as Americans no matter where we come from.”



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