Commenter Profile

The mysterious Islamic movement quietly sweeping the Middle East – Taylor Luck/CSMonitor

December 8, 2015 4:36 am
Shiite Muslims hold anti-terrorism rally in Washington - Michelle Boorstein/The Washington Post

Hundreds of Shiite Muslims turned a major annual spiritual ritual into an anti-terrorism rally Sunday, marching, singing and praying for hours from trendy Dupont Circle to the White House as tourists and brunch-goers rubbernecked. Connecticut Avenue was a sea of black as Shiites mostly from the D.C. region waved banners with the name of their spiritual forefather, Imam Hussein, and pounded their chests with their fists simultaneously as an expression of mourning. His martyrdom 1,400 years ago is a major part of Shiite narrative and a defining event in the break between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, and is marked annually. A few days ago, more than 22 million Shiites and others visited the Iraqi city of Karbala in a pilgrimage to the place where Hussein died. But this year the event twinned as a peace march. Muslims — including head-covered women, young children and hipsters with man buns on hoverboards — held signs condemning terrorism and the Islamic State and handed out hot chocolate and doughnuts in an effort to open conversations with passersby. Some American Muslim groups and prominent U.S. Muslims have been making extra public efforts since the recent terrorism-related killings in San Bernardino, Calif., to speak against the Islamic State terrorist group, which is also known as ISIS, and radical Islamists. “What’s happening now is we feel even more compelled to come out of our homes,” said Zehra Raza, 27, an electrical engineer from Alexandria, Va., who was at the rally with her husband. The crowd was smaller than in past years, she and others said, because many Muslims were afraid of being harassed or targeted with violence. Such incidents have been on the rise. Many police officers were on hand, and there were no obvious protests against the rally. When the crowd arrived at Lafayette Park across from the White House, tourists pulled out their cellphones. One group from Poland attempted in broken English to explain to a pair from Colombia what was going on. “Some [Muslims] were afraid, but I think this is the perfect time to come out and stand with people who are oppressed. ISIS is the same as what Hussein was fighting 1,400 years ago,” Raza said. ISIS has persecuted Shiites — among other religious minorities — in Syria and Iraq, called them infidels and killed them. As Raza spoke, and offered strangers Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a woman from outside the group approached her to offer support and give her a hug. “God bless. Or whomever bless — the universe bless,” the woman said as she walked away. Many of the signs echoed the views of marchers — that Shiites are victims of ISIS, and in particular of the Wahhabi branch of Islam that dominates Saudi Arabia. The front row of the marchers was a phalanx of young boys holding posterboards with words such as “Americans unite against Wahhabi terrorism,” “Muslims against ISIS” and “American Shia Muslims stand with the victims of San Bernardino.” Ali Alkhafa, 23, a University of Maryland student who grew up in California but was born in a Saudi refugee camp, said Muslim Americans are hindered from being a louder voice against terrorism by their own internal divisions. “Muslims aren’t as vocal as we need to be,” he said as the sound of men thumping their chests punctuated the air. “It’s cultural. We’re welcoming but not as open to one another as we should be. My folks’ generation are still isolated [by ethnic group], but my generation is really open.” The crowd appeared conservative. Men and women marched mostly separately, and women’s heads were covered. However, participants said they were more ideologically diverse, and were deferring to the more traditional gestures out of respect for one another. In the mix were convenience store managers, emergency room doctors and chemistry teachers. Shiite Muslims hold anti-terrorism rally in Washington - The Washington Post

Mosque Opening in Moscow Attended by Putin, Abbas, Erdogan – AP

September 23, 2015 3:41 pm
I've put this little article up on the newsstand because it struck me how the Russian government goes out of its way to support moderate moslems, spending government money on building mosques, while our government (under aipac instruction) does the exact opposite by spreading islamophobia.

The Russians Are Here! The Russians Are Here!

September 23, 2015 7:19 pm
Lol cigar - you crack me up!

POPE FRANCIS ARRIVES in USA! Met by President Obama and His Family

September 23, 2015 7:25 pm
Nice share, Sean. Thank you.
September 23, 2015 7:14 pm
Hey American, Cloak's blog's been hacked again. It's what he said to me. He's too busy to get into repairs for the time being. Hope this clears it for you.
September 23, 2015 7:24 pm
Or dress up as brunette women:
September 23, 2015 7:10 pm
Ah! But the Pope never got a single congressional standing ovation. That's how team Bibi would spin it. Yeah American catholics are excited woohoo! I'm excited that they're excited woohoo! The Pope's title aside, he does come across like a really nice dude. Not like the last one - that Benedict, what a stiff chap he turned out to be.

Descendant of Muhammad finds renewed faith – Niraj Warikoo/Detroit Free Press

September 23, 2015 5:56 pm
Religion and money - they're inseparable. Siamese twins.
September 23, 2015 5:57 pm
I gotta say that it blows my mind that the prophet Mohammad's blood line is still traceable in our modern times - that's some serious record keeping. Why didn't they keep records like that with Moses and Jesus? We don't know what the hell is for sure with the pair of them. Yeah their messages are still valid in our times and that validates them in return, but it would have been nice to have an actual history record of their ups and downs.
September 23, 2015 6:39 pm
Thank you for the added information, Walid. But Mohammad's daughter's bloodline, really that would be the closest to him, bloodwise, right? Also, what is the difference between a sayyed and a sheik? I gave this random old man a ride to the next village the other day and I called him 'haj' cuz I didn't know his name and he corrected me and said that he was a 'sayyed' not a 'haj'. Awkward.

Washington Has Now Lost the Middle East – Jim W. Dean, F. William Engdahl/Veterans Today

September 24, 2015 3:40 am
I don't know about the "DNA' but it sure it top of their repertoire list.
September 23, 2015 7:29 pm
Hell would have to freeze over before we let Russia 'guard' our girlfriend israel.

Anti-BDS Website Seeks To Ruin Careers, Reputations Of Those Who Support Palestine – Kit O'Connell/MintPress

September 23, 2015 5:01 am
Wow sorry to hear you were/are a target. Have they stopped their harassment and attacks on your lifestyle?

How A Muslim Student Became The Leader Of A J-Street Group – Katie J.M. Baker/BuzzFeed News

September 23, 2015 5:05 am
One cannot depend on a slippery fish to pay for dinner.

Can a New Tool Help the U.S. Say (and Mean) ‘Never Again’ for Genocide? – Siobhán O'Grady/Foreign Policy

September 22, 2015 5:15 pm
And don't you just love how Palestine is not to be found either on the holy land map or the article's 'genocide map' either.