Tag Archives: muslims

Wait Til You See How This Plant Dealt With Muslim Praying Rituals

muslim
What is the Muslim praying ritual?

 
About 190 Muslim workers at the Cargill Meat Solutions plant in Fort Morgan, Colorado have been fired for refusing to show up for work during an ongoing dispute over prayer accommodations. The controversy began when 11 Somali Muslim workers requested to visit the building’s prayer room at the same time. Administrators asked the workers to go in smaller groups to keep production flowing, expressing concerns over work stoppages. But while the workers initially complied, 10 resigned at the end of the day, citing disapproval with the policy.
 
As news of the incident spread, roughly 200 workers — most of whom are Muslim and all of whom are represented by the Teamsters Union — staged a walkout in solidarity with the Muslim workers, many staying home from work for three days. Cargill representatives claim they initially attempted to resolve the issue, but eventually fired workers who didn’t return to the production line.
 
Previously Cargill had not only allowed the practice but also provided a room for the purpose. The time for the ritual was carved out of a 15-minute break period or from an unpaid lunch break. Cargill denied changing its policy on prayers in the workplace and said such accommodations are not guaranteed. The Council on American Islamic Relations is currently working reach an agreement with Cargill so that those fired workers can return.
 

Muslim Praying Rituals

There are five obligatory prayers in a day. Muslims pray to one God, facing the Holy Mosque in the city of Makkah (Mecca). They stand before God by making the intention to pray, leaving all other chores and concerns aside.
 
While standing, the first chapter of the Quran is recited. After the first chapter, any other passage from the Quran is recited.
 
Muslims then bow to God and glorify him expressing complete submission and humility through prostration and placing of their foreheads on ground. Depending on the time of the prayer, Muslims repeat this cycle once, twice or thrice in each prayer.
 
In the end (and also in the middle for some prayers) Muslims sit to testify before God, and at the very end, Muslims turn their face to the right and the left, sending God’s Peace on those surrounding them. With this greeting, the obligatory prayer ends.

Malala Shows Us How To Make Sense Of The Nonsensical

malala
Malala has some advice for Trump acolytes.

 
We have crimes every day in America and thousand are killed each year. How many are committed by Muslims? Malala wants you to keep this in mind.
 
Muslims have condemned terrorist attacks repeatedly. Still, many are asking Muslims to to band together and go above and beyond to prove their loyalty to America in a way that we don’t ask of other groups.
 

Free Speech

This is the issue here. Plenty of Americans commit crimes, but we don’t expect them to swear a loyalty oath because of whom they are. Jews weren’t asked to apologize for Bernie Madoff’s grand ponzi scheme, and Christians aren’t asked to apologize when someone kills in the name of God. Black people aren’t asked to apologize for violence in inner cities, nor Latinos when an undocumented immigrant from south of the border kills somebody. White police officers are encouraged, commended, not asked to apologize for gunning down unarmed Americans.
 

The Constitution Does Not Apply To Muslims

Atleast to Trump supporters it doesn’t. A recent Public Policy Polling survey from North Carolina reconfirms this:
 
67% of Trump’s voters support a national database of Muslims in the United States. Only 14% are opposed to it. I wonder what their thoughts of a Christian or Jewish database are?
 
51% of Trump’s voters want to see Mosques in the country shut down while only 16% oppose. I wonder what their thoughts are on shutting down churches and synagogues?
 
Only 24% of Trump supporters in the state even think Islam should be legal at all in the United States. 44% think it shouldn’t be. Do you think they want Christianity and Judaism outlawed?
 
Trump’s rhetoric grasps at half truths to gain populist appeal. These poll numbers show that Trump supporters are ready to take away the constitutional rights of Muslims. Whatever happened to all of that talk about the need to protect religious freedom?
 

Malala’s Advice

Malala, who won a Nobel Prize for suffering brutal punishment in Afghanistan for speaking out against the Taliban as a Muslim woman, had some words of advice for both Trump and the media whom are so enthralled with broadcasting his message:

“It’s important that whatever politicians say, whatever the media say, they should be really, really careful about it. If your intention is to stop terrorism, do not try to blame the whole population of Muslims for it because it cannot stop terrorism. It will radicalize more terrorists….If we want to end terrorism we need to bring quality education so we defeat the mindset of terrorism mentality and of hatred.”

Can Republicans Replace Muslims With Jews?

jews
Sheldon Adelson is one of many Jews who are identifying with the Republican Party in increasing numbers.

 
Jews are voting Republican in increasing numbers in recent elections. As indicated by increasingly harsh rhetoric, the GOP has lost the Muslim vote probably permanently.

After 9/11, American Muslims largely switched sides to the Democratic party, noting that Republican policies had made their lives more difficult than they were before the attacks. A 2011 Pew survey found that Muslim support had flipped in just over 10 years after 78 percent of Muslims backed Republicans in the 2000 election. By 2011, 70 percent of Muslims identified as Democrats, and 11 percent leaned toward Republicans. An informal exit poll conducted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in 2012 determined that 85 percent of Muslim voters in the election broke for President Barack Obama over his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

Muslims represented 0.4 percent of the population in 2007, according to a Pew survey, and rose to 0.9 percent in 2014. The Christian population dropped from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent during that time. Muslim voters may be a small portion of the American population, they are concentrated in some of the states that could play a decisive role in 2016, including Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Jews

The GOP seems to be divided between ignorant bigots claiming that American Jews are really only loyal to Israel and mystified conservatives wondering why American Jews do not vote more for the GOP when they seem to be so much more pro-Israel. Most American Jews care about Israel at least in an abstract way, but think of themselves as Americans who happen to be Jewish often just by ancestry. That is why the GOP’s pro-Israel positions do not do more to win over Jewish voters. Of course this will not illuminate anything for conservatives who just hate Jews as no mere facts are going to change their minds.
 
There is good news, however. The same generational shift that moved other ethnic whites from being overwhelmingly Democrats to Republicans back in the seventies and eighties is happening amongst Jews now. In 1992, George HW Bush got eleven percent of the Jewish vote; that percentage has increased in almost every presidential election since then (it went down slightly in 2008, before rebounding in 2012). In 2012, Mitt Romney got thirty percent of the Jewish vote.
 
The data for congressional elections is not so easily available, but in 2014, thirty-three percent of the Jewish vote went for Republicans. Younger Jews appear to be more right-leaning than older Jews, and will tend to become more right-leaning as they age. With about 2% of the population being Jewish (doubling the Muslim population of approximately 1%), the GOP is making great strides with Jews whom, in another generation, will look much more like the white voting electorate.

When Muslims Used To Overwhelmingly Support Republicans

republlcan
Why do Republicans think these women are not Americans?

“The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about,”

– President George W. Bush a week after 9/11
 
What the hell happened? You will never confuse me for a supporter of George W. Bush, but he was spot on there.
 
There have been Muslims in the United States since our founding, and their right to practice their faith, as well as all faiths, has been enshrined since 1786, with the passage of the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom. This act became the basis for the First Amendment protections of freedom of religion. Thomas Jefferson, the law’s principal author, wrote that it was “meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew, the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan (Muslim), the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.” Seriously, what’s the problem?
 

Obama

The widespread belief amongst conservatives is that President Obama is secretly a Muslim concealing his true beliefs for nefarious reasons, most likely to impose sharia law on the nation. The last public poll on this belief showed that 86 percent of Republicans are warm to it, with 54 percent believing that Obama is a Muslim and 32 percent saying they are unsure. Only 14 percent of Republicans correctly describe Obama’s religion as Christian. In other words, the belief that Obama is a Muslim is an entrenched “fact” on the right, much like the belief that global warming is a hoax or Planned Parenthood is a for-profit company that makes its money selling fetal parts.
 

Another Lost Constituency

After 9/11, American Muslims largely switched sides to the Democratic party, noting that Republican policies had made their lives more difficult than they were before the attacks. A 2011 Pew survey found that Muslim support had flipped in just over 10 years after 78 percent of Muslims backed Republicans in the 2000 election. By 2011, 70 percent of Muslims identified as Democrats, and 11 percent leaned toward Republicans. An informal exit poll conducted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in 2012 determined that 85 percent of Muslim voters in the election broke for President Barack Obama over his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
 
Muslims represented 0.4 percent of the population in 2007, according to a Pew survey, and rose to 0.9 percent in 2014. The Christian population dropped from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent during that time. Muslim voters may be a small portion of the American population, they are concentrated in some of the states that could play a decisive role in 2016, including Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
 

Muslims In America

In a 2012 poll by the Arab American Institute, about 60% of Republicans had negative views of Muslim Americans. Muslim Americans actually polled less favorably than Americans of every other faith, among respondents of all political persuasions. Muslims have replaced Hispanics as the focus of verbal attacks on the US campaign trail.
 
Conversely, Gallup released a poll in June which showed that 60% of American adults would support a Muslim for president, but that number fell to 44 per cent when the people polled were protestants. In contrast, 73 per cent of respondents said they would back an evangelical Christian and 74 per cent said they would support a gay candidate, an increase of almost 20 points from eight years ago.
 
Today, the GOP is basically a regional party whose members are mostly older, whiter, angrier men refusing to accept that the country is becoming younger and more diverse. Their dreams of living in a homogeneous society, controlled entirely by them, were indeed crushed on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. There are certain factions in the GOP who are determined to “take back Ah-murika and return her to the real Ah-murikans”, but somehow, they don’t mean American Indians. Go figure.

How To Make Culture Bend Towards Religious Conservatives

religious conservatives
Evangelicals can win if they are willing to do what it takes.

 
According to Pew, roughly 3 in 4 Americans are religiously affiliated, yet in the wake of the recent Supreme Court rulings, the “Benedict option” of retreating somewhere and just letting America take its course is being discussed by many. Why is their voice not louder? They certainly have more money and more votes. Unfortunately, we are seeing that religious conservatives as a collective group are a big, slow, lumbering beast when it comes to the speed of change in this increasingly secular world.
 

Religious Conservatives

Those Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus. Sikhs and Buddhists should withhold commerce from firms that oppose their beliefs. It is illogical to oppose secularization of society with one hand while helping to finance it with the other. Where one spends their money is a moral choice, and religious conservatives in particular should, where possible, spend their money in businesses that adhere to their religious beliefs if they truly want to bend the culture.
 
This means if the gay grocer near you offers the best produce at the best price, you would purchase the inferior product at the more expensive price from someone who was not gay. Likewise, if the best doctor or surgeon supports abortion, you should use someone else. Political donations are a matter of public record. If, afterall, both the grocer and the doctor are giving their (read: your) money to politicians and organizations directly opposed to your beliefs, how much are they helping you, or better still, how much is their product or service worth? The effort must be made going forward. When Target kicks the Salvation Army out, start shopping exclusively at Walmart. When Walmart does worse things than Target, shop exclusively at Piggly Wiggly. Life is difficult, and some things can’t be avoided. It’s sacrifice and it’s hard.
 
It is often difficult to decide who is using money for what, or even who is gay. Franklin Graham removed his money from one bank because it supported gay rights; only to put it into another bank which also supported gay rights. Now, one could say that Mr. Graham should have exercised some due diligence in his choices (as should we all), but expertise in medicine or banking versus morality is a decision people don’t want to make.
 

Amorality

It is present in that attitude. That is, if there is a price to pay for supporting decency, then one will not do so. Given a choice between price and quality, people prefer to choose both. Those are pretty small sacrifices compared to the martyrs of religious texts that many claim to adhere to. Most of us struggle with considerations regarding money and the value received for purchases. But the trade off should cause the issue to be rethought. If it is known that money spent will go to fund pro-gay or pro-abortion activities that violate your religious beliefs, aren’t you obliged to suffer even a little by forgoing the purchase?
 
What cost are we willing to pay on behalf of our beliefs? For some, it will be a lot. For others, any form of inconvenience will be too costly. In the end, we all reveal ourselves. As a matter of truth, previously mundane actions must be seen for what they are now: decisions with moral content.
 

Television and Internet

Considering that all of the large tech companies, support the gay community, limiting internet use should be considered as well as a boycott of television. Both would work if the numbers were great enough, and I think they could be especially with television. Viewing demographics are easy to find on the net, and they are startling as far as the sheer number of hours America spends watching television. I think there’s been an ongoing boycott of broadcast television for years, which explains both the erosion of viewership and the moral and artistic deterioration of primetime programming.
 
Religious conservatives must deny those who persecute and ridicule them the economic benefit of their patronage. Would it not be a win – win on multiple levels to get concerned religious conservatives to turn off the television, get off the computer, and read or get to know their wife and kids a little better, all the while denying advertising income to powerful adversaries?

Charlie Hebdo And The Coexistence of Nuts And Free Speech

nuts
Do we let the nuts win?

 
While I would not call myself religious, I certainly have respect for the idea of the sacred, and the way people attempt to find their God(s). I am a big believer in worshipping who you want to.
 

Nuts

I also recognize that some people (nuts) are zealous to the point of mass murder in the name of their religion. I understand and accept that; however, people often fail to realize that nuts will not respect their right to make fun of their religion. It seems as if France has been cracking down….a lot.
 

Free Speech? In France? Not Really

According to the Washington Post, In 2006, Charlie Hebdo reprinted controversial cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that first appeared in a Danish newspaper. The Paris Grand Mosque and the Union of French Islamic Organizations sued the newspaper for insulting Muslims — a crime that carries a fine of up to 22,500 euros or six months’ imprisonment. French courts ultimately ruled in Charlie Hebdo’s favor.
 
In 2008, Brigitte Bardot was convicted for writing a letter to then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy about how she thought Muslims and homosexuals were ruining France. In 2011, fashion designer John Galliano was found guilty of making anti-Semitic comments against at least three people in a Paris cafe. In 2012, the government criminalized denial of the Armenian genocide (a law later overturned by the courts, but Holocaust denial remains a crime). In 2013, a French mother was sentenced for “glorifying a crime” after she allowed her son, named Jihad, to go to school wearing a shirt that said “I am a bomb.”
 
In 2013, The Union of Jewish Students successfully sued Twitter over posts deemed anti-Semitic. The government declared tweets illegal, and a French court ordered Twitter to reveal the identities of anti-Semitic posters. Last year, Interior Minister Manuel Valls moved to ban performances by comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, declaring that he was “no longer a comedian” but was rather an “anti-Semite and racist.” Last year, a French court fined blogger Caroline Doudet and ordered her to change a headline to reduce its prominence on Google — for her negative review of a restaurant.
 

French Muslims

Not surprisingly, there is a lot of prejudice in France against Muslims particularly in schools, workplaces, and even in the form of violent personal attacks. There is a high unemployment rate for French Muslims, many of whom live in slums. Young men and women have no jobs and minimal opportunities, an easy avenue to turn towards violence. Because this cartoon’ incited nuts who happened to practice Islam; sadly, now a majority of civil, decent, humane and non-violent Muslims will have to endure increased attacks, prejudice and harm.
 

I Don’t Know You

“Jokes”, satire, whatever you want to call it can be mean spirited, derogatory or demeaning, especially when originated by people of other religions for people of other religions. It’s one thing to jab at a religion you are personally familiar with, where you are a part of the community, where you have a deep understanding of the culture and values, allowing one to develop over time love and respect for the tradition while seeing the inconsistencies, ridiculous absurdities and craziness inherent in some aspects of the religion.
 
It is quite another thing to make fun of a religion that you disagree with, that you are ‘against,’ when you have never actually had any meaningful dialogue or relationship with the object of your ridicule. Hebdo’s ‘cartoons’ actually have communicated some strong oppositional and derogatory depictions of Islam. It would not surprise me that these would be distressing to an average Muslim, let alone a nut.
 
Did any of the cartoonists or the editor of this journal have any French Muslim friends or engage in meaningful dialogue with French Muslims about the tensions present now towards Muslims in French culture? Were there any Muslims on staff at the paper?
 
I strongly suggest everyone always try to make an effort to reach out and talk to different people whom you would not normally talk with. Sit down, listen to their stories, their pain, their problems, their hopes, their dreams, their fears. You will find you have more commonalities than differences when all is said and done.