Category Archives: Muslims

Racism and the Asian community

Take 12:03 out of your day today & watch this from Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. Racism is absolutely an issue in the Asian community. Have seen the discussions start to pop up over the last week but so much more needs to be said and done.

An inferiority complex exists in large parts of the Asian community. I understand where so much of it originates but how many of us have these conversations with older people in our families & communities? TV & the aftermath of colonization played a huge part in their mindsets but how much have we done to change that?

Far too many Asians didn’t grow out of their subservience from the days of colonization. Many still haven’t done it to this day. It is a widespread problem. The amount of people that distance themselves & their families from their languages & cultures is mind boggling.

It is a wider problem than this but I’ll just stick with Pakistan & India for the moment. How many of us know of people that don’t speak Urdu/Hindi/whatever other language applies to you at home but English. I’m talking about people currently living in Pakistan/India. It happens in all parts of society but an example that always sticks out to me is when people criticize Pakistani cricket players for speaking in Urdu instead of English while giving interviews.

It is this inferiority complex & subservience that dates back to the brainwashing from colonization. This carries over to people who have immigrated elsewhere. How many people do we knew of that distance themselves from their culture after moving to US/Canada/Europe?

How many people give up their language, cultural clothing, etc. because their inferiority complex. I know people that won’t go to a store in a Kurta Shalwar. Why? What makes a shirt & pant ok to go to a store in but not a kurta shalwar? A false sense of inferiority.

How many immigrant families have no connection to their native languages within a generation (or less for that matter). It is a problem mostly with people who immigrated in the 70s & 80s but goes beyond that too.

It applies to society as a whole but far too many Asians and Muslims didn’t get involved politically when they got here in the 70s and 80s. It has had long lasting on the bigotry towards Muslims.

It had an impact on the continued bigotry towards African Americans because people who should have gotten involved in the political process in their communities chose to largely remain silent because they decided bigotry towards African Americans wasn’t their problem.

A lot of the racism towards African Americans & Native Americans in Asian communities dates back to early days of television & what people saw. The negative portrayal of those groups on British/American cartoons, TV Shows and movies made its way to Asia eventually.

So many people who immigrated here in the 70s and 80s have had this false mindset that corruption doesn’t happen here like “back home”. They’ve chosen to be ignorant because for the most part it didn’t directly impact their personal lives. In Pakistan or wherever you came from you called it bribery, but the very same thing gets called a “political donation” here. People are fine with getting PBA cards here but talk about corruption/bribery related to police back home.

How many people vote or get other people to vote? How many people choose to be informed on political matters? How many people know how Congress works? How many people vote in their local elections? How many people just share nonsense from Facebook, WhatsApp & youtube without taking 30 seconds to fact check. Do you call out people for sharing obvious lies and falsehoods? What are we doing to eliminate ignorance in our families and communities?

The conversations happening in group texts, DMs and other places have been encouraging but they are just a start. A lot of people have to look hard at a lot views they hold and what they’ve done with them.

Obama’s statement on Eid

Barack Obama released a statement on on Tuesday marking Eid-ul-Fitr. Here it is in its entirety.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 30, 2011

Statement by the President on the Occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr

Michelle and I would like to send Eid greetings to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world. Ramadan has been a time for families and communities to share the happiness of coming together in intense devotion, reflection, and service. Millions all over the world have been inspired to honor their faith by reaching out to those less fortunate. This year, many have observed the month while courageously persevering in their efforts to secure basic necessities and fundamental freedoms. The United States will continue to stand with them and for the dignity and rights of all people, whether a hungry child in the Horn of Africa or a young person demanding freedom in the Middle East and North Africa.
As Ramadan comes to an end, we send our best wishes for a blessed holiday to Muslim communities around the world. Eid Mubarak.

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Interfaith Iftar at Central NJ Mosque

If you’re in the vicinity of Piscataway, New Jersey and want to know more about why your Muslim friend/neighbor/classmate/co-worker has been fasting during Ramadan (and for that matter what is the significance of Ramadan) come visit the Muslim Center of Middlesex County on Thursday August 18th. The event starts at 6:30 PM. There will be a presentation from the Imam after which there will be a Q&A session where everyone is welcome to ask a question. In the past local elected officials as well as members of neighboring Churches have attended the event.

Welcome Presentation………………….. 6:30 PM
Iftar & Prayer Observation……….7:50 PM
Interactive Dinner…………………………..8:15 PM

As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11 there will be a lot of negative portrayal of Muslims and Islam in the media. Come see what Islam and Muslims are really about for yourself.  For more information contact You can RSVP by sending an e-mail to or by calling 732-463-2004 X111

Muslim Center of Middlesex County
1000 Hoes Lane
Piscataway, NJ 08854

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Iftar at the White House tonight

Expect the bigots to be out in full force today.

Continuing what has become an annual tradition over the course of the last decade Barack Obama will host an Iftar at the White House tonight. Surely there are bound to be a bunch of “Obama is a secret Muslim” posts around the internet today.

As Barack Obama mentioned in his speech last year the first Iftar at the White House dates back to 1805 when Thomas Jefferson hosted one. Earlier this month President Obama did release a statement marking the start of Ramadan. The President did use the dinner last year to make some news when he announced support for the construction of the so called “Ground Zero Mosque.” Of course he did so on a Friday evening with no TV coverage to protect himself against bigots but it was still a step in the right direction. Will he make news this year?

Here is the press release with the guest list.

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                                           August 13, 2010

Expected Attendees at the White House Iftar Dinner
This evening, the President will continue a White House tradition of hosting an Iftar celebrating Ramadan in the State Dining Room.  This is the third Iftar hosted by the President.  The Iftar is the meal that breaks the day of fasting, when Muslim families and communities eat together after sunset.
Below is a list of some of the expected attendees at tonight’s White House dinner celebrating Ramadan:
The Honorable Andre Carson, United States Representative
The Honorable John Conyers, United States Representative
The Honorable Keith Ellison, United States Representative
The Honorable Donald Payne, United States Representative
Her Excellency Amina Salum Ali, Ambassador, African Union Mission
His Excellency Abdallah Baali, Ambassador, People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
His Excellency Yashar Aliyev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Her Excellency Huda Ezra Nonoo, Ambassador of Bahrain
His Excellency Akramul Qader, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
His Excellency Bienvenu Joseph Charles Foe-Atangana, Ambassador of Cameroon
His Excellency Adam Bechir Mahamoud, Ambassador of the Republic of Chad
His Excellency Roble Olhaye, Ambassador of the Republic of Djibouti
His Excellency Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt
His Excellency Mory Karamoko Kaba, Ambassador of Guinea
His Excellency Bayney Ram Karran, Ambassador of Guyana
His Excellency Dino Patti Djalal, Ambassador of Indonesia
His Excellency Samir Shakir Mahmood Sumaida’ie, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq
His Excellency Micahel Scott Oren, Ambassador of Israel
His Excellency Aziz Mekour, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco
Her Excellency Aminata Maiga Djibrilla, Ambassador of Niger
Her Excellency Hunaina Sultan Ahmed Al Mughairy, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman
His Excellency Husain Haqqani, Ambassador of Pakistan
His Excellency Mr. Maen Areikat, Ambassador, PLO Mission
His Excellency Ali Bin Fahad Faleh Al-Hajri, Ambassador of the State of Qatar
His Excellency Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, Ambassador of the Russian Federation
His Excellency Adel A.M. Al-Jubeir, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia
Her Excellency Fatou Danielle Diagne, Ambassador of Senegal
His Excellency Bockari Kortu Stevens, Ambassador of Sierra Leone
His Excellency Subhas Chandra Mungra, Ambassador of the Republic of Suriname
His Excellency Mwanaidi Sinare Maajar, Ambassador of Tanzania
His Excellency Edawe Limbiye Kadangha Bariki, Ambassador, Togo
His Excellency Namik Tan, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey
His Excellency Yousif Mana Saeed Alotaiba, Ambassador, United Arab Emirates
His Excellency Ilhomjon Tuychievich Nematov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan
His Excellency Abdulwahab A. Al Hajjri, Ambassador of the Republic Yemen
His Excellency Ufuk Gokcen, Ambassador and Permanent Observer, Organization of the Islamic Conference
The Honorable Damir Dzanko, Chargé d’Affaires at Interim of Bosnia
The Honorable Sufyan Salman Qudah, Chargé d’Affaires at Interim of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
The Honorable Jetish Jashari, Chargé d’Affaires at Embassy of Republic of Kosovo
The Honorable Tarek Ben Youssef, Chargé d’Affaires at Interim of Tunisia
Mr. Hamza Abdullah, Arizona Cardinals
Mr. Husain Abdullah, Minnesota Vikings
Ms. Dina Amer
Mrs. Durriya Badani, Brookings Institute
Ms. Faiza Arain, Los Angeles Police Department
Dr. Mahmoud Eboo, Aga Khan
Mr. Mohamed Ali Malouche, Tunisian American Young Professionals
Mr. Akram Syed, National Association of Indian Muslims
Mrs. Mansura Shajahan
Mr. Yusuf Shajahan
Dr. Manzoor Tariq, Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America

It remains a goal of mine to be on that list one of these years. Here are the guest lists from 2009 and 2010.

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Ramadan Iftar Party PackThe Holy Qur'an in Today's English

TLC’s “All-American Muslim” is probably bad news for Muslims

This fall TLC is bringing “All-American Muslim” to its airwaves.

What does TLC say about the show?

What’s it like to be Muslim in America? TLC answers that question with “All-American Muslim,” a powerful new series premiering in November 2011 that delves deep inside the rarely seen world of Muslim Americans to uncover unique insight into this little known — and often misunderstood — community. “All-American Muslim” brings audiences inside Dearborn, Michigan, a mid-sized industrial city that is also home to the largest mosque in the United States. Following the daily lives of five Muslim American families, each episode offers an intimate look at their customs and celebrations, as well as the misconceptions, conflicts and differences they face outside — and within — their own community.

Without having watched a minute of it I can say this show most likely is very bad news for Muslims in America. The show will do very little (if anything at all) to help educate people on what Islam or Muslims are all about. More then likely the show will will play out like other so called “reality” shows that are just garbage television.

Access Hollywood recently spoke with one of the couples on the show.

According to the Washington Post,

The new series is being produced by Shed Media, the indie production house known for such compassionate docu series as “”Freaky Eaters” — about people addicted to tartar sauce, maple syrup, french fries and such — cat-fight shows like “Basketball Wives,” “Real Housewives of New York City,” and “Football Wives.”

Actually show might be even worse then what I was first predicting. The same article goes on to quote an executive from TLC by the name of Amy Winter,

Through these families and their diverse experiences, we will explore how they blend their values and traditions with everyday life in America, providing insight into their culture with care and compassion.

Somehow I highly doubt that. Just take at TLC’s current lineup of shows. What on that list gives anyone an indication that this show will actually be a good thing? Heck, take a look at the production comany’s website. What on that list inspires you? These are the clowns behind shows like Basketball Wives, The Real Housewives of New York City and Freaky Eaters.

According to Shed Media US (the company that is producing the show) the preview clip includes a woman who admits to drinking. According to Entertainment Weekly one of the characters is a woman with tattoos. Still think the show is a good idea?

TLC can claim whatever they want but this show represents a made for TV version of Islam and Muslims and  in no way represents REAL American Muslims although a bigot like Debbie Schlussel not being a fan of one of the characters can only be a good sign right?

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Obama’s statement to mark the start of Ramadan

Barack Obama’s statement to mark the start of Ramadan was posted earlier today on In it he mentions that he will once again be hosting an Iftar at the White House like he did last year. I will ask the same question I asked last year, how do I get an invite? You can read the full statement below.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 01, 2011

Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan

As Ramadan begins, Michelle and I would like to send our best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world.  Ramadan is a festive time that is anticipated for months by Muslims everywhere.  Families and communities share the happiness of gathering together for iftar and prayers. Bazaars light up the night in many cities from Rabat to Jakarta.  And here in the United States, Muslim Americans share Ramadan traditions with their neighbors, fellow students, and co-workers. 
For so many Muslims around the world, Ramadan is also a time of deep reflection and sacrifice. As in other faiths, fasting is used to increase spirituality, discipline, and consciousness of God’s mercy.  It is also a reminder of the importance of reaching out to those less fortunate.  The heartbreaking accounts of lost lives and the images of families and children in Somalia and the Horn of Africa struggling to survive remind us of our common humanity and compel us to act.  Now is the time for nations and peoples to come together to avert an even worse catastrophe by offering support and assistance to on-going relief efforts.

Times like this remind us of the lesson of all great faiths, including Islam — that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.  In that spirit, I wish Muslims around the world a blessed month, and I look forward to again hosting an iftar dinner here at the White House.  Ramadan Kareem.

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Colbert tackles Sharia law “threat”

Stephen Colbert tackles the growing “threat” America is facing from Halal Food and Sharia law in general

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
ThreatDown – Radical Muslim Snacks, Flying Robot Drones & Coked Up Vacuums<a>
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> Video Archive

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Iftar at the White House

As I mentioned earlier today, Barack Obama hosted an Iftar at the White House tonight.

The guest list for the event included Diplomats from Muslim countries, Muslim leaders from around the country and Muslims from many walks of life among others. Rep. Andre Carson (D-Indiana) was at the event but the other Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) was not present. I suggested earlier in the evening that it might have had something to do with his recent comments regarding Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. The Congressman took offense to that comment. Late tonight I received a series of messages from him via twitter. The gist of it was that he’s in California with Speaker Pelosi. The tweets read as follows:

I am with Speaker Pelosi at her Annual Issues conference.

Very irresponsible rumor. Very unbecoming of a Muslim or any person of integrity to spread such a baseless rumor. Please stop 

Tell anyone who cares to know that there is no conflict with the WH and I. I am with the Speaker in Napa, CA.

The intentions of my comments earlier were obviously not to take a shot at Rep. Ellison. I’ve liked his work for the most part. I like his stance on issues. We definitely need more Muslims not only in Congress but in politics in general. That being said, his absence from the event at the White House tonight was very odd. Anyone who follows politics even remotely would connect it to his comments about Robert Gibbs. It has nothing to do with me being a good or bad Muslim. This “Issues Conference” is probably a private retreat of Democratic Congressmen but a quick Google search didn’t turn up anything linking the Congressman to California. There was no statement made by his office either. There wasn’t a Press Release, an update on his blog or a message on his twitter account. There are only 2 Muslim Congressmen, if one wasn’t making it to the Iftar you’d figure they’d mention it somewhere right? Hopefully all is fine between him and the White House (I’ll take him at his word) but his reaction tonight disappointed not only me but others I spoke to.

I should mention that Rep. Ellison has said since that he does not want Robert Gibbs dismissed.

I would have liked to see Rep. Ellison in attendance since he too has been a very vocal supporter of the Mosque in Lower Manhattan.

I mentioned to a few people earlier today that the events seemed much more low key this year (coincidence that it is an election year?). Last year we saw a video statement marking the start of Ramadan but this year the White House only released a written statement. The President did throw people like me a bone though by coming through with the strongest worded support to date of the so called “Ground Zero Mosque” by the administration. It is a shame that it was part of a Friday evening news dump.

You can watch Obama’s remarks here.

Good work from the President here. It is a balancing act that he has to follow but the remarks do still come off as genuine.

Here is the guest list for the Iftar. I asked earlier but will ask again, what do I have to do to be on the guest list next year?
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Barack Obama is hosting an Iftar tonight

Tonight Barack Obama will continue a tradition started by Bill Clinton as he will host what has become an annual Iftar at the White House.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, the White House did release a statement from the First Family marking the start of Ramadan. The statement can be found below. 

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

August 11, 2010

Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan

On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I want to extend our best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world. Ramadan Kareem.

Ramadan is a time when Muslims around the world reflect upon the wisdom and guidance that comes with faith, and the responsibility that human beings have to one another, and to God.  This is a time when families gather, friends host iftars, and meals are shared.  But Ramadan is also a time of intense devotion and reflection – a time when Muslims fast during the day and pray during the night; when Muslims provide support to others to advance opportunity and prosperity for people everywhere.  For all of us must remember that the world we want to build – and the changes that we want to make – must begin in our own hearts, and our own communities.

These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.   Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality.  And here in the United States, Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country. And today, I want to extend my best wishes to the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world – and your families and friends – as you welcome the beginning of Ramadan.

I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.

May God’s peace be upon you.

Last year Barack Obama not only released a text statement but a video as well

The White House also uploaded the video of his remarks at the Iftar event last year. Will they do the same again this year?

A lot of people were not happy with the guest list last year as major Muslim organizations like Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) were not on the guest list (though the President of ISNA was there). Hopefully the guest list is more diverse this year. What do I have to do to score an invite next year?
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No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam

Muslim man buys NFL team, Racist conservatives go insane.

Just saw a story on ESPN saying a Pakistani American has bought the St. Louis Rams. As far as I know he becomes the first Pakistani involved in North American sports in any major capacity and also becomes the first majority owner of a North American sports team. Shahid Khan is the owner of the Illionis based Flex-N-Gate. Him and his wife are also very involved with the University of Illinois.

This news has conservative pundits in an uproar because as you may remember, their hero Rush Limbaugh was turned away by the league. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wrote a great blog post on why the NFL should stay away from Rush Limbaugh. I wrote an entry at the time too. A Muslim buying the team of course gives extra fuel for these bigots to spread their hatred. A quick look at the blogosphere will find plenty of posts like this one. Oliver Willis has a must read on Debbie Schlussel.

I have no idea what the tax problems with the IRS are here but I can say with a certainty that those problems aren’t half as bad as what the conservative pundits will lead you to believe. There is no way the NFL hasn’t done a proper background check without letting the matter get this far.

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Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat IdiotEcho Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment