Chronology of Islam in America from 1178 to 2011 in PDF format

Oslo Massacre by right-wing terrorist Breivik

Home Page
About us
AMP Comment
Muslims in politics
Press Center
Muslim Charities
Anti-Muslim smears
Civil liberties
Special Reports
Islam in US Chronology
Islam in Canada
Islam in Europe
US Muslim Groups
Book Review
Your comments
Letters to editor


Logo-0 Online Magazine

Executive Editor:  Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Chronology of Islam in America (2011)
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

January 2011

Civil Rights Groups: US Muslims' Rights Violated at Border
Jan 6: If any U.S. citizen knows his legal rights, Hassan Shibly does. A law student at the University of Buffalo in New York, he has also clerked for a judge at New York's State Supreme Court. Last summer he took his wife and son on a pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, and to visit to his family in Syria. Upon return, he says, he was taken aside for questioning at New York's John F. Kennedy airport. Shibly says an agent asked him how many gods and prophets he believes in and whether he studies his religion full time. "And I think one of the most offensive things was in the end," Shibly recalled, "when he was trying to wrap things up, he said: 'I hope you're not annoyed. It's just that we want to protect this country from bombs and terrorism.'" Lawrence Ho is also a U.S. citizen, and a Muslim convert. He was stopped at a border crossing with Canada. Ho says he was held for four hours and asked religious questions interrogation-style - in a closed room, by a special agent, with armed guards watching. "They're treating me like a suspect," he says. "Like while I was in there, I just felt like I was a criminal. At a certain point they almost make you feel like you did something wrong." Ho and Shibly's testimony form part of a complaint to the government by two groups - the American Civil Liberties Union and Muslim Advocates. It alleges that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, or CBP, has been questioning Muslims or people that appear to be Muslim about their religious and political beliefs, associations and activities. (VOA)

Indiana lawmaker will not introduce anti-Sharia bill
Jan 12: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said today that Indiana State Representative Bruce Borders will not introduce an anti-Sharia bill in the Indiana General Assembly. Borders had previously been quoted by a local newspaper as saying he "intended to file a bill in the Indiana House to prevent the recognition of Sharia law in Indiana courts." In late December, CAIR's Chicago and national offices sent a joint letter to all state lawmakers asking them not to consider what it termed a "fear-mongering" bill. In a recent phone conversation with CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, Rep. Borders said that an interview he gave a local newspaper was taken out of context. Rep. Borders says he was merely discussing a "wish list" with the reporter that included a possible bill excluding consideration of foreign laws. He acknowledged discussing Sharia, but only when asked by the reporter. "I regret being pulled into this issue because I never had the intention of targeting Indiana's Muslim constituents specifically," said Rep. Borders. "I believe all Americans have the right to freedom of religion and that Muslims should not be targeted for discriminatory measures." (CAIR)

DuPage, IL, zoning panel opposes plan for mosque
Jan 14: Critics have long expressed worry about potential flooding and traffic problems with a proposed mosque in unincorporated Willowbrook. But one official has dipped into another concern — what he calls an over saturation of places of worship. "The present application increases in what is my opinion a saturation of religious institutions into this specific area and leaves minimal open space," said Barry Ketter, a DuPage County Zoning Board of Appeals member opposed to the proposal. One block north of the proposed site is the Sts. Kiril & Metodij Macedonian Orthodox Church, two blocks away is the Buddha-Dharma Meditation Center, and several blocks south of the site is a Chinmaya Mission religious facility. Amina Sharif, with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said she is concerned that officials are trying to limit religious institutions. In April, the group filed a lawsuit against the county alleging discrimination in rejecting a zoning proposal for an Islamic education center and place of worship near Naperville.

Last month, the county's Zoning Board of Appeals also overwhelmingly recommended rejecting a petition by an Islamic group to operate a religious center in unincorporated West Chicago, citing a possible detrimental impact on well and septic systems and nearby property values. The county is also holding hearings over a controversial proposal to prohibit religious facilities in unincorporated residential areas, though pending projects would not be subject to the new ordinance, if it is adopted. "There are many Christian churches and Jewish synagogues already built in DuPage County," said Sharif. "Muslims, however, are just beginning to move to the suburbs, and a law prohibiting religious facilities (such as mosques) will limit that growth." The DuPage County Zoning Board yesterday voted 5-2 to recommend rejecting the request by the Muslim Educational Cultural Center of America (MECCA) for a proposed mosque, school and recreation center in a residential area near Willowbrook. (Chicago Tribune)

U.S. citizen from Virginia detained in Kuwait says he has been tortured by security agents
Jan 6: A 19-year-old U.S. citizen from Alexandria has been detained in Kuwait and says that he was tortured by security agents who questioned him about his travels in Yemen and Somalia. Gulet Mohamed, who moved with his family from Somalia to the United States when he was a toddler, was detained last month at an airport in Kuwait when he went there to renew his visa, said Gadeir Abbas, a staff attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who is representing Mohamed. He says that Kuwaiti officials detained Mohamed on behalf of the United States. Abbas said that Mohamed told him that over the course of a week, he was repeatedly struck in the face while blindfolded and handcuffed and that he was beaten with a stick. Abbas said he has spoken to his client by phone. Abbas said Mohamed was asked whether he knew Anwar al-Aulaqi, a U.S.-born cleric and propagandist for an al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen. Aulaqi has been linked to a number of attempted terrorist attacks on the United States and was in contact with the Army officer facing murder charges in the Fort Hood shooting. The Obama administration has placed Aulaqi on a capture or kill list. Among other questions, Abbas said, Kuwaitis asked Mohamed about an encounter at a mosque in Northern Virginia.

"The manner of his detention and the questions asked of Mr. Mohamed indicate to him that he was taken into custody at the behest of the United States," Abbas wrote in a letter to the Justice Department in which he called for a civil rights investigation of Mohamed's detention. Abbas said that three FBI agents visited Mohamed over the weekend at a Kuwaiti detention center. They told him he would remain in custody for a long time unless he cooperated, Abbas said. He said Mohamed told the agents that he had a lawyer and didn't wish to speak to them without counsel.

Mohamed has been placed on the no-fly list, meaning he has no way of getting home even if he is released. Civil liberties groups say Mohamed's case, reported by the New York Times, is part of a pattern in which American citizens are detained abroad and barred from flying to the United States so they can be questioned overseas by U.S. agents without counsel. The ACLU has sued the federal government on behalf of 17 U.S. citizens and permanent residents who were unable to fly within or into the United States because they were on the no-fly list. That lawsuit is ongoing. (Washington Post)

Texas legislator seeks ban on Sharia law
Jan 11: Dallas Voice reported today that right-wing State Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, has filed a proposed constitutional amendment that would bar state courts from enforcing, considering or applying any religious or cultural law. Berman appears to be seeking something similar to the constitutional amendment passed by Oklahoma voters last year outlawing Sharia law, or Islamic law. A federal judge has blocked enforcement of the Oklahoma amendment — which passed overwhelmingly — while she determines whether it’s in line with the U.S. Constitution. Text of Berman’s resolution No. 57:  

A JOINT RESOLUTION proposing a constitutional amendment prohibiting a court of this

state from enforcing, considering, or applying a religious or cultural law.


SECTION 1.  Article V, Texas Constitution, is amended by adding Section 32 to read as follows:

Sec. 32.  A court of this state shall uphold the laws of the Constitution of the United States, this Constitution, federal laws, and laws of this state. A court of this state may not enforce, consider, or apply any religious or cultural law.

SECTION 2.  This proposed constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 8, 2011. The ballot shall be printed to permit voting for or against the proposition: "The constitutional amendment prohibiting a court of this state from enforcing, considering, or applying a religious or cultural law."

Muslim-basher trains U.S. military personnel in Kentucky
Jan 16: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today again urged the Defense Department not to use anti-Muslim extremists to train military personnel. The renewed CAIR request comes after Robert Spencer, one of the nation's most notorious Islamophobes, published a post on his blog claiming he trained members of the "military intelligence community" on January 14, 2010. The insignia in the photographs Spencer posted on his hate site appear to correspond to those of the 149th Brigade of the 35th Infantry Division based in Louisville, Ky. Spencer is co-founder of an anti-Islam hate group called Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), which came to prominence through shrill opposition to the building of American mosques, anti-Islam bus and taxi advertising campaigns, support for European far-right groups and Islamophobes such as the English Defense League and Geert Wilders. SIOA is an outgrowth of a similar anti-Muslim group in Europe that seeks to block the construction of mosques on that continent. SIOA's sister organization, Stop the Islamization of Europe, "considers Islamophobia to be the height of common sense."   It may be pointed out that the United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant SIOA a trademark because: "The applied-for mark refers to Muslims in a disparaging manner because by definition it implies that conversion or conformity to Islam is something that needs to be stopped or caused to cease." (AMP Report)

Ike's warning of military expansion, 50 years later
On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave the nation a dire warning about what he described as a threat to democratic government. He called it the military-industrial complex, a formidable union of defense contractors and the armed forces. Eisenhower, a retired five-star Army general, the man who led the allies on D-Day, made the remarks in his farewell speech from the White House. As NPR's Tom Bowman tells Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne, Eisenhower used the speech to warn about "the immense military establishment" that had joined with "a large arms industry." Here's an excerpt: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist."  Since then, the phrase has become a rallying cry for opponents of military expansion. Bowman says that in the speech, Eisenhower also spoke as someone who had seen the horror and lingering sadness of war, saying that "we must learn how to compose differences not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose." Another concern, Bowman says, was the possibility that as the military and the arms industry gained power, they would be a threat to democracy, with civilians losing control of the military-industrial complex. In his remarks, Eisenhower also explained how the situation had developed:

"Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of ploughshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions." Citing another quote from Eisenhower this one from another speech on military spending Bowman says, "The jet plane that roars overhead costs three quarters of a million dollars. That’s more than a man will make in his lifetime. What world can afford this kind of thing for long?"

Rupert Cornwell writing in Independent of UK pointed out that the huge budget and reach of America's modern defense industry has proved him correct. Year after year, the defense budget seems to rise – irrespective of whether the country is actually fighting major wars, regardless of the fact that the Soviet Union, the country's former global adversary, has ceased to be, and no matter which party controls the White House and Congress. At the time, the speech raised few eyebrows. Now its words are viewed as prophetic, and the man who spoke them is deemed one of America's greater presidents. From today's anxious vantage point, the 1950s are remembered as a golden age of order, contentment and certainty. Ike himself is perceived as a wise and measured statesman who most certainly would never have led the US into the ruinous Iraq adventure. In reality, the dangers of Eisenhower's "military-industrial complex" are not new; from the earliest days of the Republic, political leaders have warned of them. "Overgrown military establishments," George Washington said in his own farewell address of 1796, "are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty." Nor is the concept confined to America.

Extremist killing is as American as apple pie: White men are never labeled terrorists
Jan 17: The landscape of America is littered with bodies.  They’ve been gunned down in Tucson, shot to death at the Pentagon, and blown away at the Holocaust Museum, as well as in Wichita, Knoxville, Pittsburgh, Brockton, and Okaloosa County, Florida. Total body count for these incidents: 19 dead, 26 wounded. Not much, you might say, when taken in the context of about 30,000 gun-related deaths annually nationwide. As it happens, though, these murders over the past couple of years have some common threads. All involved white gunmen with ties to racist or right-wing groups or who harbored deep suspicions of  “the government.” Many involved the killing of police officers. That leads to a common thread among these murderous incidents. None has been labeled the work of terrorists by authorities or the media. All involved white men, most of whom -- like Jared Loughner in Tucson -- have been deemed troubled or disturbed by authorities and various media outlets. Even Jim David Adkisson, the unemployed truck driver who attacked the Knoxville church because he believed it was “a cult” and a haven for Democrats and secular liberals, has not been characterized as a political terrorist. Adkisson was a fan of the writings and shows of right-wing media personalities Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, and Sean Hannity, according to authorities who searched his residence after the 2008 shootings.  However, his primary motivation, according to those same authorities, was the imminent loss of food stamps and inability to find a job.

Joseph Stack, who flew his plane into the Austin IRS building in an eerie echo of the 9/11 attacks, is also not a terrorist -- just a plain old suicide. The Maine dirty-bomb maker, who amassed quantities of hydrogen peroxide, uranium, thorium, lithium metal, thermite, aluminum powder, beryllium, boron, black iron oxide, and magnesium ribbon, a terrorist? No, just a “disturbed individual.” Arizona, of course, has seen a lot of extremist political activity in recent years. In fact, even as Jared Loughner was gunning down 20 people inside the Safeway on North Oracle Road on January 8th, the murder trial of Shawna Forde, head of the anti-immigrant Minutemen American Defense group, was getting underway in nearby Pima County Superior Court. Forde and two associates have been charged with the shooting death of a man, the wounding of his wife, and the killing of the couple’s nine-year-old daughter during a June 2009 robbery aimed at funding her extremist political activities.

These are America’s killing fields, coast to coast, yet the commentary and debate in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting revolves around political rhetoric in Washington. Both sides need to tone it down, we’re told. There have been endless discussions on television and radio, newspaper commentary and Internet postings all focused on the issue of overheated political talk -- as if Jared Loughner somehow leaped full-grown from the forehead of Glenn Beck. Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck did not send Jared Loughner out to kill, even if their extreme lock-and-load rhetoric -- Beck, brandishing a baseball bat, has warned his viewers to watch out during the next “killing spree” -- has helped legitimate such talk.  What they have certainly done is help create an inspirational environment where it is perfectly normal for Tea Party extremists to attend political rallies while packing pistols. Indeed, packing pistols is the point, isn’t it?

That said, conservative columnist David Brooks, in an astonishingly superficial argument, wrote in the New York Times that those who drag politics into public debate over the killing of political figures and government officials are leveling “vicious charges” and lack empathy for the mentally ill. Brooks gravely wagged his finger at those -- he singled out MSNBC commentator Keith Olberman, former Senator Gary Hart, and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas -- who have argued that violent rhetoric from the Tea Party and Sarah Palin set the table for the Tucson shootings. (Of course Congresswoman Giffords herself chastised Palin for putting her district in the now-infamous gun-sight crosshairs. Does Brooks include her, too, in excoriating “vicious charges made by people who claimed to be criticizing viciousness”?)

How sugary is Brooks’ argument? Compare it to what he wrote following the shooting rampage that took place at Fort Hood in November 2009. In that murderous incident, Major Nidal Malik Hasan was ultimately charged with killing 13 and wounding over 30. Hasan, a Muslim psychiatrist, was clearly disturbed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (he was about to be deployed to the latter) and his deteriorating mental state had been a concern to officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

That was before Hasan snapped. Despite documented psychiatric worries, the issue of terrorism quickly dominated public discussion of Hasan’s act. At the time, Brooks derided talk of Hasan’s mental state and characterized those who brought it up as casting “a shroud of political correctness” over the Hasan “narrative.” “The conversation in the first few days after the massacre was well intentioned, but it suggested a willful flight from reality,” Brooks intoned. “It ignored the fact that the war narrative of the struggle against Islam is the central feature of American foreign policy. It ignored the fact that this narrative can be embraced by a self-radicalizing individual in the U.S. as much as by groups in Tehran, Gaza or Kandahar.” So much for “vicious charges” and empathy.  They are apparently reserved for young white males in Tucson; Muslims need not apply.

Meanwhile, the bodies are piling up in Arizona and Tennessee, Kansas and Pennsylvania. The Homeland Security Department issued a lonely cautionary report in 2009 on the rising tide of right-wing extremism; it was loudly hooted down by right-wing radio celebrities like Rush Limbaugh and Internet pundits like Michelle Malkin. The killings and the attacks went on.

Now, we have arrived at another Martin Luther King Day, the birthday of a man gunned down by a right-wing extremist more than 40 years ago and, while we talk endlessly about rhetoric, we have done a remarkable job of ignoring the growing pile of bodies. The murderous right wing is still with us. The racists and the skinheads and the neo-Nazis are still here. Sales of Glock semi-automatic guns are skyrocketing in the wake of Tucson. The growing piles of bodies is real evidence of growing extremist activity. What could be plainer or starker? (Stephan Salisbury - Tom Dispatch)

Alabama Governor: Only Christians are my brothers
Jan 18: Robert Bentley, the new Republican governor of Alabama, delivered an oddly exclusionary message on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Birmingham News ( via Political Wire) reports: ''I was elected as a Republican candidate. But once I became governor ... I became the governor of all the people. I intend to live up to that. I am color blind….But if you have been adopted in God's family like I have, and like you have if you're a Christian and if you're saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister."  Bentley added, ''Now I will have to say that, if we don't have the same daddy, we're not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother." His press secretary later told the press, "He is the governor of all the people, Christians, non-Christians alike." (Salon)

NYPD urged to probe use of anti-Muslim training film
Jan 19: The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called on the New York Police Department (NYPD) to investigate how a notorious anti-Muslim propaganda film came to be used in mandatory counterterrorism training. CAIR-NY also called for new NYPD guidelines to ensure that officer training materials offer only unbiased information about any religious or minority community. An article in today's Village Voice newspaper said the film, titled The Third Jihad, is "a spectacularly offensive smear of American Muslims." The article also states: "It is 72 minutes of gruesome footage of bombing carnage, frenzied crowds, burning American flags, flaming churches, and seething mullahs. All of this is sandwiched between a collection of somber talking heads informing us that, while we were sleeping, the international Islamist Jihad that wrought these horrors has set up shop here and is quietly going about its deadly business." Police officials now say the "wacky movie" should never have been shown to officers. "It was reviewed and found to be inappropriate," said an NYPD official. One officer who viewed the film called it "straight propaganda." (CAIR)

Virginia teen detained in Kuwait returns to U.S.
Jan 21: A Virginia teenager who was placed on the no-fly list and barred from returning home to the United States from Kuwait arrived at Dulles International Airport this morning for an emotional reunion with his family. Gulet Mohamed, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen from Alexandria, entered the arrivals terminal nearly two hours after his United Airlines flight landed. His attorneys said he had been kept after the flight by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. Mohamed was detained in Kuwait last month at the behest of the United States, according to his attorneys. They allege that Mohamed was beaten by Kuwaiti officials who questioned him about his travels in Yemen and Somalia after he left the United States in March 2009. After Mohamed's family sued the government over the no-fly order, U.S. officials said the teenager would be allowed to leave Kuwait and fly to Washington. Mohamed's family has said that said he went overseas to study Arabic and Islam, stayed only a few weeks in Yemen, and then lived with relatives in Somalia and Kuwait. They said he has no connection with extremists. Gadeir Abbas, a staff attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations who is representing Mohamed along with Nadhira al-Khalili, said FBI agents in Kuwait also tried to question the teenager despite the fact that he told them he wanted his American attorneys present for any interrogation. Civil liberties groups allege that Mohamed's case is part of a pattern in which American citizens are barred from flying to the United States so they can be questioned by U.S. agents while overseas and without counsel. (Washington Post)

Florida’s Patriots United claims bias toward Islam in school textbooks
Jan 23: Florida Patriots United recently sent letters to about 25 of Florida's 67 school districts citing a long list of textbooks and passages they found to be pro-Islam, or anti-Christian, or anti-Judaism, or all of the above.  The concerns raise the specter of textbook wars in other states, especially Texas, where ideological camps have long locked horns over everything from the validity of evolution to how much the Founding Fathers were guided by Christianity. They also come as the state begins to review social studies textbooks. Department of Education officials said the issue is a local one, as districts select their own textbooks from the state-approved list. Here are some examples of alleged bias:

The Earth and Its People: A Global History, Page 134
The passage:
"Jesus was offended by what he perceived as Jewish religious and political leaders' excessive concern with money and power… ."
The criticism: "sets Jesus in opposition to Jewish leaders using some of the worst stereotypes of Jews as justification"

The American Vision, Page 27
The passage: "In the early A.D. 600s, Islam began winning converts outside of its native Arabia. By 711 Islam, whose followers are called Muslims, had spread all the way across northern Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. Through both armed conquest and the sense of religious solidarity that Islam promoted, this new creed won wide acceptance."
The criticism: "Nothing is mentioned of religion before Islam. It's as though no religion ever existed before Islam."

Modern World History: Patterns of Interaction, Page 587
The passage: "In 1987, Palestinians began to express their frustrations in a wide spread campaign of civil disobedience called the intifada, or 'uprising.' The intifada took the form of boycotts, demonstrations, attacks on Israeli soldiers, and rock throwing by unarmed teenagers."
The criticism:
"Islamist terrorists" would be more accurate. This relatively benign portrayal of Palestinian protests excludes attacks on Israel's civilians, but does include "unarmed teenagers." While Intifada militants, including rock throwers, were of all ages, the writer selectively identifies "teenagers," to whom middle and high school teenagers can relate with sympathy.

World History, Page 491
The passage:
"Women, as wives and mothers, have an honored position in Saudi society."
The criticism:
It's well known that they are limited members of society in most other ways.

World Cultures and Geography: Eastern Hemisphere and Europe, Page 230
The passage: "Sometime during the years 8 to 4 B.C., a Jewish boy named Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a small town in ancient Palestine."
The criticism: Spins the "Jesus was a Palestinian" myth. (St. Petersburg Times)

Hearings on Muslims trigger panic
Jan 24: They called it a summit to teach Muslims how to fight prejudice and fear. But all day long, fear was inescapable in the fluorescent-lit meeting hall of the Long Island mosque. The top issue on everyone's mind this month at the Islamic Center of Long Island was this: What could be done to stop planned congressional hearings on alleged hidden radicalism among American Muslims and mosques? The House hearings, scheduled to begin next month, have touched off a wave of panic throughout the U.S. Muslim community, which has spent much of the past year battling what it sees as a rising tide of Islamophobia. Conference calls, strategy sessions and letter-writing campaigns have been launched. Angry op-eds have compared the congressional inquiry to McCarthyism and the World War II persecution of Japanese Americans. ... But for those who gathered at the Long Island mosque, the coming hearings represented not just a political issue, but a personal one. For the man organizing the hearings was the very lawmaker who was supposed to represent them in Washington - Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.). Long before he had become their enemy, he had been one of their community's closest friends.

Few take issue with King's assertion that homegrown terrorism is rising greatly. In the past two years, according to Justice Department statistics, nearly 50 U.S. citizens have been charged with major terrorism counts - all of them allegedly motivated by radical Islamic beliefs. But many law enforcement leaders disagree with King's allegation that most Muslim leaders do not cooperate with authorities. In the past, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III has praised the community. And in a speech last month, U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said: "The cooperation of Muslim and Arab American communities has been absolutely essential in identifying, and preventing, terrorist threats. We must never lose sight of this." Experts also point to a string of recent terrorism cases that were foiled or reported by Muslim leaders. (Washington Post)

President Obama: American Muslims are a part of our American family
Jan 25: In the State of the Union address before Congress, President Obama said today: "And as extremists try to inspire acts of violence within our borders, we are responding with the strength of our communities, with respect for the rule of law, and with the conviction that American Muslims are a part of our American family." American Muslim groups welcomed President’s support for the seven-million-strong American Muslim community. "At a time when American Muslims face the prospect of agenda-driven hearings in Congress targeting their community, we welcome President Obama's decision to emphasize the fact that Muslims are contributing members of our society," said Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) National Executive Director Nihad Awad. The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), in a statement said that the President's remarks about the Muslim American community sent a strong message: America has not lost its ability to include all who call it home as part of the mosaic. The MPAC said that the President is right that our diversity is a unique strength that no other nation can surpass. This diversity is something that the Muslim American community cherishes, as we are the most diverse religious community in America.

President’s statement about the American Muslim community came at a time when - as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist, Jay Bookman said - anti-Muslim bigotry is gaining a strong foothold in the Congress. Jay Bookman writes, according to U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-NY, more than 80 percent of the mosques in this country are headed by imams who espouse radical Islamic jihad. Eighty percent. King has offered that estimate in the past, and did so again this week in a radio interview. Bookman went on to say that King did not claim to have a list of those subversive enemies of American freedom in his suit pocket, as Sen. Joe McCarthy did 60 years ago. “But like McCarthy, King does have the chairmanship of a prominent congressional committee, in his case the House Homeland Security Committee. And next month, King’s committee is scheduled to hold public hearings into the alleged disloyalty of the Muslim-American community.” (AMP Report)

Temecula City Council, CA, approves mosque construction
Jan 26: The Temecula City Council today unanimously approved a proposed mosque after a marathon eight-hour hearing that seesawed from vitriolic rants from residents castigating Muslims as terrorists to interfaith leaders praising the peaceful virtues of Islam.  In the end, the council’s decision was made solely based on mundane issues such as traffic, parking and environmental impacts, with the council agreeing that the project exceeded all legal requirements for approval. The vote came at 3:34 a.m. after the council sat patiently into the wee morning hours listening to testimony from residents, largely a replay of the months of debate over the mosque. More than 110 people signed up to testify, though some drifted away after sitting through six hours of speakers. “This was a democratic republic at its best," said Councilwoman Maryann Edwards. Plans by the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley to build a 24,943-square-foot mosque on a vacant 4-acre plot in northeastern Temecula, next to a Baptist church, have been attacked by opponents who have said the mosque will attract Islamic extremists and overwhelm the neighborhood with traffic congestion and noise. The city’s Planning Commission unanimously approved the project in early December, and opponents appealed that ruling to the City Council. The Islamic Center, which has existed for years in a warehouse in one of Temecula’s industrial areas, bought the property for the proposed mosque 10 years ago and has been raising money to build the facility ever since. (Los Angeles Times) 

Jury awards $1.7m to family of Calif. Muslim killed by police
Jan 27: The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today announced that a federal jury awarded $1.7 million to the family of a 21-year-old autistic Muslim man for his fatal shooting by a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer in 2008. CAIR-LA Staff Attorney Ameena M. Qazi, with attorney Olu Orange, Mann and Cook Law Offices and the Disability Rights Legal Center, filed a lawsuit in 2009 on behalf of the family of the victim, Mohammad Usman Chaudhry. The suit was filed against former LAPD officer Joseph Cruz and the LAPD for claims including wrongful death and excessive use of force, and against Los Angeles County for the failure to notify the Chaudhry family of their son's death for three weeks. This week, the jury found that the officer used excessive force, acted with malice, and that the City of Los Angeles was liable as the officer's employer. (CAIR)

Oklahoma's ban on Sharia law gains traction in more states
Jan 28: Several states are weighing legislation that would ban international law from being applied in their courtrooms. The proposals come after Oklahoma voters approved a controversial November ballot measure targeting Islamic Sharia law, the body of law based on the Koran. The National Center for State Courts, a nonpartisan court research organization, reports that lawmakers in six states — Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and Wyoming — recently have introduced legislation that would prevent courts from applying foreign law if it means American rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution are violated. Oklahoma itself is considering similar legislation, even though the ballot measure approved last year is now under legal review. And The Associated Press reports that lawmakers in South Carolina also will address the issue in their current session. (Stateline) 

Attack on Michigan mosque thwarted
Jan 31: A California man is behind bars for allegedly attempting to blow up a Dearborn, Michigan mosque known as the Islamic Center of America. Roger Stockham, a 63-year-old Army veteran and ex-con, was arrested with a car full of explosive fireworks in the parking lot of the 70,000-square-foot mosque, which has a 150-foot dome height and 10-story-tall minarets, after driving to Dearborn from his home in Imperial Beach, California. Police apprehended Stockham after receiving a tip from an employee at a local bar Stockham had just left. The bar employee said he was concerned Stockham might carry out an attack on Muslims or Arabs in the Dearborn area, which is the most densely populated Middle Eastern enclave in the U.S. Stockham was arraigned on January 26 in 19th District Court on one count of threat of terrorism or false report and one count of explosive-possession of bombs with unlawful intent for possession of Class C fireworks. The charges are 20- and 15-year felonies, respectively. Though the incident happened on January 24, information wasn't made public until January 30 when the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan issued a press statement. (AMP Report)

2011  January  February  March  April  May   June
July   August   Sept.  Oct.   Nov.   Dec.

Islam in America:  1178-1799   1800-1899  1900-1999   2000-2002   2003 2004   
       2005     2006     2007     2008      2009    2010    2011    2012   2013   2014