Happy Friday everyone! Wax your surfboard and grab a drink, in this edition of the roundup we’re riding the wave of Islamophobia. The water’s full of anti-shari’a fail and unrealised potential with bans on kick-ass hijabis. But we’ve got an entire beachfront full of pious sexy athletic wear and an initiative aiming to turn the tide.

Enjoy!

1) Worried that the mosque down the street might be a hotbed of religious extremism? Is it becoming increasingly difficult for you to figure out the “good Muslims” from the “bad Muslims?”  Have no fear, Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques is here!

100 mosques were observed in order to give you this handy-dandy guide to determining if your mosque is a place where “violent jihad may take root.” Co-authored by the man behind much of the anti-shari’a legislation in the States, the survey determined that mosques which promoted “violence-positive” material through speeches or publications appeared to also have greater adherence to shari’a — which for the purpose of the survey means:

  • women in “proper” hijab — not this Spanish-wrap, dupatta, piratey hijab nonsense
  • men in hats — preferably ethnic ones from scary Muslim nations
  • imams with beards according to the “sunna” — no monkey tail beards
  • maintaining straight prayer lines — bring out your tape measure
  • non-Western garb — no cultural diversity for you!
  • imams wearing watches on their right wrist — sorry lefties!

*cough* Do I really have to say anything? It’s so nice having someone else define my Islam for me.

2) Do you ever wonder if what you’re eating is really halal? Hundreds of parents in Toronto, Ottawa and surrounding suburbs, were shocked to discover that the halal, kosher and organic catering at their children’s Montessori and child care centres were, in fact, none of these things.

And at times, undercooked.

3) Sports Hijab. Be Yourself. Unveil Your Performance.

The Guardian is reporting on the latest HAWT, sleek, super awesome and pious sexy sports hijab from ResportOn.

Iranian-born French-Canadian (go Habs!) designer Elham Javad came up with the idea to create sleek and secure sports hijabs when five Muslim girls were banned from competing in tae kwon do tournaments in Montreal. The ban was set in place after officials determined that the hijabs were a health and safety risk. So Javad decided to make things easier for women to participate in sports.

She was even pegged to design the hijab tops for the Iranian Women’s Olympic Football team — until FIFA decided to ban headscarves earlier this week.

The Iranian Women’s team had their athletic dreams destroyed when FIFA disqualified them from an important qualifying match with Jordan — citing that the hijabs were a safety concern and did not conform to the uniform rules: “Players and officials shall not display political, religious, commercial or personal messages or slogans in any language or form on their playing or team kits.”

But you know, male footballers sure as hell can do whatever they want with their hair. Yeah. Nothing personal.

4) And in another case of men deciding what women can or cannot wear, CAIR, a Muslim civil rights advocacy group, is calling on the United States Olympic Committee to intervene in the case of an AMAZING Muslim weightlifter.

Kulsoom Abdullah of Atlanta is being banned from tournaments because she wishes to compete wearing hijab.

Honestly, why would you want to mess with her? This kick-ass hijabi can pick you up and throw you into next week.

According to the report, “Abdullah, who competes in the 48kg and 53kg weight class in the women’s senior division, reported to CAIR that USA Weightlifting prevented her from participating in the American Open in December 2010 due to her desire to wear modest Islamic attire covering her hair and body with the exception of her face, hands and feet.”

Check out awesome pictures and videos of Kulsoom in action at her personal website: LiftingCovered and read more on the story over at CNN.

(hat-tip to the inspiring Asiah @ DreaminArabic)

5) Finally, are all of these anti-Muslim stories getting you down? Are you worried that people think you may represent the less than 1% of Muslim who are extremists because of what you wear or how you practice your Islam? Have no fear, My Fellow American is here!

An amazing online film and social media project by the non-profit organization, Unity Productions Foundation, My Fellow American “seeks to change the narrative of Muslims as other,” by asking people to share real life stories about the Muslim friends, neighbours, or colleagues they admire. What I love about this initiative is how raw, open and honest these voices are. It’s a wonderful platform for people to come together to help support the American Muslim community.

I get teary every time I see this trailer. And I think it’s because I know that Eryn is growing up in a world that may fear and hate her. Which is why initiatives like this are so important.

There’s a new, threatening shadow slowly creeping over North America.

With every halal Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut; with the building of every new minaret and establishment of Islamic seminaries and schools; with every Muslim convert and sister who takes on the hijab – or heaven forbid, the niqab; with every judge who allows Islamic law into their court; for every worker who takes their lunch to go to the mosque or who takes unpaid leave to go on Hajj; for every Juan Williams who looses his job, for every left-wing politician who panders to the Muslim minority and for every President who’s “not at war with Islam” and who may very well be a Muslim himself – Creepy Muslims come that much closer to creating the Islamic States of America.

If Muslims have lived, loved, worked, struggled, fought and died in North America since the 1500s, and wanted to take over, you’d think we would have succeeded by now.

There is a growing trend of Islamophobia, which goes far beyond an authentic and justified reaction toward the actions of select extremists. Media sources, conservative voices and even Chuck Norris have succeeded in completely vilifying Islam, and creating and blurring the lines between good Muslims and bad Muslims. Good Muslims look normal like “everyone else.” Bad Muslims wear “authentic-[insert appropriate cultural garb here].”

In an irrational fear that foreign-based, extremist interpretations of Islam are creeping into America, a growing number of states are trying to ban Islamic religious law. Islamic law guides the daily activities of religiously motivated Muslims, from prayer to food to giving in charity. So this means that a ban on Islamic law is a direct attack on how Muslims live, and is justified under the guise of safeguarding hard working Americans from what they do over there.

(more…)

Good afternoon everyone! It’s that time again, and this week, we’ve got the “jaw-dropping” edition of the roundup. If hate crimes, trashy hijab, and line dancing don’t do it for you, I don’t know what will.

Enjoy!

1) Osman Daramy, an 11 year old boy, may be convicted of hate crimes for the harassment and assault of his Muslim classmate. Over the course of several weeks, Osman and a 13-year old female accomplice, verbally and physically assaulted a Muslim girl — by punching and kicking her and attempting to rip off her hijab.

Hate crime? Misguided tween? Product of his upbringing? Peer pressure? Born to a Muslim mother in a Sierra Leonean refugee camp, but raised in the States since 6 months old (points people are milking), Osman’s obviously distraught father asks, “How could a Muslim have another hate crime against a Muslim?”

How indeed. Or a human against another human.

2) Have you seen this poster?

Part of a campaign by a German human right’s group, Internationale Gesellschaft für Menschenrechte (IGFM), the text translates as:

Oppressed women are easily overlooked. Please support us in the fight for their rights.

While I agree 100% with the words, the photo’s message couldn’t be more glaringly wrong, inappropriate, offensive, burning, ridiculous, and outrageous.

Serious hat-tip to the amazing Kawdess — whom if you aren’t following, you really should be.

3) Adam Serwer has a great blog post up on the Washington Post. Debunking the right’s crackpot sharia panic talks about the recent report released by the Centre of American Progress and written by Wajahat Ali and Matthew Duss (read it! Brilliant!). Serwer explains that the report was written to debunk an earlier report to Congress that:

…purported to outline the threat of sharia, which it defines as a “legal-political-military doctrine” that compels Muslims to seek to establish an Islamic state in the U.S. The report’s conclusion, than any Muslim adhering to sharia would be obligated to help overthrow the U.S., would necessitate that the American national security apparatus treat every religious Muslim as a potential national security threat.

Once people got wind of this, “sharia panic has hit the states, with Republicans in at least 15 states seeking bans on sharia.”

First it was “Sunday Salaams” in Disney. Then we got Cat Stevens and Dave Chappelle. Soon, all across America, students held Islamic Awareness Weeks, inviting women to try hijab for a day. And now you can get halal MacDonald’s and KFC. Oh, what’s that? You didn’t know you were eating halal? MUWAHAHAHAAH.

4) Music — okay. Dancing — okay. Standing in a line, hopping, turning, and stepping — haram.

Apparently, clerics in Malaysia want Muslims to avoid performing the “Poco-Poco” based on fears that the dance has Christian origins and that the choreographed steps make the ‘sign of the cross.’

Forget about creeping Sharia’. This is full-on creepin’ Christianity:

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