Anti-Islamic Subway Ad Scuffle: Time To Pick Sides

Freedom of expression(s)?
It took just over 24 hours for several subway ads featuring an offensive, anti-Islamic message were vandalized, which, somehow, has led to a debate about the First Amendment, as apparent in the comment section of our story abut the vandals posted yesterday.

The entire debate is a bit of an enigma/completely contradictory -- it seems many of the people who detest the ads and want them taken down are the same people advocating for the free speech rights of those vandalizing the ads.

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Ramadan And Bacon Don't Mix. But A Hate Crime?

Throwing uncooked bacon all over a field on Staten Island is a reckless waste of bacon. And it also might be a hate crime, authorities say, when the field is the site of a Muslim religious ceremony -- which it was.

Police are investigating pieces of bacon being strewn about John D'Amato Field on New Dorp Lane on Staten Island over the weekend, where about 1,500 Muslims gathered Sunday morning to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

According to the Koran, "He has made unlawful for you that which dies of itself (caracas) and blood and the flesh of swine and that on which the name of any other than Allah has been invoked. But he who is driven by necessity, being neither disobedient nor exceeding the limit, then surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful."

In other words, Muslims don't dig on swine.

Police are investigating the bacon-ing as a hate crime because of its obvious religious implications -- it seems like a bit of a stretch that a field is littered with bacon the very day Muslims are planning to worship there.

Hate crimes are no joke -- the penalties for a crime increase significantly when the "hate" component" is added. But is throwing bacon in a field really a hate crime?

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Religion and Campaign Finance Reform Mix: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf To Talk Elections

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
Remember the "Ground Zero mosque" that wasn't just a mosque but actually a community center but still had people enraged back in 2010 because they thought it would be a victory monument to terrorism?

We hadn't really thought about it much recently, either -- until today, when we heard that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, one of the original religious leaders behind the project, would be involved in a new local effort: campaign finance reform.

Tomorrow, religion and politics are mixing at an event hosted by a local good government group that is pushing to get campaign finance reform underway this year in the state -- and as part of their efforts, they're bringing together high-profile religious figures to discuss politics.

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Rais Bhuiyan, 9/11 Hate Crime Victim, Continues Plea For His Shooter's Life

Rais Bhuiyan's plea
Rais Bhuiyan, the Texas man brutally injured in a post-9/11 shooting spree that killed at least two, is still fighting for the life of his assailant, Mark Anthony Stroman, whose Texas execution is scheduled for tomorrow. On September 21, 2001, Stroman marched into the service station where Bhuiyan was working and asked him, "Where are you from?" before shooting him in the face at close range. Though he survived, Bhuiyan is partially blind in his right eye even after multiple surgeries. A Hindu man named Vasudev Patel and a Muslim man named Waqar Hasan were both killed by Stroman, but Bhuiyan's World Without Hate campaign encourages us "to break the cycle of hate and violence" through "forgiveness." Ahead of Stroman's execution, both men spoke to the New York Times.

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Derrick Praileau: What Happened to Right-Wing Anti-Arab Theory That Dubai Royals Ordered Him to Kill Andree Bejjani?

​Now that Derrick Praileau, the 31-year-old veteran housekeeping manager at the upscale Jumeirah Essex House, has finally admitted in court that he strangled financial bigwig and hotel guest Andree "Sara" Bejjani in September 2009, what has happened to the cockamamie theory raised at the time by right-wing Muslim hater Debbie Schlussel that the Dubai royal family ordered it done?

If you thought that conspiracy theory would have evaporated by now, you'd be mistaken. Other than porn, nothing lives longer on the web than bullshit. Or was it bullshit?

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France's Burqa Ban Goes Into Effect; Two Women Are Arrested

In the fall of last year, France's Senate overwhelmingly passed a law banning the wearing of the Islamic full veil in public. That law went into effect today, with two veiled women arrested soon after -- not for wearing the garments but for participating in an unauthorized protest, reports CNN.

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Radioactive Water From Japan Plant Leaking Into Pacific; Arkansas Students Must Pull Up Pants

via Reuters
  • Officials say that highly radioactive water is leaking into the Pacific from a crippled reactor at Fukushima Daiichi. Water from a concrete pit has been seen escaping through a crack into the ocean; radiation levels in that pit have been measured at "1,000 millisieverts per hour, which is more than 330 times the dose an average resident of an industrialized country naturally receives in a year." The Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to stop the leak by filling the crack with concrete. [CNN]
  • Arkansas has outlawed baggy pants in public schools. The Arkansas state legislature is taking care of very important business! [NYDN]
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Fox Deletes 'Muslims Ban Padded Bra' Story, But Al-Qaeda Magazine Really Exists

When Pakistan's version of satirical news source The Onion, known as Roznama Jawani, posted a joke story entitled "'Padded Bras Are Devil's Cushions' says Council of Islamic Ideology," Fox's (openly) conservative website Fox Nation was too quick to provide a rewrite, which began in earnest, "The Council of Islamic Ideology in Pakistan has protested the use of padded and colorful bras by Muslim women, and recommended that Pakistani Muslim researchers should try to invent an innerwear that makes female assets unnoticeable." The truth-seekers at Salon noticed the big oops, which has since been removed. Maybe that's why Fox Nation is being extra careful with news of a new Al-Qaeda magazine for women. That one, though, appears legit.

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"Ground Zero Mosque" Loses New Imam Already

The so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" is once again without an imam, as Sheik Abdallah Adhami, who took over only weeks ago as the leader of Park51, the Islamic community center and mosque in Lower Manhattan, announced he would not be sticking around. Just last month, the site's developer Sharif el-Gamal replaced Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who himself went on to say that he would be fine building the center at another location. "Imam Feisal has no authority or control over this project, over its board of directors or over Soho Properties, which controls the real estate," said the developer at the time. "Park51, the Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, is more than any one personality or imam." Next!

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Oklahoma Will Now Be Taken Over by Muslims, Hopefully

Thumbnail image for haroldkumar2-redband-tsr.jpg
Somewhere near the heart of America, a plot to infiltrate the soul of this great nation is underway, and has moved a step further. Yes, folks, a judge -- those formidable black-robed enemies of the state -- has struck down an amendment to Oklahoma's constitution that would bar the use of Islamic Religious Law in state courts. May Baby Jesus, or Moses, or the Kwanzaa Bunny, anything other than that "Allah" feller have mercy on our souls.

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