Penjihad's Blog

"To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable"

Remembering 9-11, How can I forget?

NEVER FORGET!

I remember 9-11 as if it happened yesterday. I came downstairs after awakening and turned on the TV like I always did. For some reason, the TV was muted as I saw the scenes. I was not wearing my contact lenses so I could not see with clarity but I saw the aircraft hit one of the towers. Still dozy, I assumed it was some special effects scene, which is what I told my wife as she came down. Then the sound got turned on, I put on my contacts and with a shock, I realized this was real; someone had hijacked aircraft and they were crashing them into buildings. With a sick feeling, I saw the buildings collapse, judging from the size of the towers, I assumed there must have been at least over ten thousand people killed in the collapsed buildings.

Then I learned that the hijackers were Muslims and their purpose was presumed to be “Islamic”. I cursed the people involved in the slaughter as I do to this day, May God hold them responsible and keep them in Hell for the horrors they perpetrated on innocent people!

A few people called me and asked what kind of response should Muslims make?

How can one respond, thoughts and prayers? It would be foolish to say anything that could mean that we, as Muslims, were collectively assuming any responsibility for the heartless, thoughtless, inhuman and definitely un-Islamic, actions of a few.

As the day unfolded, I realized that the decision to respond would ne with massive military resources and that Muslims would indeed, be held accountable.

In the, months and years that followed, the sympathy for the victims and their families transformed into concern for Muslims and fear for the Muslim families that were (and still are) being targeted as “terrorists” by the President, Congress and by all US agencies, most notably, the FBI. We were suspects and targets of unrelenting persecution. Within a year, under the direction of John Ashcroft, the US Attorney-General, the FBI had “detained” or jailed, over 14,000 Muslims in all jails…City, county, state and all.

I remember at one time there was a Congressional hearing in which Ashcroft admitted there was nothing material against the Muslims being held, but that he looked upon them “as pieces of a mosaic” and that some patterns will emerge from them. Nothing ever did, but most of the Muslims held, had their lives destroyed in the time they were “detained”, some for years, without charges or trials. They lost jobs, finances, their homes and in some cases, even their marriages.

There was mourning across the nation and across the world. In Muslim-majority countries, people marched in support of the victims and condemned the terrorist actions of the people. With tears in their eyes, Muslims were seen showing solidarity with the American victims.

Muslims mourning 9-11

In the US, there were efforts to compensate victims, memorials were built. It was as if Muslims did not exist as humans, Muslim survivors of the attacks were denied support in the face of the solidarity shown to other victims of 9-11. It was as if Muslims could not exist among the virtuous; only among the evil ones. Even newspaper cartoonists ignored Muslims as among the innocent. We were never recognized.

No Muslims

Radio talk shows and TV programs pivoted to focus on Muslims and Islam as the focus of all evil, even school books were re-written to show Islam and Muslims in as terrible a picture as possible. The FBI planted paid “informants” in Mosques and other Muslims communities, who were actually agents provocateurs tasked to find vulnerable, impressionable Muslims, incite and motivate them to violence so they could then be arrested by the FBI with great fanfare. A massive industry was born, with the sole goal of proving Islam and Muslims to be evil, but done disguised as “Anti-Terrorism Training”.

“Islam=Terrorism”

The nation’s Police sucked it up; there were no safe places in America to be a Muslim. Even many Churches and Synagogues got into the act, venting their hatred against Islam and Muslims by inviting self-declared “experts” on Islam AND Terrorism, to explain to their congregations why a Muslim cannot possibly be a good American. Targeting us Muslims, still remains a good source of fundraising for many of them.

Personally, I had people call me all sorts of names, “traitor” being the least of them. I was accused of being “a Sleeper-cell leader”, an “Islamist”, “Terrorist”, “Terrorist Sympathizer” and that I belonged in Gitmo. Friends turned against me, joining the accusations of being a terrorist, one threatened me with implied shooting claiming, HE was afraid for his family from me. There were other incidents where people threatened to shoot me just because I am Muslim. It became so serious that I feared someone would shoot at me while I was in the car with my kids. I was pretty sure they would miss me but I was equally certain they may injure or kill my children. I proceeded to train my 11 year-old daughter and my 7-year old son to unbuckle and fall on the van’s floor if I yelled, “Get down!”. I almost purchased a gun to protect my family then reason prevailed and I decided not to join the gun-nuts. Most Muslims went quiet, dressed more “American”, they lived in constant fear for themselves and their families, not from the local civilian, but from the agencies such as the FBI, The Police and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Not far behind them were other agencies, even the USDA (Department of Agriculture) got in on the Muslim-hunting game. For the same “crime”, Muslims were imprisoned for as many as 17 years, while non-Muslims doing even more, were praised for their heroic work.

The chronicles of individual attacks and humiliations to Muslims are so many that it would take books to write them. But this should suffice for now.

Today, on the 20th anniversary of 9-11, it is time to rip off the collective scab of the pain of the attacks and feel it afresh; that is the patriotic thing to do. In the meantime, one might assume that targeting of Muslims, the persecutions and the hate-industry would have finished by now, sadly, not so. Bush Jr, opened the gates and lit the fires of Islamophobic hate, making it a Across America, Anti-Semitism has been declared a hate-crime, racism against Blacks has been declared a crime but Muslims have to beg to get the Police or the FBI to recognize violence against Muslims as such. Islamophobia has yet to be even defined; it is met by an indulgent shrug.

In my own country, agencies and administration still consider me to be “The other”.

Today in America, it is a mark of patriotism to target Muslims, Obama did not move the needle down. Trump actively fueled it, generating active hate towards Blacks, Muslims and everyone from, as he termed it, “Shithole countries”. Biden has yet to show any signs that he recognizes the threat to Muslims.

September 9, 2021 Posted by | FBI, Islam, Islamophobia, Muslims, Terrorism, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oh, the ever-arrogant French!

French President Emmanuel Macron is proposing legislation to “protect” the “French identity”. His proposals supposedly aim to oppose “religious separatism” such as (of course!), “Islamic Separatism”.

The rhetoric has mass-appeal…elections in France are not far…because only the most naïve would believe people other than Muslims are the targets in spite of the insistence that “White separatists” are also targeted. “Secularism is the cement of a united France” insists Macron but in France as in other countries, “United” means abandoning your own faith and cultural identities to become on with the majority identity.

Among the measures proposed include money allocated to help control “Islamic separatism”, mosques will be placed under local government control, imams will be required to be trained and certified in France, bar foreign imams, increase surveillance of organizations suspected of “Separatism”, ban foreign funding of mosques. There is also a €10 million funding for teaching Islam and Islamic civilization.

Some aspects of the proposed legislation can be for the good. Imams must understand other faiths as well as other Islamic sects in order to better minister to their own congregations; mono-theistic faiths are NOT outside of Islam as defined in the Quran and mono-theistic faiths are more than just the three Abrahamic faiths (Islam Christianity and Judaism). The question is, are the other dominant faiths (Catholicism and Judaism) also subjected to such rules in the Oh-so-secular France? Would they be required to also understand Islam in order to not spread false stories about Islam?
Of course not!

There are most likely, not enough locally-educated Muslim imams to fill the needs of the faithful in France. Would it not be reasonable to have imported imams undergo a six-month comparative religions education?
Placing Mosques under local control simply allows local governments to impose their bigotry on Muslims because the local governments would be setting the rules. Similarly, placing organizations that may be suspected of “separatism”, under surveillance is simply a fig-leaf for placing all Muslim organizations under surveillance.

The €10 million to teach Islam and Islamic civilization across France will barely make a dent on educating people, it is merely symbolic to show how sincere Macron is, instead, it shows as a shallow gesture.

What is “Religious Separatism” anyway? Muslims are neither in sufficient numbers nor in sufficient concentrations to mount a separatist movement. Why is France so paranoid about Muslims and not so much about other groups who are actually separatists within France?
Corsica for example, maintains its own language and has a largely autonomous identity. In spite of all these special treatments, there is an active separatist movement in Corsica. Provence has an active separatist movement. Brittany actually has a political party that aspires to the independence of Brittany. The Basques have been agitating for independence for a long time. The Alemannic-German speaking region has historically wanted to separate from France and join the Swiss Confederacy.

The French in France do not feel threatened by the REAL separatist movements of the above groups because those groups are still “Judeo-Christian”. No, the “Separatism” that the French fear is the creation of another religious identity in France…Muslims, who are neither “Judeo” nor “Christian”. It took France a long time to accept Judaism and Jews as French; the French had no problems with allowing the Nazis to truck away uncountable French Jews during WWII. But MUSLIMS are an entirely different, foreign, group that will not be accepted as French by the Judeo-Christians of France for a long time. France is more used to fighting the Muslims in colonial wars, colonizing them, exploiting them and then slaughtering them in mass numbers (as in Algeria) if they dared to demand freedom. True. Some Muslims have defiled the name of Islam by murdering some people in France, but how does that differ from other groups who did similar things but were Christians? French Jews and Christians are not forced to live in the squalor of ghettos like Muslims are. Jews and Christians are not denied jobs because of their faith like Muslims are. Muslims are persecuted, targeted and treated like less than humans, they are not permitted to wear what they feel, are religious symbols such as hijab. On the other hand, Orthodox or Hasidic Jews may maintain their markedly-different appearances and nuns may wear their hijabs.

Nuns at the French beach
French Police approach a sleeping Muslim woman
French Police force Muslim woman to remove Burkini

As if to justify their position that Muslims do not believe they are French, an IFOP poll  showed that 74% of French Muslims place their faith ahead of the French Republic . More like the FRENCH do not believe Muslims are French. Are there ANY devout faith-followers (Christians, Jews etc.,) that would place their God and their faith AFTER their country? I would pay to find such a poll among Christians or Jews.

The French have gone out of their way to fight Muslims when they should be fighting extremism and when they should be treating Muslims as equals in France. Helping Muslims feel they actually do belong in France, means recruiting Muslims in government jobs and promoting Muslim jobs in the private sectors, getting Muslims out of their ghettos and not banning their traditions that harm nobody. Once Muslims feel French, extremism will wither. Instead, France is seeking to hammer a mono-culture as French that is actually working like poison within its own body. No successful country today, can claim a mono-culture and any country that does (as many are) make a pretense of a “united”, mono-cultural, nation, is mired in internal divisions, there are no forced national identities. But France is too arrogant to understand or accept such a reality.

When colors work together Faig Ahmed Azerbaijan

October 2, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Low, How?

Sadly, the FBI’s published list of hate incidents only proves what Muslims have known for years; that law enforcement doesn’t see a problem with anti-Muslim incidents..

I see that in 2018:
  1. Anti-Arab incidents were only 82
  2. Anti-Muslim were 188 (item #1 probably included in item #2) … but …
  3. Anti-Jewish incidents were 835
This COULD mean there are more people hating Jews than there are people hating Muslims, it could also more likely, mean that offences against Jews are taken much more seriously than offences against Muslims. I am inclined to believe the latter because I have personally seen incidents that the local Police did not even dignify as a crime (bomb threat against Lynnwood Mosque?) so the threat was not even investigated and the FBI chief CT agent whom I knew, said it was nothing. The notorious triple-murder of three Muslim students on the East coast was minimized for the longest time, as murder because of a “Parking lot dispute” and only after national outcry, did they start to recognize it as a hate crime. I am not sure if even then, it was recorded as a hate crime. I could write a book listing anti-Muslim hate events just in one year, but this is only a brief article. I also know that Muslims have faced hate incidents but avoided reporting them because they did not wish to get the Police involved for fear the victim could get into trouble as it happened in one egregious case in Tacoma. Muslims in America live in dangerous times when our supposed protectors are our persecutors. Time and again, the Police has been found to be more interested in targeting Muslims than in treating us as equal Americans. Even respected media outlets use language that biases people against Muslims.

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July 14, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Can Deadly Have Humor?

As many know by now, a Christian Church bought an ad that was published by The Tennessean newspaper. The Ad said in part, “…on July 18, 2020, Islam is going to detonate a nuclear device in Nashville, Tennessee…

“Islam to Nuke Nashville”

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June 24, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

The un-citizening of Muslims

US citizenship refused to woman who joined ISIS.
This case hinges on the State Departments argument that they did not know about Ms. Muthana’s birth until AFTER she was  born and considered her to be covered by the exception to born a citizen rule until then:
“Ms. Muthana’s father, Ahmed Ali Muthana, was a United Nations diplomat from Yemen. Children of people with diplomatic immunity are not automatically granted citizenship despite being born in the United States. But Mr. Muthana was discharged from his diplomatic post shortly before she was born in 1994.
The United States government, however, said it was notified about that change in early 1995, after she was born, and stopped considering him covered by diplomatic immunity only then.”
Pretty persuasive argument BUT…facts become facts when they occur, they do not become facts only after someone has been notified of them. The US constitution is clear about her citizenship as was the US government because they issued her a US passport.

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November 15, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Always ISRAEL, never Palestinians!

The US house of Representatives passed H.R. 246 opposing economic actions against Israel by groups or organizations.

Our Congress is so deep in the pockets of the Blindly pro-Israel groups and lobbies that they dare not even look at a map of Israel without bowing. They are always voting for more money for Israel, more weapons for Israel but when they are asked to do something for the American people, they look blankly and ask, “Where is the money coming from?”.

Gutless Wonders who are only interested in maintaining their seats. They don’t even care about this country, they only care about their next election. Continue reading

July 25, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hitler’s Germany, Trump’s Amerika and my Neighborhood

Well, anti-Muslim hate has entered my own neighborhood.

Just yesterday, I was having an energized discussion with a dear friend who asked me about Pete Buttigieg’s Presidential run. I told him every Democratic hopeful (except for Bernie) is running to kiss the Israeli behind in spite of its genocide of Palestinians and to support the country blindly including Buttigieg and for me, that rules him out. We meandered to what is going on in the US and I said it is little different from 1933 Germany and heading towards a full-throated persecution of Muslims. I despaired of ever seeing Muslims come together and vote en bloc because that is the ONLY way we can scare the crap out of politicians; you can either buy Congress in the US or, bury it. My friend took umbrage at my comparisons of the US, Israel and Nazi Germany, he asked me if I had heard of any Muslim being gassed.

That’s one of the biggest problems. As soon as we draw comparisons between Nazi Germany, Israel and the US, people get all hostile, essentially saying how dare I draw an equivalence of the three. There does not NEED to be a carbon copy before we need to take a stand and compare where we or another country is heading. We Muslims don’t need to wait for eventual concentration camps or gas chambers before we may say, “Oh horrors! THIS looks familiar from history!”.

I am told to look at the other important achievements of the politicians instead to being a single-issues person. I AM concerned about other important things! I think things such as universal healthcare, universal and equal schooling all the way through universities, keeping the poor from being homeless and hungry are ALL important. But how important are they to me when I fear for the safety of my children and their future generations? Continue reading

June 18, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Banned by FB; Hate against Jews and Muslims

Well, I was locked out of FB for three days because after the summary beheading of 37 people and further crucifixion of six, I associated the House of Saud and their followers with a certain animal that Muslims and Jews don’t eat but Christians do.

It is interesting that my comments were deemed “Hate-Speech” but people are left free to hurl all kinds of insults at Islam and Muslims.

Lesson learnt; don’t be too specific in things that can be misconstrued.

On the subject of hate; over the past few days we have had one man who drove his car into a group of people he thought, were Muslims. We have also had another person who decided to strike against Amerika’s interests by shooting up a Synagogue. Continue reading

April 28, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Slaughtering Muslims the “Civilized Way”

The attacks on Muslims by Trump the Republican Party have echoes in the past and recent tragedies. This time, Rep Ilhan Omar is being used as the starting point for greater levels of Islamophobia.
Hitler worked on the Germans to launch his “Final Solution” against (mostly) Jews and slaughtered millions before he was stopped by Germany’s defeat. It is noteworthy that Germans were forced into silence, acquiescence or support. The “Allies” were not interested in stopping the extermination, they were interested in maintaining their empires without the growing threat of the Japan-Germany alliance.

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April 15, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christchurch Vigils, Opportunities For Some

In the aftermath of the brutal shootings in which 50 Muslims were murdered in Christchurch, New Zealand, vigils were held all over the world. People gathered, generally at Mosques to show support and fellowship, people left flowers at entrances to Mosques. The upsurge of sympathy and support was almost overwhelming for most Muslims including myself. It was disappointing that our local imams could not gather their wits enough to tailor their sermons around the murders and help their congregations try to figure out what to do about all this Islamophobia. Even today, over a week after the murders, Imams do not have the nerve or the wits to talk about the murders.

Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) did organize a gathering  for people of all faiths and persuasions, to mark their support with their presence. I got there a little early and even so, was confronted by crowds of people coming into the auditorium. To my surprise, there were some snacks also available. On such gatherings, I am always delighted to meet some friends I have not met in ages; people I love but Life does not permit an intersection of our paths. This was such an event as well but it was so well-attended that I could not meet as many people as I had hoped, some I saw from a distance only.

The evening began with recitation of passages from the Quran followed by words of support and sympathy from some faith-leaders and politicians. I saw many I knew including some with whom I had cordial relations, almost every faith was represented. It was a fine demonstration of support.

I noted a few politicians who were very clear about condemning what had happened in New Zealand but were absent and silent when Muslims were being persecuted right here in Washington State. Continue reading

March 23, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment