Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

New Jersey School District Teaches Islam But Censors Christianity

New Jersey School District Teaches Islam But Censors Christianity
February 21, 2017 by AARON BANDLER

A New Jersey middle school has no problem teaching Islam to its students, but has censored students for bringing up the Bible.

Two mothers spoke up about their children’s experiences in at a Chatham Board of Education meeting in February. One of them, Nancy Gayer, voiced displeasure that her son’s fourth grade PowerPoint presentation from years ago was shut down because it briefly cited a line from the Bible in advertising for his efforts to gather gloves and hats for poor children. Gayer said that the teacher told her son that it “belongs in Sunday school, not in the classroom” and proceeded to claim that the computer wouldn’t allow the presentation to be shown to the class.

Gayer then took the matter to the school district, but the superintendent told her that the teacher’s actions were correct due to the district’s policy of prohibiting “proselytizing” in the classroom.

The line from the Bible her son cited was, “Caring for the poor is lending to the Lord, and you will be well repaid.”

However, this same standard apparently does not apply to Islam, as Gayer pointed out that her son is being taught about the intricacies of the religion in a seventh grade class at Chatham Middle School, including being shown a video explaining the Five Pillars of Islam that featured lines like “Allah is the creator of everything, the one true God.”:

“In my opinion, I call this proselytizing, for by definition of this word it means convert or attempt to convert from one religion, belief or opinion to another,” Gayers said.

Another mother, Libby Hilsenrath, echoed Gayers’ sentiments, pointing out that the seventh grade class went into detail about the various aspects of Islam, but did not teach Judaism and Christianity. She also brought forth further course material that could be seen as proselytizing for Islam, which included a video providing an introduction to Islam that quoted excerpts from the Koran such as “And they say: Be Jews and Christians, then ye will be rightly guided. Say (unto them, O Muhammed) Nay, but (we follow) the religion of Abraham, the upright, and he was not of the idolators” and “Lo, we have sent thee (O Muhammed) with the truth, a bringer of glad tidings and warner.”

However, the superintendent, Michael LaSusa, refused to eliminate the course because “it is part of the New Jersey curriculum core content standards to teach students about the various religions of the world.” He also refused to meet with Gayers and Hilsenrath.

Gayers and Hilsenrath have since been smeared as Islamophobic by various people in the area.

“We were labeled as bigots immediately following the Board of Ed meeting in an op-ed,” Hilsenrath told Fox News host Tucker Carlson, “and then all over Facebook with people who knew us or didn’t know us. Xenophobic, Islamophobe, I mean it went as far as the KKK, which I don’t know what that has to do with this.”

“Unfortunately I was stared down at a grocery store too,” Gayers added, “and I believe I was in the express line with just 10 items but yet I was still stared down. It was pretty unnerving.”

The op-ed that Hilsenrath referenced was a letter to the editor on Tap Into Chatham by resident Susan O’Brien, who called Gayers and Hilsenrath’s concerns as  “at worst veiled bigotry and at best sad and ignorant.”

“I believe that ignorance breads fear and fear breeds hatred; the more we understand about other cultures and religions the better we are equipped to deal with the issues we face in today’s world,” O’Brien wrote.

O’Brien did not attend the Board of Education meeting and nowhere in her letter did she address the glaring inconsistency of the district’s religion in the classroom policy.

As the mothers have pointed out, there is nothing wrong with being taught about the intricacies of world religions, but it’s a problem when only one religion is being taught and not others, especially when a presentation featuring a brief line from the Bible was shut down. In today’s politically correct society, voicing such concerns has resulted in Gayer and Hilsenbrath being “verbally bullied” and as smeared as “bigots,” as Gayers said in a press release sent to the Daily Wire.

The mothers’ speeches at the Board of Education meeting and their appearance on Carlson’s show can be seen below:

bias, bigotry, censorship, christian, corruption, culture, diversity, education, elitism, ethics, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, islam, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, relativism, religion, scandal, theology, video

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Did the Obama admin discriminate for job positions based on race or religion?

original article: LEAKED: Obama Team Kept List of Muslims For Top Jobs, Excluded Non-Muslims
October 24, 2016 by Justin Caruso

The newest batch of John Podesta’s hacked emails released by Wikileaks shows Obama’s transition team kept lists of Muslim and Asian candidates for jobs in the administration.

According to an email chain from 2008, John Podesta received lists of exclusively Muslims and Asians to be considered for jobs in the Obama administration. The email chain revealed that in this process, Middle Eastern Christians were purposefully excluded, or set aside in a separate list, with an aide writing,

In the candidates for top jobs, I excluded those with some Arab American background but who are not Muslim (e.g., George Mitchell). Many Lebanese Americans, for example, are Christian. In the last list (of outside boards/commissions), most who are listed appear to be Muslim American, except that a handful (where noted) may be Arab American but of uncertain religion (esp. Christian).

Also notable, there was concern that some of the Muslims suggested would not survive media scrutiny, with one aide writing, “High-profile Muslim Americans tend to be the subject of a fair amount of blogger criticism, and so the individuals on this list would need to be ESPECIALLY carefully vetted.”

She continues, “I suspect some of the people I list would not survive such a vet — but I do personally know, at least in part, virtually all of the candidates in the 1st two categories (but I know very few of those listed for outside boards/commissions).”

Within the lists themselves, candidates were further broken down, with every candidate labeled by their nationality and sometimes race.

This follows a pattern of the Obama Administration using race and religion to determine hiring, with other leaked emails showing potential political appointees being labeled with an F for female, B for black, H for Hispanic, and M for Muslim.

Another Wikileaks release showed the Obama transition team keeping extensive lists of non-white candidates for administration posts.

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Does Pelosi think it’s okay to use religion as a guide for public policy?

original article: Pelosi: Democrats Do ‘the Lord’s Work,’ Republicans ‘Dishonor God’
January 24, 2017 by TYLER O’NEIL

In yet another example of moral narcissism and the liberal inability to understand conservative positions on faith, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared that her party, the Democratic Party, does the will of God while Republicans dishonor their Creator.

Of Republicans, the Democrat congresswoman from California declared, “They pray in church on Sunday and they prey on people the rest of the week. And while we’re doing the Lord’s work, ministering to the needs of God’s creation, they are ignoring those needs which is to dishonor the God who made them.”

Perhaps emboldened by Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change, Pelosi thus equated the climate alarmism and draconian regulations pushed by her party with a godly care for the environment. In doing so, she failed to understand that there are good reasons to doubt the “scientific consensus” on man-made global warming. She also failed to note that God’s care for “the least of these” can justify cutting regulations, which will unleash economic growth which helps the poor as well as the rich.

This is why Pelosi’s declaration that Republicans “prey on people” was important. By falsely equating free market policies with the kind of crony capitalism that leads to monopoly, Democrats argue that the Republican agenda enables the rich to harm the poor.

read full article

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Where culture, politics, and religion meet in America

original article: Tocqueville and Democracy’s Fall in America
January 19, 2017 by Samuel Gregg

For Alexis de Tocqueville, American democracy’s passion for equality was a potentially fatal flaw—one that religion could help address. But what happens when religion also becomes preoccupied with equality?

Over the past year, lots of people, I suspect, have been reading Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America (1835/1840) as they ask themselves how the United States could have found itself having to choose in 2016 between two of the most unpopular candidates ever to face off for the office of president.

Historical factors contributed to America reaching this political point. These range from profound inner divisions characterizing American conservatism to deep frustration with the political class, as well as preexisting philosophical, cultural, and economic problems that have become more acute.

Tocqueville, however, recognized that such problems are often symptoms of subterranean currents that, once in place, are hard to reverse. A champion of liberty, Tocqueville was no determinist. He nevertheless understood that once particular habits become widespread in elite and popular culture, the consequences are difficult to avoid. In the case of democracy—perhaps especially American democracy—Tocqueville wondered whether its emphasis on equality might not eventually make the whole thing come undone.

The Passion for Equality

When Democracy in America’s second volume appeared in 1840, many reviewers noted that it was more critical of democracy than the first volume. In more recent times, Tocqueville’s warnings about democracy’s capacity to generate its own forms of despotism have been portrayed as prefiguring a political dynamic associated with the welfare state: i.e., people voting for politicians who promise to give them more things in return for which voters voluntarily surrender more and more of their freedom.

This very real problem, however, has distracted attention from Tocqueville’s interest in the deeper dynamic at work. This concerns how democracy encourages a focus on an equality of conditions. For Tocqueville, democratic societies’ dominant feature is the craving for equality—not liberty. Throughout Democracy in America, equality of conditions is described as “generative.” By this, Tocqueville meant that a concern for equalization becomes the driving force shaping everything: politics, economics, family life . . . even religion.

Democracy’s emphasis on equality helps to break down many unjust forms of discrimination and inequality. Women gradually cease, for instance, to be regarded as inherently inferior. Likewise, the fundamental injustice of slavery becomes harder and harder to rationalize.

At the same time, as Tocqueville scholar Pierre Manent has observed, democracies gravitate toward a fascination with producing total equality. Democracy requires everyone to relate to each other through the medium of democratic equality. We consequently start seeing and disliking any disparity contradicting this equality of conditions. Equality turns out to be very antagonistic to difference per se, even when differences are genetic (such as between men and women) or merited (some are wealthier because they freely assume more risks). But it’s also ambivalent about something that any society needs to inculcate among its members: virtue.

The idea of virtue implies that there are choices whose object is always good and others that are wrong in themselves. Courage is always better than recklessness and cowardice. But language such as “better than,” or “superior to” is intolerable to egalitarianism of the leveling kind. That’s one reason why many people in democratic societies prefer to speak of “values.” Such language implies that (1) all values are basically equal, and (2) there’s something impolite if not downright wrong with suggesting that some purportedly ethical commitments are irrational and wrong.

But in such a world, who am I to judge that some of the values espoused by, say, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, or any other political figure for that matter, might reflect seriously defective evaluations of right and wrong? All that would matter is that “they have values.” The truth, however, is that democracies don’t need “people with values.” They require virtuous people: individuals and communities whose habits of the heart shape what Tocqueville called the “whole mental and intellectual state” of a people as they associate together, pursue their economic self-interest, make laws, and vote.

The Religion of Egalitarian Sentimentalism

At the best of times, living a virtuous life is difficult. This is especially true when a fixation with equality makes many people reluctant to distinguish between baseness and honor, beauty and ugliness, rationality and feelings-talk, truth and falsehood. Much of Democracy in America consequently seeks to show how democratic societies could contain their equalizing inclinations.

Some of Tocqueville’s recommendations focus on constitutional restraints on government power. He understood that the political regime’s nature matters. But Tocqueville also believed that the main forces that promoted virtue, and that limited the leveling egalitarianism that relativizes moral choices, lay beyond politics. In America’s case, he observed, religion played an important role in moderating fixations with equality-as-sameness.

Tocqueville didn’t have just any religion in mind. He was specifically concerned with Christianity. For all the important doctrinal differences marking the Christian confessions scattered across America in Tocqueville’s time, few held to relativistic accounts of morality. Words like “virtue,” “vice,” “good,” and “evil” were used consistently and had concrete meaning.

Christianity did underscore a commitment to equality insofar as everyone was made as imago Dei and was thus owed equality before the law. This conviction helped to secure slavery’s eventual abolition. Nevertheless Christianity in America also emphasized another quintessentially Christian theme: freedom—political, economic, and religious. In the United States, the word “liberty” wasn’t associated with the anti-Christian violence instinctively linked by European Christians with the French Revolution.

Religions, however, aren’t immune to the cultures in which they exist. So what happens if a religion starts succumbing to the hunger for equalization that Tocqueville associated with democratic ways? Most often, such religions begin abandoning their distinctiveness, as self-evidently false propositions such as “all religions are the same” take hold. Truth claims and reasoned debate about religious and moral truth are relegated to the periphery. Why? Because trying to resolve them would mean affirming that certain religious and moral claims are false and thus unequal to those that are true.

When Christians go down this path, the inevitable theological void is filled by a sentimentalism that arises naturally from egalitarianism. God is condensed to the Great Non-Judge in the Sky: a nice, harmless deity who’s just like us. Likewise, such Christians increasingly take their moral cues from democratic culture. The consequent emphasis on equality-as-sameness doesn’t just mean that liturgy and doctrine are reduced to inoffensive banalities. The horizons of Christian conceptions of justice also shrink to the abolition of difference. The truth that many forms of inequality are just, including in the economic realm, is thus rendered incomprehensible. In the end, Christian confessions that embrace such positions collapse into pale facsimiles of secular egalitarianism and social justice activism.

A Fatal Combination?

These religions are incapable of performing the role that Tocqueville thought was played by many religious communities in the America he surveyed in the early 1830s. Of course, the object of religion isn’t to provide social lubrication. Religion is concerned with the truth about the divine, and living our lives in accordance with the truth about such matters. However, if religion ceases to be about truth, its capacity to resist (let alone correct) errors and half-truths such as “values-talk,” or justice’s reduction to equality-as-sameness, is diminished.

There’s no shortage of evidence of just how far large segments of American religious opinion have drifted in this direction. We have political operatives demanding, for example, “a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church”—as if the dogmatic and doctrinal truths proclaimed by a 2000-year-old universal church should be subordinated to a twentieth-first-century progressive American conception of equality. Plenty of older Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox clergy offer political commentaries that owe more to John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice than to C.S. Lewis, Aquinas, the Church Fathers, or Christ. For many American Jews, Jewish faith and identity is the pursuit of progressive politics. Such religions cannot speak seriously about virtue (or much else) in the face of the relentless drive for equalization in democracy that so worried Tocqueville.

Politics is clearly shaped by culture. Yet at any culture’s heart is the dominant cultus. America’s ability to resist democratic equalization’s deadening effects on freedom requires religions that are not consumed by the obsession with equality that Tocqueville thought might be democracy’s fatal flaw. For Tocqueville, part of America’s genius was that religion and liberty went hand in hand. In the next few years, America is going to discover whether that’s still true.

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Reclaim Christmas

Many of us have fond childhood memories of Christmas. That, above all, seems to be the reason Western culture continues in the typical Christmas traditions such as gift giving and tree decoration.

But these traditions are becoming somewhat of an oddity. It is increasingly common to see the word Christmas replaced with any number of substitutes, such as festivus party, holiday tree, seasons greetings, and more. That’s in addition to the retail worship Westerners engage in and the obsession with Santa Claus – really, why is Santa garb EVERYWHERE? With the leftward march toward a more pluralistic society we curiously find “pluralism” to mean religiously neutral rather than tolerant. Believing in Santa is okay, but believing in God is just too much for our enlightened society. But that is an oddity in itself: a religiously neutral push in a society that is not religiously neutral.

I’m not talking about the growing theophobic animus (though that is an issue worth discussing – check out what religious plurality looks like in Hong Kong, for example). I’m talking about those who want to practice Christmas traditions in a way that is honoring to the real “reason for the season” rather than fall prey to consumerism. I’m talking to those who want to focus on the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus, the Christ.

And that brings us to the rub. While most people say Christmas is about something noble like spending time with family, they act like Christmas is really about gifts. And that’s not the only contradiction involved here. On the one hand we hear about greedy businesses staying open at odd hours (even intruding into Thanksgiving day); on the other hand many completely ignore the fact that PEOPLE WILL SPEND THEIR MONEY AT THOSE TIMES! Businesses are open for business because they know people will shop.

No one is forcing people to go out and spend their money. But many people pretend the “evil corporations” are making them do it (probably because blaming corporations is easier than being honest). In my family we refuse to shop on Thanksgiving day. It’s not difficult at all. Some of us don’t go shopping on Black Friday either. If you can’t stop yourself from shopping on Thanksgiving day it’s you who has a problem, not “capitalism”.

The mass hysteria that happens in the Christmas shopping season is a problem. The tragic stories of greedy shoppers should be eye opening. Greed is a part of the Christmas experience, especially in the United States. But so is giving. (What could be more Christian than giving?) If we want to redeem Christmas how do we get away from the greed but keep the giving? After all, every year I hear someone say it is better to give than to receive. And that’s true. And a mentality of giving is much better for society than a mentality of getting.

A friend of mine had a great idea about this, one which you could try next year. It’s a different tack on giving, but we still get to give. Imagine instead of being gift-based, the giving can be service-based. Here’s how it works.

Everyone in the household (or extended family, or other type of group) take a few strips of paper. On each strip, write one request you would like someone to help you with. A one-time gift of service can be of almost anything – within tasteful limitations of course. It could be helping to rake the yard, or learning how to cook a special dish, or learning how to change the oil in your car, cleaning out the garage/basement, setting up that annoying tech thing you can’t get to work, or anything you would like someone to help you with. You choose, it’s your request – a one-time gift of service written so anyone around the house during this time of year could serve you.

We all have varying skill sets. So keep than in mind when writing your requests. Chances are at least one of them can be met by someone in the household. Instead of putting gifts under the tree you can decorate the tree with acts of service that others could give to you. Imagine colorful service requests adorning the tree, where the “gifts” you receive have meaning specifically for you, and avoiding the stress of the commercial cattle run of shopping. On Christmas day you search the tree for acts of service you can give to others – and you don’t have guess about what they might want.

And you can modify this idea to your liking. One physical gift plus the gifts of service might work for you and your family, or what ever variation you want. Keep in mind, though, the purpose of this idea is to move away from the “getting” or shopping frenzy and move into a “serving” frame of mind.

Remember when I said many of us have fond memories of Christmas? If you’re capable of reading this chances are you’re aware the Christmas season can be a painful time of year for many people. If you can make the time, think of gifts of service you could offer to others outside your home. The neighbor who lives alone, or that person dealing with a stressful situation, or the retirement home you never visit, or the soup kitchen.

Imagine how Western culture could be different with adults who grew up with a mindset of service rather than a mindset of presents. You can start a new tradition, one which builds a stronger community. Think about it over the next 12 months. You might find next year’s Christmas has more “Christ” in it than you ever imagined.

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Does Obama deny religious oppression happens?

We’ve seen people accused of denying racism exists merely for acknowledging the social progress we’ve fought for. We’ve seen people accused of denying black deaths at the hands of cops merely by acknowledging black on black crime is far worse. We’ve seen people accused of denying rape happens merely for acknowledging the many fraudulent cases of rape allegations were in fact fraudulent allegations. We’ve seen people accused of denying the climate is changeable merely for acknowledging the climate has been changing for as long as the planet has existed.

So please excuse me if, by the standards current in place, it seems to me President Obama denies religious oppression happens.

Obama to Christian Novelist Marilynne Robinson: ‘Folks Who Take Religion the Most Seriously’ Often ‘Suspicious’ of Others

Obama: What really concerns me are those “less-than-loving expressions by Christians”

Again Muslim terrorists murder people, Obama wants to defend Islam

There is clearly a different attitude taken by the Obama administration and liberals in general between Islam and any other religion. While mass murder is not only old hat for Islam but is currently increasing around the world, the Obama admin is more concerned about anyone who could be perceived as the political right.

President reserves judgement for Fort Hood assassin, but not for Cambridge Cop

DHS seems confused on terror threat at home

Are You An ‘Extremist’ According To This Definition?

Perhaps it is not that religious people are suspicious of people who are different from them. Perhaps they merely recognize the double standard and obvious Islamic sympathy being institutionalized in American culture. But, according to the current standards, to acknowledge this reality is tantamount to Islamophobia. And to acknowledge the blatant anti-Christian (but conspicuously absent anti-Islamic) bias in our increasingly gay-friendly society is tantamount to homophobia. Maybe anyone who finds themselves disagreeing with Obama on any issue has good reason to be suspicious.

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Say Goodbye to Bride and Groom in Florida

original article: Say Goodbye to Bride and Groom in Florida
September 28, 2015 by Michael Brown

N. T. Wright is one of the most world’s foremost New Testament scholars, a sober-minded man not given to extreme rhetoric. Yet when it came to the question of redefining marriage, Wright did not hold back, explaining how dangerous it is to change the fundamental meaning of words:

“When anybody—pressure groups, governments, civilizations—suddenly change the meaning of key words, you really should watch out. If you go to a German dictionary and just open at random, you may well see several German words which have a little square bracket saying ‘N.S.,’ meaning National Socialist or Nazi. The Nazis gave those words a certain meaning. In post-1917 Russia, there were whole categories of people who were called “former persons,” because by the Communist diktat they had ceased to be relevant for the state, and once you call them former persons it was extremely easy to ship them off somewhere and have them killed.”

He continued, “It’s like a government voting that black should be white. Sorry, you can vote that if you like, you can pass it by a total majority, but it isn’t actually going to change the reality.”

That’s why I have often said that once you redefine marriage, you render it meaningless.

It would be like saying a couple can now consist of five people, or a pair can refer to one item, or a tricycle can have two wheels.

Redefining those terms doesn’t change reality, and when it comes to marriage, if you don’t have the two essential components, namely a husband and a wife, you don’t have marriage.

Consequently, if you change the fundamental meaning of marriage, you change the meaning of husband and wife as well.

As I pointed out last year in an article entitled, “I Now Pronounce You Spouse and Spouse,” as England began to move towards redefining marriage, the Daily Telegraph reported that, “The word ‘husband’ will in future be applied to women and the word ‘wife’ will refer to men, the Government has decided.”

According to John Bingham, “Civil servants have overruled the Oxford English Dictionary and hundreds years of common usage effectively abolishing the traditional meaning of the words for spouses.”

In the government’s proposed guidelines, “‘husband’ here will include a man or a woman in a same sex marriage, as well as a man married to a woman. In a similar way, ‘wife’ will include a woman married to another woman or a man married to a man.”

So, a man could be a wife if married to another man (or not), while a woman could be a husband if married to another woman (or not), all of which begs the question: Why use words at all if they have utterly lost their meaning? It’s like saying that up is down (or up) and down is up (or down), while north is south (or north) and south is north (or south).

In the same article, I cited the Huffington Post, which reported that “California’s same-sex couples may now be pronounced spouse and spouse after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill [last] Monday eliminating outdated ‘husband and wife’ references from state laws.”

Not surprisingly, according to California bill AB 1951, birth certificates will have three options: “mother,” “father,” or simply “parent,” meaning that, in the case of two lesbians, one could be designated “father,” while in the case of two gay men, one could be designated “mother.” (The bill would also allow for three parents to be listed on the birth certificate, since there’s obviously a missing third party in the event of two men or two women “having” a baby.)

This means that we’ve come to a place of semantic insanity, a place where you can have male wives, female husbands, male mothers, and female fathers.

Do people really think you can just turn the world upside down without having any adverse effects?

In keeping with this social madness, the state of Florida recently changed its marriage certificates, removing the terms “bride” and “groom” and replacing them with “spouse.”

This goes hand in hand with other international trends. As I pointed out in 2011, “In Ontario, Canada, as a result of the legalization of same-sex marriage, all references to terms like husband, wife, and widow were removed from the law books in 2005. In Spain, birth certificates were changed from ‘Father’ and ‘Mother’ to ‘Progenitor A’ and ‘Progenitor B.’”

But of course!

That’s why principle #4 in my new book is: Refuse to Redefine Marriage, since, to repeat, once you redefine marriage, you render it meaningless.

The Supreme Court can gives its ruling; laws can be passed; public opinion can shift and turn, but that doesn’t mean we have to affirm it, participate in it or, God forbid, celebrate it.

But all is not lost. True marriage – natural marriage, marriage the way God intended it from the beginning (see Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:4-6) – will endure, while radically redefined marriage will undo itself.

I was reminded of this as I watched some baby dedications at a church service on Sunday, with the proud moms and dads holding their precious little ones in their arms: There’s no substitute for marriage and family the way God set it up, regardless of what Florida or California or England or Spain or Canada might say.

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Moderate imam reveals how radicals won battle for soul of Boston mosques

original article: Moderate imam reveals how radicals won battle for soul of Boston mosques
July 22, 2015 by Brooke Singman

A moderate imam who raised alarms more than a decade ago about a radical shift at two controversial Boston mosques he led for decades says he was ousted for his efforts by a local doctor whose son joined ISIS and replaced by a man now with the infamous Pakistani terrorist group behind the 2008 Mumbai bombings.

Imam Talal Eid told FoxNews.com that creeping radicalism put him increasingly at odds in the late 1990s with the board of directors of the Islamic Center of New England, where he served from 1982 until 2005. But when Eid, nominally in charge of the religious teaching at the center’s mosques in Sharon and Quincy, resisted, he was left in fear for his safety and eventually driven out by Dr. Abdul-badi Abousamra, at the time a prominent endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and president of the 1,500-member Center.

“At times, I was fearful for my safety,” said Eid, a former member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom who now runs a mosque in Toledo, Ohio. “When I would stand up for what I believed in, and there was a clash, you see how I could be scared.”

Abousamra, who has since moved to Doha and could not be reached for comment, was one of the Boston Muslim community’s most powerful and prominent figures in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In addition to being the center’s president, he was vice president of the Muslim American Society of Boston, which ran the Islamic Society of Boston, a Cambridge mosque that shared many members with those run by the Islamic Center of New England.

All three mosques have ties to a host of known and suspected terrorists, including Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the brothers behind the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing; Aafia Siddiqui, aka “Lady Al Qaeda,” the Pakistani woman and Usama bin Laden associate now serving an 86-year federal sentence; and, more recently, Usaama Rahim, the 26-year-old man killed by police last month after brandishing a knife and allegedly plotting to behead Boston cops.

Even as Abousamra was exerting a radical influence on the leadership of mosques he helped run, law enforcement authorities say his son, a Northeastern University graduate raised in the Boston suburb of Stoughton, was training in Middle Eastern terror camps, aiding Al Qaeda and plotting attacks on U.S. soil. Ahamad Abousamra left Boston for Syria in 2006 while under investigation for terror-related charges that would later lead to an indictment, and is now believed to be running ISIS’ social media operation.

While mosques around the nation have disavowed terrorism, with many leaders working with law enforcement authorities to report suspicious activity, the infighting at the Boston mosque described by Eid shows that behind the scenes, mosque leaders are not always on the same page.

When Eid was ousted from the center, it soon became clear which direction leaders wanted to go. He was replaced by Muhammad Hafiz Masood, an assistant imam who had been forced on him in 1998 by Abousamra and who was known for fiery sermons easily interpreted as promoting violence.

“This is when I started to fear for my safety,” Eid said. “I was pushing for one thing, and the board was pushing for something else, and I was alone facing them.”

A year after Eid left, Masood fled the U.S. after being arrested for visa fraud. He resurfaced in Pakistan, where he is now spokesman for the Pakistani terrorist organization Jamaat-ud-Dawah, a group founded by his brother, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. Saeed also founded Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani terrorist group behind the 2008 coordinated bombings in Mumbai that killed 164 and wounded hundreds more. Law enforcement sources say the two groups are one and the same.

Eid said he was not aware at the time of the radicalization of the younger Abousamra, which included a 2002 trip to Yemen where he trained at a terrorist camp with Massachusetts pal Tarek Mehanna. Abousamra fled to Syria in 2006, but in 2009 he and Mehanna were indicted on federal terrorism charges, including providing material support to Al Qaeda in Iraq – the precursor of ISIS – and an aborted plot to attack a suburban Massachusetts mall. Mehanna is serving a 17-year federal prison sentence.

Abousamra, a graduate of Northeastern University who grew up in the affluent suburb of Stoughton, is said to be a computer whiz who has risen to the top of ISIS’ media operation. He is rumored to have been killed in a recent airstrike in Syria, but the FBI, which has a $50,000 bounty on him, could not confirm that.

“Although aware of the reports, the United States government has not yet confirmed any change in the status of Ahmad Abousamra,” the FBI said in a statement to FoxNews.com.  “He will remain on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List until the time a confirmation in change of status is made.”

No one from the center’s current administration returned repeated requests for comment from FoxNews.com. While it is unclear whether the radicalizing impact of Masood and the senior Abousamra on the three Boston-area mosques lingers today, the non-profit organization Americans for Peace and Tolerance believes many of Masood’s supporters remain in leadership roles in the Boston Muslim community.

“There are many dots connecting Masood and his associates to terrorist activity in the city, past and present,” Americans for Peace and Tolerance Director of Research Ilya Feoktistov said. “With two ISIS-inspired terrorist plots thwarted in the Boston area in the past two months, the threat of radical Islamic terrorism to the city continues to grow.”

Eid stressed that the vast majority of Muslims at the Center’s mosques and at houses of worship throughout the nation attend for any other reason than to pray and reflect on the message of the Koran. It is up to leaders to ensure that moderate voices like his are not drowned out by the shrill calls to radicalism, he said.

“Do we need to wait for a tragedy to happen?” Eid said. “We need to allow more moderate Muslim voices so that life can go smoothly in our society.”

culture, extremism, ideology, islam, reform, religion, terrorism

Filed under: culture, extremism, ideology, islam, reform, religion, terrorism

HATE WINS: OREGON STATE ISSUES GAG ORDER AGAINST OPPOSING GAY MARRIAGE

original article: HATE WINS: OREGON STATE ISSUES GAG ORDER AGAINST OPPOSING GAY MARRIAGE
July 3, 2015 by John Nolte

In a sign of the overt fascism and religious persecution to come in the wake of a Left emboldened by the Supreme Court’s recent gay marriage ruling, a judge in Oregon has issued a gag order denying two Christian bakery owners from speaking out against same sex marriage.

“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation,” [Administrative Law Judge Alan] Avakian wrote.

The gag order is meant to stop Aaron and Melissa Klein from publicly speaking out about their desire to not bake cakes for same sex weddings. The State’s order came after the Kleins were interviewed by the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, and after the State fined the Kleins $135,000 for “emotional damages” incurred by a lesbian couple after the Kleins refused to bake their wedding cake.

That this kind of fascist oppression was always the endgame in the Left’s push for same sex marriage, was apparent to anyone familiar with the Left’s tactics.

The push for same sex marriage was always nothing more the Left’s sheep’s clothing in a crusade to destroy Christians and the Christian Church.

By adhering to the word of God, the Left will label Christians bigots and haters, and use the power of boycotts and the State to punish and silence us.

Now that gay marriage is the law of the land, the gay-pride flag will become the fascist banner under which any Church that doesn’t perform same sex marriages will be dismantled piece-by-piece. The tools used by the Gaystapo will include coordinated hate campaigns in the media, as well as political campaigns aimed at removing the Church’s tax exempt status.

Christians and conservatives who never believed this could happen are part of the problem.

1995: We don’t want marriage, just civil unions.

2005: Our marriage won’t affect your rights.

2014: Bake me a cake, or else.

2015: Your opinion against same sex marriage is illegal.

Moreover, it is not discrimination to not want to be forced by the State to participate in and profit from what Christians correctly see as the sacramentalization of sin, which is what a same sex marriage ceremony is. Christians believe our very soul is at stake.

Besides the State, the true bigoted oppressor here is the fascist lesbian couple demanding Christians be silenced by the State, but only after demanding the State force a small business owner into celebrating their marriage.

Oh, and happy Independence Day.

abuse, anti-religion, bias, bigotry, bullies, censorship, civil rights, constitution, corruption, culture, discrimination, diversity, elitism, extremism, first amendment, free speech, government, hate speech, homosexuality, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, justice, left wing, liberalism, litigation, nanny state, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, public policy, relativism, religion, scandal, tragedy

Filed under: abuse, anti-religion, bias, bigotry, bullies, censorship, civil rights, constitution, corruption, culture, discrimination, diversity, elitism, extremism, first amendment, free speech, government, hate speech, homosexuality, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, justice, left wing, liberalism, litigation, nanny state, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, public policy, relativism, religion, scandal, tragedy

Student Bullied by Anti-Religious Hostility at University of Wisconsin

original article: Student Bullied by Anti-Religious Hostility at University of Wisconsin
June 24, 2015 by Liberty Counsel

Baraboo, WI – Liberty Counsel demanded the University of Wisconsin reverse its professor’s viewpoint discrimination and open hostility toward religion that occurred when Professor Annette Kuhlman threatened her student, Rachel Langeberg, with a failing grade for a group project unless she removed a Bible reference from a class presentation at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County.

When reviewing Langeberg’s sociology group project, Professor Kuhlman wrote, “…the University of Wisconsin is a secular institution. Religious contemplations and the bible [sic] belong to a different realm and not academic sources. So your argumentation along Christian lines, including the slides you designed in relation to it, are [sic] inappropriate for this presentation. I will not allow you to present unless you change this. You will also fail your presentation if your discuss religion in connection with it.” After Ms. Langeberg tried to resolve the matter by meeting with the professor and Dean Tracy White, to no avail, she contacted Liberty Counsel.

“Dr. Kuhlman’s review crossed the line from scholarship to censorship,” said Liberty Counsel Attorney Richard Mast. On numerous occasions, the Supreme Court has upheld students’ First Amendment rights in the public schools. The Constitution does not “require complete separation of church and state; it affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any.” Lynch v. Donnelly. Moreover, “teachers must be sensitive to students’ personal beliefs and take care not to abuse their positions of authority.” Farnan v. Capistrano.

“Students do not lose their First Amendment rights when they sign up for classes at the University of Wisconsin,” said Mast. “It is blatantly unconstitutional to restrict student religious speech or threaten a failing grade for religious content, where the speech or content is otherwise academically appropriate for the assignment,” Mast concluded.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

We need a separation between school and state.

abuse, anti-religion, bias, bigotry, bullies, censorship, christian, discrimination, education, first amendment, free speech, freedom, government, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, oppression, political correctness, public policy, relativism, religion, scandal, separation

Filed under: abuse, anti-religion, bias, bigotry, bullies, censorship, christian, discrimination, education, first amendment, free speech, freedom, government, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, oppression, political correctness, public policy, relativism, religion, scandal, separation

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