Monday, April 28, 2008

rev. jeremiah wright: a change is going to come / national press club

Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Speech on the theme "A Change is Going to Come" at the NAACP dinner in Detroit

Rev. Jeremiah speaking at the National Press Club (Parts I, II, III)

Some of the following clips (from the Q&A) are hilarious, but not politic. As Wright says over and over again, he's a pastor not a politician. My guess is that these appearances might help Rev. Wright's standing among those already disposed to like him. But in the long run, I don't think his comments will play very well among white voters who are on the fence about Obama.

On an unrelated note, I thought Rev. Wright's answer to the question on Islam was rather interesting:

MODERATOR: Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the father but through me.” Do you believe this? And do you think Islam is a way to salvation?

WRIGHT: Jesus also said, “Other sheep have I who are not of this fold.”

Given that Christian exclusivism was one of the major factors in my own rejection of Christianity, I occasionally wonder what my path would have been if I was brought up in a place like Trinity United.

It is actually a bit disheartening that some Christians will be upset with Rev. Wright because he is too inclusive for their tastes.

Jeremiah Wright Question/Answer at the National Press Club (Part I, II, III)

bill moyers and rev. jeremiah wright

Can I just say that I'm starting to hate Fox News? I mean, I already knew that I disagreed with their politics before ("fair and balanced" is really a joke) but I never really watched much of it until this past year. Now after seeing a couple of months of their election coverage I've been awed by their capacity and willingness to kidnap video clips from their proper context and hold them up for political ransom. I think Aaron McGrudder got it right when in the Boondocks episode, "Return of the King" he had an O'Reilly-clone accuse Martin Luther King Jr. of being an unAmerican. "Al-Qaedah-loving", "Commie-bastard." Given the way Fox has been responding to the preaching of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, it is easy to see that had King been alive today, Fox would go after him with a passion.

In contrast, to hear Rev. Wright speaking about his beliefs, Trinity United's mission and the recent scandal from his own perspective, check out his interview with Bill Moyers at: PBS: Bill Moyers Journal (Rev. Jeremiah Wright) Part I , Part II (transcripts also available)

see also:
there is nothing wrong with rev. wright
jeremiah wright and the black church
actions speak louder than words: rev. jeremiah wright, a true patriot
prophetic and civil religion
the cross and the lynching tree
more from zaid shakir

Sunday, April 27, 2008

addressing deficiencies in the islamic da'wah to latinos

Also from the Ahl al Hadith blog: From One Muslim To Another (To Khalil Pr): Addressing Deficiencies In The Islamic Dawah To Latinos After giving a brief history of early dawah efforts among Latinos, Abul-Hassan gives a number of suggestions for future efforts:

Outreach in the Latino community must address a variety of areas.

1.] It must address the problem of education in the Latino community. So dawah should address education for social mobility and for understanding Islam.

2.] Dawah efforts should focus on empowerment (economic) more than cultural identity and this is inter-related to what was just said.

3.] Dawah must be a call to what is agreed upon in Islam before what is disagreed upon

4.] There should be a strong focus in teaching how to read the Qur’an and Quranic memorization and the importance of ibadah

5.] Dawah should address family life and how to build a family and deal with nom-Muslim relatives

6.] Dawah should address the problems of identity so we need counselors to be there for new Muslims

7.] Dawah should address the need to build leadership in the Latino community

8.] Muslim Latinos must be taught to be a part of the larger Muslim community and how to deal with what that entails.

9.] Dawah should encourage people to be self motivated and to have a relationship with scholars

mexico's indigenous community converting to islam

Thanks for the heads-up from Ahl al Hadith

Saturday, April 26, 2008

two different models of inclusion

It is an interesting coincidence that these stories came out within a few days of each other. Together they show how the Nation of Islam and the ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed are both seeking to be more inclusive, but in very different ways:

Nation of Islam group reaches out to Latinos
Muslim leader urges shift from black theology

Friday, April 25, 2008

whatever happened to the league of the black stone?

I've been curious about the League of the Black Stone for a while now (since before I started to blog) so it is good to finally get an update. But I'm a bit skeptical about how their agenda can survive unless it has an organization to push it forward.

laughing lions
the forbidden dialogues

Thursday, April 24, 2008

cheikh lo

I'm going to have to check him out the next time I go to a CD store. Muslically, he performs African music tinged with Cuban sounds. Spiritually, he is a member of the Senegalese Sufi order known as Baye Fall Sufi (sometiems called "Muslim Rastas").

Myspace: Cheikh Lo
catching up

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

latino / "middle eastern" and the 2004 election

Elenamary's recent post Latino/”Middle Eastern” has multiple levels to it. On the one hand it's about how "we all look alike". On the other hand it gives a new 'complexion' to the fishiness around the 2004 US Presidential election.

illegal mexican immigrant or islamic terrorist?
yup, we definitely all look alike
post 9/11 blues

more on mccain's racially problematic politics

So in addition to the laundry list I included in my last McCain post (see mccain, racism and religious bigotry) I should have also mentioned McCain's support for George Wallace's son (who has links to the hate group, The Council of Conservative Citizens) and McCain's persistent opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1990. Election Day will be soooo much scarier than Halloween this year.

McCain's Southern Strategy
Stop John McCain 2008: Racism
Is John McCain a Racist?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

“i look black, but i’m latino, too and we have to realize that this is divide and conquer being repeated."

The Final Call: Fear of a Black-Brown race war in Los Angeles by Charlene Muhammad
While law enforcement, politicians and community activists spar over whether recent gang-related shootings should be officially classified as race-related and investigated as hate crimes, community and peace activists say tensions between Blacks and Latinos continue to escalate, building anger, distrust and above all, feeding right into the hands of a common enemy of both communities.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

mccain, racism and religious bigotry

I don't want to casually throw around the accusation that McCain is a racist, but between his "gook" comment and initial non-apology, his "tar baby" comment, the "bomb Iran" song, his ambivalence on the Confederate flag, his vote against a federal Martin Luther King holiday, his attempt to rescind the King holiday at the state level, and given some of the questionable people he is choosing to associate with (e.g. McCain's Florida campaign chair Bob Allen, who was caught offering a Black undercover cop $20 for a blowjob and cynically blamed his behavior on the scariness of Black people, paleoconservative, as in pro-Confederacy, political consultant Richard Quinn, George "Macaca" Allen, who McCain campained for heavily in 2006, and several others) McCain has accumulated a pretty f---ed-up pattern of behavior around racial issues. Let's see if it will make any kind of difference with the voters.

The Real McCain on Race and Immigration
Democrats Repudiate McCain Surrogate's 'Tiger Woods' Comment
John McCain Has a Racist on His Campaign Payroll
Jon Stewart Slams McCain’s Racist, Hypocritical, Disgraceful FL Campaign Chair
John McCain's MLK Day: "Pandering" to the Racist Right
DNC: John McCain's Real Record on MLK Holiday
McCain on MLK Holiday
McCain's problematic race record
McCain uses term ‘tar baby’

Grenada and McCain
john mccain: "i hated the gooks. i will hate them as long as i live."
mccain: no you can't
mccain's spiritual advisor hates muslims and islam
should john mccain reject and denounce minister john hagee?

Friday, April 18, 2008

the family, hillary clinton and the religious right

I'm generally not given to conspiracy theories but apparently Hillary Clinton is a member of a rather secretive DC-based religious organization known as the Family (also known as The Fellowship, The Fellowship Foundation, or The International Foundation). The group was founded in 1935 by Abraham Vereide, a Norwegian immigrant and traveling preacher who had been working with the city's poor, and who feared that "socialist" politicians were about to take over Seattle's municipal government. Eventually the group changed its focus to working with the affluent and powerful and moved its headquarters to Washington D.C. The Family's politics tends to lean to the right, with a strong anti-Communist, anti-Union component. Over its history the group has included several Republican Congressmen and prominent businessmen in the oil and aerospace industries, and at the more extreme end, the group has included a number of Third World dictators, ex-Nazis, as well as some homegrown American fascists. (In some respects The Family makes me think of a version of Opus Dei which is American-based and Evangelical instead of Spanish-based and Catholic)

So one question I have is why a Christian organization would associate with such "unChristian" folks? Secondly, why would Hillary Clinton be involved in a group skewed THAT far to the right? Thirdly, is this story going to get as much attention as Obama's involvement with Wright?

Wikipedia: The Family (Christian political organization)
The Nation: Hillary's Nasty Pastorate
AlterNet: Meet "The Family"
The Atlantic: Hillary's Minister Problem
Mother Jones: Hillary's Prayer: Hillary Clinton's Religion and Politics
Harper's: Jesus plus nothing: Undercover among America's secret theocrats

Sunday, April 13, 2008

post colonial studies is the opiate of the people?

I'm not sure I agree with A Warning To Writers: Post-Colonialism As Opium by Ali Eteraz, but it is something to think about.

an "unusual" blend of cultures: mexican and black

Costa Chicans

Los Angeles Times: An unusual blend of cultures: Mexican and black is similar to other pieces I've linked to before. It seems like every couple of months I come across an article or webpage which touches on the communities of African-descent Mexicans who live along the coast. Personally, I think it will be a great day when the LA Times can do a story with the title: Duh! There are Black Mexicans

Friday, April 11, 2008

spain to senegal: stay home

In These Times: Spain to Senegal: Stay Home by Adrián Bleifuss Prados deals with the various Spanish responses to African immigration.

Other entires on Spain as a place of immigration:
is spain realy racist?
points to paradise
spanish immigration ploy: hire mothers

absolut aztlan


The above ad, showing Mexico's pre 1848 borders was shown on billboards in Mexico but has stirred up some controversy (and even drawn threats of boycotts) north of the Rio Grande.

Time: A Vodka Tonic for Mexico's Loss? by Joan Grillo

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

actions speak louder than words: rev. jeremiah wright, a true patriot

Counterpunch: Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a True Patriot by Lawrence Korb and Ian Moss thoroughly addresses the claim that Jeremiah Wright hates America or is somehow less patriotic than his critics.

latin america and the arab world: resistance and occupation

Progressive Podcast: Tariq Ali, author of Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope, delivers a lecture in Sydney, Australia entitled: Latin America and the Arab World: Resistance and Occupation on Hugo Chavez and the insights which the experience of Latin American leftist populism may hold for the Middle East.
A revolution is moving across Latin America. Since 1998, the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela has brought Hugo Chávez to world attention as the foremost challenger of the neoliberal consensus and American foreign policy. Tariq Ali shows how Chávez's views have polarized Latin America and examines the aggression directed against his administration. His lecture will guide us through a world divided between privilege and poverty, a continent that is once again on the march. The contrast with the Arab world could not be more striking. Here the resistance is divided and without the social vision required to unite a people.

the anti-imperialist left confronted with islam
Planet Grenada and Hugo Chavez
tariq ali

Monday, April 07, 2008

when is a christian not a christian?

Is it just me or does the media seem reluctant to describe the "polygamist sect" down in Texas as Christians? The group in question, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, are a splinter group of the Mormon Church which decided to stay polygamous when the rest of the church decided to ban the practice.

Religious Tolerance: Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Rick Ross' "Cult" Website: Polygamist Groups
Wikipedia: Polygamy

r.i.p. charleton heston (1923-2008)

In spite of the wildly conservative political turn he took later in life, I really liked Charleton Heston in Planet of the Apes (both old and new) and Soylent Green. Even Omega Man (based on the same novel as Will Smith's I am Legend) wasn't a bad flick. His performance in Bowling for Columbine... not so hot. Still, he will be missed.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

mccain - romney ?

A lot of people in the media seem to be speculating on the possibility of Mitt Romney as John McCain's running mate in '08. Personally, I think that would make the presidential race more entertaining in terms of "Grenada-esque" type of issues. Firstly, both McCain and Romney have been caught in gaffes involving the term "tar-baby". Secondly, in the wake of the way people have been talking about Jeremiah Wright, it would be interesting to have a national discussion about Mitt Romney's role as a missionary and a bishop in the Mormon Church during the period when the Church's policies were still clearly racially discriminatory. On the other hand, if a McCain - Romney ticket managed to capture the White House, then this whole situation would be significantly less entertaining.

On Sharpton and Mormonism:
when is a bigot not a bigot?

muslims against sharia? (part two)

For more impressions across the blogosphere about this odd group:

Phanari: The Secret Behind Muslims Against Sharia
Logan the Huge: "Muslims" Against "Sharia"
Dunner's: Sinking to a New Low

see also:
muslims against shariah? (sic)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

on a lighter note...

God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule
Christ Converts To Islam
FBI: Muslim Groups In U.S. May Be Developing Nuclear Families
Privileged Children Of Millionaires Square Off On World Stage
U.S. To Arab World: 'Stop Hating Us Or Suffer The Consequences'
CIA Unveils New Ghetto Drugs For '98
Metric System Thriving In Nation's Inner Cities
War-Torn Middle East Seeks Solace In Religion
CIA: Syria Harboring More Than 15 Million Known Arabs
Israel Bombs Anti-Semitism Out of Lebanon
Area Man Guesses He'll Learn The Difference Between Shiites And Sunnis
God Finally Gives Shout-Out Back To All His Niggaz
God Answers Prayers Of Paralyzed Little Boy 'No,' Says God
Jesus Demands Creative Control Over Next Movie
Portrait Of Nude, Bleeding Man Hung On School Wall
Well, I Guess That Genocide In Sudan Must've Worked Itself Out On Its Own

9/11 conspiracy theories 'ridiculous,' al qaeda says

muslims against shariah?

I found out about Muslims Against Shariah through some comments on my post: mccain's spiritual advisor hates muslims and islam

Oddly enough, even though the group claims to be run by Muslims, their membership also includes a few prominent Jewish Neo-con bloggers. Their manifesto suggests that the Quran has suffered from textual corruption and asserts that certain passages and entire surahs should be removed from the Quran. Their manifesto also defends the Bible and justifies the Crusades! I think that the group is basically a textbook example of how when some people say "moderate Muslims" they really mean "assimilationist non-Muslim". I normally don't "use" verses of the Quran this way but the group certainly makes me think of the ayat: "And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion" (2:120) Accepting their manifesto would certainly put one outside the pale of Islam under most typical definitions. Personally I think the goal of striving to improve and reform Muslim religious institutions is praiseworthy but I think it has to be carried out in ways which are much more respectful of basic Islamic principles.

Ali Eteraz: Misguided Muslim Reformists
The Freethinker: (Non-)Muslims Against Sharia
Madhab al-Irfy: Muslims Against Sharia – Satire or neo-Con crap-artistry?
FrontPage: Muslims Against Shariah
StormWarning’s Counterterrorism: Muslims Against Sharia (?)

see also:
examples of bad attempts to reform Islam
the trouble with irshad manji
"they plan and allah plans..."
willie lynch: the next chapter

examples of better attempts to reform Muslim societies:
deobandi scholars say terrorism is anti-islam
two by eteraz
progressive islam?

fruit of islam cause man to soil fruit of looms

Fruit Of Islam Cause Man To Soil Fruit Of Looms