Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Protest Stoning Executions

November 15, 2006

Samaha, one of my readers who has kindly assisted me with links and information regarding Islam and the American Muslim community,  has a Call to Action  .  Samaha is assisting with a formal protest of slated executions by stoning in Iran:

…….nine women and two men are under the threat of being executed by stoning. An action alert had taken place for two of the stonings, in which there has been a stay of execution and this month an urgent action alert has been issued for the other 7 women.

Most importantly, there is something that we can do and each and every one of us can do it, but needs to do it. It is of the utmost urgence that we flood email boxes with our letters and mailboxes with the same.

Please visit here to automatically email the Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei – Leader of the Islamic Republic and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – President. Their is a letter within the body allready. Everything is done for you.

Plainly, Muslims are campaigning against heinous actions carried out under the banner of their religion. This is also an opportunity for all of us to perhaps make a difference by utilizing the new media.


Reconsidering Jewish-Muslim History

November 15, 2006

I just read one of the best essays that I have ever clicked to on the Internet, Reconsidering Jewish-Muslim History by Salim Mansur.  Salim Mansur is an associate professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, and a regular contributor to the Toronto Sun and the Western Standard (Calgary). As an historian, and a person interested in assisting the Humanist Muslim community amplify messages of peace, I thought the material was excellent.

Space prohibits me from publishing the article in full, as I am tempted to do.  Let me extract a few of the many worthwhile passages:

First this:

In recent history Jews and Muslims have become strangers to each other even when they have inhabited the same space. Too often because of personal choice and circumstance hostility has eliminated respect and affection, a hostility that imprisons both sides. The present has come to define the past. The past that was once a treasure held in common is now lost to most on both sides, thus deepening their estrangement. It is rare that we now recall how much our ancestors learned from and grew with one another in their shared history.

I must confess I did not always see this estrangement as clearly as now, nor have I always felt the tragedy of this history as acutely as I do today. Our understanding of the world is conditioned by our living, and thus writing is always partly biographical.

The events of September 11, 2001, Arab-Muslim terrorists hijacking and crashing jetliners into buildings in America’s heartland made me rethink the basis of my thinking and living, writing and teaching regarding the politics of the Middle East, the world of Islam and its relationship with the West. That morning of 9/11, I along with so many of us was overwhelmed by the horror of the evil I witnessed. That night I went to bed unaware of how greatly changed would be my sense of the world on awakening. I soon realized that I was beginning to reclaim a history and meaning for my faith – Islam – that was obscured, if not deliberately erased by those in authority and those aspiring to replace them. A significant dimension of this history deals with Jewish-Muslim relations.

Then this:

In denying Jewish rights to a homeland in Palestine, Arabs departed from the path of righteousness and became mired in bigotry. This is the root cause of the problem in the Middle East, the bigotry of Arabs and Muslims towards Jews, and over the years the problem has worsened with Arab refusal to acknowledge the wrong done by them to Jews through boycotts, wars, and terrorism with the aim of defeating and eliminating Israel. It was to the credit of Anwar Sadat that he recognized the futility of Arab enmity against Israel, and then sought to remove its root cause by making his journey to Jerusalem for reconciling with Jews.

This man has a real message of peace. The entire essay is rich in history, fellowship, and calls for an attitude of responsibility for Muslims by Muslims (insteading of playing the victim card).  

The Ancient Egyptian Race

November 12, 2006

Hi! I have posted an essay, with theory, reviewing an issue that is debated among Egyptophiles — what was the race of the Ancient Egyptians? This appears in my second blog, which focuses on all things Egypt. I hope you enjoy it.

Islam Questioning Conservatives

November 10, 2006

I have had an eight-month dialog with fellow Conservatives on Islam, Muslims and their place in the Global War on Terror. I have come to share my assessment of the overall discussion, with the hope of sharing this perspective with Americans who follow Islam. I trust Muslim readers to offer advice, resources, and information that may permit me to change some hearts and minds in my side of the blogosphere.

In the discussions that I have had in chat rooms and websites, I think there are basically three sorts of Rightosphere posters. For simplicity, I will classify them according to constructs analogous to how this blog categorizes Muslims:

1) Humanist Conservatives – those who recognize there is a difference between terror-embracing Islamic extremists and the rest of the Islamic population. Though there may be some concerns about the percentage of extremists, these commentators do not consider all Muslims jihadists.

2) Anti-Islam Extremists – those who think each and every Muslim is a taqqiya talking, sharia-loving potential suicide bomber.

3) Islam Questioning Conservatives – those who have little experience with peace-oriented, tolerant Muslims but are essentially fair minded, and who also have rational and genuine concerns regarding the actions and true beliefs of Muslims.

My Muslim friends, it is with this third class that I need your help. The Humanist Conservatives are open to respectful dialog, honest friendship, and will provide helpful assistance to Humanist Muslims. Anti-Islam extremists will continually negate the existence of Muslims that don’t fit into their Jihadist mould, seek out information on Islam if very limited venues, and are quite beyond rational exchanges. It is the Islam Questioning Conservatives that we need to respectfully address. This post is an attempt to begin dealing with their justifiable concerns and their reasonable views.

I do not hesitate to admit that my personal and positive experiences with individual Muslims have influenced my comments. However, one of the aspects of Islamic discourse I have discovered, is that many fellow Americans have only dealt with the Islamic extremists and Wahhabi-embracing members of Islam. The Republican Party and Conservative movements have numerous current and former members of the military. These honorable servicemen and women, who sacrifice to protect our freedoms and liberties, have only met the anti-Western Jihadist fomenting terror and craving the complete conquest of the West.

One of these American servicemen is Jarhead, who has often expressed his distrust of Islam in our debates. Jarhead joined the Marines as a response to the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979 and is one of America’s Beirut Veterans. Jarhead wishes to note that some Americans have been aware of the threat of “Radical Islam” (to use the current phrase), along before 9/11 or the Global War on Terror. He writes:

Many Marines (and not all I do know), former and current active duty that I associate with, see ourselves as the wall that protects America from her enemies. In doing so, we have adopted the idea, we are individual bricks in the wall. It is our love of country, our duty, our mission in life, our honor to be a member of that wall. This is the mortar that holds us together. We see ourselves and all those who serve, as the watchdogs and yes even the guardians of freedom. If need be, we also are the point of the spear of “Force Projection”.

Unfortunately force does become necessary as we all know. We also think of it as the barrier to give people like yourselves and ‘celebrities’ like Ann Coulter the time to foster the open well mannered debate that hopefully will reach the compromise we all seek.

Now part of the attitude is that although we as a nation allow people to migrate into America, we also realize that our openness is an open door to our enemies. Therefore, we watch, and we mistrust, whether rightly or wrongly, to see if the migrant is an honest, wanting a better life immigrant, or here under false colors and means to do us and our way of life, our families and friends harm. In other words, there is a bit of the “guilty until proven innocent”.

I do not apologize for that. It is my country, and I swore an oath to defend her. Yes, I know that in today’s society, there are those that think of people who still regard their word of honor as binding and a noble cause, as anachronistic. So be it. We try to do it in an unobtrusive manner. And I would hope that we are honest enough that if one has proven to be the person we hope, i.e. an American, then the cloud of mistrust is removed. But this is an individual reward, not a blanket. Not all illegal aliens are bad people, but they are not all good either. I cannot yet say with any belief that there are any good muslims. I have seen no proof of anything other than the words do not match the deeds. After watching the presentation of Obsession on Fox News the other night, I see (thankfully) I am not alone.

Many Muslim readers could question whether Jarhead is really open to what they may have to say. Yes, he is open. For example, he has acknowledged an appreciation for the service and sacrifice of Capt. Kahn and condemned the killing of Mrs. Ansari in dialogs that I have had with him. The manner of his questioning may be direct – but you expect that of a Marine. However, he reads this blog and other items and is a target audience for American Muslims desiring to spread the message that there are peace-loving, religiously tolerant sects, clerics, and practitioners within Islam.

Jarhead, fellow Conservatives, and I tend to shun the politically correct approaches to dealing with hard issues (e.g., unquestioning acceptance of all views and minimization of the impact of personal responsibility). We prefer that individuals be judged solely on the content of characters and the nature of specific actions. Therefore, Jarhead highlights points worth addressing.

Basically, the only Muslims that Jarhead has regularly dealt with were shooting at him or planting IEDs in his travel route. Furthermore, broadcasts focused on the Global War on Terror display the toxic beliefs of Islamic fundamentalists and the populations that support them (or seeming unable to free themselves from terror domination). I can see why he wishes to treat practitioners of that faith with some caution. However, he is open to judging the actions of American Muslims fairly. Therefore, I think it behooves American Muslims to seriously consider the perspective of Islam Questioning Conservatives.

Being involved in regular dialogs with Conservatives, I am aware of several matters that are genuinely concerning for members of the Rightosphere.

1) How much funding to American mosques is actually provided by anti-Western, sharia-promoting Wahhabis?

2) Are American mosques being filled with Islamic extremists?

3) Are American Muslims different from European Muslims? To be honest, the Anchoress, whose views I respect, shares the following concerns (after her completion of Mark Styen’s new book, America Alone):

Right now, Europe is gone mad and is dying by its own hand. Unwilling to fight for itself, unwilling to breed, unwilling to give up on government dependence, Europe has looked around, realized that in 20 years she will be the conquest of ten million Mohammeds and she has decided to sit back and, like Edward G. Robinson in Soylent Green, listen to pretty music and look at the pretty flowers as she dies.

Eurabia is dawning, and nothing about that fact promises progress or stability. On the contrary, Eurabia will bring with it Shari’a. Eurabia will bring the undoing of those human rights gained over the last century – you know, the ones we keep hearing George W. Bush is “stealing” from us.

These are just a very small sample of the weighty questions presented by Questioning Islamic Conservatives whose views I respect. I try to address them, but am limited by time and experience. This is why I could use the assistance of American Muslims of goodwill, who decry terror tactics and embrace religious tolerance. New approaches, insights, resources and actions to acquaint others like Jarhead with a different face of Islam can assist us all in the Global War on Terror. Muslim populations tend to concentrate in specific, urban locales – the Internet and its information transmission is critical as a means for American Muslims of good faith to show another side of Islam to Jarhead and other Americans who won’t typically meet Muslims in the neighborhood market.

To fair to Islam Questioning Conservatives, it can be hard to discern the voice of Humanist Muslims. For example, American Muslim essayist Ali Eteraz, who is launching a new web community to promote the Humanist Muslim cause, is very unsatisfied with the level of productive and effective Muslim activism. He writes in History of AmeriMuslim Activism:

History of AmeriMuslim Activism:

    1961 – 1991

A: We desperately need a mosque. I really think our children are lost without a mosque.
B: Who will populate this mosque?
A: You and the children, of course.
B: And you?
A: I am a doctor.

    1991 – 2001

A: I really love those Palestinians. I really rage at seeing their suffering. I will not rest till they are free.
B: You are aware that other people suffer as well?
A: Yes, but they can’t get me on TV.
B: Idolator.

    2001 – 2005

A: Silence
B: Silence
A: We are the new Jews. Can I get some pity please?
B: You sir are an anti-Semite. Can I get on TV now.

I would encourage fellow Americans who follow Islam to reach out to Islam Questioning Conservatives. For example, brave some of the sites on the Rightosphere and attempt to engage in respectful dialog and demonstrate your presence. While it may be difficult to ignore the slings and arrows of insults shot by anti-Islam extremists, rational Muslims (who can retain composure) may be able to connect with someone with genuine concerns and open-mindedness — in other words, an Islam Questioning Conservative. That Conservative American might actually be willing to engage in meaningful exchange and consider source materials not authored by Jiahd Watch members.

I assert that to embrace blind, anti-Muslim rage is to play right into the hands of Islamic terrorists. Americans, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, must develop effective methods for promoting the message of Humanist Muslims and encouraging their views to prevail globally. I believe we are at the incipent stages of such planning.

Jarhead is the warrior; I am the diplomat. However, we are both fair minded people and relish the American principals of individual liberties and responsibilities. In the next week or so, I will be posting queries I have previously received from Islam Questioning Conservatives. Sometimes, we move forward best with small steps. Such dialog will hopefully give Jarhead and others like himself a new, positive experience members of the American Islamic community.

In conclusion, I would like to demonstrate how to distinguish between an anti-Islam extremist and an Islam Questioning Conservative for the benefit of my readers. As an example, here are two different types of dialogs reviewing the Alia Ansari murder I have experienced:

Anti-Islam Extremist:You’re a stupid moselem apologist. Their filthy religion is nothing more then a death cult, and this was probably an honor killing. Good riddence, as it means that there is one less moselem spy spewing taqqiya. Haven’t you ever heard of “dhimmi”, you liberal moron?

Islam Questioning Conservative: While I am with you on catching this murderer and giving that person the maximum penalty allowed by law; I am not with you on the other. When Christian/Jews/Buddhists commit violence it usually is despite the fact that they are Christian/Jews/Buddhists, there just exists a level of violence which comes around since we are all flawed humans. However there is a much heightened level of violence in the muslim world and in countries (France, where hundreds of cars are burned every night by Moslems) because of Islam, in the name of Islam, and to further Islam. Just the facts, Ma’am.

Clearly, one group has the potential and ability to hear the message of terror-despising, religiously tolerant fellow Americans who follow Islam. Humanist Muslims must devise ways to reach them.

Always Low Prices and Always Low Pay?

November 8, 2006

In America, you have an excellent opportunity through capitalism to be a success. To a point, that is. After which, well our dirty little secret is that we don’t want you to be.

Witness the current piling on Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer and an American success story by anybody’s measure. I know. I was there to see the story begin.

Seemingly, everyone blames Wal-Mart for unfair success.  A variety of labor unions, the National Organization for Women, and the State of Maryland has found fault with everything from hiring practices to low pay to substandard health care benefits to not paying garment workers in El Salvador enough money for making pants that cost $16.95.*

Yet, in examining the truth about Wal-Mart, you find an interesting story regarding pay in America and the current debate about minimum wage.

average hourly wage for regular full-time associates in the U.S. is $9.68 an hour, almost double the federal minimum wage.

The argument gets more errant and more ineffectual with quotes like those in the recent book, “The Case Against Wal-Mart”, by Al Norman, which begins in Chapter One with the quote, “America has been invaded by WalMartians. They have successfully colonized the United States, and planted their flag in nine other nations”. [The Case Against Wal-Mart, copyright 2004 by Al Norman].

Seriously, has anybody been holding a tazer out and threatening you to shop at Wal-Mart or else lately? The only visible space ship I am seeing here is the one Mr. Norman is in.  Mr. Norman — the Mother Ship is calling you!

Wal-Mart’s benefits to their full-time employees are enviable. Employees in most stores are offered a choice between associates’ plans (group plans) and HMO’s. They have a variety of choices, among them dental, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, business travel insurance, and disability insurance. There is a available supplemental cancer insurance plan offered in addition to the comprehensive health care benefits available in the other plans. Wal-Mart even offers a limited medical plan to associates who are temporary or in an eligibility waiting period. Other benefits include an IRA/401K plan, an ESOP plan, incentive programs, a discount card, elective pay programs, and a free financial education benefit. All this and twice minimum wage as determined by the government. Who are we finding fault with again?

The Great State of Maryland has no problem with finding fault. You need only have assets they can tax, and they will fill in the blank, to-wit:

the State of Maryland has enacted its Fair Share Health Care Act. The new law imposes upon Wal-Mart (and effectively no other business in the state – for now) the legal duty to spend at least 8 percent of its payroll on health insurance or pay any shortfall to the state.

The Washington Post characterized the law as “a legislative mugging masquerading as an act of benevolent social engineering.”

We negotiate a slope worthy of Everest iced-in when we, as a capitalist economy, attempt to legislate to employers what to pay employees. Just as we can’t tell consumers where to shop (and they seem to have absolutely no problem doing just that at Wal-Mart), we can’t tell the free market where to work and for what pay and benefits. Such socialist hype means we hurt the competitiveness of the American worker and the shareholders of American corporations in the process.

One final point: if it were such a bad deal to work at WalMart, then why would over 25,000 Chicago-area residents apply for 500 positions in a newly opened suburban store?

I grew up in Rogers, Arkansas, where the first Wal-Mart store was constructed in 1962. I know a lot of millionaires and a number of other people living in very comfortable early retirement who did nothing more than go to work for Wal-Mart and take advantage of the benefits and pay offered. All-in, it looks as though wearing a blue vest is not that bad a deal.

Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends

November 7, 2006

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more (Henry V, Act III, Scene I).

As two Conservative women, Smart and I felt we should add our opinion into the Internet mix regarding tomorrow’s congressional elections. The first point I would like to make is that the Main Stream Media has been working diligently to depress the votes of Conservatives/Republicans. Via the Anchoress is this wonderful analysis of the Newsweek poll piffle from Sensible Mom:

As a media observer, and wary of polls put forth early and often from elite media eggheads, I reprint Sensible Mom’s analysis in full:

Newsweek’s latest headline based upon its most recent poll is that republicans are losing any momentum they built over the last few weeks. Besides a potential problem with using a general poll to extrapolate trends in individual races, the poll data shows an odd movement among independents. Here are the four most recent polls Newsweek has conducted (they are also available at PR Newswire if you type Newsweek into its search function).

In the most recent poll, the percentage of republicans interviewed increased as well as the percentage of republicans voting for republicans, so I wondered what would be dragging the republican numbers down in comparison to Newsweek’s prior polls.

What I found was that in the most recent poll independents’ preferences were broken down this way:

% voting for or leaning republican: 26%
% voting for or leaning democrat: 51%
% undecided: 23%

Compare that to the previous poll where the percentages were 34%, 39% and 27%, respectively, and you have the explanation for the “loss of momentum” as referred to by Newsweek.

I decided to compare Newsweek’s breakdown of independents’ voting preferences to the Washington Post polls conducted each day for a month prior to the 2004 Presidential election.

In the very worst case for Bush/Cheney, independents favored Kerry/Edwards by 15 percentage points with only 5% undecided. In Newsweek’s most recent poll, there’s a 25 percentage point variance with 23% undecided.

Now it could be that independents have become that opposed to republicans in the past week, but a 20 percentage point swing in one week seems extreme Also, I would have expected to see significantly fewer undecided independents than in prior Newsweek polls, as well, if that trend was really happening.

Over the last month the percentage point difference between independents choosing democrats and those choosing republicans has changed from 15 percentage points (10/6/06), to 10 percentage points (10/20/06), to 5 percentage points (10/28/06) and now to 20 25 percentage points – that seems like an anomaly more than a trend.

Newsweek should have dug a little deeper into their numbers to make sure that its poll passed the smell test. The number could be right, but if I were Newsweek, I would have asked my pollster to conduct another for comparison purposes before publishing the results.

Update (6:35 p.m.): Others: The Anchoress, Riehl World View, Big Lizards. AJ Strata reminds readers that respondents “when asked whether they will support their current congressman or not, it is 2-1 for the incumbents – meaning it is nearly opposite the generic question’s results.”

Update (11/5 10:33 a.m.): The Washington Post poll shows a completely different result, with its generic poll showing a preference between republicans and democrats differing by only 6 percentage points.

If you look at the detail of the WAPO poll, it has more republican than democrat respondents among likely voters while among registered voters there are more democrats than republicans.

AJ Strata noticed the WAPO poll, too, and also reports that ACORN is trying its hardest to offset the republicans’ momentum by filing fraudulent voter registration forms.

Update (10:52 a.m.): It is to laugh. Now MSNBC, momma of Newsweek, is acknowledging that the individual races are tightening up. They think they can have it both ways – the republicans are losing momentum at the same time the races are tightening. Hmmm. How does that happen? It happens when the media with its limited math curiosity use polls that appear to fit their mindset to frame issues. Generic polls aren’t predictors of individual races, particularly ones with badly skewed data.

Sensible Mom has the source documentation, and her thorough review is one with which I fully concur. This leads us to our main point of today’s post:

The only poll that counts is the one after the election tomorrow — so vote, vote vote!!!

And don’t listen to exit poll results, either (remember in 2004 that, based on the early results, John Kerry was winning the election by a landslide).

Smart thinks that the US House of Representatives will go to the Democrats. I assert that the Mainstream Media has so misread and miscalculated, that Republicans will prevail in contested races. She and I both hold good hope the US Senate will remain Republican.

But we both will vote. As a California Republican, I will await the results and hope the party does well in other states so that I can savor some form of success. Frankly, my prayers will be that Michael Steel, the outstanding senatorial candidate in Maryland, will be victorious. It is the one contest that truly has held my interest this year.

Once more unto the breach — then get ready for the 2008 extravaganza!

Mexican Chaos Underreported

November 4, 2006

Journalism intrigues me. In my practice and study of the art and science of news reporting, I have discovered bias and agendas are as much indicated with what is NOT reported, and sometimes more so, then what is reported.

Smart and I feel that social and political health is enhanced by economic stability. For example, much of the border security debate in this country has roots in Mexico’s economic woes. Corrupt politicians, drug cartel overlords, and ultra-socialist activists in that country combine to quash healthy and legal enterprises that would give Mexicans incentive to remain in their country.

Between John Kerry’s mouth, the upcoming congressional elections, and focus on the troubles in Iraq, several essential items about trivails in Mexico are going underreported. Below, I offer links to some of the developments in Mexico that Smart and I feel deserve some attention:

A Disaster in Oaxaca

With Be-headings and Attacks, Drug Cartels Terrorize Mexico

President-elect Felipe’s Calderon’s Difficulties with Obrador Supporters

We can’t understand the lack of more detailed media coverage. Smart and Isis encourage our Internet readers to keep informed on the current situation in Mexico utilizing the tools of the new media. These events are likely to impact us.

Honor to Have Been Nominated…

November 4, 2006

…..much less win. 

Smart and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Watcher’s Concil for taking notice of my small post, Isis’ Guide to Sensible Islam Posting.  Here is their statement:

The Watcher’s Council has announced its picks for the most outstanding posts of the preceding week. ….The winning non-Council post was Smart and Final Isis’s post, “Isis’ Guide to Sensible Islam Posting”. I’m very gratified that this eminently sound post (which I nominated) found such favor with the Council. The second place non-Council post was Michael Fumento’s “Covering Iraq: the Modern Way of War Correspondence”.

Blogging can be lonely work. It is a thrill no know someone reads our thoughts and deems them sound! We appreciate the honor, and it gives us needed incentive to carry on!! Thanks for your recognition.

UPDATE: Death of An American Mother

November 4, 2006

As promised in yesterday’s post, Smart and Final Isis has a citizen journalist following the investigation into Alia Ansari’s brutal murder. Flyingcloud, a true scholar and gentlemen, has contacted the Fremont Police and reports:

I was told that the police have no idea yet about the motive for the crime, and are also still seeking information about who the shooter is. I got the impression that checking with family and friends have not lead the police toward solving this crime. The Sargent that I was speaking to said that a random killing is the hardest type of crime to solve.

One of my favorite TV programs is “Forensic Files” on Court TV. While the police Sargent is correct, this program demonstrates good forensics and tips can solve difficult cases. Smart and Isis pray that the justice prevails.

In a related story, graffiti reading “Alia Ansari RIP” has been pointed onto the walls of churches and business within the community. As of this post, the neither the names of the graffiti writers or their motivation could be confirmed. The Ansari family said:

No one, including Fremont police, could provide answers Monday. A rumor is circulating that some disgruntled Afghan youths are upset about the Thursday shooting death of Alia Ansari, 38, as she picked up three of her six children from Glenmoor Elementary School. And, the rumor has it, they’re looking for a fight.

“We have no connection to this,” cousin Amin Ansari, 26, said. “We totally object to it. I don’t know what their point is. We don’t want any negative comments attributed toward anyone else in the community.”

Meanwhile, one of the painted churches behaved with classic, Christian grace:

One of the churches, Centerville Presbyterian Church on Central Avenue, isn’t going to erase the black spray paint: Members are embracing it.

On Monday, a women’s group from that church hung a small green wreath with white flowers next to the graffiti: “Alia Ansari R.I.P.

This story offers a classic example of why the United States of America is great. I feel one of Europe’s most serious problems is that there is essential segregation of immigrant and native populations. Immigrants are not permitted to effectively assimilate and the dire situation that it promotes atmospheres in which civil unrest occurs (e.g., car and bus burnings in France). It says much about the Afghan immigrants if, as may be the case, their youth sprayed a few walls instead of torched cars and buses. It also says much about the empathic Presbyterians who hung the wreath to honor the memory a fellow American. It is that type of gesture that heals communities and nations.

Speaking of healing gestures, Smart and Final Isis has been able to confirm the existence and authenticity of the Alia Ansari Trust Fund. The monies will be used to assist Mr. Ansari and the six motherless children during their difficult days ahead. Thank you, in advance, for any contributions.

Smart and Isis would also like to thank Flyingcloud, who will keep us informed of any futher developments.

Death of an American Mother

November 3, 2006

Smart and Final Isis would like to take this opportunity to offer our deepest sympathy to the family of Alia Ansari, a 38-year old American mother of six who was gunned down in central Fremont as she walked to pick up her children from school.  This American’s death is a loss for all of us.

I did not know her.  I only discovered her story after it was mentioned by Samaha in a previous post.  Mrs. Ansari was the essence of the American spirit, striving to make a better life for her family.  Here is a small portion of Mrs. Ansari’s biography:

The 17-year-old Ansari, the older of two daughters, quickly moved into the role of second parent, helping raise the two youngest brothers.

It was the beginning of a two-decade life in America defined by and constantly intertwined with family and obligation, her brothers said.

And “mother” was a role that would define the Afghan war refugee till the end. When she was shot Thursday by an unknown killer, Ansari was walking with her 3-year-old daughter as they went to pick up two older children from elementary school, five blocks from their two-bedroom apartment.

“She pretty much dedicated her life to raising and serving the family,” said Hamoyon Ansari, 36, who lives in Sunnyvale and who visited her nearly every day.

She endeavored to make her way in the United States, and assisted others in making the important transitions necessary to becoming American citizens.

After her brother Fazayun Ansari brought his wife from Afghanistan in 2000, it was Alia Ansari who took her to English classes. When she was pregnant, it was Alia Ansari who drove her to doctor’s appointments.

“Alia was always there,” said Fazayun Ansari, 33, who lived in another apartment complex on the other side of a fence from his sister.

Mrs. Ansari embraced her religion, Islam. As an American, she practiced freely her faith and chose to wear an emblem of that faith to honor Islam.

As a pious Muslim woman, she never left home without her hijab, the traditional head scarf worn by Muslim women. She was proud of her hijab. In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, some of her friends and relatives, afraid of reprisal attacks, took off their hijabs. Alia encouraged them not to compromise their religion, especially when they had nothing to do with those crimes. As for herself, she told them that she would never take off her hijab, even if someone put a gun to her head demanding that she do so. Alia said that her hijab was her flag.

Frankly, I and some of my fellow Conservatives are concerned about the San Fransisco Chronicle’s reference to this heinous incident as a hate crime. As far as we are concerned, all such detestable acts are hate crimes. There is still no identification of this perpetrator nor a report on the motivation for this crime.  No matter — this despicable villain must be apprehended and receive the maximum possible penalty, no matter what his/her reason for this mindless slaughter. The death penalty would be my punishment of choice. It seems Mr. Ansari, however, has a different mind on this subject:

Her husband, contrary to the caricature of the vindictive, hateful, enraged Muslim, mentioned how the family did not wish her martyrdom be treated as a hate crime, because he did not want her death to be a source of agitation in the area’s large Muslim community. He also mentioned that the family would not want the murderer executed, because that would not bring his wife back. His wife was a martyr, her place in Paradise secure – for him that was enough.

His gentle voice was most emphatic when he mentioned that he did not want his wife’s death to be politicized. Rather, he wanted her spirit of love and reconciliation to prevail after her passing as it had during her life. He spoke of his desire that her funeral be a solemn service, where people of all faiths could gather to remind each other just how important it is to work to remove the pernicious stain of racial and religious hatred from this society lest it lead to ever deepening spirals of senseless violence.

Let me take the opportunity of this occasion to make some other points, which should be weighed in discussions of Islam on the Internet. Many pundits and bloggers will use the incident of a Christian death or abuse at the hands of Muslims and demand that Islamic Organizations (e.g., Council of American-Islamic Relations) issue a statement, or that Humanist Muslims publically denounce the act. However, there are evil people following all religions.  Does the Pope really need to condemn all crimes committed by Catholics at every instance so that we can trust all other Catholics? No.

I have asked Humanist Muslim readers of this blog to condemn the sensless act of cowardly violence against a teenage Christian in Palestine. They have done so. We non-Muslims and conservatives likewise condemn this crime. From this point forward, we acknowledge Muslims embracing peace and religious tolerance do not celebrate Christian deaths. We sorrow over the loss of law-abiding, faithful followers of Islam and fellow Americans such as Mrs. Ansari.

When websites choose to list crimes committed strictly by members of one group, it can be easy to dehumanize and disregard that group. Especially when no mention is given of their humanity, good deeds, heroism, and acts of compassion (such as Mr. Ansari’s). That is why Smart and Final Isis refuses to promote the Daily Outrage Story on this site.

It is very worthwhile to report the actions and tactics of Al-Qaeda, HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, and other terror organizations.  Smart and Isis agree that significant news stories (e.g., Pakistani Forces Kill Militants) are well worth promoting, discussing and celebrating. Islamic terrorists are a danger to us all — Americans, conservatives and Humanist Muslims. However, other websites do this quite well already, and this blog site is devoted to finding alternative outlets of information.

A friend and scholar on another site I visit regularly, Rusty57, says it best:

I did a little searching on the rightosphere for the story (note: the Alia Ansari death). Anyone who’s relying totally on Jihadwatch, LGF, Frontpage, Worldnetdaily, Drudge or Newsmax for all of their news won’t find this story because none of those sites chose to report on this story. And that’s another reason why, regardless of whether you are conservative or liberal, you shouldn’t be relying solely on rightwing or leftwing news sites. You need a variety of sources to be informed.

Another friend and citizen journalist from the Rightosphere, who lives close to Fremont, is monitoring this story, and will provide Smart and Final Isis updates on the developments in this case. We all desire justice for the family of Alia Ansari.

Note: See Update above.