Muslim Community Lobby Ireland is an independent organization established 1st May 2007. Its motto is TO USE THE VOTE RIGHTLY AND TO RAISE THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY AWARNESS WITH THEIR RIGHTS AND TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING OF OTHER EXISTING GROUPS. لترشيد استعمال الصوت الانتخابي ولتوعية وتعريف المسلمين بحقوقهم في ايرلندا وان يعيشوا بتفهم للواقع وللجماعات الاخرى الموجودة على الساحة
Monday, December 28, 2009
In his inaugural address on January 20, 2009, President Barack Obama declared his intention to "seek a new way forward" with the Muslim world. The president then went to Cairo to give a remarkable speech to the people of the Middle East and Muslim communities everywhere. Many of us were pleased to see that in that speech, the president focused not only on issues of state security -- countering radicalism, solving the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, stopping nuclear proliferation -- but also on issues of individual human dignity: democracy, religious freedom, the rights of women, and development. The president articulated what many of us have come to believe: that the U.S. has a vital interest in encouraging human development in the Middle East; that, in President Obama's words, "we have a stake in one another."
However, while Obama's election and his words garnered surprising praise in key Middle Eastern countries, his administration has failed to follow up the inspiring words of the Cairo Address with substantive actions. This has contributed to rising disappointment among individuals who hoped that Obama's election would signal a more enlightened approach to U.S. policy in the region, including youth, a crucially important demographic. In October and November, POMED hosted dialogue conferences in Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt, together with our partners at USIP and Georgetown University, to gather feedback and recommendations for the Obama administration. Over the weekend, I published a piece on Foreign Policy's website based on some of what we heard from participants in those conferences. It's pasted below.
Let me know what you think of this piece -- and tell us what ideas you have for the Obama Administration as it seeks to follow up on the inspiring words of the Cairo speech. And please watch for our final conference report, which we will release the week of January 18th in a pair of events with representatives from each of the conferences.
Since Barack Obama's speech six months ago, the Muslim world has begun to lose hope in the United States. But it's not too late ... yet.
BY ANDREW ALBERTSON DECEMBER 24, 2009
Six months after U.S. President Barack Obama's widely heralded speech in Cairo, young people in the Middle East are beginning to lose patience with his administration. That's bad news for the hope that the United States might mark a new beginning with Muslim communities. From Marrakesh to Tehran, two out of every three people in the Middle East are under the age of 30. To a very large degree, the future of U.S. relations with the Muslim world rests in their hands.
Last month, I traveled to Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt to speak with some of the region's top young civic leaders about U.S. policies and their recommendations for the Obama administration. I arrived well aware of how important their opinions are; wherever young people's hopes are overwhelmed by frustrations -- whether the inability to land a job or the visceral sense that theirs is a world of repression and injustice -- the United States and its allies will be less secure. And here's what I heard: While the president's election and speech in Cairo were surprisingly well-received, the administration's glaring lack of follow-up has led to mounting disappointment.
Across the Middle East, Obama elicited surprisingly positive responses in public opinion surveys early in his administration, and Middle Eastern youth were particularly receptive. They saw in his identity as much as in his words the hope of change.
By now, however, disappointment is beginning to set in. The president's inability to rein in Israeli settlements in the months since the Cairo speech is one chief complaint. But there's more. In that message, pointedly directed at the region's people and not just their governments, Obama also raised four key "human dignity" issues: democracy, religious freedom, women's rights, and development. Since then, the administration has done almost nothing to back those words up with actions, a fact that has not gone unnoticed.
To be fair, the United States faces an uphill battle. Authoritarian leaders from Morocco to Tunisia to Jordan, each bent on staying in power indefinitely, have worked diligently to close down rallies, civic organizations, and any hint of political space in recent years. The situation worsened after Washington downgraded its diplomatic support for democratization in the region in mid-2006 after Hamas narrowly won elections in the Palestinian territories. Three years later, Washington finds itself with fewer civil society partners than it might have otherwise had.
Unfortunately, rather than standing up to such authoritarians to try to reverse the tides, Obama seems to be caving to pressure. Strongman leaders such as Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bet that, because of their importance to U.S. diplomatic goals in the region, they could pressure the White House to reduce its support for civil society groups in their respective countries.
The administration complied. In its budget proposal for fiscal year 2010, passed Dec. 13 by Congress, the administration requested significant cuts in democracy and governance aid for civic groups working for change in both countries. And in Egypt, the administration appears now to have agreed that aid programs will fund only groups the Egyptian government has officially approved. Those moves come in stark contrast to the Cairo speech, which paired concern for human dignity with a rejection of the idea that democracy can be promoted by force. Unfortunately, in all but words, the administration is coming up woefully short.
Consider the follow-up speech U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made last month at a regional summit in Morocco. Clinton explained to her audience that though the Cairo speech was intended to launch a comprehensive new beginning between the United States and Muslim communities, the administration had decided, upon further reflection, that it would focus on only three areas of development: entrepreneurship, science and technology, and education. Democracy, religious freedom, and women's rights did not appear as part of the Cairo follow-up plans.
If one takes the charitable view, we might commend the administration for finding "shovel-ready" projects. By focusing on entrepreneurship, science, science and technology, and education, the administration found initiatives that got Arab government support. But there's a problem here that the region's young people quickly point out: The easy targets aren't necessarily the important ones. While Clinton correctly highlights jobs as a key issue in the Middle East -- particularly jobs for unemployed youth -- Washington does the region no favors by offering an entrepreneurship summit, one of its new initiatives, while avoiding the root problems hindering business such as political decay and corruption. The United States will need to do far more if it hopes to demonstrate a sincere commitment to encouraging broad-based development of the sort that actually affects people's lives.
My conversations with young activists in the region continue to give me hope that the Obama administration has a unique opportunity to shift perceptions of the United States among youth in the Middle East. But doing so will require effective new initiatives on the goals the president raised in his Cairo speech, including democracy, religious freedom, women's rights, and development. And it will require sustained efforts to listen and respond to the region's people -- not just their governments.
Andrew Albertson is executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED). In October and November, POMED and its partners convened dialogues in Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt, which generated 56 recommendations for Barack Obama's administration.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Yours sincerely,Brian Cowen, T.D.Taoiseach
Saturday, December 5, 2009
The economic future of this country is on the line. As a small open economy, we are highly dependent on trade and on foreign investment. We need to show the world that we are capable of getting our economy back on track. Our tax revenues are now back at 2003 levels. But since then, our spending on day-to-day services has risen by 70%.
This is unsustainable.
The experience of the 1980s shows us that if we delay in tackling this problem, we will quickly get into a spiral of mounting debt and ever-increasing interest costs. If we live in denial and continue to borrow to try to sustain boom-era lifestyles, we will surely condemn our children to a life less prosperous than ours.
We must not allow this to happen.
We must restore confidence in order to begin the process of economic recovery. The best way to inspire confidence in consumers, in investors, and in the international markets who lend us money, is to show that we can take the necessary steps to get ourselves in order. That is why the Government has committed to reducing the deficit by €4 billion next year.
Next week's Budget will be difficult for everyone. It will be a test of our ability to rise above our current difficulties, to get beyond sectional interests, and to return to the road of economic recovery.
For our party, it will be a test of our ability to put aside short term political considerations and to act, as we have done many times in our history, in the interests of the common good.
I hope you will support us in the difficult decisions we must take to get Ireland back on the road to economic prosperity.
Brian Lenihan, TD
Minister for Finance
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
MCL wishes all a very prosperous Eid and many happy returns
كل عام وانتم بخير اعاده الله على الجميع باليمن والبركة
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
PLEASE VOTE "SI"
JAZAKUM ALLAH KHAIR
El diario elpais.com publica una encuestra, que incorpora a un reportaje, sobre el uso del hiyab en los ambitos publicos, el resultado es negativo, mandarlo a todos vuestros contactos.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
If he was harassed because of his religion, if he had an unhappy family life, if he wanted out of the military, if he had had a change of heart and did not want to serve in Afghanistan or Iraq - none of this changes the fact that what he did was criminal. He could have asked for conscientious objector status. Even if the Army was not following their own protocol and refused to let him resign his commission, he could have gone to jail rather than go overseas, or he could have gone AWOL and taken his chances - at least that would not have hurt so many others. Maj. Hasan betrayed his country, he betrayed his military oath, he betrayed his medical oath, he betrayed his religion.
My brother Ray Hanania, an American Arab Christian who served in the military has some cogent observations from experience: "The reality is that thousands of Arabs and Muslims have served in the military, including myself. I served during the Vietnam War and have both an honorable discharge and a Vietnam Era Service ribbon, among other recognitions. Bigotry and racism existed in the U.S. Air Force even when I served in it in the early 1970s. My colleagues called me such names as "sand nigger" and "camel jockey." Officers and enlisted personnel challenged me: "Who's side will you be on if we have to go fight in the (1973) Arab-Israeli war?" they would ask. Among my best friends in the military were two Muslim brothers who suffered similar taunts. Yet, those incidents did not discourage me from continuing my service in the Illinois Air National guard for 10 more years."
Added to my disgust with the actions of Maj. Hasan for the crime of taking so many lives, and the terrible anguish he has brought to the families of his victims, is anger for the anguish he has brought to all American Arabs and Muslims, and to his fellow Arab and Muslim military members. And, I am angry that so many people seem to believe that if any Muslim commits a crime, or even acts badly in any way, then every Muslim must apologize for their actions. Why is that?
There have been many tragic shooting sprees over the years. For example:
Similar civilian incidents:
•1966 - Charles Whitman killed his wife and mother and then went up to a tower at the University of Texas in Austin and killed 14 people and wounded 32 others before the police killed him.
•1970 - 29 members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed students protesting the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia on the Kent State University college campus, killing 4 and wounding 9 others.
•1984 - James Oliver Huberty went into a McDonald's in San Ysidro, CA and killed 21 people and injured 19 others before being killed himself.
•1991 - George Hennard drove into Luby's diner in Killeen, TX and killed 23 people and wounded more than 20 before committing suicide.
•1999 - Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold went into their Columbine H.S. and killed 13 people and injured wounded 24 before commitng suicide.
•2002 - John Allen Muhammad & Lee Boyd Malvo killed 10 people and wounded 3 people in D.C., MD, and VA.
•2005 - Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather and his grandfather's girlfriend on the Red Lake, MN Chippewa reservation, then went to Red Lake H.S. where he killed 7 people and wounded 5 others before committing suicide.
•2006 - Charles Carl Roberts IV went into an Amish school in Lancaster County, PA and killed 5 girls before committing suicide.
•2007 - Seung-Hui Cho went on a rampage at Virginia Tech and killed 32 people and wounded many others before committing suicide.
•2007 - Sulejman Talovic went on a rampage in a Utah mall and killed 5 people and wounded 4 before being shot.
Similar military incidents
•1995 - Sgt. William J. Kreutzer, Jr. killed one officer and wounded 17 other soldiers when he opened fire on a formation at Fort Bragg, NC.
•2003 - Army sergeant Hasan Karim Akbar killed two officers of the 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in Iraq (He was a Muslim convert)
•2005 - Two officers were killed at Forward Operating Base Danger in Tikrit, Iraq by a deliberately placed mine. Staff Sergeant Alberto B. Martinez was charged in the killing but was acquitted in a court martial trial at Fort Bragg, NC.
•2006 - Pvt. Steven Green raped a 14-year-old girl, and killed her and 3 other members of her family in Iraq
•2007 - Master Sgt. John Hatley convicted of the execution-style killings of 4 bound and blindfolded Iraqi detainees near Baghdad.
•2007 - Olin Ferrier, a Fort Carson, CO soldier killed a taxi driver in Pueblo, CO
•2008 - Staff Sgt. Brandon Norris killed Spc. Kamisha Block and then committed suicide in Iraq. The military first reported this as a death by "friendly fire".
•2008 - Spc. Jody Michael Wirawan killed 1st Lt. Robert Bartlett Fletcher at Fort Hood and then committed suicide
•2008 - Dustin Thorson, an Air Force technical sergeant killed his son and daughter on Tinker Air Base, OK. (He had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from Iraq.)
•2008 - Edgar Patino, a soldier at Fort Bragg, NC killed another soldier Spc. Megan Touma who was pregnant.
•2009 - Jomar Falu Vives a Fort Carson, CO soldier and Iraq war veteran accused of killing 2 people and wounding another in drive-by shootings.
by Sheila Musaji The American Muslim
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Take a look at our Lisbon campaign round-up and our article on Budget 2010 here:
Also, the Ógra National Youth Conference takes place between the 13th and 15th of November in Bundoran, Co. Donegal. You can still purchase tickets for the weekend. Click here to find out more:
As always, your support is critical, as we must make the right choices that will see Ireland through the world economic crisis and onto the path of economic recovery.
Thanks for everything you do,
Friday, November 13, 2009
Among fellow troops, that can mean facing ethnic taunts, awkward questions about spiritual practices and a structure that is not set up to accommodate their worship. Among Muslims, the questions can be more profound: How can a Muslim participate in killing other Muslims in such places as Iraq and Afghanistan?
Just 3,557 members of the 1.4 million-member U.S. armed forces describe themselves as Muslim, and followers of Islam said the military is just starting to accommodate them by recruiting Muslim chaplains, creating Muslim prayer spaces and educating other troops about Islam.
Active and retired Muslim service members recalled difficulties concerning their religion but said they cannot relate to the extreme isolation and harassment described by Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the suspect in last week's Fort Hood slayings. They also said they hope the killings do not roll back the progress they have seen.
Joshua Salaam, 36, said superiors told him when he joined the Air Force that he could not take time for regular prayer. He remembered being warned at a briefing for a posting in Qatar not to go to mosques because of potential violence. Once he arrived, other service members told him that Muslims there wore baggy clothes because Islam calls for them to avoid public bathrooms.
"They are the enemy," is how Muslims were sometimes characterized, he said.
But Salaam said he received many awards in the Air Force. He wore his "kufi" -- a rounded cap popular with some African American Muslims--on base and came to like being a "cultural translator" for both sides.
"As a Muslim growing up in America, we've been doing that our whole lives anyway," he said.
Interviews with Muslims revealed a range of experiences. Some choose to keep their faith private; others seek out superiors and chaplains who can help them worship even on duty. Some blamed other Muslims for not working to fit into military culture.
Sgt. Fahad Kamal, 26, attended the same Texas mosque as Hasan, the Islamic Center of Killeen, and reenlisted at Fort Hood after serving as a combat medic in Afghanistan. He said he experienced the rare insult from other soldiers about his religion and described one occasion during basic training when someone called him a "terrorist."
"I knew he was just kidding, but the drill sergeant overheard him. He made him apologize in front of the entire company" and do push-ups. "I felt guilty, because I knew he was just joking. But I was also happy to see how seriously they took it."
Kamal, whose family left Pakistan for Texas when he was a boy, said he didn't find the Army anti-Muslim. "We've got a president whose middle name is Hussein. He comes from a Muslim background. Our soldiers are from every race and culture," he said.
Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff, said this weekend that he was worried about a possible backlash against enlisted Muslims. "It would be a shame, as great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well," he told CNN.
In a broadcast Monday night, Virginia Beach religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said the military overlooked Hasan's troubles because of a politically correct refusal to see Islam for what it is. "Islam is a violent -- I was going to say religion -- but it's not a religion. It's a political system. It's a violent political system bent on the overthrow of governments of the world and world domination."
One of the best-known allegations of anti-Muslim harassment in the military involved James Yee, a former Muslim Army chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who was accused of spying and held in solitary confinement in 2003. The charges were dropped, and Yee wrote a book contending that they were a result of anti-Muslim sentiment among intelligence officials at the military prison.
An Army spokesman said complaints of religious discrimination are rare: 50 across the entire Defense Department in the past three years. But the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which works for religious pluralism in the military, said it had received 16 complaints since Thursday from enlisted Muslims.
Saleem Abdul-Mateen, a Washington native who was in aviation electronics in the Navy from 1975 to 1995 and is a national leader of a veterans group, said he straddles two worlds. "Today, a [Muslim] brother said to me, 'You know, if we're about peace, why are we fighting another country?' And that's valid. But you have to support the country when it's right and when it's wrong," Abdul-Mateen said.
Doug Burpee, who took the call name "hajji" as a helicopter pilot, said he "never had a problem in 26 years." Although he loves to engage in academic discussions about religion, he said, he kept his prayer invisible and thinks that Muslim service members, like others, have to compromise to fit into military life.
"There are Muslims who stop in their footprints to pray, and those people might have a problem," he said. "But if you're going to join -- join. If Muslims don't fit in, it's their fault."
Shareda Hosein, who is a Muslim chaplain at Tufts University and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, said being a Muslim is easier in the military in some ways than in general society because of the rules governing behavior. That said, she described a double existence of a sort.
"When I'm in uniform, I feel totally relaxed. I look like every other person. I get thank-yous at the supermarket, the gas station. But when I'm in civilian clothes, my hijab, I get scrutiny. Sometimes looks and stares speak loudly. Little do they know who I am."
U.S. Engagement with the Muslim World:
One Year After Cairo
CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY
Call for Paper Proposals
Deadline for submitting paper proposals:
Dec. 10, 2009
U.S. Engagement with the Muslim World:
One Year After Cairo
CSID's 11th Annual Conference
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
In a much-anticipated speech in June 2009, President Barack Obama, speaking from the Egyptian capital, sought a "new beginning" in U.S. relations with the Muslim world. Promising to move beyond terrorism and security to focus on issues of mutual interest, the President laid out an ambitious agenda for overhauling ties between his country and the world's 1.57 billion Muslims. Since the speech there has been considerable debate over its meaning and significance: were Obama's words to be accompanied by new programs and concrete initiatives, or were they merely intended to signal a new diplomatic posture towards the Muslim world? Muslim audiences tended to welcome the speech, but indicated that they would reserve judgment until it was translated into action. Months after the speech-with the U.S. administration bogged down by healthcare reform, economic recovery, and ongoing challenges in Afghanistan-the path towards improved relations with the Islamic world remains unclear.
CSID's most recent conference invited reflections on what might be possible for the U.S. and the Islamic world under a new U.S. administration. Following naturally from this previous theme, its 11th annual conference will assess the state of U.S.-Muslim world relations a year after the Cairo speech. What, if anything, has changed in terms of how the United States approaches its major policy challenges in the Muslim world? Do we see signs that governments and other actors in the Muslim world regard the U.S. differently since the new administration came into office?
Paper proposals are invited from prospective participants on the following four broad topics related to the main conference theme. Prospective presenters are also welcome to submit papers that fall outside these topics, but must establish their relevance to the broader conference theme:
A. The Cairo Speech Agenda: Fulfilled or Deferred?
How have U.S.-Islamic world relations fared in the year following President Obama's Cairo speech? Has the new U.S. administration delivered on its commitment to a "new beginning" with the Muslim world? Can we detect significant differences in how the United States is viewed by the Muslim world?
B. Democracy Development in the Muslim World: New Approaches or No Longer a Priority?
The previous U.S. administration placed a premium on democratization in the Middle East and Muslim world, but received mixed reviews on its implementation. Some argue that so far the Obama administration has largely abandoned the democracy agenda in favor of regional security interests. How does the current administration view democratization in the context of other challenges it faces in the Muslim world, and to what extent can we detect any policy shifts?
C. The Role of American Muslims in U.S.-Islamic World Relations
President Obama made special mention of Muslim Americans in his Cairo speech. What role have Muslims in the United States played in promoting ties with the wider Muslim world and to what extent do they serve to promote economic development, political reform, and new thinking? Will the appointment of a Special Representative to Muslim Communities at the State Department have significant consequences for outreach to American Muslims and beyond?
D. The U.S. and Conflict in the Muslim World
From Afghanistan to the Israel/Palestine conflict, much of the U.S. relationship with the Muslim world continues to be defined by ongoing conflicts. How has the Obama administration dealt with these situations and have we seen any signs of new thinking?
Paper proposals (no more than 400 words) are Due by December 10, 2009 and should be sent to:
Prof. Peter Mandaville
Chair, Conference Program Committee
Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by January 22, 2010 and final papers must be submitted by March 15, 2010.
Selected panelists and speakers must cover their own travel and accommodations to participate in the conference, and pay the conference registration fee by March 15, 2010. Speakers and panelists coming from overseas will receive a contribution of $300 from CSID to defray travel expenses.