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
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.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
And hanging over it all, for psychiatrists and psychologists in today’s military, is the prospect of their own deployment — of working under fire in Iraq or Afghanistan, where the Pentagon has assigned more therapists to combat units than in previous wars.
That was the world that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, inhabited until Thursday, when he was accused of one of the worst mass shootings ever on a military base in the United States, an attack that killed 13 and left dozens wounded. Five of the dead were fellow therapists, the Army said. Major Hasan’s motives are still being investigated. But those who work day in and day out treating the psychological wounds of the country’s warriors say Thursday’s rampage has put a spotlight on the strains of their profession and of the patients they treat.
Major Hasan was one of a thin line of military therapists trying to hold off a rising tide of need. So far this year, 117 soldiers on active duty were reported to have committed suicide. The Army has only 408 psychiatrists — military, civilian and contractors — serving about 553,000 active-duty troops around the world. As a result, some soldiers home from war, suffering from nightmares and panic attacks, say they have waited almost a year to see a psychiatrist.
Many military professionals, meanwhile, describe crushing schedules with 10 or more patients a day, most struggling with devastating trauma or mutilated bodies that are the product of war and the highly advanced care that kept them alive.
Some of those hired to heal others end up needing help themselves. Some go home at night too depressed to talk to their children. Others, like Bret A. Moore, a former Army psychologist at Fort Hood, ultimately quit. “I planned for a career in the military, but I burned out” after about five years, he said.
The biggest problem, Dr. Moore said, was “compassion fatigue.”
“I thought that was a bogus phenomenon, but it’s true,” he said. “You become detached, you start to feel like you can’t connect with your patients, you run out of empathy. And the last thing you want to do is talk about it with someone else. It really puts a wedge between you and loved ones.”
Whatever the facts in Major Hasan’s case, some therapists who work with the military agree that the tragedy is likely to have a “lasting impact on how we look at mental health providers,” said Dr. Martin Paulus, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.
The Army has added to their ranks in recent years, as the number of soldiers with the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder has climbed to 34,000. But the shooting has raised a pressing question: Who counsels the counselors? Dr. Moore and other therapists who have worked in the military or for Veterans Affairs said that mental health evaluations of therapists themselves were virtually nonexistent.
“I have worked with the Army, the Navy, the V.A., and I’m not aware of any formal, systematic process to evaluate professionals,” said Dr. Andy Morgan, a psychiatrist at the National Center for P.T.S.D.
At Walter Reed, where Major Hasan was in training until recently, Lt. Col. Brett Schneider, a psychiatrist, described a complicated system of checks and balances, including a training committee with superiors and civilians who evaluate residents and mental health staff members.
“There is a lot more built into the processes to keep tabs on each other,” said Colonel Schneider, who spoke on the condition that he not be asked any questions about Major Hasan. “If somebody is starting to get to the point where these things are a problem, there are a number of ways we can intervene.”
Generally, though, the military, like many large civilian employers, relies on self-evaluation and voluntary employee-assistance programs.
“Once training is over, you’re basically on your own,” Dr. Paulus said.
At Fort Hood, the nation’s largest military base, Major Hasan, like other therapists, would have had to manage many patients with severe combat stress. At his relatively high rank, he would have been expected to seek help on his own if he thought he needed it, experts said.
The base sees continual traffic in and out of war zones, and the work conditions are especially stressful, according to at least one report provided to the Army.
Dr. Stephen M. Stahl, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, who worked on the report, said the base’s program for soldiers returning from war simply lacked the staff it needed. He said there were about 15 psychiatrists on staff, treating hundreds of inpatients and outpatients. Generally, the psychiatrists did not do therapy but prescribed medication.
“They’re so under-resourced that people just don’t end up getting enough care,” Dr. Stahl said.
He added: “It’s a pretty damn stressful place to be. I think it’s a horrible place to practice psychiatry.”
A few weeks later, after he refused the Army psychiatrist’s prescription for a sleep aid, a nonmilitary mental health provider gave him a diagnosis of P.T.S.D.
Experts say that the military has made big strides in taking mental health issues seriously, but that military therapists are sometimes pressured to place the needs of the force above the needs of the patient. Indeed, they can be overruled by commanders who need soldiers in the field.
Since 2001, the military has deployed many soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder or other ailments. “The focus in the military is readiness,” said Charles Figley, a psychologist at Tulane University. “There is an inherent conflict.”
And in war zones, the relationships between soldiers and mental health providers can be especially fraught. Therapists in Iraq said that they could often do little more than provide a few coping tips to soldiers, just enough to keep them functioning. There were simply too many people and not enough time, as Army officials have acknowledged.
Providing care has its own risks. In studies of therapists working to soothe mental distress in victims of violence, whether criminal, sexual or combat-related, researchers have documented what is called secondary trauma: contact distress, of a kind. In one 2004 study of social workers on cases stemming from the Sept. 11 attacks, researchers found that the more deeply therapists were involved with victims, the more likely they were to experience such trauma. The same associations have been found in doctors working with survivors in war zones.
Dr. Hasan was reportedly facing his first deployment — a prospect that scares even trained fighters, many of whom become increasingly frantic before going to war, according to surveys.
The workload itself is enough to give psychiatrists and psychologists pause. In Iraq, with sectarian violence at its peak in 2007, officials say there were 200 such specialists serving more than 130,000 troops, driving between bases on bomb-rigged roads.
The experience of Lt. Col. Reagon P. Carr was common. In six months with the Second Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division in 2007, he said he saw more than 700 soldiers. In one typical week, he visited three locations, meeting with 36 soldiers who came in for immediate help: 3 were contemplating suicide, a dozen were unable to sleep, 5 said they were apprehensive about returning to a dysfunctional marriage and 16 said they were disgruntled with their leadership.
Few who are deployed feel prepared for this punishing task.
Dr. Peter Linnerooth, a former Army psychologist who treated soldiers in Germany and Iraq and at Fort Hood, said that in Schweinfurt, Germany, he was the sole psychologist for a community of 10,000 people in 2005.
At Fort Hood, he treated a burly man whose job in Iraq was to recover the bodies of soldiers. His patient was devastated by one particular loss, Dr. Linnerooth said.
“He had picked up this corpse that was so badly burned, it weighed about 20 pounds,” he said. “He was this big, tough, awesome guy. For him, it was like picking up his daughter. That was an extreme case. But you get those at least once or twice a week.”
If it turns out that Major Hasan did in fact break partly under the stress of the job and impending deployment, many veterans would not be surprised.
“If this guy can go over the edge, imagine what it is like for the actual combat troops who have been through four or five deployments,” said Bryan Hannah, 22, a disabled Iraq war veteran from San Marcos, Tex., who was stationed at Fort Hood until he was discharged a year ago because of post-traumatic stress disorder and other injuries.
He added, “There are a lot of others who are worse off than him.”
Source Irish Times