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
Friday, September 24, 2010
September 22, 2010
A DEFENSE OF FREE SPEECH BY AMERICAN AND CANADIAN MUSLIMS
We, the undersigned, unconditionally condemn any intimidation or threats of violence directed against any individual or group exercising the rights of freedom of religion and speech; even when that speech may be perceived as hurtful or reprehensible.
We are concerned and saddened by the recent wave of vitriolic anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic sentiment that is being expressed across our nation.
We are even more concerned and saddened by threats that have been made against individual writers, cartoonists, and others by a minority of Muslims. We see these as a greater offense against Islam than any cartoon, Qur'an burning, or other speech could ever be deemed.
We affirm the right of free speech for Molly Norris, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and all others including ourselves.
As Muslims, we must set an example of justice, patience, tolerance, respect, and forgiveness.
The Qur'an enjoins Muslims to:
•bear witness to Islam through our good example (2:143);
•restrain anger and pardon people (3:133-134 and 24:22);
•remain patient in adversity (3186);
•stand firmly for justice (4:135);
•not let the hatred of others swerve us from justice (5:8);
•respect the sanctity of life (5:32);
•turn away from those who mock Islam (6:68 and 28:55);
•hold to forgiveness, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant (7:199);
•restrain ourselves from rash responses (16:125-128);
•pass by worthless talk with dignity (25:72); and
•repel evil with what is better (41:34).
Islam calls for vigorous condemnation of both hateful speech and hateful acts, but always within the boundaries of the law. It is of the utmost importance that we react, not out of reflexive emotion, but with dignity and intelligence, in accordance with both our religious precepts and the laws of our country.
We uphold the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Both protect freedom of religion and speech, because both protections are fundamental to defending minorities from the whims of the majority.
We therefore call on all Muslims in the United States, Canada and abroad to refrain from violence. We should see the challenges we face today as an opportunity to sideline the voices of hate-not reward them with further attention-by engaging our communities in constructive dialogue about the true principles of Islam, and the true principles of democracy, both of which stress the importance of freedom of religion and tolerance.
1.Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, PhD, Director, Minaret of Freedom Foundation
2.Prof. Akbar S. Ahmed, PhD, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University
3.Prof. Parvez Ahmed, PhD, Fulbright Scholar & Assoc. Prof. University of North Florida
4.Wajahat Ali, playwright, journalist, and producer of "Domestic Crusaders"
5.Sumbul Ali-Karamali, JD, LLM (Islamic Law), author of "The Muslim Next Door"
6.Salam al-Marayati, Pres., Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
7.Shahed Amanullah, Editor-in-Chief, Altmuslim
8.Shahid Athar, M.D., Editor, Islam-USA
9.Hazami Barmada, Pres, American Muslim Interactive Network (AMIN)
10.M. Ali Chaudry, PhD, President, Center for Understanding Islam (CUII)
11.Robert D. Crane, JD
12.Mohamed Elsanousi, Director of Communications and Community Outreach for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
13.Mona Eltahawy, journalist
14.Prof. Mohammad Fadel, PhD
15.Hesham Hassaballa, M.D., author, journalist, blogger - "God, faith, and a pen"
16.Arsalan Iftikhar, author, human rights lawyer, blogger - "The Muslim Guy"
17.Jeffrey Imm, Director, Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.)
18.Prof. Muqtedar Khan, PhD, author of several books, Blogger - "Globalog"
19.M. Junaid Levesque-Alam, writer, blogger - "Crossing the Crescent"
20.David Liepert, M.D., blogger and author of "Muslim, Christian AND Jew"
21.Radwan A. Masmoudi, PhD, President, Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID)
22.Melody Moezzi, JD, MPH, writer and attorney
23.Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore, author of many books of poetry
24.Sheila Musaji, Editor, The American Muslim (TAM)
25.Aziz H. Poonawalla, PhD, scientist and blogger - "City of Brass" on Beliefnet.com
26.Hasan Zillur Rahim, PhD, journalist
27.Prof. Hussein Rashid, PhD, blogger - "Religion Dispatches"
28.Robert Salaam, blogger - "The American Muslim"
29.Tayyibah Taylor, Editor, Azizah Magazine
30.Amina Wadud, PhD, consultant on Islam and gender, visiting scholar Starr King School for the Ministry
31.G. Willow Wilson, author of "Butterfly Mosque" and "Air" graphic novel series
NOTE: If you would like to add your signature, please send an email with your name, title, and organizational affiliation (if any) to:
Read Full Statement
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Garda body can use state funds for action
By Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent
A garda body which is threatening to take strike action over pay cuts is getting more than €235,000 a year from the Department of Justice.
Accounts to be scanned in welfare fraud crackdown
By Fionnan Sheahan and Michael Brennan
SUSPECTED social-welfare cheats will have their bank accounts scanned under new anti-fraud powers.
Unions want private sector on board for national protest
By Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent
UNION leaders plan to get private sector workers on board for a disruptive campaign of industrial action after public servants suffered a €1bn pay cut.
Doctor accuses Lenihan of fuelling alcohol problems
By Anita Guidera
A LEADING accident and emergency consultant has described the Budget's reduction in the price of alcohol as a retrograde step for public health.
Our sea is still choppy but the ship is being steered at last
By Maeve Dineen
Fishermen will tell you that when weather, wind and currents are on the turn, a curious, choppy and deceptive water (it's called "an uncertain sea") is the result. Such a sight is worrying not only to a captain trying to chart his course, but also to his spirit.
Think this Budget was bad? It'll get worse
THE €1bn pay cut hurled at public-sector workers in last Wednesday's Budget could be the least of their worries.
Now is our era of truth and consequences
By Alan Ruddock
BRIAN Lenihan put an end to the dithering and indecisiveness of this Government last week and opted instead for consequences. All the messing and prevaricating of the previous week was put to one side as he read his Budget speech to the Dail and announced that, at long last, this Government had found the strength to lead.
Forget the myths, cutbacks spared us a Greek tragedy
By Marc Coleman
'Those bastards, they're taunting us," said Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead. "No, no. You couldn't be more wrong. They're saluting you, they're saluting fellow braves," said Lieutenant Adendorff. If, like me, you're stocking up on classic Sixties movies for Christmas, I can highly recommend the 1963 movie Zulu. Richard Burton's majestic intro and epilogue aside, the two final lines by actors Michael Caine and Gert van den Burgh will bring a lump to your throat.
Fionnan Sheahan: Cowen clears hurdles but he must get off the fence
By Fionnan Sheahan
After a flurry of high-profile PR outings, the Taoiseach has lapsed back into his old habits, worse than ever before
Thursday, September 9, 2010
May the Eid fill your life with happiness and properity
May all your family be with you on the day of Eid
May Allah grant you success in this life and the hereafter
Come with your Happiness
Come with your Joy
Eid day Eid day Eid day happy day
Come to wipe tears off refugees
come to give orphans to families
Come to make old people feel wanted
Eid day Eid day Eid day happy day
Answer: Eid al-Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month which follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. It is a time to give in charity to those in need, and celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy.
Before the day of Eid, during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a determined amount as a donation to the poor. This donation is of actual food -- rice, barley, dates, rice, etc. -- to ensure that the needy can have a holiday meal and participate in the celebration. This donation is known as sadaqah al-fitr (charity of fast-breaking).
On the day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in outdoor locations or mosques to perform the Eid prayer. This consists of a sermon followed by a short congregational prayer.
After the Eid prayer, Muslims usually scatter to visit various family and friends, give gifts (especially to children), and make phone calls to distant relatives to give well-wishes for the holiday. These activities traditionally continue for three days. In most Muslim countries, the entire 3-day period is an official government/school holiday.
Racist crime (which is dealt with under the criminal law) is a matter for the Minister for Justice and Law Reform and An Garda Síochána. OMI monitors trends only.
Racial discrimination in the provision of goods and services (dealt with under the civil law Equal Status Acts) or in employment (dealt with under the civil law Employment Equality Acts) falls within the remit of the Minister of State for Equality, Integration and Human Rights, as do anti racism measures (funding the annual Holocaust Memorial Event, developing diversity/intercultural strategies are examples). Discrimination and harassment in relation to and within employment on nine grounds, including race, religion and membership of the Traveller community, are outlawed by the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2008. Discrimination and harassment on the same grounds in the supply of goods or services, education or accommodation are prohibited under the Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2008.
The Statutory Equality Agencies
Two agencies are established under the equality legislation - the Equality Authority and the Equality Tribunal.
The Equality Authority's functions are to combat discrimination and promote equality of opportunity in the areas covered by the Acts, to monitor and keep the Acts under review and to make recommendations to the Minister for change. The Equality Authority's powers include those of conducting equality reviews of action plans, preparing codes of practice, conducting inquiries, providing legal assistance to and taking cases on behalf of claimants under the Acts and conducting research on equality related issues.
The Equality Authority operates a Public Information Centre providing information on the Acts to members of the public. The Authority may also take cases in its own name in certain circumstances.
The Authority also supports public and private sector organisations to develop their organisational systems to promote equality and to combat discrimination. The Equality Authority is currently operating a Workplace Diversity Initiative, funded by OMI , to support IBEC, Congress and 3 local Chambers to promote diversity in the workplace.
The Authority has also published a number of reports assessing levels of discrimination in Ireland, including on the race ground. Its most recent report on discrimination on the race ground is Discrimination in Recruitment: Evidence from a Field Experiment (ESRI, 2009) which found that job applicants with Irish names were over twice as likely to be invited to interview for jobs as candidates with identifiably non-Irish names.
The Equality Tribunal is an accessible and impartial forum to remedy unlawful discrimination. It is an independent statutory office which investigates or mediates complaints of unlawful discrimination. It operates in accordance with the principles of natural justice and its core values are impartiality, professionalism, accessibility and timeliness. The Tribunal has jurisdiction in all the areas covered by the Equality legislation, with the exception of service in licensed premises where claims of discrimination can be brought before the District Court under the intoxicating Liquor Act 2003.
The equality legislation also permits complaints to be referred in respect of discrimination on any combination of the nine discriminatory grounds. Multiple grounds are specified in approximately one fifth to one quarter of complaints referred annually to the Equality Tribunal.
Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission
The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is an independent police complaints authority established by the Garda Síochána Act 2005. It became operational in May 2007. It is responsible for receiving and dealing with all complaints made by members of the public concerning the conduct of members of An Garda Síochána. According to its Annual Report 2009, the number of complaints in which discrimination was suggested as a motive was 82 (up from 61 in 2008 and 11 in 2007). Unfortunately, the Commission's statistics do not currently distinguish between the different types of discrimination. We are in discussions with them about this.
Racist material on the internet
Racist material on the internet is a matter for the Minister for Justice and Law Reform, An Garda Síochána and the Internet Service Providers Hotline (www.hotline.ie) which was launched in 1999 to provide an anonymous reporting service to members of the public who uncover illegal content on the internet. The hotline was established primarily to report incidences of Child Pornography but later became the responsible body for receiving reports of financial scams and racist material. There is an Office for Internet Safety in the Department of Justice and Law Reform but their remit is currently limited to reports re child pornography - the office was originally set up to deal with child pornorgraphy on the internet. The primary work of the Irish Hotline service is to remove illegal material on websites hosted in Ireland. If hotline.ie assesses the material to be probably illegal under Irish Law the location of the illegal material is then traced. If found to be hosted or distributed from Ireland, An Garda Síochána and the relevant ISPAI member are notified, so the material can be removed from public internet access and an investigation may be initiated. However, some material that is reported is contained on sites hosted in other jurisdictions. If reported material is found to be hosted outside Ireland, details of the illegal content are forwarded via the "INHOPE" hotline. INHOPE, the International Association of Internet Hotlines, exchanges reports of illegal on-line content to expedite the investigation of such material by the competent law enforcement body in the countries in which the material associated with each report is hosted. Where the source country does not have an INHOPE member Hotline, the report is sent to An Garda Síochána for transmission through police channels. In some countries, for example the United States, the INHOPE hotlines deal solely with reports of child pornography.
Material contained on many of the large social networking sites are hosted in the United States including content uploaded onto "Facebook". We understand that a large portion of the material contained on these US sites which are reported because they are considered offensive may not be considered illegal under Amendment 1 of the US Constitution which covers freedom of expression. In these cases, it is not possible to have the material removed
Press Council and the Broadcasting Commission
Complaints can also be made to the Press Council and the Broadcasting Commission in appropriate cases.
Legislation (criminal law) regarding racist crime is the responsibility of the Minister for Justice and Law Reform. Legislation (civil law) in relation to racial discrimination is a matter for the Minister for Equality, Integration and Human Rights.
A range of domestic legislation is relevant to the issue of racism, as follows:
A - Civil Law
· Equality Acts (see above)
B - Criminal Law
· Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989
· Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994
· Non- Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997
· Criminal Damage Act 1991
The use of words, behaviour or the publication or distribution of material which is threatening, abusive or insulting and are intended, or are likely, to stir up hatred are prohibited under the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989. Broadcasts likely to stir up hatred along with preparation and possession of material likely to stir up hatred are also prohibited under the Act. The Act offers comprehensive protection to persons having hatred incited against them on account of their race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, membership of the travelling community or sexual orientation.
The provisions of other Acts such as the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 and the Criminal Damage Act 1991 can also be used to protect persons and their property against attack, including racist attack.