Few expect ‘game changer’ in Saudi-led Yemen airstrikes after US ends refueling support

The decision by the United States to stop refueling warplanes of a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen was welcomed by Yemeni rebel officials, human rights activists and aid workers on Saturday.Continue Reading

Attorneys seek to limit evidence in Portland train stabbing case

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Attorneys for the man accused of fatally stabbing two men on a Portland light-rail train last year are seeking to limit evidence and language presented to jurors.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports prosecutors and defense lawyers are working through more than 50 motions during pretrial hearings in a Multnomah County court.

Defense attorneys argued certain evidence and phrasing used in court would deny a fair trial for Jeremy Christian.

Christian has pleaded not guilty to the 15-count indictment that includes two counts of aggravated murder in the deaths of Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche.

Authorities say Christian stabbed three people aboard a MAX train in May 2017 after they tried to intervene as Christian spewed anti-Muslim threats at two black teenage girls.

A trial has been scheduled for June 2019.

‘RUNNING ON HATE’ REPORT: ANTI-MUSLIM SENTIMENT ON THE RISE WITH REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGNS

REPORT SHOWS ANTI-MUSLIM CAMPAIGNING IS “A LOSING STRATEGY.” A 51-page long report by Muslim Advocates revealed a number of candidates, nearly all of them Republicans, have run electoral campaigns on anti-Muslim sentiments this election cycle. As per the Oakland, California headquartered civil rights group, opponents of Republican candidates have been painted as threats towards national security and alleged to have terror links.

The 2018 report, titled Running on Hate has named 80 candidates slated to compete in the local, state, and federal elections who have expressed anti-Muslim sentiments. The candidates were chosen on their past rhetoric and advertisements. A few of these candidates are projected to win in the November elections. All mentioned candidates have attempted to ignite fears concerning people of color and immigrants. According to Scott Simpson, Muslim Advocates’ public advocacy director, anti-Muslim candidates are competing in every region. These GOP candidates running for office at every level, beginning from planning boards and going as high up as Congress and even the governorship. The phenomena have taken root and is now fairly widespread.

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Courts weigh guilty plea of Tennessee militia member who threatened to blow up Muslim community

Robert R. Doggart really wanted to plead guilty and go to prison after he was charged with a crime fueled by anti-Muslim hate.

The Tennessee man got more than he bargained for.

And now, a federal appeals court is asking a lower court judge to sort out whether Doggart will serve five years or 20 years in prison for his plot to bomb and destroy Islamberg, a mostly African American Muslim village in Hancock, New York.

“Rare is the defendant who insists we find him guilty,” Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote Thursday. “Rarer still is the defendant who gets his way.”

Doggart will get his request to be found guilty fulfilled. It’s just a matter of which prison sentence will stick.

Doggart, 66, is currently at Lexington Federal Medical Center in Kentucky and is due to be released on Nov. 25, 2033 — the day after Thanksgiving. Doggart would be 81 if the longer sentence stands.

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CAIR Condemns Trump’s Racist, Islamophobic ‘Dog Whistle’ on Migrant Caravan

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned Donald Trump’s use of a racist and Islamophobic “dog whistle” to promote his “divisive political agenda” prior to the midterm elections.

In a tweet this morning, Trump claimed – without offering evidence – that “unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in” the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico toward the United States border.

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

“Donald Trump will say and do anything, regardless of truth, reality or morality, to promote his divisive political agenda and to create fear of the ‘other’ ahead of the midterm elections. If he actually has evidence to support this racist and Islamophobic dog whistle, he should provide it to the public and explain why ‘Middle Eastern’ immigrants would be of particular danger to our nation. It is time for this president to be held accountable for his seemingly endless stream of lies and bigoted rhetoric.”

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president. The Washington-based civil rights organization has also repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist Trump administration policies and appointments.

Preliminary data for 2018 indicate that there have been 927 hate incidents targeting American Muslims.

The Washington-based organization’s 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” showed a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against American Muslims from 2016 to 2017, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in that same time period.

 

After Rash Of Vandalism, Austin’s Muslim Community Tries To Balance Safety With Openness

In the weeks after a series of vandalisms at the North Austin Muslim Community Center, Imam Islam Mossaad says prayer services have continued as usual, but the mosque has stepped up security.

Around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 2, someone slashed the tires on a vehicle in the mosque’s parking lot. The building’s front doors and windows were also shattered.

“It was troubling,” Mossaad says, “but we thought, ‘This is just a one-time incident, just a random incident, and we can move on.'”

But less than two weeks later, two of the mosque’s own vehicles had their tires slashed and a building window was cracked in what police say looked like an attempted entry.

Four days after that, the glass front doors of the New Madina Market, a Muslim-owned grocery store down the street, were smashed. Austin police have identified a person of interest from the store’s surveillance video. They say the person appears to be the same suspect shown on the mosque’s surveillance footage.

“This person is very brazen, very deliberate in targeting the Muslim community,” Mossaad says.

The mosque recently hosted a safety workshop with the Austin Police Department and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“We started to realize that, look, irrespective of what the potential motivations may be, bias or otherwise, people are starting to get concerned,” says Maira Sheikh, executive director of the Austin chapter of CAIR.

She says she hopes these trainings will make the Muslim community more comfortable talking to police. A recent CAIR report showed a 17 percent increase in reports of incidents of bias against Muslims nationwide between 2016 and 2017, and a 15 percent increase in hate crime reports.

“I think a lot of times, especially in immigrant communities, people are a little bit afraid to approach the police department,” Sheikh says. “So just even having the face to face and understanding where they could call, or who they call, was a little bit different.”

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