It will only take a few minutes . . .
Take action: walk the walk already!
Sign the petitions linked below:
Palestinian Mural in Jeopardy at San Francisco State University
Voice Your Concern About a Racist Article Published in Asian Week
Saying "NO" to Forced Divorces in Saudi Arabia
Save Peruvian Jaguars and Other Rainforest Wildlife
Save the Holy Sites in Jerusalem
End US Support for 40 Years of Israeli Military Occupation
Defend NPR & PBS
Stop the Carnage, Ban the Cluster Bomb!
Bring the Troops Home Now!
Students Confronting Apartheid in Israel (Stanford University Divestment Campaign)
Don't Touch Iran
Tell the Senate: Raise the Minimum Wage
Stop EPA From Abandoning 30 Years of Air Quality Control
Support Effective and Real Global Warming Action
Monday, February 26, 2007
It will only take a few minutes . . .
Thursday, February 22, 2007
. . . my outrage. Subhan'Allah.
Cortez added: "Green then placed himself between Abeer's legs to rape her. When Green was finished, he stood up and shot Abeer in the head two or three times."
. . .
The entire crime took about five minutes and the girl knew her parents and sister had been shot while she was being raped, the hearing heard.
AND so after reading that, maybe just maybe this will help calm your tears:
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
In commemoration of the anniversary (February 21, 1965) of the martyrdom of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), I thought I'd share some of my all time favorite quotes by him:
"You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it."
"Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery."
"Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. You don't need anything else."
"America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white, but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all together, irrespective of their color."
"If you are in a country that is progressive, the woman is progressive. If you're in a country that reflects the consciousness toward the importance of education, it's because the woman is aware of the importance of education. But in every backward country you'll find the women are backward, and in every country where education is not stressed its because the women don't have education."
"The zionist argument to justify Israel's present occupation of Arab Palestine has no intelligent or legal basis in history."
"Concerning nonviolence: It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself, when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. It is legal and lawful to own a shotgun or a rifle. We believe in obeying the law."
"You show me a capitalist and I'll show you a bloodsucker."
"There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time."
"If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country."
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Subhan'Allah this past week has been quite interesting, to say the least. At first, I was surprised and a little concerned. However, after some reflection that surprise and concern became a sense of honor.
How many people do you know that are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be smeared by the likes of Militant Islam Monitor? And to think that trashing of me was endorsed by Daniel Pipes? ON HIS FRONT PAGE?
However, as flattered as I am by all of the attention, and the hate email (yes, there was hate email) I am saddened to inform you - it's based predominantly in LIES.
My side of the story:
For starters, I was not at UC Irvine on January 31st. Feel free to ask any of the actual organizers - I was a few hundred miles away from Irvine the evening of the event.
And the nit picky details:
(Ref.: Muslim Student Union and MSA Call For Jihad & Disrupt Dr. Pipe's Talk At UC Irvine. Published 02/08/2007 at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/)
"The organizer of the disruption was Zahra Billoo, a 23 year old student at the California State University Long Beach (CSULB ) where she is advisor to the Muslim Student Association."
1. Alhamdulillah, I graduated from CSULB in May 2006. I am no longer a student there.
2. Alhamdulillah, my term as an advisor to the MSA at CSULB ended in January 2007.
"Billoo is a virulently antisemitic inciter with years of experience in radical Islamist activities, including helping fo the terror linked 'charity' Islamic Relief and membership in the Muslim Youth wing of the Muslim American Society (MAS) the United States arm of the Muslim Brotherhood."
3. Unfortunately this is one of those situations where anti-Zionism is being equated with anti-Semitism. They are not the same thing! (Check out: http://jewsnotzionists.org/ and/or http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/. Thank you Rudy!)
4. Subhan'Allah, I have in the past been blessed with opportunities to volunteer with Islamic Relief. Feel free to check out their amazing work at http://www.irw.org/.
5. While I do respect them, I have never in the past nor am I currently affiliated with MAS Youth, or MAS for that matter.
"She recently returned from a three week Hajj trip to Saudi Arabia."
"MIM: On her webprofile Billoo describes herself as a "starving student" yet she took a three week trip to the Hajj where starting costs for shorter sojourns are close to $4,000."
"This raises the question as to who might have financed the trip, or if it might have been written off as a travel expense for the CSSA or one of her other organisations ?"
6. Alhamdulillah, I was blessed to perform Hajj in January 2006.
6a. Funding Hajj: I worked throughout my undergraduate career, sometimes holding down even two jobs. Furthermore, I have great parents who provide me with financial assistance, amongst other things.
"MIM: If an Israeli PR poster in a train could drive Billoo to contemplate suicide –the obvious question is what would she have been done if the train had been packed with live 'Zionists'?"
7. The excerpt from my blog about the BART - it was a figure of speech! I have since edited that posting so as to avoid people taking the words literally.
"She can be seen on this video dressed in black with a hijab . . ."
"Biloo can be seen apparently chatting amiably with a grey suited student advisor who is escorting the students out as she mounts the stairs next to him at approximately 55 seconds into. . . "
8. The individual in the videos is not me. Not all females wearing black hijabs are the same person!
8a. I repeat, I was a few hundred miles away from Irvine on the night of the event.
"CSULB "Multicultural Causus Speaker" and professional "anti Zionist" Zahra Billoo called for the denial of Dr. Pipes free speech rights with this message. . . "
9. I loved it while it lasted, but my term as the Speaker of the Multicultural Caucus of the California State Student Association (not CSULB) officially ended in the Summer of 2006.
9a. My picture was taken off the CSSA website sometime ago. They updated the website and my information came down as did that of the rest of the 2005-06 Executive Team.
9b. The report I made to CSSA that is quoted in the article was not submitted because I went to Hajj. Rather I was required to submit monthly reports as a requirement of my membership on the Executive Team. Why would it surprise anybody that a three week religious pilgrimage found its way into my monthly report?
"MIM:It may be just a coincidence – but Billoo seems to have balked at the amount of "awareness" she generated as a result of organizing the disruption of Dr.Pipes talk."
10. I did not organize the disruption of the UCI event. Sadly, my only contribution to the event was forwarding the email regarding the protest to three very large listservs.
10a. I respect the free speech rights of Islamaphobes and Zionists. Furthermore, I respect and support the choices of all students and other peoples of conscience who choose to exercise their free speech rights to protest hate mongerers of this nature.
"'This was my second year coming here with MAS Youth,' said 20-year-old Zahra Billoo , a student at California State University of Northridge."
11. The article quoted regarding Humanitarian Day 2006 is actually referring to my second cousin with whom I share my name. Please note our ages and universities don't match up. Furthermore, I was again a few hundred miles away from that event.
"Billoo protested the right of free speech of those who participated in a panel about the Danish cartoons at Irvine. The aspiring law student dismisses the website which does not conform with her views as 'biased and retarded.'"
12. I did protest the display of the Danish cartoons at UCI. Additionally, I was fortunate enough to be able to assist with day-of logistics.
12a. "Biased and retarded," was quoted on my blog to indicate the words represented another person's impression of the website.
12b. My right to protest does not infringe on an Islamaphobe's right to display the cartoons, and vice versa.
"MIM: Billoo epitomises the Islamist -leftist Alliance and works with a group at CSULB called the Campus Progressives."
"But Council on American Islamic Relations California director Hussam Ayloush comes close -as a speaker for CAIR - a Saudi funded front group for Hamas which is also a defendant in a 9/11 terrorism lawsuit and has several of their members jailed on terrorism charges."
13. The CSULB Campus Progressives Collective: This was actually one of the first organizations I had the opportunity to work with. I organized my first protest with these folks! I have met some amazing people through this organization! We organized walk-outs overnight, we brought folks like Hussam Ayloush and Preston Wood to CSULB. We fliered the campus for major anti-war demonstrations in LA. And yes in the beginning stages, I did "investigate chair setup" for one of our events. I miss those days!
13a. For more information on Hussam Ayloush, check out: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/.
"MIM: Billoo is a frequent speaker at MSA events. At the 2007 conference on January 12th in she spoke on the topics of the importance of a university education for Muslims"
14. MSA West Conference: If you'd like to find out what the conference was actually about, feel free look up the 2006 lectures on their website. (http://msa-west.net/)
14a. I spoke of the importance of Muslims standing up against injustice, partaking in the struggle to ensure a quality higher education is available to all irrespective of their citizenship status, race, socioeconomic status, etc.
"Note that Basim Elkarra of CAIR was also a speaker at the conference. On the biographical information it says that he is the former head of the MSA Berkeley.
Last month Senator Barbara Boxer rescinded an award to Elkarra after she learned of CAIR's terrorism ties. BIlloo wrote about it and urged Muslims to write and demand that Boxer give Elkarra, CAIR and the entire Muslim community an apology!"
15. Yes, Basim Elkarra was there. We were honored to have the former MSA-Berkeley and former MSA West President with us that weekend.
15a. Ref. http://cwzymuslima.blogspot.com/2007/01/ for the MSA West Action Alert issued after his award was rescinded.
I believe Pipes called the piece something to the effect of an analysis of my activism? Subhan'Allah. Check it out for yourself. It looked to me like a high school student ran a few Google searches on my name and then CUT & PASTE.
*Jazak'Allah khair/thank you! I have been sincerely touched by the outpouring of concern and support I've seen from folks throughout this whole thing. You know who you are - if you called/IMed/emailed me, if you asked my brother or my friends about me, if you made dua for me, if you laughed at the Zionists - you know who you are. :-)
Friday, February 16, 2007
The Stalkers at Militant Islam Monitor:
The Daniel Pipes Himself:
Pipe Line News:
Reut R. Cohen of UCI:
The Liberty News Forum:
Christians Under Attack:
*Please note, the only original piece on this list is the Militant Islam blog. Furthermore, calling that an original might be a stretch given it's basically a Google search that was cut and paste together. Everybody else wrote at most 1-2 sentences and then linked to Militant Islam's website.*
If you're looking for the other side of the story:
1. Stay tuned as I'll be posting stuff on here.
2. And check out these blogs:
Angie at http://islamaholic.blogspot.com
Affad at http://affadshaikh.blogspot.com
Marya at http://verbage.wordpress.com
Huda at http://inpursuitofjustice.wordpress.com/
MILAN, Italy (AP) -- A judge Friday indicted 26 Americans and five Italians in the abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect on a Milan street in what would be the first criminal trial stemming from the CIA's extraordinary rendition program.
. . .
Nasr was allegedly transferred by vehicle to the Aviano Air Base near Venice, then by air to the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, and on to Egypt, where his lawyer says he was tortured. Nasr was freed earlier this week by an Egyptian court that found his four years of detention in Egypt ''unfounded,'' and he is at a family home in Alexandria.
. . .
No charges have ever been brought against Nasr. He was under investigation for terrorism-related activities at the time of his abduction, and Milan prosecutors issued a warrant for his arrest more than two years after he disappeared, while he was in Egyptian custody. Italy and Egypt do not have an extradition treaty.
More at: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Italy-CIA-Kidnap.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
Thursday, February 15, 2007
A total of 75,768 discrimination charges against private employers, including a record 4,901 pregnancy discrimination charges, were received by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity commission (EEOC) in 2006, according to data reported February 1, 2007. It is the first increase in the number of charges filed since 2002. A record 15 percent of sexual harassment charges were filed by men.
. . .
The year-end statistics, available online at http://www.eeoc.gov/stats/enforcement.html , show that the most frequent types of discrimination alleged were based on race (27,238), sex (23,247) and retaliation (22,555). In addition, disability (15,625), age (13,569), national origin (8,327) and religion (2,541) were also cited as basis for charges. Individuals may allege multiple types of discrimination in a single filing. Another 12,025 sexual harassment charges were filed with the EEOC and state or local Fair Employment Practices Agencies combined. Of these charges, 74,308 were resolved, including a record 8,201 cases resolved through voluntary mediation. Favorable outcomes for the charging parties, also referred to as the merit factor rate, reached a historic high of more than 22 percent.
More at: http://www.todaysworkingwomen.com/cgi-bin/tww.cgi?user=&nav=legal&action=all
Friday, February 09, 2007
The other day somebody Googled: "Zahra Billoo CSSA."
Kind of random, don't you think? Given I haven't done any CSSA work since July 2006.
I believe it may have been for this piece? http://www.militantislammonitor
I am very tempted to write to the author and 1) tell him what a lousy writer he is 2) correct all of the inaccuracies in here!
*But I'm lazy, and what would that accomplish? You'd think they'd at least get CSULB down correctly? What in the world is USCLB?
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
. . . In No Particular Order:
Islam Way Front Page
Israel Dig Plan 'Threatens Al-Aqsa' http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/042E7CCC-D7D0-49F6-AA8F-438133760A85.htm
While Palestinians Are Distracted by Meeting in Mecca, Israeli Forces Surround Al Aqsa Mosque and Conduct Excavations http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=19261
Sheik Salah Barred From Old City For 10 days
Palestinians Battle to Stop Israeli Dig
Jerusalem Dig Unites Palestinians
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Free Speech Prevails for the L.A. 8
A Palestinian immigrant in legal limbo for 20 years hopes his deportation battles are finally over.
By Michel Shehadeh, MICHEL SHEHADEH is one of the respondents in the government's civil deportation case against "the L.A. 8."
February 6, 2007
I HAD NEVER imagined that it could happen, that I could be arrested for merely speaking my mind in the United States. Nor would I have dreamed that 20 of the best years of my life would burn in a legal battle over the 1st Amendment rights of immigrants.
But it did happen. I was 19 years old when I immigrated to the United States in the mid-'70s. Fresh from high school, I was eagerly anticipating the promises of the "American dream." After growing up under military occupation in Palestine, I was hoping for a new a way of life. Of all the American freedoms I looked forward to, the most cherished to me was that of freedom of speech.
In college, I chose to study magazine journalism, and bit by bit, I delearned the reticence instilled in me during years of occupation and learned to express what was in my mind and heart. Before long, I had an opinion on almost every public issue imaginable — from U.S. involvement in Central America to gay and lesbian issues, from violence in public schools to the death penalty and race relations.
I longed, however, to express myself on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This was personal. I believed that distortions were deeply hurting the Palestinians. And I believed in the American proposition that to be a good citizen is to be positively engaged in public debate and political discourse.
But instead of being rewarded, my family and I were severely punished for this belief.
In January 1987, more than a dozen federal agents, supported by three carloads of local police and a helicopter hovering above my front door in Long Beach, arrested me at gunpoint in an early morning raid. My wife had gone to work. I was taking care of my 3-year-old son, Ibrahim, when the agents barged into my home. As they pushed me into the police car, I was shocked to see that they had left my frantic child behind all alone. Elsewhere, as I was soon to learn, six of my friends were similarly arrested (and another person was picked up a week later), all of them, like me, charged under the McCarran Act with advocating "worldwide communism." It was baffling.
I felt the same insecurity and fear I felt as a child when confronted by Israeli occupation soldiers at checkpoints. But this was the West Coast, not the West Bank; Southern California, not South Africa.
Federal officials accused me of supporting terrorism, not because I committed violence or even because I planned to (they continually acknowledged that I did not), but simply because our opinions and political activities (such as writing for newspapers, marching in demonstrations and raising money for hospitals) were not popular in Washington.
No prosecutor ever filed criminal charges against us, but the government tried to deport us anyway, supposedly for being members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, an accusation that we have repeatedly denied.
As the years passed, every court that examined the evidence ruled in our favor. Both the district and appellate courts concluded that the government had singled us out purely because of our pro-Palestinian beliefs. However, the government stubbornly persisted.
For 20 years, the Justice Department tried every tactic up its sleeve to get the courts to deport us. It persuaded Congress to change laws, charging us retroactively under immigration laws enacted since 1987, including the anti-terrorism provisions of the Patriot Act. It failed. It could not produce a shred of evidence of any wrongdoing on our part, simply because we had never done anything against the law.
Last week, federal immigration Judge Bruce J. Einhorn of Los Angeles dismissed the government's attempt to deport us — the second time he has done so. He said that "the attenuation of these proceedings is a festering wound on the body of these respondents and an embarrassment to the rule of law." He noted that the government had missed (by nine months) the deadline for turning over exculpatory evidence.
Despite all that has happened, I have no bitterness. Despite the pain of living in legal limbo for 20 years, I am still on my feet and leading a positive life. I am raising my two boys, now 24 and 14 years old, who are making me more proud every day, and my love is continuing to grow for my wife, who didn't complain and who stuck with me through the nightmare. I am preparing to enroll in a doctoral program in education. I still work hard to earn the love and respect of my friends and neighbors.
Yes, it has been a case of pain, waste and governmental misconduct. It has been painful to us, our families, friends and communities. It has been a waste of tremendous resources on the government's part that could have been invested instead in pursuing and catching real terrorists. As for misconduct, how else can you describe 20 years of repression for nothing but a political view?
Difficult as it is to believe, the government might still appeal Einhorn's latest decision. So far, the government has refused to rule it out. Nevertheless, my hope is that soon my colleagues and I finally will be vindicated, once and for all, and known for who we are: good citizens, loving family people and trusted neighbors. Twenty years is much too long. Enough is enough.
My boys frequently ask me, "When is it going to end, Daddy?" I wish I could tell them, "It's over now."