Muslims Sue Sterling Heights, Michigan for Blocking Mosque Construction

The Muslim community of the city of Sterling Heights, Michigan has filed a lawsuit accusing the city of violating the Religious Land Use Act by forbidding them from building a mosque on land the community already owned within the city limits.

Officially, the Planning Commission claimed their block on construction was based on concern over “traffic,” but locals say that email exchanges among the commissioners, along with public protests across the street and at hearings, suggest that the move was primarily related to a general dislike for Muslims.

At one public hearing, a resident showed a photo of a woman wearing of niqab, declaring “I don’t want to be near people like this. This is not humanity. This is scary, and disgusting.” Another resident accused the Muslims of wanting to build the mosque to “store weapons” and conduct militant training.

The commissioners weren’t much better, with emails reportedly centering around trying to get the leaders of the construction effort investigated as terrorists, and a police officially openly talking about contacting the FBI to see if they are “on the radar.”

Despite the official “traffic in a residential area” explanation, the proposed site is on a five-line road between two commercial districts. Such explanations are not unusual, however.

Across the United States, Muslims attempting to build houses of worship on their own land have faced severe regulatory restrictions, with officials citing traffic concerns, or the noise from the loudspeakers used for adhan. Though it is in theory extremely illegal for an American city to refuse a religious minority the right to build such a site, excuses like traffic and noise provide a flimsy veneer of legitimacy which is often enough to avoid serious scrutiny, even if such excuses would be unthinkable in blocking a church or any other religious site that was not Muslim in nature.

 

 

‘AP Exclusive’ on ‘Secret’ Iran Deal Neither Exclusive Nor Secret

AP reporter George Jahn, who has been scaremongering about Iran’s civilian nuclear program for untold years, once again has an article breaking, claiming “Secret Document Lifts Iran Nuke Constraints“. Jahn writes similar stories every time he’s done wiping the egg off his face from the last nonsense article. So get the eggs ready.

In today’s “AP Exclusive,” Jahn claims to have obtained a “secret document” which reveals that Iran will be allowed to replace its current centrifuges in 11 to 13 years, phasing out its current 5,000 centrifuges with a smaller number of more advanced centrifuges, which are more efficient.

Jahn claims that because the new centrifuges are a lot better, they could “be used for nuclear warheads.” He’s wrong… of course, but he’s also wrong that this is an exclusive, or the result of a secret document, or even news.

Continue reading “‘AP Exclusive’ on ‘Secret’ Iran Deal Neither Exclusive Nor Secret”

Ohio City’s Mayor Apologizes After Police Falsely Arrest Emirati Tourist, Giving Him a Stroke

The mayor of the Ohio city of Avon, not far from Cleveland, has issued a formal apology after Emirati businessman Ahmed al-Menhali was falsely arrested by the city’s police as a “terrorist.”

Profiling of a man from the United Arab Emirates isn’t so unusual in 2016 America, but what happened was, with police bursting into the hotel he was staying at, guns drawn, one of them wielding an assault rifle, and screaming at him. Menhali, who was in the US for medical treatment, had a stroke during the ordeal, and ended up hospitalized for three days.

Menhali had been staying in an apartment since April, there for treatment while on a tourist visa, but was told he’d have to leave the week of the upcoming Republican National Convention, so he went to the Avon hotel in search of someplace to stay in the meantime.

The hotel clerk got the manager, who was supposedly going to give him a list of possible hotels to stay at, but instead they called 911, claiming he was in their lobby “pledging allegiance to ISIS.”

Menhali says what happened to him reflect the “mobilization of American society against Muslims,” adding that he was a victim of “state terrorism.”

Report: Military Spent Over $10 Million on ‘Paid Patriotism’

You know when you go to a baseball game and invariably during some inning break the team points out a group of soldiers or national guard members in the stands and tries to get a big round of applause going? That doesn’t just happen.

A new report from Sens. John McCain (R – AZ) and Jeff Flake (R – AZ) revealed that the Pentagon has spent over $10 million in recent years to keep those “shows of patriotism” active across sporting events.

Whether it’s paying for special VIP parking for generals or for some team to show the military’s logo on their jumbotron, these programs are overwhelmingly pay-to-play sponsorship schemes. If 20 members of the military are getting the “Richard Petty ride-along experience,” it comes as part of a $1.5 million annual expenditure.

Interestingly, Congressional leaders seem to be of two minds about this heavily subsidized pretense of a pro-military environment, insisting it is a waste of money but largely expecting the teams to continue the programs irrespective of whether they pay for them.

That’s probably not going to be realistic, particularly in the long run, and while it’s certainly a waste of taxpayer money to have the National Guard buying a block of Red Sox tickets, Congress may be about to learn that in the absence of “paid patriotism” there’s going to be a lot less VIP treatment coming the military’s way.

Turkey’s Erdogan Blames ISIS, PKK, YPG, and Syrian Spies for Ankara Attack

In the least probably theory of all time, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed that the bombing of a peace rally in the capital city of Ankara earlier this month was coordinated by a “terror collective” that includes materially everyone in the region that Turkey isn’t on good terms with.

So even though there are several active wars between these factions, Erdogan named the four culprit factions as Syria’s government intelligence services, ISIS, the PKK, and the Kurdish PYD, the political wing of the YPG.

The claim doesn’t make sense even a little, and is doubly odd when one considers that Erdogan’s government also claims the peace rally’s organizers, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), is itself secretly part of the PKK, and claims that the PYD is also part of the PKK, which would mean the organizers of the rally and two of the four parties involved in attacking the rally were all the same organization for no reason.

The HDP has accused factions in Erdogan’s party of being behind the attack, noting there were similar attacks on their rallies in the lead-up to the last election. There’s no evidence of that either, but given the lack of patently absurd conspiracies it is still the more reasonable of the two narratives out there.

US Falsely Claims Iran Missile Test a ‘Violation’ of UN Resolution

Just a day after Iran’s Guardian Council approved the P5+1 nuclear deal, the US is already showing extremely bad faith, with Ambassador Samantha Power claiming Iran had violated a UN resolution with a recent missile test.

The resolution in question is 1929, which was itself created in response to the already resolved nuclear issue. The resolution forbids Iran from developing ballistic missiles for delivering nuclear warheads.

The US is falsely treating this as a ban on all ballistic missile improvements, even though the missile Iran tested is simply an improved version of the Shahab-3 missile, with better accuracy, and is not designed for nuclear arms.

1929 is a part of a set of sanctions and bans that was already clearly on the way out after the ratification of the P5+1 nuclear deal, and clearly wasn’t intended to forbid Iran from making improvements to its own conventional military arsenal in the first place. The US allegation, then, is doubly problematic, and a bad first sign on how the US is going to treat the post-deal situation.