05-24-2018  2:44 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an employee of her husband...

Attorney general issues ballot title for assault weapons ban

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's attorney general has released a certified ballot title for an initiative that would restrict the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the state.The title released Wednesday revises the draft caption following comments from the public and the...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an employee of her husband...

Police: Winlock man shot while playing basketball with son

WINLOCK, Wash. (AP) — Detectives in Lewis County say a Winlock man playing basketball with his son was shot to death by a neighbor.Authorities say the 44-year-old father had been shooting hoops with the boy Wednesday evening when the neighbor, identified as 58-year-old Randolph Thomas...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NFL's policy could mean a new playbook on protests this fall

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Now that the NFL is drawing the line against players kneeling during the national anthem, athletes protesting police brutality and racial inequality may need to find a new playbook.The question is whether they intend to escalate their protests in some way."The owners can...

Court: School can let trans students use bathroom of choice

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pennsylvania school district can allow transgender students to continue using bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their sexual identity, a federal appeals court panel ruled Thursday.A three-judge panel heard extended arguments in the case before conferring...

Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking violation is just the latest setback for efforts to improve the strained relationship between Milwaukee officers and the city's black population.The confrontation involving Milwaukee Bucks...

ENTERTAINMENT

Scenes cut from 'Show Dogs' over resemblance to sexual abuse

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two scenes are being cut from the family movie "Show Dogs" after complaints that they resemble real-life sexual abuse, the movie's distributor has announced.In the movie, a police dog goes undercover at a dog show to catch animal smugglers.In one scene, the dog is told to...

Stoner comedy pioneer Tommy Chong still toking, joking at 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he'd live to see the day marijuana legalization would be sweeping America.He knew when he and partner Cheech Marin pioneered stoner comedy 50 years ago, a time when taunting the establishment with constant reminders that they...

Paltrow: Brad Pitt threatened Harvey Weinstein

NEW YORK (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow says ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt threatened producer Harvey Weinstein after an alleged incident of sexual misconduct.The 45-year-old actress told "The Howard Stern Show" on Wednesday she was "blindsided." Paltrow claimed she was 22 when Weinstein placed his hands...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

MLB panel says baseballs getting extra lift, cause unknown

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseballs really have been getting extra lift since 2015, and it's not from the exaggerated...

Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking...

Bus driver charged in crash that killed student, teacher

A school bus driver with a history of driver's license suspensions caused a fatal crash on a New Jersey highway...

Israel defense chief plans 2,500 new West Bank settler homes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister said Thursday he will seek approval next week to fast-track...

Cyclone Mekunu pounds Yemen island on its path to Oman

SALALAH, Oman (AP) — Cyclone Mekunu roared over the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea on its way...

Saudi Arabia releases 3 women as other activists still held

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi authorities have released three prominent women's rights...

By Donovan M. Smith | The Skanner News

Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, with more than 1.6 billion adherents worldwide, according to a Pew study released last year.

However, in the wake of extremist groups like ISIS carrying out violent acts in the name of the religion, there has been a revved up sense of fear towards Muslims locally and nationwide, including Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump calling for a religious registry and local officials and a Dalles, Ore. city councilor’s anti-Muslim comments in November.

In response, Portland leaders have been engaged in a series of public forums focused on addressing this form of bigotry.

Earlier this month, a demonstration organized by the Center for Intercultural Organizing called “Stand for Love, Interrupt Hate,” drew hundreds to City Hall to memorialize victims of Islamophobia, homophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry.

Several speakers, one being Baher Buti, founder of the Iraq Society of Oregon addressed debates around Syrians seeking refuge in United States as their country finds itself embroiled in a bloody civil war.

“You can find Iraqi and Syrian professionals all over America,” Buti said, before claiming that since 2012 America has received less than 1 percent of refugees from Syria.

Mayor Charlie Hales, was also in attendance and offered an anecdote about students at Sunnyside Environmental School requesting to welcome Syrian families at the airport.

“They said, ‘I want to go to the airport, and greet those new families as they come to our city.’ That’s who we are,” Hales said. “When people say, ‘I’m your neighbor, I am your friend, I welcome you to my city,’ if you say that, they will feel and remember that and they will know who you are.”

According to a resolution passed by the Portland City Council in December “affirming its commitment to the Muslim community,” there are an estimated 20,000 practicing Muslims in the metro area right now.

 “There has been an increase in anti-Muslim and anti-immigration rhetoric in the national media, with the intended outcome of increasing patriotism and loyalty through inciting fear and hatred,” the document reads, before calling recent demands to ban Muslims from entering the country ‘unsociable.’

Recently, Dallas, Ore., city councilor Micky Garus came under fire after for comments he made on social media about three Muslim men who’d been elected to public office in Detroit.

“I agree the majority of Muslims see freedom of religion as a precious value,” Garus said in the Nov. 10 Facebook post, “but historically when Muslims gain positions of power in government, the acceptance of traditions and practices such as Sharia Law become the norm. That is a diminution of individual rights, especially for women. You only need to look as far as Germany to see examples of women being mistreated by the recent predominantly male Muslim immigrants.” The post, which has not been deleted, drew scores of comments in support of his remarks, with comments.  

Once a resident of Iraqi refugee camps, area resident, Hussein Al-Baiaty came to the United States back in the early 1990s as a child, not knowing a word of English. Today, Al-Baiaty is an entrepreneur, managing both a successful screenprinting and his own clothing line, Almaic. With “Almaic” -- a portmanteau of the words Aramaic, the language that gave birth to Arabic, and his last name -- he fuses his religion and his love of hip-hop.

Al-Baiaty’s thoughts on Islamophobia? It’s irrational.

“It is convenient for people to fear what is misunderstood,” Al-Baiaty said. “Sadly, the mainstream media is addicted to wars and protecting ‘our interests.’”

Al-Baiaty said he’s learned to pay little attention for the sake of his own peace, preferring instead to shed light on the contributions of Muslims globally through his art.

“Islam did so much for this world, and much of our society runs on these fundamentals today, yet no one realizes [this],” he said. I plan to change that through Almaic.”

Abdul Hafeedh bin’Abdullah grew up in the Christian faith, but converted to Islam later in life. Today, Abdullah works on a number of different initiatives through Multnomah County and the City of Portland -- including the Black Male Achievement program and STRYVE, all aimed at empowering youth.

Abdullah commended the city for passing its resolution, calling it “comforting.”

As an African American, he said, his experience with his faith has differed from others, even for reasons as seemingly trivial as his way of dress.

“I think Muslims [sometimes] find themselves a little more concerned about people who are bold about their dress code being more Islamic in a time when Islam is being perceived as something that is a threat to the world,” Abdullah said. “There’s lots of looks, mumblings, adverse treatment when it comes to [Muslims] all the time, but it’s a pretty unique thing because it’s primarily either because what you’re wearing, or what you say your name is. But someone can change their dress and be treated completely different.”

In terms of the real threats produced by extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, Abdullah said they represent the ideals of more Westernized thinking than they do the religion itself.

“They use various things in their culture and belief systems within their communities to justify why it’s okay to kill someone’s children also killing their children. Islam teaches differently. So the fact that those people who choose to say that it’s okay to innocently murder human beings, and murder human beings as a means of combat are literally altering the teachings of Islam, but they’re doing so in response to a condition in which their women and children are being killed.”

According to the Huffington Post, as of Dec. 16 there had been at least 73 Islamophobia-related incidents in North America since the Nov. 13 tragedy in Paris.  

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