Group leading boycott of Muslim show hacked, threatened by ‘Anonymous’

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/13/group-leading-boycott-of-muslim-show-hacked-threatened-by-anonymous/

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A little known Christo-Fascist group that’s been leading a boycott of a reality television show about American Muslims saw their website hacked and defaced last night by an unknown person claiming to be part of the hacker activist group “Anonymous.”

The hacker said they had obtained all of the Florida Family Association’s (FFA) donor information, including credit card numbers, but weren’t releasing them because it would hurt members of the 99 percent.

The hacker also said that a further investigation was underway into the group’s supporters, threatening, “[I]f i find information such as anyone being a part of other hate groups such as the Klan or anything similar all bets are off for those people.”

The FFA has come to infamy in recent weeks after home supply store Lowes decided to join their boycott, pulling advertisements from a show called “All-American Muslim,” which showcases the lives of Americans who follow Islam.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/13/group-leading-boycott-of-muslim-show-hacked-threatened-by-anonymous/

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Iceland Arrests Former CEO Of Failed Bank

From  Business Insider:    http://www.businessinsider.com/iceland-glitnir-bank-larus-welding-2011-12

Adam Taylor
Dec. 1, 2011

Iceland’s special prosecutor has taken Larus Welding, the former head of the failed Glitnir Bank, into custody, Reuters reports.

Glitnir Bank was the first of the top three Icelandic commercial banks to fail in 2008.

Former director of market trade Jóhannes Baldursson and former broker Ingi Rafn Júlíusson were also taken into custody and between ten and twenty other former employees of Glitnir Bank were also investigated.

They are expected to be held for a week, apparently to prevent tampering with evidence or witness coercion.

The Special Prosecutor’s Office released a statement that indicates their investigation will focus on four areas (via IceNews):
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/iceland-glitnir-bank-larus-welding-2011-12

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Corporations Pulling Ads From All-American Muslim Are Engaged In Jim Crow-Style Discrimination

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/abdulrahman-m-elsayed/lowes-commercials-all-american-muslim_b_1143586.html

Abdulrahman El-Sayed
Dec 12, 2011

TLC’s reality TV series All-American Muslim showcases the lives of five motley families in Dearborn, MI — a Detroit suburb home to one of America’s largest and most vibrant Arab-American communities.

When I heard the cable television channel well known for its edgy yet insightful reality TV series was planning a show about Muslim Arab-Americans in Dearborn, I was thrilled! As a health researcher who studies Arab-Americans’ health, much of my research takes place in Dearborn. Not to mention, I am a Muslim and an Arab-American myself, who grew up just miles away.

I know the community well. Its vibrant, self-absorbed character would provide the juice that makes these types of series so addictive, yet its dense social fabric and the diversity in its stories would cast Islam and Arab culture in a different light: perhaps the show might do away, at least in the minds of some, with the rigid perception of Muslims and Arabs and nuance it with stories about real people in a real place in their own backyards.

While the show hasn’t dealt with many of the heavier questions surrounding Islam in America — like the burning of Mosques or other hate crimes — that wasn’t its purpose. For a show meant to convey the truth about the diversity and honest normalness of the lives of average Muslims in the US, it succeeds brilliantly.

But some can’t believe Muslims could be so normal. The Florida Family Association (FFA), the political arm of an extremist evangelical group, is in denial. In fact, in their eyes, Muslims being normal must be some covert tactic “clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law.”

That a group of bigoted fanatics has issues with a show meant to portray Muslims in a realistic light isn’t so surprising. But that some of America’s largest corporations, including Lowe’s, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and General Motors have fallen in line is astounding. On Friday, Lowe’s confirmed that it’s choice to pull its advertising was a result of pressure from the FFA.

Lowe’s may know home improvement–but it seems to have forgotten history.

Our country has had a contentious past with discrimination, to say the least. In the Jim Crow era South, a powerful, landed, wealthy white minority (less than 25% in some states) lorded over their marginalized black counterparts via laws that were meant to exclude blacks from civic life, segregating them from institutions of power and privilege — government, education, and industry. These laws saw local businesses and restaurants with signs displayed prominently in their windows: “No Colored Allowed!” In fact, at one hotel the “Whites Only” pool was drained after Dorothy Dandridge, a famous actress and singer of the era, dipped her toe in it. What’s most disturbing is that in many of those instances, it wasn’t that the business owners themselves had any issue with serving paying black customers — but that they acquiesced to the hatred of the bigots in their communities. After all, being associated with blacks was “bad for business.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/abdulrahman-m-elsayed/lowes-commercials-all-american-muslim_b_1143586.html

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Illinois Debtors Thrown In Jail: Lisa Madigan Working To Stop Debt Collector Arrest Warrants

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/12/illinois-debtors-thrown-i_n_1144093.html

First Posted: 12/12/11

Some Illinois residents struggling to pay off their debt have yet another thing to worry about: getting thrown in jail.

As WBEZ reports, creditors in the state have figured out ways around laws that prevent them from putting debtors in jail, and the number of people being issued arrest warrants linked to unpaid bills is growing. Collection agencies can reportedly file a lawsuit requiring a court appearance, and if the defendant doesn’t show up for their hearing, an arrest warrant can be issued.

The practice has been happening more often in a stagnant economy, and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants to do something about it.

“We can no longer allow debt collectors to pervert the courts,” Madigan told the Wall Street Journal, adding that some victims of this practice were thrown in jail without knowing that they were being sued due to misleading or sloppy paperwork submitted to the court by debt collectors.

NPR spoke to one Illinois woman who was shocked to learn that a warrant was out for her arrest:

Continue reading at:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/12/illinois-debtors-thrown-i_n_1144093.html

Posted in Austerity, Civil Rights, Class War, Constitutional Rights, Corporate Abuse, Economic Issues, Fascism, Hard Times. Comments Off on Illinois Debtors Thrown In Jail: Lisa Madigan Working To Stop Debt Collector Arrest Warrants

It Happened to Me: I Told My Boyfriend I Was Born a Boy

From XO Jane:  http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-me/telling-partner-youre-transgender-janet-mock

Janet Mock
Dec 7, 2011

When I was a kid I had a series of dreams that involved Immature. You know, that baby boy band starring Roger from “Sister, Sister”?

Anyway, my dreams usually involved group member LDB (Little Drummer Boy) singing “Never Lie” to me in the tree that stood in front of my window.

Since then, I’ve sat across many men on dates and wondered what their fantasies were. By then mine always involved them really liking me and me playing the distant, mysterious girl they couldn’t quite figure out.

Really it was more about me not getting too close. Because if I got too close, you see,  I’d have to tell him my “T”.

Oh, I keep forgetting you may not be the T so you may not know my T or what T is at all.

My T is basically my story. My story being that I’m a young woman who happens to be transgender. Still not getting it?

Continue reading at:   http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-me/telling-partner-youre-transgender-janet-mock

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Why is Facebook Protecting Pro Rape Language and Abuse of Women?

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/sex/153406/why_is_facebook_protecting_pro_rape_language_and_abuse_of_women__/

Despite a campaign that included 180,000 signatures, Facebook continues to post pro-rape pages, showing, yet again, that they care about users so long as they’re profitable.

By Melissa Gira Grant
December 12, 2011

 Since August, tens of thousands of Internet activists have taken to social media to protest a social media giant — Facebook — for its apparent tolerance of user-created pages that make sexual violence into a punchline. The pages, with titles like “Riding your Girlfriend softly, Cause you dont [sic] want to wake her up” and “Kicking Sluts in the Vagina,” have been common to Facebook for some time, but campaigns against them began when a Facebook representative commented to the BBC on its decision not to remove that kind of content, stating, “Just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.” The pub analogy comment circulated among feminist activists on Facebook, and it was quoted widely on blogs, sparking a series of petitions that circulated for months, demanding the removal of the pages. When Facebook failed to respond, online activists organized a Twitter hashtag Day of Action, #notfunnyfacebook, to further pressure Facebook to enforce its own terms of service and hold its users accountable. Finally, following the Twitter action, Facebook elected to delete a few of the pages. It also allowed others to remain, so long as they were retitled as parodies.

The victory came as a half-hearted one for activists, who, with more than 180,000 signatures and hundreds of Twitter participants on their side, had not been able to call Facebook to account. New pro-rape pages are still being posted. One I just visited is called “That one slut you have always wanted to kick in the face.” After scrolling past three nearly identical wall announcements explaining how I could make easy money at home today (not involving, as I had first assumed, being “slutty”), I found a handful of nasty comments, all so poorly spelled it would be difficult for them to retain any air of menace. Then I recalled the anonymous person who scrawled “FAGETS” on the wall of a student organization I worked with in college. Then I saw what the page was really used for: with the “tag a user in this post” function, fans of the page could add the name of their intended target to their wall post, and that target would potentially see the post and the threat. It made me queasy.

If it was not clear before, we must understand now that Facebook wasn’t built for us — it was built for the profit of the very few. That Facebook is of value to the public as a communications platform is only important to Facebook insofar as it allows them to sell targeted advertising against our own speech. Its governing document, the Terms of Service, has been repeatedly applied unfairly and without accountability to its users, as its purpose is to legally protect Facebook from our conduct, not provide us with a free space, or even a safe space. Facebook needs to be only as minimally welcoming to us so as to ensure our return to use it again. And that we might use Facebook as a public square for activism? Not even in the business model.

Continue reading at:   http://www.alternet.org/sex/153406/why_is_facebook_protecting_pro_rape_language_and_abuse_of_women__/

Posted in Abuse, Equal Treatment, Feminist, Hate Crimes, Hate Speech, Misogyny, Murders, Rape. Tags: , . Comments Off on Why is Facebook Protecting Pro Rape Language and Abuse of Women?

Minnesota school board labels conversations about LGBT students ‘controversial’

From LGBTQ Nation:    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/12/minnesota-school-board-labels-conversations-about-lgbt-students-controversial/


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

COON RAPIDS, Minn. — During its meeting before a packed room with a standing room only crowd Monday, the Anoka-Hennepin Minnesota School District’s board proposed a new “Controversial Topics Curriculum Policy” to replace the current “neutral policy” that prohibits the district’s teachers from talking about homosexuality in the classroom.

Advocates and allies of LGBTQ students objected saying that the policy does not specify what those “controversial topics” are.

Tammy Aaberg, whose son Justin was one of nearly a dozen Anoka-Hennepin students who committed suicide after anti-gay bullying since the 2009 school year, wasn’t happy about calling the policy “controversial.”

In a statement she read before the board, Aaberg told officials, “I read the policy and my heart started breaking all over again. Because now we’re going from neutral on sexual orientation to labeling LBGT kids as controversial.”

Others seemed confused about what can or cannot be discussed in the classroom, which is why they urged the board to clarify the proposed policy before voting on it next month.

Opponents of any changes to the current policy also voiced their concerns, one woman telling the board, “We were a model for the nation at protecting kids from homosexual propaganda. The sexual orientation curriculum policy is an excellent policy.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/12/minnesota-school-board-labels-conversations-about-lgbt-students-controversial/

Posted in Christo-Fascism, Civil Rights, Discrimination, Kids, LGBT/T. Tags: . Comments Off on Minnesota school board labels conversations about LGBT students ‘controversial’