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A Muslim American storyteller won first prize at MN Jewish Theater

Jewish Theater telling story

Our Story Slam winner of the night, Ahmed Tharwat, weaves a tale of party mishaps and social awkwardness for our judges.

MN Jewish Theater 

 

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9/11 Anniversary for lots of Arab/Muslim Americans … “Call on Sick Day”

World Trade Center

 

It has been 13 years since 19 Arab Men flew airplanes into the two world trade centers towers, resulting in the killing of almost 3000 innocent people, the aftermath, ever since; Arabs and Muslim Americans ran out of things to say to apology for it and finding ways to cope with day every year. Wondering how they should do or say, where to go and whom to see on 9/11 of each year. For lots of Arab/Muslim American it is a ”Call on Sick Day”, or “Apology Day”. Preparing themselves with artificial answers and apologetic phrases to everlasting questions. “What you thing of those terrorist… question usefully asked, as if I have a special insight or thinking! Every year Americans at this time of the year remind us of the tragedy and make sure that “we will never forget”.
For Arab Americans this 13th anniversary is a little different, is not of the number 13th, we aren’t going there, it is because of recent events that have changed the way Americans and the west look at Arab and Muslim nowadays. The sudden rising of the so called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, better known now as ISIS, and the latest gruesome image of beheading the American journalist Mr. Foley, posted on YouTube.
Last week, a man chased two female Arab-American community organizers in Brooklyn, New York, threatening to behead them and throwing a large metal garbage can at them.
Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, was in a meeting and she explained the incidents to police “…. , next thing you know — boom! He gets up out of nowhere, like a surge of energy, and he starts chasing me and my colleague up the street,” said Sarsour. “He’s like, ‘You’re cutting people’s heads off! I’m going to cut your head off and see how your people feel about it!’”
Although the police report stated that the man was drunk, but sometimes drunkenness bring out a conscientious of a nation. The same with what drunken Daeish and his Islamic state brought to the western conscientious landscape.
Arabs/Muslims for most Americans in post 9/11 era, has been either a potential terrorist at best (sleeping cells) , or an outright terrorists. FBI and National Homeland Securities are watching and eavesdropping on Arab and Muslim Americans , from Obama global terrorist list to racial profiling. But after the lighting and sudden spread of ISISI and the beheading videos, Now the paradigm of American collective bigotry against Arabs/Muslims got a facelift, Arabs/Muslims looked at nowadays as backward, mediaeval and primitive, which how the white west racism and bigotry started from the first place.
Zogby Research Services ZRS, conducted an online survey of 1110 likely voters in the United States between June 27, 2014 and June 29, 2014 published by Arab American Institute, revealed that Arab Americans and American Muslims. Favorable attitudes have continued to decline – from 43% in 2010 to
32% in 2014 for Arabs; and from 35% in 2010 to 27% in 2014 for Muslims, and a significant number of Americans (42%) support the use of profiling by law enforcement against Arab And a growing percentage of Americans say that they lack confidence in the ability of individuals from either community to perform their duties as Americans should they be appointed to an important government position. 36%
of respondents felt that Arab Americans would be influenced by their ethnicity and 42% of respondents
felt that American Muslims would be influenced by their religion. In country where freedom of religion is not just be a basic human right, in a country where some may say religion is driving its foreign policy.
Americans history is full of atrocities committed against other people colored people, native genocide, black slavery, Vietnamese atrocities, Iraq and Afghanistan, where Americans ask us to get over it, or forget it, but when it comes to 9/11 it is always “we will never forget”.
Arabs and Muslim world have their own 9/11 and will be hard pressed to forget and forgive too, Jewish ISIS, IDF beheading a nation in Gaza, destroying 2/3 of the country outstanding buildings, homes, hospitals, mosques, schools, UN shelters, where more than 3000 Palestine’s killed, and more than 100,000 injured. US beheaded a whole nation in Iraq where more than 2 millions Iraqis were killed and millions more displaced. Now we have ravaged civil war that produced the ISIS thing!
This idea; when an Arab/Muslim or colored person misbehaves, Americans react by condemning the whole culture, invading two Muslims countries in two years,
Back to Linda Sarsour, who was attacked and threatened with beheading …. “… He gets up out of nowhere, like a surge of energy, and he starts chasing me and my colleague up the street,” said Sarsour. “He’s like, ‘You’re cutting people’s heads off! I’m going to cut your head off and see how your people feel about it!’” … see your people feel about it, I don’t mean to stick my nick out, but I feel numb Sir.
Ahmed Tharwat
Host/Produce of Arab American TV show BelAhdan
Public TV, MN Mondays 10:30pm
Public Speaker/Blogger
www.ahemdiatv.com

 

 

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Jewish Jihadists … and Foreign Fighters Dilemma !

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The Jewish Jihadist ,,,

On June 3, 2014 the Star Tribune, covered the issue of “foreign fighters” , that was entirely about Somali American fighters  coined (Lone Solders) allegedly traveled to fight abroad in foreign wars and non of any other Americans who travel elsewhere to fight like Israel. The Strib reported that the FBI is investigating information that members of the Somali community from the Twin Cities are fighting in the Syrian civil war. The article explained that two FBI agents met with a group of Somali-American leaders and members of the community at the Brian Coyle Community Center.

lone soldiers israel

Political science employ slightly varied definitions, so there are no universal criteria for identification. Crucially, however, most studies have assumed foreign fighters to be insurgents fighting against the government.

Beyond definitions, the term “foreign fighter” generally carries an implication of illegitimacy. In late 2001, al-Qaeda’s “foreign fighters” were shipped off to the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba because they were regarded as both uniquely dangerous and uniquely “unauthorized enemy combatants.” Their legal status  according to American government : “They did not uphold international norms of citizenship and military allegiance, and stated that they in fact wished to destroy the international system itself. They were also not the primarily profit-seeking mercenaries already banned under international law.

 

 

 

lone soldiers israel
But this wont apply to Jewish Jihadists,  Washington post reported,  “Scholar on Islamist militant groups Thomas Hegghammer’s definition of foreign fighters specifically “excludes returning diaspora members,” and this would encompass Lone Soldiers such as Nissim Sean Carmeli, an Israeli-born Texan who was one of the Americans killed. No published academic definitions of foreign fighters would therefore include diaspora Jews fighting in the IDF.

In the announcement by the local FBI, it stated that in the investigation they were, “…reviewing information … to identify persons who may have traveled, and persons who may have intention to travel” to Syria, according to Kyle Loven, chief division counsel for the Minneapolis office of the FBI.

It’s interesting to note, that not only are those being investigated who actually traveled to Syria, but even those only thinking about doing so. However, when the FBI agent was asked how many people the FBI thinks might have traveled to Syria from Minneapolis, Loven said, “some — some who we believe have traveled, and some who may have considered it.” How would they know the information of who was ‘considering’ unless by using informants and spying on the community? The FBI further asked the Somali community to help in identifying potential suspects.

“This is similar to a situation which came to our intention in the fall of 2007 when young Somali men from Minneapolis disappeared, only to turn up in Somalia, fighting on behalf of Al-Shabab,” Mr. Loven said. He continued, “I urge the community to not be afraid to call the FBI.”

 

lone soldiers israel
Back in 2007, the FBI was alarmed, when a few Somali youth went back to Somalia and allegedly joined Al Shabab, classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. At that time, the FBI started an investigation and there were trials, the storming of homes and interrogating questions of Somali families without any legal representation. Headlines and FBI warnings and alarms through the community went out to Somalia.

At that time. the United States District Court of Minnesota was very active, and reached out to our show, BelAhdan, to explain their position and what they were doing.  In fact, In fact, October 2010, FBI special agent Ralph Boelter

came on our show several times and was very amenable and forthcoming.

Turn now to the recent Israeli onslaught on Gaza, and Americans citizens fighting in that conflict.  It was reported that there are an estimated 2,000 Americans who traveled to Israel and are fighting in the IDF, and actually two of them lost their lives — a 24-year-old from Southern California and a 21-year-old from Texas. Their families said they both had a passion for Israel. How ironic.

On the legal front, FBI officer, Mr. Loven underscored that U.S. federal law prohibits American citizens from traveling to foreign countries to fight in foreign wars, whether they join FTOs, or military organizations not so designated.

Because of this obvious contradiction, I called the FBI district office here in Minnesota, and I asked Kyle Loven, Chief Division Counsel, about the Americans traveling to fight abroad, and whether there is any investigation into those who went to Israel to fight with the IDF like their counterpart who went to Syria or

This is not a new phenomenon,  “Lone Soldiers”  in the 40th, during the establishing of the Jewish state,  the recruitment drive launched in 1945 by David Ben Gurion, later Israel’s first prime minister, to obtain the assistance of diaspora Jews to rapidly build a regular military., Ben Gurion turned to none other the North American field experienced World War II combat veterans in a movement later known by the Hebrew acronym MACHA. Over 5,000 volunteers came from over 40 countries. The president of the MACHAL told Washington Post reporter, “had there been 20,000 of them, “there never would have been an East Jerusalem.”

The United States, bans foreign military recruitment, revokes citizenship for Americans who fight abroad, , and prosecutes individuals for joining groups determined to be working against national interests. But  as  the author of Foreign Fighters book, David Malat reported at the Washington , “… there is no penalty for serving in another country’s military or in a rebel group deemed non-hostile to the United States, and particularly that of one deemed to be an ally. Additionally, there could be a legal dynamic with dual American-Israeli citizens, who are required to serve as Israelis in the military, though that has not yet become a concern.”.

Those  “Jewish Jihadists,” who strongly believe in the Jewish state,  and have a great passion for Israel.  These are people like the ones who went and fought in the recent Gaza conflict, those new global Jewish Jihadists whose loyalty is so strong to the Jewish state that they leave the comfort of American life and go off to fight the Arabs in the Middle East, much like the Crusaders of their time.   “The bottom line is, I’m part of the Jewish people,” said David Joel, who grew up outside Atlanta and was inspired to travel to Israel and join the IDF fight.

“We decided that instead of going away we were going to donate something to the country,” he said. “We were Jewish, and we believe in the Jewish country. At the end of the day, it’s our nation.”

People like “Sean Carmeli  who is a hero of the Jewish people,” according to  Rabbi Asher Hecht, who is a family friend. “He gave his life to protect the survival of the Jewish people.”

This is not a new phenomenon, as Haaretz ; “ Jews from around the world have always come to Israel to serve in the IDF. The Mahal volunteers of 1948, many of them World War II veterans, supplied much needed combat expertise to the fledgling army. Thousands of new immigrants who arrived in leaky boats during the first months of independence, mostly Holocaust survivors, were sent into battle with scarcely any training or equipment. “ … The IDF reports 4,600 foreign “Lone Soldiers” currently serving, over one-third of whom are American (it is unclear how many hold dual citizenship).

 

The questions loom large. Shouldn’t it be a concern for the State Department that American fighters with loyalty to Israel and the Jewish state waged a jihad against Palestinians in the last assault on Gaza, in which 80% of those killed were civilians? When and if those Jewish Taliban  return back to the state, fully charged nd indoctrinated , and live among us, Shouldn’t this raise concern for thousands of Arab and Muslim-Americans who are spied on and monitored systematically? Shouldn’t we demand an investigation from the U.S. State Department and the FBI?  What should we think?.

 

Ahmed Tharwat

Host and Producer of Arab American TV show BelAhdan with Ahmed Tharwat

A show with accent for those without one

Airs on Public TV Mondays, 10:30pm

Blogs at in the Middle

www.ahmediatv.com

 

 

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