Starbucks Employee Writes “ISIS” On Cup Of Muslim Student In Minneapolis

The incident took place at the Starbucks store inside the Midway Target at 1300 University Ave in St. Paul, MN.

On Wednesday of last week, a 19-year-old Minneapolis college student named Aishah was making a routine stop at a local Starbucks on her way to work. When her order arrived, the word “ISIS” was written on her drink instead of her name. The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) is speaking out against this unacceptable behavior, which occurred on July 1.

The incident took place at the Starbucks store inside the Midway Target at 1300 University Ave in St. Paul, MN. Aishah, who declined to give her last name to the media out of concern for her safety, was on her way to her job as a home care worker. 

CAIR-MN is demanding that the Starbucks worker in question be fired, as well as the manager who said it was a “mistake.” When reached for comment by CBS Minnesota, a representative for Starbucks shifted the burden of responsibility, saying that it was actually a Target employee involved and that Target will be conducting an investigation. Technically, the employee is one of Target despite having been wearing a Starbucks uniform due to licensing rights at Target Starbucks locations.

Target provided CBS Minnesota with the following statement regarding the incident:

“At Target, we want everyone who shops with us to feel welcomed, valued and respected and we strictly prohibit discrimination and harassment in any form. We are very sorry for this guest’s experience at our store and immediately apologized to her when she made our store leaders aware of the situation. We have investigated the matter and believe that it was not a deliberate act but an unfortunate mistake that could have been avoided with more clarification. We’re taking appropriate actions with the team member, including additional training, to ensure this does not occur again.”

More information to come.

READ MORE: AOC Pens Letter Against Israel’s Annexation Of Palestinian Territory With Support Of Lawmakers

Canada’s Jagmeet Singh Removed From House Of Commons For Calling Out Racism

Singh was putting forward a motion to reduce and prevent systemic racism in the RCMP, Canada’s federal police force.

Canada’s Jagmeet Singh Removed From House Of Commons For Calling Out Racism

Singh was putting forward a motion to reduce and prevent systemic racism in the RCMP, Canada’s federal police force.

By

Nabeeha Asim & Wali Ahmad

Photo - Getty Images / Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

Canadian New Democratic Party leader and member of parliament Jagmeet Singh was removed from the House of Commons for having unapologetically called Bloc Québécois’s Alain Therrien, also a member of parliament, a racist. Singh’s comment came after Therrien became the sole vote against a motion to combat systemic racism in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) earlier this week.

Addressing the House, Singh highlighted the motion’s four main components, which consists of “reviewing the nearly 10 million dollar a day RCMP budget and increase non police investments in nonviolent intervention, insure that the RCMP is truly accountable to the public, releasing all RCMP incidents of “use-of-force” reports, and immediately launching a full report on the use-of-force by the RCMP including the tactics and the training that is given to them in dealing with the public.”  

After Singh had explained the motion, Anthony Rota, speaker of the House of Commons, asked the House for consent to move the motion; in an almost unanimous crowd of “yeses”, however, Singh was shocked to hear one “no” from Therrien, who dismissed the motion with the wave of his hand. Angered, he immediately called Therrien out for being racist. Singh, seen as too emotional, was instantaneously marked down in value by Therrien’s political party for the “altercation.” He was also prompted by Rota and other Bloc Quebecois members of parliament to apologize, which Singh refused to do. Singh was then told to leave the House for the remainder of the proceeding.

Hours later, Singh provided a more detailed account of what had transpired and further described how he felt in light of Therrien’s dissent. “Why can’t we act, why can’t we do something to save peoples lives? We can do something, and why would someone say no to that?” Singh told the media. “I’ll be honest, I got angry, but I’m now sad.”

Reactions by the other party leaders were mixed. Prime Minister of Canada and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau took to the media to defend Singh. “It is not for me to criticize any Canadian, particularly the only racialized leader in the House of Commons, for making other people uncomfortable by calling them out for not recognizing systemic discrimination”, he said. “It remains problematic that the Bloc Québécois refuses to recognize systemic racism in the RCMP and this country.” 

Singh, although touched by the show of support, implied that kind words are not enough. “We need to see action,” he said. “That’s what I’m calling for, concrete action to end the use of force and the brutality and the lives being lost.”

READ MORE: Police Kill 62-Year-Old Ejaz Choudry After Undergoing Schizophrenia Episode In His Apartment

On the other hand, Yves-Francois Blanchet, Leader of Bloc Québécois, demanded a formal apology. Blanchet fears that having no severe consequences associated with Singhs actions will encourage “everybody [to] feel entitled to do the same”, claiming that Therrien’s dismissive hand gesture that resulted in Singh’s exclamation was “open to interpretation” and was not “explicit” enough for everyone to have understood.

Ironically, many Canadians have taken the view that the removal of Singh for his justified reaction to the dissent of a motion that combats systemic racism, is a racist reaction in and of itself. The call for a motion addressing systemic racism in the federal police comes in response to the heightened concerns surrounding racism and police brutality highlighted by the now-global Black Lives Matter movement. Singh highlighted that the creation of the motion was a result of the ongoing protests to fight racism, and that this issue is equally prominent in Canada as it is in the United States. 

The removal of Singh from the House proceeding was essentially a move to silent a person with lived experiences of racism from speaking out about what many find to be a hard-to-accept truth.

This is not the first time that members and candidates of the Bloc Québécois Party have been under fire for racist sentiment. In October 2019, Canadian media outlets uncovered numerous Islamophobic and racist social media posts either created or shared by candidates running for the party. All candidates apologized for their comments, with Blanchet adding his own apologies “to the entire population of Quebec.” Blanchet and the Bloc Québécois Party have previously defended Quebec’s discriminatory provincial Bill 21 removing the right to wear religious symbols – such as the hijab, turban or kippa – in the province’s public service.

Therrien’s implied racist sentiment is not new in federal Canadian politics. In 2017, the House of Commons had passed the Liberal Party’s motion (M-103) condemning Islamophobia and “all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.” The motion asked that a governmental committee collect data on related hate crimes, and study the various methodologies that could effectively eliminate these issues. Although the motion was passed by a vote of 201-91, Many of those who opposed this motion were worried that it would “result in Sharia law being imposed in Canada” and had decidedly voted against it, despite the motion’s clear intention to combat systemic racism. 

Therrien’s reaction to the NDP’s current motion shares uncanny similarities with reactions to motion M-103. The inability to vote in favor of a governmental action which explicitly aims to reduce and prevent systemic racism or Islamophobia undoubtably implies racist and Islamophobic sentiment. The only difference between then and now is that a racialized political party leader has effectively called out racism in the Canadian government – only to be penalized for it.

Muslim Woman Forced To Take Mugshot Without Hijab In Florida

Alaa Massri protested for Black Lives. The Miami Police Department’s answer: they forced her hijab off for a mugshot.

Alaa Massri, a college student, was protesting in a Black Lives Matter protest in Miami, Florida on June 10th, 2020. As a college student, Massri was a part of the medic team providing aid for protestors who got hurt. During the protest in Miami, she noticed a police car hitting a protestor, and she began rushing to help whoever got hurt. However, immediately she faced a group of cops in riot gear. The police began touching her, unwarrantedly, while she says she respectfully asked them to stop. Their response: arrest her. 

After allegedly zip-tying her, charging her with battery, resisting an officer with violence, and disorderly conduct, they took her to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Facility where they placed her into handcuffs. They proceeded to take off her hijab for her mugshot. After unlawfully taking her picture, her photo was shown on TV across many platforms. And as if taking off her hijab for the mugshot wasn’t enough, they denied her her right to wear it for the seven hours after. 

The Miami Police Department has a history of racism that dates back to its establishment in 1896. Even within the police department, Black officers addressed discrimination and racism to the chief, Jorge Colina. In fact, the infamous “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” phrase Trump used in a Twitter post back in May was coined by Miami police chief Walter E. Headley in 1967

 


 
Massri was going to help a protester who was injured by the police. But, the police arrested Massri unlawfully. She was not told the reason she was arrested. The Miami Police Department did not read her her Miranda rights—a principle that requires all police officers to notify arrested citizens of their rights. Her constitutional right to wear a hijab was stripped. Her constitutional right to freedom of speech was violated. And many of her human rights were violated. 

Alaa Massri is still facing all charges and sits with the traumatizing experience of being emotionally, mentally, and physically violated by the police. Behavior like this from police departments across the United States continue to prove that the policing system needs to be reformed. 

Demand justice by signing her petition here

 

Attack At Mosque In Kabul During Friday Prayer Leaves Four Dead, Including Prayer Leader

An attack on a Kabul mosque has left at least four people, including the mullah, dead.

Attack At Mosque In Kabul During Friday Prayer Leaves Four Dead, Including Prayer Leader

An attack on a Kabul mosque has left at least four people, including the mullah, dead.

By

Ali M Latifi
Photo - Rahmat Gul/AP Photo

Kabul, Afghanistan  – An attack on a Kabul mosque has left at least four people, including the mullah, dead.

The bombing in the Shir Shah Shoori mosque took place amid the communal Friday prayer service. The explosion in West Kabul comes 10 days after a bombing in another well-known mosque in downtown Kabul and killed two people, including the mullah who was also the host of a popular religious Television program. In an online statement, the Taliban have condemned the latest mosque attack. The armed group claims that both of the attacks were orchestrated by “by a number of national security-linked individuals in collaboration with ISIS.”

“Such systematic killings have begun taking place as the Afghan people have started taking steps towards peace,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said in the statement. Last week, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said his government is prepared to begin face-to-face peace talks with the Taliban within the next week.

The Taliban and Daesh have been at odds with one another since forces claiming allegiance to the so-called Islamic State first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014. 

Both incidents have incited anger and fear among Kabul residents, who continue to question how such high-profile houses of worship have been infiltrated by armed men. Because of its size and capacity, the Shir Shah Soori mosque — one of the few mosques in the city to have a proper women’s section — is often used for funeral prayer services, including those of high-profile officials and their families.

Residents say the relatively low casualty figures were due to the fact that fewer people were attending Friday services due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Afghanistan was one of the few Muslim-majority nations where mosques have remained open amid COVID-19 related shut downs of urban centers. 

The last month has seen several brutal attacks targeting civilians in Kabul and the Eastern province of Nangarhar. In recent weeks everywhere from a maternity clinic to a funeral procession and mosques have come under attack. Nearly all of those killings were attributed to the so-called Islamic State group.

READ MORE: Celebrating Eid In Afghanistan: Navigating A Ceasefire

Afghans Angered As Refugees Were ‘Burnt To Death’ In Iran

The deaths of three Afghan refugees in a car blaze in Iran have prompted an outpouring of anger in Afghanistan, after reports that the vehicle caught fire after it was shot at by Iranian police.

Afghans Angered As Refugees Were ‘Burnt To Death’ In Iran

The deaths of three Afghan refugees in a car blaze in Iran have prompted an outpouring of anger in Afghanistan, after reports that the vehicle caught fire after it was shot at by Iranian police.

By

Mohamed Alagteaa
Screen grab from a video of the incident.

June 8, 2020  Outrage spewed online after a video went viral of a car set ablaze in Iran’s central Yazd province, with Afghan refugees on board.

Three of the refugees were killed and four injured, according to a statement made by Afghanistan’s foreign ministry on Friday, adding that the ministry “considers the incident to be very unfortunate and calls for a serious investigation.” The vehicle allegedly caught on fire after it was shot at by Iranian police. 

Local media reports said police in Yazd province confirmed that the car was targeted by security forces after it did not stop at a checkpoint.

Disturbing footage shows one of the survivors, a young boy who has suffered burns, walking and asking for water.  His words have been turned into the hashtag #کمی_آب_بیار_که_سوختم which translates to ‘Give me some water I’m burning.’

The incident garnered widespread attention on social media with users drawing comparisons to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of US police in Minneapolis. The hashtag  #AfghanLivesMatter was trending on Twitter, with people highlighting the mistreatment of Afghans in Iran.

The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Tehran, Abdul Ghafoor Lewal, has subsequently met with survivors and Yazd province government officials, to discuss the tragic incident.

The incident comes at a time of strained diplomatic relations t between Kabul and Tehran, after Afghan officials accused Iranian border guards of torturing and drowning dozens of Afghan migrants, with more than 30 people thought to be dead.

Iran currently denies the allegations, with both countries agreeing to jointly investigate the matter at a later time.

READ MORE: Yemen Suffers As It Deals With Over 343 Cases Of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Muslim Hijab-Wearing Teen Punched Repeatedly While On Transit In Vancouver

17-year old Muslim teenager wearing a hijab was assaulted on a bus in downtown Vancouver, Canada

Muslim Hijab-Wearing Teen Punched Repeatedly While On Transit In Vancouver

17-year old Muslim teenager wearing a hijab was assaulted on a bus in downtown Vancouver, Canada

By

Wali Ahmad
Police are trying to identify a woman who allegedly attacked a teenager wearing a headscarf on public transit on May 21, 2020. (Handout)

June 7, 2020A 17-year old Muslim teenager wearing a hijab was assaulted on a bus in downtown Vancouver, Canada on May 21. The transit police have launched an investigation and are requesting the public’s help in identifying the assailant after releasing images of the woman.

According to Metro Vancouver Transit Police’s news release, the victim and her mother were confronted by a female passenger regarding her ethnicity and her Canadian status. After having made a comment to the effect of “your smile is making me want to punch you in the face,” the passenger proceeded to punch the victim several times and partially knocked off her hijab. The two were later separated by the teen’s mother and another passenger. 

A good samaritan followed the assailant off the bus while calling 911. The assailant, after noticing that she was being followed, began assaulting the good samaritan before pulling out a knife. The good samaritan kept their distance and the assailant fled from the scene. 

The suspect is described as possibly an Indigenous woman, approximately 40 years old, 5’8 and weighing around 140lbs. At the time of the assault, she was wearing a black hat, dark sunglasses, dark top with the word “Pink” written on the back, blue jean shorts and black boots, and was carrying a silver reflective backpack.

 

“There is no place for hate, racism or biases on the transit system” said the Transit Police in its news release. “All passengers using our transit system have the right to travel without fear of harassment or assault. Metro Vancouver Transit Police would like to speak to anyone with information about the identity of this suspect or who witnessed this incident.”

Should you recognize the woman, we urge you to contact Metro Vancouver Transit Police’s tip line at 604-516-7419 or by text at 87-77-77 and refer to file 2020-9802.

The incident is hardly the first of its kind in the area. A similar incident occurred almost three years ago in Vancouver’s SkyTrain public transit system, where an 18-year old Noor Fadel was harassed by a man screaming insults, attempting sexual assault and threatened to “kill all Muslims.” When he tried to grab her head, a fellow passenger, 21-year old Jake Taylor, intervened. The assailant was arrested and charged with assault and threatening to cause death or bodily harm.

READ MORE: Ahmaud Arbery Was Called A Racial Slur As He Was Being Killed