Breaking News: Tariq Ramadan agrees to attend ISNA Convention pending changes

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Aug 282014
 

Breaking News: Tariq Ramadan agrees to attend ISNA Convention pending changes

Tariq Ramadan in TV debate on minarets in SwitzerlandLast month, Dr. Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Islamic scholar and leader from Switzerland, surprised Muslims in North America with a public announcement. In an open letter, he noted that he would not attend either the ISNA or RIS Conventions this year due to concerns he had with each organization. Dr. Ramadan explained his positions in the form of a public letter. ISNA responded back to his concerns, which focused  mostly on their stances on domestic and foreign policy. It was rumored that there might be discussions between the two parties to reconcile these, as well as several other smaller issues, that bothered Dr. Ramadan about ISNA. Using it’s extensive global resources, the Okra staff has obtained private correspondence between both sides. Dr. Ramadan has agreed to attend this year’s convention pending certain conditions. Below is an excerpt:

Change Themes.  Let’s start with your convention theme. Do you guys really think anyone pays attention to this stuff?  I’ll give $100 right now to anyone who can name the last five years themes without searching. Look, the conference is identical every year. Why make up an illusion like people are changing the world every time they register for the ISNA Convention? Keep it real. Here’s a suggestion. If you want to make it dramatic, just use Roman Numerals like the Super Bowl. ISNA XIV. Classy.

Better Entertainment. Hey, I’m all for good, clean fun, but it doesn’t have to be lame.  Some of the comedians keep saying the same jokes every year, and they weren’t funny to begin with. Does “how many ways to say Assalamu Alaikum” sound funny to you?  As for the music, does everyone have to sing corny songs about Islam? Can’t we just enjoy quality music by Muslim performers that’s relatively wholesome?  I like the way my man, Cat, I mean Yousef Islam does it. “Peace Train” was sweet.

Better Questions. I have always valued sharing knowledge with those who pursue it. Yet, when I go to ISNA—actually Muslim event in America—I get strange vibes…like Muslims think I’m a rock star.  Groupies want photo ops to post on Facebook to say they know me. And then there are “The Poets” who gather after speeches amongst a small crowd of people to greet me. They pose as if to ask a question, but all they’re doing is trying to impress me and the crowd with some deep, fancy-worded, overly philosophical, abstract remark, which says nothing…except how deep they are. All they’re really showing is that they’re vain and must have recently studied for the SAT’s, based on their choice of obscure words. Lastly, there are the Seekers who want me to provide them with answers to all of life’s questions. Look, I’m happy to discuss geo-political issues and address some aspects of spirituality. But I’m not the Messiah and there’s no reason to hang onto every word.  Sometimes, I feel like making up stuff with random words—like Steve Martin in “Leap of Faith”—just to see how far it goes. I’d like personal assistants who can screen out all of the above. And Muslim Americans need to cut the hero worship. Creepy!

Follow Up Calls: You know, a lot of claims are made in these conferences. At seminars, workshops. and main events. By speakers, as well as some in the audience who gather after the program ends. So how many do anything after they get home? Is going to ISNA itself their idea of Islamic work or do they learn and apply things. I’d like follow up calls. Anyone who boasts about all the things they’re going to do should be on this list.

My Original Concerns. All the things I wrote about ISNA’s stances and being silent on critical issues are serious concerns. I appreciate the efforts you’ve made since my remarks. There’s still a lot more to do and we can discuss these…but I’ll work with you.

Damn you Hamas—Damn You!

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Jul 302014
 

Damn you Hamas—Damn You!

An op-ed by the Tiny Minority of Pro-Israel Supporters

@Theokranews

Israeli supporters 2As we head into the third week of a poor man’s intifada, one cannot avoid the violence and pools of blood that blemish the roads and hilltops throughout this beautiful region. We have witnessed children killed, families separated and the horror of bombs dropped every 10 minutes. We constantly look at the sky and then seek shelter. We pray to the end of the destruction and the agony of those who have been inflicted by pain from all the suffering. Most importantly we say with courage to the people from the Light unto Nations—stay strong. And damn you Hamas.

Hamas you have made things so tough for Israel. We sit here and loathe the day you ever took control of Gaza through an official Palestinian legislative election in which you received 440,000 votes, nearly 44% of the constituency. Yes, we know it’s official. But you’re not getting a fruit basket from us. Were we surprised when you removed the declaration of wiping Israel from the map in your new manifesto which completely nullified the very same statement in the preamble to your 1988 charter? Yes! There was more of a chance for LeBron James to play in the WNBA than for you to make such a bold and positive change. But then you had the balls to take your rage one step further in 2012 and work with Fatah to squash your differences.  Was this an attempt to become more legitimate and to start a new chapter of dialogue? Maybe. But it’s not going to happen because we won’t let it. There is no need for a talk when it is a scientific fact your organization is comprised of terrorists.

Don’t think your change in attitude will fool us. You deserve the economic blockade imposed on you since you were sworn into office even though we kind of figured just about everyone in Gaza is not associated with Hamas. There’s not a gallon of milk you can purchase for kids in school that will allow us to overlook your malevolent actions. Your limited movement from one fence line to the next and inspections at checkpoints for anyone under 50 is a testament to the safety we maintain for the Palestinian people. If they can’t go anywhere than we know they are secure. We make sure that all goods are inspected before they proceed into Gaza. All infrastructure, gas and electricity are minimal. I mean how much do you really need anyways? And while the United Nations, the United Nations Human Rights Council, The Red Cross, Desmond Tutu, Russell Brand, Penelope Cruz, John Cusack, Chuck D and John Legend consider this blockade a collective punishment and illegal, just remember, ‘flotilla’ rhymes with ‘vanilla’ and earns you 11 points in Scrabble.

israeli owl

Baatz blames his pain and anguish on Hamas

We show compassion time and time again. When your hand-rolled $800 missiles that look more like bottle rockets come into Israel but are shot down by our $180 million Iron Dome System (thank you Detroit!), we show no animosity.  Before we invade Gaza, we demonstrate the decency by providing leaflets which warn Palestinians to evacuate the area before we annihilate the homes they will never see again. We even drop smaller bombs before the bigger ones just to let them get a small taste of what’s really coming. But when a long-eared owl by the name of Baatz gets injured from a delayed mortar attack in Nirim and has to be rushed to an animal hospital to save it from dying, there is no compassion. How dare you speak of the occupation, the atrocities and the 1000 civilians’ deaths in Gaza this past month when an innocent owl was seriously injured?! Luckily Baatz is now in stable condition and has the best doctors in the world tending to his needs. But what if he hadn’t survived? Could you live with yourself Hamas to have the blood of an Israeli owl on your hands? Could you deal with the pain and suffering of Baatz? I think not.

As a minority of ardent supporters who love shwarmas and Chuck Norris, we are committed to protecting Israel and advocating that the only peace is a one-sided solution in which we ask the questions and you give the reply. So please stop Hamas—it’s making the situation dire. While your popularity rises as Israel’s blatant control of the Palestinian National Authority becomes more evident, you cannot win the world over. As soundtrack king Kenny Loggins and ex-front man falsetto God Steve Perry sang together in the summer of 1983, “Don’t fight it—it’ll do your heart no good.” Listen to them—they divinely speak the truth. And always remember—the owl is watching.

Jul 232014
 

Detroit Residents Stunned Israel Not the 51st State of America

By Ed Majeed

@TheOkraNews

Detroit 2Detroit (MI)—A recent Gallup poll in Detroit this past week found over 89% of its residents believed Israel was the 51st state of the United States of America.

5,000 homeowners within the proper city district of Detroit were surveyed for public opinions related to the latest conflict in the Middle East, but also to question their knowledge on Israel. Surprisingly, 90.4% of respondents mistakenly took the country as a state in the union, detached from the mainland as with Hawaii. Even more remarkable was 78% supported the $3.5 billion in annual aid Israel received and its recent attack on Gaza calling the Palestinians “savages who want to take control of American soil.” Respondents were later told Israel was indeed not a part of the United States and the aid was not domestic, but foreign.

“What you mean, foreign?!” screamed Latoya Randolph, a salon stylist from the North End neighborhood of Detroit. “You telling me we giving $3 billion to a fucking country in the middle of nowhere while we all out here struggling to get groceries?! That’s just bullshit.”

Detroit 1

Randolph was pissed when she realized Israel was not a state

“Apparently the government hasn’t come to this town in a while,” said Leonard Tates, a retired police officer, who has been waiting for his pension to start since 2005 because city funds have been depleted. “This place is a dump and no one seems to be helping. But Israel is just having a grand old time out there on the Mediterranean putting honey on itself and rolling in my taxes.  I can’t believe this.”

Detroit, which was given the dubious title in 2013 by Forbes magazine as “most miserable city in America” has continued to struggle with high levels of crime and unemployment. Home prices have set unprecedented lows dropping 35% in the past three years to an average of $40,000 as more people have left. Last April, President Obama spoke to the state of Michigan to try and provide Detroit a whopping $100 million in federal funds to demolish vacant homes and buildings as well as remediating the city. However, it was still $3.4 billion short than Israel’s yearly allowance.

“Israel is a part of America and that is a fact,” said Charlie Dryer, a sanitations inspector for Motown Water Works. “I’m pretty sure they are known as the Blue-Grass state.” Dryer, like many other Detroiters, was clueless of the assistance the country had been receiving for the past six decades by the United States. “I thought they were one of us.”

Detroiters can't charge games for money, because no one has any.

Detroiters can’t charge games for money, because no one has any.

The Gallup Poll also discovered the favoritism of the American public towards Israel had been based on the bias of mainstream media which constantly praises the country for being heroic and valiant, the incessant advocacy by politicians on Israel and its safety, Barbra Streisand and the annoying 700 Club. However, with the advent of social media and live reporting in places such as Gaza and the West Bank, the attitudes of many have started to change. In addition organizations as Jewish Voice for Peace, Boycott Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) along with vocal critics such as Naomi Wolf and Noam Chomsky, who denounce the Palestinian occupation, have created more visibility for the crisis.

Still, despite proving Israel was not the 51st state, there were still respondents who refused to buy into the “lie.” My brother’s friend said he drove to Tel Aviv from Oregon last year,” said Christina Tallender, a resident of Rosedale Park. “And if he tells me that you can drive to Israel, you better believe it.”

Apr 022014
 
buffalo bills 2

Imam Committee Who Issued Fatwa For Living on Mars Adds Buffalo to the List

By Saad Ramadan

@TheOkraNews

buffalo bills 2Dubai (UAE)—An Imam committee that declared a one-way trip to the planet Mars as Islamically prohibited, added the city of Buffalo, New York as a place which is not livable for Muslims.

In an article reported by the Huffington Post on February 20, The United Arab Emirates’ General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment committee, which had issued a qualified legal opinion, or fatwa against Muslims to live on Mars because of a serious-risk to life, decided Buffalo wasn’t any better.

“It’s with great sadness we have to make this statement. But Buffalo is no longer a place where Muslims can reside,” committee head Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf  said at a press conference held at the Dubai International Convention Center yesterday evening. “If anyone has been to the town, it’s pretty much a dump. High unemployment, high crime and no places for clubbing. It’s harmful to live there.” Yusuf urged those who were living in the Buffalo area to move immediately for the same fear he has with Muslims who were planning to settle in Mars once space flights were ready to depart to the planet which is on average 139,808,517 million miles away. “They need to leave a city which lost 4 Super Bowls in a row (referring to the NFL Buffalo Bills which lost back-to-back-to back-to back from 1990-1993). If that isn’t enough reason to leave, I don’t know what is.” However, not everyone took the news so happily.

“We’re not buying into some fatwa which tells us where we can’t live!” said Hamza Itikhar, President of the Lackawanna Islamic Mosque, one of theImams-Committee oldest in the upper-Western part of the state. “I don’t care what they are entitled to say—if you’re not from here, you don’t know what you’re missing out.” Itikhar commented the ridiculousness to compare Mars with Buffalo and doesn’t even know why the metropolitan city of more than 1,000,000 people would have made some list that was created from individuals who don’t even reside in the United States. “Complete bozos,” he said. “So maybe we don’t have a nice looking skyline and it snows a lot or our greatest contribution to the arts has been the Goo Goo Dolls. But I’m proud to be from Buffalo.”


buffalo

Affairs and Endowment and Sheikh Yusuf have not responded to questions on why other American towns which have the same doom-and-gloom feel such as Cleveland, Albuquerque and Scranton, Pennsylvania were not issued fatwas as well. An attorney for the committee did not return The Okra phone calls. But a spokesperson has said more cities and planets will ‘most likely’ be issued fatwas in the next several years. “I don’t think their borderline insane way of thinking will stop at Mars and Buffalo,” he said speaking on conditions of anonymity. “I’m quite sure Newark, New Jersey will get the axe as well as Detroit. But Saturn will probably be OK. It just really depends on how demented the committee wants to get.”