Sometimes is good to sit back and reflect on the contributions and sacrifices of those who have help safeguarded our freedom and our country.

      Saluting Muslim American Patriots

      04/10/2015 10:05 am ET | Updated Jun 10, 2015

      Craig Considine Sociologist, Speaker, Writer

      The so-called “Islamic extremism” spreading across the Middle East has given new life to American patriotism. A YouGov poll from 2013 shows that 44 percent of American citizens question the loyalty that Muslims have to the U.S. The poll showed that older Americans and those who vote Republican are more likely to view Muslims as “less patriotic” than other religious groups.

      Despite the prevailing stereotypes of Muslim Americans, Islam has contributed a great deal to the U.S. In fact, Muslims have played an integral part in defending the homeland and fighting for the American government’s geopolitical interests. The history of Muslim Americans serving in the U.S. military challenges the widespread skepticism that Americans have for those who follow Islam. Muslims are asked by Prophet Muhammad to “love your country as [patriotism] is part of Islam.” The Qur’an (4:60) calls on Muslims to be obedient to their governments: “O you who believe, obey God and the Prophet and obey those in authority from among you.” As I discuss in this piece, Muslims have heeded the Prophet’s call for allegiance and shown love for America.

      Muslims served in the U.S. military under the command of General George Washington, who was Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the American War for Independence. Rosters of soldiers serving in Washington’s Army lists names like Bampett Muhammad, who fought for the Virginia Line between the years 1775 and 1783. Another one of Washington’s soldiers, Yusuf Ben Ali, was a North African Arab who worked as an aide to General Thomas Sumter of South Carolina. Peter Buckminster, who fought in Boston, is perhaps Washington’s most distinguished Muslim American soldier. Buckminster fired the gun that killed British Major General John Pitcairn at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Years after this famous battle, Peter changed his last name to “Salaam,” the Arabic word meaning “peace.” Peter Salaam later reenlisted in the Continental Army to serve in the Battle of Saratoga and the Battle of Stony Point. If Washington had a problem with Muslims serving in his Army, he would not have allowed Muhammad, Ali and Salaam to represent and serve non-Muslim Americans. By giving these Muslims the honor of serving America, Washington made it clear that a person did not have to be of a certain religion or have a particular ethnic background to be an American patriot.

      According to Precious Rasheeda Muhammad, an independent scholar, Muslims played historic roles during the Civil War, a turning point in American history. Muhammad’s research “lays to rest the false notion that Muslims made no contributions to our nation’s development.” Nicholas Said, a Muslim American soldier born in Africa, served in the Union Army and became a political and civic activist after the Civil War. Rasheeda notes that Said “had an intellect so profound that an 1867 Nation article described him as worthy of at least the position of vice president of the United States.” A Muslim American soldier like Said was following the Qur’an, which calls on Muslims to defend their communities and respect the law. If he were alive today, Said would challenge those critics who see Islam and American values as incompatible.

      As they had done during the Civil War, Muslim Americans fought and died in World War II and Vietnam. Over 15,000 Arab Americans, some of whom were Muslim, fought for the U.S. in North Africa, Europe and Asia during the second World War. Historian Edward E. Curtis states that at least twelve Muslim Americans sacrificed their lives during the Vietnam War. Curtis adds that these Muslim soldiers “held military grades from private first class to sergeant.” These facts highlight that Muslims have been involved in the preeminent patriotic struggles of America in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

      The number of enlisted Muslim Americans in the U.S. military has increased substantially since these previous wars. According to Department of Defense figures, more than 3,500 Muslims fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some of the highest ranked members of the U.S. military have commented that Muslims are a vital component of the American armed forces because of their linguistic skills and cultural understanding of Muslims living around the world.

      In 2009, I visited Arlington National Cemetery to pay respect to Muslim American soldiers who died in Afghanistan and Iraq. One of the tombstones I stood over was that of Captain Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan, a Muslim American of Pakistani descent. Near the grave of Captain Khan is the tombstone of Ayman Abdelrahman Taha, a Muslim American soldier of Arab background. Both soldiers were given the Purple Heart, a prestigious military decoration awarded by the President of the U.S. to soldiers who have been wounded in battle. The Muslim Americans who have served in the U.S. military are an important reminder that Americans are not bound by religion, but by values that extend beyond their ethnic and racial backgrounds.

      It should not be forgotten that Muslim soldiers have given their lives to protect America. If more people knew about the history of Muslims who have served in the U.S. military, perhaps non-Muslim Americans would have more respect and appreciation for Islam and their fellow Muslim citizens. Non-Muslims in the U.S. who continue to spread Islamophobia are dishonoring soldiers who have fought and died for their country. Nothing could be more unpatriotic than that.

      The time is ripe to educate people on the patriotism of Muslim Americans. Let us hope that America moves beyond the question of whether a Muslim can be a loyal citizen. The facts speak for themselves. Muslims have been — and continue to be — true American patriots.

      Follow Craig Considine on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CraigCons

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          FOX News talking head and author Bill O'Reilly stated that though slaves were used, among free blacks, whites and immigrants that they were well fed and had decent lodging provided by the government.

          This was said in apparent response to Michelle Obama's point in her Monday speech to the Democratic National Convention where she said that she woke up "every morning in a house that was built by slaves.”

          Let me state first that Bill O'Reilly does come up with reasonable arguments and suggestions about a number of controversial topics and isn't afraid of stating a bald truism.

          This comment, however true it may be, does nothing to mitigate the fact that Slave labor was used to build original portions of the White House.

          Slaves, yesterday and today, are still slaves.

          Gilding the cage does nothing to restore freedom and liberty a human being should be able to enjoy. It does not provide an excuse for the reality of the times. To attempt to cast the facts in a "softer" light to reduce the harsh realities is both insulting and patronizing, regardless of veracity.

          Was it not Patrick Henry who in March of 1775 who said:

          "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

          Henry, a Virginia white minister viewed death as preferable to life in a Gilded Cage.

          Words that were indeed, spoken in fervor towards the fight for Independence from England, but in posterity held truth for the slaves as well.


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              Did you watch the DNC? What about the RNC? How are you feeling about it?

              I, personally, watched with tears in my eyes and a sense of amazement at what this woman is and what she has done in her life. I knew a lot of what she did, but I had no idea she did so much.

              I am praying that all Americans, who want to and will vote, are watching the DNC tonight and that they also watched the RNC. The differences are stark and startling, and that is truly informative.

              Michelle Obama, Meryl Streep, Sarah Silverman, Alicia Keys, Demi Lavato, Aisha Tyler, Alan Cumming, America Ferrera, Elizabeth Banks, Eva Longoria, Idina Menzel, Jane Fonda, Kristin Chenoweth, Mandy Moore, Renee Fleming, Rob Reiner, Sia. Paul Simon, at least a dozen ordinary citizens, and political figures on both side of the aisle....and the list goes on..... these are the people who've spoken out and endorsed Clinton so far at her convention.

              Who spoke on behalf of Trump? Chachi, the Trump kids, the Wife ( we know how that went), and the Duck Dynasty dude.... telling.

              The right wing media and the GOP sites have hammered Hillary Clinton with the couple of mistakes she has made throughout her 40 years in public service, and they created scandals in an attempt to devalue her. They called her names, told lies about her, and made fun of everything from her clothes, to her face, to...... you name it. I hope those who listen to the media and the GOP as they tried to define who this woman is, watched tonight and now know the truth about who she is AND ALL THAT SHE HAS DONE!

              This woman is a pioneer who has worked her entire life not to be a billionaire, which she could've accomplished, but to be a civil servant and to better the country, the world, and the lives of the men, women, and children, of this country. She has shifted the glass ceiling for women and throughout her life and her career she has accomplished feats no other woman has/had ever accomplished. Tonight was no exception. She has now gone where no woman, in the history of our country has ever gone. She, at very least, deserves props for that.

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                  Prosecutors dropped all remaining charges against three Baltimore police officers accused in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray in a downtown courtroom on Wednesday morning, concluding one of the most high-profile criminal cases in Baltimore history.
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                      I decided to do away with political correctness for this thread. I will use what should be labeled as "Trump Speak"

                      Neither side will like it and it isn't my belief or opinion. For now make believe I'm the moral right.

                      The title is soft porn and has everything to do with the current election.

                      This will be your first lady possibly.

                      This is the image that the world will first come into contact with if they google our possible first lady.

                      It could also be this one....

                      or this one....

                      They are first in a Google search for Mrs Trump.

                      I'm not sure if this is her or not but it does rate in the top percentile.

                      Considered soft porn by those on the left but considered much much worse by those on the right.

                      Now at first I had thought the religious right may have accepted her as Mary Magdalene (disambiguation).

                      In case you don't know who this is it is a follower of Jesus. She is mentioned more in the Gospels than most of the other apostles.

                      In the gospel according to Luke there is a slight reference to her having been of questionable morals.

                      Maybe she repented and found God and acceptance with the religious sects.

                      Is this the case with Melanie or is it a hypocritical policy for the right?

                      How all of a sudden did morals for the right become a non issue in the short period sense Bill Clinton?

                      How can the still bash Bill Clinton while defending Trumps family morals?

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                          Let me begin by saying, I am a Progressive and I supported Bernie from day one and even contributed to his campaign four times. Bernie was more than a presidential candidate. He created one of the largest grassroots movements in our time. He had a platform he never deviated from and after he lost the nomination he continued to push his agenda to the point where the actual nominee, Hillary Clinton, made concessions and included many important aspects of his agenda into the official Democratic platform. Now we have the most Progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. That was a giant step forward for us Progressives. Now, we see people like Jill Stein who says she is a Progressive trying to woo Bernie supporters to come to the Green Party and support her. That in itself makes me question Stein's motives. Is Stein really about pushing a Progressive agenda or is she all about pushing her Party? Stein is doing the Progressive movement a big disservice by trying to woo voters away from the Democrat Party into the Green Party which on the Presidential level doesn't stand a chance of winning the election. So what could be achieved by having Sanders supporters break away from the Democratic Party at this stage and vote for a candidate whose Party is only on 22 State ballots? Sanders didn't cave-in to the establishment when he threw his support to Clinton. Sanders saw the alternatives and the reality of the situation and made a decision based upon that. If Stein were truly a Progressive as she says, then she would not try to create any sort of split at this time because all it would do would be to undermine the progress Sanders has made for us Progressives and give the election to Trump. This election is crucial for our Country and people better start thinking with their heads and not their emotions. The Green Party should continue to push their candidates on the local level in the few States they are listed on the ballot and instead of trying to woo voters away from the Democrats on the presidential level like Ralph Nader did which would not help the Progressive movement one single bit could actually do more harm to the Progessive movement and destroy any chances we have of pushing our agenda forward.


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                              Broads, Chicks, Honeys, Toots, Babes. Women there to be looked at, women there to be pleasing on the eye, keep the blood up in viewers who little flag barely gets to half mast these days.....Not with Roger Ailes, he took those old Mad Men attitudes and practices and applied it to Fox News, both on and off air as his recent 'Severance' from Fox News. The man who birthed the beast of propaganda and little truth and all wrapped up in a delivery that is akin to the ticking of the Patriotic Prostate of a targeted demographic.

                              Oh, there was rumour that there was news mixed in with the recipe of Fox News, however its taste seems bitter and a little raw when it comes to fact. As last week rolled on in Cleveland the Fox Minions and news manufacturers were in their version of Republican Mecca.

                              Yet, very few mentions of the fact that their dark lord and master Roger 'Put away that Todger' Ailes was being shown the door at the empire of epic lies and falsehoods he created known as Fox News.

                              With Roger Ailes being told to take his sleazy ways elsewhere and stop asking female employees about their choice or lack of choice in terms of underwear and a full on Election Campaign in full motion. Ailes is a Media beast that needs to be in the thick of everything political.

                              His track record for dumbing America down to the point that a Tangerine Celebrity is now the man controlling the RNC is very clear. When Roger isn't leering at the legs on display hourly on Fox News he was quietly manipulating minds, spreading his brand of Propaganda as Factual.

                              Face facts, There would be no Trump without Ailes and his Fox News Channel message and continued assault on Facts. The Channel Ailes built had a seedy old mindset that is clear in its opinions on a Womans role in society....

                              So where does an outed Misogynist go when his Empire strikes back and fires him?

                              Well, there's only one place that a mind who treats women with utter contempt can go....even lower. Maybe even advising that other Misogynist mentioned earlier, the man who would be king, the man who has gained more than anyone from the Fox News Viewership.

                              Trump has already the services of one Dictator Enabler in the form of Paul Manafort, a man who openly lies to the press, the man who tried to brush aside the Plagiarism of one of the RNC's more notable speeches. Manafort who has yet to be asked questions on the Maidan Massacre in Kiev, or his ties to the Russians. Or the fact that Manafort has been accused strongly of ties with those Oligarchs in Russia.



                              A senior aide to Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump helped a scandal-plagued Ukrainian oligarch with ties to political and criminal figures in Russia park millions of dollars in offshore real estate investments, according to documents released as part of a federal racketeering suit.

                              The lawsuit, brought by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, accused U.S. political consultant Paul Manafort of complicity in a complex scheme of retaliation against Tymoshenko and her political allies for impeding the business interests of Ukrainian gas tycoon Dmitry Firtash.

                              Trump’s praise for Russian president Vladimir Putin, who backed Yanukovych’s Kremlin-friendly government, has drawn criticism from Republican rivals and experts on U.S. policy toward Russia.

                              One of the GOP frontrunner’s top foreign policy advisers is also a staunch defender of Putin’s regime and highly critical of U.S. efforts to counter Russian influence in Ukraine and the rest of Europe.

                              Manafort’s involvement with Firtash in high-dollar business ventures could fuel criticism of Trump’s apparent affinity for Russian political interests, which U.S. military leaders say amount to the nation’s greatest strategic threat.

                              So it is only fitting that he should use the services of another Letch. This Letch will happily keep those old Fox Minds focussed, and on a plus side. When Trump isn't feeling up his daughter, he can be rest assured that Ailes will be more than happy to fill in.

                              With Manafort keeping his Old Associations in Eastern Europe in mind as Trump's campaign moves forward and with Ailes on the sidelines keeping those Trump Supporters minds focussed on the ignorance sold to them by Ailes former network......The GOP are now being run by those allied to Oligarchs and those who treat women like things.....things to be touched, looked at, leered at.

                              Never Respected.

                              The Trump campaign has become nothing more than a Mafia on the mind. The hits aren't assassinations of bodies, but the assassination of the Truth.

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                              Pundit Post

                                  Do we want our public lands sold off to the highest (foreign) bidder?

                                  You, I, and every other American own 640 million acres of land in the U.S. We use it to hike, hunt, fish, raft, cycle, ski, and camp, and it produces hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue that directly benefits our lives. It also makes possible our country’s massive $646-billion outdoor recreation industry, which is roughly a third larger than the auto industry.

                                  And now it’s officially the Republican Party’s policy to steal all of that from you.

                                  This week at the Republican National Convention, the party adopted a platform that includes this language:

                                  Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing for a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to states.

                                  The phrasing is vague and has been misinterpreted by many. But it comes after a multi-year campaign by Republican lawmakers to transfer large swaths of national forest and other public lands to state control, thereby forcing their sale to private companies.


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