Trump on Clinton’s Bigotry: Pot Calling Kettle . . .

One thing is clear.

Donald Trump does not have a plan to win the office of President of the United States. His intention is to win every news cycle by saying the most outrageous things that occur to him at that given moment.

A short time ago, it was encouraging gun owners to make sure a President Hillary Clinton never gets to appoint a justice to the United States Supreme court who could interfere with their 2nd Amendment rights.

He denied it later but by then it had been covered and covered as breathlessly as possible. I don’t remember which came first, that or that President Obama is the founder of ISIS, with Clinton as a co-founder and the president receiving award from ISIS as their most valuable player.

Again, saturation coverage.

So, why wouldn’t Trump come out and say that “Hillary Clinton is a bigot”?

And this is all part of his outreach to African Americans, people about whom he could care a whit, about whom he has no ideas and very little interest in engaging.

TAKE NOTE, AMERICANS_Lessons from Across the Sea

By MICHAEL O. ALLEN, Daily News Staff Writer | Sunday, April 3, 1994

Saraan Ajaye did not even know South Africa was a country until she took a human rights course a year ago.

Ajaye, a senior at the Bronx alternative high school Schomburg Satelite Academy, now sees the country’s gallop to democracy after three centuries of oppression as a civics lesson.

Never take your vote for granted, she said, pointing out how low turnout of African-American and Latino voters affected the outcome of the recent mayoral election. “As soon as I turned 18, I registered to vote,” she added.

Continue reading “TAKE NOTE, AMERICANS_Lessons from Across the Sea”

HIS CAUSE His Spirit Moved Them by MICHAEL O. ALLEN, Daily News Staff Writer

nullSunday, April 5, 1998

Children were raising innocent voices in freedom songs in church basements as adults braved firebombs, water hoses, dogs and jails for full rights as American citizens.

As a 5-year-old, Suzan Johnson joined the other children singing at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. Now 41, the Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook is pastor of the Bronx Christian Fellowship Baptist Church and a
member of President Clinton’s race-relations panel.

“Those were the wonder years for us,” say Johnson Cook, whose mother taught public school in Harlem for 22 years and whose father was one of the city’s first black trolley car drivers. “I remember the energy of our
community, as if we were all moving as one wave, not waves clashing against each other. We had a common purpose, a common cause, and we worked toward making it happen. And there hasn’t been in my lifetime
another movement like that. It was a spiritual movement.”

Virginia Fields was 17 in 1963 when a bomb exploded in Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, while she was worshiping there. She was primed for activism when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. came through town months later for his first march on Birmingham.

Fields, 52, now Manhattan borough president, was swept up in the mass arrest that ended the march and spent five days in the Birmingham City Jail, where King wrote his now-famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
“We all believed so much in his leadership,” she said. “We felt that he was going in the right direction, and after so many earlier attempt to desegregate the schools and the lunch counters had failed. With his leadership and his mass action, we just felt a renewed sense of excitement, of energy.”

African-Americans had endured the horrors of some 300 years of slavery to arrive at the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 free, but with few rights of citizenship. But by the end of World War II, black patriots returned from their service with the sense of a rightful place at the table as members of the American family.

In the years that followed, a migration of blacks from the rural South to the cities gave birth to a sizable black middle class—and the civil rights movement.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, established in 1909, attracted funding from new members made up largely of educated blacks in the North. Many of these included young lawyers who, through the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, methodically waged court challenges that clarified and expanded the rights of African-Americans.

In one such case, the 1954 Supreme Court allowed Linda Brown to attend Summer Elementary School, an all-white school near her home in Topeka, Kan., paving the way for desegregated schools and many of the civil rights gains to come.

Resistance in the South to the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling would propel the fledgling civil rights movement in its struggle to bring down many of the barriers to black participation in American life.

The battle gave the nation generations of African-American leaders, including King, who as the head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference would go on to captivate America and the world.

Percy Sutton, who in 1966 had been elected Manhattan borough president, marched with King a week before he was killed.

“He was a quiet and effective revolutionary in bringing about changes in the human condition here in America,” Sutton said.

Julian Bond and the group he co-founded, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, joined other young people from the SCLC, the Congress of Racial Equality and the NAACP to stage sit-ins, boycotts,
marches and freedom rides to test the enforcement of desegregation. Weeks ago, Bond was elected chairman of the NAACP.

Bond said he is old enough to know that things are better now, but he also admits, “There are some indices of black life in America that are abysmal.”

Sutton said the battle to solve current problems of black life would have to be waged without a towering figure like King.

“Dr. King was the last of the singular civil rights leaders.” Sutton said. “The day of the singular leader is gone.”

“Now in every city, or every town there is a man or a woman who stands up for the rights of minorities who is that leader in that town in that factory, in that bus line, in that community. They are all leaders,” Sutton said.

Johnson Cook carries on the struggle in her work in the church, in her community and especially on the President’s race-relations panel.

“What I’ve seen in the two short years I’ve been here (in the Bronx) is a complete transformation of a people who are reclaiming our sense of community that we all learned as kids but lost,” she said.

Johnson Cook said the discussion on race has also changed from the time of the civil rights movement, when the issue was largely getting social justice for black Americans. Today, 33 years of immigration have changed the face of America.

“We are always wrestling with the issue of whether we should forget the black-white struggle and move on to the diversity question,” Johnson Cook said.

She said the chapter is not closed yet on that struggle because blacks are still fighting for justice in this society. At the same time, other minorities have their voices in the debate now, she said.

“The question we are asking is, ‘Can we be one America in the 21st century?’ And the strong implication in that question is that, in many ways, we are not,” Johnson Cook said.

ISLAM ON THE RISE Converts, a Boom in Births Help Swell Rank of Muslims By MICHAEL O. ALLEN

nullSunday, November 09, 1997

NADIA BARNES RECITED the shahada, or central principle of Islam.

“La ilaha illa Allah, sa Muhammadun rasulu Allah,” Barnes said after Imam Muhammed Salem Agwa: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammed is the messenger of Allah.”

The 23-year-old fashion designer and finance student descended from the balcony, where women pray apart from men, into the main hall of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York for a ceremony as old as time itself.

Under the copper dome of the nation’s most resplendent mosque, a gilded crescent pointing to Mecca as she was encircled by a dozen men, Barnes pledged belief in eternal life and hellfire, that “Jesus is a prophet, not a god,” that Muhammed is the “last prophet” of Allah and that Islam is the one true religion. Also, she vowed to give alms to the poor, pray five times a day and one day go to Mecca.

With that, Agwa welcomed her into the umma, or community.

“Good,” Agwa said. “Now you have faith; now you are a Muslim.”

Barnes is part of the dramatic rise for the religion of Islam in New York and in the nation.

Fueling the growth is immigration from predominantly Islamic nations, a high birthrate in Muslim families, and conversion to the religion by African-Americans and women, such as Barnes, who marry Muslims.

Immigration from countries with large Muslim populations, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, has been rising.

And, more recently, Muslims have come here from Indonesia, Africa, and, with the breakdown of the former Soviet Union, new nations like Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Many of the newcomers are highly skilled workers doctors, engineers, pharmacists who have been able to come because of less restrictive immigration laws.

The impact of Islam on New Yorkers’ lives is hard to miss, from the mundane changes, like alternate-side-of-the-street parking rules, to the most heartfelt.

The star and crescent moon now are displayed alongside Christmas trees and Chanukah and Kwanzaa candles during the winter holiday season.

Eid Al-Fitr, a feast that follows the Ramadan month of daylight fasting, was added to the 29 holy days of various religions for the estimated 100,000 Muslim students in city schools.

Mosques and traditional Muslim modest clothing now are commonplace in many city neighborhoods.

As Nadia Barnescompleted forms in a basement office of the nation’s most resplendent mosque at 96th St. and Third Ave., she spoke about the spiritualism of Islam and the calm and peace it has brought to her.

“I just felt the most strength of my life, that I was doing the right thing, that I was meant to do this,” she said.

Not only was Barnes converting to Islam, she was bringing a stray back to the flock: her husband, Muhammed Gundel, 33, a Pakistani immigrant who said he allowed his faith to lapse about 21/2 years ago.

As their ranks have grown, Muslims have done like other religions and established parochial schools for religious and cultural education.

At the Al-Iman School at the Imam Al Khoei Islamic Center in Jamaica, Queens, Masooma Hussain, 13, and her 11-year-old sister Fatima typify the emerging generation of Muslims.

Now of Elmont, L.I., they came to New York from Pakistan with their parents seven years ago.

The girls, wearing scarves to cover their hair, were outspoken about their place here, belying the stereotype of Muslim women as docile, compliant and oppressed.

Fatima, who wants to be a doctor, said she feels at home in New York.

“It’s not like I’m from another planet,” she said.

Marc Ferris, who teaches in the general studies program at New York University and has written about the city’s Muslim communities, said mosques bring a welcome brand of tolerance.

“In New York City, we’ve got the most international and cosmopolitan Muslim community in the world,” Ferris said. “Africans, Guyanese, Asians, Americans.”

And Muslims from countries that are mortal enemies somehow find a way to worship together in the same mosque when them come to New York, he said.

“At an Albanian mosque in Brooklyn, Turks and Albanians, who are historic enemies, pray side by side. The same with Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims. They seem to be more united here in religion because they are minorities. A lot of the Old World stuff gets buried,” Ferris said.

A source of anguish to them is when Islam is equated to terrorism. They complain that the phrase “Islamic terrorist” unfairly taints their religion for nationalistic acts by groups and individuals who happen to be Muslims.

Numan Okuyan, 42, owner of Metropolitan Graphic Art, a gallery on 82d St., notes that no one referred to Timothy McVeigh as a Christian terrorist when he bombed the federal building in Oklahoma.

And, like many Muslims interviewed by the Daily News especially non-Arabs Okuyan, who was born in Turkey to Uzbek parents, blames the media for defining his faith by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Okuyan pointed out that his mosque has worshipers from all over the world; others note that Arabs make up just 20% of the faithful.

Dr. Abdul Rehman, who immigrated here in 1968 from Pakistan, recalled some of the early struggles finding a place to worship or the proper food to eat. Today, he is chairman of the board of trustees for the Al-Noor Mosque in Staten Island, which was started by Pakistani immigrants like him but now has a largely African-American congregation.

By far the largest number of Muslims in the United States are African-American converts.

The Chicago-based Nation of Islam opened a temple in Harlem in 1946 and saw membership soar when Malcolm X arrived eight years later as the imam. But its emphasis on black empowerment and exclusion of whites has been controversial.

M.T. Mehdi, secretary-general of the National Council on Islamic Affairs, said members of the Nation of Islam are not genuine Muslims because they are in a political movement, not a religious movement.

Traditional Islam is a color-blind religion, and the Nation of Islam is reacting to white racism in this country, Mehdi said. Of special concern to Muslims, he said, is the baggage Louis Farrakhan brings in his history of statements that have been deemed anti-Semitic.

But Nation of Islam leader Farrakhan reacted angrily to that characterization of his movement.

“I’m a Muslim,” Farrakhan insisted. “Don’t try to make me a politician. When we say that the Nation of Islam will be more political, it is out of our spiritual underpinning, our faith in Allah that we challenge the forces of evil in this society.”

GRAPHIC: MARK BONIFACIO JON NASO DAILY NEWS JON NASO DAILY NEWS MARK BONIFACIO BENEATH DOME of Manhattan’s Islamic Cultural Center, worshipers, including Nadia Branes and her husband, Muhammad Gundel, pray and study (photos opposite and top). Dr. Abdul Rehman and daughter Naheed (above) worship at Al-Noor Mosque in Staten Island, where he serves as chairman of the board of trustees.