Daily Archives: August 15, 2010

Philip Markoff, Alleged Craigslist Killer, Found DEAD, Commits Suicide In Jail Cell

Huffington Post

A former medical student accused of killing a masseuse he met through Craigslist committed suicide in the Boston jail where he was awaiting trial, authorities said Sunday.

Philip Markoff, 24, was found unresponsive in his cell Sunday morning in the Nashua Street Jail, the Suffolk County district attorney’s office said in an e-mailed statement, and he was pronounced dead at about 10:15 a.m.

“Markoff was alone in his cell, and all evidence collected thus far indicates that he took his own life,” the statement said.

Authorities will investigate to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding his death, the district attorney said.

Saturday would have been Markoff’s first wedding anniversary, but his nuptials were canceled after his arrest.

Markoff, a former Boston University student, pleaded not guilty in the fatal shooting of Julissa Brisman, of New York City, and the armed robbery of a Las Vegas woman. Both crimes happened at Boston hotels within the span of four days in April 2009. Rhode Island prosecutors also accused him of attacking a stripper that week.

His trial in the Massachusetts cases was expected in March.

Markoff’s lawyer, John Salsberg, said he was shocked and saddened about his client’s death. He would not comment further.

Markoff had met the women through advertisements for erotic services posted on Craigslist, a classified advertising Web site, prosecutors said.

The Boston Police Department crime lab identified two blood stains taken from swabs on a handgun that was seized during a search of Markoff’s apartment in Quincy, Mass., said prosecutors, who alleged Markoff used the weapon to bludgeon Brisman before she was shot three times at close range.

Investigators also found several other items in the apartment, including four pairs of women’s underwear wrapped inside socks and hidden in a box spring, authorities said.

Markoff was engaged at the time of his arrest. His fiancee, Megan McAllister, ended the relationship with Markoff after visiting him in jail, and their wedding, scheduled for Aug. 14, 2009, was canceled.

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Nadler Dismantles Right-Wing Arguments Against Mosque: ‘We Do Not Put The Bill Of Rights…Up To A Vote’

Nadler: “I would take the sincerity of many of the Republican critics of this…if they were supporting, as Peter is, but very few other Republicans are, the bill to give health care coverage to the 9/11 heroes and responders which all but 12 Republicans voted against in the House last week.”

Think Progress

This morning on CNN’s State of the Union, New York congressmen Jerrold Nadler (D) effectively dismantled the arguments of his fellow Empire State colleague Peter King (R), who has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the new Islamic center project in lower Manhattan.

King argued that, while he respects Muslims’ “right” to build a new center, “they should listen to public opinion” and “should voluntarily move the mosque away from Ground Zero.” Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, explained, “We do not put the Bill of Rights…to a vote. The reason we have a Bill of Rights is that you have your religious rights…whether majorities like you or not, frankly.”

Nadler then addressed the biggest fallacy of the right-wing argument: namely, that in their opposition to the Islamic center, they are ascribing collective guilt on all Muslims for the terrorist acts of 9/11:

NADLER: [W]hat they are saying essentially is how can you put a mosque there when, after all, Muslims attacked us on 9/11, and this is ripping open a wound? Well, the fallacy is that Al Qaida attacked us. Islam did not attack us. Islam, like Christianity, like Judaism, like other religions, has many different people, some of whom regard other adherents of the religion as heretics of one sort or another. It is only insensitive if you regard Islam as the culprit, as opposed to Al Qaida as the culprit. We were not attacked by all Muslims. And there were Muslims who were killed there, there were Muslims who were killed there. There were Muslims who ran in as first responders to help. And we cannot take any position like that.

Continue reading…

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Filed under GOP Hubris, GOP Hypocrisy, Ground Zero Mosque

‘Ground Zero’ Mosque Developers Open To Relocation Offer

Sharif El-Gamal, CEO of SoHo Properties, the developer of Park51 says the group is interested in hearing more about Gov. Paterson’s proposal but has always been focused on lower Manhattan.

New York Daily News.com

Albany – Sponsors of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero are not slamming the door on Gov. Paterson‘s idea to build the center someplace else.

“We are open to a conversation to find out more on what the governor has in mind,” the center, Park51, said in a Twitter post yesterday.

While mosque opponents charge the chosen site is insensitive to 9/11 victims, Paterson doesn’t oppose the planned location.

He suggested earlier this week it might ease tensions if the center was further away from Ground Zero, and raised the possibility of offering state-owned land.

“I would hope that whatever spirituality exists would compel the developers to sit down and have this conversation,” Paterson said on WOR’s “The John Gambling Show” yesterday.

Mosque developer Sharif El-Gamal has said the group is interested in hearing from Paterson but added that “this has always been about serving lower Manhattan.”

He did not return calls and emails yesterday.

Meanwhile, in another Twitter post, Park51 attacked GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio, a fervent mosque critic, as “islamiphobic.”

Lazio spokesman Barney Keller rejected the claim.

“Rick Lazio has made it very clear from day one that this isn’t about religion. It’s about transparency and this mosque and this imam,” Keller said

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/13/2010-08-13_we_can_talk_about_move_sez_mosque.html#ixzz0weZsOLBB

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10 Myths About Islam

  

About.com – Islam 

1. Muslims worship a moon-god

Some non-Muslims mistakenly believe that Allah is an “Arab god,” a “moon god,” or some sort of idol. Allah is the proper name of the One True God, in the Arabic language. The most fundamental belief that a Muslim has is that “There is only One God,” the Creator, the Sustainer — known in the Arabic language and by Muslims as Allah. Arabic-speaking Christians use the same word for the Almighty.    

 2. Muslims don’t believe in Jesus

In the Qur’an, stories about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ (called ‘Isa in Arabic) are abundant. The Qur’an recalls his miraculous birth, his teachings, and the miracles he performed by God’s permission. There is even a chapter of the Qur’an named after his mother, Mary (Miriam in Arabic). However, Muslims believe that Jesus was a fully human prophet and not in any way divine himself.  

 3. Most Muslims are Arabs

While Islam is often associated with Arabs, they make up only 15% of the world’s Muslim population. The country with the largest population of Muslims is Indonesia. Muslims make up 1/5 of the world’s population, with large numbers found in Asia (69%), Africa (27%), Europe (3%) and other parts of the world   .

 

4. Islam oppresses women

Most of the ill-treatment that women receive in the Muslim world is based on local culture and traditions, without any basis in the faith of Islam. In fact, practices such as forced marriage, spousal abuse, and restricted movement directly contradict Islamic law governing family behavior and personal freedom.

 

5. Muslims are violent, terrorist extremists

Terrorism cannot be justified under any valid interpretation of the Islamic faith. The entire Qur’an, taken as a complete text, gives a message of hope, faith, and peace to a faith community of one billion people. The overwhelming message is that peace is to be found through faith in God, and justice among fellow human beings. Muslim leaders and scholars do speak out against terrorism in all its forms, and offer explanations of misinterpreted or twisted teachings.

 

6. Islam is intolerant of other faiths

Throughout the Qur’an, Muslims are reminded that they are not the only ones who worship God. Jews and Christians are called “People of the Book,” meaning people who have received previous revelations from the One Almighty God that we all worship. The Qur’an also commands Muslims to protect from harm not only mosques, but also monasteries, synagogues, and churches — because “God is worshipped therein.”

 

7. Islam promotes “jihad” to spread Islam by the sword and kill all unbelievers

The word Jihad stems from an Arabic word which means “to strive.” Other related words include “effort,” “labor,” and “fatigue.” Essentially Jihad is an effort to practice religion in the face of oppression and persecution. The effort may come in fighting the evil in your own heart, or in standing up to a dictator. Military effort is included as an option, but as a last resort and not “to spread Islam by the sword.”

 

8. The Quran was written by Muhammad and copied from Christian and Jewish sources

The Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of two decades, calling people to worship One Almighty God and to live their lives according to this faith. The Qur’an contains stories of Biblical prophets, because these prophets also preached the message of God. Stories are not merely copied, but the oral traditions are referred to in a way that focuses on the examples and teachings that we can learn from them.      

9. Islamic prayer is just a ritualized performance with no heartfelt meaning

Prayer is a time to stand before God and express faith, give thanks for blessings, and seek guidance and forgiveness. During Islamic prayer, one is modest, submissive and respectful to God. By bowing and prostrating ourselves to the ground, we express our utmost humility before the Almighty.

 

10. The crescent moon is a universal symbol of Islam

The early Muslim community did not really have a symbol. During the time of the Prophet Muhammad, Islamic caravans and armies flew simple solid-colored flags (generally black, green, or white) for identification purposes. The crescent moon and star symbol actually pre-dates Islam by several thousand years, and wasn’t affiliated with Islam at all until the Ottoman Empire placed it on their flag.

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What have the Muslims ever done for America?

A question that should be explored so that the historically challenged can get a clue:

The BigotBasher

Screw the right wing thugs being wheeled out as talking heads on tv objecting to Cordoba House as a “Ground Zero Mosque”. And especially  screw that ignoramus Larry Johnson, whose “security knowledge” CNN draws on all so often has to be questioned when he asks a question so stupid it could have come from Life of Brian.

Nice to see that in his desire to extract $$$s from wingnuts he has back a poster he had previously banned, who admitted she was interviewed by the Secret Service for making death threats against the President- doing pretty much the same again – making very similar comments  about the same President.

Let’s get some basics. For a start it is not a mosque and it is not on “Ground Zero”.

Here is the map of where it is:

NOT ON GROUND ZERO.

So because the President said this:-

Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality … a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country

Right wingers want to go all John Cleese on Muslims.

 

Continue reading…

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Obama Family Plays Mini-Golf, Sasha Nails Hole-In-One

Sasha is a Gemini, that says it all!  (smile)

Huffington Post

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — Sasha Obama is proving that the president isn’t the only golfer in the family.

On a family trip to a miniature golf course, 9-year-old Sasha hit a hole-in-one in front of the watchful eye of the media, and much to the delight of her father, an avid golfer. The president gave Sasha a high-five, and declared her stroke, “unbelievable.”

The president followed up by making par with his two shots on the first hole.

The Obamas are in the Florida Panhandle on a quick weekend trip that the president hopes will jump-start the region’s tourism industry, which has suffered following the Gulf oil spill.

Photos…

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