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"Journalists and intellectuals who advance the narrative that the ‘Islamic’ state is indeed Islamic, or even an accurate reflection of the dominant convictions of communities with predominantly Islamic populations, only serve to further perpetuate the extremists’ political and religious agendas.
In September, an 18-page open letter signed by over 120 prominent Muslim leaders and intellectuals, repudiated the assertion that the perverted theology of the ‘Islamic’ state could be considered an accurate representation of the teachings of the Qur’an and the Hadith.
Among the many assertions made in this letter, these scholars explicitly pronounced how the revisionist approach of these extremists disassociates themselves from the extended Muslim community:
It is forbidden in Islam to declare a caliphate without consensus from all Muslims.
It is forbidden in Islam to deny women their rights.
It is forbidden in Islam to torture people.
It is forbidden in Islam to kill the innocent.
It is forbidden in Islam to kill emissaries, ambassadors, and diplomats; hence it is forbidden to kill journalists and aid workers.
It is forbidden in Islam to harm or mistreat—in any way—Christians or any ‘People of the Scripture’.
Jihad in Islam is defensive war. It is not permissible without the right cause, the right purpose and without the right rules of conduct.
Many journalists have reinforced contention that the Islamic concept of ‘jihad’ is interchangeable with the Western notion of ‘terrorism.’ This wrongful and ignorant appropriation implicitly endorses the actions of the ‘Islamic’ state by reinforcing the conviction that violence and war are merely necessary strategic maneuvers in a spiritually justified religious journey.
Faris Hussein al-Ansi, a professor of Islamic Studies based in Aden, Yemen, argues that by entertaining radical representations of reality we are ignoring the negative implications that extremists have for prevalent Islamic theologies. Al-Ansi states, “What the world and terrorists understand as jihad is a semantic aberration, not a reflection of God’s command.”
He continues to state that, “Terror has been a plague onto the world, not just Western society. Muslims, too, have been held hostage to fanaticism. Terror is a global problem, a modern cancer which we can no longer afford to underestimate through sectarian labeling.”
Nihad Awad, the National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), further elaborates on the blatant misrepresentation of Islamic religious ideology in the Western media. In an interview with ThinkProgress, Awad stated that public figures who use ‘jihad’ and ‘terrorism’ interchangeably are legitimizing the distorted theology of terrorists."
"Sanctioned by a lack of public accountability, aggressive policing tactics have become legally permissible. The contemporary expansion of arms and policies facilitating military preparedness largely contribute to neglectful tolerance among law enforcement agencies.
These cultural conditions foster an environment where law enforcement feel justified to act with relentless impunity. Instead of heroically personifying the over-publicized mantra to “serve and protect” citizens in the communities they police, officials adopt arbitrarily self-serving attitudes."
"In order to fully comprehend the motivations behind zine culture, one needs to be willing to contemplate the cultural confrontations that accompany capitalism. Zines, like Factsheet Five and the publications that it reviewed, arose from discontent with American hegemony. Duncombe described this alternative rendition of American democracy in Notes from Underground:
“They are the fruits of their creator’s discontent with the nature of personal interaction and communication, the eclipse of community by mass society, and the separation of people like themselves from the process of cultural creation and consumption. Zines are their attempt to fill in the gaps between the quality of these things as they’ve experienced them in the dominant society and their ideals of what they could and should be like.”
These voices of mass dissent are closer to traditional American principles than most would assume. Qualities such as competitive individuality and practical self-sufficiency resonate deeply with the communities that disseminate alternative ideologies."
"Federal regulators will soon decide whether to permit a pipeline to run under the Rockaway Inlet, connecting the Brooklyn-Queens natural gas grid to a transcontinental pipe three miles offshore."
"The DEIS report concludes that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the Rockaway Lateral Pipeline project would not have any direct impact on the environment. This is because other sources of fuel release more toxic emissions into the atmosphere when burned. Williams' spokesperson explains, “...when combusted, coal and oil release higher levels of harmful emissions, including a higher ratio of carbon emissions, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide.”
National Grid estimates that fuel conversions to natural gas could result in a decrease of daily GHG emissions. This decrease would amount to 11,357 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
But J.K. Canepa, a member of the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline, argues that, “Carbon dioxide levels are only part of the story of emissions." When natural gas is extracted, at least 30 percent more methane escapes into the atmosphere than with conventional gas extraction methods. This is due largely to the fact that methane is the primary component of natural gas.
The opposition fears that this pipeline will bring natural gas retrieved using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to New York City. Fracking is a process that involves shooting high-pressure streams of water, sand and unspecified chemicals into the ground to extract natural gas reserves. A single fracked well could release 30 to 50 percent more methane through the extraction process and routine leaks than a conventional gas well over its lifetime.
A study conducted by Robert W. Howarth at Cornell University states that methane emissions from fracked gas are more environmentally destructive than carbon dioxide emissions. Eric Walton, a pipeline opponent, explains: “While natural gas is lower in carbon dioxide, the oft-maligned greenhouse gas of 'carbon footprint' fame, it is much higher in methane, which has twenty times the heat-trapping strength of CO2.”
The Howarth study concludes that over a 20-year-horizon, the greenhouse footprint of fracked shale gas is at least 50 percent greater than that of oil, and perhaps 2.5 times greater. At the 100-year time scale, the footprint for shale is 35 percent greater than for oil."