Author: hamzah-raza

Hamzah Raza studied Religious Studies and Economics at Vanderbilt University and has contributed to the Grayzone Project since its inception.

Who’s Behind Canary Mission’s Anonymous Anti-Palestinian Blacklisting Website?

Canary Mission has exploited its anonymity to smear college students with impunity. The Grayzone is investigating the forces behind the malicious anti-Palestinian organization’s web domain.

By Hamzah Raza and Max Blumenthal

Editor’s note #1: An attorney for Howard David Sterling has asserted that Sterling “does not own the website” of CanaryMission.org, “did not engage in any of the conduct” committed by Canary Mission, and “had never even heard of that website until he was asked about it by a reporter earlier this year.” Sterling’s attorney stated, “GoDaddy specifically informed us that Howard Sterling is not and never has been the owner of that domain registration.”

Editor’s note #2: The Grayzone has continued to investigate the forces behind Canary Mission. We have obtained a bank statement recording a November 21, 2018 donation to CanaryMission.org that was accompanied by a cellphone number that was registered in Sterling’s name until at least March 15, 2015 — a month after the Canary Mission domain was registered.

Editor’s note #3: As Ali Abunimah and Asa Winstanley first reported, the censored Al Jazeera documentary, “The Lobby – USA” identified pro-Israel oligarch Adam Milstein as “Canary Mission funder.” 

Since it first registered its website in February 2015, Canary Mission has been a source of mystery and menace. Dedicated to blacklisting students involved in Palestine solidarity activism, intimidating them and denigrating their public reputations, Canary Mission’s administrators have gone to great lengths to conceal their identities. The secrecy has enabled them to target legally defenseless students – who are mostly members of minority and immigrant groups — with total impunity.

A document supplied to the Grayzone identifies the person who was at least the initial owner of Canary Mission’s domain name as a wealthy lawyer who has been a fervent supporter of Israel. According to document provided to the Grayzone, his name is Howard David Sterling.

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From Reagan to Rahm: A long list of public figures Jake Tapper must condemn for ties to Farrakhan

Jake Tapper attacked Keith Ellison for over four minutes over his association with Farrakhan. It’s time he demonstrate some moral consistency and condemn Ronald Reagan, too.

By Hamzah Raza

On June 26, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld President Donald Trump’s Executive Order supporting a ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries, especially those in the crosshairs of American foreign policy. The five Republican judges decided that it did not matter that Trump had been touting plans for a Muslim ban for over three years, and essentially ruled that their own right-wing ideology superseded reason and the rule of law. Comparisons to notorious SCOTUS decisions allowing for the internment of Japanese Americans and the perpetuation of slavery were abound in discussions of the ban.

In the midst of the fallout from the ruling, prime time CNN personality Jake Tapper hosted Rep. Keith Ellison, one of only two American Muslims in Congress, for what on the surface seemed like a chance to respond to the court. Tapper then spent a grand total of 65 seconds talking to Ellison about the Muslim ban before revealing his true priorities.

As soon as Ellison mentioned Donald Trump’s “bigotry,” Tapper immediately changed the subject to demand that Ellison condemn Louis Farrakhan, though he has already publicly addressed the issue. Ellison helped organize Farrakhan’s Million Man March in 1995, an event that was also attended by former President Barack Obama and hundreds of thousands of Black men with a wide array of political views. Today, Ellison is a Sunni Muslim with absolutely no ties to the Nation of Islam. Ellison explained this point ad nauseam for nearly four minutes before Tapper abruptly terminated the interview.

The interview revealed how little Tapper cared about the massive blow to civil liberties and his lack of concern for another escalation in the war on immigrants. Though he markets himself as one of Trump’s toughest foes in the media, Tapper seemed to have little interest in defending the values of the Constitution as they pertain to religious freedom. Instead, he seemed fixated on undermining those American Muslims who have dared to assert themselves in politics by using one of the cheapest and most well-worn tactics in the book.

Continue reading “From Reagan to Rahm: A long list of public figures Jake Tapper must condemn for ties to Farrakhan”

Clasping Hands with Israel’s PM Netanyahu, Kamala Harris Reveals Herself as a ‘Progressive Except for Palestine’

Kamala Harris’ support for Israel doesn’t square with her progressive policies at home.

By Hamzah Raza

This article was originally published at AlterNet.

As the second black female senator in American history, Kamala Harris has been a pioneer in American politics. Many consider her to be a serious contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Harris has even been branded by the New York Times as a “‘Top Cop’ in the era of Black Lives Matter,” a tip of the hat to the former California attorney general’s progressive politics and support for issues of social justice. But while Harris has been praised as someone who fights racism in the United States, some critics feel she has failed to be consistent in that approach abroad.

On November 20, California Sen. Kamala Harris met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Through the meeting, Harris ignored the avalanche of officially sanctioned anti-black racism in Israel, turned her back on historic black solidarity with the Palestinian cause and ignored the human rights demands of Palestinians living under apartheid. She revealed herself as the latest in a long line of “Progressives Except for Palestine,” and one of the most egregious examples given her personal and political background.

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Christopher Columbus the Islamophobe: An Untold Thanksgiving Story

A genocidal holiday cannot be fully understood without also being in silent or explicit relation to a savage Muslim counterpart.

By Hamzah Raza, Alexander Abbasi

This article was originally published at AlterNet.

The taking down of racist monuments has manifested itself in a worldwide movement meant to scrutinize the supposed morality of past figures and symbols. In March of 2015, students at the University of Cape Town in South Africa launched the Rhodes Must Fall movement in which they demanded the removal of a statue of Cecil Rhodes, a man considered by many to be the “architect of apartheid.” Just a few months later, in June of 2015, Bree Newsome, an activist from South Carolina, took down the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina State Capitol, leading to its permanent removal in July of 2015. In January of 2016, students at Oxford University in the United Kingdom voted in favor of removing a statue of Cecil Rhodes from their university.

Echoing the sentiments of those around the world, New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio has appointed a commission intended at ensuring that there are no “symbols of hate” on public property in New York City. At a recent November 17th hearing, there was controversy regarding a statue of Christopher Columbus in Central Park.

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