Michael Moore writes open letter to Donald Trump: ‘We are all Muslim’

Recently Updated20

American film-maker and activist Michael Moore held a sign titled “We are all Muslims” outside Trump Tower. When the cops came, he left the scene and continued to write an open letter to Donald Trump.

The letter was in response to Trump’s presidential proposals, including all Muslims in the US registering on a database and a suspension on Muslim immigration.

Moore, in his letter, reminded Trump that the US today is no longer a country of “angry white guys”, that the future US president will be chosen by more diverse voters and that “fortunately” the US no longer looks like Trump or his supporters.

Moore goes on to say: “Here’s a statistic that is going to make your hair spin: 81 percent of the electorate who will pick the president next year are either female, people of colour, or young people between the ages of 18 and 35… In other words, not you” or “the people who want you leading their country”.

Moore said that he was raised to believe in equality of people as brothers and sisters, regardless of race, colour and religion.

He added that “we are all Muslim, just as we are all Mexican, we are all Catholic and Jewish and white and black and every shade in between.”

He writes “We are all children of God (or nature or whatever you believe in), part of the human family, and nothing you say or do can change that fact one iota. If you don’t like living by these American rules, then you need to go to the time-out room in any one of your Towers, sit there, and think about what you’ve said.”

“And then leave the rest of us alone so we can elect a real president who is both compassionate and strong”.

Michael Moore is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), a critical look at the presidency of George W. Bush and the War on Terror, which is the highest-grossing documentary at the American boxoffice of all time and winner of the Palme d’Or.

You may read Michael Moore’s full letter to Donald Trump here.


Video: Elderly Saudi man and sons rescue Indian from floods in Riyadh

old man
A video clip on YouTube showed an elderly Saudi man and his sons rescue an Indian who was stranded in Wadi Hanifa, Riyadh after heavy rains flooded the city recently.

The grateful man is seen thanking and kissing the old man, in immense gratitude, for his noble act. 

Makkah hotel fire: 1000 pilgrims evacuated

fireMakkah, Saudi Arabia (AFP) –About 1,000 Asian pilgrims were evacuated on Thursday from their hotel in Makkah, hit by a fire that injured two people, the civil defence agency said.

Firefighters “rescued two pilgrims who were hurt” by the fire in an eighth-floor room of the unnamed hotel, the agency said.

More than one million faithful have already arrived in Makkah for this year’s Hajj, which begins on Tuesday.

The agency also did not give the nationality of the pilgrims, nor say what caused the blaze.

The Hajj has been almost incident-free for the past decade, but at least 107 people, including some from Asia, died last Friday when a construction crane collapsed on Mecca’s Grand Mosque.

In 2006, more than 360 pilgrims died in a stampede at the desert plain of Mina, near Makkah. A crush of pilgrims two years earlier left 244 dead.

The worst Hajj-related tragedy was in 1990, when 1,426 pilgrims died in a stampede in an overcrowded pedestrian tunnel leading to holy sites in Makkah.



Saudi police arrest two after shootout in Riyadh, seize bomb belt

Image: Sabq
Image: Sabq

Riyadh (AFP) – Police in Saudi Arabia said Wednesday they had arrested two suspected militants and were hunting two others who fled following shootouts and raids that netted automatic weapons and a bomb belt.

The gunfire occurred in separate districts of Riyadh on Tuesday night as officers pursued an investigation into “deviant groups,” the interior ministry said in a statement.

Saudi authorities use the term to refer to Islamic extremists, although the ministry did not specifically mention any group.

The raids came after a series of attacks this year claimed by the Islamic State group that killed dozens of people in Saudi Arabia.

Two suspects opened fire and threw a grenade at police trying to arrest them in a residential area in the capital’s Monsia district, the ministry said.

Ahmed al-Zahrani, 21, and Mohammed al-Zahrani, 19, were detained.

At the second location, a Saudi coffee shop in Riyadh’s Dharma district, the suspects tried to flee in a vehicle after spotting the police.

“They then heavily opened fire at security officers,” who shot back and disabled their vehicle, the statement said.

The suspects then “seized a citizen’s vehicle by force and took off in it.”

Television pictures showed forensic police examining a pick-up truck with bullet holes in its windshield.

Officers found a bomb belt in the truck, the interior ministry said.

As the manhunt continued, Al-Ekhbaria television showed police checking cars on a highway.

Searches of the residential complex and coffee shop revealed a laboratory potential used for bomb making, several automatic rifles and pistols, ammunition, more than 400,000 riyals ($106,000) in cash and “sketches of targeted areas,” the ministry said.


Video: 107 killed by falling crane at Grand Mosque in Makkah


Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) – A massive construction crane crashed into Makkah’s Grand Mosque in stormy weather on Friday, killing at least 107 people and injuring 238, Saudi authorities said, days before the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The civil defence agency said on Twitter that emergency teams were sent to the scene after a “crane fell at the Grand Mosque,” one of Islam’s most revered sites.

That came about an hour after it tweeted that Mecca was “witnessing medium to heavy rains,” and pictures on social media showed lightning.

Ahmed bin Mohammad al-Mansoori, spokesman for the two holy mosques, was quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency as saying part of a crane collapsed at 5:10 pm (1410 GMT) “as a result of strong winds and heavy rains.”

Abdel Aziz Naqoor, who said he works at the mosque, told AFP he saw the crane fall after being hit by the storm.

“If it weren’t for Al-Tawaf bridge the injuries and deaths would have been worse,” he said, referring to a covered walkway that surrounds the holy Kaaba and broke the crane’s fall.

The Kaaba is a massive cube-shaped structure at the centre of the mosque towards which Muslims worldwide pray and which has a major role in the hajj.

A video on YouTube showed people screaming and rushing around right after a massive crash was heard and as fog engulfed the city.

The incident occurred as hundreds of thousands of Muslims from all over the world gather for the annual hajj pilgrimage expected to begin on September 21.

The Grand Mosque is usually at its most crowded on Fridays, the Muslim weekly day of prayer.

Many faithful would have been gathered there ahead of evening Maghrib prayers, which occurred about an hour after the tragedy.

The governor of Makkah region, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, has ordered an investigation into the incident and was heading to the mosque, the official @makkahregion page on Twitter said.

Irfan al-Alawi, co-founder of the Makkah-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, compared the carnage to that caused by a bomb.

He suggested authorities were negligent by having a series of cranes overlooking the mosque.

“They do not care about the heritage, and they do not care about health and safety,” he told AFP.

Alawi is an outspoken critic of redevelopment at the holy sites, which he says is wiping away tangible links to the Prophet Mohammed.

Online activists created a hashtag on Twitter urging Mecca residents to donate blood at hospitals in the area.

No details were immediately available on the nationalities of the victims.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency, quoting the head of the Hajj Organisation, said 15 Iranian pilgrims were among those injured.

Most of them were treated as outpatients, Saeid Ohadi said.

A massive project is underway to expand the area of the mosque by 400,000 square metres (4.3 million square feet), allowing it to accommodate up to 2.2 million people at once.

Though marred in the past by deadly incidents including floods, stampedes and fires, the hajj has become nearly incident-free in recent years because of multi-billion dollar investments.

These have included transport networks and other infrastructure to facilitate movement of the crowds.

SPA said that almost 800,000 pilgrims had arrived by Friday for the Hajj, which all able-bodied Muslims are expected to perform if they have the means to do so.

Amateur footage below appears to capture the moment the crane collapsed.

Egypt billionare Naguib Sawiris offers to buy island to help refugees


Reuters – Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has offered to buy an island off Greece or Italy and develop it to help hundreds of thousands of people fleeing from Syria and other conflicts.

The telecoms tycoon first announced the initiative on Twitter.

“Greece or Italy sell me an island, I’ll call its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country,” he wrote.

More than 2,300 people have died at sea trying to reach Europe since January, many of them Syrians who fled their country’s four-and-a-half year conflict.

Sawiris said in a television interview that he would approach the governments of Greece and Italy about his plan.

Asked by AFP whether he believed it could work, he said: “Of course it’s feasible.”

“You have dozens of islands which are deserted and could accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees.”

Sawiris said an island off Greece or Italy could cost between USD 10 million and USD 100 million, but added the “main thing is investment in infrastructure”.

There would be “temporary shelters to house the people, then you start employing the people to build housing, schools, universities, hospitals.

“And if things improve, whoever wants to go back (to their homeland) goes back,” said Sawiris, whose family developed the popular El Gouna resort on Egypt’s Red Sea coast.

He conceded such a plan could face challenges, including the likely difficulty of persuading Greece or Italy to sell an island, and figuring out jurisdiction and customs regulations.

But those who took shelter would be treated as “human beings,” he said. “The way they are being treated now, they are being treated like cattle.”

Sawiris is the chief executive of Orascom TMT, which operates mobile telephone networks in a number of Middle Eastern and African countries plus Korea as well as underwater communications networks.

He also owns an Egyptian television channel.


Fire at Saudi Aramco compound kills 11, injures more than 200


Reuters- A fire swept through an oil workers’ residential compound in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, killing 11 people and injuring over 200 others of various nationalities, some critically, the Civil Defence agency said.

Saudi national oil company Saudi Aramco [SDABO.UL] said the cause of the fire which broke out in a basement of the Radium residential compound in Khobar was not known.

“At 05:45 today a fire was reported in the basement of the Radium residential compound in Al Khobar which is leased by Saudi Aramco for its employees,” Aramco said in a statement.

The Civil Defence Department said on its Twitter account that at 11 people have died while at least 219 people were injured, some of them seriously.

“Cars and furniture caught fire in the basement of one of the towers, heavy smoke bellowed, obstructing rescue and firefighting operations,” the Civil Defence said in a statement. The fire was under control, it said.

Saudi Aramco, which is headquartered in Dhahran and has more than 55,000 employees, many of them expatriates, has not identified the nationalities of its employees but it is believed that the compound houses expatriates.

According to Aramco’s website, the Radium Residential Complex consists of eight six floor buildings and comprises 486 units.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter with its entire output pumped by Aramco.


Suicide bombing in Saudi mosque kills 13


Reuters- A suicide bomb attack inside a mosque in a local security forces headquarters in Abha city in south-west Saudi Arabia killed 13 people and wounded nine on Thursday, the Saudi state news agency reported, citing an interior ministry spokesman.

State television had earlier reported a death toll of 17.

The mosque in Abha was part of the local headquarters of a state security unit called the Special Emergency Force, the spokesman was cited as saying.

Of those killed, 10 were members of the force, while three were workers in the compound. They were praying when the bomber struck within their ranks, he said.

In May, two suicide bomb attacks on Shi’ite mosques in Saudi Arabia were claimed by Islamic State. The first on a mosque in Qatif in the east of the kingdom killed 21 worshippers, and another four died in a bombing a week later at a mosque in Dammam.

Another bombing claimed by Islamic State on a Shi’ite mosque in Kuwait in June killed 27 people.