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6 Ways Religious Frauds Try to Make Gays and Lesbians Straight

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Thanks to the unscientific, unregulated underworld of ex-gay therapy, frauds and hacks of all stripes are getting away with any kind of therapy they can think up.

Ted Cox,  AlterNet

The “ex-gay” movement, which purports to save religious men and women from their unwanted same-sex attractions, will resort to any method to scam its unfortunate adherents.

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Earlier this month, Truth Wins Out, an organization run by ex-gay-group watchdog Wayne Besen, released an exclusive video of two men describing how ex-gay life coach Alan Downing had encouraged them in separate counseling sessions to stand before a mirror, undress and touch themselves.

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A significantly older life coach, who also admits to being attracted to men, making 20-something men strip naked in his office? In the unscientific, unregulated underworld of ex-gay therapy, frauds and hacks of all stripes are getting away with any kind of "therapy" they can think up.

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An Open Letter to George W. Bush: Speak Out Against Bigotry

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  • The fearmongers rallying against the "Ground Zero Mosque" are missing the point: messages of hatred get us nowhere. In fact, they hurt us.
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  • Urge President Bush to speak out against bigotry like he did 9 years ago.
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  • What would Martin Luther King Say?
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Human Rights First

9/11 is (less than) a week away. Instead of remembering our loss with an affirmation of our nation's unity and confidence, some politicians are eager to exploit the tragedy of 9/11 to score political points.

The fearmongers rallying against the "Ground Zero Mosque" are missing the point: messages of hatred get us nowhere. In fact, they hurt us.

George W. Bush understood this. When he was president, he said: “America rejects bigotry. We reject every act of hatred against people of Arab background or Muslim faith,” and repeated this message during his presidency. We're urging him to speak out now in an open petition we'll publicize widely. Join our efforts by signing here.

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What would Martin Luther King Say? Mosques and the New Jim Crow in America, Juan Cole, Informed Comment

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  • Muslim Americans are Americans. There can be no government Establishment of Judeo-Christian traditions, and no prohibition on how and where Muslim Americans worship. We are seeing attempts to foment a new Jim Crow, centered on mosques, which involves all the same fear-mongering, segregation, and special pleading for the majority that characterized the old (Jim Crow).
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  • The Community Center at Park 51
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Five myths about mosques in this country

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  • Through their mosques, U.S. Muslims are embracing the community involvement that is a hallmark of the American experience. In this light, mosques should be welcomed as premier sites of American assimilation, not feared as incubators of terrorist indoctrination.
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  • Top 10 myths about Islam
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Edward E. Curtis, IV, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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In addition to spawning passionate debates in the public, the news media and the political class, the proposal to build a Muslim community center near ground zero in New York has revealed widespread misconceptions about the practice of Islam in this country -- and the role of mosques in particular.

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1) Mosques are new to this country.
Mosques have been here since the colonial era. A mosque, or masjid, is literally any place where Muslims make salat, the prayer performed in the direction of Mecca; it needn't be a building. One of the first mosques in North American history was on Kent Island, Md.: Between 1731 and 1733, African-American Muslim slave and Islamic scholar Job Ben Solomon would regularly steal away to the woods there for his prayers -- in spite of a white boy who threw dirt on him as he made his prostrations.

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Top 10 Myths About Islam, Huda, About.com

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  • Introduction to Islam
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  • The Right's Shameful Muslim-Bashing
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Revised: Top 10 Myths About Islam

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  • Introduction to Islam
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  • The Right's Shameful Muslim-Bashing
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  • Five myths about mosques in this country
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Huda, About.com

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

Islam is a widely-misunderstood religion. Those who are unfamiliar with the faith often have misunderstandings about its teachings and practices. Common misconceptions include that Muslims worship a moon-god, that Islam is oppressive against women, or that Islam is a faith that promotes violence. Here we bust these myths and expose the true teachings of 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.

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Introduction to Islam, Huda, About.com
What is Islam? The name of the religion is Islam, which comes from an Arabic root word meaning "peace" and "submission." Islam teaches that one can only find peace in one's life by submitting to Almighty God (Allah) in heart, soul and deed. The same Arabic root word gives us "Salaam alaykum," ("Peace be with you"), the universal Muslim greeting.

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The Right's Shameful Muslim-Bashing, The Progress Report

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  • "If the prospect of losing our Constitution to religious government frightens you, don't worry about the tiny Muslim-American minority. Worry about the anti-mosque majority Gingrich is working to mobilize." --Slate Magazine's Will Saletan
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  • Zero Tolerance
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Five myths about mosques in this country, Edward E. Curtis, IV, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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  • Through their mosques, U.S. Muslims are embracing the community involvement that is a hallmark of the American experience. In this light, mosques should be welcomed as premier sites of American assimilation, not feared as incubators of terrorist indoctrination.
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  • Top 10 Myths About Islam
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