Exclusive: Haitian Muslims seek refuge in mosques; “Everyone there has lost somebody”

Abdul Latif Veras, a resident of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is at the forefront of the Muslim relief effort for Haiti. He updates me on how Haitian Muslims are coping with the disaster and what’s being done to help them. He’ll be heading out to Haiti tomorrow (Thursday) once again with aid.

Interview with Br. Abdul Latif

There are an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 Muslims in Haiti.


BBC’s verdict on 7/7 conspiracy theories

I happened to be watching BBC World News last evening and fell upon a rerun of a show called the Conspiracy Files. This episode was about the July 7, 2005 transit bombings in London.

“The programme sees how conspiracy theories suggest four British Muslims were framed by the government, play on the fears of the Muslim community and spread a highly divisive and damaging message.

“The Conspiracy Files: 7/7 examines the evidence in an attempt to separate fact from fiction.”

Although some or a lot of the reporting may be factual, it’s clear the BBC is on a mission to refute an Internet documentary entitled 7/7 Ripple Effect. The problem is that by showing a clear bias, the BBC sheds its own credibility on the issue. Most inquiring minds who at least partially believe that something could be amiss won’t likely be convinced by hearing denials or clarifications from the very people who are involved or implicated.

This type of reporting does no good. The doubters continue to doubt and their mistrust has likely grown (including for the BBC), while those who believe the conspiracy theorists are nutcases have their belief reinforced.

It’s true that the BBC had little to go on. But it could at least acknowledge some of the points of the conspiracy theorists without blowing off an aroma of total contempt, instead of simply offering the other half of the story 7/7 Ripple Effect missed.