Democracy Now! - February 16, 2015

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Democracy Now! - February 16, 2015

Danish police have shot and killed a man they say carried out attacks on a synagogue and an event promoting free speech in Copenhagen. Local media identified the suspect as 22-year-old Omar al-Hussein, who had reportedly been released from prison just weeks earlier. Two other people have also been charged with aiding him. The presumed target of the attacks, Swedish artist Lars Vilks, has received death threats for depicting the head of the Prophet Muhammad on a dog. Vilks was unharmed, but a Danish film director was shot dead and three police officers injured. Hours later, the gunman attacked a synagogue, killing a guard outside and injuring another two police officers. The attacks in Copenhagen come a month after the massacre at the Paris offices of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. We speak with Inna Shevchenko, a speaker at the Copenhagen free speech event when the attack took place. Shevchenko is a leader of the international women’s protest group Femen, which often demonstrates topless against what they perceive as manifestations of patriarchy, especially dictatorship, religion and the sex industry. We are also joined by Tariq Ramadan, professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University and author of a number of influential books on Islam and the West.

As a federal inquiry begins in the killing of three Muslim students in North Carolina and an Islamic center in Houston, Texas, was intentionally set on fire Friday, we look at a new report that exposes the people who fund and stoke anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States. The investigation by the Center for American Progress is called "Fear, Inc. 2.0, The Islamophobia Network’s Efforts to Manufacture Hate in America," an update of a 2011 report. We are joined by the report’s co-author, Yasmine Taeb, Islamophobia project manager at the Center for American Progress.

Tens of thousands gathered Saturday in the North Carolina capital of Raleigh on Saturday for what organizers are calling one of the largest civil rights rallies in the South since the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965. The Mass Moral March is held annually to fight moves by Republican lawmakers to attack voting rights, education, the environment, healthcare and women’s rights. North Carolina Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the state Legislature. Today, the first official Moral Monday protest of the year will include a "people’s court" to indict them for pursuing policies that have hurt the people of the state. In an emotional address, two brothers who have lost siblings spoke side by side: Farris Barakat, brother of Deah Barakat, one of three Muslim students killed in Chapel Hill last week in what family members call a hate crime; and Pierre Lacy, brother of Lennon Lacy, an African-American teenager who was found hung to death under suspicious circumstances last year in Bladenboro, North Carolina. It was the ninth Mass Moral March led by our guest, stateNAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber.

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