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Muslim American News Briefs

March 1, 2010

Hadith: Good Deeds Rewarded by God

CAIR: La. ROTC Use of 'Muslim' Props Highlights Islamophobia

CAIR Applauds Fox, Karan Johar for Film's Portrayal of Muslims

Video: Threats, Support For Fired Muslim Woman (CBS)

CAIR: Calif. Muslim Fired for Wearing Head Scarf (AOL News)

Video: Muslim - 'Abercrombie Fired Me Over Headscarf' (AP)

CAIR: Abercrombie Hates Your Hijab

( Abercrombie & Fitch Draws EEOC Complaint for Banning Hijab

CAIR-LA: Even Rude, Unpopular Speech is Worth Defending (OC Reg)

CAIR-LA: Protest Against Israeli Still Reverberates (LA Times)

CAIR: Rep. Myrick, Muslims Defend, Debate in Testy Town Hall


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Who among you has fasted today?...Who among you joined in a funeral procession today?...Who among you fed a poor person today?...Who among you visited an invalid today?...Anyone who combines (these good deeds) will certainly enter Paradise."

Sahih Muslim, Hadith 505

The Prophet also said: "Every act of goodness is (a form of) charity."

Sahih Muslim, Hadith 496


CAIR: LA. ROTC USE OF 'MUSLIM' PROPS HIGHLIGHTS GROWING ISLAMOPHOBIA - TOP Army ROTC exercise used stereotypical images of Muslims with sheep, oil barrels

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/26/10) - A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy group said today that the Louisiana Army ROTC's use of props portraying stereotypically-dressed Muslim men crouching behind an oil barrel and sheep highlights the disturbing Islamophobic trend toward viewing all Muslims as "the enemy."

[Become a Fan of CAIR on Facebook.]

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said ROTC cadets used the props in a February 20 exercise held just two blocks from a mosque used by students at Tulane University in New Orleans, La. A representative of the Tulane Muslim Students Association called the props "offensive."

SEE: AROTC Uses Cutouts of Muslims as Targets

"The use of stereotypical images of Muslims and Arabs by those training to be military officers sends the false and disturbing message that our nation is at war with Islam," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "Our political and religious leaders must speak out against this growing trend toward demonizing Islam and equating Muslims with 'the enemy.'"

"Most of the people fighting extremism alongside our forces overseas are Muslim," added CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor. "America's future military officers should be equipped with the best possible understanding of the places in which they will be operating so they can lead their troops effectively. This understanding is not provided by exposing them to crass stereotypes."

Hooper said other recent incidents indicating a rise in anti-Muslim sentiments include vandalism at a Tennessee mosque, an anti-Islam e-mail circulated by sheriff's department personnel in Florida, an Islamophobic panel discussion at a conservative conference in Washington, D.C., and the firing of a Muslim employee in California who refused a supervisor's demand to remove her Islamic head scarf, or hijab.

SEE: Nashville Mosque Vandalized (The Tennessean) CAIR: Calif. Muslim Fired for Wearing Head Scarf (AOL News) Anti-Islam CPAC Session Attracts Complaints

He noted that a recent survey showed that more than 4 in 10 Americans admit to anti-Muslim prejudice.

SEE: Poll on Anti-Islam Bias Shows Need for U.S. Muslim Outreach

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:


CAIR APPLAUDS FOX, KARAN JOHAR FOR PORTRAYAL OF MUSLIMS - TOP Film 'My Name is Khan' affirms Muslims' contributions to America

(LOS ANGELES, CA, 2/26/10)  The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today sent a letter to Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula to thank them for recognizing Muslims' contributions to American society in the newly released film, "My Name is Khan."

The film shows a central Muslim character, played by leading actor Shah Rukh Khan, who preaches the values of kindness, generosity and challenging injustice.

In the letter, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush stated in part:

"The film offers a poignant view of the struggles and ambitions of American Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Arab communities to fully integrate in America after the horrific 9/11 terror attacks. Incidents of harassment and discrimination, such as bullying at schools and hurling racial slurs at women for wearing the hijab (Islamic headscarf) -- depicted in the film -- mirror trends that have almost become commonplace in the past several years."

CAIR-LA also sent a letter to film's director, Karan Johar, congratulating him on his initiative to humanize American Muslims and their often-maligned faith, Islam.

SEE: A Hero Begins His Quest, and Then the Trouble Starts (NY Times)

"We appreciate Mr. Johar's tenacity and determination in conveying the many significant contributions of American Muslims to a worldwide audience, and urge those who are against the values of peace and harmony to take a lesson from this film," said Ayloush.

CAIR's offices in Los Angeles, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area consulted with Johar on the film. CAIR representatives shared actual anti-Muslim incidents of harassment and discrimination and their impact on Muslims' life, and arranged tours of Muslim and Arab neighborhoods for the director.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Munira Syeda, 714-776-1847 or 714-851-4851, E-mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:



A 19-year-old woman who said she was fired from a San Mateo store for wearing a headscarf has received threatening notes, along with some support.

Watch the video here.



A 19-year-old woman says she lost her job at a popular clothing store after refusing to remove her Muslim head scarf.

When Hani Khan, who was born in New York and is of Indian and Pakistani descent, interviewed for a job at a Hollister store at a mall in Hillsborough, Calif., she was wearing a traditional Muslim hijab, or head scarf.

"The manager mentioned the store's 'look policy' and said I'd have to wear either a white, navy or gray-colored scarf," Khan told AOL News. "I was fine with that."

For the next six months, Khan worked without incident in the store's stock room, a job that required she occasionally go out on to the floor to replenish the supply of clothing.

But on Feb. 9, Khan said a district manager paid a visit to the store, which is owned by Abercrombie & Fitch, and that's when her troubles began. Though Khan never met or spoke to the manager that day, she said she was aware of him looking at her.

Six days later, on Feb. 15, Khan came to work and the manager was waiting for her. "He told me he wanted me to speak to a person at Abercrombie & Fitch human resources," Khan said, "And he handed me a phone." (More)



Associated Press, 2/26/2010

Watch the video here.


CAIR: ABERCROMBIE HATES YOUR HIJAB - TOP A Muslim employee says she was fired for refusing to take off her headscarf Tracy Clark-Flory,, 2/26/10

Hijabs are sooo not hot this season -- or, like, ever -- if you ask Abercrombie and Fitch. A 19-year-old Muslim employee at one of the company's Hollister stores in Northern California learned that the hard way: losing her job. But now the Council on American-Islamic Relations has filed an official complaint on her behalf against the company.

Khan says she was promised her headscarf wouldn't be a problem during her interview for a part-time position in the stock room (which it's rumored is where they keep all the less-than-desirables) but trouble arose when a district manager visited the store this month.

"The lady told me that my hijab was not in compliance with the 'look policy' and that they don't wear any scarves or hats while working," she told KTVU. "I told her it was for religious reasons and again she stated it was against their 'look' policy." Khan refused to go uncovered and she was fired on Monday. (More)



The Council on American-Islamic Relations has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging racial discrimination by Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc. after a manager fired a Muslim employee who refused to remove her hijab, or head scarf.

The complaint came five months after the EEOC filed suit against the clothing retailer over a similar complaint.

Abercrombie reached a $50 million agreement with the EEOC in 2004 resolving racial discrimination claims over its hiring and recruiting practices and its marketing "look," which predominantly featured white men and women.

"The company has a history of very explicit discrimination," said Zahra Billoo, programs and outreach director in CAIR's office in Santa Clara, Calif. "It's a disappointing pattern to see in a mainstream American company." (More)


EVEN RUDE, UNPOPULAR SPEECH IS WORTH DEFENDING - TOP By Hussam Ayloush and James Lafferty, Orange County Register, 2/26/10

[Ayloush is executive director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area. Lafferty is Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles.]

Eleven students heckled Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren at different intervals at a UC Irvine event recently and set off a debate on what constitutes free speech and when it should be protected.

The right to freely express oneself, particularly against government policies, is a cherished freedom protected by our Constitution. That's why we were not surprised when people protested at health care town halls, when a congressman interrupted the president's address to Congress, or when audience members disrupted a speech by former White House lawyer John Yoo at UCI in 2005.

While some may argue that the students' tactics against Oren were loud and rude, our opinions on the politeness of such conduct are irrelevant. The students merely voiced their passionate discontent on a grave political and moral matter they deemed worthy of their activism

Though their protest was delivered in a loud and shocking manner intended to express the gravity of Israel's immoral policies and actions, the students were nonviolent, nonthreatening and peacefully left the public gathering as soon as they spoke. (More)


CAIR-LA: PROTEST AGAINST ISRAELI OFFICIAL STILL REVERBERATES - TOP The strongest reaction to the disruption of the ambassador's speech has come from outside groups, all but drowning out sentiments of students on campus. Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times, 2/26/10

More than two weeks after 11 students were arrested at UC Irvine for disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador, the incident continues to draw sharp reactions from Jewish, Muslim and civil liberty organizations.

But the loudest voices are being raised far from campus, all but drowning out the sentiments of students

The repeated interruptions of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech Feb. 8 are the latest in a series of incidents dating back nearly a decade between Muslims and Jews on campus. But the sense among some is that the publicity UCI draws is out of proportion with the attention drawn by other universities, where protests and conflict might pass largely unnoticed.

"Orange County is such a conservative area and Irvine is such a conservative city, there's not that much in the form of activism and rocking the boat, you might say," said Reem Salahi, a civil rights attorney representing the students, known as the Irvine 11

The Muslim Student Union has said that the protest was carried out by individuals and that the group was not involved.

"I think these kind of things happen on all campuses," said current Anteaters for Israel President Moran Cohen, who was born and raised in Israel. "It seems like sometimes people forget that the conflict is over there and not at UCI."

Students on campus say that tension between Muslims and Jews does exist but that it does not rise to the level characterized by outside groups.

Positive interfaith dialogue events get little or no attention off campus, Yerushalmi said.

"That's not to say there aren't problems, but the media definitely makes it seem like UCI is not a safe place for Jewish students, which is not true," he said. (More)



CHARLOTTE -- In a testy two-hour town hall meeting, U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick argued Thursday night that the threat of homegrown Islamist terrorism is real and defended herself against charges by local Muslims that she was spreading fear about their religion.

Using charts, maps, handouts and even a video slamming a Charlotte TV station, the Charlotte Republican told the crowd of about 175 people, most of them Muslims, that she has never condemned Islam or linked moderate Muslims with terrorism.

"I'm talking about the sympathizers and supporters of a radical agenda," she said. "It's not that all Muslims are bad or all Muslims are trying to do this."

Hoping to repair her relations with a Muslim community that has taken her comments over the years as inflaming hatred, Myrick said she agreed to the town hall meeting to "build bridges" with her Muslim constituents. She invited them to join her in opposing those who she said were "trying to hijack" Islam.

Several Muslim speakers at the Government Center in uptown Charlotte commended Myrick for sponsoring the beginning of a dialogue, and invited her to follow-up sessions at mosques around town.

Still, many of the questions and comments from Muslims showed an anger that has simmered for years over often-provocative comments by Myrick, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

In 2003, for instance, she seemed to suggest that convenience stores run by Muslims might be havens for homegrown terrorists.

Najeeb Karimi criticized the eight-term congresswoman for writing the foreword to a book - "Muslim Mafia" - whose researcher called Islam a disease. Karimi also asked Myrick why she has not been as devoted to wiping out and labeling other forms of homegrown terrorists, such as the Texas man who recently flew his plane into a federal building in Austin to protest the IRS.

"Is this terrorism?" he asked Myrick. "(Oklahoma City bomber) Timothy McVeigh? Is that Christian terrorism? . . . Islam stands for peace."

Businessman Izzat Saymeh told Myrick that he and other Muslims "feel threatened by inflammatory rhetoric" from right-wing groups - some of whom have praised Myrick's stands.

"It would go a long way if you would speak out against the anti-Islamic hate that's going on in our district and elsewhere," he said

After cutting off the questions with seven people still in line, Myrick turned the microphone over to Zuhdi Jasser, a Muslim physician who heads the Islamic Forum for Democracy and is a conservative political ally of Myrick's.

He accused many moderate Muslims, including those in the audience, of being in denial about the "cancer" of radical Islam.

That was too much for Rose Hamid, former head of Muslim Women of the Carolinas.

Based on Jasser's comments, Hamid said after the meeting: "(Myrick's) goal was not necessarily to listen to the Muslims, but to deliver her message to the Muslims."

Jibril Hough of the Islamic Center of Charlotte, who had suggested the town hall meeting to Myrick months ago, also criticized Jasser's comments, but said Myrick had taken a good first step in opening dialogue with local Muslims. (More)

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