Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, April 2011
Islamophobia in the US, April 16, 2011:
Trump Says Quran Teaches 'Negative Vibe'
Verse: With hardship Comes Relief
CAIR-MI Rep Joins Federal Officials at Civil Rights Forum
CAIR-OK: Religious Freedom Fight Not Over
Donald Trump Says Koran Teaches a 'Very Negative Vibe'
2012 GOP Candidates Stake Out Positions on Sharia
U.S. Attorney: Unify with Muslims, Don't Vilify (Sac Bee)
Overcoming Islamophobia on Campus
Georgia Muslim Mother of 5 Missing After Going to Rent Movie
America's Muslim Cowboy Ambassador
(Mother Jones) MN: Conference Panel Discusses Rights of Muslim Factory Workers
VERSE OF THE DAY: WITH HARDSHIP COMES RELIEF - TOP
"Verily, with every hardship there is relief. Therefore, when you are freed (from your immediate task), remain steadfast. And turn all your attention toward your Lord."
The Holy Quran, 94:6-8
HADITH OF THE DAY: EXPECT RELIEF
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The most excellent worship is expectation of relief."
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 702
CAIR-MI REP JOINS FEDERAL OFFICIALS AT CIVIL RIGHTS FORUM - TOP
(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 4/12/11) - A representative of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) yesterday joined federal law enforcement officials and civil rights advocates at the University of Michigan -- Dearborn in a discussion about contemporary civil rights challenges facing American Muslims.
The "Know Your Rights" discussion panel, which was sponsored by the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Arab Student Union (ASU), included U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent in Charge Brian Moskowitz, ADC-MI Regional Director Imad Hamad, ACLU-MI Board Member Tarek Beydoun, and CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.
SEE: At Dearborn Forum, Law Enforcement Leaders Say All Faiths Must Be Protected (Detroit Free Press)
A major focus of the discussion centered on concerns of federal law enforcement agents questioning community members about their religious practices -- including how many times a day they pray -- as well as on their political opinions on the current revolutions taking place in the Arab world.
CAIR-MI has received specific complaints from Syrian-Americans and Yemeni-Americans who have been approached by the FBI inquiring about their views on current uprisings.
Walid addressed the rights of persons to be free from intimidation from ICE agents at schools and houses of worship in light of a recent case in Detroit in which ICE agents surrounded a school attended by Arab-American and Latino-American children.
SEE: ICE Tactics Questioned (WMYD TV 20)
"We welcome such opportunities to have open and honest discussions with federal law enforcement authorities about the civil rights concerns of American Muslims and to inform the broader community about their constitutional rights," said CAIR's Walid.
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.
CAIR: ISLAMOPHOBES PRESSURED OKLA. GOV TO END ETHNIC COUNCILS - TOP Michael McNutt, Oklahoman, 4/12/11
The executive director of Oklahoma's chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Monday he is disappointed Gov. Mary Fallin has decided to abolish a gubernatorial advisory council dealing with Middle Eastern cultures and issues.
Muneer Awad said he was aware the governor was under pressure from people who believe Muslims secretly are trying to overthrow Oklahoma, and that Muslims can't be trusted.
"This kind of sentiment is really the venom that's affecting our government," he said.
"There is no Muslim threat in Oklahoma, and the idea that we have politicians suggest there may be is really troubling to us," Awad said.
Social conservatives had called on Fallin to get rid of the three advisory councils. They especially are upset with councils dealing with Hispanic and Middle Eastern people. More than a dozen people critical of the advisory councils began showing up this year at the meetings of the Hispanic and Middle Eastern councils. (More)
CAIR-OK: ANTI-ISLAM FOLLOW-UP BILL DIES IN COMMITTEE - TOP Mark Schlachtenhaufen, The Edmond Sun, 4/11/11
Legislation seeking to enact provisions of State Question 755 has died in a Senate committee, a lawmaker said Monday.
Last fall, 695,650 voters, 70 percent of the total, cast votes for SQ 755, which amends the state Constitution to forbid judges from considering Islamic principles or international law when deciding a case.
In November, an Oklahoma federal judge granted a temporary restraining order blocking certification of SQ 755 by the State Election Board. The lawsuit is being appealed in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. ...
Based on knowledge that HB 1552 would be up for a vote in the Senate Rules Committee this week, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights organization, called Monday's press conference to express opposition.
Muneer Awad, executive director of CAIR-OK, said Kern's bill violates the Bill of Rights and would threaten all international business contracts and companies in Oklahoma.
Rice said the bill could still be brought up as an amendment to a bill on the Senate floor, which would cause more constitutional issues because of the single subject rule.
"I imagine that there will be some antics in the House to try and revive it," he said. "Hopefully there will be enough of a coalition of legislators here to resist them."
Supporters of SQ 755 have said the change was needed to stem a trend of activist judges turning to international law to make decisions. Ex-state Sen. Rex Duncan, author of the proposition, cited the affects of Sharia law on places like Great Britain. Duncan called it a "cancer upon Great Britain's survivability."
Awad said Sharia is like a map for how to be a Muslim. American Muslims are abiding by U.S. laws and by Sharia, he said. Oklahoma Muslims have experienced some angst due to SQ 755, but mostly feel comfortable and welcome, he said.
Awad said CAIR-OK will continue to monitor the legislative process and be on the watch for attempts to revive the bill. (More)
SEE ALSO: CAIR-OK: ISLAMIC LAW FIGHT NOT OVER - TOP Barbara Hoberock, Tulsa World, 4/12/2011
OKLAHOMA CITY - State Rep. Sally Kern said Monday that there is a strong possibility that she will try to revive legislation opposed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Kern's House Bill 1552 had failed to get a hearing in the Senate Rules Committee. The measure would ban the use of foreign or international law in Oklahoma courts.
It was filed after a federal judge halted implementation of State Question 755, which would have banned state courts from considering Shariah law - Islamic law based on the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad.
The state question passed in November with more than 70 percent of the vote.
Muneer Awad, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, successfully challenged SQ 755, saying it singled out his religion for unfavorable treatment.
At a Capitol news conference Monday, Awad and other critics of HB 1552 said it is unconstitutional because it violates a person's right to practice religion, among other things.
"No company will invest in our state, nor conduct operations in Oklahoma, if it knows the state will not respect its international business contracts," Awad said. (More)
VIDEO: CAIR SPEAKS OUT AGAINST ANTI-ISLAM BILL - TOP KOCO, 4/11/11
A local group says a bill backed by Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern is anti-Islamic and bad for the state.
Watch the video.
DONALD TRUMP SAYS SOMETHING IN KORAN TEACHES A 'VERY NEGATIVE VIBE' - TOP David Brody, CBN, 4/12/11
In an exclusive interview with The Brody File, Donald Trump expresses concern about the teachings of the Koran saying, "There's something there that teaches some very negative vibe."
Watch below. The transcription is below as well.
David Brody: "With some evangelicals there are some problems with the teachings of the Koran. Do you have concerns about the Koran?"
Donald Trump: "Well, I'll tell you what. The Koran is very interesting. A lot of people say it teaches love and there is a very big group of people who really understand the Koran far better than I do. I'm certainly not an expert to put it mildly, but there's something there that teaches some very negative vibe. (More)
SEE ALSO: 2012 GOP CANDIDATES STAKE OUT POSITIONS ON SHARIA - TOP Ben Smith , Politico, 4/11/11
Sharia law is quickly becoming a hot-button topic on the campaign trail, as conservatives debate the role of Islam in the United States and the conservative movement. The exact mechanics of how sharia, or Islamic jurisprudence, is threatening the United States are unclear, but some conservatives point to cases in New Jersey and Florida that they say underscores the need for a blanket ban on using foreign law in the United States.
The issue resonates with many GOP primary voters and legislators in the early primary state of South Carolina is considering a ban on sharia law that might force some more 2012 contenders engage on the issue. We've rounded up how the various 2012 candidates have positioned themselves on the issue so far. (More)
----- U.S. ATTORNEY: UNIFY WITH MUSLIMS, DON'T VILIFY - TOP Benjamin B. Wagner, Sacramento Bee, 4/11/11
As the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks approaches, those of us in law enforcement know all too well that Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations continue to target the United States. While some of their attacks originate overseas, foreign-based terrorists increasingly seek to recruit and radicalize individuals here in the United States.
Al Qaeda has made no secret of its intentions. Anwar al-Awlaki and others like him around the world, often using the Internet, are encouraging Americans to launch attacks against their neighbors inside the United States. We have seen the results of these efforts in Ft. Hood, in Times Square, and elsewhere. Preventing these attacks is the highest priority for our nation's law enforcement organizations.
Reasonable minds can differ about the best approach to this threat. Some, however, have resorted to portraying American Muslim communities -- or the Islamic faith -- as a threat to our country. While we must repel attempts by foreign terrorists to radicalize Americans, vilifying Islam will not make us safer. Indeed, suggesting most American Muslims are less loyal than their countrymen is not only inaccurate, it adds an air of legitimacy to violent extremism of another kind: directed not by American Muslims, but at them. (More)
Wagner is the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California, which includes the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys.
SEE ALSO: OVERCOMING ISLAMOPHOBIA ON CAMPUS - TOP Sabiha Khan, Daily Bruin, 4/12/11
As a young Muslim student, I have watched as sentiments of "Islamophobia" began sweeping through the country during the last few years, and especially the last couple months in the aftermath of the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy.
In Florida, Pastor Terry Jones burned Qurans. Even as close as Orange County, there were virulent Islamophobic protests at a Muslim fund-raiser.
These incidents were alarming but still seemed remote. I live in the liberal bastion of Los Angeles and go to a prestigious, diverse university. Little did I know that while these incidents were happening around the country, they were also happening much closer to home.
While there is a discrepancy regarding the exact number of incidents, the university police confirmed that there were multiple police reports filed by female Muslim students who were harassed and followed around campus last fall. (More)
BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. -- A 30-year-old mother of five went missing after going to rent a Redbox movie at a Walmart in Cartersville, her husband told Channel 2 Action News reporter John Bachman.
Bartow County Sheriff Clark Millsap said Wazineh Suleiman was reported missing by her husband, Abed Suleiman.
Wazineh Suleiman was last seen at about 9 p.m. Friday, according to her husband.
"My five children and I are worried," he wrote in an email to Channel 2.
Millsap said the woman left home in the couple's 2004 Nissan Armada according to her husband. The vehicle has Georgia license plate No. BLM4024.
Millsap described the woman as Middle Eastern, approximately 5 feet 7inches tall, and weighing 130 pounds. The woman has hazel eyes and brown hair, which is usually covered, he said.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Wazineh Suleiman is asked to call the Bartow County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 770-382-0505, ext. 6032.
----- AMERICA'S MUSLIM COWBOY AMBASSADOR - TOP Ashley Bates, Mother Jones, 4/11/11
When Andrew Mitchell, the cultural affairs officer at the US Embassy in Egypt, heard that a Muslim dude was making a go of it as a country star, he thought it was "the funniest thing I'd ever heard."
So Mitchell began checking out Kareem Salama's stuff--his two self-released albums, Generous Peace and This Life of Mine, and his 2007 hit song "Generous Peace," whose video is as wholesome as an ABC After-School Special. "Gentlemen, I'm like incense; the more you burn me, the more I'm fragrant," Salama sings, echoing the writings of the eight century Islamic scholar Muhammed Al-Shafi'ee.
"That is a concept," Mitchell recalls thinking, "that if I could broadcast anything to this part of the world, that's what I would say."
Salama is an American, born of Egyptian parents--engineers both--who came to the US for college and ultimately settled down here. They raised Kareem and his three siblings in the rural town of Ponca City, Oklahoma. The town had no mosque, and only one other Muslim family lived there, but the children learned Islamic traditions at home. Salama, now 33, considers himself devout; he prays regularly, and doesn't drink or date. (More)
CONFERENCE PANEL DISCUSSES SOMALI WORKERS, ELECTROLUX - TOP David Unze, St. Cloud Times, 4/12/11
Union membership for Somali workers at companies such as Electrolux has helped bridge miscommunication and keep a growing segment of Central Minnesota’s immigrant population employed and involved in the community.
That was the message at a panel discussion Monday at St. Cloud State University that is part of a three-day conference focused on Minnesota immigrant workers and their families.
Two Somali union stewards from Electrolux and their business agent discussed how the union helped bridge communication gaps between Muslim workers and management.
That communication led to prayer breaks for workers and more flexibility in granting time off during Muslim religious holidays. (More)
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