Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, April 2011
Islamophobia in the US:
Terry Jones Burning of Quran Should Be Ignored
April 5, 2011
Hadith: Repentance Wipes Away Sins
CAIR: Terry Jones Should Be Ignored (USA Today)
CAIR: Koran Burning Initially Went Unnoticed (Wash. Post)
CAIR-St. Louis: Muslim Candidate is Face of Local Politics
GOP Candidate: Oath Will Be on the Bible, Not the Quran
Gov. Christie Not Bowing to Anti-Muslim Bias
Right Wing Commenters: 'The Muslim Rats Need to Be Exterminated'
The Truth About American Muslims (NY Times)
Ohio Muslim Teens Find Peers Are Curious But Accepting
Alaska Muslims, Christians Celebrate Diversity at Potluck
HADITH OF THE DAY: REPENTANCE WIPES AWAY SINS - TOP
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Anyone who repents of a sin is like someone who has committed no sin."
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 754
2ND STATEN ISLAND SUSPECT IN CUSTODY IN ATTACK ON MUSLIM STUDENT - TOP Staten Island Advance Staten Island Advance, 4/4/11
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Cops have reportedly taken a second suspect into custody in an attack on a 13-year-old honors student at Dreyfus Intermediate School in Stapleton, who authorities say was targeted because she was Muslim. (More)
CAIR: TERRY JONES SHOULD BE IGNORED - TOP William M. Welch, USA TODAY, 4/3/11
As deadly demonstrations spread across Afghanistan, American Muslim leaders condemned the violence as well as the Quran-burning by a fundamentalist Christian minister in Florida whose actions were cited as provocation for the killings. ...
Terry Jones, 59, who runs the Dove World Outreach Center, held a mock "trial" of the Muslim holy book and burned a copy on March 20. He had threatened to do so last fall, on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but backed down.
His actions last month gained little initial notice in the USA until the violence erupted Friday. Thousands of demonstrators in Mazar-i-Sharif overran a United Nations compound, killing seven. On Saturday, nine people were killed when hundreds marched in Kandahar, attacking cars and businesses and confronting security forces. ...
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Sunday that his Muslim advocacy group tried to ignore Jones because he has a tiny following and is not representative of mainstream American thought. "We believe he's just in the mode of pure publicity seeking," Hooper said of Jones. "We've purposely downplayed it as much as possible."
Hooper denounced the violence as "a completely inappropriate reaction" to the Florida preacher.
"Everybody has freedom of speech. In this case, even freedom to do stupid and reprehensible things. But everybody also has the responsibility to act in a way that doesn't harm others or doesn't lead to the harm of others," Hooper said. (More)
CAIR: KORAN BURNING INITIALLY WENT UNNOTICED - TOP Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, 4/1/11
Wearing a judicial robe and doling out a punishment selected through an online poll, the pastor of a tiny Florida church on March 20 declared Islam's holy book "guilty of crimes against humanity and ordered it set ablaze in a portable fire pit.
In a video later posted on the Dove World Outreach Center's Web site, the pastor can be heard saying that the Koran smoldered "very good and that the flame would work well for burgers or marshmallows.
Compared with last September, when the world was riveted by the Rev. Terry Jones's threat to burn the Koran, the bizarre mock "trial last month of the Muslim scripture went largely unnoticed in the United States. ...
But after an angry mob killed seven people at a United Nations office in northern Afghanistan, faith leaders rushed Friday to condemn the killings and Jones's actions, which could reverberate throughout the Muslim world. ...
Representatives of several major Muslim American organizations held a joint conference in Washington to denounce the killings. Among them were the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. (More)
----- CAIR: NATIONAL MUSLIM LEADER TACKLES 'ISLAMOPHOBIA' - TOP Nick Needham, WFMY, 4/1/11
Greensboro, NC -- A free program was hosted Thursday night at New Garden Friends Meeting to discuss Islam in America.
The event featured Nihad Awad, co-founder and national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington, DC. CAIR is the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.
Organizers said the event was designed to raise attention about the human and financial cost of the Afghanistan war and spur interfaith dialogue. (More)
----- CAIR-ST. LOUIS: MUSLIM CANDIDATE IS FACE OF LOCAL POLITICS - TOP Jesse Bogan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/2/11 Heavy snow started to fall on the footpath of Dr. Raj M. Sajid's campaign trail. A first-time political candidate running for alderman, he and the volunteers with him weren't dressed to go door to door in the cold.
Sajid, trying to secure votes the old way, encouraged his team to keep the address list of registered voters organized and dry, to press on through the streets of the St. Louis suburb. After regrouping in the middle of a residential street, his brother-in-law, Asif Qureshi, took a brief break to look toward the heavens.
"Come on, God, help me out," he said, getting colder.
After the next house, Qureshi had a jubilant announcement: the promise of a vote.
"Every time you get us a vote, I'll pay you a dollar," said Sajid, both of them laughing as they departed to knock on more doors.
The winner of the last contested race for Ward 1 garnered only 427 votes, so that promise wouldn't amount to much he would owe. But Sajid's campaign is significant for other reasons. If he prevails, he will be the first known Muslim elected to the city's Board of Aldermen.
U.S.-born Muslims have been involved in St. Louis-area politics on a small scale. Sajid would be a rarity in the region, a foreign-born Muslim public officeholder. ...
Since 1974, the number of mosques in the area has grown to about a dozen, and the face of the local Muslim population, estimated to number roughly 60,000, has grown much more diverse. With the added Somalian and other African populations attending Daar Ul Islam mosque, more than two dozen languages are spoken there, said Faizan Syed, the new executive director of St. Louis' Council on American-Islamic relations.
"Early on it was difficult to organize everybody just because of the extremely diverse backgrounds, but now, of course, it's become easier," he said, because many of them speak English and there are second and third generations. (More)
GOP CANDIDATE: OATH WILL BE ON THE BIBLE, NOT THE QURAN - TOP
Watch the video here.
The Right Scoop reports: Herman Cain definitely isn't politically correct and that's a quality that I love. CPAC Blogger of the Year Javier Manjarres with the Shark-Tank sat down with the Herminator for an interview a few nights ago and thus I have a new favorite line from Herman Cain:
"I don't know one Muslim who will denounce Sharia Law, and then say they can support the Constitution of the United States of America. So my assumption based on what I know about their belief system is that they are not going to give up Sharia Law. Anybody that takes the oath of office in a Herman Cain administration will put their hand on the Bible, not the Koran!"
GOV. CHRISTIE NOT BOWING TO ANTI-MUSLIM BIAS - TOP Matt Katz, Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/3/11
Gov. Christie delivered a spirited, impromptu defense last week of a Muslim lawyer he had nominated for a judgeship. On the face of it, the comments weren't extraordinary. But given the way some Republicans have recently characterized Muslims, what he said was remarkable to hear from a GOP darling.
Consider these statements by other Republicans, all likely to run for president next year:
"I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they [his grandchildren] are my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American." Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, once the most powerful Republican in the country, said that last Sunday.
"Not all cultures are equal. Not all values are equal." That was the response from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.), a tea party favorite, to a 2005 debate question about riots among French Muslims.
"No, I will not." That was Herman Cain, a longshot candidate who appears before mainstream conservative crowds, last weekend on whether he would appoint a Muslim as a judge or cabinet member.
But Christie - who has been courted to run for president - has basically done just what Cain said he would never do. In January, he nominated Sohail Mohammed, an Indian-born Muslim living in Clifton, to Superior Court in Passaic County. Mohammed awaits confirmation by the Democratic-controlled Senate. (More)
----- RIGHT WING COMMENTERS: 'THE MUSLIM RATS NEED TO BE EXTERMINATED' - TOP Charles Johnson, 4/2/11
If you want to see how deranged the commenting sections of right wing blogs have gotten, just go read any of their posts about the violence in Afghanistan. Gateway Pundit, Hot Air, Pamela "Shrieking Harpy" Geller, Fox Nation -- all of them are packed with comments calling for genocide against Muslims.
Here's a tiny excerpt of this massive hatefest, taken from the popular right wing blogs mentioned above: (More)
THE TRUTH ABOUT AMERICAN MUSLIMS - TOP New York Times editorial, 4/1/11 At the Justice Department, it's called the post-Sept. 11 backlash -- the steady stream of more than 800 cases of violence and discrimination suffered by American Muslims at the hands of know-nothing abusers. These continuing hate crimes were laid bare at a valuable but barely noticed Senate hearing last week that provided welcome contrast to Representative Peter King's airing of his xenophobic allegation that the Muslim-American community has been radicalized.
Offering federal data rather than mythic scapegoating of an easy political target, the Senate hearing focused on the fact that while Muslims make up 1 percent of the population, they are victims in 14 percent of religious discrimination cases. These range from homicides and mosque burnings to job, school and zoning law abuses, according to the Justice Department.
In running the hearing, Senator Richard Durbin tried to set the record straight about the patriotism of a vast majority of American-Muslim citizens and the continuing assaults on their civil rights. He warned against the "guilt by association whipped up by Mr. King's broadsides -- that there are "too many mosques in the nation, that most of them are extremist, and that American Muslim leaders have failed to cooperate with law enforcement against home-grown terrorism. (More)
----- CAIR: CLOUD OF CONCERN ABOVE MUSLIMS IN AMERICA - TOP Nicole Debevec, UPI, 4/3/11
Radicalization. Freedom of religion. Home-grown terrorists. Religious persecution. All directed toward one segment of U.S. society: American Muslims.
Ever since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, Muslims in America have been subjected to derisiveness not experienced by one segment of American society since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, or in the years following the bombing of Pearl Harbor that propelled the United States into World War II.
Followers of Islam have been painted with a broad brush as terrorists because of the actions of a few, whether in the United States or abroad. ...
A bill was recently introduced in Tennessee that would ban the practice of Shariah, and perhaps (by extension) the practice of Islam itself. ...
The Tennessee bill, sponsored in the state Senate and House by the chambers' top Republicans, would allow the director of Tennessee's Homeland Security Office to offer a recommendation to the attorney general or governor to "designate" a terrorist entity and, basically, isolate the entity from support, The Murfressboro (Tenn.) Post said. Once designated, no material support or resources may be provided to the entity and people who knowingly provide such support can be prosecuted or fined.
It was amended to remove specific much criticized religious references and now "reflects our original intention to prevent or deter violent or terrorist acts, but does so without any room for misinterpretation regarding the language's effect on peaceful religious practices," Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron said.
As amended, the bill contains no references to Islam, but still would allow Tennessee to prosecute those who offer financial or material support to known terrorist entities.
"I think it's a victory for common sense and legislative restraint," Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told The Tennessean. "This is a win for Tennessee's Muslim community." (More)
----- MUSLIM DOCTORS PROMOTE HARMONY WITH FREE CLINIC - TOP Mark Curnutte, Cincinnati Enquirer, 4/4/11
Robert Bowling has diabetes, high blood pressure and gout, and has been unable to work since 2002.
At Thanksgiving 2009, when he had to be rushed to the emergency room at Mercy Hospital Anderson, a nurse referred him to a free clinic that had just opened in the adjacent medical office building.
The Muslim Clinic of Ohio, Cincinnati Chapter, now known as the Mercy Care Clinic, was started by a group of local Muslim physicians.
"I think a lot of the American public sees the news and thinks if they see a Muslim that they're automatically a terrorist, said Bowling, 53, of Anderson Township.
The Muslims Bowling knows are dedicated physicians volunteering their time to care for him and providing him with life-saving medicine. They've given him Kroger pharmacy cards, redeemable for $4 prescriptions, and a referral to St. Vincent de Paul Society's free pharmacy in the West End.
"I'd really be struggling without the clinic, said Bowling.
The Muslim doctors want to expand the clinic's hours and its ability to provide medicine to meet a growing need.
Bowling's physician is Tariq Sultan, a Pakistani-born Muslim and internist at Mercy Anderson. Sultan was one of the clinic's founders -- it opened in July 2009 -- and one of the region's 140 Muslim physicians who had volunteered individually or in small groups at other clinics serving the poor. (More)
FITTING IN: MUSLIM TEENS FIND PEERS ARE CURIOUS BUT ACCEPTING - TOP Rose Russell, Toledo Blade, 4/4/11
As Muslims across the nation battle the perception that they intend to destroy America, the peers of Muslim students in Toledo area schools have a more accepting attitude about their religious and cultural differences.
The result is an assimilation process into what's still very much a Christian society that's made much easier for young people who are Muslim. And when they're asked about those differences, a good dose of self confidence in young Muslims helps.
"When I'm asked about my clothes, I say it's a part of my religion and that as I get older I have to wear the scarf. It protects you and keeps you beautiful," said 11-year-old Tisata Ashar Muhammad, a sixth grader at Toledo Islamic Academy.
Her 10-year-old sister, Mecca, a fifth grader, has found that others' questions are not always kind. "They ask whether you are bald-headed," she said.
These sisters are accustomed to such questions, added Tisata Ashar, an aspiring lawyer who runs track at the academy. (More)
MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS JOIN IN FAIRBANKS TO FOSTER ACCEPTANCE OF DIVERSITY - TOP Molly Rettig, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 4/3/11
FAIRBANKS -- About 50 Fairbanks residents from Kuwait, Egypt, Nigeria, the Sudan, Alaska, Pennsylvania, New York, the Midwest and many others places dined on saffron rice, Scottish short bread, American chili, German potato salad, smoked salmon and banana Jell-O and much more at Christ Lutheran Church on Saturday evening. ...
This was the first potluck dinner between the Christian and Muslim communities in Fairbanks. The crowd, a mix of engineering professors, students, lawyers, teachers, religious leaders and others, discussed everything from conflict in Libya to gas prices in Alaska to Saturday Night Live.
After a short prayer and a hearty meal, attendants stood up one by one and shared where they were from and what brought them to Fairbanks. They joked about pronunciations and professional and cultural stereotypes.
"This is what world peace looks like, if you could look at it. This is the picture, said George Riley, a member of Christ Lutheran.
The potluck was organized by Christ Lutheran Pastor Susan Granata and Imam Ataur Chowdury to help grow a blossoming relationship between the two groups. (More)
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