Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, May 2013
Rising Islamophobia in the US Recognized By the State Department
CAIR Welcomes State Department's Recognition of Rising Islamophobia
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/20/2013) --
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a new State Department report on international religious freedom, which recognizes that "[a]nti-Muslim rhetoric and actions were clearly on the rise -- particularly in Europe and Asia."
According to the report, "Government restrictions, which often coincided with societal animosity, resulted in anti-Muslim actions that affected everyday life for numerous believers."
The report, which covers the year 2012, also states:
"The impact ranged from education, to employment, to personal safety within communities. Government restrictions on religious attire also remained an issue, as Muslim women faced increasing restrictions on head coverings in schools, in public sector employment, and in public spaces."
Countries of particular concern included Burma (Myanmar), in which "Muslims in Rakhine State, particularly those of the Rohingya minority group, continued to be subjected to lethal violence and to experience severe forms of legal, economic, educational, and social discrimination."
"We welcome the recognition by State Department officials that anti-Muslim rhetoric is on the rise worldwide," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "People of all faiths and backgrounds must work together to promote mutual understanding and to challenge the increasing hatred we see in many parts of the world."
"We hope there will now be serious effort by the Department of State to challenge the dangerous phenomenon of Islamophobia," said Awad.
Awad noted that just today, media reports indicate that Greek neo-Nazis are threatening to block construction of that nation's first mosque.
He said protection of minority communities and their rights is a religious obligation in Islam.
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.***
Anti-Muslim Group Defends American Islamic Congress | Boxer's Israeli Visa Bill Stirs Backlash
Anti-Muslim Group Defends American Islamic Congress After Exposé There have been some very interesting reactions to Max Blumenthal's investigation that revealed the virulently anti-Muslim and pro-Israel donors behind the American Islamic Congress (AIC). . .If the Clarion Project's defense of AIC was supposed to help the organization's credibility with anyone other than extreme anti-Muslim elements, it is more likely to do precisely the opposite.
CAIR: Boxer's Israeli Visa Bill Stirs Backlash (SF Chronicle) [CAIR] said the bill would give a U.S. seal of approval to "Israel's well-documented ethnic and religious profiling." As the organization noted, the U.S. State Department has officially advised travelers that U.S. citizens "of Arab or Muslim origin have experienced significant difficulties in entering or exiting Israel or the West Bank."
CAIR Action Alert: Ask Senate to Drop Israel Visa Waiver Exemption Making U.S. Muslims 'Second-Class Citizens' Jewish Voice for Peace Supports Campaign Criticizing Israeli Human Rights Violations
CAIR-Cincinnati Honors Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Centennial Barn has been awarded the I-CAIR Award from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Cincinnati Chapter. The Centennial Barn was selected for the award for I-CAIR Encouraging Dialogue award for 2013. The barn serves as a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor.
CAIR-MN: Anti-Bullying Bill Passes House CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya testified before the House Education Policy Committee in support of the bill and shared a CAIR-MN case involving a Somali Muslim student who was bullied and harassed in high school.
Landmark Settlement for Sikh Middle Schooler Targeted by Bullies The Sikh student was referred to as "Osama," a "terrorist," and "curryhead," and told he has a "bomb on his head," and to "go back to your country."
Islamophobia: Columnist Diana West Appears on Racist Anti-Muslim Program Interview with Diana West begins at about 48 minutes into the program.
Imam William Suhaib Webb Emerges as Face of Boston's Muslim Community
Jets' Aboushi a Rare Palestinian-American in NFL (Fresno Bee) Embracing his background, and being celebrated for it, is nothing new for Aboushi. He was one of about a dozen Muslim athletes honored in 2011 at a reception hosted by then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the State Department in Washington.
Voices of Faith: Is Abortion Ever Acceptable? (KC Star) Islam's approach to the issue of birth control and abortion is very balanced. It allows women to prevent pregnancy (for a valid reason) but forbids them to terminate it except in certain cases: if there is a clear threat to the life of the mother with continuation of pregnancy; if there is complete assurance that the fetus will have obvious mental or physical defects after birth; or in cases of rape, but most Muslim scholars hold that the child of rape is a legitimate child, and thus it would be sinful to kill this child.***
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/17/13) --
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said today that it plans to file a complaint against a Minnesota judge who inappropriately questioned defendants on their religious beliefs and equated mainstream Islamic principles with terrorism.
two Muslim women to lengthy prison terms yesterday, U.S. District Judge
Michael Davis asked each woman if she supported "jihad, suicide bombings
and Sharia law." Judge Davis also asked, "Does she understand there are
some Muslim women who wear dresses or short skirts?"
Davis said he was trying to decide whether the defendants would "support terrorist causes" when they are released from prison. The questions reportedly drew audible reactions in a courtroom packed with Muslim spectators.
SEE: 2 Minnesota Women Sentenced in Somali Terror Case (MPR)
"It is misguided and unethical for a judge to reference an individual's general support of mainstream Islamic principles, known as Sharia, during sentencing to determine a defendant's future dangerousness," said CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas.
"By also linking modest dress to a propensity for violence, the judge revealed a disturbing bias that may have impacted his decisions in this case and his sentencing of the defendants."Abbas said CAIR would file a complaint based on the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980, 28 U.S.C. §§ 351-364, and Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings, 248 F.R.D. 674 (2008).He added that CAIR's complaint will not deal with the specifics of the cases or the charges against the defendants, but with the action of the judge in inappropriately questioning the defendants on their views about Sharia and modest attire, both of which are irrelevant to their cases.
Filing a Complaint of Judicial Misconduct
A relationship that began as a challenge, Sandoval admitted, changed his life. "Initially, I hated Islam. I tried to convince her she'd been brainwashed, that her religion was oppressive," he said. "I bought a Quran so I could read it and stump her with questions.
The more I read, the more I learned, the more I came to appreciate Islam."
CAIR-MI: Flint Family Fighting for Son's Release from Iranian Prison (Free Press)
CAIR-MI's Dawud Walid said he told the Iranian government that he is willing to go to Iran and bring Hekmati home if they want to turn him over to his custody. He said he wants due process for Hekmati.
CAIR-Chicago: Who Is My Muslim Neighbor?
"We work every day to decouple Islam from ... a virtual cottage industry of Islam-bashers and fearmongers devoting their lives to promoting the notion that Islam is forever linked to violence," Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told Desert News on Monday, May 20.
CA: Muslims Become Part of Bay Area Fabric (SF Chronicle)
The Bay Area today boasts one of the highest concentrations of Muslims of any metropolitan area in the United States, according to a study released this month by the Santa Clara University Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.
Islamophobia Still Plagues Muslims Living in Alameda County
(SAN DIEGO, CA, 5/21/13) --
The San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego) today called on the San Diego Police Department and the FBI to treat a bomb threat targeting the Islamic School of San Diego (ISSD) as a hate crime.
On May 18, ISSD received three threatening phone calls from an anonymous woman recorded on the school's answering machine that stated in part, "I'm going to throw a bomb in your f**king school."
ISSD officials reported the incident to the San Diego Police
Department and the FBI.
A previous phoned bomb threat was receive by the ISSD following
the Boston Marathon bombings. The ISSD board and staff have been
working with law enforcement to review safety and security protocols
for their school.
CAIR is urging voters to contact their members of Congress to request that they include anti-profiling protections in the immigration reform bill, which was approved on Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Take action.)
Audio: The Rise of Anti-Islam Legislation (KCUR)
Guests Raj Bhala, a Rice Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law, University of Kansas School of Law; Mahnaz Shabbir, an active member of the local Muslim community, past president of the Heartland Muslim Council; and Ryan Boyer, a law student at KU, explore why American legislatures and the U.S. Congress are talking--and have been talking for years--about religious law.
Civil Rights Groups Slam Amendment Targeting Muslim Immigrants
CAIR-San Diego: Bomb Threats Made to Islamic School (UT San Diego)
CAIR-San Diego: Bomb Threats at Clairemont Muslim School (KUSI)
Holder, Clapper Subpoenaed in No-Fly List Case
Last August, the center reported that two women had hurled pig
carcasses at the house while Muslims were worshipping inside.
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