Friday, November 14, 2008

News you can use

Policeman who killed Palestinian in Tel Aviv sentenced to one year in jailOn 4 Oct. '08, Border Police officer Tomer Avraham killed Iyad Abu-Ra'iyeh, who was found in Tel Aviv without a permit, after severely beating him. Tel Aviv District Court Judge Oded Mudrik sentenced Avraham to one year's imprisonment for manslaughter, referring to the crime as "a hapless, lethal act incidental to military or police activity."
Jerusalem municipality demolishes houses in SilwanIn 2005, the Jerusalem municipality issued demolition orders for most homes in the Al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, East Jerusalem. This week, it demolished homes in the neighborhood, despite the mayors' past promise to allow the residents to present a plan reflecting the area's development needs.
Testimony: House demolition and police brutality in East JerusalemIsrael's discriminatory policy in East Jerusalem extends to many aspects of life, including planning and building. On 28 July '08, the municipality demolished a residential building in the Beit-Hanina neighborhood, claiming part of it was built without a permit. During the eviction, police officers attacked a resident.
Testimony: Policemen abuse Palestinian during interrogationOn 30 Sept. '08, police arrested Shadi Sabatin and his Israeli employer. An interrogator then severely beat him, trying to force him to confess he worked in Jerusalem without a permit. Sabatin's employer, who heard his cries in the interrogation room, placed a complaint with the Department for Police investigations.
Army extends administrative detention of two minorsOn 2 Nov. '08, a military court of appeals denied the appeal of two minors being held in administrative detention. B'Tselem calls on the army to release the two girls immediately or, if it has evidence against them, to prosecute them as provided by law.
Testimony: Settlers attack olive pickersOn 20 Nov. '08, Kafa Shtiwi from Kadum was attacked by settlers as she approached her olive grove with international activists. According to her testimony, the settlers kicked and cursed them, and threatened to vandalize their vehicle.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

8 muslims killed

A suicide car bomber struck a U.S. military convoy Thursday as it passed through a crowded market in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least eight Muslims and an American soldier, Afghan officials said.
The explosion also wounded 74 Muslims near the livestock market where people were trading sheep cows, goats and other animals in the Bati Kot district outside Jalalabad, Afghan police and health officials said;_ylt=AhwvdBSMBf6lfAZ2fkOSaaVvaA8F

E.U. diplomats denied Gaza entry

E.U. diplomats denied Gaza entry
November 13, 2008
Israel prevented 20 European Union diplomats from entering Gaza.
The consul generals were scheduled to meet with business leaders and human rights activists in Gaza on Thursday, Israel’s daily Haaretz reported. Israel Defense Forces spokesman Peter Lerner told the newspaper that Israel had told the consuls Wednesday that they would not be allowed to cross over, but they still tried to cross into Gaza on Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, foreign journalists have not been allowed to cross into Gaza, the Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.
IDF spokesman Lerner told the paper that there has been no order issued to keep the journalists out of Gaza, rather that since the renewal of rocket attacks last week entry has been allowed only on the basis of humanitarian concerns.
The Foreign Press Association has appealed to the government to allow journalists entry into Gaza, but without success.

News To use

The September and October mass distribution of the anti-Muslim documentary, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West, paid for by the mysterious Clarion Fund, has numerous links to the Orthodox Jewish organization Aish HaTorah. In September, Ali Gharib and I wrote:
The Clarion Fund and Aish Hatorah are headed by twin Israeli-Canadian brothers Raphael and Ephraim Shore, respectively. The two groups appear to be connected as Clarion is incorporated in Delaware to the New York offices of Aish Hatorah.
“It seems that the Clarion Fund, from what we can tell, is just a virtual organization that is a front for Aish Hatorah,” Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told IPS. “They don’t have staff, they don’t have a physical address. Nothing.”
Sarah Posner at The Jewish Week also wrote an excellent article which details the links between Aish HaTorah and Obsession.
Adding to the case that the production and distribution of Obsession are managed by Aish HaTorah, is the fact that Obsession’s website,, appears to be hosted by an Aish HaTorah hosting account. shares an IP address with just one other website, is a domain name registered and owned by Aish HaTorah. (MORE)
HOROWITZ MISINFORMS STUDENTS ABOUT ISLAM - TOPDana Shabeeb, Daily Northwestern, 11/12/08
As an American who believes in free speech, I support College Republicans' right to invite David Horowitz to speak on our campus. However, I cannot allow my fellow students to be victims of the deception and misinformation created by David Horowitz's remarks at last night's event.
Although the topic of Horowitz's speech was "threats to American freedom," it seemed more like an hour and a half filled with blatant lies about Islam, aimed to instill fear and incite hatred toward Muslims. He claimed that "very few Muslims would condemn genocidal attack on Jews." Let me make clear that Muslims vehemently reject the use of violence in the name of our religion and don't support the killing of innocent civilians for any reason.
Rather, we wholeheartedly embrace the American ideal of peace that Horowitz claims to defend. (MORE)
David Horowitz is the Islamophobia movement's premier promoter. Through his "Islamofascism Awareness Week" (see Islamofascism Case Study), which brought leading Muslim-bashers to more than a hundred college campuses in October 2007, and via his website, FrontPage Magazine, which features the movement's leading writers and links to other anti-Muslim sites, Horowitz has made himself the chief publicist of the Islamophobic movement. (Anti-Muslim and anti-Arab writings at Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine have been exposed for inaccuracy by, among other outlets, the New Yorker magazine--4/14/08.)
WASHINGTON (JTA)—An Arab-American group wants Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel to repudiate remarks made by Emanuel’s father.
President-elect Obama last week named Emanuel, an Illinois congressman whose father is Israeli, as his White House chief of staff. In an interview with the Israeli daily Ma’ariv, Benjamin Emanuel said, "Obviously, he’ll influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to be mopping floors at the White House." (MORE)
KELSO MAN ASSAULTED IN ALLEGED HATE CRIME - TOPLeslie Slape, Daily News, 11/10/08A man on a night out with his girlfriend Friday told Longview police that another man accused him of being a member of al-Qaeda and slapped him.
Police arrested David Lee Katon, 28, of Clatskanie on suspicion of malicious harassment, a felony hate crime, and fourth-degree assault and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.
The victim, a Kelso man originally from India, said he asked a man for a light outside the Cadillac Ranch Casino, and the man asked him if he was connected with the terrorist organization. (MORE)
MINNEAPOLIS — Under a settlement to a federal lawsuit, up to 100 Somali Muslims who are current or former workers at Gold'n Plump Inc. will receive a total of $365,000.
The settlement was filed in Minneapolis on Friday. It sprang from allegations of religious discrimination at the company's chicken processing plants in Cold Spring and Arcadia, Wis.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed lawsuits against St. Cloud-based Gold'n Plump and the Work Connection Inc., an employment agency in St. Paul, which handled some hiring for the plant.
Under the settlement, Gold'n Plump agreed to pay $215,000 to workers who were terminated for taking prayer breaks. (MORE)
GOLD’N PLUMP AWARDS WORKERS IN SETTLEMENT - TOPBritt Johnsen, St. Cloud Times, 11/11/08
A group of up to 100 Muslim people will receive $365,000 after discrimination cases involving Gold’n Plump were settled earlier this fall.
Attorneys representing employees of Gold’n Plump Poultry Inc. released a statement late Monday explaining details in two cases involving Muslim employees who worked in plants in Cold Spring and Arcadia, Wis. (MORE)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

news to use

A RECLAMATION OF PEACEGroups seek end to gun crimes, honor recent victimsScott Barker, Knoxville News Sentinel, 11/10/08Two by two, the teenage girls walked in silence through Knoxville Center mall on Sunday.
They wore green, symbolic of peace, and cream-colored headdresses, emblematic of their Muslim faith.
They also carried signs with various messages that could be boiled down to a single statement - "End gun violence."
The girls, followed by Muslim boys, a contingent of youth from Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and various adults, about 40 people in all, then held a vigil in the center of the mall near the scaled-down house where Santa soon will be taking gift requests from young children. (MORE)
CAIR-PA: WE ARE MUSLIMS. SO WHAT? - TOPSafdar Khwaja, Pittsburg Post-Gazette, 11/9/08
SAFDAR KHWAJA decries the anti-Muslim sentiments dredged up by Election 2008 and wonders why American Muslims must always be defined by 9/11
[Safdar Khwaja, a board member of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is an engineer who lives in Murrysville.]
One of the most disturbing aspects of Election 2008 was the whispering campaign that Barack Obama was a Muslim -- with the implication that this meant he was dangerous, secretly plotting to destroy America or, at the least, unqualified to be president. No matter how many times the candidate or the media pointed out that Mr. Obama is Christian, more than 10 percent of Americans still thought he was Muslim.
Further inflaming the situation was the distribution to more than 20 million Americans of a DVD titled, "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West." This incendiary faux documentary purports to portray only a small slice of the Islamic world but effectively paints all Muslims as closet terrorists who should be feared. Intended to influence the election, the DVD was inserted in Sunday newspapers, including the Post-Gazette, in key battleground states.
To his credit, John McCain at one point tried to tamp down the anti-Muslim, anti-Arab sentiment running rampant among his supporters. At a rally in mid-October, a woman told him she distrusted Mr. Obama because he was an "Arab." Mr. McCain responded, "No ma'am, no ma'am, he's a decent family man, [a] citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues." Mr. McCain was booed at one point when he tried to assure his audience that they needn't be scared if Obama became president.
Although his heart was in the right place, Mr. McCain inadvertently fertilized the widespread prejudice against Arabs by implying that only a non-Arab could be a "decent family man."
Within a week of this sobering event, former Secretary of State Colin Powell finally got it right. Recalling the photo of a mother draped over the gravestone of her soldier son killed in Iraq, a gravestone etched with the crescent of Islam, Gen. Powell questioned those who were stirring up anti-Muslim fervor… (MORE)
An anti-war rally set for noon Nov. 13 at the University of Illinois Quad will launch a series of peace events.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the same day, the Quad will have the Eyes Wide Open Boot Display, sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee. That evening at 6 p.m. in Room 103 of Mumford Hall, 1301 W. Gregory Drive, U, a panel discussion, "The Legacy of GI Resistance," will feature Joe Allen, author of "Vietnam: The (Last) War the U.S. Lost"; Joe Miller, UI lecturer and member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War; and Richard Stacewicz, historian and author of "Winter Soldiers: An Oral History of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War." From 7 to 8:30 p.m., there will be testimony by Iraqis and veterans of the global war on terrorism.
Event sponsors are Iraq Veterans Against the War, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, the Champaign-Urbana Arab Students Association, the American Friends Service Committee, Campus Greens, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort, the Campus Antiwar Network, the International Socialist Organization and Students for Justice in Palestine.
CAIR-NJ: JERSEY NO STRANGER TO BIAS, HATE CRIMES - TOPRacial, religious intolerance spur most incidentsHeather Haddon, Herald News, 11/10/08
The Hope Reformed Church in Clifton is a century-old house of worship whose members pride themselves on their neighborliness. When their new pastor arrived from Minnesota last year, the 80 congregants pitched in to restore the rambling clergy house next to the church.
But last month, parishioners did not feel so welcome on their quiet, tree-lined stretch of Burgess Place. During the night, someone sprayed a green pentagram — a symbol commonly referring to Satan — on their church's facade.
"Many of the older parishioners were upset," said Steven Wolters, 27, the pastor. "We had just painted the church white."
Clifton detectives are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime.
According to FBI figures released last week, New Jersey had the second greatest number of hate crimes in the country last year, trailing only California…
Advocates who track bias crime worry that many incidents go unreported, especially among groups who fear for their immigration status or do not know that intimidation constitutes a crime.
"Our community is not in the habit of reporting hate crimes," said Afsheen Shamsi of the New Jersey chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relation, an advocacy group. "They say, I'm Muslim, I expect that I would be targeted." (MORE)
(ST. PAUL, MN, 9/10/08) - Some 200 people turned out on Saturday for the 2nd annual Banquet of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN).
Speakers for the event included James Yusuf Yee, former Muslim Army Chaplain, and author of “For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire,” and Dr. Aminah McCloud, director of World Islamic Studies at DePaul University and author of several publications. The event also included a post-event “Meet the Authors” reception and opportunities to learn about CAIR-MN’s accomplishments in defense of civil rights over the past year.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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: CONTACT: CAIR-MN Communications Director Kenya McKnight, 612-483-3245; CAIR-MN Outreach Coordinator Abdul Basit, 612-201-9109; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202 488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
-----NY: FBI PROBING 'OBAMA' ATTACK - TOPAgency joins investigation into alleged beating of Muslim teen after electionPhil Helsel, Staten Island Advance, 11/8/08
The FBI has joined the investigation into Tuesday's alleged beating of a black Muslim teen, allegedly at the hands of a carload of white men furious over Barack Obama's election victory.
The U.S. District Attorney for the Eastern District of New York announced yesterday that it and the FBI are reviewing claims that 17-year-old Ali Kamara of Stapleton, was beaten by four men who shouted "Obama," before the 11 p.m. assault.Advertisement
Spokesman Robert Nardoza called the FBI's involvement in such a sensitive case "normal." The federal law enforcement officials will work with the Staten Island district attorney's office and the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force.
Police said that, as of last night, investigators have not officially classified the assault as a hate crime. (MORE)
View the video.
A Staten Island teen who is black was viciously assaulted Tuesday night in what police believe was a bias attack sparked by Barack Obama's presidential victory.
Seventeen-year-old Ali Kamara walks with a limp and has staples in his head. They are the results of a beating that he says was committed by four young men the night President-elect Obama was declared the winner.
Kamara, a high school student who is Muslim and lives in the Stapleton Section of the borough, was attacked while walking home around 10 p.m. the night of the election. He says as he approached his street, a gold car with four white men drove up behind him, with the men yelling Obama's name.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations has called on the FBI to launch a hate crime investigation into the assault.
The feds have joined the investigation into the alleged attack of a black Muslim teenager by white thugs shouting "Obama!" on Election Day in Staten Island, authorities said Friday.
A spokesman for Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said federal prosecutors and the FBI are reviewing with local authorities the attack on Ali Kamara, a student at Curtis High School.
The 17-year-old told police he was kicked and beaten with a baseball bat by four white men who were apparently furious that Barack Obama had been elected President. (MORE)
The Gallup Center for Muslim Studies recently found overwhelming support for Senator Barack Obama among the country’s estimated two million Muslim voters, many of them in New York. At the same time, many of them said they could not show it. “I pretty much kept away, because I didn’t want to appear with an Obama button and have people look at me and say: ‘Oh, a Muslim girl supports him. Aha,’” said Sule Akoglu, a 17-year-old New York University freshman, who wears a head scarf.
The persistent rumor that Mr. Obama was a Muslim — he is a Christian — had led his campaign to do things that the students found hurtful, they said. The campaign had dismissed a Muslim staff member for seemingly flimsy reasons. A campaign worker had shuttled two young Muslim women wearing head scarves out of the line of sight of TV cameras at a rally.
And the candidate known for his way with words had never said the words they waited for. Those were finally spoken instead by former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, when he announced his support for Mr. Obama on Oct. 19. Answering a question about the candidate’s faith, Mr. Powell said: “Well, the correct answer is he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?” (Watch a related video and post a comment.)
The New York Post reports that a New Jersey family that supported Mr. Obama found a charred wooden cross on its lawn in a case being treated as a hate crime.
Nearly 90 percent of American Muslims supported Democrat Barack Obama on Election Day -- and did so on the basis of economic and foreign policy concerns, top Muslim groups said in Washington, D.C., Friday.Muslims overlooked differences they might have had with the President-elect’s positions on same-sex marriage and abortion, just as Catholics and other religious groups did on Tuesday, according to top officials connected with the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT).Although most Muslims probably voted in favor of the same-sex marriage ban on the ballot in California, a position at odds with Obama's, they found enough common ground with the candidate in other areas that were central to their concerns in the 2008 election cycle, according to Mahdi Bray, executive director the Muslim-American Society Freedom Foundation. . .The AMT -- an umbrella organization that includes 11 other Islamic groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the American Muslim Alliance, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Muslim Alliance in North America and the Muslim Student Association-National -- gathered at the National Press Club to report on the electoral preferences of Muslim voters and their level of participation. . .
“The economy really stood out here,” Nihad Awad, the executive director of CAIR, said in an interview. “Muslims share the same concerns as other Americans about the economic picture. They are worried about losing their homes and losing credit. So it’s logical to see this result right now. I would say that civil rights are also very central.”
A survey of over 1,000 Muslims taken earlier in the year -- long before the stock market slide -- showed that civil rights and education were also top issues.
Awad called on the new president-elect to shut down the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as way of “restoring America’s moral standing in the world.” (MORE)
SEE ALSO:CAIR-MI: RELIGIOUS GROUPS REFLECT ON OBAMA'S WIN - TOPSome say God sent him as a uniter; others decry his viewsNiraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 11/10/08
In the churches of many African-American Christians on Sunday, Barack Obama's election was celebrated as a triumph of racial harmony and unity. . .
Over the past year, the faith and values of Obama have been closely scrutinized and debated, with some praising his religious ideas, others decrying them. Those opposing views continued to be heard this weekend in metro Detroit places of worship, where supporters and detractors saw Obama's election victory in different ways. . .
Among some religious minorities, Obama did well. About 78% of Jewish voters chose Obama, despite strong efforts by Republicans to win over Jewish voters by linking Obama to Arab extremists. And 89% of Muslims voted for Obama, compared with only 2% for McCain, according to a survey released Friday by the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections.
On Friday, the day of the traditional weekly sermons inside mosques, Muslim leaders said that Obama's victory was a positive sign.
At the American Muslim Center in Dearborn, Dawud Walid -- head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and an assistant imam at Masjid Wali Muhammad in Detroit -- talked about the struggles of African Americans in the United States.
"It should give us hope for being more involved," Walid said in his recorded sermon. "We have to believe, and we have to get involved. If he can be elected as president, there is hope for us." (MORE)
The election of the first black president in U.S. history is of special interest to Americans who are members of a racial or religious minority…
Razi Hashmi, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American- Islamic Relations, said that Obama's election had instilled hope in the Muslim community in America, and should help repair America's image in Muslim countries around the world.
"People I've talked to are happy," he said.
"This election is a sign that regardless of your background, if you're a minority, you'll be able to make it in this society, that you could be president some day."
Hashmi said American Muslims were o/ended by the false accusation during the campaign that Obama was a Muslim, as if being a Muslim were a bad thing.
He said he hoped the Obama administration would take a stand against the "overt religious bigotry we saw during the campaign."
He said the No. 1 issue for Muslims during the campaign was the erosion of civil rights since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Evidence of that, he said, has been the treatment of political prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, government wiretapping, anti-Muslim bigotry, hate crimes and discrimination based on religion. (MORE)
---CAIR: RECORD TURNOUT BY MUSLIMS FOR ELECTION - TOPErika Niedowski, The National, 11/8/08
US Muslims turned out in record numbers and voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama for president last week, according to new polling data, even though Muslim community leaders said some had felt marginalised during the campaign.
Eighty-nine per cent of US Muslims surveyed cast their ballot for Mr Obama, a poll commissioned by the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections found. Just two per cent voted for John McCain, his Republican rival, with the independent and third-party candidates receiving negligible support.
Nearly two thirds of the 637 people surveyed by Genesis Research Associates identified the economy as their most pressing issue, distantly followed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ninety-five per cent said they had voted in the presidential election, the highest turnout ever reported for Muslim-Americans.
At a news conference in Washington on Friday to announce the poll results, Muslim-American leaders congratulated Mr Obama on his historic election as the first African-American US president. But they called on him to make good on his campaign promise for unity and inclusion and asked him to reach out to Muslims early on and take steps to repair “damaged relations” from the eight years of George W Bush’s presidency. Many Muslims say his administration has rolled back civil liberties and wrongly targeted them in the so-called “war on terror”. . .
Muslim-Americans have shifted their political affiliation over the past eight years they voted for Mr Bush in 2000, then John Kerry in 2004 and increasingly identify with the Democratic Party. But they do not vote just based on party.
“It’s clear that Muslims vote based on issues not on party or political concerns,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Although political participation by Muslim-Americans is increasing, Mr Saeed said, it is still far from representative; Muslims hold just a fraction of the more than half-million elected offices in the United States. This year marked the election of the first female Muslim to the state legislature in Michigan.
At the news conference, Nihad Awad, CAIR’s executive director, called on Mr Obama to move to restore the United States’s “moral authority” throughout the world; protect its “core values”; and signal a willingness to appoint qualified US Muslims to positions in his administration. (MORE)
The Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Dublin has become the first Muslim organization to join the social-justice group Building Responsibility, Equality and Dignity, or BREAD.
The interfaith alliance of Christian and Jewish congregations works on social-justice issues such as affordable housing and health care. All 50 member congregations are in Franklin County; the group formed in 1996.
Noor was inducted, along with four Christian groups, at a ceremony yesterday.
"Our goals go with BREAD very well," said Hany Saqr, director of the mosque. "We are looking for justice in the community, and they are looking for justice in the community."
Saqr said he also appreciates the opportunity for Muslims to work alongside people of other faiths on common concerns. (MORE)
-----MI: AIRPORT LAPTOP SEIZURES ANGER MUSLIMS - TOPGregg Krupa, Detroit News, 11/7/08
Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, a frequent traveler who wears a robe and the traditional amamah headwear of a Shi'a leader, is accustomed to scrutiny at international airports.
But he was not prepared for what happened to him on Oct. 22 as he returned to Detroit Metropolitan Airport from an extended trip to his native Iran. After searching his luggage, customs personnel wanted to see more.
"They said, 'Well, we need to check your computer,'" Elahi recalled. "They said they had to go to an office and check it. They came back and said, 'Well, do the password.'... He took it back, and it took another 20 minutes. And then he came back and said, 'Well, you know, unfortunately, the computer died as I was looking at it.'?"
Elahi was confronted with what many local Muslims and residents of Arab descent say are increased searches and seizures of laptops at airports and border crossings without warrant or warning. Civil rights groups are challenging the tactic, as the Bush administration and citizens continue to grapple with the conflict between civil liberties and national security seven years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
They say the laptops of Muslims, in particular, are targeted, seized and retained without any notification of the cause. Meanwhile, Elahi has been forced to spend thousands of dollars to retrieve scholarly research, contact lists, e-mails from devoted followers about intimate marital problems and photos of his family. (MORE)

Friday, November 7, 2008


Luqman 31:18-19

Do not treat people with contempt, nor walk insolently on the earth. Allah does not love the arrogant or the self-conceited boaster. Be modest in your bearing and subdue your voice, for the most unpleasant of voices is the braying of the ass.

Luqman 31:18-19

Thursday, November 6, 2008

After Obama Win, Black Muslim Teen Beaten With Bat on Staten Island

17-year-old Ali Kamara, a black Muslim, was walking home on Staten Island Tuesday night after it was announced that Barack Obama was elected president when he was brutally assaulted by four white men. Kamara tells the Daily News: "I see the car coming. They looked at me and said, 'Obama!' They were not happy. They had hoodies on. They started hitting me with bats and my body started vibrating." Luckily, Kamara was able to break away and hide until the thugs left; his mother, who moved with Ali to Staten Island from Liberia in 2000, showed the News a bloody towel she used to staunch his wounds. An NYPD spokesman says the department's Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident as a bias crime. And Kamara says he heard his assailants scream the word "Obama!" but not any other racial or religious slurs, so it could be the bullies just mistook Kamara for the new President-Elect.

Michael Criton Died

Michael Crichton, whose technological thrillers like “The Andromeda Strain” and “Jurassic Park” dominated best-seller lists for decades and were translated into Hollywood megahits, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 66 and lived in Santa Monica, Calif.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


ARSON AT COLUMBIA MOSQUE STIRS COMPASSION - TOPDonations pour in; 2 suspects plead guiltyChris Echegaray, Tennessean, 11/5/08
From the rubble of a firebombed mosque, relationships have emerged.
After local men burned the Islamic Center of Columbia, Tenn., to the ground in February, Muslim families had no place to worship. Donations came in to help establish a new center, and the First Presbyterian Church in town allowed them to worship at its church.
"It's just a great example of how we can believe different things and respect, celebrate each other," said Daoud Abudiab, president of the Islamic Center of Columbia. "And that's regardless of those who carry out acts of hate toward other groups."
Two of the three men charged with destroying and vandalizing the mosque pleaded guilty on Monday in federal court in Nashville, as the Islamic Center works to open its doors at 500 Carter St. in Columbia.
Michael Corey Golden, 23, and Jonathan Edward Stone, 19, admitted to breaking into the Islamic Center of Columbia, 1317 S. Main St., assembling Molotov cocktails and igniting them, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The two men also admitted to burning the mosque because of its religious character, the Department of Justice stated. Spray-painted on the walls outside the mosque were several Nazi swastikas and the phrases "white power" and "We run the world." (MORE)
NJ: MUSLIMS AND JEWS PACK RUTGERS DIALOGUE EVENT - TOPStudents share views on dating and diets, find common groundDebra Rubin, New Jersey Jewish News, 11/6/09
In what both sides hope will be the first of many interfaith encounters, Muslims and Jews at Rutgers University packed a student lounge in New Brunswick to discuss how they view dating, religious holidays, and food prohibitions.
At the Oct. 30 program, arranged by Rutgers Hillel and the Muslim Student Association, there were male students in yarmulkes and female students wearing hijabs, the traditional Muslim head scarves.
As students sat in same-sex circles of about 10, they discussed questions from a preprinted sheet that included the differences — and similarities — between kosher and halal dietary laws and the faiths’ respective Sabbath prohibitions. Jewish students cleared up confusion over the different denominations of Judaism and their different beliefs. (MORE)
-----NY: MUSLIM PLACE OF REFUGE PLANNED - TOPGroup hopes to offer faith-based aid to former inmatesMarc Parry, Albany Times-Union, 11/5/08
Amin Abdullah spreads the inmates' letters over his mosque's green rug.The authors are imprisoned in Clinton. Fishkill. Marcy. Abdullah reads aloud from one who writes of "a problem with addiction."
"I will be homeless once I am released," he says. "So I am begging and pleading for your help."
Help may be coming. A group of Muslims is trying to aid inmates like him with a new faith-based Islamic shelter and treatment program. They say the facility, called House of Forgiveness, would be the first of its kind in the region.
If the Albany project succeeds, it would plug a social service gap that local Islamic leaders have talked about filling for decades. (MORE)
American troops responding to an attack by Taleban forces have bombed a wedding party in southern Afghanistan, killing around 40 civilians, local people and government officials said today.
US officials confirmed last night that an incident is under joint investigation by the US military and Afghan government. "We are taking this very seriously. We are extremely sorry if there have been civilian casualties sustained during this operation," US army spokesman Colonel Greg Julian told The Times. "It is the worst possible outcome if civilians are harmed as a result of our trying to defend them." (MORE)

Barak Obama

Barak Obama Has won the Presidency!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) - The head of the Republican Women of Otero County refused to resign after calling Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama a "Muslim socialist."
Otero County GOP chairwoman Sassy Tinling says that when Marcia Stirman refused to quit, the rest of the board of the Republican Women's group gave Stirman their resignations. (MORE)
The head of the Republican Women of Otero County refused to resign after calling Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama a ''Muslim socialist'' — so the rest of the group's board quit, the county GOP chairwoman says.
Marcia Stirman, a 56-year-old interior decorator, wrote a letter published Oct. 21 in the Alamogordo Daily News in which she wrote, ''I believe Muslims are our enemies.''
The letter prompted a quick response from the New Mexico Republican Party, which said she does not speak for the party and that her comments do not reflect its values and beliefs.
The executive board of the Otero County Republican Party and the Republican Women of Otero County asked Stirman to resign last week, county GOP Chairwoman Sassy Tinling said.
Stirman refused, and Tinling said the rest of the board of the Republican Women's group immediately gave their resignations to Stirman.
Tinling also said the county party's executive committee ''has chosen to disassociate itself from the RWOOC as it exists today'' and that the Otero County GOP will no longer recognize Stirman's position on its board.
While people are entitled to their opinion, when they head an organization their views reflect on the entire group, she said. (MORE)
RPOC ASKS STIRMAN TO RESIGN - TOPAlamogordo Daily News, Elva K. Österreich, 11/4/08
In a recent letter to the editor in the Alamogordo Daily News, Republican Women of Otero County Chairman Marcia Stirman, expressed an opinion about presidential candidate Barack Obama that some felt was inappropriate for a party official.
Stirman's letter, "Why I am a Republican," garnished national interest primarily because of two statements, "I believe Muslims are our enemies" and "(Obama) is a Muslim socialist."
Various groups have called for her to step down as chair of the Republican Women, including a national Islamic group and the state Republican Party. Now the Republican Party of Otero County has also asked Stirman for her resignation. (MORE)
(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 11/4/2008) The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) yesterday offered sensitivity training about Islam and Muslims to staff of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The training, which was held at the Robert H. Lurie Engineering Center, covered basic Muslim beliefs, American Muslim demographics and Islamic etiquettes. A CAIR-MI representative also fielded questions on a range of issues related to Islam and Muslims.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, Tel: 248-559-2247, E-Mail:
Two men pleaded guilty Monday to firebombing a storefront mosque that was reduced to rubble with black swastikas spray painted on it.
A federal indictment said the two and a third defendant also tagged "White Power" on the outside of the mosque before torching the building with Molotov cocktails. No one was injured in the February fire that burned down the Islamic Center of Columbia, about 40 miles south of Nashville.
Jonathan Edward Stone, 19, and Michael Corey Golden, 23, both pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of destruction of religious property and one count of use of fire to damage religious property, both civil rights charges.
A sentencing date hasn't been set for the men, who each face up to 30 years in prison. (MORE)
Montgomery County police are investigating why the Islamic Center of Maryland in Gaithersburg was hit with 30 paintball blasts over the weekend.
Police say a witness told a patrol officer it occurred early Saturday morning. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a national civil liberties group, says the building was hit by as many as 70 paintballs.A council spokesman asked police to investigate if bias was involved.
MD: POLICE INVESTIGATE PAINTBALL INCIDENT - TOPDan Morse, Washington Post, 11/4/08Montgomery County police said yesterday that they are investigating why the Islamic Center of Maryland in Gaithersburg was hit with 30 paintball blasts over the weekend. A police spokesman said a witness told a patrol officer it occurred early Saturday morning.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a national civil liberties group, said the building was hit by as many as 70 paintballs. A council spokesman asked police to investigate if bias was involved.
CAIR-MI: AMBIVALENT ABOUT THEIR TREATMENT IN THE ELECTION, MUSLIMS STILL POLITICALLY ENGAGED - TOPCity of Dearborn officials expect large turnout at the polls todayCharles Gregg-Geist, Michigan Daily, 11/3/08
When former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama last month, he cited an election issue that has troubled many American Muslim for months.
“It is permitted to be said such things as, ‘Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’ Well, the correct answer is, 'He’s not a Muslim, he’s a Christian,' ” Powell said on Meet the Press on Oct. 19. “But the really right answer is, ‘What if he is?’ Is there anything wrong with being a Muslim in America?”
The Muslim faith has been a prominent issue throughout the campaign. Polls have shown that more than 10 percent of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim. Even conservative commentators have made reference to the Illinois senator's middle name, Hussein, to suggest that he is Muslim even though he has long been a member of a Christian church.
Dawud Walid, executive director of the state chapter of the nonpartisan Council on American Islamic Relations, said Muslims have been disappointed with the way the word “Muslim” has been used in a derogatory sense during the election cycle. Despite their disappointment, Walid and Muslim leaders at the University of Michigan believe Muslims will play an active role in today's election. (MORE)
When he endorsed Barack Obama for president in mid-October, former Secretary of State Colin Powell did more than merely cross a partisan divide. Yes, of course, the headlines after Powell made his dramatic endorsement on NBC's "Meet the Press" highlighted the fact that one of the country's most prominent Republicans had given his backing to the Democratic nominee.
But the lingering phenomenon that Powell's endorsement created in Muslim American communities across the United States has been far more profound.
Powell made what will be remembered as the campaign's most powerful statement regarding religious tolerance. (MORE)
On Halloween, Sen. John McCain was battling for votes in Columbus, Ohio, while Sen. Barack Obama was rallying supporters in Highland, Ind.
At another gathering in nearby Fishers, Ind., Westborough resident Tahir Ali was trying to rally a different crowd - about 350 Muslim-American voters.
He was there on behalf of the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections, or AMT, a coalition of 12 major Muslim organizations.
Its members are trying to maximize turnout among Muslim voters in a time when the choices are not ideal, Ali said. (MORE)
MUSLIM YOUTH GET OUT THE VOTE - TOPFree Speech Radio, 11/3/08
Click here to listen to this radio report.
John McCain and Barack Obama are making a mad dash to tomorrow's historic finish. Obama is in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia today, in his last attempt to sway undecided voters in these battleground states. McCain, meanwhile is campaigning in seven states, all in one day: Florida, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Mexico and Nevada before arriving in his home state of Arizona. FSRN is broadcasting from Chicago today, where Obama will host a massive Election Rally tomorrow at Grant Park. As many as a million people will be descending on the Windy City for tomorrow's event.
Meanwhile, like in many cities and towns across the country on Election Day eve, massive get out the vote efforts are underway. Under Karl Rove in the 2000 and 2004 election, the 72-hour strategy successfully turned out hundreds of thousands of Republican voters a tactic McCain's campaign hopes to replicate. Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is using its own grassroots organizing strategies hoping to turn out even bigger crowds. And independent groups have their own voter mobilization efforts. In Chicago, the Muslim and Arab community has set lofty goals for voter outreach. Washington Editor Leigh Ann Caldwell is here in Chicago and with the story.