CAIR-SEATTLE: MUSLIMS LOBBY AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA IN OLYMPIA - TOP By Sepideh Behzadpour, The Daily of the University of Washington, 1/19/10
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Members of the Muslim Student Association of the University of Washington (MSA UW) were part of a group that gathered in Olympia on Monday to meet with legislators about the issues of Islamophobia (prejudice against Muslims) and low-income housing. The group included 10 members from MSA UW, several Seattle high-school students, and a couple of working professionals.
The group met with three Democratic legislators from the 46th district Rep. Scott White, Rep. Phyllis Gutíerrez Kenney and Sen. Ken Jacobsen’s assistant as part of the 2010 Washington State Muslims Day at the Capitol. Jacobsen represents the U-District but could not attend in person due to a committee meeting.
The group presented the legislators with an English translation of the Quran and a DVD intended to explain the fundamental principles of Islam…
The executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Washington, Arsalan Bukhari, organized the event. Bukhari said that Muslims have the desire to be engaged and that the day provided the opportunity for them to do so.
In his closing remarks, he said it was an educational process for everyone; the legislators learned more about Islam and the Muslims learned how to engage with their legislators and talk about issues of concern, primarily Islamophobia. (More)
CAIR: SHOULD RELIGIOUS DISPLAYS BE ALLOWED ON PUBLIC LAND? - TOP Thomas J. Billitteri, CQ Researcher, 1/15/10
Hooper, the Council on American-Islamic Relations spokesman, takes a broader view, arguing that “as long as everyone has equal access” to a site, “we're not opposed to it.”
“It's really up to each religious community to make sure it has equal access,” he adds. “We've dealt with this in the past as an organization. If a local library has a Christmas display, we don't ask people to go and tell them to take down the Christmas display. We say, ‘Look, reserve it for the next time Ramadan comes along.’ It's in our court, really.” (More)
CAIR-OK: OU TO SHOW DOCUMENTARY THAT LOOKS ‘INSIDE ISLAM’ - TOP The Oklahoman, 1/19/10
NORMAN -- The 55-minute documentary "Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think” is screening at 7 p.m. Saturday at Meacham Auditorium inside the Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave.
The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations will host the state’s premier of the film based on widespread Gallup opinion polls taken throughout the Muslim world.
A panel discussion with prominent metro-area civic and religious leaders will be after the screening. (More)
CAIR: ISLAMIC GROUP BLASTS VANDALISM, CALLS FOR LOCAL INVESTIGATION - TOP By Mark Bell, Daily News Journal, 1/19/10
The Council on American-Islamic Relations called on local, state and national law enforcement agencies Monday to investigate an "apparently bias-motivated act of vandalism" at the site of a proposed mosque just outside Murfreesboro.
Over the weekend, a sign marking the future site of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was spray-painted with the words "not welcome." (More)
CAIR VIDEO: TENN. MUSLIMS REACT TO VANDALISM - TOP
ISLAMIC CENTER OF MURFREESBORO “FUTURE HOME” SIGN VANDALIZED - TOP WGNS Radio, 1/19/10
The future home of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was vandalized. Apparently, unknown persons spray painted “NOT WELCOME” on a sign that sits on the property located on Veals Road near Bradyville Pike. The Islamic Center is temporarily calling Middle Tennessee Blvd. home until their new location is built.
At this point, no arrests have been made although the Council on American-Islamic Relations is asking for law enforcement officials to investigate the possible hate crime vandal.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro released the following statement:
"The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has been established in the Murfreesboro area for over a decade, we have over 200 families that have played an active role in building this community. We have enjoyed a friendly and supportive relationship with all of our friends and neighbors. WE WERE SHOCKED AND DISAPPOINTED BY THE VANDALISM of our new sign on Bradyville Pike. The co-existence of religions is the core foundation and strength of our nation. While we stand firmly against all acts of vandalism, we believe that this callous action is an effort to gain publicity and sway public opinion towards stereotyping views against Muslims. We, as a community in Murfreesboro, must take a hard-line approach against these acts to defend our nation’s principles and values."
FBI GOT 2,000 PHONE RECORDS WITH FAKE TERRORISM EMERGENCIES: REPORT - TOP The FBI illegally collected 2,000 phone records between 2002 and 2006 invoking nonexistent terrorism emergencies, according to a report in The Washington Post. By Tom A. Peter, Christian Science Monitor, 1/19/10
The Federal Bureau of Investigation used false terrorism emergencies to illegally collect more than 2,000 phone records between 2002 and 2006. A series of e-mails and memos obtained by The Washington Post details how FBI officials violated their own procedures and strained their communication analysis unit with non-urgent requests. In many instances, approval was granted after records had been collected to justify the FBI’s actions.
Later this month, the Justice Department is expected to issue a report that will find the FBI violated regulations many times with its terrorism-related phone record requests. FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III did not know about the problems until late 2006 or early 2007 when they were brought to light by an inspector general investigation, reports the Associated Press.
The memos do not reveal whose phone records were collected by the FBI, but Bureau officials say that nearly all instances were related to terrorism cases. They added that agents were working under the stress of trying to stop potential terror attacks and did not intentionally violate the law.
The FBI, which previously admitted to illegally collecting phone records in 2007, has begun to publicly acknowledge this latest phone record collection abuse. In an interview with The Washington Post, Valerie Caproni, general counsel for the FBI, said that the bureau had violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act in collecting the 2,000 phone records in question. (More)
U.S. MILITARY WEAPONS INSCRIBED WITH SECRET 'JESUS' BIBLE CODES - TOP Pentagon Supplier for Rifle Sights Says It Has 'Always' Added New Testament References By Joseph Rhee, Tahman Bradley and Brian Ross, ABC News, 1/18/10
Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.
The sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers. The maker of the sights, Trijicon, has a $660 million multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 sights to the Marine Corps, and additional contracts to provide sights to the U.S. Army. (More)
THE GUANTÁNAMO ‘SUICIDES’: A CAMP DELTA SERGEANT BLOWS THE WHISTLE - TOP By Scott Horton, Harper’s Magazine, 1/18/10
1. “Asymmetrical Warfare”
When President Barack Obama took office last year, he promised to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great.”
Toward that end, the president issued an executive order declaring that the extra-constitutional prison camp at Guantánamo “shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order.”
Obama has failed to fulfill his promise. Some prisoners are being charged with crimes, others released, but the date for closing the camp seems to recede steadily into the future.
Furthermore, new evidence now emerging may entangle Obama’s young administration with crimes that occurred during the Bush presidency, evidence that suggests the current administration failed to investigate seriously—and may even have continued—a cover-up of the possible homicides of three prisoners at Guantánamo in 2006. (More)
ISRAEL AND GAZA: LOOKING BACK ONE YEAR AFTER THE WAR - TOP
The New America Foundation's Middle East Task Force and Project Engage are pleased to invite you to a timely discussion on the first anniversary of the conflict in Gaza.
Just in the last week, there have been mortars fired into Israel and Israeli attacks in Gaza. A year after Israel's last military operation, the blockade of Gaza continues and looks to be tightened as Egypt also constructs a wall on its border with Gaza. The status quo remains rooted in insecurity and uncertainty.
With Gaza assuming iconic significance throughout the Muslim world, it is imperative to take stock of the strategic consequences going forward for the United States, as well as for Israelis and Palestinians.
Please join us in a discussion on the ongoing struggle to improve humanitarian conditions for Gazans and ensure a future free of rockets for Israelis, and the wider impact of America's success or failure in Gaza for the peace process and American interests in the region.
EVENT TIME AND LOCATION Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 5:00pm - 6:30pm Rayburn House Office Building Rayburn House Office Building Room 2168 Washington, DC
Featured Speakers The Hon. Keith Ellison Representative (MN-5) House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Amjad Atallah Director, Middle East Task Force New America Foundation
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish Professor of Global Health, University of Toronto Nominee, 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
Eric Yellin Founder, Other Voice
Uri Zaki U.S. Director, B'Tselem
Daniel Levy Director, Middle East Task Force New America Foundation