MUSLIMS RALLY SUPPORT FOR HAITI - TOP Fedwa Wazwaz, Star Tribune, 1/17/10
As soon as news got out on the massive earthquake in Haiti - my inbox started filling up with emails from various Muslim organizations across North America to remind me of what this tragedy is all about and what my obligations as a Muslim to others are. Here are a few examples. (More)
DEADLY FBI RAID OF DETROIT MOSQUE PROMPTS CONCERN OVER INFORMANTS - TOP Muslims, civil rights advocates decry tactic By Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 1/17/10
He called himself Jabril. Two years ago, a white man who claimed he was an ex-con and convert to Islam started attending a predominantly African-American mosque on a run-down street inDetroit.
He touted his Islamic ways while offering poor members of the mosque cash for odd jobs at an auto shop on the city's west side. He told tales of sick family members and brought a young boy to the mosque who he said was his son.
Jabril soon became a brother in faith and a confidante of the mosque's fiery leader, Luqman Ameen Abdullah, who was killed in a shootout during an Oct. 28 raid by FBI agents to arrest men suspected of dealing in stolen goods.
Members now believe Jabril was an FBI informant who infiltrated their mosque.
"He built up trust in the community," said Omar Regan, 34, one of Abdullah's sons.
The case -- one of several in the past year involving informants in Muslim-American communities -- has prompted growing concern among Muslims and civil rights advocates about undercover surveillance in religious institutions.
Federal officials say they don't send informants into congregations without reason. But last week, U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Detroit Democrat, called upon the U.S. Justice Department to review its policies on using informants in houses of worship…
Tensions over the use of informants in Muslim communities came to a head last year after reports that the FBI had used an informant in Orange County, Calif., who had acted as an agent provocateur by trying to get Muslims to wage violent attacks against Western targets. InMichigan, Muslim leaders said in April that agents were pushing some local Muslims to act as spies inside their mosques.
"It's brought paranoia in the community," said Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "Some are now wary of coming to the mosque." (More)
CAIR-OK: ISLAMIC COUNCIL DISCUSSES NEEDS OF OKLAHOMA MUSLIMS - TOP By Carrie Coppernoll, The Oklahoman, 1/16/10
Muslims gathered Friday night to discover ways to build stronger relationships with the non-Muslim community.
The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations hosted a town hall meeting to address concerns of the Muslim community. The talk included airport profiling, civil rights and community involvement.
"It’s imperative that all Americans are treated with dignity and respect,” said Michael Aziz Gipson, chairman of the board.
Many people at the meeting expressed concern that the non-Muslim community often connects Islam and terrorism.
"We don’t subscribe to those values, those acts, those doctrines,” one man said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations denounces all acts of terror, said Razi Hashmi, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter. Members of the audience said individual Muslims also must be more vocal about their beliefs. (More)
VIDEO: CAIR-OK TOWN HALL CHALLENGES RACIAL PROFILING (SPANISH) - TOP
T30 Noticias, 1/15/10 - The Council on American-Islamic Relations says they've seen more racial profiling of Muslims since the attempted terrorist attack in Detroit in December. They think it is unfair and should stop.
The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade -- one of Oklahoma's largest -- will begin 2 p.m. at the Broadway Circle and North Broadway and proceed south on Broadway to 4th Street. The parade route then angles over to E.K. Gaylord Boulevard and continues south to Sheridan Avenue. Then it turns left on Sheridan and proceeds east, ending at Sheridan and Stiles Avenue.
Members of the local chapter of the National Association of Black Veterans will serve as parade marshals.
This year's three honorary parade marshals are civil rights leaders Clara Luper and Ed Stamps and Michael Gibson, chairman of the Council on American Islamic Relations.
UNDER THE DOME FOR JAN. 16 - TOP The Olympian, 1/16/10
Monday is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and the Capitol Campus typically swarms with activists who press their case to lawmakers. This year, rallies include:
…Muslims plan a gathering from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the sunken garden, sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Washington. (More)
COSTA MESA Costa Mesa police are officially investigating a recent finding of a torched Quranat a local mosque as a hate crime.
Police initially hesitated to call the New Year's Day incident a hate crime though officials and congregants at the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County in Costa Mesa say the Quran-burning was clearly motivated by bigotry.
"As (detectives) mull over the case and they make the determination, it fit the elements as a hate crime," said Costa Mesa police Sgt. Phil Myers.
Educational center representatives, including Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini, met with law enforcement officialsOrange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and Costa Mesa Police Chief Christopher Shawkey on Thursday to explain their concerns.
Fatma Saleh, a board member at the center, said they walked out of the meeting satisfied "knowing that they're taking it seriously as a hate crime."
On New Year's Day, a congregant spotted the burnt Quran in the parking lot and brought it into the packed mosque, which was in the midst of prayer. The man took the Quran up to the Imam at the pulpit as congregants gasped and cried at the sight of the torched book.
Saleh said the incident, denounced by The Council on American-Islamic Relations, was obviously part of a backlash that occurred after a Nigerian's alleged attempt to blow up an international flight on Christmas. (More)
BAN ON TEACHERS' RELIGIOUS DRESS GETS HEARING - TOP By Melica Johnson, KATU News, 1/14/10
SALEM, Ore. - State lawmakers plan to debate in February’s month-long legislative session whether to repeal a law that prohibits public school teachers from wearing religious dress.
In the 1920s, when the Ku Klux Klan had political influence, a state law was passed prohibiting public school teachers from wearing religious dress in the classrooms like turbans and head scarves.
A hearing room in the Capitol was packed Wednesday with many people wearing their religious clothing. They came to testify before a House committee in hopes of getting legislators to repeal the law.
“It’s a history that Oregon needs to move away from,” said Sava Ahmed who is Muslim and one of several people who testified.
She said if she and others aren’t allowed to wear their religious dress in the classrooms it would be “just like saying, ‘Why not just change the color of your skin?’” (More)