Monday, February 1, 2010

Muslim Americans stress census participation as a civic duty
By M. Scott Bortot,, 1/29/10

Washington — In 1790, 17 U.S. marshals, along with some 200 assistants, rode on horseback throughout America to count the country’s citizens. That was then, when the U.S. population was around 4 million.

Today, as the nation’s population tops 300 million, the U.S. Census Bureau needs much more assistance from Americans than was the case 220 years ago.

Among the many groups helping the bureau in its 2010 census is the Muslim-American community. By the time millions of census questionnaires are mailed to U.S. households in March, Muslim-American groups already will have laid the groundwork by informing their communities about why participating in the census is important to them and to their country.

One of the ways Muslim-American organizations are getting involved is by volunteering for the 2010 U.S. Census Partner program...

Although the U.S. census does not ask questions about religion, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper told that the census is meaningful for Muslim Americans.

“I think, as with all Americans, that having an accurate count and an analysis of our nation’s population is important for a variety of reasons that don’t even touch on religion,” Hooper said. “Whether it is allocation of resources, education or something else, the same issues that apply to all Americans apply to American Muslims as well.”

Like Islamic Relief USA, CAIR has a wide-reaching network throughout the United States that is becoming involved in the census. In Oklahoma, the local CAIR chapter is enthusiastic about its participation in promoting the national census. After attending a recent press conference in Kansas City organized by the U.S. Census Bureau, CAIR Oklahoma Executive Director Razi Hashmi told his organization is ready to assist.

“We would love to be involved in any way that we can,” Hashmi said. “Being a representative of the Muslim community here in the state of Oklahoma, we have that grass-roots connection with mosques across the state, with Muslim communities across the state, and they definitely look to us regarding these types of opportunities.”


By Jim Smith, Daily Democrat, 2.1.10

If Congress were to focus less on politics and more on matters of the heart, then solutions might come easier for major issues such as health care and employment.

That was one of many lessons which emerged from the annual Celebration of Abraham held in Davis at St. James Catholic Church Sunday afternoon. The event -- which focuses on similarities between the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths -- drew about 175 people...

This year's Celebration of Abraham in Davis is sponsored by the American Muslim Voice, CA House, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Woodland, Congregation Bet Haverim/Jewish Fellowship of Davis, Council on American Islamic Relations, Davis Community Church, Davis Friends Meeting (Quaker), Davis Lutheran Church, The Islamic Center of Davis, Lutheran Church of Incarnation, Muslim Mosque of Woodland, Saint James Catholic Church of Davis, St. John's United Church of Christ, Saint Martin's Episcopal Church of Davis, United Methodist Church of Davis, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Woodland United Methodist Church. (More)



(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 2/1/10) On Tuesday, February 2, House Judiciary Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) will join a coalition of civil rights groups at a news conference in Detroit to reiterate a request that the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigate the shooting death of a Detroit Imam by FBI agents on October 28 in Dearborn.

WHAT: News Conference Reiterating Call for Investigation of Imam's Shooting
WHEN: Tuesday, February 2, 10 a.m. (Eastern)
WHERE: 220 Bagley, 10th Floor Conference Room, Detroit, MI
CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, E-Mail:

The call for an independent investigation comes following the release of autopsy results showing that Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah was shot 21 times, including once in the back, as well as being found handcuffed in the prone position.

SEE: Imam's Autopsy Confirms 21 Gunshot Wounds (Detroit Free Press)

At the press conference, the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) will also discuss a series of Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted to multiple law enforcement entities about the raid in which Abdullah was killed.

Attending the news conference along with Rep. Conyers will be representatives from CAIR-MI, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, National Action Network Michigan, the National Lawyers Guild Detroit/Michigan, and legal counsel for the Abdullah family.

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.

CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, E-Mail:, CAIR-MI Attorney Lena Masri, 248-390-1203, E-Mail:, Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality Spokesman Ron Scott, 313-399-7345


Los Angeles Times, 1/31/10

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris drew criticism from a leading Muslim group today after saying in his annual State of the City address that the high desert town was “growing a Christian community.”

"We're growing a Christian community, and don't let anybody shy away from that,” Parris told the audience of ministers gathered for his address.

“I need [Lancaster residents] standing up and saying we're a Christian community, and we're proud of that," the mayor said.

The Greater Los Angeles area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations denounced the statement and said it plans to file a complaint about the mayor's remarks with the civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department.

“Elected officials should not use their public positions to impose their religious beliefs on others," said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of CAIR. (More)


By Colette M. Jenkins, Beacon Journal, 1/30/10

This year's University of Akron Women's Studies Spring Lecture Series will focus on women and spirituality.

The series will explore the spiritual lives of women from medieval through modern times from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through March 2 in Room 210 of the university's Whitby Hall on the Buchtel Mall. This Tuesday's lecture, Women's Roles in Islam: The Ideal vs. the Reality, will be presented by Julia Shearson, executive director of the Cleveland Council on American-Islamic Relations. (More)

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