Thursday, February 18, 2010


(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/16/10) - On Sunday, February 28, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will co-host a screening and interfaith dialogue about a new film on global Muslim public opinion at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington, Va.

The event is a partnership between CAIR and 20,000 Dialogues, a project of Unity Productions Foundation, the makers of Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think. 20,000 Dialogues is a nationwide initiative that uses discussions about films to build greater understanding of Muslims.

WHAT: Film Screening and Interfaith Dialogue
WHEN: Sunday, February 28, 6:30-9 p.m.
WHERE: Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5533 16th St. N, Arlington, Va.
CONTACT: Aseel Elborno, E-Mail:, 919-696-7796

Please RSVP at:

Co-sponsors of the event include Unity Production Foundation, Paulist Fathers, AMIN DC, Faith Act Fellows and Trinity Presbyterian Church.

Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think, the new documentary by Unity Production Foundation, provides an eye-opening view of global Muslim opinions on hot topics like terrorism, democracy, women and the West based on the findings of the Gallup Organizations first-of-its-kind opinion poll of the entire Muslim world.

Like Gallups research, the film challenges some popular notions concerning the conflicts that exist between the U.S. and the Muslim World. It provides information and analysis intended to spur a public policy debate based on facts, not fear. This ground-breaking research is crucial to the new foreign policy formulations now being made in Washington and around the world.

Experts featured in the film include: Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and a member of President Obamas Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships;John Esposito, University Professor at Georgetown University; and Kenneth Pollack, Director of Research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

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 National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:



View the video.

On Fox and Friends this morning, Steve Doocy hosted a discussion about concerns from Muslim-Americans that full-body scanners at airports violate Islamic rules on modesty.

After former homeland security research analyst Michael Hoffman suggested that some profiling was needed for airport security, Doocy brought up his wife's experiences going through airport security, saying that she gets searched even though she does not look like what we have presumed the people who want to blow up airlines look like.

Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago, quickly rebuked Doocys comment about the presumed appearance of terrorists. Behavioral profiling is one thing, how they look like is another, said Rehab. How they look like is racial profiling, which I'm not for. Doocy replied by asserting that all potential airline terrorists look alike. (More)


Daily Herald, 2/15/10

A gracious thank you to Ruben Navarrette, author of, "A missed opportunity against profiling," for bringing up the importance of addressing racial profiling. I also wished President Obama had condemned racial profiling during his State of the Union address.

This taboo subject has been swept under the rug. Racial profiling has been emotionally and mentally damaging for Muslim Americans. Without strong people speaking out against racial profiling innocent people will continue to be oppressed.

Singling people out because of their ethnicity or religion is wrong. If we want to tighten national security, we should focus on using intelligence more effectively and look out for suspicious behavior.

After all, racial profiling contradicts our Constitutional values and has been proven ineffective as research shows it hasn't kept Americans any safer.

Frances Boehnlein
Communications intern, Council on American Islamic Relations - Chicago



View the video.



When you are standing under the shower, you are also involving yourself in politics, declared Ravi Bhalla, a Hoboken, New Jersey councilor. The amount of taxes you pay for the utilities like water as well as the quality of the water are determined by political operators.

Bhalla was addressing a conference, titled 'Empowering South Asians in New Jersey', and stressing the need to be engaged with political and community organizations at all levels.

The two-day conference, attended by 100 people representing the local South Asian community, advocates, and service providers, was held atMontclair State University. It was the first regional conference organized by South Asian Americans Leading Together in partnership with 12 local organizations...

The organizations that participated in the events included the American Friends Service Committee, the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals, the Hindu American Seva Charities, Manavi, the Network of Indian Professionals, the New JerseyImmigration Policy Network, the Sikh Coalition, the University of Pennsylvania's South Asia Center, the South Asian Mental Health Awareness in Jersey, SATHI, and the United Sikhs. (More)


Bethania Palma Markus, Whittier Daily News, 2/13/10

PICO RIVERA - After a newly appointed mayor took a Bible off the dais and chose not to schedule prayer at each council meeting, the country's 220-year-old debate over church and state has sprung up in Pico Rivera.

Since he became mayor in January, Gregory Salcido has tried to include less religion during council hearings.

"It's a very black-and-white situation, clearly defined in the Constitution," Salcido said after the January meeting. "When our framers crafted the First Amendment of the Constitution, they put theestablishment clause in to protect the integrity of both institutions."

Invocations were returned to the next meeting at the request of the other councilmen. But a Bible that had been placed on the dais several years ago was removed.

State and federal case law says city councils can have invocations but the prayers must be kept generic, said Pico Rivera City Attorney Arnold Alvarez- Glasman...

The debate was highlighted recently when R. Rex Parris, mayor of Lancaster, called for "growing a Christian community" in his annual state of the city address, sparking an outcry from civil rights groups.

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed a complaint with the Department of Justicealleging civil rights violations.

Parris apologized Tuesday.

"There has to be the right balance between religious inclusion as well as upholding the Constitution," said Munira Syeda, Southern California CAIR spokeswoman. "The Constitution has established clear lines that shouldn't be crossed." (More)

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