ARKANSAS DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS APOLOGIZES FOR HIJAB INCIDENT - TOP
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/26/10) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said today that the Arkansas Department Corrections (ADC) has apologized for a December 2009 incident in which a Muslim visitor to a prison in Pine Bluff, Ark., was barred from entering the facility because of her Islamic head scarf, or hijab. The woman, who was willing to submit to a pat-down search by a female officer, was prevented from entering even though she had passed through a metal detector without setting it off.
When the woman stated that she wears her scarf for religious reasons, she was allegedly told that religious accommodation is provided to inmates, but not visitors.
In a letter to CAIR, an ADC representative apologized for "any embarrassment and inconvenience" experienced by the Muslim visitor. That official told CAIR that women wearing head coverings for religious or medical reasons may be searched in a private area by a female security officer.
A breakfast to tout the importance of passing an earthquake-safety bond measure on the June ballot wound up sending shock waves through San Francisco's Arab American community after Police Chief George Gascón made controversial remarks about terrorism.
Gascón reportedly said the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. is susceptible not just to an earthquake, but also to members of the city's Middle Eastern community parking a van in front of it and blowing it up. (More)
SCHOOL LEADERS, CAIR MEET ABOUT COMPLAINT, RELATIONSHIP - TOP Dave Aeikens, St. Cloud Times, 3/26/10
St. Cloud school district and leaders of a Minnesota Islamic civil rights group agreed Friday to continue to work together to make schools safe for all students.
Members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Minnesota chapter and St. Cloud school district officials met in St. Cloud for about 90 minutes Friday to discuss the complaint CAIR filed with the U.S. Department of Education claiming that Muslim students confront a hostile learning environment in St. Cloud schools. It is expected to take a month to determine whether there will be an investigation.
The school district has agreed that human resources director and human rights director Tracy Flynn Bowe will serve as the point person for any future complaints CAIR hears from St. Cloud students.
CAIR has also agreed to consider writing a second letter to the Department of Education saying that CAIR and St. Cloud school district have been partners in working through issues in the schools. The two sides are also considering a joint statement to the community saying the same thing. (More)
CAIR-MI: PROTEST PLANNED OVER IMAM'S DEATH - TOP Groups take issue with handling of case Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 3/26/2010
A growing number of African-American groups are expressing concern about the case of Luqman Ameen Abdullah, the Muslim cleric shot dead on Oct. 28 by FBI agents seeking to arrest him in a sting operation.
Linking his death to other victims of police shootings, several African-American groups plan to rally Saturday at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, the scene of a police shootout in 1969 involving a black nationalist group that sparked criticism.
Abdullah's death has prompted complaints from advocacy groups about excessive force and profiling of poor minorities. Abdullah was African American, as were most of his followers, and he headed a mosque in a poor area...
On Sunday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson is to be the keynote speaker in Dearborn at the annual banquet for the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
"African Americans have a long history of being victims of excessive force by law enforcement," said Dawud Walid, who is African American and director of the Islamic group. "And so that history, coupled with the circumstances behind the imam's death, has triggered an organic response." (More)
DEARBORN -- The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says it will conduct its own forensic investigation into the Oct. 28 shooting death of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah during an FBI raid on a Dearborn warehouse. (More)
IRAN FILM PLANNED BY GROUP THAT MADE SPLASH WITH RIGHT-WING DVD ON ISLAM -TOP Justin Elliott, Talking Points Memo, 3/26/10
Just in time for the campaign season, the right-wing Clarion Fund, which shipped out 28 million DVDs to swing state voters in 2008 warning of the threat of radical Islam, has announced it's working on a new film, this one on "the Iranian Nuclear threat."
In a little-noticed press release this week, the Clarion Fund, which was behind Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against The West, said the new film will "document the development of the Iranian nuclear program, the threats posed by such a program, and the West's inability to recognize the true nature of an extremist Islamic Revolutionary regime..."
The release also says the Iranian regime has an "extremist and apocalyptic messianic ideology" and it "has terrorized the world at large for over 30 years."
Obsession was described by the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg as "designed to make naive Americans believe that B-52s filled with radical jihadists are about to carpet-bomb their churches, and are only awaiting Barack Obama's ascension to launch the attack." (More)
WASHINGTON, March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senior Judge Robert L. Echols of the Middle District of Tennessee today sentenced Eric Ian Baker to 183 months in prison for vandalizing and burning down the Islamic Center of Columbia, Tenn., the Justice Department announced. Baker pleaded guilty on Sept. 18, 2009, to destruction of religious property and using fire to commit a felony.
Baker, 34, previously admitted to the court that he and two others constructed Molotov cocktail explosive devices, ignited them and used them to destroy the mosque on Feb. 9, 2008. Baker further admitted that he committed the arson because of the religious character of the property and that he painted swastikas and the phrase "White Power" on the mosque in the course of the arson.
One of Baker's co-defendants, Michael Corey Golden, was sentenced to 171 months for his role in the arson. The other co-defendant, Jonathan Edward Stone, pleaded guilty but has not yet been sentenced.
"The right to worship without fear of this kind of violent interference is among our mostfundamental civil rights," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "We will aggressively prosecute anyone who seeks to intimidate or injure any congregation because of what they believe, how they worship, or who they are."
"This type of crime strikes at the heart of our civil rights and religious freedoms in America. I am very pleased that through local, state and federal cooperation, all defendants responsible for this vile attack have been brought to justice," said U.S. Attorney Edward M. Yarbrough for the Middle District of Tennessee.
This case was investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Tennessee State Bomb and Arson and the Columbia, Tenn., Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal McDonough from the U.S. Attorney's Office inNashville and Trial Attorney Jonathan Skrmetti from the Civil Rights Division prosecuted the case.
COULTER: "IF ALL MUSLIMS WOULD BOYCOTT AIRLINES, WE COULD DISPENSE WITH AIRPORT SECURITY ALL TOGETHER" - TOP
From the March 25 edition of Fox News' O'Reilly Factor.