AIR-WA HELPS ORGANIZE SYNAGOGUE-MOSQUE DIALOGUES - TOP Participants visit worship centers, explore similarities and differences in beliefs, practices
(SEATTLE, WA, 5/5/10) - The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) recently partnered with Jewish and Muslim communities in that state to organize interfaith dialogues at a mosque and a synagogue.
CAIR-WA, Congregation Kol Ami and the Islamic Center of Eastside (ICOE) organized the mosque-synagogue visits and dialogues April 30 at a Woodinville synagogue and May 2 at a Bellevue mosque.
The synagogue event included a regular Shabbat service, a presentation by Imam Humza Chaudhry on Islam and a social hour.
The mosque event included a reception, a presentation by mosque board members and the imam on the history of the mosque, followed by a question and answer period and a tour of the facility.
Rabbi Mark Glickman of Congregation Kol Ami has been a major part of interfaith work with CAIR-WA and local mosques. Rabbi Glickman plans to continue building strong relationships with the local Islamic community.
"This was a wonderful weekend for Jews and Muslims alike," said Rabbi Glickman. "Joining together as friends and learning about our religious traditions is the best way to bridge the wide gap that so often separates our communities."
Imam Humza Chaudhry, who spoke at the synagogue, commented on the event: "I was humbled by the Rabbi's offer to deliver a speech in place of his regular Shabbat sermon. It was also a pleasure to get to know congregants during the social hour that followed."
"It was an absolute delight to be a part of this exchange," said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, who participated in the event. "With our organization's Interfaith Engagement Project we continue to develop relationships between our state's Muslim and other faith communities."
Similar events are being planned for area Jewish, Christian, Muslim and other faith communities. [Those interested in having their faith community involved in an interfaith endeavor are encouraged to contact CAIR-WA.]
Congregation Kol Ami is a Reform congregation, accepted into the UAHC (now the URJ) in June of 1999. Located in Woodinville, Kol Ami provides a small synagogue choice for those from Seattle's Eastside and Northeast.
The Islamic Center of Eastside (ICOE), also known as the "Bellevue Masjid," is the first permanent mosque established in the eastside of Seattle. ICOE has been serving the community for the past 14 years.
CAIR-WA is the local chapter of CAIR, 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-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 1-202-744-7726, email@example.com
CAIR-CLEVELAND FORUM EXAMINES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN MUSLIM COMMUNITY - TOP
(CLEVELAND, OH, 5/5/2010) -- The Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Cleveland) recently offered a forum, entitled "Focus on Domestic Violence in Muslim Communities," for social workers during grand rounds at the Cleveland Clinic.
The training offered information and tools for helping social workers, patient advocates, and health care practitioners to optimize services for Muslim victims and covered issues such as the impact of family violence on the Muslim community, challenges and barriers for advocates and victims, resources for combating domestic violence in Muslim communities, marriage and gender roles in Islam, the role of religious texts, and Islamic perspectives on healthy relationships.
"Domestic violence is a serious public health issue that impacts all communities, regardless of race, religion, culture, or nationality." said CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson. "The goal of our training is to break down barriers to effective treatment and prevention by offering health practitioners and social workers the awareness and tools to provide culturally aligned approaches to recognize and help stop domestic violence in diverse communities."
CAIR-Cleveland has offered similar trainings on domestic violence at the Ohio Attorney General's "Two Days in May" statewide witness/victim conference, Fairview Hospital, First Cleveland Mosque, and the Islamic Center of Cleveland.
To set up a training session or for more information, contact CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia A. Shearson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 216-830-2247 or 216-440-2247.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.
More than a decade after it was first introduced, an on-again off-again bill to protect employees' religious expression in the workplace is attracting renewed attention that could lead to action on Capitol Hill in coming weeks.
The Workplace Religious Freedom Act would revise and strengthen the existing requirements imposed on employers to accommodate the religious practices of their employees. ...
The bill has taken on added urgency in an increasingly multicultural country, especially as minority faith groups like Muslims and Sikhs gain a higher public profile even as their traditions remain unfamiliar to many Americans.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, job discrimination complaints by Muslim women have more than doubled since 2001. The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations recently filed a complaint on behalf of a Muslim woman who was told she couldn't wear a headscarf on the job.
"Unless legislation is passed to correct the baseline, Muslims and Sikhs face an uphill battle," said Amardeep Singh, co-founder and legal director of the Sikh Coalition. "It's like we're fighting a battle with wiffle-ball bats."
Beyond the practical benefits to employees, supporters say the bill would send a strong message -- the "new beginning" that President Obama promised the Muslim world last year -- that America can accommodate religious minorities.
"WRFA would give us more tools," said Corey Saylor, director of government affairs for CAIR. "It would be a sign to the world that America's a land that accepts all people." (More)
CAIR-MN: APOLLO SOMALI STUDENTS TO SHARE CULTURE - TOP By Dave Aeikens, St. Cloud Times, 5/5/10
Somali students at Apollo High School on Friday plan to honor some of their teachers and tell fellow students a little bit about their culture and background.
The event, which is being conducted for the first time, is from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Apollo auditorium and commons. It is free and open to the public and includes food, dance, a fashion show and information about the Somali culture. Students will also present awards to the top 10 teachers. ...
Apollo in March had attention brought to relations between its Somali students and white students. Somali students complained they were being harassed by students and staff.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in St. Paul, on behalf of the students, has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's civil rights division asking for it to investigate a number of incidents at Apollo and Technical high schools. (More)
CAIR-CT: MUSLIMS JOIN RALLY FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM - TOP Allan Appel, New Haven Independent, 5/5/10
Galvanized by Arizona's new crackdown, Jorge Marroquin donned his double-fisted American flag cap and joined 1,000 fellow marchers in the streets of immigrant-friendly New Haven to demand national immigration reform, soon.
In what was billed by organizers as a May Day rally for immigration reform, unionists, church members, and community activists assembled Saturday in Quinnipiac River Park, their banners rippling under sunny parade-perfect skies. ...
Saturday's demonstration was planned long before Arizona passed a law April 23 calling on local cops to stop people suspected of being in the country illegally and requiring people to carry documents proving their legal residency. That law has sparked nationwide protests from groups saying it will lead to racial profiling. It became a focus of May Day marches around the country Saturday, including New Haven's. ...
Among those listening in the front row were Mongi Dhaouadi and his wife Shirley and son Salah. The president of Connecticut's Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), one of 30 chapters of the national CAIR, Dhaouadi had brought 25 members to the rally down from New London.
He said that if Obama has reached out to the Muslims around the world, he should be doing the same to Muslim Americans, who have insight to offer in these matters. "We want to be part of the solution, not the problem," Dhaouadi said. (More)
CAIR-SAN ANTONIO: ANGER OVER ARIZONA LAW UNITES MAY DAY MARCHERS - TOP By Don Finley, Express-News, 5/5/10
Disdain for Arizona's tough new immigration law united an enthusiastic crowd of more than 600 people at the fifth annual May Day march through downtown streets Saturday afternoon.
"I know there is tremendous frustration in Arizona about immigration," Mayor Julián Castro told the crowd. "And in many cases that frustration with federal policies is justified. But that is not an excuse to pass a bad law."
May Day marches were held across the country, with large crowds gathering in reaction to the Arizona law signed last week by Gov. Jan Brewer that many fear will lead to racial profiling. ...
"It's going to affect anybody who looks any different," said Sarwat Husain, president of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "And especially a person like me who has brown skin and an accent." (More)
(SAN DIEGO, CA 4/30/10) - The San Diego Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego) and the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC) expressed concerns today over the recent comments made by Congressman Duncan D. Hunter at a Tea Party gathering last Saturday in Ramona, where he supported the idea of deporting U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants.
Congressman Hunter also said Arizona's SB1070 is a "fantastic starting point," and also supports a bill, House Resolution 1868, that would eliminate automatic citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants.
"The comments made by Congressman Hunter are not only irresponsible, but contribute little to the solutions needed for comprehensive, humane, and moral immigration reform in America, says CAIR-San Diego Public Relations Director Edgar Hopida. "The American Muslim community knows all too well the current political discourse that scapegoats not only Muslims but also immigrants for the sake of security at the expense of our American values."
Elizabeth Maldonado, Chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium states, "Our country needs realistic solutions to a broken immigration system. We call on our elected officials to uphold and defend the Constitution rather than support legislation that violates the rule of law in an effort to garner political support. Our officials must assume their leadership roles by uniting our communities and moving us forward while recognizing the value and dignity of all people"
Additionally, Alor Calderon, who is also a board member of the SDIRC and serves as the Labor Representative mentions, "Through his irresponsible remarks, Hunter intends to violate the 14th amendment, which granted citizenship to the sons and daughters of African slaves. Are we to believe that in Hunter's eyes, immigrants of today should have no more human and civil rights than African slaves? Whereas Arizona would like to turn back the clock to 1960, Hunter would like to take California back to 1860".
On Tuesday, April 27, SDIRC and CAIR San Diego joined representatives of more than four-dozen religious and civil-rights groups gathered in protest at University of San Diego (USD) in response to the recent passage Arizona SB1070 legislation.
CONTACT: Edgar Hopida CAIR San Diego Public Relations Director E-mail email@example.com Tel: 619-913-0719 or 858-278-4547
Ricardo Favela Strategic Communications Coordinator San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 760-468-4519
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.
SDIRC – Beginning in 2007, community, faith, labor, and legal organizations have come together as the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium. Through the Consortium, these organizations are pursuing four common goals: Support comprehensive immigration reform, stop the spread of local policies and practices that target and violate the civil and human rights of immigrants, educate immigrants about their rights and the legal and other resources available to them, and educate the public about the important contributions of immigrants and counter the myths and misstatements made about immigrants.
The County Human Relations Commission, Office of Human Relations and Peace building Committee of Santa Clara County have organized a community forum on Thursday, May 6, at 6:00 pm to enable greater understanding between Muslims and the community at large. Have you ever wondered how Bay Area Muslims are feeling and coping in the post 9/11 era? Come and test your assumptions. Reserve a seat for this eye-opening forum.
Past: Islamic History by Shaykh Alaeddin El-Bakri, a renowned Muslim scholar and religious leader
Present: Challenges Muslims are facing by Zahra Billoo, Programs and Outreach Director of CAIR San Francisco Bay Area
Future: What Muslims are doing to ensure peace and harmony in the world by Samina Sundas, Founding Executive Director of the American Muslim Voice Foundation.
When: Thursday May 6th 2010 Time: 6:00 to 9:30 (a Pakistani dinner will be served between 6:00 to 6:45) Where: Office of Human Relations, ?2310 North 1st Street, Suite 104, San Jose
For more information and to reserve a space please send an email to Commissioner Samina Sundas at email@example.com or OHR staff member Mary Jane Solis @ MaryJane.Solis@ohr.sccgov.org.
Space is limited. RSVP today to reserve your seat. You can also call Samina at 650-387-1994 or Mary Jane at 408-792-2310. This is a free event. (More details)
CAIR VIDEO: AMERICAN MUSLIMS REPUDIATE ALL ACTS OF TERRORISM - TOP
The Washington-based Council on American Islamic relations, America's largest Muslim civil liberties organization, said it welcomes the arrest in the bomb plot.
"We condemn the attack," CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said. "American Muslims repudiate all acts of terrorism."
"The street vendor who reported seeing smoke from the car in Times Square is a Muslim," noted Imam Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society. "He undoubtedly saved lives by reporting it to authorities."
CAIR-CT: MUSLIMS DECRY BOMB PLOT, URGE CALM - TOP Daniel Tepfer, Connecticut Post, 5/5/10
BRIDGEPORT -- Members of the Muslim community Wednesday pledged their support for the investigation of alleged terrorist Faisal Shahzad and decried any violence against innocent people in the name of their religion.
Standing with Mayor Bill Finch and Acting Police Chief Joseph Gaudett during a press conference at the Holiday Inn, the local and state Muslim community leaders urged the greater community to remain calm and not cast dispersions on Muslims for the acts of one man.
"Islam rejects and does not condone violence to innocents," said Rabia Chaudry, president-elect of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut. "There is no room for terrorism is Islam."
Mongi Dhaouadi, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said none of the area mosques recognize Shahzad as a member. "No one recognizes this man, it appears he didn't attend any mosque in the area," he said. ...
Chaudry said that one of the first people to notify police of the SUV in Times Square was a Muslim vendor. (More)
VIDEO: HUCKABEE READS CAIR ALERT ON FRANKLIN GRAHAM - TOP
Huckabee defends Rev. Graham: "What you said is what your father and every other Christian minister I know has been saying 240 years of America"
Huckabee fails to mention that Graham called Islam an "evil" religion 55 minutes ago