Islamic Relief USA, a Washington, D.C.-area relief and development organization, today announced that it has increased its fundraising goal for the Pakistan flood victims to 2 million dollars due to the worsening conditions in the region.
"As the numbers of those affected by these floods increase, so too must the amount we raise to help those in need," said Abed Ayoub, CEO of Islamic Relief USA. "Time is of the essence here. More lives will be lost if we don't immediately help provide the basics for their survival. We ask everyone to please donate now."
Islamic Relief launched its appeal on July 30 and has been providing emergency assistance to survivors in part, by:
Administering camps housing thousands of internally displaced people and setting up another camp for hundreds more
Constructing sanitation facilities in Nowshera using fiberglass slabs
Distributing family hygiene kits to benefit more than 20,000 people in Nowshera and Mardan, with 1,570 more kits are on the way
Transporting hundreds of tents to disaster zone for distribution
Ordering and procuring 4,000 food parcels which are now ready for distribution to displaced families
Distributing household kits containing mattresses, mosquito nets, etc. in Sibbi and Nowshera to benefit nearly 20,000 people
Providing kitchen sets containing cooking pots, utensils, etc. to benefit nearly 20,000 people in Sibbi and Nowshera
Purchasing and distributing temporary shelters to house more than 5,600 displaced victims
Setting up hygiene sessions to educate flood victims about importance of hygiene for their health
Islamic Relief has been working in Pakistan and the Pakistani-administered regions of Kashmir for nearly two decades. In 2005, Islamic Relief helped raise more than $70 million in aid for the victims of the deadly earthquake in northern Pakistan.
Inspired by Islam's values on charitable giving and community development, IR USA is a relief organization dedicated to alleviating poverty through disaster relief and development projects in the U.S. and globally for communities regardless of color, race, religion, or creed.
For the seventh consecutive year, Islamic Relief USA has been awarded four stars by Charity Navigator, the largest charity evaluator in the country. This prestigious award puts Islamic Relief among the top 2.25 percent of charities in the nation. To learn more, visit, www.islamicreliefusa.org
Note: Islamic Relief USA's CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) number is 10194.
Media Contact: Rabiah Ahmed at 202-439-1441 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ISLAMOPHOBIA WATCH: RESIDENTS DEMAND CONSTRUCTION ON MOSQUE BE HALTED -TOP By Christian Grantham, Post Contributor, 8/13/10
Several county residents spoke at Thursday night's monthly Rutherford County Commission meeting in opposition to a proposed Islamic Center on Veals Road.
Most demanded construction be halted and stopped short of demanding the buried body of a Muslim on their property be exhumed.
The 52,000-square foot Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was approved earlier this year by the Regional Planning Commission under a new state law that allows religious institutions to build whatever they want in residential neighborhoods as a "use of right."
Residents who spoke want the county commission to reconsider their approval claiming Islam is not a religion and expressing fear that Islamic Sharia law will be imposed on Murfreesboro citizens.
"Look at the history of Islam," Darrel Whaley told those gathered at the Historic Courthouse. "Look at the statements that it's making in all the countries where it rules and reigns and that is the intent right here in Rutherford County in the United States of America."
Like many residents who spoke, Whaley embraced tolerance as he asked the commission to reject the expansion plans of Murfreesboro's Muslim community.
"If you do a little listening to the news about England, Germany and France to see where they have allowed Sharia law to take over, they are suffering for it now and they will have a difficult time getting those people out," Foy Smith warned the audience.
"They want power," Smith added. "That's what Islam is about. They want power over you." (More)
As the midterm elections get closer, the GOP has pulled out their weapon of choice: fear mongering. A subject that has delivered without fail is the right's main issue of this 2010 election: Islamophobia. With such high profile Republicans such as Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich opposing the Islamic Center next to Ground Zero, how are Muslims perceived in America?
CAIR: MUSLIMS CONCERNED ABOUT BACKLASH OVER HOLIDAY ON 9/11 - TOP
The lunar calendar that Muslims follow for religious holidays is creating a potential for misunderstandings or worse in a year when American Muslims are already confronting a spike in assaults on their faith and protests against new mosques. . .
"The issue I can sense brewing on hate sites on the Internet is, 'These Muslims are celebrating on September 11,'" said Ibrahim Hooper, national spokesman for CAIR. "It's getting really scary out there." (More)
CAIR-MI WELCOMES RAMADAN DISPLAY AT WARREN CITY HALL - TOP
(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 8/13/10) The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today welcomed an educational display about the ongoing month-long Ramadan fast being hosted in the City Hall of Warren, Mich.
The educational display, which was provided by the Islamic Organization of North American (IONA) mosque based in Warren, gives information about the meaning of Ramadan, its history and the importance of the Quran, which according to Islamic belief was revealed during Ramadan.
The City of Warren has allowed Christmas displays as well as allowed booths from various denominations and ethnicities within Christianity in its city hall in the recent past.
"We welcome efforts by Warren's current mayor to embrace diversity in recognition of the city's growing Muslim population," said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.
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: email@example.com; CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAIR VIDEO: PLANNED FLA. QURAN BURNING SPARKS OUTRAGE - TOP CBS 47, 8/13/10
People across the world are condemning the Dove World Outreach Center for the church's plans to burn a Koran on 9/11.
On Thursday, Al-Azhar's Supreme Council in Egypt accused the church of "stirring up hate and discrimination."
Local Muslims are also outraged at the church's actions. "Burning not just the Koran but burning holy scripture of any religion is disturbing. People of all faiths should condemn this act," says Muhammad Mansoori.
The Dove World Outreach Center also angered a lot of people last year, when the church posted the sign, "Islam is of the devil," in front of the church.
Politicians and religious leaders in the Gainesville area have thrown their support behind local Muslims and against the church.
CAIR VIDEO: FBI VISITS FLA. 'BURN THE QURAN' CHURCH - TOP Fox News, 8/12/10
On Thursday, Jones said agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Gainesville Police visited the Dove World Outreach Center, to inform the pastor of death threats made against him from inside and outside the United States. He said they advised him on steps to secure the safety of hundreds planning to attend the Koran burning.
JESUS WOULD NOT BURN THE QURAN - TOP By Richard B. Hays, NewsObserver.com, 8/13/10
A small church in Gainesville, Fla., (ironically called Dove World Outreach Center) has announced plans to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11, in vengeful commemoration of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington nine years ago. This news item happened to reach me while I was attending a conference in Berlin, Germany - and for that reason it struck me with special force. . .
Nearby stands a plaque containing the words of the German poet Heinrich Heine: "Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen" ("There, where they burn books, they will in the end burn people.") Heine wrote those words in 1820. One hundred and thirteen years later, his prophecy began coming true, and Heine's own works were among those burned by the Nazis
Having just witnessed Berlin's rueful monument of public contrition, I was dismayed to hear the report of the planned book-burning in Florida - not least because I fear this planned event is a sign and symptom of the angry temper of our times.
Many Christian leaders in the United States promptly disavowed and deplored the spiteful plans of the tiny Florida church. Richard Land, director of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, called the plan "appalling, disgusting and brainless." (More)
CAIR: THREE U.S. LAWMAKERS AND ISLAM BASHER AT SAME EVENT - TOP By Joseph Picard, International Business Times, 8/12/10
A writer and radio personality for the American Family Association is not simply against an Islamic center being constructed a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York City. He's against any mosque being built anywhere in the United States.
"Permits should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America, let alone the monstrosity planned for Ground Zero," said Bryan Fischer in a column posted Aug. 10. . .
Fischer is scheduled to speak at the 2010 Values Voter Summit, in September in Washington, D.C., an event sponsored by several organizations, including American Values, the Heritage Foundation, the Family Research Council and the American Family Association. . .
Three of the scheduled speakers are current elected U.S. lawmakers - Sen. Jim DeMint, R-SC, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MN and Rep. Mike Pence, R-IN - each of whom has taken an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, which includes upholding the First Amendment protections to religion, the same protections Fischer would deny to Muslims.
None of the three lawmakers responded to inquiries asking specifically if they knew Fischer was a scheduled speaker, if they knew of his views on mosques and Muslims, if they supported his views, or if they thought they were legitimizing his views by appearing at the same event with Fischer.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that Fischer's remarks "represent a growing trend in our society, fueled by right-wing politics, to say that Islam is not a faith but an ideology, and thereby demonize it and deny it religious protections." (More)
GOP CANDIDATE APOLOGIZES FOR TWEET ATTACKING CHALLENGER - TOP Sam Stein, Huffington Post, 8/12/10
A Republican congressional candidate and RNC committee member has personally apologized for a tweet his campaign sent out promoting an article that called his opponent a "turban topper" who "could be a muslim, a hindu, a buddhist etc who knows."
Republican Mike Pompeo, who is running for a congressional seat in Kansas's Fourth District, called State Rep. Raj Goyle on Thursday to offer his regrets for the offending post, Goyle told the Huffington Post. The apology was accepted. But Goyle, who seeks the seat being vacated by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), was not necessarily done re-litigating the matter.
"He did call me and I accept his apology," said Goyle, a former staffer at the D.C. think tank Center for American Progress. "What he told me on the call is that he apologized and was shocked by it and it was a communications error... What I will say is, in my campaign, had one of my staff members, senior adviser or intern, sent anything like this out on behalf of the campaign, that person would be fired." (More)
CAIR-CT: CHRISTIANS RETURN TO PREACH OUTSIDE BRIDGEPORT MOSQUE - TOP Noelle Frampton, CT Post, 8/12/10
Nearly a week after a picketing group of Christians outside a city mosque prompted controversy by proclaiming "Islam is a lie" and other beliefs, two Christians returned to the spot to try to convert Muslims.
As Muslims milled around the entrance where the Christians stood and the atmosphere grew palpably tense, a man urged mosque attendees to come inside. That was about 2 p.m. Thursday, and the two had been there since 12:30 p.m. . .
The Associated Press reported early this week that Mongi Dhaouadi, executive director of the Connecticut office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was especially concerned because Wednesday started the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and said he didn't want to see worshippers caught in situations where things might escalate.
"They're very subdued this time," said Dhaouadi, who interrupted a meeting to visit the mosque Thursday after he received a phone call from a reporter about the Christians' presence.
"They were just preaching on the sidewalk," he said. "We respect the First Amendment. They have the right to do whatever they want on the sidewalk ... as long as they don't intimidate us." (More)
CT: RALLY AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA IN HARTFORD - TOP By Susan Campbell, Courant.com, 8/13/10
The Muslim Coalition of Connecticut and other organizations are hosting a press conference and rally at 3 p.m. today (Friday) on the north side (Bushnell Park side) of the State Capitol.
The gathered hope to address recent outbreaks of Islamophobia in Connecticut, as well as the rest of the country. During Islam's holy month of Ramadan, Muslims have asked for police protection so that they can go to their mosques to pray in this state. (More)
CAIR-NY: MID-HUDSON'S MUSLIMS REACHING OUT TO NEIGHBORS - TOP By Heather Yakin, Times Herald-Record, 8/13/10
As anti-Islam sentiment has exploded across the country, some local Muslims say the way to defuse distrust is to reach out across religious lines and to become a part of the community.
"The general public has an inaccurate idea of what Islam is," said Samuel Encarnacion, president, or emir, of the Masjid Ahlis Sunnah Islamic Information Center in Liberty. "We do not appease, support or agree with any of these terrorist attacks."
In New York City, barbs and accusations have been flung over the proposed site of an Islamic center a couple of blocks from the World Trade Center's Ground Zero.
Similar vitriol has sprung up where mosques have been proposed in California, Tennessee, Long Island and elsewhere. An extremist Christian church in Gainesville, Fla. is planning a "burn the Quran day" for Sept. 11.
Things have gotten ugly.
"The skyrocketing of opposition against mosques nationwide shows the impact of anti-Muslim sentiment based on unfounded fear and hatred," said Aliya Latif, civil rights director at the Coalition on American-Islamic Relations-New York.
Locally, there have been a few small incidents.
"My daughter was singled out and bullied for being Muslim," Encarnacion said. It happened at Tri-Valley schools in Grahamsville. The school punished the kids involved. (More)
VIDEO: CAIR-CA REP DISCUSSES ISLAM, RAMADAN - TOP Fox News, 8/12/10
CAIR-CA representative Adel Syed discusses Ramadan on Fox.
Syed: For many Muslims Ramadan began yesterday. It's the ninth month of the lunar calendar and it teaches Muslims spiritual upliftment, patience and fasting. And during this fasting time Muslims refrain from food, drink and other activities which will bring them closer to God.