CAIR-CHICAGO: MUSLIM AMERICANS RALLY TO GET OUT VOTE - TOP By Amy Lee, Sun-Times Media, 10/22/10
The so-called Ground Zero mosque. The Florida pastor intent on torching Qurans. And the Disneyland hostess barred from wearing a hijab.
Kiran Ansari cites those issues and others as proof that "Islamophobia" is on the rise in the United States and underscores the need for Muslim Americans to get involved in the democratic process. . .
"American Muslims are not a threat to this nation," said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a federation of 63 mosques and Muslim organizations in Illinois.
"The threat to this nation is those who would divide us based on race, faith or ethnicity because those are the ones who undermine our values." (More)
CAIR: BLOGGERS URGING CAMPBELL SOUP BOYCOTT - TOP CNBC, 10/21/10
Bloggers are urging a Campbell Soup boycott over the company's "halal" soup offerings in Canada. Amina Rubin, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Sallie James, of the Cato Institute, share their reactions.
CAIR VIDEO: CBS NEWS QUOTES CAIR REP ON JUAN WILLIAMS FIRING- TOP CBS News, 10/21/10
CAIR: MORE NJ SCHOOL DISTRICTS RECOGNIZE MUSLIM HOLIDAYS - TOP By Deena Yellin, NorthJersey.com, 10/22/10
When the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr coincided on Sept. 10 this year with Rosh Hashana, a traditional school holiday in Clifton, Muslim students got an unanticipated day off to mark the end of Ramadan with their families.
But some parents and local groups protested what they mistakenly thought was a new day off for a Muslim holiday and questioned why the same courtesy wasn't extended for Columbus Day, on which many school districts close. The misperception set off a firestorm for the district that hasn't been entirely tamed.
The incident highlights the fact that more New Jersey school districts are reconsidering their holiday calendars in light of a booming Muslim population. Clifton isn't one of them, even though officials report a 20 percent absenteeism rate on Muslim holidays. . .
New Jersey is home to about a half-million Muslims, and 100 mosques, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations. According to the Pew Research Center, the Muslims population in the U.S. is 2,454,000. Muslim groups give higher estimates. (More)
CAIR-SACRAMENTO: DAVE EGGERS' "ZEITOUN" ENTHRALLS SACRAMENTANS - TOP By Laura O'Brien, Sacramento Press, 10/21/10
Dave Eggers spoke about his book, "Zeitoun," at the Crest Theatre Wednesday in the feature event of the sixth-annual One Book Sacramento: Connecting Our Communities. . .
"Zeitoun" narrates the story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Muslim father of four and owner of a successful contracting business who stays behind in New Orleans helping people escape the flood waters only to be wrongfully arrested as suspected al-Qaida and jailed without due process for three weeks.
A national bestseller, "Zeitoun," published in 2009, has garnered numerous accolades, including New York Times Notable Book. Eggers received the "Courage in Media" award from the Council on American-Islamic relations for the book.(More)
CAIR-CHICAGO: MUSLIM BUSINESS RUN OUT OF TOWN? - TOP By Rob Wildeboer, WBEZ, 10/22/10
A Muslim advocacy group says village officials in a suburb southwest of Chicago tried to run a Muslim business owner out of town.
The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is bringing a lawsuit against the village of Worth, Illinois, on behalf Ala Alsherbini, who owned a hookah lounge and cafe.
CAIR says village officials hit Alsherbini with trumped up code violations. For example, attorney Christina Abraham says the village fined Alsherbini for beer cans near his property.
Abraham: His business was in a plaza and right next door was a liquor store and he didn't sell alcohol nor did he allow people to bring it in to his cafe, and the logical conclusion would be that it was coming from patrons of the liquor store right next door, yet he would always be getting the fines and notices of violations for those things.
Abraham says police would also stop in shortly before closing to make sure Alsherbini closed up on time. The village did not immediately return calls for comment. (More)
CAIR-WA VIDEO: HATE CRIME CHARGES FILED IN ATTACK ON MUSLIM WOMEN - TOP KOMO 4, 10/22/10
A Burien woman has been charged with a hate crime for physically and verbally assaulting two Muslim women at a Tukwila gas station last weekend.
The incident occurred at a Tukwila AM/PM gas station on Saturday evening when, according a charging documents, 37-year-old Jennifer Leigh Jennings accosted two Muslim women, calling them "terrorists" and "suicide bombers" before physically attacking them.
The victims, who do not want to be identified for fear of reprisal, are both of Somali decent and were wearing traditional Muslim attire.
The Washington chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations held a press conference Thursday morning to denounce the attack and raise awareness for what some see as a recent spike in Muslim hate crimes.
At the press conference, both victims said they are now afraid to leave their homes or show their faces in the community. Both are U.S. citizens and both called the incident "un-American." (More)
CAIR-WA VIDEO: SOMALI WOMEN ASSAULTED IN POSSIBLE HATE CRIME - TOP KIRO TV, 10/22/10
Two women of Somali descent were the victims of an assault on Saturday in Tukwila that is now being investigated as a hate crime, police said.
The victims were attempting to buy gas at an AM/PM station on the corner of Tukwila International and Southcenter boulevards on Saturday evening, police said. While the victims were trying to resolve the issue, the suspect, a 37-year-old Burien woman, made disparaging remarks to them referring to what she perceived their race and religion to be.
The women continued to go about their business and didn’t speak to the suspect, police said. The suspect approached one of the women, who was sitting in a car with her legs out of the door, and slammed the door on her legs. The other woman ran out of the store and told the suspect to leave them alone; she was pushed back. The woman in the car stepped out and was kicked by the suspect. (More)
CAIR-WA: WOMAN CHARGED WITH HATE CRIME AGAINST MUSLIMS - TOP By Casey McNerthney, SeattlePI.com, 10/22/10
A Burien woman has been charged with two counts of malicious harassment, the state's hate crime statute, after she allegedly yelled racial slurs and assaulted two Muslim women.
Jennifer Leigh Jennings, also known as Jennifer Leigh Adams, was charged Thursday in King County Superior Court on what happened to be her 37th birthday. Her arraignment, in which she is expected to enter a plea, is scheduled for Nov. 2. . .
On her way to the Tukwila police holding facility, Jennings told an officer, "Ya, I shouldn't have called them sand (expletives) or other stuff like that," according to the probable cause document.
At the holding facility, Jennings continued to be upset, telling an officer with a dark complexion, "You're only doing this because he's the same race and religion as those two ladies."
Jennings, whose criminal history includes a fourth-degree assault conviction and four convictions in the 1990s for exposing herself or illegal touching, has been released on bail.
Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Washington chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he believes the incident is a symptom of the anti-Muslim hysteria being stirred up in mainstream media.
"I hope we can stand up against that kind of fear promotion that can lead to this stuff," he said. "We fear that this may just be one of the many incidents that may be happening, and people are suffering in silence." (More)
CAIR-OK: BALLOT MEASURE PROMPTS MUSLIM OUTCRY - TOP By Douglass Clark, Fox 23, 10/22/10
Cries of bigotry as an Oklahoma ballot measure strikes a nerve. In less than two weeks, Oklahomans will vote on State Question 755, which aims to keep Islamic law out of Oklahoma courtrooms. . .
It’s called Shariah law. It’s recognized in most Islamic countries as the basis of religious law. It’s been used to condone harsh punishments like beating and stonings in Iran and Somalia. Republican State Representative Rex Duncan wants to make sure Oklahoma judges never use it to decide court cases.
"This is the picture of what is American," says Duncan.
He says the referendum is designed to counter the stance of the Oklahoma Council on Islamic Relations, or CAIR.
"CAIR's mission statement: They’re not here to be one of many religions they are here to be the dominant religion," he says.
"It’s not about Shariah law at all. It’s really about anti-Muslim bigotry," says Razi Hashimi, spokesperson for CAIR.
Muslim Americans say the measure sends a message of hatred and intolerance and non-Muslims should not be concerned about Shariah law. . .
CAIR argues the initiative is unnecessary, since the Constitution does not allow religious law to supersede American law. (More)
A lawyer for opponents of a proposed mosque in Murfreesboro veered away from the procedural issues at the heart of a legal challenge and peppered witnesses on Wednesday with questions about the religion Islam.
The attorney equated Islamic religious law with terrorism during a hearing and taunted a witness who said he believed Islam was a religion, in part, because it was defined as such by the federal government.
"Are you one of those people who believes everything the government says?" attorney Joe Brandon Jr. asked Rutherford County Commissioner Gary Farley. "Are you aware the government once said it was OK to own slaves?" (More)