CAIR-OK: ANTI-ISLAM MEASURE ON THE BALLOT IN OKLA. - TOP By Hailey Branson-Potts, Oklahoma Gazette, 10/6/10
. . .Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, believes international law and Islamic Sharia law are a "looming threat," encroaching upon the decisions being made in U.S. courts.
That is why he wrote the legislation that became State Question 755, dubbed the "Save Our State Amendment."
SQ 755 would amend the Oklahoma Constitution to prohibit courts from considering or using international law or Islamic Sharia law and "makes courts rely on federal and state law when deciding cases," according to the text of the measure. . .
Sharia is a collective code of ethics by which Muslims live, based on the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet Mohammed, said Razi Hashmi, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Hashmi said there are two specific forms of Sharia: religious observance -- such as rules on how to dress and how to wash before prayer -- and Sharia, dealing with civil and criminal matters.
"For me as a Muslim, it is to abstain from drinking. When I get married, it will be for me and my wife to enter into a contract in Sharia," Hashmi said. "It is a set of rules applied to live your life and get closer to God."
Hashmi said he knows of no individuals or organizations advocating the use of Sharia in courts.
"Obviously, we understand the separation of church and state, and people wouldn’t argue those are bad things," he said. "If Sharia operated in context of the court, it couldn’t supercede the law of the land, the U.S. Constitution. There is no need for any type of Sharia law to operate." (More)
CAIR-MI FILES SUIT AGAINST SHERIFF OVER INFO ON IMAM'S SHOOTING - TOP
(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 10/06/10) -- The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today filed a lawsuit against the Wayne County Sheriff's Office for not releasing information relating to the fatal shooting of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah last year by FBI agents.
The Wayne County Sheriff's Office, which was part of a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement task force that executed a series of raids that culminated in the death of Imam Abdullah, denied Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted by CAIR-MI pertaining to public information related to the case.
CAIR-MI recently filed similar suits against the Michigan State Police, Dearborn Police and Detroit Police departments for not releasing public information.
CAIR-MI continues to request the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division to turn its review of this case into a full-fledged and thorough civil rights investigation, and for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to review current FBI protocols regarding the use of confidential informants.
CAIR-MI will announce soon further legal actions relating to this case.
"Based on the failure to fully disclose evidence relating to this case, we are compelled to file suit to uncover all of the relevant facts and to clarify reported inconsistencies," 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, E-Mail: email@example.com
CAIR-NY VIDEO: XENOPHOBIA IN AMERICA - TOP Russian TV, 10/5/10
America is supposed to be a nation of tolerance. These days however, rising anger and resentment seems to be bleeding through her stars and stripes.
Propeller Protests against the construction of new mosques, illegal immigration, and economic reform, point to a fear and frustration that has some warning of a US public increasingly swapping patriotism for nationalism...
Executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in New York, Zead Ramadan, said his office has received demeaning pictures of a burning Koran through the mail from anonymous senders.
"There's been an obvious spike of hate crimes and Islamophobic rhetoric and attacks on mosques throughout the country from California to Wisconsin to Tennessee, to the planned Koran burning on 9/11 in Gainesville, Florida," said Ramadan.
CAIR-LA: DISNEYLAND IN VEIL COMPROMISE - TOP By Rob Reynolds, Al Jazeera, 10/5/10
CAIR staff attorney and Deputy Executive Director Ameena Mirza Qazi discusses Disney’s compromise with a Muslim employee.
Disneyland, the renowned theme park in the Californian city of Anaheim, has allowed a Muslim employee to wear a specially designed headscarf in a compromise after initially prohibiting her veil.
Noor Abdallah sought the legal assistance of an attorney after she was told she could not wear the hijab at work because the Disney dress code does not allow for religious apparel of any kind.
Abdallah, although not fully satisfied with the compromise, says the scarf approved by Disney is a "good first step" in letting her dress in compliance with her beliefs. (More)
CAIR HIJAB CASES FEATURED ON COLBERT REPORT - TOP The Colbert Report, 10/4/10
A Muslim-American rap group is using music as a tool to paint a better picture of the Muslim faith in the US.
WOMAN FINDS PEACE AT A SOUTHERN MOSQUE - TOP By Soraya Salam, CNN, 10/5/10
Every day, before sunrise, Zubaidah Gibbs wakes to pray, then spends hours more singing praises to God under a tree outside her home. She reflects on the setting and thanks God for the beautiful environment around her in this small Southern town. . .
She was 17 when a blind date with a Muslim man ended at a mosque.
"I heard the adhan [call to prayer] playing, and I saw the people with their long garbs on, and the sisters -- and I just didn't want to leave," she said.
That same year, she embraced Islam, attracted to the message of peace and its disregard for color.
"Islam helped me to identify with the beauty within as well as outside. ...It balanced me out because now I understand who I am as a human," Gibbs said.
Gibbs' spiritual journey had only begun. At age 42, she moved from New York to South Carolina to escape the crowds of the city with her four children. She didn't know of a mosque in the little town where she'd settled, Moncks Corner, but was reluctant to go 30 miles south to Charleston. So, she prayed about it.
One day, Gibbs said, she saw men in kufis, traditional African skullcaps, building what looked like a little house on what had once been known as the "whites-only" side of Moncks Corner. She discovered it was to be a mosque, just as she'd prayed for.
Today, the mosque, Masjid Muhajarun Wal Ansars, is a small white brick building whose members are mostly African-American. They practice mainstream Islam, like 2.45 million other American Muslims, not Nation of Islam, a separate religious tradition associated with black Muslims. Here, they marry Islamic ritual, racial understanding and traditional southern culture. (More)
THE LATEST MUSLIM-BAITING AD OF THE SEASON - TOP By Justin Elliott, Salon, 10/5/10
Looks like the latest Muslim-baiting ad of the season is here, this time in the Ohio state treasurer's race.
Republican Josh Mandel released an ad that ostensibly targets Democrat incumbent treasurer Kevin Boyce's ethics. But, as you'll see, there's also a claim (of questionable accuracy) made about a mosque. And the ad references a lobbyist linked to Boyce who goes by Noure Alo. But in the ad, Alo's full name -- Mohammed Noure Alo -- is used, Barack Hussein Obama-style.
The Columbus Dispatch has a good fact-check of the ad. Take this line from the ad:
"And the lobbyist? Boyce gave his wife a sensitive job in the treasurer's office - a job Boyce admitted they only made available at their mosque."
That would lead a casual viewer to believe Boyce himself is Muslim. In fact, he's Christian. His aide, Amer Ahmad, is Muslim. And what about the claim that a job went to the wife of lobbyist Noure Alo only after it was posted in a mosque? The Dispatch says it's not true:
"The truth is Ahmad and Alo are friends, and they do attend the same mosque. But the job was not announced or posted there, Boyce's office says. There were many applicants for the position.
Mandel, who is Jewish, previously used the mosque accusation against Boyce on his website and in a fundraising pitch. It wasn't true then, either."
Here's some more context: Mandel, an Iraq war vet, attends conferences of AIPAC and the Republican Jewish Coalition. His work as a state representative has focused on divestment from ran. He talks up the threat of radical Islam. He comes from a world steeped in suspicions of Muslims. He clearly knew what the takeaway from this ad would be, particularly against a black Democrat. (More)
'DAILY SHOW' MANDVI: ISLAMAPHOBIA MUST END - TOP By Justin Harp, Digital Spy, 10/6/10
Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi has called on comedians to advocate freedom of religion.
Mandvi hosted the Stand Up for Religious Freedom comedy night in Manhattan on Monday alongside fellow comics John Oliver and Rory Albanese.
He told PopEater that he is concerned with a perceived increase in Islamaphobia in the US in recent months.
"We're all so hysterical about Islam right now in this country and there is so much Islamaphobia going on," he said. "It is worse than after 9/11 with all the fear mongering."
Mandvi revealed that he was inspired to hold the event in the wake of the recent media controversy surrounding an Islamic Centre that may be built near Ground Zero in New York City.
He explained: "I thought if I could get a bunch of comedians together to donate money to Pakistani flood relief then it would be a quick and easy way to make a statement. We wanted to do something that was about creating community.
"The impetus for the show came from all the fear-mongering especially around the Ground Zero mosque issue. We felt like we had to say something and do something in response to that." (More)