IND. ISLAMIC SCHOOL EXPERIMENT ABOARD LAST SPACE SHUTTLE - TOP Marlene Zloza, Northwest Indiana Times, 7/8/2011
CROWN POINT | When Atlantis takes off on the last U.S. space shuttle mission Friday, there will be a few local paramecium on board, thanks to students at tiny Avicenna Academy.
"It's a wonderful experience," Principal Amanda Arceo said as she headed to Kennedy Space Center in Florida to witness the launch along with four students who developed the experiment for the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program.
Heading to a reserved viewing area for the scheduled 10:26 a.m. launch along with Arceo are Heba Abuzer, Amalia Hosken, Ayesha Zubair and Sarah Suleiman.
Abuzer and Jenna Rifai, who recently completed sixth grade, were the primary principal investigators, while Hosken, Zubair, Maria Khan and Sabriya Umrani served as co-investigators as fifth-graders, and Suleiman and Ameer Rifai were fourth-grade assistants. (More)
CAIR-CA: MUSLIM STUDENTS VISIT JAPANESE-AMERICAN INTERNMENT CAMP - TOP Rafu Shimpo: Los Angeles Japanese Daily News, 7/8/2011
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Bridging Communities program of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) recently took high school students on a three-day trek to Tule Lake, where 18,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were unjustly incarcerated during World War II.
This site, the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Tule Lake Unit, was the largest of America's concentration camps, and is located near the California-Oregon border.
The San Francisco Bridging Communities program was held in partnership with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area branch (CAIR-SFBA) and the Tule Lake Committee. The program featured workshops over a five-month period, bringing together Asian American and American Muslim students to learn with and from one another by examining one other's history and experiences.
The students discussed the parallels they share in being viewed and treated like "the enemy" following Pearl Harbor and 9/11, and the racial profiling and stereotypes that continue to challenge them today. (More)
CAIR: VA. WOMAN FIRED FROM AIR FRANCE FOR WEARING MUSLIM SCARF - TOP Gregg MacDonald, Fairfax Times, 7/8/2011
A 19-year-old Herndon woman has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging she was fired from her Air France job at Dulles International Airport because she refused to remove her religious head scarf.
Riham Osman, a 2009 Westfield High School graduate, is a junior at the University of Mary Washington. She is a practicing Muslim who wears a head scarf, or hijab, as a symbol of her faith.
Osman is home from school for the summer.
Last month, she was hired by local staffing agency Aerotek to work as a passenger service agent for Air France.
On her first day of work, during a training session, Osman said she was pulled aside by an Air France supervisor and was told to contact Aerotek.
Osman contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which deals with allegations of discrimination against Muslims.
A spokesman for CAIR, Ibrahim Hooper, said he is aware Air France is a French company and that controversial new laws there might allow for a dress code policy that discriminates based on religion, but that this is America.
"Our position is that no company doing business in America has the obligation to enforce discriminatory foreign policies on American employees," he said. "A discriminatory dress code implemented in France does not supersede American laws protecting the religious rights of American citizens." (More)
FIFA'S HIJAB HANGUP - TOP Ben Spurr, NOW Magazine, 7/7/2011
In some parts of the world, soccer is a religion.
But a group of Canadian Muslim women say they are being forcing to choose between their sport and their faith by rules that ban headscarves from the game.
They call themselves Right 2 Wear, and they gathered on the lawn of Queen's Park Thursday to prove that the hijab is compatible with the "beautiful game" by playing soccer while wearing their headscarves.
Others watched from the sidelines carrying signs that read "Red Card FIFA" and chanting "Ole ole ole ole, we have the right to play." Simultaneous games were scheduled in Vancouver, Montreal, and Ottawa.
The playful protest came after a decision last month by FIFA, the international body that governs soccer, to disqualify the Iranian women's team from an Olympic qualifying match for wearing the hijab. FIFA says the headscarf poses safety issues and violates the organization's policy of players not making religious or political statements during games. Here in Canada, 15-year-old Sarah Benkirane has been told by her Montreal-area soccer league that she can no longer referee games while wearing her headscarf. (More)
FLA. GOP CONGRESSMAN TEAMS UP WITH ANTI-MUSLIM GROUP - TOP Justin Elliott, Salon, 7/7/2011
Spencer Ackerman flags a press release announcing a Capitol Hill briefing sponsored by Rep. Allen West (no surprise there) for a group called Citizens for National Security (CFNS):
"Less than two months before the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, Congressman Allen West (R-FL) will sponsor a Capitol Hill briefing this coming July 25, on Homegrown Jihad in the USA: Culmination of the Muslim Brotherhood's 50-year History of Infiltrating America. It will be the first-ever report of its kind produced entirely by a private group of U.S. citizens, notes West in a letter about it to his congressional colleagues.
"Volunteer members of Citizens for National Security (CFNS), a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization based in Florida conducted the 14-month research that is the basis for the briefing. Its co-founders, Drs. William A. Saxton and Peter M. Leitner will present the report.
"'It details exactly how the Muslim Brotherhood's deliberate, premeditated plan is now reaching maturity in this country in the form of homegrown Jihad,' explained Dr. Saxton, CFNS Chairman." (More)
FL: HASNER MINING ANTI-MUSLIM FEAR FOR SUPPORT - ST. PETE TIMES COLUMN -TOP Daniel Ruth, St. Petersburg Times, 7/8/2011
At some point almost every political campaign enters the parallel universe phase where black becomes white, day is confused with night and interpretations of history can take on a Casey Anthony-esque approach to the truth telling.
That brings us to former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, who wants to be the Republican U.S. Senate nominee in the worst possible way, even it means rebranding himself as the Shih Tzu of the tea party.
Hasner, who when it comes to scholarship will never be confused with Plutarch, took the occasion of his Fourth of July gospel missive to his supporters to link the nation's economic woes to the threat Adolf Hitler's Third Reich posed to the world.
"Today the biggest threat to our liberty is not a foreign government, but our own," the sage of Boca Raton opined, adding: "We face more restrictions on our liberties from stifling bureaucrats than from threats abroad."
There are, to be sure, many problems facing the nation today — a stumbling economy, a stubborn unemployment rate, foreclosures, Washington infighting and, of course, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the kinda, sorta, almost war in Libya. These are restive times. ...
In his appeal to his tea party base that he is capable of being more addled than the Koran-burning Terry Jones, the candidate proudly notes that during his time in the Florida House he once walked out of the chamber when a Muslim imam showed up to deliver the day's opening prayer.
Now there's a profile in tolerance. Perhaps Hasner will entertain a simple question. If he is unwilling to sit in a room and politely listen to an invocation delivered by an Islamic cleric, does this suggest if he were to be elected he would not acknowledge or serve his Muslim constituents?
It's a fair point since Hasner has predicated much of his campaign attacking Islamic sharia law, darkly hinting it is only a matter of time before that dark hand of Mohammed will have Miss America beauty pageant contestants walking the runway in burkas. (More)
BACHMANN TWEETS 'PALESTINE' - TOP Eric Kleefeld, TP Muckraker, 7/6/2011
Michele Bachmann might want to double-check her lingo on foreign policy -- at least, according to the rules of politics in this country and the Republican presidential race.
Early Wednesday evening, Bachmann tweeted:
"I'm proud to cosponsor HRes 268, coming to the Floor tonight. The resolution supports peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. #jcot"
Technically, Bachmann has fouled up the nomenclature here.
For the most part, pro-Israel hawks in this country are not supposed to allow that "Palestine" exists, but to insist that Israel is made up of the full territories conquered in both 1948 and 1967 (minus the Sinai peninsula, which was ceded back to Egypt in 1982). (More)