HADITH OF THE DAY: GUIDE US TO THE PATH OF PEACE - TOP
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "O God, join our hearts, mend our social relationship, guide us to the path of peace, bring us from darkness to light, save us from obscenities, outward or inward, and bless our ears, our eyes, our hearts, our wives, our children, and relent toward us ... Make us grateful for Thy blessing."
Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith 367
ANTI-MUSLIM GRAFFITI SCRAWLED ON NY BUSINESS - TOP
Simone Weichselbaum, New York Daily News, 2/9/12
Bangladeshis in Kensington said they are living in fear after Muslim hate graffiti was found on a storefront in the neighborhood's bustling shopping strip.
The manager of TDS Insurance on Beverly Road near McDonald Avenue, came to work Monday and spotted a nauseating sight:
"It was written on the outside - 'Allah is s--t,'" said Abu Chowdhury, 51, who immediately called the cops.
"I have no enemies," he said. "We are not a religious business."
Although the hateful message was erased hours later, Bangladeshis said the sight left them emotionally scarred. ...
Hoping to quell the growing anxiety, Councilman Brad Lander (D-Kensington) held a meeting Wednesday night with Bangladeshi, Jewish, and Latino residents discussing ideas about how to prevent future hate crimes in their hood. (More)
HATE COMES TO NY: ANTI-MUSLIM GRAFFITI SMEARED ON BUSINESS - TOP
Eli Rosenberg, Courier Life's Brooklyn Daily, 2/9/12
A hate-filled vandal scrawled anti-Muslim graffiti on a Beverly Road business in Kensington over the weekend, stoking fears that the usually diverse neighborhood would explode in race-fueled retaliation.
"We don't want religious conflict around here," said Mamun Ur Rashid, the owner of TDS Insurance, where someone wrote "Allah is s---," in black marker. "This is something that's bringing up very upsetting emotions."
Police from the 66th Precinct say the vandalism is being investigated as a potential bias crime -- a rarity in Kensington, residents say -- but would not say if they had any leads. (More)
CA: POLICE PROVIDE NEW VEHICLE DESCRIPTION IN HOMICIDE OF 2 SIKH MEN -TOP
Kim Minugh, Sacramento Bee, 2/9/12
Elk Grove police updated the description of the suspect vehicle in a double-homicide of two elderly Sikh men shot last year when they were out for their routine afternoon walk.
At a press conference this afternoon, police officials said the suspect drove a lifted full-size pick-up truck, tan or gold in color, with a standard-size cab, similar to the one pictured at left. They do not have details on the make or model year of the truck.
Speaking from the Elk Grove City Council Chambers, officials pleaded with the public to continue calling the department with tips or leads.
"No tip is too small," said Elk Grove Mayor Jim Cooper. "Make no mistake, this was a cowardly act."
Gurmej Atwal, 78, and Surinder Singh, 65, were shot March 4 as they walked on East Stockton Boulevard near Geneva Pointe Drive. Singh died at the scene; Atwal died six weeks later in a hospital.
Elk Grove police stopped short of officially calling the shooting a hate crime, but have raised the possibility the men were killed because they were Sikh, a religion whose members have been mistaken for Muslims - and targeted because of it - since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (More)
CAIR: MUSLIM AMERICANS REACH OUT TO UNREGISTERED VOTERS - TOP
Shazia Kamal, Eurasia Review, 2/9/12
In a 2009 report by Gallup entitled Muslim Americans: A National Portrait, surveyors found that only 51 per cent of Muslim American youth (ages 18 to 29) were registered to vote – the lowest percentage recorded amongst young Americans. With the 2012 elections approaching in November, Muslim Americans are aiming for a higher percentage of registered voters and accordingly a higher turnout at the polls.
Imams and Muslim community activists across the United States are encouraging young Muslims to play their part in addressing and remedying the ills they see in their communities. Their calls are rooted in a verse from the Qur'an which states, "Truly, God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves" (13:11). Understanding this call to action through their faith, Muslim Americans can work towards becoming effective agents of change and a recognisable voting bloc for this defining year.
Muslim institutions, including mosques and civic groups, have kick-started the drive to mobilise the Muslim community by producing informational material on candidates and planning election forums where voters can meet to ask questions about candidates and learn about their respective platforms on issues like foreign policy. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a national civil rights organisation, has produced a document called the "2012 Presidential Voter Guide" as part of its "Muslims Vote" campaign. This guide lists biographical information on candidates as well as their positions on issues like the economy, healthcare, national security, foreign policy and civil rights. (More)
REVIEW OF ALL ANTI-SHARIA EFFORTS IN STATE LEGISLATURES SINCE 2010 - TOP
Bill Raftery, Gavel to Gavel, 1/30/12
2012 marks the third year in a row to see major legislative efforts to ban state courts from using sharia or international law. A recap:
Write up of all 2010 efforts here.
2010 saw three efforts make their way out of their respective legislatures. The Oklahoma constitutional amendment would never take force, having been struck down by a federal district court, a determination upheld by the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in January 2012. ...
Write up of all 2011 efforts here.
Despite having far more bills introduced in 2011 than in 2010, there was only one such piece of legislation enacted. ...
15 sharia/international law bans were carried over from the 2011 session. Combined with 18 newly introduced bills this puts the issue front and center for the 2012 sessions. Already there has been activity, with the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee giving its approval to a ban.
Full roster of 33 bills introduced in 2012 in 20 states and their statuses after the jump. (More)
VIDEO: 2 OREGON MUSLIMS STRUGGLE TO RETURN FROM LIBYA (CAIR) - TOP
Watch the video here.
Two Oregon men detained overseas by the U.S. after a goodwill mission and family trip to Libya hope to be back home by next week.
The two traveled separately to Libya last fall. When trying to return, Jamal Tarhuni, 55, of Tigard was stopped by Customs officials. Mustafa Elogbi, 60, of Portland, was told he was on a no-fly list. Both are U.S. citizens.
Tarhuni delivered humanitarian supplies with the group Medical Teams International. Elogbi visited family.
The Council on American Islamic Relations reports that Tarhuni was interrogated by the FBI about his religious beliefs.
A representative of the group told KGW that he is asking the U.S. Justice Department how the FBI handled its encounter with Tarhuni.
"He's been told by FBI agents that in order to fly back from the United States he had to submit to this interrogation, but that's not what the law is," said Gadeir Abbas, "The law is that an American citizen has a sacrosanct right to return to the United States."
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations said that it has now received three reports of Portland FBI agents' involvement in travel restrictions for Muslim U.S. citizens in the last six months. The other case involved a man who made headlines last year when he was detained in Britain as he tried to travel to Italy. (More)
CAIR-OHIO, NICC HOST TO "KNOW YOUR RIGHTS" SEMINAR - TOP
On Friday, February 24, CAIR-Columbus and the Noor Islamic Cultural Center will host a "know your rights" seminar. CAIR-Ohio Legal Director Jennifer Nimer and Staff Attorney Romin Iqbal will explain your rights when traveling through airports and border crossings, when contacted by law enforcement, in the workplace, and how to handle immigration delays.
CAIR-MI: BUILDING AFRICAN-ARAB CONNECTIONS DURING BLACK HISTORY MONTH- TOP
Khaled A Beydoun and Abed Ayoub, Al Jazeera, 2/8/12
Washington, DC - While reflecting upon the transformative contributions and sacrifices made by African Americans should be a yearlong process, Black History Month offers a special opportunity to do so.
It also offers a moment to emulate the courageous and progressive spirit of leaders such as Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson.
For Arab America, the month presents an opportune moment to set aside racism for reconciliation, convert boundaries into bridges, and take strides toward building a lasting coalition with the community that blazed the civil rights trail in America. The first step of this journey starts back home - in Detroit.
Detroit is home to the most concentrated Arab-American community in the United States, and the hometown of one of the country's most vibrant and sizeable African-American populations. For decades, these two communities lived among one another but never co-existed within Detroit's hyper-segregated landscape, divided by geographic boundaries and cultural rifts. (More)
CAIR-PA: MUSLIMS IN AMERICA -- BUILDING BRIDGES IN A CLIMATE OF FEAR - TOP
Storytelling, Dialogue and Dessert
Friday, February 24, 2012 from 7 – 9 p.m. (ET)
Join us for a viewing and discussion of Howa's Dinner Party, a 30 minute video based on the longer documentary Welcome to Shelbyville, which tells the story of a small southern town grappling with new immigrants and refugees and issues relating to their integration.
Hear personal Accounts of Muslims in our area and discuss what truly constitutes welcoming communities. We'll ask and respond to the question, "What can I do to reach out and make a connection."
Simultaneous Arabic translation of both the video and event will be offered.
This event is part of Peace Day Philly 2012 and is co-sponsored by: American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Council on American-Islamic Relations Philadelphia (CAIR-Philadelphia), Nationalities Service Center (NSC) and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Quakers).
Click here to register.
CAIR-MI: DIVISIVE PASTOR JONES PLANS RETURN TO DEARBORN - TOP
Oralandar Brand Williams, The Detroit News, 2/9/12
Dearborn-- Controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones is making his way back to Metro Detroit.
Jones plans to demonstrate April 7 in front of the Islamic Center of America on Ford Road. It is the same mosque Jones sought to protest "Islamic extremism" in front of last year.
Jones, who has presided over a burning of the Qur'an, the Islamic Holy Book, is coming to Dearborn to protest "The Rise of Sharia" and what he calls "Special Muslim Privileges."
In a press release issued Monday, Jones complains about Halal meals to Muslim students at Dearborn's public schools and footbaths at public schools across the country, including the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
"Changes are being made at the expense of taxpayers," Jones said. "The Muslim community refuses to integrate; instead, they demand and push their religion, their rituals, upon us and upon our society. Dearborn is a prime example of this along with many others around the nation."
David Mustonen, the spokesman for Dearborn Public Schools, said Wednesday that "there are no additional costs to prepare, organize and store (Halal) meals." ...
A local Muslim civil rights activist said his group doesn't have "any special" plans for Jones.
"Terry Jones is trying to find some relevancy when he's irrelevant," said Dawud Walid, the executive director for Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan (CAIR-MI). (More)
REPORT CALLS MUSLIM TERRORISM A 'MINUSCULE THREAT' - TOP
Omar Sacirbey| Religion News Service, 2/8/12
The threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism is "tiny" and often exaggerated by government officials, a leading anti-terrorism expert said in a report released Wednesday (Feb. 8).
Charles Kurzman, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a researcher at the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, said 20 Muslim Americans were indicted for violent terrorist plots last year, down from 26 in 2010.
Kurzman's report, "Muslim-American Terrorism in the Decade Since 9/11," said that compared to the 14,000 murders in the U.S. last year, the potential for Muslim Americans to take up terrorism is "tiny." (More)
U.S. OFFICIALS: ISRAEL TEAMS WITH TERROR GROUP TO KILL IRAN'S NUCLEAR SCIENTISTS (NBC) - TOP
Richard Engel and Robert Windrem, NBC News, 2/8/12
Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel's secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran's leaders. (More)