- Verse: Show Forgiveness and Make Reconciliation
- Video: CAIR Supports Police Probe of CA Muslim's Beating Death
- Video: CAIR Seeks Bias Probe of Calif. Mosque Vandalism
- West Sacramento Islamic Center Vandalized Again
- West Sacramento Islamic Center Vandalized Again
- VA: Sikh Family Receives Death Threat (AP)
- CAIR: 'Ex-jihadist' Kamal Saleem's Story Has Big Holes (Mother Jones)
- U.S. Under No Threat from Sharia Law, Scholar Says (Toledo Blade)
- Commentary: Creeping Paranoia, Not Shariah
- Commentary: Creeping Paranoia, Not Shariah
- Why You Shouldn't Tell Border Guards You're in Islamic Studies
- MD: Muslim Out at NPR Station After Facebook Comment on Israel
- NY: Do Not Deport Sunnyside Muslim
VERSE OF THE DAY: SHOW FORGIVENESS AND MAKE RECONCILIATION - TOP
"If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, that person will be rewarded by God ... Those who endure with fortitude and forgive others surely exhibit great courage in conducting their affairs."
The Holy Quran, 42:40-43
VIDEO: CAIR-SAN DIEGO REP SUPPORTS POLICE PROBE OF MUSLIM'S BEATING DEATH - TOP
Watch the video here.
CONTACT: CAIR-San Diego Executive Director Hanif Mohebi, 858-774-9991,firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-San Diego Director of Public Relations Edgar Hopida, 619-913-0719, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
CAIR: POLICE ASK PUBLIC'S HELP IN IRAQI WOMAN'S BEATING DEATH (LA TIMES) -TOP
By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times, 3/26/12
El Cajon police are asking for the public's help in its investigation into the fatal beating of an Iraqi immigrant and have not ruled out the possibility that Shaima Alawadi was the victim of a hate crime.
"We're investigating all aspects of this crime," Lt. Mark Coit said Sunday. "The minute you rule out a possible motive, you start to get tunnel vision. As of now, we have not ruled out any of the motives for why people kill people."
Near the body of the 32-year-old Alawadi, police found what has been described as a threatening note. Police have declined to release the text, but relatives and friends say the handwritten note warned Alawadi to "go back to your own country" and labeled her a terrorist.
The family told police they had received a similarly threatening note several days earlier but considered it a prank by teenagers.
Alawadi was found unconscious Wednesday morning in the dining room of the family's home by her 17-year-old daughter. She was taken to a hospital, where she was diagnosed as brain-dead. Her family decided on Saturday to discontinue life support. (More)
VIDEO: CAIR SEEKS BIAS PROBE OF CALIF. MOSQUE VANDALISM - TOP
(SACRAMENTO, CA, 3/24/12) --- The Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) today called on the FBI and local law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for vandalism targeting a West Sacramento mosque.
Vandals reportedly threw three rocks through a window of the almost-completed Masjid Aisha (formerly the West Sacramento Islamic Community Center) last night as two worshippers prayed inside.
Watch the video.
WEST SACRAMENTO ISLAMIC CENTER VANDALIZED AGAIN - TOP
Sacramento CBS, 3/24/12
WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The West Sacramento Islamic Center was vandalized overnight and leaders there are calling it a hate crime.
The center is under construction, being rebuilt, but leaders fear it won't ever get done if someone doesn't stop damaging their sacred place.
Abdul Karim Yusufzai on Saturday showed CBS13 the damage done by vandals, vandals he's convinced are filled with hate.
"It is hate," he said. "They know this is a community center, a religious building."
Watch the video.
VA: SIKH FAMILY RECEIVES DEATH THREAT (AP) - TOP
Associated Press, 3/26/12
So residents of the affluent, ethnically diverse Sterling community were shocked and bewildered when the news broke last month that a family of Indian Sikhs who live nearby -- a software consultant, his wife and two children -- had found an anonymous, threatening letter in their mailbox. Addressed to "The Turban Family," the letter suggested that the senders were vigilantes on the prowl for Islamist extremists. (More)
CAIR: 'EX-JIHADIST' KAMAL SALEEM'S STORY HAS BIG HOLES IN IT (MOTHER JONES) - TOP
Tim Murphy, Mother Jones, 3/26/12
As Michigan state legislators considered a plan to curb illegal immigration last fall, they heard dramatic testimony from a man named Kamal Saleem. He warned the lawmakers that Islamic extremists were sneaking into the country with nefarious plans. "If we don't pass this bill," the fiftysomething Lebanese American told them, "we will be legalizing terrorism to be part of our culture."
Saleem's testimony was rooted in an extraordinary backstory: He purports to have spent half a decade recruiting Islamists in America--before finding Christ and laying down arms. "I came to the United States of America not to love you all," he declared at a rally on the Capitol steps after the hearing. "I came to ... destroy this country as a terrorist."
Over the last five years, Saleem's tale of terror and redemption has made him a minor celebrity among Christian conservatives. Part national-security wonk, part evangelist, he is one of a handful of self-described "ex-terrorists" who have emerged in the post-9/11 era to share their experiences. He has spoken in state capitols, at the Air Force Academy, and at colleges and churches around the country. He has been a guest on Pat Robertson's 700 Club and started his own nonprofit, Koome Ministries, of which he was the only full-time employee in 2009. Tax records show Saleem earned $48,000 from the ministry that year--and had a $39,000 expense account--while Koome took in nearly $100,000 in donations and grants. ...
That's just one of many of Saleem's tales that don't stand up to scrutiny. (Through a spokeswoman, Saleem refused to comment for this story.) Doug Howard, a professor of Middle Eastern history at Michigan's Calvin College, first encountered Saleem in 2007, when he was invited to speak at the school. Howard quickly became suspicious: For starters, Saleem claimed to be a descendant of the "Grand Wazir of Islam," a position that doesn't exist. Howard dug deeper and discovered that Saleem's original name was Khodor Shami--and that for more than a decade before outing himself as a former terrorist he had worked for Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network and James Dobson's Focus on the Family. (CBN declined to comment. Focus on the Family confirmed Saleem was an employee but would not comment further.) (More)
U.S. UNDER NO THREAT FROM SHARIA LAW, SCHOLAR SAYS (TOLEDO BLADE) - TOP
David Yonke, Toledo Blade, 3/26/12
A prominent Muslim scholar, speaking at a Perrysburg mosque over the weekend, said the more than 20 U.S. states that have debated legislation barring judges from consulting "foreign laws" have been swept up in "Sharia hysteria."
There is no way Sharia law, or the Islamic legal code, could influence the American judicial system unless it were enacted through the democratic process, and that's not possible with Muslims making up about 3 percent of the population, Jamal Badawi said.
"That is a decision of the people, not a decision of a small minority.
"It is a question of accommodation and respect of the diversity of this country on which it was built," said Mr. Badawi, an imam, author, and professor emeritus at St. Mary's University in Nova Scotia, Canada, who holds a doctorate from Indiana University.
He is a member of the Islamic Juridical Council of North America, the European Council of Fatwa and Research, and the International Union of Islamic Scholars.
Speaking to 275 people at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo on Saturday evening, Mr. Badawi compared fears that Sharia law will creep into the American secular court system to fears of Martians attacking Earth.
"Some people just have this hysteria that Sharia is something coming from Mars to destroy us. ‘The Martians are coming!'" Mr. Badawi said. "It's a big myth. It's a scare tactic."
In reality, he said, Sharia is a religious code that Muslims follow, based on divine revelation from God to the Prophet Muhammad.
It focuses on broad applications for ethical orientation and values, with few specific rules. (More)
COMMENTARY: CREEPING PARANOIA, NOT SHARIAH - TOP
Stephen Shirley, dnj.com, 3/25/12
In his first presidential inaugural address, Franklin D. Roosevelt famously told the country "that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
It seems that every generation of the past century has faced its own particular fear.
In Roosevelt's day, the United States was mired in the depths of the Great Depression. The fear of losing everything was reality for the millions facing rampant unemployment, failing banks and severe droughts associated with the Dust Bowl. The rising drumbeats of war in Europe and across the globe only served to deepen the country's morosity.
The years following World War II saw a rising alarm associated with the spread of communism. The nation embarked on 45 years of Cold War with the Soviet Union and saw numerous smaller conflicts that stoked the fear of full-scale nuclear war.
In the 1980s, Americans were introduced to the new global pandemic virus commonly known as HIV/AIDS. Almost overnight, terror swept across the nation at the threat of this deadly virus with no known cure.
Today's fears, while not quite as universally widespread, still stand as stark reminders of the paralyzing and divisive nature of fear.
Currently, our state legislators are working on legislation to allow handgun owners to bring their weapons onto private property. Future legislation will likely aim to allow guns in parks and on greenways. And there remain those who advocate for the right to carry on college campuses. These measures are all intended to provide a sense of security for those who need a 9-mm strapped to their side to function on a daily basis.
For two years, many within our community have proclaimed the threat of creeping Shariah. They have organized marches, filed lawsuits and held various seminars across the area to fight what they see as systematic efforts to subvert American laws and foment terrorist activities. But those who feel threatened can't point to any examples of the judicial system failing to ultimately abide by the U.S. Constitution nor can they cite a single instance of terrorism in Rutherford County. (More)
WHY YOU SHOULDN'T TELL BORDER GUARDS YOU'RE IN ISLAMIC STUDIES - TOP
Andreanne Stewart, McGill Daily, 3/26/12
On May 1, 2010, Pascal Abidor was riding an Amtrak train from Montreal to New York. His parents live in Brooklyn, and he was on his way to visit them. The school year at McGill had just ended, and he felt relieved and calm as the train rolled south towards America.
At about 11 a.m., the train arrived at the U.S. border and made a routine stop. A team of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers boarded the train and advanced through each car, questioning passengers. Pascal had made this trip countless times before, so when a customs officer approached him, he didn't give it a second thought.
But Pascal had never met Officer Tulip.
After looking over Pascal's U.S. passport and customs declaration, Officer Tulip asked two simple questions: Where do you live, and why?
Pascal answered that he lived in Canada. He lived in Canada because that's where he was pursuing a PhD in Islamic Studies.
Next, she asked him where he had traveled in the previous year, and he answered Jordan and Lebanon. He showed her his French passport (he's a dual citizen) with the "Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan" stamp, and the Lebanese stamp with the little cedar tree on top. (More)
MD: MUSLIM OUT AT NPR STATION AFTER FACEBOOK COMMENT ON ISRAEL - TOP
Dylan Byers, Politico, 3/26/12
Sunni Khalid, managing news editor at Baltimore's WYPR-FM, has been dropped after nine years with the station, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun.
Khalid, a former Baltimore Sun reporter and NPR staffer, was put on probation last month after posting Facebook comments criticizing Israel's influence on American politics, and after he allegedly flipped off a colleague at WYPR's studios. (More)
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NY: DO NOT DEPORT SUNNYSIDE MUSLIM - TOP
David Rosasco, Times Ledger, 3/22/12
Mohammad A. Islam, of Sunnyside, was picked up by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Feb. 10, having lived in America for 21 years as an undocumented foreign resident.
His wife, Lipiara Begum, left with three small children, two of whom are 18-month-old twin girls while the other is 5 years old. Begum is due to be sworn in as an American citizen -- an unfortunate timing, as she could have been the person to sponsor her husband for a valid visa.
After exhausting his legal options, Begum worked to locate organizations and individuals who could assist her and her family to make the arguments necessary to provide her husband a temporary reprieve of removal. As he is being held in detention in New Jersey, and of her own effort, she contacted Mohammad Rashid, a civic leader in Jackson Heights.
Rashid contacted elected officials, such as U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside). Despite the tireless work being done by the offices of these officials, the due date of Islam's deportation back to Bangladesh is approaching. (More)