Saturday, March 2, 2013

  • Fragile Relations Between Muslims and FBI
    Colin Moynihan, The New York Times, 3/1/13
    Early one morning in 2007, Muhammad Chaudhry showed up at the Islamic Center of East Bay in Antioch, Calif., and found seven bullet holes in one of the building's front windows. The center was the target of arson in 2007 and several other attacks ... In a report written three weeks after the shots were fired, and obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, an agent wrote that no investigation would continue "since there is no current evidence to show this incident as being a hate crime." Six months later, arson gutted the center. F.B.I. agents opened an investigation, but members of the center wondered whether the fire could have been prevented if the agency had pursued the fusillade that preceded it. (Read more)
  • ISLAM-OPED: The Prophet Muhammad Through Western Eyes
    ISLAM-OPED is a syndication service of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) designed to offer an American Muslim perspective on current political, social and religious issues. ISLAM-OPED commentaries are offered free-of-charge to one media outlet in each market area. Permission for publication will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis.
    Please consider the following commentary for publication.

    CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,
    The Prophet Muhammad Through Western Eyes
    BY: Sarwat Husain
    WORD COUNT: 504
    [NOTE: A version of this article was published recently in the San Antonio Express-News. Sarwat Husain is president of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Antonio). She may be contacted at: ]
    The Prophet Muhammad was born on the 12th day of Rabi-Al-Awwal, the third month in the Islamic lunar calendar, more than 1,400 years ago.
    He remains misunderstood in much of the Western world and, especially in the post-9/11 era, a target of ferocious rhetorical attacks. To counter these attacks, I present just a few of the positive assessments of the Prophet by historians and writers who are not Muslims.
    "Like almost every prophet before him, Mohammad (was) shy of serving as the transmitter of God's work, sensing his own inadequacy," author James A. Michener wrote in "Islam the Misunderstood Religion" in Readers Digest in 1955.
    "When his beloved son Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred, and rumors of God's personal condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Mohammad is said to have announced, 'An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of a human being.'"
    In his 1992 book "The Hundred: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History," Michael H. Hart wrote that his choice of Mohammad to top the list "may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level." (Read more)

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