To:aliatwaladen@yahoo.com
Date: 18 Feb 2007 18:40:42 -0000
From:cair-net-help@cair.biglist.com  Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book  Add Mobile Alert
Subject: cair-net Digest of: get.1501_1600


cair-net Digest of: get.1501_1600

Topics (messages 1501 through 1600):

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Offer Condolences on Death of Pope
	1501 by: cair.cair-net.org

CAIR-NET: Hijab Allowed in AAU B-Ball Tourney/Muslim Perspective on 
Pope's Legacy
	1502 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Jews, Muslims Share Holiday Meal/Muslim Women Step Into 
Aquatic World
	1503 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Islam and Earth Day/Patriot Act Scrutinized/Library Project 
Draws to Close
	1504 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Revise PATRIOT Act With SAFE Act
	1505 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Arizona Textbook Pulled After Uproar Over Islam
	1506 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Texas Lawmaker Targeted for 'Looking Muslim'?
	1507 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: IL Muslim Family Receives Racist Death Threats
	1508 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Clinic Heals Patients, Images of Islam/Can Islam be 
Peaceful, Tolerant?
	1509 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Terror Knows No Faith/Torture Air/Guilty Until Proven 
Innocent
	1510 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Leaders Leave Israel Event/U.S. Muslims Making Gains
	1511 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Election of Muslims Changes GOP's Image/Muslim Singles 
Retreat for Marriage-Minded
	1512 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Vatican Rethinking Relations with Islam/Modi Gave Order to 
'Eliminate' Muslims
	1513 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Outreach to Islamic World Involves No Muslims/Muslim Mayoral 
Candidate/'Arabs Lie'
	1514 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR, ACLU to Announce Action Against DHS Over NY Detentions
	1515 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Spending Millions to Change Islam/U.S. Muslims Welcome 
New Pope
	1516 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: American Muslims Sue DHS Over Border Detentions
	1517 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Bank Apologizes to Muslims/Many Americans Believe Torture 
Still Prevalent
	1518 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Calls for FBI Probe of Colorado Mosque Vandalism
	1519 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslims, Jews Rehab Home/Muslims Take Part in Passover 
Seder/Muslim Women Make a Splash
	1520 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslims Call New Fox Crusader Film 'Balanced'
	1521 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Hail Pope's Meeting with Islamic Leaders
	1522 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Anwar Ibrahim to Speak at CAIR Conference in DC
	1523 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Coalition Calls for Independent Torture Probe
	1524 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Launches Anti-Torture Campaign
	1525 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: OR Muslim Worker Harassed/ MI Gov Dedicates Mosque Expansion
	1526 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Arab Americans Sue Denny's for Discrimination
	1527 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: FL Bus Company Settles Suit/ NY Teacher Demands Rehire
	1528 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: 'Kingdom of Heaven'/Muslim Converts Face Bias/'Somali Kits' 
Help Teach
	1529 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Calls on Leaders to Repudiate Evangelist's Remarks
	1530 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: NE Couple Fights to Have Foster Children Returned
	1531 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: IL Man Accuses Employer of Bias/GA Mosque Meets Opposition
	1532 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Charges Filed in AIPAC Scandal/Muslims and Mother's Day
	1533 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Denny's Ignored Anti-Muslim Complaint/Only One Week Left to 
Register for CAIR-DC Conference
	1534 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Girl Held in NY Terror Inquiry Released
	1535 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Report to Show Sharp Jump in Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes
	1536 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Amnesty Board Chair to Speak at CAIR-DC Conference
	1537 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: MD School System Denies Muslim Holiday Request/Canadian 
Muslims Call for Censure of Israeli Official
	1538 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Jump 52 Percent - Report
	1539 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Seeks Probe of Gitmo Quran 'Desecration'
	1540 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Leader Sues Boston Media Outlets/Rice Calls Quran 
Desecration Abhorrent
	1541 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: State Dept. to Speak at CAIR Conference
	1542 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslim Group to Offer Free Qurans
	1543 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Conference a Success/CAIR Condemns Massacre of Uzbek 
Civilians
	1544 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Help Educate Your Neighbors About the Quran
	1545 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Board Elects New Chairman
	1546 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Support H. Res. Condemning Bigotry
	1547 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Group to Hand Out the Quran/Quran Ordered Online 
Contains Hate Slogans
	1548 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Desecrating the Quran/Mosques Reach out to Neighbors
	1549 by: cair.cair-net.org

CAIR-NET: CAIR-NY to Call for FBI Probes of Beatings
	1550 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Student Reports Quran in Calif. Campus Toilet
	1551 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: NY Muslims to Meet with FBI, ICE, CBP/FBI Asked to Probe NY 
School Incident/DC Race for the Cure Team Members Sought
	1552 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: N.C. Church Sign Says 'Koran Needs to be Flushed'
	1553 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Educates Ohio National Guard About Islam
	1554 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Baptist Leader Condemns Anti-Muslim Church Message
	1555 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: N.C. Pastor Apologizes for Anti-Muslim Sign
	1556 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Probe Sought for MI Muslim Officer's Bias Claims/WI Muslim 
Sues Over Headscarf Incident
	1557 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: WI Prisons to Change Headwear Policy/Courts Uphold Right to 
Mecca Trip
	1558 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Canada Asked to Extradite Con Artists Who Targeted Alabama 
Muslims
	1559 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Miami Islamic Center Vandalized for Second Time
	1560 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: AIPAC Staffers to be Indicted/Neo-Nazis Nabbed in Bomb Plot
	1561 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: High Court Sides with Inmates on Religion/Muslims, ACLU Seek 
FBI Files
	1562 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Launches Muslim Volunteerism Campaign
	1563 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Canadian Muslims Condemn Attack on Sikh Teen/PA Judge Allows 
Muslim Firefighter's Beard
	1564 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Thousands of Americans Request Free Qurans
	1565 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim for 30 Days on FX Network/Canadian Univ. Shuts Door on 
Muslim Prayer
	1566 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Gitmo Jailer Splashed Urine on Quran/Muslim Prayer Hall 
Burned to Ground in Calif.
	1567 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: NY Muslims Voice Concerns to FBI/Islam Behind Bars
	1568 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Americans Snap Up Free Qurans, Sponsors Needed
	1569 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: FL Islamic Center Vandalized for 3rd Time/CAIR-CAN Seeks 
Probe of McGill 'Harassment'/Latinos Turning to Islam
	1570 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Call Congress TODAY to Urge Changes in Patriot Act
	1571 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Canadian Security Agencies Target Muslims/Responding to Hate 
Crimes
	1572 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: DC-Area Muslims Asked to Attend Patriot Act Hearing
	1573 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Takes Part in DOJ Cultural Training/Camp X-Ray Must 
Go/Faith, Finances Collide for Muslim Home Buyers
	1574 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Campaign Produces Few Convictions on Terror 
Charges/Secret Gitmo Interrogation Log
	1575 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Con Man Who Targets U.S. Muslims May Escape 
Punishment/Immigration Law as Anti-Terror Tool
	1576 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Lodi Muslims Allege 'Harassment' by FBI
	1577 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Islamic Group Gives Away Free Korans/Muslims Not Happy With 
Lodi Inquiry
	1578 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR, ACLU to Urge Respect for Rights of Lodi Muslims
	1579 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Burned Qurans Left at Virginia Mosque/FOIA Request Filed Over 
Lodi 'Harassment'
	1580 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslims Strike at Spouse Abuse/Muslim Air Force Academy 
Cadets Allege Bias
	1581 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Ohio Muslims to Help Clean Burned Church
	1582 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Con Artist Seeks to Evade Justice/Judges Question Use of 
Quran in Oath
	1583 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Asks N.C. Judges to Allow Use of Quran in Oaths
	1584 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR to Announce FL Bias Suit/Muslims and Free Markets/Teens 
Arrested for Burning CA Mosque
	1585 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR to Distribute 'Women Friendly Mosques' Brochure
	1586 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Feces-Covered Quran Left at Tenn. Housing Complex
	1587 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Applauds Sentencing of TX Mosque Attacker/FL Muslim Sues 
Over Scarf/Defaced Koran Angers TN Muslims
	1588 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Imams Ousted Over Visa Law/Agency Monitors Quran 
Defilement/Docs Aid Gitmo Interrogators
	1589 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Mom Says Students Harassed/Material Witness Law 
Misused
	1590 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CA Muslim Women Learn Their Legal Rights/CAIR-OH Feeds the 
Homeless
	1591 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Studies Chair a Hot Seat/Quran Desecration Nothing 
New/Quran Requests Top 15K
	1592 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CA 'Explore the Quran' Open House/CAIR Rep on FX's '30 
Days'/Muslims Urge Rights for Women
	1593 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: TX Muslims to Help Feed the Homeless/WI Muslim Wins Bias Suit
	1594 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Islam and Independence Day/NC Muslims Push Quran Oaths
	1595 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Trains Law Enforcement Officials in IL, GA
	1596 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR, Minn. Muslims to Call for Celestica Prayer 
Accommodation
	1597 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim is America's Protector in Showtime Series
	1598 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Post-9/11 Workplace Bias Continues/Interfaith Leaders Support 
Quran Oath
	1599 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Condemns 'Barbaric' London Terror Attacks
	1600 by: CAIR

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Forwarded Message [ Download File | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2005 16:06:35 -0500
From:cair@cair-net.org
To:cair-net@cair.biglist.com
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Offer Condolences on Death of Pope

Plain Text Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

U.S. MUSLIMS OFFER CONDOLENCES ON DEATH OF POPE
CAIR calls John Paul II ‘an advocate for justice’

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/2/05) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights 
and
advocacy group today offered condolences on the death of Pope John Paul 
II.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said 
in a
statement:

“Muslims worldwide respected Pope John Paul II as an advocate for 
justice and
human rights. His message of international peace and interfaith 
reconciliation
is one that will reverberate for decades to come. We offer our sincere
condolences to members of the Roman Catholic Church and to all those 
who seek a
more peaceful world.”

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices 
and
chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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. 

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

				- END -

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, 
E-Mail:
rahmed@cair-net.org 

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the 
American Muslim
community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news 
releases and
other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of 
importance
to our society. 

To SUBSCRIBE to CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C.  20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----



----------------------------------------------------------------
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Forwarded Message

Date: Sun, 03 Apr 2005 23:01:33 -0400
To:cair-net@cair.biglist.com
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Hijab Allowed in AAU B-Ball Tourney/Muslim Perspective on Pope's Legacy

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/3/05

* VERSE: The Keys to Success
* CAIR-FL: Hijab Allowed in AAU B-Ball Tourney
* ISLAM-OPED: A Muslim Perspective on Pope's Legacy
            - U.S. Muslims Offer Condolences on Death of Pope
* IN: Islam Teaches Dignity of Every Human
            - UT: Muslims Join LDS to Send Tsunami Aid
            - KY: Soldiers Learn About Islam
* ME: Muslim Cabbie Targeted Over Race (AP)
* GA: Muslim Firefighter Finds Dream in U.S. (AJC)
            - GA: Woman Illumines Islamic Art (AJC)
* UK: Hatred of Muslims on Increase in Youth
            - Report: No Yearning for Freedom in Mideast

-----

VERSE OF THE DAY: THE KEYS TO SUCCESS - TOP

"Indeed successful are those believers who are humble in their prayers, who avoid vain talk, who are active in deeds of charity, and who are mindful of their chastity."

The Holy Quran, 23:1-5

-----

FL MUSLIM ALLOWED TO WEAR SCARF IN AAU B-BALL TOURNAMENT - TOP
CAIR intervenes after girl prevented from playing in hijab

(TAMPA, FL, 4/3/05) ­ The Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) announced today that a Tampa Muslim athlete has been allowed to wear her Islamic head scarf in an Orlando basketball tournament, after initially being denied that religious accommodation.

CAIR-FL intervened with officials of an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) tournament at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex after the 12-year-old Muslim player was told she could not compete while wearing her religiously-mandated head scarf, or "hijab."

Tournament officials at first cited NCAA rules prohibiting head coverings, but later agreed to allow the scarf if it was tucked in the player's uniform. The tournament ended today.

SEE: "Basketball Tournament Relents, Allows Hijab"
http://news.tbo.com/news/MGBPVOGK27E.html
"Muslim Athlete Can Wear Scarf"
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/04/03/Sports/Muslim_athlete_can_we.shtml

"We appreciated the willingness of tournament officials to offer reasonable religious accommodation for this young athlete," said CAIR-FL Communications Director Ahmed Bedier.

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

CONTACT: Ahmed Bedier 813-731-9506, abedier@cairfl.org

-----

ISLAM-OPED: A MUSLIM PERSPECTIVE ON THE POPE'S LEGACY - TOP

By Parvez Ahmed
WORD COUNT: 570

[Parvez Ahmed, Ph.D., is a board member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. He may be contacted at: pahmed@cairfl.org.]

As the world bids goodbye to one of its most beloved citizens, Pope John Paul II, it is natural to reflect on his legacy. That the Pope is beloved by Catholics is of no surprise. What is remarkable is the respect he earned from other faiths as he took unprecedented steps to build bridges of understanding.

Pope John Paul II was the first leader of the Catholic Church to set foot inside a mosque. In May 2001 the Pope visited the Ummayad Mosque - one of the oldest mosques in the world - situated in the Syrian capital of Damascus. Of further significance, the mosque contains the tomb of John the Baptist. According to the Vatican, this was the first time Muslims and Christians prayed together in an organized way.

Commenting on this visit, John Wilkins editor of the Catholic newspaper The Tablet said, "Traditionally, Islam has been tolerant of Christianity - more tolerant than Christianity has been of Islam." However, the continued occupation of Muslim lands, the authoritarian rule in most of Middle East and the accompanying rise of militancy in some Muslim societies threatens to derail the historic tolerance of Islam towards people of other faiths.

Muslims will do enormous good by reflecting on some of their great traditions such as the Prophet Muhammad standing up to pay respect as the funeral procession of a Jewish man passed or his visiting the sick regardless of their faith. Also remarkable was Salahuddin Ayubi, the great Muslim general, sending his personal physician to treat King Richard at a time when they were warring during the crusades.

Pope John Paul II writing in his 1994 book, "Crossing the Threshold of Hope," quite understandably disagreed with the theology of Islam but went on to say: "Nevertheless, the religiosity of Muslims deserves respect. It is impossible not to admire, for example, their fidelity to prayer. The image of believers in Allah who, without caring about time or place, fall to their knees and immerse themselves in prayer remains a model for all those who invoke the true God, in particular for those Christians who, having deserted their magnificent cathedrals, pray only a little or not at all. The Council has also called for the Church to have a dialogue with followers of the "Prophet," and the Church has proceeded to do so."

In 1994, under Pope Paul II the Vatican normalized relations with Israel yet he continued to speak of the "natural rights" of the Palestinian people to their homeland.

In 2004, the Pope expressing his disagreement with the Iraq war, warned of the damaging effects of this war in further polarizing religions. The pontiff urged Washington to have better understanding of the Islamic world. On this issue, the sentiment of the Pope is no different from those of many American-Muslims.

Many Muslims will rightfully remember Pope John Paul II as an advocate of justice, a bridge builder and a visionary leader. The Pope promoted his own faith without appearing condescending of others. Public figures who have espoused Islamophobic views in the past could borrow a page of tolerance from this great Christian leader. Our faith is not any stronger when we ridicule or denigrate the beliefs of others.

At a time when misunderstandings between faiths threaten world peace, we must all appropriately reflect upon the legacy of this Pope and work to continue his crusade of building bridges of understanding.

-- ISLAM-OPED is a national 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 above commentary for publication.

CONTACT: ihooper@cair-net.org
TEL: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726 (c)

SEE ALSO:

U.S. MUSLIMS OFFER CONDOLENCES ON DEATH OF POPE - TOP

http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1523&theType=NR

-----

ISLAM TEACHES DIGNITY OF EVERY HUMAN PERSON - TOP
Sabah Saud, Journal Gazette, 4/2/05
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/living/11295437.htm

Lately a great deal has been said and is being said about Islam, unfortunately by visitors, onlookers and those driven by their own prejudices and preconceived concepts of what Islam is or is not. Booklets and leaflets are being published and distributed in churches all over the country to educate or miseducate their members about Islam.

Any faith must be judged by its doctrine, the elements of its foundational belief, its value system and its very development from inception until today. Other important features of any faith should be its message, whom the message addresses and the custody of the message. Through the ages, historical custody and linguistic custody as well as its conclusions must have a tangible difference in the human social order.

The essence of Islamic doctrine is that it's absolutely pure monotheist theology.

"God is one, creator of all things matter and spirit."

Further, God created man and has no preferences to any chosen people except through the distinction of deeds in faith such as charity, piety, commanding justice for all, peace with justice among all, freedom from all forms of enslavement - enslavement to material things, enslavement by tyranny or enslavement of man to his fellow man. Man might be the icon of God's creation, but God did not create man in his image. Islam, in fact, does not assign any image to God.

"Now when one examines Islamic doctrine through the prism of political and social democracy, which would have to include equality and justice, it seems to say that the only governor of the universe treats all his people on an equal basis and the only way one would distinguish one's self is through an act of piety," (Quran 49-12). (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIMS JOIN LDS TO SEND TSUNAMI AID - TOP
Erin Stewart, Deseret Morning News, 4/3/05
http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,600123352,00.html

Salt Lake City's Islamic population is teaming up with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to keep aid flowing to Indonesian countries still recovering from December's tsunami and recent earthquakes.

The Islamic Society of Great Salt Lake donated about $4,000 to the LDS relief effort for tsunami victims this month, an amount collected in individual donations from the group's members. (MORE)

---

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM'S IMPACT - TOP
Fort Campbell combat team takes classes in world religion
AMY RITCHART, The Leaf-Chronicle, 4/2/05
http://www.theleafchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050402/NEWS01/504020306/1002

Lt. Col. Barry Williams, above, commander of 326th Engineer Battalion, looks over a prayer mat during a Islam class for the 1st Brigade combat Team at Fort Campbell.

Soldiers with Fort Campbell's 1st Brigade Combat Team are accustomed to tactical and operational training, but in anticipation of their future deployment to Iraq they're also studying world religion.

About 45 of the unit's leaders gather twice a week in a conference room converted into a college-style classroom to participate in an eight-week course, "Islam as a World View," taught by Bert Randall, Austin Peay State University professor of philosophy. (MORE)

-----

STATE FILES LAWSUIT ALLEGING VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS ACT - TOP
Associated Press, 4/1/05
http://news.mainetoday.com/apwire/D896PNFG0-90.shtml

PORTLAND, Maine - The state has filed a lawsuit against two men alleging that they threatened a Somali taxi driver based on his race, color or national origin, Attorney General Steven Rowe announced Friday.

The complaint was filed in Cumberland County Superior Court under the Maine Civil Rights Act against Garrett Powell, 22, of Portland, and Charles Frechette, 23, of Sebago. It seeks to enjoin Powell and Frechette from having contact with the victim and from committing future violations of the Civil Rights Act. (MORE)

-----

FIREFIGHTER FINDS DREAM IN AMERICA - TOP
BRIAN FEAGANS, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 4/3/05
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/0405/03kulo.html

When Almedin Kulo applied for a firefighter position in DeKalb County, friends of the Bosnian immigrant said he was climbing the wrong ladder.

"You're Muslim," they reminded Kulo, of Snellville. It was the fall of 2001. Islamic terrorists had just killed hundreds of firefighters in New York.

Even Kulo's wife, Nermina, was skeptical. She had laughed five years earlier when Kulo pointed at a fire engine screaming past North DeKalb Mall - the first American firetruck he'd seen - and declared "that's what I want to do."

Kulo applied anyway. The thought of being a firefighter in America thrilled him.

"Everything is possible in this country," he remembers telling Nermina.

And sure enough, Kulo beat hundreds of other hopefuls for the job. His first assignment was Station No. 9 near Decatur. He would ride the same fire engine that had dazzled him in the mall parking lot.

Today Kulo, 30, is a big part of the firefighting family at another DeKalb station, No. 19, nestled against Mercer University. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

WOMAN'S JOURNEY TO PEACE ILLUMINES ANCIENT ISLAMIC ART - TOP
CATHERINE FOX, Atlanta Journal, 4/3/05
http://www.accessatlanta.com/arts/content/arts/0405/03back.html

Jimmy Carter Boulevard is not ordinarily the path to enlightenment. This month, however, it leads to an oasis of spiritual comfort and aesthetic delight otherwise known as Islamic art.

Tucked in a nondescript office park off the Norcross four-lane, the Istanbul Cultural Center is hosting an exhibition of classical Turkish arts by Muhsine Duygu and her students.

Embracing a tradition that dates back at least to the ninth century, Duygu embellishes book pages and loose sheets of text from the Quran and the Islamic creed, as well as poetry. The designs are called illuminations, which are celebrated for their intricacy, delicacy and refinement.

In keeping with the tenets of her Islamic faith, Duygu eschews figures. Applying watercolor and gold leaf with the teeniest of brushes, she draws arabesques, creeping vines dotted with flowers, geometric patterns. The intertwined lines, which reveal no beginning or end, are intended to reflect eternal truth. (MORE)

-----

FEAR AND HATRED OF MUSLIMS ON INCREASE IN YOUNG GENERATION - TOP
Maxine Frith, The Independent, 4/2/05
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/story.jsp?story=625569

Children as young as 13 are displaying signs of Islamophobia and are voicing their support for the British National Party, researchers have found.

Young teenagers are increasingly saying they have negative views towards Muslims and do not want Islamic culture expressed in the classroom. The study of 1,500 students aged 13 to 24 was presented at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society in Manchester yesterday. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

REPORT: NO YEARNING FOR FREEDOM IN MIDEAST - TOP
United Press International, 4/3/05

A study prepared by a panel advising the Defense Department says that Muslims do not yearn to be liberated by the United States.

Middle East Newsline, a service covering the Arab world and American policy there, reports that the Defense Science Board concludes that "Muslims in dictatorial regimes" do not have the same goals as and should not be compared to the citizens of former Soviet-bloc countries in eastern Europe.

"There is no yearning-to-be-liberated-by-the-U.S. groundswell among Muslim societies -- except to be liberated perhaps from what they see as apostate tyrannies that the U.S. so determinedly promotes and defends," the 102-page report said.

The report looks at U.S. information efforts aimed at the Muslim world and concludes that the country has failed to explain its policies.

SEE ALSO:

PENTAGON: MUSLIM SOCIETY DOES NOT SEEK FREEDOM
http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2005/april/04_04_4.html

-----

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

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Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 04 Apr 2005 15:59:16 -0400
To:cair-net@cair.biglist.com
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Jews, Muslims Share Holiday Meal/Muslim Women Step Into Aquatic World

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/4/05

* HADITH: Virtue is a Treasure
            - VERSE: The Supreme Virtue
* Updated List of Speakers for CAIR's May 13-15 Conf.
* CAIR-FL Meets with Delegation of Indonesian Women
* CAIR-LA: John Paul II as Countercultural Hero
            - CAIR-FL Offers Reaction to Pope's Death
            - CAIR: Muslim Perspective on the Pope's Legacy (UPI)
* FL: Jews, Muslims Share Holiday Meal (Sun-Sentinel)
            - PA: Interfaith Service Focuses on Islam
* NE: Muslim Women Step Into Aquatic World (Daily Neb)
* VA: Case Puts Words of Muslim Leader on Trial (Wash Post)
* Israel Plans to Dump Garbage in West Bank (Haaretz)
            - U.S. Says Israel Must Give Up Nukes (Haaretz)
            - Israel To Adopt 'Lost Tribe' (Jerusalem Post)
* Chechnya's Disappeared (Wash Post)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: VIRTUE IS A TREASURE - TOP

One of the supplications of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was: "O God, I beg of Thee that which inspires Thy mercy and Thy forgiveness, security against every sin, treasures of every virtue, achievement of Paradise, and deliverance from the Fire."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 458

VERSE OF THE DAY: THE SUPREME VIRTUE - TOP

"We have given the Book as an inheritance to those of Our servants whom We have chosen, among them there are some who wrong their own souls, some follow a middle course and some, by God's leave, excel in deeds of goodness; which is the supreme virtue."

The Holy Quran, 35:32

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UPDATED LIST OF SPEAKERS FOR CAIR'S MAY 13-15 CONFERENCE ON ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTI-AMERICANISM - TOP

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) cordially invites you to attend its 2005 Annual Conference: "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism Causes and Remedies," Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, at the Sheraton Premiere Hotel in Vienna, Va.

TO REGISTER ONLINE, GO TO:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

PANELISTS

* Aminah McCloud, DePaul University
* Anatol Lieven, Carnegie Endowment for Int'l Peace
* Cherif Bassiouni, DePaul University
* Chip Pitts, Amnesty International
* Claude Salhani, United Press International
* David Cole, Georgetown University
* Hafiz Mirazi, Al-Jazeera
* Iqbal Sacranie, Muslim Council of Britain
* Jamal Badawi, St. Mary's University
* John Voll, Georgetown University
* Louay Safi, Islamic Society of North America
* Louis Cantori, Center for Study of Islam and Democracy
* Shanta Premawardhana, National Council of Churches
* Maher Hathout, Muslim Public Affairs Council
* Mary Rose Oakar, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
* Merve Kavaci, Former MP, Turkey
* Mumtaz Ahmad, Hampton University
* Muqtedar Khan, Brookings Institution
* Imam Mostafa Al Qazwini, Islamic Education Center of Orange County
* Muzammil Siddiqui, Islamic Society of North America
* Richard Cizik, National Association of Evangelicals
* Scott Alexander, Catholic Theological Union

TICKETS Conference fee $129, includes all meals and Saturday banquet. Banquet only - $50

If you have any questions or would like to make a reservation over the phone, please call 202-488-8787 or email events@cair-net.org.

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CAIR-FL MEETS WITH DELEGATION OF INDONESIAN WOMEN - TOP
Visit part of Women's Democracy Education Program

(TAMPA, FL, 4/4/04) - A representative of the Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today spoke to a diverse delegation of Indonesian women politicians.

CAIR-FL's presentation addressed democracy in the Muslim world as well as grassroots organizing and involvement of the American Muslim community in electoral politics. The delegation of elected officials is in the United States for a 21-day study tour designed to educate and empower Indonesian women politicians.

"The issues of political participation and the empowerment of women are critical to international development and need to be addressed by all societies," said CAIR-FL Communications Director Ahmed Bedier, who gave the presentation in today's meeting.

The event was sponsored by the Department of State and the American Council of Young Political Leaders.

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

CONTACT: Ahmed Bedier, 813-731-9506, abedier@cairfl.org; Altaf Ali, 954-298-8214, altaf@cairfl.org

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JOHN PAUL WAS A COUNTERCULTURAL HERO - TOP
Sabiha Khan, Orange County Register, 4/3/05
http://www.ocregister.com/ocr/2005/04/03/sections/commentary/article_466953.php
[Sabiha Khan is communications director for the Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA).]

The Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim community would like to offer our sincere condolences on the death of Pope John Paul II to members of the Roman Catholic Church and to all those who seek a more peaceful world.

Muslims worldwide respected Pope John Paul II as an advocate for justice and human rights. He worked tirelessly to build tolerance and understanding among people of all faiths.

Pope John Paul II was the first top leader of the Catholic Church to set his foot inside a mosque. In May 2001 the pope visited the Ummayad Mosque in the Syrian capital of Damascus. The mosque contains the tomb of John the Baptist.

Pope John Paul II's message of international peace and interfaith reconciliation is one that will reverberate for decades to come. Though the world will miss him, his legacy lives on.

ALSO SEE:

CAIR-FL OFFERS REACTION TO POPE'S DEATH - TOP

To watch a clip of CAIR-FL's Communications Director Ahmed Bedier give his reaction to the death of the Pope John Paul II, click on the below links:

BROADBAND (HIGH-SPEED)
http://www.cair-florida.org/video/bedier_reaction_pope_hi.wmv

DIAL-UP (LOW-SPEED)
http://www.cair-florida.org/video/bedier_reaction_pope_lo.wmv

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COMMENTARY: A MUSLIM PERSPECTIVE ON THE POPE'S LEGACY - TOP
Parvez Ahmed, UPI, 4/4/05
http://religion.upi.com/view.php?StoryID=20050404-085424-9241r

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the world bids goodbye to one of its most beloved citizens, Pope John Paul II, it is natural to reflect on his legacy. That the Pope is beloved by Catholics is of no surprise. What is remarkable is the respect he earned from other faiths as he took unprecedented steps to build bridges of understanding.

Pope John Paul II was the first leader of the Catholic Church to set foot inside a mosque. In May 2001 the Pope visited the Ummayad Mosque - one of the oldest mosques in the world - situated in the Syrian capital of Damascus. Of further significance, the mosque contains the tomb of John the Baptist. According to the Vatican, this was the first time Muslims and Christians prayed together in an organized way.

Commenting on this visit, John Wilkins editor of the Catholic newspaper The Tablet said, "Traditionally, Islam has been tolerant of Christianity - more tolerant than Christianity has been of Islam." However, the continued occupation of Muslim lands, the authoritarian rule in most of Middle East and the accompanying rise of militancy in some Muslim societies threatens to derail the historic tolerance of Islam towards people of other faiths.

Muslims will do enormous good by reflecting on some of their great traditions such as the Prophet Muhammad standing up to pay respect as the funeral procession of a Jewish man passed or his visiting the sick regardless of their faith. Also remarkable was Salahuddin Ayubi, the great Muslim general, sending his personal physician to treat King Richard at a time when they were warring during the crusades. (MORE)

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S. FLORIDA JEWS, MUSLIMS SHARE TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY MEAL TO NURTURE UNITY, GROWTH - TOP
Leon Fooksman, Sun-Sentinel, 4/4/05
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/palmbeach/sfl-pseder04apr04,0,2818375.story

They sat across tables covered with eggs, celery and bitter herbs, smiling, listening and trying to sweeten the relations between their communities.

The upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover served as the backdrop Sunday afternoon for bringing Jews and Muslims together to better understand each other's faiths.

About 25 Muslims gathered with about 75 Jews at Temple Torah west of Boynton Beach to learn about the Seder, the holiday meal recreating the story of the Jewish Exodus from ancient Egypt. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

INTERFAITH SERVICE FOCUSES ON ISLAM - TOP
Steve Mocarsky, Wilkes Barre Times Leader, 4/4/05
http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/11305153.htm

WILKES-BARRE - A local physician tried to "clear up some misconceptions" about Islam during a Sunday service to launch the Wyoming Valley Interfaith Council's Week of Interfaith Harmony.

Dr. Ebraham Almeky, a prayer leader at Alnoor Masjid mosque on Scott Street, said that some people inaccurately think that his religion is "a religion of violence" and "that Islam's god is different from other (religions') gods.

"The core of the belief is that there is only one God who created everything," Almeky told about 24 congregants at Unity Church on South Grant Street.

The Rev. Ann Marie Acacio, the interfaith council's president, said the purpose of the council's third annual Week of Interfaith Harmony is "to promote interfaith understanding and mutual respect. The more we understand about each other and each other's beliefs, the more we'll respect each other and each other's beliefs."

Tribute was paid at the beginning of the service to the late Pope John Paul II, who Acacio said was respected for his efforts to unify people of different faiths.

While explaining the basic concepts of Islam, Almeky touched on beliefs common to other religions. For example, the six major articles of faith in Islam include the beliefs that there is one God; God created angels; God sent prophets and messengers; God gave us books to teach us how to live according to his will; there will be a day of judgment; and God knows everyone's destiny. (MORE)

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MUSLIM WOMEN STEP INTO WHOLE NEW AQUATIC WORLD - TOP
Jenna Johnson, Daily Nebraskan, 4/4/05
http://www.dailynebraskan.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/04/04/4250ea7b8ba88

Faces framed with light-colored scarves peer through the glass panes.

The door is locked, as the YWCA is closed Sundays, but Zainab Al-Baaj comes running to pop it open for the women and young girls waiting outside.

They giggle, saying hello to one another and switching between speaking Arabic and English as quickly as they walk through the lobby.

The lobby is where this group of Muslim women, ranging from toddlers to age 60, transitions from the world outside the YWCA to the world offered to them on the second floor - at the swimming pool.

In the lobby, long colored scarves, or hijab, are draped over their heads and their bodies are covered with loose, unfitted clothing. Their Islamic faith and culture instructs them to be modest in their dress, showing as little skin as possible when in public or in the presence of men.

At the pool, away from windows, cameras and men, they can strip off their layers of clothing, put on colorful swimsuits and enjoy the warm pool water free of cost for two hours. They talk about their lives, families and the challenges they face everyday. (MORE)

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TERRORISM CASE PUTS WORDS OF MUSLIM LEADER ON TRIAL IN VA - TOP
Jerry Markon, Washington Post, 4/3/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23697-2005Apr3.html

Islamic spiritual leader Ali Al-Timimi's pen is mightier than his sword, prosecutors contend. It's not so much his actions but his words that make him so dangerous, they say.

Less than a week after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Timimi told a group of Northern Virginia Muslims that it should train for violent jihad abroad and wage war on the United States, prosecutors say. In 2003, he celebrated the crash of the space shuttle Columbia in a message that prosecutors say reflected his view that the United States itself should be destroyed.

The government says the statements of Timimi -- who goes on trial today in U.S. District Court in Alexandria -- constitute nothing short of treason. But some Muslims, who are rallying to Timimi's side through a Web site and other expressions of support, see a respected religious leader being prosecuted for his words.

"He is not accused of anything except talking. It's all about him saying something," said Shaker Elsayed, a member of the executive committee of Dar Al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church. "If this isn't a First Amendment issue, I don't know what is."

Although legal experts are as divided on the case as the two sides are, some said that the case reflects the power of words in the post-Sept. 11 climate -- and that it poses an important test of the free-speech rights Americans have come to expect since the First Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1791. (MORE)

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ISRAEL PLANS TO DUMP TONS OF GARBAGE IN WEST BANK - TOP
David Ratner, Haaretz, 4/4/05
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/560414.html

For the first time since 1967, Israel has decided to transfer garbage beyond the Green Line and dump it in the West Bank.

The project was launched despite international treaties prohibiting an occupying state from making use of occupied territory unless it benefits the local population.

In addition, pollution experts say such use of the Kedumim quarry - located in an old Palestinian quarry between the Kedumim settlement and Nablus - will jeopardize Palestinian water sources. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

U.S. SAYS ISRAEL MUST GIVE UP NUKES - TOP
Amir Oren, Haaretz, 4/3/05
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/560047.html

The State Department yesterday called on Israel to forswear nuclear weapons and accept international Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on all nuclear activities.

This is the second time in about two weeks that officials in the Bush administration are putting the nuclear weapons of Israel, India and Pakistan on a par.

The officials called on the three to act like Ukraine and South Africa, which in the last decade renounced their nuclear weapons.

The similar phrasing used by the officials refers to Israel's military nuclear capability, as distinct from "nuclear option," which is to be rolled back, although not necessarily in the "foreseeable future."

The rare use of these terms contradicts the custom of senior administration officials to avoid any possible confirming reference to Israeli nuclear weapons. (MORE)

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REPORT: ISRAEL TO ADOPT 'LOST TRIBE' - TOP
Jerusalem Post, 4/2/05
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/Printer&cid=1112414514231

A special team of rabbis from Israel will soon be sent to the Indian-Myanmar (Burma) border in order to convert thousands of members of a local tribe who have been recognized as Jews by Israel's chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar, The Times of London has reported.

According to the report, the tribesmen have been defined as members of the lost tribe of Menashe. Once converted, they would be able to immigrate to Israel based on the Law of Return. The mission is reportedly funded by a group of Christian Evangelicals. (MORE)

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CHECHNYA'S DISAPPEARED - TOP
Washington Post, 4/3/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23869-2005Apr3.html

Now a new report from Human Rights Watch illuminates some of the human costs of this conflict without apparent end. In the capital of Grozny, the nonprofit advocacy group reports, full-fledged combat no longer takes place, but what remains is "worse than a war," according to many residents. The city remains in ruins, without running water or electricity, but what makes life truly unbearable there and throughout the Connecticut-size province is the constant threat of "disappearances." According to the respected Russian human rights group Memorial, between 3,000 and 5,000 civilians have "disappeared" since 1999, when Russian troops moved into Chechnya for a second time in the decade. Official government statistics acknowledge more than 2,000 disappearances.

During a January reporting trip to Chechnya, Human Rights Watch investigators found that the vast majority of abductions are carried out by Russian or pro-Moscow Chechen security forces. Most of the victims are men, but increasingly women are being taken also. Security forces, often armed and hooded, sometimes drunk, typically come to a house and take someone away without explanation. Some bodies, showing signs of torture, have been recovered; in most cases, relatives have no idea whether their loved ones are dead or alive. "According to a Chechen official, 1,814 criminal investigations were opened into enforced disappearances, yet not a single one has resulted in a conviction," Human Rights Watch reports. (MORE)

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

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Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2005 15:43:37 -0400
To:cair-net@cair.biglist.com
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Islam and Earth Day/Patriot Act Scrutinized/Library Project Draws to Close

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/5/05

* HADITH: Be Lenient and Kind-Hearted
* May 13-15 in DC: 'Reasserting Mainstream Values'
* Last Chance to Take Part in CAIR's Library Project
            - CAIR-FL: Muslim Head Scarf Debated
            - CAIR-CA: Day of Solidarity Open House
* ISLAM-OPED: Islam and Earth Day, April 22
* Islam Top Concern in Cardinals' Conclave (AP)
* Foes Say Patriot Act Too Flawed to Retain (Chicago Trib)
            - Congress Scrutinizes Patriot Act (MSNBC)
            - 'Sneak And Peek' Searches Double (Boston Globe)
            - Patriot Act Foes Find Unity (Atlanta Journal)
* NY: Muslims Seek Answers for Border Detention (AP)
* MN: Understanding Islamic Culture (Minnesota Daily)
            - CA: Forum on Islam Promotes Tolerance
* Dozens Attack Mosque in the Netherlands (AP)
* Learn Arabic at Al-Azhar University
* DC: Tsunami Benefit Concert with Muslim Performers

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HADITH OF THE DAY: BE LENIENT AND KIND-HEARTED - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The Fire (of Hell) is forbidden to touch anyone who is close to the people, soft, lenient, and kind-hearted."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 223

When a group of people spoke harshly to the Prophet Muhammad, and his wife replied in kind, he cautioned her: "Be calm...for God loves that one should be kind and lenient in all matters."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Hadith 273

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MAY 13-15 IN DC: 'Reasserting Mainstream Religious Values' - TOP

SAMPLE SESSION:

Reasserting Mainstream Religious Values:

* CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush
* Dr. Muzammil Siddiqui, Islamic Society of North America
* Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini, Islamic Education Center of Orange County
* Rev. Dr. Shanta D. Premawardhana, National Council of Churches
* Iqbal Sacranie, Muslim Council of Britain
* Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad, Hampton University

To view a complete program or to register for the conference, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

Volunteers are also needed for CAIR's Conference. Please call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, or e-mail events@cair-net.org for more information.

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LAST CHANCE TO TAKE PART IN CAIR'S LIBRARY PROJECT - TOP
Almost 8,000 libraries sponsored, only 80 packages remain

CAIR today announced that the "Explore Islamic Civilization and Culture" Public Library Project Campaign is drawing to a close. Fewer than 80 library packages are left to be sponsored. To sponsor a library, call 1-800-78-ISLAM and ask for the Library Project Coordinator. (For more information on CAIR's Library Project, or to sponsor online, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/libraryproject/)

The CAIR Library Project campaign aimed to dispel misconceptions by placing accurate and balanced information about Islam and Muslims in public libraries nationwide. Almost 8,000 libraries nationwide have already received this 18-item resource package.

Only full sponsorships of $150 are applicable. If a library that has already been sponsored is selected, CAIR will make every effort to sponsor the library you suggest or a nearby library. We may have to send the package to a different library.

ALSO SEE:

CAIR-FL: MUSLIM HEAD SCARF DEBATED - TOP
Sherri Day, St. Petersburg Times, 4/5/05
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/04/05/Hillsborough/Muslim_head_scarf_deb.shtml

TAMPA - Briana Canty doesn't regret standing up for her religion. But last weekend her convictions temporarily sidelined her hoop dreams.

Briana, a sixth-grade student at Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace, is Muslim. As a sign of her faith, she wears a hijab, a head covering worn by many Islamic women after reaching puberty.

Last Friday, at an Amateur Athletic Union basketball tournament in Orlando, Briana had to choose between her faith and her passion for basketball.

Tournament officials told her to remove her hijab or sit on the bench.

For Briana, 12, the decision to sit out was easy.

"It's my religion, and I'd rather follow my religion than to break it to play basketball," Briana said Monday, reflecting on the weekend's events. "I was sort of disappointed, but I was still cheering on the team."

She went to Orlando to play forward for the Tampa Extremes, a local AAU girls' basketball team. (

Briana played in the team's first game Friday afternoon without incident. But she sat on the bench for much of the day's second game after officials cited NCAA rules prohibiting players from wearing head coverings and jewelry during games.

Her mother, Carla Canty, was outraged.

Canty said she couldn't believe this was happening in America in 2005.

After her initial attempts to negotiate with tournament officials were unsuccessful, Canty called the Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations in Tampa.

The group intervened on Briana's behalf. (MORE)

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CAIR-CA: DAY OF SOLIDARITY OPEN HOUSE - TOP

WHAT: The Northern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA), along with the American Muslim Voice, Amnesty International, Blue Triangle Network, and many other groups, will host a day of solidarity open house.

No Forums, No teach-ins and no speeches. Just family and friends nurturing the seeds of friendship. You bring your family, friends and chairs, and we will provide free lunch, kids activities and cultural experience.

WHEN: Saturday, April 16th, 2005 from Noon to 4 PM

WHERE: 120 Park Avenue, Palo Alto, CA

For more information, call 650-387-1994 or e-mail samina_faheem@yahoo.com by April 10th, 2005 if you are interested in co-sponsoring this event. Visit: www.amuslimvoice.org. Alternate Phone: 408-986-9874, E-mail: amina@cair.com

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ISLAM-OPED: ISLAM AND EARTH DAY, APRIL 22 - TOP

ISLAM-OPED is a national 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: ihooper@cair-net.org
TEL: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726 (c)

To subscribe to or unsubscribe from ISLAM-OPED, go to:
http://cair.biglist.com/islam-oped/

---

ISLAM AND EARTH DAY
By Joshua Brockwell
WORD COUNT: 634

[Joshua Brockwell is with the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. He may be contacted at: jbrockwell@cair-net.org. For more information on Earth Day, see: http://www.earthday.net/]

As American Muslims join in celebrating the 35th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, they can recall with pride Islam's stance on environmentalism.

In the Quran, Islam's revealed text, men and women are viewed as God's vicegerents on Earth. (2:30) God created nature in a balance ("al-mizan") and mankind's responsibility is to maintain this fragile equilibrium through wise governance and sound personal conduct.

The Quran also describes the believing men and women as those who "walk on the Earth in humility." (25:63) Scholars have interpreted this verse, and others like it, to mean that Muslims are to protect nature's many bounties given to them by the Almighty. Preservation is therefore more than a good policy recommendation - it is a commandment from God.

There are more than 700 verses in the Quran that exhort believers to reflect on nature.

For example, the Quran states: "And it is He who spread out the earth, and set thereon mountains standing firm and (flowing) rivers; and fruit of every kind He made in pairs, two and two; He draweth the night as a veil over the Day. Behold, verily in these things there are signs for those who consider." (13:3)

According to Islamic beliefs, the Earth is a sanctuary in which mankind was made to dwell in comfort. The vast oceans, forests and mountains that make up this bountiful planet have been subdued by God for our enjoyment and productive use.

Further, God compels Muslims in the Quran to respect and revere the environment when He says, "Greater indeed than the creation of man is the creation of the heavens and the earth." (40:57)

The Prophet Muhammad told his followers they would be rewarded by God for taking care of the Earth. He said: "If any Muslim plants any plant and a human being or an animal eats of it, he will be rewarded as if he had given that much in charity." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, 8:41) He also compared Muslims to a "fresh tender plant" that bends, but does not break, when afflicted with life's inevitable calamities. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, 7:547)

Another tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, or hadith, quotes him as saying: "If the Hour (Judgment Day) is about to be established and one of you is holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it."

An example of Muslims taking ownership of their divine obligation to protect the environment was seen recently when the people of Tanzania reversed a growing trend toward ecological destruction through a policy of sustainable fishing and environmental preservation based on the principles of the Quran.

Prior to implementation of the educational program, over-harvesting by fishermen on the Muslim-majority island of Misali had threatened the area's aquatic ecosystem. But thanks to an indigenous campaign to remind local inhabitants of Islam's respect for nature, those who earn their living from the sea learned the benefits of protecting the region's biodiversity.

In Islamic history, Ottoman civilization provides us with another example of the seriousness with which Muslims have traditionally taken their environmental obligations. Ottoman viziers, or ministers, advising the sultan on matters of administration and policy regularly encouraged moratoria on matters deemed potentially damaging to future generations.

Innovations in technology, for example, were hotly debated among scholars, all of whom recognized the importance of considering the long-term impact on both society and the environment.

In Islam, even the Earth has inalienable rights endowed by its Creator.

Sound ecological principles are not limited to Islam, and should be acted upon by practitioners of other faiths. Together we can tackle the environmental problems that besiege our planet.

On this year's Earth Day, people of all faiths should take time to examine their own faith tradition's advice for taking care of the Earth that we share.

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CARDINALS SAY ISLAM A TOP CONCERNING HEADING INTO THE CONCLAVE - TOP
Associated Press, 4/5/05

ROME (AP) - The relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and Islam is emerging as a top issue among American cardinals as they consider their vote for the next pope.

Tensions between the competing faiths have often led to violence in parts of Africa and Asia, and Pope John Paul II tried, with mixed results, to reach out to Muslim leaders.

"We have to learn to live with Islam," said Washington D.C., Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, speaking to reporters Tuesday at the North American College, a leading seminary for U.S. priests. "We have to learn how to dialogue with Islam." (MORE)

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FOES SAY POST-9/11 TOOL TOO FLAWED TO RETAIN - TOP
Andrew Zajac, Chicago Tribune, 4/5/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0504050152apr05,1,2052256.story

WASHINGTON - The public face of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' campaign to renew the Patriot Act does not belong to an al-Qaida-trained killer captured using the law.

Instead, it belongs to Jared Bjarnason, an unemployed 30-year-old serving 18 months in a low-security West Texas prison for sending an e-mail threatening "death and destruction" to an El Paso mosque.

Gonzales said last month that Bjarnason's arrest was an example of how "the Patriot Act was used to protect the lives and liberties of members of the El Paso Islamic Center," because it let investigators track down Bjarnason before he could carry out his threat.

But closer scrutiny suggests investigators did not see Bjarnason as much of a threat, the mosque almost didn't report his e-mail, and the government could have obtained the e-mail records almost as fast without the Patriot Act.

"It's absurd," said Bill Maynard, a supervisor in the public defender's office that represented Bjarnason. "The prosecution in no way demonstrates the effectiveness of the Patriot Act."

A portion of the Patriot Act - the significant increase in police powers enacted in the jittery days after the Sept. 11 attacks - is due to expire at the end of the year, and congressional hearings begin Tuesday with Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller slated to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The renewal opens up a debate over the law's effectiveness as the White House mounts an energetic campaign to persuade Congress to re-enact it. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS SCRUTINIZE PATRIOT ACT - TOP
Has it helped combat terrorists? Attorney general to make the case
Tom Curry, MSNBC, 4/5/05
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/7367499/

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI director Robert Mueller will supply answers to that question this week as they testify before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees.

Key parts of the Patriot Act expire at the end of this year and Congress must decide whether to extend them, as well as whether to alter other parts of the statute.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter wants the Patriot Act legislation passed by late summer. A left-right coalition, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Republican strategist Grover Norquist, is urging Congress to scale back the law.

The lightning rods for criticism include:

Section 213, which permits judges to delay notifying a person whose home or property has been searched by federal agents, when delayed notification is necessary to prevent destruction of evidence, intimidation of witnesses, or escape of suspects.

Section 215, which empowers a special court, under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), to issue secret orders requiring businesses or institutions to turn over records concerning terrorists or foreign agents.

Section 218, which expands the number of cases in which intelligence data can be given to prosecutors investigating foreign intelligence activities.

Section 505, which expanded FBI agents' powers to seize certain records using a "national security letter," a kind of subpoena, without getting permission from a judge.

Section 802, which defines domestic terrorism.

Sections 215 and 218 expire at the end of this year; the others listed above do not. (MORE)

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PATRIOT ACT'S 'SNEAK AND PEEK' SEARCHES NEARLY DOUBLE - TOP
Charlie Savage and Rick Klein, Boston Globe, 4/5/05
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/218816_patriotact05.html

WASHINGTON -- Justice Department investigators nearly doubled the rate at which they used a controversial new search-and-seizure power allowed under the USA Patriot Act during the past 22 months, according to data released by the Bush administration yesterday on the eve of congressional testimony by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Formally called delayed-notification searches, the warrants are known as "sneak and peek" because they allow investigators to search a person's home or business and to seize property without disclosing for weeks or months that they were there. Although investigators must convince a judge that there is a "reasonable suspicion" that the investigation would be harmed if the subject were notified, no judge has ever denied a request for those searches. (MORE)

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AS PATRIOT ACT AWAITS RENEWAL, FOES FIND UNITY - TOP
Bob Dart, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 4/5/05
http://www.ajc.com/search/content/auto/epaper/editions/today/news_2425e20e56def135008b.html

Washington --- With five state Legislatures in revolt against the Patriot
Act, Congress begins reconsideration of the sweeping anti-terrorism legislation today.

Last week, Montana joined four other states that have passed resolutions urging Congress to curb the broad powers granted to federal law enforcement agencies six weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The resolution "protects our state's rights and is what true Republicans in every red state should be doing," said Montana state Rep. Rick Maedje, a Republican.

Similar measures have passed in the "blue," or Democratic-leaning, states of Vermont, Maine and Hawaii, as well as in Alaska, which like Montana is Republican "red." A coalition to rein in the Patriot Act is headed by former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, a Georgia Republican, and has members ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to Americans For Tax Reform.

"It's our No. 1 legislative priority," Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said Monday. (MORE)

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MUSLIM-AMERICANS SEEK ANSWERS FOR BORDER DETENTION - TOP
Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press, 4/5/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--muslimsstopped0404apr04,0,2136478.story

AMHERST, N.Y. -- Muslim-Americans on Monday pressed a Department of Homeland Security civil rights official to explain why they were fingerprinted, photographed and held at the border after a religious conference in Canada, but came away with few answers.

Daniel Sutherland, the department's Washington-based officer for civil rights and civil liberties, was asked to address the group after complaints that more than three dozen people who attended the December conference were held without explanation for as long as six hours while trying to re-enter the United States by car.

"If you're looking for me to give you the answers A to Z on this, you're going to be dissatisfied and I know that from the beginning," Sutherland told several dozen people at a forum organized by the western New York Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Dr. Ismael Memon, 70, described how he, his son and a third person were ushered into a waiting area, where they were made to surrender their credit cards, cell phones, watches and other belongings before being searched, questioned, fingerprinted and photographed.

Some in the group were handcuffed.

"Do you have any relations with terrorist organizations?" Memon said he was asked.

"Of course not," he responded.

"We were treated just like criminals," Memon said through a statement read on his behalf.

Sutherland said he and others in the department "felt very uncomfortable" with Memon's and others' stories, but declined to answer when asked whether he believed individuals' civil rights were violated. (MORE)

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UNDERSTANDING ISLAMIC CULTURE - TOP
Minnesota Daily, 4/5/05
http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2005/04/05/63974

As students of the University, we are provided an excellent opportunity to experience wide diversity on campus. Each week, the campus events calendar is filled with horizon-broadening events. Last week was the Asian-American Student Union's spring conference. This week is Islam Awareness Week, sponsored by Al-Madinah Cultural Center and the Muslim Students Association.

Diversity at the University spreads beyond religion and cultural backgrounds to sexual orientation and political viewpoints. This week, however, provides a special opportunity to learn more about Islam, which has been grouped together with many negative elements.

During the week, the cultural center will host myriad events to help better explain Islam. In Minnesota, where only a fraction of the population is Muslim, mass ignorance can easily lead to a societal pressure with negative consequences. As the Muslim population grows rapidly, more tension will develop as long as people do not understand one another.

Many of the issues that need to be faced by the University as a whole concern general ignorance of what Islam is. In the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, Islam and its practitioners have been the focus of intense scrutiny. Unfortunately, many people in the United States have made the leap to equating Islam with terrorism. Much of the awareness week aims to combat the extreme portrayals of Islam in the media and celebrate religious and cultural bonds.

We are provided the opportunity to experience, learn from and get a deeper understanding about the students around us. Don't understand what an "hijab" is? Don't understand the Islamic daily prayers you have spotted some fellow students doing? Uncomfortable around different students? Islam Awareness Week offers a great opportunity to learn. Even if you disagree with Islam, this is a perfect opportunity to debate. Attend some of the events, and ask some questions. See what is going on.

University students are provided with these chances to experience diversity; you might as well take advantage of them.

SEE ALSO:

FORUM ON ISLAM PROMOTES TOLERANCE - TOP
Mima Mohammed, Daily Stanford, 4/5/05
http://daily.stanford.edu/tempo?page=content&id=16660&repository=0001_article

To provide a forum for all members of the Stanford community to ask questions about and acquaint themselves better with the Islamic faith, two Islamic student groups hosted a panel last night entitled "Islam Reflections and Perceptions," including both students and Muslim leaders.

Sponsored by the Muslim Student Awareness Network, or MSAN, in partnership with the Islamic Society at Stanford University, or ISSU, the panel featured senior Rania Eltom, MSAN president; doctoral student Ibrahim Almojel, president of ISSU; Ameena Jandali, secretary of the Islamic Networks Group - a nonprofit designed to educate the public about Islam; and Hisham Abdallah, imam of the Muslim Community Association of Santa Clara. Thom Massey, associate dean of students and cultural education affairs, moderated the event.

The speakers each described the major tenets of Islam, focusing mainly on the misperceptions of the religion.

Abdallah outlined the five pillars of Islam: faith in the oneness of God, daily prayer, charity, fasting and the pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.

"Islam is a religion where the main focus is the relationship with God," Jandali said, adding that many assumptions about Islam are perpetuated by people who are unfamiliar with the belief system.

For instance, contrary to some people's suppositions, Muslim women wear head scarves as a sign of modesty, not because men forced them to, she said.

"There is so much diversity to Islam," Jandali said. "There are over 1.2 billion people worldwide who consider themselves Muslim, yet the media tends to portray only one side of the religion."

All four speakers highlighted this one-sidedness and the inaccuracies it leads to.

During the question-and-answer session, one audience member asked why many of the world's terrorists happen to be Muslim.

Abdallah replied that the actions of terrorists are not in accordance with the teachings of Islam, especially with the ideal of perfect moral character. (MORE)

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DOZENS ATTACK MOSQUE IN THE NETHERLANDS - TOP
Associated Press, 4/3/05
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1112494791790

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A group of youths smashed windows of a mosque in the southern Netherlands, setting off a street brawl with Muslim immigrants, police said Sunday.

One person was hurt, and police arrested one man after the Saturday night disturbance in the city of Venray, police said.

Local media reported the fight involved about 60 Turkish immigrants and around 20 native Dutch.

A surge of racially motivated attacks hit the Netherlands in the weeks after the November murder of a Dutch filmmaker, allegedly by an Islamic extremist. The violence has included dozens of attacks on mosques and Islamic schools, including several bombings and cases of arson. No one has been killed in the attacks.

One man suffered unspecified injuries in Saturday's fight and was hospitalized overnight, police said.

The man who was arrested was identified as a 33-year-old from a neighboring town who police said "had a large part in the disturbance at the mosque."

Police said more arrests might follow.

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LEARN ARABIC AT AL-AZHAR UNIVERSITY - TOP

The Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences (GSISS), Al-Azhar University and Al-Ameen Associates present: An Intensive Arabic Immersion Program in Cairo, Egypt July 1-31, 2005

DETAILS

* $1900 Fee Includes: Roundtrip airfare from NYC, ground transport, lodging, books and tuition waiver.
* Classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels (16-years-old and older)
* Classes meet 5 days a week, 6 hours per day
* CEU's and college credit available through GSISS
* Limited number of partial scholarships available.

Applications and further info available at the following link at the GSISS website: http://www.siss.edu/Special_Programs/special_programs.htm

Phone: 203-865-9411

-----

RHYTHMS OF PEACE TSUNAMI BENEFIT CONCERT - TOP
at The George Washington University Lisner Auditorium

Featured Artists:

* Dawud Wharnsby Ali
* Native Deen
* 786

For tickets http://www.ticketmaster.com/artist/961065/ or email MSA@gwu.edu

WHO: MSA of GWU, DC Council of MSAs, and Islamic Relief USA

WHAT: RHYTHMS OF PEACE '05, Tsunami Benefit Concert, All proceeds will go to Islamic Relief Development Charity

WHEN: Saturday April 23rd, 2:30 pm

WHERE: George Washington University's Lisner's Auditorium
730 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
Tel: (202) 994-6800

TICKETS: $12

MORE INFO:

MSA GWU Rika Prodhan 2022710424
MSA GWU Sana Chaudry 2026078968

-----

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
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-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2005 15:33:52 -0400
To:cair-net@cair.biglist.com
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Revise PATRIOT Act With SAFE Act

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful\

CAIR ACTION ALERT #453

REVISE PATRIOT ACT WITH SAFE ACT

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/6/05) - CAIR is urging members of the American Muslim community and other people of conscience to contact their elected representatives and ask that they co-sponsor the recently introduced "Security and Freedom Enhancement (SAFE) Act," designed to repeal unconstitutional sections of the original USA PATRIOT Act.

The bipartisan bill, which was announced yesterday by Senators Larry Craig (R-ID) and Richard Durbin (D-IL), addresses mounting concerns raised by citizens at a grassroots level who have organized to defend the Bill of Rights.

This week, the Senate and House Judiciary Committees are holding the first in a series of hearings on the PATRIOT Act, parts of which will expire by the end of the year without Congressional reauthorization.

The SAFE Act would:

* Scale back the government's authority to seize personal information -- credit reports, communications records and financial information -- through National Security Letters without judicial review.

* Narrow the "sneak and peek" provision in the PATRIOT Act, which allows federal agents to get court authorization to search Americans' homes without notifying them for weeks or even months.

* Refine section 215, which allows the FBI to obtain a rubberstamp court order giving it access to Americans' medical, business, library and even genetic records without probable cause.

SEE: "Bipartisan Legislation Would Fix Worst Parts of Patriot Act"
http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=17935&c=206

"The PATRIOT Act was passed in haste during a time of national crisis and now needs to be revised to bring it into conformity with the Constitution and with American traditions of personal privacy," said CAIR Governmental Affairs Director Corey Saylor. "The protection of civil liberties and national security are not mutually exclusive goals."

ACTION REQUESTED:

CONTACT your elected representatives to ask that they support the "Security and Freedom Enhancement (SAFE) Act." GO TO: http://capwiz.com/cair/ (Enter your ZIP code.) Ask that they defend the Constitution and American traditions of personal privacy by making changes to the PATRIOT Act. Tell them we can protect both national security and civil liberties.

                            - PLEASE ANNOUNCE, POST AND DISTRIBUTE -

                                        --- CLIP AND MAIL/FAX/E-MAIL ---

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NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from this list, go to:
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-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2005 15:45:10 -0400
To:cair-net@cair.biglist.com
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Arizona Textbook Pulled After Uproar Over Islam

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/6/05

ACTION ITEM: Ask your friends, family and colleagues to subscribe to CAIR-NET.
Tell them to subscribe by going to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

* VERSE: The Cycle of Life
            - HADITH: Equality for All
* CAIR-OH: World a Better Place Because of Pope
            - CAIR-MI: Muslims Mourn Loss of 'Friend'
            - Last Chance to Sponsor CAIR Library Package
            - DC: Islamophobia, Anti-Americanism and Policy
* AZ: Textbook Pulled After Uproar Over Islam
            - NY: Students Protest Daniel Pipes' Talk
            - Pipes Supports Internment of Japanese-Americans
            - Pipes Backs Convicted French Racist
* PATRIOT ACT: Justice Delayed (Metro Times)
            - FBI Seeks Expanded Search Powers (MSNBC)
* CAIR-Chicago: 9/11 Raised Identity Questions
            - Defying Stereotypes in Attacks' Aftermath
* MI: Interfaith Group Backs Out of Ceremony (AP)
* CA: Islam is a Religion Based on Peace (Daily Trojan)
            - MI: MSA Aims to Bridge Gap between Religions
            - CA: Forum on Islam Promotes Tolerance
* US Probes Whether Troops Hold Iraq Women 'Hostage'
* MD: American Muslims Reach Out to Afghan Mosques
            - Afghanistan to Have Permanent US Military (FT)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: THE CYCLE OF LIFE - TOP

"O mankind! If you doubt that there is life after death, remember that We first created you from dust, then from a sperm, then from a leech-like mass, then from a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, so that We may manifest to you Our power. We cause to remain in the womb whom We wish for an appointed term, and then We bring you forth as infants; then We nourish you so that you may reach your age of full strength. There are some of you who die young and some who live on to their abject old age, when all that they once knew they know no more. [And if you are still in doubt about life after death] you can see the land dry and barren; but no sooner do We pour down rain upon it, then it begins to stir and swell, putting forth every kind of beautiful growth in pairs."

The Holy Quran, 22:5

ALSO SEE:

HADITH OF THE DAY: EQUALITY FOR ALL

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "All people are equal as the teeth of a comb." (At-Tabarani)

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CAIR-OH: MUSLIMS THANKFUL FOR GOOD RELATIONS - TOP
Karen Dabdoub, Cincinnati Enquirer, 4/5/05

The world is a better place because of Pope John Paul II. As people around the world mourn his passing, the Muslim community will also miss his wise counsel and advocacy for peace, justice, human rights and good interfaith relations.

John Paul not only preached these virtues, he practiced them. He was the first pope to visit a mosque, thus paving the way for peaceful and respectful relations between Catholics and Muslims and in fact among peoples of all faiths.

It is up to all who believe in his message of peace and reconciliation to continue to carry it out in their own lives. In this way his legacy will continue to live on, God willing.

Karen Dabdoub is with the Council on American-Islamic Relations,
Ohio Chapter, Cincinnati Office.

ALSO SEE:

CAIR-MI: MUSLIMS MOURN LOSS OF 'FRIEND' - TOP
Gregg Krupa, Detroit News, 4/6/05
http://www.detnews.com/2005/religion/0504/06/A04-141579.htm

CANTON TOWNSHIP -- Muslims across Metro Detroit are expressing sadness and concern at the death of Pope John Paul II, who, they say, transcended the boundaries of different faiths and brought many Christians to a greater understanding of Islam.

Many said they are saddened by the loss of a great spiritual force and concerned that the next pope may not be as effective in promoting cooperation and understanding among faiths.

"More than any religious leader, he made a lot of strides to speak to all of the faithful, and I think many of his words about the value of life and the value of family resonated very strongly in the Muslim community," said Muzammil Ahmed, a surgeon who lives in Canton Township and who is active in the Canton mosque. "He was very open to other faiths and met with Muslim leaders and Muslims in other countries without being judgmental.

"He had a lot of friends in our community."

About 3 percent of Michiganians practice Islam, and the number of Muslims in Metro Detroit is estimated from 125,000 to 200,000, according to the Detroit Mosque Study published in 2003 by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Clinton Township.

Of regular attendees at the 33 mosques throughout Metro Detroit, the study determined about 45 percent are of South Asian descent, about 30 percent are of Arab descent, about 12 percent are African-American and the rest are of other or mixed ethnicities.

"I am hearing a lot of discussion among Muslims that the pope was a man of peace and he was a big advocate of interfaith relations and forgiveness," said Celena Khatib, director of the local office of the Council on American Islamic Relations, in Lathrup Village.

"He was a man who many respected, and the loss in both the Catholic community and the worldwide community is great." (MORE)

LAST CHANCE TO TAKE PART IN CAIR'S LIBRARY PROJECT - TOP
Almost 8,000 libraries sponsored, only 80 packages remain

CAIR today announced that the "Explore Islamic Civilization and Culture" Public Library Project Campaign is drawing to a close. Fewer than 80 library packages are left to be sponsored. To sponsor a library, call 1-800-78-ISLAM and ask for the Library Project Coordinator or go to: http://www.cair-net.org/libraryproject/

The CAIR Library Project campaign aimed to dispel misconceptions by placing accurate and balanced information about Islam and Muslims in public libraries nationwide. Almost 8,000 libraries nationwide have already received this 18-item resource package.

Only full sponsorships of $150 are applicable. If a library that has already been sponsored is selected, CAIR will make every effort to sponsor the library you suggest or a nearby library. We may have to send the package to a different library.

---

MAY 13-15 IN DC: IMPACT OF ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTI-AMERICANISM ON CIVIL RIGHTS AND POLICY MAKING' - TOP

SAMPLE SESSION:

"Impact of Islamophobia and anti-Americanism on Civil Rights and Policy Making" will discuss how Islamophobia and anti-American sentiment has affected civil rights and policy making.

PANELISTS:
* CAIR Legal Affairs Director Arsalan Iftikhar
* Amnesty International, Chip Pitts
* Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy, Louis Cantori

To view a complete program or to register for the conference, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

Volunteers are also needed for CAIR's Conference. Please call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, or e-mail events@cair-net.org for more information.

-----

AZ: TEXT PULLED AFTER UPROAR OVER ISLAM - TOP
Andrea Falkenhagen, East Valley Tribune, 4/6/05
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=39120

A world history textbook used by seventh-graders at Scottsdale's Mohave Middle School was pulled from classrooms mid-semester amid growing criticism of the book's portrayal of Islam.

The removal came on the heels of a slew of angry emails to Scottsdale Unified School District officials and entries on conservative Internet Web logs.

Janie White is a Scottsdale parent who complained about the "History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond" textbook, which was being used on a trial basis at her daughter's school. In a Jan. 25 email to Superintendent John Baracy, she objected to what she believed was "religious bias, dogma, and proselytizing."

"I received a significant number of e-mails saying (the book) was Islamic propaganda and we shouldn't use it," said district governing board member Christine Schild.

Before the board could take action, the book's publisher requested an end to its trial license with the district in March, and the district quit using the materials.

Nancy Bredin, national sales manager at TCI, insists the publishing company did not pull the license due to the controversy. Instead, she said, the newly-released state standards do not match the textbook's focus.

"We pulled out because it became very clear we did not match the standards," Bredin said. The book is still being tried in schools in other states, she added.

The textbook covers history from the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century to the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. It devotes 33 pages to Christianity and 42 pages to Islam. Bredin explained the book is meant to serve as the second in a two-part series.

The previous book in the series does not mention Islam, which was founded in the seventh century. Yet it devotes 19 pages to Judaism, 13 pages to Christianity and more than 20 pages to Buddhism and Hinduism.

The lessons about Islam are what concern parents such as White. In her complaint to Baracy, she referred to the American Textbook Council, a group that objects to TCI's explanation of concepts such as jihad.

The book defines jihad as "a struggle within each individual to please God, but that may also be a physical struggle for protection against enemies."

David Damrel, a professor at the Arizona State University's Department of Religious Studies, reviewed several chapters of the book at the Tribune's request. He said the passages generally did a good job of describing Muslim attitudes toward jihad in an accurate way.

Complaints about the book started early this year, when White sent a series of e-mails to Baracy demanding the textbook be removed from her daughter's classroom.

"I do not want my children trying out Islam, or thinking about becoming a Muslim now, or in the future," she wrote to Baracy on Jan. 25. She did say, however, that she approves of including some information about world religions in history lessons, so long as it is presented factually and briefly.

She also objected to a classroom activity that led students to rank the most influential people in history, which she said pit Jesus against Muhammad.

White could not be reached for comment for this story.

The issue drew national attention when a man claiming to be a Scottsdale father posted an entry on conservative writer Daniel Pipes' Web site on Feb. 27.

The man lambasted what he stated was "fake history along with Islamic religious proselytizing and indoctrination techniques" at his child's school.

The posting found its way to at least five other Internet log sites, most of which claim to be politically conservative. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CONTROVERSIAL MIDDLE EAST, ISLAM SCHOLAR TO TALK AT RIT - TOP
Matthew Daneman, Democrat and Chronicle, 4/6/05
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050406/NEWS01/504060325/1002/NEWS

HENRIETTA - One of the nation's most controversial commentators on Islam will give a talk at Rochester Institute of Technology on April 14.

To his supporters, Daniel Pipes is a pre-eminent and prescient thinker on the Middle East.

To his detractors, Pipes is a racist demagogue. And some RIT students have begun protesting his appearance.

Last month, the Muslim Students Association and RIT Anti War organized a conference, "Academic Freedom Under Siege," as a counterpoint. And a variety of student groups from schools such as the State University Colleges at Geneseo and Oswego are gathering tonight at RIT to find a way to challenge Pipes.

"Daniel Pipes is a supporter of Japanese internment camps, segregation and racial profiling," said Ammar Naqvi, a Long Island junior and president of the Muslim Students Association. "We should learn from the mistakes of the past and not allow the freedoms that the founders of this nation fought so hard for to be trampled over and dissipated in the mud of racist rhetoric." (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

PIPES SUPPORTS INTERNMENT OF JAPANESE-AMERICANS - TOP

Daniel Pipes: "Yes, I do support the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II." (12/28/04, on his web site)

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PIPES BACKS CONVICTED FRENCH RACIST - TOP

Daniel Pipes has backed French far-right racist Jean-Marie Le Pen. On his web site, Pipes said Le Pen's extremist views "represent an important outlook in the national debate over immigration and Islam." An appeals court in France recently upheld Le Pen's conviction for inciting anti-Muslim hatred in a newspaper interview. Le Pen has been convicted of racism or anti-Semitism at least six times in the past.

-----

MI: JUSTICE DELAYED - TOP
Metro Times, 4/6/05
http://www.metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=7533

The first legal challenge to the USA PATRIOT Act received a lot of press when it was filed way back in July 2003. Initiated by the Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and six advocacy groups - including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ACCESS), the Muslim Community of Ann Arbor and the Council on American-Islamic Relations - the lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of Section 215 of the act rushed through Congress shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That section of the law is particularly troubling because, among other things, it allows the FBI to search and seize records or personal belongings without showing probable cause and without notifying the person being investigated, according to Wendy Wagenheim, spokeswoman for ACLU-Michigan.

Given the importance of the case, it's not surprising that the media paid so much attention when attorneys on both sides of the issue made their arguments before U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood in December 2003.

And then? Nothing. And more nothing as Hood continued to mull the merits of the case.

"This particular judge is good, but she's got a reputation for being really slow," Wagenheim says.

So slow, Wagenheim says, that in her nine years with the ACLU she can't remember a judge ever taking this long to rule in a case.

Hood's office says it can't say when the judge is expected to rule. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

FBI SEEKS EXPANDED SEARCH POWERS - TOP
MSNBC, 4/5/05
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7388717/

WASHINGTON - FBI Director Robert Mueller on Tuesday asked lawmakers to expand the bureau's ability to obtain records without first asking a judge, and he joined Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in seeking that every temporary provision of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act be renewed.

"Now is not the time for us to be engaging in unilateral disarmament" on the legal weapons now available for fighting terrorism, Gonzales, for his part, told senators.

He said that some of the most controversial provisions of the Patriot Act have proven invaluable in fighting terrorism and aiding other investigations. "It's important that these authorities remain available," Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mueller said sections of the law that allow intelligence and law enforcement agencies to share information are especially important.

"Experience has taught the FBI that there are no neat dividing lines that distinguish criminal, terrorist and foreign intelligence activity," Mueller said in his prepared testimony.

He also asked Congress to expand the FBI's administrative subpoena powers, which allow the bureau to obtain records without approval or a judge or grand jury.

"For many years, the FBI has had administrative subpoena authority for investigations of crimes ranging from drug trafficking to health care fraud to child exploitation," he stated. "Yet, when it comes to terrorism investigations, the FBI has no such authority." (MORE)

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CAIR-CHICAGO: REACTION TO ATTACKS RAISED QUESTIONS OF IDENTITY - TOP
Malavika Jagannathan and Tina Peng, Daily Northwestern, 4/6/05
http://www.dailynorthwestern.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/04/06/4253ab8d6985e

Following Sept. 11, more than 1,200 Arab and Muslim immigrants were detained and arrested. Thousands more were interrogated, many of them U.S citizens and permanent residents. In Evanston, police questioned three Northwestern students after the FBI began requiring background checks for international students from certain Muslim-dominant countries.

Since then, the spotlight on Muslims has not faded -- Muslims and Arab-Americans instead have become the focus of suspicion and interest, inviting scrutiny and curiosity. Some argue that Muslims in American society have become a feared and misunderstood "other," but others say the existing misconceptions about Muslims and Arab-Americans can be erased through education and perseverance&

"I think the majority of Americans are reasonable people," said Rehab, CAIR's director of communications. "Education can remove ignorance or malice they might have."

Many organizations began initiatives following Sept. 11 to clarify the differences between religious and political ideals.

Ghuman's gurdwara started a "huge campaign" to educate people about the differences between Sikhs and Muslims, she said. The area religious office met with President Bush, and to this day Ghuman still participates in interfaith activities. This push for increased awareness is important because Chicago has a "relatively low" concentration of Sikhs, she said. According to sikhwomen.com, in 2001 there were 6,000 to 10,000 Sikhs in the metropolitan Chicago area.

Kasim Arshad, a Weinberg senior and president of the Muslim Cultural Students Association, said McSA and other organizations began sponsoring educational events immediately following the 2001 attacks.

"(We) put on events trying to increase awareness about racial profiling and discrimination and the potential effects of Sept. 11 on the Middle Eastern, southeast Asian community," he said. "After Sept. 11, a lot of the programming was focused on clarifying terrorism and violence in Islam as well as political issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

This year, CAIR started running day-long workshops through local mosques to acquaint people with Islam through discussions and prayers. Islam was misunderstood partially because Muslims did not engage discussion in their communities, a trend that is slowly changing as Muslims are becoming more "vociferous about their religion publicly," Rehab said. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

DEFYING STEREOTYPES IN ATTACKS' AFTERMATH - TOP
Tina Peng, Daily Northwestern, 4/6/05
http://www.dailynorthwestern.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/04/06/42538bd1d62b2

Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, Ikram Ahmad picked up his dorm phone. He said the callers identified themselves as members of a Jewish fraternity and invited him to dinner.

"Then they said, 'Wait a second, you cannot eat our food because you are Arab,'" Ahmad said.

Ahmad knew he had been targeted for being Muslim. But the callers didn't have all their facts right: They misidentified Ahmad, a Malaysian international student, as an Arab.

"They thought I was an Arab because of my name," said Ahmad, now a McCormick senior. "It was more based on my name than who I am."

Sept. 11 forced Ahmad to look more deeply at what it means to be both Malaysian and Muslim, he said.

Islam is Malaysia's national religion. But most Malaysians do not resemble the stereotypical Muslim image, so Ahmad initially was not worried about being personally affected by post-Sept. 11 backlash, he said. (MORE)

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INTERFAITH GROUP BACKS OUT OF TROY CITY HALL CEREMONY - TOP
Associated Press, 4/5/05
http://www.freep.com/news/statewire/sw114024_20050406.htm

TROY, Mich. - An interfaith group that originally asked to be included in a National Day of Prayer ceremony at City Hall says it is backing out because of the exclusively Christian nature of the event.

The group includes Hindus, Muslims, Jews and members of other religions. The group decided that once it was excluded from the Christian-based event, a private event would be more appropriate, said organizer Padma Kuppa, a Hindu. The group said it has not chosen a site.

"I wanted to participate in something already existing, as in the National Day of Prayer," she told The Detroit News for a story Wednesday. "But once we were out of the confines of something already existing, we thought we'd be better off in a place of worship."

Mayor Louise Schilling said she was disappointed in the way the controversy has divided the Detroit suburb.

"That day should be about bringing the different religious groups together in unity, not in tearing them apart," Schilling said.

Last week, the Troy City Council decided to allow the National Day of Prayer Task Force to hold its event from noon to 1 p.m. May 5 on the steps of City Hall, followed by the interfaith group from 1-2 p.m.

The decision came after the National Day of Prayer Task Force argued against an interfaith ceremony. The interfaith group had pressed to be included in the event.

The task force's Web site says participants in its events must support the Lausanne Covenant, an evangelical Christian declaration of belief.

Lori Wagner of the National Day of Prayer Task Force said all faiths are welcome to attend the service but said that her group is Christian.

"We organize our speakers who are in alignment with our faith," she said.

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ISLAM: A RELIGION BASED ON PEACE - TOP
Tony Chiorazzi, Daily Trojan, 4/6/05
http://www.dailytrojan.com/news/2005/04/06/Lifestyle/Islam.A.Religion.Based.On.Peace-913784.shtml

One of the biggest misconceptions about Islam is that the status of women is lower than men, said Yolanda Solis, an adviser to the student association. But she said that this is not the case because a high level of importance given to women in Islam, she said.

What is the second-largest religion in the United States? Islam. And what is the nation's fastest-growing religion? You guessed it. The Islamic movement is on the rise, and its presence is alive and flourishing at USC.

"Prophet Muhammad prophesized that Islam would become the largest faith," said Karim Vidhani, president of the Muslim Students Association, and a junior majoring in computer science. "But it is also prophesized that there will be an increasing lack of knowledge about Islam, too."

The Muslim Students Association

Vidhani and the MSA, which describes itself as an association that "strives to educate Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam," are intent on moving forward. "We have many goals," Vidhani said. One of those goals is called dawah, which means informing non-Muslims about Islam.

"We hold lectures, hand out flyers, pamphlets and basically just tell people about our faith on campus," Vidhani said. "We welcome questions about our faith; Islam is not a faith that is without answers."

A religion of peace?

Yet some might have the question: Is Islam a religion of peace? "The word Islam means peace in Arabic," said Murat Surucu, a doctoral candidate in biomedical engineering and president of Muslim Students for Dialogue, an organization that helps promote Islamic understanding and interfaith dialogue. "A Muslim can't be a terrorist, and a terrorist can't be a Muslim. So people who want to terrorize people ... either don't know Islam or think they are doing something in benefit of Islam, but, in fact, they are not. They are only damaging Islam."

Aliha Khan, a Muslim and graduate student in electrical engineering, said it's also wrong to say that Islam was spread by violence or force. For example, Indonesia, the most populace Muslim nation in the world, was not converted to Islam through force but, rather, through choice. "And it's the same way in South Asia," she said. "You can't be forced to accept Islam; the desire has to come from you." (MORE)

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MI: MSA AIMS TO BRIDGE GAP BETWEEN ISLAM, OTHER FAITHS - TOP
Laura Kraft, Western Herald, 4/6/05
http://www.westernherald.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/04/06/42531be078664

Writer, lecturer and documentary producer Alexander Kronemer will speak about Muslims in America on Thursday as part of the Western Michigan University Muslim Student Association's dinner event.

"We wanted someone who would know a lot about American Muslims," said Shams Khan, MSA president and junior majoring in biomedical science. "Muslims here are different than Muslims anywhere else."

Though Kronemer's lecture will focus primarily on Islam and how its traditions have spread across the world, Khan said it will also shed light on the similarities between Muslim and non-Muslim Americans.

"Liberty and justice for all. One nation under God -- those are all things Muslims believe in," he said.

The event will not only educate Americans about Islamic traditions, but it will educate Muslims on the traditions of other religions such as Christianity and Judaism, he said.

"Our main purpose as an organization is to bridge the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims," he said. "When you understand something you stop fearing it."

Kahn said MSA holds events throughout the year to further educate WMU's campus because it's such a diverse community. With a large population of international students, many of whom hold positions such as teaching assistants, he said it's important that there is understanding and not fear. (MORE)

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FORUM ON ISLAM PROMOTES TOLERANCE - TOP
Mima Mohammed, Daily Stanford, 4/5/05
http://daily.stanford.edu/tempo?page=content&id=16660&repository=0001_article

To provide a forum for all members of the Stanford community to ask questions about and acquaint themselves better with the Islamic faith, two Islamic student groups hosted a panel last night entitled "Islam Reflections and Perceptions," including both students and Muslim leaders.

Sponsored by the Muslim Student Awareness Network, or MSAN, in partnership with the Islamic Society at Stanford University, or ISSU, the panel featured senior Rania Eltom, MSAN president; doctoral student Ibrahim Almojel, president of ISSU; Ameena Jandali, secretary of the Islamic Networks Group - a nonprofit designed to educate the public about Islam; and Hisham Abdallah, imam of the Muslim Community Association of Santa Clara. Thom Massey, associate dean of students and cultural education affairs, moderated the event.

The speakers each described the major tenets of Islam, focusing mainly on the misperceptions of the religion.

Abdallah outlined the five pillars of Islam: faith in the oneness of God, daily prayer, charity, fasting and the pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.

"Islam is a religion where the main focus is the relationship with God," Jandali said, adding that many assumptions about Islam are perpetuated by people who are unfamiliar with the belief system. (MORE)

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US PROBES WHETHER TROOPS HOLD IRAQ WOMEN 'HOSTAGE' - TOP
Michael Georgy, Reuters, 5/6/05

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=8103383

BAGHDAD - The U.S. military in Baghdad confirmed on Wednesday it was holding two Iraqi women and was investigating accusations that they were being held hostage to pressure their fugitive male relatives to surrender.

A spokesman said the women were detained as insurgent suspects, not hostages. The latter would be a breach of international law, human rights experts say; it could, however, be legitimate to hold relatives as suspects in their own right.

"The U.S. army and Iraqi police did detain two females suspected of collaboration with anti-Iraqi forces," Major Donn Latimer of the 3rd
Infantry Division told Reuters, using a term employed by U.S. troops to describe guerrilla insurgents.

"Evidence was found at the residence that indicates clear knowledge of an intent to harm coalition forces," Latimer said.

"Currently their disposition is under review."

The women's names were not available but details of their detention indicated they were relatives of Arkan Mukhlif al-Batawi, who has accused U.S. troops of taking his mother and sister hostage after raiding the family home on Saturday.

Batawi, who farms at Taji just north of Baghdad, told Reuters on Tuesday that the women had been arrested to try to pressure him and his brothers Muhammad and Saddam to surrender themselves to U.S. troops who suspect them of insurgent attacks.

A handwritten note in Arabic at the house read: "Be a man Muhammad Mukhlif and give yourself up and then we will release your sisters. Otherwise they will spend a long time in detention." It was signed "Bandit 6," apparently U.S. army code, possibly designating a company commander.

Several neighbours corroborated Batawi's account of events.

When Reuters called a mobile phone number left on the note, an American who said he was a soldier appeared to be aware of Batawi's accusation but declined further comment. (MORE)

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AMERICAN MUSLIMS REACH OUT TO AFGHAN MOSQUES - TOP
Kaukab Jhumra Smith, Maryland Newsline, 3/31/05
http://www.newsline.umd.edu/justice/specialreports/shadowofwar/mosqueproject033105.htm

Part of Maryam Khan's job in Afghanistan last year was to build barracks for the new Afghan army, including areas for cleansing rites and prayer.

After five months under heavy U.S. security, Khan, an American, yearned for more contact with ordinary Afghans.

When she returned home to Ellicott City, Md., last October, she found she couldn't leave thoughts of them behind.

"I felt like most of the Afghans there were just tired," said Khan, who works as a civil engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "They were tired after years of war, and they just wanted peace."

So when Khan, 23, learned of a volunteer project that would connect American Muslims with people in Afghanistan, she jumped at the chance.

She joined forces in late January with Lionel Ifill, 22, a U.S. Army civil affairs specialist stationed along the eastern Afghan border, to help bring together neighborhood mosques in the United States with mosques in Afghanistan.

It's a way of letting Afghans know that people in the United States care about them, Ifill wrote in an e-mail from Afghanistan.

ALSO SEE:

AFGHANISTAN LIKELY TO HAVE PERMANENT US MILITARY - TOP
Peter Spiegel, Financial Times, 4/5/05
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/c09c7152-a612-11d9-b67b-00000e2511c8.html

Afghanistan's defence minister on Tuesday gave one of the clearest signs yet that Kabul is open to permanent basing of US forces in the country, saying his government was in discussions with the US that could include air bases in Afghanistan after the current nation-building process ends.

General Abdul Rahim Wardak said the details of what would constitute a long-term US presence were still under discussion. But he signalled Kabul was eager for "enduring arrangements" that could include permanent air bases or "pre-positioned" military equipment that would be used by rapidly deployed US forces in a crisis.

"We will certainly seek enduring relations and partnerships with our international friends," Gen Wardak told a gathering of military analysts in London. "This will prevent the repetition of the catastrophic disengagement of the international community from Afghanistan in the 1990s, which cost us all so dearly."

The discussions have been under way for several months, but both US and Afghan officials have been reluctant to discuss the issue given geopolitical sensitivities in the region, particularly in neighbouring Iran.

Senator John McCain, an influential Republican on defence issues, first hinted at such a possibility in February, when after a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, he said it was his "personal view" that permanent joint bases should be established.

Last month, General Richard Myers, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, acknowledged during a trip to Afghanistan that the US was considering such a move. Such comments come as the US continues to expand its capabilities at its main air base in Bagram, a Soviet-era facility north of Kabul, where it is building a new runway. Bagram would be the most likely location of a permanent US presence.

Gen Wardak sought to assuage concerns of neighbouring countries of a permanent US presence, saying any agreement with the US would come at the same time Kabul attempted to secure security pacts with regional powers. (MORE)

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CAIR
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Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2005 13:15:10 -0400
To:cair-net@cair.biglist.com
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Texas Lawmaker Targeted for 'Looking Muslim'?

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/7/05

* HADITH: Always Tell the Truth
            - VERSE: Pass with Dignity
* CAIR-FL: JP II's Legacy of Tolerance (SP Times)
            - ISLAM-OPED: Islam and Earth Day
* TX: Lawmaker Targeted for 'Looking Muslim'? (Houston Chron)
* PATRIOT ACT: Rep. Conyers Seeks Wider Inquiry (Wash Post)
* CO: Student Traces Path to Islam
            - VA: Islam Awareness Month Kicks Off
            - MD: Islamic Perception Relies On 'Education'
* OH: A Muslim Perspective on Science
* Arab Actor Hopes Crusade Film Improves Muslim Image
            - Survey: U.S. Media Censors Iraq Reporting (UPI)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "(Bearing) false witness has been made equivalent to attributing a partner to God (the worst sin in Islam)."

Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith 1604

VERSE OF THE DAY: PASS WITH DIGNITY

"(The true servants of God are) those who do not bear witness to falsehood and, whenever they pass by (people engaged in) senseless frivolity, pass with dignity."

The Holy Quran, 25:72

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CAIR-FL: A LEGACY OF TOLERANCE - TOP
Ahmed Bedier, St. Petersburg Times, 4/7/05
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/04/07/Opinion/A_better_retirement_f.shtml
(Scroll down.)

On behalf of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim community, I would like to offer our sincere condolences on the death of Pope John Paul II to members of the Roman Catholic Church and to all people of conscience.

Muslims worldwide respected Pope John Paul II as an advocate for peace, justice and human rights. He worked tirelessly to build tolerance and understanding among people of all faiths.

Muslims will remember Pope John Paul II as the first Pontiff to visit a mosque. In May 2001 the pope visited the Ummayad Mosque in the Syrian capital of Damascus, where he held and kissed a copy of the Koran. Furthermore, he built bridges between Christians, Jews and Muslims and encouraged respect for diversity.

The late pontiff understood that ignorance, bigotry and oppression are a threat to our world and led by example to eradicate them. Religious, civic and political leaders in the Tampa Bay area and across the world would benefit by following his model. We look forward to reaching out to all segments of our society and continue on our mission of building bridges of understanding.

Pope John Paul II's message of international peace and interfaith reconciliation is one that will reverberate for generations to come. Though the world will miss him, his legacy can live on through furthering his work of building respect and tolerance.

Ahmed Bedier, Central Florida director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Tampa; abedier@cairfl.org

SEE ALSO:

ISLAM-OPED: ISLAM AND EARTH DAY - TOP

ISLAM-OPED is a national 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.

The commentary below is available for publication.

CONTACT: ihooper@cair-net.org
TEL: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726 (c)

To subscribe to or unsubscribe from ISLAM-OPED, go to:
http://cair.biglist.com/islam-oped/

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ISLAM AND EARTH DAY
Joshua Brockwell, CAIR, 4/7/05
http://islam.about.com/od/activism/a/earth_day.htm

As American Muslims join in celebrating the 35th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, they can recall with pride Islam's stance on environmentalism.

In the Quran, Islam's revealed text, men and women are viewed as God's vicegerents on Earth. (2:30) God created nature in a balance ("al-mizan") and mankind's responsibility is to maintain this fragile equilibrium through wise governance and sound personal conduct.

The Quran also describes the believing men and women as those who "walk on the Earth in humility." (25:63) Scholars have interpreted this verse, and others like it, to mean that Muslims are to protect nature's many bounties given to them by the Almighty. Preservation is therefore more than a good policy recommendation - it is a commandment from God.

There are more than 700 verses in the Quran that exhort believers to reflect on nature. (MORE)

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AL GREEN SAYS HE HAS BEEN TARGETED IN THE PAST FOR 'LOOKING MUSLIM' - TOP
Robert Crowe, Houston Chronicle, 4/6/05
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/3122304

A Houston lawmaker thinks he may have been the target of ethnic or religious profiling at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Palm Sunday as he prepared to fly to Washington, D.C.

Al Green, a Democratic congressman, was pulled out of line by airport security officers March 20 as he waited to enter the primary security area.

"It could have been (a random security search), but I cannot say that it was random," Green said.

Officers escorted him to a separate area, where he was questioned and searched before being permitted to enter the main security area. The experience left him with a feeling that he was targeted the way Muslims say they have been profiled since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"Whether it is real or imagined, I can tell you the perception exists that there is profiling taking place," he said.

Local Muslims recently met with Green, sharing similar incidents of what they said was profiling at Bush. At that meeting, he said he had "been accosted for looking Muslim," in the past.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers handle security for international flights, while the Transportation Security Administration oversees security checks for those entering the airport's gates.

"(Green) could have been selected for a secondary screening based on travel patterns or, perhaps, a random selection," said Andrea McCauley, a TSA spokeswoman.

Judy Turner, a local CBP spokeswoman, said Harold Woodward, Port director for the agency, has addressed concerns of local Muslim groups.

"We have worked very closely to educate the community and learn about cultural concerns to have our processes both secure and explained to point out what we do and why we do it," Turner said. (MORE)

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CONYERS SEEKS WIDER INQUIRY - TOP
Dan Eggen, Washington Post, 4/7/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32447-2005Apr6.html

The Justice Department is acknowledging for the first time that the FBI used a secret search warrant to copy and seize material -- including DNA samples -- from the home of Brandon Mayfield, a Portland, Ore., man who was wrongly arrested and jailed last year in connection with the March 2004 train bombings in Madrid.

In statements and testimony this week, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and other Justice officials have also said that some of the special powers used to spy on Mayfield were strengthened by the USA Patriot Act, the anti-terrorism law facing fresh scrutiny from Congress.

In a background briefing with reporters Tuesday, two senior Justice Department officials maintained that the FBI could have taken Mayfield's belongings and conducted surveillance on him even without the Patriot Act because he was under suspicion in a prominent international terrorism case.

But Mayfield's attorney said that may not be true, and the disclosures prompted Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) to ask the Justice Department's inspector general to expand his ongoing investigation of the case.

Mayfield, a convert to Islam, was arrested May 6 after the FBI concluded that his fingerprint was on a bag of detonators connected to the bombings two months earlier in Madrid, which killed nearly 200 people. He was freed two weeks later, after the FBI admitted it had bungled the fingerprint analysis. Mayfield is suing the federal government.

The Justice Department previously declined to confirm Mayfield's contention that his house had been ransacked in a covert search. (MORE)

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UNC STUDENT WHO BECAME MUSLIM, OTHERS GATHER FOR FESTIVAL - TOP
Doyle Murphy, Greeley Trib, 4/7/05
http://www.greeleytrib.com/article/20050407/NEWS/104070102/?rs=2

The hardest part was telling her mother.

For almost two years Liz Sealing had been learning more and more about Islam. A Muslim friend told her about the rules against drinking and dating. She didn't understand it, but began reading about Islam. She began to believe what she read. Eventually, she had to make a decision. She couldn't keep believing and not act. She became a Muslim, and then had to tell her Christian family.

"I sent them an e-mail explaining it," Sealing said. "I couldn't call them."

Sealing looks comfortable now. Wearing a long black dress and a long-sleeved burgundy blouse with a white hijab covering her head, she moved easily through a festival of Arabian culture Wednesday on the University of Northern Colorado campus. When members of the Muslim Student Association gathered for a picture, she giggled and shuffled into position with the other girls. She covered her hair with a hijab for the first time at the beginning of this semester, the second of her senior year at UNC.

Her mom replied right away to Sealing's e-mail. She called later that night. She'd had no idea her 20-year-old daughter was becoming a Muslim. She had lots of questions. She was worried. She'd heard Muslims were violent and they treated women poorly. She still asks Sealing if she's going to be all right, if there's any possibility she'll get sucked into some kind of trouble with the government.

Sealing's Arabic teacher, Essam Aldwayan, was at the Arabian Nights festival Wednesday. He volunteered to teach the class twice a week for anyone who wants to learn the language. Between 20 and 30 students make it to one of the sessions each week. Aldwayan, 32, said he's amazed at Sealing's progress.

"She's doing great," Aldwayan said. "Whenever you're interested in something you learn really fast."

Sealing's 23-year-old brother still doesn't understand. He points to violence on the news and asks her about brutality toward women. She just tells him that's not the way Islam is supposed to be practiced. Sealing's close to her family, but it can be difficult being around them. They ask her questions better suited for a scholar. Sealing has been a practicing Muslim for 51/2 months. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

ISLAM AWARENESS MONTH KICKS OFF IN SQUIRES - TOP
Collegiate Times, 4/7/05
http://www.collegiatetimes.com/index.php?ID=5605

The Muslim Student Association kicked off Islam Awareness Month this week with festivities to educate students about the faith.

Johari Abdul-Malik, a member of the Muslim Alliance in North America, spoke in Commonwealth Ballroom last night to discuss this month's topic, "What are you living for?"

Abdul-Malik acknowledged the audience in a way he said he knew Jesus, Moses, Muhammad and Noah alike would all greet a crowd.

"With peace," he said.

Abdul-Malik said in the spirit of peace, he wanted everyone to know he was speaking from a Muslim point of view, and that he didn't want anyone to be offended.

With assistance from the audience Abdul-Malik noted four ways in which people learn and acquire a sense of reality: observation, rationalization, emotions and faith.

"You can try to just use empirical thinking an observations, but it takes other tools to get the real sense of reality," he said.

Abdul-Malik cited many analogies in his explanation of what people are living for, saying that each person was like a machine or tool and Allah was the manufacturer. He said the Quran was like the manual put in place to learn how to operate the machine. (MORE)

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ISLAMIC PERCEPTION RELIES ON 'EDUCATION' - TOP
Ben Boehl, The Towerlight, 4/7/05
http://www.thetowerlight.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/04/07/4254710f45201

The Muslim Student Association kicked off Islamic Awareness Week on Monday with a motivational lecture by Islamic speaker Abu Omar Irfan Kabiruddin.

Kabiruddin's message was simple: He wants Muslims to be proud and promote Islam as a peaceful religion. He expressed frustration with the perception some people have had with Islam since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"People are scared when a Muslim enters the room and that should not happen." Kabiruddin said.

Kabiruddin believes the negative perception of Islam comes from the American media, but he also feels Muslims need to be accountable for promoting Islam as a peaceful religion. He believes non-Muslims will gain a sense of comfort toward Islam once they are educated.

"It's all about education. Taking it to them. Telling them about Islam!," Kabiruddin yelled into the crowd.

Islamic Awareness Week is designed to improve understanding about the world's second largest religion. The MSA hosted a movie night on Tuesday, and hosted an evening of "Women United" on Wednesday.

While many Muslims may be frustrated about the stereotyping of Islam in the United States, Kabiruddin said they should be appreciative of living in such a tolerable country. He pointed out that Muslims in America can dress however they want, and suggested that other countries would have banned Islam and kicked Muslims out of their country following Sept. 11, 2001.

Kabiruddin said being a Muslim was tough after the attacks because of all the hostility toward the Islamic religion. But he was surprised and touched by the cards and flowers he was sent from his non-Muslim friends to still show their support for Kabiruddin and Islam.

Kabiruddin wants Muslims to not to be discouraged about the continuing terrorist's acts in the Middle East. (MORE)

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SCIENCE, RELIGION PONDERED - TOP
Russ Zimmer, BG News, 4/6/05
http://www.bgnews.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/04/06/4253e773d7aeb

A minister, a rabbi and an imam walk into Olscamp 101 -- sorry there's no punchline, only a serious discussion of religion and science.

The Muslim Student Association, in conjunction with CRU and Hillel, presented "Science and Religion: Friends or Foes" last night with speakers from the Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths.

The clergymen spoke on the misconception of a disconnect between faith and scientific innovation.

"There seems to be a tendency to seperate science and religion and because of that we find many give up religion for science," Rabbi Edward Garsek said.

The forum was not set up as a debate to determine which religion is correct or that science is faulty, but to find where belief in God and science are interconnected.

"Science can tell us what we can do. Faith tells us what to do," Minister Steve Rieske said.

Topics ranged from the moral implications of medical technology to God's wishes for scientific advancement.

Imam Siraj Wahhaj, who led a successful anti-drug campaign in Brooklyn, N.Y. during the 1980s, made clear the teachings of Islam are compatible with science. They must be, according to Wahhaj, because Allah is perfect.

"Religion is not at odds with science. Some religious people are at odds with science," Wahhaj said. (MORE)

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ARAB ACTOR HOPES CRUSADE FILM IMPROVES MUSLIM IMAGE - TOP
Tom Perry, Reuters, 4/7/05
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=entertainmentNews&storyID=8115829

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian actor starring in a new Hollywood blockbuster set during the Crusades says it will enhance Western understanding of the Arab and Muslim world rather than underscore old stereotypes, as some had feared.

Khaled El Nabawy expects "Kingdom of Heaven," which portrays a 12th-century Christian-Muslim battle for Jerusalem, to advance rather than harm dialogue and understanding between the faiths.

"It's good timing. It's time for the West to know more about us," said the actor who plays a Muslim religious leader in the film by "Gladiator" director Ridley Scott due out in May.

"We know more about the West than they know about us. When you don't know me, you're going to judge me in a bad way, which is risky," Nabawy told Reuters in Cairo. "We are not terrorists. We are very civilized and our history is a witness to this."

Kingdom is being tipped as one of the summer's biggest movie releases and has a budget estimated at around $130 million.

Some religious figures and academics are concerned that a film about the Crusades, a term once used by President Bush to describe the war on terror, will fuel the idea of an intractable clash of civilizations between East and West.

They say it could fuel animosity toward Islam in the West and heighten suspicions of the West in the Muslim world, where the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have been portrayed by some as part of a war on Islam. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

SURVEY: U.S. MEDIA CENSORS IRAQ REPORTING - TOP
Angela Woodall, United Press International, 4/1/05
http://www.wpherald.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20050405-013342-2175r

The news media are self-censoring reports about Iraq because of concern for public reaction to graphic images and details about death and torture, according to a survey of 210 U.S. and international journalists.

Many reporters and editors chose less-graphic images and explicit details, or made them less noticeable, according to an online, anonymous survey conducted between September and October 2004 by two American University professors. The study was released March 17.

Findings also included how journalists were using the Internet to enhance coverage of events in Iraq. One-third said they published material -- such as photographic essays, extended interviews and behind-the-scenes reporters' accounts - that was not used in their reports on their news organization's Web site.

The survey is a "window on journalists grappling with how to handle the imagery of war," one of the authors, Jane Hall, a journalism professor at American University in Washington, told United Press International.

Journalists from a variety of media outlets were asked about coverage from March 2003 to September 2004, from the beginning of the war in Iraq through the first 15 months of the U.S.-led occupation.

This was a period of some of the most violent incidents in Iraq after President Bush announced the end of major U.S. combat operations there. A wave of beheadings peaked, four contractors were killed and their charred bodies hung from a bridge in Fallujah, and explicit images from the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal surfaced.

Of the 210 respondents -- out of 1,000 invited by e-mail to participate, 73 were in Iraq during and after the war. Half of that group was embedded with the U.S. military during all or part of their time in Iraq. The majority of all the journalists reported to an American audience. The publications involved were not identified. (MORE)

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Fri, 08 Apr 2005 11:45:54 -0400
To:cair-net@cair.biglist.com
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: IL Muslim Family Receives Racist Death Threats

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IL MUSLIM FAMILY RECEIVES RACIST DEATH THREATS
FBI probes caller who threatens to kill 'f**king Arab' family

(CHICAGO, IL, 4/8/05) - The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today reported that the FBI is investigating a number of racist phone threats made against a Chicago Ridge Muslim family.

CAIR-Chicago said the victim told police that, beginning in March, she received several phone calls from an identified man threatening to kill her and her baby son if the family does not move away from the neighborhood.

"I know who you are, if you do not move away from my neighborhood within a month I will shoot you and kill you and your son," said the caller, who is thought to be a neighbor living close enough to see who is in the house.

The caller's most recent death threat came on the cell phone of the mother, telling her that she is a "f**king Arab" and that he will not call again, but will kill her and her son if they do not move away within two weeks. (The Muslim mother is Hispanic. Her husband is of Middle Eastern origin.) Local law enforcement authorities and the FBI have been contacted about the case.

"It is important for all people of conscience to speak out against the growing anti-Muslim rhetoric in America that leads to discrimination, threats and even violence," said CAIR-Chicago Communications Director Ahmed Rehab.

Rehab noted that a Chicago-area Muslim family recently filed a civil rights lawsuit against a man who blew up their van with an explosive device. The same man was convicted of throwing a brick through the window of an Arab-owned business two days after the 9/11 attacks.

"We applaud the swift and professional response of local FBI officials to this and other anti-Muslim incidents in our area," said CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Yaser Tabbara.

Tabbara said CAIR publishes a "Muslim Community Safety Kit" for American Muslims, Arab-Americans and those perceived to be "Middle Eastern" who may face religious or ethnic profiling and hate crimes. The safety kit may be obtained free of charge by e-mailing pubs@cair-net.org. (Include name, address and phone number when requesting the safety kit.)

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR-Chicago, Yaser Tabbara, 312-718-3725 or 312-212-1520, E-mail: director@cairchicago.org; Ahmed Rehab, 847-971-3963 or 312-212-1520, E-Mail: communications@cairchicago.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2005 18:04:29 -0400
To:cair-net@cair.biglist.com
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslim Clinic Heals Patients, Images of Islam/Can Islam be Peaceful, Tolerant?

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/11/05

* VERSE: Spend in Charity
            - HADITH: Charity Saves
* CAIR-FL: Can Islam be Peaceful, Tolerant? (Tampa Trib)
            - CAIR-TX: 'Faith in Liberty' Forum
            - CAIR-FL: Interfaith Understanding is Pope's Legacy
            - CAIR-DC: Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism, May 13-15
* MD: Muslim Clinic Heals Patients, Images of Islam (Wash Post)
* MI: Christianity, Islam Stem from Same Ideas (Western Herald)
            - MO: Prof. Esposito's Perspective on Islam (Missourian)
            - ND: Making a Move Into Spotlight (In Forum)
            - TX: Islamic Art Exhibit Reveals Rich History (DMN)
* Indian-Americans Look Back Home (CSM)
* DC: Muslim Group to Release New Album with Social Message
* China 'Smothering' Islam to Control Uighurs (Reuters)
            - REPORT: Religious Repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang (HRW)
* Records Give Voice to Guantanamo Detainees (AP)
* Palestinians Slam Bush for Settlement Remark (Reuters)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: SPEND IN CHARITY - TOP

"Spend (in charity) out of the sustenance that We have bestowed on you before that time when death will come to someone, and he shall say: "O my Lord! If only you would grant me reprieve for a little while, then I would give in charity, and be among the righteous."

The Holy Quran, 63:10

HADITH OF THE DAY: CHARITY SAVES

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Save yourself from hellfire by giving even half a date-fruit in charity."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 498

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CAN ISLAM BE PEACEFUL AND TOLERANT? - TOP
Parvez Ahmed, Tampa Tribune, 4/10/05
http://www.tampatrib.com/opinion/MGBHIJ2UB7E.html

[Parvez Ahmed, Ph.D., is chairman of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties advocacy group. He may be reached at: pahmed@cairfl.org.]

Most Americans believe that 9/11 changed the world. Not only have we to put up with such inconveniences as long lines at the airport, but also we live in fear, perceived or real, of the next attack.

For American Muslims too, life has changed. In addition to the things that worry all Americans, Muslims have to put up with increased scrutiny of their activities and constant second- guessing of their motives, not to mention discrimination at jobs or profiling by law enforcement.

A 2004 Pew Foundation poll finds 32 percent of Americans with an unfavorable view of Muslims; 44 percent believe that Islam is more likely to encourage violence than other religions. Such negative views leads to acceptance of discriminatory policies.

A Cornell University poll finds nearly half of all Americans want the civil liberties of American Muslims to be restricted, while 27 percent want all American Muslims to register their home addresses with the federal government, and 29 percent believe undercover agents should infiltrate Muslim civic organizations.

At the heart of paranoia about Islam and Muslims are two questions: Is Islam tolerant of other faiths? Can Muslims coexist with people of other faiths?

Jamal Badawi, a professor of religious studies at Saint Mary's University, posits that normative Islam is not identical with the actions of its "followers.'' Like other religions, followers are imperfect, fallible human beings. At times the actions of Muslims will conform to the teachings of Islam, while sometimes their actions will be either independent of or in violation of Islam's normative teachings.

Insiders understand this. Christians do not associate the actions of abortion clinic bombers with their faith. Likewise, Jews do not associate the militancy of the settlers with Judaism.

Outsiders, due to either lack of knowledge or inherent bias, are not always as enlightened. To some, terrorism committed by Muslims seems part of their faith. However, closer scrutiny reveals that such heinous actions are often misrepresentation of core religious teachings.

The Quran in Chapter 2, verse 256 states, "Let there be no compulsion in religion.'' Another verse states: "Those who believe [in the Quran], and those who follow the Jewish [Scriptures], and the Christians, and the Sabians, and who believe in God and the last day and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve'' (2:62).

In 628, Prophet Muhammad granted a Charter of Privileges to the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mount Sinai. The charter in part stated, "Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers will defend them, because Christians are my citizens; neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. Their churches are to be respected.''

The core message of Islam is peace. Islam literally means peace, and one of the attributes of God is "peace.'' Paradise is described as the house of peace, and believers entering paradise are greeted in peace. The universal greeting of Muslims is "peace be with you.'' Peace is also a guiding principle of Muslim jurisprudence.

Thus it should not be surprising that the Quran exhorts Muslims to have positive relationships with people of other faiths on the basis of equity, kindness, love and respect. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

CAIR-SA JOINS 'FAITH IN LIBERTY' FORUM - TOP

(san Antonio, TX, 4/11/05) - On Sunday, April 10th, the San Antonio office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SA) participated in an interactive symposium, "Faith in Liberty," sponsored by the Islamic Society of Southern Texas.

The event, attended by more than 200 people from different faiths, was designed to bring the community together to discuss issues of public security and safety. Speakers included the mayor of Corpus Christi, The Honorable Samuel L. Neil Jr.; FBI Agents Albert J. Hall and Mathew P. Desmond; CAIR-SA Chairwoman Sarwat Husain, Dr. Haroon Patel; Ivey Bahloul, and others.

Mayor Neil welcomed the Muslim community to discuss issues of concern, while law enforcement officials talked about the role of American Muslims in making the community a safer place to live.

"To make America a truly safe, we all must come together to protect civil liberties regardless of our different faiths and backgrounds," said Sarwat Husain of CAIR-SA.

CONTACT: sanantonio@cair-net.org

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INTERFAITH UNDERSTANDING IS JOHN PAUL II'S LEGACY - TOP
Ahmed Bedier, Palm Beach Post, 4/9/05
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/content/opinion/epaper/2005/04/09/a11a_letters_0409.html

On behalf of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim community, I offer our sincere condolences on the death of Pope John Paul II to members of the Roman Catholic Church and to all people of conscience. Muslims worldwide respected Pope John Paul II as an advocate for peace, justice and human rights. He worked tirelessly to build tolerance and understanding among people of all faiths.

Muslims will remember Pope John Paul II as the first pontiff to visit a mosque. In May 2001, the pope visited the Omayyad Mosque in the Syrian capital of Damascus, where he held and kissed a copy of the Quran. Furthermore, he built bridges between Christians, Jews and Muslims and encouraged respect for diversity. The late pontiff understood that ignorance, bigotry and oppression are a threat to our world and led by example to eradicate them. Religious, civic and political leaders in Florida and across the world would benefit by following his model.

Pope John Paul II's message of international peace and interfaith reconciliation is one that will reverberate for generations to come. Though the world will miss him, his legacy can live on through furthering his work of building respect and tolerance.

Ahmed Bedier is the Florida communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

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MAY 13-15 IN DC: ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTI-AMERICANISM: CAUSES AND REMEDIES - TOP

WHAT: The Council on American-Islamic Relations cordially invites you to attend its 2005 Annual Conference, "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies."

WHEN: Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005
Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 14

WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner
8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA (703-448-1234)

To view a complete program or to register for the conference, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

Volunteers are also needed for CAIR's Conference. Please call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, or e-mail events@cair-net.org for more information.

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MD. MUSLIM CLINIC WORKS TO HEAL UNINSURED PATIENTS -- AND IMAGES OF ISLAM - TOP
Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, 4/11/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42567-2005Apr10.html

Elias Corraya felt his right side slowly slide into numbness. Hours later, when he could no longer move his right hand, the short, soft-mannered former bank teller in Silver Spring decided to seek help.

Like many uninsured immigrants, he had few options. He was unemployed, so a hospital visit would be too expensive. Language was another obstacle: He worried that in his halting English, he could not adequately explain his symptoms.

Abdul Karim Chowdhury, 89, and wife Zahida Banoo, 75, who moved to Maryland from Bangladesh, leave the Silver Spring clinic after receiving care. (Photos Preston Keres -- The Washington Post)

After being refused treatment by a doctor, he went to the gold-domed Muslim Community Center on New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring, where a clinic run by Muslim physicians delivers health care to the poor with a careful regard for Islamic culture. They spoke Urdu, which he speaks fluently. They treated him with a respect born from ethnic kinship.

And the care was free.

That was how on a recent Sunday afternoon, physician Asif Qadri, a Muslim from Pakistan, helped save Corraya, a Christian from Bangladesh who had suffered a mild stroke. (MORE)

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SPEAKER SAYS CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM STEM FROM SAME IDEAS - TOP
Macaul Dinges, Western Herald, 4/11/05
http://www.westernherald.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/04/11/4259bf8eb50a9

Spreading diversity and ending discrimination were key concepts the Muslim Student Association aimed to address Thursday evening through a public program and keynote speaker.

The event, which was free and open to the public, included a dinner of international cuisine, student exhibits, open discussions and a lecture with writer and documentary producer Alexander Kronemer.

Kronemer, who produced a PBS documentary titled "Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet," with Michael Wolfe in 2002 focused his lecture on a program titled "Islam, Muhammad...America?"

Colleges and universities, he said, are the best places -- and sometimes the only places -- that serve as a melting pot for free expression.

Miscommunication, animosity and suspicion tend to pull people apart, he said.

"Students are the future and are shaping the world one way or another," he said.

Kronemer addressed how Muslim and Christian societies are built upon the same principles and stem from the same basic concepts.

However, he said snap judgments and stereotypes tend to block people from seeing the truth. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

A PERSPECTIVE ON ISLAM - TOP
Professor explains reasons for modern views, policies
Nigel Duara, Columbia Missourian, 4/11/05
http://columbiamissourian.com/utown/story.php?ID=13212

John Esposito loves his work because he never has to change his tune.

"I have the world's greatest job because I've been saying the same thing for 30 years," said Esposito, who spoke about "Understanding Islam" at MU on Thursday evening. "Can anybody else make that claim?"

A renowned Islam expert and professor at Georgetown University, Esposito spoke at Keller Auditorium about the difficulties American foreign policy sustains and creates in the Islamic world. His speech, sponsored by the College of Arts and Science and the department of religious studies, was part of Islam Awareness Week on campus.

Speaking with a mild Brooklyn accent and wearing a blue blazer and tennis shoes, Esposito said his job title has changed often, but his message has remained the same.

"We've learned about Islam through threatening events, starting with the oil embargo and the Iranian revolution," he said. "We've never had context to see (the religion) in."

Speaking to a diverse audience of college students in sweat pants and community members in suits, Esposito did not avoid controversy. He drew a distinction between what he called "hatred of America" and "anti-Americanism."

"When we say, 'They hate America,' that means they hate the people of America," Esposito said. "That's different from anti-Americanism, which means they hate our foreign policies, not us." (MORE)

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ND: MAKING A MOVE INTO SPOTLIGHT - TOP
Sherri Richards, The Forum, 4/11/05
http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=88488&section=News

Organizers hope the state's first Islamic conference will strengthen the bond among North Dakota's Muslims, as well as with the larger community.

The conference - 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at North Dakota State University's Memorial Union - is geared toward Muslims and non-Muslims wanting to learn more about the faith.

For example, three separate workshops will be held for non-Muslims, Muslim women and Muslim men at 2 p.m.

Event organizers also hope to encourage dialogue among different faiths, said Mohamed Fakhr, president of the Fargo-Moorhead Islamic Society.

"We know it will be tough to do in one conference," said Fakhr, an NDSU professor. (MORE)

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ISLAMIC ART EXHIBIT REVEALS RICH HISTORY - TOP
Janet Kutner, Dallas Morning News, 4/11/05
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/artsentertainment/2002236046_islamicart11.html

FORT WORTH, Texas - Mention the Middle East and what images flash by? Violence, war, deprivation.

But the Kimbell Art Museum's dazzling new exhibit reveals a brighter picture - of times when people of different faiths and ethnic groups lived in harmony, producing untold riches in the process.

Resplendent relics from the region that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Egypt went on view recently in "Palace and Mosque: Islamic Art From the Victoria and Albert Museum."

Commonly known as the V&A, the London museum boasts one of the finest collections of Islamic art outside Cairo or Istanbul. And 100 of its greatest treasures are touring while the Islamic galleries are being refurbished. Many are extremely rare, which is why the Kimbell fought to be one of just three stops on a world tour that started at Washington's National Gallery of Art and goes to Japan from here. (MORE)

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INDIANS IN U.S. LOOK BACK HOME - TOP
Ben Arnoldy, Christian Science Monitor, 4/10/05
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0410INDIA-expat10.html

When Nishrin Hussain moved to the United States in 1990, she left her parents behind in India. But her American life was tragically interrupted when her father, a Muslim, was burned alive by a Hindu mob during the 2002 riots that shook India's Gujarat state.

Since then, she has become a force in Indian politics - from her home in Delaware. Like a growing number of other Indian-Americans, Hussain is using the considerable power of the pocketbook and other forms of political activism to influence events half a world away.

And their efforts can have an impact: In March the State Department, largely because of the protests of Indian-Americans, canceled an upcoming tour in the United States by Narendra Modi, Gujarat's chief minister, for the role he played in the riots three years ago.

Influential group

In one sense, the Indian-American community reflects the growing clout of many expatriate groups in the United States. From Mexican-Americans to immigrants from the Muslim world, they are becoming more aware of their influence back home and are trying to capitalize on it. Irish-Americans have influenced events in their homeland for decades. (MORE)

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DC: NATIVE DEEN TO RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM, 'DEEN YOU KNOW' - TOP

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, April 11 /CNW/ - The name Native Deen is new but people are about to get a taste first hand of what they are about with the official release of 'Deen you know' on 18th April 2005.

Hailing from Washington, USA, Joshua Salaam, Naeem Muhammad and Abdul Malik Ahmed make up this highly charged and dynamic world music group. "Many have labeled us a rap group, but if you listen to our songs you will understand that our music encompasses more than one musical genre," stresses Abdul Malik.

Today, with a new look, a new name and 11 energized songs filled with a thumping beat, Native Deen get ready to release their much anticipated debut album under their record label Jamal Records, who specialize in spiritually uplifting world music.

Joshua explains the motivation behind recording this album, "Our songs encourage individuals to reflect on their true purpose in life. We try to remind our selves and all of humanity about the Creator. So it's cool to be able to groove to it." This album sees Native Deen express their Muslim values and also share social messages that are universal to all. Performing songs like 'Drug Free' and 'Paradise' they raise the discussion on the disorders in society; looking to entertain but yet also desiring to share a deeper message.

For the first time many will be introduced to Islam described through genres which to date have very rarely produced songs that instill positive values in the listener. "The album has a message for everyday people. This Deen or way of life that is native to us all is the same no matter what style, genre, or personal experience you prefer," explains Naeem.

Fans of Native Deen will be able to listen to tracks on line at the official album website www.deenyouknow.com. The group is ready to get back on stage and will be performing at venues in the USA and abroad throughout this year. To start off they will be visiting New York, Maryland, Washington DC, Houston Texas, Baltimore and Boston during April and May '05. Performance dates and details are updated regularly at: www.nativedeen.com/pages/events/dates.shtml

NATIVE DEEN: DEEN YOU KNOW released 18th April 2005

For further information: Qutaiba Mahawili or Majid Hussain, Phone number: +971-4-3902292, press@jamalrecords.com, or visit: www.jamalrecords.com, www.deenyouknow.com, www.nativedeen.com.

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CHINA "SMOTHERING" ISLAM TO CONTROL UIGHURS - REPORT - TOP
Reuters, 4/12/05
http://www.reuters.co.in/locales/c_newsArticle.jsp?type=worldNews&localeKey=en_IN&storyID=8146074

BEIJING - Two U.S.-based human rights groups have accused China of using the law heavy-handedly to clamp down on Muslim Uighurs in its restive western region of Xinjiang in the name of anti-separatism and counter-terrorism.

Beijing's "wholesale assault" on the Uighurs' faith ranged from vetting imams and closing mosques to detaining thousands every year and executions, Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China said in a report released on Tuesday entitled "Devastating Blows: Religious Repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang".

"Systematic repression of religion continues in Xinjiang as a matter of considered state policy," said the report, based on previously undisclosed regulations and policies.

The groups echoed charges from other rights watchdogs that China was using the global war on terrorism to justify a widespread crackdown on Uighurs.

SEE REPORT:

RELIGIOUS REPRESSION OF UIGHURS IN XINJIANG - TOP
http://hrw.org/reports/2005/china0405/

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RECORDS GIVE VOICE TO GUANTANAMO DETAINEES - TOP
Pete Yost and Matt Kelley, Associated Press, 4/11/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/wire/sns-ap-guantanamo-detainees-stories,1,2285960.story

WASHINGTON - In a development the Bush administration had hoped to avoid, the stories of about 60 detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base have spilled out in court papers.

A U.S. college-educated detainee asks plaintively in one: "Is it possible to see the evidence in order to refute it?"

In another transcript, the unidentified president of a U.S. military tribunal bursts out: "I don't care about international law. I don't want to hear the words 'international law' again. We are not concerned with international law."

Expressing defiance in some instances and stoic acceptance of their fate in others, the once-nameless and still-largely faceless detainees appeared last year before tribunals that, after quick reviews, declared they were unlawful enemy combatants who could be held indefinitely.

The government is holding about 550 terrorism suspects at the Navy base in Cuba. An additional 214 have been released since the prison opened in January 2002 -- some into the custody of their home governments, others freed outright.

Little information about them has been released through official channels. But stories of 60 or more are spelled out in detail in thousands of pages of transcripts filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, where lawsuits challenging their detentions have been filed.

Omar Rajab Amin, a Kuwaiti who graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1992, wanted to see the evidence. The tribunal president -- the de facto judge for the proceeding -- said he could review only unclassified evidence.

Some of the exchanges grew heated. (MORE)

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PALESTINIANS SLAM BUSH FOR SETTLEMENT REMARK - TOP
Mohammed Assadi, Reuters, 4/11/05

RAMALLAH, West Bank, April 11 (Reuters) - Palestinians voiced anger and disappointment on Monday at U.S. President George W. Bush's affirmation that Israel should be able to keep some West Bank settlement blocs under a future peace deal.

"This American position gives an unequivocal message to the Palestinians that the United States still sees itself as a partner for Israel and Israeli interests rather than an honest broker," Hassan Abu-Libdeh, a cabinet minister, told Reuters.

Bush told reporters after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the presidential ranch in Texas:

"While the United States will not prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations, those changes on the ground, including existing major Israeli population centres, must be taken into account in any final status negotiations."

Bush's commitment, originally made to Sharon last year, broke with decades of U.S. policy and disappointed Palestinians, who said it unfairly prejudged the outcome of final status negotiations.

"Legitimacy should not be given to any settlement activity or to any existing settlements," Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu -Rdainah said after Bush spoke on Monday. (MORE)

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005 15:06:23 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Terror Knows No Faith/Torture Air/Guilty Until Proven Innocent

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/12/05

* VERSE: Proclaim This Truth
* ISLAM-OPED: Terror Knows No Faith
            - DC: Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism, May 13-15
            - CAIR-NY Job Opening: Civil Rights Coordinator
* QUOTE: 'I had to kill women, children, old men - everyone'
* Dark Side of the War on Terror (LA Times)
            - Torture Air, Incorporated (Counterpunch)
* NY: Guilty Until Proven Innocent (NY Times)
* Studying Islam, Strengthening the Nation (Wash Post)
            - CA: Muslims Hope to Change Perceptions
            - IL: Indian-American Wins Township Race
* Is Islam a Rival or Partner for Catholics? (NY Times)
* U.N. Calls for Combating 'Defamation' of Islam (Reuters)
* Sharon Dismisses Bush Warning (AP)
            - Construction Forges Ahead at Settlements (AP)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: PROCLAIM THIS TRUTH - TOP

"Leave alone those who take their religion to be mere play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world. But proclaim (to them) this (truth): that every soul delivers itself to ruin by its own acts."

The Holy Quran, 6:70

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ISLAM-OPED: TERROR KNOWS NO FAITH - TOP

ISLAM-OPED is a national 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: ihooper@cair-net.org
TEL: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726 (c)

To subscribe to or unsubscribe from ISLAM-OPED, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/islam-oped/

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ISLAM-OPED: TERROR KNOWS NO FAITH
American Muslims and the 10th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing

By Ibrahim Hooper

WORD COUNT: 706

[Ibrahim Hooper is national communications director for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. He may be contacted at: ihooper@cair-net.org.]

On April 19th, Americans of all faiths will mark the 10th anniversary of the 1995 attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City by remembering and mourning 168 of their fellow citizens who died so tragically at the hands of domestic terrorists.

Another victim of that attack will be mourned only by those in what would have been his family.

According to the Daily Oklahoman newspaper: "Sahar Al-Muwsawi, 26, said...she was watching reports of the bombing on television on April 20 when she heard a car's brakes squeal outside her Oklahoma City home. Then she heard objects hitting the window and thought people were shooting at the house. Muwsawi, who was nearly seven months pregnant, grabbed her 2-year-old daughter and another child in the home and took them to the bathroom and locked the door. She said she started bleeding and called her husband, who rushed home and took her to the hospital. A stillborn baby boy was delivered several hours later." (5/20/95)

That baby boy was named "Salaam," or "peace."

In those first frightening days after the bombing, it was assumed by many that "Middle Eastern terrorists" had carried out the attack. That faulty assumption sparked a wave of anti-Muslim hysteria that resulted in almost 250 incidents of harassment, discrimination and actual violence against American Muslims or those perceived to be Middle Eastern.

Incidents ranged from a suspected arson attack on a mosque, to drive-by shootings at Islamic centers and assaults on Muslim students. Many Islamic institutions around America also reported phoned bomb threats, and in one case, a fake bomb was thrown at a Muslim day care facility. Individual Muslims reported a great increase in harassment by co-workers and in public. This harassment led to an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the Muslim community.

The collective realization that the attack was carried out by terrorists from the Midwest, not the Mideast, created a teaching moment in which the entire nation reassessed what it means to be a terrorist, and redefined terrorism to include people who look like "regular" Americans.

My organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), documented the anti-Muslim backlash following the Oklahoma City bombing in a report called "A Rush to Judgment." That report was the first of CAIR's now-annual reports on the status of American Muslim civil rights. (CAIR's latest report is due out in May.)

Unfortunately, the trend lines in each annual report have been up, not down, with a particularly sharp spike following the 9/11 terror attacks.

From our polling data, and from the daily hate messages we receive, it is clear that Islam and Muslims are once again being perceived as intrinsically linked to terrorism and violence. I have almost 3,000 e-mail entries in my "Hate Mail" folder. (Any theme involving pork products, which are forbidden to Muslims, and how they will be used to defile Islamic beliefs seems to be a favorite with America's current crop of Islamophobic bigots.)

One fairly representative e-mail, after using the usual profanities, simply said: "You all need to be slaughtered." The irony of recommending wholesale slaughter of innocents in order to prevent or retaliate for the slaughter of innocents is probably lost on the senders of such messages.

In our "Not in the Name of Islam" online petition, CAIR seeks to sever the false link between Islam and violence: "No injustice done to Muslims can ever justify the massacre of innocent people, and no act of terror will ever serve the cause of Islam." (See: http://www.cair.com/)

As we mark the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City attack, let us all remember that the use of violence and terrorism is not the sole preserve of any race, religion or ethnic group. Let us also redouble our efforts to understand one another and promote peaceful resolutions to all conflicts, whether domestic or foreign.

The Quran, Islam's revealed text, states: "O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other). Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him." (49:13)

Indeed, terror knows no faith.

ALSO SEE:

MAY 13-15 IN DC: ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTI-AMERICANISM: CAUSES AND REMEDIES - TOP

WHAT: The Council on American-Islamic Relations cordially invites you to attend its 2005 Annual Conference, "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies."

WHEN: Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005
Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 14

WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA (703-448-1234)

To view a complete program or to register for the conference, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

Volunteers are also needed for CAIR's Conference. Please call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, or e-mail events@cair-net.org for more information.

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CAIR-NY JOB OPENING: CIVIL RIGHTS COORDINATOR - TOP

The New York office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) has an immediate opening for a full-time civil rights coordinator. The civil rights coordinator will head CAIR-NY's civil rights department.

The chief duties of this position will include: conducting intake interviews and screening of individuals with civil rights complaints, managing civil rights cases, maintaining a network of legal referrals, assisting clients in navigating legal and administrative processes, conducting basic legal research, drafting formal complaints and letters advocating on behalf of clients.

The civil rights coordinator will be expected to fulfill these duties in collaboration with the CAIR-NY legal advisors and/or staff attorney.

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

* Undergraduate degree, preferably in government, political science, communications, or other related fields
* Prior experience working as a paralegal or in a law office
* Experience working on human rights issues, including civil rights and immigrants' rights
* Demonstrated commitment to public service generally, and service to the Muslim community in particular
* Excellent oral and written communication skills a must
* Knowledge of a second language, preferably Arabic or Urdu
* Ability to work independently with limited supervision
* Strong organizational and management skills

Interested persons should send a resume, list of references, and a brief writing sample to:

CAIR-NY
Attn: Wissam Nasr
475 Riverside Dr., Ste. 246
New York, NY 10115
Fax: 212-870-2020
E-mail: Director@cair-ny.org
Phone: 212-870-2002

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: 'I HAD TO KILL WOMEN, CHILDREN, OLD MEN - EVERYONE' - TOP
http://www.thesouthern.com/articles/2005/04/02/local/doc424e94a503a1f286702309.txt

Benjamin Jones of Du Quoin, who served in Iraq from January to June 2003, took part in some of the most brutal aspects of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"I was in the infantry; my job was to fight," Jones said. "We had a lot of casualties. I had to pick up several of my friends piece by piece. I had to kill women, children, old men - everyone."

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MAN'S CLAIMS MAY BE A LOOK AT DARK SIDE OF WAR ON TERROR - TOP
Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times, 4/12/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-masri12apr12,0,1120190.story

ULM, Germany - Khaled el-Masri says his strange and violent trip into the void began with a bus ride on New Year's Eve 2003.

When he returned to this city five months later, his friends didn't believe the odyssey he recounted. Masri said he was kidnapped in Macedonia, beaten by masked men, blindfolded, injected with drugs and flown to Afghanistan, where he was imprisoned and interrogated by U.S. intelligence agents. He said he was finally dumped in the mountains of Albania.

"One person told me not to tell this story because it's so unreal, no one would listen," said Masri, a German citizen who was born in Lebanon.

A Munich prosecutor has launched an investigation and is intent on questioning U.S. officials about the unemployed car salesman's claim that he was wrongly targeted as an Islamic militant. Masri's story, if true, would offer a rare firsthand look at one man's disappearance into a hidden dimension of the Bush administration's war on terrorism.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. authorities have used overseas detention centers and jails to hold or interrogate suspected terrorists, such as at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Many of the estimated 9,000 prisoners in U.S. military custody were captured in Iraq, but others, like Masri, were allegedly picked up in another country and delivered to U.S. authorities in Afghanistan or elsewhere for months of confinement.

A CIA spokesman declined to comment on Masri's case, but White House, Justice Department and CIA officials have long argued that U.S. laws authorize such covert operations. They say U.S. officials have been given assurances in every case that no one is tortured.

"This is not a rogue agency on these issues," said a former senior CIA official who is familiar with the practice. "All these programs have been done under strict supervision, and have saved lives."

The German government is investigating Masri's allegations. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

THE ROAD TO RENDITION - TOP
Torture Air, Incorporated
Jeffrey St. Clair, Counterpunch, 4/10/05
http://www.counterpunch.org/stclair04092005.html

Oregon City, Oregon - A sleek Gulfstream V jet with the tail number N379P has racked up more international miles than most passenger jets. Since October 2001, this plane has been spotted in some of the world's most exotic and forbidding airports: Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Karachi, Pakistan, Baku, Azerbaijan, Baghdad, Iraq, and Rabat, Morocco.

It has also frequently landed at Dulles International, outside Washington, DC and enjoys clearance to land at US military air bases in Scotland, Cyprus and Frankfurt, Germany. Observers around the world have noticed men in hoods and chains being taken on and off the jet.

The plane is owned by a company called Bayard Marketing, based in Portland, Oregon. According to FAA records, Bayard's lone corporate officer is a man called, Leonard T. Bayard. There is no contact information available for Bayard. Indeed, there's no public record of Bayard at all. No residential address. No telephone numbers. Nothing.

In fact, Bayard Marketing is a dummy corporation and Leonard Bayard is a false identity. They were both created by the CIA to conceal an operation launched after the attacks of September 11, 2001 to kidnap suspected terrorists and transport them to foreign governments where they could be interrogated using methods outlawed in the United States ­ that is, tortured and sometimes killed.

Bayard Marketing is one of five or six different front companies the CIA has used to hide its role in the clandestine "rendition" (the term of art for this process) of suspected terrorists. In this case, the CIA's desire to keep the program a secret doesn't spring from a need to protect it from al-Qaeda or other hostile forces, but from public exposure. The rendition of captives for the purpose of torture violates international and US law. (MORE)

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GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT - TOP
New York Times, 4/12/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/12/opinion/12tue1.html

The post-9/11 world involves two competing nightmares. One imagines another terrorist attack that occurs because authorities fail to respond to signs of danger. The other is about innocent people who are arrested by mistake and held indefinitely because authorities are too frightened, or embarrassed, to admit their errors. We have to be equally vigilant against both.

Right now, two New York City girls, both 16, have been detained and accused of plotting to become suicide bombers. If there is a real reason to believe that charge, officials are obviously right to have acted. But so far, they have said little about the evidence against the girls, and the girls' friends and families have offered accounts that suggest the charges could be completely false.

At this point, it's impossible not to worry about a potential miscarriage of justice, given the number of previous incidents in which the government has rushed to make a terrorism arrest that turned out to be baseless.

Details of the cases against the two girls - one from Bangladesh and the other from Guinea, and both in the country illegally - are sketchy. According to reporting by Nina Bernstein in The Times, the parents of the Bangladeshi girl went to the police several weeks ago to file a complaint about their daughter's defying their authority. When the dispute was resolved, they tried to withdraw the complaint, but the police proceeded with an investigation.

The police and federal immigration officials searched her belongings and are reported to have found an essay on suicide. According to the family, the essay says suicide is against Islamic law. But detectives went on to question the girl about her political beliefs before arresting her. Even less is known about the investigation of the girl from Guinea. Teachers and students at the high school she attended expressed outrage at the arrest and at the idea that she could be plotting terrorism.

The government calls the girls an "imminent threat," and says it has "evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers." But it has not described the evidence, insisting that national security requires that much of it remain secret. Because the girls are here illegally, they have been put into a deportation system that affords them far fewer rights than ordinary criminal suspects have. There is no definite limit on how long they can be held. (MORE)

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STUDYING ISLAM, STRENGTHENING THE NATION - TOP
Peter Berkowitz and Michael McFaul, Washington Post, 4/12/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45302-2005Apr11.html

It remains painfully true, more than three years after Sept. 11, that even highly educated Americans know little about the Arab Middle East. And it is embarrassing how little our universities have changed to educate our nation and train experts on the wider Middle East.

For believers in a good liberal arts education, it has long been a source of consternation that faculties in political science, history, economics and sociology lack scholars who know Arabic or Persian and understand Islam. Since Sept. 11 it has become clear that this abdication of responsibility is more than an educational problem: It also poses a threat to our national security.

The case for bolstering faculty and curriculum resources devoted to the Muslim Middle East is, of course, obvious from an educational perspective. The region is vast. Islam represents one of the world's great religions and provides not only an intellectual feast for comparative study in the social sciences and humanities but also an indispensable comparison and contrast for more familiar religions and ways of life. Particularly in the era of globalization and the information revolution, there is little excuse for universities' continuing to betray the liberal ideal of educating students in the ways of all people.

Our national security interest in this area should also be obvious. As in the Cold War, the war against Islamic extremism will not be won in months or years but in decades. And as in the Cold War, the non-military components of the war will play a crucial role.

To fight the decades-long battle against communism, the United States invested billions in education and intelligence. The U.S. government sponsored centers of Soviet studies, provided foreign-language scholarships in Russian and Eastern European languages, and offered dual-competency grants to enable graduate students to acquire expertise both in security issues and in Russian culture.

In the early days of the Cold War, a mere handful of Soviet experts dominated scholarship and policy debates. Not coincidentally, this was the time when we made some of our greatest mistakes, such as treating the communist world as a monolithic bloc and considering all communist regimes to have the same degree of internal dissent. By the end of the Cold War, however, the effort to "know the enemy" had resulted in the training of tens of thousands of professors, government analysts and policymakers. Every interpretation of Soviet society or Kremlin behavior triggered an informed and exhaustive debate. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

MUSLIMS HOPE TO CHANGE PERCEPTIONS - TOP
Mike Martinez, Tri-Valley Herald, 4/12/05
http://www.insidebayarea.com/trivalleyherald/localnews/ci_2652336

TRACY - After the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, Anees Ghani said there was a lot of backlash against Muslims.

She said people compared the prophet Mohammed - the Islamic messenger of God - to Adolf Hitler, and the Quran - the Muslim holy book - to Mein Kampf. Many also said terrorism came from the Quran.

Ghani gathered Muslim-American women who wanted to do some research and check for themselves.

For the past two and a half years, Ghanis group - which averaged about 15 people a week - would rotate their readings from house to house, with studying for an hour often followed by as much discussion and eating.

We read the book from A to Z and want to share with our neighbors there is nothing related to terrorism, Ghani said. It is a message of peace. It calls for cooperation with people of all beliefs.

On Saturday, Ghanis group is presenting the conclusions theyve spent the past 30 months reaching. The program, called Getting to Know Your Neighbor, begins at 2 p.m. at the Tracy Library.

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INDIAN AMERICAN WINS ILLINOIS TOWNSHIP RACE - TOP
Indo-Asian News Service, 4/11/05
http://www.keralanext.com/news/indexread.asp?id=176738

Moin Moon Khan, an Indian American computer specialist, who once set up a Bihar Cultural Association, has won the race for trustee of York Township in Illinois.

Moin Moon Khan, an Indian American computer specialist who once set up a Bihar Cultural Association, has won the race for trustee of York Township in Illinois.

Khan, who hails from Muzaffarpur in Bihar, acknowledged that many people had helped him win the race. He was the first non-Caucasian to be nominated by the Republican Party in DuPage County and the first Indian American to win on that party's ticket in the county.

"My passion is politics and interacting with people," Khan said. "My election will provide political voice to one-fourth of the residents of York Township, who speak about two dozen languages and practise a dozen religions, yet they are not represented," Khan had said earlier.

DuPage, within which York Township falls, is a predominantly Republican county and historically the four trustees have been Republicans. Trustees are responsible for the township's expenditures, for levying property taxes, and running seniors programmes, among other responsibilities.

"We are the new face of the 21st century and we can make it known by working together and making new pragmatic alliances."

Khan, president of the American Muslims for Peaceful Co-existence, is recognised in the Muslim American and Asian American communities for his moderate and patriotic views. (MORE)

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ISSUE FOR CARDINALS: ISLAM AS RIVAL OR PARTNER IN TALKS - TOP
Ian Fisher, New York Times, 4/12/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/12/international/worldspecial2/12islam.html

ROME - One is from Nigeria, a man who grew up among Muslims and says there is no clash of cultures. Another is from Germany, who believes that it may be useful to talk to Muslims but that it is better to revitalize Christianity. Others speak of the need for Muslims in Europe to integrate better or even to become more secular.

By coincidence or not, many cardinals mentioned as candidates to be the next pope have strongly expressed positions on Islam, and on whether the Roman Catholic Church's relations with Muslims should be conciliatory or a notch more confrontational.

John Paul II had a consistent, even ground-breaking, strategy for addressing Islam: Talk at all costs, even if there were few concrete results. But in the Vatican, and especially since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, his unbudging advocacy of dialogue had spawned criticism, mostly quiet, as being not muscular enough.

Now, although relations with Islam will not be the decisive issue for the 115 cardinals who will meet to select the next pope, the debate is seen as vital because it intersects centrally with other major issues facing the church: increasing secularism in Europe, contrasting with the religious revival in the Islamic world; relations with other religions; and the rising number of Muslim immigrants in Europe...

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U.N. CALLS FOR COMBATING "DEFAMATION" OF ISLAM - TOP
Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters, 4/12/05
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L12649701.htm

GENEVA, April 12 (Reuters) - The United Nations Commission on Human Rights called on Tuesday for combating defamation of religions, especially Islam, and condemned discrimination against Muslims in the West's war on terrorism.

The 53-member state forum adopted a resolution, presented by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), deploring the intensification of a "campaign of defamation" against Muslims following the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

Western countries, including the United States and European Union (EU), voted against the text, calling it unbalanced for failing to address problems suffered by other religious groups.

The OIC resolution was adopted by a vote of 31 countries in favour and 16 against, with five abstentions and one delegation absent, Indonesia's ambassador Makarim Wibisono, who chairs the annual six-week session, announced after the public vote.

"Stereotyping of any religion as propagating violence or its association with terrorism constitutes defamation of religion. It unfortunately breeds a culture of hatred, disharmony and discrimination," Pakistan's envoy, Masood Khan, said in a speech on behalf of the OIC, which links 57 Islamic nations.

There was "a growing trend of defamation of Islam and discrimination faced by Muslims and the people of Arab descent in many parts of the world", he said, citing attacks on places of worship and religious symbols.

In a recent report, the U.N. special investigator on racism, Doudou Diene, cited examples including "Islamophobic violence" after the murder last November of Dutch film director Theo Van Gogh, and an "alarming number of expulsions of imams" in Europe. (MORE)

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SHARON DISMISSES BUSH WARNING - TOP
Gavin Rabinowitz, Associated Press, 4/12/05
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050412/D89DN8UO0.html

WASHINGTON - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon brushed off a warning from President Bush not to allow further West Bank settlement growth, indicating Israel would continue to solidify its hold on areas it considers of strategic importance.

Sharon, speaking to reporters before flying to Washington for talks Tuesday with U.S. lawmakers and Jewish leaders, said the dispute was decades-old and did not mar the meeting between the two leaders, which he called a great success.

Sharon, who won renewed support for his plan to remove Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank at Monday's joint news conference on Bush's ranch in Texas, also dampened the president's expectations that the tempo of peace talks would pick up after the withdrawal.

At the ranch, Bush told Sharon that any further building on the settlements would be in violation of the internationally backed "road map" peace plan, which both the Israelis and the Palestinians have formally accepted, but which has been long dormant with both sides failing to carry out their initial obligations.

"I've been very clear. Israel has an obligation under the road map. That's no expansion of settlements," Bush said.

But later, Sharon said that while U.S. opposition to the settlements dated back to when Israel first captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war, Israel has nevertheless continued to build communities to keep a hold on the land. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CONSTRUCTION FORGES AHEAD AT WEST BANK JEWISH SETTLEMENTS - TOP
ALON BERNSTEIN, Associated Press, 4/12/05

MAALEH ADUMIM, West Bank (AP) - Bulldozers and cranes were hard at work Tuesday in the largest West Bank settlement, despite criticism from U.S. President George W. Bush that clouded a Texas summit with Israel's prime minister.

Israel says the construction is taking place within existing boundaries and does not constitute expansion, but that's a distinction lost on the Palestinians and possibly the Americans, too.

The Bush administration has insisted that Israel stick to a Mideast peace plan that bans all settlement construction. (MORE)

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

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Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 15:03:37 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslim Leaders Leave Israel Event/U.S. Muslims Making Gains

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/13/05

* VERSE: Good and Evil
            - HADITH: What Is Faith?
* CAIR Takes Part in Beliefnet 'Virtual Conclave'
            - CAIR Job Opening: Development Coordinator
            - CAIR-DC: Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism
* CA: Muslim Leaders Leave Israel Event (Daily Stanford)
* Islam and the Power of the Internet (VOA)
* KS: U.S. Muslims Making Gains (Capitol Journal)
            - IN: Group Raises Awareness of Islam (Purdue Exp)
            - AK: Islam Topic of Day at UA Seminar (Dem-Gazette)
* An Islamic Path to Democracy (Financial Times)
* TORTURE: Gitmo Detainee Alleges Abuse (Boston Globe)
* West Bank Construction Forges Ahead (AP)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: GOOD AND EVIL - TOP

"Whoever comes (before God) with a good deed shall have something even better (as a reward); while anyone who brings an evil deed will find that evildoers will be punished only to the extent of their misdeeds."

The Holy Quran, 28:84

HADITH OF THE DAY: WHAT IS FAITH?

A person once asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): "What is faith?" The Prophet replied: "When a good deed becomes a source of pleasure for you and an evil deed becomes a source of disgust, then you are a believer." The person then asked: "What is a sin?" The Prophet replied: "When something pricks your conscience, give it up."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 8

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CAIR TAKES PART IN BELIEFNET 'VIRTUAL CONCLAVE' - TOP
http://www.beliefnet.com/features/conclave/virtualConclave.html

Welcome to Beliefnet's Virtual Conclave, where leading Catholics and non-Catholics debate the future of the Church and who they would like to see leading it. Our "cardinals" include traditionalists, liberals, voices from the developing world, and more. From now until the end of the conclave in Rome, you'll witness their fascinating online conversations and votes. While we make no claims that the Holy Spirit will be visiting our proceedings, we expect some inspired views.

SEE ALSO:

CAIR JOB OPENING: DEVELOPMENT AND FUNDRAISING COORDINATOR - TOP

CAIR has an immediate opening for the position of Development and Fundraising Coordinator. This position will be based in Washington D.C. The successful candidate will plan, develop and maintain a comprehensive private and public sector fund-raising program and actively raise funds for CAIR.

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate will be a creative, self-motivated, strategic thinker with ability to meet people with ease; ability to write and edit effectively; ability to communicate the written and spoken work with tact, diplomacy, and/or authority when necessary; good organizational skills, well disciplined, able to meet deadlines, self starter, able to work under pressure of many priorities and deadlines; ability to work well effectively with volunteers; thorough understanding of CAIR and its programs and projects, as well as regional and national markets; knowledge of marketing strategies and techniques; knowledge of long-range planning process; good managerial skills; Must have highly developed interpersonal skills.

Minimum of four years experience, including knowledge of annual giving, capital campaigns, foundation/corporate solicitations, deferred giving, and special events.

APPLY IMMEDIATELY by sending a resume, references and cover letter (no calls, please) to: hr@cair-net.org. Please mark "Development and Fundraising Coordinator" in the subject of the e-mail.

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MAY 13-15 IN DC: ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTI-AMERICANISM: CAUSES AND REMEDIES - TOP

WHAT: The Council on American-Islamic Relations cordially invites you to attend its 2005 Annual Conference, "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies."

WHEN: Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005
Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 14

WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA (703-448-1234)

To view a complete program or to register for the conference, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

Volunteers are also needed for CAIR's Conference. Please call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, or e-mail events@cair-net.org for more information.

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MUSLIM LEADERS LEAVE ISRAEL EVENT - TOP
Laura Carwile, Daily Stanford, 4/13/05
http://daily.stanford.edu/tempo?page=content&id=16808&repository=0001_article

Two leaders in the Stanford Muslim community walked out of a discussion hosted at the Harold and Libby Ziff Center for Jewish Campus Life Monday after a heated conversation about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Three employees of the worldwide organization Israel at Heart, a group that educates college students about life in Israel, discussed their experiences in and perspectives on the Middle Eastern country where they have lived for several years.

Merav Mov is a 23-year-old woman who served in the Israeli National Guard; Shlomit Aylin, also 23, immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia at age three; and Eytan Schwartz, a 30-year-old game show winner. The three spoke on both the major social and political issues in Israel today, as well as what Judaism means to each of them personally.

"We want people to know about the vibrant life in Israel," Schwartz said. "The hangouts, the sports, the nightlife, the food - people don't know about it. We want people to understand how much we love living in Israel."

The feud between Israelis and Palestinians came up later in the conversation. Senior Rania Eltom, president of the Muslim Students Awareness Network, and sophomore Omar Shakir, co-president of the Coalition for Justice in the Middle East, left the event following several comments that they said they found disrespectful.

"I was requested to attend the event by organizers the day before, so I came out of respect for them," Eltom said. "However, when we entered the event, it was made very obvious that we were outsiders. As soon as the speakers started generalizing Palestinians as wanting to kill all soldiers, it hit a nerve within me, especially [since it was] one day after three Palestinian school kids were shot dead by Israeli soldiers."

Eltom added that she was very offended when the speakers talked about how suicide bombers are glorified in Palestinian classrooms.

"I had to leave instead of engaging in an argument that might compromise my dignity and the event," she said.

Shakir said he was also upset by the atmosphere at the discussion. (MORE)

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ISLAM AND THE POWER OF THE INTERNET - TOP
Carolyn Weaver, Voice of America, 4/12/04
http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-04-12-voa5.cfm

The Internet has become a vehicle for change in many things. Some moderate Muslims hope to use it for religious reform, as they engage in often heated discussions that are reshaping opinions and agendas.

One of the most popular websites in America is altmuslim.com, founded by a married Indian-American business student, a father of two, who grew up in California. Carolyn Weaver produced the following "first-person" report:

"My name is Shahed Amanullah, and I created the Website altmuslim.com. I started the site because I wanted to see some more open dialogue and discussion and debate about things that are happening in the Muslim world.

"Before the Internet came around, Muslims lived in relative isolation and obscurity from each other. They never had to deal with Muslims of different colors, of different schools of thought, of different political persuasions. And when the Internet came about and these people had to find each other and see each other for the first time, it was really jarring. I mean, Muslim discourse on the Internet for the first several years was nothing but fiery debates and insults and things like that. Muslims need to learn together in cyberspace in a way that's civil and respectful.

"Only now are people starting to get together as Sunni, Sufi, Shia, without it automatically meaning, 'let's have a theological argument.' And that change has been happening slowly over time. Friendships have been happening between these different people, between Muslims in the West and in the Muslim world, between Shia, Sunni, Sufi, even between Salafis and progressives. (MORE)

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U.S. MUSLIMS MAKING GAINS - TOP
Phil Anderson, The Capital-Journal, 4/13/05
http://cjonline.com/stories/041305/loc_muslims.shtml

Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad gave an overview Tuesday night of the history of Islam in the United States, painted a picture of the present and offered a glimpse into the future.

About 150 people attended the program, the 24th annual King Lecture in Religious Studies, in Washburn University's Memorial Union.

Haddad said Islam in the United States is seeing a rise of female leaders and a move toward assimilation and integration into American society by a younger generation born here.

But many questions remain regarding how Muslims will work out their relationship in a larger American society dominated in religious terms by Protestants, Catholics and Jews, Haddad said.

"Is there any room for Muslims in America?" Haddad asked. "What kind of Islam will America be willing to live with? Because it's the same question
American Muslims are asking."

Haddad, professor of the History of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., said the events of 9/11 awakened many Americans to the fact that "there are Muslims in the United States, even though they've been around for quite awhile."

Migration of Muslims to the United States began in the 1870s, when immigrants arrived from Lebanon, she said.

The number of immigrants slowed in 1924, when the U.S. government instituted a quota system whereby only 100 people a year could immigrate from the Mideast. In 1965, the Asian Exclusion Act was repealed and an influx of Muslim immigrants resumed.

While some Islamic leaders advised Muslim immigrants to leave the United States, others encouraged them to stay and become missionaries here.

Conversions to Islam have been heaviest on college campuses and in prisons, where many black Americans have converted, Haddad said. Overall, an estimated 7 million Muslims live in the United States.

Female leadership also is on the rise in America, Haddad said. Many Muslim women have replaced social gatherings with Quran studies. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

GROUP RAISES STUDENTS' AWARENESS OF ISLAM - TOP
Sarah Michalos, Purdue Exponent, 4/12/05
http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2005/04/13&section=campus&storyid=IslamicAwareness

The vice president of the Muslim Students Association is just hoping for peace.

"Knowledge leads to understanding, understanding leads to tolerance and tolerance leads to peace," said Hany Gabal, a senior in the College of Health Sciences.

The association is presenting Islamic Awareness Week from Monday to Thursday and the goal is to promote the understanding of Islam.

Every day this week the association has set up an information booth in the Purdue Mall to pass out information about Islam and raise the campus' awareness.

"Everyone needs to know about other people's religions," Gabal said.

The group is also presenting daily programs, such as evening lectures and videos.

On Monday, a video entitled "Beauty and Wonder in Islam" was shown.

"This video is about a British man who converted to Islam, and he discusses the proven existence of a creator and the meaning of life," Gabal said.

Another highlight of the week is the lecture scheduled for Thursday evening.

The lecture, "What Everyone Should Know About Islam," will be presented by Yassir Qadi at 7 p.m. in Beering Hall, Room 2280 and a question session will follow. (MORE)

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ISLAM TOPIC OF DAY AT UA SEMINAR - TOP
Chris Branam, Arkansas Democrat- Gazette, 4/12/05
http://www.ardemgaz.com/ShowStoryTemplate.asp?Path=ArDemocrat-NW/2005/04/12&ID=Ar01401&Section=Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE - Historian Richard Turner has the same reaction every time he sees a new book that attacks Islam as it relates to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

He ignores it.

"I don't read these books," Turner said Monday in an address at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Turner is an associate professor of African-American world studies and religious studies at the University of Iowa and author of Islam in the African-American Experience.

While his research places Islam in a historical context, Turner doesn't see that happening in what he said is a current genre of nonfiction that attacks the religion.

"There's no solid research," he said. "They take advantage of hysteria."

Turner discussed the history of Islam in the United States during an afternoon seminar hosted by the university's Al-Islam Students Association. The association formed after the Sept. 11 attacks to educate the Fayetteville campus about Islam, said its president, Mutee Ahmad.

The 30-member association has sponsored seminars in the last three years on topics that ranged from the role of women in Islam to the representation of Jesus Christ in the Koran, Islam's holy book.

"Today, Islam is the most misunderstood religion in the world, especially in the West," said Heba Naseem, treasurer of the association, to a small group that attended the seminar in the UA student union. (MORE)

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AN ISLAMIC PATH TO DEMOCRACY - TOP
Oliver Roy, Financial Times, 4/11/05
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/4f5ac160-aab3-11d9-98d7-00000e2511c8.html

From the recent torrent of analysis about trends in the Middle East, two contradictory views have emerged. The first is that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has set off a wave of democratization -- as exemplified by elections in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian territories, as well as Lebanon's "cedar revolution."

The alternative view is that Western intervention has fuelled Islamist extremism; it has underpinned the emergence of a "narco-state" (Afghanistan) and even a militantly Islamic state (Iraq). Lebanon may be on the verge of a new civil war, Iran is the big winner of the Iraqi elections and an overstretched U.S. army is struggling to cope.

Regardless of which narrative one prefers, U.S. military intervention in the Middle East was a watershed. And there have been at least some positive long-term effects.

To begin with, democracy is clearly popular among Arabs. Even if many dislike America's role in promoting it and are suspicious of Washington's agenda, they are hungry for more freedom.

But the kind of democratization we are talking about has little to do with the abstract Jeffersonian-style democracy that Washington wanted to implement in Iraq. Developing a real, working democracy is more complicated than simply holding elections.

Another myth was the belief that a democratic regime would be automatically friendly to U.S. interests. In fact, democratization cannot work without political legitimacy, and this legitimacy in the Middle East is rooted first in nationalism and Islamic beliefs. The democratization processes we've seen so far reflect that: Palestinian democrats are no less nationalist than their more militant counterparts, and constitutionalist Iraqi Shia clerics are still calling for Islamic sharia principles in their country's laws.

On a more positive note, the merging of nationalism and democracy is undermining links between local anti-western movements (whether nationalist or Islamist) and the internationalist radicals who claim to support them, such as al-Qaeda. When domestic national agendas dominate the political scene there is no room for strangers who are pushing only their internationalist struggle and ignoring local issues. (MORE)

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GUANTANAMO DETAINEE IS ALLEGING HE WAS BRUTALIZED - TOP
Charlie Savage, Boston Globe, 4/13/05
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/04/13/guantanamo_detainee_is_alleging_he_was_brutalized/

WASHINGTON -- A Guantanamo Bay detainee said a beating by guards at the US military prison left his face partially paralyzed and one of his fingers broken, according to a lawsuit to be filed today in federal court in Boston.

The complaint will ask a judge to order the military to hand over documents about its treatment of six Guantanamo detainees arrested in Bosnia, including medical and psychiatric records. It is the first Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed in connection with detention challenges, marking a new tactic in piercing the veil of secrecy that surrounds ''enemy combatants" at the prison.

''We've been asking for this information since September," said attorney Stephen Oleskey, a former Massachusetts deputy attorney general. ''It bears on their conditions of confinement and their mental and physical well-being. The government has made no effort to give it to us despite the fact that federal law requires it be promptly provided, and thus we have no alternative but to go to court."

The complaint centers on Mustafa Ait Idir, an Algerian who was arrested in Bosnia in October 2001. Idir was interviewed in February of this year during a trip to Guantanamo by two Boston attorneys, Oleskey and Rob Kirsch, who took on the case of six Algerians suspected of conspiring to blow up the US embassy in Sarajevo. The United States brought the six to Guantanamo after Bosnian courts dismissed charges against them for lack of evidence.

According to a draft of the complaint obtained by the Globe, Idir alleges he faced torture at Guantanamo: Guards once held his face under water in his cell's hole-in-floor toilet and flooded his mouth with a hose, making him feel like he was drowning. He was handcuffed at the time, he said.

Another time, the complaint said, guards harassed prisoners on religious grounds by forcing them to give up their pants so they could not pray according to Muslim custom, which requires that worshipers be fully covered. Idir refused to disrobe and struggled with guards, who tear-gassed him. Eventually he was put in handcuffs, after which a guard bent his finger until it broke.

On a third occasion, the complaint said, guards twisted his right hand while he was handcuffed, dislocating the middle finger and thumb. They also pinned him down on gravel and jumped on his head, causing stones to cut the right side of his face and leaving a scar near his eye. (MORE)

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WEST BANK CONSTRUCTION FORGES AHEAD - TOP
Alon Bernstein, Associated Press, 4/13/05

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/04/13/international/i033550D03.DTL

MAALEH ADUMIM, West Bank (AP) - Construction of new housing proceeded at full speed in Maaleh Adumim, the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, despite pointed criticism from President Bush that clouded a Texas summit with Israel's leader.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon deflected Bush's remarks, but the renewed dispute ruined what Sharon had hoped would be a warm endorsement of his plan to exit Gaza and part of the West Bank in the summer. Sharon met Tuesday with Vice President Dick Cheney and Congressional leaders in Washington.

Israel recently confirmed plans to build an additional 3,650 houses between Maaleh Adumim and Jerusalem, five miles to the west - effectively cutting off the Arab section of the city from the rest of the West Bank. Palestinians say this would make it impossible for them to create a state in the West Bank and Gaza with east Jerusalem as its capital.

At his ranch on Monday, Bush told Sharon that any further building in settlements would violate the "road map" peace plan. Making the dispute public at a news conference after their talk, Bush said, "I've been very clear. Israel has an obligation under the road map. That's no expansion of settlements." (MORE)

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 16:38:01 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Election of Muslims Changes GOP's Image/Muslim Singles Retreat for Marriage-Minded

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/14/05

* VERSE: The Reward of the Righteous
* CAIR-DC: The Eric Rudolph Exception
* CAIR-NY: Annual Fundraising Dinner
            - CAIR-FL: African-American Islamic Heritage
* IL: Election of Muslims Changes GOP's Image
* VA: Muslim Singles Retreat for Marriage-Minded
* NY: Muslims Watch Case of Detained Girls (Reuters)
            - NY: Detained Without Charge 
            - NY: Muslim Sues AP (Newsday)
* NJ: Muslims Voice Goals, Worries Post 9/11
* PATRIOT ACT: 'Trust Me' Just Doesn't Fly (USA Today)
* NY: Traffic Dominates Fears about Muslim Center
            - CA: Plan for Mosque OK'd (CC Times)
            - VT: Board Approves Muslim Deli
* Detainee Suing for Video of Torture (Wash Post)
* U.N. Human Rights Panel Condemns Israel (AP)
            - U.S. Suspends Israel from Warplane Project

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VERSE OF THE DAY: THE REWARD OF THE RIGHTEOUS - TOP

"Be patient; for God will not let the reward of the righteous be wasted."

The Holy Quran, 11:115

"No one knows what delights of the eye have been kept hidden for them as a reward for their good deeds."

The Holy Quran, 32:17

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CAIR-DC: THE ERIC RUDOLPH EXCEPTION - TOP
By Ibrahim Hooper

[Ibrahim Hooper is national communications director for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. He may be contacted at: ihooper@cair-net.org.]

Rocky Mountain News columnist Vincent Carroll had the unfortunate luck to choose Thursday to release an Op-Ed titled "The McVeigh Exception," which claims Americans are justified in linking Muslims to violence.

SEE: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/news_columnists/
(Scroll down in Carroll's April 14th commentary.)

Carroll sought to refute my own syndicated commentary, "Terror Knows No Faith," that attempted to sever the false link between Islam and terror by reminding readers of the anti-Muslim backlash following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

In that commentary, I said: "As we mark the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City attack, let us all remember that the use of violence and terrorism is not the sole preserve of any race, religion or ethnic group. Let us also redouble our efforts to understand one another and promote peaceful resolutions to all conflicts, whether domestic or foreign."

SEE: "Terror Knows No faith: American Muslims and the 10th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing"
http://religion.upi.com/view.php?StoryID=20050412-124811-1156r

(The commentary above is available for local publication by through CAIR's free ISLAM-OPED national syndication service. E-Mail ihooper@cair-net.org for permission.)

Carroll wrote: "Hooper's thesis is that there are evil people of all faiths and nationalities (true), that it is vile for vigilantes to target innocent Muslims (true), and that it is wrong to associate terrorism with Muslims (dream on, friend)&So long as (Oklahoma City bomber) Timothy McVeigh is the exception in terrorism cases and the (Muslim) men indicted this week are the norm, people will do what they always do: draw conclusions."

Perhaps Mr. Carroll was so busy writing his column that he failed to hear about the sentencing of Eric Rudolph, a member of the Christian Identity Movement, to four life sentences without parole for the 1996 Olympic park bombing in Atlanta and attacks on two abortion clinics and a nightclub. According to the Associated Press, "Rudolph called himself a Roman Catholic at war over abortion."

What conclusions would Mr. Carroll have us draw from those facts? I for one will never blame Christianity, or any other religion, for the deranged acts of individuals acting outside the boundaries of their faith.

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CAIR-NY 7TH ANNUAL FUNDRAISING DINNER AND AWARDS CEREMONY - TOP

WHAT: On April 16, the New York office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) will host its 7th annual fundraising dinner and awards ceremony, "Strength From Within: Community And Responsibility."

The keynote speaker at the event will be Professor David Cole of Georgetown University. Special Guests include former military chaplain James) Yee and Dr. Mohammad Nimer, CAIR National Director of Research.
WHEN: 6:30 PM April 16TH 2005

WHERE: LaGuardia Marriott, 102-05 Ditmars Boulevard, East Elmhurst, New York 11369

Please contact CAIR for Tickets
$65 per person, baby-sitting available
Tel: 212-870-2002 or e-mail: CAIRNYbanquet@aol.com

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-FL HOSTS LECTURE ON AFRICAN-AMERICAN ISLAMIC HERITAGE - TOP

(FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, 4/14/05) - Tonight, the Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL), in conjunction with the African-American Research Library, will present a seminar on "Exploring Islamic Culture within the African-American Community."

WHEN: Thursday, April 14
TIME: 6 PM
WHERE: African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL Tel: 954-625-2800

CAIR Board Member and professor at University of Kentucky Dr. Ihsan Bagby will discuss the history of African-American Muslims in America. Following the discussions there will Q&A and light refreshments.

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

CONTACT: Altaf Ali, 954-298-8214, altaf@cairfl.org; Ahmed Bedier, 813-731-9506, abedier@cairfl.org

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ELECTION OF MUSLIMS A START TO CHANGING GOP'S IMAGE - TOP
John Biemer, Chicago Tribune, 4/14/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0504140294apr14,1,5263301.story

No one would mistake a gathering of DuPage County Republicans for the United Nations, but the party took a significant step last week toward shaking its image as a party dominated by "old white-haired men" when Moin Moon Khan and Esin Busche were elected township trustees.

Party officials say as far as they can tell, Khan, an Indian-born longtime Chicago-area activist who works as a computer network administrator, and Busche, a Turkish-born chemist, are the first Muslim Republicans elected to public office anywhere in the state--and a symbol of the party's new outreach effort in a rapidly diversifying county.

"This is a small office, and for me it may be a very small individual achievement," said Khan. "However, I think it's a giant milestone for the minority communities in general and the Muslim American community in particular."

Rasheed Ahmed, coordinator of the Illinois Muslim Political Coordinating Council, also called their elections "an important milestone," but noted that there are hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Illinois--and an estimated 6 million to 8 million across the United States.

"It's only natural," he said. "I'm not surprised. One could say perhaps that it's even late." (MORE)

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IMAM ORGANIZES SINGLES RETREAT FOR MARRIAGE-MINDED - TOP
By Andrea Useem, DC Examiner, 4/14/05
http://www.dcexaminer.com/articles/2005/04/14/features/faith/95faith14companionships.txt

Khadija, wife of the Prophet Mohammed, the 7th-century founder of Islam, is revered by Muslims for her piety and wisdom. But Imam Mohamed Magid, speaking to a crowd of Muslim singles last weekend, praised her for another reason: having the guts to pursue an attractive man.

"He was the best catch, and she made her move," said Mohamed, explaining how Khadija proposed marriage to the Prophet Mohammed, 20 years her junior. "In Islam, you need to be proactive. There is nothing wrong with aggressively looking for a spouse."

This counsel from Magid, director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, is practical for a number of reasons: For observant Muslims who want to marry people who share their faith, the pool of potential spouses is small in a country where Muslims comprise less than 1 percent of the population. And when bars and nightclubs are off-limits - observant Muslims try to avoid alcohol and the sexually charged atmosphere often found in nightclubs - opportunities for meeting members of the opposite sex are even more limited.

Bringing 100 D.C.-area singles together for a daylong Companionships retreat in Sterling was a way of filling the gap, said Magid, who organized the event with his wife and a handful of married couples. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS KEEP EYE ON CASE OF DETAINED NY GIRLS - TOP
Reuters, 3/13/05
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID=8173250

NEW YORK - Immigrants and Muslim communities watched with concern on Wednesday as the U.S. government prepared a case against two local teenage girls detained on immigration charges amid reports that they were seen as possible suicide bombers.

The two girls, both 16, one born in Bangladesh and one in Guinea, were being held in federal custody at an immigration center in Pennsylvania.

While U.S. authorities said the girls were accused of immigration violations, and there are no other charges against them, initially the charges seemed dire.

The New York Times cited a government document saying the FBI believed the girls posed "an imminent threat to the security of the United States based on evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers."

The two, who live in New York, were arrested on March 24.

Neighbors, friends and classmates called the suicide-bomber suggestions absurd.

"This is part of a larger pattern, we feel, that targeted a lot of vulnerable and innocent people," said Adam Carroll of the Islamic Circle of North America, who was acting as a family spokesman for the girl from Bangladesh.

"It is scary and it alarmed a lot of the community here. A lot of Muslims feel that there is a pattern of over-reaching and guilt by suspicion," he said. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

DETAINED WITHOUT CHARGE - TOP
Peter Rothberg, The Nation, 4/13/05
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2281&ncid=742&e=5&u=/thenation/20050413/cm_thenation/42322

Several weeks ago, two 16 year-old Muslim girls, one from Bangladesh and the other from Guinea, were arrested in New York City on the specious grounds that they were potential suicide bombers. Neither of the girls has been formally charged with any crime, but both have been detained indefinitely in facilities far away from their homes and families.

As Ari Berman reported yesterday, few details about the arrests have been released. What we do know, however, suggests that the charges could well be completely unfounded.

While both of the girls are in the United States illegally, both have also lived here for most of their lives. The lead editorial in yesterday's New York Times reveals that investigator's suspicions are curiously based on an essay written by one of the girls in her high school--an essay arguing that suicide is a violation of Islamic law. And while investigators maintain that the two suspects are friends who attended the same radical Mosque where they plotted together, their families say that they never even met before their arrests.

From the dearth of available information, it seems likely that the case of the teenage suicide bombers is simply a routine immigration investigation gone mad. Unfortunately, the rules of immigration hearings require the girls to prove they aren't suicide bombers, rather than the government to prove that they are.

A hearing is being held tomorrow, Thursday, April 14, so please click here to send a letter of support for the girls' lawyers to present to the court. There's also a rally being planned to support the girls. Check out and circulate the details and other info about the case on a new blog created to help defend the girls by clicking here.

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BUSINESSMAN WHO GETS MISTAKEN FOR TERROR SUSPECT SUES AP - TOP
Newsday, 4/13/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--mistakenid0413apr13,0,968353.story

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ A businessman who has blamed media organizations for confusing him with a one-time terrorist suspect alleges in an amended lawsuit that the errors originated with a mislabeled photograph circulated by The Associated Press.

Asif Iqbal, 32, a Pakistan-born software consultant who has lived in the United States for 11 years, bears the same name as a British postal worker who was freed in March 2004 after more than two years in U.S. military detention at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Since February 2002, Iqbal has repeatedly been pulled aside for questioning at airport check-in counters _ and even grilled by police in front of staring crowds _ because his namesake was on a federal "no-fly" watch list created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack.

Last August, Iqbal sued CBS News for mistakenly using his photograph in a report about his namesake and other Britons freed from Guantanamo. That lawsuit is still pending in state Supreme Court in Rochester, but Iqbal amended his complaint Friday to name the AP as a new defendant. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS VOICE GOALS, WORRIES POST 9/11 - TOP
Phil Garber, Mt. Olive Chronicle, 4/13/05
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14338391&BRD=1918&PAG=461&dept_id=506840&rfi=6

Managing The worshipers file in to the Masonic Lodge in Budd Lake, quietly smiling as they greet each other with the traditional greeting of "salaam" or peace.

The men range in age from early 20s to elderly, and are mostly doctors and engineers or other professionals. Out of respect and tradition, each removes his shoes until a pile of boots, sneakers and other kinds of footwear covers a large area of the floor. The men take positions in long rows on the rug and proceed to kneel, bend over and kiss the ground in supplication.

Women clothed in "hijabs' or traditional head scarves enter and proceed to another area, separated from the men by a long, blue tarp which hangs between the two groups, in the middle of the hall.

Imam Jawad Ahmad, a soft-spoken, black-bearded man wearing a white tunik and white pants, approaches the podium and begins the sacred, Friday afternoon service to the gathering of nearly 100 Muslim men and a half dozen women and children.

The group is part of the Islamic Center of Morris County and represents a small percentage of a growing Muslim community in Morris County and elsewhere around the state and nation.

Muslims along with experts in Islam said the Muslim community is in transition, recovering from the immediate and longer lasting effects of the subtle and not so subtle discrimination against Arab-Americans following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. (MORE)

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'TRUST ME' JUST DOESN'T FLY - TOP
USA Today, 4/12/05
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/2005-04-12-patriot-act-our_x.htm

When Congress rushed to give unprecedented new powers to law enforcement in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, debate was limited and the vote was overwhelming: 357-66 in the House and 98-1 in the Senate. As portions of the "USA Patriot Act" law come up for renewal, that's unlikely to happen again, fortunately.

After three years of Justice Department stonewalling about use of the law and numerous reports of abuses, an unusual coalition is forming to demand changes in its most troublesome sections.

Conservative Republican Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Conservative Union don't work together often. But they're just a few of the strange political bedfellows calling for a rollback in provisions that threaten civil liberties and privacy rights.

That span of opposition should be a signal to those who've been trying for more than two years to ram through legislation making the law permanent. But many of them still murmur about only "technical changes" while demanding additional investigative tools that raise further questions.

The conspiracy indictment disclosed Tuesday of three men already awaiting trial in England is a reminder that terrorism is a real threat, and most of the law is non-controversial. Portions of it removed barriers to the exchange of information among law enforcement and foreign intelligence agencies. But other sections are far less benign. (MORE)

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TRAFFIC DOMINATES FEARS ABOUT MUSLIM CENTER - TOP
Rob Ryer, Journal News, 4/14/05
http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050414/NEWS02/504140355/1020/NEWS04

The Yorktown Planning Board could vote on dividing the old Franciscan High School property, part of which would be used as a mosque and Muslim center, as soon as May 9.

If the opening of public hearings on plans to turn a former Catholic high school into a Muslim center were marked with alarm from some in Mohegan Lake who said it was necessary to question their neighbors in post-9/11 America, the public comment sessions ended calmly this week.

"Everybody should have concerns about terrorism, but standing up and accusing someone of being a terrorist who you don't even know is not the way to do it," said Michael Saltzman, a lawyer and 10-year resident of Strawberry Road who asked his rabbi to reach out to the Muslims. "They are good-faith people who want to open a place where their family can pray and teach religious school. We are 60 miles from Ground Zero, and I think we should be setting an example for the rest of the country."

Over the recent weeks of dialogue between neighborhood leaders and the prominent local Arab-American family that wants to open a mosque at the old Franciscan High School, concerns have moved back to a more familiar realm - traffic. That worry is not surprising given how burdened northern Yorktown residents feel about sprawl and congestion.

The closing of the public hearing by the Yorktown Planning Board this week clears the way for a vote as soon as May 9.

The vote would be whether to permit the property's owner, Mahopac resident Bill Catucci, to divide the 30-acre campus, selling the school and seven acres to the family of Muslims who immigrated from the Middle East starting in the 1950s. The majority of the property, which includes an old stone mansion and other houses, would remain with Catucci, a Franciscan High School graduate, who could build as many as 15 homes on his portion. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

PLAN FOR MOSQUE AT EX-STORE OK'D - TOP
Danielle Samaniego, Contra Costa Times, 4/14/05
http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/local/states/california/counties/contra_costa_county/cities_neighborhoods/antioch/11391302.htm

A former downtown grocery store will soon serve as a place of worship for local Muslims.

The Planning Commission approved plans, 5-0, to convert a commercial building at East Tenth and Los Medanos streets into an Islamic Center run by former owners of a defunct grocery store. Planning Commissioners Frank Gordon and Orlando Dolojan were absent.

It will be the first center of its kind in town. (MORE)

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BOARD APPROVES MUSLIM DELI - TOP
Arthur Katz, Townonline, 4/14/05
http://www2.townonline.com/burlington/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=223419

Local Muslim families who wish to abide by Islamic law will no longer need to go to Boston to buy halal meat.

The Planning Board last Thursday unanimously approved brothers Sayed and Khundmeer Mohammed's proposal to open an Islamic meat and grocery business in the 120 Cambridge Street strip mall.

Sayed Mohammed, describing the new venture, emphasized that there would be no food preparation.

"All the meat will come in from New York by truck, twice a week," he said. "We will be cutting meat but not further processing it in any way."

The operation will resemble a delicatessen, according to Mohammed, rather than a traditional meat market. Currently, he noted, halal meat is available only from the two shops in Boston that cater to this trade, necessitating a trip to the city for families wishing to hold to Moslem traditions.

Muslim dietary laws provide a set of rules as to what Muslims eat in their diet. These rules specify the food that is halal, meaning lawful. Halal meat must be prepared in the presence of a Muslim. The carcass bleeds out so as to get rid of impurities.  (MORE)

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GUANTANAMO DETAINEE SUING U.S. TO GET VIDEO OF ALLEGED TORTURE - TOP
Carol Leonnig, Washington Post, 4/14/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A51466-2005Apr13

A detainee at a U.S. military prison alleges that U.S. military guards jumped on his head until he had a stroke that paralyzed his face, nearly drowned him in a toilet and later broke several of his fingers, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court.

The detainee, Mustafa Ait Idr, 34, an Algerian citizen living in Bosnia, has been held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for three years on suspicion that he plotted to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia. The lawsuit, filed by his attorneys in federal court in Boston, alleges that the government has probably videotaped Idr's beatings and demands that it produce any such tapes and all records of alleged torture and interrogation tactics at the detention facility.

The lawyers asked for the material seven months ago under the Freedom of Information Act. The lawsuit asserts that the Defense and Justice departments are refusing to provide the material. (MORE)

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U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS PANEL CONDEMNS ISRAEL - TOP
Sam Cage, Associated Press, 4/14/05

GENEVA - The U.N. Human Rights Commission on Thursday passed a resolution condemning Israel's settlement of the Palestinian territories, saying that Jerusalem should reverse the policy.

The resolution, passed by a 39-2 vote with 12 abstentions, says Israel should "prevent any new installation of settlers in the occupied territories." It also called for Israel to take measures to guarantee the safety of Palestinian civilians.

Censure by the U.N. watchdog brings no penalties but spotlights a government's record, and delegations lobby hard in an effort to avoid it. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

U.S. SUSPENDS ISRAEL FROM WARPLANE PROJECT - PAPER - TOP
Reuters, 4/14/05
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID=8182881

TEL AVIV - The United States has suspended Israel from joint efforts to produce a new warplane, in protest at the Jewish state's defence dealings with China, an Israeli newspaper said on Thursday citing U.S. sources.

The Pentagon included Israel among foreign partners in developing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in 2003. Under the deal, Israel was promised first purchase of the advanced warplanes due out next decade, ahead of non-partner nations.

But Maariv daily said Washington suspended Israel from the JSF project after alleging it had violated a U.S. export ban by upgrading China's fleet of Israeli-supplied Harpy attack drones.

The United States, which gives Israel some $2.9 billion in aid annually, has opposed past Israeli arms sales to Beijing, citing concern that the technology could be used against its ally Taiwan in any conflict.

Officials at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv were not immediately available for comment on the Maariv report.

Israel had denied wrongdoing in the Harpy deal, calling it routine repairs.

The Israeli Defence Ministry declined comment on the Maariv report, saying only that U.S. ties were good.

"Our relations with the United States are solid and we are holding talks to solve misunderstandings that arose as a result of the Harpy deal," an ministry spokeswoman.

Industry newspaper Defence News has said the JSF jets, expected to cost at least $100 million each, would have fighter, bomber and surveillance capabilities.

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 14:24:25 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Vatican Rethinking Relations with Islam/Modi Gave Order to 'Eliminate' Muslims

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/15/05

* VERSE: Creation Contains Signs from God
* CAIR-LA Rep Addresses Sikh Gathering
            - CAIR-DC: Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism
* Vatican Rethinking Relations with Islam (Wash Post)
* A Terror Suspect with Connections (Wash Post)
* Official: Modi Gave Order to 'Eliminate' Muslims
            - Danish Queen: We Must Show Opposition to Islam

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VERSE OF THE DAY: CREATION CONTAINS SIGNS FROM GOD - TOP

"He is the One who made the sun a (source of) radiant light and the moon a light (reflected), and has determined for it phases so that you might know how to compute the years and to measure (time). None of this has God created without (an inner) truth. Clearly does He spell out these signs to people of (innate) knowledge: for, verily, in the alternation of night and day, and in all that God has created in the heavens and on earth, there are signs indeed for people who are conscious of Him."

The Holy Quran, 10:5-6

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CAIR-LA ADDRESSES SIKH GATHERING - TOP
Beant Kaur, Sikhe.com, 4/15/05
http://www.sikhe.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1707&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

Approximately 15,000 people gathered on Sunday to celebrate Vaisakhi. The festivities included musical performances and food, and concluded with a multi-float parade through the streets of downtown Los Angeles. Various political and Interfaith Community leaders addressed the multi-denominational gathering.

The event commenced with a police-escorted procession of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib to the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Keertan Durbar lasted from 7:30 am to 3 pm. Children's and other various jathas of Southern Californian Gurudwaras performed. Two of the highlights were the Aasa di Vaar was performed by the Akal Ustad Keertan Jatha featuring Bhai Ranjit Singh of the Bhai Mardana Academy, Bhai Amrik Singh of Gurudas Puri, Bhai Ajit Singh of Buena Park, Bhai Ragbir Singh of Alhambra Gurudwara and Bhai Jaswant Singh of Riverside Gurudwara and Bhai Dya Singh of Australia.

Interfaith speakers included Sister Sherrel A Johnson, Community Relations Coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic relations; Leland and Elizabeth Stewart, founder of the Unity and Diversity World Council; Fathers Michael Gabriel and Raphael from Saint Marks Coptic Church; Bishop Edward R. Turner, founder of Power of Love Christian Fellowship and Field Deputy to Sheriff Leroy Baca of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department, and the Right Reverend Alexei Smith, Director of the Office of Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and President of the Inter-religious Council. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MAY 13-15 IN DC: ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTI-AMERICANISM: CAUSES AND REMEDIES - TOP

WHAT: The Council on American-Islamic Relations cordially invites you to attend its 2005 Annual Conference, "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies."

WHEN: Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005
Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 14

WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA (703-448-1234)

To view a complete program or to register for the conference, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

Volunteers are also needed for CAIR's Conference. Please call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, or e-mail events@cair-net.org for more information.

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VATICAN IS RETHINKING RELATIONS WITH ISLAM - TOP
Daniel Williams and Alan Cooperman, Washington Post, 4/15/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55208-2005Apr14.html

ROME, April 12 -- After two decades of contact and dialogue with the Islamic world under Pope John Paul II, the Vatican is rethinking an outreach program that critics say is diluting Catholicism and has brought almost no benefits to beleaguered Catholic minorities in Muslim countries.

The late pontiff undertook the drive as part of a broad effort to open channels to other religions. He applied a personal stamp by stepping into a mosque in Damascus and meeting with Muslim groups more than 60 times. He also visited a synagogue in Rome and Jerusalem's Western Wall.

Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, said the next pope might more emphatically demand rights for Christian minorities in Islamic countries and the freedom of all people to choose their faith. (MORE)

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A TERROR SUSPECT WITH CONNECTIONS - TOP
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, 4/15/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55031-2005Apr14.html

An accused mass-murdering terrorist has sneaked into the United States illegally and is skulking around. He is suspected of blowing up a civilian airliner in flight, directing a string of hotel bombings and plotting to kill a head of state. He's already escaped from prison once. You'd expect the Bush administration to ramp up to Threat Level Red, set the whole Homeland Security Department's hair on fire, rush Dick Cheney back to his lonely bunker, scour the countryside until the bad guy is found and then advise the warden at Guantanamo to expect a new guest.

But, no, it turns out that this is the drill only when the suspect's name is Mohammed. When his name is Luis Posada Carriles, and he's Cuban, and his alleged terrorist career was aimed at toppling or killing Fidel Castro, the procedure is different. You do nothing but wait patiently for him to surface and apply for political asylum. Oh, and you try to gauge the impact on presidential brother Jeb Bush and the rest of the Republican Party in Florida. (MORE)

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INDIAN POLICE OFFICIAL SAYS GUJARAT CHIEF ORDERED HIM TO ACT AGAINST MUSLIMS - TOP
Agence France Preese, 4/15/05

AHMEDABAD- A top Indian police official has told a tribunal that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi ordered him to "eliminate persons" belonging to the Muslim community during riots in 2002.

R.B. Sreekumar served as intelligence chief of western Gujarat state during 2002 riots in which about 2,000 people -- mainly Muslims -- were killed. He said he received directives from Modi and his government colleagues to tap telephones and "eliminate persons belonging to the minority community".

The police officer made the allegations in a written submission to India's Central Administrative Tribunal which investigates complaints by civil servants.

The tribunal is investigating Sreekumar's complaint that he was passed over for promotion because he ignored Modi's orders.

Modi, who has been accused by opposition and human rights groups of doing little to stop the bloody riots, has until May 9 to file a reply to the tribunal.

Gujarat state home minister Amit Shah has denied the officer's claims as "baseless" and said they were levelled by Sreekumar because he was bitter that he had been passed over for promotion.

The riots were triggered after claims that a Muslim mob torched a train carrying Hindus at Godhra, killing 59 people. A subsequent official report said the train fire was an accident. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

WE MUST SHOW OUR OPPOSITION TO ISLAM, SAYS DANISH QUEEN - TOP
Hannah Cleaver, Telegraph, 4/15/05
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/04/15/wqueen15.xml

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has called on the country "to show our opposition to Islam", regardless of the opprobium such a stance provokes abroad.

Her comments further undermined the image of Denmark as a liberal haven for those seeking a new life in northern Europe.

The Danish government has already been accused of fuelling xenophobia by introducing measures which effectively closed the country to asylum seekers.

But in overtly political passages from an official biography published yesterday Queen Margrethe makes comments certain to complicate her nation's relationship with Muslims.

She said: "We are being challenged by Islam these years - globally as well as locally. It is a challenge we have to take seriously. We have let this issue float about for too long because we are tolerant and lazy.

"We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us because there are some things for which we should display no tolerance." (MORE)

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 13:30:16 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Outreach to Islamic World Involves No Muslims/Muslim Mayoral Candidate/'Arabs Lie'

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/18/05

* HADITH: God's Mercy is Vast
* INCITEMENT: Ann Coulter Says 'Arabs Lie'
* CAIR-NY: 450 Turn Out for Fundraising Dinner
            - CAIR-LA Co-Hosts Training for Public Speakers
            - CAIR-LA Entertainment Night for Civil Rights
* Outreach to Islamic World Involves No Muslims (Wash Post)
            - State Dept. Eliminating Terrorism Report (KR)
* No-Fly List Expands to 31,000 (Time)
* WI: Muslims Forgo Prom for Religious Beliefs
            - WA: Faith, Finance Collide For Muslim Home Buyers
* MN: Muslim Candidate for Minneapolis Mayor (Star Trib)
* MN: Draw Line Between Religion and Terror (Star Trib)
* Repaying the West's Debt to Islam (Business Week)
* FL: Pope Linked Catholics, Muslims (Palm Beach Post)
            - ND: First Islamic Conference Elicits Dialogue
            - IL: Muslim, Japanese-American Share Lessons
            - NY: Jews, Muslims Plan Day of Service
            - WI: Expansion Planned For Muslim Classes

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HADITH OF THE DAY: GOD'S MERCY IS VAST - TOP

Once during prayers, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) heard a person shout: "O God! Bestow Your mercy on me and Muhammad only, and do not bestow it on anybody else along with us." The Prophet later told that person: "You have limited a very vast (thing)," meaning God's mercy.

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Hadith 39

The Prophet also said: "He who does not have mercy on people, God's mercy will be kept from him."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 93C

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INCITEMENT WATCH: ANN COULTER SAYS 'ARABS LIE' - TOP
Ann Coulter, Time Magazine, 4/25/05
http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101050425/story.html

Ann Coulter: "Liberals are about to become the last people to figure out that Arabs lie."

Also: "Coulter actually favors discrimination based on skin color in airports. She argues that airports should establish a separate line for men and boys whose complexion suggests they could be from the Middle East; they would be screened more thoroughly than other passengers."

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450 TURN OUT FOR CAIR-NY FUNDRAISING DINNER - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/18/2005) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations today said some 450 people, including dozens of officials and community leaders, turned out for the annual fundraising banquet of its New York office (CAIR-NY) on Saturday.

Speakers and attendees at the event included New York City Councilperson John Liu, Georgetown University professor and author David Cole, National Lawyers Guild of New York President Martin Stolar, and former Army chaplain James Yee.

Awards were presented to the Center for Constitutional Rights for its defense of civil rights and to Muslims Weekly for its work in journalism. Debbie Almontaser, Abdullatif Castrillo, Omar Mohammedi, and Ghazi Khankan also received awards for the numerous contributions they have made to the protection of civil liberties.

"We would like to thank our friends and supporters who made Saturday's dinner such a success," said CAIR-NY Executive Director Wissam Nasr. "Through their generosity, we will be better able to expand our civil rights and educational efforts and continue our proactive approach to promoting an accurate image of the American Muslim community and Islam." Nasr added that attendees received an annual civil rights and financial report.

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

CONTACT: CAIR-NY, Wissam Nasr 917-751-1017, E-Mail: director@cair-ny.org

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CAIR-LA CO-HOSTS TRAINING FOR PUBLIC SPEAKERS - TOP

WHAT: On April 24, the Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) and Islamic Outreach (IOF) will host a training session for those who speak on the subject of Islam. Learn to more effectively present an accurate portrayal Islam to students in schools and universities.

WHEN: April 24, 2005, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Spaces limited. Reserve your spot today.

For more information please call CAIR at (714) 776-1847, or e-mail: socal@cair.com

ALSO SEE:

CAIR-LA: ENTERTAINMENT NIGHT TO BENEFIT CIVIL RIGHTS WORK - TOP

WHAT: Join the Southern California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) and the Muslim community in a fun-filled evening to recognize Chaplain Yusuf Yee and Airman Ahmad Halabi for their courage and dedication to upholding civil rights.

Enjoy the night with comedy and entertainment from: Comedian Ahmed Ahmed, Comedian Stevie Mack, Native Deen (Performances from their new album Deen You Know), and Sons of Hagar.

WHEN: May 7, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
WHERE: The Heritage Forum, 201 E. Broadway Ave. Anaheim, CA 92805

Tickets: $15.00, call 714.776.1847 to purchase tickets. All proceeds will go to assist CAIR's civil rights work.

Cosponsors: MSA-UCR, MSA-CSULB, MSA-CSUF, The Muslim Sports and Entertainment Foundation

For more information please call CAIR at (714) 776-1847, or e-mail: socal@cair.com

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U.S. OUTREACH TO ISLAMIC WORLD GETS SLOW START, MINUS LEADERS - TOP
Effort Involves No Muslims; Hughes Will Not Arrive Until Fall
Robin Wright and Al Kamen, Washington Post, 4/18/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61213-2005Apr17.html

The Bush administration's outreach to the Islamic world is in no hurry. And it includes no Muslims.

Karen Hughes, who was appointed a month ago to craft a bold new approach for U.S. public diplomacy, is not expected to take the job until as late as the fall, according to administration and congressional sources. The delay is already undermining U.S. credibility, with a well-placed U.S. official warning about "the gap between rhetoric and reality."

Dina Powell, the new No. 2 official in charge of public diplomacy, is also not expected to take the job for at least two more months, administration sources say.

The delay comes as a Government Accountability Office report released this month criticized the administration for failing to develop a strategy to improve the image of the United States as "recent polling data show that anti-Americanism is spreading and deepening around the world."

"Such anti-American sentiments can increase foreign public support for terrorism directed at Americans, impact the cost and effectiveness of military operations, weaken the United States' ability to align with other nations in pursuit of common policy objectives, and dampen foreign publics' enthusiasm for U.S. business services and products," the report warned.

Despite the administration's repeated pledges of outreach, the State Department's main program directed at the Islamic world has no Muslim staff, U.S. officials say. "There's a dearth of Muslims in the State Department generally," a senior State Department official said. Like Powell, who is Egyptian American, most Arabs in the administration are Christians, sources said.

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the United States and is expected to become the second-largest religious bloc here in the next few years, but the government has not tapped into its own community as part of the global outreach, U.S. officials say. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

BUSH ELIMINATING 19-YEAR-OLD INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM REPORT - TOP
Jonathan S. Landay, Knight Ridder Newspapers, 4/15/05
http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/11407689.htm

WASHINGTON - The State Department decided to stop publishing an annual report on international terrorism after the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985, the first year the publication covered.

Several U.S. officials defended the abrupt decision, saying the methodology the National Counterterrorism Center used to generate statistics for the report may have been faulty, such as the inclusion of incidents that may not have been terrorism.

Last year, the number of incidents in 2003 was undercounted, forcing a revision of the report, "Patterns of Global Terrorism."

But other current and former officials charged that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's office ordered "Patterns of Global Terrorism" eliminated several weeks ago because the 2004 statistics raised disturbing questions about the Bush's administration's frequent claims of progress in the war against terrorism. (MORE)

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EXTENDING THE NO-FLY ZONE - TOP
Brian Bennett, Time, 4/17/05
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1050224,00.html

The no-fly list created by U.S. authorities, which singles out passengers who are potential terrorist threats, is the target of frequent criticism that it's incomplete and unreliable. But that hasn't stopped it from expanding dramatically. Aviation sources say the list has grown to more than 31,000, up from 19,000 last September. (MORE)

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SOME MUSLIMS FORGO PROM IN HOLDING TO RELIGIOUS BELIEFS - TOP
Sheila B. Lalwani, Journal Sentinel, 4/17/05
http://www.jsonline.com/lifestyle/religion/apr05/319214.asp

Noor Najeeb's friends looked forward to Homestead High School's senior prom all year. They bought frilly princess gowns. They found dates. They slipped into high-heel shoes, styled their tresses and perfected their makeup for one of the most-anticipated social events of the year.

But the 17-year-old is a practicing Muslim who believes going to the prom would be an affront to Islam. So Najeeb - the president of the National Honor Society, violinist and active volunteer - decided to take a pass.

"It's another social event," she said. "It's really important for one to uphold beliefs and values."

With prom season in full swing, Najeeb and her Muslim peers are learning one of life's lessons: Principles matter more when something is sacrificed to uphold them.

Each year, many teen Muslims choose not to take part in one of the hallmark social events of high school. For them, staying true to their Muslim identity is staying true to themselves, no matter how hard.

Proms - a ritual of dating and intimate dancing that for some is associated with drinking and sex - conflict with Islamic beliefs. Islam requires Muslims to dress modestly, abstain from alcohol and avoid close contact with members of the opposite sex. Such interactions are considered haram, or forbidden.

Meeting these standards can be an especially tall order for teens driven by raging hormones, intense curiosity and a fear of alienation.

"It's a challenge," said Naba Mallick, 17, a senior at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee, who didn't attend prom last year. "To be the one who has stayed strong in religious beliefs, it's a big deal."

To be clear, not all young Muslims skip prom. And among those who do, they are not alone; many conservative Christian families also frown upon dancing and dating among teens.

But for many young Muslims in the United States who experience life in a religiously and socially homogenous society, events such as the prom compel them to distinguish themselves. (MORE)

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FAITH AND FINANCE COLLIDE FOR MUSLIM HOME BUYERS - TOP
Lornet Turnbull, Seattle Times, 4/16/05
http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/living/religion/11401772.htm

SEATTLE - When he bought his car two years ago, Javed Ahmed saved up enough money to pay with cash.

And every month, the senior analyst at Voyager Capital, a venture firm in Seattle, pays off his credit-card balance so he doesn't have to pay interest.

Now, at 29, Ahmed wants to buy his first home.

But as a Muslim, whose religion prohibits earning or paying interest on borrowed money, he faces a dilemma common to observant followers of the nation's fastest-growing religion: Can he buy a home without angering God?

"I'm not going to save up money to buy a house," Ahmed concedes. "That's hardly practical."

Avoiding interest, or riba as it's known in Islam, confounds the realities of Western society, where few people use cash to make purchases and Visa and MasterCard rule the day.

There's strong dissension among Muslims over how deep this ban on interest should reach: Are security investments allowed -- stocks and bonds? What about retirement accounts or savings that yield a return?

It leaves Muslims who wish to pursue the American dream with just a few options: Some feel they have no choice but to take on a traditional mortgage. Others save for years until they have enough cash to buy a home. And then there are those who believe it's better to perpetually rent.

Recently, another home-buying option has emerged for Muslims.

Although they differ among institutions, they're typically variations of lease-to-own contracts and installment purchases. For the benefit of the buyer, what the lender charges for the loan is called something other than interest. In reality, the paperwork can be identical to that of a conventional mortgage.

In some cases, the hybrids -- because of their niche -- cost more.

That bothers Ahmed. (MORE)

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GREEN CANDIDATE FOR MINNEAPOLIS MAYOR: I'M NOT A TOKEN - TOP
Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune, 4/16/05
http://www.startribune.com/stories/587/5351480.html

Green Party candidate Farheen Hakeem would rather talk about issues in the Minneapolis mayor's race than her religion or gender.

"I don't want to be the token Muslim woman candidate," she said in a recent interview. "At the same time, I know I'm going to be one of the few positive role models for women."

But if the membership coordinator for the Girl Scout Council of Greater Minneapolis bristles at being identified by the groups she belongs to, she's also used that identity to distinguish herself. Her first piece of campaign literature shows her speaking into a bullhorn, wearing a hijab over her head and a T-shirt that reads, "This is what a radical Muslim feminist looks like."

She is a long shot who plans to offer something different. (MORE)

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DRAW FAIR LINE BETWEEN RELIGION AND TERRORISM - TOP
Tam Saidi, Star Tribune, 4/17/05
http://www.startribune.com/stories/1519/5351050.html

As a Muslim-American in a post 9/11 world, I have been paying very close attention to the recent trial of Eric Rudolph and how the local and national media portrayed him.

It is clear to most Americans that when a Muslim, among the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, happens to be a terrorist, he is often portrayed as an "Islamic terrorist," "Islamic militant," "Islamic fundamentalist" or an "Islamist."

I have become very sensitive to these terms, as they imply that a religion, i.e., Islam, fundamentally supports terrorist actions. Muslim organizations in the United States and around the world, including the highest-ranking scholars in the Muslim world, have condemned terrorism and the killing of innocent civilians in the name of Islam.

Yet Rudolph -- who carried out the fatal bombings at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and at a Birmingham, Ala., women's clinic, as well as the bombings of a gay nightclub and a second clinic -- was not called a religious fundamentalist, or a religious militant, or a religious terrorist. Instead, it appears that the writers spent ample time coining creative phrases to describe him such as "militant anti-gay," anti-abortion extremist, "anti-government extremist" and "fugitive serial bomber."

There was hardly any mention of Rudolph's religion or the motives behind his actions. Not until the fourth article that I read did it mention that he was linked to a "white supremacist Christian Identity movement" and the "Army of God," a group that advocates killing abortion providers.

I would say, and most American Christians would agree: This man is not a representative of the Christian religion, and Christianity should not be associated with his actions. (MORE)

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REPAYING THE WEST'S DEBT TO ISLAM - TOP
Olga Pikovskaya, Business Week, 3/29/05
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/mar2005/tc20050329_3316.htm

Unless you're a history buff, it can be hard to believe how pivotal early Islamic civilization was in laying the foundations of modern science, mathematics, technology, and the arts. Between 600 AD and 1400 AD, Europe was caught in a bleak time, commonly termed the Dark Ages. During that same period, however, Islamic societies were making fundamental discoveries.

The contributions of early Islamic people are far too numerous to list. A few innovations starting with the letter "a" are: acetic acid, alcohol, almanacs, aloe, and astrolabes. In addition, these people were adept at improving the technologies and inventions that Muslim traders brought back from China.

In the sciences, Islamic scholars began converting Greek speculations into a process for uncovering verifiable facts. They made fundamental contributions to medicine, astronomy, chemistry, physics, and optics. In medicine, for example, Muslim scientists developed a hollow needle for removing cataracts from the eye by suction -- around 1,000 years ago. And mathematics was a Muslim forte, as seen in the creation of algebra and the Arabic number system that we use today.

AT ODDS AGAIN. New musical instruments, such as the violin and the guitar, which most people associate with Western music, owe their origins to the peoples of North Africa and Asia Minor. Islamic artistic contributions ranged from architecture and calligraphy to painting and poetry.

These ideas and discoveries spread outside the Muslim world as a result, ironically, of the Crusades. Although Europe lost militarily, the transfer of goods and ideas led directly to the Renaissance. All this is particularly surprising when juxtaposed with the contemporary view of Muslim society as being theocratic and backward.

Hundreds of years after the Crusades, the Western and Muslim worlds are once again at odds. While the West is racing ahead in industrialization and human rights, the Muslim world seems less eager for change. If Westernization threatens to undermine their proud history, many Islamic countries would rather foresake foreign amenities, preserve their customs and culture, and continue leading a religious life according to the Quran. (MORE)

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POPE LINKED CATHOLICS, MUSLIMS - TOP
C.B. Hanif, Palm Beach Post, 4/17/05
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/content/opinion/epaper/2005/04/17/a2e_hanifcol_0417.html

"Outsiders scoff," The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne wrote last week, "at the claims we Roman Catholics make that the Holy Spirit guides the cardinals who will be electing a new pope." Not me. I figure he knows what he is talking about, just as I know there are plenty of folks who would scoff at the idea that we Muslims admired Pope John Paul II.

My own regard preceded 2001, when he became the first pontiff known to have entered a mosque. Lou Salome, a former foreign correspondent for The Post, told me that the Omayyad mosque in the ancient Syrian city of Damascus holds the tomb of John the Baptist and is a favorite place for families of all faiths to picnic, or just be. While in Damascus, the pope also took a step to heal a rift with the Greek Orthodox Church dating back to 1095 when Crusaders massacred Jews, Muslims and Christians. John Paul II, I wrote then, "consistently has sought to improve relations between the church and non-Catholics during his nearly 23 years as pope."

My sense of the pope was mostly informed by my favorite imam, W. Deen Mohammed, and members of my favorite Catholic lay group, the Focolare, led by the imam's friend, Chiara Lubich. It was at major international religious conferences that contemporaries such as Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, "Lady Chiara" and Imam Mohammed, leader of the largest Muslim community in America, recognized that our values are compatible and our interests for humanity are the same. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

FIRST NORTH DAKOTA ISLAMIC CONFERENCE ELICITS DIALOGUE - TOP
Mila Koumpilova, The Forum, 4/17/05
http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=89112&section=News

Sister Yvonne Nelson kicked off the first North Dakota Islamic conference Saturday with a snapshot of her childhood in small-town Montana that captured the event's mission.

Her parents were a somewhat unlikely couple - her dad was a non-practicing Lutheran rancher, and her mom was a Catholic teacher - who were happily married for 50 years. At her dad's funeral, the presiding pastor addressed the mystery of their compatibility, "The key to their successful marriage was communication."

Nelson, a Catholic and the director of the Presentation Peace Studies Program in Fargo, was a part of an interfaith panel titled "Working Together for the Common Good," and her message about the importance of dialogue echoed throughout the panel discussion. The panelists stressed to an audience of about 100 at North Dakota State University's Memorial Union that people of different religious in this community need to talk - and find out they're not all that different.

The conference, which organizers hope will become an annual event, had a dual goal: to take on local misconceptions about Fargo-Moorhead's Muslim community of about 4,000 and to encourage that community to reach out more confidently to their non-Muslim neighbors.

Besides the interfaith panel, the day's lineup included introductory workshops into Islam for both Muslims and non-Muslims and a panel on "Joining and Strengthening the Community." According to organizers, 200 Muslims registered for the conference; based on inquiries, they expected more than 100 non-Muslims to attend. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

MINORITIES SHARE LESSONS WITH CHICAGO TEACHERS - TOP
Lolly Bowean, Chicago Tribune, 4/17/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0504170230apr17,1,820852.story

Chiye Tomihiro, a Japanese-American, was just one month short of completing high school in 1942 when her father was thrown in jail and she and her mother were shipped off to an internment camp in Idaho, she said.

Before Sept. 11, 2001, Abdul Malik Mujahid, who is Muslim, said he felt free to take pictures of Chicago's historical buildings. But now, he said he's guarded and careful when in public so no one will think he is a terrorist, he said.

Tomihiro and Mujahid shared their stories with a group of Chicago public school teachers at a workshop Saturday to illustrate how some minorities are treated during times of national crisis. The workshop, "What It Means to Be American," aims to teach educators how to cover the sensitive topic in their classrooms.

"If you forget your history, you are bound to repeat it," said Larry Schectman, the educational chairman for the Chicago chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. "Here is a way to tell the story that your civil rights are always in jeopardy because they are administered by human beings. Even if you have rights on paper, it doesn't mean they will be protected."

The workshop was sponsored by the citizens league and was created to share information about the internment of Japanese-Americans. After Sept. 11, workshop leaders expanded it after noticing American Muslims were facing a climate that they felt mirrored the way Japanese-Americans were treated after the attack on Pearl Harbor. (MORE)

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JEWS AND MUSLIMS INITIATIVE A DAY OF COMMUNITY SERVICE - TOP
Hudson Valley News, 4/15/05
http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/Mitzvah_Ihsan-15Apr05.htm

Jewish Family Services of Dutchess County and The Mid-Hudson Islamic Association are teaming up to provide a day of community service next month.

The Mitzvah-Ihsan Day will be held on Sunday, May 15th at the Jewish Community Center in Poughkeepsie and the Masjid Al-Noor Mosque in Wappingers Falls.

The day will center on doing good deeds for the entire community, said JFS Director Susan Goodman Goldstein.

"The only way our communities will get better is if each individual in the community thinks of how they can make the community better, and when a group, or many groups come together, wow," she said. "We have chances to beautify some places, to clean up places, to create things for people, to give back to other members of our community, and we are setting a nice standard for our children to see."

For both communities, the day will be one of prayer in action, for better Jewish-Muslim relations both locally and globally, and to recognize the power that comes from joining together," said Goldstein.

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WI: EXPANSION PLANNED FOR MUSLIM CLASSES - TOP
J.E. Espino, Post-Crescent, 4/17/05
http://www.wisinfo.com/postcrescent/news/archive/local_20662601.shtml

APPLETON - With the positive response religious studies held on Sundays has had at the Islamic Center of Wisconsin, organizers say the time has come to move forward.

Founders of the center, which opened in September, are in the preliminary planning stages of setting up a full-time school for children in kindergarten through high school. It could be operational in three to four years.

"We just don't want to stay where we are. We want to expand," said Mohamed Ibrahim, the center's spokesman of the plans for expansion&

Currently, about 50 students, ages 4 to 16, attend the school, which is staffed by 15 volunteers traveling from as far away as Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh and Green Bay.

Students enroll in one of six levels at Taqwa Islamic School, depending on their knowledge of the Quran and Islamic studies. The idea is for them to get an appreciation for the religion.

Having a full-time imam, or religious minister, in Mohamed Abdelazim opened the gates for the project.

Additionally, the Muslim population is growing, said school Principal Kalim Saiyed. An estimated 200 Islamic families live in the Fox Valley area.

The next development at the center will be the arrival of Arabic language courses for adults. Classes for children and adults will be open to anyone in the community.

"The least we can do is give them (children) the Islamic teachings, not what they see people are saying about Islam," Ibrahim said. "What's happening today has nothing to do with the teachings of Islam."

Already the students have been tested twice, and certificates were awarded Sunday to the top three in each level.

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

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Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 12:44:02 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR, ACLU to Announce Action Against DHS Over NY Detentions

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

CAIR, ACLU TO ANNOUNCE ACTION AGAINST DHS OVER NY DETENTIONS
Muslim citizens returning from Canadian conference interrogated, fingerprinted

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/19/05) - On Wednesday, April 20, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will hold simultaneous news conferences in New York City and Buffalo, N.Y., to announce action against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over the practice of targeting American citizens participating in religious conferences outside the United States.

In December of last year, dozens of American Muslim citizens were detained, interrogated, fingerprinted, and photographed at the Buffalo-Canadian border as they returned home from an annual Islamic conference in Toronto.

WHAT: Simultaneous News Conferences in Buffalo and New York City Announcing CAIR, NYCLU, ACLU Action Against DHS Over NY Border Detentions

WHERE:

ACLU National Headquarters, 125 Broad Street, New York, NY
NYCLU Western Regional Office, The Ansonia Center, 712 Main Street, Buffalo, NY

WHEN: Wednesday, April 20, 11:30 a.m.

WHO:

NY CITY:
Detained citizens from Buffalo, NY
Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR National Legal Director
Donna Lieberman, NYCLU Executive Director
Chris Dunn, NYCLU Legal Director
Catherine Kim, ACLU Staff Attorney

BUFFALO:
Detained citizens from Buffalo, NY
Udi Ofer, NYCLU Staff Attorney
Corey Stoughton, ACLU Staff Attorney
Khurrum Wahid, CAIR Legal Advisor
Wedade Abdallah, Immigration Attorney

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR - Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787 or 202-415-0799, E-Mail: arsalan@cair-net.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org; NYCLU/ACLU - Sheila Stainback, NYCLU Communications Director, 212-344-3005, ext. 244; 917-573-7880; Jeanne-Noel Mahoney and John Curr, wro@nyclubuffalo.org, 716-852-4033; Erica Pelletreau, media@aclu.org, 212-519-7829; Udi Ofer, 347-645-4333

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 15:11:47 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Spending Millions to Change Islam/U.S. Muslims Welcome New Pope

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/19/05

* VERSE: God's Hidden Reality
* U.S. Muslims Welcome Election of New Pope
            - Dialogue with Muslims Must Continue (Balt Sun)
* U.S. Spending Millions to Change Islam (US News)
            - CAIR: Bush Turns To Hughes to Repair Image (VOA)
            - Army Searches for Arabic Speakers (Balt Sun)
* 10 Years After OK Attack, Muslim Family Mourns Loss
            - Secret FBI Report Highlights Domestic Terror (ABC)
            - ISLAM-OPED: Terror Knows No Faith
* 'Wish Lists' of Detainee Tactics Cited (Wash Post)
            - Iraqi Lawmaker Says U.S. Soldier Grabbed His Throat
* NJ: Muslims, Copts to Sign Anti-Hate Pledge (AP)
* MI: Student Wears Burka for School Project
            - MO: Open House Educates About Islam
            - MN: Somali Students' Event Shares Culture
* DC: Congressional Resolution on Srebrenica Massacre

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VERSE OF THE DAY: GOD'S HIDDEN REALITY - TOP

"God alone comprehends the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth, and everything shall ultimately return to Him for decision. So worship Him and put your trust in Him."

The Holy Quran, 11:123

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U.S. MUSLIMS WELCOME ELECTION OF NEW POPE - TOP
Islamic group urges continuation of interfaith efforts

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/19/05) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today welcomed the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany as Pope Benedict XVI and urged him to continue his predecessor's policy of outreach to the Muslim world.

In a statement, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:

"America's Muslim community welcomes the election of Pope Benedict XVI and looks forward to working with him and other representatives of the Roman Catholic Church to advance the cause of peace and justice for people of all faiths. We encourage the new Pope to build upon John Paul II's legacy of interfaith outreach and reconciliation based on mutual respect and religious tolerance."

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

SEE ALSO:

DIALOGUE WITH MUSLIM WORLD MUST CONTINUE - TOP
R. K. Ramazani, Baltimore Sun, 4/19/05
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.muslims19apr19,1,4606257.story

LET US HOPE that the successor to Pope John Paul II, the first pope in history to step inside a mosque, will continue his unprecedented policy of talking to the Muslim world.

Muslim leaders who expressed sympathy after his death did not do so simply because the pope opposed the invasion of Iraq or spoke out against the wall of separation in the Israeli-occupied territories. They did so because the pope believed firmly that Christianity should engage in a dialogue with Islam. (MORE)

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AMERICA IS SPENDING MILLIONS...TO CHANGE THE VERY FACE OF ISLAM - TOP
David E. Kaplan, US News, 4/19/05
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050425/25roots.htm

After repeated missteps since the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government has embarked on a campaign of political warfare unmatched since the height of the Cold War. From military psychological-operations teams and CIA covert operatives to openly funded media and think tanks, Washington is plowing tens of millions of dollars into a campaign to influence not only Muslim societies but Islam itself. The previously undisclosed effort was identified in the course of a four-month U.S. News investigation, based on more than 100 interviews and a review of a dozen internal reports and memorandums. Although U.S. officials say they are wary of being drawn into a theological battle, many have concluded that America can no longer sit on the sidelines as radicals and moderates fight over the future of a politicized religion with over a billion followers. The result has been an extraordinary--and growing--effort to influence what officials describe as an Islamic reformation. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

BUSH TURNS TO HUGHES TO REPAIR AMERICAN IMAGE AMONG MUSLIMS - TOP
Amy Katz, Voice of America, 4/19/05
http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-04-19-voa3.cfm

U.S. President George Bush is turning to one of his most trusted political advisors - Karen Hughes - to lead the administration's efforts to repair America's image overseas - among Muslims. The choice indicates the priority the administration gives to this policy. As the nominee for post of Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Ms. Hughes now faces confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate.

"I can think of no individual more suited for this task of telling America's story to the world, of nurturing America's dialogue with the world, and advancing universal values for the world, than Karen Hughes," said Dr. Rice.

When she announced Karen Hughes' nomination to become the new Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the U.S. needs to do a much better job with public diplomacy. She also said across the globe, there are too many people who are unaware of America's values and its efforts to advance democracy. After the devastation of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the United States acknowledged that it was very unpopular in many places - especially in the Muslim world. Helle Dale, of the conservative Washington, DC based think tank The Heritage foundation, says part of the problem is that the U.S. has not reached out to much of the Muslim world - including Arab countries, Indonesia, and Pakistan. But, she says, the U.S. is well known in those countries.

"You can bet that people talk about us. In fact, in some places, they seem to be positively obsessed. If we don't have a voice in that discussion about our country, they're going to make up things as they go along, they're going to rely on images from Hollywood, mass media, which I think, fine these are our products but it's not the sum total of the United States as a country," says Helle Dale.

A congressionally-funded advisory group studied the problem. It issued a report in 2003 suggesting new ways for the U.S. to reach out to the Arab and Muslim worlds. Ambassador Diana Lady Dougan was a member of that group. She says the effort needs to be made on the grass roots level - and it needs to be aimed at young people.

"Over 50% of the Muslim world is 16 {years old} or under. So, among other things, we need to engage a generation that wasn't born hating. They weren't born thinking that there's a Muslim world and the other world," explained Diana Lady Dougan.

When Secretary of State Rice announced her nomination, Karen Hughes agreed - saying the only way the future will be peaceful is if the world's children are taught to respect and celebrate each other's differences.

"This job will be difficult. Perceptions do not change quickly, or easily. This is a struggle for ideas. Clearly in the world after September 11, we must do a better job of engaging with the Muslim world. As the 9-11 commission reported, if the United States does not act aggressively to define itself, the extremists will glad do the job for us. Our public diplomacy efforts must also engage the wider world - from Europe to Latin America," says Karen Hughes.

Ambassador Dougan agrees the U.S. should reach out to Muslims especially in Europe. "The recognition that Europe has a large and growing Muslim population makes it logical to have more focus on not just Muslims who are in the the Middle East, or Indonesia, which happens to be the largest Muslim country in the world, but also in Europe, is a very logical extension of reaching out to to an area, and if you will, a constituency where there's been a great deal of distortion," says the ambassador.

Ibrahim Hooper, the spokesman for the Council on American--Islamic Relations, sees it quite differently. He says America is not well liked in the Muslim world because of its policies, which he says should change.

"The whole policy towards the Middle East, I think, is the key. We need to have an even-handed approach to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. We need to be seen as real, honest brokers. We have traditionally, for decades, been seen as tremendously one-sided in this dispute and I think that's the core issue that we need to deal with," says Ibrahim Hooper.

Mr. Hooper also says he is hopeful Karen Hughes' may be able to influence U.S. policy, because of her close relationship with President Bush. And that, he says, puts her in a good position to succeed in promoting a more positive and balanced image of America in the Muslim world. (MORE)

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ARMY STEPS UP SEARCH FOR ARABIC SPEAKERS - TOP
Military recruiting Arab-Americans for translators, cultural aides
Tom Bowman, Baltimore Sun, 4/18/05
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.recruits18apr18,1,7827906.story

WASHINGTON - The Army has begun an intensive campaign to recruit hundreds of Arab-Americans as cultural advisers and translators. The effort addresses a significant handicap for the U.S. military, whose troops face daunting language and culture gaps in working with Iraqi officials and citizens.

The problem was particularly acute after the fall of Baghdad, with officers at times resorting to sign language to communicate. But two years later, the situation is not much better, officials say. One Army major, who now serves north of Baghdad, said there is only one native Arabic-speaking U.S. soldier in his brigade, which numbers between 3,000 and 5,000 soldiers.

Native speakers are "critical," said the officer, who requested anonymity, "especially in this phase of the operation when we are trying to work with the Iraqi army, police, government and people."

The program is part of a Pentagon-wide plan to boost language capabilities in the military. (MORE)

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10 YEARS LATER, FAMILY MOURNS LOSS OF UNBORN BABY - TOP
Howard Witt, Chicago Tribune, 4/18/05
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/11426915.htm

OKLAHOMA CITY - (KRT) - There is no chair for Salam Mohammad.

One hundred sixty-eight empty bronze chairs line the grassy field where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building used to stand, each one a solemn memorial to an individual killed in the April 19, 1995, bombing.

Salam did not perish on the day of the bombing. Nor did he die anywhere near the Murrah building. His name will not be mentioned on Tuesday morning, when Vice President Dick Cheney and former President Bill Clinton are scheduled to be among the dignitaries who are to speak at a 10th anniversary commemoration of the Oklahoma City bombing.

But to many here in Oklahoma City's small Muslim community, the 7-month fetus was a casualty of the attack just the same, one of countless collateral victims whose hidden stories have never been told.

Salam's pregnant mother, Sahar al-Moswi, was at home in her Oklahoma City apartment on the morning after the bombing caring for her two young children, listening to the news and wondering, like everyone else in America, who could have perpetrated such an awful crime.

The radio and television broadcasts were filled with expert opinions confidently asserting that the bombing bore all the hallmarks of a Middle Eastern terrorist attack.

Al-Moswi felt a chill. She and her husband, Haidar al-Saidi, both Shiite Muslims, had fled the persecution and torture of Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the early 1990s and, thanks to family ties, had landed in the middle American tranquility of Oklahoma City.

Like many refugees and immigrants, they had tried to keep a low profile in their new neighborhood, where they stood out as the only Muslims.

Suddenly the living room window shattered, sending shards of glass flying across the room. A rock landed on the carpet.

"I was scared somebody shooting," recalled al-Moswi, now 35. "I did not see the rock. I heard the noise. The glass is all over the place...

"I take the kids, and I go to the bathroom," she continued. "It's hard to move - big stomach and two kids. I go to the bathroom. I thought I might be safe there. I (feared) people that might come" and break into the apartment.

Moments later, al-Moswi doubled over in pain and started bleeding. But, terrified that attackers might be waiting outside the bathroom, she waited nearly an hour before sending one of her children to get a portable phone from another room so she could call for help.

The next day in the hospital - about the time authorities were discovering that they already had the suspected bomber, Timothy McVeigh, in custody on a traffic charge - al-Moswi suffered a miscarriage. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

SECRET FBI REPORT HIGHLIGHTS DOMESTIC TERROR - TOP
Experts Warn of Future Timothy McVeighs
ABC News, 4/18/05
http://www.abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=681288&page=1

NEW YORK, April 18, 2005 -- A secret FBI report, obtained by ABC News, identifies 22 domestic terror organizations as the current subjects of 338 active FBI field investigations.

The Aryan Nations, and other white supremacist groups, are cited in the report for hate crimes, fire bombings, threats via mail, as well as robberies and murders. The National Alliance, one of the largest neo-Nazi organizations in the world, is subject to 51 FBI investigations alone, according to the report.

In fact there are "ticking time bombs," said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, "who have the capacity, skill and hatred to carry out acts worse that what Timothy McVeigh carried out 10 years ago."

Levin, and other terrorism experts, say that the Internet has become the principal recruitment tool, attracting the loners and the disturbed who boast of finding viable U.S. targets. (MORE)

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TERROR KNOWS NO FAITH: AMERICAN MUSLIMS AND THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING - TOP
http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1535&theType=NR

WASHINGTON, DC, April 12 -- On April 19th, Americans of all faiths will mark the 10th anniversary of the 1995 attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City by remembering and mourning 168 of their fellow citizens who died so tragically at the hands of domestic terrorists.

Another victim of that attack will be mourned only by those in what would have been his family.

According to the Daily Oklahoman newspaper: "Sahar Al-Muwsawi, 26, said...she was watching reports of the bombing on television on April 20 when she heard a car's brakes squeal outside her Oklahoma City home. Then she heard objects hitting the window and thought people were shooting at the house. Muwsawi, who was nearly seven months pregnant, grabbed her 2-year-old daughter and another child in the home and took them to the bathroom and locked the door. She said she started bleeding and called her husband, who rushed home and took her to the hospital. A stillborn baby boy was delivered several hours later." (5/20/95)

That baby boy was named "Salaam," or "peace."

In those first frightening days after the bombing, it was assumed by many that "Middle Eastern terrorists" had carried out the attack. That faulty assumption sparked a wave of anti-Muslim hysteria that resulted in almost 250 incidents of harassment, discrimination and actual violence against American Muslims or those perceived to be Middle Eastern.

Incidents ranged from a suspected arson attack on a mosque, to drive-by shootings at Islamic centers and assaults on Muslim students. Many Islamic institutions around America also reported phoned bomb threats, and in one case, a fake bomb was thrown at a Muslim day care facility. Individual Muslims reported a great increase in harassment by co-workers and in public. This harassment led to an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the Muslim community.

The collective realization that the attack was carried out by terrorists from the Midwest, not the Mideast, created a teaching moment in which the entire nation reassessed what it means to be a terrorist, and redefined terrorism to include people who look like "regular" Americans. (MORE)

[Ibrahim Hooper is national communications director for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. He may be contacted at: ihooper@cair-net.org.]

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SOLDIERS' 'WISH LISTS' OF DETAINEE TACTICS CITED - TOP
Josh White, Washington Post, 4/19/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A64409-2005Apr18

Army intelligence officials in Iraq developed and circulated "wish lists" of harsh interrogation techniques they hoped to use on detainees in August 2003, including tactics such as low-voltage electrocution, blows with phone books and using dogs and snakes -- suggestions that some soldiers believed spawned abuse and illegal interrogations.

The discussions, which took place in e-mail messages between interrogators and Army officials in Baghdad, were used in part to develop the interrogation rules of engagement approved by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then commander of U.S. troops in Iraq. Two specific cases of abuse in Iraq occurred soon after.

Army investigative documents released yesterday, as well as court records and files, suggest that the tactics were used on two detainees: One died during an interrogation in November 2003 while stuffed into a sleeping bag, and another was badly beaten by inexperienced interrogators using a police baton in September 2003. The documents indicate confusion over what tactics were legal in Iraq, a belief that most detainees were not covered by Geneva Conventions protections and alleged abuse by interrogators who had tacit approval to "turn it up a notch."

In both incidents, a previously disclosed Aug. 14, 2003, e-mail from the joint task force headquarters in Baghdad to top U.S. human-intelligence gatherers in Iraq is cited as a potential catalyst.

Capt. William Ponce wrote that "the gloves are coming off" because casualties were mounting and officers needed better intelligence to fight the insurgency. Ponce solicited "wish lists" from interrogators and gave them three days to respond. That message was forwarded throughout the theater, including to officials at Abu Ghraib, where notorious abuse followed.

At the 4th Infantry Division's detention facility in Tikrit, the e-mail caused top intelligence officials to develop a list including open-hand strikes, closed-fist strikes, using claustrophobic techniques and a number of "coercive" techniques such as striking with phone books, low-voltage electrocution and inducing muscle fatigue. The list was sent back to Baghdad on Aug. 17.

Interrogators used the perception of newfound latitude to interview an unidentified detainee on Sept. 23, 2003. According to the detainee's statement, he was made to lie across folding chairs while an interrogator beat the soles of his feet with a police baton. He said he was later hit in the back and the buttocks with the baton while in a painful stress position. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS, COPTIC CHRISTIANS TO SIGN ANTI-HATE PLEDGE - TOP
Wayne Parry, Associated Press, 4/19/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--familyslain0418apr18,0,1504068.story

NEWARK, New Jersey - After months of acrimony and failed attempts to bring both communities together following the slaying of an Egyptian Christian family, leaders of the Muslim and Christian communities in northern New Jersey plan to sign a pledge renouncing hate and committing themselves to greater interfaith harmony.

Wednesday's event at City Hall in Jersey City would be the first small step forward in healing a rift that polarized many Coptic Christians and Muslims following the January slaying of the Armanious family in their Jersey City home. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

IRAQI LAWMAKER SAYS U.S. SOLDIER GRABBED HIS THROAT - TOP
Waleed Ibrahim, Reuters, 4/19/05
http://reuters.myway.com/article/20050419/2005-04-19T115225Z_01_BAK938020_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-IRAQ-USA-DC.html

BAGHDAD - An Iraqi lawmaker accused a U.S. soldier of grabbing him by the throat and shoving him to the ground Tuesday after he parked his car in Baghdad's Green Zone.

Fattah al-Sheikh, an independent, said he had parked his car before a session of parliament when U.S. troops approached him and told him he didn't have the right permit.

He said a soldier then kicked his car, insulted him and grabbed him by the throat with both hands as others looked on, before tying his hands behind his back with white plastic cuffs and shoving him to the ground.

"I don't speak English and so I said to the Iraqi translator with them, 'Tell them that I am a member of parliament,' and he replied, 'To hell with you, we are Americans,"' Sheikh told parliament, fighting back tears as he recounted the story.

The U.S. military said it was investigating the incident.

"We are aware of the reported incident involving a member of Iraq's Transitional National Assembly and we are investigating it at this time," a military spokesman said.

Sheikh said other members of parliament were present during the scuffle, which took place at one of the main entrances to the Green Zone, a fortified compound in central Baghdad that houses the parliament, the U.S. embassy and other buildings. (MORE)

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'NO ONE WANTED TO BE NEAR ME' - TOP
Student wears burka throughout winter semester
Kurt Hunt, Eastern Echo, 4/18/05
http://www.easternecho.com/cgi-bin/story.cgi?11039

Eastern Michigan student Zoe Piliafas spent the winter semester wearing a burka, the heavy, concealing garment characteristic of women under the Taliban in Afghanistan. She kept a daily journal of her experiences and received independent study credit.

"It felt like no one wanted to be near me."

This is how Eastern Michigan student Zoe Piliafas summed up her winter semester. Her new isolation wasn't the result of being a bad or unpleasant person.

It was simply because she was -- at least, for this semester -- different. To her professors and her classmates, she was not Zoe, an outgoing and outspoken student. She was Zhooda, a student with a soft Middle Eastern accent who wore a burka (sometimes spelled burqa or burkha), the heavy, concealing garment that became known to most Americans only when the media turned it into a symbol of the repression of women under the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"You're not seeing the body of a female," Piliafas said. "You're seeing a garment that represents female."

Under the supervision of political science professors Elaine Martin and James Ivers, Piliafas received independent study credit for wearing the burka the entire winter semester.

"Zoe kept a daily journal of her experiences," Martin said. "She met with me several times throughout the semester, wrote and conducted an e-mail survey for students and professors and turned in a final paper summing up the experience. She received one credit hour."

"I thought about this for probably three years," Piliafas said. "At first I had really strong judgment on it, and I thought, 'Well, what is this? Why would a woman have to cover herself from head to toe to stop someone else from looking at her?'

"I thought by telling a woman that she needs to be covered up, we're telling her that she's basically unworthy," she said. "But I don't think that's how Muslims view it. I think they view it as one so worthy that she can't be looked upon." (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

OPEN HOUSE EDUCATES ABOUT ISLAM - TOP
Jacob Hackman, Columbia Missourian, 4/18/05
http://columbiamissourian.com/news/story.php?ID=13368

Jan DeLasara and her sister, Joy Rushing, came to the Islamic Center of Central Missouri's open house Sunday with different religious perspectives. DeLasara considers herself a spiritual person but is not a member of any organized religion. Rushing is a devout Presbyterian. But both were interested in learning more about Islam.

"It's an opportunity to get a very close look at a tradition that is pretty alien to me," DeLasara said.

DeLasara said she has learned that the religion of Islam spans many different cultures.

"I think it's appropriate for them to stress that they are inclusive," she said.

Rushing said she was hoping to learn more about the faith so that she can correct any inaccuracies that non-Muslims may have about Islam.

The open house ran from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Islamic Center usually has two open houses a year, in the spring and fall. (MORE)

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SOMALI STUDENTS' EVENT SHARES CULTURE WITH CAMPUS - TOP
Elizabeth Cook, MN Daily, 4/18/04
http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2005/04/18/64209

At noon Friday, approximately 200 people met outside Northrop Auditorium to pray.
The prayer was part of the second annual Somali Culture Day. For this noon prayer, other Muslim communities from around the campus area were invited to participate.

Fridays are religious days for Muslims, and they pray at noon on those days. Because Somali Culture Day fell on a Friday, the Somali Student Association decided to not have music and dancing like last year, said University student Abdiweli Ali, a member of the association.

Before the prayer, he spoke about the Somali culture and religion that is derived from Islam. Somalis are 100 percent Muslim, he said.

For the prayer, shoes had to be removed, Ali said. The title of the person who gives the prayer is the "imam," he said, and men and women are separated during the prayer.

"This is to enhance awareness of our culture and to educate others about our culture," Ali said. (MORE)

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CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTION ON SREBRENICA MASSACRE - TOP

In July of 1995, between 7,000 and 10,000 Bosnian men and boys were killed by Serbian forces.

With the help of the Congress on North American Bosniaks (CNAB), Congressman Smith (R-NJ) and Congressman Cardin (D-MD) have introduced House Resolution 199 that states "the policies of aggression and ethnic cleansing as implemented by Bosnian Serbs forces meet the terms defining the crime of genocide in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide..."

To View the resolution, go to:
http://thomas.loc.gov/
Search using the term "H.Res 199."

To urge your representatives to support this resolution, visit: http://wwh.house.gov/writerep/

For more information, visit: www.bosniak.org

-----

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 13:18:41 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: American Muslims Sue DHS Over Border Detentions

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AMERICAN MUSLIMS SUE DHS OVER BORDER DETENTIONS
CAIR: Targeting of Muslim citizens 'unconstitutional and un-American'

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/20/05) - In simultaneous news conferences held today in New York City and Buffalo, N.Y., the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced the filing of a federal lawsuit against the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over the practice of targeting American citizens participating in religious conferences outside the United States.

The lawsuit was filed this morning in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on behalf of five American Muslim citizens who, along with dozens of other Muslims, were detained, interrogated, fingerprinted, and photographed at the Buffalo-Canadian border as they returned home from an annual Islamic conference in Toronto.

SEE: "Five Muslims to Sue U.S. Over Border Detentions"
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/20/nyregion/20detain.html
"Muslim-Americans Sue Over Treatment at Border"
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--muslimsstopped0420apr20,0,1481114.story
"Muslims to Sue Over Detentions at Border"
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20050420/1042096.asp

According to documents filed with the court, government officials violated the plaintiffs' rights under the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Robert C. Bonner, Buffalo Port Director Joseph J. Wilson, and CBP Director of Field Operation in Buffalo Michael D'Ambrosio are named in the lawsuit, which states in part: "None of the plaintiffs had engaged in any unlawful conduct nor any other conduct that would justify the mistreatment to which they were subjected but instead were subjected to this treatment solely because they had attended the conference."

To read the entire complaint, go to:
http://www.nyclu.org/pdfs/tabbaa_v_chertoff_complaint.pdf

The lawsuit asks the court to prevent the government from taking similar actions against other American citizens and seeks the return or removal from government databases of all information obtained from the plaintiffs during their detention.

"When American citizens are targeted by their own government and detained, searched, fingerprinted, and photographed with threat of arrest for committing no crime, this is not only unacceptable and unlawful, but also unconstitutional and un-American," said CAIR National Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar. (CAIR-NY legal advisor Khurrum Wahid took part in the Buffalo news conference.)

Other groups involved in the lawsuit offered similar comments.

Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU: "None of the citizens who were detained had done anything unlawful, nor were they charged with any unlawful act. It is very troubling that citizens who were exercising their First Amendment rights were singled out because of their faith and attending the conference."

Christopher Dunn, NYCLU Associate Legal Director: "American citizens of all faiths have a right to attend religious conferences without having the government detaining and interrogating them and without the government putting their fingerprints and photographs in a database. What the government is doing is wrong and unconstitutional, and our lawsuit aims to stop this practice."

Catherine Kim, Staff Attorney of the ACLU: "The government cannot criminalize American citizens for their religious beliefs. Americans need to know that they can practice their religion and attend religious conferences without fear of government reprisals."

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR - Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787 or 202-415-0799, E-Mail: arsalan@cair-net.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org; NYCLU/ACLU - Sheila Stainback, NYCLU Communications Director, 212-344-3005, ext. 244; 917-573-7880; Jeanne-Noel Mahoney and John Curr, wro@nyclubuffalo.org, 716-852-4033; Erica Pelletreau, media@aclu.org, 212-519-7829; Udi Ofer, 347-645-4333

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 15:50:35 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Bank Apologizes to Muslims/Many Americans Believe Torture Still Prevalent

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/20/05

* VERSE: The Prophet's Example
* CAIR-CAN: Bank Apologizes to Canadian Muslims
* Many Americans Believe Torture Still Prevalent
* Pope Benedict XVI on Islam
            - CAIR Rep on Today's CNN 'Wolf Blitzer Reports'
            - MI: Metro Muslims Express Hope (Det News)
* LA: $45K Reward Offered in Attack on Muslim Woman (Times-Pic)
* CO: Islamic Center Vandalized (Coloradoan)
* DHS Omits Threats from Right-Wing Terror Groups (AP)
* NJ: Lawyer Offers Course in Understanding Islamic Faith
            - GA: Muslims and Swearing on the Bible in Court (AJC)
* French Court Upholds Expulsion of Sikh Students (AP)
* DC: CSID Annual Conference on Democracy and Development
            - NY: Being a Muslim Woman During 'War on Terror'

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VERSE OF THE DAY: THE PROPHET'S EXAMPLE - TOP

"You have indeed, in the (life of the Prophet Muhammad), a beautiful pattern of (conduct) for anyone whose hope is in God and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of God."

The Holy Quran, 33:21

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GOOD NEWS ALERT - TOP

BANK APOLOGIZES TO CANADIAN MUSLIMS FOR 'INSENSITIVE' COMMENTS

(OTTAWA, CANADA - 04/20/2005) - The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) is pleased to announce that the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) has issued an apology to Canadian Muslims for comments made by Jeff Rubin, Chief Economist and Chief Strategist of CIBC World Markets' Economic and Strategy division.

In the April 5, 2005 issue of the Monthly Indicators, Mr. Rubin wrote: "The first two oil shocks were transitory, as political events encouraged oil producers to seize full sovereignty over their resources and temporarily restrict supply. This time around there won't be any tap that some appeased mullah or sheik can suddenly turn back on."

In a letter to CIBC World Markets, CAIR-CAN Executive Director Riad Saloojee wrote: "We are gravely concerned that Mr. Rubin is promoting stereotyping of Muslims and Arabs in a CIBC publication&We request that Mr. Rubin and CIBC World Markets issue a letter of apology and undergo sensitization training regarding Muslims and Arabs."

In his response, CIBC World Markets Chairman and CEO Brian Shaw stated: "First, let me state that we take the concerns expressed in your letter very seriously. While the comments were in no way intentional or meant to offend anyone in the Muslim or Arab community, we agree that, in hindsight, the comments were insensitive.

"We have taken immediate steps to address this issue. We have reviewed all aspects of the matter with Jeff Rubin and we will be providing him with training to ensure that this situation does not occur again in the future. In addition, Jeff has withdrawn the research report from the World Markets website, redrafted the paragraph in question and reposted the amended report back to the website."

ACTION REQUESTED:

PLEASE contact CIBC World Markets and thank them for issuing an apology.

E-MAIL: PresidentCIBCWM@cibc.ca, ombudsman@cibc.com
COPY TO: Canada@cair-net.org

Council on American-Islamic Relations Canada (CAIR-CAN)
P.O. Box 13219, Ottawa, ON
Canada, K2K 1X4
Tel: 1-866-524-0004
Local: (613) 254-9704
Fax: (613) 254-9810
E-Mail: canada@cair-net.org
URL: www.caircan.ca

-----

TWO IN FIVE U.S. ADULTS BELIEVE THAT TORTURE OF PRISONERS BY AMERICANS
STILL PREVALENT IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN - TOP
http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/04-20-2005/0003439505&EDATE=

ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 20 -- By a 66 to 32 percent majority the American public believes that torture of prisoners by Americans has taken place in Iraq and Afghanistan. Furthermore, 61 percent of those who believe that torture has taken place (or 41 percent of all U.S. adults) also believe that it is still happening in spite of the public disclosures of events that took place in Abu Ghraib prison.

In addition, while six in 10 (60%) adults favor bringing most U.S. troops home in the next year, similar numbers (58%) do not expect that this will happen within two years, and a majority of people (55%) are not confident that Iraq will be successful in developing a stable government.

These are some of the results of a Harris Poll of 1,010 U.S. adults surveyed by telephone by Harris Interactive(R) between April 5 and 10, 2005.

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POPE BENEDICT XVI ON ISLAM - TOP

On Islam: "It is true that the Muslim world is not totally mistaken when it reproaches the West of Christian tradition of moral decadence and the manipulation of human life... Islam has also had moments of great splendor and decadence in the course of its history."

SEE ALSO:

CAIR REP TO COMMENT ON NEW POPE DURING CNN'S 'WOLF BLITZER REPORTS' - TOP

http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/wolf.blitzer.reports/

The Segment is expected at about 20 minutes into today's program.

---

METRO MUSLIMS EXPRESS HOPE - TOP
They anticipate new Catholic leader will continue effort to promote unity.
Gregg Krupa, Detroit News, 4/20/05
http://detnews.com/2005/religion/0504/20/A08-156365.htm

DEARBORN -- Like many people of faith, Muslims in Metro Detroit expressed joy and hope over the selection of Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday, describing the moment as a universal expression of faith in God and spirituality.

Although the new pope had previously expressed views that were less accepting of Islam than the dramatic gestures of Pope John Paul II, Muslims said they hope that steps toward unity and interfaith cooperation will continue.

In Metro Detroit, a number of the large and growing Muslim population said they were watching television broadcasts of Tuesday's historic events from Vatican City.

"We are really glad, overall, about the selection of the right person to the right place," said Afthal Alshami, an engineer for Ford Motor Co.

"And we are hoping for someone who is going to have an understanding toward other religions, and understand also how different cultures are involved in other societies, so we can communicate."

For many of the 400,000 Muslims in Metro Detroit, the papacy of John Paul II was a considerable departure from the long history of strained relations between the two faiths. (MORE)

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$45,000 REWARD OFFERED IN FATAL ATTACK ON WOMAN - TOP
Michelle Hunter, Times-Picayune, 4/20/05
http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/metro/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1113976558239150.xml

Four months after Iman Muhanna Mohammed was fatally stabbed in her west Metairie home, the trickle of tips about the attack has all but dried up.
In hopes of loosening the lips of anyone with clues that could identify the killer of the pregnant teacher, the West Bank Muslim Association and Crimestoppers Inc. on Tuesday announced a $45,000 reward for information.

"Our hearts are still bleeding from this horrible, terrible crime," said Mohammed's widower, Fakhri Mohammed. "The killer must come to justice soon."

The reward, increased from $2,500, is the second-largest in the 23-year history of Crimestoppers' New Orleans area chapter, Executive Director Darlene Cusanza said. The largest was in a murder case that predates Cusanza's tenure, and she had no other information about it.

"That's an incredible amount of money," she said. "We're hoping to encourage anyone to come forward. If they have information, no matter how small, they need to call us."

Fakhri Mohammed, 45, a taxi driver, found his wife's body the morning of Dec. 17 after he returned home from taking their children to school at the Muslim Academy in Harvey. His wife, 42, had been a teacher there for four years but was on maternity leave.

The couple, both U.S. citizens born in Palestine, had an 8-year-old son together, and Fakhri Mohammed has a daughter from a previous marriage.

Iman Mohammed was six months pregnant with a girl when she was stabbed 33 times and left to die in the upstairs bedroom of their home. The fetus did not survive.

Investigators found no signs of forced entry to the house. And while no motives have been ruled out, Deputy Chief Fred Williams of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said nothing of significant value was taken from the house. Detectives also have found no indication that the killing was a hate crime directed at a Muslim, he said.

Authorities fielded some tips from the public just after the killing, but the number soon tapered off, said Williams, head of criminal investigations. Despite that, he said, the investigation is active.

"We're not going to let it get cold on us," he said, adding that raising the reward money could generate the substantial tips that investigators need to close the case. (MORE)

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ISLAMIC CENTER VANDALIZED - TOP
Sara Reed, Coloradoan, 4/19/05
http://www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050419/NEWS01/504190340/1002

Community members rallied around the Islamic Center on Monday, a day after a brick was tossed through a window, breaking five panes of the thick glass and damaging some of the wooden framework.

Though police do not believe the vandalism was a hate crime, the timing is suspect, coming on the heels of Saturday's "Not in Our Town" forum, which addresses the causes and effects of bias, discrimination and hate in the community.

Glass still littered the floor of the prayer room where the brick was thrown through a window at the center, 900 Peterson St., sometime between 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

No one was in the building at the time. "There's no indication" the vandalism was a hate crime, said Fort Collins Sgt. Mike Walker.

In a hate crime, Walker said, there is a message left in addition to the damage. In the incident at the Islamic Center, no message was left.

On Monday, community members and church leaders gathered at the center in a show of solidarity. "It is imperative we stand together," said Rabbi Zvi Ish-Shalom of Congregation Har Shalom in Fort Collins. "If a brick is thrown at the Islamic Center, it's the same as if a brick were thrown at the synagogue." (MORE)

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HOMELAND SECURITY OMITS THREATS FROM RIGHT-WING TERROR GROUPS, DEMOCRATS SAY - TOP
Lara Jakes Jordon, Associated Press, 4/20/05
http://www.wstm.com/Global/story.asp?S=3233743

WASHINGTON - The Homeland Security Department is focusing on terror threats from radical environmental and animal rights activists without also examining risks posed by right-wing extremists, House Democrats said Tuesday.

A recent internal Homeland Security document lists the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front with a handful of Islamic groups that potentially could support al-Qaida as domestic terror threats.

The document does not deal with threats posed by white supremacists, violent militiamen, anti-abortion bombers and other extremists that Rep. Bennie G. Thompson called "right-wing hate groups." (MORE)

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LAWYER OFFERS COURSE IN UNDERSTANDING ISLAMIC FAITH - TOP
Eman Varoqua, North Jersey.com, 4/19/05
http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk0NSZmZ2JlbDdmN3ZxZWVFRXl5NjY4MTc0NiZ5cmlyeTdmNzE3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTM

Sohail Mohammed, a Clifton immigration attorney, explaining Muslim beliefs and culture to supervisors at the Passaic County Courthouse in Paterson on Monday.

It's something Sohail Mohammed says he'll never understand.

"A person takes a criminal act and manipulates faith around it to do what he wants," he said, of a North Carolina man who pleaded guilty last week to exploding bombs at two abortion clinics in the South. "We all basically say that's a lunatic."

But when similar scenarios play out with someone who is Muslim, Mohammed says the Islamic faith comes under attack instead of the person committing the crimes.

On Monday, the Clifton immigration attorney brought his "sensitivity enhancement" session to 50 supervisors at the Passaic County Courthouse in Paterson. Since 9/11, he has spoken to more than 5,000 people ranging from Secret Service officers to secretaries.

Though the number of reported hate crimes against Muslims is down about 10 percent nationwide, many say they are still the targets of ridicule, harassment and discrimination.

"It's just never going to stop," said Safia Haddid, a practicing Muslim living in Paterson. "The looks, the attitude, the misunderstanding. And every time something new happens everyone turns their eyes at all of us, like we did it. It doesn't make sense."

Mohammed, 42, isn't paid to hold these sessions, and he brings free copies of the Quran, the Islamic holy book, for everyone - an out-of-pocket expense.

Instead, Mohammed's payment is the thank-you's and the interest in the subject matter from his audiences.

"My hope is people sitting in this lecture will come out knowing something they didn't before," he said. "When you give knowledge to a person, you give them power. People that understand will do the right thing."

After the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the FBI began a sweep of intelligence-gathering interviews with Muslims. Two agents knocked on the door of a Muslim family for an impromptu interview in South Paterson.

The homeowner agreed, but asked the agents to take their shoes off before entering. Mohammed said the agents had some harsh words for the family. The friction tainted the mood for the rest of the evening.

"They weren't trying to be difficult," he said. "It's just that some families don't walk with shoes on their carpets because they also pray there." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

JUDGES SEEK WAYS TO BRIDGE ETHNIC GAP IN COURT - TOP
Mary Lou Pickel, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 4/20/05
http://www.ajc.com/hp/content/auto/epaper/editions/today/atlanta_world_24560e120686127100ab.html

Swearing in a witness in Judge Eduardo Padro's courtroom in New York isn't always easy. The process can grind to a halt when a Muslim witness is asked to put his hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth, the state Supreme Court justice said.

"Some very nicely say, 'I'm sorry, I don't recognize that book,' " he said. "Others are offended you would assume they would recognize the Bible."

"What are we supposed to do in these cases?" Padro asked.

The National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts held its meeting in Atlanta last week. The halls of the Omni Hotel at the CNN Center buzzed with judges from across the country asking similar questions about the best way to deal with diverse populations in the courtroom.

Metro Atlanta, with its growing immigrant population, is grappling with these same problems.

Asifa Quraishi, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin and an expert on Islamic law, said Muslims don't typically swear on the Quran, the Muslim holy book, before a court proceeding. The idea of an oath and a swearing in is part of Islamic legal tradition, though, she said. (MORE)

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FRENCH COURT UPHOLDS EXPULSION OF THREE SIKH TEENS BARRED FROM SCHOOL FOR WEARING TURBANS - TOP
Sophie Tetrel, Associated Press, 4/20/05

PARIS - A French court Tuesday denied a request by three Sikh students seeking to return to school after being expelled for refusing to remove their turbans, their lawyer said.

The students planned to take their fight against France's head scarf law to a higher appeals court and, if necessary, to the European Court of Human Rights, said their attorney, Felix de Belloy.

The Sikh boys were suspended from the Louise Michel high school in Bobigny, northeast of Paris, on Sept. 23, and then expelled at a disciplinary hearing ordered by a court in November.

"We are going to appeal quickly because each month that passes is important," said Belloy, contacted by telephone. He said the teenagers had been following their classes by correspondence.

The case came as France tries to enforce a law banning religious symbols at public schools that took effect with the start of the school term in September. The ban includes Islamic head scarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses. (MORE)

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CSID HOSTS 6TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT - TOP

Center for Islam and Democracy (CSID) invites you to attend its 6th Annual Conference on April 22 and 23 at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC. The year's conference theme is Democracy and Development: Challenges for the Islamic World: Challenges for the Islamic World and speakers include USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios, IRI President Lorne Craner, NED President Carl Gershman, and Saad Eddine Ibrahim of Ibn-Khaldoun Center in Cairo, Egypt.

Registration information and the complete conference schedule can be found at www.islam-democracy.org

For more information, contact: Layla Sein at (202) 942-2185 or Sein@islam-democracy.org

SEE ALSO:

WOMEN'S MULTIFAITH COMMITTEE ON BEING A MUSLIM WOMAN DURING THE 'WAR ON TERROR' - TOP

WHAT: The Women's Multifaith Planning Committee of Auburn Theological Seminary invites the public to attend "Being a Muslim Woman During the 'War on Terror.'"

Panelists include: Ummi Nur-Ali, Admiral Family Circle Islamic Community; Nurah Jeter Amat'ullah, Muslim Women's Institute for Research and Development; Aisha al-Adawiya, Women In Islam, Inc.; Rabia Terri Harris, Muslim Peace Fellowship. Moderator will be Elinor Aishah Holland.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 3, 2005 from 7 to 9 PM

WHERE: The Stewart Room at Auburn Theological Seminary, 3041 Broadway at 121st Street, New York, NY

Program fee: $15 Students with Valid ID: $10

To register or for more information, please contact Nicole de Jesús at Auburn: (212)662-4315 or ndj@auburnsem.org

-----

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http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 13:01:01 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Calls for FBI Probe of Colorado Mosque Vandalism

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/21/05

* HADITH: Praise God in All Circumstances
* CAIR-DC: Tumult in Turkey Over New Pope
            - CAIR Conf. on Islamophobia, Anti-Americanism
* CAIR Calls for FBI Probe of CO Mosque Vandalism
* NJ Religious Leaders Vow Healing (NY Times)
            - NJ: Christians, Muslims Pledge Peace (AP)
* NY: Muslims Detained at Border Sue DHS (Wash Post)
            - Muslims Sue Feds in Border Detain (NY Daily News)
            - Muslims Sue Govt for Racial Profiling (Reuters)
* Reform Patriot Act to Ensure Civil Liberties (CNN/FindLaw)
* DC: 2 Senior AIPAC Employees Fired (Wash Post)
            - AIPAC Sacks Employees Over Spy Scandal (Haaretz)
* NJ: Rutgers Muslims Celebrate Islamic Life
            - CA: Panel Ponders Future of Democracy, Islam

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HADITH OF THE DAY: PRAISE GOD IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES - TOP

When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) saw something good and pleasing, he would say: "Praise be to God with whose blessings all good deeds are perfected." And when he saw something displeasing, he would say: "Praise and thanks be to God in all circumstances."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 4, Number 125A

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CAIR-DC: TUMULT IN TURKEY OVER NEW POPE - TOP
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/04/20/turkey.pope/index.html

But in this era of fragile relations between Islam and the West, how will Muslim advocates receive a pope who spoke in controversial terms about a cultural divide?

"If he has some concerns about Turkey entering the EU, perhaps Muslim leaders from around the world can sit with him and try and allay some of his concerns. But I think the attitude, the basic attitude of respect and tolerance is one that we hope to see from the new pope," says Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

SEE ALSO:

MAY 13-15 IN DC: ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTI-AMERICANISM: CAUSES AND REMEDIES - TOP

WHAT: The Council on American-Islamic Relations cordially invites you to attend its 2005 Annual Conference, "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies."

WHEN: Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005
Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 14

WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA (703-448-1234)

To view a complete program or to register for the conference, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

Volunteers are also needed for CAIR's Conference. Please call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, or e-mail events@cair-net.org for more information.

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CAIR CALLS FOR FBI PROBE OF CO MOSQUE VANDALISM - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/21/05) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on the FBI to investigate recent vandalism at a Colorado mosque as a possible hate crime.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said a brick was thrown through a window of the Fort Collins Islamic Center on Sunday. Some community members say the attack is suspicious because it followed a forum Saturday to introduce a "Not In Our Town" chapter in that city. "Not In Our Town" is a group formed to fight hate groups. Police say surveillance cameras captured the crime.

Local law enforcement authorities have not treated the vandalism as a hate crime because there was no message left at the scene by the perpetrators.

SEE: "Surveillance Video Captures Vandalism at Islamic Center
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/4397818/detail.html

"Motive Eyed in Islamic Center Attack"
http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~53~2827824,00.html

"It has been our experience that anti-Muslim bigots do not always leave a calling-card," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "We urge the FBI to devote its considerable resources to assist local authorities in this case."

Hooper expressed concern about a series of similar incidents of vandalism reported in recent months by Muslim individuals and institutions nationwide. He also noted that CAIR will release its latest annual report on the status of American Muslim civil rights in May. That report will outline acts of anti-Muslim discrimination, bias and violence in the past year.

As a response to these and other anti-Muslim incidents, CAIR published a "Muslim Community Safety Kit." The safety kit may be obtained free of charge by e-mailing pubs@cair-net.org. (Include name, address and phone number when requesting the safety kit.)

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org

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IN JERSEY CITY, RELIGIOUS LEADERS VOW HEALING - TOP
TINA KELLEY, New York Times, 4/21/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/21/nyregion/21jersey.html

JERSEY CITY, Apr. 20 - Following months of vitriol in the Egyptian community here between Muslims and Coptic Christians after the slaying of a Coptic family in January, leaders of more than a dozen religious groups met in City Hall on Wednesday to sign a pledge of solidarity.

The statement, signed by representatives of local Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Hindu, Bahai, Episcopal, Jewish and Lutheran congregations, said, "We deem it necessary to state unequivocally that we oppose hate and expressions of hate in all forms" and promised to "support, encourage and affirm all efforts to build bridges rather than walls."

They expressed hope that "when times of crisis come, we can support and view each other with clarity, sincerity and honesty."

The slain family - Hossam Armanious, 47, his wife, Amal Garas, 37, and their two children, Sylvia, 15, and Monica, 8 - were found dead in their Jersey City home on Jan. 14. Rumors quickly spread that the father had exchanged angry words with a Muslim on the Internet, and the killings threatened to localize a centuries-old schism between Egyptian Muslims and Coptic Christians, a minority in Egypt that human rights groups say faces discrimination there.

Chaos broke out at the family's funeral on Jan. 17, when a Muslim cleric from Brooklyn came to pay his respects. He had to be escorted away by the police after he was threatened with violence.

Two former convicts, Edward McDonald, 25, who rented a second-floor apartment above the family, and Hamilton Sanchez, 30, were charged last month with killing the family in a robbery that went awry. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS PLEDGE PEACE AFTER SLAYING OF COPTIC FAMILY - TOP
WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press, 4/21/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--familyslain0420apr20,0,6423855.story

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (AP) - Declaring an end to "a period of agony in our community," Muslim, Christian and other religious leaders signed a pledge rejecting hatred and promising to build better interfaith ties in the aftermath of the slaying of an Egyptian Christian family.

Representatives of Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Hindu, Baha'i, Episcopal and Lutheran congregations met Wednesday at City Hall to sign an oversized copy of a pledge not to let the divisions that followed the murder of the Armanious family happen again. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS DETAINED AT BORDER SUE U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY - TOP
Michelle Garcia, Washington Post, 4/21/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6225-2005Apr20.html

NEW YORK, April 20 -- American Muslims detained at the border as they returned from a religious conference in Toronto sued the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday alleging they were targets of ethnic and religious profiling.

The five Muslims, all U.S. citizens, say customs officials detained dozens of others from their conference in December, subjecting them to interrogations, fingerprinting and photographing. Four carried U.S.-issued passports; the other had a New York state driver's license, which is an acceptable form of identification at the Canadian border.

The plaintiffs traveled separately and arrived at the checkpoint throughout the afternoon and night. Travelers who told agents they had attended the conference titled "Reviving the Islamic Spirit" were held for questioning, and women wearing hijab were asked whether they had attended the conference, according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Council for American-Islamic Relations. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIMS SUE FEDS IN BORDER DETAIN
LESLIE CASIMIR, NY DAILY NEWS, 4/21/05
http://www.nydailynews.com/boroughs/story/301914p-258442c.html

MUSLIM-AMERICANS SUE GOVT FOR RACIAL PROFILING
Larry Fine, Reuters, 4/20/05
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=8243195

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REFORM THE PATRIOT ACT TO ENSURE CIVIL LIBERTIES - TOP
Anita Ramasastry, CNN/FindLaw, 4/20/05
http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/04/20/ramasastry.patriotact/

(FINDLAW) -- On December 31, sixteen portions of the U.S.A. Patriot Act are set to expire -- or, in legal parlance, "sunset." Congress is holding hearings on the act and considering, among other issues, whether to amend it to curb the broad surveillance powers it bestowed on the federal government.

For example, under the act the government can monitor an individual's Web surfing records. It can use roving wiretaps to monitor phone calls made by individuals "proximate" to the primary person being tapped. It can access Internet service provider records. And it can even monitor the private records of people involved in legitimate protests.

After September 11, 2001, when the act was passed, the executive argued that these broader powers would be used to put terrorists behind bars. In fact, several of the act's provisions can be used to gain information about Americans in the context of investigations with no demonstrated link to terrorism.

For this reason, I will argue, the act should be amended. The U.S.A. Patriot Act as a whole includes important powers. But as written, the act goes far beyond its justification of terrorism prevention.

In this column, I will focus on just a few of the act's sunsetting provisions -- each of which, in my view, should be repealed or, at a minimum, allowed to expire this December. (MORE)

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2 SENIOR AIPAC EMPLOYEES OUSTED - TOP
FBI Investigating if Pair Gave Classified Information to Israel
Dan Eggen and Jerry Markon, Washington Post, 4/21/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6059-2005Apr20.html

Two senior employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of Washington's most influential lobbying organizations, have left their jobs amid an FBI investigation into whether they passed classified U.S. information to the government of Israel, a source close to the organization said yesterday.

The source characterized the departures as firings. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

AIPAC SACKS TWO SENIOR EMPLOYEES OVER SPY SCANDAL - TOP
Haaretz, 4/21/05
http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/567970.html

The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has fired two of its senior officials involved in an investigation over possible spying for Israel in the United States, the New York Times reported Thursday.

The pro-Israel lobby dismissed its policy director Steve Rosen and its senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman, who had both been previously suspended for the duration of the investigation.

The FBI investigation started last year after suspicions arose that Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin transferred classified information about U.S. policy on Iran to members of AIPAC.

AIPAC, whose ties with the U.S. administration were badly hurt, is apparently trying to distance itself from the on-going FBI investigation. In December, FBI agents raided the AIPAC offices and issued subpoenas to four top executives who were later questioned at length. (MORE)

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SOCIETY CELEBRATES ISLAMIC LIFE - TOP
Arielle Gomberg, Daily Targum, 4/21/05
http://www.dailytargum.com/news/2005/04/21/PageOne/Society.Celebrates.Islamic.Life-932363.shtml

Members of the Islamic Society of Rutgers University are talking about the purpose of life, the existence of God and the misconceptions about Islam at Brower Commons on the College Avenue campus this week - Islam Awareness Week.

The group is also serving cold drinks and crunchy snacks inside its mosque-inspired tent, where ISRU has set up games and information tables for students to learn about Islam. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

PANEL PONDERS FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY, ISLAM - TOP
Charles Burress, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/21/05

Is marriage in the future for Islam and democracy? That question will face intense scrutiny at a UC Berkeley conference Friday.

The "Democracy and Global Islam" conference seeks to restore scholarly expertise to a public debate that, in the view of conference organizers, has been relegated to journalists and security experts since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Free and open to all, the conference will examine emerging forms of transnational Islam and radical Islam, and whether they are children of globalization more than of traditional Islam.

The international lineup of experts includes professors from several fields, diplomats and Islamic and Christian religious leaders. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Lipman Room on the eighth floor of Barrows Hall. More information is available at http://igov.berkeley.edu/conferences/.

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To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from this list, go to:
http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 15:45:45 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslims, Jews Rehab Home/Muslims Take Part in Passover Seder/Muslim Women Make a Splash

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/22/05

* HADITH: Love One Another
* NEW $75 Day-Rate for CAIR Conference in DC
* CAIR-DFW: Islam is 'Submission to God,' Not Tyrants
            - CAIR-CA Job Openings
* CO: CAIR Urges FBI Probe in Fort Collins (Denver Post)
* NY: Muslim Border Hassles Sound Familiar (Dem & Chron)
            - Muslims' Lawsuit Upholds Liberties for All (Buffalo News)
* CA: Islam Gives Basic Human Rights to All (VC Star)
* MO: Islamic Center Sponsors Open House
            - NE: Muslim Women Make a Splash for Companionship
            - MD: Muslims, Jews, Join to Rehab Home (Jewish Times)
            - IL: Muslims Take Part in Passover Seder (Chicago Trib)
            - NY: RIT Muslim Poetry Slam
* TX: American Spending Won't Sway Arabs (SA Express-News)
            - CA: MidEast Delegation Urges Muslim-Christian Dialogue

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HADITH OF THE DAY: LOVE ONE ANOTHER - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "There are people from among the servants of God who are neither prophets nor martyrs, (yet) the prophets and martyrs will envy them on the Day of Resurrection because of the (high rank they are given by God)." The people then asked the Prophet who these people are, and he replied: "They are people who love one another for the spirit of God."

Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith 1563

The Prophet also said: "You will not believe as long as you do not love one another."

Sahih Muslim, Hadith 19

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NEW $75 DAY-RATE FOR CAIR CONFERENCE IN DC - TOP

WHAT: A new $75 one-day rate has been announced for CAIR's 2005 Annual Conference, "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies." The $75 cost will include all lectures and two meals on Saturday, May 14. Registration begins at 8 a.m., first session begins at 9 a.m. E-mail events@cair-net.org call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, to register for the single-day rate.

WHEN: Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005
Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 14
WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA (703-448-1234)

ALSO: The new hotel room rate is now $89/night. Please call 703-448-1234 to reserve your room. Remember to ask for the CAIR conference rate. Rate is available up to May 1, 2005. Register early to guarantee this rate.

To view a complete program or to register for the conference, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

Volunteers are also needed for CAIR's Conference. Please call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, or e-mail events@cair-net.org for more information.

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CAIR-DFW: ISLAM IS 'SUBMISSION TO GOD,' NOT TYRANTS - TOP
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/letters/stories/042205dnedifriletters.33f6f4f6.html

Re: "Arab Self-Evaluation - U.N. report calls for social, political changes," April 8 Editorials.

This editorial claims that Arab governments, tradition, tribalism and Islam are the major causes for human suffering in the Arab world. The editorial's author spins the results of the Arab Human Development Report 2004 to blame Islam as a main element for "their miserable condition."

The report itself convincingly explains that the real reason for the failings of democracy in several Arab countries is not because of its culture but in the people's inability to remove authoritarian and totalitarian secular regimes.

The presence of dictatorships in the Middle East is not an expression of Islam. It is disappointing that The Dallas Morning News misrepresented Islam by inserting an incomplete definition of Islam in the wrong context. Islam's definition is "submission to God alone"; not to tyrants or to one's clan, as the editorial implied.

The report quotes that "the dominant trend in Islamic jurisprudence supports freedom" and that "no Arab thinker today doubts that freedom is a vital and a necessary condition." This report does not lay the blame at the feet of the Arab society but rather on the despotic governments that have been holding back their own citizens for decades.

The News would serve its readership better with complete research and accurate reporting.

Saffia Meek, Council on American Islamic Relations D/FW, Dallas (She can be reached at info@cairdfw.org.)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-SFBA SEEKS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/ADMIN. ASSISTANT - TOP

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
CAIR San Francisco Bay Area Office, Santa Clara, CA

This position will entail being the focal point for communications, activities, and programs emanating from the San Francisco and Santa Clara area.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

The ideal candidate will play a central role in keeping daily operations/activities organized, on track and moving forward.

Interested candidates in either position should send a comprehensive resume stating education, work history, references, along with copies of relevant academic certificates to:

E-Mail: NOCAL@cair.com

Mail to:
CAIR-SFBA
Attn: President
3000 Scott Blvd, Ste 212
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Tel: 408-986-9874

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ISLAMIC GROUP URGES FBI PROBE IN FORT COLLINS - TOP
Monte Whaley, Denver Post, 4/22/05
http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~53~2829481,00.html

A national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group Thursday called on the FBI to investigate whether Sunday's vandalism of a mosque in Fort Collins was a hate crime.

The Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations said the FBI has the resources to bring to this type of case that local police lack.

A brick was thrown through a window of the Fort Collins Islamic Center on Sunday. Some community leaders say the timing of the attack is suspicious because it followed a Saturday forum aimed at setting up an anti-hate group in the city and an appearance by an Islamic cleric who spoke at Colorado State University about terrorism.

Fort Collins police say there is no evidence that the damage done to the building was motivated by racism because there was no message left by the perpetrator.

"It has been our experience that anti-Muslim bigots do not always leave a calling card," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the council. (MORE)

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BORDER HASSLES SOUND FAMILIAR - TOP
Area Muslims say they can relate to experiences detailed in a lawsuit.
Marketta Gregory, Democrat and Chronicle, 4/21/05
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050421/NEWS01/504210358/1002/NEWS

(April 21, 2005) - A lawsuit filed Wednesday claiming that five Muslims were unlawfully detained at the Canadian border has struck close to home for local Muslims, who say they feel that they, too, have been treated like criminals at the border.

The five Muslims were searched, fingerprinted, questioned and held for as long as 6 1/2 hours by U.S. border agents upon their return from a religious conference in Toronto in December, according to the suit against the federal Department of Homeland Security.

The suit in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn alleges that the government violated the Muslims' constitutional rights to practice religion and against unlawful searches. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIMS' LAWSUIT INVOLVES UPHOLDING RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES FOR ALL, LAWYER SAYS - TOP
GENE WARNER Buffalo News
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20050421/1029564.asp

A civil liberties attorney posed a question Wednesday in trying to explain how offended Muslim-Americans felt when they were detained for hours at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge while returning from a religious conference in Toronto:

How would the community react, Udi Ofer wondered, if local Catholics were detained for hours and fingerprinted upon returning from the installation of Pope Benedict XVI?

"It is the same First Amendment-protected rights of free speech, association and religious expression," Ofer, an attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in announcing the federal lawsuit filed Wednesday on behalf of five Muslim-Americans.

"It's easy to fall into the trap that this doesn't pertain to me, because I'm not Muslim and I don't attend Muslim conferences," Ofer explained. "But it's a slippery slope. Today American Muslims are being targeted. Tomorrow, it could be Catholic Americans. That's why it's important to (protect) the constitutional rights of free speech and religious expression."

The New York Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations held simultaneous news conferences Wednesday in Buffalo and New York City to announce the lawsuit.

It charges the Department of Homeland Security with detaining, interrogating, fingerprinting and photographing five Muslims solely because they attended the Islamic conference. The five, all American citizens, were among about 40 Muslims detained for up to 61/2 hours last Dec. 26 and 27. (MORE)

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ISLAM GIVES BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS TO ALL, FORBIDS TERRORISM - TOP
Imam Ahmed Patel, Ventura County Star
http://www.venturacountystar.com/vcs/co_valley/article/0,1375,VCS_166_3720657,00.html

Since the day God created humans, God bestowed upon them their basic rights. Any God-fearing and sound-minded person would understand the importance of this fundamental God-given right. But unfortunately in many parts of the world people have forgotten this principle. Many times questions have been raised about human rights in Islam, whether or not there is a comprehensive concept in Islam about human rights. In light of the present situation in many Muslim countries, it is important to explain the Islamic perspective on human rights.

Islam has made human rights a fundamental part of the religion, and no one can be a Muslim without respecting the rights of all the humans. Islam gives five basic fundamental rights to every human being: (1) protection of life, (2) protection of wealth and property, (3) protection of honor, (4) protection of belief and (5) protection of the means of livelihood. These represent man's five basic necessities of life. Islam has made the above mentioned principles part of the religious requirement. (MORE)

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ISLAMIC CENTER SPONSORS OPEN HOUSE - TOP
Ikuru Kuwajima, Maneater, 4/19/05
http://www.themaneater.com/article.php?id=21318

The Islamic Center of Central Missouri held an open house Sunday to inform Columbia residents about Muslim culture. The purpose was to clear some of the misconceptions about Islam. More than 200 Columbia residents, including MU students, came to the mosque to learn the religion and culture.

"This event is to educate the community about Muslims and let them learn about the religion," said Rashed Nizam, Islamic Center president.

The center holds an open house once or twice a year every year, he said.

Muslim communities have good relationships with different communities in Columbia, Nizam said.

"The center is open to people, and we have visitors from churches and lawmakers in the mosque every weekend," he said. "We have good relationships with other religions." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIM WOMEN MAKE A SPLASH FOR COMPANIONSHIP, HEALTH, FUN - TOP
JONNIE TATE' FINN, Lincoln Journal Star, 4/22/05
http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2005/04/22/local/doc426838e13514b434587681.txt

Nejiba Bouzid felt trapped. For 10 years she was ailed by pain in her back, her only peace coming from daily medication her doctors said was the only treatment. She could exercise, they said, to strengthen her muscles and ease the pain.

But that was practically impossible, she thought. Where could she, a Muslim woman whose faith requires total-body cover - face and hands excluded - exercise?

The woman from Tunisia in northern Africa almost surrendered to a lifetime of daily medication and chronic pain before a friend told her about a program designed for women seeking a place to exercise privately, away from the public - and away from men.

The program was organized in September by the YWCA and Faces of the Middle East, a local group helping immigrants from that area. It lets Muslim women swim for two hours every Sunday for free. There they play, learn to swim and are taught water aerobics. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS, JEWS, JOIN TO REHAB HOME - TOP
Andrew Scherr, Jewish Times, 4/22/05
http://www.jewishtimes.com/News/4666.stm

While they may not always agree on American foreign policy matters, members of the Baltimore Jewish Council and the Maryland Muslim Council dialogue group concur that helping the local community is quite important.

Last Sunday, April 17, nine volunteers from the BJC and the MMC went to the Pen Lucy neighborhood in North Baltimore to rehab a rowhome for the home-building, non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity.

That morning, at 934 Cator Ave., Jews and Muslims worked side by side to improve the city they co-habit. "It makes all of us feel good to help somebody in need of a better home," Shabbir Ahmed, coordinator of the MMC, said from his perch on a wooden ladder.

Mr. Ahmed was in the midst of scraping old paint from a back porch awning along with Erica Hobby, director of domestic concerns for the BJC. Ms. Hobby said their efforts "do a lot of good for the greater community, [which is] very rewarding."

The volunteers spent a little more than six hours stripping and repainting the front and back porches, the porch railings and the basement walls, with a short lunch break. As they worked together, the volunteers often schmoozed and joked with each another.

"We can be more productive working together than fighting each other," said Del. Jon S. Cardin (D-11th), one of the Jewish volunteers. "Deep down inside, we all want the same thing, which is to live in safe and meaningful communities." (MORE)

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DIFFERENT FAITHS GET TASTE OF UNITY AT PASSOVER TABLE - TOP
Margaret Ramirez, Chicago Tribune, 4/22/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0504220159apr22,1,4346021.story

Inside the basement auditorium of a Chicago labor union headquarters, Jewish community leaders broke matzo at a model Passover seder in the unlikely company of Muslim lawyers, Latino workers and African-American supermarket employees.

The invited Muslims sipped grape juice instead of the traditional red wine and shifted nervously in their seats. But by the end of the seder, the guests discovered a striking connection to the Jewish people.

"I thought it was important to be here and share the discrimination and suffering that Muslim immigrants are facing," said Kamran Memon, a Muslim civil rights attorney who attended the Immigrant Justice Freedom Seder last week. "I saw parallels between the way Jews suffered in the past and other groups today. It came out clearly." (MORE)

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MUSLIM POETRY SLAM - TOP
Ben Foster, Reporter Magazine, 4/22/05
http://www.reportermag.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/04/22/4266d24321ca7

Poetry by its nature is a brutally honest medium. Each line and verse has an emotional origin within the writer. Listening to a culture's poetry, then, can give you a sense of what is important to their way of life.

Last Friday, April 15, RIT students had such an opportunity to understand a culture through its poetry, in this case Muslim Americans. Their culture is often misunderstood, and even feared in today's society. However, when you listen to the writings of Muslim Americans, you do not simply hear anger at a government they disagree with politically, but you hear compassion and their humanity. This effect was intensified at the Muslim poetry slam, as each of the three poets was not only Muslim, but also a woman. Poems about motherhood juxtaposed with poems about war and God made a jarring mix for someone unaccustomed to this culture and their poetry.

The audience was less surprised then I was. The Muslim Student Association, the Women's Center, and the College of Liberal Arts hosted the event itself; perhaps unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the audience was Muslim. They seemed familiar with the mix of politics with God and family. Before the readings began, a student went to the front of the auditorium and recited a prayer from the Koran in Arabic and then in English. The audience responded with the appropriate words and I felt a little out of place. Things were about to get a lot more accessible, though, as the first poet took the stage. (MORE)

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AMERICAN SPENDING WON'T SWAY ARABS - TOP
Mansour El-Kikhia, San Antonio Express-News, 4/22/05
http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/columnists/melkikhia/stories/MYSA042205.07B.mansour.1fdf31ea1.html

My major fear is of this administration's foreign policy, particularly toward the Middle East and Islam. It is embarking on an ideological war that will make the Crusades appear like child's play. According to the April 26 issue of U.S. News & World Report, the Bush administration "has embarked on a campaign of political warfare unmatched since the height of the Cold War." It appears the neocons feel threatened by a growing religion with more than 1.2 billion adherents.

The White House dubbed the strategy "Muslim World Outreach" and aims to win the hearts and minds of Muslims with money and covert operations. The CIA and other security agencies have been receiving funding for activities in the Muslim world that would put the United States in a pleasant light.

The major emphasis is on infiltrating Islamic organizations and countering Islamic teaching perceived as incompatible with Western thought.

To make it more palatable to Muslims, the U.S. government is funding the rebuilding of mosques, gathering of ancient Korans and arranging for conferences to discuss the benefits of Western thought and a new version of Islam.

Initially, the areas of operations are the non-Arab areas of the Islamic world. In the Arab world, the United States will depend on direct foreign aid and two media outlets, Al-Hurra TV and Radio Sawa. Both are music outlets interspersed by news. They are estimated to reach 20 percent to 30 percent of Arab viewers and listeners.

It's amazing how the most intelligent country in the world can produce so many unintelligent policy-makers. I hate to burst their bubble, but they seem to believe their own lies and delusions.

Watching or listening to an Arab version of MTV won't make Muslim kids any less Muslim. More important, Muslims are not stupid and many do know when they are being taken for a buggy ride. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MIDDLE EAST DELEGATION TO U.S. IN L.A. THIS WEEK, URGING MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN DIALOGUE - TOP
http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=46276

Members of a four-country Middle East delegation now touring the U.S. are in Los Angeles through this weekend, hoping to build better interfaith relations- and counter prevailing American stereotypes of Muslims and Arabs as invariably pitted against Christians in a "clash of civilizations."

The delegates -- Christian, Muslim and Druze academics, policy and interfaith leaders from Lebanon, Egypt and Syria -- are in the U.S. under the auspices of global humanitarian agency Church World Service's Middle East Forum.

On the heels of presentations in Chicago earlier this week, delegates now in L.A. are scheduled to present and hold dialogues in college and congregational settings with area Christians, particularly conservative Christians, and Arab American Christians and Muslims. (MORE)

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

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Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 11:31:54 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslims Call New Fox Crusader Film 'Balanced'

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MUSLIMS CALL NEW FOX CRUSADER FILM 'BALANCED'
CAIR says 'Kingdom of Heaven' avoids negative stereotypes

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/25/05) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said today that the new 20th Century Fox epic "Kingdom of Heaven" is a "balanced" portrayal of the Crusades, despite earlier concerns that the film might offer stereotypical portrayals of Islam or Muslims.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) based its judgment on a private screening of the Sir Ridley Scott film at Fox studios in Los Angeles. "Kingdom" is scheduled to open in theaters nationwide May 6th.

To watch a trailer of the film, go to:
http://www.kingdomofheavenmovie.com/trailer.html

Representatives of CAIR's Southern California office (CAIR-LA) and the group's national headquarters took part in the screening. They said the film, which focuses on the 12th century period between the Second and Third Crusades, highlights the humanity of characters on both sides of that centuries-long conflict.

"Our overall impression is that 'Kingdom of Heaven' is a balanced and positive depiction of Islamic culture during the Crusades," said CAIR-LA Communications Director Sabiha Khan. "Muslims are shown as dignified and proud people whose lives are based on ethics and morality." Khan said one of the film's positive messages, that Muslims and Christians can live together in peace, will provide an opportunity for increased interfaith dialogue.

"It is unfortunately a rare occasion when a Muslim filmgoer can leave the theater feeling good about a movie's portrayal of Islam," said CAIR National Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, who also attended the Los Angles screening. "This film managed to show the horrors of war without associating those horrors with a particular faith or culture." Ahmed thanked Fox for its screening of the film and for taking care to avoid religious stereotypes.

Earlier this year, CAIR met with Fox television network officials over concerns about the depiction of a "Muslim" family at the heart of a terror plot in the drama series "24."

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

- END -

CONTACT: Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334, E-Mail: socal@cair.com; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org;

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----




Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 15:26:38 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Hail Pope's Meeting with Islamic Leaders

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/25/05

* VERSE: Not For Sport
* CAIR: Muslims Hail Pope's Meeting With Islamic Leaders
            - CAIR-Chicago: Mosques Face Hard Road in Suburbs
            - CAIR-GA: Who Speaks For Muslims?
            - CAIR-FL: Interfaith Outreach (SP Times)
            - CAIR-DC: Internship Program Deadline Extended
* TX: Muslim Activist Gives Back to Community (Dallas News)
            - IN: Comic Wants To Build Bridges with Laughter
            - CA: Converts Say Islam Allows Them to Better Lives
* NC: Are Islam And Democracy Compatible? (Charlotte Observer)
* MI Home To the First US Arab-American Museum (Free Press)
            - NY: Muslim Students Need Space (NYU News)
* Closer Look at Rumsfeld Role in Abuses (NY Times)
            - Soldiers Still Killing Civilians in Iraq (Indep)
            - Group: 150 Possible US Torture Sites (LA Times)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: NOT FOR SPORT - TOP

"Not for (idle) sport did We create the heavens and the earth and all that is between."

The Holy Quran, 21:16

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CAIR-DC: MUSLIMS HAIL NEW POPE'S MEETING WITH ISLAMIC LEADERS - TOP
Wayne Parry, Associated Press, 4/25/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--pope-muslims0425apr25,0,5412066.story

NEWARK, N.J. -- Muslims in the U.S. hailed Pope Benedict XVI's meeting with Islamic leaders at the Vatican on Monday, saying they are increasingly confident the new pontiff wants better ties between the world's two largest religions.

The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, chosen last week to succeed Pope John Paul II, met with Islamic leaders who had attended his installation Mass the day before, promising to work toward building "bridges of friendship" between Catholics and Muslims.

"It is encouraging to note that a meeting with Muslims was one of the first official acts of Pope Benedict XVI," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. "We hope that this initial positive step is a sign that he intends to build on Pope John Paul II's legacy of interfaith dialogue and reconciliation."

The new pontiff said growing dialogue between the religions is a step toward fostering peace.

"It is therefore imperative to engage in authentic and sincere dialogue, built on respect for the dignity of every human person, created as we Christians firmly believe, in the image and likeness of God," said Pope Benedict XVI.

Those words were heartening to Muslims who were carefully watching the new pontiff for signs of how he will approach relations with Islam. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-CHICAGO: MOSQUES, ISLAMIC SCHOOLS FACE HARD ROAD IN SUBURBS -TOP
Carolyn Starks, Chicago Tribune, 4/24/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0504240396apr24,1,5146237.story

Invitations were delivered to every neighbor along Old Orchard Road in Harvard. But when the day arrived to meet the likely new owners of the brick church at the end of their street, no one showed up.

Hamid and Mazher Ahmed sat for hours inside the vacant church on a recent Saturday. The buffet of home-cooked Indian food grew cold, and they grew weary of trying to make an impression.

It was a sign, they said, that the plan to convert the former Episcopal church into an Islamic boarding school would face high hurdles. The neighbors hired an attorney to block the plan, and last week the city's Planning and Zoning Commission denied their request for a permit to open the school.

"We even went knocking door to door, but no one came out to talk with us," Mazher Ahmed said a few days after the commission's decision. "Maybe they weren't home."

As more Muslims make the suburbs their home--an estimated 400,000 in the Chicago area--they are clashing with their new neighbors over where to build mosques and schools. In Morton Grove, residents dragged out approval of a mosque for more than a year, leaving bruised feelings that have yet to heal. In Orland Park, some residents said they would not re-elect the mayor if he supported building a mosque.

Though the objections take the form of zoning concerns, some Muslim groups say such arguments are not merely not-in-my-back-yard sentiments but also the residue of Sept. 11, 2001, and the fear that mosques are sanctuaries for terrorists.

"I think more often than not, opposition to the construction of schools or mosques is Islamophobia, even though obviously no one will say that that is their reason," said Ahmed Rehab, a spokesman for the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. (MORE)

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WHO SPEAKS FOR MUSLIMS - TOP

(PRWEB) April 19, 2005 -- "Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world, and yet, Muslims may be some of the most misunderstood people in the world," said Luqman Jai who serves on a team of organizers for an upcoming conference called "Who Speaks for Muslims?" He added, "One of the reasons we are not understood is because of how the media presents us and helps define us for the world."

Muslims of Atlanta and throughout the United States will unite in Atlanta, Georgia Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 27, 28, and 29 to discuss and answer the question "Who Speaks for Muslims". Organized by Taqwa Productions Inc. of Atlanta, an Islamic television production company, this weekend Muslim Media Dawah Conference will bring together Muslim radio and television producers, film writers and producers, spoken word artists, web designers, dawah (Arabic for propagation) leaders, political leaders, and others whose presence and works help inform or promote an understanding of the religion of Al-Islam.

The Muslim Media Dawah Conference will include workshops, film screening, a youth camp, and most importantly, a symposium featuring some of the great national Muslim leaders of the U.S. who will speak to the media about the question "Who Speaks for Muslims" and what they should be saying.

The conference is open to any Muslim involved in or interesting in the image of Muslims and helping others to understand the Islamic faith and religion. Nearly two dozen workshops are scheduled, including "How to Present Muslims to the Public," "How to Get Your Program on Bridges TV," "People to People Dawah," "Power of the Media", "Web Design", "How to Finance Your Project", and more. Confirmed presenters are from organizations such as CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), Muslim Journal, the all-new Islamic cable station Bridges TV, Sound Vision, Azizah Magazine, ICNA (Islamic Council of North America), Mosque Cares, and more.

For more information, contact Taqwa Productions, Inc. at 404-378-0306, www.taqwatv.org. Media contact: Hassan Shakir, 404-378-0306

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CAIR-FL: INTERFAITH OUTREACH - TOP
St Petersburg Times, 4/23/05
www.sptimes.com
(Search using the term "Bedier.")

On behalf of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim community, we welcome the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany as Pope Benedict XVI. American Muslims look forward to working with him and other representatives of the Roman Catholic Church to advance the cause of peace and justice for people of all faiths.

Furthermore, we encourage the new pope and the Roman Catholic Church leadership to build upon John Paul II's legacy of interfaith outreach and reconciliation based on mutual respect and religious tolerance.

Ahmed Bedier, Central Florida director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Tampa, ahmedb@cair.com

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CAIR-DC: 2005 SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM DEADLINE EXTENDED - TOP

WHAT: Exciting, 10-week paid internship opportunity available at America's largest Muslim advocacy group. Program focuses on civil rights, public relations, research, community outreach, and development.

WHO: CAIR is looking for dedicated persons, age 17 or older, who want to become the next generation of Muslim leaders in America. To receive a stipend, applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or have the appropriate Visas and/or work permits.

WHERE: CAIR National headquarters on Capitol Hill.

WHEN: The internship program runs from the first week in June to the third week in August 2005, 40 hours per week minimum commitment. Application deadline: May 15, 2005. For an Application, Contact: Asma Gheyoub at internship@cair-net.org or 202-488-8787, ext. 6052.

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'I FELT I SHOULD GIVE BACK WHATEVER I CAN' - TOP
Dallas News, 4/24/05
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/religion/stories/042305dnrelconnections.353680b4.html

Dr. M. Basheer Ahmed is a psychiatrist and founder of the Muslim Community Center for Human Services in North Richland Hills. Dr. Ahmed's work was recently featured in the book Inspired to Serve by Mark H. Massé (Indiana University Press, $45). In recent years he has organized conferences on domestic violence, the role of religion in promoting world peace and Muslim contributions to civilization. He recently spoke with Special Contributor Mary A. Jacobs. Here are excerpts.

Question: Tell me about your vision for the community center.

Answer: The immigrant population - from Iraq, Southeast Asia, Somalia, and the Middle East - was having difficulty getting public services because of the cultural differences and difficulties with language. So, in 1995, we started as a telephone helpline, where people could call about various problems and we would direct them where to go. Initially, a lot of calls came in for common medical problems, like diabetes or minor infections. If people go to Parkland they have to wait five or six hours, and if they don't take anybody who speaks English with them, they have difficulty. So we started a free clinic in 1998 with about 15 Muslim doctors who volunteer their time.

Then we built a relationship with the Tarrant County United Way. African-Americans, Hispanics and a few Anglos started to come to our clinic. So it's not exclusively for Muslims. We take everybody who comes to our door.

We also held the health fairs in places where a lot of Muslim immigrants go, like the mosques and community centers. We've been doing this every year for about eight years and we get about 500 people every time. We also have a helpline where people can call about issues like marital problems, childbearing issues or domestic violence. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIM COMIC WANTS TO BUILD BRIDGES AS HE DRAWS LAUGHTER - TOP
Indy Star, 4/25/05
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050423/LIVING/504230335/1007/LIVING

During the first year of the Official Muslim Comedy Tour, Preacher Moss has sometimes been asked how to stop terrorism.

The comedian responds, "Hey, that's easy. Feed a child. Just think about it. If you eat five pieces of chicken, a couple pieces of turkey, potato salad and cake, you're not interested in blowing up anything. You're too full. You're worried about blowing out."

Moss says that combination of humor and social message marks the approach of the "Allah Made Me Funny" comedy tour that will play here Friday.

The tour is the brainchild of Moss, a 38-year-old comedian who has written comedy for George Lopez, Damon Wayans and Bill Maher.

"It's been a tough time being a Muslim in America in the past few years," Moss says. "Yet all the evidence from 9/11 showed there was no involvement from American Muslims. I talk about the experience of being an African-American Muslim. Which means I'm black and I'm Muslim. So when I get pulled over (by the police), I get two tickets."

Moss laughs when he delivers that line. He does the same when he adds, "I talk about how racism is the reason you've never seen a Nation of Islam weatherman. Because I don't think people want to wake up to Minister James XXX delivering the weather."

During the show, Moss shares the stage with two other comedians. Azhar Usman is a former lawyer. Azeem (no last name as a performer) is a comedian who also founded Azeem's Kids Foundation, a charity that helps children in foster and juvenile care.

Since hitting the road in May, the trio has crossed the country, performing 45 shows. (MORE)

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CONVERTS SAY ISLAM ALLOWS THEM TO BETTER LIVE AND EXPRESS THEIR SPIRITUALITY - TOP
Howard Lachtman, Record, 4/23/05
http://www.recordnet.com/daily/lifestyle/articles/042305-l-1.php

Thomas Lee Williams was never comfortable with a religion that didn't allow him to question or even to discuss matters of faith.

That's one of the reasons why in 1976 he broke with his Baptist upbringing, studied Islam and changed his name to Thomas Abdul-Salaam.

Today, the Stockton-based human resource consultant looks back on 30 years of life as a Muslim and the opportunities it has given him to improve himself educationally and spiritually.

"At a very early age, I began to have my own questions about religion," he said. "I wanted to ask the minister about the concept of God having a son, but in Christianity at that time, questioning faith was not something you did."

He drifted away from the church, met representatives from the Nation of Islam in 1968, began reading about the faith and set himself on the path to conversion.

Islam is based on the words and religious system founded by the prophet Muhammad (570-632 A.D.) and taught by the Koran, the basic principle of which is submission to God (Allah). Islam means "submission to God," and Muslim translates as "a person who submits." Lifelong study and interpretation of the Koran is encouraged, along with knowledge of the prophet's teachings, personal charity and service to family and community.

"I knew Islam was what I wanted for my life, because it gave me a better approach to God," said Abdul-Salaam, 52. "It brought me the sense of importance of going to school and educating myself to be a responsible, respectful person."

Lockeford resident Lateefah Ali, 47, said she had never even heard of Muslims, let alone Islam, until a classmate at San Joaquin Delta College talked to her and loaned her a Koran. Reading it showed her a path to understanding. She converted in 1978.

"It was a way of life," Ali said. "It wasn't confusing. There was an answer to every question."

It made sense to Ali to pray to God every day instead of only on Sunday. Her prayer life and study soon began to transform her sense of self. (MORE)

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ARE ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY COMPATIBLE? - TOP
Carlin Ramano, Charlotte Observer, 4/25/05
http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/opinion/11481728.htm

In a just world, Khaled Abou El Fadl would get as much publicity as Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Bin Laden and Zarqawi blow up buildings and slaughter fellow Muslims. Abou El Fadl blows up everything those two terrorists supposedly believe in.

A UCLA law professor trained in Islam's jurisprudential traditions, Abou El Fadl specializes in exploring Islam's humane and democratic elements. A few years ago, in the brisk "The Place of Tolerance in Islam," he explained why "Islamic" and "tolerant" aren't contradictory, despite terrorists who suggest that Islam stands for nothing but hatred and violence.

Now, with demands for democracy resonating in the Mideast -- among Iraqi voters, Lebanese demonstrators, even the right and left lobes of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak -- observers might turn to Abou El Fadl's "Islam and the Challenge of Democracy" for a crash course on the basics.

The book's key message? Democracy isn't a great challenge for Islam -- at least doctrinally.

According to Abou El Fadl, "classical Muslim scholars embraced core elements of modern democratic practice." Although "the Quran itself does not specify a particular form of government," it does, he argues, pinpoint values central to any Muslim state: "pursuing justice through social cooperation and mutual assistance...; establishing a nonautocratic, consultative method of government; and institutionalizing mercy and compassion in social interactions...."

"Institutionalizing mercy and compassion"? No, such values don't seem to be within a light-year of exploding car bombs that wipe out hundreds of fellow Muslims.

Reading Abou El Fadl should anger every Muslim and non-Muslim. He demonstrates not just the brutality but the idiocy of so-called Islamic fascism -- "so-called" because it's really 99 percent fascist, and Islamic only in its rhetorical propaganda. As the author sets out Islam's authentic theses, the gap between them and their perversions grows ever clearer.

He writes, for instance: "A fundamental Quranic idea is that God vested all of humanity with a kind of divinity by making every person the viceroy of God on this earth."

Al-Qaida agitprop insists that because many Iraqis killed by car bombs supported or sought jobs with the government, it's OK to target them. Just one problem -- Islam doesn't accept that callous thinking. Those would-be cops are also Allah's vice-regents on Earth.

And what of the quality of "mercy" -- certainly not a notion widely associated with Islam these days?

Listen at length to an Islamic scholar who, unlike Osama, did not spend his youth in Western nightclubs, or making big money in construction.

In the Quran, Abou El Fadl writes, "God describes God's self as inherently just, and the Quran asserts that God has decreed mercy upon God's self.... Furthermore, the very purpose of entrusting the divine message to the Prophet Muhammad was a gift of mercy to human beings. (MORE)

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DEARBORN IS HOME TO THE COUNTRY'S FIRST ARAB-AMERICAN MUSEUM, A $15-MILLION SOURCE OF PRIDE - TOP
Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 4/24/05
http://www.freep.com/entertainment/newsandreviews/museum24e_20050424.htm

Anan Ameri, museum director, left, and Saad Shafie of Livonia scan the display that honors contributors to the new facility for Shafie's name.

One display at the new museum shows Arab Americans in their role of service in the armed forces.

Who knew?

That question may pop in your head often as you tour the nation's first museum dedicated to Arab Americans, their culture and their contributions.

From sports figures like Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Doug Flutie to labor leaders like the late Stephen Yokich, Americans of Arab descent have played major roles in shaping the nation. But until now, their stories have been invisible to many. The Arab American National Museum aims to change that.

Scheduled to open May 5, the $15-million, three-story museum -- on the site of a former furniture store -- stands near the corner of Michigan Avenue and Schaefer Road in Dearborn, right across from City Hall. The Islamic-style dome that tops it off is now part of the city skyline, in its own right a striking symbol of how far Arab Americans have come. Despite the difficult climate after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the community was determined to establish a showcase in Dearborn, a city where nearly 1 of out of every 3 residents claims Arab ancestry --the highest percentage in the country. (MORE)

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MUSLIM STUDENTS NEED SPACE - TOP
Carman Leone, NYU News, 4/25/05
http://www.nyunews.com/features/campuslife/9543.html

Carefully keeping his ironed khakis dry, Mohammed Umar gracefully raises his bare right foot to the lavatory sink, allowing the running water to clean away any impurities. He moves quickly and with precision; it's as if he has been through this motion a thousand times - in fact, he probably has.

Umar, a CAS senior and president of the student-run Islamic Center at NYU, washes his feet, along with his face, arms, neck and ears, five times every day. The cleansing ritual is part of the preparation for prayer that Muslims perform at dawn, early afternoon, late afternoon, sunset and evening. But washing one's feet is only one of the many rituals religious Muslim students on campus follow. There are a host of rites they perform, as well as a host of problems they face, one of the biggest being the lack of space for prayer.

"Although I try to schedule my classes around the times I know I have prayers, it's hard because they are always fluctuating depending on the time of the year," Umar said. "If I do have class, say in Silver, I will pray in the halls near the elevators that aren't in operation so I won't be disturbed. Sometimes I get looked at funny, but I don't care, I only have to answer to God."

Finding places to pray has been a growing problem of the Islamic community here. With the lease of their current space in the basement of the Catholic Center at NYU expiring, finding a new space for prayer, religious services and social gatherings poses a significant challenge.

The problem is exacerbated by the lack of an Islamic chaplain or an official to serve as a liaison between the students and the NYU administration. (MORE)

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CLOSER LOOK AT RUMSFELD, TENET ROLES IN ABUSES URGED - TOP
David Johnston, New York Times, 4/24/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0504240258apr24,1,5918889.story

WASHINGTON -- A human-rights group issued a report Saturday calling for a special prosecutor to examine the conduct of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the former director of central intelligence, George Tenet, in issues related to the abuse of detainees.

Drawing largely on news reports and military reviews, the group, Human Rights Watch, concluded there was "overwhelming evidence that U.S. mistreatment and torture of Muslim prisoners took place not merely at Abu Ghraib but at facilities throughout Afghanistan and Iraq as well as at Guantanamo, Cuba, and at `secret locations' around the world."The report found no indication that Rumsfeld warned those under his command to halt abusive treatment of detainees and said he should be investigated for abuses under a doctrine of "command responsibility." Rumsfeld has said he made it clear to subordinates that he did not condone mistreatment.

The report found that Tenet had been responsible for policies that sent detainees to countries where they were tortured, which made him potentially liable as an accomplice to torture. Tenet has not addressed the issue publicly, but CIA officials have long said that Tenet insisted that agency personnel carefully follow the law.

A special prosecutor is needed to investigate these matters, the report said, because Alberto Gonzales, the attorney general, has a conflict of interest as he "was himself deeply involved in the policies leading to these alleged crimes."

The report said that of seven investigations by the Pentagon, none had critically examined the role of the civilian leaders with ultimate authority. Investigations into case-by-case abuses have largely focused on lower-level personnel.

Bush administration officials have repeatedly said that the government's policies prohibit civilian and military personnel from engaging in torture and that anyone found to have used abusive procedures would be held accountable and would face prosecution.

So far, the government has shown no interest in an independent inquiry. Republicans in Congress have blocked requests by Democrats to examine allegations of detainee abuse, and the Justice Department has ignored requests to appoint a special prosecutor. (MORE)

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TERRIFIED US SOLDIERS ARE STILL KILLING CIVILIANS WITH IMPUNITY, WHILE THE DEAD GO UNCOUNTED - TOP
Patrick Cockburn, Independent, 4/24/05
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=632439

An American patrol roared past us with the soldiers gesturing furiously with their guns for traffic to keep back on an overpass in central Baghdad. A black car with three young men in it did not stop in time and a soldier fired several shots from his machine gun into its engine.

The driver and his friends were not hit, but many Iraqis do not survive casual encounters with US soldiers. It is very easy to be accidentally killed in Iraq. US soldiers treat everybody as a potential suicide bomber. If they are right they have saved their lives and if they are wrong they face no penalty.

"We should end the immunity of US soldiers here," says Dr Mahmoud Othman, a veteran Kurdish politician who argues that the failure to prosecute American soldiers who have killed civilians is one of the reasons why the occupation became so unpopular so fast. He admits, however, that this is extremely unlikely to happen given the US attitude to any sanctions against its own forces.

Every Iraqi has stories of friends or relatives killed by US troops for no adequate reason. Often they do not know if they were shot by regular soldiers or by members of western security companies whose burly employees, usually ex-soldiers, are everywhere in Iraq.

A member of the Iraqi National Congress, Ahmed Chalabi's party, was passing through an American checkpoint last year when a single shot rang out from a sniper. No US soldier was hit, but the troops at the checkpoint hosed down the area with fire, wounding the INC member and killing his driver.

The rector of Al-Nahrain University in south Baghdad was travelling to a degree ceremony on the other side of the city when white men in a four-wheel drive suddenly opened fire, hitting him in the stomach. Presumably they thought he was on a suicide mission. (MORE)

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GROUP SAYS U.S. SENT UP TO 150 TO POSSIBLE TORTURE SITES - TOP
Richard A. Serrano, Los Angeles Times, 4/24/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-renditions24apr24,1,3934831.story

WASHINGTON - A civil liberties group investigating allegations of prisoner abuse will report today that since the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. agents have secretly transported up to 150 detainees to countries that may practice torture.

Such transporting, known as rendition, is more widespread than the government has reported, according to Human Rights Watch. In a report issued a year after the earliest revelations of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, the group said the renditions, along with abuses of foreign detainees by U.S. forces, were possible violations of international law.

The group also said an Army investigation clearing top U.S. military commanders of wrongdoing in the scandal at Abu Ghraib in Baghdad established the need for an outside inquiry.

"This just proves the military can't investigate itself," said Reed Brody, a lawyer for Human Rights Watch, which monitors civil rights issues around the world. "It seems like another in a long line of attempts at self-absolution."

Brody's organization and the American Civil Liberties Union are among the groups that have sought the appointment of a special counsel to investigate U.S. detention practices since a string of Pentagon inquiries found few cases of wrongdoing, especially in higher military ranks or among civilian officials.

Revelations on Friday that an upcoming report by the Army inspector general would exonerate Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former chief U.S. commander in Iraq, and three other top officers proves the inadequacy of the military's probes, the rights groups said.

"These findings only show that the president must appoint a special counsel - who is not beholden by rank or party and who is able to look up the military chain of command," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero in a statement Saturday.

The Human Rights Watch report comes amid growing concern on Capitol Hill over sending prisoners to countries such as Syria and Egypt, which are widely believed to torture prisoners for interrogation purposes.

The Bush administration has acknowledged that renditions have occurred, but officials at the CIA and elsewhere have not definitively said how many captives may have been detained by the United States in one country, then clandestinely flown to a third nation.

Former CIA Director George J. Tenet has said his agency took part in more than 70 renditions before Sept. 11, but he has not made clear whether any involved sending detainees to countries that permitted torture.

His successor, CIA Director Porter J. Goss, testified in February before the Senate Intelligence Committee that experts did not believe prisoner abuse was an effective way to get information. (MORE)

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 12:00:01 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Anwar Ibrahim to Speak at CAIR Conference in DC

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR ACTION ALERT #454

ANWAR IBRAHIM TO SPEAK AT CAIR CONFERENCE IN DC
New registration option offered for single-day attendees

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/26/05)
- CAIR is pleased to announce that former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will be the keynote speaker at its "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies" conference in Washington, D.C. Ibrahim will speak at the May 14th conference banquet.

WHEN: Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005 (Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 14)
WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA (703-448-1234)

To view a complete conference program or to register online, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

CAIR's 2005 annual conference brings together scholars, researchers, religious leaders, and community activists to discuss issues related to the twin phenomena of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in the West and increasing anti-American sentiments in the Islamic world.

Conference participants will take part in sessions focusing on:

* Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism in the Media
* The Impact of Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism on Civil Rights and Policy-Making
* Anti-Americanism and U.S. Foreign Policy
* Islam and American Relations with the Muslim World
* Misconceptions about Christians and Muslims in Public Discourse
* Reasserting Mainstream Religious Values

NEW REGISTRATION OPTION:

$75 Single-Day - A new $75 day-rate has been announced for CAIR's 2005 Annual Conference, "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies." The $75 cost will include the full May 14th program, two meals and the Anwar Ibrahim address. E-mail events@cair-net.org call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, to register for the single-day rate.

ACTION REQUESTED:

1. To REGISTER for the full conference, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

2. To register for THE $75 SINGLE-DAY RATE, E-mail events@cair-net.org call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050.

3. VOLUNTEERS are also needed for CAIR's Conference. Please call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, or e-mail events@cair-net.org for more information.

4. BOOK NOW FOR BEST HOTEL RATE: The new hotel room rate is now $89/night. Please call 703-448-1234 to reserve your room. Remember to ask for the CAIR conference rate. Rate is available up to May 1, 2005. Register early to guarantee this rate.

- PLEASE ANNOUNCE, POST AND DISTRIBUTE -

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from this list, go to:
http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 15:01:00 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Coalition Calls for Independent Torture Probe

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COALITION CALLS INDEPENDENT TORTURE PROBE
Commission would examine use of torture by U.S. personnel

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/26/05) - A coalition of religious, minority and civil liberties group* today issued a joint statement calling for the formation of a independent bi-partisan commission, similar to the one that investigated the 9/11 attacks, to examine the use and instigation of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (CID) by American military, security and intelligence personnel worldwide.

Release of the statement by the Anti-Torture Coalition (ATC) is designed to coincide with the anniversary this week of revelations of torture and abuse at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

An editorial on the Abu Ghraib abuses in today's Washington Post states: "Because there has never been a truly thorough or independent investigation -- the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress have repeatedly rejected calls for a commission or a special prosecutor -- we may never fully know how such widespread and serious war crimes came about."

SEE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/04/25/AR2005042501352.html

The ATC's Call for an Independent Bi-Partisan Commission on Torture and CID:

"As gruesome revelations of abuse and torture of detainees held by the United States in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, and America prisons continue to surface, our elected officials and law enforcement authorities have not held accountable those at the highest levels of responsibility. Some officials have even sought to justify these brutal actions on national security grounds.

"The United Nations Convention against Torture, of which the United States is a signatory, clearly states that 'no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.'

"The torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners must end because:

"1. Torture and CID are wrong. Human instinct repels at the image of bound and naked prisoners being subjected to whatever cruelties the mind can construct. It does not take a legal scholar to recognize that forcing a prisoner's head under water, hanging him by his wrists or threatening rape by dogs must be prohibited by any civilized society.

"2. Torture and CID not useful. Throughout history, it has been clearly demonstrated that torture does not produce useful information for interrogators. It did not uncover 'heretics' in the Inquisition and it will not ensure public safety today. A recent letter to Congress from twelve retired high ranking military officials, including former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili, noted that the use of torture is not supported by established military doctrine and that 'such interrogation methods produce unreliable results and often impede further intelligence collection.'

"3. Torture and CID dehumanize those who use it. No human being or society that engages in or allows torture can maintain respect for either human life or the rule of law.

"4. Torture and CID place all prisoners everywhere in danger. The use of torture by one side in a conflict is often used by the other side as a false justification for retaliation in kind. Americans worldwide are thus placed in greater danger of being tortured.

"5. Torture and CID harm America's image and interests. We cannot expect people in other nations to accept our statements in support of human rights and freedom as long as we use torture or acquiesce in the use of torture by other nations.

"6. Torture and CID being used most often against prisoners of one faith. Every revelation of the use of torture by American personnel appears to involve a prisoner of the Muslim faith. This fact does not go unnoticed in an Islamic world already suspicious of American intentions toward Islam and Muslims.

"Along with an end to the use of torture and CID by American personnel, there must be an end to so-called 'renditions,' or sending prisoners to other nations with the understanding that they will be tortured. This practice not only violates American and international laws and norms, it decreases respect worldwide for our nation's values and goals.

"We therefore urge that an independent bi-partisan commission, with subpoena powers, be established to inform the American people about the extent of this stain on our national honor and to bring our nation's actions into compliance with the Constitution, international law and long-standing American values of justice and respect for human dignity."

- END -

* Signatories to the joint statement include:

Amnesty International, USA
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Muslim American Political Action Committee (MAPAC)
National Immigration Forum
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
Veterans for Common Sense

-----

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 12:44:00 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Launches Anti-Torture Campaign

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAIR LAUNCHES ANTI-TORTURE CAMPAIGN
Visitors to website may contact officials to support campaign

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/27/05) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today launched a website designed to support a call for the formation of an independent bi-partisan commission to examine the use and instigation of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (CID) by American personnel worldwide.

The site, sponsored by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), allows visitors to contact their elected representatives to support a statement calling for the formation of that commission issued yesterday by the Anti-Torture Coalition (ATC).

To learn more about CAIR's anti-torture campaign and to read ATC's full statement, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/antitorture/

CAIR's website also contains background information on the issue of torture and will be updated regularly with news articles and other initiatives on the topic.

"Polls indicated that the majority of Americans reject the use of torture or abuse, yet our nation's policies do not adequately reflect that fact," said CAIR Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar. "The use of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by American personnel is unfortunately still an important issue one year after the Abu Ghraib prison abuses were made public."

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

- END -

CONTACT: Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787 or 202-415-0799, E-Mail: arsalan@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 13:59:01 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: OR Muslim Worker Harassed/ MI Gov Dedicates Mosque Expansion

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/27/05

* HADITH: Who Is A Poor Person?
* OR: Muslim Worker Harassed (Portland Press)
* MI: Gov. to Dedicate Mosque Expansion (Wood TV)
            - MI: Oldest Mosque to Celebrate Expansion (Free Press)   
            - Town Should Celebrate Mosque and Diversity (Phoenix)
            - PA: Design Changes Clears Way for Mosque (Phil Inq)
* UN Investigator Who Exposed US Abuse Loses Job (Indep)
            - MA: Arabs Americans Misrepresented, Misunderstood (Daily Press)
            - TX: Americans Don't Understand Islam (The Battalion)
* Popularity Of Muslim Banks Grows (Cox News Service)
* DC: Arab Folklife Festival In Need Of Volunteers

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HADITH OF THE DAY: WHO IS A POOR PERSON? - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Do you know who is a poor person? A poor person in my community is someone who will come on the Day of Resurrection backed with prayers, fasting, regular charity, and pilgrimage, but also with a number of injustices to others, such as abusing this one, taking the property of that one, slandering someone, hitting another, or shedding the blood of someone else. Thereafter, (that person s) good deeds will be taken one after one and will be given to (those) who were wronged by him.

Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1179

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WA: MUSLIM HECKLED, NOT HURT - TOP
Gregory D. Kesich, Portland Press, 4/27/05
http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/local/050427lawsuit.shtml

A federal jury in Portland found that a Muslim employee of Jordan's Meats Inc. was subject to illegal racial and religious harassment, but was not entitled to money damages from the company.

The lawyer for Abdul Azimi, a former meat packer at the Portland plant, said he was confounded by the split decision and is looking into his client's options for appeal.

"If the verdict means what it says, it's quite troubling," said John Lemieux of the Farris Law Firm in Gardiner. "It doesn't send a very good message about the value of his dignity and emotional well-being."

Azimi was subject to steady harassment from co-workers and supervisors at the now closed Jordan's plant on India Street in Portland, according to testimony at the six-day civil rights trial in U.S. District Court. Azimi said that at various times over two years, he found a threatening letter in his locker, his boots in a toilet and his pockets stuffed with pork, which under Islamic dietary law he is forbidden to eat.

Azimi said he made his complaints known to management but they failed to stop the abuse. The jury found that Azimi had been harassed and the company knew or should have known about it. But they also found that Azimi did not prove that he was damaged physically or emotionally.

"We find that incomprehensible," Lemieux said. "There was a lot of harassment here, a lot of indignity." (MORE)

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GOVERNOR TO HELP DEDICATE $1.8 MILLION MOSQUE EXPANSION - TOP
WoodTV, 4/27/05
http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3265273

DEARBORN, Mich. Governor Granholm is joining other dignitaries Friday to help southeastern Michigan Muslims dedicate a one-point-eight (M) million-dollar mosque expansion.

The American Moslem Society is Michigan's oldest mosque.

It was founded in Highland Park in 1924 and moved to Dearborn in 1937.

The congregation draws thousands from around the area for services during Ramadan, Eid (EED) al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha and has faced increasing crowding.

The new mosque complex has a library and media room, conference rooms and 16 classrooms where 600 students study Arabic and Islam during two daily shifts.

Senator Debbie Stabenow also is expected to attend Friday's ceremony.

ALSO SEE:

MICHIGAN'S OLDEST MOSQUE TO CELEBRATE EXPANSION - TOP
Detroit Free Press, 4/27/05
http://www.freep.com/news/statewire/sw114988_20050427.htm

DEARBORN, Mich. -- Thirteen years of fund-raising and five years of bricks-and-mortar work have doubled the size of the oldest mosque in Michigan.

The $1.8 million expansion of the American Moslem Society will be celebrated Friday. Gov. Jennifer Granholm. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Dearborn Mayor Michael Guido and other officials and dignitaries are expected to attend, joining Detroit-area Muslims who trace their roots to Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan and other countries.

"Everyone is accepted, here," Mahdi Ali, president of the society, told The Detroit News for a Wednesday story. "Please tell people that even if you are not Muslim, please come here on any day. And if you are just curious about Islam, come and sit in the new library and read our books in Arabic and English and Spanish for Muslims and non-Muslims and watch some of our videos.

"You can come and read whatever you want to read, whatever interests you."

Besides the mosque, the complex includes the library and media room, new conference rooms, 16 classrooms that teach 600 students and a new activities room that can hold 300 people.

Some of the first Muslim families to immigrate to metropolitan Detroit established the mosque in 1924 in Highland Park, where many of them worked on the Ford Model T assembly lines. Henry Ford later moved his car-making operations to the River Rouge plant in Dearborn and the mosque was re-established there in 1937. (MORE)

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TOWN SHOULD CELEBRATE MOSQUE AND DIVERSITY - TOP
Muskogee Phoenix, 4/25/05
http://www.muskogeephoenix.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050425/OPINION01/50425001/1014

Best wishes to those who opened the The Masjid of Muskogee, the area s first mosque, earlier this month.

Establishing the mosque is, as one founder stated, an opportunity for Muslims who live in the area to share their faith and, as a group, to give to the community to which they belong and in which they have a stake.

Muskogee is a very diverse community, and the mosque simply highlights that diversity, something that has been a part of America s heritage from the very first settlements.

Christianity is certainly the dominant religion in America, but Native American beliefs and philosophy were expressed on this continent for centuries, and native people were often integral parts of and contributors to the first white settlements in the colonies. Some of the first ships to America brought not only Europeans, but also African people with their own views of the world and religions. The early settlements of the American West included immigrants from China.

Immigrants continue to come from all over the world to America because of the freedom offered here, and the fact that Muslims can open a mosque in Muskogee is a testimony to the principles by which we all live.

This really shouldn t have to be discussed, but of course, conflicts in the Middle East and terrorists attacks have generated suspicion and fear among Americans, as well as among those of the Muslim faith from many countries.

But mosques are not new to American communities. For years, they have contributed in other places, and in Muskogee, we should welcome what those of the Muslim faith and fellow Americans have to offer.

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ERASING TWEAKS IN DESIGN CLEARS THE WAY FOR MOSQUE - TOP
Edward Colimore, Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/25/05
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/11481982.htm

Zia Rahman thought the worst was behind him last summer.

After more than a year of controversy over the proposed construction of a mosque in Voorhees, Rahman was celebrating the building's groundbreaking with local Muslims, leaders of other faiths, and state and township officials.

He and the congregation had faced difficult challenges, including the circulation of an anonymous flyer warning residents of "extremists" with possible "connections to terrorists." And they persevered through long, sometimes emotional, zoning board hearings, traffic studies, and site-plan questioning.

Then, in the last several months, progress was delayed by proposed amendments to the mosque plans. The 15-family congregation wanted to add a basement, a cupola, a second-floor mechanical room, and a higher roof - all within the originally planned footprint of the building.

That meant more township scrutiny, more public hearings, more time before construction could get under way.

Last week, Rahman, managing trustee of the Muslim American Community Association, withdrew the application for changes in advance of a zoning board meeting.

"The general way we want to approach things is not to create any conflict, even if we have to give in and give up," Rahman said. "You do it for the overall interests of harmony. (MORE)

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UN INVESTIGATOR WHO EXPOSED US ARMY ABUSE FORCED OUT OF HIS JOB - TOP
Nick Meo, Independent, 4/25/05
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=632719

The UN's top human rights investigator in Afghanistan has been forced out under American pressure just days after he presented a report criticising the US military for detaining suspects without trial and holding them in secret prisons.

Cherif Bassiouni had needled the US military since his appointment a year ago, repeatedly trying, without success, to interview alleged Taliban and al-Qa'ida prisoners at the two biggest US bases in Afghanistan, Kandahar and Bagram.

Mr Bassiouni's report had highlighted America's policy of detaining prisoners without trial and lambasted coalition officials for barring independent human rights monitors from its bases.

Prisoners captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region are held at US bases, often before being shipped to Guantanamo Bay. Human Rights Watch called on Saturday for a US special prosecutor to investigate the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, and Charles Tenet, the former-CIA director, for torture and abuse of detainees in jails around the world, including Abu Ghraib in Iraq. They should be held responsible under the doctrine of "command responsibility," it said.

On Friday, the US army investigation into the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib cleared four out of five top officers of responsibility for the scandal which shocked the world when it broke a year ago. The only officer recommended for punishment is Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, who was in charge of Iraqi prisons at the time.

The UN eliminated Mr Bassiouni's job last week after Washington had pressed for his mandate to be changed so that it would no longer cover the US military.

Just days earlier, the Egyptian-born law professor, now based in Chicago, had presented his criticisms in a 24-page report to the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.

The report, based on a year spent travelling around Afghanistan interviewing Afghans, international agency staff and the Afghan Human Rights Commission, estimated that around 1,000 Afghans had been detained and accused US troops of breaking into homes, arresting residents and abusing them.

ALSO SEE:

U.S.: ABU GHRAIB ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG - TOP
Human Rights Watch, 2/27/05
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/04/27/usint10545.htm

(New York, April 27, 2005) The crimes at Abu Ghraib are part of a larger pattern of abuses against Muslim detainees around the world, Human Rights Watch said on the eve of the April 28 anniversary of the first pictures of U.S. soldiers brutalizing prisoners at the Iraqi jail.

Abu Ghraib was only the tip of the iceberg. It s now clear that abuse of detainees has happened all over from Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay to a lot of third-country dungeons where the United States has sent prisoners. And probably quite a few other places we don t even know about.

Human Rights Watch released a summary (below) of evidence of U.S. abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as well as of the programs of secret CIA detention, extraordinary renditions, and reverse renditions.

Abu Ghraib was only the tip of the iceberg, said Reed Brody, special counsel for Human Rights Watch. It s now clear that abuse of detainees has happened all over from Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay to a lot of third-country dungeons where the United States has sent prisoners. And probably quite a few other places we don t even know about.

Human Rights Watch called this week for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the culpability of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and ex-CIA Director George Tenet, as well as Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, formerly the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the former commander of the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba in cases of crimes against detainees. It rejected last week s report by the Army Inspector General which was said to absolve Gen. Sanchez of responsibility.

General Sanchez gave the troops at Abu Ghraib the green light to use dogs to terrorize detainees, and they did, and we know what happened, said Brody. And while mayhem went on under his nose for three months, Sanchez didn t step in to halt it. (MORE)

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ARABS IN AMERICAN: MISREPRESENTED AND MISUNDERSTOOD - TOP
Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Daily Free Press, 4/26/05
http://www.dailyfreepress.com/news/2005/04/26/Opinion/Arabs.In.American.Misrepresented.And.Misunderstood-937772.shtml

As thousands of Lebanese citizens take to the streets demanding democracy, it is important to correct the misconception concerning Arabs in this nation.

According to a 2004 poll released by the Council on American Islamic Relations, one in four Americans believe that Muslims value human life less than others and teach their children to hate. As an Arab, I feel compelled to justify my heritage. As an American, I am offended by this problematic statistic.

Arab culture is consistently portrayed in American media as intolerant and divided, although it is previously responsible for uniting Muslims, Christians and Jews. By focusing on the failures of the Arab world, the Bush administration overshadows the historical significance and value of Arab civilization, which has provided the world with a plethora of knowledge in mathematics, medicine and philosophy. By emphasizing Arab and Islamic aggression, the administration successfully uses fear as a political device to manipulate public opinion.

America's interest in the Arab world is inevitably dependent on the abundant wealth of oil in the region. While oil may not be the sole interest, it is a determining factor of America's foreign policy in the region. Controlling the world's oil supply not only serves America's foreign and domestic interests, but was a principal reason for the decision to declare war on Iraq. In his first address to the Iraqi people, President Bush advised, "Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people."

Time after time, the Bush Administration has criticized Arab nations on their lack of democracy, women's rights and freedoms to facilitate the justification of a complete disregard to the sovereignty and cultural infrastructure of Arab Nations. Top U.S. officials denounce the Arab world and Islamic religion in a direct effort to provoke fear from American citizens. Kenneth Adelman, who serves on the Bush Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, was quoted as saying, "The more you examine the religion, the more militaristic it seems. After all, its founder, Mohammed, was a warrior, not a peace advocate like Jesus." (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

AMERICANS DON'T UNDERSTAND ISLAM - TOP
Tim Aylsworth, The Battalion, 4/26/05
http://www.thebatt.com/main.cfm

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- A nationwide poll from the Council on American-Islamic relations found that one out of every four Americans believes that Islam teaches children to hate, does not value human life and is the source of a nationwide conspiracy to take over America. Furthermore, the poll showed that nearly half of all Americans support restrictions on the civil rights of Muslims. There is a broad misunderstanding of Arabs, Muslims and the Quran. These misunderstandings are not harmless. Aside from proliferating intolerant stereotypes, these views create a high incidence of hate crimes against innocent Muslim-Americans.

The number of hate crimes against Arabs and Muslims skyrocketed after Sept. 11 - a report from the FBI indicated an increase of these incidents by 1,600 percent. Aggravated assault shot up dramatically, and growing tensions are not showing signs of stopping.

One source of this bigotry is fallacious racial profiling. Most terrorists claim to be Muslims. To say that this transfers to the belief that most Muslims are terrorists is the fallacy of affirming the consequent. Ironically, the nation's intellectual pundits and leaders have no problem following such erroneous thinking.

Not surprisingly, Ann Coulter, a political pundit, was glad to fall into the trench of bigotry and hatred. According to Coulter's blog, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." When asked if she converted her Muslim ex-boyfriend to Christianity, she told Time Magazine, "No, I was just happy he wasn't killing anyone."

Furthermore, the media constantly throws around terms such as "Islamic radicals," which can have a lasting effect on the average citizen. The sentiment is not being diminished, when the supposed intellectuals perpetuate the stereotypes and ignorance that inspire hate crime.

No one seems to notice that the vast majority of Muslim leaders and theologians dispel these false notions. Islam is not a violent religion. The men who commit atrocities such as the Sept. 11 attacks are heretics to their own religion. They are no more representative of the Quran than Jim Jones, the maniacal cult leader, was of the Bible. (MORE)

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POPULARITY OF MUSLIM BANKS GROWS - TOP
Cox News Service, 4/25/05
http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FMGArticle%2FWSJ_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031782377288

LONDON - Imagine a world of interest-free mortgages, car loans and overdrafts. It's not imaginary, and it may soon be coming to a bank near you

Islamic banking - which follows rules that bar the paying or taking of interest - is booming, with banks racing to attract Muslims and non-Muslims alike with products conforming to Islamic laws.

"We have plans to make our products widely available in cities throughout the United States," said Amjid Ali, the head of HSBC's Islamic banking unit HSBC Amanah, which began operations in New York in 2002.

Such banks as HSBC have hailed Islamic banking as finally coming into the mainstream as they prepare to target not only the estimated 6 million Muslims in America - with a wealthy middle class that's growing in size - but members of other faiths as well.

Already, Islamic banking has been established in more than 100 countries, with an estimated $300 billion in assets that are increasing by 15 percent a year, according to the Asian Banker, a financial-services consultancy.

Islamic banking bans interest because the Koran prohibits investors from making a guaranteed profit on capital. The rules also prohibit investments in pork, alcohol, gambling or areas subject to speculation.

Traditionally, Islamic banking has been based on trade, and profit and loss are typically shared. Customers - or shareholders - receive dividends when banks turn a profit, and suffer losses when banks do.

Muslims have long been divided over how far the ban on interest should go. For example, some believe that stocks and bonds should be allowed, while others don't.

For mortgages or car loans, the bank typically buys the home or car for the customer, who in turn leases the items back from the bank.

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ARAB FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL IN NEED OF VOLUNTEERS - TOP

WHAT: The Smithsonian provides a renowned Folklife Festival each year that consumes the entire National Mall providing interactive opportunities for the public to fully immerse in different cultures by way of artisans, academics, musicians, storytellers, tradesmen, cooks and other bearers of diverse traditions. This is the first Arab nation to be featured at the Folklife Festival and as such, this is a remarkable opportunity to learn, to teach, to reach out, and to remove barriers.

This year, the Festival features a primary focus on the people and culture of Oman and we are in need of Arabic-speaking volunteers who can assist us with over 100 Omani participants.

We have a need of 200 volunteers (about 20 per day) to perform various functions during the Festival as well as prior to the Festival.

While about 30% of the participants in the Omani segment of the Festival speak English, they cannot provide all the translation needs and cultural assistance we are projecting for the Festival per se. As such, we also need Arabic-speakers who have excellent people skills and sensitivities to assist the Omani participants in presentation areas, artisan areas, etc. during the Festival.

WHEN: The Festival runs for two "long weekends": June 23 - 27 and June 30 - July 4.

Any interested individuals should access our website at www.folklife.si.edu (http://www.folklife.si.edu/), fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire, and return the completed Questionnaire as an attachment to me at BogaRoshB@si/edu. We ask as a formality that all our volunteers complete this questionnaire so that we may know their interests, skills and dates of availability.

For more information, contact Barbara BogaRosh at 202-275-2003

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
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Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 15:52:20 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Arab Americans Sue Denny's for Discrimination

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/28/05

* HADITH: Good Behavior
* CAIR: Tale Is History, but Conflict Is Now (Ottawa Citizen)
            - CAIR: Film-Maker Defends Crusades Epic (BBC)
            - CAIR-DFW: Muslims Finding It's Hard To Give
            - CAIR-NY: Fields Opposes Patriot Act (NY Sun)
* FL: Arab Americans Sue Denny's for Discrimination (PB Post)
* MI: Muslim Center Opens Its Doors to the Public (Det News)
            - The West Needs To Understand Muslims (UPI)
* Domestic Terrorists Seen As Viable U.S. Threat (IPS)
            - State Department Releases Terror Data (Miami Herald)
* OR: FBI Unit to Part Ways (LA Times)
* MD: Stain of Torture Lingers (Baltimore Sun)
            - Falluja: This is our Guernica (Guardian)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: GOOD BEHAVIOR - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Nothing is weightier in the scales of a believer on the Day of Judgment than his good behavior. God treats with displeasure a person who is given to loose and vulgar talk.

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 215

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CAIR: THE TALE IS HISTORY, BUT THE CONFLICT IS NOW - TOP
Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen, 4/28/05
http://www.canada.com/ottawa/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=eb203833-cf80-4892-8cf7-1d5ed91131a2

Muslims and Christians clash in the desert. There are bloody battles, power struggles and even gruesome decapitations, all in the name of faith.

Familiar as this may seem to any consumer of the nightly news, this is Gladiator director Ridley Scott's tale Kingdom of Heaven, to be splashed across the big screen starting next week. The film is about the Crusades, a centuries-old subject that is history to most Westerners, but is still an open wound to many Muslims.

Kingdom of Heaven focuses on the events between 1185 and 1187. After a period of peaceful Christian-Muslim coexistence in the Holy Land, the militant Knights Templar began attacking Muslim caravans. In response, the brilliant Muslim general Saladin and his vast army laid siege to Jerusalem.

Orlando Bloom stars as the French knight Balian, a fictionalized version of a historic figure who defends Jerusalem, but loses against Saladin.

The film is expected to be a blockbuster.

Mr. Scott has said he wants the film to show that religious fanaticism destroyed the balance of peace.

Ghassan Massoud, the Syrian actor who plays Saladin, has defended the film, insisting that he couldn't get involved in a production that would perpetuate negative Muslim stereotypes. He said he wanted to show the facets of Saladin, a figure who is revered by Muslims and admired by many Western historians...

Last week, members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations were offered a sneak peak at the final version of Kingdom of Heaven. The scenes that so disturbed Mr. Abou El Fadl were not in the final version.

The council had already fielded a number of concerned phone calls from American Muslims who feared the film would expose them to hatred and ridicule, said spokeswoman Rabiah Ahmed.

The film they viewed had been cut down to two hours and 22 minutes from the original three hours and 40 minutes. Ms. Ahmed concluded that the Muslim filmgoer could leave the theatre feeling good about the portrayal of Islam.

And part of that, aside from the removal of the scenes flagged by Mr. Abou El Fadl as inflammatory, was the portrayal of Saladin as a humane and complex individual, said Ms. Ahmed.

ALSO SEE:

FILM-MAKER DEFENDS CRUSADES EPIC - TOP
Neil Smith, BBC News, 4/28/05
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/4492625.stm

Kingdom of Heaven, a $130m (£69m) epic directed by British film-maker Sir Ridley Scott, has its US premiere in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Orlando Bloom plays Balian, a young blacksmith turned crusader
But it has already attracted criticism for its recreation of the 12th Century battle for Jerusalem between Christian crusaders and the Muslim leader Saladin.

With films like Blade Runner, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down, Sir Ridley has taken audiences on epic journeys into space, the past and the future.

But his latest project has uncomfortable resonances in the present, probing as it does the roots of the Middle East conflict and evoking parallels with the US-led campaign to depose Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

"Battles raging in wind-whipped deserts, ancient cities under siege and civilians cowering... Doesn't it sound like recent news from Iraq?" wrote Alan Riding in the New York Times this week.

'Showdown'

Other Crusades experts go further, claiming the film promotes the idea of "a civilisational showdown between Islamic and Christian culture".

Ask the director himself, however, and he defends his work to the hilt.

"I showed the film to one very important Muslim in New York, a lecturer from Columbia, and he said it was the best portrayal of Saladin he's ever seen," says the 67-year-old veteran.

"The characters portrayed in the film are so important in Muslim culture that I knew we had to do it absolutely properly and correctly.

"Saladin is second only to Mohammed in the Arab world. He was a great man and leader - a general, a politician and a religious icon."

Scott's words are supported by Ghassan Massoud, the Syrian actor chosen to play the role.

"Saladin fights battles, but he also enters into dialogue," he said. "We want to show that dialogue can be much better than war..."

And it is conjecture that has found favour in at least one quarter, with the Council on American-Islamic Relations declaring the film to be "a balanced and positive depiction of Islamic culture during the Crusades".

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CAIR-DFW: MUSLIMS FINDING IT'S HARD TO GIVE - TOP
Michelle Mittelstadt, Dallas Morning News, 4/27/05
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/washington/stories/042805dnnatcharities.534be30f.html

WASHINGTON Khalid Hamideh used to help support a Palestinian widow and her eight children. But the Dallas lawyer's monthly contributions stopped abruptly after the 2001 raid on the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the Muslim charity through which he made his donations.

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. government has shut down several major Islamic charities, alleging some of their money went to al-Qaeda, Hamas or other terrorist organizations.

The crackdown has caused tremendous anxiety among Muslims, with many fearful that a simple act of charity could lead to federal agents knocking at their door.

"The number one thing that has happened in our community since 9-11 is everybody is just scared," said Mr. Hamideh, who attends the Dallas Central Mosque. "There is overwhelming fear that 'If I contribute to anything and that group turns out to be on the government's ... hit list, am I going to get prosecuted?' "

Faced with the government's refusal to vet charities, national Muslim leaders are taking matters into their own hands. During a recent Chicago meeting, they established a council that will set standards for its member charities, mosques and other nonprofits.

In the meantime, Muslims have adapted their giving patterns, says Amaney Jamal, a Princeton University professor who has surveyed Arab-American communities in Dearborn, Mich., and Brooklyn, N.Y.

Many make donations in cash rather than by check or credit card. Others have turned away from groups that provide aid overseas, giving instead to local causes or groups considered safe, like the Red Cross or Red Crescent.

The government's focus on Islamic charities is part of a broader effort since 9-11 to disrupt terrorist financing. To date, the U.S. and allies have frozen more than $147 million worldwide.

"The unfortunate reality of the post-9/11 world is that terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and Hamas have abused charitable organizations to finance their lethal schemes," Juan Zarate, the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for terrorist financing, wrote in a recent opinion piece.

The squeeze on charities has posed a quandary for Muslims, whose faith requires them to perform zakat, that is to donate 2.5 percent of their income each year to the poor or needy.

"If we close these organizations, then we are making it harder on the people who are giving this money away, which is zakat, which is obligatory," said Iyas Maleh, president of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

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CAIR-NY: FIELDS OPPOSES PATRIOT ACT - TOP
Julia Levy, New York Sun, 4/27/05
http://www.nysun.com/article/12914

The Manhattan borough president, C. Virginia Fields, told Muslim leaders yesterday afternoon that she opposes the Patriot Act and as mayor would create a more inclusive New York City, in which Muslims would have more of a voice.

She told the American Muslim Taskforce that she does not support the Patriot Act because it "violates civil rights."

"Coming out of the segregated South, I know what segregation is about. I know what racism is about," Ms. Fields, one of four Democratic candidates for mayor, said. "Discrimination, pre-9/11, post-9/11, is unacceptable. All of us have an obligation to make sure that policies are in place to make sure it doesn't happen."

As mayor, she said, she would reach out to the Muslim community, making it easier for its members to build new schools, get awarded city contracts, and expand small businesses.

Although the Taskforce, an umbrella group for Muslim organizations, invited all of the mayoral candidates, only Ms. Fields, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, and Mayor Bloomberg said they would come. As the event drew to a close, the moderator, Debbie Al-Muntasir, said Messrs. Miller and Bloomberg were tied up at City Hall.

The general secretary of the Arab Muslim American Federation, Wael Mousfar, said it was "disappointing" that only one candidate attended.

"We'd like to see them again," he said. "We've been trying to do this for a long time, and it takes time for people to recognize us and pay attention."

The executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations New York, Wissam Nasr, said he didn't feel "slighted" by the turnout. He said the Islamic community should continue to forge bonds internally and talk to the leaders of the city about their concerns, including hate crimes and discrimination...

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FL: SEVEN ARAB AMERICANS SUE DENNY'S OWNER ALLEGING DISCRIMINATION - TOP
Palm Beach Post, 4/28/05
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/state/content/gen/ap/FL_Dennys_Lawsuit.html

MIAMI Seven men of Middle Eastern descent have sued a South Florida Denny's restaurant franchisee and one of its managers for $28 million, saying they were kicked out because of their ancestry and compared to Osama Bin Laden.

The men, who are all U.S. citizens, are seeking $4 million each from Restaurant Collection Inc., which owns the Denny's franchise, and shift manager Eduardo Ascano, whom they say compared them to the Al-Qaida terrorist leader.

"This was a terrible act against Arab Americans," Alan C. Kauffman, one of the attorneys for the group, said Wednesday.

The seven men are of Egyptian, Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian descent and include a doctor, a real estate agent, an insurance broker and a restaurant owner. They live in Broward and Palm Beach counties. They filed suit last week in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court. No trial date has been set.

Restaurant Collection's owner, Alfonso Fernandez, said in a statement Wednesday that the men's allegations are false.

"We are truly committed to treating all of our guests with respect, and we take every guest concern seriously," Fernandez wrote. "These allegations of discrimination were immediately and thoroughly investigated by an independent, outside agency that found no evidence whatsoever to support the guests' claims."

Fernandez did not identify the agency. However, an investigation by the Florida Commission on Human Rights said "reasonable cause does exist" to support the discrimination claim.

The seven men say they went to Fernandez's restaurant in Florida City, on the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, about 2 a.m. Jan. 11, 2004. They say they were seated, given menus and received their drink orders. But an hour later, their food hadn't arrived. One of the men Ehab Albaradi approached Ascano and inquired about the group's order, the lawsuit says. (MORE)

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MI: MUSLIM CENTER OPENS ITS DOORS TO THE PUBLIC - TOP
Joe Menard, Detroit News, 4/28/05
http://www.detnews.com/2005/oakland/0504/28/B04-164490.htm

BLOOMFIELD HILLS -- For Ahmed Abdullah, the Muslim Unity Center is more than just a place to pray.

The 39-year-old construction worker from West Bloomfield plays basketball, socializes and drops his son off for day care at the mosque and community center he has attended for more than 10 years.

"It's a good magnet for the community," he said. "It serves a lot of purposes."

The center recently completed $4.3 million in renovations, including a new 2,500-square-foot prayer hall, a banquet center and expanded basketball court, and plans to show them off to the community at an open house this weekend. Organizers of the event hope to attract a broad spectrum of community members of all faiths to build relationships and understanding of Muslims and their religion.

"One of the goals of this center is to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims," said Imam Mohammad Musa, the center's religious leader. "We'd like to build bridges to better understand each other."

The open house will feature an exhibit of artwork by local Muslim artists, traditional food, children's activities, tours of the facility and lectures on Islam.

The event's goal is to teach people about the Islamic faith and customs, not to preach or try to convert, said Mouhib Ayas, who is organizing the open house.

"We don't want to impose on people. We want them to come and feel we are an open community," he said. "We are part of this community and have a contribution to give to the community. We have our own heritage that we are proud of."

Unity Center members said they are proud of the expanded facilities, which have made worship easier and attracted scores of new members.

Prayers used to be held in classrooms at the former Pontiac School District elementary school.

"It was definitely a makeshift arrangement," said Safwan Badr, a member of the center's board of directors. "It was not designed as a house of worship."

The new two-story prayer hall accommodates the more than 100 members who come to pray on Fridays -- an Islamic holy day -- and the more than 250 people who come to worship on holidays such as Ramadan. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

THE WEST NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND MUSLIMS - TOP
Anwar Iqbal, UPI, 4/27/05
http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20050427-052915-1298r.htm

Washington, DC -- Political disputes and not religion, begat violence, says John Esposito, a widely respected American professor and author on the Islamic world, known for his moderate views on Islam.

Esposito was awarded Pakistan's highest civil honor, the Hilal-i-Quaid-i-Azam, at the Pakistani embassy in Washington.

"Prof. Esposito has done more than any other individual in the last three or four decades to promote a better understanding between the Islamic and Western worlds," said Pakistan's ambassador Jehangir Karamat.

Esposito used the award ceremony to urge people living in the two worlds to make a better effort towards understanding each other.

He argued that:

In the West, particularly the United States, when people talk about moderate Muslims, the underlying assumption is that the majority is not moderate. Some people even talk about moderating the religion itself, assuming that there's something in the religion that promotes violence and extremism.

Similarly, when some Americans ask 'why they hate us,' they assume that the majority in the Muslim world hates America. What they fail to see is that those who have disagreements with the U.S. foreign policy do not necessarily hate America.

"If you had Palestines and Northern Irelands in other places, you would have violence in those places as well," said Esposito.

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DOMESTIC TERRORISTS SEEN AS VIABLE U.S. THREAT - TOP
William Fisher, IPS, 4/27/05
http://www.ipsnews.net/new_nota.asp?idnews=28478

NEW YORK - Domestic terrorism remains a clear and present danger to the United States, rights groups and government agencies warn amid a number of fresh reminders of homegrown terrorism's toll on the U.S. public.

In recent weeks, people throughout the country have witnessed Eric Rudolph's sentencing to four life sentences without parole for the deadly 1996 Olympic park bombing in Atlanta and attacks at two abortion clinics and a gay nightclub.

They also marked the tenth anniversary of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. In May 2001, Timothy McVeigh was executed for the bombing and his accomplice, Terry Nichols, is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole.

April also is the month in which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an advocacy organization focusing primarily on anti-Semitism, says that U.S. extremist groups step up activity in commemoration of Adolf Hitler's birthday. Key groups involved include the neo-Nazi National Alliance and local chapters of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan, according to the ADL.

Homegrown terrorism appears to be resurging as extremists have added Islam to their list of targets. Since the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, Justice Department reports a dramatic increase in hate crimes directed against people perceived to be Arabs. Sikhs and Hindus frequently are attacked because to their attackers, they look like they might be of Middle Eastern descent...

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it received reports of 1,019 anti-Muslim incidents during 2003, a nearly 70 percent increase from the previous year and the highest number of civil-rights complaints from those of the Islamic faith in the nine years the group has been tracking them.

CAIR, in a report, said hate crimes against Arabs, Muslims, Sikhs, and South Asian Americans perceived to be Muslims jumped 121 percent that same year.

ALSO SEE:

IN SHIFT, STATE DEPARTMENT RELEASES TERROR DATA - TOP
Frank Davies, Miami Herald, 4/28/05
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/nation/11508077.htm

Under pressure from Congress, the Bush administration reversed gears Wednesday and released a report showing an upsurge in terrorist attacks worldwide in 2004 after first withholding the statistics from the public.

The number of ''significant attacks'' grew to about 651 last year, from 208 in 2003, according to statistics released by the National Counterterrorism Center. The 2004 total included 201 attacks in Iraq.

The totals raised questions about the administration's claims that it's winning the war on terrorism. A counterterrorism official, however, said new reporting methods made year-to-year comparisons meaningless.

The annual report on global terrorism, compiled by the State Department, warned that while al Qaeda leaders have been hurt by military operations, local groups inspired by the terrorism network were able to launch deadly attacks in Spain, Indonesia and elsewhere.

The State Department said last week that it was ending the practice of including the statistics in its annual report about terrorism trends. Congress requires the State Department to produce the report.

Critics on Capitol Hill accused the department of holding back embarrassing numbers that showed an increase in terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and Europe.

''This is very disturbing,'' said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., at a Wednesday hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee. ''Suddenly we read the State Department has decided they're no longer going to tell the American people what the numbers were.''

The totals include only attacks on noncombatants by terrorists, so the 201 attacks in Iraq don't include roadside bombs that killed U.S. and coalition soldiers. There were 22 terrorist attacks in Iraq in 2003, following the U.S. invasion. (MORE)

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PORTLAND, FBI UNIT TO PART WAYS - TOP
Tomas Alex Tizon, Los Angeles Times, 4/28/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-portland28apr28,0,7390969.story?coll=la-home-nation

PORTLAND, Ore. - This city is expected today to become the first in the nation to pull out of an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, following a series of disagreements between Portland leaders and federal investigators.

Mayor Tom Potter and several city commissioners, frustrated by the FBI's refusal to grant them full access to classified information, say the withdrawal will signal Portland's commitment to the protection of individual civil rights.

High-profile cases such as the detention of Muslim lawyer Brandon Mayfield, who was wrongfully arrested last year as a suspect in the Madrid train bombings, prompted city leaders to request more oversight of Portland officers involved in the group.

The move, predicted to pass by a 4-1 vote of the City Council, would make official what has been anticipated for months at City Hall. Some fear the decision might encourage other cities to follow suit.

"I hope other cities do start asking questions," said Randy Leonard, a Portland city commissioner and chief backer of the withdrawal. "It's important for cities to know how their police officers are being used. Here in Portland, we are not willing to give up individual liberties in order to have a perception of safety."

The FBI heads 100 of the task forces across the country -- teams made up of federal, state and local law enforcement agents working together to prevent terrorist attacks. The task force in Portland, formed in 1997, was responsible for the convictions last year of six local residents who conspired against U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The two city police officers who have served as part of the team will be reassigned.

Critics say Portland's withdrawal could make the region more vulnerable to terrorist attack.

"Portland is a hub city," said Rob Drake, mayor of neighboring Beaverton. "If you take Portland out, it's basically a hole in the doughnut, and that hole could represent a gap in communication and intelligence."

"The primary lesson of 9/11 was that we need greater coordination, greater sharing of information between federal and state and local agencies," said John R. Kroger, an assistant U.S. attorney in New York at the time of the terrorist attacks. Kroger teaches criminal law at Lewis & Clark University law school here.

"The decision to pull Portland out takes us in the opposite direction," Kroger said. "We're not tearing down the walls [between government agencies]. We're building them back even higher."

Kroger criticized the FBI's handling of the Mayfield case, but the answer for Portland wasn't "to pick up your marbles and go home."

Mayfield, a Portland-area lawyer and convert to Islam, was linked -- via a single fingerprint -- to the terrorist bombings that killed 191 people in Spain last year. He spent two weeks in detention before Spanish authorities informed the FBI that the incriminating print did not belong to him. The FBI called it a technical error and cleared the lawyer, who is suing the federal government.

Mayfield has said the FBI conducted illegal "sneak and peek" searches, in which agents broke into his house and gathered information without the proper authority.

"Why is the FBI so afraid of oversight?" Mayfield's lawyer, Gerry Spence, said in a phone interview from Santa Barbara. "If what they're doing is legal and proper, why should they be afraid of the mayor wanting to know what's going on in his city?" (MORE)

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STAIN OF TORTURE LINGERS - TOP
Reed Brody, Baltimore Sun, 4/28/05
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.torture28apr28,1,6502211.story?coll=bal-oped-headlines

IT HAS NOW been one year since the appearance of the first pictures of U.S. soldiers humiliating and torturing detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

When the pictures first stunned the world, Washington sought to portray them as an isolated incident, the work of a few "bad apples." President Bush spoke of "disgraceful conduct by a few American troops who dishonored our country and disregarded our values."

We now know, however, that the only truly exceptional aspect of the horrors at Abu Ghraib was that they were photographed.

Abu Ghraib was, in fact, only the tip of the iceberg.

Around the world, in a long archipelago of recognized and secret detention centers, the United States is brutalizing Muslim detainees in the name of the war on terror.

The United States must investigate the role of top officials, such as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and former CIA Director George J. Tenet, in this scandal that has done so much to harm the reputation and interests of the country. If Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, who is involved in these policies, will not begin such a probe, a special prosecutor should be appointed.

At Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, reports have recently emerged about FBI agents who witnessed chained detainees forced to sit in their own excrement, adding to accounts of painful stress positions, female interrogators humiliating detainees and prolonged exposure to extremes of heat and cold.

In Afghanistan, where at least nine prisoners have died in U.S. custody, detainees have been beaten severely by guards and interrogators, deprived of sleep for extended periods and intentionally exposed to extreme cold.

At least 11 al-Qaida suspects, and most likely many more, have simply "disappeared." The CIA is holding them in undisclosed locations, with no notification to their families, no access to the International Committee of the Red Cross and no oversight of their treatment, effectively placing them beyond the protection of the law. One detainee, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, an alleged architect of 9/11, was reportedly "waterboarded" - strapped down, forcibly pushed under water and made to believe he might drown.

About 100 to 150 detainees have been "rendered" to countries where torture is routine. For example, Maher Arar, a Canadian in airplane transit in New York, was detained and sent to Syria. On his release 10 months later, he described repeated torture, often with cables and electrical cords. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

THIS IS OUR GUERNICA - TOP
Jonathan Steele and Dahr Jamail, Guardian, 4/27/05
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1471169,00.html

Robert Zoellick is the archetypal US government insider, a man with a brilliant technical mind but zero experience of any coalface or war front. Sliding effortlessly between ivy league academia, the US treasury and corporate boardrooms (including an advisory post with the scandalous Enron), his latest position is the number-two slot at the state department.

Yet this ultimate "man of the suites" did something earlier this month that put the prime minister and the foreign secretary to shame. On their numerous visits to Iraq, neither has ever dared to go outside the heavily fortified green zones of Baghdad and Basra to see life as Iraqis have to live it. They come home after photo opportunities, briefings and pep talks with British troops and claim to know what is going on in the country they invaded, when in fact they have seen almost nothing.

Zoellick, by contrast, on his first trip to Iraq, asked to see Falluja. Remember Falluja? A city of some 300,000, which was alleged to be the stronghold of armed resistance to the occupation.

Two US attempts were made to destroy this symbol of defiance last year. The first, in April, fizzled out after Iraqi politicians, including many who supported the invasion of their country, condemned the use of air strikes to terrorise an entire city. The Americans called off the attack, but not before hundreds of families had fled and more than 600 people had been killed.

Six months later the Americans tried again. This time Washington's allies had been talked to in advance. Consistent US propaganda about the presence in Falluja of a top al-Qaida figure, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was used to create a climate of acquiescence in the US-appointed Iraqi government. Shia leaders were told that bringing Falluja under control was the only way to prevent a Sunni-inspired civil war.

Blair was invited to share responsibility by sending British troops to block escape routes from Falluja and prevent supplies entering once the siege began.

Warnings of the onslaught prompted the vast majority of Falluja's 300,000 people to flee. The city was then declared a free-fire zone on the grounds that the only people left behind must be "terrorists".

Three weeks after the attack was launched last November, the Americans claimed victory. They say they killed about 1,300 people; one week into the siege, a BBC reporter put the unofficial death toll at 2,000. But details of what happened and who the dead were remain obscure. Were many unarmed civilians, as Baghdad-based human rights groups report? Even if they were trying to defend their homes by fighting the Americans, does that make them "terrorists"? (MORE)

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 17:57:51 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: FL Bus Company Settles Suit/ NY Teacher Demands Rehire

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/29/05

* VERSE: Honor Each Other
* CAIR-DC: New $75 Day-Rate for CAIR Conference
            - CAIR-DC: Summer Internship Deadline Extended
* FL: Bus Company Settles Discrimination Suit (Biz Journal)
            - NY: Teacher's Job-Fight Protest (NY Daily News)
* DC: Muslim Chaplain Resigns after 2 Decades of Service
* Ex-Afghan Rights Chief Attacks US (BBC)
* Amnesty: Torture Continuing In Iraq (Al Jazeera)
            - Interrogations Faked At Guantanamo (Reuters)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: HONOR EACH OTHER - TOP

O mankind! We created you from a male and female and made you into nation and tribes that you may know and honor each other (not that you should despise each other). Indeed the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most righteous.

The Holy Quran, Chapter 49, Verse 13

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NEW $75 DAY-RATE FOR CAIR CONFERENCE IN DC - TOP

WHAT: A new $75 one-day rate has been announced for CAIR's 2005 Annual Conference, "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies." The $75 cost will include all lectures and two meals on Saturday, May 14. Registration begins at 8 a.m., first session begins at 9 a.m. E-mail events@cair-net.org call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, to register for the single-day rate.

Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will be the keynote speaker at its May 14th conference banquet.

WHEN: Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005
Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 14
WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA (703-448-1234)

ALSO: The new hotel room rate is now $89/night. Please call 703-448-1234 to reserve your room. Remember to ask for the CAIR conference rate. Rate is available up to May 1, 2005. Register early to guarantee this rate.

To view a complete program or to register for the conference, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

Volunteers are also needed for CAIR's Conference. Please call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, or e-mail events@cair-net.org for more information.

ALSO SEE:

CAIR-DC: 2005 SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM DEADLINE EXTENDED - TOP

WHAT: Exciting, 10-week paid internship opportunity available at America's largest Muslim advocacy group. Program focuses on civil rights, public relations, research, community outreach, and development.

WHO: CAIR is looking for dedicated persons, age 17 or older, who want to become the next generation of Muslim leaders in America. To receive a stipend, applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or have the appropriate Visas and/or work permits.

WHERE: CAIR National headquarters on Capitol Hill.

WHEN: The internship program runs from the first week in June to the third week in August 2005, 40 hours per week minimum commitment. Application deadline: May 15, 2005. For an Application, Contact: Asma Gheyoub at internship@cair-net.org or 202-488-8787, ext. 6052.

-----

BUS COMPANY SETTLES DISCRIMINATION SUIT - TOP
Jacksonville Business Journal, 4/28/05
http://jacksonville.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/stories/2005/04/25/daily27.html

A company accused of discriminating against Muslim students on a Duval County school bus in October 2003 admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to establish new antidiscrimination training policies and make monetary payments of about $35,000, according to settlement documents.

Allegations that an employee of First Student Inc., who was driving a Duval County school bus, forcibly removed the Muslim students from a bus and made derogatory statements on Oct. 29, 2003, were investigated by Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist's Office. According to the January 2005 settlement, First Student Inc. denies that the driver acted in a discriminatory manner and was justified in refusing to drive the students home because the Muslim students posed a threat of imminent danger to the driver.

According to the settlement contract, First Student agreed to have Florida employees do training such as attending a three- to four-hour educational program concerning discrimination at least once a year for five years. Also a section of the Florida Educational Equity Act shall be posted on all First Student school buses operating in Florida.

Monetary payments included a $10,000 donation to a Communities in Schools Program that aims to keep children in school, according to the contract. Another $26,885 payment was made to Crist's office for attorney's fees and costs.

ALSO SEE:

TEACHER'S JOB-FIGHT PROTEST - TOP
Warren Woodberry Jr. NY Daily News, 4/28/05
http://www.nydailynews.com/boroughs/story/304200p-260346c.html

A long-time teacher who alleges she was fired because she is Muslim and refused to convert to Christianity yesterday demanded her job back during a protest outside the Woodside school where she worked for 11 years.

Until she was terminated eight months ago, Shahensha Begum was an assistant teacher at the Rainbow Christian Preschool and Kindergarten, run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church. The church and school are at 72-01 43rd Ave.

Begum, 57, of Elmhurst, said that after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, some of her colleagues discriminated against her and labeled her a terrorist. Begum said that when she complained to the school's director, Cleide Willik Capelozza, the only response was that her workload became heavier.

"She [Capelozza] said, 'If you don't like it, you can quit the job.' Then all of a sudden they suspended me," said Begum. "What was the reason? Because I'm Muslim."

Begum added that Capelozza tried to encourage her to read Bibles and other religious books that did not agree with her religious beliefs.

"She wants me to be a Christian, but I refused that," said Begum.

Begum said she was fired after she requested a fair hearing from the church advisory board. The teacher, who immigrated to the U.S. alone, said that since then she has been unable to collect unemployment and has depended on friends for support.

The Rev. Cathy Rosenholtz, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church - whose motto is "A Church for People of All Nations" - said Begum was fired because she had become "a problem" to her co-workers.

"The conduct was a problem almost the entire time she was working," said Rosenholtz, who added that Begum was ultimately terminated after unacceptable behavior in front of a group of students.

"The school has really bent over backwards to be as sympathetic as possible," the pastor added.

-----

HOWARD UNIVERSITY MUSLIM CHAPLAIN RESIGNS AFTER TWO DECADES OF SERVICE - TOP

After over two decades of service to the Howard University community, Imam Johari Abdul-Malik will resign his duties as the Muslim chaplain at the end of this semester.

Imam Johari came to Howard University in 1974 and subsequently earned degrees in chemistry and genetics. During graduate school he converted to Islam. His work with Muslims on campus began as sympathizer supporting programs and activities. Soon after his conversion he became the president of the Muslim Student Association of Howard University. As a graduate student, he served as an advisor and faith leader. And for more than ten years, starting in 1988, he has served as the first Muslim chaplain at Howard University.

Under his guiding hand, many students, both Muslim and people of other faiths, have come to know more about Islam and its people.

The chaplaincy has established a number of programs in conjunction with other programs and departments on- and off-campus. Many students, faculty, staff and alumni have performed the pilgrimage to Mecca or Hajj through a program established by Imam Johari. And countless number of students have taken advantage of summer study abroad programs fostered by the Imam s efforts. His wise counsel, coupled with practical fundraising abilities, have helped scores of students reach their ultimate goals in higher education.

Over his tenure, Imam Johari has become a leader of national and international stature, visiting many Muslim countries to foster peace and better understanding of Islam in America and to promote peace. His articles and interviews are too numerous to quote.

As he leaves this post, recently establishing the Yarrow Mamout Scholarship Fund, he remains committed to working with the Howard University community and Muslim Alumni Association.

Among his many other duties, Imam Johari also serves as the Outreach Director at The Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, Falls Church, VA; President of the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations of Greater Washington; President of the Muslim Society of Washington; and directs government relations for the Muslim Alliance in North America.

For more information contact: 202-345-5233

-----

EX-AFGHAN RIGHTS CHIEF ATTACKS US - TOP
Pam O'Toole, BBC News, 4/29/05
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4491163.stm

The former United Nations human rights envoy to Afghanistan, Cherif Bassiouni, has said he lost his job because of pressure from the United States.

The UN Human Rights Commission ended Professor Bassiouni's mandate at a meeting in Geneva last week.

American officials said Afghanistan's human rights situation had improved.

But Prof Bassiouni said it was because US defence officials did not want investigations into the way people were detained without trial by US forces.

Prof Bassiouni has spent the past year investigating allegations of human rights violations in Afghanistan for the commission. (MORE)

-----

AMNESTY: TORTURE CONTINUING IN IRAQ - TOP
Al Jazeera, 4/28/05
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/F5C8C42F-4A93-4E97-9166-

Amnesty International has said there are signs of fresh torture and sexual abuse in Iraq by prison authorities.

The human rights group on Thursday also blasted the United States for failing to launch an independent investigation into the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, a year after images of abused detainees first shocked the world.

"People around the world will be recalling the horrific images they saw a year ago and wondering what happened to those prisoners," Amnesty secretary-general Irene Khan said, pointing out that only a handful of low-ranking US soldiers had been prosecuted or disciplined over the outrage.

"But what was the role of those higher up, including for example, the US secretary of defence?" she demanded, referring to Donald Rumsfeld.

A year after the scandal broke, only five of seven US guards have been punished. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

INTERROGATIONS FAKED AT GUANTANAMO, WITNESS SAYS - TOP
Reuters, 4/28/05
http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&story

NEW YORK - Authorities at Guantanamo Bay staged interrogations of detainees for visiting politicians and generals to give the impression that valuable intelligence was regularly being gathered, according to a former Army translator at the camp.

Former Army Sgt. Erik Saar told CBS television show 60 Minutes that he believes "only a few dozen" of the 600 detainees at the camp were terrorists and that little information was obtained from them.

"Interrogations were set up so the VIPs could come and witness an interrogation ... a mock interrogation, basically," Saar told the program, to air on Sunday.

"They would find a detainee that they knew to have been cooperative. They would ask the interrogator to go back over the same information," he said, calling it "a fictitious world" created for the visitors.

Saar worked at Guantanamo from December 2002 to June 2003.

U.S. Southern Command spokesman Col. David McWilliams said the military allows visiting politicians and others who need to understand the process to view interrogations but insisted, "We do not stage interrogations for VIP visits."

Saar also recalled interrogation techniques he witnessed at Guantanamo, including one previously reported incident where a female officer behaved in an overtly sexual fashion while interrogating a devout Muslim, at one point smearing ink which she told the detainee was her menstrual blood on his face.

McWilliams declined to comment on that claim, saying it was similar to another incident detailed in leaked FBI memos that are the subject of a military investigation. (MORE)

-----

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 17:41:48 -0700
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: 'Kingdom of Heaven'/Muslim Converts Face Bias/'Somali Kits' Help Teach

Plain Text Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 4/30/05

* ISLAM-OPED: 'Kingdom of Heaven' May Aid Interfaith Dialogue
	- Muslims Call New Fox Crusader Film 'Balanced' (CAIR)
* CAIR-LA: Muslims Celebrate Civil Rights with Comedy
	- MI: Muslims to Host Interfaith Dinner (Flint Journal)
* NY: Muslim Converts Find Discrimination (NY Times)
	- NY: Immigrants Wary of Complaining of Bias (NYT)
* MN: St. Paul Educators Use 'Somali Kits' to Teach Culture
* AIPAC Scandal Stymies Israeli Effort to Pressure Tehran (Forward)

-----

ISLAM-OPED:  'KINGDOM OF HEAVEN' MAY AID INTERFAITH DIALOGUE

ISLAM-OPED is a national 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 commentary below for 
publication.

CONTACT: ihooper@cair-net.org
TEL: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726

---

'KINGDOM OF HEAVEN' MAY AID INTERFAITH DIALOGUE
By Parvez Ahmed
WORD COUNT: 565

[Parvez Ahmed, Ph.D., is a national board member of the Council on 
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil 
liberties and advocacy group. He may be reached at pahmed@cairfl.org.]

Because Sir Ridely Scott's new epic "Kingdom of Heaven" was filmed 
against 
the backdrop of the Crusades, it is likely to stir up religious 
passions 
still associated with that centuries-long conflict. ("Kingdom" is 
scheduled 
to open in theaters nationwide May 6.)

Many Muslims were concerned about the possibility of religious or 
ethnic 
stereotyping when they first heard that yet another Hollywood movie 
would 
feature Arab-Muslim characters. That concern was not without valid 
precedent.

In his exemplary book "Reel Bad Arabs," Professor Jack Shaheen notes 
that 
only Native Americans outdistance Arabs and Muslims in being vilified 
by 
Hollywood. Dr. Shaheen details a sad history of stereotypes in films 
that 
portray Arab-Muslims as terrorists ("Black Sunday," "The Siege"), greed 
mongers intent on controlling U.S. banks ("Rollover") or bumbling comic 
foils ("Ishtar," "Protocol," "Jewel of the Nile"). He notes that only a 
handful of films have portrayed Arabs and Muslims with any sympathy 
("Three 
Kings," "The 13th Warrior").

Bucking the general trend, "Kingdom of Heaven" provides a balanced 
portrayal of a painful historical conflict. It refrains from the usual 
stereotyping or dehumanizing of Muslims.

American Muslim representatives recently took part in a screening of 
"Kingdom." They said the film is a "positive" depiction of Islamic 
culture 
during the Crusades. They also said that one of the film's most 
striking 
messages, that Muslims and Christians can live together in peace, will 
provide an opportunity for increased interfaith dialogue.

In the film, the bad guys are not all Muslims and the Christians are 
not 
all angels. Perhaps "Kingdom of Heaven" will do for Muslims that Kevin 
Costner's "Dances with Wolves" did for Native Americans, humanize a 
perceived "other."

Unfortunately, Internet chat rooms and talk radio shows are already 
abuzz 
with the concerns of those who cannot fathom how Muslims can be 
portrayed 
as dignified, proud and humane people for whom the ends did not justify 
the 
means. Media reports indicated that some conservative Christian are 
"marshalling their forces" against the film, claiming it is "insulting 
and 
unfair."

Perhaps all of us could take a lesson or two from Salahuddin Ayubi the 
great Muslim general depicted in the film who, even when attacked, 
upheld 
Islamic traditions of hospitality, prohibiting the killing of 
non-combatants and advocating kindness to people of other faiths.

The Quran, Islam's revealed text states: "Fight in God's cause against 
those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression - for, 
verily, 
God does not love aggressors." (2:190) And also: "As for those who do 
not 
fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you 
forth 
from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and 
to 
behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, God loves those who 
act 
equitably." (60:8)

Stereotypes about Islam and Muslims used to rally the Crusaders persist 
to 
this day. These misperceptions are not mere footnotes in history, they 
continue to have a negative impact, sometimes influencing our nation's 
policies when dealing with Muslims both at home and abroad.

If nothing else, "Kingdom of Heaven" may spark renewed efforts to 
promote 
interfaith understanding and reconciliation based on an appreciation 
for 
the real history of that violent period in the histories of both 
Christianity and Islam.

We must all take advantage of this film to take whatever constructive 
steps 
are necessary to ensure that we learn from, and do not repeat, the 
mistakes 
of the past.

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIMS CALL NEW FOX CRUSADER FILM 'BALANCED'
http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1551&theType=NR

-----

CAIR-LA: MUSLIMS CELEBRATE CIVIL RIGHTS WITH COMEDY, ENTERTAINMENT
Event designed to recognize courage of Ahmad Halabi and Yusuf Yee

(ANAHEIM, CA, 4/30/05) -  On May 7, the Southern California office of 
the 
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) and the Muslim 
community 
will hold a fun-filled evening to recognize former military chaplain 
Yusuf 
Yee and Airman Ahmad Halabi for their courage and dedication in 
upholding 
civil rights.

The 'Entertainment Night to Benefit Civil Rights Work' will also 
feature 
comedy and songs from Muslim entertainers: comedian Ahmed Ahmed, 
comedian 
Stevie Mack, and musical artists Native Deen (performing from their new 
album 'Deen You Know') and Sons of Hagar.

WHEN: Saturday, May 7, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
WHERE: The Heritage Forum, 201 E. Broadway Ave., Anaheim, CA 92805
TICKETS: $15.00, call 714.776.1847 to purchase tickets. (Note: No 
charge 
for media - please RSVP before the event.)
CONTACT: Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334, E-Mail: 
socal@cair.com

All proceeds will go to assist CAIR's civil rights work

COSPONSORS: Muslim Student Association (MSA) - University, of 
California, 
Riverside, MSA-California State University Long Beach, MSA-California 
State 
University, Fullerton, Muslim Sports and Entertainment Foundation

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIMS TO HOST DINNER
George Jaksa, Flint Journal, 4/30/05
http://www.mlive.com/news/fljournal/index.ssf?/base/news-28/1114865402107350.xml

Muslim House of Flint will host talks by Muslim and Christian 
representatives and a dinner today in the International Institute, 515 
Stevens St.

The event begins at 4 p.m. with talks by Muslim teachers and area 
Christian 
clergy. A multicultural dinner will be served at 6 p.m. for a $5 
donation.

The program is an effort by Muslim House, 804 King Ave., to teach the 
public about Muslim beliefs and practices, according to a statement by 
the 
local group.

-----

IN A SUSPICIOUS U.S., MUSLIM CONVERTS FIND DISCRIMINATION
ANDREA ELLIOTT, New York Times, 4/30/05
http://nytimes.com/2005/04/30/nyregion/30converts.html

In the wake of 9/11, Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Egypt and other 
countries have found themselves living in a newly suspicious America. 
Many 
of their businesses and mosques have been closely monitored by federal 
agents, thousands of men have been deported and some have simply been 
swept 
away -- ''rendered'' in the language of the C.I.A. -- to be 
interrogated or 
jailed overseas.

But Muslim immigrants are not alone in experiencing the change. It is 
now 
touching the lives of some American converts: men and women raised in 
this 
country, whose only tie to the Middle East or Southeast Asia is one of 
faith. Khalid Hakim, born Charles Karolik in Milwaukee, could not renew 
the 
document required to work as a merchant mariner because he refused to 
remove his kufi, a round knitted cap, for an identity photograph last 
year. 
Yet for nearly three decades Mr. Hakim's cap had posed no problem with 
the 
same New York City office of the Coast Guard.

In Brooklyn, Dierdre Small and Stephanie Lewis drove New York City 
Transit 
buses for years wearing their hijabs, or head scarves, with no protest 
from 
supervisors. After 9/11 the women were ordered to remove the religious 
garments. They refused, and were transferred, along with two other 
Muslim 
converts, out of the public eye -- to jobs vacuuming, cleaning and 
parking 
buses, said the women, who are suing the Metropolitan Transportation 
Authority and New York City Transit.

"I'm a U.S. citizen and I'm supposed to be protected," Ms. Lewis, 55, 
said 
with tears in her eyes. "On 9/11 I was scheduled to take policemen to 
that 
site. I felt compassion like everyone else. And now you're singling me 
out 
because I'm a Muslim?"

New York City Transit officials said they would not comment because the 
case is in litigation.

Regardless of how their cases play out legally, Mr. Hakim, Ms. Lewis 
and 
other converts have come to view America after 9/11 through a singular 
lens. An estimated 25 percent of American Muslims are converts. Some 
came 
of age as Americans first and discovered Islam as adults. In the years 
since 9/11, many have faced a contest of loyalties between their nation 
and 
their faith…

SEE ALSO:

IMMIGRANTS WARY OF COMPLAINING OF BIAS, ADVOCATES SAY
ANDREA ELLIOTT, New York Times, 4/30/05
http://nytimes.com/2005/04/30/nyregion/30cases.html

Discrimination cases involving Muslims in the workplace, at school and 
in 
airports increased markedly after Sept. 11 but are most commonly 
brought by 
American-born Muslims because immigrants are reluctant to take legal 
action, lawyers and civil rights advocates say. A fear of retaliation 
by 
employers or more extreme outcomes, like deportation, drives many 
Muslim 
immigrants to stay quiet…

-----

WHERE'S SOMALIA?
St. Paul educators begin using 'Somali kits' to teach the basics of the 
country and its culture to elementary students in the city's diverse 
schools.
DOUG BELDEN, Pioneer Press, 4/30/05
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/11529667.htm

As soon as Paulette Parenteau showed her kindergarten class a photo of 
a 
Somali girl wearing a hijaab, or traditional Muslim head covering, a 
voice 
rang out from the back row.

"It looks like my sister!" said Nimo Abdi.

Abdi and the seven other Somali students in Parenteau's afternoon class 
at 
Highwood Hills Elementary School in St. Paul had several excited 
moments of 
recognition like that Wednesday.

They and their classmates were among the first to see pieces of the 
district's new "Somali kit," a collection of lesson plans, books, 
tapes, 
clothing and other items aimed at helping teachers integrate 
information 
about Somali culture into their K-3 classrooms.

Somali students started entering St. Paul schools in significant 
numbers 
about six years ago, and now there are more than 650, the 
second-highest 
population of any district in the state after Minneapolis.

And Highwood Hills has more Somali students than just about any 
district 
elementary school -- 75 in grades K-6, or about 20 percent of its 
student body.

"For any teacher who has Somali kids," said Parenteau, the kit is 
"absolutely essential."

But the purpose goes beyond fostering cultural pride among students 
from 
the East African country, say administrators in the district's English 
Language Learners department, which developed the curriculum. They hope 
the 
kits promote an appreciation of other cultures among all students…

-----

SCANDAL STYMIES ISRAELI EFFORT TO PRESSURE TEHRAN
Aipac Shakeup Hurts Advocates of Tough U.S. Stance on Iran Nukes
Ori Nir, Forward, 4/29/05
http://forward.com/articles/3096

WASHINGTON - Israeli efforts to secure swift American action against 
Iran's 
nuclear program are being threatened by a stalled presidential 
nomination 
and the sudden dismissal of two officials at the country's most 
influential 
pro-Israel lobbying organization.

Last week the Forward and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that 
the 
lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was 
pushing 
out two of its top officials - Steve Rosen, the organization's policy 
director, and Keith Weissman, its senior analyst on Iran. The two men, 
who 
are reportedly being investigated by the FBI for allegedly passing 
classified documents to Israel, were Aipac's point men in lobbying the 
White House on Iran-related issues.

Also last week, with mounting opposition toward Bush's choice of John 
Bolton to serve as America's ambassador to the United Nations, the 
Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee postponed its vote on the nomination. A 
neoconservative ally of Vice President Richard Cheney and the State 
Department's top official on arms control, Bolton is known as a strong 
supporter of Israel's position that Tehran is coming alarmingly close 
to 
being able to weaponize its nuclear material - a view rejected by other 
top 
Bush administration officials.

Pro-Israel activists in Washington are privately worrying that the 
shakeup 
at Aipac, as well as Bolton's troubles, will make it even harder for 
Jerusalem to convince the White House that quick action must be taken 
against Iran.

"It would sure help to have Bolton in the U.N. and credible 
[pro-Israel] 
lobbyists in Washington," said a senior official with a major national 
Jewish organization, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "This is a 
crucial point in time" to impact America's policy on Iran, the 
organizational official said…

-----

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-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 02 May 2005 16:53:56 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Calls on Leaders to Repudiate Evangelist's Remarks

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS 5/2/05

* HADITH: Those Sheltered by God
* CAIR Calls on Leaders to Repudiate Evangelist's Remarks
            - CAIR-DC: Evangelist Fears Muslims in Government
            - CAIR-CA: Finally, a Film Sheds Stereotypes (CSM)
            - CAIR: Conf. on Islamophobia, Anti-Americanism
* NY: From 'Gook' To 'Raghead' (NY Times)
            - Boot Camp, Guns - And Farsi Lessons? (CSM)
* England Pleads Guilty To Abuse Charges (AP)
            - Inquiry Finds Abuses at Guantánamo Bay (NY Times)
* NY: Bridging Gaps Decoratively (Newsday)
            - OR: Bridging a Cultural Divide (Mail Tribune)
* MO: Muslims are Hopeful despite Pope's Past Writings
            - MI: Some Muslims Worry about New Pope (Det News)
* DC: A Taste for Halal Meat (Wash Post)
* IL: Vigil Honors Fallen Cab Drivers (CBS 2)

-----

HADITH: THOSE SHELTERED BY GOD - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Seven kinds of people will be sheltered under the shade of God on the Day of Judgment&They are: a just ruler, a young man who passed his youth in the worship and service of God&one who heart is attached to the mosque&two people who love each other for the sake of God&a man who is invited to sin&but declines, saying I fear God &one who spends his charity in secret, without making show&and one who remembers God in solitude so that his eyes overflow.

Riyadh-us-Salaheen, Hadith 376

------

CAIR CALLS ON MAINSTREAM LEADERS TO REPUDIATE EVANGELIST'S REMARKS - TOP
Pat Robertson says Muslims should not serve in the Cabinet, judiciary

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/2/05) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on mainstream political and religious leaders to repudiate "hate-filled" remarks by evangelist Pat Robertson who said on Sunday that Muslims should not serve in the Cabinet or judiciary.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Pat Robertson told "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" he would be wary of appointing Muslims to positions in the U.S. government, including judgeships.

SEE: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-robertson2may02,1,7606032.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

"This type of hate-filled rhetoric deserves repudiation from all who respect America's long-standing tradition of pluralism," said Rabiah Ahmed, CAIR's communication coordinator. Ahmed added that many Muslims already serve with distinction in many levels of government, including judgeships at the state and local level.

In the past, Robertson has made similar hateful comments toward Islam and Muslims. During a 2002 appearance on Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes" program, Robertson smeared both Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. About Muhammad, Robertson said: "This man was an absolute wild-eyed fanatic. He was a robber and a brigand. And to say that these terrorists distort Islam, they're carrying out Islam...I mean, this man (Muhammad) was a killer. And to think that this is a peaceful religion is fraudulent." Robertson also called Islam "a monumental scam" and claimed the Quran, Islam's revealed text, "is strictly a theft of Jewish theology."

Robertson has also repeatedly defamed Islam and Muslims on his Christian Broadcasting Network "700 Club" program. He called Islam the "religion of the slavers" and said Americans who converted to Islam exhibited "insanity."

CAIR has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

                                                                                          - END -

CONTACT: CAIR - Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org; Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787 or 202-415-0799, E-Mail: arsalan@cair-net.org.

ALSO SEE:

CAIR-DC: EVANGELIST FEARS MUSLIMS IN GOVERNMENT - TOP
Tom Hamburger, Los Angeles Times, 5/2/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0505020136may02,1,2707617.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

WASHINGTON -- Televangelist and onetime presidential candidate Pat Robertson said Sunday that he would be wary of appointing Muslims to top positions in the U.S. government, including judgeships.

His comments on ABC's "This Week" drew heated responses from Muslim leaders who decried them as racist and inaccurate.

Robertson, who helped found the Christian Coalition and launched a brief presidential bid in 1988, said that if he were ever elected president he would not appoint Muslims to serve in his Cabinet and that he doesn't favor Muslims serving as judges.

"They have said in the Koran there's a war against all the infidels," he said. "Do you want somebody like that sitting as a judge? I wouldn't."

The comments drew fire immediately from Muslim organizations.

"Pat Robertson has taken his far-right-wing rhetoric to absurd levels," said Arsalan Iftikhar, national legal director for the Council on American Islamic Relations. "He is trying to perpetuate this notion that Islam is a monolithic entity inherently at odds with modernity and democracy.

"That is absolutely false. ... American Muslims have long been contributing members of American society, and I guarantee to Mr. Robertson that Muslims will one day become part of the federal bench--whether or not he likes it." (MORE)

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CAIR-CA: FINALLY, A FILM SHEDS MUSLIM STEREOTYPES - TOP
Gloria Goodale, Christian Science Monitor, 5/1/05
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0502/p12s01-almo.html

LAS VEGAS From Arab sheikhs and Muslim terrorists to belly dancers and mysterious women swathed in burqas, Hollywood depictions of Muslims don't generally ring true. But a film opening this Friday may offer a less clichéd view of Muslims, even as it embellishes history.
In Ridley Scott's new medieval epic, "Kingdom of Heaven," after Muslim forces have retaken Jerusalem from the Christians, their leader Saladin strides through a room full of battle debris, only to stop at the sight of a fallen cross. He gently picks up the Christian altarpiece and sets it on a table.

This gesture, as much as any fights or dialogue in the film, delivers a key message about the Crusades: Muslims were human beings, as capable of honor and faith as any Christian in that period, and by implication, says Mr. Scott, in today's world, as well.

"Given that [President] Bush has used the word 'crusades,' " understanding the subtext of the film is important, says the British director. "It is kind of an ambassador asking the question: 'Why can't we all live together?' "

The film's complex and human portrayal of both Christians and Muslims is cause for a small sigh of relief among Muslim scholars and activists in the United States, many of whom say Hollywood just can't get it right when it comes to portraying Middle Easterners.

"Western films usually don't depict Arabs and Muslims as having full lives, families, personalities, or emotions," says William Russell Melton, author of "The New American Expat: Thriving and Surviving Overseas in the Post-9/11 World." In films ranging from "Aladdin" to "The Mummy" to "Rules of Engagement," Muslims are usually "portrayed as simplistic, illiterate, one- dimensional, angry, hateful, untrustworthy and, of course, dirty," he says.

Even before 9/11, says Sabiha Khan, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Los Angeles, "when Muslims or Arabs are portrayed on-screen, there are usually gross stereotypes like the wealthy sheikh, the oppressed women, the Muslim terrorist." After the screening of "Kingdom of Heaven" last week, CAIR issued a national statement of support for Scott's film. (MORE)

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CAIR CONF. ON ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTI-AMERICANISM: CAUSES, REMEDIES - TOP

WHAT: The Council on American-Islamic Relations cordially invites you to attend its 2005 Annual Conference, "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies."

Sessions will cover topics such as "Building Bridges of Understanding" and "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism in the Media."

Speakers will include: Sulaiman Nyang-Howard University, M. Cherif Bassiouni-International Human Rights Law Institute; Hafiz Mirazi, Al-Jazeera; Claude Salhani, United Press International; and Samer Shahata, Georgetown University.

(To view a complete program or to register for the conference, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/)

WHEN: Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005
Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 14

WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA (703-448-1234)

Volunteers are also needed for CAIR's Conference. Please call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, or e-mail events@cair-net.org for more information.

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NY: FROM 'GOOK' TO 'RAGHEAD' TOP
Bob Hebert, New York Times, 5/1/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/02/opinion/02herbert.html?hp

I spent some time recently with Aidan Delgado, a 23-year-old religion major at New College of Florida, a small, highly selective school in Sarasota.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, before hearing anything about the terror attacks that would change the direction of American history, Mr. Delgado enlisted as a private in the Army Reserve. Suddenly, in ways he had never anticipated, the military took over his life. He was trained as a mechanic and assigned to the 320th Military Police Company in St. Petersburg. By the spring of 2003, he was in Iraq. Eventually he would be stationed at the prison compound in Abu Ghraib.

Mr. Delgado's background is unusual. He is an American citizen, but because his father was in the diplomatic corps, he grew up overseas. He spent eight years in Egypt, speaks Arabic and knows a great deal about the various cultures of the Middle East. He wasn't happy when, even before his unit left the states, a top officer made wisecracks about the soldiers heading off to Iraq to kill some ragheads and burn some turbans.

''He laughed,'' Mr. Delgado said, ''and everybody in the unit laughed with him.''

The officer's comment was a harbinger of the gratuitous violence that, according to Mr. Delgado, is routinely inflicted by American soldiers on ordinary Iraqis. He said: ''Guys in my unit, particularly the younger guys, would drive by in their Humvee and shatter bottles over the heads of Iraqi civilians passing by. They'd keep a bunch of empty Coke bottles in the Humvee to break over people's heads.''

He said he had confronted guys who were his friends about this practice. ''I said to them: 'What the hell are you doing? Like, what does this accomplish?' And they responded just completely openly. They said: 'Look, I hate being in Iraq. I hate being stuck here. And I hate being surrounded by hajis.'''

''Haji'' is the troops' term of choice for an Iraqi. It's used the way ''gook'' or ''Charlie'' was used in Vietnam.

Mr. Delgado said he had witnessed incidents in which an Army sergeant lashed a group of children with a steel Humvee antenna, and a Marine corporal planted a vicious kick in the chest of a kid about 6 years old. There were many occasions, he said, when soldiers or marines would yell and curse and point their guns at Iraqis who had done nothing wrong.

He said he believes that the absence of any real understanding of Arab or Muslim culture by most G.I.'s, combined with a lack of proper training and the unrelieved tension of life in a war zone, contributes to levels of fear and rage that lead to frequent instances of unnecessary violence. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

BOOT CAMP, CAMOUFLAGE, GUNS - AND FARSI LESSONS? - TOP
Mark Sappenfield, Christian Science Monitor, 5/2/05
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0502/p02s01-usmi.html

MONTEREY, CALIF. - The Defense Language Institute is at the forefront of the Pentagon's growing emphasis on linguistic and cultural skills.

The Pentagon makes no secret of the fact that Staff Sgt. Aaron Jarvis will soon be one of its most valuable assets in the war on terror. Yet the most important part of his daily training does not involve a fighter jet, a rifle, or an obstacle course. It involves only a classroom and constant conversation, as Sergeant Jarvis unravels the peculiar pronunciations and subtle scrawlings of Dari, one of the two official Afghan tongues.

To Jarvis, a one-time pizza-store manager who has already learned Serbo- Croatian as an Air Force linguist, the switch to Dari is just another assignment here at the Defense Language Institute (DLI). But more broadly, it is part of a fundamental shift at the Pentagon, as leaders increasingly see foreign-language skills not as a peripheral part of the military's mission, but as crucial to the success of American forces abroad.

In the future, officers could be required to have some familiarity with a second language; enlistees might receive language instruction during basic training. No decisions have yet been made. Yet when the Pentagon released its Defense Language Transformation Roadmap last month, it made clear its view that security in a post-Sept. 11 world requires not only a military capable of deploying to the remotest corner of the world at a moment's notice, but also soldiers capable of coping with the cultural and linguistic challenges they meet when they arrive there.

"We think this is, in the end, an essential war-fighting skill for the military of the future," says David Chu, undersecretary of personnel. (MORE)

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ENGLAND PLEADS GUILTY TO ABUSE CHARGES - TOP
T.A. BADGER, Associated Press, 5/2/05
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/P/PRISONER_ABUSE_ENGLAND?SITE=MOSTP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

FORT HOOD, Texas -- Pfc. Lynndie England, who appeared in some of the most graphic photographs depicting physical mistreatment and sexual humiliation of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, pleaded guilty Monday to charges arising from her role in the abuse scandal.

The 22-year-old Army reservist entered her pleas to two counts of conspiracy to maltreat prisoners, four counts of maltreating prisoners and one count of committing an indecent act.

In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop another count of committing an indecent act and one count of dereliction of duty.

If the plea agreement is accepted by the judge, Col. James Pohl, a jury of officers and enlisted soldiers will decide her punishment following a sentencing hearing expected to last several days.

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INQUIRY FINDS ABUSES AT GUANTÁNAMO BAY - TOP
Neil A. Lewis and Eric Schmitt, New York Times, 5/1/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/01/national/nationalspecial3/01gitmo.html

WASHINGTON- A high-level military investigation into accusations of detainee abuse at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has concluded that several prisoners were mistreated or humiliated, perhaps illegally, as a result of efforts to devise innovative methods to gain information, senior military and Pentagon officials say.

The report on the investigation, which is still a few weeks from being completed and released, will deal with accounts by agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who complained after witnessing detainees subjected to several forms of harsh treatment.

The F.B.I. agents wrote in memorandums that were never meant to be disclosed publicly that they had seen female interrogators forcibly squeeze male prisoners' genitals, and that they had witnessed other detainees stripped and shackled low to the floor for many hours.

Although the Pentagon has issued other reports about accusations of abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo, the new investigation, by Lt. Gen. Randall M. Schmidt of the Air Force, is intended to be the first major inquiry devoted solely to determining what interrogation practices were used at Guantánamo. The investigation was initiated in response to the disclosure of F.B.I. messages that especially concerned Pentagon officials because the bureau's complaints carried great credibility. (MORE)

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NY: BRIDGING GAPS DECORATIVELY - TOP
Nedra Rhone, Newsday, 5/2/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-liisla024242280may02,0,7130838.story?coll=ny-main-tabheads

It was a symbolic gesture, one which no one expected to have international resonance, but one that here among the communities of Long Island, brought two disparate worlds just a bit closer.

With the cutting yesterday of a gossamer gold ribbon, the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury celebrated the opening of its new office space and publicly acknowledged the donation of furniture by Irwin Horwitz, a Jewish philanthropist and owner of several Ethan Allen stores.

"I'm Jewish, and of course the mosque is not, but I became involved in their outreach program and I thought that was a wonderful thing," said Horwitz, 74, who could not attend the afternoon ceremony because of illness. "If the Jews and Muslims can get along in this country, why can't they get along in the rest of the world?"

The center, said many among the multi-ethnic and multi-faith guests who attended the ceremony, has done a lot to bridge the gaps between cultures. "The center is a wonderful asset to Long Island. It does a lot of education and cultural events that help to educate the community in diversity," said Frank Shih, dean of students at the City University of New York School of Law at Queens College in Flushing.

Several months ago, Horwitz began attending meetings at the center on Brushhollow Road. "He recognizes what we are doing and said he would like to make a contribution," said Faroque Khan, president of the Islamic Center.

Diane Cullinan, lead designer at Horwitz's Huntington store, outfitted the new space with about $8,000 in furniture, including a brown leather sofa, rugs, wooden tables and tapestry covered chairs.

But the furniture, said Horwitz, was ancillary. "I think if you take from the community, you should give back. I try to support things," he said

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BRIDGING A CULTURAL DIVIDE - TOP
John Darling, Mail Tribune, 4/30/05
http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2005/0430/local/stories/05local.htm

ASHLAND Wearing a veil and Islamic dress in the age of 9/11 may not seem the best way to win friends on U.S. soil, but one local woman says it s helping her get across a message of peace and interfaith understanding.

Saying she s "appalled" at how the media paints mainstream Muslims with the same brush it uses on Arab terrorists, Southern Oregon University student Raya Shokatfard is delivering a series of lectures on Islamic culture and religion at the SOU library on Sundays through May 29. The first session, which summarizes those that follow, is this weekend. All the sessions will end with time for questions and answers.

"As members of the three major monotheistic religions, we re all cousins and we should concentrate on our unity rather than differences," said Shokatfard, 58, a former real estate broker in California and now a senior in communication, hoping to go into journalism.

Although dressed in traditional female Islamic garb with head shawl, Shokatfard has encountered no prejudice or disrespect in her year on SOU s campus. Following the tenets of her faith, she excuses herself from classes that show salacious or suggestive images or play pop music and also to pray at appropriate hours.

Shokatfard immigrated from Iran to the United States with her family in 1969. She adopted Western ways, enjoying a successful career in real estate in Southern California, slowly returning to Islam while living in Mount Shasta in the 1980s, she said. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS ARE HOPEFUL DESPITE NEW POPE'S PAST WRITINGS - TOP
Tim Townsend, Post-Dispatch, 5/1/05
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/

In the week between Pope John Paul II's funeral and the conclave to elect a new pope, cardinals and commentators alike listed the Roman Catholic church's relationship with Islam as one of the most important issues the next pope would have to confront.

They said John Paul had laid the necessary groundwork by encouraging dialogue with Muslims around the world, supporting Palestinian rights and becoming the first pope to visit a mosque.

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, told Catholic News Service, before the conclave, that John Paul had refused to become a "crusader-in-chief" and that the next pope would have to continue John Paul's work to keep up a dialogue with the Islamic world in order to encourage and strengthen moderate Islam.

"We're going to have to do everything we can to encourage the moderate Muslims and to sustain them in their struggle for political power," the cardinal said.

By naming Islamic relations as one of the main challenges facing the next pope, such cardinals and commentators were, in effect, raising the prospect of a new pontiff who would be intimately familiar with Islam. Cardinals Francis Arinze of Nigeria and Julius Darmaatmadja of Indonesia were mentioned as papal prospects, partly for their experiences with Muslims.

But in the fastest conclave in nearly a century, the College of Cardinals turned instead to a German intellectual whose theology on interfaith relations seemed clear -- and clearly not what fans of interfaith dialogue were hoping for in a new pope&

Gulten Ilhan, a professor at St. Louis Community College and vice president of the St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the pope's actions last week toward Muslims "was not just the right step, but an encouraging start." Reaction from Muslims around the world sounded similar in the days after Benedict's election and installation. (MORE)

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METRO DETROIT MUSLIMS WORRY ABOUT NEW POPE - TOP
Kim Kozlowski, Detroit News, 5/1/05
http://www.detnews.com/2005/editorial/0505/01/A13-167219.htm

When Pope Benedict XVI gave his inaugural homily last Sunday, some Metro Detroit Muslims felt slighted that he made reference to Jews as brothers and sisters, but he failed to mention Muslims.

It was the first signal to one of the world's largest faiths how Benedict, elected to the papacy last month, might continue the church's dialogue with Islam that Pope John Paul II began during his 26-year tenure. It followed critical reports of statements about Muslims that Benedict made when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and left some Muslims fearing that the new pope would not be friendly to Islam in the future.

But after his inaugural homily, Benedict soon met with a delegation of Muslim leaders, which has given more hope to Muslims that bridges will continue to be built between the two faiths that many say will foster more peace, understanding and tolerance, especially in a post-September 11 world.

"John Paul II did a great deal to improve the relationship between the Muslims and the Christians of the world," says Osama Siblani, editor of the Arab American News in Dearborn. "It's in the interest of the new pope and Roman Catholic Church to maintain good relations with one-fifth of the world's population."

With the rapid growth of Islam locally, relations with the faith are expected to be critical in Pope Benedict XVI's administration. Nowhere could the issue be more visible in the United States than in Metro Detroit, where 1.5 million Catholics live with one of largest concentration of Muslims in the nation, along with the country's largest mosque, which will open May 12 in Dearborn.

Detroit Archbishop Cardinal Adam Maida is encouraged by Benedict's outreach to Muslims, and Jews as well, and he plans to continue to be an ambassador locally, says Ned McGrath, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

"It punctuated what we've tried to do here, which is to maintain very good relations with the Muslim and Jewish community," McGrath says. "The cardinal is very encouraged, and we will take that lead and will continue to work at it more diligently."

Tensions were high between Christians and Muslims four years ago following the September 11, 2001, attacks by Muslim extremists on New York's World Trade Center buildings which left thousands dead. After the attacks, Detroit Archbishop Cardinal Adam Maida made his first visit to a local mosque, the Islamic Center of America, at the request of the late Pope John Paul II.

Other Christians and Jews also reached out to Muslims with interfaith dialogues and relations have since grown. (MORE)

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A TASTE FOR HALAL MEAT - TOP
Dina ElBoghdady, Washington Post, 5/2/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/01/AR2005050100463.html

For three hours, Imad Rababe helped slit the throats of more than 100 goats and lambs at his white cinderblock slaughterhouse near Hagerstown, murmuring a quick blessing to Allah with each flick of his sharpened knife then immediately hoisting the animals by their feet on hooks to drain the blood.

It's a tough business, Rababe said. Turnover is high among his eight employees, most of them Muslim immigrants who could not find other jobs. In addition to teaching them the Islamic style of slaughter, Rababe must also shop for livestock, drum up business, track orders and collect payments -- often using his limited English to communicate with customers who do not speak Arabic.

But as the Washington area's Muslim population grows, so do Rababe's moneymaking opportunities. Because the Koran instructs mankind to eat meat that is "halal," the Arabic word for lawful, devout Muslims are willing to pay a premium for the type of product Rababe sells at his Hamzah Slaughter House LLC in Williamsport.

These days, more than 140 of the region's restaurants and grocery stores advertise themselves as halal, according to Zabihah.com, a Web site that posts reviews of halal food establishments across the country. When Rababe, a native of Lebanon, arrived in the United States in 1978, only a few did. Now at least three major halal meat suppliers serve the region, including Rababe, who says he slaughters 500 to 700 animals a week for his wholesale and retail customers.

"Look, I'm not from Harvard. I have no high school education, no nothing," said Rababe, a practicing Muslim who learned the trade from his father in Lebanon. "But this is the business I know best. It serves the Muslim community, and it makes me financially comfortable."

The fledgling halal business remains far less established than the kosher trade, its Jewish cousin, and there are no reliable estimates of how much halal meat is sold in the Washington area. But it is no longer relegated to traditional kabob houses or ethnic grocery stores either, as new immigrants and others seek out products consistent with their religious practice.

Pizza Roma in College Park serves pizzas with halal meat toppings, and Double A Burgers & Shakes in Springfield Mall offers "homemade, halal burgers hot off the grill." Some Giant Food and Shoppers Food Warehouse stores stock frozen halal chicken nuggets and other products from Al Safa Halal Inc. in Canada. Even the White House does its part, ordering halal for visiting Muslim dignitaries. (MORE)

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IL: VIGIL HONORS FALLEN CAB DRIVERS - TOP
Joanie Lum, CBS 2, 5/1/05
http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/local_story_121204235.html

CHICAGO - It was an unimaginable crime a taxi cab driver run over with his own car in a dispute over a fare.

Unfortunately, Haroon Paryani isn t the only Chicago who has been killed on the job.

And on Sunday, a vigil was held in their honor. The council of Islamic organizations held the event to encourage better treatment of cab drivers.

The names of 50 Chicago cab drivers killed on the job were read aloud at the vigil. Most were shot during robberies, but the most shocking was the murder of Haroon Paryani, who argues with a customer over payment and was run over in the street with his on cab on Feb. 4.

Paryani s grown children displayed photographs of their father and wept at the memorial held near the place where he died.

Haroon Paryani was my father, Aamir Paryani said through a translator. I can t believe my father is gone.

Thirty-seven-year-old Michael L. Jackson bonded out of jail for the murder, but was arrested again after allegedly spitting at and trying to punch a Downer s Grove Hospital nurse.

Paryani s family says those actions prove Jackson should not have been allowed to post bail.

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
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Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
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-----

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Date: Tue, 03 May 2005 15:22:34 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: NE Couple Fights to Have Foster Children Returned

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS -  5/3/05

* HADITH: Guidelines for Life
* CAIR-OH: 2005 Leadership Conference A Success
            - CAIR Conf. on Islamophobia/Anti-Americanism
* NE: Couple Fights to Have Foster Children Returned (Omaha Channel)
            - WA: Home Buyers Juggle Faith, Finance (Seattle Times)
            - TX: Chaplain Discusses Religious Similarities (Shorthorn)
* Robertson Assailed For Comments on Islam (Record)
            - FL: Vines' Retiring Stirs Mixed Emotions (Times Union)
* FL: Al-Arian Seeks Change of Venue (St. Pete Times)

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HADITH: GUIDELINES FOR LIFE - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "God has forbidden you to be undutiful to your mothers, to withhold (what you should give), or demand (what you do not deserve), and to bury your daughters alive [a pre-Islamic practice]. And God has disliked that you talk too much about others, ask too many questions and waste your property."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Hadith 6

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CAIR-OHIO: 2005 LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE A SUCCESS - TOP

(Columbus, 5/2/05) The Ohio Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) held its 2005 Leadership Conference on Saturday, April 30. The conference, held at Sunrise Academy in Columbus, drew approximately 60 attendees from various cities across the state of Ohio.

The event featured distinguished speakers such as Daniel Tokaji, Ohio State University Professor of Law; Kris Long, Ohio Senate Minority Chief of Staff; Bob Fitrakis of the Free Press; Mike Curtain, President & CEO of the Columbus Dispatch; Steve Abbot, Communications Professor at Columbus State Community College; and Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director of CAIR-Southern California.

The objective of the conference was to motivate participants to become more active on issues of concern to the Muslim community through communicating with elected officials and the media, building and organizing coalitions, and a more thorough understanding of civil rights, said CAIR-Ohio President, Ahmad Al-Akhras. I am confident that events such as these will make the Muslim community more assertive in exercising their rights and making their voices heard in the political arena.

Similar events will be held in the coming months at the Cleveland and Cincinnati offices of CAIR-Ohio. For more information, see www.cair-ohio.com.

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

- END -

CONTACT: Jennifer Nimer, CAIR-Ohio Civil Rights Director, 614-451-3232, jennifer@cair-ohio.com; Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR-Ohio Board President, 614-989-5916, ahmad@cair-ohio.com

ALSO SEE:

CAIR CONF. ON ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTI-AMERICANISM: CAUSES, REMEDIES - TOP

WHAT: The Council on American-Islamic Relations cordially invites you to attend its 2005 Annual Conference, "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies."

Sessions will cover topics such as "Anti-Americanism and US Foreign Policy" which will define the meaning and substance of anti-Americanism, distinguish anti-Americanism from legitimate social and political viewpoints, explore links between US foreign policy and rising anti-Americanism.

Speakers for this panel will include: Merve Kavakci, Former MP, Turkey; Anatol Leiven, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Muqtedar Khan, Brookings; Asma Afsaruddin, Notre Dame; and Mumtaz Ahmad, Hampton University.

(To view a complete program or to register for the conference, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/)

WHEN: Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005
Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 14

WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA (703-448-1234)

Volunteers are also needed for CAIR's Conference. Please call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, or e-mail events@cair-net.org for more information.

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NE: COUPLE FIGHTING TO HAVE THEIR FOSTER CHILDREN RETURNED - TOP
Omaha Channel, 4/28/05
http://www.theomahachannel.com/family/4428635/detail.html

OMAHA, Neb. -- An Omaha couple said they lost custody of their foster children because of religious discrimination, but they are fighting back.

Fa'iz and Thurayya Rab have filed special motions to try to get their foster children -- in this case their niece and nephew -- back home. Their attorney, Jackie Madara-Campbell, said it's believed to be the first time these motions have ever been filed by foster parents in Nebraska.
Thurayya and Fa'iz Rab

The Rabs' 2-year-old and 3-year-old children are asking where their foster siblings went. The answer is, they were taken from the Rabs by the state last summer. They had been with Thurayya and Fa'iz since the oldest was a baby.

"You raise children that you think you are going to adopt, and you love them like your own, and then they're ripped out of your home," Thurayya Rab said.

Despite evidence to the contrary, the Rabs lost their foster son and daughter on charges they physically disciplined them. The children are now wards of the state. The Rabs -- who are Muslims -- believe religious discrimination played a part. The couple said they discovered court testimony that branded them as terrorists.

"Whatever religion I follow has no place in the courtroom," said Fa'iz Rab, who with his wife, has chosen to escalate the court battle to get the children back. "A lot of our options were running out and we faced a lot of obstacles from the opposing parties."

The opposing parties include the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The Rabs' attorney filed special motions against the department.

"The evil act of a minority of zealots continues to cast unwarranted suspicion on the majority of faithful Muslims, the Rabs being the latest victims of this ignorance," Madara-Campbell said.

An HHS spokesperson said the department can't comment on the motions or the custody case. The motions, which are rarely used in foster cases, emphasize the Rabs' status as relatives of the children. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

WA: MUSLIM HOME BUYERS JUGGLE FAITH, FINANCE - TOP
Lornet Turnbull, Seattle Times, 4/28/05
http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/living/home/11529645.htm

SEATTLE - When he bought his car two years ago, Javed Ahmed saved up enough money so he could pay for it with cash.

And every month, the senior analyst at Voyager Capital, a venture firm in Seattle, pays off his credit-card balance so he doesn't have to pay interest.

Now, at 29, Ahmed wants to buy his first home.

But as a Muslim, whose religion prohibits earning or paying interest on borrowed money, he faces a dilemma common to observant followers of the nation's fastest-growing religion: Can he buy a home without angering God?

"I'm not going to save up money to buy a house," Ahmed concedes. That's hardly practical -- at least not in Seattle.

So "right now I'm on the fence," he said. "I'm not sure what the right thing is to do."

Avoiding interest, or riba as it's known in Islam, confounds the realities of Western society, where few people use cash to make purchases and Visa and MasterCard rule the day.

There's strong dissension among Muslims over how deep this ban on interest should reach: Are security investments allowed -- stocks and bonds? What about retirement accounts or savings that yield a return?

The battle between finance and faith is not limited to Islam; the restriction on interest has roots in many religions, including Christianity and Judaism, to ensure that the wealthy don't take unfair advantage of the poor. Only Islam still adheres to this strict interpretation -- at least in the United States.

It leaves Muslim followers who wish to pursue the American Dream with just a few options: Some, like Ahmed's parents, felt they had no choice but to take on a traditional mortgage when they bought their home in Portland, where he grew up.

Others save for years until they have enough cash to buy a home outright. (MORE)

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TX: CHAPLAIN DISCUSSES RELIGIOUS SIMILARITIES - TOP
Richard-Michael Manuel, The Shorthorn, 5/29/05
http://www.theshorthorn.com/archive/2005/spring/05-apr-29/n042905-06.html

People view salvation s meaning in different ways through their beliefs, but a former Christian minister showed 98 people here Thursday how two religious texts share similarities and clarified misconceptions about the Islamic faith.

Chaplain Yusuf Estes lectured about the Quran and the Bible in his discussion, which will be available today at http://www.islamtomorrow.com, focused on theological truths shared by the texts.

For example, he said one major similarity is the use of the name Adam in Jewish, Christian and Muslim texts.

We call our God by a different name, but we call our grandfather the same thing, he said.

Estes, who last visited the campus in 1992, said he had read the Quran in 1991 and began sharing his experiences with others throughout the United States.

He said the way in which believers find their relationship with God is the major difference in finding salvation among the three religions. The Jewish religion is linked to a shared history, and the Christian religion is linked to accepting and loving God, and Islam is about obedience, Estes said.

Anyone can become a Muslim through declaring his or her faith and following Islamic principals. These include occasional fasting, daily prayer and a pilgrimage to Mecca, which are considered the pillars of Muslim spiritual life.

The Muslim Student Association invited Estes, who led a prayer for Muslims before his speech. (MORE)

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ROBERTSON ASSAILED FOR COMMENTS ON ISLAM - TOP
Record, 5/2/05
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/166/story_16607_1.html

WASHINGTON - Fundamentalist televangelist and onetime presidential candidate Pat Robertson said Sunday that he would be wary of appointing Muslims to top positions in the U.S. government, including judgeships.

Robertson, who helped found the Christian Coalition, made his comments on ABC's "This Week."
The remarks drew heated responses from Muslim leaders, who decried them as racist and inaccurate.

Robertson, who launched a brief presidential bid in 1988, said that if he were president, he would not appoint Muslims to serve in his Cabinet and that he did not favor Muslims serving as judges.

"They have said in the Quran there's a war against all the infidels," he said. "Do you want somebody like that sitting as a judge? I wouldn't."

Reaction from the Muslim community was swift.

"Pat Robertson has taken his far-right-wing rhetoric to absurd levels," said Arsalan Iftikhar, national legal director for the Council on American Islamic Relations.

"He is trying to perpetuate this notion that Islam is a monolithic entity inherently at odds with modernity and democracy. That is absolutely false. ... American Muslims have long been contributing members of American society and I guarantee to Mr. Robertson that Muslims will one day become part of the federal bench - whether or not he likes it."

ALSO SEE:

FL: VINES' RETIRING SADDENS FLOCK, SATISFIES CRITICS - TOP
Jeff Brumley, Times-Union, 5/3/05
http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/050305/met_18638143.shtml

Sadness, shock and even satisfaction greeted the news Monday that the Rev. Jerry Vines plans to retire as the pastor of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.

"This is a sad time," church member Barbara Champlin said after hearing Vines' announcement Sunday night that he will retire in February.

"He's a dynamic person and he believes in what he preaches," she said. "He walks the talk."

At the other end of the spectrum was Imam Zaid Malik, spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville. Malik sounded downright happy to hear Vines plans to leave the city's largest church.

"I am thankful to God that he decided to resign," Malik said.

Malik and some other Muslims are still upset over Vines' 2002 statement calling their religion's founder, the prophet Muhammad, a "demon-possessed pedophile."

"He became very unpopular in the Muslim community when he said what he said about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him," Malik said. (MORE)

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FL: AL-ARIAN SEEKS CHANGE OF VENUE - TOP
Brady Dennis, St. Petersburg Times, 5/3/05
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/05/03/Hillsborough/Al_Arian_seeks_change.shtml

TAMPA - Attorneys for Sami Al-Arian, the former University of South Florida professor accused of raising money for a Palestinian terrorist group, have asked a federal judge to move the upcoming trial out of Florida.

Citing the constant barrage of news coverage, the recent U.S. Senate campaign in which Al-Arian became a central topic of debate, and evidence of "serious bias and prejudice"
among potential jurors, attorneys said their client could not receive a fair trial in Tampa.

"The pressure to convict him in this community would be tremendous," the attorneys wrote in the filing to U.S. District Judge James Moody.

Attorneys William Moffitt and Linda Moreno said in their motion that during the past 10 years, "the print media in Tampa has associated Dr. Al-Arian with every act of terrorism that has occurred on American soil."

They claim that because of this "media harangue," "a significant portion of the community believe him to be guilty."

Moffitt and Moreno said the recent U.S. Senate campaign drew even more attention to Al- Arian's case. The references began during the Democratic primaries between Betty Castor and Peter Deutsch, when the Deutsch campaign began referring to USF as "Jihad University" and making allegations that Castor failed to take action when she found "a terrorist in her midst."

The negative publicity grew more intense, the motion claims, when Castor faced Republican Mel Martinez in the general election and local airwaves were saturated with ads featuring Al-Arian. During the first televised debate of the campaign, NBC's Tim Russert spent one-third of the time asking the candidates about Al-Arian.

And then came the questionnaires.

Al-Arian's attorneys claim that prejudice is rampant in the answers to surveys the court sent to prospective jurors. Of 328 potential jurors who returned the questionnaires, 155 already have been dismissed after saying that they had made up their minds that Al-Arian was guilty or because they made prejudicial comments about Muslims and people of Arab descent. (MORE)

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Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
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Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
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Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 04 May 2005 16:57:59 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: IL Man Accuses Employer of Bias/GA Mosque Meets Opposition

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 5/4/05

* HADITH/VERSE: All Prophets are Brothers
* CAIR-CAN: Arar Lawyers Call For Independent Fact-Finder (CP)
            - Arar Was a Victim, Federal Lawyer Admits (CBS)
* CAIR-Ohio Testifies Before Ohio House Committee
* CA: Academics, Community Teach On Torture (Berkeley Daily)
            - Shackled In the Land of the Free (M & G)
* IL: Man Accuses Former Employer of Discrimination (AP)
            - GA: Islamic Mosque Meets Opposition (WTVC)
* 'Kingdom Of Heaven' Avoids Muslim Outcry (AP)
            - Kingdom Of Heaven Ignites Debate (IOL)

-----

HADITH/VERSE OF THE DAY: ALL PROPHETS ARE BROTHERS - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am nearest of all you people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Hadith 652

Say ye: We believe in God and that which is revealed to us; and that which was revealed to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma il (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Ya qoob (Jacob) and their descendants, and that which was given to Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus) and other Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and it is unto them, and it is unto them that we surrender ourselves.

The Holy Quran, Chapter 2, Verse 136

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CAIR-CAN: ARAR LAWYERS CALL FOR INDEPENDENT FACT-FINDER - TOP
Stephen Thorne, Canadian Press, 5/3/05
http://www.canada.com/fortstjohn/story.html?id=ca5859a6-538e-4a5d-a637-0690d40c3fe8

OTTAWA -- Lawyers for Maher Arar, the Canadian who says he was tortured in Syria after U.S. authorities sent him there on suspicion of terrorist links, have asked the head of an inquiry to appoint an independent fact-finder to present his side of the story.

The rapporteur should be allowed to gather information from all parties who have given evidence at the inquiry, including police and government officials whose secret evidence prevents Arar from testifying, they said Tuesday.

He should also be allowed to interview three other Muslim Canadians whose cases bear "alarming similarities'' to Arar's, said Riad Saloojee, executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (Canada).

Abdullah Almalki, Ahmed Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin were all imprisoned in the same Syrian jail about the same time as Arar.

"The similarities between these cases are uncanny and alarming and must warrant serious exploration,'' Saloojee told the commissioner, Justice Dennis O'Connor.

"As with Arar, there are troubling, unanswered questions about the role of our security agencies in these men's detention and alleged torture.'' (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

ARAR WAS A VICTIM, FEDERAL LAWYER ADMITS - TOP
CBC News, 5/4/05
http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/05/03/arar-inquiry050503.html

OTTAWA - A government lawyer has admitted that Maher Arar was a victim when he was deported on terrorism accusations and detained in Syria but she did not declare his innocence.

Barbara McIsaac, a lawyer for the federal attorney general, made the comment Tuesday as the Arar inquiry met in public for the first time in more than eight months. McIsaac stopped short of saying that Canadian officials did anything wrong.

She also argued that if Arar wants to testify at the inquiry into his case, he won't be allowed to see evidence that had been available to other witnesses.

The reason for this, says McIsaac, is because Arar isn't under investigation.

Most of the testimony at the Arar inquiry has been given in secret.

Arar's lawyer, Marlys Edwardh, says it's unfair to allow Arar to testify and be cross-examined without knowing what government witnesses have said about him in secret hearings.

Edwardh wants the inquiry to appoint an independent fact-finder with security clearance to take Arar's testimony in private.

That person would have access to testimony given to date at the inquiry, including secret evidence provided by police and government officials.

McIsaac said such a fact-finder is not necessary because this is an inquiry, not a criminal trial in which Arar must defend himself. She added that the head of the Arar inquiry, Justice Dennis O'Connor, is fulfilling the fact-finding role.

In September 2002, Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian, was detained in New York on suspicion of being involved in the al-Qaeda network. The U.S. then deported him to Syria, where Arar says he was brutalized by Syrian officials.

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CAIR-OHIO TESTIFIES BEFORE OHIO HOUSE COMMITTEE - TOP

 (COLUMBUS, 5/4/2005) -The Director of Civil Rights of the Ohio Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OH) testified today on Senate Bill 9 before the Ohio House Committee on Transportation, Public Safety & Homeland Security.

"We recognize the difficulty of drafting legislation that addresses sensitive issues such as terrorism," said Jennifer Nimer, director of Civil Rights of CAIR-Ohio. "We feel that Sub. Senate Bill 9 still lends itself to being used in a discriminatory manner against Muslims and immigrants."

CAIR-Ohio president, Dr. Ahmad Al-Akhras shared Muslims' concerns with Senate Bill 9 at a press conference organized by the ACLU of Ohio yesterday, May 3.

CAIR-Ohio has three offices: Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

-- END --

CONTACT: Jennifer Nimer, CAIR-Ohio Civil Rights Director, 614-451-3232, jennifer@cair-ohio.com; Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR-Ohio Board President, 614-989-5916, ahmad@cair-ohio.com.

-----

CA: ACADEMICS, COMMUNITY TEACH ON TORTURE, LOOK FOR ANSWERS - TOP
Berkeley Daily, 5/3/05
http://www.berkeleydaily.org/text/article.cfm?issue=05-03-05&storyID=21295

Electro-shock, unmuzzled dogs, extreme temperatures, sexual humiliation, sodomy U.S. torture didn t begin or end with the abuse portrayed in shocking photographs coming out of Abu Ghraib one year ago, nor has U.S. torture been restricted to prisons on foreign soil, according to speakers at Thursday s Teach-in on Torture, sponsored by UC Berkeley s Ethnic Studies, Asian Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies departments.

The America of my imagination seems to have turned into a nightmare, L. Ling-chi Wang, associate professor in the Ethnic Studies Department, told an audience of about 50 people at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in downtown Berkeley. I see neither courage nor outrage in the halls of congress. I ve seen no serious investigation into these practices. I ve seen cover-ups, contempt for laws. I see hopelessness, helplessness among my colleagues.

Wang s profound disappointment in the country where he chose to become a citizen more than three decades ago has not sapped his will to fight back. He co-coordinated the teach-in with Dr. Mark Sapir, a local physician, that began with a rally in the rain at Sproul Plaza.

U.S. responsibility for torture didn t start in Abu Ghraib, in Afghanistan or Guantanamo, Carlos Mauricio told the 60 or so gathered under umbrellas. Tortured in his native El Salvador in the early 1980s, Mauricio said his captors were instructed in torture methods at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Ga. He said his torture was similar to that endured by U.S. prisoners today.

Torture at home was a theme repeated in afternoon and evening presentations and discussions. Erin Callahan, Western Regional director for Amnesty International, talked about police and prison guard abuse, citing Taser-gun deaths of a 4-year-old boy and 71-year old grandmother, sexual abuse of women locked up in U.S. prisons, and beatings and locking up children 23-hours a day in the California Youth Authority.

On a similar note, Andrea Pritchett of Berkeley s Copwatch said police abuse paved the way for acceptance of torture in Abu Ghraib. Instead of using dialogue, conversation and tactics of de-escalation, local police use pepper spray, the Taser gun and pain compliance, she said.

The photos coming from Abu Ghraib were important in jarring officials and the public out of denial, just as the video of the Rodney King beating had done. However, just as police abuse was not confined to King, prisoner abuse did not begin and end in Abu Ghraib.

Before Abu Ghraib, much documentation was submitted to the Bush administration and ignored, said Marjorie Cohn, National Lawyers Guild vice president. Documentation has come from Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, the UN Human Rights Commission and from the FBI itself.

In August, 2003, Rumsfeld approved physical coercion, Cohn said. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

SHACKLED IN THE LAND OF THE FREE - TOP
Ferial Haffajee, Mail & Guardian Online, 5/3/05
http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=236904&area=/insight/insight__comment_and_analysis/

Being a bit of a drama queen and a kugel too, I burst into tears when the young black United States Customs and Immigration man at JFK airport held my hand in a tight grip and rolled my fingers round and round, every one, to allow the computer to take accurate fingerprints.

Right then, the drama queen in me imagined myself in Guantanamo Bay, blindfolded and crouching. And orange is just not my colour.

My tears discomforted the young man, who told me, My first name s Muslim and I get stopped all the time too, he said, looking less than dry-eyed himself. If that was meant to comfort, it didn t for it made me sadder still to realise how he had become used to his oppression in his own country. The USA Patriot Act, under which US Muslims are questioned and detained, is an oppressive law eroding the civil rights that, until recently, had made the country a beacon. It is an Act which now makes human rights in the US a charade.

My tears confounded me. We d regularly been roughed up and fingerprinted at school and later; these guys were pussycats by comparison. Thinking later about bawling like a baby, I realised that the indignation and anger came because I have become used to my freedom. I am no longer used to having my rights stripped, my bags searched, my freedom of movement curtailed. I kicked up a terrible racket, taking notes, asking for my suitcases, asking to make calls since the detention centre (a mangy-looking office with outdated computer equipment and jaded immigration officers) cuts off cellphone access.

The super-visor was astounded in an American it s-all-gonna-be-all-right, lady kind of way. He handed me a US customs and border protection Comment Card with its pledge to travellers all part of the illusion of fair procedure in the great democracy. We pledge, it said, to cordially greet and welcome you to the United States. What a strange greeting. As I stood in the queue, the same young man had asked for my passport, looked at it and shouted across the lines of visitors: I ve got her. All the time we ve been looking for a man. (MORE)

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IL: MUSLIM MAN ACCUSES FORMER EMPLOYER OF DISCRIMINATION - TOP
Associated Press, 5/4/05
http://www.belleville.com/mld/belleville/news/local/11560901.htm

CHICAGO - Federal officials have filed a discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a Muslim man who claims his former employer harassed him about his religious observance and eventually fired him.

Amer Mirza, 25, of Aurora accuses his bosses at Specialty Publishing Co. in Carol Stream of violating his civil rights by discriminating against his national origin and religion. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit Monday.

David Smedley, part owner of Specialty Publishing, denied Mirza's accusations.

"We look forward to proving our innocence in court," Smedley said Wednesday.

Mirza, a U.S. citizen who emigrated from India in 1994, said his boss threatened to fire him for regularly leaving on his lunch break to attend Friday prayer service. He said the alleged harassment grew worse in early 2003 as the United States prepared to invade Iraq.

"It seems like I could just feel the hate building over there," Mirza said Tuesday. "I feel it was very unjust."

Mirza, who worked as a Web developer, was fired in September 2003, according to the lawsuit.

ALSO SEE:

GA: ISLAMIC MOSQUE MEETS OPPOSITION - TOP
Jessica Morris, WTVC, 5/2/05
http://www.wtvc.com/engine.pl?station=wtvc&id=1045&template=breakout_story1.shtml&dateformat=%M+%e,%Y

A building proposal for an Islamic mosque is stirring up heated debate in Whitfield County, Georgia.

The Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing Monday night.
The Dalton Islamic Center has been in town since 1992, and it wants to expand from its current location on McAfee Street to an available tract of land on Dug Gap Road.

But many residents don't want the mosque in their neighborhood, and they came out in droves to let the county leaders know.

We just believe we shouldn't have it in our community. Kids get involved in it, get off worse in things than what they are now, said Ray Hobbs, Whitfield County resident.

We believe in the Bible, 100% in the church. We believe that God didn't ordain that.
People packed the Whitfield County Courthouse, many concerned, even frightened, by the Dalton Islamic Center's plans to expand.
When I lay down to bed at night, I don't wanna think about being blown up, said LaQuita Brewster.

According to the Islamic center, its outgrown its McAfee Street facility, and it's found an 11-acre track of land on Dug Gap Road where it can build a larger community mosque.
LaQuita Brewster often visits family on that road and says the idea of an Islamic center next door is unsettling.

Look what they done at 9-11, and that bothers me. That she's going to be on a road with that, it upsets me. I mean, we don't know what they're going to do, said Brewster.

We, in the past since 1992, have never been involved in any illicit activities, DIC spokesperson Tipu Keen told the board. We respect the laws of the lands, and we are a peaceful and friendly congregation.
Muslim supporters said they practice their religion with the same goal as other religions like Christianity. (MORE)

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'KINGDOM OF HEAVEN' AVOIDS MUSLIM OUTCRY - TOP
David Germain, Associated Press, 5/3/05
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/entertainment/11554838.htm

In these uneasy times, you'd think a Hollywood epic about the Crusades would spark a major revival of hard feelings over the medieval religious wars in the Middle East.

Yet Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven" is hitting theaters in comparative quiet, without the sort of uproar provoked by President Bush's post-Sept. 11 "crusade" gaffe or Mel Gibson's crucifixion saga "The Passion of the Christ."

There were uneasy rumblings among Arab groups that obtained an early treatment of the script a year or so ago. They found the film potentially fraught with stereotypes about 12th century Muslims fighting Christians for control of Jerusalem, negative images that might have inflamed anti-Muslim sentiment.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee was among those worried groups, but half a dozen members came away greatly relieved after a "Kingdom of Heaven" screening arranged for them by Scott.

"It's one of the better representations of Muslims we've seen out of Hollywood," said Laila Al-Qatami, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based group. "We thought that he did a good job tackling a potentially volatile subject and avoided doing a simplified, stereotyped story of Muslim vs. Christian."

The Crusades ebbed and flowed over a 200-year period starting in the 11th century as European knights traveled to the Mideast, proclaiming they were doing God's work in trying to reassert Christian rule in the Holy Land.

Behind the supposed religious compulsions were more pragmatic motives. Land, wealth and personal glory all drove the Crusades. Europe's leaders also sought to give knights squabbling among each other a common enemy to fight. Muslims were easy targets. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IGNITES DEBATE - TOP
Independent Online, 5/4/05
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=22&art_id=qw1114939980939R131

Arabs have not generally fared well in Hollywood blockbusters, where they are usually cast as blood-thirsty terrorists and savages intent on spilling the blood of innocent Westerners.

So in the current climate of conflict between the West and the Arab world, it was natural for Muslims to feel more than a little concern about a Hollywood blockbuster featuring their legendary warrior and leader Saladin in deadly battle with Christian knights.

Initial reactions to the $140-million (about R850-million) movie Kingdom of Heaven have included expressions of outrage - but not from Muslim groups.

Instead, it is Christians who are up in arms, accusing the film of falsely portraying Saladin as an exemplary humanist while the Christian crusaders are seen as ruthless, blood-thirsty extremists.

The movie, which had its premier in Hollywood on Thursday and opens in wide distribution on May 6, is the work of Gladiator director Ridley Scott.

Shot in Morocco and Spain, the movie stars Orlando Bloom as the knight Balian, who eventually surrenders Jerusalem to Saladin, played by veteran Syrian actor Ghassan Massoud, to save the lives of the city's inhabitants.

The movie aspires to be historically accurate, focusing on a tumultuous time in the late 12th century when Baldwin IV, the king of Jerusalem, brought peace to the region by opening the city to all faiths.

But after Baldwin's death in 1185, militant Knights Templar began attacking Muslim desert convoys, and Saladin laid siege to Jerusalem with an army of 200 000. Eventually, Balian surrenders, and Saladin grants the crusaders safe passage back to Europe.

Some scholars have voiced concern that the story could deepen animosity during the current conflict in which devout Muslim fighters are again battling Western invaders.

Khaled Abou el-Fadl, a renowned Islamic jurist at the University of California in Los Angeles, said he believes the film promotes the idea of "a civilisational showdown between Islamic and Christian culture".

"In my view, it is inevitable that there will be hate crimes committed directly because of it," he told Scotland's Herald newspaper.

But Scott said he made every effort to give the film the opposite message. He even invented a mythical order in which Jews, Christians and Muslims co-operated.

"The characters portrayed in the film are so important in Muslim culture that I knew we had to do it absolutely properly and correctly," he said. "Saladin fights battles, but he also enters into dialogue. We want to show that dialogue can be much better than war."

"It's not like a stupid Hollywood movie," said the movie's leading actress, Eva Green. "It's very clever and brave, and I hope it will wake up people in America to be more tolerant, more open towards the Arab people."

That message seems to have gotten through to Muslims, who have taken the rare step of approving a Hollywood movie. The Council on American-Islamic Relations declared the film to be "a balanced and positive depiction of Islamic culture during the Crusades" while postings to alt.muslim, an interactive online news and discussion community, have been largely positive. (MORE)

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 05 May 2005 16:24:33 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Charges Filed in AIPAC Scandal/Muslims and Mother's Day

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 5/5/05

* HADITH: Mothers Deserve Kindness
* CAIR-Chicago Moves to Larger Office
* ISLAM-OPED: Muslims and Mother's Day
* Charges Filed in AIPAC Scandal (NY Times)
            - FBI: Pentagon Analyst Passed Secret Info (AP)
* Senate Probes Bolton's Pro-Israel Efforts (Forward)
* MI: Faith Matters for Metro Arabs (Free Press)
* Religious Leaders Denounce Robertson Comments (RNS)
            - When Powerful People Say Dumb Things (CSM)
* Rep. Conyers Opposes Anti-Immigrant Legislation
            - Muslims are Targets of Paranoid U.S. (Seattle P-I)
* CA: Bay Area Islamic Educator and Author Passes
* CA: Neocons Lay Siege to the Ivory Towers (LA Times)

-----

HADITH OF THE DAY: MOTHERS DESERVE KINDNESS - TOP

A man once asked the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to whom he should show the most kindness. The Prophet replied: "Your mother, next your mother, next your mother, and then your father."

Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith 2438

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CAIR-CHICAGO MOVES OFFICE TO LARGER SUITE - TOP

In order to accommodate a growing body of staff, interns and volunteers, CAIR-Chicago is moving to a larger suite in the same building (28 E. Jackson). Please note the new address:

28 E Jackson Blvd, Suite 405
Chicago IL. 60604

-----

ISLAM-OPED: MUSLIMS AND MOTHER'S DAY - TOP

ISLAM-OPED is a national 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.

CONTACT: ihooper@cair-net.org
TEL: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726 (c)

Please consider the following commentary for publication.

---

PARADISE IS AT THE FEET OF MOTHERS
By Joshua Brockwell
WORD COUNT: 603

[Joshua Brockwell is with the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. He may be contacted at: jbrockwell@cair-net.org.]

A man once consulted the Prophet Muhammad about taking part in a military campaign. The Prophet asked the man if his mother was still living. When told that she was alive, the Prophet said: "(Then) stay with her, for Paradise is at her feet." (Al-Tirmidhi)

On another occasion, the Prophet said: "God has forbidden for you to be undutiful to your mothers." (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

One of the things I have always appreciated about my adopted faith is not only its emphasis on maintaining the bonds of kinship, but also the high regard in which women, particularly mothers, are held. The Quran, Islam's revealed text, states: "And revere the wombs that bore you, for God is ever watchful over you." (4:1)

It should be obvious that our parents deserve our utmost respect and devotion - second only to God. Speaking in the Quran, God says: "Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents; to Me is thy final Goal." (31:14)

The fact that God has mentioned parents in the same verse as Himself shows the extent to which we should strive in our efforts to serve the mothers and fathers who sacrificed so much for us. Doing so will help us to become better people.

In that same verse, God says: "We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him."

In other words, the debt we owe to our mothers is magnified due to the difficult nature of pregnancy - not to mention the nurturing and attention paid to us in infancy.

Another narration, or "Hadith," from the life of the Prophet Muhammad again shows us just how much we owe to our mothers.

A man once asked the Prophet to whom he should show the most kindness. The Prophet replied: "Your mother, next your mother, next your mother, and then your father." (Sunan of Abu-Dawood) In other words, we must treat our mothers in a manner befitting their exalted position - and, again, revere the wombs that bore us.

The Arabic word for womb is "rahem." Rahem is derived from the word for mercy. In Islamic tradition, one of God's 99 names is "Al-Raheem," or "the Most Merciful."

There exists, therefore, a unique connection between God and the womb.
Through the womb, we get a glimpse of the Almighty's qualities and attributes. It nurtures, feeds and shelters us in the early stages of life. The womb can be viewed as one manifestation of divinity in the world.

One cannot help but make the parallel between a Loving God and a compassionate Mother. Interestingly, the Quran does not portray God as exclusively male or female. As a matter of fact, by revering our mothers, we are paying respect to God.

Each of us should appreciate what we have in our mothers. They are our teachers and our role models. Every day with them is an opportunity to grow as a person. Every day away from them is a missed opportunity.

I lost my own mother to breast cancer on April 19, 2003. Though the pain of losing her is still with me and her memory lives on in my siblings and me, I sometimes worry that I might forget what a blessing she was for me.

For me, Islam is the best reminder of my mother's presence. With daily encouragement from the Quran and the living example of the Prophet
Muhammad, I know I will always keep her memory close to my heart. She is my rahem, my connection to the divine. On this Mother's Day, I am grateful for the occasion to reflect on that.

-----

PENTAGON ANALYST CHARGED WITH DISCLOSING MILITARY SECRETS - TOP
DAVID JOHNSTON and ERIC LICHTBLAU, New York Times, 5/5/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/05/politics/05spy.html

WASHINGTON, May 4 - Federal agents arrested a Pentagon analyst on Wednesday, accusing him of illegally disclosing highly classified information about possible attacks on American forces in Iraq to two employees of a pro-Israel lobbying group.

The analyst, Lawrence A. Franklin, turned himself in to the authorities on Wednesday morning in a case that has stirred unusually anxious debate in influential political circles in the capital even though it has focused on a midlevel Pentagon employee.

The inquiry has cast a cloud over the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which employed the two men who are said to have received the classified information from Mr. Franklin. The group, also known as Aipac, has close ties to senior policymakers in the Bush administration, among them Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is expected to appear later this month at the group's annual meeting.

The investigation has proven awkward as well for a group of conservative Republicans, who held high-level civilian jobs at the Pentagon during President Bush's first term and the buildup toward the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and who were also close to Aipac.

They were led by Paul D. Wolfowitz, the former deputy defense secretary who has been named president of the World Bank. Mr. Franklin once worked in the office of one of Mr. Wolfowitz's allies, Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary for policy at the Pentagon, who has also said he is leaving the administration later this year. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

FBI: PENTAGON ANALYST PASSED SECRET INFO - TOP
MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press, 5/5/05
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/05/04/national/w230439D10.DTL

A four-year investigation into whether Israel improperly obtained U.S. secrets produced its first criminal charge with the arrest of a Pentagon analyst. Authorities are trying to determine whether any classified information reached Israel.

Larry Franklin was charged Wednesday with providing top-secret information about potential attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq to two executives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the influential pro-Israel lobbying group.

Franklin is a 58-year-old Air Force Reserve colonel who once worked for the Defense Department's No. 3 official. A search of his West Virginia home turned up 83 classified documents, an FBI agent said.

An FBI agent's affidavit that accompanied the criminal complaint against Franklin does not suggest that the disclosure endangered U.S. troops. But it said intelligence sources could have been compromised. (MORE)

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SENATE PROBES BOLTON'S PRO-ISRAEL EFFORTS - TOP
Ori Nir, Forward, 5/6/05
http://www.forward.com/articles/3133

WASHINGTON - John Bolton, President Bush's embattled choice to serve as
American ambassador at the United Nations, is widely seen in Washington as a strong supporter of Israel. But recent media reports suggest that his support for the Jewish state goes further than previously believed.

Senate staffers are reportedly probing many allegations regarding Bolton's management style, including claims that Bolton took part in unauthorized meetings with Israeli officials and prevented a State Department memo accusing Israel of violating American arms-export laws from reaching the desk of then secretary of state Colin Powell.

Two weeks ago, with opposition toward Bolton mounting, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee postponed its vote on the nomination.

Bolton, the State Department's top official on arms control, is known as a strong supporter of Israel's position that Tehran is coming alarmingly close to being able to weaponize its nuclear material. He gained the respect of pro-Israel activists in 1991 when, as assistant secretary of state for international organizations, he masterminded and steered the successful initiative to repeal the U.N. resolution that equated Zionism with racism.

According to a report in U.S. News & World Report, senate staffers are investigating suspicions that Bolton, in his current position of under secretary of state for arms control, shelved the memo suggesting that Israel violated American laws with its July 23, 2000, assassination of
Salah Shehada, a senior Hamas activist in Gaza City.

Israel's air force used an American-made F-16 bomber to drop a one-ton bomb on a house in a densely populated part of Gaza, where Shehada was staying.

The bomb killed him, as well as 14 civilians, and injured more than 100 people. According to U.S. News, several offices of the State Department, including the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and the legal office, issued a report saying that the attack represented a violation of America's Arms Export Control Act, which prohibits American weapons from being used for nondefensive purposes.

Bolton reportedly disagreed with that judgment, and had officials draft a "split memo" for Secretary of State Colin Powell presenting both positions. (MORE)

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DEVELOPING AN IDENTITY: FAITH MATTERS FOR METRO ARABS - TOP
Many of them define selves more by religion than ethnicity
Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 5/5/05
http://www.freep.com/news/metro/identity5e_20050505.htm

Inside a Detroit mosque Friday night, gaggles of teens shuffled into the main hall for soda and cake to celebrate the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. Most were U.S.-raised and of Arab descent; the Islamic headscarves on some women meshed comfortably with baggy football jerseys.

They are, in many ways, the future of Arab America. But when asked how they primarily see themselves, most reply: Muslim or Muslim American.

"Islam is a priority for me," said Ali Fawaz, a 23-year-old Dearborn resident of Lebanese descent who helped organize the gathering at the Islamic Center of America. "It comes before my ethnicity. Islam unites me with people of different races, nationalities, different cultures."

The view is shared by a number of young Arab Americans across metro Detroit who are choosing to identify themselves mainly by their religion. It's a view that reflects changes in both the United States and the Middle East, where Islam holds greater sway over younger generations. Still, the Arab-American identity remains strong in metro Detroit, and for many, the idea of being Arab, Muslim and American coexist in an image cobbled together by diverse experiences.

The opening of the Arab American National Museum today will be a striking symbol of how much the idea of being an Arab American has developed. There are numerous Arab-American business associations, political outfits, and even a nurses group. But the notion of being an Arab American is a relatively new concept. And now, it's overlapping with the pull of Islam.

Part of the museum deals with religion, noting that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam originated in what is today the Arab world. The contributions of Christian priests of Arab descent are also duly noted. But the first floor emphasizes how closely linked Islam and Arabs are. Today, that relationship still exists, with many Arab Americans now embracing their Islamic beliefs.

"They see themselves as American Muslims," said Imam Hassan Qazwini, head of the Islamic Center, which plans to open a new mosque in Dearborn next week. "I think the new generation doesn't care as much about ethnicity." (MORE)

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RELIGIOUS LEADERS DENOUNCE ROBERTSON COMMENTS, ADS TO FOLLOW - TOP
Helena Andrews, Religion News Service
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/166/story_16622_1.html

Washington, May 4 - Religious leaders, left-leaning political activists and victims of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York joined Wednesday (May 4) to denounce recent comments Pat Robertson made about the escalating battle over the federal judiciary.

MoveOnPAC, a progressive group that provides financial backing to congressional candidates, said it's launching a TV ad campaign repudiating the religious broadcaster's Sunday (May 1) comments on ABC's "This Week."
Robertson, who had a brief 1988 GOP presidential bid, told "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos that federal jurists were a more serious threat to America than "a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings" and that Muslims were unfit to hold federal judgeships.

"And they have said in the Quran there's a war against all infidels," Robertson said. "Do you want somebody like that sitting as a judge? I wouldn't."

In a telephone news conference, the Rev. Jim Wallis, evangelical editor of Sojourners magazine and the author of "God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It," said Robertson's remarks were "irresponsible, extreme and hurtful."

He added that Robertson's claims that "all Muslims want to kill us" were particularly destructive to the healing process happening in the Islamic community.

Leading Islamic civil rights groups agreed.

"Not only is it hurtful, but it is actually inaccurate that all Islam is a monolithic entity," said Arsalan Iftikhar, the national legal director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, also participating in the news conference. "There are over a billion Muslims on Earth."

Iftikhar said the American Muslim community is trying to build bridges of tolerance between the United States and the Muslim world.

"Inflammatory statements only go towards burning the bridges, not building them," Iftikhar said. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

WHEN POWERFUL PEOPLE SAY REALLY DUMB THINGS - TOP
Tom Regan, Christian Science Monitor, 5/5/05
http://blogs.csmonitor.com/my_american_experience/2005/05/

All of us have, no doubt, at one time or another, said something really dumb. I know I certainly have.

You know, the kind of statement that can bring an entire room of chatting people to dead silence. Almost as soon as the words leave your lips, you realize, "I shouldn't have said that."

Perhaps it was anger, or ignorance, or incomplete information. Whatever the reason, you have that "D'ohhh" moment and wish you could take it back, because it often makes you look really ridiculous.

Apparently, however, evangelist Pat Robertson, one of the founders of the Christian Coalition and the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), never has one of these "D'ohh" moments after saying something really dumb.

Take his two most recent statements that fall into this category. He made both of them last Sunday on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

First, he said that no Muslims should be allowed to serve either as judges in the US (which, of course, violates Article VI, Section 3 of the US Constitution which states: "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States") - or in the president's cabinet, for that matter.

Then he said that "the out-of-control judiciary" is the greatest threat that America has faced in the last 400 years - a greater threat than the Civil War, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, and Al Qaeda.

And when Mr. Stephanopoulos gave Robertson the chance to backtrack, or to say that his remarks were "taken out of context" (always a favorite fallback), he said no, he really believed that. (MORE)

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REP. CONYERS URGES OPPOSITION TO ANTI-IMMIGRANT LEGISLATION - TOP

(Washington, DC)- Congressman John Conyers, Jr. issued the following statement today in opposition to the inclusion of the controversial Real ID Act in the Emergency Supplemental Bill:

"I rise in strong opposition to this supplemental appropriations bill and the anti-immigrant legislation it contains.

If we truly believe all the rhetoric we hear about the importance of freedom and liberty from the president and others, we will vote down this bill, which denies so much freedom and liberty to immigrants in our own country.

H.R. 1268 includes numerous provisions limiting the rights of refugees, imposing onerous new driver's license requirements on the states, making it easier to deport legal immigrants, waiving all federal laws concerning the construction of fences and barriers anywhere within the United States, and denying immigrants long standing habeas corpus rights.

If enacted into law, this legislation will close America's doors to religious minorities escaping religious persecution and women fleeing sex trafficking and rape.

We have been down this road of overreaction in the past. During the Civil War, General Grant sought to expel the Jews from the South. The aftermath of World War I brought about the notorious Red Scare and the anti-immigrant Palmer raids. World War II led to the unconscionable internment of Japanese Americans.

In the wake of the 9/11 tragedy, and even after the Patriot Act, this legislation would further target immigrants for crimes they have not committed, and sins they are not responsible for. At some point, we have to treat terrorism as a problem that requires an intelligence response, as opposed to an excuse to scapegoat immigrants.

It is for all these reasons that so many groups strongly oppose this bill, including groups concerned about immigrant rights, civil rights and liberties, privacy rights; Labor rights; the environment; Native-American rights; state rights, and international human rights.

I urge Members to oppose this legislation. We cannot and should not close ourselves off to the most vulnerable members of our society."

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIMS ARE TARGETS OF PARANOID U.S. - TOP
JEFF SIDDIQUI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 5/5/05
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/222841_patriot05.html

As portions of the USA Patriot Act come up for review, it behooves us to review where we are today in the United States and where we are heading.

In March, two 16-year-old Muslim girls were imprisoned by the FBI on the assertion (no charges, mind you) that they are "an imminent threat to the security of the United States based on evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers." The FBI stories unraveled as fast as they were created.

The FBI said the two girls knew each other and were planning by the time they were imprisoned. Actually, they met after the FBI held them after their parents were detained on immigration charges. The girls, one from Bangladesh living in Queens and the other a Guinean girl living in East Harlem, had only age and Islam in common. The only "connection" to suicide bombing was an essay the Bangladeshi girl had written stating suicide is forbidden in Islam. It is strange that while the girls were being accused of preparing to blow up indeterminate targets, the FBI did not open their school lockers.

Now the girls are being held, in the words of the immigration authorities, "purely on immigration charges, that's it" and, according to the U.S. attorney, "there are absolutely no other criminal charges."

Muslims are increasingly the target of a "shoot first and ask questions later" policy by our government. Americans vary in their responses, from saying nothing to murmuring words of disapproval to condoning such repressive policies. The hard work of our Founding Fathers and the work of our great leaders of freedom seem to be going down the drain after a challenge to our nation by a handful of terrorists. (MORE)

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AMATULLAH AL MARWANI -- BAY AREA ISLAMIC EDUCATOR AND AUTHOR - TOP
Michael Taylor, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/5/05
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&ie=UTF-8&q=Amatullah+Al+Barwani+--+Bay+Area+Islamic+educator+and+author

Amatullah Al Marwani, an author and educator who was one of the strong moderating voices of the Bay Area Islamic community in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, died at Stanford Hospital on Friday after a long battle with leukemia. She was 34.

On Sept. 11, 2001, the day of the Al Qaeda-sponsored attacks on New York's World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, Ms. Al Marwani, executive secretary of the Islamic Society, was one of three women at prayer services at the San Francisco mosque.

Dressed in traditional garb and clearly in pain over the devastating news, she told The Chronicle, "This is my country. These are my people. It is a double-edged sword because I know when people look at me, they won't see that. They'll just see that I'm one of them."

Less than a week later, Ms. Al Marwani was one of the featured speakers at San Francisco's "Day of Remembrance" memorial event at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Because the crowd was so huge -- mushrooming into the thousands -- it spilled outdoors, to Civic Center Plaza.

Escorted to the podium by then-Mayor Willie Brown, Ms. Al Marwani said, "It is good to know that hatred and intolerance in this country is not shared by everyone. We do not believe there will be any holy reward for these acts of violence; nor do we endorse terrorism at any time, or any place."

Ms. Al Marwani was born Kristina Sue Martinez in Hagerstown, Md., and grew up in Maryland and Virginia. Her family moved to San Francisco when she was 13. She attended Galileo High School, then later went to a trade school to learn about computers. In 1996, while living in San Francisco, she met her neighbor, Mohamad Zaro, a native of Jordan, and the two fell in love, Zaro said. At the time, both were going through divorces. They married in 1997, the year Ms. Al Marwani converted to Islam. Her leukemia was diagnosed in 2000.

After chemotherapy, the disease went into remission, and she became pregnant with their son, Zaahir, who is now 3 years old. Later, Ms. Al
Marwani became sick again.

A few weeks before she died, Ms. Al Marwani was interviewed by Rising Star, a monthly Web-based (www.ourrisingstar.org) publication originally titled Islamic Journal. Seriously ill and facing a bone-marrow transplant, Ms. Al Marwani said, "Sometimes you can clearly see Allah's design, and sometimes it's hidden in the patterns of life we take for granted. Whenever I feel overwhelmed and afraid of the choices I'm up against, I kiss our son."

Ms. Al Marwani was a librarian and educator at the Granada Islamic School in Santa Clara and was the author of Islamic faith children's books, such as "Zaahir and Jamel the Camel at the Hajj."

In addition to her husband and son of Mountain View, Ms. Al Marwani is survived by her 14-year-old daughter, Amira; her mother, Mary Ellen Maffitt of Hagerstown, Md.; two sisters, Kara McBryde of Pensacola, Fla., and Edi Swearingen of Keene, N.H.; and a stepbrother, Paul Lemon of Fresno.

Services have been held. The family suggests donations to the Muslim
Community Association, 3003 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054.

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NEOCONS LAY SIEGE TO THE IVORY TOWERS - TOP
Saree Makdisi, Los Angeles Times, 5/4/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-makdisi4may04,0,1186970.story

[Saree Makdisi is a professor of English literature at UCLA.]

In the months ahead, the state Senate Committee on Education will consider a bill that pretends to strike a blow for intellectual honesty, truth and freedom, but in reality poses a profound threat to academic freedom in the United States.

Peddled under the benign name "An Academic Bill of Rights," SB 5 is in fact part of a wide assault on universities, professors and teaching across the country. Similar bills are pending in more than a dozen state legislatures and at the federal level, all calling for government intrusion into pedagogical matters, such as text assignments and course syllabuses, that neither legislators nor bureaucrats are competent to address.

The language of the California bill -- which was blocked in committee last week but will be reconsidered later in the legislative session -- is extraordinarily disingenuous, even Orwellian. Declaring that "free inquiry and free speech are indispensable" in "the pursuit of truth," it argues that "intellectual independence means the protection of students from the imposition of any orthodoxy of a political, religious or ideological nature." Professors should "not take unfair advantage of their position of power over a student by indoctrinating him or her with the teacher's own opinions before a student has had an opportunity fairly to examine other opinions upon the matters in question."

To protect students from what one might (mistakenly) suppose to be an epidemic of indoctrination, the bill mandates that students be graded on the basis of their "reasoned answers" rather than their political beliefs.

Reading lists should "respect the uncertainty and unsettled character of all human knowledge." Speakers brought to campus should "promote intellectual pluralism," and faculty should eschew political, religious or "anti-religious" bias.

Notwithstanding its contorted syntax, the bill may sound reasonable. But, in fact, it has nothing to do with balance and everything to do with promoting a neoconservative agenda. For one thing, the proposed "safeguards" to "protect" students from faculty intimidation are already in place at all universities, which have procedures to encourage students' feedback and evaluate their grievances. Despite a lot of noise from the right about liberal bias on campus, there are simply no meaningful data to suggest that any of these procedures have failed. (MORE)

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Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
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Forwarded Message

Date: Fri, 06 May 2005 15:55:31 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Denny's Ignored Anti-Muslim Complaint/Only One Week Left to Register for CAIR-DC Conference

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 5/6/05

* HADITH: God Meets All Needs
* CAIR-CAN Dinner a Huge Success
* DC: Islamophobia/Anti-Americanism Conf: Only 1 Week Left!
* CAIR-FL: 'Heaven' Gives Entree to Muslim Hero (SP Times)
            - ISLAM-OPED: Film May Spark Dialogue (Tampa Trib)
* FL: Denny's Ignored Anti-Muslim Complaint (Boca Raton News)
            - CA: Muslim to Press Civil Rights Suit
            - IL: Bias in Rejection of Muslim School? (Chicago Trib)
* CA: Event to Aid Muslim Women's Shelter (Mercury News)
* More Charges to Come in AIPAC Affair? (CSM)
            - Israeli Linked to AIPAC Probe to Leave Post (Haaretz)
* CT: Terror Suspect Gets Bush Invite (AP)
* Al-Arian Case: An Honest Tampa Tribune? (Weekly Planet)
* IA: Islam Growing in Central Iowa
* DC: Muslims in the U.S.: Influence and Innovation
            - VA: MAS-FF Annual Standing for Justice Dinner

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HADITH OF THE DAY: GOD MEETS ALL NEEDS - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "When you go to bed, say, 'Praise is due to God Who fed us, provided us drink, met our (other) needs, and provided us with shelter. For many people there is no one to meet their needs and no one to provide shelter.'"

Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1255

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CAIR-CAN DINNER IN TORONTO A HUGE SUCCESS - TOP

(OTTAWA, CANADA ­ 05/6/05) ­ Alhamdulillah (all praise is due to God), CAIR-CAN's Third Annual Fundraising Dinner in Toronto this past weekend was a huge success. A sold-out crowd of over 700 people came to honor the past five years of CAIR-CAN's human rights, media and political advocacy work, and donated $140,000 to continue supporting it.

Keynote speakers included: Senator Mobina Jaffer who spoke about her experiences as a Canadian Muslim; Lloyd Axworthy, a Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, addressed the crowd with a speech about his political work in Canada and abroad; and Maher Arar, a human rights activist, moved the audience to tears with his heartfelt speech and acceptance of an award from CAIR-CAN for his tireless fight for justice. The night ended with the comedy of Azhar Usman.

"CAIR-CAN would like to thank everyone who came to the dinner and supported us with their generous donations. May Allah bless all of the donors and volunteers, both in this world and the hereafter," stated Riad Saloojee, the executive director of CAIR-CAN.

For more information, visit: www.caircan.ca

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CAIR-DC ISLAMOPHOBIA/ANTI-AMERICANISM CONF: ONLY 1 WEEK LEFT! - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/6/05) - Register now for CAIR's "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies" conference in Washington, D.C. There is only one week left!

WHEN: Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005 (Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 14)
WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA (703-448-1234) To view a complete conference program or to register online, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/ CAIR's 2005 annual conference brings together scholars, researchers, religious leaders, and community activists to discuss issues related to the twin phenomena of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in the West and increasing anti-American sentiments in the Islamic world.

Conference participants will take part in sessions focusing on:
* Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism in the Media
* The Impact of Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism on Civil Rights and Policy-Making
* Anti-Americanism and U.S. Foreign Policy
* Islam and American Relations with the Muslim World
* Misconceptions about Christians and Muslims in Public Discourse
* Reasserting Mainstream Religious Values NEW

REGISTRATION OPTION: $75 Single-Day - A new $75 day-rate has been announced for CAIR's 2005 Annual Conference, "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies." The $75 cost will include the full May 14th program, two meals and the Anwar Ibrahim address. E-mail events@cair-net.org call 202-488-8787 ext. 6050, to register for the single-day rate.

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COMMENTARY: "HEAVEN' GIVES ENTREE TO MUSLIM HERO - TOP
Steve Persall, St. Petersburg Times, 5/5/05
http://www.sptimes.com/Opinion.shtml

The victor in Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven is wise and compassionate, and by the time we see his nation's emblem raised above the spoils - the city of Jerusalem - many viewers will feel deep respect for this hero.

His name is Saleh El Din, or Saladin in Westernized form, and he's fighting for Islam against Christian invaders.

Any resemblance to today's war in Iraq isn't coincidental in Scott's version of the third Crusade. The 12th and 21st centuries mirror more than their numerals. What is remarkable, possibly controversial, is the film's uncommonly balanced portraits of heroes on both sides of a conflict still raging today. They're antagonists by definition, yet equals in terms of representing religious values that others proclaim in vain.

Saladin's counterpart among crusaders is Balian of Ibelin, played by Orlando Bloom, a blacksmith whose personal crises initially make him indifferent to the continuing tensions of the Crusades. He's a typically handsome European hero for such sword-and-shield epics, with a strong sense of honor when he adopts a knight's code to preserve and protect. When Balian leads Jerusalem's defense, he urges the fight to save citizens, not the city. He's a moderate among warmongers.

Saladin, played charismatically by Ghassan Massoud, isn't the scary villain type that Hollywood often uses to portray Muslims. Saladin's chivalry with his foes, his charity to allow Christian survivors to exit Jerusalem after crusaders massacred Muslims under similar circumstances, is still revered in the Muslim world. He and Balian are closer in spirit than their theologies allow.

The characterization is a remarkable creative choice for any filmmaker today.

Some Americans may resent a film dealing with Middle Eastern warfare against Christians that doesn't paint Muslims as evil, especially when Scott's parallels to today are so obvious, and so much U.S. policy and rhetoric is colored by religion. Or maybe they've been conditioned by Hollywood to expect anyone of Muslim culture in movies to be terrorists or comic relief.

From the wild-eyed anarchists of True Lies and Delta Force, to the yammering fools of Ishtar and a suburban terrorist cell on the TV show 24, Muslims and Arabs have been convenient villains for screenwriters. The trend slowed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States while positive portrayals remained nearly invisible.

Kingdom of Heaven is Scott's bold attempt to reverse such stereotypes. It's surprisingly successful, having earned praise from advocacy groups that regularly protest Hollywood's portrayals of Arabs and Muslims. Sabiha Khan, communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called Kingdom of Heaven a "balanced and positive depiction" of Muslims as "dignified and proud people whose lives are based on ethics and morality."

CAIR's Central Florida director, Ahmed Bedier, attended a recent Tampa screening of Kingdom of Heaven. He was impressed with the film's portrayal of Saladin, and that Scott makes the reinstallation of the crescent of Islam over Jerusalem a climactic, almost feel-good moment.

"Some people will be unusually surprised at that," he said. "Right now, when some people see the sign of the crescent, they think: the enemy. It's similar to the way they used to see the emblem of the Soviet Union.

"As a Muslim, I was happy to see that; not that he beat the Christians, but he was shown in a positive way." (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

FILM MAY SPARK INTERFAITH DIALOGUE - TOP
Parvez Ahmed, Tampa Trib, 5/6/05
http://tampatrib.com/opinion/MGB8YIGLD8E.html

[Parvez Ahmed is a national board member and chairs the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group. E-mail: pahmed@cairfl.org]

Because Sir Ridley Scott's new epic ``Kingdom of Heaven'' - scheduled to open today in theaters nationwide - was filmed against the backdrop of the Crusades, it is likely to stir up religious passions still associated with that centuries-long conflict.

Many Muslims were concerned about the possibility of religious or ethnic stereotyping when they heard that yet another Hollywood movie would feature Arab-Muslim characters. That concern was not without valid precedent. (MORE)

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DENNY'S IGNORED ANTI-MUSLIM COMPLAINT, SAYS BOCA PLAINTIFF - TOP
Sean Salai, Boca Raton News, 5/5/05
http://www.bocaratonnews.com/index.php?src=news&category=Local%20News&prid=11533

The Denny's Corporation refused to take responsibility for a racial discrimination complaint against one of its South Florida franchises, ignoring the seven alleged Muslim victims for 11 months, a Boca Raton plaintiff said Wednesday.

Ehab Mohamed, an Egyptian-born Muslim and insurance broker who lives in Boca with his American wife, said he and his six friends in their $28 million lawsuit would fiercely dispute last week's statement by Denny's president Nelson Marchioli that the corporation immediately investigated and discounted their January 2004 complaint to the Florida Commission on Human Relations - a state agency that recently found probable cause for discrimination in its own yearlong investigation.

"The president of Denny's is lying to the entire world," said Mohamed, 31. "I'm disgusted because it was a full 11 months before Robert Morris, a private investigator hired by Denny's, contacted us to begin his investigation."

Alan C. Kauffman, the Boca lawyer representing Mohamed's group in the suit filed last week, said a June 1, 2004 letter from Denny's litigation coordinator Angela Pressley was the first and only correspondence his clients received from the Denny's corporate office about the incident at a Florida City restaurant.

Pressley's letter simply stated that the Florida City franchise owner would handle the complaint and that Kauffman's clients should direct "all future correspondence or questions regarding this matter" there instead of to the corporate office.

"When you talk about denial of civil rights, and the way Denny's refused to take responsibility for this complaint, our case definitely goes to a threshold issue," Kauffman said Wednesday. "Looking at past litigation in Texas, I think it's fair of us to ask for $28 million. It's consistent with past jury decisions." (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

MUSLIM TO PRESS CIVIL RIGHTS SUIT - TOP
Matt O'Brien, Daily Review, 5/6/05
http://www.insidebayarea.com/dailyreview/localnews/ci_2709624

HAYWARD - City attorneys were unable to settle a civil rights lawsuit on Wednesday involving a Muslim businessman who says Hayward police officers made derogatory remarks about his religion.

Easa Begzad, 49, a longtime Hayward candy manufacturer, traveled to U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Wednesday in an effort to reach a settlement with the city.

But his lawyer, Salim Khawaja of Fremont, said more than two hours of court-mandated settlement talks failed to bring any agreement between Begzad and the city, meaning the case will likely go to trial in June.

Begzad's complaint stems from an emergency call his property manager made to the police department in May 2002, according to court records.

The manager told police that Begzad was acting suicidal, threatening bold acts of violence that would make the news.

Khawaja said police officers arrived at Begzad's Foley Street candy factory, which the Afghan man had decorated inside with religious posters and tapestries.

"They said, 'What's this garbage?'" Khawaja said of the officers. "There were some pictures of Mecca and other religious writings, Arabic writing."

Begzad claims that police falsely imprisoned him, denied him due process when they took him to a mental hospital, intentionally inflicted emotional distress and discriminated against him on the basis of his religion.

The Hayward Police Department, through the city attorney's office, has flatly denied all of Begzad's allegations.

The only people present in the office when police made the welfare check were Begzad, the two police officers and a woman who worked with Begzad, Khawaja said. (MORE)

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HARVARD REJECTS PLAN FOR MUSLIM SCHOOL - TOP
Tim Kane, Chicago Tribune, 5/6/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/northshore/chi-0505060104may06,1,3987385.story

The Harvard City Council this week rejected a request to open a Muslim boarding school in the northwest McHenry County town, saying it wasn't compatible with nearby residences.

After about 10 minutes of discussion, the council denied the bid by the Ibrahim Education Foundation to convert an old church into a boarding school for Muslim boys.

After Wednesday's vote, foundation representatives said the school was rejected because of bias against Islam.

But Mayor Jay Nolan, who lives across the street from the site, said the council was merely following a Planning Commission recommendation to oppose it.

"Nothing biased about it," said Nolan, who was sworn in as mayor Tuesday.

The foundation sought to relocate the school from 6355 N. Claremont Ave. in Chicago to a former Episcopal church in the 600 block of Old Orchard Road. The school would have had 34 boys, ages 8 to 13, the foundation said.

Bias was the reason for the rejection, said Mazher Ahmed, who spoke on behalf of the foundation at Wednesday's meeting. (MORE)

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PALO ALTO EVENT TO AID MUSLIM WOMEN'S SHELTER- TOP
Lisa Fernandez, Mercury News, 5/6/05
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/peninsula/11578830.htm

When a Muslim woman in the Bay Area is abused, her only refuge is a secular shelter, such as Next Door Solutions in San Jose.

While that agency is a safe haven, observant Muslim women have specific religious needs -- such as eating halal meat and praying five times a day -- that mainstream battered women's shelters simply can't accommodate.

On Saturday evening in Palo Alto, a fundraiser will be held in hope of raising at least $150,000 to pay one year's rent for the Bay Area's first shelter tailored for Muslim women, said Reshma Hyder, 33, of Saratoga, the spokeswoman for the North American Islamic Shelter for the Abused, or NISA. The ultimate goal, she added, is to raise $800,000 to buy a four-bedroom house on the Peninsula to permanently house Muslim women who are the victims of violent abuse. (MORE)

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MORE CHARGES TO COME IN PENTAGON ANALYST AFFAIR? - TOP
Tom Regan, Christian Science Monitor, 5/5/05
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0505/dailyUpdate.html

Supporters of two recently fired senior staff members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) say they are worried that the two men will be soon charged as part of the FBI's investigation into Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin.

The New York Times reports that the two men (Steven Rosen, formerly AIPAC's director of foreign policy issues, and Keith Weissman, formerly AIPAC's senior Middle East analyst) were not specifically named in the charges brought Wednesday against Mr. Franklin for illegally disclosing highly classified information. But they were later identified by sources as the other two people present at the meeting where Franklin allegedly disclosed the information.

The Times also reports that the charges against Franklin have "cast a cloud" over AIPAC, and are creating difficulties for some members, past and present, of the Bush administration.

The investigation has proved awkward as well for a group of conservative Republicans who held high-level civilian jobs at the Pentagon during President Bush's first term and the buildup toward the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and who were also close to AIPAC.

They were led by Paul Wolfowitz, the former deputy defense secretary who has been named president of the World Bank. Franklin once worked in the office of one of Wolfowitz's allies, Douglas Feith, the undersecretary for policy at the Pentagon, who has also said he is leaving the administration later this year.

The New York Post reports that Mr. Franklin "coughed up" information about attacks on US troops in Iraq to two employees of AIPAC. The Post also notes, however, that this case bears little resemblance to more serious espionage cases such as the Jonathon Pollard case. Pollard was "an intelligence analyst for the Navy who pleaded guilty to spying for Israel in the 1980s."

Israel said Wednesday it has no involvement with Franklin and had received no secrets. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

ISRAELI LINKED TO AIPAC PROBE TO LEAVE POST - TOP
Nathan Guttman, Haaretz, 5/7/05
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/573046.html

WASHINGTON - Naor Gilon, the head of the political department at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, whose name has been linked to the Pentagon analyst charged with passing classified information to unauthorized personnel, will leave his post during the summer.

According to reports from Israel, Gilon is the Israeli representative who received classified information from two employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The AIPAC officials allegedly received the information during conversations with Larry Franklin, the Pentagon analyst who was charged by the FBI on Wednesday.

Gilon has been at the embassy for the past three years, and a spokesman in Washington said that he was leaving "for personal reasons." No employee of the Israeli Embassy has been quizzed in the affair, U.S. authorities have not notified the embassy itself about the inquiry and no one there has been asked to cooperate with detectives. That said, Israeli officials in Washington say that since the affair was made public last year, work relations with their American counterparts have become strained, and there is a new guardedness in conversations with U.S. officials. (MORE)

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TERROR SUSPECT GETS BUSH INVITE - TOP
Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press, 5/5/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/connecticut/ny-bc-ct--oddinvitation0505may05,0,2228409.story

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A year after FBI and Homeland Security agents raided his home in a terrorism investigation, Muslim businessman Syed Maswood is lucky to get on an airplane without being detained and searched.

But that didn't stop him from getting an invitation to dine with President Bush.

Maswood, a nuclear engineer who has not been charged with any crime and has been trying for months to get his name off no-fly lists, received an invitation to serve as an honorary chairman at the President's Dinner, a Republican fundraiser with Bush in Washington next month.

A Republican who has donated money over the years to GOP campaigns, Maswood said he briefly considered attending but his wife refused to fly. The last time they were in Washington, he said, they were held for hours at the airport.

"I didn't want to go stag," Maswood said, "and she's absolutely adamant."

Agents raised Maswood's suburban Hartford home last year because he donated money to the Benevolence International Foundation, a once IRS-approved charity that was accused of supporting terrorism.

Investigators also said they uncovered an e-mail Maswood sent indicating support for Islamic rebels in Chechnya, but Maswood said he was simply trying to help humanitarian workers in the war-torn region.

A Bangladeshi immigrant who became an American citizen in 1997, Maswood said he believes he's being targeted because he is Muslim. He spent much of the past year writing letters demanding to know why he is detained whenever he travels. The U.S. attorney's office in Connecticut had no comment Thursday.

The President's Dinner, the National Republican Congressional Committee's largest annual fundraiser, will be held next month at a Washington convention center. Only guests who pay for a photo with Bush are required to undergo security checks, said Carl Forti, spokesman for the NRCC.

He said he does not believe Maswood's invitation is a problem. (MORE)

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AN HONEST TAMPA TRIBUNE? - TOP
Al-Arian's attorneys say that would be a good idea
John Sugg, Weekly Planet, 5/6/05
http://www.weeklyplanet.com/sugg_blog.html

Tampa Tribune news boss Janet Weaver had to eat crow last week: A reporter had fantasized part of a story on towing companies. The scribe's head is now spiked as a warning to other Tribfolk.

Weaver, in a front page mea culpa, declared that her newspaper longs "to be truthful, to be fair, to be credible." Passing off fiction as fact is certainly untruthful. Carrying water for, say, a foreign government and its disinformation agents -- while claiming objectivity -- is likewise dishonest. So is not reporting all of the truth or distorting the truth.

Weaver and her predecessors have never told readers about reporter Michael Fechter's journalistically unholy alliance with another nation's spooks and professional liars -- including, as I've disclosed, that Israeli officials were broadcasting specifics of Fechter's reporting weeks before publication.

Nor did Weaver address the Trib's most enduring example of distortion, Fechter's coverage of Sami Al-Arian. If she had, she would have had to explain a motion filed for the Trib on April 20 by attorney Gregg Thomas. The newspaper has somehow overlooked reporting on its own legal foray.

The motion seeks access to juror questionnaires in the Al-Arian case. "The public perception of these defendants, indeed of entire ethnicities and religions, reflected in these responses, is of immense public importance," Thomas intoned.

Al-Arian's defense filed a motion for a change of venue on Friday. It argues that the media -- the Trib and Fechter most egregiously -- have poisoned public perceptions of Arabs, Muslims and Al-Arian, who along with three codefendants, is slated for trial later this month. (MORE)

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ISLAM GROWING IN CENTRAL IOWA - TOP
WHOTV, 5/5/05
http://www.whotv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3305110

Des Moines - Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the United States. Here in Iowa, it seems to be no different, and there are few reasons why so many Iowans are connecting with this faith.

The Islamic Center of Des Moines is one of three Muslim mosques in the metro, so it may suprise you that an estimated twelve thousand Muslims live in the metro area. One of the most well-known of them is Ako Abdul-Samad. He's says people moving into Iowa are helping the religion grow. "You have a large Bosnian population, about fifteen thousand in Des Moines. Ninety-nine percent of them are Muslim."

In fact, the Bosnian community just purchased a former day care center to build a new mosque to accommodate all the growth, and the very first Islamic grade school opened its doors in Des Moines this year. Some native Iowans are also converting to the faith. After 9-11, Ako says people living in Des Moines seemed to become more educated about Islam. He believes they learned it is a religion of peace. "When people saw that, we started getting converts left and right. People were saying, 'I like what I hear.'"

In the future, Ako expects more people will want to take a closer look at Islam, and he thinks Des Moines, a mostly Christian town, will accept that.

A Muslim from Sioux City is running for Governor this year, and the Islamic Center of Des Moines plans to expand its grade school next year.

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CONFERENCE ON MUSLIMS IN THE UNITED STATES: INFLUENCE AND INNOVATION - TOP

WHAT: The Division of United States Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars the International Institute for Islamic Thought invite you to a conference "Muslims in the United States: Influence and Innovation."

Speakers include: Osman Bakar, Georgetown University; Tamara Sonn, College of William and Mary; Joseph Lumbard, The Royal Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Gholamreza Aavani, Iranian Institute of Philosophy; Ibrahim Kalin, Asst. Professor of Islamic Studies, College of the Holy Cross; Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University; Amira el-Azhary Sonbol, Georgetown University; Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, University of Florida; Ali Asani, Harvard University; and Jane Smith , Hartford Seminary.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 11, 2005
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20004-3027

The conference is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and RSVPs are required. Respond with acceptances only to www.wilsoncenter.org/usstudies. For a map and directions, please see www.wilsoncenter.org/directions.

ALSO SEE:

MAS-FF, MCRC 2ND ANNUAL STANDING FOR JUSTICE FUNDRAISING DINNER - TOP

WHAT: MAS Freedom Foundation and Muslim Civil Rights Center (MCRC)'s 2nd Annual Standing for Justice Fundraising Dinner.

WHEN: Sunday, May 22, 2005 from 6-10 p.m.

WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tyson's Corner
8661 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182

Tickets: Student $30, Couple $75, Single $40

-----

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To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 09 May 2005 00:23:28 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Girl Held in NY Terror Inquiry Released

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 5/8/05

* Still Time to Register for CAIR Conf. in DC
* CAIR-FL: Christians, Muslim Watch 'Kingdom of Heaven'
* NY: Girl Held in Terror Inquiry Released (NYT)
* TX: Windows on Worship - Islam Welcomes (Express-News)
            - MN: Muslim Couple's Love Got a Nudge from Friends
* NY: Catholics, Muslims Celebrate Connections
* REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: Islamic Life in the United States
* Soldier Lifts Lid on Camp Delta (Observer)
            - Dismay at US Koran 'Desecration' (BBC)

-----

STILL TIME TO REGISTER FOR CAIR CONF. IN DC - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

Hear from:
* Anwar Ibrahim
* Cherif Bassiouni
* Hafiz Mirazi, Al-Jazeera
* Chip Pitts, Amnesty International
* Jamal Badawi
* Merve Kavakci
* And many more!

-----

CHRISTIANS, MUSLIM GET TOGETHER TO WATCH 'KINGDOM OF HEAVEN' - TOP
James D. Davis, Sun-Sentinel, 5/7/05
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/lifestyle/sfl-likingdom07may07,0,6067681.story

Maybe it's a good sign that Christians and Muslims can sit and eat popcorn while watching a movie about the Crusades.

Three South Florida friends -- a Protestant pastor, a Muslim activist, a Catholic priest -- watched an advance screening of Kingdom of Heaven this week, then talked out their widely diverging feelings.

"I felt the film's message to people of all faiths, Jews, Christians and Muslims," Altaf Ali says. "We all have to see how religion played a role in those times. We have the opportunity not to make the same mistakes."

Father Paul Edwards hated it. "Just another blood-and-guts war movie, with no value for interfaith relations," he says.

The Rev. Jeffrey Frantz felt a stinging message in the film. "It's a reminder of how barbaric we've been to each other, even in our own times. I don't know if our attack on Iraq was any better."

That they can talk like this about a movie that shows their spiritual ancestors killing each other, though, indicates how far they've already come. The three have become acquainted through joint services and an occasional lunch. Frantz and Ali rode together to the Fort Lauderdale theater.

Opening nationwide Friday, the lush, violent Kingdom of Heaven deals with a 12th century battle for Jerusalem, with Crusaders defending it against the legendary general Saladin. Although it's mainly an epic action-adventure, director Ridley Scott also used it to preach a message of tolerance and respect for all religions.

Orlando Bloom, who plays the Christian leader of Jerusalem's forces, states that the city should belong to all. "The Kingdom of Heaven is not stones," he says, then points to his head and heart: "It is here, and here."

Leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an American advocacy group, praised Kingdom of Heaven as positive toward Islamic culture after a private screening in Los Angeles. A spokesperson says the movie "managed to show the horrors of war without associating those horrors with a particular faith or culture."

Ali, CAIR's Florida director, says he tensed up when he heard about the movie's release.

"I thought, `Here we go again, another movie that vilifies Muslims,'" he says. "Then I saw it had a balanced portrayal of the historical facts, on both sides." (MORE)

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ELATION IN HARLEM AS GIRL HELD IN TERROR INQUIRY IS RELEASED - TOP
NINA BERNSTEIN, New York Times, 5/7/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/07/nyregion/07suicide.html

It began with two 16-year-old immigrant girls arrested at dawn, detained far from home, and, in a chilling government assertion, called would-be suicide bombers who posed "an imminent threat to the security of the United States."

But now, after holding the girls for six weeks in a Pennsylvania detention center, the government has quietly released one of the girls and is allowing the other to leave the country with her family.

One girl, an immigrant from Guinea, was back in her East Harlem high school yesterday among the jubilant friends and teachers who have insisted all along that the accusation was absurd. The other girl, who grew up in Queens, was still in detention, but was granted an order from an immigration judge that will allow her and her parents to return to their native Bangladesh as soon as the trip can be arranged.

Many questions remain unanswered in a case that has been marked from the start by secrecy, including closed hearings, sealed F.B.I. declarations, and orders barring the lawyers from disclosing government information. James Margolin, an F.B.I. spokesman, did not return calls seeking comment on the latest developments, and earlier had said he could not discuss the cases.

But Natasha Pierre, the lawyer for the Guinean girl, Adama Bah, said the outcome spoke for itself. "She should never have been detained in the first place," Ms. Pierre said of her client, who was not yet 2 when she arrived in New York with her parents, Muslims who have a trinket shop near a subway stop in Bushwick, Brooklyn. "I'm still under a gag order and I have to be very careful not to cross the line. All I can say is she's innocent - she's more than innocent. The girl doesn't know anything." (MORE)

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WINDOWS ON WORSHIP: ISLAM WELCOMES - TOP
Abe Levy, Express-News, 5/7/05
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA050705.1R.wow_masjid_bilal.24ab00c59.html

An interior window divides the main reading room from a smaller room where Masjid Bilal meets weekly for a prayer service.

This Muslim congregation of some 19 families likes the public setting that the East Side's Carver Branch Library provides.

They seek to be visible and connected to the city in as many ways as possible. It's one way to overcome what they believe to be historic misperceptions of the predominantly African American Muslim congregation.

"We want to let them know we're all right," Imam Omar Shakir said with a smile. "We're their friends." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

LOVE GOT A NUDGE FROM FRIENDS, FAMILY - TOP
MOLLY MILLETT, Pioneer Press, 5/8/05
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/living/11573609.htm

Asma Haidri and Kashif Saroya have some determined teenage matchmakers to thank for nudging them together.

As devout Muslims, Asma and Kashif did not "date" in the traditional sense. The twenty-somethings first saw each other -- in passing -- in Iowa, at an Islamic conference. Later, they were introduced at the Islamic Center of Minnesota, after Asma moved here from Iowa and Kashif from Madison, Wis. Kashif asked Asma to serve as a camp counselor at a Muslim summer camp for kids he organized last year.

"We got to know each other a little more," says Kashif, a systems analyst with Ecolab. "I saw that she was so calm and patient with the kids. They felt so comfortable with her."

"I think there are different levels of love, and even before that summer at camp, when we would talk on the phone to organize things, I saw his commitment to the camp. He gave up a whole week of work just to be there, just to volunteer," says Asma, a senior at the College of St. Catherine. "We did not talk personally, but we were kind of friends, and I think there was some kind of love there, and it just grew."

After camp, Asma and Kashif went their separate ways. Not for long, though.

"In October, a couple of the girls from camp approached me and asked, 'Do you like Kashif?' They're teenagers, I thought they were just joking around," says Asma.

"But then I told my sister and my friend at Sunday school. I said I was going to drop it, that if he was interested, he'll do something about it. But they said, 'No, what if he's shy, you have to find out.' So, my friend e-mailed him and said, 'The girls approached Asma about this, is it coming from you?' "

"The girls had approached me, too, after camp," says Kashif. "They said, 'You know, Kashif, you should get married. We have a sister in mind for you.' I said, 'OK, you guys, take it easy. I don't know what you're up to, but let me know before you start.' "

But Kashif was happy to receive the e-mail.

"Before, I did not think about her on that level; I didn't know her situation, she could have already been engaged," says Kashif. "But when they told me, it did not feel that out of the blue, like I did not know this person."

They proceeded cautiously and sought out their families' involvement. Kashif had moved to the United States during college, and his family remains in Pakistan. Asma grew up in Iowa in a family with traditional Muslim roots. Families get involved in the courtship process to serve as a neutral third party, "because it might be that we are overlooking something in the excitement," says Kashif.

In this case, approval came fast. When it's love and it's a good match, sometimes it's obvious to everyone. Especially mothers. (MORE)

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CATHOLICS, MUSLIMS CELEBRATE CONNECTIONS - TOP
Alan Morrell, Democrat & Chronicle, 5/7/05
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050507/NEWS01/505070326/1002/NEWS

(May 7, 2005) - Area Catholics and Muslims celebrated together Friday night at Sacred Heart Cathedral in commemoration of their landmark alliance.

"Look around," said J. Patrick O'Connor, a diocesan representative of the Christian-Muslim Commission, to the audience of about 200 people. "How many places in the world could ever do what we're doing now, here?"

Friday's event was the second anniversary of the signing of the Muslim Catholic Agreement of Understanding and Cooperation. It is thought to be the only such agreement signed by Muslims and Catholics in the nation.

The guest speakers were Dr. Sayyid Syeed, secretary general and CEO of the Islamic Society of North America; and the Rev. Francis Tiso, associate director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. They spoke of mutual respect, cooperation and dignity. They embraced, to loud applause, after their speeches.

"There is not anything inherent in the religions that would keep them apart," said Syeed, who is based in Indianapolis. "We want people to go out and embrace others. ... Our religion says you should go out and invite people of the Book - the Bible - and find common ground." (MORE)

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REQUESTS FOR GRANT PROPOSALS: ISLAMIC LIFE IN THE UNITED STATES - TOP
http://www.exchanges.state.gov/education/rfgps/may23arfgp.htm

Announcement Type: New Grant
Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C/NEA-AF-05-61
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000
Application Deadline: May 23, 2005

Executive Summary:

The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, announces an open competition for one grant to support an international exchange project under the rubric "Islam: Scholarship and Practice in the United States." Public and private non-profit organizations or consortia of such organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to develop and implement a multi-phased exchange involving the travel of scholars and clerics from Egypt, Jordan, and one or more additional countries of the Middle East to the United States and of reciprocal visits to the Middle East by American scholars of religion, scholars of Islamic studies, and clerics.

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SOLDIER LIFTS LID ON CAMP DELTA - TOP
Paul Harris, Observer, 5/8/05
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1479040,00.html

An American soldier has revealed shocking new details of abuse and sexual torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay in the first high-profile whistleblowing account to emerge from inside the top-secret base.

Erik Saar, an Arabic speaker who was a translator in interrogation sessions, has produced a searing first-hand account of working at Guantánamo. It will prove a damaging blow to a White House still struggling to recover from the abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.

In an exclusive interview, Saar told The Observer that prisoners were physically assaulted by 'snatch squads' and subjected to sexual interrogation techniques and that the Geneva Conventions were deliberately ignored by the US military.

He also said that soldiers staged fake interrogations to impress visiting administration and military officials. Saar believes that the great majority of prisoners at Guantánamo have no terrorist links and little worthwhile intelligence information has emerged from the base despite its prominent role in America's war on terror.

Saar paints a picture of a base where interrogations of often innocent prisoners have spiralled out of control, doing massive damage to America's image in the Muslim world.

Saar said events at Guantánamo were a disaster for US foreign policy. 'We are trying to promote democracy worldwide. I don't see how you can do that and run a place like Guantánamo Bay. This is now a rallying cry to the Muslim world,' he said. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

DISMAY AT US KORAN 'DESECRATION' - TOP
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4525941.stm

Pakistani officials say they are "deeply dismayed" over reports that the Koran was desecrated at the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay.

The latest edition of the American Newsweek magazine said such tactics were used to rattle suspects.

It says that US personnel on one occasion flushed a copy of Islam's most holy book "down the toilet". (MORE)

-----

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-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 09 May 2005 14:21:40 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Report to Show Sharp Jump in Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 5/9/05

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

REPORT TO SHOW SHARP JUMP IN ANTI-MUSLIM HATE CRIMES
CAIR: 11-year high in number of reported Muslim civil rights cases

WHAT: On Wednesday, May 11, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a noon news conference in the nation's capital to release its 10th annual report, titled "Unequal Protection," on the status of Muslim civil rights in the United States.

The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group's report - the only annual study of its kind - will show a significant increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during 2004 and an 11-year high in the total number of reported cases. (States with the largest numbers of reported incidents include California, New York, Arizona, Virginia, Texas, Florida, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, and Illinois.)

WHEN: Wednesday, May 11, 2005, Noon (Eastern)
WHERE: National Press Club Building, 13th Floor, Zenger Room, 529 14th Street N.W., Washington, D.C.

The report's authors believe at least some of the sharp rise in anti-Muslim incidents can be attributed to growing Islamophobia in American society. That disturbing phenomenon will be addressed at a CAIR conference, called "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies," to be held this weekend in Washington, D.C. SEE: http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, began documenting anti-Muslim incidents following the 1995 attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

- END -

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

 

 

Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 09 May 2005 15:39:08 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Amnesty Board Chair to Speak at CAIR-DC Conference

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DC: AMNESTY BOARD CHAIR TO SPEAK AT CAIR CONFERENCE
Chip Pitts joins Anwar Ibrahim and Cherif Bassiouni at weekend event

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/9/05) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced today that Amnesty International USA Board Chair Chip Pitts will speak at a Saturday luncheon during its "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies" conference this weekend in Washington, D.C. SEE: http://www.amnestyusa.org/about/chippitts.html

Other keynote speakers at CAIR's conference include former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Anwar Ibrahim (Saturday evening banquet) and Professor Cherif Bassiouni (Friday evening dinner), an internationally-acclaimed law professor who was until recently the United Nations' top investigator on human rights in Afghanistan. To view a complete conference program or to register online, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/ (Online registration ends Thursday. There will be no on-site registration.)

WHEN: Conference begins Friday, May 13, and lasts until Sunday, May 15, 2005
WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA

CAIR's 2005 conference brings together scholars, researchers, religious leaders, and community activists to discuss issues related to the twin phenomena of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in the West and increasing anti-American sentiments in the Islamic world.

Conference participants will take part in sessions focusing on:

* Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism in the Media
* The Impact of Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism on Civil Rights and Policy-Making
* Anti-Americanism and U.S. Foreign Policy
* Islam and American Relations with the Muslim World
* Misconceptions about Christians and Muslims in Public Discourse
* Reasserting Mainstream Religious Values

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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. To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

- END -

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 16:40:56 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: MD School System Denies Muslim Holiday Request/Canadian Muslims Call for Censure of Israeli Official

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 5/10/05

* HADITH: Do Not Oppress One Another
* Canadian Muslims Call for Censure of Israeli Official
* CAIR-MI to Hold 4th Annual Banquet
* MD: School System Denies Muslim Holiday Request (Balt Sun)
            - NC: Farmer to Build Slaughterhouse for Muslims (AP)
* MA: Muslim Teen Turns Incident into Opportunity
            - FL: Muslim Student Earns Science Prize (Tampa Trib)
            - FL: Muslim's Study Earns 1st Place in Science Fair
* NJ: Festival Educates About Turkish Culture (Record)
* CT: First Muslim Chaplain at Trinity College
* Signs That AIPAC Scandal Probe Widens (Forward)
* NJ: Islam 101 Seminar for Journalists
* Christian Rock for Muslims (NY Times)

-----

HADITH OF THE DAY: DO NOT OPPRESS ONE ANOTHER - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) quoted God as saying: "O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another."

Hadith Qudsi 17

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CANADIAN MUSLIMS CALL FOR CENSURE OF ISRAELI OFFICIAL - TOP
Israeli Consul General says that the majority of Muslims support extremism

(OTTAWA, CANADA - 5/10/05) - The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) today called on Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew to censure Israeli Consul General Ya'acov Brosh for his comments at the recent Daniel Pearl Dialogue for Muslim-Jewish Understanding, held at the Temple Har Zion Synagogue in Toronto.

Mr. Brosh stated that most terrorists today are Muslims and that the majority of Muslims support extremism. Mr. Brosh noted that one of the most popular names in the Muslim world is "Osama."

The event was organized by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies.

In a statement released today, CAIR-CAN said:

"The comments made by Israeli Consul General Ya'acov Brosh fosters hate and bigotry against Canadian Muslims.

"Mr. Brosh's comments, made as they were by an Israeli official in Canada, cannot be allowed to stand without a response from the Canadian government.

"We are calling on Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew to censure Mr. Brosh and indicate to him such Islamophobia will not be tolerated in Canada."

In December of last year, CAIR-CAN called on the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center to publicly condemn Islamophobic comments made by an invited keynote speaker at a conference sponsored by the group and held at the University of Toronto.

See: http://www.caircan.ca/itn_more.php?id=P1288_0_2_0_C

At that event, the speaker stated that "Islamic terrorism is based on Islam," and that Islam was "immoderate" and "totalitarian."

CONTACT: Halima Mautbur at 613-254-9704; Cell: 613-795-2012

-----

CAIR-MI TO HOLD 4TH ANNUAL BANQUET - TOP

(LATHRUP VILLAGE, MI, 5/09/05) - On May 11, the Michigan office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) will hold its Fourth Annual Fundraising Banquet, with the theme of "Grassroots Activism: Protecting your Civil Liberties."

The event will be held at the Bint Jebail Cultural Center in Dearborn, Mich. Speakers include CAIR-MI Board Member Haaris Ahmad and former Army Chaplain James "Yusuf" Yee.

CAIR-MI will also outline its work over the last year and its vision for the coming year.

WHAT: CAIR-MI 4th Annual Banquet
WHEN: Wednesday, May 11, Registration 6 p.m., Dinner at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Bint Jebail Cultural Center, 6220 Miller Road, Dearborn

CONTACT: Misbah Shahid, 734-673-9430, cairmichigan@yahoo.com; Celena Khatib, 734-306-9507, cairmichigan@yahoo.com

-----

PLANNED BALTO. CO. SCHOOL CALENDAR DENIES MUSLIM REQUEST - TOP
Sara Neufeld, Baltimore Sun, 5/10/05
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.calendar10may10,1,7736820.story

The Baltimore County school system has proposed a calendar for the 2006-2007 academic year that does not include days off for the two most religious Muslim holidays, despite more than a year of lobbying by the Muslim community.

The proposed calendar, which does include a day off for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, will be presented to the school board tonight. The board is scheduled to vote on the proposal next month.

Bash Pharoan, president of the Baltimore County Muslim Council, said he would continue fighting for the schools to close for Muslim holidays.

"I probably will have hope until the minute the board will approve or disapprove the calendar," he said yesterday.

Pharoan, who sits on the 26-member calendar committee that advises Baltimore County schools Superintendent Joe A. Hairston, said the committee did not vote on a proposed calendar and was not encouraged to reach consensus this year -- moves he felt were meant to silence him.

"I told the superintendent, `What are we meeting for?'" he said.

Pharoan said he was also upset that Hairston has not appointed a task force to study how the calendar is created, as he said he would in January after a request by school board member Michael P. Kennedy. Kennedy has said the purpose of such a task force would be to find common ground with the Muslim community.

School system spokesman Charles A. Herndon said Hairston was "moving with deliberate speed" to appoint a committee, but "there really is no timetable set up at this point."

Herndon said Hairston did consider the viewpoints of everyone on the calendar committee in developing the proposal.

Since early last year, Muslim parents, students and community activists have turned out at every county school board meeting asking the district to close school on Eid al-Fitr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha, which celebrates the Quranic account of God's allowing Abraham to sacrifice a sheep instead of his son. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

HOG FARMER TO BUILD SLAUGHTERHOUSE FOR MUSLIM TRADITION - TOP
Associated Press, 5/10/05
http://www.the-dispatch.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050510/APN/505100781&cachetime=5

SMITHFIELD, N.C. -- One local hog farmer is gearing up for a growing market: raising lambs and goats to be slaughtered according to Muslim tradition.

Johnston County commissioners recently approved the rezoning request Kenneth Rowe needed to build a slaughterhouse on his Princeton hog farm to slaughter animals according to guidelines known to Muslims as halal. (MORE)

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MUSLIM TEEN TURNS SECURITY INCIDENT INTO OPPORTUNITY - TOP
Tenley Woodman, Boston Herald, 5/7/05
http://theedge.bostonherald.com/teenNews/view.bg?articleid=82265

Hala Saadeh, a senior at Fitchburg High School, tutors, teaches Sunday school and watches the occasional sitcom after finishing her homework.

She doesn't fit the profile of a national security threat, but during the Democratic National Convention last summer, Saadeh was taken off a commuter rail train for being a suspicious person.

Saadeh, a Muslim, was wearing a head scarf. She was on her way to a summer class when the train made an unscheduled stop.

"It wasn't as much the stopping me as it was the ignorance of other people and the lack of protocol," she said. "(If I was suspicious) they should have stopped me before I got on."

Her story alerted the American Civil Liberties Union, and the organization recently awarded her a $4,000 scholarship for speaking out against injustice. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

STUDENT EARNS SCIENCE PRIZE - TOP
Kathy Steele, Tampa Tribune, 5/5/05
http://www.tampatrib.com/News/MGBO2E86C8E.html

TAMPA - Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief to be a first- place winner in the state science fair. Ayman Mageed, 13, fizzed and bubbled three brands of antacids to find out which was most effective in knocking out stomach acids without causing iron deficiency.

The experiments of the eighth-grader from Young Middle Magnet School won first prize in the junior chemistry division at the 50th annual State Science and Engineering Fair in Orlando in April. (MORE)

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STUDY EARNS TEEN FIRST PLACE IN SCIENCE FAIR - TOP
Liz Best, Palm Beach Post, 5/4/05
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/royalpalmbeach/content/neighborhood/royalpalmbeach/epaper/2005/05/04/npr5_moustafapro_0504.html

Zaki Moustafa likes having balance in his life and he seems to be an expert at achieving it.

Moustafa, of Royal Palm Beach, is a pianist, a soccer player, a paintball gun enthusiast and a budding young scientist. He's an experienced snorkeler and will be a certified scuba diver before he enters 10th grade next year.

But mostly, Moustafa is a humble kid with a pretty big accomplishment under his belt: He won first place and the grand prize for biological sciences for the senior division at the State Science Fair in Orlando last month. He leaves Saturday for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix. (MORE)

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FESTIVAL IS CHANCE FOR TURKS TO EDUCATE ABOUT THEIR CULTURE - TOP
Prashant Gopal, The Record, 5/9/05
http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk0NSZmZ2JlbDdmN3ZxZWVFRXl5NjY5MTM3OSZ5cmlyeTdmNzE3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTM=

TEANECK - A new cultural association wants to educate North Jerseyans about Turkish culture and history and correct those who mistake Turkey for a fundamentalist nation.

Turkey is, in fact, a secular Muslim country that, for more than 80 years, has been a democracy based on the principle of separation of church and state.

On Sunday, the year-old Hudson Turkish American Cultural Association put on its second annual festival at Fairleigh Dickinson University. The 400-member organization will soon open a 4,000-square-foot cultural center in Ridgefield, where it will offer Turkish cooking classes and English and Turkish language lessons.

"Our goal is to represent the whole Turkish community in New Jersey and form a bridge with other organizations," said Guvene Kulen of Palisades Park, the group's president. "We believe enemies in the world become enemies because they don't know each other. We believe there's a lot of misunderstanding about Turks and Islam, our religion."

The group is organizing a trip to Turkey this month for 25 non-Turkish Americans. The idea is to give the travelers a taste of Turkey's diversity and tolerance, Kulen said. The itinerary includes visits with Jewish and Christian leaders, he said.

The trip was organized, in part, in response to the recent portrayal of Turks as fundamentalists and terrorists in two American television programs, NBC's "The West Wing" and Fox's "24."

An episode of the "West Wing," for instance, depicted Turkey as a country that beheaded women who commit adultery.

Elshan Gasimov, 20, a Turk from Azerbaijan who moved to the United States last year, said Americans know very little about his culture.

"When I came here, I got a lot of strange questions," Gasimov said. "Someone asked me, 'Do you guys have cars?'-"

But Arzu Karagulle, a 21-year-old Manhattan College student who moved to West New York from Turkey 2 1/2 years ago, says she got a much different reaction.

"They say they want to come to Turkey and they'd love to learn about our culture," Karagulle said.

Sunday's festival featured a large spread of Turkish dishes, carpets, books and crafts. (MORE)

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A CONNECTICUT MUSLIM IN KING JAMES'S COURT - TOP
John L. Pulley, Chronicle of Higher Education, 5/13/05
http://chronicle.com/weekly/v51/i36/36a04801.htm

Hartford, Conn. - On a blustery, mid-March afternoon, a solitary man crosses the campus of Trinity College here. With his dark hair and beard, thick black rectangular eyeglasses, and a shirt that looks like a Nehru jacket, he resembles an earnest beatnik.

He approaches a massive stone chapel of Gothic design, a testament to the institution's Christian roots. Gusts of wind roil flakes of snow that intermittently knit heaven to earth.

The man is Sohaib Nazeer Sultan, Trinity's first Muslim chaplain. The college hopes that Mr. Sultan, 24, who has been on the job since January, will open minds on the campus and chip away at the barriers that isolate Muslims here.

"A lot of work needs to be done to tear down biases and stereotypes," says the Rev. Daniel R. Heischman, who oversees religious life at Trinity, including half a dozen or so chaplains and religious advisers who minister to followers of Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Zen Buddhism.

And now Islam, the second-largest religion in the world. Its more than one billion believers recognize a number of holy cities. Hartford is not among them. Of the college's 2,100 students, perhaps two dozen openly identify themselves as adherents of Islam. If there are others, Mr. Sultan says, they keep their heads down.

Practicing Islam on a campus with almost 200 years of Christian tradition repeatedly tests one's forbearance. Like during Ramadan, Islam's holy month of fasting, when the faithful do not eat or drink during daylight hours -- but the campus dining hall doesn't open before sunup. Or when they attempt to observe Islam's requirement to pray five times daily. Or when someone of the opposite sex extends a hand to shake, a violation of Islam's teachings on modesty and respect between the genders.

And trying to explain oneself can be a challenge -- whether responding to a misinformed professor's comment in class or answering complex theological and political questions lobbed by well-meaning inquisitors. "It's intimidating for many students to take on that role and have to answer for other Muslims," says Mr. Sultan. (MORE)

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U.S. AIDE ARRESTED AMID SIGNS THAT LOBBY PROBE WIDENS - TOP
Ori Nir, Forward, 5/6/05
http://www.forward.com/main/article.php?ref=nir20050504953

WASHINGTON - A recent FBI interrogation of an Israeli defense expert may indicate that the Justice Department's investigation into the contacts between America's pro-Israel lobby and a Pentagon analyst is broader in scope than previously believed.

The expert, Uzi Arad, head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Israel's Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, said that two months ago FBI agents interviewed him about his contacts with the Pentagon Iran specialist, Larry Franklin. During the hour-long interview, he said, the FBI agents brought up the name of an American Jewish Committee official, Eran Lerman, who is a former senior official in Israeli military intelligence.

Franklin was arrested and charged Wednesday with "disclosing classified information related to potential attacks upon U.S. forces in Iraq to individuals not entitled to receive the information." The Justice Department did not name the individuals who allegedly received the classified information from Franklin, but media reports claim they are Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, two former officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who were recently dismissed by the pro-Israel lobbying organization.

Arad's comments, an unusual disclosure of a small wrinkle in the otherwise ultrasecretive FBI investigation, may suggest that the FBI is investigating more than the alleged unlawful contacts between Franklin and Aipac officials. Franklin is the first person to be indicted in the FBI investigation. Rosen and Weissman have not been charged.

Initially, press reports said that Rosen and Weissman's alleged transfer of secret information by Israeli diplomats was the focus of the investigation.
The questioning of Arad may confirm speculation by some in the Jewish community that the investigation is related to a larger inquiry into Israeli or pro-Israeli attempts to influence America's security establishment and its policy in the Middle East. (MORE)

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MUSLIM LEADERS FOUNDATION MEDIA SEMINAR - TOP

The Muslim Leaders Foundation invites you to a professional development seminar for journalists and media professionals:

"CLEARING THE LENS ON ISLAM"

WHEN: Wednesday, June 15, 2005, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
WHERE: Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2 Harmon Plaza, Secaucus, NJ 07094

WORKSHOP LEADERS:

* Imam W. Deen Shareef
Masjid Waarith ud Deen & Waris Cultural Research and Development Center\

* Dr. Amaney Jamal
Professor, Department of Politics, Princeton University

* Ari Goldman
Assistant Dean, Columbia School of Journalism

* Ghazi Khankan
Council on American-Islamic Relations

* Anisa Mehdi
Producer, PBS Frontline Special "Muslims" and National Geographic Special "Inside Mecca"

Topics include:

* Major tenets of Islam
* Muslim society in the U.S. and Europe
* Perspectives on jihad, suicide bombing and terror
* Women in Islam

Reading lists, contact lists, glossary of terms, and other resources provided.

Registration:

* Early bird fee is $125.00 before June 5th.
* Each additional guest from your organization is $95.00.
* Contact us for a group rate for 5 or more individuals from your organization.
* Registration includes breakfast and lunch.

To register visit: www.muslimleaders.us
For more information, please call: (908)420-6361

-----

CHRISTIAN ROCK FOR MUSLIMS - TOP
Samuel Lowenberg, New York Times, 5/10/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/10/arts/music/10chri.html

MARRAKESH, Morocco - In a sprawling open space alongside the Royal Palace here last Saturday night, Baimik Youness and his friend Salahe Boudde were jumping with excitement, about to see their first American rock concert. The Moroccan students had never heard of the band, Rock 'n' Roll Worship Circus. Nor had they realized that the three-day concert they were attending was a Christian rock festival.

Students and Muslims at Friendship Fest, a three-day concert in Morocco featuring American Christian bands and Moroccan groups.
"It's not my business," said Mr. Youness, an 18-year-old Muslim and heavy-metal fan. "I just want to listen to the music."

But Mr. Boudde had a question: "What are 'evangelicals'?"

Last weekend's concert, organized by several American evangelical groups and the Moroccan government and called the Friendship Fest, was staged despite criticism from Moroccan Islamic groups and opposition political parties. Seven American Christian bands alternated with Moroccan groups. The event drew more than 15,000 Moroccans a day, police officials estimated, as well as dozens of evangelical Christians from around the United States.

The concert was about more than power chords for Jesus. From the evangelists' perspective, it was an opportunity to gain a foothold in a relatively liberal Muslim country and give religious priorities a more central role into American foreign policy.

"We see ourselves as doing important foreign policy work that the Bush Administration is not doing," said the Rev. Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals, a Christian-values lobbying group in Washington and one of the organizers of the festival.

"As followers of Jesus, we should, in our civic capacity, work to reduce conflict by promoting international understanding," he said.

From the Moroccan government's point of view, it was a chance to interact with what is perceived to be a politically influential group in American politics at a time when the country has been criticized on its human rights record and continues to grapple with a longstanding dispute over the status of Western Sahara.

Some media commentators in Morocco said that by befriending the evangelicals, the government was attempting to curry favor with American political leaders. The magazine Telquel said the government's embrace of the festival was intended to "sell the image of Morocco to the neo-conservative lobby in America." (MORE)

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To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 11 May 2005 13:41:40 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Jump 52 Percent - Report

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REPORT: ANTI-MUSLIM HATE CRIMES JUMP 52 PERCENT
Total number of Muslim civil rights cases tops 1,500 in 2004

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/11/05) - A report released today by a prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group indicates that anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States increased by more than 50 percent in the past year, from 93 cases in 2003 to 141 in 2004.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) report - the only annual study of its kind - outlines 1522 incidents and experiences of anti-Muslim violence, discrimination and harassment in 2004, the highest number of Muslim civil rights cases ever recorded in the Washington-based group's annual report. (Hundreds of anti-Muslim incidents reported immediately following the 9/11 attack were detailed in a separate report.) According to the study, called "Unequal Protection," that figure is a 49 percent jump over the preceding year.

CAIR said factors contributing to the sharp increase in reported incidents included the lingering impact of post-9/11 fears, increased awareness of civil rights issues in the Muslim community, a general increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric, growth in the number of local CAIR chapters reporting cases, and abuses associated with the implementation of national security policies. (The complete report may be viewed at: http://www.cair-net.org/asp/2005CivilRightsReport.pdf)

Ten states accounted for almost 79 percent of all incidents reported to CAIR in 2004. Those states include: California (20 percent), New York (10 percent), Arizona (9 percent), Virginia (7 percent), Texas (7 percent), Florida (7 percent), Ohio (5 percent), Maryland (5 percent), New Jersey (5 percent), and Illinois (3 percent). (All figures are rounded to the nearest whole number.)

By far the greatest increase over last year, in both real and proportional terms, occurred in the areas of unreasonable arrests, detentions, searches/seizures, and interrogations. In 2003, complaints concerning law enforcement agencies accounted for only seven percent of all reported incidents. In 2004, however, these reports rose to almost 26 percent of all cases.

There were drops in certain categories from the previous year's report. For example, workplace discrimination complaints constituted nearly 23 percent of complaints in 2003, but dropped to just under 18 percent of total complaints in 2004. Complaints involving governmental agencies decreased from 29 percent in 2003 to 19 percent in 2004.

"These disturbing figures come as no surprise given growing Islamophobic sentiments and a general misperception of Islam and Muslims," said CAIR Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar, the report's author. Iftikhar said the phenomenon of Islamophobia will be addressed at a CAIR conference, called "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies," to be held this weekend in Washington, D.C. SEE: http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

"We call on President Bush, whose statements after the 9/11 attacks were so important in helping to protect the well-being of the American Muslim community, to once again speak out against Islamophobic attitudes," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. Awad also called on Congress to hold hearings on the findings of CAIR's report.

CAIR began documenting anti-Muslim incidents following the 1995 attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The council is America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, with 31 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

- END -

CONTACT: Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787 or 202-415-0799, E-Mail: arsalan@cair-net.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 11 May 2005 17:06:03 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Seeks Probe of Gitmo Quran 'Desecration'

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ACTION ALERT #445

CAIR SEEKS PROBE OF GITMO QURAN 'DESECRATION'
Four die in Afghan protests after Quran flushed down toilet

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/11/05) - CAIR is urging American Muslims and other people of conscience to contact the White House in support of a public investigation into reports that interrogators at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay flushed a Quran down a toilet.

At least four people were killed today in Afghanistan during protests over the alleged desecration. SEE: "Afghan Protest Over Quran Turns Deadly," http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=748366

The allegation was first reported in the May 9 issue of Newsweek magazine. The magazine said: "Investigators probing interrogation abuses at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay have confirmed some infractions alleged in internal FBI e-mails that surfaced late last year. Among the previously unreported cases, sources tell NEWSWEEK: interrogators, in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur'an down a toilet and led a detainee around with a collar and dog leash." SEE: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7693014/site/newsweek/

In its statement, CAIR said:

"The allegations, if true, can only serve to fuel anti-American sentiment. Vague assurances of a military investigation are insufficient to keep this incident from being used to further harm relations with the Muslim world. We urge President Bush to initiate an open probe of the incident, make public its findings and punish those responsible."

The twin phenomena of Islamophobia and anti-Americanism will be addressed at a CAIR conference to be held this weekend in Washington, D.C. SEE: http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

CAIR recently launched a website designed to help end the use and instigation of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (CID) by American personnel worldwide.

To learn more about CAIR's anti-torture campaign, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/antitorture/

ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE and RESPECTFUL.)

Contact the White House:

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

TEL: 202-456-1111
FAX: 202-456-2461

E-MAIL: president@whitehouse.gov, vice.president@whitehouse.gov
COPY TO: cair@cair-net.org

- PLEASE ANNOUNCE, POST AND DISTRIBUTE -

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from this list, go to:
http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 15:41:39 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslim Leader Sues Boston Media Outlets/Rice Calls Quran Desecration Abhorrent

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 5/12/05

* HADITH: Rewards of Worship Continue During Illness
            - VERSE: Nothing to Fear or Regret
* CAIR-PHILLY Sponsors Program on Jesus in Islam
            - CAIR-NY JOB OPENING: Director of Civil Rights
* MA: Muslim Leader Sues Boston Media Outlets (Boston Globe)
* GA: Mosque Faces Opposition (Times Free Press)
            - MI: Expansion of Mosques Marks Deepening Bonds
            - MI: Visiting a Mosque (Detroit Free Press)
* NY: Muslim Girls Released After Bomb Scare Arrests (AP)
            - FL: Growing Up Al-Arian (SP Times)
* MT: Scholar Links Islam with Healing (Gazette)
* MEDIA COVERAGE OF CAIR'S CIVIL RIGHTS REPORT:
            - Internet, Radio Blamed For Discrimination (AP)
            - Fear of Islam on the Rise - Muslim Group (IPS)
            - Tensions between U.S., Muslims Reaching New Highs (CP)
            - TX: Group Ranks TX Fifth In Rights Abuses (SA Express)
            - FL: 103 Anti-Muslim Incidents Last Year
            - NJ: Bias Incidents against Muslims Up (AP)
            - U.S. Muslims Report More Attacks (Wash Post)
* CANADA: Hate-Crime Charges Follow Ryerson Incidents (G&M)
* Terror Suspects Sent To Egypt by the Dozens (NY Times)
* Rice Calls Koran Desecration Abhorrent (Reuters)
            - CAIR Seeks Probe of Gitmo Quran Desecration

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HADITH OF THE DAY: REWARDS OF WORSHIP CONTINUE DURING ILLNESS - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "When a servant of God is accustomed to worship Him in a good manner, then becomes (unable to so because of illness), the angel who watches over him is told to record (good) deeds equivalent to those that he did when he was well, until God sets him free from his illness or takes him in death."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 472

ALSO SEE:

VERSE OF THE DAY: NOTHING TO FEAR OR REGRET

"Whoever submits himself entirely to God and is good to others will be rewarded by his Lord; he will have nothing to fear or to regret."

The Holy Quran, 2:112

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CAIR-PHILLY SPONSORS PROGRAM ON JESUS IN ISLAM - TOP

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 5/12/05) - "Who is Jesus in Islam? - A Review of the Quranic Perspectives on Jesus" is the theme for the centerpiece program in a Diversity Series hosted by St. John's Episcopal Church in Huntingdon Valley on Saturday, May 21, from 9:45 a.m. to noon.

The Muslim-Christian dialogue features Iftekhar Hussain, who received popular acclaim for his presentations in two recent study series sponsored by the Glenside Ministerium; Rob Eyre, a community organizer with extensive experience in interfaith study programs; and the Rev. Dr. Guy Collins, rector of St. John's. (Iftekhar Hussain is a board member of the Philadelphia office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR], a co-sponsor of the event.)

The program begins with a presentation about the Muslim view of Jesus, the basic tenets of Islam and the points of intersection between the Muslim and Christian faiths.

There will be a follow-up conversation with Rob Eyre and Dr. Collins, and then the audience will be invited to ask questions and offer feedback. Refreshments and fellowship will follow. All members of the community are invited to attend.

WHAT: Who is Jesus in Islam?
WHEN: Saturday May 21, 2005, 9:45 AM - 12:00 PM
WHERE: St. John's Episcopal Church, 1333 Old Welsh Rd., Huntington Valley, PA 19006

COST: FREE

CONTACT: The parish office at St. Johns: 215-947-3212, CAIR-Philly: 215-592-0509, E-Mail: cairphilly@yahoo.com

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CAIR-NY JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR OF CIVIL RIGHTS - TOP

The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) has a job opening for the position of Director of Civil Rights. An ideal candidate should have a university degree and background in law, public service, or civil rights.

Interested parties should send a resume, cover letter and writing sample to director@cair-ny.org.

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CHANNEL 25, HERALD FACE LIBEL SUIT - TOP
Mark Jurkowitz, Boston Globe, 5/12/05
http://www.boston.com/ae/media/articles/2005/05/12/channel_25_herald_facelibel_suit

The chairman of the board of trustees of the Islamic Society of Boston filed a defamation suit yesterday against the Boston Herald and WFXT-TV (Channel 25), marking the second time in three months an official of that group said he had been unfairly harmed by news reports linking him to terrorism.

In the suit filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Osama Kandil, a biomedical researcher and a US citizen residing in Egypt, alleges that a series of Herald stories that began in October 2003 and a Channel 25 broadcast in November 2004 destroyed his reputation "by sensationalizing a story that Dr. Kandil . . . was linked to radical Islamic terrorists and that both he and the ISB [Islamic Society of Boston] presented a danger to the community."

On Feb. 23, Dr. Yousef Abou-Allaban, chairman of the board of directors of the Islamic Society of Boston, sued Channel 25 for identifying him as a member of the terrorist group the Muslim Brotherhood. That suit alleged that the TV story was part of a pattern of anti-Muslim bias in the media.

According to Kandil's suit, one crucial Herald story was a front-page article from Oct. 29, 2003, that reported the plaintiff was allegedly linked to a network suspected by investigators of supporting Islamic terrorists and that he was a leader of an Indiana-based group "known for its anti-Western rhetoric." The headline read: "Under Suspicion: Hub mosque leader tied to radical groups." A front-page Herald story on Jan. 14, 2004, reported that Kandil has "deeper involvement with organizations and individuals suspected of funding terrorism than previously disclosed."

"I have taken the step of filing this lawsuit because the defendants' false reporting to the public that I am linked to or support terrorism or an anti-American agenda has unfairly destroyed my reputation," Kandil said in a statement made yesterday through his attorney Howard Cooper. "I am a faithful citizen of the United States, and I love this country and what it stands for . . . I believe in a moderate and tolerant Islam, and we at the Islamic Society of Boston have worked hard to make that our agenda in Boston."

Spokeswomen for both the Herald and Channel 25 declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying they had not yet examined it.

Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based advocacy group, said yesterday that his organization was concerned about the depiction of Muslims in the US media.

"Not speaking to the specifics of the case, unfortunately there is a growing cottage industry of those who seek to create false links between terrorism and American Muslim leaders and organizations," he said. "They got a boost in the post-9/11 era. . . . It's something American Muslims are learning to live with."

(For more information, contact Kandil's attorney, Albert L. Farrah, Jr., at 617-742-7766.)

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GA: WHITFIELD DEBATES NEW MOSQUE - TOP
Cady Van Dolson, Chattanooga Times Free Press, 5/11/05
http://www.timesfreepress.com/

DALTON, Ga. - In the 10 years Mohammed Hassan has lived in Dalton, he says he's never had a problem living in the predominantly Christian city.

Even after some local residents called their hoped-for new mosque a "terrorist hideout" during a public hearing last week, Mr. Hassan, 28, and other Muslims say they still feel welcome in Whitfield County.

"What happened in court doesn't represent the majority in Whitfield County," Mr. Hassan said about the zoning hearing. "Even after (the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks) they were very understanding. I was never subjected to anything."

Tareq Elsayed, 29, said he was shocked about the "terrorist hideout" comment and other things people said in the zoning hearing.

"After Sept. 11, most people think that because we're Muslim, we're terrorists," Mr. Elsayed said. "It's just a personal act. It has nothing to do with Islam."

Despite the Zoning Board's unanimous recommendation of approval, Whitfield County commissioners voted unanimously to table the Dalton Islamic Center's request to rezone 11.15 acres at 2054 Dug Gap Road to build a mosque.

Commissioners cited sewage and safety issues.

They are expected to take up the issue on either June 13 or Sept. 12, depending on whether they want a traffic study completed before they make a decision, said Bradley Arnold, county administrator.

"I'm still optimistic," Mr. Hassan said after Monday night's vote. "We have good faith. None of us are upset. We wanted it to be done today, but I'm sure there are a lot of pressures." (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

MI: EXPANSION OF METRO DETROIT MOSQUES MARKS DEEPENING BONDS FOR MUSLIMS - TOP
David Crumm, Detroit Free Press, 5/11/05
http://www.freep.com/news/religion/mosque11e_20050511.htm

Building the cathedral of Michigan's mosques -- a towering $14-million slice of Middle Eastern design called the Islamic Center of America -- was relatively easy. The larger challenge facing Muslims across southeast Michigan is building a community that will hold together from one generation to the next.

It's a challenge familiar to the Irish, Italian, German and Polish immigrants who decades earlier sacrificed to build their own landmark houses of worship.

"With God's grace, we are finishing our new mosque with no serious problems," Imam Hassan Qazwini, the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of America, said as he prepared for the ribbon cutting Thursday. "But the real challenge for us starts on the day we open the doors. We have to make sure we build a true community and not just a beautiful museum."

That's the leading concern across the entire Muslim community in southeast Michigan where at least a half-dozen mosques have expanded. (MORE)

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MI: VISITING A MOSQUE - TOP
David Crumm, Detroit Free Press, 5/11/05
http://www.freep.com/news/religion/mosque-box111e_20050511.htm

Like other houses of worship, Muslim centers welcome visitors. If you'd like to visit a local mosque, it's best to call in advance. Some mosques have special open houses throughout the year. Here's what else you'll need to know:

Dress modestly. Shirts and long pants are fine for men. Women should cover their hair with a scarf and wear clothing that covers arms and legs. After entering the building, but before entering the main mosque, everyone is expected to remove their shoes.

Muslims may stop in washrooms to perform ritual cleaning of face, hands and feet, but visitors are not required to do this.

Men and women form straight lines for prayer, facing the qiblah (KIB-lah), the closest direction to the Muslim holy city of Mecca. The qiblah often is marked by a mihrab (MIH-rab), a decorative niche in the wall. Near the mihrab, many mosques also have a minbar (MIN-bar), a raised platform imams may use for their sermons.

Non-Muslims should not try to join the lines of praying men and women. Sit along the sides of the room and watch quietly. Because Muslim prayer involves bending the entire body until the forehead touches the floor, women pray in a separate area out of concern for modesty, typically just behind the lines of men. (MORE)

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NY: TWO MUSLIM TEENAGE GIRLS RELEASED AFTER NEW YORK SUICIDE BOMB SCARE ARRESTS - TOP
Associated Press, 5/12/05
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/WarOnTerrorism/2005/05/12/1035827-ap.html

NEW YORK (AP) - Immigration authorities have released two 16-year-old Muslim girls who were detained for six weeks amid reports they were potential recruits for a suicide bomb plot that never materialized.

The girls - one from Bangladesh, the other from Guinea - were taken into custody separately in New York on March 24 and held at a detention center.

The Bangladeshi girl, her mother and two brothers left the country voluntarily on Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Manny Van Pelt said Wednesday.

The Guinean girl was released last week and was allowed to remain in the city but still faces removal proceedings, Van Pelt said in Washington, D.C.

Details about the case, first reported last month by The New York Times, remain sketchy.

The Times cited a government document that said the FBI believed the girls posed ``an imminent threat to the security of the United States based upon evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers.'' Federal officials have refused to elaborate.

The girls' supporters insisted they were innocent. At a news conference on Wednesday on the steps of City Hall, human rights advocates demanded an apology. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

GROWING UP AL-ARIAN - TOP
Vanessa Gezari, St. Petersburg Times, 5/12/05
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/05/12/Floridian/Growing_up_Al_Arian.shtml

TAMPA - Ali is at the computer, reading about an Internet hoax. A man is threatening to eat a pet rabbit unless he gets $50,000.

"We have to go," Leena says. "You're coming with me."

"Since when?" Ali is 14, Leena is about to turn 20 and their mother is out of town. Leena is in charge.

"You have to think of something to say," she tells him. Their father will ask about her thesis, the last thing standing between her and a degree from the University of South Florida. She doesn't want to talk about it. She has been pulling all-nighters, downing so much coffee that it has lost its power to stimulate her brain. She is about to blow her deadline. Again.

Ali glances down at his clothes: black shorts, green T-shirt. He gets a long-sleeved shirt from his bedroom. Leena eyes the back of his head as he walks down the stairs. He needs a haircut.

In the car, he falls asleep to National Public Radio. She nudges him awake. They line up in the jail lobby behind a man with a missing tooth and a Confederate flag bandanna. A woman in a green uniform asks who they want to see.

Leena says the name quickly, running the words together: "Samialarian."

The woman scans her list. She hands them two laminated cards. They pass through one blue metal door, and another, and run up a flight of stairs.

Leena was 10 the first time the FBI raided her house. At 12, she was drawing signs that said "Free Mazen Now!" Her uncle, Mazen Al-Najjar, was arrested in 1997, held for 31/2 years and deported after the government couldn't prove he had links to terrorists. Last year, they indicted him again. (MORE)

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SCHOLAR LINKS ISLAM WITH HEALING - TOP
Susan Olp, Billings Gazette, 5/11/05
http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2005/05/11/build/local/53-islam-healing.inc

Healing is part of Islam, Seth Ward told an audience Tuesday at a talk titled "Islam: History and Healing."

Ward spoke to 20 people at the lunchtime talk at the Mansfield Health Education Center. The presentation, sponsored by St. Vincent Healthcare, is part of a series on caring for people of different faiths.

Ward, visiting associate professor of religious studies at the University of Wyoming, told the group that "Islam firmly believes in medical treatment."

"The prophet Muhammad said, 'There is no disease that Allah has created, except that he has created a treatment,' " Ward said of the man who founded the faith in the seventh century.

Ward proceeded to provide his audience with an overview of Islam and specifics on Muslim people and medical care. Allah, he said, is not a name specific to Islam, but a name that refers to a monotheistic God.

"As such, no Christians, who are also monotheistic, should have a problem calling God 'Allah,' " Ward said.

Allay revealed the Quran, or Koran, to Muhammad over 22 years, Ward said. It includes 114 chapters.

The five pillars of Islam include testimony that there is no God but God, prayer, giving alms, fasting during Ramadan and a pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime, when it is physically and financially possible. (MORE)

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MEDIA COVERAGE OF CAIR'S CIVIL RIGHTS REPORT - TOP

INTERNET, RADIO BLAMED FOR DISCRIMINATION
Wayne Parry, Associated Press, 5/11/05
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=748686

WASHINGTON May 11, 2005 - Anti-Muslim Internet traffic and radio broadcasts are fueling an atmosphere of hate and contributing to increased discrimination, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Wednesday.

Hate crimes against Muslims rose 52 percent to 141 last year compared with 2003, and civil rights violations reported to the council jumped 49 percent to 1,522.

"Whenever there is a beheading or act of terrorism overseas that involves Muslims, we see a rise in reported incidents here," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the council.

The trend is toward "rising Islamophobic rhetoric in American society," said Arsalan Iftikhar, the council's legal director.

The organization has become so concerned about anti-Muslim talk that it has launched an awareness campaign so people can contact advertisers about their concerns and file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission.

Some Muslim leaders were surprised by the council's findings, contained in a report entitled "Unequal Protection."

"I thought we were through with the high point after 9/11," said Yaser El-Menshawy, chairman of New Jersey's council of mosques. "My gut feeling is it may be a combination of the war in Iraq and mounting casualties, and that we're getting better at collecting this kind of data."

The report divided alleged abuse into 14 categories, from unreasonable arrest the highest number of complaints with 385 to Internet discrimination, with four.

Among the most prevalent complaints: There were 225 alleging religious discrimination such as community opposition to the presence of a mosque; 196 asserting employment discrimination; and 190 reported instances of verbal harassment.

ALSO SEE:

FEAR OF ISLAM ON THE RISE - MUSLIM GROUP - TOP
Jim Lobe, IPS, 5/11/05
http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/interna.asp?idnews=28643

WASHINGTON, May 11 (IPS) - Reported incidents of anti-Muslim bias including hate crimes, discrimination, and harassment rose sharply in the United States last year, according to a new report by a major Islamic group.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in a report released Wednesday, said it received 141 reports of actual or planned violence against Muslims or mosques nationwide, a 52 percent increase over the 93 reports the group received in 2003 and the 42 it received in 2002.

In addition, the number of incidents reportedly involving some form of police or law-enforcement abuse, such as unreasonable arrests, detentions and searches, rose sharply in 2004, constituting more than one-fourth of all cases of abuse or discrimination, according to the report, 'Unequal Protection: The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States 2005'.

Such cases constituted only seven percent of reported incidents in 2003, according CAIR, which stressed that its report could not be considered scientific because it relied on voluntary reporting by alleged victims or witnesses.

Altogether, it said, more than 1,900 incidents of abuse and discrimination were reported to CAIR, of which 1,522 were deemed sufficiently credible to be included in the tally. That total was 49 percent greater than the 2003 totals.

"These disturbing figures come as no surprise given growing Islamophobic sentiments and a general misperception of Islam and Muslims," said CAIR Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar, who wrote the 62-page report.

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TENSIONS BETWEEN U.S. AND MUSLIMS REACHING NEW HIGHS, SAY ANALYSTS - TOP
Canadian Press, 5/11/05
http://www3.cjad.com/content/cp_article.asp?id=/global_feeds/CanadianPress/WorldNews/w051189A.htm

WASHINGTON (CP) - Far from abating since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, tensions between the United States and Muslims appear to be reaching a fever pitch. A new report Wednesday documented a sharp increase last year in hate crimes and civil rights violations against Muslims living in the country.

And allegations that American soldiers desecrated Islam's holy book by flushing a Qur'an down a toilet at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, provoked deadly protests in Afghanistan.

There are also new allegations of sexual abuse and degrading treatment of Guantanamo prisoners this week, fuelling perceptions provoked by last year's scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison that there's broad support in the U.S. military for torturing detainees in the war on terror.

Author and academic Muqtedar Khan, on staff at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Clinton, Mich., says favourability ratings toward Muslims among Americans were not significantly negative for some time after the Sept. 11 attacks but started going down in 2003.

He blames increasingly tense relations on anti-Islamic rhetoric from right-wing religious groups in the U.S. and a small segment of Muslims bent on reinforcing violent stereotypes.

"Sometimes I'm really frightened when I see all this hate speech out there. The Internet is full of it," said Khan.

"Somebody has to stand up and challenge the extremist rhetoric in every community. And Republicans should be telling the Christian right to stop demonizing Islam."

The backdrop for Americans is widespread fear of another big hit. There was a false alarm Wednesday when military jets scrambled to intercept a plane that mistakenly veered into restricted airspace near the White House.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Wednesday that hate crimes against Muslims rose 52 per cent to 141 last year and civil rights violations jumped 49 per cent to 1,522.

The council also blames anti-Muslim Internet traffic and radio broadcasts for fuelling an atmosphere of hate that's leading to more complaints of unreasonable arrests, verbal harassment, employment discrimination and religious discrimination like community opposition to mosques.

"Whenever there is a beheading or an act of terrorism overseas that involves Muslims, we see a rise in reported incidents here," said spokesman Ibrahim Hooper. (MORE)

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GROUP RANKS TEXAS FIFTH IN RIGHTS ABUSES AGAINST MUSLIMS - TOP
Lisa Marie Gómez, San Antonio Express, 5/11/05
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA051105.hatecrimes.en.2642e662d.html

Anti-Muslim civil rights discrimination and harassment incidents have sharply risen since the 9-11 terrorist attacks, according to a report released today.

The report, put together by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, shows that Texas is ranked fifth among the 10 states where the majority of civil rights cases have been reported in the country.

"Texas has been one of the hot beds for hate crime violence," said Arsalan T. Iftikhar, the national legal director of CAIR in Washington and the author of the report.

CAIR is a non-profit civil rights and advocacy organization aimed at enhancing a general understanding of the Islamic perspective on issues to the American public.

In its 11-year history of documenting Muslim civil rights cases, the number of reported cases last year spiked to 1,522. That's up by 503 cases, or a 49 percent increase, over 2003. In 2002, 602 cases were reported.

The incidents ranged from physical violence to harassment cases, such as the one in California, where a woman wearing a hijab was pushing a stroller with her baby on a sidewalk and man in a truck almost ran over them.

When the woman said, "You almost killed me and my baby!" the man replied, "It wouldn't have been a big loss."

Incidents also included mosque vandalisms and attacks on Muslin-owned businesses.

"Since the 9-11 attacks, the most disturbing legal trend is the growing disparity in how American Muslims are being treated under the law on many different levels," the report states. (MORE)

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103 ANTI-MUSLIM INCIDENTS IN FLORIDA LAST YEAR, ACCORDING TO REPORT - TOP
Associated Press, 5/11/05
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-0511muslimreport,0,1504358.story

ORLANDO -- There were 103 anti-Muslim incidents reported in Florida last year, an 18 percent increase over the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Florida Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Even though Florida ranked No. 7 in the nation for anti-Muslim incidents, the rate of increase was smaller than the rest of the nation. But Muslim leaders in Florida were concerned about the increase in hate crimes, which rose to 15 in 2004 from 2 in 2003, said Ahmed Bedier, central Florida director of CAIR.

Bedier attributed the hate crimes spike to the beheadings in the Middle East that occurred last year.

``After 911, we thought as we moved away from that time, the number of incidents would decline,'' Bedier said. ``But we've seen an opposite trend. The bias and the stereotypes is settling in. People are becoming accepting to the notion that Islam is the enemy of America. It's not said, but people feel it.''

Twenty-four incidents of discriminatory application of the law, the largest category of anti-Muslim incidents, were reported. But the figure was slightly less than last year.

Bedier said he hopes the report causes public officials to speak out against ``Islamphobia.'' (MORE)

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BIAS INCIDENTS AGAINST MUSLIMS UP IN NJ - TOP
Wayne Parry, Associated Press, 5/11/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--muslims-bias0511may11,0,4101320.story

NEWARK, N.J. -- Cases of discrimination and bias against Muslims in New Jersey rose sharply last year, according to a survey released Wednesday by a national Islamic group.

The survey by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations counted 69 incidents of discrimination or bias crimes committed against New Jersey Muslims in 2004, up from 40 incidents in 2003 _ an increase of more than 72 percent.

The figures include incidents reported directly to the group by individuals or organizations.

New Jersey cases included taunts and death threats made against a Muslim van passenger in Paterson, the tossing of liquor bottles at a Union City mosque while congregants were inside mourning an Arab-American teenager who had been killed in a car crash, and the vandalism of a mosque under construction in Toms River, including the spray-painting of Nazi graffiti.

"We all try to close our eyes and hope it's getting better, but it's not," said Mohamed Younes, an elder in Paterson's Arab-American community. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS REPORT 50% INCREASE IN BIAS CRIMES - TOP
Andrea Elliott, New York Times, 5/12/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/12/nyregion/12hate.html

Reported hate crimes against Muslims in the United States increased by more than 50 percent last year, with New York State ranking second nationally in the number of bias cases, according to a study released yesterday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an Islamic advocacy group in Washington.

The report outlined more than 1,500 cases of harassment and anti-Muslim violence around the country in 2004, including 141 hate crimes, compared with 1,019 cases and 93 hate crimes in 2003. Reasons for the increase were unclear, but may include more of a willingness by Muslims to report crimes, said Arsalan Iftikhar, national legal director of the council and the author of the study. A fear of Muslims after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a growing use of anti-Muslim language by public figures were also likely contributors, he said.

"A lot of it has to do with basic misconceptions people have about Islam," Mr. Iftikhar said. "Once people realize that American Muslims are their neighbors, students and doctors, it will really humanize this community and show that we are contributing members of this society."

The study was based on bias cases reported directly to the council and its 31 chapters around the country by the victims or community leaders, as well as on some news reports of hate crimes. The organization said it verified the legitimacy of a reported crime before including it in its annual study, which it began in 1995, after the Oklahoma City bombing. Almost all the hate crimes were reported to the police, Mr. Iftikhar said, but not all led to arrests. (MORE)

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U.S. MUSLIMS REPORT MORE ATTACKS - TOP
Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post, 5/12/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/11/AR2005051101901.html

U.S. Muslims reported about 1,500 cases of hate crimes, unreasonable arrest, harassment and other alleged civil rights violations last year, a 50 percent increase over the previous year's total, according to a report released yesterday by a major Islamic advocacy group.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations attributed the jump, in part, to continued suspicions of Muslims and Arab Americans since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But it said the rise also could reflect greater reporting of such incidents by Muslims.

"You would figure, four years removed from a tragic event like 9/11, things would tend to normalize. Unfortunately, this report shows this is not the case yet," said Arsalan Iftikhar, the group's legal director.

He said the Council on American-Islamic Relations received about 1,900 complaints of alleged abuses last year and found it could substantiate 1,522 of them. (MORE)

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HATE-CRIME CHARGES FOLLOW RYERSON INCIDENTS - TOP
Oliver Moore, Globe and Mail, 5/12/05
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050512/TORBRIEFS12-1/TPNational/

Two hate-crime charges have been laid against a man accused of spray-painting "Die Muslim Die" at Ryerson University. The incident was one of many last summer and fall targeting Middle Easterners at the school.

Kevin Haas, not a student at the school, was initially charged in October with mischief and threatening death. Two charges of promotion of hatred were filed against him this week, police announced yesterday.

The incidents occurred between June and October of last year, police said. They included slurs against Muslims, Arabs and Jews.

The anti-Muslim spray-painting was the first known incident. According to those at the school, others included pamphlets threatening the president of the Muslim association, notices on bulletin boards urging the public to "kill these Islamic infidels" and a letter slipped under the door of the Arab and Muslim student offices that said: "Those who follow Islam need to be killed in the worst possible way imaginable."

Mr. Haas, 22, comes from a Jewish household. (MORE)

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TERROR SUSPECTS SENT TO EGYPT BY THE DOZENS, PANEL REPORTS - TOP
David Johnston, New York Times, 5/11/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/12/politics/12detain.html

WASHINGTON, May 11 - The United States and other countries have forcibly sent dozens of terror suspects to Egypt, according to a report released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch. The rights group and the State Department have both said Egypt regularly uses extreme interrogation methods on detainees.

The group said it had documented 63 cases since 1994 in which suspected Islamic militants were sent to Egypt for detention and interrogation. The figures do not include people seized after the attacks of September 2001 who were sent mainly by Middle East countries and American intelligence authorities.

The report said the total number sent to Egypt since the Sept. 11 attacks could be as high as 200 people. American officials have not disputed that people have been sent to countries where detainees are subjected to extreme interrogation tactics but have denied that anyone had been sent to another country for the purpose of torture. Among other countries to which the United States has sent detainees are Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Syria.

Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said sending someone to a country where he was likely to be tortured was banned under international law. ''Egypt's terrible record of torturing prisoners means that no country should forcibly send a suspect there,'' he said.

The United States began sending terror suspects to Egypt in the mid-1990's when the practice, known formally as rendition, began to play a larger role in counterterrorism, according to officials from the Clinton administration.

But since September 2001, the transfers have accelerated in part because Egypt has been willing to accept the detainees as part of its effort to root out Islamic militants inside Egypt, a campaign that has extended to countries where extremists have taken refuge. Almost all those sent to Egypt are Egyptian citizens or were born there, the report said. (MORE)

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Rice urges calm, calls Koran desecration abhorrent - top

WASHINGTON, May 12 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Muslims around the world on Thursday to resist calls for violence from people outraged by allegations that interrogators at Guantanamo Bay had desecrated the Koran.

Reports that interrogators at the U.S. military prison in Cuba put Korans in toilets and in at least one case flushed the holy book down the toilet have triggered violent demonstrations in Afghanistan as well as official protests in Pakistan.

"We have heard from our Muslim friends around the world about their concerns on this matter. We understand and we share their concerns. Sadly some people have lost their lives in violent demonstrations," Rice said, alluding to reports that at least seven people had died in Afghan protests this week.

"I am asking that all our friends around the world reject incitement to violence by those who would mischaracterize our intentions," she added in a surprise statement at the start of testimony to U.S. lawmakers.

"I want to speak directly to Muslims in America and throughout the world. Disrespect for the Holy Koran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be tolerated by the United States," she said. "Disrespect for the Holy Koran is abhorrent to us all."

SEE ALSO:

U.S. Muslims Seek Probe of Gitmo Quran Desecration - TOP
http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1573&theType=NR

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CAIR
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Forwarded Message

Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 14:55:22 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: State Dept. to Speak at CAIR Conference

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 5/13/05

* HADITH: No Racial Superiority
* CAIR-DC: State Dept to Speak at Islamophobia/Anti-Americanism Conf.
    - CAIR-CA: Former Guantanamo Bay Chaplain to Address Event
* MA: Muslims Girls Play Ball in League (Sun Chronicle)
        - KS: Festival of Muslim Cultures (Wichita Eagle)
* ME: Family Taken off Diverted Plane from Paris (AP)
* FL: Send a Clear Signal: Torture not Tolerated (Miami Herald)
        - 3 Die in Afghans' Anti-US Protests (LA Times)
* U.S. Had Doubts about Case against Terror Suspects (NY Times)
* CA: Hostage Family Plans to Run ads in Iraq (SF Chronicle)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: NO RACIAL SUPERIORITY - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said to a companion: "You are not better than people (of other races) unless you excel them in piety."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1361

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STATE DEPARTMENT TO SPEAK AT CAIR CONFERENCE IN DC - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/13/05) - CAIR is pleased to announce that Gerald Michael Feierstein, director of of the Office of Regional Affairs, Bureau of Near East Affairs, will be speaking at its "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies" conference in Washington, D.C. Feierstein will speak at the May 14th panel "Anti-Americanism and U.S. Foreign Policy."

WHEN: Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, 2005 (Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 14)

WHERE: Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner, 8661 Leesburg Pike ~ Vienna, VA (703-448-1234) To view a complete conference program or to register online, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/2005conference/

CAIR's 2005 annual conference brings together scholars, researchers, religious leaders, and community activists to discuss issues related to the twin phenomena of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in the West and increasing anti-American sentiments in the Islamic world.

Conference participants will take part in sessions focusing on:

* Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism in the Media

* The Impact of Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism on Civil Rights and Policy-Making

* Anti-Americanism and U.S. Foreign Policy

* Islam and American Relations with the Muslim World

* Misconceptions about Christians and Muslims in Public Discourse

* Reasserting Mainstream Religious Values NEW
- END-

CONTACT: Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org.

ALSO SEE:

FORMER GUANTANAMO BAY CHAPLAIN TO ADDRESS SACRAMENTO EVENT - TOP

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 5/13/05) - The Asian Pacific Islander (API) and Muslim Community to hold a joint fundraiser for the Chaplain James Yee Defense Fund. James Yee, former Chaplain at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay will address the audience.

WHAT: API-Muslim Community Fundraiser for The Chaplain James Yee Defense Fund

WHEN: May 14th, 2005 from 6:00-8:00 PM

WHERE: Shahrazad Restaurant
2931 Sunrise Blvd
Rancho Cordova, CA

Sponsoring organizations: APAPA (Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association); CAPITAL (Council on Asian Pacific Islanders Together for Advocacy and Leadership); CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations-Sacramento Valley); JACL (Japanese American Citizens League-Florin Chapter); OCA (Organization of Chinese Americans-Sacramento Chapter) For more information on Chaplain James Yee visit: www.justiceforyee.com
                                                                                    - END-

CONTACT: CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, 916-289-3748

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LEAPS OF FAITH - TOP
Gloria La Bounty, Sun Chronicle, 5/12/05
http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2005/05/12/reports/special04.txt

FOXBORO -- It's time for girls' basketball at Mass. Premier Courts in Foxboro, and it's easy to tell one team from the other.

Players on one side are dressed in the traditional way -- wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts with their hair tied in pony tails. Players on the other side wear ankle-length sport pants and long-sleeved shirts, and cover their hair with scarves.

It's the Christians of New Testament School in Norton versus the Muslims of Al-Noor Academy in Mansfield, but on the court they're all just kids playing a game to win.

Friday was the first time the two schools played each other in an informal basketball league of boys' and girls' teams from private and mostly Christian schools.

Al-Noor, the only Muslim school of the group, moved from Quincy to Mansfield last March and is now in its first basketball season of 11 games against schools in various parts of the state.

The faith differences don't matter, said Al-Noor Athletic Director Aminah Muhammad.

`` We just want to play,'' she said, and the school therefore took advantage of the opportunity to be part of the league. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

KS: FESTIVAL OF MUSLIM CULTURES - TOP
Wichita Eagle, 5/13/05
http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/entertainment/11597817.htm

Festival of Muslim Cultures, art and artifacts, ancient handicrafts and jewelry, Middle Eastern and South Asian fashion show, live entertainment, food, noon-4 p.m., Plymouth Congregational Church, Second and Clifton. Free. Information, 461-5306.

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FAMILY TAKEN OFF DIVERTED PLANE FROM PARIS  - TOP
Glenn Adams, Associated Press, 5/21/05
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=753288

BANGOR, Maine - An Air France jetliner en route from Paris to Boston was diverted to Maine to check on a passenger with nearly the same name and birthdate as a person on a no-fly list suspected of terror connections, officials said.

The flight Thursday continued to Boston less than two hours later without the passenger of interest and three of his family members, said Rebecca Hupp, director of the Bangor airport.

"You had a match of the name save for slight deviation in spelling and the exact date of birth," said Mark Hatfield, spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration. Hatfield did not release the name, but said the man on the list is "a serious bad actor" with connections to terrorism.

When the Airbus A-330, carrying 169 passengers, landed in Maine, federal officials escorted a man, a woman, a young child and a baby off. They were detained by federal immigration officials, said Ann Davis, spokeswoman for the TSA in Boston.

The four were later released and allowed to continue their trip after officials determined the man was not the one on the no-fly list, Hatfield said.

"In the end, we're explaining a minor inconvenience rather than a major tragedy," Hatfield said.

Air France and Federal Aviation Administration officials reported nothing else unusual about the flight.

Sabiha Bishara said the family boarded the flight at the same time as she did in Egypt before they flew to Paris, and she spoke to them in Arabic.

"They were sitting next to me, they were very normal people, there was nothing fishy about them," said Bishara, who was headed to the Boston area to attend her son's college graduation. "When the customs agents boarded, the wife was very surprised."

Federal law requires airlines to transmit to the Homeland Security Department the passenger lists for flights bound for the U.S. within 15 minutes of takeoff. Officials then check the names against terrorist watch lists.

Bangor International Airport has a well-earned reputation as a stopping off point for trans-Atlantic flights. It is the last major U.S. airport for jets headed across the Atlantic and the first for incoming flights. (MORE)

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SEND A CLEAR SIGNAL: TORTURE NOT TOLERATED - TOP
Miami Herald, 5/13/05
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/11635074.htm

U.S. military leadership is ultimately responsible for the failures that led to abuses of wartime captives in places as far flung as Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said as much after the graphic Abu Ghraib photos surfaced.

''These events occurred on my watch,'' he said. ''I am responsible.''

As we await the release of an investigation into interrogation practices at the Guantanamo Bay prison, it's high time that Mr. Rumsfeld and others in the chain of command finally be held accountable for what went wrong. Low-level soldiers shouldn't be the only ones to face consequences.

Too many soldiers abused captives in too many places to treat the cases as isolated instances, alone. The lessons learned, moreover, should ensure that the military doesn't repeat such mistakes.

Whether these were failures of policy or training or command, there is much evidence that U.S. soldiers and interrogators mistreated detainees, to the extent of torture in some cases.

Intended or not, abuse of captives has seriously damaged U.S. credibility as it attempts to promote a human-rights agenda internationally.

Such practices have also put the United States at greater risk. Witness the violent anti-American protests this week in Afghanistan. The angry mob reportedly reacted to a recent Newsweek article that U.S. interrogators had flushed a Koran down a toilet at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

Using religious desecration, sexual humiliation and torture on captives is more likely to make Muslims sympathize with those who hate the United States than to cooperate with U.S. efforts to deter terrorists.

The most recent accounts of prisoner abuse come in the new book Inside the Wire by former Army Sgt. Erik Saar, an interpreter who helped interrogate captives at Guantanamo. Mr. Saar describes the systematic use of sexual humiliation to break devout Muslims.

One female interrogator, for example, interviewed a Saudi detainee in a thong and bra. Another smeared fake menstrual blood on a detainee's face. Such practices debase interrogator and prisoner alike. (More)

ALSO SEE:

3 DIE IN AFGHANS' ANTI-US PROTESTS - TOP
Halima Kazem, Los Angeles Times, 5/13/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghan13may13,1,1490338.story?coll=la-headlines-world

KABUL, Afghanistan - Three people were killed and dozens were wounded in anti-American demonstrations Thursday, the third day of protests that followed reports of interrogators desecrating copies of Islam's holy book at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Thursday's rallies were by far the biggest anti-American protests in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. Officials said two people were killed in the Khogyani district of Nangarhar province when police tried to disperse protesters and keep them from marching to Jalalabad, where four people were killed in similar demonstrations Wednesday.

Another person was killed in the capital of Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, as mobs clashed with police.

In neighboring Lowgar province, rioters ransacked the offices of CARE International, one of the largest aid groups in Afghanistan.

"A couple of our staff members were beat up and some of our computers were broken," said Paul Barker, the CARE director in Afghanistan. "But luckily no one was killed."

CARE evacuated its Lowgar staff to Kabul. Newsweek magazine recently reported that U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo in at least one instance flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet. Pakistan has formally protested the alleged desecration.

In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the reports were being investigated by military authorities, and "if they are proven true, we will take appropriate action."

Rice urged Muslims to resist calls for violence. Her statements came at the start of testimony to U.S. lawmakers.

"We have heard from our Muslim friends around the world about their concerns on this matter. We understand and we share their concerns. Sadly, some people have lost their lives in violent demonstrations," she said.

"I want to speak directly to Muslims in America and throughout the world. Disrespect for the Holy Koran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, tolerated by the United States," she said. (MORE)

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U.S. HAD DOUBTS ABOUT LESSER CASE AGAINST TERROR SUSPECTS - TOP
Eric Lictblau, New York Times, 5/12/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/13/politics/13terror.html

WASHINGTON, May 12 - Last December, after a high-profile federal terrorism prosecution in Detroit collapsed amid accusations of government misconduct, the Justice Department resorted to a backup plan. Prosecutors brought much less serious charges of insurance fraud against a pair of one-time terror suspects from Morocco, accusing the men of falsely reporting injuries in a minor car accident.

Prosecutors said at the time that they viewed the insurance scam as a serious offense. But internal Justice Department memorandums show that senior prosecutors had serious doubts about the strength of the case and recommended against bringing it, only to have the department go ahead with the lesser charges.

Bringing the fraud case ''would appear to be vindictive,'' a senior federal prosecutor in Detroit wrote in an e-mail memorandum to senior Justice Department officials in 2003. The same prosecutor wrote that the F.B.I. believed that the move would harm counterterrorism efforts among Muslims and ''may actually encourage extremists.''

The e-mail messages shed light on the internal wrangling in a case that many critics of the Justice Department see as a low mark in its pursuit of terrorism prosecutions since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Some lawyers involved in the case also contend that the department should have turned over the material to the defense under rules of discovery in criminal cases, which generally require prosecutors to divulge exculpatory material.

The e-mail messages were provided to The New York Times by an official in the case who asked for anonymity because of a judge's order against talking to the news media about the case and pending criminal investigations in the case.

When asked about the Justice Department e-mail messages earlier, Richard M. Helfrick, a defense lawyer in the case, said earlier this week that he was unaware of the messages and that prosecutors had not given him access to the material as part of the discovery process in the pending fraud case against his client. (MORE)

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HOSTAGE FAMILY PLANS TO RUN ADS IN IRAQ - TOP
Demian Bulwa, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/13/05
http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/national/article/0,1406,KNS_350_3775335,00.html

The family of an East Bay engineer held hostage in Iraq plans to appeal to his captors with advertisements in newspapers and on television in the country, even after the passage of a deadline set by the kidnappers.

There was no word Thursday on the status of Douglas Wood, 63, an Australian citizen who lives with his wife in Alamo. His captors, in a video released last week, set a Monday deadline for Australia to pull troops out of Iraq -- a demand that was rejected.

Wood's family has made a far-reaching effort to relay messages to the captors that humanize Wood and attempt to distance him from the politics of the war in Iraq.

The family has created a Web site (www.thewoodfamily.info) with messages in English and Arabic, photos and a list of his required medications. It has also aligned itself with Australia's top Muslim cleric, who is now in Baghdad and says he is trying to contact the kidnappers.

"We appeal to those who have taken him hostage to release him, because he is not involved in politics and he is a man simply working to support his family," Wood's family wrote in an advertisement in an Arabic newspaper, according to a translation by Reuters.

Mark Juergensmeyer, director of the Global and International Studies department at UC Santa Barbara, said Thursday that the effort to free Wood might "ratchet up a general sense in Iraqi society that these acts are hurting Iraq." (MORE)

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To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

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Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 16 May 2005 19:38:17 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslim Group to Offer Free Qurans

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 5/16/05

- MEDIA ADVISORY-


U.S. MUSLIM GROUP TO OFFER FREE QURANS
Gitmo Quran desecration controversy prompts campaign

WHAT: On Tuesday, May 17, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), will hold a news conference at the nation's capital to launch a campaign to offer free Qurans to the American public. The campaign by the Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group is in response to a recent controversy generated by a Newsweek article alleging that Islam's holy text was flushed down a toilet.

CAIR's campaign, called "Explore the Quran" involves the community sponsored distribution of Islam's revealed text to Americans nationwide.

"We are initiating this campaign as an attempt to turn a negative incident into something more positive," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "It is our belief that greater access to Islam's holy book will help foster a better appreciation and understanding of Islam by ordinary Americans."

WHERE: CAIR's Capitol Hill Headquarters, 453 New Jersey, SE, Washington D.C., 20003

WHEN: 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17.

CONTACT: Rabiah Ahmed, 202-439-1441, e-mail: rahmed@cair-net.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, e-mail: ihooper@cair-net.org

- END-


NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org















Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 16 May 2005 18:49:21 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Conference a Success/CAIR Condemns Massacre of Uzbek Civilians

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS 5/16/05

* HADITH: The Importance of Charity
* CAIR-DC Conference a Success
            - CAIR Condemns Massacre of Uzbek Civilians
* Newsweek Got Gitmo Right (Antiwar.com)
            - Islam as Interrogation Tool: Need for Limits? (CSM)
            - Newsweek Backs off Quran Desecration Story (CNN)
* Quran Has Changed the Course of History (Daily Facts)
* IA: Running Covered, But Free (DM Register)
            - NY: Doctor Puts Faith in Medications, God (AP)
* CA: Muslim Youth Persevere To Find Time, Place to Pray
            - OH: Kids' Books Help Share Muslim Faith (Enquirer)

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HADITH: THE IMPORTANCE OF CHARITY - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: The believer s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity. Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 604.

The Prophet also said: Every act of goodness is charity. Sahih Muslim, Hadith 496.

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CAIR S DC CONFERENCE A SUCCESS - TOP
More than 300 people turn out for sold-out conference

(Washington, D.C. 5/16/05) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today said over 300 people turned out for its "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies" conference in Washington, D.C. this past weekend. The conference brought together scholars, researchers, religious leaders, and community activists to discuss issues related to the twin phenomena of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in the West and increasing anti-American sentiments in the Islamic world.

Speakers at the event included: former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim; Amnesty International USA Board Chair Chip Pitts; Gerald Michael Feierstein, director of the Office of Regional Affairs, Bureau of Near East Affairs; and Cherif Bassiouni, law professor at DePaul University.

"It was gratifying to see such genuine interest by participants from across the US in a conference aimed at tackling the complex issues of
Islamophobia and anti-Americanism, " said Fouad Khatib, CAIR board member. "We are confident this will enable CAIR to play an active role in formulating positive solutions to check these destructive trends."

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

                                                               - END-

CONTACT: Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org.

ALSO SEE:

CAIR CONDEMNS MASSACRE OF CIVILIANS IN UZBEKISTAN - TOP
U.S. group calls for action by Bush administration

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/16/05) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today condemned the recent massacre of more than 500 Uzbek civilians and called on the Bush administration to intervene in order to prevent further killings.

Media reports indicate that security forces fired on protesters last week many of whom were women and children killing more than 500 people and wounding 2000 in the region bordering Kyrgyzstan.

In its statement, the Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said:

"The real test of our commitment to freedom and democracy comes when massive human rights violations are committed by nations we regard as our allies. We condemn this brutal attack on Uzbek civilians and urge the Bush administration to take action in order to prevent further killings. Red Cross and foreign observers should also be allowed entry into Uzbekistan to check the reports that hundreds have been killed in the clashes.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 30 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

                                                      - END -

CONTACT: Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: cair@cair-net.org.

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NEWSWEEK GOT GITMO RIGHT - TOP
Calgacus*, antiwar.com, 5/16/05
http://www.antiwar.com/news/?articleid=5959

[*Calgacus has been employed as a researcher in the national security field for 20 years.]

Contrary to White House spin, the allegations of religious desecration at Guantanamo published by Newsweek on May 9, 2005, are common among ex-prisoners and have been widely reported outside the United States. Several former detainees at the Guantanamo and Bagram prisons have reported instances of their handlers sitting or standing on the Koran, throwing or kicking it in toilets, and urinating on it. Prior to the Newsweek article, the New York Times reported a Guantanamo insider asserting that the commander of the facility was compelled by prisoner protests to address the problem and issue an apology.

One such incident (during which the Koran was allegedly thrown in a pile and stepped on) prompted a hunger strike among Guantanamo detainees in March 2002. Regarding this, the New York Times in a May 1, 2005, article interviewed a former detainee, Nasser Nijer Naser al-Mutairi, who said the protest ended with a senior officer delivering an apology to the entire camp. And the Times reports: "A former interrogator at Guantanamo, in an interview with the Times, confirmed the accounts of the hunger strikes, including the public expression of regret over the treatment of the Korans." (Neil A. Lewis and Eric Schmitt, "Inquiry Finds Abuses at Guantanamo Bay," New York Times, May 1, 2005.)

The hunger strike and apology story is also confirmed by another former detainee, Shafiq Rasul, interviewed by the UK Guardian in 2003 (James Meek, "The People the Law Forgot," Dec. 3, 2003). It was also confirmed by former prisoner Jamal al-Harith in an interview with the Daily Mirror (Rosa Prince and Gary Jones, "My Hell in Camp X-Ray," Daily Mirror, March 12, 2004).

The toilet incident was reported in the Washington Post in a 2003 interview with a former detainee from Afghanistan:

"Ehsannullah, 29, said American soldiers who initially questioned him in Kandahar before shipping him to Guantanamo hit him and taunted him by dumping the Koran in a toilet. 'It was a very bad situation for us,' said Ehsannullah, who comes from the home region of the Taliban leader, Mohammad Omar. 'We cried so much and shouted, "Please do not do that to the Holy Koran."' (Marc Kaufman and April Witt, "Out of Legal Limbo, Some Tell of Mistreatment," Washington Post, March 26, 2003.)

Also citing the toilet incident is testimony by Asif Iqbal, a former Guantanamo detainee who was released to British custody in March 2004 and subsequently freed without charge:

"The behavior of the guards towards our religious practices as well as the Koran was also, in my view, designed to cause us as much distress as possible. They would kick the Koran, throw it into the toilet, and generally disrespect it." (Center for Constitutional Rights [.pdf], Aug. 4, 2004.)

ALSO SEE:

ISLAM AS INTERROGATION TOOL: NEED FOR LIMITS? - TOP
Jane Lampman, Christian Science Monitor, 5/15/05
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0516/p11s02-usmi.html

Army Sgt. Erik Saar couldn't wait to get to Guantánamo Bay to help ferret information from the terrorists being held there. When the intelligence linguist arrived, however, he was startled to hear the Muslim call to prayer. Why, he wondered, would America make such a "concession to the religious zealotry" of the detainees?

Yet as he worked as an interpreter in the cell blocks and interrogation rooms, Sergeant Saar's attitude changed. Methods that demeaned Islamic beliefs and tried to make detainees feel separate from God struck him as counterproductive. They not only failed to produce information, he says, but also fueled the sense there and abroad that the US is at war with Islam.

"We say we're trying to win the hearts and minds of Muslim people around the world, yet they can see we are using their religion against them," says Saar in a phone interview. "I don't think that's in line with our values."

Religious disrespect - or even a perception of disrespect - can be an explosive matter in Islamic countries. In recent days, thousands took to the streets in violent protests in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and at least three other nations, reacting to a news report, not yet substantiated, that American personnel desecrated the Koran during interrogations at Guantánamo. The US has promised an investigation and insists disrespect for the Koran will not be tolerated.

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NEWSWEEK BACKS OFF QURAN DESECRATION STORY - TOP
CNN, 5/16/05
http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/05/15/newsweek.quran/

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Newsweek magazine backed away Sunday from a report that U.S. interrogators desecrated copies of the Quran while questioning prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay naval base -- an account blamed for sparking violent riots in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

At least 15 people were killed and dozens injured last week when thousands of demonstrators marched in Afghanistan and other parts of the Muslim world, officials and eyewitnesses said.

"We regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst," Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker wrote in the magazine's May 23 issue, out Sunday.

In an article assessing its coverage, the magazine wrote, "How did Newsweek get its facts wrong? And how did the story feed into serious international unrest?"

The Pentagon said last week it was unable to corroborate any case in which interrogators at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, defiled the Muslim holy book, as Newsweek reported in its May 9 issue.

"Top administration officials have promised to continue looking into the charges, and so will we," Whitaker said.

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QURAN HAS CHANGED THE COURSE OF HISTORY - TOP
Gregory Elder, Daily Facts, 5/16/05
http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/Stories/0,1413,209~22484~2866271,00.html

If they were asked to list the names of the most important books ever written, many of my students would certainly list the Bible, Shakespeare, Milton, Homer, Dante and Plato among the greatest. Indeed, if they do not list these as the greats, I will certainly fail them.

But to this list of great books, perhaps we should also add another volume. This is the Holy Quran, or Koran, the holy book of Islam. Its role in history has been great, and for good or ill, it is the spiritual adviser to more than 1 billion members of the human race. Along with the Holy Bible, it is one of the most quoted, commented on and trusted volumes in the history of the world.

In the traditional Islamic world, the authority of the Quran is absolute in all matters of faith, morals and doctrine. It is the absolute word of God, written in heaven by Allah and revealed to the Prophet Muhammed in the Arabic language. Muslims do not believe that the prophet himself wrote the book, but rather it was revealed to him and he recited it to the faithful who wrote it down. The faithful decorate their homes and mosques with its declarations in calligraphy and carvings.

Before the prophet's death in A.D. 632, he was very concerned about the collection of the Quran and he had several assistants who helped him organize the revelations into the Suras. We do not know the state of the recordings at the time of the prophet's death, but we do know that he was very careful about their preservation.

One of his secretaries was a young man named Zayd ibn Thabit who preserved many of the passages and knew of other men who had also collected them. In the age of the Caliph Uthman, who presided over the community not long after the death of the prophet, a final edition was published, which abides to this day.

If we are to look at the book, what do we find? In its English prose translations it is about one inch thick in a paperback edition. It contains 114 chapters, called "suras" or "readings," which are arranged in order of length, beginning with the longest and ending with the shortest. The Suras all begin with the same phrase, "In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful."

By way of comparison, the Epistles of Paul were arranged in the New Testament in the same manner, of longest to shortest, for the custom was common in the ancient world. But Muslims would be quick to point out that the ordering is of divine origin, and they would also add that the true Quran cannot be translated, for all translation is imperfect and creates a need for interpretation by the translator. The true Quran is always in Arabic and it is always in the poetry of its revelation rather than prose. (MORE)

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RUNNING COVERED, BUT FREE - TOP
Sean Keeler, Des Moines Register, 5/15/05
http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050515/SPORTS05/505150349/1016

Ames, Ia. - She'd made it. The end of the road. Heba Kamal slowed to a jog, lifted her arms high and gently set moist hands on either side of the black scarf atop her head. At first, the breaths came short and hard, like the gulps of a fish just plucked from the water. Her sides burned.

Then she heard them.

"A couple of teenagers sitting there," the Ames High School senior says quietly. "They just laughed when I ended the race. They were all looking at me. It just made me angry. Is it funny because I'm running while I'm covered?"

She doesn't mind if you ask. What she minds is if you assume.

Yes, Heba Kamal is Muslim. Yes, she prays five times a day.

She also loves watching "The Simpsons." Profile at your peril.

"I don't really blame people for not knowing too much," Heba says. "Once you talk to them, they're very understanding. What's frustrating is people who judge you right away."

D'oh!

Heba, 17, has run with Ames' junior varsity girls' track team each of the last two springs. She does this while wearing a headscarf known as a hijab, long sleeves and long pants.

Always. Rain or shine.

"The first two things I'll hear at meets are usually what religion and why," Ames track coach Kirk Schmaltz explains. "But the third comment was usually, 'Hey, that's pretty neat. I'm really glad she had enough courage to come out and do this.'

"In athletics, you're in an arena, you're in a showcase- type thing. To be able to say, 'Hey, this is who I am and this is what I'm doing and it's OK,' hopefully other faiths will say, 'We can be accepted. We're being treated right.' "

Heba is a Sunni. She was born in Canada to Egyptian parents. She was raised in English and Arabic. Her education began at an American school in Kuwait, where her father taught computer and electrical engineering at a local university. When he got a job at Iowa State in 2001, the family moved to Ames.

Some women of Islamic faith traditionally cover themselves as a sign of modesty. Most girls wait until they're 16 or 17 years old before they're comfortable with a hijab; Heba began wearing hers at 11.

"People think it was really early for me," she says. "I was starting to grow up. I felt I was ready. My mother told me, 'Remember, you're going to have to do it at some point in your life.' But I was the one who decided when to do it. She didn't have to force me."

Schmaltz calls Heba an inspiration. Not because she ran a 41.28 in the 200 at the Jim Duea Invitational.

Because she ran. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

FIREFIGHTER'S DOCTOR PUTS FAITH IN MEDICATIONS, GOD - TOP
Malcolm Ritter, Associated Press, 5/15/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--braindoctor0515may15,0,1070703.story

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Soon after Dr. Jamil Ahmed stood before TV cameras two weeks ago and told how his brain-injured patient had snapped out of a stupor lasting almost 10 years, the telephone calls and e-mails started pouring in.

Everybody wants a word with Ahmed, 43, who's just three years removed from his residency training in Boston after earning a medical degree in Pakistan.

There are doctors calling about patients. There are family members of brain-injured people asking if Ahmed can talk to their doctors. And just what drugs was the brain-injured former firefighter, Donald Herbert, taking when he turned from being barely aware and almost mute into a virtual chatterbox for 14 hours with his astounded family and friends?

"Why don't you just tell me the medications?" Ahmed recalls one woman demanding. "You just tell me the name of the medications and I'm not going to be calling you again."

Ahmed, who has been asked by Herbert's family not to identify the drugs, has returned a few phone calls, explaining his medication strategy in general terms and warning, "There is no guarantee."

That's for sure. Ahmed was treading in largely untested waters when he put Herbert on a combination of drugs usually used to treat Parkinson's disease, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

But, he said, he'd seen such drugs help his other brain-injury patients at the Erie County Medical Center regain focus, memory and powers of concentration, and become less agitated or irritable. He'd even seen such drugs bring people out of comas _ the eyes-closed state of complete unawareness _ and other kinds of impaired consciousness, although not after nearly 10 years like Herbert.

So when he heard that Herbert had improved, "I was not surprised," Ahmed, a genial rehabilitation specialist, said the other day. "I was expecting from the beginning he should make a change."

In the days since, the 44-year-old patient has continued to have sporadic conversations and has even played catch with a soccer ball. (MORE)

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MUSLIM YOUTH PERSEVERE TO FIND TIME, PLACE TO PRAY - TOP
Jennifer McLain, Inside Bay Area, 5/15/05
http://www.insidebayarea.com/argus/localnews/ci_2735038

FREMONT Many Americans this month celebrated the national day of prayer.

But for Muslims, every day is a day of prayer.

In many Muslim countries, believers are called to prayer five times a day from sunrise until about 9 p.m. on a loudspeaker from a mosque. In the United States, however, it is up to individuals to fit the five daily prayers into their routine, said Pakistani native Parvez Khan.

Khan, a Fremont resident, said the 5- to 15-minute prayers are essential to a Muslim's life and he expects his 9- and 13-year-old children to pray five times a day when they are older.

But, for some American-Muslim students, doing so can be a challenge, especially if they are at high school during a required prayer.

American High School student Zaneb Rizvi has found a way to work prayer into her school schedule.

"Because there is no designated place to pray, I just wait until school is out to catch the prayer time thatstarts at about 1 p.m. and goes (to about) 5 p.m.," Rizvi said.

She thinks other Muslims handle the 1 p.m. prayer the same way.

"I haven't seen any Muslim student praying during school. I think they may be embarrassed, or it might be because we don't have a place to pray," she said.

Rizvi, who wears a Muslim head scarf, said she wishes there were a place to pray at American High because going home to pray cuts into her homework time after school. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

KIDS' BOOKS HELP SHARE MUSLIM FAITH - TOP
Karen Vance, Enquirer, 5/16/05
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050514/NEWS01/505140379/1056/news01

For Freda Crane-Shamma of Indian Hill, sharing her Muslim faith through children's literature has become a rewarding experience.

Crane-Shamma, 62, co-wrote "Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs, A Treasury of Islamic Wisdom for Children and Parents." The book, released last year, was awarded the Aesop Prize by the American Folklore Society.

"(The book) has something for everyone; it's wisdom. Whether you're coming at it from a Christian or a Jewish or an Islamic perspective, it has morality," Crane-Shamma said.

It was published by Eastern Washington University Press in Spokane, Wash., and is part of a series done by a Washington schoolteacher, Sarah Conover.

"As a parent and an educator, I had trouble finding what I wanted to expose my children to other faiths," Conover said. "So I searched on my own."

She wrote a similar work on Buddhism. And she sought out a Muslim expert to help with the book.

Crane-Shamma, who converted to Islam in 1969 and married a Muslim, has been collecting English translations of Muslim literature since then. She also has a doctorate in education and curriculum and develops curriculum for Muslim schools.

Among her favorite stories in the book is one mirrored in nearly every Muslim country, including references to it in China. In the story, a man, his son and his donkey learn that pleasing God is more important than pleasing other people.

"It's been really exciting to find these stories," she said. (MORE)

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To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 17:32:05 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Help Educate Your Neighbors About the Quran

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In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR Action Alert #455

HELP EDUCATE YOUR NEIGHBORS ABOUT THE QURAN
CAIR urges Muslims to sponsor its "Explore the Quran" campaign

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/17/05) - CAIR today announced that it would offer free copies of the Quran to the American public in response to the recent controversy generated by a Newsweek article alleging that Islam's holy text was flushed down a toilet.

An item in the May 9 issue of Newsweek reported that investigators probing interrogation abuses at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay have confirmed that interrogators, in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur'an down a toilet and led a detainee around with a collar and dog leash.

Subsequently, the report of the Quran desecration sparked protests in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Gaza, where 16 people were killed and more than 100 injured, according to news reports.

Although Newsweek has since then retracted its statement and offered an apology, other news reports show that allegations of religious desecration at Guantanamo are common among ex-prisoners and have been widely reported outside the United States. SEE: http://rawstory.com/exclusives/newsweek_koran_report_516.htm

In response, CAIR is urging Muslims to help promote a better appreciation and understanding of their faith by donating to the "Explore the Quran" project. CAIR's "Explore the Quran" campaign encourages Muslim individuals, mosques and Islamic organizations to sponsor copies of the Quran, which will then be distributed to interested individuals nationwide.

The $25 packages include a copy of the Quran with Yusaf Ali's English translation and guidelines on how to handle the Quran.

"In today's climate of heightened religious sensitivities and cultural clashes, now is the time for people of all faiths to better acquaint themselves with Islam's sacred text, the Holy Qur'an," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "The 'Explore the Qur'an' campaign allows the book to speak for itself and educate those of other faith traditions about the beautiful religion of Islam."

Muslim communities and individuals can donate to the project by visiting CAIR's "Explore the Quran" web site at http://www.cair-net.org/explorethequran/. Those who wish to obtain a free copy of the Quran, can also submit a request on the same website or call 1-800-78-ISLAM (47526).

ACTION REQUESTED:
1) Go http://www.cair-net.org/explorethequran/ to donate generously to the "Explore the Quran" project.
2) Publicize CAIR's "Explore the Quran" project in your local mosques and Islamic Centers and encourage others to participate.
3) Organize "Explore the Quran" workshops at your local mosques, encouraging your neighbors to come and learn about Islam's holy text.

- PLEASE ANNOUNCE, POST AND DISTRIBUTE -

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from this list, go to:
http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 18:49:40 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Board Elects New Chairman

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR BOARD ELECTS NEW CHAIRMAN
Founding Chairman Omar Ahmad Retires after 11 years of Service

(Washington DC, 5/17/05) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced on Saturday at its annual conference the election of Dr. Parvez Ahmed as the new incoming Chairman of the Board for CAIR National. Assisting the new Chair will be Dr. Ahmad Al-Akhras as the Vice Chairman of the Board.

Omar Ahmad will be retiring as CAIR's Founding Chairman after 11 years of exemplary and dedicated service to the American Muslim community.

"Part of being an institution is that there must be regular changes in leadership and this change must be seamless. After a decade of service to the community, I have come to the end of one road," said Omar Ahmad, CAIR's outgoing chairman.

"It is my belief that this change in leadership will benefit the organization and the cause of American Muslims. The new leadership will bring fresh ideas to the table and invigorate the organization with renewed spirit and enthusiasm," added Ahmad.

CAIR's Executive Director Nihad Awad expressed his heartfelt appreciation for Ahmad's dedication and wished the best for Ahmad and his family.

"Following in the footsteps of a trailblazer will be a hard act to follow. The Board of Directors placed this responsibility on my shoulders and it is a responsibility that I accept with a great deal of humility and appreciation for the enormous task ahead," said Parvez Ahmed, CAIR's new Chairman of Board.

Prior to his election as CAIR National Board Chairman, Dr. Parvez Ahmed was Chairman of the Board for the Florida Chapter of CAIR and a CAIR National Board member. Dr. Ahmed resides in Jacksonville, Florida where he teaches finance at a university. He also writes editorials dispelling stereotypes about Islam and Muslims. His editorials have been published in The Orlando Sentinel, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, New York Newsday, and Seattle Times among many others.

Dr. Al-Akhras is a Columbus, Ohio resident and a registered professional engineer. Prior to his election he served as the Founding Chairman of the Board for the Ohio Chapter of CAIR. He is also a recent inductee to the Leadership Columbus Hall of Fame.

CAIR is America's largest civil liberties group, with 31 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. To read CAIR's mission and vision statement, go to http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About


- END -

CONTACT: Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441 E-mail: rahmed@cair-net.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-MAIL: ihooper@cair-net.org

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.
To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from CAIR-NET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 19:36:54 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Support H. Res. Condemning Bigotry

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 5/18/05

* HADITH: Spend Righteously, Teach Wisdom
* ACTION ALERT: Support H. Res. Condemning Religious Bigotry
            - US Muslim Group to Offer Copies of the Quran (VOA)
            - Quran Holds Holiest Place (RNS)
            - It's a Matter of Sensitivity (NY Daily News)
* CAIR-DC: Newsweek Retracts Story on Qur'an (CP)
            - CAIR-DC: Newsweek Backtracks On Koran Report
            - Blaming the Messenger (Wash Post)
            - Queen Noor on Quran controversy, Mid-East Politics
* GA: Muslims Want State to Regulate Meat Markets (AJC)
* IL: Mosque Cites Bias in Failed Land Sale (Chicago Trib)
            - IL: Mosque Group Didn't Need Our Ok
            - DC: Journalists Criticize Post 9/11 Media (UPI)
* IL: New FBI Agent Meets With Muslims (Daily Southtown)
* FL: Al-Arian Jury Pool Slowly Pared (SP Times)
* NY: Malcolm X Memorabilia on Display
    - NM: Dar Al Islam Offers Deen Intensive Program

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HADITH OF THE DAY: SPEND RIGHTEOUSLY, TEACH WISDOM - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: There are two (kinds of) people worth envying: Someone whom God has made rich and who spends his money righteously; and someone whom God has given wisdom and who acts according to it and teaches it to others.

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Hadith 255

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SUPPORT CONYERS HOUSE RES. CONDEMNING RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY - TOP

(Washington, DC, 5/18/2005) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for people of conscience to support a resolution that "recognizes that the Qur'an as any other holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect."

To be introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the resolution also "condemns bigotry and intolerance against any religious group, including our friends, neighbors and citizens of the Islamic faith."

"This resolution expresses America's respect for the holy texts of all faiths. If passed, it will also reiterate our nation's condemnation of bigoted behavior and religious intolerance," said Corey Saylor, CAIR's government affairs director. "It's a winner on every front."

Saylor also noted that while Newsweek has retracted its piece asserting that U.S. interrogators threw a Quran in a toilet, former Guantanamo detainees, as well as former detainees in Afghanistan, have made similar allegations in other media reports.

A resolution of this type does not have the force of law; however, it is the expression of the opinion of the U.S. House of Representatives.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 31 offices nationwide and in Canada.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED:

Contact your Representative in the U.S. House (not your Senators) and ask him or her to sign-on to the Conyers resolution condemning bigotry and religious intolerance. (No number has been assigned to the resolution at the time of this release.)

1) Tell them the allegations of Quran desecration, now withdrawn by Newsweek, hurt America's image overseas. Strong support for this resolution will demonstrate America's intolerance of bigotry and disrespect toward any religious group.

2) Ask them to contact Ameer Gopalani in Rep. John Conyers' office at ameer.gopalani@mail.house.gov or 202-223-9307 to sign-on.

3.) SEND A MESSAGE TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE:
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=issuesAndLegislations

ALSO SEE:

US MUSLIM GROUP TO OFFER FREE COPIES OF QURAN TO PUBLIC - TOP
Joe De Capua, Voice of America, 5/17/05
http://www.voanews.com/english/Africa/2005-05-17-voa47.cfm

A Washington-based Muslim group is reacting to the controversy caused by a recent Newsweek magazine article by giving away copies of the Quran.

The story, which was later retracted by Newsweek, said US interrogators in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had flushed a copy of the Quran down a toilet. However, media around the world picked up the story.

Now, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, has announced it will give a copy of the Quran to anyone requesting one. Rabiah Ahmed is the communications coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. She tells English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua why the group is taking the action.

She says, We feel that it is an opportunity for Muslims to share the Quran with the general American public so that they could appreciate it and respect it just as Muslims do.

She says CAIR has made it easy for anyone to request a copy. We ll be launching a website, which will be linked to our website, www.cair-net.org, and it will allow Muslims to sponsor copies of the Quran. Each Quran will approximately cost $25.00 each. So, we re asking Muslims in the community to donate money to pay for the printing and the shipping and handling... And the other element of the website will be for Americans to register to get a Quran free of charge in the mail.

What does CAIR hope to accomplish? Ms. Ahmed says, Well, we re trying to take a negative situation and turn it into something a bit more positive. In the post 9/11 climate there is a lot of misunderstanding about Islam and there have been a lot anti-Muslim incidents. And surely we feel the best way to tackle the ignorance is through education and hopefully this project will help to do that.

ALSO SEE:

QURAN HOLDS HOLIEST PLACE - TOP
Holly Lebowitz Rossi and Heather Horiuchi, Religion News Service, 5/17/05
http://www.presstelegram.com/Stories/0,1413,204~21474~2874116,00.html

WASHINGTON If a Quran is accidentally dropped on the floor, the person who dropped it makes a contribution to charity in atonement. Copies are never placed at the bottom of a pile of books, and because the toilet is considered an impure place, the Quran is never taken into the bathroom.

This reverence for the Islamic holy text helps explain the explosive international reaction to a Newsweek report since retracted because it was erroneous that copies of the Quran had been flushed down the toilet in the course of interrogating detainees at an American prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"This is the ultimate spiritual torture,' said Muqtedar Khan, a nonresident fellow at the Washington-based Brookings Institution who studies Islam and world politics. If this was done, it is the ultimate blow&'

Some U.S. Muslim groups see the Newsweek controversy as a moment to educate the American public about Islam. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations launched its "Exploring the Quran' program Tuesday.

The nonprofit group is distributing free copies of the Quran, with English and Arabic translations, featuring the commentary of the late Indian scholar Abdullah Yusuf Ali, a renowned translator of the Quran who died in 1953.

"We are initiating this campaign as an attempt to turn a negative incident into something more positive,' said Nihad Awad, CAIR's executive director.

But Awad added that there is no undoing the damage of the Newsweek story, because it is perceived as just the latest in a string of anti-Muslim actions and policies by Americans and their government.

Awad said that after Sept. 11, international support for the United States had been high, but many Muslims now see it "as a nation of hypocrisy.' He said a country that prides itself on being a champion of human rights is becoming the "most hated nation in the world.'

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IT'S A MATTER OF SENSITIVITY - TOP
Corky Siemaszko, New York Daily News, 5/18/05
http://www.nydailynews.com/05-18-2005/news/story/310585p-265729c.html

WHY WOULD a report that Korans were thrown into toilets at the Guantanamo Bay terror prison cause angry Muslims to riot?

Because to even touch Islam's holy book without first ritually washing is considered a desecration, an expert said yesterday.

"There isn't a great understanding of what the Koran means to Muslims," said Rabiah Ahmed of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "Even Muslims handle the Koran very carefully. They have to be cleansed physically before they handle it."

Just as the Bible is for Christians, the Koran is to Muslims "the holy word of God," Ahmed said. "But in Islam there are rules for handling the Koran."

Among other things, a person handling a Koran has to perform wudhu (washing). It is also taboo to place it on the floor.

"We don't condone violence," Ahmed said. "But you have to understand that Muslims revere the Koran. And to have it treated like this angers&Muslims."

The rules for handling the Koran are so specific that two years ago the Pentagon issued a memo requiring soldiers to treat the book "like a fragile piece of delicate art." The three-page memorandum, dated Jan. 19, 2003, and obtained by The Washington Post, said only Muslim chaplains and interpreters could handle the holy book - and only after putting on clean gloves in full view of detainees.

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NEWSWEEK RETRACTS STORY ON QUR'AN ABUSED THAT SPARKED PROTESTS - TOP
Canadian Press, 5/16/05
http://www.940news.com/nouvelles.php?cat=10&id=w051687A

WASHINGTON (CP) - Newsweek magazine retracted its story Monday on U.S. soldiers abusing the Qur'an after the report was blamed for igniting deadly protests in Afghanistan, causing outrage across the Muslim world and providing another major setback to America's image.

After a year of horrific revelations about U.S. soldiers abusing prisoners in the war on terror, Newsweek reported in early May that investigators found evidence the Qur'an was desecrated by American interrogators at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The short article touched off a firestorm of violence in Afghanistan that left at least 15 people dead and injured dozens more. The chaotic images are still playing non-stop on North American TV networks.

"Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation has uncovered Qur'an abuse at Guantanamo Bay," Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker said in a surprise statement late Monday&

"I guess we'll never know what the truth is," said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is still calling for a general public investigation into suggestions that abusing the religion of Islam has become a routine interrogation technique.

"But the fact is, these kind of allegations are quite believable, which is very telling and sad when we are trying to win the hearts and minds of Muslims," she said.

"If we want to be seen as a legitimate power in the world, we need to address the perception that these things have happened."

ALSO SEE:

NEWSWEEK BACKTRACKS ON KORAN REPORT - TOP
Richard B. Schmitt, Los Angeles Times, 5/16/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-newsweek16may16,1,6904617.story

WASHINGTON - Newsweek magazine acknowledged Sunday that there were errors in a story reporting that U.S. interrogators had desecrated the Koran while attempting to extract intelligence from Muslim prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The report led to a series of violent anti-American protests and at least 14 deaths in Afghanistan.

In its issue set to hit U.S. newsstands today, Newsweek said its source for the story backed away from an assertion that investigators had concluded that military personnel had flushed a Koran down a toilet. The finding was supposedly included in an upcoming report.

Newsweek apologized and expressed regret about the violence that followed the story. But the magazine defended its reporting and said it was continuing to investigate allegations that U.S. personnel had desecrated the Muslim holy book.

"We regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst," Mark Whitaker, Newsweek's editor, wrote in a separate note in today's issue.

The admission is likely to focus further scrutiny on the American press, already suffering from revelations that reporters for major publications fabricated material, lifted quotations or used questionable material from unidentified sources.

In an interview, Whitaker said the magazine had gone to unusual lengths to ensure the accuracy of the original article, including showing a prepublication draft to a U.S. official, who chose to neither confirm nor deny the essence of the story. He added that Newsweek didn't plan to discipline anyone as a consequence of the episode.

But the disclosure triggered a strong rebuke from the Bush administration, which has been dealing with the fallout since the magazine's May 9 report&

Some representatives of the Muslim community said Newsweek's new account did not alleviate their concerns.

"Unfortunately relations are so bad at this point that the perception will linger, no matter what the truth of the matter is," said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "Many people won't believe it. They'll believe the magazine was pressured into doing a retraction."

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BLAMING THE MESSENGER - TOP
Anne Applebaum, Washington Post, 5/18/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/18/AR2005051800869.html

"It's appalling that this story got out there," said the secretary of state. "Shaky from the very get-go," thundered the White House spokesman. "We've not found any wrongdoing on the part of U.S. servicemembers," declared the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Outrage filled the airwaves this week as administration officials took turns denouncing Newsweek's brief report of alleged desecrations of the Koran at Guantanamo Bay. But among the many declarations of shock, shock, shock, among the multiple expressions of self-righteous horror at the riots the story sparked in Afghanistan, only one reflected any hint of self-reflection, any sense that this story might be more than just another mainstream media screw-up. "People need to be very careful about what they say," said the secretary of defense, "just as they need to be very careful about what they do."

Now, it is possible that no interrogator at Guantanamo Bay ever flushed pages of the Koran down the toilet, as the now-retracted Newsweek story reported -- although several former Guantanamo detainees have alleged just that. It is also possible that Newsweek reporters relied too much on an uncertain source, or that the magazine confused the story with (confirmed) reports that prisoners themselves used Korans to block toilets as a form of protest.

But surely the larger point is not the story itself but that it was so eminently plausible, in Pakistan, Afghanistan and everywhere else. And it was plausible precisely because interrogation techniques designed to be offensive to Muslims were used in Iraq and Guantanamo, as administration and military officials have also confirmed. (MORE)

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QUEEN NOOR PLAYS HARDBALL - TOP
Hardball, 5/17/05
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697/

The American-born Queen of Jordan is arguably one of the best links between the two cultures. She joins Hardball host Chris Matthews to talk about Arab-American relations and her new book. (MORE)

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GA: AREA MUSLIMS WANT STATE TO REGULATE MEAT MARKETS - TOP
Sonia Jacobs, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 5/18/05
http://www.ajc.com/hp/content/auto/epaper/editions/today/atlanta_world_24a86a0917c231c700b7.html

For the past eight years, Yusuf Faisthalab and his family have had their meats delivered to their home in Lilburn from a butcher shop about 35 miles away, in Atlanta's East Lake neighborhood.

The South African native takes such pains because he wants to ensure that the family's beef, chicken and other meats are "halal" --- permissible for consumption under Islamic law. He trusts the owners of Almadina Halal meat market, one of several grocery stores that cater to metro Atlanta's burgeoning Islamic population.

But Faisthalab and other Muslims say they don't have the same confidence in all restaurants and markets that claim to sell halal food products. They are concerned that some are misrepresenting non-halal foods as acceptable for Muslims to eat. They are pushing Georgia lawmakers to regulate the industry and punish unscrupulous business owners. But their efforts at the state Capitol have stalled so far.

"With the growing number of Muslims, we want to make sure we are protected," Faisthalab said. "We do not want to go somewhere and be told the food is halal and it's not, just because someone wants to make a quick buck." (MORE)

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MOSQUE CITES BIAS IN FAILED LAND SALE - TOP
Deborah Horan, Chicago Tribune, 5/18/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/southsouthwest/chi-0505180241may18,1,1970735.story?coll=chi-newslocalssouthwest-hed

In a day of testimony rife with allegations of anti-Muslim bias, Palos Heights officials were accused Tuesday of purposely throwing up obstacles to prevent Al Salam Mosque Foundation from buying a Christian church to convert to a mosque and school.

Rouhy Shalabi, the foundation's lawyer, told the jury in U.S. District Court that city officials kept zoning rules vague in 2000 to prevent the foundation from following through on a deal to buy the Reformed Church of Palos Heights and threatened to use eminent domain if the sale occurred. At least one alderman told him a mosque did not qualify as a church, the generic term used to zone houses of worship, he said.

"Either way, you're not getting the church," Shalabi said officials told him.

Lawyers for Palos Heights are arguing in the civil rights trial that the foundation never needed city approval to buy the property at 6600 W. 127th St. and characterized the aborted March 2000 sale as a "real estate deal that didn't go through" for reasons that had nothing to do with the city.

"All they had to do was complete the deal," said attorney Richard Ryan, representing Palos Heights. "They could have just moved in."

The foundation accuses the city of violating its worshipers' 1st Amendment rights by thwarting plans to convert the church. The deal touched off a firestorm of protest and tense meetings at which protesters carried signs opposing the mosque and hecklers disrupted committee testimony.

Shalabi told the jury the foundation drew up a contract with the Reformed Church to buy the property for $2.1 million. The contract included a contingency stipulating the deal would occur only after the foundation verified that the city would allow it to operate a mosque and a school there.

He said he called the city to request a zoning application and was told to send a letter explaining the foundation's intended use for the property. Weeks later, he said, Mayor Dean Koldenhoven called and advised him to attend a hearing because some Zoning Board members didn't want a mosque in the community. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

MOSQUE GROUP DIDN'T NEED OUR OK - TOP
Chris Hack, Daily Southtown, 5/17/05
http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/dsnews/171nd1.htm

Lawyers for Palos Heights told a federal jury Monday a group of Muslims seeking to set up a mosque five years ago never needed the city's permission to do so, and mistakenly allowed municipal government as well as some admittedly bigoted reactions to influence what should have been a simple real estate transaction.

The city is accused in a federal lawsuit of violating the Muslim group's First Amendment right of religious freedom by thwarting plans to convert a church to a mosque in 2000. The plans for the mosque ignited a political firestorm: Some city council members initially balked at giving the group permission to buy the church, then claimed the city needed the same piece of land, and ultimately offered to give the Muslims money to go away.

Lawyers for the mosque group placed much of the blame on former Palos Heights Mayor Dean Koldenhoven, who publicly supported the mosque plan and has since received national recognition and a prestigious award for his role in the controversy. (MORE)

---

JOURNALISTS CRITICIZE POST-SEPT. 11 MEDIA - TOP
Jason Motlagh, United Press International, 5/16/05
http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20050516-111434-4092r.htm

Washington, DC -- Veteran Arab and U.S. journalists gathered in Washington over the weekend to address rising currents of Islamophobia and anti-Americanism, which they called a dangerous cocktail for global political instability.

Participants agreed Saturday that ignorance and "lazy" media coverage following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks fueled an "illogical reaction" among people in the United States and the pan-Muslim world and held the phenomenon has been compounded by stereotypes that still permeate mainstream media channels on both sides.

Hafiz al-Mirazi, the Washington bureau chief for the Qatar-based satellite television station al-Jazeera, said many American journalists were guilty of "lazy journalism" in which they failed to "distinguish between a group of Muslims and the faith itself."

-----

NEW FBI AGENT MEETS WITH LOCAL MUSLIMS - TOP
William Lee, Daily Southtown, 5/17/05
http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/dsnews/177nd1.htm

Sitting over Middle Eastern delicacies such as shawarma, shish kabob and shish tawook, some members of the local Muslim-American community broke pita with the FBI's new local agent to discuss concerns and fears in their community.

Robert Grant, special agent in charge of the FBI's Chicago office, met with several local businessmen and members of the United Arab American League in the dining room of the Baladi restaurant in Bridgeview on Monday.

Organizers said the dinner was a step toward improved relations between Muslim-Americans and law enforcement.

The dinner, which featured fewer then 10 people, included Muslim-American activists, educators and businessmen.

The group spoke on a variety of topics, ranging from Islamic charities to differences among Muslim-Americans.

Muslim-Americans said they are worried they are routinely tied to terrorism and publicly persecuted. Grant explained his role of thwarting any threats of terrorism.

-----

AL-ARIAN JURY POOL SLOWLY PARED - TOP
Billl Varian, St. Petersburg Times, 5/17/05
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/05/17/State/Al_Arian_jury_pool_sl.shtml

TAMPA - Prospective juror No. 66 said he thinks the government wouldn't have spent so much time investigating Sami Al-Arian if he hadn't done something wrong.

And prospective juror No. 84 thought Betty Castor had her head in the sand about Al-Arian when she was president of the University of South Florida.

Still, both said their opinions wouldn't sway them, so they made the first cut Monday in the opening day of jury selection in the long-anticipated trial of Al-Arian and three co-defendants who are accused of aiding a Palestinian terrorist group.

The jury questioning came as a defense attorney for Al-Arian restated his call to move the trial because of a bias against his client. Attorneys for news organizations urged the judge to lift his ban on describing jurors.

U.S. District Judge James Moody will wait until after prospective jurors are questioned before deciding whether to move the trial. He also delayed ruling on the news media request, while saying his initial order was mainly aimed at keeping the name, address and employer of potential jurors from the public so they don't face outside pressure.

William Moffitt, Al-Arian's normally chatty co-counsel, made few remarks after nearly eight hours of courtroom jockeying.

"We can't afford to be accused of screaming outside the courthouse and contributing to the pretrial publicity," Moffitt said. (MORE)

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MALCOLM X MEMORABILIA ON DISPLAY TOP
Los Angeles Times, 5/18/05
http://www.calendarlive.com/printedition/calendar/cl-et-malcolmx18may18,2,1630657.story

NEW YORK - Documents, photos and memorabilia from the life of Malcolm X
- his eighth-grade memo book, his application for a Nation of Islam name, the shells from the shotgun that killed him - went on display here this week in observance of what would have been his 80th birthday.

Many of the exhibits are being seen in public for the first time, having nearly been lost to an online auction when the rent wasn't paid on a storage locker in Florida, said Joseph Fleming, who represented Malcolm X's six daughters in the effort to win back the archive.

The daughters have given the documents to the New York Public Library for 75 years, and a tiny percentage has been organized into an exhibit, "Malcolm X: A Search for Truth," at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which is on Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem. The exhibit runs through Dec. 31.

Many of the photos in the exhibit are family photos, showing Malcolm X praying, traveling in Egypt or playing with his children, rather than the more familiar news photos documenting his public life as one of the best-known and most controversial black leaders of the 20th century.

But those pictures are there, too: Malcolm X with Adam Clayton Powell Jr., with Dick Gregory, with Fidel Castro, with Muhammad Ali, with Redd Foxx. Huge rallies in Harlem. His body being wheeled out of the Audubon Ballroom. His wife, behind a black veil, at his funeral in 1965.

The papers, many of them handwritten, include letters to and from Malcolm X, some from his teenage years. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

DAR AL ISLAM OFFERS DEEN INTENSIVE PROGRAM - TOP

Abiquiu, NM May 18, 2005 Dar al Islam, an organization promoting classical Islamic education, is holding a deen intensive program from August 7-21 at its picturesque site in Abiquiu, New Mexico. This year s theme is entitled Being Muslim in America: Practicing Islam as a Minority. The program will address the legal and sociological issues surrounding practicing Islam in America.

Confirmed scholars include Shaykh Abdullah Adhami, a prominent Syrian-American scholar of Sharifian descent, Shaykh Jamal Zahabi of Masjid al-Aman in Middletown, New Jersey, Imam Mohamed Magid of the Adams Center in Arlington, Virginia, Dr. Sulayman Nyang, Howard University Professor of African Studies, Shaykh Abdurrahman Ibn Yusuf Mangera, Imam of the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara, Imam Isam Rajab of the Islamic Center of New Mexico and Dr. Mohammad Shafi, Chairman of Dar al Islam.

The curriculum will cover both traditional Islamic sciences and understanding of Muslim interaction in contemporary American society. In both cases, the emphasis is on the practical aspects of living as a Muslim in America. Specific subjects to be taught include Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi i jurisprudence (fiqh), methodology of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh), Hadith, Qur anic recitation (tajweed), Qur anic exegesis (tafsir), spiritual excellence (ihsan) and the history and sociology of Islam in America.

For information and application: www.daralislam.org or
Contact: zakariya@stanfordalumni.org
Phone: 718-942-5464

-----

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 14:04:09 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslim Group to Hand Out the Quran/Quran Ordered Online Contains Hate Slogans

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS 5/19/05

* HADITH: Restrain Your Anger
* CAIR-Fl: Muslim Group Will Hand Out Quran (Sun Sentinel)
            - CAIR-DC: To Muslims, Not Just A Book (CSM)
            - CAIR-DC: Free Korans (Wash Times)
            - Quran More than A Book for Muslims
* Koran Ordered Online Contains Hate Slogans (LA Times)
            - Red Cross Told U.S. Of Disrespect at Guantanamo (AP)
* INCITEMENT WATCH: NY Post Compares Muslims to Excrement
* 2 Officers Punished In 2003 for Abusing Detainees (AP)
* Ex-Official Denies Blocking Mosque (Chicago Trib)
* GOP Aides Say New Patriot Act Obliges Bush (AP)

-----

HADITH OF THE DAY: RESTRAIN YOUR ANGER - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: No one has swallowed anything more excellent in the sight of God&than the anger he restrains, seeking to please God most high.

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1324

-----

REACHING OUT TO FELLOW AMERICANS, MUSLIM GROUP WILL HAND OUT QURAN - TOP
James D. Davis, Sun Sentinel, 5/19/05
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-cquran19may19,0,6229690.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

An American Muslim organization, reacting to controversy generated by the alleged desecration of the Quran, has offered to give a free copy of the holy book to any American.

The giveaway, which, depending on demand, could go as high as 100,000 copies, comes after a recent Newsweek article alleging that the text was flushed down a toilet, said leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"We want to turn a negative image into a positive one," said Altaf Ali, the council's Florida director, at a news conference on Wednesday at the Nur-ul-Islam mosque in Cooper City. "America's image is taking a beating, and it's affecting us all, of different faiths."

Respondents who call the council's national toll-free line, 800-784-7526, can get a free copy of the holy book, Ali said. Local Muslim communities around the country will be asked to underwrite the campaign.

Dozens of samples of the English translation of the Quran, both hardcover and paperback, were on display at the news conference.

The Quran giveaway follows Newsweek's claim this month that federal officials at the Guantanamo prison tried to flush a Quran in order to demoralize Muslim inmates suspected of terrorist activities. The magazine retracted the story on Monday, saying the report's unnamed source had retracted his statement; but by then, outrage leading to riots in Afghanistan and Pakistan had claimed 17 lives.

However, the religious leaders at the Cooper City gathering noted there have been other reports alleging quranic desecrations for years. Ali said the council wanted a full investigation of the alleged misdeeds at Guantanamo. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

TO MUSLIMS, NOT JUST A BOOK- TOP
Jane Lampman, Christian Science Monitor, 5/19/05
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0519/p11s02-lire.html

At the birth of a Muslim child, verses of the Koran are recited into the ear of the newborn, signifying a blessing and a hope that the holy book will resonate strongly in that child's life.

From then on, the words of the Muslim scripture structure and shape that life. The child learns Arabic in order to read the Koran in the original language, perform the five daily prayers, repeat key phrases before all significant acts and events, and make it the guide for daily living.

"In a way, the soul of the traditional Muslim is like a mosaic made up of phrases of the Quran," writes renowned scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr in "The Heart of Islam."

For one-fifth of the world's population, those scriptures are the literal word of God, revealed to the prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel (Koran means "recitation").

"It is as close as you can get to the transcendent.... To use one analogy, the Koran is to Islam what Jesus is to Christianity," explains John Esposito, university professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in an interview.

That begins to explain the intensity of street protests last week in several Muslim countries after reports (later retracted) that US military interrogators had desecrated the Koran. It was a reaction that, to American sensibilities, may seem puzzling.

But Dr. Esposito says that is due partly to Western secularization and a lost sensitivity to degrees of sacredness.

"While we've become a more religious nation in one sense, we have also become, in our sense of the sacred, less sensitive and aware," says the author of "What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam&"

While most Muslims don't take to the streets, they are pained by the disdain for Islam any desecration would entail.

"The potency of the Koran for Muslims worldwide can't be denied," says Arsalan Iftikhar, legal counsel for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR.) Part of the problem, he says, is that Muslims sense that many Americans still haven't distinguished between extremism and mainstream Islam, and that they fail to recognize it as one of the world's great religions, treasured by millions. (MORE)

---

FREE KORANS - TOP
Washington Times, 5/19/05
http://washingtontimes.com/national/20050517-115016-8007r.htm

While controversy reached the boiling point surrounding Newsweek's now-retracted report that U.S. interrogators purportedly desecrated a copy of the Koran, the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington was hosting an audience of 300 for its "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies" conference.

Chief reason for the conference -- attended by U.S. government officials, scholars and religious leaders alike -- was to discuss the "twin phenomena" of growing anti-Muslim "bigotry" in the West and increasing anti-American sentiments in the Islamic world, which grew worse after Newsweek's accusations.

Yesterday, meanwhile, a campaign was started by the council to offer free Korans to Americans "as an attempt to turn a negative incident into something more positive," says CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

"It is our belief that greater access to Islam's holy book will help foster a better appreciation and understanding of Islam by ordinary Americans," he says.

---

QURAN MORE THAN A BOOK FOR MUSLIMS - TOP
Jeffrey Weiss, Dallas Morning News, 5/19/05
http://www.ocregister.com/ocr/2005/05/19/sections/nation_world/asia_pacificrim/article_525844.php

DALLAS _ Almost daily, there's a new unconfirmed accusation that American soldiers or interrogators have mistreated Muslims. But what pushed thousands of Muslims into deadly demonstrations last week was a now-discredited report about the mistreatment of a book.

The Newsweek account of a Quran flushed down the toilet was the final straw for many in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other mostly Muslim countries, some experts say.

It was also an exceptionally large straw.

"It's not like just knocking down a religious leader or a priest or a rabbi," said John Esposito, a professor at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

Muslim tradition holds that the Quran is more than a sacred book: It's the physical embodiment of the literal words of God that were dictated to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel about 1,300 years ago. The book is held in even higher regard by many Muslims than most Christians have for the physical form of the Bible.

For traditional Muslims, a Quran used for prayer can't be written in, can't be placed on the floor and can't be put beneath other books. Particularly observant Muslims will keep it on a high shelf. It's never supposed to be brought into a bathroom.

Reverence for the book itself is even higher for religiously conservative, illiterate Muslims, said Nazif Shahrani, an anthropologist at Indiana University who grew up in Afghanistan. The mystery of the unreadable Arabic gives the text an additional sacred aura, he said.

"It's kept in the nicest place in the house and wrapped in the nicest cloth," he said. "The Quran is not a book. It's comparable to the body of
Christ for Christians."

-----

KORAN ORDERED ONLINE CONTAINS HATE SLOGANS - TOP
Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times,
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-koran19may19,1,3898798.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

A Culver City woman said Wednesday that a secondhand Koran she ordered through a book dealer working with Amazon.com contained anti-Islamic hate messages, including profanity and "Death to all Muslims!"

Azza Basarudin, a 30-year-old UCLA graduate student, said Amazon apologized, sent a new book and offered her a refund and gift certificate. But she and the Muslim Public Affairs Council called on the online bookseller to do more, including issuing a public condemnation of anti-Muslim hate speech and cutting commercial ties with the Pennsylvania-based book dealer that sent the Koran.

Holding up the book to display the messages at a news conference Wednesday, Basarudin said the incident resurrected the fear she felt after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when anxiety about anti-Muslim sentiment made her reluctant to leave her apartment for two weeks.

"I was taken back to 9/11, my fear that somebody is going to hurt me," Basarudin said at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles. "I felt that fear coming back. It really hurt me."

Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith called the incident "appalling." She said the Seattle-based firm had worked with the book dealer, Bellwether Books, to strengthen quality-control checks and suspended it from selling Korans on Amazon's website.

"We're deeply sorry and we think we've taken all appropriate steps to make sure this is not done again," Smith said.

The Los Angeles-based Muslim council also released a hate message left on the voicemail of the Islamic Center on Saturday. In a taunting tone, the caller said he had just used the Koran in the bathroom and flushed it down the toilet.

The Southern California incidents followed an international furor over reports that U.S. military interrogators had flushed a Koran down the toilet to unnerve prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The reports, which Newsweek magazine first reported then retracted this week, helped spark anti-American violence that led to deaths in Afghanistan.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations released a study last week that showed reported hate crimes against Muslims nationwide in 2004 increased 52% over the previous year, to 141 incidents. There was also a 49% increase in alleged civil rights violations, to 1,522. (MORE)

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RED CROSS TOLD U.S. OF DISRESPECT OF QURAN AT GUANTANAMO - TOP
Sam Cage, Associated Press, 5/19/05
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/13907.html

GENEVA (AP) - The international Red Cross told U.S. authorities about
American personnel at the Guantanamo Bay detention center showing disrespect to Islam's holy book, the Quran, a spokesman said Thursday.

Delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross informed the relevant U.S. authorities, who took action to stop the abuse, said spokesman Simon Schorno, who declined to specify the nature of the incidents.

``We believe that since, U.S. authorities have taken the corrective measures that we required in our interventions,'' Schorno told The Associated Press. ``We believe in this case this issue was actually followed through.''

The Geneva-based ICRC confidentially reported the incidents to U.S. authorities in 2002 and 2003, and has since been able to verify that such incidents have been stopped.

``That's our understanding based on the information that we collected in
Guantanamo in subsequent visits,'' Schorno said by telephone from Washington, D.C. ``We brought it to their attention and we believe there was a reaction, and that's really the objective of our reporting and interaction with the authorities.''

-----

INCITEMENT WATCH: NY POST COMPARES MUSLIMS TO EXCREMENT - TOP

The May 17 edition of the New York Post contained a headline, Holy Shiite- Newsweek Retracts its Deadly Toilet Tale.

Please contact the editors at the New York Post, questioning the appropriateness of comparing Muslims to excrement.

SEND POLITE COMMENTS TO: letters@nypost.com and cshaw@nypost.com
COPY TO cair@cair-net.or

-----

2 OFFICERS PUNISHED IN 2003 FOR ABUSING IRAQI DETAINEES - TOP
Associated Press, 5/18/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/18/international/middleeast/18abuse.html

WASHINGTON - Two Army officers staged mock executions of Iraqi prisoners in 2003 and were given career-ending punishments, according to military officials and newly released documents.

Mock executions, in which a prisoner is made to believe that his death is imminent, are prohibited by the Army as a form of torture.

The details of the investigations were described in documents sought by the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act. The Army provided the documents on Tuesday.

In one case, on July 13, 2003, a captain with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, based in Fort Carson, Colo., took an Iraqi welder out to the desert and had him dig his own grave before staging an attempt to shoot him, according to documents. The captain was looking for information on a bombing two days before. (MORE)

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EX-OFFICIAL DENIES BLOCKING MOSQUE; - TOP
Palos Heights needed rec center, jury told
Deborah Horan, Chicago Tribune, 5/19/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0505190157may19,1,1850841.story

A former Palos Heights alderman testified Wednesday that she wanted the city to buy out a Chicago-based Muslim organization to keep it from purchasing a local church, but denied allegations it was to dissuade Muslim worshipers.

"Absolutely not true," Julie Corsi told a U.S. District Court jury when asked if she was trying to prevent the Al Salam Mosque Foundation from bringing worshipers to Palos Heights in 2000.

During roughly an hour of often confrontational questioning by the foundation's lawyers, Corsi, former chairwoman of the city's Planning and Zoning Committee, acknowledged suggesting that Palos Heights condemn the church property at 6600 W. 127th St.

"I felt the city needed this property for a recreation center, and we would pay the going rate [to the foundation]," Corsi said in the trial on a lawsuit brought by the foundation against the City of Palos Heights.

The foundation is alleging the city violated its worshipers' 1st Amendment
rights by thwarting their plans to buy the Reformed Church of Palos Heights and convert it into a mosque and school. The March 2000 sale was eventually aborted after heated committee meetings at which some participants used racial slurs, witnesses for the mosque testified.

The city contends the foundation never needed the city's approval to buy the property. Instead, the foundation "tried to drag the city into the deal" by including a provision in the sales contract that required written verification from city officials that the foundation would be allowed to operate a mosque, said Richard Ryan, an attorney for Palos Heights.

The trial, which began Monday, is expected to continue through the week.

-----

GOP AIDES SAY NEW PATRIOT ACT OBLIGES BUSH - TOP
Mark Sherman, Associated Press, 5/18/05
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050519/ap_on_go_co/patriot_act_1

WASHINGTON - The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is working on a bill that would renew the Patriot Act and expand government powers in the name of fighting terrorism, letting the
FBI subpoena records without permission from a judge or grand jury.

Much of the debate in Congress has concerned possibly limiting some of the powers in the anti-terrorism law passed 45 days after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But the measure being written by Sen. Pat Roberts (news, bio, voting record), R-Kan., would give the FBI new power to issue administrative subpoenas, which are not reviewed by a judge or grand jury, for quickly obtaining records, electronic data or other evidence in terrorism investigations, according to aides for the GOP majority on the committee who briefed reporters Wednesday.

Recipients could challenge the subpoenas in court and the Bush administration would have to report to Congress twice a year exactly how it was using this investigatory power, the aides said.

The administration has sought this power for two years, but so far been rebuffed by lawmakers. It is far from certain that Congress will give the administration everything it wants this year.

Roberts' planned bill also would make it easier for prosecutors to use special court-approved warrants for secret wiretaps and searches of suspected terrorists and spies in criminal cases, the committee aides said.

Eight expiring sections of the law that deal with foreign intelligence investigations would become permanent, they said.

So, too, would a provision that authorizes wiretapping of suspected terrorists who operate without clear ties to a particular terrorist network. (MORE)

-----

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

---


Forwarded Message

Date: Fri, 20 May 2005 16:57:32 -0400
From:cair@cair-net.org
Subject: CAIR-NET: Desecrating the Quran/Mosques Reach out to Neighbors

Plain Text Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS – 5/20/05

* HADITH: Intention
* CAIR-FL: Coalition Calls for Venue Change In Al-Arian Case
	- Jury Is Ready; Motion Lingers To Move Trial 
* In U.S. Report, Details of Inmates' Deaths (NY Times)
       - VA: Doctors Corroborate Torture Claims in Terror Case 
* ISLAM-OPED: Desecrating the Qur'an
       - Religious Humiliation of Muslim Detainees Widespread
       - Muslim Perceptions Hurting U.S. Brands 
* MD: Interfaith Program on Jerusalem (Baltimore Sun)
       - MI: Mosques Reach Out To Neighbors (Free Press)
       - IL: Muslims Accuse Ex-Mayor (Daily Southtown)
* U.S. Satellite Company to Carry Muslim TV Channel (AP)
       - Proms: How Religious Teens Party (Beliefnet.com)
* Muslim Community: Large But Invisible (Owings Mills)
* For God and Country by James Yee
* KAC Cautiously Optimistic About Latest CBMS
       - Interfaith Worker Justice National Conference
       - Malcolm X Celebration Planned For Tonight

----- 

HADITH OF THE DAY: INTENTION

The Prophet Muhamamd (pbuh) said: “The reward of deeds depend upon the
intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he 
has
intended.”

'Umar bin Al-Khattab, Vol. 8, Book 78, Number 680
----- 

CAIR-FL: COALITION CALLS FOR A CHANGE OF VENUE IN AL-ARIAN CASE 
Independent data indicates high negative pre-trial publicity and 
anti-Muslim
bias in Tampa

(TAMPA, FL, 5/19/05) - A coalition of religious, human rights and civil
liberties group* today issued a joint statement at a Tampa news  
conference,
calling for a change of venue in the trial of Sami Al-Arian, Sameeh 
Hamooudeh,
Hatim Fariz and Chassan Ballut.  The coalition highlighted findings of 
a recent
survey and research that indicated an alarming level of negative 
pre-trial
publicity, high anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias and presumption of guilt 
by most
residents of the Tampa Bay community.

The random survey which included a sample size of 400 and conducted by 
The Florida Survey Research Center (University of Florida, Gainesville) 
showed
that a total of 95.5% (382 of 400) recognized Al-Arian or his case.  
The survey
also indicated that the total prejudgment of guilt percentage of the 
400 survey
respondents is 55%.  Furthermore 46% (184 of 400) Tampa survey 
respondents said
that the Islamic religion is more likely to encourage violence among 
its
believers." and 15% even wrongly believed that Palestinians were 
responsible
for the attack on the U.S. on Sept. 11.

Other research conducted by Professor Edward J. Bronson (California  
State
Univ., Chico) found an alarming number of pre-trial newspaper articles 
about
Al-Arian between 2001-2005.  Bronson s research found a total of 973 
articles
during that period, 476 appeared in the Tampa Tribune and 497 appeared 
in the
St. Petersburg Times. For the full report see: Docket number: 994 

http://www.flmd.uscourts.gov/Al-Arian/8-03-cr-00077-JSM-TBM/docs/2100513/MultiDoc.html>http://www.flmd.uscourts.gov/Al-Arian/8-03-cr-00077-JSM-TBM/docs/2100513/MultiDoc.html

The coalition also cited the Council on American-Islamic Relations 
(CAIR) 2005
annual civil rights report showing that anti-Muslim incidents continue 
to
surge. Florida ranks 6th in the nation in reported anti-Muslim 
incidents and
hate crimes.  See: 
http://www.cair.com/asp/execsum2005.asp>http://www.cair.com/asp/execsum2005.asp

“In America we do things by the law. Our law requires that every 
accused person
be treated as innocent until proven guilty in court” said John Arnaldi,
spokesman for the Friends of Human Rights, a Florida based organization 
said at
today's news conference.

“As a civil right organization, we have a fundamental belief in the 
right to
due
process, fairness, and individual s 6th amendment right to an impartial 
jury
for all Americans,” said Ahmed Bedier, central Florida director for 
CAIR-FL.
“We will continue to monitor this trial to insure that what happens in 
the
court room does not have a negative backlash on the American Muslim
Community.”

Other speakers at the news conference included Tampa civil rights 
activist
Dwight Lawton and Father Chuck Leigh, of the Christ the servant 
Apostolic
Catholic Church, Tampa, FL.  Both speakers raised concerns about the
defendant's right to a fair trial and favored a change of venue.
       - END -

CONTACT: Ahmed Bedier, CAIR-FL 813-731-9506,abedier@cairfl.org; John 
Arnaldi,
Friends of Human Rights, (813) 974-7363,jarnaldi@earthlink.net

ALSO SEE:

JURY IS READY; MOTION LINGERS TO MOVE TRIAL
Bill Varian, St. Petersburg Times, 5/20/05
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/05/20/Hillsborough/Jury_is_ready_motion_.shtml

TAMPA - A jury has been selected to consider charges that former 
University of
South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian supported terrorism, but his 
attorneys
still say the trial should be moved.

Attorney William Moffitt has argued that there is a widespread bias 
against his
client around the Tampa Bay region that will be reflected in any jury 
selected
here.

"There's nothing that happened in there that dissipated my view of it," 
Moffitt
said outside the federal courthouse in downtown Tampa on Thursday, at 
the end
of four days of jury selection.

"It is a panel that I believe has some preconceptions about my client," 
he
said.

U.S. District Judge James Moody has yet to rule on the request by 
Al-Arian and
one of his three co-defendants to move the trial out of Tampa. He may 
rule as
soon as today. The trial is scheduled to begin June 6 if Moody rejects 
the
request.

After exercising a series of strikes to remove potential jurors, 
attorneys
chose
12 from a pool that had been whittled to 89 people from an original 
field of
500.

The jury consists of six men and six women, including four people who 
have
either served in the military or have family members who have. One 
woman has a
brother currently serving in Iraq. (MORE)

----- 

IN U.S. REPORT, BRUTAL DETAILS OF 2 AFGHAN INMATES' DEATHS
Tim Golden, New York Times, 5/20/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/20/international/asia/20abuse.html?hp&ex=1116561600&en=8701738ac057aebe&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Even as the young Afghan man was dying before them, his American 
jailers
continued to torment him.

The prisoner, a slight, 22-year-old taxi driver known only as Dilawar, 
was
hauled from his cell at the detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, at 
around
2 a.m. to answer questions about a rocket attack on an American base. 
When he
arrived in the interrogation room, an interpreter who was present said, 
his
legs were bouncing uncontrollably in the plastic chair and his hands 
were numb.
He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of 
the
previous four days.

Dilawar was an Afghan farmer and taxi driver who died while in custody 
of
American troops.

Mr. Dilawar asked for a drink of water, and one of the two 
interrogators,
Specialist Joshua R. Claus, 21, picked up a large plastic bottle. But 
first he
punched a hole in the bottom, the interpreter said, so as the prisoner 
fumbled
weakly with the cap, the water poured out over his orange prison 
scrubs. The
soldier then grabbed the bottle back and began squirting the water 
forcefully
into Mr. Dilawar's face.

"Come on, drink!" the interpreter said Specialist Claus had shouted, as 
the
prisoner gagged on the spray. "Drink!"

At the interrogators' behest, a guard tried to force the young man to 
his
knees.
But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could 
no
longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a 
doctor after
they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, 
though, the
guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling.

"Leave him up," one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying.

Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. 
Dilawar.
By
then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. It would be many 
months before
Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the 
interrogators
had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi 
past the
American base at the wrong time.

The story of Mr. Dilawar's brutal death at the Bagram Collection Point 
- and
that of another detainee, Habibullah, who died there six days earlier 
in
December 2002 - emerge from a nearly 2,000-page confidential file of 
the Army's
criminal investigation into the case, a copy of which was obtained by 
The New
York Times. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

DEFENSE: DOCTORS CORROBORATE TORTURE CLAIMS IN TERROR CASE
Matthew Barakat, Associated Press, 5/19/05
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/20050519-1325-saudidetainee-bushplot.html

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Two doctors who examined a Virginia man accused of 
joining
al-Qaeda and plotting to assassinate President Bush have concluded that 
he was
tortured while in Saudi custody, according to defense lawyers.

The torture resulted in Ahmed Omar Abu Ali giving a false confession to 
Saudi
authorities, according to the lawyers, who are seeking to have the 
statement
thrown out.

"The physical and psychological abuse that Abu Ali suffered over a 
two-year
period critically impaired his capacity for self-determination and 
overcame his
will," wrote defense lawyer Ashraf Nubani. "It resulted in him making
involuntary, false statements to alleviate his suffering and appease 
his
interrogators."

Federal prosecutors have consistently denied that Abu Ali was tortured.

Nubani also accused the U.S. government of complicity in the Saudis' 
alleged
torture of Abu Ali.

The court filings do not include details of the doctors' examinations 
of Abu
Ali, who has said he has the scars on his back as proof of whippings.

But a defense motion indicates that the doctors hired by the defense – 
Allen
Keller, a professor at New York University and director of the 
Bellevue/NYU
Program for Survivors of Torture; and Lynne Gaby, a psychiatrist at 
George
Washington University – concluded that Abu Ali had been physically and
psychologically tortured.

Abu Ali, 24, of Falls Church, is accused of joining al-Qaeda while 
attending
college in Saudi Arabia in 2001. The government contends that he 
discussed
numerous possible attacks, including plans to assassinate Bush or 
members of
Congress.

----- 

ISLAM-OPED is a national 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. 
CONTACT:
ihooper@cair-net.org TEL: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726 
(c) Please
consider the following commentary for publication. 

ISLAM-OPED: DESECRATING THE QUR'AN

[By Dr. Mohamed Nimer, Author, The North American Muslim Resource 
Guide: Muslim
Community Life in the United States and Canada; Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, 
Director
of Islamic Society of Orange County and Chairman of the Shura Council 
of
Southern California; Sayed Mostafa Al Qazwini, Imam, Islamic Education 
Center
of Orange County, California. Word count: 848]

The Newsweek story of U.S. soldiers in Guantanamo Bay flushing pages of 
the
Qur’an down the toilet provoked deep emotions and resulted in varied 
responses.
While some Muslims in war-torn Afghanistan rioted and unfortunately 
died in
response, others in Pakistan and the Middle East chose peaceful methods 
of
demonstration to express their outrage. Still, Western Muslims have 
attempted
to inject some hope in an otherwise gloomy story by offering 
complimentary
copies of the Qur’an to any interested members of the public.

In many other parts of the Muslim world the Qur’an desecration incident 
took a
back seat to the more important challenges in life. Uzbeks for example 
have
mourned 300 citizens after their political uprising was brutally 
squashed by an
unrepentant dictator, unfortunately an all too familiar scene in many
Muslim-majority countries. In America, the Council on American-Islamic
Relations held an unprecedented conference to discuss the causes and 
remedies
to the twin scourge of Islamophobia and anti-Americanism, as both 
issues played
out once more in the full glare of public scrutiny. 

But many media outlets seem fixated on the story of the emotional 
Afghani
rioters, with the all-too-familiar images of the shouting men wearing 
turbans
and long beards. Why is it that the uncontrolled, reactionary 
activities of the
few are deemed more important, or even sensational, than a political 
crisis
that claimed the lives of hundreds and a historic meeting that promoted
reflective thinking among Muslims, Christians, Jews, liberals and
conservatives?

The Los Angeles Times chose to respond to the riot story by publishing
unfortunate remarks (Irshad Manji, “Do Riots Save Islam’s Honor?” May 
17, 2005)
that not only condemned the riots, but also suggested that Muslims 
didn’t have
a good reason to feel indignant in the first place because their claim 
to an
authentic scripture may be false. This pitiful dismissal of the 
sacredness of
the Qur’an only fuels Islamophobic and anti-American tendencies.

From the very inception of revelation, Muslims engaged in a process of
recording
the scripture, using tree leaves, animal bones, cloth, and perhaps most
importantly human memory.  Many companions of the Prophet committed the 
Qur’an
to memory and reviewed the recorded verses of the Qur’an with the 
Prophet
Muhammad during his lifetime. The Qur’an is unique in its structure, 
grammar
and melody. The words of the Prophet Muhammad, known as Hadith, are
distinguishable from Qur’an. Still, Prophet Muhammad did not allow his
companions to write down Hadith until much of the Qur’an was revealed, 
recorded
and memorized. Questions of interpretation aside, there has been no 
debate
among Muslims regarding the possibility of omission, incorrect 
insertions or
any other forms of editing in the text.

After the Prophet Muhammad passed away, he left behind not only records 
of the
scripture but also a newly formed social class called Huffaz al-Qur’an 
(Qur’an
memorizers), a group of learned individuals who were known for their 
graphic
memory and literacy. The conscious activity of preserving the scripture 
became
a project under Abu Bakr, the caliph who succeeded the Prophet in 
political
leadership. Abu Bakr commissioned half a dozen Qur’an memorizers with 
the task
of collecting the various writings in one volume. Once this task had 
been
completed, the scribes checked the accuracy of the collection against 
the
original records. All this was done within two years following the 
death of the
Prophet Muhammad.

Muslims have always been conscientious about the integrity of the 
Qur’anic
text.
When later Islam spread throughout Arabia and people produced copies of 
the
Qur’an using their own dialects in writing its words, Caliph Othman 
initiated a
project to make sure that all copies of the Qur’an are written in the 
dialect
spoken by the Prophet Muhammad. Until today, people use all the ten 
dialects of
Arabia in recitation; however, they all read the same text.

Based on these historical facts, Muslims believe that the scripture 
they have
today contains the same divine words that the Prophet Muhammad conveyed 
to the
early Muslim community. All Muslim groups, Sunnis or Shi’a, hold the 
same
Qur’an without any difference and there are millions who know it by 
heart. 

We the mainstream Muslims would want others to know that our belief in 
the
Qur'an is not so fragile to be shaken by purported offensive behavior 
of any
individual or group. We feel offended when our holy book is desecrated, 
but we
believe the right response is education, not violence. We also want 
others to
know that Islam calls us to respect the scriptures of all faith groups. 

We are also confident that the American people will uphold our 
cherished
tradition of freedom of religion and urge their members of congress to 
support
Congressman Conyers' (D-MI) resolution reaffirming America's respect 
for all
religious beliefs.  

Despite our outrage at the Qur’an desecration incident, we will not 
want our
policy makers to be distracted from the more important tasks of policy 
reforms,
which are at the heart of the outrage and anti-American sentiments 
sweeping
through the Muslim world. For our part, we American Muslims are ready 
to help
in the work of building bridges of understanding between America and 
the Muslim
world.

----- 

U.S.: RELIGIOUS HUMILIATION OF MUSLIM DETAINEES WIDESPREAD
Human Rights Watch, 5/19/05
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/HRW/d7d227aedfa4892cef6e86680f0caecd.htm

(New York, May 19, 2005)-U.S. interrogators have repeatedly sought to 
offend
the
religious beliefs of Muslim detainees as part of their interrogation 
strategy,
Human Rights Watch said today.

Human Rights Watch said that the dispute over the retracted allegations 
in
Newsweek that U.S. interrogators had desecrated a Koran at Guantánamo 
Bay,
Cuba, has overshadowed the fact that religious humiliation of detainees 
at
Guantánamo and elsewhere has been widespread.

"In detention centers around the world, the United States has been 
humiliating
Muslim prisoners by offending their religious beliefs," said Reed 
Brody,
special counsel for Human Rights Watch.

On December 2, 2002, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld 
authorized a
list
of techniques for interrogation of prisoners at Guantánamo, which 
included
"removal of all comfort items (including religious items)," "forced 
grooming
(shaving of facial hair, etc.)," and "removal of clothing." Each of 
these
practices is considered offensive to many Muslims. These techniques 
were later
applied in Afghanistan and Iraq as well.

The purpose of these techniques, Human Rights Watch said, is to inflict
humiliation on detainees, which is strictly prohibited by the Geneva
Conventions.

ALSO SEE:

MUSLIM PERCEPTIONS HURTING U.S. BRANDS
Akron Beacon Journal, 5/20/05
http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/business/11693665.htm

Negative opinions of the United States are rising in Muslim countries 
and
threaten the performance of American brands such as McDonald's and 
Coca-Cola
overseas, according to a report by the Council on Foreign Relations.

The U.S. could change opinions by doing more to publicize aid programs 
such as
tsunami relief in Indonesia, support for reform such as the Iraqi 
election and
the American role in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, the report
recommended.
 
FirstEnergy Corp. has begun a corporate restructuring to separate power
generation units from the electricity distribution portion of the 
business.

The move is made necessary by Ohio's new deregulation laws. All of the 
moves,
which were disclosed in a government filing on Thursday, are within 
FirstEnergy
Corp. and will not affect power generation at the plants.

The power generation arms of the company will be in two units; the 
coal-fired
plants in FirstEnergy Generation Corp. (GENCO) and the nuclear 
generating units
will be in FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation Corp. The generating 
corporations
will be subsidiaries of FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. (MORE)
 
----- 

INTERFAITH PROGRAM ON JERUSALEM AT KOL AMI;
Christian, Jewish and Muslim representatives will participate.
Molly Knight, Baltimore Sun, 5/20/05
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/annearundel/bal-ar.kolami20may20,1,1229361.story?coll=bal-local-arundel

What does Jerusalem mean to you?

To many, it's a divisive question. But to the handful of religious 
leaders who
will gather Sunday at Congregation Kol Ami in Annapolis, it also has 
the
potential to unite.

That's why the congregation is holding the roundtable discussion 
"Jerusalem:
The
Disputed Holy City: What Christians, Jews and Muslims Say About the 
World's
Most Contested Property."

Representatives of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths will 
participate.
Panelists will spend an hour sharing views on the city and what it 
means to
their religious community.

"Jerusalem is a city with great religious significance to Muslims, 
Christians
and Jews," said moderator Ira Rifkin, a member of Kol Ami and a 
religion
reporter. "It's also a political hot button, so it's a nice way to get 
people
talking - there's plenty to say." (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

MOSQUES REACH OUT TO NEIGHBORS AND THE COMMUNITY REACHES BACK
David Crimm, Detroit Free Press, 5/20/05
http://www.freep.com/news/religion/crumm20e_20050520.htm

For months, Jasmine Snell watched the walls of an enormous white 
building rise
near her home at Davison and Woodrow Wilson in Detroit. When it opened 
in
January, the buzz around the neighborhood was that the new building 
contained a
gymnasium that sometimes was open to neighborhood kids for basketball.

This was a dream come true for Jasmine, 17, a Central High School 
junior who's
not much taller than 5 feet, but who loves shooting hoops, especially 
going toe
to toe with guys who tower over her on the court. That's why Snell, a 
Baptist,
dared to take her first step inside a mosque.

"I just had to check this out," she told me Tuesday night at the Muslim 
Center
of Detroit after making an impressive basket, shooting right over the 
heads of
guys trying to block her shot. She zipped past bigger ball players, her 
grin
widening with each shot she nailed.

That's when I realized I was glimpsing a major milestone in metro 
Detroit's
religious history. For decades, an almost universal desire among local 
Muslim
families has been that, one day, they would be accepted as part of the
mainstream religious landscape.

Muslims and their non-Muslim friends certainly have worked hard on 
this. I've
attended countless interfaith conferences, open houses and field trips 
to
mosques. But, until this recent period of multimillion-dollar 
expansions at a
half-dozen local mosques, the Muslim community remained a fairly exotic 
corner
of our religious world. That was partly due to cramped quarters and a 
general
lack of amenities that might draw non-Muslim neighbors. 

Not anymore. (MORE)

--- 

MUSLIMS ACCUSE EX-MAYOR
Chris Hack, Daily Southtown, 5/19/05
http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/dsindex/19-ds1.htm

The leader of a Muslim foundation that tried to set up a mosque in 
Palos
Heights
five years ago suggested in federal court Wednesday that former Mayor 
Dean
Koldenhoven may have joined with other city leaders in a mean-spirited 
"game"
to ruin the group's plans.

Koldenhoven has received national recognition and a prestigious award 
for
publicly supporting the mosque plan and later killing a city council 
bid to
give the group money to leave town. But Abdallah Elsheikh, president of 
the Al
Salam Mosque Foundation, testified that Koldenhoven's move was nothing 
more
than a calculated final "slap in the face" to the Muslims because they 
wanted
the money.

The foundation's federal lawsuit against Palos Heights alleges the city
violated
the group's First Amendment rights by thwarting the group's plan to buy 
a
church and convert it to a mosque in 2000. Palos Heights lawyers insist 
the
foundation never needed to ask for the city's permission, and should 
have
simply bought the church and moved in.

Elsheikh said his group, founded in 1997, had been worshipping at a 
mosque at
63rd Street and Kedzie Avenue on the Southwest Side, but the small 
rented space
had become too small for a congregation of 200, and most of the 
foundation's
members had migrated to the suburbs. In the spring of 2000, the group 
signed a
contract to buy the Reformed Church of Palos Heights at 6600 W. 127th 
St. for
$2.1 million.

"We said we were going to follow our congregation," Elsheikh said. "Our 
people
live between Burbank and Orland Park — and this was right in the 
middle. It was
a perfect fit."

The 18,000-square-foot church, built in 1962, had a modern-style 
circular
sanctuary; only the pews would have to be removed to create the central 
prayer
space for a mosque. Elsheikh said leaders also were pleased the church 
had a
dozen classrooms for an Islamic school and a gym that could be used for
overflow worshippers on Fridays.

"It looked like it was perfect at that time," Elsheikh said. (MORE)

----- 

U.S. SATELLITE COMPANY TO CARRY MUSLIM TELEVISION CHANNEL
Associated Press, 5/20/05
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2005/5/20/latest/20050520141422&sec=Latest

DENVER (AP) - EchoStar Communications Corp. will broadcast a new 
24-hour
lifestyle network aimed at American Muslims called Bridges TV.

The network will air on EchoStar's DISH Network and will feature 
English-language programming including a daily morning show and 
newscast as
well
as sitcoms, cartoons and movies, the nation's No. 2 satellite 
television
company announced Thursday.

One show called ``Each Other,'' spotlights a Muslim woman trying to 
succeed as
a
big-city reporter.

The channel will serve a ``traditionally underserved, but steadily 
growing
generation of American Muslims,'' Eric Sahl, vice president of 
programming at
EchoStar, said in a statement. 	

ALSO SEE:
					
PRIM PROMS: HOW RELIGIOUS TEENS PARTY
Ellen Leventry, Beliefnet.com, 5/20/05
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/166/story_16692_1.html

There is nothing modest about the American high school prom. From the 
gowns to
the limos to the day-long spa treatments, prom is an exercise in 
adolescent
excess, generating an estimated three billion dollars in revenues this 
year.
And while many parents and students balk at the immodest price tag, 
many
conservative religious parents--and teens--worry about the skimpy dress 
and
intermingling of the sexes typical of proms.

Not to mention the underage drinking, rented hotel rooms and some very 
immodest
debauchery. “Prom,” says the Reverend Bill Petterson of Brookfield 
Presbyterian
Church outside of Milwaukee, “is now a cross between 'coming out’ and 
'coming
on.’”

For most partygoers, picking out the perfect dress or renting the right 
limo is
the extent of any spiritual crisis related to the prom. But for the 
more
conservative Christian, Jewish, or Muslim student, deciding whether or 
not to
attend prom can be a real test of faith.

To observant Muslims, the traditional prom is a triple threat of music, 
dancing
and mingling with the opposite sex--all of which are “haram,” or 
forbidden, in
Islam. And while at least one Muslim high school, the Clara Mohammad 
School in
Milwaukee, has entertained the idea of a prom-like event, parents and 
students
are often not comfortable with the idea.

“The idea of going out with friends is not a problem; but going out to 
mixed
areas where the primary purpose is to go with a guy is the issue,” 
explains
Lubna Malik, now a student at Princeton University. “At ‘dances’ you 
generally
dance with guys. Even if you were just dancing with girls, there would 
still be
guys watching.”


---- 

MUSLIM COMMUNITY: LARGE BUT INVISIBLE
County group hopes to foster understanding
Bob Allen, Owings Mills, 5/18/05
http://news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2.cfm?pnpID=809&NewsID=633316&CategoryID=5830&show=localnews&om=1

Bash Pharoan, a Timonium resident and president and co-founder of the 
Baltimore
County Muslim Council, says the county's Muslim community is, 
considering its
size, relatively invisible. To most countians, it remains a mystery.

"We are your next-door neighbors," said Pharoan, who estimates the 
number of
Muslims in Baltimore County to be "in the tens of thousands."

"We are physicians, pharmacists, engineers, state employees, 7-Eleven 
workers
and gas station workers. We are scattered everywhere."

Pharoan, a private practice surgeon and critical-care physician with 
offices in
Parkville and at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, and a dozen or so 
other
local professionals of the Muslim faith founded the Muslim Council in 
2000. It
was incorporated as a nonprofit organization two years later.

The council's mission statement, then and now, is to "improve the lives 
of
Muslim-Americans in the county, foster a better understanding of Islam 
and
Muslims in the county school system and the state government and the 
nation at
large."

In other words, the council wants to make the community more visible 
and dispel
whatever mysteries or misconceptions might still exist about it.

Since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, these efforts, according to 
Pharoan, have
taken on an urgency. (MORE)

----- 

FOR GOD AND COUNTRY BY JAMES YEE
Former Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay writes about journey

In 2001, Captain James Yusuf Yee was commissioned as one of the first
Muslim chaplains in the United States Army. After the tragic attacks of 
September 11, 2001, he became a frequent government spokesman, helping 
to
educate soldiers about Islam and build understanding throughout the 
military. Subsequently, Chaplain Yee was selected to serve as the 
Muslim
Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where nearly 700 detainees captured 
in the
war on terror were being held as unlawful combatants.

In September 2003, after serving at Guantanamo for ten months in a role
that gave him unrestricted access to the detainees--and after receiving 
numerous awards for his service there--Chaplain Yee was secretly 
arrested on
his
way to meet his wife and daughter for a routine two-week leave. He was 
locked
away in a navy prison, subject to much of the same treatment that had 
been
imposed on the Guantanamo detainees. 

Wrongfully accused of spying, and aiding the Taliban and Al Qaeda, Yee 
spent 76
excruciating days in solitary confinement and was threatened with the 
death
penalty. 

After the government determined they had made a grave mistake in their 
original allegations, they vindictively charged him with adultery and 
computer pornography.  In the end all criminal charges were dropped and 
Chaplain Yee's record wiped clean. But his reputation was tarnished, 
and what
was a promising military career was left in ruins.

A third-generation Chinese-American and a 1990 graduate of West Point,
Chaplain Yee served in the U.S. Army for 14 years, including a tour in 
Saudi Arabia during the aftermath of the first Gulf War.  His spiritual 
conversion to Islam in 1991 guided his travels to Damascus, Syria, 
where he
studied for four years. He twice traveled to Mecca to make the Haj, the 
sacred
Muslim pilgrimage.

Depicting a journey of faith and service, Chaplain Yee's FOR GOD AND
COUNTRY is the story of a pioneering officer in the U.S. Army, who 
became a
victim of the post-September 11 paranoia that gripped a starkly fearful 
nation.
And it poses a fundamental question: If our country cannot be loyal to 
even the
most patriotic Americans, can it remain loyal to itself?

For further information, please contact Gene Taft at 212/397-6666 x234 
Or gene.taft@perseusbooks.com

----- 

KAC CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT LATEST CBMS

(Washington, D.C. May 19, 2005) - Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, the Executive
Director of the Kashmiri American Council (KAC) stated that the Board 
of
Directors of the KAC discussed the latest peace moves in the region of 
South
Asia and adopted the following policy statement.
The Washington-based Kashmiri American Council (KAC) is a 
non-denominational,
independent organization, dedicated to promoting the right of
self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.  The KAC 
focuses its
efforts on encouraging American policy-making agencies and 
personalities to
support a resolution of the Kashmir problem in accordance with justice 
and the
wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.  The KAC has no official
affiliation with any government, entity or organization currently 
operating in
Jammu and Kashmir.  However, the KAC maintains contacts with Kashmiri 
leaders
seeking to strengthen efforts so that a resolution acceptable to the 
Kashmiri
masses is reached in a speedy time frame.

We, in the KAC are cautiously optimistic about the recent confidence 
building
measures (CBMs) taken between India and Pakistan, and eagerly 
await their application on the ground in Kashmir.  It is however, a 
tragic fact
that there has been no evidence so far of any reduction in human rights 
abuses,
killings, arbitrary arrests, detentions and the like.  Significantly, 
the
recent developments between the two countries have yet to reach the 
people of
Kashmir in terms of peace and security.  While we support the recently
instituted bus service, we take 
it as but one step on the long journey towards a just settlement of the 
Kashmir problem.

The KAC has yet to see the involvement of the genuine leadership of the
Kashmiri resistance to the foreign occupation in the peace process.  
India
should be well aware that without the full engagement of the legitimate 
and
accredited leadership, the peace process would be a non-starter.

The KAC feels that it is incumbent upon the leadership to resolve their
differences rationally and amicably.  We only wish that they establish 
and
maintain a cohesive platform.  A nation awaits emergence of a unified,
structured and accountable leadership that will represent Kashmiris in 
ultimate
negotiations with India and Pakistan.  Bilateral agreements whether 
between
India and Pakistan, or between India and former claimants of Kashmiri
leadership have clearly failed.  A tripartite approach is essential to
resolving the issue.  Let there be no doubt that an ostensible 
solution, which
is reached without the participation of the Kashmiri leadership, will 
simply
not work.

For more information, contact: Kashmiri American Council at:
733 Fifteenth Street, N.W. Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005
Tel: 202-628-6789 / Fax: 202-393-0062
E-mail: <mailto:kac@kashmiri.com>kac@kashmiri.com

ALSO SEE:

INTERFAITH WORKER JUSTICE 2005 NATIONAL CONFERENCE
http://www.interfaithworkerjustice.org/2005Conference.html

WHAT: The conference will provide an opportunity to: Deepen connections 
through
networking share ideas an