To:aliatwaladen@yahoo.com
Date: 18 Feb 2007 19:11:26 -0000
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Subject: cair-net Digest of: get.1701_1800


cair-net Digest of: get.1701_1800

Topics (messages 1701 through 1800):

CAIR-NET: Muslims, Jews See a Chance for Goodwill/Karen Hughes Gets an 
Earful
	1701 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Spreading the Koran/More Hispanic Women Converting to Islam
	1702 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Islamic Women's Groups Proliferating/Woman Assaulted, Called 
'Sand N**ger'
	1703 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Ask Congress to Send Torture Ban to President
	1704 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Report Confirms Muslims Were Profiled/New Law Exempts Spies 
from Privacy Act
	1705 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Iraq War Dead Porn Site Leads to Obscenity Arrest
	1706 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Urged to Help, Pray for Quake Victims
	1707 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: AZ Muslim Assaulted by Teens Shouting Religious Slur
	1708 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Mosques Call for Quake Aid/Elderly Man Assaulted Outside 
AZ Mosque
	1709 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslim Medical Volunteers Sought for Quake Relief / MD 
Police Release Sketch of Mosque Vandalism Suspect
	1710 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Iftar Held on Capitol Hill/CAIR Condemns New Orleans 
Beating/Growing Role of Islam in Latino Culture
	1711 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Pledge $20 Million in Quake Aid
	1712 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Use Hands-On Approach to Quake Aid
	1713 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Charities Re-Emerge for Quake Victims / Muslim 
Hurricane Evacuees Urged to Convert / Synagogue Welcomes Muslim Speaker
	1714 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslims, Mormons Will Fly Aid to Quake Victims / Muslim 
Athletes Balance Spirituality with Sports
	1715 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: VA Prison Agrees to Facilitate Islamic Prayers / OH Muslims 
Feed the Homeless / US Muslims Play Role in Worldwide Relief Efforts
	1716 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: 'God is Not a Terrorist' / OH Volunteers Sought to Pack Quake 
Aid / NY Broker Claims Anti-Muslim Bias
	1717 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CA Muslims to Feed the Homeless / OH Muslims Plan Quake 
Fundraiser / Philly Police Ban Beards, Hijab
	1718 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Troops Use Burned Afghan Bodies as Propaganda / CAIR 
Calls for Policy, Training Review
	1719 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Officer Files Bias Complaint / Muslim Program Upsets 
Parents / Halal Food Option Grows
	1720 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Anti-Islam 'Comic Books' Given to CA Students / IN Parent: 
'I'm not prejudiced, but...' / Quake a Neglected Catastrophe
	1721 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: After Arson, GA Mosque Rebuilds / OH Paper Responds to 
Concerns About Cartoon / CA Muslim B-Ball Star Finds Peace
	1722 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: MD Muslim Gets $16K for Post-9/11 Firing / CA Muslims, 
Christians, Jews Share Prayer Space / Chicago's First Muslim Funeral Home
	1723 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Announces Scholarship to Honor Rosa Parks / Plan Exempts 
CIA from Abuse Ban
	1724 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Director Attends State Department Iftar
	1725 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: FL Religious Holidays Banned After Muslims Ask for Eid / 
Sample Eid News Release / CA Muslim Convert Dies in Iraq
	1726 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Each U.S. Mosque Urged to Raise $1,000 for Ramadan Campaign
	1727 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: American Muslims May Exceed U.S. Quake Relief Pledge / NY 
Muslims to Host Officials at Iftar / CAIR-CT Wins Accommodation for 
Fasting Students
	1728 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CA Muslims to Call for Urgent Quake Aid / Reject Legalizing 
CIA Torture / MI Muslims to Hold Ramadan Food Drive
	1729 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: O'Reilly Says Muslim Holiday 'Absurd in a Judeo-Christian 
Country' / IL College Pulls Photo Exhibit After Muslim Protest / CA 
Latinos Embrace Islam
	1730 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Asks U.S. Muslims to Collect Quake Aid on Eid
	1731 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Condemns New Delhi Bombings / Quake Aid Delayed / 
Latinos Convert to Islam
	1732 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Eager to Help Fight Terror / 'Law of the Jungle' 
in Quake Zone
	1733 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Register Online for CAIR's Dec. 3 Banquet in VA
	1734 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: NJ Muslims 'Profiled' for Praying at Giants Stadium
	1735 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Boston Islamic Society Expands Libel Suit / FL Religious 
Holiday Ban Draws Heat / Canadian Muslim Group Urged to Let Women Vote
	1736 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Launches 'Pray for Understanding' Campaign After NJ 
'Profiling' Incident
	1737 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Seeks Applicants for Rosa Parks Scholarship / FL Council 
Race Marred by Remarks on Ethnicity / CIA Holds Suspects in Secret 
Prisons
	1738 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: FL Muslims Seek Reinstatement of Christian, Jewish School 
Holidays
	1739 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: How Many American Muslims? / CAIR-San Antonio Director 
Shatters Stereotypes / School Holiday Ban Sparks Hateful Grandstanding
	1740 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Quake Victims Remembered at Eid / New Orleans Muslims 
Celebrate Post-Katrina Eid / Mistake to Cancel Religious Holidays
	1741 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslims Torn Between Civil Liberties, Social Concerns / DHS 
Urges Muslim Fliers to Register / FBI Patriot Act Plan Concerns 
Lawmakers
	1742 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Urges DHS Protection for Pakistanis in U.S. Impacted by 
Quake / Cheney Fights Torture Ban
	1743 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Calif. Synagogue that Hosted Islamophobe Urged to Invite 
Muslim Speaker
	1744 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Calls for 'Dialogue and Mutual Respect' in France / 
Muslims Outraged at DHS Official's Comments
	1745 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Calls for FBI Probe of Shooting Near PA Mosque
	1746 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Condemns Jordan Bombings / NJ Muslim Councilman Attacked 
in Fliers / More Profiling at Giants Stadium / TX Muslim School Prayer 
Limits Alleged
	1747 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: TX, VA Muslims Lose 16 Relatives in Jordan Blasts / CAIR 
Offers Condolences for Filmmaker's Daughter
	1748 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Celestica Fires, Suspends More Minnesota Muslims
	1749 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Offers Condolences to Jordanian Ambassador / Networks 
Urged to Honor Akkad by Airing His Films
	1750 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: PA Bigots Don't Like to Vote in Mosque / NJ Muslim Becomes 
Mayor / More Profiling at Giants Stadium?
	1751 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Imams Help Fight Terror / FL Muslims Sponsor 
Thanksgiving Baskets for Needy / NY Traffic Cops Ask Muslims About Citizenship
	1752 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: DC Radio Host Who Smeared Islam Moves to Boston / Pipes Has 
'Problem' with Voting at PA Mosque / U.S. Muslim Groups Cleared in 
Senate Probe
	1753 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: French Ambassador to Speak at DC Forum on Riots
	1754 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: NY Muslims to Discuss Concerns with FBI / CAIR-FL Rep 
Profiled - In a Good Way / Quake Relief Compassion Fatigue?
	1755 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Urge Congress to Reject Patriot Act Reauthorization
	1756 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: PA Muslims to Address Mosque Voting Objections / A Muslim 
Response to Prager's 'Five Questions'
	1757 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Participates in Dialogue with European Muslims
	1758 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Welcomes Ruling on CA School Lesson About Islam / 
Terrorism is Islam's Enemy Too / AL Sunnis, Shias Work together
	1759 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: C-SPAN2 to Air CAIR Forum on French Riots / CAIR Chairman: 
Taking Back Islam / Incitement: Cal Thomas - Islam a Religion of Satan?
	1760 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: French Ambassador Says 'Religion Played No Role' in Riots / 
U.S. Muslim Scout Troops Increasing
	1761 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Meadowlands Sets Aside Prayer Spaces at Stadium for Muslims
	1762 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: When U.S. Bars Its Doors to Foreign Scholars / Diverse Faiths 
Unite in Thanks
	1763 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Catholics Share Mass With Muslims / Celestica and Muslim 
Employees Unable to Reach a Compromise
	1764 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: PA Mosque Helps Foster Understanding / CA Religious Community 
Rallies for Quake Aid / Incitement Watch
	1765 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Calls for Release of UK 'Bomb Al-Jazeera' Memo / Islamic 
Credo Helps Ease Holiday Hunger
	1766 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Registration Deadline Approaching for CAIR Dinner / Native 
Deen to Perform
	1767 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Rep to Appear on MSNBC / Krauthammer Says Quran 
'Inspires Barbarism' / Profiling Will Not Make Us Safer / Torture, 
American-Style
	1768 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Oppose Surveillance Powers in Patriot Act / CAIR-FL Rep 
Appointed to Diversity Council / FBI Asked to Probe Disappearance / Daniel 
Pipes Smears Muhammad Ali
	1769 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Last Day to Register for CAIR Dinner in DC / CAIR Calls for 
Release of All Iraq Hostages / Pipes Appreciates 'Spirit' of Islam-Hater
	1770 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Launches Patriot Act Blog
	1771 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Love for Jesus Can Bring Christians, Muslims Together / 
CAIR-CAN to Fight for Religious Freedom at McGill / Zero Tolerance for 
Torture
	1772 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: 'Sleeper Cell' Awakens Fears in Muslim Viewers / CAIR-NY 
Helps Train Gitmo Lawyers / Quran Sponsors Needed
	1773 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: DC-Area Muslims to Call for Release of VA Man Held in Iraq
	1774 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Calls for Release of Iraq Hostages / Almost 1,000 Attend 
CAIR-DC Dinner / NJ Muslims Complain of DMV Hijab Removal
	1775 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Director to Attend OIC Summit / A 'Christmas' Tree is a 
Christmas Tree / CAIR-NJ Meets with FBI
	1776 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Decision Expected Today in NC Quran Oath Controversy / IL 
Mosque Defaced / CA Islam Test Sparks Complaint
	1777 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Breaking News - No Convictions Against Al-Arian
	1778 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslims Welcome Al-Arian Verdict / Jews, Muslims Fight for 
'Christian' Christmas
	1779 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Hajj Publicity Resource Kit
	1780 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: NC Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Quran Oaths / Congress Agrees 
to Reauthorize Patriot Act / House Accepts McCain Torture Ban
	1781 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: VA Muslims, Quakers to Hold Vigil for Iraq Hostages / 80K 
Names on Terror Watch List / IL Muslim Faced 'Bigotry' at Work
	1782 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: UT Muslim Scouting Part of National Trend / VA Muslims, 
Quakers Pray for Safety of Hostages
	1783 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Hosts Yemeni Judge Who Challenged Extremists / Selling 
Liquor Creates Conflict for Muslims / Mary Holds a Special Place for 
Muslims
	1784 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Call Congress on Torture, Patriot Act, Immigration / Homeless 
See Good in Islam / Muslim Family Says Break-In Was Hate Crime
	1785 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: FL Muslims to Offer Reward for Info on Double Homicide / 
Commercializing Islam / Billboard's Arab Images Called Racist
	1786 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: FBI Grills Calif. Muslim High Schooler About 'PLO' Doodle
	1787 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: FL School OKs Muslim Holiday / Israeli Consul Takes Jab at 
Muslims / Steinem Swings at Hef, Hits Islam
	1788 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: ACLU to Appeal NC Quran Oath Ruling / Bush Lets U.S. Spy on 
Callers Without Courts / Groups Question FBI Interrogation of CA Muslim 
Student
	1789 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Applauds Senate Defeat of Patriot Act Extension
	1790 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Post-9/11 Travel a Challenge for U.S. Muslims / Attacks Stall 
Boston Mosque Project / Petition: Free Sami Al-Arian
	1791 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR-CA Rep Offers 'Islam 101' at Synagogue / MN Guard Troops 
Train at 'Fake Iraqi Village' in MS / Jewish Leaders Rethinking 
Alliance with Evangelicals
	1792 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Issues Travel Advisory for U.S. Muslims
	1793 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: FBI Asked to Help Find Missing CA Muslim Doctor / Stamps 
Honor Muslim Festivals
	1794 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Ohio Muslims React to Explosion at Cincinnati Mosque
	1795 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Australian Muslim Scholar Denied U.S. Entry / Reward Offered 
for Info on OH Mosque Bombings / Bias Complaint Filed Against FL Subway 
Restaurant / Car of Missing CA Muslim Found in Estuary
	1796 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Files Freedom of Information Request on Wiretaps
	1797 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Bombed OH Mosque to Hold Prayer Vigil / FL Officer Probed in 
Muslim Rights Complaint / CAIR-LA Completes Training for Police
	1798 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Face Searches After Toronto Visit / Islamic 
Scholar Denied Entry into U.S. / New Rules on When, Where TX Muslim 
Students Can Pray / Prayer Vigil at Bombed OH Mosque
	1799 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: DC Muslims React to Secret Radiation Monitoring
	1800 by: CAIR

 
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Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 16:43:40 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslims, Jews See a Chance for Goodwill/Karen Hughes Gets an Earful

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/4/05

* Hadith: The Gates of Paradise are Open
* CAIR-Chicago: Muslims to Mark Ramadan with Homeless
            - Chicago Muslims to Hold Interfaith Iftar
* CAIR-FL: Muslims, Jews See a Chance for Goodwill (Tampa Trib)
            - MN: Muslims, Jews Sampling Each Others' Faiths (Star Trib)
            - MD: UMBC Jews, Muslims Join for Food Program (Jewish Times)
* ISLAM-OPED: Karen Hughes Gets an Earful, But is Her Boss Listening?
            - Dean Commemorates the Start of Ramadan
* Ramadan Media Round-Up:
            - NY: Joy of Ramadan Heartens Area's Muslims
            - CO: Family Joins Muslims to Mark Month of Ramadan
            - NJ: Fasting has Spiritual Meaning for Muslims
            - NY: Ramadan A Challenge For Muslim Teens
            - FL: Young Muslims Feed Faith During Ramadan
* Firms Apologize For Ad Offensive to Muslims (Stars and Stripes)
            - Military Porn-for-Gore Scandal Harms America's Image
* MI: Family Seeks Answers in Deportation (Detroit News)
* TN: Islamic Students Seek Resolution Against Terror (Jackson Sun)
* WA: A Look at American Muslim History (Seattle PI)
            - CAIR-CA: U.S. Muslims Call for Renaissance in Islam

-----

HADITH OF THE DAY: THE GATES OF PARADISE ARE OPEN -  TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadith 122

A man once asked the Prophet what deed would allow him to enter Paradise. He replied: "Stick to fasting, as there is no equivalent to it."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 107A

-----

CHICAGO MUSLIMS TO MARK RAMADAN WITH HOMELESS- TOP
Downtown Islamic Center to host daily open house meals

(CHICAGO, IL, 10/04/05) - The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced today that a prominent local Chicago Mosque will mark the month of Ramadan with daily open house meals, or iftars, for neighbors and the homeless.

WHAT: Ramadan Open House Meal
WHEN: Sunset (6:30 p.m.), October 4th-November 2nd.
WHERE: Downtown Islamic Center, 231 S State, Chicago, IL. 60604

"Ramadan is a time of giving and sharing," said Ahmed Rehab, CAIR-Chicago Director of Communications. "It is not just food that we wish to share, but ourselves as well. One of the many reasons why we fast is to think of those who are deprived by partially sharing in their deprivation. It is therefore befitting of this great season of charity and human camaraderie that we welcome into God s house not only our neighbors, but also those who don't have a home."

Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 31 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

CONTACT: Ahmed Rehab, 312-212-1520, 847-971-3963; communications@cairchicago.org; Yaser Tabbara, 312-718-3725; director@cairchicago.org

SEE ALSO:

CHICAGO AREA MUSLIMS TO MARK RAMADAN WITH INTERFAITH DINNER - TOP
Suburban mayors, chief of police, village trustees, and neighbors to join in breaking of the fast

(Chicago, IL, 10/04/05) The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced that the Muslim community in Chicago's Southwestern Suburbs is marking the start of Ramadan by opening its doors to neighbors, interfaith leaders, law enforcement and elected officials. Mayors, village trustees, and chiefs of police from Burr Ridge, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, Willowbrook, Darien, and Westmont are expected to attend the iftar meal (breaking of the fast) hosted by the community s Muslim Educational & Cultural Center of America (MECCA).

WHAT: Community Interfaith Ramadan Meal hosted by MECCA
WHEN: Wednesday, October 5, Reception, 4:30-5:30; Program 5:30-6:30; Dinner 6:30
WHERE: Ashton Place, 341 75th St. Willowbrook, IL

CONTACT: Ahmed Rehab, 312-212-1520, 847-971-3963; communications@cairchicago.org; Yaser Tabbara, 312-718-3725; director@cairchicago.org; Hani Atassi, MECCA 630-661-6275

-----

MUSLIMS AND JEWS SEE A CHANCE FOR GOODWILL - TOP
Michelle Bearden, Tampa Tribune, 10/4/05
http://www.tampatrib.com/MGBY0J5NDEE.html

TAMPA - He's the spokesman for an Islamic organization; she's a rabbinical chaplain at a hospital.

But Ahmed Bedier and Kate Fagan have something in common today: They're both observing the holiest time on their respective faith calendars, with Monday's sunset onset of the month of Ramadan and the Jewish High Holy Days.

The last time this unusual religious confluence occurred was in the 1970s, when the observances fell at the same time for three consecutive years beginning in 1973. Their timing is based on two different lunar calendars: Muslims are marking the year 1426, while in the Jewish calendar, which combines the sun and moon, it is year 5766.

"Something like this doesn't happen very often," said Fagan, who works at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. "That's why we're going to take full advantage of the timing of our two holidays as an opportunity to build community and understanding."

Next week, Tampa Bay area Jews and Muslims will take an unprecedented step toward changing attitudes between two faith groups with a violent global history.

Fagan and Bedier were among those who recently formed Serving the One, a local interfaith group aimed at bringing together people of diverse faiths. Members seized upon the timing of these two sacred observations for their first public event.

On Oct. 13, the group will sponsor a Breaking the Fast meal on the St. Petersburg campus of the University of South Florida. For Jews, that day will mark Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, when observers fast from sunrise to sundown and pray to God for forgiveness for the promises they have broken. Yom Kippur concludes the High Holy Days. For Muslims, who also fast in the daylight hours during Ramadan, it will be the middle of their holy month.

"This is a catalyst for us to come together," said Bedier, spokesman for the Tampa chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations. "We're living in trying times. Instead of always focusing on what makes us so different, we want to concentrate on how we're alike." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MN: MUSLIMS, JEWS SAMPLING EACH OTHERS' FAITHS - TOP
Matt McKinney, Star Tribune, 10/4/05
http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/5649837.html

The sun dropped below the horizon Monday evening and a group of Macalester students idled together in twilight, some to celebrate the beginning of Ramadan, others to mark the opening of Rosh Hashanah.

It doesn't usually start this way, with Muslims and Jews sharing their traditions with one another, but this year's unusual timing of two major holidays offered a new perspective on ancient beliefs, said the students.

"It's great just to have some people who have faith," said Mashal Saif, a senior at the St. Paul college. "It doesn't matter if it's your faith. It's people you can be religious with."

The students' evening of joint prayer and observation came about because of a rare convergence between the timing of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins today in some parts of the world and Wednesday in others, and the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, observed as a two-day holiday that began Monday night.

The timing will happen only two or three times in most people's lifetimes.

The rarity is because the Muslim holiday is scheduled according to the lunar calendar and so migrates throughout the commonly used solar calendar, falling about 13 days earlier each year. The Jewish holiday, meanwhile, always comes at the end of the summer to coincide with harvest time.

This year's coincidental timing of the two faiths' major holidays -- it won't happen again for 33 years -- has religious leaders encouraging their followers to use the occasion to build bridges.

The call met receptive minds in Saif, a Muslim and native of Pakistan, and Gretchen Solomon, a leader of the Jewish student group.

Their plan was simple. Share an evening observation together after sunset. Make some new friends, share a meal and see what comes of it. (MORE)

---

UMBC JEWS, MUSLIMS, JOIN FOR FOOD PROGRAM - TOP
Andrew Scherr, Jewish Times, 9/23/05
http://www.jewishtimes.com/scripts/edition.pl?now=9/26/2005&stay=1&SubSectionID=48&ID=2666

For students like Rella Kaplowitz, Jerad Bates and Junaid Hassan, eating on campus at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, was often a hassle.

As two Orthodox Jews who observe kashrut and an observant Muslim who maintains hallal dietary laws, the three found little to eat in campus dining halls and cafes. Their meal choices were limited to cereals, instant soups, chips, ice cream and a small selection of microwaveable frozen meals.

But that all changed after the three students worked with university administrators to open the "Kosher/Hallal Corner" this fall semester. Located in UMBC's Commons, the central food court on the university's Catonsville campus, the stand carries a rotating stock of more than 40 types of frozen kosher meals, as well as ready-made items that students can eat on the run between classes.

"The major thing is that there will be an increased variety," said Mr. Bates, a senior. He has been living on campus since his freshman year and said that eating for him before this year was often "an inconvenience."

"Now, you won't get bored of keeping kosher. It will actually be something that may be enjoyable and very doable," he said. Although the new stand offers kosher food, there is still no kosher meal plan at UMBC. The stand is operated by Sodexho USA, the campus food provider.

Other than Morgan State University, UMBC is the only major college in the Baltimore metropolitan area without a kosher meal plan. Towson and Hopkins universities have a kosher meal plan, as does Goucher College.

"It's about promoting diversity and catering to the needs of the student body," said UMBC Hillel director Rabbi Amos Levi, who said the university's Jewish student population stands at around 1,000. When he pushed the administration for a kosher meal plan in the past, he said he "got nowhere."

-----

ISLAM-OPED: KAREN HUGHES GETS AN EARFUL, BUT IS HER BOSS LISTENING? - 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.

-----

KAREN HUGHES GETS AN EARFUL, BUT IS HER BOSS LISTENING?
By Parvez Ahmed
WORD COUNT: 663

[Parvez Ahmed, Ph.D., is board chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. He may be contacted at: pahmed@cair-net.org. For a photo of Parvez Ahmed, go to: http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=Board&person=Parvez ]

Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes is on a mission to change Muslim hearts and minds. Since taking up her post in early September, she met with American Muslim leaders in Chicago before embarking on a "listening tour" of the Middle East.

Media reports from that tour indicate that she got an earful of both complaints and advice. Some complaints, mostly about the war in Iraq and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, were predictable. But who could have predicted that Hughes would hear women in Saudi Arabia dismiss the notion that they are in a perpetual state of oppression. One audience member told Hughes, "The general image of the Arab women is that she isn't happy. Well, we're all pretty happy."

Perhaps the most revealing moment of the tour came when Hughes met with Turkish women. Once again, anger was directed at America's war of choice in Iraq. A Kurdish human rights activist captured the concern of Muslim women in the region. She said, "War makes the rights of women completely erased, and poverty comes after war - and women pay the price." Hughes' answer: "To preserve peace sometimes my country believes war is necessary." One attendee shot back: "War is not necessary for peace. We can never export democracy and freedom from one country to another."

In Egypt she heard from a teacher at the American University in Cairo who said, "U.S. policies unfortunately have been very negative in the region because of Palestine...They have been blinded. It's a pity."

Another common complaint lodged against the Bush administration was its treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Hughes was quick to point out that the prisoners in Camp X-Ray have been visited by the International Red Cross and they have retained their right to worship "using their own Qurans."

This answer missed the point made by many Muslims, and echoed by major international human rights organizations, that holding prisoners incommunicado is itself illegal under international law.

Finally, the issue of growing Islamophobia and anti-Americanism also got significant play during Hughes' Mideast tour. As in Chicago, so too in Cairo, she heard calls for mounting a united front against extremism in all its forms.

To her credit, Hughes comes across in meetings as a person genuinely interested in hearing opposing views. She passionately defends her boss, President Bush, without being dismissive of opinions that paint the president's policies in less than sympathetic terms.

But her effectiveness as a goodwill ambassador for the United States will now depend on her ability to walk into the Oval Office and explain to the president that public relations efforts are doomed for fail if they are not tied to policy changes that impact realities on the ground. That was the message she heard from American Muslim leaders, and from activists and ordinary Muslims from Riyadh to Ankara.

Amany Fikri writing in the Egypt's Al-Wafd said, "Her real task is in Washington...withdrawing American troops from Iraq and rebuilding what was destroyed...Play the role of an honest broker (in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict)...Most importantly to end America's support for non-democratic governments and regimes in the Arab region."

U.S. policy-makers are nowhere near addressing these core issues, and consequently, we are nowhere near to improving our nation's image in the Muslim world.

After meeting with the head of Al-Azhar, one of the most prestigious Islamic religious institutions, Hughes made some poignant remarks in concurrence with Sheikh Tantawi. She said, "All divine religions are built on a spirit of love and it is important that all of us work together to fight extremism." The challenge will be transform this noble aspiration into a global reality.

For Karen Hughes to succeed in changing Muslim hearts and minds, she must use her newfound knowledge to focus attention on the hearts and minds of those who formulate American policies that impact ordinary Muslims worldwide. As an Arabic editorial in Al-Khaleej newspaper summarized: "She has to start her mission from Washington, not from Cairo, Riyadh or any other Muslim capital."

SEE ALSO:

DEAN COMMEMORATES THE START OF RAMADAN - TOP

October 4, 2005
Contact: Amaya Smith, 202-863-8148

Washington, DC - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement today to commemorate the start of
Ramadan:

"Today Muslims in America and around the world mark the first day of Ramadan, a month of contemplation, self-sacrifice, and affirmation of
our commitment to our fellow man.

"The month of Ramadan marks the revelation of the first verses of the Quran, which made the principles of peace and charity the foundation of
Islam. This time is honored by a month of prayer and fasting, reminding us all to give thanks for our own blessings while renewing our
commitment to ending poverty and hunger.

"We must renew our commitment to protecting civil liberties and expanding religious tolerance in our nation. And we should each take
this time to fight hunger and poverty in our own communities.

"On this first day of Ramadan, my family and I express our best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world."

Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, www.democrats.org

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RAMADAN MEDIA ROUND-UP - TOP

NY: JOY OF RAMADAN HEARTENS AREA'S MUSLIMS - TOP
Christine Fennessy, Democrat & Chronicle, 10/4/05
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051004/NEWS01/510040331/1002/NEWS

Imagine if you could capture and bottle the excitement of a Christmas season. Then, for a month, you opened it up and let it wash all over you.

That's how Annie El-Amin feels about Ramadan, the holy month of Islam that begins today or tomorrow.

"Ramadan is like a 30-day Christmas," said El-Amin, who works as a secretary at the Islamic Center of Rochester. "It's like waking up every day charged and excited, with the spirit of giving, learning, charity, patience and perseverance."

The first date of Ramadan coincides with moon sightings. "Some will start celebrating (today), some will start after that," said Iman Mohammed Shafiq of the Islamic Center of Rochester.

El-Amin planned to awaken this morning at 4:45 a.m. She said breakfast would have been prepared last night. She and her husband would eat, drink juice and read the Quran, the holy book of Islam. And then, before the sun rose at 7:12 a.m., they would pray.

They will fast until the sun sets at 6:46 p.m. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

FAMILY JOINS MUSLIMS WORLDWIDE TO MARK MONTH OF RAMADAN - TOP
Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News, 10/4/05
http://rockymountainnews.com/drmn/religion/article/0,1299,DRMN_61_4130042,00.html

Mohammad Noorzai remembers his early days in Denver, when he used to be "Mr. Executive with a suit and tie" and wiring money to his scattered and war-torn family from Afghanistan. He always maneuvered to get in the line of a certain foreign exchange banker.

He noticed that she didn't seem to mind.

"She thought I was some rich Arab guy," he grins.

"No I didn't!" Anisa Noorzai protests, laughing.

They agree, however, that his courtly maneuvers morphed into a date for breakfast - "still our favorite meal of the day" - and led to their marriage of 18 years.

With their two kids, family businesses and now, long ties to Denver, the Noorzai marriage is in one sense a story of the new face of Islam in America. It also reflects an unusual religious journey - hers, from a Lutheran childhood in Cañon City, and his, from a well-to-do Muslim family in Afghanistan.

The journey took them both to Islam, and today, the Noorzais are preparing together for Ramadan, Islam's worldwide month of fasting and restraint that begins at sundown on the cusp of the new moon, which was expected to rise Monday night.

Ramadan requires good deeds and forbids food, drink and sexual relations during daylight hours as a way of purification and drawing closer to God. (MORE)

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NJ: FASTING HAS SPIRITUAL MEANING FOR MUSLIMS - TOP
Justin Vellucci, APP, 10/4/05
http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051004/NEWS/510040402

For Balkees Pareen, fasting is more than a battle between restraint and hunger.

When the soft-spoken Keansburg teenager first fasted four years ago for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, set to begin today, she found herself filled with empathy for those without the luxury of three meals a day.

She also sees the annual practice as a spiritual and cleansing one that enables her to focus more on her faith.

"It felt really peaceful," said Pareen, 16, who immigrated to the United States from Pakistan about six years ago. "When you pray, you feel so relaxed. Nothing really happens. It just gives you more peace in life."

During the holiday, millions of American Muslims - thousands from Monmouth and Ocean counties - will rise before dawn each morning to eat breakfast, the last food they will enjoy until the sun sets again in the evening. Their daylong fasting ritual, a tradition dating back to the prophet Mohammed, is set to continue day in and day out through Nov. 2, the last day this year of Ramadan.

But, for many Muslims, the benefits and meanings behind the fasting may be as varied as the tradition is long.

"It teaches you discipline and it tells you to (refrain) from food, water, anything which is allowed during normal days and normal times," said Ziaulhaq Zia, chairman of the board of trustees at the Islamic Center of Ocean County. "By doing that, it also gives you a strength - a strength in your faith, a strength in yourself, self-confidence that you can really control your will, control yourself."

The practice, which can be both physically and spiritually purifying, also encourages Muslims to be generous and charitable, Zia said.

"Regardless of all of this . . . the reason we fast is because this is a command from God," he said. "That's the bottom line."

The experience of Ramadan, however, seems to harbor communal meanings as well as religious ones.

Though fasting is clearly an individual and personal experience, many Muslims cast the holiday in collective terms - children being taught about the foundations of Islam, family and friends gathering in large numbers to break fast together after dusk.

It's that sense of warmth and community that permeates organizations like the United Muslim Family Association, a group of roughly 100 families from Monmouth and Middlesex counties that meets at Matawan Regional High School.

"Socializing is important for us (so) once a week, we get together," said Mohamed Ismail Ali, an Aberdeen resident, area teacher and the group's president.

But they do more than that.

While mothers sit and talk in their native Urdu or Arabic, and dozens of Muslims young and old line mats for the 1:30 p.m. call to prayer, children from toddlers to teens sit in classrooms learning about their faith, culture and heritage. (MORE)

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NY: RAMADAN A CHALLENGE FOR MUSLIM TEENS - TOP
Connie Nogas, Press & Sun-Bulletin, 10/45/05
http://www.pressconnects.com/today/news/stories/ne100405s194826.shtml

BINGHAMTON -- Sardar Khan is typical of many Binghamton High School students. The junior likes to hang out with friends, participate in Tech Club and other activities, and play sports after school. He's a receiver and part of the kickoff squad for the Patriots football team.

But starting today, he can't pause for even a sip of water, no matter how hot and sweaty he gets during football practice. Today is the start of Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims, including Khan, who fast from sunrise to sundown.

"It's a test of your individual self-discipline," said Khan, 15. "It helps with the rest of your life. You get through the struggles of the rest of your life easier because you go through the hardship of fasting."

Khan and other Muslim students in the Southern Tier straddle two worlds. On one hand, they live in the Muslim world of fasting, prayer and reading the Quran. On the other, they live in the American teenage world of school, friends and finding their place in the world. Students of other non-Christian faiths such as Judaism can face similar challenges.

"There's a desire to live their faith in a way that serves as a good example to others," said James Carpenter, an assistant professor in the School of Education and Human Development at Binghamton University. "But students still want to be popular and have friends and fit into the social world of school."

No one is sure exactly how many Muslim students attend public schools in the Tier. Imam Kasim Kopuz, the spiritual leader of local Muslims, estimated more than 100 Muslims attend public schools throughout the Tier, with most attending Binghamton High School. Schools do not track students by religion.

The Tier is becoming more diverse, and that's being reflected in the schools, Carpenter said. Binghamton High School, for example, has students from around the globe.

That diversity shows up on the football field, said Douglas Stento, the team's coach and the district's safe and drug-free schools coordinator. Binghamton's team includes players from Vietnam, Russia, Ukraine, Haiti and Pakistan, where Khan was born.

The more diverse a school is, the more likely students will accept students from different countries, Stento said.

For example, Binghamton natives on the football team reach out to help immigrants such as Khan understand the complexities of the game. Khan had not played football before moving to Binghamton.

Both sides learn from each other, Stento said. Khan learns about an American sports tradition. His teammates learn about Islam and how Khan lives his faith. (MORE)

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YOUNG MUSLIMS FEED FAITH DURING RAMADAN - TOP
James D. Davis, Sun-Sentinel, 10/4/05
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-cramadanoct04,0,2677003.story

Hafiz Muhammad Khan is only 18, but, leading prayers in his dark blue robes, he shows the calm confidence of believers many years older.

"All-lahhh hu-Akbaaaaar [God is Great]," his tenor voice intones during recent evening prayer. The dozens of worshipers at the Pembroke Pines mosque follow his lead, touching foreheads to the striped carpet, then sitting up.

Throughout, Khan leads with quiet authority, having memorized the Quran as a child. His knowledge and maturity have earned him a position of authority at Darul Uloom Islamic Institute.

He gives a bashful smile in discussing his leadership later. But he adds that in the United States, which often values pleasure over piety, it takes determination to follow a spiritual path.

"It comes down to an individual decision," says Khan, who was raised in Karachi, Pakistan. "But I think America is good for Islamic society. You can do any kind of prayers you want."

As the nation's Muslims prepare today for Ramadan, young people like Khan strive to balance dual identities as Americans and as Muslims. They are aided by their mosques, and their parents. But not by Islamic cultures, as their Arab, Pakistani and other elders were.

Starting when the first sliver of the new moon is sighted -- for some mosques, last night; for others, probably tonight -- Ramadan is recognized as the month when God dictated the Quran to Muhammad. Muslims focus on that event by fasting, putting aside food and drink until sundown.

Their young people have no problem sampling Western diversions: TV, movies, iPods, cell phones, Web sites, Internet chats. But they stop at things like alcohol and American society's fixation on sexuality.

And although it may seem rigorous to outsiders -- praying, fasting, attending mosque services -- young Muslims say they look forward to Ramadan. (MORE)

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FIRMS APOLOGIZE FOR AD THAT MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO MUSLIMS - TOP
Stars and Stripes, 10/4/05
http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=31993

The manufacturers of the military's new tilt-rotor aircraft, the Osprey, apologized Friday for advertisements deemed offensive to Muslims that appeared in two magazines.

Boeing and Bell Helicopter apologized for the ad, which shows U.S. special operations forces rappelling from an Osprey onto the roof of a mosque.

The ad ran in the Armed Forces Journal a month ago, and in the National Journal last week.

"The CV-22 advertisement that appeared in the National Journal is clearly offensive and did not proceed through the normal channels within Boeing before production," Boeing said in a statement on its Web site.

"We consider the ad offensive, regret its publication and apologize to those who like us are dismayed with its contents," said Mary Foerster, Vice President of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems Communications. "Unfortunately despite our best efforts to have the ad replaced, a clerical error at the National Journal resulted in its publication this week."

Mike Cox, a Bell vice president, told The Seattle Times that "the [Bell] people who approved this didn't have authority to approve it."

The statements were released Friday in response to complaints from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Islamic civil-liberties group. The building depicted in the ad has an Arabic sign that translates as "Muhammad Mosque," according to the council.

Armed Forces Journal is a monthly magazine for officers and leaders in the United States military community. Similarly, National Journal is published for people who have a professional interest in politics, policy and government.

SEE ALSO:

ANOTHER REASON TO HATE - TOP
Omaha World-Herald, 10/3/05
http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_pg=608&u_sid=2033464

Even as the U.S. State Department evaluates a new report that argues there is extensive hostility abroad to America and its policies and actions, the situation worsens.

The report was compiled by a nine-member advisory committee, which traveled in the Persian Gulf, Egypt and Great Britain to gather its information. What it found was that, in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib and the controversy over prisoners at Bagram and Guantanamo Bay, "America is less a beacon of hope than a dangerous force to be countered" which "diminishes our ability to champion freedom, democracy and individual dignity."

It's hard to be seen as a champion of individual dignity when repulsive and graphic digital photos, allegedly taken by American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, are displayed on an Internet porn site. The photos show dead bodies and body parts, burned, disembowled or otherwise mutilated.

Floridian Chris Wilson, 27, says his site exists for men to post nude photos of their wives and girlfriends, "amateur" pornography. He asserted that 30,000 U.S. military people subscribe, and several thousand have sent him pictures from overseas, not all of them violent or bloody. The porn is free to those who send digital photos he can post.

Pentagon officials have decried the gruesome photos. But, because military personnel in the pictures can't be identified and when, where and by whom they were taken is unknown, no criminal charges are possible. If the people in the photos could be identified, military leaders said they could face lesser charges, such as conduct unbecoming an officer or enlisted person.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a U.S. anti-discrimination group, said the images could inflame insurgents and leave the mistaken impression that Americans are gloating over war casualties. (MORE)

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DEARBORN FAMILY SEEKS ANSWERS IN DEPORTATION - TOP
Family, Arab-American leaders are angry over how a man convicted in '87 drug case was treated.
Norman Sinclair, The Detroit News, 10/5/05
http://www.detnews.com/2005/metro/0510/04/B01-336267.htm

Fatme Zahr of Dearborn and her son, Rasha, 10, tearfully bemoan the fate of their husband and father, Mosbah Mahmoud Zahr, who was deported to Lebanon after spending five months in U.S. custody.

When federal agents arrested businessman Mosbah Mahmoud Zahr at his Dearborn home as he left for work early one morning in April, it was the last time his four terrified American-born children saw their father.

On Sept. 20, the family was shocked to learn that Zahr, 51, who has lived in the area for 25 years, was deported to Lebanon the night before after being in federal custody for five months. They also were told he was in a hospital suffering from complications from a diabetic condition.

Agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported Zahr because of a 1987 conviction on cocaine possession charges in state court. Even though Zahr was legally deported, the way he was treated is drawing consternation from his family and some community groups.

Arab-American leaders have denounced the way the owner of an Inkster dry cleaning business was suddenly arrested, detained in faraway lockups and whisked out of the country without the notification of his family and without a change of clothes.

Zahr's lawyer, David Steingold, accuses the government of violating Zahr's right to due process and of victimizing his family, now destitute without his support. Steingold said for the five months before he was deported, Zahr was locked up in Battle Creek and even farther away in Sault Ste. Marie.

During that time, Steingold said he was prevented from filing a court challenge because the government had refused since April to let him see Zahr's file, or even the deportation warrant. The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee denounced what officials there called inhumane and heavy-handed tactics.

"I am stunned by this case," said Imad Hamad, regional director of the anti-discrimination group. He met last week with Rob Baker, the top local official in charge of detention and deportations.

"Under the law they had the right to deport him, but the way the situation was handled was uncalled for," Imad said.

"It was totally unnecessary. It caused severe trauma to the kids and the family. I feel sorry for the kids and his wife."

Steingold said the government could have served his client with a deportation warrant, giving him notice to wind up his business affairs, prepare his family, and report for deportation.

"Mr. Zahr was never hiding. He was buying a home in his own name. He paid his taxes," Steingold said. "He is married to a U.S. citizen, his four children are Americans. His oldest daughter has Down's syndrome, and he had to drive her to school every day and take her for medical appointments."

Baker said Zahr had been ordered deported in 1991 after he served a three-year prison sentence. He was given a $2,500 bond in 1992 while he appealed the deportation. When his appeal was denied in 1996 he was an illegal resident, Baker said.

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ISLAMIC STUDENTS SEEK RESOLUTION AGAINST TERRORISM - TOP
Wendy Isom, Jackson Sun, 10/4/05
http://www.jacksonsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051004/NEWS01/510040304/1002

Concerned with interfaith relations in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, Islamic students at the University of Tennessee Martin have rallied for a Student Government Association resolution to denounce terrorism.

The declaration drafted by Islamic students was unanimously approved by the school's SGA senate.

David Belote, interim vice chancellor for student affairs and an SGA advisor at UTM, said Monday he was confident that the Islamic students set an SGA precedent with their group declaration.

Emre Serbest, an Islamic student and UTM senator for the College of Business and Public Affairs, made a rousing presentation on the school's senate floor about the importance of passing the declaration.

"I was exceedingly impressed with Emre and how he presented the information," Belote said.

Serbest spoke to his peers Sept. 22 about interfaith tensions and increased prejudice against Muslims since the rise of terrorist attacks around the world.

These attacks, Serbest said, "have created a strong urge in good Muslims to defend themselves and their peaceful faith against accusations of violent crimes that they have not committed, and provocative, radical extreme thoughts that they do not endorse."

A segment of the resolution statement reads: "We pray for the immediate defeat of these evildoers who call themselves 'Islamic' and yet do everything that Islam rejects and forbids." (MORE)

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A LOOK AT AMERICAN MUSLIM HISTORY - TOP
John Iwasaki, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10/4/05
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/243300_ramadan04.html

A traveling exhibit on Muslim history in the United States, curated by the descendant of a Georgia slave, looks back at mostly obscure lives and little-known contributions of American followers of Islam since the 1700s.

But the archival photos and documents in the show, which opened Monday in Seattle, have modern-day implications, curator Amir Muhammad said.

The Washington, D.C., resident created the exhibit especially "for immigrant Muslims to understand American Muslim history," he said. "It connects people. A lot of people don't know that Muslims were part of the American fabric."

The exhibit is a photocopy of the actual one currently on display at the Smithsonian's Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Ayesha Anderson saw the exhibit at a Muslim conference in Chicago in 2003 and had tried ever since to bring it to Seattle.

"I feel like a mother who's been in labor. This is my baby," said Anderson, a Kent resident who was joined in the effort by Benjamin Shabazz, imam of the Al Islam Center of Seattle.

The collection includes copies of letters, pages from diaries, notices of runaway slaves and other documents that reveal the presence of Muslims in American slavery, some of whom had been educated in Africa. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIM AMERICANS CALL FOR RENAISSANCE IN ISLAM - TOP
Michel W. Potts, New America Media, 10/3/05
http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=4b9c92074d3ee0e6299dbf57da128d74

ANAHEIM, Calif. - After the greater Muslim community of Southern California donated a reported $420,000 to the Council of American-Islamic Relations during its tenth annual banquet, held Sept. 17 at the Anaheim Convention Center here, keynote speaker Prof. M. Cherif Bassiouni presented them with a challenge and a proposal.

A Distinguished Research Professor at the DePaul University's College of Law, Bassiouni noted in his speech how former attorney general John Ashcroft had publicized the presence of sleeper cells in the country, increasing fear among the American public and consequently fostering more prejudice against Muslim Americans.

"When you look at these cases (in which Ashcroft claimed that home grown terrorists across the country had been arrested), you will find in all of these cases that charges were never proven," he pointed out to the audience.

All Americans, irrespective of religion, "have a big challenge ahead of us," he argued. "The challenge is to restore the rule of law to this country...It is obvious that if you have a system where the rule of law prevails, or where the rule of law can be bent, or where the rule of law can be politicized, then you are going to find victims and, right now, the victims are the Muslims."

Bassiouni proposed that Muslims in this country seriously consider forming a national council of learned Muslims scholars. "What we really need to do is to start a movement what I would call a renaissance of Islam," he proclaimed.

Muslims who have lived in the United States for any length of time "have done little to denounce the so-called Muslim regimes all over the world, who have been nothing else but corrupt and inefficient, (and) we have done little to denounce the type of backward-ism in the name of Islam that have we seen by many persons whose knowledge of Islam is limited," he added.

"And we have said and done very little to engage ourselves in the renaissance of Islam in the Muslim world. Maybe now the time has come. Maybe this is the challenge. Maybe this is the best thing that would have happened to Muslims, to be kicked in the back after 9/11 and to wake up."

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Bridge Builder Award to David Stacy, a Christian who agreed to uproot his life and live in a large Muslim community for 30 days in Dearborn, Mich., as part of a Fox Channel documentary that attempted to portray what it is like to be a Muslim in America. (MORE)

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Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 05 Oct 2005 10:42:47 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Spreading the Koran/More Hispanic Women Converting to Islam

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/5/05

* Hadith: Bad Behavior Defeats the Purpose of Fasting
* CAIR: Spreading the Koran (Hartford Courant)
            - Ramadan: Celebrate the Quran
            - CAIR-CA: Mosques Reach Out to Non-Muslims
            - CAIR-CA: A Season to Put Spirituality First (SF Chron)
            - CAIR-Sacramento: Faiths Share Holy Month (Sac Bee)
* FL: More Hispanic Women Converting to Islam (Miami Herald)
* Book: Muslim Chaplain Recalls Guantanamo Abuses (AP)
* FL: Kids Embrace Fasting with a Fervor (St. Pete Times)
            - TX: Ramadan Connects Islamic Faithful (Daily Texan)
            - OR: Muslim, Christian Cross Faith Divide (Oregonian)
            - President Bush Extends Ramadan Greetings to Muslims
* TN: Muslim Students Get Resolution Opposing Terror
* FL: Muslim Inmate Sues County Jail (Orlando Sentinel)
* 17,000 Bosnian Serbs Linked to Srebrenica Massacre (AP)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: BAD BEHAVIOR DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF FASTING - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever does not give up telling lies, (committing) evil deeds and speaking harshly to others, God is not in need of his (fasting)."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Hadith 83

VERSE OF THE DAY: FASTING TEACHES SELF-RESTRAINT

"O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may learn self-restraint."

The Holy Quran, 2:183

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CAIR: SPREADING THE KORAN - TOP
Group Offers Free Copies To Non-Muslims To Counter Negative Publicity
FRANCES GRANDY TAYLOR, Hartford Courant, 10/5/05
http://www.courant.com/features/lifestyle/hc-koran.artoct05,0,3657737.story

As the most sacred holiday in the Islamic calendar, the holy month of Ramadan is marked by fasting during daylight hours and special evening prayers in the mosque. Reading the Koran during Ramadan, which began Tuesday night with the appearance of the new crescent moon, is an essential part of the observance.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, one of the largest Muslim advocacy organizations in the United States, is sponsoring a campaign called "Explore the Quran." The goal is to give the general non-Muslim public a greater familiarity with Islam's holy book by offering it free. The council has received more than 20,000 requests for free Korans since the campaign began in mid-July.

"Explore the Quran" is CAIR's attempt to counter what the organization regards as continuing negative publicity surrounding the Koran, including the alleged desecration of the holy book at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prisons. Those who request a Koran receive a thick hardcover book with English translation next to the Arabic on each page.

"We felt the best way to respond was to give Americans the opportunity to read the Koran for themselves," said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for CAIR. "The response has been overwhelmingly positive and very heartwarming."

The requests have come from Christian ministers who want to learn more about Islam, students, professor, atheists, prisons and police and government officials in communities with a significant Muslim population. . .

Muhammed Ali, president of the Islamic Information Center in Bristol, called CAIR's campaign "a beautiful thing - to put the book in the hands of people. ... It's our job as Muslims to spread the word as we understand it. . ."

To obtain a copy of the Koran, call the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), request online at www.cair-net.org/explorethequran/ or call 800-784-7526.

SEE ALSO:

RAMADAN: CELEBRATE THE QURAN - TOP
Sohair Sultan, Trinity Tripod, 10/4/05
http://www.trinitytripod.com/media/paper520/news/2005/10/04/Features/Ramadan.Celebrate.The.Quran-1008843.shtml

Editor's Note: Sohaib Sultan is the Muslim Chaplain of Trinity College. Additionally, the (S) that is written after the Prophet Mohammed is mentioned signifies in Arabic, "salah'llahu alayhee wa salam," which in English means 'peace be upon him.'

Every year Muslims from all over the world and from all ethnic and economic backgrounds begin fasting from sunrise to sunset everyday during a most blessed month in the Islamic tradition, known as Ramadan. But, what makes Ramadan a blessed month? Why do Muslims fast during this month? What are the spiritual benefits of fasting? All these questions and more are addressed in this article that introduces you to a month long spiritual journey that over 1.4 billion Muslims engage in worldwide.

The Quran says, "It was the month of Ramadan in which the Quran was revealed from on high as a guidance for humanity and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false..." (2:185). So, the entire month of Ramadan is in essence a celebration of the Quran's revelation, which is described as a "Guide and Mercy for those who do good." (Quran 31:3). Ramadan celebrates God's Mercy by which, Muslim believe, the Divine sent a guiding light in the Quran that leads human soul towards the path of good and virtue and protects the human soul from evil and vice. (MORE)

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CAIR-CA: MOSQUES REACH OUT TO NON-MUSLIMS - TOP
Various open houses intended to educate public, dispel stereotypes
Jonathan Jones, The Argus, 10/5/05
http://www.insidebayarea.com/argus/localnews/ci_3088408

Ramadan is coming to a mosque near you. And you're invited.

Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, begins today. It is a time for Muslims to abstain from food, drink and other "worldly pleasures" from dawn until dusk.

But Ramadan also is a time for generosity and being a better father, mother, child and neighbor.

And this year, mosques throughout the Bay Area are hoping their neighbors get to know them a little better. Next weekend, many mosques are holding open houses for non-Muslims to celebrate the iftar, the meal served during Ramadan at the end of each day after the sun sets to break the fast.

Coordinated efforts by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and local mosques, the open houses and iftar dinners are part of an effort by Bay Area Muslims to educate others about their faith and dispel stereotypes. . .

Safaa Ibrahim of CAIR said mosques traditionally hold open houses during Ramadan. But this year, local Islamic leaders are making an extra effort to reach out.

"It becomes, considering 9/11, really important to get to know the community," she said. "It's no different than a church potluck or a family potluck dinner . . .with a little zest of culture." (MORE)

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CAIR-CA: A SEASON TO PUT SPIRITUALITY FIRST - TOP
Fasting is part of holidays for Jews, Muslims and Christians
Cicero A. Estrella, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/5/05
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/10/05/BAG4AF2KF91.DTL

A rare convergence of holy days has Jewish, Muslim and Christian congregations celebrating in different ways almost simultaneously -- and all with periods of fasting.

With the Jewish High Holy Days and the month-long Muslim celebration of Ramadan beginning within days of each other this week, millions of people around the world will forgo food and drink in a bid for spiritual growth. In addition, Eastern Orthodox Christians will fast starting Nov. 15 to celebrate Advent, the 40 days leading to Christmas. . .

For Safa Ibrahim, who is no relation to Hakam, Ramadan provides the chance to reacquaint with family and friends.

"The rest of the year you're always so busy. It's rush, rush," said the executive director of the Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "You take a step back during Ramadan and rekindle relationships." (MORE)

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CAIR-SACRAMENTO: FAITHS SHARE HOLY MONTH - TOP
By Jocelyn Wiener, Sacramento Bee, 10/4/05
http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/religion/story/13665454p-14508265c.html

Jewish people will pray and eat apples and honey. Muslim people will pray and break their all-day fasts with dates. Some call it coincidence; others say it's divine intervention.

Either way, it doesn't happen often.

Today is the first day of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. It is also the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at least for some. Because it begins when Muslims first see the new moon, Ramadan will begin Wednesday in some parts of the world.

Because the two faiths follow different calendars, the sacred months seldom coincide. The last time it occurred was more than three decades ago.

For many local religious leaders, the moment seems ripe with possibility to mend frayed ties between the two communities. Halfway across the world, news reports describe daily losses of Palestinian and Israeli lives. Local leaders say starting a dialogue this month may be the antidote.

Dexter McNamara, executive director of the Interfaith Service Bureau in Sacramento, said he thinks the parallel holidays may be a bit of "divine whimsy."

"This can be a freak of the calendar, or it can be an opportunity to learn about each other," he said. "It's really up to us to make that decision."

Some local religious leaders said that in recent years they have begun to reach out to each other's faiths in new ways. People need to recognize the commonalities of the two religions, they said.

"Along the line, somehow, I don't know where the difference came from," said Hamza El-Nakhal, president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of the Sacramento Valley, "but we are all so similar."

El-Nakhal said that in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, he joined Christian and Jewish leaders in the Woodland and Davis area in creating an interfaith group - Children of Abraham. Sacramento has a similar group. (MORE)

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MORE HISPANIC WOMEN CONVERTING TO ISLAM - TOP
ALEXANDRA ALTER, Miami Herald, 10/5/05
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/12820867.htm

Ask Melissa Matos why she converted to Islam, and you'll likely get an answer that spans 13 centuries. She may refer to seventh century Arabia, where Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammed received the Koran from the angel Gabriel. Or she might describe Islam's golden age in medieval Spain. Or she'll recall Sept. 11, 2001, when fear and curiosity drove her to read about Islam on the Internet.

Matos, who comes from a family of Seventh-day Adventists from the Dominican Republic, has answered the question countless times since converting to Islam in April. She now covers her hair, prays five times a day, and today will observe Ramadan, a month of fasting, prayer and reflection, which began at sundown.

''Sometimes it does get a little difficult,'' said Matos, a 20-year-old political science student at Florida International University who lives with her parents in Miramar. ''I feel alienated from my family and my old friends, but Islam is so beautiful, it's worth it. And with Ramadan, I'm just doing it by myself, just me and God.''

Though Hispanic women make up a small fraction of the nation's 6 million Muslims, those converting to Islam are exerting influence beyond their numbers, teaching Spanish-Arabic classes, forming Hispanic-Muslim organizations and distributing the Koran in Spanish.

Matos, for one, plans to organize a lecture series this semester at FIU on the religion's little-known history in Latin America, including two lectures that will be in Spanish, she said.

Some have founded support networks. Piedad, a network of Muslim women that seeks to educate Spanish-speaking communities about Islam, has more than 344 members nationally. Other groups, like the Latino American Dawah Organization, which was formed in 1997, promote the legacy of Islam in Spain and Latin America.

''It's a movement that is growing, particularly in urban areas,'' said Manuel Vasquez, a professor of religion at the University of Florida. ''It's part of the cross-fertilization that's occurring among immigrant groups.''

There are some 40,000 Hispanic Muslims in the United States, according to a spokesman for the Islamic Society of North America. The largest populations live in New York, Texas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami, American Muslim organizations say. (MORE)

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MUSLIM CHAPLAIN RECALLS GUANTANAMO DEAL - TOP
BEN FOX, Associated Press, 10/4/05
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/12817254.htm

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Army Capt. James Yee had just arrived at the U.S. prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay when he got his first hint of trouble.

The man Yee would replace as Muslim chaplain showed him around the high-security base on the eastern edge of Cuba, and gave him a warning.

"This is not a friendly environment for Muslims, and I don't just mean for the prisoners," Yee recalled hearing from the outgoing chaplain. "You need to watch your back."

The exchange, which Yee recounts in a new book on his experiences at Guantanamo, would prove to be prophetic.

The new chaplain soon grew increasingly disturbed by the treatment of prisoners and what he perceived as military hostility to Muslim personnel at the base. Yee's biggest shock came later, when he was arrested on suspicion of espionage and held in solitary confinement for 76 days.

The case unraveled and authorities eventually dismissed the charges. Yee received an honorable discharge from the service and now lives in Washington state, but he was left with deep concerns about the treatment of prisoners in the U.S. war on terror and anger over his own treatment at the hands of military authorities.

"What happened to me was a gross miscarriage of justice," he said Tuesday in a phone interview from New York, where he was promoting his book, "For God and Country," which went on sale this week. "I don't want what happened to me to ever happen to anyone else."

Since the dismissal of the criminal charges in March 2004, Yee, 37, has appeared at events around the country to promote racial and religious tolerance, but he has avoided discussing details about his experiences in Guantanamo, his arrest and eventual exoneration. (MORE)

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FL: KIDS EMBRACE FASTING WITH A FERVOR - TOP
Many of them are making the sacrifice even though Islamic law does not require them to do so until they reach puberty.
By SHERRI DAY, St. Petersburg Times, 10/5/05
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/10/05/Tampabay/Kids_embrace_fasting_.shtml

TAMPA - Nedaa Oriyanerass is 9. Her friend Rahma Elmohd is 11. They talk on the phone about how to handle temptation. Maybe by shopping. Maybe by playing Pictionary.

Last fall, only four days into the month of Ramadan, Nedaa broke her fast early. It was just too hard to go all day without food and water. But this year she has her friend Rahma as a mentor.

Islamic law does not require such young ones to sacrifice for Ramadan. But like many Muslim children around the world, Nedaa longs to observe the religion's customs and traditions.

"I want to make our god, Allah, proud," she said, her eyes brightening.

The two girls plan to fast from sunrise to sunset for all of Ramadan, which began Tuesday.

Nedaa has one day under her belt. Twenty-nine more to go.

"I'm fasting right now, and it feels good," Nedaa said late Tuesday. "It wasn't hard. Right now, I'm playing, and I don't feel like I'm fasting. It's fun." (MORE)

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TX: RAMADAN CONNECTS ISLAMIC FAITHFUL - TOP
Muslims use holy month to focus on self-discipline
Alan J. Williams, Daily Texan, 10/5/05
http://www.dailytexanonline.com/media/paper410/news/2005/10/05/Focus/Ramadan.Connects.Islamic.Faithful-1009663.shtml

Nearly 50 men, young and old, stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a wooden house on Nueces Street. In concert, they dropped to their knees, and touched their heads against the soft green carpet in prayer.

Students join together at the Neuces Masjid to share in iftar, the meal after evening prayers during Ramadan that breaks their day-long fast.

Facing east toward Mecca, the men knelt and bowed their heads repeatedly in the evening prayer, known as Maghrib.

"I love Ramadan. There is definitely a strong feeling of brotherhood," said Imran Vohra, a UT biomedical engineering senior. (MORE)

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OR: MUSLIM, CHRISTIAN CROSS FAITH DIVIDE - TOP
A minister and head of an Islamic trust urge the faithful to break bread during Ramadan
NANCY HAUGHT, Oregonian, 10/5/05
http://www.oregonlive.com/living/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/living/1128510299298040.xml&coll=7

If you pay federal income tax and you have at least one friend that you like despite your differences, you may be two steps closer to understanding Ramadan.

The Muslim month of fasting, which begins today in Oregon and Southwest Washington, is a lot like April 15, says Wajdi Said, executive director of the Muslim Educational Trust.

"Everyone knows that's the day on which you give the government what you owe," he says. "Ramadan is the time in which you give God what you owe."

And what does a Muslim owe God?

"Much more than fasting," Said says. "Ramadan is not just a month to re-evaluate yourself, to hold yourself accountable, to make a roadmap to felicity, to piety, to self-consciousness. It is a time to be mindful of the people around you; and here (in the Northwest) the people around you are not all Muslims."

Which brings us to the part about friends, and the lessons of one particular friendship, between Said and the Rev. Hector Lopez, who is Central Pacific conference minister of the United Church of Christ.

The two men, both leaders in their own religions, say their friendship began four years ago, before -- actually two days before -- the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

On Sept. 9, 2001, Said and Gail Ramjan visited Ainsworth United Church of Christ to talk about Islam.

The congregation listened attentively, but Lopez heard his heart speaking. He and Said began a friendship that grew under the fire of 9/11 and the hope and hostility that has come and gone in Muslim-Christian relations since that fateful day.

"Wajdi is like a brother to me," Lopez says. (MORE)

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BUSH EXTENDS RAMADAN GREETINGS TO MUSLIMS AROUND THE WORLD - TOP
President praises Muslims' contributions to America at outset of holy month
http://usinfo.state.gov/mena/Archive/2005/Oct/04-892369.html

President Bush sent greetings to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world October 4 as they begin the observance of the holy month of Ramadan. He praised Muslims' commitment to spiritual growth and charity during this season and welcomed the contributions that Muslims have made to American society.

"Throughout our history, America has been blessed by the contributions of people of many different faiths. Our Muslim citizens have helped make our Nation a stronger and more hopeful place through their faith, generosity, and compassion," he said in a press statement.

Following is the text of the statement:

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
October 4, 2005

RAMADAN

Laura and I send warm greetings to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world as they begin the observance of Ramadan.

The month of Ramadan, which commemorates the revelation of the Qur'an to the prophet Muhammed, is the holiest month of the Muslim year. It is a special time of reflection, fasting, and charity. It is also a time of spiritual growth and prayer and an occasion to remember the less fortunate by sharing God's gifts with those in need.

Throughout our history, America has been blessed by the contributions of people of many different faiths. Our Muslim citizens have helped make our Nation a stronger and more hopeful place through their faith, generosity, and compassion.

May this be a blessed Ramadan for Muslims in the United States and around the world. Ramadan mubarak.

GEORGE W. BUSH

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TN: ISLAMIC STUDENTS AT UTM GET RESOLUTION OPPOSING TERRORISM - TOP
http://www.volunteertv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3935392

JACKSON, Tenn. A resolution denouncing terrorism approved by the University of Tennessee at Martin Student Government Association was drafted by Islamic students.

After an impassioned speech by Emre Serbest, an Islamic student and member of the S-G-A Senate, the chamber unanimously approved the declaration.

Serbest said the rise in terrorist attacks worldwide created the need for Muslims to defend themselves and their faith.

Part of the resolution reads: "We pray for the immediate defeat of these evildoers who call themselves 'Islamic' and yet do everything that Islam rejects and forbids."

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FL: MUSLIM INMATE SUES SEMINOLE COUNTY JAIL - TOP
Gary Taylor, Orlando Sentinel, 10/5/05
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/seminole/orl-jailsuit0505oct05,0,7409336.story

An inmate has filed a federal lawsuit against the Seminole County Jail, claiming his rights are being violated because as a Muslim he is not allowed to practice his Islamic religion.

In his suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Orlando, Ernesto J. Holmes also points out that Jewish inmates in the county jail suffer similar violations of their rights.

The suit was filed as followers of both religions begin observance of the most holy days of the year.

For Muslims, the holy month of Ramadan began Tuesday. For 30 days, they refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.

The 10-day Jewish High Holy Days began at sunset Monday with Rosh Hashana and will end with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the most solemn day of the Jewish year.

Holmes complains in his suit that he is not provided the Muslim Juma prayer service on Fridays, does not receive Islamic materials or a prayer rug and is not provided with a daily menu to assure that he does not consume pork products, a violation of the Islamic faith. (MORE)

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BOSNIAN SERB PANEL LINKS 17,000 TO ROLES IN SREBRENICA MASSACRE - TOP
ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/5/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/05/international/europe/05bosnia.html

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Oct. 4 (AP) - A Bosnian Serb commission said Tuesday that it had identified more than 17,000 people who had taken part directly and indirectly in the Srebrenica massacre in 1995, the worst slaughter of civilians in Europe since World War II.

The commission, which has been compiling the report since 2003, said the names would not be released publicly. Instead, they will be turned over to the state prosecutor's office for review and possible charges.

The panel said it had submitted the report to the office of the top international official in Bosnia, Paddy Ashdown, who requested it as part of efforts to bring to justice those responsible for the massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys toward the end of Bosnia's civil war.

The panel said 19,473 members of various Bosnian Serb armed forces and civilians had taken part in the massacre, and of those, 17,074 had been identified by name. About 24,000 Bosnian Serb troops converged on Srebrenica, a United Nations-designated haven for Bosnian Muslims seeking refuge from the Serbs. (MORE)

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
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Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
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Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2005 14:07:19 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Islamic Women's Groups Proliferating/Woman Assaulted, Called 'Sand N**ger'

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/6/05

* Hadith: Fasting is a Shield
* CAIR-San Antonio Hosts Ramadan Media Breakfast
            - CAIR-IL: Homeless Invited to Iftar (Sun-Times)
* VA: Pakistani-American Confronts Military Recruiters
* NY: Islamic Women's Groups Proliferating (Newsday)
            - Brochure: Women Friendly Mosques
            - Women and Islam: the Real Deal
* MA: Governor's Speech Reinforces Fear of Muslims (Globe)
* IA: Middle Eastern Woman Assaulted, Called 'Sand N**ger'
            - CT: Muslim Veggies Pass Inspection
* CAIR: Boeing, Textron Apologize for an Ad (WSJ)
            - Boeing Apologizes for 'Offensive' Ad (Post-Disp)
* DC: House Democratic Leader's Statement on Ramadan
            - Rep. McCollum: Celebrating the Holy Month of Ramadan
            - Support H.R. 465 - House 'Ramadan' Resolution
* PA: Swarthmore Gets $1 Million for Islamic Studies (AP)
            - MN: College Adding Arabic to Language Camp (AP)
* Pentagon Analyst Guilty in Israeli Spy Case (Wash Post)
* Documentary: Three Faiths, One God

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HADITH OF THE DAY: FASTING IS A SHIELD - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told his followers: "God said: 'Every action of the son of Adam is for him except fasting, for that is solely for Me. I give the reward for it.' The fast is a shield. If one is fasting, he should not use foul language, raise his voice (in anger), or behave foolishly. If someone reviles him or fights with him he should say, 'I am fasting' (instead of responding in kind).

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 107A

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CAIR-SAN ANTONIO HOSTS RAMADAN MEDIA BREAKFAST - TOP

A MONTH OF RAMADAN
San Antonio Current, 10/6/05
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15334329&BRD=2318&PAG=461&dept_id=482778&rfi=6

"Without communication and connections we are hurting ourselves," said Surwat Husain at a recent media breakfast sponsored by the Council of American-Islamic Relations to launch Ramadan.

Ramadan, the month-long Muslim observance, began on Tuesday, October 4. Over the next 30 days, practicing Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset, and focus on learning about their faith, performing good works, and teaching others about Ramadan and Islam.

Husain, the president of CAIR's San Antonio chapter, outlined common misperceptions about Islam. "When we are accused of trying to convert America, it's not true," said Husain, an immigrant from Pakistan who has lived in the U.S. for 30 years. "The problem is we believe a lot in what we hear and we don't look for the truth."

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-CHICAGO: MUSLIMS INVITE THE HOMELESS TO JOIN IN RAMADAN SUNSET MEAL - TOP
RUMMANA HUSSAIN, Chicago Sun-Times, 10/5/05
http://www.suntimes.com

The Downtown Islamic Center is inviting the homeless to join Chicago area Muslims when they break their fast at sunset every day during the holy month of Ramadan.

The mosque, 231 S. State, has always encouraged its neighbors to eat "iftar" -- or the meal breaking the fast at Ramadan. But it's the first time the "open houses" are targeting those without shelter.

"Since the very beginning, the Islamic tradition has worked to cultivate in Muslims a compassionate outlook toward serving the poor and the needy. . . . The Quran is replete with verses that urge the faithful to reach out to the destitute," said Ahmed Rehab, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago.

"One of the many blessings of the fasting ritual is understanding firsthand what it is like to suffer deprivation from the basic sensual pleasures of life. This in turn makes Muslims genuinely appreciate the predicament of those who are less fortunate than they."

The world's 1.2 billion Muslims are supposed to abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan.

In the United States, Ramadan began Tuesday evening, but today is the first day most Muslim Americans will begin fasting.

CONTACT: Ahmed Rehab, 312 212-1520, 847 971-3963; communications@cairchicago.org; Yaser Tabbara, 312 718-3725; director@cairchicago.org

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ISSUES OF WAR AND FREE SPEECH ROIL GMU CAMPUS - TOP
Echoes of the '60s Follow Arrest of Pakistani American Student Protesting Near Military Recruiters
Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, 10/6/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/05/AR2005100502106.html

More than 100 George Mason University students and faculty members gathered on campus yesterday for a teach-in, six days after an undergraduate was arrested in a confrontation with military recruiters there.

Tariq Khan, 27, said he was standing near the recruiters' table in the multipurpose Johnson Center at lunchtime last Thursday, holding fliers and wearing signs, including one on his chest that read "Recruiters Lie, Don't Be Deceived." One of the recruiters, plus another man who said he was a Marine, began yelling at him, he said, adding that the Marine ripped off his sign. Khan said that after a campus police officer asked for identification, which he didn't have with him, he was arrested, taken to the Fairfax County police department and charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Khan, a Pakistani American who grew up in Sterling and served four years in the U.S. Air Force, said the recruiters, and later the campus police, made disparaging comments to him about Middle Easterners. (MORE)

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ISLAMIC WOMEN'S GROUPS PROLIFERATING - TOP
MARY VOBORIL, Newsday, 10/6/05
http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/newyork/nyc-rama1006,0,5975337.story

Daisy Khan isn't surprised to find that Islamic women began organizing in the days after 9/11, even in such far-flung states as South Dakota and Minnesota.

But she is surprised that, given the ever-more-public concerns they share as Muslim women, "we haven't all come together before now. Because I'm finding that much of what I am thinking, others are thinking the same thing."

A major coming together of Muslim women in the United States, however, may take place sometime in 2006 at an ambitious, first-of-its-kind conference that Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, has just begun to organize. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

WOMEN FRIENDLY MOSQUES AND COMMUNITY CENTERS - TOP

To download a PDF copy of the brochure's text, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/pdf/intro.pdf
http://www.cair-net.org/pdf/text.pdf

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WOMEN AND ISLAM: THE REAL DEAL - TOP
By Kourosh Safavi, Daily Aztec, 10/6/05
http://www.thedailyaztec.com/media/paper741/news/2005/10/06/Opinion/Women.And.Islam.The.Real.Deal-1011356.shtml

In this day and age, it's saddening to witness people basing knowledge on stereotypes while nobody takes the time to seek the truth for themselves.

Unfortunately, since 9/11, stereotyping, mainly in regard to the issue of terrorism, has targeted Islam. But with the latest developments of the new Iraqi constitution, the public is now scrutinizing women's rights in Islam.

As a Muslim, I have no problem with people criticizing the way Muslim women are treated in the so-called "Islamic States." There's no doubt some of the laws in these countries are oppressive toward women and it's completely understandable for people to think women have fewer rights in these countries. The problem lies in the fact that - out of their ignorance - the majority of people equate these laws with the teachings of Islam.

To view a religion fairly, one must judge it solely on its founder's teachings and the way it was implemented during the founder's time. It's evident throughout history that when teachings are changed and people begin to follow what others say, the original beliefs become corrupt. This misguidance is then mistaken for truth. (MORE)

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GOVERNOR'S SPEECH REINFORCES FEARS - TOP
Missy Ryan, Boston Globe, 10/6/05
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/10/06/distressing_words_for_muslims/

Mahmud Jafri, a Shi'ite Muslim who was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and arrived in the United States 31 years ago, is adamant when he says he wants to be viewed as an American.

''We are Americans who happen to be Muslims," said Jafri, who is president of an Oriental rug company and active in Republican politics in Dover.

Jafri and fellow trustees of the Islamic Masumeen Center of New England in Hopkinton, one of the region's few Shi'ite mosques, were among the Boston-area Muslims who were alarmed by Governor Mitt Romney's recent call for heightened surveillance of certain Muslims to ensure national security.

''We should not be identified by our faith [or] by the acts of a minute minority who [do] not represent mainstream Islam in any way, form, or shape," Jafri said. ''I don't think America is about that."

Romney's suggestion that surveillance of certain mosques should be increased, made in a Sept. 14 speech on homeland security to the conservative Heritage Foundation, prompted a backlash from local Islamic associations, civil liberties groups, and religious organizations. (MORE)

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RIGHTS CRIME ALLEGED - TOP
Mark Bosworth, Daily Iowan, 10/5/05
http://www.dailyiowan.com/media/paper599/news/2005/10/05/Metro/Rights.Crime.Alleged-1009492.shtml

Authorities say a Coralville man spewed an ethnic epithet at a woman of Middle Eastern descent before punching her in the face at an Iowa City bar over the weekend.

Troy Anderson, 24, faces the charge of assault causing bodily injury in violation of civil rights - more commonly known as a hate crime - as a result of the alleged Oct. 1 attack.

The unidentified female complainant was leaving the patio area of the Deadwood Tavern, 6 S. Dubuque St., around 9:30 p.m. when Anderson, 2310 12th St., allegedly started to address her with slurs, said Iowa City police Lt. Jim Steffen.

Then, authorities say, Anderson allegedly called the woman a "sand nigger" and punched her in her left eye, knocking her to the ground. The woman sustained a variety of injuries, including a chipped tooth, red eye, and a cut nose, police said. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

DATASHAK PASSES INSPECTION - TOP
By JOSH MROZINSKI, Middletown Press, 10/05/2005
http://www.middletownpress.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15332384&BRD=1645&PAG=461&dept_id=10856&rfi=6

EAST HADDAM -- Mojibur Rahman smiled on Tuesday as he described a visit by a U.S. Department of Agriculture investigator.

For the past two weeks Rahman, who emigrated from Bangladesh in 2001, has been concerned that something was wrong with the vegetables he was growing at Darul Uloom Shadybrook on Town Street.

Rahman, like the other members of the community and even Internet bloggers, could not understand why the federal government would be interested in a nutritious vegetable grown in India and Bangladesh.

As FBI agents seized a computer and documents from the farm on Sept. 23, USDA investigators from Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services seized datashak seeds and the plant that is also known as Amaranth.

Authorities also took a small amount of squash and okra.

But the veil of mystery and uncertainty lifted on Tuesday when USDA agent James Finn said that tests showed the farm's datashak was safe to eat and did not have any diseases.

Finn could not be reached for comment.

"He said your vegetable is good," said Rahman, who speaks broken English.

Finn also told Rahman that he should call USDA authorities before he grows the datashak. Documents provided to Rahman explain why authorities pounced on the farm.

According to the USDA Emergency Action Notification paper, the datashak was imported from Bangladesh but a permit for its shipment was not issued, meaning that federal and Bangladeshi authorities did not inspect the packages of seeds.

If a permit for a foreign plant is not acquired then authorities can seize the plant or delay it from entering the United States, according USDA regulations. (MORE)

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BOEING, TEXTRON APOLOGIZE FOR AN AD - TOP
Jonathan Karp, Wall Street Journal, 10/6/05
http://online.wsj.com/public/us

WHAT DESCENDS "from the heavens" and "unleashes hell?"

Boeing and Textron intended the answer to be their revolutionary tilt-rotor aircraft, the V-22 Osprey, which is designed to drop troops into battle zones. Instead, it was an ad for the aircraft that struck like a bolt from the blue.

Appearing in an issue of National Journal two weeks ago, the ad kicked up a cultural dust storm by depicting an assault on a mosque under an apocalyptic headline that used the heaven-and-hell theme.

After a complaint last week from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington advocacy group, Boeing, Textron's Bell Helicopter unit and the magazine each quickly apologized. The defense companies said that the ad was "offensive" and hadn't been properly vetted, while the magazine said that a clerical error resulted in the ad's publication despite efforts to pull it. . .

Boeing and Textron's Osprey ad was timed to coincide with the Pentagon's decision in late September to approve full production for the aircraft. What appeared in the National Journal was meant to be an early version of an ad designed to show the Osprey's ability to whisk troops to the heart of a battle, Textron's Bell unit says. The photograph of the street scene, featuring a building with Mohammed's Mosque inscribed in Arabic, was taken at a movie set in Texas. A separate photo of soldiers rappelling off a wall was doctored to look as if they were descending from the new plane.

For reasons that haven't fully been explained, the ad ended up being sent to various publications without being checked. "The normal approval process just fell apart," Bell spokesman Bob Leder says.

A Boeing employee approved the ad without putting it through the usual vetting process, Boeing says. As soon as Boeing's corporate office learned about it, Boeing asked Bell's ad agency to destroy the prints and replace the ad, Ms. Foerster says. Bell scrambled and managed to pull it from a number of publications, though it slipped into the National Journal and, without causing a stir, several weeks earlier in the narrowly distributed "Armed Forces Journal."

SEE ALSO:

BOEING APOLOGIZES FOR "OFFENSIVE" AD - TOP
Philip Dine, POST-DISPATCH, 10/5/05
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/nation/story/A7B4C8F5022FCEC3862570910076D2DA?OpenDocument

Boeing Co. is apologizing for an ad that ran under its name in recent weeks in three magazines.

The ad for the CV-22 or Osprey, a product of Boeing and Bell Helicopter, shows members of the armed forces descending by rope from a plane onto a mosque surrounded by smoke and fire.

The top of the full-page ad reads, "It descends from the heavens. Ironically it unleashes hell."

The bottom of the ad says: "Before you hear it, you see it. By the time you see it, it's too late. The CV-22 delivers Special Forces to insertion points never thought possible. It flies faster. It flies farther. It flies quieter. Consider it a gift from above."

Because of human error, the ad never went through the proper Boeing or Bell approval processes and wasn't cleared for publication, both companies said.

"It was clearly offensive," Boeing spokesman Paul Guse in St. Louis said Wednesday. "It's indefensible."

Sources at the companies said that an advertising firm on the Osprey account produced the ad and an employee in a joint position for Boeing and Bell approved it, despite not being authorized by the two contractors to approve advertising. (MORE)

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PELOSI STATEMENT ON RAMADAN - TOP
http://democraticleader.house.gov/press/releases.cfm?pressReleaseID=1210

Wednesday, October 5, 2005
Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement in recognition of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins today:

"As Muslims around the world recognize the holy month of Ramadan, we take this opportunity to celebrate the contributions of millions of Muslim Americans. They enrich our country while deepening America's respect for Muslims here at home and around the world. As they observe this sacred month, they honor Islam's teachings of self-discipline, compassion and commitment to family.

"As we celebrate Ramadan, we are reminded that we are a country of many faiths, and as such, we must continue to work to promote religious tolerance; our diversity as a nation is one of our greatest strengths."

SEE ALSO:

CELEBRATING THE HOLY MONTH OF RAMADAN - TOP
http://www.mccollum.house.gov

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) issued the following statement to celebrate the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan from October 5th through November 3rd.

"I wish all Muslim families a very special and peaceful Ramadan. At the start of this month of spiritual reflection and renewal, I hope Minnesotans of all faiths have the opportunity to learn about Ramadan from our Muslim friends and neighbors. Minnesota's Muslim community is strong, vibrant and growing. It is an honor and privilege to celebrate the month of Ramadan in Minnesota communities."

Congresswoman McCollum is an original co-sponsor of H.R. 465, a resolution recognizing the commencement of Ramadan and commending Muslims in the United States and throughout the world for their faith. The text of the resolution is below.

SUPPORT H.R. 465 - HOUSE 'RAMADAN' RESOLUTION - TOP
http://capwiz.com/cair/callalert/index.tt?alertid=8054916&type=CO

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SWARTHMORE GETS $1 MILLION FOR ISLAMIC STUDIES PROGRAM - TOP
Associated Press, 10/5/05
http://www.pennlive.com/newsflash/pa/index.ssf?/base/news-31/1128541442275790.xml&storylist=

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Swarthmore College has received a $1 million donation to boost its Islamic studies program, school officials announced Wednesday.

Bruce Jay Gould, a retired Philadelphia cardiologist who graduated from Swarthmore in 1954, said in a statement that he earmarked the gift for Islamic studies because understanding Muslim civilization is vital to living in today's world.

The funds will establish the Bruce Jay Gould Endowment for Islamic Studies, which will serve as the cornerstone of an eventual $5 million endowment for the program. The endowment will support courses and other activities related to Islam in such departments as religion, political science, history and sociology/anthropology. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CONCORDIA COLLEGE ADDING ARABIC TO LANGUAGE CAMP - TOP
Associated Press, 10/6/05

MOORHEAD, Minn. - Concordia College is adding Arabic to the list of languages the school offers at its renowned language and cultural programs in northern Minnesota.

Arabic will be taught starting in July at the Concordia Language Villages program, officials said. The addition of Al-Waha, The Oasis, was expected to be announced Thursday in Washington, D.C.

Executive Director Christine Schulze said she hopes the two, two-week Arabic sessions next summer will draw about 150 students. The new village will be on leased property near Vergas and will teach U.S. students ages 8 to 18.

Several of the Moorhead school's villages are built on the shores of Turtle River Lake near Bemidji. Others are leased in several northern Minnesota locations, as well as one in Savannah, Ga. Another may be started in New Hampshire, Schulze said.

The Arabic immersion courses will include colloquial phrases in several dialects and will also include study of the Muslim faith and current events.

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DEFENSE ANALYST GUILTY IN ISRAELI ESPIONAGE CASE - TOP
Jerry Markon, Washington Post, 10/6/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/05/AR2005100501608_pf.html

A Defense Department analyst pleaded guilty yesterday to passing government secrets to two employees of a pro-Israel lobbying group and revealed for the first time that he also gave classified information directly to an Israeli government official in Washington.

Lawrence A. Franklin told a judge in U.S. District Court in Alexandria that he met at least eight times with Naor Gilon, who was the political officer at the Israeli Embassy before being recalled last summer.

The guilty plea and Franklin's account appeared to cast doubt on long-standing denials by Israeli officials that they engage in any intelligence activities in the United States. The possibility of continued Israeli spying in Washington has been a sensitive subject between the two governments since Jonathan J. Pollard, a U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, admitted to spying for Israel in 1987 and was sentenced to life in prison.

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THREE FAITHS, ONE GOD: JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM - TOP

Three Faiths, One God: Judaism, Christianity, Islam (APT Exchange; release: Oct. 1, 2005) thoughtfully examines the religious beliefs and practices shared by Jews, Christians and Muslims to illustrate how many individuals in the Abrahamic faith communities are dealing with historical conflicts, yet remain dedicated to facilitating understanding and respect.

Three Faiths, One God: Judaism, Christianity, Islam -- offered in two versions: a two-hour program or two one-hour specials -- is produced by Auteur Productions Ltd., presented by Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) and distributed nationally by American Public Television (APT).

For more information on the documentary, contact Lee Newton, CPTV, (860) 275-7285 or email lnewton@cptv.org.
Also, visit www.cptv.org or www.3faiths1God.com

-----

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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, 06 Oct 2005 15:22:12 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Ask Congress to Send Torture Ban to President

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR ACTION ALERT #472

ASK CONGRESS TO SEND TORTURE BAN TO PRESIDENT

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/06/05)
- CAIR today urged American Muslims and other people of conscience to call their elected representatives and ask that a ban on torture by U.S. military personnel be sent to President Bush for his signature.

The Senate voted 90-9 on Wednesday to back an amendment to a $440 billion defense appropriation bill that would prohibit the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" against anyone in U.S. government custody anywhere in the world. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a former prisoner of war in North Vietnam, sponsored the amendment.

SEE: "Senate Adds Ban on Torture to Bill"
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2002542695_torture06.html

A similar House bill does not have the anti-torture language. The two versions will now go to a joint House-Senate committee that will work to reconcile the differences.

"The McCain anti-torture amendment will help to correct the negative perception of our nation created by abuse scandals in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay," said CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote a letter to Sen. McCain in support of the anti-torture amendment. Powell wrote:

"Our troops need to hear from the Congress, which has an obligation to speak to such matters under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. I also believe the world will note that America is making a clear statement with respect to the expected future behavior of our soldiers. Such a reaction will help deal with the terrible public diplomacy crisis created by Abu Ghraib." Twenty-eight other senior retired military officers expressed their support for McCain's amendment.

SEE: "Letter from General Colin Powell to Sen. McCain"
http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/myrtlebeachonline/news/politics/12825913.htm

Earlier this year, CAIR and other groups called for an independent 9/11 commission-style investigation into the use of torture by American military personnel. SEE: http://www.cair-net.org/antitorture/

ACTON REQUESTED:

Contact your elected representatives and ask them to ensure that the McCain anti-torture amendment remains part of the final Defense Appropriation bill that Congress will send to President Bush.

To contact your elected representatives, GO TO: http://capwiz.com/cair/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=8088021

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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, 07 Oct 2005 15:36:58 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Report Confirms Muslims Were Profiled/New Law Exempts Spies from Privacy Act

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/7/05

* Hadith: Mercy, Forgiveness and Freedom from Hell
* CAIR-FL: Schools Move to End Holidays (Tampa Tribune)
            - FL: Schools May Drop Religious Holidays (SP Times)
* CAIR-OH: Helping Muslim Kids Be Proud (Plain Dealer)
            - CAIR-OH: Muslims Explain Meaning of Fast (Plain Dealer)
* NJ: Report Confirms Muslims Were Profiled (Star-Ledger)
            - NJ Muslims Feel Vindicated by Report (AP)
            - Profiling No Tool in Thwarting Terror (SF Chron)
* New Law Will Exempt Spies from Privacy Act (UPI)
* Bush Speech: Doing the 9/11 Time Warp Again (NY Times)
            - Sounding Old Themes on Iraq (NY Times)
            - Transcript: Bush Discusses War on Terrorism (Wash Post)
* McCain Anti-Torture Amendment: End the Abuse (Wash Post)
            - No Room for Torture (Boston Globe)
            - Fighting for an Ideal (LA Times)
            - Action: Ask Congress to Send Torture Ban to President
* Book: Muslim Chaplain Cites Anti-Islam Zeal (Miami Herald)
            - James Yee, In His Own Words (Miami Herald)
* MO: Potluck Unites Jews, Muslims (Columbia Missourian)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: MERCY, FORGIVENESS AND FREEDOM FROM HELL - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "(The month of Ramadan's) beginning is mercy, its middle is forgiveness and its end is freedom from Hell."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 614

The Prophet also said: "There are two pleasures (waiting) for the fasting person, one (comes at) the time of breaking his fast, and the other (comes) when he meets his Lord."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Hadith 584

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CAIR-FL: SCHOOLS MOVE TO END HOLIDAYS - TOP
Marilyn Brown, Tampa Tribune, 9/7/05
http://tampatrib.com/News/MGBSMUQHGEE.html

TAMPA - Rather than recognize some religious holidays and not others, Hillsborough schools may drop all of them except the winter break at Christmas.

A proposed calendar for 2006-07 eliminates the October day off for students coinciding with Yom Kippur and the April days off on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Instead, students would get three secular holidays -- Feb. 19 for President's Day, March 16 as the Friday before spring break and April 27, the midpoint between spring break and the end of school.

"This is a fair calendar," said Ken Otero, the district's chief of staff designee. "No one can say this favors one religious group over another."

The group that sparked the change is not pleased.

"It was not our intention to cause anyone to lose their religious holidays," Ahmed Bedier, Florida spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Wednesday. "This is something we don't want."

Bedier and others from the Muslim community made an impassioned plea to the Hillsborough School Board in December for recognition of their holy days. They asked for a nonstudent day on Nov. 4 of this year for students to observe Eid al-Fitr, a holy day marking the end of Ramadan, and that another holy day in January, Eid al-Adha, be noted on teachers' calendars.

About 30,000 Muslim families live in Hillsborough County, Bedier said, although he doesn't know how many of their children attend public schools.

District officials contend that no religious holiday is recognized, but some student days out of school have been coordinated with Christian and Jewish holidays.

This school year, for example, the district's spring break coincides with Good Friday and Easter Monday. Yom Kippur on Oct. 13 was labeled a "nonstudent, nonteacher day."

SEE ALSO:

SCHOOLS MAY DROP RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS - TOP
Melanie Ave, St Petersburg Times, 10/7/05
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/10/07/Hillsborough/Schools_may_drop_reli.shtml

TAMPA - There may be no day off next school year for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Also on the chopping block are vacation days for the Christian faith's Good Friday and the Monday after Easter.

After considering a request to recognize a Muslim school holiday, the Hillsborough County School Board next week will discuss ending student days off on all religious holidays, whether they be Christian, Jewish or Muslim.

The only religious holiday not affected will be Christmas, which occurs during the school district's winter break.

"From my initial look, it's a good way to respect diversity of all faiths," said board chairwoman Candy Olson.

There are numerous religions and even more holidays, said board member Jennifer Faliero. She asks how a school district can observe some and not others.

"It's in the best interest of schools not to coincide days off with too many holidays," Faliero said.

While educators said their proposed 2006-07 calendar will treat all faiths the same, some local Muslims fear a backlash from people angry about their holidays being converted to school days.

Parent Joan Zaki, who lobbied board members for greater acceptance of Islamic holidays, said it was not her intent to have everyone's holidays taken away.

"Muslims don't need any more negative attention than we're getting," said Zaki, the only Muslim and dissenting member of the district's calendar committee. "We were just trying to get equal treatment."

Zaki and Ahmed Bedier, with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, asked the board about a year ago to include a Muslim holiday in the calendar. (MORE)

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CAIR-OH: HELPING ISLAMIC KIDS BE PROUD OF IDENTITY - TOP
Tom Feran, Plain Dealer, 10/7/05
http://www.cleveland.com/living/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/living/1128678162307920.xml&coll=2

The way it started out, the way it was originally written, the child in the story only had to deal with a basic fear shared by kids everywhere. That maybe, because he wasn't exactly like them, he wouldn't be liked or accepted by his peers.

But events took a hand, and the story subtly changed in a way its author could not have foreseen.

Instead of just worrying about being accepted by his grade school classmates, the boy in her story has to face the real fear that something bad might happen to him because of who he is, an American Muslim.

His fictional story is told in a book called "My Name Is Bilal," newly published by Boyds Mills Press. Its author, Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin, is an Ohio pediatrician and former Westlake resident who wrote it out of necessity -- first for her own three children, but now for a much wider audience.

"I had taken some time off from my practice when I had my kids," she told me, "and I was trying to look for books that would reflect Islamic themes or Muslim-American characters. . ."

Bilal, the boy in her story, hides his religion and calls himself Bill to be accepted by classmates. But he struggles with his deception until a teacher gives him a book about Bilal ibn Rabah -- a beloved figure in Islamic history who withstood religious persecution to make the first Islamic call to prayer.

Mobin-Uddin, 38, submitted her manuscript five months before the terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists on Sept. 11, 2001. Resulting fears and stereotypes gave more importance and urgency to the book's message of understanding and tolerance, and only the need to illustrate it as a children's book delayed publication.

"Kids have different challenges now," Mobin-Uddin said. "We had people just not knowing what Islam was."

She got used to answering questions while attending Marion Catholic High School, where her parents felt that people who respected God would respect her and her own faith.

She earned undergraduate and medical-school degrees at Ohio State University and did her internship and residency in Cleveland, at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, while her husband, Cleveland native John Kashubeck, was getting his training at Mt. Sinai Hospital. They now live in the Columbus suburb of Dublin.

She has a second children's book in the works, does community work and speaking engagements through her Web site, www.asmamobinuddin.com, and serves as vice president of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

MUSLIMS TO EXPLAIN MEANING OF THEIR FAST DURING RAMADAN - TOP
Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/7/05
http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1128677560307920.xml&coll=2

Local Muslims began fasting from dawn to dusk Wednesday when a new crescent moon signaled the start of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month.

The faithful are trying to be especially pious this month and to refrain from food, drink, smoking and sex - all the sensual pleasures - during daylight.

They are also trying to explain to the wider community who they are and what they believe.

This Saturday, for example, the Muslim Student Association at Case Western Reserve University will join non-Muslim students for a Fast-a-thon, a single day of fasting and fund raising for area food banks.

It's one way to share the Muslim belief that fasting fosters self-restraint and compassion for the hungry, student leaders say.

Many of the interfaith events inspired by Ramadan center on the nightly iftar, or the breaking of the fast. You're welcome there, and with the kids:

On Oct. 15, the Cleveland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations will hold its second annual Sharing Ramadan Community Dinner in the student center of the Metro Campus of Cuyahoga Community College. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. Call 216-830-2247. (MORE)

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REPORT BACKS CHARGES THAT N.J. MUSLIMS WERE PROFILED - TOP
Rick Hepp, Star-Ledger, 10/7/05
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-3/112866313196640.xml&coll=1

A confidential federal review has concluded that the state's counterterrorism agents filed 140 intelligence reports into a crime-fighting database with no grounds for suspicion other than the suspects' Muslim faith.

The report, issued this week, backs State Police contentions that the computer entries made by New Jersey's Office of Counter-Terrorism amounted to improper profiling of suspects. Because of this concern, State Police had barred counterterrorism agents from making entries into the database and on Monday removed 14 troopers who had been assigned to that office.

"The submissions, as presented, neither described any specific terrorist or other criminal activity nor contained the necessary factual information on which a determination of reasonable suspicion could have been determined," according to the U.S. Department of Justice-approved report, a copy of which was obtained by The Star-Ledger. The report added that the State Police apparently "acted responsibly in removing the 140 submissions" from their database.

The findings will be used by Attorney General Peter Harvey in a report he is expected to issue by Oct. 17 on standards for identifying potential terrorists. Harvey and State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes believe the federal review affirms their decision to distance the State Police from Counter-Terrorism, according to top law enforcement officials.

The State Police move to reassign the troopers drew an angry response from acting Gov. Richard Codey, who said he was tired of a "turf battle" being waged between the state's top terror-fighting units. Codey on Tuesday issued an executive order removing Harvey's authority over the day-to-day operations of the Office of Counter-Terrorism.

Nearing the end of a series of federally mandated reforms to rid the State Police of racial profiling practices, the attorney general and State Police feared the computer entries could make it appear they condoned profiling. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIMS FEEL VINDICATED BY REPORT FINDING PROFILING BY NJ ANTI-TERROR COPS - TOP
WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press, 10/7/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--muslims-profiling1007oct07,0,2242180.story

DATELINE: NEWARK, N.J. - Muslims say a federal report supporting charges that New Jersey counterterrorism officials were compiling reports on Muslims solely because of their religion confirms what they have been claiming for years.

"This shouldn't surprise anyone," said Yaser El-Menshawy, chairman of the Majlis Ash-Shura of New Jersey, the state's council of mosques. "Although it's wrong and it's bad law enforcement, Muslims understand that we have fewer rights than anyone else right now. I'm sure people in law enforcement realize that and know they can get away with things with Muslims that they can't with any other group." (MORE)

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RACIAL PROFILING NO TOOL IN THWARTING TERRORISM - TOP
Mike German, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/7/05
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/10/07/EDGPFF3EB81.DTL

Ever since Islamic extremists attacked the London mass-transit system this summer, calls have increasingly gone out for adding racial profiling to the U.S. arsenal of counterterrorism security measures. Proponents of racial profiling ridicule the New York Police Department's decision to conduct random bag searches in the subway as a politically correct waste of time, because Girl Scouts and grannies get subjected to searches while "everyone knows" that the terrorists who are trying to kill us are Muslim men. They suggest targeting Muslim men for extra scrutiny would be a more productive use of our counterterrorism resources.

But a quick look at population statistics shows that racial profiling will likely be just as unproductive as random searches. The tragic shooting of a Brazilian electrician who was mistaken for an Arab terrorist by British undercover policemen demonstrates the difficulty of identifying race by merely looking at someone. But even if police here in the United States could be trained to properly identify Arab Americans on sight, only about 1 in 4 would actually turn out to be Muslim. The vast majority -- 63 percent, according to a 2002 Zogby poll, are Christian. So much for the clash of civilizations.

If you wanted to stop Muslims here in America you'd have better luck targeting South Asians (such as Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshi and Afghans), who make up the largest percentage (33 percent) of the American Muslim population, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of State. Southeast Asians make up an additional 1.3 percent. Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer suggested that by profiling Muslims, we can exempt all East Asians from suspicion, but I have a feeling most police officers would have as much trouble distinguishing East Asians from South Asians as they do Arabs from Brazilians. (MORE)

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NEW LAW WILL EXEMPT SPIES FROM PRIVACY ACT - TOP
SHAUN WATERMAN, United Press International, 10/6/05

An intelligence bill currently before the Senate would authorize a four-year experiment, during which intelligence and other federal agencies would be exempted from some Privacy Act provisions and able to freely share information about Americans -- if it is relevant to a foreign intelligence, counter-terrorism or anti-proliferation activity.

Privacy and civil liberties advocates immediately condemned the legislation. "This punches yet another enormous hole through the Privacy Act," ACLU Legislative Council Tim Sparapani told United Press International.

Others were more sanguine. Angeline Chen, who teaches national security law at George Mason University, said she felt the authors of the provision were "Trying to strike a balance" between privacy and the need to share information identified by several inquiries into the failure to interdict the Sept. 11 plot.

The bill, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 was voted out by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last week and is currently pending in the Senate.

The committee report accompanying the bill notes that the "Information Sharing Working Group," made up of representatives from U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies and from the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, had recommended the changes last year.

The report notes that "Certain provisions of the Privacy Act could prevent the sharing of intelligence information within the executive branch," adding that under current law, information about a U.S. person held by one government agency cannot be shared with another agency without the person's permission.

That restriction is part of a raft of provisions in the 1974 act, which governs every aspect of the way U.S. agencies gather, store and use personal data about Americans.

Though there are 12 exceptions to the restriction on data sharing, including for information used "to support a civil or criminal law enforcement activity under certain proscribed conditions," the report says there is no such exemption for intelligence.

Section 307 of the new intelligence bill creates one, exempting all 15 U.S. intelligence agencies -- and the departments and offices that house them -- from this requirement. Under the provision, intelligence agencies can also ask for records from non-intelligence agencies -- and be entitled to get them -- if the information relates to terrorism.

If in doubt about whether information is covered, agency heads can consult either the attorney general or the director of national intelligence.

No court order or other judicial instrument is required, but, to get records from a non-intelligence agency, the director of the agency that wants the records must put the request in writing. (MORE)

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PRESIDENT BUSH'S MAJOR SPEECH: DOING THE 9/11 TIME WARP AGAIN - TOP
New York Times, 10/7/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/07/opinion/07fri1.html

Yesterday, the same day New Yorkers were warned there was a "specific threat" of a bombing on their subways, President Bush delivered what the White House promoted as a major address on terrorism. It seemed, on the surface, like a perfect topic for the moment. But his talk was not about the nation's current challenges. He delivered a reprise of his Sept. 11 rhetoric that suggested an avoidance of today's reality that seemed downright frightening.

The period right after 9/11, for all its pain, was the high point of the Bush presidency. Four years ago, we hung on every word when Mr. Bush denounced Al Qaeda and made the emotional - but, as it turned out, empty - vow to track down Osama bin Laden. Yesterday, it seemed as if the president was still trying to live in 2001. It was eerie to hear him urge Americans to take terrorism seriously. There wasn't any reason to worry about that even before subway riders were being told about the threat of a terrorist attack on their commute home.

He seemed to be reading from a very old and familiar script as he revealed that terrorists recruit "disillusioned young men and women," some of whom build weapons based on information available on the Internet. He shared his conviction that "it is cowardice that seeks to kill children and the elderly with car bombs." He said his team was "reforming our intelligence agency" and reorganizing government for "a broad and coordinated homeland defense." (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

PRESIDENT BUSH'S MAJOR SPEECH: SOUNDING OLD THEMES ON IRAQ - TOP
New York Times, 10/7/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/07/opinion/07fri2.html

We've lost track of the number of times President Bush has told Americans to ignore their own eyes and ears and pretend everything is going just fine in Iraq. Yesterday, when Mr. Bush added a ringing endorsement of his own policy to his speech on terrorism, it was that same old formula: the wrong questions, the wrong answers and no new direction. (MORE)

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TRANSCRIPT: BUSH DISCUSSES WAR ON TERRORISM - TOP
Washington Post, 10/6/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/administration/bushtext_100605.html

President Bush, speaking at the National Endowment for Democracy Thursday, said that the United States and its allies have disrupted 10 al Qaeda plots since Sept. 11, 2001, including three plots to attack inside the United States. Here is a transcript of Bush's remarks.

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END THE ABUSE - TOP
Washington Post, 10/7/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/06/AR2005100601580.html

THE SENATE has taken a major step toward stopping the most damaging and shameful American conduct during the war on terrorism. An amendment to the defense appropriations bill offered by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and approved Wednesday night by the resounding vote of 90 to 9 would end four years of uncertainty about the rules for the military's treatment of detainees. It would also close the loophole that administration lawyers improperly opened for the CIA in an anti-torture treaty the United States ratified a decade ago, by prohibiting "cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment for all prisoners held in U.S. custody.

If upheld by the House, Mr. McCain's amendment would curtail, at last, the policy of abuse adopted by the Bush administration for detainees in the war on terrorism. It would mandate an end to the hundreds of cases of torture and inhumane treatment, many of them qualifying as war crimes, that have been documented by the International Red Cross and the Army itself at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Afghanistan and Iraq, and elsewhere. Improper practices approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for the Guantanamo Bay prison and subsequently exported to Iraq, such as stripping prisoners naked and threatening them with dogs, would be out of bounds. Such conduct is not permitted by the U.S. Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation, which conforms with the Geneva Conventions and which, under the McCain amendment, would set the standard. Also out of bounds would be the even harsher methods approved by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and used by the CIA on detainees it is holding in secret locations abroad, such as simulated drowning and mock execution. With the endorsement of a long list of senior retired military officers, including Colin L. Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Senate has sent a clear message that such practices are a dangerous departure from decades of past practice and an unacceptable violation of American values. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

NO ROOM FOR TORTURE - TOP
Boston Globe, 10/7/05
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2005/10/07/no_room_for_torture/

FOR 18 months, Congress and the world have known that something has been terribly wrong at Guantanamo and in the detention centers in Iraq and Afghanistan, where US troops have tortured and killed detainees in violation of US and international law. Finally, the Senate has acted, by an impressive 90-9 vote, to end the confusion over the rules of military interrogation. Instead of threatening to veto the measure, as his staff has done, President Bush should embrace it as evidence that the military will correct abuses and hold itself to a high standard. (MORE)

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FIGHTING FOR AN IDEAL - TOP
Los Angeles Times, 10/7/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-bush07oct07,0,1128228.story

The McCain amendment - also supported by another military veteran, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) - would recommit the U.S. to adherence to the Geneva Convention's treatment of detainees. The administration's claims that "unlawful combatants" are not entitled to Geneva Convention protections are specious both legally and morally.

The photos from Abu Ghraib and the tales of mistreatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, in Iraq and Afghanistan have badly stained the U.S. image. The contention of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) that those we brand terrorists are not entitled to treatment accorded prisoners of war drags this country down to the lowest level of those we fight. (MORE)

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ACTION: ASK CONGRESS TO SEND TORTURE BAN TO PRESIDENT - TOP
http://capwiz.com/cair/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=8088021

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CHAPLAIN CITES ANTI-ISLAM ZEAL - TOP
Carol Ronseberg, Miami Herald, 10/7/05
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/12839676.htm

As a Muslim chaplain, Army Capt. James Yee made sure terrorism suspects at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, got pork-free halal meals and rugs for five-times-a-day prayer and wrote rules for soldiers to treat Islam's holy book, the Koran, with dignity.

But, while the U.S. captain was held on suspicion of espionage, the military took away his Koran, refused him a prayer rug at a Navy brig -- and even for a few days fed him routine military rations featuring Islam's forbidden bacon and ham.

Nine months after Yee, 37, took an honorable discharge from the military, the West Point graduate lays out what he sees as painful ironies in his 240-page memoir, For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism, which went on sale Thursday.

In the book, Yee describes how he went from educating Guantánamo guards about the Islamic indignity of strip searches to enduring them himself -- in a yearlong odyssey of suspicion that, he says, was fueled by anti-Muslim zeal among fellow troops at the Pentagon's premier prison in southeast Cuba. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

JAMES YEE, IN HIS OWN WORDS, FROM HIS NEW BOOK, FOR GOD AND COUNTRY - TOP
Miami Herald, 10/7/05
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/religion/12837035.htm

James Yee, in his own words, from his new book, For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire:

On his role as Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo:

"My experience had taught me how little cultural understanding of Islam most military leaders had . . . I saw myself helping bridge that divide and in the process helping the detention operation be more successful."

'I became concerned that the role of the Muslim chaplain existed solely so that the camp command could publicly claim to be adhering to the Geneva Conventions and respecting Islam, not because of a genuine desire to respect the prisoners' right to practice their faith."

On guard-captive tensions over Islam:

"A guard had dropped a detainee's Qur'an during a cell search, and the prisoners were beginning to riot. You could always sense a riot brewing, like a storm in summer, even from far beyond the bounds of Camp Delta. . . . The noise was deafening and spread from cell to cell and block to block."

"I had been warned to expect a certain level of animosity, but I never thought that U.S. soldiers would systematically use Islam as a weapon against prisoners and that it would be accepted by the command. I was incredulous."

On distrust of Muslim members of the U.S. military there:

"The troopers who were the most paranoid and hostile toward me were those who most vigorously believed that all the detainees were al-Qaeda and many had planned the September 11 attacks."

"I was sure that I was being imprisoned in large part because I had fought so hard to ensure the detainees at Guantanamo were given the things they needed to practice their religion, yet here I was being denied those things myself."

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POTLUCK ATTEMPTS TO UNITE JEWS, MUSLIMS - TOP
John Parks, Columbia Missourian, 10/7/05
http://columbiamissourian.com/news/story.php?ID=16427

More than 50 Muslims and Jews gathered in MU's Gwynn Hall on Thursday night to break their fasts for the day and share their beliefs with one another.

The potluck dinner, sponsored by Boone Tikkun, was held on the second day of Ramadan, a month-long period of fasting and reflection for Muslims, and on Gedalya, a minor Jewish fast day that follows Rosh Hashana.

"It is incumbent on all of these faiths to build bridges in the community," said Abdullahi Ibrahim, who attends the Islamic Center of Central Missouri.

The point of the evening was to bring together Jews and Muslims in a social setting where they could learn about and from one another, said Amy Damashek, a member of Boone Tikkun, which takes its name from a Hebrew word meaning "to heal, repair or transform the world."

"I think it would be great if there was more trust and solidarity among Jews and Muslims," Damashek said. "I hate to say we're enemies, and I would like to see them as allies."

Many of the attendees took time to discuss their beliefs and gain a deeper understanding of one another.

"We come to share some stories of our fasting and some stories of our faiths," said Emin Kopili, secretary at the Islamic Center of Central Missouri. "We can learn from each other. It is an enriching environment."

Many questions were specific to religion, but discussions at the dinner also touched on political issues.

"If Americans speak out, and if Jews and Muslims speak out about what they think, they could have a large impact on what the U.S. is doing in the Middle East," Damashek said.

"It is not far-fetched to say small meetings can contribute over there," said Kapili, referring to tensions in the Middle East.

Last year, Boone Tikkun and the Muslim Students Organization sponsored a discussion about the possibilities for peace in the Middle East, moderated by one Jewish professor and one Muslim professor. The groups also cosponsored an event that brought an Israeli woman and a Palestinian woman to MU, where they spoke about the personal cost of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

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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: Sat, 08 Oct 2005 09:03:28 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Iraq War Dead Porn Site Leads to Obscenity Arrest

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/8/05

* Hadith: Fasting is More Than Avoiding Food and Drink
* ISLAM-OPED: Mideast Tour Leads Hughes Back to Oval Office
            - CAIR-OH: Muslims Explain Faith to Others (Col Disp)
* LA: Local Islamic Centers Aid Hurricane Evacuees (Advocate)
* FL: Iraq War Dead Porn Site Leads to Obscenity Arrest (Orlando Sent)
            - CAIR Calls for Pentagon Probe
* Pentagon Seeks U.S. Informants on Insurgencies (Reuters)
* Former Marine Claims Platoon Committed Atrocities in Iraq (AP)
            - Talk Show Host Backs Torture (Media Matters)
            - Action: Ask Congress to Send Torture Ban to President
* Powerful Quake Rocks Pakistan, Afghanistan, India

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HADITH OF THE DAY: FASTING IS MORE THAN AVOIDING FOOD AND DRINK - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Fasting is not (just abstaining) from eating and drinking, but also from vain speech and foul language."

"Perhaps a fasting person will gain nothing from his fast save hunger, and perhaps the one who stands to pray at night will gain nothing from his standing except sleeplessness."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 132A

The Prophet also said: "Actions are judged (by God) according to the intention behind them, and everyone is (rewarded for) what he intended."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 113C

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ISLAM-OPED: HUGHES' MIDDLE EAST TOUR LEADS HER BACK TO OVAL OFFICE - TOP
PARVEZ AHMED, Chicago Sun-Times, 10/8/05
http://www.suntimes.com/output/otherviews/cst-edt-ref08b.html

Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes has been on a mission to change Muslim hearts and minds. Since taking up her post in early September, she met with American Muslim leaders in Chicago before embarking on a "listening tour" of the Middle East. . .

To her credit, Hughes comes across in meetings as a person genuinely interested in hearing opposing views. She passionately defends her boss, President Bush, without being dismissive of opinions that paint the president's policies in less than sympathetic terms.

But her effectiveness as a goodwill ambassador for the United States will now depend on her ability to walk into the Oval Office and explain to the president that public relations efforts are doomed if they are not tied to policy changes that impact realities on the ground. That was the message she heard from American Muslim leaders, and from activists and ordinary Muslims from Riyadh to Ankara. . .

For Hughes to succeed in changing Muslim hearts and minds, she must use her newfound knowledge to focus attention on the hearts and minds of those who formulate American policies that impact ordinary Muslims worldwide. As an Arabic editorial in Al-Khaleej newspaper summarized: "She has to start her mission from Washington, not from Cairo, Riyadh or any other Muslim capital."

Parvez Ahmed, pahmed@cair-net.org, is board chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group.

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-OH: AT RAMADAN, MUSLIMS EXPLAIN FAITH TO OTHERS - TOP
Felix Hoover, COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 10/7/05
http://www.dispatch.com/news/religion/faith-story.php?story=dispatch/2005/10/07/20051007-C1-02.html

Local Muslims and future leaders of Ohio's farm and food industries broke the ice at a Downtown mosque last week before breaking bread together at a restaurant in Clintonville.

Members of Ohio Leadership Education and Development, an 18-month program offered by the Ohio State University Extension, visited the Islamic Center on E. Broad Street as part of their introduction to different faiths.

"Our intent is to interact and to bring diversity to our leaders," said Alice Black, program director. "It's important that they're exposed to different cultures."

Whether initiated by Muslims or others, such interfaith discussions are on the rise, especially at Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam. Under the Islamic calendar, which operates on the lunar year, Ramadan falls about 11 days earlier each year in relation to the solar calendar.

This year, the holy month began at sundown on Tuesday, ushering in a period of abstinence from food, water and pleasures from dawn to sunset. In the evening, Muslims break the fast and engage in special prayers in addition to the normal ones.

When the leadership program's 29-person caravan arrived, worshippers at the mosques had just finished the Asr prayer, the third of five daily prayers that are mandatory for Muslims.

The visitors went to one of the classrooms for an overview of Islam by Abdonasser Abdouni, acting vice president of the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio.

The leadership group, most of whose members are Christians, had visited Congregation Tifereth Israel, just a few buildings west of the Islamic Center, and had been briefed on Judaism before heading to the mosque.

"It was very interesting to discover there were more similarities to the three religions than I realized," said Carol Haramis, a member of the leadership group from Peninsula, about 130 miles northeast of Columbus in Summit County.

Jennifer Nimer, civil-rights director for the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Dalia Mohammad, office manager, helped Abdouni field questions, as did Amna El-Tayeb, a Muslim in the leadership program. . .

CAIR-Ohio's annual community iftar, which will be held at the Ohio Union on N. High Street, has experienced geometric growth in its six years.

"We started with 20; now we're expecting 500-600," said Ahmad Al-Akhras, president of the council.

The idea is to establish more intimate ties and to counter messages that stereotype Muslims as terrorists, he said.

"Our biggest enemy is ignorance," Al-Akhras said. "We need the larger community to feel they have Muslim brothers and sisters living among them."

Personal relationships enable intercultural education and help promote the notion that the face of America is not just Judeo-Christian, but Judeo-Christian-Islamic, he said. . .

Locally, CAIR is encouraging non-Muslims to take advantage of the Explore the Quran campaign, which permits those outside the faith to receive a free copy of Islam's holy text. Requests can be made via www.cair-net.org/explorethequran/

"Learn for yourself; we are not pushing anything on you," Al-Akhras said.

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LOCAL ISLAMIC CENTERS AID HURRICANE EVACUEES - TOP
CHUCK HUSTMYRE, Advocate, 10/8/05
http://2theadvocate.com/stories/100805/rel_rel003.shtml

After riding out the brutal winds of Hurricane Katrina at her home in New Orleans, Rita Jenkins thought she and her family had weathered the worst the storm had to offer.

Then came the flood.

"That water just shot in and filled the streets," Jenkins recalled. "It was time for us to go."

Jenkins and 17 members of her family piled into three cars and headed for higher ground. They intended to go to a little town -- Jenkins said she can't remember which one -- just past Lafayette, but they took the wrong exit off the interstate and ended up in Baton Rouge at the Islamic Complex on East Washington Street. There they sought directions, but found refuge instead.

Like their Christian and Jewish counterparts throughout Baton Rouge and the surrounding area, the Islamic Complex and the nearby Islamic Center of Baton Rouge mobilized to help those forced to flee the New Orleans area. Soon the effort drew outside support, becoming an example of interfaith cooperation.

Jenkins and her family were among nearly 100 New Orleans evacuees the Islamic Complex took in after Hurricane Katrina.

According to Mahmoud Jehad, an imam at the Islamic Center of Baton Rouge on West Chimes Street, the first night after the hurricane struck, 150 evacuees crowded into the center seeking shelter. Within a few days, that number had risen to more than 500, he said.

Many of those who found help at the Islamic Center and at the Islamic Complex were not Muslim.

Jehad said the faith of the evacuees was not important, only that they were in need. "It's a major tenet of Islam, kindness to fellow humans," he said. "We seek to help everybody."

Imam Fahmee Sabree, of the Islamic Complex on East Washington Street, said the vast majority of people who sought refuge at the complex were Christian. (MORE)

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WAR-DEAD WEB SITE LEADS TO POLK OBSCENITY ARREST - TOP
Anthony Colarossi, Orlando Sentinel, 10/8/05
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/technology/orl-obscene08_105oct08,0,4482964.story

Polk County officials arrested a Lakeland man on obscenity charges Friday after investigating his graphic Web site, which has gained international attention for allowing U.S. soldiers to post pictures of war dead on the Internet.

The charges against Christopher Michael Wilson, a former police officer, are likely to reignite the debate about obscene material in the Internet age. It also raises questions about whether the federal government played a part in motivating the prosecution.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said late Friday that the 300 obscenity-related charges against Wilson all involve sexual content on his Web site -- and not graphic war-scene images posted by soldiers.

"It is the most horrific, vile, perverted sexual conduct," Judd said. "It is as vile, as perverted, as non-normal sexual conduct, which rises to the level of obscenity, as we've ever investigated."

Late last week, U.S. Army officials said they could not confirm whether photographs on Wilson's Web site, presumably showing Iraqi and Afghan war dead, were actually posted by U.S. soldiers.

An Islamic civil-rights group was disappointed that the Army did not pursue criminal charges. Last week, Ibrahim Hooper, a Council on American-Islamic Relations spokesman, said: "For this to be treated in a manner that suggests the Army does not take this seriously is only going to further harm our nation's image and interests around the world, particularly in the Muslim world."

Wilson, 27, was letting soldiers access normally paid portions of his site in exchange for graphic war-scene shots or proof that they were fighting in the Middle East, for instance. Late Friday, Wilson's site, which the Orlando Sentinel will not name, still had grisly images of war dead.

Judd said none of the 20 films and 80 photos that brought about the charges involves pictures of war dead. But Judd confirmed that his detectives did speak with officials with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division before arresting Wilson on Friday. (MORE)

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org

SEE ALSO:

CAIR CALLS FOR PENTAGON PROBE, SAYS PRACTICE MAY VIOLATE INTERNATIONAL LAW - TOP
http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1792&theType=NR

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PENTAGON SEEKS U.S. INFORMANTS ON INSURGENCIES - TOP
David Morgan, Reuters, 10/7/05
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N07276617.htm

WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Pentagon officials said on Friday they could fight insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan more effectively if Congress would allow intelligence operatives to hide their identities from potential informants in the U.S. Muslim population.

Civil liberties advocates say the Pentagon is simply using troubles abroad to reacquire domestic espionage powers that Congress revoked in the wake of Vietnam-era abuses.

They warn that any change in the law would erode privacy protections, especially for Muslim American citizens and resident aliens with personal ties to countries at the forefront of the U.S. war on terrorism.

Four years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Defense Department is seeking congressional approval for a change in a 1974 privacy law that would allow its intelligence operatives to approach citizens and resident aliens inside the United States without revealing their government credentials.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has backed the Pentagon's request in its fiscal 2006 intelligence spending authorization bill, which could be taken up by the full Senate later this month. . .

The proposed change drew a cool reception from an organization that represents an estimated 7 million American Muslims.

"This has a back-alley, dead-of-night feel to it that I don't think would be received well by the Muslim community," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Lisa Graves of the American Civil Liberties Union scoffed at a defense official's assertion that the proposed change would not allow for carte blanche Pentagon spying inside the United States.

"That's some spin," Graves said. "The change would allow them to gather information on Americans surreptitiously. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck."

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FORMER MARINE IN IRAQ CLAIMS IN BOOK THAT HE AND HIS PLATOON COMMITTED ATROCITIES - TOP
JOELLE DIDERICH, Associated Press, 10/7/05
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051007/ap_on_re_eu/france_iraq

PARIS (AP) - A former U.S. Marine in Iraq alleges that his battalion committed atrocities against Iraqi civilians during the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, including shooting unarmed protesters.

Jimmy Massey, a staff sergeant who was in the Marines for 12 years and served three months in Iraq before being honorably discharged with post-traumatic stress syndrome, details the allegations in his book ``Kill! Kill! Kill!'', written with the French journalist Natasha Saulnier and published in France.

A Pentagon spokeswoman said Massey's complaints had already been investigated and found to be unsubstantiated.

Massey said he was in charge of a platoon in the 3rd Batallion of Regimental Combat Team 7, responsible for setting up checkpoints and providing armed cover against terrorists and insurgents.

He alleges that over a period of a month and a half in 2003, his platoon killed more than 30 civilians in Iraq. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

BECK TO PURPORTED TORTURER: "I APPRECIATE YOUR SERVICE" - TOP
http://mediamatters.org/items/200510070011

After devoting a portion of the October 6 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show to discussing pending legislation that would prohibit "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" of detainees held by the U.S. government, Glenn Beck interviewed a caller who claimed to have worked as an "intelligence officer" and to have "extracted intelligence" from U.S.-held prisoners by torturing them. The caller said his preferred methods of torture included burning the retinas of prisoners' eyes with high-powered halogen lamps and blowing out prisoners' eardrums with high-pressure water and air. He also claimed to have known "a contractor that did drilling on live teeth." After hearing the caller describe these torture techniques, Beck responded, "I've got to tell you, I appreciate your service." During the interview, Beck asked the caller if he ever had trouble sleeping at night. When the caller answered, "No," Beck responded, "Good for you." He later added, "[W]hen all is said and done, I'm glad people like you are on our side."

The caller identified himself only as "Mitch," a name he later admitted was false. (MORE)

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ACTION: ASK CONGRESS TO SEND TORTURE BAN TO PRESIDENT - TOP
http://capwiz.com/cair/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=8088021

-----

POWERFUL QUAKE ROCKS PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, INDIA - TOP
CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press, 10/8/05

DATELINE: ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake reduced villages to rubble in Pakistan and India on Saturday, killing hundreds of people. Pakistan's army described the damage as widespread and said it included villages buried in quake-induced landslides.

Pakistan's Geo television quoted Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, the Pakistani army's chief spokesman, as saying 1,000 people were feared dead. Pakistani army officials who flew over quake-hit areas reported seeing hundreds of flattened homes in villages north of the capital Islamabad.

"The damage and casualties could be massive and it is a national tragedy," Sultan told The Associated Press. "The is the worst earthquake in recent times."

The U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site the quake hit at 8:50 a.m. local time and had a magnitude of 7.6. It was centered about 60 miles northeast of Islamabad in the forested mountains of Pakistani Kashmir.

Damage was extensive in Kashmir, the disputed Himalayan territory divided between India and Pakistan. Officials in the Indian-controlled portion reported 157 killed, including 14 soldiers who perished in a landslide. At least 600 were injured.

Air force and army soldiers helped civilian authorities rescue people trapped under buildings. Telephone lines were down. Bridges had developed cracks, but traffic was passing over them.

At least 100 people died in Mansehra district in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, and 70 percent of mud-brick homes in quake-hit areas collapsed, said Asif Iqbal, the provincial information minister. Casualty tolls from other districts were being compiled.

In eastern Afghanistan, an 11-year-old girl was crushed to death when a wall in her home collapsed, said police official Gafar Khan.

The quake brought down a 10-story apartment building in Islamabad and dozens of people were feared trapped in the rubble. Rescuers pulled out at least 20 injured people. Some residents were Westerners, a building employee said. (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: Sun, 09 Oct 2005 13:10:31 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Urged to Help, Pray for Quake Victims

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR ACTION ALERT #473

U.S. MUSLIMS URGED TO HELP, PRAY FOR S. ASIA QUAKE VICTIMS

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/9/05)
- CAIR today called on American Muslims and other people of conscience to help the victims of yesterday's massive earthquake in South Asia.

The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group asked those wishing to offer earthquake relief to visit the web site of a Muslim task force set up to help alleviate the suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Relief organizations associated with the Muslim Hurricane Relief Task Force ( www.mhrtf.net ) are offering aid to areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India devastated by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that left at least 30,000 people dead.

The Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA) has also established the "APPNA Earthquake Relief Fund 2005." Checks may be sent to: APPNA Earthquake Relief Fund 2005, 6414 S. Cass Avenue, Westmont, IL, 60559 TEL: 630-968-8585, E-Mail: appna@appna.org (APPNA is seeking physician volunteers to help in the earthquake areas.)

CAIR urged Americans of all faiths to pray for those killed, injured or left homeless by the earthquake.

"Just as Americans came together to help the victims of recent Gulf Coast hurricanes, we must do whatever we can to help those suffering from natural disasters in other parts of the world," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

ACTION REQUESTED:

1. Go to www.mhrtf.net or www.appna.org to find Muslim relief groups offering aid to quake victims.

2. Contribute in any way you can. Monetary contributions are best, but you can also donate supplies or volunteer your time.

3. Pray for the victims.

- PLEASE POST, COPY 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: Sun, 09 Oct 2005 13:19:25 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: AZ Muslim Assaulted by Teens Shouting Religious Slur

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/9/05

* Hadith: God Rewards Service to Others
* AZ: Muslim Assaulted by Teens Shouting Religious Slur
* UT: 'Explore the Quran' Offers Muslim Holy Book - Free
* Chaplain Yee's Test of Faith (Washington Post)
* AL: Muslim Athletes Adapt During Ramadan Fast
* Muslims are Right at Home in the U.S. (SF Chronicle)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: GOD REWARDS SERVICE TO OTHERS - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "A man felt very thirsty while he was traveling. He came across a well, went down into the well, quenched his thirst and came out. He then saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. He said to himself, 'This dog is suffering from thirst just as I did.' So, he went down the well again, filled his shoe with water and (gave it to the dog). God thanked him for that (good) deed and forgave him (his sins)." The people then asked the Prophet: "Is there a reward for us in serving animals?" He replied: "Yes, there is a reward for serving any (living beings)."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadith 646

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PHOENIX MUSLIM ASSAULTED BY TEENS SHOUTING RELIGIOUS SLUR - TOP
Islamic civil rights group seeks FBI hate crime investigation

(PHOENIX, AZ, 10/9/05) - The Arizona office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ) today called on local and national law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for an attack on a Phoenix Muslim by teenagers who allegedly shouted a religious slur.

(MEDIA AVAILABILITY: The victim will be available to media outlets at CAIR-AZ's Phoenix office later today. CONTACT CAIR-AZ Communications Director Nure Elatari, 602-312-2223, or CAIR-AZ Civil Rights Director Salam Safi, 480-600-0008, for more information.)

CAIR-AZ says the attack on an elderly Muslim of Somali heritage wearing Islamic attire took place late Thursday after he left Ramadan "taraweeh" prayers that are held each night during the month-long fast.

According to the victim, the attackers shouted "f**king Muslim" just prior to the assault. They were later apprehended and reportedly given citations for misdemeanor assault. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of a broken arm.

"Given the circumstances of the attack, a possible bias motive should be considered and investigated thoroughly," said CAIR-AZ Communications Director Nure Elatari. "People of all faiths should feel secure when visiting a house of worship." She urged the FBI to add its resources to those of local authorities investigating the incident.

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-AZ Communications Director Nure Elatari, 602-312-2223; CAIR-AZ Civil Rights Director Salam Safi, 480-600-0008; 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

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'EXPLORE THE QURAN' OFFERS MUSLIM HOLY BOOK - FREE - TOP
Deseret Morning News, 10/9/05
http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,615156203,00.html

As the most sacred holiday in the Islamic calendar, the holy month of Ramadan is marked by fasting during daylight hours and special evening prayers in the mosque. Reading the Quran during Ramadan, which began Tuesday night with the appearance of the new crescent moon, is an essential part of the observance.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, one of the largest Muslim advocacy organizations in the United States, is sponsoring a campaign called "Explore the Quran." The goal is to give the general non-Muslim public a greater familiarity with Islam's holy book by offering it free. The council has received more than 20,000 requests for free Quran since the campaign began in mid-July.

"Explore the Quran" is CAIR's attempt to counter what the organization regards as continuing negative publicity surrounding the Quran, including the alleged desecration of the holy book at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prisons. Those who request a Quran receive a thick hardcover book with English translation next to the Arabic on each page.

"We felt the best way to respond was to give Americans the opportunity to read the Quran for themselves," said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for CAIR. "The response has been overwhelmingly positive and very heartwarming. . ."

To obtain a copy of the Quran, call the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), request online at www.cair-net.org/explorethequran/ or call (800) 784-7526. (MORE)

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A CHAPLAIN'S TEST OF FAITH - TOP
As the Army's Case Against Muslim James Yee Collapsed, His Own World Was Crumbling, Too
Ray Rivera, Washington Post, 10/9/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/08/AR2005100801314_pf.html

His wife held the gun in one hand and two bullets in the other.

With the release of the book last week, the former Muslim Army chaplain and West Point graduate breaks his long silence on the government's case against him and how it drove his family to within a trigger's pull of tragedy.

Yee was arrested Sept. 10, 2003, on allegations of spying and aiding the enemy while assigned to minister to Muslim detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The news made international headlines, and soon word spread that he was the leader of a terrorist spy ring.

The military eventually dropped all charges. . .

An Unfriendly Atmosphere

On his arrival at Guantanamo, the outgoing Muslim chaplain left him with a warning: "This is not a friendly environment for Muslims, and I don't just mean for the prisoners."

Yee says he soon came to believe that Islam was used as a weapon against the detainees who practiced it. Guards, he writes, would frequently gather around the cell blocks and mock the prisoners during daily worship. Korans were often ripped and the bindings broken during cell searches.

As detainees confided in him, he heard more stories of insults to his religion taking place in the interrogation rooms. One detainee complained that some of the prisoners were forced to sit in the center of a Satanic circle drawn on the floor, outlined by lit candles. They were ordered to bow down as interrogators shouted, "Satan is your God, not Allah! Repeat after me!"

Yee said he initially found the complaints hard to believe. "But many detainees corroborated these stories, and translators" with the intelligence section "often confirmed them." (MORE)

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MUSLIM ATHLETES ADAPT TO ON-FIELD CHRISTIAN CULTURE - TOP
MIKE PERRIN, Birmingham News, 10/9/05
http://www.al.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/sports/1128849862213560.xml&coll=2

Haneef Haqq has clearly fit in with his Jacksonville State University football teammates, despite the differences between his Islamic faith and the Christian customs practiced on the team.

The players elected the linebacker from Huntsville as team captain this season.

Haqq (pronounced hock) is acutely aware that as a Muslim, he is in the minority in Alabama and on the football team.

"My beliefs are Islamic, but I haven't had any problems fitting in or being comfortable in my surroundings," he said. "It's been pretty easy.

"There's always curiosity. I help them understand what it is we believe, what it is we do. The religion is so misunderstood because of some extreme issues in some other countries."

Religious differences sometimes do pose issues for Muslim athletes.

Haqq is coping with the physical rigors of football during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during daylight hours for the entire month, which began this year on Wednesday.

"I've had games when I was fasting where I felt like I was just dead," Haqq said. "Then, I've had some games where I felt my body was an efficient machine, burning what it needed.

"I may lose a few pounds, but all together I don't think it affects my performance too much."

Haqq said his coaches are sensitive to his ritual. "They are very supportive of me and what I believe in," he said. "They accommodate me in any way they can."

Haqq's brother Hamid played football for the University of Alabama and lived with another Muslim player, Saleem Rasheed, who now plays in the NFL. "Their coaches used to bring them food just before the sun came up and they ate then," Haneef Haqq said. "It's something a lot of Muslim athletes face. It's not too difficult to do." (MORE)

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ARABS, MUSLIMS ARE RIGHT AT HOME IN THE U.S. - TOP
Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/9/05
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/10/09/ING5FF355J1.DTL

As undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, Karen Hughes is trying her best to convince the Muslim world that the United States is misperceived. The other day, she addressed Egyptian students at American University in Cairo. Hughes, who helped get George W. Bush elected to the presidency, told the collegians that "the heart of the American dream" is "You can work hard, you can get an education, and you have an opportunity to improve yourselves."

But her generalities bypassed the best argument: that the United States is home to an increasingly significant -- and politically powerful -- Arab and Muslim community.

An estimated 6 million Muslims and 3.5 million Arabs live in the United States. (There is overlap between these two groups -- not all Arabs are Muslims, and fewer than 20 percent of Muslims are Arab). The numbers suggest a rich American story:

Arabs and Muslims are an integral part of the United States, having immigrated here since its founding. Christopher Columbus stepped off the Santa Maria with an Arabic-speaking interpreter, Luis de Torres.

Generations have been born and raised in the United States, and, like Jews and Italians and Irish, have adopted American values: hard work, freedom of speech, freedom of religion. Arabs and Muslims believe in democracy, and millions of them would die to defend it. (MORE)

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Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 12:20:19 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Mosques Call for Quake Aid/Elderly Man Assaulted Outside AZ Mosque

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/10/05

* Hadith: When Afflicted with Calamity
* CAIR-AZ: Elderly Man Assaulted Outside Mosque (KPHO-TV)
* CAIR-FL: Disasters Give Ramadan Charity a Focus (Times-Union)
* U.S. Mosques Call for South Asian Quake Aid (AP)
        - HOW TO HELP
        - MD: Muslim Charities Answer Call After Quake (Balt Sun)
        - US Mosques Offer Prayers, Help for Quake Victims (VOA)
        - U.S. Muslims Donate Aid for Asian Quake (AP)
        - NY: Islamic Center Makes Appeal for Quake Victims
        - NY: Rochester Pakistanis Frantic for Families
        - Pakistani-Americans Make Quake Relief Effort (Daily Times)
        - CA: Muslims, Pakistanis Move to Aid Victims (Daily News)
        - CA: Inland Muslims, Hindus Help Out (Press Enterprise)
        - MI: Pakistani Americans in Detroit Help Quake Victims (AP)
        - NY: Pakistani Immigrants Mobilize to Assist Victims (NYT)
        - NY: Relatives Struggle with Loss (Newsday)
* CA: Mosque Renovations Finished in Time for Ramadan
        - AK: Alaska Muslims Mark Ramadan (KTUU)
        - CA: Muslim Students Hold 'Fast-a-Thon'

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HADITH OF THE DAY: WHEN AFFLICTED WITH CALAMITY - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Those who say, when afflicted with calamity, 'To God we belong and to Him we return,' (will receive) blessings and mercy from God, and they are the ones who receive guidance."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 4, Number 19

The Prophet also said: "When death overtakes the people (in a disaster) and you are one among them, show steadfastness."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 14

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CAIR-AZ: ELDERLY MAN ASSAULTED OUTSIDE A MOSQUE - TOP
KPHO-TV, 10/9/05
http://www.kpho.com/Global/story.asp?S=3957310

(CBS 5 News)--An elderly man was assaulted by a group of teenagers after leaving a mosque. The council on American Islamic relations is calling on authorities to investigate the attack as a hate crime.

This is the holy month of Ramadan and some are afraid to attend the mosque. It was in the parking lot near 32nd and McDowell where an elderly man was attacked and berated by religious slurs.

The victim had his arm broken, threw a translator he tells us he was leaving the mosque after prayer. He was wearing traditional Muslim clothing when he was attacked by four teenagers.

The council on American Islamic relations says the teens were cited for misdemeanor assault. They're calling for this to be investigated as a hate crime.

They went on to say it was not just a bunch of teenagers who decided to take some aggression out. It was targeted to a specific person of a specific religion.

CBS 5 News is told the teens also threw beer bottles at others near the mosque.

CONTACT CAIR-AZ Communications Director Nure Elatari, 602-312-2223, or CAIR-AZ Civil Rights Director Salam Safi, 480-600-0008

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CAIR-FL: DISASTERS GIVE RAMADAN CHARITY A FOCUS - TOP
JEFF BRUMLEY, The Times-Union, 10/10/05
http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/101005/met_19989462.shtml

Parvez Ahmed, a Jacksonville resident and chairman of the Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations. . .said such outpourings of sympathy and charity fit well with the purpose of Ramadan, which is to remind Muslims to obey God and help their neighbors.

"The prophet Muhammad said you serve God by serving his creation, and there is no better time to serve creation than when people are in great need," Ahmed said. (MORE)

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MOSQUES CALL FOR AID FOR VICTIMS OF SOUTH ASIAN QUAKE - TOP
ALEX VEIGA, Associated Press, 10/9/05
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/northern_california/12861019.htm

LOS ANGELES - Worshippers who gathered for daily Ramadan services at mosques around the United States were urged to lend prayer and donate money to victims of the devastating earthquake that struck South Asia.

One aid group, Burbank, California-based Islamic Relief USA, managed to raise about $130,000 ([euro]107,000) from mosques around the country since the magnitude-7.7 earthquake struck early Saturday, said Mohamed Abulmagd, general manager of the group's U.S. office.

"We are asking for about $2 million from communities here in the United States," Abulmagd said. "It's Ramadan and people go to the mosque every night for prayer, so a lot of mosques are calling the community to respond and these (donations) are sent directly to us."

The group has issued a worldwide appeal to the Islamic community to raise $10 million ([euro] 8.23 million) for victims of the temblor, which rocked parts of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. So far, authorities say more than 20,000 people were killed.

Many Pakistanis in the United States have had trouble reaching anyone in the rural areas of Pakistan where most of the damage appears to have occurred and can only wait for word about loved ones, Abulmagd said.

"We don't know anyone who has a confirmed loss," Abulmagd said, referring to his Southern California-based staff. "But we're sure there will be because this toll is very high."

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations on Sunday also urged people to help relief groups.

"Just as Americans came together to help the victims of recent Gulf Coast hurricanes, we must do whatever we can to help those suffering from natural disasters in other parts of the world," Ibrahim Hooper, the group's spokesman, said in a statement. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

HOW TO HELP - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=293&theType=AA

Relief organizations associated with the Muslim Hurricane Relief Task Force (www.mhrtf.net) are offering aid to areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India devastated by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that left at least 30,000 people dead.

The Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA) has also established the "APPNA Earthquake Relief Fund 2005." Checks may be sent to: APPNA Earthquake Relief Fund 2005, 6414 S. Cass Avenue, Westmont, IL, 60559 TEL: 630-968-8585, E-Mail: appna@appna.org (APPNA is seeking physician volunteers to help in the earthquake areas.)

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CHARITIES ANSWER CALL AFTER QUAKE IN PAKISTAN - TOP
GREG BARRETT, Baltimore Sun, 10/10/05
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.md.charity10oct10,1,6026126.story

Faiz Rehman was writing at his computer at 3 a.m. Saturday when a message popped up. Pakistan had been devastated by a magnitude-7.6 earthquake, the worst on record ever to hit his home nation.

By daybreak, Islamic and Pakistani-American organizations in the Maryland region were planning a conference call to discuss relief efforts. By yesterday afternoon, the groups - including several from the Baltimore area - had raised $118,000.

Rehman, president of the National Council of Pakistani Americans, said he thought they would have raised more.

"But we had only known about the earthquake for a few hours," said Rehman, of Washington. "I am positive that within the next few days we will come up with more money, much more."

The earthquake in northern Pakistan is believed to have killed 20,000 to 30,000 people.

Participating in the conference call and fundraising were Baltimore's new Islamic Community Center, the Islamic Society of Baltimore, the Maryland Muslim Council, and the Baltimore County Muslim Council, along with national groups such as the Chicago-based Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America.

Donations came in pledges as small as $10 and as large $10,000, said Dr. Abdul Rashid Piracha, president-elect of the physicians association. The fund will be managed by the group, which plans to send doctors to devastated areas and to buy food, medicine and blankets. (MORE)

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US MOSQUES, CHURCHES OFFER PRAYERS, HELP FOR QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Mike O'Sullivan, Voice of America, 10/10/05
http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-10-10-voa2.cfm

Indian and Pakistani communities around the United States have joined the relief effort for victims of the massive earthquake north of Islamabad. Islamic and Christian organizations are offering prayers and collecting funds for the victims.

In the Los Angeles suburb of Artesia, known as Little India, people with relatives in the stricken region are closely monitoring news reports on television.

In South Los Angeles, worshippers attending daily services for Ramadan, a time of prayer and fasting, also turned their thoughts to the earthquake victims.

Many with relatives in the region have been unable to contact them. But immigrant Javed Iqbal reached his father in Pakistan, and was relieved to learn he is safe.

"He's about 76-years-old, and he said he has never seen something like this before," Mr. Iqbal says.

The Los Angeles-based organization, Islamic Relief, has launched a $10 million appeal for emergency assistance, and allocated $ 4 million for immediate relief work. Spokeswoman Clareen Menzes says the organization has centers operating in the stricken region.

"And they house about 100 full-time employees. So, we were already there, and we're on the scene doing a needs assessment," MS. Menzes says.

Spokesmen say Islamic Relief's healthcare center in the Neelum Valley in Kashmir has treated more than two-thousand victims of the earthquake.

The Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations urged American Muslims Sunday to contribute to the relief effort.

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U.S. MUSLIMS DONATE AID FOR ASIAN QUAKE - TOP
REBECCA SANTANA, Associated Press, 10/10/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/10/AR2005101000162.html

TRENTON, N.J. -- Kosar Kazmi planned to journey to Pakistan after getting devastating news from a brother _ many of their relatives had been killed in the earthquake.

Kazmi said his mother, a brother, the brother's wife and two kids, and an aunt and her two sons all were killed when the tremor hit.

"I'm trying to help my family that's still there," said Kazmi, 32, of New Milford, who was to fly on Sunday. "Most of them are injured. They're on the ground outside."

As relatives in the United States mourned victims of the deadly South Asian earthquake, worshippers on Sunday prayed and donated tens of thousands of dollars for relief efforts.

Aid group Islamic Relief USA raised about $130,000 from those attending Ramadan services after the earthquake struck Saturday. The 7.6-magnitude quake near the Pakistan-India border killed at least 20,000 people and the death toll was expected to rise.

"Ramadan is the month of mercy and encourages Muslims to give to the poor," said Mohamed Abulmagd, general manager of the group's U.S. office in Burbank. "Now, with this crisis, I expect they will give more for this cause."

The group put out a call to the Muslim community for $10 million worldwide, he said. It hopes to raise about $2 million from communities in the United States. Earthquake victims need tents, blankets and medical supplies, Abulmagd said. (MORE)

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ISLAMIC CENTER MAKES APPEAL FOR EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
WROC-TV, 10/9/05
http://www.wroctv.com/news/story.asp?id=20305&r=l

Local Muslims are praying for the victims of the South Asia earthquake. The death toll could surpass 20,000.

A Rochester man with family in Kasmire, the hardest hit area, talked about the disaster at the Islamic Center Sunday night, where members gathered for Ramadan evening prayers. Sareer Fazili was able to locate relatives, but he says living conditions are deplorable.

"Some towns only have mosques and schools standing. Homes have been destroyed. So people have been living in the elements," Fazili said, adding that the weather is fall-like in the region. (MORE)

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PAKISTANIS HERE FRANTIC FOR FAMILIES - TOP
Fernando Diaz, Democrat and Chronicle, 10/10/05
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051010/NEWS01/510100325/1002/NEWS

(October 10, 2005) - Leaders of the Islamic Center of Rochester and the Pakistani community were reeling Sunday, a day after an earthquake in Pakistan claimed more than 20,000 lives.

Salahuddin Malik, chairman of the council of trustees at the Islamic Center, first witnessed the devastation on satellite television after beginning his fast for Ramadan at 5 a.m. Saturday.

He saw a 10-story building in Islamabad fall to the ground. "It was absolutely gone," he said.

The next thing the Kashmir native did was call his brother, who lives there, to find out that he was safe and unharmed.

Aided by satellite television and limited telephone contact with relatives near the area, many local Pakistanis have been trying to reach family members in the Northwest Frontier Province, where the quake was centered.

One local family that Malik spoke with lost three relatives.

"It has been a terrible experience," said Muhammad Shafiq, director of the Islamic Center, who added that he's afraid the death toll will continue to climb.

The largest segment of the local Islamic community is from Pakistan, and "I think they are facing trouble to see exactly what happened in the small villages; most of the homes are made of mud and straw," Shafiq said. (MORE)

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PAKISTANI-AMERICANS MAKING AN EFFORT AT QUAKE RELIEF - TOP
Daily Times, 10/10/05
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_10-10-2005_pg7_36

WASHINGTON: The Pakistani-American community is mounting a spirited effort to raise funds to help the government back home in dealing with the unprecedented human emergency created by the massive earthquake, which devastated Kashmir and parts of Pakistan.

Several organisations, including the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA) and the Association of Pakistani Professionals (AOPP), are making efforts to raise funds. The Pakistan embassy, the Pakistani consulate and the UN mission in New York have set up special emergency help lines and are appealing to the community to make generous donations. Arrangements have been put in place to grant immediate visas to journalists and others who wish to proceed to Pakistan to inspect the devastation caused by the earthquake, measured at 7.6 on the Richter Scale.

The Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on American Muslims and other "people of conscience" to help the victims of the tragedy in South Asia. The Muslim Hurricane Relief Task Force is offering aid to areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India devastated by the earthquake, which left at least 30,000 people dead. "Just as Americans came together to help the victims of the recent Gulf Coast hurricanes, we must do whatever we can to help those suffering from natural disasters in other parts of the world," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. (MORE)

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LOCAL MUSLIMS, PAKISTANIS MOVE FAST TO AID VICTIMS - TOP
Alex Dobuzinskis, Daily News, 10/10/05
http://www2.dailynews.com/news/ci_3101988

Shocked by the devastation of a massive earthquake along the Pakistan-India border, Pakistani-Americans and other Southern California Muslims fasting for Ramadan moved quickly Sunday to raise more than $350,000 for the stricken region.

In the Burbank offices of Islamic Relief USA, workers gave up their weekend to come into the office and take donations. By Sunday afternoon the group had collected more than $350,000 over the Internet and from mosques.

"We are very sad for the people," said Mohamed Abul-Magd, general manager of the charity. "We pray for the people who are dead and the victims there, but at the same time we work hard to help them as much as we can." (MORE)

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INLAND MUSLIMS, HINDUS HELP OUT - TOP
BETTYE WELLS MILLER, Press-Enteprise, 10/10/05
http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_iequake10.8ef52e7.html

Hours after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake wiped out villages along the India-Pakistan border, Inland Muslims, Hindus and others with family in the region began raising thousands of dollars to help survivors of Saturday's quake.

Muslims gathered for Ramadan prayers at the Islamic Center of Riverside on Saturday donated about $20,000 for relief after learning that one member lost five members of his family in the quake, said Mustafa Kuko, director of the center.

Kuko said the center will continue to raise money through the end of Ramadan, the holiest month of Islam. He said the center has not decided whether to forward the money to Islamic Relief, an international organization with an office in Burbank, or to relief agencies in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Society of Southern California, based in Redlands, will use a previously scheduled event planned for the end of Ramadan as a fund-raiser for earthquake relief, said Dr. Mohammad Aslam, the group's president. (MORE)

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PAKISTANI AMERICANS IN METRO DETROIT WORK TO HELP EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Associated Press, 10/10/05
http://www.freep.com/news/statewire/sw122439_20051010.htm

DETROIT (AP) -- After many busy signals and an unanswered telephone call, Ihtesham Shahid finally heard from his sister via e-mail.

"We are fine after the earthquake," she wrote from Islamabad, Pakistan.

Shahid, of Canton Township, is among the Pakistani Americans living in Metro Detroit who spent the weekend trying to get in touch with family and friends in Pakistan following a Saturday earthquake in South Asia that killed at least 20,000 people.

Many prayed for loved ones, watched news coverage and worked to send help to those in their homeland.

Michigan is home to a growing Pakistani community, with 54,631 Asian Indians, up from 23,845 a decade earlier, according to U.S. Census Bureau. (MORE)

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PAKISTANI IMMIGRANTS RECEIVE SCANT INFORMATION BUT MOBILIZE TO ASSIST VICTIMS OF QUAKE - TOP
MICHELLE O'DONNELL, New York Times, 10/10/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/10/nyregion/10family.html

For 18 hours after a powerful earthquake hit Pakistan early Saturday, Mohammad Javed Iqbal, a livery cabdriver in New York City, tried in vain to telephone his relatives.

But phone lines into their town of about 30,000 in the North-West Frontier Province were jammed or not working for hours, he said. Finally, he reached his son Bahadur Khan, 25, who, weeping, told him how two cousins, Aurang Zad Khan, 70, and Aujaman Ara, 35, were unable to flee their crumbling home when the quake struck.

"The wall collapsed on them and they died," Mr. Iqbal, 66, said yesterday in the section of Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn known as Little Pakistan.

His eyes brimmed with sadness and fury above his flowing white beard as he described how their bodies were pulled from the rubble. "Now the women and children are under the sky, they are living outside."

Across the New York metropolitan region, where an estimated 120,000 people of Pakistani descent live, many echoed Mr. Iqbal's experience in struggling to learn the fate of family and friends caught in the earthquake. It has not been easy. (MORE)

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ANXIOUS NY RELATIVES STRUGGLE WITH LOSS, CONCERN FOR FAMILIES - TOP
CHRISTINE ARMARIO, Newsday, 10/10/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-lipaki104463655oct10,0,7589594.story

Isma Chaudhry's family in Islamabad fetched kitchen knives and forks to help dig for buried survivors in a collapsed apartment building next door after Saturday's quake in Pakistan.

Asma Ejaz and Javed Igbal's relatives began trying to comprehend the loss of loved ones: a student killed when a landslide hit her bus; a banker about to leave for work, crushed by his house.

And Safdar Chadda's family, living in a house made of mud and stone in the capital of Kashmir - reportedly the worst hit region of the 7.6 magnitude quake - had still not been heard from since the disaster.

"My heart is sinking," Chadda said yesterday, after several attempts to reach his relatives by phone.

New York residents with ties to Pakistan clung to any bit of information about the fate of relatives yesterday, watching television, making phone calls, and gathering at mosques to pray and brainstorm how they could help from so far away.

"I know those streets," Chaudhry, of Manhasset, said outside the Islamic Center of Long Island. "I have shopped in those areas. Any one of my relatives could be over there. I wish we could do something." (MORE)

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MOSQUE RENOVATIONS FINISHED IN TIME FOR RAMADAN - TOP
By Marshall Allen, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 10/10/05
http://www2.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_3102679

SAN GABRIEL -- Islamic architecture and modern technology are renewing pride and religious identity at a local mosque, where a yearlong renovation project was completed in time for the holy month of Ramadan.

For 25 years, Masjid Gibrael, which is named for the angel Gabriel, looked like a nondescript storefront in the 1300 block of Las Tunas Drive.

But in the past year, it has been transformed. It has nearly doubled in size and now a wood-and-plaster minaret, about 2 feet in circumference, towers 20 feet above the building topped with a small copper dome.

The mosque's front wall features arched window facades and a scalloped top that is trimmed with lights. The sunlight glistens off a copper dome, 6 feet high and 12 feet around, that sits atop the building. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIM HOLY MONTH UNDER WAY - TOP
Natasha Rasheed, KTUU, 10/9/05
http://www.ktuu.com/cms/templates/master.asp?articleid=265&zoneid=1

Anchorage, Alaska - The massive earthquake hit just days after the holy month of Ramadan started. Sunday marks day six of that holy month for Muslims, in which they fast from sun up to sun down. It's a rare glimpse into a group of people from all over the world, united by religion.

The call to prayer is not in Egypt, Afghanistan or anywhere in the Middle East, but here in Anchorage.

"It's really important to bring this small community together," said Omar Sharif (right), imam of the Anchorage Mosque.

The handful of families crowd into this small mosque to break a fast that has lasted since the early morning hours. Muslims fast from sun up to sun down, a practice that goes on for 30 consecutive days.

"We do a lot of donations in Ramadan as well because we can feel how you feel when you really starve so we can donate to people who don't have enough food in some countries. We can really feel how they feel so we can donate more to them," said Mya Win (right), who moved to Anchorage from Burma.

According to Muslims, it's a way to strengthen your faith in God. The people at the mosque are from all walks of life. Some are recent converts, others exchange students. They come from all countries, including Burma, Pakistan, Egypt and Africa, all united under the religion of Islam.

"Especially in Alaska, we are a very small community in here so it's very, very important to stay together, to pray as well as doing other community stuff," said Win. (MORE)

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MUSLIM STUDENT ASSOCIATION INVITES NON-MUSLIMS TO JOIN IN FAST-A-THON - TOP
Maria Kornalian, Daily Aztec, 10/10/05
http://www.thedailyaztec.com/media/paper741/news/2005/10/10/City/Students.Can.Get.A.Feel.For.Events.Celebrating.Ramadan-1014704.shtml

She wakes up to eat before the sun comes up, often times it's yogurt, and she drinks lots of water and goes back to bed before waking up again for school. She doesn't eat again until around 6:30 p.m.

Flodia Ndoci, international studies junior at UCSD, is a practicing Muslim student and October is Ramadan, the Muslim month for fasting. Ramadan began on Tuesday and lasts until Nov. 2.

Ndoci said she believes Ramadan serves a great purpose in the Islamic faith.

"What you're doing when you're fasting (is) you're giving up something that you do every day," 20-year-old Ndoci said. "The whole point of it is that you're giving up something that's normal, so after you're done, you can give up something that's harder."

The practice requires that for one month nothing is to be placed in one's mouth while the sun is up. Ndoci said one's body gets used to the fasting routine.

"It's really all in your head," she said. "It's not that hard (and) you get used it."

It's optional to wake up in the morning before the sun is up, Ndoci said, and it's recommended to do so.

"For health reasons, if you wake up before the sun goes up, it helps you throughout the day," she said.

The Muslim Student Association is inviting non-Muslims to fast for one day at a fast-a-thon they're holding on Oct. 17 at Casa Real in Aztec Center. This is the biggest event MSA will be holding during October for Ramadan. (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, 11 Oct 2005 12:29:24 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslim Medical Volunteers Sought for Quake Relief / MD Police Release Sketch of Mosque Vandalism Suspect

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/11/05

* Verse: With Every Hardship Comes Relief
* MD: Police Release Sketch of Suspect in Mosque Vandalism (WP)
* CAIR-OH: 450 Attend  'Sharing Ramadan' Iftar Dinner
* CAIR-Cleveland to Host Ramadan Interfaith Banquet
            - CAIR-Cincinnati: Muslims Feed Needy During Ramadan
* CAIR-Philly: Area Groups Kick in With Range of Aid
            - CAIR-FL: Doctor Feels Quake Suffering from Afar
* APPNA: Muslim Health Care Volunteers Sought for Quake Relief
            - IMANA: Muslim Medical Assoc. Establishes Quake Relief Fund
            - ICNA Relief Allocates $500K for Quake Aid
            - Islamic Relief Responds to Quake with $10M Appeal
            - UMAA Establishes Disaster Relief Fund
            - American Muslims Raise Funds for Asia Quake Victims
            - PAMuslims Rally to Aid Earthquake Victims
            - NY Muslims Aid Pakistani Earthquake Victims
            - MI Muslims Mobilize Quake Aid (Free Press)
            - PA Muslims Reach Out To Earthquake Victims (KDKA)
            - CA: Hidaya Foundation Organizes Quake Relief (CBS)
            - WI: Madison Muslim Community Coordinating Local Help
            - NJ: Muslim Groups Ask for More Quake Aid (AP Press)
            - IL: Valley Muslims Collect Aid for Quake Victims
            - FL: Local Muslims Collect Funds for Quake Relief (FL Today)
* CAIR: FL Website 'Swapped War Photos for Porn' (Telegraph)
            - Boeing/Bell Mosque Attack Ad: Unleashing Hell (New Rep)
* PA: Ramadan Helps Converts Feel Less Like Outsiders (Post-Gaz)
* MA: Muslims Invite Public to Ramadan Meal (Republican)
            - TX: Baylor Students Get Glimpse of Ramadan (Waco Trib)
            - CAIR: Hold a 'Sharing Ramadan' Iftar

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VERSE OF THE DAY: WITH EVERY HARDSHIP COMES RELIEF - TOP

"Behold, with every hardship comes relief. Verily, with every hardship comes relief! Therefore, when you are freed (from distress), remain steadfast, and strive to please your Lord."

The Holy Quran, 94:8

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MUSLIM CENTER VANDALISM - TOP
Washington Post, 10/11/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/10/AR2005101001467.html

Montgomery County police released a computer-generated sketch yesterday of a man sought in connection with vandalism at a Muslim center in Silver Spring.

Police say a Star of David was painted Sept. 22 next to the sign of the Muslim Community Center in the 15200 block of New Hampshire Avenue. A line was also spray-painted across the word "Muslim."

The vandal is believed to be a white man about 40 years old, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, with blue eyes and a heavy build. Police said he was wearing a wig with dreadlocks when he vandalized the mosque. He fled in a yellow 1994 or 1995 Isuzu Trooper with a Maryland tag. A female was in the passenger seat.

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450 ATTEND CAIR-OHIO 'SHARING RAMADAN' IFTAR DINNER - TOP

(COLUMBUS, OH, 10/11/05) - The Columbus office of CAIR-OH hosted its 7th Annual "Sharing Ramadan" Iftar Dinner on Sunday, October 9, at Ohio State University.

Among the 450 attendees were several elected officials, including the mayor of the city of Columbus, the city attorney and Franklin County commissioners. Several of the officials presented proclamations congratulating the Muslim community and recognizing the month of Ramadan.

I-CAIR Awards were presented to local community members for their lifelong service to the community. In addition, CAIR presented a Bridge Builder award to Dave Stacey, a man from West Virginia who participated in the television show "30 Days" and lived as a Muslim for a month. His experience caused him to shed many of his stereotypes about the Muslim community.

"Ramadan is a month of spirituality, mercy, and kindness," said CAIR-Ohio Civil Rights Director, Jennifer Nimer. "We were happy to be able to share some of the traditions of Ramadan with our neighbors from different faiths."

CONTACT: Dalia Mohammad, e-mail: office@cair-ohio.com; Jennifer Nimer, e-mail: jennifer@cair-ohio.com; Ahmad Al-Akhras, e-mail: ahmad@cair-ohio.com

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CAIR-CLEVELAND TO HOST RAMADAN INTERFAITH BANQUET - TOP

(CLEVELAND, OH, 10/11/2004) - On Saturday, October 15, the Cleveland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OHIO) will host its 2nd Annual Ramadan Iftar Banquet. Participants will include members of the local interfaith community. ("Iftar" is the meal eaten after sunset each day during the Islamic fast of Ramadan.)

WHEN: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2005
TIME: Registration 5:30-6:30; Program begins 6:30 PM
WHERE: Cuyahoga Community College, Student Center Cafeteria, 2900 Community College Ave. Cleveland Ohio
CONTACT: CAIR-OHIO, Cleveland office, Julia A. Shearson, Director,
216-440-2247 or 216-830-2247; E-Mail: Julia@cair-ohio.com

"The month of Ramadan is a time of charity, humility and spiritual renewal," said Isam Zaiem, Chairman of the Cleveland office of CAIR-OHIO. "This event is a wonderful chance for people of all faiths to get to know their Muslim neighbors."

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-OH: MUSLIMS FEED NEEDY DURING RAMADAN  - TOP

(CINCINNATI, 10/11/05) - On Sunday, October 9, the Cincinnati office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Ohio (CAIR-Ohio) and Malik Islamic Center marked the Muslim fast of Ramadan by providing hot meals to more than 400 residents of that city's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. It began earlier this month with the sighting of the new crescent moon.

"Caring for the less fortunate in our community is an important and rewarding experience, one emphasized in the Islamic faith," said CAIR-Cincinnati Director Karen Dabdoub. Dabdoub quoted Islam's Prophet Muhammad who said Ramadan "is the month of sharing with others." He also said: "A man has sinned if he neglects to feed those in need."

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 31 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

CONTACT: Karen Dabdoub, 513-281-8200, E-Mail: karen@cair-ohio.com; Brent Meyer, 513-276-1600, E-Mail: meyer_brent@hotmail.com

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CAIR-PHILLY: AREA GROUPS KICK IN WITH RANGE OF AID - TOP
Donations, prayers and visits to the affected area to volunteer are part of the local effort.
Mike Benner, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/11/05
http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/nation/12870933.htm

Groups in the Philadelphia area, like many around the world, are rushing to organize relief efforts to Pakistan, urging people to donate money, time and prayers for those whose lives have been devastated by Saturday's 7.6-magnitude earthquake.

CAIR-Philly, the local branch of the Council on Islamic-American Relations, is urging American Muslims and other individuals of conscience, via e-mail and other publicity efforts, to contribute through local organizations. Groups such as the Foundation for Islamic Education in Villanova and the Muslim Society of Delaware Valley in the city's Kensington section will take donations during community iftaars, nightly meals that celebrate the breaking of fasts during Ramadan.

Adeeba Al-Zaman, director of communications for CAIR-Philly, said the Villanova mosque collected several thousand dollars Sunday night.

Mohammad Aziz, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Valley Forge Mosque, called donors' generosity "heartbreaking." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-FL: DOCTOR FEELS PAIN FROM AFAR - TOP
Pakistanis in S. Florida mourn losses
Alva James-Johnson, Sun-Sentinel, 10/11/05
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-cpakistan11oct11,0,2803479.story

Dr. Sultan Sultan's voice cracked and his eyes welled with tears Monday as he counted the family members that he lost in the earthquake in Pakistan. But it was the death of his medical school friend that broke his heart.

Dr. Khan Pervez remained in Pakistan to care for the poor while other doctors were building better lives in America, Sultan said. Pervez died with his wife and three children, casualties in one of the worst disasters in the country's history.

"I feel guilty and wish I could be there to help," said Sultan, 50, an internist with a private practice in Margate. "But my brother said there's nothing I could do if I come, just send the money to help the people."

Sultan told his story during a prayer service and news conference at a mosque in Miami Gardens where a group of Muslim Americans launched a fund-raising effort to benefit earthquake victims in Pakistan.

Participating organizations included the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Circle of North America and the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America.

"This is the month of Ramadan, and Muslims have to give a percentage of their assets to charity," said Altaf Ali of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "This is a time when every Muslim will have an opportunity to give." (MORE)

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MUSLIM HEALTH CARE VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT FOR QUAKE RELIEF - TOP

The Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA), ( www.appna.org ) along with other Muslim medical associations, is seeking health care professionals interested in going to Pakistan to provide assistance to victims of the recent earthquake.

Please forward the following information as soon as possible to:
fc2020@columbia.edu, copy to: appna@sbcglobal.net

Name:
Address:
City:
State:
ZIP:
Office Phone:
Office Fax:
Home Phone:
Home Fax:
E-Mail:
Primary Specialty:
Secondary Specialty:
Notice Required:
Length of Potential Stay:
Able to bring, arrange or carry medicines and other medical supplies:
Knowledge of and/or preference for any of the affected areas:

SEE ALSO:

IMANA ESTABLISHES SOUTH ASIAN EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FUND - TOP
http://www.imana.org/

The Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) is working with the Pakistani Islamic Medical Association and APPNA to provide medicine, tents, blankets and other medical supplies for local doctors.

Shiraz Malik
Executive Director
Islamic Medical Association of North America
101 W. 22nd Street, Suite 106, Lombard, IL 60148
Phone: 630.932-0000 ~ Fax: 630.932-0005
E-mail: shiraz.malik@imana.org ~ Website: www.imana.org

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ICNA RELIEF ALLOCATES $500K FOR QUAKE AID - TOP

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA RELIEF/HELPING HANDS) has now allocated $500,000 to respond to the emergency in Pakistan.

CONTACT: Irfan Khurshid, 718-658-7028; Farhan, 732-713-7465
Fazal Rahman, Tel. 905-257-9997
www.reliefonline.org

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ISLAMIC RELIEF RESPONDS TO QUAKE WITH $10 MILLION APPEAL - TOP
http://www.irw.org/asiaquake/

Islamic Relief has launched a worldwide $10 million appeal for emergency disaster relief for earthquake victims. Of this, $4 million has already been allocated for immediate relief projects.

ISLAMIC RELIEF USA
1919 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91506
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 6098
Burbank, CA 91510

Toll Free: 1 (888) 479-4968
Tel: 1 (818) 238-9520
Fax: 1 (818) 238-9521
E-Mail: info@irw.org

Media Contacts:

Arif Shaikh
Media and Public Relations Manager
Islamic Relief
E-Mail: arif@irw.org
(310) 351-3931 mobile

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UMAA ESTABLISHES DISASTER RELIEF FUND - TOP

The Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA) has established the Pakistan Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund. UMAA is a tax-exempt organization (tax-exempt number: 11-367-9225). The tax-deductible donations can be by check made out to: UMAA Pakistan Earthquake Relief Fund, P.O. Box 414, Burtonsville, MD 20866.

CONTACT: Dr. Parvez Shah
Chief Coordinator

UMAA Office Phone: 410-584-7254
Cell: 646-932-8622

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AMERICAN MUSLIMS RAISE FUNDS FOR ASIA QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Turkish Weekly, 10/10/05
http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=20599

Islamic charities in the United States have issued urgent appeals for donations to help victims of the devastating earthquake that battered South Asia, boasting prompt response.

"We've raised 100,000 dollars online in less than 24 hours," Arif Shaikh, a spokesman for the international charity Islamic Relief US branch, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The Islamic Relief, which has launched a 10 million dollar appeal, operates a health clinic in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir that has treated some 2,000 people.

Between 30,000 and 40,000 people were killed in an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale that centered on an area north of Islamabad, wiping entire towns off the map in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir and burying victims in tombs of mud and rubble, according to Pakistani and international officials.

Pakistan called it the worst disaster in its history as the casualty toll continued to rise.

Shaikh said non-governmental organizations in the United States had asked the charity to deliver donations of medicine and medical supplies to affected areas.

Islamic Relief has three full-time offices in Islamabad, Neelum Valley, and Muzaffarabad, near areas hardest hit by the disaster.

"Our staff is on the ground conducting a needs-assessment," Shaikh said.

Islamic Relief has worked in Pakistan since 1992 on emergency relief, development and disaster preparedness projects.

Its work is heavily focused on the areas that have been badly affected by the new disaster, including Muzaffarabad and Bagh where Islamic Relief has several projects.

More Donations

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) said on its Web site it was donating 250,000 dollars to the relief effort and had sent the head of its relief operations to Pakistan.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the main Islamic civil rights and advocacy group, called on American Muslims and other people of conscience to help the quake victims.

"Just as Americans came together to help the victims of recent Gulf Coast hurricanes, we must do whatever we can to help those suffering from natural disasters in other parts of the world," CAIRO spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said in a press release posted on the group's Web site.

He said those wishing to help should direct contributions to the Muslim Hurricane Relief Task Force (MHRTF), a group formed by US Islamic charities after Hurricane Katrina struck the southern US coast in August. (MORE)

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DELAWARE MUSLIMS RALLY TO AID EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051011/NEWS/510110340/-1/NEWS01

HOW TO HELP

Contact The Islamic Society of Delaware at 733-0373.

The following nearby Pennsylvania groups also are collecting funds, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Philadelphia office. Checks should be designated "earthquake aid," and all donations are tax-deductible.

o The American Muslim Society of the Tristate Area and The Foundation for Islamic Education, both at 1860 Montgomery Ave., Villanova, PA 19085.

o Islamic Society of Greater Valley Forge, 958 Valley Forge Road, Devon, PA 19333.

o Muslim Society of Delaware Valley, 2209 N. Front St., Philadelphia, PA 19133.

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LOWER HUDSON VALLEY MUSLIMS AID PAKISTANI EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
MERYL HYMAN HARRIS AND SUZAN CLARKE, JOURNAL NEWS, 10/11/05
http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051011/NEWS02/510110348/1020/NEWS04

Houssain Din is leaving for Pakistan tomorrow after learning that 26 of his family members in Prim Koot were among the estimated 21,000 people who perished during the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck the country Saturday.

"My wife's family is more affected. Their family, their brother, three children, their sister with the six children, their cousins, brothers, they're all dead," Din, who worships at the Masjid Darul Ehsan mosque in Suffern, said yesterday.

Malika Niazi, who runs an Islamic school in Cortlandt with her husband, heard from her father in Rawalpindi that his home and others there and in Islamabad were spared for the most part, though many people they know were not.

"The loss is great in the villages, where the houses are not made very strong," she said. "A lot of the poor people are suffering."

How to donate:

Donations for the earthquake victims may be sent to the following organizations

o Upper Westchester Muslim Society, 401 Clairmont Ave., Thornwood, NY 10594.

o Westchester Muslim Center, 22 Brookfield Road, Mount Vernon, NY 10552. Checks can be made out to EDHI, a Pakistani charitable foundation.

o The American Red Cross accepts contributions to its International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013, or visit www.redcross.org.

o The Muslim Hurricane Relief Task Force at www.mhrtf.net and the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America, at www.appna.org, are coordinating relief efforts.

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MICHIGAN MOBILIZES QUAKE AID - TOP
NIRAJ WARIKOO, Detroit Free Press, 10/11/05
http://www.freep.com/news/metro/qfamilies11e_20051011.htm

Though the quake erupted half a world away, its effects rippled across a state that has seen a 128% increase in its Indian and Pakistani populations from 1990 to 2000. There are now almost 59,000 Michigan residents with roots in those two countries.

In Southfield, the Pakistan Association of America is working on creating a Web site and toll-free phone number that people can call to donate money for relief, said association president Naveed Ashraf.

"There's a new horror story every time you call" Pakistan, Ashraf said Monday. "Pakistan has never needed help as it does now."

To that end, Ashraf planned to meet late Monday evening with other Pakistani Americans to discuss how to mobilize the community. In Canton, Muslims at a mosque with large numbers of Indians and Pakistanis are planning to hold a fund-raiser today; they're hoping to sponsor at least 140 families with $250 each for tents and food, said Canton attorney Haaris Ahmad.

And across Michigan, doctors with the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America are working on sending medical relief teams to their homeland, said Ranna Akbar, a Saginaw physician with the Chicago-based group. As of Monday, the association already had raised $150,000, said Rashid Piracha, a doctor from West Virginia who is president-elect of the group.

Local groups that are helping

Here is information on some of the groups trying to help victims of the earthquake.

The Pakistan Association of America, based in Southfield, is accepting donations. Visit www.paamich.org for more information. Or mail cash donations to Pakistan Association of America, Pakistan Relief Fund, 20700 Civic Center Drive, Suite 170, Southfield 48076.

The Islamic Association of Greater Detroit is holding a fund-raiser Oct. 23. The mosque is at 879 W. Auburn Road, Rochester Hills. Admission is $50 per family. Contact your local mosque for more information on fund-raisers.

More ways to help

The Pakistan Red Crescent and Indian Red Cross are working on search and rescue efforts. Call 800-435-7669 to donate money. Contributions to the International Response Fund may be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. People wanting to donate can also visit www.redcross.org.

Life for Relief and Development is seeking money, tents, blankets, plastic sheets and nonperishable foods. Go to www.lifeusa.org or call 800-827-3543.

The government of Pakistan is accepting donations at its embassy in Washington, D.C. Make checks payable to the President's Relief Fund and send them to the Embassy of Pakistan, 3517 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008.

The Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America is also helping in relief efforts. Visit www.appna.org for more information, or mail checks to APPNA, 6414 S. Cass Ave., Westmont, IL 60559.

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LOCAL PEOPLE HOPING TO REACH OUT TO EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
KDKA, 10/10/05
http://kdka.com/local/local_story_283205242.html

Pittsburgh (KDKA) Local people with friends and family in the earthquake zone have been calling home.

The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh is kicking off a series of fundraisers for the relief effort. (MORE)

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LOCAL MUSLIM GROUP ORGANIZES PAKISTAN QUAKE RELIEF - TOP
Ann Notarangelo, CBS-5, 101/10/05
http://cbs5.com/topstories/local_story_283201526.html

(CBS 5) Donations have been coming in steadily to the Hidaya Foundation. They've asked for warm clothing, blankets and shoes since winter is coming to Pakistan.

People have been extremely generous. What's a little more difficult to come by in some parts of South Asia, however, is information.

Many who are sending donations to Pakistan have family still living there. For the most part, cell phones seem to be working in Islamabad and people here are able to get updates.

Fremont resident Nashaba Rahman got word her immediate family is OK but some in-laws are missing and presumed dead. Her sister has described utter devastation. "(She said) it's too hard to see sometimes," said Rahman. "Kids are coming out in pieces, little bodies lined up in their school uniforms, it's very depressing."

Information is scarce - or non-existent from the small towns in the northern part of Pakistan. The president of the Hidaya Foundation, which spearheads charitable projects in Pakistan, India and other countries, says people are resigned they may have to wait a week or more to learn the fate of their loved ones. Roads must be reopenend, so people can get into the devastated areas and report back who survived and who did not. (MORE)

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MADISON MUSLIM COMMUNITY COORDINATING LOCAL HELP - TOP
Many Family Members Affected By Pakistani Earthquake
http://www.channel3000.com/news/5082495/detail.html

MADISON, Wis. -- Local families with loved ones in Pakistan and India are pitching in to help any way they can after the devastating earthquake.

The tears, devastation and heartache reach across thousands of miles to Madisonian Mohammed Hashim.

His family lives in Southern Pakistan.

Luckily they are OK.

But his army brother Cpl. Tariq was sent to the front line.

"He's probably coordinating all the efforts," said Hashim. "Probably doing some excavations, probably him and his people will be picking up bodies." (MORE)

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MUSLIM GROUPS ASK FOR MORE QUAKE DONATIONS - TOP
MICHELLE SAHN, Asbury Park Press, 10/11/05
http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051011/NEWS/510110319

Local Muslims are being asked to donate much more than usual during this year's observance of Ramadan, in order to help the victims of the earthquake that struck South Asia on Saturday.

"This is special," said Ziaulhaq Zia, chairman of the Islamic Center of Ocean County. "This is such a big tragedy, so we're asking people to do much more, as much as they can." (MORE)

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VALLEY MUSLIMS COLLECT AID FOR QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Steve Lord, BEACON News, 10/11/05
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/beaconnews/top/2_1_AU11_QUAKE_S1.htm

AURORA - Fortunately for Shahed Siddiqui, the waiting was not long.

Within a day of news of the devastating, 7.8-magnitude, earthquake that hit northern Pakistan on Saturday, he found out that his relatives who might have been in the quake were uninjured.

"My mother called me, and we heard they were OK, by the grace of God," said Siddiqui, a 25-year resident of Aurora.

That's because he and most of his family come from the southern part of Pakistan, near Karachi, where the quake had little effect. But in the northern part of the country, the quake claimed more than 20,000 lives, perhaps half of those in the Kashmir region of the country, not too far from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. (MORE)

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LOCAL MUSLIMS COLLECT FUNDS FOR QUAKE RELIEF - TOP
J.D. GALLOP, FLORIDA TODAY
http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051010/BREAKINGNEWS/51010013

Like they did for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami, local Muslims - including Pakistanis - have begun collecting relief funds at the Melbourne mosque as the death toll continues to mount from last week's deadly quake that leveled villages in Pakistan and struck portions of India.

"They are in our prayers," said Dr. Syed Murshid, a 41-year-old native of Pakistan and an optical electronics professor at Florida Tech in Melbourne. "We are gathering some local funds at the local mosque. Last week during the Friday service we collected about between $1,000 to $1,500." (MORE)

How to help:

Those interested in donating to the earthquake relief fund can call the Islamic Society of Brevard Mosque at (321) 984-4129 to leave a message.

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WEBSITE 'SWAPPED WAR PHOTOS FOR PORN' - TOP
Catherine Elsworth, Telegraph, 10/11/05
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/10/11/website11.xml

The operator of a website which allegedly allowed American soldiers to post gruesome photos of Iraqi war casualties for access to pornography has been arrested on obscenity charges.

Christopher Wilson faces more than 300 charges relating to the distribution of obscene material.

The charges are not connected to the grisly war pictures which appeared on the site, only its sexual context.

A military investigation of the site was launched after complaints from groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which wrote to Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary.

Several of the photos showed men wearing what appeared to be US uniforms, standing over charred corpses and mutilated bodies. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

BOEING/BELL MOSQUE ATTACK AD: UNLEASHING HELL - TOP
The New Republic, 10/11/05
http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20051017&s=notebook101705twp

It descends from the heavens. Ironically it unleashes hell." So read the ad depicting Special Forces troops rappelling from one of the military's new tilt-rotor CV-22 Ospreys onto the roof of a domed building labeled, in Arabic, mohammed mosque. Indeed, the ironies here are plentiful. After the ad was published in the National Journal, sparking outrage from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Osprey manufacturers Boeing and Bell Helicopters issued an apology. But the ad had already run last month in the Armed Forces Journal and Air Force Magazine--and apparently no one thought to apologize to that particular readership. As for descending from the heavens, the Osprey family of military planes has an unfortunate history of doing so unintentionally: Over the course of their 15-year development, Ospreys have crashed four times, killing 30 servicemen. Finally, in a spectacular case of poor timing, the ad's debut in the National Journal coincided with the kickoff of public diplomacy czar Karen Hughes's "listening tour" of the Middle East, which was designed in part to help dispel the impression that Americans are at war with Islam (an impression that hasn't been helped by stories about American troops attacking mosques in Falluja and elsewhere). "By the time you see it, it's too late," the Osprey ad copy also read. The same could be said of U.S. efforts to rehabilitate its image in the Muslim world.

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FOR MUSLIM CONVERTS, RAMADAN OFFERS A CHANCE TO GATHER WITH OTHERS OF ISLAMIC FAITH - TOP
Jacqueline Shoyeb, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/10/05
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05283/585675.stm

As the sun's final rays faded into a purple glow last Wednesday night, the corner of Bigelow Boulevard and Parkman Avenue came alive as men and women wearing colorful head scarves poured into the Oakland mosque.

They traded Arabic greetings of peace and praise to God as they entered the brick building for prayer.

Chantal Blake of Friendship stood in a circle with other young women in head scarves wearing loose robes that hid their shape or casual jeans.

It's Ramadan, the Muslim holy month spent in fasting and worship. Mrs. Blake and others gathered at the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh mosque to wait for the sun to dip below the horizon, signaling the time to break their daylong fast from food and drink, and then pray.

But unlike most of the Muslims there, the 22-year-old New York City native was not born into the faith. She's a convert, and this is her third Ramadan.

Among the estimated billion Muslims worldwide celebrating the second week of Ramadan are a growing number of converts like Mrs. Blake, or, as most prefer to be called, reverts because they feel they are reverting back to the faith they lost after being born into a non-Muslim family or society.

In the United States, an estimated 20,000 people convert to Islam each year, according to a 2001 study on mosques by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Locally, the number has been growing quickly in the greater Pittsburgh area, which has an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Muslims, said Yusuf Ali, president of the Islamic Council of Greater Pittsburgh. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS INVITE PUBLIC TO MEAL - TOP
ANGELA CARBONE, Republican, 10/11/05
http://www.masslive.com/metrowest/republican/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1129016408213190.xml&coll=1

WEST SPRINGFIELD - During Ramadan, the local Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts again is reaching out to the community.

The Islamic Society is inviting people to share the breaking of the fast with them, called the "Iftar," at sunset every Saturday in Ramadan at the Islamic Center, 377 Amostown Road.

A special interfaith Iftar Party, is scheduled for Oct. 20.

More than 1 billion Muslims around the world observe the holy month of Ramadan, which began Oct. 5, by fasting from dawn to sunset, and gathering for prayers and a light meal with family and friends in the evening. It is a time of contemplation and worship.

Muslims believe that during this ninth month of the Islamic calendar year the Koran was sent down to earth to the prophet Muhammad.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, one of the largest Muslim advocacy organizations in the United States, in September announced an initiative, "Sharing Ramadan," in which it is helping local Muslim communities organize "Iftars" for their areas. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

BAYLOR STUDENTS GET GLIMPSE OF RAMADAN - TOP
Terri Jo Ryan, Tribune-Herald, 10/11/05
http://www.wacotrib.com/news/content/news/stories/2005/10/11/20051011wacramadan.html

A rich, throaty rumble rose from the two dozen men seated on the carpet at the Islamic Center of Waco. While they reaffirmed their allegiance to God and the teachings of his prophet, Muhammed, in a chant more than 14 centuries old, they had company at the area's original mosque.

Baylor associate professor Chris Van Gorder's world religions class was sitting in on the Jummah, the weekly prayer meeting.

Ramadan started Oct. 4, so a lesson on Islam's holiest month - a time of sacrifice, charity and introspection - was in order, Van Gorder said.

More than 30 students, many visiting a mosque for the first time, listened to Firasath Riyaz, a Baylor University student seeking his masters degree in computer science, who provided the guest sermon.

Drawing parallels between the faith systems of the "people of the book" (Jews and Christians) and Muslims, who follow the Quran, Riyaz discussed the health benefits as well as spiritual bonuses of the month-long fast associated with Ramadan.

Quoting almost as much from the New Testament as he did from his own holy book - which many Muslims read cover-to-cover this month - Riyaz said that the discipline offered by the Quran helps Muslims maintain God-centered lives.

Students also met Abdul Haleem, 75, a Pakistani visitor to the Waco mosque, who led some of the group prayers as a guest imam. He memorized the Quran at age 10, said mosque president Al Siddiq, and can recite it on request.

Siddiq said that his congregation is not only interested in hosting students who want to learn more about Islam, but in inviting the "neighbors" to dinner.

It is traditional during Ramadan for Muslims to abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from the break of dawn to sunset. The special period ends Nov. 3.

They traditionally break their fast in the evening with dates, following the custom of the prophet Muhammad, and then a post-sunset meal, known as iftar, with family and friends.

The Islamic Center of Waco and the Islamic Center of Hewitt are making a special effort this month to help Americans of all faiths meet their Muslims neighbors by taking part in a Ramadan "iftar," or fast-breaking meal after sunset.

Nationwide, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a national Muslim advocacy organization, conducts an annual "Sharing Ramadan" outreach effort designed to combat religious and cultural prejudice in American society.

According to the Washington-based civil rights and advocacy group, anti-Muslim bias decreases when people have access to accurate information about Islam and are able to connect on a personal level with ordinary Muslims. (MORE)

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HOLD A 'SHARING RAMADAN' IFTAR - TOP

For a step-by-step guide to hosting a "Sharing Ramadan" Iftar, go to: www.cair.com/sharingramadan05.pdf

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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, 12 Oct 2005 15:25:59 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Iftar Held on Capitol Hill/CAIR Condemns New Orleans Beating/Growing Role of Islam in Latino Culture

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/12/05

* Hadith: Help Alleviate the Suffering of Others
* Help CAIR Raise $1 Million During Ramadan
* CAIR: Ramadan Iftar Held on Capitol Hill
            - CAIR Condemns Beating by New Orleans Police
* CAIR-FL Describes Muslim Response to Asia Quake
            - CAIR-OH: Muslim Community Prays for Quake Victims
            - CAIR-Chicago: Ramadan and the White Sox
* ACTION: Ask President, Congress to Boost Quake Aid
            - GA: Muslims Respond with Aid, Hugs (Atlanta Journal)
            - CA: Inland Muslims Boost Relief Effort (PE)
            - Hawaii Muslims Organize Aid for Quake Victims
            - VA: Muslims Help Quake Victims (Times Mirror)
            - NY: Victims in Ramadan Prayers (Newsday)
* Charities Report Low Donations for Quake Victims (Wash Post)
* NY: Growing Role of Islam in Latino Culture

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HADITH OF THE DAY: HELP ALLEVIATE THE SUFFERING OF OTHERS - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "He who alleviates the suffering of a brother (in this) world, God will alleviate his (suffering on) the Day of Resurrection."

Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1245

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HELP CAIR RAISE $1 MILLION DURING RAMADAN - TOP
http://www.cair.com/ramadan2005/

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RAMADAN IFTAR HELD ON CAPITOL HILL - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/12/05) - Almost 100 congressional staffers, American Muslim community leaders and diplomats from Islamic-majority nations turned out last night for the third annual Ramadan "iftar," or fast-breaking meal, on Capitol Hill.

The iftar, held in the Rayburn House Office Building, was co-sponsored by 11 House members and coordinated by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America's largest Muslim civil liberties group. It featured the breaking of the fast, the Islamic sunset prayer (maghrib) and remarks by CAIR officials and representatives of House members.

Following introductory remarks by CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, the council's Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor thanked the attendees and said the annual iftar offers an excellent opportunity for Muslim leaders and congressional staffers to network on issues of mutual concern.

"This annual tradition is designed to foster greater understanding of Islam and the Muslim community on Capitol Hill," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, who spoke at last night's event. "It is also intended to show appreciation for congressional staffers who have been working closely with American Muslims."

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

CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor, 202-646-6039 or 571-278-4658, E-Mail: csaylor@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

SEE ALSO:

CAIR CONDEMNS BEATING BY NEW ORLEANS POLICE - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/12/05) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today condemned the beating of a 64-year-old retired school teacher who was repeatedly punched by New Orleans police on Saturday.

In a statement, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:

"The brutality exhibited by police officers in their mistreatment of Robert Davis cannot be justified and should be condemned by all those who seek justice in our society."

Davis, who is African-American, said he was out to buy cigarettes in the French Quarter when he was beaten by three white officers and then arrested. Police alleged that Davis was intoxicated, a charge he denied. The incident was caught on videotape and has sparked a nationwide outcry.

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

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CAIR-FL DESCRIBES MUSLIM RESPONSE TO ASIA QUAKE - TOP
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/sfl-pakistan-video,0,3631031.wmvfile

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-OH: MUSLIM COMMUNITY DEALS WITH UNCERTAINTY, PRAYS FOR ITS HOMELAND - TOP
Sherri Williams, Columbus Dispatch, 10/11/05
http://www.dispatch.com/national-story.php?story=dispatch/2005/10/11/20051011-A1-02.html

The tragedy has been more than a news story in Columbus' Muslim community, said Ahmad Al-Akhras, president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Ohio chapter.

"It was mentioned in the mosque (Sunday)," he said.

"This is the time of Ramadan, when people gather in the evening for prayer. People were praying for the victims and their families."

For Altaf Wani, 54, television images of crumbled buildings and crushed homes were the only connection he had to his wife, Gulzar, 53, who also was in Kashmir visiting her family, and to Manzoor, his brother.

"We did not know what to think. There were all kinds of fears coming into our minds," Wani said, including their two children, Baraq, 24, and Najum, 18. "We were very anxious. We did not know what was going on."

Wani talked to his wife nearly 10 hours after he learned of the earthquake. Mrs. Wani, a senior research associate in radiology at Ohio State, was not injured.

"Finally, we were relieved," said Wani, a radiology professor at the university. "But we are still very sad. A lot of our brethren have perished, and there is extreme misery."

Mrs. Wani is expected back at the family's Northwest Side home next month.

The Pakistani community is turning its pain into action and mobilizing fundraising efforts for their devastated homeland.

Dr. Shahid Sheikh, associate professor of pediatrics at Ohio State, is the president of the local chapter of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent in North America.

The group already had raised $3,500.

Because Pakistan lacks the infrastructure, equipment and resources to deal with such a disaster, relief will be critical to victims, said Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin, vice president of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"People were trying to lift cement with their bare hands," said Mobin-Uddin, who has family in Pakistan and visited the country in March.

"You know there were people under the cement buildings after the earthquake. Help could be there if they had machinery to get out people who otherwise may have been unable to make it."

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CAIR-CHICAGO: JEWISH SOX FANS FACE A RARE DILEMMA - TOP
DAVE NEWBART, Chicago Sun Times, 10/12/05
http://www.suntimes.com/output/sox/cst-nws-soxyom12.html

It was almost a game-day decision for Sox fan Jonathan Greenspahn. He struggled until late Tuesday to decide whether to attend tonight's American League Championship Series game, which falls on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar.

In the end, the season ticket holder, a managing partner in Le Lan restaurant, sold his tickets, opting to skip the game.

Jewish rabbis -- from reform to orthodox -- said Tuesday it's not allowed under Jewish law to attend the game -- or even to watch it on TV. . .

Meanwhile, Muslims, who are celebrating the holy month of Ramadan, have less to worry about. Muslims are required to pray five times a day, plus an additional sixth "communal'' prayer, said Ahmed Rehab, spokesman for the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. However, that sixth prayer -- which takes place at 8 p.m. at most mosques in the area -- is not mandatory.

"There is nothing that suggests that we can't watch the game,'' Rehab said. He knows a group of five Muslims who plan to watch it, and then pray together afterward. (MORE)

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ACTION: ASK PRESIDENT, CONGRESS TO BOOST AID FOR QUAKE ZONE - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/12/05) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today urged American Muslims and other people of conscience to call their elected representatives, including President Bush, to ask that the U.S. government provide more aid for areas traumatized by the South Asia earthquake.

The 7.6 magnitude earthquake devastated the region and may have claimed 40,000 lives. According to the United Nations, up to 2 million people have been made homeless by the earthquake. Thousands of refugees are living in flimsy shelters as temperatures are dropping.

The United States has provided eight military helicopters and made an initial contribution of $50 million.

ACTON REQUESTED:

Follow the link below and send messages to your elected officials asking them to make more aid available to victims of the earthquake.

GO TO: http://capwiz.com/cair/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=8108511

CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor, 202-488-8787 or 571-278-4658, E-Mail: csaylor@cair-net.org

SEE ALSO:

GA: COMMUNITY RESPONDS WITH DONATIONS, HUGS - TOP
BRIAN FEAGANS, Atlanta Journal, 10/12/05
http://www.ajc.com/search/content/metro/gwinnett/1005/12quake.html

Natives of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan are helping pay for flights back home. They are holding relief fund-raisers at county mosques, temples and restaurants this week. And they are giving grieving relatives such as Awan something he can't get from his own family right now: hugs.

Fazal "Fazi" Khan, project director of the Norcross-based A Grain of Hope Foundation, embraced Awan before the two even spoke outside his apartment Tuesday. Khan, a Norcross print shop owner who has lived in metro Atlanta for nearly 20 years, spent Tuesday trying to drum up donations and visiting families who had lost loved ones. A Grain of Hope raised about $20,000 by Tuesday and was collecting winter clothes, sleeping bags and medical supplies that will be flown into Pakistan, Khan said.

The tragedy came during the holy month of Ramadan, when many Muslims believe they should be most generous. Khan had feared collections would be slow in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But he found otherwise. "Thanks to God, people are generous," Khan said. "They donated before and they are donating again." (MORE)

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CA: INLAND MUSLIMS BOOST RELIEF EFFORT - TOP
BETTYE WELLS MILLER, Press-Enterprise, 10/11/05
http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_relief12.13169e40.html

Inland Muslims will continue raising money for Pakistan earthquake victims during prayer services on Friday as Islamic relief groups in the United States coordinate the delivery of aid to staff and partner agencies in the Himalayan region.

American Muslims, many with family in South Asia, will play an important role in fund-raising for victims of Saturday's catastrophic earthquake, Inland residents and others said.

"Many people have lost family," said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California. "Many have family there who are helping others who have been displaced. And the majority (of Muslims) here are fairly resourceful."

The Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, an organization of mosques and Islamic centers, has asked members to focus Friday sermons on the role everyone can play in alleviating suffering and to give generously to earthquake-relief efforts.

The council also will sponsor a fundraising dinner on Nov. 13 and will send a delegation of Southern California Muslims to Pakistan later this week to determine what help is needed now and long-term.

The quake struck four days after the start of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar.

Ramadan is a month of daylight fasting and prayer. It also is a time in which Muslims are called to be especially mindful of the needs of others, Syed said by phone, and a time in which acts of charity are believed to elicit greater reward.

Most mosques began raising money immediately, Inland Muslims said.

Many are still raising money for victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes as well and sent money to relief groups helping tsunami survivors in South Asia.

Southern California Muslims have raised more than $5 million for hurricane victims so far, Syed said.

"It is overwhelming," Kalim Farooki, chairman of the Islamic Society of Corona-Norco board of trustees, said of the relief need for victims of tsunamis, hurricanes and now the earthquake along the India-Pakistan border. "Life is a test. We should never see this calamity as punishment. It is an opportunity for people with means to help people who are suffering."

The center has raised several thousand dollars for earthquake victims so far, Farooki said by phone.

In Temecula, Muslims sent food and clothing to the Gulf Coast for Hurricane Katrina victims and now are raising money for Pakistanis who lost everything in the quake, said Mahmoud Harmoush, director of the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley.

Representatives of the Michigan-based LIFE for Relief and Development and Islamic Relief in Burbank will be at the mosque this weekend to accept donations, Harmoush said by phone.

The two groups are among four recommended by the Shura Council. The others are Islamic Circle of North America Relief of Jamaica, N.Y., and Human Assistance and Development International of Culver City. (MORE)

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HAWAII MUSLIMS ORGANIZE FUNDRAISING FOR QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Hawaii Channel, 10/11/05
http://www.thehawaiichannel.com/news/5085674/detail.html

HONOLULU -- Muslims in Hawaii have launched a fundraising drive for the victims of the South Asia earthquake that left more than 30,000 people dead.

KITV accepted an invitation to be present at a special gathering of the Muslim Association of Hawaii at the Muslim mosque in Manoa.

Muslims gathered in Manoa to pray in the sacred month of Ramadan. It is the month of forgiveness, the month to draw closer to Allah. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. They prayed at the mosque before breaking their fast. On Monday night, they prayed for the earthquake victims.

Khan is from Pakistan. He has family there and knows the stricken area well. He is one of perhaps 300 Pakistanis in Hawaii among about 1,500 Muslims.

For Khan the pictures of the damage are especially meaningful.

"Communications is very difficult over there. Transportation is not good over there. So, they require immediate help," Khan said. "It is most important to help them. To immediately help them."

It is not the first fundraising effort by the Muslim Association of Hawaii. They recently raised $65,000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina. (MORE)

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VA: MUSLIMS HELP QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Loudon Times Mirror, 10/11/05
http://www.timescommunity.com/site/tab1.cfm?newsid=15369651&BRD=2553&PAG=461&dept_id=506037&rfi=6

During a break between Ramadan holy month prayers Sunday night at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center, worshipers dug deep to help their brethren devastated by the weekend earthquake in Pakistan and India. More than 95 percent of Pakistanis are Muslims.

"Prayers were made for the victims," said spokesman Shirin Elkoshairi. "It was wrapped in the same prayer that everyone was doing.

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NY: VICTIMS IN RAMADAN PRAYERS - TOP
ZACHARY R. DOWDY JR, Newsday, 10/12/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-liquak124465763oct12,0,1743106.story

Ramadan at the Islamic Center of Long Island always draws hundreds to its post-fast feasts. Its solemn prayers and community events are a mainstay for area Muslims as they observe Islam's holiest month in the spirit of goodwill.

Last night's prayers, with nearly 400 attending the Westbury mosque, had an added dimension. There were calls for mercy and charity on behalf of thousands killed and injured by the earthquake that struck Pakistan and Kashmir last weekend.

Orderly rows of worshippers, young and old, faced Mecca in prayer, bending and then kneeling in unison.

The tragedy, which has taken between 20,000 and 40,000 lives and destroyed entire villages, has been exacerbated by torrential rain and near-freezing night climes.

Islamic Center members said last night they plan fundraising events and a trip to the devastated area to deliver needed supplies. (MORE)

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CHARITIES REPORT LOW DONATIONS FOR QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Jacqueline L. Salmon, Washington Post, 10/12/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/11/AR2005101101884.html

The massive earthquake that killed an estimated 30,000 people in South Asia has kindled an outpouring of cash from Muslim communities here and elsewhere but has elicited a far more feeble response from many other donors, aid groups say.

After donating about $1.3 billion to help the victims of the devastating Southeast Asia tsunami and then contributing $1.7 billion to support relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, many donors appear to be running out of steam.

"Each time, the response is not as brisk as it was the previous time around," said Akhter Mohammed, chief executive of Interaction, a Washington-based group that represents 165 international relief agencies, many of which are assisting in relief efforts for earthquake victims. . .

Agencies and charity researchers say "donor fatigue" might be part of the problem. The third major disaster within a year simply is not registering with Americans as strongly as did the previous two. . .

By contrast, the South Asia earthquake is generating a passionate response among Pakistani and Muslim communities because such a large area affected was in Pakistan.

At Ramadan prayer services Monday night, worshipers at the All Dulles Muslim Area Society in Sterling donated $40,000 in cash and checks to Islamic Relief, a California relief group. Another collection will take place during Friday services at the mosque.

Close to 40 percent of its members have roots in Pakistan, India and Kashmir, said Parvez Khan, operations manager for the mosque.

"It hits home for everyone," he said.

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RELIGION, CULTURE MIX AT ITFAR DINNER - TOP
After Ramadan Dinner, Students Discuss Growing Role of Islam in Latino Culture
Lauren Melnick, Columbia Spectator, 10/12/05
http://www.columbiaspectator.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/10/12/434ccd7e69d50

Students came together to break their Ramadan fast over an iftar dinner and stayed for halal tex-mex in Lerner.

The mix of the two unlikely meals represented the blend of cultures at Tuesday night's "Latinos in Islam: Rediscovering our Roots." The event was organized to educate attendees about the role that Islam has played in Latino culture and the growing Latino Muslim population.

The program, which was scheduled to coincide with both Ramadan and Latino Heritage Month, was organized at the suggestion of Hernan Guadalupe, director and founder of the Latino Muslim Outreach Program and a recent Muslim convert.

"We believe [Latino Muslim culture] to be an interesting topic which hasn't really been discussed over the years," said Guadalupe. "My goal is to have people really enjoy the information and walk out knowing something new about Islam and about being Latino."

Originally from Ecuador and a native Spanish speaker, Guadalupe said he was raised in a strong Catholic household. It was not until his junior year of college in 2001 that he converted to Islam. In March 2005, he co-founded the LMOP, a New Jersey-based grassroots organization that aims to introduce more Latinos to Islam and clarify misconceptions and stereotypes about Islam.

Guadalupe attributed the appeal of Islam to "the clarity, simplicity, and satisfaction of this way of life," and said some Latinos converted because they "were not satisfied with the religion or way of life bestowed upon them by their culture." (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: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 15:53:07 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Pledge $20 Million in Quake Aid

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AMERICAN MUSLIMS PLEDGE $20 MILLION IN AID FOR QUAKE VICTIMS
Leaders to Hold News Conference Calling for Formation of Presidential Ad-Hoc Committee

(WASHINGTON, DC - 10/12/05) -- On Thursday, October 13, more than a dozen major American Muslim groups will hold a press conference to announce their pledge to raise $20 million to provide relief to the victims of the devastating earthquake in South Asia.

The leaders will also call on President Bush to form an ad-hoc committee comprised of U.S. governmental and American Muslim non-governmental relief agencies to offer coordinated relief to earthquake victims.

They will also announce that the Muslim Hurricane Relief Task Force, which originally formed in response to Hurricane Katrina, would become a permanent coalition. Members of the re-named American Muslim Task Force for Disaster Relief (AMTFDR) have already dispatched teams to conduct needs assessments and provide direct assistance to earthquake survivors throughout the region.

WHAT: News Conference Announcing $20M Pledge for Quake Victims & Calling on President to Form Ad-Hoc Committee
WHEN: Thursday, October 13, 2005 at 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Lisagor Room, National Press Building, Washington, DC

Official reports indicate that at least 40,000 people have been killed in the devastating earthquake that shook Pakistan, Kashmir, India and Afghanistan. U.N. officials report that at least 3.5 million people are now homeless and vulnerable to infections and disease.

Member relief organizations include (in alphabetical order): Hidaya Foundation, Indian Muslim Relief Committee, Islamic Relief Worldwide, ICNA Relief, KindHearts, Life for Relief and Development, and the Zakat Foundation. Other professional foundations -- including the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA) and the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) -- are organizing American Muslim physicians to travel to the region and offer medical assistance.

"A coordinated program between all Muslim organizations in North America will help improve the quality of service to provide immediate assistance to the affected people in the region," ISNA President Muhammad Nur Abdullah said.

Other task force members include: Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), Freedom and Justice Foundation, and National Council of Pakistani Americans (NCPA).

Additional groups who agree to the taskforces guidelines will be added as the relief efforts develop. The Taskforce guidelines for collection and distribution of funds will focus on financial transparency and accountability as set forth in relevant government regulations and standards.

CONTACT:

Edina Lekovic, 213-383-3443 or 310-560-4898, communications@mpac.org
Mohamed Elsanousi, 317-839-1803, melsanousi@isna.net
Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair-net.org
Arif Shaikh, 310-315-3931, arif@irw.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: Thu, 13 Oct 2005 14:02:42 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Use Hands-On Approach to Quake Aid

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/13/05

* Verse: Righteousness Defined
* Help CAIR Raise $1 Million During Ramadan
* NY: U.S. Muslims Use Hands-On Approach to Quake Aid (NYT)
            - U.S. Muslims Mark Ramadan with Charity (Wash File)
            - US Indians, Pakistanis Reach Out Together (DNA)
            - OH: Islamic Center Sets Earthquake Fund
            - CA: Far Away Disaster Stirs South Bay Compassion
            - MI: Muslims to Raise Money for Earthquake Aid
            - MA: Muslims Join Relief Efforts During Ramadan
* IL: Muslim Citizenship Pushed During Ramadan (Chicago Trib)
* CO: Jews, Muslims Explore Common Threads (Denver Post)
* IN: Muslim Teacher Says Faith Cost Him His Job
            - CO: Albertsons Manager Accused of Insulting Muslims
* Fisk: Iraq has Descended into Anarchy (Independent)
            - Iraqi Civil War Seems Inevitable (Knight Ridder)
            - Detainee Forced to Bark Like Dog Sues for Freedom

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VERSE OF THE DAY: RIGHTEOUSNESS DEFINED - TOP

"It is not righteousness that you turn your faces toward East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in God, and the Last Day, and the angels, and revelation, and (God's) messengers; to spend of your substance out of love for Him for your relatives, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who seek assistance, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage; to be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts that you have made; and to be firm and patient in distress, in adversity, and throughout all times of peril. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing."

The Holy Quran, 2:177

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HELP CAIR RAISE $1 MILLION DURING RAMADAN - TOP
http://www.cair.com/ramadan2005/

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FROM A STATEN ISLAND MOSQUE, QUAKE AID THAT'S MADE TO ORDER - TOP
ANDREA ELLIOTT, New York Times, 10/13/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/13/nyregion/13relief.html

A pair of trucks rumbled along the broken roads of Kashmir on Tuesday, carrying yet another load of food, clothes and makeshift tents into the earthquake zone. But unlike so many of the anonymous donors thousands of miles away, the source of this aid, a mosque, was boldly advertised on the trucks' red-lettered banners: "Masjid Al-Noor, Staten Island, New York."

"We had great difficulty spelling Staten Island on the phone," said Suhail Muzaffar, 53, a stately former professor and Pakistani immigrant who is chairman of the mosque's board of trustees, and runs a thriving export company on Staten Island.

Mr. Muzaffar's point was not pride but control. He wrote up a shopping list based on cellphone calls from victims trapped in the mountains to relatives who worship at his mosque. He rented the trucks and ordered the banners himself, through connections in his family's Pakistani hometown, Rawalpindi. And he enlisted a Pakistani charity he knew to carry the order through.

Only in this way, he said, could he and other members of his mosque feel sure that their $12,000 in hard-earned donations would reach the people they were trying to help.

Relief experts say the mosque's control of its beneficence illustrates a new trend in global charity: many donors are no longer content to write checks and hope for the best. Fears of inept government bureaucracies, official corruption, and charities that engage in fraud have led to an increasingly hands-on approach by donors, from the lone cabdriver to the boards of many foundations. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

AMERICAN MUSLIMS OBSERVE HOLY MONTH OF RAMADAN - TOP
Daylong Fasting, Donating to Charity Mark Observance
Afzal Khan, Washington File, 10/12/05
http://usinfo.state.gov/usinfo/products/washfile.html
(Scroll down to "Latest News.")

Washington -- Millions of American Muslims began observing the holy month of Ramadan on October 5 after the new crescent moon was sighted the evening before. Many of them are fasting from dawn to dusk and attending special evening prayers to read chapters from the Quran.

President Bush on October 4 sent greetings to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world as they began their observance of Ramadan. He praised American Muslims for their commitment to spiritual growth and charity during the holy month and welcomed the contributions they have made to American society. (See related article.)

During Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims also meditate on how to become more virtuous persons as well as caring citizens who help those who are poor and needy.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said this year's Ramadan has become a month of charity and giving more than ever before because of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the massive earthquake in Pakistan and parts of India and Afghanistan.

"The benefits of Ramadan are being better understood because those who are fasting can appreciate the suffering of the victims of these natural disasters, many of whom are hungry and without shelter," Hooper said. (MORE)

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US INDIANS, PAKISTANIS REACH OUT TOGETHER TO QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Uttara Choudhury, DNA, 10/12/05
http://dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=5404

NEW YORK: Indians and Pakistanis living in the US needed no coaxing to come together to raise medicines, blankets and cash donations for relief work in the aftermath of Saturday's massive earthquake. Syed Asif Alam, chief of the Association of Pakistani Physicians (AOPP), said that the Indian and Pakistani communities in the US had raised thousands of dollars and were hoping to reach a target of one million.

"We have the same concerns for missing family members and friends at home. We are pooling our resources to raise cash for people back home," said Alam. "It is a time for unity. The quake has left so many kids without a family, so many families without a home. We need to do our bit to rebuild," he said. Mosques throughout the US have been making collections at prayers as well as setting up counselling services for workers out here who are making frantic phone calls to trace their families and cope with loss.

Jackson Heights has one of the United State's largest Indian and Pakistani populations and the council believes more than 5,000 of its residents' family may have affected. Collection buckets for donations have been placed in all the main council buildings.

"My colleagues and I have collected cash, medicines and blankets. We will distribute the relief supplies in Kashmir and Pakistan's North West Frontier Province," said Arvind Joshi, a naturalised American engineer who was born in Mumbai.

The Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on American Muslims to help the quake victims. "Just as Americans came together to help the victims of the recent Gulf Coast hurricanes, we must do whatever we can to help those suffering in South Asia," said Ibrahim Hooper , spokesman for CAIR. (MORE)

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WEST CHESTER ISLAMIC CENTER SETS EARTHQUAKE FUND - TOP
Peggy McCracken, Journal News, 10/12/05
http://www.journal-news.com/hp/content/news/stories/2005/10/12/hjn1013islam_s.html

HAMILTON - The death toll from Pakistan's worst earthquake is stirring the hearts and purse strings of people worldwide. Locally, the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati in West Chester Township has established an earthquake relief fund.

Contributions will be funneled to the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America, based in Chicago. Dr. Rashid M. Khan, a member of the local mosque and the APPNA, said the agency will effectively distribute donations.

"They have a very long record in charitable work," said Khan. "They have people working on the ground there. By not going through the government there is no red tape. Our goal is to reach real people, reduce the overhead, get the money and food directly to the people.

"This will get the money to the people as fast as possible, at least 90 cents on the dollar," he said.

Khan - who lost 19 extended family members, as well as former medical school classmates, in the disaster - is hoping the community will be generous. The APPNA plans to send financing to the area Friday.

Donations will continue to be collected through the Muslim holy period of Ramadan, said Shikila Ahmad of the Islamic center, located at 8092 Plantation Drive. No collection goal has been set. . .

Donations are tax deductible. They will be collected at Friday Prayers and throughout the month of Ramadan at various mosque functions. Donations may also be given to the "Islamic Center Pakistan Earthquake Fund" at any Fifth Third Bank location.

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A FAR AWAY DISASTER STIRS SOUTH BAY TO COMPASSION - TOP
Andrea Sudano, Daily Breeze, 10/13/05
http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/articles/1777996.html

Torrance resident Shahid Khan feels helpless.

A good friend in Pakistan was killed when his home collapsed after Saturday's 7.6-magnitude earthquake. Khan's mother-in-law now sleeps in a tent outside her damaged home.

His countrymen are cold and hungry, but Khan is fighting the instinct to go home. Instead, he has joined the ranks of South Bay residents lending support -- monetary and spiritual -- to earthquake victims halfway around the world.

"I am kind of holding out here," Khan said. "I can't be much of a practical use there. Maybe if I can be here and work in the community and get some people to send them money ..."

The 49-year-old father of two plans to donate money to the Islamic Center of South Bay in Lomita, where he comes to worship, pray and break his daily fast during Ramadan, which began last week.

His affected family and friends have a special place in his prayers, especially during this time of the year, traditionally reserved by Muslims for reflection, contemplation and renewal. (MORE)

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LOCAL MUSLIMS TO RAISE MONEY FOR EARTHQUAKE AID - TOP
Chad Swiatecki, Flint Journal, 10/12/05
http://www.mlive.com/news/fljournal/index.ssf?/base/news-32/1129132246171470.xml&coll=5

GENESEE COUNTY - The Flint Islamic Center will collect donations at its Saturday service for relief efforts in areas of Pakistan recovering from last weekend's earthquake that killed more than 30,000 people.

Center director Abdelmajid Jondy said about 15 percent of the center's membership is from Pakistan, but most are from areas far from the bulk of the earthquake's damage. (MORE)

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AREA MUSLIMS JOIN RELIEF EFFORTS DURING RAMADAN - TOP
Margaret Smith, Littleton Independent, 10/13/05
http://www2.townonline.com/littleton/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=344005

As news reports tell of increasing death tolls after an earthquake in Pakistan and India, area Muslims are giving donations and remembering victims in their prayers.

Collection drives at mosques in the region and throughout the world are coinciding with the observance of Ramadan, when Muslims are asked to help those in need.

"During the holy month of Ramadan, we get a good crowd every night, especially on the weekends," said Farook Taufiq, a board secretary for the Islamic Society of Greater Lowell mosque in Chelmsford. "It's during the month of Ramadan that we are supposed to be more generous, so we set aside money for that purpose."

Taufiq said a collection drive for earthquake victims - many of whom are Muslims - started during the Ramadan evening prayer session Monday and is expected to continue for the next two weeks. (MORE)

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MUSLIM CITIZENSHIP PUSHED - TOP
Initiative focuses on area immigrants during holy month
Gerry Doyle, Chicago Tribune, 10/13/03
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/southsouthwest/chi-0510130183oct13,1,5579806.story

As Muslim immigrants throughout the state gather to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, a network of faith-based and social-service groups hopes they will consider a pressing secular issue: citizenship.

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights plans to address worshipers during services, distributing information and encouraging them to become citizens. Organizers say that speaking out during such an important time in the Muslim calendar will prevent those who need help from slipping through the cracks.

"This initiative is not specifically a faith-based one," said Hatem Abudayyah of the Arab-American Action Network, a coalition member. "Ramadan allows us to reach Muslims more easily."

There are about 1.6 million immigrants in Illinois, said Diego Bonesatti, field director of the New Americans Initiative, which is overseen by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Several hundred thousand are Muslim immigrants or their children, he said.

Bolstered by $3 million in state funds, the coalition, formed in February, wants to connect with the nearly 350,000 immigrants who are eligible for residency and help them navigate the system.

The bureaucracy surrounding citizenship can take months to penetrate, and some immigrants are bilked by scam artists, coalition members said. Those complexities and setbacks can put off many who might otherwise become citizens, they said.

"For decades, the state has been a Mecca of opportunity," said Sheikh Kifah Mustapha of the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview. "By being a U.S. citizen, we fulfill our civic duties. ... Different cultures and ethnic backgrounds will add to the community."

The coalition is working with several area Muslim groups on the project. Non-Muslim religious groups, including the Catholic Church, are contributing to the overall effort as well, said Karla Avila of the New Americans Initiative. Other immigrant communities such as Mexicans and Africans in Chicago are involved, she said, adding that the program is the first of its kind in the United States.

Coalition officials expect to get data at the end of this week on the number of people who have started the process of becoming citizens as a result of the outreach effort.

Citizenship is crucial, coalition officials say, in becoming part of the United States' social fabric. "It brings a sense of permanence," said Mehrdad Azemun of the coalition. "And for a lot of people in the Muslim community, it means they cannot be deported." (MORE)

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JEWISH, MUSLIM CONGREGATIONS EXPLORING COMMON THREADS - TOP
Eric Gorski, Denver Post, 10/13/05
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_3110123

Boulder - For a service celebrating the second day of the Jewish New Year, it was an unusual choice of music: a Sufi Muslim chant with lyrics in Hebrew and Arabic:

"Allah Hu Allah la illah ha il Allah Elohim Echad Elohim Gadol"

Roughly translated, Jews and Muslims could agree on this one critical point: There is one God, and he is great.

This scene last week at Boulder's Pardes Levavot, a Jewish Renewal congregation, recognized an unusual convergence: For the first time in 33 years, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish High Holy Days have collided on the calendar. A Philadelphia rabbi, Arthur Waskow, is promoting it as "God's October Surprise," an opportunity to find peace and reconciliation. (MORE)

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MUSLIM TEACHER SAYS HIS FAITH, ETHNICITY COST HIM HIS JOB - TOP
Maureen Hayden, Courier & Press, 10/13/05
http://www.courierpress.com/ecp/news/article/0,1626,ECP_734_4154027,00.html

An assistant professor at the University of Evansville is suing the school, contending he was denied tenure because he is a practicing Muslim of Middle Eastern descent.

The university, in turn, is denying the allegations, saying it is the instructor's lack of teaching skills, not his religion or ethnic origin, that caused the school not to renew his contract. Al Zeiny, an assistant professor of civil engineering, filed the lawsuit late last week in U.S. District Court in Evansville. Zeiny, who has a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of California-Irvine, filed the lawsuit after he was told he would be given a "terminal contract" and not be invited to return to the university to teach for another year. Zeiny has been teaching at UE since August of 2002. In the lawsuit, his attorney, Andrew Dutkanych III, contends Zeiny was denied tenure and was subject to derogatory remarks because of Zeiny's religion and ethnicity. Zeiny, who is a naturalized American citizen of Egyptian descent, alleges unnamed persons at the university made "searching inquiries" about his opinion of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, and alleges the chairman of his department made questionable comments about the "non-American" and "non-Christian" sounding names of his children.

SEE ALSO:

EMPLOYEE ACCUSES ALBERTSONS MANAGER OF INSULTING MUSLIMS - TOP
KIRSTEN ORSINI-MEINHARD, Coloradoan, 10/12/05
http://www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051012/BUSINESS/510120332/1046

Fort Collins resident Fahim Saleem was on the verge of tears when he asked his dad to pick him up from work last Thursday.

The 19-year-old's father, Nawab Saleem, immediately offered to take his son to the doctor.

But it wasn't a physical illness that worried Fahim Saleem.

The Front Range Community College student claims a manager at Albertsons, 1636 N. College Ave., where he works in the fuel center, had insulted his religion. He has since quit his job because of it.

The incident has left Fahim Saleem and his family shaken. Nawab Saleem is planning to gather other members of the Muslim community to picket the store later this week if he does not receive an apology from the company.

He also plans to e-mail the chief executive officer of Albertsons, Lawrence Johnston, to ask for an apology and is considering filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

Nawab Saleem already has spoken to another manager at the Albertsons on North College Avenue about the incident, but he said the manager acted hostile and would not listen to him.

"I will do everything I can to bring this to the attention of people," said Nawab Saleem, who owns a small business close to Albertsons on North College.

"This is a wonderful country, and this should not be happening in this country."

Managers at Albertsons directed all questions to the company's corporate headquarters.

In an e-mail statement, Director of Public Affairs Danielle Killpack said: "Albertsons respects the religious beliefs and practices of all associates and customers. We take allegations such as this very seriously, and we are currently looking into this matter. We will address it appropriately after we are fully informed and have received all of the facts."

The company would not comment further and did not release the names of the managers involved.

The incident centered around Ramadan, the holiest month of the year in the Islamic calendar, which is marked with prayer and fasting between sunrise and sunset.

Nawab Saleem left a message for his son's manager at Albertsons to ask if it would be possible to give Fahim Saleem fewer night shifts during the holiday, because he would be weak after fasting all day.

The manager did not respond to the message, but instead, began speaking badly about the Muslim faith when she saw Fahim Saleem the next day, he claims.

Later that day, when Fahim Saleem and his father returned to the store at the request of another manager to speak about the incident, Nawab Saleem claims the manager became angry at the two for pursuing the issue and asked Fahim Saleem to return to work. (MORE)

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IRAQ HAS DESCENDED INTO ANARCHY, SAYS FISK - TOP
Nigel Morris, Independent, 10/13/05
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article319160.ece

Most of Iraq is in a state of anarchy, with insurgents controlling parts of Baghdad just half a mile from the so-called Green Zone, an Independent debate was told last night.

Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, whose new book The Great War for Civilisation: the Conquest of the Middle East has just been published by 4th Estate, painted a picture of deepening chaos and misery in Iraq more than two years after Saddam Hussein was toppled.

He said that the "constant, intensive involvement" in the Middle East by the West was a recurring pattern over centuries and was the reason why "so many Muslims in the Middle East hate us". He added: "We can close doors on history. They can't."

Fisk doubted the sincerity of Western leaders' commitment to bringing democracy to Iraq and said a lasting settlement in the country was impossible while foreign troops remained. "In the Middle East, they would like some of our democracy, they would like a couple of boxes off the supermarket shelves of human rights as well. But I think they would also like freedom from us."

Recalling the sight of an immense US convoy rolling into the country's capital, he said: "A superpower has a visceral need to project military power. We can go to Baghdad, so we will go to Baghdad."

He told the debate in London: "The Americans must leave Iraq and they will leave Iraq, but they can't leave Iraq and that is the equation that turns sand to blood. At some point, they will have to talk to the insurgents.

"But I don't know how, because those people who might be negotiators ­ the United Nations, the Red Cross ­ their headquarters have been blown up. The reality now in Iraq is the project is finished. Most of Iraq, except Kurdistan, is in a state of anarchy."

He said that the portrayal of Iraq by Western leaders ­ of efforts to introduce democracy, including Saturday's national vote on the country's proposed constitution ­ was "unreal" to most of its citizens. In Baghdad, children and women were kept at home to prevent them from being kidnapped for money or sold into slavery. They faced a desperate struggle to find the money to keep generators running to provide themselves with electricity. "They aren't sitting in their front rooms discussing the referendum on the constitution."

With insurgents half a mile from Baghdad's Green Zone, Fisk said the danger to reporters from a brutal insurgency that did not respect journalists was increasing. "Every time I go to Baghdad it's worse, every time I ask myself how we can keep going. Because the real question is ­ is the story worth the risk?"

He attacked television reporters for flinching from depicting the everyday bloodshed on the streets of Iraq. "You can go and see Saving Private Ryan or Kingdom of Heaven ­ people have their heads cut off. When it comes to real heads being cut off, you can't. I think television connives with governments at war." He added: "Newspapers can tell you as closely as they can what these horrors are like."

Asked if the "anger and passion" he felt over the events he witnessed had affected his objectivity, he said: "When you are at the scene of a massacre, you are entitled to feel immense anger and I do."

He rejected suggestions that graphic pictures of the dead in newspapers took away their dignity. He said: "My view is the people who are dead would want us to record what happened to them."

Most of Iraq is in a state of anarchy, with insurgents controlling parts of Baghdad just half a mile from the so-called Green Zone, an Independent debate was told last night.

Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, whose new book The Great War for Civilisation: the Conquest of the Middle East has just been published by 4th Estate, painted a picture of deepening chaos and misery in Iraq more than two years after Saddam Hussein was toppled.

He said that the "constant, intensive involvement" in the Middle East by the West was a recurring pattern over centuries and was the reason why "so many Muslims in the Middle East hate us". He added: "We can close doors on history. They can't." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

THE U.S. SAYS THIS IS THE FUTURE OF IRAQ'S ARMY. IF SO, CIVIL WAR SEEMS INEVITABLE - TOP
TOM LASSETER, KNIGHT RIDDER, 10/13/05
http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/world/12887753.htm

Swadi Ghilan's two sons were dropping their sister off at high school earlier this year when a carload of Sunni Muslim insurgents pulled up and emptied their AK-47s into their bodies. In broad daylight his children were torn to pieces, their blood splashed against the windshield as they screamed and died.

Ghilan is a major in the Iraqi army and a Shiite Muslim, the sect that makes up some 60 percent of Iraq's population. Now, more than ever, the grieving father says he wants to hunt down and kill not only Sunni guerrilla fighters but also Sunnis who give those fighters shelter and support. By that, he means killing most Sunnis in Iraq.

"There are two Iraqs; it's something that we can no longer deny," Ghilan said. "The army should execute the Sunnis in their neighborhoods so that all of them can see what happens, so that all of them learn their lesson."

The Bush administration's exit strategy for Iraq rests on two pillars: an inclusive, democratic political process that includes all major ethnic groups and a well-trained Iraqi national army. But a week spent eating, sleeping and going on patrol with a crack unit of the Iraqi army - the 4,500-member 1st Brigade of the 6th Iraqi Division - suggests that the strategy is in serious trouble. Instead of rising above the ethnic tension that's tearing their nation apart, the mostly Shiite troops are preparing for, if not already fighting, a civil war against the minority Sunni population.

Ghilan's army unit is responsible for security in western Baghdad, where many Sunnis live. But the soldiers are overwhelmingly Shiite, and, like Ghilan, they're seeking revenge against the Sunnis who oppressed them during Saddam Hussein's rule. (MORE)

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DETAINEE WHO WAS FORCED TO BARK LIKE A DOG SUES FOR HIS FREEDOM - TOP
CAROL ROSENBERG, Knight Ridder, 10/12/05
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/12885673.htm

MIAMI - (KRT) - A New York law group has filed suit seeking release of Guantanamo captive Mohammed al-Qahtani - the Saudi man who was subjected to some of the most intensive, Pentagon-approved interrogation tactics as a suspected 20th hijacker in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Al-Qahtani's case focused attention on the prison in June when Time magazine published excerpts from a military log of his Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, interrogation - showing that U.S. troops told him to bark like a dog and left him to urinate on himself.

In the log, U.S. interrogators describe how they ratcheted up techniques on their captive during 50 days starting in November 2002 to extract a confession - by using sleep deprivation, leaving him strapped to an intravenous drip without bathroom breaks and having him strip naked.

Attorney Gita Gutierrez at the New York Center for Constitutional Rights said this week that she filed al-Qahtani's habeas corpus petition in U.S. District Court in Washington once his father, in Saudi Arabia, empowered the firm to act on his son's behalf.

No lawyer has met the captive yet, although Gutierrez said she hoped to travel to the Navy base in Cuba in coming weeks to see him. (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, 14 Oct 2005 11:49:59 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslim Charities Re-Emerge for Quake Victims / Muslim Hurricane Evacuees Urged to Convert / Synagogue Welcomes Muslim Speaker

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/14/05

* Verse: God Grants Manifold Increase
* Help CAIR Raise $1 Million During Ramadan
* CAIR-FL: Synagogue Welcomes Muslim Speaker (SP Times)
            - MD: Jews, Muslims, Gather for Joint Holidays
* CAIR-TX Offers Students 'Islam 101'
* Editorial: Islam is Not the Enemy (SF Chronicle)
* Muslim Charities Re-Emerge for Quake Victims (NYT)
            - IL: Muslim Groups Collect Online for Quake Relief
            - U.S. Muslims Mobilize Widely and Quickly
            - American Muslims Pledge $20M for Quake Victims
            - MD: Islamic Center Aids Quake Relief Effort
            - WA: Local Pakistanis' Hearts, Dollars Go to Victims
            - VA: Local Muslims Pray for Those in Quake Zone
            - OH: Muslims Here Raise Money for Kashmir
            - CA: South Asian, Muslim Agencies favored (SJMN)
* LA: Muslim Hurricane Evacuees Urged to Convert (Baptist Press)
            - KS: Muslim View of Jesus: a Prophet Respected, Revered
* VA/NC: Muslim Beauty Queen Glad to Honor Her Faith
* VA: ADAMS Center Holds Interfaith Iftar (Connection)
            - NH: Muslims Observe Ramadan (VOA)
* Muslims No longer Strangers in Ireland (Chicago Sun-Times)
            - Muslims Celebrate 50 Years in Korea
* Vatican Pledges to Work with Muslims (AP)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: GOD GRANTS MANIFOLD INCREASE - TOP

"The Parable of those who spend their possessions for the sake of God is that of a grain of corn out of which grow seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains: for God grants manifold increase to whom He wills; and God is infinite, all-knowing.

The Holy Quran, 2:261

"You can never attain righteousness unless you give (freely) that which you love; and whatever you spend, God knows it well."

The Holy Quran, 3:92

"Believe in God and His messenger and spend in charity out of that of which He has made you trustees, for those of you who believe and spend in charity shall be richly rewarded."

The Holy Quran, 57:7

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HELP CAIR RAISE $1 MILLION DURING RAMADAN - TOP
http://www.cair.com/ramadan2005/

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CAIR-FL: SYNAGOGUE WELCOMES MUSLIM SPEAKER - TOP
The director of a local Islamic group stresses the similarities of both religions during their observance of holy days.
Shannon Tan. Petersburg Times, 10/14/05
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/10/14/Northpinellas/Synagogue_welcomes_Mu.shtml

CLEARWATER - Thursday was Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day, and it also happened to be one of the blessed days of Ramadan.

Ahmed Bedier, director of the Central Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was invited to speak at Congregation Beth Shalom. Rabbi David Weizman suggested that he speak on the afterlife, but Bedier had a different idea.

"We're all starving," Bedier noted, as both Jews and Muslims were fasting Thursday.

Religion can divide people or bring them together, Bedier said. He chose to unite the group Thursday by discussing the similarities between Judaism and Islam.

"We don't have to talk about whether to resolve the Middle East conflict today," he joked.

Bedier pointed out that both religions share a true belief in God. Muslims and Jews believe in prophets and messengers. They fast. They give alms. They pray.

He told a story about how the prophet Mohammed was told by God to pray 50 times a day. Then Mohammed met Moses, who pointed out that Jews pray only three times a day. After some negotiating, God agreed to let Muslims pray just five times a day.

Fascinated, the group of more than 35 people peppered Bedier with questions.

Why the name Ramadan? Are there religious differences between the Shiites and the Sunnis? Are all Muslims Arab? When you say praise Allah, is Allah God? What are your prayers like? (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MD: JEWS, MUSLIMS, GATHER FOR JOINT HOLIDAYS - TOP
Andrew Scherr, Jewish Times, 10/14/05
http://www.jewishtimes.com/News/5104.stm

Last Monday night, Oct. 10, Jewish and Muslim students at Johns Hopkins University learned they have a lot in common. For instance, the two groups have coinciding holidays, Yom Kippur and Ramadan, both of which involve fasting. In addition, they seem to share a mutual desire to learn about each other, as well as a penchant for kosher Chinese food.

At the height of the midterm season, 165 students broke away from their textbooks to attend the second annual High Holy Day/Ramadan Banquet. Co-sponsored by the Jewish and Muslim student associations at Hopkins, the event took place in the midst of the Jewish High Holidays and the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. (MORE)

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CAIR-TX: AWARENESS WEEKS STARTS WITH 101 - TOP
Marla Last, NT Daily, 10/11/05
http://www.ntdaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/10/11/434b54693158e

The Muslim Holiday of Ramadan opened NT's third annual Islam Awareness Week. Students have several opportunities to become more aware of Islam, beginning with the "Islam 101" seminar Monday in Terrill Hall.

"The seminar should clear up misconceptions and answer questions for Islamic awareness," said Muslim Student Organization President Rabeya Baehri, Denton senior. Baehri also spent part of her life in Bangladesh.

Eric Meek, vice president of the Council of American Islamic Relations in the Metroplex, lead the seminar by informing the audience about the basics of Islamic beliefs and way of life. Meek now goes by the Muslim name Khalil, after he converted from Christianity to Islam in 1989. He is part of the Council of American Islamic Relations as well as president of his mosque in Lewisville.

The Council of American Islamic Relations did a nation wide survey to find out America's attitude toward Islam and found out that the more people know about the religion and rituals, they more they respect it, according to Khalil.

In the seminar, he explained the monotheistic belief of Islam following the idea "No God but the God."

"Islam is defined as a peaceful or willful submission to the will of God," Khalil said.

The belief of the prophet Muhammud was discussed in the lecture and the studies of the Qur'an. As part of their religious culture, Muslims pray five times a day.

"While I am on campus, I go to the One O'Clock Loung to pray," said Muslim Student Association Vice-President Ayman Taleb, Richardson junior.

According to Khalil, Muslims believe that by asking for God's forgiveness, they will be forgiven on judgment day. Muslims see judgment day as a base for whether or not someone believes in the oneness of God and that they are found accountable for doing so.

Khalil believes he was born Muslim, but didn't realize it until his college graduation. He attended NT with hopes of becoming a Baptist minister, but came in contact with a Muslim roommate and found interest in comparing their religions. With all the interpretations he found and by studying, Khalil soon realized that a religious awakening was bound to change him. (MORE)

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EDITORIAL: ISLAM IS NOT THE ENEMY - TOP
The San Francisco Chronicle, 10/14/05
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/10/14/EDGKVF7QQ41.DTL

MOST AMERICANS must realize by now that President Bush will claim almost anything to justify the constantly escalating tragedy of his Iraq policy. So atop his long refusal to drop the implied linkage of Saddam Hussein to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Bush's vision of an attempt to create a "radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia" is not surprising.

The president shared his scary thought in a speech last week to the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington. He thus sought to inject the fear of total jihadist victory across the Muslim world into the argument for keeping major U.S. military forces fighting and dying in the unpopular mess his 2003 invasion of Iraq has created.

This Bush approach to shoring up fast-eroding public support for the war has at least a couple of problems. It undercuts the moderate Muslims who must form the basis of any realistic hope for spreading democracy in their parts of the world. The frightful terms with which Bush warns of rampant Islamism recall the "yellow peril" that once obsessed U.S. opponents of immigration from Asia, and the tales of Mohammedan conquest that fueled the Crusades. Bush's simplistic focusing of American distrust on the very peoples he seeks to enlist for democratic reform -- making them part of the supposed future "empire" -- is no way to win friends in that part of the world. (MORE)

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MUSLIM CHARITIES RE-EMERGE FOR QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Stephanie Strom, New York Times, 10/14/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/14/international/asia/14charity.html

All across America, Muslim charities, many of which have shunned the spotlight since 9/11 lest they attract unwanted law enforcement attention, are now stepping up their efforts to raise money for the victims of the earthquake that crumbled the northernmost corner of Pakistan.

In many cases, they have been more successful than their mainstream charitable counterparts, many of which have said that donors are not responding to their appeals for contributions for Pakistan.

Islamic Relief, one of the largest Muslim charities in the United States, had raised almost $1 million online alone through Wednesday, or about 10 times the amount raised by Save the Children. Other organizations reported similar success.

"Donors are responding really well," said Arif Shaikh, a spokesman for Islamic Relief. "A lot of mosques have been collecting money on our behalf, and our phones have been ringing off the hooks with people wanting to make contributions."

Mohammed Alomari, deputy director of programs at Life for Relief and Development, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization founded by Iraqi Americans after the 1991 Persian Gulf war, said donations from individuals and other non-Islamic organizations have been "pretty good, considering all the other emergencies we've had this year."

After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the F.B.I. cracked down on several Muslim charities in the United States, contending that they served as financial conduits for terrorist operations. The Justice Department froze the assets of several Muslim organizations, and at least two prominent Muslim donors who contributed to those organizations were arrested.

Those actions caused great bitterness and wariness about giving among Muslims, whose leaders often note that the government has not publicly provided evidence for its suspicions.

Most of the donations Life for Relief and Development has received for Pakistan so far have come in the form of goods like tents, blankets and medical supplies, which is one way for donors to ensure their contributions do not end up underwriting bombs or buying guns.

"Donors may have those kinds of concern in other instances, but I don't think that's the case in this instance," Mr. Alomari said. "Given how many people have been asked to give for other disasters this year - the tsunami, the famine in Mali and Niger, Hurricane Katrina and Rita - it may just be easier right now to donate items."

Several factors beyond religious solidarity are helping to propel the donations from the Muslim community, officials of the charities say.

For one, the earthquake struck during the holy month of Ramadan, one of the two biggest giving periods on the Muslim calendar and a traditional time for thinking of the poor.

Beyond that, many of the Muslim nonprofit groups here have established operations in Pakistan and thus are logical candidates for charity. Islamic Relief, for instance, has more than 100 staff members in Pakistan, and Life operates programs there ranging from water purification to rebuilding schools. Both organizations worked in Southeast Asia after the tsunami and in the Gulf Coast area after Katrina.

The enormousness of the disaster in Pakistan, too, has overcome the fears of Muslim donors that their contributions might be considered financing for terrorist organizations by the American government.

"I think the sheer scale of the suffering we're seeing is prompting people to put aside whatever caution they might have had since 9/11 and dig deep to do whatever they can," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. (MORE)

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IL: GROUPS COLLECT ONLINE FOR EARTHQUAKE RELIEF - TOP
Duaa Eldeib, Algonquin Countryside, 10/13/05
http://www.pioneerlocal.com/cgi-bin/ppo-story/localnews/current/al/10-13-05-713731.html

Less than a week after a devastating earthquake hit South Asia, the death toll soars to 42,000. Villages in northern Pakistan, India, Kashmir and Afghanistan were leveled, leaving millions homeless. With hailstorms hindering the relief effort, victims hang onto their lives with what little hope they have left. They turn to the generosity of others in hopes of survival.

Several organizations in the area, including the following, have mobilized to offer help to the region. Many have arranged to collect donations through their Web sites as the fastest, most efficient way to help.

Islamic Relief Worldwide has launched a $10 million appeal for the victims of the earthquake. Of this, $4 million has already been allocated. In partnership with AmeriCares, Islamic Relief is sending a shipment of United-Nations-World-Health-Organization-approved emergency medical kits. The shipment was scheduled to leave Tuesday from AmeriCares' warehouse in Amsterdam. To donate online, please go to www.irw.org.

Islamic Relief Worldwide will be the key organization collecting donations at the Council of American Muslim Professionals' dinner 6 p.m. Oct. 23. The South Asia Earthquake Relief Dinner will be held at Indian Garden in Chicago. The cost is $21. Please R.S.V.P. at www.campnet.net.

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago is making nightly appeals for donations. In addition to raising money for survivors, the council is also working on providing crucial help for the tens of thousands who are buried under the rubble, that includes arranging for search and rescue teams with K-9 dogs, as well as heavy equipment and carrying helicopters.

Kareem Irfan, past chairman of local Council of Islamic Organizations and member of the national board, said "Because there is a strong Pakistani population in the suburbs, everyone I have talked to has been impacted in some way. It's important that as Americans we pull together and response across the country." To donate online, go to www.ciogc.org. Mail donations to 330 E. Roosevelt Road, Suite G5, Lombard IL 60148 or call (630) 629-7490 or visit www.ciogc.org.

The Chicago office of the Council of Islamic-American Relations is calling not only for donations to charities that will help the victims of the earthquake, but also grassroots efforts by individuals to ensure help goes where it's needed.

Act! Act! Act! is an effort asking Chicago area residents to e-mail and call their state and federal representatives, asking for helicopters and K-9 rescue teams to be sent to Pakistan to search for survivors in hard-to-reach, or demolished areas.

"Donations only help those who've been excavated," said Ahmed Rehab, the council's Chicago spokesman. "That's why we're pursuing this, so we can still save more lives."

Rehab said he is also contacting imams at local mosques in efforts to make Friday a day of prayer and donation day for victims of the earthquake. (MORE)

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U.S. MUSLIMS MOBILIZE WIDELY AND QUICKLY FOR QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Muslims Weekly, News Report, Jehangir Khattak, Oct 13, 2005
http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=60bc212de62c9badabf595ebfeaa049d

NEW YORK -- Saddened and moved by the shocking horrors of the massive earthquake that wiped out completely or partially several cities, towns, villages and hamlets in northern Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, the Pakistani and Muslim community across North America has swung into action by launching major fundraising campaigns.

Major American Muslim organizations have announced to cut big checks to provide relief to the millions of their brethren in the foothills of Himalayas. Important Islamic groups have pledged to raise well over $12 million in the coming days and weeks. The total tally of fundraising is expected to rise substantially as figures from many parts of the country and the funds raised at local levels are yet to come. (MORE)

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MUSLIM AMERICANS PLEDGE $20 MILLION FOR SOUTH ASIAN QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Major Muslim-American groups create cooperative aid coalition
Christine A. Terada, Washington File, 10/13/05
http://usinfo.state.gov/usinfo/products/washfile.html
(Scroll down to headline.)

Washington -- Leaders from member organizations of the American Muslim Taskforce for Disaster Relief (AMTFDR) gathered at a press conference October 13 in Washington to announce their pledge to raise $20 million in aid for victims of the South Asian earthquake.

The 7.6-magnitude earthquake swept across central Afghanistan to western Bangladesh on October 8, killing more than 30,000 people, injuring more than 45,000, and leaving approximately 3.5 million homeless. Its epicenter was in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. (See related article.)

President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have pledged $50 million in disaster assistance, helicopters, and fixed wing aircraft to help the victims of the disaster. Secretary Rice detoured her trip to Central Asia October 12 to visit Pakistani leaders and American troops who are providing transport to the injured in the area affected by the earthquake. (See related article.)

Ahmed Younis, director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, called the AMTFDR pledge effort a "cooperative attempt by the American Muslim community to provide relief in the most efficient and most abundant manner possible for the brothers and sisters of humanity that have suffered as the result of the significant earthquake in South Asia."

A second leader who also spoke at the press conference, Sayyid Syeed, who is the secretary-general of the Islamic Society of North America, reminded journalists that the earthquake struck during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. "Muslims are in the mood of giving" and will be especially motivated to respond to relief efforts during Ramadan, he said.

Syeed said the tragedy has created an excellent opportunity to improve the American image in the Muslim world. The AMTFDR, he said, is "most qualified to establish bridges between the Muslim world and America."

Younis shared these sentiments, saying how the pledge "really underscores the importance of the charitable organizations of the American Muslim community."

Another AMTFDR member organization, Islamic Relief USA, is also a member of the U.N. Economic and Social Council and has operated development projects in Pakistan since 1992. With three offices near the earthquake-affected areas, in Islamabad, Neelum Valley, and Muzaffarabad, Islamic Relief announced in a statement released at the press conference that their emergency response team was able to reach the affected area within one hour after the earthquake hit. The release also noted that their organization immediately allocated $4 million to Pakistan following the disaster.

Mohamed Aboulmagd, a representative of the organization, told those at the press conference that the AMTFDR task force is a "good step" toward improving cooperation among American Muslims.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations' government relations director, Corey Saylor, agreed with Aboulmagd on the need to mobilize and cooperate. He said that although providing relief is not the purpose of his organization, "our faith compels us to help out in humanitarian events." (MORE)

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MD: ISLAMIC CENTER AIDS EARTHQUAKE RELIEF EFFORT - TOP
Fund created to help victims in Pakistan
Monique Lewis, Daily Times, 10/14/05
http://www.delmarvanow.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051014/NEWS01/510140301/1002

SALISBURY -- Ahmad Hassan, a police inspector in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, was lucky to be 200 miles away on vacation with in-laws, said his cousin, Dawood Ahmad of Salisbury, on Thursday.

Hassan was fortunate not to be counted among the thousands of victims who were killed or are suffering the aftermath of Saturday's 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Pakistan's Himalayan region.

Hassan was shaken and in tears because so many children are without parents, Ahmad said.

"His police station and everything is gone," he said. "It's going to be a long recovery. It is not a one-day, two-day or three-day job."

Ahmad is a member of the Islamic Center of Salisbury that set up a fund Wednesday to aid the victims devastated by the earthquake. (MORE)

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WA: LOCAL PAKISTANIS' HEARTS, PRAYERS, DOLLARS GO TO EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Janet I. Tu and Tan Vinh, Seattle Times, 10/14/05
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002559947_quakeaid14m.html

Before picking up his daughter from preschool yesterday at the Islamic School of Seattle, Elias Ibrahim adds a blanket to a mound of donated supplies for victims of the Pakistan earthquake. Donated items included a wheelchair, sleeping bags and tents.

Since Ramadan began early last week, Iqbal Abbasi has gone often to Idriss Mosque in the Northgate area for the special prayers that are said during this holiest of Islamic months.

In the past few days, even more prayers are being said: for victims and survivors of the devastating Pakistan earthquake. And with the prayers and worries have come efforts to relieve the suffering.

At the center of the mosque's fund raising is Abbasi, 56, of Everett, who grew up in a village that's been demolished and who still has loved ones in the area.

"The main thing is to heal people through spiritual prayer or thoughts," said Abbasi, a director of the Islamic Center of Washington, which operates Idriss Mosque. "At the same time, what we need to do is to take care of the surviving families."

Since Saturday's earthquake, local Pakistanis and Muslims - individually and in groups - have taken action, sending money, setting up bank accounts for donations, organizing fund-raising dinners, soliciting corporate and personal donations and arranging airlifts of medicine and other supplies. Starting today and continuing this weekend, many mosques in the area are expected to intensify efforts to gather donations. (MORE)

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VA: LOCAL MUSLIMS PRAY FOR THOSE IN QUAKE ZONE - TOP
During holy month, they're reaching out to the people of Asia
OSITA IROEGBU, TIMES-DISPATCH, 10/14/05
http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1128767533100

Listen: Imam (Spiritual Leader) Shaheed Coovadia recites the opening prayer for Ramadan, followed by an English translation

Pakistani-born Kausar Khan is trying to come to grips with what has happened to her family and her country.

At least one in her extended family is dead in the massive earthquake that struck her homeland. She fears for the lives of others.

After a prayer session at a local mosque Wednesday night, Khan headed home with her husband, Majid Khan. The timing of the quake, she said, deepens its impact on many of her faith.

Muslims are in the second week of the month of Ramadan, when members of the religion worldwide concentrate on their faith through prayer and fasting. This year, many keep in mind the devastation that has left tens of thousands in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan dead and countless others homeless.

"It's a mixed emotion," Kausar Khan said Wednesday. Resting her cheek in her palm, she stared into the night with her wide, brown eyes. "This kind of thing tells us that the ultimate power takes care of things, and we are nothing."

In the middle of the taraweeh, or nightly prayer in observance of Ramadan, an extra supplication is given most nights for the victims and survivors of the earthquake. (MORE)

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OH: MUSLIMS HERE RAISE MONEY FOR KASHMIR - TOP
Robert Smith, Plain Dealer, 10/14/05
http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1129282980204761.xml&coll=2

The local Muslim community is rallying to try to help victims of Saturday's earthquake in South Asia by raising money and awareness.

The main event is planned for 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, when a community of mosques will host an earthquake fund-raiser at the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent, 152 E. Steels Corners Road, near Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls. The program will include an iftar dinner, the traditional fast-breaking at the end of a Ramadan day. Organizers hope people of all faiths attend. Proceeds will go toward relief efforts in and around the Himalayan region of Kashmir.

"The whole atmosphere is very gloomy there," said Dr. Marina Magrey, a Cleveland doctor whose family lives in Indian-controlled Kashmir and is active in relief efforts. "People are scared. Hospitals are filled with injured people with nowhere to go." (MORE)

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CA: SOUTH ASIAN, MUSLIM AGENCIES FAVORED - TOP
Katherine Corcoran, Mercury News, 10/14/05
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/the_valley/12900027.htm

With American generosity being tapped for a third unfathomable disaster in less than a year, traditional organizations such as the Red Cross are seeing a drop in donations, but Muslim and South Asian charities are seeing an outpouring of help.

The Red Cross of Santa Clara Valley couldn't provide exact numbers, but spokeswoman Cynthia Shaw said donations to help victims of the 7.6 earthquake in Kashmir are far behind the $500,000 collected locally in the first five days after Hurricane Katrina.

Only one person has called about holding a fundraiser for the Saturday earthquake, which is believed to have killed 25,000 people and displaced millions, compared with dozens of calls for Katrina fundraisers almost immediately after the Aug. 29 hurricane hit the U.S. Gulf Coast.

"Normally things pick up by this time, and they haven't," Shaw said. "Donor fatigue is something we're very concerned about. We've even seen it with Katrina. Already people are getting Katrina'd out and getting on with their lives."

But the news is much better for the local Hidaya Foundation and Southern California-based Islamic Relief, both of which are reporting a dramatic response.

"The whole community has been very supportive," said Nabil Sheikh, office manager at the Hidaya Foundation, a Santa Clara-based non-profit supporting educational and social welfare projects in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. "People of all walks of life are there, giving their own clothing and their own blankets." (MORE)

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LA: VOLUNTEER'S QUERY TO MUSLIM FAMILY YIELDS POSITIVE RESPONSE - TOP
Tammi Ledbetter, Baptist Press, 10/13/05
http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=21846

KENNER, La. (BP)--Charmaine Fenstermacher had just three Gospel tracts left to share with families lined up to receive food from Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers in Kenner, La.

"As a car pulled up, we'd say, 'Hi, how are you? Do you want some lunch?'" Fenstermacher, of Southlake, Texas, recounted. When asked, "How are you doing?" some of the displaced Louisianans told how Hurricane Katrina had left them destitute and hungry.

"I had three tracts left and I was using them sparingly," Fenstermacher said, as many of the evacuees had already heard the Gospel at some point in the post-Katrina disaster relief efforts. "Some of them wanted to talk and it was so nice to hear what they had to say," though many of their stories began running together as they told of coping with the disaster.

When a black sedan rolled to the front of the line, Fenstermacher recognized the family to be of Middle Eastern descent. "The mother was wearing a beautiful, silk gown with gold threads. It was covering her arms as she reached out for food. She told me they had lost everything in the hurricane."

Fenstermacher, a 53-year-old homemaker, is still amazed at the encounter God gave to her.

"I reached in and handed them lunch and we talked a little since there was a long line ahead of me. It surprised me the things I asked because I'm not normally so bold. 'Do you know Jesus?'" she asked the man, his wife and their teenage son, uncertain of the response she would get. (MORE)

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KS: MUSLIM VIEW OF JESUS: A PROPHET RESPECTED, REVERED - TOP
Mario Sequeira, Johnson County Sun, 10/13/05
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15373436&BRD=1459&PAG=461&dept_id=506062&rfi=6

Saldana grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and majored in poetry and literature at Middlebury College, Vt. In 1999, she won a Thomas Watson Fellowship to pursue a project that combined two very dear interests - poetry and Christianity - and traveled through Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.

It was during a stay in Bethlehem that her interest in Islam was aroused. She asked a Muslim guard how a Muslim could protect the birthplace of Jesus.

"He is our prophet too," the man replied.

She traveled in regions where Muslims and Christians had been living together for hundreds of years, where churches had been converted into mosques, where the Muslim call to prayer went out even as church bells pealed.

"It occurred to me that I knew nothing about Islam and that I really couldn't understand Christianity completely without confronting Islam," Saldana recounted to the Harvard University's Harvard Gazette. . .

Saldana said she realized that at that grass-roots level, not only was there no Muslim-Christian conflict but a hospitable reception toward Christians.

So what were Muslims to make of a Christian evangelical calling for the assassination of the head of a country, someone asked at the Village Church session.

Muslims idealized Christianity and, because of their deep love of Jesus, they believe real Christianity is the Christianity given by Jesus, Saldana replied.

"(They believe) anything (done) in the name of Christianity that is evil must be misinterpreting Christianity," she said. . .

Christians tend to have a stereotyped view of Muslims, she said. "I've been to Damascus and seen the minaret of Jesus on a mosque. People might forget that. We tend to remember the awful extreme things easier than the simple things.

"I don't think many people know the respect Muslims have for Jesus." (MORE)

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VA/NC: BEAUTY QUEEN GLAD TO HONOR HER FAITH - TOP
Pamela J. Podger, Roanoke Times, 10/14/05
http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/36214

Excited and jittery, Anisah Rasheed of Roanoke pondered a fashion dilemma that few beauty queens have faced before: Matching her coronation gown with her hajib, a headscarf worn by Muslim women.

Rasheed, 20, was crowned Miss A&T for 2005-06 on Thursday night in a sparkling fishtail gown -- with a tiara glittering over her golden hajib -- during homecoming ceremonies at North Carolina A&T State University.

University officials say Rasheed is the first Muslim selected as campus queen by the 11,000-student school. She'll be featured, along with others from black colleges and universities, in an upcoming issue of Ebony magazine.

Rasheed was elected at a forum in April, competing against eight women in the categories of talent, formalwear, speech and debate. She said no one has made an issue of her faith or covering her body with traditional garb.

"Once you learn to accept yourself, it washes away everyone's opinions about you and lets you do what you will in life," she said. "I'm glad I'm a role model for Muslims, but it is for everyone who faces challenges. It is about being confident." (MORE)

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VA: SHARING THEIR FAITH AT ADAMS CENTER - TOP
ADAMS Center mosque members and members of churches from other faiths share their beliefs and learn about Ramadan.
Erika N. Cotton, The Connection, 10/13/05
http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=57228&paper=66&cat=104

For millions of Muslims around the world, Oct. 3 signified the start of Ramadan, the holiest month of the year for them.

During Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating or drinking anything from dawn until sunset every day for 30 days. They begin their fast with a meal called suhoor in the early morning and end with iftar in the evenings.

"It's a purification of your heart and body and mind and it gives you satisfaction. When we fast we thank [the] Almighty and think of those who don't have anything to eat," said All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center mosque member Munawar Ashraf of Herndon at an Interfaith and Hispanic Heritage Ramadan Iftar Saturday. "The Quran tells us [to think about] all humanity, all people, . . . like your brothers and sisters."

FARHANAHZ ELLIS, ADAMS Center Interfaith chairperson, said the ADAMS Center holds the Interfaith Iftar, to give Muslims and non-Muslims an opportunity to share their beliefs and gain a greater understanding of each other so that they can unite to help the greater community.

For her, it's a special time of the year.

"It's a time to get empathy and understand how other people go through life," Ellis said. "Someone once told me that even when you fast for Ramadan, it's easier. You know when you start and when you end. There are millions of people who are in Ramadan permanently because they don't have the means." (MORE)

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NH: NEW HAMPSHIRE'S MUSLIMS OBSERVE RAMADAN - TOP
Faiza Elmasry, Voice of America, 10/13/05
http://www.voanews.com/english/AmericanLife/2005-10-13-voa24.cfm

There are large, well-established Muslim American communities across the country& in California, New York, Michigan and here in Washington DC. They have their own well funded Islamic Centers and mosques where members can gather and worship together. They also have easy access to a variety of ethnic markets and grocery stores.

In cities like Manchester, New Hampshire, home to just a few dozen Muslim families, Muslims find their own ways to celebrate not only their religious traditions, but their cultural diversity as well. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS NO LONGER STRANGERS IN IRELAND - TOP
Cathleen Falsani, Chicago Sun-Times, 10/14/05
http://www.suntimes.com/output/falsani/cst-nws-fals14.html

One of the first things we noticed as we drove through the gates of the Islamic center complex was a sign advertising its restaurant, the Olive Tree. All are welcome, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the sign beckoned. And they deliver, too.

When I placed a call to the Islamic center -- one of two official mosques in Dublin and one of about 10 in the north and south of Ireland (including a Muslim meeting house in rural County Cavan not far from my grandmother's home) -- I wasn't sure what to expect. Even in Chicago, my calls sometimes receive a mixed reception.

It's understandable. American Muslims, too often, are put in the position to defend themselves and their faith against the violent actions of a few scoundrels who claim their murderous actions are done in the name of Islam. More often than not, reporters call only when something's wrong. So I was surprised -- stunned, really -- when I rang the Dublin mosque late one afternoon, introduced myself as an American religion writer and asked if I could come the next morning to speak to someone about what life is like for the Muslim community in Ireland.

Without a moment's hesitation, the friendly man on the other end of the phone said, in typical Irish form (although he said it with a heavy Malaysian accent), "You're more than welcome." (MORE)

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MUSLIMS CELEBRATE 50 YEARS IN KOREA - TOP
The Chosun Ilbo, 10/14/05
http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200510/200510140006.html

It was half a century ago that two Muslims, Imam Zubercoch and Abdul Rahman, fought for peace in the Korean War as part of the UN forces and in the process introduced Islam's holy book, the Koran, to Korea. On Friday, the country celebrated the golden anniversary of their mission.
Sponsored by the Korea-Middle East Association, prominent figures in Korea's Islamic community along with foreign dignitaries and Korean lawmakers gathered to commemorate the anniversary.

Muslims came together to say evening prayers before breaking their fast during the holy month Ramadan with the "iftar" meal. Though such observances seem alien to many, Islam is said to be the fastest growing religion on earth and followed by one-fifth of the world population.

Korea now has some 100,000 Muslims, more than 30 percent of whom are Koreans. That Islamic fundamentalists were behind major terrorist acts worldwide has meant that many ordinary Muslims face discrimination. But religious leaders insist Islam is a peaceful faith.

"It's a shame that many Koreans associate Islam with terrorism. Those terrorists have nothing to do with our religion. It's wrong to say they are Islamic fundamentalists, they are just from anti-American or anti-Israeli groups. Islam's ideologies are peace, equality and brotherhood," one said. (MORE)

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VATICAN PLEDGES TO WORK WITH MUSLIMS - TOP
Associated Press, 10/14/05
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/breaking_news/12901796.htm

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican sent a message to Muslims on Friday for the end of Ramadan, pledging to keep up momentum for closer relations begun by the late Pope John Paul II and to work for "greater justice and enduring peace."

The traditional message, signed by the head of the office for interreligious relations, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, said "it was faith in God and confidence in humanity that impelled the late pope to engage in dialogue. . ."

"Let us, as Christians and Muslims, show that we can live together in true fraternity, striving always to do the will of Merciful God who created humanity to be one family," the message 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

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Forwarded Message

Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2005 23:38:33 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslims, Mormons Will Fly Aid to Quake Victims / Muslim Athletes Balance Spirituality with Sports

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/16/05

* Hadith: Honey and the Quran
* CAIR-Philly Offers 'Understanding Islam' Course
            - CAIR-FL: Muslims, Jews Hold Fast-Breaking Banquet
* UT: Muslims, Mormons Will Fly Aid to Quake Victims
            - MI: Islamic Center Collects Funds for Quake Victims
            - NY: Personal Ties Feed Local Pakistani Relief Effort
            - HI: Muslims Gather in Prayer for Devastated Region
            - WA: Muslims Respond with Prayers and Donations
            - OH: Pakistan Group to Host Event for Quake Victims
            - Guidance to Promote & Protect Charitable Giving
* PA: Muslim Athletes Balance Spirituality with Sports
            - 49ers Muslim Middle Linebacker
            - VA/MD: Guiding Muslim Youth During Ramadan's Fast (RNS)
            - CA: Getting a Small Start on Islam's Fasting Ritual
* FL: Muslim Restaurant Owners Have Ramadan Challenge
            - NJ: Businesses Cater to South Asian Traditions
* MN: Female Muslim Comic Shatters Stereotypes (Star Trib)
* Yee: Muslim Army Chaplain Recalls 'Devastating' Ordeal (AP)
* Our Diplomats' Arabic Handicap (Washington Post)
            - Al-Azhar Boycotts US Over Visa Denial

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HADITH OF THE DAY: HONEY AND THE QURAN - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Make use of the two remedies, honey and the Quran."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1196

VERSE OF THE DAY: HEALING FOR MANKIND

"And (consider how) thy Lord has inspired the bee: 'Prepare for thyself dwellings in mountains and in trees, and in what (beekeepers) may build (for thee by way of hives); and then feed on all manner of fruit, and follow humbly the paths ordained for thee by thy Lord.' (And lo!) there issues from within their bodies a fluid of many hues, wherein there is healing for mankind. In all this, there is a message indeed for people who think!"

The Holy Quran, 16:68-69

SEE ALSO:

WHAT IS APITHERAPY?
http://www.apitherapy.com/

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CAIR-PHILLY OFFERS 'UNDERSTANDING ISLAM' COURSE - TOP
Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/15/05
http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/entertainment/12907418.htm

Islam Course

"Understanding Islam & Muslims through History & Jurisprudence." Foundation for Islamic Education, 1860 Montgomery Ave, Villanova; 215-592-0509. 7-9 p.m. Mons & Weds, & 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sats. Registration required.

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-FL: MUSLIMS, JEWS HOLD FAST-BREAKING BANQUET - TOP

CAIR Central Florida Director Ahmed Bedier appeared on NBC's Tampa affiliate WFLA to discuss an interfaith community fast-breaking event that brought Tampa Bay Muslims and Jews together to celebrate the confluence of their holy months of Ramadan and Tishri.

CAIR-FL co-sponsored the event, which was hosted and organized by 'Serving the One.' Serving the One is a diverse interfaith group made up of committed individuals dedicated to building bridges of understanding. Ahmed Bedier is a founding member of Serving the One.

WATCH THE VIDEO NEWS CLIP:

Broadband (High-speed)
http://www.cairfl.org/video/051014_wfla_sto_iftar_hi.wmv
Dial-up (low speed)
http://www.cairfl.org/video/051014_wfla_sto_iftar_lo.wmv

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CAIR-CA: NON-MUSLIMS INVITED TO JOIN CELEBRATIONS MARKING RAMADAN - TOP
Cicero A. Estrella, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/15/05
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/10/15/BAGOEF8UP81.DTL

As part of their commemoration of Islam's holiest month, Bay Area mosques are inviting non-Muslims to learn more about Islam during five Ramadan dinner celebrations this weekend.

Organizers hope the outreach will help break down stereotypes about their faith.

"We're inviting people into our centers so they can see how we worship and talk to us," said Dian Alyan, outreach director for the Muslim Community Association in Santa Clara. "That's the best way to understand what Islam stands for."

Alyan said the participating mosques -- which also includes the Islamic Society of San Francisco, Belmont's Yaseen Foundation, Fremont's Islamic Society of East Bay and San Jose's South Bay Islamic Association -- had held similar open houses in recent years.

The collaboration, which is meant to reach a larger number of people, will provide five locations around the Bay Area from which to choose. The Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is co-sponsoring the Santa Clara event. (MORE)

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UT: MUSLIMS, MORMONS WILL FLY AID TO EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS - TOP

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (October 16, 2005) - International relief and development organization Islamic Relief, in conjunction with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is sending a cargo plane filled with emergency relief supplies to assist the victims of the South Asia earthquake. The Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) is also assisting in the effort.

The cargo plane will leave Salt Lake City International Airport at 4:00pm on Monday, October 17, and arrive in Islamabad, Pakistan, at 9:00pm on Tuesday, October 18.

WHAT: Press Conference to announce airlift that will carry emergency aid to earthquake victims in Pakistan.
WHEN: Monday, October 17, 2005, 4:00pm
WHERE: Airort cargo area, Salt Lake City International Airport

WHY: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be providing the contents of the shipment from its welfare and humanitarian storehouses, IMANA will be helping cover a part of the transportation costs, and Islamic Relief will be distributing the aid items through its staff in the affected areas in Pakistan.

The contents of this shipment includes: tents, medical disposable modules, shovels, hygiene kits, first aid modules, warm jackets, blankets, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, Atmit powdered milk, and dialysis machines.

Media Contact:

Arif Shaikh
Media and Public Relations Manager
Islamic Relief
arif@irw.org
(310) 351-3931 mobile

SEE ALSO:

MI: ISLAMIC CENTER COLLECTS FUNDS FOR QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Kalamazoo Gazette, 10/15/05
http://www.mlive.com/news/kzgazette/index.ssf?/base/news-15/112937167912510.xml&coll=7

Although Pakistani authorities have ended rescue operations looking for survivors of the Oct. 8 earthquake in the Kashmir region, survivors will need food, shelter and warm clothing for many months.

To that end, the Kalamazoo Islamic Center is collecting donations to be used for relief efforts. The goal is to raise $50,000.

More than $31,000 was pledged as of Friday, said Gulnar Husain, a spokeswoman for the effort.

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NY: PERSONAL TIES FEED LOCAL PAKISTANI RELIEF EFFORT - TOP
CAROL EISENBERG, Newsday, 10/15/05
http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/newyork/politics/nyc-pak1015,0,2689587.story

From the old Pakistani enclaves of Brooklyn to the spanking new mosques of Bay Shore, Muslims gathered Friday to mourn, to pray and to collect money.

"Everyone is very, very shaken up," said Dr. Hafizur Rehman, a pediatrician from Bay Shore whose family comes from the earthquake-devastated region near Islamabad. "Nearly everyone here has family or friends who perished in the quake. Nearly everyone is participating in the relief effort."

Rehman, like a half dozen local doctors, has signed on with medical teams going to Kashmir to tend the injured through the Islamic Medical Association of North America. Other groups are collecting medical supplies, while virtually every mosque in New York is collecting money, blankets and clothing.

But many fear that their efforts will not be enough to stave off thousands of additional deaths among homeless survivors.

"The size of this disaster is beyond comprehension," Pakistani Consul General Haroon Shaukat said Friday at a news conference with local Pakistani leaders to underscore the scope of the disaster.

Describing the millions now living out in the open in plunging nighttime temperatures, Shaukat said: "I plead with people to give generously. There are millions of people out in the open. We need blankets, tents, clothing, furnaces."

Mohammad Razvi, executive director of the Council of People's Organization, a Pakistani group, thanked people for their generosity, but urged them to give more. "Millions will not solve this," he said. "We need billions." (MORE)

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HI: ISLE MUSLIMS GATHER IN PRAYER FOR SUPPORT OF DEVASTATED REGION - TOP
Mary Adamski, Star Bulletin, 10/16/05
http://starbulletin.com/2005/10/16/news/story06.html

The Friday prayer service at the Manoa mosque focused on the 2.5 million people left homeless by the Oct. 8 earthquake in northern Pakistan. For many local residents, the prayer is personal.

"I called immediately. Our families are fine," said A. Karim Khan of Pearl City. One of about 300 island Muslims with Pakistani roots, Khan was relieved to determine that his brothers and sisters and his wife's parents are safe. "Old buildings from the 18th and 19th century went down," said Khan, a Leeward Community College history professor, who is from Peshawar.

"Natural disaster knows no boundaries," said Lt. Col. Bader Uzzaman of the Pakistan army, who joined more than 200 local Muslims at the weekly service.

"There has to be collective response. That's the challenge the world is facing in the recent events, the tsunami in Asia, the hurricanes in North America. Human beings are the same and their needs are the same wherever disaster strikes." Uzzaman is here to attend a course at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, where representatives of several nations address regional and global security issues from terrorism to natural disaster.

"The military has been involved in a big way" in rescue and relief efforts in the "difficult to access" mountainous region of Kashmir, said Uzzaman. "We're grateful for the help" as other countries have responded. He is watching television coverage from his homeland. His family is safe in Lahore.

As people left the service, they put currency in the hands of Hakim Ouansafi. He said non-Muslims as well as members have contributed to the relief fund of the Muslim Association of Hawaii. The goal is to match the $65,000 collected at the mosque for Hurricane Katrina victims in Mississippi and Louisiana. The money will go to agencies with U.S. government backing, he said. Information is found on the Islamic Center Web site: www.iio.org. (MORE)

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WA: MUSLIMS RESPOND WITH PRAYERS AND DONATIONS - TOP
Krista J. Kapralos, Herald, 10/15/05
http://www.heraldnet.com/stories/05/10/15/100loc_quake001.cfm

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OH: PAKISTAN GROUP TO HOST EVENT FOR VICTIMS OF EARTHQUAKE - TOP
http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1129369011179171.xml&coll=2

The Pakistan American League of Northeast Ohio is hosting a fund-raiser for earthquake victims Monday night at the Islamic Center of Cleveland, 6055 West 130th St., Parma.

The 6:30 p.m. program will include a Ramadan iftar dinner, the traditional breaking of the daily fast. People of all faiths are welcome. Donations will go toward relief efforts in Pakistan, where tens of thousands were killed, injured and left homeless by an Oct. 8 earthquake.

For more information, call Zia Khan at 330-562-9650.

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GUIDANCE TO PROMOTE & PROTECT CHARITABLE GIVING - TOP
http://www.muslimadvocates.org/news_more.php?id=12_0_3_0_M

Earthquake & Hurricane Relief Efforts: Guidance to Promote & Protect Charitable Giving

Download a copy of this Guidance here.

Following the tsunami in Southeast Asia, the hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast and now, the earthquake in South Asia, Muslim Americans have opened their hearts and wallets and supported these vital relief and reconstruction efforts. It is important to donate, and we encourage Muslim Americans to donate generously to help the victims of these natural disasters.

But it also important that Muslim Americans take steps to select reputable relief and charitable organizations in order to ensure that donations go where they are intended. Our efforts must always be mindful of the post-September 11th laws intended to stop the flow of funds for improper purposes.

To address these concerns, Muslim Advocates issues this guidance:

Tax Exempt Charitable Contributions: If an individual donor seeks to claim a charitable contribution on the donor's tax returns, the donation must be made to a U.S.-registered charity that has been granted 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. (To determine if the organization is a U.S.-registered tax exempt charity, ask the organization, or go to www.guidestar.org, an online database of IRS-recognized charities.) (MORE)

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MUSLIM ATHLETES BALANCING SPIRITUALITY WITH SPORTS - TOP
During Ramadan, they must fast regardless of demands on the body.
Romy Varghese, Morning Call, 10/16/05
http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-a1_5fastingoct16,0,4354210.story

Zohayr Jaffer caught passes, faked out teammates and was repeatedly crushed to the turf at the Parkland High School football practice.

After 20 minutes, the 16-year-old junior varsity player, his jersey streaked with dirt, was sweating. And when the coach called for a water break, he trotted over with the other players to one of the three water stations.

But instead of joining the boys who clustered around the orange coolers and gulped water from each refill, one after the other, Jaffer wiped his face with the end of his shirt. As the boys flipped their paper cups into a large bin, Jaffer pulled on his helmet and headed back to the field.

Jaffer is fasting during Ramadan, one of the holiest months in the lunar calendar of Islam. Fasting is considered one of the five pillars of Islam, and during Ramadan, this means no food or water during daylight hours. It does not matter that Jaffer is in the throes of a football season that demands strenuous activity six days a week.

Balancing the requirements of their faith and their teams is a situation faced by many young American Muslims who observe Ramadan. In an area with a Muslim population in the thousands, and about three hundred children taking weekend Islamic lessons, several coaches have grown increasingly aware of some of their players' spiritual duties And it's something the coaches would like to know more about.

For Jaffer, known as "Zeus" to his teammates, the hardest part is not drinking. But he said he only considers the weight of his obligation once he breaks his fast at sundown with his family.

"You feel the fulfillment," he said, "and you feel really good to eat and relax."

Challenges for athletes

Ramadan, which started Oct. 5 this year, is a time for Muslims to feel closer to God through prayer and self-restraint. Barring some exceptions, fasting is obligatory for Muslims who reach adolescence. Often, younger children join everyone else in their household since "it's a beautiful atmosphere" similar to Christmas, said Fatima El-Turky, who teaches youth religion classes at the Islamic Center of the Lehigh Valley in Whitehall Township. Generally, family members wake up before dawn to eat a small meal, called suhoor, and pray; after sunset, they break the fast with a meal called iftar, which often consists of several dishes, drinks and desserts. . .

Mohamed Turki, a Muslim and a doctor at St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network, said athletes who fast during Ramadan and engage in activity before they break their fast run a high risk of dehydration and problems associated with it, such as muscle cramping. He said he would advise them to "not play as intensely" and to consider their individual cases - a kicker, for instance, wouldn't be affected as much as a player who's in constant action.

Unfounded fears?

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington, D.C., advocacy group Council on American Islamic Relations, said fears of dire consequences from fasting are unfounded.

Muslims in areas that are more humid, hot and with longer daylight hours have fasted for the past 1,400 years, Hooper said.

The group encourages parents to discuss Ramadan with teachers to demystify the observance. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

49ERS MUSLIM MIDDLE LINEBACKER - TOP
Star-Telegram, 10/16/05
http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/sports/football/12917815.htm

The 49ers have lost leading tackler Jeff Ulbrich for the season after he opted for surgery on a torn left biceps. Middle linebacker Saleem Rasheed will replace Ulbrich in the starting lineup. Rasheed, a devout Muslim, is in the midst of Ramadan, the month-long holiday that includes fasting during daylight hours. Rasheed's hydration during Ramadan always has been a hot-button topic, especially on game days, since he was acquired as a third-round draft pick in 2002.

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VA/MD: GUIDING MUSLIM YOUTH DURING RAMADAN'S FAST - TOP
Andrea Useem, Religion News Service, 10/15/05
http://www.cleveland.com/living/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/living/1129375919108860.xml&coll=2

Christmas has Santa Claus and costumed pageants; Easter has pastel baskets and chocolate bunnies. Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting that began last week, has yet to acquire such a sugary, child-pleasing veneer.

During the holy month, many Muslim kids across the country exhibit a self-discipline not often associated with children as they aspire to abstain from food and drink, just as their parents and older siblings do.

While this desire to please God is admirable, Muslim leaders say that young people are not small adults and shouldn't be treated as such. Aware of this, Muslim youth leaders across the country are working especially hard this Ramadan to meet the special needs of young children and teenagers. (MORE)

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CA: GETTING A SMALL START ON ISLAM'S FASTING RITUAL - TOP
Muslims aren't obliged to abstain from daytime eating during Ramadan until puberty. But some youngsters hunger to ease into the tradition.
Patricia Ward Biederman, Los Angeles Times, 10/15/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-beliefs15oct15,1,926742.story

Nine-year-old Danya Maryam Aleem sat among her classmates at New Horizon School-Los Angeles a few days after the start of the holy month of Ramadan. The third- and fourth-graders had just finished praying, and now they began their lesson in Islamic studies with school Principal Shahida Alikhan.

Like 8-year-old classmate Kevin Karidjan, Danya was one of a handful of youngsters who proudly wore stickers on their blue school shirts. Bearing a photo of the holy city of Mecca, the stickers read: "I am fasting."

During Ramadan, adult Muslims around the world abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from sunup to sundown. But according to Islamic law, no Muslim need fast until he or she reaches puberty. Children are not required to fast, nor are the terminally ill, pregnant women or those traveling long distances.

But Muslim educators such as Alikhan and others believe that Ramadan, the month in which God revealed the Koran to the prophet Muhammad, is an ideal time to give children their first experience of fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam. (The other four are believing in one God; praying five times a day; giving alms each year; and making a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, at least once in a lifetime.) (MORE)

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FL: MUSLIM RESTAURANT OWNERS HAVE EXTRA CHALLENGE DURING RAMADAN - TOP
Cary McMullen, Ledger, 10/15/05
http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051015/NEWS/510150441/1021

Even before you step inside Zohra's restaurant, piquant smells greet you. The special items on today's menu include cream of carrot soup and chicken crepes.

Lunch guests haven't arrived yet, and Zohra's owner, Sarah Bajwa, shows a visitor around as the kitchen staff prepares the food. Normally, Bajwa would sample the dishes, but for the next three weeks she will merely observe as customers in the bright dining areas eat and walk away satisfied.

Bajwa and her husband, Hafeez Bajwa, are observant Muslims, and during the holy month of Ramadan, they strictly follow the requirement to fast from sunrise to sunset. That means as they run their restaurants, Zohra's in Lakeland and Lavender n Lace Tea Room in Lake Alfred, they are surrounded all during the day with food they cannot taste.

According to the prescriptions of the Quran, the Islamic scriptures, adult Muslims are not even to drink liquids and are to refrain from smoking and sexual relations during the daylight hours. The only exceptions are for the elderly, the infirm or those with conditions that make fasting unwise, such as pregnant women.

Ramadan began on Oct. 4 and concludes with the sighting of the next new moon, probably Nov. 3. In addition to fasting, Muslims use the month to engage in deeper spiritual practices, such as prayer and giving to charity. A festive holiday, the Eid al-Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan.

Muslims say the daytime fast during Ramadan is not easy but is manageable and that it has important spiritual benefits, such as increasing discipline and gratitude. For Muslims who own restaurants, like the Bajwas, the temptations and the discipline needed to resist them can be even greater.

"You come to work and you are smelling this food, and you want a cup of tea," laughs Sarah Bajwa. "In the morning it's not so bad, but by midday you feel a little weak."

Things are a little easier for Saqib Khan, a Lakeland physician who also owns Cafe Roti, an Indian-cuisine restaurant next door to his clinic near Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Khan regularly walks over to the restaurant during the day, but the lunchtime buffet of tandoori chicken and basmati rice steaming in the chafing dishes isn't as much of a challenge to resist as other forbidden practices such as gossiping, he says.

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NJ: WITH GROWING SOUTH ASIAN POPULATION, BUSINESSES ARE CATERING TO DIFFERENT TRADITIONS - TOP
NAVID IQBAL, DAILY RECORD, 10/16/05
http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051016/NEWS01/510160346/1005

PARSIPPANY -- Two days before her wedding, Ami Desai of Denville was getting henna tattoos on her hands at Zari Boutique on Route 46.

Her wedding to Naufel Tajudeen of South Brunswick was to take place on Saturday at the Birchwood Manor in Hanover. One of the events in the couple's four-day wedding celebration was catered by The Moghul Restaurant of Morristown.

Desai and Tajudeen are some of the many South Asians who are getting married or getting ready for their weddings by using the growing number of businesses in Morris County that cater to South Asians, or Desis, the colloquial term that means "from the homeland" of the Indian subcontinent.

Even when compared to increasingly elaborate American ceremonies, Desi weddings tend to be grand events where even relatives of relatives are invited, said Saaima Saiyed, who is the publisher of a South Asian fashion and wedding magazine called Shaadi Style.

"I think if someone were to imagine or describe a 'typical Desi wedding' they would say it was a wedding consisting of a week's worth of events and catering to 500, if not 1,000-plus people," Saiyed said.

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MN: FUNNY WOMAN, SERIOUS ACTIVISM HUMOR, POLITICS ARE BOTH PART OF ACTIVIST'S LIFE - TOP
Doug Grow, Star Tribune, 10/14/05
http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/5670262.html

Reality keeps messing with my deeply held stereotypes.

Stereotype: Muslim women in traditional garb are not exactly rib-tickling funny.

Reality: Farheen Hakeem is a stand-up comic who wears a hijab (head scarf) and modest garb.

"You don't wear a bikini with a hijab," said Hakeem of her attire.

Hakeem, who has been doing comedy for six years, was the Green Party's candidate for mayor of Minneapolis in last month's primary election. She finished third, behind Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin and Mayor R.T. Rybak, but got a surprising 14 percent of the vote and a ton of comic material.

"I'm not the sort who thinks all white people look alike," Hakeem said, "but I have to say that R.T. and McLaughlin do look pretty similar. If you gave R.T. a bad haircut and caught McLaughlin stepping out of a yoga class, I don't think you could tell them apart."

Hakeem, 29, laughs at how both Rybak and McLaughlin have tried to get her endorsement since the primary. She's having no part of it. "Why would I endorse anyone who can't pronounce my name?" she asked. (MORE)

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MUSLIM ARMY CHAPLAIN RECALLS 'DEVASTATING AND FRIGHTENING' ORDEAL - TOP
MELANTHIA MITCHELL, ASSOCIATED PRESS, 1/16/05
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420AP_WA_Muslim_Chaplain.html

SEATTLE -- As a Muslim chaplain, Army Capt. James Yee thought he would have a positive influence at the U.S. prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay.

Instead, he became a suspect, himself.

Once a soldier praised for his services, Yee was arrested on suspicion of espionage and held in solitary confinement for 76 days. He was later cleared in the investigation, but says his case should be a warning to others.

"My faith in Islam and my patriotism, my willingness to advocate for American values, diversity and religious freedom was under fire," Yee told The Associated Press in a recent phone interview from New York, where he was promoting his book, "For God and Country." (MORE)

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OUR DIPLOMATS' ARABIC HANDICAP - TOP
Jennifer Bremer, Washington Post, 10/16/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/15/AR2005101500104.html

Karen Hughes, the new head of public diplomacy for the Bush administration, came back from the Middle East last month chastened by the communications chasm looming between the region's public and ourselves. She had seen firsthand that there are few quick fixes in the Middle East. But we do have one simple option that could move us a big step forward: teaching our diplomats to speak Arabic.

At a time when the U.S. government has an urgent need both to understand what's being said in the Arab world and to express our own views clearly, surely every U.S. embassy in the Mideast is staffed with at least several American diplomats who speak Arabic, right? Well, no. Four years after 9/11, we're still a very long way from achieving this fundamental goal, as the State Department's internal performance reviews and interviews with human resource and language training staff make clear. Policy is not the problem: State Department planning documents call for increased Arabic language capabilities in the Foreign Service. The problem is that the way we're going about meeting this goal guarantees failure.

Not ready for prime time: Level 3 designates moderate fluency in a language, but you couldn't ask a diplomat who speaks Arabic at that level to appear before a camera on al-Jazeera TV and speak articulately about U.S. policy in the Middle East, the author says. (Thirteen/wnet New York)

To understand why requires a safari into the bureaucratic undergrowth, so grab your machete. The Foreign Service classifies language ability into five levels, with "1" being the lowest (able to handle only the very simplest social situations) and "5" the highest (a level rarely assigned to anyone but a native speaker).

From a public diplomacy standpoint, the key distinction is between a "3" and a "4." We have a fairly good supply of 3's in Arabic, almost 200 as of August 2004 (the latest State Department data available). A level 3 can handle one-on-one situations, or something like a ministry meeting in a subject area they know well. But a level 3 speaker would flounder in a complex situation. If you put a 3 in a public meeting where many excited people are speaking on top of one another, for example, or in a coffee shop conversation with college students arguing about religion and the state, he or she would be lost. Double the difficulty if the diplomat has been trained only in Modern Standard Arabic, a formal dialect very different from the colloquial dialects that people actually speak (see sidebar). But these are precisely the kinds of situations that our Middle East diplomats must be equipped to handle.

Speaking, moreover, is generally harder than listening. No responsible person would ask a 3 to speak before an unfriendly crowd at the local university (or at the embassy gates), much less put a 3 in front of a television camera and expect a clear, engaging and cogent discussion of U.S. Middle East policy in Arabic. For that you need a 4, and preferably a 4+ or a 5. So how many of these 4 and 5 level speakers do we have in Arabic? As of August 2004 -- 27. At the highest levels (4+ and 5), we have a grand total of eight individuals worldwide. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

AL-AZHAR BOYCOTTS US OVER VISA DENIAL - TOP
http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2005-10/15/article06.shtml

CAIRO, October 15, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) - Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, the highest seat of religious learning in the Sunni world, has decided to shun American officials and freeze cooperation with all US institutions after Washington denied one of its senior officials an entry visa.

"Grand Imam Sheikh Mohammad Sayyed Tantawi decided to ban US officials from entering the headquarter of Al Azhar Sheikhdom in Cairo suspended cooperation with official American institutions," well-placed sources told IslamOnline.net on Saturday, October 15.

"He also decided not to send Al-Azhar scholars to the US in the future even if Washington granted them entry," they added.

After weeks of procrastination, the US Embassy in Cairo refused to give Sheikh Abdul Hamid Al-Atrash, the head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, an entry visa, giving no reasons.

Sheikh Tantawi had nominated the prominent scholar to give lectures and sermons at a number of American Islamic centers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (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, 17 Oct 2005 12:54:33 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: VA Prison Agrees to Facilitate Islamic Prayers / OH Muslims Feed the Homeless / US Muslims Play Role in Worldwide Relief Efforts

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/17/05

* Verse: God Responds to the Distressed Soul
* Save This Date: Dec. 3 CAIR Annual Dinner in VA
            - Donate the Cost of a Ramadan Meal to CAIR
* CAIR: VA Prison Agrees to Facilitate Islamic Prayers
            - CAIR Correctional Institution's Guide to Islam
* CAIR Rep Discusses Iraq on C-SPAN's 'Washington Journal'
* CAIR-CA: Muslims Invite Neighbors to Share Ramadan (SJMN)
            - CAIR-OH Feeds the Homeless
* US Muslims Play Role in Worldwide Relief Efforts (KUNA)
            - CA: Relief Effort Gains Momentum (Stanford Daily)
* CA: Graffiti on Sikh Property May Have Targeted Muslims
* IL: Muslims Encouraged to Become U.S. Citizens (Defender)
* AL: Center Hopes Others Explore Islam (Huntsville Times)
            - CT: 'Taste of Ramadan' Reflects Islamic Faith
            - CA: Reporter Experiences Ramadan Fast (La Voz)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: GOD RESPONDS TO THE DISTRESSED SOUL - TOP

"Who is it that responds to the distressed (soul) when it calls out to Him, and who removes the ill (that caused the distress), and has made (mankind) inherit the earth? Could there be any divine power other than God? How seldom do you keep this in mind!"

The Holy Quran, 27:62

HADITH OF THE DAY: GOD HEARS THE OPPRESSED

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Three people will not have their supplications rejected (by God): a fasting person until he breaks his fast, a just ruler and an oppressed person."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 132

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SAVE THIS DATE: DEC. 3 CAIR ANNUAL DINNER IN VA - TOP

On December 3, 2005, CAIR will hold its 11th annual banquet at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, Va. For more information please e-mail: events@cair.com

SEE ALSO:

DONATE THE COST OF A RAMADAN MEAL TO CAIR - TOP

Help CAIR reach its goal of raising $1 million during the month of Ramadan by donating the cost of one missed meal for yourself or your family. To Donate, and to learn why you should donate, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/ramadan2005/

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CAIR: PRISON AGREES TO FACILITATE PRAYER - TOP
Accommodations include finding a chaplain to monitor the Muslims' services.
Laurence Hammack, Roanoke Times, 10/17/05
http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/wb/xp-36620

Officials at Wallens Ridge State Prison have taken steps to accommodate Muslim inmates who complained about not being allowed to pray at the maximum security prison.

Some inmates also claimed they received death threats from a guard who had recently returned from military service in Iraq with a hatred for Muslims.

Both issues were discussed during a recent meeting between prison officials and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, according to Noman Bajwa, civil rights coordinator for the group.

Bajwa said he was assured that prison officials would look for a volunteer chaplain to monitor Friday services for Muslims. That would allow the gatherings to be held in the prison gymnasium, as they are for inmates of other religions. Prison officials also agreed to provide small towels for Muslims to use as prayer rugs, which previously had not been allowed outside their cells.

As for the guard accused of threatening inmates, Bajwa said he was told that the state Department of Corrections had taken disciplinary action. Prison spokesman Larry Traylor said he could not comment on personnel matters.

After the council expressed concerns about the treatment of Muslim inmates at the Wise County prison earlier this year, Department of Corrections Inspector General June Kimbriel and Wallens Ridge Warden David Robinson met with Bajwa in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 7.

"I'm pleased that they did make the effort to come," Bajwa said. "Obviously it's a long trip from Big Stone Gap to Washington. But for now we have to wait until they fulfill the commitments that were made to us during that meeting."

Traylor described the meeting as "cordial and productive." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR: A CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION'S GUIDE TO ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS PRACTICES - TOP

In response to the growing number of inmates discovering and embracing Islam as a form of rehabilitation, this pamphlet is designed to help correctional institution's and officer's (who may also be Muslim). Prayers, diet, incense, and head-cover's are a few of the issues discussed. 24 pages, 9" x 4", soft-cover. Discount for correctional personnel or inmates. Price is $3.00 + $1.42 shipping and handling.

To Order, GO TO: https://www.cair-net.org/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=6

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CAIR REP DISCUSSES IRAQ ON C-SPAN'S 'WASHINGTON JOURNAL' - TOP

CAIR Research Director Dr. Mohamed Nimer appeared Sunday morning on C-SPAN's 'Washington Journal.' To view the segment, go to: http://c-span.org/ Click on "Washington Journal" and then on "Washington Journal Entire Program (10/16/2005)." Dr. Nimer's segment begins at 2:05.

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CAIR-CA: MUSLIMS INVITE NEIGHBORS TO RAMADAN - TOP
Howard Mintz, Mercury News, 10/17/05
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/the_valley/12922848.htm

As the sun set Sunday evening, Bay Area Muslims were both celebrating Ramadan and making sure they were working hard to educate their neighbors about their culture and religion.

In Santa Clara, hundreds gathered at the Muslim Community Association mosque for dinner, prayers and an ongoing attempt to erase misconceptions about Islam. For Khaled Ejaz, the growth of the event is essential for his community.

``Breaking the prejudice after 9/11 is very important for us,'' said Ejaz, who had a table of Korans in different languages, from French to Burmese, set out for review.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations sponsored similar events over the weekend at five Bay Area mosques, including a dinner Sunday at the South Bay Islamic Association in San Jose and a similar gathering in San Francisco. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-COLUMBUS FEEDS THE HOMELESS - TOP

(COLUMBUS, OH, 10/17/05) - On Sunday, October 16, the Columbus office of CAIR-Ohio marked the Muslim fast of Ramadan by providing hot meals to some 180 residents of the YWCA Family Center, a newly-built shelter for homeless families.

More than 20 volunteers from the local Muslim community participated in the event. Due to the overwhelming interest among Muslims to serve the community at all times of the year, not just during Ramadan, CAIR-Ohio has decided to serve at the shelter on a monthly basis.

"Helping those less fortunate in the community is emphasized in Islam," said CAIR-Ohio Civil Rights Director Jennifer Nimer. Nimer quoted Islam's Prophet Muhammad who said: "He who eats his fill while his neighbor goes without food is not a believer." He also said, "A person has sinned if he neglects to feed those in need."

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 31 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. The Ohio Chapter of CAIR has 3 offices - Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.

CONTACT: Jennifer Nimer, 614-451-3232, E-Mail jennifer@cair-ohio.com; Dalia Muhammad, 614-451-3232, office@cair-ohio.com

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US MUSLIMS PLAY ROLE IN RAMADAN CHARITY, WORLDWIDE RELIEF EFFORTS - TOP
Aya Batrawy, Kuwait News Agency, 10/17/05
http://www.kuna.net.kw/home/story.aspx?Language=en&DSNO=779544

WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (KUNA) -- As news of the devastating earthquake in Pakistan began to trickle in through the media, Muslims across the United States were digging deep into their wallets to raise money for the victims, many of whom were Muslim.

American Muslims have already contributed millions of dollars for victims of the earthquake and as donations of money, food, medical supplies and other needed goods continue to be made from individuals and mosques around the country, the long-term contribution from this minority group is expected to climb beyond the initial USD 50-million aid package offered by the US government. Despite chaos and confusion on the ground following the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that rocked Pakistan-administered Kashmir last week killing at least 38,000 people, relief operations by Muslims in the United States have been quick, organized and steadfast.

"Donations have been really good," said Dr. Pirachi Abdul Rashid, the incoming president of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA), a group comprised of Pakistani Muslim doctors in the United States hoping to collect over a million dollars for the relief effort.

In the first 48 hours after news of the earthquake broke, APPNA alone had raised over USD 200,000 and sent USD 70,000 dollars worth of medical supplies to the hardest hit areas, according to Dr. Pirachi who is traveling to Pakistan with a team of American Muslim doctors to provide medical assistance for the thousands injured.

Non-Muslim aid organizations complained that donations for this latest disaster were lower than expected, blaming the low charity in the United States on "donor fatigue" following relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami last year.

On the other hand, US-based Muslim groups and mosques across the country are experiencing a surge in donations this month, partly because it is the duty of Muslims to give zakat (alm) during the current holy month of Ramadan. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CA: EARTHQUAKE RELIEF EFFORT GAINS MOMENTUM - TOP
Anne Ritchie, Stanford Daily, 10/17/05
http://daily.stanford.edu/tempo?page=content&id=18151&repository=0001_article

Members of the student group Pakistanis at Stanford (PAS) launched a formal relief effort Wednesday night to benefit the victims of the Oct. 8 earthquake in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The 7.6 quake killed an estimated 38,000 people, leaving at least 62,000 others injured.

The relief effort, which can be accessed at the PAS Web site - http://pas.stanford.edu - has already generated over $4,000 in donations, according to PAS member and relief organizer Uzair Nasim, a junior.

"Nearly $1,400 has been donated online, $1,000 was collected from various dorms the very night we launched our effort, $1,000 was donated by members of the Islamic Society and the rest was given by people to our members over the last few days," he said.

Sohail Razzaq, a freshman PAS member and relief organizer from Karachi, Pakistan, commented on the University community's reaction to the fundraiser.

"The response from the student body and faculty has been thoroughly encouraging," he said. (MORE)

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CA: RACIST GRAFFITI DISCOVERED ON SIKH PROPERTY IN LODI - TOP
Layla Bohm, News-Sentinel, 10/15/05
http://www.lodinews.com/articles/2005/10/15/news/3_graffiti_051015.txt

The crudely painted black, red and green swastikas and letters came as a shock this week to Lodi Sikhs who regularly gather at their property on the corner of West Lane and Armstrong Road.

For David Hill, chair of Lodi's Breakthrough Project, the graffiti can't be tolerated.

That's just garbage," he said in a raised voice Friday as he looked at a damaged tractor trailer. "It's intimidation, which is just what (vandals) want."

Who painted the swastikas and letters that stand for "white power" is not known. The vandalism appeared this week on the Sikh property, including the trailer, a fence and a closed fruit stand that is visible to a steady stream of traffic moving between Lodi and Stockton. . .

Hill has been active in the Breakthrough Project since 1998, when the group formed after a cross was burned at Tokay High School. He hasn't seen many other acts of graffiti recently, but he keeps an eye on the area near S-Mart Foods, 610 W. Kettleman Lane.

He suspects the graffiti at the Sikh site may have actually targeted the Muslim community, which has been in the national spotlight since June, when five Lodi men were arrested during a terror investigation in the city. (MORE)

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IL: MUSLIMS ENCOURAGED TO BECOME U.S. CITIZENS - TOP
Maria Hegstad, Chicago Defender, 10/17/05
http://www.chicagodefender.com/page/local.cfm?ArticleID=2606

Nourelsuda Sublaban, who immigrated from Jordan to the United States four years ago with her children, enjoys the benefits of U.S. citizenship.

"Citizenship is very important because [now] I have Medicare . . . I [can] go to doctor, I [can] go to hospital," she said.

It also means she can get back into the country if she travels abroad.

Muslim and Arab community leaders touted these and other benefits available to American citizens during a news conference last week and urged Muslim immigrants to seek the protections that citizenship provides.

"Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, our Muslim brothers and sisters have been under [suspicion,]," said Karla Avila, program director for the New Americans Initiative. Citizenship is "the only way they can protect their civil rights."

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AL: CENTER HOPES OTHERS EXPLORE ISLAM - TOP
SHELBY G. SPIRES, Huntsville Times, 10/16/05
http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/news/1129473901230410.xml&coll=1

Auayoob Karimi hopes Huntsville families who want to learn about Islam will come to the Alabama Islamic Education Center of Alzahra.

The 5-year-old center, which just opened in a new location at 8200 S. Memorial Parkway, was established to show people what Islam means in terms of spirituality and culture. The center held an open house on Saturday.

"We are open to anybody who wants to learn, no matter their age or background," said Karimi, who is a native of Bahrain and has been studying automotive engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Karimi wants the center to become a focal point and an outreach tool for Islam in North Alabama and especially the almost 400 Islamic families in Huntsville. "People can come here to support each other," he said. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CT: 'TASTE OF RAMADAN' REFLECTS ISLAMIC FAITH - TOP
SARA CAPOZZI, Herald, 10/17/05
http://www.newbritainherald.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15399755&BRD=1641&PAG=461&dept_id=10110&rfi=6

NEWINGTON -- Hundreds gathered at Newington High School for the "Taste of Ramadan" celebration Saturday evening.

In its seventh year, the event was sponsored by The Islamic Association of Greater Hartford, the Muhammad Islamic Center of Hartford and the Muslims Coalition of Connecticut.

The free event opened with speeches by Muslim community leaders and included videos on Islamic culture, activities and crafts for children, displays of books and other items, prayer and food from around the world.

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RAMADAN: A STUDENT'S JOURNEY WITH THE ISLAMIC FAITH - TOP
Kharman Aidun, La Voz, 10/17/05
http://www.lavozdeanza.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/10/17/4352965c07ee8

The first day I wore the hijab to work, one of my managers looked at me in shock and asked if I was really going to wear it. When I asked if that would be a problem, he shook his head and told me he wasn't allowed to have a problem with it.

I had decided that when Ramadan came I was going to live like a Muslim for one week, and in order to do this effectively, I packed some clothing and moved in with my friend Hala Hyatt and her family. (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, 18 Oct 2005 13:22:50 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: 'God is Not a Terrorist' / OH Volunteers Sought to Pack Quake Aid / NY Broker Claims Anti-Muslim Bias

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/18/05

* Verse: The Greatest Losers
* ISLAM-OPED: God is Not a Terrorist
* CAIR-OH, APPNA-OH Seek Volunteers to Pack Quake Aid
            - TX: Muslims Reach Out to Quake Victims (Star-Telegram)
            - MO: St. Louis Muslims Offer Quake Aid
            - CAIR-FL: Fast Brings Students Together for Fundraising
* CAIR-SFBA: Bay Area Mosques Share Ramadan
            - CAIR-LA Co-Sponsors James Yee Speaking Tour
            - CAIR-FL Rep Comments on Iraqi Constitution
            - 'Kudos' to CAIR-FL for Synagogue Talk
* NY Real Estate Broker Claims Anti-Muslim Bias (NY Post)
            - Anti-Muslim Politician Cost Me 1M - Broker (Daily News)
* MD: Teaching Teachers About Islamic Faith (Balt Sun)
* MI: Dinner Program Examines 'Women in Islam'
            - NC: Jews, Muslims Gather to Heal (News & Observer)
            - OH: Mosque is Muslim Melting Pot (Plain Dealer)
            - FL: Muslim Cross-Country Runner Adjusts to Fast
* Iraqis Say Civilians Killed in U.S. Raids (Wash Post)
            - Sharon Grabs More W. Bank Land than Returned in Gaza

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VERSE OF THE DAY: THE GREATEST LOSERS - TOP

"Say (O Muhammad): 'Shall we tell you who are the greatest losers in whatever they may do? (It is) those whose efforts have been wasted in (the pursuit of no more than) this world's life, while they thought they were acquiring good by their works?"

The Holy Quran, 18:103-104

"By (the token of) time (through the ages). Surely mankind is in a state of loss, except those who have faith and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth and patience in adversity."

The Holy Quran, Chapter 103

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ISLAM-OPED: GOD IS NOT A TERRORIST - 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.

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GOD IS NOT A TERRORIST
Unearthing Our Common Humanity
By Ahmed Rehab
WORD COUNT: 567

[Ahmed Rehab is communications director for the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. He may be reached at: communications@cairchicago.org ]

Religious extremists waste no time declaring natural disasters to be God's punishment. The divine motivations they cite are different, but they invariably reflect personal religious or political agendas.

On different occasions, these extremists of different faiths said Hurricane Katrina was America's punishment for pressuring Israel to leave Gaza, for the invasion of Iraq or for domestic "immorality."

Such zealots invoke God's name to reinforce their own demands, without that God is not their personal lobbyist. A just God, and Muslims know one of God's 99 Names is "The Just," does not punish thousands of innocent human beings for the acts, good, bad or indifferent, of a few.

God is not a terrorist.

Any person of faith will strive to reconcile the death and destruction caused by natural disasters like Katrina, or the recent earthquake that devastated parts of South Asia, with God's justice and love for humanity.

Islam, like other faiths, provides answers based on hope and inspiration, not anger and vengeance.

The Quran, Islam's revealed text, describes God's ultimate justice on Judgment Day, when everyone will be shown their past deeds. "Then, whoever has done an atom's weight of good shall see it, and whoever has done an atom's weight of evil shall (also) see it there." (99:6-8)

Few watching the riveting television images of Americans being pulled from rooftops in New Orleans, or Pakistanis sifting through the rubble of a devastated village, could help but think of our common humanity and the petty nature of our differences.

How is a Pakistani mother's agony over her lost child different from that of a Katrina survivor suffering the same terrible loss? The two women may dress differently, but their faces show the same grief. One speaks Urdu and the other English, but they weep in the same language.

These two natural disasters broke through more than just levees and layers of earth; they ripped through layers of politics and culture that distort our perception of each other.

Wonders can happen when we focus on our similarities, not our differences.

Muslims worldwide raised more than a billion dollars for victims of Hurricane Katrina. In the Middle East, there was an outpouring of sympathy and prayers for those who had been killed, injured or displaced on the Gulf Coast.

Across the United States, churches and other houses of worship joined with mosques to raise funds and rush aid to the earthquake zone. In both parts of the world, people who viewed each other with suspicion were moved to reciprocate prayers and generosity, demonstrating that the so-called "clash of civilizations" is not inevitable or necessary.

Such is the hidden blessing in the horror that is a natural disaster.

Sometimes, it takes the earth literally shaking under our feet to remind us of our common humanity. Let us all work to make sure there is a long-lasting positive response to recent suffering.

As God states in the Quran: "Whenever affliction touches a man, he prays to Us&But as soon as We relieve his affliction he walks away as if he had never prayed&" (10:12)

We must never walk away from one another's humanity and should always heed the advice of the Prophet Muhammad, who reprimanded a follower who said: "O God! Bestow Your Mercy on me and Muhammad only, and do not bestow it on anyone else." The Prophet told him: "You have limited a very vast thing (God's Mercy)."

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CAIR-OHIO, APPNA-OHIO SEEKS VOLUNTEERS TO PACK QUAKE AID - TOP

(COLUMBUS, OH, 10/18/05) - CAIR-Ohio and APPNA-Ohio (Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America) need volunteers in Cleveland to help pack medical supplies for delivery to the victims of the recent earthquake in Pakistan. The supplies will be sent to physician teams going to Pakistan and partnering with local hospitals to bring expertise and medical relief directly to those in need.

Volunteers may be from a medical or nonmedical background. Medical personnel will direct the packing, using lists of needed supplies prepared by APPNA. Nonmedical volunteers will pack the supplies, close and label boxes and load the boxes into a van for transport.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 19, 2005, from 2:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

WHERE: The Medwish warehouse is located at the Cleveland Clinic Parker Building, 17325 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, 44112. Directions and more information about the warehouse can be found at www.medwish-international.org.

Transportation options: The Islamic Society of Greater Columbus will be sending a van and have seats available. They will meet at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 19 at the Omar Ibn El Khattab Masjid, located at 580 Riverview Drive, Columbus, OH. The ISGC van plans to return to Columbus by midnight, insha'allah. Please call 614-397-3693 as soon as possible to reserve a seat in the van.

Volunteers may also drive on their own using the directions on the website, but please let a coordinator below know you plan to come.

Other notes: Volunteers who are fasting should consider bringing a packed iftar.

For more information, or to RSVP to volunteer, please contact: Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin at 614-560-0272 or call CAIR-Ohio at 614-451-3232.

SEE ALSO:

TX: MUSLIM GROUPS REACHING OUT TO QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
ELLENA F. MORRISON, Star-Telegram, 10/18/05
http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/12931568.htm

Buildings that were under construction when Rehana Kausar left Kashmir as a child no longer stand, reduced to rubble by the recent south Asian earthquake.

"These were landmark places," said Kausar, an anesthesiologist with Harris Methodist Fort Worth hospital and president of the Islamic Medical Association of North America. "The day I heard they were all gone, it really affected me."

Kausar left Sunday for the region to offer medical care as part of a relief team assembled by the medical association, the Irving-based Islamic charity Baitulmaal and other Islamic groups. The team is part of an outpouring of support from area Muslims for Kashmir, a remote region that straddles northern Pakistan and India. The two countries have fought over Kashmir for decades.

"I can't even imagine what I am going to see," Kausar said Friday. "There are still going to be bodies. I don't know how I am going to feel about it."

About 10 medical professionals from across the United States will go to the region for about two weeks at a time. The first group will arrive this week in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital. (MORE)

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ST. LOUIS MUSLIMS OFFER QUAKE AID - TOP

The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, in conjunction with the Association of Pakistani Physicians (APP) and Human Development Foundation (HDF), recently raised more than $185,000 for earthquake relief.

Keiser Permenente of California is sending a 15 physcian group, and a group of 24 physicians from APP and HDF has already reached Islamabad and were deployed in earthquake stricken areas.

CONTACT: Naseem Shekhani, M.D., 314-255-7409

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FL: FAST BRINGS STUDENTS TOGETHER FOR FUNDRAISING - TOP
THERESA BRADLEY, Miami Herald, 10/18/05
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/12928710.htm

Just before the sun rose Monday, Amy Cohen chomped on some gummy worms, knowing it would be her last meal for 14 hours.

"You're restraining yourself for a good cause," she told herself as the sun grew strong.

Cohen, 21, a senior at the University of Miami, joined some 400 other non-Muslim students in refusing food for a day as part of "Fast-a-Thon," a fund- and awareness-raising Ramadan event.

The UM "Fast-a-Thon" raised $4,000, which will go to help victims of Hurricane Katrina and last week's South Asian earthquake. It was one of hundreds of similar events taking place on college campuses during this, the holiest month of Islam. . .

Devastating natural disasters -- tsunami, hurricane and earthquake alike -- have this year given an immediate reminder to be mindful of the many who are suffering, said Altaf Ali, executive director of the Council on Islamic-American Relations in Florida. (MORE)

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CAIR-SFBA: BAY AREA MOSQUES SHARE RAMADAN - TOP

(BAY AREA, CA, 10/18/05) The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) and five bay area mosques opened their doors this past weekend in the spirit of sharing Ramadan.

CAIR-SFBA co-hosted a Ramadan dinner at the Muslim Community Association (MCA) and sponsored similar events at the South Bay Islamic Association (SBIA), Islamic Society of East Bay (ISEB), Islamic Society of San Francisco (ISSF), and Yaseen Foundation Muslim Community Association (YFMCA).

Amina Ansari, CAIR-SFBA Program Manager, who helped coordinate the planning efforts for the five mosques, said the Muslim community has always reached out to area residents and public officials by hosting open houses to teach the spirit of Ramadan. She added that this was the first time that the bay area Muslim community has opened their doors in unison.

While hundreds gathered in each mosque, the Muslim Community Association of Santa Clara (MCA) attracted the highest attendance of almost 400, including public officials, interfaith leaders, educators, community residents and American-Muslims. Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan, attended the event along with the office of State Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-San Jose, who presented a resolution to CAIR-SFBA, the MCA, and the bay area Muslim community to commemorate Ramadan.

Students from San Jose's Miller Middle School attended the event as an opportunity to build on their curriculum covering the origins of Islam and other religions.

CONTACT: CAIR-SFBA Outreach Coordinator, Sameena Usman, and 408-986-9874, E-mail: sameena@cair.com

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-LA CO-SPONSORS JAMES YEE SPEAKING TOUR - TOP
http://www.ncrr-la.org/news/yee.html

CAIR-FL REP COMMENTS ON IRAQI CONSTITUTION - TOP

CAIR Central Florida Director Ahmed Bedier appeared on NBC's Tampa affiliate WFLA to discuss the referendum vote on the Iraqi Constitution.

WATCH THE VIDEO NEWS CLIP:
Broadband (High-speed)
http://www.cairfl.org/video/051015_wfla_iraq_const_hi.WMV
Dial-up (low speed)
http://www.cairfl.org/video/051015_wfla_iraq_const_lo.WMV\

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CAIR-FL: TO BUILD A LASTING PEACE - TOP
St. Petersburg Times, 10/18/05
http://sptimes.com/2005/10/18/Opinion/Judicial_system_s_rac.shtml
(Scroll down.)

Re: Synagogue welcomes Muslim speaker, Oct. 14.

Kudos and hats off to Ahmed Bedier, from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Rabbi David Weizman, from the Congregation Beth Shalom, for bringing two diverse groups together through respect and understanding. Such events will build a lasting peace better than all the militaries in the world.

I only wish I had been in attendance. Maybe these two gentlemen would consider hosting an event or series of forums for the general public?

Jack Hanel, Indian Rocks Beach

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CITY REAL-ESTATE BROKER CLAIMS ANTI-MUSLIM BIAS - TOP
CYNTHIA R. FAGEN, New York Post, 10/18/05
http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/55650.htm

October 18, 2005 -- A real-estate broker claims she was dumped from a million-dollar deal with the Education Department because City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz refused to work with a Muslim, according to court papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Granite Realty Associates broker Ishan Amatullah said she learned through a department worker that her services would no longer be required in negotiating a $1.5 million lease.

SEE ALSO:

NY: ANTI-MUSLIM POL COST ME 1M - BROKER - TOP
Helen Peterson, NY Daily News, 10/18/05
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/local/story/356802p-304118c.html

A Manhattan real estate broker is claiming in court papers that City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz scuttled her deal for an upper East Side high school lease because she didn't want a Muslim involved.

A spokeswoman for Moskowitz (D-Manhattan) promptly denied the accusations of Ihsan Amatullah.

Amatullah is suing Alexancer Karten, owner of 403 East 76th St. Corp., and two agents who eventually brokered the deal for Eleanor Roosevelt High School.

Amatullah said she identified the E. 76th St. site in 2000 and worked out a deal with Karten to lease the property to the Board of Ed for $1.5 million a year.

But on April 1, 2001, she claims, she was told the Board of Education couldn't afford the deal, according to papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Two months later, however, Amatullah said she learned real estate brokers Julien Studley and Peter Berman were close to making the deal. (MORE)

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MD: TEACHING TEACHERS ABOUT ISLAMIC FAITH - TOP
MATTHEW HAY BROWN, Baltimore Sun, 10/18/05
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/education/bal-md.iftar18oct18,1,6022603.story

The call to prayer echoed through the packed room. While River Hill High School senior Khalid Shourbaji sang in Arabic, Sayeed Hassan translated.

"Allahu akbar," repeated Hassan, president of the Dar al-Taqwa mosque, for the public school administrators at his table. "God is the greatest. Ash-hadu an la ilaha illa'llah. I bear witness that there is no god but God."

The sun had fallen over Columbia, and members of the local Muslim community were settling down to iftar, the meal that breaks the daylight fast during the month of Ramadan.

On this evening last week, they invited teachers and administrators of the Howard County public schools system to join them. More than 100 educators packed the room at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, where children who are their students during the day explained to them the tenets of Islam and the meaning of Ramadan.

"It's one part of a broader effort to let the community know that the vast, vast majority of Muslims are just like them: law-abiding citizens who want to contribute to the community," said Rita Sallam, a member of the Howard County Muslim Council.

"The terrorists that you see on television do not represent Islam. The people in this room are Islam," she said.

Muslims across the country are using Ramadan, the month in which they believe that God began to reveal the Quran to the prophet Muhammad, as an opportunity to reach out to the broader community.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil-liberties group, co-sponsored an iftar on Capitol Hill last week for congressional staffers. The Maryland Muslim Council and the Baltimore Jewish Council are planning a holiday dinner Thursday in honor of both Ramadan and Sukkot, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. (MORE)

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MI: FREE DINNER PROGRAM EXAMINES "WOMEN IN ISLAM" - TOP
http://www.wmich.edu/wmu/news/2005/10/029.html

KALAMAZOO--The Muslim Students Association at Western Michigan University presents "From Eve to Aisha: Women in Islam, A Historic Perspective," a free dinner program with guest speaker Aminah Assilmi at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, in the East Ballroom of the Bernhard Center.

Assilmi is an award-winning broadcast journalist and an American convert to Islam. She is the director of the International Union of Muslim Women and lives in Arkansas.

The dinner program, which features Middle Eastern cuisine and cultural exhibits, is free of charge and open to the public, but seating is limited and reservations are required by Wednesday, Oct. 19. For more information about the program or to make reservations, visit the WMU Muslim Students Association on the Web at www.msa-wmu.org.

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. There are approximately seven million Muslims living in United States, and there is a growing Muslim population at Western Michigan University and in Kalamazoo. The Muslim Students Association at WMU sponsors two major events each year designed to help bridge the gap between Muslims and the non-Muslims and to foster greater mutual understanding.

SEE ALSO:

NC: JEWS, MUSLIMS GATHER TO HEAL - TOP
THOMASI MCDONALD, News & Observer, 10/18/05
http://newsobserver.com/news/story/2818700p-9266404c.html

Ten years ago, Khalilah Sabra could not imagine herself participating in interfaith activities with Jews.

"Although I am not Palestinian, the occupation was like a sore that would not heal," said Sabra, a Muslim woman living in Raleigh.

In a classic leap of faith, Sabra organized such a gathering Sunday when about 50 Muslims and Jews participated in a discussion of the two faiths as part of this month's Ramadan and Rosh Hashana. (MORE)

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OH: MOSQUE IS MUSLIM MELTING POT - TOP
Robert L. Smith, Plain Dealer, 10/18/05
http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1129627918325450.xml&coll=2

Stepping into a mosque fashioned from a house on Cleveland's West Side, Ali Omar slips off his shoes and greets Vasil Lamidze with the familiar Arabic salutation, "As-salaam alaykum" - peace be with you.

The tall man smiles and replies, "Wa alaykum as-salaam" - and peace to you as well.

After that, conversation gets complicated.

For a Somali Bantu like Omar to talk with Lamidze, a Turk from Russia, an Afghan-American boy of 12 is brought forward. He translates the Bantu's halting English into Persian for his uncle, Hafizullah Solemonshah, who speaks Russian to the Turks.

The conversation then reverses, flowing from Russian to Persian to English, with side discussions in Pashto. Questions wait long minutes for answers, but there is no other way.

At a fledgling multiethnic mosque in Cleveland's Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, members share only their faith. That, and a dream. (MORE)

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FL: RAMADAN RUNNER - TOP
ANDREW MIKULA, News-Journal, 10/18/05
http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/News/EastVolusia/03NewsEAST02101805.htm

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Like all athletes, Ibrahim Isa knows he needs nutrition to compete.

And that presents challenges for the star cross-country runner for New Smyrna Beach High School.

Isa, 17, is a Muslim, and every year during the three-week period of Ramadan his religion requires him to fast each day from sunup to sundown.

Food and water can only be consumed in the early morning and late evening hours. Most 5-kilometer cross country meets are held during the daylight hours, when Isa's stomach must remain empty.

Even without the athletic challenge, adjusting to the Ramadan fast is never easy, he says.

"It's somewhat psychological, like you feel your stomach start to tighten up," Isa says of the first week of the Ramadan fast. "Your body's not used to going without food and gets weak for the first six or seven days," Isa says. "After that you get used to it."

Still, Isa isn't complaining. He finds fasting during Ramadan to be a relaxing and joyful experience. And he loves competing. He's a leader of his squad and considered one of the best runners in the area. (MORE)

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IRAQIS SAY CIVILIANS KILLED IN U.S. RAIDS - TOP
Ellen Knickmeyer, Washington Post, 10/18/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/17/AR2005101700808.html

BAGHDAD, Oct. 17 -- A U.S. fighter jet bombed a crowd gathered around a burned Humvee on the edge of a provincial capital in western Iraq, killing 25 people, including 18 children, hospital officials and family members said Monday. The military said the Sunday raid targeted insurgents planting a bomb for new attacks.

In all, residents and hospital workers said, 39 civilians and at least 13 armed insurgents were killed in a day of U.S. airstrikes in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, a Sunni Arab region with a heavy insurgent presence.

The U.S. military said it killed a total of 70 insurgents in Sunday's airstrikes and, in a statement, said it knew of no civilian deaths.

At Ramadi hospital, distraught and grieving families fought over body parts severed by the airstrikes, staking rival claims to what they believed to be pieces of their loved ones.

In Albu Fahad, a community on the east edge of Ramadi, family members gathered Monday in a black funeral tent. A black banner listed the names of the 18 children and seven adults allegedly killed by the F-15 strike. (MORE)

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ISRAEL REDRAWS THE ROADMAP, BUILDING QUIETLY AND QUICKLY - TOP
Settler population grows as Sharon grabs more West Bank land than he returned in Gaza
Chris McGreal, The Guardian, 10/18/05
http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,16518,1594808,00.html

At the northern edge of Jerusalem, on the main road to the Palestinian city of Ramallah, three towering concrete walls are converging around a rapidly built maze of cages, turnstiles and bomb-proof rooms.

When construction at Qalandiya is completed in the coming weeks, the remaining gaps in the 8m (26ft)-high walls will close and those still permitted to travel between the two cities will be channelled through a warren of identity and security checks reminiscent of an international frontier.

The Israeli military built the crossing without fanfare over recent months, along with other similar posts along the length of the vast new "security barrier" that is enveloping Jerusalem, while the world's attention was focussed on the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon's removal of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip.

But these de facto border posts are just one element in a web of construction evidently intended to redraw Israel's borders deep inside the Palestinian territories and secure all of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and to do it fast so as to put the whole issue beyond negotiation. As foreign leaders, including Tony Blair, praised Mr Sharon for his "courage" in pulling out of Gaza last month, Israel was accelerating construction of the West Bank barrier, expropriating more land in the West Bank than it was surrendering in Gaza, and building thousands of new homes in Jewish settlements.

"It's a trade off: the Gaza Strip for the settlement blocks; the Gaza Strip for Palestinian land; the Gaza Strip for unilaterally imposing borders," said Dror Etkes, director of the Israeli organisation Settlement Watch. "They don't know how long they've got. That's why they're building like maniacs." (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, 19 Oct 2005 12:51:50 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CA Muslims to Feed the Homeless / OH Muslims Plan Quake Fundraiser / Philly Police Ban Beards, Hijab

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/19/05

* Hadith: Teach Goodness
* DC: Volunteers Needed for CAIR's Annual Dinner
* CAIR-Cleveland: 400 Attend  'Sharing Ramadan' Iftar
            - CAIR-OH: Muslims Plan Fundraiser for Quake Relief
* CAIR-CA to Hold Capitol Ramadan Reception
            - CAIR-CA: Bay Area Muslims to Feed the Homeless
* CAIR-FL: Forum Discusses Muslims in SW Fla. (Herald Trib)
            - CAIR-FL: Forum Discusses Islam (Bradenton Herald)
* OH: Islamic Center's Quake Aid Coincides with Ramadan
            - WI: Muslim Association Urges Earthquake Aid
* PA: Philly Police Ban Muslim Beards, Hijab (Bloomberg)
            - Female Firefighters Can Take the Heat in Iran (CSM)
* TN: Ramadan Fast-a-Thon at VU Bridges Cultures
            - MN: Muslim School Teaches Pluralism (Pioneer Press)
* VA: Doctor Believes N.Va. Muslim Was Tortured (Wash Post)
            - Gitmo Hunger Strikers Fed Via Tubes (Miami Herald)
            - UN Official: US Troops 'Starve Iraqi Citizens' (BBC)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: TEACH GOODNESS - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "God and His angels, the dwellers of the heavens and of the earth, even an ant in its hole and fish (in the depths of the sea), invoke blessings on (a scholar) who teaches people goodness."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 70

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DC: VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR CAIR'S ANNUAL DINNER - TOP

Volunteers are needed for CAIR's annual banquet, to be held Saturday, December 3, 2005, in Virginia. Please contact CAIR's events department at 202-488-8787, ext. 6050 or e-mail: events@cair-net.org

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400 ATTEND CAIR-CLEVELAND 'SHARING RAMADAN' IFTAR - TOP

(CLEVELAND, OH, 10/19/2005) ­ Some 400 people attended CAIR-Cleveland's 2nd annual "Sharing Ramadan" Iftar Dinner on Saturday, October 15, at Cuyahoga Community College.

Among the attendees were a number of civic and religious leaders, including the director of homeland security for the Cleveland police department; the interfaith director of the Catholic Diocese, as well as elected officials from around the county. Proclamations were presented by the offices of US Senator George Voinovich and Governor Bob Taft. Congressman Dennis Kucinich's office presented a proclamation on Ramadan to be entered in the Congressional record.

"The month of Ramadan is a time of great thanks for God's mercy," said Isam Zaiem, chair of the Cleveland office of CAIR-OHIO. "It's also a chance to explain more about Islam and Muslims in order to promote understanding and goodwill."

CONTACT: CAIR-OHIO, CAIR-Cleveland Director Julia A. Shearson, 216-440-2247 or 216-830-2247; E-Mail: cleveland@cair-ohio.com; Isam Zaiem, 216-337-7928, E-Mail: isamz@sbcglobal.net

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CAIR-OH: MUSLIMS PLAN FUNDRAISER FOR QUAKE RELIEF - TOP

(CLEVELAND, OH, 10/19/05) ­ On Sunday, October 23, Muslim organizations throughout Northeast Ohio will co-host a fundraising dinner at the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent for victims of the October 8 earthquake that struck South Asia.

WHAT: Ramadan Fundraising Dinner for Earthquake Relief
WHEN: Sunday, October 23; Fundraising program begins at 4:30; Dinner to follow.
WHERE: Islamic Society of Akron & Kent, 152 E. Steels Corners Road, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44223

Participating organizations: Islamic Society of Akron & Kent (ISAK); Islamic Center of Cleveland; Uqbah Mosque Foundation; Islamic Society of Northeast Ohio; Masjid Al-Madina; Masjid al-Islam; First Cleveland Mosque; Muslim Association of Cleveland East (MACE); Islamic Society of Mansfield; Islamic Society of Youngstown; Unity Center (Brecksville); Muslim Student Associations of Case Western Reserve, Akron, Kent State and Cleveland State universities; and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OHIO).

For further information, contact Dr. Ghulam Mir 330-713-2226 (pager), ghulamnmir@yahoo.com; Dr. Shameem Ahmed 330-848-7992; Julia A. Shearson 216-830-2247 or 216-440-2247, cleveland@cair-ohio.com

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CAIR-CA TO HOLD CAPITOL RAMADAN RECEPTION - TOP

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 10/19/2005) - On Wednesday, October 19, the Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) and several State Assembly members and senators will hold the 2nd Annual Capitol Ramadan Reception at the State Capitol.

WHAT: 2nd Annual Capitol Ramadan Reception
WHERE: Basement Rotunda (Cafeteria), State Capitol, Sacramento
WHEN: Wednesday, October 19, 2005, 6 p.m.

Invited guests include senators, assembly members and Legislative staff, as well as Muslim and community leaders.

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and 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.

CONTACT: CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, 916-441-6269, e-mail: sacval@cair.com

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CAIR-CA: BAY AREA MUSLIMS TO FEED THE HOMELESS - TOP

(SAN JOSE, CA, 10/19/05) - Muslims from around the Greater San Francisco Bay Area will take part in the 2nd Annual Humanitarian Day for the Homeless on Saturday, October 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army building located at 405 North 4th Street in downtown San Jose.

Muslim organizations will provide hot meals, water, t-shirts, and hygiene packages to San Jose's homeless community. Last year, the coalition served more than 800 homeless in San Jose. This year, the organizers hope to reach out to over a thousand homeless in a similar undertaking.

The coalition selected the holy month of Ramadan as a global observance that transcends race and gender in a spirit of love, equality and respect for each other and all of humanity. This year is unique in that the holy days of the three Abrahamic Faiths coincide this October; Rosh Hashanah for Jews, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi for Christians; and Ramadan for Muslims.

"Ramadan is a time of increased compassion and caring for others. Our goal is to give the homeless community hope and relief to ease their struggle," said Habibe Husain, founder of the Rahima Charitable Foundation, the main organizer of this Humanitarian Day.

WHEN: Saturday, October 22nd, 2005, from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM
WHERE: Salvation Army, 405 N. 4th St. (just north of Julian Ave.), San Jose

Event Sponsor: Rahima Charitable Foundation

Event Co-Sponsors: American Muslim Voice(AMV), Blossom Valley Muslim Community Center (BVMCC), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA), Granada Islamic School (GIS), Hidaya Foundation, Islamic Center of Fremont (ICF), Indian Muslim Relief & Charities (IMRC), Islamic Networks Group (ING), Islamic School of Stanford, Islamic Society of East Bay(ISEB), Muslim Community Association (MCA), Northern American Islamic Shelter for the Abused (NISA), South Bay Islamic Association (SBIA), Semah, United Muslims of America (UMA), WIS, Yaseen Foundation & Zaytuna Institute.

CONTACT:

Habibe Husain: Rahima Charitable Foundation (Hours: 12:00 to 4:00 PM), Work: 408-845-0050, E-mail: mail@rahima.org

Samina Faheem Sundas: AMV, Cell: 650-387-1994, E-mail: samina_faheem@yahoo.com

Sameena Usman, CAIR-SFBA, Work: 408-986-9874, Cell: 408-394-9892, E-mail: sameena@cair.com

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CAIR-FL: FORUM DISCUSSES ISLAM, MUSLIMS IN SOUTHWEST FLA. - TOP
JULIA GLICK, Herald Tribune, 10/19/05
http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051019/NEWS/510190641/1006/SPORTS

BRADENTON -- With the war in Iraq growing bloodier and terrorists attacking in Europe and Asia, the growing population of Muslim residents here worry they will be stereotyped as terrorists.

Anonymous callers have threatened the Islamic Society of Sarasota and Bradenton. Passers-by often stare or comment at women in head scarves.

Many residents fear reporting anti-Muslim incidents, which have multiplied throughout the state in the past year, said Ahmed Bedier, director of the Central Florida Council on American Islamic Relations. He spoke about people's misconceptions of Islam on Tuesday at a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Manatee County. About 30 people attended the discussion, held at a local church.

"All religions can be abused and were at one point in history," he said. "When Osama bin Laden comes on TV or Zarqawi in Iraq says things about the religion, they are misusing Islam." (MORE)

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CAIR-FL: FORUM DISCUSSES ISLAM - TOP
Violence in religion, Quran among topics approached
CARL MARIO NUDI, Bradenton Herald, 10/19/05
http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/local/12937324.htm

BRADENTON - Because a suicide bomber is a Muslim does not mean Islam is a religion of violence. That was the message Ahmed Bedier, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, delivered Tuesday at the League of Women Voters of Manatee County's monthly Hot Topic luncheon.

"You're always reading something negative about Islam," Bedier said.

He said that when we read about or see someone doing something wrong on television, the person is never identified as a Christian or Jew.

Bedier said the negative attitude toward Islam stems from misconceptions and stereotypes Muslims have had to deal with for years. (MORE)

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OH: ISLAMIC CENTER'S EARTHQUAKE AID COINCIDES WITH RAMADAN - TOP
Ken-Yon Hardy, Middletown Journal, 10/19/05
http://www.middletownjournal.com/hp/content/news/stories/2005/10/18/mj1019MUSLIM.html

WEST CHESTER TWP. - An opportunity to help those ravished by a recent earthquake in Pakistan sparked a local religious group to help.

The Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati Earthquake Relief Committee, in collaboration with Matthew 25: Ministries, in Cincinnati, shipped more than 40,000 blankets and a large amount of tents and medical supplies on Tuesday to help earthquake victims.

"This is an obligation," said Shakila Ahmed, spokeswoman for the Islamic Center Earthquake Committee, which began collecting items for victims a week ago.

"We live in a blessed country," she said. "We are blessed with having our life, our health and our ability to feed our children and there are many people that were devastated by the earthquake across the globe who are not going to survive the winter."

The contributions were transported to the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America, based in Chicago, which will later send the supplies to Pakistan.

"The minimum we can do is do what we can in terms of our part," Ahmed said. "I feel that we are blessed to be able to do this and if we don't do this, then shame on us."

More than 400 pounds of food also were donated on Tuesday, according to Ahmed. The Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati plans to give the food to an area pantry.

"We've also been doing local food drives that will help Reach Out Lakota, one of our local neighbors," said Samar Kaukab, a member of the Earthquake Relief Committee. "We're trying to concentrate our efforts of helping our neighbors both home and afar."

The help from the Islamic Center coincides with the efforts celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Muslim calender and is when Muslims concentrate on their faith by fasting and spending less time on the concerns of their everyday lives, according to Ahmed. (MORE)

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WI: MUSLIM ASSOCIATION URGES EARTHQUAKE AID - TOP
John Potratz, Badger herald, 10/19/05
http://badgerherald.com/news/2005/10/19/muslim_association_u.php

University of Wisconsin students and members of the Muslim Students' Association congregated in the Humanities building Tuesday to raise aid and awareness for victims of the catastrophic earthquake that struck near Pakistan's capitol, Islamabad, less than two weeks ago.

While many efforts have been initiated to help those affected by the quake, so far total relief for the area has been minimal in comparison to funds raised for Hurricane Katrina and Southeast Asia tsunami victims.

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PA: PHILADELPHIA TELLS MUSLIM POLICE TO TRIM BEARDS OR LOSE JOBS - TOP
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=aXs4a8QzhAsE&refer=us

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Philadelphia police officer Kenneth Wallace, a nine-year veteran of the force, is serving his second month-long suspension for refusing to shave.

Wallace, a 31-year-old Muslim, has asked for an arbitration hearing to challenge the department's 1/4-inch limit on the length of beards. Muslim city workers sued Philadelphia, the fifth-largest U.S. city, beginning in February to challenge grooming and dress codes they claim violate their rights to religious expression.

``The Philadelphia community has a very large and visible Islamic core," said Craig Thorpe, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs. ``It's kind of an anomaly that the police department and the fire department seem to be out of step."

Muslims account for about 2 percent of Philadelphia's 1.5 million population, almost equal to the 2.4 percent, or 7 million, for the entire U.S. The city's Muslim population is the 18th largest in the nation.

Muslim emergency workers have challenged grooming policies in cities including New York, Washington, D.C., and Detroit, saying the Koran and other religious teachings require the wearing of untrimmed beards or head coverings. . .

Women on the Philadelphia force are still barred from wearing the scarf known as khimar or hijab, which many Muslims believe is mandated by Allah to show their modesty. Kimberlie Webb, the 43-year-old Philadelphia police officer represented by Thorpe, is suing for the right to wear the khimar.

Webb became a Sunni Muslim two years after joining the Philadelphia force in 1995, according to her federal lawsuit. The department denied her requests to wear the khimar, made in 1998 and again in 2003, and threatened Webb with disciplinary action unless she removed the covering at work, the suit said. . .

Department officials said the scarf posed a safety risk because it could be grabbed by a suspect. Newspapers and Muslim Web sites reported on Webb's complaints through 2003. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in her favor that November and urged the department to relax its rules. (MORE)

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FEMALE FIREFIGHTERS FIND THEY CAN TAKE THE HEAT IN IRAN - TOP
Scott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor, 10/19/05
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1019/p01s03-wome.html

Firefighters here in Iran, men and women alike, say men have not hesitated to help in gender-sensitive situations. "Of course we still do it," says Ali Aghayari, a mustachioed 25-year veteran of the department. "It can be a matter of life and death."

But the women think their presence inspires others to take on jobs usually reserved for men. "100 percent," says Zahra Haji, who has been with the Karaj force since the women's unit was created three years ago.

The women are part of a department that includes 11 stations and 375 firefighters. Divided into three shifts, they work 24 hours on, 48 hours off.

While they respond to every alarm alongside the men, these women also describe rescues in which their gender helped get the job done - such as the time a large woman had fallen into an narrow underground septic tank, up to her neck in sewage, and needed rescue with a harness and ropes.

"I've seen them in action and they are good, they are strong - sometimes they are better than the men," says Mr. Aghayari. When they are in protective gear, fighting alongside the men, he says he can barely tell the difference. (MORE)

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TN: FAST-A-THON AT VU BRIDGES CULTURES - TOP
For Ramadan, non-Muslims join in the abstinence
JEANNINE F. HUNTER, Tennessean, 10/19/05
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051019/NEWS06/510190428/1023/NEWS

More than 220 Vanderbilt University students went hungry for a day so that others do not have to.

For the third year in a row, non-Muslim students at Vanderbilt joined their Muslim classmates by fasting for 12 hours as part of Fast-a-Thon. Participating students pledged to abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset to raise money from sponsors for a charity.

The event, sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, occurs during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims abstain from eating or drinking anything, including water, from sunrise to sunset.

This year Ramadan started on Oct. 4. In addition to food and drink, Muslims abstain from other earthly pleasures during the fast, including sex. Muslims also increase their philanthropy during this month.

Vanderbilt University is among more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide participating in the fourth annual awareness program. Muslim students at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville established the event to encourage collegians to strive to eliminate hunger and homelessness in their communities.

"This is a time when non-Muslims understand why we fast and what our values are," said Dina Ghoneim, 23, a medical student from Rochester, N.Y. (MORE)

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MN: AL-AMAL SCHOOL TEACHES LESSON OF PLURALISM - TOP
CRAIG WESTOVER, Saint Paul Pioneer Press, 10/19/05

I was reminded of the Pilgrims. Like the Pilgrims of 1620, the pilgrims with whom I shared the traditional dates and juice of Ramadan also came to this country seeking religious freedom, a freedom sometimes stifled in their native countries.

The occasion was a fundraiser for Al-Amal School. A private school in Fridley, Al-Amal is an accredited, full-time Islamic school serving 370 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Its mission is preparing Muslim children for American society while preserving their Islamic heritage.

Here is the first irony. While public education preaches multiculturalism, public school policies and the environments they foster are antithetical to the diversity they preach. Reaction to a lack of discipline and moral values in government schools, intolerance for the overt observance of Islamic practices and a lack of academic rigor are major reasons why Al-Amal was founded 11 years ago, why it is thriving and expanding, and why it provides a model for a genuine "public education" system for students of all faiths and economic levels.

More irony. Although touted as indicative of Minnesota's diversity, the Muslim community has more in common with conservative Christians than with the secularized environment fostered by government schools. Muslims share conservative concerns about public education -- the exclusion of religion, the teaching of evolution, abortion politics, sex education and general lack of academic emphasis.

"Al-Amal serves two purposes," Principal Salah Ayari said. "Parents choose to send their children here to shield them from influences that are not in keeping with Islamic moral code, but they also want an education for their children that is academically rigorous. Our goal is producing individuals who can go out into American society and make positive contributions without compromising Islamic faith." (MORE)

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VA: DOCTOR BELIEVES N.VA. MAN WAS TORTURED - TOP
Jerry Markon, Washington Post, 10/19/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/18/AR2005101801466.html

An American student charged in an al Qaeda plot to kill President Bush said his Saudi captors whipped him on the back, punched him in the stomach and kicked him, according to a doctor who examined the student and testified yesterday before the judge who must decide if the student was tortured.

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali also said he was shackled with his arms above his head for more than seven hours after initially refusing to cooperate with FBI agents who traveled to Saudi Arabia to interrogate him in 2003, according to the doctor, Allen Keller. Keller, who is program director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture in New York, examined Abu Ali in April at the request of his attorneys.

"He told me it was excruciatingly painful," Keller testified at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. He said he believes the alleged mistreatment constituted torture and cited as evidence scars consistent with whipping that he said he observed on Abu Ali's back.

The testimony means that a judge will have to evaluate the opinions of clashing experts on a key issue in the high-profile case. Attorneys for Abu Ali, 24, of Falls Church say that he was tortured in Saudi custody and that statements that form the crux of the government's case should be thrown out because they were obtained under duress.

The hearing, which started last week and runs through tomorrow, is to determine whether Abu Ali's statements to Saudi interrogators will be admitted into evidence. (MORE)

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GUANTANAMO HUNGER STRIKERS FED VIA TUBES - TOP
CAROL ROSENBERG, Miami Herald, 10/19/05
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/nation/12937264.htm

A Washington, D.C., lawyer brought a treat last month for a Kuwaiti captive held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- an $11 extra-cheese vegetarian pizza from a takeout place on the Navy base. But Mohammed Daihani, 39, a father of six, "refused to eat."

'He said that 'The American justice system is like this pizza box,' " says attorney Thomas Wilner in a federal-court affidavit, quoting his client. ' 'It looks very good on the outside, but is empty on the inside. It is nothing but air.' "

Since summer, detainees at the prison for terrorism suspects have been engaging in a rolling hunger strike whose details are mostly being made public by their attorneys.

Believed to be the longest such protest, it reached its height Sept. 11, according to Army Lt. Col. Jeremy Martin, when 131 of the 505 or so prisoners shunned meals. On Tuesday, the military reported that 24 prisoners were refusing food, of whom 22 were "receiving enteral nutrition," or having nutrition pumped directly into their stomachs.

Martin said by e-mail that no detainee has died at Guantanamo, where, he said, hunger strikers are not restrained during feedings via a tube tethered through a prisoner's nose and into his stomach.

Hunger strikers get "excellent medical care in a prudent and compassionate manner," Martin said, and are showering, exercising and walking around.

Wilner visited some of his clients last week and reported two were still being force-fed a formula through the nose. "They look basically like skeletons, like people you see starving in the Sudan." (MORE)

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US TROOPS 'STARVE IRAQI CITIZENS' - TOP
BBC, 10/15/05
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4344136.stm

A senior United Nations official has accused US-led coalition troops of depriving Iraqi civilians of food and water in breach of humanitarian law.
Human rights investigator Jean Ziegler said they had driven people out of insurgent strongholds that were about to be attacked by cutting supplies.

Mr Ziegler, a Swiss-born sociologist, said such tactics were in breach of international law.

A US military spokesman in Baghdad denied the allegations.

"A drama is taking place in total silence in Iraq, where the coalition's occupying forces are using hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population," Mr Ziegler told a press conference in Geneva.

He said coalition forces were using "starvation of civilians as a method of warfare."

"This is a flagrant violation of international law," he added. (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, 20 Oct 2005 13:33:34 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Troops Use Burned Afghan Bodies as Propaganda / CAIR Calls for Policy, Training Review

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

U.S. TROOPS USE BURNED AFGHAN BODIES AS PROPAGANDA
CAIR calls for 'top-to-bottom' Pentagon policy, training review

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/20/2005) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on the Pentagon to conduct a "top-to-bottom" review of policies and training related to personnel in Muslim countries.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) made that request following allegations by an Australian television network that U.S. soldiers burned bodies of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan and then used the bodies for propaganda purposes.

Australia's SBS television network aired a "Dateline" segment on Wednesday showing U.S. soldiers burning the corpses of two Taliban fighters laid out facing Mecca, the focal point of prayer in Islam. According to the network, the bodies were burned for hygienic reasons, but a psychological operations unit used the burning to broadcast taunting messages to other Taliban fighters with loudspeakers.

Military officials called the report "repugnant" and said a probe has been launched "into alleged misconduct by U.S. service members, including the burning of dead enemy combatant bodies under inappropriate circumstances." Afghan authorities demanded punishment for those responsible and Islamic leaders in that country warned of anti-American demonstrations.

Under the Geneva Conventions governing the treatment of enemy remains in wartime, soldiers must ensure that the "dead are honorably interred, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged." Islamic beliefs forbid cremation.

SEE: LA Times - "U.S. Looks Into Videotaped Desecration of Taliban Corpses"
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghan20oct20,0,4862635.story
AP - "U.S., Afghans Probe Alleged Desecration"
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=1232744
Reuters - "Australian TV Shows Footage of Taliban Burning"
http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticleSearch.aspx?storyID=274022+19-Oct-2005+RTRS
SBS - "Psych War in Afghanistan"
http://news.sbs.com.au/dateline/index.php?page=archive&daysum=2005-10-19

"Given the growing number of such incidents involving American military personnel worldwide, it is imperative that the Pentagon launch a top-to-bottom review of policies and training to help prevent the war on terror from being perceived as a war on Islam," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

He quoted a saying (hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad, who said: "Do not abuse the dead, for they have reached the result of what they have done." (Sahih Al-Bukhari) Islam forbids the mutilation of bodies. According to Islamic tradition, a body is to be buried as quickly as possible, after having been washed and wrapped in clean cloth.

Awad said reports of abuses of Muslim prisoners and disregard for Islamic sensitivities in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanomo Bay's Camp X-Ray are harming America's image and serving as recruiting tools for terror groups.

He also warned against the "coarsening" of soldiers' attitudes toward ordinary Muslims, both overseas and in this country. Awad cited the label "Hajji" used as a pejorative by U.S. troops in Iraq and the recent "porn-for-gore" scandal in which U.S. military personnel used photographs of Iraqi corpses as "currency" to gain access to Internet pornography.

SEE: "U.S. Troops Use Photos of Iraqi Corpses to Access Porn"
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1792&theType=NR

For the latest on that scandal, see: http://www.ojr.org/ojr/stories/051018glaser/

"Those who serve overseas will eventually return home and interact with fellow Americans who are Muslims," said Awad. "Military authorities should address the issue of Islamophobic attitudes in the ranks before the problem gets out of hand." He said CAIR has already received at least one report of an assault on an American Muslim family in Pennsylvania by a person claiming to be a "Marine."

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/

Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 14:38:34 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslim Officer Files Bias Complaint / Muslim Program Upsets Parents / Halal Food Option Grows

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/20/05

* Hadith: Hatred Destroys Faith
* CAIR-IL: Muslim Officer in WI Files Bias Complaint
* IN: Muslim Program Upsets Parents (NWI Times)
            - NY: Stony Brook Exams Scheduled on Muslim Holiday
* CAIR-MD: Queries Rise on Tunnel Tipster (Balt Sun)
* CAIR-FL: Halal Food Option Grows With Muslim Community
            - NJ: Jail Ends Kosher and Halal Meals (Herald News)
            - TN: Vanderbilt Ads Muslim Dining Option
            - FL: Halal Markets Serve Muslim Needs (Orlando Sent)
* CAIR-FL: Muslims, Jews, Christians Observe Holy Days Together
            - OH: Muslims Invite Christians and Jews to Iftar
            - CAIR-CA: Muslims Opens Doors at Interfaith Event
* Action: Order Eid Stamps Today
* MI: Islamic Groups Rally for Quake Victims (Detroit News)
            - IL: Muslim Community Rallies to Help Quake Victims
            - Quake Relief Brings U.S. Muslim Women Together
            - How You Can Help
* Update: Military Porn-for-Gore Scandal
* North Dakota Is Home to First U.S. Mosque (VOA)
            - DC: Muslim Students Take Part in Photo Exhibit

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HADITH OF THE DAY: HATRED DESTROYS FAITH - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "(The people of Paradise) will have neither differences nor hatred amongst themselves; their hearts will be as (one)."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Hadith 468

The Prophet also said: "The disease of the peoples before you, namely envy and hatred, has crept to you, and it is the unhappy thing. I do not say that it shaves off the hair, but it shaves off faith."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1304

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CAIR-CHICAGO: ARAB-AMERICAN POLICE OFFICER FILES COMPLAINTS OF RACIAL HARASSMENT - TOP
He says he faced slurs after the Sept. 11 attacks
BOB PURVIS, Milwaukee Journal, 10/20/05
http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/oct05/364372.asp

Milwaukee's first Arab-American police officer, arrested and later released in August after he was accused of saying he wanted to shoot up the district where he worked, has filed complaints saying he faced harassment following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Ayman Khatib, a Palestinian native who gained U.S. citizenship in 1997 and joined the police force in 2002, made the allegations in complaints filed with Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's Equal Rights Division and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Khatib claimed in the complaints that he was subjected to racial slurs and harassment from fellow officers and supervisors and was denied promotions for which he was qualified.

Many of the slurs are not attributed to specific officers, but he accuses his field training officer of using slurs when referring to Khatib. The complaints also say a patrol officer referred to Khatib and his Indian-American patrol partner as the "Convenience Corner Store Squad."

The complaints also allege:

Khatib was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by his psychiatrist July 29. In a report he submitted the next day about the exacerbation of a tailbone injury, he made mention of harassment, but the department failed to look into it. A report he submitted a week later was similarly ignored.

On Aug. 26, when Khatib met with a city employee to request duty disability retirement, he told the employee about the harassment.

The city employee claimed Khatib said, "Sometimes I feel like shooting up District 7." Khatib denies in the complaints that he made that statement.

Khatib was arrested that night at his apartment complex by a police tactical squad, according to the complaints. He was booked into the County Jail and released after posting $150 bail, jail records say.

Deputy District Attorney Jon Reddin chose not to charge Khatib because the words he was accused of using weren't deemed a "true threat" and were protected under the First Amendment. . .

Khatib's attorney and the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations planned a news conference about the complaints today.

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

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MUSLIM PROGRAM UPSETS PARENTS - TOP
School board to address Porter Lakes issue tonight
ELIZABETH HOLMES, Northwest Indiana Times, 10/20/05
http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/2005/10/20/news/porter_county/22dab5b9b4a016ed862570a000095404.txt

A presentation about Muslim culture last month to students at Porter Lakes Elementary School upset parents and sparked an argument about the role of religion in public schools.

On Sept. 30, a second-grade class and the entire third grade listened to a cultural presentation by the family of some Muslim students who are new to the school. In addition to talking about Muslim traditions, the children were read the book "Ramadan" by Carol Gnojewski.

"The presentation was intended to share information, hopefully to answer some of the questions children had," Porter Township School Corp. Superintendent Nick Brown said.

The presentation involved a lot of religious content because religion is heavily intertwined with the Muslim culture, Brown said.

The religious aspect of the assembly angered parents, who say that religion has no role in the public school setting. Several parents intend to discuss the issue at tonight's School Board meeting.

Brown said the assembly was never meant to offend anyone. The school teaches its students about a variety of cultures with the hope of widening their world views, he said.

"We have Chanukah presentations, we do Christmas," Brown said. "It falls just within enlightening people."

Porter Lakes Principal Doris Osan brought the presentation to Brown beforehand for approval, which he granted.

"In hindsight, I would still approve a presentation for the students," Brown said. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

NY: EXAMS SCHEDULED ON MUSLIM HOLIDAY - TOP
Radeyah Hack, Stony Brook Statesman, 10/20/05
http://sbstatesman.org/news/2005/10/20/exams_scheduled_on_muslim_holiday

Muslim students at Stony Brook are disgruntled over midterm exams being scheduled on the Islamic holiday, Eid-ul-Fitr, which celebrates the end of the month of Ramadan. Stony Brook has a long tradition of facilitating students on religious holidays by avoiding scheduling exams on these days. However, this year, a number of exams were inadvertently scheduled on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, placing Muslim students in a situation where they have to choose between going home to celebrate with their families, or staying to sit for their exams. (MORE)

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QUERIES RISE ON TUNNEL TIPSTER - TOP
FBI can't confirm account; Associates say Egyptian lied
Matthew Dolan, Baltimore Sun, 10/20/05
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/custom/attack/bal-te.md.threat20oct20,1,5162638.story

Law enforcement officials and members of the local Egyptian community are raising new questions about an informant who prompted Maryland officials to close two Baltimore harbor tunnels and a major interstate, fearing a suspected terrorist attack.

A day after the tunnel closures, the FBI has been unable to corroborate the account of the informant - an Egyptian who once lived in the Baltimore area and is now being held in the Netherlands on immigration violations.

No criminal charges have been filed in the alleged plot to blow up one of Baltimore's harbor tunnels, the FBI confirmed yesterday.

"I think there is doubt, because nothing happened and nothing else has been developed to corroborate the account," said a federal law enforcement official familiar with the investigation.

The informant's motives remain murky. But in interviews yesterday, associates of the four men detained in the case said they believe they know the identity of the informant and that he had lied because his friends failed to get him back into the United States. . .

The Maryland office of the Council on American-Islamic Affairs issued a statement yesterday saying said that reasonable precautions should be taken when there is a confirmed threat. But Shama Farooq, director of civil rights for the group, urged authorities to use restraint.

"We are concerned when members of a group that is already heavily profiled are targeted once again for an investigation or arrest that is based on uncorroborated information from an informant abroad," he said. (MORE)

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HALAL: 'PERMITTED' FOOD OPTIONS GROW ALONG WITH OUR MUSLIM COMMUNITY - TOP
ALEXANDRA ALTER, Miami Herald, 10/20/05
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/12939127.htm

Early on Friday mornings during Ramadan, Mustafa Nassar, a Miami Lakes carpet salesman, drives to a slaughterhouse on Okeechobee Road to buy 10 lambs and a cow. One at a time, he draws a knife swiftly across their throats in a single motion, reciting words that make the kill lawful in Islam: Bismallah, Allau-akhbar. ``In the name of God, God is great."

Nassar, who learned the ritual as a boy in the Arab quarter of Jerusalem, makes sure the blood drains completely from each carcass before it's dressed and the meat cut and packaged. Then he delivers it to Masjid Shamsuddin, a tiny storefront mosque in North Miami Beach, where Una Mohammed-Khan sees that it's distributed to needy Muslim families.

"We're encouraging them this way to eat halal," said Mohammed-Khan, a Trinidadian-born nurse who lives in Miramar.

Halal, the Muslim equivalent of kosher, follows the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed: Animals must be killed in God's name with a sharp knife as painlessly as possible, and all the blood must be drained. Pork, carrion and alcohol are forbidden.

Ten years ago, access to halal meat was so limited in South Florida that hand slaughter or vegetarian meals were among the few ways Muslims here could remain faithful to Islam's dietary laws -- a vital consideration during the holy month of Ramadan, when daily fasts are broken with evening feasts.

"It was a huge problem," said Altaf Ali, the South Florida director for the Council for American Islamic Relations. ``You would find a lot of Muslims eating kosher because the resources were so limited." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

NJ: JAIL ENDS KOSHER AND HALAL MEALS - TOP
By KAREN KELLER, HERALD NEWS, 10/19/05
http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkzNTcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTY3OTQ2MTUmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkz

The Passaic County Jail has stopped serving halal and kosher meals to inmates, breaching federal immigration detention regulations.

An internal jail memo dated Monday stated, "As of 10/17/05 there will be no more kosher meals. The religious diet tray will be a vegetarian diet tray." Four inmates, all federal immigration detainees, said the memo was passed out to them.

The change in food service at the jail comes during Ramadan, Muslim's holy month, and also as the jail is being audited by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General on complaints by immigration detainees of poor conditions and abuse.

The audit, which began in July, had halted when Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale ejected federal investigators from the county jail, accusing them of arrogance and incompetence. The auditors were allowed back in last week, and are continuing their investigation this week, said Bill Maer, spokesman for the Sheriff's Department.

"We are back inside Passaic and working," inspector general spokeswoman Tamara Falkner confirmed.

The food memo prompted a hunger strike of about 20 inmates, the immigration detainees said in interviews Tuesday. The jail had been serving halal meals for only the past four months, the detainees said. For up to two years before that, the jail served no halal meals, said Peter Ali, a Muslim detainee from British Guyana.

Muslims are the biggest group of federal immigration detainees at the jail that request special meals, said Maer.

Maer confirmed that the jail had recently been ordering prepackaged kosher and halal meals on a trial basis, but had stopped because it was deemed too expensive.

Maer played down the memo, saying it was a "kitchen memo" that was not drafted by the Sheriff's Department.

The Passaic County Jail, like all federal immigration detention centers, is required to provide food that is prepared according to religious customs, said Tim Counts, a spokesman for federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security. (MORE)

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TN: VANDERBILT ADS MUSLIM DINING OPTION - TOP
Lisa Guo, Vanderbilt Hustler, 10/20/05
http://www.vanderbilthustler.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/10/20/435704e05a386

Vanderbilt Dining added one more meal option for Muslim students last Monday: halal tandoori chicken stir-fry, available at Chef James in Rand Hall. The first option available was a halal gyro on Wednesday night at Chef James. Halal meat, a term that means lawful in Arabic, indicates meat that is permissible under Islamic dietary restrictions.

The impetus for halal meat in Rand began when two students, juniors Shams Quayyum and Taha Jan, approached Frank Gladu, Director of Dining Services, with the idea.

"The idea started freshman year, when we thought, we're paying money for the meal plan, so we should be able to eat the food," Quayyum said. (MORE)

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FL: MARKETS SERVE MUSLIM NEEDS - TOP
Sonia Chopra, Orlando Sentinel, 10/20/05
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orange/orl-orhalal2005oct20,0,3719660.story

Mateen Qadri has lived and worked all over the world, but no matter where he travels, one of the first things he does is to look for a grocery store that sells halal meat.

When he moved to Orlando six years ago, Qadri was pleased to discover that he lived a short distance from Adam Halal Meats & Grocery in east Orange County.

"The store is invaluable, a big help. Without it, we couldn't eat. We get everything from there -- beef, chicken, lamb, goat," said Qadri, 50, who owns Magic Fabricators, a workshop that specializes in ornamental steel and beam work.

"It's a one-stop shopping deal for us. We buy dairy and bakery items, pita bread, rice and spices."

Qadri and his family -- wife Sufura, 45, and three daughters Maliha, 17, Subuhu, 15, and Noor, 10, -- have always eaten halal meat -- the Muslim equivalent of kosher. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS, JEWS, CHRISTIANS OBSERVE HOLY DAYS TOGETHER - TOP
Confluence of holy days encourages interfaith gatherings
Afzal Khan, Washington File, 10/19/05
http://usinfo.state.gov/usinfo/products/washfile.html
(Scroll down to headline.)

Washington - The rare confluence of Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy holidays during October and November this year is encouraging interfaith gatherings across the United States.

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan that began on October 3-4 and ends November 3-4 has overlapped with the Jewish holy month of Tishri that began October 3. Jews observe Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Such a confluence has not happened for more than 30 years. The dates of Ramadan, which follows the lunar calendar, shift each year because of disparities between the solar and lunar calendars.

Also, Eastern Orthodox Christians begin fasting on November 15 to observe the Advent, the 40 days leading to Christmas.

American Muslims and Jews are taking advantage of this coincidence of their holy months to arrange interfaith gatherings across the United States.

Muslim and Jewish students at Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, got together to share a traditional evening meal and pray when Ramadan began in some parts of the world on the evening of October 3, coinciding with Rosh Hashanah. They plan to continue such meetings.

At the University of Missouri in Columbia, the Jewish students' organization Boone Tikkun and the Muslim Students Organization shared a potluck dinner on October 6. It was the second day of Ramadan for Muslims and also Gedalya, a minor Jewish fast day that follows Rosh Hashanah. The point of the evening was to bring together Jews and Muslims in a social setting where they could learn more about their religions from one another.

On October 13, the day of Yom Kippur, the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, hosted an evening vegetarian meal sponsored by Serving the One, an interfaith community group. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) chapter in Tampa, Florida, and a woman rabbinical chaplain of a local hospital helped form Serving the One. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

OH: AREA ISLAMIC SOCIETY INVITES COMMUNITY TO IFTAR DINNER - TOP
Mary Kay Quinn, Beacon Journal, 10/20/05
http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/living/community/12949819.htm

CUYAHOGA FALLS - At sunset Wednesday, Muslims at a special Iftar dinner broke their fast and celebrated friendships with people of many faiths.

About 100 people met at the Islamic Community Center of East Steels Corners Road for the Iftar -- the evening meal held during the sacred month of Ramadan. During the ninth lunar month on the Muslim calendar, the faithful abstain from food and drink during daylight.

The Rev. Joseph Hilinski, director of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese's Interfaith Commission, said the dinner promotes understanding of a religion that to many people seems foreboding.

``For people that don't have any awareness of the culture, this is an entree, this is very human, this is a very normal kind of thing; you end your day of fasting and celebrate by inviting friends,'' Hilinski said.

Rabbi David Lipper of Temple Israel said the dinner is one important way that local religious leaders stay in touch.

``This (Islamic) community has become more open and other communities have become more aware and respectful of each other,'' Lipper said.

The Islamic Society of Akron and Kent will again invite the community for an Iftar dinner on Sunday. Funds raised will benefit the earthquake victims in Pakistan and Kashmir. (MORE)

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CA: MUSLIM COMMUNITY OPENS DOORS - TOP
Nicole Neroulias, San Mateo County Times, 10/20/05
http://www.insidebayarea.com/sanmateocountytimes/faith/ci_3134289

LIKE A FLOCK of tropical birds, the bowed heads glittered red, purple, turquoise and gold. Only upon closer inspection did the scarves reveal the wearers' Muslim devotion - or the outsiders' respect for the Ramadan observance.

The Jewish and Christian visitors to the Muslim Community Association of the Peninsula's Yaseen Foundation open house Saturday let their head coverings slip while intently following the speakers and prayers at the Belmont event.

Ramadan, the holy Islamic month that requires followers to fast from dawn to dusk, began Oct. 5 and will end with the sighting of the new moon in November. The Yaseen Foundation's open house was one of five sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, inviting interfaith groups and community members into Bay Area mosques last weekend.

"Interfaith is important these days, especially for Muslims, because the news isn't always so good about Muslims," said Mounzer Arslan, Yaseen Foundation vice president, known as "Monty" among non-Muslims. "It gives a wrong name to all of us."

About 50 people attended the Belmont open house, including supportive clergy from Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, San Bruno's Church of the Nazarene and San Mateo's Temple Beth El. A handful of visitors, including San Mateo retired dentist Jack Prost, came to satisfy their curiosity about Islam.

"We just finished celebrating Yom Kippur and we had a notice in our synagogue that this was going on all over the Bay Area," Prost said, eyeing the paper plates of plump dates awaiting the sunset break-fast portion of the event.

Role of women

The event opened and closed with two of the five daily Muslim prayers. As the fascinated guests watched, men lined up in front and women in back, both facing east towards Mecca throughout the devotions.

Between speakers, the audience applauded 9-year-old Sarah Nofal's rousing song about the Prophet Mohammed's revelation, set to the tune of "Oh Susannah." Too young for the veil, the Belmont girl stood out in a bright red coat with a leopard-pattern trim.

The role of women in Islam came up several times during the question-and-answer session, with the speakers defending their religion's emphasis on modesty - a view that is supposed to apply to both sexes, explained Imam Zaid Shakir, of Berkeley.

"If you see a Muslim man with tight jeans on, you should tell him, 'Go back to your religious teacher,'" he told the audience.

Samina Sundas, chair of the Newark-based American Muslim Voice, offered that she had been raised in Pakistan "like a princess," and agreed with Shakir that Westerners overlook positive examples of women's rights in the Muslim world - including female presidents elected in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey - in favor of stereotypes. (MORE)

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ACTION: ORDER EID STAMPS TODAY - TOP

Stamps marking the Islamic Eid holidays are available from the United States Postal Service. To order Eid stamps, go to: http://shop.usps.com/cgi-bin/vsbv/postal_store_non_ssl/display_products/productDetail.jsp?OID=2689760

Stamps, as well as a free comprehensive catalog, are available by toll-free phone order at 1-800-STAMP-24.

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MI: ISLAMIC GROUPS RALLY FOR EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Delores Patterson, Detroit News, 10/20/05
http://www.detnews.com/2005/oakland/0510/20/B03-354900.htm

ROCHESTER HILLS -- In the aftermath of natural disasters facing communities around the world, the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit in Rochester Hills is stepping up to help.

The association teamed up last weekend with Muslim groups across Metro Detroit to collect goods for Pakistan earthquake survivors. The one-day, 24-hour relief event produced an outpouring of donations, said Asad Malik of the Islamic Association, who organized the efforts.

SEE ALSO:

NW SIDE MUSLIM COMMUNITY RALLIES TO HELP VICTIMS OF KASHMIR QUAKE - TOP
ALAN SCHMIDT, Times Review, 10/20/05
http://www.pioneerlocal.com/cgi-bin/ppo-story/localnews/current/eb/10-20-05-717530.html

The impact of the earthquake in Pakistan's Kashmir region earlier this month was felt by the Northwest Side's Islamic community as fundraising efforts for the victims got under way.

Worshipers leaving the mosque at the Muslim Community Center, 4380 N. Elston Ave., paused to drop donations into a large collection box in the center's lobby.

Dr. Habib Abbasi straightened the sign on the box, and then talked for a moment about how people have responded to the Oct. 8 quake, which had a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter scale. As of Monday, the death toll in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir was estimated at about 40,000. About 65,000 were reported injured, and 2.5 million were left homeless.

Ever since Abbasi, who lives in Skokie, heard news of the quake, he's been calling family and friends in Pakistan and keeping up on relief efforts. He has immediate family members living there, but they live in the southern Pakistan, near Karachi.

Abbasi hosts a weekly radio program that airs Sundays. He said he received telephone calls from people trying to ship supplies to the affected area. After a series of calls, a planeload of goods was sent from Chicago via Pakistan International Airlines. Residents who had family members in the affected areas were receiving free airfare. (MORE)

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QUAKE RELIEF BRINGS U.S. MUSLIM WOMEN TOGETHER - TOP
Allison Stevens, Women's eNews, 10/20/05
http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/2496/context/archive

During Ramadan, Muslim women in the U.S. have been mustering aid for people hurt by the earthquake in Pakistan. Some say the experience will bring a diverse community closer together.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP - TOP
http://www.pioneerlocal.com/cgi-bin/ppo-story/localnews/current/cg/10-20-05-716927.html

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CAN A FLORIDA SHERIFF POLICE OBSCENITY ON THE INTERNET? - TOP
Mark Glaser, Online Journalism Review, 10/18/05
http://www.ojr.org/ojr/stories/051018glaser/

Investigation stalls in military, media

As for the gory photos on NTFU and other websites, the military said it could not confirm the authenticity of the photos -- or that U.S. soldiers had posted them. Army spokesman Paul Boyce told me there wasn't enough evidence to pursue felony charges.

"If we get specific information, we will certainly look into that as well," said Boyce. "But at this point, we are pursuing it instead from a more prudent standpoint by reminding soldiers of our policies dealing with the use of the Internet, weblogs, digital photos, personal e-mail, etc."

I asked Boyce whether he had followed up on my previous report for OJR, which included an e-mail from someone named David Burke, who said he was a soldier in Iraq and has posted on NTFU under the screen name "diescreaming." Boyce took note of the information and told me the Army would check into it.

But critics of NTFU's gory photos and the possible involvement of soldiers were doubtful that the Pentagon was putting much effort into the internal investigation. Ibrahim Hooper is the spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which helped bring the gore-for-porn story to wider attention by sending an open letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Hooper told me he was disappointed with the Army's investigation.

"[The Pentagon] decided to end whatever efforts they had because they said they hadn't found any evidence that military personnel were involved -- even though if you went to the site, somebody sent me one of the images where the person's name and unit were clearly indicated in the photograph," Hooper said. "All we can do is bring these things to the attention of the Pentagon; we can't force them to do it. If they want to drop it at that point without having really gone into it, then that's their choice. We stated at the time that we thought it was premature. There couldn't possibly have been a full investigation in the time that was allotted and it was sending a negative message."

Meanwhile, rank-and-file soldiers, Bush administration supporters and military bloggers have been largely silent on the issue, perhaps preferring not to fuel any possible scandal. Liberal blogger John Aravosis, conversely, has been stoking the flames by running photos taken from NTFU, with soldiers visible and gory parts censored. When the military said it couldn't make felony convictions, Aravosis was livid. (MORE)

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NORTH DAKOTA IS HOME TO FIRST U.S. MOSQUE - TOP
Susan Logue, Voice of America, 10/20/05
http://www.voanews.com/english/AmericanLife/2005-10-20-voa14.cfm

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the United States, and there are more than 1,200 mosques around the country, with at least one in every state. The vast majority are in major metropolitan areas, especially in New York and California, but America's first mosque was built in one of the least populous states - North Dakota.

SEE ALSO:

DC: MUSLIM STUDENTS TAKE PART IN PHOTO EXHIBIT - TOP

Our Children, Our World
Photography Exhibition

"Our Children, Our World," is a photography exhibition featuring more than 70 images taken by children from Accra, Ghana; Pinar del Rio, Cuba; and Washington, D.C. and Gary, Indiana, USA., using traditional and digital cameras. Children from Sister Clara Muhammad School are representing Washington, D.C. in this pan-African exhibit. The exhibition is the result of workshops Port of Harlem magazine photographer Nestor Hernandez conducted in each of the cities.

The exhibit takes place at:

Children's National Medical Center
The Gallery ­ First Floor
111 Michigan Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. USA

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 20, 2005 (5:30 p.m.)

After leaving Washington, the "Our Children, Our World," exhibit continues in Gary, IN Saturday, July 8, 2006 through Saturday, October 28, 2006, as part of the city's centennial celebration. For more information, visit www.portofharlem.net/pohevents.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

 

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2005 12:36:00 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Anti-Islam 'Comic Books' Given to CA Students / IN Parent: 'I'm not prejudiced, but...' / Quake a Neglected Catastrophe

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/21/05

* Verse: God is Forgiving, Merciful
            - Hadith: God Accepts Prayers of Those Who Show Mercy
* CAIR-SV Hosts Iftar at California State Capitol
            - CAIR-LA President Receives Award
* IN: Parents Debate Muslim Presentation (NW Indiana Times)
            - Parent: "I'm not prejudiced, but. . ."
            - CA: Anti-Islam 'Comic Books' Given to HS Students
* Afghanistan: U.S. Fears Fallout Over Abuse of Bodies (LA Times)
            - CAIR Rep Discusses Body-Burning Controversy on NPR
            - US Tries to Limit Damage from Body Burning (Reuters)
            - View the Video (CNN)
* CAIR-FL: Earthquake a Neglected Catastrophe (SP Times)
* TX: Group Aims to Empower, Support Muslim Women (DMN)
            - MA: Building Stereotypes, and Breaking Them Down
* CA: Jews, Christians, Muslims Meet at Mosque
            - MI: Mosque Expansion Near Detroit was Overdue (AP)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: GOD IS FORGIVING, MERCIFUL - TOP

"When those who believe in Our revelations come to you (Muhammad), say: 'Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed for Himself the law of grace and mercy. If anyone among you commits evil out of ignorance, and thereafter repents and mends his ways, you will find God Forgiving, Merciful.'"

The Holy Quran, 6:54

HADITH OF THE DAY: GOD ACCEPTS PRAYERS OF THOSE WHO SHOW MERCY - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated: 'God, the Glorious, said: 'I accept the prayer of one. . .who spends the day remembering Me; and who is merciful to the poor, the wayfarer and the widows; and who is merciful to one who is suffering from an infliction. He has a light like the light of the sun. I protect him by My Glory and the angels guard over him. I give him light in darkness and sobriety in the presence of ignorance.''

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 2, Number 89

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CAIR-SV HOSTS IFTAR AT CALIFORNIA STATE CAPITOL - TOP

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 10/21/2005) - On Wednesday, October 19, the Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) and several state assembly members and senators held the 2nd Annual Capitol Ramadan Iftar (fast-breaking) at the California State Capitol.

The iftar, held in the Rotunda Cafeteria, was co-hosted by 10 state senators and assembly members and coordinated by CAIR-SV. It featured the breaking of the fast, the Islamic sunset prayer (maghrib) and remarks by CAIR officials, interfaith leaders, Assemblyman Dave Jones, and representatives of the legislature. Assemblyman Jones and Saeed Ali, Chief of Staff for Senator Richard Alarcon presented CAIR-SV with Legislature Resolution commemorating Ramadan and contributions of the Muslim community to this nation.

CONTACT: CAIR-SV Executive Director, Basim Elkarra, 916-441-6269, e-mail: sacval@cair.com

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-LA PRESIDENT RECEIVES AWARD - TOP

(PASADENA, CA, OCTOBER 20, 2005) - State Senator Jack Scott, Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer and Assembly member Carol Liu presented Tahra Goraya with the Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year Award as part of their sixth annual Women In Business Award Luncheon on October 19 at the Pasadena Hilton. Goraya also serves as the president of the Southern California Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA).

Ms. Goraya, a Pakistani-American Muslim and Day One executive director for nearly five years, was one of twenty-five distinguished women in private enterprise, science and technology, arts and entertainment to receive the distinction for her contributions to the community.

"The CAIR-California team congratulates Tahra on her well-deserved award for her work to improve the lives of youth in our community," said Fouad Khatib, Chairman of CAIR-California.

Day One is a seventeen year-old community-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide an organizational structure by which Pasadena and Altadena will reduce the problems associated with alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. Day One convenes, develops, coordinates, and provides prevention services.

CONTACT: CAIR-LA: Sabiha Khan, (714) 776-1847 or (714) 390-0334

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CAIR-OHIO WELCOMES NEW DIRECTOR - TOP

(COLUMBUS, OH, 10/21/05) - The Ohio office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) is pleased to announce that Adnan Mirza has been hired to fill the position of director for its Columbus office.

Adnan was awarded a National Merit Scholarship to Eastern Michigan University where he earned a political science degree. While there, he was a member of the Comparative Political Internship at the Canadian House of Commons. After completing his education, Adnan was the Senior Islamic Banker at University Bank in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

CONTACT: CAIR-Ohio President, Dr. Ahmad Al-Akhras, 614-989-5916, E-mail ahmad@cair-ohio.com; CAIR-Ohio Director, Adnan Mirza, 614-451-3232, E-mail director@cair-ohio.com

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IN: PARENTS DEBATE MUSLIM PRESENTATION AT PORTER LAKES ELEMENTARY - TOP
Mother: Talk was intended to inform students, not push the religion
ELIZABETH HOLMES, Northwest Indiana News, 10/21/05
http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/2005/10/21/news/porter_county/04301b99485383a1862570a100217a51.txt

PORTER TOWNSHIP | The debate over a Muslim presentation at Porter Lakes Elementary School spilled over from the School Board meeting into the hallway Thursday evening, bringing parents from both sides together to hash out the issue.

Susan Miller approached Ayesha Syed, the mother of two new Muslim students at Porter Lakes, and tried to explain her reasoning for adamantly and outwardly opposing a presentation Syed gave to the students about the Muslim culture.

As each parent's sons played together around them, oblivious of the extent or the heat of the discussion, Miller insisted to Syed, "This is not about you."

However, in a way, it was. On Sept. 30, Syed and her Muslim friend, Ameenah Abdullah, came to the school to talk to a second-grade class and the entire third grade about the Muslim culture.

The presentation, for students who are the same ages as Syed's children, was intended to answer questions about the Muslim culture. The women talked about religion because it is heavily intertwined with the Muslim culture, and that upset many in the Porter Lakes community.

The issue of allowing such a presentation was not on the board agenda. However, the public participation portion of the meeting allowed parents a chance to sound off to the board for future consideration.

The majority of speakers vehemently opposed religion in the public school setting. Michelle Colvin said her son had questions for her about Allah that caught her off guard. She said she should have been notified of the presentation in advance.

Miller touched on another hot issue surrounding the Muslim family -- the creation of a prayer room at the school for the Muslim children, which school officials will not confirm -- and demanded fair treatment for all faiths.

"If they're going to cater to one religion, they better cater to all of 'em," she said and asked for an altar to be added for her Catholic son.

Miller's speech, the first of more than a dozen, garnered an applause and an "amen" from the standing-room-only crowd. In an interview before the meeting, she said, "I'm not prejudiced, but I do have a concern when it comes to Muslim people." (MORE) - TOP

SEE ALSO:

CA: BAPTIST 'COMIC BOOKS' DISTRIBUTED - TOP
Religious books given to high school students warn of dangers of Islam, homosexuality
Aaron Swarts, Oakland Tribune, 10/21/05
http://www.insidebayarea.com/search/ci_3138271

TRACY - Another church has been vying for the attention of students in the Tracy Unified School District.

On Wednesday afternoon in front of West High School, members of the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Tracy handed out "comic books" to students leaving school.

The small publication warned of the dangers of Islam, homosexuality and the teaching of evolution, while hailing the importance of traditional Baptist Christian values. . .

School board member Gerry Machado said he's not concerned by the handing-out of comic books, noting that the event was an example of "free speech and the general mood of the country."

"I don't agree with all of the things the church advocates, but I do agree with some of it," he said. "And I support their freedom of speech."

Machado added that he "would like to see more tolerance in the world, but that hasn't happened for thousands of years."

Trustee Bill Swenson also said he didn't have a problem with the demonstration, as long as it didn't cost the district or city money that could have been used elsewhere. (MORE)

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U.S. FEARS FALLOUT OVER REPORTED ABUSE OF BODIES - TOP
Diplomats try to shield America's image after a video appears to show troops in Afghanistan setting fire to corpses of slain Taliban fighters.
Richard A. Serrano and John Hendren, Los Angeles Times, 10/21/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-desecrate21oct21,1,3766918.story

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration moved swiftly Thursday to curb international outrage over a report that U.S. troops in Afghanistan desecrated the bodies of Taliban fighters, setting them ablaze to taunt militants.

U.S. embassies around the world have been given "instructions to engage" their host governments to head off anger provoked by a videotape showing Americans torching the remains of two militants, and Assistant Secretary of State Karen P. Hughes will address the issue during a trip to Muslim areas of South Asia, a State Department official said.

"What we see in this tape is not at all reflective of the values of the military or of the United States," department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

The diplomatic reaction accompanied a series of harsh denunciations by the Pentagon, which has ordered the Army Criminal Investigation Command to launch an inquiry into the soldiers' actions. Based on the videotape, the troops appear to be part of a unit that specializes in psychological warfare.

"The incident, if true, is repugnant, and we look forward to getting to the bottom of it," said Maj. Matthew McLaughlin, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command in Florida, which oversees military activities in Afghanistan. He said the Army probe would include the incident itself and any connection it may have to psychological operations.

The unusual U.S. response comes in the midst of an administration campaign to counter negative perceptions of Americans among Muslims. The latest incident in Afghanistan could rekindle outrage over the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and allegations that U.S. troops desecrated copies of the Koran belonging to detainees at the Guantanamo Bay lockup in Cuba.

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the video would harm America's image abroad and serve as "recruiting tools for terror groups." Without a thorough review, he warned, the U.S.-declared war on terrorism would be viewed even more strongly in the Muslim world as a "war on Islam."

Awad quoted a hadith, or saying of the prophet Muhammad: "Do not abuse the dead, for they have reached the result of what they have done."

Awad said bodies must be buried quickly, after they first are washed and wrapped in a clean cloth - none of which apparently took place in the incident. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR REP DISCUSSES BODY-BURNING CONTROVERSY ON NPR - TOP

ARMY EXAMINES ALLEGED ABUSE OF TALIBAN FIGHTERS
Corey Flintoff, NPR, 10/20/05
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4967495

All Things Considered, October 20, 2005 · The U.S. military in Afghanistan is investigating claims that U.S. soldiers desecrated the bodies of two dead Taliban fighters and mocked Islamic customs in an effort to taunt insurgents. U.S. officials worry the reports could provoke a backlash against Americans in Muslim countries. . .

Ibrahim Hooper is the communications director for CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He says the actions of the psyops team were a deliberate effort to inflame Muslim sensibilities.

Mr. IBRAHIM HOOPER (Communications Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations): Muslims, when you bury the dead, you position them--the bodies facing Mecca. And also, cremation is prohibited by Islamic tradition. So to have American military personnel mocking these religious traditions and sensitivities sends a very negative message to Muslims in Afghanistan and throughout the world.

FLINTOFF: Stephen Dupont told an Australian interviewer that he didn't believe the men who set fire to the bodies knew they were violating Muslim traditions, but the psyops soldiers did.

Mr. DUPONT: I think that the psychological operations unit that did the broadcast of the incident with the Taliban, including some other broadcasts--I think they're quite well aware of it. These are older guys. I mean, that's their job. They're psyops, you know; they use this as a weapon.

FLINTOFF: Major Matt McLaughlin, a spokesman for the Army Central Command, says the Army has launched a criminal investigation.

Major MATT McLAUGHLIN (Spokesman, Army Central Command): These are extremely serious allegations. That's absolutely unacceptable behavior. But let us be very clear: It is the policy of the US military to treat all human remains with absolute respect and dignity, consistent with the Geneva Convention. Anything else is absolutely unacceptable.

FLINTOFF: A US military official familiar with the issue said the investigation was ordered by the highest levels of the US command in Afghanistan, and said the video was regarded as `horrific.'

Ibrahim Hooper says the Council on American-Islamic Relations is concerned that the incident is one of many that represent a coarsening of attitudes among US military people who are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. He says his group fears that some returning soldiers may bring those prejudices home with them.

Mr. HOOPER: We're concerned that you're going to eventually have a lot of American military personnel coming back from these areas with very negative attitudes about Islam and Muslims. And what will happen when these people are interacting with the millions of fellow citizens who are Muslims? (MORE)

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US TRIES TO LIMIT DAMAGE FROM TALIBAN BODY BURNING - TOP
Sue Pleming, Reuters, 10/20/05
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N20555808.htm

WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday tried to limit damage from television images appearing to show U.S. soldiers burning the corpses of two Taliban fighters in Afghanistan and using the incident for propaganda.

U.S. embassies around the world were told to explain that what people saw in the tape shown on an Australian television report did not reflect the actions of most of the U.S. military or of U.S. values overall, the State Department said.

"I saw the news reports and the video myself. These are very difficult images to see," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, but he insisted they should be seen as isolated incidents.

Muslim-American groups feared the incident could worsen anti-American sentiments in Muslim countries where many people perceive the United States as being culturally insensitive. . .

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights group, urged the Pentagon to conduct a review of policies and training related to personnel in Muslim countries.

"Given the growing number of such incidents involving American military personnel worldwide, it is imperative that the Pentagon launch a top-to-bottom review of policies and training to help prevent the war on terror from being perceived as a war on Islam," CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement.

Awad said reports of abuses of Muslim prisoners and disregard for Islamic sensitivities in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, were harming the image of the United States and serving as recruiting tools for terrorist groups.

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VIEW THE VIDEO - TOP
http://www.cnn.com/video/partners/clickability/index.html?url=/video/world/2005/10/20/mcintyre.burned.bodies.ap

Alternative:

1) Go to: http://www.cnn.com/
2) At "WATCH FREE VIDEO" section, click on "Browse/Search."
3) Enter the search term "Taliban" in "Search Video."
4) Click on "U.S. troops accused of corpse abuse."

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CAIR-FL: A NEGLECTED CATASTROPHE - TOP
Fundraising to help victims of south Asia's massive earthquake doesn't compare to the amounts raised for other recent disasters.
SHANNON TAN, St. Petersburg Times, 10/21/05
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/10/21/Tampabay/A_Neglected_catastrop.shtml

The earthquake flattened Shabnam Khan's childhood village and killed a dozen relatives.

Her sister's mother-in-law died in her bed when the Oct. 8 earthquake struck Pakistan and India. Her husband, who was out of bed because he couldn't sleep, lived.

"People in my father's village are living under the sky," said Khan, 38, a native of Pakistan who lives in Valrico. "They don't have anything."

Khan has raised about $8,000 to send to the remote village near Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan's portion of Kashmir. Groups in Tampa Bay also are collecting donations for victims of the disaster, which killed more than 79,000 people and left another 3.3-million homeless.

But while the World Health Organization said the catastrophe was bigger in scale than last year's tsunami, fundraising groups worry about running into donor fatigue.

Tsunami. Hurricanes. Mudslides. More hurricanes.

"It's really taken the wind out of the donors' sails, so to speak," said Zephyrhills resident Sam Abrahani, 54, who is involved in fundraising for the nonprofit Human Development Foundation.

It doesn't help that some donors may be reluctant to give out of wariness over where their contributions might end up. After the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. Treasury Department froze the assets of several Muslim charities, alleging that the money was funding terrorist activities.

"People are afraid to support Islamic charities," said Daniel Borochoff, president of the Chicago-based American Institute of Philanthropy.

Borochoff said he is concerned that fewer donations to earthquake victims may send an unwanted signal to the rest of the world. Aid efforts after last year's tsunami helped build goodwill in predominantly Muslim areas in Asia, and the earthquake presents a similar opportunity, he said.

"It's making us look awful in the Islamic world," Borochoff said. "People may think Americans are only generous with ourselves."

The American Red Cross has raised $1.7-million for the earthquake, compared with $1.2-billion for Hurricane Katrina and $535-million for the tsunami.

Ahmed Bedier, Central Florida director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Muslim groups have asked for a list of acceptable organizations to channel donations, but the federal government has not provided that information. (MORE)

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TX: GROUP AIMS TO EMPOWER, SUPPORT MUSLIM WOMEN - TOP
300 N. Texans team up to dispel stereotypes, provide social services
JAKE BATSELL, Dallas Morning News, 10/21/05
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-numuslim_21met.ART.West.Edition2.1dec23c8.html

Subservient? Silent? Not at all, these Muslim-American women say.

Many Muslim women in the Dallas-Fort Worth area say that in the four years since 9-11, they have kept to themselves as they struggled with such outside stereotypes and internal questions about their identities as Muslims and as Americans.

But about 300 North Texas women - at least half from Collin County - are launching a group aimed at raising their public profile: the Texas Muslim Women's Foundation.

"We are citizens in this country, and we are welcome in this country," said Dr. Hind Jarrah of McKinney, the foundation's president. "Our mission is to empower, promote and support Muslim women."

The group, which formed in August, is among dozens of cultural organizations scheduled to appear at Saturday's Plano International Festival at Haggard Park.

Dr. Jarrah, who holds a doctorate in pharmacology from UT Southwestern Medical Center and also helped start the Arabic Heritage Society in Dallas, said the foundation would work to serve the needs of local Muslim women and to dispel prevailing assumptions about them.

"The major stereotype is that Islam does not honor women, that Islam subjugates women and that women are oppressed by their husbands," she said. "Islam honors women. Islam, from the very beginning, allowed women to work, allowed women to trade."

In the highly charged aftermath of 9-11, many Muslim-American women "went back behind doors," said Nasima Chowdhury, a Plano elementary special-education instructor and foundation board member.

"They were afraid to come out," she said. "We're trying to change that."

Ms. Chowdhury, originally from Bangladesh, came to Plano more than 20 years ago at age 17 and later attended Collin County Community College. A married mother of three, she describes herself as "just your regular, typical American mom."

Despite having lived in Plano for virtually all her adult life, Ms. Chowdhury felt the sting of prejudice soon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. She said a neighbor in Plano's High Point area showed up at her door and asked, "How could you do this?"

She said the incident helped her realize that she needed to assert her identity as a Muslim, as an American and as an "active, responsible member of society." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

BUILDING STEREOTYPES, AND TRYING TO BREAK THEM DOWN - TOP
HEBAH M. ISMAIL, Harvard Crimson, 10/20/05
http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=509230

One of the hardest things about being a minority is dealing with the pervasive stereotypes to which others subscribe. I have had to deal with this my whole life as a Muslim American. In order to combat these stereotypes, I have always striven to engage in dialogue with others and educate them about my values and beliefs. Many Muslims I know also strive for this, both on and off campus. This is hard in and of itself. Sometimes, a person's preconceived notions about you cannot be corrected. But when stereotypes are actively promoted, it is almost impossible to properly inform others. In our society, people are bombarded on all sides with voices against Islam-such as the ad in the Salient-and hear few on its behalf. This makes it more likely that people will believe the stereotypes and see their Muslim friends as the exceptions to the rule instead of the rule. (MORE)

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JEWS, CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS MEET AT MOSQUE - TOP
Gregory Elder, Redlands Daily Facts, 10/20/05
http://www2.redlandsdailyfacts.com/living/ci_3135760

I am sitting on a carpeted floor in my socks, parked between an evangelical pastor and a Roman Catholic bishop. Around us, dozens of men are on their knees praying, facing north-northeast, prostrating themselves before God.
A chant rises and falls and the devotion is clear. It is the hour of prayer, and I am once again in a mosque, for the first time since the Sept. 11 attacks.

It was a historic moment, as I very much doubt that a such a collection of pastors, clergy and bishops have been assembled in a mosque in the Inland Empire in any recent memory.

Along with a series of religious leaders, academics and journalists, I was invited last Saturday to a celebration of the Ramadan festival at the mosque in Riverside. We met late on Saturday while the annual Ramadan fast was still in place.

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIM WORSHIPPERS SAY MOSQUE EXPANSION NEAR DETROIT WAS OVERDUE - TOP
Associated Press, 10/21/05
http://www.freep.com/news/statewire/sw122917_20051021.htm

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Growing up in Lebanon, Rayan Dughayli came across a mosque on nearly every corner. But when he moved to the United States at 13, it was harder to find one.

Five years later, the Dearborn resident said he eagerly awaited the construction of the new Islamic Center of America -- the newest addition among the places of worship along Altar Road.

"Every time I'd pass by," Dughayli said, "I'd look and imagine myself in the mosque."

His wait ended in May, when the new $14 million center opened.

During a break from classes at a nearby community college, he was among the handful of men recently attending afternoon prayers at the mosque, the centerpiece of a 70,000-square-foot facility. Also worshipping were dozens of young people from the center's adjacent grade school.

Ali Kawsan, a 20-year-old Dearborn resident, said having a mosque of this stature was overdue in Dearborn, a Detroit suburb that's home to one of the nation's largest concentrations of people with roots in the Middle East, many of whom are Muslim.

"It's kind of rejuvenated the faith in this community. People say they can't believe something like this could exist in America," said Kawsan, a University of Michigan engineering student who also works as a salesman. "It's a blessing for us to be in a place like this. When I look around I say, . . . "God is good."'

While the mosque draws up to 900 worshippers each Friday, 4,000 to 5,000 come on holidays, said Eide A. Alawan, who volunteers as the center's interfaith and outreach liaison.

Besides the mosque, the facility has offices, bathrooms with pre-prayer washing areas and three banquet halls that can seat more than 1,000 people. The halls are used for funerals, lectures and other events. They also have been host to thousands of Muslims attending nightly lectures during the holy month of Ramadan, which started a couple of weeks ago.

The Islamic Center is one of a growing number of mosques in this country.

The American Muslim population began growing dramatically after 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson abolished an immigration quota system that had disproportionately benefited Europeans.

Growth in mosques quickly followed; from 962 in 1994 to 1,209 in 2000, according to a study by Ihsan Bagby, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky and lead author of the 2001 report "The Mosque in America: A National Portrait" for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. (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: Sun, 23 Oct 2005 10:11:21 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: After Arson, GA Mosque Rebuilds / OH Paper Responds to Concerns About Cartoon / CA Muslim B-Ball Star Finds Peace

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/23/05

* Hadith: Laylat Al-Qadr (Night of Power)
            - Verse: Laylat Al-Qadr is the Night of Peace
* CAIR-CT: Pakistani-American Community Helping Quake Victims
            - CAIR-OH: Supporters Hold Rally Opposing Deportation
            - CAIR-San Diego Seeks Executive Director
            - CAIR-Philly: Historical Islam Course
            - CAIR-OH: Children's Book Came Out of Mother's Concern
            - CAIR-DC: Ex-Chaplain Sees Anti-Muslim Feeling
            - CAIR 10th Anniversary Report Now Online
* GA: After Arson, Islamic Center of Savannah Rebuilds
            - Arson Attack on Swedish Mosque
* Ohio Newspaper Responds to Muslim Concerns About Cartoon
* CA: Muslim B-Ball Star Finds Peace Through Religion, Charity
            - IN: Ramadan Fast is Challenge for Student-Athletes
* CA: Muslim, Christian, Jewish Teens Meet
            - NY: An Olive Branch Gets Extended, Embraced (Newsday)
            - GA: Muslims Try to Banish Myths (Atlanta Journal)
* Bahraini Detainee at Gitmo Claims Sexual Abuse (Arab News)
            - CAIR Anti-Torture Campaign
* UK Poll: Huge Majority of Iraqis Want Coalition to Go
            - Iraq: Killing of Contractors Suppressed (Telegraph)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: LAYLAT AL-QADR (NIGHT OF POWER) - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Search for the Night of Power (Laylat Al-Qadr) in the odd-numbered nights of the last ten days of Ramadan."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadith 234

A wife of the Prophet asked him what prayers she should say on Laylat Al-Qadr. The Prophet told her to say: "O God, Thou art forgiving and lovest forgiveness, so forgive me."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 641

VERSE OF THE DAY: LAYLAT AL-QADR IS THE NIGHT OF PEACE - TOP

"We have revealed this (Quran) in the Night of Power. And what will make you understand what the Night of Power is! The Night of Qadr is better than one thousand months. The angels and the Spirit (Gabriel) come down with every decree, by the leave of their Lord. That night is the night of peace, till the break of dawn."

The Holy Quran, Chapter 97 (Al-Qadr)

"We revealed this (Quran) in a blessed night (Laylat Al-Qadr); for We wanted to forewarn mankind. In that night every matter is decided wisely."

The Holy Quran, 44:3-4

NOTE: Laylat al-Qadr ("Night of Power" or "Night of Destiny") marks the anniversary of the night on which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) first began receiving revelations from God through the angel Gabriel. Muslims believe Laylat al-Qadr is one of the last odd-numbered nights of Ramadan. Some Muslims spend the last ten days of Ramadan in a local mosque. This practice is called "I'tikaf."

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CAIR-CT: PAKISTANI-AMERICAN COMMUNITY WORKING TO HELP EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
KARIN CROMPTON, The Day, 10/22/05
http://www.theday.com/eng/web/news/re.aspx?re=1c504677-69a7-47f5-8035-d2ec4adffa64

They are huddled in mountaintops, stringing together tents from bedsheets and the splintered lumber from their shattered homes. Thousands of victims of the Oct. 8 earthquake in Pakistan are waiting, battling disease and starvation as another harsh winter approaches.

In America, the Pakistani-American community watches on satellite channels like PTV Prime - or Pakistani TV - the Internet, and Pakistani newspapers.

This disaster is their 9/11.

"Everybody," said Badr Malik of Old Lyme, "has a connection."

Malik is the executive director of the state branch of the Islamic civil rights organization CAIR, the Council for American-Islamic Relations. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-OH: SUPPORTERS HOLD RALLY OPPOSING DEPORTATION - TOP
No charges ever filed, but ex-Kent man is still in jail; `I thought truth would prevail,' wife says
Rick Armon, Beacon Journal, 10/23/05
http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/living/community/12976530.htm

CUYAHOGA FALLS - Her eyes welled with tears.

Michele Swensen doesn't know what's next for her family. Or whether there's any fight left in her husband.

"I thought it would end differently," she said, shaking her head. ``I thought truth would prevail, but not in this day and age."

This weekend marks the third anniversary of her husband Ashraf al-Jailani's arrest by federal authorities. He remains behind bars at a federal detention center in York, Pa., although no formal charges have been filed against him.

Friends and supporters held a rally Saturday afternoon at the Islamic Community Center on East Steels Corners Road to show their support for him and to denounce the government for trying to deport him. Swensen and the couple's three children, Amina, Layla and Sami, were among the 30 or so people who attended.

The government "really can destroy people," said Julia Shearson, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Cleveland office.

Al-Jailani, 41, of Kent, was arrested in October 2002 on suspicion that he was a member of al-Qaeda and wanted to blow up Akron's GOJO Industries, his employer at the time. The government apparently no longer considers him a terrorist, but a 1998 conviction for domestic violence has threatened his ability to stay in the country.

A U.S. immigration court ruled last week that he cannot seek asylum in the United States, and he could be deported to his native Yemen on Nov. 17 unless he files an appeal.

Swensen said al-Jailani's absence has been especially hard on the children. Amina and Laya will miss a father-daughter dance at their elementary school next week, she said.

"He did nothing wrong and they just want to keep him in jail," said 9-year-old Amina, the oldest of the children.

"I don't want him to go to Yemen but I think the options are kind of limited," Swensen said after the rally. ``Ultimately, the decision is up to him."

Asked whether she would go to Yemen with her husband, Swensen said she hasn't made that decision.

She hasn't spoken with al-Jailani since the court ruling. His Akron attorney Farhad Sethna said he and al-Jailani are still trying to figure out what to do next.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not return a call seeking comment.

At the rally, Don Bryant, president of the Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, nearly broke down as he read a one-page letter written by al-Jailani before the recent court ruling.

"I must say it is difficult to fathom such abuse and denial of fundamental due process in a great country like the United States of America," he wrote. "I quite understand the mentality that was derived after 9/11, but I must again reiterate my only dilemma is being a Muslim Arab." (MORE)

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CAIR-SAN DIEGO SEEKS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - TOP

CAIR-San Diego is seeking a qualified individual to work as a full or part-time director of its San Diego office. The ideal candidate will have a university degree and excellent organizational, leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills. A legal background and previous experience in community activism and public relations is desired but not essential.

For more information, or to apply for this position, please e-mail a resume to: CAIR_SD_Pres@yahoo.com

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CAIR-PHILLY: HISTORICAL ISLAM COURSE - TOP
Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/22/05
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/living/religion/12967301.htm

"Understanding Islam & Muslims through History & Jurisprudence"; Council on American-Islamic Relations, Phila Chapter presents. Foundation for Islamic Education, 1860 Montgomery Ave, Villanova; 215-592-0509 or cairphilly@cair-philly.org . 7-9 p.m. Mons & Weds, & 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sats through 11/7. Registration required.

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BILAL'S STORY: CHILDREN'S BOOK CAME OUT OF MOTHER'S CONCERN - TOP
Tom Feran, RELIGION NEWS SERVICE, 10/22/05
http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FMGArticle%2FWSJ_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1128767678751&path=!living!article&s=1037645509005

The way it started out, the way it was originally written, the child in the story only had to deal only with a basic fear shared by kids everywhere. That maybe, because he wasn't exactly like them, he wouldn't be liked or accepted by his peers.

But events took a hand, and the story subtly changed in a way that its author could not have foreseen.

Instead of just worrying about being accepted by his grade-school classmates, the boy in the story has to face the real fear that something bad might happen to him because of who he is, an American Muslim.

His fictional story is told in a book called My Name Is Bilal, newly published by Boyds Mills Press. Its author, Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin, is an Ohio pediatrician who wrote it out of necessity - for her own three children. Now it's for a much wider audience. . .

Bilal, the boy in her story, hides his religion and calls himself Bill to be accepted by classmates. But he struggles with his deception until a teacher gives him a book about Bilal ibn Rabah - a beloved figure in Islamic history who withstood religious persecution to make the first Islamic call to prayer.

Mobin-Uddin, 38, submitted her manuscript five months before the terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists on Sept. 11, 2001. Resulting fears and stereotypes gave more importance and urgency to the book's message of understanding and tolerance, and only the need to illustrate it as a children's book delayed publication.

"Kids have different challenges now," Mobin-Uddin said. "We had people just not knowing what Islam was."

She has a second children's book in the works, does community work and speaking engagements through her Web site, www.asmamobinuddin.com, and serves as the vice president of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

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CAIR-DC: EX-CHAPLAIN SEES ANTI-MUSLIM FEELING - TOP
FRANCES GRANDY TAYLOR, Courant, 10/22/05
http://www.courant.com/features/lifestyle/hc-yee1022.artoct22,0,5693821.story

Yee's case "is indicative of the post-9/11 climate that American Muslims have lived under, which is guilty until proved innocent," says Arsalan Iftikhar, legal affairs director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "Muslims live with the duality of being American, being a Muslim and dealing with suspicion because of our faith."

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CAIR 10TH ANNIVERSARY REPORT NOW ONLINE - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/pdf/10th_anniversary_report.pdf

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GA: AFTER THE ARSON, ISLAMIC CENTER OF SAVANNAH REBUILDS - TOP
For two years Muslims have prayed in a small trailer on Old Dutchtown Road. Friday, they began work on a new mosque.
http://www.savannahnow.com/stories/102205/3379139.shtml

Beneath a towering pair of charred pines, a few dozen men stood before a cinder block pillar Friday and praised Allah. The pines were lingering reminders of an act of arson two years ago that destroyed the Islamic Center of Savannah. The pillar was for hope.

Amid the ashes of the old, it marks the cornerstone where a new mosque will rise. Friday, the Islamic Center held a groundbreaking for the planned 11,000-square-foot, $1 million building. It should be ready by next fall. The event came just after the 2 p.m. Juma prayer, held nearby in a small trailer. . .

It was an apparent act of hatred that robbed the center of its space.

In the weeks leading up to the arson, someone shot up the center's doors and left a threatening note in one member's apartment. Authorities have no suspects, no new leads, and are no longer actively investigating the case.

Masood Ahmed, vice chairman of the Islamic Center, said membership has only increased in the two years since.

Neighbors who barely acknowledged the center showed heart-warming acts of kindness: The woman to the west brought by a rose bush members planted; the neighbor to the east let the center use his water any time members needed it.

Letters came pouring in. "After it happened, we were sad and disappointed, but when we saw the reaction of the community it gave us strength," Ahmed said. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

ARSON ATTACK ON MALMÖ MOSQUE - TOP
http://www.thelocal.se/article.php?ID=2346&date=20051022

The mosque in Malmö was the target of a new arson attack just before midnight on Friday. Several minor fires were started in the main building, but these were put out quickly by the emergency services after passers-by had spotted smoke coming out of the building.

One man was taken to hospital suffering from mild smoke injuries. The man was staying in the mosque temporarily for the Ramadan period and was sleeping in the building when the fire began.

Someone had broken into the building after smashing a window at the back. (MORE)

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OH: A FEW WEEKS AGO, WE PUBLISHED A CARTOON LAMPOONING TV EVANGELIST AND... - TOP
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, 10/23/05
http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/opinion/12962519.htm

A few weeks ago, we published a cartoon lampooning TV evangelist and political activist Pat Robertson's suggestion (which, predictably, he later disclaimed) that the U.S. should consider assassination of hostile world leaders. The implication was not that Christians endorse assassination, but that wing-nuts of Robertson's ilk distort Christianity.

Just this past Monday, we published a cartoon with the same kind of twist, except that in place of an allegedly Christian spokesman distorting Christianity, it involved a Muslim cleric distorting Islam.

Specifically, Los Angeles Times cartoonist Mike Ramirez had the cleric saying, "... And then Muhammad said, 'Sow hatred, foment violence and blow up innocent women and children.' This is the word of Allah..." (SEE: http://www.latimes.com/includes/ramirez/ramirez_20051009.gif )

Then, in a separate quote, the cleric adds: "Okay, maybe it's a rough translation."

The implication to us -- and, we believe, to the cartoonist -- was not that Islam endorses terrorism, but that terrorists profane Islam.

Some of our readers -- most but not all of them members of the Columbus area Muslim community -- didn't see it that way. Several callers saw the cartoon as an irresponsible, reckless and sweeping slur on Muslims in general, a suggestion that Islam is less a religious and moral belief system than a violent and radical political-terrorist movement.

A couple of the callers acknowledged the irony, and the point, but said the specific references to the deity and the prophet, particularly during the Muslim holy time of Ramadan, were untimely and, to some, actively blasphemous.

It should go without saying there is no such text in the Quran, and these are not words or ideas spoken to, or by, the prophet of Islam.

That, we thought when we decided to run the cartoon, was precisely the point.

There are, regrettably, those so-called Christians who insist that Islam is by nature violent and barbaric (Franklin Graham comes to mind); such folks might consider a refresher course in the Old Testament -- not to mention a cursory overview of Western civilization, from the Inquisition and the Crusades right on through the church's craven complicity in Hitler's Third Reich. . .

One thing, however, I probably should have anticipated: This cartoon, whose intended targets are foreign enemies bent on destroying Americans, our allies and other Muslims who don't support the terrorists' radical agenda, was taken very personally by people who are not foreign and not enemies -- they are Americans and members of this community.

If we exercise the right to push the line of free expression, we incur an obligation not just to respect the right of others to object, but also to make a genuine effort to understand exactly what they're objecting to.

The decision to publish the cartoon was mine, and anybody who wants to discuss it is welcome to do so. Let us hear from you.

Contact Dusty Nix at (706) 571-8528 or dnix@ledger-enquirer.com

COPY TO: michael.ramirez@latimes.com

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CA: NEW KING SHAREEF ABDUR-RAHIM FINDS PEACE THROUGH HIS RELIGION AND CHARITY - TOP
Sam Amick, Sacramento Bee, 10/23/05
http://www.sacbee.com/content/sports/story/13758126p-14600343c.html

The surface description of Abdur-Rahim goes as such - nine-year veteran and one-time All-Star with wondrous individual numbers but nary a winning season to call his own. Go deeper, and you learn he's a devout Muslim, the son of an Islamic leader and a schoolteacher. He grew up in Atlanta as the second-oldest of five children and later grew to be a loyal husband and father of two children.

Talk to his friends and family, and they'll say what he won't, that he's one of sport's great humanitarians, using his riches to give back while succeeding in the business realm in everything from real estate to television production. As put by one scout whose path crossed Abdur-Rahim's long ago, "He's the best character guy in the league." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

IN: RAMADAN FAST IS CHALLENGE FOR STUDENT-ATHLETES - TOP
Robert King, Indianapolis Star, 10/22/04
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051022/LIVING/510220361

Fasting between sunrise and sundown is a hallmark of Ramadan, a month during which Muslims practice self-restraint. The holiday is also a time to cleanse the body and soul of impurities and refocus on the worship of God. Children begin to fast once they reach puberty. For kids who routinely engage in activities that involve physical exertion -- such as sports or dance -- the self-denial is an especially stern test of their commitment. (MORE)

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CA: MUSLIM, CHRISTIAN AND JEWISH TEENS MEET AT INTERFAITH YOUTH ICEBREAKER - TOP
Kim Calvert, Daily Breeze, 10/23/05
http://www.dailybreeze.com/today/articles/1821616.html

Get-acquainted games already were under way when four teenage Muslim girls, their quiet, dark-eyed beauty framed by traditional head scarves, arrived Sunday afternoon at Temple Menorah in Redondo Beach.

Their shyness gave way to warm smiles as they were welcomed into the Jewish synagogue's community room and invited to join 50 other teenage Jews, Christians and Muslims in an energetic game of Mingle-Mingle-Mingle, the object being to shake hands with as many people as possible.

The occasion was the Interfaith Youth Icebreaker sponsored by the South Coast Interfaith Council, an association of 140 faith-based groups in the South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach areas of Los Angeles and West Orange counties. It was inspired by a nationwide effort by Jewish, Muslim and Christian organizations to encourage peace during a rare convergence of religious calendars, a time when Ramadan and the Jewish High Holy Days fell on the same days in October. (MORE_

SEE ALSO:

NY: AN OLIVE BRANCH GETS EXTENDED, EMBRACED - TOP
JOSEPH STASZEWSKI, Newsday, 10/23/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-limusl234481522oct23,0,6522643.story

Seemi Ahmed had never before stood underneath a Sukkah, much less contemplated the centuries of Jewish history the wooden structure has come to represent.

But as the 43-year-old Muslim stepped toward the fragile archway festooned with branches, leaves, and fruit at Temple Beth El in Great Neck yesterday, she could almost imagine herself a woman of another faith.

"I remembered how the Jewish people used to take shelter when they were nomads," said Ahmed, of Searingtown. "I didn't know much about this. I wanted to sit and eat in there. It felt so nice."

For more than 50 Muslims and Jews who attended a unique ceremony at the temple last night, that was precisely the point - to share the traditions and rituals of a different faith.

The ceremony, the first of its kind on Long Island, was intended to honor a rare confluence of holidays: the Jewish fall harvest festival of Sukkot and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (MORE)

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GA: MUSLIMS TRY TO BANISH SOME MYTHS - TOP
BILL OSINSKI, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/22/05
http://www.ajc.com/saturday/content/epaper/editions/saturday/gwinnett_34953e0f613302b70009.html

Falafel and understanding are on the menu when Muslims share a meal and their faith with non-Muslims.

But whether the setting is a restaurant with Middle Eastern cuisine, a school classroom, a church or a corporate meeting, area Muslim leaders are seeking to dispel misconceptions about their religion.

Things just seem to go better, however, when there's a buffet involved.

"It's amazing how many problems we can clear up just by having a meal together," said Kemal Korucu, head of the Interfaith Outreach Committee for the Norcross-based Instanbul Center for Culture and Dialogue. The center sponsors interfaith dinners in metro Atlanta and elsewhere in the region. One such dinner was held this past week.

Such meetings are needed, he said, because of the tendency of some people to connect the violence going on in parts of the Islamic world with the religion of Islam.

"As a Muslim, it breaks my heart," Korucu said. "This is not who we are."

Nevertheless, he added, to him it often seems as if whenever the word "terrorist" is used in the media, it is preceded by the adjective "Muslim."

Hence, the campaign to "teach, not preach," as characterized by Soumaya Khalifa, executive director of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, an organization dedicated to educating non-Muslims about Islam.

The Islamic Speakers Bureau sponsored a dinner last week for a group of about 20 area media representatives. The dinner was scheduled to coincide with the Muslim holy month known as Ramadan. Several members of the ISB made presentations in an effort to clear up misconceptions:

Muslims do not value education for women: To the contrary, the Quran states that it is a "noble act" for a father to educate his daughters to their highest potential. In some cases Muslim rulers --- for example, the Taliban in Afghanistan --- have banned women from schools, but those political and cultural actions conflict with the tenets of Islam.

Muslims are intolerant of other religions: Actually, Muslims see their faith as an extension of the Judeo-Christian tradition of monotheism. Many of the prophets of the old and new testaments, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus (who is considered a great prophet, though not a son of God) are accepted and incorporated into the Muslim faith.

Muslim is another word for Arab: Worldwide, only about 18 percent of Muslims are Arabs. Also, not all Arabs are Muslims; about 15 percent of Arabs in Egypt, for example, are Christians. The United Stated has about 7 million Muslims.

The Golden Rule is a strictly Christian concept: The Quran states, "No one truly believes until he wants for others what he wants for himself."

"Jihad" means holy war: The term "jihad" is actually "a very beautiful concept that has been turned into an evil word," according to ISB speaker Jelena Naim. In its literal religious sense, a "jihad" typically refers to the process in which a person seeks to cleanse himself or herself of bad habits. In a broader sense, it can refer to an individual's effort to redress the wrongs in society. (MORE)

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BAHRAINI DETAINEE AT GITMO CLAIMS SEXUAL ABUSE - TOP
Mazen Mahdi, Arab News, 10/22/05
http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=72096&d=22&m=10&y=2005

BAHRAIN, 22 October 2005 - One of six Bahraini detainees being held at Cuba's Guantanamo Bay detention center was the subject of sexual abuse and witnessed at least one act of Qur'an desecration by US soldiers while being held in Afghanistan, according to a new report.

Bahraini detainee Jumah Al-Dossary who is being held there claimed that he was subjected to sexual abuse and that he witnessed US soldiers at Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan desecrate the Qur'an by cleaning their boots with pages they had ripped from it.

Al-Dossary, according to the recently declassified report issued by his lawyer Joshua Colangelo-Bryan, claimed that he was reportedly beaten and stamped on by eight guards as he was recovering from an earlier stomach operation.

Al-Dossary, aged 30 now and father to an 11-year-old girl, said that in early September 2002 he was taken to an interrogation room where four MPs, with one carrying a video camera, handcuffed and shackled him to the floor before stripping him naked on orders from a female interrogator present in the room.

He claimed that the female interrogator stripped and squatted over his genitals, chest, and face smearing him with her menstrual blood in an attempt to have him admit links to Al-Qaeda and 9/11 attacks. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR ANTI-TORTURE CAMPAIGN - TOP

Earlier this year, CAIR and other groups called for an independent 9/11 commission-style investigation into the use of torture by American military personnel. SEE: http://www.cair-net.org/antitorture/

Contact you elected representatives to ask that they oppose the use of torture in any circumstances. GO TO: http://capwiz.com/cair/home/

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HUGE MAJORITY OF IRAQIS WANT COALITION TO GO - TOP
Ned Temko, Observer, 10/23/05
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,1598908,00.html

The government has been dealt an embarrassing double blow in its battle to convince the public it is beating insurgency in Iraq and the threat of terrorism at home, according to confidential reports leaked to today's newspapers.

One claimed nearly half of all Iraqis sympathised with violent attacks against British and US coalition troops; another said that at home, Tony Blair's high-profile strategy to counter the terrorist threat was proving disjointed and ineffective.

Downing Street, while saying it would not comment on 'allegedly leaked reports', told The Observer last night that Britain remained firm in its commitment to stay in Iraq until the elected government felt it was ready to take over security responsibilities.

The figures on Iraqis' views about attacks on coalition troops came from a nationwide opinion survey, commissioned by the Ministry of Defence and leaked to the Sunday Telegraph.

According to the report, fewer than one in 100 respondents felt the presence of American, British and other allied troops was improving security in the country.

Forty-five per cent countrywide were said to believe that the attacks on the troops were justified - a figure that rose to 65 per cent in the Maysan, one of the provinces policed by the British. No fewer than 82 per cent, according to the report, declared themselves 'strongly opposed' to the presence of coalition troops.

SEE ALSO:

US TROOPS FIGHTING LOSING BATTLE FOR SUNNI TRIANGLE - TOP
Adrian Blomfield, Telegraph, 10/22/05
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/10/22/wirq122.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/10/22/ixworld.html

The mob grew more frenzied as the gunmen dragged the two surviving Americans from the cab of their bullet-ridden lorry and forced them to kneel on the street.

Killing one of the men with a rifle round fired into the back of his head, they doused the other with petrol and set him alight. Barefoot children, yelping in delight, piled straw on to the screaming man's body to stoke the flames.

It had taken just one wrong turn for disaster to unfold. Less than a mile from the base it was heading to, the convoy turned left instead of right and lumbered down one of the most anti-American streets in Iraq, a narrow bottleneck in Duluiya town, on a peninsular jutting into the Tigris river named after the Jibouri tribe that lives there.

As the lorries desperately tried to reverse out, dozens of Sunni Arab insurgents wielding rocket launchers and automatic rifles emerged from their homes.

The gunmen were almost certainly emboldened by the fact that the American soldiers escorting the convoy would not have been able to respond quickly enough.

"The hatches of the humvees were closed," said Capt Andrew Staples, a member of the Task Force Liberty 1-15 battalion that patrols Duluiya and other small towns on the eastern bank of the Tigris, who spoke to soldiers involved.

Within minutes, four American contractors, all employees of the Halliburton subsidiary Kellog, Brown & Root, were dead. The jubilant crowd dragged their corpses through the street, chanting anti-US slogans. An investigation has been launched into why the contractors were not better protected.

Perhaps fearful of public reaction in America, where support for the war is falling, US officials suppressed details of the Sept 20 attack, which bore a striking resemblance to the murder of four other contractors in Fallujah last year.

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CAIR
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Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
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-----

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Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 12:39:17 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: MD Muslim Gets $16K for Post-9/11 Firing / CA Muslims, Christians, Jews Share Prayer Space / Chicago's First Muslim Funeral Home

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/24/05

* Hadith: The Last Ten Nights of Ramadan
* Reasons to Support CAIR: Civil Rights
* Quote: Muslims Should be Positive
* CAIR-CA: 750 Attend Fast-for-a-Day Ramadan Iftar
            - CAIR-OH: Dinner Raises Quake Aid
* CAIR-MD: Muslim Receives $16K for Post-9/11 Firing (AP)
* IL: Center Plans First Muslim Funeral Home (Sun-Times)
* NJ: Muslims Gather to Help the Needy (Herald News)
            - MI: Muslims Put Focus on Helping Others (Free Press)
* How the West Came To Run Islamic Banks (Newsweek)
* FBI Papers Indicate Intelligence Violations (Wash Post)
            - MI: Local FBI's No. 1 Job: Terror War (Detroit News)
* CA: Muslims, Christians, Jews Share Prayer Space (LA Times)
            - PA: Young, Muslim and American (Patriot-News)
            - MI: Arab Culture at Home in America (NY Times)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: THE LAST TEN NIGHTS OF RAMADAN - TOP

Narrated Aisha: "(The Prophet Muhammad) used to exert himself in devotion (to God) during the last ten nights (of Ramadan) to a greater extent than at any other time."

Sahih Muslim, Hadith 572

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REASONS TO SUPPORT CAIR: CIVIL RIGHTS - TOP

In the past 11 years, CAIR's Civil Rights Department dealt with, free of charge, thousands of discrimination cases reported by American Muslims. CAIR also publishes an annual report on the status of American Muslim civil rights.

To offer your support, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/ramadan2005/

Scholars have said that donating to CAIR qualifies for Zakat.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: MUSLIMS SHOULD BE POSITIVE - TOP

Muslim Student Group Celebrates Islam at Annual Ramadan Night
KEVIN ZELAYA, Daily Nebraskan, 10/24/05
http://www.dailynebraskan.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/10/24/435c5a4a92bfe

After September 11, 2001, Arafa said as director of an Islamic center, he received 104 calls pledging support for the Islamic community in various ways.

He also got two threatening calls.

Arafa said Muslims should be positive and not withdraw from any community.

"I decided to live my life as a Muslim focusing on the 104 calls and not the two calls," he said.

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CAIR-CA: 750 ATTEND FAST-FOR-A-DAY RAMADAN IFTAR - TOP

(DAVIS, CA, 10/24/05) - More than 750 people turned out for the annual Fast-for-a-Day Ramadan Iftar (Dinner) on Friday, October 21, in the Davis Senior Citizen's Center.

Among the attendees were a number of civic, religious and community leaders, including Assemblywoman Lois Wolk and elected officials from Yolo County and the City of Davis.

"The month of Ramadan offers a unique chance for people to reflect on the blessings bestowed upon them," said CAIR-SV President Hamza EL-Nakhal. "It is also a chance to build bridges and alliances that can contribute to creating a sense of community,"

Canned goods were collected and donated to the local shelter, while donations were collected for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and South Asian earthquake.

The event was co-sponsored by: UC Davis MSA, Davis High school MSA, CAIR-Sacramento Valley, UC Davis Office of Community Relations, and Why Islam.

CONTACT: CAIR-SV, 916-442-6269 or E-Mail: sacval@cair.com

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-OH: DINNER RAISES QUAKE AID - TOP
Pakistan, Kashmir natives ask crowd to open hearts, wallets for survivors
Sandra M. Klepach, Beacon Journal staff writer
http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/news/12982524.htm

CUYAHOGA FALLS - Although he left Pakistan about 35 years ago, Fareed Siddiq has felt far from his native home this month.

His mother and his three sisters who are still living in Pakistan were thankfully not affected by the Oct. 8 earthquake that devastated neighboring areas.

But Siddiq still hurts. From the United States, he cannot assist his neighbors in rebuilding. He cannot offer even one of the 2.5 million left homeless warmth from the freezing temperatures.

Siddiq can only write a personal check from his home in Chagrin Falls and encourage others to do the same.

"When you are close, you understand what's going on there," Siddiq said. "Over here, you're very far away from it.... But it's the people who are part of our community that have been impacted.

"By giving, we teach our children how to give."

Siddiq shared this plea with about 150 other Islamic believers before an Iftar dinner Sunday at the Islamic Community Center in Cuyahoga Falls.

The event, organized by the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent (ISAK), cost $50 per participant, with money raised benefiting earthquake victims in Pakistan and Kashmir. . .

"The people in Kashmir and Pakistan are like any other people; they are people of dignity," he said. "But that's the test from Allah to them -- and the test to us of what we can do."

Isam Zaiem, president of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told participants their test is much easier.

"It's very easy to ace because all you have to do is give," he said. (MORE)

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MD: STORE OWNER AGREES TO PAY FORMER MUSLIM EMPLOYEE WHO WAS FIRED - TOP
Associated Press, 10/23/05

[NOTE: CAIR-MD/VA will provide religious and cultural sensitivity training to Learning How executives. CONTACT: Shama Farooq, 301-986-1900, E-Mail: shama@cairmd.org ]

COLUMBIA, Md. - The owner of a chain of stores has agreed to pay $16,000 to a Muslim former employee who complained that she was fired shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks because of her religious beliefs.

As part of the settlement, which followed an investigation by the State of Maryland Commission on Human Relations, the owner of the education supplies store called "Learning How" also sent an apology to the fired worker, Shabana Ahmed. The owner also agreed to send his managers to cultural and religious awareness training.

Ahmed, 27, worked as a saleswoman at the company's Columbia store for several weeks in October 2001. She wore traditional Muslim attire to work and prayed several times a day in the back of the store. According to the commission's investigation, company President John Faw Jr. pulled aside the store manager. The manager told members of the commission that Faw said, "Are you crazy? ... I can't have her working here." Ahmed was fired the next day, said Lee Hoshall, assistant general counsel at the commission. (MORE)

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IL: CENTER PLANS FIRST MUSLIM FUNERAL HOME HERE - TOP
MONIFA THOMAS, Chicago Sun-Times, 10/24/05
http://www.suntimes.com/output/religion/cst-nws-muslim24.html

In the Islamic burial tradition, the bodies of the deceased aren't embalmed and families do not delay interment by having a wake.

Yet many Muslim families in Chicago find it difficult and expensive to observe customs with which most funeral homes have limited familiarity.

The Muslim Community Center may soon provide a better option for these families by building what would be the first funeral home in the city to cater exclusively to Muslims, planners say. (MORE)

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NJ: MUSLIMS GATHER TO HELP THE NEEDY - TOP
TOM MEAGHER, HERALD NEWS, 10/24/05
http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MDYmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTY3OTkzMTkmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkz

UNION CITY - For the young Muslims who gathered to feed and clothe the poor Sunday, the word "community" encompassed more than just those of their own faith. It meant everyone in need in North Jersey.

On a breezy, overcast morning, Muslims from across the region converged on a middle school to provide food, blankets, warm clothes and toiletries to those who might otherwise go without.

Tamara Issak, 19, awoke at 5 a.m. at her home in Wayne to meet some friends at the Islamic Center of Passaic County in Paterson. The group then collected other volunteers and supplies on their way to Islamic Relief's Humanitarian Day in Union City. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MI: MUSLIMS PUT THE FOCUS ON HELPING OTHERS - TOP
Homeless given health screenings, advice, clothing and food
ZLATI MEYER, FREE PRESS, 10/24/05
http://www.freep.com/news/religion/ramadan24e_20051024.htm

Beneath a sparse canopy of balloons, inflated for the day's youngest visitors, Khidhir Naeem's voice boomed.

"Good to see you, glad you're here," he said, greeting most of the hundreds of men, women and children who filed through Detroit's Wigle Recreation Center Sunday as part of the region's first Humanitarian Day for the Homeless, organized by Islamic Relief.

They continued past Naeem to the rows of tables, where dozens of volunteers handed out hygiene kits, containing toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and washcloths; bags of socks, gloves and scarves; warm helpings of food; bottled water, and toys and balloons for the kids. (MORE)

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HOW THE WEST CAME TO RUN ISLAMIC BANKS - TOP
Giants like Citigroup dominate the sector, through Islamic subsidiaries and hired Sharia scholars.
Owen Matthews, Newsweek, 10/31/05
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9775291/site/newsweek/

How did Western banks come to dominate a market predicated on Islamic purity? A generation ago, an Islamic bank was just a simple investment house that, instead of paying interest on deposits, created dividends by buying and renting out property. "Islam forbids making money on money," says Alun Williams, marketing director of the new Islamic Bank of Britain. "But it does allow you to rent, and to trade." Now Western banks are using that template to pioneer Islamic credit cards, Islamic mortgages and Islamic bonds (known as sukuks) that during the past year have financed everything from a $1 billion upgrade of Dubai airport to Pakistani government debt. As growth picks up in the Middle East, more and more Muslim-run corporations find they need sophisticated services, from bond issues to derivatives, that so far only Western banks provide.

The Western banks gain Islamic credibility by hiring top-drawer Sharia scholars to sit on their boards. "The caliber of your scholars is the basis on which these [financial products] are marketed," says Majid Dawood, a London-based consultant on Sharia compliance. Because there are just a handful of financially literate Islamic scholars in the market, most sit on the boards of many institutions and can, says Dawood, command salaries of as much as $88,500 per year per bank. Sheik Mohammed Taqi Usmani, a former Sharia judge on the Supreme Court of Pakistan, sits on the board of Citi Islamic, HSBC, Al Baraka and eight others, and is chairman of the Dow Jones Islamic indexes' Sharia panel. (MORE)

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FBI PAPERS INDICATE INTELLIGENCE VIOLATIONS - TOP
Secret Surveillance Lacked Oversight
Dan Eggen, Washington Post, 10/24/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/23/AR2005102301352.html

The FBI has conducted clandestine surveillance on some U.S. residents for as long as 18 months at a time without proper paperwork or oversight, according to previously classified documents to be released today.

Records turned over as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit also indicate that the FBI has investigated hundreds of potential violations related to its use of secret surveillance operations, which have been stepped up dramatically since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but are largely hidden from public view.

In one case, FBI agents kept an unidentified target under surveillance for at least five years -- including more than 15 months without notifying Justice Department lawyers after the subject had moved from New York to Detroit. An FBI investigation concluded that the delay was a violation of Justice guidelines and prevented the department "from exercising its responsibility for oversight and approval of an ongoing foreign counterintelligence investigation of a U.S. person."

In other cases, agents obtained e-mails after a warrant expired, seized bank records without proper authority and conducted an improper "unconsented physical search," according to the documents. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MI: LOCAL FBI'S NO. 1 JOB: TERROR WAR - TOP
More than 100 agents juggle 300 investigations; Detroit bureau creates full-time al-Qaida squad.
David Shepardson, Detroit News, 10/24/05
http://www.detnews.com/2005/metro/0510/24/A01-358251.htm

DETROIT -- Four years after the September 11 terror attacks, the FBI headquarters in Detroit has more than tripled the number of agents assigned to counterterrorism, becoming one of the nation's largest anti-terror units.

Most of the investigative efforts are focused on Metro Detroit's large Arab-American population, one of the biggest concentrations outside the Middle East. More than 100 agents, analysts and task force officers are assigned to terror-related squads, and of 29 major terror groups identified by the U.S. government, the Detroit FBI has active investigations involving 17.

Eric M. Straus, chief of the counterterrorism unit at the U.S. attorney's office, said there has been a "dramatic sea change in how we at the FBI and U.S. attorney's office do our jobs. We've gone from an old-time law enforcement mentality to an intel/law enforcement mind-set."

Local Arab-American leaders have mixed feeling about the heightened FBI scrutiny. (MORE)

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CA: IRVINE CHURCH HITS A THEOLOGICAL TRIFECTA - TOP
David Haldane, Los Angeles Times, 10/24/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-peeled24oct24,1,1663691.story

There's an Irvine house of worship that changes religions at least once a week.

Irvine United Congregational Church sports golden crosses for Sunday morning services. Jewish High Holidays see it transformed into a sanctuary for Congregation Kol HaNeshamah, filled with Torahs, ram's horns and yarmulkes. And Friday afternoons, worshipers carefully unroll prayer rugs onto the floor of what becomes the United Mosques of Irvine.

"Our theology is inclusive," says the Rev. Steven Swope, acting minister of the Christian congregation that owns the church. He believes it is one of the few of its kind in the nation with a tripartite arrangement.

"Jesus is our way," he said, "but other people have other ways. This is our way of living that out."

Although there are increasing examples of Christian and Jewish congregations using the same worship space, experts say it is far less common to see either group sharing with Muslims.

Benjamin Hubbard, a professor of comparative religion at Cal State Fullerton, said the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians had made Jews and Muslims more wary of each other. And for many conservative Christians, he said, theological and cultural differences make closeness to Muslims rare. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

PA: YOUNG, MUSLIM AND LIVING IN AMERICA - TOP
MARY WARNER, Patriot-News, 10/23/05
http://www.pennlive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/living/1129713697293410.xml?pennlivrel&coll=1

Muslims have been fasting during daylight for almost three weeks now, observing Ramadan in full view of classmates and co-workers. The season brings into focus what it means to be Muslim in America.

"There's a big dinner that somebody bought for the bunch of residents, and you're not eating," says Ali Zaidi, 30, who just completed residency at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. "Ramadan really brings you out in the forefront."

"I find it among students a great time to teach about Islam," says Sana Khan, 24, a student at the medical center. "I've never had a reaction like, 'Oh, that's crazy.' They're always really interested."

Still, Marwa Gomaa, 28, a graduate student at Penn State Harrisburg, says some people make it obvious that Ramadan "doesn't make a lot of sense to them."

A group of Muslim students and young professionals gathered recently in a Hummelstown living room to talk about life in America four years after 9/11.

Along with Zaidi, Khan and Gomaa were attorney Sakeena Naqvi, 32, who is Zaidi's wife, and Hoda Bastani, 19, another Hershey Med student.

Their stories paint a mixed picture: tolerant classmates, with their friendly curiosity, and strangers who make rude gestures; repeated failures finding work (because of her Muslim head scarf, Gomaa suspects), and then a boss who freely offered space in his office for the daily Muslim prayers.

The stories shed light as well on the developing and distinctive flavor of Islam in America. (MORE)

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MI: A MOSAIC OF ARAB CULTURE AT HOME IN AMERICA - TOP
EDWARD ROTHSTEIN, New York Times, 10/24/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/24/arts/design/24muse.html

DEARBORN, Mich. - At the heart of the nation's first museum devoted to the history of Arab-Americans is a mosaic-decorated courtyard surrounding a small fountain, evoking the traditional courtyard of Arab lands. A symbol of hospitality, it is also, typically, a feature of one's home, and this museum is, in its way, a declaration that Arab-Americans really are at home, not just in Dearborn (where some 30 percent of the 100,000 residents identify themselves as Arab-Americans) but in the United States itself.

The surest sign of that may be that, like other groups, they have built this museum honoring their past and their identity. And the 38,500-square-foot, $16 million Arab American National Museum, which opened in May, is, like other museums of American hyphenation, at once an assertion of difference and of belonging, a declaration of distinction and of loyalty. It would be making a political statement even if it weren't directly across the street from City Hall.

The museum was also designed to reflect the interests of its constituency: Arab-Americans. That is a source of its strengths, and suggestive too of its weaknesses: it eagerly wants to celebrate that identity and create a strong political front; it is less interested in reflecting on difficulties and making distinctions. Before the museum was begun, a group of planners, including a sociologist, Anan Ameri, who became its director, spent six months traveling to Arab-American communities, soliciting ideas.

"The museum was built to tell our story," Dr. Ameri explained before leading a critic on a tour. "But before we can tell our story, we have to know what the Arab-American story is."

"People don't know" was a recurring refrain in these consultations, Dr. Ameri said. "People don't know" about who we are, went the complaint. So the museum includes a handsome library and an exhibit chronicling the arrival of Arabs on American shores, including such unusual figures as Hadj Ali, a 19th-century Syrian immigrant recruited by the United States to train camels for the Western deserts. (MORE)

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CAIR
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Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
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Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 15:03:01 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Announces Scholarship to Honor Rosa Parks / Plan Exempts CIA from Abuse Ban

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/25/05

* Verse: Never Abandon Hope of God's Mercy
            - Hadith: God Created Mercy
* Top 10 reasons to Support CAIR: #2 - Internships
* CAIR Announces Scholarship to Honor Rosa Parks
* MI: Muslim Convert Faces Lingering Stereotypes
* Cheney Plan Exempts CIA From Detainee Abuse Ban (WP)
            - ACLU: 8 Prisoners Died of Abuse Overseas
            - CAIR: Ask Congress to Send Torture Ban to President
            - CAIR Anti-Torture Campaign
* CA: Sacramento Muslims Support Pakistan Quake Victims
            - MI: Fast Aids Victims of Katrina, Earthquake
            - CT: Students Help Pakistan Quake Victims
* MD: Speaker Stresses Peace at Mosque Open House
            - CAIR Guide to Holding a Mosque Open House/Iftar
* Muslim Volunteers Needed for W. Virginia Jail
* Correction: Headline Mislabeled State of Newspaper
* Russia's Islamophobia (UPI)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: NEVER ABANDON HOPE OF GOD'S MERCY - TOP

"(Abraham) said: "And who - other than those who have utterly lost their way - could ever abandon the hope of his Lord's mercy?'"

The Holy Quran, 15:56

HADITH OF THE DAY: GOD CREATED MERCY - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Verily God created Mercy. The day He created it, He made it into 100 parts. He kept with Him 99 parts, and sent (just) one part to all His creatures. Had those who do not believe known of all the Mercy that is in the Hands of God, (they) would not lose hope of entering Paradise. And had the (believers) known of all the punishment that is present with God, (they) would not consider (themselves) safe from hell-fire."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Hadith 476

The Prophet also described a man who had murdered many people. The murderer traveled the land asking whether his repentance could be accepted by God. He was advised to go to a certain village, but death overtook him on the way. The Prophet said that while dying, the murderer turned his chest toward the village in which he had hoped that his repentance would be accepted. This caused the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment to quarrel among themselves regarding the murderer's fate.

Prophet Muhammad said: "God ordered the village (toward which the murderer was traveling) to come closer, and ordered the village (from which he had departed) to go far away. Then He ordered the angels to measure the distances between (the man's) body and the two villages. He was found to be one span closer to the village (he was traveling to), and was (therefore) forgiven."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Hadith 676

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TOP 10 REASONS TO SUPPORT CAIR: REASON #2 - INTERNSHIPS - TOP

CAIR's Summer Internship Program has provided paid internships in media, public relations and civil rights advocacy to more than 200 college students at CAIR's Leadership Training Center in our Capitol Hill headquarters. Some of CAIR's past interns have gone on to work for the White House, State Department and members of Congress.

To offer your support, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/ramadan2005/

Scholars say that donations to CAIR qualify as Zakat.

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CAIR ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIP TO HONOR ROSA PARKS - TOP
Annual award will assist students in field of civil liberties

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/25/05) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today announced a scholarship to honor the life and work of Rosa Parks, often called the "mother of the civil rights movement," who died Monday at the age of 92. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also offered its condolences to her family, friends and loved ones.

In 1955, Parks defied a rule requiring African-Americans to yield their seats to whites on Montgomery, Ala., buses. Her protest triggered a 381-day boycott of buses, organized by Martin Luther King Jr. His protest movement brought about the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed racial discrimination in the United States.

CAIR said in a statement: "Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat sparked the civil rights movement and continues to inspire all those who struggle for social justice and equality. It is only fitting that a scholarship aimed at advancing the cause of human dignity be offered in her name."

The annual CAIR "Rosa Parks Civil Liberties Scholarship" will be offered to students studying in fields that promote civil rights, social justice and peaceful resolution of conflicts. Details of the scholarship will be announced at CAIR's annual dinner in Washington, D.C., on December 3rd.

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.

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

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MI: MUSLIM CONVERT FACES LINGERING STEREOTYPES - TOP
MAGGIE LILLIS, State News, 10/25/05
http://www.statenews.com/article.phtml?pk=32611

When David Stepien converted to Islam in September, he knew it would raise a few eyebrows in his hometown of Pinckney, Mich.
"I can tell you the number of Muslims there and it's zero," he said. "They thought it was an outrage and had a giant prayer circle about it. It's kind of funny - a waste of effort - but to each his own.

"They can have as many prayer circles as they want."

Now Stepien - who was raised Catholic - views experiences like these as opportunities to bridge a cultural gap, highlighted after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He is celebrating the month of Ramadan for the first time as a converted Muslim.

"I have a connection in both communities and try to mediate both ways," said the microbiology junior. "It helps being in a primarily Christian society to have a dialogue between the two."

Stepien was introduced to Islam by two Muslim friends and began researching the religion shortly after. Last year, he attended several events held by the Muslim Students' Association and he fasted for the month of Ramadan with them to test his endurance.

Stepien's exposure to adversity is not uncommon for the Muslim community. Although it's been four years since the attacks, many still feel discrimination, said Fouad Khatib, chairperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, in Southern California.

"The atmosphere hasn't gone back to the level of before 9/11, the atmosphere is still tense," he said. "It is a religion of peace. Islam means peace, the word literally means peace.

"The current atmosphere of terrorism overseas is being used to paint the religion of Islam as a violent religion, which is absolutely untrue."

CAIR is the largest Islamic civil rights advocacy group in the nation and handles issues of discrimination in the workplace, travel, government and private sector, Khatib said. (MORE)

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CHENEY PLAN EXEMPTS CIA FROM BILL BARRING ABUSE OF DETAINEES - TOP
R. Jeffrey Smith and Josh White, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/24/AR2005102402051.html

The Bush administration has proposed exempting employees of the Central Intelligence Agency from a legislative measure endorsed earlier this month by 90 members of the Senate that would bar cruel and degrading treatment of any prisoners in U.S. custody.

The proposal, which two sources said Vice President Cheney handed last Thursday to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the company of CIA Director Porter J. Goss, states that the measure barring inhumane treatment shall not apply to counterterrorism operations conducted abroad or to operations conducted by "an element of the United States government" other than the Defense Department.

Although most detainees in U.S. custody in the war on terrorism are held by the U.S. military, the CIA is said by former intelligence officials and others to be holding several dozen detainees of particular intelligence interest at locations overseas -- including senior al Qaeda figures Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaida.

Cheney's proposal is drafted in such a way that the exemption from the rule barring ill treatment could require a presidential finding that "such operations are vital to the protection of the United States or its citizens from terrorist attack." But the precise applicability of this section is not clear, and none of those involved in last week's discussions would discuss it openly yesterday. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

ANALYSIS FINDS 21 HOMICIDES AMONG DEATHS OF U.S. PRISONERS OVERSEAS - TOP
Associated Press, 10/24/05
http://www.wkrc.com/news/national/story.aspx?content_id=570D05F8-AEFE-41C1-87B2-BA6E934D3D55

WASHINGTON (AP) - At least 21 detainees who died while being held in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan were killed, many during or after interrogations, according to an analysis of Defense Department data by the American Civil Liberties Union.

SEE: "U.S. Operatives Killed Detainees During Interrogations in Afghanistan and Iraq," http://www.aclu.org/International/International.cfm?ID=19298&c=36

The analysis, released Monday, looked at 44 deaths described in records obtained by the ACLU. Of those, the group characterized 21 as homicides, and said at least eight resulted from abusive techniques by military or intelligence officers, such as strangulation or "blunt force injuries," as noted in the autopsy reports. (MORE)

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CAIR: ASK CONGRESS TO SEND TORTURE BAN TO PRESIDENT - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=292&theType=AA

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CAIR ANTI-TORTURE CAMPAIGN - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/antitorture/

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CA: SACRAMENTO COMMUNITY SUPPORTS PAKISTAN QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Ras H. Siddiqui, Pakistan Link, 10/24/05
http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=3ecaf9e03801ce6f15f4496f5309bdf1

SACRAMENTO - In an unprecedented display of unity and caring, the greater Muslim and Pakistani community of the Sacramento region took advantage of Friday/Juma prayers plus the breaking of the fast Iftar gatherings and raised just over $100,000 for the victims of the biggest natural disaster to hit Pakistan after 1970.

Never before has this reporter witnessed such an outpouring of caring from this community as he did with the twin concern for Hurricane Katrina and now this disaster in Pakistan. Not since the Bosnia crisis has there been such unity among Muslims here. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MI: FAST AIDS VICTIMS OF KATRINA, EARTHQUAKE - TOP
C.C. Song, Michigan Daily, 10/25/05
http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/10/25/435dcb0a884e3

Are you hungry?

If you are, Liz Lassiter may make you think twice about running to the nearest Wendy's by telling you about her experiences with fasting over the past three years during the Fast-a-thon, an annual event coordinated by the Muslim Students' Association. Lassiter said she is going to participate in the program for the fourth year in a row.

"I usually get hungry at around 3 p.m. (when fasting)," she said. "And in my freshman and sophomore years, I took naps in the afternoon and woke up after sunset."

In spite of the hunger, she still participates in Fast-a-thon because for every person that signs up, local businesses make donations to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Pakistan. (MORE)

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CT: WESTCONN STUDENTS REACH OUT TO HELP PAKISTAN QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Heather Barr, News-Times, 10/24/05
http://news.newstimeslive.com/story.php?id=75919&category=Local

DANBURY - Maria Lateef is sure her father would have approved.

Last week, the 21-year-old Western Connecticut State University student packed a box of her late father's newer wool jackets and shirts to send to Pakistan to help those affected by the devastating earthquake.

Her father died Sept. 30, one week before the massive earthquake hit their native Pakistan.

Maria, her mother and sister also sent silk and embroidered women's clothing. Maria donated a pink embroidered outfit she received as a wedding gift.

"It could put a smile on a face," she said.

It is hard to watch the news and see so many Pakistanis without homes, families, food and water, Maria said.

"They now have nothing."

Western Connecticut State University students in the Honors Student Organization and the Muslim Student Association have organized a clothing drive for earthquake victims. (MORE)

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MD: SPEAKER STRESSES PEACE AT MOSQUE OPEN HOUSE - TOP
ERIN CUNNINGHAM, Herald-Mail, 10/25/05
http://www.herald-mail.com/?module=displaystory&story_id=122820&format=html

Five times each day during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, Dr. Shahab Siddiqui goes to the Islamic Society of Western Maryland in Hagerstown to pray.

Praying at the mosque, he said, is more honorable than praying elsewhere. Some prayers are formal verses; others are more personal.

Ramadan began Oct. 5. The final day is Nov. 4.

During an open house Monday night at the Islamic Society, Muslims and nonMuslims listened to Imam Yahya Hendi of Frederick, Md., recite verses from the Koran and talk about breaking religious borders and working together for peace.

About 100 people gathered around Hendi in a large prayer room. Men and women entered from separate doors, and most took a seat on the floor crossing their legs. Everyone removed their shoes.

Hendi, who speaks around the world on Islam and Muslim issues, told the crowd about three principles: politics of justice, economics of equity and covenant of community.

He said the world's resources should be distributed in a way that can help everyone in need. Hendi - a Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. - believes that communities should join together to "protect fellow human beings," he said. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR: STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO HOLDING A MOSQUE OPEN HOUSE/IFTAR - TOP
http://www.cair.com/sharingramadan05.pdf

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MUSLIM VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR W. VIRGINIA JAIL - TOP

Muslim volunteers are needed to conduct Friday prayer services for Muslim inmates housed at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in Augusta, West Virginia. For more information about volunteer qualifications and the job description, please contact Mr. Randy Mann, Community Outreach Coordinator at 304-228-4477.

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CORRECTION: HEADLINE MISLABELED STATE OF NEWSPAPER - TOP

A headline in CAIR's October 23, 2005, news briefs incorrectly located the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer news paper in Ohio. The newspaper is in fact published in Georgia.

The correct headline should have read: "Georgia Newspaper Responds to Muslim Concerns About Cartoon." All other information, including the link to the article, and the editor's contact information was accurate.

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RUSSIA'S ISLAMOPHOBIA - TOP
Paul Goble, United Press International, 10/25/05
http://www.wpherald.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20051025-110558-7419r

TARTU, Estonia -- The beatings of Muslims in Sergiyev Posad, the seat of the Russian Orthodox Church, suggestions by Patriarchate officials that the Muslims should not be there in the first place, and the efforts of the militia and prosecutors to downplay this event continue to spark discussion in the Moscow media.

Perhaps the most complete and certainly the most devastating description of what has taken place and what it may mean for the future of Russia appeared in an article by Aleksandr Soldatov entitled "The Mosque near the Monastery" in "Moskovskiye novosti" last Friday.

The current scandal began when a group of eight young men broke into the Muslim prayer house in Sergiyev Posad on Oct. 14, shouting slogans like "Russia for the Russians" and "There is no place here for Muslims" and beating the local imam Arslan Sadriyev so severely that he had to be hospitalized.

When the local militia arrived, they detained several of the attackers who as Soldatov notes had not bothered to flee the scene of their crimes. But the militia quickly released them and announced that what had occurred was nothing more than the hooliganism of those who had had too much to drink.

In the wake of press reports about the beatings, however, local prosecutors said they would bring charges against those involved -- but only for incitement of inter-ethnic hatred rather than for attacking Muslims. And only on Friday did Sergei Koshman, Moscow oblast, or region's deputy governor, assure Muslim leaders that the authorities would punish those responsible for the attack, Islam.ru reported.

But as Soldatov makes clear, this case involves far more people than those directly connected with the crime. Radical nationalist groups like the Union of Orthodox Christians have criticized the very existence of a Muslim prayer house in the seat of their church, and several Patriarchate spokesmen have seconded that opinion.

Local government officials have gotten into the act as well. One, quoted by Soldatov, said that Sergiyev Posad "is an exclusively Orthodox territory, and the establishment of Muslim cult building here is impossible," a statement that other officials backed away from after it drew media criticism. (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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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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Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 22:21:12 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Director Attends State Department Iftar

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAIR DIRECTOR ATTENDS STATE DEPARTMENT RAMADAN IFTAR

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/25/05) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tonight hosted the State Department's seventh annual "Iftar," or Ramadan fast-breaking dinner, in Washington, D.C.

The dinner took place after sunset, in accordance with Islamic practices. Muslim participants broke the fast with water and dates before performing their sunset prayers. (Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset.)

Those in attendance at the dinner included Nihad Awad, executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), as well as representatives of other local and national Muslim organizations, Muslim students, diplomats from Islamic countries, and State Department officials.

In her remarks, Secretary Rice reflected on the meaning of Ramadan and thanked Muslims for their generosity in donating to relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the recent earthquake in South Asia. She also spoke about the need to promote universal human rights and mentioned the legacy of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, who died Monday at the age of 92.

SEE: "Rice Welcomes Muslim Generosity as Reflection of Ramadan Spirit"
http://usinfo.state.gov/usinfo/products/washfile.html (Scroll down to headline.)

After dinner, Awad informed Secretary Rice about CAIR's announcement today of a "Rosa Parks Civil Liberties Scholarship" for students studying in fields that promote civil rights, social justice and peaceful resolution of conflicts.

SEE: "CAIR Announces Scholarship to Honor Rosa Parks"
http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=55577

"These types of events represent a growing recognition of the positive role Islamic teachings and American Muslims can play in helping to promote peace and justice in this country and around the world," said Awad. "We appreciate Secretary Rice's efforts to reach out and dialogue with American Muslim leaders."

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.

- END -

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726 or 202-488-8787, 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/

Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 13:05:05 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: FL Religious Holidays Banned After Muslims Ask for Eid / Sample Eid News Release / CA Muslim Convert Dies in Iraq

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/26/05

* Verse: Good News for the Humble
            - Hadith: The Humble will Enter Paradise
* Top 10 Reasons to Support CAIR: #3 - Empowerment
* CAIR-Ohio Elects New President
* Sample Eid News Release for Use by Local Communities
            - U.S. Muslims to Mark End of Ramadan with Prayers
* CAIR-FL: Religious Holidays Banned After Muslims Ask for Eid
            - Video: Board Votes to Eliminate Religious Holidays
* CA: Editorial Notebook - Ramadan for a Novice (Sac Bee)
            - MI: Game Plan for Fasting and Football (NY Times)
* Spiritual Care: The Islamic Perspective (Knight Ridder)
            - CAIR Health Care Professional's Guide to Islam
* Editorial: Legalized Torture, Reloaded (NY Times)
            - Editorial: Vice President for Torture (Wash Post)
            - CAIR: Ask Congress to Send Torture Ban to President
            - CAIR Anti-Torture Campaign
* Judith Miller, Steven Emerson and Daniel Pipes
* CA: Muslim Women Address Family Planning
            - CA: Muslim Convert Guardsman Dies in Iraq (LA Times)
* OH: Muslim Mother Cleared of Neglect Charges (Dispatch)
* NM: ACLU Alleges Religious Bias Against Muslim Athlete

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VERSE OF THE DAY: GOOD NEWS FOR THE HUMBLE - TOP

"(O Muhammad), give good news (of God's acceptance) to the humble, whose hearts tremble with awe at the mention of God; who endure adversity with patience, who establish prayer and spend in charity out of what we have given them."

The Holy Quran, 22:34-35

HADITH OF THE DAY: THE HUMBLE WILL ENTER PARADISE - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Paradise and (Hell) argued, and the (Hell) said, 'I have been given the privilege of receiving the arrogant and the tyrants.' Paradise replied, 'What is the matter with me? Why do only the weak and the humble among the people enter me?'"

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Hadith 373

The Prophet also said: "Shall I tell you of the people of Paradise? They comprise every poor humble person. . .while the people of the fire comprise every violent, cruel and arrogant person."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Hadith 651

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TOP 10 REASONS TO SUPPORT CAIR: REASON #3 - EMPOWERMENT - TOP

CAIR conducted get-out-the-vote campaigns in the crucial battleground states of Florida and Ohio during the 2004 Presidential Election Campaign, reaching more than 40,000 American Muslims in those states and ensuring that they voted for the candidates of their choice on Election Day.

To offer your support, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/ramadan2005/

Scholars say that donations to CAIR qualify as Zakat.

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CAIR-OH BOARD ELECTS NEW PRESIDENT - TOP

(COLUMBUS, OH, 10/26/05) - The Ohio office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) announced the election of Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin as the new president of the CAIR-Ohio board, effective January 1, 2006. Dr. Ahmad Al-Akhras will retire as CAIR-Ohio's founding president after eight years of service to the American Muslim community.

"CAIR-Ohio's staff and board members wish to express their heartfelt appreciation for Dr. Al-Akhras' dedication to our mission of promoting justice and mutual understanding," said Mobin-Uddin.

Dr. Mobin-Uddin is a pediatrician who was in private practice for several years. She was a founding member of CAIR-Ohio in 1998 and has served as its vice president since then. Mobin-Uddin is a member of the Education Committee of the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio, and she served on the Executive Committee of the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio.

Active in interfaith dialogue, Mobin-Uddin frequently gives talks in the community about Islam and has published numerous articles and editorials on Islamic topics. She recently published a children's book, "My Name is Bilal," about the American Muslim experience.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties organization, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. The Ohio chapter of CAIR has three offices - Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.

CONTACT: Dr. Ahmad Al-Akhras, 614-989-5916, E-Mail: ahmad@cair-ohio.com; Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin, 614-761-9650, E-mail: mobin-uddin.4@osu.edu

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SAMPLE EID NEWS RELEASE FOR USE BY LOCAL COMMUNITIES - TOP

ACTION REQUESTED: Modify the CAIR Eid ul-Fitr news release below for distribution to local media outlets. Just insert local Eid dates, times, locations, and contact information. Make sure to send a copy to the main daily newspaper "city desk," TV station "assignment desk," radio station "news director," and Associated Press local bureau "daybook editor." Call each outlet to obtain contact information.

SEND COPIES of local media advisories to: cair@cair-net.org

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

U.S. MUSLIMS TO MARK END OF RAMADAN WITH PRAYERS - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/26/04) - On November 3rd or 4th (exact date depends on sighting of the new crescent moon), the Muslim community in America will celebrate the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan with communal prayers around the country. (Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset.)

The prayers mark the beginning of the Eid ul-Fitr (EED-al-FITTER), or "feast of fast breaking" holiday, in which Muslims exchange social visits and seek to strengthen bonds of brotherhood in the community. During this holiday, Muslims greet each other by saying "Eid mubarak" (EED-moo-BAR-ak), meaning "blessed Eid," and "taqabbalallah ta'atakum," or "may God accept your deeds." Many communities also hold multicultural bazaars and other family activities following the prayers.

Eid ul-Fitr is the first of the two major Muslim holidays. The second holiday, Eid ul-Adha, comes at the end of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.

WHEN: November 3rd or 4th, 2005 (Because Ramadan is a lunar month, the actual date is governed by sighting of the new crescent moon.) Prayers are held early in the morning. Ask local prayer coordinators for exact dates, times and locations.

WHERE: The Eid prayers are held either in local mosques or in public facilities designed to accommodate large gatherings.

CONTACT: Call local Muslim organizations for details about Eid celebrations. If there are no known contacts in a particular community, go to: http://www.islamicfinder.com/

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Each year, Muslims come to the prayers in colorful attire representative of different areas of the Islamic world. The prayers themselves are quite visual, with worshipers arranged in neat rows and bowing in prayer in unison. Participants exchange embraces at the conclusion of the prayers.

NOTE: Because this is a religious service, reporters and photographers of both sexes should dress modestly. Some communities may ask female reporters and photographers to put a scarf over their hair while in the actual prayer area. Photographers should arrive early to get into position for the best shots. Photographers are also advised not to step directly in front of worshipers and to seek permission for close-up shots. Shots of shoes removed for prayer, and rear-angle shots of prostrating worshipers are considered inappropriate.

- 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

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CAIR-FL: SCHOOL CALENDAR WILL BE STRICTLY SECULAR - TOP
MELANIE AVE, St. Petersburg Times, 10/26/05
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/10/26/Hillsborough/School_calendar_will_.shtml

TAMPA - Her voice small and hesitant, 11-year-old Rahma Elmohd told Hillsborough School Board members Tuesday night that she "would like it a lot" if students could get one day off for a Muslim holiday.

It was not to be.

Nearly a year after local Muslims first asked that an Islamic holiday be recognized by the school district - just like Yom Kippur for Jews and Good Friday for Christians - board members voted to end vacation days for all religious holidays.

The board approved a 2006-07 calendar that substitutes three secular vacation days for three Christian and Jewish holidays. The vote was 5-1. Board member Carol Kurdell was absent.

About 50 Muslims, many of them women and girls wearing scarves, attended the packed meeting. They said they were disappointed and saddened by the board's vote but will continue to ask for recognition. Several said they worry about a backlash against Muslims.

"We feel like this is an extreme measure," said Ahmed Bedier, Florida director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "We can't say it enough, especially to Christian and Jewish folks, our brothers and sisters in faith: This was not our doing, and we didn't ask for it."

The approved calendar eliminates vacation days coinciding with Yom Kippur, Good Friday and the Monday after Easter. The days will be replaced with time off on Washington's Birthday in February and two days near the end of the school year, which will give students and teachers a four-day weekend. . .

The calendar changes were recommended by a district committee after Bedier asked that Eid al-Fitr - the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan - be included. . .

School Board member Carolyn Bricklemyer called the approved calendar appropriate. "I think we have accommodated people the best we can," she said.

Bricklemyer was a board member in 2001 when Hillsborough became the first Tampa Bay area school district to recognize a Jewish holiday with a day off.

On Tuesday, she said that was a mistake because it opened the door for other religious groups to request vacation days.

"We should not have done that," Bricklemyer said.

Jennifer Faliero was the only board member to vote against the calendar, saying her colleagues were moving toward suppressing religious expression.

Faliero dismissed School Board attorney Tom Gonzalez's opinion that recognizing religious holidays violates the Constitution.

"Why can't we recognize Eid?" Faliero asked. "I just don't get it."

Audience members applauded.

Before the meeting, Bedier and Chuck Leigh, president of the Florida Council of Churches, held a news conference at the School Administrative Center criticizing the board's stance.

"I think the School Board is doing this for no other reason than to avoid giving a holiday to the Muslims," said Leigh, pastor of the Apostolic Catholic Church in Tampa. "Any other reason is eyewash, and I don't think it fools any of us. . ."

After the vote, dozens of Muslims knelt and prayed toward Mecca outside the building as part of their sunset ritual of Ramadan. Afterward, they ate wraps, fruit and dates in the superintendent's conference room to end their daily fast.

Some board members and administrators joined them.

"You can't be angry," Bedier said. "We have agreed to disagree. There is a calendar vote every year. We'll be back next year."

CONTACT: Ahmed Bedier (CAIR-FL), 813-731-9506, E-Mail: abedier@cairfl.org

SEE ALSO:

VIDEO: BOARD VOTES TO ELIMINATE RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS - TOP
http://www.tampabays10.com/video/player.aspx?aid=22525&sid=20404&bw=hi

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK: RAMADAN FOR A NOVICE - TOP
Ginger Rutland, Sacramento Bee, 10/25/05
http://www.sacbee.com/content/opinion/story/13766277p-14608450c.html

I attended my first iftar earlier this month.

Iftar is the breaking of the fast that takes place every night in the homes of observant Muslims during the month of Ramadan. Hosted by the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims, the iftar I attended was an interfaith event, intended to educate non-Muslims like me about the significance of Islam's holiest month. . .

It felt like Christmas. Our hosts regaled us with tales of Ramadan back home in Egypt, Syria and Pakistan. They told us the month is very much like Christmas, a time when mothers prepare their favorite dishes and families and friends visit. On the last day of Ramadan, gifts are exchanged. In fact, in many Muslim countries, Ramadan, like Christmas, has become the principal shopping season and that has some worried that, like Christmas, Ramadan will become tainted by commercialism.

But as I've watched the Muslims I know this Ramadan and in the past, it seems unlikely. The central ritual of Ramadan, the fast itself, prevents the Muslim holy season from drifting too far from its spiritual roots.

To deny oneself all food and drink for 12 hours - not even a sip of water is permitted - is very hard. To do that not just for a day or a week, but for a full month, represents a commitment to faith that is rare and precious and real. Certainly, it seems so to someone like me, who has a hard time walking past the candy vending machine at work, even after I've just had lunch. So, I left my first iftar impressed and deeply moved.

SEE ALSO:

MI: FOR FASTING AND FOOTBALL, A DEDICATED GAME PLAN - TOP
SAMUEL G. FREEDMAN, New York Times, 10/26/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/26/education/26education.html

DEARBORN, MICH. - AT 5 o'clock in the morning on game day, maybe the last game day of his football career, Ali Ahmad walked from the overnight darkness into the gleaming marble heart of the Golden Bakery. He wore his letter jacket from the Dearborn High Pioneers, with an orange chevron on each shoulder for his two years on the varsity and the stitching on the back spelling out his nickname, Flea. From a pocket of his sweats he pulled out a few dollars for a Pepsi and the meat-and-cheese pie called lahma ma jibini.

Since it was Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of daylight fasting, Ali would not eat or drink again until the sun set in nearly 14 hours. By then, Dearborn would be lining up against Crestwood High, knowing that a victory would put the Pioneers into the state playoffs and a loss would end the season with a mediocre record of 5-4. Weighing all of 135 pounds, Ali realized that he was not going to play any more football after high school. He would go back to watching it on television like the 6-year-old he had been when he discovered this crashing competition, much to the consternation of his parents, refugees from the more lethal forms of competition practiced in the Lebanese civil war.

If the kickoff on this October Friday was delayed a few minutes, Ali would be able to grab some crackers and a swig of Gatorade from the trainer. Otherwise, he would wait until halftime, having stashed a tuna sub in his locker for breaking the fast. As much as football meant to him, as much as it mattered to win, those things only counted for Ali if he was also staying true to Allah.

"To get through the fast," he put it, "I concentrate on the game."

The balance Ali struck was nothing unusual here in Dearborn, the center of the largest Arab community in the Americas. About one-third of the students at Ali's high school are Muslim, and the proportion is similar on the football team. Khalil Dabaja at defensive back, Amir Rustom at linebacker, Mohammad Kassab at nose guard, Hassan Cheaib at fullback - they all have mastered the rhythms of the twin rituals of Islam and the gridiron. (MORE)

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THE BODY DIES, THE SPIRIT LIVES - TOP
Helen Gray, Knight Ridder, 10/26/05
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/living/13000261.htm
Syed E. Hasan, Ph.D., Islamic Research Foundation: Spiritual care is very essential, but most people tend to ignore it.

We strive hard to fulfill the needs of our body but rarely do justice in providing nourishment to our soul. We make conscious efforts to nurture our body - a physical and mortal entity - by eating wholesome food, exercising and avoiding smoking and other bad habits.

However, when death occurs the body becomes useless and turns into a waste that needs to be disposed of (burial, cremation). In contrast we do not spend as much time and effort in nurturing the soul that does not die and is everlasting.

According to Islamic principles, the human soul represents a divine element that is placed inside a growing fetus by one of God's angels. It stays with the individual for the duration of his life but departs when he dies.

The best way to take care of our soul is to offer regular prayers and lead our life in a way that balances the need of body and soul, tempered with righteousness and piety, seeking God's pleasure.

Muslims are told that those who care only for the body by giving in to lust and desires or indulging in the materialistic aspects of the world while neglecting the soul will receive God's wrath. That is why Muslims forever pray to God asking to " keep us on the straight path, the path of those whom you have favored and not of those who went astray and earned your anger" (Qur'an 1:6-7).

SEE ALSO:

CAIR: A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL'S GUIDE TO ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS PRACTICES - TOP
https://www.cair-net.org/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=5

An excellent resource for medical and health professional's in dealing with Muslim patients. Examines aspects of death, autopsy, circumcision, illness and treatment, dietary requirements, and select medical procedures. 20 Pages. Price: 3.00 + $0.60 USPS Shipping and Handling

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EDITORIAL: LEGALIZED TORTURE, RELOADED - TOP
New York Times, 10/26/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/26/opinion/26wed2.html

Amid all the natural and political disasters it faces, the White House is certainly tireless in its effort to legalize torture. This week, Vice President Dick Cheney proposed a novel solution for the moral and legal problems raised by the use of American soldiers to abuse prisoners and the practice of turning captives over to governments willing to act as proxies in doing the torturing. Mr. Cheney wants to make it legal for the Central Intelligence Agency to do this wet work.

Mr. Cheney's proposal was made in secret to Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who won the votes of 89 other senators this month to require the civilized treatment of prisoners at camps run by America's military and intelligence agencies. Mr. McCain's legislation, an amendment to the Defense Department budget bill, would ban the "cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment of prisoners. In other words, it would impose age-old standards of democracy and decency on the new prisons.

President Bush's threat to veto the entire military budget over this issue was bizarre enough by itself, considering that the amendment has the support of more than two dozen former military leaders, including Colin Powell. They know that torture doesn't produce reliable intelligence and endangers Americans' lives. . .

Mr. McCain was right to reject this absurd proposal. The House should reject it as well.

SEE ALSO:

EDITORIAL: VICE PRESIDENT FOR TORTURE - TOP
Washington Post, 10/26/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/25/AR2005102501388.html

VICE PRESIDENT Cheney is aggressively pursuing an initiative that may be unprecedented for an elected official of the executive branch: He is proposing that Congress legally authorize human rights abuses by Americans. "Cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment of prisoners is banned by an international treaty negotiated by the Reagan administration and ratified by the United States. The State Department annually issues a report criticizing other governments for violating it. Now Mr. Cheney is asking Congress to approve legal language that would allow the CIA to commit such abuses against foreign prisoners it is holding abroad. In other words, this vice president has become an open advocate of torture. (MORE)

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CAIR: ASK CONGRESS TO SEND TORTURE BAN TO PRESIDENT - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=292&theType=AA

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CAIR ANTI-TORTURE CAMPAIGN - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/antitorture/

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JUDITH MILLER AND ME - TOP
John Sugg, Counterpunch, 10/24/05
http://www.counterpunch.org/sugg10252005.html

OK, for a start, there really is no "Judith Miller and me," at least in the sense that I'd invite her to my birthday party. But I have talked to her on the phone a few times (nothing to do with Valerie Plame, Scooter Libby or Karl Rove, however). For a time, our lives were remotely in each other's gravity, drawn together by a pseudo-journalist - indeed, a model for what Miller has become - named Steven Emerson. . .

Miller first surfaced on my radar about a decade ago. Her close confederate was Emerson. Both had been engaged in a furious campaign attacking virtually every Arab and Muslim voice in America. Emerson - who also at various times claimed to be a journalist - lost his foothold as a commentator among most responsible media, especially after he tried to pin the Oklahoma City bombing on Muslims. . .

My heavily documented revelations about Emerson provoked him to retaliate via a lawsuit. Noteworthy, the lawyer he went to for advice was Floyd Abrams, most recently in the news as Miller's attorney. That's only fitting.

We spent four years litigating with Emerson, and finally prevailed in both federal and state courts. The final blow to his case came when we obtained an order compelling him to show proof of his allegations. He wouldn't - couldn't? - and he ran away.

During the litigation, among the most interesting insights that I gleaned were reports of meetings held that involved Miller, Emerson, arch-Islamaphobe Daniel Pipes - and a number of other people we now call "neo-cons." All of these people had strong ties to the right-wing Likud party in Israel. Heck, Miller had even sat in on Israeli "interrogation" sessions of Palestinians; and Emerson provided beds in his Washington apartment to Likud spooks who slipped into the United States to try and undermine peace negotiations. (MORE)

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CA: MUSLIM WOMEN ADDRESS FAMILY PLANNING - TOP
Christine Bensen-Messinger, Eureka Reporter, 10/26/05
http://www.eurekareporter.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?ArticleID=5292

More than 100 community residents gathered in the Ingomar Club Tuesday evening to hear three Muslim women discuss there perceptions of how birth control and family planning are seen by their fellow Muslims.

The event, hosted by Six Rivers Planned Parenthood, included a reception, dinner, a moderated panel discussion and an opportunity for audience members to have their questions answered by the participants.

"The idea is, three people to give three different perspectives," said Stephanie Foster, the vice president for public policy of Planned Parenthood. "It is to give people an overarching perspective of Muslim women." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CALIFORNIA GUARDSMAN WHO OVERCAME ADVERSITY DIES IN IRAQ - TOP
Rone Tempest, Los Angeles Times, 10/25/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-102505calguard_lat,0,5512317,full.story

When a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle during a patrol in Baghdad, Neubauer became the 1,917th member of the armed forces - and the 17th California Guardsman - to die in the prosecution of the war since the U.S. invaded on March 20, 2003. It is the first conflict since Korea to have taken such a substantial toll on the Guard and Reserves.

Neubauer, who was 40 when he died, did not fit the image of the wholesome citizen-soldier. . .

Yet his story in the end, from his early days of recovery in 1995 to his death 10 years later, is one of personal triumph and achievement.

His tale includes more than one surprising turn, the most recent of which was on the religious front. By January of this year, when he was sent to Iraq as a Humvee turret gunner with the Modesto-based 1st Battalion, 184th Regiment, the blond, blue-eyed staff sergeant had converted to Islam, a fact he seldom mentioned to his fellow soldiers. . .

He made unlikely friends, including Ashok Desai, a Beverly Hills property manager and Indian-born Brahmin, with whom he studied world religions late into the night. "We stayed up discussing Hindu Vedic literature and the Koran," Desai said.

Partly through these exchanges with Desai, Neubauer became attracted to Islam, which preaches an abstemious life and forbids the consumption of alcohol. . .

Neubauer told friends back home that his newfound Islamic faith gave him empathy for the Iraqi people, particularly women and children. Military security rules prevented him from praying in Iraq's mosques, but he sometimes knelt at the side of the road with Iraqis.

"For me, he was the little kid from Colorado who finally had an opportunity to do good," Desai said. "He felt he was there for the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people to give them an idea of what Americans are all about. He really befuddled the Iraqis by praying with them." (MORE)

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OH: MOTHER CLEARED OF NEGLECT CHARGES - TOP
Judge backs mom who spent years fighting agency's allegations
Encarnacion Pyle, COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 10/25/05
http://www.dispatch.com/emailme/emailme.php?story=dispatch/2005/10/25/20051025-C1-01.html

More than two years, 27 court appearances and tens of thousands of dollars later, Hadiya AbdulSalaam has won her public fight against Franklin County Children Services.

In a rare move, Juvenile Court Judge Carole Squire recently set aside a court order in a childprotection case. A magistrate ruled last year that the Grandview Heights mother had educationally neglected two of her five children.

"Emotionally, my family will never be the same," said AbdulSalaam, 49, who runs a Downtown beauty supply and gift shop. "But the greatest revenge is living well, which is what we intend to do."

Children Services Director John Saros said he was surprised by the decision, which effectively clears AbdulSalaam's record of any finding of educational neglect. "I can't remember any other instance where a judge has set aside a previous order." (MORE)

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NM: ACLU ALLEGES RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE AT NMSU - TOP
Associated Press, 10/26/05

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has filed a grievance against New Mexico State head football coach Hal Mumme, alleging he discriminated against a now-released Muslim player by repeatedly questioning him about al-Qaida.

The grievance filed Tuesday on behalf of former Aggie running back Muammar Ali also alleges the football staff required the team to recite the Lord's Prayer at the end of each practice.

The grievance seeks a public apology from Mumme and disciplinary action against him. The ACLU also asked that NMSU provide diversity training to all students and employees.

The ACLU said Ali does not want to return to the Aggies to play for Mumme.

Ali - highly touted by Mumme and his staff in spring practice - started this season atop the depth chart against UTEP, carrying the ball seven times for 21 yards. He suited up the following week against Colorado in Boulder, but Justine Buries got the starting nod. Ali was not on the roster for the Aggies' next four games before his Oct. 9 release.

Asked earlier about Ali's diminished role, Mumme said the change was "performance based." Buries now is among the leading rushers in the Western Athletic Conference.

Ali's father, Mustafa Ali, said in a telephone call from his California home that Ali learned he was being released through a message an assistant coach left on his cell phone. His father said he has been denied in-person meetings with coaches.

The grievance, written by ACLU staff attorney George Bach of Albuquerque, said Mumme questioned Ali repeatedly in July about "Islam and specifically its ties to al-Qaida," the terrorist organization headed by Osama bin Laden.

Those actions "smack of religious discrimination sufficient to warrant a complete and immediate investigation by the NMSU Office of Institutional Equity," the ACLU said. (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

-----

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

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 14:11:21 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Each U.S. Mosque Urged to Raise $1,000 for Ramadan Campaign

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR ACTION ALERT #474

EACH U.S. MOSQUE URGED TO RAISE $1,000 FOR RAMADAN CAMPAIGN

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/26/05)
- CAIR is calling on Islamic centers, mosques and Muslim organizations nationwide to do their part in supporting its important civil rights and advocacy work by raising at least $1,000 for the "$1 MILLION FOR ISLAM IN RAMADAN" annual fundraising drive. (Scholars say CAIR is able to receive Zakat.)

CAIR intends (inshallah) to raise the much needed $1 million during Ramadan, the month of giving, and culminating with the national fundraising dinner on December 3rd in Washington, D.C. Funds raised during the campaign will be used to protect the civil and religious rights of Muslims, defend against defamatory attacks on Muslims and Islam and promote greater understanding of Islam in our society.

HOW YOUR DONATION HELPS CAIR?

* $25 will sponsor a copy the Holy Quran sent free-of-charge to Americans of all faiths interested in learning about Islam as part of CAIR's "Explore the Quran" campaign. So far, 24,000 Qurans have been requested, but thousands of these requests await sponsors. Sponsor a Quran today. See: www.explorethequran.org

* $100 will support CAIR's Publications Department that prints and distributes thousands of free and low-cost booklets to educate American Muslims about their rights and responsibilities and educate fellow Americans about Islam and Muslims. CAIR's free publications include the "Know Your Rights Pocket Guide," and the "Muslim Community Safety Kit." Other CAIR publications include a congressional guide, an annual civil rights report and a media relations handbook for Muslim activists.

* $250 will sponsor the compilation and distribution of CAIR's "American Muslim News Briefs" for a day. CAIR's news briefs are a must-read for Muslim activists and for media professionals and other opinion leaders. Preparing each brief requires hours of research and ongoing subscription to expensive Internet service providers and media research engines such as Nexis and Factiva. CAIR send 5-7 news briefs every week.

* $500 will sponsor the monthly cost of connecting the Muslim community with its political representatives through web-based tools such as Capwiz, an expensive by efficient benefit offered free on CAIR's website.

* $600 will sponsor a news conference to announce major American Muslim initiatives at places known to the media, such as the National Press Club. CAIR holds several such conferences each year to announce major news, including the release of its annual civil rights report.

* $800 will sponsor an intern at CAIR for a month. CAIR has an ongoing program to train Muslim interns from across the nation in civil rights, media relations and political activism.

* $1000 will sponsor a one-day workshop to offer similar training for Muslim activists and leaders.

* $2000 will support CAIR's Civil Rights Department in dealing with the more than 1500 civil rights complaints received each year. Dealing with each case requires hours of hard work by CAIR's civil rights professionals and lawyers.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED:

1. Organize a fundraising effort
after Friday prayers at your mosque or center. Set a goal of at least $1,000. Explain why community support is so important to CAIR's work.

2. Donate generously to the campaign yourself. Go to: http://www.cair.com/ramadan2005/

3. Ask all your friends, relatives and colleagues to donate and become members of CAIR.

4. SUBSCRIBE to CAIR-NET at: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net (Urge people on your personal e-mail list to subscribe as well.)

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

1) ___YES, my Islamic center will raise $__________ for CAIR.

Name of Center:
Contact Person:
Address:
City:
State:
ZIP:
Phone:
E-Mail:

2) ___ I would also like to make a personal donation of:

___ $25 ___ $50 ___ $100 ___ $250 ___$500 ___ $1000

Name:
Address:
City:
State:
ZIP:

Phone:
Fax:
E-Mail:

Payment: ___Check ___VISA ___MasterCard ___Discover ___Money Order
Credit Card Number:
Exp. Date:
Name as on Card:

Signature: ________________________________________________

SEND TO: Membership Dept., CAIR, 453 New Jersey Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003

FAX: 202-488-0833

E-MAIL: membership@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


Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 12:52:37 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: American Muslims May Exceed U.S. Quake Relief Pledge / NY Muslims to Host Officials at Iftar / CAIR-CT Wins Accommodation for Fasting Students

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/27/05

* Verse: God Creates in Perfect Proportion
* Top 10 Reasons to Support CAIR: #4 - Outreach
* DC: Dinner Volunteer Meeting Oct. 29
* CAIR-NY: NY Muslims to Host Officials at Iftar Dinner
            - CAIR-TX: Mayor Speaks at Ramadan Celebration
* CAIR-CT Wins Accommodation for Fasting Students
            - CAIR-FL Reacts to Banning of Religious Holidays
* CAIR-Cincinnati: Muslims to Hold 'Sharing' Ramadan' Iftar
            - CAIR-OH: TV Show Gives WV Man Clearer Image of Islam
* American Muslims May Exceed U.S. Pledge for Quake Relief
            - GA: Muslims Mobilize to Aid Quake Victims (AJC)
            - MI: Muslim Groups Collecting for Quake Victims
            - CA: Muslim Fundraiser to Help Kashmir Quake Victims
            - CA: Christian Groups Aid Relief Effort
* Torture: We Don't Want a Hanoi Hilton (Wash Post)
            - Action: Ask Congress to Send Torture Ban to President
            - CAIR Anti-Torture Campaign
* Jihad in Oklahoma? You Got it All Wrong, Bloggers (DMN)
* MI: Lecture on Islamic Revitalization in Cambodia
            - MI: Scholar to Speak on American-Muslim Issues
* FL: Muslim Worker Sues for Discrimination (SP Times)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: GOD CREATES IN PERFECT PROPORTION - TOP

"Surely We have created everything in perfect measure and proportion."

The Holy Quran, 54:49

"Did you think that We had created you without any purpose and that you would never return to Us for accountability?"

The Holy Quran, 23:115

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TOP 10 REASONS TO SUPPORT CAIR: REASON #4 - OUTREACH - TOP

CAIR launched an initiative, called "Muslims Care" designed to promote volunteerism in the American Muslim community. This effort lets Americans see the true generous and charitable nature of Islam as Muslims help to feed the poor, rebuild places of worship and generally uplift local communities through positive actions. See: www.muslims-care.org

To offer your support, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/ramadan2005/

Scholars say that donations to CAIR qualify as Zakat.

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DC: DINNER VOLUNTEER MEETING OCT. 29 - TOP

Volunteers are needed for CAIR's 11th annual banquet, to be held Saturday, December 3, 2005, in Virginia. Those wishing to volunteer are asked to attend a meeting this Saturday, October 29, from 11 a.m.-noon, at CAIR's Capitol Hill office, 453 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, D.C. For more information, please e-mail events@cair-net.org or call 202-488-8787, ext. 6050.

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CAIR-NY: NEW YORK MUSLIMS TO HOST OFFICIALS AT IFTAR DINNER - TOP
City, state, federal, and international guests to break Ramadan fast with Muslim community

(NEW YORK, NY, 10/27/05) - On Thursday, October 27, local and national public officials will join the Muslim community of New York City to break their fast during a Ramadan "Iftar," or fast breaking dinner, at Masjid Al-Fatih in Brooklyn, N.Y. Mayor Bloomberg has also been invited.

WHEN: Thursday, October 27th, 2005
WHERE: Masjid Al-Fatih, 59-11 Eighth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Wissam Nasr, 917-751-1017 or 212-870-2002, E-Mail: director@cair-ny.org

Featured speakers at the dinner include New York City Human Rights Commissioner Patricia Gatling and civil rights attorney Omar Mohammedi, as well as representatives from New York's Arab-American, Turkish, African-American and Latino Muslim community.

In recent years, New York Muslims have enjoyed greater inclusion in the public life of the city and its institutions. This Ramadan event highlights the efforts of Muslims to strengthen their bonds with government representatives in New York.

The event is sponsored by: United American Muslim Association, Muslim Finance Professionals Association, Women in Islam, ICNA Relief, Council of People's Organizations, Jamaica Muslim Center, and the New York office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY)

SEE ALSO:

TX: MAYOR EULINE BROCK SPEAKS AT RAMADAN CELEBRATION - TOP
Michael Hernandez, North Texas Daily, 10/27/05
http://www.ntdaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/10/27/43606181daf4c

The Muslim Student Association had a date with dates, the fruit, in the Silver Eagle Suite in the University Union last night.

The event Wednesday evening was in honor of Ramadan, the traditional month of fasting for the Islamic religion. This is the fourth year the organization has held such an event.

A plate of dates, a fruit that grows on palm trees, sat on each table for people to eat when the day's fasting was over.

Wednesday's turnout was about 50 people less than last year, said Halil Okur, Ankara, Turkey graduate student and former vice president of the Muslim Student Association.

The crowd was made up of about 100 students, teachers, community members and the Denton Mayor Euline Brock.

"I think [Islam] is an important part of Denton's culture and life," Brock said. "I'm honored to be invited."

Brock gave a short speech during the event, which also included a presentation on Ramadan by Iyas Maleh, the president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Dallas/Fort Worth chapter. (MORE)

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CAIR-OH: CINCINNATI MUSLIMS TO HOLD SHARING RAMADAN IFTAR - TOP
People of many faiths will break Ramadan fast with Muslim community

[CINCINNATI, OH, 10/27/05) - On Sunday, October 30, 2005, the Cincinnati chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Ohio office (CAIR-Ohio) will host its 2nd annual Ramadan Interfaith Iftar Banquet. Guests will include public officials, civic leaders and members of the interfaith community. "Iftar" is the meal eaten after sunset to break the fast each day during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

WHAT: 2nd Annual Interfaith Ramadan Iftar Banquet
WHEN: October 30, 2005, 5 p.m.
WHERE: Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
CONTACT: CAIR-OH, Cincinnati, Karen Dabdoub, 513-281-8200, E-Mail: cincinnati@cair-ohio.com; Brent Meyer, 513-276-1600

The evening's program will include presentations on Ramadan and CAIR-Ohio. Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset.

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-OH: REALITY TV SHOW OFFERS W.VA. MAN CLEARER VISION OF MUSLIM LIFE - TOP
Bob Paschen, Columbus Messenger, 10/17/05
http://columbusmessenger.com/101705/eastside/CAIR.htm

Television gave West Virginian David Stacy the image of Muslims as intolerant terrorists.

It took his participation in a reality TV show, in which he lived with a Muslim family for 30 days, to change his point of view.

"My images of Muslims were based on Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Mike Tyson," said David Stacy at the Center for American Islamic Relations' annual Ramadan dinner. "So many people like me used to watch the news and see the negative pictures of Muslims. It shows you the power of the magic box."

About 500 people gathered Oct. 9 and watched humorous excerpts of Stacy's misadventures as a participant in the reality show "30 Days."

Created by Morgan Spurlock, the documentary filmmaker and star of the movie "Super Size Me," the television show puts Americans in challenging situations that test their beliefs.

Stacy, a Christian who stereotyped Muslims as repressed terrorists, was transplanted from West Virginia to the home of a Muslim doctor and his family in Dearborn, Mich.

The audience laughed as Stacy, wearing traditional Muslim clothing and head cap, fumbled through morning prayers, was stopped by airport security, and tried and failed to get Dearborners to sign a petition prohibiting racial profiling of Muslims.

"There are so many false perceptions" of Muslims, Stacy told the group. "I truly looked in the mirror and a lot of what I saw I wasn't proud of."

Stacy said his friends in West Virginia have started calling him "Muslim Dave."

Though he has gained new friends from his experience on "30 Days," Stacy said he has also "made a lot of enemies."

Since the show aired nationwide, he has been mailed a glut of anti-Islam literature and audio tapes. "I'm saving them to burn them and heat my house this winter."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is a national organization. Eight years ago, Ahmad Al-Akhras started the CAIR satellite office in Columbus, the second in the nation.

"Our mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam and encourage dialogue," Al-Akhras said. "We work for Muslim civil liberties and to build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding." (MORE)

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CAIR-CT WINS ACCOMMODATION FOR FASTING STUDENTS - TOP

(NEW LONDON, CT, 10/27/05) - The Connecticut office of the Council of
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CT) today announced that fasting Muslim students at a Bridgeport elementary school will no longer be required to sit in the cafeteria during lunch hour.

CAIR-CT met with school officials after receiving a complaint that the Muslim students, who are observing the month-long Islamic fast of Ramadan, had to watch classmates eat their lunch in the cafeteria.

The school will now allow Muslim students to study in a separate room under the supervision of teacher during their lunch break. CAIR-CT will also offer diversity training about Islam at the school.

CONTACT: CAIR-CT Director of Civil Rights Hamza Collins, 860-995-6628, Badr Malik, 860-575-4400

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-FL REACTS TO BANNING OF RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS - TOP

CAIR Central Florida Director Ahmed Bedier on ABC's Tampa affiliate WFTS reacting to the Hillsborough School Board's decision to eliminate all vacation days falling on religious holidays.

GO TO: http://real.scripps.com:8480/ramgen/tampalive/news/2005/10/1026holidays.rm

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AMERICAN MUSLIMS MAY EXCEED U.S. PLEDGE FOR PAKISTAN QUAKE RELIEF - TOP
Jehangir Khattak, Muslims Weekly, 10/27/05
http://news.pacificnews.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=0446f1f5c09451c0430d3a514791b060

NEW YORK - The American Muslim community is expected to raise more funds for the victims of earthquake that struck Pakistan, Kashmir and Afghanistan on Oct. 8, than the $50 million dollars in aid pledged so far by the United States government.

More than a dozen national Muslim organizations and groups have already raised $20 million in relief aid for the earthquake victims in Pakistan and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.

During interviews with the Muslims Weekly, managers of these Islamic and Pakistani relief groups and community organizations sounded upbeat while claiming an overwhelming response to the huge disaster of unimaginable proportions in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir that has killed 54,197 people as of Oct. 26.

As the donations of money, food, medical supplies and other needed goods continue to be made by individuals and mosques around the country, the long-term contribution from this minority group is expected to climb beyond the initial $50 million aid package offered by the U.S. government.

Some Muslims are fearful of donating money to Islamic organizations which the U.S. government could investigate for terrorist connections so have contributed large sums to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mercy international and many American and United Kingdom groups. If those sums are included in the total donations, then the Muslims community's pledges might already exceed the government's aid package. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

GA: TRAGEDY OVERSEAS DEEPENS SACRIFICE - TOP
BILL HENDRICK, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
http://www.ajc.com/news/content/living/1005/27lvramadan.html

Charity is an important part of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.

This year, Muslims around Atlanta are mobilizing to send warm clothing to victims of the devastating earthquake that killed up to some 79,000 people in Pakistan and South Asia on Oct. 8 - just four days after the start of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting, contemplation and charity.

Amjad Taufique, a member of the board of trustees of the Islamic Center of Marietta, said most of the 30 or so mosques in the Atlanta area have already sent money and now are collecting sweaters, coats, gloves and other cold-weather items badly needed by refugees and the many thousands living in early-winter conditions.

Omer Ahmad, president of the Georgia chapter of the American Muslim Council, said an earthquake relief committee was formed immediately after the huge temblor struck. He said more than $100,000 has been raised in metro Atlanta. The funds and clothing, he said, are being channeled through the Edhi Foundation, the Pakistani President's Fund, the Aga Khan Foundation and an organization called Hidaya. (MORE)

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MI: MUSLIM GROUPS COLLECTING FOR QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Citizen Patriot, 10/26/05
http://www.mlive.com/news/jacitpat/index.ssf?/base/news-14/1130340981308870.xml&coll=3

Two area Muslim groups are raising money for earthquake victims in Pakistan.

The Muslim Association of Jackson Community will host a dinner at 6 p.m. Sunday at Arbor Hills Country Club, 1426 Arbor Hills Road.

Donations will be accepted by the South Central Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross, and 100 percent of each check written will go for relief efforts. Each guest is asked to contribute at least $100.

Those who cannot attend but would like to donate can send a check to: MAJC, 200 Summit Ave., Suite B, Jackson, MI 49204. Specify in the memo area that it is for earthquake relief.

Dinner reservations are suggested by Thursday with Dr. Mumtaz Memon, 812-8596.

In addition, the Islamic Society of Jackson is taking collections to buy tents and other items.

Anyone who would like to donate money can send it to the society's mosque, 410 McNeal St., Jackson, MI 49203. Put "earthquake victims" in the memo area.

The money will be donated through Islamic Relief, a United Nations program. For more information, call 784-9104.

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CA: FUNDRAISER TO HELP KASHMIR QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP
Todd Milbourn, Sacramento Bee, 10/26/05
http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/religion/story/13770451p-14612569c.html

SACRAMENTO - Area Muslim leaders will hold a fundraiser Nov. 1 for victims of the Kashmir earthquake.

Organizers will collect coats, blankets and other warm clothing articles to send to homeless victims, who face grave danger as winter approaches.

The Oct. 8 earthquake has killed more than 50,000 people in the remote region of Pakistan. Relief officials have complained the world isn't doing enough to help the victims as fears rise that many who survived the quake will die of cold, starvation or untended injuries in its wake.

The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom at 1215 J St. in Sacramento.

For more information, call 825-0027.

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CA: MUSLIM RELIEF A DELICATE MISSION - TOP
George Watson, San Bernadino County Sun, 10/27/05
http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_3154716

For centuries, the arrival of Christians on Muslim soil could be construed as an attempt to infiltrate the culture and then dominate the people.

But these days, as a series of epic calamities has rocked several Muslim nations, causing hundreds of thousand of deaths, Christians are being welcomed, perhaps like never before.

Two local institutions are helping lead overseas efforts of aid and reconstruction in such places as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia.

Both continue to find leaders of these foreign lands, and foreign cultures, receptive to opening their borders, even in a post-Sept. 11 world filled with distrust and anger between Eastern and Western worlds.

"It's really bridging the gap in the small global village among us," said Dany Doueiri, a Cal State San Bernardino lecturer of Islamic and Arabic studies.

The two institutions, Loma Linda University and Redlands-based Mission Aviation Fellowship, can present an important face to dispute a distorted view that many Muslims have of Americans, Doueiri said.

The key, Doueiri and officials with both institutions said, is refraining from actions that would anger or embarrass their foreign hosts.

A prime example would be proselytizing. It's why both institutions make sure everyone understands their missions in Islamic countries are for relief and assistance, not missionary work.

"It can't be a facade," said Kevin Swanson, president of Mission Aviation Fellowship, which uses its fleet of small planes to fly supplies and communication equipment into isolated areas, such as the current effort in response to the Pakistani earthquake that killed more than 50,000. "We don't deny the fact that we are Christians, but we make it known we are there for humanitarian reasons." (MORE)

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TORTURE: WE DON'T WANT A HANOI HILTON - TOP
Richard Cohen, Washington Post, 10/27/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/26/AR2005102601909.html

Five years ago I went to Vietnam with Sen. John McCain. We went to the so-called Hanoi Hilton, the jail where American POWs were kept and where McCain spent much of his 5 1/2 years in captivity, most of the time being brutalized, some of the time being tortured. It was a dark, fetid place where waves of claustrophobia washed over me, and I wanted to flee, as McCain could not have done. "Nice place, huh?" he said to me as we left. For the stoical McCain, that amounted to a primordial scream.

I watched McCain closely that day. I know only a few people who were tortured, and never had I accompanied any of them back to where they were put through so much pain. McCain is not a let-it-all-hang-out sort of guy. He does not weep on cue or choke for the cameras. But he does resolve. Somewhere along the way, he apparently resolved that what happened to him should not happen to anyone else -- especially at the hands of Americans.

So McCain's amendment, added to a $440 billion military spending bill, would ban the U.S. military and other government agencies -- the CIA, for instance -- from engaging in "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees. The Senate approved the amendment 90 to 9. Whatever it meant to 89 of the senators, to McCain it was simply a matter of doing to others what he would have wanted done unto him. It is, in that sense, a very old idea.

Stunningly, George W. Bush has threatened to veto this measure. Bush has vetoed not one bill in all of his presidency but would, he says, veto this one. The threat borders on the preposterous, or maybe the idiotic, because it is hard to imagine any president vetoing a measure that forbids torture, given the black eye that the United States has received over the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad. After that, Bush would have to issue his veto in the middle of the night and have it recorded in invisible ink. I'd leave it to Karen Hughes to explain it to the Islamic world. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR: ASK CONGRESS TO SEND TORTURE BAN TO PRESIDENT - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=292&theType=AA

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CAIR ANTI-TORTURE CAMPAIGN - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/antitorture/

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JIHAD IN OKLAHOMA? YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG, BLOGGERS - TOP
'Citizen journalists' hurt their cause - and a grieving family
Cathy Young, Dallas Morning News, 10/27/05
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/viewpoints/stories/DN-young_27edi.ART.State.Edition1.c5cc34d.html

On Oct. 1, a tragedy shocked the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman: 21-year-old engineering student Joel Henry Hinrichs III killed himself with a homemade bomb while sitting on a bench about 100 yards from the university's football stadium, packed with 84,000 fans.

Since then, this sad event has mushroomed into a story that touches on some important and controversial issues: vigilance and paranoia in the age of terrorism and journalistic ethics in the age of the "new media."

Within days of Mr. Hinrichs' death, a number of Web sites were speculating that he had planned to blow himself up inside the stadium and that he was a radical Muslim terrorist. Blog headlines screamed, "Jihad at the University of Oklahoma?" and "The Oklahoma suicide bomber."

Bloggers demanded to know why the mainstream media were ignoring the story, and some supplied a ready answer: The liberals in the media were afraid to "offend the gods of political correctness" - as syndicated columnist and blogger Michelle Malkin put it - by calling attention to Islamic terrorism on U.S. soil.

But was there any substance to the story? Apparently not. According to the authorities, there is no indication that Mr. Hinrichs was anything more than a depressed, troubled young man. (MORE)

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MI: SPEAKER ILLUSTRATES EFFECTS OF ISLAMIC REVITALIZATION - TOP
Jennifer Hoewe, Grand Valley Lanthorn, 10/27/05
http://www.lanthorn.com/news.asp?type=NS&aid=5508

Anna M. Gade presented an insight into the Islamic revitalization in Southeast Asia when she visited Grand Valley State University on Tuesday. Gade described the specific customs of Cambodian culture by relating readings of their holy book the Qur'an.

The memorization of the Qur'an is an important aspect to this religion throughout portions of Southeast Asia, Gade said. In her recent project, "Religious Revitalization and Recovery: Cham Muslims in Cambodia," she explored the development of Islamic revitalization through Qur'an memorizations.

"The goal of this project is to reflect contemporary Islamic revitalization in Southeast Asia," Gade said. "This process reflects the rich diversity of religion and also embraces the Muslim values of pluralism and respect for difference." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MI: FULBRIGHT SCHOLAR TO SPEAK ON AMERICAN-MUSLIM ISSUES - TOP
LTV News, 10/26/05
http://www.ltvnews.com/viewarticle.php?id=3591

A visiting Fulbright scholar from Egypt is based at Lake Superior State University for the next three weeks as she visits classrooms and communities to discuss relations between Americans and Muslims.

Rachida El Diwani Ph.D., arrived at LSSU on Oct. 22 and started meeting students and community members right away. Besides LSSU students and faculty, El Diwani is meeting with residents at St. Joseph Parish in Sault Ste. Marie, members of Lake State Elders, and students and staff of Sault Area High School, Bay Mills Community College in Brimley and North Central Michigan College in Petoskey.

"She comes to the community as a Fulbright Visiting Specialist, whose two-fold mission is to help American colleges and universities enrich their international programs and courses of study, and to provide opportunities for intensive exposure to the surrounding communities," said Jason Swedene, LSSU professor of humanities.

"Current events and ideologies have refocused attentions to the ways in which Islamic civilizations and the West interact. El Diwani, who holds a Ph.D. in French literature, will provide insight to students in subjects as diverse as women in Islam, humanities, French, sociology, and nursing." (MORE)

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FL: EX-EMPLOYEES SUE FOR DISCRIMINATION - TOP
BILL VARIAN, St. Petersburg Times, 10/27/05
http://sptimes.com/

TAMPA - Engineer Paul Shams says he couldn't believe the things he heard while temporarily employed for the Hillsborough County Water Department as a probationary employee.

His supervisor and co-workers routinely used racially derogatory language when describing a white staff engineer named Al Martini who is married to an African woman from Uganda, he said. One told Shams that Martini needed to be sent back to Africa, that he was a "troublemaker." Another warned Shams to be wary of Martini because he has mental problems and might attack for no reason.

Shams says the man who was his direct supervisor ultimately pressured him to write a phony complaint against Martini he said he knew was untrue. Shams says he refused, and within a few days was dismissed.

On Wednesday, Shams and Martini filed separate federal lawsuits against Hillsborough County claiming their First and Fourth Amendment rights to free speech, religion and association were violated. In addition to the alleged treatment of Martini, Shams said he too fell into disfavor in the office when his supervisors learned he was from Iran and is Muslim. (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: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 14:12:46 -0400
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CA Muslims to Call for Urgent Quake Aid / Reject Legalizing CIA Torture / MI Muslims to Hold Ramadan Food Drive

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/28/05

* Verse: God Loves the Equitable
* Top 10 Reasons to Support CAIR: #5 - Anti-Defamation
            - Quran Recipient Thanks CAIR
* ACTION: Reject Legalizing CIA Torture
            - Iraqi Prisoner Dies During CIA Interrogation (NPR)
* CAIR-SV: Sacramento Valley Muslims to Call for Urgent Quake Aid
* CAIR-MI: Michigan Muslims to Hold Ramadan Food Drive
            - CAIR-CT: School Accommodates Fasting Muslim Students
            - CAIR-MD/VA: Muslim Woman Wins Settlement in Suit
            - CAIR-SC: Religious Observances - Eid ul-Fitr
* CA: Pakistani-Americans Decry Lack of Quake Aid
            - UN Warns Funds Drying Up for Quake Aid (AP)
            - Pakistani-American Docs Mobilize for Relief Efforts
            - ACTION: Ask President, Congress to Boost Quake Aid
            - American Muslim Task Force for Disaster Relief
* IN: Conflict Over Muslim Students in Elementary School
            - CA: Student Balance Religion with Sports
* NJ: Islamic Manuscripts to be Made Available Online
* MI: Ramadan's a Gift to Muslims and Non-Muslims, too
* Youssou N'Dour: International Hybrid of Music Inspired by Islam

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VERSE OF THE DAY: GOD LOVES THE EQUITABLE - TOP

"It may be that God will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom you (now) hold as enemies: for God has power (over all things); and God is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. God does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who had neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes. In fact God loves the equitable."

The Holy Quran, 60:7-8

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TOP 10 REASONS TO SUPPORT CAIR: REASON #5 - ANTI-DEFAMATION - TOP

Earlier this year, Washington, D.C., radio talk show host Michael Graham said repeatedly on air: "We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam."

In response, CAIR mobilized the community to contact the station and its advertisers. Thousands of you took positive action, and together we got results:

"Well they got me," Graham later wrote. "I have been fired for making the specific comments CAIR deemed 'offensive.'" The Washington Post reported that, "Graham blamed CAIR for his firing."

To offer your support for CAIR, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/ramadan2005/

Scholars say that donations to CAIR qualify as Zakat.

SEE ALSO:

QURAN RECIPIENT THANKS CAIR - TOP

The following is a letter CAIR received from a "Quran Project" recipient in Oregon:

"Please allow me to take this opportunity to thank you and the Council on American-Islamic Relations for the precious gift of the Holy Qur'an.

I must confess my delight at receiving such a physically beautiful sacred text. I was rather expecting a paperback, thus my delight was exponentially increased when I noted the quality of the book as well as the scholarly transliteration and translation.

Please rest assured not that the gift of the text is deeply appreciated, but the holy book will be treated with the utmost respect and dignity.

I sincerely hope that the noble effort of the CAIR to introduce people to Islam on its own terms (as opposed to media and fear-based political definitions, etc.) meets with success.

Again, thank you for your kindness and generosity."

To SPONSOR or OBTAIN a Quran, GO TO: www.explorethequran.com

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CAIR ACTION ALERT #475: REJECT LEGALIZING CIA TORTURE - TOP

(WASHINGTON, DC, 10/28/2005) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on all people of conscience to contact their elected representatives and urge them to oppose Vice President Cheney's proposal to exempting CIA employees from a proposed congressional ban on torture of prisoners in U.S. custody.

SEE: "Cheney Plan Exempts CIA From Bill Barring Abuse of Detainees"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/24/AR2005102402051.html

Recently, the Senate overwhelmingly endorsed the proposed law, an amendment to a $440 billion defense appropriations bill. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a former prisoner of war and a torture survivor, sponsored the amendment.

Vice President Cheney and CIA Director Porter Goss both proposed exempting the CIA from the torture ban. Senator McCain rejected the idea.

According to the Washington Post:

"The CIA has been implicated in a number of alleged abuses in Iraq and has been linked to at least a few cases in which detainees have died during interrogations at separate military bases throughout the country. So far, no CIA operatives have been charged in connection with the abuse, although a single CIA contract employee is on trial for involvement in the death of an Afghanistan detainee, and sources have indicated that a grand jury may be looking at other allegations involving the CIA."

President Bush says he will veto the appropriations bill if it comes to him with McCain's torture ban. That would result in the president's first veto being used to defend the torture of prisoners during interrogation.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED:

1) Contact your Representative in the U.S. Congress and ask them send the McCain anti-torture amendment to President Bush as it is written.

TO CONTACT YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES, GO TO: http://capwiz.com/cair/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=8088021

SEE ALSO:

THE DEATH OF AN IRAQI PRISONER - TOP
John McChesney, National Public Radio, 10/27/05
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4977986

All Things Considered, October 27, 2005 · Photographs of grinning GIs crouched over the iced-down, battered corpse of Manadel al-Jamadi were among the most horrific images of the 2003 Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The photos became one of the most powerful symbols for those who opposed to the American invasion of Iraq.

The Iraqi insurgent died within hours of his capture, while being interrogated by the CIA. A military autopsy ruled Jamadi's death a homicide, but no one has been held accountable for his death.

An NPR special report recounts the final hours of Jamadi's life, compiled from a review of thousands of CIA and military documents. Interviews with those present the night he died reveal the techniques used to extract information from Jamadi, and also show a discrepancy between military police and CIA agents about what happened just before his death. (MORE)

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CAIR-SV: SACRAMENTO MUSLIMS TO CALL FOR URGENT QUAKE AID - TOP

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 10/28/05) - On Monday, October 31, leaders of the Sacramento Valley Muslim community, along with representatives of the Interfaith Service Bureau (ISB), will hold a press conference to announce an urgent appeal to help victims of the devastating earthquake in South Asia.

WHAT: News Conference Announcing Quake Aid Appeal and Fundraising Dinner
WHEN: Monday, October 31, 2005, 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: In Front of Sacramento City Hall
CONTACT: CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, (916) 441-6269, e-mail: sacval@cair.com; ISB Executive Director Reverend Dexter McNamara, (914) 448-2212

The community leaders will also announce a fundraising dinner to collect monetary donations and clothing to be sent to the devastated areas. The dinner will held on Wednesday, November 1, from 5-8 p.m., at the Grand Ballroom, 1215 J Street, Sacramento.

United Nations officials say relief flight to the quake victims may be suspended soon unless more aid is forthcoming.

SEE: "Quake Copters May be Grounded"
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/10/27/so.asian.quake.toll/

Official reports indicate that at least 55,000 people were killed in the devastating earthquake that shook Pakistan, Kashmir, India and Afghanistan. Many more may die unless aid reaches them in time.

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CAIR-MI: MICHIGAN MUSLIMS HOLD RAMADAN FOOD DRIVE - TOP

(LATHRUP VILLAGE, MI, 10/28/05) - The Michigan office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today announced that Metro Detroit Muslims are preparing a winter food drive to coincide with the last days of the month-long fast of Ramadan.

Partnering with Sam's Club in Farmington Hills, Mich., the Muslim community plans to pack and distribute more than $30,000 worth of food to 16 distribution points in the Metro Detroit and Flint areas.

WHAT: Ramadan Winter Food Drive
WHEN: Saturday, October 29, 10 A.M.
WHERE: Sam's Club, 32625 Northwestern Hwy., Farmington Hills, Mich.
CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418

"During Ramadan, Muslims seek to increase their worship, which means increasing our service to humanity," said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-CT: SCHOOL ACCOMMODATES FASTING MUSLIM STUDENTS - TOP
FRANCES GRANDY TAYLOR, Hartford Courant, 10/28/05
http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-ramadan1028.artoct28,0,6578998.story

Muslim students at a Bridgeport elementary school who observe the month of Ramadan by fasting will no longer be required to spend lunchtime in the school cafeteria with other students, following the settlement Thursday of a complaint against the school by an Islamic advocacy group.

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations contacted administrators at the Curiale School after receiving a complaint that Muslim students were confined to the cafeteria during lunchtime.

Ramadan is the month in the Islamic lunar calendar during which the faithful abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from sunrise to sunset, when the fast is broken.

In past years Muslim children had been permitted to spend the time in the principal's office or the library, said Hamza Ismail Collins, the chapter's director of civil rights. This year, they were told to sit in the cafeteria, he said.

Collins said he received a follow-up call from the school later Thursday, in which he was told the school will allow the children to study in a separate room under a teacher's supervision during their lunch break. (MORE)

CONTACT: CAIR-CT Director of Civil Rights Hamza Collins, 860-995-6628, Badr Malik, 860-575-4400

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CAIR: MUSLIM WOMAN WINS SETTLEMENT IN SUIT - TOP
Store agrees to pay $16K for post-Sept. 11 firing
Mike Santa Rita, Howard County Times, 10/27/05
http://news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2.cfm?pnpID=573&NewsID=671166&CategoryID=742&show=localnews&om=1

A Muslim woman fired at a Columbia store shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 has won a settlement from the company that terminated her employment.

Shabana Ahmed, a Columbia resident, will receive $16,000 in an agreement reached Sept. 19 with School & Pre-School Supply Center Inc., of Baltimore County, the owner of Learning How, in Columbia, according to the settlement.

In November 2001, Ahmed filed a complaint with the Maryland Commission on Human Relations alleging religious discrimination in the company's decision to fire her the month before.

The $16,000 represents the amount of salary the company would have paid Ahmed prior to the time she found new employment after being fired, said Lee Hoshall, an attorney with the Commission on Human Relations, which represented Ahmed in the matter.

The company also will provide its staff training in cultural and religious awareness, and has agreed to apologize in writing to Ahmed "for the manner in which she was treated by Learning How," according to the settlement agreement.

Michael Wayland, chief financial officer for School & Pre-School Supply Center Inc., denied that Ahmed's firing amounted to discrimination.

"We feel like it was simply a matter of miscommunication," he said. "Ms. Ahmed was let go for budgetary reasons."

Fired in the parking lot

Ahmed, 27, a former biology teacher at Centennial High School, said in an interview this week that her manager never gave her a good reason for firing her on Oct. 25, 2001, which made her suspicious.

"The day that I was fired I was just met in the parking lot and told by the manager that I was no longer working there," she said.

Ahmed contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group based in Washington, whose officials told her to contact the Commission on Human Relations, she said.

"Since it was right after (the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks) I think they were inundated with a lot of cases like this," she said. "They told us to contact the human relations commission first."

After the commission's initial attempts to reach a settlement with Learning How were unsuccessful, it filed discrimination charges against the company with the State Office of Administrative Hearings in April this year, Hoshall said. The settlement was reached Sept. 19. (MORE)

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CAIR-SC: RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES BEGIN NEXT WEEK - TOP
The State, 10/28/05
http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/local/13017291.htm

EID EL FITR

Date: Observed Thursday or Nov. 4, depending on the sighting of the new moon.

What it is: This day marks the official end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.

History: Ramadan and its festive ending, Eid El Fitr, have been practiced since the beginnings of Islam in the seventh century. Observance of the holiday is considered one of the seven pillars of Islam. Eid was developed as a festive conclusion to this holy month.

Modern observance: During Ramadan, Muslims are not permitted to eat, drink, smoke or partake of many other activities during daylight hours. Eid is a joyous feast that marks the end of the season of fasting. Muslim families gather in homes or at mosques to eat elaborate meals, play games, and give and receive gifts.

Locally: The public is invited to attend a special Eid cultural festival from 2 to 7 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Lexington Municipal Complex, 1111 Maiden Lane in Lexington. Activities will include storytelling, a children's program, a show featuring traditional costumes from Muslim nations and henna art. The event is sponsored by the Midlands chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

CONTACT: CAIR-SC, 803-210-7355

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CA: LOCAL PAKISTANIS DECRY QUAKE AID - TOP
Second wave of death predicted if relief efforts fail to reach victims
Jonathan Jones, Tri-Valley herald, 10/27/05
http://www.insidebayarea.com/trivalleyherald/localnews/ci_3155818

FREMONT - Time is running out. That's the message from Hazem Kira and other local Pakistani-Americans more than two weeks after a deadly earthquake devastated the northern part of their homeland.

Kira, a spokesman for the Newark-based Pakistan American Democratic Forum, said they've collected more than 200 petitions from local residents urging the Bush administration to dispatch additional helicopters based in Afghanistan to help transport goods to remote areas of Pakistan.

"We want to put as much pressure as we can on the U.S. to use its military resources to help," said Kira, who helped post an online petition on their local earthquake relief Web site,www.voiceofpakistan.net.

Although the United States agreed Monday to send nine more helicopters and medical unit for relief operations - in addition to the 21 helicopters currently in use - Kira said more help is needed to prevent a second wave of deaths as temperatures plummet in the remote mountainous regions of Kashmir.

"Practically speaking, it's nowhere near the number they need," Kira said. "There are some areas that haven't been touched since the earthquake more than two weeks ago. There is a greater need for humanitarian assistance." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

UN WARNS FUNDS DRYING UP FOR QUAKE AID - TOP
ZARAR KHAN, Associated Press, 10/28/05
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=1258869

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (AP) - Helicopters ferrying desperately needed relief supplies to South Asia's quake survivors will be grounded within a week and aid operations will be scaled down unless donors make good on pledges of hundreds of millions of dollars, U.N. officials warned Friday.

``We need the money now or we will be forced to scale down food deliveries,'' said Jan Vandemoortele, the U.N.'s humanitarian coordinator in Pakistan. ``So far, we have been operating on reserves, and borrowing ... and the pipeline is drying up.''

The warning comes as Pakistani meteorologists forecast a much harsher than normal winter in the high Himalayan mountains. Mohammed Hanif, a senior meteorologist at the Pakistan Meteorological Department, said the agency was expecting 5.52 meters (18 feet) of snow in the region this winter, compared to 3 meters (10 feet) during a normal winter. Average temperatures would also be a few degrees below normal, at times dipping as low as minus 20 Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit).

The U.N. has only received about 20 percent - about US$117 million (euro96 million) - of the US$550 million (euro453 million) it needs for the next six months. A donors' conference in Geneva this week netted an additional US$580 million (euro478.15 million ) in pledges for victims of the of the devastating Oct. 8 quake, but Vandemoortele said these pledges ``need to be monetized'' immediately. (MORE)

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PAKISTANI-AMERICAN PHYSICIANS POUR MILLIONS INTO RELIEF EFFORTS - TOP
TINI TRAN, Associated Press, 10/28/05
http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/13019971.htm

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- The needs were urgent: A field hospital wanted seven respirators. A health center was begging for anesthesiology machines. Tetanus shots were in short supply.

Cardiologist Abdul Rashid Piracha quickly put out the word over the phone and the Internet. Within a day he had everything he asked for, simply by tapping into a vast network of Pakistani-American doctors - some 10,000 strong.

Together, these doctors have raised tens of millions of dollars in donations and medical supplies, and many have come personally to help South Asia's quake victims.

For all of them, there was a simple reason why.

"This is close to the heart," says Piracha, 65, a native of Quetta who now lives in Princeton, W.Va.

Piracha heads the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America, which is working with the Islamic Medical Association of North America to coordinate a relief effort with local physicians. So far, they have brought in about 70 doctors from the United States and Canada, many of them specialists in orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery and pediatrics. (MORE)

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ACTION: ASK PRESIDENT, CONGRESS TO BOOST QUAKE AID - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=294&theType=AA

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AMERICAN MUSLIM TASK FORCE FOR DISASTER RELIEF - TOP
http://www.amtfdr.net/news.php

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IN: MORE CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING IS NEEDED IN PORTER TOWNSHIP - TOP
Northwest Indiana Times, 10/27/05
http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/2005/10/27/opinion/times_editorials/ae89bda9d2f46fd6862570a7000182db.txt

The issue: Conflict over Muslim students at Porter Lakes Elementary School
Our opinion: From the looks of things, parents, like their children, need their own program to learn about various religions

Problem solving is a typical skill for schoolchildren to learn so they can apply mathematics to everyday life. At Porter Lakes Elementary School, that problem-solving skill is urgently needed for social studies, too.

Porter Lakes, just outside Lakes of the Four Seasons, is a classic example of a community in crisis because of a culture clash. The situation cries out for early intervention before it escalates further.

The most intense hard feelings revolve around diversity -- specifically, the public school's assimilation of Muslim students into its population.

The principle that no one should be treated differently is a familiar American ideal. But it does not always work in practice.

An Orthodox Jew, for instance, should not be expected to eat food that isn't kosher. And Muslim students shouldn't be expected to abandon the traditional hijab, or Muslim head scarf. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CA: STUDENT STRIVES TO BALANCE RELIGION WITH SPORTS - TOP
Brad A. Greenberg, Daily Bulletin, 10/28/05
http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_3154711

DIAMOND BAR - The football coach hollers, "Water break!" and the players cluster around blue Powerade bottles. Hytham Elsherif stands alone and to the side., "Somebody soak him down," an assistant coach says. He unstraps his helmet so a teammate can squirt water on his head. He spits repeatedly to keep it from sneaking into his mouth.

Hytham is a unique member of Diamond Bar High School's varsity team -- he is its only Muslim. Because it is Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, Hytham is fasting from sunrise to sunset each day.

Starving the body for 14 hours is taxing on even the most sedentary. For a 17-year-old offensive lineman, it seems like a death wish.

"If he wants to play, it's up to him," says his mother, Naglaa Elsherif. "But he has to follow God's rules -- he has to fast. If he doesn't have the energy to fast, don't play."

Hytham's is a common dilemma of Muslim-American youths, many of whom find themselves attending class, studying and competing athletically on an empty stomach one month a year. (MORE)

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NJ: ISLAMIC MANUSCRIPTS TO BE MADE AVAILABLE ONLINE - TOP
Maxwell Weidmann, Daily Princetonian, 10/28/05
http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/archives/2005/10/28/news/13650.shtml

Firestone Curator of Manuscripts Don Skemer has organized an effort to digitize about 200 Islamic manuscripts and electronically catalog more than 10,000 Islamic manuscripts in the Rare Book Division's collection during the next four years.

The collection, the largest in North America, ranges in age from the earliest Islamic texts in the ninth century to pieces written in the early 20th century during the final collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

"When I first arrived in the early '90s, I realized there were many manuscripts that had not been catalogued," Skemer said. "The first cataloguing was nearly 100 years ago in 1906."

Though there have been several updates since then, according to Skemer, the catalog "still needs a lot of work."

By February, Skemer will hire two specialists to begin the online cataloging. He has also committed a professional digital photography unit to digitize the selected works. While the electronic catalogues will appear online as they are completed, Skemer expects the digitized parts will not be online before 2008. (MORE)

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MI: RAMADAN'S A GIFT TO MUSLIMS AND TO SOME NON-MUSLIMS, TOO - TOP
DAVID CRUMM, FREE PRESS, 10/28/05
http://www.freep.com/news/religion/crumm28e_20051028.htm

The Muslim preacher Hassanain Rajabali addressed 1,000 people at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn on Tuesday night for nearly an hour. But his message rested on six words: "Look at how we carry ourselves!"

Recognizing the confusion and anxiety about Islam in the United States, Rajabali urged Muslims, especially during this holy month of Ramadan, to demonstrate a friendly hospitality in all they do.

"Being in a multicultural society is a great gift from God," he told the crowd, adding later, "Allah says: We made people different so that you will know each other."

In his sermon lies one of the gifts of Ramadan to non-Muslim neighbors, relatives and friends. This certainly is a solemn period of renewal for Muslims, but it also is a month of overflowing hospitality. (MORE)

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YOUSSOU N'DOUR INTERNATIONAL HYBRID OF MUSIC INSPIRED BY ISLAM - TOP
KELEFA SANNEH, New York Times, 10/28/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/28/arts/music/28yous.html

Everyone likes to be in on a secret. And like lots of the best singers, Youssou N'Dour knows how to make listeners feel as if they're not just hearing his music but overhearing it. On Wednesday night, during the last of a series of Carnegie Hall concerts, Mr. N'Dour took this notion one step further, explaining to concertgoers that they were hearing something not really meant for them.

"At first, it was only for me and my family, my friends, the people around me during the Ramadan," he said, explaining the evening's music. This was the American live premiere of "Egypt," an ambitious and graceful song cycle released in America last year by Nonesuch Records. The album is a collaboration with the Egyptian composer and producer Fathy Salama.

The album pays subtle tribute to the shape and scope of West African Islam. (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

-----

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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Forwarded Message

Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2005 09:52:55 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: O'Reilly Says Muslim Holiday 'Absurd in a Judeo-Christian Country' / IL College Pulls Photo Exhibit After Muslim Protest / CA Latinos Embrace Islam

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/29/05

* O'Reilly: Muslim Holiday 'Absurd in a Judeo-Christian Country'
            - FL: School Board Squashes Minority Rights (SP Times)
* IL: College Pulls Photo Exhibit After Muslim Protest
* CA: Latinos Embrace Islam, Pray for Acceptance (LA Times)
            - FL: More Hispanic Women Converting to Islam
* IN: FBI Probe Shows No Terrorist Threat at Elem. School
            - IN: Parents Debate Muslim Presentation at School
            - Parent: I'm not prejudiced, but. . .'
* Correction: Sacramento Muslims to Call for Urgent Quake Aid

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O'REILLY: CLOSING PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOR MUSLIM HOLIDAY "ABSURD IN A JUDEO-CHRISTIAN COUNTRY" - TOP
Media Matters, 10/28/05
http://mediamatters.org/items/200510280006

On the October 27 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly called the idea of closing public schools for the observance of Muslim holidays "absurd in a Judeo-Christian country." O'Reilly made this remark during a discussion with Hillsborough County, Florida, commissioner Brian Blair, who opposed the Hillsborough County school board's decision to keep public schools open on Yom Kippur and Good Friday during the 2006-2007 school year, a departure from the school district's earlier practice of closing schools on those days. In December 2004, Hillsborough County Muslims, with the backing of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, asked the school board to close schools on the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Instead of giving students the day off on Eid Al-Fitr, the school board voted to keep schools open on Yom Kippur and Good Friday during the 2006-2007 school year, reasoning that the school district could close schools on days when a substantial number of students would be absent but could not close schools specifically for the observance of religious holidays. The school district will continue its practice of allowing students to take days off on religious holidays, although schools will remain open.

From the October 27 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

BLAIR: Well, in December of 2004, a gentleman representing the Muslim religion came before the school board and asked if Eid, which I believe is part of Ramadan, be recognized as an official school holiday. That went to a subcommittee, a calendar committee that's comprised of 28 members. Where these members come from, we still don't have the exact answers. I guess they're citizens, friends of the school board members, various people like this. As a matter of fact, I think there's a Jewish representative and a Muslim representative on the board. Of the 28, only 12 showed up, as I understand it. They gave them very little feedback other than the option of taking President's Day and turning it -- they basically gave --

O'REILLY: So a Muslim wanted a Muslim holiday, which is absurd in a Judeo-Christian country. I mean, we can't be having Hindu and Buddha. I mean, come on. I mean, this country is founded on Judeo-Christian traditions.

BLAIR: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: Those traditions have been in play for more than 200 years. Christmas is a federal holiday. You know, somebody walks in and says, "Well, I just moved here and I want, you know, this Shinto shrine." And you're going, "Well, look, this is a traditional American situation that we've done for hundreds of years." But now you knocked it out.

SEND POLITE COMMENTS TO: oreilly@foxnews.com
COPY TO: cair@cair-net.org, abedier@cairfl.org

SEE ALSO:

SCHOOL BOARD SQUASHES MINORITY RIGHTS - TOP
St. Petersburg Times, 10/29/05
http://sptimes.com/2005/10/29/Opinion/Florida_redistricting.shtml
(Scroll down.)

Re: School calendar will be strictly secular, Oct. 26.

The recent Hillsborough County School Board decision not to grant a day for Muslim students to observe Eid al-Fitr and to rescind the day given for Jewish students to observe Yom Kippur is unfortunate because the board's action by accommodating only Christian students is thereby a de facto trampling of minority rights - something the Constitution and Bill of Rights prohibit.

A December holiday still stands to accommodate Christians. Furthermore, most Christians in the United States have never observed Good Friday as a day off. Since Easter always is on a Sunday, that holiday is also not in jeopardy. So the only negative impacts are on the minority students, Jewish and Muslim, who only asked for one day for a religious observance. I hope a constitutional challenge is forthcoming.

-- Rev. Robert L. White, Valrico

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IL: HARPER PULLS PHOTO EXHIBIT UPON MUSLIM PROTEST - TOP
Michael Puente, Daily Herald, 10/28/05
http://www.dailyherald.com/search/searchstory.asp?id=111643

An art exhibit that included photographs of nude Muslim women wearing only a head covering was taken down Thursday afternoon just hours after opening for public viewing at Harper College in Palatine.

Muslim students at the college protested to officials about the pieces on display in Building C.

Several students say the pieces - some showing young Muslim men with machine guns - were downright offensive.

"I think they should rip this down," student Matt George said.

Another student, Hussein Ali, says a number of Muslim students at Harper now are thinking about leaving.

"The Muslim students are thinking about boycotting Harper because of this," said Ali, 23, of Schaumburg.

Ahmad Basalat, 21, of Bartlett said the exhibit expressed hatred toward Muslims.

Rich Johnson, co-coordinator of international students at Harper, said the exhibit was an event put on in conjunction with the college's art department.

The school invited Chicago photographer Amir Normandi to exhibit his works depicting Muslim women in Iran defying the wearing of the jilbab.

Johnson said he thought the exhibit would be an interesting topic because it deals with human rights.

Salma Habed, 20, of Hoffman Estates said some of the pieces continued with the stereotype that Muslim women are oppressed.

"We go to school. We have careers. It's not like we're oppressed like some people feel for some reason," Habed said.

Before the opening of the exhibit, neither Johnson nor other Harper officials had an opportunity to view the images.

Johnson and school officials ordered the removal or covering of the images until further notice because of the uproar. (MORE)

SEND POLITE COMMENTS TO: pburdick@harpercollege.edu, dwhite@harpercollege.edu
COPY TO: cair@cair-net.org

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CA: EMBRACING ISLAM, PRAYING FOR ACCEPTANCE - TOP
Many Latino Muslims, some raised Catholic, struggle with views of their new faith on the part of the public -- and their families.
H.G. Reza, Los Angeles Times, 10/29/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-beliefs29oct29,1,3351584.story

As a college student in Mexico, Marta Khadija Ramirez was so influenced by Marxist and existentialist writers that she stopped believing in God. That changed during a semester at a British school, where she was a visiting student and three Muslim classmates introduced her to Islam.

She decided to convert. But imagine the difficulty of a Latina steeped in Roman Catholic tradition trying to explain Islam to her family in 1983. And imagine that one of her sisters is a Catholic nun.

"Islam was unknown in Mexico then. It wasn't easy for my family to accept my decision," said Khadija, the youngest of 11 sisters raised on a ranch south of Mexico City and now a nurse who lives in Los Angeles. "My sister the nun was blaming herself for not teaching me enough about Catholicism."

Muslims throughout the world are observing Ramadan, a month of daytime fasting and repentance. For many Latino Muslims in Southern California, it is also a time to celebrate Islam's diversity and their conversion to a religion still struggling against intolerance in the overwhelmingly Christian United States. This year, the holy month started the first week of October. . .

The Los Angeles Latino Muslim Assn., founded in 1999, hopes to find converts through an outreach program to introduce Islam to the millions of Latinos living in the city. The group meets at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles, and on Sundays during Ramadan members break their dawn-to-sunset fast together at the Vermont Avenue facility. The group also meets at the Masjid Omar, a mosque in Los Angeles. . .

The association runs Luz del Islam Publishing in Culver City, where Islamic literature is printed in Spanish. Group members pass out that material, including a Spanish translation of the Koran, at Latino book fairs and sponsor mosque tours and seminars for Latinos. They also provide speakers to Latino student groups at area colleges.

Still, Muslims have to overcome some public perceptions that, Khadija said, are unfairly colored by "misunderstanding and fear" since the terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists on Sept. 11, 2001.

Arwa Ayloush, whose name was Vilma Avila before she converted in 1991 while attending the University of Texas, said her parents' initial apprehension about her new religion stemmed from "fear of the unknown."

"You just left Laredo and now you're a Muslim. What happened to you, girl?" is how Ayloush, raised a Jehovah's Witness, described her family's reaction to her conversion.

Over time, the families of Khadija and Ayloush, a kindergarten teacher living in Corona, accepted their Muslim identities. Each later married Muslim men. Ayloush's husband is Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Southern California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. . .

Despite the differences that many U.S. Christians believe separate them from Muslims, both sides have much in common, Ayloush and the others said.

"The theological differences are there, but they shouldn't be a fence that separates us. They should be a bridge instead," Ayloush said. "I'm a Little League mom. I'm there cheering for my kids who play sports, like the other moms. The only thing that's really different about me is the hijab."

SEND COMMENTS TO: letters@latimes.com
COPY TO: socal@cair.com

SEE ALSO:

MORE HISPANIC WOMEN CONVERTING TO ISLAM - TOP
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/state/orl-latinomuslims2605oct26,0,754543.story

LATINO WOMEN FINDING A PLACE IN ISLAM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9352969/

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IN: FBI PROBE SHOWS NO TERRORIST THREAT AT PORTER LAKES - TOP
Sheriff's cop reprimanded for how he handled situation
ELIZABETH HOLMES, Northwest Indiana Times, 10/27/05
http://www.nwitimes.com/articles/2005/10/27/news/porter_county/e54bb0145f2a2efc862570a70005a140.txt

PORTER TOWNSHIP | On the morning of Oct. 6, Lake County police officer Mike Hamady ran a check on the license plate of a white van he saw a few days earlier outside of Porter Lakes Elementary.

Hamady, the father of two children at the school, was shocked by what he discovered.

The plate was "of interest to the FBI" and referenced a "terrorist watch list."

"If the FBI puts you on a list, you're somebody, you know what I'm saying?" Hamady, a cop for 18 years, said.

By that night, the rumors were flying around the Porter Lakes community. Parents, calling each other at all hours of the evening and the next morning, had doubts about sending their children to school. . .

The name on the vehicle registration was the same name of a person of interest -- but there was no indication that the name of the person with the plate was the same person wanted by the FBI, according to Mike Higgins, spokesman for the Lake County Sheriff's Department.

"It was a similar name, totally unrelated," Higgins said. "The plate is not a threat nor is the person owning it or driving. ... It's just an extreme situation."

The FBI concurred. After a thorough investigation, Osborne said, "The supervisor advised the school that there was no credible threat."

While there was no problem at the school, there was an issue with Hamady. By going straight to the superintendent and not his police supervisor, he was in violation of sheriff's department policy. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

IN: PARENTS DEBATE MUSLIM PRESENTATION AT PORTER LAKES ELEMENTARY - TOP
ELIZABETH HOLMES, Northwest Indiana Times, 10/21/05
http://nwitimes.com/articles/2005/10/21/news/porter_county/04301b99485383a1862570a100217a51.txt

PORTER TOWNSHIP | The debate over a Muslim presentation at Porter Lakes Elementary School spilled over from the School Board meeting into the hallway Thursday evening, bringing parents from both sides together to hash out the issue.

Susan Miller approached Ayesha Syed, the mother of two new Muslim students at Porter Lakes, and tried to explain her reasoning for adamantly and outwardly opposing a presentation Syed gave to the students about the Muslim culture.

As each parent's sons played together around them, oblivious of the extent or the heat of the discussion, Miller insisted to Syed, "This is not about you."

However, in a way, it was. On Sept. 30, Syed and her Muslim friend, Ameenah Abdullah, came to the school to talk to a second-grade class and the entire third grade about the Muslim culture.

The presentation, for students who are the same ages as Syed's children, was intended to answer questions about the Muslim culture. The women talked about religion because it is heavily intertwined with the Muslim culture, and that upset many in the Porter Lakes community.

The issue of allowing such a presentation was not on the board agenda. However, the public participation portion of the meeting allowed parents a chance to sound off to the board for future consideration.

The majority of speakers vehemently opposed religion in the public school setting. Michelle Colvin said her son had questions for her about Allah that caught her off guard. She said she should have been notified of the presentation in advance.

Miller touched on another hot issue surrounding the Muslim family -- the creation of a prayer room at the school for the Muslim children, which school officials will not confirm -- and demanded fair treatment for all faiths.

"If they're going to cater to one religion, they better cater to all of 'em," she said and asked for an altar to be added for her Catholic son.

Miller's speech, the first of more than a dozen, garnered an applause and an "amen" from the standing-room-only crowd. In an interview before the meeting, she said, "I'm not prejudiced, but I do have a concern when it comes to Muslim people." (MORE) - TOP

SEND POLITE COMMENTS TO: letters@nwitimes.com
COPY TO: cair@cair-net.org, communications@cairchicago.org

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TOP - CORRECTION: The item below distributed on 10/28 originally listed November 1 as falling on Wednesday. November 1 actually falls on Tuesday of next week.

CAIR-SV: SACRAMENTO MUSLIMS TO CALL FOR URGENT QUAKE AID

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 10/28/05) - On Monday, October 31, leaders of the Sacramento Valley Muslim community, along with representatives of the Interfaith Service Bureau (ISB), will hold a press conference to announce an urgent appeal to help victims of the devastating earthquake in South Asia.

WHAT: News Conference Announcing Quake Aid Appeal and Fundraising Dinner
WHEN: Monday, October 31, 2005, 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: In Front of Sacramento City Hall
CONTACT: CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, (916) 441-6269, e-mail: sacval@cair.com; ISB Executive Director Reverend Dexter McNamara, (914) 448-2212

The community leaders will also announce a fundraising dinner to collect monetary donations and clothing to be sent to the devastated areas. The dinner will held on Tuesday, November 1, from 5-8 p.m., at the Grand Ballroom, 1215 J Street, Sacramento.

United Nations officials say relief flight to the quake victims may be suspended soon unless more aid is forthcoming.

SEE: "Quake Copters May be Grounded"
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/10/27/so.asian.quake.toll/

Official reports indicate that at least 55,000 people were killed in the devastating earthquake that shook Pakistan, Kashmir, India and Afghanistan. Many more may die unless aid reaches them in time.

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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: Sun, 30 Oct 2005 10:50:24 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Asks U.S. Muslims to Collect Quake Aid on Eid

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR ACTION ALERT #476

CAIR ASKS U.S. MUSLIMS TO COLLECT QUAKE AID ON EID
Islamic and Pakistani-American groups urge collective educational, relief efforts

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/30/05) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today asked Muslim communities nationwide to take advantage of the upcoming holiday marking the end of Ramadan to collect funds for earthquake relief in South Asia.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) joined a number of other Muslim and Pakistani-American groups that are calling for educational and fundraising efforts on Eid ul-Fitr, or "festival of fast breaking," that will take place on November 3rd or 4th, depending on the sighting of the new crescent moon. Eid ul-Fitr draws large numbers of Muslims for communal prayers.

CAIR and the other organizing groups seek to raise public awareness of the continued suffering in areas devastated by the earthquake, inform Muslims and Americans of all faiths about the need for long-term U.S. involvement in relief efforts and to reaffirm American Muslim and Pakistani-American commitment to quake relief and reconstruction.

"While we will return to our daily routine after a month of self-denial, millions of people in South Asia will remain without basic necessities," said CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed. "We need to remember the quake victims in our prayers and do our utmost to help them."

Ahmed added that prayer leaders nationwide can take advantage of the spirituality of Ramadan, and the large gatherings associated with Eid ul-Fitr, to remind worshippers about the Islamic tradition of serving God by serving His creations.

The United Nations has warned of "a second, massive wave of death" that may result from lack of international donor response to the destruction of homes, hospitals, schools, water distribution systems, and roads.

CAIR is a member of the American Muslim Task Force for Disaster Relief (AMTFDR) that pledged to raise $20 million to provide relief to the victims of the South Asia earthquake.

SEE: American Muslims Pledge $20 Million in Aid for Quake Victims
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1812&theType=NR
SEE ALSO: American Muslim Task Force for Disaster Relief
http://www.amtfdr.net/

The Washington-based council has also urged American Muslims and other people of conscience to call their elected representatives to ask that the U.S. government provide more relief aid.

SEE: Ask President, Congress to Boost Quake Aid
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=294&theType=AA

CAIR chapters nationwide have helped coordinate the Muslim community's response to the crisis. For example, CAIR's Sacramento Valley office will hold a press conference tomorrow to announce an urgent aid appeal.

SEE: Sacramento Valley Muslims to Call for Urgent Quake Aid
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1839&theType=NR

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.

- END -

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726 or 202-488-8787, 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/

Forwarded Message

Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2005 11:28:12 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Condemns New Delhi Bombings / Quake Aid Delayed / Latinos Convert to Islam

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/30/05

* Hadith: Good Deeds Lead to Paradise
* CAIR Condemns New Delhi Bombings
* CAIR Recognizes Rosa Parks (Dallas Morning News)
            - CAIR-MI: Follow Her Vision (Detroit Free Press)
* NY: Latinos Convert to Islam (Journal News)
* VA/MD: Quake Aid to Pakistan Delayed (Wash Post)
* CA: Muslims Hold Drive for Quake Relief
            - NY: As Ramadan Ends, Muslims Give to Charity
* Idaho Muslims Gather for Iftar (Idaho State Journal)
            - WA: Eid al Fitr Celebrates Gift of Self-Control
* Incitement Watch: Why Islam Didn't Conquer the World
* NY: Abuse of Prisoner's Islamic Books Preceded Beating (NYT)
            - U.S. Soldiers Allegedly Abuse Afghan Detainees

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HADITH OF THE DAY: GOOD DEEDS LEAD TO PARADISE - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Who among you has fasted today?. . .Who among you followed [a funeral procession] today?. . .Who among you fed a poor man today?. . .Who among you visited an invalid today?. . .Anyone in whom (these good deeds) are combined will certainly enter Paradise."

Sahih Muslim, Hadith 505

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CAIR CONDEMNS NEW DELHI BOMBINGS - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/30/05) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today condemned bomb attacks in New Delhi, India, that left more than 60 people dead and many more injured.

Simultaneous blasts Saturday evening targeted a bus and two markets crowded with people shopping for an upcoming Hindu festival. Many of the victims were women and children.

In a statement, CAIR said: "The cruelty of these brutal acts, and their timing so as to inflict maximum casualties, is beyond comprehension. We condemn the bombings, offer condolences to the loved ones of the victims and call for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators.

"No political cause can ever be served by such acts. These actions will never bring relief to any grievance and will only serve to foster discord and misunderstanding between people of different faiths."

In 2004, CAIR launched a petition drive, called "Not in the Name of Islam," designed to disassociate Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims. The petition, signed by some 700,000 Muslims, states in part: "We refuse to allow our faith to be held hostage by the criminal actions of a tiny minority acting outside the teachings of both the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad."

SEE: http://www.cair-net.org/asp/article.asp?id=169&page=AA

That petition was later turned into a television and radio public service announcement (PSA) distributed in English, Arabic and Urdu.

To view the PSA, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/video/psa.ram

In July, CAIR coordinated the release of a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against terrorism and extremism issued by the Fiqh Council of North America and endorsed by hundreds of U.S. Muslim groups, leaders and institutions.

The fatwa states in part:

"Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians' life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram - or forbidden - and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not martyrs."

SEE: http://www.cair-net.org/FatwaJuly2005.pdf

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.

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CAIR-DFW: CAIR RECOGNIZES PARKS - TOP
Dallas Morning News, 10/29/05
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/letters/stories/DN-satletters_1029edi.ART.State.Edition1.86504a1.html

Muslims have a deep appreciation for the work and dedication of Rosa Parks and others who stand for social equality and justice.

In her honor, the Council on American Islamic Relations has created the CAIR Rosa Parks Civil Rights Scholarship, aimed at advancing the cause of human dignity. It will be offered to students studying in fields that promote civil rights, social justice and peaceful conflict resolution.

We pray that her life's calling will enlighten us all to continue striving toward social justice and equality for all people.

Saffia Meek, Council on American-Islamic Relations-D/FW, Dallas

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-MI: FOLLOW HER VISION - TOP
Detroit Free Press, 10/29/05
http://www.freep.com/voices/letters/etributes29e_20051029.htm

The courageous stance of Rosa Parks benefited not only African Americans, but all minorities and immigrants who sought and continue to seek freedom, justice and equality in America.

In later years, after her arrest in Montgomery, Ala., her efforts to encourage academic excellence among the youths of Detroit and her activism against the immoral system of apartheid in South Africa are testaments to her vision and human spirit.

We can only hope that a spirit of reconciliation and respect for our common humanity can be rekindled. The work of cultivating freedom, justice and equality in the state of Michigan is needed now more than ever before.

Dawud Walid
Executive director
Council on American-Islamic Relations -- Michigan
Lathrup Village

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NY: SOME LATINOS CONVERT TO ISLAM - TOP
MARCELA ROJAS, JOURNAL NEWS, 10/30/05
http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051030/NEWS02/510300319/1028/NEWS12

Aisha Ahmed's decision to convert to Islam and give up Catholicism and her Puerto Rican birth name, Maritza Rondon, did not come impulsively or under duress.

She spent five years studying the Quran and hired a teacher to learn Arabic before she was ready for shahadah, a declaration of faith led by an imam that is essential to the conversion process.

In the end, Ahmed's decision to become a Muslim and to take a name that belonged to the Prophet Muhammad's wife, she said, was borne of years of questioning her Catholic upbringing and discovering that, for her, the answers were with Islam.

"I have lived a humble and peaceful life since I converted. Everything is so clear," said Ahmed, 45, of Tarrytown. "I didn't see in Catholicism the unity and compassion I found in Islam. I saw more kindness and willingness to give."

Ahmed's change of faith is not unique among her ethnic group today. In recent years, thousands of Hispanics nationwide have been converting to Islam, particularly since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when interest in the religion seemed to gain momentum.

Though precise statistics do not exist, the Council on American-Islamic Relations estimates there are more than 36,000 Hispanic Muslims in the nation today. Other estimates raise the total to 75,000. A study the group conducted also showed that 6 percent of the 20,000 annual converts to Islam are Hispanic.

Though the numbers are a small fraction of the estimated 6 million Muslims in the country, it is fast becoming evident that the conversion rate among this minority group is taking root and that its influence is being asserted through the formation of Hispanic Muslim organizations - "dawah," or outreach efforts targeted at Hispanics - and the distribution of literature and the Quran in Spanish.

"There hasn't been real scientific gauging," said Mohamed Nimer, research director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "But Muslim leaders are saying they are seeing more and more Latino Muslims, especially in New York, California and Florida." (MORE)

Hispanic Muslim groups' Web sites

Latino American Dawah Organization: www.latinodawah.org
Piedad: www.angelfire.com/pq/Andalusia/
Hispanic Muslims: www.hispanicmuslims.com
Latino Muslim Outreach Program: email address: PX_LMOP@yahoo.com

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VA/MD: QUAKE AID TO PAKISTAN DELAYED - TOP
Turned Away at JFK, Cargo to Be Shipped From Baltimore
Tom Jackman, Washington Post, 10/30/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/29/AR2005102901225.html

Three 40-foot tractor-trailers were filled to the top. A box truck, minivan and an SUV were all packed. And still, there were perhaps a thousand more boxes stacked up in a warehouse in Sterling yesterday, filled with medical supplies, clothes, blankets and other goods intended for earthquake victims in Pakistan.

Dozens of members of the region's Pakistani community gathered at the Loudoun County warehouse yesterday in their second attempt at sending badly needed relief to those left injured or homeless by the Oct. 8 earthquake. Last weekend, the group packed a 53-foot tractor-trailer with supplies and sent it to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, thinking its contents would be loaded onto a cargo plane for Pakistan.

But the airport, and various airlines, were overwhelmed by relief shipments and turned the massive container away. The trailer was driven back to the parking lot outside Inter Global Systems' offices, just off Sterling Boulevard, and yesterday, its contents were divided among three trailers -- along with another week's worth of donations from individuals, mosques, businesses, schools and Muslim groups from across the region. This time, the cargo is destined for ships leaving the Port of Baltimore.

"It really hurts to see the people suffering" in Pakistan, said volunteer Rashid Hanif, a physician from Hagerstown. "It's unbelievable, all the death and tragedy."

Hanif's interfaith community and mosque in Maryland sent an empty box truck to Sterling, with the express purpose of getting tents to Pakistan. Tents were the top priority because so many people are left without shelter as winter approaches in the mountainous area near the Indian border in the Kashmir region.

Hanif's group bought 250 tents, 100 sleeping bags and 20 boxes of medicine and other medical supplies. In fact, so many Pakistanis bought tents to donate to the relief effort that local department stores were running out, said Farah Chohan, one of the organizers of yesterday's drive. She estimated that about 1,500 tents were being shipped out of Sterling yesterday. (MORE)

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CA: GROUP HOLDS DRIVE FOR QUAKE RELIEF - TOP
FALON MCCAIN, News-Democrat, 10/30/05
http://www.belleville.com/mld/belleville/news/local/13035058.htm

Hurricane relief has dominated charitable giving lately, but the Metro East Interfaith Partnership is making progress trying to aid victims of the Pakistan earthquake. Mohammed Kibria, a member of the Masjid Islamic Center and operator of the Psychiatric Hypnosis Healing Center, established the Pakistan Disaster Relief Fund.

"The drive has been going pretty good," Kibria said. "The community is really responding. The victims are really in need of blankets and tents because it's winter over there and snow has started to fall."

The 7.6 earthquake that hit Pakistan on Oct. 8 killed more than 79,000 people and injured 65,308. The quake destroyed entire villages and left other areas heavily damaged. Those who survived are in desperate need of supplies.

Interfaith members will drive relief items to the Pakistan International Airline in Chicago. The airline has agreed to ship the items free of charge. Kibria expects everything to be shipped by Thursday.

Dr. M. Khalid, also a member of the local mosque and a physician at Internal Medicine-Primary Care in O'Fallon, is collecting medicine such as painkillers and antibiotics for the drive. Dr. Khalid has asked for samples from other physicians and plans on contacting drug companies. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

NY: AS RAMADAN ENDS MUSLIMS GIVE TO CHARITY - TOP
HAFSA AMIN, STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE, 10/30/05
http://www.silive.com/living/advance/index.ssf?/base/living/113059710349940.xml&coll=1

Now that the holy month of Ramadan is nearing its last few days, Muslims will be digging deep into their pockets in order to give zakat, or charity, to the poor.

Due to the recent natural disasters -- close to home and around the world -- Muslims have many places to offer their charity, either to help those who lost their homes because of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita or Wilma, or to the millions of people left homeless because of the earthquakes in Pakistan.

"In Ramadan, Muslims place greater importance on helping others and sharing. This is the month where Muslims try and grab last-minute rewards from God by giving charity," says Alla Ahmed, an imam from Egypt who is visiting the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Concord to give lectures about Islam.

Zakat, along with fasting, is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith, the others being belief in one God (the Shahada), daily prayers (the Salah), and performing pilgrimage to Mecca (the Hajj).

According to Tahir Kukiqi, imam of the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center, there are three different forms of charity.

Zakat Al Fitr is an obligatory charity that must be given during Ramadan.

Zakat Al Mehr is also an obligatory charity that can be given any time during the year.

"This is 2.5 percent of one's savings that have matured over the past 12 months," explained Kukiqi. "It can be given during any time of the year but Muslims choose to pay it during Ramadan because the rewards from God are doubled."

Muslims also offer Sadaqah, a voluntary charity that, depending on one's income, can be as simple as a meal or given as gifts to other people or charities. (MORE)

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ID: RAMADAN: THE MONTH OF SELF-PURIFICATION - TOP
Bill Schaefer, Idaho State Journal, 10/29/05
http://www.journalnet.com/articles/2005/10/29/features/faith01.txt

POCATELLO - On a cool October as the sun begins its slow descent below the horizon against the misty gray skies of Pocatello, a group of people begin to gather inside two back rooms of a small, wood frame house on South Fifth Street.

These small, sparse rooms have been converted into a Mosque. They represent the center of worship for Southeast Idaho's Islamic community. Muslims from Roberts, Rexburg, Idaho Falls and Blackfoot come to worship here in Pocatello. They are a melting pot of cultures, from Pakistan, Palestine, Iraq, Malaysia, all over the world. They are students, teachers, doctors, engineers, wives and mothers, coming together to celebrate their faith. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

WA: EID AL FITR CELEBRATES END OF RAMADAN FASTING, GIFT OF SELF-CONTROL - TOP
Aziz Junejo, Seattle Times, 10/29/05
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/faithvalues/2002590582_junejocolumn29m.html

The three-day celebration called Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan, has been to me what I imagine Christmas or Hanukkah is to others of the Abrahamic faiths.

Eid al Fitr is one of two equally major holidays for Muslims around the world, the other being Eid al Adha, the celebration that marks completion of the annual Hajj in Mecca.

With the sighting of the new moon in the western sky just after sunset one night this coming week, Ramadan will end and Eid will begin. During Eid, Muslims not only celebrate the end of fasting but thank God for the help and strength he gave them throughout the previous month to practice self-control as a form of worship.

On the first morning of Eid, we wake up early and take long baths, preparing ourselves for prayers with extra perfume and fragrances. We usually have a light snack before going to prayer, as fasting is forbidden on this special day.

A payment of Zakat al Fitr -- charity for the poor -- which is a pillar of Islam, is required of every Muslim before Eid prayer. The man of the house must pay for the immediate members of his family, and this money is usually given a week or two before the end of Ramadan so it can be distributed to the needy, thus ensuring that they will have a joyful Eid celebration. (MORE)

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INCITEMENT WATCH: WHY ISLAM DIDN'T CONQUER THE WORLD - TOP
PAUL AKERS, Free Lance-Star, 10/30/05
http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2005/102005/10302005/141401

Probably, Mr. Reader, you did not yesterday wash five times, face Mecca, sink to your knees, and pray to Allah. Most likely, Ms. Reader, you did not cover yourself with a burka before venturing out to shop. Probably neither of you is giving up all food between sunup and sundown during the ongoing monthlong Ramadan.

For freedom from all of these obligations, you might spare a minute sometime today, and every October, to say a silent "thank you" to a gang of half-savage Germans and especially to their leader, Charles "The Hammer" Martel. . .

Never again did Islamic armies seriously threaten the Great Land of Gaul and beyond. Martel spent the rest of his life crushing smaller bands of Arab interlopers. Eventually, the heroes of the reconquista threw the Moors out of Spain. . .

And what sort of world would that be? Without the Christian quickening of conscience that helped abolish slavery in England, the United States, and elsewhere, the Quran-sanctioned institution might be the global norm. An Emir Ibrahim al-Lincoln would not have issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Ever wonder at the hatred of Orthodox Christian Serbs for Muslim Bosnians? One reason is that the ancestors of the former had to flee Constantinople when the Muslims overwhelmed the Christian East, killing or taking into bondage many who remained. The seething anti-Islamic passions in the Balkans make sense when you consider that the very name "Slav" comes from "slave."

Women the world over also would be permanent second-class citizens. Many if not most--observe Saudi Arabia--would be forbidden to drive a car, own property, or vote. Battered females might well lack legal or other recourse. (MORE)

SEND POLITE COMMENTS TO: letters@freelancestar.com
COPY TO: pakers@freelancestar.com, edjones@freelancestar.com, cair@cair-net.org

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NY: PRISONER SAYS ABUSE OF HIS ISLAMIC BOOKS PRECEDED BEATING IN '01 - TOP
JULIA PRESTON, New York Times, 10/30/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/30/nyregion/30side.html

Long before charges of Koran abuse at Guantanamo Bay were news, Charles Paige, one of the inmates in a lawsuit against New York City over practices in its jails, clashed with guards on Rikers Island after, he said, they mishandled his Islamic books.

Mr. Paige, 46, was in the city jail in December 2001 awaiting transfer to state prison on a drug charge. Long a devout Muslim, Mr. Paige had been praying five times a day and going daily to Islamic study classes in the jail.

On Dec. 4, guards ordered a general search in the cellblock. No stranger to incarceration, Mr. Paige knew no talking was permitted during the search. But the officer who came to search his cell, he said, stepped on his prayer rug. "I informed her she was standing on my rug," Mr. Paige, a slight man who weighs less than 130 pounds, recounted in an interview. He said the officer ordered him to be silent.

A ward captain told the officer to step off the rug, Mr. Paige said. She did, but she began rummaging through his things, and he protested again. Other officers took him out of his cell for an hour until the search was over. When he returned, he said, "My cell was tossed."

Two books of the Hadith, which has instructional stories from the life of the prophet Muhammad, were under water in the toilet.

"I felt violated," Mr. Paige said. He marched out of his cell and started banging on the window of the guard booth. Officers used pepper spray on him, he said, then dragged him, handcuffed and gasping from the spray, to a hallway. One officer punched him in the face while another held him from behind, Mr. Paige said. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

U.S. SOLDIERS ALLEGEDLY ABUSE AFGHAN DETAINEES - TOP

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Two U.S. soldiers have been charged with allegedly assaulting two detainees held at a U.S.-led coalition base in southern Afghanistan, the military said Sunday.

The two troops allegedly punched the detainees on the chest, shoulders and stomach while they were being held at a base in Uruzgan province, a statement said. Neither detainee required medical attention, it said.

"The command remains committed to investigate all allegations of misconduct and will hold individuals responsible for their actions consistent with U.S. military law," Brig. Gen. Jack Sterling, a deputy coalition commander, was quoted as saying. (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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To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from this list, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2005 12:25:54 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Eager to Help Fight Terror / 'Law of the Jungle' in Quake Zone

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 10/31/05

* Hadith: Good Wipes Out Evil
            - Verse: Repel Evil with Good
* Top 10 Reasons to Support CAIR: #6 - Media Relations
* CAIR: U.S. Muslims Eager to Help Fight Terrorism (VOA)
* CAIR-OH: Christians, Jews Join Muslims in Breaking Fast
            - CAIR: US Muslim Group Condemns Delhi Bombings
* 'Law of the Jungle' in Quake Zone (BBC)
            - CAIR Asks Muslims to Collect Quake Aid on Eid
            - American Muslim Task Force for Disaster Relief
* SCOTUS Nominee Supported Muslim Religious Rights (AP)
* CA: Sikhs, Confused with Muslims, Face Bias
* Truth About Torture (Newsweek)
            - Patriot Act: The House's Abuse of Patriotism (NYT)
            - Books Back Prisoners' Claims (Newsday)
            - After 3 Years, Afghan Writers Freed from Gitmo
* Prince Charles to Target U.S. Attitude Toward Islam

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HADITH OF THE DAY: GOOD WIPES OUT EVIL - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Remain conscious of God wherever you are. If you follow an evil deed with a good one you will wipe out (the evil deed); and deal with people with a good disposition."

AL-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1314

VERSE OF THE DAY: REPEL EVIL WITH GOOD - TOP

"(Since) good and evil cannot be equal, repel (the evil deed) with one that is better. Then you will see that he with whom you had enmity, will become your close friend."

The Holy Quran, 41:34

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TOP 10 REASONS TO SUPPORT CAIR: REASON #6 - MEDIA RELATIONS - TOP

CAIR representatives have been interviewed thousands of times about issues of concern to American Muslims by local national and international radio, print and television media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, BBC, ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, Washington Post, USA Today, New York Times, to name just a few. (Factiva lists more than 11,000 media mentions of CAIR in just the past five years.)

To offer your support for CAIR, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/ramadan2005/

Scholars say that donations to CAIR qualify as Zakat.

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CAIR: U.S. MUSLIMS EAGER TO HELP FIGHT TERRORISM - TOP
Aida AKL, Voice of America, 10/31/05
http://www.voanews.com/english/NewsAnalysis/2005-10-27-voa44.cfm

Four years after the September 11th attacks on New York and Washington, Many American-Muslims say they are underutilized and sometimes unjustly targeted in the fight against terrorism. . .

Homeland Security's Daniel Southerland agrees that American-Muslims have long been active in the fight against terrorism and extremism by reaching out to the federal government and law enforcement. Consequently, he says, the United States should do a better job of recognizing their contributions to American society and ensuring that they are not excluded from efforts to make the country more secure.

"They want to participate. It's their country as well. We saw that reaction, for example, after Hurricane Katrina. We had a number of very generous offers from Arab-American and Muslim-American organizations to try to help with the relief efforts. And now, of course, they're doing a great job with the Pakistan earthquake recovery as well. So I think people need to recognize that we're all in this together. This is a large community of Americans who want to work together on this process of keeping our country safe, secure and on the right track."

A Role for U.S. Muslims

Many analysts agree that American-Muslims have an important role to play in the war on terrorism. Corey Saylor of the Council on American-Islamic Relations points out that the U.S. Muslim community is prosperous and practices its faith freely. Because of that, he says American-Muslims would like the opportunity to help shape the country's image abroad.

"We'd like to be able to tell that side of the story to the larger Muslim world because the larger Muslim world has learned about America through watching our movies. That's not usually the best picture of our country. It looks very violent and very indulgent. Equally, they learned about us through the news just like, unfortunately, too many American learned about Islam through the news." (MORE)

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CAIR-OH: LOCAL MUSLIMS GIVEN SUPPORT AS RAMADAN OBSERVANCE CONTINUES - TOP
Eileen Kelley, Cincinnati Enquirer, 10/31/05
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051031/NEWS01/510310352/1056

WEST CHESTER - It's Day 27 in the monthlong fast for Muslims here.

Each day is a reminder of the struggles of the needy. From sun-up to sundown, believers abstain from not only pleasures in life - but things as simple as a cup of water.

On Sunday, with the call to prayer signaling the sun had dropped, Muslims joined a small group of Christians and Jews and broke the fast.

Some reached for pre-poured glasses of water, while others grabbed juice from mangos. Most ate dates - a long-rooted tradition - for quick energy before heading off to pray. . .

"We have to do these kinds of things more often," said Wintz. "It is important to get to know other people; especially in light of what is going on in the world."

Wintz was one of nearly 150 people who came together early Sunday evening to break bread with one another when the daylong fast was over.

Sunday's dinner was the second annual Ramadan Interfaith Iftar banquet hosted by the Muslim civil rights group, the Cincinnati Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations - Ohio.

SEE ALSO:

US MUSLIM GROUP CONDEMNS DELHI BOMBINGS - TOP
Daily Times (Pakistan), 10/31/05
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2005%5C10%5C31%5Cstory_31-10-2005_pg7_44

WASHINGTON: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has condemned the bomb attacks in New Delhi that left more than 60 people dead and many more injured.

In a statement issued on Sunday, CAIR said: "The cruelty of these brutal acts, and their timing so as to inflict maximum casualties, is beyond comprehension. We condemn the bombings, offer condolences to the loved ones of the victims and call for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political cause can ever be served by such acts. These actions will never bring relief to any grievance and will only serve to foster discord and misunderstanding between people of different faiths." (MORE)

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'LAW OF THE JUNGLE' IN QUAKE ZONE - TOP
Aamer Ahmed Khan, BBC News, 10/31/05
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4390744.stm

Their story may already have dropped off the front pages and out of TV's prime-time slots.

But for the survivors of the quake-devastated mountain areas in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the battle for survival is getting grimmer by the minute.

The hills around the capital city of Muzaffarabad are streaming with desperate survivors making their way to the relief camps set up along the badly damaged road winding along River Neelum.

Many among them have trekked for two to three days to reach the camps, only to find supplies short and aid workers - both from the public and private sector - getting increasingly cynical. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR ASKS U.S. MUSLIMS TO COLLECT QUAKE AID ON EID - TOP
Islamic and Pakistani-American groups urge collective educational, relief efforts
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/051030/nysu013.html?.v=31

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today asked Muslim communities nationwide to take advantage of the upcoming holiday marking the end of Ramadan to collect funds for earthquake relief in South Asia.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) joined a number of other Muslim and Pakistani-American groups that are calling for educational and fundraising efforts on Eid ul-Fitr, or "festival of fast breaking," that will take place on November 3rd or 4th, depending on the sighting of the new crescent moon. Eid ul-Fitr draws large numbers of Muslims for communal prayers.

CAIR and the other organizing groups seek to raise public awareness of the continued suffering in areas devastated by the earthquake, inform Muslims and Americans of all faiths about the need for long-term U.S. involvement in relief efforts and to reaffirm American Muslim and Pakistani-American commitment to quake relief and reconstruction. (MORE)

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AMERICAN MUSLIM TASK FORCE FOR DISASTER RELIEF - TOP
http://www.amtfdr.net/

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ALITO STRONG CONSERVATIVE ON LIBERAL APPEALS COURT - TOP
DONNA CASSATA, Associated Press, 10/31/05
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/politics/3427273

WASHINGTON (AP) - Samuel A. Alito has been a strong conservative jurist on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a court with a reputation for being among the nation's most liberal. . .

In a 1999 case, Fraternal Order of Police v. City of Newark, the 3rd Circuit ruled 3-0 that Muslim police officers in the city can keep their beards. The police had made an exemption in its facial hair policy for medical reasons (a skin condition known as pseudo folliculitis barbae) but not for religious reasons.

Alito wrote the opinion, saying, ``We cannot accept the department's position that its differential treatment of medical exemptions and religious exemptions is premised on a good-faith belief that the former may be required by law while the latter are not." (MORE)

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CA: SIKHS STRUGGLE TO BE ACCEPTED - TOP
Since 9/11, many have been harassed or threatened
Greg Lucas, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/31/05
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/10/31/BAGT3FGDR01.DTL

A teenager accosted Sukhdev Singh Bainiwal, 39, at Home Depot, saying he should take his turban back to the desert where he might actually need it.

Another time, a fellow driver swerved toward him, saying "Arab, get out of here." And once, the driver of a car near his rolled down his window to ask if Bainiwal had told his family he loved them that morning.

A member of Santa Clara County's Airport Commission and a software engineer at Sun Microsystems, Bainiwal is a Sikh. He is one of 500,000 in the United States, some 40,000 in the Bay Area alone, according to area Sikh leaders. Like many Sikhs, he has been threatened or harassed repeatedly since Sept. 11, 2001, by people who think he is Muslim and equate that with terrorism.

Three Sikh cabdrivers have been shot in the Bay Area since then, two fatally. Someone also shot at the sign for Vacaville's Sikh temple, or gurdwara. Last year, Molotov cocktails were thrown at the gurdwara in Stockton, California's oldest. And just this month, the Sikh temple in Lodi was spray painted with anti-Muslim epithets. (MORE)

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TRUTH ABOUT TORTURE - TOP
A courageous soldier and a determined senator demand clear standards.
Michael Hirsh, Newsweek, 11/7/05
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9865301/site/newsweek/

Fishback's courage in taking a lonely stand may be paying off. Inspired by his example, "a growing critical mass of soldiers is coming forward with allegations of abuse," says Marc Garlasco of Human Rights Watch, the New York-based activist group that first revealed Fishback's story. One of them is Anthony Lagouranis, a Chicago-based Army specialist who recently left the military. He supports Fishback's contention that abuses in Iraq were systematic-and were authorized by officers in an effort to pressure detainees into talking. "I think our policies required abuse," says Lagouranis. "There were freaking horrible things people were doing. I saw [detainees] who had feet smashed with hammers. One detainee told me he had been forced by Marines to sit on an exhaust pipe, and he had a softball-sized blister to prove it. The stuff I did was mainly torture lite: sleep deprivation, isolation, stress positions, hypothermia. We used dogs." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

PATRIOT ACT: THE HOUSE'S ABUSE OF PATRIOTISM - TOP
New York Times, 10/31/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/31/opinion/31mon1.html

In the national anguish after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Congress rushed to enact a formidable antiterrorism law - the Patriot Act - that significantly crimped civil liberties by expanding law enforcement's power to use wiretaps, search warrants and other surveillance techniques, often under the cloak of secrecy. There was virtually no public debate before these major changes to the nation's legal system were put into effect.

Now, with some of the act's most sweeping powers set to expire at the end of the year, the two houses of Congress face crucial negotiations, which will also take place out of public view, on their differences over how to extend and amend the law. That's controversy enough. But the increasingly out-of-control House of Representatives has made the threat to our system of justice even greater by inserting a raft of provisions to enlarge the scope of the federal death penalty.

In a breathtaking afterthought at the close of debate, the House voted to triple the number of terrorism-related crimes carrying the death penalty. The House also voted to allow judges to reduce the size of juries that decide on executions, and even to permit prosecutors to try repeatedly for a death sentence when a hung jury fails to vote for death.

The radical amendment was slapped through by the Republican leadership without serious debate. The Justice Department has endorsed the House measure, and Representative James Sensenbrenner Jr., the Judiciary Committee chairman, who is ever on the side of more government power over the individual, is promising to fight hard for the death penalty provisions. (MORE)

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BOOKS BACK FORMER PRISONERS' CLAIMS - TOP
JAMES RUPERT, Newsday, 10/31/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/ny-woside31,0,1076455.story

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Former U.S. soldiers at the Pentagon's military prisons overseas have given evidence that a great many of the captives in "the global war on terror" are innocent.

In the past year, a former Army interpreter at Guantanamo and an interrogator at U.S. prisons in Afghanistan have published books on their experiences that in many ways buttress the accounts of ex-prisoners such as Afghan writers Badr Zaman Badr and Abdurrahim Muslim Dost. . .

At Guantanamo in 2003, the bulk of prisoners were either innocent or irrelevant to the U.S. investigation into terrorist activities, according to Sgt. Erik Saar, who supervised interpreters in interrogations there. "We did have some bad guys, and some talkers" who were giving useful intelligence information, Saar wrote in his book, "Inside the Wire." "But from what I saw, there weren't many more than a few dozen such characters at Guantanamo."

Even a prisoner who has convinced his interrogators that he is no threat to the United States may not be freed. That decision is made at the Pentagon. But "once the file's in Washington, the decisions are all political," Saar quoted a military interrogator as saying. Bureaucrats ask, "Would releasing too many [prisoners] make the Gitmo operation look bad?" Saar wrote.

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AFTER 3 YEARS, AFGHAN WRITERS FREED FROM GITMO - TOP
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/ny-wobadr31,0,2326228.story

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CHARLES TO TARGET U.S. ATTITUDE TOWARD ISLAM - TOP
Andrew Alderson, LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH, 10/31/05
http://washingtontimes.com/world/20051030-115534-6734r.htm

LONDON -- Prince Charles will try to convince President Bush of the merits of Islam this week because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since September 11, 2001.

The prince, who leaves tomorrow for an eight-day tour of the United States, has voiced private concerns over Washington's "confrontational" approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate what he regards as Islam's strengths.

The prince raised his concerns when he met senior Muslims in London in November 2001. The gathering took place two months after the attacks on New York and Washington.

"I find the language and rhetoric coming from America too confrontational," the prince said, according to one leader at the meeting.

It is understood that Prince Charles did not -- and does not -- believe that the actions of 19 hijackers should tarnish the reputation of hundreds of millions of law-abiding Muslims around the world. (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

-----

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

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2005 15:12:26 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Register Online for CAIR's Dec. 3 Banquet in VA

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR ACTION ALERT #477

REGISTER ONLINE FOR CAIR'S DEC. 3 BANQUET IN VA

Registration is now available online for CAIR's 11th Annual Banquet, "American Muslims: Partners for Peace and Justice." To learn more about the dinner, or to register, GO TO: https://www.cair-net.org/2005banquet/

SEE ALSO: Invitation Letter from CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad

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CAIR 11TH ANNUAL BANQUET:
"American Muslims: Partners for Peace and Justice"

WHEN: Saturday, December 3, 2005
Registration begins at 5:30 p.m., Program begins at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA

SPEAKERS:

* Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)
* Chip Pitts, former Chairman-Amnesty International
* Imam Siraj Wahhaj
* Program will also feature the "2005 Rosa Parks Civil Liberties Award Recipient" and the "2005 Muslim Community Service Awards"

TICKETS
: 65/person; $85/couple; $10/child babysitting
Registration Deadline is Monday, November 28

TABLE SPONSORSHIPS: Family, Non-Profit, Masajid $1000, Business $2000, Embassies $3000

If you have any questions or would like to make a reservation over the phone, please call 202-488-8787, or e-mail: events@cair.com

ACTION REQUESTED:

1. REGISTER ONLINE by going to: https://www.cair-net.org/2005banquet/reg1.asp

For more information, call 202-488-8787 or e-mail events@cair.com

2. LET OTHERS KNOW about the dinner. Contact events@cair.com to give a list of people who should be contacted about the dinner.

3. If you are unable to attend the dinner, but would like to support CAIR's important work, make a donation at: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp

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INVITATION LETTER FROM CAIR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NIHAD AWAD - TOP - REGISTER

As-salaamu alaykum.

May the peace of Almighty God be with you.

On behalf of the CAIR Board of Directors and staff nationwide, it is with great honor and pleasure that I invite you and your family to the 11th Annual CAIR Banquet at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, VA., on Saturday December 3, 2005.

The banquet is an opportunity to celebrate our community's successes, listen to inspiring speakers and show your continuing support for CAIR's work by its dedicated team of staff and volunteers. Guest speakers will include Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), annual host of CAIR's Congressional Iftar, along with Chip Pitts, former-Chairman of Amnesty International, and Imam Siraj Wahhaj.

Each day, CAIR tirelessly and proudly defends the image of Islam and protects the rights of Muslims in America by working closely with the media, public officials, interfaith leaders, and our friends and neighbors of all faiths, races and backgrounds. Over the years, CAIR has become the focal point on issues relating to Islam and the American Muslim community.

How Islam and the American Muslim community are understood and perceived depends on what we do today. Although our community has made great strides, there is still a lot more to be done to ensure a more positive future for Muslims in America.

For example, CAIR recently announced a "Rosa Parks Civil Liberties Scholarship," to honor the life of a pioneer in the civil rights movement. This award will go to a student studying in a field that promotes civil rights, social justice and peaceful resolution of conflicts. We will announce an awardee during the December 3rd banquet.

Once a year, I ask you to support CAIR's operational expenses in order for us to continue with our work on your behalf. CAIR cannot sustain itself without your commitment to the Muslim community and your continuous financial support. We are 100 percent for you and 100 percent funded by you.

Don't miss out on this great annual celebration. Make your reservations today. CAIR's banquet has been sold out for the last 10 years!

If you cannot join us that evening, you can use the enclosed form to send us your generous contribution as an investment in the future of Islam in America.

We look forward to seeing you at CAIR's 11th Annual Banquet on December 3, 2005!

Best regards,

Nihad Awad
Executive Director
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

TOP - REGISTER

- 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 reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from this list, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/



Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 01 Nov 2005 13:23:34 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: NJ Muslims 'Profiled' for Praying at Giants Stadium

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

NJ MUSLIMS 'PROFILED' FOR PRAYING AT GIANTS STADIUM
CAIR to launch Eid ul-Fitr 'Pray for Understanding' Educational Campaign

(TOTOWA, NJ, 11/1/05) - On Wednesday, November 2, the New Jersey and New York offices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ/CAIR-NY) will hold a press conference in New York City to launch a "Pray for Understanding" educational campaign tied to the upcoming Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, or "feast of fast breaking."

CAIR's campaign was prompted by an incident in which several Muslim football fans were allegedly profiled by law enforcement authorities for praying publicly in Giants Stadium during a game in September. The men report they were detained and interrogated apparently based on their prayers being perceived as "suspicious behavior" by other fans.

WHAT: CAIR News Conference on Profiling, Launch of 'Pray for Understanding' Campaign
WHEN
: Wednesday, November 2, Noon
WHERE: 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 246, New York, NY (120th St. and Riverside Drive)
CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Wissam Nasr, 917-751-1017 or 212-870-2002, E-Mail: director@cair-ny.org

"This incident is of particular concern because a recent report confirmed that a number of New Jersey Muslims have been profiled by law enforcement authorities solely because of their faith," said CAIR-NY Executive Director Wissam Nasr.

A federal review concluded that New Jersey counterterrorism agents filed 140 intelligence reports into a database with no grounds for suspicion other than the suspects' Muslim faith.

SEE: "Report Backs Charges that N.J. Muslims were Profiled"
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-3/112866313196640.xml&coll=1

At the Wednesday news conference, the detained football fans will describe the alleged profiling incident, and CAIR representatives will outline the "Pray for Understanding" campaign.

The campaign itself involves inviting people of all faiths to attend prayers and other activities associated with the Eid ul-Fitr holiday that will take place November 3rd or 4th. (The exact date depends on the sighting of the new crescent moon.)

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.

- 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.

-----

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

-----

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

-----

Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 01 Nov 2005 15:22:44 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Boston Islamic Society Expands Libel Suit / FL Religious Holiday Ban Draws Heat / Canadian Muslim Group Urged to Let Women Vote

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 11/1/05

* Hadith: Fasting Leads to Forgiveness
* CAIR-DC: Register Online for CAIR's Annual Banquet
* Top 10 Reasons to Support CAIR: #7 - Civil Rights
* CAIR-SV: Sacramento Muslims to Hold Quake Relief Event
            - CAIR-OH: 150 Attend CAIR-Cincinnati Interfaith Iftar
            - CAIR-OH: Ramadan: A Month of Community
            - CAIR-CAN Urges B.C. Muslim Group to Let Women Vote
                        - 'Women Friendly Mosques' Brochure
            - CAIR: Muslim Group Honors Rosa Parks (Dallas Morn News)
* MA: Islamic Society Expands Libel Suit (Boston Globe)
* FL: Religious Holiday Ban Draws Heat (Tampa Trib)
* WA: Local or Global Moon-Sighting for End of Ramadan?
            - CA: Ramadan Tries Young Muslim Athletes
* TX: Town Hall Mtg Eyes Muslims and the West (San Antonio Exp)
            - KS: 'Working Together With a Muslim Work Force'
* IL: $3 Million Expansion of Des Plaines Mosque (Chicago Trib)
* MI: SEC Approves Public Offering of Muslim Media Network
* WA: Shock at Secret Jailing of Computer Specialist (SPI)
            - Gitmo Lawyer Witnesses Suicide Attempt (Wash Post)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: FASTING LEADS TO FORGIVENESS - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan, obeying all of its limitations and guarding himself against what is forbidden, has in fact atoned for any sins he committed before it."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 109

When the Prophet stated that people would be granted forgiveness on the last night in Ramadan, he was asked whether it was Laylat al-Qadr ("Night of Power"), he replied: "No, but a workman is paid his full wages only when he has finished his work."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 617

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REGISTER ONLINE FOR CAIR'S ANNUAL BANQUET - TOP

Registration is now available online for CAIR's 11th Annual Banquet, "American Muslims: Partners for Peace and Justice." To learn more about the dinner, or to register, GO TO: https://www.cair-net.org/2005banquet/

REMEMBER - CAIR banquets have been sold out every year - alhamdulillah.

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TOP 10 REASONS TO SUPPORT CAIR: REASON #7 - CIVIL RIGHTS - TOP

Since 1994, CAIR's Civil Rights Department dealt with, free of charge, more than 16,000 discrimination cases reported by American Muslims. CAIR also publishes the nation's only annual report on the status of American Muslim civil rights.

To offer your support for CAIR, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/ramadan2005/

Scholars say that donations to CAIR qualify as Zakat.

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CAIR-SV: SACRAMENTO MUSLIMS TO HOLD FUNDRAISING DINNER FOR QUAKE VICTIMS - TOP

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 11/1/05) - On Tuesday, November 1st, the Sacramento Valley Muslim community and the Interfaith Service Bureau (ISB) will hold a fundraising dinner to collect monetary donations and clothing to be sent to areas devastated by the South Asia earthquake.

WHAT: Fundraising Dinner for Quake Relief
WHEN: Tuesday, November 1st, 2005 from 5-8 PM.
WHERE: Grand Ballroom, 1215 J Street, Sacramento.

CONTACT: Basim Elkarra, CAIR-SV Executive Director (916) 441-6269, e-mail: sacval@cair.com; ISB Executive Director Reverend Dexter McNamara, (914) 448-2212

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-OH: 150 ATTEND CAIR-CINCINNATI INTERFAITH IFTAR - TOP

(CINCINNATI, OH, 11/1/2005) - The Cincinnati office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) said today that some 150 people, including public officials, civic leaders and members of the interfaith community, turned out on Sunday, October 30, for its Annual Sharing Ramadan Iftar Banquet. ("Iftar" is the meal eaten after sunset to break the fast each day during the observance of Ramadan.)

"It is important for American Muslims to reach out to their neighbors of all faiths in an atmosphere of sharing and mutual respect," said CAIR-Ohio's Cincinnati Director Karen Dabdoub. The evening's program included presentations on Ramadan and CAIR.

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada

CONTACT: Karen Dabdoub, 513-281-8200, E-Mail: karen@cair-ohio.com; Brent Meyer, 513-276-1600, E-Mail: meyer_brent@hotmail.com

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CAIR-OH: RAMADAN: A MONTH OF COMMUNITY - TOP
KURT MOORE, Marion Star, 10/31/05
http://www.marionstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051026/NEWS01/510260303&SearchID=73225074715388

MARION - Each day for a month, Columbus pediatrician Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin has to get up before dawn to eat and doesn't have another bite until the sun goes down. Even water is not allowed.

It's a period the beginning of which, considering its physical hardship, the Marion Catholic High School graduate and vice president of the Ohio Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said she approaches with a little apprehension. Just the same, Mobin-Uddin said she considers the holy month of Ramadan to be one of the best months of the year. (MORE)

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CAIR-CAN URGES B.C. MUSLIM GROUP TO LET WOMEN VOTE - TOP

(OTTAWA, CANADA - 31/10/05) - The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) today called on the B.C. Muslim Association (BCMA) to respect both the religious and political right of women to vote in its decision-making process.

According to media and other reports, the BCMA bars women from voting in its internal affairs, such as the hiring of Imams, or prayer leaders, for the association's mosques.

The issue surfaced in response to a community disagreement regarding a local Imam.

In a statement released today, CAIR-CAN said:

"While we respect the right of Muslims in British Columbia to resolve their own internal disagreements, it is unacceptable that women are denied the right to vote which is given to them by both Islam and Canadian law.

"Under Islam, the concept of "shura," or mutual consultation on community matters, includes both men and women.

"CAIR-CAN calls on the BCMA to respect the rights given to women under Islam."

For more information, please contact Halima Mautbur at 613-254-9704.

CAIR-CAN
Council on American-Islamic Relations CANADA
P.O. Box 13219, Ottawa, ONT, K2K 1X4
Tel: 1-866-524-0004
Fax: 613-254-9810
URL: www.caircan.ca

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'WOMEN FRIENDLY MOSQUES AND COMMUNITY CENTERS' BROCHURE - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1632&theType=NR

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CAIR: MUSLIM GROUP HONORS ROSA PARKS - TOP
Dallas Morning News, 10/29/05
http://www.dallasnews.com

A leading American Islamic group is creating a scholarship to honor the life and work of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.

Details are to be announced in December at the annual meeting in Washington, D.C., of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Mrs. Parks, who died Monday, set off the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott when she refused to yield her seat to a white rider in 1955.

"Rosa Parks ... continues to inspire all those who struggle for social justice and equality," CAIR said.

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MA: ISLAMIC SOCIETY EXPANDS LIBEL SUIT - TOP
Charles Radin, Boston Globe, 11/1/05
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/11/01/islamic_society_expands_libel_suit/

Leaders of the Islamic Society of Boston broadened their defamation suit yesterday in Suffolk Superior Court to add conspiracy charges against a group of journalists and scholars who the Muslim leaders allege sought to ruin the reputations of the society and its leaders and prevent construction of a major mosque in Boston.

The suit expanded upon and incorporated two previously filed lawsuits -- the first brought in February against WFXT-TV (Channel 25), and the second in May against Channel 25 and the Boston Herald. In those earlier suits, leaders of the Islamic Society charged that reports broadcast and published in 2003 and 2004 defamed them by falsely linking them to Islamic terrorist groups.

Yesterday's filing alleged that several nonprofit advocacy groups, individuals, and reporters, acting out of alleged bias against Muslims, conspired to defame the society and its leaders.

Among newly named defendants:

Steven Emerson, a Washington-based writer, and his organization, The Investigative Project Inc.;

William R. Sapers, a member of the Board of Trustees of Roxbury Community College;

The David Project Inc., a Boston-based group that focuses on issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and its director of education, Anna Kolodner;

Citizens for Peace and Tolerance, a Cambridge-based group that has questioned whether the leaders of the mosque project were moderate Muslims; its president, Boston College political science professor Dennis Hale; and its director, Steven A. Cohen.

The Islamic Society of Boston is the city-designated developer of a $22 million mosque, which is under construction on land next to Roxbury Community College.

The suit alleges that Sapers initially attempted to undermine the project by damaging the Islamic Society's relations with the college through unfounded statements to officials of the college that the society's leaders were associated with Muslim terrorist organizations. After that effort failed, the plaintiffs allege, Sapers then turned to Emerson for assistance ''in an effort to manufacture any negative story he could come up with to support the effort to undermine the project."

Emerson, a former CNN correspondent who in the mid-1990s won numerous investigative journalism awards for his documentary ''Jihad in America," was, by the time Sapers sought him out in 2002, ''widely regarded as a discredited, biased, self-proclaimed 'expert' on radical Islam . . . with a known agenda against Muslims," the suit charges. (MORE)

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FL: RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY VOTE DRAWS HEAT - TOP
MARILYN BROWN, Tampa Tribune, 11/1/05
http://www.tampatrib.com/MGBK8KUOHFE.html

TAMPA -- More than 100 pleading, threatening and indignant e-mails have streamed into Hillsborough County School Board offices, some calling board members "gutless," "morons," and "a bunch of wimps."

At issue is the board's vote to drop religious holidays from its school calendar, a decision that has drawn fire from national media, local officials and citizens.

Hillsborough School Board members voted Oct. 25 to drop Yom Kippur and Good Friday from the 2006-07 school calendar, designating no religious holidays off except Christmas. Students may be absent on their religious holidays without penalty or restriction on the number of days.

The new policy was sparked last December by a request from local Muslims for a day off for Eid Al-Fitr, a factor that has seeped into many of the public responses. (MORE)

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WA: MOON CLOUDS CELEBRATION FOR MUSLIM COMMUNITY - TOP
Janet I. Tu, Seattle Times, 11/1/05
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002596654_eid01m.html

In preparation for Eid al-Fitr, the celebration that ends the holy month of Ramadan, local Muslims have purchased new clothes, prepared food and rented a hangar at the former naval station at Sand Point big enough to accommodate a communitywide prayer service.

But local Muslims, like those across the country, may be celebrating the holiday on two different days this week - either Thursday or Friday.

Muslims follow the lunar calendar and a religious tenet that says holidays such as Eid can start only after the sighting of a new, or crescent, moon.

The question is: Do local Muslims begin celebrating when the crescent moon is seen by someone in, say, Saudi Arabia? Or only when it's seen by a Muslim in the United States, which could be on a different night? In other words, should local Muslims follow a global sighting of the moon or one closer to home? (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CA: RAMADAN TRIES YOUNG MUSLIM ATHLETES - TOP
Brad A. Greenberg, San Bernadino County Sun, 11/1/05
http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_3170085

DIAMOND BAR - The football coach hollers, "Water break!" and the players cluster around blue Powerade bottles. Hytham Elsherif stands alone and to the side.
"Somebody soak him down," an assistant coach says.

He unstraps his helmet so a teammate can squirt water on his head. He spits repeatedly to keep it from sneaking into his mouth.

Hytham is a unique member of Diamond Bar High School's varsity team he is its only Muslim. Because it is Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, Hytham is fasting from sunrise to sunset each day.

Starving the body for 14 hours is taxing on even the most sedentary. For a 17-year-old offensive lineman, it seems like a death wish.

"If he wants to play, it's up to him," says his mother, Naglaa Elsherif. "But he has to follow God's rules he has to fast. If he doesn't have the energy to fast, don't play."

Hytham's is a common dilemma of Muslim-American youths, many of whom find themselves attending class, studying and competing athletically on an empty stomach one month a year.

A first-generation Egyptian-American, Hytham has sculpted an identity as an American youth who happens to be a devout Muslim. He is one of an estimated 10 Muslims in a sea of 3,307 students. But his classmates do not consider him particularly different except during that one month each year when they only see him eat at night.

During Ramadan, which this year began Oct. 4 and ends Nov. 3, the 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide who are of age, in good health and not pregnant are called to abstain from food, drink, cursing and sex during the day.

Fasting is one of Islam's Five Pillars. Hytham first participated at age 6. He says it gets easier as the month progresses, that his body adapts to his inability to make up the lost calories.

The coaches and players say they respect Hytham's religion. His conviction leaves them in awe. But they are not without concern for the effect it has on Hytham's performance. (MORE)

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TX: TOWN HALL MEETING EYES MUSLIMS AND THE WEST - TOP
San Antonio Express-News, 11/1/05
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA110105.3B.townhall.17054e78.html

A town hall meeting on "The Future of Western-Muslim World Relations" is scheduled for 7:30 tonight in St. Mary's SBC Technology Center Room 108.

The meeting will feature an expert on Islam and the Muslim world, Michael Kraig, who is the director of policy analysis at the Stanley Foundation in Muscatine, Iowa.

The event is aimed at improving Western-Muslim relations through an initiative called "Hope not Hate."

"The goal of this unprecedented series is two-fold," said Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, the co-chairman of Hope not Hate.

"First, we want to build a bridge of understanding between non-Muslims and Muslims in the United States, and then extend that bridge of understanding from the U.S. to the Muslim world," Ahmed said.

SEE ALSO:

'WORKING TOGETHER WITH A MUSLIM WORK FORCE' - TOP
The Kansas City Star, 11/1/05
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/business/13047279.htm

"Working Together With a Muslim Work Force" is the topic of a seminar scheduled for 8-11:30 a.m. Nov. 11 at Kansas City Kansas Community College. The featured speaker is to be Syafi'i Anwar, executive director the International Center of Islam and Pluralism in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The event, which includes panel discussions, costs $35, or $10 for students. Registration is requested by calling (913) 288-7362 or sending e-mail to shawken@toto.net

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IL: FAITH FILLS THEIR NEW SPACE - TOP
$3 million expansion of Des Plaines mosque gives Muslims relief from crowding, but holiday services already will tax its capacity
Kristen Schorsch, Chicago Tribune, 11/5/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0511010153nov01,1,2772933.story

About 50 women and girls lined up shoulder-to-shoulder as prayer began, clasping their hands near their chests and bowing their covered heads.

The upstairs room in the new Islamic Community Center of Des Plaines was mostly silent, pierced only by the giggles and faint whispers of young children.

The women put their hands on their knees and bowed lower, eventually kneeling on the floor to place their hands and heads on the beige carpet. Downstairs, men did the same. Together but apart, the men and women repeated the postures to prayers recited from the Koran, the sacred text of Islam.

Such gatherings have been easier to accommodate with the $3.2 million expansion of the center at 480 Potter Rd. Though not large enough to accommodate the observances this week marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the mosque, completed in August, is about 11 times larger than the five-room ranch-style house that had been the center's home, said Ghulam Farooqie, the center's president. (MORE)

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MI: SEC APPROVES PUBLIC OFFERING OF THE MUSLIM MEDIA NETWORK, INC. (MMN) - TOP
Business Wire, 11/1/05
http://home.businesswire.com/

FARMINGTON, Mich. Nov. 1, 2005 - The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has given final approval to Muslim Media Network, Inc.'s application for permission to sell shares of stock to the public, the first time it has ever approved such a request from a Muslim media company.

MMN is now federally approved to offer shares to the public in all 50 states; now it needs state-level approval, which in fact it has already received in Illinois. MMN is now seeking approval in the other 49 states. The goal of MMN is to sell $10 million worth of stock.

Dr. AS Nakadar, CEO and President of the Board of Directors of MMN, said, "We are grateful to God Almighty that He helped us achieve our goals in a relatively short time. The application with the SEC was filed 7 months ago; our preparations began 8 months before that."

MMN is the owner of the weekly newspaper, The Muslim Observer (TMO). TMO is the largest subscription-based Muslim weekly in the U.S., and the only one that has reached all 50 states for the past several years without a single issue. TMO is in suburban Detroit, and maintains editorial offices in Las Vegas, Chicago, Houston and Toronto. In a media market once dominated by ethnically-focused media, TMO has made its own niche. Its editorials and articles have been picked up several times by other media outlets, and its publisher and editor have appeared on television, radio and in the newspapers several times.

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WA: COLLEAGUES SHOCKED AT SECRET JAILING OF FORMER UW COMPUTER SPECIALIST - TOP
ATHIMA CHANSANCHAI, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 10/31/05
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/246531_fast31.html

In the post-9/11, Patriot Act world, people and due process can disappear under a veil of government-sanctioned secrecy.

Taken from his home in July 2004: a former University of Washington computer specialist and Saudi national whose exiled father is a vocal critic of their homeland's government. He was targeted for a visa violation over a previous misdemeanor drug conviction even though immigration officials focused on his alleged ties to terrorism. Worried co-workers didn't know what happened until federal agents charged into their offices days later. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

GUANTANAMO DESPERATION SEEN IN SUICIDE ATTEMPTS - TOP
One Incident Was During Lawyer's Visit
Josh White, Washington Post, 11/1/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/31/AR2005103101987.html

Jumah Dossari had to visit the restroom, so the detainee made a quick joke with his American lawyer before military police guards escorted him to a nearby cell with a toilet. The U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had taken quite a toll on Dossari over the past four years, but his attorney, who was there to discuss Dossari's federal court case, noted his good spirits and thought nothing of his bathroom break.

Minutes later, when Dossari did not return, Joshua Colangelo-Bryan knocked on the cell door, calling out his client's name. When he did not hear a response, Colangelo-Bryan stepped inside and saw a three-foot pool of blood on the floor. Numb, the lawyer looked up to see Dossari hanging unconscious from a noose tied to the ceiling, his eyes rolled back, his tongue and lips bulging, blood pouring from a gash in his right arm.

Dossari's suicide attempt two weeks ago is believed to be the first such event witnessed by an outsider at the prison, and one of several signs that lawyers and human rights advocates contend point to growing desperation among the more than 500 detainees there. Lawyers believe Dossari, who has been in solitary confinement for nearly two years, timed his suicide attempt so that someone other than his guards would witness it, a cry for help meant to reach beyond the base's walls. . .

Dossari, 26, said U.S. troops have put out cigarettes on his skin, threatened to kill him and severely beat him. He told his lawyer that he saw U.S. Marines at Kandahar "using pages of the Koran to shine their boots," and was brutalized at Guantanamo Bay by Immediate Response Force guards who videotaped themselves attacking him. (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

-----

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from this list, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 02 Nov 2005 13:28:56 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Launches 'Pray for Understanding' Campaign After NJ 'Profiling' Incident

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 'PRAY FOR UNDERSTANDING' CAMPAIGN
People of all faiths invited to attend end of Ramadan events

(NEW YORK, NY, 11/2/05) - The New Jersey and New York offices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ/CAIR-NY) today launched a "Pray for Understanding" educational campaign tied to the upcoming Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, or "feast of fast breaking."

At a news conference in New York City, CAIR representatives said the campaign involves inviting people of all faiths to attend prayers and other activities associated with the Eid ul-Fitr holiday that will take place November 3rd or 4th. (The exact date depends on the sighting of the new crescent moon.) CAIR hopes visitors will take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about Islamic prayer rituals and to meet ordinary Muslims.

(Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the month-long Islamic fast of Ramadan. Along with communal prayers, many Muslim communities hold multicultural bazaars featuring activities for children, food from different parts of the Muslim world and booths offering information about Islam.)

For more about Eid ul-Fitr, see: "Muslim Event Grows with Population"
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0511020009nov02,1,755322.story

"Research has shown that anti-Muslim prejudice and misunderstanding decrease in direct proportion to knowledge of Islam and interaction with Muslims," said CAIR-NY Executive Director Wissam Nasr. "We invite people of all faiths to seek out and visit an Eid prayer or celebration in their area to both learn more about Islam and to have some fun."

He offered two specific Eid events people in New Jersey are invited to attend:

1) Eid prayers at 8:30 a.m. on November 3 or 4 at the Teaneck Armory on Teaneck Road between Ward Plaza and Liberty Road, Teaneck N.J. (Local and state politicians are expected to attend. Visitors are urged to arrive early due to the number of people expected to attend.) Contact: 201-692-7730, 201-641-2200 or 201-833-2162

2) Eid celebrations on Saturday, November 5, in Clifton Memorial Park at Main Street and Piaget Avenue in Clifton, N.J. Celebrations begin at noon and end at 6 p.m. There will be a fireworks display at sunset. Contact: 973-278-7070

Anyone wishing to attend an Eid event in other areas may go to www.islamicfinder.com to locate and contact a local mosque or Islamic center.

CAIR is also urging Muslim communities nationwide to take advantage of the Eid holiday to collect funds for earthquake relief in South Asia.

SEE: "CAIR Asks U.S. Muslims to Collect Quake Aid on Eid"
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1842&theType=NR

Nasr said CAIR's "Pray for Understanding" campaign was prompted by an incident in which several Muslim football fans were allegedly profiled by law enforcement authorities for praying publicly during a game in Giants Stadium. The men report they were detained and interrogated apparently based on their prayers being perceived as "suspicious behavior" by other fans.

SEE: "Muslim Fans Say Giants Stadium Security, FBI Profiled Them for Praying"
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--giantsstadium-mus1101nov01,0,1783428.story

LATE UPDATE: The FBI now claims the men were detained because they were "congregating near the main air intake duct" for the stadium, not because they were praying, even though the area was accessible to all fans. That area has since been fenced off.

SEE: "FBI: Muslims Detained Were Close to Arena Air Duct"

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--giantsstadium-mus1102nov02,0,2242182.story

A federal review recently concluded that New Jersey counterterrorism agents filed 140 intelligence reports into a database with no grounds for suspicion other than the suspects' Muslim faith.

SEE: "Report Backs Charges that N.J. Muslims were Profiled"
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-3/112866313196640.xml&coll=1

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-NY Executive Director Wissam Nasr, 917-751-1017 or 212-870-2002, E-Mail: director@cair-ny.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.

-----

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

-----

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

-----


Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 02 Nov 2005 15:35:35 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Seeks Applicants for Rosa Parks Scholarship / FL Council Race Marred by Remarks on Ethnicity / CIA Holds Suspects in Secret Prisons

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 11/2/05

* Verse: Good and Evil are a Test
* CAIR-DC: Register Online for CAIR's Annual Banquet
            - Top 10 Reasons to Support CAIR: #8 - Education
* CAIR Seeks Applicants for Rosa Parks Scholarship
* CAIR-Chicago to Co-Sponsor Interfaith Gathering
            - IL: Eid Grows with Muslim Population (Chicago Trib)
* CAIR-CA: Halal Foods More Widely Available (Mercury News)
            - What is Halal?
            - MN: Muslims Flock to Restaurants at Sundown (Star Trib)
* Islam in America Teaches Reconciliation (Wash File)
* FL: City Council Race Marred by Remarks on Ethnicity
            - Candidate: 'I don't want an Indian in my government'
* WI: Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Headscarf Removal (AP)
* CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons (Wash Post)
            - Detainee Policy Sharply Divides Bush Officials (NYT)
            - U.S. Denies U.N. Access to Gitmo Detainees (AP/Reuters)
            - Rationalizing Torture (Washington Times)
* Trinidad: Empowering Women Through Islam
* Death Toll in Asian Quake Jumps to 73,276 (AP)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: GOOD AND EVIL ARE A TEST - TOP

"Every soul shall have a taste of death: and We test you by evil and by good by way of trial: and unto Us you all must return."

The Holy Quran, 21:35

"On the Day of Judgment We shall set up scales of justice so that no one will be dealt with unjustly in any way; even if someone has an act (of good or evil) as small as a grain of a mustard seed, We will bring it to account, and sufficient are We to settle the accounts."

The Holy Quran, 21:47

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REGISTER ONLINE FOR CAIR'S ANNUAL BANQUET - TOP

Registration is now available online for CAIR's 11th Annual Banquet, "American Muslims: Partners for Peace and Justice." To learn more about the dinner, or to register, GO TO: https://www.cair-net.org/2005banquet/

SEE ALSO:

TOP 10 REASONS TO SUPPORT CAIR: REASON #8 - EDUCATION - TOP

CAIR distributed more than 8,000 Library Project packages to American public libraries. These packages contained 18 quality books, videos and DVDs about Islam and Muslims that are now available to millions of people around the nation.

To offer your support for CAIR, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/ramadan2005/

Scholars say that donations to CAIR qualify as Zakat.

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CAIR SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR ROSA PARKS SCHOLARSHIP - TOP

(WASHINGTON, DC, 11/2/05) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced today that it is seeking applicants for a scholarship announced recently to honor the life and work of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.

This year's awardee of the annual $1,000 CAIR "Rosa Parks Civil Liberties Scholarship" will be announced at CAIR's annual dinner in Washington, D.C., on December 3rd.

Applicants must be enrolled in, or accepted by, a full-time undergraduate, graduate or professional program of an accredited university in the United States majoring in a field that promotes civil rights, social justice and/or the peaceful resolution of conflicts. They must have a grade point average of 3.0 or above for undergraduate students or 3.5 or above for graduate students.

The applicants must also have a demonstrated interest in civil liberties issues. Preference will be given to applicants with past employment or volunteer experiences indicating such interest.

All applicants must submit two letters of recommendation and an essay demonstrating knowledge of the civil rights movement and how it relates to the American Muslim experience.

Application deadline for 2005 is November 21.

To obtain an application form, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/scholarship_criteria_2006.pdf

For more information, e-mail: scholarship@cair-net.org

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CAIR-CHICAGO TO CO-SPONSOR INTERFAITH GATHERING - TOP
http://www.cairchicago.org/events.php?file=ev_interfaith11102005

WHAT - The Chicago Interfaith Gathering - Diverse Faiths, Shared Values
WHERE: Chicago
WHEN: November 10-11, 2005

CO-SPONSORS:

* CAIR-Chicago
* University of Chicago - Divinity School
* Loyola University - Department of Theology
* DePaul University - Department of Religious Studies
* Catholic Theological Union - Bernardin Center
* Interfaith Youth Core
* Archdiocese of Chicago
* NCCJ - Chicago & Greater Illinois
* Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
* Niagara Educational Services

The Chicago Interfaith Gathering seminars are led by world renowned scholars and activists. It is cosponsored by some of Chicago's leading academic institutions and interfaith organizations

See the conference website, http://www.interfaithgathering.org, for exact session locations, times and other details.

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-CHICAGO: MUSLIM EVENT GROWS WITH POPULATION - TOP
Margaret Ramirez, Chicago Tribune, 11/2/05
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0511020009nov02,1,755322.story

When Kifah Shukair celebrates the end of the sacred Muslim month of Ramadan this week, she will rise before dawn with her family and attend morning prayers. The rest of the day will be spent in a flurry of festivity--visiting relatives, exchanging gifts, feasting on delicious foods.

But as Shukair and other Muslims mark the joyful occasion of Eid al-Fitr, some find themselves longing for the grander celebrations of their native lands.

"In Muslim countries, it's all around you," said Shukair, a Palestinian-American who lives in Chicago Ridge. "Everyone everywhere is glorifying God and you can hear prayers echoing even throughout the streets. ... Here, we're celebrating and happy and it still feels festive. But instead of Eid being all around you, it's confined to one little area."

As the U.S. Muslim population increases, immigrant communities are striving to make the holy day of Eid as joyful in the U.S. as it is in their homeland by arranging large gatherings in banquet halls with good food and warm memories. The wide-ranging efforts to recognize Eid on a larger scale illustrate the growth and diversity of the Muslim community as the holiday becomes part of the region's religious fabric and Islam takes its place as one of the nation's major faiths.

"Back home, we didn't have to have banquets because we had our families right there," said Zaher Sahloul, president of the Mosque Foundation in southwest suburban Bridgeview. "Here, the extended family is basically the community of the mosque. So each mosque has their own Eid banquet and also each ethnic community has their smaller banquets."

Eid al-Fitr, known as the festival of fast-breaking at the end of Ramadan, is expected to occur Wednesday or Thursday depending on the sighting of the new crescent moon.

At the Mosque Foundation, thousands of Muslim families are expected to crowd into three buildings for Eid prayers on Thursday or Friday morning and then attend an Eid banquet Saturday. In northwest suburban Prospect Heights, the predominantly Egyptian-American Al Azhar Islamic Foundation is renting a hotel banquet hall for Eid prayers and then heading to a nearby restaurant. And in a relatively new annual gathering, Latino Muslims are creating their own Eid traditions with a party that includes a Mexican pinata for children to celebrate the holy day.

Eid is as sacred to Muslims as Easter and Christmas are to Christians and Yom Kippur is to Jews. In Muslim countries, Eid is a three-day holiday when government offices, businesses and schools close. For that reason, U.S. Muslims sometimes find it hard to observe Eid appropriately.

"I don't think a lot of people can take three days off from work here," said Shukair. "It becomes a little more of a struggle to stay in that state of mind."

But Shukair also said the struggle to observe Eid here with devotion and joy has deepened her Muslim faith. As part of home-schooling for her son Mohammad, 7, she said she taught him about Ramadan, and he was able to observe the monthlong sunrise-to-sunset fast for the first time. At one point, he was tempted by a Reese's peanut butter cup, she said, but he eventually placed it in his mother's lap and walked away.

"Growing up, my parents never really explained why we were fasting," she said. "But I try to explain to my son about doing a good fast and then celebrating the Eid and praying for God's acceptance and forgiveness."

Ahmed Rehab, communications director for the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, agrees that a focal point of Eid celebrations for Muslim immigrants is educating the children. Parents buy new clothes for them and give such gifts as toys or money.

"Eid is a celebration of their Muslim identity and the central role of God in our lives as Muslims," Rehab said. "We speak to them of God as a loving figure who provides for us and cares for us, and who wishes for us to have a good time as a reward for having patiently endured fasting Ramadan."

Rehab, who immigrated to Chicago from Cairo, said the holiday also provides a time to socialize and reminisce about their homeland. "We're so spread out and just don't have a chance to meet that often. Eid brings us together," he said.

For Latino Muslims, Eid also provides an opportunity for children to learn about the Islamic faith while mixing culinary and cultural traditions, said Ricardo Pena of Bolingbrook. This year, a group of Latino Muslims will hold its third annual Latino Eid festival Nov. 13 at Chicago's Muslim Community Center. (MORE)

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CAIR-CA: HALAL FOODS ARE MORE WIDELY AVAILABLE THAN EVER - TOP
Sheila Himmel, Mercury News, 11/2/05
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/entertainment/13059052.htm

Tahir Anwar has lived in San Jose 23 years and eaten only foods permitted by strict Islamic guidelines. It was not so easy in the beginning. His parents used to order halal (literally "permitted") meat from Stockton and Sacramento.

Anwar's father was the first leader, the imam, of the South Bay Islamic Association. Now Anwar, 28, is the imam. And his observant congregants can buy meat from half a dozen markets in Silicon Valley, dine at more than 30 restaurants, eat at one of the six company cafes at Cisco Systems in San Jose.

They can buy pork-free halal pepperoni pizza and dine at white-tablecloth restaurants.

Halal meat sales have doubled or tripled in the past year at Facciola Meat of Fremont, says John Rothenberg, a buyer at the Bay Area's largest meat distributor. The bigger orders have come from workplaces like Cisco, as well as restaurants and stores, for meat across the board: chicken, lamb, beef, veal and goat.

An estimated 200,000 Muslims live in the Bay Area, says Safaa Ibrahim, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Santa Clara. Last year, about 100,000 attended the three-day community celebration of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. This year's celebration begins Thursday or Friday, depending on when the new moon is sighted, at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. About 100,000 Bay Area residents attend a mosque, but they don't all follow strict halal practices.

It's getting easier, though, because non-Muslim stores -- including many Albertsons supermarkets -- are carrying halal products. ``My grocery store just opened a halal meat section," says Ibrahim, who shops at International Food Bazaar in Santa Clara, which is owned by Palestinian Christians.

More Bay Area Muslims are buying halal meat, says Ibrahim, ``because it's readily available." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

WHAT IS HALAL? - TOP
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/entertainment/dining/13059029.htm

1. Pronounced hah-LAL, meaning permitted or lawful, as in this verse from the Koran: ``Eat of that which Allah hath bestowed on you as food lawful and good.''

2. Foods that are definitely halal: fish, plants that are not intoxicant, fresh vegetables, fresh or dried fruits, legumes and nuts, grains.

3. Meat such as beef, lamb, poultry and goat must be raised cleanly and humanely, and must be zabihah -- slaughtered according to Islamic rites. A blessing is said by the person performing the slaughter, who must be a Muslim.

4. Foods not permitted (haram) include pork, alcohol and products made with non-halal animal content, such as gelatin or a cheese made with rennet. Halal markets sell permitted cheese and gelatin products.

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MN: RAMADAN DINING: AFTER SUNSET, A CROWD - TOP
To break their daily fast during Ramadan, many Muslims flock to a pair of restaurants owned by two brothers. The food is served hot, but not until sundown.
Matt McKinney, Star Tribune, 11/2/05
http://www.startribune.com/stories/614/5702935.html

The man in the white chef's hat bustled through the restaurant with nervous anticipation. Sundown was coming, and people would soon pass through the front door to break their daily fast. His workers shaved lamb meat. A son brought a box of tomatoes. They had 15 minutes, maybe a few more.

"I am ready for everything," said Adel Hegazi, his eyes speaking worry.

Twilight fell on the parking lot outside and the nightly ritual began.

Muslim customers, drawn to this place by Hegazi's specialty Arab foods and mint tea, arrived to break their daily Ramadan fast. Hegazi transformed from edgy suitor to gregarious host.

This is what has come of 30 years in the restaurant business for Hegazi and his brother, Shaker Elsaied, co-owners of Marina Grill & Deli at University and Lowry Avenues NE. (MORE)

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AFRICAN MUSLIM SAYS ISLAM IN AMERICA TEACHES RECONCILIATION - TOP
Jim Fisher-Thompson and Greg Garland, Washington File, 11/1/05
http://usinfo.state.gov/usinfo/products/washfile.html
(Scroll down to headline.)

Washington -- Islam as practiced in America contains subtle alterations that change the religion by erasing many of the schisms that plague Muslims elsewhere, thus promoting reconciliation, says Bayono Valy, a journalist and researcher who also serves as press officer for the Islamic Council of Mozambique.

Valy recently led a roundtable discussion at the American Embassy in Maputo, Mozambique, based on his participation in the Department of State-sponsored International Visitor Leadership Program.

After touring the United States for three weeks, he argued that American Muslims offer a model of Islamic reconciliation, whether divisions are theological or ethnic.

Valy's remarks were reported by the U.S. Embassy in Maputo after its public affairs section hosted him and about 25 other Muslims and journalists at an iftar event to break the daytime fast during the Muslim holy month Ramadan. (MORE)

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FL: ORANGE CITY RACE ROCKED BY REMARKS ON ETHNICITY - TOP
The incumbent's criticism of his Indian-born opponent in a City Council contest raises eyebrows and stirs reaction.
Charlene Hager-Van Dyke, Orlando Sentinel, 11/2/05
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/orl-vsherrill0205nov02,0,1443876.story

ORANGE CITY -- A two-term City Council member has made disparaging remarks about the ethnicity of his Indian-born opponent in next week's election.

During a candidate's forum and again in an interview with an Orlando Sentinel staff writer, Seat 4 incumbent Don Sherrill criticized challenger Tom Abraham.

Sherrill derided Abraham's accent at a political forum hosted and videotaped by the John Knox Village retirement community Oct. 12.

"I don't know what to rebut because I don't understand what he was saying, and I don't mean that facetiously, I really don't understand him," Sherrill, who wears a hearing aid, told the group of about 40 people.

He added that when Abraham speaks at city meetings, council members are "baffled" by what he says.

In a later interview with the Sentinel, Sherrill said that residents would not vote for Abraham if they saw and heard him.

"I'm usually not prejudiced, but I don't want an Indian in my government," Sherrill said.

"As far as I know he could be a nice guy, but these kind of people get embedded over here. . . . You remember 9-11." (MORE) - TOP

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WI: U.S. JUDGE DISMISSES LAWSUIT OVER HEADSCARF REMOVAL - TOP
RYAN J. FOLEY, Associated Press, 11/2/05

MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) - A Muslim woman forced to remove her religious headscarf while visiting a state prison cannot sue the Department of Corrections or its secretary for damages, a federal judge ruled.

"I am devastated," Cynthia Rhouni of Madison said Wednesday when told of the ruling.

U.S. District Judge John Shabaz dismissed Rhouni's lawsuit late last week, citing a legal principle that gives protection to state agencies from lawsuits in federal court.

Rhouni claimed her constitutional right to practice religion was violated Feb. 3, 2003, when she took her son to visit his father at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin. A security measure that took effect months earlier banned visitors from wearing headgear inside state prisons.

Rhouni said two male guards ordered her to take off her religious headscarf known as a hijab, ignoring her protest of the policy.

She said she was humiliated to be seen without the scarf and filed the lawsuit against the department, Secretary Matthew Frank and the guards. It sought a change in the policy on headgear, in addition to unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

After the lawsuit was filed, Frank changed the policy to allow visitors to wear headgear as long as it does not conceal their identity. Visitors also do not have to take off the headgear before passing through metal detectors. (MORE)

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CIA HOLDS TERROR SUSPECTS IN SECRET PRISONS - TOP
Dana Priest, Washington Post, 11/2/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/01/AR2005110101644.html

The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.

The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents.

The Pentagon has declined to identify the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, most of whom were captured in Afghanistan during and after the 2001 war there. The Post has compiled a list of names made public thus far, encompassing 434 men whose identities have appeared in media reports, on Arabic Web sites...

The hidden global internment network is a central element in the CIA's unconventional war on terrorism. It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the CIA's covert actions. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

DETAINEE POLICY SHARPLY DIVIDES BUSH OFFICIALS - TOP
TIM GOLDEN and ERIC SCHMITT, New York Times, 11/2/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/02/politics/02detain.html

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 - The Bush administration is embroiled in a sharp internal debate over whether a new set of Defense Department standards for handling terror suspects should adopt language from the Geneva Conventions prohibiting "cruel," "humiliating" and "degrading" treatment, administration officials say.

Advocates of that approach, who include some Defense and State Department officials and senior military lawyers, contend that moving the military's detention policies closer to international law would prevent further abuses and build support overseas for the fight against Islamic extremists, officials said.

Their opponents, who include aides to Vice President Dick Cheney and some senior Pentagon officials, have argued strongly that the proposed language is vague, would tie the government's hands in combating terrorists and still would not satisfy America's critics, officials said.

The debate has delayed the publication of a second major Pentagon directive on interrogations, along with a new Army interrogations manual that was largely completed months ago, military officials said. It also underscores a broader struggle among senior officials over whether to scale back detention policies that have drawn strong opposition even from close American allies. (MORE)

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U.S. DENIES U.N. GROUP ACCESS TO DETAINEES - TOP
Associated Press and Reuters, 11/2/05
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002598566_gitmo02.html

WASHINGTON - Spurning a request by U.N. human rights investigators, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday the United States will not allow them to meet with detainees at the Guantánamo prison for foreign terrorism suspects.

Rumsfeld also told a Pentagon news conference that prisoners at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, were staging a hunger strike that began in early August as a successful ploy to attract media attention.

The three U.N. investigators, including one who focuses on torture, said Monday they would turn down an invitation extended by the Pentagon Friday to visit Guantánamo unless they were permitted to interview the detainees. The invitation came nearly four years after the visits were first requested. (MORE)

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RATIONALIZING TORTURE - TOP
David R. Irvine, Washington Times, 11/2/05
http://washingtontimes.com/commentary/20051101-084855-4089r.htm

It is undeniable that Arab regard for our moral leadership in the Middle East has never been lower. It is undeniable that our government is more reviled throughout the world than ever before. We are not winning hearts and minds by degrading and torturing. If anyone believes that the information gained through torture has been worth the price to our national honor and capacity to persuade other nations to follow our lead, it's time for them to produce hard evidence of torture's superior worth. Our torture policy has been disastrously counterproductive, and the votes against the McCain amendments fly in the face of our nation's core Judeo/Christian and -- yes -- Muslim values.

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EMPOWERING WOMEN THROUGH ISLAM - TOP
Erline Andrews, Trinidad News, 11/2/05
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_woman_mag?id=112858211

"Empower women" and "Islam" are two ideas most people might find incompatible. But this is a reflection of the many misconceptions about the religion, says Bibi Neeza Halim, president of ASJA Ladies, a Muslim organisation that has been working to empower women for more than six decades.

"Islam is stereotyped as treat(ing women) unfairly," says Halim. "Why then does it attract women-educated women? Islam is unique. It provides rights. (Women) can vote, own property, work to help the community and to be educated at the same time."

ASJA Ladies is the female arm of the Anjuman Sunnat-Ul-Jamaat Association (ASJA), one of the largest associations in Trinidad and Tobago, with over 60 mosques throughout the country. (MORE)

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DEATH TOLL IN ASIAN QUAKE JUMPS TO 73,276 - TOP
SADAQAT JAN, Associated Press, 11/2/05

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) - Pakistan's official earthquake death toll jumped by 16,000, and the country's top relief official warned Wednesday that it is likely to rise. The announcement, which puts the official toll at 73,000, brings the central government figures closer to the number reported by local officials, who say the Oct. 8 quake killed at least 79,000 people in Pakistan.

"Just imagine how many villages and towns became a heap of rubble and how many people got buried," said Maj. Gen. Farooq Ahmed Khan told reporters in the capital.

Khan said 73,276 people have been confirmed dead in Pakistan and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, up from the official count of 57,597. In India's portion of Kashmir, an additional 1,350 people died.

More than 69,000 people had severe injuries, with the total number of injured much higher, the general said.

Khan also warned ``there is likelihood of further increase'' in the death toll. (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, 02 Nov 2005 20:16:22 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: FL Muslims Seek Reinstatement of Christian, Jewish School Holidays

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BREAKING NEWS - 11/2/05

* FL Muslims Seek Reinstatement of Christian, Jewish School Holidays
* CAIR-NJ/NY: Muslims Detained at Prayer Seek Understanding (Reuters)
            - Video: Muslims Profiled at Giants Game? (CNN)

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FL MUSLIMS SEEK REINSTATEMENT OF CHRISTIAN, JEWISH SCHOOL HOLIDAYS - TOP

(TAMPA, FL. 11/2/05) - The Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today called on the School Board of Hillsborough County to reinstate Christian and Jewish holidays recently removed from the 2006/2007 school calendar.

School board members last week voted to eliminate the holidays following a request by the local Muslim community to schedule a day off on the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Fitr.

Speaking before the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, CAIR-FL Central Florida Director Ahmed Bedier announced that his group would officially request the school board to restore the holidays.

Bedier said: "Reinstate Christian and Jewish holidays even if it means that we don't get our own holiday. . .(as Muslims) we're taught to love for others what we love for ourselves."

VIEW A CLIP OF BEDIER'S STATEMENT AT: http://www.cairfl.org/video/051102_hill_cnty_meet2_hi.wmv

Bedier added that the Muslim community opposed the removal of Christian and Jewish holidays from the school calendar.

FOR BACKGROUND, SEE: "Hillsborough School Board Members Vote to End Vacation Days for All Religious Holidays," http://www.sptimes.com/2005/10/26/Hillsborough/School_calendar_will_.shtml

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.

CONTACT: Ahmed Bedier, 813-731-9506, abedier@cairfl.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726 or 202-488-8787, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

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CAIR-NJ/NY: MUSLIMS DETAINED AT PRAYER SEEK UNDERSTANDING - TOP
Gelu Sulugiuc, Reuters, 11/2/05
http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=domesticNews&storyID=2005-11-02T203554Z_01_SIB274111_RTRUKOC_0_US-LIFE-MUSLIMS.xml

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Five Muslims who were detained after praying at an American football game want to turn the incident into a tool to teach Americans about Islam.

While at a New York Giants against New Orleans Saints game at Giants Stadium on September 19, the New Jersey residents were removed from their seats and questioned by FBI agents after other fans saw them bow to the ground as part of the five-daily Muslim prayers.

"As Muslims, we just have to pray when it's time to pray," Sami Shaban told a news conference in New York on Wednesday. "We thought nothing of it. I pray in malls, I pray everywhere."

The 27-year-old law school student said he and his friends were questioned for about 25 minutes, missing part of the second half of the game. After they were released, an FBI agent told him they had been unwitting victims of racial profiling, Shaban said.

The FBI said the men were questioned because they congregated near an air duct at the stadium, not because they were praying. But the men dismissed that explanation.

"Let's be real here, if anybody with my description even scratches their ear, people get nervous," said Mostafa Khalifa, 27, who, like Shaban, wears a long beard and was among those detained. "I did nothing wrong, I should not change."

He pointed out that football players often huddle and pray on the sideline as a teammate attempts a game-winning kick in the waning seconds of a game.

The fans said they would like to turn the incident into an opportunity to teach Americans about Islamic traditions.

They teamed up with the Council on American-Islamic Relations and invited anybody interested to join them in celebrating the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan along with thousands of worshipers in New Jersey on Thursday or Friday.

"We want to stop profiling. The more that people learn about Islam, the more tolerant they become," said Wissam Nasr, the council's executive director in New York. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

VIDEO: MUSLIMS PROFILED AT GIANTS GAME? - TOP
http://www.cnn.com/video/partners/clickability/index.html?url=/video/sports/2005/11/02/snow.muslim.giants.fans.cnn

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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

-----

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

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Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2005 18:39:38 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: How Many American Muslims? / CAIR-San Antonio Director Shatters Stereotypes / School Holiday Ban Sparks Hateful Grandstanding

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 11/3/05

* Hadith: An Easy and Straightforward Faith
* Eid Mubarak from CAIR's Board and Staff
            - TX: Muslims Celebrate This Eid with Aid (Houston Chron)
            - CAIR Asks U.S. Muslims to Collect Quake Aid on Eid
* CAIR-DC: Register Online for CAIR's Annual Banquet
* CAIR-San Antonio Director Shatters Stereotypes
* How Many American Muslims? (Miami Herald)
            - IN: Muslim & American (Post-Tribune)
* MD: Muslim Leader Continues Effort Over Holidays (Balt Sun)
            - CAIR-FL: Commission Vocal About School Holidays (Tampa Trib)
            - School Holiday Decision Sparks Hateful Grandstanding
            - Commissioner: Like 'American' Holidays or Find Another Place to Live
* CAIR-NJ/NY: Muslims' Prayers at Game Led to FBI Queries
            - Muslims Pray for Understanding (Herald News)
            - We Felt Like Outsiders, Say Muslims Held at Game (NYT)
* IN: Islamic Center Turnout up After July Fire Bombing
            - IL: Man Pleads Guilty to Lying About Anti-Muslim Firebomb

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HADITH OF THE DAY: AN EASY AND STRAIGHTFORWARD FAITH - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "(Islam) is spacious (and has room for relaxation). I have been sent with an easy and straightforward faith."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 2, Number 153

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EID MUBARAK FROM CAIR'S BOARD AND STAFF - TOP

CAIR's board and staff in Washington, D.C., and in 31 chapters and offices throughout the United States and Canada wish you a blessed and happy Eid ul-Fitr. May God accept your deeds.

SEE ALSO:

TX: MUSLIMS CELEBRATE THIS EID WITH AID - TOP
Many forgo traditional gifts to help victims of Asia earthquake
TARA DOOLEY, Houston Chronicle, 11/3/05
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/3435069

Any other year, Dr. Kashif Ansari would be celebrating Eid al-Fitr with a gathering of friends and family. He would be decked out in a new suit for an elaborate feast and the exchange of gifts, traditions of the Muslim holiday.

Not this year.

With the start of Eid today, Ansari will observe the traditionally festive holiday with prayer, as is required by the faith. But there will be few new clothes or gifts, he said. A banquet will be held as a fundraiser for survivors of the Oct. 8 earthquake in South Asia that killed more than 73,000 people and left millions of others homeless, most in Pakistan.

"None of the families I know are (buying) new clothes," said Ansari, who is involved in relief efforts through the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America. "In Houston, everybody I talk to has said, 'No, not this year.'" (MORE)

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CAIR ASKS U.S. MUSLIMS TO COLLECT QUAKE AID ON EID - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1842&theType=NR

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REGISTER ONLINE FOR CAIR'S ANNUAL BANQUET - TOP

Registration is now available online for CAIR's 11th Annual Banquet, "American Muslims: Partners for Peace and Justice." To learn more about the dinner, or to register, GO TO: https://www.cair-net.org/2005banquet/

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CAIR-TX: WOMAN. MUSLIM. AMERICAN - TOP
Lisa Sorg, San Antonio Current, 11/3/05
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15501311&BRD=2318&PAG=461&dept_id=484045&rfi=6

In her campaign for social justice, Sarwat Husain shatters the stereotypes

The car had been following Sarwat Husain for more than 10 miles, from near downtown where she had attended a meeting about the Patriot Act at the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, almost to Loop 1604. No matter how Husain detoured or doubled back, the car shadowed her.

At a stoplight, the car pulled alongside hers. "I just kept looking straight ahead, but I could tell they had rolled down the window and were screaming at me."

When Husain arrived home, well after 10 p.m., she ran inside. After about a half hour, she returned to her car to retrieve groceries that she had left in her haste. "I heard a sound and I thought it was a gun," she recalls. "I turned and looked and it was two ugly men in the car. I ran into the house screaming."

Husain called police. When the officers arrived, they found Husain's home and car peppered with splatches of paint. The men had shot paint pellets, not bullets, but the police reportedly told her, "Had they hit you, you would have been hurt."

It is hard to scare Sarwat Husain. An American immigrant from Pakistan, Husain is president of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington, D.C.-based civil rights organization. She started a monthly newspaper, Al-Ittihaad (Unity), writes opinion columns in the Express-News, and regularly speaks to groups ranging from Texas Republicans to Our Lady of the Lake students to Mensa members.

"The news of the day is, What are the Muslims doing? Who are they killing today?" she told a room of students at Our Lady of the Lake University last month. "Islam is the most misunderstood religion in the West."

In post-9/11 America, all Muslims are under suspicion. The Patriot Act, which endowed the U.S. government with wide surveillance and detention powers, codified America's paranoia. The media has further inflamed passions by portraying Islam as one-dimensional, instead of as a diverse religion whose sweep from right to left is like that between evangelical Christians and liberal Episcopalians. (MORE)

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THERE ARE MORE MUSLIMS THAN SOME NUMBERS TELL - TOP
DONNA GEHRKE-WHITE, Miami Herald, 11/3/05
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/13067012.htm

In my neighborhood in far western Pembroke Pines, two of my favorite supermarket clerks are Muslim. A Muslim family runs the neighborhood dollar store. A neighbor pasted an Arabic greeting near his front door, while women wearing hijabs walk in the neighborhood. And the closest house of worship? A mosque being built in a Pembroke Pines pasture.

As Ramadan comes to a close this week, I think of all the Muslims I now know -- and how many are probably not being counted in various religious studies.

That impression was strengthened as I researched my book, The Face Behind the Veil: The Extraordinary Lives of Muslim Women in America, to be published in March by Citadel Press.

I found the Muslimah, as Muslim women are called, from coast to coast, from Las Vegas to Baltimore, from Phoenix to Coral Springs. I found Muslim women in Washington's Beltway, a South Dakota hamlet, Manhattan and the Lone Star state.

They grew up in Arkansas, Alaska and Afghanistan. Some converted to Islam; others are immigrants or the daughters of those from predominantly Muslim countries.

Their numbers keep growing.

Yet, we do not know exactly how many Muslims are in America. The U.S. Census does not ask people to name their religion. Many traditional religious studies still count the U.S. Muslim population at only one million or two million. In 2001, for example, the American Religious Identity Survey said that Muslims had more than doubled in a decade to 1.1 million.

However, Ihsan Bagby, an associate professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Kentucky who has studied U.S. mosques, believes that the number of U.S. Muslims may actually reach up to six million. Backing him up is the 2001 Canadian Census. Two percent of Canadians identified themselves as Muslims. If that same percentage holds true for its southern neighbor, then about six million Muslims now call the United States home.

Indeed, statistics from the U.S. Department of State show a dramatic influx of Muslim refugees arriving to our shores in the last 15 years.

From 1990 to Sept. 30, 2004, the world's turmoil brought us more than 229,000 Muslims from 77 countries -- from little known Uzbekistan (formerly of the Soviet Union) to the more familiar Afghanistan, Sudan, Bosnia and Iraq.

By comparison, the State Department recorded that no Muslim refugees arrived in 1988 nor in 1989.

Economic immigration is further fueling the growth of American Islam. Companies are recruiting techies and engineers from predominantly Muslim countries. First-generation Muslims are also bringing the rest of their families here. And more Americans are converting to Islam.

Zuly Martinez told me how lonely it was just five years ago to be the only Latina at her Houston-area mosque. Since then, she says, many Latinas have joined, enough to form their own "community." Now the mosque offers classes in Spanish about Islam.

In rural South Dakota, convert Anisah David found that she wasn't alone. Other Muslims worship in an old house in nearby Brookings (population 18,504).

All this suggests that traditional religious studies may not have the most accurate count on Muslims in America. (MORE)

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IN: MUSLIM & AMERICAN - TOP
Sharlonda L. Waterhouse, Post Tribune, 11/3/05
http://www.post-trib.com/cgi-bin/pto-story/news/z1/11-03-05_z1_news_01.html

Saara Hafeez, 17, won't spend her senior year at Valparaiso High School swooning over proms and boyfriends.

Dating is against her religion.

And while Hafeez could attend dances with a clique of girls, she eschews the off-the-shoulder, back-baring attire worn at such soirees.

"It would be forbidden," she confides.

A school day for Hafeez includes studies as well as prayer. She'll chat with friends and attend movies but turn away at images of sex and violence.

She's a typical Muslim teen in America walking a line between her Islamic faith and her American culture.

Imam Mongy El-Quesny, spiritual leader of the Northwest Indiana Islamic Center, estimates that 700 Muslim families reside in the region, many converging in places like Valparaiso, Highland and Crown Point, where the mosque is. (MORE)

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MD: MUSLIM LEADER CONTINUES EFFORT OVER HOLIDAYS - TOP
Balto. Co. surgeon began in 1990s to seek Eid al-Fitr school closures
MATTHEW HAY BROWN, Baltimore Sun, 11/3/05
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.eid03nov03,1,7704448.story

The feast with which Muslims will celebrate the end of Ramadan will be bittersweet once again for Dr. Bash Pharoan.

The president of the Baltimore County Muslim Council has campaigned for years to have the county public schools close in recognition of Eid al-Fitr, as they did last month for the Jewish holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, so that Muslim children can observe one of the most important holidays in Islam without missing class.

But despite his regular attendance at school board meetings, his repeated pleas to officials and his membership in the committee that worked to develop next year's calendar, the schools are scheduled to open this morning for business as usual.

"It's a matter of fairness," said Pharoan, a Baltimore-area surgeon with three sons. "The rules should apply for Christians, Jews and Muslims. The school system is really discriminating against our sons and daughters based on their religion."

Baltimore County, where school officials say they inherited the calendar that grants the Jewish holidays and are concerned that adding more days off would affect their educational mission, is one of several systems in the state where a growing Muslim population is pressing for greater recognition. Across the nation, the public-school calendar is emerging as a new arena for those seeking equal treatment in American society.

The system does not ask about or keep statistics on the religious affiliations of its students. Among the general population of Baltimore County, Christians are in the majority, according to the American Religion Data Archive at the Pennsylvania State University. Jews outnumber Muslims by more than 5 to 1.

"It's happening in pockets where there are different groups," said University of Dayton professor Charles Russo, the author of the textbook Reutter's The Law of Public Education. "I do think it's going to be a national issue increasingly as the country grows more diverse."

Results have been mixed. Large Muslim communities in such states as Michigan and New Jersey have won closings in some of their districts. The school board of Hillsborough, Fla., attracted national attention last week when members responded to requests to close schools on Muslim holidays by ending the practice there of granting days off for Yom Kippur and the Christian observance of Good Friday.

"What we'd really like to avoid is what we've seen down in Florida," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington. "We try to avoid that because, naturally, we want others to celebrate their religious holidays, but also, it puts Muslim parents and students in the position of being blamed for the loss of long-standing accommodations for other students."

CAIR, the largest Muslim civil rights group in the United States, does not advocate specifically for school closings but lobbies for accommodations equal to those of other religious beliefs.

"I'm sure that the Jewish community went through this at one point, and there may be other communities that go through this in the future," Hooper said. "The point is that one standard be applied to all faiths, and that one faith or another not be given preferential treatment and the accommodation be denied for another." (MORE)

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CAIR-FL: COMMISSION VOCAL ABOUT SCHOOL HOLIDAYS - TOP
MARK HOLAN, Tampa Tribune, 11/2/05
http://tampatrib.com/floridametronews/MGB4QZGWJFE.html

TAMPA - Hillsborough County commissioners this morning asked the county's public school board to reconsider its decision eliminating some Jewish and Christian holidays as vacation days.

The board passed a resolution, proposed by Commissioner Brian Blair, stating that the county has a long history of respecting religious beliefs as reflected in the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Pledge of Allegiance.

Blair said the school board's Oct. 25 decision, "if left unchallenged, will affect our entire community for generations to come. . ."

The issue surfaced after Muslims asked for recognition of Eid, which this year is celebrated tomorrow.

Council of American Islamic Relations Director Ahmed Bedier said Muslims oppose eliminating the Judeo- Christian religious holidays, even if their holiday isn't yet recognized.

He said Muslims will continue to monitor the school calendar on a year-by-year basis and accept the status quo, at least until Muslim representation in the community grows larger.

"We are willing to take it for now," Bedier said.

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SCHOOL HOLIDAY DECISION SPARKS HATEFUL GRANDSTANDING - TOP
Tampa Tribune, 11/3/05
http://www.tampatrib.com/News/MGB9ISMBKFE.html

There was no reason to start a holy war in Hillsborough County over school holidays. For that reason alone, the school board should reconsider its misdirected decision, which has evoked some ugly outbursts and is pitting one religion against another. That's not what local Muslims wanted when they sought a school holiday that would coincide with Eid Al-Fitr.

The board's decision in attempting not to offend anyone has offended most everyone and created an unnecessary backlash against Muslims.

Here's what happened: Muslims raised the holiday issue because they wanted to make sure their children weren't penalized for missing school to mark the end of Ramadan. The district already had a policy of allowing students to miss school for religious observances. And principals and teachers were properly reminded of it.

But the school board, at the urging of a committee, voted to move holidays that had coincided with Good Friday, Easter Monday and Yom Kippur, an overreaction. The outbursts and the histrionics began.

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly preposterously declared that closing schools for a Muslim holiday is ``absurd in a Judeo-Christian country.'' Hillsborough County Commissioner Brian Blair echoed the sentiment Wednesday. In an interview with a television reporter, Blair said the Muslim holiday shouldn't be recognized, and those who don't like "American'' holidays should find another place to live. What ignorance. (MORE) - TOP

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CAIR-NJ/NY: MUSLIMS' PRAYERS AT GAME LED TO FBI QUERIES - TOP
JOHN CHADWICK, AMY KLEIN and JOHN BRENNAN
http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkzJmZnYmVsN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2ODA3MjkyJnlyaXJ5N2Y3MTdmN3ZxZWVFRXl5Mg

The trouble started after five Muslim men were seen praying inside Giants Stadium before a Sept. 19 football game.

A suspicious spectator notified authorities, who cornered the men in the stands during the game.

"All of a sudden, eight yellow-jacketed security officers come up to us," said Sami Shaban, one of the five men, and a Mahwah High School graduate. "They told us, 'Get up."

As the men complied, Shaban said, security guards clutched their arms and other spectators shouted their approval.

"Now I feel safer!" one bellowed.

Several state troopers waited at the bottom of the stairs.

The men were then turned over to FBI agents, five of whom questioned them for about 30 minutes before escorting them back to the stands during the game between the Giants and the New Orleans Saints.

Shaban and others, including Mostafa Khalifa of Howell, described the incident Wednesday during a news conference timed to coincide with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which begins this week. They called on law enforcement officials to stop racial and religious profiling.

The five men, who are Arab-Americans, gathered shortly after they entered the stadium to perform one of five required daily prayers.

"I'm as American as apple pie," said Shaban, who was born in New Jersey and raised in Belleville, Nutley and Mahwah. "Now I'm made to feel like I'm an outsider for no reason other than I have a long beard or that I prayed. . ."

A spokesman for a Muslim group that organized the press conference said the men aren't planning to sue over the experience. Instead, they're asking non-Muslims to attend an Eid al-Fitr event to learn more about Islam. The holiday marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and prayer, and takes place today or Friday depending on the sighting of the new moon.

One such celebration will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Clifton Memorial Park on Main Avenue in Clifton. Thousands of people are expected to attend.

"Our end goals are to familiarize the American public with Islam," said Wissam Nasr, executive director of the New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations. "We want tolerance. It's a pretty simple request."

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MUSLIMS PRAY FOR UNDERSTANDING - TOP
MAKEBA SCOTT HUNTER, HERALD NEWS, 11/3/05
http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkzNTkmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTY4MDc0MTImeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXky

An education campaign called "Pray for Understanding" also was announced at the news conference, which was sponsored by the New Jersey and New York chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The public is invited to attend two large prayer gatherings tied to Eid ul-Fitr, the last day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which will occur today or Friday.

"The purpose of this (conference) is to allay some of the concerns that people had. We want people to understand that Islam is not here to hurt anyone. I want people to get accustomed to our customs," said Mostafa Khalifa, 27, of Howell, who also was detained.

The two "Pray for Understanding" events are being held at 8:30 a.m. today or Friday at the Teaneck Armory, and from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Clifton Memorial Park. For more information call (973) 278-7070.

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WE FELT LIKE OUTSIDERS, SAY MUSLIM MEN HELD AT GAME - TOP
ALAN