To:aliatwaladen@yahoo.com
Date: 18 Feb 2007 19:42:56 -0000
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Subject: cair-net Digest of: get.1801_1900


cair-net Digest of: get.1801_1900

Topics (messages 1801 through 1900):

CAIR-NET: How About an Eid Sale at Macy's? / Nuclear Search Targets 
U.S. Muslims / Missionaries Seek to Convert Muslim Quake Victims
	1801 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CA Muslim Woman Leads Drive to Shelter Tsunami Orphans
	1802 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Files FOIA Request on Radiation Monitoring of Muslim 
Sites
	1803 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Return Smoothly from Canada / Lawyers Plan 
Challenges over Spy Efforts
	1804 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Mecca Calls Detroit Muslims / CAIR-CAN Condemns Hate Graffiti 
on Edmonton Synagogue / Passaic to Stop Holding Detainees at Jail
	1805 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR 2005 Year in Review
	1806 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Threats Force FL Muslim Meeting to Relocate / MI Bank Forms 
Subsidiary for Muslims / Eid Al-Adha Holiday Good for U.S. Market
	1807 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Scholars Paid to Aid U.S. Propaganda / Al-Arian 
Unlikely to be Set Free / Threatened Muslim Gathering Relocates
	1808 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslims Pray for Trapped Miners
	1809 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Latinas Convert to Islam / AR Muslim Granted Right to Attend 
Prayers
	1810 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: DC Forum on Young Muslims and the Future of Islam / Bush 
Administration Misuses 'Caliphate'
	1811 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Launches Eid Voter Registration Drive
	1812 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Call for Justice in Al-Arian's Case / Battle Waged in Boston 
Over New Mosque
	1813 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Leaders Speak Out On Al-Arian / Pig Heads Found 
Outside CA Sikh Temple / CAIR-LA to Air Eid Radio Spots
	1814 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Presence Growing in Mississippi / For Muslim New 
Yorkers, Final Rites That Fit / U.S. Muslims Prepare to Observe Eid
	1815 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: AL Muslims Mark Hajj By Feeding Homeless / CAIR-FL Launches 
Eid Voter Drive
	1816 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Eid Mubarak from CAIR
	1817 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: MI County to Accommodate Swimmers' Religious Attire / NJ 
Muslim Girls Basketball Team Stays True to Faith
	1818 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslims Meet with FBI on Radiation Monitoring
	1819 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR to Spot-Check CBP Treatment of Returning Hajj Pilgrims / 
Muslim Funeral to be Held at Arlington Cemetery / CT Parent Claims 
Texbook Too Favorable to Islam
	1820 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslims Seek Role in MLK Celebration Planning / Religious 
Diversity Strengthens National Unity
	1821 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Offers Condolences on Deaths of Hajj Pilgrims
	1822 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Still No Leads in Ohio Mosque Bombing / Posts on Hate Site 
Applaud Hajj Deaths
	1823 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CA Man Pleads Guilty to Anti-Muslim Hate Crime / Evangelicals 
Waving the Israeli Flag
	1824 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Are Bloggers Feeding Anti-Muslim Hate? / CAIR on MLK's Path 
to Justice and Equality
	1825 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Joins Legal Challenge to NSA Eavesdropping
	1826 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Calls for Release of U.S. Journalist in Iraq
	1827 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Sends Delegation to Iraq Seeking Journalist's Release
	1828 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Teen Charged in NJ Arab Student's Stabbing / Quran Used for 
First Time in NJ Swearing-In Ceremony / CA Muslim Cabbies Claim 
Discrimination
	1829 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR to Hold News Conference in Jordan Seeking Journalist's 
Release
	1830 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslim Leaders Call for Release of Journalist in Iraq
	1831 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Police Investigate Possible Bias Crime at NJ Mosque
	1832 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Man Found Rappelling From IN Mosque / CAIR Urges Release of 
US Journalist in Iraq
	1833 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR to Hold News Conference in Baghdad Calling for 
Journalist's Release
	1834 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Delegation Arrives in Iraq to Plead for Reporter's 
Release
	1835 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Video of CAIR Delegation in Iraq / Reviewer Slams Book as 
'Anti-Islamic Polemic'
	1836 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Delegation Returns / TX Mosque Vandalized / VA Halal Law 
Proposed / Muslims and Home Schooling
	1837 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Con Artist Who Targeted Muslims Extradited to U.S.
	1838 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: OH High School Accommodates Muslim Student's Prayer
	1839 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Ask Congress to Reform the Patriot Act
	1840 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Welcomes Release of Female Prisoners in Iraq / AZ 
Muslims to Support Doc Denied Re-Entry to U.S.
	1841 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CA Muslims Seek Reprimand for Radio Host Who Mocked Hajj 
Deaths
	1842 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Group Asks CA Radio Host for Apology / VA County's 
First Female Muslim Police Officer / DHS Official Tries to Reassure MI 
Muslims
	1843 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: KFI Host Under Fire for Islamophobic Remarks / Holocaust 
'Offensive to All Humanity' / Documents Show Army Seized Iraqi Wives as 
Tactic
	1844 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Jail Ordered for Con Man Who Targeted Muslims / AZ Muslims 
Rally Behind Banished Doctor / GA Muslims Make Beef Donation for Needy
	1845 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Nazi Swastika Painted on Virginia Mosque / Clinton Warns of 
Rising Anti-Islamic Feeling / CAIR Reacts to Jerry Vines' Retirement
	1846 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslims Urge Bush to Avoid 'Loaded' Terms in Annual Address
	1847 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Seeks Meeting with Danish Ambassador Over Offensive 
Cartoons
	1848 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Condolences on Death of Coretta Scott King / CA Mosque 
Evacuated / WA Muslim Kicked Out of Court Over Hijab
	1849 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: WA Judge Apologizes for Ejecting Muslim Woman from Court
	1850 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CA Radio Station 'Appreciates' Support of Anti-Muslim Racist 
/ NC State Senator Joins CAIR Board
	1851 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Voices Concerns About Cartoons to Norwegian Ambassador
	1852 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Help Defend the Image of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
	1853 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Bomb Damages TN Mosque / Cartoon Controversy: What Would 
Muhammad Do?
	1854 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Reject Violent Response to Cartoon Controversy
	1855 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims to Meet with Danish Ambassador About Cartoon 
Controversy
	1856 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Anti-Muslim Sign Put Up at TX Mosque /  Danish Cartoon 
Controversy was Avoidable
	1857 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Calif. Radio Station, Host Apologize to Muslims
	1858 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Condemns Iranian Holocaust Cartoon Contest
	1859 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Canada Mosque Vandalism May be Linked to Cartoon Tensions / 
CAIR Condemns Attack on Shia Procession in Pakistan
	1860 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims React to Furor with Deft Diplomacy / Seattle 
Muslims Support Detained Imam / Israel to Build 'Museum of Tolerance' on 
Muslim Graves
	1861 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Responds to Cartoon Flap with Educational Campaign
	1862 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Vandals in Denmark Strike Muslim Graves / CAIR-PA Panel to 
Explore Muslims' Feelings for Prophet
	1863 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR to Hold 'Muhammad' Campaign News Conferences Nationwide
	1864 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Declares 2006 'Year of the Prophet Muhammad'
	1865 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR to Host DC Forum on Cartoon Controversy
	1866 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: FBI Probes Attacks on MI Muslims / Coulter Criticized for Use 
of 'Raghead' / CAIR 'Explore the Life of Muhammad' Update
	1867 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Patient Care for Muslims a New Need / MI Imam Assaulted / 
Coulter Calls Muslims 'Camel Jockeys'
	1868 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Threatening Flyer Left at CA Mosque / Action: Plan Mosque 
Open Houses Feb. 24-26
	1869 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Condemns Burning of Nigerian Churches / ADL Says Stop 
Building Over Muslim Graves in Jerusalem / CA Muslims to Support Student 
Grilled by FBI
	1870 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Faiths Gather to Defy Hate / Violence Condemned at Muslim 
Forum
	1871 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Arab Americans See Bigotry Behind Ports Uproar / Woman Leaves 
Death Threat in CA Mosque
	1872 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims to Call for Unity After Attack on Iraqi Shrine
	1873 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslims Disturbed by Ports Security Rhetoric / Security 
Programs Strain Muslim-U.S. Ties / Muslims Take Bigger Role in Terror Fight
	1874 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: DC-Area Interfaith Groups Respond to Cartoon Flap with Open 
Houses
	1875 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CA Muslims, Sheriff Launch Anti-Terror Initiative / Calm 
Urged as FL Neo-Nazis March / KindHearts Rebuts Allegations
	1876 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Ohio Muslims Meet with FBI, DOJ on Charity Shutdown / Mosques 
to Hold Sunni-Shia Unity Events
	1877 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Many Hispanics Finding Faith in Islam / VA Weighs Laws to 
Protect Halal Foods / Flight Attendant's Hijab Invites Conversations about 
Islam
	1878 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CA College Republicans Asked Not to Back Cartoon Display / 
History Channel to Air 'Secrets of the Koran'
	1879 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Racial Slurs Reported in Shooting of Arab-American / U.S. 
Mosques Respond to Freedom House Report
	1880 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Muslim Coalition Seeks Treasury Meeting on Charity Closures
	1881 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Urge Your Senators to Oppose Compromising Civil Liberties
	1882 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Islam Called 'Evil Religion' at GOP-Sponsored Event / FBI 
Opens Probe into Shooting of Arab-American
	1883 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Sen. Lautenberg Accused of Anti-Arab Racism / Con Man Pleads 
Guilty to Fraud of Muslims
	1884 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Turn Angry Over Iraq War's Direction / CAIR-TX 
Offers Diversity Training for Police
	1885 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: 'Sand N**ger' Sprayed on IN Family's Home / NY Times Profiles 
U.S. Imam
	1886 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Find Giving to Charity Now Harder / GI Turns to 
Islam / Islam Empowers Women
	1887 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: LA Muslim School, Home Vandalized / IL Man Guilty of 
Intimidating Muslim Family / NY Imam Plays Matchmaker
	1888 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Justice Department to Probe Attacks on LA Muslims / CAIR-CAN 
Welcomes Apology for Offensive 'Jesus' Cartoon
	1889 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Two New Polls Show Negative Image of Islam in U.S.
	1890 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Growing Number of Hispanics Converting to Islam / $360K 
Settlement for Harassment of Muslim Worker
	1891 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Fighting Islamophobia Should be a Priority / Halal Meats Now 
Easier to Find
	1892 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: CAIR Offers Condolences on Death of U.S. Hostage in Iraq
	1893 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: The Crime of Being an American Muslim Charity / How Islamic 
Inventors Changed the World
	1894 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Jewish Group Promotes 'What's Wrong With Islam' / Serbs 
Who Served in Massacre Brigade Live in AZ
	1895 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Action - Tell Congress Not to Punish the Palestinians
	1896 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: U.S. Leaders Asked to Repudiate Televangelist's Anti-Islam 
Remarks
	1897 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: NC Muslims to Repudiate Attacker's Remarks on Islam
	1898 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Franklin Graham Stands By 'Islam is Evil' Comment / Muslims 
Suspect Profiling in Immigration Delays
	1899 by: CAIR

CAIR-NET: Islam and Bioethics / Muslims Removed from Plane / Israel 
Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
	1900 by: CAIR

 
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Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 09:54:49 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: How About an Eid Sale at Macy's? / Nuclear Search Targets U.S. Muslims / Missionaries Seek to Convert Muslim Quake Victims

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 12/25/05

* Hadith: All Prophets are Paternal Brothers
* CAIR-LA: How About an Eid Sale at Macy's? (LA Times)
            - Islam-Oped: Muslims, Too, Love Jesus
            - Muslims Support Christians Who Want Spiritual Holiday
* CAIR-MI: Nuclear Search Targets U.S. Muslims (Free Press)
            - CNN Video: Muslim Sites Subject to Secret Monitoring
            - Video: CAIR News Conference in Reaction to Monitoring
                        - CAIR Rep on ABC World News Tonight
                        - CAIR Rep on NBC Nightly News
            - NY Times: Widespread Radioactivity Monitoring Confirmed
            - Wash Post: U.S. Monitored Muslim Sites Across Nation
            - LA Times: FBI Monitors for Radiation at Some Mosques
            - AP: US Tracking Radiation Levels in Muslim Areas
            - Reuters: US Monitored Muslim Sites for Radiation
* Spy Agency Mined Vast Data Trove, Officials Report (NYT)
* CAIR: U.S. Muslims Get Travel Advisory (Toronto Star)
* CAIR-OH: Hundreds Attend Prayer at Bombed OH Mosque
            - God Makes Presence Felt in Mosque Prayer Service
* Missionaries Seek to Convert Muslim Quake Victims
            - Groups 'Proselytizing' Muslim Tsunami Victims

-----

HADITH OF THE DAY: ALL PROPHETS ARE PATERNAL BROTHERS - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Both in this world and in the hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Hadith 652

-----

CAIR-LA: HOW ABOUT AN EID SALE AT MACY'S? - TOP
Sabiha Khan, Los Angeles times, 12/25/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-islamicxmas25dec25,0,5931968.story

[Sabiha Khan is communications director for the Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.]

CHRISTIANS no doubt welcome the movie version of C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," but many Muslims do as well. Neither my fellow Muslim moviegoer nor I was offended by any of the movie's Christian references, and, in fact, we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see smart storytelling on the big screen.

That may come as a surprise in light of popular myths about Muslim beliefs and practices. But Islam teaches Muslims to respect and understand other religions, especially the religions of the people of the book, among them Christians and Jews.

Many Muslim core values - freedom, justice and peace - are shared by followers of the world's other great religions. And Muslims revere Jesus as one prophet of God in a long line of such prophets, among them Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist and Muhammad.

American Muslims believe that Christmas celebrations should not be watered down or banned because they might offend people of other faiths or non-faith. Acknowledging Christmas - or any other religious holiday - in the public square does not infringe on my sensibilities or my right to practice my religion. . .

Many non-Christians merely want their religious holidays to receive the same recognition and acceptance as Christmas. For instance, why shouldn't Albertson's put lamb and hummus on sale during Ramadan? Or Macy's set aside a one-day blowout sale on clothing the day before Eid? Or the local elementary school stage an Eid production with traditional songs?

The Constitution states that government may not endorse one religion over another. This does not preclude the public celebration of our country's many ethnic and religious holidays. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

ISLAM-OPED: MUSLIMS, TOO, LOVE JESUS - TOP
Ibrahim Hooper, Free Lance-Star, 12/25/05
http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2005/122005/12252005/150075

WASHINGTON-- "Behold! The angels said: 'O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.'"

Before searching for this quote in the New Testament, you might first ask your Muslim co-worker, friend, or neighbor for a copy of the Quran, Islam's revealed text. The quote is from verse 45 of chapter 3 in the Quran.

It is well-known, particularly in this holiday season, that Christians follow the teachings of Jesus. What is less well understood is that Muslims also love and revere Jesus as one of God's greatest messengers to mankind.

Other verses in the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the direct word of God, state that Jesus was strengthened with the "Holy Spirit" (2:87) and is a "sign for the whole world." (21:91) His virgin birth was confirmed when Mary is quoted as asking: "How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?" (3:47)

The Quran shows Jesus speaking from the cradle and, with God's permission, curing lepers and the blind (5:110). God also states in the Quran: "We gave [Jesus] the Gospel [Injeel] and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers." (57:27)

As forces of hate in this country and worldwide try to pull Muslims and Christians apart, we are in desperate need of a unifying force that can bridge the widening gap of interfaith misunderstanding and mistrust. That force could be the message of love, peace, and forgiveness taught by Jesus and accepted by followers of both faiths. (MORE)

---

FIGHTING FOR CHRISTMAS CONTROVERSY OVER SEASON'S GREETINGS INSPIRES SUPPORT FROM UNLIKELY ALLIES - TOP
Andrea Useem, RELIGION NEWS SERVICE, 12/25/05
http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FMGArticle%2FWSJ_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1128768912931&path=!opinion&s=1037645509163

The movement defending Christmas as a Christian holiday has attracted some unlikely allies: religiously observant Jews and Muslims.

Their support bucks the assumption that religious minorities prefer a neutral approach to the season, desiring "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" at retail checkout lines or "Frosty the Snowman" over "O Holy Night" at public-school concerts. . .

Islamic support for Christmas stems in part from religious doctrine. While observant Muslims can follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad in respecting Jewish and Christian holidays, they say they have little motivation to value winter-holiday celebrations involving Santa Claus.

When it comes to Christmas, "the more religious it is, the more acceptable it is to Muslims," said Ahmed Bedier, the director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Central Florida office.

But there is also the issue of Islamic self-interest. Bedier's organization recently requested that a school board near Tampa, Fla., include a one-day Muslim holiday alongside Christian and Jewish holidays. When the school board voted instead to scrap all religious holidays, Muslim groups - along with their Christian counterparts - protested. The holidays, at least the Christian and Jewish ones, were reinstated.

"We would like to see one standard applied in terms of recognizing religious holidays," said Ibrahim Hooper, the national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Muslims, he said, would welcome religious Christmas displays - for example at a public library - as long as Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday marking the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, was recognized in the same space. (MORE)

-----

CAIR-MI: NUCLEAR SEARCH TARGETS MUSLIMS - TOP
NIRAJ WARIKOO, Detroit Free Press, 12/24/05
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051224/NEWS01/51224002

Federal agents secretly monitored Muslim homes and mosques in Detroit for radiation linked to terrorist bombs, according to published reports -- a disclosure Friday that prompted disbelief and outrage in Michigan's large Islamic communities.

Under the program, agents with the FBI and U.S. Department of Energy targeted a range of private Muslim institutions without court approval or warrants. Federal officials say they set up the program in Detroit and five other cities to thwart a nuclear attack from Islamic extremists, according to a U.S. News and World Report article that was confirmed Friday by the U.S. Justice Department.

But local Muslims say it's ludicrous to suspect that any area mosque or home populated by Muslims would be storing radioactive material for a bomb.

"It's ridiculous," said Imam Abdullah El-Amin, chairman of the board at the Muslim Center in Detroit and head of the Council of Islamic Organizations in Michigan. "It's taking our civil liberties away. . ."

On Friday, after the report was published, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group with a Michigan chapter, called upon the U.S. government to provide details on who it has been monitoring. What disturbed the group was the fact that the government appeared to only focus on Muslims.

The group also assailed the idea that American Muslims would be planning any sort of nuclear or terrorist attack.

"Where is the proof... of any such activity?" said Dawud Walid, director of the Michigan branch of the council. "It's preposterous."

Walid said the FBI should form working partnerships with Muslims rather than "snoop into the personal lives of Muslims indiscriminately."

SEE ALSO:

CNN VIDEO: MUSLIM SITES SUBJECT TO SECRET MONITORING FOR RADIATION - TOP
From Kevin Bohn and Jeanne Meserve, CNN, 12/23/05
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/12/23/nuke.monitoring/

VIEW VIDEO: http://www.cnn.com/video/partners/clickability/index.html?url=/video/us/2005/12/23/meserve.monitoring.mosques.cnn

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Since 2002 the U.S. government has been monitoring for suspicious radiation levels outside more than 100 predominantly Muslim-related sites in the greater Washington, D.C., area, as well as various sites in other cities, several government officials with knowledge of the program confirmed to CNN Friday.

One government official said the authorities don't obtain warrants because the testing is conducted from outside the buildings on what they consider public property.

An official with the Federal Bureau of Investigation said that none of the FBI's programs target gathering places of any specific segment of the population and that non-Muslim sites were also monitored for radiation. ( Watch how sources say the monitoring took place nationwide -- 1:31)

A Muslim advocacy group has said that the program is "misguided" and targets "the wrong people."

"It is a waste of time, it is a waste of resources and it is causing us to be concerned about our citizenship, our constitutional rights," Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told CNN. (MORE)

---

VIDEO COVERAGE OF CAIR NEWS CONFERENCE REACTING TO THE MONITORING - TOP

GOVERNMENT SPYING ON MUSLIM COMMUNITIES EXPOSED
NBC4, 12/23/05
http://www.nbc4.com/news/5630836/detail.html

VIEW VIDEO: http://cf.nbc4.com/dc/sh/videoplayer/video.cfm?ID=5631296

A secret government program monitoring homes and business of Muslims has outraged members of the Islamic community. The monitoring has been taking place since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The government apparently conducted the monitoring program without warrants.

Officials said they implemented the monitoring because they are looking for nuclear bombs. They also said the warrants were unnecessary because the monitoring was being done from publicly accessible areas.

D.C.-area Muslims were stunned by the latest revelations that came out in a news medium article.

They said they thought they had a very good relationship with the D.C. field office of the FBI.

One leader said he didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Finally, he said he was very confused about it all.

Another leader said the Bush administration seems to be clueless when it comes to security and terrorism and linking it.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights group, said it would not take the discovery lying down.

"I'm unsure that this administration knows what it's talking about. I'd like assurance from the president that the Muslim community is not targeted because of our religious identity," said Nihad Awad, director of CAIR. (MORE)

---

CAIR REP ON ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT - TOP
December 23, 2005

NUCLEAR SEARCH: SPYING ON U.S. MUSLIMS

ANCHORS: TERRY MORAN
REPORTERS: JOHN COCHRAN (WASHINGTON, DC USA)

TERRY MORAN (ABC NEWS)

(Off-camera) And now to the war on terror. There is major news tonight about domestic spying, another secret program in the war on terror. We learned today that the federal government's engaged in an effort to look for nuclear materiel in this country that could be used to make crude, dirty bomb weapons. The magazine "US News & World Report" was the first to reveal that much of this program involved surveillance of Muslims in the United States, and it was done without authorization by a court. Here's ABC's John Cochran.

JOHN COCHRAN (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) Government officials confirm to ABC News that federal investigators, often hidden in vans, have monitored radiation levels at places Muslims are known to visit or live, in Washington and other cities, including New York, Detroit, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Charleston, South Carolina. Muslim leaders are outraged.

NIHAD AWAD (COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS)

The Muslims seem to be the prime target for this program. And I think this is a -- a sad situation.

JOHN COCHRAN (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) Government sources say all the monitoring was based on tips, not on religious profiling. Publicly, the Justice Department will only say "The FBI does not target any particular individual or group based on the group's lawful activities, political or religious beliefs." The program was begun in the early nervous months after the 9/11 attacks, as the government worried terrorists might set off dirty bombs. So far, they have found nothing. Investigators working without search warrants sometimes hunted for nuclear material in outside places often regarded as private, such as parking lots and driveways. Government officials told ABC News that is legal. And some constitutional experts agree.

BRAD BERENSON (FORMER ASSOCIATE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL)

Where the security of the nation is at stake and we're at war and searches are being conducted to prevent attacks or to gain intelligence or for counterespionage, warrants typically are not required.

JOHN COCHRAN (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) Other constitutional experts say the government, as with domestic spying, is on shaky legal ground.

ORIN KERR (FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT PROSECUTOR)

If somebody knows they've been monitored, if the site's become clear as to who was monitored, certainly a lawsuit could be brought, then a court could decide the constitutional question.

JOHN COCHRAN (ABC NEWS)

(Off-camera) But so far, no Muslims know for sure whether they specifically were monitored. And the government is certainly not going to volunteer the information. John Cochran, ABC News, Washington.

TERRY MORAN (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) One other note about tactics in the war on terror, in Italy today, a judge has issued an arrest warrant for 22 people accused of being CIA operatives. They're wanted in connection with the kidnapping of a Muslim cleric in Milan two years ago who ended up in Egypt where he was allegedly tortured. Italian prosecutors say the abduction was a serious violation of Italy's national sovereignty.

---

CAIR REP ON NBC NIGHTLY NEWS - TOP
December 23, 2005

HEADLINE: Muslim sites in US screened for nuclear materials without search warrant

ANCHORS: CAMPBELL BROWN
REPORTERS: ANDREA MITCHELL

CAMPBELL BROWN, anchor:

Here at home there is more to report tonight about the government and spying. There are new revelations that the Bush administration has been conducting a top-secret surveillance program without warrants at several locations in Muslim communities. More now from NBC's Andrea Mitchell.

ANDREA MITCHELL reporting:

The FBI confirms that after 9/11, the government secretly tested for nuclear devices at hundreds of mosques and other largely Muslim businesses and organizations in six cities: Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York and Seattle. As first reported today by US News, the top-secret monitoring was done without a court warrant. Was that legal? A leading appeals court judge says yes. But questions focusing largely on Muslim sites.

Judge RICHARD POSNER (US Circuit Court of Appeals): I would not confine surveillance to Muslim Americans. That would be a serious mistake because we have to worry about a whole range of--of terrorists.

MITCHELL: But today a former Senate leader has strong doubts about the screening.

Senator THOMAS DASCHLE (Democrat, Former Senate Leader): We were never briefed, and I wasn't aware of it. Obviously, this is another matter that deserves full investigation.

MITCHELL: Daschle is also challenging the president's claims about domestic eavesdropping. In a Washington Post column and interview with NBC News, he says he twice rejected the president's request to spy on Americans right after 9/11 including literally minutes before the Senate voted to authorize force on September 14th, 2001.

Sen. DASCHLE: We didn't want to give him that broad an authority. We limited it, and we limited it especially to activities overseas. They specifically asked for authority within the United States and we rejected it.

MITCHELL: The president cites that vote and his role as commander in chief to justify the spying.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: Do I have the legal authority to do this? And the answer is absolutely.

MITCHELL: Some legal experts say the president is right.

Judge POSNER: If there's a legitimate national security purpose, I think that's more--personally, I think that's more important than the infringement of privacy.

MITCHELL: But others strongly disagree.

Professor PETER RAVEN-HANSEN (George Washington University Law School): That really is an unprecedented claim of authority.

MITCHELL: And tonight Muslim-American groups are outraged that they were apparently singled out for radiation screening.

Mr. NIHAD AWAD (Council on American-Islamic Relations): We're moving from a nation which is ruled by laws into a nation that's ruled by fear.

MITCHELL: The administration insists that Congress was consulted, but Daschle and others now say they were either misled or given no opportunity to object. Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington.

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NYT: WIDESPREAD RADIOACTIVITY MONITORING IS CONFIRMED - TOP
MATTHEW L. WALD, New York Times, 12/24/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/24/national/24radioactive.html

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 - The F.B.I. and the Energy Department have conducted thousands of searches for radioactive materials at private sites around the country in the last three years, government officials confirmed on Friday.

The existence of the search program was disclosed on Thursday by U.S. News & World Report, on its Web site. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, government agencies have disclosed that they have installed radiation-detection equipment at ports, subway stations and other public locations, but extensive surreptitious monitoring of private property has not been publicly known.

The federal government has given thousands of radiation alarms, worn like cellphones on the belt, to police and fire departments in major cities.

A spokesman for the Justice Department, Brian Roehrkasse, confirmed that law enforcement personnel were conducting "passive operations in publicly accessible areas to detect the presence of radiological materials, in a manner that protects U.S. constitutional rights."

U.S. News, citing people it did not name, said many of the sites that federal agents had monitored were mosques or the homes or businesses of Muslims, and the report set off a dispute between a Muslim group here and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement: "This disturbing revelation, coupled with recent reports of domestic surveillance without warrant, could lead to the perception that we are no longer a nation ruled by law, but instead one in which fear trumps constitutional rights. All Americans should be concerned about the apparent trend toward a two-tiered system of justice, with full rights for most citizens, and another diminished set of rights for Muslims." (MORE)

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WASH POST: U.S. MONITORED MUSLIM SITES ACROSS NATION FOR RADIATION - TOP
Spencer S. Hsu and Michael Alison Chandler, Washington Post, 12/24/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/23/AR2005122301524.html

Clandestine FBI and Energy Department teams have monitored private property in the United States for signs of radiation without warrants, U.S. officials said yesterday.

Officials said the monitoring, which intensified after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, did not require warrants or court orders because it took place from publicly accessible areas or from parking lots or driveways leading to private facilities, which the FBI believes do not carry privacy protections. . .

The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in 2001 that warrants are required for police to use devices that search through walls for criminal activity, striking down the use of a heat sensor that led to marijuana charges against an Oregon man.

"The message they are sending through these kinds of actions is that being Muslim is sufficient evidence to warrant scrutiny," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, director of outreach for Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, called the surveillance another example of unwarranted activity -- "both unwarranted from the standpoint of spying on Muslims who are only trying to observe their rituals and unwarranted in terms of not having proper judicial review." (MORE)

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LA TIMES: FBI MONITORS FOR RADIATION AT SOME MOSQUES - TOP
Richard A. Serrano, Los Angeles Times, 12/24/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na-monitor24dec24,1,1818114.story

WASHINGTON - Federal law enforcement officials said Friday that FBI agents have secretly monitored radiation levels at mosques, businesses and homes for several years in large cities, including Los Angeles, to determine whether radioactive, or "dirty," bombs were being assembled.

The officials said no suspicious radiation levels have been found.

The disclosure, following the revelation a week ago that the government has secretly spied on U.S. citizens without court permission, angered some U.S. Muslim leaders. They cited a Supreme Court ruling three months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in which the justices rejected such government monitoring.

"All Americans should be concerned about the apparent trend toward a two-tiered system of justice, with full rights for most citizens and another, diminished set for Muslims," said Nihad Awad, an official of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties group. (MORE)

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AP: US TRACKING RADIATION LEVELS IN MUSLIM AREAS - TOP
Larry Margasak, Associated Press, 12/24/05
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/12/24/us_tracking_radiation_levels_in_muslim_areas/

WASHINGTON -- A classified radiation monitoring program, conducted without warrants, has targeted private US property in an effort to prevent an Al Qaeda attack, federal law enforcement officials confirmed yesterday.

While declining to provide details, including the number of cities and sites monitored, the officials said the air monitoring took place since the Sept. 11 attacks and from publicly accessible areas -- which they said made warrants and court orders unnecessary.

US News and World Report first reported the program today. The magazine said the monitoring was conducted at more than 100 Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area -- including Maryland and Virginia suburbs -- and at least five other cities when threat levels had risen: Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York, and Seattle.

The magazine said that at its peak, three vehicles in Washington monitored 120 sites a day, nearly all of them Muslim targets identified by the FBI. Targets included mosques, homes, and businesses, the magazine said.

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American- Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights group, said yesterday that the program ''comes as a complete shock."

"This creates the appearance that Muslims are targeted simply for being Muslims. I don't think this is the message the government wants to send," he said. (MORE)

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REUTERS: US MONITORED MUSLIM SITES FOR RADIATION: REPORT - TOP
Reuters, 12/23/05
http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2005-12-23T195408Z_01_FOR371616_RTRUKOC_0_US-SECURITY-USA-SURVEILLANCE.xml

The Council on American-Islamic Relations advocacy group said the report, coupled with news of the domestic eavesdropping, "could lead to the perception that we are no longer a nation ruled by law, but instead one in which fear trumps constitutional rights."

"All Americans should be concerned about the apparent trend toward a two-tiered system of justice, with full rights for most citizens, and another diminished set of rights for Muslims," it said in a statement.

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SPY AGENCY MINED VAST DATA TROVE, OFFICIALS REPORT - TOP
ERIC LICHTBLAU and JAMES RISEN, New York Times, 12/24/05
http://nytimes.com/2005/12/24/politics/24spy.html

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 - The National Security Agency has traced and analyzed large volumes of telephone and Internet communications flowing into and out of the United States as part of the eavesdropping program that President Bush approved after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to hunt for evidence of terrorist activity, according to current and former government officials.

The volume of information harvested from telecommunication data and voice networks, without court-approved warrants, is much larger than the White House has acknowledged, the officials said. It was collected by tapping directly into some of the American telecommunication system's main arteries, they said.

As part of the program approved by President Bush for domestic surveillance without warrants, the N.S.A. has gained the cooperation of American telecommunications companies to obtain backdoor access to streams of domestic and international communications, the officials said.

The government's collection and analysis of phone and Internet traffic have raised questions among some law enforcement and judicial officials familiar with the program. One issue of concern to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has reviewed some separate warrant applications growing out of the N.S.A.'s surveillance program, is whether the court has legal authority over calls outside the United States that happen to pass through American-based telephonic "switches," according to officials familiar with the matter. (MORE)

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CAIR: MUSLIMS GET TRAVEL ADVISORY - TOP
PATRICK EVANS, Toronto Star, 12/24/05
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1135378223418&call_pageid=970599119419

A travel advisory is warning American Muslims to watch out for trouble at the border when they return from a convention in Toronto this weekend - a conference emphasizing peace and understanding between Islam and the Western world.

The Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations issued the travel advisory before the start of Toronto's fourth Reviving the Islamic Spirit convention, which organizers say started as a way of helping Canadian Muslims support each other after 9/11. The convention's mission has grown to embrace greater communication between Muslims from different sects and cultures and also between Islam and the rest of the world, says convention director Fouzan Khan.

This year's convention, which started yesterday and is expected to attract 15,000 people, features Islamic scholars and religious figures from North America speaking on relations between Islam and the West, relations between Muslim men and women, and tensions between political moderation and extremism in the Islamic world.

The convention made headlines last year when some of its American attendees had trouble getting back into the U.S. The council is involved in a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security over the incident.

"They were fingerprinted, they were photographed and it was confusing as to why they were targeted and why they were detained ... since they were just (returning from) a convention," said Rabiah Ahmed, communications co-ordinator for the council. The council is bracing for more of the same this year. "This is a time where many people travel, especially Muslims leaving for overseas for pilgrimage. And there are a lot of Islamic conferences. We want to make sure that what happened to them last year doesn't happen to them this year."

In addition to the advisory, the group created a "civil rights hotline" for Muslims to report difficulties at the border.Bill Anthony, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said Muslims aren't singled out for extra scrutiny at the U.S. border. "People are pulled over for all sorts of reasons, from warrants in the United States, to unpaid traffic tickets, to various watch-lists. It's not inconceivable that people come in and a group of them are pulled aside, especially if their names are similar to people on lists, or if they are themselves (are named) on a list. (MORE)

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CAIR-OH: HUNDREDS ATTEND MOSQUE PRAYER MEETING - TOP
WCPO, 12/23/05
http://www.wcpo.com/news/2005/local/12/23/mosque.html

Hundreds of people from different faiths came together Thursday night, 48 hours after pipe bombs exploded outside a Clifton mosque.

"I just think it's disgusting that someone would want to damage a place where people come to worship. It's outrageous," said Larry Wolf, who lives near the mosque.

The turnout of about 300 for the interfaith prayer vigil was well beyond what anyone expected. Only 60 seats had been set aside.

Those who attended vowed to go about their daily lives and not let the bombs shatter their faith in God and their community.

The chairman of the Islamic Association of Cincinnati, Mohammad Shamma, called the event "heartwarming."

The FBI is offering a $15,000 reward and the Council on American-Islamic Relations with Crimestoppers is offering $5,000 for information that could help lead to an arrest.

SEE ALSO:

GOD MAKES PRESENCE FELT IN MOSQUE PRAYER SERVICE - TOP
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051225/EDIT0202/512250346/1022/EDIT

It seems like lately, in light of the recent theft from the Nativity set in Cheviot, people in Cincinnati are looking everywhere for Jesus. I found him in what might seem a most unlikely place - a mosque in Clifton. I attended an interfaith prayer service hosted by the Islamic community in response to Tuesday night's bombing of the mosque.

Jews in their yarmulkes, Buddhists in their saffron robes and Franciscans in their brown robes reflected the variety of faith expressions wanting to show their support of the Muslim people. The focus was not on retribution but on the desire to live together in harmony and peace. As various Muslims spoke, I was struck by their love of this country and belief in the goodness of Americans. I also noted how much their words sounded like things Jesus would have said.

The fact that God could be present to a Muslim in a Catholic Church and could also speak to me, a Catholic, in a mosque says something powerful. This is the best Christmas gift I could receive, to know that God's light will always break through the darkness.

Jeanne Kortekamp, Walnut Hills

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CHRISTIAN RELIEF OPENS DOOR OF FAITH TO PAKISTANI MUSLIMS - TOP
Christian Post, 12/24/05
http://www.christianpost.com/article/missions/1931/section/christian.relief.opens.door.of.faith.to.pakistani.muslims/1.htm

Pakistani Muslims are responding to Christianity through the help of Christian relief organizations working in the area after the greatest earthquake in Pakistan's history killed more than 84,000 people.

Persecution watchdog group Voice of the Martyrs donated more than $75,000 used to provide Action Packs, food, medicine, blankets, tents and He Lived Among Us gospel storybooks.

More than 2,000 Action Packs - a vacuum bag that allows donators to personally pack items such as blanket, light jacket, shirt, hat, towel, etc. for quake victims - were distributed in the area.

"You are the first who came to us. We thought Christians were our enemies, but after distributing Action Packs, we came to know that we were wrong," a Muslim leader said to Voice of the Martyrs. "You are the real believers; you have a real compassion for Muslim people."

The Pakistanis living in the devastated areas are predominantly hard-line Muslims that are opening their hearts through this tragedy, reported VOM.

Reports from VOM staffs indicate that mosques are now opening their doors to the Gospel and that one Mullah (Muslim cleric) made sure that every child had a copy of He Lived Among Us. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CHRISTIAN GROUPS 'PROSELYTISING': MUSLIMS - TOP
Sian Powell, Australian, 12/24/05
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17655709%255E601,00.html

TENSIONS between fundamentalist Muslims and Western aid workers have begun to erupt in Aceh as the tsunami-devastated Indonesian province slowly recovers.

Islamic activists have claimed that aid workers are secretly attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity, pointing particularly to World Vision, Aceh Relief, the International Catholic Mission and Church World Service. (MORE)

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

-----

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Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2005 14:58:05 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CA Muslim Woman Leads Drive to Shelter Tsunami Orphans

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 12/26/05

* Hadith: Treat Orphans with Kindness
* CA: Muslim Woman Leads Drive to Shelter Tsunami Orphans
* NY: Muslim Group Charges Bias in Mosque Decision
* LA: Islamic Holidays Less Commercial Say Students
            - Canada: Muslim Kids Not Missing Out
* Spying is Affront to Constitution, Rights of Muslims
* Israel to Expand West Bank Settlements (AP)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: TREAT ORPHANS WITH KINDNESS - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "If anyone strokes an orphan's head, doing so only for God's sake, he will have blessings for every hair over which his hand passes. And if anyone treats well an orphan girl or boy under his care, he and I shall be like these two in Paradise." The Prophet put two of his fingers together when he made that statement.

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1282

The Prophet also said: "The best house among the Muslims is one which contains an orphan who is well treated."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1281

VERSE OF THE DAY: SEEK JUSTICE FOR ORPHANS

". . . stand firm for justice to orphans. God has full knowledge of whatever good you do."

The Holy Quran, 4:127

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CA: LOCAL WOMAN LEADS DRIVE TO SHELTER TSUNAMI ORPHANS - TOP
Jessie Mangaliman, Mercury News, 12/26/05
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/13488585.htm

Dian Alyan's first orphanage opens in her native Indonesia today, one year after a massive earthquake triggered one of the world's deadliest waves across the Indian Ocean.

It feels like a lifetime ago that the former marketing manager from Sunnyvale was spending her days "dreaming up ways for women around the world to buy Pantene shampoo."

Last year's tsunami killed uncles, aunts and cousins in Alyan's Aceh province birthplace, 40 family members in all. . .

Located in the central highlands, the orphanage was built with money Alyan raised through her new Bay Area non-profit, Give Light Foundation. Alyan's family in Indonesia donated a 3,000-square-foot piece of land in Takengon, a lakeside village about 150 miles from the coastal city of Banda Aceh, which was devastated by the tsunami.

Alyan runs Give Light strictly with local volunteers. San Francisco lawyer Ruby Kazi guided her through the complicated paperwork required to establish a non-profit. Matthew Mengerink, a high-tech executive, donated $2,000 and joined the corps of a half-dozen volunteers who helped Alyan launch the Sunnyvale-based organization. (MORE)

To learn more about the orphanage and Give Light, visit www.givelight.org.

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NY: MUSLIM GROUP CHARGES BIAS - TOP
CAROL EISENBERG, Newsday, 12/26/05
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-limosq264565721dec26,0,3507970.story

A Muslim group that was denied a variance to build a mosque on a busy East Meadow road is claiming anti-Muslim prejudice.

The Hempstead Board of Appeals denied the application by the Long Island Muslim Society, on the grounds that a new mosque would compromise public safety on the already congested two-lane road.

Members of the society were taken aback by the decision, saying they had already dramatically downsized their plans over the last four years to address the concerns. Calling the 5-to-2 decision "a big disappointment," president Mohammed Saleh said he fears traffic and parking concerns were being used to cloak a more fundamental hostility.

"We know there was tremendous pressure from the community not to grant us the variance and we have a strong feeling that some prejudice was involved," Saleh said, citing emotionally charged community meetings in which anti-Muslim sentiment was expressed. (MORE)

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ISLAMIC HOLIDAYS SIMPLER, LESS COMMERCIAL SAY ULL STUDENTS - TOP
JENNIFER REINERT, The Advocate, 12/26/05
http://www.2theadvocate.com/stories/122605/sub_muslims001.shtml

LAFAYETTE -- In contrast to the monthlong whirlwind of shopping, cooking and preparing for Christmas, area Muslims celebrated their major holiday months earlier in a decidedly simpler manner.

"The Muslim holidays are very simple," said Badr al-Burikan, 19, an electrical engineering major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. "You don't have to plan for it. In three days, you can plan for it, not like the Christmas here, where you plan for a month. Very simple. You don't have to do any decorating -- just visit your families. . ."

There are, in fact, several similarities between Eid and Christian holidays such as Easter and Christmas. Despite obvious religious differences, both holidays focus on the importance of good food and time spent with family and friends. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CANADA: MUSLIM KIDS NOT MISSING OUT - TOP
APRIL KEMICK, Free Press, 12/26/05
http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Local/2005/12/26/1368080-sun.html

Faisal Joseph's three young children didn't wake up yesterday morning to find presents from Santa under the tree.

Nor did the smiley youngsters partake in the lighting of the menorah to signal the first night of Hanukkah.

In the Joseph family's north London home, there was no menorah or tree, because the Muslim family doesn't celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah.

But though some might assume Iman, 6, Jameela, 7, and Shareef, 9, would feel left out as their Christian and Jewish friends celebrated, they weren't troubled at all.

"I don't mind because we have celebrations of our own," said Shareef, 9, who sipped hot chocolate with marshmallows.

"Two of our own," he added with a smile, citing Ramadan and Eid festivities that are special for Muslim children the way Christmas is for Christian kids.

"I feel happy for my friends," Iman chimed in. "And I have friends who celebrate the same things as me." (MORE)

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SPYING: IT'S AN AFFRONT TO THE CONSTITUTION, AND THE RIGHTS OF AMERICAN MUSLIMS - TOP
ALAMDAR S. HAMDANI, Houston Chronicle, 12/24/05
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/3546863.html

For more than four years I have watched FBI agents pose inappropriate questions to my clients. In the name of the War on Terror, agents have questioned thousands of Muslims, often U.S. citizens, in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

These agents have approached Muslims in their homes, businesses, and even places of worship, as part of intelligence gathering missions in reaction to 9/11. And, working in pairs, one taking notes while the other asked the questions, agents have probed activities, religious or otherwise, that would not be scrutinized if the subjects of the interrogation had been non-Muslims.

For instance, because two Muslim men, both of them U.S. citizens speaking with Arab accents, complained to an apartment manager about the apartment complex's sales staff, the FBI approached the men. During the interview the agentsasked about what occurred at the complex, but also attempted to ask the men which mosque they attended, who else attended that mosque, whether they prayed five times a day, what their political views were and whether they were Sunni or Shiite.

Asking such questions without a compelling reason places an impermissible "chilling effect" on First Amendment activities such as the rights to free speech or free association. In other words, agents often insinuate that because a person belongs to a particular religious group or holds a particular belief, that that person is somehow involved with terrorist groups.

Couple that suspicion with confused interviewees who speak English as a second language, and people can become afraid of attending a mosque or voicing political views. Worse yet, they are sometimes detained for simply misunderstanding a question.

Based upon recent revelations, these interviewees could also have become targets of the National Security Agency's domestic spying program. (MORE)

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ISRAEL TO EXPAND WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS - TOP
JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/3548187.html

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel said Monday it will build more than 200 new homes in Jewish West Bank settlements - a blow to peace efforts despite word that Ariel Sharon's new party plans a major push for Palestinian statehood if it wins upcoming elections.

In a separate sign of accommodation, Israeli officials said they will likely permit east Jerusalem's Palestinians to vote in next month's Palestinian election. Israel had recently threatened to bar east Jerusalem residents from voting.

The latest settlement construction, revealed in newspaper ads published Monday seeking bids from contractors, would violate Israel's commitments under the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan. (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, 27 Dec 2005 15:06:24 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Files FOIA Request on Radiation Monitoring of Muslim Sites

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAIR FILES FOIA REQUEST ON RADIATION MONITORING OF MUSLIM SITES
Request seeks list of Muslim homes, businesses, mosques targeted under secret program

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/27/05) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today announced the filing of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all government records relating to a secret government program that monitored the radiation levels at more than 100 Muslim homes, businesses and mosques in the capital region and in other areas nationwide.

According to an exclusive online article by U.S. News & World Report:

"In search of a terrorist nuclear bomb, the federal government since 9/11 has run a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities, U.S. News has learned. In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts. . . No dirty bombs or nuclear devices have ever been found - and that includes the post-9/11 program. 'There were a lot of false positives, and one or two were alarming,' says one source. 'But in the end we found nothing.'"

SEE: Nuclear Monitoring of Muslims Done Without Warrants

SEE ALSO: Widespread Radioactivity Monitoring Is Confirmed

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed the FOIA request with the Department of Justice, including the FBI, and the Department of Energy.

In the request, CAIR asked for: 1) "Records concerning the authority of President Bush to delegate or personally authorize surveillance without obtaining a court order as required by FISA," and 2) "Comprehensive lists and addresses of the over a hundred Muslim sites (including mosques, organizations, businesses, warehouses and homes) in Washington D.C., Chicago, Detroit, New York, Las Vegas and Seattle which have been targeted for radiological surveillance by this top secret program."

We are concerned that, under this secretive program, our government has overstepped constitutional bounds by intruding on private property without any probable cause or valid court orders, said CAIR National Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar. The targeting of so many Islamic homes, businesses and mosques will inevitably create the impression that American Muslims are considered suspect solely because of their faith.

On Friday, CAIR held a news conference at its Capitol Hill headquarters with national and local Muslim and interfaith leaders in reaction to the U.S. News & World Report exclusive.

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

- END -

CONTACT: Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787 or 202-415-0799, E-Mail: arsalan@cair-net.org; 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

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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

-----

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 contact the moderator of the list, e-mail: cair@cair-net.org

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Forwarded Message

Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2005 17:15:14 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Return Smoothly from Canada / Lawyers Plan Challenges over Spy Efforts

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 12/28/05

* Verse: Never Too Proud
* CAIR-FL Rep Discusses 'Munich' on FOX
* MI: U.S. Muslims Return Smoothly from Canada (Free Press)
* Defense Lawyers in Terror Cases Plan Challenges over Spy Efforts (NYT)
* U.S. Secret Surveillance Up Sharply Since Sept. 11 (Reuters)
            - Bush was Denied Wiretaps, Bypassed Them (UPI)
* Why European Women Are Turning To Islam (CSM)
* NY: Lawyer to Host New Show on Muslim TV (AP)
* Fisk: Telling It Like It Isn't in the Mideast (LA Times)
* Egypt: No Posters from 'Islamists' in U.S. Mission (NYT)
* DC: Indonesian Embassy to Mark Tsunami Anniversary

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VERSE OF THE DAY: NEVER TOO PROUD - TOP

"Surely those who are close to thy Lord are never too proud to worship Him."

The Holy Quran, 7:206

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CAIR-FL REP ON FOX NEWS DISCUSSING THE FILM 'MUNICH' - TOP

CAIR-FL Rep Ahmed Bedier appeared on FOX News live to discuss how Director Steven Spielberg handled the film "Munich." To watch the video segment use the below link:

[FOX NEWS VIDEO, BROADBAND]
http://www.cairfl.org/video/051226_FOX_News_cairfl_munich.wmv

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U.S. MUSLIMS RETURN SMOOTHLY - TOP
Shabina S. Khatri, Detroit Free Press, 12/28/05
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051228/NEWS06/512280312

No news was good news Tuesday -- at least for American Muslims returning to the United States after a weekend convention in Toronto.

Despite a federal judge's ruling Thursday that empowered customs officers to conduct security checks on people who went to the Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference, there were no reports of border-crossing difficulties, said Arsalan Iftikhar, civil rights director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Ron Smith, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman, confirmed Tuesday that customs officers reported no border incidents.

"On behalf of the American Muslim community, it is heartening to see that, in this case, American Muslim citizens are finally being treated like other American citizens upon their return back to our country," Iftikhar said. "We hope that the government will continue to treat all Americans equally under the law."

Razi Jafri, 23, of Woodhaven said he and his friends were stopped and questioned for more than two hours after last year's conference. Jafri, who returned to Michigan on Monday night, said the customs officer asked a handful of questions before letting the car he was in pass into the United States.

Last week, CAIR, a Washington, D.C.-based civil rights group, advised Muslims attending the four-day conference in Toronto to report any incidents with customs officers.

Last year, dozens of conference attendees said they were targeted for hours-long security checks, fingerprinting and photographs. The New York Civil Liberties Union sought an injunction this year prohibiting border agents from stopping and searching American Muslims basely solely on their attendance at the conference.

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DEFENSE LAWYERS IN TERROR CASES PLAN CHALLENGES OVER SPY EFFORTS - TOP
Eric Lichhtblau and James Risen, New York Times, 12/28/05
http://nytimes.com/2005/12/28/politics/28legal.html?hp&ex=1135832400&en=90d025b930c5720f&ei=5094&partner=homepage

WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 - Defense lawyers in some of the country's biggest terrorism cases say they plan to bring legal challenges to determine whether the National Security Agency used illegal wiretaps against several dozen Muslim men tied to Al Qaeda.

The lawyers said in interviews that they wanted to learn whether the men were monitored by the agency and, if so, whether the government withheld critical information or misled judges and defense lawyers about how and why the men were singled out.

The expected legal challenges, in cases from Florida, Ohio, Oregon and Virginia, add another dimension to the growing controversy over the agency's domestic surveillance program and could jeopardize some of the Bush administration's most important courtroom victories in terror cases, legal analysts say.

The question of whether the N.S.A. program was used in criminal prosecutions and whether it improperly influenced them raises "fascinating and difficult questions," said Carl W. Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond who has studied terrorism prosecutions.

"It seems to me that it would be relevant to a person's case," Professor Tobias said. "I would expect the government to say that it is highly sensitive material, but we have legal mechanisms to balance the national security needs with the rights of defendants. I think judges are very conscientious about trying to sort out these issues and balance civil liberties and national security."

While some civil rights advocates, legal experts and members of Congress have said President Bush did not have authority to order eavesdropping by the security agency without warrants, the White House and the Justice Department continued on Tuesday to defend the legality and propriety of the program.

Trent Duffy, a spokesman for the White House, declined to comment in Crawford, Tex., when asked about a report in The New York Times that the security agency had tapped into some of the country's main telephone arteries to conduct broader data-mining operations in the search for terrorists. (MORE)

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U.S. SECRET SURVEILLANCE UP SHARPLY SINCE SEPT. 11 - TOP
Reuters, 12/27/05
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N27337667.htm

WASHINGTON - Federal applications for a special U.S. court to authorize secret surveillance rose sharply after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and the panel required changes to the requests at an even greater rate, government documents show.

President George W. Bush acknowledged this month he had secretly ordered the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on the international phone conversations and e-mail of Americans suspected of links to terrorists without approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The domestic spying order has set off a furious debate over whether the war on terrorism gives Bush a blank check when it comes to civil liberties and whether the president, in fact, broke the law.

The Justice Department's reports to the U.S. Congress on the surveillance court's activities show the Bush administration made 5,645 applications for electronic surveillance and physical searches from 2001 through 2004, the most recent year for which figures are available. In the previous four years, the court received a total of 3,436.

The 11-judge panel modified 179 of the Bush administration's requests. By contrast, only one was modified in the preceding four years. The court has reportedly handled almost 20,000 applications since it was set up and has rejected only a handful.

Reasons for the modifications were not stated and could range from minor alterations to more substantive changes.

The highly classified court was set up by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, in the wake of Cold War spy fears and President Richard Nixon's misuse of U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on the anti-Vietnam War movement and other political dissidents.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations has filed a Freedom of Information request with federal agencies seeking government records relating to Bush's executive orders authorizing surveillance of Americans.

The group said on Tuesday it also filed a similar request with the Justice and Energy Departments for information on the secret radiation monitoring of Muslim sites in six U.S. cities, first reported by U.S. News and World Report.

The magazine reported last week that more than 100 sites, including private homes, were monitored without court approval as required by FISA.

"We are concerned that, under this secretive program, our government has overstepped constitutional bounds by intruding on private property without any probable cause or valid court orders," CAIR's national legal director, Arsalan Iftikhar, said in a statement. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

BUSH WAS DENIED WIRETAPS, BYPASSED THEM - TOP
United Press International, 12/26/05

WASHINGTON, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush decided to skip seeking warrants for international wiretaps because the court was challenging him at an unprecedented rate.

A review of Justice Department reports to Congress by Hearst newspapers shows the 26-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court modified more wiretap requests from the Bush administration than the four previous presidential administrations combined.

The 11-judge court that authorizes FISA wiretaps modified only two search warrant orders out of the 13,102 applications approved over the first 22 years of the court's operation.

But since 2001, the judges have modified 179 of the 5,645 requests for surveillance by the Bush administration, the report said. A total of 173 of those court-ordered "substantive modifications" took place in 2003 and 2004. And, the judges also rejected or deferred at least six requests for warrants during those two years -- the first outright rejection of a wiretap request in the court's history. (MORE)

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WHY EUROPEAN WOMEN ARE TURNING TO ISLAM - TOP
Peter Ford, Christian Science Monitor, 12/27/05
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1227/p01s04-woeu.html

PARIS - Mary Fallot looks as unlike a terrorist suspect as one could possibly imagine: a petite and demure white Frenchwoman chatting with friends on a cell-phone, indistinguishable from any other young woman in the café where she sits sipping coffee.

And that is exactly why European antiterrorist authorities have their eyes on thousands like her across the continent.

Ms. Fallot is a recent convert to Islam. In the eyes of the police, that makes her potentially dangerous.

The death of Muriel Degauque, a Belgian convert who blew herself up in a suicide attack on US troops in Iraq last month, has drawn fresh attention to the rising number of Islamic converts in Europe, most of them women.

"The phenomenon is booming, and it worries us," the head of the French domestic intelligence agency, Pascal Mailhos, told the Paris-based newspaper Le Monde in a recent interview. "But we must absolutely avoid lumping everyone together."

The difficulty, security experts explain, is that while the police may be alert to possible threats from young men of Middle Eastern origin, they are more relaxed about white European women. Terrorists can use converts who "have added operational benefits in very tight security situations" where they might not attract attention, says Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at the Swedish National Defense College in Stockholm.

Ms. Fallot, who converted to Islam three years ago after asking herself spiritual questions to which she found no answers in her childhood Catholicism, says she finds the suspicion her new religion attracts "wounding." "For me," she adds, "Islam is a message of love, of tolerance and peace."

It is a message that appeals to more and more Europeans as curiosity about Islam has grown since 9/11, say both Muslim and non-Muslim researchers. Although there are no precise figures, observers who monitor Europe's Muslim population estimate that several thousand men and women convert each year. (MORE)

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LOCAL LAWYER TO HOST NEW SHOW ON MUSLIM TV - TOP
David Tyler, Democrat and Chronicle, 12/28/05
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051228/BUSINESS/512280356/1001

Rochester lawyer Sharon P. Stiller is headed to television for a weekly legal affairs show on Bridges TV, the Buffalo-based network for American Muslims.

Called Predominantly Legal, the 30-minute weekly interview show will tackle a range of issues from immigration and border detentions to discrimination in the workplace and racial profiling, Stiller said. Bridges has filmed 13 shows at its Buffalo studios, and it will debut at 10 p.m. Thursday.

Stiller said not to expect your typical cable talking-head shouting matches.

"I try to circle an issue and represent all the viewpoints surrounding the issues," she said.

The show will be a bit difficult to access in Rochester. Bridges is on Dish Network channel 578, where it is a premium pay channel.

The year-old Bridges is attempting to work its way into the regular lineups of cable providers nationwide. The company just received a license to broadcast in Canada, Bridges Chief Executive Mo Hassan said.

The legal show is the first foray into television for Stiller, 55, a partner at Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel who works in the firm's labor and employment practice. Stiller also served for eight years as an assistant district attorney in Monroe County.

Stiller was persuaded to join the show by Hassan, who knew Stiller from his days in Rochester as an Eastman Kodak product manager. Hassan, a native of Pakistan, also received graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Rochester.

"At first I said 'No, no, no,' but as I thought about it, it just seemed like a great thing to do," Stiller said. (MORE)

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TELLING IT LIKE IT ISN'T - TOP
Robert Fisk, Los Angeles Times, 12/27/05
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-fisk27dec27,0,6099761.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

[ROBERT FISK is Middle East correspondent for the London Independent and the author, most recently, of "The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East," published last month by Knopf.]

I FIRST REALIZED the enormous pressures on American journalists in the Middle East when I went some years ago to say goodbye to a colleague from the Boston Globe. I expressed my sorrow that he was leaving a region where he had obviously enjoyed reporting. I could save my sorrows for someone else, he said. One of the joys of leaving was that he would no longer have to alter the truth to suit his paper's more vociferous readers.

"I used to call the Israeli Likud Party 'right wing,' " he said. "But recently, my editors have been telling me not to use the phrase. A lot of our readers objected." And so now, I asked? "We just don't call it 'right wing' anymore."

Ouch. I knew at once that these "readers" were viewed at his newspaper as Israel's friends, but I also knew that the Likud under Benjamin Netanyahu was as right wing as it had ever been.

This is only the tip of the semantic iceberg that has crashed into American journalism in the Middle East. Illegal Jewish settlements for Jews and Jews only on Arab land are clearly "colonies," and we used to call them that. I cannot trace the moment when we started using the word "settlements." But I can remember the moment around two years ago when the word "settlements" was replaced by "Jewish neighborhoods" - or even, in some cases, "outposts."

Similarly, "occupied" Palestinian land was softened in many American media reports into "disputed" Palestinian land - just after then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, in 2001, insstructed U.S. embassies in the Middle East to refer to the West Bank as "disputed" rather than "occupied" territory.

Then there is the "wall," the massive concrete obstruction whose purpose, according to the Israeli authorities, is to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from killing innocent Israelis. In this, it seems to have had some success. But it does not follow the line of Israel's 1967 border and cuts deeply into Arab land. And all too often these days, journalists call it a "fence" rather than "occupied" territory. (MORE)

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NO POSTERS FROM ISLAMISTS IN U.S. MISSION - TOP
Abeer Allam, New York Times, 12/28/05
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/28/international/africa/28egypt.html?pagewanted=print

CAIRO, Dec. 27 - The American Consulate here opened its doors to reporters on Tuesday in an unusual step to dispel reports that it employed hard-line Islamists who kept posters of the militant group Hamas on the walls.

In fact, the only posters were those of the black-robed Coptic Christian pope, Shenuda III, and Santa Claus.

The mission was responding to reports published Monday in The New York Post asserting that the State Department had been investigating up to 20 hard-line Islamic employees in the consulate section of the American Embassy who had reportedly denied visas to the United States to thousands of Coptic Christians.

The newspaper also said there had been complaints that the Egyptian employees kept posters of supporters of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which the State Department classifies as a terrorist group.

"We do not see any Hamas posters here," said the consul general, Peter G. Kaestner. "It is difficult to be diplomatic and to describe the article appropriately."

"The bottom line is there is no investigation," Mr. Kaestner said. "None of my staff is under investigation for any purpose." (MORE)

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INDONESIAN EMBASSY, ISLAMIC RELIEF TO HOST ONE-YEAR TSUNAMI ANNIVERSARY REMEMBRANCE PROGRAM - TOP

WASHINGTON, DC (December 27, 2005) - The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, along with international non-governmental organization (NGO) Islamic Relief, and the International Institute for Psychosocial Development will be hosting a remembrance event for last year's tsunami victims.

The event, entitled "A Year After - Remembrance for the Tsunami Victims" will be held at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Washington, DC. The Indonesian Community Association (IKI) is also helping coordinate the event.

Islamic Relief immediately responded to the needs of tsunami victims in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India, providing emergency food, shelter, healthcare, and income generation projects. Long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction projects are underway. The International Institute for Psychosocial Development is currently assisting tsunami victims in Indonesia with much-needed mental health programs.

Representatives from the U.S. State Department are scheduled to attend the event. In addition, over 30 NGOs, Ambassadors from tsunami-affected countries, and representatives from USAID and the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery have also been invited to participate.

WHAT: One Year Tsunami Anniversary Remembrance Program

WHEN: Thursday, December 29, 2005 from 3:45 - 5:15pm

WHERE:
The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
2020 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington DC, 20036

Hors d'Oeuvres and light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by calling Ms. Dewi Masfar at (202) 775-5300/5306 or email dmasfar@embassyofindonesia.org.

Media Contact: Rizwan Mowlana of Islamic Relief at rizwan@irw.org or (202) 725-2353.

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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, 29 Dec 2005 17:09:17 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Mecca Calls Detroit Muslims / CAIR-CAN Condemns Hate Graffiti on Edmonton Synagogue / Passaic to Stop Holding Detainees at Jail

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 12/29/05

* Hadith: Piety is the Best of Provisions
* MI: Mecca Calls Detroit Muslims (Detroit News)
            - CAIR Issues Travel Advisory for U.S. Muslims
            - CAIR: U.S. Muslims to Leave for Hajj
* CAIR-CAN Condemns Hate Graffiti on Edmonton Synagogue
* CAIR: U.S. Mosques Monitored for Radiation (Wash Post)
            - Majority of Readers Say Don't Blame Islam for Terror
* NJ: Passaic to Stop Holding Detainees at Jail (Star-Ledger)
* Muslim Investors Top 2005 Faith Funds Table (FT)
* MN: Muslim Woman Green Party Candidate (Women's Press)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: PIETY IS THE BEST OF PROVISIONS - TOP

"The pilgrimage shall take place in the months appointed for it. And whoever undertakes the pilgrimage in those (months) shall abstain from lewd speech, from all wicked conduct and from quarrelling. Whatever good you may do, God is aware of it. Take necessary provisions with you for the journey - but the best of all provisions is piety."

The Holy Quran, 2:197

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MI: MECCA CALLS METRO MUSLIMS - TOP
Thousands of faithful make great pilgrimage
Gregg Krupa, Detroit News, 12/29/05
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051229/LIFESTYLE04/512290327/1041/LIFESTYLE

DEARBORN -- At the age of 30, Gader Mirza has seen much of life: growing up in Iraq, immigrating to the United States, owning businesses, his marriage. But, lately, Mirza says that, almost like a child, he has had trouble falling asleep in anticipation of a grand event.

Mirza joins a few thousand Muslims from Metro Detroit who, after long preparation, are leaving this week for the Hajj, the great Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. A few million worshippers are expected to participate in the once-in-a-lifetime Hajj, one of the five tenets of faith mandatory for all believers in Islam.

Having attended to four of the "Five Pillars of Islam" -- by testifying to his faith, supporting the needy, praying five times daily and fasting during the holy month of Ramadan -- Mirza's pilgrimage fulfills what Muslims believe God, Allah, asks of them.

"I will feel complete," Mirza said, wearing the plain, white gown of the pilgrims, next to his wife, Fatima, the daughter of a prominent local imam.

"It is as if I will be like a baby when I return. I won't have done anything bad. I will start a new life. I will give more. I will pray more. I will talk of the good more. My slate will be clean."

Pilgrimages long have been part of the practices of the three so-called Abrahamic religions -- Christianity, Judaism and Islam -- so named because they all trace their roots to the prophet Abraham. But only in Islam is a pilgrimage a mandatory focal point of a spiritual life.

While there is no official tally and estimates vary, local Muslim leaders and some agents who help arrange travel say about 3,000 of the estimated 125,000 to 200,000 Muslims in Metro Detroit will make their Hajj this year and join Muslim pilgrims from around the world. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR ISSUES TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR U.S. MUSLIMS - TOP
http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1918&theType=NR

U.S. MUSLIMS TO LEAVE FOR HAJJ - TOP
http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1904&theType=NR

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CAIR-CAN CONDEMNS HATE GRAFFITI ON EDMONTON SYNAGOGUE - TOP
http://www.caircan.ca/itn_more.php?id=2206_0_2_0_C

The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) has condemned the vandalism of an Edmonton synagogue and is calling on police to bring the perpetrators to justice.

According to news reports, a swastika and other graffiti were spray-painted onto the Beth Shalom Synagogue in Edmonton. The hate crime unit of the Edmonton police is investigating the incident.

In a statement released today, CAIR-CAN said:

"CAIR-CAN stands with all Canadians in condemning this act of hate, which was maliciously perpetrated during a time of religious significance for Canadian Jews. We call on the police to swiftly bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice to send a clear message that such religious intolerance and hate will never be accepted."

For more information, please contact Halima Mautbur at 613-254-9704 or 613-795-2012.

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U.S. SAYS IT DIDN'T TARGET MUSLIMS - TOP
Mosques Among Sites Monitored For Radiation
Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post, 12/29/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/28/AR2005122801520.html

Faced with angry complaints, U.S. officials defended an anti-terrorism program yesterday that secretly tested radiation levels around the country -- including at more than 100 Muslim sites in the Washington area -- and insisted that no one was targeted because of his or her faith.

One official knowledgeable about the program explained that Muslim sites were included because al Qaeda terrorists were considered likely to gravitate to Muslim neighborhoods or mosques while in the United States.

"If you were looking [for] the needle in a haystack, that's the haystack you would look at," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the program is classified. "You'd look at the [likely] targets and the places the operators were."

No indications of radiation were found at the businesses, homes, warehouses or mosques that were included in the program. The official said that radiation monitoring of the Muslim sites started after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and lasted through 2003.

The focus on the Muslim sites, which was first reported last week by U.S. News & World Report, has stunned and angered officials at mosques and Muslim and Arab-American organizations. Two such groups have filed Freedom of Information requests, known as FOIAs, in recent days to try to learn which sites were monitored. They also have requested meetings with the FBI, which ran the program along with the Energy Department. . .

"We'd like our federal law enforcement agencies to know the American Muslim community stands firmly behind protecting our nation's borders," said Arsalan Iftikhar, legal director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, one of the groups that are seeking the addresses of the sites involved. "But, at the same time, we are not willing to give up our guaranteed constitutional and legal rights in order to do that."

He said his group constantly received phone calls from Muslims who believed they were under surveillance. But none had specifically mentioned possible radiation testing. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

READERS GRADE CONDUCT BOTH MERITORIOUS AND UNBECOMING IN 2005 - TOP
Sandi Dolbee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/29/05
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/features/20051229-9999-lz1c29rated.html

One reader drew a frowning face at the top of his moral report card this year, which about sums up a year of FEMA flubs, political scandals and ongoing culture wars that remind us we all can't get along very well for very long.

Our discomfort with each other came through in a printed message at the bottom of a ballot sent in from east San Diego County: "If I give my name, you might put it in the paper. I have to live with my neighbors."

Nearly 500 people filled out the San Diego Union-Tribune's Religion and Ethics' annual moral report card, in which we ask readers to grade conduct in various events and ask for nominations for best and worst behavior of the year. . .

PERCEIVING ISLAM

Terrorism in the name of Islam has been in the news since the U.S. attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. This year, attacks spread to London subways and the hotels of Jordan.

The violence has damaged the reputation of the world's second largest religion - despite repeated insistence by Islamic leaders that their religion does not condone these criminal acts.

Your wariness was reflected in the results of the seventh question, about whether Islam was to blame. Forty percent said it is at fault and 60 percent said it isn't.

The majority sentiment: it's the radicals, not the religion, at fault.

"All types of people are to blame. It is hard to blame one people," wrote Joan Porter.

Another reader said we all need to better understand each other's point of view.

For those on the other side, they say they cannot trust the religion, that it needs to go through a modernization, and that its leaders should be vocal and specific about condemning violence.

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PASSAIC TO STOP HOLDING IMMIGRANT DETAINEES AT JAIL - TOP
County came under fire for treatment of foreigners facing deportation
BRIAN DONOHUE, Star-Ledger Staff, 12/29/05
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-2/113583529242450.xml&coll=1

Dogged by protests and national controversies over their treatment of foreign detainees, Passaic County officials have decided to end the 20-year-old practice of holding immigrants facing deportation at the aging and overcrowded county jail, officials said yesterday.

A spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the county has decided to opt out of the contract under which the federal government has paid the county to hold an average of 200 detainees on any given day. . .

In recent months, Passaic County Sherriff's Department officials have bristled at federal policies that prohibited them from using dogs to control detainees as well as a drumbeat of criticism from human rights groups.

"We've been fighting to end this contract since we started," said Flavia Ayala, member of the New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee. "We're getting what we wished for. . ."

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Passaic and Hudson county jails became the nation's largest holding cells for hundreds of Muslim men rounded up in a series of immigration raids. In the following months and years, civil rights groups increasingly criticized the treatment of detainees, several of whom launched hunger strikes to protest their detention. (MORE)

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MUSLIM INVESTORS TOP 2005 FAITH FUNDS TABLE - TOP
Financial Times, 12/29/05
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10619670/

In a year when the Standard & Poor's 500 index has nudged up barely 5 per cent, investors would have done better by investing according to the principles of the Koran.

Among the small but rapidly growing band of faith-based mutual funds, the main US Muslim fund has beaten funds run according to the principles of the Catholics, the Mennonites, the Presbyterians, and the evangelical Christians. In fact, with the $100m (£58m, €84m) Islamic Amana Growth fund posting a 22 per cent return for the year, they have pretty much beaten everyone, according to data provided by Lipper. MORE)

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PAINT THE TWIN CITIES GREEN - TOP
Joanna Imm, Women's Press, 12/29/05
http://www.womenspress.com/main.asp?SectionID=3&SubSectionID=3&ArticleID=2163

Before this year, Elizabeth Dickinson and Farheen Hakeem didn't have much in common. Dickinson is a former community affairs manager and lobbyist for the Minnesota AIDS project, an actor and a founding member of the advocacy coalition Clean Energy Now. Hakeem has a bachelor's degree in math and studied math education at the graduate level; she works for the Girl Scout Council of Greater Minneapolis. But this year, both women ran strong Green Party grassroots campaigns against the incumbent mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and both voiced the same reason for running: they felt they had no choice.

When Hakeem announced her candidacy for mayor of Minneapolis, she became the first Muslim-American woman to run in Minnesota and, at 29, one of the youngest candidates ever. After seven months working with a fraction of her opponents' budgets, Hakeem won 14 percent of the vote in the September primary. She was particularly encouraged by the support she found in south Minneapolis. Supporters will see her pounding the pavement again: she's planning to run in the 2006 elections, though she hasn't yet decided for which office. (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

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Forwarded Message

Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 17:47:01 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR 2005 Year in Review

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR 2005 YEAR IN REVIEW

Help CAIR continue its important work.

To become a CAIR member, go to:
https://www.cair-net.org/asp/membership.asp

To donate to CAIR, go to:
https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp

-----

CAIR-FL REP NAMED IN TOP TEN PERSONALITIES
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/12/30/Columns/Love__em_or_hate__em_.shtml

Ahmed Bedier. The Central Florida director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations was at the center of the debate about adding a Muslim holiday to the school district's calendar. Throughout the discourse, he remained thoughtful and upbeat, even winning over people who didn't think Eid al-Fitr should be among the religious school holidays. His reasoned approach is a lesson for all.

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2005 CAIR HIGHLIGHTS

In its 11th year, CAIR experienced tremendous growth and success. Defending the civil rights of American Muslims and advocating for their interests in the public square, CAIR continued to do what it does best but it took its struggle to another level.

CAIR took the lead in examining the root causes of two of the most compelling phenomena affecting today s world -- Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism -- by hosting a conference that examined the causes and remedies of these two issues.

In today s climate of heightened scrutiny of Islam and Muslims, CAIR also helped coordinate the first ever U.S. fatwa against terrorism and extremism. The fatwa was issued by the Fiqh Council of North America and endorsed by more than 300 U.S. Muslim groups, leaders and institutions.

CAIR continued to challenge hate on the radio and negative portrayals of Islam and Muslims in the entertainment industry throughout the year. Working with media corporations like FOX and ABC, CAIR took proactive steps to help balance portrayals of Islam and encourage Muslims to enter the fields of writing, producing and acting.

CAIR s Civil Rights Department documented more anti-Muslim incidents than ever and resolved many cases of discrimination and hate crimes. The data compiled goes into CAIR s one-of-a-kind annual report on Muslim civil rights in America.

Yet, these are just a few of the accomplishments CAIR achieved this past year with your continued support. This following information provides a more detailed glimpse into the works of CAIR in 2005.

This is just a fraction of what we have achieved with your support. We invite you to read more about what CAIR accomplished in 2005.

ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTI-AMERICANISM

In May, CAIR hosted its first annual conference, Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism: Causes and Remedies, in Washington, D.C. Over 300 people attended the conference which brought together scholars, researchers, religious leaders, and community activists to discuss the twin phenomena of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in the West and increasing anti-Americanism in the Islamic world. Speakers included: former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim; Amnesty International USA Board Chair, Chip Pitts; Gerald Michael Feierstein, US State Department s Bureau of Near East Affairs; and Cherif Bassiouni, DePaul University law professor.

CAIR also hosted a special keynote breakfast address by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University Professor of Islamic Studies, on Shias, Sunnis, and the Future of U.S. Relations with the Muslim World at the Washington DC Press Club.

CAIR helped distribute a brochure designed to help promote the rights of Muslim women and improve their status at Islamic centers. CAIR also hosted a panel on Muslim Women Leaders in Public Life.

In light of the recent French riots in the suburbs of Paris, CAIR hosted a panel discussion with the French ambassador to the U.S. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The panel was broadcast live right after CAIR officials returned from Brussels, where they were invited by the State Department to dialogue with the Belgian Muslim community.

FATWA AGAINST TERRORISM

In July, CAIR offered its support for a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against terrorism and extremism issued by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and endorsed by more than 300 U.S. Muslim groups, leaders and institutions. The fatwa, released during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., 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 ... In the light of the teachings of the Qur an and Sunnah we clearly and strongly state: 1. All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam. 2. It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence. 3. It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians. We issue this fatwa following the guidance of our scripture, the Qur an, and the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.

CAIR also announced the release of its radio and television versions of CAIR s 30-second Not in the Name of Islam public service announcement (PSA) in English, Arabic and Urdu. The PSA ties into CAIR s Not in the Name of Islam online petition drive designed to disassociate the faith of Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims. More than six million American TV viewers have already seen CAIR s Not in the Name of Islam public service announcement.

CAIR s 30-second PSA features American Muslims stating: We often hear claims Muslims don t condemn terrorism and that Islam condones violence. As Muslims, we want to state clearly that those who commit acts of terror in the name of Islam are betraying the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad. We reject anyone - of any faith who commits such brutal acts and will not allow our faith to be hijacked by criminals. Islam is not about hatred and violence. It s about peace and justice.

MEDIA RELATIONS

Early this year, CAIR met with representatives of the Fox network and producers of the hit drama 24 to discuss concerns about the depiction of a Muslim family at the heart of a terror plot in that popular program.

CAIR was concerned that the portrayal of the family as a terrorist sleeper cell would cast suspicion over ordinary American Muslims and increase Islamophobia.

At the meeting, which included CAIR and Muslim Public Affairs Council representatives, Fox officials agreed to distribute a CAIR public service announcement to network affiliates and ask that it be aired in proximity to 24. Network officials also agreed to air a disclaimer stating that American Muslims reject terrorism. Fox s disclaimer, read by actor Kiefer Sutherland, stated:

Hi. My name is Kiefer Sutherland. And I play counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer on Fox s 24. I would like to take a moment to talk to you about something that I think is very important. Now while terrorism is obviously one of the most critical challenges facing our nation and the world, it is important to recognize that the American Muslim community stands firmly beside their fellow Americans in denouncing and resisting all forms of terrorism. So in watching 24, please, bear that in mind.

When an ad in the National Journal depicted soldiers rappelling off an aircraft onto the roof of a building labeled Muhammad s Mosque in Arabic, CAIR wrote to top officials of Boeing, Bell and Textron demanding that they withdraw the advertisement and investigate how it was approved for publication.

In response to CAIR s letter, Boeing Co., Bell Helicopter, Textron and the National Journal magazine apologized and retracted the ad.

Boeing wrote: 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.

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.

ISLAMOPHOBIC TALK SHOW HOST FIRED

When a DC Radio host refused to apologize for his on-air Islamophobic comments, CAIR initiated a campaign against WMAL and the station s advertisers.

Radio host Michael Graham had stated on air that: 1. Islam is a terrorist organization. 2. Islam is at war with America. 3. The problem is not extremism. The problem is Islam. 4. We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam. Other listeners said that Graham even encouraged a public backlash against Muslims.

After hundreds of complaints, WMAL finally decided to fire Graham because he refused to retract his anti-Islamic statements, make an on-air apology and conduct outreach efforts to the Muslim community and others who were offended.

AMERICAN MUSLIM CIVIL RIGHTS DEFENDED

CAIR was retained as legal counsel by Muslim workers of Somali heritage at a Dell, Inc. plant in Nashville, TN. The workers felt they were being forced to choose between their prayers and keeping their jobs.

After CAIR negotiated with Dell, workers were allowed to return, given back pay, and were provided with religious accommodation. The settlement also required managers to undergo further training on religious accommodation.

When a Muslim American received a credit card solicitation letter addressed to Palestinian Bomber , CAIR immediately called on JPMorgan Chase to investigate. The recipient, a 54-year-old American citizen, has lived in this country for 51 years and served in the United States Army.

In continuing its proactive stance, CAIR recently announced the 2005 Rosa Parks Civil Liberties Award Recipient, to be offered in honor of Rosa Parks to students studying in fields that promote civil rights, social justice and conflict resolution.

NARENDRA MODI VISA DENIED

In March, CAIR applauded a decision by the US to deny a visa to Narendra Modi, an Indian official accused of complicity in the massacre of Muslim civilians. Modi had been scheduled as a keynote speaker for the annual convention in Florida of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.

Weeks before, CAIR and other groups joined forces to block Modi s entry, urging the Bush administration to deny his visa based on Section 604 of the International Religious Freedom Act making any foreign official who has engaged in particularly severe violations of religious freedom inadmissible to the US. Media reports indicate that US officials used that provision to revoke his visa, citing his role as Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots that left more than 1,000 dead.

In October, CAIR held is third annual Ramadan iftar on Capitol Hill. Some 100 congressional staffers, community leaders and diplomats from Islamic-majority nations attended. The iftar, held in the Rayburn House Office Building, was co-sponsored by 11 House members.

EXPLORE THE QURAN CAMPAIGN

CAIR initiated its Explore the Quran campaign in response to allegations that American military personnel desecrated the Quran at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay. The campaign promotes understanding and appreciation of Islam by making the Quran widely available. Muslims are encouraged to sponsor the $25 package which includes a Quran and guidelines for handling. To date, more than 20,000 people have requested free copies of Islam s holy text, including law enforcement officials, students, religious leaders, and ordinary people of all faiths.

A North Carolina physician wrote: I appreciate what your group is doing to foster better understanding between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. I look forward to reading the Quran and learning more about Islam.

Another recipient from California wrote: It just arrived today and I ve only read the intro and forward and started reading the verses. My reaction surprises me: I feel an attraction to the words that I never expected. . . .No matter what, I will learn so much about Islam thanks to your generosity.

This summer, CAIR launched an initiative called Muslims Care to promote volunteerism. The summer-long, nationwide campaign offered resources to help Muslims improve their neighborhoods and communities. Muslims Care is designed as an annual effort, with this year s focus on health awareness, helping the needy, and activities for youth.

A new website, www.muslims-care.com, contains a downloadable toolkit with information about volunteerism and suggestions for activities such as blood drives, health awareness fairs and student tutoring. The Muslims Care kit also provides advice to Islamic leaders on promoting volunteerism in mosques. It also suggests establishing partnerships with groups such as the American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity.

These are just a few of the proactive efforts undertaken by CAIR in the service of the American Muslim community. To learn more about CAIR, go to: www.cair.com

HELP CAIR CONTINUE ITS IMPORTANT WORK.

To become a CAIR member, go to:
https://www.cair-net.org/asp/membership.asp

To donate to CAIR, go to:
https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp

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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, 01 Jan 2006 16:25:06 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Threats Force FL Muslim Meeting to Relocate / MI Bank Forms Subsidiary for Muslims / Eid Al-Adha Holiday Good for U.S. Market

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/1/06

* Verse: God Gives Every Community Rites of Sacrifice
* CAIR-FL Honored for Ramadan Food Basket Program
            - CAIR-OH: Muslims Believe Simple Burials Focus on Soul
            - CAIR-LA: Rights Being Eroded (Press-Enterprise)
            - CAIR-CT: Immigrant Boom Unlikely to Slow (Norwich Bulletin)
* CAIR Patriot Act Blog a 'Web Winner' (Philadelphia Inquirer)
            - Justice Deputy Resisted Parts of Spy Program (NY Times)
* TX: Eid Al-Adha Holiday Good for Local Market
            - Eid Al-Adha Holiday to Start on Jan. 10 (AP)
            - DC: Mosques to Mark End of Pilgrimage (Wash Post)
            - Muslims Will Celebrate Some Holidays Twice in 2006
            - U.S. Muslims Journey to Mecca (Kansas City Star)
* FL: Blogs, Threats Force Muslim Meeting to Relocate (SP Times)
* MI: Bank Forms Subsidiary for Muslims (Ann Arbor News)
* MA: Mosque is an Answer to Prayers (MW Daily News)
            - FL: Mosque Designs Modified (Bradenton Herald)
* FL: Centuries of Peace Between Jews, Muslims (Sun-Sent)
* CA: Muslims Share Love of Mary, Jesus (Tracy Press)
            - CT: Clarifying Muhammad's Role (Hartford Courant)
* Forum: Ignorance is the Enemy (Post-Gazette)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: GOD GIVES EVERY COMMUNITY RITES OF SACRIFICE - TOP

"For every community We established rites (of sacrifice) so that they may pronounce the name of God over the (animals) that He has given them for food. But the object is one and the same: to remember that your God is one God. So submit yourselves to Him and give good news 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. . .It is neither (the sacrificial animal's) meat nor their blood that reaches God; it is your piety that reaches Him."

The Holy Quran, 22:34-37

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CAIR-FL HONORED FOR RAMADAN FOOD BASKET PROGRAM - TOP

WHAT'S HAPPENING
http://www.sptimes.com/2006/01/01/Hernando/What_s_happening.shtml

The Hernando County Commission recently recognized the local Islamic community and the Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations for establishing the Ramadan Thanksgiving Food Basket Program.

The proclamation read: "Hernando County is well known as a caring community with a charitable heart, and each year individual citizens, community groups and diverse religious organizations provide food and other basic necessities to needy families in Hernando County.

"The Ramadan Thanksgiving Food Basket Program was established in November 2001 to help needy families in Hernando County."

The Islamic community and CAIR Florida, working in partnership with the United Way of Hernando County and Publix Supermarkets, recently distributed 200 Thanksgiving food baskets to needy families in Hernando County.

The mission of CAIR is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-OH: MUSLIMS BELIEVE SIMPLE BURIAL PUTS FOCUS ON SOUL - TOP
Sherri Williams, COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 12/31/05
http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/2005/12/31/20051231-B2-01.html

Nasir Abdi was shrouded in the simplicity and spirituality shown during Muslim burials when his body, wrapped in white cloth, was lowered into the ground without a casket.

It is a minimalist practice that focuses on the soul and spirit of the deceased, said Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin, president-elect of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Ohio.

"Traditionally, Muslims are not buried in caskets and coffins," she said. "The idea is, from dust we are created and to dust we will return, and from dust we will be brought back again. In that remembrance there is not a need to preserve the physical shell."

Abdi, a Muslim Somali, was buried Thursday after being fatally shot by Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Evans. Deputies said Abdi threatened them with a kitchen knife while four deputies were trying to take him to a mental-health care facility.

His customary burial without being enclosed in a casket is legal and increasingly common here, said Scott Zinn, manager of the Rutherford Funeral Home. (MORE)

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CAIR-LA: RIGHTS BEING ERODED - TOP
Press-Enterprise, 12/30/05
http://www.pe.com/localnews/opinion/letters/stories/PE_OpEd_Opinion_H_op_31_letters.21faa253.html

In response to the editorial "Wiretap dancing" (Our Views, Dec. 28), perhaps The Press-Enterprise needs to put the news of hundreds of wiretaps of Americans into perspective in order to realize the magnitude and frequency of the Bush administration's erosion of people's rights -- not only in this country, but abroad as well.

Here is a partial list: the indefinite detention of thousands of people in Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay without charges or due process; the reports of abuse and torture at those detention camps; the CIA torture centers in Europe; the illegal practice of rendition of prisoners; the monitoring for radiation of Muslim businesses, mosques and private homes without court order; and the news of hundreds of wiretaps on Americans.

With all of these costly mistakes and abuses, The Press-Enterprise does not want us to have an independent judicial process to oversee the practices of the Bush administration?

Just because someone has the power to do something is not an invitation to abuse that power.

HUSSAM AYLOUSH, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Southern California, Corona

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CAIR-CT: IMMIGRANT BOOM IN EASTERN CONNECTICUT UNLIKELY TO SLOW - TOP
ADAM BOWLES, Norwich Bulletin, 1/1/06
http://www.norwichbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060101/NEWS01/601010303/1002

Many of the arrivals first move to New York and New Jersey, only to discover jobs are easier to find and pay is higher here, he said. Family members are spreading the word to other family members and friends. . .

Hazma Collins, the civil rights director of the Connecticut Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said the Islamic Center of New London started caring for three or four new families in the last few months.

New families often arrive from Pakistan or other Muslim countries, he said.

"There will be growth," he said. "People are coming at a young age -- in the mid-20s and early 30s. They will have children here." (MORE)

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WEB WINNERS - TOP
Reid Kanaley, Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/1/06
http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/business/13524274.htm

A short-term extension of the controversial USA Patriot Act, after acrimonious debate between the House and Senate, gives us all more time to digest the impact of the law that expanded government surveillance powers after 9/11. The congressional debate resumes in the new year. . .

Patriot blog. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, wary of the act, posts news updates on this blog.

http://cairpatriotact.blogspot.com/

SEE ALSO;

JUSTICE DEPUTY RESISTED PARTS OF SPY PROGRAM - TOP
ERIC LICHTBLAU and JAMES RISEN, New York Times, 1/1/06
http://nytimes.com/2006/01/01/politics/01spy.html

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 - A top Justice Department official objected in 2004 to aspects of the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program and refused to sign on to its continued use amid concerns about its legality and oversight, according to officials with knowledge of the tense internal debate. The concerns appear to have played a part in the temporary suspension of the secret program.

The concerns prompted two of President Bush's most senior aides - Andrew H. Card Jr., his chief of staff, and Alberto R. Gonzales, then White House counsel and now attorney general - to make an emergency visit to a Washington hospital in March 2004 to discuss the program's future and try to win the needed approval from Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was hospitalized for gallbladder surgery, the officials said.

The unusual meeting was prompted because Mr. Ashcroft's top deputy, James B. Comey, who was acting as attorney general in his absence, had indicated he was unwilling to give his approval to certifying central aspects of the program, as required under the White House procedures set up to oversee it.

With Mr. Comey unwilling to sign off on the program, the White House went to Mr. Ashcroft - who had been in the intensive care unit at George Washington University Hospital with pancreatitis and was housed under unusually tight security - because "they needed him for certification," according to an official briefed on the episode. The official, like others who discussed the issue, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the program. (MORE0

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TX: MUSLIM TRADITIONS GOOD FOR LOCAL MARKET - TOP
JERRY LACKEY, San Angelo Standard-Times, 1/1/06
http://www.sanangelostandardtimes.com/sast/bu_columnists/article/0,1897,SAST_4919_4353700,00.html

Goats in New York City?

That's right ... thousands of West Texas-raised goats and lambs go to the East Coast every year to supply a growing ethnic population. The largest shipment will take place this week.

Most of the sheep and goats sold in San Angelo every year are purchased and shipped to New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets where they are slaughtered and eaten in celebration of ethnic religious holidays, said Benny Cox, sheep sales manager for Producers Livestock Auction.

Cox said the firm's first sale of 2006 is the only one before the Muslim "Holiday of Sacrifice." He said for the last eight years, Muslim buyers have attended the sale and purchased animals for their customers. The buyers prefer young goats, he said.

"It takes 35 hours to truck the goats to the East Coast, and the Muslim customers require that the animals arrive alive. Being fresh is a big factor, so the goats are slaughtered on arrival with the head remaining on the carcass," Cox said.

The buyers don't have holding facilities where they can feed and care for the animals. Most of the deliveries are to small ''mom-and-pop'' stores where the customers may take one or two, even 10 goats, Cox said.

About nine Muslim handlers - people who purchase for and serve the East Coast market - will show up for the sale Tuesday. The auction may be the only time during the year that Producers will see the handlers, Cox said. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

EID AL-ADHA HOLIDAY TO START ON JAN. 10 - TOP
Associated Press, 1/1/06
http://www.nynewsday.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-mideast-eid-date,0,668490.story

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- The Eid al-Adha, a four-day feast capping the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, will begin Jan. 10, Saudi religious authorities announced Sunday.

The Eid al-Adha, or feast of sacrifice, is the most important holiday of the Islamic year. It commemorates God's provision of a ram for Abraham to sacrifice as he was about to slay his son.

The Supreme Judiciary Council said the hajj will climax Jan. 9 and the feast will start the following day.

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DC: MOSQUES TO MARK END OF PILGRIMAGE - TOP
The Washington Post, 1/1/06
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/31/AR2005123101042.html

Area mosques will celebrate Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday marking the culmination of the hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, with prayer and entertainment from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW. The celebration will take place Jan. 10 or 11, based on moon sighting.

Activities will include a poster contest, a talent show, a moon bounce, a vendor bazaar and a hajj forum, at which Muslims who have made the pilgrimage will talk about their journeys.

For more information, visit www.dceid.org.

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MUSLIMS GET TO DOUBLE CELEBRATION IN NEW YEAR - TOP
LEILA PITCHFORD-ENGLISH, Advocate, 12/31/05
http://2theadvocate.com/stories/123105/rel_facets001.shtml

The new year, as well as 2008 and 2009, brings an unusual occurence. Muslims will celebrate some holidays twice.

While Muslims use the Gregorian calendar in everyday life (the calendar used in the United States), for their religious life they use a lunar calendar that is shorter (354 days) and doesn't match the divisions of the Gregorian calendar. Months alternate between 30 and 29 days. This means that the Muslim holidays move in relation to the U.S. calendar, moving about 11 days earlier each year.

So Eid al Adha will be marked at the start and the end of 2006. The First of Muharram will fall twice in 2008 and Ashura will fall twice in 2009.

Eid al Adha

This festival marks the end of the annual Islamic pilgrimage known as Hajj.

The Hajj is a journey that Muslims are to make at least once in a lifetime if they are financially and physically able. But, even those who don't travel to Mecca celebrate the journey's end.

While listed as starting Jan. 10, the holiday may start before or after because its start is based on the sighting of the moon. Some celebrate up to four days.

Adha is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice because it commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in obedience to God. (This story is more familiar to Christians with Abraham's son Isaac.) It also celebrates the mercy God has shown to the people.

Adha is celebrated with communal prayer in the morning. Many Muslims gather at the mosque for a sermon. In many parts of the world, including Mecca, people slaughter an animal as a remembrance of the ram given in substitute for Ishmael because of Abraham's faith.

Festive food, gatherings in homes and mosques, and gifts to children make up the rest of the day. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS JOURNEY TO MECCA - TOP
KAREN DILLON, Kansas City Star, 1/1/06
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/13525893.htm

Tears of joy streamed down the face of Farzana Papa as she hugged her daughter, Mariam, at Kansas City International Airport on Saturday.

Farzana, who wore a dark sapphire-blue hijab over her head, was there to see off Mariam, a 22-year-old University of Kansas pharmacy student, who was on her first pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Two groups of more than two dozen Kansas City area Muslims are joining an estimated 3 million Muslims for the Hajj, the annual Islam pilgrimage.

The Hajj, considered by Muslims to be the ultimate religious fulfillment, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The five pillars require that Muslims declare their faith, pray five times a day, help the poor, fast during the holy month of Ramadan and make at least one pilgrimage. (MORE)

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FL: BLOGS, THREATS FORCE MUSLIM MEETING TO RELOCATE - TOP
S.I. ROSENBAUM, http://www.sptimes.com/2006/01/01/Hernando/What_s_happening.shtml
http://www.sptimes.com/2006/01/01/Tampabay/Blogs__threats_force_.shtml

TEMPLE TERRACE - Chantal Carnes didn't recognize herself.

A friend had e-mailed her a blogger's article. It described Carnes as a supporter of terrorists, a fan of suicide bombing.

Her friend thought the article was a joke.

"No, dude," Carnes said. "This is really serious."

Carnes, a Chicago resident who converted to Islam 11 years ago, was scheduled to speak at a spiritual retreat for Tampa Muslims this weekend.

But after bloggers alleged that the event was a thinly veiled terrorist indoctrination, anonymous callers bombarded the Muslim American Society of Tampa with death threats and curses.

The director of the Lithia church camp that was to host the event decided to close the camp for the weekend after she, too, received threats.

So when Carnes finally faced a small audience of adults in a block building in Temple Terrace on Saturday, there was an urgency to her words.

"Since everything that's happened, this is the right time for me to talk about who we are," Carnes told the group. "There are a lot of people out there who want to define who we are for us."

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MI: BANK FORMS SUBSIDIARY FOR MUSLIMS - TOP
STEFANIE MURRAY, Ann Arbor News, 12/31/05
http://www.mlive.com/business/aanews/index.ssf?/base/business-4/113602744499430.xml&coll=2

More than two years after it began offering Islamic-friendly banking products, Ann Arbor-based University Bank said it has formed a subsidiary to focus solely on serving Muslims.

University Islamic Financial Corp. raised $15.5 million in capital to get off the ground by selling 40,000 shares of private stock, bank president and chairman Stephen Lange Ranzini said Friday.

University Bank owns 80 percent of its new subsidiary; the other 20 percent is held by Virtue Investors LLC, which Ranzini said was a group of private Grand Rapids investors.

"The formation of the subsidiary allows us to have a financial institution which is 100 percent in compliance with the Muslim Shariah, the legal code of the Islamic religion," Ranzini said. (MORE)

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MA: WAYLAND MOSQUE IS AN ANSWER TO PRAYERS - TOP
Katie Liesener, Daily News, 1/1/06
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=118183

Two years ago, space was tight at the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland.

During Ramadan -- the Muslim holy month of fasting -- worshippers overwhelmed the main prayer hall, spilling out into the outside foyer. Sunday school classrooms were subdivided to create learning space where minimal space existed. An old house nearby served as storage and extra class space.

The completion in November of the center's $3.9 million expansion project changed all that, nearly quadrupling the size of the former mosque from 5,000 to 19,000 square feet.

Now, after Friday prayers, men and women mingle and children play in the large entry hall, where natural light streams from windows set near the high ceilings, illuminating the pale yellow and orange interior.

When the center hosted this year's interfaith Thanksgiving service in Wayland, more than 250 people attended -- the largest number of people since the tradition began.

"We used to feel so scrunched," said Sonia Ali, a member of the center. "(The building) functions as a proper community center now."

That community includes the 140 Muslim families who regularly pray there, as well as the greater religious community of Wayland, whom the Islamic Center regularly invites for inter-faith dialogues. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

FL: MOSQUE DESIGNS MODIFIED - TOP
RICHARD DYMOND, Bradenton Herald, 12/31/05
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/nation/13520947.htm

SARASOTA - Without the 85-foot minarets that caused some controversy, a new $1.5 million mosque will break ground this spring, said Hytham Bakr, a member of the board of directors of the Islamic Society of Sarasota and Bradenton.

The new Islamic center at 4350 N. Lockwood Ridge Road will have 11,500 square feet of interior space, including a 5,000-square-foot main prayer hall, Bakr said.

The building, which will be built toward the rear of the 2½-acre property, will be no more than 40 feet tall including its dome, said Bakr, whose Sarasota engineering firm, The Bakr Group, is the mosque's project management firm.

The small home near the road, which has been used as a mosque, will be torn down once the new building is erected.

Originally, the mosque's leaders submitted plans to Sarasota County for a 62-foot tall building, including dome, and two 85-feet minarets, Bakr said.
But Sarasota County ruled that the building too greatly exceeded the county's height restriction of 35 feet and approved a maximum height of 40 feet.

"Well, we will make the best of it," Bakr said. "Nothing changed but the height. Neighbors came out in massive numbers and influenced the decision. They were unhappy with the height." (MORE)

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FL: DELRAY EXHIBIT CELEBRATES CENTURIES OF PEACE BETWEEN JEWS AND MUSLIMS - TOP
Lisa J. Huriash, Sun-Sentinel, 12/30/05
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/lifestyle/sfl-jturkishdec30,0,4621306.story

The history, culture and traditions celebrating centuries of Jews and Muslims living together are the focus of an art exhibit that runs through Jan. 10 in Delray Beach. . .

In the 17th century, more Jews lived in the Ottoman Empire than in the rest of the world combined.

"It shows really two things: that there was a period of time when Jews lived comfortably and expressed themselves with their own identity in a Muslim country, and more importantly, it shows that a Muslim community and a Jewish community can work happily, successfully and joyfully together," said William A. Gralnick, the southeast regional director for the American Jewish Committee. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS SHARE LOVE OF MARY, JESUS - TOP
Riaz Hasan, Tracy Press, 12/31/05
http://www.tracypress.com/ourTown/2005-12-31-muslims.php

Looking at a calendar recently, I noticed that Dec. 8 is the day of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Since it is a Catholic tradition, I asked some of my Catholic friends what it meant, and at first, they thought it was about the conception of Jesus.

With some thought, though, they remembered that it was a celebration of the conception of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.

The mother of Mary expected to have a boy, whom she would dedicate to the priesthood at the temple in Jerusalem. She said, "My Lord, I dedicate to your service that which is in my womb. Accept it for me. You alone are the Hearer and Knower."

When she gave birth to a girl, she said, "My Lord, I have given birth to a female, and I have named her Mary. Protect her and her descendents from Satan, the outcast."

You do not have to search the New Testament to find the meaning of the Immaculate Conception. If you could get a copy of the Quran - regarded by Muslims as the direct word of God - from a coworker, friend or neighbor, you would find the above quotes in verses 35 and 36 of Chapter 3 in the Quran.

Some other verses state that "Her Lord accepted her with a gracious reception and vouched her to grow up beautifully" (3:37). Mary was purified, another verse says, and chosen over the women of all peoples (3:42). In fact, an entire chapter in the Quran is named after Mary:

"Behold! The angels said, 'O Mary! God gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CT: CLARIFYING MUHAMMAD'S ROLE - TOP
Hartford Courant, 1/1/06
http://www.courant.com/news/local/northeast/hc-badne0101.artjan01,0,4030156.story

I would like to commend the organizers of NE magazine for the prayers from the religious communities on the December 25th issue.

As one of the authors, there was one issue that needed correction. On the front page were the names of God in different faith traditions, and on this list was Muhammad.

Muhammad is not regarded as God. Muslims believe in one God, the same monotheistic God worshipped by Jews and Christians. Allah is the Arabic word for `The One God' and Muslims prefer that term as it has no gender or plural. A Muslim is a person who submits to the will of God, which means we accept God's will in our life as our unique challenge in life.

"Say: He is God, the One and Only. God the Eternal, the Absolute. He begets not nor is He begotten and there is none like Him." (Koran 112).

Muhammad was a human being raised as a prophet, similar to Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus, whom Muslims believe were human beings raised to honor God, who gave them the prophetic office. Islam is not considered by Muslims to be a new religion but simply the calling to the worship of one God and the submission to his will as preached by all prophets.

"Say! We believe in the One God and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob and the tribes and that given to Moses and Jesus and that given to all prophets from their Lord: we make no difference between one and another of them and we bow down to the One God." (Koran 2:136)

Reza Mansoor
Muslim Coalition of Connecticut

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FORUM: IGNORANCE IS THE ENEMY - TOP
Douglas MacKinnon, Post-Gazette, 1/1/06
http://post-gazette.com/pg/06001/630385.stm

Ignorance is far from bliss. In fact, ignorance is quite dangerous and has been the root of unnecessary death and destruction since recorded history began.

Of late, ignorance fueled the blind and twisted hate that emboldened 19 hijackers to kill 3,000 innocent men, women and children. Ignorance next picked up the baton of hate and passed it off to an uncounted number of people around the world who unfairly channeled their anger, pain, blame and frustration against one religion.

Ignorance is not a lack of intelligence, but a lack of knowledge. In a world gone mad, ignorance is a failing we can no longer afford. While all of us, from Bill Gates to Condoleezza Rice, are ignorant about something, when it comes to relations with the humans who share our planet, we need to eradicate misunderstandings, misinformation, and mistrust. Should we not, the price of failure is obvious.

Recently, while in Egypt, I was given a timely lesson in such ignorance eradication.

I was fortunate enough to bear witness to a celebration that was one of the most wonderful and beautiful I have ever seen. I was in the historic port city of Alexandria, where, after observing the holy month of Ramadan for 30 days, what seemed like the entire population of the city turned out into the streets to celebrate Eid el-Fitr.

Part of the tradition of celebrating the three-day Eid is for Muslim parents to buy their children new clothes. By the tens of thousands, mothers, fathers, children and grandparents had filled the sidewalks and streets of Alexandria, and everywhere I looked, I saw entire families walking hand in hand. All smiling, all laughing and all enjoying a spectacular Fall evening.

I was on a bus full of Brits and Americans coming back from the Pyramids of Giza, and the one thing that struck us all as our bus would many times come to a complete stop because of the thousands of people in the streets, was the love of family we saw. Teenage sons and daughters holding the hands of their parents and grandparents as they strolled the sidewalks. A British woman sitting near me said, "I've never seen anything so moving or lovely. Most of the teenagers in England are angry, disenchanted and hate all of us parents."

We all agreed this was a sight we had never seen but had a deep hunger to see more. If not seen, the true joy and sense of family of the people cannot be adequately explained in words. Many, if not the majority of these Egyptians, lived near or below the poverty line, and yet, they found real happiness in family and faith.

More than a few of the Western passengers on the bus had been nervous about the five-hour round-trip from Alexandria to Cairo and back. They were wondering how safe they would be in a "Muslim country."

All of those fears were dispersed when, while stopped in the street and surrounded by thousands of Muslims -- including hundreds of young men -- they were greeted with nothing but smiles, waves and shouts of "thank you for visiting Egypt." Not one angry gesture or angry word. (MORE)

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

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Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2006 10:18:51 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslim Scholars Paid to Aid U.S. Propaganda / Al-Arian Unlikely to be Set Free / Threatened Muslim Gathering Relocates

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/2/06

* Verse: Pilgrimage Brings Inner Peace
* CAIR-FL: Al-Arian Unlikely to be Set Free (SP Times)
            - FL: Threatened Muslim Gathering Relocates (Tampa Trib)
* Yee: Muslim Defendant Goes on the Offense (AP)
* Muslims Mark Hajj Season with Pilgrimage to Mecca (VOA)
* Muslim Scholars Were Paid to Aid U.S. Propaganda (NYT)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: PILGRIMAGE BRINGS INNER PEACE - TOP

"Undoubtedly the first House for the worship of God ever built for mankind is the one at (Mecca), a blessed site and a guidance for all the worlds. In it are clear signs and the Station of Abraham where he used to worship. Whoever enters it finds inner peace."

The Holy Quran, 3:96-97

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CAIR-FL: AL-ARIAN UNLIKELY TO BE SET FREE - TOP
Even after his acquittal on eight of 17 charges, his detention order remains in effect on the undecided nine.
JENNIFER LIBERTO, St. Petersburg Times, 1/2/06
http://sptimes.com/2006/01/02/Tampabay/Al_Arian_unlikely_to_.shtml

TAMPA - Why must Sami Al-Arian sit in a Hillsborough County jail while awaiting his legal future?

That's what supporters and his family want to know.

Tried and acquitted on eight of 17 charges, Al-Arian has spent the past three weeks in a jail cell after more than two years in solitary confinement. As many as nine jurors, a majority, thought that prosecutors didn't present enough evidence to persuade them to convict on the remaining charges that hung the jury, according to Times interviews.

But practically speaking, legal experts say Al-Arian has little chance of stepping out of jail onto American soil as a free man, given other pending legal - not to mention political - entanglements surrounding the former University of South Florida professor. . .

Al-Arian's local attorney, Linda Moreno, declined to say whether they plan to file what's called a "bond motion," to ask a judge to let Al-Arian out of jail while prosecutors decide the next course of action.

Several attorneys said Al-Arian's attorneys could be holding onto their bond motion while waiting to see what the government is going to do, because there are so many criminal charges remaining.

"It's more practical to wait and see what the government decides," said former federal prosecutor Ed Page of the law firm Carlton Fields.

Moreno did say she thinks the next move is up to government prosecutors. . .

Basically, even if Al-Arian gets cleared of all federal criminal charges, ICE can levy similar terrorism-related civil charges, a practice used in the past. . .

"They have the authority to do it (levy immigration charges), although they usually don't in most cases," said Ahmed Bedier, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Bedier suggested that as bad as the Orient Road jail is for Al-Arian, it could be a step above an immigration jail, where inmates have fewer rights and legal opportunities. "Once you're in the immigration system, it's a much different ballgame."

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FL: THREATENED GATHERING RELOCATES - TOP
CHRIS ECHEGARAY, Tampa Tribune, 1/1/05
http://news.tbo.com/news/metro/MGBQNF6SWHE.html

TEMPLE TERRACE - Except for the Arabic symbols on the PowerPoint presentation and the occasional hijab in the audience, the retreat could have been for young people of any religion. The men and women listened intently, their hands shooting up for a question here and there.

But this retreat went on despite a last-minute relocation and threats of torture and death.

Local members of Tampa's Muslim American Society will gather through Monday in Temple Terrace to learn about their faith, leadership and the biblical Joseph's role in the Koran.

A right-wing blogger's Web site alleged a different curriculum - Joe Kaufman suggested in a link on AmericansAgainstHate.com that it would be a "children's jihad retreat, with a guest speaker who exalts terrorists and another who is linked to al-Qaeda."

The retreat was scheduled for Cedarkirk Camp and Conference Center, a Presbyterian-affiliated center in Lithia. A flurry of threatening e-mails and phone calls to Cedarkirk, its director and Muslims prompted the campground's board of directors to close the camp and cancel all activities this weekend.

At home on the Cedarkirk grounds Saturday, camp director the Rev. Debbie Bronkema declined to comment about the closure. She later posted a statement on the conference center's Web site that said the Muslim group provided a copy of its retreat curriculum in November and invited Cedarkirk staff to attend.

Law Enforcement Cleared Speakers

"During the week of December 25th, terrorism allegations were made against the Muslim American Society and retreat speakers," it reads. It states Cedarkirk officials contacted local and federal law enforcement to check on the speakers and learned "there was nothing at all about the scheduled speakers or this group that should cause us to not allow this group to come on retreat."

Still, "due to threats received," Cedarkirk's board decided to close the camp down for the Dec. 31 weekend.

Mohamed Moharram, the Muslim society's president, said workshops were held in other Florida towns for the last four years without a problem. He said Kaufman's false accusations are harmful and silence moderate voices.

"I am very upset about this," he said. "If you allow lunatic extremists to feed hate, we will lose the war on terror. This is not the American way."

Moharram said the e-mail and phone calls ranged from threats of physical harm to derogatory comments. He said the threats have been forwarded to authorities.

A 23-year-old Muslim convert said one e-mailer wrote her that he would paint her body with pig fat and light her on fire. (MORE)

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YEE: MUSLIM DEFENDANT GOES ON THE OFFENSE - TOP
DOUG ESSER, Associated Press, 1/1/06
http://www.modbee.com/arts/books/story/11644911p-12374523c.html

"For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire," by James Yee; Public Affairs; $24.

James Yee answers the headlines with his side of how a Muslim Army chaplain was charged with spying for al-Qaida at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

In "For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire," written with Aimee Molloy, Yee says that although he was a West Point graduate, he came under suspicion as a Muslim chaplain because of his religion.

"We say that the war on terror is not against Islam, but that's not how it felt most days at Guantanamo," Yee writes. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS MARK HAJJ SEASON WITH PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA - TOP
Amin Fekrat, Voice of America, 1/2/06
http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-01-02-voa5.cfm

The annual season of Hajj is now under way. Every Muslim who is financially able to do so is obliged under the Koran, the holy Muslim scripture, to make the pilgrimage to Mecca during Hajj at least once in his or her lifetime. The season culminates on the "Id-Al Adha," the festival of sacrifice, which this year falls on Tuesday, January 11 and continues until January 14. The arduous annual Hajj pilgrimage takes place this year against the background of the continuing war in Iraq and the increasing militancy on the part of the Islamic extremist groups against broader interests of the West and of particularly, the United States. (MORE)

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MUSLIM SCHOLARS WERE PAID TO AID U.S. PROPAGANDA - TOP
DAVID S. CLOUD and JEFF GERTH, New York Times, 1/2/06
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/02/politics/02propaganda.html

WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 - A Pentagon contractor that paid Iraqi newspapers to print positive articles written by American soldiers has also been compensating Sunni religious scholars in Iraq in return for assistance with its propaganda work, according to current and former employees. (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, 03 Jan 2006 12:34:44 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslims Pray for Trapped Miners

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MUSLIMS PRAY FOR TRAPPED MINERS
CAIR urges Americans of all faiths to offer prayers

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/3/06) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today urged Americans of all faiths to pray for the safety of 13 West Virginia coal miners trapped underground since early Monday.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on leaders of each faith community to ask their members to offer individual and communal prayers for the miners.

CAIR quoted the Quran, Islam's revealed text, which tells of the relief God granted to Job: "And (remember) Job, when he cried to his Lord, 'Truly distress has seized me, but You are the most Merciful of all those who show mercy.' So We listened to him. We removed the distress that was on him and We restored his people to him. . ." (21:83-84)

The Quran also states: "When my servants question you about Me, tell them I am close at hand. I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me." (2:186)

"We call on all people of faith to pray for the safe return of the trapped miners and for the health and safety of all those worldwide who are suffering as the result of natural or man-made disasters," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

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

- END -

CONTACT: 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

-----

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

-----

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 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, 03 Jan 2006 14:31:14 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Latinas Convert to Islam / AR Muslim Granted Right to Attend Prayers

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/3/06

* CAIR-Philly Seeks 'Eid Basket' Sponsors for Needy
                - CAIR-FL: Islam Calls Jesus an Envoy of God
                - CAIR: AR Muslim Granted Right to Attend Prayers
* FL Latinas Convert to Islam for Emphasis on Family
* MI: Detroit Muslims Get Ready for Hajj (Free Press)
* IL: Decade After Bosnia Atrocities, Refugees Call Chicago Home
            - MA: Planned Islamic Center Faces Opposition (Globe)
* CA: FBI Ambassador Fluent in Arabic (Union-Tribune)
* VA: Muslims to Help Rebuild Pakistani Churches (ADAMS)
* Officials: U.S. Air Raid Kills Iraqi Family (Reuters)

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CAIR-PHILLY SEEKS 'EID BASKET' SPONSORS FOR NEEDY - TOP

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 1/3/06) - CAIR-Philly is urging community members to help their neighbors who are in need by sponsoring an "Eid Fruit Basket" to be distributed to people of all faiths in North Philadelphia, Central Philadelphia, Lansdale, and Villanova. The cost of sponsorship is $125. (Eid ul-Adha is the Islamic holiday, celebrated next week, marking the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca. See: "U.S. Muslims to Leave for Hajj," http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1904&theType=NR )

Last Eid, 29 families received similar baskets. DO NOT DELAY.

WHAT: Eid Basket Sponsorship
WHEN: Deadline is Thursday, January 5, 2006, 9 a.m.
COST: $125.00
CONTACT: Kareem Afzal: keembo6@yahoo.com, 267-808-4906

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-FL: ISLAM CALLS JESUS AN ENVOY OF GOD - TOP
Altaf Ali, Sun-Sentinel, 1/3/06
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/letters/sfl-brmail814xjan03,0,1070801.story

[Altaf Ali is executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Florida.]

As our Christian brethren celebrated one of their most important holidays, we as Muslims are reminded of Jesus as one of the greatest messengers of God.

I spent the last two Thanksgivings with Christians at the St. Katherine Drexel Catholic Church in Weston. As I sat listening to the sermon delivered by Father Paul Edwards, I thought of how much we Muslims and Christians have in common. What a remarkable achievement, that such a diverse group of people, from many different cultures, ethnicities and faiths can be bonded together as Americans. We can indeed be an example to the world.

There is always room to broaden our understanding. Barbara Walters broadcast a special feature "Heaven," on Dec. 20. In that show, she mentioned, "Muslims do not believe in Jesus." This statement struck at the core of my beliefs. The Quran refers to Jesus in 25 various passages.

During Christmas, Christians celebrate their love for Jesus.

We Muslims also love Jesus; one of God's greatest messengers, held in high honor, and his teachings live on in our hearts.

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CAIR: ARKANSAS MUSLIM GRANTED RIGHT TO ATTEND FRIDAY PRAYERS - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/3/06) - A Muslim woman employee in Little Rock, Arkansas, will now be allowed to attend Friday Islamic communal prayers following intervention by CAIR's Civil Right Department.

After receiving a letter from CAIR, the employer adjusted the woman's work schedule so that she can attend the prayers.

CAIR offers a booklet, "An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," designed to help companies provide legally-mandated religious accommodation for their workers. SEE: https://www.cair-net.org/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=3

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SOME S. FLORIDA LATINAS CONVERTING TO ISLAM FOR EMPHASIS ON FAMILY, WOMEN'S ROLES - TOP
Tal Abbady, Sun-Sentinel, 1/3/06
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-pconverts03jan03,0,7380692.story

Melissa Matos slips into an easy communion with her newest circle of friends.

At regular meetings, they invoke their families' native towns in Cuba or the Dominican Republic, or recipes for arroz con pollo. English is interspersed with Spanish. And, posing no incongruity to the women, hijabs, or Muslim head scarves, frame their faces.

When she converted to Islam in May, Matos, a Dominican-American raised as a Seventh-day Adventist, expected the passage to be lonely.

"I said to myself, `Great, I'm going to be the only Muslim Latina in the whole world,'" said Matos, 20, a student at Florida International University who recently joined a group of Latina converts to Islam.

Scholars say Matos is part of a growing number of Latin women converting to Islam for its emphasis on family, piety and clearly defined women's roles, values converts say were once integral to Hispanic culture but have waned after years of assimilation.

The women are among 40,000 Hispanic converts to Islam in the United States, according to the Islamic Society of North America. About a decade ago, Latino converts began forming Internet groups such as the Latino American Dawah Organization and the women's group Piedad that trace Hispanics' ties to Islam back to the Spanish Moors. (MORE)

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MI: DETROIT AREA MUSLIMS GET READY FOR PILGRIMAGE, OR MAKE DO AT HOME - TOP
SHABINA S. KHATRI, Detroit Free Press, 1/3/06
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060103/NEWS05/601030337/1007/NEWS

Safwan Badr's friends and family consider him to be one of the lucky ones. On Monday, the West Bloomfield resident and his 70-year-old mother caught a plane to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, where they will join millions of Muslims from around the world in performing the hajj.

"I'm looking forward to it," Badr said of the spiritually intense and physically taxing pilgrimage that followers deem to be the pinnacle of their faith. "We all yearn to go back to the source."

Thousands of American Muslims are making the 5-day pilgrimage, which officially begins Sunday. And many -- including Badr -- are finding it easier to get the time off work to make the journey this year because it falls so close to other holidays. (MORE)

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IL: DECADE AFTER BOSNIA ATROCITIES, MANY REFUGEES CALL CHICAGO HOME - TOP
JOHN BIEMER, Chicago Tribune, 1/3/05
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/13538838.htm

CHICAGO - The Bosnians didn't choose to come here to start a new life. They were forced to when their houses were burned down, when they were herded into concentration camps, when they were raped or their loved ones killed in a bloody war that claimed some 200,000 lives.

But in the 10 years since the U.S.-brokered Dayton Peace Accords brought a rocky truce to Bosnia-Herzegovina, they have gradually and ambivalently made a new life for themselves in Chicago. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MA: PLANNER OF MUSLIM CENTER BUYS POST FROM LEGIONNAIRES - TOP
Lisa Wangsness, Boston Globe, 1/3/06
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/01/03/veterans_profit_from_building_sale/

Just after World War II, an American Legion Post in Brighton found the perfect home: For just $500, the City of Boston sold the Mary L. Brock School, a historic building on Chestnut Hill Avenue.

For almost six decades, former soldiers and sailors gathered at Post 17 for dances and for suppers of franks and beans. But as its members aged, dues payments diminished, and the building fell into disrepair. Fixing the structure was not affordable, so members hit upon an idea: Sell it and split the proceeds. The dilapidated post turned out to be a gold mine, fetching $1 million. . .

The building has been purchased by Anwar Faisal, a businessman who says he plans to convert it to a center for Muslims that will host daily prayer sessions, lectures, and other activities.

Criticism has emerged on two fronts, from those who say the veterans should not keep the money and from residents who have raised concerns about the center.

The residents say the center may aggravate traffic problems, drive down property values, and cause other difficulties in a neighborhood that has seen much development.

Faisal, a longtime Allston real estate manager, said he hopes his Islamic center will not only nurture a growing Muslim community in the area but will also foster interfaith relations. While he said many residents have welcomed him into the neighborhood, a few have not.

"There are some people, their heart is not open, their mind is not open, and I can't tell you why," he said. (MORE)

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CA: FBI AMBASSADOR FLUENT IN ARABIC - TOP
Kelly Thornton, Union Tribune, 1/2/06
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20060102-9999-1m2fbi.html

James Stephan was standing on the balcony of his home in suburban Beirut, Lebanon, when a bomb exploded 25 feet away, spewing shrapnel into his skin.

After that it was an easy decision.

He spent a month in the hospital and then, with one of the 13 pieces of metal still lodged in his liver, he left the violence and political upheaval behind in 1983 and moved to the United States.

He became a U.S. citizen, a husband, an entrepreneur, and ended up in a career more gratifying than he could have hoped: Stephan, 51, is one of the FBI's first Arabic-speaking civilian employees to be sent into the Muslim, Arab and Middle Eastern communities to build relationships and repair damage that occurred as the FBI vigorously - some say imperiously - investigated some members of San Diego's large Muslim community in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks. (MORE)

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VA: FUNDRAISING DINNER TO HELP REBUILD PAKISTANI CHURCHES - TOP

The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) will hold a Fundraising Dinner on Saturday, January 21, to help rebuild churches in Sangla, Pakistan, that were destroyed by mobs on November 12, 2005.

WHEN: January 21, 2006, 7 p.m.
WHERE: All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), 46903 Sugarland Rd, Sterling, VA
CONTACT: Mr. Shirin Elkoshairi -- 571-217-9286 or Mr. Rizwan Jaka -- 703-624-6352

Speakers:

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University, Washington DC
Visiting Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Reverend Clark Lobenstine
Executive Director, Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington

Imam Mohamed Magid
Executive Director and Imam, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)
Chairperson, Fairfax Faith Communities in Action

Tickets: $100 per person
All ticket sales and funds raised will go directly toward rebuilding efforts.

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U.S. AIR RAID KILLS IRAQI FAMILY - OFFICIALS - TOP
Reuters, 1/3/06
http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2006-01-03T112903Z_01_ROB335262_RTRUKOC_0_US-IRAQ-USA-STRIKE.xml

TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - A U.S. air strike killed several members of one family in the oil refining town of Baiji in northern Iraq, Iraqi security forces said on Tuesday.

There were conflicting official accounts of the death toll.

An Iraqi official in Tikrit at the Joint Coordination Center (JCC), which handles information and liaises between U.S. and Iraqi forces in the province, said 14 died when their house was destroyed in the raid late on Monday.

A police officer in Tikrit later contested that account and put the toll at six with three wounded but the JCC spokesman insisted 14 had been killed. No independent information was immediately available and the U.S. military offered no comment.

"There were 14 martyrs ... in the house of Ghadhban Nahi Hussein," the JCC official said, naming the owner of the house.

It was not clear why the building was targeted.

Another four houses were hit and two people were injured in the raid on Monday night, the JCC official said, amending his earlier casualty account of three wounded.

"We have this information from the Iraqi police and army in Baiji," said the official, who declined to give his name. (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, 04 Jan 2006 15:47:31 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: DC Forum on Young Muslims and the Future of Islam / Bush Administration Misuses 'Caliphate'

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/4/06

* Hadith: Hajj Leads to Forgiveness
* CAIR Forum: Young Muslims and the Future of Islam
* CAIR-MI: Muslims to Mark Eid by Distributing Meat to Needy
* CAIR-OH: Mecca Pilgrimage About to Begin (Enquirer)
            - Muslim-Americans Create Niche Market for Hajj (RNS)
* Commentary: Bush Administration Misuses 'Caliphate' (NPR)
            - Will FBI Come Knocking On Patriots' Door?
            - Bush Could Bypass New Torture Ban (Globe)
* First Islamic Sorority (Washington Times)
* VA Muslim Solider Killed in Iraq (Wash Post)
            - U.S. Strike on Home Kills 9 in Family

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HADITH OF THE DAY: HAJJ LEADS TO FORGIVENESS - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Those who perform the Hajj. . .are people who have come to visit God. If they pray to Him He will respond, and if they ask Him for forgiveness He will forgive them."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 800

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CAIR PANEL: "YOUNG MUSLIMS AND THE FUTURE OF ISLAM IN AMERICA" - TOP

WHAT: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) invites you to a panel discussion, titled "Young Muslims and the Future of Islam in America." Panelists Noorain Khan, a student and Rhodes Scholar from Rice University, and Mohamed Sabur, an aide for Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), will discuss the status of Islam and Muslims in American and the challenges that lay ahead of them.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 25, 2006, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

WHERE: CAIR's Capitol Office, 453 New Jersey Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C.

Seating is limited. Refreshments will be provided. To R.S.V.P., please e-mail events@cair-net.org by January 20.

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CAIR-MI: MUSLIMS TO MARK EID BY DISTRIBUTING MEAT TO NEEDY - TOP

(LATHRUP VILLAGE, MI, 1/4/06) - On Saturday, January 14, Islamic centers in Dearborn, Detroit and Hamtramck, as well as Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, will serve as distribution centers for an Eid ul-Adha meat distribution program serving needy families.

The Eid ul-Adha holiday marks the end of Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, which Muslims are obligated to make at least once in a lifetime if physically or financially able. Along with communal prayers, Muslims sacrifice an animal or pay for an animal to be sacrificed in remembrance of Abraham's willingness to offer his son at God's command. The meat is distributed to relatives and to the needy.

The Islamic Shura Council of Michigan and Islamic Relief hope to distribute some 15,000 pounds of lamb in Southeastern Michigan.

"We hope this first-of-its-kind initiative leads to more such charitable efforts to serve needy families in our state," said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.

CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-569-2203 or 248-842-1418, E-Mail: dawud07@yahoo.com

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CAIR-OH: MECCA PILGRIMAGE ABOUT TO BEGIN - TOP
Jennifer Edwards, Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/4/06
http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060104/NEWS01/601040360/-1/CINCI

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HAJJ
For details on the annual Hajj season, go to
http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/jlthajj/LifeTimeJourney.shtml

BLUE ASH - Several local Muslim families have left town this week to make a religious journey of a lifetime - the pilgrimage to Mecca.

During the hajj season, an estimated 2 million people worldwide travel to Saudi Arabia for a five-day religious journey.

In a typical year, six to 12 families in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky make the trip, said Karen Dabdoub, director of the Ohio Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Blue Ash.

Every adult Muslim who is financially and physically able is obliged under the Quran, the holy Muslim scripture, to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city in the Islamic faith, during hajj at least once in his or her lifetime, she said.

The season commemorates God's provision of a ram for Prophet Abraham to sacrifice as he was about to slay his son. It culminates with the Eid al-Adha, a festival of sacrifice and one of the most important holidays of the Islamic year.

The hajj starts Monday and ends Jan. 13.

"The essence of the pilgrimage is one's personal relationship with God," Dabdoub said. "It's about repentance, forgiveness and mercy. A lot of people who go want to spend a couple weeks there. They want to spend time in prayer and contemplation and absorb the blessedness of the place."

The pilgrimage takes place this year against the backdrop of the war in Iraq and increasing militancy among Islamic extremist groups. But the tensions are not stopping American Muslims from making the trip, Dabdoub said. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

MUSLIM-AMERICANS CREATE NICHE TRAVEL MARKET FOR HAJJ - TOP
Omar Sacirbey, Religion News Service, 1/4/06
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/182/story_18233_1.html

Whatever you bring to Mecca, bring patience. That's what travel agents, Islamic scholars and veterans of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Islam's holiest city, tell Muslims preparing for the journey.

When 1.5 million people from abroad descend on Saudi Arabia for this annual rite, the possibilities of what can go wrong -- lost visas, cancelled flights, overbooked hotels -- are endless. In addition, there are dirty bathrooms, heat, and throngs of pilgrims running, pushing and driving to complete an arduous circuit of rituals. If ever there was an opportunity to test one's patience, the Hajj is it. But patience, Alia Ahmed acknowledges, is not one of her strong suits. "I'm very hyper. I don't walk, I run. I don't talk, I scream," said the 5-foot Pakistani-American, who did her first Hajj in January 2005.

The Hajj is a six-day pilgrimage which this year, according to the Islamic lunar calendar, runs Jan. 8-13. It is one of the five pillars of Islam, and is required of all Muslims who are physically and financially able to go.

Pilgrims exchange their worldly clothing for simple white cloth, underscoring the equality of humanity, then set off on a series of rites, including circling the Kaaba, the small square shrine located in the heart of Mecca's Great Mosque, symbolizing the centrality of God in one's life; asking for forgiveness on the Plain of Arafat; and throwing stones at pillars representing the devil.

Most pilgrims who come spend two to three weeks in Saudi Arabia, spending several days in Medina, where Muhammad is buried, and in Mecca. The Hajj has spawned a niche travel market that caters to Muslims like Alia Ahmed and her husband Hassan, the CEO of a technology company near Boston, who paid about $14,000 to have an agency secure their visas, flights and hotels and provide guides, food and other amenities. (MORE)

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OPINION: BUSH ADMINISTRATION MISUSES THE WORD 'CALIPHATE' - TOP
James Reston, Jr., NPR, 1/4/06
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5125727

Morning Edition, January 4, 2006 · Historian and commentator James Reston, Jr. takes issue with the recent use of the word caliphate. As part of our ongoing series of commentaries on the war of Iraq, Reston says U.S. officials have misrepresented the concept as a threatening stance by Arabs.

SEE ALSO:

WILL FBI COME KNOCKING ON PATRIOTS' DOOR? - TOP
Whittier Daily News, 1/4/06
http://www.whittierdailynews.com/opinions/ci_3368621

AS we headed to the public library to gather some information for my daughter's research paper, my husband clearly and adamantly relayed the message that we should not check out any books, whatsoever on the topic about which she had chosen to write.

My daughter initially looked at him with surprise and rebelliousness, but then a resigned expression appeared. "Oh yeah," she responded, "we're Muslim."

His fear was not unfounded because the topic she had chosen to research for her high school Comparative Religions class was "Jihad; The Conflict within Religion."

Unfortunately, current-day extremists and media have distorted the concept of Jihad and recreated the term to become synonymous with "holy war" and "terrorism." (MORE)

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BUSH COULD BYPASS NEW TORTURE BAN - TOP
Charlie Savage, Boston Globe, 1/4/06
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/01/04/bush_could_bypass_new_torture_ban/

WASHINGTON -- When President Bush last week signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, he quietly reserved the right to bypass the law under his powers as commander in chief.

After approving the bill last Friday, Bush issued a ''signing statement" -- an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law -- declaring that he will view the interrogation limits in the context of his broader powers to protect national security. This means Bush believes he can waive the restrictions, the White House and legal specialists said. (MORE)

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AMERICA'S FIRST ISLAMIC SORORITY IS MORE ABOUT GOD THAN BEING GREEK - TOP
Julia Duin, Washington Times, 1/4/06
http://washingtontimes.com/national/20060104-122658-7552r.htm

There will be no beer at Gamma Gamma Chi functions, in obedience to Islamic law, nor will there be group fraternizing with the opposite sex.

"Partying is allowed in Islam, but it's how you party," said Althia Collins, an Alexandria businesswoman who has helped create it. "You can have fun with girls and it doesn't have to include men."

Thirteen women at the University of Kentucky will form the sorority's first college chapter this spring, and another group is waiting to start at the University of Maryland's Baltimore campus. A citywide chapter in the District, made up of women from several local universities, is also in the works.

Along with pledges, there will be prayer to Allah. Instead of hazing, there's hijab, the scarf some devout Muslim women wear. Covering one's hair is not mandated within Gamma Gamma Chi; in fact, four out of the five board members do not wear one.

Mrs. Collins' daughter, Imani Abdul-Haqq, came up with concept for Gamma Gamma Chi while rushing sororities at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C.

As Mrs. Abdul-Haqq entered the room wearing her scarf, "They looked at her like she had three heads," Mrs. Collins said.

Plus, a lot of sororities had Christian roots or began meetings with a Christian prayer, which discomfited the daughter, who converted to Islam in 1999. Since then, she has designed a line of Islamic wear, including T-shirts for women with slogans like "Real Women Pray" and "NO, I am not oppressed."

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SUDAN NATIVE KILLED IN IRAQ DID 'GOOD DEEDS' - TOP
Martin Weil, Washington Post, 1/4/06
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/04/AR2006010400003.html

Ayman Taha, a Berkeley graduate who was described as athletic, a speaker of many languages, and a friend to all who met him, had only to write his dissertation to earn his PhD, his father said.

But three years ago, Taha, a budding economist and the son of a Northern Virginia couple, Abdel-Rahman and Amal Taha, joined the Army to serve in the Special Forces. About a year ago, he was sent to Iraq.

On Friday, as Staff Sgt. Ayman Taha, 31, was preparing a cache of munitions for demolition in the town of Balad, the explosives detonated and he was killed, the Pentagon said yesterday.

It is "a very terrible thing," Abdel-Rahman Taha said. "He was a son, and a very special son."

The father added: "If you believe in God and you realize that this is God's will . . . it makes it a lot easier." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

U.S. STRIKE ON HOME KILLS 9 IN FAMILY, IRAQI OFFICIALS SAY - TOP
Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Omar Al-Neami, New York Times, 1/4/06
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/04/international/middleeast/04iraq.html

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 3- American F-14 warplanes killed nine members of an Iraqi family, including women and young children, during a bombing and cannon strike on Monday night that obliterated a home near the northern industrial city of Baiji, Iraqi officials said Tuesday.

American officials said the warplanes had been pursuing insurgents who had been observed setting up a roadside bomb. They fled to a building, and the American planes struck the building and destroyed it.

The attack enraged Iraqi officials in Baiji, about 150 miles north of Baghdad, who said that the airstrike was unjustified and that it had destroyed an innocent family.

A preliminary investigation indicated the blast had killed the wife of the home's owner, his daughter-in-law and seven children and grandchildren, including one son who worked for the police, said Maj. Muthanna al-Qaisi, a spokesman for the governor of Salahaddin Province. Three more relatives were wounded, he 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 reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

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Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 05 Jan 2006 12:36:38 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Launches Eid Voter Registration Drive

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR ACTION ALERT #482

CAIR LAUNCHES EID VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE
American Muslims urged to register at Eid al-Adha events

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/5/06) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today urged American Muslims to register to vote at events nationwide next week marking the Eid ul-Adha holiday. CAIR's Eid voter registration drive is part of a major non-partisan Muslim political mobilization effort to be conducted during the 2006 election cycle.

The effort will include in-person and online voter registration drives, candidate forums, production of voter guides, get-out-the-vote campaigns, conducting research on and surveys of American Muslim voters, and other grass-roots activities. CAIR will also be calling on Muslim students to volunteer in political campaigns.

On January 10, Muslims in America will mark the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, with communal prayers and celebrations at locations around the country. The prayers, and the holiday that follows, are called Eid ul-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), or "festival of the sacrifice." Eid ul-Adha commemorates the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God's command. The holiday is celebrated with prayers, gifts for children, distribution of meat to the needy, and social gatherings.

"We call on Eid event organizers to set up voter registration booths after prayers and during other holiday activities," said CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor. "If all eligible American Muslims are registered to vote, and then go to the polls on election day, our community's voice will be heard and our issues will be addressed by elected officials."

Saylor noted that the entire U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate will be up for re-election in November. He said each state has its own voter registration rules and that CAIR will provide assistance to Muslim activists who wish to organize voter drives. (SEE: National Mail Voter Registration Form)

ACTION REQUESTED:

For information about holding an Eid ul-Adha voter registration drive, contact CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor at 202-488-8787 or 571-278-4658, or e-mail: csaylor@cair-net.org.

Muslims first participated in a bloc vote during the 2000 presidential election. During the 2004 elections, Muslims showed increasing organization through major get-out-the-vote drives in key states such as Ohio and Florida. CAIR also conducted exit polls to track Muslim voting trends.

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

- END -

CONTACT: 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.

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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, 05 Jan 2006 16:18:18 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Call for Justice in Al-Arian's Case / Battle Waged in Boston Over New Mosque

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/5/06

* Hadith: Pilgrims are Under God's Protection
* CAIR-FL: Call for Justice in Al-Arian Case
* CAIR: Battle Waged in Boston over New Mosque (CSM)
            - Muslims, Jews Spar in Ads Over Mosque (Globe)
* CAIR-MI: Area March Honors Civil Rights
* IL: Vote on Mosque Expansion Postponed (Daily Southtown)
* MD: Muslim Holidays Remain a School District Issue
            - IA: Muslims Gather for Celebration of Hajj (DM Reg)
* CA: Pondering Ways and Whys of Islam (Monterey Herald)
* Surveillance Court is Seeking Answers (Wash Post)
            - Levin Protests Move to Dismiss Detainee Petitions
            - NY: Judge Rejects Gov't Claims on Detainees (AP)
* Canada: The Sorrow and Pity of 'Honour' (Globe & Mail)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: PILGRIMS ARE UNDER GOD'S PROTECTION - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "This House of God (the Kaaba) is the pillar of Islam, so whoever heads to it with the intention of performing Hajj or Umrah (the lesser pilgrimage) is under God's protection. If he should die (during his trip) he is granted Paradise, and if he returns home safely, he returns with reward and gain."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 5, Number 3A

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COALITION TO CALL FOR JUST RESOLUTION IN AL-ARIAN CASE - TOP

WHAT: On Friday January 6, 2006, a coalition of national and regional organizations will hold a news conference and rally to call for a just resolution in the Sami Al-Arian case. The news conference will take place at the Tampa federal courthouse immediately following a "hearing of determination" on the next legal steps in that case.

WHEN: Friday, January 6, 2006, immediately after 9:30 a.m. hearing for Sami
Al-Arian
WHERE: Sam M Gibbons U.S. Courthouse, 801 North Florida, Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
CONTACT: Ahmed Bedier (CAIR-FL), 813-731-9506, E-Mail: abedier@cairfl.org

Last month a federal jury in Tampa acquitted Al-Arian and his co-defendants of 61 counts and deadlocked on the rest. Despite the lack of a single conviction, Al-Arian and co-defendant Sameeh Hamoudeh remain behind bars.

Participants include: Nihad Awad, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations; Dr. Agha Saeed, American Muslim Task Force and American Muslim Alliance; Ahmed Younis, National Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council; Mahdi Bray, Executive Director, American Muslim Society Freedom Foundation; Rev. Warren Clark, United Church of Christ; Rev. Willard Lee, New Smyrna Full Gospel Baptist Church.

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BATTLE WAGED IN BOSTON OVER NEW MOSQUE - TOP
Jane Lampman, Christian Science Monitor, 1/5/05
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0105/p13s01-lire.html

Worshipers at the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) still pack into their cramped mosque in Cambridge, Mass. The crowd spills out into the parking lot for the Friday prayer service. Their hopes of celebrating this past Ramadan in a brand-new mosque and cultural center were dashed.

The stated aim of the quarter-century-old society was to build a center for worship, education, and community outreach. Instead, the $24 million project in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood is snarled in accusation, acrimony, and lawsuits. It's a microcosm of the suspicions about Islam that have played out across America since 9/11.

A LOFTY GOAL: The Islamic Society of Boston is trying to complete a mosque that would be the largest in this region of the United States.

After the city of Boston conveyed a parcel of land to the ISB, articles appeared in the Boston Herald in 2003 linking society leaders to Islamic extremists. The ISB denied the story, responding in detail to what it saw as inflammatory distortions. "When you place a picture of Osama bin Laden next to a picture of our mosque, that is completely misrepresentative of who we are," says Salma Kazmi, assistant project director.

Boston's Fox TV station followed with broadcasts on the charges, and two local organizations - the David Project, a pro-Israel group, and Citizens for Peace and Tolerance (CPT) - have continued to publicize them and press for public hearings.

CPT says Boston could become a "potential radical Islamic center." The ISB counters that media and local groups, with help from terrorism analyst Steven Emerson, have conspired to halt construction and "incite public sentiment against area Muslims."

The society has filed a defamation suit. A local resident has also sued the city seeking invalidation of the land sale to the ISB.

The specific charges may have to be sorted out in court, but the Boston controversy fits a national pattern.

Four years after 9/11, mosques in many communities continue to encounter wariness and resistance ranging from suspicions raised at zoning hearings to vandalism and worse. On Dec. 20, two pipe bombs damaged an Islamic center in an upscale neighborhood of Cincinnati. The FBI said the powerful explosion could have been deadly had people been present.

"It's all part of the unfortunate temper of the times," says John Esposito, a professor at Georgetown University in Washington. "There is such a thing as Islamophobia."

Others, however, including the Investigative Project run by Mr. Emerson, say there is widespread extremist influence in US mosques. They point to Saudi Arabian literature rife with religious bigotry found in some mosque libraries, and to sympathy for various Islamic movements. Their concerns receive regular media play as the groups press for government investigations.

Law enforcement agencies have had US mosques under scrutiny, but some experts and officials have concluded that they do not present the danger that some mosques in Europe have posed. A 2005 internal FBI report leaked last spring said no evidence has been found of terrorist networks or "sleeper cells" in the US.

"Whether it deals with zoning councils or defamatory statements made about Muslim communities or mosques, unfortunately it's something of a growing phenomenon," says Arsalan Iftikhar, legal director of the Council for American-Islamic Relations in Washington. He calls the Boston case worrisome: "Misinformation has always been a tactic, but false media reporting to circumvent a local project is raising the level of the stakes."

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIMS, JEWS SPAR IN ADS OVER MOSQUE - TOP
Yvonne Abraham, Boston Globe, 1/5/05
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/01/05/muslims_jews_spar_in_ads_over_mosque/

Controversy over the mosque being built by the Islamic Society of Boston has done serious damage to relations between Muslims and Jews in Boston, members of both groups say.

The Islamic Society and Jewish community leaders have suspended meetings to discuss their differences, and their stalemate has now been blazoned across the pages of the Jewish Advocate, the newspaper of the local Jewish community.

A full-page advertisement to be published in that paper today calls a defamation suit filed by the Islamic Society an attempt ''to stifle public discussion and dissuade others from asking legitimate and important questions."

The ad was a response to an earlier one paid for by the Islamic Society, which called on Jewish leaders to stand with them against intolerance.

''It is, at the very least, a very tense moment in the lives of both our communities," said Larry Lowenthal, executive director of the Boston chapter of the American Jewish Committee.

Today's ad, paid for by Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New England, blames the Islamic society for escalating those tensions.

At the heart of the impasse are assertions that former and current officials of the Islamic Society of Boston had connections to terrorist groups and made anti-Jewish statements.

The Islamic Society has denied any connection to terrorism, and officials say they have repeatedly distanced themselves from anti-Jewish remarks by some of the society's leaders. The society has sued media outlets and several organizations, including a pro-Israel group, the David Project, for what the society calls a conspiracy to spread fear about Muslims and to halt construction of a mosque in Roxbury. Lawyers for the David Project and other defendants have repeatedly denied any conspiracy. (MORE)

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CAIR-MI: AREA MARCH HONORS CIVIL RIGHTS - TOP
Aileen Wingblad, Hometownlife, 1/6/05
http://hometownlife.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060105/NEWS11/601050756/1028

The Huron Valley will take a historic march through downtown Milford this month in a community-wide celebration of diversity, peace, service to others and civil rights.

The first ever March on Milford's Main Street will be held Jan. 16, from Prospect Hill to Central Park in Milford, in honor of the civil rights movement and its leader, the late Martin Luther King, Jr. The symbolic procession begins at 10 a.m., snow, sleet, rain or shine. Following the march will be a short rally at Central Park.

Anyone who wants to join in the march is encouraged to do so and is asked to park at the American Legion Hall on Commerce Street or at Hector and Jimmy's restaurant, then meet at Prospect Hill by 9:30 a.m. A bus ride, provided by the GM Proving Ground, will be available for those who want to be in the procession but are physically unable to walk. There will also be a free shuttle running between Milford High School and Prospect Hill throughout the day. . .

After the Main Street march and rally at Central Park, a community fair and luncheon will be held at Milford High School from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Featured will be a variety of speakers such as Haaris Ahmad from the Council on American Islamic Relations, Kevin Saunderson, recognized as one of the founding godfathers of techno music, and Fleurette King, known for presentations on cultural diversity, social justice and more. There will also be artwork and music that express the civil rights movement and its meaning to the community. Nonprofit organizations will be on hand, as well, to showcase their groups' work and community service opportunities. (MORE)

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VOTE ON MOSQUE EXPANSION POSTPONED YET AGAIN - TOP
Bob Rakow, Daily Southtown, 1/5/05
http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/yrtwn/seast/051seyt5.htm

For a third time, Bridgeview's planning commission has postponed a vote on the proposed expansion of the Mosque Foundation of Bridgeview.

Commissioners on Tuesday decided to wait one month before making a decision, which will give the village time to determine if mosque-related parking problems in the surrounding area can be resolved.

Commissioners and residents near the mosque are concerned that enlarging the building will worsen the problem of mosque members parking illegally along nearby streets. Homeowners have complained about vehicles blocking their driveways and parking on grass.

New parking restrictions in the neighborhood adjacent to the mosque, 7360 W. 93rd St., limit on-street parking to one side of the street.

Deputy Police Chief Tim Callahan said that over the next two weeks, illegally parked cars will be ticketed. After that, police will begin towing such vehicles.

Callahan said towing will not begin immediately so mosque officials have adequate time to notify members of the new regulations.

Mosque officials said they support the parking enforcement.

"We have no objection to it. If people want to illegally park, they should be towed. We're going to do everything we can to work with you. We've done everything you've asked us to do," Rouhy Shalabi, an attorney for the foundation, told commissioners.

But Mohammed Sahloul, president of the mosque, said postponing the vote was unnecessary and urged the commission to vote Tuesday night. (MORE)

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MUSLIM HOLIDAYS REMAIN A SCHOOL DISTRICT ISSUE - TOP
Marc Lightdale, Northeast Reporter, 1/05/06
http://news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2.cfm?show=localnews&pnpID=808&NewsID=687172&CategoryID=5815&on=1

As an important Muslim feast day approaches, people of the Islamic faith are renewing their plea for a place on the county's school holiday calendar.

Muhammad Jameel, a county resident who regularly attends school board meetings, says Muslim children feel left out because schools close for Christian and Jewish holidays, but not Muslim holidays.

"As a result of not having holidays recognized, the students feel alienated," Jameel said.

On Tuesday, Jan. 10, Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Adha, an important feast day associated with pilgrimages to Mecca. Another important date is Eid Al-Fitre, which signifies the end of Ramadan and occurs this year on Oct. 24.

Jameel has no children in the school system, but said he has young grandchildren who will enroll in county schools shortly. He hopes they will abide by Muslim holidays and stay at home when they become students.

He said Muslim students end up being punished because they are marked as absent if they stay home.

But school system spokeswoman Kara Calder said religious absences are considered "excused" absences in which students are permitted to make up the work.

However, excused absences do count against a student's perfect attendance rate, which is sometimes important to qualify for certain scholarships.

Calder said the school system tries to ensure that tests are not given on any religious holidays.

Meanwhile, the school board is studying the issue. A four- member committee has been set up to evaluate the calendar policy and make sure it complies with state law. The committee may issue a report later this month.

Bash Pharoan, who also attends board meetings to lobby for school adjournment on Islamic holidays, said he was encouraged that the board showed "appreciation and understanding" of the Muslim community's concerns at a Dec. 20 meeting.

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIMS GATHER FOR CELEBRATION IN HAJJ SEASON - TOP
Shirley Ragsdale, Des Moines Register, 1/5/05
http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060105/LIFE05/601050366/1045

Des Moines-area Muslims next week will join believers from all over the world in celebrating Eid ul-Adha, or the "festival of the sacrifice."

The holy days coincide with the culmination of the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that is one of the five pillars of Islam and is required once in the lifetime of all Muslims who are physically and financially able to go.

The Eid observance commemorates the willingness of the prophet Abraham to bow to the will of God and sacrifice his son, according to Ibrahim Dremali, imam for the Des Moines Islamic Center, 6211 Franklin Ave.

"It is a reflection of the greatness and depth of Abraham's obedience to God," Dremali said. "When Abraham confirmed his obedience to God, the angel Gabriel brought a ram at the last moment as a substitute for the son."

The story is central to the teachings of Christianity, Judaism and Islam - three major world religions that trace their ancestry to Abraham.

In the Islamic tradition, the lesson is honored annually with communal prayers and a sacrifice of an animal or payment for an animal sacrifice, said Mohamad Khan, imam for the Muslim Community Organization mosque, 1087 25th St.

"When the rites are completed and after prayer, we give meat to the poor, friends and relatives," Khan said.

"It may be a lamb, goat, cow or camel. In the case of a cow or camel, the meat is divided into seven shares. In the case of a lamb or goat, each is considered one share."

In the spirit of cooperation and sacrifice, members of the two mosques will gather together at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday for Eid prayers at the Olmsted Center Parents Hall at Drake University. (MORE)

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PONDERING THE WAYS AND WHYS OF ISLAM - TOP
Speaker compares Muslim, Christian extremists
Kevin Howe, Monterey Herald, 1/5/05
http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/13555339.htm

Would David Koresh be considered a representative Christian? Are members of the IRA Christian terrorists?

These comparisons are worth pondering when looking at how Islam is often portrayed by the news media, according to John Provost, philosophy instructor for Monterey Peninsula College's Gentrain program, who spoke Wednesday at MPC on "Entering the Muslim Mind."

News reports of the fiery deaths that culminated in the FBI siege of Koresh's Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in 1993, and the ongoing war between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, didn't link Christianity and terrorism, he noted, but the actions of Muslim fanatics, and conflicts between Shia and Sunni Muslims, are joined in the phrase "Islamic terrorism."
That's a mistaken view, Provost said, and holding it won't help get a clear view of the problem or work toward a resolution of the conflict between Islam and western secularism.

The fact that a suicide bomber believes that his act makes him a martyr bound for heaven doesn't make that belief true, Provost said, and most Muslim scholars reject that doctrine as "a gross distortion of the Quran."

Martyrdom isn't foreign to Christianity either, he said, and suicide bombers represent "a dark side of Islam that is hard to explain."

But it is the hallmark of the fanatic to seize on a particular aspect of doctrine and apply a literal interpretation that justifies such an action, he said.

"We need to be careful how we speak about religion and politics," he said.

Islam, Judaism and Christianity all sprung out of the Middle East and all trace their lineage to Abraham, but as they have spread to other areas of the world, all three changed as they assimilated into other cultures, Provost said. (MORE)

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SURVEILLANCE COURT IS SEEKING ANSWERS - TOP
Carol D. Leonnig, Washington Post, 1/5/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/04/AR2006010401864_pf.html

The members of a secret federal court that oversees government surveillance in espionage and terrorism cases are scheduled to receive a classified briefing Monday from top Justice Department and intelligence officials about a controversial warrantless-eavesdropping program, according to sources familiar with the arrangements.

Several judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said they want to hear directly from administration officials why President Bush believed he had the authority to order, without the court's permission, wiretapping of some phone calls and e-mails after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Of serious concern to several judges is whether any information gleaned from intercepts by the National Security Agency was later used to gain their permission for wiretaps without the source being disclosed.

SEE ALSO:

LEVIN PROTESTS MOVE TO DISMISS DETAINEE PETITIONS - TOP
Josh White, Washington Post, 1/5/05
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/04/AR2006010401866.html

Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) said yesterday that the Bush administration cannot use recent legislation he helped craft to seek the dismissal of habeas corpus petitions filed on behalf of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, contending that the law applies only to new cases.

Justice Department lawyers filed notice in federal courts in Washington this week that the administration will attempt to have 186 pending cases dismissed beginning Monday. They plan to use the newly signed law to argue that the court no longer has jurisdiction to hear the prisoners' cases.

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JUDGE REJECTS GOV'T CLAIMS ON DETAINEES - TOP
Larry Neumeister, Associated Press, 1/4/05
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1102AP_Guantanamo_Detainee_Identities.html

NEW YORK -- A federal judge, ruling on a lawsuit filed by The Associated Press, came a step closer Wednesday to forcing the government to reveal the names of hundreds of Guantanamo Bay detainees by rejecting its contention that identifying them would violate their privacy.

The some 500 prisoners at the U.S. prison camp in eastern Cuba have been held for several years without being charged or publicly identified, which has troubled human rights groups.

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff said in his ruling that the government had not backed up its claim that prisoners faced retaliation by terrorist groups if their identities became known.

"The Department of Defense has failed to come forward on this motion with anything but thin and conclusory speculation to support its claims of possible retaliation," Rakoff wrote.

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CANADA: THE SORROW AND THE PITY OF 'HONOUR' - TOP
Sheema Khan, Globe and Mail, 1/5/05
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20060105/COSHEEMA05/TPComment/?query=khan

In pre-Islamic Arabia, the concept of male honour was so inflated, the birth of a female child was often seen as a source of shame. Female infanticide was not uncommon. Historical records describe a man who took his daughter out to the desert to bury her. As he dug her grave, his innocent child tried to protect him from the dust by brushing away the debris from his beard. Unmoved, he buried her alive.

This heinous practice was directly addressed during the 23 year period of Koranic revelation. First, negative attitudes toward the birth of girls were strongly condemned. The Koran warned that the buried daughter would be raised one day to testify against her murderer. The Prophet Mohammed advocated for the benevolent treatment of children, putting special emphasis on fair treatment of daughters. Many who had either supported or committed female infanticide were moved to remorse. Laws were passed against infanticide. In just over two decades, this barbaric tradition was outlawed by the very tribes that had previously embraced it as part of male honour.

Muslims proudly point to the above example of the establishment of social justice through Islamic principles. Yet, we seem to forget that this example is not merely a showpiece of the past, but rather, a blueprint for addressing injustices of the present.

Last month, after attending the congregational Friday prayer in East Punjab, Nazir Ahmed bought a butcher's knife and methodically slit the throats of his 25-year-old stepdaughter and his three daughters, ages 8, 7 and 4. He suspected the stepdaughter of adultery, an act he considered tantamount to treason. In order to restore his "lost honour," he killed her, and then killed his own daughters for good measure to ensure that they wouldn't follow in her footsteps. When apprehended, he expressed satisfaction that he had preserved his "honour."

"Honour killing" is the mother of all oxymorons. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 260 cases of honour killings were recorded in 2005. This latest femicide has shocked the nation. Such murderous acts also occur in Turkey and the Middle East and have been reported within immigrant communities in Europe. Let's be clear: Such a custom is unequivocally condemned by Islam.

Muslims have reacted in different ways. A few courageous activists have campaigned actively to eradicate this evil. Others understandably seek to distance themselves from such a disgusting practice. On the other hand, conspiracy-seekers point to news accounts of honour killings as another example of anti-Muslim media bias -- showing more concern with negative PR than with the ugly reality plaguing certain Muslim cultures. To protect the image of Islam, some declare that honour killings are rooted in local culture and have nothing to do with Islam. End of story.

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Forwarded Message

Date: Fri, 06 Jan 2006 15:21:10 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslim Leaders Speak Out On Al-Arian / Pig Heads Found Outside CA Sikh Temple / CAIR-LA to Air Eid Radio Spots

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/6/06

* Hadith: The Excellence of Good Deeds in Dhul-Hijjah
* CAIR-LA to Air Eid Radio Spots
            - NY: Muslims Reminisce About Hajj
* CAIR-OH: Hajj Exemplifies Equality Before God (Dispatch)
* CAIR-FL: Muslim Leaders Speak Out On Al-Arian (Tampa Trib)
            - Attorneys in Discussions to Avoid New Trial
            - National Lawyers Guild Demands Al-Arian's Release
* OR: Sloppy Work, But No Abuse in Mayfield Case (AP)
* CAIR Contacts Police About Incident at CA Sikh Temple
            - CA: Two Pig Heads Found Outside Sikh Temple (KBAK)
* IL: Israeli Agents May Testify in Secret (Chicago Trib)
* World's Oldest Quran in Tashkent (BBC News)
            - CAIR 'Explore the Quran' Campaign
* U.S. Says Bomb Hit Wrong House in Iraq (CNN)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: THE EXCELLENCE OF GOOD DEEDS IN DHUL-HIJJAH - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "There are no days on which God likes better to be worshipped than the (first) ten days of Dhul-Hijjah (the Islamic month of pilgrimage). Fasting observed on each of these days is equivalent to a year's fasting, and prayer during each of these nights is equivalent to prayer during Laylat al-Qadr (the holiest day in Ramadan)."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 447

The Prophet also said: "No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these days (meaning the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah)."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 2, Number 154

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CAIR-LA TO AIR EID RADIO SPOTS - TOP
Ads explain significance of Hajj, Eid ul-Adha holiday

(ANAHEIM, CA, 1/6/2006) - The Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today announced the launch of a radio ad campaign designed to educate the public about Hajj and the Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Adha.

The 60-second spots will air several times a day on 980 AM KFWB, one of Southern California's largest AM radio stations, from January 8th to January 14th. The ads will be heard by some 750,000 station listeners.

The campaign, consisting of 30 radio ads, will focus on the spirit of Hajj, its connection with Abraham and the commonalities Muslims share with other religions.

CAIR-LA's ads are a continuation of similar spots aired during Ramadan in the past few years. They are just one part of CAIR's effort to educate fellow Americans about Islam and Muslims. Other campaigns include placing ads in newspapers, sending books and videotapes to libraries across the country and placing educational messages on billboards.

The following is the excerpt of one of the ads. The other two are called "Malcolm X" and "Mercy and Compassion."

CAIR-LA RADIO AD 'ABRAHAM'

"This week, Muslims in America and around the world conclude the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, 'the Hajj,' with Islam's most important holiday called Eid ul-Adha or 'festival of the sacrifice.'

"The central figure in this religious celebration is Prophet Abraham. Muslims believe that Abraham built the first House of Worship to God, known as the Kaaba. The Hajj commemorates Abraham's prayers at the Kaaba. The Quran, Islam's holy book, states: 'Who can be better in faith than one who submits his whole self to God, does good and follows the way of Abraham, the true in faith?'

"This fact offers an excellent opportunity for all of Abraham's children - Muslims, Christians and Jews - to recognize and cherish their shared religious heritage and to promote a harmonious future as people of faith."

LISTEN TO ALL THE CAIR-LA ADS: http://www.cair-california.org/?cls=News&id=43

CONTACT: CAIR-LA: Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334, E-Mail: socal@cair.com

SEE ALSO:

NY: AREA MUSLIMS REMINISCE ABOUT THE HAJJ - TOP
Suzan Clarke, Journal New, 1/6/05
http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060106/NEWS03/601060317/1019/NEWS03

John J. Nashid remembers when he made the hajj.

It was in 2003, and Nashid, of New Rochelle, went to Saudi Arabia with an American delegation of about 600 people.

Nashid, who is imam of the Masjid Yusuf Shah, a mosque in Mount Vernon, had wanted to complete the journey required of all physically and financially able Muslims since he converted to the religion 41 years ago.

"The actual reality was, I don't think you could put it in words. It's more of a spiritual feeling, but it was overwhelming," the 65-year-old said this week.

Nashid and other local Muslims were remembering their pilgrimages to Mecca while an estimated 2 million others have this week flocked to that city to complete their religious obligation.

Fozia Mujahid of Stony Point fondly recalled the cherished journey that she undertook with her husband, their two young daughters and infant son.

That decision precipitated questions from Mujahid's acquaintances.

"When somebody asked me, 'Oh, you are going with the kids? It's not possible,' I said, 'We will be the guests of Allah,'" she said.

No mere rite of passage, the hajj is perhaps foremost among the five pillars of Islam.

A physically grueling pilgrimage that takes place over several days, the hajj consists of a series of detailed rituals that Muslims believe date back to the prophet Abraham, the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and to the prophet Muhammad, Islam's final and revered prophet.

The journey takes pilgrims to Medina, the site of Muhammad's grave, then to Jeddah, and Mecca and nearby Mina and Arafat.

In Mecca, pilgrims walk and pray the required seven times around the Ka'aba, a stone building at the site of Mecca's Great Mosque that Muslims believe was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael. (MORE)

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CAIR-OH: MUSLIM PILGRIMAGE EXEMPLIFIES BELIEVERS' EQUALITY BEFORE GOD - TOP
Ahmad Al-Akhras, Columbus Dispatch, 1/6/06
http://www.dispatch.com/news/religion/faith-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/01/06/20060106-G2-02.html

[Ahmad Al-Akhras of Columbus is vice chairman of the board of directors of the national Council on American-Islamic Relations. He has made the Hajj three times. He may be contacted at: ahmad@cair-ohio.com ]

Muslims from all over the world are taking part in the largest gathering on Earth, the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. The Hajj is a religious obligation that every Muslim must fulfill, if financially and physically able, at least once in his or her lifetime.

During these historic days, white, brown and black people, rich and poor, kings and peasants, men and women, old and young will all stand before God, all brothers and sisters, at the holiest of shrines in the center of the Muslim world, where all will call upon God to accept their good deeds. These days represent the zenith of every Muslim's lifetime.

The Hajj resembles the re-enactment of the experiences of the Prophet Abraham, whose selfless sacrifice has no parallel in the history of humankind.

The Hajj symbolizes the lessons taught by the final prophet, Muhammad, who stood on the plain of Arafat, proclaimed the completion of his mission and announced the proclamation of God: "This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam, or submission to God, as your religion" (Quran 5:3).

This great annual convention of faith demonstrates the concept of equality of mankind, the most profound message of Islam, which allows no superiority on the basis of race, gender or social status. The only preference in the eyes of God is piety as stated in the Quran: "The best amongst you in the eyes of God is most righteous."

During the days of the Hajj, Muslims dress in the same simple way, observe the same regulations and say the same prayers at the same time in the same manner, for the same end. There is no royalty and aristocracy, but humility and devotion. These times confirm the commitment of Muslims, all Muslims, to God. It affirms their readiness to leave the material interest for his sake.

The Hajj is a reminder of the Grand Assembly on the Day of Judgment when people will stand equal before God waiting for their final destiny, and as the Prophet Muhammad said, "God does not judge according to your bodies and appearances, but he scans your hearts and looks into your deeds."

The Quran states these ideals really nicely (49:13): "O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other)). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)."

While Malcolm X was in Mecca performing his pilgrimage, he wrote to his assistants: "They asked me what about the Hajj had impressed me the most. . . . I said, `The brotherhood! The people of all races, colors, from all over the world coming together as one! It has proved to me the power of the One God.' . . . All ate as one, and slept as one. Everything about the pilgrimage atmosphere accented the oneness of man under one God."

This is what the Hajj is all about.

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CAIR-FL: MUSLIM LEADERS GATHER TO SPEAK OUT ON AL-ARIAN - TOP
Chris Echegaray, Tampa Tribune, 1/6/05
http://news.tbo.com/news/metro/MGBE72JW3IE.html

[NOTE CAIR AND CAIR-FL coordinated today's news conference by national Muslim leaders.]

TAMPA - For the first time, some of the nation's most prominent Muslim leaders will visit Tampa en masse to jump into the Sami Al-Arian fray.

They'll gather today at the federal courthouse downtown to express their frustration over Al-Arian's treatment and rally for a resolution.

Despite support for Al-Arian, many shied away from the routine protests surrounding the case. Now, the "demonizing and criminalization" of Muslims has united organizations, said Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation in Washington. The Muslim religion is decentralized, with no top leader or worldwide council.

On Dec. 6, Al-Arian was acquitted of eight terrorism-related charges, including conspiracy to murder or maim people abroad. The jury deadlocked on nine other charges.

A status conference scheduled for today is expected to determine the next legal steps. Al-Arian could be retried.

Two other defendants, Sameeh Hammoudeh and Ghassan Ballut, were acquitted of all charges. A fourth defendant, Hatim Fariz, was acquitted of 25 charges, but no verdict was issued on eight other counts. Hammoudeh will be deported as part of a sentence in an unrelated case.

Arrested in February 2003, Al-Arian got support from local Muslims, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, academics and activists who championed civil rights.

Ahmed Younis, national director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and speaker at today's rally and media conference, said his organization does not get involved in cases that are pending but is interested in policy and broader issues.

"That's been our stance," Younis said. "We don't defend individuals and get into the nitty-gritty. Here, the government presented its case, and there was an acquittal by a jury of his peers. This is more of a seminal case about the Patriot Act and diplomacy issues."

Nihad Awad, who founded the Council on American-Islamic Relations 11 years ago, said Thursday the jury's verdict should be a clear statement to the government, but prejudice may be in the way of releasing Al-Arian.

"The government should just let it go," he said. "We all waited to see what would happen. He was innocent until proven guilty. The verdicts were made, and there is no reason to hold him."

TODAY'S SPEAKERS

Speakers at today's Sami Al-Arian media conference will include:

oAhmed Younis, national director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington. Before joining MPAC, he interned with the Office of the Legal Counsel at the United Nations.

oMahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation. Bray, a Muslim convert, is a human rights activist in Washington and president of the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations.

oNihad Awad, executive director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, in Washington. Awad helped found CAIR in June 1994. He joined the Civil Rights Advisory Panel to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security in 1997.

ALSO SEE:

AL-ARIAN ATTORNEYS IN DISCUSSIONS TO AVOID NEW TRIAL - TOP
Pedro Ruz Gutierrez, Sun-Sentinel, 1/6/06
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/state/orl-bk-alarian010106,0,5541921.story

TAMPA -- Attorneys for fired University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian and a co-defendant today said there are ongoing discussions with federal prosecutors to avoid a new trial after jurors acquitted them on some terrorism-related charges deadlocked on others last month.

"We're discussing matters to resolve it," said Assistant Federal Public Defender Kevin Beck, moments after a brief hearing before U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr. "And there's a benefit to both parties to resolve it."

Beck is one of several federal public defenders who represent Hatem Fariz, a Spring Hill resident accused of conspiracy to provide material support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist group.

Al-Arian, who is of Palestinian heritage, has been detained without bail for nearly three years. On Friday, about 100 people braved the cold, blustery winds outside the courthouse to show their support and demand that he be freed.

Speaking later a news conference outside the courthouse, Al-Arian's attorney William Moffitt also confirmed his side is involved in discussions with prosecutors on several issues, but he did not offer details.

"There are things that we can't talk about," Moffitt said when asked about possible negotiations. (MORE)

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THE NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD DEMANDS RELEASE ON BAIL, AND AVOIDANCE OF DEPORTATION PROCEEDINGS, FOR DR. SAMI AL-ARIAN - TOP
http://www.nlg.org/news/statements/Al_Arian2006.htm

New York. The National Lawyers Guild demands that the government immediately release Dr. Sami Al-Arian on bail and that it guarantee fair procedures in the resolution of outstanding charges against him. An outspoken supporter of the Palestinian people's right to live free from occupation, Dr. Al-Arian has been a political target of the U.S. government.

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OR: SLOPPY WORK, BUT NO PATRIOT ACT ABUSE, IN MISTAKEN FINGERPRINT ID IN MADRID TRAIN BOMBINGS, REPORT SAYS - TOP
Mark Sherman, Associated Press, 1/6/06
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=local&id=3788146

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department's internal watchdog on Friday faulted the FBI for sloppy work in mistakenly linking an Oregon lawyer and Muslim convert to the 2004 Madrid train bombings, but said the government did not misuse the anti-terror Patriot Act against him.

FBI fingerprint experts also probably were more resistant to re-examining their conclusion that Brandon Mayfield's fingerprint matched one found on a bag containing detonators like those used in the attacks in Spain because of his religion, Inspector General Glenn Fine said in the publicly released executive summary of a 273-page report that otherwise remains classified.

But he rejected assertions by Mayfield and others that Mayfield's arrest in 2004 was based on abuses of the Patriot Act. "We did not find any evidence that the FBI misused any of the provisions of the Patriot Act in conducting its investigation of Mayfield," Fine said.

Mayfield's adherence to Islam also played no role in the initial, erroneous determination that there was a fingerprint match, Fine said, noting that the experts did not know Mayfield's religion, his marriage to an Egyptian immigrant or his legal representation of other Muslims.

Mayfield was arrested in May 2004 on a material witness warrant. He was released a few weeks later after the FBI admitted it had made a mistake and that the fingerprint did not match Mayfield's.

The FBI has maintained the error was due to the low resolution of the print. Fine disagreed, saying the examiners were overconfident, despite differences between Mayfield's prints and the one on the bag.

Mayfield is suing the government, alleging that he was singled out because of his Muslim faith. (MORE)

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CAIR CONTACTS POLICE ABOUT INCIDENT AT CALIF. SIKH TEMPLE - TOP

A CAIR representative contacted the Bakersfield Police Department and was told that the perpetrators have confessed but claim they were not motivated by bias. A department official noted that there have been other incidents targeting the Sikh temple in the past and that they are trying to determine whether there is a connection to this incident.

The CAIR official explained that American Sikhs have been targeted in the past because they are often perceived to be Muslim because of their religiously-mandated turbans and beards.

CAIR's California office is working with the local Sikh community and will monitor the case for future developments.

CONTACT: Hussam Ayloush, CAIR-LA, 714-776-1847, E-Mail: socal@cair.com

SEE ALSO:

Two Pig Heads found outside Sikh Temple in Bakersfield - TOP
Bill Curtis, KBAK-TV, 12/26/05
http://www.bakersfieldonline.us/news/read/2/59137

Members of the Sikh Religion feel they have been the target of hate crimes after finding two pig heads on the temple property. The Sikh Temple has been on the 8100 Block of Stine road for three years and already has over five-hundred members. Gurujoda S. Khalsa, an attorney, Temple Member and Commissioner on the Kern County Human Relations Commission explains, "We believe that all people are equal and creations of that one creator. So no matter what your spiritual path whether you're a Muslin, Christian, person of Jewish faith, a Sikh, Buddhist. We're all following the same road towards divinity."

That's why the members of the Guru Angad Barbar Temple are saddened to know someone would disrespect their place of worship. Thursday afternoon, members found two pig heads on the temple property. One member says, "They make around, they throw head over here and other head over there"

There are still track marks where the car drove up on the side of the temple and threw the pig heads out. Khalsa explains, "We are vegetarians, we have a simple diet that is a vegetarian diet so to have meat and animals parts thrown on the property is really not appropriate."

Two weeks before, a group of people egged the temple's main entrance. A priest was inside at the time and saw a group of people run off.

Temple members know they don't deserve this kind of treatment, "We have obviously been here in this community a long time, we're an integral part of this community and I think to have this happen at our place of worship is disappointing for us," says Khalsa. . .

Bakersfield Police Detective George Gomez tells 29 Eyewitness News, they are investigating this incident, but have no specific information to lead them to believe this is a hate crime.

Police do ask if you have any information to call the Silent Witness Hotline at 322-4040.

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IL: HAMAS-CASE SECRECY URGED - TOP
Michael Higgins, Chicago Tribune, 1/6/06
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0601060251jan06,1,5347424.story

In an unusual move that raises constitutional questions, federal prosecutors on Thursday asked a judge to bar the public from a key hearing in a terrorism case when Israeli security agents are called to testify.

The agents also should be permitted to testify using their "official aliases"--not their real names--and appear in "light disguise," such as wearing sunglasses, Assistant U.S. Atty. Joseph Ferguson argued.

Agents of the Israel Security Agency "are prized targets for terrorist organizations sympathetic to the Palestinian cause," Ferguson wrote in a court filing. "Disclosure of the agents' identities would place them and their families at serious risk. ... At least one known Internet site offers reward money for information related to the true identities of ISA agents."

Prosecutors are seeking the restrictions at a hearing, set to begin March 6, to determine whether Israeli agents used torture to obtain incriminating statements from Muhammad Salah of Bridgeview in 1993. The hearing would mark the first time that agents of the Israel Security Agency have testified in a legal proceeding in another country, Ferguson wrote. (MORE)

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TASHKENT'S HIDDEN ISLAMIC RELIC - TOP
Ian MacWilliam, BBC News, 1/6/05
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4581684.stm

The Othman Koran is the oldest in the world

In an obscure corner of the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, lies one of Islam's most sacred relics - the world's oldest Koran.

It is a reminder of the role which Central Asia once played in Muslim history - a fact often overlooked after seven decades of Soviet-imposed atheism.

The library where the Koran is kept is in an area of old Tashkent known as Hast-Imam, well off the beaten track for most visitors to this city.

It lies down a series of dusty lanes, near the grave of a 10th century scholar, Kaffel-Shashi.

The Mufti of Uzbekistan, the country's highest religious leader, has his offices there, in the courtyard of an old madrassa.

Just across the road stands a non-descript mosque and the equally unremarkable Mui-Mubarak, or "Sacred Hair", madrassa, which houses a rarely seen hair of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, as well as one of Central Asia's most important collections of historical works.

"There are approximately 20,000 books and 3000 manuscripts in this library," said Ikram Akhmedov, a young assistant in the mufti's office.

"They deal with mediaeval history, astronomy and medicine. There are also commentaries on the Koran and books of law. But the oldest book here is the Othman Koran from the seventh century." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR 'EXPLORE THE QURAN' CAMPAIGN - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/explorethequran/

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U.S. SAYS BOMB HIT WRONG HOUSE IN IRAQ - TOP
Strike aimed at insurgents killed 6 family members
http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/01/05/iraq.target/

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A bomb that killed six civilians Monday near Baiji, Iraq, missed its target by 65 feet (20 meters) and hit the wrong home, military officials said.

The bomb, which was dropped by a U.S. fighter plane, was aimed at a building that three men entered after planting a roadside bomb as an unmanned surveillance plane watched from overhead, the officials said.

A U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat fighter jet strafed the building before the bomb was dropped, according to a U.S. military statement released after the nighttime attack.

The bomb had "successful effects against the insurgents," the statement added.

The strike flattened a family's home, killing six of the family members and wounding three others, said a spokesman for the Salaheddin provincial governor's office. A father and daughter survived with only minor injuries, he said.

The Baiji strike was one of 58 air missions the U.S. military carried out Monday over Iraq.

U.S. military officials said they are investigating why the wrong building was hit. (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: Sun, 08 Jan 2006 23:07:32 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslim Presence Growing in Mississippi / For Muslim New Yorkers, Final Rites That Fit / U.S. Muslims Prepare to Observe Eid

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/8/06

* Verse: Consider the Human Soul
* CAIR-FL: Video of Al-Arian News Conference
            - CAIR: Al-Arian May Avoid New Trial (Sun-Sent)
* Muslim Presence Growing in Mississippi (Clarion-Ledger)
* For Muslim New Yorkers, Final Rites That Fit (NY Times)
* NJ: For Muslim Women, Marriage's Delicate Dance (NY Times)
* CAIR: U.S. Muslims Prepare to Observe Eid (Houston Chron)
* NJ: Muslim, Jewish Girls Find Shelter & Peace (AP)
* So an Imam Walks Into a Mosque . . . (NY times)
* MA: Religious Tension Grows Over New Mosque (Reuters)
* The Bush Administration vs. Salim Hamdan (NY Times)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: CONSIDER THE HUMAN SOUL - TOP

"Consider the human soul, and the proportion and order given to it, and how it is imbued with moral failings as well as with consciousness of God. Successful indeed will be the one who causes this (soul) to grow in purity, and truly lost is he who buries it (in darkness)."

The Holy Quran, 91:7-10

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CAIR-FL: VIDEO OF AL-ARIAN NEWS CONFERENCE - TOP

On Friday, January 6, the Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations coordinated a news conference by national Muslim and interfaith leaders calling for a just resolution in the Sami Al-Arian case.

To view local media coverage of the news conference, go to: http://www.cairfl.org/video/060106_wfla_arian_newsconf1.wmv

SEE ALSO:

CAIR: AL-ARIAN MAY AVOID NEW TERROR TRIAL - TOP
Pedro Ruz GutieRrez, Sun-Sentinel, 1/7/06
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/state/orl-alarian0706jan07,0,547457.story

TAMPA -- Attorneys for Sami Al-Arian and a co-defendant on Friday revealed they are negotiating with federal prosecutors to avert a new trial after jurors last month deadlocked on some terrorism-related counts while acquitting them of most charges.

"We're discussing matters to resolve it," said Assistant Federal Public Defender Kevin Beck, moments after representing defendant Hatem Fariz, 32, in federal court. "There is certainly a benefit to both parties to avoid the costs, the risks of another trial."

In court, a prosecutor said the government had not reached a final decision on whether to retry the men. . .

Outside the courthouse, dozens of supporters as well as Muslim and Christian activists braved the cold, blustery winds to demand that he be freed. They waved an American flag on a pole and held an 8-foot effigy of a white-draped Lady Justice and chanted, "What do we want? Justice. And when do we want it? Now."

Like other Muslim-American leaders who flew in from around the country to speak on Al-Arian's behalf, Nihad Awad said Al-Arian was the victim of a politically charged environment three years ago that resulted in the persecution of Muslims.

"Is this about what we did or what we are?" said Awad, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations civil rights group in Washington. "Most of these cases are done for political reasons. . . . I think the government is abusing the system." (MORE)

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MUSLIM PRESENCE IN MISS. GROWING - TOP
Jean Gordon, Clarion-Ledger, 1/7/06
http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060107/FEAT04/601070321/1263

Everyday around noon, Shaheed Muhammad, a 55-year-old African American, finds a private area inside the Jackson-Evers International Airport, lays a small rug on the floor and begins to pray.

At the same time, Turkish-born Sabri Agachan, 27, performs an identical ritual inside his office at Jackson State University.

Muhammad and Agachan represent the metro area's diverse and growing Muslim community, which some observers estimate to include between 2,000 to 4,000 people.
"It verifies Islam to me," said Muhammad, a skycap at the airport for 17 years. "There are people from every corner of the globe."

The region's Muslims will gather early next week to celebrate Eid ul-Adha, the Muslim holy day commemorating the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Drawing some 800 people last year, Jackson's Eid celebration reveals the global nature of Islam. Local believers from countries including Pakistan, India, Morocco, Egypt, Senegal, the Sudan, Turkey and the United States transcend cultural differences through their common beliefs.

"God says in the Quran that he made us different tribes and nations so that we may know one another," Muhammad said. "When I attend the mosque, it's a reminder of the universal oneness of mankind."

More mosques

The two largest mosques in the metro area are Masjid Muhammad in north Jackson and Masjid Omar in the southern part of the city.

Founded in the early 1970s, Masjid Muhammad got its start when Islam began attracting more African Americans.

Once located in inner-city Jackson, the mosque first affiliated with the Nation of Islam, a movement that combines Islam with black nationalism.

"The history of the African-American Islamic movement here began as more of a social movement," said Okolo Rashid, co-founder and executive director of the International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson.

But after the movement's leader Elijah Muhammad died in 1975, Masjid Muhammad's leadership voted to join the American Muslim Mission, which teaches orthodox Islam.

The mosque's membership has historically been African American, but it started a formal push in 2000 to attract members from the faith's international community.

"It was always our desire as we learn more about the religion to make it more reflective of the diversity of Islam," Rashid said. "We openly established a policy to be inclusive."

It now includes members from close to 10 different cultural groups including Arabs, American blacks and whites and people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Sudan. (MORE)

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FOR MUSLIM NEW YORKERS, FINAL RITES THAT FIT - TOP
ALIA MALEK, New York Times, 1/8/06
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/08/nyregion/thecity/08burial.html

ERHAN YILDIRIM is singing in Arabic. His voice barely rises above the sound of the water that falls onto ceramic tiles after it spills over the lifeless body in front of him.

In mournful tones, Mr. Yildirim celebrates God - "He is great, and there is no God but God" - as he prepares yet another immigrant for a proper Muslim burial, one that will bring the man closer to his homeland than he has been in years.

On this late November day, Mr. Yildirim, who is trained to be an imam, then performs the man's last ablution. It is the same ritual that every Muslim performs in life before prayer: washing the feet, hands and face. Mr. Yildirim then washes the entire body with olive oil soap before fetching a pure cotton shroud and wrapping it around the naked body like a cocoon.

"This is his clothes," Mr. Yildirim said. "His final clothes."

In Islam, the dead are traditionally buried with neither pomp nor casket, placed into the ground wearing only a white shroud. This practice is in keeping with the belief that in death, all are equal despite any possessions or wealth accumulated in life. The practice is also a parable for the living.

"You came without anything," Mr. Yildirim said, "you going back without anything."

The dead man, a 51-year-old immigrant from Serbia and Montenegro, was like many of the imam's charges. He lived and worked in New York for years; his children are American-born. But like many of his fellow 600,000 Muslims in New York City, as estimated by the Middle East Institute of Columbia University, he wanted an Islamic way of death, even if he was far distant from the heart of the Muslim world.

Mr. Yildirim was able to fulfill the man's wish through a company he founded called Islamic Funeral Services. Located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the venture is one of the first incorporated funeral homes and funeral service providers in the city and the state that cater exclusively to Muslims. New York's Muslims cannot conduct all the rituals of their religion locally; for instance, many Muslims make pilgrimages to Mecca that conclude with Id al-Adha, the Islamic Feast of Sacrifice, which begins Tuesday. But no such limits apply to the kind of funeral rites that Mr. Yildirim conducts.

"It's something less that we are missing," said Imam Kemal Bektesevic, of the Ali Pasha Mosque in Astoria, Queens, speaking of New York's Muslims. (MORE)

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NJ: FOR MUSLIM WOMEN, MARRIAGE'S DELICATE DANCE - TOP
CANDY J. COOPER, New York Times, 1/8/06
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/08/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/08njMUSLIM.html

IT is not so much the eyes of God that Jan Zacharia, a Syrian-America, fears in raising her daughter Valentina, it is the unforgiving gaze of her tightly knit Muslim community. She knows the slightest falsehood could damage her daughter's marriage prospects as easily as any truth.

Once rumors spread -- about a young woman's immodest dress, flirtations with men or even late hours with friends -- they can wash through the community "like a flood all over New Jersey," Mrs. Zacharia said, leaving the family dishonored and cast out, their daughter never to marry.

For her part, Valentina Zacharia, 19, who was born in Syria and moved to the United States at age 2, feels split in half. The two worlds, defined at once by American values and her parents' protective culture, shift within her like tectonic plates.

"It's kind of sad, but if I make the slightest mistake, I'm ruined for life," said Ms. Zacharia, a sophomore at Passaic County Community College who lives in Prospect Park with her parents and a younger brother and sister. "I'm like a piece of glass that can't even get a smudge."

When the thousands of Muslim women who live in New Jersey reach their late teenage years and early 20's -- and about 40 percent of Muslims in America are under the age of 29, according to a 2002 Cornell University study -- a figurative siren sounds, and it is time to find a husband. Whether it is a cousin to whom the young woman has been matched since birth or a non-Muslim American they have chosen, the women are reinventing courtship and marriage and provoking a revolution.

In New Jersey's Muslim immigrant population -- from Arab-Americans in Bergen, Passaic and Hudson Counties to American-born sons and daughters of affluent South Asians in the middle and western parts of the state -- the dramas unfolding among this group of about 400,000 people, the fourth-largest concentration of Muslims in the United States, offer a classic tale about reconciling the old world with the new.

One Islamic feminist from Somerset County who graduated from Drew University last year ticks off her partner preferences as if ordering lunch: I'll have an entrepreneur with confidence and maturity.

A Georgetown University graduate from Basking Ridge recounts her awkward arranged dates as if they are "Saturday Night Live" skits. A Rutgers freshman from Bedminster enjoys wearing the hijab, or head scarf, while speeding to punk-rock concerts with male friends.

Muslim-style marriage today reveals the complexities of the modern age for a generation growing up in the shadow of the World Trade Center attacks and the United States war on terror. Through it all, the next generation of young adults is embracing Islam.
(MORE)

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U.S. MUSLIMS PREPARE TO OBSERVE EID-UL-ADHA - TOP
RICHARD VARA, Houston Chronicle, 1/6/06
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/religion/3570956.html

MOLLY Abbas will celebrate Eid-ul-Adha Tuesday by sending money to her sister in Baghdad for the ritual slaughter of a goat or a lamb. The meat is destined for the poor in the Iraqi capital.

"I will send the money to my sister, and she knows people around there who are homeless and living in the street, living under bridges," said Abbas, a native of Iraq.

Her contribution to the poor is part of the Feast of Sacrifice, the Islamic celebration marking the willingness of the patriarch Abraham to sacrifice his son at God's command.

According to Scriptural accounts, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, but an angel stopped him before he acted, directing him instead to offer a ram. Devout Muslims commemorate his obedience by the ritual sacrifice of lambs, goats, cows or camels.

Eid-ul-Adha is also a high point of hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that begins Sunday. Muslims believe the site of Abraham's sacrifice is near Mecca, Islam's holiest city and birthplace of Muhammad.

Tuesday will be marked worldwide with morning prayer services, the ritual sacrifices and festivities including family gatherings and gifts.

This is the first year Abbas will send money for a sacrifice overseas rather than purchase an animal locally. Her decision is part of a national trend among Muslims, said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"That kind of charitable giving is growing in popularity," Hooper said by phone from his Washington, D.C., office. "If you live in an urban area, it is not always easy to obtain a goat or a lamb to sacrifice. I have seen it as a growing phenomenon over the years."
(MORE)

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NJ: MUSLIM, JEWISH GIRLS FIND SHELTER & PEACE - TOP
Associated Press, 1/7/06
http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/nation/13571102.htm

UNION CITY, N.J. - What started out as a modest effort to raise money for a homeless shelter has blossomed into a triumph of understanding and goodwill that managed to overcome centuries of conflict between two of the world's most antagonistic groups.

Ten Muslim and 10 Jewish teenage girls, meeting since May, have gotten much more than they bargained for: a genuine understanding of each other's culture and religion, and the realization of things they never knew about themselves.
"Project Provide A Home" was launched by the Palisades Emergency Residence Corp., a 40-bed shelter for single, homeless people. It planned to open a shelter next door for families, and was looking for help.

The shelter hosted a group of Jewish volunteers one week, and another group of Muslims shortly afterward. The symbolism - and the possibilities - were not lost on the executive director, Matt Kamin, a Jew, and Amal Abdallah, a Palestinian who helps line up volunteers to serve meals.

"We were trying to figure out why our communities didn't get along," said Kamin. "We started talking and said, 'Why can't we get these two groups together and do something?' It was that easy."

The word went out to local synagogues, mosques and religious schools, seeking young girls to work on the family shelter. The first meeting was somewhat awkward, with all the Jewish girls sitting on one side, and all the Muslim girls sitting on the other, each side eyeing the other curiously, if not warily.

"One of the girls asked me, 'How do you pray?' and I was so surprised at the question," said Aviva Bannerman, a 17-year-old from Montclair. "I thought everybody knew that Jews pray in groups and we sing our songs aloud, but no one had ever taught her that. I asked her how she prayed, and they use a prayer mat and its more subdued and quiet. I go to a Jewish school and I'm surrounded by Jews 24/7, so I was delighted to be able to share about my religion and share in theirs." (MORE)

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SO AN IMAM WALKS INTO A MOSQUE . . . - TOP
DAVE KEHR, New York Times, 1/8/06
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/08/movies/08kehr.html

FRESHLY returned from the Middle East, where his new film, "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World" had its world premiere as part of the second annual Dubai International Film Festival, Albert Brooks sounded exhausted, elated and relieved.

"I had the head of a studio telling me that this would cause a fatwa," Albert Brooks says.

"This had never happened before," said Mr. Brooks from Los Angeles. "There's been no other American comedy that's made light of anything after 9/11. Nobody knows what will happen. The audience could stand up and walk out, they could boo, who knows? I don't have any road map here. I was told that, 'We think it will be O.K.,' but I was also told that people don't mince words here. If you hit the nail wrongly, it's like your thumb: you know it right away." . . .

His character in "Looking for Comedy" could be a direct extension of that earlier Albert: his career again in the doldrums (the opening scene finds him being rejected by the director Penny Marshall for a remake of "Harvey"), he is selected by the retired Tennessee senator Fred Thompson (also playing himself) for a high-level government mission: Albert is to travel to India and Pakistan, where he's to research and write a 500-page report on what, if anything, tickles the Subcontinental funny bone. There's no money in it, Senator Thompson tells Albert, but there is the possibility of a big, shiny medal. (MORE)

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RELIGIOUS TENSION GROWS IN BOSTON OVER NEW MOSQUE - TOP
Jason Szep, Reuters, 1/6/08
http://today.reuters.com/News/newsArticle.aspx?type=domesticNews&storyID=2006-01-06T203705Z_01_WRI674185_RTRUKOC_0_US-RELIGION-MOSQUE-BOSTON.xml

BOSTON - It was to be the biggest mosque in the northeastern United States, a center of worship for Boston's 70,000 Muslims and a milestone for America's Muslim community.

Instead, construction of the $24.5 million center has been stalled by lawsuits and a deepening row between Jewish and Muslim leaders that reflects broader suspicions facing American Muslims after the September 11 attacks.

Jewish leaders charge that former and current officials in the Islamic Society of Boston, which is building the 70,000-sq- ft (6,500-square-meter) mosque, are linked to terrorist groups and have failed to distance themselves from radical Islam and anti-Jewish statements.

The Islamic Society denies any connection to terrorism and considers itself victimized by a campaign to taint the mosque with accusations of ties to radical Islamic teachings. The society says it has repeatedly distanced itself from anti-Jewish statements by some of its leaders. . .

American Muslims are watching the case closely.

"Unfortunately, I see the Boston case as indicative of a growing trend in anti-Muslim rhetoric that has grown after 9/11," said Arsalan Iftikhar, legal director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest American Muslim civil rights group.

"It has especially impacted local Muslim communities in terms of building their mosques," he said. "High concentrations of Muslim populations are being given a hard time for just trying to practice their faith."

Demographers estimate there are five to six million Muslims in the United States. (MORE)

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THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION VS. SALIM HAMDAN - TOP
Jonathan Mahler, New York times, 1/8/06
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/08/magazine/08yemen.html

Jonathan Mahler, a contributing writer for the magazine, is working on a book about the Hamdan case, to be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Today, Salim Hamdan lives in a 6-by-9-foot cell in Guantanamo, awaiting trial by a special military tribunal established by presidential order in the aftermath of 9/11. If everything goes according to the government's plans, the Bush administration will prosecute Hamdan for violating the laws of war by conspiring to commit acts of terrorism against the United States. The government has revealed little about its case against Hamdan -- my portrait is drawn principally from his lawyers, family members and al-Bahri -- but it has charged him with serious offenses, including transporting weapons and serving as a bodyguard to bin Laden. If convicted on all charges, Hamdan could receive a life sentence. . .

This spring, the detainee's lawyers will have the chance to make their case to the Supreme Court, when it hears Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. The name alone guarantees that it will be one of the most closely watched arguments of the year, and the eventual ruling will have far-reaching implications not just for Hamdan and the rest of the Guantanamo detainees, but also for presidential war powers and quite possibly for the future of democracy in the Middle East. If the war on terror is, at its heart, a battle to show the Islamic world that there is an alternative to oppressive theocracies and autocratic dictators, nothing is more important than how the United States government dispenses justice to detainees like Salim Hamdan. Until now, America's wartime practice has been to hold onto captured combatants until the end of hostilities, when there is no longer a threat of them returning to the battlefield. In this case, though, the battlefield is unmapped and the hostilities could continue for decades. For the moment, the government has broadly classified nearly all of the more than 500 detainees at Guantanamo as enemy combatants, but eventually it's going to have to start sorting them out. This will entail answering some difficult questions. Are all Muslim men who answered the call to jihad equally guilty? Which detainees represent a threat to the United States? Who is worth prosecuting, and how? (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

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Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 09 Jan 2006 13:34:43 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: AL Muslims Mark Hajj By Feeding Homeless / CAIR-FL Launches Eid Voter Drive

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/9/06

* Verse: 'Today I Have Perfected Your Religion'
* CAIR-Cleveland: Decency Carried the Day
* CAIR-FL Launches Eid Voter Registration Drive
* AL: Muslims Mark Hajj By Feeding Homeless (Huntsville Times)
            - DC: Muslim Volunteers Sought to Feed Homeless Women
* AZ: Muslims to Celebrate End of Hajj (AZ Rep)
            - CA: Local Muslims Celebrate Their Faith (Tracy Press)
            - FL: Muslims Observe Eid to Honor Abraham (Sun-Sent)
            - GA: Muslims Set to Celebrate Eid (Atlanta Journal)
            - CA: More Local Muslims Going on Hajj (Times-Star)
            - CT: Holiday Gives Muslims Time for Reflection (CT Post)
* U.S. Blamed for Attack that Killed Pakistanis (NYT)
* Australia: Anti-Muslim Posters Removed (AAP)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: TODAY I HAVE PERFECTED YOUR RELIGION - TOP

"Today I have perfected your religion for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of My blessings, and willed that self-surrender unto Me shall be your way of life."

The Holy Quran, 5:3

NOTE: According to all available traditions, the verse above was revealed at Mount Arafat in the afternoon of Friday, the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, shortly before the death of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Standing in prayer at Arafat on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, is considered the most important part of Hajj.

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CAIR-CLEVELAND: DECENCY CARRIED THE DAY - TOP
Akron Beacon Journal, 1/9/06
http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/news/editorial/13572029.htm

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission is fortunate to have the Rev. Aaron Wheeler as chairman. His recent response to a potentially volatile situation at Kent State University should be commended.

After an offensive Daily Kent Stater column mocking African-Americans was shown to Wheeler by his son, who attends Kent State, the chairman took immediate action. He set aside his schedule and arranged a series of meetings on campus. The university is a better place because of this.

In his Dec. 10 story on the matter ("Civil rights official responds to KSU student column"), Beacon Journal reporter Stephen Dyer implied that, at Wheeler's pay grade, he had better things to do than spending the day at Kent. Having been in the meetings, I can say this assertion is off the mark.

In fact, Wheeler was an adept listener and facilitator who brought parties together for needed cross-racial dialogue. The meetings, while heated at times, were in no way hostile, with several black student leaders acknowledging the writer's point while decrying his methods.

Editorial wisdom, common civility and respect for diversity were the issues of the day, not freedom of speech.

Wheeler personified the dignity of past civil rights leaders like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, who refused to wait for "the right time and place" to demand decency. His timely action sent a clear message: Black students deserve better, and no university can tolerate behavior that creates a hostile environment.

Taxpayers got their money's worth from this dedicated public servant. Wheeler's work at Kent State was invaluable.

Julia A. Shearson
Director, Cleveland Office
Council on American-Islamic Relations

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CAIR-FL LAUNCHES EID VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE - TOP
Florida Muslims urged to register at Eid al-Adha events

(MIAMI, FL, 1/9/06) - The Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) will hold a voter registration drive at events marking the Eid ul-Adha holiday that begins on Tuesday. CAIR-FL's Eid voter registration drive is part of CAIR's non-partisan Muslim political mobilization effort to be conducted during the 2006 election cycle.

WHAT: Eid Voter Registration Drive
WHEN: Tuesday, January 10, 2006, 8:30 A.M.
WHERE: Miami Gardens Mosque, 4305 NW 183rd Street, Miami, FL
CONTACT: CAIR-FL Executive Director Altaf Ali, 954-272-0490, 954-298-8214; E-Mail: altaf@cair-florida.org; CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor at 202-488-8787 or 571-278-4658, or E-Mail: csaylor@cair-net.org. (Contact Corey Saylor to obtain a step-by-step guide to holding a voter registration drive.)

"Our community's issues will only be addressed if all eligible Muslims first register to vote, and then go to the polls on election day," said CAIR-FL Executive Director Altaf Ali.

CAIR Muslim political mobilization effort will include in-person and online voter registration drives, candidate forums, production of voter guides, get-out-the-vote campaigns, conducting research on and surveys of American Muslim voters, and other grass-roots activities. CAIR will also be calling on Muslim students to volunteer in political campaigns.

On January 10, Muslims in America will mark the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, with communal prayers and celebrations at locations around the country. The prayers, and the holiday that follows, are called Eid ul-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), or "festival of the sacrifice." Eid ul-Adha commemorates the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God's command. The holiday is celebrated with prayers, gifts for children, distribution of meat to the needy, and social gatherings.

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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AL: LOCAL MUSLIMS TO MARK HAJJ BY FEEDING HOMELESS - TOP
First Stop welcomes plan to provide meal for 150
PATRICIA C. McCARTER, Huntsville Times, 1/9/06
http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/news/1136801767317881.xml&coll=1

On Tuesday, while Muslims on the other side of the planet are sacrificing sheep to symbolize Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, some Muslims in Huntsville will be offering a different sacrifice.

To celebrate Eid ul-Adha - the final day of the hajj, or annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia - Muslims are expected to tend to the poor and hungry. The meat of the sacrificed sheep in Mecca is given to needy families.

Here, Muslims will sacrifice their time and resources to feed more than 150 of Huntsville's homeless. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

DC: MUSLIM VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT TO FEED HOMELESS WOMEN - TOP

On The Second Monday of every Month, the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center Outreach Committee will sponsor "Muslim Monday" at the Dinner Program for Homeless Women in Washington, D.C.

WHEN: Monday, January 9 (And every second Monday of the month.), 4-7:30 P.M.
WHERE: The Dinner Program for Homeless Women, First Congregational Church, 945 G St. NW (Corner of G and 10th), Washington, D.C. (Parking is available behind the Church)
CONTACT: Ali at 571-345-6577

This is an ongoing program, so if you are unable to join us this month, please come another time.

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AZ: VALLEY'S MUSLIMS TO CELEBRATE END OF HAJJ - TOP
Angela Cara Pancrazio, Arizona Republic, 1/9/06
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0109muslim09.html

Like Muslims worldwide, Valley Muslims will soon mark the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, or hajj, with a communal prayer and celebration.

Thousands of Muslims will gather for the Eid ul-Adha, or the "Festival of Sacrifice," on Tuesday morning at Phoenix Civic Plaza.

Muslims who are in good health and able to afford the pilgrimage are required to make the spiritual journey to Mecca, the birthplace of Islam in Saudi Arabia at least once in their lifetime.

Eid ul-Adha, pronounced EED-al-ODD-ha, commemorates the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God's command in the Old Testament.

As written in Scripture, God substituted a ram or sheep for the boy. So, throughout the world, millions of sheep and goats are sacrificed, and the meat is usually given as a gift to those in need.

Eid ul-Adha also is a time of giving and sharing among family and friends, said Arif Kazmi, one of the festival's organizers. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CA: LOCAL MUSLIMS CELEBRATE THEIR FAITH - TOP
Phil Hayworth, Tracy Press, 1/9/06
http://www.tracypress.com/local/2006-01-09-local.php

Tracy's Muslim community will celebrate the end of the hajj, a sacred pilgrimage that draws devout Muslims to Mecca from around the world, during an event Tuesday called the Eid ul-Adha, or "festival of the sacrifice."

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and is required once in the lifetime of all Muslims who are physically and financially able to go.

The Eid observance commemorates Abraham's obedience to God, shown by the sacrifice of his son, which is central to the teachings of Christianity, Judaism and Islam - three major world religions that trace their ancestry to Abraham. (MORE)

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FL: MUSLIMS OBSERVE EID UL-ADHA TO HONOR ABRAHAM, SACRIFICE - TOP
James D. Davis, Sun-Sentinel, 1/9/06
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-liadhajan09,0,2889315.story

South Florida Muslims join their 1.25 billion fellow believers worldwide in the Eid ul-Adha, or Festival of Sacrifice, one of the two most important days on the Islamic calendar.

The festival commemorates a story in which Abraham offered his son as a sacrifice on God's command. At the last moment God stopped him and provided a sheep instead. The Bible says the son was Isaac, but the Hadith, the collection of the prophet Muhammad's words and deeds, says it was Ishmael, considered to be the ancestor of all Arabs. (MORE)

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GA: MUSLIMS SET TO CELEBRATE EID-AL-ADHA - TOP
BILL OSINSKI, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/0109muslim.html

Gwinnett Muslims will gather by the thousands Tuesday to celebrate the major Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, a feast of sacrifice marking the end of the Hajj, or the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

About 7,000 people are expected to come to a morning prayer service beginning at about 8:30 Tuesday at a hall at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville. At about the same time, 2,000 Muslims are expected for a service at the North Atlanta Trade Center in Norcross. (MORE)

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CA: MORE LOCAL MUSLIMS PARTICIPATING IN HAJJ - TOP
Pilgrimage to Mecca coincides with winter vacations this year
Jonathan Jones, Alamed Times-Star, 1/9/06
http://www.insidebayarea.com/timesstar/localnews/ci_3384935

Local Islamic leaders say that this year more Bay Area Muslims, especially younger ones, are visiting Saudi Arabia this week for the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, because the holy week coincided with winter vacations. (MORE)

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CT: HOLIDAY GIVES MUSLIMS TIME FOR REFLECTION - TOP
JOEL C. THOMPSON, Connecticut Post, 1/9/06
http://www.connpost.com/search/ci_3384668

STRATFORD - Muslims from the area Tuesday will observe Idul-Adha, a major Islamic holiday involving the concept of sacrifice.

Imam Abdul Raheem-Ali of the Islamic Community Center in Bridgeport said members of his mosque will gather with other Muslims from around the region to celebrate Idul-Adha at Korner Kicks Sports Center, 1791 Stratford Ave.

The celebration, including prayers and a children's program, will begin at 7:30 a.m. and end at noon. (MORE)

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ATTACK KILLS 8 VILLAGERS IN PAKISTAN TRIBAL AREA - TOP
Mohammed Khan, New York Times, 1/9/06
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/01/08/news/pakistan.php

PESHAWAR, Pakistan An attack on a residential compound in Pakistan's northern tribal region near the Afghan border has killed eight people and wounded nine, according to the Pakistani military.

Residents said a U.S. helicopter had fired a missile at the compound, but the U.S. military said it had no knowledge of the incident. (MORE)

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AUSTRALIA: ANTI MUSLIM POSTERS STRIPPED FROM TRAM STOPS - TOP
Australian Associated Press, 1/9/06

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17776331%255E29277,00.html

POSTER MELBOURNE, Jan 9 AAP - Posters warning Muslims and ethnic minorities against using public transport have been stripped from Melbourne tram stops.

The posters were erected across city tram stops as part of a public art campaign and parody Metlink's fare evasion campaign.

They were removed earlier today amid widespread condemnation.

One of the posters, in Victoria Parade, read: "Attention passengers in the interests of personal safety non-Anglo commuters are advised to avoid using public transport."

Another poster carried a similar message and was superimposed over a photograph of accused terror suspect Joseph Terrence Thomas, warning Muslim passengers they may be "subject to suspicion."

The posters were produced through the Urban Arts Collective by controversial artist Azlan McLennan, who first attracted criticism with his critique of Israel, which was removed from a Flinders Street window in 2004.

The posters were condemned by Yarra Trams, the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne.

"These ads are offensive, they are stupid and they should be pulled down and the government's making it very clear today that we want these ads pulled down," acting Transport Minister Bob Cameron told Channel Nine.

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

-----

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Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 09 Jan 2006 16:12:16 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Eid Mubarak from CAIR

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

EID MUBARAK

CAIR's board and staff wish you and your family a happy and blessed Eid ul-Adha.

-----

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, 10 Jan 2006 22:25:51 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: MI County to Accommodate Swimmers' Religious Attire / NJ Muslim Girls Basketball Team Stays True to Faith

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/10/06

* Hadith: Good Deeds Alone Are Not Enough
* CAIR-AZ Holds Eid Voter Registration Drive (AZ Rep)
            - CAIR-CA Holds Eid Voter Drive (Press-Enterprise)
            - CAIR-FL Voter Dive Begins Today (Miami Herald)
* CAIR-MI: County to Accommodate Swimmers' Religious Attire
            - CAIR: NJ Muslim Girls Basketball Team Stays True to Faith
* CAIR-CT: Family Felt 'Profiled' By Border Search (The Day)
            - Muslim Bashing Seemingly in Vogue (Post-Dispatch)
* NY: Muslim Parents Protest Testing on Holy Day (AP)
            - MI: Detroiters Reenact Hajj Rituals (Free Press)
            - MI: New Muslim Studies Program Underway at MSU

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HADITH OF THE DAY: GOOD DEEDS ALONE ARE NOT ENOUGH - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The good deeds of any person will not make him enter Paradise (i.e., no one enters paradise only through his good deeds)." The Prophet's companions asked: "Not even you?" The Prophet replied: "Not even myself, unless God bestows his favor and mercy on me. So be moderate in your religious deeds and do what is within your ability. None of you should wish for death, for if he is a doer of good, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to God."

Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 577

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CAIR-AZ: VALLEY MUSLIMS CELEBRATE END OF HAJJ WITH PRAYER FOR PEACE - TOP
Angela Cara Pancrazio, Arizona Republic, 1/10/06
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0110feast-ON.html

The imam called Valley Muslims together Tuesday for prayer, his Arabic chant, "let's get together for prayer," soundinglike song.

About 4,000 Muslims - families, men and women who came alone, young and old - gathered in the Phoenix Civic Plaza ballroom for Eid ul-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha) or "festival of the sacrifice."

Each year, Muslims mark the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, or hajj, with communal prayers and celebrations like this one. . .

Because there were so many Muslims in one place, Mohamed Elsharkawy, chairman of the Arizona office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and a group of volunteers tried to register as many voters as they could near a red, white and blue banner that read: "I am Muslim, I am American, I vote."

"I tell Muslims, 'rather than complaining, become a full partner in society and vote in issues that affect you.'" (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-CA: MUSLIMS TO CELEBRATE EID UL-ADHA TODAY - TOP
http://www.pe.com/localnews/riverside/stories/PE_News_Local_P_eid10.dd96a6b.html

Inland Muslims will celebrate Eid ul-Adha with prayer services today. . .

The Islamic Society of Corona-Norco also will sponsor a voter registration drive, part of a nationwide effort by the Council on American-Islamic Relations to encourage eligible Muslims to register to vote during Eid ul-Adha celebrations.

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CAIR-FL: VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE STARTING TODAY - TOP
Miami Herald, 1/10/06
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/

Muslim-Americans will be encouraged to sign up to vote this morning at a nonpartisan Eid Voter Registration Drive, sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The voter registration effort, set to take place at the Miami Gardens Mosque at 4305 NW 183rd Street from 8:30 until 10:30 a.m. today, is one part of a wider grass-roots push to get more Muslim-Americans to cast ballots in local and statewide elections this November.

"Our community's issues will only be addressed if all eligible Muslims first register to vote, and then go to the polls on election day," Altaf Ali, executive director of CAIR Florida, said in a statement.

The voter registration event is timed to coincide with the Jan. 10 celebration of Eid, a holiday marking the end of the four-day pilgrimage to Mecca undertaken by more than two million Muslims worldwide every year.

The day is traditionally celebrated with prayers, parties and gift-giving, as well as by passing out food to the poor.

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CAIR-MI: SWIMWEAR POLICY TO ACCOMMODATE RELIGIOUS REQUIREMENTS - TOP
Washtenaw County to become 1st Michigan county to implement such a policy
ART AISNER, Ann Arbor News, 1/10/06
http://www.mlive.com/news/aanews/index.ssf?/base/news-16/113690763014580.xml&coll=2

On one of the last days of school last June, Ann Arbor resident Jumanah Saadeh, then 13, changed into long gym pants, a head covering and a long-sleeved collared shirt and joined her classmates from Ann Arbor Open School at the Rolling Hills Water Park in Ypsilanti.

The outfit was in accordance with Islam's modesty requirements, but violated health and safety regulations at the pool and lifeguards ordered her out of the water.

"This was a terribly humiliating incident for her and she felt like she was forced to choose between her religious beliefs and her classmates," said Michael Steinberg, legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

After six months of planning, the county's Park and Recreation Commission is expected tonight to unanimously pass the first swimwear policy to accommodate individuals who cannot wear traditional swimsuits for religious reasons.

Washtenaw County is slated to become the first county in Michigan and possibly the nation to implement such a policy. . .

Executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Dawud Walid said his organization has received only a few similar complaints over the years but noted that may be because many Muslims avoid public pools strictly because of the clothing issue.

In Islam, females approaching puberty must have their head covered, and body covered from their neck to their ankles at all times in public, said Walid. The clothing should not be form fitting.

Males may be shirtless but must be covered from above the belly button to the knee cap in non-form fitting attire, he said.

Similar requirements are customary for Orthodox Jews and the Amish, county officials said.

The proposed policy, which will apply to all county aquatic facilities, is intended to provide guidelines that protect public health and safety while accommodating the diverse community. Street clothes and shoes remain prohibited in the water, but unlike the state regulations, the proposal defines street clothes.

The parks will accommodate those who cannot wear traditional bathing suits for religious reasons by permitting appropriate clothing with the following conditions:

Clothing must allow free movement of arms and legs and be free from hardware such as belts, buckles and rivets.

The clothing material must be lightweight as to not inhibit a patron's movement or weigh them down in the pool. Fabric such as nylon, polyester, Lycra or thin cotton are acceptable.

Clothing also must not be so loose that it could cause entanglement, entrapment or strangulation in pool equipment. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

NJ: COURTING AN UNDERSTANDING - TOP
Islamic school enjoys the game, while staying true to its faith
GREG TUFARO, Home News Tribune, 1/7/06
http://www.thnt.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060107/SPORTS03/601070324/1002/SPORTS

Members of the Noor-Ul-Iman girls basketball team generate curious looks as they run through their pregame warm-up routine.

Beneath white head scarves, matching long-sleeve mock turtlenecks, blue sweat pants and red game jerseys are ordinary teenagers. They are, one could say, as American as the colors they wear.

But because the players are covered from head to toe in the modest attire their Islamic faith requires, they look out of place on a basketball court, where tank tops and shorts comprise the traditional uniform.

Some of the incredulous spectators sitting in the stands at East Brunswick Tech on this December afternoon whisper politely among themselves: "Are they really going to play dressed like that?"

A tiny, non-profit Islamic school at the Islamic Society of Central Jersey in South Brunswick, Noor-Ul-Iman has 420 students in grades pre-K through 12. It's one of only a handful of Islamic institutions with high school-aged students nationwide that fields a girls varsity basketball squad, according to Karen Keyworth, director of education for the Islamic Schools League of America. . .

"Sports are universal activities and a great way to communicate diversity of faiths and cultures in a setting that all people can appreciate," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. (MORE)

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CAIR-CT: FAMILY FELT 'PROFILED' BY BORDER SEARCH - TOP
Pakistani-born Man From Old Lyme Kept 3 Hours At U.S.-Canada Checkpoint
BETHE DUFRESNE, The Day, 1/10/06
http://www.theday.com/eng/web/news/re.aspx?re=D2BA732C-E077-410F-A74F-3166331EEDC8

Old Lyme -- As director of the Connecticut branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, Badr Malik keeps an eye out for any incidents that might signal discrimination against Muslims.

Two days into the new year, he said, he became a statistic himself.

On Jan. 2, the Pakistani-born engineering consultant was detained with his family for more than three hours at a U.S.-Canadian border checkpoint near Niagara Falls. The family was driving home to Old Lyme after a holiday visit with relatives in Toronto.

Malik said his wife and four children watched in alarm as security guards patted him down with his hands pressed against the family van. While he was questioned, guards searched the van.

A Homeland Security official was called in from Buffalo, N.Y., he said, before they were finally released. . .

The week before Christmas, CAIR's national headquarters in Washington, D.C., issued a travel advisory for Muslims traveling to Toronto for the annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit convention, which began Dec. 23, and for those traveling to Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, which began Sunday.

According to CAIR, dozens of U.S. citizens attending the 2004 Toronto convention were interrogated, fingerprinted and photographed at the border crossing, prompting the New York Civil Liberties Union to seek a court injunction prohibiting the targeting of convention-goers for lengthy security checks in 2005. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIM BASHING SEEMINGLY IN VOGUE - TOP
By Adam Jadhav, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/9/06
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/metroeast/story/13F9C09A89E25508862570F2001FA09C?OpenDocument

What in the world do dietary supplements have to do with turbans and terrorism?

That political head-scratcher confronted at least some vitamin buyers around the nation who found a flier with their mail-order nutrients carrying the bold headline, "Get a Turban for Durbin!"

An image shows Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, wearing the headwrap, common in parts of the Middle East and south Asia and sacred religious garb in some faiths, including the entire Sikh religion.

The flier's kicker: "Keep Congressional Terrorists At Bay." The flier was distributed last month by a pro-vitamin and supplement group.

Critics say the flier is yet another example of Muslim bashing. The designer of the flier, who has since pulled it, admits that it was over the line but said he put it out to draw attention to what he thinks is improper action by Durbin.

Dietary supplement makers attack Durbin because he wants regulation requiring them to report serious side effects of their products. The proposals are driven in part by deaths related to ephedra, the popular stimulant and diet pill pulled from the market in 2004.

Vitamin and supplement makers oppose the idea, saying that mere coincidence - someone having a heart attack while taking Vitamin C - would scare off consumers and cripple sales. Attacks on Durbin have been led by the Melville, N.Y.-based Nutritional Health Alliance, which published the "Turban" handout.

Durbin decries the flier as offensive and a political cheap shot. The 61-year-old senator says he doesn't want to harm the industry and admits to taking a daily regimen of pills himself - fish oil, a multivitamin, a B complex, an antioxidant and half an aspirin.

"They're throwing around this kind of reckless rhetoric," Durbin said. "The rhyme makes the story here."

Even Jerry Kessler, director of the Nutritional Health Alliance, chief executive officer of N.Y.-based Natural Organics and designer of the circular, said it was a purely political response to regulations proposed by Durbin. He also agreed the flier was "not fair" and "in bad taste."

"Desperate times require desperate actions," Kessler said. "I'm certainly going to do what's necessary to call attention to our cause. If I sound to you like a hate-monger, then I can't help it."

More than a million copies of the flier were sent to vitamin and supplement buyers, and Kessler said he's responded personally to phone calls and letters from people he has offended. Now, a new flier - a newsletter making specific arguments against Durbin's proposals - has been substituted in mailings.

Muslims 'an easy target'

Experts and scholars say the flier is a sign of the times: Political vitriol has always pushed the envelope, and it seems anti-Arab and anti-Muslim prejudice today is almost vogue.

"Muslims are an easy target unfortunately in our culture," said Nancy Snow, adjunct professor of political communication at the University of Southern California. "It's become sort of a hybrid enemy image, like it or not. We may say we have no issue with Islam, but we do fear terrorists and we do see opponents that are from the Middle East."

Civic and political groups, including the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, have condemned the flier but say they're not entirely surprised. (MORE)

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NY: MUSLIM PARENTS PROTEST NEW YORK SCHOOL TESTING ON HOLY DAY - TOP
Associated press, 1/10/06
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--schooltests-musli0110jan10,0,4049610.story

NEW YORK (AP) _ Muslim parents and a city councilman criticized the city and state education departments for beginning testing of the state's elementary schoolchildren on Tuesday, the Islamic holy day of Eid al-Adha.

"This is a problem that could have been avoided if a little thought was put into it, not to have the exam that day," said Moustafa El-Shieakh, of the Astoria section of Queens, whose son is a fourth-grader. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MI: METRO DETROITERS REENACT HAJJ RITUALS - TOP
NIRAJ WARIKOO, Detroit free Press, 1/10/06
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060110/NEWS05/601100357/1007/NEWS

A digital camera in his right hand, a camcorder in his left, the proud father beamed as his three kids joined hundreds inside a Dearborn mosque Monday in simulating an Islamic ritual carried out by millions in Saudi Arabia.

"I'm getting goose bumps," said Hamzeh Makki, 41, while recording his children. "They look like walking angels."

Draped in white cloth, about 270 kids from metro Detroit gathered inside the Islamic Center of America to reenact the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca -- one of the main pillars of Islam. By reenacting the rituals, the U.S.-born kids were able to familiarize themselves with customs that previously may have been foreign to them in a largely Christian society. (MORE)

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MI: NEW MUSLIM STUDIES PROGRAM UNDERWAY AT MSU - TOP
Matt Miller, Lansing State Journal, 1/10/06
http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060110/NEWS06/601100346/1001/news

There is no shortage of misconceptions about the Muslim world.

"In the minds of many people, Islam has become synonymous with terrorism, with fundamentalism, with extremism," said Mohammed Ayoob, a professor of international relations at Michigan State University's James Madison College.

Part of the purpose behind a newly established Muslim Studies program at MSU, a program that Ayoob coordinates, is to show them that it's not.

"The idea is to convey the knowledge that Islam is not just that," Ayoob said.

"Most Muslims around the world are busy living their normal lives, trying to better themselves economically, trying to achieve a degree of political participation and are not hell bent on destroying the world."

-----

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, 11 Jan 2006 15:21:05 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslims Meet with FBI on Radiation Monitoring

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MUSLIMS MEET WITH FBI ON RADIATION MONITORING

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/11/06) - Leaders of the American Muslim and Arab-American communities met today with FBI officials in Washington, D.C., to discuss concerns about the secret monitoring of radiation levels at Muslim homes, businesses and mosques nationwide.

The meeting with FBI Deputy Director John Pistole, coordinated by the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), included representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim American Society (MAS), Arab American Institute (AAI), the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), and several other groups. 

"Today's meeting, while not resolving all underlying issues of concern, offered an opportunity to improve lines of communication and to increase mutual cooperation on issues related to national security and the prevention of hate crimes," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, who took part in the meeting. Awad said any security measures that create the perception that the entire American Islamic community is targeted can create difficulties in communication between Muslims and law enforcement authorities. He said such perceptions can also lead to increased Islamophobia and even anti-Muslim hate crimes. (CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor also took part in the meeting.)

Immediately following the revelation of the radiation monitoring program, CAIR held a news conference at its Capitol Hill headquarters to offer the reaction of Muslim and interfaith leaders. CAIR later announced the filing of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all government records relating to the secret government program.

In that request, CAIR asked for: 1) "&Records concerning the 'authority' of President Bush to delegate or personally authorize surveillance without obtaining a court order as required by FISA," and 2) "&Comprehensive lists and addresses of the 'over a hundred Muslim sites' (including mosques, organizations, businesses, warehouses and homes) in Washington D.C., Chicago, Detroit, New York, Las Vegas and Seattle which have been targeted for radiological surveillance by this top secret program."

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

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR 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

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, 11 Jan 2006 18:02:08 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR to Spot-Check CBP Treatment of Returning Hajj Pilgrims / Muslim Funeral to be Held at Arlington Cemetery / CT Parent Claims Texbook Too Favorable to Islam

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/11/06

* CAIR to Spot-Check CBP Treatment of Returning Hajjis
* VA: Muslim Funeral to be Held at Arlington Cemetery
* CAIR-FL: Let's Seek the Common Ground of Faith
* NY: Muslim Holiday Brings Food Banks Meat (AP)
            - AL: Muslims Give Food to Homeless (Huntsville Times)
            - Eid Greetings from the White House
* CT: Parent Claims Texbook Too Favorable to Islam (NH Register)

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CAIR TO SPOT-CHECK CBP TREATMENT OF RETURNING HAJJ PILGRIMS - TOP
First flights arriving Thursday from yearly pilgrimage to Mecca

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/11/06) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said today it will spot-check treatment of those returning from the recently-completed Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.

On Thursday, a team from the Civil Rights Department of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will interview returning "Hajjis" as they arrive on a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight to Washington, D.C.

WHAT: Spot-Check of CBP Treatment of Returning Hajj Pilgrims
WHEN: Thursday, January 12, 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Washington Dulles International Airport, Dulles, Virginia

In December, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a travel advisory for Muslim citizens participating in the Hajj. The advisory was prompted by concerns that American Muslim travelers returning to the United States would be singled out by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials for special security checks and fingerprinting based solely on their attendance at the annual religious event.

Last year, dozens of American Muslim citizens said they were targeted for security checks, fingerprinting and photographs based on their attendance at an Islamic conference in Canada.

CAIR also created a "Civil Rights Hotline" (1-800-784-7526) and a downloadable border incident report form for those who believe their constitutional rights had been violated by CBP personnel.

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: CONTACT: Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787 or 202-415-0799, E-Mail: arsalan@cair-net.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

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VA: MUSLIM FUNERAL TO BE HELD AT ARLINGTON CEMETERY - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/11/2006) - On Thursday, January 12, the family of Staff Sgt. Ayman Taha and other American Muslims will perform an Islamic funeral service in Arlington cemetery. Staff Sgt. Taha was killed recently in Ballad, Iraq, while preparing a weapon's cache for demolition. The service will be led by Imam Mohammed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS). (In case of rain, the funeral service will be held at the ADAMS Center in Sterling, Va., with burial to follow at Arlington Cemetery. Call contact below for details.)

WHERE: The service will originate from the cemetery administration building.
WHEN: Service will begin at 1:30 p.m.

During Islamic funerals, those praying stand in rows facing the direction of Mecca, with the prayer leader in front. The body (or bodies) is placed in front of the congregation. The worshipers make a personal intention to offer a funeral prayer. They say "God is Great," then fold their hands on their chests. The opening chapter of the Quran, Islam's revealed text, is read quietly. Prayers are recited for the deceased, the Prophets Abraham and Muhammad and for the Muslim community. Saying "peace be to you" concludes the prayer. The entire funeral prayer is performed while standing.

See CAIR Backgrounder: Islamic Funeral Practices

CONTACT: Rizwan Jaka, 703-624-6352

-----

EDITORIAL: LET'S SEEK THE COMMON GROUND OF FAITH - TOP
Altaf Ali, TC Palm, 1/11/06
http://www.tcpalm.com/tcp/editorials/article/0,,TCP_24460_4378472,00.html

In comparing (a column written by Council on American-Islamic Relations National Communications Director) Ibrahim Hooper (headlined) "Love for Jesus can bring together Christians, Muslims" with (that of Jupiter resident) Matt Hunt (published Jan. 4), one can clearly observe the evident bias and prejudice in Mr. Hunt's writing. Mr. Hooper's column did not try to dilute Christianity, but drew upon the beautiful teachings that both faiths appreciate and adore.

I am shocked and dismayed by Mr. Hunt's remarks, which can instigate hatred, anger and unwarranted insults against Islam and Muslims.

On the other hand, it is refreshing to be acquainted with many Christians do not hold similar views as those shared by Mr. Hunt. Many of my Christian brethren - including pastors, priests, reverends and bishops - whom I personally know would not agree with Mr. Hunt's comments. Muslims do revere Jesus and Islam is the only faith, other than Christianity, that requires a Muslim not only believe in him, but that he should be respected and honored. Jesus is mentioned, by name, in the Quran over 25 times while, Muhammad's name is only appears five times. In the Quran, the Muslim holy book, God revealed in chapter 3 verses 45-46, "Behold! The angels said; 'O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God. He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.'"

The three dominant monotheistic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam have deeply rooted beliefs that can be traced to the same origins.

In the Quran 2:136, God revealed, "Say ye (Muslims): 'We believe in God and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves.'"

I spent the last two Thanksgiving days with my Christians friends at the St. Katherine Drexel Catholic Church in Weston. As I sat listening to the sermon delivered by Father Paul Edwards, I thought of how much we Muslims and Christians have in common.

It is truly a remarkable achievement, that such a diverse group of people, from various cultures, ethnicity, and faiths can be bonded together as Americans. We can indeed be an example to the world.

When Pope John Paul II passed away, I took a delegation of Muslims to a local church to sign a book of condolences. Kindly, the pastor asked me to address the congregation and I told my fellow Christian friends, "You are my brother and sisters, your suffering is my suffering and your happiness is my happiness."

We left that day knowing that this simple gesture of good faith created harmony, tolerance and respect between Christians and Muslims.

I would also like to emphasize that Muslims love Jesus; one of God's greatest messengers, held in high honor and his teachings live in our hearts and this in itself command respect.

Only dialogue and friendship can break the barriers of intolerance. Lets encourage peace to prevail, for the truth overcome falsehood, and build a better world; a world of peace, understanding and tolerance.

Altaf Ali is the executive director of the Florida Chapter/Council on American-Islamic Relations.

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MUSLIM HOLIDAY BRINGS FOOD BANKS MEAT - TOP
Cara Anna, Associated Press, 1/11/06
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/13598752.htm

ALBANY N.Y. - In the prepackaged, boxed and canned world of American food banks, fresh meat is a luxury. But what to do when two and a half tons come at once?

Take it, Amy Gabala says happily. Her Washington, D.C.-area Manna Food Center is used to generous holiday giving. But the annual Islamic feast of sacrifice, Eid al-Adha, on Tuesday brought a gift she's never seen: "such an extraordinary amount of meat."

Increasingly, American food banks are being presented with chunks of freshly slaughtered goat, lamb and cow as Muslims bring a key religious obligation to a wider audience.

Eid, which comes at the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca, celebrates the storied test of Ibrahim, or Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice his own son for God. He was allowed to sacrifice a sheep instead.

Each Muslim family is encouraged to sacrifice an animal and split it in three one-third for the needy, one-third for friends and family and one-third for themselves.

At Eid, Muslims often contract with local farms and have the animals killed at local halal, or religiously acceptable, slaughterhouses.

Ahmed Kobeisy, the director of the Islamic Center of the Capital District in Albany, N.Y., says the center this year is encouraging members to donate meat to non-Muslims and food banks as well. "The poor includes all the poor," Kobeisy says.

Zahid Bukhari with the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University says a growing number of donations in the U.S. go not just to needy Muslims, but to the community at large. The reason, American Muslims say, is simple.

"Especially after 9-11, we need to be a more obvious part of society," says Irma Hafeez, the general secretary for the Montgomery County Muslim Council in Maryland. The group first gave 700 pounds of meat to the Manna Food Center last year. This week, it hoped to donate 5,000 pounds. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

MUSLIMS' GENEROSITY TURNS INTO LEARNING OPPORTUNITY - TOP
Congregations give food to homeless to mark end of hajj
Kay Campbell, Huntsville Times, 1/11/06
http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/news/1136974670135750.xml&coll=1

When Niki Murray, one of the homeless clients at First Stop, learned that Huntsville's Muslim congregations were going to bring lunch over Tuesday, she went to the library.

"I wanted to find out about this," Murray said.

She and more than 100 other homeless clients enjoyed lunches brought to First Stop Tuesday by members of Masjid Tauhid, the predominantly black mosque; the Huntsville Islamic Center, the predominantly Sunni Muslim mosque, and the Alabama Islamic Education Center of Alzahra, a predominantly Shia Muslim mosque.

Leaders from each Muslim denomination brought others from each congregation to coordinate the lunch, given in honor of Eid al Adha, the last day of the annual hajj. The religious festival, Islam's most important and joyous, commemorates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael, according to the Quran, and God's prevention of that human sacrifice.

The day also commemorates the "ummah," the community of hajj, as millions of Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca to walk in the footsteps of Abraham and the Prophet Muhammad.

Muslims traditionally celebrate the day with prayers, family feasts and gift-giving, and acts of kindness to people in need. As well as bringing food Tuesday, the Muslim women also gave white roses to the homeless here.

Tons of meat from the sacrifices made Tuesday in Mecca will be frozen for distribution to poor around the world.

"This is kind of like Christmas for them," Murray said Tuesday as she and Shelia Similton talked together about the lunch. (MORE)

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EID GREETINGS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE - TOP
Office of the Press Secretary, 1/9/06
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/01/20060109-5.html

I send greetings to Muslims around the world as you celebrate Eid al-Adha.

When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham placed his faith in God above all else. During Eid al-Adha, Muslims celebrate Abraham's devotion and give thanks for God's mercy and many blessings. Eid is also a time for demonstrating charity and reaching out to family, friends, and those in need.

America is blessed to have people of many religious beliefs who contribute to the diverse makeup of this country. Through generosity, compassion, and a commitment to faith, Muslim Americans have helped make our country stronger.

Laura and I send our best wishes for a joyous celebration. Eid Mubarak.

GEORGE W. BUSH

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CT: CHESHIRE PARENT SAYS TEXTBOOK DISTORTS ISLAM - TOP
Luther Turmelle, New Haven Register, 1/11/06
http://www.nhregister.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15906004&BRD=1281&PAG=461&dept_id=517514&rfi=6&xb=xuged&xb=yelej

CHESHIRE A controversy has developed over a seventh-grade textbook being used at Dodd Middle School that some parents say provides an unbalanced view of Islam.

Ken Whelan, who has a son in seventh grade at Dodd, said he would like to see the social studies textbook "History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond" removed from the school s curriculum, although the information he finds offensive hasn t been presented to students.

After addressing the Board of Education s Curriculum Committee Monday evening, Whelan said he s prepared to wage a legal battle to get a textbook that offers what he says is a more realistic portrayal of the Muslim religion.

"This isn t over, not by a long shot," Whelan said Tuesday. "There are Christian attorneys that will come in and litigate this if that s what it takes."

Whelan claims he was bullied by teachers and administrators from Dodd at the meeting because of his view that the textbook fails to address Islamic history and teachings in an evenhanded manner.

"They don t teach the not-so-good things, the aggressiveness of Islam," Whelan said. "The book is skewed. There are better textbooks out there, books that tell the whole truth, not half the truth."

Dodd Principal Donald Wailonis has been an educator in Cheshire schools since 1971 and said this is the first time he can recall that there has been controversy over a textbook.

Wailonis said the curriculum addresses the good and bad aspects of religion, which is important if students are to learn critical thinking.

Curriculum Committee Chairman James Sima said Judaism and Christianity are also taught, at different times.

"We look at it in a critical fashion. & I think our students know that religion can be misused," Wailonis said. "We don t teach from a singular perspective. We have no agenda to promote that puts one religion over another."

But Whelan said public schools have no business teaching religion, even in the context of a curriculum segment that deals with the medieval world.

"They re not qualified to teach religion in depth," said Whelan, who is pastor of the Victory Chapel Evangelical Church. "They re taking away the divinity of Jesus Christ, and they ve taken the concept of God as the father of Jesus Christ out of it." (MORE)

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Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 13:15:07 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslims Seek Role in MLK Celebration Planning / Religious Diversity Strengthens National Unity

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/12/06

* Verse: God Grants Mercy to the Patient
* NC: Muslims Seek Role in MLK Celebration Planning
* Islam-OpEd: Religious Diversity Strengthens National Unity
            - VA Muslims to Help Rebuild Pakistani Churches (WP)
* CAIR: Monitoring of Muslims Addressed by FBI (Wash Times)
            - F.B.I. Tries to Dispel Surveillance Concerns (NYT)
* CA: Pair Aids Native Pakistan (OC Register)
* TN: Muslims Recall Abraham's Great Sacrifice (Tennessean)
* Incitement Watch: 'Quran Teaches Violence' (Fox)
            - CAIR's 'Explore the Quran' Project
* Iraq: UK Officer Lashes US Army for Insensitivity
            - Changing the Army for Counterinsurgency Operations
* Gitmo: New Prison May Signal Long-Term Detentions (AP)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: GOD GRANTS MERCY TO THE PATIENT - TOP

"Give glad tidings to those who endure with patience; who, when afflicted with calamity, say: 'We belong to God and to Him we shall return.' Such are the people on whom there are blessings and Mercy from God; and they are the ones that are rightly guided."

The Holy Quran, 2:155-157

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NC: MUSLIMS SEEK ROLE IN KING CELEBRATION PLANNING - TOP
Chick Jacobs, Fayetteville Observer, 1/12/06
http://www.fayettevillenc.com/article?id=224143

Thirteen years ago, a small group met at the Four Flames restaurant one chilly January morning to prayerfully celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

Much has changed since then: the size of the group, the meeting spot, certainly the diversity of those attending.

And a group of Fayetteville Muslims would like to see next year's breakfast branch out even more by including members of their faith in the planning. Doing so would mean a departure from the Christian-only organization.

"We would like for future meetings to be truly comprehensive," said Edward Syed, the community outreach director of Fayetteville's Masjid Omar Ibn Sayyid. "We would like them to reflect all the faiths who hold the works and memory of Dr. King in such high esteem."

"To reduce the program to a matter of faith is to reduce his mission," added Mustafa Shakir, the former imam of the masjid. "He was a voice of conscience for all of us." (MORE)

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ISLAM-OPED: RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY STRENGTHENS NATIONAL UNITY - 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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RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY STRENGTHENS NATIONAL UNITY
By Alaa Bayoumi
WORD COUNT: 660

[Alaa Bayoumi is a researcher for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties group. He may be contacted at abayoumi@cair-net.org.]

All too often, we see religious differences turn into a source of divisions within a society. But that need not be the case. Religious diversity, when properly understood and promoted, can in fact help strengthen a society's identity and unity.

A forward-looking attitude on religious diversity is important because religion is important to most people and most societies. When a nation's religious landscape changes, its national identity cannot remain static.

In America, we have a strong sense of our religious heritage. We also take a lot of pride in being a pluralistic nation.

In the last third of the 20th century, 22 million immigrants entered America. Many of these immigrants were Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or members of other faiths. Unfortunately, the spread of these "new" religions tends to raise concerns among a minority of Americans who believe in a zero-sum version of inclusion.

A recent study by Robert Wuthnow, Director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton, makes it clear that America is viewed by many as a Christian nation that should be concerned about the growth of minority faiths.

In "America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity," Wuthnow writes: "We have formulated understandings of who we are individually and as a nation. These understandings have characteristically assumed that American culture and identity, including its distinct purpose in the world and the moral fiber of its people, are explicitly or implicitly related to Christian values."

To validate his findings, Wuthnow conducted interviews with religious leaders and surveyed 2910 adults to determine what Americans think about religious diversity.

Survey results showed that half of the adult population believes that this nation was founded on Christian principles and that America has been strong because of its faith in God. That figure jumps to 68 percent for Christian "exclusivists."

The survey also showed that 50 percent of Americans believe that religious diversity has been good for America and that our nation owes a great deal to its immigrant population.

On the flip side, the survey revealed that 24 percent of Americans believe immigrants have to give up their ways and learn to be like Americans and that about one-third would not welcome a more prominent presence for Hindus or Buddhists in America. More than 40 percent of respondents had negative perceptions of the growth of Islam in America.

For example, the survey showed that 38 percent of the American public would support the idea of "making it harder for Muslims to settle in America." Twenty-three percent of respondents would like to make it "illegal for Muslim groups to meet in America" and 41 percent would feel "bothered" if Muslims wanted to build a large mosque in their community.

In response, Wuthnow urges Americans from all faiths to deal with religious diversity and its challenges from a more "reflective" pluralistic perspective. He says we should admit that religious diversity is a challenge, that religions are different and that we all need to deal more seriously with these differences in order to overcome them.

To accomplish that societal goal, we should all learn more about each other, build personal relationships with people of other faiths, emphasize respect in all circumstances, view compromise and non-violence as the only acceptable ways to deal with our differences, and build strong institutions that can protect and spread a pluralistic vision of religious diversity.

Fortunately, our constitution and political culture are on the side of pluralism. Our laws protect all religions and our culture teaches us to look to ourselves as a religiously-diverse nation that should set an example for the rest of the world.

It is up to us to stand firm and united in the face of any intolerant forces that may seek to divide our nation. Failure to do so will jeopardize our role as a model for tolerance and human rights.

America's Muslim community stands ready to do its part in strengthening our nation through creating opportunities for interfaith respect and mutual understanding.

SEE ALSO:

VA MUSLIMS RAISE FUNDS TO REBUILD PAKISTANI CHURCHES - TOP
The Washington Post, 1/12/06
http://www.washingtonpost.com/

FUNDRAISING DINNER, "Compassionate Response," 7 p.m. Jan. 21, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, 46903 Sugarland Rd., Sterling. Catered dinner of international food. Hosted by a group of local American Muslim women and local interfaith groups to raise money to rebuild recently destroyed Christian churches near Sangla Hill, Pakistan. $100. 703-437-8707 or www.adamscenter.org.

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CAIR: MONITORING OF MUSLIMS ADDRESSED - TOP
Jerry Seper, Washington Times, 1/12/06
http://washingtontimes.com/national/20060111-112618-9724r.htm

Arab-American and Muslim leaders met yesterday with FBI officials to discuss concerns that Muslim religious places, homes and other buildings were monitored for abnormal radiation levels without search warrants or court orders.

The meeting with FBI Deputy Director John S. Pistole, coordinated by the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), was held in the wake of press reports that the monitoring began after the September 11, 2001, attacks and lasted through 2003. The FBI has denied that it singled out private Muslim sites for the radioactivity monitoring.

Two Muslim organizations have since filed Freedom of Information Act requests to learn which sites were monitored.

"Today's meeting, while not resolving all underlying issues of concern, offered an opportunity to improve lines of communication and to increase mutual cooperation on issues related to national security and the prevention of hate crimes," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who participated in the meeting.

Mr. Awad said any security measures that create the perception that the Muslim community in the U.S. is targeted can create difficulties between Muslims and law-enforcement authorities, adding that "such perceptions can also lead to increased Islamophobia and even anti-Muslim hate crimes." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

F.B.I. TRIES TO DISPEL SURVEILLANCE CONCERNS - TOP
LYNETTE CLEMETSON, New York Times, 1/12/06
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/12/politics/12muslims.html

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 - F.B.I. officials met with Muslim and Arab-American leaders on Wednesday in an effort to dispel anger and concern over the bureau's secret monitoring of radiation levels at Muslim sites around the country.

John Pistole, deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and John Miller, the bureau's assistant director of public affairs, tried to reassure those at the session that the surveillance of mosques and Muslim businesses and homes had been based on intelligence leads.

"There was intelligence that talked about the desire to use a dirty bomb in the U.S.; there were statements from bin Laden indicating that he had those materials and that there were cells in the U.S. trained to blend into Muslim communities," Mr. Miller said after the meeting. "We explained how we work with intelligence and that we did what we did based on the patterns of Al Qaeda, not because of the patterns or activities of any mosque or Muslim neighborhood."

F.B.I. officials struck a conciliatory tone, several attendees said, and acknowledged that the bureau could have responded to their concerns more quickly. But Mr. Pistole offered few details on the monitoring, they said, and he emphasized that the program, which began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and lasted through 2003, remained classified. (MORE)

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CA: PAIR AIDS NATIVE PAKISTAN - TOP
VIK JOLLY, Orange County Register, 1/12/06
http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/news/abox/article_943749.php

Farzana and Salman Naqvi found signs of life returning to normal in a remote, cold corner of quake-stricken Pakistan last month.

In the small village of Bhogermang, at an altitude of 4,500 feet, near the Siran River, where more than 90 percent of the homes were either destroyed or damaged in an Oct. 8 earthquake, two sets of brides and grooms were getting ready to marry.

The families were living in tents. The dowry and some rations for the wedding stashed in their damaged homes were lost in a fire unrelated to the 7.6-magnitude quake that killed thousands in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and the country's northwestern region.

Yet the couples were to wed, with a relief agency - for whom the Naqvis are volunteering - providing funds and new homes for the families of the brides. (MORE)

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TN: MUSLIMS RECALL ABRAHAM'S GREAT SACRIFICE - TOP
JEANNINE F. HUNTER, Tennessean, 1/11/06
http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060111/NEWS06/601110415

Shmsia Mohamed, 37, wished she could be half a world away.

While her body was in Nashville, her heart was in Saudi Arabia yesterday morning as she and her family prayed with thousands of local Muslims commemorating the end of a sacred pilgrimage. The pilgrimage is a once-in-a lifetime trek for Muslims who can afford to do so.

"I haven't made hajj yet, but I wish to be there," the Ethiopian native said at the Howard Gentry Center complex at Tennessee State University.

Yesterday, Muslims worldwide began observing Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, which commemorates Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his only son, Ishmael, to show his obedience to God, which Muslims know as Allah. Just before killing the child, Abraham stopped because an angel told him he had passed God's test of faith. Instead, God substituted the boy with a ram. (MORE)

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INCITEMENT WATCH: 'QURAN TEACHES VIOLENCE' - TOP

SEND POLITE COMMENTS TO: Comments@foxnews.com, Hannity@foxnews.com, Colmes@foxnews.com
COPY TO: cair@cair-net.org

TV Host Quits Over Muslim Comments
Fox News: Hannity & Colmes, 1/1/0/06
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,134671,00.html

COLMES: Welcome back to "Hannity & Colmes." I'm Alan Colmes.

Still to come, some New Orleans residents are fighting to keep the city from bulldozing their homes. But for at least one resident, it's already too late. We'll hear from the homeowner who had the city raze his home without his consent.

Bur first, best selling Christian author and television personality Hal Lindsey will not be returning to his television show on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. The reason, he claims, is that the network attempted to muzzle his opinions on radical Islam.

The network said they couldn't recall anything specific from Lindsey's program that were anti-Arab but had more of a concern with how Muslims were portrayed, saying his messages were, quote, "too pro-Israel and too anti- Muslim."

Hal Lindsey joins us now.

Mr. Lindsey, thank you very much for being with us. What happened? They said you were preempted because you placed Arabs in a negative light. Is that a fair description?

HAL LINDSEY, CHRISTIAN AUTHOR: Yes, that's it. I wrote a book back in 2002 called "The Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad." And in this, I, you know, after 9/11, I really studied Islam, studied the Koran, studied what they're teaching, and especially why there was a difference between the moderate Muslims and those who are radical.

And so, I saw that there was a tremendous danger facing this country that many Americans really didn't seem to be seeing. So, I started warning that radical Islam was at war with the United States, and that the threat was as great as any enemy we'd ever faced.

COLMES: Is the issue here that you said, for example, in my radio show last week, which you appreciate, you said that you believe that the true practitioner of Islam, real Islam, are the radicals and the moderates aren't practicing real Islam. So actual Islam is a radical religion in your view?

LINDSEY: Yes. It is. And you know, it's kind of like most Christians don't read the Bible very much. I believe most Muslims don't read the Koran very much.

COLMES: You're calling it a violent religion?

LINDSEY: Yes. Well, that's -- that's why most Muslims are not radical. But when someone begins to really study the Koran, and they begin to read the 109 versus that call for violence and war, they become very, very different. They become radical. They feel that they need to convert people by force.

COLMES: OK. I understand why they may be upset with you for your taking an entire religion; you're saying it's a violent religion. You're saying the religion itself is radical. I can understand why some Christians like your former employers might be saying, you know, "That's not the message that we, as Christians, want to put out there. We're preaching peace, love and understanding. We don't like that view that you just expressed," they say.

LINDSEY: Yes, I can understand that. And you know, Paul Crouch and I are very good friends. He's the founder of TBN. And you know, I wish him no ill will. We're still friends.

HANNITY: Hey, Hal.

LINDSEY: But we do differ on the best way to present the gospel and - - and what's really important.

HANNITY: Hal, it's Sean Hannity. Thanks for being on the program.

LINDSEY: Hi, Sean.

HANNITY: I want to make sure we're clear here.

LINDSEY: Yes.

HANNITY: Because Alan is saying, and you're answering the question that you're saying Islam is this way. Are you making a distinction between radical Islam and those that practice mainstream Islam? Or does your study of the Koran tell you something else? Is that what you're saying? I'm trying to understand. I want to understand completely.

LINDSEY: Yes, OK. I believe that I make a very careful distinction between radical Islam and between those that -- what we'd call moderate. They're not interested in fighting a jihad. They're not interested in overthrowing a country and bringing it under the submission to Islam.

But something else that I learned, and what I am teaching, is that when someone becomes devout and they begin to get into the Koran, and they begin to study what it really teaches, they become -- they become what we'd call a fundamentalist or a radical.

Because the Koran itself, and the Hadith, teaches violence, and there are 109 versus that, sometimes called war verses, that Mohammed wrote while he was in Medina and when he had an army behind him. He got much, much more aggressive after that.

HANNITY: Right.

LINDSEY: And these are the -- these are the verses that the radicals begin to take seriously, and they begin to want to overthrow westernization.

HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you this about the controversy with TBN. First of all, do you think there's any chance of reconciliation? And there seems to be some dispute as to what happened. Because originally, they denied there was any connection to your comments. And they said there was a connections to the comments. They dropped you, but then you dropped them.

What actually happened with TBN? And do you think you'll reconcile?

LINDSEY: Well, you know, like I say, I'm good friends with Paul Crouch. Paul Crouch was sick most of the time all of this was going on. The one who was in charge of programming and the one who passed down this edict that she wanted to see all of my scripts before any show would be shown. She wanted to censor them. She said I was knocking -- I was bashing Arabs, I was making all Arabs look bad, I was -- that I wasn't being fair with the Muslims and so forth. And so, she -- she actually took me off the show.

HANNITY: But did you talk to Paul about it? I mean, you said he was sick. Have you talked to him about it?

LINDSEY: Yes, I talked to him yesterday. And there were some things that he didn't really know about this. And at least I -- at least I gathered that he didn't.

But, what -- what I've come out with all of this, is that I feel like, you know -- my specialty is talking about what the ancient Hebrew prophets predicted would all come together just before the return of Christ. And I believe that, you know, Islam is a big part of those things. That's where I try to focus.

COLMES: We -- we thank you for coming on tonight. Best wishes. Thank you very much.

SEE ALSO:

CAIR'S 'EXPLORE THE QURAN' PROJECT - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/explorethequran/

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IRAQ: BRITISH OFFICER LASHES US ARMY FOR INSENSITIVITY - TOP
Thomas Ricks, The Age, 1/12/06
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2006/01/11/1136956241154.html

US Army in Iraq has been accused of cultural ignorance moralistic self-righteousness, unproductive micro-management and unwarranted optimism in a magazine published by the army.

The scathing critique of the US Army and its performance in Iraq was written by a senior British officer.

In an article published this week in the army magazine Military Review, Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, who was deputy commander of a program to train the Iraqi military, said American officers in Iraq displayed such "cultural insensitivity" that it "arguably amounted to institutional racism" and may have spurred the growth of the insurgency. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CHANGING THE ARMY FOR COUNTERINSURGENCY OPERATIONS - TOP
http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/download/English/NovDec05/aylwin.pdf

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NEW PRISON MAY BE SIGN OF LONG-TERM DETENTIONS - TOP
MIRANDA LEITSINGER, Associated Press, 1/12/06
http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/13608254.htm

Four years after the first detainees in the U.S. war on terrorism were brought to makeshift jails at Guantanamo, construction workers in hard hats are putting up a two-story complex modeled after a mainland maximum-security prison.

This one will have air conditioning, a health clinic, recreation yards -- and arrows pointing toward Mecca, the direction Muslims face while praying.

Officials at "Gitmo," as American soldiers and sailors call the base, say the prison will make life better for detainees. But critics fear it underscores that for many prisoners, detention is apt to be a long road.

"The U.S. government would like to turn Gitmo into a permanent prison camp with no legal recourse for detainees and to create a permanent legal black hole in which hundreds of individuals are held without ever being charged with crimes," said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. (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: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 18:47:50 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Offers Condolences on Deaths of Hajj Pilgrims

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAIR OFFERS CONDOLENCES ON DEATHS OF HAJJ PILGRIMS

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/12/06) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today offered its condolences to the families of those who died in a stampede during religious observances in the city of Mina, Saudi Arabia. Authorities say 345 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in the stampede at the climax of the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.

SEE: Hundreds Die in Haj Stampede
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,251-1983149,00.html

In a statement, CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed said:

"We offer sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of all those who died or were injured in this tragic incident, and pray that the remaining pilgrims return home safely."

Ahmed also said the incident should be investigated fully in order to prevent similar tragedies during future pilgrimages.

Millions of Muslims from all over the world travel to the holy sites each year to participate in the pilgrimage. Hajj is one of the "five pillars" of the Islamic faith. (The other pillars include a declaration of faith, daily prayers, offering regular charity, and fasting during the month of Ramadan.) Pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for those who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey.

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

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

- END

CONTACT: 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.

-----

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: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 15:32:03 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Still No Leads in Ohio Mosque Bombing / Posts on Hate Site Applaud Hajj Deaths

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/13/06

* Verse: Don't Use God's Name as an Excuse for Evil
* CAIR-Chicago Annual Dinner Feb. 4
            - CAIR-AZ Job Opening: Civil Rights Director
* FBI: No Leads in Ohio Mosque Bombing (WCPO)
            - CAIR Offers Reward for Info on OH Bombings
* CAIR-CA: Police Oversight Weighed (Davis Enterprise)
* CAIR-CA: Education Called Key to Safe Hajj
            - CAIR Offers Condolences on Deaths of Hajjis
* Incitement: Posts on Hate Site Applaud Hajj Deaths
            - Backgrounder: CA Synagogue Hosts Islamophobe
* OR: University Lacking Islamic Studies (Daily Emerald)
            - AL: Muslim Leader to Build Interfaith Bridges
* Iraq: 'Die Ragheads Die!' (Times)
            - US Blamed for 18 Pakistan Deaths (Reuters)
* Indonesia: Launch of 'Playboy' Protested (AP)

-----

VERSE OF THE DAY: DON'T USE GOD'S NAME AS AN EXCUSE FOR EVIL - TOP

"Do not use God's name in your oaths as an excuse to prevent you from dealing justly, guarding against evil and making peace between people."

The Holy Quran, 2:224

-----

CAIR-CHICAGO SET TO HOST HUNDREDS IN ANNUAL DINNER - TOP

WHAT: On Saturday, February 4, the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) will host its annual dinner, titled "Pro-Activism: Set Your Own Tracks."

The keynote speaker for the dinner will be Professor Sulayman Nyang of Howard University. Prof. Nyang is a leading authority on the Muslim experience in America.

WHERE: The Sabre Room, 8900 W. 95th St., Hickory Hills
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 4th - 6:00 pm
RSVP: http://www.cairchicago.org/rsvp2006.php or call 312-212-1520
CONTACT: Ahmed M. Rehab, 847-971-3963

ALSO SEE:

CAIR ARIZONA JOB OPENING: CIVIL RIGHTS DIRECTOR - TOP

CAIR-AZ is looking for an enthusiastic person for the position of Civil Rights Director. The ideal candidate will need to be flexible and able to work independently and as part of a team. Good communication skills are essential.

Send resumes to: chairman@cairaz.org
Cc: info@cairaz.org

-----

FBI: STILL NO LEADS IN MOSQUE BOMBING - TOP
WCPO, 1/13/06
http://www.wcpo.com/news/2006/local/01/13/mosque.html

It's been 24 days since the Islamic Association of Cincinnati's Mosque was damaged by two pipe bombs.

9News has learned the FBI has no solid leads at this time.

Two pipe bombs were detonated on December 20th and immediately the search began for those responsible.

The FBI received some leads but they didn't amount to much, 9News learned.

If you have any information about this crime, please call Crimestoppers at (513) 352-3040. You don't have to give your name and you may be eligible for a reward if your tips lead to an arrest.

SEE ALSO:

CAIR OFFERS REWARD FOR INFO ON OH MOSQUE BOMBINGS - TOP
http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1923&theType=NR

-----

CAIR-CA: POLICE OVERSIGHT WEIGHED - TOP
Beth Curda, Davis Enterprise, 1/12/06
http://www.davisenterprise.com/

Hamza El-Nakhal, president of the Sacramento chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, left, speaks with R.C. Smith, a Davis resident who is a Sacramento Sheriff's captain, at a forum Wednesday hosted by Congregation Bet Haverim about forming a police review board.

For the entire article, see:
http://www.davisenterprise.com/articles/2006/01/12/news/354new0.txt

-----

EDUCATION CALLED KEY TO SAFE HAJJ - TOP
Bettye Wells Miller, Press Enterprise, 1/12/05
http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_hajjside13.1d5f3461.html

Inland Muslims on Thursday called for better education for pilgrims participating in the hajj after 345 people were trampled to death near Mecca.

Leaders of the Shura Council of Southern California also asked Saudi Arabian consular officials in Los Angeles for a meeting to discuss orientation and safety measures that would better protect the more than 2 million Muslims who make the annual pilgrimage to the Middle Eastern kingdom.

"There is no excuse for this to happen, period," said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Shura Council. "We do not question their (Saudi officials') sincerity of serving pilgrims. We do question the resources allocated," such as whether crowd monitors are adequately trained to understand the diversity of cultures and languages or the zeal of some pilgrims.

The Shura Council, an organization of mosques and Islamic centers, called the Saudi Consulate on Thursday morning after receiving numerous calls from Southern California Muslims angry that at least 345 Muslims died and 289 were injured in a stampede during the ritual stoning of a symbolic devil.

"We asked for a meeting to help them understand it is not rocket science in the 21st century to manage 2 million people in two weeks," Syed said. . .

Hussam Ayloush, a Corona resident who participated in the hajj in 2000, said anyone who applies for a visa to the hajj should also be required to attend an orientation so they know what to expect.

Some Saudi crowd managers underestimate the religious zeal of some pilgrims, Syed said.

"Some people get too hung up on the ritualistic process to the point where they need to perform the ritual at all costs, even if they push people around," said Ayloush, executive director of the Southern California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He participated in the hajj in 2000. "Most Muslims behave well during hajj. It is a religious requirement to be nice. A Muslim would lose the full reward of hajj if they were to get angry and push people around."

SEE ALSO:

CAIR OFFERS CONDOLENCES ON DEATHS OF HAJJ PILGRIMS - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/12/06) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today offered its condolences to the families of those who died in a stampede during religious observances in the city of Mina, Saudi Arabia. Authorities say 345 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in the stampede at the climax of the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.

In a statement, CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed said:

"We offer sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of all those who died or were injured in this tragic incident, and pray that the remaining pilgrims return home safely."

Ahmed also said the incident should be investigated fully in order to prevent similar tragedies during future pilgrimages.

-----

INCITEMENT WATCH: POSTS ON ANTI-MUSLIM HATE SITE APPLAUD HAJJ DEATHS - TOP

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/009778.php#c162022
"I really can't crank out any tears for these people. Like bedbugs and roaches, the sooner the world is rid of them, the better."

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/009778.php#c162046
"hey l have a great idea, why dont muslims celebrate hajj monthly, that way they can send more to meet their allah!!"

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/009778.php#c162051
"For some real fun what you do is release hundreds of thousands of Pork Belly Pigs into the crowd of 2.5 million and you'll see a rock and roll dance on a scale that Dick Clark never dared to envision in his wildest dreams."

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/009778.php#c162090
"Only 345?? Well, that's a start& I'm with Lulu - they should do this more often!"

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/009778.php#c162282
"The only thing I think is a pity is that the number of those who got trampled didn't match the number of innocents killed by muslims in the last year."

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/009778.php#c162290
"Strategically dropped buckets of pigs blood from low flying airplanes (on top of the sludge (Hajj) celebration) with dropped messages in Arabic, Urdu, Farsi yada yada informing it IS in fact piggies blood on them would lead to upset MAD MAD MAD - MADDER MUSSULMANS!

"Just like Carrie, boy would you have mad Moslems that are likely to trample one another! Inshallah, they would kill themselves and pare humanity their religion."

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/009778.php#c162325
"I feel a minimum of sympathy for people who cant learn how to get out of each others way."

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/009778.php#c162336
"Yay, 345 less people that want me dead."

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/009778.php#c162359
"I'm definitely no expert (and don't want to be) in Islam, but I know enough to know that it is as dangerous and vicious a death-dealing cult now as it was in the 7th century. That is why I exhult in the death of Moslems and that is why I have said (in many fora) that fewer Moslems is better; that they should be forcefully removed from the West and that any destruction visited on them is good for decent people everywhere."

BACKGROUNDER:

CA SYNAGOGUE THAT HOSTED ISLAMOPHOBE URGED TO INVITE MUSLIM SPEAKER - TOP
http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1853&theType=NR

-----

UNIVERSITY LACKING ISLAMIC STUDIES - TOP
M. Reza Behnam, Ph.D., Daily Emerald, 1/13/06
http://www.dailyemerald.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/01/13/43c7870c9d422

In the midst of national scandals, a local scandal has gone on long enough and demands immediate investigation.

An independent commission should be impaneled by the governor to investigate why degree programs in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies do not exist at the University. What forces led to the inclusion of Judaic studies while excluding Islamic studies? Why is it that Judaism, the religion of roughly 15 million people worldwide, is studied, while Islam, the religion of 1.2 billion people, is ignored? Imagine the protestation if the case were reversed.

Why is it that the instruction of social science courses has been dominated by a team of monochromatic non-Muslim faculty members? Are they at all responsible for the inclusion of Judaic studies and exclusion of degree programs in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies?

Is the plan to hire a specialist on medieval Islam and occasional conferences and special programs on the Middle East a prophylactic exercise to disguise the racism and favoritism of faculty members? Why are there no Muslim social science professors on the teaching staff? Where is the balance and where is the continued presence of intellectual diversity on campus? What happened to affirmative action?

These exclusionary practices should thoroughly be investigated by a commission independent of the University with its report directed to the Board of Higher Education and state Legislature. Until then, in the interest of balance and fairness, Judaic studies should suspend operations.

ALSO SEE:

'BUILDING BRIDGES' IS 1ST PRIORITY FOR IMS LEADER - TOP
Kay Campbell, Huntsville Times, 1/13/05
http://www.al.com/living/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/living/1137147345317570.xml&coll=1

One of the aspects of his faith that Aladin Beshir, the new president of the Interfaith Mission Service, treasures is the Prophet Muhammad's teaching about "ummah," or community.

"'Ummah' is not exclusive to the Islamic community," Beshir said last week. "It's everybody, everyone under God - the big family."

Building understanding and respect in this family, while respecting differences, has been a personal goal of Beshir's for years before he became a volunteer with Huntsville's Interfaith Mission Service.

Beshir, 50, an engineer who moved to the United States from Egypt when he was a teenager, grew up in a neighborhood in Egypt where Christians and Muslims helped each other as neighbors, and racial differences were noted only the way hair or eye color is noted in the U.S.

-----

'I'M A DOOR KICKER-INNER,' ONE YOUNG MARINE BLURTED OUT - TO THE DISMAY OF HIS SUPERIORS - TOP
James Hider and Stephen Farrell, Times Online, 1/12/06
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7374-1981556,00.html#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=World

"WHY can't we live together in peace?", read the graffiti written on a wall in Fallujah by a weary American soldier. Next to it a colleague had scrawled: "Die ragheads die!"

The US military has struggled to improve the cultural sensitivity of its troops - often raw youths on their first trip abroad - since the start of the occupation when the first soldiers to hit Baghdad slipped a Stars and Stripes over the head of Saddam Hussein's statue. Jittery superiors swiftly ordered them to replace it with an Iraqi flag.

Long before the Abu Ghraib scandal, there were numerous examples of brutality and insensitivity by US troops to match tales of their courage. Sometimes it was purely a lack of local knowledge: a minor riot ensued when dogs - considered unclean in the Muslim world - were used to sniff staff entering the Oil Ministry.

At other times it was the crudeness of combat troops thrown abruptly into a peacekeeping role. "I don't know how many women I've seen in labour. These people s*** out kids like turds," a National Guardsman muttered to The Times on a patrol in Baghdad.

ALSO SEE:

US MISSILES BLAMED FOR 18 DEATHS ON PAKISTAN BORDER - TOP
Zeeshan Haidar, Reuters, 1/13/06
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/ISL247771.htm

ISLAMABAD - A Pakistani security official and residents of a border region said U.S. aircraft from Afghanistan killed 18 people, including women and children, when they fired missiles at pro-Taliban Islamists early on Friday. Pakistani military spokesman Major-General Shaukat Sultan said up to 14 people had been killed in several blasts in the Bajaur tribal region but said he did not know the cause.

-----

ISLAMIC GROUPS PROTEST PLAN TO LAUNCH INDONESIAN 'PLAYBOY' - TOP
Associated Press, 1/13/06
http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20060113143014&irec=4

JAKARTA (AP): Indonesian Muslims reacted angrily Friday to a purported plan by Playboy to launch a local version of its magazine in the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Playboy representatives in the United States were not available for comment, but Indonesian businessman Avianto Nugroho claimed he had secured the license to publish the magazine.

He said it would be launched in March and - like a toned down version of the racy magazine the company plans to launch soon in India - it would not contain nude photos.

The company already publishes local editions in 17 other countries.

Nugroho said Indonesian Muslims "did not need to worry" about the magazine because of its more conservative content.

But Muslim group Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia said it would protest if the magazine hit the shelves.

-----

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: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 20:27:52 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CA Man Pleads Guilty to Anti-Muslim Hate Crime / Evangelicals Waving the Israeli Flag

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/15/06

* Hadith: Beware of Anger
* CAIR-CA Director Speaks at CAHRO Conference
* CA: Man Pleads Guilty to Anti-Muslim Hate Crime (CBS)
            - Australian Man 'on rampage hunted Muslims'
* CAIR: Evangelicals Waving the Israeli Flag (Orlando Sent)
            - Backgrounder: Evangelist Censured for Islam-Bashing
* FL: Prosecutors Preview Tactics for Al-Arian Retrial (SP Times)
* MI: Challenges Begin on Return from Mecca (Detroit News)
* 'Caliphate' Resonates With Mainstream Muslims (Wash Post)
            - FL Reader Slams Cal Thomas' Support for French Racist
* What Is the Correct Way to Greet Muslim Women? (Boston Globe)
* Why Hundreds of Ordinary Aussies Convert to Islam
            - Turning Muslim in Texas (Channel 4 UK)

-----

HADITH OF THE DAY: BEWARE OF ANGER - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The best of you are those who are slow to anger and swift to cool down. . .Beware of anger, for it is a live coal on the heart of the descendants of Adam."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1331

-----

CAIR-SV DIRECTOR SPEAKS AT CAHRO CONFERENCE - TOP
Presentation focused on civil rights, post-9/11 Islamophobia

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 1/15/06) - The Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) recently presented at a workshop, titled "Rising Anti-Immigrant Sentiment and Islamophobia," for the California Association of Human Relations Organizations (CAHRO) annual conference. CAIR-SV's workshop was moderated by Ronald Wakabayashi, regional director for the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service.

CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra offered a presentation describing the status of Muslim Civil Liberties in California and CAIR's efforts to fight Islamophobia.

"In order to combat Islamophobia and racism, Americans from all ethnic backgrounds and faiths must work together through pro-active educational measures," said Elkarra.

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: Basim Elkarra, 916-441-6269, Email: sacval@cair.com

-----

CA: MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CHOKING CAB DRIVER - TOP
CBS, 1/14/06
http://cbs2.com/topstories/local_story_014124542.html

(CBS) SANTA ANA, Calif. A man who choked a Pakistani cab driver and threatened revenge after a contractor beheading in Iraq will spend one year in jail beginning March 3rd after admitting to a hate crime.

Scott Kenton Wilson, 39, pleaded guilty yesterday to race-related kidnapping, making criminal threats and assault, which were all felonies.

Wilson, who is white, could have faced 13 years in prison had he gone to trial. Instead he accepted a lesser sentence to resolve the case.

Wilson admitted he was intoxicated, called a cab and felt emotional of the beheading of contractor Nicholas Berg.

On May 22, 2004, he choked the driver of the cab, spat on him and said, "Did you see my homeboy get his head chopped off? . . .I'm going to kill you twice for what your brothers did." The driver of the cab pressed a panic button, which activated a global position system that tracked the vehicle. The vehicle was pulled over in Long Beach and officers arrested Wilson. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MAN 'ON RAMPAGE HUNTED MUSLIMS' - TOP
Kevin Meade, Australian, 1/13/06
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17807794%255E2702,00.html

THREE British tourists were allegedly terrorised in the Gold Coast hinterland by a man vowing to kill Muslims in a bizarre attack reminiscent of the Sydney race riots and the horror movie Wolf Creek.

The tourists hid in a rainforest in fear of their lives after 41-year-old Shane Robert Stephens chased them along a perilous mountain road, trying several times to run their car off the edge, the Southport Magistrates Court heard yesterday.

Mr Stephens then stabbed the tyres on their rented convertible, slashed the hood, tore off the rear number plate and ripped out wiring and spark plugs, prosecutor Peta Eyschen told the court. . .

Constable Eyschen said the drama began on Wednesday afternoon when Mr Stephens approached sightseers Dale Thompson and Ryan Kelsea in the carpark of the Natural Bridge, a popular scenic attraction in the Numinbah Valley, near the NSW border.

"You're not f..king Muslims," he allegedly said. "I'm going to kill some f..king Muslims."

-----

CAIR: CHRISTIAN EVANGELICALS WAVING THE ISRAELI FLAG - TOP
Mark I. Pinsky, Orlando Sentinel, 1/15/06
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/lifestyle/orl-chriszion1506jan15,0,2537860.story

From the lectern, the charismatic speaker delivers the rousing declarations the audience has come to hear:

Palestinians never owned the Land of Israel -- they have no legitimate claim to the land whatsoever!

I call upon the U.S. State Department to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem -- the eternal and undivided capital of Israel!

The president of Iran has called for the destruction of Israel. He has pledged to share Iran's nuclear weapons with the Islamic world! There is no compromise with fanatics that call for Israel to be blown off the map!

Each statement is greeted by thunderous applause. If you didn't know better, you'd think the event was a campaign rally for Israel's hard-line Likud Party. But this night the packed ballroom is at the Altamonte Springs Hilton. And the speaker is the Rev. John Hagee, foremost exponent of "Christian Zionism," who repeatedly brings nearly 1,000 cheering evangelicals to their feet. During the evening, the attendees will open their wallets to contribute tens of thousands of dollars to help buy an ambulance for an Israeli relief agency.

For many, the emergence of this kind of support for Israel among evangelicals -- which has become a national phenomenon -- is puzzling: After all, Jews and Christians have been at odds over their beliefs for 2,000 years. Judean authorities were blamed for Jesus' crucifixion; Jews became targets of anti-semitism after rejecting the Christian faith; and Christians massacred Jews during the Crusades. More recently Christians targeted Jews for conversion.

So why the relatively recent change? The answers lie partly in biblical prophecy, partly in the dangers of the real world. . .

Some Jews are suspicious that the Christian support is aimed at fulfilling that biblical prophecy of the gathering of the Jews in Israel as a prerequisite for Jesus' return to Earth.

Jewish leaders, such as Rabbi Eric Yoffie, head of the Reform movement, and Abraham Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League, have criticized the religious conservatives, suggesting there is no room for any alliances, largely because of evangelical positions on domestic issues, such as abortion and the separation of church and state.

"It's hard for me to accept one part of the package without accepting the whole package," says Rabbi Steven Engel of the Congregation of Reform Judaism in Orlando. . .

Positions such as Hagee's are, predictably, disturbing to Arab Christians.

The Rev. Fahed Abu-Fakel, former moderator of the Presbyterian Church, USA, and a Palestinian-American, calls Christian Zionism "racist, destructive and unbiblical."

"Palestinian Christians see Christian Zionism as anti-Christian," says Abu-Fakel. "It says they don't exist. It makes them feel abandoned and forgotten. . ."

American Muslims also are concerned.

"The people who push most strongly for the policies of the state of Israel are the same people who are out there bashing Muslims," says Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group. (MORE)

FOR BACKGROUND, SEE:

CAIR-CAN: AMERICAN EVANGELIST CENSURED BY CTS TV - TOP
Station says comments on Islam violated code of ethics
American evangelist censured by CTS TV
http://www.caircan.ca/aa_more.php?id=A599_0_3_0_M

(Ottawa, Canada - 30/10/2003) - In response to a number of complaints by Canadian Muslims regarding Islamophobic comments made by evangelist John Hagee during the fall on Toronto-based CTS TV, the station has apologized to the Canadian Muslim community and warned the Hagee Ministry that its program violated the CTS Code of Ethics.

In particular, CTS indicated to John Hagee that his programming about Islam and the Qur'an violated provisions in the code which stipulate that comments about other faiths must be "accurate and fair" and that the tone of programming must not "misrepresent or incite hatred against any individual or identifiable group." CTS is now pre-screening "John Hagee Today" more closely.

In a letter to CAIR-CAN, CTS TV Program Manager Rob Sheppard wrote:

"...Mr. Hagee's tone in his comparison of what Christians believe according to the Bible and what Muslims believe according to the Quran did not meet our code of ethics. Once we were made aware of complaints made by viewers through phone calls and the CRTC, we responded immediately..."

"...I trust you will understand that we are very sorry for this incident and we are very aware of the affect it has had on the Muslim community. We have made it very clear that he must follow our code of ethics and any program that does not meet our standard will be rejected."

-----

FL: PAPERS PREVIEW TACTICS FOR AL-ARIAN RETRIAL - TOP
JENNIFER LIBERTO, St. Petersburg Times, 1/14/06
http://sptimes.com/
Search using the term "Al-Arian."

TAMPA - Federal prosecutors on the Sami Al-Arian case offered a legal peek Friday into how they might prosecute the former University of South Florida professor on charges that a jury could not agree upon last month.

Al-Arian was acquitted of eight counts of raising money for violent acts of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Israel after a six-month trial. The judge declared a mistrial on nine other counts because the jurors could not agree.

Al-Arian's co-defendant Hatem Fariz was acquitted on 25 counts, with mistrials declared on eight other charges. Defendants Sameeh Hammoudeh and Ghassan Ballut were acquitted of all charges.

Prosecutors had said at a hearing last week that they needed to look into which counts they planned to retry. In a detailed 21-page motion filed Friday, they say all the hung charges are worth pursuing.

Prosecutors say they presented enough proof against both Al-Arian and Fariz on the hung counts for a "reasonable jury to find them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

Al-Arian's Tampa attorney, Linda Moreno, said prosecutors "want to pretend that the six-month trial that they put on never happened," adding, "Their definition of a "reasonable jury,' in this case, is one which ignores their lack of evidence and votes blindly for guilt." (MORE)

-----

MI: CHALLENGES BEGIN ON RETURN FROM MECCA - TOP
Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, Detroit News, 1/14/06
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060114/OPINION03/601140319/1031/METRO

MINA, SAUDI ARABIA -- I was one of more than 10,000 U.S. Muslims this past week who joined an ocean of pilgrims to visit the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Prophet Mohammad. I can't bring you the delightful weather here, but I can share some of this sacred journey.

Performing the hajj is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for every Muslim who can afford it. It is one of the most important aspects of Islam.

The supreme purpose of the hajj, or pilgrimage to the desert of Arabia, is to submit to God's superiority; to end superiority based on race, class and nationality; and to reform the pilgrim's relationship with himself, the Lord and society. . .

The pilgrimage has its own difficulties, but the real challenge starts after hajj, when the pilgrims go home and share with their communities the lessons they learned from this journey. I thank God for the opportunity to make this trip.

-----

RESTORATION OF CALIPHATE, ATTACKED BY BUSH, RESONATES WITH MAINSTREAM MUSLIMS - TOP
Karl Vick, Washington Post, 1/14/06
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/13/AR2006011301816.html

ISTANBUL -- The plan was to fly a hijacked plane into a national landmark on live television. The year was 1998, the country was Turkey, and the rented plane ended up grounded by weather. Court records show the Islamic extremist who planned to commandeer the cockpit did not actually know how to fly.

But if the audacious scheme prefigured Sept. 11, 2001, it also highlighted a cause that, seven years later, President Bush has used to define the war against terrorism. What the ill-prepared Turkish plotters told investigators they aimed to do was strike a dramatic blow toward reviving Islam's caliphate, the institution that had nominally governed the world's Muslims for nearly all of the almost 1,400 years since the death of the prophet Muhammad.

The goal of reuniting Muslims under a single flag stands at the heart of the radical Islamic ideology Bush has warned of repeatedly in recent major speeches on terrorism. In language evoking the Cold War, Bush has cast the conflict in Iraq as the pivotal battleground in a larger contest between advocates of freedom and those who seek to establish "a totalitarian Islamic empire reaching from Spain to Indonesia."

The enthusiasm of the extremists for that vision is not disputed. However unlikely its realization, the ambition may help explain terrorist acts that often appear beyond understanding. When Osama bin Laden called the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon "a very small thing compared to this humiliation and contempt for more than 80 years," the reference was to the aftermath of World War I, when the last caliphate was suspended as European powers divided up the Middle East. Al Qaeda named its Internet newscast, which debuted in September, "The Voice of the Caliphate."

Yet the caliphate is also esteemed by many ordinary Muslims. For most, its revival is not an urgent concern. Public opinion polls show immediate issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and discrimination rank as more pressing. But Muslims regard themselves as members of the umma, or community of believers, that forms the heart of Islam. And as earthly head of that community, the caliph is cherished both as memory and ideal, interviews indicate.

That reservoir of respect represents a risk for the Bush administration as it addresses an issue closely watched by a global Islamic population estimated at 1.2 billion. Already, many surveys show that since the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, Muslims almost universally have seen the war against terrorism as a war on Islam. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MOVE THOMAS TO RELIGION PAGE - TOP
Morton Kurzweil Margate, Sun-Sentinel, 1/15/06
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/letters/sfl-brmail943xjan15,0,3036887.story

Why do you persist in publishing Cal Thomas on the Opinion page when his column should be on the Faith and Religion page, if it deserves to be printed at all?

His Wednesday column, "Lessons learned (and not learned) from riots," presumed to promote the policies of Jean-Marie Le Pen as an awakening call for Western civilization against the Muslim Menace of Islam and the inevitable conversion of Europe into an Islamic culture within 25 years. This will be accomplished by an explosion of Muslim populations by immigration and increasing birth rates, and that "many of these foreigners live by dealing in drugs and stealing. They have created their own ghettos, have destroyed schools, and attack police and firemen."

Substitute Negro, Hispanic, Jew or Catholic for Muslim to apply this argument to any fascist, racist or hatemonger in this or any country. It is a matter of fact that this hero of the republic believes in France for the French, the way the Nazis believed in the purity of the German Race. Le Pen has a long history of racism, anti-Semitism and pro-Nazi beliefs. None of this is mentioned by Thomas, but is readily available on the Web, including quotes. (MORE)

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WHAT IS THE CORRECT WAY TO GREET MUSLIM WOMEN? - TOP
Peter Post, Boston Globe, 1/15/06
http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2006/01/15/what_is_the_correct_way_to_greet_muslim_women/

Q: What is the correct way to greet Muslim women? Am I allowed to shake their hands? Also, what should I do if a woman is veiled, indicating that she is a more conservative Muslim?

A: In answering this question, I'm assuming the issue is that you are a non-Muslim seeking guidance on how to approach shaking hands with Muslim women. Many Muslims believe that men and women who are not close relatives by blood or marriage should not have physical contact because it could provoke sexual desire or cause temptation on the part of either person.

For a non-Muslim man greeting a Muslim woman, the best approach is to avoid being too forward. Whether the woman is wearing a veil or not, don't offer your hand unless a hand is first offered to you. Instead, when you're introduced, simply say, ''I'm pleased to meet you," while leaving your arms comfortably at your sides. If, out of habit, a situation arises in which you've extended your hand and the other person doesn't reciprocate, don't be offended; simply lower your hand and indicate your pleasure at meeting them.

-----

WHY HUNDREDS OF ORDINARY WEST AUSSIES CHANGE FAITH - TOP
Paul Lampathakis, Sunday Times, 1/15/06
http://www.sundaytimes.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,7034,17822298%255E2761,00.html

AXEL Cremer used to turn heads when he'd roar up to prayer time at the Rivervale mosque on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

"When I first turned up, I freaked them out," the 50-year-old reticulation company director said.

"They'd see someone in black leather flying down the road, who stopped, then all of a sudden took all the leather off and walked into the mosque in Islamic clothing. Now they know me and miss me when they don't hear the bike."

Mr Cremer, whose Muslim name is Mohammed, is one of hundreds of West Australians who have converted to Islam in recent years, despite the stigma surrounding the religion that has grown since the 9/11 terror attacks.

Local converts say they number about 200, among about 20,000 Muslims in WA from more than 70 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and eastern Europe. Nationwide, numbers increased about 40 per cent between 1996 and 2001, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, mainly because of migration.

Converts say that in Islam they have found clearer answers to questions of spirituality than in Christianity, a stronger sense of community and rules to live by. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

TURNING MUSLIM IN TEXAS - TOP
Channel 4 (UK)
http://www.channel4.com/culture/microsites/C/can_you_believe_it/debates/texas1.html

-----

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

-----

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Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 10:58:17 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Are Bloggers Feeding Anti-Muslim Hate? / CAIR on MLK's Path to Justice and Equality

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/16/06

* CAIR-CA: MLK's Path to Justice and Equality
* CAIR: Are Bloggers Against Hate, or Feeding It? (SP Times)
            - Posts on Internet Hate Site Applaud Hajj Deaths
            - Calif. Synagogue Hosts Anti-Islam Blogger
* Incitement Watch: Muslims 'in a Riot of Reproduction'
* Translator's Conviction Raises Legal Concerns (Wash Post)
            - CA: Attorneys Seek Dismissal over Government Conduct
* NJ Conference Attendees: Torture an Ungodly Act
* NJ: Columbia Prof Discusses Islamic Science (Princetonian)
            - PA: Islamic Center Offers Chance to Learn
* Opening: 'Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World'

-----

CAIR-CA: THE PATH TO JUSTICE AND EQUALITY - TOP
Dina EL-Nakhal, Davis Enterprise, 1/15/06
http://www.davisenterprise.com/articles/2006/01/15/opinion/letters/351letters.txt

[Dina EL-Nakhal is communications director for Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV). She may be reached at: dinae@cair.com ]

The Reverend Martin Luther King quoted the national creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." Prophet Muhammad expressed a similar sentiment more than 1400 years ago when he said, "There is no superiority of a white person over a black, nor an Arab over a non-Arab, except in God consciousness." In other words, all people are equal and should only be judged on the basis of merit rather than physical attributes.

Although it may seem unusual that spiritual leaders such as prophet Muhammad and the Rev. Dr. King would focus on issues of racism, ethnocenticism and arrogance, it is apparent that the history of the world is rooted in them. It is also obvious that their (King's and Prophet Muhammad) strong faith is what kept them upon that difficult path.

Appreciating diversity and pluralism as an asset has been a struggle in our society, especially since ethnic background played a major role in the history of defining this nation, ranging from the civil war to the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II. As we forge ahead let us remember the price paid by our predecessors, such as the late Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat because of the color of her skin or Dr. King who was imprisoned for daring to question the institution of Jim Crow.

On the occasion of MLK Day, one cannot but reflect upon the man whose name became synonymous with the civil rights movement. The movement that he led decades ago is still alive and well. Perhaps it is through perpetual jihad (struggle) for equality that we are reminded of the goal - equality, peace and justice.

-----

CAIR: ARE BLOGGERS AGAINST HATE, OR FEEDING IT? - TOP
S.I. ROSENBAUM, St. Petersburg Times, 1/16/06
http://www.sptimes.com/2006/01/16/State/Are_bloggers_against_.shtml

Kaufman's site is only one of a constellation of blogs with names like JihadWatch.com, MilitantIslamMonitor.org, and WesternResistance.com that are dedicated to the surveillance of American Muslims. The blogs link to one another, with more-traveled sites amplifying stories from more obscure ones, like Kaufman's.

He claims he has not found a single mosque in Florida that is not linked to terrorists. . .

A lot of people are listening.

Last month, after Kaufman called a Tampa Muslim religious retreat a "jihad camp for children" and wrote that the speakers were "linked to al-Qaida," death threats poured in to the Presbyterian camp hosting the event.

Muslims say the blogs breed hate.

"He's spreading lies, slandering individuals," said Ahmed Bedier, spokesman for the Tampa Bay chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "These are vigilantes.". . .

To Kaufman and other bloggers, the events of Sept. 11 were born of Islam's teachings. . .

Jennifer Valko opened her e-mail and saw a message of hate.

I will undress you paint your body with pig fat & light you. America is on to you! Watch your back!

It was the Thursday after Christmas. In two days, the Muslim spiritual retreat she had helped plan was scheduled to take place at Cedarkirk, a Presbyterian camp and conference center in eastern Hillsborough County.

That morning, Kaufman had appeared on Fox News to talk about the retreat.

On his Web site, he had posted articles about it. He posted computer-altered images of masked terrorists standing in front of the Lithia campsite.

He said these images were meant to be "tongue in cheek." But some readers took them seriously. Hate mail and death threats poured in to the Tampa Muslim American Society. (MORE)

SEND NOTE OF APPRECIATION TO: http://www.sptimes.com/letters/
COPY TO: abedier@cairfl.org, srosenbaum@sptimes.com

SEE ALSO:

INCITEMENT: POSTS ON HATE SITE APPLAUD HAJJ DEATHS - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=351&theType=AA

---

SYNAGOGUE THAT HOSTED ISLAMOPHOBE URGED TO INVITE MUSLIM SPEAKER - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1853&theType=NR

-----

INCITEMENT WATCH: MUSLIMS 'IN A RIOT OF REPRODUCTION' - TOP

DESTINED FOR THE SUPPER DISH
Suzanne Fields, Washington Times, 1/16/06
http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/sfields.htm

The birth dearth puts us at a growing disadvantage because the most intolerant cultures usually engage in a riot of reproduction. Between 1970 and 2000 the Muslim world accounted for 26 percent of the increase in the world's population while the Western countries accounted for under 9 percent. During those same years the developed world -- the euphemism for the West -- declined from just under 30 percent of the world's population to just over 20 percent, while the Islamic world grew from 15 to 20 percent. The implication of these statistics is clear.

We argue over whether America was founded on the ideals of our Judeo-Christian faiths; we're told it's at least impolite to think so. Muslims, even many of the peaceful Muslims, work for the day when their progeny will live in an Islamic world.

SEND POLITE COMMENTS TO: http://washingtontimes.com/contact-us/index.php?Department=LetterToTheEditor
COPY TO: cair@cair-net.org

-----

TRANSLATOR'S CONVICTION RAISES LEGAL CONCERNS - TOP
Trial Transcripts Show Lack of Evidence
Michael Powell and Michelle Garcia, Washington Post, 1/16/06
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/15/AR2006011500940_pf.html

NEW YORK -- For three years federal agents trailed Mohammed Yousry, a chubby 50-year-old translator and U.S. citizen who worked for radical lawyer Lynne Stewart. Prosecutors wiretapped his phone, and FBI agents shadowed and interviewed him. They read his books and notepads and every file on his computer.

This was their conclusion:

"Yousry is not a practicing Muslim. He is not a fundamentalist," prosecutor Anthony Barkow acknowledged in his closing arguments to a jury in federal district court in Manhattan earlier this year. "Mohammed Yousry is not someone who supports or believes in the use of violence."

Still, the prosecutor persuaded the jury to convict Yousry of supporting terrorism. Yousry now awaits sentencing in March, when he could face 20 years in prison for translating a letter from imprisoned Muslim cleric Omar Abdel Rahman to Rahman's lawyer in Egypt.

In June 2000, Stewart released to a reporter a version of the letter, which discussed a cease-fire between Islamic militants and the Egyptian government. Prosecutors said that the lawyer and the translator, by these acts, conspired to use Rahman's words to incite others to carry out kidnappings and killings. No attack took place.

"Kill who? What are they talking about?" Yousry asked recently as he sat alongside his wife, Sarah, an evangelical Christian, in their modest Connecticut condominium. "The words I'm looking for, it's insane."

The prosecution and conviction of Stewart, 66, on charges of aiding terrorist activity, drew international attention, overshadowing Yousry's case. But legal experts, civil liberties lawyers and a juror say Yousry's conviction raises many troubling questions, not least how a court-appointed translator working on instruction from lawyers could be held responsible for navigating complicated and dangerous legal waters.

The trial transcripts reveal that prosecutors advanced no evidence to back up certain claims, including the assertion that Yousry was in touch with Middle Eastern terrorists. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CA: HAYATS' ATTORNEYS SEEK TO DISMISS CASE OVER GOVERNMENT CONDUCT - TOP
Layla Bohm, News-Sentinel, 1/14/06
http://www.lodinews.com/articles/2006/01/14/news/2_hayat_060114.txt

Attorneys for a Lodi father and son accused of having ties to terrorism on Friday asked a judge to dismiss the case because of the "outrageous conduct" of the government.

The motion was filed along with a number of other documents leading to the Feb. 14 trial of Umer and Hamid Hayat, who were arrested eight months ago during a large FBI investigation in Lodi. The case gained national attention and has been the subject of ongoing newspaper and television stories.

Defense attorneys accused the government of tainting the jury pool by trying to link the father and son to terrorist organizations, as well as revealing polygraph test results even though such results aren't allowed in trial.

"The government's conduct coupled with the widespread national media attention this case has received confirms that the defendants could not have a fair trial with an impartial jury anywhere in the United States," defense attorneys Johnny Griffin III and Wazhma Mojaddidi wrote in their motion. (MORE)

-----

NJ CONFERENCE ATTENDEES: TORTURE AN UNGODLY ACT - TOP
CHRIS STURGIS, Trenton Times, 1/15/06
http://www.nj.com/news/times/regional/index.ssf?/base/news-4/1137315944245571.xml&coll=5

PRINCETON BOROUGH - Religious leaders from across the nation came together at the Princeton Theological Seminary this weekend hoping to build a powerful, spiritually based chorus condemning torture.

"Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions hold dear," said the Rev. George Hunsinger, professor of theology, an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church USA and founder of Church Folks for a Better America, an online peace initiative.

Speaking at an afternoon press conference yesterday, Hunsinger said torture "degrades everyone involved - policy-makers, perpetrators and victims. It contradicts our nation's most cherished ideals. Any policies that permit torture and inhumane treatment are shocking and morally intolerable." . . .

The final speaker, James Yee, a former Muslim chaplain at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said he learned what it felt like to be treated like the enemy because he is of the Asian race and practices the Muslim religion, despite serving his country in an American Army uniform, as had two generations of his family before him.

Yee said his reports to his superiors about prison guards showing disrespect to the Muslim holy book, the Quran, resulted in his being arrested and accused of espionage, aiding the enemy, mutiny and sedition and failure to obey an order.

The charges were dropped against Yee and he received an honorable discharge, but not before he had been detained in solitary confinement for 76 days. He said he was transported from Guantanamo to Charleston, S.C., in the manner of an enemy combatant, with chains on his wrists, ankles and his waist, opaque goggles rendering him unable to see and headgear rendering him unable to hear.

"I always assumed that if I made any sudden movement, I would have been shot," he said. (MORE)

-----

NJ: COLUMBIA PROF DISCUSSES ISLAMIC SCIENCE - TOP
Jonathan Zebrowski, Princetonian, 1/16/06
http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/archives/2006/01/16/news/14262.shtml

Columbia professor George Saliba discussed the role of pre-modern Islam in advancing the scientific knowledge of the ancient Greeks in a lecture to the Princeton Middle East Society on Sunday evening.

Saliba, who specializes in studying the diffusion of scientific knowledge across cultural boundaries and the role of Islam in the formation of scientific ideas, discussed Arabic modifications to Greek mathematics and astronomy that originated from religious needs but were subsequently used as tools in all aspects of life.

The Islamic obligation to pray in the direction of Mecca several times each day, for example, led to significant developments in astronomical calculations, including a new, more correct measurement of the tilt of the earth's axis and the invention of the law of sines, Saliba said.

It also led Arabic scholars to develop a complex system of tables and charts indicating the precise direction of Mecca from every location in the known world. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

PA: ISLAMIC CENTER OFFERS A CHANCE TO LEARN IN WINDBER - TOP
SANDY WOJCIK, Daily American, 1/15/06
http://www.dailyamerican.com/articles/2006/01/15/news/monday/news04.txt

WINDBER - Great food, good conversation and most of all, a chance to learn about other cultures and religion, were offered to all on Saturday night at the Islamic Center in Windber.

Celebrating the Feast of Sacrifice, Muslims from throughout Somerset, Cambria, Bedford and Blair counties joined with their families to pray and share. President of the Islamic Center in Windber, Fouad ElBayly, said the local congregation alone has more than 100 members, including men, women and children.

"Our group is multi-national and we always meet on Saturdays at five for Holy Prayers," he said.

ElBayly, who works as a corrections officer in Somerset, said those who attend are from his country, Egypt along with India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria and "of course America."

Because this weekend's event was a special occasion, families were asked to bring their most outstanding food items for a covered dish meal, following prayer led by ElBayly. The smorgasbord of food ranged from rice prepared four or five different ways, meat dishes, including fish, beef, goat and lamb; and sweets, ranging from baklava to nut filled cookies.

And children being children, enjoyed a universal favorite, pizza. (MORE)

-----

NEW MOVIES OPENING FRIDAY - TOP
San Francisco Chronicle, 1/16/06

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

Albert Brooks stars in this comedy about a government diplomat sent to India and Pakistan to determine what makes Muslims laugh. Also starring Fred Dalton Thompson, John Carroll Lynch and Jon Tenney. Rated PG-13. 98 minutes.

SEE: http://wip.warnerbros.com/lookingforcomedy/LFC_content.html

-----

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: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 12:22:40 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Joins Legal Challenge to NSA Eavesdropping

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR JOINS LEGAL CHALLENGE TO NSA EAVESDROPPING

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/17/2006) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today announced that it has joined a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a secret National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program that targeted American citizens without court authorization.

The bipartisan lawsuit, filed in Detroit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), alleges that the NSA surveillance program violates the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution and the constitutional separation of powers because it was authorized by President Bush in excess of his executive authority. It also seeks a court order to bring the program to an end.

SEE: Two Groups Plan Lawsuits Over Federal Eavesdropping

SEE ALSO: Suits Seek to Block Bush's Spy Program
NSA Lawsuit - Stop Illegal Surveillance

"The First and Fourth Amendment protections of free speech and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizure are hallmarks of the Constitution that should not be tossed aside so casually by any branch of our government," said CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed. "CAIR joined this lawsuit to protect the legal foundation of America and the civil rights of all its citizens."

He cited a national media report today that even FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, "raised concerns about the legal rationale for a program of eavesdropping without warrants."

SEE: Spy Agency Data After Sept. 11 Led F.B.I. to Dead Ends

Yesterday, former Vice President Al Gore called on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the NSA wiretapping program.

SEE: Gore: Resist Bush's 'Excessive Power Grab'

Ahmed also noted that the NSA surveillance program chills efforts by the American Muslim community to build bridges of understanding between the United States and the Islamic world.

As the ACLU lawsuit states: "[M]embers of the American Muslim community, many of whom are members of CAIR, are engaged in efforts of commerce, education and social services with individuals and institutions in the Muslim world. The work of the American Muslim community in being able to engage freely in commerce, education and social services in the Muslim world is a vital part of building bridges between America and the Muslim world and thus, is integral to America's national security and vital interests."

The plaintiffs in the ACLU lawsuit include CAIR, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the environmental advocacy group Greenpeace, award-winning author James Bamford, Larry Diamond of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, author Christopher Hitchens, American Prospect Senior Editor Tara McKelvey, and Barnett Rubin, a senior fellow at the New York University Center on International Cooperation.

In December, CAIR filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all government records relating to President Bush's post-9/11 executive orders authorizing electronic surveillance of Americans and others in the United States without first obtaining court approval, as required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

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

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787 or 202-415-0799, E-Mail: arsalan@cair-net.org; CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org

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

-----

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: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 16:30:27 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Calls for Release of U.S. Journalist in Iraq

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAIR CALLS FOR RELEASE OF U.S. JOURNALIST IN IRAQ

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/17/2006)
- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for the immediate release of American journalist Jill Carroll abducted January 7 while on assignment for the Christian Science Monitor newspaper in Baghdad.

SEE: Abducted in Iraq: An Update on Reporter Jill Carroll

Al-Jazeera reported today that the kidnappers have given the U.S. government 72 hours to give in to their demands.

In a statement, CAIR said:

"Journalists must be free to report on conflicts worldwide without fear of being targeted by combatants. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Jill Carroll and for the release of all hostages held in Iraq. No cause can be served by harming those who only seek to convey the human suffering caused by war."

CAIR's statement will be translated into Arabic and distributed to Middle Eastern media outlets.

In December, CAIR held a news conference at its national headquarters in Washington, D.C., to call for the release of members of the Christian Peacemakers Teams also taken hostage in Iraq.

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: CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org

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

-----

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: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 17:19:28 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Sends Delegation to Iraq Seeking Journalist's Release

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAIR SENDS DELEGATION TO IRAQ SEEKING JOURNALIST'S RELEASE
Islamic civil rights group to hold news conference in Michigan, coordinates statement from U.S. Muslim leaders

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/18/2006) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today announced that it is sending a delegation to Iraq to call for the release of American journalist Jill Carroll who was abducted January 7th while on assignment for the Christian Science Monitor newspaper.

Al-Jazeera yesterday aired a brief video from the hostage-takers showing Carroll and threatening to kill her within 72 hours unless U.S. military authorities released all Iraqi women in their custody.

SEE: Hostage Video Ignites Wide Call to Free Carroll

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that because of the short deadline, its delegation will hold an initial news conference late Thursday in Amman, Jordan, to make a public appeal to the kidnappers for Carroll's freedom. A second news conference will be held in Baghdad on Friday.

CAIR also announced that it will hold a news conference January 19th in Michigan, Carroll's home state, at which local Muslim leaders will also call for her immediate release.

WHAT: Michigan Muslims to Call for Release of U.S. Journalist Held in Iraq
WHEN
: Thursday, January 19, 2006
FOR DETAILS, CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, 248-569-2203, E-Mail: cairmichigan@yahoo.com

According to the BBC, Iraqi officials now say that six of the eight women being held by coalition forces in Iraq will be released.

SEE: Iraq Detainees to be Freed Early

Along with the delegation to Iraq and the Michigan news conference, CAIR is also coordinating a joint appeal by national Muslim leaders for Carroll's safe return to her family.

Yesterday, CAIR issued a statement, which was translated into Arabic and distributed to Middle Eastern media outlets, calling for Carroll's "immediate and unconditional" release.

SEE: CAIR Calls For Release of U.S. Journalist in Iraq

In December, CAIR held a news conference at its national headquarters in Washington, D.C., to call for the release of members of the Christian Peacemakers Teams also taken hostage in Iraq.

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 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, 18 Jan 2006 18:41:52 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Teen Charged in NJ Arab Student's Stabbing / Quran Used for First Time in NJ Swearing-In Ceremony / CA Muslim Cabbies Claim Discrimination

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/18/06

* Help CAIR Meet Its January Goal of $50K
* CAIR-AZ: Muslims Take Part in Diversity Luncheon
* CAIR Rep Appears in ABC News Segment on NSA Spy Program
            - Editorial: Spying on Ordinary Americans (NY Times)
* CAIR-CAN: Canadians Demand Answers on No-Fly Lists (Star)
* NJ: Quran Used for First Time in Swearing-In Ceremony
* CA: Muslim Cabbies Claim Discrimination (AP)
            - MO: Flier an Example of Muslim Bashing (KC Star)
* NJ: Teen Charged in 'Arab' Student's Stabbing (Herald News)
* Muslim Lawyers' Group Fears Alito No Friend of Civil Rights
* CAIR: Niche Banks Find Growth in Muslim Market (CNN)
* Human Rights Watch World Report 2006
            - Rights Group Says U.S. Abuse Deliberate (AP)

------

HELP CAIR MEET ITS JANUARY GOAL OF 50K - TOP

CAIR is asking everyone to do their part to help us reach our online fundraising goal of $50,000 for January. Whether your donation is $10, $50 or $100, every dollar that you donate today will count and be used to help empower the American Muslim community.

NOW is the time to show your support for CAIR.

To support CAIR's important work, please donate at:
https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp

REMEMBER: Scholars say CAIR is able to receive ZAKAT donations.

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CAIR-AZ: MUSLIMS TAKE PART IN NEWSPAPER DIVERSITY LUNCHEON - TOP

(PHOENIX, AZ, 1/17/05) - Representatives of the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ) and local Muslim community members recently participated in a luncheon hosted by the Arizona Republic newspaper's Diversity Committee.

The Diversity Committee consists of staff members of the Arizona Republic who get together periodically for a brownbag lunch that features guest speakers.

Topics presented were Islam 101, Muslim Demographics, Muslims in Politics and Muslims in Arizona. The luncheon and presentations were followed by a Q&A session in which a healthy debate ensued.

Daniel Gonzalez, immigration reporter and coordinator of the event, said that the luncheon was the biggest turnout that the Diversity Committee has seen since its inception more than a year ago.

CONTACT: Nure Elatari (602) 312-2223, E-Mail: director@cairaz.org; Bushra Khan (602) 262-2247, Email: officemanager@cairaz.org

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CAIR REP APPEARS IN ABC NEWS SEGMENT ON NSA SPY PROGRAM - TOP

CAIR National Director Arsalan Iftikar appeared on ABC World News to comment on a lawsuit by a coalition including the CAIR and the ACLU challenging the legality of the NSA secret wiretaps.

To Watch this segment in broadband speed, follow the below link:
http://www.cairfl.org/video/060117_abc_nsa_arsalan.wmv

SPY SUITS: BUSH ADMINISTRATION FACES CHARGES OVER ILLEGAL DOMESTIC SPYING
ABC News: World News Tonight, 1/17/06
http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/

ELIZABETH VARGAS (ABC NEWS)

(OC) Now to the administration's legal battle over its secret domestic spying program. The ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed lawsuits today to stop the National Security Agency from spying on people without warrants. President Bush says the program has uncovered potential terrorists. But the lawsuits claim it's doing more harm than good. ABC's Pierre Thomas reports, now, from the Justice Department.

PIERRE THOMAS (ABC NEWS)

(VO) Attorneys for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay believe their telephone conversations and emails with clients have been illegally tapped by the secret NSA spy program.

RACHEL MEEROPOL (THE CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS)

I'm really outraged, having to go back and think about the fact that conversations you had with your clients that you thought were absolutely confidential, that were privileged, that those were probably, you know, are now the property of the US government.

PIERRE THOMAS (ABC NEWS)

(VO) In today's lawsuits, those attorneys, along with authors, scholars and Muslim support groups, claim unauthorized government eavesdropping will limit their ability to do their jobs.

ARSALAN IFTIKHAR (COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS)

If you feel as though you're being wiretapped or placed under surveillance, it would obviously place a chilling effect on your first amendment right to free speech.

PIERRE THOMAS (ABC NEWS)

(VO) Investigative journalist James Bamford is concerned his sources on international terrorism may now be unwilling to talk.

JAMES BAMFORD (PLAINTIFF)

They will be very inhibited from communicating with me from now on knowing that I may be subject to NSA eavesdropping. That greatly affects the way I write, the quality of my writing, the course of my employment and so forth.

PIERRE THOMAS (ABC NEWS)

(VO) But will these lawsuits hold up in court? Some legal scholars believe that potential victims will have to prove they were spied on, something the government is not likely to confirm.

BRAD BERENSON (FORMER ASSOCIATE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL)

It's really questionable whether the courts are going to allow a major lawsuit to go forward based on vague and speculative allegations like that.

PIERRE THOMAS (ABC NEWS)

(VO) Even those filing the lawsuits admit they have no hard evidence they were spied on, and want the government to provide the proof.

RACHEL MEEROPOL (THE CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS)

We want confirmation that we were wiretapped or else confirmation that we weren't.

PIERRE THOMAS (ABC NEWS)

(VO) Today, the Bush administration called these lawsuits baseless.

SCOTT MCCLELLAN (WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY)

I think that the frivolous lawsuits do nothing to help enhance civil liberties or protect the American people.

PIERRE THOMAS (ABC NEWS)

(OC) Even if these lawsuits fail, expect critics of the NSA spy program to try other tactics to hold the government accountable. Elizabeth?

ELIZABETH VARGAS (ABC NEWS)

(OC) All right. Pierre Thomas at the Justice Department. Thanks so much. Bob?

BOB WOODRUFF (ABC NEWS)

SEE ALSO:

EDITORIAL: SPYING ON ORDINARY AMERICANS - TOP
New York Times, 1/18/06
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/18/opinion/18wed1.html

In times of extreme fear, American leaders have sometimes scrapped civil liberties in the name of civil protection. It's only later that the country can see that the choice was a false one and that citizens' rights were sacrificed to carry out extreme measures that were at best useless and at worst counterproductive. There are enough examples of this in American history - the Alien and Sedition Acts and the World War II internment camps both come to mind - that the lesson should be woven into the nation's fabric. But it's hard to think of a more graphic example than President Bush's secret program of spying on Americans.

The White House has offered steadily weaker arguments to defend the decision to eavesdrop on Americans' telephone calls and e-mail without getting warrants. One argument is that the spying produced unique and highly valuable information. Vice President Dick Cheney, who never shrinks from trying to prey on Americans' deepest fears, said that the spying had saved "thousands of lives" and could have thwarted the 9/11 attacks had it existed then.

Given the lack of good, hard examples, that argument sounded dubious from the start. A chilling article in yesterday's Times confirmed our fears.

According to the article, the eavesdropping swept up vast quantities of Americans' private communications without any reasonable belief that they could be related to terrorism. The National Security Agency flooded the Federal Bureau of Investigation with thousands of names, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and other tips that virtually all led to dead ends or to innocent Americans.

About the only result the administration has been able to dredge up on behalf of the spying program is the claim that the information it gained helped disrupt two plots: one to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge and one to detonate fertilizer bombs in London. But officials in Washington and Britain disputed the connection. And that plot to cut down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blowtorch has been trotted out so many times that it would be comical if the issue were not so serious. (MORE)

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CAIR-CAN: CANADIANS MUST DEMAND ANSWERS ON NO-FLY LISTS - TOP
Halima Mautbur, Toronto Star, 1/18/06
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1137497167972&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

The issue of no-fly lists is finally registering on the national radar screen. It's an issue that should concern all Canadians, because this snare is catching far more than just the "usual suspects."

One of Canada's shadiest statistics is the unknown number of citizens who have had their mobility rights curbed by the U.S. no-fly list. Some of the notables include Canada's Defence Minister Bill Graham and NDP MP Pat Martin, both of whom were caught by the now infamously inaccurate American watch list.

Most startling about their cases is that neither were flying into the United States at the time - they were flying between Canadian cities.

Complaints filed with the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) have also indicated that Canadian airlines are applying the U.S. no-fly list on flights within Canada, not just those landing south of the border.

The incidents raise an alarming question: Why are Canadians being restricted by American policies in their own country?

It's a conundrum that has left many Canadians without recourse. Yet instead of addressing the problem, Transport Minister Jean Lapierre announced last August that a Canadian no-fly list would be added to the mix.

But even as he unveiled the government's newest anti-terror tool, he kept secret the details of its process and application. Even the exact date of implementation remains unknown, only that it will start sometime this year.

There was one glaring omission from Lapierre's program: The "Passenger Protect" plan did not include an appeal mechanism for those wrongly targeted. "I will be responsible for putting the names on the list," Lapierre told reporters, as though that excluded the possibility for errors.

It didn't inspire confidence in his critics. The plan was later revised to include a removal mechanism for those mistakenly listed, although little is known about how serviceable that process will be, given that individuals aren't permitted to challenge secret information.

The use of watch lists to curb mobility is a departure from traditional legal restrictions, many of which are justified and are applied after fair, open trials. For example, convicted sex offenders can be prohibited from going near schools. But no transparent trials will take place before inviduals are named to the pending Canadian list.

That decision will be made behind closed doors by the transport minister, CSIS and the RCMP. Many may not even find out they are on the list until they attempt to fly to a business engagement or family gathering. Worse, they may end up being detained in a foreign country.

There are other questions that remain unanswered about Canada's list. What criteria will place individuals on the list? How reliable is the information used to add names to the list?

How will the information be shared with other countries, particularly those with poor human rights records? Will Canadian airlines be permitted to continue using the U.S. no-fly list, even on flights between Canadian cities? (MORE)

Halima Mautbur is human rights coordinator for CAIR-CAN, the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations.

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BY THE BOOK IN BOONTON: THE QURAN - TOP
Bible replaced in ceremony for Muslim taking seat on planning board
Sara N. Lynch, Daily Record, 1/18/05
http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060118/NEWS01/601180313/1005

BOONTON -- The three men stood at the front of the courtroom before the planning board attorney last week, their right hands raised in preparation to become the latest members of the town's planning board.

Two of the men placed their left hands on the Bible to take their oaths and "solemnly swear" before God.

The third man, 49-year-old Tajammul "Taj" Khokhar, placed his hand on his family's Quran and took an affirmation.

Khokhar, a well-known Boonton resident who is also a Boonton Main Street trustee and an active member of the Jam e Masjid Islamic Center, may well have made town history in that moment.

Although other Boonton Muslims have served on various boards, including the Housing Authority and the Library Board, the Pakistan-born American is the only Muslim in anyone's memory to serve on the town's planning board, let alone use a Quran in lieu of a Bible during the ceremony.

Khokhar said he had not even realized that he might be the first Muslim in Boonton to serve on the planning board or use a Quran to take his affirmation.

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CA: MUSLIM CABBIES CLAIM DISCRIMINATION - TOP
Associated Press, 1/17/06
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/northern_california/13645347.htm

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Muslim cabbies complain they are being unfairly targeted by sheriff's deputies who are enforcing a law requiring them to get a county license.

The taxi drivers, who work for two Muslim-owned cab companies, said they have gotten about 30 misdemeanor citations in the two months for not having Santa Barbara County licenses, a requirement that has been in place for at least three decades.

The drivers said the county license requirement was never enforced until recently.

"We don't want to break the law. If we had known about it, we would have gotten a permit," said Habib Mehai, owner of Fly By Night cab company.

The Rose Cab Co. and Fly By Night cabbies are also concerned the misdemeanor tickets jeopardize their presence in this country.

"You get something on your criminal record, and forget it," said Mehai, referring to an application for citizenship. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

FLIER ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MUSLIM BASHING, CRITICS SAY - TOP
Adams Jadhav, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1/18/06
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/13652644.htm

ST. LOUIS - What in the world do dietary supplements have to do with turbans and terrorism?

That political head-scratcher confronted at least some vitamin buyers around the nation who found a flier with their mail-order nutrients carrying the bold headline, "Get a Turban for Durbin!"

An image shows Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., wearing the headwrap, common in parts of the Middle East and south Asia and sacred religious garb in some faiths, including the entire Sikh religion.

The flier's kicker: "Keep Congressional Terrorists At Bay." The flier was distributed last month by a pro-vitamin and supplement group.

Critics say the flier is yet another example of Muslim bashing. The designer of the flier, who has since pulled it, admits that it was over the line but said he put it out to draw attention to what he thinks is improper action by Durbin.

Dietary supplement makers attack Durbin because he wants regulation requiring them to report serious side effects of their products. The proposals are driven in part by deaths related to ephedra, the popular stimulant and diet pill pulled from the market in 2004.
Vitamin and supplement makers oppose the idea, saying that mere coincidence - someone having a heart attack while taking Vitamin C - would scare off consumers and cripple sales. Attacks on Durbin have been led by the Melville, N.Y.-based Nutritional Health Alliance, which published the "Turban" handout.

Durbin decries the flier as offensive and a political cheap shot. The 61-year-old senator says he doesn't want to harm the industry and admits to taking a daily regimen of pills himself - fish oil, a multivitamin, a B complex, an antioxidant and half an aspirin.

"They're throwing around this kind of reckless rhetoric," Durbin said. "The rhyme makes the story here."

"There is this feeling that it's somewhat of an open season on Muslims," said Rabiah Ahmed, spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Washington. "If you replace Islam and drop in any other religion and said, `Blank is a terrorist religion,' it would never be tolerated."

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NJ: TEEN CHARGED IN PATERSON STUDENT'S STABBING - TOP
Cristian Salazar, Herald News, 1/18/06
http://www.bergenrecord.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkyJmZnYmVsN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2ODYyMjIw

PATERSON - Police charged an 18-year-old Hispanic man with the Jan. 9 stabbing of a John F. Kennedy High School student, and a national Muslim rights advocacy organization Tuesday called on the FBI to investigate the attack as a possible hate crime.

Police Detective Robert Vogt said Tuesday that Jonathan Santiago, 18, alsoknown as "Indio", turned himself in to Paterson police Monday after warrants were issued.

Santiago - who says he was born in Puerto Rico - was being held at the municipal jail on $35,000 bail, police said. He is charged with aggravated assault and two weapons possession charges, police said.

Vogt identified the victim as an Arab teenager who lives in South Paterson, but didn't release his name.

A prominent national Muslim rights and advocacy organization, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, called on the FBI to investigate the stabbing as a possible hate crime.

"We're very concerned with a bias motive of the stabbing," said Ibrahim Hooper, the group's communications director.

Hooper said his organization was concerned about the ethnic and religious divisions at Kennedy High School. "Whatever the motivation for the stabbing, the situation at the school needs to be addressed," he said.

Students, faculty and community leaders have described the social climate among youth in and outside the school as split along ethnic lines.

Hooper said he couldn't recall another situation in which ethnic tension had split a school so thoroughly. "We've all gone to school and there's cliques at school, but nothing this severe."

He added that he was shocked to see Muslim and Latino youths divided because they have much in common.

"We more often see the Hispanic community being very sympathetic to the Muslim community," he said, noting that many Latinos have opted to convert to Islam.

Vogt, one of the lead investigators of the stabbing, said there didn't appear to be any ethnic or racial motivation for the attack. "It was very spontaneous," he said.

The fight started when Santiago allegedly pulled the hat off the victim's head. They exchanged words, Vogt said, and began to fight.

"No ethnic or racial overtones had been reported uttered to us by the victim or the suspect," Vogt said.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested Friday on charges of juvenile delinquency in connection with the assault, police said. Vogt said the boy, Santiago's friend, punched the victim, possibly in the upper body and face.

The victim in the attack was released from St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center on Friday after spending four days in the intensive care unit, police said.

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HEAD OF MUSLIM LAWYERS' GROUP FEARS ALITO NO FRIEND OF CIVIL RIGHTS - TOP
Omar Sacirbey, Religion News Service, 1/18/05
http://www.religionnews.com/

The head of an American Muslim lawyers' group is worried that Judge Samuel Alito, President Bush's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, will interpret the Constitution in a way that allows for broader presidential powers at the expense of civil rights.

Farhana Khera, director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Muslim Lawyers Association, said Alito, in four days of judiciary committee questioning that finished Thursday (Jan. 12), had done little to allay the group's concerns regarding his commitment to the protection of civil rights and immigration rights.

"So far, the responses he's given are perplexing," Khera, 36, said. She said she will urge judiciary committee members to further press Alito on these issues in writing.

American Muslims were distressed by reports last month that the administration has engaged in domestic spying and allegedly conducted surreptitious radiation monitoring at Muslim homes, businesses and other sites without warrants.

Khera said she believed Alito "hinted" during the hearings that he believed it is not the Supreme Court's role to address whether such surveillance is within or outside the scope of executive powers, and that he would not challenge such surveillance.

On religious liberty, Alito ruled in a 1999 federal case in favor of a Muslim police officer who contended that a City of Newark, N.J., policy prohibiting beards violated his right to religious expression. Khera said that was one of Alito's "positive" decisions having to do with American Muslims.

Before being named NAML's director in July, Khera served six years as counsel to Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., a key figure on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. As Feingold's lead lawyer, Khera focused on The Patriot Act and civil rights issues such as racial and religious profiling. (MORE)

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NICHE BANKS FIND GROWTH IN MUSLIM MARKET - TOP
Shaheen Pasha, CNNMoney.com, 1/17/06
http://money.cnn.com/2006/01/17/news/companies/banks_muslims/

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - In the quest to find new and profitable ways to attract consumers, the banking industry has found religion.

Islamic banking is emerging as a small but growing trend among lenders in the United States, as niche players create specialized products and services for Muslims that fall within the tenets of Islamic law, or Shariah.

Shariah prohibits investments in the liquor, wine, casino, pornography, gambling and pork processing industries, and forbids Muslims from accepting or paying interest -- a challenge for Western banks that are based in the interest-paying system.

Currently there are three banks that offer Islamic banking in the U.S., including international giant HSBC (Research), but experts expect that number to rise as the Muslim population grows and the community begins to demand more specialized services.

No-interest mortgages

Despite the difficulties in creating an entirely different finance system, banks such as Ann Arbor, Mich.-based University Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of holding company University Bancorp (Research), are willing to put in the extra work to create banking alternatives that appeal to the growing market.

While industry experts say it's difficult to determine the exact size of the Islamic market in the U.S. -- given the lack of information from the Census Bureau -- national data accumulated from government studies and independent religious groups estimate that there are between 5 million to 7 million Muslims living in the U.S. And with the Department of Homeland Security indicating that there is a rising number of immigrants from Muslim countries entering the U.S. in recent years, industry experts said its a smart move for banks to start focusing on the growing Muslim community.

University Bank recently formed the University Islamic Financial Corp., a subsidiary that offers Muslims home financing, deposit accounts and Islamic mutual fund shares.

The bank's deposit accounts allow Muslims to open accounts where any profits are shared with customers rather than paid as interest. Stephen Ranzini, president and chairman of University bank said the company currently has $5.5 million in Islamic-compliant deposits.

And instead of traditional mortgages, the bank essentially sets up a special trust for the property the consumer is trying to buy. The borrower leases the property on a rent-to-own basis -- a system called ijara in Islam -- and agrees to take ownership at the end of the agreement, usually written as a 30-year contract. The bank makes a profit from the rent on the property. If the house is sold before it's paid off, the customer would pay the rest of the money committed to the trust with proceeds from the house's sale.

Ranzini said the company is in negotiations with a government-sponsored enterprise to create a secondary market for its Islamic mortgages, which will allow the company to offer another mortgage alternative, called murabaha, nationwide in the near future. Under murabaha, the bank buys the property and sells it to the consumer in monthly installments at the acquisition price plus an agreed profit rate.

He added that the company expects to grow its assets -- pegged near $60 million at the end of 2005 -- to over $100 million in the near-term.

Chicago-based Devon Bank also offers a murabaha mortgage product, and plans to expand its Islamic banking to include compliant money market and checking accounts and CDs upon approval from federal regulators, said David Loundy, corporate counsel for the bank.

While Loundy declined to comment on the bank's financial assets tied to the Islamic bank, he said its compliant mortgages account for over half of the company's residential mortgage volume. . .

"The rise of Islamic banking is a sign of the maturity of the Muslim community in America," said Rabiah Ahmed, spokeswomen for the Council of American-Islamic Relations. "The trend is definitely increasing."

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HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH WORLD REPORT 2006 - TOP
U.S. Policy of Abuse Undermines Rights Worldwide
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/13/global12428.htm

(Washington, D.C., January 18, 2006) - New evidence demonstrated in 2005 that torture and mistreatment have been a deliberate part of the Bush administration's counterterrorism strategy, undermining the global defense of human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2006.

The evidence showed that abusive interrogation cannot be reduced to the misdeeds of a few low-ranking soldiers, but was a conscious policy choice by senior U.S. government officials. The policy has hampered Washington's ability to cajole or pressure other states into respecting international law, said the 532-page volume's introductory essay.

"Fighting terrorism is central to the human rights cause," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "But using illegal tactics against alleged terrorists is both wrong and counterproductive."

Roth said the illegal tactics were fueling terrorist recruitment, discouraging public assistance of counterterrorism efforts and creating a pool of unprosecutable detainees.

U.S. partners such as Britain and Canada compounded the lack of human rights leadership by trying to undermine critical international protections. Britain sought to send suspects to governments likely to torture them based on meaningless assurances of good treatment. Canada sought to dilute a new treaty outlawing enforced disappearances. The European Union continued to subordinate human rights in its relationships with others deemed useful in fighting terrorism, such as Russia, China and Saudi Arabia.

Many countries - Uzbekistan, Russia and China among them - used the "war on terrorism" to attack their political opponents, branding them as "Islamic terrorists."

Human Rights Watch documented many serious abuses outside the fight against terrorism. In May, the government of Uzbekistan massacred hundreds of demonstrators in Andijan, the Sudanese government consolidated "ethnic cleansing" in Darfur, western Sudan, and persistent atrocities were reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chechnya. Severe repression continued in Burma, North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Tibet and Xinjiang in China, while Syria and Vietnam maintained tight restrictions on civil society and Zimbabwe conducted massive, politically motivated forced evictions. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

RIGHTS GROUP SAYS U.S. ABUSE DELIBERATE - TOP
Barry Schweid, Associated Press, 1/18/06
http://www3.cjad.com/content/cp_article.asp?id=/global_feeds/CanadianPress/WorldNews/w011837A.htm

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has a deliberate strategy of abusing terror suspects during interrogations, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday in its annual report on the treatment of people in more than 70 countries.

The human rights group based its conclusions mostly on statements by senior administration officials in the past year, and said President Bush's reassurances that the United States does not torture suspects were deceptive and rang hollow.

"In 2005 it became disturbingly clear that the abuse of detainees had become a deliberate, central part of the Bush administration's strategy of interrogating terrorist suspects," the report said.

On a trip to Europe last month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told foreign leaders that cruel and degrading interrogation methods were forbidden for all U.S. personnel at home and abroad. She provided little detail, however, about which practices were banned and other specifics.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Wednesday he had only seen news accounts of the report, but he rejected its conclusions.

"It appears to be based more on a political agenda than facts," he said. "The United States does more than any country in the world to advance freedom and promote human rights. ...The focus should be more on those who are violating human rights and denying people their human rights."

In a separate report, the organization strongly criticized three insurgent groups in Iraq al-Qaida, Ansar al-Sunna and the Islamic Army for targeting civilians with car bombs and suicide bombers in mosques, markets, bus stations.

However, the group said the abuses "took place in the context of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and the ensuing military occupation that resulted in tens of thousands of civilian deaths and sparked the emergence of insurgent groups."

Human Rights Watch has criticized the Bush administration's war against terrorism before, registering concern that abuses in the name of fighting terrorism were unjustified and counterproductive. In other reports, the group has protested that the Bush administration's promotion of democracy was applied narrowly and missed allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, that were due criticism.

The latest report taking aim at the Bush administration said that the president's repeated assurances that U.S. interrogators do not torture prisoners studiously avoid mentioning that international law prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners. (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: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 08:41:58 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR to Hold News Conference in Jordan Seeking Journalist's Release

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAIR TO HOLD NEWS CONFERENCE IN JORDAN SEEKING JOURNALIST'S RELEASE
U.S. Muslim leaders to issue joint statement calling for Jill Carroll's freedom

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/19/2006) - Later today, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold news conferences in Amman, Jordan, and Canton, Michigan, to call for the release of American journalist Jill Carroll who was abducted January 7th in Iraq while on assignment for the Christian Science Monitor newspaper.

Carroll's kidnappers threaten to kill her by Friday unless U.S. military authorities release all Iraqi women in their custody. (Iraqi officials say that six of the eight women being held by coalition forces in Iraq will be released.)

A CAIR delegation is on its way to Iraq to make a public appeal for Carroll's release. Because of the short deadline, the delegation will hold an initial news conference today in Amman. A second news conference will be held in Baghdad on Friday.

SEE: American Islamic Group Heads to Middle East to Plead for Journalist's Release

WHAT: CAIR News Conference in Amman, Jordan, Calling for the Release of Jill Carroll
WHEN
: 9 p.m. Local Time (Seven hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern time zone.)
WHERE: Intercontinental Hotel, Near 3rd Circle, Amman, Jordan
CONTACT: CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726

CAIR will also hold a news conference today in Michigan, Carroll's home state, at which local Muslim leaders will call for her immediate release.

WHAT: Michigan Muslims to Call for Release of U.S. Journalist Held in Iraq
WHEN
: Thursday, January 19, 9:30 a.m. (local time)
WHERE: Muslim Community of Western Suburbs Mosque, 40440 Palmer Road, Canton, Michigan, 48188
CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, 248-569-2203, E-Mail: cairmichigan@yahoo.com

SEE: Let Young Writer Go, Metro Muslims Urge

Along with the delegation to Iraq and the Michigan news conference, CAIR is also coordinating a joint appeal to be issued later today by national Muslim leaders calling for Carroll's safe return to her family.

On Tuesday, CAIR issued a statement, which was translated into Arabic and distributed to Middle Eastern media outlets, calling for Carroll's "immediate and unconditional" release.

In December, CAIR held a news conference at its national headquarters in Washington, D.C., to call for the release of members of the Christian Peacemakers Teams also taken hostage in Iraq.

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.

-----

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

-----

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: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 13:42:27 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslim Leaders Call for Release of Journalist in Iraq

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

U.S. MUSLIM LEADERS CALL FOR RELEASE OF JOURNALIST IN IRAQ

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/19/2006) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today issued a joint statement by dozens of American Muslim leaders, scholars and organizations* calling for the release of journalist Jill Carroll who was abducted recently in Iraq while on assignment for the Christian Science Monitor newspaper.

The joint declaration, coordinated by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), states:

"We, the undersigned representatives of the American Muslim community, call for the immediate and unconditional release of Jill Carroll, a journalist with a well-documented record of objective reporting and respect for both the Iraqi people and Arab-Islamic culture.

"We ask that her captors show mercy and compassion by releasing her so that she may return to her family. Certainly, no cause can be advanced by harming a person who only sought to let the world know about the human suffering caused by the conflict in Iraq."

Carroll's kidnappers threaten to kill her by Friday unless U.S. military authorities release all Iraqi women in their custody. (Iraqi officials say that six of the eight women being held by coalition forces in Iraq will be released.)

A CAIR delegation is on its way to Iraq to make a public appeal for Carroll's release. The delegation will hold an initial news conference today in Amman, Jordan. A second news conference will be held in Baghdad on Friday.

SEE: American Islamic Group Heads to Middle East to Plead for Journalist's Release

Earlier today, CAIR held a news conference in Michigan, Carroll's home state, at which local Muslim leaders called for her immediate release.

SEE: Michigan Group Appeals for Release of Kidnapped Journalist

"We hope that the combined efforts of all those who are concerned about Ms. Carroll's safety will result in her immediate and unconditional release," said CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed. "The American Muslim community is committed to doing its part in helping to win her freedom."

In December, CAIR held a news conference at its national headquarters in Washington, D.C., to call for the release of members of the Christian Peacemakers Teams also taken hostage in Iraq.

In 2004, CAIR launched an online petition drive, called "Not in the Name of Islam," designed to disassociate Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims. Millions of American television viewers have seen CAIR's public service announcement (PSA), based on the petition drive.

Last year, CAIR coordinated the release of a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against terrorism and religious extremism issued by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and endorsed by hundreds of U.S. Muslim groups, leaders and institutions.

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.

* PARTIAL LIST OF STATEMENT SIGNATORIES: (More names are being added. To add your name or that of your organization to the list, e-mail: masoliman@cair-net.org )

* Imam W. Deen Mohammed, Director of The Mosque Cares
* Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Chairman Shura Council of Southern California
* Sayyid M. Syeed, Ph.D., Secretary General, Islamic Society of North
* America (ISNA)
* Imam Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini, Founder and Director of the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County, CA
* Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
* American Muslim Association of North America
* Asma Hanif, Chairperson, Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations of Greater Washington Area
* Imam Mohamed Magid, Imam and Executive Director, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)
* Rizwan Jaka, President, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)
* Sheikh Mohammed Alhanooti, Mufti of Washington, D.C.
* Dr. Ahmed Sakr, Director of the Islamic Education Center
* Imam Zaid Malik, Islamic Center of Northeast Florida
* Shaykh Mohammad Ali Al-Halabi, Al-Mahdi Library
* Imam Waleed Basyouni, Clearlake Islamic Center, Houston, TX
* Mukit Hossain, President, Virginian Muslim Political Action Committee
* American Muslim Center, Dearborn, MI
* Imam Gary Al-Kasib, Masjid Wali Muhammad, Detroit, MI
* Samina F. Sundas, Executive Director, American Muslim Voice
* Ziad Taha, President, Islamic Community of Tampa
* Imam Haitham Barazanji, President, Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area
* Imam Dr. Muhammad Sultan, Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area
* Farouk Fakira, President, Council of Sacramento Valley Islamic Organizations
* Palm Beach Mosque
* Islamic Center of South Florida
* Miami Gardens Masjid
* Masjid Al-Ihsan
* Masjid An-Noor
* Nur Ul Islam
* Islamic Center of Boca Raton
* Islamic Jaffaria Association
* Masjid Shamsuddin
* Islamic Foundation of South Florida
* Masjid Al-Faizal
* Masjid Miami
* Masjid Jama Al Mumineen
* Masjid Al-Ansar
* Masjid Muttaqeen
* Masjid Al-Hijrah
* Masjid Al-Iman
* As-Salaam Center
* Masjid-al-Muslimiin
* Masjid Noor Ul-Huda
* Al-Huda Islamic Center, Athens, GA
* Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta
* Masjid Al-Hedaya, Marietta, GA
* Islamic Society of Augusta, GA
* Hadayai Majeed, 1000 Peace Women
* Islamic Center of Marietta, GA

-----

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

-----

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: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 15:21:01 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Police Investigate Possible Bias Crime at NJ Mosque

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/19/06

* Help CAIR Meet Its January Goal of $50K
* CAIR: Police Investigate Possible Bias Crime at NJ Mosque
* Video: CAIR-MI Calls for Release of Journalist in Iraq (WXYZ)
* AZ: Feds Call Jamaat al Tabligh 'Undesignated' Terror Group
            - FL: Judge Won't Dismiss Al-Arian Charges (AP)
            - FL: Acquitted, But Still in Detention (SP Times)
* PA: Islamic Studies Program Boosted by $1 Million Gift
* More U.S. Students Study Arabic in Middle East (Balt Sun)

------

HELP CAIR MEET ITS JANUARY GOAL OF 50K - TOP

CAIR is asking everyone to do their part to help us reach our online fundraising goal of $50,000 for January. Whether your donation is $10, $50 or $100, every dollar that you donate today will count and be used to help empower the American Muslim community.

NOW is the time to show your support for CAIR.

To support CAIR's important work, please donate at:
https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp

REMEMBER: Scholars say CAIR is able to receive ZAKAT donations.

-----

CAIR: BOONTON POLICE INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE BIAS CRIME AT CENTER - TOP
SARAH N. LYNCH, DAILY RECORD
http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060119/NEWS01/601190320/1005

BOONTON -- Members of the Jam e Masjid Islamic Center on Harrison Street were shocked when they discovered a large American flag nailed above the mosque's doorway.

Police are investigating the incident as a possible bias crime.

The incident came only one day after a controversial planning board meeting. Mosque leaders have an application pending before the board to expand the facility with a 4,000-square-foot, multistory addition that will include the construction of a traditional dome and minaret.

The project, which requires three variances, has generated opposition in the neighborhood from residents who are concerned because the proposal does not also include a parking lot expansion. On Fridays, during prayer services, the streets get busy as members search for parking.

"It was very discomforting to see something blocking the door," said Hamida Amanat, education director of the center. "If it was small, we wouldn't mind. It was someone coming over our property line and doing this at night without permission.

Raising American flag

"We put a flag up ourselves. We have a pole, and we raise the American flag on certain days," she said.

At Tuesday night's board of aldermen meeting, Police Chief Michael Beltran assured the board that the department is investigating the incident, reported to police Jan. 12, and has several leads.

"Right now, our investigation is open, so we're unsure if it's a bias incident or not, but we're treating it as one until we get all the evidence," Beltran said.

The flag was draped vertically over the door and nailed to the building.

Since the incident, police have increased patrols in the area both night and day, Beltran said.

Police believe there may be a connection between the flag-nailing incident and the planning board application.

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said such an incident demonstrates a lack of understanding.

"I believe ignorance plays a major factor in this problem, which automatically leads to prejudice," Awad said. "It could be an attempt at saying, 'You're not Americans, but we are.' It may be an attempt to de-Americanize the Muslim community.

"We are patriotic Americans, as well, and nobody has the right to question our love and affection and patriotism just because of our beliefs. I think it's sickening that people may think less of their fellow Americans because of their skin color or their faith." (MORE)

-----

CAIR-MI: AMERICAN ISLAMIC ACTIVISTS MAKE PLEA FOR CARROLL - TOP
Brandon Truttling, WXYZ-TV, 1/19/06
http://www.detnow.com/wxyz/nw_local_news/article/0,2132,WXYZ_15924_4399849,00.html

The Michigan branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations made a plea, Thursday, for journalist Jill Carroll to be released. The group also sent civil rights activists to Jordan to make the same plea.

A number of Mosque and religious leaders gathered in Canton to issue a demand to Carroll's captors.

Dawud Walid said, "Miss Carroll's non-hostile, non-combatant role in Iraq did not warrant her abduction and threat of death. We call on the immediate and unconditional release of Miss Jill Carroll. We are hopeful that our call to civility will be heard. That Miss Jill Carroll will have the opportunity to safely return to her loved ones here in the great state of Michigan."

-----

FEDS: ARIZONAN TIED TO TERROR - TOP
Officials detain Tempe doctor
Dennis Wagner, Arizona Republic
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0119hassan19.html

An Arizona doctor and mosque leader returned to the United States on Wednesday from a pilgrimage in Mecca to face allegations by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security tying him to a terrorist organization.

Nadeem Hassan, 41, made a phone call to his father from Kennedy International Airport in New York, saying he was in the custody of immigration officials.

Zaheer Hasnain said his son does not know whether he will be jailed or allowed to come home.

Days earlier, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services revoked Hassan's right to work and travel inside the country based primarily on his ties to an orthodox Islamic missionary group that the Department of Homeland Security identified as a terrorist organization.

Hassan, a gastroenterologist at Maricopa Medical Center and former chief executive at the Masjid el-Noor Mosque in Mesa, has worked for years as a coordinator with Jamaat al Tabligh (Society That Propagates the Faith). The worldwide movement calls upon Muslims to live up to their faith.

Jamaat al Tabligh, or JT, previously has not been designated a terrorist group by the government. However, in paperwork rejecting Hassan's application for a green card, Homeland Security described JT as "a terrorist organization (that) . . . provides material support . . . to members of a designated terrorist organization - al Qaida; and provides the same types of material support . . . to an undesignated terrorist organization - the Taliban."

The papers go on to tell Hassan, "You are found to have engaged in terrorist activity by providing material support to an undesignated terrorist organization."

Homeland Security representatives declined Wednesday to discuss Hassan's case. An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment.

Muslim officials expressed shock at the accusations against Jamaat al Tabligh, insisting it is a loose-knit missionary movement that shuns politics and violence. Hasnain said that his son is not a terrorist and that JT "has nothing to do with the Taliban, nothing to do with al-Qaida."

"It is a totally god-fearing organization," he added. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

FL: JUDGE WON'T DISMISS AL-ARIAN CHARGES - TOP
Associated Press, 1/19/06
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/state/13658492.htm

(AP) -- A federal judge on Wednesday declined to dismiss remaining charges against Sami Al-Arian, making a second trial more likely for the former college professor on charges that he aided Palestinian terrorists.

U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. denied without comment a defense motion seeking dismissal of nine counts on which the jury deadlocked after six months of trial last year. Jurors acquitted Al-Arian on eight counts.

The jury failed to return any guilty verdicts against Al-Arian and three other defendants, who were charged with raising money for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Two of the defendants were acquitted of all charges, while jurors deadlocked on some counts against Al-Arian and Hatem Naji Fariz. . .

"I'm extremely disappointed that the judge would deny these motions without having a hearing," said William Moffitt, one of Al-Arian's attorneys.

---

AL-ARIAN ASSOCIATE REMAINS CONFINED - TOP
MEG LAUGHLIN, St. Petersburg Times, 1/19/06
http://www.sptimes.com/2006/01/19/Tampabay/Al_Arian_associate_re.shtml

Immigration officials are still holding Sameeh Hammoudeh because he could have terrorism ties.

TAMPA - Although a jury acquitted Sameeh Hammoudeh of terrorism charges, immigration officials are not convinced.

They want to keep him in jail, and on Wednesday a U.S. immigration judge denied him bail.

"Hammoudeh is being held because (immigration) still believes he has ties to terrorism," said Pam McCullough, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The agency will not release Hammoudeh, a co-defendant in the Sami Al-Arian trial, pending his deportation on a federal tax evasion conviction.

Hammoudeh's situation is reminiscent of Al-Arian's brother in law, Mazen Al-Najjar, who was arrested for violating immigration laws and denied bail because the government said it had secret evidence of his terrorist ties. Al-Najjar spent more than four years behind bars before he was deported.

McCullough acknowledged Hammoudeh's acquittal but said immigration officials don't agree with the jury's unanimous decision. (MORE)

-----

PA: ISLAMIC STUDIES PROGRAM BOOSTED BY GIFT - TOP
BY ROZINA ALI, Phoenix, 1/19/06
http://phoenix.swarthmore.edu/2006-01-19/news/15686

Swarthmore's Islamic Studies program is gaining steam thanks to a recent donation of $1 million from the family of Tariq Fischer '08. The gift provides financial support to supplement student and faculty enthusiasm for the Islamic Studies program.

Following Fischer's death in a car accident in Georgia last summer, Paul Fischer, Tariq's father, said that the family donated Tariq's inheritance to honor his love for Islam and for Swarthmore. "Tariq wanted everyone to know that Islam was a good religion and to show by his daily actions that it could bring out the best in people who followed it," Fischer said. "Unbenknownst to us, Swarthmore had been planning to start a program in Islamic Studies for several years. It seemed like a natural fit."

While there is a rising interest in Islamic Studies among students, financial backing is crucial to building and maintaining the program at Swarthmore. The donation made by the Fischers contributes to the Islamic Studies program along with a previous donation of $1 million made by Bruce Gould '59.

Besides monetary gifts to the Islamic Studies programs, additional funds were awarded to the Arabic language program. Those funds will influence overall Islamic Studies at Swarthmore as well. "If we hire people who teach Arabic but also literature and culture, the Fischer grant can cover this. The donation can support two tenure track positions," Provost Connie Hungerford said. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

LEARNING ARABIC, AND MUCH MORE - TOP
JUSTIN MARTIN, Baltimore Sun, 1/19/06
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.arabic19jan19,1,6718269.story

AMMAN, JORDAN -- Much has been said in the last five years about the lack of Arabic speakers in the United States, especially those willing and qualified to work for the federal government. After 9/11, America scrambled to find qualified linguists to help fight terrorism.

Long overshadowed by the more easily learned romance languages, Arabic got short shrift at most American colleges and universities. With the rare exceptions of schools such as Georgetown University and Middlebury College in Vermont, which has been recognized for its intensive summer language program, American universities simply did not have advanced Arabic programs or the professors to lead them.

Now, because of the job opportunities Arabic provides, those universities are overrun with students wanting to study Arabic but are unable to accommodate many of them.

But American students have not given up. Instead, they are traveling to the Middle East in large numbers to study Arabic. Determined to meet the demands for Arabic speakers in the current governmental and business job markets, they have migrated eastward by semesters to Arabic schools in the Middle East and North Africa, on year- or summer-long programs.

Universities in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and even far-flung Yemen, for example, are admitting American students wanting to study Arabic, Islamic culture or Middle Eastern media. For the first time, universities in these countries are luring large numbers of Americans from the more traditional study-abroad destinations in Europe. (MORE)

-----

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: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 15:24:48 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Man Found Rappelling From IN Mosque / CAIR Urges Release of US Journalist in Iraq

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/20/06

* Hadith: God is the Most Excellent Guardian
* CAIR-Cleveland: Muslims Meet with Newspaper Editors
* CAIR Urges Release of US Journalist in Iraq (Reuters)
            - MI: Muslims Work for Journalist's Release (Free Press)
            - MI: Muslims Step Up Effort to Free Hostage (Detroit News)
            - MI: Pleas for Carroll's Release Continue (Ann Arbor News)
* IN: Man Found Rappelling From Bloomington Mosque (AP)
            - NJ: Police Rightly Probe Mosque Incident
* IL: Negotiations Favored in MCC School Prayer Case
            - IL: School District Reconsiders Religious Holidays
* AZ: Phoenix Doctor Banned From U.S. (AP)
            - FL: Hajj is an Emotional Experience (Sun-Sent)
* CA: USC Students Express Interest in Muslim Sorority
            - Muslim Comics Use Laughter to Tackle Bias (AP)
            - MI: Banking Islam-Style (Ann Arbor News)

-----

HADITH OF THE DAY: GOD IS THE MOST EXCELLENT GUARDIAN - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "You must put in effort and work, but if you are overwhelmed by a difficulty then say, 'God is sufficient for me, and he is the most excellent guardian.'"

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 4, Number 130

The Prophet also used the supplication: "O God, there is no ease except what You make easy, and you alone can turn a difficulty into ease."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 4, Number 131

-----

CAIR-CLEVELAND: MUSLIMS MEET WITH NEWSPAPER EDITORS - TOP

(CLEVELAND, OH, 1/20/06) ­ The Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) hosted editors and reporters from the Plain Dealer newspaper earlier this week at a meeting to discuss the paper's coverage of Islam and Muslims.

At the meeting, CAIR officials presented a detailed analysis of the Plain Dealer's 2005 coverage, citing marked improvement over the previous year. However, a number of concerns remained, including the lack of Muslim journalists at the paper.

Newspaper officials pledged to work with CAIR and local mosques to host media seminars and career days. The paper also agreed to recruit Muslims for its job shadowing program.

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 30 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: Julia A. Shearson, 216-830-2247 or 216-440-2247, E-Mail: cleveland@cair-ohio.com; Dr. Ahmad Al-Akhras, 614-989-5916, E-Mail: ahmad@cair-ohio.com

-----

RIGHTS GROUP URGES RELEASE OF US JOURNALIST IN IRAQ - TOP
Reuters, 1/19/06
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L19130736.htm

AMMAN- A U.S.-based civil rights group on Thursday called for the release of American journalist Jill Carroll, whose kidnappers in Iraq have threatened to kill her unless authorities free all Iraqi women in custody.

Carroll, 28, a freelance journalist working for the Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped in Baghdad on January 7. Her translator was killed.

"We appeal to the kidnappers to release her on humanitarian grounds," Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, told a news conference in the Jordanian capital Amman.

"Killing her or harming her will harm the cause of the Iraqi people and any cause the kidnappers may hold," Awad said.

The group said it plans to head for Baghdad on Friday.

Arab television station al Jazeera said on Tuesday Carroll's kidnappers had threatened to kill her within 72 hours unless all Iraqi women detainees were freed. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-MI: AS DEADLINE LOOMS, STATE'S MUSLIMS WORK FOR RELEASE - TOP
Niraj Warikoo and Maryanne George, Detroit Free Press, 1/20/06
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060120/NEWS05/601200310/1007/NEWS

The kidnapping of an American journalist raised in Ann Arbor has Muslims across southeastern Michigan frantically trying whatever they can to secure her release -- for her family, her friends and themselves.

Through public appeals, calls to Iraqi officials and strongly worded statements in Arabic, Muslim leaders have denounced the Jan. 7 kidnapping of Jill Carroll in Baghdad, calling the actions of her abductors contrary to Islam.

While members of the Muslim community are praying for Carroll's safe release on behalf of her friends and family, they are also mindful that if harm comes to the freelance writer for the Boston-based Christian Science Monitor, it could result in a backlash against Muslims.

"We want our voices to be heard. It's been too long that we've allowed the lunatic fringe to speak for us. We're stepping up and saying, 'No, that's not us. That's not Islam,'" said Dr. Jukakau Tayeb, 53, who lives in Shelby Township.

People anxiously awaiting word of Carroll's fate could hear today, according to news service reports.

A previously unknown group calling itself the Revenge Brigade apparently kidnapped Carroll, 28, saying that if all Iraqi women in U.S. military custody were not released, Carroll would be killed.

On Thursday, Carroll's mother, Mary Beth Carroll, who now lives in Illinois, told CNN that her daughter's kidnappers have "picked the wrong person ... if they're looking for someone who is an enemy of Iraq," according to the Christian Science Monitor's Web site.

"I, her father and her sister are appealing directly to her captors to release this young woman who has worked so hard to show the suffering of Iraqis to the world. ... Taking vengeance on my innocent daughter who loves Iraq and its people will not create justice," she told CNN.

Meanwhile, the Islamic community in Michigan -- one of the largest in the nation -- continued to press for the journalist's release. In Canton, Muslim leaders issued a public statement in hopes it would somehow reach her abductors. In Southfield, an Islamic charity with close ties to Iraq, called Life for Relief and Development, frantically worked contacts inside the Iraqi government.

Khalil Jassemm, chief executive officer of the Southfield charity, said he is working with Nihad Awad, a representative with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an Islamic advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., to help Awad make contact with influential Iraqi religious and political leaders. Jassemm is a friend of Iraq's head of parliament, Hachem Al-Hassani.

A delegation with the council is expected to hold a news conference today in Baghdad, calling for Carroll's release. (MORE)

---

AREA MUSLIMS STEP UP EFFORT TO FREE HOSTAGE - TOP
Metro Detroit groups call on insurgents to release Jill Carroll immediately
Gregg Krupa and Dorothy Bourdet, Detroit News, 1/20/06
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060120/METRO/601200408

CANTON -- Amid a growing international outcry against her kidnapping, more than two dozen local Arab and Muslim groups Thursday called on insurgents in Iraq to immediately release Jill Carroll, a reporter for The Christian Science Monitor who grew up in Ann Arbor.

Her captors said they would kill Carroll, 28, if Iraqi women held by United States forces are not released by this evening. Spokesmen for the local groups say they are speaking out because kidnapping and killing are an affront to Islam and human rights, and also because of Carroll's local ties and what they called her "balanced reporting" on the war in Iraq and issues in the Middle East.

"Miss Carroll is an innocent reporter, a civilian who was doing her job reporting on the war in Iraq and the suffering of the Iraqi people," said Dr. Mouhib Ayas, chairman of the Islamic Shura Council of Michigan, an umbrella organization of 24 mosques and Islamic organizations in Metro Detroit. "We remind those who hold her of what God said in the Koran that, 'Whoever kills an innocent soul unjustly, it is as if he murdered all mankind, and whoever gives it life, it is as if he had given life to all mankind.'?"

Carroll's mother also spoke publicly Thursday, for the first time since her daughter's kidnapping 12 days ago. On CNN's "American Morning" program, Mary Beth Carroll said she wants the captors to know "that they've picked the wrong person.

"If they're looking for somebody who is an enemy of Iraq, Jill is just the opposite," said Carroll, who was calm enough to smile a few times during the interview. "She was a wonderful ambassador -- is a wonderful ambassador -- to the United States for the Iraqi people."

Carroll's captors have identified themselves as "The Revenge Brigade," which was previously unknown, according to American officials. They vowed to kill Carroll unless U.S. authorities release all women in military custody in Iraq. Six of the eight women held are to be released next week, according to the Iraqi Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim Ali. But the provisional government in Iraq says the releases are unrelated to the abduction of Carroll.

Killing Carroll would be "against all humanitarian standards and is indeed against the values and principles of the Islamic faith and Arab culture," said Imad Hamad, regional director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, in Dearborn. "Journalists, reporters, humanitarian mission workers, etc. in Iraq should not be targeted and should not be held responsible for the politics of their respective countries."

The Council on American Islamic Relations, in Southfield, announced it is sending two representatives from its national office in Washington to Iraq to seek Carroll's release. From Iraq, the Association of Muslim Scholars also pleaded for her release. (MORE)

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PLEAS FOR CARROLL'S RELEASE CONTINUE - TOP
Kidnappers' deadline will pass today
Ann Arbor News, 1/20/06
http://www.mlive.com/news/aanews/index.ssf?/base/news-16/1137769841196740.xml&coll=2

As the clock ticked down to the final hours of the deadline set by journalist Jill Carroll's kidnappers in Iraq, Carroll's father and a prominent Muslim leader made last-minute appeals to spare her life.

In a statement aired today by two major Arab television stations, Jim Carroll described his daughter as "an innocent woman'' and told the captors that sparing her life would "serve your cause more than her death.''

Adnan al-Dulaimi, a top Sunni politician in Iraq, also appealed for the release of Carroll and urged U.S. and Iraqi forces to stop arresting Iraqi women.

The kidnappers had threatened to kill the 28-year-old reporter, who grew up in Ann Arbor, unless all female detainees are freed by today. No hour was specified, and there was no indication that any prisoners had been released. Iraq is eight hours ahead of Michigan time.

A U.S. Embassy official said he was unaware of any contacts between a high-level hostage release team and the kidnappers. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said U.S. authorities were meeting with various figures including political leaders, particularly from the Sunni Arab community, who may have links to the kidnappers.

Carroll, a freelancer for the Christian Science Monitor, was abducted Jan. 7 in Baghdad near the office of al-Dulaimi, whom she was going to interview. Her translator was killed.

Earlier today, al-Dulaimi promised to work for the release of all female prisoners but warned that failure to set Carroll free would "undermine and hamper my efforts.''

"We are against violence by any group, and we call the government and U.S. forces to stop raiding houses, arresting women,'' al-Dulaimi said in a statement. "I call upon the kidnappers to immediately release this reporter who came here to cover Iraq's news and defending our rights.''

He urged militants to protect journalists "regardless of their nationality.''

"This act has hurt me and makes me sad because the journalist was trying to meet me when she was kidnapped,'' he said, adding that she was abducted about 300 yards from his office. (MORE)

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MAN FOUND RAPPELLING FROM BLOOMINGTON MOSQUE - TOP
Associated Press, 1/19/06
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=local&id=3828474

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Muslim leaders are concerned about their community's safety after someone saw a man rappelling from the roof of a city mosque.

A witness praying at the Islamic Center of Bloomington on Saturday heard footsteps on the roof and spotted the man climbing down the building's roof around six a-m.

Police say the man joined two other men in a Jeep before driving away.

Bloomington police Detective Sgt. David Drake says there was no evidence of the man entering the building or of any property damage.

The F-B-I is also investigating an apparent arson that happened at the same mosque in July.

Islamic center spokeswoman Nancy Anderson says she hopes to meet with authorities to discuss upgrading security at the center.

ALSO SEE:

BOONTON POLICE RIGHTLY PROBE MOSQUE INCIDENT - TOP
Daily Record, 1/20/06
http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060120/OPINION01/601200318/1094/NEWS01

Why would someone affix an American flag to the outer wall of a mosque, as was done recently in Boonton?

There's no legitimate reason for such actions other than to suggest that the mosque and its congregation are not "real" Americans. So, by putting up a flag, the perpetrator apparently reasoned, "I'll show them, they're Americans, whether they like it or not."

In truth, the members of the Jam e Masjid Islamic Center on Harrison Street are as American as anyone else in town. As Hamida Amanat, a mosque official, told the Daily Record, "We have a pole and we raise the American flag on certain days." Many members of the mosque have lived in town for years.

Police are investigating the incident, which occurred at night, as a possible bias crime. That's the right approach.

What also is troubling about the incident is that it took place as the town is considering a request by the mosque to expand. Some neighbors are opposed, saying that the mosque lacks adequate parking now. It may not be coincidental that the flag placement took place just as that approval process began with the town planning board. (MORE)

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MGO FAVORS NEW NEGOTIATIONS IN MCC SCHOOL PRAYER CASE - TOP
Nick Katz, Pioneer Local, 1/19/06
http://www.pioneerlocal.com/cgi-bin/ppo-story/localnews/current/mg/01-19-06-804195.html

A neighborhood group that has opposed a mosque at the Muslim Community Center says the MCC should go through a permit process again if the group wants to hold prayer services during construction.

"If they don't like their own deal and want to change it, they should start over," said Patrick Kansoer, a founding member of the Morton Grove Organization.

MCC officials say the village is misinterpreting a condition of the special-use permit granted for the project that says Friday and Ramadan prayers cannot be held at the school at 8601 Menard Ave., until the village issues an occupancy permit. The services draw as many as 400 people.

The group has been talking with the village in an effort to resume those prayer services which were stopped in late December when construction began.

Village officials, however, say that if the MCC wants to change any of the more than 30 conditions attached to the special-use permit including the restriction on prayers, the group will have to go through the process for amending the permit. That includes a review and public hearing before the village's Plan Commission.

The project at the school includes interior remodeling and an addition with a mosque, new classrooms and additional storage space and meeting rooms.

The special-use permit, approved in 2004, is an outgrowth of a mediation agreement reached between the MCC and village in settlement of a federal lawsuit the group filed against the village in 2003 after the project was initially rejected by the Village Board.

The MGO has opposed the project from the start, contending it will cause parking problems and generate too much traffic for the neighborhood.

"The village was mistaken in issuing the special-use permit," Kansoer told trustees at a meeting last week. "Since the MCC seems to now be unhappy with the deal they have struck with the coercive help of the federal government, I would strongly urge the village to accede to their demands, void the mediated agreement and reopen negotiations."

Specifically, the special-use permit requires that an "alternate site be found and used for Friday and Ramadan worship services during construction until a certificate of occupancy is issued."

But MCC officials say they have been unable to find a suitable location in the area. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

DISTRICT 73.5 RECONSIDERS SCHOOL SCHEDULE - TOP
Mike Isaacs, Pioneer Local, 1/19/06
http://www.pioneerlocal.com/cgi-bin/ppo-story/localnews/current/sk/01-19-06-801743.html

Skokie School District 73.5 is reconsidering its practice of being the only district in Niles Township to keep school open during the high Jewish holidays and Good Friday.

School Board member Andrea Rosen wants to see the district reverse its decision to hold school on holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Good Friday when every other district in Niles Township closes down on those days, she said.

"I just don't think it's respectful for families who do celebrate these holidays," Rosen said. . .

Eid Al-Fatr

Another huge absence day in the district is Eid Al-Fatr, a holiday celebrating the end of the month of fasting in the Muslim world. All Niles Township schools remain open during the Muslim holiday, and few staff members are absent at District 73.5.

But 8 percent of students at McCracken, 4 percent of students at Middleton and 8 percent of students at Meyer Schools were not in school the first day of Eid Al-Fatr in 2005 and many of them also were absent the second day.

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PHOENIX DOCTOR IS BANNED FROM U.S. - TOP
Associated Press, 1/20/06
http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/112193

PHOENIX - An Arizona doctor with connections to what federal authorities allege is an Islamic terrorist organization may never be allowed to return to the United States, his attorney said Thursday.

Nadeem Hassan and his wife, Amber, were detained at New York's Kennedy International Airport by U.S. Customs officials on Wednesday because their applications for a green card - which allows permanent residency - had been denied days earlier.

Their attorney, Eric Bjotvedt, said they were given an option of being detained without a hearing or returning to Saudi Arabia, where they traveled for hajj.

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services revoked privileges for the Hassans to work and travel in the United States based on Nadeem Hassan's ties to Jamaat al Tabligh, an orthodox Islamic missionary group.

In rejecting the Hassans' applications, Homeland Security described this as "a terrorist organization (that) . . . provides material support . . . to members of a designated terrorist organization, al-Qaida . . . and to an undesignated terrorist organization, the Taliban." (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

TRAVELING TO MECCA IS AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE FOR MUSLIM PILGRIMS - TOP
Lisa Bolivar, Sun-Sentinel, 1/20/06
http://www.sun-sentinel.com

Una Mohammad-Khan sat near the Great Mosque, tears streaming down her cheeks, and suddenly she knew what God would have her do with her life.

Mohammad-Khan had embarked on her first hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It was during her prayers at the Great Mosque and in asking God's guidance that she knew she had to become a nurse and attend to those in need.

So Mohammad-Khan, now retired, keeps her vow to God and is in the process of establishing a center for the elderly.

The native of Trinidad who now lives in Miramar easily recalls her pilgrimage.

"You are not thinking of yourself as being anything and you feel as though you are God's creation, you are in his presence and you lose yourself in his presence ... and you go around the Kabah and you chant `Here I come o Lord, here I come.' Gosh, a chill goes through your body," Mohammad-Khan said.

It was 1986 when she performed the last of five acts required of Muslims: the declaration of faith recognizing that God is one and Muhammad was his messenger; five daily prayers; paying zakat, or charity; fasting during the month of Ramadan; and the hajj to Mecca at least once in a lifetime, if it can be afforded.

Hajj began the second week of January and culminated on the 10th with the celebration of Eid al-Adha, the three-day Feast of Sacrifice.

But when Mohammad-Khan made her first hajj and her eyes fell on the
Kabah, the large black cube encasing the black stone thought to have been sent by God and first enshrined by Abraham, she cried.

"When I first laid eyes on the Kabah I was lost, I was mesmerized looking at the Kabah. I forgot where I came from ... I was so fixed on the Kabah, that was my initial reaction," said Mohammad-Kahn, recalling her steps as she approached the throngs circling the stone seven times.

" ... and as I went along the thought of walking and treading on the same soil where the Prophets Abraham and Muhammad did, I felt, you know, you melt, you are nothing, you have no status, you are nothing. It is a beautiful feeling," she said.

Seeing the Kabah for the first time also was an emotional experience for Mustafa Nassar, 46, of Miami.

Nassar, originally from Jerusalem, did his first hajj at age 21 in 1980 when he was working in Saudi Arabia.

"The first time when I visit Mecca, when I see Kabah, I cry like a baby," said Nassar, who now serves as an executive board member of AMANA, the American Muslim Association of North America in Miami.

Circling the Kabah is the first step of the hajj, Nassar said. Pilgrims also visit Mount Arafat to pray and reflect upon their lives, the town of Mina to throw stones at Satan and also reenact the desperation of Hagar, the handmaiden of Abraham's wife, Sarah, who searched for water for her dying son, Ishmael.

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TWO USC STUDENTS EXPRESS INTEREST IN MUSLIM SORORITY - TOP
Torey Van Oot, Daily Trojan, 1/20/06
http://www.dailytrojan.com/media/paper679/news/2006/01/20/News/Two-Usc.Students.Express.Interest.In.Muslim.Sorority-1478903.shtml

Sisterhood, service, social awareness, educational development. The goals of Gamma Gamma Chi mirror many values upheld by existing Greek organizations. What sets Gamma Gamma Chi apart is that it is based on Islamic principles.

In the next few months, the sorority will likely open its first chapter - at the University of Kentucky - marking a milestone in the history of the Greek system. Two USC students have submitted membership inquiries to the organization.

The national sorority, a private nonprofit organization, was founded in April 2005 by Althia Collins and her daughter, Imani Abdul-Haqq, who wanted to join a sorority.

Most existing sororities are Christian-based, and although many Christian and Muslim values overlap, Abdul-Haqq wanted to find an opportunity for sisterhood that corresponded more with her religious and personal beliefs, Collins said.

They conducted market research, working with Muslim student associations across the country to look into developing a Muslim-based sorority and received "enthusiastic response," Collins said.

Collins described Gamma Gamma Chi as an "opportunity to bridge the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims" and said she hopes the sorority can promote sisterhood, help members establish a large network, provide Muslim women with personal and professional connections and engage in philanthropic activities that will benefit both Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

"I think women in Islam are seen in a really negative light, especially right now. The media totally looks down on women in Islam, and I think this is a great opportunity for us to work together and for us to spread the word of Islam in a positive light," said Amira Shalash, a freshman majoring in communication at the University of Kentucky.

Shalash submitted a membership inquiry to Gamma Gamma Chi.

"Because (Gamma Gamma Chi) was (Islamic)-based and I am Muslim, I thought it was a great opportunity to get involved in something that was a big part of my life," she said.

Collins said Gamma Gamma Chi strives to be a diverse student group open to Muslims and non-Muslims. (MORE)

ALSO SEE:

EMERGING MUSLIM COMICS USE LAUGHTER TO TACKLE DISCRIMINATION, FEAR - TOP
Anna Johnson, Associated Press, 1/20/06

TINLEY PARK Ill. - When Azhar Usman walks down the street, he gets dirty looks.

"People are looking like I was responsible for 9-11," the comedian tells the crowd recently in this Chicago suburb. "Me 9-11? 7-Eleven, maybe.

"It's gotten so bad," he continues in an act full of comic pauses, "that I want to stop people in the street and say look, relax, John, Bob. I'm a Muslim, but I'm an American Muslim. That's right, I consider myself a very patriotic American Muslim, which means I would die for my country. By blowing myself up. Inside a Dunkin' Donuts."

Usman, 30, is one of several emerging Muslim comics who are touring the United States and the world trying to break down stereotypes, encourage critical thinking, create an identity and most importantly get people to laugh.

"The stand up is quintessentially an American art form and is a form of political protest," said Usman, who grew up north of Chicago in the suburb of Skokie. "There's a history of the underdog using standup comedy to speak truth to power. People take notice and are transformed by the experience."

Not many subjects are off limits for Usman a former attorney who became a full-time comic about two years ago. He jokes about terrorism, the war in Iraq, President Bush, airport security and the Patriot Act. Even his own religion and fellow Muslims are not exempt as he performs skits on Palestinians, Egyptians, Bollywood, mosques and Friday prayers.

"Just about anything is fair game, just as long as it's done tastefully and artfully," he said. "I have some boundaries, based on religion. I won't do any sacrilegious material, make fun of God or the prophet." Usman seeks the advice of a small group of Muslim scholars when he has doubts over subject material.

Though most of the response is positive, Usman knows some Muslims disapprove of his mixture of comedy and religion. He tackles tough issues, not just about how Americans see Muslims but how Muslims in America see themselves.

"It's equally my obligation as a comedian to point out what is wrong with us and get us talking about our problems as it is pointing out what's wrong the way, for example, the government is treating us," Usman said.

Though he performs solo, Usman also travels as part of the "Allah Made Me Funny" tour with two fellow Muslim comedians.

They debuted the tour in 2004, thinking they'd be a success if they played 30 cities in three years. Instead, they toured 50 cities in one year, performing not just at Muslim community centers but comedy clubs across the United States and internationally. (MORE)

On the Net:

Allah Made Me Funny: http://www.allahmademefunny.com
Arab American Comedy Festival: http://www.arabcomedy.org
Azhar Usman: http://www.azhar.com
Preacher Moss: http://www.preachermoss.com
Maysoon Zayid: http://www.maysoon.com

---

BANKING ISLAM-STYLE - WITHOUT INTEREST - TOP
Stephanie Murray, Ann Arbor News, 1/20/06
http://www.mlive.com/business/aanews/index.ssf?/base/business-4/1137769959196740.xml&coll=2

When University Bank transformed its Islamic banking division into a subsidiary last month, the Ann Arbor bank was stepping into territory that's fairly uncharted in this country.

There are at least 250 Islamic financial institutions around the world, managing an estimated $200 billion, according to the Institute of Islamic Banking & Insurance.

But in the U.S., only a handful of companies offer specific products for Muslims, let alone separate Islamic-focused institutions. Federal and state regulators are still grappling with how to deal with this growing, and sometimes confusing, area of finance.

A tenet of Islamic faith prohibits paying or receiving interest, a key component of many financial markets.

"A lot of people hear 'no interest' and they think, 'How can a bank make money like that?'" said University Bank President Stephen Lange Ranzini, who is also heading the new University Islamic Financial Corp. "Just because there isn't interest doesn't mean there's not payments ... it took us a very long time, over a year, to figure out how to do this properly.''

University Bank has offered Muslim home financing products since July 2003. Instead of traditional mortgages, these transactions are set up as lease-to-own or markup deals. In both cases, the bank buys the home and sells it to the customer; bank profit is built into the payments at an agreed-upon price.

Although it may sound like calling interest by another name, "it's not seen that way by Muslims,'' said Harvard Business School professor emeritus Samuel Hayes, author of "Islamic Law and Finance: Religion, Risk and Return.''

Fifty-seven Michigan families have used these mortgage alternatives through University Bank, including the family of Dr. Ahmad Zeibo.

Three months ago, Zeibo used the lease-to-own product, called ijara, through University Bank to buy a new home in Canton. It was the only way, the physician said, that he could become a homeowner.

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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, 20 Jan 2006 17:13:27 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR to Hold News Conference in Baghdad Calling for Journalist's Release

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

CAIR TO HOLD NEWS CONFERENCE IN BAGHDAD CALLING FOR JOURNALIST'S RELEASE

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/20/2006) - On Saturday, January 21, a delegation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a news conference in Baghdad, Iraq, to reiterate an appeal for the release of American journalist Jill Carroll.

WHAT: CAIR News Conference in Baghdad Calling for the Release of Jill Carroll
WHEN: Saturday, January 21, 11 a.m. Baghdad Time
WHERE: Baghdad International Airport
CONTACT: CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, 703-851-4051, 962-777-578-857; CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor, 962-796-098-300; CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726

CAIR held news conferences yesterday in Amman, Jordan, and in Michigan, Carroll's home state, calling for her immediate and unconditional release. A number of Arabic and international media outlets, including Al-Jazeera, covered the Amman event.

SEE: Rights Group Urges Release of US Journalist in Iraq

SEE ALSO: As Deadline Looms, State's Muslims Work for Release

Along with the delegation to Iraq and the earlier news conferences, CAIR also coordinated a joint appeal issued yesterday by national Muslim leaders calling for Carroll's safe return to her family.

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

- END -

CONTACT: 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

-----

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

-----

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

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Forwarded Message

Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2006 07:43:02 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Delegation Arrives in Iraq to Plead for Reporter's Release

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BREAKING NEWS - 1/21/06

CONTACT:
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, 703-851-4051, 962-777-578-857; CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor, 962-796-098-300; CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726

CAIR: MUSLIM GROUP PLEADS FOR REPORTER'S RELEASE
Associated Press, 1/21/06
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2006-01-21-journalist-hostage_x.htm

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A U.S. Muslim advocacy group arrived in Baghdad on Saturday to plead for the release of American hostage Jill Carroll, while an Iraqi official urged U.S. forces to free six detained Iraqi women in a bid to save the journalist.

A deadline set by kidnappers, who threatened to kill Carroll unless U.S. forces released all Iraqi women in military custody, passed late Friday with no word on her fate.

A delegation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations flew to Baghdad from neighboring Jordan in a bid to drum up momentum for Carroll's release. The 28-year-old was abducted Jan. 7 in a tough west Baghdad neighborhood.

"We are the only people who have come from outside of Iraq to call for Jill's release and we are very hopeful they will hear our message on behalf of American Muslims," Nihad Awad, the group's executive director said at Baghdad International Airport. "Harming her will do (the kidnappers) no good at all. The only way is to release her." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, 248-569-2203, E-Mail: cairmichigan@yahoo.com

CAIR-MI: MUSLIMS KEEP UP FERVENT CALLS FOR REPORTER'S RELEASE
Detroit Free Press, 1/21/06
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060121/NEWS07/601210307/1009

Muslims from Baghdad to Paris to southeastern Michigan urged the militants to free Carroll, who was seized in a rough Baghdad neighborhood Jan. 7 by gunmen who killed her translator. . .

Meanwhile, Muslims across southeastern Michigan continued to work their contacts in hopes of securing Carroll's release, saying her kidnapping violates Islamic principles.

As Friday waned without word of Carroll's status, Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said his group was still hopeful her captors "will release her before the end of the night, or grant an extension."

The Washington, D.C.-based council has sent two officials to the Middle East, calling for Carroll's release. (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: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 13:02:28 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Video of CAIR Delegation in Iraq / Reviewer Slams Book as 'Anti-Islamic Polemic'

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/22/06

* Hadith: 'Make Your Lawful Bounties Sufficient for Me'
* CAIR Forum: Young Muslims Discuss Future of Islam in U.S.
            - CAIR-AZ: Humanist Society Hosts Islamic Group Speaker
* U.S. Muslim Group in Baghdad to Plead for Hostage (CNN)
            - Update: CAIR Delegation Now Back in Jordan
            - CNN Video of CAIR Delegation in Iraq
            - U.S. Muslims Rally for Hostage (LA Times)
            - U.S. Muslim Group Urges Release of Journalist (AP)
            - US Muslims Ask Kidnappers to Free Journalist (VOA)
* Islam-OpEd: Diverse Religious Landscape Means Change, Not Threat
            - How do Muslims Deal with Living in Christian Majority Nation?
* Reviewer Slams Book as 'Anti-Islamic Polemic'
* Pentagon Analyst Sentenced for Passing Secrets to Israel (LAT)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: 'MAKE YOUR LAWFUL BOUNTIES SUFFICIENT FOR ME' - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught his followers to pray saying: "O God, make Your lawful bounties sufficient for me so as to save me from what is unlawful, and grant me from Your grace sufficient abundance to make me free from the need of all except You."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 4, Number 131B

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CAIR: 'YOUNG MUSLIMS AND THE FUTURE OF ISLAM IN AMERICA' - TOP
The Washington Daybook
Federal Information & News Dispatch/Agence France-Presse

TOPIC: Discussion on "Young Muslims and the Future of Islam in America"

SPONSOR: The Council on American-Islamic Relations

PARTICIPANTS: Noorain Khan, a Rhodes Scholar from Rice University; and Mohamed Sabur, an aide for Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn.

DATE: January 25, 2006, 11:30 a.m.

LOCATION: CAIR, 453 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, cair@cair-net.org; http://www.cair-net.org

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-AZ: HUMANIST SOCIETY HOSTS ISLAMIC GROUP SPEAKER - TOP
The Arizona Republic, 1/21/06

Nure Elatari, from the council on American Islamic Relations, will speak at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Home Town Buffet, 1312 N. Scottsdale Road.

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U.S. MUSLIM GROUP IN BAGHDAD TO PLEAD FOR HOSTAGE - TOP
CNN, 1/22/06
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/01/21/iraq.journalist/index.html

VIEW CNN VIDEO OF CAIR DELEGATION IN IRAQ - TOP
http://www.cnn.com/video/partners/clickability/index.html?url=/video/world/2006/01/21/holmes.carroll.update.ap

UPDATE ON CAIR DELEGATION: CAIR's delegation to Iraq is now back in Jordan in preparation for its return to the United States.

CONTACT: CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, 703-851-4051, 962-777-578-857; CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor, 962-796-098-300; CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726 - TOP

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations arrived in Baghdad to urge kidnappers to release U.S. journalist Jill Carroll.

"We are the only people who have come from outside of Iraq to call for Jill's release, and we are very hopeful they will hear our message on behalf of American Muslims," said Nihad Awad, CAIR's executive director on Saturday.

"Harming her will do no good at all. The only way is to release her," he said. (Watch what groups are saying and doing to convince the kidnappers -- 1:01)

The American Muslim group undertook the journey to ensure the kidnappers would have every opportunity to hear their message, said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR's communications director. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

U.S. MUSLIMS RALLY FOR HOSTAGE - TOP
A Washington-based group's members arrive in Baghdad to seek the journalist's release. Two Marines are reported slain in a suicide attack.
Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times, 1/22/06
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iraq22jan22,1,7261005.story

BAGHDAD - On a day that members of a U.S. Islamic group arrived in Baghdad to plead for the release of a kidnapped reporter, the U.S. military announced that two Marines were killed by a suicide car bomber while on a combat mission near Ramadi, a hotbed of insurgent violence.

The identities of the Marines killed Friday were being withheld pending notification of next of kin. According to an Associated Press tally, their deaths bring to 2,222 the total U.S. military personnel lost since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Meanwhile, executive director Nihad Awad of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in an interview Saturday that any harm done to Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, "would harm the Iraqi people and the Iraqi cause." Carroll was abducted Jan. 7 while on assignment in Baghdad. (MORE)

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U.S. MUSLIM GROUP URGES THE RELEASE OF JOURNALIST - TOP
PAUL GARWOOD, Associated Press, 1/22/06
http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/13686067.htm

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A U.S. Muslim group appealed Saturday for the release of American journalist Jill Carroll as a deadline set by kidnappers passed with no word on her fate. . .

Two members of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations flew to Baghdad on Saturday to seek the release of Carroll, a 28-year-old freelancer for the Christian Science Monitor abducted Jan. 7 in Baghdad.

"We are the only people who have come from outside of Iraq to call for Jill's release, and we are very hopeful they will hear our message on behalf of American Muslims," the group's executive director, Nihad Awad, said at Baghdad International Airport.

"Harming her will do them no good at all. The only way is to release her," he said.

The delegation had hoped to meet with Iraqi Muslims to explore ways to win the journalist's freedom.

But the representatives were unable to obtain safe transport into the city and instead spoke by telephone with Iraqi figures.

They planned to return to neighboring Jordan today, but a sandstorm threatened to stop all flights and leave them stranded. (MORE)

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US MUSLIMS ASK IRAQI KIDNAPPERS TO FREE AMERICAN JOURNALIST - TOP
VOA News, 1/22/06
http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-01-22-voa6.cfm

Representatives of a prominent Muslim group in the United States, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, are appealing for the release of kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll.

A senior member of the influential U.S. Islamic group traveled to Baghdad Saturday to launch a public appeal to Carroll's abductors to release the 28-year-old writer. The American-Islamic council says Carroll is an objective reporter, and her work has demonstrated respect for the Iraqi people and Arab culture. (MORE)

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ISLAM-OPED: DIVERSE RELIGIOUS LANDSCAPE MEANS CHANGE, NOT THREAT - TOP
Alaa Bayoumi, Sunday Gazette-Mail, 1/22/06
http://wvgazette.com/section/Perspective/2006012121

[Alaa Bayoumi is a researcher for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties group. He may be reached at: abayoumi@cair-net.org]

All too often, we see religious differences turn into a source of divisions within a society. But that need not be the case. Religious diversity, when properly understood and promoted, can in fact help strengthen a society's identity and unity.

A forward-looking attitude on religious diversity is important because religion is important to most people and most societies. When a nation's religious landscape changes, its national identity cannot remain static. . .

It is up to us to stand firm and united in the face of any intolerant forces that may seek to divide our nation. Failure to do so will jeopardize our role as a model for tolerance and human rights.

America's Muslim community stands ready to do its part in strengthening our nation through creating opportunities for interfaith respect and mutual understanding.

SEE ALSO:

HOW DO NON-CHRISTIANS DEAL WITH LIVING IN A COUNTRY WHOSE POPULATION IS MOSTLY CHRISTIANS? - TOP
Kansas City Star, 1/21/06
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/living/religion/13672974.htm

Overcoming difficulty strengthens beliefs

Rushdy El-Ghussein, former president of the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City: In Islam a true believer's priority is to please the Almighty God through worship. A true Muslim tries to shape all his life toward the worship of God. The work we do, the talk we utter and even the way that we eat can become acts of worship.

In this case, the place where a Muslim lives becomes irrelevant unless the place/environment that he lives in prevents him from worshipping God. In this case, he should struggle for his rights of worship, or, if he cannot attain that where he is, then it is time to find another place where a life of worship can be achieved.

Worshipping God is something that we do, recognizing his greatness, that he created and maintains everything, and that he guides us only to good. Worship and pleasing God become the objectives of a believer. Environment and situational difficulties should not hinder a believer from reaching his/her goal. Actually striving to overcome difficulties can strengthen belief and shape one's life to become more pious and closer to the Almighty God.

The lives of all prophets from Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus and up to Muhammad show us that they endured and persevered to worship and invite others to God. God has the ability and power to cause whatever he wants to occur, but he tests and tempers mankind through the difficulties of life.

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REVIEWER SLAMS BOOK AS 'ANTI-ISLAMIC POLEMIC' - TOP
The Lexington Herald Leader, 1/21/06
http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/living/religion/13659169.htm

'THE LEGACY OF JIHAD: ISLAMIC HOLY WAR AND THE FATE OF NON-MUSLIMS'

Andrew G. Bostom, editor. Prometheus Books. 759 pp. $28.

Bostom has brought together a variety of classical Islamic sources, eyewitness accounts, and contemporary historical commentaries related to jihad, or "holy war." He tries to bring balance to understandings of Islam by showing that Islam was spread through brutal military force, and brought slavery and marginalization for non-Muslims. But he is as selective in his choice of sources as are those whose viewpoints he opposes. Bostom also fails to provide any sense of historical and cultural context for the religious commentaries or eyewitness accounts. There is no reference to the medieval Christian Crusades, the Turkic and Mongol invasions of Muslim lands, or the subsequent military campaigns that drove Muslims out of Spain and Eastern Europe and eventually brought most of the Islamic world under colonial rule. Understanding the motives and methods of war through history is critical to a meaningful context. The author uses virtually any military offensive carried out by Muslims as an example of jihad, ignoring restrictions classical and modern Islamic jurisprudence placed on it. There is a need for a work that brings realism and balance to the topic. But Bostom's book is no more than a cleverly constructed anti-Islamic polemic that does much to increase fear and little to increase knowledge.

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PENTAGON ANALYST SENTENCED FOR PASSING SECRETS TO ISRAEL - TOP
Edwin Chen, Los Angeles Times, 1/20/06
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-012006franklin_lat,0,5759438.story

A former Pentagon analyst who slipped classified information to Israel was sentenced today to more than 12 years in prison by a federal judge in Virginia.

Lawrence A. Franklin, who had worked with top Defense Department officials, pleaded guilty in October to three felony counts of giving secrets to an Israeli Embassy official and a pro-Israel lobbying group here. (MORE)

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Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2006 12:38:46 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Delegation Returns / TX Mosque Vandalized / VA Halal Law Proposed / Muslims and Home Schooling

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/23/06

* Hadith: 'Increase My Knowledge'
* CAIR Delegation Returns to U.S. From Iraq
            - Jill Carroll: Support from Muslim Leaders (CSM)
            - CAIR-TX: Local Muslims Decry Capture (Houston Chron)
* CAIR: National Call-In Day on PATRIOT Act
* Post-9/11 Muslim Deportees Return to Offer Depositions (NYT)
            - WA: Somali Community Still Reeling from Arrest of Imam
            - FL: Removal Ends a Family's Nightmare (St. Pete Times)
* TX: Islamic Center in NW Austin Vandalized (KXAN)
* MS: Remembering a Muslim Victim of Hurricane Katrina (Sun Herald)
* VA: Proposed Law Protects Muslims from False Halal Labeling
* MD: Home Schooling Draws More Blacks, Muslims (Balt Sun)
            - Muslim Home School Resource & Network
* Banks Cater to Expanding U.S. Muslim Population (Wash Times)
            - Dow Jones Islamic Market Sustainability Index Launched
* CAIR-OH: Family Takes the Journey of a Lifetime (Enquirer)
* MI: U-M Responds to Muslim Students' Prayer Request

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HADITH OF THE DAY: 'INCREASE MY KNOWLEDGE' - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to say: "O God, grant me benefit in what Thou hast taught me, teach me what will be of benefit to me, and increase my knowledge."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 784

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CAIR DELEGATION RETURNS TO U.S. FROM IRAQ - TOP

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) delegation that went to Iraq seeking the release of journalist Jill Carroll will return to Washington Dulles International Airport at 6:55 p.m. Monday, January, 23, on an Air France flight. Delegation members will be available for interviews at that time.

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726 (CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, who traveled to Iraq, will be available at 703-851-4051 after landing.)

SEE ALSO:

JILL CARROLL: CHORUS OF SUPPORT FROM MUSLIM LEADERS - TOP
Christian Science Monitor, 1/23/06
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0123/p11s01-woiq.html

A delegation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations arrived in Baghdad Saturday, adding its voice to what is described as an unprecedented outpouring of Muslim support for the release of American reporter Jill Carroll.

"The kidnapping of Jill Carroll does not benefit the kidnappers," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Washington-based group that represents US mosques and Islamic associations. "She has been friendly and respectful of the Iraqi people, not an enemy," he added. (MORE)

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CAIR-TX: LOCAL MUSLIMS DECRY CAPTURE - TOP
KEVIN MORAN, Houston Chronicle, 1/22/06
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/3604765.html

Leaders and members of Houston's Islamic community today condemned the kidnapping of journalist Jill Carroll in Iraq, called for her release and said threats to kill Carroll fly in the face of Muslin teachings.

"We all have the same feeling of outrage," Nabin Oladi, a Muslim resident of the Clear Lake area said. "It doesn't go along with our religion and we are praying and hoping that she will be released."

Oladi attended a news conference at the Islamic Dawah Center in downtown Houston organized by U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, and area Muslim leaders. The group spoke out as the world waited for word on whether an Iraqi insurgent group called "The Revenge Brigade" would carry out its threat to kill Carroll unless nine Iraqi women under detention in Iraq were released.

Houston City Councilman M.J. Khan urged people of all faiths and nations to pray for the release of the Christian Science Monitor freelance writer and urged Carroll's captors to heed international calls for mercy.

"In the name of Islam, I appeal to you to release Jill Carroll," Khan said. "It is the Islamic thing to do. It is the right thing to do. It is the human thing to do."

Tarek Hussein, president of Houston's chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Carroll's kidnappers are violating Islamic law.

"It is absolutely against Islamic teachings for any civilian to be targeted anywhere in the world," Hussein said. "It will not further their cause. She is a journalist who came there wanting to help a country in turmoil." (MORE)

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CAIR: NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY ON PATRIOT ACT - TOP
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060123/nym134.html

NORTHAMPTON, Mass., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Tens of thousands of Americans will phone their members of Congress on Wednesday, January 25, to urge them to repair the USA PATRIOT Act.

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) organized the National Call-In Day in response to a draft PATRIOT Act reauthorization bill that its network of grassroots allies nationwide strongly oppose. Dozens of other national organizations are supporting the national call-in day.

A Senate filibuster last month over concerns that the reauthorization bill failed to protect civil liberties temporarily prevented it from becoming law. The House and Senate agreed to extend until February 3rd the 16 PATRIOT Act provisions that would have expired on December 31, 2005. . .

The BORDC, the League of Women Voters, the American Library Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and many other groups are urging their members and contacts to make phone calls to their congressional representatives on Wednesday, January 25, to demand safeguards to prevent the FBI from "fishing" through private purchase, medical, and library records without a statement of fact linking persons whose records are sought to a terrorism investigation, and to permit businesses and libraries to pose a meaningful challenge to a FISA Court order or a National Security Letter demanding customer records, among many other changes.

Other organizations supporting the call-in campaign include Alliance for Justice, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Amnesty International USA, Code Pink, Council on American-Islamic Relations, First Amendment Foundation, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Global Exchange, League of United Latin American Citizens, Liberty Coalition, MoveOn.org Political Action, National Lawyers Guild, People For the American Way, Rights Working Group, San Francisco Labor Council, Unitarian Universalist Association, and United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.

The Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121 (24 hours). See http://bordc.org for more information.

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HELD IN 9/11 NET, MUSLIMS RETURN TO ACCUSE U.S. - TOP
NINA BERNSTEIN, New York Times, 1/23/06
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/23/nyregion/23detain.html

Hundreds of noncitizens were swept up on visa violations in the weeks after 9/11, held for months in a much-criticized federal detention center in Brooklyn as "persons of interest" to terror investigators, and then deported. This week, one of them is back in New York and another is due today - the first to return to the United States.

They are no longer the accused but the accusers, among six former detainees who are coming back to give depositions in their federal lawsuits against top government officials and detention guards, at a time when the constitutionality of part of the government's counterterrorism offensive is under new scrutiny.

As in the cases of all the Muslim immigrants rounded up in the New York area after the terror attacks, the six were never accused of a crime related to 9/11; officials eventually cleared all of them of links to terrorism. A report by the inspector general of the Justice Department found systemic problems with immigrant detentions and widespread abuse at the federal detention center where the six had been held; several guards have since been disciplined. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

WA: LOCAL MOSQUE LEADER TO BE CHARGED WITH IMMIGRATION VIOLATIONS - TOP
Somali community still reeling from his arrest
PAUL SHUKOVSKY, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 1/23/06
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/256639_sheik23.html

The leader of a Rainier Valley mosque who was arrested by the Seattle FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in November will appear before an immigration judge this morning to be charged with giving false information to immigration officials to gain entry to the United States.

The arrest of Abu Abrahim Sheik Mohamed -- the respected imam of the Abu-Bakr Mosque -- as he got off a domestic flight at Sea-Tac Airport on Nov. 14 shocked Seattle's Somali community, who know him as a measured man who works to keeps local kids out of trouble.

Mohamed's attorney, Hilary Han, said documents he has received from the government also contain what he characterized as "hearsay allegations that he is involved in groups that they classified as militant."

Han said the government documents also included copies of newspaper articles about a series of terrorism task force raids in November 2004 that included a Muslim prayer room and bookstore about one block away from Abu-Bakr's original location. "There is nothing that links our client to that," said Han. "In my opinion, it's just inflammatory. He has no links to any terrorist group. He's not engaged in any terrorist activity."

A federal criminal justice source familiar with the investigation told the Seattle P-I that agents had not found any information demonstrating that Mohamed participated in terrorist activities and that it is unlikely he would face any terrorism-related charges. (MORE)

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FL: REMOVAL ENDS A FAMILY'S NIGHTMARE - TOP
MEG LAUGHLIN, St. Petersburg Times, 1/23/06
http://sptimes.com/2006/01/23/Tampabay/Removal_ends_a_family.shtml

Though he won a jury's unanimous acquittal on terrorism charges, Sameeh Hammoudeh is being sent to Jordan with family this week.

TAMPA - After spending almost three years in prison because of terrorism charges, Sameeh Hammoudeh was acquitted after a six-month trial.

Eight weeks after that not guilty verdict, it appears he will finally be released from jail this week and reunited with his wife and children, as they begin a 33-hour journey to Amman, Jordan, to join family.

"At last," Hammoudeh said.

The strange odyssey, which brings Hammoudeh to this latest juncture, began Feb. 20, 2003, when he was arrested at dawn at his North Tampa home. He was indicted for being a terrorist, labeled a "high-security threat" and placed in solitary confinement.

After a jury acquitted him in a Tampa federal courtroom in December, Hammoudeh remained in jail awaiting deportation because Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said they did not agree with the jury's decision.

"I don't understand. Even if you are acquitted, the government is like wild wolves picking at you - this in a country with people full of love and mercy," he said. (MORE)

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TX: ISLAMIC CENTER IN NW AUSTIN VANDALIZED - TOP
KXAN, 1/22/06
http://www.kxan.com/Global/story.asp?S=4395347&nav=0s3d

The Islamic Center off of McNeil was vandalized. The most disturbing fact is that this is not the first time it has happened.

This latest incident happened at the center at 1246 Los Indios Trail sometime between 12:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

Someone knocked down the basketball hoops and positioned them to block the gate. They also threw bricks and some portable weights into the drive way.

Then, the vandals re-arranged the letters on the Islamic Center's marquee. The culprits left behind a hate message directed toward the Jewish faith.

"The bottom line is that we are a peaceful community. Our hearts are open, and we ask this person and people like this person who made this incidence or anybody who is confused about Islam or confused about us, they can come our doors are open. They are most welcome 24/7," Imam Safdar Razi with the Islamic Center of N.W. Austin said. (MORE)

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AL-AMIN HUNAFA, 51 - TOP
Sun-Herald, 1/23/06
http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/special_packages/hurricane_katrina/13689204.htm

Al-Amin Hunafa always had a basketball in his hands, trying to improve his game, his older sister Betty Clark recalled of the 51-year-old Gulfport resident who died when Katrina came ashore Aug. 29.

Hunafa, 6-feet, 6-inches tall, played basketball through high school and at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he grew up. Later he worked in administration and was on a backup team for the Harlem Globetrotters organization, she said.

Born Milford Smith in Bowling Green, Mo., Hunafa embraced the Muslim religion and took on the name Al-Amin Hunafa about 15 years ago. He had lived on the Coast for about a year and was working in the landscaping business when Katrina hit.

Clark of Cedar Rapids was on the telephone with Hunafa from his Gulfport beachfront apartment when Katrina came ashore. He told her water was coming into the first floor and he was seeking refuge on the second floor when the phone went dead. It was a month before Clark learned the fate of her brother.

"He didn't take things too seriously," Clark said. "He didn't worry about stuff. He was happy-go-lucky. 'Don't worry. Not to worry,' that was his saying. 'I'm all right.'

It was that optimism, Clark speculated, that caused Hunafa to stay during the storm.

We Remember is a feature memorializing the lives of South Mississippians who perished in Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29. If you have information or a photograph of one of those people, contact the Sun Herald at (228) 896-2309 or e-mail living@sunherald.com.

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PROPOSED LAW PROTECTS MUSLIMS FROM FALSE LABELING - TOP
STEVEN G. VEGH, Virginian-Pilot, 1/22/06
http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=98446&ran=81487

VIRGINIA BEACH - At Sunrise Indian Groceries & Spices, owner Salim Ali walked past a selection of bagged curry and plucked a box of pineapple gelatin mix off a shelf. He pointed at a block-lettered label on the colorful cardboard: HALAL.

For Muslims, Ali said, the term offers assurance that the food was prepared according to Islamic dietary rules. That guarantee was surely true for the gelatin, which was made in predominantly Muslim Pakistan.

But to give the state's growing Muslim population equal assurance about food sold or produced in Virginia, Del. Kenneth C. Alexander has proposed a law making it a misdemeanor to fraudulently label products as halal.

Alexander, D-Norfolk, said he filed HB153 after Muslim constituents asked for the bill.

"This is by request," he said. "I don't know anything about the religion."

But Alexander said he knows that in Virginia, it is illegal to fraudulently sell or advertise food as kosher if it does not conform to Jewish dietary regulations. Offenders face a misdemeanor charge and a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Alexander's bill would impose the same punishments for halal infractions. Enforcement probably would fall to the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees Virginia's kosher law. Spokeswoman Elaine Lidholm said that although the department has occasionally investigated complaints of false kosher products, she knew of no confirmed violations.

Alexander said his bill does not oblige the state to intrude into religious affairs any more than it already does with the kosher regulation law or the ban on concealed weapons in churches. (MORE)

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MD: HOME SCHOOLING DRAWS MORE BLACKS - TOP
RONA MARECH, Baltimore Sun, 1/23/06
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/education/bal-te.md.homeschool23jan23,1,7784106.story

In 2004, Spence and her husband joined the growing ranks of blacks opting to teach their children at home. Black parents - some of whom consider themselves to be part of a movement - share the common concerns of most families that home-school their children: They're dissatisfied with expensive private schools or the failure and hopelessness they see in public schools, or they want to emphasize religious education.

But they mention other factors, too, including the desire to broaden lessons by incorporating multicultural or Afrocentric perspectives. Some worry that public schools particularly disserve black children. Others say that, as students, they were steered away from four-year colleges or otherwise treated differently from their white peers, and they want to protect their children from those inequities.

Black home-schooling families say they are seeing their numbers increase noticeably in Baltimore, Washington and surrounding suburbs, areas with large black populations and, in some cases, notoriously underperforming schools.

"The face of home schooling has really changed over the years. It's not just Christian fundamentalists and Hollywood kids. Anyone can do it," said Misty Muhammad, a mother of three from Baltimore County who recently started a home-schooling support group with five other black families. "People realize they have options and they can do a better job." . . .

In general, however, black parents tend to focus on pedagogy and philosophy when they talk about their drive to home-school.

"It's a perfect fit for us," said Muhammad, 30, who has three children, ages 4, 6 and 8. Her husband is a truck driver, and she used to work in mental health services for Philadelphia public schools.

Because of a lack of resources, crowded classes and violence, "a lot of times, it's not education going on in the school system," she said. "I really don't see them going to public school and couldn't afford private school.

"We're Muslim, and that's a big a part of it. I wanted to be able to convey our beliefs to our children without being clouded with other things," she added.

Also, public schools tend to leave black people out of history lessons, she said, echoing other parents' concerns that, all too often, Africa is deemed irrelevant or that black history is reduced to a civil rights lesson or squeezed into a specialty month.

"There's nothing to affirm the black child," Muhammad said. "I wanted them to grow up with healthy self-esteem." (MORE)

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MUSLIM HOME SCHOOL RESOURCE & NETWORK - TOP
http://www.muslimhomeschool.com/

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BANKS CATER TO EXPANDING MUSLIM POPULATION - TOP
Tom Ramstack, WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/23/06
http://washingtontimes.com/business/20060123-122634-8056r.htm

A financial firm plans to open an office in Fairfax County in early March to sell mutual funds to the Washington area's Muslims, joining banks and investment houses that find the growing U.S. Islamic population can no longer be ignored.

Saturna Capital Corp. plans to sell its Amana mutual funds to the Washington area's approximately 200,000 Muslims who want to avoid violating Islamic law with their investments.

"They're fairly young, making a lot of money, well-educated and they're looking for services," said Monem Salam, director of Islamic investing for Saturna Capital, which also sells funds that have no religious orientation.

The funds invest only in stocks that are Shariah-compliant, which means they cannot invest in the alcoholic beverage, gambling, pornography, tobacco or pork-processing industries. . .

Although Census Bureau data is sketchy, government studies and Muslim groups estimate 6 million to 7 million Muslims live in the United States. Other studies, however, have estimated the number as low as 1.6 million. The Department of Homeland Security says the number is rising with immigration from Muslim countries.

The number of financial services is growing with them.

Last summer, Guidance Financial Group said that in just over three years of operation it became the first Islamic financial-services company in the United States to provide more than half-a-billion dollars in home-financing contracts.

The Reston company operates with more than 85 employees in 17 states and the District.

In Ann Arbor, Mich., a bank that has offered special services for Muslims for two years recently formed a subsidiary specifically for them.

University Bank's new University Islamic Financial Corp. offers deposit accounts that share profits from the bank's Islamic real estate investments instead of paying interest.

Islamic investments, such as mutual funds, were profitable last year, although few of them are more than 5 years old. The Dow Jones Islamic Market Index for the U.S., which tracks Shariah-compliant investments, rose 5.06 percent in 2005, compared with a 3 percent increase in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. . .

Muslim groups say their concerns are being taken more seriously as their U.S. population grows.

"The community has obviously grown by leaps and bounds," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington civil rights group for the Muslim community.

SEE ALSO:

DOW JONES INDEXES AND SAM GROUP LAUNCH DOW JONES ISLAMIC MARKET SUSTAINABILITY INDEX - TOP
Leading Index Provider and Pioneer in Sustainability Investing Introduce the World's First Index That Combines Islamic Investing Principles and Sustainability Criteria

NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Dow Jones Indexes, a leading global index provider, and SAM Group, a pioneer in sustainability investing, today launched the world's first index that merges Islamic investing principles and sustainability criteria by combining the methodology of the well-established Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes and Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes.

The Dow Jones Islamic Market Sustainability Index represents companies that are compatible with Islamic investment guidelines, while at the same time are determined to be corporate sustainability leaders. To be included in the index, companies must be components of both the Dow Jones Islamic Market Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. Currently, 105 companies are included in the index and are thus suitable for investors who want to apply stringent Islamic screens as well as best-in-class sustainability criteria.

"This new index is another innovative product that Dow Jones Indexes created to respond to market demand," said Mike Petronella, president, Dow Jones Indexes. "The Dow Jones Islamic Market Sustainability Index was developed in cooperation with SAM Group to meet the growing demand for compliant equity indexes based on internationally acknowledged Islamic finance standards and sustainability criteria."

"SAM has repeatedly received inquiries from asset managers who want to combine Islamic investment principles with a thorough selection of leading companies in terms of economic, environmental and social criteria," said Alexander Barkawi, managing director, SAM Indexes. "We are excited to meet this demand with this new offering and to provide a solid platform for sustainability-driven investments within the growing market for Islamic finance products."

Dow Jones Indexes launched its Islamic index family in 1999. Today, the Dow Jones Islamic Market Index is used by asset managers in 16 countries for a variety of financial products that screen out activities that are incompatible with Islamic investment guidelines. Excluded from the index are stocks of companies in these lines of business: alcohol, tobacco, pork-related products, financial services, defense/weapons, and entertainment. Also excluded are companies that fail any of three financial ratios: total debt divided by trailing 12-month average market capitalization is greater than or equal to 33% or more; cash plus interest-bearing securities divided by trailing 12-month average market capitalization is greater than or equal to 33%; and accounts receivables divided by total assets is greater than or equal to 33% or more. (MORE)

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CAIR-OH: FAMILY TAKES THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME - TOP
Jennifer Edwards, Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/23/06
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060123/NEWS01/601230347/1056

MASON - The annual hajj in Saudi Arabia unfolded this year against the backdrop of war in Iraq and increasing militancy among Islamic extremist groups.

Then it was marred by a building collapse and a stampede that killed more than 360.

Yet Ashraf Sayani of Mason said he never felt so safe or so at peace with God.

Sayani embarked earlier this month on the religious journey of a lifetime - the pilgrimage to Mecca. He and 10 of his relatives, including his wife and two small children, joined millions of Muslims worldwide for the trip.

Every adult Muslim who is financially and physically able is obligated under the Quran, the holy Muslim scripture, to make the trip during hajj at least once in his or her lifetime.

The five-day event is the essence of a Muslim's personal relationship with God, Sayani said. The focus is on repentance, forgiveness and mercy.

Despite being close to a stampede that killed 363 other worshippers, Sayani spent his days absorbed in prayer and contemplation. . .

To prevent future tragedies, the site is being overhauled with more platforms, vehicle tunnels and a dozen entrances and exits, said Karen Dabdoub, director of the Ohio Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Blue Ash.

The site eventually is expected to accommodate up to 5 million pilgrims, she said.

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U-M RESPONDS TO MUSLIM STUDENTS' REQUEST - TOP
Place to pray on North Campus makes life easier
http://www.mlive.com/news/aanews/index.ssf?/base/news-16/1137928333212020.xml&coll=2

It's past the busy coffee stand on the first floor, and up the escalator to the library. Walk past the magazine racks to the quiet study area where students sit in carrels next to rows of bound academic journals.

Here is the new reflection room, a cozy, private space with two padded benches, a small lamp and a rug.

It's the latest amenity at the Duderstadt Center on the University of Michigan's North Campus.

Although the reflection room is nondenominational, the impetus for it came from a push by Muslim students trying to fulfill both their religious and scholarly obligations on the increasingly busy North Campus, where engineering, architecture and music students dominate the landscape.

Although the university opened a similar reflection room a few years ago in the Michigan League on the main campus, that location is not convenient for students who take many of their classes a bus ride away on North Campus.

Devout Muslims pray five times a day, but with full schedules and back-to-back classes, some of the students can't get back home in time to pray. So North Campus students would find an empty classroom, or another out-of-the-way spot, such as the bottom of a stairwell.

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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, 24 Jan 2006 15:38:01 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Con Artist Who Targeted Muslims Extradited to U.S.

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR ACTION ALERT #483

CON ARTIST WHO TARGETED MUSLIMS EXTRADITED TO U.S.
Victims worldwide urged to help prosecutors build their case

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/24/2006) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today announced that an alleged con artist who targeted Muslims has been extradited from Canada to the United States to face federal charges. CAIR also called on victims of the "stranded traveler" scam to provide any information that may be useful to prosecutors in the case.

Mohammed Agbareia made an initial appearance Monday in U.S. District Court in Alabama on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. FBI officials say a co-defendant, Zouhair Hissy, was arrested in Canada on January 4. The two men were indicted by a federal grand jury in Mobile, Ala., for trying to bilk a local Islamic center out of $1500 using a scam that relied on the Islamic tradition of helping travelers in distress.

SEE: Canada Returns Suspect in Fraud Case

The alleged con-artist's primary method of operation was to place phone calls claiming to be a well-known Muslim leader, official or scholar stranded at an airport after his money, passport and tickets had been stolen or lost. He would ask the intended victim, typically a leader or activist in a local Muslim community, to wire cash through MoneyGram or Western Union to help him out of the crisis. After receiving the funds, he would disappear.

In May of last year, CAIR called on Canadian authorities to apprehend and extradite Agbareia and Hissy. CAIR said it has been receiving reports about Agbareia's scam for many years and had issued a number of alerts to the Muslim community in this country and worldwide. Agbareia, who is apparently an Israeli citizen, was arrested in 2002 by Canadian authorities but was later released.

"All those individuals and institutions targeted in the 'stranded traveler' con should now provide information to prosecutors so they can build their case based on the evidence built up over almost 20 years," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Over the years, Awad and CAIR worked with law enforcement authorities in a number of countries in an effort to bring the alleged con artists to justice. He said Muslims worldwide have been defrauded of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars.

ACTION REQUESTED: All those who believe they were targeted by the "stranded traveler" scam should send information about their case to: Special Agent Tom Montgomery, FBI Mobile, 200 North Royal Street, Mobile, Alabama, 36602

Tel: (251) 438-3674
E-Mail: cdahle@leo.gov 
Copy to: ihooper@cair-net.org

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.

- PLEASE ANNOUNCE, POST AND DISTRIBUTE -

-----

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, 24 Jan 2006 16:41:17 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: OH High School Accommodates Muslim Student's Prayer

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/24/06

* Hadith: Patience is a Blessing
* CAIR-OH: High School Accommodates Muslim Student's Prayer
             - CAIR Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices
* DC: CAIR Rep to Speak at 'Spying on Americans' Forum
            - DC: Last Chance to RSVP for CAIR Muslim Youth Panel
* CAIR-CAN Calls on Authorities to Act Against Hate
            - CAIR: Group Returns from Mission to Iraq (KPLC TV)
            - CAIR-Cleveland: What They Are Reading (Plain Dealer)
            - CAIR: Lawsuit Unites Bush Allies, Enemies (UPI)
* UT: First Muslim Girl Scout Troop Up and Running (KSL)
            - AZ: Student Out to Break Islamic Stereotypes
            - TN: Hakeem Vacating City Council Post
* FL: ACLU Urges No Retrial of Al-Arian (SP Times)
* CAIR-CA: Looking for Laughs at a Santa Clara Mosque (SJMN)
            - IL: Comic Builds Bridges (Sun-Times)
* MA: Muslim Undesirables Need Not Apply (Boston Globe)
* No Jail Time for Officer Convicted of Killing Iraqi (AP)
            - Investigator: U.S. 'Outsourced' Torture (AP)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: PATIENCE IS A BLESSING - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "No one can be given a blessing better and greater than patience."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 548

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CAIR-OH: HIGH SCHOOL ACCOMMODATES MUSLIM STUDENT'S PRAYER - TOP

(COLUMBUS, OH, 1/24/06) - The Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) announced today that a high school in that state has agreed to accommodate a Muslim student's right to pray.

CAIR-Ohio says the 17-year old junior wished to perform her mandatory Islamic prayers, but had been told she was not allowed to pray at school.

After discussions with the school, a compromise was reached in which the student has a list of teachers who are willing to let her use their classrooms for prayer before and after school and at lunch. The school had originally insisted that the Muslim student pray in the lunch room with other students present.

"We were concerned that praying in front of so many people would be uncomfortable for the student," said CAIR-Ohio Legal Director Jennifer Nimer. "Fortunately, we were able to reach a compromise with the school that met everyone's needs."

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

CONTACT: Jennifer Nimer, Legal Director, 614-451-3232, E-Mail: jennifer@cair-ohio.com; Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin, President, 614-451-3232, E-Mail: asma@cair-ohio.com.

SEE ALSO:

CAIR EDUCATOR'S GUIDE TO ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS PRACTICES - TOP
https://www.cair-net.org/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=4

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CAIR PARTICIPATES IN TOWNHALL MEETING ON "SPYING ON AMERICANS" - TOP

WHAT: The Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University will host a town hall meeting on "Spying on Americans: Is it the Right Approach to Fighting the War on Terror."

Panelists will include Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR Legal Affairs Director; Clifford May, President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies; and Michael Scheuer, Author of "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror."

WHEN: January 24th, 2006 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: The Elliot School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street, NW Room 213.

No RSVP is necessary and the event is free and open to the public.

ALSO SEE:

FINAL CHANCE TO RSVP FOR CAIR MUSLIM YOUTH PANEL - TOP

WHAT: The Council on American-Islamic Relations holds a discussion on "Young Muslims and the Future of Islam in America."

PARTICIPANTS: Noorain Khan, a Rhodes Scholar from Rice University; and
Mohamed Sabur, an aide for Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn.

WHERE: CAIR, 453 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

WHEN: January 25, 2006, 11:30 a.m.

RSVP: events@cair.com

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CAIR-CAN CALLS ON EDMONTON AUTHORITIES TO ACT SWIFTLY AGAINST HATE - TOP

(Ottawa, Canada, 1/23/06) The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) has condemned the recent vandalism of an Edmonton Church with hateful graffiti and is calling on local authorities to act swiftly against the spread of hate.

According to news reports, swastikas and slogans of "white power" were spray-painted onto a Unitarian Church in Edmonton. Less than a month ago, swastikas were also spray-painted on an Edmonton synagogue.

In a statement released today, CAIR-CAN said:

"CAIR-CAN stands with all Canadians in denouncing this act of hate. We are particularly disturbed to see the Edmonton community disrupted by hate for the second time in less than a month. The continued vandalism of a peaceful community with hateful statements and images is a shameful attempt to disrupt the social cohesion that the citizens of Edmonton enjoy.

"CAIR-CAN calls on local authorities and the provincial and federal governments to work together to combat this recent spate of hate crimes in Edmonton. We also call on the police to prosecute the perpetrators of these acts under hate crime legislation to send a strong message against intolerance."

For more information, please contact Halima Mautbur at 613-795-2012 or 613-254-9704.

ALSO SEE:

U-S ISLAMIC GROUP RETURNS FROM MISSION TO IRAQ - TOP
KPLC-TV, 1/24/08
http://www.kplctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=4400999&nav=0nqx

ANNANDALE, Va. - A delegation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations that went to Iraq seeking the release of American journalist Jill Carroll has returned to the U-S.

Nihad Awad, the executive director of CAIR, says it's important for the council to champion Jill Carroll's freedom. As he puts it, "it's very, very important to do whatever we can to save a human life."

Awad says the mission was important to show that Carroll is an asset to the Iraqi people because she's been telling their story. And he says the delegation told Iraqis that she "is not your enemy."

The CAIR delegation doesn't know Carroll's fate but Awad says they tried to get across to the kidnappers that harming her "would harm the cause of the Iraqi people."

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CAIR-CLEVELAND: WHAT THEY ARE READING - TOP
Julia A. Shearson, Plain Dealer, 1/23/06
http://www.cleveland.com/search/index.ssf?/base/business/1137922444271080.xml?bxboo&coll=2

Julia A. Shearson is the Director, Cleveland office of the Council on American- Islamic Relations, Ohio chapter.

What she's reading: "One Woman's Army: The Commanding General of Abu Ghraib Tells Her Story," by Janis Karpinski. $24.95, published by Miramax Books.

Why: " 'One Woman's Army' is the story of the first female general in America ever to command troops in the combat zone and how her remarkable 25-year military career was destroyed by the government in its attempt to protect the higher-ups ultimately responsible for Abu Ghraib."

Will she recommend it: "A must-read for those interested in the military, the book succinctly covers the span of her fascinating career, including her love of adventure, the military and the Middle East. I also recommend it to those who care about our country, especially those who put honesty and honor above personal advancement and saving one's own skin."

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CAIR: LAWSUIT UNITES BUSH ALLIES, ENEMIES - TOP
Shaun Waterman, UPI, 1/24/06
http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20060118-105321-1278r

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The lawsuits launched last week against the administration's program of warrantless wiretaps against Americans believed to be in contact with suspected terrorists unite liberals and conservatives, but some legal experts believe they will have a tough time winning their case.

Administration officials have argued that there were two sets of legal foundations for the program, which was run by the National Security Agency, or NSA, and which President Bush says he authorized in the weeks following the Sept. 11 attacks.

First, they say a resolution passed by Congress a week after the Sept. 11 attacks, authorizing the president to use military force against the perpetrators, implicitly allows the collection of foreign signals intelligence, even involving Americans.

Listening in to the communications of the enemy, wrote Assistant Attorney General for Congressional Affairs William Moschella, was "a fundamental incident of the use of military force" -- just as the Supreme Court had held battlefield detention to be -- and therefore authorized, as the court found detention to be, by the resolution.

"There's a big difference between detention on the battlefield and listening to Americans in their homes," said Jameel Jaffer, one of the ACLU attorneys in the case.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., chairman of the powerful judiciary committee, has already said he thinks the Moschella reasoning about the resolution is "wrong."

But to Moschella and other administration officials, the resolution question is only a supplement to the real root of the legality of the NSA program, which is a broad, sweeping, and some contend, radical interpretation of the president's powers under Article Two of the Constitution.

This second, deeper, basis for the program's legality is that as the nation's executive and commander-in-chief, the president has the inherent power, indeed the duty, to conduct foreign intelligence gathering -- including electronic surveillance of telephone calls and e-mails -- in order to protect the nation from attack. (MORE)

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FIRST MUSLIM GIRL SCOUT TROOP IN UTAH UP AND RUNNING - TOP
Tonya Papanikolas, KSL.com, 1/23/06
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=153884

About 10-thousand Utah girls belong to the Girl Scouts of America. Of that number, at least 20 percent are sponsored by a religious group.

But one religion has just recently joined the program.

Five high school girls make up Girl Scout troop 786. Tonight, they're learning how to pitch a tent.

Sabah Ul-Hasan, Girl Scout: "We didn't have instructions, so we had to figure it out on our own."

The young women hold a special distinction. They're part of the first Muslim Girl Scout troop in Utah.

The girls do everything the other girl scouts do, like sell cookies. But they also draw on their culture and religion.

The troop begins each meeting with a prayer to Allah, during which the girls wear "hijab"-- the traditional Muslim head covering. They also revise the Girl Scout promise.

"On my honor, I will try to serve Allah."

The troop lets the girls get to know other young women who share their faith.

ALSO SEE:

STUDENT OUT TO BREAK ISLAMIC STEREOTYPES - TOP
Sonu Munshi, Arizona State Press, 1/24/06
http://www.statepress.com/issues/2006/01/24/news/695379

With her floral-printed headscarf, which perfectly matched her brown corduroy jacket, Huda Shrourou said she's "a walking advertisement for Islam."

Shrourou first helped promote a positive image of Islam when she co-founded the McClintock High School chapter of the Muslim Students' Association.

Now, she's a political science freshman at ASU and being recognized for that work -- she received an award for her commitment to diversity issues at the City of Tempe Martin Luther King Diversity Awards Brunch last week.

Ginny Belousek, a Tempe diversity specialist, said they typically look for people who display a "commitment to diversity and could be from any background."

"Huda was chosen for her exceptional leadership qualities and involvement in related activities throughout high school and now in college," she said.

Huda, which means "guidance" in Arabic, believes her symbolic head scarf, or "hijab," and how she represents her community can help break stereotypes, especially about Muslim women in a post-Sept. 11 world.

"Islam has been portrayed a certain way in the media in the past few years and there are a lot of misconceptions, like all women are oppressed, and I want to change that," she said.

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HAKEEM VACATING CITY COUNCIL POST - TOP
Herman Wang, Chattanooga Times Free Press, 1/24/06
http://www.timesfreepress.com/

The Chattanooga City Council's Legal and Legislative Committee meets today to discuss its options in replacing Councilman Yusuf Hakeem, who resigned Monday to accept an appointment by Gov. Phil Bredesen to the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole.

City Attorney Randy Nelson said the council has the authority to appoint his successor, who will serve until the next election held in the city.

That election will be either the county primary on May 2 or the state primary on Aug. 3, he said. City Council members make $20,077 annually, except the chairman and vice chairman, who make slightly more.

The City Charter does not specify whether council members nominate potential replacements or if citizens can apply for the seat.

"I would think that if someone puts in an application, the council will consider it," Mr. Nelson said.

Mr. Hakeem, 57, is giving up the seat he has held since 1990, representing neighborhoods in East Chattanooga, Glenwood, Eastdale, Bushtown, Highland Park and Missionary Ridge. He defeated businessman J.T. McDaniel last March to win his fifth term on the council.

As one of seven members on the governor-appointed Board of Probation and Parole, Mr. Hakeem will help decide whether eligible felony offenders will be granted parole. The board also conducts clemency hearings, issuing nonbinding recommendations for consideration by the governor. (MORE)

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ACLU URGES NO RETRIAL OF AL-ARIAN - TOP
Meg Laughlin, St. Petersburg Times, 1/24/06
www.sptimes.com

It marks the first time in three years the group has taken a stand in the controversial case.

TAMPA - The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida urged the government Monday not to retry Sami Al-Arian, who was acquitted in December on eight counts of terrorism-related charges in a federal trial in Tampa. The jury hung on nine counts, with 10 jurors favoring total acquittal on all but an immigration charge.

In a letter to federal authorities, the director of the Florida ACLU wrote: "In light of the jury's acquittal ... on the most serious charges and in light of reportedly spending millions of dollars in a trial that led to no convictions, a decision to retry (Dr. Al-Arian) would appear to be pointless and vindictive."

The letter marked the first time in three years that the ACLU has taken a position on the charges against Al-Arian.

Howard Simon of the ACLU sent the letter to Paul Perez, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida; and to his boss, Alice Fisher, chief of the criminal division at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Al-Arian and three co-defendants had been charged with raising money to further the violent acts of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Israel and the Occupied Territories. After a six-month trial, a jury returned verdicts of acquittal and mistrial, with no guilty verdicts.

Simon said he "had reason to believe" that the U.S. attorney's office in Tampa was against a retrial but was not being supported by Washington: "I think Tampa recognizes it's time to fold the tent, but Washington won't let them because they're worried about saving face."

Steve Cole, spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Tampa, said, "We'll make a decision about a retrial, and it will be a joint decision between DOJ and Tampa prosecutors. Going back and forth is routine."

Cole said a decision about whether to try Al-Arian again will be "made within weeks, not months."

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MUSLIM MIRTH: LOOKING FOR LAUGHS AT A SANTA CLARA MOSQUE - TOP
Lisa Fernandez, Mercury News, 1/24/06
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/13697995.htm

It's comedy night at the Bay Area's largest mosque in Santa Clara, and Brother Azeem is just warming up.

"Muslims are the most peaceful people on Earth," Azeem tells the crowd of about 600 at the Muslim Community Association on Saturday night. "Hey, Mike Tyson ain't won a fight since he became a Muslim." . . .

"It's so awesome," said Minal Hasan of Fremont, a representative of the Council on American-Islamic Relations who has seen the troupe perform twice. "But what's so great about this year is that so many people who are not Muslims are here. Muslims brought their co-workers, their friends. And if we can agree on what's funny, maybe we can agree on other things too."

SEE ALSO:

COMIC BUILDS BRIDGES - TOP
Anna Johnson, Sun Times, 1/24/06
http://www.suntimes.com/output/entertainment/cst-ftr-usman24.html

Albert Brooks made a whole film about his fictional hunt for comedy in the Muslim world. Azhar Usman says he already found it.

The self-proclaimed "very patriotic American Muslim'' is one of several emerging Muslim comics who are touring in an attempt to break down stereotypes, encourage critical thinking, create an identity and, most importantly, get people to laugh.

''The stand-up is quintessentially an American art form and is a form of political protest,'' said Usman, who grew up in Skokie. ''There's a history of the underdog using stand-up comedy to speak truth to power. People take notice and are transformed by the experience.''

Not many subjects are off limits for Usman, a former lawyer who became a full-time comic about two years ago. He jokes about terrorism, the war in Iraq, President Bush, airport security, the Patriot Act and the dirty looks he gets on the street.

''People are looking like I was responsible for 9/11,'' he told a Tinley Park crowd recently. ''Me 9/11? 7-Eleven, maybe.

His own religion and fellow Muslims are not exempt. (MORE)

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MUSLIM UNDESIRABLES NEED NOT APPLY - TOP
H.D.S. Greenway, Boston Globe, 1/24/06
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/01/24/muslim_undesirables_need_not_apply/

BERLIN BADEN-WURTTEMBERG is described in the guidebook as having more universities than any other German state as well as a ''rich cultural and religious diversity." I am afraid the cultural diversity bit won't go down well these days -- at least not among German liberals and Muslims, who are outraged over a questionnaire that the state proposes to put before those seeking German citizenship. In Germany the states have say in these matters.

 Not every applicant has to fill out the questionnaire. If you are Portuguese applying for German citizenship, chances are you wouldn't have to bother with it. But since January, if the authorities have some reason to think that you might not make a good citizen, then you might find yourself being grilled. For the instructions say that if the naturalization authority doubts that the applicant has really understood the content of his or her declaration, or doubts that the answers reflect ''inner convictions," then the authorities will ''conduct a conversation with the applicant."

Defenders say Baden-Wurttemberg is being careful to screen out undesirables, and that only people the authorities have reason to be suspicious of would be questioned. But critics are sure the questionnaire is specifically aimed at Muslims. ''This questionnaire is a very dangerous thing and has to be stopped," one of the best-known politicians of Turkish origin in Germany, Cem Ozdemir, told me. Ozdemir, a member of the European Parliament, says the danger comes from the discretionary powers it gives junior officials. Baden-Wurttemberg's government would never say it wanted to make it harder for Muslims to become citizens. But the tone of the questionnaire would lead underlings to assume that was the intention, according to Ozdemir.

''When you read these questions you see the mind of the bureaucracy and German society, not what Muslims may think," said Barbara John, who was for 20 years involved with migration and integration affairs here in the state of Berlin.

Says Christian Hoffmann, a convert to Islam who is chairman of the Muslim Academy in Germany: ''The spirit of these questions is so Islamophobic and ethnically biased. It is an assault against underprivileged people." Educated people would smell out the trap, he said.

One question asks applicants to comment on the following statements: ''Humanity has never experienced such a dark phase as under democracy. In order to free himself from democracy, man has to understand first that democracy cannot offer anything good to him." True, monarchists might agree with those statements, but that's not the group the questions were designed to catch. (MORE)

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NO JAIL TIME FOR OFFICER CONVICTED OF KILLING IRAQI GENERAL - TOP
Jon Sarche, Associated Press, 1/24/06
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002757875_webiraq23.html

FORT CARSON, Colo. - A military jury recommended a simple reprimand Monday for an Army officer who killed an Iraqi general by stuffing him headfirst into a sleeping bag and sitting on his chest during an interrogation.

As soldiers applauded in the courtroom, Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. hugged his wife after hearing the surprisingly light sentence, which will be reviewed by Fort Carson's commander, Maj. Gen. Robert W. Mixon.

The commander cannot order a harsher sentence, defense attorney Frank Spinner said. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

INVESTIGATOR: U.S. 'OUTSOURCED' TORTURE - TOP
JAN SLIVA, Associated Press, 1/24/06
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/24/AR2006012400117.html

STRASBOURG, France (AP) - The head of a European investigation into alleged CIA secret prisons in Europe said Tuesday that evidence pointed to the existence of a system of ``outsourcing'' of torture by the United States, and that it was highly likely European governments were aware of it.

But Swiss Sen. Dick Marty said there was no tangible proof so far of the existence of clandestine centers in Romania or Poland as alleged by the New York-based Human Rights Watch, and complained of a lack of cooperation by EU governments.

His interim report, based partly on results of national investigations and recent press reports, did not break new ground and largely repeated his previous claims that U.S. policies in the war on terror contravene international law on human rights. Allegations that the CIA hid and interrogated key al-Qaida suspects at Soviet-era compounds in Eastern Europe were first reported Nov. 2 in The Washington Post. (MORE0

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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, 25 Jan 2006 13:18:56 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Ask Congress to Reform the Patriot Act

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR ACTION ALERT #484

ASK CONGRESS TO REFORM THE PATRIOT ACT
Call elected officials TODAY to defend your civil rights

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/25/06) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today urged American Muslims and other people of conscience to call their elected representatives and urge them to reform the Patriot Act, provisions of which are set to expire on February 3.

Last December, a bi-partisan group of senators, citing concerns over eroding civil liberties, held up renewal of certain provisions of the Patriot Act. A vote on the provisions' final fate is expected in the near future.

SEE: CAIR Patriot Act Blog

SEE ALSO: ACLU Says Patriot Act Excludes Muslim Scholar from U.S.
AG's Memo Raises Questions on Patriot Act

"In light of revelations that President Bush has authorized warrantless wiretaps of domestic e-mail and phone communications, it is vital to ensure that there are sufficient oversight and privacy safeguards in a renewed Patriot Act," said CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor.

CAIR's call-in request is part of a broader action by an alliance of organizations* seeking reform of the Patriot Act.

ACTON REQUESTED:

Follow the link below to send messages to your elected officials asking them to work for a Patriot Act reauthorization bill that truly preserves both free speech and privacy, and that restores checks and balances, including judicial review and greater congressional oversight.

GO TO: http://capwiz.com/cair/callalert/index.tt?alertid=8414691&type=CO

CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor, 202-488-8787 or 571-278-4658, E-Mail: csaylor@cair-net.org

*Organizations supporting the call-in day (partial list) include the Alliance for Justice, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association, Amnesty International USA, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Campaign for Reader Privacy, Center for Democracy and Technology, Code Pink, Council on American-Islamic Relations, First Amendment Foundation, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Global Exchange, League of United Latin American Citizens, League of Women Voters, Liberty Coalition, MoveOn.org Political Action, National Lawyers Guild, People For the American Way, Rights Working Group, San Francisco Labor Council, True Majority, Unitarian Universalist Association, and United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.

- PLEASE ANNOUNCE, POST AND DISTRIBUTE -

-----

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, 25 Jan 2006 18:22:01 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Welcomes Release of Female Prisoners in Iraq / AZ Muslims to Support Doc Denied Re-Entry to U.S.

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/25/06

* CAIR Welcomes Release of Female Prisoners in Iraq
* CAIR-AZ: Muslims to Support Tempe Doc Denied Re-Entry to U.S.
* AL: Accused Conman to Face Charges (National Post)
* NJ: Hoops and Hijabs (Star-Ledger)
* NJ: Hiding Hatred Beneath U.S. Flag (Daily Record)
* FL: Al-Arian Attorneys Want Off the Case (SP Times)

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CAIR WELCOMES RELEASE OF FEMALE PRISONERS IN IRAQ - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/25/06) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed the release of five female prisoners held by American forces in Iraq.

According to media reports, the prisoners will be freed from U.S. custody on Thursday. They are among eight women currently being held by American forces.

SEE: Five Iraqi Women Prisoners to be Freed (Reuters)
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/COL525897.htm

The release of female prisoners was a condition set by the kidnappers of American journalist Jill Carroll who was taken hostage earlier this month in Baghdad.

A delegation from CAIR recently returned from Iraq where it issued a public appeal for Carroll's immediate and unconditional release.

SEE: U.S. Muslim Group in Baghdad to Plead for Hostage
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=38771&theType=NB

SEE ALSO: Jill Carroll: Support from Muslim Leaders
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=38748&theType=NB

Along with sending a delegation to Iraq, CAIR also held a news conference in Michigan, Carroll's home state, and coordinated a joint appeal issued by national Muslim leaders calling for her release.

In December, CAIR held a news conference at its national headquarters in Washington, D.C., to call for the release of members of the Christian Peacemakers Teams also taken hostage in Iraq.

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.

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-AZ: ARIZ. MUSLIMS TO SUPPORT TEMPE DOC DENIED RE-ENTRY TO U.S. - TOP

(PHOENIX, AZ, 1/25/06) - On Friday, January 27, the Arizona office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ), the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), and the Imams Council of Arizona will hold a news conference in Tempe to urge that immigration authorities reconsider their decision to deny the re-entry of a Muslim physician to the U.S.

WHAT: Arizona Muslims Express Support for Tempe Physician
WHEN: Friday, January 27, Noon
WHERE: Islamic Community Center of Tempe, 131 East 6th Street, Tempe, Arizona
CONTACT: CAIR-AZ Communications Director Nure Elatari, 602-312-2223; CAIR-AZ Chairman, Mohammed El-Sharkawy, 480-343-4048; E-Mail: director@cairaz.org

Many Arizona Muslims have expressed concern over the recent denial of re-entry of Dr. Nadeem Hassan, after he and his wife returned from the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Immigration authorities rejected Dr. Hassan's green-card application and revoked his travel permit, in part because of his role in an Islamic group that community members say has a history of peaceful religious activities.

SEE: Ariz. Doctor Can't Return, U.S. Says
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0120hassan20.html

"The Muslim community wants to know why our government did not allow Dr. Hassan to defend himself against these allegations before an immigration judge," said CAIR-AZ Communications Director Nure Elatari. "This case has civil liberties implications for all American Muslims."

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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AL: ACCUSED CONMAN TO FACE CHARGES ACROSS BORDER - TOP
Robyn Doolittle, National Post, 1/25/05
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=b334dbbc-d0ef-4a40-896d-c431a7bcfb32

A Palestinian man accused of conning Muslims across North America and the Middle East was extradited to the United States on federal fraud charges last week, thereby avoiding his looming deportation to Israel.

Mohammed Agbareia, who lives in Brampton, Ont., with his wife and son, has twice appealed deportation, citing that since some of his victims have ties to terrorist organizations, his life would be in danger abroad. . .

Mr. Agbareia was handed over to U.S. authorities on Friday and was admitted to Mobile Metro County Jail over the weekend. Co-defendant Zouhair Hissy was arrested in Windsor on Jan. 4 and is awaiting an extradition trial.

Alabama prosecutor George May said he has been investigating Mr. Agbareia for almost a year. If convicted, Mr. Agbareia will face up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment alleges Mr. Agbareia and Mr. Hissy attempted to take money from the Islamic Society of Mobile Mosque. Under the guise of an Islamic Development bank employee, Mr. Agbareia contacted the group's leaders and said he had recently received their request for financial assistance, that he was in a position to help, and that he would travel to Alabama to meet with mosque leaders, it said. The document charges Mr. Agbareia then called the mosque claiming to be stranded at a Montreal airport, having lost his money and ticket, and that he'd need $1,500 to $2000 to replace the ticket.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Mr. Agbareia faces similar charges in Michigan and New York. Muslim activists say they have been victims of the "stranded traveller" scam for nearly 20 years.

"I have a feeling he's collected hundreds of thousands if not millions from people who need the money the most. He prayed on people with good hearts and good will," said Nihad Awad, executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "To give to charity to help the needy; it's not only part of the human nature, it's part of the faith."

Mr. Awad suspects hundreds of American Muslims have been targeted. Mr. Agbareia is fluent in several languages, speaks a variety of dialects, and can impersonate almost anyone, he said. (MORE)

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NJ: HOOPS AND HIJABS - TOP
Islamic schoolgirls make impression on the court
JEFF DIAMANT, Star-Ledger, 1/25/06
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-4/113816968433610.xml&coll=1

Each afternoon before basketball practice, Hiba Hussain swaps her regular polyester Muslim head scarf for a cotton one.

The cotton better absorbs sweat as she hustles down the court, scurries for rebounds and dives for loose balls.

Hiba, 15, is a point guard for the state's only girls basketball team from an Islamic school. The players at Noor-Ul-Iman School in South Brunswick compete while wearing head scarves -- called hijabs -- long sleeves and sweat pants.

"It gets a little in the way, but what can you do?" Hiba said of the hijab. "It's part of the religion. It doesn't bother me, I really don't mind. I deal with it. .. People say, 'Don't you get hot? Don't you sweat?' But it's part of the game."

By several accounts, Hiba is the most intense player on a team of enthusiastic teens that has been around three years. The team is 1-4 so far this year -- it beat Academy Charter High School of Lake Como. But even in losing, the team is a minor spectacle, attracting stares for its garb and surprising opponents with its aggressive play. (MORE)

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NJ: HIDING HATRED BENEATH U.S. FLAG - TOP
Daily Record, 1/25/06
http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060125/OPINION02/601250304/1095/NEWS01

To the Editor:

I was shocked and appalled to read of the violation of the Jam e Masjid Islamic Center on Boonton by the unwanted nailing of an oversized American flag over its doorway.

Knowing a number of the mosque's members over the years, it is clear to me that the American flag is an object of pride and respect among them. The message implied by the intrusive act of someone else putting one over the doorway -- that somehow its members are not "true Americans" or "as American"-- is as outrageous as it is fallacious.

While we may never know if this egregious act was connected with their application to expand the facility, it remains offensive to all who are devoted to honest and open discourse and respect for the rule of law.

Shame on those who hide their hatred behind the flag for which so many have given "the last full measure of devotion." Would those who use the flag as a cover for prejudice be true to the pledge which they have undoubtedly made countless times in the presence of that flag, that this nation is and must remain "one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all?"

RABBI DONALD B. ROSSOFF
Temple B'nai Or
Morristown

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FL: AL-ARIAN'S TWO ATTORNEYS TELL JUDGE THEY WANT OFF THE CASE - TOP
Meg Laughlin, St. Petersburg Times, 1/25/06
www.sptimes.com

TAMPA - Defense attorneys for Sami Al-Arian asked a federal judge Tuesday to let them off the case.

While federal prosecutors are deciding whether to retry the nine mistrial counts on Al-Arian, attorneys Linda Moreno and Bill Moffitt have requested to be relieved from representing him.

They will explain why in a hearing Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas B. McCoun III. Most of the hearing will be closed to the public.

"We gave everything we had, and I'm too exhausted to give anymore," Moffitt, an attorney for the law firm Cozen O'Connor in Washington, D.C., told the St. Petersburg Times. (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: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 14:40:26 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CA Muslims Seek Reprimand for Radio Host Who Mocked Hajj Deaths

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR ACTION ALERT #485

CA MUSLIMS SEEK REPRIMAND FOR RADIO HOST WHO MOCKED HAJJ DEATHS
Host jokes about 'annual stampede report,' calls Islam a 'strange religion'

(ANAHEIM, CA, 1/26/2006) - The Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today called on a local radio station to reprimand one of its talk show hosts for mocking the recent deaths of hundreds of Muslims taking part in the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.

CAIR-LA is also calling on Muslims and other people of conscience to contact KFI AM 640 to request both the reprimand and a formal apology.

On January 12, morning host Bill Handel said:

Handel: "And what happens every year when you have a zillion Muslims...ah, you get stampedes, as I said earlier. You get, you know, hundreds of thousands of people pouring across and all you need is one...one little word: 'Mohammad up there is a Jew.' (Imitates people screaming) Ahhhh! And they start screaming, right? Or, I think there's a fire here. Or...mouse on the floor, and everybody goes crazy..."

Handel: "...What they need is sort of 'Mahmoud Nolan in the Sky' to control all this." (Note: Mike Nolan does the traffic report for KFI from his helicopter.)

Man with heavy accent: "This is Mahmoud Nolan. Hajj in the Sky. There is an accident...Ali lost his sandal on the on-ramp to the Martin Luther King, Jr. freeway..."

Handel: ". . .that's our annual stampede report from the Hajj, which we do every single year right here on KFI, and thank you to Mahmoud in the Sky."

Handel also referred to Islam as a "strange religion."

To listen to Handel's remarks, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/audio/handel.mp3

Muslims says Handel has a history of making Islamophobic remarks. In March 2004, he aired a skit that claimed Muslims have sex with animals, avoid bathing and are obsessed with killing Jews. KFI was forced to apologize after many Muslims responded to a CAIR alert about the incident.

SEE: California Radio Station Apologizes for Islamophobic Skit

"The deaths of hundreds of people engaged in religious observances is no laughing matter," said CAIR-LA Communications Director Sabiha Khan. "KFI needs to distance itself from Mr. Handel's unbelievable insensitivity by issuing a formal apology and a reprimand."

Hajj is one of the "five pillars" of the Islamic faith. (The other pillars include a declaration of faith, daily prayers, offering regular charity, and fasting during the month of Ramadan.) Pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for those who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey.

For background on other incidents of anti-Muslim hate on talk radio, go to:

MSNBC Apologizes for 'Imus' Remarks

DC Radio Host Fired Over Anti-Islam Remarks

Jackie Mason Calls Islam a 'Murderous Organization'

Muslims Launch 'Hate Hurts America' Radio Campaign

Paul Harvey Now Says Islam is a Religion of Peace

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

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR-LA, Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334, E-Mail: socal@cair.com

ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be firm but POLITE. Hostile comments WILL be used to further defame Islam and Muslims.) Contact KFI and Clear Channel Communications, the station's parent company, to demand that they apologize to the American Muslim community and reprimand Bill Handel for his Islamophobic remarks.

CONTACT:

1) Greg Ashlock, Regional Vice President
Clear Channel Radio
3400 West Olive Ave., Suite #550
Burbank, Ca. 91505
TEL: 818-566-6301
FAX: 818-729-2510

2) Robin Bertolucci, KFI Program Director
TEL: 818-566-6476
FAX: 818-729-2510

3) Mark Mays, President and Chief Executive Officer and Lowry Mays,
Chairman of the Board Clear Channel Radio, 200 Basse Road, San Antonio,
TX 78209
TEL: 210-822-2828
FAX: 210-822-2299

E-MAIL: programming@kfi640.com, robinbertolucci@clearchannel.com, gregashlock@clearchannel.com, bill@kfi640.com, JaniceUngaro@clearchannel.com, justinlevine@clearchannel.com, pr@clearchannel.com, MarkPMays@clearchannel.com, LLowryMays@clearchannel.com, lisacdollinger@clearchannel.com, KFINEWSDIRECTOR@KFI640.COM

COPY ALL CORRESPONDENCE TO: socal@cair.com, 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

-----

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: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 21:43:11 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslim Group Asks CA Radio Host for Apology / VA County's First Female Muslim Police Officer / DHS Official Tries to Reassure MI Muslims

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/26/06

* Help Support CAIR's Important Work
* CAIR-LA: Muslim Group Asks Radio Host for Apology (AP)
            - CAIR-LA: Radio Host Mocked Hajj Deaths
* CAIR-CA Rep to Speak at Woodland Hills Synagogue
            - CAIR-CA: Keeping the Faith (Davis Enterprise)
            - CAIR-CA Rep Receives UC Community and Diversity Award
* MD: Muslims Overcome Obstacles to Worship (Wash Post)
            - VA: County's First Female Muslim Police Officer (Wash Post)
* MI: DHS Official Tries to Reassure Local Muslims (Free Press)

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HELP SUPPORT CAIR'S IMPORTANT WORK - TOP

Become a member: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/membership.asp
Donate: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp
Join CAIR-NET: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

-----

CAIR-LA: MUSLIM GROUP ASKS LA-AREA RADIO SHOW HOST FOR APOLOGY - TOP
Associated Press, 1/26/06
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/breaking_news/13720885.htm

ANAHEIM, Calif. - A Muslim civil liberties group demanded an apology Thursday from the host of a Los Angeles-area radio show for making fun of a stampede that killed hundreds of Muslims during an annual pilgrimage.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations asked for an apology from KFI-AM 640 host Bill Handel, who allegedly made fun of the deaths during a Jan. 12 segment he called the "Annual Stampede Report."

A spokeswoman for KFI, which is owned by Clear Channel Communications, did not immediately return a message left Thursday. Handel's producer, Michelle Kube, also did not return calls for comment. Handel had left work for the day and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

At least 363 pilgrims were killed and hundreds injured in a stampede that day in Mecca, where thousands of people were rushing to carry out a symbolic ritual of stoning the devil in Mina.

According to CAIR, Handel imitated the people screaming and then joked that the Muslims at the pilgrimage should use a helicopter to monitor pilgrimage traffic, as is done in Los Angeles with the freeways. . .

"The deaths of hundreds of people engaged in religious observances is no laughing matter," CAIR spokeswoman Sabiha Khan said in a statement. "KFI needs to distance itself from Mr. Handel's unbelievable insensitivity by issuing a formal apology and a reprimand."

CONTACT: CAIR-LA, Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334, E-Mail: sabihak@cair.com

SEE ALSO:

CA MUSLIMS SEEK REPRIMAND FOR RADIO HOST WHO MOCKED HAJJ DEATHS - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=360&theType=AA

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CAIR-LA: MUSLIMS AND JEWS - OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES - TOP

WHAT: On Friday, January 27, a representative of the Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) will participate in a forum, called "Muslims & Jews: Opportunities & Challenges Shabbat Service," at Temple Kol Tikvah in Woodland Hills.

Speakers:

Ra'id Faraj, Council on American-Islamic Relations - Southern California
Shaikh Yassir Fazaga, Orange County Islamic Foundation (OCIF)
Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Temple Kol Tikvah
Rabbi David Baron, Temple of the Arts

WHEN: Friday, January 27th, 7:30 p.m., Reception at 7:00 p.m.
Refreshments will be served.

WHERE: Temple Kol Tikvah, 20400 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-CA: KEEPING THE FAITH - TOP
Cory Golden, Davis Enterprise, 1/25/06
http://www.davisenterprise.com/articles/2006/01/25/news/341new0.txt

The third Celebration of Abraham - a coming together of local Christians, Jews and Muslims - will center on a value at the core of all three faiths: compassion.

The event will be held Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at Holy Rosary Community Center, 575 California St. in Woodland.

The goals of the now annual community celebrations, which are free and open to the public, are to highlight the similarities of the three religions and build understanding.

The organizers said this year's theme makes perfect sense.

"I think it's what the world needs now," said the Rev. Eileen Lindsay of the United Methodist Church of Davis. "The whole reason to come together is to be compassionate, to not be afraid of each other - or, worse, be intolerant or angry."

Hamza El-Nakhal, president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of the Sacramento Valley, said a lack of compassion can be blamed for problems as far-ranging as war, homelessness and hate crimes. (MORE)

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CAIR-SV PRESIDENT RECEIVES COMMUNITY AND DIVERSITY AWARD - TOP

(DAVIS, CA, 1/24/06) - Hamza EL-Nakhal, president of the Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) has received the University of California, Davis Chancellor's Award for Community and Diversity.

EL-Nakhal received the award for proactively reaching out to the community through various interfaith dialogue, community and diversity promoting efforts.

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MD: COUNTY'S MUSLIMS OVERCOMING OBSTACLES TO WORSHIP CLOSE TO HOME - TOP
Ylan Q. Mui, Washington Post, 1/26/06
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/25/AR2006012501029.html

After nearly a decade of zoning battles, massive fundraising efforts and fervent prayers, the multimillion-dollar mosque for Howard County's burgeoning Muslim community is nearing completion.

The 24,000-square-foot building sits on nearly seven wooded acres on Route 108 in Ellicott City. The exterior framework, painted cream with green accents, has been erected. Mosque President Sayed Hassan said that some of the interior work remains, including plumbing, electricity, insulation and painting, and that he expects the building to open in March or April.

"This is about time for us," said Hassan, of Columbia.

The mosque's opening will be a landmark for the county's Muslim population, a sign of its increasing numbers and influence. It will also be a first for Howard, a once-rural area that has become a destination for immigrants drawn by low crime and good schools.

"Place makes a big difference," said Anwer Hasan, head of the Howard County Muslim Council. The mosque will be a "place from where you can reach out to other communities and have more interactions with them," he said.

The mosque will be named Dar Al-Taqwa, Arabic for "the house of righteousness," and is designed to hold nearly 1,000 people.

Howard is not the only county in the Washington area to experience such a boom in its Muslim population. The Dar-Alnoor mosque is scheduled to open soon in Prince William County. The $1.8 million mosque is built for about 1,000 worshipers.

According to Islamic organizations, about 300,000 Muslims live in the region that stretches from Richmond to Baltimore. A 2003 study by the American Communities Project, a Brown University report on population trends, shows that the number of suburban residents in the Washington region who claimed ancestry from a mostly Muslim country jumped 81 percent, from 54,295 in 1990 to 98,084 in 2000. (MORE)

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VA: DIVERSITY ADDED TO RANKS OF PRINCE WILLIAM POLICE - TOP
Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, 1/26/06
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/25/AR2006012500055.html

The latest graduates of the Prince William County Criminal Justice Academy are its most diverse.

Almost half speak a second language. One can build a computer from scratch. Another can organize a museum exhibition. One is a former all-conference basketball player. Another is a Sunday school teacher. There's also a skeet shooter.

"They're an impressive group," Prince William Police Chief Charlie T. Deane said of this month's class of 27 graduates. "I'm very pleased with the diversity of this group because it reflects our community."

On a conference table in front of Deane sat a list of the department's Spanish speakers -- 27 names that barely spilled onto two sheets of paper in a police force of more than 400 officers. In January's class alone, six officers speak Spanish. Two others speak German, and four are skilled in Cantonese, Urdu, Arabic or Krio, an African Creole language.

New graduate Sara Khan is the force's first Muslim woman.

"You have a certain image of an officer -- crew cut, big, 6-foot-2," said Khan, a trim, 130-pound, 5-foot-8 woman with long dark hair swept up in a bun.

Khan stands out for many reasons: her caramel skin with its delicate features, her youth (she turned 21 while at the academy) and her beliefs -- one that keeps her from joining colleagues for a beer after work and another that requires her to pray five times a day, although she modifies that to meet her work schedule.

"People are so fascinated with my culture. The main thing that comes up is arranged marriages," she said.

As foreign as her culture might seem to her fellow officers, her being a police officer is just as alien to her fellow Muslims, she said.

"In our community, females don't become police officers," Khan said.

She didn't tell many friends about her job until she graduated from the academy. She now patrols the Dale City neighborhood where she grew up.

"Now I walk around, and people see me in the patrol car, and they say, 'Did you see Sara? Wow!' And then they call my mom."

Born in Pakistan and fluent in Urdu and English, Khan came to Virginia when she was 11. Like many children who speak a foreign language in a place suddenly flung into diversity, she had to translate for other Pakistani children -- telling school officials if they were being bullied or were frightened. (MORE)

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MI: U.S. TRIES TO REASSURE LOCAL MUSLIMS - TOP
Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 1/26/05
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060126/NEWS05/601260558

As the Bush administration defends its domestic surveillance measures, it also is reaching out to Michigan's Arab Americans and Muslims, some of whom complain they are being illegally targeted in the war on terror.

Daniel Sutherland, head of civil rights in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is expected to visit Dearborn today to begin two days of meetings with Arab American and Muslim leaders. Sutherland said although he's not here to specifically defend the administration's intelligence-gathering, he wants to reassure his hosts that the government, far from threatening their civil rights, is protecting them.

Some, however, are wary.

"They're trying to defend the indefensible by going on the offensive," said Nazih Hassan of Ann Arbor. "This public relations campaign does nothing to change the fact that this program is illegal."

Hassan is one of several Arab Americans in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in federal court in Detroit to stop the program.

Plaintiffs expressed worries that their conversations have been spied on, but have no proof. Hassan, for instance, said he regularly converses with Muslims abroad and thinks that may have made him a target of the program.

Under the program, first reported by the New York Times last month, the National Security Agency eavesdropped on U.S. residents following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks without getting court approval.

President George W. Bush has defended the program as legal and necessary.

On Monday, the former NSA head, Gen. Michael Hayden -- now deputy director of national intelligence -- said the program "is not a drift net over Dearborn" or other cities with substantial Muslim populations.

In a National Press Club speech in Washington, D.C., Hayden said the program "is targeted and focused.... This is hot pursuit of communications entering or leaving America involving someone we believe is associated with Al Qaeda."

On Wednesday, Bush visited NSA workers to voice his support of the surveillance program in advance of Senate hearings. Arab-American leaders in Michigan say they plan to raise the issue of surveillance with Sutherland. Sutherland said that should lead to an interesting discussion.

The Department of Homeland Security has contracted with a public relations firm, in part to tout the department's efforts to reach out to Arab-American and Muslim communities. On Tuesday, Sutherland said he plans to visit Dearborn every two months to meet with Arab-American leaders. (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: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 17:15:56 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: KFI Host Under Fire for Islamophobic Remarks / Holocaust 'Offensive to All Humanity' / Documents Show Army Seized Iraqi Wives as Tactic

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/27/06

* Hadith: Those Who Love One Another
* Help Support CAIR's Important Work
* CAIR-LA: KFI Host Under Fire for Islamophobic Remarks
            - CAIR: Radio Host Mocked Hajj Deaths
* CAIR-MI: Holocaust 'Offensive to All Humanity' (Detroit News)
* PA: Police Beard Policy Shows Anti-Muslim Bias (Phil Inq)
* FL: It's Time to Put an End to Al-Arian Trial (Oracle)
            - AZ: Spying On Muslims Should Worry All Americans
* IL: Mosque Raises Hopes for Real Estate Boom (Chicago Trib)
* Vatican May Reach Out to Muslims (Houston Chron)
* Iraq: Documents Show Army Seized Wives as Tactic (AP)
* Pentagon Document Shows Messages Boomerang (AP)
            - Rumsfeld's Roadmap to Propaganda

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HADITH OF THE DAY: THOSE WHO LOVE ONE ANOTHER - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "There are people from the servants of God who are neither prophets nor martyrs, (but) the prophets and martyrs will envy them on the Day of Resurrection. . .They are those who love one another for the spirit of God. . .I swear by God, their faces will glow and they will be (sitting) in (pulpits of) light. They will have no fear (on the day) when the people will have fear, and they will not grieve when the people will grieve." He then recited the verse: "Behold! Verily for the friends of God, there is no fear, nor shall they grieve." (Quran, 10:62)

Sunan of Abu Dawood, Hadith 1563

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HELP SUPPORT CAIR'S IMPORTANT WORK - TOP

Become a member: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/membership.asp
Donate: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp
Join CAIR-NET: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

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CAIR-LA: KFI HOST UNDER FIRE - TOP
Billboard Radio Monitor, 1/27/06
http://billboardradiomonitor.com/radiomonitor/news/format/talk/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001919995

Clear Channel talk KFI Los Angeles morning man Bill Handel is under fire from a Muslim civil liberties group because of comments he reportedly made earlier this month. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has asked that Handel apologize for making fun of a stampede that killed hundreds of Muslims during an annual pilgrimage.

Over 350 pilgrims were killed and hundreds injured in a stampede Jan. 12 in Mecca, where thousands of people were rushing to carry out a symbolic ritual of stoning the devil, according to the Associated Press.

That same day, Handel reportedly imitated the people screaming and then joked that the Muslims at the pilgrimage should use a helicopter to monitor pilgrimage traffic.

The group quoted Handel as saying: "This is Mahmoud Nolan. Hajj in the Sky. There is an accident. & Ali lost his sandal on the on-ramp to the Martin Luther King Jr. freeway."

Two years ago, KFI issued an on-air apology after the group filed a complaint with the FCC following a skit that claimed Muslims have sex with animals, don't bathe and hate Jews.

Billboard Radio Monitor has contacted KFI for a statement, but at press time, the call had not been returned.

CONTACT: CAIR-LA, Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334, E-Mail: sabihak@cair.com

SEE ALSO:

CA MUSLIMS SEEK REPRIMAND FOR RADIO HOST WHO MOCKED HAJJ DEATHS - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=360&theType=AA

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MI: LOCAL JEWS WELCOME U.N. SUPPORT - TOP
Gregg Krupa, Detroit News, 1/26/06
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060127/METRO02/601270337/1009

FARMINGTON HILLS -- For 60 years, Jan. 27 has been a special day to remember the Holocaust, because it is the anniversary of the liberation of the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

But ceremonies at 1 p.m. today at the Holocaust Memorial Center are especially significant for reasons both good and bad.

First, the United Nations declared Jan. 27 World Holocaust Remembrance Day in the past year, to the gratitude of many Jews in Metro Detroit who say they have not always relied on the U.N. as a friend of Jews, or Israel.

And, with recent statements from the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad that Israel should be wiped from the map and the impact of the Holocaust is exaggerated, Jewish officials say they will appear at the Holocaust memorial to denounce fresh evidence of spite directed at Jews.

"This is the first time that the U.N. has recognized what the Jewish community, and those who have followed and been concerned about Holocaust education, have always recognized as one of the landmark days on the calendar," said Robert Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Community Center. "It's especially important because the U.N. has been problematic for Israel over the years. . ."

"The Holocaust bears lessons for us all, and we should all express concern when similar events occur," said Dawud Walid, of the Council on American Islamic Relations, in Michigan.

Walid said Muslim groups and others have been victims of genocide, including in recent years.

"These are great and evil events, along with the Holocaust, which are offensive to all of humanity," said Walid.

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POLICE BEARD POLICY SHOWS ANTI-MUSLIM BIAS - TOP
Imam Isa Abdulmateen, Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/27/06
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/opinion/local2/region/13721929.htm

The Philadelphia Police Department's quarter-inch policy on beards is archaic, arbitrary and discriminatory against Muslims ("Police officer who refused to trim beard will be fired," Jan. 14).

The policy is archaic because it was written many years ago by white Christian men who had no intention of allowing blacks, women or Muslims on the police force. Today, Muslims serve Philadelphia as school principals, dentists, state representatives, postal workers, and in many other ways. Philadelphia is home to tens of thousands of Muslims. A modern police force should not exclude Muslims.

The policy is arbitrary because the wearing of a longer beard does not in any fashion hamper one's ability to serve as a police officer. Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson has said that the police are a paramilitary force, so they have to shave. Perhaps that is what's wrong with the Police Department. They think they are an army instead of public servants.

Muslims bring credibility to the table because we have a historic record of benefiting our communities. If our youth saw more Muslim police officers, they would see someone they could talk to and trust to be fair. A Muslim police officer could mediate disputes and be respected because Muslims already do that.

The policy is discriminatory because it forces Muslims to choose between their religion and their job. There is also a Muslim woman police officer who is being persecuted because she insists on covering her hair, as required by her faith.

Commissioner Johnson has publicly opposed the wearing of longer beards and head coverings by Muslim officers. This is an odd stance since he has: Publicly supported a transgendered officer.

Supported the reinstatement of a police supervisor who drove while intoxicated, crashed his car into a pillar, then conspired with a sergeant to cover it up.

Refused to fire an officer who injured a minister at the airport, costing the city thousands of dollars in a lawsuit, and punched a court officer in front of a judge.

Somehow, officers are constantly found to have beaten citizens unjustly, but they retain their jobs. Yet Muslim officers face firing because of beards and head scarves.

It is time to change the antiquated police uniform policy to reflect Philadelphia's diversity and tolerance.

Imam Isa Abdulmateen is the Chairman of the Majlis Ash Shura Justice and Integrity Division in Philadelphia.

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IT'S TIME TO PUT AN END TO THE AL-ARIAN TRIAL - TOP
The Oracle, 1/27/06
http://www.usforacle.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/01/27/43da09ea80765

His lawyers are tired, the American Civil Liberties Union is tired, and most of all, Sami Al-Arian, who has been in jail since February 2003, is tired. After six months of trial in which the jury in Al-Arian's case found him not guilty on eight charges and deadlocked on nine, Al-Arian's lawyers announced Tuesday in a St. Petersburg Times article that they are "too exhausted to give any more."

Who could blame them? They defended their client in an unprecedented case that tested the yet-to-be-renewed Patriot Act for the first time ever. The case has been under scrutiny for months while Al-Arian himself has been under scrutiny for years. Still, the federal government is "weeks, not months" from making a decision on whether to continue prosecution on the deadlocked charges, according to a spokesman of Tampa-based U.S. Attorney Paul Perez.

Yet Al-Arian and his loved ones are hanging in there, remaining hopeful. As Oracle columnist Sebastian Meyer noted of his meeting with Nahla Al-Arian, wife of Sami Al-Arian, she "seemed surprisingly upbeat even though members of her family had been put through the justice system without regard for the principle 'innocent until proven guilty.'"

Al-Arian's innocence has been proven - on eight of 17 major charges, including one count of conspiracy to murder or maim persons at places outside the United States and three counts of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. His lawyers did not even have to present one piece of evidence for the jury to reach this verdict.

The ACLU has also spoken out against the continuation of the case. According to the St. Petersburg Times, the Florida ACLU wrote a letter to authorities in charge of the decision of whether the case should continue or not. "In light of the jury's acquittal & on the most serious charges and in light of reportedly spending millions of dollars in a trial that led to no convictions," the letter said, "a decision to retry would appear to be pointless and vindictive."

It surely would. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

GUEST OPINION: SPYING ON MUSLIMS SHOULD WORRY ALL AMERICANS - TOP
Siraj Mufti, Tucson Citizen, 1/26/06
http://tucsoncitizen.com/news/opinion/012606b5_guestmufti

Americans have been shocked by reports of President Bush permitting the National Security Agency to spy on citizens by eavesdropping on their communications.

The president has admitted he signed an executive order in 2002 allowing the NSA to monitor without any court approval. The pretext: It was limited to communications between terror suspects in the United States and abroad.

However, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, enacted by Congress in 1978, requires approval of all wiretaps and electronic surveillance by a duly constituted court.

Furthermore, citing current and former government officials, The New York Times reported that the information gathered is much larger than acknowledged by the president.

Congress has initiated investigations into whether laws were broken.

Equally alarming for Muslim-Americans is the news in U.S. News & World Report that the FBI surreptitiously monitored mosques and other selected buildings owned by American Muslims for radiation emission. Some of those questioned were threatened with loss of their jobs.

The nuclear surveillance program began in early 2002 by the FBI and the Department of Energy's Nuclear Emergency Support Team.

At its peak, three vehicles monitored 120 sites a day in the Washington, D.C., area.

Included were at least five other cities: Chicago, Detroit, Los Vegas, New York and Seattle.

The article in U.S. News & World Report concluded, "No dirty bombs or nuclear devices have ever been found - and that includes the post-9/11 program.... There were some false positives, and one or two were alarming," says one source. "But in the end, we found nothing."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued the following statement: "This disturbing revelation, coupled with recent reports of domestic surveillance without warrant, could lead to the perception that we are no longer a nation ruled by law, but instead one in which fear trumps constitutional rights.

"All Americans should be concerned about the apparent trend towards a two-tiered system of justice, with full rights for most citizens, and another diminished set of rights for Muslims."

In the wake of 9/11, such actions are all the more disheartening, since American Muslims actively extended a helping hand to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies across the nation.

Director Robert Mueller and other officials have publicly acknowledged the cooperation of American Muslims.

Regardless, harassment continues and, most noteworthy, without finding any terrorist. It indicates that clouds of fear and suspicion still surround Muslim-Americans.

"The message they are sending through these kinds of actions is that being Muslim is sufficient evidence to warrant scrutiny," CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told The Washington Post. (MORE)

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MOSQUE RAISES HOPES FOR REAL ESTATE BOOM - TOP
Bridgeview experience eyed in Orland Park
Deborah Horan, Chicago Tribune, 1/27/06
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/southsouthwest/chi-0601270249jan27,1,7873567.story

For more than a decade, Mohammed Alqadhi watched the Mosque Foundation transform a slice of Bridgeview into a thriving Muslim enclave as families in search of an Islamic place to pray bought up the modest homes around the green-domed house of worship.

On Thursday, a dome was placed atop a similar mosque that's set to open in the spring in Orland Park, and Alqadhi, a Yemeni immigrant and entrepreneur, is keeping an eye out for property nearby. He already has bought a vacant store with plans to open a Middle Eastern grocery.

"Everything that happened in Bridgeview will happen here," Alqadhi predicted. "People will want to be near the mosque. Housing prices will go up. They'll need a convenience store."

That rosy prediction runs counter to some reactions when Muslim leaders applied two years ago for a permit to build a mosque and school on 104th Avenue. Then, residents worried about traffic congestion and noise, fretted over who was funding the facility and feared housing prices would plummet.

Although the evidence from Bridgeview is largely anecdotal, home prices near the mosque appear to have risen higher than elsewhere in the south suburb. It's been happening since the mosque was built in the 1980s but particularly in the last decade.

A split-level home on Beloit Avenue near the mosque sold for $295,000 in 2003, said real estate agent Suleiman Abdel Wahab. A similar split-level far from the mosque on 77th Street sold the same year for $231,000, he found.

Other spot checks found similar pricing around the mosque: A five-bedroom on Beloit sold for $127,000 in 2003, while a five-bedroom away from the mosque sold for $107,000, he said. In 2005, four five-bedroom homes on Beloit went for an average of $162,000, while four same-size homes farther away sold for an average of $142,000.

"It's really astronomical, the prices around the mosque," Abdel Wahab said. "There is a big demand."

The rise in housing prices is all the more surprising considering the physical nature of the neighborhood around the mosque. Families came despite highway noise, nearby train tracks and the 18-wheelers parked in an adjacent industrial zone, buying up ranches and bungalows until most every home had a Muslim owner. . .

"People want to live near a mosque, especially the Muslim immigrant community," said Yasser Tabbara, whose parents emigrated from Syria to Chicago decades ago. In America, his father would often calculate the distance he would have to walk to pray, Tabbara said. (MORE)

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VATICAN MAY REACH OUT TO OTHER RELIGIONS - TOP
Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, 1/27/06
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/3617171.html

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican is exploring whether to expand its Catholic-Jewish dialogue to include Muslims, although talks are at a very initial stage, a Vatican official said Friday.

Monsignor Michael Fitzgerald, who heads the Vatican's office for interreligious dialogue, made the comments after the World Jewish Congress said its chairman, Rabbi Israel Singer, had discussed the initiative with Fitzgerald and other high-ranking Vatican officials during a visit to Rome.

The main point of the talks was to intensify the Vatican's official dialogue with Jews, but they also included "specific possibilities to expand interfaith talks to also include representatives from the Islamic faith," the WJC said in a statement.

Details on establishing a "trialogue" would be discussed in future meetings, the statement said.

"It is important to enter into discussions with the third 'Abrahamic child' Islam," Singer said in the statement. "No one in the meetings has underestimated the difficulties in bringing about a meaningful dialogue. But we all agreed that the principle of mutual respect can override differences that exist between the religions."

Fitzgerald said he met with Singer on Thursday and that they discussed "the various meetings taking place between Jews, Christians and Muslims," including the trialogue suggestion. (MORE)

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DOCUMENTS SHOW ARMY SEIZED WIVES AS TACTIC - TOP
Charles J. Hanley, Associated Press, 1/27/06
http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/ap/2006/01/27/ap2482804.html

The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of ``leveraging'' their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show.

In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family's door telling him ``to come get his wife.''

The issue of female detentions in Iraq has taken on a higher profile since kidnappers seized American journalist Jill Carroll on Jan. 7 and threatened to kill her unless all Iraqi women detainees are freed.

The U.S. military on Thursday freed five of what it said were 11 women among the 14,000 detainees currently held in the 2 1/2-year-old insurgency. All were accused of ``aiding terrorists or planting explosives,'' but an Iraqi government commission found that evidence was lacking.

Iraqi human rights activist Hind al-Salehi contends that U.S. anti-insurgent units, coming up empty-handed in raids on suspects' houses, have at times detained wives to pressure men into turning themselves in.

Iraq's deputy justice minister, Busho Ibrahim Ali, dismissed such claims, saying hostage-holding was a tactic used under the ousted Saddam Hussein dictatorship, and ``we are not Saddam.'' A U.S. command spokesman in Baghdad, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, said only Iraqis who pose an ``imperative threat'' are held in long-term U.S.-run detention facilities. (MORE)

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PENTAGON DOCUMENT SHOWS MESSAGES BOOMERANG - TOP
Robert Burns, Associated Press, 1/27/06
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1152AP_Pentagon_Information_War.html

WASHINGTON - A Pentagon ``road map'' to more effective use of information as a weapon says psychological warfare messages targeted at foreign audiences are increasingly finding their way into the United States.

The 78-page document, released Thursday by the National Security Archive, a nonprofit research group, spells out the Pentagon's reasoning for putting greater emphasis on ``information operations'' as a military tool. It says this should be a core military capability and placed largely in the hands of war-fighting commanders.

``Information, always important in warfare, is now critical to military success and will only become more so in the foreseeable future,'' it says.

The National Security Archive obtained the document from the Pentagon with a Freedom of Information Act request.

It was classified secret and dated Oct. 30, 2003. It begins with a brief approval note signed by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who called it an attempt to ``keep pace with emerging threats and to exploit new opportunities.''

The Pentagon has faced a number of ``information operations'' controversies recently, including questions about a propaganda program that paid Iraqi media to run favorable stories. U.S. military officials in Iraq have defended that as part of their campaign to get the truth out about the war and the rebuilding effort.

SEE ALSO:

LINK: RUMSFELD'S ROADMAP TO PROPAGANDA - TOP
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB177/

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CAIR
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Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

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Forwarded Message

Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2006 15:27:45 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Jail Ordered for Con Man Who Targeted Muslims / AZ Muslims Rally Behind Banished Doctor / GA Muslims Make Beef Donation for Needy

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/28/06

* Verse: Do Not Defraud Others
* Help Support CAIR's Important Work
* Azhar Usman to Emcee CAIR-Chicago Annual Event
* AL: Alleged Con Man Who Targeted Muslims is Jailed
            - CAIR: Victims Urged to Help Prosecutors Build a Case
* CAIR-LA Comments on Palestinian Elections (Press-Enterprise)
            - U.S. Policy Seen as Big Loser in Palestinian Vote (WP)
* CAIR-LA Rep to Speak at Synagogue (LA Daily News)
* CAIR-AZ: Muslims Rally Behind Banished Doctor (AZ Trib)
            - Muslims Decry U.S. Ouster of Tempe Doctor (AZ Rep)
* GA: Muslims Make Beef Donation for Needy (Atlanta Journal)
* Utah Muslims Don't Find Laughs in Brooks' Film (Salt Lake Trib)
* MI: Faith Unwavering After Hajj Disaster (AP)
            - Hajj Offers Chance to See Mosaic of Islam (Seattle Times)
* TN: Islamic Center Unites Muslims (Leaf-Chronicle)

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VERSE OF THE DAY: DO NOT DEFRAUD OTHERS - TOP

"(Always) give full measure, and be not among those who (unjustly) cause loss (to others through fraud). Weigh with a true balance (in all your dealings), and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs."

The Holy Quran, 26:181-183

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HELP SUPPORT CAIR'S IMPORTANT WORK - TOP

Become a member: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/membership.asp
Donate: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp
Join CAIR-NET: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

-----

AZHAR USMAN TO EMCEE CAIR-CHICAGO ANNUAL EVENT - TOP

Popular Muslim comedian and activist Azhar Usman will emcee and perform at CAIR-Chicago's annual event on February 4th. Azhar has spent the past few years tirelessly touring inside and outside of the United States, delighting audiences with his hilarious and thoughtful unique brand of comedy. Since he left behind a career in law to pursue professional comedy, he has been making news everywhere from ABC Nightline to the New York Times.

Azhar will be joining CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad and Sulayman Nyang in addressing event attendees. CAIR-Chicago's Annual Event and Fundraiser will take place 6 p.m. next Saturday, February 4, at the Sabre Room in Hickory Hills.

To RSVP, call 312-212-1520 or RSVP online at: http://www.cairchicago.org/fundraiser2006.php

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AL: ALLEGED CON MAN IS ORDERED JAILED - TOP
BRENDAN KIRBY, Mobile Register, 1/28/06
http://www.al.com/news/mobileregister/index.ssf?/base/news/1138443499146810.xml&coll=3

A federal magistrate judge in Mobile on Friday ordered an alleged international con man jailed until fraud charges against him are resolved.

Mohammed Agbareia, 40, pleaded innocent to conspiracy and wire fraud charges stemming from allegations that he tried to bilk a mosque in Mobile out of $1,500 in 2004.

Assistant Federal Defender Chris Knight said authorities have informed him that Agbareia provided investigators a full, videotaped confession. He suggested a plea bargain is likely. . .

Agbareia has been a primary target of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for more than a decade, and following his extradition to the United States last week, the Washington-based organization sent out an "action alert" seeking assistance from Muslims worldwide.

"We're happy that he will finally have his day in court so that those he allegedly defrauded can come forward," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for CAIR.

Hooper said several folks already have offered stories of their own dealings with Agbareia. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

VICTIMS WORLDWIDE URGED TO HELP PROSECUTORS BUILD THEIR CASE - TOP
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=357&theType=AA

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INLAND REACTION TO HAMAS' ELECTION WIN - TOP
The Press-Enterprise, 1/28/06
http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE.LN.2006.0127.hamasrail.4406a163.html

"The new government should be tested to see if it can bring the Palestinian people what the previous government did not - basic services, stability and the fulfillment of a nation's aspirations."

Sabiha Khan, Spokesperson, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Anaheim

SEE ALSO:

U.S. POLICY SEEN AS BIG LOSER IN PALESTINIAN VOTE - TOP
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/27/AR2006012701562.html

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CAIR-LA REP TO SPEAK AT SYNAGOGUE - TOP
LA Daily News, 1/28/06
http://www.dailynews.com/religion/ci_3445450

"Muslims and Jews: Opportunities and Challenges" will be discussed by Shaikh Yassir Fazaga, Islamic Foundation of Orange County, Ra'id Faraj and Sherrel Johnson, Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Rabbis David Baron, Temple of the Arts, and Steven Jacobs, Temple Kol Tikvah, 7 p.m. Shabbat service Friday, Temple Kol Tikvah, 20400 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. Call (818) 348-0670.

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CAIR-AZ: MUSLIMS RALLY BEHIND BANISHED DOCTOR - TOP
Arizona Tribune, 1/28/06
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=57934

Leaders of four groups held a news conference at a Tempe mosque to defend Dr. Nadeem Hassan, who was denied re-entry to the country last week after traveling to Saudi Arabia for hajj, a Muslim pilgrimage.

The Arizona office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations requested meetings with the congressmen, said Asim Ameer, a member of the group's state board of directors.

"We just want to be in a position where we can get some attention from our elected representatives," Ameer said.

While the group's requests have not been turned down, it has yet to be granted a meeting time with any of the legislators, he said.

"We have followed their process to the letter, and we're being stonewalled," Ameer said. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIMS DECRY U.S. OUSTER OF TEMPE DOCTOR - TOP
Dennis Wagner, Arizona Republic, 1/28/06
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0128hassan0128.html

Representatives from leading Islamic organizations in Arizona and the nation blasted the Department of Homeland Security on Friday, alleging that the government used discrimination, dishonesty and smear tactics to force a prominent Muslim physician out of the country.

The organizations, including the Council on American Islamic Relations and Muslim American Society, demanded that federal authorities allow Dr. Nadeem Hassan to return to Tempe from Pakistan and said that they are seeking meetings with the FBI, Homeland Security and congressional leaders about the treatment of immigrants.

Hassan, a Pakistani who belongs to an Islamic group known as Jamaat al Tabligh, was forced out of the country last week under threat of indefinite detention based in part on a Homeland Security finding that JT is a terrorist organization.

Those moves infuriated Valley Muslims, who say Hassan is a peace-loving physician and Jamaat al Tabligh is a non-violent, apolitical missionary movement. (MORE)

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GA: MUSLIMS MAKE BEEF DONATION FOR NEEDY - TOP
REBECCA RAKOCZY, Atlanta Journal, 1/28/06
http://www.ajc.com/search/content/auto/epaper/editions/saturday/faith_values_34addbdf6051710000fa.html

A new twist on an ancient Islamic sacrifice has inspired a donation of half a ton of beef to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

The beef --- individually wrapped in 5-pound packages --- was delivered Wednesday to the food bank by members of metro Atlanta's Muslim community. The donation was in place of an ancient Islamic practice of sacrificing an animal to mark the end of Eid al-Adha, one of the two primary Islamic festivals. It is also the first major donation from the Muslim community to the food bank.

The Muslim community's campaign, "This Eid, Sacrifice for Our Neighbors," highlighted the number of poor children in the metro area who go without a viable source of protein each day, said Amjad Taufique of the Islamic Center of Marietta, an organizer of the donation effort.

Traditionally after celebrating Eid, Muslims sacrifice an animal in observance of God sending a ram in place of Abraham's son, Taufique said. (The reference to Abraham's sacrifice of the ram is found in the Quran, Torah and Bible.) The sacrificed animal is then distributed three ways --- "one-third to family, one-third to friends and one-third to the poor," Taufique said.

"But American Muslims have foregone the [actual animal] sacrifice, [instead] donating money overseas to the poor in Pakistan and Afghanistan," he said.

That changed this year, when 16 metro area Muslim organizations followed the lead of Chicago-area Muslims, who raised money to have a cow slaughtered and its beef donated to their community food banks.

The 16 groups are: Islamic Center of Marietta (Masjid Al-Hedaya); Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam (Atlanta); Masjid Al-Muminun (Atlanta); Masjid Al-Qur'an (Atlanta); Islamic Crisis Emergency Response System; Baitul Salaam Inc.; Al-Farooq Masjid of Atlanta; Islamic Circle of North America, Atlanta chapter; Masjid Omar bin Abdul Aziz (Norcross); Community Mosque of Atlanta; Masjid Al-Momineen (Clarkston); Islamic Community Center (Fayetteville); Masjid Al-Ihsan (Riverdale); Dawah Services Inc.; Islamic Center of North Fulton; and the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. (MORE)

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UTAH MUSLIMS DON'T FIND THE LAUGHS IN 'LOOKING' - TOP
Jessica Ravitz, Salt Lake Tribune, 1/28/06
http://www.sltrib.com/faith/ci_3446030

They walked into the theater with high hopes -- hankering for laughs and, even more, for a film that would promote Muslim understanding.

What they found left them disappointed, slightly offended and full of questions.

"I just want to meet the people who find it funny because I don't get it," quipped Musaret Jabeen, after leaving Salt Lake City's Broadway Centre Cinemas. "What was the end message?"

Jabeen was one of nine Salt Lake Valley Muslims who came out Sunday to see Albert Brooks' "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World." All of them applauded the film's premise -- a story about Brooks' travels to India and Pakistan, on the U.S. government's dime, to find out what makes Muslims laugh. International diplomacy through smiles -- what could be better?

The final product, however, got "thumbs down" all around. (MORE)

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MI: FAITH UNWAVERING AFTER HAJJ DISASTER - TOP
Tom Krisher, Associated Press, 1/28/06
http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/living/religion/13734832.htm

She endured desert heat, hunger, long walks and hours of waiting in lines. She was nearly crushed by a surging crowd inside a mosque and narrowly missed a deadly stampede.

But upon returning from her pilgrimage to Mecca for the annual hajj, Nadia Bazzy said she has been altered to her core.

"You feel completely taken care of," said the 20-year-old college student from the Detroit suburb of Canton Township. "You don't have any worries."

Bazzy was one of about 3,000 Muslims from Michigan who returned from Saudi Arabia this month -- exhausted, euphoric and fulfilled after about 20 days of praying and visiting holy sites. Islam requires all who are physically and financially able to make the pilgrimage at least once in their lives. The Detroit area has one of the nation's largest Muslim populations, with an estimated 100,000 people in the city and three neighboring counties. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

JOURNEY TO MECCA OFFERS CHANCE TO SEE MOSAIC OF ISLAM - TOP
Aziz Junejo, Seattle Times, 1/28/06
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/faithvalues/2002767380_junejo28m.html

At around 6:30 a.m. at Sea-Tac Airport earlier this month, I found hundreds of Muslims of every ethnicity, hugging, kissing and saying goodbye to loved ones leaving for the annual hajj.

I hugged my Uncle Manzoor as he prepared to join some 3 million Muslims who would in a few days descend upon Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the annual Muslim pilgrimage.

Hajj is the fifth "pillar" of Islam. The Five Pillars, the foundation of Muslim life, are, briefly: believing in the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad; daily prayers; concern for and giving to the needy; self-purification through fasting; and hajj, for those who are able.

This spiritual renewal starts in Mecca and takes pilgrims on a grueling trek across the desert to various cities and landmarks where rituals more than 1,400 years old are performed. Hajj culminates with the celebration of Eid ul-Adha (feast of sacrifice), the second Muslim holiday, the first being Ramadan. (MORE)

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TN: ISLAMIC CENTER UNITES MUSLIMS - TOP
ANN WALLACE, Leaf-Chronicle, 1/28/06
http://www.theleafchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060128/LIFESTYLE/601280307/1024

After living in Clarksville for 21 years, Abu Sarwar, originally from Bangladesh, finally has a place to worship and gather with fellow Muslims.

The Islamic Center of Clarksville opened in August on Madison Street and serves as a multipurpose mosque and center for approximately 80 locals of the Muslim faith.

"We never knew there were many Muslim people here in Clarksville," says Sarwar, an Austin Peay State University professor who teaches engineering technology at the Fort Campbell campus. (MORE)

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

-----

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Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 15:27:30 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Nazi Swastika Painted on Virginia Mosque / Clinton Warns of Rising Anti-Islamic Feeling / CAIR Reacts to Jerry Vines' Retirement

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/30/06

* Hadith: Fasting During Muharram
* Help Support CAIR's Important Work
* CAIR-Tampa Job Opening: Operations Coordinator
* CAIR: Nazi Swastika Painted on Virginia Mosque
            - Excerpts from CAIR's Muslim Community Safety Kit
            - Clinton Warns of Rising Anti-Islamic Feeling (AFP)
            - VA Muslim Oppose Confederate Flag Logo (Wash Post)
* CAIR-MI: Muslim New Year Sacred Time (Detroit Free Press)
            - Michigan Muslims Plan Blood Drive (WLNS)
* CAIR Reacts to Jerry Vines' Retirement (FL Times-Union)
* PA: Muslims Join Day of Dialogue (Morning Call)
* CA: Alcohol Becomes a Flashpoint (SF Chronicle)
* WA: Muslims Stitch a Solution (Herald)
            - CA: Veiled Muslim Women Not Victimized (Horus)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: FASTING DURING MUHARRAM - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked: "Which prayer is the best after the obligatory (five daily) prayers?" He said: "Prayer during the middle of the night." The Prophet was then asked: "Which fast is the best after the fast of Ramadan?" He replied: "The (voluntary fasts during the) month of God that you call Muharram."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 125

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HELP SUPPORT CAIR'S IMPORTANT WORK - TOP

Become a member: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/membership.asp
Donate: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp
Join CAIR-NET: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

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CAIR-TAMPA JOB OPENING: OPERATIONS COORDINATOR - TOP

CAIR Florida's Tampa office has an immediate opening for an experienced person to fill the position of Operations Coordinator. This is a full-time position and will be based in Tampa.

The successful candidate will be responsible for general administrative duties, communicating with members, organizing office meetings/events, and handling accounts payables/receivables.

Qualifications: The ideal candidate should have a minimum of two years administrative, management and/or customer service experience. Experience in working with non-profit organizations is desirable. Good organization, clerical and accounting skills are required. The candidate should be a self-motivated, self-starter and demonstrate the ability to operate in a self-directed environment.

The ideal candidate will also possess excellent oral and written communications skills, the ability to work well under pressure and a commitment to serving the community. Excellent customer service and phone skills a must. This position also requires a strong working knowledge of MS Office and experience in database management.

A college degree in business, communications, information technology or equivalent is required. Must be willing to work some weekends and/or evenings (depending upon events).

Salary: Negotiable, depending on experience.

Benefits: CAIR Florida offers a competitive benefits package including paid holidays, vacation and health insurance.

Closing Date: Resumes and cover letter must be received by Monday, February 6, 2006

Apply: in confidence by submitting a cover letter and resume via email to: tampa@cairfl.org or mail to: Human Resources, CAIR Florida, 8056 N. 56th Street, Tampa, FL 33617. When applying via email please make sure to write the position title "Operations Coordinator" in the subject of the email.

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CAIR CALLS FOR FBI PROBE OF VIRGINIA MOSQUE VANDALISM - TOP
Nazi Swastika painted on exterior of Sterling Islamic center

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/30/2006) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) today called on the FBI to investigate vandalism at a Virginia mosque as a possible hate crime.

Officials of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) in Sterling, Va., say a large Nazi swastika was discovered on the exterior of their facility this morning. The center has been the target of several incidents of vandalism since the 9/11 terror attacks.

"It is particularly disturbing that a mosque near our nation's capital is repeatedly targeted in this manner," said Shama Farooq, civil rights director for CAIR's Maryland and Virginia office.

CAIR said vandalism or other possible bias-related incidents have been reported recently at mosques in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, Texas, Nebraska, California, and New York. In December of last year, bombs damaged an Ohio mosque.

SEE: CAIR Offers Reward for Info on OH Mosque Bombings

The Washington-based group is urging Muslim institutions nationwide to review security procedures using advice contained in CAIR's "Muslim Community Safety Kit." (See excerpts from the kit below.)

The safety kit may be obtained free of charge by e-mailing: pubs@cair-net.org (Include name, address and phone number when requesting the safety kit.) It may also be ordered at: https://www.cair-net.org/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=1021

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-MD/VA Civil Rights Director Shama Farooq, 301-343-2924; 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:

EXCERPTS FROM CAIR MUSLIM COMMUNITY SAFETY KIT - TOP

REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Muslims must do their part to ensure the safety and security of our nation.
If anyone notes suspicious persons or activities in their community, they should report it immediately to the local Field Office of the FBI. SEE:
http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm

DEVELOP A LEGAL CONTACT LIST

Develop a list of attorneys who are willing to be consulted by the Muslim community in response to backlash incidents. Ask Muslim attorneys to volunteer their services to community members during this time of crisis.

DEVELOPING POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

Community leaders should immediately coordinate meetings between representatives of the Muslim community and local state and national law enforcement agencies. These meetings should focus on ways in which the community can help national security and on how authorities can protect Muslims and Arab-Americans from harassment and discrimination.

MEET WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS TO DISCUSS COMMUNITY CONCERNS

Delegations of Muslim representatives should schedule meetings with local, state and national elected representatives or their key staff to discuss community concerns. To find out who represents your area on the national level, go to: http://www.capwiz.com/cair/home/

BUILD COALITIONS WITH INTERFAITH AND MINORITY GROUPS

Similar meetings should be coordinated with representatives of local interfaith and minority groups. These meetings should focus on building lines of communication and support, and hearing from these groups how they deal with discrimination and bigotry.

MEET WITH LOCAL SCHOOL PRINCIPALS TO DISCUSS STUDENT SAFETY

Representatives of the Muslim community should meet with local school administrators to discuss safety plans for students and to sensitize the administrators to harassment of Muslim students.

Obtain copies of CAIR's "Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices" by contacting CAIR or e-mailing: pubs@cair-net.org

BUILDING AN EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST

Community leaders should develop emergency e-mail and phone contact lists to be used in case of an incident that threatens the community's safety. Local imams, Islamic center board members, and Muslim activists should be on the lists.

A second list should be developed containing contact information for all local law enforcement agencies.

HOLD A COMMUNITY MEETING TO INFORM OTHERS OF SAFETY GUIDELINES

Call for a meeting of the local Muslim community to discuss the information outlined in this kit. The meeting should take place at a local mosque or
Islamic center and should be advertised using the emergency contact list.

ESTABLISH A COMMUNITY SUPPORT NETWORK

Establish a network of community members who can offer emotional and material support to those who may be the victims of hate crimes or discrimination. Victims should not be left alone to deal with the negative impact of such incidents.

REACTING TO INCIDENTS OF ANTI-MUSLIM HATE

If you believe you have been the victim of an anti-Muslim hate crime or discrimination, you should:

1. Report the incident to your local police station and FBI office IMMEDIATELY. Ask that the incident be treated as a hate crime. Ask witnesses to give you their name and contact information.
2. Inform CAIR even if you believe it is a "small" incident. Incidents may be reported online at: http://www.cair-net.org/ireport/ or TEL:
202-488-8787, FAX: 202-488-0833, E-MAIL: cair@cair-net.org
3. Document the incident. Write down exactly what was said and/or done by the offender. Save evidence. Take photographs.
4. Act quickly. Each incident must be dealt with when it happens, not when convenient.
5. Decide on the appropriate action to be taken. Consider issuing a statement from community leaders, holding a news conference, organizing a protest, meeting with officials, or starting a letter writing campaign. 6. Mobilize community support. Contact CAIR and a local mosque or organization. 7. Stay on top of the situation. 8. Announce results. When the incident is resolved, make an announcement to the same people and organizations originally contacted.

CAIR MOSQUE SECURITY GUIDELINES

Areas of Vulnerability:

* Mosques located in isolated areas.
* Mosques left unattended for extended periods of time.
* Mosques with unsecured doors and/or windows.
* Absence of a burglar alarm system.
* Heavy exterior vegetation (shrubs, etc.) in which criminals may hide.
* Absence of exterior lighting.

Take the following safety measures:

* Build good relationships with neighbors of the mosque. Invite them to visit your center.
* Try to have people attend the mosque as much as possible. Activity deters perpetrators.
* Make an appointment with the community relations officer of your local police department to tour your center and make suggestions on improving mosque security.
* Request additional police patrols in the vicinity of your center. Special attention should be paid to times of darkness and during prayers.
* Consider creating a security committee at your mosque.
* Post mosque members at entrances and parking areas during prayer times.
* Report suspicious packages to police. Do not touch them.
* Install perimeter floodlights outside the mosque.
* Install fire and burglar alarm systems.
* Replace hollow core doors with more secure solid doors.
* Install burglarproof bars on screens and large vents. (Note - Research local ordinances before beginning security renovations. For example, window bars should not limit evacuation in case of fire.)
* Trim shrubs and vines to reduce areas of concealment.
* Participate in neighborhood watch programs.
* Document descriptions of suspicious people or vehicles.
* Make duplicates of all important papers, computer disks and records.
* Remove potential fire hazards, such as trash and debris.
* Consider installing security cameras.

RESPONDING TO BOMB THREATS

1. Distribute written instructions on handling bomb threats.
2. Keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Ask that the message be repeated. Record or write down everything that is said.
3. Ask for the location of the bomb.
4. Inform the caller that the detonation of a bomb could hurt many innocent people.
5. Pay attention to background noises such as music, which may give a clue to the caller's location.
6. Listen closely to the caller's voice. Make note of accents, voice quality (calm, excited) or speech impediments.
7. Report the threat immediately to the local police, ATF and FBI. Have appropriate phone numbers listed in written instructions.
8. If the threat comes in the form of a letter, save all materials, including the envelope. Handle the letter as little as possible. 9. Search the interior and exterior of the mosque. Evacuate the building if a suspicious package or device is found.

SUSPECT LETTERS AND PACKAGES

* What to look for:
* Name and title of addressee are not accurate.
* No return address, or the sender is not known to the addressee.
* Handwriting is distorted.
* Unprofessionally wrapped, uneven, bulky, lopsided.
* Contains bulges or soft spots.
* Poorly wrapped package is marked "Fragile-Handle With Care," "Rush," or has unusual restrictions such as "Personal" or "Private."
* Excess amount of postage.
* Protruding wires or tin foil.
* Package makes a buzzing or ticking noise, a sloshing sound, or emits an odor.

What to do:

DON'T open the package or letter.
DON'T put it in water or in a confined space such as a drawer. DO isolate the article and secure the immediate area. DO open windows if possible to help vent potential explosive gases. DO contact your local police department and Postal Inspector.

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VA MUSLIM OPPOSE CONFEDERATE FLAG LOGO - TOP
Arianne Aryanpur, Washington Post, 1/29/06
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/28/AR2006012800142.html

Leesburg's decision earlier this month to take down civic signs at the town's main entry points prompted an eloquent and often emotional debate over the power of symbols at the Town Council's meeting Tuesday night.

The audience included members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the organization whose application to place its logo on the signposts prompted the removal of the signs. Also present were gay rights activists, Muslims and black residents. (MORE)

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CLINTON WARNS OF RISING ANTI-ISLAMIC FEELING - TOP
Associated France Presse, 1/30/06
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060130/pl_afp/denmarkislamqatar_060130151546

Bill Clinton warned of rising anti-Islamic prejudice, comparing it to historic anti-Semitism as he condemned the publishing of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper.

"So now what are we going to do? ... Replace the anti-Semitic prejudice with anti-Islamic prejudice?" he said at an economic conference in the Qatari capital of Doha.

"In Europe, most of the struggles we've had in the past 50 years have been to fight prejudices against Jews, to fight against anti-Semitism," he said.

Clinton described as "appalling" the 12 cartoons published in a Danish newspaper in September depicting Prophet Mohammed and causing uproar in the Muslim world.

"None of us are totally free of stereotypes about people of different races, different ethnic groups, and different religions ... there was this appalling example in northern Europe, in Denmark ... these totally outrageous cartoons against Islam," he said.

The cartoons, including a portrayal of the prophet wearing a time-bomb-shaped turban, were reprinted in a Norwegian magazine in January, sparking uproar in the Muslim world where images of the prophet are considered blasphemous.

Clinton criticised the tendency to generalise negative news of Islamic militancy.

"Because people see headlines that they don't like (they will) apply that to a whole religion, a whole faith, a whole region and a whole people?" he asked.

A wide campaign to boycott Danish products has swept through Muslim countries as many governments and organisations have demanded an apology from the Danish government. (MORE)

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CAIR-MI: MUSLIM NEW YEAR SACRED TIME - TOP
Dearborn blood drive is symbolic
David Crumm, Detroit Free Press, 1/30/06
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060130/NEWS05/601300451

As the sun sets tonight, Muslims around the world will welcome the New Year 1427.

But don't expect a Dick Clark-style party. In Islam, a new year is not a universal cause for the kind of celebrations thrown in many cultures around the world.

Shi'ite Muslims especially regard this as a mournful period. They will spend the first 10 days of the new year wearing black and solemnly reflecting on the martyrdom many centuries ago of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

"We say that the new year is a revered moment, a sacred time in Islam," Dawud Walid, Michigan director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Thursday. "People normally do not take off work or school, but at night there usually are programs in the mosques that many people attend. After prayers, the imams will talk about the significance of this month for all Muslims."

Throughout Islam, the theme of deliverance from oppression is common, Walid said, including retelling the ancient story of Moses and the Israelites fleeing slavery in Egypt. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

DEARBORN GROUP PLANS BLOOD DRIVE TO HONOR MUSLIM MARTYR - TOP
http://www.wlns.com/Global/story.asp?S=4427110&nav=0RbQ

DEARBORN, Mich. Muslims around the world are preparing to celebrate the start of the Islamic new year at sundown tonight. As part of the commemoration, a metro-Detroit group is planning a unique way to honor a religious martyr.

On the tenth day of the new year, Shiite Muslims commemorate the seventh century death of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

The American Islamic Academy in Dearborn plans to hold an American Red Cross blood drive on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Dearborn-based Islamic Center of America says the drive is a way for Muslims to show how Hussein shed his blood for humankind.

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CAIR-FL: MUSLIM REACTION TO JERRY VINES' RETIREMENT - TOP
Rick Wilson, Times-Union, 1/29/06
http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/012906/opl_vessays.shtml

The announcement that Rev. Jerry Vines is stepping down from the helm of First Baptist Church has elicited mixed reactions within the American Muslim community.

While recognizing the positive contributions made by Rev. Vines in his stewardship of the congregation and as a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Muslims remain disappointed that a prominent religious leader used divisive rhetoric at a time when the world needed spiritual healers.

In 2002, Rev. Vines sparked a national controversy when he defamed the Prophet Muhammad by calling him a "demon-possessed pedophile."

Besides the fact that his comments were offensive to Muslims, Rev. Vines lacked basic understanding of Islam and Muslims.

Unfortunately, Vines is not alone. Evangelist Franklin Graham claimed that Islam is an "evil and wicked religion," while Rev. Jerry Falwell called Prophet Muhammad a "terrorist."

Such malediction reflects rather poorly on faith leaders who fail to distinguish between the atrocities of a few Muslims who misguidedly kill in the name of Islam versus the peaceful practices of mainstream Islam.

This failure to dissociate the evil of individuals from the faith of Islam points to an un-American double standard. No other faith group in America bears this burden of guilt by association.

The incessant defamatory portrayal of Islam as an evil and violent faith is not without consequences. Anti-Muslim incidents, including hate crimes against American Muslims, have reached record highs. That such Islamophobia hurts Muslims is obvious, but what is often overlooked is that Islamophobia also threatens the image and interests of America.

Islamophobia erodes our nation's image as a champion of liberty and freedom for all. As America's image takes a downward spiral, it emboldens extremists into unacceptable anti-Americanism abroad. This in turn fuels Islamophobia at home, thus precipitating a vicious cycle of misunderstanding, hatred and backlash.

It is about time that this vicious cycle is broken. Reaching out and being part of inter-faith dialogues would be a good starting point. Increasing economic, social and cultural interaction with the Muslim world could also go a long way toward overcoming fear. (MORE)

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PA: FOR FIRST TIME, MUSLIMS JOIN DAY OF DIALOGUE - TOP
Valley participants learn about similarities, differences among religions.
Elliot Grossman, Morning Call, 1/30/06
http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/all-b1-5dialogue-2jan30,0,2023783.story

Throughout history, Jews, Muslims and Christians have shed blood because of their differences. But on Sunday, members of the three faiths came together in peace to learn about their similarities.

For the first time, Muslims became full participants in a Day of Dialogue, a Lehigh Valley event originally designed to foster understanding between Christians and Jews.

''The more we understand each other, the better we can live with each other,'' said the Rev. Peter Pettit, who helped coordinate the event.

The Al-Ahad Islamic Center, a Shiite mosque in South Whitehall Township, hosted more than 100 Muslims, Jews and Christians to discuss how each religion observes its weekly holy days.

''It's just minor differences that separate us,'' said Mohammed Kermalli, who leads Friday prayers at the mosque.

Christians designate Sunday as a day of spiritual reflection. Jews set aside Saturday, which they call Shabbat. And Muslims consider Friday the holiest day of the week, naming it Jum'ah.

At the gathering, Jews and Muslims learned that they each require a minimum number of worshippers before certain prayer services can be held. Muslims require five worshippers on Friday and Jews require 10 for their services. (MORE)

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ALCOHOL BECOMES A FLASHPOINT - TOP
Bay Area Muslims say fellow Muslims who sell it violate religion
Janine DeFao, San Francisco Gate Chronicle, 1/28/06
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/01/28/BAGF9GV7E24.DTL

Bay Area Muslim leaders Saturday condemned fellow Muslims who own liquor stores, saying they are violating a tenet of their religion and poisoning their communities.

"We are here today to say loudly we stand together to battle the evils of alcohol. There is no such thing as 'drink responsibly,'" Mohammad Rajabally, president of the Islamic Society of the East Bay, told more than 100 Muslims gathered in the rain outside Oakland City Hall. "When you have Muslims bringing (alcohol) to people ... it is shameful."

Members of the newly formed Muslims for Healthy Communities said they did not support the vandalism of two Muslim-owned West Oakland liquor stores in November by men who identified themselves as Muslims. Six men affiliated with Your Black Muslim Bakery have pleaded not guilty in the case.

But the coalition members said those incidents, and the ensuing media coverage, provided an opportunity for Muslims to tackle the issue of liquor stores in poor communities, particularly those run by fellow Muslims.

"If they hadn't done that, we wouldn't be here today. It was the flashpoint," said Faheem Shuaibe, resident imam of the Masjidul Waritheen mosque in East Oakland. "It was the right intent, but simply done in the wrong way."

Members of the new group, which includes black, Arab and white Muslims from throughout the Bay Area, stopped at three liquor stores on a march from West Oakland to City Hall. The exchanges were peaceful, though a debate broke out at one store and employees at another store called police.

One of the stores visited was S&A Market in downtown Oakland, which Mohsin Hassan has owned for 30 years after taking over the business from his father, who emigrated from Yemen.

Hassan, who is Muslim, said the protesters are right that Islam prohibits him from selling alcohol.

"It's not a good feeling. I think about it almost every day," Hassan said in an interview. "I would like to get away from it, but on my own terms, not by oppression from somebody else trying to judge me."

Speakers at Saturday's event said they hope to work with city and state officials and other organizations trying to tackle the over-concentration of liquor stores in Oakland's poorest neighborhoods. They also said they want to help owners like Hassan who would like to leave the liquor business. (MORE)

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MUSLIMS STITCH A SOLUTION - TOP
Immigrants have tough time finding clothes that meet requirements of Islamic code
Krista J. Kapralos, Herald, 1/30/06
http://heraldnet.com/stories/06/01/30/100loc_a1sewing001.cfm

LYNNWOOD - Slowly at first, then more confidently, Eithar Jawad pushed a piece of paper beneath the pulsing needle of a sewing machine.

The paper was her "License," according to its title - her license to sew.

Iraqi women learn to sew in a class conducted by volunteers from the Washington State University Extension program at the Whispering Pines Apartments in Lynnwood. Eithar Jawad (left) helps Intesar Abdelrhman complete an assignment during class.
Jawad, a 30-year-old refugee from Iraq, perforated a thin black line that crisscrossed the paper with a threadless needle. It was the most basic lesson for a novice seamstress, but Jawad has no other choice but to learn.

"Before, when I needed a scarf, clothes, I called my family in Iraq and said, 'please, send,'" Jawad said. "But with Saddam (Hussein) gone, everything stopped. No post office."

With no way to have new clothes shipped to her from Iraq, Jawad was left with no other option than to make clothes for herself and her children.

She hasn't found any stores in Snohomish County with clothing that fulfills hijab, the Islamic code that requires women to be substantially covered in the presence of most men and strangers. Many Muslim women wear floor-length skirts or loose pants, long-sleeve shirts and generous scarves.

When the Family Support Center in Lynnwood started a sewing class this year, it was overcrowded on the first day with Muslim women eager to learn.

Jawad's mother and sister sewed in Iraq, but Jawad eschewed the traditional crafts and went to college. She began learning the basics of sewing when she was 19, but by 23, she was a refugee in Snohomish County.

The few pieces of clothing sold here that technically fulfill the Islamic dress code are awkward for some Muslim women. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CA: VEILED MUSLIM WOMEN NOT VICTIMIZED - TOP
Ben Ritter, New University Paper, 1/26/06
http://horus.vcsa.uci.edu/article.php?id=4380

As a symbol of exoticism, it has been used to sell cigarettes, tennis shoes and pornographic picture postcards. As a symbol of oppressive patriarchy, it has been used to justify decades of U.S. military interventions in the Middle East. But above all, the familiar symbol of the veil has served as a representation of U.S. concerns and anxieties about power and tradition, according to Amira Jarmakani, an assistant professor of women's studies at Georgia State University, who spoke at UC Irvine on Thursday, Jan. 26 in Humanities Instructional Building 135.

As part of her research, Jarmakani collected images of Arab womanhood in the United States, which fell into three basic categories: the veil, the harem and the belly dancer. She wished to understand why these images remained so salient in American culture.

Early examples of these images ranged from French orientalist paintings to photographs of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair (the debut of belly dancing in the United States) to early 20th century advertisements for Turkish tobacco blends.

"Contemporary U.S. images of Arab and Muslim women are largely determined by the seemingly static symbol of the veil, which is interpreted as evidence or example of the way in which these women are made invisible and rendered powerless by their own culture," Jarmakani said. "This type of image ... has emptied Arab womanhood of its contingency on any particular time or place and created what I call 'the mythology of the veil.'"

Annie Leibovitz's book, "Women," contains photographs of women from all different walks of life. The sole image of an Arab-American is of a Dearborn, Mich. schoolteacher who, with the exception of her eyes, is covered entirely in black cloth.

An accompanying essay by Susan Sontag says, "We assume a world with a boundless appetite for images, in which people, women and men, are eager to surrender themselves to the camera. But it is worth recalling that there are parts of the world where to be photographed is something off-limits to women. In a few countries, where men have been mobilized for a veritable war against women, women scarcely appear at all. The imperial rights of the camera to gaze at, to record, to exhibit anyone, anything, are an exemplary feature of modern life, as is the emancipation of women."

Jarmakani said that this image and Sontag's message are indicative of the type of stereotyping that is so common in the United States. (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: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 18:44:18 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Muslims Urge Bush to Avoid 'Loaded' Terms in Annual Address

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MUSLIMS URGE BUSH TO AVOID 'LOADED' TERMS IN ANNUAL ADDRESS

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/30/2006)
- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today urged President Bush to avoid using "loaded and imprecise terminology" relating to Islam in Tuesday night's State of the Union address.

In a letter to President Bush, CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed wrote:

"While you prepare for tomorrow's State of the Union address, I would like to offer a suggestion that could serve to strengthen America's image and interests worldwide, particularly in the Islamic world.

"You have stated repeatedly that the war on terror is not a war on Islam. Unfortunately, the use of loaded and imprecise terminology by our nation's representatives has often served to promote that negative perception.

"When you describe America's efforts to fight terrorism and spread democracy worldwide in Tuesday's address, I think it would be best to avoid the use of hot-button terms such as 'Islamo-fascism,' 'militant jihadism,' 'Islamic radicalism,' or 'totalitarian Islamic empire.'

"As you said in the past, 'this ideology is very different from the religion of Islam.' However, I believe the repeated rhetorical linkage of Islam to terms of violence and extremism is counterproductive and complicates our legitimate foreign policy initiatives.

"American Muslims stand ready to serve as a bridge of understanding to the Islamic world. We can best fulfill that role by offering advice that can help prevent misperceptions and misunderstandings between different nations and cultures."

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

- END -

CONTACT: 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 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 reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

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Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 14:25:44 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Seeks Meeting with Danish Ambassador Over Offensive Cartoons

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAIR SEEKS MEETING WITH DANISH AMBASSADOR OVER OFFENSIVE CARTOONS

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/31/2006)
- A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today said it is seeking meetings with the Danish and Norwegian ambassadors to the United States to discuss the publication of cartoons in those nations that Muslims worldwide view as "intentionally insulting" to the Prophet Muhammad and Islam.

The cartoons, one of which depicts Islam's prophet as an apparent terrorist with a bomb in his turban, have caused outrage and threats of boycotts across the Muslim world.

SEE: Cartoons of Prophet Met With Outrage (Washington Post)

SEE ALSO: Caricature of Muhammad Leads to Boycott of Danish Goods (NY Times)

In his letter to the Danish ambassador, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad offered his group's assistance "as a bridge between the Muslim community worldwide and the government of Denmark." He proposed a meeting "to discuss areas of mutual cooperation in helping to remedy the situation."

Awad noted that CAIR representatives recently took part in a U.S.-sponsored conference in Belgium that brought together American, Belgian and European Muslim leaders in the wake of rioting by immigrant youth in France. He also cited recent meetings with the ambassadors of the United Kingdom, France and Spain dealing with other incidents relating to Europe's Muslim community.

"We all value freedom of expression and the right to critical thought," said Awad. "But we should also use good judgment and common sense to avoid actions that will be perceived as intentionally insulting to others or that promote hatred."

He said proactive educational measures are the best response to such incidents. Following allegations that military personnel at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Quran, CAIR launched its "Explore the Quran" project offering free copies of Islam's revealed text to Americans of all faiths.

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

- END -

CONTACT: 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 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 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, 31 Jan 2006 16:19:26 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Condolences on Death of Coretta Scott King / CA Mosque Evacuated / WA Muslim Kicked Out of Court Over Hijab

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 1/31/06

* Hadith: Acknowledge the Rights of the Poor
* Help Support CAIR's Important Work
* CAIR Offer Condolences on Death of Coretta Scott King
            - CAIR-CA Director Discusses MLK Legacy
* CAIR-MI Condemns Reporter's Captors (Free Press)
* CA: Suspicious Fog Fills Sacramento Mosque (KCRA)
            - Mosque Evacuated (Sacramento Bee)
* CAIR-LA: Radio Skit Sparks Muslim Controversy (LA Times)
            - Radio Host Sets Apology Terms (AP)
            - Canada Reprimands Imus for Insulting Muslims (NYT)
* WA: Muslim Kicked Out of Court Over Hijab (KOMO)
* TX: PBS Station Pulls 'Biased' Documentary (DM News)

-----

HADITH OF THE DAY: ACKNOWLEDGE THE RIGHTS OF THE POOR - TOP

A man once said to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): "I have plenty of property, a large family, a great deal of money, and I am a gracious host to my guests. Tell me how to conduct my life and how to spend (my money)." The Prophet replied: "Pay (regular charity) out of your property, for truly it is a purifier. . .be kind to your relatives, and acknowledge the rights of the poor, of (your) neighbors and of (those who ask for assistance)."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 3

-----

HELP SUPPORT CAIR'S IMPORTANT WORK - TOP

Become a member: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/membership.asp
Donate: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp
Join CAIR-NET: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

-----

CAIR OFFERS CONDOLENCES ON DEATH OF CORETTA SCOTT KING - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/31/06) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today offered condolences on the death of Coretta Scott King, wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

CAIR said in a statement:

"American Muslims respected Coretta Scott King as an untiring advocate for civil rights and human dignity. Her leadership and commitment to establishing a more equitable nation should be honored by all Americans. We offer sincere condolences to her family and to all those who seek a more just world."

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-SV DIRECTOR DISCUSSES MLK LEGACY - TOP

(DAVIS, CA, 1/31/2006) - A representative of the Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) recently addressed the congregation of the Newman Catholic Community Center in Davis.

CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra offered an address, entitled "Muslims, Faith, and Reflections on the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.," to a group of 40 students and parishioners.

"The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. lives on when all people of faith work together for the common good," said Elkarra.

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: Basim Elkarra, 916-441-6269, Email: sacval@cair.com

-----

CAIR-MI: METRO MUSLIMS AGAIN CONDEMN REPORTER'S CAPTORS - TOP
Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 1/31/06
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060131/NEWS05/601310316

Al-Jazeera said Jill Carroll, shown here in a family image, pleaded for release of female prisoners held by U.S. and Iraqi forces in Iraq.

Weeping, her face pained, kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll appeared Monday in a new video broadcast on an Arabic TV station, reportedly pleading for the release of Iraqi female prisoners held by U.S. forces and the Iraqi government. . .

Muslims in Michigan and across the country have made repeated demands for Carroll's release, saying her kidnapping is un-Islamic. They also said that her release should not depend on whether Iraqi female prisoners are released.

"The tactics that the abductors are using -- showing her with a veil on, crying, asking for the release of the Iraqi prisoners -- is an unacceptable tactic," said Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "Even if the abductors believe the Iraqi women are being imprisoned unjustly, Islam does not condone two wrongs making a right."

Two members of CAIR's national office, based in Washington, D.C., traveled to Amman, Jordan, and Baghdad, Iraq, this month to call for the immediate release of Carroll. (MORE)

-----

CA: SUSPICIOUS FOG FILLS DOWNTOWN MOSQUE - TOP
KCRA, 1/30/06
http://www.kcra.com/news/6603646/detail.html

CONTACT: Basim Elkarra, 916-441-6269, Email: sacval@cair.com

SACRAMENTO -- An area of downtown Sacramento was evacuated Monday afternoon after a suspicious fog filled a mosque.

The mosque is located near Fourth and V streets.

Authorities said a woman entered the building shortly after noon prayers and left something behind that emitted a smoky haze. The woman had not been identified and remained at large Monday evening.

The Sacramento Fire Department was called and firefighters noticed an odor and determined that the haze was not from smoke. The building and a one-block radius around it was evacuated and a hazardous materials team was called to the scene.

"A female white adult entered the mosque earlier in the afternoon and emitted some type of fogging device. The room was filled with some type of fog," Sacramento Police Department Sgt. Terrell Marshall said.

"It was shocking. Everyone was trying to find out what was happening. People come to this mosque on a daily basis ... hundreds pray here every Friday," said Basim Elkarra, who attends the mosque.

A hazmat team entered the mosque and determined the fog was caused by a dry fire extinguisher that was activated. . .

SEE ALSO:

CAIR-SV: MOSQUE EVACUATED AFTER WOMAN SETS OFF FOG DEVICE - TOP
Christina Jewett, Sacramento Bee, 1/30/06
http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/14132838p-14961723c.html

Sacramento Police and Fire officials Monday afternoon investigated a suspicious plume of fog in the mosque at 4th and V Streets and evacuated surrounding residences, officials said.

Sacramento Police spokesman Sgt. Terrell Marshall said no injuries have been reported as a result of the incident at Jame Masjid. Sacramento Fire Capt. Niko King said firefighters with training in hazardous materials determined that the chemical was from a portable fire extinguisher.

Marshall said a woman in her 30s to 50s with reddish hair entered the mosque at about 3 p.m. and set off a device that released fog. Marshall said one man was praying inside the mosque at the time and witnessed the event. He promptly left the building.

Marshall said Sacramento Police would like to talk to the woman to find out about the incident. She is about 5 feet tall and was wearing black tights and a green scarf, he said.

-----

LOCAL RADIO SKIT SPARKS MUSLIM CONTROVERSY - TOP
Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times, 1/31/06
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-013006kfi_lat,0,5871647.story

A local radio personality and a group that says it is fighting to empower American Muslims have squared off over a provocative skit that featured a make-believe traffic reporter covering the hajj, where hundreds of pilgrims were crushed to death.

Bill Handel, the morning radio personality for KFI-AM (640), set off the furor when he broadcast the skit about a traffic reporter in a helicopter hovering over the hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, that attracts about 3 million faithful each year.

On Jan. 12, 363 pilgrims were killed in an accident that Saudi authorities blamed on the dynamics of the crowd.

Last week, the Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Handel and the station to apologize for the skit, which the group said poked fun at Muslims. It also asked the station to reprimand Handel.

"We start at 5 o'clock in the morning offending people," Handel said in an audio statement on the station's website and given over the air. "That's what this show is about. We make fun of everybody. There is no group that is off limits to us."

Handel said he would apologize to the group but imposed three conditions: The group must condemn all acts of terror; agree that Israel is a sovereign nation and has a right to defend its borders; and that CAIR has no ties to terror organizations or individuals.

The answer to those demands are "yes, yes and no," said Sabiha Khan, communications director for the CAIR chapter.

"KFI and Hendel continue to fail to take responsibility for Bill Handel's offensive comments that he made, mocking the tragic deaths of innocent pilgrims during religious rituals," she said today in a television interview.

"I'm glad he is starting to acknowledge that an apology needs to be made, but it is unfortunate that he has to put conditions on doing the right thing," said Khan, who added that she had heard Hendel's broadcast. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

RADIO HOST SETS APOLOGY TERMS - TOP
Associated Press, 1/31/06
http://dailynews.com/news/ci_3459187

A Los Angeles radio personality said Monday that he would apologize for an on-air skit that made fun of the deaths of hundreds of Muslims, but only if an Islamic civil-rights group denounces terrorism and acknowledges Israel's right to exist.

The Council of American Islamic Relations demanded the apology last week after KFI-AM (640) host Bill Handel made fun of the deaths of at least 363 Muslims during a stampede at an annual pilgrimage in Mecca.

According to CAIR, Handel imitated the people screaming and then joked that the Muslims should use a helicopter to monitor pilgrimage traffic, as is done with Los Angeles' freeway traffic.

On his program Monday, Handel said he would apologize, but only if CAIR agreed to denounce "all bombing or attacks where intended victims are innocent citizens," to acknowledge Israeli sovereignty and to verify that the group has never had connections with any terrorist group or sponsor.

If those conditions are met, "I'll be more than happy to apologize for offending people; I'll apologize all day long," Handel said in a live 12-minute response to CAIR's complaint. He said the station had received hundreds of letters from all over the world demanding an apology.

"CAIR's record is clear. We've had numerous statements denouncing terrorism and all the things he was talking about," said CAIR spokeswoman Sabiha Khan.

She called Handel's conditions a smoke screen for his refusal to take responsibility for his remarks.

---

CANADA REPRIMANDS IMUS FOR INSULTING MUSLIMS - TOP
New York Times, 1/31/06
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/31/arts/31arts.html

Canada's broadcasting watchdog has asserted that Don Imus, below, had been "disparaging, insulting and abusive" when he called Muslims "brainwashed" and "stinking animals" during a broadcast of "Imus in the Morning" on MSNBC Canada on Nov. 12, 2004, Reuters reported. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which rarely judges American programs broadcast in Canada, said Mr. Imus's comments breached regulations introduced in 1990. It said it was responding in particular to a written complaint that asked why it had imposed restrictions on the distribution of Al Jazeera in Canada to forestall slurs on Jews or Israel and not placed "similar restrictions on a service such as the American MSNBC service." But the commission said that because MSNBC issued a formal apology in 2004 in response to complaints in the United States, it would not consider "any restrictions on the program in question or on MSNBC in general at this time."

-----

'I FELT HUMILIATED' - TOP
Jon Repp, KOMO 1000 News, 1/30/06
http://www.komotv.com/stories/41579.htm

A Muslim woman is upset after a Tacoma judge kicked her out of his courtroom for refusing to remove her head-scarf.

TACOMA - A Tacoma judge is under fire for kicking a Muslim woman out of his courtroom after she refused to remove her head-scarf.

"I felt humiliated," said 37-year old Mujaahidah Sayfullah, who has worn her head-scarf in court before.

She says she couldn't believe it when first the bailiff and then Tacoma Municipal Court Judge David Ladenburg told her as she sat in the audience that either her head-scarf could go -- or she could.

"He said, 'well, if you're not gonna do it then I'm going to have to ask you to remove yourself from the courtroom,' " she said.

She left, fearing the judge would take it out on the relative who was on trial.

Judge Ladenburg stands by his decision

"It's my understanding and belief that the Muslim religion does not prohibit the removal of head-coverings either for males of for females," he says...noting that unless he learns that an exception should be made, there's a courtroom standard that must be upheld.

Ladenburg says it wasn't religious discrimination...but Mujaahidah says it sure felt like it, and that's why she's telling her story.

"Just for it to be exposed, and the public be aware that people are able to blatantly discriminate based upon their position of power," she said.

The Council on American-Islamic relations has sent a note to Ladenburg, notifying him of the allegations against him.

-----

MCCUISTIONS, KERA PULL DOCUMENTARY - TOP
http://www.dallasnews.com/s/dws/ent/stories/DN-kera_0131gl.ART.State.Edition1.e3b4649.html

A TV documentary about terrorism and Islamic militancy got caught in the crossfire last weekend, as some previewers persuaded the show's producers and KERA-TV (Channel 13) to pull it for further review.

The Roots of War: The Road to Peace had been set to air Sunday. It's the first installment of a two-year project filmed here and in the Middle East by director/producer Niki Nicastro McCuistion and her former husband, moderator Dennis McCuistion.

But the special edition of the weekly McCuistion Program was criticized after a Jan. 23 screening as inaccurate and unbalanced. The producers and station officials decided "that the program needed further editing to ensure that the documentary would meet KERA's standards for accuracy and balance," station spokesman Steve Anderson said in an e-mail.

"If there is any way that it can be improved, it will," he added in an interview.

Ms. McCuistion said she supports the delay until April so a town-hall forum can be shown afterward. But she expects to make only minor edits. "We believe it is as balanced as we can possibly get," she said. "Are you ever going to please everyone with topics like these? No, there's no way we can."

North Texas Muslim leaders met with Mr. McCuistion and complained to KERA that the film mischaracterizes Islam and defames Muslim Americans. Mohamed Elibiary, president of the Plano-based Freedom and Justice Foundation, said the film's definitions of conservative strains of Islam are ignorant and that he wanted to see more Muslim Americans on-screen.

"They do have a few instances in the documentary when they say not all Muslims are terrorists. But those are isolated statements in a big two-hour sea of a documentary that has Islam, terrorism and militants all jumbled in together." He was "pleasantly surprised" by KERA's decision to delay. "This is an excellent opportunity for this documentary to be made a much better product," he said.

Steve Israel, a contributing writer for the Texas Jewish Post, said, "On balance, the McCuistions have done a generally good job." But if anyone received more sympathetic coverage in the film, he said, it was Muslims. "I don't recall much if any interviewing of Israelis whose lives were shattered," he said.

-----

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, 01 Feb 2006 12:37:22 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: WA Judge Apologizes for Ejecting Muslim Woman from Court

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WA JUDGE APOLOGIZES FOR EJECTING MUSLIM WOMAN FROM COURT
Tacoma incident prompts change of policy to accommodate religious attire

(SEATTLE, WA, 2/1/2006) - The Seattle, Wash., office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Seattle) today thanked a Tacoma judge who offered an apology to a Muslim woman who was ejected from court for refusing to remove her religiously-mandated headscarf.

CAIR-Seattle also applauded a new policy being formulated to allowing religious exemptions to rules prohibiting head coverings in that state's courtrooms.

The Washington, D.C., based group had intervened on behalf of the woman who was ordered to leave the courtroom of Tacoma Municipal Court Judge David B. Ladenburg on January 25. That incident prompted the decision to alter the head covering policy to allow both religious and medical exemptions.

SEE: Judges Revise No-Hat Rule (News Tribune)

In a letter to CAIR Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar, Judge Ladenburg wrote:

"I offer my sincerest apology for any discomfort, embarrassment or humiliation she may have felt as a result of my request. My request was a result of sincere and earnest desire to maintain a policy that would be fair to all individuals. There was never intent to discriminate based on religious preference. I will be glad to offer my apology personally should she so desire."

In letters to Judge Ladenburg and Presiding Municipal Court Judge Jack Emery, CAIR contended that Ladenburg's actions were a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the First and 14th Amendment rights to freedom of religion and equal protection under the law and Washington's "Law Against Discrimination" (RCW 49.60.030).

"We thank all those involved in this incident for their quick and decisive actions in defense of tolerance and religious diversity," said CAIR-Seattle President Rami Al-Kabra. "The new policy will be of benefit not only to Muslims, but to Sikh men wearing turbans, orthodox Jewish men and women wearing yarmulkes or head scarves, Christian women wearing religious head coverings, and people of all other faiths who wear religiously-mandated attire."

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

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR-Seattle President Rami Al-Kabra, 206-349-5995, E-Mail: info@cairseattle.org; Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787 or 202-415-0799, E-Mail: arsalan@cair-net.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

-----

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list 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 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, 01 Feb 2006 16:05:11 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CA Radio Station 'Appreciates' Support of Anti-Muslim Racist / NC State Senator Joins CAIR Board

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 2/1/06

* Hadith: Love the Poor
* Help Support CAIR's Important Work
* CA Radio Station 'Appreciates' Support of Anti-Muslim Racist
* NC State Senator Larry Shaw Joins CAIR Board
* CAIR Issues New Arabic Appeal for Journalist's Release
* CAIR Fellowship to Focus on Diversity in Muslim Community

-----

HADITH OF THE DAY: LOVE THE POOR - TOP

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "O God, grant me life as a poor man, cause me to die as a poor man and resurrect me in the company of the poor." His wife asked him why he said that, and he replied: "Because (the poor) will enter Paradise (before) the rich. Do not turn away a poor man&even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you&God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection."

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376

-----

HELP SUPPORT CAIR'S IMPORTANT WORK - TOP

Become a member: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/membership.asp
Donate: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp
Join CAIR-NET: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

-----

CA RADIO STATION 'APPRECIATES' SUPPORT OF ANTI-MUSLIM RACIST - TOP
Interfaith Leaders to hold news conference calling on station to repudiate hate

(LOS ANGELES, CA, 2/1/2006) - On Thursday, February 2, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP)* will hold a news conference outside KFI-AM 640 radio to urge that station officials repudiate anti-Muslim hate programming.

WHAT: Interfaith Leaders Urge KFI Radio to Repudiate Anti-Muslim Hate Programming
WHEN: Thursday, February 2, at 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Outside Clear Channel Building (Corner of Olive and Lima), 3400 West Olive Ave., Burbank, CA
CONTACT: ICUJP - Thia Stephan 626-683-9004, 323-377-8828, E-mail: icujp@pacbell.net; CAIR-LA - Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334 e-mail: socal@cair.com

ICUJP says the news conference was prompted by an e-mail from a KFI employee thanking an anti-Muslim white supremacist for his support.

In a message headlined "Don't listen to Muslims," a person identified as "Daniel" wrote to KFI:

"I heard about the campaign against you by the Muslims. I ask you to ignore them. This country is for White Christians and if they don't like it they and their ugly families can go back to their dirty countries. The host was just being truthful."

Michelle Kube
, executive director of KFI's Bill Handel Show, replied to the hate message by writing: "Thanks for the support! We appreciate it!"

CAIR-LA recently called on KFI to reprimand Handel for mocking the deaths of hundreds of Muslims taking part in the pilgrimage to Mecca. In that same broadcast, Handel also referred to Islam as a "strange religion."

SEE: Muslim Group Asks Radio Host to Apologize (AP)

To listen to Handel's remarks, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/audio/handel.mp3

Handel has a history of making Islamophobic remarks. In March 2004, he aired a skit that claimed Muslims have sex with animals, avoid bathing and are obsessed with killing Jews. KFI was forced to apologize after many Muslims responded to a CAIR alert about the incident.

SEE: California Radio Station Apologizes for Islamophobic Skit

ICUJP: Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace was created to support the work of Faith Leaders from Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Bahá'í and other backgrounds who say "Religious Communities Must Stop Blessing War and Violence."

Grounded in many diverse faith traditions, and honoring prophetic perspectives of non-violence, ICUJP's activities promote critical examination, from the faith perspective, of the costs of violence at home and in the world. ICUJP members are spiritual and secular leaders urgently committed to building a progressive interfaith movement devoted to actions for justice and peace.

ICUJP Sponsoring Communities Include: All Saints Church (Episcopal, Pasadena) American Friends Service Committee (Pacific Southwest Regional Office), Baptist Peace Fellowship, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, California Peace Action, Center for the Advancement of Nonviolence, Christ the Shepherd Lutheran Church (Altadena), Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church- (Social Action Alliance), Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, Immaculate Heart Community, Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church (Pasadena), Pax Christi (Los Angeles), Physicians for Social Responsibility (Los Angeles), Progressive Christians Uniting (PCU), Progressive Muslim Union, Santa Monica Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, South Coast Interfaith Council, Southern California Ecumenical Council, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), St. Camillus Catholic Church, Temple Kol Tikvah (Woodland Hills), United Methodist Church (Peace with Justice Committee),Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles

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NC STATE SENATOR LARRY SHAW JOINS CAIR BOARD - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/1/2006) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's leading Islamic civil rights and advocacy group, announced today that it has elected North Carolina State Senator Larry Shaw to its board.

Shaw is a long-standing member of the North Carolina Senate General Assembly and a former member of the North Carolina House of Representatives General Assembly. He also serves as the chairman of the Transportation Committee and vice-chairman of the Finance Committee.

Prior to becoming a public official, Shaw gathered extensive business experience in the food service industry. Since 1974, he has served as the chairman and CEO of the Shaw Food Service Company. From 1988 to 1993, Shaw was the Chairman/Co-Founder of North South Meatpackers, a facility that processed meat for national and regional clients.

In September of 2003, the five-term legislator was elected as vice-chairman of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus of the state's general assembly.

"We are delighted to have State Senator Shaw on our board," said CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed. "His demonstrated skills and extensive experience will strengthen CAIR's ability to carry out its mission of promoting justice and mutual understanding."

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 ISSUES NEW ARABIC APPEAL FOR JOURNALIST'S RELEASE - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/1/2006) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today sent a new appeal in Arabic to Middle Eastern media outlets calling for the release of American journalist Jill Carroll.

The appeal, sent to CAIR's extensive database of contacts in the Arabic media, repeated the Washington-based group's past statement that no cause can be served by targeting journalists who are trying to relate the human suffering caused by war.

On Monday, Al-Jazeera aired a new videotape showing Carroll weeping as she appealed for the release of female Iraqi prisoners.

CAIR recently sent a delegation to Iraq to issue a public appeal for Carroll's immediate and unconditional release.

Along with the delegation to Iraq and a news conference in Michigan, Carroll's home state, CAIR also coordinated a joint appeal for her freedom issued by national Muslim leaders.

In December, CAIR held a news conference at its national headquarters in Washington, D.C., to call for the release of members of the Christian Peacemakers Teams also taken hostage in Iraq.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic 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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CAIR FELLOWSHIP TO FOCUS ON DIVERSITY IN MUSLIM COMMUNITY - TOP
First-time award will assist research in field of intra-community outreach

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/1/06) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today announced a joint fellowship designed to help increase appreciation for and understanding of the diversity within the American Muslim community.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is partnering with the Washington-based Qunoot Foundation to offer a fellowship position at CAIR's Capitol Hill headquarters during the summer of 2006.

"We are pleased to be working with the Qunoot Foundation to explore issues relating to underrepresented and misunderstood segments of the American Muslim community," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

"The establishment of this fellowship provides a big step towards increasing tolerance and understanding within the American Muslim community," said Qunoot Foundation Co-Director Mohamed Sabur. "We must continue to celebrate those ties that bind us together as Muslims while cherishing our differences," said Sabur, a former CAIR intern.

The CAIR/Qunoot Foundation "Diversity and Intra-Community Outreach Fellowship" will be open to students who have shown commitment to the promotion of mutual understanding as well as those with experience in statistical and ethnographic research.

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.

The Qunoot Foundation is a Washington-based community education organization that seeks to provide a platform for Muslim youth to articulate their political, ideological, socioeconomic, ethnic, and gender-related perspectives on both the Shia community and the Muslim community at large.

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; Mohamed H. Sabur, 763-442-4045, E-Mail: mohamed@qunoot.org; Zahir Janmohamed, 202-368-8914, E-Mail: zahir@qunoot.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, 02 Feb 2006 15:54:55 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: CAIR Voices Concerns About Cartoons to Norwegian Ambassador

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 2/2/06

* Hadith: 'With Forgiveness and Kindness'
* Help Support CAIR's Important Work
* CAIR Voices Concerns About Cartoons to Norwegian Ambassador
            - More European Papers Print Cartoons (NY Times)
* CAIR-OH Meets with Law Enforcement Officials
* CAIR-CA: House Extends Patriot Act
            - CAIR Patriot Act Blog
* N.C. Senator Named to CAIR Board (AP)
* WA: New Policy Lets Muslims Wear Scarves in Court (AP)
* CA: Muslim Groups Lobby for Community Center
* NY: Learning the Quran in America (AP)

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HADITH OF THE DAY: 'WITH FORGIVENESS AND KINDNESS' - TOP

"You (Prophet Muhammad) do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadith 335

-----

HELP SUPPORT CAIR'S IMPORTANT WORK - TOP

Become a member: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/membership.asp
Donate: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp
Join CAIR-NET: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

-----

CAIR VOICES CONCERNS ABOUT OFFENSIVE CARTOONS TO NORWEGIAN AMBASSADOR - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/2/2006) - Representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) met today with the Norwegian ambassador to the United States to discuss the controversy surrounding publication of cartoons that mocked the Prophet Muhammad.

The cartoons, one of which depicts Islam's prophet as a "terrorist" with a bomb in his turban, have caused protests, diplomatic actions and threats of boycotts across the Muslim world. They were originally published in a Danish newspaper.

SEE: Offending Cartoons Reprinted
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/01/AR2006020102234.html

In the meeting at the Norwegian embassy in Washington, D.C., CAIR officials stressed the need for interfaith and intercultural dialogue and mutual respect. Ambassador Knut Vollebaek reiterated his government's statement in support of religious tolerance.

"All people have the right to respect for their religion and the right to presume that neither their religion nor their religious affiliation will be subject to contempt," said Ambassador Vollebaek. "This incident in a Norwegian magazine is unfortunate and deplorable."

"Intentionally provocative attacks on Islam should be rejected in the same way that credible media outlets quite rightly decline to publish anti-Semitic materials," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, who took part in today's meeting. "People of all faiths in the West and in the Muslim world should look for ways to turn this troubling episode into a positive learning experience."

CAIR urged the Norwegian government to stand by that nation's Muslim community and offered to share its experience with past issues of interfaith understanding.

Awad said CAIR is calling on mosques in America and worldwide to offer sermons this Friday highlighting how the Prophet Muhammad responded to personal attacks. (Friday is the day of congregational prayer in Islam.) He also asked mosques and Islamic institutions to hold public activities focusing on the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

Following allegations that military personnel at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Quran, CAIR launched its "Explore the Quran" project offering free copies of Islam's revealed text to Americans of all faiths.

SEE: Explore the Quran
http://www.cair-net.org/explorethequran/

Representatives of the Washington-based group recently took part in a conference in Belgium that brought together American, Belgian and European Muslim leaders in the wake of rioting by immigrant youth in France.

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

MORE EUROPEAN PAPERS PRINT CARTOONS OF MUHAMMAD, FUELING DISPUTE WITH - TOP
Alan Cowell, New York Times, 2/2/06
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/02/international/europe/02danish.html

Broadening a debate that has set Europe against the Islamic world, several European newspapers on Wednesday reprinted cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in an unflattering light, supporting a Danish newspaper that had inspired a huge outcry in the Islamic world by publishing them in the first place.

The newspapers' actions fed a sharpening debate here over freedom of expression, human rights and what the culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, the paper that first published the cartoons last September, called a "clash of civilizations" between secular Western democracies and Islamic societies. (MORE)

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CAIR-OHIO MEETS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS - TOP

(COLUMBUS, OH, 2/2/2006)- Representatives of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) met with officials at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Training Academy this week to discuss ways to improve understanding, communication and cooperation between law enforcement officials and the Muslim community.

CAIR-Ohio board and staff members toured the facility and discussed initiatives such as conducting sensitivity training for officers, having Muslim leaders ride along with patrols and holding a community town hall meeting.

"Through these initiatives, CAIR-Ohio would like to open lines of communication, identify misperceptions, address mutual concerns, and build trust and cooperation," said CAIR-Ohio Director Adnan Mirza. "We want to work in partnership with law enforcement officials to help them protect and serve the community."

CAIR-Ohio also conducted a sensitivity training workshop this week at the Columbus Police Training Academy addressing what law enforcement personnel should know about Islam and Muslims. A speaker also discussed issues specific to central Ohio's Somali community.

This month, CAIR-Ohio and other representatives of the Muslim community met with the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Department of Homeland Security.

CAIR-Ohio has three offices - Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

CONTACT: Adnan Mirza, Director: 614-451-3232, e-mail: director@cair-ohio.com; Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin, President, 614-451-3232, e-mail: asma@cair-ohio.com

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CAIR-CA: HOUSE VOTES TO EXTEND PATRIOT ACT FOR 5 WEEKS - TOP
Oroville Mercury Register, 2/2/06
http://www.orovillemr.com/news/bayarea/ci_3467771

The House of Representatives agreed Wednesday to extend the USA Patriot Act for five weeks while lawmakers and the White House negotiate the terms of renewal and determine how to protect people from government intrusion.

The GOP-controlled House used a voice vote to keep the law in effect until March 10 so negotiators have more time to come up with a deal. The Senate was expected to also approve the extension before the law expires Friday.

Some local religious groups and civil rights activists are calling for changes in the Patriot Act before lawmakers vote on the final bill, while others called for lawmakers to get rid of the law altogether.

Sameena Usman, outreach coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in the Bay Area, called for legislators to add provisions to allow people and institutions who receive National Security Letters - secret requests for phone, business and Internet records - to appeal in court. Usman said CAIR also supports lifting provisions that allow judges to order gag orders on suspects accused of crimes based on secret information.

"We need to worry about our security," Usman said. "But we also need the correct judicial review so we can protect our security without trampling on our Constitution." (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR PATRIOT ACT BLOG - TOP
http://cairpatriotact.blogspot.com/

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N.C. SENATOR NAMED TO BOARD OF ISLAMIC ADVOCACY GROUP - TOP
The Associated Press, 2/2/06
http://dwb.newsobserver.com/news/ncwire_news/story/2886799p-9342760c.html

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A North Carolina senator has been elected to the board of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an Islamic civil rights and advocacy group.

CAIR announced the appointment of Sen. Larry Shaw, a Democrat from Cumberland County and a Muslim, on Wednesday.

CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed said Shaw's experience "will strengthen CAIR's ability to carry out its mission of promoting justice and mutual understanding."

In September 2003, Shaw was elected vice chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. The five-term legislator also serves as chairman of the state Senate's transportation committee and vice chairman of its finance committee.

CAIR, which describes itself as the largest Muslim civil liberties group in the United States, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

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WA: NEW POLICY TO LET MUSLIM WOMEN WEAR SCARVES IN COURT - TOP
Associated Press, 2/2/06

TACOMA Wash. - The Pierce County Municipal Court is drafting a policy that would let Muslim women wear scarves in court.

Presiding Judge Jack Emery said the policy will say no one should be excluded from a courtroom because of attire worn for religious or medical purposes.

The court set out to draft the policy after a 37-year-old real estate agent complained that a judge made her leave his courtroom because she would not take off her hijab.

"I felt publicly humiliated, like I was just not good enough to sit in court because of my religious beliefs," said Mujaahidah Sayfullah.

Sayfullah said she was in court to support a relative facing domestic violence charges. Judge David Ladenburg said her head scarf violated court policy prohibiting people from wearing hats in court.

Earlier this week, Ladenburg said he never meant to discriminate against Sayfullah. "I offer my sincerest apology for any discomfort, embarrassment or humiliation she may have felt as a result of my request," Ladenburg wrote to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He also offered to apologize to Sayfullah in person.

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CA: MUSLIM GROUPS LOBBY FOR COMMUNITY CENTER - TOP
Mima Mohammed, Stanford Daily, 2/2/06
http://daily.stanford.edu/tempo?page=content&id=19195&repository=0001_article

Several student groups authored a proposal last fall for the construction of a Muslim Community Center. More recently, the groups have been lobbying for approval of their request for space and funding for a full-time center and director.

The groups behind the proposal include the Muslim Students Awareness Network (MSAN), Islamic Society of Stanford University (ISSU), Organization of Arab Students in Stanford (OASIS), Lebanese Student Association at Stanford (LSAS), Muslim Board, Stanford Egyptians Association (SEA), Pakistanis at Stanford (PAS) and the Coalition for Justice in the Middle East (CJME). The Students of Color Coalition (SOCC), Stanford American Indian Association (SAIO), Asian American Student Association (AASA) and MEChA have also expressed support for the proposal.

"This unified call comes from the entire community, comprised of a dozen cultural groups, with students from Morocco to Indonesia - a region that represents one-fourth the world's population, 52 nations and 60 languages - and the many students, staff and faculty interested in the Muslim world," said MSAN President Omar Shakir, a junior. "We hope to establish a center that will make the Muslim community on campus accessible and visible to all those interested in learning about the culture and region." (MORE)

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RELIGION TODAY - TOP
CARA ANNA, Associated Press, 2/2/06
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/02/AR2006020200845.html

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. -- Taha Ahmed was all of 5 years old when he stood in front of a Muslim congregation and read from the Quran in Arabic.

It wasn't so hard, he whispers now, curled up between his parents on the living room couch at their home near Albany. After all, he was there to celebrate the fact he'd read the holy book completely.

Now, having just turned 7, he's busy memorizing it.

In the world of religion, there are certain milestones. Young Roman Catholics have confirmation and, along with some young Protestants, first Communions. Now a growing Muslim population in America is importing a rite of passage called Ameen.

The cultural practice is a mostly south, southeast and central Asian one, familiar to perhaps a third of Muslims in the United States.

It has two parts. The first Ameen, or "Amen," is held when a child finishes reading the Quran, roughly the length of the New Testament, for the first time in Arabic. The child reads the holy book aloud, sounding it out without necessarily understanding the words.

The second, and more rare, Ameen comes when someone finishes memorizing it, a task that can take a full-time student as long as three years.

"It's like a bar mitzvah for Jewish children," says Eide Alawam, interfaith outreach coordinator for the Michigan-based Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in the United States. "It's an excellent idea."

America is home to as many as 6 million Muslims, though they remain a small faith group in this country relative to Christians. U.S.-born blacks and South Asian immigrants each make up about one-third of the community, with the rest from the Mideast, Africa, parts of Europe and elsewhere, according to the Mosque in America study released in 2001 by 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

-----

To reach the list moderator, send a message to: cair@cair-net.org

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Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 17:44:17 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Help Defend the Image of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

CAIR ACTION ALERT #486

HELP DEFEND THE IMAGE OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (PBUH)

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/2/2006)
- CAIR today called on imams and khatibs nationwide to offer Friday khutbas focusing on the significance of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Muslims worldwide.

That call comes as newspapers in Europe continue to publish intentionally provocative and insulting cartoons of the prophet, and Muslims worldwide express their outrage through boycotts and protests. Some media outlets, such as CNN have made an editorial decision not to show the cartoons.

CNN wrote: "CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons in respect for Islam."
SEE: Storm Grows over Mohammad Cartoons

Proposed Outline of Khutbah for Friday February 3, 2006

* What the Prophet Muhammad means to Muslims
* Aspects of the prophet's personality
* The Messenger and the message
* Ignorance fuels adverse reactions to the prophet's message
* How the Prophet Muhammad dealt with personal attacks
            - Precluding punishment for the people of Taif
            - Offering kindness to abusive neighbors
            - Offering amnesty to former enemies in Mecca
* Ignorance can only be countered by education and personal examples of good character
* The prophet's love, mercy, good manners, and educational approach turned foes into friends
* Turn these defamatory incidents into a learning opportunity.
* Share information about the prophet with your neighbors of other faiths.

Representatives of the CAIR met today with the Norwegian ambassador to the United States to express Muslim concerns about publication in Norway of the cartoons that mocked the Prophet Muhammad.

ACTION REQUESTED:

1. OFFER SERMONS THIS FRIDAY highlighting how the Prophet Muhammad responded to personal attacks with forgiveness and kindness.

2. SCHEDULE PUBLIC EVENTS such as lectures, movies and mosque open houses focusing on the life and message of the Prophet Muhammad.

3. SHARE BOOKS and other materials about the prophet with friends and colleagues of other faiths.

4. BECOME A PERSONAL EXAMPLE of good character as instructed by the Prophet Muhammad.

5. THANK CNN for their decision not to publish the cartoons. Go to: http://edition.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form1.html

- PLEASE ANNOUNCE, POST AND DISTRIBUTE -

-----

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: Fri, 03 Feb 2006 16:54:01 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Bomb Damages TN Mosque / Cartoon Controversy: What Would Muhammad Do?

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS - 2/3/06

* Help Support CAIR's Important Work
* TN: Bomb Causes Fire at Nashville Mosque
            - TN: Suspect Confesses to Firebombings
            - CA: Suspected Mosque Vandal Arrested (KCRA)
* Islam-OpEd: What Would Muhammad Do?
            - CAIR Rep Discusses Cartoon Controversy on MSNBC
            - CAIR-OH: React to Cartoons with Restraint, Education
            - CAIR Seeks Meeting with Envoys on Cartoon Row (AFP)
            - Islam Declares Depictions of Prophets a Sin (AP)
            - US Sides with Muslims in Cartoon Dispute (Reuters)
* CAIR-IL: Closed-Court Ruling Assailed (Chicago Trib)
            - IL: Secrecy's Corrosive Effect (Chicago Times)
* Shutting Out a Voice for Islam (Boston Globe)
* VA: Diplomat Claims Racism at Cab Firm (Wash Times)

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HELP SUPPORT CAIR'S IMPORTANT WORK - TOP

Become a member: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/membership.asp
Donate: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp
Join CAIR-NET: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

-----

TN: BOMB CAUSES FIRE AT NASHVILLE ISLAMIC CENTER - TOP
NATALIA MIELCZAREK, Tennesean, 2/3/06
http://www.dicksonherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060203/NEWS03/60203002

Metro police, the FBI and the ATF are investigating a possible hate crime against a south Nashville Islamic center.

Officials said someone threw a container with flammable substance against a wall of the Al-Mahdi Islamic Center on 404 Wingrove Street earlier today. No one was hurt, and the building sustained minor damage, ATF officials said.

The motive of the crime is under investigation. No one has been arrested in connection with the attack or claimed responsibility for it.

SEE ALSO:

SUSPECT CONFESSES TO OVERNIGHT FIREBOMBINGS - TOP
News Channel 5, 2/3/06
http://www.newschannel5.com/content/news/17108.asp

Metro police said someone broke out a back window at the Al-Mahdi Islamic Center on Wingrove Road in south Nashville and threw a plastic bottle filled with a flammable liquid inside. They believe the same suspect also tried to burn down the Bakery USA on Elysian Fields Road.

The homemade bomb was tossed into the Islamic Center landed in one of the classrooms inside the building, but because it was plastic, it did not explode. It did start a fire in the room however, which caused some minor damage.

Shiite Muslims use the mosque for prayer, but fortunately, nobody was inside at the time.

"We take these crimes very seriously and we're going to do everything we can to help identify the suspect or suspects involved. Very fortunately, the structure was very mildly damaged and we certainly want to apprehend these people as soon as possible," Metro Police Capt. Paul Trickey said.

Not far from the Mosque, someone also tried to bomb the Bakery USA Thursday night. A witness told NewsChannel 5 that he saw three men try to break into the Muslim-run bakery, but he chased them off.

Police believe the crimes were a misguided attempt at retaliation. They said the person responsible believed someone at one of the two targeted locations helped police execute a search warrant recently. That search warrant was served at a local pool hall, and was related to gang activity.

Metro police, the ATF and the FBI were on scene Friday morning investigating both crimes, and police said one person has confessed to both firebombings. Authorities were talking to at least two other people in connection with the incidents.

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CA: SUSPECTED MOSQUE VANDAL ARRESTED - TOP
KCRA, 2/1/06
http://www.kcra.com/news/6653411/detail.html

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento police have arrested a woman in connection with a possible hate crime at a downtown mosque.

Police responded to the mosque at Fourth and V streets Monday, and found a copy of the Koran tossed on floor. A fire extinguisher had also been sprayed inside the building, creating a smoky haze. Neighboring homes and businesses had to be evacuated while hazmat crews determined what was causing the haze.

Authorities said 49-year-old Cynthia Sunshine, of Sacramento, was arrested at the mosque without incident Tuesday night and that she has been positively identified as the person responsible for Monday's vandalism.

Sunshine was booked into the Sacramento County Jail on charges of burglary and vandalism.

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ISLAM-OPED: WHAT WOULD MUHAMMAD DO? - TOP

ISLAM-OPED is a syndication service of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) designed to offer an American Muslim perspective on current political, social and religious issues. ISLAM-OPED commentaries are offered free-of-charge to one media outlet in each market area. Permission for publication will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis.

Please consider the following commentary for publication.

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

---

WHAT WOULD MUHAMMAD DO?
By Ibrahim Hooper
Word Count: 600

[Ibrahim Hooper is National Communications Director for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties group. He may be contacted at: ihooper@cair-net.org ]

"You do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness." (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

That description of Islam's Prophet Muhammad is a summary of how he reacted to personal attacks and abuse.

Islamic traditions include a number of instances of the prophet having the opportunity to strike back at those who attacked him, but refraining from doing so.

These traditions are particularly important as we witness outrage in the Islamic world over cartoons, initially published in a Danish newspaper, that were viewed as intentional attacks on the prophet.

Peaceful and not-so-peaceful protests have occurred from Gaza to Indonesia. Boycotts have targeted companies based in Denmark and in other nations that reprinted the offensive caricatures.

We all, Muslims and people of other faiths, seem to be locked into a downward spiral of mutual mistrust and hostility based on self-perpetuating stereotypes.

As Muslims, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves, "What would the Prophet Muhammad do?"

Muslims are taught the tradition of the woman who would regularly throw trash on the prophet as he walked down a particular path. The prophet never responded in kind to the woman's abuse. Instead, when she one day failed to attack him, he went to her home to inquire about her condition.

In another tradition, the prophet was offered the opportunity to have God punish the people of a town near Mecca who refused the message of Islam and attacked him with stones. Again, the prophet did not choose to respond in kind to the abuse.

A companion of the prophet noted his forgiving disposition. He said: "I served the prophet for ten years, and he never said 'uf' (a word indicating impatience) to me and never blamed me by saying, 'Why did you do so or why didn't you do so?'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Even when the prophet was in a position of power, he chose the path of kindness and reconciliation.

When he returned to Mecca after years of exile and personal attacks, he did not take revenge on the people of the city, but instead offered a general amnesty.

In the Quran, Islam's revealed text, God states: "When (the righteous) hear vain talk, they withdraw from it saying: 'Our deeds are for us and yours for you; peace be on to you. We do not desire the way of the ignorant'. . .O Prophet (Muhammad), you cannot give guidance to whom you wish, it is God Who gives guidance to whom He pleases, and He is quite aware of those who are guided." (28:55-56)

The Quran also says: "Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path and who receive guidance." (16:125)

Another verse tells the prophet to "show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant." (7:199)

These are the examples that Muslims should follow as they express justifiable concern at the publication of the cartoons.

This unfortunate episode can be used as a learning opportunity for people of all faiths who sincerely wish to know more about Islam and Muslims. It can also be viewed as a "teaching moment" for Muslims who want to exemplify the prophet's teachings through the example of their good character and dignified behavior in the face of provocation and abuse.

As the Quran states: "It may well be that God will bring about love (and friendship) between you and those with whom you are now at odds." (60:7)

SEE ALSO:

CAIR REP DISCUSSES CARTOON CONTROVERSY ON MSNBC - TOP

CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper appeared on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country" last night to discuss the cartoon controversy.

To view the segment, go to:
http://www.cairfl.org/video/060202_msnbc_hooper_cartoon.wmv

---

CAIR-OH: REACT TO CARTOONS WITH RESTRAINT, EDUCATION - TOP
Dennis M. Mahoney, Columbus Dispatch, 2/3/06

Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin, president of the central Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said she hopes Muslims will respond to the cartoons "with restraint and compassion and education." That's what Muhammad did when people vilified him, she said.

Mobin-Uddin said she doubted that newspapers would have published similar cartoons offending Jews or Christians. "I think there is a different standard," she said, in which attacks on Islam are justified as free speech but those on other faiths are condemned as hate speech.

The American-Islamic council soon will begin an education campaign about the life and message of Muhammad, Mobin-Uddin said.

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US ISLAMIC GROUP SEEKS MEETING WITH DANISH, NORWEGIAN ENVOYS ON CARTOON ROW - TOP
Agence France Press, 2/2/06
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060202/ts_alt_afp/europeislammediaus_060202182255

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A US Islamic civil rights and advocacy group was meeting with Norway's ambassador to Washington to discuss the escalating row over the publication in Europe of cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington, said his group sought the meeting with ambassador Knut Vollebaek to try to defuse mounting controversy over the cartoons.

"Our message to the ambassador is that we should just respect one another and avoid situations where we intentionally seek to provoke and where freedom of speech is abused to defame or to mock," Hooper said ahead of the meeting.

The cartoons, first printed in Denmark and then reprinted in a Christian magazine in Norway as well as several European newspapers, have sparked protests across the Moslem world.

Hooper said his organization had also requested a meeting with the Danish ambassador in Washington but had not received a reply.

Erling Rimestad, spokesman for the Norwegian embassy, said Vollebaek had agreed to Thursday's meeting to explain his country's position on the controversy.

"We want to explain the views of the Norwegian government and how important tolerance and respect of other religions is to Norwegian authorities," Rimestad told AFP. (MORE)

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ISLAM DECLARES DEPICTIONS A SIN, AN INSULT - TOP
Reason: Quran forbids any hint of idolatry
Richard N. Ostling, Associated Press, 2/3/06
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1110AP_Prophet_Drawings_Quran.html

The spreading Muslim protests against newspapers that reprinted cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad stem from the deepest religious roots.

Islam forbids visual depictions of the prophet and regards violations by Muslims as highly sinful and by non-Muslims as the ultimate insult.

The prohibition is in part an application of the Quran's strict opposition to idolatry, the worship of a physical object as a god, including any hint of such devotion toward the faith's revered human prophet.

In the Quran, "shirk" (Arabic for "partnering" or "associating" anything with God) is the one unforgivable sin: "God does not forgive the joining of partners with him. & Anyone who joins partners with God is lying and committing a tremendous sin" (4:48).

The Quran does not specifically address artistic depiction of Muhammad, and through history a few Muslims have painted him. But the ban has been virtually universal in all branches of the faith from its earliest days.

The rule extends to artwork showing others regarded as prophets by Islam, including Jesus, even though Christians have often visualized their divine savior in paintings, statues and films. (MORE)

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US SIDES WITH MUSLIMS IN CARTOON DISPUTE - TOP
Reuters, 2/3/06
http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=politicsNews&storyID=2006-02-03T171307Z_01_N03197247_RTRUKOC_0_US-RELIGION-CARTOONS-USA.xml

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington on Friday condemned caricatures in European newspapers of the Prophet Mohammad, siding with Muslims who are outraged that the publications put press freedom over respect for religion.

By inserting itself into a dispute that has become a lightning rod for anti-European sentiment across the Muslim world, the United States could help its own battered image among Muslims.

"These cartoons are indeed offensive to the belief of Muslims," State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper said in answer to a question. "We all fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable."

"We call for tolerance and respect for all communities for their religious beliefs and practices," he added. (MORE)

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CLOSED-COURT RULING IN HAMAS CASE IS ASSAILED - TOP
Michael Higgins, Chicago Tribune, 2/3/06
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/nearnorthwest/chi-0602030207feb03,1,7550423.story

A coalition representing more than 20 Arab-American, legal and civil rights groups Thursday protested a federal judge's decision to close her courtroom when Israeli agents testify at a hearing next month.

Members of the Coalition to Protect Citizens' Rights held a news conference to say the decision would foster distrust of the justice system, especially in the Islamic community.

"More secrecy ... in administering justice leads to more severe erosion of the civil rights of Americans," said Yaser Tabbara, Chicago executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "We, naturally, are the community that is bearing most of the brunt of the continuous [civil rights] violations."

U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve agreed Tuesday to close the courtroom when the agents testify at a March 3 hearing in the case of Muhammad Salah, a Bridgeview man accused of helping to fund Mideast terrorists.

Federal prosecutors said the unusual step was necessary to protect the safety of the agents and to preserve classified information.

The Chicago Tribune and a New York-based civil rights group, Center for Constitutional Rights, filed legal briefs in the case on Monday, opposing closing the courtroom. The coalition members joined in the center's brief. (MORE)

SEE ALSO:

SECRECY'S CORROSIVE EFFECT IN TERRORISM CASE - TOP
Don Wycliff, Chicago Tribune, 2/2/06
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0602020133feb02,0,3029343.column

Muhammad Salah has been on my conscience for the last 13 years.

Salah is the fellow from Bridgeview who is awaiting trial in federal court here for allegedly conspiring with at least two others to fund Hamas, the Islamic radical group that the Palestinian people last week voted into power in their government.

Don't ask me why he has been on my conscience. It just happens.

It has happened twice before in my life. The first time was when, as a graduate student at the University of Chicago, I learned on Dec. 4, 1969, of the killing of Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark by Chicago police. That one caused me to shift my life course from academia to journalism.

The second time was in the late 1980s when I saw a young woman, Margaret Kelly Michaels, being railroaded into a New Jersey state prison in one of those mass child sex abuse trials that constitute a permanent blot on the history of American jurisprudence. I campaigned to get my newspaper at the time, The New York Times, to investigate this outrage, but the paper was unable to rescue Michaels from prison. A few years later, however, columnist Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal got her teeth into the case and managed to get Michaels proven innocent and released.

What has troubled me about the Salah case from the beginning was the secrecy of it all. He and a couple of colleagues were arrested by Israeli military authorities during a trip to the occupied territories back in 1993. They were held incommunicado from the beginning, and the U.S. government seemed strangely lackadaisical about the whole business.

In January 1995, after secret detention, secret interrogation (except, oddly, for a special command performance before the ubiquitous Judith Miller of The New York Times) and a non-public, military trial, Salah was found guilty of, as the Tribune's story at the time put it, "being a Hamas member and distributing hundreds of thousands of dollars within the organization."

He was imprisoned until late 1997, when he was released and allowed to return home to his family in Bridgeview. It was now the U.S. government's turn to play with Salah.

In June 1998, without a trial or any judicial finding of culpability, the government seized Salah's home and all his property, as well as that of the Quranic Literacy Institute, an organization with which he was associated. The reason? As a Tribune editorial at the time explained it--and yes, I wrote the editorial--these assets were "proceeds of a scheme in which money was funneled into the U.S. from abroad, to be laundered in American banks and then transferred to Hamas, the militant Palestinian organization that has waged a campaign of terror against Israel."

But the editorial's argument was in its first paragraph: "Muhammad Salah may be every bit the terrorist the United States government suggests he is. But so far, nobody has proved it by clear and convincing evidence in an open court of law. On the contrary, the government seems to have adopted an approach toward Salah of punishment first, trial later."

Only six years later, in August 2004, did the government get around to indicting Salah and two other men on the conspiracy charges for which they now await trial.

So what does any of this have to do with journalism, and in particular, the Tribune's journalism? Two things. (MORE)

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SHUTTING OUT A VOICE FOR ISLAM - TOP
Diana L. Eck, Boston Globe, 2/2/06
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/02/02/shutting_out_a_voice_for_islam/

WHY IS THE American Academy of Religion, with more than 10,000 members who teach religion in colleges and universities, suing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff? It takes a matter of grave concern for an academy of scholars who study everything from the Bible to Buddhists to join the American Civil Liberties Union in bringing a case against the US government. The concern is this: Our colleague, Tariq Ramadan, an Islamic scholar and theologian, has been barred from entering the United States to participate in the discussion of one of the most important topics of today: contemporary Islam in the West.

For 18 months, the government has withheld his visa on the basis of the ''ideological exclusion" provision of the Patriot Act, interpreted so broadly as to be a danger to the enterprise of debate and exchange in a free society.

At first it seemed an ignorant mistake. Ramadan, a Swiss national of Egyptian ancestry, had previously lectured at universities and attended conferences in the United States. But in August 2004, he suddenly had his visa revoked by the Department of Homeland Security on the eve of his departure to teach at Notre Dame. Those of us who had known and admired his work were astounded. He was at the top of my reading list as an articulate spokesman for Islamic engagement in civil society and in the dialogue of religions. I had met Ramadan that summer at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Barcelona. I looked forward to hearing his plenary address at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion in November 2004. So why would the US government revoke the visa of a scholar whose entire body of work was dedicated to an emergent ''reformist" Islam? Why would the United States deny entry to someone able to contribute constructively to public discussion in Western countries with growing Muslim populations?

That very summer, Rice had spoken at the US Institute of Peace, calling for the United States to dramatically expand ''our efforts to support and encourage the voices of moderation and tolerance and pluralism within the Muslim world." So why would she be party to the exclusion of one of the most prominent of these voices?

The government has invoked a provision of the Patriot Act that allows it to deny a visa to anyone who ''endorses" or ''espouses" terrorism. It is chilling to see that this provision has been interpreted to ban a prominent intellectual who has been a consistent public critic of Islamic extremism and terrorism. (MORE)

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DIPLOMAT CLAIMS RACISM AT CAB FIRM - TOP
Jim McElhatton, Washington Times, 2/1/06
http://www.washtimes.com/metro/20060131-110147-2283r.htm

Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States wants the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority to investigate complaints from Washington Flyer cabdrivers about what he called "racial and Muslim profiling."

Some Afghan-American drivers are upset about "having been discriminated against" in dealings with the Washington Dulles International Airport taxi concessions operator, Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad wrote in a letter Monday to airport officials

The ambassador's letter comes as officials decide whether to award the operator, Dulles Taxi Systems, a new five-year concessions deal. A vote is expected on the contract today.

Two people said a manager at the company made a derogatory comment about Afghans belonging at the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with other detainees in the war on terror, the ambassador wrote.

Mr. Jawad, who also sent a copy of his letter to the Department of State, said he was "personally shocked" by the comment. The letter says such discrimination is "absolutely unacceptable and illegal under the U.S. Constitution."

Charles O. King, president of Dulles Taxi Systems, yesterday said he had not seen the ambassador's letter. However, he said he had "heard references" about drivers complaining to the embassy.

"When I discussed the matter with my staff, I found no credibility to it," Mr. King said. "We don't practice discrimination of any kind."

Ashraf Haidari, an embassy spokesman, said yesterday that Washington Flyer drivers "are just normal, hardworking citizens," many of whom became U.S. citizens after leaving Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.

Mr. Haidari said the embassy sent the letter after numerous complaints from drivers.

"These were problems that were supposed to be addressed, but nothing has been solved," he said.

Tara Hamilton, a spokeswoman for the airports authority, yesterday said officials would look into the ambassador's letter, just as they would follow up anytime "a customer complains about cab service."

There are more than 100 Afghan-born Washington Flyer drivers in the 650-driver fleet, according to the Dulles Airport Taxi Drivers Association. The group says it represents 620 of the drivers. (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: Sun, 05 Feb 2006 11:41:43 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims Reject Violent Response to Cartoon Controversy

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

U.S. MUSLIMS REJECT VIOLENT RESPONSE TO CARTOON CONTROVERSY
CAIR to offer educational initiatives highlighting legacy of Prophet Muhammad

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/5/06) - On Sunday, February 5, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C., to express the U.S. Muslim community's rejection of violence in response to the defamatory caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published in European newspapers.

WHAT: U.S. Muslims Reject Violence in Response to Cartoon Controversy
WHEN: Sunday, February 5, 2:30 p.m. (Eastern)
WHERE: CAIR Capitol Hill Headquarters, 453 New Jersey Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C.
CONTACT: CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org

At the news conference, CAIR will: 1) urge the American Muslim community and American media outlets to continue to show the restraint they have exhibited during this controversy, 2) reiterate the Muslim community's strong belief that the controversy is not an issue of free speech, but is instead based on concerns over hate speech and incitement, 3) condemn all violent actions by those who are protesting the cartoons, and 4) preview educational initiatives that CAIR is formulating in response to the defamatory attacks on the Prophet Muhammad.

"Everyone has the right to peacefully protest defamatory attacks on their religious figures, but protestors should not reinforce existing stereotypes by resorting to violence or inflammatory rhetoric," CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

On Friday, CAIR distributed a syndicated editorial, titled " What Would Muhammad Do?" describing how the Prophet Muhammad himself refrained from violent reactions to personal attacks and abuse.

Also on Friday, CAIR urged prayer leaders at mosques nationwide to defend the Prophet Muhammad's image through educational activities, the sharing of books and other materials with friends and colleagues of other faiths and through "personal example of good character as instructed by the Prophet Muhammad."

SEE ALSO: North American Media Shy Away from Muslim Cartoons

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

- 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.

-----

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

-----

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Forwarded Message

Date: Mon, 06 Feb 2006 14:40:58 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: U.S. Muslims to Meet with Danish Ambassador About Cartoon Controversy

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

U.S. MUSLIMS TO MEET WITH DANISH AMBASSADOR ABOUT CARTOON CONTROVERSY

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/6/06) - On Monday, February 6, representatives of the American Muslim community will meet with the Danish ambassador in Washington, D.C., to discuss their concerns about defamatory caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad originally published in Denmark.

WHAT: U.S. Muslims to Meet With Danish Ambassador
WHEN
: Monday, February 6, 5:30 p.m. (Muslim representatives will be available for media interviews after the meeting.)
WHERE: Danish Ambassador's Residence, 3200 Whitehaven Street N.W., Washington, D.C.
CONTACT: CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org

Representatives of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) met with the Norwegian ambassador last week to discuss this same issue.

SEE: CAIR Voices Concerns About Cartoons to Norwegian Ambassador

Yesterday, CAIR held a news conference at its Capitol Hill headquarters to express the U.S. Muslim community's rejection of violence in response to the defamatory caricatures.

SEE: U.S. Muslims Reject Violent Response to Cartoon Controversy

Also over the weekend, American Muslims protested peacefully outside the United Nations in New York City.

SEE: Protest is Peaceful in NY (NY Newsday)

On Friday, CAIR distributed a syndicated editorial, titled "What Would Muhammad Do?" describing how the Prophet Muhammad himself refrained from violent reactions to personal attacks and abuse.

SEE: Muslims Must Respond Peacefully to Affronts to Islam (Arizona Republic)

Also on Friday, CAIR urged prayer leaders at mosques nationwide to defend the Prophet Muhammad's image through educational activities, the sharing of books and other materials with friends and colleagues of other faiths and through "personal example of good character as instructed by the Prophet Muhammad."

SEE: Help Defend the Image of Prophet Muhammad

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

- 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.

-----

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: Tue, 07 Feb 2006 18:52:46 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Anti-Muslim Sign Put Up at TX Mosque / Danish Cartoon Controversy was Avoidable

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMERICAN MUSLIM NEWS BRIEFS 2/7/06

* Help Support CAIR's Important Work
* TX: Anti-Muslim Sign Put Up at Houston Mosque
            - TN: Suspects Arrested in Torching of Islamic Business
* Islam-OpEd: Danish Cartoon Controversy was Avoidable
* CAIR: Muslims Voice Concerns to Danish Ambassador
            - DC: Muslims Meet with Danish Ambassador (Wash Post)
            - CAIR: U.S. Media Show Restrain in Cartoon Flap
            - CAIR-FL: Muslims Condemn Violence (Miami Herald)
            - CAIR: Outrage Over Portrayal Escapes Many, Muslims say
            - CAIR-Chicago: Why Cartoons Sparked Furor (Chicago Trib)
            - CAIR-CAN: Muslim Anger Displays Global Disconnect
            - Danish Paper Previously Rejected Jesus Cartoons
* OH: Lecture to Focus on African Muslim Slaves
* TX: Muslims March to Honor a Martyr (Houston Chronicle)

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HELP SUPPORT CAIR S IMPORTANT WORK - TOP

Become a member: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/membership.asp
Donate: https://www.cair-net.org/asp/donate.asp
Join CAIR-NET: http://cair.biglist.com/cair-net/

-----

ANTI-MUSLIM SIGN PUT UP AT HOUSTON MOSQUE - TOP
Vandalism may be linked to Danish cartoon controversy

(HOUSTON, TX, 2/7/2006) - The Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Houston) today called on the FBI to investigate an anti-Muslim sign left at a local mosque as a possible hate crime.

CAIR-Houston officials say the large plywood sign was discovered last night outside Masjid Abu Bakr Siddque in southeast Houston. (SEE: http://isgh.org/isgh_centers.cfm ) Statements written on the sign claimed that Muslims are America s enemy and attempted to defame Islam s Prophet Muhammad.

"Americans of all faiths need to repudiate the kind of hatred and bigotry that results in attacks on houses of worship," said CAIR-Houston Board Member Kaleem Siddiqui. Siddiqui said placement of the sign may have been prompted by the worldwide controversy over publication of Danish cartoons attacking the Prophet Muhammad.

CAIR said vandalism or other possible bias-related incidents have been reported recently at mosques in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, Texas, Nebraska, California, and New York. In December of last year, bombs damaged an Ohio mosque.

SEE: CAIR Offers Reward for Info on OH Mosque Bombings
http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1923&theType=NR

The Washington-based group is urging Muslim institutions nationwide to review security procedures using advice contained in CAIR's "Muslim Community Safety Kit."

The safety kit may be obtained free of charge by e-mailing: pubs@cair-net.org (Include name, address and phone number when requesting the safety kit.) It may also be ordered at: https://www.cair-net.org/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=1021

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-Houston Board Member Kaleem Siddiqui, 713-838-2247, 210-884-5335; CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org

SEE ALSO:

TN: 3 MEN SUSPECTS IN ATTEMPT TO TORCH ISLAMIC BUSINESS - TOP
NATALIA MIELCZAREK, Ashland City times, 2/4/06
http://www.ashlandcitytimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060204/NEWS01/602040339/1291/MTCN01

Authorities took three Nashville men into custody yesterday as primary suspects in an attempted arson of an Islamic store and restaurant earlier in the day while they searched for suspects in an attempted firebombing of a local Islamic center Thursday.

A witness disturbed by a loud noise about 3:40 a.m. yesterday called the police to report a burglary at Bakery USA on Elysian Fields Avenue and described the getaway car that the suspects drove, the same one later discovered by Metro police near at the scene, police said.

The men burglarized the place, poured gasoline in the back of the building and at some point left with intent to buy more of the flammable liquid and return to the bakery, Metro police said. The extent of the damage to the bakery was unclear yesterday.

Arrested were Carl Bullard, 26, Thomas Allard, 21, and Corbin McBride, 18. They are expected to face charges in federal court. . .

In the earlier incident, Metro's bomb squad was called Thursday afternoon to the Al-Mahdi Islamic Center on Wingrove Street after a discovery of a small container filled with flammable substance, commonly referred to as a Molotov cocktail, that was thrown through the window inside the center, Metro police said.

A bottle with ignitable substance set on fire was tossed through a window into the center either late Wednesday or early Thursday morning. When it landed inside, it self extinguished, Metro police said. No one was hurt, and the building sustained little damage, ATF officials said.

Both acts shouldn't be tolerated, said Awadh Binhazim with Islamic Center of Nashville.

"It's unacceptable to target anyone because of their faith, whether they're businesses or sanctuaries of worship. This is a county that encourages freedom of worship, and people should be free to worship that which they choose, as well as be safe to conduct business. Just because they're Muslim, or any other faith, they should not be targeted." (MORE)

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ISLAM-OPED: DANISH CARTOON CONTROVERSY WAS AVOIDABLE - 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.

---

DANISH CARTOON CONTROVERSY WAS AVOIDABLE
By Parvez Ahmed
WORD COUNT: 607

[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 ]

The worldwide flap over a series of cartoons published in a Danish newspaper was avoidable had all sides approached the issue with wisdom and restraint.

Denmark s Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons depicting Islam s most revered personality, the Prophet Muhammad, in a way that was inaccurate, derogatory and intentionally provocative. Other than demonstrating visceral hatred toward Islam, the cartoons achieved little else.

Muslim outrage over the cartoons has lead to boycotts of Danish products across much of the Middle East, resulting in hundreds of Danish employees losing their jobs. Protests across the Islamic world have been mostly peaceful, but some have unfortunately turned very violent.

Characterizations of the controversy as a clash of civilizational values or upholding freedom of press miss the point of the debate.

At the core of the reactions in the Muslim world are fears about Western motives, bolstered by lack of redress of ongoing grievances. On the other hand, lack of understanding about Islamic culture explains why many in the West seem perplexed at how a mere cartoon could draw such an emotional response.

A tasteless caricature of a religious personality, whose life has informed and guided billions of people for more than 1400 years, is neither funny nor satirical. On the other hand, burning flags, destroying embassies and threatening innocent people are hardly appropriate responses.

The Prophet Muhammad, who preached repelling evil with kindness, certainly would not approve of such violent acts. He would have responded by educating the ignorant.

Joining the chorus of peaceful protests, former U.S. president Bill Clinton strongly criticized the Danish cartoons, comparing historical anti-Semitism in Europe with anti-Islamic feeling today: So now what are we going to do?. . .Replace the anti-Semitic prejudice with anti-Islamic prejudice?

In a show of solidarity with Denmark, newspapers in Norway, France, and other European nations republished the cartoons, which prompted British Foreign Minister Jack Straw to say: "I believe the republication of these cartoons has been unnecessary, it has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful and it has been wrong." The U.S. State Department concurred with this sentiment.

Free speech, like every other freedom, comes with the responsibility of good judgment. Newspapers ought to have the freedom to speak the truth, but a cartoon that defames does not further debate or the cause of freedom.

Islamophobia is on the rise in Europe. This should be of concern to all people of conscience, whatever their faith. Only recently, Islamophobia led to Bosnian Muslims becoming targets of a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Even in America, prominent personalities denigrated the Prophet Muhammad using language no different than the sentiments expressed in the Danish cartoons. Talk show hosts coast-to-coast regularly fill public airwaves with anti-Islamic comments. Unfortunately, such hatred has not been widely repudiated.

It is time for Europe and America to adopt the same zero-tolerance for Islamophobia as has quite rightly been adopted toward anti-Semitism.

According to the U.S. State Department, the United States is playing an important role in the effort to contain and ultimately wipe out anti-Semitism. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe sponsored conferences in Vienna and Berlin that recognized anti-Semitism as a fundamental violation of human rights. The Global Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, signed by President Bush on October 2004, asks governments to take note of and respond to instances of anti-Jewish propaganda.

These steps are indeed laudable. Why not broaden them to fight Islamophobia as well?

Not undertaking similar efforts to curb Islamophobia undermines U.S. and European credibility in the Muslim world, thereby fueling fear and mistrust.

We all need to do whatever we can to avoid plunging the world into the abyss of a clash between civilizations.

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U.S. MUSLIMS VOICE CONCERNS ABOUT CARTOONS TO DANISH AMBASSADOR - TOP

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/7/2006) Representatives of the American Muslim community met with the Danish ambassador in Washington, D.C., on Monday to discuss their concerns about defamatory caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad originally published in Denmark.

In the meeting at the Danish embassy, in CAIR officials stressed the need for interfaith and intercultural dialogue and mutual respect. Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen reiterated his government s position on the importance of a free press, but said that freedom of express should be exercised with mutual respect and understanding.

CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad urged the Danish government to stand by that nation s Muslim community and offered to share his group s experience with past issues of interfaith understanding.

Awad said CAIR is in communication with Danish Muslim leaders to discuss ways to defend the Prophet Muhammad's image through educational activities and interfaith initiatives.

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

MUSLIMS MEET WITH AMBASSADOR - TOP
The Washington Post, 2/7/06
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/06/AR2006020602129.html

Leaders of five Muslim organizations met with Danish Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen last night about the controversial publishing in Europe of caricatures of the prophet Muhammad and said that U.S. Muslims could offer Europeans guidance about dealing with integration.

Speaking outside the ambassador's residence after the meeting, which lasted more than 90 minutes, the leaders said they had offered help and suggestions, including "removing the hysterical stereotypes" of Muslims in the Danish media and training the Danish Muslim community to deal with the media. "Above all, the education about the religion of Islam is missing severely -- in the West in general," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the U.S. Islamic community has had experience dealing with being stereotyped, the leaders said. Through interfaith dialogue, "we have managed to have civilized debate and isolate" those who stereotype, Awad said. Among the other groups represented at the meeting were the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Society of North America.

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CAIR: PROTESTERS AT PHILADELPHIA PAPER ASK IT TO APOLOGIZE FOR CARTOON - TOP
JULIE BOSMAN, New York Times, 2/7/06
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/07/national/07philly.html

The Philadelphia Inquirer became the first major American newspaper to publish any of the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad on Saturday, prompting a small protest outside the newspaper's offices yesterday morning.

About two dozen demonstrators, holding signs reading "No to Hate" and "Peaceful Protest for Religious Tolerance," dispersed after about an hour. The organizers said they would be back on Friday unless they received an apology. . .

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, said that despite The Inquirer's decision, he had seen restraint on all sides of the issue within the United States. "I think The Inquirer's move was the exception that proves the rule," Mr. Hooper said.

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CAIR-FL: AREA MUSLIMS CONDEMN VIOLENCE, CARICATURES - TOP
ROBERT L. STEINBAC, Miami Herald, 2/7/06
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/13808507.htm

The international controversy sparked by a Danish newspaper that printed cartoon images of The Prophet Mohammed -- in defiance of Islamic practice never to visually depict him -- and the violence that followed has placed South Florida Muslims in a familiar position: Caught between cultures, torn between beliefs.

The publication of the cartoons has really insulted us to a very deep core, said Altaf Ali, executive director of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Ali said CAIR Florida will send a letter today to the local Danish and Norwegian consulates offering the organization's assistance to help in cooling tensions.

Islam forbids the depiction of Mohammed, considering it an act of idolatry.
To insult our prophet hurts us so deep, it's hard for anyone to comprehend. You're hurting someone who is more dear to us than our parents or our children, Ali said. ``We are taught that we do not truly believe unless we love the prophet more than we love ourselves, our families or others.
Still, Ali said, to respond with violence is wrong.

The prophet was a man that was never violent, he said. ``The way the Muslims are reacting now is not the way he would have reacted. He would have reacted with diplomacy and tolerance. It's OK to protest, but it's not OK for Muslims to get violent. (MORE)

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CAIR: OUTRAGE OVER PORTRAYAL ESCAPES MANY, MUSLIMS SAY - TOP
Eun Kyung Kim, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/6/06
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/26AA7F9B0015A8F78625710E001F5CFA?OpenDocument

Thousands rampaged in the streets, some torched a Danish mission. Others ransacked a Christian neighborhood. In the United States, many Westerners saw the violence that erupted throughout the Middle East in recent days and wondered how a bunch of cartoons could prompt such an uproar.

The caricatures in question depicted the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. One showed him wearing a turban shaped like a bomb.

Any depiction of the prophet violates one of Islam's core commandments. Such acts could lead to idolatry, and Muslims are taught to focus on the prophet's work and message, rather than the man himself.

"Regardless of what faith you are, if any prophet is depicted in that horrific of a manner, then that obviously is going to upset quite a few people," said Arsalan Iftikhar, legal director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington.

"These cartoons have completely perpetuated common stereotypes that people have about Muslims and Arabs and, unfortunately, it's only fueling these stereotypes in a time where we need to dedicate ourselves to mutual dialogue and raise the level of discourse." (MORE)

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CAIR-CHICAGO: WHY CARTOONS SPARKED FUROR - TOP
Margaret Ramirez and Manya A. Brachear, Chicago Tribune, 2/7/06
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0602070120feb07,1,4285057.story

The violent and now deadly protests rippling through Asia and the Middle East over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad reflect a larger schism and lack of understanding between traditional Western cultures and Islam, experts said Monday.

In the secular world, the debate is about freedom of the press, but to Muslims worldwide, the images are offensive not only because they depict Muhammad as a promoter of terrorism but also because their very existence violates the Islamic tradition forbidding visual depictions of the Prophet. . .

While the cartoon has sparked violence overseas, the reaction in the U.S. has been tempered.

Ahmed Rehab, director of communications for the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he is working to organize a town hall meeting of Muslim leaders to discuss the caricatures and how they could be used to educate the public. (MORE)

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CAIR-CAN: MUSLIM ANGER OVER DANISH CARTOON DISPLAYS GLOBAL DISCONNECT - TOP
Riad Saloojee, Edmonton Journal, 2/5/06
http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/opinion/story.html?id=c5f69e25-57e7-4410-8b6b-ff5afe6ac53b

[Riad Saloojee is executive director of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations.]

OTTAWA -- The Denmark cartoon saga seems Shakespearean in proportions: Hubris, a rush of madness, ensuing tragedy.

If history is any guide -- Salman Rushdie and, more recently, the Nigerian beauty pageant rioting -- the fallout seems entirely foreseeable: Disrespect the Prophet Muhammad, reminded one author, and "you're playing with fire."

I saw the cartoons this week. Their depictions of the Prophet range from benign (man in desert), to ambitious (a face framed by a crescent and star), to offensive (a Hollywood hook-nosed Arab bracing a scimitar and flanked by two chadored women; a man telling a willing and murderous entourage to wait a second because the sketch is only from a Dane; a man on a cloud telling a legion of suicide bombers that virgins are all out of stock; and a man with a fuse-lit, bomb-shaped turban).

One cartoon had the cartoonist sweating over his depiction in worry. An ironic omen of things to come or a faux pas in the making?

The cartoons don't make the grade for good satire; they are, quite simply, gratuitous. They don't further any intellectual debate or scholarly discussion. Frivolous attempts to capture the Prophet's image is hardly the mandate of an esteemed fifth estate.

The cartoons merely represent the historical Orientalist polemic against the Prophet: he was violent, militaristic, scheming, (fill in your belligerent word of choice). All of which puts the cartoonists in the recent, Muhammad-is-evil company of Jerry Falwell, John Ashcroft (former U.S. Attorney General), Pat Robertson and Jerry Vines, amongst others.

"There they all go again," say Muslims. Would any other personality or icon be treated with such disparagement?

It helps little that the debate has retreated into a freedom of expression defence. Certainly, offensive expression is not necessarily illegal expression; nor is offensive expression hate speech.

But legal journalism is also not necessarily responsible journalism; nor is it journalism that advances a common humanity, creates a more informed body politic or pushes us beyond alienation and apathy.

And though we in the West may export freedom of expression as an absolute value, we frequently balance it at home with reference to other principles, say privacy rights or national security.

Why can't the sacrosanct conviction of 1.2 billion people be given, if not a successful hearing, then a respectful one?. . .

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DANISH PAPER REJECTED JESUS CARTOONS - TOP
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1703501,00.html

Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that have caused a storm of protest throughout the Islamic world, refused to run drawings lampooning Jesus Christ, it has emerged today.

The Danish daily turned down the cartoons of Christ three years ago, on the grounds that they could be offensive to readers and were not funny. . .

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OH: LECTURE TO FOCUS ON AFRICAN MUSLIM SLAVES - TOP
http://www.athensnews.com/issue/article.php3?story_id=23336

As part of the Black History Month Lecture Series, the Ohio University Muslim Student Association will host a lecture on African Muslim slaves in the Americas.

Sylviane A. Diouf will discuss "Muslim Slaves in the Americas: the Intersection of African Islam and the Americas" this Thursday at 7 p.m. in Walter Hall room 235.

According to a new release, Diouf, a researcher at New York's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, will discuss the little-known and oft-forgotten story of African Muslims enslaved in the Americas, and their immense contributions to American culture and the formation of African-American identity.

Muslim slaves made up around 30 percent of all slaves taken to the Americas from West Africa, and were often highly literate and well established financially and intellectually, stated the release. (MORE)

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TX: HUNDREDS OF MUSLIMS MARCH TO HONOR A MARTYR - TOP
Downtown event recalls the death of Husain, grandson of Muhammad
CYNTHIA LEONOR GARZA, Houston Chronicle, 2/6/06
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3638247.html

Several hundred Muslims dressed in black gathered downtown Sunday to remember martyr Imam Husain, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad, with prayer, speeches and a 10-block march down the streets.

"This is a religious protest against a brutal crime that took place 1,400 years ago," said Azra Zaid, as she walked with the group of men, women and children. The Islamic calendar begins with the month of Muharram, during which Husain and his family were killed by the ruler of the Islamic world.

This is the 11th year Houston-area Muslims have marched in the remembrance celebration. Each year, the event has grown, which organizers attribute to increasing numbers of Muslims in the area. (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, 08 Feb 2006 11:17:28 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@cair-net.org>
Subject: CAIR-NET: Calif. Radio Station, Host Apologize to Muslims

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CALIF. RADIO STATION, HOST APOLOGIZE TO MUSLIMS
Bill Handel reprimanded for 'insensitive remarks' about Hajj deaths

(ANAHEIM, CA, 2/8/06) - The Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) announced today that KFI-AM 640 radio and talk show host Bill Handel have apologized for mocking the deaths of Muslims on Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Handel has also been reprimanded in writing by the station for his "insensitive remarks."

CAIR-LA recently called for the apology and reprimand after being contacted by concerned Muslims who heard Handel's January 12 broadcast, in which he made light of the more than 300 pilgrims who died in a stampede during this year's Hajj.

SEE: CA Muslims Seek Reprimand for Radio Host Who Mocked Hajj Deaths

In a letter to the Muslim community sent to CAIR-LA, Clear Channel Communications Regional Vice President Greg Ashlock wrote in part: (Clear Channel is KFI's parent company.)

"We would like to offer a sincere apology to members of the Muslim Community for recent comments airing on our station related to the unfortunate deaths for those taking part in the Hajj. KFI AM 640 does not condone making light of the deaths of people engaged in religious observances. . .

"On this particular program, we crossed the line in reporting the Hajj incident in an insensitive manner. We have discussed the content and timing of this 'bit' extensively with Mr. Bill Handel and his crew and are confident that everyone now understands the gravity of the situation. Mr. Handel expresses his sincere apology for the insensitive remarks."

The letter also stated that a staff member's e-mail reply to a racist message was due to an "error in auto-response." "Our show hosts and the station denounce racism, period. We communicated our stance to CAIR as soon as we discovered the error," wrote Ashlock.

In today's program, Handel said: "The wound was very fresh for a lot of Muslims and the comments were out of line. And for that, I am sorry."

To hear Handel's on-air apology, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/audio/Bill_Handel_apology.mp3

Handel also contacted CAIR-LA to offer a personal apology.

"We thank all those Muslims, interfaith leaders, station advertisers, and community members who contacted KFI to express their concerns about Mr. Handel's insensitive remarks," said CAIR-LA Communications Director Sabiha Khan. "We would like to thank the Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace in particular for standing with the Muslim community against hatred and bigotry."

Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace recently held a press conference outside the Clear Channel building in response to Handel's remarks and the racist e-mail message.

"This incident demonstrates that people of good will working together can successfully challenge hatred and bigotry," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.

Ayloush said CAIR will continue to monitor and challenge Islamophobia on talk radio programs around the nation.

There are estimated 600,000 Muslims in Southern California.

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

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR-LA, Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334, E-Mail: socal@cair.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

-----

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, 08 Feb 2006 18:04:49 -0500
From:"CAIR" <cair@c