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AMERICAN-MUSLIMS COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
Vol.13 Issue No.166
July 2010 Rajab / Shaban 1431H
Muslim Legal Fund holds local dinner George Galloway speaks on the need for legal support for Muslims Muslim Voice
case for MLF after dinner and raised a number of issues from Muslims issues in the US to Israeli occupation and blockade of Gaza. Galloway began his speech by wondering where are the Muslims in the Valley? “I was told there are 50,000 Muslims in Phoenix and we only have a fraction attending”, “I congratulate the non-Muslims who are here tonight” he added. Galloway is cutting short his trip to the US to travel to Istanbul to receive the volunteers coming back from prisons in Israel. “We are lucky to have a man like Ordogan ‘Turkey’s Prime Minster’” Galloway said, “He said what the 22 Arab leaders did not say” he added. Galloway announced the launch of his forth Viva Palestina campaign that takes food and products to Gaza to break the siege. “If we are forced we will go by sea” Galloway said.
Over 200 people gathered at Arizona State University Ballroom to hear from former British Parliament Member George Galloway speaking about Muslim Legal Fund (MLF) that is based in Texas.
Last month’s results: Should Islamic charities do more domestic work?
The program started with a speech by MLF executive director who introduced MLF and its work to the audience. He emphasized the importance of having a legal defense for Muslims who face cases of discrimination and injustice.
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University of California Muslim Student Union appeals suspension
During the dinner a fundraising session by Monzer Taleb took place to raise funds for cases handled by MLF. Attendees participated to show support of the efforts being made by MLF to help Muslims in their legal cases in the US. Key note speaker Mr. George Galloway presented the main
Four Christian evangelists arrested at Arab Festival
Neighbors turn out to oppose new mosque
Mr. Galloway also announced the launch of the Palestine University in Lebanon this summer and invited people to join this university to learn about Palestine. “We have great speakers on Palestine” which will train 500 students every year, he said. Galloway believes that the end of Gaza siege in near. “I’m not a supporter of Hamas but I support democracy” Galloway said about the election of Hamas to Palestinian Authority leadership that took place a few years ago. “Only Palestinians can choose their government” he added. “I’m not here to speak against Jews” Galloway assured the audience. “There were Jews on the Freedom Flotilla ship” but “we are against Zionism” he said. As for the solution for the conflict Galloway believes “Let’s have one democratic state with Jews, Christians and Muslims”.
Muslim group gathers meals for Michigan families
Jerusalem demolition plan approved
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TERMS USED IN THIS PAPER Alhamdulilah: Praise God Allah: Arabic word for God Fatwa: Islamic decision based on Shari’a Hadith: Sayings of the Prophet Mohammad Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca Halal: Allowed in Islam Halaqa: Group study Haram: Prohibited in Islam Hijab: Head cover for women Hijra: Migration of the Prophet from Mecca to Madina Imam: Islamic scholar Iman: Faith Inshallah: God willing Madina: City near Mecca in Saudia Arabia Masjid: Place were Muslims gather for prayer and studies Mecca: City in Saudi Arabia where Prophet Mohammad was born Pbuh: Peace be upon him Quran: Islam’s Holy book Shahadah: Is saying “I accept Allah as the one God and Mohammad as his messenger” when someone accepts Islam. Sharia’: Islamic law Shura: A council of Muslim scholars (SWT) Subhanahu Watala: Praise be to Allah Taqwa: God consciousness
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Arizonans protest Israel attack on humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza last month Muslim Voice
the four corners they gathered in Tempe.
Tempe, Arizona - Over a hundred people gathered on the intersection of Mills and University in Tempe last month the day after the military attack on the humanitarian ships convoy “Freedom Flotilla” that was headed to Gaza filled with food, medicine, building supplies and schools books. The protest was organized by a number of local and national organizations such as Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition Arizona, Students For Justice in Palestine ASU, ASU Human Rights Coalition, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Women In Black Phoenix, Code Pink Phoenix, and the Coalition of Arab and Muslim Americans Arizona.
George Galloway former British Parliament member was in Phoenix during the attack and joined the protest to speak against the brutality of the Israelis against civilians and unarmed relief activists who were headed to Gaza in international waters. “The United States is blamed for everything that happens because Israel is afloat on American tax dollars” and “When such ghastly occurrences happen such as it did yesterday this is very damaging for the United States” Mr. Galloway said. “This is what General Petraeus said before the Senate Arms services committee hearing that this strategic liability was dangerous for the United States” he added.
Protesters held signs and banners condemning the Israel military attack and demanded international investigation into the killing of nine relief activists and the lift of siege on Gaza by Israel that blocks food, medicine and necessary life supplies on one and half million Palestinians. They also chanted “Free Free Palestine” and “Free Free Gaza” for over an hour and a half at
Protesters who waved the American and Palestinian flags wanted to express their outrage of the attack and the disapproval of the US official policy that issued very mild statements about the aggression against innocent unarmed humanitarian relief volunteers organizers said. See Youtube video of the protest on Breekpub channel.
Word on the Street- “What are your thoughts on the Oil Spill in the Gulf and do you think necessary action has been taken so far? By: Sumbal Akhter Muslim Voice I haven’t really been following the oil spill, but I know it’s doing a lot of damage to the wildlife and the environment as it moves closer and closer to the coastlines of Louisiana and Florida. I think that they should be working harder to clean up the mess that has been caused by hiring more workers. And they also need to find a better and faster solution to stop the spill. – Esra Radai I think the one lesson we can all take from this tragedy is the need to fully implement sustainable alternatives to how we fuel our energy needs. Regardless that this was unintentional, we should have learned our lesson from previous oil spills. Looking at the magnitude of the environmental costs and the delayed responses, I do not think that necessary action has been taken. Once those responsible realize that the interests of the environment are far more important, they will implement an effective response. Hopefully sooner than later. Stay strong, turtles! – Nahid Hiermandi No, I don’t think necessary action has been taken so far regarding the Oil Spill. Oil is still leaking and spreading out of the gulf, harming thousands of sea animals. If some serious changes don’t take place in the way the oil spill is being handled, things will get out of hand, and then it will be too late to do anything about it. -Marium Warsi The untimely incident of the Gulf Oil spill is a sobering lesson learned that we need
significantly better oversight to prevent future disasters from taking place. My heart bleeds for those oil encrusted pelicans and baby turtles. –Osman Salim The Oil Spill in the Gulf is a tragic situation. Wildlife has been hit hard and it is heart wrenching to see pictures of birds covered in oil and fish washing ashore dead. The only people who can take action are the ones who are in the business and in this case, that is BP. As of today, oil has been gushing for about 2 months and that is unacceptable. More action needs to be taken to not only curb the oil but also to clean up the oil that has already leaked out.
–Nigah Mughal It’s unfortunate to see that BP spilled millions of gallons of oil into the ocean. It is dangerous for both humans and the sea life. However, I am confident our nation will find a solution to this mess. I appreciate President Obama’s Oval Office Address, as it ensures us that sudden action has been taken. Since we are dealing with such a huge quantity of oil, it will take time for the Gulf to recover. Yet, with the well-credited team the President created, I am sure we will find an improved and effective way of cleaning up the spill as the team members collaborate their ideas with each other. -Aasima Khokhar
Muslim Voice newspaper Administration and staff wish
Nasser Salleh, Distribution Manager
Best of health and quick recovery after his back operation last month May Allah give you health and patience to recover
Congratulation Grads Doraid Tarek Sadideen He graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelors in Science. His major was Biology.
Zeyad Tarek Sadideen graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelors in Science. His major was in Molecular and Cellular Biology.
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www.AZMuslimVoice.com 4 JULY 2010 LOCAL Arizona Immigrant Women Testify in Congress Against SB 1070 Associated Press WASHINGTON -- Five Arizona women painted a picture of abuse, terror, and civil rights violations during a special hearing Thursday before Congress about the impact of a state law that would make it a crime to be undocumented. Fighting back tears, Celia Alejandra Alvarez, 30, described how she was detained in a workplace raid, physically abused, and incarcerated without medical care in February 2009. “It’s true what’s happening in Arizona; we are discriminated against,” said Alvarez to a roomful of people. She said in an interview that her experience is an example of the climate that led to SB 1070 and the danger that this law poses to other families. Alvarez, Silvia Rodríguez, Alma Mendoza, Sylvia Herrera, and 10-year-old Katherine Figueroa were invited to testify at a special hearing on the impact of the new Arizona law SB 1070 by Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona). During their visit they also met with members of the Obama administration’s labor department. The delegation’s concerns were not limited to the potential impact of the law that will take effect July 29. The women’s testimony also underscored concerns about civil rights violations and abuse by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office that have been taking place in Arizona since the federal government signed a 287(g) agreement with that agency. The agreement, which has been limited since then, allowed the sheriff’s office to train 160 of its deputies to enforce immigration laws. “I asked myself why did I suffer so much. I was only working. Each check I won was earned through my own sweat. My job was to clean highways and streets no matter if it was sunny or cold,” said Alvarez. Alvarez filed a lawsuit in February against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office after being detained in a worksite raid at a landscaping company. She alleged that a deputy dislocated her jaw while trying to pull her out of her hiding place, and another one hit her with a
clipboard for talking to other people who were being detained.
or what my parents did when I was two years old,” she said.
“I only have one question for President Obama and Congress: Aren’t we all human? My blood is red, and I imagine yours is too. And I ask myself, why do you ask us for papers to work and not to go to war?” said Alvarez.
A couple of years ago her family left Arizona due to the anti-immigrant climate. She remained behind to finish her college education with two degrees in political science and Chicano studies. Despite having faced roadblocks to finance her education -- in Arizona undocumented students have to pay out-of-state tuition -Rodríguez managed to get accepted at Harvard where she will go this fall to work on a Masters in education.
“Many times one loses their life trying to find this dream, but the saddest is when one loses ones own dignity,” she said. The mother of four spent three months in jail, where she said she was denied medical attention and was the victim of racial slurs and discrimination. What Alvarez regrets the most is the trauma her children suffered while she was incarcerated. Kathy Figueroa, a 10-year-old who was separated from her parents during a raid last year, bore witness to the experience of children. “It was very hard for me. Every time when I went to school I kept thinking that maybe I would see my parents when I came home,” she said addressing the congressman. “I would also have bad dreams, like the deputies were taking my family and me to jail.” Figueroa has been known to the local Arizona media since she appeared in a YouTube video asking Obama, as the father of two daughters, to pass immigration reform and help her parents to be released. She also marched with other children to protest the actions of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County.
“It is ironic that the most prestigious university in the world has invited me in, has said that I’m welcomed, and believes that I’m worthy and of value to society. Yet the state that I call home criminalizes me, dehumanizes me and makes me feel unworthy of existing. Let alone of an education,” she said. Rodríguez called on Congress to pass the DREAM Act, a law that would allow students like her to legalize their status. She said in an interview that she doesn’t believe in the concept of immigration reform as it is being framed today, with a focus on enforcement, and stressed the urgency of legalization for students. Alma Mendoza, 40, a mother of three and a survivor of domestic violence for 15 years, described the impact SB 1070 is already having on people like her. In her neighborhood, she said, a husband killed his wife because she was afraid to call the police due to the new law.
“Not only are parents fighting back; their kids are doing the same thing to change the laws that are separating us from our parents,” she said.
“There are going to be many women who would fearfully remain silent. They won’t only be intimated by their husbands and partners but the police too,” she said.
“Please help us. Children don’t know what to do without their parents. I feel bad about the new law SB 1070. I can’t be with my family in my car because the police will take my family away to jail.”
Dr. Sylvia Herrera, an organizer with the PUENTE movement, said the issue of human rights violations is not new for Arizona.
Silvia Rodríguez, 22, represented the voice of undocumented students during the hearing. She and her family came to the United States with a visa when she was two years old, but it has since expired. “I did not have control of where I was born,
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“We are living in a dangerous time in Arizona. If President Obama does not intervene on SB 1070 the whole country will be overcome with a climate of change, and that will be pure hate,” she said. Herrera underscored that SB 1070 has already emboldened not just the police but individuals to discriminate. She said there are also
concerns that the law could be enforced in the context of schools. “Our children are on a constant emotional rollercoaster. Their innocence is being robbed by putting them in a situation where they have to take adult responsibilities,” said Herrera. The PUENTE movement documented older allegations of abuse and racial profiling and sent them to the Department of Justice 18 months ago. The Department of Justice initiated an investigation into Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office. “Where is that investigation? Why does it continue to be pending?” Herrera asked. The idea of testimonies from the Arizona delegation came about after a group of women from across the country arrived in Arizona to gather testimony about the impact of SB 1070. “We are going to be asking the Obama administration to become part of the legal challenge that is necessary (against SB 1070),” said Congressman Grijalva. “It is not a question of criminality in Arizona. It’s a question of fairness and justice in Arizona,” said Congressman Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., who criticized the administration’s decision to send the National Guard to the border and advocate enforcement only. Six congresspersons attended the hearing on Thursday. “You are showing yourselves to be true Americans,” Jared Polis, D-Colo., told the women at the hearing. “It is my hope that sooner rather than later the American people, who are good people, would allow the laws to catch up with reality and welcome you.”
Attitude Plays a Role in Battle Against Stress By Ahmad Daniels, M.Ed It is the dawn of human history and early man steps out of his dwelling to greet another day. Suddenly he hears a rustling in the brush. His breathing increases, his throat tightens, his brow contracts as he stares eye-to-eye with a tiger. He reaches down and hurls a rock at his would be attacker which quickly retreats to the woods. As his body goes limp and his breathing returns to normal, he acknowledges how fortunate he is to be alive. It is the beginning of another work day and Sis. Fatimah dashes from her abode en route to work. In an attempt to avoid bumper-to-bumper traffic, she takes a shortcut and finds herself directly behind a lingering school bus. Late for work, she opens the office door and spots her boss pacing. “Your report was due an hour ago!” he irately yells, “and the client is grossly irritated! If you desire to keep your job you had better have a good explanation!” He angrily goes on to tell her she can forget about taking a vacation this summer. Fatimah eyes a staple gun on her desk and briefly considers hurling it at the man. Instead, with her stomach in knots and perspiration dripping down her cheeks, she reaches for a Maalox but longs for something much stronger.
Dr. Han Selye, famous Canadian expert on stress research, has explained that extreme stress is nothing more than the body’s fight or flight response. When confronted with sudden danger, primitive man either stood and fought or moved on. Today’s realities create a life that is not all that simple. One cannot simply punch an irritating supervisor or co-worker in the nose. Some people handle stress quite well, while others flee through alcohol, drugs, heavy smoking or by becoming emotionally ill when stress is too much. Unrelieved stress can contribute to hypertension, heart disease, peptic ulcers and other chronic disorders. It is a major factor in headaches, sleeplessness, fatigue, poor appetite, anxiety, depression and alcoholism. Stress, the body’s reaction to external stimuli, is both positive and negative. Distress, the negative, need not manifest itself only with the loss of a loved one or job. More typical sources of stress are the daily hassles of a system that does not work or communication channels that fail to deliver important information. As Muslims, one can certainly add feelings of helplessness when hearing disturbing news events in the Middle East being reported or would be terrorist’s attacks in the U.S.A. All of which on a daily basis can take a heavy toll. A key component of distress is failing to have the power to influence one’s condition. Ask the person who has friends and family in Gaza and worry continuously about their health and wellbeing. Eustress, the positive stress, can be a motivating force.
The butterflies in the stomach before an athletic event provide an additional boost of much need energy. It is the stress response that galvanizes you to jump out of the way of a speeding car or meet a sudden challenge. There is nothing like a deadline to provide a jolt of adrenaline to start you thumping away on the computer. To do our best work, we all need some tension, some stress. While many researches have examined the question of stress leading to mental and physical illness, a group of social scientists at the University of Chicago are interested in finding out why some people are able to work under stressful conditions yet remain well. Their studies indicate healthy people share a mutual hardiness – coping behavior. Essentially, hardiness manifests itself in three ways: • Control – Hardy people feel in charge, not helpless or powerless. • Commitment – Hardy people feel committed to what they are doing; they believe in themselves and their work. • Challenge – Hardy people experience change as challenging, not threatening. In the final analysis, it appears that attitudes towards stressful events are much more important than the events themselves. So, it is conceivable one can experience stress and remain healthy. Good news for sure.
The Science of Creating Doubt By Imraan Siddiqi The gasp that you heard over the long weekend was the sound of disgust and disbelief. Yet another tally in the seemingly endless string of Israeli war crimes was committed right before the world’s eyes. As we witnessed the massacre aboard the humanitarian aid flotilla, the world held back tears and said to itself, “Please, not again.” Sometimes, the first reaction is one of emotional or kneejerk variety. However in this case – the worldwide condemnation and public outcry were justified. Unfortunately, the Israeli war and propaganda machine is engaged in something that they have had to master in recent years: Creating a shadow of doubt. The defenders of Israel have now emerged and are once again attempting to whitewash the actions of the IDF through creating smokescreens, thusly taking shelter in the gray area. As the commentators are blogging and being published across many mainstream media outlets, we are seeing a disturbing trend, that not only cheapens the deaths of those from the international aid flotilla, it also gives false-justification to a repeated abuser of international law. Planting those seeds of doubt: Were these really peace activists, or terrorists in sheep’s clothing? Could they have had weapons, and might they have really wanted to confront the Israeli army violently? Did Israel break international law, or were they defending their homeland? Did they just happen to make a mistake, brought upon a stressful situation? All these doubts are being planted in the various media outlets in order to rationalize and possibly erase the crime that has been committed. Some blame those aboard the flotilla, saying they provoked the actions, and ultimately got what they deserved. Others are calling it a mistake; an error in judgment by young kids. Because, let’s face it, the word “mishandled” sounds a lot better than “massacred.” Let’s examine a few of these doubts that have been planted across the media. “They Didn’t Really Break International Law Argument” Most of the commentators on this issue have been from America – so this explanation should be pretty easy, since Israel’s democracy was created “in the image of America” and its law.
In America, the interpretation of law in the courts or by law enforcement is based on precedent. Previous precedent determines the proportion of force, which law enforcement should use. There have been previous aid flotillas sent to aid Gaza, as in the ones boarded by former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney. The previous missions boats were intercepted by the IDF, the members detained, and then released. However unethical it is to intercept aid to a dying people is an argument for later; however the precedent was set that these people were on a peaceful mission to deliver aid to an impoverished population. There was no reason to suspect any weapons on the boat. The dwellers of the “gray area” also claim that the IDF did not know who or what was on the boats – recalling the weapons caches that have previously been intercepted from Iran or Syria. This argument is pure, unadulterated rubbish. Israeli intelligence is one of the most farreaching in the world – plus the flotilla has been highly publicized – basically telling the world “Hey this is who we are, and we are on the way.” Israel knew about this flotilla, and they knew every member who would be on the boats beforehand. The most comprehensive and far reaching intelligence service outside the U.S did not just black out prior to storming the ships. So back to the topic of precedence. The IDF is one of the most highly, if not the most highly trained military in the world. So highly trained in fact, they help train U.S. military in tactical exercises, and fighting in close quarters. Once the highly-trained paratroopers boarded the ships – did all the rules of engagement go out the window? The “It was a Big Mistake” Argument Could this all have been one big misunderstanding? Just a mistake carried out by naïve kids with guns? Some commentators seem to think so. They believe that even though Israel boarded the ships in international waters, they had every right to do so – however they made a fatal mistake when gunning down the civilians aboard the ship. So what is the definition of a mistake? A mistake could be defined as a one-time error in judgment. The question is: Does Israel qualify for this exemption? Israel made a disproportionate mistake when they destroyed the entire country of Lebanon, killing thousands of civilians and intentionally bombing the country’s infrastructure and airports Israel made a mistake when they killed thousands of civilians in Gaza when looking for a handful of militants – and the mistake continues on the millions of
civilians that are impoverished on a daily basis. The IDF made a mistake when they plowed over and killed U.S. citizen Rachel Corrie when she was protested the demolishing of a building. They make “mistakes” when dealing with their staunchest allies as well. Just like that time, where they mistakenly forged Irish, British, French and Australian passports to facilitate the extrajudicial killing of a Hamas official in Dubai. With actions like this, Israel stops resembling a friend, rather an unpredictable, volatile headcase, whose peers are afraid to cross – think Nicky Santoro from Goodfellas. So what do we do about these repeated mistakes that have happened over the course of the last three decades? The pro-Israel hawks are saying that these are mistakes and errors in judgment – however it seems that they’re mistakes only because the whole world witnessed each of these heinous actions. When it comes to making “mistakes,” Israel is the international community’s Tiger Woods. “The Good Guys vs. Bad Guys Argument” Benjamin Netanyahu shows his true desperation in harkening the Bushian “Good guys versus bad buys argument.” The Prime Minister still holds fast to these tactics, in an attempt for the public to envision Palestinian terrorists trying to kill his citizens. In this case, however – there were no Palestinians on the boat. There was no Hezbollah on the boat. There was no al-Qaeda on the boat. So why the shoot first, ask questions later mentality? Netanyahu and his gang have attempted to release hollow statements in order to appear empathetic – “regretting the loss of life.” Those are just words, Prime Minister. The proof is in your actions, and as outlined by the previous mistakes that your government has made – The only regret is that you got caught. What does a condemnation of the world community even mean anymore? Israel has been able to freely commit these so-called mistakes for years now, and every mistake comes with political maneuvering, and at worst, a wagging of the finger from the UN. “Bad Israel, we are truly disappointed” is the usual feeble response from the UN Secretary General and member countries. The U.S. usually abstains from voting, and has the vetopower to shoot down any “condemnation” that does come from the UN. What does all this political theater mean? It means that the blood of Arabs and Muslims is cheaper than the rest of the world. Can you imagine if this were a humanitarian flotilla that was sent to Iran, and was then ambushed by the Iranian navy? This would mean war if a Muslim country that committed this war crime – however we must remind ourselves that this is Israel – who has and unlimited line of credit on
the world stage. And please remember the fact that this is not a Muslim versus Jew issue. There are many courageous Jews as well as Christians who are putting themselves on the line for this ongoing humanitarian crisis. In many mainstream media outlets IN ISRAEL and America, there are Jews protesting the actions of the Israeli military – saying they are ashamed of the response. Emily Henochowicz, an American woman has lost her eye, when being shot at close range with a tear gas canister. That too, was likely a mistake. No amount of protests, flag-burning and marches has done more to shift public opinion in comparison to the actions of the Israeli military. Thank you. You have sabotaged your own standing among the public. Israel has begun to resemble an oppressor of minorities, a killer of civilians and an apartheid state in eyes of the everyday Joe and Jane at home – and it is due to the actions of its very own government and their blind defenders. Alan Dershowitz lauds the IDF for their actions in killing those on the boats and wounding dozens of others. Leslie Gelb says Israel was justified in their violent massacre, however made a mistake in its use of force. Previously, Michelle Malkin and other fringe right-wing lunatics have written that Palestinian parents intentionally pose in front of dead bodies of children posing as though they are crying in order to drum up sympathy. These are the ignorant, hawkish voices that are left to defend Israel. Sadly, the international community including the UN are just standing by and wagging their collective finger once again. As this mess continues onward, it is becoming quite obvious that Israel is running out of options. On the international stage, it has alienated the most open-minded of allies of the Muslim world. The multitude of “mistakes” that continue to be made are alienating this “beacon of freedom and democracy” in the public’s eye. No matter how the defenders of Israel continue to whitewash, nuance and spin the events of this past weekend, there is no doubt that international law was broken and disproportionate force used on civilians. The public must continue to wade through these smokescreens, misdirection and outright propaganda to find the truth. Behind the “mishandling” the “mistakes” and misinformation, you will find one of the worst humanitarian crises of our generation. Imraan Siddiqi is an entrepreneur, freelance writer and MBA from Arizona State University. He writes on the topics of comparative religion, the Middle East conflict and issues concerning Muslims in the U.S. He can be reached at upbhavan@ aol.com
University of California Muslim Muslim group says FBI still Student Union appeals suspension on Nevada prayer case Associated Press
By KEN RITTER Associated Press Writer
IRVINE, Calif. (AP) _ A Muslim student group has appealed a suspension by the University of California, Irvine over the disruption of the Israeli ambassador’s speech on campus.
LAS VEGAS (AP) _ A Muslim advocacy group representative accused the FBI on Monday of wrongly questioning five Muslim men in the Los Angeles area about praying in a shopping center parking lot in southern Nevada six months ago.
University officials said Tuesday that the Muslim Student Union can take its case to the chancellor if its appeal is rejected. The suspension would go into effect Sept. 1. The university revoked the group’s charter for a year and placed it on probation for another year. Eleven students were arrested in February for disrupting the ambassador’s speech, which prompted
an investigation by the university into the group’s activities. The group’s attorney says the punishment will affect hundreds of Muslims who regularly attend prayer meetings and socialize together.
Four Christian evangelists arrested at Arab festival Associated Press
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) _ Police in the heavily Arab Detroit suburb of Dearborn say they arrested four Christian missionaries for disorderly conduct at an Arab cultural festival.
court ruled in favor of Anaheim, Calif., evangelist George Saieg (SAYGH). It overturned a lower court and said Saieg could distribute information on the festival’s perimeter.
Council on American-Islamic Relations attorney Ameena Mirza Qazi in Los Angeles said she was concerned that federal investigators still think the men detained last December by Henderson police were ``plotting something or were some sort of suspicious group.’’ FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller in Los Angeles said the men were interviewed by FBI agents ``to clarify routine reports of suspicious activity’’ and were not arrested. ``None of the men have been accused of wrongdoing,’’ Eimiller said.
Police Chief Ron Haddad says his department made the arrests Friday. The four are free on bond.
Qazi, head of the CAIR Los Angeles chapter, dubbed the men the ``Henderson 7.’’ She said five of the men were questioned at their homes Thursday morning.
Christian proselytizing at the festival has been a matter of dispute for several years. Haddad tells the Detroit Free Press he isn’t taking sides in any dispute and says police have to keep peace at a festival that draws 300,000 over three days.
``These young men were not engaged in any kind of suspicious activity,’’ Qazi said. ``The concern is that they are continuing to be penalized for asserting their First Amendment rights. I think they were wrongly
The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
questioned.’’ Qazi called it ``absurd’’ that the men continued to face government scrutiny, and said she was concerned that FBI agents showed one of the men a book with information on war tactics, titled ``Afghanistan.’’ The CAIR attorney declined to identify the man, whom she described as a 29-year-old U.S. Army veteran of Middle Eastern descent. She said agents told him Henderson police found two such books during a December search of the men’s vehicle. Qazi said the man had no knowledge of the book, and denied he and his traveling companions had books like it in the vehicle. The CAIR official said a Henderson police lieutenant handling a CAIR complaint told her that he had no information about police obtaining the books during the December incident. Qazi has said CAIR wants discipline and training for the police officers involved, and compensation for the men who were detained. A Henderson police spokesman on Monday declined comment and referred calls to the FBI. CAIR has said the seven men were traveling through the Las Vegas area when they stopped to buy gas and food and perform one of five required Muslim daily prayers in a parking lot Dec. 20.
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Global poll shows Muslims leery of US and Obama By ALAN FRAM
Pakistan say the U.S. could someday be a military threat to their country.
Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) _ Muslims around the globe remain uneasy about the U.S. and are increasingly disenchanted with President Barack Obama, according to a poll that suggests his drive to improve relations with the Muslim world has had little impact. Even so, the U.S. image is holding strong in many other countries and continues to be far better than it was during much of George W. Bush’s presidency, according to the survey.
``You get a sense of Muslim disappointment with Barack Obama,’’ said Andy Kohut, the Pew president, who attributed it to discontent with U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to expectations raised by Obama’s Cairo speech. The surveys were taken before Israel’s deadly May 31 clash with a flotilla of boats trying to break the blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza, which sparked widespread condemnation of Israel. In the rest of the world, the U.S. and Obama generally
There is one glaring exception: Mexico, where 62 percent expressed favorable views of the U.S. just days before an Arizona law cracking down on illegal immigrants was signed in April, but only 44 percent did so afterward.
None of those figures was an improvement from last year. There were slight dips in Jordan and in Indonesia, where Obama spent several years growing up. Egypt saw a 10-point drop, even though Obama gave a widely promoted June 2009 speech in Cairo aimed at reaching out to the Muslim world. In all seven of those countries, the percentage of Muslims expressing confidence in Obama has also dropped since last year. Only in Nigeria and Indonesia do majorities of Muslims voice confidence in him; in Obama’s worst showing, just 8 percent in Pakistan do. The survey found that majorities of the public in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, Lebanon and
of Muslims saying suicide attacks are sometimes justified ranged from 39 percent in Lebanon to 5 percent in Turkey. Nowhere did Muslims give majority support to Osama bin Laden or his al-Qaida terrorist group. _In every nation but Poland, China and Brazil, most are unhappy with how things are going in their country, though dissatisfaction has grown in only three countries in the past year. Attitudes about each country’s economic situation are similarly negative, though a bit brighter than a year ago. _Nine in 10 Chinese are happy with their country’s economy, by far the highest mark of any nation polled. China is seen more positively than negatively in 15 countries, and in eight countries China is viewed as the world’s leading economic power _ up from two who said so last year. _Only in Pakistan does a majority favor Iran having nuclear weapons. In most countries, economic sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program get higher support than military action. But significant numbers are prepared for a showdown: In 16 countries, more people who oppose Iran’s nuclear program consider stopping Tehran from getting such weapons more important than avoiding a military conflict.
The findings by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, conducted in April and May in the United States and 21 other countries by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, come amid a global economic downturn and U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The poll has been measuring the views of people around the world since 2002. Among the seven countries surveyed with substantial Muslim populations, the U.S. was seen favorably by just 17 percent in Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan and 21 percent in Jordan. The U.S.’s positive rating was 52 percent in Lebanon, 59 percent in Indonesia and 81 percent in Nigeria, where Muslims comprise about half the population.
_More people in every country except Egypt and Jordan said the environment should be a priority, even at the cost of economic growth and jobs. But only in nine countries are half or more willing to pay higher prices to address global warming.
fare better. The 6 in 10 in Germany and Spain who view the U.S. favorably has doubled from the lows reached under Bush. The U.S. image is also significantly better than it was under Bush in Russia, China, France, Argentina, South Korea and Japan. Obama is broadly supported, but the percentages expressing confidence in him have ebbed in 14 countries polled. In only five countries do majorities think the U.S. considers other nations when setting its foreign policy. Support for U.S. anti-terrorism efforts and Obama’s handling of economic problems is generally strong, but there is significant opposition to American involvement in Afghanistan and little faith that a stable government will emerge in Iraq. The poll also found that: _In the seven Muslim nations polled, the portion
_Three-fourths of Brazilians say their team will win this year’s World Cup soccer tournament, easily the most confident showing of the countries polled. Just 13 percent of Americans picked the U.S. The Pew Global Attitudes Project was conducted by the Pew Research Center in 22 countries from April 7 through May 8, though the exact dates varied by country. Interviews were mostly conducted face-toface, though telephone interviews were used in the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Japan. Sample sizes ranged from 700 people in Japan to 3,262 in China. National samples were used in all countries except China, India and Pakistan, where those interviewed were disproportionately urban. The margin of sampling error ranged from plus or minus 2.5 percentage points in China to 5 points in Germany.
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Neighbors turn out to oppose new mosque
US lifts restrictions on refugees to Michigan By JEFF KAROUB Associated Press Writer
DETROIT (AP) _ The U.S. State Department is changing a two-year-old policy that limited refugee resettlement to the Detroit area to those with close relatives because of Michigan’s struggling economy. State Department deputy director of refugee admissions Lawrence Bartlett tells The Associated Press the rules are being loosened because most refugees with immediate family had been resettled and there was room for more. Most refugees coming to the Detroit area are Iraqi because of the community’s large Middle Eastern population. The government’s new policy allows for a refugee with any friend or family ties to resettle in the area. Bartlett spoke to the AP while visiting Michigan this month. He met with U.S. Arab, Iraqi and Chaldean community leaders.
NY pastor no longer approves sale to Muslim group Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) _ The Staten Island pastor who signed off on a controversial plan to sell a former convent to the Muslim American Society has changed his mind. St. Margaret Mary R.C. Church Pastor Keith Fennessy sent a letter to Archbishop Timothy Dolan saying ``after careful reflection’’ he’s withdrawn his support for the convent sale. He also asked the New York Archdiocese to stop the deal from going forward. Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said the parish trustees and a MAS attorney were informed of the letter. Zwilling said the pastor did not have the power to veto the sale. But he said the sale was not final until all approvals were met. A MAS member said the organization would withhold comment until it had time to discuss the matter.
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) _ An overflow crowd turned out for a Rutherford County Commission meeting to speak against plans to build a mosque and Islamic community center in the area.
Some residents complained there was no public notice that the mosque would be on the planning commission’s agenda when the panel approved the 52,000-square-foot facility.
The Daily News Journal reports some wore Christian- or patriotic-themed clothing to the Thursday meeting. World Outreach Church pastor Allen Jackson told commissioners, ``We have
Planning Director Doug Demosi said the commission only publishes its agendas when it holds rezoning hearings. The land where the mosque will be built was already zoned appropriately. Demosi also said it is illegal to reject a project for religious reasons.
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Iranians speak out in `Voices of the Unheard’ By RON DePASQUALE
only at film festivals and will not be released on the Web or on DVD, to avoid endangering participants. Many of the young men and women shown partying together already have left the country or are planning to, he said.
Associated Press Writer NEW YORK (AP) _ Early on in the film ``Iran: Voices of the Unheard,’’ an aging revolutionary sets the tone for the documentary about secular Iranians fighting to survive in a closed society.
Geramifard and the film’s participants wanted to take the risk of speaking out to show the world another side of Iranian life, one he says is never shown by Western media outlets that focus on anti-American Islamic extremists.
``It is no accident that millions of people have left Iran,’’ says the man, a teacher. ``There is no room for someone like me.’’ Filmmaker Davoud Geramifard, 32, is now one of those millions of Iranian expatriots. He secretly shot ``Voices’’ not long before the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his administration’s bloody crackdown of the anti-government protests that exploded one year ago this month. Geramifard does not know when it will be safe to go back. Geramifard, who did his undergraduate studies in Tehran, moved at age 27 to Canada, where he got a Master of Fine Arts degree at Ryerson University in Toronto. ``Voices,’’ his debut feature, was shown at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York and London. His next film, tentatively titled ``Cyber Revolution,’’ will focus on the role social media networks like Twitter played during and after last year’s uprising, which erupted after opponents said that Ahmadinejad had won the election through fraud. ``Voices’’ focuses on three secular segments of Iranian society: older revolutionaries in the southern city of Shiraz, whose hopes for a free Iran were crushed by the Islamic fundamentalists who seized power; the nomadic Ghashghai tribe, who compare their repression by the state to the fate of American Indian tribes; and young intellectuals in Tehran, who drink and dance at parties and crave political
freedom. The film ends with footage of the regime’s repression of last year’s uprising, and of the image that shocked viewers around the world: blood oozing from the mouth of a dying Neda Agha Soltan, the 27-year-old music student who was shot in the heart last June 20 during a Tehran protest. The government has been blamed in a Human Rights Watch report for the killing, beating, torturing and arbitrary detention of demonstrators. An HBO documentary about Soltan, ``For Neda,’’ has aired in the United States and has been seen online and through Voice of America in Iran. Soltan’s family has told AP they believe the visibility makes them safer, because the authorities would not want to risk reigniting protests by harming them. Filmmakers in Iran risk prison time. Last month, award-winning filmmaker and opposition supporter Jafar Panahi missed the Cannes film festival because he was serving a two-month jail term before being freed on bail. Geramifard said that for now his film will be shown
``To bridge the gap of understanding, we need to show the ways Iranians really live,’’ he said. ``The problem in Iran is there are two lifestyles, one indoors, where you are free of the gaze of Big Brother, and the other outside, where you behave under the codes of Sharia law. That private life is absent from view, so showing it is the best way to start breaking down the demonized version of Iran you see in the West.’’ Older intellectuals in Shiraz, where Geramifard was born, are shown making wine at home, joking it’s ``vintage Shiraz’’ and storing it in Coke and Pepsi bottles. They extoll Iranian traditions of poetry and merriment that predate Islam. Geramifard, the son of socialist activists, said his secular upbringing was not unusual in a country that historically rebelled against a strict Arabized form of Islam and instead followed its roots in Zoroastrianism and mystical Sufism. ``The version of Islam we have is a very open one,’’ he said. ``A lot of women don’t cover their hair at home, or fast, and they drink, but if you ask their religion, they say Muslim. The Iran I know is a secular people who love to dance and party. ``That Iran has been confiscated by the Islamic regime.’’
House OKs ‘Religious Freedom’ bill
Muslim group gathers meals for Michigan families Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) _ A Muslim relief organization is working with two other nonprofit groups to package and distribute thousands of meals for Detroit area families.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ A bill aimed at making it harder for government institutions to infringe on religious expression has passed the House by a vote of 98-1.
Islamic Relief USA is one of the nation’s largest Muslim relief groups and will package about 1,700 nutritional packets.
The 11-page bill is awash with legal jargon and references to the state and federal constitutions and past court cases. It’s backers say the aim is to toughen the legal standards a government agency would have to meet in court in order to, for example, stop someone from preaching in the street.
It will distribute most of them to Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, the Muslim Center’s soup kitchen and the Muslim Family Services food pantry. Some will be used for worldwide distribution. The packages produce 10,000 meals when water is added. They’re formulated to provide easily digestible protein, carbohydrates and vitamins.
Islamic Relief is working with Neighborly Needs Inc. The meals were formulated by Kids Against Hunger Inc.
Some who voted for the bill questioned whether it was really needed. When House sponsor Tim Burns, R-Mandeville, referred to the case of a student who was suspended for reading a Bible quietly
Also, Rep. Chris Roy, D-Alexandria, gave the potential example of a Muslim extremist who preaches violence. ``Every nut, every kook, who seeks to say they don’t like our country is going to hide behind this,’’ Roy said. Burns downplayed that possibility and said the measure would help those who face government intrusion on religious freedom make a case in state court. Sen. Danny Martiny’s bill has already passed the Senate but still faces a vote there on various House committee amendments. The legislative session ends Monday.
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European Muslims criticize veil ban plans
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By PIERRE-YVES ROGER Associated Press Writer PARIS (AP) _ French police have banned a street party whose organizers planned to serve alcoholic cocktails and pork sausages in a heavily Muslim neighborhood of Paris, authorities said in a statement.
Associated Press KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Malaysian police say they have arrested 120 people across the country since the start of the World Cup for taking illegal football bets worth 300 million ringgit ($90 million). The youngest bookmaker arrested was a 15 year old student and the oldest was aged 73, Bakri Zinin, Malaysia police’s head of criminal investigations, told reporters. Zinin said those arrested include individuals and members of various criminal syndicates. ``They cannot run away. Now we are prepared,’’ he said. No charges have yet been filed as investigations are continuing, Bakri said. Running gambling betting rings is punishable by up to five years in jail.
Many of the bookies were running impromptu businesses, taking bets from patrons in coffee shops and late-night restaurants that have set up televisions to screen the World Cup matches, Bakri said. He said some syndicates were offering online bets. The latest arrests took place on Sunday when police detained four members of a single family who were running a betting ring from their restaurant. Industry officials estimate illegal sports betting in Malaysia could total 20 billion ringgit ($6.2 billion) every year, with football betting accounting for about 90 percent. Malaysia bans all forms of gambling for its Muslim majority population. NonMuslims are allowed to bet on horse races and the lottery, and gamble in a casino that is offlimits for Muslims.
Racisme praised the ban on the party, which they called it a ``flagrant call for hatred.’’ The woman who organized the party on Facebook and gives her name as Sylvie Francois denies any ties to the extreme right. She told the free daily Metro newspaper that she had
Police said the party, called ``Sausage and Booze,’’ could have been viewed as a provocation in the Goutte-d’Or neighborhood of northern Paris, where many Muslims pray on the streets because there are not enough mosques. Alcohol and pork are forbidden by Islam and the party had been slated for just after Friday’s main Muslim weekly prayers.
launched the party as a way to ``express exasperation.’’
``Because of the organization, location, day and timing chosen, as well as the counterparty plans, this event ... creates grave risks of public trouble,’’ the police statement said. Police also said they met at length with organizers on before announcing the ban. group
The mayor’s office noted that the Algerian team plays England at the World Cup Friday, which could create conditions for more violence at the Paris party because many French Muslims are of Algerian descent, and many youths take to the streets during Algerian soccer matches.
France has Western Europe’s largest Muslim population. Several Facebook groups sprouted to announce they planned ``Sausage and Booze’’ cocktails in other French towns and in Belgium after the Paris protest was banned.
Police banned both events.
The Paris mayor said the party had been taken over by extreme-right groups seeking confrontation with Muslims.
``Everything seems planned to create trouble, scandal or even violence,’’ Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said in a statement.
Organizers said they were holding the party to protest Islam’s encroachment on traditional French values in the neighborhood. Muslim groups had announced a counterparty serving halal, or religiously approved, food.
increasingly excluded in the neighborhood,’’ Francois said.
She complained that the ``Islamization’’ of her workingclass neighborhood was ``more and more ostentatious,’’ and complained that Muslims now block several streets during Friday prayers. ``It offends my concept of the republic’s secularism, I feel
Urban Affairs Minister Fadela Amara _ who is of Algerian descent _ said that she doesn’t ordinarily believe in banning street parties. ``I’m for people gathering, drinking and having a laugh,’’ she told RTL radio. But she said it was right to ban this party because it would have been ``extremely dangerous’’ given its ties to the far right, ``and all that implies about the hatred behind it.’’
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American on US no-fly list stranded in Egypt By PAUL SCHEMM Associated Press Writer CAIRO (AP) _ A Virginia man said he has been stuck in limbo in Egypt for the last six weeks, living in a cheap hotel and surviving on fast food after his name was placed on a U.S. no-fly list because of a trip to Yemen. Yahya Wehelie, a 26-year-old Muslim who was born in Fairfax, Virginia to Somali parents, said he spent 18 months studying in Yemen and left in early May. The U.S. has been scrutinizing citizens who study in Yemen more closely since the man who tried to blow up a U.S.bound airliner on Christmas was linked to an al-Qaida offshoot in Yemen.
``My home is America and I don’t know why I can’t go back there,’’ he said, adding that he even suggested to the FBI to ``put me ... in an airplane with a bunch of U.S. marshals or whatever, in handcuffs. Just get me back home.’’
to reimburse, and gives him coupons to eat at U.S. fast food chains.
While in Yemen, Wehelie married a Somali woman whose family had close ties to his own. She remains in Yemen and was to have joined him when he returned home.
He said he was eating pizza now and that his fast food diet has left him feeling unhealthy.
His family said Wehelie was never physically abused but subjected to enormous psychological pressure and denied access to an American lawyer his family hired for him. When he asked the FBI agents how he could return
Wehelie was returning to the U.S. with his brother Yusuf via Egypt on May 5 when Egyptian authorities stopped him from boarding his flight to New York. They told him the FBI wanted to speak with him.
In a news conference Wednesday in Washington by a Muslim civil rights group, his mother Shamsa Noor said she sent her sons to Yemen to learn Arabic and get some direction in their lives and now she feels guilty for that decision. ``It is very frustrating. I feel so guilty because I’m the one who sent them there,’’ Noor said.
Wehelie’s brother Yusuf also spoke at the news conference. ``What happened to me was wrong and I want to make sure it does not happen to any American citizens,’’ he said. Officials at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which sponsored the news conference, said they are aware of at least two other cases where American citizens who are Muslims are similarly denied return to the United States.
Wehelie said his brother Yusuf was allowed to return home, but only after he was detained for three days by Egyptian police on suspicion of carrying weapon. He said his brother was shackled to a jail wall and interrogated by a man who claimed to work for the CIA. He was then dumped in the street outside the prison when he feigned illness.
to the U.S., he said one made a reference to how ``Columbus sailed the ocean blue,’’ possibly suggesting he take a sea route.
Wehelie said he had no dealings with a terrorist organization while in Yemen and does not see himself as a particularly observant Muslim. He said he was studying information technology at the Lebanese International University in the capital San’a and only visited a mosque a handful of times. He said he had also studied a little Arabic.
FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said the bureau does not comment on whether a particular person is on a watch list. While Bresson did not discuss the FBI’s interest in Wehelie, he did note several recent high-profile terror plots, including an attempted car bombing and the failed Christmas Day jetliner bombing, as reminders of the need to remain vigilant.
``I’m cool with all their fighting terrorism and all that, I’m cool with that. I like that, more power to them,’’ he said in American-accented English, wearing baggy basketball shorts and a long white T-shirt.
``I can’t even eat at Hardees anymore. I ate everything they had there for like two weeks straight,’’ he said. ``Now I can’t even walk in there.’’
The family said Yemen was a natural choice because education was relatively inexpensive and many Somali natives live there.
He said he was then told by FBI agents in Egypt that his name was on a no-fly list because of people he met in Yemen and he could not board a U.S. airline or enter American airspace. His passport was canceled and a new one issued only for travel to the United States, which expires on Sept. 12. He does not have Somali citizenship.
``It’s amazing how the U.S. government can do something like this,’’ he told The Associated Press from his ramshackle hotel in downtown Cairo.
Egyptian authorities confirmed there is a SomaliAmerican stranded in Cairo waiting for his name to be lifted from a U.S. no-fly list. Wehelie said the U.S. embassy is for now paying the $16 a night for his hotel, which he will one day have
CAIR’s executive director, Nihad Awad, said the organization understands the need to question travelers and the need to protect national security. But he said the no-fly list is being used as a weapon to punish American Muslims without providing due process. ``We are very concerned that this apparent targeting of American Muslims sends a very wrong message to American Muslims that they are second-class citizens,’’ Awad said. Wehelie said he is having trouble sleeping and spends his days at Internet cafes and watching the World Cup in the hotel’s threadbare common room. Wehelie has no intention of returning to Yemen and cannot imagine living in another country. ``My foundation is in America,’’ he said. Walking through Cairo’s teeming streets, Wehelie winced as he passed a fast food outlet. ``I just want a home-cooked meal, man. I miss my mom’s cooking.’’
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France under fire over discrimination against Muslims STRASBOURG - Racial profiling and some politicians exploiting racial and xenophobic stereotypes persist in France despite progress in fighting discrimination, a Council of Europe report said. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) issued its fourth report on France with positive comments on the country’s High Authority against Discrimination and for Equality (HALDE) for “its key and growing role in the fight against racism”. However, “while there had been improvements in certain areas, some issues gave rise for concern, such as minorities’ perception of the police, prejudice against Muslims and the tone of the immigration debate,” said Nils Muiznieks, chair of ECRI, the Council’s independent human rights body.
The ECRI’s recommendations included that France consult and take on board HALDE’s recommendations and that it step up the fight against racist comments on the Internet, informing the public that such incitement to racial hatred can be reported to authorities. Paris bans pork-and-wine street party
The woman told Liberation newspaper that she no longer felt at home in the neighbourhood where she had lived all her life.
Paris police banned a controversial “pork sausage and wine” street party planned by extremist groups to combat what they saw as the “Islamisation” of a city neighbourhood.
Her party idea urged revellers to bring along a bottle of wine and a “saucisson”, the sliced, cold sausage that is a staple of traditional French before-dinner drinks.
The event was planned for the evening at a time when the district’s streets are usually jammed with Muslims coming out of mosques and just before Algeria were due to play
But the plan was then taken up by far-right and far-left extremist groups who publicised it on other Internet sites.
Many racial acts go unreported and for those that are referred to authorities there is a low conviction rate, the report said.
The run-down district is dominated by people of north African and sub-Saharan African origin, and its mosques are so full on Fridays, the Muslim day of prayers, that many believers end up praying on the streets outside.
In the political arena, the report noted that most politicians condemn openly racial comments and racerelated acts, but that there are some who exploit the issue. In relation to immigration, “there is widespread suspicion that non-citizens engage in fraud to obtain residence permits and access to rights,” the report said.
“The debate on the prohibition of the niqab (the facecovering veil) has increased feelings of discrimination among Muslims and may result in further excluding some Muslim women from society,” the report said about the government’s considering a ban on Muslim women wearing the full veil in public. Problems of discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, nationality or ethnic origin persists in access to employment, education, housing, and goods and services, the report added. In its response to the report, France stressed that the number of reported racially-motivated acts had increased in recent years. And regarding racial profiling, particularly among young people, France said that “ethnic appearance has nothing to do in the fight against delinquency and it is of no consequence in the (police) decision to check this or that person”, it said.
One of these groups, Riposte Laique (Secular Response), which presents itself as a far-left anti-religious group, said the street party was meant to be a “festive” response to the “fascist-Islamist offensive in France”. The group’s founder Pierre Cassen told i-Tele news channel that “religious militia were occupying the public space” in many streets in the Goutte d’Or area.
“The police frequently resort to racial profiling and take law enforcement decisions on the basis of racial, ethnic or religious stereotypes” rather than individual behaviour, it said.
Regarding Muslims, part of French society doubts their willingness and ability to “respect French values”.
came from a local woman who told French radio about her Facebook page that announced the event to fight against what she saw as the increasing “Islamisation” of her area.
The street party was scheduled to be held on Rue Myrha, where there is a mosque. A French government minister of Algerian descent, Fadela Amara, condemned the planned party as “hateful, racist and xenophobic”. England in the football World Cup. But police banned the event and any rival gatherings in the Goutte d’Or area of northern Paris’ 18th arrondissement, or district, saying in a statement that it was likely to cause “serious risks to public order.” The plan had sparked outrage from politicians and antiracism groups who said it was blatantly racist and could lead to violence on the streets. The controversy comes after a government-sponsored debate on national identity earlier this year spotlighted anxieties about the integration of France’s six million Muslims. The Goutte d’Or party, or “apero geant” as it was called in French, was a new and politically-charged take on a growing trend in France for huge open-air drinks parties. Many of them have been banned because authorities fear mass drunkenness. The original idea for the Goutte d’Or gathering apparently
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Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe for his part voiced concern that the drinks party could turn violent, while the head of the main Paris mosque located in another area invited the faithful to attend prayers there to avoid clashes. A rival group on Facebook had set up a “halal and mint tea” party in response to the pork and wine event. The deputy leader of France’s far-right National Front party, Marine Le Pen, slammed the ban on the event, saying “the French state has capitulated once again”. SOS Racisme had called for the event scheduled to be banned because it sent out a “message of hate and of violence towards groups of people because of their real or supposed origins.” The opposition Communist Party said in a statement that “this disgusting joke seeks to exacerbate the differences that make for the richness of the 18th arrondissement (district).”
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Sheikh Zayed Mosque promotes tolerance
Lebanese women sending aid ship to Gaza
ABU DHABI - The recently established Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre (SZGMC) is organizing a program of daily events and activities. This program forms part of a Prize that is devoted to future Emirati leaders. The new program is held in collaboration with the Sheikh Mohammed bin Khaled Al Nahyan Centre (SMKNC) and the Sheikh Zayed bin Hazaa bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan Prize for “Future Emirati Leaders”. This is a UAE nationwide Prize dedicated to young Emiratis between the ages of twelve and eighteen. These collaborative efforts concentrate on educating young Emiratis and promoting national identity through daily cultural, educational and religious programs. These programs are designed to reflect the UAE’s belief in tolerance and altruism, qualities that are intrinsic in Islam and the Arab and Muslim character. The program also highlights the importance of voluntary work, devotion and discourse with others. It does this by developing the charisma of leaders in accordance with Islamic guidelines and the Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) ‘sunna’ (traditions). “This collaboration is part of SZGMC’s efforts and its enthusiasm for initiating strategic relations with prominent institutes: religious; cultural and educational. These are the types of establishments that we share common goals with, both within the UAE and abroad,” said Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of SZGMC. “The criteria involved in selecting the elements of the program come from the principles of tolerance in Islam. We also wanted to emphasize the notion of national identity in the minds of the young Emiratis, and promote the sense of responsibility that comes with working for charitable causes and voluntary communal efforts. These are long established social codes in the UAE,” added bin Tamim.
“Our aim is to discover young talents through encouraging them to compete for the Prize. These gifted young Emiratis who have demonstrated leadership qualities will play a crucial role in the future development of the country. They will act as vanguards to other students in UAE schools,” said Mouza Al Qubaisi, Director General of SMKNC. “We have interviewed more than 900 male and female students of secondary school age and put them through various tests in order to discover their potential leadership abilities. We selected forty-five students from this group who will go on to participate in our program,” she added. Professional education supervisors from the UAE University and the Ministry of Education will oversee and manage the program. Qubaisi said that the Prize will be awarded annually, and will be run in order to select fifty male and female students and develop their skills to encourage their leadership abilities. “The Prize is made up of five categories: religious; social; cultural; media and personal development,” said Qubaisi. “We put a great deal of effort into identifying and selecting the right programs for these gifted students. We make sure that the categories are effective in promoting the ideas of identity and national pride,” said Sheikh Taleb Al Shehi, the Director of Guidance at the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment.
An aid ship transporting medical supplies to Gaza will leave Lebanon in the coming days with dozens of women activists on board, one of the organizers. “We are all independent women who believe in breaking the siege on Gaza and are committed to the enmity of the Zionist entity,” said Samar Hajj, who is coordinating the trip. She stressed the women were not affiliated with Hezbollah or any other political organization. “This has nothing to do with Hezbollah even though it is an honor for us to be supporters of the resistance,” said Hajj, whose husband Ali Hajj was one of four generals detained for nearly four years in connection with the 2005 car bombing that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Ali Hajj, who was domestic security chief, was released from prison in April last year after a UN-backed tribunal said there was insufficient evidence against
the generals. Hajj’s wife said so far 50 women -Muslim, Christian and secular -- had signed up for the trip on board the cargo ship “Mariam.” Among them are 30 Lebanese and 20 foreigners, including several European nationals. She said all the logistics for the trip had been handled by the Free Palestine Movement, a non-governmental organization. “We are going there because it is our duty,” she said. “The ship will be leaving very soon,” she added, without giving an exact date. Preparations are also underway by other activists to send an aid ship carrying educational supplies and journalists from Lebanon to Gaza. The planned trips come following Israel’s raid last month on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla which left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead and sparked international .
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Jerusalem demolition plan approved The Jerusalem planning committee has given initial approval to a proposal for demolishing 22 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood to make room for a tourist centre.
‘Fast-track Judaisation’ Activists in Silwan denounced the latest move as another step in the “fast-track Judaisation” of East Jerusalem. It pre-empts “the possibility of
threatened to resign their seats on Jerusalem’s city council over the announcement. Mark Regev, Netanyahu’s spokesman, said the prime minister still wants more
PJ Crowley, a for the US state said the US was “concerned” announcement.
spokesman department, government about the
“This is expressly the kind of
The ‘King’s Garden’
Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, requested approval for the controversial plan.
The Palestinian homes targeted for demolition are in Silwan’s al-Bustan quarter, which Israel calls Gan Hamelech - the “King’s Garden” - because the biblical King David supposedly wrote his psalms in the neighborhood.
Palestinians describe the plan as “forced displacement”, but Barkat insists it would revitalize tourism in the neighborhood. Barkat first proposed the demolition months ago, but he shelved the plan in March under pressure from Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. Netanyahu asked Barkat to consult with the Palestinian families who would lose their homes.
The homes would be razed and replaced with a collection of shops, restaurants, art galleries and a large community centre. Israeli officials say the displaced families would be allowed to build new homes elsewhere in the neighborhood - but haven’t said whether they will compensate those families for their losses.
A spokesman for Barkat said on Monday that the municipality had finished those consultations.
Israeli officials say that all of the 88 Palestinian homes in Silwan are built illegally. It is extremely difficult for Palestinians to obtain construction permits in East Jerusalem, so many families build their homes without the required paperwork.
“Now, after fine-tuning the plan and seeking more cooperation with the residents... the municipality is ready to submit the plans for the first stage of approval,” Stephan Miller, Barkat’s spokesman, said. The plan still must undergo several additional approvals before any demolitions take place. The Jerusalem planning committee is the municipal body responsible for approving all construction in the city.
not yet commented on Monday’s decision. Muhammad Ishtayeh, a PA cabinet minister, said after the plan was announced in March that there was “no way” Palestinians could accept it.
Jerusalem ever being a shared city, or indeed capital of a Palestinian state,” they said in a statement. “This in itself precludes peace.” Several members of Meretz, a left-wing Israeli political party,
dialogue with families.
“This is a preliminary planning procedure and it still gives time, more than enough time, for dialogue to continue,” he said.
step that we think undermines trust that is fundamental to making progress to the proximity talks and ultimately to direct negotiations,” Crowley said. The Palestinian Authority has
Barkat’s proposal would allow residents of the other 66 Silwan homes - the ones not slated for demolition - to retroactively apply for construction permits, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.
Road shipments to Gaza begin Road shipments of goods to the Gaza Strip are under way following Israel’s decision to change the conditions of its blockade of the Palestinian territory. Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston, reporting from the Keram Abu Salem crossing, said on Tuesday more than 100 lorries loaded with goods had begun arriving in the coastal enclave.
lorryloads a day of food and trade goods for Gaza as soon as Palestinian co-ordinators organized the extra capacity on their side. “The list of items that will not be allowed into the Gaza Strip is still being concluded and will be
“This is just another way for Israel to deceive the world,” he told Al Jazeera.
its patrons in Iran, who pretend there’s a humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” he said on Monday.
The blockade of Gaza, implemented three years ago, has been criticized as collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians.
Israel has said the siege is a necessary measure to prevent smuggling of weapons to Hamas, which rules the strip. Hamas dismisses reasoning as untrue.
“The blockade caused damage to us: it did not enable us to weaken the Hamas power or to speed up the release of Gilad Shalit,” he told Israel army radio.
Previously, only products mentioned on lists drawn up by Israel were allowed into the territory. The list of permitted items was never published and would change weekly.
“One should not cling to principles that bring no profit and for which one has to pay.”
Our correspondent said there was a lot of uncertainty about what kind of products Israel was planning to allow into Gaza.
Unfettered access urged Critics say the new rules could still make it difficult to import building materials to rebuild the territory, which was heavily damaged during Israel’s 22-day assault which started in late December 2008.
“We know that Israel won’t allow the people of Gaza to export anything and we also know Israel won’t allow import of raw materials,” she said. ‘Bit of excitement’
“Israel will be allowing spare parts for cars into Gaza. That hasn’t been allowed in for a few years although it has been smuggled through tunnels,” she said. “It will also allow oil for engines, tyres, spare parts for agriculture, furniture, make-up and perfume.” Officials at a freight terminal at the Israeli side of the crossing [known to Israelis as Kerem Shalom] said they were ready to handle up to 120
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s environment minister, admitted that the blockade did not achieve the desired effect of weakening Hamas.
Israel has said it will allow the import of “civilian” goods, but will continue to restrict items they say could be used to build weapons, including cement and steel rods.
Our correspondent said people greeted the news of items expected in the next few days with “quite a bit of excitement”.
published later,” an official said.
At Keram Abu Salem, everything was offloaded in big corrals made of twostorey-high concrete slabs.
Israel came under strong pressure to ease the blockade after its May 31 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla ships killed nine activists, sparking an international outcry.
After the Israeli lorries left, the gates were closed, and Palestinian drivers coming in from the Gaza side reloaded the shipments. Ahmed Yousef, the Hamas deputy foreign minister in Gaza, has dismissed Israel’s new conditions as a public-relations stunt and said it would not greatly improve conditions in Gaza.
The naval blockade will remain even under the new rules. Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has said the new order “strengthens our position towards our friends” in the world. “It pulls the rug out from under Hamas’s main propaganda tool and
Christopher Gunness of UNRWA, the United Nations relief agency that looks after Palestinian refugees, said: “We need to have the blockade fully lifted.” “The Israeli strategy is to make the international community talk about a bag of cement here, a project there. We need full unfettered access through all the crossings,” he told the Reuters news agency. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, also repeated his calls for the total removal of the blockade. He said that letting some materials in was not the way to end the suffering of Palestinians in the enclave.
The Importance of good companionship Choosing and having good companions is extremely important for many reasons and from many aspects. 1. Mankind cannot live alone; every individual must live and interact with others, and when interacting with others one either influences or is himself influenced. 2. Those people whom you sit with and make your friends are inevitably going to fall into one of two categories. They will either be good individuals - who guide and encourage you towards what is good and help you to accomplish that which Allaah has ordered, or they are going to be bad - encouraging you to do what is pleasing to Satan, that which misleads you, and leads you to the Hell-Fire.
the same nature, manner and behavior as his friend. So we must be careful whom we befriend. There is an Arabic saying: ‘Your companion is what pulls you to something.’ So if your companion is good, he will pull you towards that which is good. He will order us with what is good and forbid us from what is evil. If he observes us committing sins he would warn us, if he becomes aware of our shortcomings he would advise us, and if he finds a fault in us he would cover it and not disclose it to others. About this, the Prophet, sallallaahu
These three aspects show the importance of having good companions, companions who are righteous. Such a companion will help you to do what is good and remind you of Allaah, he will enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. These aspects also show the importance of avoiding befriending bad companions, because such a companion will have a bad effect upon you, they help you to do those deeds which are displeasing to Allaah and which lead to the Hell-Fire.
The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, explained the matter of good companionship, so that no room is left for doubt or confusion, when he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: “A person is upon the religion of his close friend, so beware whom you befriend.” [Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi] This means that a person will be upon the same methodology as his friend, the same path as his friend,
Indeed, the reason that one takes a companion is to help him establish Islam, and to help him worship Allaah. We find a good example in the Prophet Moosaa, may Allaah exalt his mention, the one whom Allaah chose and spoke to. When Allaah sent him to Pharaoh, he (Moosaa), may Allaah exalt his mention, said as Allaah informs us saying (what means): “And appoint for me a helper from my family, Haaroon - my brother; increase my strength with him, and let him share my task (of conveying Allaah’s Message and Prophethood), that we may glorify You much and remember You much.” [Quran; 20: 29-34] Moosaa, may Allaah exalt his mention, wanted his brother to support him and help him, protect him and accompany him. This is exactly what the believers do for one another. For the thing that binds the believers together and makes them brothers is the bond of faith. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: “There are three characteristics; whoever has them will taste the sweetness of faith: That Allaah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than all else, that he loves a person and does not love him except for the sake of Allaah, and that he would hate to revert to unbelief just as he would hate to be thrown into the Fire.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
3. When the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, was sent with the mission to establish Islam, he did not do it on his own. Rather, Allaah chose for him companions who accompanied him and who carried the Message until it was complete.
The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, gave a good similitude regarding this. He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: “The case of the good companion and the bad companion is like that of the seller of musk and the blower of the bellows (iron-smith). As for the seller of musk, he will either give you some of the musk, or you will purchase some from him, or at least you will come away having experienced its good smell. Whereas the blower of the bellows will either burn your clothing, or at least you will come away having experienced its repugnant smell.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
alayhi wa sallam, said: “…Whoever conceals (the fault of) a Muslim, Allaah will conceal his fault on the day of Judgment.” [Abu Daawood] So should you see a fault in your brother, you should wish to remove that fault from him and not expose it to the people. This is what is required by brotherhood and again stresses the importance of choosing friends who are upon the correct way, who are loyal, and who hide your faults whilst ordering you with good and forbidding you from evil, who stand beside you and support you, and co-operate with you upon all that is good. This principle is important from the standpoint of how the religion is to be established, and from the standpoint of what brotherhood is and what it does.
Thus the connection between the believers is based upon faith and sincere brotherhood. Beware against taking any companion if such companionship is based upon other than this, for if you were to do that you would then bite your hands in grief. Just as the unjust ones will bite their hands in grief. Allaah Says (what means): “And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer (oppressor, polytheist etc.) will bite at his hand, he will say: ‘Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger. Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend! He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (the Quran) after it had come to me….’” [Quran; 25:27] And Allaah Says (what means): “And whosoever turns away from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent (Allaah), We appoint for him Satan to be a Qareen (intimate companion) to him.” [Quran; 43:36] So all of the physical togetherness that you see around you, which is based upon other than faith will be wiped away on that Day, and it will be a source of misery and torture for them. Allaah Says (what means): “Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except the pious.” [Quran; 43:67]
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ISLAM / FAMILY
Dawah in history
From an Islamic perspective, there is absolutely no compulsion on people to embrace it. People have always entered Islam willingly. The historical presence of non-Muslim minorities living among Muslims is evidence of tolerance in Islaam. Islam spread in the most populated Muslim countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and within Africa through contact between the natives and Muslim travellers and merchants, who brought with them not only goods, but also Islamic values such as straight dealing, honesty and generosity.
Could Da’wah Fail? Allaah will guide, through Da’wah (Islamic propagation), those who are worthy and qualified for His Mercy; those who have good hearts and are sincerely searching for the truth. He will turn away from it those who do not deserve His mercy; those who chose to divert from His way. This is decreed according to His perfect Wisdom and Knowledge. The success of Da’wah is guaranteed as a fulfilment of Allaah’s promises; He Says (what means): “… And
He Says (what means): “Indeed, it is We who sent down the message [i.e., the Quran], and indeed, We will be its guardian.” [Quran: 15:9] 3. Allaah promised to make Da’wah prevail and reach every place on earth, so that all mankind will be aware that Islaam is the truth from their Lord; He Says (what means): “We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth...” [Quran: 41:53] 4.Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam assured us that Islam is the religion of the future and will spread all over the world when he said: “Indeed, Islam will reach every place that the day and night reach. There is no house (in city or desert) on the Earth except that Islam will enter it.” [Ahmad]
The impact of Muslims upon these communities was tremendous. In Singapore, near the port where the Arab traders used to land, the residents say that the natives used to prefer to buy from Muslim merchants because they expected good treatment and fair prices. As was the case in most of the areas to which Islam spread, peaceful and voluntary reversion was far more important than conquest and force in spreading the faith in Southeast Asia. Almost everywhere in the islands of the region, trading contacts paved the way for reversion. Muslim merchants and sailors introduced local peoples to the ideas and rituals of the new faith and impressed on them how much of the known world had already been reverted. The first areas to be won to Islam in the last decades of the 13th century were several small port centres on the northern coast of Sumatra. From these ports, the religion spread in the following centuries across the Strait of Malacca to Malaya. It is unfair to compare the spread of Islaam in Asia and Africa with the spread of Islaam in the West, and blame Muslims for not effectively promoting their religion in the West. Unlike the modern western world, the Asians’ and Africans’ history was free from hostility and enmity against Muslims, and therefore, their reversion to Islam was natural and easy.
Due to all of these reasons, Da’wah can never fail; that is why Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam expected his followers to outnumber the followers of other prophets; He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “All of the prophets before me were given (tangible) miracles, due to which, people believed in them. But the miracle that has been given to me is indeed a revelation that Allaah revealed to me [i.e., Quran and Sunnah]. So I hope, on the Day of Judgement, my followers will outnumber the followers of other prophets.” [Al-Bukhaari] who is more truthful than Allaah…” [Quran: 4:87] 1. Allaah promised to make the way for Da’wah easy for Prophet Muhammad salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allaah exalt his mention) and his followers alike; He Says (what means): “And We will ease you toward ease.” [Quran: 87:8] 2. Allaah also promised to preserve the Quran, His last guidance to mankind. It is forever protected from any sort of distortion, change, or modification;
In order for Da’wah to be effective, the caller must have sincere intention and, above all, a strong sense of piety. In order to share Islam with people, we must develop strong relationships within our Ummah (Muslim community) to support these efforts with Da’wah centres and well-written material. Each of us has a gift from Allaah and we should not ignore our obligation in fear of rejection or failure, but join together to contribute our talents and resources to share the gift of Islaam.
Raising new Muslim generations The greatest concern of the conversant Muslim reformer is to raise a new Muslim generation that deserves to be named the ‘victorious generation’. This is the top priority of our nation. A generation that brings Islam to its pure springs, understands it rightly and completely, free from redundancy and blemishes. It is not an Islam of myths in its doctrines, of religious innovation or heresy in devotions, negativity in morals, or inactivity, imitation and fanaticism to one school of Fiqh (jurisprudence) over another. Rather, it is the Islam which is revealed in the Quran, propagated by the Noble Messenger, Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in which the Companions may Allaah be pleased with them believed; by which the rightly guided Caliphs may Allaah be pleased with them ruled; upon which a sound lofty civilisation was erected. A civilisation that linked the earth to the heaven, led the world by religion and brought knowledge and assuredness together. It is the Islam of the Quran and Sunnah (prophetic sayings, actions and approvals), of truth and strength, learning and acting, Jihaad and Ijtihaad (juristic reasoning in the absence of texts from the Quran or the Sunnah), and of comprehensiveness and balance. What is meant by Jihaad here is not “holy war” in one sense only, rather, it is in its broader concept, which is the opposition of all kinds of wrong and crookedness whether it stems from ones’ self, Satan or other people. Opposing one’s whims and Satan’s whispers is a high rank of Jihaad. Fighting the enemies who oppose Allaah’s Message and hinder its spread or those who transgress
on Islam and Muslims is one aspect of Jihaad. It is the Islam of individual dignity, family ties, social solidarity, Shooraa (counselling), productivity, and fairness in distribution of duties and rights. Islam redirects the entire individual’s life for the sake of Allaah, the Most High, namely, no
one portion, called ‘the state,’ being for Caesar; and the other, called ‘religion’ for God, because Caesar and his state both belong to Allaah, The One and Only. Islam invites to justice, even if it is for the interest of its deadliest enemies; Allaah Says (what means): “…And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being
righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allaah…”[Quran: 5:2] Islam battles with the atheist communists and the capitalists, and rejects class struggle and oppressive sects. It calls for religiosity that instils love; not for sectarianism that inculcates grudge. Islam also fights oppressive rulers and the oppressors’ rule. It is Islam that says to the ruler: “Do not oppress” and to the people: “Do not cringe.” It teaches the Muslim to supplicate in his prayer: “O Allaah! We do thank You and refuse to be ungrateful; we cast and abandon whoever disobeys You.” Islam makes the best type of Jihaad speaking the truth before a tyrant ruler. It aids the weak till they get their rights from the strong and fights the rich, should they abstain from paying Zakaah (obligatory alms) to the poor. It urges believers to fight in defence of the oppressed. Allaah Says (what means): “…in the cause of Allaah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children…” [Quran 4:75]
ulterior motives, no conflict; as the purpose is united, the direction is fixed, and the path is clear; Allaah Says (what means): “Say (O Muhammad): ‘Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allaah, Lord of the worlds.’” [Quran 6:162] It is Islam that makes the whole life of the society for the sake of Allaah, the Most High. It cannot be divided into two conflicting powers:
just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allaah; Indeed Allaah is Acquainted with what you do.” [Quran 5:8] It also forbids aggression, even if it is towards its most hostile adversaries; Allaah Says (what means): “…And do not let the hatred of a people for having obstructed you from Al-Masjid Al-Haraam (in Makkah), lead you to commit aggression. And cooperate in
This is Islam of the Quran and Sunnah, as understood, believed in and invited to by such a desired generation. It is this Islam that has illuminated the minds and hearts of past generations. With its guidance they realised their goal, made their way to glory, knew themselves and their Lord, their religion, world, heritage, age, life, friends and foes. With Islam, one would know who shows him the way and who wants to mislead and derail him off the right track.
DEAR SISTER HANA / HEALTH
DEAR SISTER HANA
Sister Hana is a Certified Counselor from Arizona State University. She is a Muslim therapist who is able to provide guidance and support to my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters in an Islamic and therapeutic way. She has experience in a large range of concerns including depression, anxiety, identity crisis, relationships, life skills, coping skills, anger management, and trauma. Inshallah with this column she will be able to provide you with confidentiality and help to any concern you may have. Please feel free to write to us and anticipate my reply in the monthly edition of Muslim Voice to email@example.com Dear Sister Hana,
happened, your only two options are accepting or staying miserable.
I am a Muslim brother who recently got into a car accident. This accident has caused me paralysis in my two legs. Ever since this happened to me, my life has been going down hill. I need help from everything to get things done, I feel tied down to this wheelchair and my wife and I are having problems as well. I can help but be very hurt and angry at what happened and I feel very miserable everyday. I don’t think that there is anything that can happen or that I can do to help me feel better, but I know that I am sick of feeling this way. Is there any advice you can give me that may help me in anyway?
It sounds to me that you have been living miserable ever since it happened, and its not working out and you sick of feeling this way as you said in your question. Therefore you only other option is to accept what has happened to you. acceptance does not mean that you will love or like what happened to you, but that you are able to be at peace with it and feel neutral about it. You have to find a way to make your life worth living with the situation that you are in.
Dear Brother, Thank you so much for sharing with me and the readers your story. My heart goes out to you, you are going through a truly rough situation. There are things that happen in our lives that we might never understand why they happened to us. Islam gives us peace of mind in that sense, if we don’t understand why we are going through what we are going through, we should trust that everything happens for a reason and that we may never understand what that reason is, or we may understand it later on in our life. I know that at this point there may not be one good thing that you can get out of being in your situation. At the same time though, your reality does not have to be as miserable as it is. There is a difference between living a challenging reality and accepting it, or living a challenging reality while suffering through it. The difference between the two situations are not the reality of the matter, but how you can perceive and choose to live in your reality. When ever something happens in our life we have four choice and only these four choices. We can either, 1) solve the problem, 2) change how we feel about it, 3) accept it, 4) stay miserable. When thing happen in our life that are “good”- we have a an easy time accepting those things. However when things in our life happen that are “not good” and in your situation, you cannot solve the problem or really change how you feel about what
To help you with this, think of a someone that you know that has a disability and still is able to find meaning in their life. There are many people like this that are on TV because people admire them for making their life worth living with their disability. Think to yourself, what do they do that you are not doing? The answer is they accept their reality, they don’t fight their reality. Reality is what it is and fighting it will not change it. You also have to help yourself think thoughts that help you accept, for example, instead of thinking thoughts that may make you feel worse like, “why did this happen to me, I hate my life” turn your mind to thinking thoughts life “I can get through this, I am worthy of a good life and love, my situation could be worse….”etc. Another suggestion that I have is to every day make a list of things that you are grateful for in your life. Remember that Allah promised that if we thank him for what he has given us, he will give us more of those things. So try to think of things that make you happy and things that you are grateful for having in your life. In conclusion, you are going through a really hard challenge, prayer and duaa can be really helpful for you and I pray that Allah gives you the patience and the willingness to apply these ideas to your life to help you feel better. May Allah reward your for your patience. Thank you. Sincerely, Sister Hana
How To Use Herbs Safely Most popular medicinal herbs are reasonably safe for most people most of the time when taken in recommended amounts. But remember herbs do contain pharmacologically active compounds that have powerful effects on the body when taken in medicinal doses. They therefore can potentially cause harm – allergic reactions, side effects, possible foetal injury, interactions with other herbs and drugs, and death. Overall, herbs are safer than drugs, but they are potent medicine, and anyone who uses them should do so cautiously and responsibly. Fortunately you don’t need to be a master herbalist to use medicinal herbs safely. All you need is a little information and some common sense. The following sage advice on using herbs safely comes mostly from Michael Castleman’s bestseller The New Healing Herbs: Before you take any herb, read up on it Don’t just listen to friends and relatives. Do your own research. The information in the Family Herbalist Mastery Program is a good starting point. Take any warnings seriously. When in doubt about the appropriateness of the herb for your condition, don’t use it. Limit your use to those herbs that are widely recommended in popular herb books. Don’t take herb identity for granted Only buy herbs and herb products that identify the herb by its Latin binomial name – that is, genus and species. For example, thyme’s binomial name is Thymus vulgaris. You will learn more about botanical names in the Planning and Planting A Wildly Successful Herb Garden course. Stick with the recommended dosage, and never exceed it Some people assume that if a little herb is good, more must be better. Wrong. Herbal dosage recommendations are based on centuries of clinical experience and, often, scientific research. If you are over age 65, start with a low dose. As we grow older, we become
more sensitive to medicinal herbs and drug effects. In addition, older people often take other medications. You don’t want to risk adverse herb-drug interactions. Rather increase the dose gradually. You will study dosages in depth later on in this course. Respect your individuality We are all different. You may be allergic to one or more herbs or you may develop other unusual reactions. Stay alert for any adverse reactions such as abdominal upset, diarrhoea, itching, rash, headache – anything out of the ordinary. If you notice any unusual symptoms that appear to be linked to the herb, stop taking it and discuss your reaction(s) with your health care provider. Even if you are not allergic, you may still be unusually sensitive to one or more medicinal herbs. Doctors refer to this as an idiopathic reaction. Idiopathic means “for unknown reasons” – in other words just one of those things. Out of the blue, you may react badly to an herb that’s generally considered safe. It happens. If you are pregnant or nursing, use herbs with caution It is a persistent medical principal that one should refrain from giving medicines to a pregnant woman unless absolutely necessary. Fortunately, the issues are less worrisome for the use of herbal remedies than they are for conventional drugs. Nevertheless, herbalists still refrain from medicating where possible, and then they prefer herbs that are positively vetted as good. Again, do your research. Don’t give herbal children under age 2
While some herbalists contend that herbal remedies are okay for children 6 months and older, we take a more conservative position in this course. Use your discretion and apply the recommendations discussed in the lesson on dosages. Think twice before jumping on a herbs bandwagon Be cautious about unusual or new
foreign remedies that have not stood the test of long-term use. Be extra careful when taking an old popular herb with a new “breakthrough” use. A good case in point is St. John’s wort which flew of the shelves of stores when it was shown to have an important new benefit as an antidepressant. What people did not know was the adverse interaction of St. John’s wort with drugs like protease inhibitors and cyclosporine. Never on Sunday’s Always challenge a treatment: if after several weeks it is thought that the herb is useful, or even if there are doubts, stop the herb for a period of time and see if it is still necessary. Take the herb for six days, then break a day. Or take it for four weeks and then break a week. Whichever time scale you decide on, you must challenge the treatment. Use your common sense Never persist with any herbal remedy after a moderate period of time (preferably no more than several weeks, a couple of months at the outside) if it is not clearly improving the condition concerned. Contrary to popular belief, most herbs do not take months to work, it is the condition that sets the pace; if it is going to take months to correct professional
advice would in any case be preferable. Consult your health care provider In most cases you can safely treat any ailment for which you normally would have opted for over-the-counter remedies, without getting professional advice, with herbal remedies. But you have to draw the line somewhere. Our position is that you should in all cases consult your doctor. Be especially careful of self diagnosis. It may land you in hospital and/or cost you your life.
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This thick, stewlike soup is eaten in many countries of the Middle East, often forming the centerpiece of simple peasant meals. Salads, olives, bread, and yogurt dishes are served on the side. Although soaked shickpeas are generally tender enough to eat after an hour of cooking, it is important here that they cook longer. This way the chickpeas themselves get somewhat softer, the liquid thickens considerably, and the soup develops a cohesion that it would otherwise lack. It might be a good idea to taste the soup before putting in the lemon juice. Chickpea broth has a natural sweetness that you may prefer to leave untouched. 2 cups dried chickpeas, picked over, washed, and drained 2 medium-sized onions, peeled, and chopped
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2 medium-sized boiling potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch dice 1 T. salt, or to taste
1 c Lentils
1/2 t. ground turmeric
2 Fresh chili peppers
1 t. ground cumin seeds
1 1/2 c Regular rice
1 t. ground coriander seeds
1 1/2 c Tomato sauce
1/8 t. cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 c Elbow macaroni
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs Vinegar
2 T. lemon juice Soak the chickpeas in 8 cups of water for 12 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Put the chickpeas, onions, and 8 cups water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover partially, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for 1 hour. Add the potatoes, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and another 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on very low heat for another 1-1/2 hours. Stir a few times during this period. Check seasonings. Add the black pepper and lemon juice. Stir to mix.
3 Tbs Oil 1 lg Onion Place lentils in a saucepan and cover by 1”. Turn heat to high, bring to a boil, turn down heat to simmer, and cook covered for 35 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
In a small skillet add 1 Tbs of oil and sauté finely chopped peppers for 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of water, and the vinegar, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. In another skillet heat 2 Tbs oil, add onions and sauté until brown around the edges. Garnish lentil mixture with the onions and pour the tomato sauce over all. Serve immediately.
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add rice turn down to simmer for 20 minutes and fluff up rice with a fork and add to lentils. Boil 2 quarts of water, add elbow macaroni and cook until tender. Add to lentils.
Saudi Samboosak 3 cups flour 2 grated onions 1 1/2 cups oil 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon bread spices(yeast, fennel, poppy seed) 1 teaspoon cumin Oil for frying Water 1 lb. ground beef or lamb Put the flour in a deep bowl, add the bread spices and salt. Add the oil and rub with fingertips. Add water and a pinch of salt a little at a time, mixing thoroughly
until dough is binding. Divide into small pieces, place on a tray and put in a warm place for one hour. Put ground meat, onion, salt, pepper and cumin in a frying pan and cook over low heat. Cool. Roll each piece of dough into a round, about 1/16 inch thick. Place a tablespoon of meat in the center of each round and seal then twist the edges. Heat the oil and deep fry the samboosak on both sides. Serve hot. Serves 8-10 persons.
CALENDAR / ANNOUNCEMENTS
Phoenix Prayer Times
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DIRECTIONS TO THE ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTER CEMETERY
ISLAMIC WEEKEND SCHOOLS
July 2010 • Rajab / Shaban 1431 H
July 2010 • Rajab / Shaban 1431 H
Islamic Community Center of Phoenix:
Sunday at 9:45 am-1:20 pm.
Islamic Cultural Center:
Sunday at 10:00 am
Muslim Community Mosque:
Sunday at 10:00 am until 2:30 pm.
Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm.
ICNEV Weekend Islamic School
Tel: (480) 346-2081Classes held on Sunday
FROM THE ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTER (ICC):
Check our website for up to date information www.tempemasjid.com
1) Go South on Forest to University Drive. Turn right. 2) Go West on University to the I-10 highway. Take I-10 East. 3) Proceed on I-10 East (~12 Miles). Exit at Queen Creek Rd. (EXIT #164). 4) Turn right on route 347 South. Proceed for about 14 miles. 5) Turn right on route 238 West. Proceed for about 8.7 miles. 6) Turn right on unnamed/unpaved street after you see the street sign which reads “36 miles” and proceed to the cemetery.
K thru’ grade 12 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. ACA Weekend School
Sunday 10:00 am-1:15 pm. www.azacademy.org/weekend
Sultan Education in Chandler
Saturdays & Sundays - children/adults 480-593-7066
Greenway Islamic Academy
Tajweed, Islamic Studies, & Arabic Language 602-565-0500
IN CASE OF DEATH • Call Sandy at Angel’s Burial, at 480-962-6435 • Total cost is $1,800.00
COLORING CONTEST June Winner
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Hint: If the paper is too thin to color, make a Xerox copy then color it. Ages 3-12, please send a picture of yourself.
COLORING CONTEST FOR KIDS
ISLAMIC CENTERS IN ARIZONA
PHOENIX Arizona Cultural Academy 7810 S. 42nd Pl. • Phoenix 602-454-1222 Islamic Center of Arizona 9032 N. 9th St. • Phoenix
Islamic Center of N. Phoenix 13246 N. 23rd Ave. 85029 602-371-3440 Islamic Comnty Ctr of Phx 7516 N. Black Canyon Hwy. Phoenix • 602-249-0496 Muslim Community Mosque 1818 N. 32nd St. • Phoenix 602-306-4959 Masjid Al-Rahmah 2645 E. McDowell Rd. • Phoenix 602-275-5493 Masjid Muhammad Ibn Abdullah
5648 N. 15th ave. Phoenix, AZ 85015 602-413-5279
Al Rasoul Mosque 5302 N. 35th Ave. • Phoenix 602-864-1817 PEORIA Greenway Islamic Center 6724 West Greenway • Peoria, AZ www.greenwaymasjid.com
SCOTTSDALE Islamic Center of N.E. Valley 12125 E. Via Linda • Scottsdale 480-612-4044 CHANDLER Masjid AsSalam 1071 N. Alma School Rd.• Chandler 480-250-7522
TEMPE Islamic Comnty Ctr of Tempe Islamic Center of East Valley 131 E. 6th Street • Tempe 425 N. Alma School Dr. • 480-894-6070 Chandler 602-388-9900 Masjid Al Mahdi 1016 S. River Dr. • Tempe LAVEEN 480-557-9699 Islamic Center of Laveen P.O. Box 1107 • Laveen Masjid Omar Bin Al-Khattab 602-361-4401 6225 S.McClintock • Tempe 480-775-6627 MARICOPA Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabah MESA 44240 W. Maricopa/ Masjid-el-Noor CasaGranda Hwy 55 N. Matlock • Mesa Maricopa Arizona 85139 con480-644-0074 tact# (602)312-7913
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Muslim Voice July 2010