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AMERICAN-MUSLIMS COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
Vol.13 Issue No.169
October 2010 Shawwal / Dhul-Qadah 1431H
Disney Agrees to Allow Hijab for Muslim Intern ANAHEIM, CA -- The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on AmericanIslamic Relations (CAIR-LA) announced that a Chicago Muslim woman employed as an intern at Disneyland in Anaheim has been allowed to wear an Islamic head scarf, or hijab, at work. The Chicago Muslim was hired as a “vacation planner” following a phone interview through Disney’s College Program. However, when she arrived in California for her training and orientation, she was asked by Disney representatives why she had not informed them of her head scarf.
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Local Muslims thoughts on”Ground Zero Mosque?
She was then told she would have to take a different position with less guest interaction and would have to work in the stockroom until Disney could create a customized uniform for her in the different position. When she asked to be accommodated in the vacation planner position, she was told that a customized uniform would take approximately the length of time -- five months -- equal to the entire length of the Muslim woman’s internship. The Muslim intern stated to Disney that wearing hijab was her religious practice and
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legal right and that not being able to work with customers would adversely impact her career goals and aspirations. She also told Disney that she had moved away from her family and paid for airfare and housing in Southern California with the understanding that she would be serving as an intern in vacation planning. Within a week, Disney offered an accommodation for her in the vacation planner role. “We are pleased that Disney found a way to fulfill the Muslim employee’s religious accommodation request,” said CAIR-LA Staff Attorney and Deputy Executive Director Ameena Qazi who also represented the Muslim intern. “This sends a message to prospective minority applicants and employees that they are a welcome and valuable addition to Disney’s team.” Following CAIR-LA’s intervention, Disney was able to provide a clothing option that met the woman’s religious requirements and that was within the company’s vacation planning uniform guidelines. CAIRLA is now urging Disney to implement a corporate-wide policy that reflects an employee’s legally-protected right to wear religious attire.
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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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Tucson Group “Polices” the Police on Immigration New America Media, News Report, Valeria Fernández TUCSON, Ariz.— A coalition of community groups in Tuscon is using video to show how readily police are cooperating with Border Patrol, despite local law enforcement’s stated opposition to Arizona’s new immigration law before it took effect. The “Yo Soy Testigo” (“I’m a witness”) campaign, launched by Tucson-based Coalición Derechos Humanos, seeks to shine a light on the practice of police cooperation with Border Patrol in the city. The group, in partnership with PanLeft Productions and Migra Patrol CopWatch, has been using video cameras to document just how often police officers are detaining Latinos— with or without documents— and turning them over to immigration authorities. The group hopes that the videos will increase community awareness of how police are really treating Latinos, despite their supposed opposition to SB1070, and will pressure law enforcement to change its policies. “We want to expose this reality and for people in the community to take responsibility,” said Isabel Garcia, director of Coalición de Derechos Humanos. She urges people to call the Yo Soy Testigo hotline to report any incidents so they can be videotaped and documented. Prior to SB 1070, local police departments and other state agencies already had their own policies to detain undocumented immigrants on a discretionary basis. Had a court allowed the new law to take full effect, such detentions would have become mandatory throughout Arizona. But the mandatory detention provision of SB 1070 provoked a strong outcry from the state’s local law officers. “We are not interested in enforcing federal immigration law,” said Captain Michael Gillooly, the Tucson Police Department’s chief of staff. “The problem with SB 1070 is that it mandated we did that.” In an interview with the Arizona Daily Star in July, Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said: “Although illegal immigration has undeniable impacts on Arizona, requiring local police already strapped for resources to act as immigration agents is not the answer.”
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department and the South Tucson Police Department also opposed SB 1070. But despite such widespread opposition, videos captured by Jason Aragon of PanLeft and Migra Patrol Copwatch show a different picture. A recent video posted online, titled “SB 1070 is in full effect,” shows a woman detained by Tucson police and then shortly after taken away by Border Patrol. Lynda Cruz, a volunteer with Migra Patrol CopWatch, was present that day, and said the woman was pulled over for a minor infraction. The woman, a legal resident, had forgotten her wallet at home and didn’t have any identification, Cruz says. Volunteers like Cruz advise people who are detained to refuse to speak
“People don’t complain? How are they going to complain if they are the ones retaliated against?” responded Garcia of the Coalición de Derechos Humanos. The situation in Tucson hasn’t attracted nearly as much media attention as the controversial immigration raids in Latino neighborhoods in Phoenix by Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies. But, in many ways, the dynamics at play in Tucson are creating heightened tensions. About 40 percent of the city’s halfmillion residents are Latinos. Tucson, located less than two hours from the Mexican border, is also home to a Border Patrol station, which facilitates more direct cooperation between police and U.S. immigration authorities. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has 3,300 Border Patrol agents dedicated to the Tucson sector of the border. In the past five years, the Border Patrol added 1,000 agents as part of a federal effort to escalate border security. Unlike Phoenix, it is not uncommon to see Border Patrol cars driving through Tucson. Many of those who work at the Border Patrol station live in the community. “People are divided over this issue,” said Alex González, a volunteer [or “promotoras”] with Coalición de Derechos Humanos. “Even families are divided on this.”
with their captors and to request the presence of their attorney. When New America Media asked about this incident, Gillooly said the Tucson Police Department was confident that the officer acted appropriately and was following department policy. “Our investigation of that revealed that when the Border Patrol arrived, that female refused to answer any questions,” Gillooly said. He said the federal agent was forced to take her to the station to check whether she was an undocumented immigrant. When asked why the police detained this woman and called the Border Patrol, Gillooly said he wouldn’t provide any more information. Cruz said similar incidents have occurred in South Tucson, an area that is predominantly Hispanic. Gillooly said the department has not seen an increase in complaints from community members about possible racial profiling or police abuse.
She said the new “Yo Soy Testigo” hotline has been flooded with calls denouncing police detentions and cooperation with Border Patrol. One of the calls she took last week came from Gerardo Robles, a heartbroken undocumented immigrant, who sobbed over the phone in desperation. His wife, who was also undocumented, was pulled over by a Tucson police officer in a traffic stop. The officer called the Border Patrol, and now his wife is in a detention center. Robles and his family have been living in Tucson for six years. He said they considered leaving the state because of SB 1070 but had been hoping for the best— in the past, police had stopped him on several occasions but had never called the Border Patrol. The politics behind SB 1070 might have changed things, he said. “A criminal that traffics with drugs— those people are in the streets,” he said. “They are the ones that are free. My wife was coming back from work to feed our two children.”
Word on the Street “What are your thoughts about the Mosque near Ground Zero issue?” Muslim Voice
build a center where we choose.” Nahid Hiermandi
By: Sumbal Akhter “At this point in time, I think that they should not move it because it will send a wrong message to the extremists. Then the issue would be how near is too near? And how far away is far enough?” Pervaiz Akhter “I think that the controversy about building the mosque is huge. Because the word on the street that has been going on for years now, they think that “Muslims” did that attacks on 9/11. However, I think that years later, as America, it is time to begin a new chapter. Just like Michael Moore had stated, “If the Mosque Isn’t Built, This Is No Longer America” and I believe exactly that.” Tasneem Turk “The question of whether the Islamic community center should be built near Ground Zero or not is overdone and we as Muslims need to explore the bigger picture: the role of the media. I feel that many Muslim Americans would not react this strongly in supporting the building of the center, were it not for the widespread coverage it’s receiving in the media and by celebrities. Where were the cries and protests when the feds moved to confiscate several Islamic Educational Center assets and buildings back in November of 2009, because of their supposed ties with Iran (remember, anyone?) Have we Muslims succumbed to the media’s manipulative bandwagon effect? Let’s start with not feeling apologetic about being Muslim in America. Then maybe people would take us seriously and the next time there is an issue with one of our places of worship, we wouldn’t need to wait for the media to tell us that it is our right to want to
“Very simple, “Why not?” The way I see it is, it’s a piece of open land. They just want to build a community center for the Muslims which will contain a prayer room, so it’s not even a mosque. I’m pretty sure if they decided to build a church, no one including Muslims, would make any big fuss about it. I guess that goes to show the difference between us.” Amina Saad “I understand the heated emotions some people have toward the ground zero mosque, however I think it is absolutely ridiculous how the media has manipulated peoples minds into thinking this “ground zero mosque” as something negative. When in reality if they just presented the simple facts of what was being built, the actual location (blocks away from the ground zero sight) and let people do the judgment, I feel like this topic would not have escalated this high.
Moreover, even though this mosque is blocks away from ground zero, or even if it was very close to the actual September 11th incident it does not mean Muslims can be out-casted from the area. Muslims bled and felt the same pain physically and emotionally on that quite September morning. Yes people have the right to freedom of speech, which is being practiced heavily. But Muslims have the right to freedom of religion, which states they are free to practice anywhere. Which they should fight to protect. This mosque has to be built, if Muslims let people bully them around now, this is not going to be a good example for our future generations, if we can not protect our Ummah now, how do we expect the next generation to?”
Noreen Rana “It’s a place of prayer and peace and I wish everyone could see it that way.” Safa Akhter
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Arizona voters face choices on spending priorities By PAUL DAVENPORT PHOENIX (AP) _ Proposition 302 on Arizona’s general election ballot is about priorities. Passage of the referendum means tobacco tax dollars now allocated to an array of early childhood services under a 2006 voterapproved initiative would instead go into the general fund for the Legislature to appropriate. Defeat would keep the money flowing to the First Things First program. Its services include providing vision and hearing screenings, coaching for parents, obesity counseling and tips for child care providers. Voters will be deciding the issue at a time when many government services, including health care and prisons, face a strong possibility of more funding cuts because of state budget troubles that seemingly just won’t stop.
Proposition 302 would immediately transfer a projected $325 million from the First Things First program’s Early Childhood Health and Development Board Fund, putting the money into the state general fund. It would also eliminate the program and permanently direct its up to $120 million of annual tobacco tax revenue to the general fund, including $20 million in the current fiscal year. Arizona voters on Nov. 2 also will decide a similar referendum involving a smaller transfer of land conservation money. That measure, Proposition 301, would drain up to $124 million from a voter-protected conservation fund, though recent awarded grants could reduce that amount by up to $52 million. The current fiscal year’s $8.5 billion state budget, approved by majority Republicans over the opposition of Democrats,
anticipates more than $400 million of funding from the two proposed transfers. The budget already faces a midyear shortfall that legislative budget analysts say could balloon to $700 million if the two propositions are defeated. Supporters of the two propositions say that means rejection by voters would set the stage for spending cuts in other programs and force consideration of tax increases beyond the temporary sales tax hike approved by voters last May. ``We desperately need the money for more important and vital services like health care and vaccinations, instead of sending best-practices kits to preschools,’’ said House Appropriations Chairman John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills. ``There’s ‘need to have’ and ‘nice to have.’ First Things First is giving out ‘nice to have’ things.’’
Arab Students Association Activities For a second year now, the Arab Students Association has brought delight and joy brings to all its members and participants in the festivities and presentations- our 2nd Annual Potluck & Eftar was held last week and was open to any and everyone. The Arab Students Association at Arizona State University had its first meeting for the 2010/2011 school year on Wednesday September, 1, 2010 and celebrated Arab culture and Ramadan, while demonstrating traditional Arab hospitality with an eftar prepared by the ASA officers. Delicious dishes such as burak, salad, kefta, rice and various sweets and drinks. The meeting started with introducing the board members and discussing how new members can join, their benefits and future upcoming events.
After everyone enjoyed eating, the participants got entertained by the Arabic songs from North Africa to the Gulf; they also practiced Debkah and its various styles. Students shared their traditional dances as well. In addition to the debkah, traditional Saudi dances, Sudanese dances, Algerian, Moroccan and Libyan dances as well as Iraqi dances were shared and learned. Some of the upcoming ASA events are volunteer opportunities, cultural night, movie night, and shisha/hookah night. Follow up with the Arab Voice to get the latest activities and events of the organization. If you would like to join Arab Students Association, you can contact Najla Abdalla via email ArabStudentsASU@gmail.com or by phone at (480)352-9615.
Proposition 302 opponents argue that legislators shouldn’t tamper with voter-mandated programs or threaten the services provided by First Things First. Those services have long been needed, both in good times and bad, and voters have already made their priorities clear, said Nadine Mathis Basha, a leader of the opposition campaign and a First Things First board member. ``The money is being used in appropriate ways and in ways we’ve never had in Arizona at all.’’ Through mid-September, Proposition 302 opponents had collected about $500,000 in contributions, and most of it was available for spending in the weeks leading up to the election. The opponents include the Children’s Action Alliance, the Arizona Education Association, Arizona Public Service Co., the Protecting Arizona’s Family Coalition and the Tohono O’odham Nation.
Proposition 302 supporters include the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Arizona Farm Bureau and the business-backed Arizona Tax Research Association. However, Proposition 302 supporters in mid-September had just registered a campaign committee and had not reported any significant fundraising. A recent poll conducted by Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute indicates the propositions could face a tough time at the ballot box. Asked whether legislators should have leeway to divert funds from voter-approved programs during a budget crisis, 52 percent of 614 Arizona voters surveyed agreed or strongly agreed, compared with 42 percent taking contrasting positions. The July 16-Aug. 6 poll had a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Court to hear Arizona immigration appeal Nov. 1 Received by Newsfinder from AP
concluding that the federal government would likely prevail.
PHOENIX (AP) _ A federal appeals court says it will hear arguments Nov. 1 in Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s appeal of a ruling that put parts of the state’s new immigration law on hold.
Justice Department attorneys argue that the law that was designed to draw local police into the fight against illegal immigration is disrupting the United States’ relations with Mexico and other countries and that the state law is trumped by federal law.
Brewer asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to reverse the ruling that arose out of a lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department. Her lawyers say a judge erred by accepting speculation that the law might burden legal immigrants and by
Most of the controversy about the law centers on provisions related to stops and arrests of people, new crimes related to illegal immigrants and a requirement that immigrants carry and produce their immigration papers.
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to evaluate: • Your Mosque: Facilities, Activities and Programs for Mosque Members, Interaction with the Outside Community, Imam and the Executive Committee or Board of Directors • Khutbah in Your Mosque • Non-Profit Organizations: Youth Centers, Student Associations, Civic Engagement and Civil Rights Organizations, Charity Organizations and Social Services • Schools • Islamic Cemetery • Ramadan in Your Mosque • Community Events And more… Have a say in you community! Go participate in the Poll of the Week and cast your vote today!! “Work: Soon will Allah observe your work, and His Messenger, and the Believers” 9:105 The first step in creating effective change or growth in our Muslim communities is to understand where we are currently. At RateMyMuslimCommunity.com you will find overall evaluations to identify areas of your organization that are working well and areas that need further attention and development. At the end is an opportunity for a review. Feel free to share this evaluation with your Leadership Team and Board of Directors. You may be surprised at the results! “Allah loves that if a person does something he does it perfectly” – Hadith
Let the community hear what you think!
Muslim Voice joins NAM in training ethnic media in Italy
Muslim Community Beware of Scams by Tax Prepares IRS To Regulate Tax Preparers BY STEPHEN OHLEMACHER WASHINGTON — The IRS plans to require tax preparers to pass a test and register with the government to better police a largely unregulated industry used by most taxpayers.
Marwan Ahmad with group of Muslim youth in Rome
Muslim Voice The Muslim Voice Newspaper first came on the scene fourteen years ago in Phoenix, Arizona. We are proud to inform our readers that New American Media(NAM), a non-profit organization specializing in supporting ethnic media in the US, recognized the Muslim Voice and gave it the prestigious opportunity to be part of the Italy Training Team. The trip was sponsored by the American Embassy in Italy to meet and train local ethnic media and among these ethnic media there were Muslim media as well. The trip that took place last moth lasted one week. NAM’s team met in Rome where they started their training meeting with local ethnic media. The training sessions were designed to help local ethnic media from different backgrounds including Muslim media in areas of print, web TV, radio, and online publishing. Some of the sessions were heavily attended by Muslim and Arab youth. The training included giving information on forming media networks prosper that help ethnic media grow and prospers which was given by Alexandra Moe, Executive Director of the NAM office in Washington DC. Thereafter, training was given by Marwan Ahmad, President of Breek Publishing & Marketing. He gave first hand training on establishing and maintaining
ethnic media in the West. The team traveled to Rome, Florence, Bologna and Milan where they met with students, media publishers, academics, journalists and journalism union leaders. The local program was organized by the US Embassy in Italy and COSPE an Italian nonprofit organization that coordinates and supports local ethnic media. The trip and training session generated great interest from local ethnic media who felt the need to learn from the American ethnic media experience. Many expressed their enthusiasm and gratitude for the efforts put by NAM, COSPE and the US Embassy to bring this type of training to ethnic media to many parts of Italy.
The Internal Revenue Service says there could be more than a million people offering tax preparation services. Most offer sound advice, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman says, but many don’t and the agency knows little about them. The new regulations, announced Monday, won’t be in effect for the current filing season – individual tax returns are due April 15. But Shulman said tax preparers will be held to higher standards in future years as the IRS steps up its oversight to help reduce fraud and errors. “Taxpayers will get improved service and enhanced standards from tax preparers, and they’ll have less risk that they’ll get bad advice,” Shulman told reporters. “The tax preparation industry will get more consistency and a level playing field.” Shulman said he hopes to have all paid
tax preparers registered by the 2011 filing season. Preparers will be given about three years to meet competency requirements, though there is much work to be done to develop standards and tests. Eventually, tax preparers will be required to complete annual training and will be subject to penalties for unethical conduct, Shulman said. Taxpayers will be able to check the credentials of preparers on a public IRS database. “We think this is incredibly important to the entire tax system that when people pay good money for a tax return preparer, they don’t get bad advice,” Shulman said. Though the new regulations aren’t in place yet, Shulman said the IRS is stepping up enforcement this tax season. He said the IRS will send notices to 10,000 preparers who have had frequent errors. He said agents will also visit thousands of tax preparers. Some of the visits will be announced ahead of time; others will not. In some visits, agents will pose as taxpayers to see if they get accurate advice, Shulman said.
The Post-Ramadan Effect By: Sumbal Akhter
Marwan Ahmad (right), Roberto Natale (center) President of the National Journalists in Italy and Alexandra Moe Executive Director of NAM office in Washington DC.
Ramadan is a beautiful month of spiritual renewal and utmost devotion to Allah (SWT). With this month comes self-control in a myriad of ways. From food, drink and personal issues, willpower is extensively tested during the blessed 30 days. But as Ramadan haults to a close, a phenomenon known as “The Post Ramadan Effect” rolls right on in. The repurcussion of Ramadan leaves one with a sense of self-accomplishment and
a peculiar case of the “phantom limb.” Biting into a juicy burger or downing a cold beverage can send a jolt of guiltstricken reality through the eater that they shouldn’t really be eating right now... when actually it’s perfectly fine to be eating. And when Maghrib is over, the thought of driving to Taraweeh Prayer comes to mind as well, but unfortunately, Taraweeh Prayer is over until the next Ramadan. These feelings last for a short period of time but the consciousness of peace, faith and selfrejuvenation should last a lot longer.
Al-Shabaab: The veiled truth By: Mohamud Shalab
Al-Shabaab is the most powerful and fearsome Islamic insurgency group. Harakat al-Shabaab alMujahideen, as they are commonly known in Somalia, are a Muslim militant organization based in the southern part of Somalia. They are not the type of military who ensure peace in a country but instead they bring destruction and terror. This group is responsible for waves of assassinations, bombings, and suicide attacks. They targeted and killed
many Somali political elites, mostly liberals, military veterans, Islamic scholars and so forth. UN workers and NGO relief agencies are facing constant threats and harassment while they are trying to provide aid to the helpless Somalis. The cities that Al-Shabaab managed to takeover resulted in death caused by starvation and malnutrition. Innocent civilians were viciously murdered, and women and children were used as human shields. They launched missiles in populous areas and forced families to flee their homes in search of refuge. Al-Shabaab now controls half of the Somalia. Unknown countries and institutions found and provide the group with financial support and logistics. Al-
Shabaab poses great danger and a climate of fear to neighboring countries and the world in general. They are expanding and spreading their power to new places like the northeast region of Somalia called Puntland. It is a relatively stable environment. Their intentions to wreak havoc on this peaceful place should not be tolerated. Therefore international communities must become more aware and the public must attempt to act on this issue. Al-Shabaab’s actions to take over Puntland are no more tenable. However, there is still a possibility this military operation could be thwarted and disrupted. The Somali council of Islamic Scholars attempted to correct Al- Shabaab’s wrong doing several times. They recommended that
they lay down their weapons and join the reconciliation table as they have betrayed their own people, but misfortunately they were unable to get through to them. Al-Shabaab’s tactics and Motivation have transformed over time. They experienced a lot of bloodshed. History offers ample evidence that war and conflicts wasted many human lives and material resources. It is a horrible catastrophe. Diplomacy and peace making efforts would be more firm and effective and surely yield substantive results. Our religion represents broad tolerance, co-existence, mutual rights and respect with one another. Al-Shabaab’s ideology and strategies go against Somali tradition and norms.
Musings on the Muslim Community Center near Ground Zero By Ahmad Daniels, M.Ed. They came first for the Communist, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionist, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up. “First they came…” is a famous statement attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) concerning the inactivity of German intellectuals following Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets; group, after group, after group.
they became the target of dehumanizing processes that allowed for the violation of their constitutional rights; violations that all too often lead to their social alienation, unjust incarceration, and malicious death. And in all cases there were those who, for one reason or another, elected to remain silent while the rights of others were being violated. Park 51 was once a non-controversial Men’s Warehouse Clothing store. The location, however, has given way to heated and polarizing debate that show no signs of cooling. Typical of that debate are the vitriolic words of former Congressman Newt Ginrich who recently declared, “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington” and that the United States, “Would never accept the Japanese putting up a site near Pear Harbor.” Independent thinkers know all too well 9/11 was conducted by extremists outside of mainstream Islamic thought and authority and not, as with the Holocaust or Pearl Harbor, sanctioned by state action.
America’s history is also filled with groups feared for one reason or another and how
Inspired by the past The Founding Fathers were clear in their understanding that freedom was not free and were ready to do whatever it took to sever ties with King George of England and establish a new way of life in what would become the United States of America. At the base of this new nation would be the Constitution of the United States. The convention of delegates that assembled in Philadelphia in May of 1787, was a conservative body with thirty-three of its members lawyers and eight business men. Their training and interests were generally conservative, a conservatism that immediately gave birth to opposition. In general it may be said the forces opposed to ratification of the Constitution were the small farmers of the interior and the debtor classes. Their rugged determination and unswerving commitment resulted in a definite promise that a series of amendments guaranteeing individual rights would be speedily added to the original document. The “Bill of Rights,” the first ten amendments to the Constitution represented the fundamental dualism of the American Revolution—
the conservative aspect reflected in the body of the Constitution and the radical aspect represented by the Bill of Rights. It can be argued that no amendment is as important as the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Why did the Founding Fathers select freedom of religion and freedom of speech to be amendment number one? Truly the right to bear arms, amendment two, would have still been in the forefront of their minds with memories of the revolution still fresh. But no, the Founding Fathers remembered…clearly remembered the persecution and prosecution they experienced under King George of Great Britain and wanted to put into place safeguards that would be the cornerstone to a truly free Democratic society here in the United States.
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www.AZMuslimVoice.com Continued From page 6
Musings on the Muslim Community Center near Ground Zero Vision for the future The Founding Fathers knew they were creating a body of law meant for all time and for all citizens of the USA. They knew that the majority could rule but only with an expressed respect to and for the minority. History has shown what can happen if fear and hate mongering are allowed to flourish: • If you were overheard speaking German during WWI, you could be beaten. Fear driven • Japanese-American citizens were placed in internment camps during WWII. Fear drive. To prevent the building of the Park 51 Center would give the terrorists and Islamophobes a victory as well as establish a slippery slope with
regards to religious freedom and the Constitution. Where would America be if Rosa Parks had given up her seat at the front of the bus? Where would the nation be if Malcolm X, Martin L. King, Jr. and so many others failed to raise their clarion voices and stand for change in the midst of a hallowed ground filled with nooses and the blood of enslaved African Americans? Events are likely to transpire in the weeks and months to come that will bring attention to Muslims. Listen for those whose arguments and discussions are based on fear. Keep in mind the U. S. Constitution when you hear their ranting and raving. Keep also in mind the words of Dr. Martin l. King, Jr., who had seen first hand the ugly face of bigotry and fear. “Justice is indivisible, and a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” To your journey!
Helen Thomas to be Honoured on November 18, 2010 Washington, DC | September 21, 2010 - The American-Arab AntiDiscrimination Committee (ADC) is proud to announce that it will be hosting a gala in honor of the great Helen Thomas. The gala will take place Thursday, November 18, 2010, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Road, Washington, DC 20008. ADC invites members and friends to join in the celebration honoring Helen’s dedicated service to our country as a journalism trailblazer, and her legendary front row coverage of the White House for over sixty years.
Lawmakers say Obama promises he’ll push DREAM Act By DARLENE SUPERVILLE Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Barack Obama is promising to work with senators to help pass legislation allowing thousands of young people who attend college or join the military to become legal U.S. residents, according to Hispanic lawmakers who met Thursday with the president. ``The president made it absolutely clear to us that he would leave no stone unturned’’ in pushing for Senate approval of what’s known as the DREAM Act, said Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he wants to add the immigration measure to a defense policy bill the Senate plans to take up before lawmakers leave town to campaign for the November elections. Republicans oppose that move and have accused Reid of playing politics with the bills. Some military leaders support Reid because of the recruitment potential for the armed services. Under the bill, the young people must have come to the U.S. before age 16 and have lived here for five years. At least two years of military service would be required. ``The president noted that it is time to stop punishing innocent young people for the actions of their parents, especially when those youth grew up in America and want to serve this country in the military or pursue a higher education,’’ the White House said in a statement after Obama’s meeting at the White House with Gutierrez, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. When Obama was a senator he supported the DREAM Act, which has been kicking around Congress for nearly a decade.
The meeting followed Obama’s speech Wednesday night at a Hispanic awards dinner, where he urged Latinos not to punish Democrats at the polls because he’s been unable to keep his promise to sign a comprehensive immigration bill into law. Advocates, meanwhile, are launching a major lobbying effort for DREAM, enlisting educators, clergy and others to press senators to back the measure. Velazquez said passing the bill ``is the right thing to do. It’s a matter of fairness for thousands and thousands of young kids’’ who entered the country illegally with their families. She and others say they should not be punished. Republicans contend that the bill rewards law breakers. ``The DREAM Act is yet another attempt by Washington Democrats to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants who have broken our laws,’’ said Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga. Carlos Saavedra, national coordinator of United We Dream, a coalition of student immigrant advocacy groups, said voters who care about the issue will be watching how senators vote on the bill. ``Folks are literally dropping their lives right now to work on this,’’ Saavedra said Thursday. ``This is one of our last chances to get some justice to the immigrant community and immigrant youth. It’s huge.’’
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Black-American Muslims Speak Out Against Intolerance Final Call Ashahed Muhammad
WASHINGTON Minister Louis Farrakhan recently joined several Black American Muslim leaders to address the controversy surrounding the proposed building of an Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York, as well as the general attitude of mistrust and intolerance toward followers of Islam. The members of the Coalition of African American Muslims, which included the Minister, urged a rejection of anti-Islam hatred and religious intolerance, while connecting the disdain for their faith to America’s old history of hate. But, they said, out of the negative attacks on a beautiful way of life comes an opportunity to teach and spread the truth—despite severe opposition.
2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Those who oppose the center contradict the very principles outlined in the United States Constitution which guarantee freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly, the Minister said. International media outlets such as PressTV, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and the India Globe and Asia Today newspapers asked questions
bloody knife attack as the debate has grown vitriolic, contemptuous and falsely condemned Islam as a religion of hate and enemy of America. Mosques and Islamic centers in different parts of the country have been vandalized and a site for a center in Tennessee was torched. One pastor has announced plans to publicly burn copies of the Holy Qur’an—the book of scripture of Muslims—on Sept. 11. “We know when people start burning
“This world is not ignorant to the beauty of Islam,” said Minister Farrakhan. “The fear is that Islam will change the religion of the slave that they took it from and make him a bright light of a brand new civilization,” he said at a Sept. 2 press conference held at the prestigious National Press Club and broadcast live worldwide via Internet webcast. Imam Abdul Malik of Islam on Capitol Hill, a youth advocacy group, agreed saying Islam is under attack by bigots who fear that which is different. “Islam does not mean terrorism,” said Imam Malik. “The real issue is the rise of Islam,” he added. There are an estimated 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. Minister Farrakhan pointed out that in close proximity to where the Islamic center is to be built, there are sex shops, peep shows, strip clubs and other immoral activities not being protested by those who say the Islamic center will violate hallowed ground and disrespect the memories of who died in Sept. 11,
and observed as the leaders decried the atmosphere of intolerance created by extremist right wing media talk show hosts, unscrupulous special interest groups, ill-motivated politicians and prominent conservative evangelical leaders.
books, it’s not a great leap for them to begin burning people. History has shown us that,” said Islamic scholar Imam Zaid Shakir of the Zaytuna Institute. An entire industry has developed which profits from fostering the Islamophobic climate in America today, said Imam Shakir.
Opponents have made plans for the center a major political and social question, holding protests at the proposed site, and quizzing political leaders from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to President Obama about their positions on the issue. Violence has also erupted: A Muslim cab driver in New York survived a vicious,
“I think what we have to realize is that there is a lot of money first of all that’s been spent to create that climate of fear and suspension and mistrust towards Muslims,” said Imam Shakir. “The books have been cranked out and there are major media outlets that are behind that effort of demonizing Muslims.”
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Asma Hanif, chair of the Washington D.C.based Council of Muslim Organizations, spoke about her difficult experience as a Muslim woman raising children and interacting with family members who have heard media misreports about Muslims. “As I stand here, I think about the fact that I’m an African American Muslim woman born and raised in this country. I think about all of the family members that I have who are listening to the words that are being said about me personally, because they know I am their daughter; I am their sister; I am their mother; I am their niece; I am all of these things. But, if you listen to the media, they say I’m a terrorist, or I’m oppressed, or I’m a bad person,” said Ms. Hanif. “I’m not oppressed! I dress this way because I love it!” Ms. Hanif continued. “In fact, if the truth be known, the only oppression I have ever seen was growing up Black in North Carolina! Islam liberated me as a Muslim woman!” The severe economic crisis along with the sensationalized coverage of the “underwear bomber” in Detroit, the Ft. Hood shootings, the alleged Times Square attempted car bombing and other highly publicized alleged terrorist plots have contributed to fear mongering and hatred. The controversy, however, is also creating curiosity and inspiring others to learn more about Islam, observed Imam Shakir and Imam Siraj Wahhaj, amir of the Muslim Alliance in North America, agreed. “That which is happening right now and across the country with hatred against Muslims, I’m telling you, there’s good,” said Imam Wahhaj. “All over America people are asking ‘Teach me about Islam.’ ”
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M uslim Voice Community newspaper Mourns the loss
Br. Asim Ameer Asim was a community leader and an activist who committed his time and energy to helping others. He served in many capacities in community organizations and functions where he shared his knowledge and passion to support his fellow human. Asim’s loss is a loss for his family and all of us in this community. We ask Allah to give his wife and children the Iman and patience to withstand their loss. Asim left us all a good example of a diligent and faithful person who cared. We ask Allah to accept our brother Asim Ameer in his heavens and accept his good deeds.
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Feed the Children locked in dispute with founder By SEAN MURPHY
This is a time we should really be reaching out to people,’’ he said.
Associated Press Writer OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Larry Jones, a traveling preacher from Oklahoma, gave 20 cents to a hungry child on the streets in Haiti in 1979 and felt more could be done to help starving children. Over the next 30 years, Jones and his family embraced that ideal. They created Feed the Children, one of the world’s largest charities, and it became known for Jones’ heart-wrenching televised pleas for donations as a hungry child with sad eyes sat by his side. But now Jones has been fired from his own charity and is in a legal fight to get his job back from the $1 billion organization that’s striving to push forward amid lawsuits, a state attorney general’s investigation and watchdog groups warning people not to give it money. All of this comes as competition among nonprofits is fierce for dwindling donations in a tough economy.
The charity fired Jones in November 2009 after learning he secretly had ``bugging’’ devices installed in executives’ offices. Its board claims he also accepted tens of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from charity vendors, operated the organization with little or no oversight and misspent charity funds, including giving him and his wife secret raises. Jones, who earned about $235,000 as president, has acknowledged placing listening devices in agency offices. But he contends he didn’t do anything wrong and that he was fired out of ``personal malice and spite’’ by a board of directors eager to expand their power. ``All of a sudden, somebody thought they could run it better than my wife and I,’’ Jones said. ``They have accused me of doing everything. It blows my mind. It’s a nightmare.’’
Jones said he’s heartbroken to see the charity he built moving along without him, especially when so many people are in need of Feed the Children’s assistance.
The allegations against Jones that emerged in court filings prompted the state attorney general’s office to launch a massive investigation into Feed the Children that could result in criminal charges, said Assistant Attorney General Julie Bays.
``America is in a mess right now. It’s a tough time for just about everybody.
``This is a charity that, no matter what the personalities are, has always done
good work,’’ said Bays. ``Whether or not they did it efficiently or not, or whether there was some wrongdoing, that’s still up in the air.’’ State investigators could recommend the charity replace its board, be placed into receivership, or reach an agreement with the state to fix its problems. Bays said it’s also possible no action will be taken against the charity. For its part, the charity is moving on without Jones. Board Chairman Rick England said board members removed Jones because they thought it was the best for the organization and are searching for a new leader. Meanwhile, the nonprofit plans to continue its mission of helping underprivileged children. ``We’re going to be able to feed more kids and more families than what we have ever done before,’’ he said, ``because every penny is being utilized more effectively.’’ Jones wife, Frances, still works for the organization, but Jones says he worries she too will be fired. The couple’s daughter, Larri Sue, was fired as the nonprofit’s general counsel in July and the charity has refused to disclose why she was let go. She had sided with the board in its dispute with her father, but now has also sued the group.
Feed the Children has filed a federal lawsuit against the Jones’ son, Allen Jones, alleging he and others stripped a charity-owned warehouse of equipment and materials. Allen Jones has denied any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, the board has hired a New York-based charities expert, attorney Seth Perlman, to help it move forward without its charismatic leader, something he said is not uncommon in the philanthropy community. The founders of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Habitat for Humanity each had tense departures from the agencies they founded, but Perlman said the split between Jones and Feed the Children is the most acrimonious he’s seen in his 25 years of work in philanthropy litigation. ``It’s not that Feed the Children lost its way, but it became too founderfocused,’’ Perlman said. ``And the founder, once you’ve been running an organization for decades, you begin to think you own it and can do what you want with it.’’ Perlman said the charity has since adopted reforms that require the board to approve all the organization’s operations. There’s also new conflictof-interest procedures and policies and a system to protect whistleblowers who report wrongdoing.
Eid Spirit Service on the September 11th Day of Service By Imran Ahmad
law enforcement, and civic organizations, etc:
September 11, 2010 was a day of remembrance, and a day of renewal. As a country we remembered the 9 year anniversary of a great tragedy which occurred on that day. The attacks of 9/11 were a terrible act of terrorism perpetrated on American soil. And as we recall that day, a group of Muslims from Metro Detroit decided to heed President Obama’s call to also make it a day of service.
One group of Muslim volunteers was from the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit, commonly known as IAGD masjid in Rochester Hills, a suburb of Detroit. This group consisted of the two primary spiritual leaders of the masjid, who are Imam Aly Lela and Haafiz Rabbani. The group arrived at Clark Park in Detroit for the group’s registration followed by assignment of the day’s task. There were many community service projects going on throughout the day, ranging from environmental, to restoration, to clean-up around the city. We were assigned to clean up large weeds and bushes surrounding Piquette Square, a newly built homeless shelter for veterans located at 6221 Brush. The complex is one of the largest in Michigan and has 150 apartments.
The event taking place was called Acts of Kindness (AOK) Detroit: A Weekend of Remembrance and Restoration. Many different social groups comprising people from different faiths, backgrounds, and ethnicities sponsored it. CIOM, or Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, was one of the organizations among others. CIOM promotes positive collaboration with government,
Once we reached our site and started working, our group of 7 was joined by 10 to 15 other volunteers from the Metro area along with 10 to 15 residents
of the homeless shelter. We were able to clean up a large section of the street, even more than what the organizers had anticipated, and we had a great time doing it. After few hours of cleaning it looked totally different. The change was dramatic and we realized our mistake of not taking a picture before and after cleaning the area of the weeds and other rubbish. . The residents were
After the cleanup, we went inside for a pizza lunch with some of the residents of the building, and each group was asked to give a short talk describing their organization and why they chose to be there. Imam Lela described IAGD and Ramadan, and said “9/11 happened to all of us,” he further said that we as Muslims felt it was important to spend our Eid holiday helping others in the true spirit of Islam. He
also invited everyone to come visit our masjid, and let them know that we won’t make them work in the street if they visit. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and a win-win for everyone involved. The event continued on Sep 12th, and there were more volunteers expected to join us on that day from IAGD and also from other masjids in the area such as MCWS, or Muslim Community of Western Suburbs. The hope is that by working side by side with people of all faiths, everyone can realize that we have more in common than we have differences and that we can do a greater good for the community of Detroit. The Muslim volunteers wanted to make it clear that they are Americans as well, and were also devastated by the attacks of 9/11. We love our country and want it to prosper just like everyone else.
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Iran says Va. death sentence Van carrying 30 kids plunges shows double standard into Pakistani river By NASSER KARIMI
Received by Newsfinder from AP
villagers who plucked the four children from the water.
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ A van carrying about 30 schoolchildren plunged into a river in Pakistan-held Kashmir on Tuesday, and four injured children and the driver were rescued, police said. Most of the others are confirmed or feared dead.
Eleven bodies have been recovered from various points in the river, but the other children are still missing, said Akber.
Associated Press Writer TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has criticized Western media for having a double standard in reporting on the case of an American woman facing the death penalty, a news agency reported Tuesday. Ahmadinejad accused the West of launching a ``heavy propaganda’’ campaign against the case of an Iranian woman who had been sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery but failing to react with outrage over the imminent execution of Teresa Lewis in Virginia, according to state-run IRNA. Lewis is a Virginia woman due to be put to death by injection on Thursday for using sex and money to persuade two men to kill her husband and her stepson to collect on life insurance policies. She would be the first woman executed in Virginia in nearly a century, and the first U.S. execution of a woman in five years. Ahmadinejad noted that ``millions of Internet pages’’ have been devoted to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, whose stoning sentence was suspended in July and her case put under review. ``Meanwhile, nobody objects to the case of an American woman who is going to be executed,’’ he was quoted as saying during a speech Monday to Islamic clerics and other figures in New York, where the Iranian leader is attending the U.N. General Assembly. ``Today Western media are propaganda agents who continuously speak about democracy and human rights though their slogans are sheer lies,’’ he added. Ahmadinejad’s remarks were the latest in a series of statements by Iranian officials
denouncing the wave of international condemnation of Ashtiani’s case, which has cast a harsh light on Iran’s version of Islamic justice. Press TV, the government’s main Englishlanguage broadcast arm, also broadcast reports about the case with a photo of Lewis throughout the day.
Local police chief Ghulam Akber said authorities managed to save the driver and four children after the accident in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistanheld Kashmir. But school teacher Bashir Mughal said rescue workers arrived more than an hour after the accident, and it was local
Syria (Damascus) – Syrian is encouraging French investor to set up new tourism projects in the country, Global Arab Network learned.
Iran says it has put the stoning on hold for now also has indicated Ashtiani could be hanged for her conviction of playing a role in her husband’s 2005 murder.
Syrian Minister of Tourism Saadallah Agha al-Qalaa discussed with a delegation of Accor French Company means of cooperation in tourism investment and hotel management, reports the State-run News Agency.
Stoning was widely imposed in the years after the 1979 Islamic revolution, and even though Iran’s judiciary still regularly hands down such sentences, they are often converted to other punishments.
Minster Agha al-Qalaa underlined the importance of holding more investments in Syria by international companies to develop tourism industry and to match up with the under-implementation new tourism projects.
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The accident occurred when the driver lost control of the van as he was driving along an elevated road next to the Jhelum River, said Akber. It plunged 50 feet (15 meters) into the river. The area was affected by Pakistan’s devastating floods that started in July, but that didn’t appear to have been a factor in the crash.
Syria Invites France to Invest in Tourism Industry
Human Rights Watch says Ashtiani, 43 and a mother of two, was first convicted in May 2006 of having an ``illicit relationship’’ with two men following the death of her husband and was sentenced by a court to 99 lashes. Later that year she was also convicted of adultery and sentenced to be stoned, even though she retracted a confession which she claims was made under duress.
The last known stoning was carried out in 2007, although the government rarely confirms that such punishments have been meted out.
Rescue workers managed to removed the van from the river, but they didn’t find any children inside, said Mughal.
Global Arab Network
He called for developing the work mechanism of hotels’ management in various governorates to meet the requirements of the cultural, religious and the internal tourism in Syria. He indicated that his Ministry will launch
several promotion and advertising campaigns at the most important streets and squares of some European countries on the sidelines of its participation in several international tourism expos. For his part, Head of the delegation, Regional Director of Accor Company in the Middle East Christophe Landias lauded the great developments witnessed by tourism industry in Syria, expressing his Company’s desire to expand its investments in the country in light of that progress and the recent measures which allowed the international companies to enter the Syrian market. Earlier, the Syrian Ministry of Tourism launched a promotion and advertising campaign for Syria at the main streets and squares of Madrid and Barcelona in Spain to highlight Syria’s cultural image as one of the most important tourist destinations in the world.
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The Fitness Factor By Sumayyah Meehan, MMNS Middle East Correspondent The opulent lifestyle in the Gulf has taken its toll on both citizens and expatriates alike. The abundance of wealth often translates into an overabundance of food, which is often just as greasy and artery clogging as it can be. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the State of Kuwait. Fast-food restaurants can be found on just about every corner in almost every city. Just like in the US, juicy hamburgers and crispy fried chicken with a side of fries are the most popular fare in Kuwait. And, just like in the US, most denizens of Kuwait are walking around with a couple of ‘spare tires’ on their frame. Heart disease and diabetes combined are just two of the major health problems already affecting an estimated 40% of the population. The situation looks grim as fast food chains, like Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King and McDonald’s, continue to open branches all over the country beckoning even the most scrupulous eater to tuck into a caloric-filled dining extravaganza. Thanks to a health awareness media campaign launched by the Kuwaiti government over the past couple of years, a vast majority of the public in Kuwait are wising up to the pitfalls of fast food, junk food and empty calories. As a result, a renewed interest in health and fitness can be seen all over Kuwait whether it is the guy doing squats on Gulf Road or the teenage girl brisk walking along the Souq Sharq marina complete with hijab and iPod securely in place. A new health industry is quietly emerging in Kuwait, albeit slowly. Unfortunately, old habits often die-hard in the land of sweltering summers and 24/7 air conditioning. ‘Sweat’ is a dirty word and most people cannot even conceive of the notion of engaging in activities that increase it. The fitness revolution in Kuwait, however, will not be stalled as it is a growing industry with an eager customer base.
These days, fitness centers and weightlifting gyms are going up just as quickly as the fast food restaurants are. A typical gym in Kuwait mirrors the gyms in the West with top-notch equipment and instructors. The greatest difference is that the bulk of gyms are segregated between the sexes, and never the twain shall meet. The Islamic requirement that forbids free mixing between men and women comes into play at the majority of gyms. Ironically, both the sexes in Kuwait seem to support the stipulation as each prefer privacy as they sweat it out on exercise machines. A basic gym membership in Kuwait runs between $100-$300 a month depending on the exclusivity of the facility and location. Both men and women in Kuwait have their preferences when it comes to working out. For Kuwaiti women, the hottest moves perpetrated by Hollywood celebrities are what get their sweat glands flowing. Yoga and Pilates are the most popular choices for women in Kuwait with Pilates instructors paying house calls to wealthy clients. For the men, bodybuilding is the most popular fitness activity. Unfortunately, some men have taken the misguided path to anabolic steroids (available on the black market) to bulk up fast. However, the vast majority of men in Kuwait are going the natural route by allowing their bodies to build mass through weight repetitions. A side effect of the fitness culture taking root in Kuwait can also be seen in some parts of the food industry. Dieting companies, similar to Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, are sprouting up like desert daisies. One such company is called ‘Health Stop’. They delivery freshly prepared low fat meals right to your doorstep each day. Another is called ‘Diet Care’ and they deliver healthy groceries right to your door complete with recipes for preparing the foods. In addition, American GNC vitamin and health stores are also letting their presence be known in Kuwait offering customers vitamins, supplements and protein powders.
Egyptian police crack down on anti-Mubarak protest By SARAH EL DEEB
the country qualified to run in presidential elections.
Associated Press Writer CAIRO (AP) _ Egyptian police on Tuesday beat and arrested antigovernment activists demonstrating against the possibility of the president’s son succeeding his father as leader of the country. Some 300 protesters outside the former royal palace in downtown Cairo chanted anti-government slogans, waved flags and even burned pictures of the president while hundreds of black clad riot police surrounded them in tight cordons. Many others were prevented from even reaching the wide square. Shoving matches broke out between protesters and security forces and some activists were detained in nearby police vans. One woman was grabbed and beaten by female police officer. Police also confiscated videotapes from BBC and Al-Jazeera cameramen at the protest. The rally was protesting widely rumored plans for 82-year-old President Hosni Mubarak to be succeeded by his son Gamal, who is currently a high-ranking member of the ruling party. The protest comes about two months before parliamentary elections and a year before presidential elections. Mubarak has not yet announced if he will run for another term and extend his nearly 30-year reign. Under recent constitutional amendments, Gamal Mubarak is also one of the few politicians in
``Enough of you and Jimmy! No inheritance after today, no freedom without blood,’’ chanted protesters wearing matching ``no inheritance after today’’ T-shirts. A demonstration also took place in Egypt’s second city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea, where police beat protesters and arrested at least 15, according to Abdel Rahman Youssef, a member of the campaign to elect former nuclear watchdog chief Mohammed ElBaradei president. The protests in Cairo included representatives from most of Egypt’s legal political parties as well as activists from the Kifaya movement, which made its name in 2004 for being the first to publicly protest Gamal Mubarak’s possible succession. ``Most parties are here because we have reached a dead end, there is no other method or way that will work except civil disobedience or popular revolt, anything else is nonsense,’’ said Ahmed el-Kordi, 23, who attended the rally. Conspicuously absent were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest opposition movement, with nearly a fifth of the seats in the outgoing parliament. Hundreds of members of the Islamist group languish in jail after periodic crackdowns by the government. Representatives from one youth movement said at least 30 of its members were arrested Tuesday just trying to reach the site of the demonstration.
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Clinton pushes Sudan on referendum By MATTHEW LEE Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is urging Sudanese authorities to make up for lost time in preparing for an independence referendum early next year for the Southern Sudan. On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Clinton met Tuesday with Sudan’s Vice President Ali Osman Taha to impress upon him the need for a well-organized and peaceful vote in January. With just over 100 days until the referendum, preparations are far behind schedule. There are also fears that a vote splitting the south and north will reignite a bloody civil war that ended in 2005. Clinton’s talks with Taha come ahead of a high-level U.N. session on Sudan that President Barack Obama will attend on Friday. Taha and the President of southern Sudan Salva Kiir will also participate in the meeting. In the meeting with Taha, Clinton ``reinforced steps Sudan needs to take’’ on implementing the peace deal that ended the war, including holding the referendum, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. He said taking those steps ``could lead to better relations’’ between Sudan and
the U.S. Sudan is currently designated a ``state sponsor of terrorism’’ and subject to U.S. sanctions. Crowley said Clinton also raised the Sudan issue in meetings on Tuesday with Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Kosa and the Emir of Qatar. Sudan activists have warned that urgent international diplomatic intervention is the only way to prevent renewed civil war. Underscoring the concern, Clinton and the foreign ministers of Britain and Norway released a letter Tuesday that they sent to Taha and Kiir last week appealing to them ``to take swift action to ensure’’ a peaceful vote that recognizes the will of the people. ``There remains an enormous amount to be done and work must be accelerated to make up for lost time,’’ they said in the letter. Southern Sudan, which is predominantly animist and Christian, is scheduled to vote on independence Jan. 9. But the group charged with organizing the vote has not yet set a date for voter registration. The Obama administration has said it is ``inevitable’’ the south will declare independence. Given the south’s substantial known oil resources, many worry that the predominantly Muslim north will find it difficult to accept an independent south.
Former Bosnian Serb police chief on hunger strike Received by Newsfinder from AP
BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ A former Bosnian Serb police chief who collapsed during a hunger strike over losing his job says he will not give up until he dies or his case is reconsidered. Accusing him of helping war crimes suspects evade justice, Bosnia’s international administrator fired Dragomir Andan and seized his travel documents in 2007.
There was no formal trial and Andan chose to go on hunger strike 16 days ago. He collapsed Wednesday and a hospital said he was admitted to its emergency room where he was given intravenous fluids before being discharged. He told The Associated Press he will continue until he dies or he has a chance to prove his innocence. The administrator’s office has said the circumstances regarding Andan’s dismissal have not changed.
Israeli Arab accused of spying freed in plea deal Received by Newsfinder from AP JERUSALEM (AP) _ An Israeli Arab charged with spying for Hezbollah has been released from jail in a plea bargain. Courts spokeswoman Nitzan Eyal said Monday that Omar Sayid was freed last week after five months behind bars. He pleaded guilty to contact with an enemy agent _ a crime that could have carried up to seven years in prison. Sayid and a prominent Arab activist were both arrested earlier this year on charges of spying for Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group that fought a monthlong war with Israel in 2006. The other activist remains behind bars.
Sayid’s lawyer, Abeer Baker, says her client declined an offer to join Hezbollah by an agent who approached him in Egypt. She says the reduced sentence signaled the case against him was weak.
Anti-immigration sentiment grows in Sweden By KARL RITTER Associated Press Writer STOCKHOLM (AP) _ A far-right group’s election breakthrough has shattered Sweden’s reputation as a bastion of tolerance after years of being seemingly inoculated against the backlash on immigration seen elsewhere in Europe. Sunday’s election showed that the country’s welcome to refugees is not universally accepted: Nearly 6 percent of the population voted for a nationalist group that accuses immigrants _ especially Muslims _ of eroding Sweden’s national identity and its cherished welfare state. It’s a bitter pill for a nation that frowned upon Denmark’s vitriol toward Muslim immigrants, Swiss attempts to ban minarets and France’s crackdown on Gypsy camps. ``The banner of tolerance has been hauled down and the forces of darkness have finally taken the Swedish democracy hostage, too,’’ the Expressen tabloid wrote in a post-election editorial. ``It’s Monday morning and time for Swedes to get a new self-image,’’ read a bold front-page headline in Svenska Dagbladet. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s coalition won the election but lost its majority in the 349-seat legislature, weakening its ability to push through crucial legislation. The Sweden Democrats, a small nationalist party, entered Parliament for the first time, winning 20 seats to hold the balance of power between the 172 seats captured by the four-party centerright bloc and the 154 seats won by the three-party leftist opposition, according to preliminary returns. Hardening attitudes toward immigrants have helped far-right radicals gain influence elsewhere in western Europe. The Netherlands, which built a reputation of open-minded policies, took a hard right turn against immigration in 2002, when populist politician Pim Fortuyn broke all taboos against speaking out against multiculturalism
and said Holland was ``full.’’ Antiimmigrant parties have been significant factors in every election since then.
In June, anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, who has denounced the Quran as a ``fascist book’’ and campaigned to halt more Muslim immigration, more than doubled his seats in Parliament and is the kingmaker of the emerging rightwing coalition. Wilders goes on trial next month for ``hate speech’’ for some of his most outspoken anti-immigrant remarks.
seats and the balance of power between the center-right government
The U.S. also has seen a backlash, underscored by the uproar over Arizona’s attempts to get tough on illegal immigration and plans to build an Islamic center near ground zero in New York. Sweden became barren ground for such groups after the sudden rise and fall of a right-wing populist party in the early 1990s. Since then, Swedes have dealt with immigration issues delicately, at times even apologetically. When a mainstream political party eight years ago suggested basic Swedishlanguage skills should be mandatory for citizenship _ an uncontroversial requirement in many other countries _ it was accused of catering to xenophobes. Swedish leaders also lashed out at Scandinavian neighbor Denmark for sharply tightening immigration in 2002, and reacted with horror to the antiMuslim statements by leaders of the nationalist Danish People’s Party. That helped cement Sweden’s reputation as being a haven for immigrants, and was one the reasons the nation of 9.4 million attracted more Iraqi refugees following the U.S. toppling of Saddam Hussein than any other country in the West. To many, that era is over with the election of the Sweden Democrats to Parliament. ``During the 15 years I have lived in Sweden, I’ve always been proud of being able to say that if there’s racism in Sweden, it’s to a small degree,’’ said Richard Aliaga Tello, a 36-year-old immigrant from Peru. ``It’s sad not being able to have that pride anymore. On the contrary, I’m going to feel a bit
Led by Jimmie Akesson, the Sweden Democrats won 20 parliamentary
and the left-wing opposition. Both main blocs refuse to work with Akesson, 31, and are likely to seek a deal across the political divide just to keep him out. ``They will be forced to change their policies, above all on integration and immigration if they don’t want to keep losing votes to us,’’ a defiant Akesson told Swedish Radio. Akesson denies allegations of racism, saying his party has nothing against immigrants as individuals. It’s their large number that’s a burden on the Swedish welfare state, he says. ``We haven’t had the capacity to receive all those who have been let in. We haven’t had the capacity to get them out into society, get them to work, to assimilate them into Swedish society,’’ Akesson told The Associated Press in a May 24 interview at the group’s secret Stockholm office. Sweden has undergone a dramatic demographic shift since World War II when it was a largely homogenous country. Labor migration from southern Europe was followed by waves of refugees fleeing Chile’s dictatorship, Iran’s revolution, Iraq’s oppression of Kurds and the Balkans’ ethnic strife. Today, one in seven Swedes is foreignborn, slightly more than the European average, said Jan Ekberg, an economist at Linnaeus University in Vaxjo who has studied immigration across Europe. While providing a generous welcome, Sweden has struggled to integrate them into the job market. In 2006, 57 percent of immigrants were working, compared with 80 percent of native Swedes, Ekberg said, citing official statistics. ``It’s in areas where you see the weakest integration of immigrations in the labor market where the Sweden Democrats have the strongest support,’’ he added.
Akesson wants to cut Sweden’s admission of asylum-seekers and immigrants seeking reunification with their families by 90 percent. Last year, Sweden took in 45,000 people in those categories. He is especially concerned about Islam, calling its impact on Swedish society ``our biggest foreign threat since World War II.’’ He mentions cases of public schools that have stopped serving pork and no longer celebrate the end of the school year in church. A TV campaign advertisement by the Sweden Democrats showed an elderly Swedish woman trying to reach an emergency brake labeled ``Immigration’’ before a mob of burqaclad women pushing strollers could get to another brake with a sign saying ``Pensions.’’ A Swedish private TV network refused to show the commercial, saying it was inciting hatred against Muslims. To the Sweden Democrats, it was one of many examples of how mainstream media and the political establishment were trying to silence its views. Akesson was not invited to the final party leader debate on Swedish national broadcaster SVT even though polls suggested his party would enter Parliament. On Monday, Reinfeldt had difficulty digesting the fact that 330,000 Swedes had voted for the Sweden Democrats, whose roots go back to an explicitly xenophobic movement in the 1980s. They couldn’t all be xenophobes, he said at a news conference, but instead may be people who have lost faith in the way integration has been handled in Sweden. ``There is every reason to try to understand and try to address those feelings,’’ Reinfeldt said. Daniel Poohl, the editor of anti-racism magazine Expo, suggested Sweden’s selfimage ``as the world’s most tolerant nation’’ was wrong. ``Racism and xenophobia constitute a serious problem for society,’’ he said. ``Combined with dissatisfaction and frustration, it has now gotten a voice in parliament.’’
Can’t we be (Halal) Friends? By Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood Our Muslim youngsters go to school on the whole with non-Muslim friends and colleagues and teachers, and interact freely and happily with most of them. When they have friends of the opposite sex, they are almost always non-Muslims. Why? Because there is no stigma whatsoever at the school in thus mixing freely and exchanging views and feelings - but there is enormous suspicion placed upon young Muslim men and women who try to mix freely and exchange views as friends. We partly have the problem of those Muslims who simply regard this as a strict no-no, and feel teenagers of the opposite sex must be kept apart at any price. Usually all that happens here is that they are kept apart from other Muslims, but mix pretty freely with non-Muslims. Others take the line that if a Muslim sees someone of the opposite sex, one glance is allowed but then the eyes must be cast down modestly, thus making normal conversation a difficult matter, to say the least. Perhaps it is time to consider the real importance of those words - modest BEHAVIOUR, and the duty of a young Muslims adult not to ‘eyeball’ members of the opposite sex. In other words, seeing someone is not forbidden, but using the eyes in a certain way is. Our conversations with members of the other sex must not be sexually inviting or flirtatious in order to stir up feelings it is difficult to control, especially in the young. Young Muslim adults are certainly not expected by their elders to mix freely, and if they did so, they can be certain that it would soon be noted and reported, and trouble would ensue. Unfortunately, there are many major spin-offs from this. (i) Young Muslim adults don’t actually know anyone of the opposite sex as friends.
(ii) Young Muslim women don’t actually like young Muslim men very much, for they are not making the same efforts to be charming and helpful towards them as the non-Muslim friends are. (iii) In situations where young Muslim men and women have become friends, they are expected to treat themselves as brothers and sisters, and a ‘love’ relationship then seems out of the question. Personally, I feel it is high time we Muslims organised ourselves to do something about this ridiculous situation. We should accept that what is forbidden in Islam is seeking privacy with someone of the opposite sex without a third party present. When that happens, there are grounds for suspicions, criticism, affronts to family honour and so forth. Some cultures go to the lengths of committing murder of their young women for the slightest of suspicions - a matter I regard as totally unIslamic in view of the highly stringent rules for four competent witnesses to actual acts of full sexual intimacy, with floggings for those who rush in with false or unproven accusations. Incidentally, the laws of Islam which allow females to be alone with mahrem males has unfortunately been much abused, and girls need to be warned that sometimes even their male relatives are not safe to be alone with. The incidence of fathers, uncles and brothers (and teachers and pir-sahibs) sexually abusing Muslim girls is sadly on the increase - or, at least, is being increasingly reported. What we need is firstly to recognise that there is nothing at all wrong with young people meeting in situations where intimacy cannot occur because of witnesses; and secondly to create occasions in which they can meet safely in halal ways, so that they CAN get to know each other. The more
of these occasions we can organise, whether family events or mosque events or conference events, the better. I also heartily recommend that males and females find at least some opportunities for sitting together at meals, and conversing afterwards. We also have the problem that the type of young Muslim man or woman most praised by many Muslim elders is the ultra-serious, committed, ritualistic type of Muslim, whose Islam runs the danger of being judged by their ability to memorise Arabic passages (with or without understanding), or the growth of beard or school-uniform type of hijab, or the number of hours spent in prayers and Qur’anic study. Needless to say, I have no wish whatsoever to denigrate the efforts of these admirable people - quite the contrary. Please let that be clearly understood. However, having said that, Muslims of that type do not always make the best of husbands or wives, for they have that ascetic streak and zealousness of commitment that is beyond the reach of the majority. In an ideal world, they would find and marry each other. In an ideal world, people would realise that all people have personal gifts and abilities and temperaments, and would learn to live and let live without constantly criticising others. It may surprise (or enlighten) some brothers to see the results of a little survey conducted at one Marriage seminar in London UK. The simple exercise was to give three invented descriptions of Muslim men and see how many would go for each type. The brothers seem to have automatically expected that the sisters would go for type 3. 1. Hi, my name’s Adam. I’m currently working as a doctor in a humanitarian charity. I’m easy-going with a sense of adventure. I’ve recently come into Islam and am hoping to pursue this
more once my worklife slows down. 2. Asalaam aleikum. I’ve been working as a lawyer for the past few years. I go to Islamic circles regularly and try to do my bit to help the community. In my spare time I enjoy entertaining Muslims and can make an odd curry or two. 3. Asalaamu-alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu. I am a Muslim brother who takes his deen very seriously. I teach Arabic as a profession and want to make Islam the focus of my life. I believe that this dunya is a distraction from our real purpose in life which is to worship God. To the chairman’s surprise, the majority of women/girls chose Number 1, with Number 2 a close second, and Number 3 came in with very few votes. Many of the women explained that No.1 was probably just as good a Muslim as No.3, and was far more active in a practical humanitarian field, and would develop into a wonderful Muslim man. Poor old No.3 was almost dismissed as a ‘type’ that they knew only too well, and did not wish to live with in marriage - the exceptions being the girls who took precisely the same attitude as he did. There are many things to ponder in this. Of course, the exercise was simplistic, and intended to be taken light-heartedly, but even so it was an eye-opener. May God grant us the grace to think seriously about the plight of our youngsters seeking good life-partners, especially our girls - many of whom may feel they are ‘condemned’ to marry Muslim men rather than look forward with joy to the prospect. Our young people of both sexes need to see beyond the facades, and to appreciate the nobility and talents of each other, so that they may move forward with confidence and not have a hopeful marriage collapse in trauma and dismay.
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www.AZMuslimVoice.com 16 OCTOBER 2010 FAMILY / ISLAM Religious Faith Helps Keep Teens off Drugs, U.S. Officials Say
The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is urging faith communities to become more involved in drug abuse prevention programs for youth. “We are urging youth ministers, volunteers and faith leaders to integrate drug prevention messages and activities into their sermons and youth programming and are providing them with key tools and resources to make a difference,” said John P. Walters, director of National Drug Control Policy. ONDCP cited research indicating that adolescents who considered religion a meaningful part of their lives were half as likely to use marijuana as youngsters who didn’t consider faith a significant influence. Studies Show that Religion Plays a Powerful Role in Preventing Teen Substance Use; New Resources Will Help Faith Communities Tackle Youth Drug Prevention (Washington, D.C.)-Faith plays a powerful role in preventing youth marijuana use, yet few faith communities have active youth drug prevention programs. At a press conference today, the National Youth Anti Drug Media Campaign, in partnership with faith communities and the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, released multidenominational resources to encourage all religious communities to focus on youth drug prevention.
“Faith plays an important role when it comes to teen marijuana prevention,” said John P. Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy. “We are urging youth ministers, volunteers and faith leaders to integrate drug prevention messages and activities into their sermons and youth programming and are providing them with key tools and resources to make a difference. Faith communities can help influence a teen’s decision not to use marijuana and other drugs.” Most faith institutions have youth ministries; however, few incorporate significant teen substance abuse prevention activities. Drug and alcohol programs instead focus on adult substance abuse treatment. According to the 1998 National Congregations Study, funded by Lilly Endowment and a variety of other organizations, only 2 percent of congregations surveyed had participated in or supported substance abuse programs within the past 12 months. Research shows that faith plays a critical role in preventing substance abuse and other risky behaviors. A study published in March 2003 by the American Psychological Association found that adolescents who viewed religion as a meaningful part of their life and as a way to cope with problems were half as likely to use marijuana than adolescents who didn’t view religion as important. More teens use marijuana than all other
illicit drugs combined. Research shows that marijuana can lead to a host of health, social, learning and behavioral problems at a crucial time in young lives when bodies and brains are still developing. Marijuana can be addictive and more kids are in drug treatment for marijuana than for all other illicit drugs combined. Teens using marijuana are also more likely to take risks, such as having sex, engaging in violence, riding with someone who’s driving high or using alcohol or other drugs. “Religion plays a major role in the lives of American teens,” said Jim Towey, Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. “According to data from Monitoring the Future, ninety percent of teens in the U.S. are affiliated with a religious denomination and 43 percent of eighth graders attend religious services weekly. Churches, temples and mosques are well positioned to cultivate anti-drug values and teach effective coping tools to deal with negative peer pressure.” “We know that drug use is a problem among our youth, and we know that faith communities are in a position to make a difference,” said Reverend Eric Ovid Donaldson, Executive Director, One Church One Addict. “These resources provide the faith leader, lay person and local volunteer with much needed support.” The new multi-denominational resources
include the Pathways to Prevention: Guiding Youth to Wise Decisions 100 page drug prevention activity guide for youth faith leaders, the www.TheAntiDrug.com/ Faith Web site, and an e-mail newsletter. These resources, in conjunction with the existing Four Ways to Include Drug Prevention in Your Religious Programs brochure, will help churches, mosques and synagogues incorporate youth drug prevention into their programming. Pathways to Prevention was developed by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign in partnership with faith leaders nationwide. The activity guide was tested at Muslim, Christian and Jewish faith institutions in Washington, D.C., Tennessee, and Minnesota. It provides guidance on a range of issues from how to incorporate drug prevention into sermons, to how to integrate ready to use teen drug prevention activities into youth ministries and religious education classes. To learn more about preventing youth marijuana and other illicit drug use, log on to www.TheAntiDrug.com/Faith for faith communities and www.TheAntiDrug.com for parents. Free copies of the activity guide and brochure can be ordered through www.TheAntiDrug.com/Faith or by calling the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol & Drug Information at 1-800788-2800. Reference inventory numbers: PHD903 (activity guide) and PHD904 (brochure).
The Teacher is No Longer There By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, TMO Editor-in-Chief The most prominent Muslim thinker of our generation born in Egypt in 1928 was buried in Southern California on September 11, 2010 leaving a void that is impossible to fill by his contemporaries. Dr. Fathi Osman bid farewell to our mortal world around Fajr time in his home in Montrose, California on Saturday, Sept 11. The author of more than 50 books in Arabic and English left behind his wife and daughter, a huge Islamic library and an unprecedented legacy that will long be remembered by those who came in contact with him. He was my mentor, guide, teacher, and almost like a father. I sat at his feet for almost 30 years to learn the Quran, history, hadith, contemporary Islamic thoughts, intellectual trends and above all the etiquettes to acquire and respect knowledge. I cannot recall a single day when he was not in my prayers. What an irony that I could not make to his funeral even though I drove from Las Vegas to Los Angeles as soon as I heard the news from Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi. When Dr. Siddiqi called me, it was 11:30 in the morning and I was heading to the Federal Court House building to participate in a Peace Rally that Muslims of the state had organized in collaboration with interfaith leaders. I had the choice to leave instantly to attend the funeral at 3 PM or to do what would have pleased my teacher. I decided to follow the teacher in standing for peace and human dignity. I announced the information to those attending the peace rally and offered the funeral prayers together with interfaith leaders. What a way to pay tribute to a teacher who was present even among those who had never met him. I met Dr. Fathi Osman in 1981 when I moved to London from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to join the newly launched Arabia, the Islamic World Review, a monthly English language magazine dedicated to Islamic issues. He was the chief editor and I was just a junior journalist. It was the first international Islamic magazine with its correspondents and writers from all over the world including Hussain Haqqani, now the ambassador of Pakistan in Washington, Alija Izzetbegovic, the deceased president of independent Bosnia, Dr. Muhammad Asad, the translator of the Quran, Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed, now the head of International Iqbal institute of Learning and Dialogue in Islamabad and Anwar Ibrahim the one time deputy prime minister of Malaysia. Arabia had a circulation in almost 120 countries of the world and it is perhaps the only Muslim magazine that was repeatedly banned in at least 38 Muslim countries for speaking the truth. In the next 30 years, we would cross our paths several times even though Arabia was closed down in 1987. He invited me to join the Minaret magazine in Los Angeles in 1989 and in 2008 we both spent some six months in Pakistan on different occasions working on a project that focused on emerging Islamic thoughts in the world. During these years, we traveled together in England, Scotland and Wales as well as India and Pakistan as well as Malaysia and Indonesia. During these years, I worked with him on several of his books. I still cherish the copies of his autographed books including the Concepts of the Quran, a unique book in Quranic literature. Dr. Fathi Osman was a pioneer Muslim thinker in
many branches of Islamic thoughts. His major focus in his last days was to highlight the distinction between the permanent and temporary in the divine message. He has almost completed this work. It would certainly be a revolutionary book in Islamic intellectual history and game changer. He is one of the few modern Islamic scholars who have passionately elaborated and explained the Quranic concepts of human dignity, peace, pluralism, democracy, freedom of expression, gender equality, interfaith cooperation and social change in an authentic manner collaborated with the Quran and sunnah of the Prophet. He is a modernist with deep respect for traditionalism and he is a traditionalist with a forward looking progressive thinking. He is the first Muslim thinker in the last three centuries who advocated a jurisprudence dedicated to Muslim minorities. He was of the opinion that Muslims have lagged behind in making full use of the methodology of modern social sciences, thus, creating an intellectual gap between Islamic ideas and ideals and the modern concepts such as democracy, pluralism and human dignity. Dr. Osman was a hafiz (one who memorizes the Quran) and well versed in hadith literature, Islamic history, Islamic law and Muslim’s intellectual trends. He taught in universities in different parts of the world including Algeria, Morroco, England, USA, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. His students include journalists, professors, social activists, politicians and rulers. For the last 15 years he was associated with the Omar bin Khattab Academy in Los Angeles and prior to that he was with the Islamic Center of Southern California. In his early academic career, he was an assistant editor of a magazine that was edited by Syed Qutb, a prominent commentator of the Quran. Dr. Osman was a pious man who never missed a single prayer even in his days of serious illness. He was always ready to share his knowledge regardless of his health conditions. While in India in 1983, he would address three or four meetings a day to people ranging from young college students to Islamic movement workers in places far off from big cities. He spent some two weeks in the Indian side of Kashmir during that visit and never objected to traveling to small villages even if he had to walk for miles. He was always cheerful, always optimistic and always patient in all kinds of adversities. In the thirty years that I spent with him, I never found him talking ill about anyone including even those who apparently hurt him. I remember an incident where what was owed to him by someone was not given. It was a big amount of money that was due to him. Yet he never said a single word about the person who had deceived him. His character was exemplary. I never found him angry or upset. But he was concerned about the quality of Muslim leadership. He was of the opinion that a leader ought to be a sincere and serious thinker besides being an activist. Leadership, he would always say, demands certain specific characteristics with knowledge and sincerity at the top. By knowledge he did not mean only the religious, but modern social and scientific as well. He was always careful not to listen to those who would criticize others. I distinctly remember that he never encouraged me to say a negative word against others even those who he knew were hurting him. He would always advice me to remember that ultimate justice would be delivered on the day of judgment. He advised me to be respectful to those who are your adversaries and
to be magnanimous to those who hurt you. Seek guidance of Allah with patience and prayer was his motto. His simplicity, sincerity and commitment to Islam resembled that of many companions of the Prophet. I never found him saying anything that resembled expediency or diplomacy. He was a straight forward man. He would always speak the truth regardless of the consequences. However, he never hurt anyone, not even those who called him names. He was always respectful to others even to those officers who would detain him at the airport for hours and question him for his ideas. He led a simple life. In a small apartment, he lived the last 20 years of his life. Even at the age of 82, he would spend hours in studying new books and thesis. Perhaps there is not a social science subject that is not represented in his library. In his house, you would only find books and magazines and manuscripts in his home. The furniture that he bought in 1990 is still there and the chair that would always sit to study is still there but empty. He was well supported by his wife Aida Osman, an educationist by profession and daughter Ghada Osman, a scholar of early Arabic literature, who were involved in his every intellectual endeavor. They too lived a simple life without demanding anything. It is a harsh reality of our culture that unless a scholar belongs to a particular school of thought or a particular political or ideological group, he or she is not given recognition and acknowledgment for their intellectual work in his life time. Partisan prejudices has become so rampant in our style of work that independent scholarship is often rejected regardless of its value. people usually promote “their” scholars, “their” writers and “their” leaders as if Islam is a business enterprise. Even though Dr. Osman’s work on contemporary Islamic issues is a masterpiece, yet most Muslim intellectuals in America have not even heard of this work. For instance, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, the world famous translator of the Quran in English died and buried as an anonymous in London. He lived in London amidst Muslims for several years as almost a stranger. He was recognized by a priest in a London hospital who informed Pakistan high commissioner for the plight of this noble scholar of Islam. However, two generations later, his became the most widely read translation. Dr. Hameedullah Siddigi left the world quietly and now the Muslim community has begun to recognize his scholarship. What Dr. Osman taught and wrote would also one day be recognized by the generations to come and then those of his generation or our generation would say, how come we failed to see his scholarship in our time. Dr. Osman is a scholar whose work would benefit those who, in in the word of Muhammad Iqbal, are working on reconstructing Islamic thoughts. Dr. Fathi Osman, though his writings, has certainly, ignited the spark that is necessary for the renaissance of Muslims. He would live in the social changes that Muslims would go through this century not only in America but all over the world. May Allah rest his soul in peace and give us the inspiration to respect the legacy that he has left behind.
DEAR SISTER HANA / HEALTH
DEAR SISTER HANA Dear Sister Hana, I am writing you this letter with hopes that you can help me with this matter. My wife has some mental health issues that she is currently working on and I try to support her as much as I can. Until recently she has told me what I did not know before which is that she has suicidal thoughts and behaviors that I never knew about, however I notice it now that she has been open and honest with me about it. I urge her to seek help from her therapist about this but I think she feels ashamed of having these thoughts since it is against our religion to commit suicide. I am asking you for any help or advice you can give me on how to help her with this matter. Thank you. Dear Brother, I appreciate your honestly and truth. Therapy is only helpful when we are honest and truthful to ourselves. I understand why your wife may feel ashamed; it would be helpful if you were to explain to her that there is nothing to be ashamed about. It may be against our religion to commit suicide, but she is not choosing to have these thoughts. It might be helpful to her if you remind her that she is not committing any sin by having these thoughts. In fact, she is doing everything in her power to improve her problems, like going to therapy and being honest with you about her thoughts and feelings. It is not helpful to carry additional shame and guilt that is unnecessary in her situation. When your wife (or anyone) share with you (or anyone) that there are having suicidal thoughts, there are basic steps that can be followed to help that person feel better. When confronted with something like this a person can feel stressed and responsible for the safely of the other. I will provide you with three basic
steps that anyone can follow when they are told that someone is having suicidal thoughts. Step number one: Connecting. Connecting will give you an opportunity to clarify and examine you own feeling about the person exhibiting suicidal behaviors. Through connecting you build trust with the person to help them be more open and honest with you in what they are thinking and feeling. The next step is: Understanding. In this step, after a connection was made it is important to ask the person who is feeling suicidal why they want to die and why they want to live. Asking these questions are crucial and may be intimidating, but are very helpful in the long run. Understanding also involves asking the person if they have a plan or intention of committing suicide and when. If there is no plan, you can more forward to step three, if there is a plan of suicide, then a safety plan is necessary to ensure the person has no means of hurting themselves or that the means will be taken away. The third step is: Assisting. This step includes helping the person find resources to get help. Therapy, supports, people to call or go to when feeling this way. In your case, your wife’s resources are you and her therapist. You can ask her why she feels like she wants to die and why she wants to live, what does she think she has to live for. This will help he shift her thoughts from depressive thoughts, to thoughts about living and will help her feel better. I hope this helped you and everyone else reading this. Thanks again for your question. Sincerely, 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
Gluten-free has gone big time, but why so popular? By MICHAEL HILL Associated Press Writer Gwyneth Paltrow gushes over gluten-free. Chelsea Clinton’s wedding cake was baked without it. The new Old Spice guy avoids the ubiquitous protein to help stay buff. In fact, odds are good you too have tried, or at least encountered, a product with the gluten removed.
cut from his diet. Then there are the claims that going ``G-free’’ makes you feel more energetic. ``I feel better when I don’t do it. If I go out to a restaurant with friends and I have a beer and a plate of pasta I’m going to feel it the next day. No one wants a gluten hangover,’’ said Silvana Nardone, former
Gluten does affect some people, notably people with celiac disease. But celiacs, who suffer an immune reaction if they eat food with gluten, such as bread or pasta, are estimated to represent less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. Some other people have less severe gluten allergies or sensitivities. Dr. Alessio
and dabbling in vegan and dabbling in different things and they see gluten-free as part of that world,’’ said Shauna James Ahern, better known as the popular blogger ``Gluten-Free Girl.’’ Ahern, diagnosed with celiac at age 38 after feeling ``lowlevel lousy’’ her whole life, said that even as dabblers drop the diet, they build
Dr. Brian Bosworth, associate director of the Gastroenterology Fellowship Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, noted that while gluten can certainly be an irritant to some people, he would not make a blanket statement that it is harder to digest for everyone.
Americans are enthusiastically exiling a dietary staple that was not even in most people’s vocabulary a decade ago. But why?
Not only is gluten an essential element of traditional breads and pastas (it is the protein that gives them their structure), it often is used as a thickening agent in processed foods, such as ketchup and ice cream. And cutting out gluten is no guarantee of weight loss. The fad seems to be fueled partly by the celebrity factor: Paltrow talks it up on her website, Clinton stirred online chatter this summer when she ordered a glutenfree cake for her big day, and the muscular guy on the funny Old Spice commercials recently told Jay Leno that gluten is among the things he
Why people report feeling better is not totally clear. And the connection may be indirect. People who eliminate gluten-rich foods may eat more produce, and therefore have a healthier diet overall, said Dee Sandquist, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Fasano suggests that gluten is generally harder to digest, perhaps because it was only introduced to the human diet about 10,000 years ago. In evolutionary terms, that’s not a lot of time to adapt to digesting a new protein.
Because gluten-free is what low-carb was a decade ago: The ``it’’ diet discussed on daytime television talk shows, promoted by hyperslim actresses and adopted by masses. Grocery aisles are stocked with the likes of gluten-free pasta, crackers, cereal and beer.
Unlike some other dietary bogymen like trans-fats, gluten is not inherently bad to eat. Only a small percentage of people cannot tolerate the protein, which occurs naturally in wheat, barley and rye. Plus, banning gluten from your diet can be really hard.
play a big part.’’
``I don’t think that, in general, that there’s a reason to strictly avoid it,’’ said Bosworth, who has celiac disease. editor-in-chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. Nardone, the mother of a teenage boy with a gluten intolerance, just released a cookbook of gluten- and dairy-free recipes titled ``Cooking for Isaiah.’’ These sort of claims are common, if hard to prove. But that has not slowed the industry’s growth. U.S. sales of gluten-free food has more than doubled since 2005 to over $1.5 billion, according to the market research company Packaged Facts. And the growth spurt is expected to continue at least through 2012.
Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, figures that up to 7 or 8 percent of Americans have some kind of sensitivity to gluten. Yet about a quarter of U.S. adults are either trying to reduce or to avoid gluten altogether in their diets, according to the marketing firm NPD Group’s Dieting Monitor. That means most of the people eating gluten-free foods probably do not have to, but want to. ``Some of the people we’re talking about most are people who are dabbling in raw foods
awareness of gluten-free, which leads to more people getting diagnosed. That is why she thinks the diet still will be around in a decade. Many of these gluten watchers are people like Akiia James, a 33-year-old news producer from North Carolina, who already was healthy and fit before she decided to cut out gluten and dairy several months ago. ``The main thing is just feeling better after you eat, not feeling the weight of eating,’’ James said. ``I mean, I never anymore feel like I’m stuffed ... I think I still eat the same amount, but the ingredients
Sandquist says there is no harm in avoiding gluten, as long as you eat a balanced diet. But she said it can be a challenge to eat a nutritionally sound diet without gluten, despite the recent proliferation of products. And watch out: just because a product is labeled glutenfree does not mean it is low in calories. And some glutenfree prepared meals can run high in both calories and salt. ``There are just as calories, if not depending on the choices,’’ Sandquist ``It’s all about the choices.’’
many more, food said. food
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Warbat (Middle Eastern Cheese Puffs) This specialty dessert requires a little bit of love and time, but it is unique and will be a great treat for your next dinner.
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a little more butter on the folded half. Then fold sheet a second time to form a long rectangle and brush on more butter.
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Posted By: Habib Akhtar There are several kind of kababs. This is a very simple, easy to make recipe of Afghani kababs(mince with green masala). Ingredients:
• 1 15oz tub of ricotta cheese
Minced beef 1 kg
• 1 package of #4 or #7 phyllo dough (make sure they are thin sheets)
Green chillies 10 (cut very fine)
• 1 stick of butter (melted)
Onions 2 (medium size, chop as for omelette)
• 1 cup of simple syrup:
Coriander leaves 1/2 bunch
• 2 cups of sugar
Black pepper 1/2 tsp (grind coarsely)
• 1 cup of water
Tomatoes 1 kg (boil & make paste)
• 2 tsp rose or orange blossom water
Salt to taste
• 1/2 tsp of lemon juice
Cooking Oil 1 cup
Method First, make the syrup. Dissolve the sugar in the water and add the lemon juice. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally until syrup slightly thickens (about 10 minutes). Add rose water towards the end of the cooking time. Let stand to cool and set aside. Next, prepare the ingredients to be assembled. Make sure the phyllo dough is thawed completely; set package of dough on flat surface (where you will assemble the warbat) and cover so dough does not dry out. Melt the stick of butter and set aside, you will use a brush to apply the butter to the dough. Make sure the ricotta is ready to use (you will use one tablespoon of ricotta per puff) Have a cookie sheet sprayed with oil and the oven preheated to 350 degrees F. Now, you are ready to assemble. Take one sheet and place it flaton your table. Apply butter with a brush on half of the sheet, making sure to do this carefully, as the sheet is sensitive. Fold the buttered sheet in half forming a square. Brush
Now take one end of the rectangle and add 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese. Now fold to one side and then to other. Keep doing this until a triangle is formed. Brush butter on top and place on cookie sheet. Keep doing this until you run out of phyllo sheets or ricotta, usually this recipe will make about 10 to 12 Warbat. When they are all assembled, bake them for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of simple syrup on top of the hot Warbat, let them cool and enjoy! Notes: If you have syrup left over, you can serve it next to the Warbat if someone likes it sweeter.
Preparation: In a bowl combine mince meat, green chillies, black pepper , onions and knead them, separate into four portions. Brush each portion with a little oil. In a flat frying pan flatten and place one portion and cook for 4 minutes. Repeat with the other portions then cut each into strips. In a wok (karhai) fry the pieces slightly, add tomatoes, salt and a few green chillies and black pepper .
Cook till oil separates, garnish with coriander leaves .
CALENDAR / ANNOUNCEMENTS
Tucson Prayer Times
Phoenix Prayer Times
October 2010 • Shawwal / Dhul- Qadah 1431 H
October 2010 • Shawwal / Dhul- Qadah 1431 H
DIRECTIONS TO THE ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTER CEMETERY
ISLAMIC WEEKEND SCHOOLS 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 September Winner Firas Kamel Send your coloring to the Muslim Voice to enter the drawing for the best picture.
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
CHANDLER Masjid AsSalam 1071 N. Alma School Rd.• Chandler 480-250-7522
PEORIA Greenway Islamic Center 6724 West Greenway • Peoria, Islamic Center of East Valley AZ www.greenwaymasjid.com 425 N. Alma School Dr. • Chandler TEMPE 602-388-9900 Islamic Comnty Ctr of Tempe 131 E. 6th Street • Tempe LAVEEN 480-894-6070 Islamic Center of Laveen P.O. Box 1107 • Laveen Masjid Al Mahdi 602-361-4401 1016 S. River Dr. • Tempe 480-557-9699 MARICOPA Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabah Masjid Omar Bin Al-Khattab 44240 W. Maricopa/Casa6225 S.McClintock • Tempe Granda Hwy 480-775-6627 Maricopa Arizona 85139 contact# (602)312-7913 MESA Masjid-el-Noor CASA GRANDE 55 N. Matlock • Mesa Masjid Sajda is located c/o: 480-644-0074 The Legacy Suites 540 North Cacheris Court SCOTTSDALE Casa Grande`, Arizona 85122 Islamic Center of N.E. Valley 480.332.8618 12125 E. Via Linda • Scottsdale 480-612-4044
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Reasonable Prices Mediterranean, European Foods Culture Clothing - Accessories
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Halal meat Goat meat Spices Pita & Iraqi breads I N T E R N E T
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www.mosaicmedianetwork.net firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 602-258-7770
Al Wazir Olive Oil 3L $19.99 Beef Luncheon Meat Halal $1.99 Baklava Tray 2.5 LB $18.99 $ Feta cheese 4.49 $ Napolitanke Cookies 2.49
3515 W. Thunderbird Rd. • Phoenix, AZ 85053
P R I N T