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Monday, October 22, 2007

America, we are proud of you

America, we are proud of you!

Our current administration may not believe and practice Justice, but our Civil society does. Monday, October 22, 2007 will go down in the history as one of the most important milestones in the history of American system of Justice.

Although the fascist facet of our government machinery in collusion with hate mongers from around the globe attempted to bulldoze this through, our system of democracy prevailed. Even though the integrity of the media is questionable in this case, the court system remained intact.

Justice is the most critical aspect of human life, when it is not met in this life, we are assured, through our faith traditions, that it will be served, that is how the spiritual equilibrium is achieved. One set of faiths believe in life after death, where one is accountable for the deeds in the world and receives grace and blessings or punishment depending on how he or she lived the life. The other set of faiths believe that life is cyclical, one is born continuously through re-incarnation and birthing in lower forms of life as a payment for living the wrong life or will complete the life cycle and get the salvation for living the life of goodness. Either belief set has the same essence - behavior modification in this life and justice at the end.

The whole Muslim world was looking forward to this case with intensity. It was a question of faith in American Justice system. Thanks God for our exemplary system, thanks CAIR for the immense faith they have restored in our system, and we thank our founding fathers for creating a nation where Justice prevails.

This decision is a catalyst in influencing the relationship between our nation and the nations that supply our energy needs. They will see us as a people of integrity and I hope and pray that they will discount our administration and believe in us, the Americans.

Now, it is time for cleaning one more guilt off our slate; Lifting the idiotic, unjust, cruel ban on providing food and medicine to the dying families in Gaza, regardless of their religion. Some one should be held responsible for their death. The least we can do is take the responsibility to speak up and end their misery and liberate us from the sins of depriving life essentials to a people.

As Americans we need to speak up against people who sow the seeds of hate.

I am proud to be an American and request each one of us to take the responsibility for peace, let our actions and words reflect conflict reduction and peace building. Amen

God bless America

Your comments are welcome: http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=2801020625658998297&postID=9137950637476820248&isPopup=true

Link to this posting: http://mikeghouseforamerica.blogspot.com/2007/10/america-we-are-proud-of-you.htm

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/ and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the http://www.worldmuslimcongress.com/ with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: http://mikeghouseforamerica.blogspot.com/ and http://mikeghouse.sulekha.com/ . He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com . Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town


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CAIR: HLF MISTRIAL A 'STUNNING DEFEAT' FOR PROSECUTION - TOP
Not a single guilty verdict returned by Texas jury on 197 charges

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/22/2007) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called today's declaration of a mistrial in the case against the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Muslim charity a "stunning defeat" for the prosecution.

CAIR also said the absence of a single guilty verdict on 197 charges brought by the prosecution in the terror financing trial will help reinforce the Muslim community's faith in America's system of justice.

The jury initially brought back "not guilty" verdicts on the government's most serious charges of material support for terrorism against the five HLF officials. However, jurors were deadlocked on other charges, forcing the judge to declare the mistrial.

SEE: Judge Declares Mistrial in Holy Land Foundation Case (Dallas Morning News)

SEE ALSO: HLF Juror Says 'There Was So Little Evidence' (AP)

View the jury's verdict for one of the defendant's here.

In a statement reacting to the declaration of a mistrial, CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed applauded the efforts of the jury.

Ahmed's statement said in part:

"After 19 days of deliberation, the jurors did not return even a single guilty verdict on any of the almost 200 charges against these men, whose only 'crime' was providing food, clothing and shelter to Palestinian women and children. It seems clear that the majority of the jury agreed with many observers of the trial who believe the charges were built on fear, not facts. This is a stunning defeat for prosecutors and a victory for America's legal system.

"The American Muslim community will continue to fight for justice and for the right to help those who are in need, whether in this nation or overseas. Today's developments in the HLF case send the message that a hard-working jury of ordinary Americans will weigh the facts objectively and will resist pressure to convict based on guilt by association. Charitable giving should be honored, not criminalized."

Ahmed added that this is just the latest defeat for government prosecutors in such cases. Similar conspiracy charges brought in Illinois and Florida found little traction with jurors.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com

SEE ALSO:


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CAIR: HLF JUROR SAYS 'THERE WAS SO LITTLE EVIDENCE' - TOP
David Koenig, Associated Press, 10/22/07

A judge declared a mistrial Monday for former leaders of a Muslim charity accused of funding terrorism after jurors who spent 19 days deliberating deadlocked on most charges.

Prosecutors said they would probably retry leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which the federal government shut down in December 2001.

The jury found one former Holy Land leader, Mohammed El-Mezain, not guilty on 31 of 32 counts. Two other defendants were initially acquitted on most or all charges, but in a confusing courtroom scene, three jurors disputed the verdict.

The judge declared a mistrial against those men and two other former foundation leaders for whom jurors never reached any decisions. . .

A juror told The Associated Press that the panel found little evidence against three of the defendants and was evenly split on charges against Baker and former Holy Land chairman Ghassan Elashi, who were seen as the principal leaders of the charity.

"I thought they were not guilty across the board," said the juror, William Neal, a 33-year-old art director from Dallas. The case "was strung together with macaroni noodles. There was so little evidence."

Neal said the jury was split about 6-6 on counts against Baker and Elashi. He said the government should not retry the case — a call picked up by Holy Land's supporters. . .

The case stirred emotions in the American Muslim community, at least partly because prosecutors named dozens of Muslim groups as unindicted co-conspirators.

The Holy Land case followed terror-financing trials in Chicago and Florida that also ended without convictions on the major counts.

The government "failed in Chicago, it failed in Florida, it failed in Texas," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations — one of those unindicted co-conspirators. "The reason it failed is the government does not have the facts; it has fear." (MORE)
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MSA LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE ‘PEACE...NOT PREJUDICE’ PROJECT - TOP

This month, more than 100 Muslim Student Associations (MSAs) across the country will hold a 'Peace...Not Prejudice' campaign, a project of MSA National, to further improve interfaith dialogue and increase an open exchange of ideas on our college campuses.

To learn more about the project click here:


SEE ALSO:

'ISLAMO-FASCISM AWARENESS WEEK' STOKES DEBATE - TOP
National Public Radio, 10/21/07


Listen to this story.

Tempers may flare over Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. David Horowitz, a '60s anti-war radical who later took a right turn, says he's trying to sound an alarm about radical Islam. His efforts have drawn much criticism.
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JUDEO-CHRISTO-FASCISM AWARENESS WEEK COMES TO AMERICAN CAMPUSES! - TOP
Rabbi Arthur Waskow


Did that title make the hair on the back of your neck bristle? Did it feel like a bigoted attack on Christianity and Judaism?

When the feature film sent out for use in this Week—which focused on the disgusting Christian-led war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the disgusting Jewish-led killing of Muslim children by airplane bombing raids on Gaza - also included interviews with a few peacenik Quakers, Methodists, and left-wing Jews, criticizing that war and those bombings, did you relax, feeling it was a balanced presentation of Judaism and Christianity?

NO??!! —Your guts, your kishkes, felt that practically all Christians and Jews were being set up as potential indeed probable— bad guys? Could-be terrorists who often manipulated by governments that Christians or Jews controlled—-- hated other religious communities but had not yet got around to buying the plastique for their bombs?

And since Christians are a huge majority in America but Jews are a small minority with a past of being persecuted, did you especially fear for the impact of Judeo-Christo-Fascism Awareness on Jews and Judaism? That this Week might incite anti-Semitism?

Did you urge universities to condemn this “travesty” and institute instead a real Judeo-Christian Awareness Week that looked at the wonderful achievements of Christian and Jewish prayer, charity, and social justice; the history of their persecution; AND the history of their violence against others? That did look closely at the murders of Muslims by Baruch/Aror Goldstein but as an aberration? And looked at the support of Nazism by the leading respectable Lutheran theologians of Germany as terrible a mistake? That discussed the genocidal passages of Torah as a long-ago transcended worldview in the light of Hillel’s teaching, “Do not do to your neighbor what would be hateful if your neighbor did it to you?”

Wow. Now THERE’S a concept!— Do not do to your neighbor what would be hateful if your neighbor did it to you!

So what are you doing about the fact that there is NO such week about to appear on US campuses, but on many campuses this coming week, there WILL appear a whole industrial machine called “Islamofascism Awareness Week”?

If you think it would be hateful toward you to have somebody produce Judeo-Christo-Fascism Awareness Week, what do you owe your Muslim neighbors? Or is Hillel’s teaching (and of course Jesus’ parallel interpretation of “Love your neighbor as yourself") a mere utopian joke aimed at na├»ve children? (MORE)
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NOT IN OUR VOICE: JEWISH ALLIANCE REPUDIATES ‘ISLAMO-FASCISM AWARENESS WEEK’ - TOP
Shira Gordon, Alana Krivo-Kaufman, Josh Schwartz and Shlomo Bolts, Columbia Spectator, 10/22/07


We, the Progressive Jewish Alliance, repudiate the mission of David Horowitz’s “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” We reject the manner in which he manipulates Jewish grief over the Holocaust and the situation in Israel. As Jews and members of a larger campus coalition community, we speak out as allies of our fellow Muslim students.

Horowitz does not speak for us. Instead, he uses symbols and rhetoric which exploit Jewish communal memory and grief. He uses the fear brought about by the Holocaust as well as by terrorist attacks against our fellow Jews. He juxtaposes images of Nazi propaganda with current Islamic extremists. By associating these images with broad groups haphazardly labeled “Islamo-Fascist,” Horowitz seeks to replace intellectual discussion with panic. Such malevolent tactics are of no service to the Jewish people; rather, they are an attempt to induce Jews into sacrificing their values for a world view of oversimplified fear.

Horowitz claims to support moderate Islam, but does nothing of the sort. Horowitz’s “Student’s Guide” features a petition “appeal” aimed at Muslim Student Associations across the country. This “appeal” is in fact a loyalty oath, in which Muslims are forced to choose between denouncing their entire religion as a danger to humanity and being branded as terrorist sympathizers. Such a narrow-minded approach does not aid moderates, but seeks to strand them between two radical and untenable positions.

Horowitz’s anti-Muslim week of action aims to create a dangerous and false dichotomy between “Judeo-Christian Civilization” and Islam, both on our campuses and in the world. Horowitz points to the atrocities of extremist regimes, which are driven by a range of historical, political, and economic factors, and claims such atrocities embody the essence of Islam. By this logic, geopolitical conflict can only be resolved with the end of Islam. Such a headstrong and stubborn conviction could only result in enflaming tensions, and provoking a New Crusade against Islam.

We refuse to lend our voice to those who attempt to parasitically draw on the support of the Jewish community. We are not fooled by pundits who co-opt progressive activists’ language and protest forms. Instead, we stand as allies with communities of faith and our fellow students. Mr. Horowitz: You will not further your campaign of hate and intolerance in our voice.

Shira Gordon is a senior in Barnard College. Alana Krivo-Kaufman is a junior in Barnard College. Joshua Schwartz is a senior in List College. Shlomo Bolts is a sophomore in Columbia College. The authors are all members of the Progressive Jewish Alliance.


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MN: ISLAMO-FASCISM A RACIST CONCEPT - TOP
Fedwa Wazwaz, Minnesota Daily, 10/22/07


In his Oct. 17 letter "Not racist to criticize," Matt Kleiber states that one of the potential speakers in the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was not a racist for suggesting that Western culture is superior to Arab culture.

Kleiber needs to understand that the very notion of Islamo-Fascism is a racist concept and any speaker that speaks in such an event is a racist. These speakers are not criticizing any Arab country or particular policy but instead are attacking the faith of 1.5 billion people by likening Islam to Fascism. A better analogy is a conference held by the KKK attacking Jews or holding a Judeo-Fascism Awareness Week.

Or how would Kleiber feel about a West-Fascism Awareness Week that seeks to show how Western women are oppressed as sex objects and citing the human trafficking problem where women are sold as sex slaves?

Not everything Muslims do is right; Muslims do not always represent Islam, just as Christians and Jews do not always represent their faiths. There are many problems in the Muslim world today and there are just as many in the Western world. Both societies need to own up to them by forums that open up an exchange of ideas and educate the masses.

However, there is a difference between a forum that criticizes cultural practices in a given society and one that demonizes a group of people. An awareness week that paints all Muslims with the same brush does not promote understanding but rather increases intolerance, fear and bigotry in a climate of prejudice toward Muslims that is already at an unprecedented level.

It is documented that campaigns that demonize an entire group of people are one of the many gradual steps toward genocide. Please read "The six Steps from Discrimination to Extermination" by Bart Charlow. Charlow mentions that step one is to spread myths or stereotypes about people that result in denigration and social distancing from them.

Freedom of speech when embraced in the spirit of elevating the truth is a needed value in every society. However, it is important to understand that hate speech which vilifies an entire group can have dangerous consequences in the form of hate crimes and violence.

Fedwa Wazwaz is a University staff member.


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‘ISLAMOFASCISM’ - DEBUNKING A CONSERVATIVE SMEAR TACTIC - TOP
Annika Carlson and Sarah Dreier, Campus Progress, 10/22/07


In the days following 9/11, Americans across the ideological spectrum united in support of increased protections against terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. But a handful of conservatives used the attacks to promote division among Americans and their allies abroad. For example, conservative writer Stephen Schwartz employed the term “Islamofascism” in a Weekly Standard article to describe the ideology of America’s enemies in its newly minted “war on terror.” Unfortunately, the moniker stuck with many prominent conservatives. Right-wing pundits, policy makers, and journalists started using the term, and even President Bush has employed it to describe terrorist networks in the Middle East.

That’s a shame, because Islamofascism is a misleading and harmful label: Instead of correctly identifying America’s enemies, it inaccurately describes modern terrorism, wrongly demonizes Islam as a violent religion, and dangerously obscures America’s real national security threats.

Here are the top four reasons why conservatives should stop using the term Islamofascism, and an explanation of what ideas and policies they should be promoting instead.

Islamofascism misrepresents modern terrorism and Islam.

It makes little sense to use the word “fascism” to describe today’s terrorism threat. Al Qaeda and other 21st century terrorists do not rely on the nation-state concept that defined 20th century fascism. Whereas fascists used violence to create control out of disorder, contemporary terrorists derive ammunition from chaos. (MORE)


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DC: CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST FIGHTS ANTI-MUSLIM PREJUDICE - TOP
WAMU, 10/19/07


A notable leader of the civil rights era is speaking out against what he's calling a nationwide effort to discredit Islam. Former D.C. Delegate, and civil rights activist, Walter Fauntroy is denouncing "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week," next week's series of speeches on college campuses nationwide organized by the neoconservative writer David Horowitz.

Neoconservative scholars and journalists say Islam is the philosophical basis for anti-Western terrorism and must be exposed for what it is. But Fauntroy, who is endorsing a counter-protest organized by Muslim and other college students, says it's time to set the record straight.

Listen here.


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CA: WEEK’S FOCUS STIRRING CONTROVERSY - TOP
Bruin Republicans’ “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” met with criticism from Muslim students
Lucy Benz-Rogers, Daily Bruin, 10/22/07


A weeklong series of events called Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, put on by Bruin Republicans, is beginning today amid some controversy.

Similar events will be held at hundreds of campuses across the nation as part of a terrorism-awareness project started by conservative writer and activist David Horowitz.

“The idea is to raise awareness about the threat of Islamic terror and Islamic radicalism,” said David Lazar, chairman of Bruin Republicans and a former Daily Bruin Viewpoint columnist.

Horowitz emphasized that, while his group developed the idea for the event, the specific details were up to student coordinators such as Lazar.

The week will focus on abuses against women, such as genital mutilation and honor killings, Lazar and Horowitz both said.

“This isn’t about a problem we have with Islam,” said Lazar. “Our focus is on things that I hope we are all able to condemn as horrible,” he added.

Event organizers stressed that they encourage moderate Muslims to join them in opposing Islamic fundamentalism, though Lazar admitted he did not expect much support from Muslim Student Association members.

The reason for this is Lazar’s definition of the term moderate, said Naqib Shifa, president of the Muslim Student Association, which he believes does not align with that of most Muslim students.

Randa May Wahbe, president of Students for Justice in Palestine, agreed.

“The way the week is stamped ... is that it’s not a moderate week. I don’t see it as a week that would draw moderates at all,” she said.

In response to the event, those opposed to it will be wearing green, and Shifa said his group plans to set up a table on Bruin Walk to pass out information about Islam to peacefully counter what he called the “hate-themed” events.

Shifa said that, while the Muslim Student Association condemns human rights abuses in the name of Islam, he still believes the way these issues are being presented is offensive to Islam. (MORE)


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PA: SANTORUM’S SPEECH ON MUSLIMS SPARKS ANGER - TOP
Brett Lieberman, Patriot-News, 10/22/07


Ten months after leaving office, former Sen. Rick Santorum is back in the thick of controversy over whether he and other conservatives’ “hate speech” is stirring up anti-Muslim sentiments.

Santorum is headlining an event on the campus of Penn State University Tuesday night that is part of a controversial line-up of conservative speakers in Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.

Commentator Ann Coulter also is scheduled to speak at campuses in California and Louisiana. The talks are part of a series of events at more than 100 colleges being organized by the Los Angeles-based David Horowitz Freedom Center.


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IN: ISLAMO-FASCISM AWARENESS MISFIRES BY TARGETING PROFESSORS - TOP
Indiana Daily Student, 10/22/07


Starting today, a coalition of conservative organizations will be holding “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” at college campuses across the country. Organized by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the event will include demonstrations, petitions, distribution of political materials and speeches by figures such as Horowitz, Ann Coulter and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who will all confront “the two Big Lies of the political left: that George Bush created the war on terror and that Global Warming is a greater danger to Americans than the terrorist threat.” Islamo-Fascism Week’s protests are directed against the “academic left,” who, the organizers claim, serve as apologists for radical Islamist terrorism and work to undermine the U.S. government’s efforts against it.

And herein lies our problem with Islamo-Fascism Week: It’s less about educating students about radical Islamist terrorism than it is about bashing liberals. Groups like al-Qaida do murder innocent civilians in order to intimidate populations into surrendering to their despotic rule. They wish to force women to become subservient, second-class citizens; to execute gays, non-Muslims and anyone who doesn’t abide by their cultural rules;. But, instead of focusing on this genuine threat, Islamo-Fascism Week’s organizers would rather invent one namely left-leaning professors. “Never mind those with the bombs,” they seem to think. “It’s academics who criticize U.S. foreign policy and society, who are reticent about military force, who keep repeating that the vast majority of the world’s Muslims aren’t terrorists and that Westerners need to better understand their cultures, and who fret about global warming who are the real enemy.” This is a load of rubbish.

If the event’s organizers really want to combat “Islamo-Fascism,” they need to have actual scholars (not conservative pundits) teach about how terrorist groups work, familiarize students with the political and cultural context that gave rise to these groups, sponsor debates on how to counter them and otherwise do things that are actually educational. (MORE)


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WI: ‘ISLAMO-FASCIST’ MONIKER MEANINGLESS - TOP
Michael Crichton, Badger Herald, 10/22/07


As a former military intelligence soldier with eight years in uniform and two tours in Iraq under my metaphorical belt, I would like to point out how freaking idiotic the “Islamo-Fascist” neologism really is. For one, “fascist” and “totalitarian” are not synonyms, no matter what Bill O’Reilly might have told you. The only way to describe al-Qaeda as “Islamo-Fascists” is to stretch that category so wide that Stalin and Mao become “Communo-Fascists” and Louis XIV is dubbed a “Solar-Monarcho-Fascist.”

You’d be slightly more accurate in describing the Islamists as “Islamic Totalitarians,” but even that has problems. Many of them don’t want a single, monolithic state, which is a prerequisite for the “totalitarian” label. They’d rather have a relatively weak central government with most of the authority handled by regional councils of “the faithful.” In this way, they’re not so different from the small government conservatives we have over here. Why not just say “Islamic militants” or “fundamentalists?” You know, the labels that are actually accurate?

In summation, would people please stop using words they don’t know the meanings of to describe groups whose methodology and motivations they don’t understand? Those of us who actually know something about the matter in question would appreciate it.

Michael Crichton
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CA: MOSQUE OFFERS FOOD, SHELTER FOR VICTIMS OF SAN DIEGO WILDFIRE

(SAN DIEGO, CA, 10/22/07) - The Islamic Center of San Diego (ICSD), the largest mosque in San Diego County, today announced that it is offering shelter and food to the victims of the San Diego County wildfires, particularly for people living near the Rancho Bernardo and Poway area.

WHAT: Mosque offers shelter, food for victims of San Diego County wildfire
WHERE: Islamic Center of San Diego 7050 Eckstrom Avenue, San Diego, CA

CONTACT: Taha Hassane, Imam of Islamic Center of San Diego, 858-722-8615 or 858-278-5240, E-mail: imam@icsd.org


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MO: MUSLIMS TO WEAR PINK HIJABS FOR BREAST-CANCER AWARENESS - TOP
Religion News Service, 10/22/07


After years of watching non-Muslims warily eye her religious attire, Hend El-Buri joked with some veiled friends that it might finally break the ice if they all wore bright pink hijabs to their University of Missouri classes one day.

The wardrobe whim has evolved into a national campaign involving thousands of other Muslim students, aiming to tear down social barriers and raise money for breast-cancer research (participants are asked to contribute to Susan G. Komen for the Cure).

The college junior created a group on Facebook proclaiming Oct. 26 as National Pink Hijab Day. Through word of mouth, more than 6,500 participants have signed up across the country, including young Muslim men who will wear rosy caps or shirts to show solidarity.

"It might make Muslim women more approachable," explained El-Buri, 20. "We might have different faiths and we might look different, but breast cancer can affect any of us."

SEE ALSO:

CA: MUSLIM WOMEN'S PANEL IS PART OF A FOUR-DAY EVENT - TOP
Linda Lou, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/20/07


In the spring of 2004, Dr. Waheeda Samady decided to wear a black head scarf, or a hijab, for the first time in her life, even though she has always been a practicing Muslim.

Her classmates in medical school immediately asked if someone she knew had died, she said. Their second conclusion, she said, was that her father had married her to a man who insisted she wear a veil.

Many acquaintances had a hard time believing that she wanted to wear it.

Samady, 25, talked about her decision to publicly display her religious beliefs at a panel discussion Thursday at Palomar College. The discussion, Women in Islam, was part of a four-day series of events sponsored by the Muslim Student Association to dispel misperceptions about the faith.

Samady, a resident at Children's Hospital, said she doesn't like talking about her experiences with the scarf because it's such a small part of her religion, yet it's the most visible symbol. She said not all Muslim-American women wear scarves, and if they don't it doesn't detract from their devotion. It was a combination of wanting to reject the dictates of fashion trends and of increased interest in her religion, Samady said, that prompted her decision to wear the hijab. Women are often judged for how they dress, she said, and since the scarf represents modesty and purity, she decided to wear something meaningful to her.

“The most feminist thing that I do sometimes is wearing the scarf,” she said. (MORE)


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EVANGELICALS UP PAYMENTS TO IRANIAN JEWS - TOP
JTA, 10/22/07


U.S. evangelical Christians are offering Iranian Jews $10,000 per person to immigrate to Israel.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which is sponsoring the program, has raised $1.4 million for the aliyah project. It increased the grant offer to $10,000 from $5,000 after a lower-than-expected response rate, The Associated Press reported.

The fellowship claims the Jewish community in Iran is in grave danger, but the AP story says most of the 25,000 Jews in the Islamic republic do not feel threatened -- a claim buttressed by Iran.

Most of Iran's Jews left for the United States or Israel over the past 50 years. Iran’s Jewish community remains the largest in the Middle East outside of Israel, and Iranian Jews have legal and constitutional protections as well as a representative in Parliament. (READ MORE)


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Mistrial declared in Muslim charity case

By DAVID KOENIG, Associated Press Writer 44 minutes ago
DALLAS - A judge declared a mistrial Monday for four former leaders of a Muslim charity accused of funding terrorism, after chaos broke out in the court when three jurors disputed some verdicts that had been read.
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The fifth defendant, former Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development Chairman Mohammed El-Mezain, was acquitted of most charges against him. Jurors were unable to reach a verdict on another, which resulted in a mistrial on that count.
The outcome came about an hour after a confusing scene in the courtroom, in which three former leaders of the group were initially found not guilty of most counts involving funneling money to terrorists. But when jurors were polled, three jurors said those verdicts were read incorrectly.
U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish sent the jury back to resolve the differences, but after about an hour he said he received a note from the jury saying 11 of the 12 felt further deliberations would not lead them to reach a unanimous decision. Then, he declared a mistrial.
The jury forewoman said she was surprised by the three jurors' actions.
"When we voted, there was no issue in the vote," she said. "No one spoke up any different. I really don't understand where it is coming from."
In all, five former Holy Land leaders and the group were accused of providing aid to the Middle Eastern militant group Hamas. The federal government designated Hamas a terrorist group in 1995 and again in 1997, making financial transactions with the group illegal.
The cases for two defendants initially found not guilty along with El-Mezain ended in mistrial. The jurors did not reach verdicts on charges against the foundation itself or two individuals, former chief executive Shukri Abu Baker and former chairman Ghassan Elashi, resulting in mistrials for them, too.
The mistrial was at least a temporary victory for the five former Holy Land leaders, who said they ran a legitimate charity that helped Muslim children and families made homeless or poor by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It was not immediately clear if the government will retry any of the defendants. A gag order preventing those involved from speaking about the case still stands, the judge said.
The initial verdicts read Monday, following 19 days of deliberations, said three former leaders of what was once the nation's largest Muslim charity were not guilty of funneling illegal aid to terrorists. Charity fundraiser Mufid Abdulqader was cleared on all counts. El-Mezain and the group's New Jersey representative, Abdulrahman Odeh, were initially acquitted on most counts.
When Fish polled the jurors a second time after more deliberations, they agreed on finding El-Mezain not guilty on 31 counts with no decision on the other, conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. That resulted in a mistrial on that count.
Jurors heard two months of testimony, mostly from FBI and Israeli agents who described thousands of pages of documents and hours of videotapes seized from Holy Land, from former associates of the group, and from Palestinian charities that got money from Holy Land.
Prosecutors said Hamas controlled those Palestinian charities. Their contention hung largely on the word of one witness, a lawyer for the Israeli domestic security agency Shin Bet, who was allowed to testify under a pseudonym.
Defense lawyers argued that none of the Palestinian charities aided by Holy Land were ever designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. government.
Holy Land was founded in California in the late 1980s and moved to the Dallas area in 1992. FBI surveillance of the group's leaders dates to at least 1993, when agents eavesdropped on a Philadelphia meeting in which participants talked of supporting Hamas' goal of derailing a peace agreement between Israel and Palestinians.
___
Associated Press Writer Anabelle Garay contributed to this report.


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SAY NO TO INTOLERANCE
An initiative of Jewish voice for peace

Petition - say no to intolerance
It is our duty to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen. Hate is one of the many sources of disrupting peace in a society and it is our duty to track down the source of such hate and work on mitigating it. We have an obligation to bring and maintain a balance in the society.

We lose the balance and that elusive equilibrium if we let hate mongers, hate sermons and hate lectures creep in our societies.

It is ironic that there is actually shameless campaigning going out to promote hate against another people. How are they different than KKK and the Nazis?

Peace involves using the language and action that mitigates conflict and not enflare it.

We need to dialogue with Spencer, Horowitz, Colter, Santorium and Emerson, the premier group that erroneously creates chaos hoping it leads to peace. My prayers and invitation to these men and woman to have a true conference about the issue, and do it in a civil democratic fair way. That which is sustainable and Just.

Hating Muslims or any one, will not bring peace. Peace comes when one can act and talk peace.

The Jewish voice for peace has taken the initiative to bring about some sense to this senseless spread of hate. Please sign the petition and forward it to your friends. Remember, peace is the moral responsibility of each one of us, if we cannot do anything, at least express our support by signing the petition.

Cick the link to sign the petition: http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizations/jvfp/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=754

Say No to Intolerance and Islamophobia

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2 comments:

  1. THIS SEA OF INCOMPETENTS

    The willow weeps, but not as much as I weep for my country,
    Perhaps the fate of mankind will depend on the Chinese--
    The world has many mouths but sparse depleted is the pantry,
    And how can one survive amongst incompetents as these?

    ´Tis not lack of ability that makes my brethren fail,
    But lack of good priority and laziness (alas),
    For all go seeking money over hill and over dale
    Expending so much trouble heading off each other´s pass.

    It stirs up straw-dog issues that cannot amount to much,
    Each riling himself up about another person´s wrong,
    Invading other countries never fearful of a putsch
    When evil "homeland" forces grow domestic shady strong.

    My country fails excessively to turn the other cheek
    But hardly seems to fail to turn away its moral eye
    While snide subversive forces plot in secret and oblique,
    Yet not too secret which is cause sufficient for to cry.

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