what can be translated as, "This day I have perfected your deen for
you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as
Posted by Zahra Billoo at 12:23 AM
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has been executed by hanging after three years in U.S. custody. He died before dawn Saturday in Iraq, which was about 10 p.m. Friday EST.
. . .
Meanwhile, leaders in one of the United States' largest Arab-American communities said Saddam's execution will increase violence overseas and will not help the Iraqi people. Osama Siblani, publisher of The Arab American News, said Saddam's death sentence is one more casualty in a war that has killed thousands, and it will not solve the power struggle among Iraqi religious groups.
Boxer’s office confirmed to NEWSWEEK that she has withdrawn a “certificate of accomplishment” to Sacramento activist Basim Elkarra after learning that he serves as an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
. . .
Boxer tells NEWSWEEK she never saw the letter to CAIR signed in her name or was even aware of the award to Elkarra before it was sent out. "I feel terrible about this," she says. "We just made a mistake. I was not in the loop. That was an automatic signature [on the letter]."
. . .
After review by her staff, Boxer was particularly concerned by claims that CAIR had refused to condemn Hamas and Hizbullah and recognize those groups as terrorist organizations,” Ravitz said.
In response, CAIR e-mailed to NEWSWEEK a number of past statements in which it condemned suicide bombings and terror attacks. On Oct. 4, 2003, for example, CAIR issued a statement condemning a suicide bombing at a restaurant in Haifa, Israel, that killed 19 people, including three children. “CAIR condemns this vicious attack in the strongest possible terms,” the statement read. “The bombing is particularly loathsome, coming as it did on the eve of the Jewish community’s holiest day.” The Israeli Foreign Ministry accused the group Islamic Jihad of being behind the attack.
But CAIR Executive Director Awad refuses to say whether he would also condemn Hamas—which has taken credit for similar attacks in Israel—as a group or even whether he considers it a terrorist organization like the U.S. State Department does. “We condemn these groups when they committed acts of terrorism,” he says. “But I’m not going to play the game of the pro-Israel lobby just so they can put words in our mouth. Our position is very clear.
"The entire issue is going back to Israel," Awad adds. "If you love Israel, you're OK. If you question Israel, you're not. If that is the litmus test, no American Muslim and no freedom-loving person is going to pass that test."
A Saudi Arabian princess accused of breaking U.S. immigration laws by locking up her domestics' passports and forcing them to work for low pay was ordered to be deported, prosecutors said Thursday.
. . .
In September, Al Jader pleaded guilty to two counts of visa fraud for lying on immigration forms, and two counts of harboring an alien for keeping the two women at her house though she knew their visas had expired.
In a deal with prosecutors, six counts of forced labor were dropped in exchange for guilty pleas on the other charges.
. . .
Al Jader submitted fraudulent forms to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia guaranteeing the women would work eight hours daily for $1,500 a month, they charged.
The women were actually paid just $300 per month after arriving in February 2003 to cook, clean and care for Al Jader's disabled husband and their children.
In the Name of Allah The Beneficent the Merciful
Islamic Center of America
19500 Ford Rd.
Dearborn, MI 48128
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 13, 2006
Imam Qazwini Condemns Wahhabi Clerics Statement
Imam Hassan Qazwini, the Spiritual Leader of the Islamic Center of America, issued the following statement today:
It has been reported that a group of 38 Wahhabi scholars in Saudi Arabia have issued a joint statement calling on the global Sunni Muslim population to support Sunni Iraqis against their Shia brethren. The Wahhabi scholars urged this support through all channels, including military, financial, and moral support. This worrisome statement coincides with the New York Times article dated Wednesday, December 13, 2006, detailing how Saudi officials have informed the U.S. administration that it will provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraqs Shiites if the United States pulls its troops out of Iraq.
Such a stance is extremely unfortunate, as we would expect the Saudi government and its Wahhabi scholars to call for self-restraint and reconciliation between Shias and Sunnis. Rather than being an instrument of peace, the Saudi government and the Wahhabi scholars have been involved in violent incitement and support for terrorists in Iraq. This sectarian violence waged by their own Saudi terrorists has brought disharmony and violence to a country that has not experienced sectarian violence for over a thousand years.
We condemn both the statement made by Saudi Wahhabis and the attempt by the Saudi government to ignite a civil war between Shias and Sunnis in Iraq. We urge the Saudi government to cease from meddling in the neighboring countrys affairs, hold these hardliner Wahhabis responsible for their inciting statement, and stop its support for Al-Qaida terrorists in Iraq.
We also request that all Muslim governments, as well as the government of the United States, pressure the Saudi government to curb the influence of these Wahhabi clerics and prevent any financial and military support from reaching the terrorists in Iraq.
Finally, we urge all Muslims -- Shia and Sunnis alike -- to stand united and work together to bring peace between their Muslim brethren in Iraq and call on them to reject bloodshed, civil war, and all hostile acts. By doing so, all Muslims will be displaying the unity and brotherhood described in the Holy Quran: The believers are but brethren, therefore make peace between your brethren. (Quran 49:10)
Picture of me and my green armband @ the UCI Cartoon Protest.
Scroll down, it's at the bottom.
The link again: http://vitalperspective.typepad.com/vital_perspective_clarity/2006/03/uc_irvine_danis.html
It's one of those fabulously "retarded and biased" websites.
Instead of studying today (which I will regret later) I:
1. Slept in.
2. Went shopping, 4 hours after the crowds took over the malls.
a. Yay for Old Navy and Express!
3. I lied. I studied, A LITTLE. I have a Coffee Bean addiction.
4. Running around for Qamar's engagement party:
a. Balloons from Party City
b. Roses from Conroy's
c. Home to get "dressed up."
d. Picked up Marium
e. San Dimas to help put finishing touches on the venue
f. Let the festivities begin!
5. I just tried on one of my purchases from earlier today. Orange, cashmere sweater from Old Navy: I'm in love!
6. It's 2am and instead of sleeping, I am posting this. :-)
"About the only true thing in the whole mythology is that these pitiful European strangers would not have survived their first several years in “New England” were it not for the aid of Wampanoag people. What Native people got in return for this help was genocide, theft of their lands, and never-ending repression. They were treated either as quaint relics from the past or virtually invisible."
Posted by Zahra Billoo at 1:25 AM
Palestine: In the first incident of its kind, hundreds of neighbours surrounded the home of Mohammed Baroud and climbed on its roof after he received a call from the Israeli army informing him he had 30 minutes to vacate his home before it was destroyed by missiles.
The Israeli air force called off its strike because of the risk of killing a large number of civilians.
Nizar Rayan, a Hamas member who led the Jabalya protest, said Palestinians would continue to rush into every house to be threatened by bombardment. "We will pay with our lives to protect the houses of the fighters so they can resist the enemy assured that their homes are being protected," he said.
Pakistan: The Pakistani government has submitted another bill in parliament to protect women's rights, officials say.
The bill seeks to make forced marriage a crime and safeguard women's right to property and inheritance.
It seeks to outlaw some local customs that prevent women from marrying and hence bearing children who may claim her share in ancestral property.
It also criminalises forced marriages, including those in which young girls are given away in marriage to settle murder feuds, he said.
German law allows German courts to prosecute for killing, torture, cruel and inhumane treatment, forcible transfers and sexual coercion such as occurred at Abu Ghraib. The world has seen the photographs and read the leaked "torture memos" – we are doing what is necessary when other systems of justice have failed and seeking to hold officials up the chain of command responsible for the shameful abuses that occurred.
So the questions the high schoolers asked . . .
I forgot the 4th grade story-telling rule. Apparently the content after the climax matters! Maybe I didn't want to tell the rest of the story because it wasn't as great? Alhamdulillah for having been informed that it was OK to say, "I don't know" right before being put in the hotseat! Knowing the children understood I wasn't a scholar eased the pressure of answering the questions.
Q: Do men who kill themselves for Allah get 40 virgins?
A: Killing yourself is against Islam. Therefore, there can be no reward for killing yourself.
Q:What does Islam say about homosexuality?
A: Islam says we are each tested in different ways. Some people's faith in God is tested when they are attracted to people of the same gender. The desire is accepted and considered natural, a "test" of sorts. However, acting on that desire as with certain other desires, is in fact a sin.
So there you have it. Those were the LAME answers I gave.
On a lighter note, I did a similar mosque tour with a group of 7th graders last Thursday. I loved that group. Sooo cute and innocent, and open minded. There kids are students at private Catholic school, in the Tender Loin (TL). The school is tuition free because nobody in the TL can afford tuition. Their school days go until 5-6pm, because the school provides extra time for them to do their homework at school. A lot of them go home to studio apartments and bad family situations, where homework likely would not get done.
I think the tour groups need to be told in advance they will need to take off their shoes. Note to self, talk to tour coordinator. The kids made jokes about smelly feet and holey socks.
They had already learned the five pillars. So I quizzed them on it.
They asked questions about prayer, pictures, covering, mosque architecture, community events, etc.
The best part: they had learned how to say, "As Salaam Alaikum" before coming! So they tried it out on me.
They watched us pray Asr which then led to questions begging explanation of the gender segregation during prayer. Afterwards they actually took a walk around the prayer hall and were VERY INTRIGUED by the Imam's prayer rug and khutbah chair!
On our way out, a few of the kids came back to test out some additional Arabic they had learned somewhere. They were so proud of themselves for being able to say the Kalima in Arabic.
I've concluded I like pre-high school kids much much better than high school kids. High school does something to a child's innocence.
Posted by Zahra Billoo at 12:59 PM
The new legislation allows forensic and circumstantial evidence to be used as a basis for convictions, as with other crimes.
The amendment also introduces the concept of statutory rape, outlawing sex with girls under 16. The Islamic code had merely banned sex with girls before puberty.
...include cases in which local authorities have permitted rapes as a way of compensating someone judged to have been wronged by the woman's male relatives.
By Irwin Arieff
Sat Nov 11, 4:26 PM ET
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States vetoed on Saturday a U.N. Security Council resolution urging an immediate withdrawal of [Zionist] Israeli forces from Gaza and condemning a [Zionist] Israeli attack there that killed 19 Palestinian civilians.
By Maggie Farley, Times Staff Writer
November 12, 2006
Palestinian U.N. observer Riyad Mansour told the Security Council that the vote was a double disappointment.
"You have conveyed today two wrong messages," he said after the vote. "For [Zionist] Israel, you have conveyed to them they can continue to behave above international law. For the Palestinian people, you have conveyed that justice is not being dealt with in a proper way."
11/12/2006 8:00:00 PM GMT
Hamas, now the ruling Party, slammed the U.S. for vetoing a UN Security Council draft resolution condemning the [Zionist] Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and demanding an Israeli troop withdrawal from the territory.
"The American veto represents a political and moral aggression against our people and national cause, an ugly act of racism, and a direct encouragement of the Zionist enemy to commit more crimes and massacres," the group said in a statement.
. . . in the voting booth!
The Ingredients: Council on American Islamic Relations, Muslim American Society, the Leftie in me, my experiences as a Union organizer, my experience as a higher education advocate, those annoying campaign phone calls AND http://theballot.org/2006/ca.
Governor: Peter Camejo (Green)
Lietenant Governor: Tom McClintock (Republican, I know can you believe it?)
Secretary of State: Debra Bowen (Democrat)
Controller: John Chiang (Democrat)
Treasurer: Bill Lockyer (Democrat)
Attorney General: Michael Wyman (Green)
Insurance Commissioner: Lary Cafiero (Green)
Member State Board of Equalization: Judy Chu (Democrat)
United States Senator: Marsha Feinland (Peace and Freedom)
United States Representative: Jim Brandt (Democrat)
Member of the State Assembly: Betty Karnette (Democrat)
Make sure to get your sticker after voting? :-)
CA: WEARING HIJAB ON NOV. 13 HONORS SLAIN AFGHAN MOTHER
Sue Hutchison, Mercury News, 11/6/06
Melanie Gadener was at home in Fremont three weeks ago when she began receiving calls about the killing of Alia Ansari, the 38-year-old mother of six who was shot in the head as she walked with her little girl through a quiet Fremont neighborhood to pick up her children at Glenmoor Elementary School.
Very quickly, Gadener was struck with the same suspicion as many others in town. They wondered if Ansari was killed simply because of the way she was dressed, in a loose scarf that some Muslim women wear to cover their heads out of modesty.
"I was shocked and saddened, but I was not surprised," Gadener told me when we met recently. "There is growing racism in Fremont, and a lot of this has come out since 9/11." Whether or not Ansari's head scarf had anything to do with why she was killed, it's significant that so many people have no trouble believing it was the reason.
Support for Afghans
Gadener has been especially sensitive to these tensions since she set up the Foundation for Self-Reliance, a non-profit organization that develops programs to promote economic independence in the Afghan community. Over the past three years, she has had a crash course in Muslim beliefs and traditions.
"I've learned not to be afraid to ask questions and be honest about my own ignorance," Gadener said. "We've got to bring the conversation to the table."
In that spirit, she had an idea about how to memorialize Alia Ansari. What if women of all religions pledged to wear a Muslim head covering, a hijab, for one day? It would not only show support for the Ansari family, but it also would be an intriguing social experiment. How might people treat you differently if, for one day, the only thing different about you was what you were wearing on your head?
Nov. 13 was the date chosen for "Wear a Hijab Day," and the plan has taken on a life of its own. Gadener has been deluged with messages of support from all over the world. Soon it became clear that men wanted to participate as well, so the event's title was changed to ``Wear a Hijab or Turban Day."
Sikhs included, too
Reshma Yunus, who is active in the Muslim community and the founder of Semah, a domestic violence-prevention organization based in Newark, said she suggested adding turbans to the event because many Sikh men also have been victims of the backlash since Sept. 11, even though they are not Muslim . . .
Alhamdulillah that he FINALLY left the GOP.
1. Why did it take so long?
2. I thought most smart people left post Patriot Act season?
3. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Why did he go to the Democratic Party? As though they are any better!!! omA heck I would have preferred he joined the even the Libertarians! Anything just not the two devils of our wretched political system . . . Argh!!!
ANAHEIM COUNCIL CANDIDATE LEAVES GOP AS ELECTION NEARS
Dave McKibben, Los Angeles Times, 11/2/06
Acknowledging it might be political suicide, Anaheim City Council candidate Bill Dalati said Wednesday he was leaving the Republican Party after being vilified by prominent GOP leaders as being anti-American and a supporter of extremist groups.
Dalati, an Arab American who had been a Republican since becoming a U.S. citizen 19 years ago, re-registered as a Democrat outside the registrar of voters office.
Posted by Zahra Billoo at 12:20 PM
Perfect story of two cultures meeting: African tradition of female circumcision meet American tradition of nasty divorces and custody battles. It's always the children who suffer ... Always.
Female circumcision trial may be first in U.S.
LAWRENCEVILLE, Georgia (AP) -- The trial of an Atlanta-area father accused of circumcising his 2-year-old daughter with scissors is focusing attention on an ancient African practice that experts say is slowly becoming more common in the U.S. as immigrant communities grow.
Khalid Adem, a 30-year-old immigrant from Ethiopia, is charged with aggravated battery and cruelty to children.
Human rights observers said they believe this is the first criminal case in the U.S. involving the 5,000-year-old practice.
. . .
Testifying on his own behalf Friday, Adem said he never circumcised his daughter or asked anyone else to do so. He said he grew up in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and considers the practice more prevalent in rural areas.
. . .
His lawyer, Mark Hill, acknowledged that Adem's daughter had been cut. But he implied that the family of Fortunate Adem, who immigrated from South Africa when she was 6, may have had the procedure done.
The Adems divorced in 2003, and Hill suggested that the couple's daughter was encouraged to testify against her father by her mother, who has full custody.
. . .
Read the article in its entirety @ http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/10/27/female.circumcision.ap/index.html
Posted by Zahra Billoo at 2:49 PM