U.S. Somali Professors Decry Airport Profiling

U.S. Somali Professors Decry Airport Profiling
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Verse: Strive as in a Race in All Virtues Somali-American Professors Angered Over Repeated Searches (MPR)
CAIR-FL: Acquitted Muslim Released by Judge (SP Times)CAIR-MI: Mali Can Teach Detroit a Lot About Community Spirit (Free Press) MI: West Africans Boost Muslim Community (Free Press)CAIR-NJ: Muslims Share Meals in Cultural Outreach (Courier-Post) CAIR-OH: Holy Month Will Bring Muslims Together (Dispatch)CAIR-Seattle: DHS Funds Israel Trip for Law Enforcement OfficersCAIR-OK: Oklahoma City Islamic Art Exhibit Draws Hundreds U.S. Muslim Airmen and Their Families Celebrate Ramadan
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VERSE OF THE DAY: STRIVE AS IN A RACE IN ALL VIRTUES – TOP
“If God had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He has given you. So strive as in a race in all virtues.”
The Holy Quran, 5:48
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SOMALI-AMERICAN PROFESSORS ANGERED OVER REPEATED SEARCHES – TOP
Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio, 8/24/09
Click here to listen to the story.
Minneapolis — Two Somali-American scholars at the University of Minnesota say they’re outraged by what they consider invasive questioning and searches while traveling abroad this summer.
Abdi Samatar chairs the U’s geography department. He’s married to Cawo Abdi, a sociology professor. Since June, the husband and wife say they’ve been pulled aside a total of six times at airports for lengthy interviews that have lasted up to two and a half hours.
They believe customs officials targeted them for being Muslim and ethnic Somalis.
Earlier this month, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan — the "Brad Pitt of India" — made headlines around the globe when he was stopped at a New Jersey airport. Khan said, at the time, that he believed he was questioned because his Muslim name raised red flags in a post-Sept. 11 world.
But countless Somali-Americans who don’t enjoy Khan’s level of celebrity say they’ve been subjected to similar searches, called secondary inspections, upon re-entering the U.S. (More)
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CAIR-FL: GOVERNMENT AGREES TO RELEASE OF MEGAHED AFTER JUDGE RULES IT COULDN’T PROVE TERRORISM CASE – TOP
Kevin Graham, St. Petersburg Times, 8/22/09
MIAMI — Youssef Megahed returned to his family Friday after an immigration judge refused to deport him, ruling the Department of Homeland Security had failed to prove terrorism charges.
"I’m very happy for this," the former University of South Florida student told reporters, moments after walking beyond security gates of the Krome Detention Center and reuniting with relatives. "This was the only correct decision the judge could have made."
Megahed, 23, spent the last four months in immigration custody. His sudden release came after Homeland Security attorneys abandoned plans to ask that he be held while they consider appealing Immigration Judge Kenneth S. Hurewitz’s decision to dismiss the case.
"I doubt they are going to do the appeal because they have a very weak case," Megahed said. "The truth has come out and this is all over."
He said he intends to return to Tampa, reapply to USF, and renew efforts to become a United States citizen. (More)
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CAIR-MI: MALI CAN TEACH DETROIT A LOT ABOUT BEING A COMMUNITY – TOP
Dawud Walid, Detroit Free Press, 8/23/09
The prospective renaissance of Detroit will not be found in new City Council members or restructuring the school system but with a major paradigm shift in what is deemed culturally acceptable related to family and community life.
I recently returned from a 10-day trip to Mali, which naturally caused me to compare its capital, Bamako, with Detroit. What I saw provided further instruction as to why I disagree with the commonly held notion that poverty and our miserably performing school system are the primary factors behind Detroit’s social ills.
Bamako, a city whose population size is similar to Detroit, resides in a post-colonial nation whose average household income is $275 per year with an 80% illiteracy rate in the national language of instruction, French. Remarkably, however, Bamako’s crime rate is extremely low, drug abuse is almost nonexistent and the HIV/AIDS rate is slightly less than 2%. Based on conventional wisdom, Bamako should be like the Wild West due to its abject poverty and illiteracy. In fact, I felt significantly safer walking the streets of Bamako as a non-French speaking American.
What Bamako has that Detroit currently lacks is a culture that has no acceptance for overt antisocial behaviors that compromise the family and community life. Crime is low in Bamako because it is interwoven into the cultural fabric that an offense toward one’s neighbor is literally a threat to the entire society. Out-of-wedlock births are not punishable by law yet viewed as antithetical to mores that bind the community together. Detroiters have to admit that we have come to accept the unacceptable, and that a vigorous cultural critique has to be in constant motion before there is any real paradigm shift within the city. (More)
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WEST AFRICANS BOOST MUSLIM COMMUNITY – TOP
Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 8/22/09
After midnight on a Thursday this month, a dozen Muslims from Senegal known as Murids sat in a circle inside a hotel ballroom, copies of the Quran on wooden stands before them. For more than an hour, they chanted verses, their voices echoing throughout the Southfield center where hundreds had gathered.
It was a scene that illustrated the growth and vibrancy of the west African Muslim community in metro Detroit. Hailing from a range of countries — Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Burkina Faso, among others — the African immigrant population has taken root in local centers. (More)
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CAIR-NJ: MUSLIMS IN CULTURAL OUTREACH – TOP
Kim Mulford, Courier-Post, 8/21/09
To introduce her classmates to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Fatima Nelson passed a plate of chabbakia that she had made the night before.
The sticky Moroccan dessert of fried dough flavored with orange blossom water and coated with sesame seeds and honey won smiles Thursday from the men and women in the English as a Second Language class at Gloucester County College.
The Washington Township resident, who married an American and moved to the United States 2 1/2 years ago, spent hours making homemade bread, cheese, pastries and soup to share with the students who come from countries all over the world.
The iftar, or breaking the fast, is the meal shared by families after sundown during Ramadan, which many Muslims will start celebrating today. But Nelson wanted to treat her classmates to the joyous ritual.
"It’s a new family," Nelson explained.
Ramadan offers Muslims an opportunity to teach others about their beliefs, both in school and through mosques, according to Afsheen Shamsi, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations-New Jersey.
"We see that so much more," said Shamsi. "Just about every major mosque hosts an interfaith iftar."
The Islamic Center of South Jersey in Palmyra will host its interfaith iftar on Aug. 29, said Rafey Habib, an English professor at Rutgers-Camden and a member of the mosque.
"It’s especially important nowadays because there is so much misunderstanding, I think, of Islam," said Habib, a Cherry Hill resident. "We need to promote a greater mutual understanding between different religions. We need to work together." (More)
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CAIR-OH: HOLY MONTH WILL BRING MUSLIMS TOGETHER – TOP
Meredith Heagney, Columbus Dispatch, 8/21/09
For 84-year-old Samir Gharbo, Ramadan no longer means fasting from sunup to sundown. He’s diabetic, and his body can’t go without food and drink as in years past.
But he can still practice other aspects of the holiest month in Islam.
Ramadan begins after sunset tonight, according to the Islamic Society of North America. Some Muslims wait for a moon sighting to signal a new lunar month, which could make a one-day difference in the start date.
Ramadan is the month in which Muslims believe that God revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad 1,400 years ago.
The observance is a time of fasting, prayer, charity and community.
Gharbo, of Worthington, plans to give $5 to $10 a day to the poor, which is about equal to what he spends to feed himself. He will pray at a mosque twice a week, visiting a different one each time.
"I am here 40 years, and I know most of the people," said Gharbo, who moved from Egypt to Columbus in 1969. "So I go and see my friends and my acquaintances."
This is the busiest time of the year for mosques in central Ohio and around the world.
Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Dublin will offer its first Taraweeh tonight. The Taraweeh is a nightly "extra" prayer in which part of the Quran is recited, with the idea of getting through the entire holy book during Ramadan.
During the rest of the year, the mosque might have 100 worshippers on a typical weeknight that isn’t a Friday, said Jamal Sadoun, Noor’s outreach coordinator. During Ramadan, that number is 800 to 1,000.
On Aug. 29, the Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations will have an iftar, or fast-breaking meal, at the Ohio State University Recreation and Physical Activity Center on W. 17th Avenue.
Non-Muslims are welcome at the dinner, which offers a chance for people to get to know one another, said Abukar Arman, president of the local chapter. (More)
The Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations will host an iftar dinner at 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Ohio State University Recreation and Physical Activity Center, 337 W. 17th Ave. The free event is open to the public. Call 614-451-3232 for information.
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CAIR-SEATTLE: ‘WHERE DOES THE HATRED COME FROM?’ – TOP
Eli Clifton and Daniel Luban, InterPress Service, 8/24/09
This fall, U.S. law enforcement personnel will have their final chance to take advantage of a rare opportunity. Participants will travel to Israel to receive “homeland security training,” but the counterterrorism briefings and martial arts practice sessions are only one part of the package. The program also includes visits to Christian religious sites in the Holy Land — an aspect likely to be especially attractive to Christian Zionists — along with other sites such as the Knesset and the Israeli “security fence”.
The Israel program is run by Security Solutions International (SSI), a group that has attracted controversy due to its ties to Islamophobic propaganda groups — as well as its apparent view that indoctrinating first responders with alarmist information about Islam is an essential part of counterterrorism training.
Most striking of all, the SSI Israel trip is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. DHS’s funding of this venture is a concrete illustration of the ways that Islamophobic fringe groups have exploited the “global war on terror” for their own purposes…
While this DHS-funded trip might already seem a bit odd — especially the emphasis on Christian religious sites during what is ostensibly a counterterrorism training program — things take a turn towards the bizarre in the section of the website advertising SSI’s two day presentations on “The Islamic Jihadist Threat”…
It’s hard to imagine how an introduction to Islam that begins with “where does the hatred come from?” could lead the audience to come away with anything but distrust and fear of Muslims…
As Arsalan Bukhari, president of the Washington state chapter of CAIR, told the Seattle Times: “Most police officers don’t have a basic grounding in Islam, so before you teach them about Islam, how can you teach them about radical Islam? It just makes you nervous because when a law-enforcement person pulls someone over, when they see a Muslim person or someone who appears Muslim to them — all this information they just learned kicks in.” (More)
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OKLAHOMA CITY ISLAMIC ART EXHIBIT DRAWS HUNDREDS – TOP
CAIR-OK, Gold Dome Multicultural Society co-host exhibit during Ramadan
(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 8/24/09) – The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) and the Gold Dome Multicultural Society recently co-hosted the opening of an Islamic Culture and Art Exhibit in Oklahoma City.
Hundreds of people turned out for the art exhibit and a CAIR-OK open house in the same facility. The art exhibit will continue throughout the month of Ramadan.
See: Islamic Art Exhibit at Oklahoma City’s Gold Dome Honors Ramadan http://newsok.com/islamic-art-exhibit-at-oklahoma-citys-gold-dome-honors-ramadan/article/3394506
“The Islamic art exhibit is an excellent way for Oklahomans to get to know their Muslim neighbors and the talents they offer,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi.
The Islamic Culture and Art Exhibit features artwork by Uzma Muzaffar, Tehmina Cheema, Samir Abdullah Hulseberg, and Farzana Jahangir. Works of art consist of Arabic calligraphy and Islamic folk art. Mediums include oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas, pottery, and digitally enhanced artwork. All the artwork is for sale.
WHAT: Islamic Culture and Art Exhibit
WHERE: Gold Dome, 1112 NW 23rd St., Suite 111. Oklahoma City, OK 73106
WHEN: August 14 – September 25, 2009. Exhibit Hours: Tuesdays 11a-5p; Thursdays 2-7p; and Saturdays 11a-3p. Appointments may be made by contacting Daniel Kline.
CONTACT: Daniel Kline, Gold Dome Multicultural Society Project Executive Director & Curator, E-Mail: golddomemcs@gmail.com, Phone: 405-208-3381
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi, 405-248-5853, E-Mail: rhashmi@cair.com; CAIR-OK Chair Michael Aziz Gipson, E-Mail: mgipson@cair.com
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FAR FROM HOME, AIRMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES CELEBRATE RAMADAN – TOP
1st Lt. Joe Kreidel, Pacific Air Forces, 8/24/09
8/24/2009 – KADENA AIR BASE, Japan — "It’s like planning for Christmas while everyone else is going about their business," said Tech. Sgt. Angela Errahimi, a combat communications chief with the 909th Air Refueling Squadron, about preparing for Ramadan here. This same sense of dislocation is no doubt shared by many military members celebrating Ramadan in places like Okinawa where Islam is by far a minority religion.
Ramadan, which began Aug. 22, is a 30-day fast during which devout Muslims abstain from food, drink, and sex from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan is the preeminent ritual in a faith that gives particular importance to its ritual observances.
"Islam was something I was looking for – the mosque was so quiet and peaceful," said Sergeant Errahimi of her conversion six years ago. After meeting her now-husband, who is from Morocco, she studied at a mosque for one year prior to making her "shahada" or witness of faith.
It was Islam’s structure and emphasis on community that first appealed to Staff Sgt. Marvin Morris, an X-ray technician and the assistant NCOIC of radiology at the 18th Medical Operations Squadron. He called the daily regimen of five scheduled prayers "the military version of prayer." (More)
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Also, thanx for signing my petitions, et al, please consider sharing them. Also, since Admin. of change.org aren't allowing me to invite people to do my actions lately and are switching my urls for my petitions so when I invite people off their site they can't get to the petition either (ergo 3 possible urls for each petition), here's a few of my latest actions; do as few or as many as you'd like (there are 3 linx for each petition because admin. switches between the 3 of them so people trying to sign the petition can‘t get to it): This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Haiti disaster anniversary, please, do what you can: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9033 This petition on change.org: Haiti disaster anniversary: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2?share_id=yIpWHEHxri&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2 http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green, Indigenous, Native American, etc., actions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9026 This petition on change.org: Green, Indigenous, Native American, acts: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous_native_american_acts?share_id=NHvTtQadfP&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, holiday: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9024 This petition on change.org: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. M.L. King, Jr.'s holiday: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/artact_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jrs_holiday?share_id=QjOkAUGeBQ&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday http://www.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green; NA; the evolution; Civil, Human, LP, Prisoner's Rights; Poverty; etc..: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9022 This petition on change.org: Economically empower through advocacy: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy?share_id=WZNqBQWcXE&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_throug
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