Monday, December 3, 2007

300 Christian Theologians respond to "A Common Word between Us"

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (P{eace be upon you)

In October 13 2007, 138 Muslim scholars and leaders around the world sent an open letter declaring of the common ground between Islam and Christianity.

On November 18 2007, the response below was issued by over 300 Christian theologians and leaders.

Please read and pass along

Iftekhar Hussain

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Savage attacks on Islam and Muslims by Michael Savage

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alakium (Peace be upon you)

Savage remarks about Islam and Muslims by, you guessed it, MICHAEL SAVAGE.

To listen to bigoted statements by Savage, click here.

Please read below and take action.

Iftekhar Hussain


WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/1/2007) - CAIR today called on radio listeners of all faiths to contact companies that advertise on Michael Savage's nationally-syndicated radio program to express their concerns about the host's recent anti-Muslim tirade.

Savage, whose "The Savage Nation" airs on more than 300 radio stations nationwide, screamed attacks on Muslims, Islam and the Quran during his October 29, 2007, program. A number of concerned listeners contacted CAIR about Savage's attacks on Islam.

Savage's shouted anti-Muslim attacks included:

"I'm not gonna put my wife in a hijab. And I'm not gonna put my daughter in a burqa. And I'm not gettin on my all-fours and braying to Mecca. And you could drop dead if you don't like it. You can shove it up your pipe. I don't wanna hear anymore about Islam. I don't wanna hear one more word about Islam. Take your religion and shove it up your behind. I'm sick of you."

"What kind of religion is this? What kind of world are you living in when you let them in here with that throwback document in their hand, which is a book of hate. Don't tell me I need reeducation. They need deportation. I don't need reeducation. Deportation, not reeducation. You can take C-A-I-R and throw 'em out of my country. I'd raise the American flag and I'd get out my trumpet if you did it. Without due process. You can take your due process and shove it."

"What sane nation that worships the U.S. constitution, which is the greatest document of freedom ever written, would bring in people who worship a book that tells them the exact opposite. Make no mistake about it, the Quran is not a document of freedom. The Quran is a document of slavery and chattel. It teaches you that you are a slave."

To listen to these and other bigoted statements by Savage, click here.

Michael Savage has a long history of rhetorical attacks on Muslims and other minorities. In 2004, Savage stated: "I think [Muslims] need to be forcibly converted to Christianity...It's the only thing that can probably turn them into human beings." In 2006, he called for a ban on Muslim immigration and recommended making "the construction of mosques illegal in America."

SEE: Savage Says Ban the Construction of US MosquesSEE ALSO: Michael Savage (Media Matters)

"Michael Savage obviously cares little about the safety or civil rights of American Muslims, but the stations that carry his hate-filled rants do care about listeners' attitudes toward advertisers who pay to air commercials during his program," said CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin. "Americans of all faiths should take a few minutes to contact any local station that broadcasts Savage's inflammatory tirades to say they will not buy the goods or services of his advertisers."

Rubin added that hate-filled words can and do lead to violent actions against American Muslims. She said there have been several recent apparently bias-related incidents targeting mosques, Islamic institutions and Muslim individuals nationwide.

In Ohio, Nazi swastikas and the phrase "white power" were spray-painted on a Toledo Islamic school and rocks were thrown at worshipers outside a Columbus mosque. In Texas, a shot was fired into a mosque. In New York, a Muslim woman was badly beaten in a bias attack. In California, arsonists torched one mosque and a group of men attacked another. In Maryland, vandals slashed the tires of vehicles owned by a Muslim activist.

CAIR's latest annual report on the status of American Muslim civil rights showed a 25 percent increase in the total number of complaints of anti-Muslim bias from 2005 to 2006.

SEE: The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States - 2007

In the past, CAIR has been successful in challenging anti-Muslim hate on radio and television programs.

SEE:
Florida TV Station Drops Anti-Islam ProgramMuslim Group Calls for Imus Advertiser, Guest BoycottCalif. Radio Station, Host Apologize to MuslimsDC Radio Host Fired Over Anti-Islam RemarksMN Radio Station Thanked for 'Muslim Jeopardy' Skit ApologyMSNBC Apologizes for 'Imus' RemarksJackie Mason Calls Islam a 'Murderous Organization'Muslims Launch 'Hate Hurts America' Radio CampaignCalifornia Radio Station Apologizes for Islamophobic Skit

IMMEDIATE ACTIONS REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE. Hostile comments can and will be used by Savage to further defame Islam and Muslims.)

1. FIND OUT which station carries Michael Savage's program in your area. LISTEN to the program and write down the contact information for both local and national advertisers. CONTACT those advertisers to POLITELY inform them that you and your friends and family will not purchase their products or services as long as they continue to subsidize a hate-filled program.

For a partial listing of radio stations that air Michael Savage's program, click here.

2. CONTACT Talk Radio Network, Michael Savage's syndicator, to express your concerns about his hate-filled attacks on Muslims, Islam and the Quran.
Mr. Mark MastersChief Executive OfficerTalk Radio NetworkP.O. Box 3755Central Point OR 97502Phone: 541-664-8827 or 541-474-2297Fax: 541-664-6250 or 866-876-5075
E-Mail: mmasters@talkradionetwork.com, eterry@talkradionetwork.com, gregdoyle@talkradionetwork.com, info@talkradionetwork.com, affiliates@talkradionetwork.com, rubend@talkradionetwork.com

3. SEND COPIES of all correspondence to CAIR at: E-Mail info@cair.com or fax to 202-488-0833.

4. ORGANIZE local coalitions with friends of the Muslim community to challenge Savage's hate rhetoric.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The re-emergence of the hangman's noose

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

There is a re-emergence of the hangman's noose in the USA as a tool of intimidation of African-Americans. Some claim that the hangman's noose is mere prank, but to most African Americans, it evokes painful historical and real memories of mob lynchings. From 1882 to 1968, 4743 lynchings were held across the United State; the vast majority of the vitcims were black men. No one was charged or brought to juctice for any of these crimes

Since the noose hanging in the schoolyard that ignited the Jena, LA civil rights furor, there has been a re-emergence of nooses in various public place.

This shameful act of intimadation should be vigorously protested and prosecuted where possible

Iftekhar Hussain

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Understand and discourage Islamophobia in our nation

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you).

Islamophobia is a growing cancer in our nation today where people target Islam and Muslims. This week is witnessing the occurrence of ‘Islamo-Fascism Week’ at some university campuses, a project sponsored by the right-winger David Horowitz. From Ann Coulter to Robert Spencer to ex-Senator Rick Santorum, purveyors of hate are promoting anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim attitudes under the guise of a war on terrorism.

CAIR-PA will hold a seminar on Islamophobia and the ill effects of this hate-mongering upon American Muslims, their families and institutions. The event will be held at the Hall of Flags, Houston Hall, University of Pennsylvania. Details are provided below:

Date: November 4, 2007
Time: 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Hall of Flags, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street, Philadelphia (map)

Please join us to understand this phenomenon and how to effectively counter this illness in our country. Encourage a colleague, friend or neighbor to attend and learn.

Thank you.

Iftekhar Hussain

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Judeo-Christo-Fascism Awareness Week Comes to American Campuses

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

Below is a piece from my dear friend, Rabbi Arthur Waskow. It is in response to the 'Islamo-Fascism Week' being held at various university campuses across the USA.

Pleas read and pass along...

Iftekhar Hussain


Judeo-Christo-Fascism Awareness Week Comes to American Campuses!

by 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 bombng 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?

Click below to read more

http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/judeo_christo_fascism_awareness_week_comes_to_american_campuses/0014850

Monday, October 22, 2007

Asma Allah: The names of Allah by Sami Yusuf

video

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum ( Peace be upon you)

Sami Yusuf is an incredibly gifted singer. Here is his latest song, Asma Allah, the Names of Allah

Enjoy and pass along

Iftekhar Hussain

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Reel Bad Arabs: by Jack Shaheen

video

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

Jack Shaheen, author of 'Reel Bad Arabs' has made a movie depicting the Hollywood coverage of Arabs and Muslims over the years. The above is a clip of the movie

Please watch and pass along

Iftekhar Hussain

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Common Word Between Us and You

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

On October 12 2007, leading Muslim scholars and intellectuals signed and released a document titiled 'A Common Word Between Us and You'

138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals have unanimously come together for the first time since the days of the Prophet Muhammad to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam.

26 leading Christian clergy and scholars are addressed in this letter from the Muslims.

The letter was presented at a conference in September 2007 organized by the Royal Academy of The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan, under the Patronage of H.M. King Abdullah II.

"Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.

The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity."


The link below provides the contents of this important letter:

Click here to read the rest of the letter

Please read and share.

Iftekhar Hussain

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A reminder from a dear friend of mine

As we seek Laylatul-Qadr, the night of Power, in the last days of Ramadan, let us also remember to reflect on the conditions of the powerless on this earth; there are hundreds of millions of them, and the majority of them are Muslim.

How can that be, when Islam categorically rejects both oppression and neglect of any Muslim, and indeed of any human being?

Let us think of the poor, the refugees, the homeless, the occupied, the besieged, the hungry, the oppressed, the downtrodden, the abused, the unjustly jailed, the tortured…

Let us think of the suffering children, the orphaned one, the scared ones, the malnourished ones…

Let us think of the anguished parents, unable to provide for their children’s basic needs…

Let us think of those suffering all over this earth…

Let us also, in particular, think of the Iraqis and the Palestinians and their terrible plight…

Let us think of ways of offering help, regardless how small that may be…

Let us learn to be ashamed to be wasteful, when there are so many in need…

Let us learn to be ashamed to be exuberant and boastful, when so many are silently weeping in despair…

Our suffering brothers and sisters will also be commemorating the Night of Power and Peace, except that they have very little power, and very little peace…

With all our collective resources as an Ummah, and they are vast, we are, nonetheless, disunited, humiliated and subjugated. ..

During the Night of Power, let us lament the ugliness of the absence of power, and I do not mean the power to conquer, but merely the power to protect the innocent and the weak...

Ahmad Jarrah

Thursday, September 27, 2007

“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” : Alan Greenspan

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

Please read the article below documenting the growing evidence straight from the mouths of White House officials about how the Iraq-war has always been about oil...

Iftekhar Hussain


Published on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 by TomDispatch.com
How the Bush Administration’s Iraqi Oil Grab Went Awry
Greenspan’s Oil Claim in Context
by Dilip Hiro

Here is the sentence in The Age of Turbulence, the 531-page memoir of former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan, that caused so much turbulence in Washington last week: “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Honest and accurate, it had the resonance of the Bill Clinton’s election campaign mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid.” But, finding himself the target of a White House attack — an administration spokesman labeled his comment, “Georgetown cocktail party analysis” — Greenspan backtracked under cover of verbose elaboration. None of this, however, made an iota of difference to the facts on the ground.

Here is a prosecutor’s brief for the position that “the Iraq War is largely about oil”:
The primary evidence indicating that the Bush administration coveted Iraqi oil from the start comes from two diverse but impeccably reliable sources: Paul O’Neill, the Treasury Secretary (2001-2003) under President George W. Bush; and Falah Al Jibury, a well-connected Iraqi-American oil consultant, who had acted as President Ronald Reagan’s “back channel” to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran War of 1980-88. The secondary evidence is from the material that can be found in such publications as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Read more at: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/26/4106/

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Blackwater and US Government gift to Americans

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum, (Peace be upon you)

Blackwater continues to live up to its reputation for aggressive and 'outside of the law' behavior in the killing of over 20 Iraqis while providing security services for US diplomats in Iraq.

The Maliki-governemnt has pulled its license to operate but Blackwater continues to operate with impunity.

The US government's decision to hire private firms for essential military-type security services protected by the immunity from prosection granted by proconsul Paul Bremer to private foreign contractors is at the root of this injustice.

There are no rules to constrain Blackwater operations in Iraq. Their aggressiveness will give rise to another generation of people with hate for Americans. And the vicious cycle will continue.

This is the gift of our government's folly in Iraq; and the sad result of our silence in the face of this madness!

Iftekhar Hussain

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/20/3984/
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/17/3895/

Thursday, September 20, 2007

NY CONGRESSMAN SAYS 'TOO MANY MOSQUES' IN U.S.

NY CONGRESSMAN SAYS 'TOO MANY MOSQUES' IN U.S.

Ask GOP to repudiate remarks, urge Giuliani to drop Rep. King, Daniel Pipes as advisors

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/20/07) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on Muslims and other people of conscience to ask Republican leaders to repudiate remarks by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) in which he said "we have too many mosques in this country." CAIR also asked that Americans of all faiths contact Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani and urge him to drop King and commentator Daniel Pipes as campaign advisors because of their extremist and Islamophobic views and comments. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has already condemned Rep. King's statements, calling them "deplorable."CAIR said both King and Pipes have a long history of rhetorical hostility to the American Muslim community and to the protection of civil liberties.

In a recent interview, Rep. King said: "Unfortunately, we have too many mosques in this country. There are too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully. We should be finding out how we can infiltrate. . .I think there's been a lack of full cooperation from too many people in the Muslim community. And it's a real threat here in this country.

"SEE: Rep. King: "Too many mosques..."

King, who is on Giuliani's Homeland Security Advisory Board, has in the past claimed that the vast majority of mosques in his state and nationwide are being run by "radicals" and called for racial profiling of Muslims in airports. He said: "I think it is time to end political correctness. To me, if a person is of Middle Eastern descent it is legitimate for the screener to ask more questions."In 2004, King said that "85 percent" of American Muslim community leaders are "an enemy living amongst us" and that "no (American) Muslims" cooperate in the war on terror. He made these claims despite the fact that American Muslims have consistently condemned terrorism and work to protect national security.In a 2003 interview with The Minaret magazine, FBI Director Robert Mueller said: "I would like to thank the Muslim Americans for their support on the war against terrorism and working with the FBI around the country as well as state and local law enforcement. . ."

SEE: CAIR's Anti-Terrorism Campaigns (Note: King has taken political donations from members of a New York mosque he claims is a hotbed of radicalism. An article in Newsday stated: "Rep. Peter King is attempting to link his political opponent to men he calls 'radical' Muslim leaders on Long Island, but federal records show the congressman accepted thousands of dollars last year in campaign contributions from some of the same donors.")Daniel Pipes has long been regarded by Muslims and other observers as one of America's leading Islamophobes. In 2001, Pipes claimed the "presence" and "enfranchisement" of American Muslims present "true dangers to American Jews." Pipes recently renewed a call to "raze" Palestinian villages from which anti-Israeli attacks are launched.

SEE: Giuliani Advisor: Raze Palestinian Villages (Harpers)In 2004, Pipes said he supported the widely-repudiated internment of Japanese-Americans. He wrote: "Yes, I do support the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II." He has also stated that the views of far-right French racist Jean-Marie Le Pen "represent an important outlook in the national debate over immigration and Islam."Like King, Pipes supports racial and religious profiling of Muslims and Arabs."We call on Republican leaders and other people of conscience to repudiate Representative King's bigoted remarks and to support the civil and religious rights of all Americans," said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor. "We also urge Rudy Giuliani to send a clear message that he will not tolerate Islamophobia or other types of fear-mongering by dropping Peter King and Daniel Pipes from his campaign."CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad applauded the DNC statement repudiating King's remarks. "The type of Islamophobic rhetoric used by King and Pipes promotes an atmosphere in which ordinary American Muslims face bias or even violent attacks," said Awad.Awad noted that just this week, CAIR called on the FBI to investigate an attack on a Muslim businesswoman in King's own district as a hate crime. The Muslim owner of a nail and facial salon was beaten Saturday in what local police are calling a bias attack. Anti-Muslim slurs were scrawled on mirrors in the salon.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE.)

1. CONTACT Republican leaders to ask that they repudiate remarks by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) in which he said "we have too many mosques in this country."

CONTACT RNC Chairman Mike Duncan. Office of the ChairmanMike Duncan, RNC ChairmanPhone: 202-863-8700Fax: 202-863-8820E-Mail: Chairman@gop.com, Info@gop.com, GOP@mail.house.gov

2. CONTACT Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani and urge him to drop King and commentator Daniel Pipes as campaign advisors because of their extremist and Islamophobic views and comments.

Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee295 Greenwich St, #371New York, NY 10007212-835-9449E-Mail: webteam@joinrudy2008.com

3. SEND COPIES of all correspondence to CAIR at: info@cair.com

Attend a SHARING RAMADAN Iftar dinner at a local mosque near you

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

Muslim communities across the Delaware Valley are holding 'Sharing Ramadan' events throughout the month where you are invited to participate in the breaking of the fast at sunset. Please check the CAIR-PA website (http://p.cair.com/) to find a mosque near you. These events allow American Muslims to share and celebrate the importance of the month of Ramadan with people of all faiths.

Sharing Ramadan Iftar Events

RSVP by calling 215.592.0509 or cairphilly@gmail.com

September 20, 2007 at 5:30 pm Bryn Mawr and Haverford Ramadan Dinner, Thomas Great Hall, Bryn Mawr

September 22, 2007 at 6:45 pm Hall of Flags, University of Pennsylvania, 3417 Spruce Street, Philadelphia

September 23, 2007 at 6:45 pm Foundation for Islamic Education, 1860 Montgomery Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085

September 25, 2007 at 6:45 pm Islamic Society of Greater Valley Forge, 958 Valley Forge Road, Devon PA 19333

September 29, 2007 at 7:00 pm Al-Ahad Islamic Center, 1500 Ridgeview Drive, Allentown, PA 18104

September 30, 2007 at 6:30 pm Foundation for Islamic Education, 1860 Montgomery Avenue, Villanova PA 19085

October 5, 2007 at 6:20 pm Islamic Society of Chester County, 1001 Pottstown Pike, West Chester PA 19380

October 6, 2007 at 6:20 pm North Penn Mosque, 600 Lawn Avenue, Lansdale, PA 19466

October 7, 2007 at 6:20 pm Zubaida Foundation, 850 Big Oak Road, Yardley, PA 19067

October 7, 2007 at 6:20 pm Foundation for Islamic Education, 1860 Montgomery Avenue, Villanova PA 19085


So find a mosque near you and have dinner with your Muslim neighbors!

Iftekhar Hussain

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mosque attacks during the days of Ramadan

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

As we move through the Jewish high holy days and the days of Ramadan, I am saddened to report that there are several reports of attacks on mosques being received by CAIR chapters around the country.

1. Columbus, OH:
http://www.wsyx6.com/newsroom/oh/topstory/topstory2.shtml
http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2007/09/19/mosqueattack.ART_ART_09-19-07_B1_7H7UNOV.html

2. St. Petersburg, FL
http://www2.tbo.com/content/2007/sep/19/me-vandalism-to-mosque-is-labeled-hate-crime-by-is/?news-breaking

3. Corpus Christi, TX
http://www.caller.com/news/2007/sep/18/mosque-shooting-probe-expands/



Iftekhar Hussain

Friday, September 14, 2007

Why do Muslims Fast

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims reflect on the purpose God has in mind in prescribing fasting.

[2:183]O YOU who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God:

The Qur'an places before the reader a clear purpose to be achieved by fasting: that of maintaining 'God-Consciousness'. The Arabic text additionally implies that the attainment of God-Consciousness is not guaranteed but is a function of effort. The verse links this text's command to fast to God's previous revelations to humanity of the command to fast thus demonstrating the continuity of His messages to humanity.

[2:184][fasting] during a certain number of days. But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days; and [in such cases] it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person. And whoever does more good than he is bound to do does good unto himself thereby; for to fast is to do good unto yourselves – if you but knew it.

The Qur'an continues to expound some detail about fasting and what exceptions are provided for those who may not be able to fast. An alternative to fasting, that of feeding the needy, is provided for those who are unable to fast. The last part of the verse indicates that either additional days of fasting in the year beyond the days of Ramadan are recommended as highly beneficial or that the feeding of additional needy people is recommended when one cannot fast. The verse ends with an emphasis on the benefit of fasting to the person.

[2:185]It was the month of Ramadān in which the Qur’ān was [first] bestowed from on high as a guidance unto man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Hence, whoever of you lives to see this month shall fast throughout it; but he that is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days. God wills that you shall have ease, and does not will you to suffer hardship; but [He desires] that you complete the number [of days required], and that you extol God for His having guided you aright, and that you render your thanks [unto Him].

This next verse now delves into a critical association fasting has to the revealed text of God. It declares that it is in the month of fasting that the Qur'an was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad (saw). Further it declares that the Qur'an is guidance for manking, containing self-evidence of that guidance, and acts as a critierion to distinguish truth from falsehood. The result of this verse within Muslim society has been the increased opportunities that are realized during this month for reading, hearing and understanding the Qur'an.

The verse now changes emphasis back to the necessity of commitment to fasting in this month with a declaration of those who are exempt from the requirement and the declaration of God's intent. God does not intend fasting to be a burden but intends it to be an opportunity to express your gratitude to Him for his guidance.

[2:186]AND IF My servants ask thee about Me – behold, I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls unto Me: let them, then, respond unto Me, and believe in Me, so that they might follow the right way.

The verse tense now changes to a personal tone where the Prophet Muhammad (saw), the original recipient of the verse, is being instructed to direct those who seek God to call upon Him. The verse tense is in the first person singular and the mood of the verse is intimate. God declares that "I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls unto Me". After the declaration of His availability, God instructs "let them, then, respond unto Me, and believe in Me, so that they might follow the right way".

[2:187]IT IS lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the [day’s] fast: they are as a garment for you, and you are as a garment for them. God is aware that you would have deprived yourselves of this right, and so He has turned unto you in His mercy and removed this hardship from you. Now, then, you may lie with them skin to skin, and avail yourselves of that which God has ordained for you, and eat and drink until you can discern the white streak of dawn against the blackness of night, and then resume fasting until nightfall; but do not lie with them skin to skin when you are about to abide in meditation in houses of worship. These are the bounds set by God: do not, then, offend against them – [for] it is thus that God makes clear His messages unto mankind, so that they might remain conscious of Him.

The last verse on this series clarifies what is permissible sexual relationship during the month of Ramadan. During the period of the night after the fast has been broken, sexual intercourse along with eating and drinking is permissible until the start of the next day's fast. An exception to this rule of permissible sexual intercourse during the night is made for those who intend to spend time meditating in the mosque at night. The verse ends with a reminder of the boundaries that God sets, the need to stay within those boundaries and the purpose of these boundaries as a reminder of God's message and a path to maintaining God consciousness.



Iftekhar Hussain

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy Ramadan

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

I wish you Ramadan Mubarak and happiness on the occasion of the start of Ramadan 2007. Fasting, the fourth pillar of Islam, is practiced during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar (Hijri calender), established in the year 638 CE. It is considered the most venerated, blessed and spiritually-beneficial month of the Islamic year. Prayers, fasting, charity, and self-accountability are especially stressed at this time; religious observances associated with Ramadan are kept throughout the month.

Verses in the Qur’an regarding fasting:

O YOU who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God:

[fasting] during a certain number of days. But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days; and [in such cases] it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person. And whoever does more good than he is bound to do does good unto himself thereby; for to fast is to do good unto yourselves – if you but knew it.

It was the month of Ramadān in which the Qur’ān was [first] bestowed from on high as a guidance unto man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Hence, whoever of you lives to see this month shall fast throughout it; but he that is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days. God wills that you shall have ease, and does not will you to suffer hardship; but [He desires] that you complete the number [of days required], and that you extol God for His having guided you aright, and that you render your thanks [unto Him]. [Qur'an 2:183-185]


Muslim communities across the Delaware Valley will hold ‘Sharing Ramadan’ events throughout the month where you are invited to participate in the breaking of the fast at sunset. Please check the CAIR-PA website (http://pa.cair.com/) to find a mosque near you. These events allow American Muslims to share and celebrate the importance of the month of Ramadan with people of all faiths.

Iftekhar Hussain

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

911, Why do they hate us and Islamophobia

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

Today is the 6th anniversary of 911, a day of tragedy and hurt for the world. Actions perpetrated by the 19 hijackers have resulted in a causal effect of immense proportions for the world.

To those of us who suffered the loss of loved ones on that fateful day, I fervently pray that the Almighty eases our pain over the course of time.

Over the past 6 years, the question 'Why do they hate us' continues to be asked with its attendant racist assumptions of Muslims and Arabs as 'they', all other Americans as 'us' and the projection on Muslims and Arabs of a monolithic hate of 'us'. The right-wing coupling of purported 'Arab/Muslim anti-Americanism' with the supposed radicalism of Islam is a lethal combination in creating the rise of Islamophobia in the USA today.

Muslims and Arabs of the United States are law-abiding citizens; they oppose not only the religious extremism of the 19 hijackers and their cohorts but also the foreign policy extremism of the Bush administration. This is not a unique profile among Americans; it is actually quite mainstream.

Islam as a faith tradition informs the lives of over a billion and a half of this world and their aspirations to goodness and happiness for themselves and their neighbors. Yet it is maligned and assigned charges of innate extremism. From studies by right-wing think tanks to 'moderate' Islam by creating policies for dictators in Muslim countries to enforce to blogs by internet hate-mongers maligning and stifling the work of American Muslims in the civic life of this country, we find an atmosphere of hate and anger brewing against Islam and Muslims.

Understanding the rise of religious extremism in the Muslim world as an unintended consequence of Cold War foreign policy is key to understanding the historical perspective. Extremism can be leveraged anywhere and invoked in any religious tradition. The fact that the CIA and other spook agencies fueled religious extremism in Muslim countries to further national interests is well documented in multiple studies and books released after the events of 911 (see references below). What remains tragic is that this historical perspective is so ill understood.

Beyond Islamophobia in the USA, we have seen the launch of 2 wars and await the potential launch of a third. The war in Iraq, based on lies and driven by geo-political and industrial interests, has resulted in the rise of extremism in that country. Sectarian extremism has risen due to the utter absence of security and the daily lives of Iraqis have been turned upside down. Refugee numbers have grown beyond 3 million and continue to rise everyday. The reconstruction of Iraq is a story of corruption and war profiteering at the hands of global companies such as Halliburton and Blackstone and companies in the Middle East that are their partners. Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize winner, co-authored a study out of Harvard University documenting the over $1 trillion the Iraq war has cost the US Treasury and yet their is no practical end in sight to this folly and tragic waste.

A framework of mutual respect and equitable dealings among nations, driven by the populations of each country, can hope to counter this maelstrom that we find ourselves in.

The Qur'an, the revealed word of God for Muslims, suggests the following:

' O people! Behold, We have created you out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of him. Behold, God is all knowing, all aware.'

It is time that a deep cognizance of our infinitely merciful Creator take place front and center to drive our public policies and form the basis of a healing of this world weariness.


Iftekhar Hussain


Reference List:

Good Muslim Bad Muslim: America, The Cold War and the Roots of Terror: By Mahmoud Mamdani
Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism: By Robert Pape
Tinderbox: By Stephen Zunes
Blood and Oil: The dangers and consequences of America's growing dependence on imported petroleum: By Michael T. Klare
American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century: By Kevin Phillips
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: By John Perkins
On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Consequences of American Conquest and Carnage: By Ward Churchill
Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East by Rashid Khalidi
Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy: By Noam Chomsky
Imperial Hubris: By Michael Scheuer
The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East: By Robert Fisk
War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death: By Norman Solomon
Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam: By Robert Dreyfuss
American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America: By Chris Hedges
Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance - by Noam Chomsky
Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire - by Chalmers Johnson
The Case for Islamo-christian Civilization - by Richard W. Bulliet
America's "War on Terrorism" - by Michel Chossudovsky
All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror - by Stephen Kinzer Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 - by Steve Coll
Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq - by Stephen Kinzer
The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America - by Peter Dale Scott
Challenging Christian Zionism - edited by Naim Ateek, Cedar Duaybis and Maurine Tobin

Monday, September 10, 2007

Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine: A Must Read

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

Please make time to pick up the latest Naomi Klein book release titled "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" being released September 19 2007.

To preview the content of the book, please go to the url below to watch a six-minute film written by Ms. Klein and director Alfonso Cuaron.

http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine/short-film

The movie captures the thesis of her new book perfectly: implement radical, anti-human and devastating economic policies by exploiting disasters and using political shock-therapy for the benefit of multinationals and their owners.

Encourage your friends to read her book; it promises to be revelatory !

Iftekhar Hussain

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bush smiles and Iraq and the US Treasury burn


President Bush visited Iraq over Labor Day weekend and announced that the surge is bringing the promised security improvement to Iraq. The soldiers listened but were not convinced. NPR is running a series of interviews with soldiers on the ground about the effectiveness of the surge and you get a different picture than the one left by a smiling President as he posed with American boys and girls who are giving their lives for neo-conservative pipe-dreams of US world dominance.



Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize winner, co-authored a study out of Harvard University documenting the over $1 trillion the Iraq war has cost the US Treasury and not a peep out of the media which thinks a million here and a billion there is business as usual and quite manageable. Of-course with a debt that will be passed on to our children, we do not have to bear the cost of this massive borrowing !

Voters need to wake-up and bring bring about a change of leadership

Iftekhar Hussain

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Remarks of Head of Interfaith Relations Nat’l Council of Churches to ISNA Convention

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

Please see a link below to the remarks delivered by Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, Head of Interfaith Relations Nat’l Council of Churches at the ISNA convention this past Labor Day weekend

Iftekhar Hussain


Remarks of Head of NCC Interfaith Relations to ISNA Convention

Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana

ISNA Unity Reception – September 2, 2007

My sisters and brothers of faith – greetings of peace, assalamu aleikum.

As I noted earlier in this convention, these are the same words my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ used to greet his disciples shortly after his resurrection – peace be upon you. You didn’t know it, did you? Lots of Christians don’t know it either. Indeed there is much that Christians and Muslims don’t know about each other. Fact is, we have a great deal more in common in our religious traditions than our differences. No, we don’t need to hide our differences. They are real and we must honestly deal with them. But we have more in common...


Read more at http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/remarks_of_head_of_interfaith_relations_to_isna_convention/0014540

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Rabbi Eric Yoffie's remarks at the ISNA Convention on Labor Day weekend

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

I write to you to share words of hope and wisdom from Rabbi Eric Yoffie of the Union of Reform Judaism, delivered at the ISNA convention this past Labor Day weekend.

Iftekhar Hussain



Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President
Union for Reform Judaism

I am deeply honored by your invitation to be present at this convention.

I am here as the leader of largest Jewish religious movement in North America, consisting of more than 900 congregations and 1.5 million Jews.

My organization is currently discussing with your leadership a joint dialogue and education program that we hope to launch in the very near future, involving our congregations and your mosques. This project is a matter of the utmost importance to my Movement and to me personally, and I would like to share with you why that is so.

There exists in this country among all Americans – whether Jews, Christians, or non-believers – a huge and profound ignorance about Islam. It is not that stories about Islam are missing from our media; there is no shortage of voices prepared to tell us that fanaticism and intolerance are fundamental to Islamic religion, and that violence and even suicide bombing have deep Koranic roots. There is no lack of so-called experts who are eager to seize on any troubling statement by any Muslim thinker and pin it on Islam as a whole. Thus, it has been far too easy to spread the image of Islam as enemy, as terrorist, as the frightening unknown.

How did this happen?

Read more at http://isna.net/index.php?id=35&backPID=1&tt_news=899

Many in the Intelligence Community concerned that USA will attack Iran

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

I write to you to express my deepest fears about the likelihood of a President bent on taking us to war with Iran. Below I reproduce for you the concerns being expressed from multiple quarters in the intelligence community of this impending action so that you are informed and then able to take the step of voicing your opposition to this madness.

1. Robert Baer, the former Middle East CIA operative whose first book about his life inspired the oil-and-espionage thriller Syriana, is working on a new book on Iran, but says he was told by senior intelligence officials that he had better get it published in the next couple of months because things could be about to change...

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22303955-26397,00.html

2. Ray McGovern, who spent 27-years as a CIA analyst, chaired NIEs and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) says "Despite the administration’s war-like record, many Americans may still cling to the belief that attacking Iran won’t happen because it would be crazy; that Bush is a lame-duck president who wouldn’t dare undertake yet another reckless adventure when the last one went so badly. But rationality and common sense have not exactly been the strong suit of this administration. Bush has placed himself in a neoconservative bubble that operates with its own false sense of reality.

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/22/3330/

3. Former CIA Officer Philip Giraldi notes that the Pentagon’s plans to attack Iran were drawn up “to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States.”

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/03/28/150/

Iftekhar Hussain

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thoughts on the approach of Ramadan, Tishrei and the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

As we approach the month of Ramadan, Tishrei and the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi, I encourage Muslims, Jews and Christians to reach out to each other during this period of the year.

As some in the Muslim community have already observed, it is imperative that these three communities begin to create bonds of genuine relationships. The religious traditions of these 3 communities allow for such a possibility and the history of interaction between these 3 communities provides a precedence for movement in such a direction.

I have participated in the 'Tent of Abraham' meetings initiated by the Shalom Center and Rabbis Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman. Jews, Christians, Muslims and members of several other faith traditions have participated and bonded with each other through this series of annual meetings over the last 4 years. Through an annual retreat, we have learned to understand each others traditions, hopes and fears. This process has created the possibility to talk of ways to value and honor each other rooted in our own religious source texts and traditions.

I ask you, my friends, to begin to explore your own ways of connecting with your neighbors and friends and honoring them during this period. If you would like to learn of the success of the approach adopted by the Tent of Abraham, please write to me at ihussain@cair.com or write to Rabbi Arthur Waskow at office@shalomctr.org.

More details about the Tent of Abraham can be found at http://www.shalomctr.org/node/1246

Thank you and Salaam
Iftekhar Hussain

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

War Deadenders Take Hope: The Surge May Not Be Working, But a US-Allawi Coup May Be On Its Way by Arianna Huffington

Published on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 by Huffington Post
War Deadenders Take Hope: The Surge May Not Be Working, But a US-Allawi Coup May Be On Its Way
by Arianna Huffington
As we all await the Petraeus Report on the state of the surge, we may also need to be anticipating the Allawi Coup.

I’m talking, of course about Ayad Allawi, longtime C.I.A. asset and former interim prime minister of Iraq. He’s making quite the PR push to get his old job back, penning an op-ed for the Washington Post, hooking up with Wolf Blitzer on Late Edition on Sunday, and even putting the high-powered GOP lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers on a $300,000 retainer....

read more below

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/28/3454/

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pitching the Imperial Republic by Juan Cole

Published on Thursday, August 23, 2007 by TomDispatch.com
Pitching the Imperial Republic
Bonaparte and Bush on Deck

by Juan Cole

French Egypt and American Iraq can be considered bookends on the history of modern imperialism in the Middle East. The Bush administration’s already failed version of the conquest of Iraq is, of course, on everyone’s mind; while the French conquest of Egypt, now more than two centuries past, is all too little remembered, despite having been led by Napoleon Bonaparte, whose career has otherwise hardly languished in obscurity. There are many eerily familiar resonances between the two misadventures, not least among them that both began with supreme arrogance and ended as fiascoes. Above all, the leaders of both occupations employed the same basic political vocabulary and rhetorical flimflammery, invoking the spirit of liberty, security, and democracy while largely ignoring the substance of these concepts...

read more below

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/23/3346/

Islam Today: The Need to Explore Its Complexities

Islam Today: The Need to Explore Its Complexities
Wednesday 22 August 2007, by Tariq Ramadan
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Never before have Islam and the Muslims been held up to such relentless scrutiny. Never before have journalists devoted so many articles, interviews and analyses to the "Muslim world" or to "Muslims in the West." And yet never has knowledge of Islam, of Muslims, and of their geographical, political and geostrategic circumstances been so superficial, partial and frequently confused—not only among the general public, but also among journalists and even in academic circles...

read more below

http://www.tariqramadan.com/article.php3?id_article=1167&lang=en

Thursday, August 23, 2007

ON JIHAD, APOSTASY AND WOMEN by Tariq Ramadan

Muslim Scholars Speak Out


ON JIHAD, APOSTASY AND WOMEN
Saturday 28 July 2007, by Tariq Ramadan


1. WHAT IS JIHAD? UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS DOES ISLAM SANCTION THE USE OF VIOLENCE? WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SUICIDE BOMBERS WHO INVOKE ISLAM TO JUSTIFY THEIR ACTIONS?

The concept of “jihad” has different meanings and a scholar such as Jalal ad-Dîn as-Suyutî (15th century), while studying its scope, highlighted 80 different dimensions, uses and objectives related to its place in Islamic teachings. Its root “ja-ha-da” means “making an effort”, “exerting oneself” in order to promote good or to resist wrongdoing, evil or oppression. Every individual trying to resist her/his own negative temptations is engaged in “jihad” and the first time the word is used in the Qur’an (25:52), it refers to an intellectual and spiritual resistance by the means of the Qur’an itself.

read more below

http://www.tariqramadan.com/article.php3?id_article=1163&lang=en

Monday, August 13, 2007

China's Threat to the Dollar is Real

August 9, 2007

One Big Reason Markets are Plunging
China's Threat to the Dollar is Real
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Twenty-four hours after I reported China’s announcement that China, not the Federal Reserve, controls US interest rates by its decision to purchase, hold, or dump US Treasury bonds, the news of the announcement appeared in sanitized and unthreatening form in a few US news sources.

read more below

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts08102007.html

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

UMM 11th Annual Banquet

Chairman's Message
Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

I am writing to you to invite you to join United Muslim Masjid at its 11th Annual Awards Banquet and Fundraiser at the historic Holiday Inn, 4th and Arch St., Philadelphia on Saturday August 25 2007 at 6:00 PM

United Muslim Movement, Inc (UMM) opened its first mosque on October 11, 1994 at 810 South 15th street in Philadelphia. The mosque was developed after a group of individuals approached Kenny Gamble aka Luqman Abdul-Haqq of Philadelphia International Records recording fame about using a building in which to establish prayer. The mosque was filled to capacity at the first Friday prayer service. In 1995, the mosque was expanded into 808 South 15th street. Although the capacity was doubled to hold about 350 people, the Masjid was filled to capacity at the first Friday prayer service after the expansion.

UMM is comprised of excellent people who have created a wonderful Muslim community in the heart of South Philly.

Please join CAIR-PA Board members in supporting this outstanding Muslim community.

Sincerely,
Iftekhar Hussain
Chairperson, CAIR-PA Philadelphia Chapter

Counter and Discourage Islamophobic Behavior

August 8, 2007
Chairman's Message
Counter and Discourage Islamophobic Behavior

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

I am writing to you to ask your support in discouraging and changing Islamophobic behavior. Islamophobia is a growing cancer in our nation today where people target Islam and Muslims.

The Runnymede Trust has identified eight components that define Islamophobia. This definition, from the 1997 document 'Islamophobia: A Challenge For Us All' is widely accepted, including by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.

The eight components are:

1) Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.

2) Islam is seen as separate and 'other'. It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.

3) Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.

4) Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a 'clash of civilizations'.

5) Islam is seen as a political ideology and is used for political or military advantage.

6) Criticisms made of the West by Islam and Muslims are rejected out of hand.

7) Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.

8) Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.

The following 10 ideas may help to discourage Islamophobia and encourage its removal from the public sphere:

1. Don't make assumptions about Muslims.

Stereotypes hurt everyone. Examine what your prejudices are and make adjustments to view people based on facts not assumptions.

2. Make an effort to get to know Muslims.

Look for things in common with Muslims and celebrate the differences. We can learn from and appreciate something about everyone.

3. Learn about Islam.

Learn about Islam, even if you’re not interested in exploring alternative religious ideas. This will give you a chance to reflect on your own beliefs and values. It will also empower you to discourage Islamophobia.

4. Learn how to recognize anti-Muslim bias.

Do you view Muslim culture as a distinct, fixed entity with separate values? If your answer is yes, you may be harboring cultural racism. All cultures are diverse and dynamic. By sensitizing yourself to this fact, you empower yourself to treat every person as an individual and thereby contribute to the promotion of a vibrant, inclusive civil society.

5. Explore the unfamiliar.

Attend an organization meeting or an event at the nearest religious center of a different faith community. This first-hand experience can be enlightening and give you perspective.

6. If you witness a hate crime, report it.

If you observe someone’s property or person being attacked, call the police and let the victim know that you are a witness. This is one of the best ways to combat the violent expressions of hate. It is also a civic duty.

7. Don't remain silent when you encounter anti-Muslim prejudice.

Silence may be mistaken for tolerance by others. Don't let your silence speak for you. Simply say, "I don't find that interesting," or "I don't appreciate remarks like that." If the incident of bias involved a mistreatment of a Muslim, do what you can to help resolve the problem.

8. Be a proactive parent.

Expose your children to religious diversity at a young age. Encourage them to get acquainted with their Muslim classmates. Studies show that knowing a Muslim is correlated with a more tolerant attitude.

9. Support anti-prejudice organizations.

By volunteering, donating or being an advocate, working with other groups toward the same goal can be beneficial to you and the community. By getting involved, your voice can contribute to the promotion of tolerance and understanding.

10. Be a role model.

Practice the values of toleration and good citizenship with everyone in your life. Such behavior has a greater impact on combating prejudice than any words.

Please join CAIR-PA Board members in helping people change Islamophobic behaviors.

Sincerely,
Iftekhar Hussain
Chairperson, CAIR-PA Philadelphia Chapter

Saturday, August 4, 2007

A Letter to Your Beautiful Heart: Muslims are Your Family, Too, America

A Letter to Your Beautiful Heart: Muslims are Your Family, Too, America

Mohja Kahf

A certain Middle Eastern religion is much maligned in this country. Full of veils and mystery, it is seen by many as sexist. Often violent, sometimes manipulated by demagogues, it yet has sweetness at the core, and many people are turning to it in their search for meaning.

I’m talking about Christianity.

This Muslim squirms when secular friends, tolerant toward believers in Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Native spirituality, dismiss Christians with snorts of contempt. “It’s because the Christian right wants to take over this country,” they protest.

read more below

http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/a_letter_to_your_beautiful_heart_muslims_are_your_family_too_america/0014311

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The myth of Muslim support for terror

The myth of Muslim support for terror
The common enemy is violence and terrorism, not Muslims any more than Christians or Jews.
By Kenneth Ballen
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0223/p09s01-coop.html

DEAN ROHRERWASHINGTON - Those who think that Muslim countries and pro-terrorist attitudes go hand-in-hand might be shocked by new polling research: Americans are more approving of terrorist attacks against civilians than any major Muslim country except for Nigeria.

The survey, conducted in December 2006 by the University of Maryland's prestigious Program on International Public Attitudes, shows that only 46 percent of Americans think that "bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians" are "never justified," while 24 percent believe these attacks are "often or sometimes justified."

read more below

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0223/p09s01-coop.html

June Action: June 16th and June 26th

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

I wanted to write to you and let you know about 2 upcoming events that I would like you to attend.

Program #1:

The first program is on June 16th 2007. The program is called 'Islam in the West' and it will be held in Somerset NJ.

Enjoy a full day of learning, entertainment, and more when leading scholars, artists and musicians come together for this special - first of its kind - event in the United States. Learn about being a Muslim living in the West and experience the rich diversity and unity of our Ummah.

Go to www.islaminthewest.org and reserve your ticket now! Tickets are selling fast.

Program #2:

For nearly seven years, our core values of freedom and fairness have been eroded, from the suspension of habeas corpus and due process, to shameful acts of torture, CIA kidnappings and secret prison programs.

On June 26, 2007, join CAIR-PA and ACLU-PA with other organizations in Washington, D.C. as we call on Congress to restore habeas corpus, fix the Military Commissions Act, stop torture, and restore all our constitutional rights. Rally with us outside the Capitol, then help deliver our urgent message in person to Members of Congress. This is your chance to make your voice heard!

Visit http://www.aclupa.org/juneaction to sign up. Let your Congressional representatives know that they have to restore habeas corpus and due process!

Sincerely,
Iftekhar Hussain

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Arab American author in danger of cancellation by Barnes & Noble Thur 5/24 @ 7:30 pm in Bayside, NY

Dear Friend of CAIR-PA,

Susan Abulhawa, human rights activist, award winning writer and founder of
Playgrounds for Palestine (http://www.playgroundsforpalestine.org), will be appearing at Barnes & Noble ( Bayside NY ) to promote her book THE SCAR OF DAVID http://www.scarofdavid.com/reviews).

We are asking for your cooperation regarding an important development with respect to the event where there is concern that Barnes & Noble may not allow Ms. Abulhawa to read from her book during her appearance. We are expecting inappropriate pressure to be imposed by groups purporting to represent the Jewish community at large in their portrayal of this book as anti-Semitic and filled with hatred.

The Scar of David is a work of historic fiction which reveals the untold brutal history of Israel 's occupation of a nation as also depicted by the recently released PALESTINE , Peace Not Apartheid by former USA President Jimmy Carter. Set in the lap of one of the 20th century's most intractable political conflicts. Through the course of this story, a Palestinian boy grows up as a Jewish Israeli, tangled in a truth he cannot reconcile, a would-be suicide bomber is given a name, a face, and life of a man pushed to grave limits, an Arab girl of pious and humble beginnings lives the "American Dream," and a nation of destitute refugees is forced to live under the general label of "terrorists".

We feel it is important for you to attend the event on Thursday evening, May 24 at 7:30 PM to lend your support to Susan Abulhawa and to ensure she does not face alone the potential for strong opposition attempting to prevent the appearance from taking place as scheduled. Library Journal (the nation's most credible resource for public reading) has published a review stating "While some readers might see this novel as anti-Semitic, it is not. Indeed, Abulhawa goes to great lengths to highlight the universal desire of all people for a homeland. Furthermore, Abulhawa's compassion for
American victims of 9/11 and for those who suffered in the Holocaust illuminates what it means to be humane and spiritually generous. The Pennsylvania-based Abulhawa, herself Palestinian, has crafted an intensely beautiful fictionalized history that should be read by both politicians and those interested in contemporary politics. Highly recommended."

(Also see this review published simultaneously in Arab American News and Palestine Times: < articleid="7632">http://arabamericannews.com/newsarticle.php?articleid=7632 .)

Please use this link for directions to the store

Please use this link for directions to the store
(< jsessionid="F03866FADD5C576D246490FBBED04224.worker2?store="2562"> http://storelocator.barnesandnoble.com/storedetail.do;jsessionid=F03866FADD5C576D246490FBBED04224.worker2?store=2562)


We look forward to a strong turnout on Thursday, May 24 at 7:30PM. Allowing Susan Abulhawa to be unfairly deprived of her right to free speech will make it even more difficult for other targeted minorities to express themselves while sending the wrong message to hate groups who find it easy to interfere with our rights as human beings.

We are counting on your personal support and expecting you to spread word of this potential threat to our freedom throughout your community.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Iftekhar Hussain
Chairperson, CAIR-PA Philadelphia Chapter

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Balancing the Prophet: An article by Karen Armstrong

Balancing the Prophet
By Karen Armstrong

Published: April 27 2007 15:43 | Last updated: April 27 2007 15:43
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/4a05a4a4-f134-11db-838b-000b5df10621.html

Ever since the Crusades, people in the west have seen the prophet Muhammad as a sinister figure. During the 12th century, Christians were fighting brutal holy wars against Muslims, even though Jesus had told his followers to love their enemies, not to exterminate them. The scholar monks of Europe stigmatised Muhammad as a cruel warlord who established the false religion of Islam by the sword. They also, with ill-concealed envy, berated him as a lecher and sexual pervert at a time when the popes were attempting to impose celibacy on the reluctant clergy. Our Islamophobia became entwined with our chronic anti-Semitism; Jews and Muslims, the victims of the crusaders, became the shadow self of Europe, the enemies of decent civilisation and the opposite of ”us”.

read more below

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/4a05a4a4-f134-11db-838b-000b5df10621.html

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thank you for your support and encouragement

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

I wanted to write to you and let you know how much your presence and participation at CAIR-PA's first annual banquet meant to us on the Board of CAIR-PA. From everyone on the Board, please accept my sincerest thanks for your attendance and your words and wishes of encouragement for CAIR-PA's important work on enhancing understanding of Islam, encouraging dialogue, protecting civil liberties, empowering American Muslims, and building coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

The evening for me was filled with the realization of how important it is to celebrate our achievements with you. And share our challenges with you; challenges that I ask you to face with patience and perseverance and overcome together with our friends, supporters and allies.

I want to again take the opportunity to thank CAIR-PA's supporters from Jewish Voices for Peace, Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation, the Shalom Center, Mishkan Shalom, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Foundation for Islamic Education, the Islamic Society of Chester County, the United Muslim Movement mosque, Islamic Society of Greater Valley Forge, Islamic Society of Delaware Valley, North Penn Mosque, Islamic Circle of North America, Muslim American Society, the ADC, Playgrounds for Palestine, CAIR-FL and CAIR-National.

Let's take the excitement from yesterday evening's celebrations and together reach greater heights in our quest to promote justice and mutual understanding.

Sincerely,
Iftekhar Hussain

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Looking forward to seeing each and everyone of you

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

I am looking forward to seeing each and everyone of you on April 7 2007 at CAIR-PA's first annual banquet. CAIR-PA has a great evening planned for you to get to know each other and to hear Congressman Sestak and Ambassador Edward Peck as well as enjoy entertainment by Noor (www.noorification.com) from California.

You will also have the opportunity to meet with community, interfaith and civil rights leaders from the Delaware Valley who are being honored by CAIR-PA for their work in promoting justice, mutual understanding and democratic empowerment.

Sincerely

Iftekhar Hussain

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cars covered with anti-CAIR leaflets at Grove Methodist Church in West Chester PA

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

As I sat teaching a 10 week course on Islam and Muslims to the Adult Education group at Grove Methodist Church in West Chester PA, an individual covered the cars in the parking lot with an anti-CAIR leaflet. The leaflet contained a litany of charges against CAIR and the work it does. This is probably because I am the chairperson of the local chapter of CAIR called CAIR-PA with an office in Philadelphia.

CAIR has come across most of the charges before and some were new.

I invite you to visit http://pa.cair.com and read the following 5 documents to learn more about CAIR and its work:

1. 25 Facts About CAIR: clarifies what CAIR does nationally
http://pa.cair.com/index.php?Page=cairfacts&Side=about

2. What They Say About CAIR: testimonials from political, interfaith and civic leaders
http://pa.cair.com/index.php?Page=whattheysay&Side=about

3. What Has CAIR-PA Achieved since its Inception: Local CAIR-PA work
http://pa.cair.com/index.php?Page=achieve&Side=about

4. De-Mystifying Urban Legends About CAIR: this document really addresses all the charges and accusations that are heaped on CAIR by anti-Muslim websites and individuals such as Robert Spencer, Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes, Joe Kauffman etc...
http://www.cairphilly.org/files/Demystifying_Urban_Legends_About_CAIR.pdf

5. New York Times article dealing with charges leveled at CAIR
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/washington/14cair.html?ref=todayspaper

Items #4 and #5 above deal with accusations most commonly directed at CAIR

Sincerely

Iftekhar Hussain

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Must Read List for President Bush and Company

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

I was reading an article by Jim Lobe of the Inter Press Service regarding the Islamophobic bent of book titles that have commanded the reading attention of President Bush.

Published on Friday, March 16, 2007 by the Inter Press Service
Bush's Book List Gets More Islamophobic
by Jim Lobe
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0316-01.htm

It got me thinking about which book titles I would recommend as reading material for President Bush if he were taking a sabbatical on an isolated island for the next 2 years.

Here is the list of titles for our Commander in Chief:

1. Good Muslim Bad Muslim: America, The Cold War and the Roots of Terror: By Mahmoud Mamdani

2. Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism: By Robert Pape

3. Tinderbox: By Stephen Zunes

4. Blood and Oil: The dangers and consequences of America's growing dependence on imported petroleum: By Michael T. Klare

5. American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century: By Kevin Phillips

6. Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East by Rashid Khalidi

7. The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East: By Robert Fisk

8. Poverty From the Wealth of Nations: Integration and Polarization in the Global Economy since 1760: By M. Shahid Alam

9. American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America: By Chris Hedges

10. Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam: By Robert Dreyfuss

President Bush, I hope you get the time to read these titles very soon !

Sincerely

Iftekhar Hussain

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Visit to the Muslim Association of Lehigh Valley

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

The aspirations of American immigrants is a story that finds its rebirth with each new group. The latest group to experience both the good side and the dark side of the force that is the melting pot of America is the Muslim community, particularly the immigrant Muslim community.

I spoke to the largely immigrant Muslim community in Whitehall PA at their beautiful community and mosque center at 1988 Schadt Avenue in Whitehall PA. A wonderful and practical structure with a large and spacious lobby, a utility lecture/dinner hall and a beautifully laid out prayer space, the mosque was all that most mosques are not. I found out that the architect was an American born woman of a Libyan American father and an European American mother, and what struck me was the combination of practical American ingenuity and a humble Muslim-centric sense of dimension that had been incorporated into the design; a perfect combination of her parents' heritage.

The congregants were justly proud of their community and welcoming to my CAIR-PA associates as we talked about the work CAIR does on behalf of Muslim Americans in the USA.

The local Chief of Police, Ted Kohuth, was present at the dinner event and spoke warmly of his support for the local Muslim community and also praised CAIR's vision and mission that he had read about at its website.

This is a community I look forward to getting to know more intimately and learning from their experience in community building.

Sincerely

Iftekhar Hussain

Congressman Sestak and Adeeba

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you).

I am writing to you to bring your attention to the pressure being put on Congressman Joe Sestak to fire his district outreach coordinator, Adeeba Al-Zaman.

Let me say a few words about Adeeba, who was an exemplary CAIR-PA employee.

During her tenure with CAIR-PA, she proactively engaged interfaith and ethnic communities, educated the general public about Islam and Muslims and represented the best of Islamic and American values.

She left CAIR-PA in September 2006 to build a career in public service. All of us who know her encouraged and applauded her when she accepted a position with newly elected Congressman Sestak.

For me as a Muslim American, it was gratifying to see a young and energetic member of my community succeeding in her dream of public service.

It therefore pains me tremendously to see that Adeeba is being smeared for her service to Muslims and Pennsylvanians.

Robert Lipshutz, a former Philadelphia assistant district attorney, distributed a letter Tuesday to Delaware County rabbis, calling on Sestak to cancel his speaking engagement at the CAIR-PA banquet and fire Adeeba. During an interview by Amy Brisson of the Delaware County News on Tuesday, I was asked to respond to the comment of a young Jewish lady who apparently asked Congressman Sestak to disassociate with CAIR and fire Adeeba because 'CAIR and Adeeba want us Jews dead'.

It shocked me to hear that a young woman could have such a misconception about a bridge-builder such as Adeeba.

It also made me realize how much work is still needed to overcome the fear and hate mongering that have been heaped on groups of US citizens simply because of race, religion, or national origin.

I ask you to join CAIR and me in reaching out across these divides to strengthen the ties of human friendship and equality between all American citizens by joining CAIR and Muslims of Philadelphia on April 7, 2007 at our first annual banquet. There, with your presence, we can demonstrate a joint resolve to strengthen the bonds of humanity with each other.

Tickets may be obtained here:

http://pa.cair.com/index.php?Page=banquet&Side=about

As you know, the Qur'an reminds its readers, 'O men! Behold, We have created you out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all knowing, all aware.' (Qur'an 49:13)

Thank you for your time and I ask you to keep Adeeba in your prayers.

Sincerely,

Iftekhar Hussain