By Ahmed Rehab
June 1, 2006
Congratulations to Michael Tackett, the Tribune's associate managing editor in Washington, on his wonderful piece "Melting ice with Westerners" (News, May 10). As a Muslim-American activist who spends most of his waking hours "melting ice" with fellow Westerners, I am very appreciative of an article that brings forth the moderate and refreshing views of credible mainstream leaders from the Muslim world.
I have grown tired of hearing my religion in the media attributed solely to nutcases such as Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. More often than not, I find that media venues are all too keen to echo opinions and statements of extremist Muslims of the lunatic fringe, while overlooking the moderate and far-reaching voices of mainstream Muslim leaders.
Tackett's fair and insightful reporting has broken through the very ice we can only hope to melt.
I hope that the Tribune continues to lead the way in presenting Americans with an accurate representation of the reality of Islam and Muslims in order that we continue to melt ice together.
Click here to read Michael's Tackett's article
Copyright © 2006 Chicago Tribune
CAIR-CHICAGO TAKES PART IN THE U OF C'S UNDERSTANDING ISLAM IN THE MODERN WORLD FORUM
May 25, 2006
On Thursday May 25, CAIR Chicago’s Executive Director, Ahmed Rehab, participated in a University of Chicago panel with a notable group of Chicagoans including Dr. Aminah Beverly McCloud, Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Islamic World Studies at DePaul University; Tim McNulty, Chicago Tribune Public Editor; and Margaret Holt, Chicago Tribune Senior Editor for Standards and Staff Development.
The panel, sponsored by the Office of Vice President and Dean of Students in the University, the Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities, and the Muslim Students Association, was put together to provide a forum for education and discussion concerning complex cultural and religious questions that have bearings on how the media portrays Islam and Muslims.
The event began with welcome remarks from William Michel, Asst. Vice President for Student Life and Assoc. Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago official, as well as M. Hasan Ali, outgoing MSA President.
The capacity room, packed with attendees and representatives from a diverse cross section of local Muslim communities, inter-faith communities, professors, students, and activists were on hand to participate in the dynamic program. Among those present in the audience were Dr. Scott C. Alexander, Associate Professor of Islam and Program Director in Catholic-Muslim Studies of the Catholic Theological Union; Imam Frederick Al Deen of Oak Park; Minister Marcus Muhammad, Benton Harbor Representative of the Nation of Islam; and Nation of Islam Latino student Minister Abel Muhammad.
The spirited open dialogue provided concrete advice for Muslims seeking accurate media representation and allowed Muslim community members an opportunity to offer feedback to the Tribune editors as to how the Muslim image may more fairly be covered. Rehab stressed the need for Muslims to forgo self-imposed censorship and to actively engage the media. He asserted that, for the most part, the American media does not bear an inherent bias against Islam and that members of the media are diverse and non-monolithic, like Muslims themselves. Rehab further explained that he believed Islam and Muslims are unfairly portrayed in the media, but that more often than not, it is a result of ignorance and not malice, “that’s all the more reason for Muslims to reach out to their local media,” he said.
CAIR-Chicago is pleased to announce that Yaser Tabbara Esq, retired Executive Director of CAIR Chicago, was named the recepient of the 2006 Community Builders Award for Excellence in Community Service. The award was presented at the Community Builders Annual Banquet held Saturday, May 27, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel O'Hare.
The following is a text of Community Builders proclamation accompanying the Award.
PLEASE STEP DOWN, MR. RUMSFELD
By Sultan Muhammad
June 2, 2006
"My daddy tried to open the door to let the Americans in, but he was immediately shot in the head and body," Safa said.
"I heard Younis speaking to the Americans, saying: 'I am a friend. I am good,' “Fahmi said, "but they killed him, and his wife and daughters."
"I was the only one who survived. I watched them kill my entire family. I am all alone now," Safa said, crying.
Twenty four innocent and unarmed Iraqi civilians were killed unjustifiably by US Marines on November 19th, 2005. The brutally slain civilians included children and the women that were trying to shield them.
“The girls killed inside Khafif's house were ages 14, 10, 5, 3 and 1, according to death certificates,” reports the Washington Post.
As these most recent allegations unfold – and with the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo incidents as a backdrop - the moral supremacy and self-righteous rhetoric of this administration seem more and more as an invitation for lawless lash outs that range from torture to the massacre of innocents.
Blanket signifiers procured by this administration like the “Axis of Evil,” and other sensational expressions used by the administration, imbue U.S. troops with a certain psychological reductionism that lends itself to dehumanizing the other.
When a soldier dons the emblematic T-shirt, “Property of the U.S. Army,” or “Property of the U.S. Marines,” it is a testament to the contract that is signed by every soldier upon recruitment. When things go wrong, should not the property holder bear the brunt of the responsibility?
Our soldiers also don “dog tags.” When we walk that loving puppy in someone else’s yard and it defecates… who cleans the mess?
Faulty intelligence led to the waging of this illegal war; misleading explanations have been construed to absolve.
Both have now been replaced with outright cover-up.
As we speak, Saddam Hussein is rightfully being tried for the murder of innocent Iraqi civilians amongst other crimes.
Are Iraq’s civilians any less innocent now that they are being killed by American soldiers in the name of erecting democracy and freedom, rather than by Baathist soldiers operating under a dictatorship? If not, then I ask that Mr. Rumsfeld be tried for the brazen murder of Iraqi civilians on his watch and under his failed leadership.
Until that day comes, please step down Mr. Rumsfeld.
In the News
June 1, 2006
June 1, 2006
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May 30, 2006
May 25, 2006
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May 23, 2006
May 23, 2006
Citizenship Delay Project - Religious Discrimination Delays Citizenship Process:
As a joint effort with the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), CAIR-Chicago is asking individuals who passed a citizenship examination and have been waiting for over 90 days, or have been waiting for a Green Card for permanent residence for over 90 days to contact us at either firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel Free Project - Muslim Americans Detained and Questioned When Traveling Outside of the U.S.:
As part of a potential class action law suit, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and CAIR-Chicago is asking anyone who has been detained and questioned on return to the US at any border crossing (land or airport) to please contact email@example.com.
Religious Discrimination at Standardized Testing Centers:
As part of a potential class action law suit, CAIR-Chicago is asking for anyone who has experienced any form of religious discrimination at a testing center to please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. An example of a possible form of religious discrimination includes requiring or requesting the removal of a headscarf for searches, or discriminatory remarks made by employees about Muslims or Islam.
The facts of the above case are as follows:
A Muslim student was asked to remove her headscarf on two separate occasions at a testing center before she began a standardized test required for graduate school. The supervisor and employees of the testing center refused to show her a written copy of the policy requiring Muslim women wearing a headscarf to be searched. A witness at the testing center also observed the employees making discriminatory remarks about Muslims while the victim was taking the test.
Please let us know if you or someone you know have experienced a similar incident and would like to take action to prevent such forms of religious discrimination at standardized testing centers in the future.
CAIR-Chicago Welcomes Three New Activists to the Team
Ahsan Latif joins CAIR-Chicago as a summer intern in the Communications Department. Ahsan is currently enrolled in Northwestern University’s School of Law and hopes to one day conduct complex litigation even he cannot begin to understand. Known to often carry the diploma for his B.A. in English Literature from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in his back pocket, Ahsan is currently engaged and will be wed in August. Throughout his undergraduate career he wrote and edited the campus newspaper, occasionally landing himself on the nightly news or the Missouri State House of Representatives. In addition to discovering every Arab themed restaurant in Chicago’s metropolitan area, he plans to make the most of the coming weeks by indulging his interest in sports, obscure music and writing. He fully expects that after August he will no longer be afforded such luxuries. When asked why he joined CAIR: “I desperately wanted to be a part of a homonym.”
Susan Safiya Stoffel has recently joined CAIR-Chicago to work on the Cafe Finjan program. Cafe Finjan is a series of interfaith arts exchanges between the Jewish and Muslim communities in the Chicagoland area. Safiya converted to Islam in high school and attended Depaul University from 1993 - 2003 on a track and field scholarship. Safiya will be pursuing a Masters in Social Work next spring at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also an active volunteer for both the Special Olympics and the Chicago Boys and Girls club.
Shazia Bux is a first year law student at the Northern Illinois University College of Law in DeKalb. She recently joined CAIR Chicago as an intern in the Communications Department. Shazia was born in India but has been raised here in the US. She has lived all over the country but primarily grew up in upstate New York where she received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Shazia would like to practice civil rights and public interest law after graduating from law school. She currently lives in DeKalb with her husband and three children.
Are you an Undergraduate or Graduate Student Looking to Earn College Credit While Interning at CAIR-Chicago?
CAIR-Chicago is currently offering 11 internship opportunities. All internships are unpaid, but students may receive college credit. Applicants need to email a resume and cover letter to Dina Rehab, Outreach Coordinator, at: email@example.com.
CAIR-Chicago is offering the following positions for internships:
Please Contact the Outreach Coordinator for more information on the tasks and duties of specific internships. Call Dina Rehab at 312-212-1520 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please contact:
CAIR-Chicago (A Chapter of The Council On American-Islamic Relations)
28 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1410, Chicago IL 60604
Phone: 312-212-1520, Fax: 312-212-1530
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