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Muslim American News Briefs

August 12, 2009

Hadith: The Best Supplication for Forgiveness

In Raleigh, Muslims View FBI with Fear, Mistrust

FBI Agent Provocateurs and Fusion Centers: Boys Gone Wild

NY Rally Marks Anniversary of FBI Terror Sting Arrests

NY: ‘Injustice’ Decried in Conviction of Muslims

Florida Teens Accused of Bias Attack on Mosque Back in Court

Editorial: Miss. Mosque Zoning Flap Reeks of Intolerance

CAIR-MN Offers Training for Employers of Muslim Workers

Muslims Care: CAIR-OH Provides School Supplies for Needy Students

CAIR-San Antonio to Distribute Fans to Elderly Residents

CAIR-LA: Meeting of Faiths at Utah Church Sites

Law Clerk Opportunities at CAIR for Fall 2009



The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said the best supplication for forgiveness from God is: “O God, You are my Lord. There is no god but You. You created me and I am Your servant and I try my best to keep my covenant (of faith) with You and to live in the hope of Your promise. I seek refuge in You from (any) evil done by me. I acknowledge Your favors upon me and I acknowledge my sins. So forgive me, for none forgives sins but You.”

The Prophet added: "If somebody recites this during the day with firm faith in it and dies on the same day before the evening, that person will be one of the people of Paradise. And if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it and dies before the morning, that person will (also) be one of the people of Paradise."

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 4, Number 115


Just two Saturdays ago, the Islamic Center of Raleigh was a joyous place. A long-planned open house at its mosque and school in the Method neighborhood near N.C. State University drew such high-level guests as N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper and State Treasurer Janet Cowell. FBI and SBI officials also attended, marking an important step toward their hosts' goal of good relations between law enforcement and the Muslim community as memories of 9/11 recede.

So Muslim leaders were shocked the following Monday, when the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in Raleigh announced that seven local Muslim men had been arrested, charged with a terrorist plot to commit murder in foreign countries. An eighth suspect was being sought abroad. "It was like a bomb went off," said Jihad Shawwa, a member of the mosque and an officer of the Muslim American Public Affairs Council (MAPAC) in North Carolina.

He wasn't the only one who was rattled.

Officially, the Muslim community reacted cautiously to the arrests, professing their trust in the federal justice system while also warning, in the words of Khalilah Sabra, executive director of the Triangle chapter of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation (MAS-Freedom), against "a rush to judgment" by the press and public.

But within the community, many received the news with mistrust or fear. To one another, they questioned why the FBI pounced so soon after the open house, asking if the arrests weren't a deliberate effort to ruin the goodwill the event created. Some who read the 14-page indictment called it flimsy, full of vague accusations that the defendants were plotting "violent jihad" and their own suicides, but with no details about where or against whom they planned to strike. (More)


FBI AGENT PROVOCATEURS AND FUSION CENTERS: BOYS GONE WILD - TOP Delinda C. Hanley, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 2009

THE SAME day President Barack Obama reached out to 1.5 billion Muslims around the world in his speech to the Turkish parliament, saying the United States “is not and will never be at war with Islam,” Muslim Americans described what looks like a war on their community here at home. The American Muslim Taskforce (AMT) on Civil Rights and Elections, a coalition of major national Islamic organizations, discussed their concerns at a briefing at the National Press Club on April 6.

“This is a very important message to the American people, to the West and to the Muslim world in general,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). “We appreciate Obama’s efforts to bring peace and justice to the Muslim world, and American Muslims are not only willing but they are ready to help,” he stated. (More)



Listen Now

ALBANY, NY (WAMC) - The Muslim Solidarity Committee marked the fifth anniversary of the arrests of two Albany Muslims, Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain, with a Tuesday evening rally and march in Albany. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was there and files this report.

Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain were sentenced to 15 years in prison, resulting from an FBI sting operation involving money-laundering from the sale of a fake shoulder-fired missile. The Albany rally began just before 6pm at the Washington Avenue Armory ... Supporters then marched to Masjid As-Salam mosque on Central Avenue.

In the Albany case, it took an informant 5 months to talk Mohammed Hossain into accepting a loan, in the case of the Fort Dix 5, an electronics store clerk in South Jersey gave police a copy of a customer's videotape that showed the men firing rifles and shouting Islamic battle cries. FBI agents and two paid cooperators then spent eighteen months persuading the men to do something that would enable the agency to arrest them. (More)


NY: ‘INJUSTICE’ DECRIED IN CONVICTION OF MUSLIMS - TOP Danielle Sanzone, Troy Record, 8/5/09

ALBANY — The feelings of injustice were blatant at a rally and presentation marking the fifth anniversary of the arrests of two Albany Muslims.

Mohammed M. Hossain, owner of the Little Italy pizzeria in Albany, and Yassin Aref, an imam or spiritual leader at the Masjid As-Salam mosque, were both sentenced to 15 years in prison for offenses their attorneys, friends, and family claim were the result of the two mosque leaders being entrapped by an FBI informant.

More than 100 protesters carrying signs and joining in the chants attended the peace march which started in front of the Washington Armory and ended at the Central Avenue mosque under the watchful eyes of several Albany Police officers…

Aref’s attorney, Steve Downs, said that the arrests and convictions were made with a tactic called preemptive prosecution which was a result of the country’s war on terror.

“The fact that these prosecutions are directed exclusively at one religious community — Muslims — not only violates Constitutional protections, which forbid the prosecution of people who have no intention of committing a crime, but also discriminates against Muslims,” he said.

A diverse crowd attended the event including people of all colors and creeds. (More)



Click here to watch the video.



The increasingly bellicose battle over the efforts of the Mississippi Muslim Association to build a mosque in Madison County is beginning to reek not of the zoning issues claimed by opponents - but of religious intolerance and prejudice against Muslims. Advertisement

Not so, claim neighbors in the U.S. 51 area who maintain their opposition is based on protection of zoning laws and the maintenance of their property values. Not so, claim public officials in the city of Madison and Madison County governments, who say they are just following the laws and ordinances.

But the fact that some in those governments - and a few state legislators as well - have been actively seeking legal cover to deny water and sewer services to the approximately 100 members of the Muslim community in Madison County who seek nothing more than to construct a mosque and worship as they see fit speaks a language all its own.

When's the last time you remember local governments going into battle mode against the construction of a Protestant church - particularly in Madison County, one of Mississippi's most church-friendly environs?

The notion that churches have a negative impact on residential or commercial property values is laughable on its face. If so, property values near the county's more than 125 houses of worship - a number of which are located on prime real estate like Highland Colony Parkway and other tonier addresses - must react negatively only to houses of worship built for religious minorities like the Muslims.

Nor have property values been impacted in Oxford by the mosque constructed by the Oxford Muslim Society near the Ole Miss campus. Despite taking a hit from the recession, real estate values in Oxford remain high and the mosque hasn't changed that.

There are also Muslim mosques in Starkville, Sumrall, Jackson and Vicksburg - and all exist without controversy or detriment to the broader communities. (More)


CAIR-MN OFFERS TRAINING FOR EMPLOYERS OF MUSLIM WORKERS - TOP Event addresses issues of religious accommodation in the workplace

(ST. PAUL, MN, 8/5/09) - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) yesterday hosted its first annual “Positive Interactions” employer workshop to address issues of religious accommodation in the workplace.

More than 20 managers from seven companies attended the workshop to better understand the legal obligation of religious accommodation and to learn about customs and practices of Muslim employees. Companies represented included WalMart, Macy's, Coloplast, Lifetouch, Mayo Clinic, Park Nicollet Health Care, and the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

SEE: CAIR-MN Offers Employers Advice On Muslim Workers

"This is a proactive step we're taking to engage employers in understanding Islam and religious accommodation issues when they arise in the workplace,” said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Director Taneeza Islam.

Ms. Islam said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints about religious discrimination have risen by more than 30 percent in recent years.

"It was important for us to gather employers from diverse industries for this workshop so that common issues would be discussed and creative accommodation options could be shared," said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Coordinator Zahra Aljabri. "We are very encouraged to see participation by so many employers at our first multi-corporation training."

Participants provided positive feedback after the workshop, including: "I had many "Ah-ha!" moments throughout the workshop. I realized that learning about different cultures is important to understand how to make the workplace an inclusive space for everyone."

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR-MN Communications Director Jessica Zikri, 612-226-3289, E-Mail:; CAIR-MN Civil Rights Director Taneeza Islam, Esq., 651-587-4712, E-Mail:; CAIR-MN Civil Rights Coordinator Zahra Aljabri, Esq., 651-645-7102, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:



(CINCINNATI, OH, 8/7/09) On August 19, the Cincinnati office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Ohio (CAIR-OH), in conjunction with the Islamic Association of Cincinnati Clifton Mosque, will deliver school supplies to all the students at a local elementary school. The project is being funded by a donation from the Cincinnati Muslim community.

”School Supplies for Kids” will benefit some 450 students attending Hays-Porter Elementary School in Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine neighborhood. All the students at this elementary school participate in the free lunch program.

"This project will benefit kids and teachers alike,” said CAIR-Cincinnati Director Karen Dabdoub. “According to a recent news report, teachers typically spend $1000 or more per year buying supplies for their students. This project will help students succeed in school and allow teachers to concentrate on teaching.”

The supplies will include pencils, notebooks, crayons, pencil sharpeners, and other items.

CAIR-OH’s participation in the giveaway is part of “Muslims Care,” an ongoing CAIR program designed to encourage volunteerism in the American Muslim community. Information about School Supplies for Kids will be entered in the Muslims Care database for submission to President Obama’s “United We Serve” initiative.

SEE: Show Muslim Support for President Obama’s Community Service Appeal

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 Cincinnati, Karen Dabdoub, 513-281-8200, E-mail:; Zeinab Schwen,


CAIR-San Antonio to Distribute Fans to Elderly Residents

(SAN ANTONIO, TX, 8/5/09) ­ Beginning Friday, August 7, the Council on American-Islamic Relations-San Antonio (CAIR-SA) and Muslim Children Education & Civic Center (MCECC) will distribute fans to low-income elderly residents.

Some 100 fans will be distributed around the San Antonio metropolitan area to elderly residents who are suffering without air conditioning.

The fan distribution is part of the American Muslim community’s response to President Obama’s “United We Serve” appeal. That initiative is designed to “meet community needs and make service a way of life for all Americans.”

To request a fan, contact: Amin Mohammed, 210-744-1786; Salim Rana, 210-365-4611; Sheikh; Aziz Amin 210-877-0199; Sarwat Husain 210-378-9528

CAIR-San Antonio’s participation in the effort is part of “Muslims Care,” an ongoing CAIR program designed to encourage volunteerism in the American Muslim community. Information about the fan distribution will be entered in the Muslims Care database for submission to President Obama’s “United We Serve” initiative.

SEE: Show Muslim Support for President Obama’s Community Service Appeal

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-SA President Sarwat Husain at 210-378-9528, e-mail

----- CAIR-LA: MEETING OF THE FAITHS AT UTAH CHURCH SITES - TOP Muslim, Catholic leaders' tour includes temple open house Greg Hill, Church News, 7/25/09

Joining the throngs of visitors to Temple Square were leaders of Muslim and Catholic faiths from Southern California on July 15-17. They were escorted by Steve and Judy Gilliland of the Church's Los Angeles Public Affairs Council and hosted by Church public affairs in Salt Lake City.

Overall impressions of their visit included a general admiration for the Church's humanitarian services and the commitment of its members.

Brother and Sister Gilliland said the trip was planned to coincide with the open house of the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple so the visitors, after touring it, could have a deeper understanding of why members of the Church are so committed to faith, families and serving others.

"It gave them a better understanding of 'why,' " Sister Gilliland said. She added, "We have great respect for the interfaith leaders [in Southern California]."

The two-day tour also included visits to BYU, Welfare Square and the LDS Humanitarian Center.

The visitors all said they enjoyed their time in Utah and were grateful for the kindness and hospitality of those they met.

"It has certainly been a very exciting and inspiring two days," said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Southern California Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "I will certainly go back to our Muslim community in the Los Angeles area and share the success story and achievement that I've noticed here." He said he hopes that will solidify a partnership for good between the members of the two religions.

Of the commitment and faith he noticed, he said, "It reminds us that there are bigger things in life than our own selves, and that is to serve God. And we serve God by serving mankind. I certainly saw that in practice with every person we met here." (More)



The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is currently offering new clerkship opportunities for law clerks. CAIR is the nation's largest Muslim civil rights organization. The organization's 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. This position will be located at our headquarters in Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

All clerkships are unpaid. Clerkships last twelve weeks depending on the students academic calendar and include at least a 10 hour/week commitment. It will be the students responsibility to research the requirements, work with the supervising attorney to tailor the clerkship, and insure that appropriate forms are completed if they desire to receive academic credits from their law school.

The law clerk will work closely with CAIR’s Legal Counsel on resolving cases of discrimination reported to CAIR.

Applicants should mail a resume and cover letter to Nadhira Al-Khalili, Esq. Legal Counsel at or 453 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003. For questions, please call 202-646-6034.




Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent