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Community News (V9-I22)

May 24, 2007 by  


US Attorney Meets with Colorado Muslims

DENVER – The treatment of Muslims in the United States was the topic Friday night of an informal discussion featuring the U.S. Attorney for Colorado.

The Muslim American Society hosted a town-hall meeting in Denver with U.S. Attorney Troy Eid.

He started by telling the audience about his own Arab ancestry, pointing out that his father emigrated from Egypt in 1957.

He discussed his background, his job, and immigration issues. He focused on concerns that Muslims are being unfairly targeted for investigation and deportation in the name of homeland security.

Muslim jail guard allowed to wear kufi

NEW YORK—In a federal court settlement released Wednesday, New York prison officials have agreed to allow a Muslim correction officer wear a kufi while on duty at a Harlem correctional facility.

The settlement, which federal District Court judge Harold Baer approved last Friday, marks an end to the New York State Department of Correctional Services’ policy of refusing to grant any religious accommodations to state correction officers.

“This settlement is an important victory not only for Mr. Haqq but for correction officers around the state,” said NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn. “New York has now abandoned its policy of refusing to accommodate the religious beliefs of correction officers, and we fully expect that many other officers will receive religious accommodations.”

The NYCLU filed its federal lawsuit on Oct. 5, 2006 on behalf of Abdus Samad N. Haqq, a devout Muslim who is assigned to work at the Lincoln Correctional Facility on West 110th Street in Harlem. In defending the state’s directive to Haqq that he not wear his kufi while on duty, former Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services Lucien LeClair had stated, “[T]he Department is vehemently opposed to the granting of any accommodations to security staff employees which alter the uniform grooming regulations for reasons of religious practice.”

On March 15, the United States Department of Justice filed a companion lawsuit against DOCS challenging its refusal to grant religious accommodations to corrections officers. That lawsuit is still pending. 5-09-07

Syed Fareed to work at Dallas law firm

Syed Fareed of the University of Minnesota Law School will work in the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson PC this summer as part of the law firm’s Diversity Fellowship Program. It is the second summer that Mr. Fareed will be working at the Dallas office under the program. The program was launched in 2005.

Mr. Fareed has a B.S. in computer science from the University of Texas, Austin, is a student at the University of Minnesota Law School (2008), and will work in the firm’s Dallas office.

Milwaukee mayor to visit places of worship

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced plans to preach against violence in houses of worship this weekend as part of his third annual “Ceasefire Sabbath.” He will visit at least one mosque and at least five churches and could stop at other churches and synagogues as well, spokeswoman Eileen Force said.

“I know that the criminals aren’t likely to be in church this weekend, but their mothers are; their girlfriends are; and their neighbors are,” Barrett says in a statement. “Together, we can work to solve Milwaukee’s crime problems.”

This weekend also marks the launch of the Milwaukee Police Department’s Neighborhood Safety Initiative, which will put extra squads and foot patrol officers into high-crime areas from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. through Sept. 8.

Trenton Mosque sues to remove leader

Trenton, NJ–The founders of the Masjid As-Saffat mosque in Trenton have sued in Superior Court in Mercer County to have their religious leader removed.

The suit, filed by the International Muslim Brotherhood, the mosque’s owner, as well as three founding members, claims that Imam Sabur Abdul Hakim is trying to make the congregation more fundamentalist.

They also claim Hakim has recently adopted stricter views of Islam and is planning to beam in lectures by satellite from a conservative sect in Saudi Arabia.

The mosque was founded in 1981 by local Muslims and state employees needing a place to pray and was open to all sects.

FBI agent was investigating vehicle when confronted by student

IRVINE, CA–An FBI agent confronted by a Muslim student at UC Irvine earlier this month was trying to get a closer look at a “suspicious” truck at the time.

That’s according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller, who tells the Associated Press the agents were engaged in an investigation that had “nothing to do with the UCI campus or student activities there.”

The incident occurred May 14th, when a Muslim student said an agent bumped him with his car near the site of an anti-Israel protest.

Eimiller did not elaborate about the investigation.

9-22

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