Community News (V11-I3)

January 8, 2009 by  


North Carolina students protest Gaza violence

RALEIGH, NC–A group of students protesting violence in Gaza gathered in Raleigh this week, the NBC 14 news channel reported.

The peaceful protest, organized by the Muslim American Society and students from all over North Carolina, took place from 2 to 6 p.m. near the Bell Tower at North Carolina State University.

“We will not be silent while the inhumanities continue to occur to the people of Gaza,” the students said in a press release. “Over 400, if not over 500 deaths have been reported. If the people in Gaza are not dying because of Israel’s year-long blockade which denies even the UN to enter with necessary food and medical supplies, then they are dying because of their unjust air-strikes against them.

Jamila Nasheed Criticizes US Response on Gaza

ST. LOUIS, MO–State Rep. Jamilah Nasheed, one of a handful of Muslim state legislators in the U.S., has issued a statement condemning America’s reaction to the Israel’s recent missile attacks on Gaza.

“The recent Israeli aggression is both unwarranted and completely disproportionate,” Nasheed said last week. “The United States’ wholehearted support for the massacre of innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip is unconscionable and undermines our reputation abroad. So long as America continues to act as an inherently biased player, we will never provide the just leadership that is needed to bring peace to Palestine and the rest of the world.”

Nasheed, elected to her second term in November, is one of two Muslim lawmakers in Jefferson City.

Canadian Muslim Charity Delivers Halal Meat

TORONTO, CANADA–For the fifth year MuslimServ Inc  delivered halal meat to the hungry in Canada. This year they sacrificed 30 cows, which is 5 more than last years delivery. Scarifies were conducted by Muslims in a government inspected meat plant. Meat was processed into mince and cubed beef. “This year we changed format from bone-in to boneless meat. Therefore the weight is about the same as last year, even when the number of cows had increased. In order to have excellence in every thing we do, the meat was tested for e coli before delivery. Meat was packaged in kilogram size in our bags with inscription “A Gift From Muslim Canadians”

“It is unfortunate that hunger lurks in rich and prosperous Canada. Many fall though the cracks. It is our duty to look after the vulnerable” said Aftab Ahmed Khan, Director MuslimServ Inc.

We are especially gratified to have increase the level of donations even after difficulties in Canadian economy. We are grateful to CBC Radio and TV, Omni TV and others who help spread the word and brought in new donors.

Lutheran HealthCare Welcomes New Arab Community Liaison

BROOKLYN, NY– Lutheran HealthCare has announced the appointment of Mohammed Talbi as its community liaison for the Arabic-speaking community.

24D2 As a community liaison, Talbi will act as a conduit between patients, care givers and members of the community, and will assist patients in accessing Lutheran HealthCare services and aid in patients’ navigation through those services. He was previously the director of MAS Youth Center in Brooklyn, where he had extensive interaction with families in the local community.

Lutheran provides several services in response to the fast growing Arabic population of southwest Brooklyn including an onsite mosque with Friday prayer service, Ramadan meal schedules adjusted for cultural needs, Imam on call service, an Arabic speaking patient representative, a variety of religious services including Muslim or Christian, Arabic web site and Halal meals. The medical center has even introduced new modesty gowns that are available upon request.

Brooklyn is one of the most culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse communities in the world. Lutheran HealthCare acknowledges this diversity by integrating cultural competency with superior health care. Facilities have directional signage written in English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian.

Chinese nursing units, offering appropriate décor, cuisine and language accommodations, are available at the medical center as well as multilingual patient representatives. In addition, staff has access to state-of-the-art interpretation services in nearly 150 languages and dialects. Appropriate menu options are also offered to Latino, Chinese, Muslim and Jewish patients.

NYC Muslims find it safest in schools

NEW YORK, NY–Muslim students are more likely to get attacked for their religion on the street, in stores and in restaurants than in the public schools, a new study shows.

Although more than one in three Muslim students said they had been hit with ethnic slurs in the past year, only one in six said it happened in school.

“Sometimes I’ll hear something, like, ‘Your people are terrorists,’” said Priscilla Mensah, a 16-year-old junior at Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene. “Most people are more informed, and I try not to take it personally.”

More than 600 students from 90 public schools participated in the three-year study conducted by Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Most of the Muslim students said that although they still face bias, it has gotten better since the first few years following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Still, 36% of the students said they a faced at least one “discriminatory verbal incident” in the past year.

The study found 28% of Muslim students said they or a relative have been stopped by police as a result of “racial profiling,” 12% reported they or a relative had been turned down for a job based on discrimination, 11% had property destroyed and 7% said they or a family member had been physically assaulted.

The study found that the vast majority – 85% – feel safe in the city’s public schools.

“Just because you feel more picked on doesn’t mean you feel threatened,” said Omar Ahmad, who’s in 11th grade at Stuyvesant High School. “You hear the suicide bomber jokes, but I try to educate as opposed to retorting disrespectfully.”

The study’s authors estimate that about 1 in 10 students, or 100,000, is a Muslim. The Education Department does not keep enrollment by religious affiliation.

“School provides an environment where being different – in this case Muslim – is part of being American,” said the study’s author, Prof. Louis Cristillo.

“Creating and ensuring a positive school climate and culture is a priority of the Department of Education,” agency spokeswoman Margie Feinberg said.

Nonetheless, the impact of 9/11 is still significant, the study found.

Almost a third of the students said the aftermath made them feel uncomfortable about their identity as Muslims, and a similar number said they used a non-Muslim-sounding nickname in school.

Many students said that the more diverse the student body, the more comfortable they felt.

“Everywhere I go, there are conflicting ideologies,” said Omar, 16. “If ever there was a place with people just like me, it would be very, very boring.”

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