Ringing in the New Year

December 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Sumayyah Meehan, TMO

happy_New_Year_s_hat_5The time has come to bid adieu to yet another year. Countries around the world, from Russia to Japan, will ring in 2012 with the pomp and pageantry befitting of a new year. However, for many, bidding farewell to a passing year and welcoming in another one is mere ritual. For others, saying goodbye to 2011 gives reason to pause and reflect on the past twelve months. Nowhere is this truer than the Middle East where the “Arab Spring” was born and continues to take baby steps to freedom and democracy. Albeit through infinite tears and immense bloodshed.

Countries in the region ring in the New Year differently. In Kuwait, the celebration is limited to private parties and the odd buffet meal at a five-start restaurant. In Saudi Arabia, it is largely ignored since following the Islamic calendar, as opposed to the Gregorian one, takes precedent. And in countries like Egypt and Syria, there will be little reason to celebrate given the tumultuous political environment that rages on with little end in sight. There is one country, however, that always has a New Year’s Eve celebration that rivals even the grandest of celebrations in the West. And that’s Dubai.

The tiny United Arab Emirate’s municipality of Dubai holds one of the biggest New Year’s Eve celebrations in the region each year without exception. And this year, event organizers have promised a bash bigger and better than ever. The tallest building in the world, Burj Al-Khalifa will take center stage as a larger than life pyrotechnical display with shake it to its very core and illuminate the skies in a sea of colors. The nearby building Burj Al Arab will also have its own fireworks display at the stroke of midnight.

Resorts, hotels and nightclubs in Dubai have a host of activities that start well before midnight and will last well into the morning hours of New Year’s Day. One of the most unique celebrations will be held at the Fairmont Hotel where an acrobatic performance of “Charlie and the Cirque Factory” will be held. Guests will be treated to dessert and candy at the stroke of midnight. Another notable celebration will be held aboard the QE2 ocean liner, however the black-tie affair is by invite only and is being touted as the most exclusive New Year’s Eve event in the entire world.

A slew of celebrities have descended upon Dubai this past week to ring in the New Year with their entourages. Indian mega-star Shah Rukh Khan and British actress Amy Childs are just two personalities that plan to welcome 2012 in Dubai. American actresses Lindsay Lohan and Pamela Anderson are also confirmed to be participating in the QE2 festivities.

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Pentagon Transcripts, Official Records Belie ‘The 9/11 Commission Report’

September 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Hard evidence exists that American Airlines Flight 77 did not strike the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 — the laws of science refute the official account of 9/11

By Enver Masud, The Wisdom Fund

911-truth-movementAt the September 12, 2001, Dept. of Defense News Briefing, “American Airlines”, “Flight 77”, “Boeing 757”, were not even mentioned.

The security camera video of “Flight 77” released by the Pentagon has one frame showing something — labeled “Approaching Aircraft” — moving parallel to the ground about 100 yards in front of the Pentagon.

This is the U.S. government’s evidence to support its claim that American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

However, the government’s own records — Pentagon transcripts, official reports, flight data recorder, and the laws of science belie “The 9/11 Commission Report”.

September 11, 2001: CNN News Report

Just minutes after the alleged attack, standing in front of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Jamie McIntyre, CNN’s senior Pentagon correspondent since November 1992, reported: “From my close up inspection there’s no evidence of a plane having crashed anywhere near the Pentagon. . . . . The only pieces left that you can see are small enough that you could pick up in your hand. There are no large tail sections, wing sections, fuselage — nothing like that anywhere around which would indicate that the entire plane crashed into the side of the Pentagon.”

McIntyre continued, “If you look at the pictures of the Pentagon you see that all of the floors have collapsed, that didn’t happen immediately. It wasn’t till almost 45 minutes later that the structure was weakened enough that all of the floors collapsed.”

This news report apparently was not rebroadcast, and a few years later McIntyre claimed on CNN (Wolf Blitzer’s show) that he had been taken out of context.

Lt Col Karen Kwiatowski, who from her fifth-floor, B-ring office at the Pentagon, witnessed “an unforgettable fireball, 20 to 30 feet in diameter” confirms McIntyre’s account.

Writing in “9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out,” Kwiatowski noted, “a strange absence of airliner debris, there was no sign of the kind of damage to the Pentagon structure one would expect  from the impact of a large airliner. This visible evidence or lack thereof may also have been apparent to the secretary of defense, who in an unfortunate slip of the tongue referred to the aircraft that slammed into the Pentagon as a ‘missile’.”

Pentagon employee April Gallop, whose “desk was roughly 40 feet from the point where the plane allegedly hit the outside wall” stated in a sworn complaint (before the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York): “As she sat down to work there was an explosion, then another; walls collapsed and the ceiling fell in. Hit in the head, she was able to grab the baby and make her way towards the daylight showing through a blasted opening in the outside wall. There was no airplane wreckage and no burning airplane fuel anywhere; only rubble and dust.”

Barbara Honegger, military affairs journalist, reported in her personal capacity that a pilot sent by Gen Larry Arnold (NORAD) “reported back that there was no evidence that a plane had hit the building.” She added, “Multiple standard-issue, battery-operated wall clocks . . . stopped between 9:31 and 9:32-1/2 on September 11” — a few minutes before Flight 77 that is alleged to have struck the Pentagon at 9:38.

A diagram (derived from the “Pentagon Building Performance Report”, Figure 7.9) indicates a “Slab deflected upward” which is consistent with either an explosion below the slab, or an upward blow by a hard object.

Major General Albert Stubblebine, U.S. Army (ret) — former Commanding General of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, and head of Imagery Interpretation for Scientific and Technical Intelligence — stated in a video interview, “I don’t know exactly what hit it, but I do know, from the photographs that I have analyzed and looked at very, very carefully, it was not an airplane.”
Major Douglas Rokke, U.S. Army (ret) adds: “No aircraft hit the Pentagon. Totally impossible! You couldn’t make the turns with a 757. You couldn’t fly it in over the highway. You couldn’t fly it over the light poles. You couldn’t even get it that close to the ground because of turbulence.”

Other eyewitnesses, however, did report seeing a plane hit the Pentagon. Available evidence does not support their accounts.

September 12, 2001: Pentagon News Briefing

At the September 12, 2001, Dept. of Defense (DoD) News Briefing by Assistant Secretary of Defense, Victoria Clarke, Ed Plaugher (fire chief of Arlington County), and others, “American Airlines”, “Flight 77”, “Boeing 757” were not even mentioned.

How significant is this?

With the world’s news media assembled at the Pentagon on the day after the alleged attack on the Pentagon by Arab hijackers flying American Airlines Flight 77 — a Boeing 757 — “American Airlines”, “Flight 77”, “Boeing 757” were not considered important enough to mention at the Pentagon News Briefing the day after the alleged attack!

Fire chief Ed Plaugher was asked by a reporter, “Is there anything left of the aircraft at all?” Plaugher responded, “there are some small pieces of aircraft … there’s no fuselage sections and that sort of thing.”

When asked, “Chief, there are small pieces of the plane virtually all over, out over the highway, tiny pieces. Would you say the plane exploded, virtually exploded on impact due to the fuel”, Plaugher responded “You know, I’d rather not comment on that.”

The transcript reveals that reporters were being “threatened or, in fact, handcuffed and dragged away”.

This year, the transcript of the September 12, 2001 News Briefing was removed from the DoD website.

September 15, 2001: Pentagon News Briefing

At the September 15, 2001, Dept. of Defense (DoD) News Briefing by Mr. Lee Evey, Pentagon Renovation Manager, Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, and others, it was apparent that there were lingering doubts about what had struck the Pentagon on September 11.

When Mr. Evey said, “the nose of the aircraft broke through this innermost wall of C Ring”, a reporter asked, “One thing that’s confusing — if it came in the way you described, at an angle, why then are not the wings outside? I mean, the wings would have shorn off. The tail would have shorn off. And yet there’s apparently no evidence of the aircraft outside the E Ring.” Evey replied, “Actually, there’s considerable evidence of the aircraft outside the E Ring. It’s just not very visible.”

Apparently, no one asked how “the nose of the aircraft” (a relatively weak component of the aircraft) remained sufficiently intact to penetrate the C Ring — the E Ring is the outermost ring.

‘Pentagon Building Performance Report’

In January 2003, the U.S. government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology released the “Pentagon Building Performance Report”.

Page 35 of this report reads: “An examination of the area encompassed by extending the line of travel of the aircraft to the face of the building shows that there are no discrete marks on the building corresponding to the positions of the outer third of the right wing.

The size and position of the actual opening in the facade of the building (from column line 8 to column line 18) indicate that no portion of the outer two-thirds of the right wing and no portion of the outer one-third of the left wing actually entered the building.”

Had a Boeing 757 struck the Pentagon, its wings would probably have been found outside the Pentagon. But these wings were not found outside the Pentagon!

Photographs, and CNN’s Jamie McIntyre confirm this fact.

Page 36 of this report reads: “The height of the damage to the facade of the building was much less than the height of the aircraft’s tail. At approximately 45 ft, the tail height was nearly as tall as the first four floors of the building. Obvious visible damage extended only over the lowest two floors, to approximately 25 ft above grade.

This implies that whatever struck the Pentagon, couldn’t have been a Boeing 757.

Page 39 of this report reads: “Most likely, the wings of the aircraft were severed as the aircraft penetrated the facade of the building.

Even if portions of the wings remained intact after passing through the plane of the facade, the structural damage pattern indicates that the wings were severed before the aircraft penetrated more than a few dozen feet into the building.”

As previously noted, these wings were not found outside the Pentagon!

From the preceding it is clear that the “Pentagon Building Performance Report” — prepared by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineering Institute, and released by the U.S. government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology — contradicts the official account of 9/11.

‘Arlington County After-Action Report’

The “Arlington County After-Action Report” describes the occurrence of an event at the Pentagon minutes before the alleged strike of Flight 77, and the presence of Fort Myer Unit 161 at the Pentagon prior to impact.

Annex A, Page A-4 of this report states: “Captain Dennis Gilroy and his team were already on station at the Pentagon when Flight #77 slammed into it, just beyond the heliport. Foam 161 caught fire and suffered a flat tire from flying debris. Firefighters Mark Skipper and Alan Wallace were outside the vehicle at impact and received burns and lacerations. . . . Captain Gilroy called the Fort Myer Fire Department, reporting for the first time the actual location of the crash.”

Did Fort Myer Unit 161 go the Pentagon following an explosion — prior to the alleged strike of Flight 77?

It is consistent with the reporter’s question at the September 12 News Briefing, “Chief, there are small pieces of the plane virtually all over, out over the highway, tiny pieces. Would you say the plane exploded, virtually exploded on impact due to the fuel”?

It is consistent with April Gallop’s sworn complaint that “she was able to grab the baby and make her way towards the daylight showing through a blasted opening in the outside wall. There was no airplane wreckage and no burning airplane fuel anywhere; only rubble and dust.”

It is consistent with military affairs journalist Barbara Honegger’s account of “Multiple standard-issue, battery-operated wall clocks . . .  stopped between 9:31 and 9:32-1/2 on September 11.”

Fort Myer Unit 161’s arrival at the Pentagon to put out a fire prior to the strike by “Flight 77” is not consistent with the official account of 9/11.

‘American Airlines’ Flight Data Recorder

Pilots for 9/11 Truth state: “video captured by the parking gate cam is in direct conflict with the Aircraft Flight Data Recorder data released by the NTSB” (National Transportation Safety Board) pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request. The “Pentagon Building Performance Report” states (page 14): “A Pentagon security camera located near the northwest corner of the building recorded the aircraft as it approached the building. Five photographs (figures 3.3 through 3.7), taken approximately one second apart, show the approaching aircraft and the ensuing fireball associated with the initial impact.”

On page 35 of this report we’re told, “The site data indicate that the aircraft fuselage impacted the building at column line 14 at an angle of approximately 42 degrees to the normal to the face of the building, at or slightly below the second-story slab.”

However, the NTSB animation (January 2002), according to Pilots for 9/11 Truth, shows an aircraft flying north of the Navy Annex, not leveling off, and being too high to have hit the Pentagon.

When confronted with this discrepancy, NTSB Chief Jim Potter said: “I have no comment on the existence of the discrepancies.”

Two Pentagon security officers state categorically that a plane (which they believed was Flight 77) flew north of the Citgo gas station (now the Navy Exchange) located west of the Pentagon on South Joyce Street at Columbia Pike, rather than flying south of the gas station as stated in official reports.

G-Force Would Have Destroyed the Boeing 757

Pilots for 9/11 Truth conclude: “Arlington’s unique topography and obstacles along American 77 ‘final leg’ to the Pentagon make this approach completely impossible”.

Flight 77 is alleged to have flown over Columbia Pike and the Virginia Department of Transportation communications tower located 1143 yards west of the Pentagon before striking the Pentagon at “530 miles per hour”.

The antenna on the VDOT tower has been determined to be 169 ft above the ground with a ground elevation of 135 feet (FCC Registration Number 1016111). The ground elevation of the Pentagon is 33 feet according to USGS.

This path would have taken Flight 77 south of the gas station at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Joyce Street, and over the intersection of Columbia Pike and Virginia Route 27.

Flight 77 would then have been over Pentagon grounds with about 500 feet remaining to level out and to strike the Pentagon “slightly below the second floor slab” at “an angle of approximately 42 degrees.”

The Columbia Pike and VA-27 intersection presents a roughly 20 feet tall barrier in the alleged path of Flight 77.

According to the “Pentagon Building Performance Report” (page 14), “The first photograph (figure 3.3) captured an image of the aircraft when it was approximately 320 ft (approximately 0.42 second) from impact with the west wall of the Pentagon. Two photographs (figures 3.3 and 3.7), when compared, seem to show that the top of the fuselage of the aircraft was no more than approximately 20 ft above the ground when the first photograph of this series was taken.”

Leaving aside the discrepancies between the official account of Flight 77, and the Flight Data Recorder (which NTSB refuses to answer), Pilots for 9/11 Truth calculated the force on the Boeing 757 at 34 Gs, i.e. 34 times the force due to gravity, at the point that it would have to transition from its downward flight to level flight.

With a virtual weight of about 8.5 million pounds, Flight 77 could not have leveled off before striking the Pentagon. It would have crashed at the intersection of Columbia Pike and VA-27. This alone is sufficient to refute the official account of “Flight 77” — Flight 77 cannot have violated the laws of science.

Pilots for 9/11 Truth did another calculation by lowering the height of “Flight 77” below that shown by the FDR. They lowered it to the top of the VDOT antenna.

With this very conservative case, they calculated the force on the Boeing 757 at 11.2 Gs. “11.2 Gs was never recorded in the FDR. 11.2 Gs would rip the aircraft apart” they wrote.

Impossible: Damage Path and Flight Path Aligned

With Flight 77 alleged to have struck the Pentagon at “an angle of approximately 42 degrees”, the flight path and the damage path cannot possibly form a straight line.

Flying at “an angle of approximately 42 degrees” the Boeing 757’s starboard wing would have struck the west wall of the Pentagon before the port wing. This would cause the aircraft to veer to the right, and the damage path would be in line with the aircraft’s new heading — not with the aircraft’s heading prior to impact (assuming — miraculously — the plane was able to penetrate the C Ring).

However, the “Pentagon Building Performance Report” Figures 6.2 and 6.6 show that the flight path and damage path (damage path also illustrated in the “Arlington County After Action Report”, page 23) do form a straight line extending from the center-line of the fuselage of the aircraft to where the “the nose of the aircraft broke through this innermost wall of C Ring”.

The flight path and damage path depicted forming a straight line in Figures 6.2 and 6.6 violate the laws of science. This alone is sufficient to refute the official account of “Flight 77” — Flight 77 cannot have violated the laws of science.

Therefore, what looks like a puff of smoke — labeled “Approaching Aircraft” in the security camera video, cannot possibly be a Boeing 757.

Conclusion

To conclude, the official account of Flight 77 — supported only by one frame from a security camera showing a puff of something approaching the Pentagon — is contradicted by the transcripts of Pentagon News Briefings conducted on September 12 and 15; by the “Pentagon Building Performance Report”; by the “Arlington County After-Action Report”; by the FBI’s exhibit on phone calls from Flight 77; and by the Flight Data Recorder provided by the NTSB.

The official account of Flight 77 contradicts the laws of science. Flight 77 could not have withstood the calculated G-force when it would have had to level out — about 100 yards before striking the Pentagon — with “the top of the fuselage of the aircraft . . . no more than approximately 20 ft above the ground”. The flight path of a Boeing 757 traveling at “530 miles per hour”, striking the Pentagon at “an angle of approximately 42 degrees”, and the resulting damage path inside the Pentagon cannot possibly form a straight line as depicted in the Pentagon Building Performance Report.

On September 10, 2001, then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted that the Pentagon “cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions”. It is alleged that the section of the Pentagon destroyed on September 11, 2001 housed records of DoD spending, and the personnel for monitoring that spending.

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Community News (Volume 13 Issue 36)

September 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Settlement reached at Lilburn Mosque

LILBURN,GA–A settlement has been reached between the city of Lilburn and the federal government over allegations that the city violated the “Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000” when it rejected the Dar-E-Abbas Shia Islamic Center’s requests for rezoning so they could expand a mosque.

Just last week the Lilburn City Council approved the expansion of the mosque.

It was the third time that the Dar-E-Abass Mosque tried to get a rezoning plan approved.

Neighbors said they didn’t want the expansion because it would bring more traffic and destroy their residential neighborhood.

The Muslim congregation wanted to expand from its current building to create a much larger facility.

Opponents believe the mosque’s owners are trying to skirt the city’s rules separating commercial and residential zoning. The attorney representing the mosque has said he believes the opposition is based on religious bias.

The dispute has resulted in a lawsuit and an investigation by the Department of Justice. Opponents insist religion is a non-factor.

As terms of the settlement, The city of Lilburn has agreed not to impose different zoning or building requirements on Dar-E-Abbas or other religious groups, and to publicize its nondiscrimination policies and practices.

The city also agreed that its leaders, managers, and certain other city employees will attend training on the requirements of RLUIPA.

ICNA Relief distributes school supplies

BOSTON, MA–The current economic downturn has hit hard on families and those especially affected are the children. But ICNA Relief USA is lending a helping hand by giving away free school supplies across the country.  It is expected to donate 15,000 back packs this year in over thirty communities. Almost all of the give away events held at Islamic school.
The one organized in Boston, however, reached out to the local neighborhood. The group gave out about 100 backpacks.

Imam Abdullah Faaruuq, prayer leader at a local mosque, was happy with the turnout. “People see a little simple event like this and they figure it just flowered,’’ he said. “But things like this don’t happen on their own.’’

Islamic Science Rediscovered premiers in California

SAN JOSE, CA–Long overlooked or often misattributed, the remarkable contributions of Muslim scholars in science and technology have quietly floundered as no more than common footnotes of world history.

Visitors educated in the Western world will be surprised to learn of discoveries and inventions in the Muslim World which predate by years, sometimes centuries, discoveries thought to be developed in the West.

Designed to unearth the scientific know-how of an Islamic Golden Age that is all too strange and unfamiliar to Western culture, Islamic Science Rediscovered demystifies this grand civilization and introduces visitors to the vast influence of its discoveries and inventions on contemporary society. It is being held at the Tech Museum in San Jose.

Did the Wright brothers soar in the sky first? Was Leonardo da Vinci the first to describe “machines of the future”?

Centuries before Orville and Wilbur Wright took flight, Abbas ibn Farnas was soaring over the hilly Spanish countryside in a one-man glider – a thousand years before the famed Wright flight in North Carolina.

Al-Jazari busied himself laying the foundations of modern engineering and writing the Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices in 1206, where he described fifty mechanical devices along with instructions on how to build them, more than 200 years before Leonardo da Vinci became revered for his technological ingenuity.

This global touring exhibition celebrates the contribution of Muslim scholars to science and technology during the Golden Age of the Islamic World (circa 8th to 18th centuries CE) and the influence of their discoveries and inventions on contemporary society.

Amazing ancient Islamic inventions are brought to life by more than 40 stations with interactive and sensory exhibits and videos to recreate the ingenuity.

Islamic Relief USA Prepares for Irene Response

WASHINGTON, D.C.–  As Americans on the East Coast braced for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, Islamic Relief USA staff and volunteers in the Washington, D.C. area were preparing for a potential emergency response to what is expected to be a powerful and damaging storm system.

Islamic Relief USA’s emergency aid workers have provided emergency assistance in the United States in the past, most recently this spring in Alabama after tornadoes leveled neighborhoods, killing hundreds of residents and leaving thousands homeless across seven states. Dozens of Islamic Relief USA volunteers and staff members quickly mobilized, traveling to Alabama to partner with the Salvation Army and the Red Cross to assess damage, assist at shelters, and collect and distribute food, clothing, cleaning supplies hygiene kits and other necessities.

In another major response effort, in 2005, Islamic Relief USA dispatched emergency response teams to areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history. Islamic Relief USA distributed food, cleaning kits, tents, sleeping bags, toys, clothes and hygiene kits to residents of Biloxi and Jackson, Miss., and Baton Rouge, La. Islamic Relief USA converted a mobile home into a health clinic serving residents of East Biloxi, and teams also worked with two local housing organizations to house victims of Hurricane Katrina and repaired homes in Jackson to provide an adequate housing for evacuees.

“Muslim Americans are interested in helping fellow Americans when disasters strike,” said Adnan Ansari, Vice President of Programs at Islamic Relief USA. “We always receive an overwhelming response from the community in times like these.  People want to help in any way, whether by volunteering to provide crisis care, conduct damage assessment or serve the residents in shelters, or through their checkbooks.” 

Ohio school cancels Muslim goodwill event

CINCINNATI,OH- Complaints and a request from the archbishop have led a Cincinnati Roman Catholic high school to drop plans for a Ramadan dinner to build goodwill with Muslims.

Kirsten MacDougal, president of Mother of Mercy school, says Archbishop Dennis Schnurr received “emotionally charged” emails, mostly from outside the area, and asked the girls’ school to cancel its Friday night plans. The event instead will be held at a church parish center.

Mosque asked to consider another park for ‘Eid

BOONTON,NJ–The mayor and the aldermen of Boonton have denied a second request from Jam-E-Masjid Islamic Center to apply for the use of Canalside park for Eid prayers. Instead they have asked them to use Tourne County Park.

“With Tourne Park, no one is there on a Tuesday,” Alderman Anthony Scozzafava said. “You’d have the whole place to yourself. You wouldn’t be disrupting traffic or business or anything.”

About 500-600 people are projected to participate in the Eid Prayer, the Islamic Center representative said. Some participants would work together to car pool or simply walk.

With such an large number of people, Boonton Police Chief Michael W. Beltran suggested that four or five officers would have to oversee traffic.

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ISNA Unites with Interfaith Leaders to Protect Federal Funding for Poverty Assistance Programs

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

July 14, 2011 – Representing a growing movement of Americans concerned that the Administration and Congress are enacting a budget deal that will place an undue burden on the poor “while shielding the wealthiest  from any additional sacrifice,” ISNA leadership and other leaders representing Christian and Jewish faiths today launched a new campaign to encourage policymakers to maintain a robust U.S. commitment to domestic and international poverty programs.

More than 25 heads of communion and national religious organizations are spearheading an 18-month faith-based public policy campaign to urge Congress and the Administration to exempt programs that assist at-risk families and children in the U.S. and abroad from budget cuts.  The campaign will consist of high-level meetings with policymakers, a Washington fly-in of religious leaders and daily prayer vigils among other actions.

The daily prayer vigils are being held on the front lawn of the United Methodist Building (100 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington, DC) near the U.S. Capitol Building.  Led by a different religious organization each day at 12:30 p.m. EDT, the prayer vigils will continue throughout the White House led budget negotiations.  ISNA led a prayer vigil for the leaders on Tuesday, July 12.

More than 25 heads of communion and national religious organizations are spearheading an 18-month faith-based public policy campaign to urge Congress and the Administration to exempt programs that assist at-risk families and children in the U.S. and abroad from budget cuts.  The campaign will consist of high-level meetings with policymakers, a Washington fly-in of religious leaders and daily prayer vigils among other actions.

In their letters to President Obama and Congress, the religious leaders stated, “People who are served by government program – those who are poor, sick, and hungry, older adults, children, and people with disabilities – should not bear the brunt of the budget-cutting burden.”

They further explained that “Houses of worship and communities of faith cannot meet the current need, much less the increased hardship that would result from severe cuts in federal, and consequently, state programs.  We need the public-private partnership that has for decades enabled us as a nation to respond to desperate need, both human and environmental.”
During the briefing, Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, ISNA National Director of Interfaith and Community Alliances, spoke first about our responsibility to stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
He said, “It is our religious duty as part of the faith communities to convey our concerns about the problems of the budget cuts that will directly impact low income individuals and the dispossessed. We are asking for a budget that should be just and equitable.  It is our Islamic duty because this is one of the pillars of Islam.”

Christian, Jewish and Muslim institutions and faith-based organizations, united by shared beliefs to lift up the nation’s most vulnerable, are mobilizing across the country to impact the national budget dialogue by demonstrating that America is a better nation when we follow our faiths’ imperative to promote the general welfare of all individuals.

Contact: Adam Muhlendorf, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications adam@rabinowitz-dorf.com; (202) 265-3000

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Community News (V13-I28)

July 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Islamic school opens near New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS,LA–The Islamic School of Greater New Orleanswas officially  opened this week in Kenner. “Everyone is so excited,” Director Ahmad Siddiqui told the Times-Picayune. “We have been dreaming for this day for a long time. We bought this land in 1997, and we were supposed to start in 2002 and 2003. After Hurricane Katrina, our donations were down and we were trying to secure enough funds to complete construction.”

The new site at 2420 Illinois Ave. sits on more than five acres of land. The building is 15,000 square feet and boasts 12 classrooms, science and computer laboratories, a library, teacher’s lounge, assembly area, conference room, and offices for administration and support staff.

It can accommodate more than 250 students from pre-kindergarten to seventh grade, Siddiqui said.

A gymnasium and multipurpose hall with more than 10,000 square feet also were added. The attached building will house student activity as well as community functions.

“This building is for the entire community and the kids,” Siddiqui said. “This is a great place for everyone to get together and enjoy different occasions.”

The inauguration ceremony attracted more than 500 people. Among the dignitaries were the Mayor, police chief, council woman, and a judge from the Circuit Court.

Atlanta Muslims send message of peace

ATLANTA,GA–Members of metro Atlanta’s Muslim community spent part of the Fourth of July holiday spreading a message of peace and unity, WSBTC reported.

Organizers of a small gathering at the Bethak Banquet Hall in Duluth said they want to move beyond recent controversy surrounding the proposals to expand and build mosques in Lilburn and Alpharetta.

But Monday’s event wasn’t about politics, but patriotism.

“I’m here to say the Pledge of Allegiance,” said Gwinnett teen Suha Rashied. She was among a group of children who lead the gathering with a salute to the American flag.

The families who gathered Monday said the show of patriotism was more important than any fireworks.

“We wanted to remind everybody, yes, we are your fellow Americans and we are sending a message of peace and harmony,” said organizer Shamina Voora.

Voora said Monday’s celebration of the nation’s Independence Day is a first in metro Atlanta, a chance for local Muslim to send a message of peace. That was echoed by civil rights leader and Baptist minister the Rev. Gerald Durley.

“When we communicate, we eradicate the ignorance. When we eradicate the ignorance, we eradicate the fear,” said Durley.

Drs. Abdullah Daar and Ali-Khan’s research recognized with $10,000 prize

TORONTO,CANADA–Since the Human Genome Project was completed in 2000, there has been debate in biomedical literature about the use of race and ethnicity in genetic research potentially resulting in racial/ethnic stereotyping. Drs. Daar and Ali-Khan examined the 2005 Admixture Mapping study, which looked for risk factors for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in African Americans and European Americans, a disease that is extremely rare in Sub-Sahara Africans, common in populations of European desent, and of intermediate frequency in African Americans.

Drs. Daar and Ali-Khan examined the ethical and social issues raised by the Admixture Mapping project and used these to draw up a series of recommendations and points for policy makers and researchers to consider when undertaking population-based genomics studies.

“We are extremely pleased to be awarded this prize by OGI and have our work recognized,” commented Dr. Abdallah S. Daar, Senior Scientist and Director of Ethics and Commercialization, McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, and Professor of Public Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. “Working to encourage public understanding of genetic diversity, which goes beyond simplistic racial or ethnic stereotypes, is crucial to extract the maximum benefit from newly emerging genetic knowledge. We very much hope that our paper may function as a key reference document for those working in this field.”

The paper, titled Admixture mapping: from paradigms of race and ethnicity to population history, published in August 2010 in the HUGO Journal, examined the social and ethical issues, the benefits and the risks of Admixture Mapping, and more generally, of population-based genomic methods. Over the course of the study, Drs. Daar and Ali-Khan conducted interviews with researchers at the forefront of genomics and bioethics, including representatives from the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium, the Harvard Center for Neurodegeneration and Repair, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and members of the African American MS community.

“The findings examine issues that are also directly relevant to the development, testing and marketing of drugs aimed at specific population segments,” commented Dr. Sarah Ali-Khan, who was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in genomics and bioethics at MRC at the time of the study. “Our work provides practical guidelines to mitigate and negotiate potential pitfalls around fears of discrimination in genetic studies, and therefore may facilitate better population-based studies and assist in moving beyond racial and ethnic stereotyping.”

Dr. Mark Poznansky, President and CEO, OGI, said: “It is fitting that the potential of population-based studies be recognized. Such studies hold the promise to yield important biomedical knowledge, which may otherwise be hindered by fears of discrimination. We may all be 99.9% the same in our genetic make-up, but the 0.1% really makes all the difference, and we need to recognize this if we are to move towards fulfilling the possibilities of personalized medicine.”

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Pastor Concerned About Carnegie Mosque

June 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Jill King Greenwood

The Rev. Keith Tucci preaches from a pulpit more than an hour from Carnegie, but he’s concerned about a different religious community’s plans to relocate there. Tucci, pastor of the Living Hope Church in Latrobe, said he has “serious concerns” about members of a Muslim mosque who want to move to a former Presbyterian church in the heart of Carnegie’s business district. Tucci said he and members of his congregation will travel to Carnegie on Monday to pass out “informational packets” about the Muslim faith.

“I have questions: Who are these people? Are they American citizens? Has anyone done a background check on them?” said Tucci, whose church is part of a national network of Bible-based churches with headquarters in Reserve, La., according to its website. “I’m not saying all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims. We need more information about these people before they are allowed to move in and ruin a community.”

Carnegie Councilman Rick D’Loss, president of the borough’s synagogue, Congregation Ahavath Achim, said some residents asked questions about the plan for the building but generally expressed support.

“In a town of 8,000 people, of course you’ll have some dissenting opinions, but Carnegie is a very inclusive place,” D’Loss said. “Muslims have rights just like anyone else, and they can pray as they choose. It’s a shame that we have to keep telling people that. I find it funny that a group is going to drive all the way from Westmoreland to tell us we shouldn’t allow the Muslims to be in our community.

“If we say no Muslims, then we have to say no Jews, too. Then what?”

The borough council on June 14 approved the Attawheed Islamic Center’s request to convert the 19,000-square-foot stone and brick building along East Main Street into a place for prayer and religious education. No residents expressed opposition at a public hearing about the mosque or during the council meeting that followed. The Muslim group rents space on Banksville Road.

Even with council approval, it’s unclear when the group would move into the building, which needs extensive repairs, including a roof. Al-Walid Mohsen, vice president and manager of the Attawheed Islamic Center, did not return calls for comment.

Police Chief Jeff Harbin, who is the part-time borough manager, said the Living Hope Church group has a right to come to Carnegie and pass out information and talk about concerns, as long as they do so peacefully.

“I grew up in Carnegie, and we tend to welcome everyone,” Harbin said. “We believe in the right of people to express their opinions, and we respect the First Amendment. People are free to disagree.”

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Fazlur Rahman Khan

June 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Syed Aslam

File-FRKhanFazlur Rahman Khan was born in  1929, in Dhaka, Bengal now Bangladesh. His father, Khan Bahadur Abdur Rahman Khan, was a renowned educationists.  Khan passed the Matriculation Examination from Calcutta in 1944 and was admitted to the Presidency College. He obtained the Engineering Degree securing first position  from Shibpur Engineering College of Calcutta in 1950.  He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Scholarship in 1952 to pursue higher studies in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received his PhD degree in Structural Engineering .  In 1955, employed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, he began working in Chicago. During the 1960s and 1970s, he became noted for his designs for Chicago’s 100-story John Hancock Center and 108-story Sears Tower, the tallest building in the world in its time and still the tallest in the United States since its completion in 1974. He died in 1981 at the age of 52 in Chicago.

Dr. Khan is called the Einstein of Structural Engineering and here is why.  His contributions to the field- developing the shear wall frame interaction system, the framed-tube structure, and the tube-in-tube structure-led to significant improvement in structural efficiency. This kind of design  made the construction of tall buildings economically viable. The framed-tube structure has its columns closely spaced around the perimeter of the building, rather than scattered throughout the footprint, while stiff spandrels beams connect these columns at every floor level.   Khan realized that the rigid steel frame structure that had dominated tall building design and construction so long was not the only system fitting for tall buildings is not suitable any more.  His idea  brought a new era of sky scraper evolution in terms of multiple structural systems.

Dr.  Khan’s design innovations significantly improved the construction of high-rise buildings, enabling them to withstand enormous forces generated on these super structures. These new designs opened an economic door for contractors, engineers, architects, and investors, providing vast amounts of real estate space on minimal squire feet  of land.  His tube concept, using all the exterior wall perimeter structure of a building to simulate a thin-walled tube, revolutionized tall building design. The constructions of most super tall skyscrapers since the 1960s, including the construction of the World Trade Center. Terminal Building in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is based on a tent-like structure – to afford optimum shade for up to 80,000 pilgrims. Khan used fiberglass and cable to combine the practical with the modern to create the tent like structure which is fully functional for the last 25 years.

The cornerstone of Khan’s approach was that science  in fusion with creativity, can create a design affordable  also in the less affluent parts of the world. Until his death in 1981,  Khan was profoundly concerned with the rapid urbanization of developing countries and called for the application of workable and appropriate forms of technology. He will be remembered for his contributions to the human civilization.

Aslamsyed1@yahoo.com

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Heavy Fighting in Misrata and Libyan Mountains

April 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Lin Noueihed

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s rebel-held city of Misrata won no respite from two months of bitter siege as Muammar Gaddafi’s forces bombarded the city and battled rebel fighters, despite pulling out of the city center.

Gaddafi’s forces were also pounding Berber towns in Libya’s Western Mountains with artillery, rebels and refugees said, in a remote region far from the view of international media.

Italy said its warplanes would join the British and French bombing of Libyan targets for the first time and NATO flattened a building inside Gaddafi’s Tripoli compound, in what his officials said was a failed attempt on the Libyan leader’s life.

Late on Monday, the “crusader aggressors” bombed civilian and military sites in Bir al Ghanam, 100 km (60 miles) south of Tripoli, and the Ayn Zara area of the capital, causing casualties, Libyan television said, without giving details. A Reuters correspondent heard explosions in Tripoli.

The report said foreign ships had also attacked and severed the al-Alyaf cable off Libya’s coast, cutting communications to the towns of Sirte, Ras Lanuf and Brega.

But more than a month of air strikes did not appear to be tipping the balance decisively in a conflict increasingly described as a stalemate.

People in Misrata emerged from homes after daybreak on Monday to scenes of devastation after Gaddafi’s forces pulled back from the city under cover of blistering rocket and tank fire, said witnesses contacted by phone.

Nearly 60 people had been killed in clashes in the city in the last three days, residents told Reuters by phone.

Although rebels’ celebrations of “victory” on Saturday turned out to be very premature, it was clear they had inflicted significant losses on government forces in Misrata.

“Bodies of Gaddafi’s troops are everywhere in the streets and in the buildings. We can’t tell how many. Some have been there for days,” said rebel Ibrahim.

Rebel spokesman Abdelsalam, speaking late on Monday, said Gaddafi’s forces were trying to re-enter the Nakl Thaqeel Road, which leads to Misrata’s port, its lifeline to the outside.

“Battles continue there. We can hear explosions,” he said by phone. He said Gaddafi’s forces positioned on the western outskirts of the city had also shelled the road from there.

Another rebel spokesman, Sami, said the humanitarian situation was worsening rapidly.

“It is indescribable. The hospital is very small. It is full of wounded people, most of them are in critical condition,” he told Reuters by phone.

U.S. officials said relief groups were rotating doctors into Misrata and evacuating migrant workers.

Mark Bartolini, director of foreign disaster assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development, said aid organizations were aiming to create stocks of food in the region in case Libyan supply chains began breaking down.

Among the places in particular need of food aid were isolated towns in the Western Mountains, from where tens of thousands of people have fled to Tunisia from the fighting.

REFUGEES FLEE MOUNTAINS

“Our town is under constant bombardment by Gaddafi’s troops. They are using all means. Everyone is fleeing,” said one refugee, Imad, bringing his family out of the mountains.

NATO said its attack on the building in the Gaddafi compound was on a communications headquarters used to coordinate attacks on civilians. A Libyan spokesman said Gaddafi was unharmed and state television showed pictures of him meeting people in a tent, which it said had been taken on Monday.

Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam said the Libyan government would not be cowed.

“The bombing which targeted Muammar Gaddafi’s office today … will only scare children. It’s impossible that it will make us afraid or give up or raise the white flag,” he was quoted as saying by the state news agency, Jana.

Italy said its warplanes would join British and French aircraft in carrying out bombing of Libya. Geographically the closest major NATO member state to Libya, Italy had until Monday provided bases and reconnaissance and monitoring aircraft only.

The surprise decision immediately opened a fissure in Italy’s coalition government.

The African Union held separate talks on Monday with Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi and rebel representatives in Addis Ababa to discuss a ceasefire plan.

The rebels had earlier rebuffed an AU plan because it did not entail Gaddafi’s departure, while the United States, Britain and France say there can be no political solution until the Libyan leader leaves power.

(Additional reporting by Guy Desmond and Maher Nazeh in Tripoli, Alexander Dziadosz in Benghazi and Sami Aboudi in Cairo; writing by Andrew Roche; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Successful Demonstration for Freedom in Syria and Libya

April 11, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Susan Schwartz, TMO

As revolutions sweep the Muslim world, the Southern California community, home to many from that area and their children, are taking a proactive interest in events there.

The Syrian community in the greater Los Angeles area and the Libyan Emergency Task Force there sponsored a well attended and successful demonstration in front of the Federal Building in Los Angeles this past weekend. The event was held to show support for and solidarity with the people of Syria and Libya.

In announcing the demonstration the organizers called attention to the 48 years of one party rule in Syria. Attention also was focused on the civilian deaths resulting from the repressive measures, including the use of live ammunition and mass arrests, on the part of Syrian Special Forces.

The Libyan Emergency Task Force supports the passage of United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 which authorizes all necessary measures to protect civilian life including the well publicized “no fly zone”. The Task Force acknowledges the need for United States participation to unseat dictator Muammar Qaddifi.

The local Libyan Emergency Task Force is in contact with the main office, located in Washington, D. C. .  A meeting will be held in the near future to facilitate the centralization of the group’s work.

Idris Traina, a spokesperson for the Task Force, told The Muslim Observer that a critical situation – a barrier -exists with respect to aiding the Libyan civilians. It is presently against United States law to send money to Libya even under the auspices of charity and for humanitarian reasons. Efforts are underway through contact with elected officials to repeal or mitigate this law.

When asked what type of government he wanted for Libya, he replied one that is “democratic and free” with an “open society and formation of political parties”.

A fundraiser for Libya was held in early March and others are planned for the future as soon as US based charity organizations are allowed to provide help inside Libya.

Motorists travelling along the busy thoroughfare where the Federal Building is located honked their approval of the signs held by the demonstrators.

For further information, please contact: Ammar Khaf at ammar@kahf.com or Sarah Larbah  at sarah.larbah@gmail.com.

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$100 Million Mosque To Be Built Near Ground Zero

May 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

“$100 million project will create a venue for mainstream Islam and a counterbalance to radicalism”

By Cristian Salazar, Associated Press

ground-zero NEW YORK In a building damaged by debris from the Sept. 11 airliners that brought down the World Trade Center and soon to become a 13-story mosque, some see the bridging of a cultural divide and an opportunity to serve a burgeoning, peaceful religious population. Others see a painful reminder of the religious extremism that killed their loved ones.

Two Muslim organizations have partnered to open the mosque and cultural center in lower Manhattan, saying the $100 million project will create a venue for mainstream Islam and a counterbalance to radicalism. It earned a key endorsement this week from influential community leaders.

But some 9/11 victims’ families said they were angered that it would be built so close to where their relatives died.

“I don’t like it,” said Evelyn Pettigano, who lost a sister in the attacks, during a phone interview on Thursday. “I’m not prejudiced. … It’s too close to the area where our family members were murdered.”

But the growing number of congregants at the only other nearby mosque, open only one day a week, created a need for an additional space for Muslim prayer in the neighborhood, said Daisy Khan, the executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and a board member of the Cordoba Initiative, the two organizations sponsoring the project.

The history associated with the building, a former Burlington Coat Factory store that closed after being damaged on 9/11, was a reason to pick it for the project, she said.

“We want to create a platform by which the voices of the mainstream and silent majority of Muslims will be amplified. A center of this scale and magnitude will do that,” Khan said. “We feel it’s an obligation as Muslims and Americans to be part of the rebuilding of downtown Manhattan.”

The organizations publicly unveiled the preliminary plan for the project, known as the Cordoba House, on Wednesday at a meeting of the finance committee of the local community board, which is composed of influential stakeholders in lower Manhattan. While the agency has no authority over what can be developed at the site, their support is viewed as key to gaining acceptance from residents.

Edward “Ro” Sheffe, the chairman of the financial district committee for Community Board 1, said the 15 members passed a resolution of support for the project, though he emphasized that the board had no authority to approve or disapprove of a house of worship, per se. Indeed, he said the developers could do whatever they wanted with the building, which they own.

“They came to tell us what they had in mind and see what we felt about it,” he said. “The understanding we came away with was that this was an ongoing dialogue.”

The members’ only concerns had to do with the aesthetics of the building, and whether it would fit with the surrounding architecture, he said. The overall feeling was one of goodwill because the financial district, a fast-growing residential area, lacks for amenities such as community centers.

“We very much need residential amenities for the people who live here,” he said.

But the simple idea of a mosque so near ground zero angered those whose family members were killed by adherents to radical Islam.

“I think it’s despicable, and I think it’s atrocious that anyone would even consider allowing them to build a mosque near the World Trade Center,” said Rosemary Cain, whose son, George Cain, a firefighter, died on Sept. 11.

Anita LaFond Korsonsky, a Livingston, N.J., woman who lost her sister, also said she had misgivings.

“I presume that these people aren’t going to be gathering there to plan another attack,” she said.

The Muslim organizations plan to announce the groundbreaking later this year, possibly to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the attacks, Khan said. It could take up to three years to build the Cordoba House; the groups currently have no funds for the project but plan to start raising money, she said.

A Friday prayer service has been held since September at the building, she said.

Marvin Bethea, a paramedic who survived the toxic collapse of the twin towers and suffers from a range of afflictions, including post-traumatic stress disorder and asthma, said he supports the mosque.

“Not all Muslims are terrorists,” Bethea said. “Muslims died on 9/11, as well. This is a tremendous gesture to show that we’re not all full of hatred and bigotry.”

[Associated Press writer Karen Matthews contributed to this report.]

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Community News (V12-I15)

April 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Old mosque to site once again hear the azan

TOLEDO,OH–A historic building in Toledo which once served as the first mosque in the city and the ninth in the United States will once again hear the call of azan. The former Toledo Islamic Building was first dedicated as a mosque in 1954 but was shut down after the congregation moved to to Perrysburg Township in 1983, reports the Toledo Blade.

The building was vacant for many years and had earlier been used as a youth treatment center and a government office.

The local Muslim community hadn’t forgotten the importance of the building and the Toledo Masjid al-Islam recently bought it for $60,000. The 3800 square foot facility is now being renovated.

End of Oregon’s Ban on Hijab Welcomed

PORTLAND,OR–The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has praised the signing into law of legislation that will end Oregon’s ban on teachers wearing Islamic head scarves or the religious attire of other faiths.

The lifting of the 87-year-long ban will go into effect after the 2010-11 school year and follows a February vote of 51-8 in the Oregon House of Representatives. To become law, the bill had to be signed by Governor Ted Kulongoski.

“This change in the law protects the rights of educators of all faiths,” said CAIR national communications director Ibrahim Hooper.

He added that his organization has consistently defended the right of Americans of all faiths to wear religious attire in the workplace, in schools, in courtrooms and as customers in public venues such as banks.

Currently only Nebraska and Pennsylvania prohibit their teachers from wearing religious clothing at work, and CAIR has called on their legislators to “follow Oregon’s example of respect for religious freedom and diversity.”

In addition to the Muslim organization, a number of interfaith groups, civil rights groups and bar association organizations, including The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, have joined in the appeal.

Usury Free Conference Held in Toronto

TORONTO,CANADA-A two day conference on exploring usury free financial products was held in Toronto last week. Organized by the Usury Free Association of North America it attracted a large number of scholars from across North America and abroad.

Canada’s first Shariah-compliant credit card, the iFreedom Plus MasterCard, was also launched at the conference.

A recent report for Canada’s national housing agency said Islamic mortgages and other Shariah-compliant financial products would pose no problems with civil law.
Representatives from mainstream banks, politicians, and government officials also attended the conference to learn about Islamic finance.

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Bomb Blast near FIA Building in Lahore

March 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Mahvish Akhtar, MMNS Pakistan Correspondent

A bomb blast near the FIA building in Model Town Lahore on March 8th 2010 shook the entire city. “Eleven people have been killed and several others injured in the suicide car bombing. The target was the FIA building and the Special Intelligence Agency which also had a building in the vicinity.

Reports state that 14 people were killed in this blast and 61 are injured and out of those 29 are in critical condition. Out of those 9 were policemen and the rest were women and children. Seven of the constables killed in the explosion were identified, their names are: Naveed, Habib Ullah, Arif, Manzar Alam, Abdul Aziz, Muhammad Afzal and Aziz Ahmed. The bodies were later shifted to the city morgue.

The DCO of Lahore and the Inspector General of Punjab, Tariq Azeem both confirmed that an explosive laden vehicle rammed into the Investigation Agency’s building.

Around 600 kilograms of explosives were used in this attack. The police said that the massive explosion has managed to create an 8 foot deep crater. The bomb even killed a woman who lived 300 meters away from where the bomb originally exploded. Many buildings, including houses, were damaged and a considerable number of cars were also damaged and destroyed because of the blast. Security has been placed on high alert across the entire city.

Witnesses say that they saw two people step out of the van which means the suicide bomber had accomplices.However, a case under Sections 302 and 324 of the PPC, 7 of ATA and 3/4 of Explosives Act was registered against the unknown suicide bomber and “his two accomplices” on the complaint of an assistant director of the SIA.

Witnesses have told the media that the FIA building completely collapse people were buried under it. Khusro Pervez, the top administration official in Lahore said on Monday, “I fear the death toll may rise. We believe there are still people trapped under the rubble.”

This statement came out to be true since on Monday the death toll was 11 and by the next day I had risen to 14; if there are anymore bodies under the ruble that is still to be discovered.

“The blast also severely damaged a nearby religious school and houses. All schools have been closed in the area in order to avoid further losses or to prevent the possibility of another attack,” said Mr. Parvez Rathore who is Lahore City Police Chief.

Police said 30 to 50 people were in the building, used by police and intelligence agents, at the time of attack.

Interior Minister Mr. Rahman Malik stated while talking to the media that people who are carrying out these acts are not Muslim and these people are agents from outside who are committed these crimes. He also added that Muslims cannot kill other innocent Muslims so brutally. Mr. Malik also added that in his opinion the target was the Special Investigation Agency and not the FIA building.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan took responsibility for these acts soon after the fact, “We claim responsibility for the Lahore blast. We will continue such attacks in future,” Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Azam Tariq told AFP reporters in telephone calls from an undisclosed location.

“The attack was to avenge (US) drone attacks and (Pakistani) military operations in the tribal areas. We will carry on such attacks as long as drone strikes and operations continue.”

The concern by the public that has been raised in the past has become a more prominent voice in the wake of Monday’s attack. This concern is that official government and police institutions in the middle of a residential area are a bad idea.

The public of Lahore are too familiar with this drill, where there is a police building or some kind of army, police or intelligence building suicide bombers are sure to follow. As much as this situation saddens the public just as much they hope to be far away form it. The residents of Model Town claim that they had brought this issue to the notice of the government because they knew this was a disaster waiting to happen-which it actually was.

We are left to wonder whether this is going to start a string of attacks as the attackers claimed that this was one of the many attacks that they plan on carrying out against the government. If this is a first of many the question now is what is the government going to do to protect the public now? As we speak the drone attacks in the northern area keep killing more people. It is obvious that there is no negotiating or stopping of the war against terror and war against Al-Qaida.

This question of how the public of Pakistan should be protected is on the minds of every body who is living and beathing in this country even if they didn’t feel the physical shock this attack. Even though they haven’t felt this one many people in Pakistan have heard other bomb blast from close up, many have lost someone they loved or knew in these attacks, many of them are not with us today to ask the same question we are asking-how will our leaders protect us now.

12-11

“Building a Foundation” UM Ann Arbor MSA Seminar

November 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Press Release

Muslim Students’ Association of University of Michigan Ann Arbor will hold a seminar on “ BUILDING A FOUNDATION “that will discuss FULFILLING OUR RIGHTS TOWARDS EACH OTHER. 

The Renowned speakers USTADH USAMA CANON and HAFIDH KAMRAN RIAZ will discuss our role in a contemporary society.

The seminar will be held at the University of Michigan  – South Lecture Hall , Medical Science Building 2., On November 13 – 15, 2009. The registration fee Online for $30 and $35 late registration – at the door.

Register Online: http://www.muslims.studentorgs.umich.edu. More info: Farhana Arif – fnarif@umich.edu or Musaab Salloum – musaab@umich.edu.

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Community News (V11-I44)

October 22, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Mohammed Amjed for Clive City Council

DES MOINES, IA–Mohammed Amjed is running for the Clive City Council in the Nov. 3 election. He will face off four other candidates.

A physician Amjed is very active in the civic and community organizations in the area.

The available council seats are currently held by Paul Leighton, who is seeking re-election, and Ronni Begleiter, who will not run for another term.

A third seat will likely open up if Councilman Scott Cirksena wins his uncontested race for mayor. The council would then decide in January whether to hold a special election or appoint someone to fill the empty seat.

Beloved Imam says good bye to Auburn area

AUBURN, NY– Imam Abdur-Rahim Muhammad, who served for 25 years in the state prison chapel, has retired from the position and will now move to Texas. He had played a leading role in interfaith growth and was part of Community Wide Dialogues and the Interfaith works of Central Work.

His work with other communities had earned him a reputation among all communities. Last Sunday, a special ceremony was held for Imam Muhammad and his family during the morning services at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn.

The Rev. Philip Windsor said that he has become good friends with Muhammad throughout their years of working with one another.

“We, as a community, are going to miss him terribly,” Windsor said. “He has always been a strong voice of peace and understanding within our community.”

Arson cause of fire at Muslim business site in Columbus

COLUMBUS, MO–Investigators at a site where a fire destroyed several businesses in Columbus this Monday have identified arson as the cause. The two story building housed several Somali owned businesses including an Islamic book store, a cafe, and a tax service. The building is also next door  to a Mosque which is in dispute with its landlords.

The Masjid Salama was not damaged in the fire. The present leaders of the mosque are reportedly in legal dispute with the property manager, who also manages the building that burned.

Mohamed Hassan Adam, who holds the lease for both buildings, had filed a civil lawsuit against the mosque’s leaders last week alleging that they have occupied the building since August without a valid sublease and haven’t paid rent.

The mosque leaders were also served an eviction notice but have refused to vacate the premises. An eviction hearing is now scheduled for Nov.3.

Plans for a new mosque in Gwinnet County opposed

LILBURN, GA– Plans for a new mosque in Lilburn have been opposed by area residents who fear that it will disturb their small-time life. The Dar-e-Abbas group has plans to build a 10,000 square foor mosque which will include a cemetery.

But residents near the property at U.S. Highway 29 and Hood Road are poised to protest a rezoning to allow the mosque, a cemetery and recreation elements.
He says the neighborhood is peaceful and the big facility will disturb that.

Peace promoted at GWU interfaith dinner

WASHINGTON D.C.–Peace was the main theme at the Interfaith Dinner at George Washington University. Azra Hyder, a member of the Muslim Students Association, was the event’s keynote speaker, the Hatchet student newspaper reported.

“We are trying to affect people’s lives in a way that will invoke peace,” University President Steven Knapp said. “Peace is a more dynamic word, one about helping people flourish.”

This idea, Knapp said, comes at a time where the world is seeing peace as a multi-dimensional idea. He said he believes this theme is connected with the recent announcement of President Obama as the winner of this year’s Noble Peace Prize.

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