Sound Vision Event for Shariah Education

December 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Adil James, TMO

A fundraiser was held Saturday evening at the Dearborn Hyatt to counter the “anti-Shariah” legislation that is sweeping the nation.

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Abdul Malik Mujahid speaks at his fundraiser

The voices from the extreme right that vilify Muslims and Islam have made an important strategy shift in recent years, aiming to promulgate their hatred into the law of the land.  That difference has come in the form of plainly unconstitutional legislation that despite its illegality in relation to the religious protections of our nation has been passed as “anti-Sharia” legislation in 5 states to date, with ongoing battles to enact such legislation in other states.

Sound Vision pioneer Abdul Malik Mujahid is therefore planning an intelligent response to the shrill anti-Shariah efforts.  He has begun to assemble a team of knowledgeable people from relevant walks of life including lawyers and professors, and a website (called Sharia101.org) and more, all designed to fill the void on the internet of people knowledgeable about Islam who can respond to the “anti-Shariah” distortions of Christian bigots.

Mr. Mujahid has successfully built Sound Vision, and is prominent for his other contributions as well, in fact he was given the honor of being listed in the “Muslim 500” book of most influential Muslims.

Saturday, approximately 100 influential Southeast Michigan Muslims attended Mr. Mujahid’s fundraiser, one stop on Mr. Mujahid’s tour of several fundraisers, to raise money in support of his vision of educating people on what Shariah is.

Mujahid spoke eloquently on the importance of Shariah legislation, the danger it poses to Muslim investing, the danger to Muslim family arbitration, the danger to the existing multibillion dollar halal investment funds, the danger to the halal industry.

Mujahid also pointed out the profound implications of anti-Shariah legislation for similarly distinct religious groups which apply their religious laws within the American legal system, for example Jews, Catholics, the Amish, and Mormons. 

Mujahid gave one of the first good explanations of the nature of Shariah as being our way of life–something that is not at all fairly represented by sometimes hideous abuses done in foreign countries under the banner “Shariah.”

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Michigan Senate Attempts to Protect Michigan Elders

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Adil Daudi, Esq.

eldabus1On June 15, 2011, the Michigan Senate publicly announced a fifteen-bill package concerning elder abuse. The purpose of the legislation is to help strengthen penalties against perpetrators of elder abuse while also preventing future exploitation, according to the Senate.

The abuse issues facing the elderly have recently risen to new heights.  Those fortunate enough to live long are forced to guard against the growing crime since their age makes them especially susceptible to financial victimization. Although the pending Senate package covers physical, emotional, and financial abuse, financial abuse of the elderly can be prevented with the help of attorneys.

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), reports that approximately 80,000 Michigan residents are affected by elder abuse.  With the United States on the verge of its largest senior citizen population due to baby-boomers reaching retirement age, the problem is only going to be exacerbated. 

New Legislation Against Elder Abuse

In mid-June, Senate Bills 454-468 were introduced, and referred to the Senate Committee on Families, Seniors and Human Services, by Michigan State Senators Tonya Schuitmaker, Goeff Hansen, Mike Nofs, Rick Jones, and Steve Bieda.

Senate Bills Directly Related to Financial Exploitation

Senate Bill 455 was introduced by Sen. Tory Rocca, which establishes sentencing guidelines for penalties imposed by Senate Bill 459 for crimes of financial exploitation or embezzlement of a vulnerable adult’s assets.  Specifically, Senate Bill 455 states that the sentence maximums for a person who embezzles from a vulnerable adult are: 5 years for embezzlement of $1,000 to $20,000; 10 years for embezzlement of $20,000 to $50,000; 15 years for embezzlement of $50,000 to $100,000; or 20 years for embezzlement of $100,000 or more.  Serious violations as defined in Senate Bill 459, would be subject to civil fines of up to the greater of $15,000, or triple the value of the targeted assets.  Additionally, the sentencing guidelines for financial exploitation of vulnerable adults were revised, and penalties increased, for perpetrators in Senate Bill 465, introduced by Sen. Dave Hildenbrand. 

Senate Bill 463 introduced by Sen. Coleman Young expands the current law to require employees of banks and financial institutions to report financial exploitation of an incapacitated vulnerable adult. 

“There are tens of thousands of Michigan seniors who have been criminally abused yet their pain and suffering is rarely reported and has largely gone unnoticed,” stated Schuitmaker.  The Michigan Senator sponsored Senate Bills 461, 464, and 466.  Senate Bill 461 protects the elderly from exploitation while also prescribing a detailed list of rights retained by the appointed guardian or conservator.  And, if passed, Senate Bills 464 and 466 will increase coordination between state and local authorities and develop protocols for interviewing and investigating elder abuse.

Nofs stated that he experienced first-hand the impact of elder exploitation as a state police trooper, according to the State News Service.  Nofs sponsored bill 454, which allows victims of elder abuse to give testimony through a multimedia format.  However, due to constitutional issues, this evidence would be limited to criminal cases where circumstances meet those required by the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to Elder Law of Michigan, although adults 60 and older comprise only 15% of the population, they account for nearly 30% of fraud victims.  Consumer fraud robs people of $50 billion per year, and between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended on for care or protection. In 1996, the NCEA reported that almost 90% of elder abuse cases come from family members of the victim, and two-thirds of the perpetrators were adult children or spouses of the victim.

Furthermore, according to the NCEA, there are signs family members can look for to help identify a possible scenario where an elder family member is being financially exploited:

Abrupt changes to estate planning documents;

Sudden appearances of previously distant, uninvolved relatives, who are claiming their rights to an elder’s possessions and assets;

Unexplained sudden transfer of assets to a family member or someone outside the family.

As Mary Alban, the executive director of the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan said, “This is the year to end the abuse.”

Adil Daudi is an Attorney at Joseph, Kroll & Yagalla, P.C., focusing primarily on Asset Protection for Physicians, Physician Contracts, Estate Planning, Business Litigation, Corporate Formations, and Family Law. He can be contacted for any questions related to this article or other areas of law at adil@josephlaw.net or (517) 381-2663.

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Canada Drops Plans to Ban Veiled Voting

August 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

CBC News

Canada_flag The federal government has no plans to move forward with proposed legislation to force veiled women to show their faces when voting, the minister of state for democratic reform said Thursday.

“We have other priorities as far as increasing voter participation and with the expanded voting opportunities legislation,” Steven Fletcher said in an interview.
“And that is our focus. That obviously will affect a lot more people.”

Dmitri Soudas, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, confirmed the government still supports the idea of forcing voters to reveal their faces, but said the bill doesn’t have opposition support.

“The bottom line is even if we were to proceed with legislation, it would be voted down immediately,” Soudas said.

The government introduced the bill in October 2007, a month after an Elections Canada ruling allowed Muslim women to vote with their faces covered by burkas or niqabs during three Quebec by elections.

That decision infuriated the government, and Harper accused Elections Canada of subverting the will of Parliament, which several months earlier had unanimously adopted legislation beefing up voter identification requirements.

“I profoundly disagree with the decision,” Harper said at the time. “The role of Elections Canada is not to make its own laws, it’s to put into place the laws that Parliament has passed.”

The government’s proposed amendment to the Canada Elections Act would have made a limited exception for any voter whose face is swathed in bandages due to surgery or some other medical reason. It also would have given some flexibility to Elections Canada officials to administer the law in a manner respectful of religious beliefs.

Opposition parties initially supported the proposed legislation, but later backed off when the issue was more closely examined.

Chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand noted that the beefed-up ID requirements passed by Parliament in 2007 did not, in fact, authorize the agency to compel visual identification of voters.

Moreover, it was pointed out that thousands of Canadians have no photo ID. Requiring them to show their faces would be meaningless without photo identification against which to verify their identities.

The Elections Act gives voters three ways to prove their identification in order to cast a ballot: provide a government photo ID; provide two pieces of approved ID, at least one of which must state their address (but neither of which must contain a photo); or have another voter registered in the same district vouch for them.

The federal government’s decision comes days after French President Nicolas Sarkozy said full-body gowns that are worn by the most conservative Muslim women have no place in France.

Sarkozy said wearing the burka or the niqab isn’t about religion, but the subjugation of women.

“In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity,” Sarkozy said to extended applause in a speech Monday.

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press

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