Suhail Raoof President of ACCP

November 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

200912301441raoofNYM’s chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine, Dr. Suhail Raoof, was elected President of the prestigious American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). Dr. Raoof  will  fill this role from October of 2011 through October of 2012. Over the next few years he will spend time with the current ACCP leadership, planning his future agenda.       

The ACCP constitutes the largest group of chest physicians in the world (pulmonary physicians, cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and pediatric chest specialists) and is the premier source of education for chest physicians all around the globe. With a membership in excess of 16,000, representing almost 50 countries, the organization has evolved into the definitive resource for chest physicians worldwide. With board review courses, enduring educational products, and adherence to patient focused care, the College has put itself in a position of tremendous influence on the manner in which  pulmonary physicians practice their craft.     

To be president of this organization represents the pinnacle of  an academic career. The ACCP is celebrating its 75th year of existence, and prior presidents represent a veritable “Who’s Who” in pulmonary and critical care medicine.

In addition to being Chief, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Program Director, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at NYM, Dr. Raoof is professor of clinical medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and is the author of numerous articles in the areas of pulmonary and critical care medicine, chest radiology and mechanical ventilation. 

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A Musical Evening

October 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By TMO Stringer

Rochester Hills–October 23–Faiz M. Khan, the chief host and producer of Voice of Pakistan, hosted a musical evening this past Sunday at the Taza Banquet Hall in Rochester Hills.

More than 300 people attended the event.

Mr. Faiz M. Khan is chair and owner of a popular weekly program hosted Sundays on AM 1160 from 11AM to 12PM.  He held the gala dinner to celebrate his past success with Voice of Pakistan.  He introduced his team, especially Sakina Hakim, and also introduced the various dignitaries who were present at the dinner.

Faiz M. Khan is also associated with General Motors, Pioneer Printing, and is the Chair of the Pakistani American Caucus at the Michigan Democratic Party.

Following the food there was musical entertainment until late in the night, and the magical evening was improved by the musicians’ invitations to the audience to participate in the singing of traditional Muslim songs from the subcontinent.

For more information about Faiz M. Khan’s radio program, please visit faizmkhan.org.

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Tunisia’s Ennahda May Back Open Economy

October 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Andrew Hammond

2011-10-25T195752Z_357696695_GM1E7AQ0B4401_RTRMADP_3_TUNISIA

Soumaya Ghannouch (C), daughter of Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the Islamist Ennahda movement, celebrates outside Ennahda’s headquarters in Tunis October 25, 2011. The party said on Tuesday it had won more than 40 percent of seats in Sunday’s election, pledging to continue democracy after the first vote that resulted from the "Arab Spring" revolts sweeping the Middle East and North Africa.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

TUNIS, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Tunisian Islamists who won a historic election victory this week are expected to promote business-friendly economic policies but Europe’s economic woes could favour Gulf investors in the short term, analysts say.

Ennahda has tried hard to assuage the concerns of Western powers and secular elites which have long had the upper hand in the North African country that it will not alter laws that guarantee women equal rights to men in divorce, marriage and inheritance.

But it has also been keen to argue it will not cause any ruptures in Tunisia’s economic life. The two are linked since Western tourism, with its expectations of sun, sand and drinking, has been an economic driver for Tunisia.

Ennahda secretary general Hamadi Jbeli singled out on Tuesday wine and bikinis as elements in attracting tourism that the party had no intention to touch. He also said Ennahda had no plans to make changes to the banking sector, where Sharia-compliant services are so far minimal.

“We will pay close attention to what they implement but on the economic side we have no cause for concern. Our biggest concern is long delays in government formation,” said one Western diplomat in Tunis.

“A lot of their backers are from the merchant class who are keen on the idea of a liberal economic policy and they don’t have serious plans to change the economic policy of previous governments.”
Tunisia is under pressure to reinvigorate an economy that was hailed in recent years as a “miracle” by Western governments and financial institutions for its privatisations and deregulation but which has ground to a halt since the uprising that brought down Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January.

Unemployment was at 14 percent before Ben Ali fell, and one third of the jobless had higher education. The figure is thought to have worsened in recent months.

The biggest problem facing the country is resource distribution. It is no accident that the revolt started in Sidi Bouzid, a depressed provincial town in the semi-arid zone of the Tunisian interior where resentment against the affluent coastal cities is strong.

“Economically, they are not radicals. Ennahda is quite conservative economically,” said Jean-Baptiste Gallopin of Control Risks. “They favour free enterprise.”

Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi assured a delegation of bourse officials on Tuesday that he favoured more flotations on a stock market. Share prices fell in October on apparent fear of an Ennahda win, though Tunisia’s Eurobonds did not react negatively to its victory.

An initial public offering in state operator Tunisie Telecom had been held up partly by the leftists who gained in influence after the revolution. Jbeli, who is tipped to be Ennahda’s prime minister, met employers’ federation leaders on Tuesday.

About 80 percent of Tunisia’s trade is with the European Union, but with Europe in a financial crisis Ennahda could draw money from the conservative Gulf Arab region.

“Qatar in particular may feel encouraged to resume exploring investment opportunities in the country as the political situation stabilises,” said Dubai-based analyst Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of Cornerstone Global Associates.

“Although it did not proactively support the Tunisian revolution like it did in Libya, many Tunisians, including Ennahda feel indebted to Qatar for the moral support it gave to their cause,” he said.

Saudi Arabia is not thought to have close ties to Ennahda, but Qatar’s leading Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera has heavily promoted the group. Qatar was a major Arab backer of the NATO operation to back Libyan rebels who succeeded in ending the rule of Muammar Gaddafi.

Sama Dubai, a government-owned company in the emirate, had plans in the Ben Ali era to develop a residential and commercial district in Tunis but the future of the project is now not clear and the land sits empty.

Hardliners among Ennahda’s rank-and-file could still rock the boat, despite Ghannouchi’s attempts to offer reassurances on social and economic policy.

“The danger is that Ennahda members or influential independents foment fears among investors with unguarded comments that do not really reflect the party’s intentions,” said Crispin Hawes of the Eurasia Group.

“The net result is that we believe that investor sentiment over Tunisia will remain nervous and trending towards the negative in the aftermath of the election.” (Additional reporting by Christian Lowe and Tarek Amara; Editing by David Stamp)

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Assad Meets Arab ministers; 20 Killed in Clashes

October 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

AMMAN (Reuters) – At least 20 people died in clashes and strikes paralyzed parts of Syria, as President Bashar al-Assad met Arab ministers seeking to end months of violence and authorities held a mass rally to show support for him.

The official state news agency quoted the head of the Arab League delegation, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad al-Thani, as saying the talks on Wednesday were “cordial and frank” and that the ministers would meet Syrian officials again on October 30.

In the central city of Homs, a hotbed of opposition to Assad, people held a general strike to protest against his crackdown on seven months of unrest, in which the United Nations says 3,000 people have been killed.

Residents and activists said most employees stayed at home and shops were closed in the city of one million. One resident said armed opponents of Assad enforced the strike. Army gunfire, which killed 11 people across Syria on Wednesday, also kept people off the streets.

Residents and activists said most employees stayed at home and shops were closed in the city of one million. One resident said insurgents enforced the strike. Army gunfire, which killed 11 people across Syria on Wednesday, also kept people off the streets.

In the town of Hamrat, north of Homs, suspected army deserters killed nine soldiers in an attack on a bus with a rocket-propelled grenade, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. It was the latest incident in an armed insurgency emerging alongside the campaign of street protests.

Assad faces international pressure over his crackdown, with the United States and the European Union slapping sanctions on Syrian oil exports and businesses, helping drive the economy into recession.

“This will end with the fall of the regime. It is nearly unavoidable,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Wednesday.

“But unfortunately it could take time because the situation is complex, because there is a risk of civil war between Syrian factions, because surrounding Arab countries do not want us to intervene,” he told French radio.

ARAB MISSION

In Umayyad Square in central Damascus, tens of thousands of people gathered for what has become a weekly show of support for Assad organized by authorities.

State television showed them waving Syrian flags and portraits of the president, saying they were rallying under the slogan “Long live the homeland and its leader.”

The rally took place before the envoys from six Arab nations arrived in Damascus for talks with Assad following their call on October 16 for the opposition and government to hold a dialogue within 15 days at the League headquarters in Cairo.

“What is hoped is that the violence will end, a dialogue will start and reforms will be achieved,” Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby said of the delegation, which is led by Qatar and also includes Egypt, Algeria, Oman, Sudan and Yemen.

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The Bellwether of Nations

October 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Tunis, Libya and the Arab “Spring”

By Geoffrey Cook, TMO

Santa Barbara–October 24th–Those of you who have been here for as long as generations, please forgive me,  and have patience with me, and grant me your forbearance.  

Yesterday (October 23rd) two important events came about over two bordering Islamic North African States.

The most dramatic was the demise of Colonel Khadafy in Libya.  Today, the National Transitional Council (المجلس الوطني الإنتقالي ) of the Libyan Revolution scheduled an announcement of the liberation of Tripoli and her hinterlands.

Although it is a great victory of the three so far in the Arab “Spring,”  it was the bloodiest of those triumphs which, with over 160 claimant groups are currently within the capital, was the costliest; and, thus, is the least likely to succeed by the very fact it was a coup of arms.

Strangely, the three successful regime changes so far of the Arab “Spring” have occurred in North Africa – Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, and they all were Republics whose leadership was descended from the anti-colonial revolutions.  

The other grand occurrence of Sunday, October 23rd, was the Tunisian elections.   As I have pointed out before, Tunisia’s was the first Revolt of the “Spring,” and has the best chance of any of those successful so far to develop an Arab (Islamic) democracy.   Libya is the least in my humble opinion because of the degree of violence and foreign intervention to which it had to revert for its accomplishment.

It is too early to do much of an exegesis now so soon after the polls over Tunisia, but no egregious reports of irregularities have been reported to me so far, but Tunis has developed a viable civil society despite the years of dictatorship.  Unlike its neighbor, Libya, tribal politics are minor.  It has come out of its political nightmare as a manageable modern state although with serious challenges.
I expect our modern Punic Realm will do well – not without bumps along the way, though.  As I  mentioned in two weeks ago, much will depend upon the expertise and support from the West since so much of the wealth of that nation of ten million has been robbed by the last regime.  Yet, at the same time, the international financial crisis puts a strain on the deliverance of both material and aid of practical tutelage.  Alas, I wish I could be as positive for Benghazi.  I only hope that more military intervention will not be required from NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) on that side of the Northern African Sahara.

I would like to commend my colleague, Radwan Masoudi, the Libyan-American founder/Director of the Center of Islam and Democracy in Washington.  That think thank has been working on planning an Islamic democracy; so, that they can meld theologically and politically without contradiction. When the time miraculously arose, he had gone back to his native countryside to work with his cultural citizens to help make these elections possible by strengthening the roots of the civil society that already existed there!

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“Arrest Bush” — Amnesty International Asks Canada

October 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Michel Comte

October 13, 2011 “AFP” – Amnesty International called on Canadian authorities Wednesday to arrest and prosecute George W. Bush, saying the former US president authorized “torture” when he directed the US-led war on terror.

Bush is expected to attend an economic summit in Surrey in Canada’s westernmost British Columbia province on October 20.

In a memorandum submitted last month to Canada’s attorney general but only now released to the media, the London-based group charged that Bush has legal responsibility for a series of human rights violations.

“Canada is required by its international obligations to arrest and prosecute former president Bush given his responsibility for crimes under international law including torture,” Amnesty’s Susan Lee said in a statement.

“As the US authorities have, so far, failed to bring former president Bush to justice, the international community must step in. A failure by Canada to take action during his visit would violate the UN Convention Against Torture and demonstrate contempt for fundamental human rights,” Lee said.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney blasted Amnesty for “cherry picking cases to publicize, based on ideology.”

“This kind of stunt helps explain why so many respected human rights advocates have abandoned Amnesty International,” he said.

Kenney said it will be up to Canadian border officials to decide independently whether to allow Bush into the country.

Bush canceled a visit to Switzerland in February, after facing similar public calls for his arrest.

Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International’s Canadian branch, told a press conference the rights group will pursue its case against the former US president with the governments of other countries he might visit.

“Torturers must face justice and their crimes are so egregious that the responsibility for ensuring justice is shared by all nations,” Neve said.

“Friend or foe, extraordinary or very ordinary times, most or least powerful nation, faced with concerns about terrorism or any other threat, torture must be stopped.

“Bringing to justice the people responsible for torture is central to that goal. It is the law… And no one, including the man who served as president of the world’s most powerful nation for eight years can be allowed to stand above that law.”

Amnesty, backed by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, claims Bush authorized the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and “waterboarding” on detainees held in secret by the Central Intelligence Agency between 2002 and 2009.

The detention program included “torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (such as being forced to stay for hours in painful positions and sleep deprivation), and enforced disappearances,” it alleged.

Amnesty’s case, outlined in its 1,000-page memorandum, relies on the public record, US documents obtained through access to information requests, Bush’s own memoir and a Red Cross report critical of the US’s war on terror policies.

Amnesty cites several instances of alleged torture of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval facility, in Afghanistan and in Iraq, by the US military.

The cases include that of Zayn al Abidin Muhammed Husayn (known as Abu Zubaydah) and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, both arrested in Pakistan. The two men were waterboarded 266 times between them from 2002 to 2003, according to the CIA inspector general, cited by Amnesty.

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Pakistan Cricket Head Replaced–Butt Removed

October 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Compiled by Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

IjazButtAPKMChaudary1The controversial reign of Ijaz Butt as head of Pakistani cricket has come to an end. The Pakistani government has decided not to retain Butt as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and has appointed Zaka Ashraf in his place.

Ashraf, a senior banker, will take over as PCB chairman immediately, as was announced by Pakistan’s Presidency. Butt recently completed his three-year tenure on October 8th. His term began in October of 2008, and it was plagued by controversy, including last year’s spot-fixing scandal in England which led to player bans involving Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir. In addition, Butt was also head of the PCB when the Sri Lanka team was attacked in Lahore in 2009.

Butt returned home on Monday from Dubai after attending the executive board meeting of the International Cricket Council. It is unknown at this time as to what position he will return to. But millions of passionate Pakistani cricket fans will probably be happy to see him fade into oblivion after an embarrassing three years on and off the pitch.

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Civil Society in South Africa Deplores Failure to Give Visa to Dalai Lama

October 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Johannesburg. 4 October 2011.  The South African government should stand by its founding values by granting a visa to the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, urged civil society in South Africa today.

The Dalai Lama was due to visit South Africa from 6-8 October to attend the 80th birthday celebrations of fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He was expected to deliver the inaugural Desmond Tutu International Peace lecture at the University of the Western Cape. Delay in granting him a visa by the South African government has now resulted in him cancelling his trip to the country.

In 2009, the Dalai Lama was denied permission to visit South Africa under apparent pressure from the Chinese government which strongly opposes his support for the human rights and freedoms of the Tibetan people.

“In many regions of the world civil society members are being persecuted for their beliefs and impeded from engaging with the international community due to restrictive visa regimes,” said Ingrid Srinath, Secretary General of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. “… it is highly disturbing that this can happen in democratic South Africa, a number of whose leaders also had to wage their struggle for human rights in exile.”

Enhancing democracy and human rights as well as upholding justice and international law in relations between nations are important pillars of South Africa’s foreign policy. South Africa is also a founding member of the India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) trilateral of multi-ethnic and multicultural democracies, which is committed to the establishment of a new international architecture. Recent violent attacks on peaceful protestors by the police, proposed curbs on the freedom of information through impending legislation and the current controversy generated around the visit of the Dalai Lama are marring South Africa’s reputation as a vibrant democracy and human rights leader.

“It is untenable and hypocritical for the South African authorities to even consider denying the Dalai Lama a visa under pressure from a foreign government,” said Srinath.

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Houston Alliance of Pakistan Floods Relief Efforts First Phase of In-Kind Donation Drive has Started

September 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

2011-09-23T172505Z_869930222_GM1E79O044401_RTRMADP_3_PAKISTAN-FLOODS

A girl, displaced by floods, carries pots as she walks on the trunk of a tree floating in the water near her home in the Badin district of Pakistan’s Sindh province September 23, 2011. The latest floods, triggered by monsoon rains, have killed more than 230 people, destroyed or damaged 1.2 million houses and flooded 4.5 million acres (1.8 million hectares) since late last month, officials and Western aid groups say. More than 300,000 people have been moved to shelters. Some 800,000 families hit by last year’s floods are still homeless. Aid groups have warned of a growing risk of fatal diseases.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Houston, Texas: Sindh Pakistan has been devastated by the most destructive floods in more than 51 Years. This calamity is even bigger than the Pakistani Floods 2010.

There are many “Blessings in Unity”. Keeping this in perspective, a united effort has been launched in the Greater Houston region to serve Sisters & Brothers in humanity in dire needs. More than thirty organizations and media partners have joined in the efforts and others are being encouraged to join this Alliance.

As the 1st phase of these efforts, collection of In-Kind donation items for Pakistan Floods 2011 victims started on Friday, September 23rd, 2011, and will continue every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday till October 16th, 2011 (can be extended if needed). Monetary Fundraising event(s) will be held sometimes in October 2011.

Mian Nazir, Coordinator of the In-Kind Donation Drive, can be reached at 1-713-922-8458. Following is the In-Kind donation items that patrons of humanity need to graciously bring (NO CLOTHES PLEASE):

High Energy Biscuits – Small Bags of Rice / Lentils / Beans / Salt / Sugar – Small Bottles of Cooking Oil – Snacks items like Chips, Natural Valley Trial Mix, Natural Oats ″N Honey, etc. – Family Tents (both normal and winterized) – Brand New Blankets & Comforters – Brand New Towels – Brand New Plastic Sheets – Mosquito Nets; preferably Long-Lasting Insecticides Treated Mosquito Nets (LLINs) – Hygiene Kits (each kit should include at the minimum one 10-litres water container like bucket for storage, two 250-grams bathing soap, two 200-grams laundry soap, one toothpaste 75-ml/100-g, four tooth brushes, etc.) – Water Purification Systems (preferably family water filter straw) – De-Watering Pumps – Water Purification Tablets – Medicines (over the counter pain, fever, & similar; iron supplements; vitamins; creams for rash & itch; bandages; etc.) – Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) – Storage Box Size 16-Inches x 12-Inches x 12-Inches (from Home Depot or U-Haul).

Also appeal to all the persons bringing the In-Kind donations to please contribute some amount like $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $200, or any amount that will help with the logistics of this In-Kind donation drive and will be used to send all of the In-Kind donation items to Pakistan.

Many volunteers are needed. Community Service Volunteer Hours Certificates and Refreshments will be provided to all the volunteers.

WHERE TO COME TO VOLUNTEER & BRING THE IN-KIND DONATION ITEMS

Pakistan Center, 12638 Bissonett (at South Dairy Ashford), Houston, Texas 77099

IN-KIND DONATION COLLECTION & VOLUNTEERIG SHIFTS

Fridays, September 30th, October 07th, & 14th, 2011: 5:30pm.-8:30pm. – Saturdays, October 01st, 08th, & 15th, 2011: 9:30am.-12:30pm / 1:30pm.-4:30pm. / 5:30pm.-8:30pm. – Sundays, October 02nd, 09th, 16th, 2011: 12-Noon-3:00pm. / 3:00pm.-6:00pm.

Everyone needs to volunteer and encourage others to volunteer, donate the In-Kind items, and give some monetary assistance to properly run this In-Kind donation drive. Involvement of members of all of Alliance’s organizations; and all Houstonians, including organizations’ patrons, other community-based organizations, honorable elected officials, mainstream media, and others; everyone’s participation is needed for this crucial humanitarian cause.

Corporate stores like Wal*Mart, Sam’s Club, Pharmaceutical Companies, and others can be approached and encouraged to participate and donate generously to assist the humanity in dire needs.
For more information, one can reach Saeed Sheikh, Coordinator of Alliance of Pakistan Floods Relief Efforts, 1-281-948-1840 / Talat Talpur, Treasurer of Alliance of Pakistan Floods Relief Efforts, 1-832-594-2159 / ILyas Choudry, Secretary of Alliance of Pakistan Floods Relief Efforts, 1-832-275-0786;

Alliance Members as of Monday, September 26th, 2011 are (in alphabetical order): 1) Pakistan Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund 2011 – 2) Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) South Texas Chapter – 3) Hashoo Foundation USA – 4) Helping Hand [USA] For Relief & Development (HHRD) – 5) HOPE – 6) Houston-Istanbul Sister City Association (HISCA) – 7) Houston-Karachi Sister City Association (HKSCA) – 8) Muslim Council of USA – 9) Pakistani-American Association of Greater Houston (PAGH) – 10) Pakistan Association of Golden Triangle (PAGT) – 11) Pakistani-American Society of Texas (PAST) – 12) Pakistan Chamber of Commerce USA (PCC-USA) – 13) Raindrop Helping Hands – 14) Raindrop Turkish House – 15) Red Cross – 16) Shifa Healthcare – 17) Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) – 18) Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) – 19) Sun Charity – 20) The Citizens Foundation – 21) Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB)…
Media Partners: 1) Pakistan Chronicle – 2) Pakistan Journal – 3) Pakistan News – 4) Pakistan Post – 5) Pakistan Times – 6) Radio Houston – 7) Radio Light Of Islam – 8) Radio Music-in-the-Box – 9) Radio Naya Andaz – 10) Radio Sangeet…

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Eboo Patel Earns Award

December 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

eboo patel Eboo Patel, the Chicago based founder and executive director of Interfaith Youth Core, has won the 2010 Louisville Grawemeyer award in religion for his autobiography. He was selected from among 67 nominations worldwide.

Patel’s encourages young people of different religions to perform community service, explore common values and build bridges among diverse faiths. The organization is now active on about 75 college campuses.

“Religious extremists all over the world are harnessing adolescent angst for their own ends,” said Susan Garrett, a religion professor who directs the award. “Patel urges us to take advantage of the short window of time in a young person’s life to teach the universal values of cooperation, compassion and mercy.”

The Indian born Patel immigrated to Chicago as a child. As a teenager, he struggled with what he saw as a lack of religious pluralism in America. His experiences prompted him to launch a movement to build interfaith cooperation by inspiring college students to champion the cause.

He formed Interfaith Youth Core in 1998.

A Rhodes Scholar, he is now a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations. In October, U.S. News & World Report named him one of America’s Best Leaders in 2009.

The Grawemeyer Awards are five annual $200,000 prizes given in the fields of music, political science, psychology, education, and religion. They were founded by H. Charles Grawemeyer to help make the world a better place. The University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Seminary jointly award the religion prize.

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US Millionaires’ Investment Confidence Falls in Oct

November 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Even for millionaires, life is not an eternal walk on Easy Street.

U.S. millionaires worried more about money in October than September, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The Spectrem Group said its millionaire confidence index fell 2 points to -7 in October, marking its first decline since July.

The U.S. millionaire population in 2008 fell by 2.5 million to a five-year low of 6.7 million, as the financial crisis hit real estate and stock prices, Spectrum reported in March.

Spectrem’s survey of affluent households with $500,000 or more of investable assets also showed falling confidence in October, with the confidence index down two points to -15, keeping it in bearish territory.

“Overall, this suggests the nation’s wealthiest investors are reacting cautiously to the stock market … and recent signs that the economy may be coming back to life,’’ said George H. Walper Jr, president of Spectrem Group, a Chicago-based consulting firm specializing in the affluent and retirement markets.

Stock market conditions was the single biggest concern affecting investment plans of affluent investors, with 27% citing it in response to an open-ended question, Spectrem reported.

That was followed by the economic environment at 22 percent; the political climate at 7 percent; household income at 4 percent; and household cashflow at 4 percent.

The survey is based on 250 monthly interviews with financial decision-makers in households with $500,000 or more in investable assets.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Qur`an Passages ‘Appear on Baby’s Skin’

October 22, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

By Muslim World News

 

2009-10-21T194556Z_659097707_GM1E5AM0AGQ01_RTRMADP_3_RUSSIA-BABY-KORAN

A Muslim cleric holds baby Ali Yakubov at his house in Kizlyar in Russia’s Dagestan Region, October 19, 2009. A miracle baby has brought a kind of mystical hope to people in Russia’s mostly Muslim southern fringe who are increasingly desperate in the face of violence. From hunchbacked grandmas to schoolboys, hundreds of pilgrims lined up this week in blazing sunshine to get a glimpse of 9-month-old baby Ali Yakubov, on whose body they say verses from the Qur`an appear and fade every few days. Picture taken October 19, 2009. 

REUTERS/Amir Amirov

dagestan markings on skin
Ali Yakubov’s skin, with Qur`an

 

Ali Yakubov with mother and father.jpg
Ali Yakubov with his mother and father.

The parents of nine-month-old Ali Yakubov claim the phenomenon began when the word Allah showed up on their son’s chin when he was a few weeks old, British newspapers report.

Other words then started appearing on other parts of his body, including his arms, legs and back, before mysteriously fading away, the parents claim.

“Ali always feels bad when it is happening — he cries and his temperature goes up,” his mother was quoted as saying.

“It’s impossible to hold him when it’s happening, his body is actively moving, so we put him into his cradle … it’s so hard to watch him suffering.”

The marks usually appear each week on a Monday and then again sometime between Thursday and Friday, she claims. Medics at the family’s town in Daghestan province, near Chechnya, are said to be baffled by Ali’s condition.

They have reportedly dismissed speculation someone the words are caused by someone writing on his skin. The phenomenon has reportedly made Ali the subject of religious homage by many locals in the troubled region.

One local MP even hailed Ali as “a pure sign of God.”

“Allah sent him to Daghestan in order to stop revolts and tension in our republic,” Akhmedpasha Amiralaev was quoted as saying.

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