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'Sharia' bill hardly harmless

news-and-observer-logoBy Faiza Patel and Amos Toh, News and Observer, 6/7/2013

This week, the Concerned Women for America of NC -- a conservative group with a history of anti-Muslim incitement -- briefed North Carolina's legislature on the phantom threat that Islamic laws and customs (commonly referred to as "sharia") pose to the American legal system. This briefing came on the heels of House Bill 695, a ban on foreign law that was approved by the House last month.

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Journalists often dismiss red-state Islamic law bans as a joke. But the story isn't going away.

American-Muslim-FamilyBy Deron Lee, Columbia Journalism Review, 6/7/13

FAIRWAY, KS -- For more than three years, lawmakers in Kansas, Missouri, and a host of other states have been pushing bills to prohibit the use of Islamic law--commonly referred to as Sharia--in US courts. There are a lot of serious questions one might ask about this anti-Sharia campaign, but among journalists, the bills have most often provoked incredulous, derisive, and sardonic responses: Is this really happening?

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Honoring Muslim American Veterans on Memorial Day

Muslim-VeteransCraig Considine, Huffington Post

On May 27th, Americans will celebrate Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for the men and women who have died fighting in the United States armed forces. On this Memorial Day, I want to draw attention to the Muslim Americans who have died in battle for the United States. In doing so I hope to honor the Muslim American community for the sacrifices they have made for their country.

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Guantanamo Bay prison guard converts to Islam because of the living faith of Muslim detainees

Terry-HoldbrooksBy Kay Campbell, All Alabama, 5/26/2013

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Terry Holdbrooks Jr., 29, wears the beard of a bald Amish guy, the tattoos of a punk kid, and the twitchy alertness of a military policeman. Take him to a restaurant, and he'll choose the chair with its back against the wall. Take his photo, and he'll prefer to look away from the camera.

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Muslims to Tea Party: Welcome to our world

Muslim-Amiericans-CNNBy Sahar Aziz, Special to CNN

Reports that the Internal revenue Service has been targeting Tea Party-affiliated nonprofit organizations has grabbed headlines, but should come as no surprise. In part because of ten years of expanding government powers, much of it under the guise of national security, selective enforcement of the law has increasingly become a norm rather than an aberration.

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Indiana: Muslim teen helps veteran overcome prejudice

Muslim-exchange-studentBy Rondrell Moore, WTHI, 5/13/2013
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A military man's beliefs have been changed for the better, thanks to a new addition to his family.
Brian Miller served in the army in the 1980s in various locations. He's a military vet, with a pride for country, you'd be hard pressed to match. His son fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Miller said his son had negative experiences while in those areas. He admits those experiences, in addition to the events of 9/11 gave him a skewed view of a big part of middle eastern culture.
"I wouldn't say hate or racist, I would say dislike of the Muslim community," Miller said.  
However, his beliefs would be turned upside down once his fiancee announced the family would be getting a little bigger. She works for the state exchange program that places students with families, and one of them needed a home.
That's where we met Brian's newest son, Ali Naqvi.
"They accepted me in their home and I ended up being their ... exchange student." (Full article)

CAIR staff give workshops on civil rights, civic engagement

Freedom-to-eventThis weekend was a busy one for the staff at CAIR's national office. On Saturday, 4/27, two of our civil rights attorneys led a "Know Your Rights" workshop with the Peace Islamic Center in Burke, Va. That event was followed by a civic engagement workshop on Sunday, 4/28, at Masjid Muhammad in Washington, DC, encouraging the Muslim community to get involved and politically active.

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