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Women of Islam Choose God, Peace

CHARLESTON -- When intolerant people call her "Osama's girlfriend," Eastern Illinois University student Amna Latif bears it with grace.

After all, she said, those jeers pale next to her devotion to God. That's why she still wears a "hijab."

"The best way to preach is to set our own example," said Latif, with only her large, brown eyes visible through the green and white checkered veil and head covering.

She also has the admiration of her peers and elders, who feared wearing the traditional Muslim garb ever since Sept. 11, 2001. Some would like to do so again, for practical and spiritual reasons.

And that contrasts to the popular notion that Islamic women are forced to dress as such, they said. These and other myths were dispelled Saturday during a forum at Eastern Illinois University, as four panelists discussed their past, present and future as women of Islam...


Bush Seeks to Expand Access to Private Data

WASHINGTON- For months, President Bush's advisers have assured a skittish public that law-abiding Americans have no reason to fear the long reach of the antiterrorism law known as the Patriot Act because its most intrusive measures would require a judge's sign-off.

But in a plan announced this week to expand counterterrorism powers, President Bush adopted a very different tack. In a three-point presidential plan that critics are already dubbing Patriot Act II, Mr. Bush is seeking broad new authority to allow federal agents - without the approval of a judge or even a federal prosecutor - to demand private records and compel testimony....


Amanpour: CNN Practiced Self- Censorship

CNN's top war correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, says that the press muzzled itself during the Iraq war. And, she says CNN "was intimidated" by the Bush administration and Fox News, which "put a climate of fear and self-censorship."

As criticism of the war and its aftermath intensifies, Amanpour joins a chorus of journalists and pundits who charge that the media largely toed

the Bush administration line in covering the war and, by doing so, failed to aggressively question the motives behind the invasion.

On last week's Topic A With Tina Brown on CNBC, Brown, the former Talk magazine editor, asked comedian Al Franken, former Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke and Amanpour if "we in the media, as much as in the administration, drank the Kool-Aid when it came to the war."

Said Amanpour: "I think the press was muzzled, and I think the press self-muzzled. I'm sorry to say, but certainly television and, perhaps, to a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear
and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did..."


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