(SEATTLE, WA, 8/27/07) - On Wednesday, September 19, members of the local Muslim community will reach out to their neighbors of all faiths by hosting a traditional Ramadan iftar, or fast-breaking dinner, at the Islamic School of Seattle.
“As more than one billion Muslims worldwide celebrate Ramadan by fasting and appreciating the blessings given to us, it is important for the American Muslim community to reach out to our neighbors as an example of true Islamic ideals,” said CAIR-WA Project Manager Naheel Fataftah. “We are here to show our friends and neighbors that American Muslims will continue to be contributing members of our society.&rdquo
Ramadan is the month, on the Islamic lunar calendar, during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God's commandments.
Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the "five pillars" of Islam. The end of Ramadan will be marked by communal prayers on the day called "Eid ul-Fitr," or Feast of the Fast-Braking, on October 12th, 2007. (Because Ramadan is a lunar month, the actual date is governed by the actual sighting of the new moon. Ask local coordinators for exact dates and times.)
There are an estimated 75,000 Muslims in the Puget Sound area and some seven million nationwide. Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in this country and around the world.
WHEN: Wednesday, September 19, 2007, 6:45 – 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Islamic School of Seattle, 720 25th Ave, Seattle, WA
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(TAMPA, FL, 8/24/07) – The Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Tampa) announced today that a local television station has dropped a program that promoted hatred of Islam and Muslims.
CAIR-Tampa said WTOG-TV (CW 44) dropped “Live Prayer with Bill Keller” after the station and its parent company CBS received a letter from and had discussions with the Islamic civil rights and advocacy group.
Keller told the St. Petersburg Times: "Ultimately, it was pressure by CAIR that intimidated these people into taking me off the air. It was not mutually agreeable. They told me they were taking me off the air, period."
SEE: Televangelist: I Lost My Show Over Muslim Remarks (St. Petersburg Times)
In its letter to CBS President Tom Kane and WTOG-TV’s general manager, CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Ahmed Bedier wrote:
“In the hate-filled program, ‘Live Prayer with Bill Keller,’ Islam and Muslims are referred to in the most vicious and bigoted of terms. For example on May 2, 2007, host Bill Keller said: ‘Islam is a 1400-year-old lie from the pits of hell. It’s leading a billion peoples [sic] to hell. . .those who follow this false religion will die and be lost for all eternity.’ On the same program, he also said, ‘The false religion of Islam is about hate, lies and death.’
“It is our belief that anti-Islamic rhetoric like that used in ‘Live Prayer with Bill Keller’ is exactly the type of language that is likely to incite hate crimes against the American Muslim community.”
To view examples of Bill Keller’s Anti-Muslim Bigotry, go to:
“While we strongly support freedom of speech and religion, the public airwaves should not be used to promote hatred and bigotry,” Bedier said today. “We commend WTOG-TV and CBS for rejecting any association with those who would demonize a minority group.”
Bedier noted that a Muslim family’s home in Sarasota, Fla., was recently torched by arsonists who spray-painted Islamophobic slurs on the walls.
SEE: CAIR-Tampa Announces $10K Reward in Arson Case
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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(ORLANDO, FL, 8/24/07) - The Orlando chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Orlando) today thanked a local official who expressed regret for recent comments about U.S. mosques that some Muslims found offensive.
At a recent City of Sanford planning meeting, Commissioner Randy Jones said: "I mean it might be un-politically correct, but I don't care. . .The fact of the matter is, I don't think you will get a lot of takers on residential [development] next to a mosque just because of what's going on worldwide."
In response to Jones' statement, CAIR-Orlando sent a letter to the commissioner stating in part:
". . .because your comments were made in an official capacity, it may sanction the view that Muslims should be isolated from community life based on tragic conflicts happening overseas. . .Let us work toward mutual understanding and a solution to the misconception you raised, that tragic conflicts which occur overseas must negatively impact an otherwise positive and productive relationship at home."
Yesterday, Commissioner Jones called CAIR-Orlando and expressed regret for the comments and stated that he wanted to assure the Muslim community that city planning decisions would not be influenced by events overseas. He also agreed to take part in a town hall meeting with local Muslims, at which he would offer advice on political empowerment and involvement.
Jones told CAIR-Orlando that many members of the Sanford Muslim community contacted him to express their concerns about his remarks.
"We thank Commissioner Jones for addressing this misunderstanding in a forthright and productive manner," said CAIR-Orlando Executive Director Danette Zaghari-Mask.
CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, protect civil liberties, and empower American Muslims.
(OTTAWA, CANADA - August 22, 2007) - The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) today urged Peel Regional Police to investigate the acts of vandalism at Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) High School in Mississauga, Ontario as a possible hate crime.
On Sunday night the school was attacked for the second time in less than a month. Vandals threw a slab of concrete into the school's control room, where lighting and temperature are regulated.
In a letter to Peel Regional Police CAIR-CAN wrote, "Two violent attacks against the ISNA High School in less than a month indicates the building may be the target of hate-motivated vandals."
The most recent attack occurred while 100 people were congregating in the school's prayer hall.
"Anyone remotely familiar with ISNA High School knows that it is an institution that Muslims regularly attend. This fact should compel police to investigate the attack as a hate crime.
"With reoccurring attacks against faith-based schools hate legislation should include religious centers, organizations and schools. Currently only places of worship are covered under the law," said Sameer Zuberi, CAIR-CAN Communications Coordinator.
On Sept. 15 ISNA High School is inviting the community to an open house as part of Doors Open Mississauga.
SEE: Muslim School Targeted By Vandals (The News Mississauga)
CONTACT: Sameer Zuberi, CAIR-CAN Communications Coordinator; (613)-795-2012 or (613) 254-9704.