This weekend, Muslims worldwide will mark "Isra and Miraj," the Prophet
Muhammad's night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, and from the rock now
located in the Dome of the Rock, to heaven.
The Quran, Islam's revealed text, states: "Glorified be He (God) who took
his servant (Muhammad) for a journey by night from al-Masjid al-Haram (in
Mecca) to al-Masjid al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem), whose precincts we have
blessed..." ("Masjid" is the Arabic word for "mosque.") Masjid Al-Aqsa and
the Dome of the Rock are located on "Haram Al-Shareef," or the "noble
enclosure" in Jerusalem's Old City.
Jerusalem is one of Islam's holiest sites, along with Mecca and Medinah in
the Arabian Peninsula. It was home to many prophets of Islam, including
David, Solomon and Jesus, and was Islam's first "Qibla," or direction to
which Muslims turned in prayer.
Has academic freedom fallen victim to post-September 11 efforts to safeguard the country's borders? For some people, the U.S. government's revoking of a visa for Tariq Ramadan, a controversial Muslim scholar, has raised such questions. Are their concerns valid? Why do other people
consider him such a threat?
On September 2, eleven members of Congress, led by Rep. Barney Frank
(D-MA), submitted an official 'Dear Colleague' letter to President Bush
calling on the dismissal and firing of Lt. Gen. William Boykin as Deputy
Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence for his anti-Muslim remarks made
while in official military uniform.
The letter reads, in part: "One such step…is for you to dismiss Lt. Gen.
William Boykin as the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for
Intelligence. We were appalled when we learned of the comments General
Boykin had made invoking religion in an inflammatory and inappropriate way
while in uniform. Many of us hoped at the time that your administration
would act promptly to remove him, but you instead decided to give him the
benefit of a thorough investigation. Now that investigation has
demonstrated what has been clear to many of us all along – namely that
General Boykin should not serve as a high intelligence officer of the U.S.
government. We find his judgment to be severely lacking on many
counts. The offense he has given to hundreds of millions of Muslims in the
world clearly can only exacerbate many of the problems we face…"
The other honorable signatories included Rep. James McDermott (D-WA), Rep.
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Martin Meehan
(D-MA), Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Stephanie
Tubbs Jones (D-OH), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and
Rep. Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA).
WHAT: The Freedom and Justice Foundation will be hosting it second annual
Muslim Legislative Day. Activities include first Khutbah Jumma Prayer ever
held at the Texas State Capitol, interfaith prayer for 9/11 victims and a
historical presentation on Muslim immigration to Texas. Meet Texas New
Director of Homeland Security, Steve McCraw and hear from Muslim members of
a Texas Homeland Security Committee & Law Enforcement.
WHEN: Friday, September 10, from noon to 4:00 P.M.
WHERE: State Capitol Extension Auditorium in Austin, TX
There are no fees to attend and share in this historical event. This is a
free event. Roundtrip bus transportation returning the same evening from
D-FW and Houston carry a transportation fee of $30 from D-FW and $20 from
Houston (discounts are available for those who apply)
Contact F & J for
more information at (972) 365-8214 or visit
http://www.freeandjust.org/events/legday.html to reserve your seat.