In Focus Online June06
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In Focus Online June06

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Idris Jassim Al-Oboudi ...

Idris Jassim Al-Oboudi
ادريس جاسم العبودي
ialiraqi@hotmail.com
ialoboudi@citymb.info



Idris is a nationally recognized Recreation and Parks professional and public speaker. A Highly motivating, energetic, passionate leader with vision and a pragmatic approach to recreation issues and needs, has been working in the field of Recreation for the Past 28 years. He is currently the Manager of Parks and Recreation for the City of Manhattan Beach California. Idris is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and State / National and International notoriety and acclaim.

In February, 2008 Idris, received the Professional Distinguished Service Award. This is the highest award bestowed by the NRPA Pacific Southwest Regional Council. It recognizes professionals in the Region who have consistently given outstanding service to the park, recreation and conservation movement on the State, National and in the case of Mr. Al-Oboudi the international level. He also received the 2007 NRPA’s Program Excellence Award for Special Event.

In February, 2008 Idris, received Los Angeles County Special Commendation Award form forth District Supervisor Mr. Don Knabe. This Commendation is in recognition of dedicated service to the affairs of the community and for the civic pride demonstrated by numerous contributions for the benefit of all the citizens of Los Angeles County California.

In March- 2006 Idris received The California Park & Recreation Society’s (CPRS Over 4000 in Membership) highest Award and Citation that recognizes outstanding contributions to CPRS and the parks, recreation, and/or human serves profession. This award also recognizes his contributions that significantly affect the parks & recreation profession on a regional, sectional, state & national level. Idris was honored for his contributions to the profession and commitment to the Creating Community VIP Action Plan. Both in 2005 and 2006 Idris received the California Parks and Recreation Society’s President’s Award for outstanding Leadership and dedicated service to the parks and recreation profession in California.

In 2004 Al-Oboudi was the first Chair of California Parks and Recreation Society’s Youth Sports and Fitness Task Force (Initiative) in charge of providing modality, revamping and re-directing the youth sports experience in California municipalities and organizations. This Plan was rolled out in fall 2005 and is being implemented state and nation wide starting in spring 2006. Mr. Al-Oboudi was in the lead as a creator and organizer of the Rally in support of Youth Sports and Fitness at the California State Capital on March-8-2007 during the CPRS annual Conference.

Mr. Al-Oboudi is a 25 year member of the CPRS & a long time member of the NRPA. He has served the CPRS membership in many areas, he was the Education Program Chair of the 2008, CPRS Conference, and served in the same capacity in 2004. He has been and Advisor for the CPRS Director of Education for the CPRS CONF 2003-2005& 2006. He was elected as Southern CA CPRS Administrators Section representative serving from 2003 to 2005.

Mr. Al-Oboudi is a frequent contributor to leadership workshops and meetings on recreation issues in Local Collages, Universities, and California Cities, community organizations, CPRS, NRPA and nation wide organizations. Mr. Al-Oboudi Developed a proto type frame work for Vision Insight Planning and Programming (Purpose Driven Programming). This tool was further developed and adopted in Programming for Community and youth recreation, cultural and social activities (Purpose Driven Programming) for the Islamic Community in the USA and the World. This is the First Vision Insight Planning programming tool developed for Muslim Organizations world wide. This ground braking work is a prelude to a comprehensive Initiative Mr. Al-Oboudi is Envisioning, Espousing and Creating, for the Muslim Community in the USA.

A 25 year resident of the Cal

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    In Focus Online June06 In Focus Online June06 Document Transcript

    • Vol. 2 Issue No. 5 (Monthly) June 2006 Jumada Al-Awal/Jumada Ath-Thani - 1427H House of Nurturing Reps Passes Love and Bill Isolating Palestinians Racial By Sarah Hassaine Harmony... Forgiveness and Redemption: The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Reverend Lapsley Act (HR 4681) was passed with p. 18 ...Page 5 a 361-37 vote on May 23 further isolating the Palestinian people by restricting U.S. and interna- tional humanitarian aid. SEE HOUSE BILL * PAGE 10 Earthquake Devastates Marines Killed Indonesia Iraqi Family: Murtha ...Page 12 American Muslims Provide Relief Aid FINDING COMEDY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD Idris Al-Oboudi: Advocate of Recreation ...Page 13 By Aidan Muhammad Qasim A 6.3 magnitude earthquake on Comedians Preacher Moss (left) and Azhar Usman (right) the island of Java in Indonesia has left the death toll at 6,000 CAIR’s 2nd Annual the expectation of an outstand- attendees and not make the enor- ing 600 guests for that Saturday mous auditorium look so desolate. The Da Vinci Code people, according to govern- Entertainment Night night (150 more people than were Ushers showed families to their ment officials. The earthquake Review ...Page 23 has come in a long progression For Civil Rights in attendance the year before), seats, filling in gaps and assuring ropes bordered off rows of seats of seismic activity in the area, By Nadia Afghani so as to consolidate the amount of SEE ENTERTAINMENT NIGHT * PAGE 3 which includes the December 2004 earthquake off the coast of One thing holds true to any event: Ache, Indonesia, which triggered a tsunami that killed 170,000 If you flyer it, they will come. The New Muslim TV: Media-Savvy, Modern, and Moderate people and left half a million But no one--not even the orga- people homeless. With an epicen- nizers of CAIR’s 2nd Annual ter near the city of Yogyakarta, Sabreen was at the peak of Entertainment Night for Civil which lies under the shadow of her fame when, in 2001, she Rights -- could have predicted Mount Merapi, an active volcano underwent a religious “awak- the unprecedented attendance Protecting Charities, at last month’s event at the ening,” retired from acting, Mosques & Non-profits SEE QUAKE * PAGE 14 Anaheim Heritage Forum. With and donned the veil. ...Page 24 Now she’s back on television, hosting a talk show on a INDEX Law: Not Just a Career, new Islamic satellite chan- The new Islamic satellite channel called nel called Al Risala (“The LOCAL [3] NO. CALIFORNIA [8 ] An Islamic Calling Al Risala (“The Message”). By Ursula Lindsey Message”). Sabreen says she chose to make her come-back enjoying the early on Al Risala because the channel NATIONAL [ 10 ] stages of fatherhood Contributor to The Christian Sci- “talks about Islam in an enlight- INTERNATIONAL [ 11 ] with his newborn son Ennes and wife, ence Monitor ened, moderate way ... a very honest and frank way.” PROFILE [ 13 ] Sondos. CAIRO – The Egyptian actress FEATURE SEE MUSLIM TV * PAGE 14 [ 14 ] It is a lot to manage MASJID PROFILE [ 18 ] for a 25-year-old, but Southern California InFocus 2180 W. Crescent Ave. Suite G Address Service Requested Kahf is doing this not PRESORTED KIDS CORNER [ 20] only for his family Anaheim, CA 92801 ph: (714) 678-1820 STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE PAID HEALTH/FOOD REVIEW [ 21 ] and their future, but also for the future TIME DATED MATERIAL - DO NOT DELAY FULLERTON CA PERMIT NO. 519 ARTS/BOOKS [ 23 ] Barra Kahf, second year law student at UC Davis of the Islamic com- MONEY/LEGAL munity. [ 24 ] ISLAM By Afsha Bawany “My religion, my [ 25 ] community, and the values in It’s finals week and as if that’s not TRAVEL [ 27 ] enough to keep first-year law stu- my religion encourage justice and equality,” said Kahf, who is COMMENTARY [ 28 ] dent Baraa Kahf busy studying the basics of civil procedure and EDTIORIAL/LETTERS [ 30 ] constitutional law, Kahf is also SEE MUSLIM LAW * PAGE 16
    • 2 June 2006 ADVERTISEMENT Southern California InFocus
    • Southern California InFocus LOCAL June 2006 3 Sanchez also acknowledged each imitations of typical aunti phone for crime in Harlem, or wine in ENT. NIGHT FROM PAGE 1 of the awardees with certificates of recognition. Special honor was given to Zeke Hernandez, active chatter that can go on and on simply using variations of the word “yes” and stories of grow- a liquor store, or stupidity in the White House. It’s right there.” STAFF President of League of United ing up Southern Baptist in a But the night could not be com- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA everyone a perfect view. Latin American Citizens (LU- church with a vocal-chord-less plete without the “Ayatollah of INFOCUS LAC), for his exceptional work choir singer. Comedy” himself, Azhar Usman. But as the night waged on and in civil rights. Quite possibly the most recog- 2180 W. Crescent Ave., Suite G the seats were filled, and the Anaheim, CA 92801 nizable Muslim comedian in the world, Azhar has been dubbed Phone: (714) 678-1820 the title “Bin Laughin” after he Fax: (714) 776-8340 once said, “I’m not Osama Bin Laden’s evil twin brother; I’m email: info@infocusnews.net his cousin! You can just call me web: www.infocusnews.net Bin Laughin.” He even stars in his own iTunes webcast called Southern California InFocus is the largest American Muslim newspa- Tinku’s World. per serving Muslims in California. It is a monthly newspaper and But that night, he put comedy is published on the first of every back into the Muslim world, mak- month. ing light of heavy situations like racial profiling in airports. “Peo- Publisher ple are in shock,” he explained, GOOD TREE INC. when other passengers see him board. “I’m just waiting for the (Top row, left to right) Nour Kweider, Nedda Salimian, Ambreen Basria, Genene Salman, Zeke Her- real honest passenger at the end Managing Editor nandez, (bottom row, left to right) Hisham Labanieh, Amina Abid, Ahmad Almutawa, Marya Bangee, of the flight to go, ‘Excuse me ASMA AHMAD Yasmin El-Haj sir, but I thought you were go- editor@infocusnews.net ing to kill us. Sorry about that. blocked rows were opened, and He addressed the now well-known Remember when you got up to Deputy Editor more seats were filled, and ush- The end of the first half broke Albert Brooks movie, Looking for go to the bathroom? I was going MUNEER ADHAMI ers found themselves with prayer…but Comedy in the Muslim World. to stab you.’ Really, if I was a muneer@infocusnews.net lost within the sea of where do you put “It’s like we don’t have a sense crazy Muslim fundamentalist attendees, it became 1,600 Muslims an- of humor, like we don’t smile,” terrorist, this isn’t the disguise I evident that the 600 gled towards the ho- Moss said. “That’s like looking would choose.” STAFF WRITERS expected guests had liest of holy lands ABDUSSALAM MOHAMED brought along a friend with enough room to AFSHA BAWANY or two or thousand with prostrate in prayer? The Activist of the year be- ANAYAT DURRANI them. And before any- Master of Ceremonies, Shaikh Why, the massive longed to Zeke Hernandez, the Social Activism: ALI A. MOHAMED Deputy District Director for one knew it, the hall Yasser Fazaga stage of course. And, AMEL S. ABDULLAH League of United Latin Ameri- 1st Place: ($500)- Genene Salman was packed with ap- basically, any other ANGELA COLLNS can Citizens (LULAC) and 9 2nd Place ($400- Hisham Labanieh proximately 1,600 onlookers just available space: the stage, the youths received Congressional 3rd Place ($250)- Amina Abid ANGIE EL SHERIF waiting to have their funny bones steps, the rows, the seats, the recognition from the offices of FATIMA KHAN tickled. walkways. It was like a snapshot Congresswomen Loretta and of Hajj right here in Anaheim. Religious Activism: FERDAUS SERHAL Linda Sanchez The first half of the Entertain- GENENE SALMAN ment Night for Civil Rights paid But it wasn’t until after prayer 1st Place: ($500)- Ahmad Almutawa GHALIA MOHDER Civic Activism: tribute to nine Muslim youths that the real “entertainment” MARIE MOURADI 2nd Place ($400)- Marya Bangee who displayed extraordinary ef- began. Preacher Moss, original 1st Place: ($500)- Nour Kweider, MUNIRA SYEDA forts in civil, social and religious founder of the Allah Made Me 2nd Place ($400)- Nedda Salimian SAAQIB RANGOONWALA 3rd Place ($250)- Yasmin El-Haj activism. The offices of Con- Funny tour, first took the stage. 3rd Place ($250)- Ambreen Basria SAMA WAREH gresswomen Loretta and Linda He charmed the audience with SAMY CHOUIA TRACY AHMED CAIR Holds Legal Meeting to Resolve Immigration Delays COLUMNISTS By Ghalia Mohder be naturalized. This is a totally members will be passive about immigration delays can take to CONNIE REGENER unfair situation for these immi- their rights since they come from help resolve the matter, which LAWRENCE SWAIM More than 70 people attended a grants and their families. Some- oppressive countries that do not include: asking senators and SALAAM ABDUL KHALIQ meeting held by the Los Angeles thing is obviously broken with allow their citizens to challenge representatives in Congress to SAGHIR ASLAM chapter of the Council on Ameri- the system and we would like to the government. But in America, contact the U.S Citizenship and YASMIN MOGAHED can-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) try and fix it,” said Cecillia Wang, the law is on our side and protects Immigration Services (USCIS), on May 25 in Anaheim to discuss Senior Staff Counsel of filing a complaint with the Office options for resolving citizenship the ACLU. of Civil Rights of the Department POLITICAL CARTOONIST and green card delays. The meet- of Homeland Security, and if all KHALIL BENDIB ing was prompted by hundreds At the meeting, emo- else fails, pursing legal action in of complaints received by CAIR tions ran high as many federal court. CAIR and ACLU CONTRIBUTING WRITERS from community members who individuals shared also explained their plans for AIDAN MUHAMMAD QASIM say they have been made to wait their plight with the a multi-plaintiff class action ALEXANDER GAINEM for an excessive period while attendees. “I have been lawsuit on behalf of delayed ap- REV. CONNIE REGENER their citizenship applications are waiting to receive my plicants against the USCIS in HUSSAM AYLOUSH pending review. This despite the citizenship for more order to get it to comply with the current law that places a 120-day than 12 years. When- 120-day limit imposed by federal LAWRENCE SWAIM limit on the evaluation process ever I inquire about my law. MAUREEN DADABHOY once an applicant has been in- status, they always give PARVEZ AHMED terviewed. The event, which me the same response: (from left to right) Hussam Ayloush, Todd Gall- “These citizenship delays are a DANIEL WITTER was also co-sponsored by the we’re waiting on a name inger, Ranjana Nataranjan, Cecilia Wang result of discrimination and bu- RADIA HUSAIN American Civil Liberties Union check. I wonder if there reaucratic incompetence. I would RUMI ABDUL CADER (ACLU), restricted attendance to is ever an end,” said everyone,” said CAIR Executive recommend that everyone who is SALMAN JAFRI those who have delayed immigra- Ammar Imreish, 42. Director Hussam Ayloush. in this situation to contact CAIR SONDOS KHOLOKI tion applications. because the problem will not be SUMAIR MAHMOOD “Some in the Department of During the event, lawyers from solved if people don’t take proac- ZABIE MANSOORY “We’ve been hearing reports from Homeland Security are abusing the ACLU and CAIR outlined tive measures,” said Immigration ZAID SHAKUR all over the country from people their power because they know steps that individuals facing Attorney Todd Gallinger. who’ve been waiting for years to that many of our community BOARD OF DIRECTORS ASEM ABUSIR InFocus is the largest BASIM ABDULKARIM FAISAL QAZI Muslim newspaper in MOHAMMAD AUWAL California, in operation NEVEEN ABDELGHANI SAAQIB RANGOOWALA for over 16 months. SONDOS KHOLOKI SUMAIR MAHMOOD Reach over 50,000 potential Advertisements MUNEER ADHAMI customers today. (714) 678-1820 (714) 678-1820 ADS@INFOCUSNEWS.NET Southern California InFocus does not take info@infocusnews.net responsibility for or endorse the contents of articles or advertisements.
    • 4 June 2006 LOCAL Southern California InFocus WORD ON THE STREET By Ghalia Mohder Fathers in Focus he’s shared with me and Lotus With our hectic lifestyles, many of us don’t get the chance to express our feelings to- my siblings. He has always been there for our family and I’m glad that I’m able Chinese Eatery wards our loved ones. With Father’s Day to serve him now at the age just around the corner, InFocus decided of 90.” (Mohsen Abbas, 45, to give our readers the opportunity to dedicate a message to their father. Bakersfield) New Halal Islamic Chinese Restaurant “I would like to thank him “My father is no longer with for his support and encour- us. I would like to take this agement. He always pushed chance to say that may Al- lah (SWT) bless his soul and me to reach my potential.” (Mona Hadaya, 24, Los Rated the best Restaurant in 2005 by enter him into paradise. He was always there for me Angeles) the Orange County Register & Orange when I needed him, and I really miss his presence.” (Masood “Padrar jan, May Allah (SWT) bless you for all the County Weekly News Malik, 48, Brea) love and support you’ve given me and my sisters.” (Wa- “I would like to say that heeda Samedy, 24, San DINE-IN * TAKE OUT * BANQUET * CATER I love you. Your sense of Diego) humor always makes me smile. You mean the world to me.” (Dema Sabha, 24, La Palma) “I want to thank him for his love, support, encourage- ment and patience. I would Open 7 Days a week not be who I am today with- “Thank you for teaching out him.” (Firas Dakak, me to believe in myself and to know that I can do any- 27, Los Angeles) Sun - Thu: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm thing that I set my mind to. “Dad, you have always Thank you for supporting worked hard to give me 4:30 pm - 9:30 pm me 1000% in everything and Sara the best of ev- that I do.” (Khadija Lang, erything. I know I can be a Fri - Sat: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm 40, Los Angeles) troublemaker sometimes, so thanks for putting up 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm “I encourage myself and with me. You’re the best other fathers to continually father ever. I love you!” (Basheer Khat- thank Allah (SWT) for the great privilege of being a ib, 12, Huntington Beach, CA) 16883 Beach Blvd father and husband. To Some might argue that Father’s Day is my father, I would say I just another commercial holiday for busi- Hunington Beach, CA 92647 understand now what I nesses to profit from. Others even go as hadn’t growing up, namely that his discipline arose out of genuine far as to say that it is haram (forbidden) to celebrate it. While it’s true that Mother’s Tel: (714) 848-4940 love and concern. A learned elder in our Day and Father’s Day have no basis in our community recently said to me: ‘If the Islamic history, it does not do harm to take Fax: (714) 843-2050 youth knew the good their parents wanted every chance we get to show our apprecia- for them, they would kiss their feet out of tion to our loved ones. We can partake in utter respect.” (Sharif Rosen, 26, Los Angeles) festivities as long as we remember that Islam teaches us to honor and cherish our Community Leaders Seek Answers “I would like to thank him for all the won- parents on a daily basis. Father’s Day only serves as a reminder, and a hallmark card about Government Spying on Mosques derful things and accomplishments that can never hurt. By Sondos Kholoki inaccurate statements and evidence pre- sented by FBI paid informants, many in URGENT APPEAL In response to government monitoring of the community want to be reassured that mosques, the American Civil Liberties they are not victims of such misinforma- Union of Southern California (ACLU/SC) tion. And if any wrong information is being filed a Freedom of Information Act request gathered about them, they would like an KIDNEY DONOR NEEDED on May 15. This request was filed on behalf of several Southern California area Mus- opportunity to address the inaccuracies. lim organizations and their leaders seek- “We are people of faith and our mosques Young Muslim mother in need of a kidney transplant ing answers from the FBI about suspected are peaceful and tolerant places of wor- Has been on dialysis monitoring of religious institutions. ship,” said Shakeel Syed, executive di- Must be O Positive blood type rector of the Islamic Shura Council, an “In light of the news about the National umbrella organization that represents the Help your sister in need and you will be rewarded by Secutity Agency (NSA) spying on law-abid- 70 mosques in the region. Allah (swt) InshaAllah ing American citizens without probable cause, it is our right to expect transpar- According to Ranjana Natarajan, staff at- PLEASE CONTACT ency from our government,” said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of Council on torney for the ACLU/SC, the government has 20 days to respond to this request,  (909) 861-3848  Lubbi01@hotmail.com American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) which seeks information pertaining to whether area mosques and community Human Rights Forum Community leaders say that considering leaders are being monitored and if so, the many recent reports of fabricated and why? Encourages Youth Influence By Zabie Mansoory “They are the only group with no special ARIZONA REAL ESTATE interest. While politicians, religious and With the room packed more than capac- special interest groups will try to bring 1% to 4% Listing Fee ity, the Muslim Student Association at change, it is not going to happen if their Cal-State University of motivation is one of spe- Up to 67% Buyers Commission Northridge (MSA CSUN) cial interest.” hosted a forum entitled, Discount Rebate Human Rights and Is- “You are among the lam. Students in Reli- small minority in the gious Studies programs world who have an op- Mohamed Hegazy, Realtor questioned Dr. Maher portunity to actually Hathout, senior advisor influence polices that Top Volume Producer with to the Muslim Public affect people around Affairs Council, about the world,” said Dr. Ha- DPR Realty, LLC issues ranging from hu- Dr. Maher Hathout, senior advisor thout. man rights in Islam to to the Muslim Public Affairs Coun- global politics to how Is- cil addresses students. “This was a tremendous Mobile: (602) 326-3552 lam is intertwined with opportunity for us to MoeHegazy@yahoo.com current events. educate our fellow stu- dents about our religion,” said CSUN MSA Office: 480-994-0800, Fax: 480-802-1133 “If any change has to happen, the only President Fatima Billoo. “We are looking group who is qualified to do so is young forward to having similar events in the http://www.ArizonaRebateRealty.com educated Americans,” said Dr. Hathout. upcoming semester.” This is not a solicitation of business from clients of other brokers
    • Southern California InFocus LOCAL June 2006 5 FORGIVENESS AND REDEMPTION: Hope and Courage in Dark Times By Samy Chouia sought revenge. His response dignity?” He went through a long explained, “we must release that was a peaceful one. The incident Reverend Dr. George Regas, list of American past and present poison within and not yield to the On April 28, 1990, Reverend Mi- changed his life and made him war iniquities, beginning with Hi- automatic impulse of revenge.” chael Lapsley had just come home more eager to preach forgiveness roshima and Nakasaki and ending If retained, pain will turn into from a farewell party on a quiet and brotherly love. with the invasion and occupation aggression, he argued, and ag- evening in Harare, Zimbabwe. As of Iraq, which he termed “morally gression will inevitably turn the he started going through the mail, At a recent luncheon at the St. repugnant.” victim into victimizer. he came across a bulky envelope Paul Lutheran Church on May 18 that purported to contain religious in Los Angeles, Reverend Lapsley Reverend Lapsley spoke of Re- The Reverend spoke with a pas- literature. Once he opened it and told his audience, made up mainly storative Justice, an expression sion born of a long experience of turned over the first page, BOOM! of members of the Interfaith Com- he said that could not be spelt in trying to cope with his own pain An explosion sent him flying back- munity United for Peace and Jus- American idiom. “How can you and the cruelty of the world, a ward, bloody and unconscious. tice, that there were two kinds of restore relationships damaged by world he hopes to change word-by- The next day when he woke up in memories—a destructive memory injustice and wrong deeds?” One of word, lecture-by-lecture and coun- the hospital, his two hands were and a redemptive one. “Most of the the first actions of restorative jus- try-by-country. The New Zealand- missing, one of his eardrums was human family is characterized by Reverend Lapsley speakes about tice, he said, is for the victimizer born Reverend demanded that forgiveness after surviving a shattered and his right eye was destructive memory,” the Rev- to “acknowledge” the wrong. “So torture be abolished all over the homicide attempt in Aparthied blind. Reverend Lapsley had no erend said. “Parents and grand- often we forget to say we’re sorry!” world, beginning with the United South Africa doubt about the identity of the parents teach their kids never to He cited 9/11 as an example. States, which is supposed to be a sender. “It came from (South Af- trust others. Imagine if (former Whereas the United States gained beacon of justice and liberty. rica’s) death Squads,” he recalled South African president) Nelson Professor Emeritus from the All the sympathy of the whole world painfully. His membership with Mandela had said, ‘Let’s get the Saints church in Pasadena, wore following the tragic incident, “How do we react when evil hap- the African National Congress bastards!’” Reverend Lapsley, a mix of dignity and remorse on that sympathy quickly dissipated pens to us?” Reverend Lapsley (ANC) and peaceful opposition like Mandela, chose the redemp- his solemn face. He spoke with the when the United States invaded asked. “When the poison is inside, to the Apartheid regime almost tive kind of memory and has been eloquence of a deeply introspective Afghanistan and then Iraq, the we need to channel it out.” The cost him his life. However, and preaching it around the world ever and educated man, “Is forgiveness latter being totally unprovoked forgiving Reverend certainly prac- predictably, the Reverend never since his tragic incident in 1990. possible on a national level?” He and simply wrong. “This,” the tices what he preaches. The people asked. “Can a Reverend added, “is an example responsible for maiming him have Understanding Differences nation stand of a victim that turned into a long been forgiven. His message is up in shame victimizer.” Something he himself simple, “Forgiveness is the only before it can through Art and Dialogue avoided at all cost because, as he way to redemption.” stand up in By Aidan Muhammad Qasim Two hundred students, nizer Rigo Martinez. Martinez, who is of Mexican origin, experienced some of the September 11 backlash Al Huda Islamic School parents and instruc- directed at Muslims and tors packed the Willard Arabs because of his skin Immediate Principal Position Opening Middle School Cafete- color and felt that the com- ria in Santa Ana for monalities between the a night of food, pho- Latino community and the Minimum Requirements: Accepting applications for tography and commu- Muslim community could Office Manager & nity, sponsored by the be built upon. * Bachelors Degree (US degree TEACHING POSITIONS of Orange County Human Relations (OCHR) and Jessica Florez, 12, par- preferable) all subjects. the Irvine New Hori- ticipated in the interac- * Fluency in English Benefits zon Islamic School on tive learning experience * Authorized to work in U.S. April 15. The event by visiting New Horizon * Salary is based on was the culmination School and the Islamic * Past administrative experience. qualifications & experience of a yearlong effort to Center and felt that there * Good communication and computer * Islamic working environment raise awareness be- was no difference between skills tween youth from the Muslims and others. “I * Health insurance Muslim and Latino didn’t know any Muslims, communities. but I know they aren’t weird or anything, Al Huda Islamic School Please e-mail your and my partner [Sereena Ahmad, a fifth 12209 Hawthorne Way, resume to: The program was facilitated over the grader at New Horizon] likes the same Hawthorne, CA 90250 alhuda.boe@gmail.com course of the school year by OCHR orga- stuff as me.” Enrollment is Open: KG-8th grade Att: Board of Education Faith Leaders “Si Se Puede!” Call For More Cooperartion Immigration Protests in Santa Courtyard of the Flags at the Santa Ana Federal building. By Ali A. Mohamed cussion organized by the World Affairs Ana Council of Orange County. Dr. Hathout “We are here to show that migrant work- Religious leaders representing Islam, expressed frustration with the pervasive ers are humans and Christianity and Judaism in southern Cal- stereotype in mainstream America that that they are proud to ifornia have called for closer cooperation Islam is linked to terrorism. “I have been be here in the United between the various faiths as the most on CNN, Larry King Live, Fox News and States,” said Denise effective tool in advancing world peace. indeed all major news networks explain- Velasco, one of the ing that Islam is against taking of lives. many organizers of the Prominent Muslim leader Dr. Maher We have been screaming the loudest, but event and employee of Hathout, Executive vice chairman of the unfortunately our voices are not heard,” the SEIU Local 1877, Board of Rabbis in Southern California, he said. a service employees Rabbi Mark S. Diamond and Los Angeles international union. Bishop J. Jon Bruno all spoke passion- The leaders discussed international sup- ately about the need to work together to port to the Hamas-led government in The local Muslim Stu- confront the common threats to society. Palestine and added their voice to the dent Associations came They singled out terrorism as one area raging debate over immigration reform. out to support the the faiths can confront the vices through They agreed that while it was impractical immigrant protests, closer cooperation. to grant amnesty to all illegal aliens or many saying that it deport all of them, the reforms must be was important to stand They were speaking at the Costa Mesa carried out with fairness and dignity. up against the same Hilton on May 18 during a panel dis- group of individuals Local Muslims protesting for workers rights who label Islam and SECURITY CONSULTANT SPECIALISTS By Aidan Muhammad Qasim Muslims as terrorists and who are now trying to label migrant Industrial * Commercial * Residential * Hotels workers as “felons.” Available All Over California May 1, also known as May Day and Best Hourly Rates Workers Day, is celebrated by millions Alia Aboul-Nasr, Development & Pro- Job Openings! Services Offered on a Trial Basis of people across the world as the day to grams Coordinator for the Council on For more information recognize workers rights. In the US we American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Computerized DETEX CLOCK System and a list of available know and celebrate this day as Labor Southern California office, reminded Fully Trained Security Officers Day on the first Monday of September. participants “that our own Congress and positions, please call Marked Vehicles However, this year the May Day protests White House has spent over $400 billion 800-482-7371. Armed or Unarmed for immigration rights were historically dollars, that’s about $10 billion dollars a unprecedented. In Santa Ana, organiz- month, on the illegal and immoral war All Action Security and Consulting Group, Inc. ers of the protest had a human chain in Iraq. Congress should be the last to For more information or brochures, please give us a call. marching around the Federal courthouse talk about economic or human hardship 800-482-7371 Hamid Arian or Fahim Abid Satisfaction Guaranteed building with protesters shouting, “Si (faced by America because of migrant Se Puede!” (Yes we can!), and speakers workers).” addressed thousands of people in the 
    • 6 June 2006 LOCAL Southern California InFocus Local MSA’s Hold Palestine Contributing to Modern Literature- A Awareness Week Competition About the Prophet By Sama Wareh Quran was revealed in poetic verses - so By Genene Salman are necessary building blocks for peace. that it may relate to the people. Abdur- “Peace between the Muslims and Jews is When flipping the pages of current Eng- Rahman also says that Prophet Muham- The Muslim Students Association, along possible, but it requires the participation lish textbooks, almost every subject is mad never uttered any poetry himself, but with other campus organizations at Un- of everyone,” she said. present in the poetry section except for he praised other people’s poetry. versity of California, Irvine, Los Angles one - a subject that captures the hearts of and San Diego hosted a week-long series Munira Syeda contributed to this story. over 1.5 billion Muslims across the world: The goal of this competition is to serve as of activities to raise awareness Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). a way for the international community about the Palestinian-Israeli In order to fill this void, an international from every region to be informed about conflict. The activities, which poetry contest has been put into place. Prophet Muhammad, who he was, and included lectures, films, a The first ever Praise the Prophet poetry how he contributed to the world. Another staged apartheid wall, and a competition, offering up to $4,000 dollars goal, as Abdur-Rahman Ibn Yusuf says, mock checkpoint, were intend- in prizes, is now accepting entries and is a method of encouraging people to do ed to make the 58-year-long comes to a close on August 31. more research. “This poetry contest is open oppression of the Palestin- to Muslims and non-Muslims, and when ians more visible on college “English literature is deprived of sufficient participants go on the website to submit campuses. material about Prophet Muhammad. As poetry, it kind of forces the participants to English speaking people, we should be get more knowledge about the Prophet.” Dr. Norman Finkelstein, re- ashamed,” Abdur-Rahman ibn nowned author and Professor Yusuf, a Muslim scholar and author in Details on rules and prizes are available at DePaul University, cited Santa Barbara, California and originator at Islamicpoetry.org. Besides the compe- powerful evidence that Is- of Islamicpoetry.org told InFocus. tition, Islamic Poetry.org is also taking rael had committed numerous A mock wall was erected by the Muslim students at UCI to submissions for poetry that the general au- atrocities against the Pales- depecit the Israeli wall built around the West Bank As clothing recycles old trends, so does dience can read. For those not into poetry, tinians and violated multiple poetry to the Muslim World. Poetry was a look out for the upcoming essay writing international laws on critical common trend and key form of entertain- competition. fronts, and that in fact, the Palestinian- Israeli conflict is quite simple. “We’re told 1948 Remembered ment in the early 600s, which is why the it’s complicated but it’s not complicated at all,” said Finkelstein. By Anayat Durrani A Night with Project26 and Dawud Wharnsby Ali It is not often that the American public can ment and artistic creativity with In his talk, Finkelstein laid out facts that hear firsthand the experiences of Palestin- world renown nasheed artist Israel ignored the World Court’s advisory, which stated that West Bank, Gaza, and ians, particularly as told by the generation Dawud Wharnsby Ali on May 28 East Jerusalem were occupied Palestin- who painfully lived through Al-Nakba. at the Brea Civic Center. Per- ian territories. The vote on the advisory Two Palestinians, one from Beitunia and forming in front of a filled Curtis was 14 to 1, with the U.S. judge opposing. one from Jerusalem, spoke to a packed Theater, Project26, consisting Even though the American judge voted audience of about 100 at the Women’s of Ali and Omair Qazi, Mudas- against the advisory, he still agreed with Center at the University of California, San sir Ahmed, and Irfan Shoukat, the other judges that the settlements, the Diego (UCSD), taking their audience back opened for Dawud Wharnsby wall-building and other Israeli offenses to 1948 Palestine. Ali performing their hit tracks are illegal. “Iraq,” “Burn,” and many popular The event marked the 58th Anniversary Urdu songs as well. Speakers criticized the mainstream me- of the Nakba Commemoration. Al-Nakba, dia for their inaccurate coverage of the an Arabic word that means The Catas- Dawud Wharnsby Ali is conflict, in which Palestinians are deemed trophe, refers to the mass expulsion and dispossession of the Palestinian people (from left to right) Irfan Shoukat, Dawud viewed by many in the Muslim terrorists. Wafa Shami, who worked for the United Nations for eight years, from their own homeland, which began in Wharnsby Ali, Mudassir Ahmed, and Ali Qazi community as strictly a nasheed artist, but those in attendance stated boldly that “Palestinians practice 1948. More than 450 Palestinian villages performing “Prophet for Profit.” got a chance to see him perform nonviolence every single day” in that they were destroyed and about three-quarters some of his other works. This By Salman Jafri must helplessly witness shootings, home of a million Palestinians were forced from was Dawud Wharnsby Ali’s first trip to demolitions, and other forms of injustices their homes and lands by their Zionist Southern California in many years. Project26, Southern California’s first Mus- on a daily basis. Amir Abdul Malik, Imam occupiers. lim rock group, hosted a night of entertain- of Masjid Al-Islam in Oakland, told the audience to be wary of the terminology Samir Bazlami from Jerusalem was only used in the media, giving the example of 7-years-old in 1948. He told the audience “disputed” territory, which is an intention- he could not sleep the night before his pre- ally misleading term for “occupied.” sentation because of all the bad memories that had resurfaced. He said he realized In an attempt to counter the distorted view how deeply it had affected him all these of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict presented years and discussed what losing one’s in the media, Directors Sufyan and Abdul- home and experiencing occupation does lah Omeish premiered their documentary to a person. Zahiya Hasan of Beitunia film Occupation 101. The film provides the addressed the proliferation of propaganda basic history of the conflict using poignant and lies from the Israelis since 1948. images and statements from distinguished scholars such as Noam Chomsky. The “You know, they always say Palestine was goal, Sufyan said, was to bring the issue a nomad’s land, and the Jews made the Islamic Society of Corona/Norco hosted carnival on Memorial Day weekend on May 29. of Palestine closer to home. “In America, desert bloom,” said Hasan. “Our house and we don’t feel their pain,” he said. everyone’s house in Beitunia and the sur- rounding areas had fruit trees and green Muslim Women Activists in the Making Although many of the events were met everywhere. And my family was in Bei- By Radia Husain with some opposition aimed at silencing tunia for 500 years, 1000 years. We were Assilmi conducted a workshop entitled the Palestinian side, the program on the there. Who do they think they are fooling, Aminah Jandali asserts that a Muslim Back to Basics, which touched upon Mus- campuses ran smoothly. Adam El Sayed, who are they trying to convince?” woman activist must have “love for lim characteristics and self evaluation. Vice President of the Muslim Students people and the desire to serve them with She reminded attendees that the “best Association at UCLA, said that he hoped The event was sponsored by Al-Awda a spirit of altruism and sacrifice.” Jan- way to teach is through example,” and to these events would “encourage the rest of San Diego, The Palestine Right to Return dali, the co-founder and secretary of the “verify what people tell you by checking the campus to denounce the oppression and Coalition, in conjunction with the Muslim Board of Directors of Islamic Networks the knowledge in Quran and Hadith.” fight for the rights of the oppressed.” Asma Student Association at UCSD as part of Group, was one of several speakers at the Men, a student at UCI and attendee, added their Justice in Palestine Week. Third Annual Muslim Women’s Confer- A few controversial issues about Muslim that unity and the formation of coalitions ence entitled, The Strongest Fortress: A student protestors were addressed by Righteous Women. Approximately 100 Jandali, who said that “the way we dress women attended the day-long event held conveys a message and reality, so look- at California State University, Long Beach ing merciful and compassionate makes a on May 20.. difference and creates a positive image.” She advised her audience to use wisdom Annan Aboul-Nasr, event moderator, ex- in approach by shying away from wear- plained that the aim of the conference was ing any stereotypical clothing such as all to “inspire women to become active in the black ethnic outfits or chanting in Arabic community.” She added that organizers during protests. had brought “successful Muslim women leaders” as speakers, including Aminah Merusha Nasoordeen, a college student, Assilmi, an Emmy award winning radio felt that the conference fostered sisterhood show producer and the director of the bonding and made for an enlightening ex- International Union of Muslim Women, perience. “If only we knew our capabilities and Ustadha Maha Hamoui, the founder as individuals and how we could contrib- and president of the Islamic Outreach ute to society, our ummah would benefit Foundation (IOF) and the director of the by our efforts and energy,” she said. IOF Learning Center.
    • Southern California InFocus LOCAL June 2006 7 LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS Southland Health Professionals perience for anyone, not the least for a Mayor of Irvine, Beth Krom, said, “We’ve white tents for the international perfor- resident of Southern California. If you’re watched the school grow from scratch to mances from each grade level, including Converse a practicing Muslim, chances are that turning into something that we can all traditional Indian Dandiya Dances, songs you’ve discussed “renting forever” versus benefit from.” performed in various languages, and free- By InFocus News Staff owning more than once with your family ing of the birds of peace. The lawn was and friends. Krom was one of the speakers at a fund- host to a number of historical artifacts, and In the spirit of cooperation and collabora- raising dinner for the school on May 7 at the conference room was converted into an tion, local southern California healthcare Fortunate for the would-be home buyer is the Irvine Marriot, where $100,000 was international dining hall with an incred- affiliated Muslims had an opportunity to the fact that the last quarter century has raised through auction of items rang- ible array of international dishes. attend a networking luncheon on May 21 witnessed the development of a number ing from Qur’an lessons, to hand-made in the city of Brea at the Amazing Kabob of shariah compliant Islamic financial paintings and jewelry, to a brand new The multi-cultural traditions of Muslims House restaurant hosted by the Asso- products from Guidance Financial, Ameri- Mercedes. from all over the world gave colorful mean- ciation of Muslim Health Professionals can Finance House LaRiba, Devon Bank, ing to the term “melting pot,” or as Dr. (AMHP). HSBC Amanah, and the Samad Group. Muzzamil Siddiqi so eloquently stated, “I These companies have offered a mix of think I would rather it be a salad, where creative financing ideas, which include one can see and taste all the different rent-to-ownership, home stock buy back things that Allah (swt) has created.” plans, etc. They make ends meet through rental/utility fees, service charges, and The day was organized by the Parent indexes which they apply to monthly Teacher Organization (PTO) and coordi- payments. nated by the 8th grade students. On April 13, Guidance Financial held a Women’s Muslim Basketball private dinner for Islamic leadership in Southern California to introduce their League Allows Female Athletes Declining Balance Co-Ownership Program to Shine About 65 people attended the luncheon and to announce that Guidance now offers Other speakers included former Chair- that nearly outgrew the capacity of the an Islamic product equivalent to the jumbo person of the school Magdy Eletreby, and By Ghalia Mohder restaurant. Saba Siddiqui, an organizing loan. Because the median price of a single keynote speaker Edina Lekovic, Commu- committee member, found the meeting family home in Orange County is upwards nications Director of the Muslim Public More than 80 players of various ages and to be successful beyond her expectations. of $600,000, this was important news. Affairs Council (MPAC). backgrounds participated in the first an- “People truly appreciated this opportu- nual Women’s Muslim Basketball League nity,” she said. Dr. Rumi Cader, professor The Embassy Suites in Anaheim was “Just ten years ago, most Muslims would (WMBL) tournament, which took place on of Internal Medicine at UCLA, was the packed with noteworthy representatives either be engineers or doctors, and those May 7 at the Anaheim Downtown Youth keynote speaker who gave a motivational from all corners of the Southern California were the only choices. In the next gen- Center. Hosted by the Muslim Sports and talk on volunteerism based on his personal Islamic landscape. The meeting was very eration, thanks to New Horizon and such, Entertainment Foundation, the tourna- experiences. well attended, with well over two hundred we’re going to have Muslims in all fields,” ment offered an exclusive female facility Islamic scholars and leaders in tow. Lekovic said. that gave Muslim women the opportunity AMHP is a national organization that has to play basketball without compromising succeeded in bringing together a diverse The highlight of the evening was the open Several awards were also presented to their values. group of Muslims from professional back- forum during which guests asked sensitive school supporters and helpers including grounds in health policy, administration, questions regarding the company’s model the Circle of Friends Award given to Sa- The games proved to be competitive as clinical fields, and social work. As a result and methodology. brina Mowery, avid helper of the school each team battled aggressively for the win. of this coordinated effort, AMHP members since 2002. Despite some heated disputes that arose have held dialogue and networking events over referee calls, all players conducted Health Fair at Hawthorne themselves properly, and sisterhood pre- across the country. Such meetings have San Diegans Remember sought to address the issues in the area Mosque vailed at the end of the day. of public health and to propose solutions Pakistan with Giant for existing problems. By Rumi Abdul Cader Rummage Sale “The tournament was awesome! There were so many girls playing that I had Visit www.amhp.us for further informa- More than 200 Muslims and non-Muslims By Zaid Shakur never seen or met before and I was very tion. flocked to the Islamic Center of Hawthorne impressed by the level of basketball skills on May 6 in a unique event hosted by the Muslim Community Services of San Diego present. I can’t wait to see what the league UMMA Community Clinic to promote held its second annual Disaster Relief has to offer,” said Hina Chowdhry, 15. Restoring Hope One Eye at health and well-being in the community. Rummage Sale on May 7 to raise funds a Time for the massive reconstruction effort un- “The purpose of the event was to bring Volunteer physicians and undergraduates derway in the earthquake ravaged areas sisters together to compete and have fun Al-Shifa Foundation Fundraiser from UMMA Community Clinic and UCLA of Pakistan. The event was held in associa- in a Halal environment,” said Hisham Dinner UMMA Volunteer Project (UVP) provided tion with the Islamic Center of San Diego Labanieh, co-founder of WMBL and one of services such as blood pressure checks, dia- (ICSD) and sponsored by Islamic Relief. the organizers of the tournament By Aidan Muhammad Qasim betes and cholesterol screenings, obesity screenings, colon cancer education, and Community members generously donated WMBL will kick off its first season this Fifty dedicated professionals from South- skin cancer screenings. hundreds of gently used items including summer from June 11 to August 13. For ern California gathered at the Long furniture, appliances, clothing, toys, and more information about WMBL, visit: www. Beach Marriot Hotel for the Al Shifa electronics which were then sorted and mbleague.com Trust fundraiser on May 13. Raising more sold by volunteers. than $100,000, the night was filled with Orange County Human Rela- entertainment and education where Noor The ICSD Women’s Committee baked a tions Awards Maria Khani Mohmad Jadmani, the Pakistani General number of tasty dishes and the Muslim Consul, and retired General Jahandad Girl Scout Troop exhibited a hand-made By Aidan Muhammad Qasim Khan, the president of Al Shifa Trust montage of Islamic art and architecture. discussed the critical need for clinics in On May 4, Orange County Human Rela- Pakistan. Carla Hernandez, one of the more than tions (OCHR) rolled out the red carpet for 600 bargain shoppers who showed up 500 influential Orange County figures at Established in 1985, Al Shifa, an Arabic throughout the day commented on the the Grove of Anaheim. The Awards 35, word that means ‘healing,’ has helped photos of the Pakistani earthquake victims “Building Bridges of Understanding,” is an to build three eye clinics in Rawalpindi, which were provided by Islamic Relief annual awards ceremony recognizing those Sukkur, and Khohat with plans to build Also, various health care lectures were and interspersed throughout the aisles, individuals and organizations assisting the clinics in Quetta and Muzaffarabad, which provided throughout the day on subjects Hernandez by saying “Anybody who can community and enriching the lives of OC was recently devastated by the Kashmir including women’s health, men’s health, look at those pictures and not be moved residents. Earthquake in 2005. diabetes, heart disease, preventive medi- to help isn’t human.” cine, childhood obesity, and smoking Maria Khani, a Huntington Beach resident, “Volunteers have traveled to Pakistan and cessation. The sale raised more than $3,800 and the was one of the individuals recognized. She come back to the US with new ways to leftover items were gathered and donated has been active in educating people about Is- raise awareness,” says Gen. Khan. “She- Kaiser Permanente collected blood from to AMVETS charity. lam through her work in community forums lina Kurwa organized an ‘Eye for an Eye’ more than 40 donors. Volunteer Health- and the Huntington Beach Living Room program asking eye patients in the US for care Providers included: Dr. Saeed Jaffer, For more information, please visit www. Dialogues, a project that brings together donations to assist patients in Pakistan. Dr. Khaliq Siddiq, Dr. Rumi Abdul Cader, mcssd.org. people from different faiths and ethnicities It raised only $750, but more importantly, Dr. Mansur Khan, Dr. Nilofer Kadri, Dr. to facilitate conversation and education educated people about the condition of Rahmi Mowjood; Dr. Altaf Kazi; Dr. Mah- moud Traina, Dr. Basim Abdelkarim, and International Day at Orange about one another. health in Pakistan and the dire need to create access to such facilities.” Dr. Abdallah Itani. Crescent School Her efforts helped to clarify myths about Islam and explain the tenets of her faith. By Maureen Dadabhoy Guidance Financial Makes $100,000 Raised for Islamic “I am very honored by this recognition, but one person who has stood by me and Home Ownership a Possibil- School More than 400 students representing encouraged me is my daughter,” acknowl- ity almost 20 different countries celebrated edged Khani in her acceptance speech. By Angie El Sherif their culture at the annual International She also serves on the Board of Directors Sumair Mahmood Day at Orange Crescent School (OCS) on of Care “R” Us, an organization providing Just five years ago, New Horizon Elemen- May 19. basic social services to recent immigrant tary School in Irvine was nothing but a pile Buying a home can be a daunting ex- women and families. of rubble waiting to be built. But as the The basketball courts were covered with
    • 8 June 2006 NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Southern California InFocus Vandals Shatter Front Door of Muslim Film Festival Coming Milpitas Mosque to Fremont Theater By Ghalia Mohder A couple of years ago, a previous incident Organizer hopes to show Islam why Muslim women wear the hijab, the When Milpitas Muslims came to attend of vandalism occurred at a mobile home traditional Islamic head scarf. the morning prayer at Masjid Dar Al- property owned by Masjid Dar Al-Salaam. in positive light Salaam on May 16, they were shocked to The property was vandalized with anti- “I felt I needed to do something that ex- By Jonathan Jones, plained my identity,” recalled Aleem, who discover that vandals had shattered the Muslim graffiti. The teenagers involved Inside Bay Area wore a pink hijab during an interview Sat- $350 front door. Although some believe the were apprehended. mosque was targeted, police say they have urday at Central Park. “A lot of no evidence linking it to a hate crime. The Milpitas Police Department indicated my friends were wearing the hi- that it’s investigating a string of recent jab, and a lot of the high schools’ Yet, the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter attacks at a Catholic Church with similar (Muslim girls) were starting to of the Council on American-Islamic Rela- vandalism of windows smashed on five wear the hijab. So it was a good tions (CAIR) “attributes these incidents different occasions. time to explore the issue.” to existing levels of anti-Muslim bias in After the documentary was ac- American society and war-related senti- “We have taken additional security mea- cepted at film festivals, broadcast ment,’’ the civil rights group wrote in a sures,” said Milpitas Police Detective on local cable television stations statement. Peter Prolo. “We’ve increased surveillance and discussed at local schools, and heavy patrol in the area around the Aleem said she became convinced Mohammad Nada, a long standing board mosque.” a Muslim film festival could help member of Dar Al-Salaam, told CBS shine more light on the fabric of news, “The perpetrator did not leave any No suspects have been identified in any of the modern Muslim life. evidence, but we don’t know that it wasn’t vandalism. a hate crime for sure.” After holding the first festival at UC Berkeley and at De Anza FREMONT — Muslim snowboarders, College in Cupertino in 2004 — showing gender divisions at mosques, praying 10 films ranging from Islamic hip-hop to etiquette at American restaurants, and a spoofs of Muslim stereotypes — Aleem Hajj pilgrimage are some of the themes to said she saw firsthand the importance of be showcased at this year’s Muslim Film encouraging cultural expression of inde- Festival, an all-day event that comes to pendent Muslim filmmakers in a post-9/11 Naz 8 Cinema in Fremont on July 29. environment. By basing the festival in Fremont, Juveria This year, Aleem hopes the festival “pro- Aleem, a Concord resident in her early 30s vides an opportunity for non-Muslims to and the main organizer of the festival, come and actually learn what our culture said she hopes to reach the local Muslim is about.” community and reach out to friends of other faiths. “We have comedies and heart-warming stories,” Aleem said. “It’s not going to be “We’ve got a lot of great films,” Aleem said. a preachy film festival and just focus on “Now we need large numbers of people to religion or praying or the hijab or Ra- come out.” madan. It’s none of that. It’s about basic human stories that everyone can relate Aleem conceived the film festival in 1998, to — except that the characters happen while learning filmmaking at the Univer- to be Muslim.” sity of California, Berkeley, where she produced a 20-minute documentary on Reprinted from Inside Bay Area
    • Southern California InFocus ADVERTISEMENT June 2006 9
    • 10 June 2006 NATIONAL Southern California InFocus Muslim Women Shatter Stereotypes Achievement and hard work make working two jobs in Phoenix. She demands Indeed, we should be exporting the success These women should reassure many Amer- A-studded report cards from her teenage for role models story to the rest of the world. icans in these anxious times. They are son and daughter. intensely achieving -- as well as patriotic. By Donna Gehrke White I found Muslim women achieving from After all, they have as much to lose as any “I am working so hard,” she told me. “My coast to coast. They are leading worldwide other American if our economic and politi- dream is for my children to go to college.” She should be one of those red-white-and- humanitarian groups in cal systems come blue success stories: An immigrant, she Washington, presiding under attack. In Erie, Pa., Senada Alihodzic, a refugee worked her way through med school and over juvenile court in from the Bosnian violence, is just as deter- now directs the laboratories of two Florida Baltimore, delivering Since 1990, the mined that her two sons and daughter will hospitals. She passed her career drive on babies in Los Angeles, United States has go to college. “They can have a better life to her daughters: One just graduated from teaching in Miami and welcomed more here,” she said. Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing; helping the homeless in than 300,000 the other is an investigator for the Miami- Las Vegas. Muslim refugees Meanwhile, more American mosques are Dade State Attorney’s Office. fleeing war and making an effort to ensure women are Just like other Ameri- persecution. They treated equally. In northern Virginia, This feminist vision of a successful family, can women, the Mus- have come from Cathy Drake, an American-born, home- though, has a flaw: Shahida Shakir and her limah -- or Muslim 77 nations. Unlike schooling mom, told me that she would daughters, Sadia and Sofia, are Muslim. woman -- have made the poor North Af- not have converted to Islam had she not startling progress in ricans who went to felt comfortable. They’re supposed to be downtrodden. Or so the workplace in the Europe for a better that’s what most Americans think. last 30 years. In fact, life, our Muslim Does more work need to be done? Yes, except for the recent poor have been judging from several Muslim women who In a Washington Post/ABC poll last month, refugees, Muslim wom- given more oppor- have come up to me while on a recent nearly half of Americans admitted that en are among the most tunities to better book tour to complain about their own they have a negative view of Islam. In a educated in the United themselves, and mosque’s inadequacies. But Ingrid Matt- poll conducted for the Council of Ameri- States. Most of the 50 have become part son, vice president of the Islamic Society can-Islamic Relations, most people also women profiled in the of the American of North America, promises that change said that they would feel better about book have at least col- fabric. The Ari- is coming. the religion if they thought Islam treated lege degrees. And they zona Community women better. are far from the stereo- Refugee Center in “I believe,” she said, “the struggle is now type of the secluded Muslim woman. One a Phoenix suburb, for example, teaches out in the open and that it will get better The evidence is in our own back yard: ran for county office in northern Virginia many women to read and write for the first soon.” While researching my book, “The Face while a University of Louisville professor time. The center also provides programs Behind the Veil: The Extraordinary Lives crusades against “honor killings” of Third for their children. DONNA GEHRKE-WHITE is the author of of Muslim Women in America,” I found World women suspected of adultery or pre- “The Face Behind the Veil: The Extraordi- Muslims are among the most achieving marital sex. Another risked her life to help The great majority of these new refugees nary Lives of Muslim Women in America” women in the United States. They are doc- women under the thumb of Afghanistan’s insist that their children study hard. Ba- (Citadel). tors, lawyers, engineers, professors, social oppressive Taliban. tool Shamil is an Iraqi Shiite single mom workers and artists. HOUSE BILL tor of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that HR 4681 sup- California Congresspersons Sponsorship FROM PAGE 1 ports “unilateral actions such as settle- and Vote on HR 4681 ment land grabs, Apartheid-style walls or denial of basic humanitarian needs that Those that did not vote are marked (NV), those who were present are Officially, the bill serves to “promote the block progress toward a just resolution of marked (Present). development of democratic institutions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” areas under the administrative control of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and for President Bush and American officials California HR other purposes.” The U.S. administration should engage in dialogue with the Pales- SPONSORED considers Hamas a “foreign terrorist orga- tinian people: “If we truly seek to promote Congresspersons HR 4628 4681 nization” that does not support democracy democracy in the Muslim world, we should and peace. respect the results of elections and not Baca, Joe (D-43)  Yes starve those who exercise their democratic Becerra, Xavier (D-31) No Since the victory of the democratically rights,” said Iftikhar. Berman, Howard (D-28)  Yes elected Hamas earlier this year, the White Bono, Mary (R-45) Yes House has closed off direct aid to the Pal- HR 4681 passed by a roll call vote, with Calvert, Ken (R-44) Yes estinian government. Its international 84% in favor and 9% in opposition. Campbell, John (R-48) Yes boycott of assistance to Capps, Lois (D-23) No the PA plunged the Oc- Nine Congress mem- Cardoza, Dennis (D-18)  Yes cupied Territories into a bers spoke out strongly Costa, Jim (D-20)  Yes financial and humani- against the bill: Ray Cunningham, Randall ( R-50) Not in office Not in office tarian crisis. LaHood (R-IL), Nick Davis, Susan (D-53)  Yes Doolittle, John (R-04)  NV Rahall (D-WV), Earl Dreier, David (R-26) Yes The provisions will pro- Blumenauer (D-OR), Eshoo, Anna (D-14) No hibit official Palestin- Lois Capps (D-CA), Farr, Sam (D-14) No ian diplomacy or rep- John Dingell (D-MI), Filner, Bob (D-51)  Yes resentation in the U.S. Maurice Hinchey (D- Gallegly, Elton (R-24)  Yes and reduce U.S. dues NY), Marcy Kaptur (D- Harman, Jane (D-36)  Yes to the United Nations OH), Dennis Kucinich Herger, Walter (R-02)  Yes bodies that were specifi- (D-OH), Betty McCol- Honda, Michael (D-15)  Yes cally created to advocate lum (D-MN), and David Hunter, Duncan (R-52) NV for Palestinian human Price (D-NC). Issa, Darrell (R-49) NV rights. HR 4681 also sets Lantos, Tom (D-12)  Yes forth extensive travel Congressman Rahall Lee, Barbara (D-09) No and visa restrictions. Lewis, Jerry (R-41)  Yes said, “Make no mis- Lofgren, Zoe (D-16) Yes take, a vote cast in fa- Lungren, Daniel (R-03)  Yes Afif Safieh, PLO Am- A Palestinian detained child at an Israeli vor of HR 4681 is not a Matsui, Doris (D-05)  Yes bassador to the United checkpoint in Hebron. vote for peace, it is not McKeon, Howard (R-25)  Yes States, said in an inter- a vote for America…” Millender-McDonald, Juanita (D-37) Yes view with radio show Democracy Now that Miller, Gary (R-42) Yes HR 4681 is “extremely unfortunate.” Congressman LaHood stated that the Miller, George (D-07) No legislation “hurts the Palestinian people. Napolitano, Grace (D-38)  NV “Direct assistance” to the PA will only be There is no other way to put it. And I do Nunes, Devin (R-21)  Yes made available if the President of the U.S. not know why you are doing this.” Pelosi, Nancy (D-08)  Yes makes a certification to Congress. That Pombo, Richard (R-11)  NV would involve additional bureaucratic CAIR praised the tremendous grassroots Radanovich, George (R-19)  Yes delays and procedures before government opposition, saying that it prevented the Rochrabacher, Dana (R-46) Yes funds are actually disbursed Safieh said. Roybal-Allard, Lucille (D-34) Yes bill’s supporters from rushing it through Royce, Edward (R-40)  Yes for a quick vote with no debate. It was Sanchez, Linda (D-39)  Yes According to Nidal M. Ibrahim, the Ex- also reported that the opposition man- Sanchez, Loretta (D-47) Yes ecutive Director of the Arab-American aged to rouse the House floor by igniting Schiff, Adam (D-29)  Yes Institute (AAI) in Washington D.C., the an open debate about U.S. policy toward Sherman, Brad (D-27)  Yes bill is counterproductive in that “it will Israel/Palestine. Solis, Hilda (D-32) Yes simply exacerbate our already grave image Stark, Fortney (D-13) No problems in the region…” He also said “As Now that the bill has passed in the House, Tauscher, Ellen (D-10) Yes a country, we must not view the surrender it will go on to the Senate. Even though a Thomas, William (R-22) Yes by starvation of the Palestinian people as less restrictive measure is being considered Thompson, Mike (D-01)  Yes a sound strategy in pursuing our goal of a in the Senate, it will need to be reconciled Waters, Maxine (D-35) Yes Watson, Diane (D-33) Present two-state solution.” by both houses and signed by the President Yes Arsalan T. Iftikhar, National Legal Direc- before becoming law. Waxman, Henry (D-30)  Woolsey, Lynn (D-06) Yes
    • Southern California InFocus INTERNATIONAL June 2006 11 US Must Close Secret Prisons, End “Renditions”: UN sahara falafel 100% HALAL (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) “The state party (the United States) should take immediate measures to eradicate all The top United Nations anti-torture body forms of torture and ill-treatment of de- on May 19, told the United States it should tainees by its military or civilian personnel close its overseas secret detention facili- ... and should promptly and thoroughly ties and the Guantanamo Bay facility in investigate such acts and prosecute all Cuba, stop transferring detainees to other those responsible...,” it said. countries for questioning and rescind cruel The committee said all detain- ees should be registered and a record kept of the time and place of interrogations, urging Washington to report back in Enjoy Middle Eastern Cuisine, Halal Shawarma, a year. Gyro, Hummus, Falafel, Stuffed Lamb, and more! “State Secrets” 714-491-0400 The UN report comes one day after a US federal court dis- 590 S. Brookhurst St. Anaheim, CA 92804 missed a lawsuit by a German national, who claimed that he was abducted and tortured in a secret “rendition” operation, Muslim detaines at Guantanamo Bay facility Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Cuba reported. interrogation techniques of detainees. Khaled El-Masri filed a lawsuit against former CIA chief George Tenet “The United States should ensure that for being forcibly seized in a CIA rendi- no one is detained in any secret detention tion operation in Skopje, Macedonia, on facility under its de facto effective control December 31, 2003. and investigate and disclose the existence of any such facilities,” The United Nations He said he was abducted by the CIA, Committee on Torture said in a report, a beaten and transported to a secret prison copy of which was obtained by Reuters. in Afghanistan, where he was held incom- municado long after his innocence was In a report entitled, “Ending Secret Deten- established. He was flown to Albania in tion,” the American Human Rights Watch May 2004 and released without being said the US has more than 24 world deten- charged. tion camps, at least half of them operate in German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Kashmir Talks End Amid total secrecy, where the abuse of detainees is “inevitable.” December 6 that the US admitted it made a mistake in abducting El-Masri and flying Fresh Violence Eradicate Torture him to a secret prison in Afghanistan for questioning. By Alia Aboul-Nasr leaders. Political organizations that op- COMPLETE SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM As India’s prime minister announced pose Indian rule boycotted the talks and branded them a “futile exercise.” “The measures aimed at ending 16 year’s of successful general strike makes it clear $2095 separatist violence in Kashmir, the size of the task was underlined by the death to India that the people of Kashmir want freedom.” INFOCUS SPECIAL! of four tourists in a bomb blast on a bus. According to a local police chief a bomb Sign said his country was committed to 877-801-5511 exploded in a tourist bus on May 25 just minutes after Manmohan Singh ended a meeting in Indian Kashmir’s main city living in harmony with neighboring rival Pakistan and to resolving the issue of Kashmir. A two-day protest strike called of Srinagar aimed at restoring peace. by the separatists to oppose the talks has No one has claimed responsibility for closed shops and offices in Srinagar and the attack. left the streets largely deserted. India Wholesale says it will only negotiate with militants Kashmir’s dominant rebel group made if they give up arms. More than 44,000 Prices it clear that peace talks between politi- people have died in Kashmir since the cal parties would result in a settlement insurgency erupted in 1989. Visit Us Online www.2mcctv.com if the process would include militant ORANGE COUNTY’S CARGO VAN HEADQUARTERS FAM VANS CHEVY ASTROS, CHEVY SAVANNAH, FORD VANS, FORD CLUB WAGONS, ISUZU NPRS AND MANY MORE! C H E V Y A S T RO FORD CLUB WAGONS VAN HEADQUARTERS VISIT OUR NEW VAN 10870 Kalama River Rd. (714) 274-1144 HEADQUARTERS! Fountain Valley MORE VANS FOR MORE @ The 405 & Euclid CHOICES next to Fry’s www.famvans.com
    • 12 June 2006 INTERNATIONAL Southern California InFocus Yusuf Islam Sings to Bridge Marines Killed Iraqi Family in Islam-West Divide Cold Blood: Murtha (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) (www.Islam-Online.net) One third of U.S. troops returning from His UN-registered charity, Small Kind- Iraq needed at least one mental health Yusuf Islam, previously British pop star ness, provides humanitarian relief, US forces allegedly killed an entire un- consultation and one fifth were diagnosed Cat Stevens, is returning with a new al- through direct aid as well as social and armed Iraqi family of 15 near Haditha with combat-induced psychological prob- bum to bridge the widening gap between educational programs, to orphans and last November, including seven women lems, according to a recent U.S. study. Islam and the West. families in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and three children. Troops returning from and other regions of the world. The troops retaliated Iraq have the highest “It is important for me to be after their patrol was rate of mental health able to help bridge the cultur- Comeback attacked. consultation and psycho- al gaps others are sometimes logical problems among frightened to cross,” Islam, Following a 17-year hiatus from “There was no firefight their peers deployed in who left the world of the music the music business, he returned that led to the shoot- other countries. business in 1979, told a press in 1995 and has since released ings at close range,” conference on Wednesday, three albums of Islam-related stressed Pennsylva- A British soldier, Ben May 17, reported Reuters. songs, The Life of the Last Prophet nia congressman John Griffin, quit the army (1995), Prayers of the Last Prophet Murtha. “There were in disgust of the “illegal “Much has changed, but today (1999) and a record for children, A no (roadside bombs) and immoral” practices of I am in a unique position as a Is for Allah (2000). that killed these in- the US-led forces in Iraq. looking glass through which nocent people.” “As far as the Ameri- Muslims can see the West and the West “There were one hundred reasons for cans were concerned, can see Islam.” leaving the music industry back in 1979, At least three Marine the Iraqi people were not least because I had found what I was officers are under offi- sub-human.” The new album is due for release this looking for spiritually,” he said. cial investigation, and autumn. no official report has Murtha, a critic of the “Today there are perhaps one hundred and been released, accord- Iraq war, introduced a The former pop star reverted to Islam in one good reasons why I feel right making ing to Wednesday’s resolution in Congress 1977 and has since become a prominent music and singing about life in this fragile Army Times. six months ago to with- member of Britain’s Muslim community. world again.” draw US troops from Congressman John Murtha Murtha, a Vietnam Iraq. Since then, 370 World Cup Muslim Fans Urged to “Give Example” veteran, blamed in- Americans have died, adequate planning, training and troop nine billion dollars are spent monthly, numbers for such killings of innocents. (attacks) have increased from 550 to 900 (Islam-Online.net) Anti-Iran He said that the death toll could be “twice a week, and 1,000 Iraqis died in the last as high.” month,” he said. By Ahmed Al-Matboli, IOL Correspon- Days before the world event, German dent right-wing groups have already mobilized BERLIN– With right-wing groups charg- to harass Muslim teams in the Mondial. Tunisia Police Beat Rights Activists ing batteries to provoke Muslim teams The Iranians are the main focus of the taking part in the FIFA World Cup, to campaign. Right-wing groups are en- (Al Jazeera.net) against militants and sidelining members kick off on June 9, Muslim fans are urged couraging supporters to flock to Iran’s who disagree with them. not to fall into the trap and to serve as an matches and use Israeli flags in support- Tunisian police beat activists trying to at- example. ing any team playing against the Islamic tend a planned meeting by the country’s As a result of their complaints, a court republic. only independent human rights body, ruled that the meeting would be illegal A German Muslim web- witnesses say. pending further judicial hearings next site has exhorted Muslim Anti-Racism Day month. football supporters to take Dozens of plainclothes policemen blocked into their strides provoca- Meanwhile, FIFA has roads leading to the Hunger strike tions by right-wingers. set plans to stage an headquarters of the anti-racism day dur- Tunisian Human Meanwhile, Al- “Muslim fans should give ing the World Cup to Rights League and jazeera reports that an example of Muslim demonstrate opposition allowed no one to ap- members of the Tu- behavior and enjoy the to racism and discrimi- proach the site, the nisian National Or- contests no matter what nation. witnesses said on Sat- ganization for Law- the results are,” wrote the urday. yers have begun a “muslimmarkt” website. Television ads and a hunger strike in huge round banner The incident was the protest against the The website urged Mus- draped over the center latest in a series of law of the Supreme lim fans to report any law circle at each of the 12 what rights activists Bar Institute which violations to the police. World Cup stadiums say are government was endorsed by are also planned as part abuses, including the Tunisian parlia- beating lawyers, jail- Moukhtar Tifri (right) described the ment. “The far right-wingers of the anti-racism cam- are out to provoke the fans to cause riots, paign. ing opponents and situation as shameful particularly during the matches of the stifling the press. The lawyers ac- Iranian team.” Bearing the World Cup motto “A Time cused the ministry of justice of seeking to to Make Friends,” the World Cup logo Accusations control the lawyers syndicate. T-shirts emblazoned with anti-Muslim “Germany 2006” and the slogan “Say No slurs are already been circulated by far to Racism,” the banners will be displayed Mokhtar Trifi, the president of the group, Rights activists say Western governments rightists. One of these T-shirts reads “Is- at each of the 64 matches until shortly said: “It is shameful that those invited to tend to focus on Tunisia’s strong economic lamophobic And Proud Of It.” before kick-off. support human rights in Tunisia cannot performance and the government’s suc- gain access to the headquarters of the hu- cess in tackling Muslim extremists while The football gala runs from June 9 through “The aim is to send a clear message to man rights league.” turning a blind eye to what they say is July 9 with 32 teams competing for the the world against racism,” the organizing often heavy-handed tactics to suppress prestigious trophy. committee said. They accuse the league’s leadership of dissent. cronyism, physical and verbal violence
    • Southern California InFocus PROFILE June 2006 13 Idris Al-Oboudi: Advocate of Recreation By Angie El Sherif that the Iraqis and the Russians estab- IA: Going on 25 years actually. IA: Any abuse is acted out by human be- lished for talented children in music and ings; I have never seen a can of paint get Parks and recreation are an important theatre. I had a scholarship to go study IF: What exactly is it that you do at up and spray itself on a wall. People act part of every community. Here in South- theatre in the Soviet Union, but instead your current job? this way for different reasons. One thing ern California we take pride in the beauty I came to America. As far that is said that is incorrect about recre- and abundance of parks. But who can we as my university education, ation is that it is a diversion. Imagine that thank for this? Plenty of men and women that was all completed in the you are a kid and after school you have give their time and effort in managing our United States. I studied at no where to go. There is a lot of pent up parks. Among them is Mr. Idris Al-Oboudi. Western Michigan University energy that is sometimes negative. So This Iraqi born Arab-American profes- where I took my Bachelors people damage things in the park and do sional was awarded the 2005 California of Science and Recreation. things like graffiti. What is recreation? Parks and Recreation Society (CPRS) When I came to California in Recreation is constructive engagement. Citation Award. This award recognizes 1985, I went for my Masters It changes you as a person. What I recom- outstanding contributions to CPRS and in Science and Recreation at mend to combat these things is engaging the parks, recreation, and human services Cal State Long Beach, but I youth in positive alternative activities that profession on a regional, sectional, state, didn‘t complete my thesis due have positive results. For those kids who or national level according to their website to family problems like my want to get noticed, we can do murals or http://www.cprs.org/about-awards.htm. father passing away. calligraphy contests. That way they are The Awards Program honors individuals getting their kicks in a positive way, It is a who “embrace the core values of the profes- IF: What initially got you primary tool to fight anti-social behavior. sion…show environmental stewardship… interested in Recreation, move the agency towards a stronger posi- and what motivated you IF: The California Park and Recre- tion or role within the community.” to choose this career? ation Society has recently created a Youth Sports and Fitness Task Force Currently, Al-Oboudi is a Recreation Ser- IA: I believe that all of us as children love that focuses on enhancing organized vices Manager for the City of Manhattan to play. I was going to follow my father’s IA: I create community and quality parks sports. What motivated you to chair Beach where he manages the Manhattan footsteps in theatre, but when I came to and programs. I’m a manager of parks this task? Beach Parks and Recreation, and par- the United States, I was very strong physi- and recreation here in Manhattan Beach. ticipates in numerous community improve- cally because of all the IA: The biggest motiva- ment programs. Al-Oboudi believes in “life, learning, loving, and leaving a legacy.” Al- training from Russian schools. So I took some “What is recreation? Recreation is tor is the condition of our youth right now in Califor- Oboudi believes that this is what he wants to accomplish in physical education and recreation classes and constructive engagement. It changes nia. There is a nationwide issue of the importance his livelihood that is when I fell in love with it. I found you as a person. What I recommend to of engaging kids in posi- tive recreational activities. IF: Tell us something recreation to be a very interesting tool not only combat these things is engaging youth To walk into a park and feel safe psychologically about your to bring joy, happiness, in positive alternative activities that and physically is the goal. childhood and health, and wellness to Kids need to get out there your influ- the individual but also have positive results” and have fun. I want to ences growing to the community. It change the youth sports up. was more than a pro- culture. They should have fession–it was like a calling to me. I felt However, I started as a contract employee. fun, enjoy themselves while they build up Idris Al-Oboudi: I was born in Iraq back that this is what I lived to do. I followed Under my belt is facility operation and their health and wellness and compete in 1960. I grew up in Baghdad. I came to it, excelled in it, and loved doing it. that is anything that deals with reser- with honor. the United States when I was nineteen. I vations. We staff it and make sure that am one of seven boys and one girl in my IF: How long have you worked in this everything is safe, clean, and green. I IF: How has receiving the 2005 CPRS family. I was very, very fortunate as a child field of work? have a playground program on four sites Citation Award affected you? to be selected to go to a very special school and two senior citizen clubs, a teen center, twenty tennis courts, and a whole bunch of IA: I always feel that with awards and parks that we maintain. We have numer- recognition come responsibility. In the ous community events that we conduct word responsibility, there are two words: like family camp outs, sand castle design respond and ability…the ability to re- contests, etc. Then we have a whole vari- spond. I want to respond by continuing ety of recreation classes and camps for a to communicate the vision that we are variety of ages from the very exciting rock responsible for the next generation. We climbing, ski school and snowboarding to have to change to get different results. classes for cooking. Now that people know your work, you have to be more responsible and create modal- IF: Does being Arab and Muslim influ- ity for people. I am up to that challenge. ence your work? I am interested in making sure to use this publicity to better the community by IA: It definitely does. I really feel that means of recreation. Receiving the award we are ambassadors of our own person was a great honor. and also ambassadors of our culture. All of us have a duty to represent ourselves IF: What are your other hobbies and in the best light as possible. One of the interests? things I always use is you don’t get a sec- ond chance at a first impression. That’s IA: I’m a sportsman myself. I play soccer, very important. The reason is that in this I run; I am a diver and a snorkler. I travel hurried time that we live in, a lot of people a lot. I like long hikes and visiting national don’t have the time to try to get to know parks. I was at Joshua Tree just to see you. I try to make people understand that the beautiful flowers that come out in the our culture is a contributor to the human spring. I like to be out there in nature. I civilization by our actions, not just by our also enjoy reading and teaching. words. If we are Arabs and Muslims and enlightened people, we try to enlighten IF: What are your future plans in others, that is our duty. I’m definitely work and life? very proud of being an Arab, but that’s not enough. You have to show why you IA: My next goal is to have the next con- are proud by your actions. ference in Sacramento to rally in the state capital about youth sports. I am also con- IF: What benefits do you get from tinuing work with the Vision Insight Plan working to help your community, and that is to continue to instruct people and what is the most satisfying part about the benefits of parks and recreation. of your job? I am also working with the Islamic Centers of Hawthorne and Vermont by creating a IA: One of the things I talk about a lot is Vision Insight Plan based on Islam. The that all of us as human beings want to feel goal is to win back our kids. That our that our existence mattered and made a Islamic Centers are not only houses of difference, whether big or small. I believe worship but are houses of learning, com- in leaving a legacy. In recreation, you get munity, and joy. They should be of service to do that. By serving others, we serve to the greater community to strengthen ourselves. the Islamic community image. I am also working with producers from Al Jazeera IF: Do you recall witnessing any on concepts for children’s programs that unruly behavior like graffiti, for ex- encourage health and wellness recreation ample, while managing your parks? activities. We are of service to Allah by What do you feel should be done to being of service to humanity. That is why preserve California parks? we exist.
    • 14 June 2006 FEATURE Southern California InFocus MUSLIM TV then we see Islam being very peaceful, very open. Respect of all humans, respect of all Islam’s expansion. al Meligi, but “it’s very showy, not very “In our understanding, Islamic media is spiritual.” FROM PAGE 1 religions, respect of all races - that is the any clean media,” he says. “So any pro- Others are more enthusiastic. Al Risala Mr. Abu Haiba, the station’s Cairo bureau original message of Islam.” gram that is clean and has a message to “is really good,” says Radwa Atia, a 20- manager, says the station espouses the Swidan hosts a program called “The Mak- improve a human being - improve them year-old art student. “It discusses a lot of values of tolerance, peace, and progress, ing of a Leader,” in which the shaikh puts religiously, ethically, socially, push them things in a more free way. It discusses real while being critical of some modern de- aspiring young businessmen through towards being productive and effective, life issues.” velopments. Abu Haiba rails against cell various tests. The station also airs music having ambitions.” The only fault Atia finds with the station phones and fast food, and says people videos, although it eschews the hits of The Kuwait-based channel started broad- is its cast of celebrity presenters. “All the should “be honest, be punctual, and casting at the beginning of not raise their voices.” March on two satellite carri- “In our understanding, Islamic media is ers that reach millions across According to Abu Haiba, Al Risala is the Middle East and in Eu- any clean media,” he says. “So any pro- just the latest step in a “new Islamic media” revolution. This movement rope . gram that is clean and has a message to includes everything from Islamic Al Risala executives say data improve a human being - improve them “televangelists,” who strut the stage isn’t available yet on the size of the station’s audience. But religiously, ethically, socially, push them in business suits, calling on the audience to tell personal stories, to they note that viewers are towards being productive and effective, Islamic pop stars, who sell catchy sending thousands of daily having ambitions.” tunes about the Prophet Muham- messages of support from mad. their mobile phones. announcers are famous actors,” she says. According to Al Risala’s executives, Yet some viewers say they’ve been put off “That annoyed me. When talking about re- that media can be both secular Al Risala’s general manager, Shaikh Tarek Swidan by what they see as Al Risala’s “commer- ligious matters, you should have someone shows that undermine family values cialism.” Amir El Meligi is a 21-year-old who has done religious studies, someone and religious programs that foment scantily clad Lebanese pop stars in favor Web designer. He says Al Risala is “Iqraa with experience. Not just anybody.” extremism. of songs about religion and family. There TV with a Rotana flavor”- referring on “Islam has been changed throughout time,” is even a reality TV show, in which three the one hand to a well-known conserva- This article was reprinted from The Chris- says Al Risala’s general manager, Shaikh young men travel through Jordan, Syria , tive religious channel and on the other to tian Science Monitor Tarek Swidan. “If we go back to the roots and Lebanon , following the path of early a popular music video station. Al Risalah “has a new way of introducing stuff,” says QUAKE Saints provided an airlift valued at $1.6 million in emergency medical and hygiene nesia… KFI is urging its huge listener base to reach out to those in need and donate to 200,000 rupiah ($21) for each survivor to cover clothing and household goods, and FROM PAGE 1 supplies and sent in a 747 cargo plane Islamic Relief,” said KFI’s Program Direc- compensation for damaged houses, which from Salt Lake City on May 30. Islamic tor, Robin Bertolucci. for many is not enough in the current that has been spewing lava and smoke Relief staff on the ground in Indonesia situation. for the past month, an estimated 200,000 will distribute those goods, which were With twenty-two countries already de- people are now left homeless and in need requested by the government of Indonesia livering aid, many survivors spent a of immediate aid. in the affected areas. week without shelter or supplies, with uncertainty on the situation in remote How you can help! In response to the powerful earthquake, The Los Angeles-based news talk radio surrounding villages, many of which have Islamic Relief, an international relief and station, KFI AM 640, rated number one been completely destroyed. Because of the Islamic Relief development organization, has pledged in the nation, has also extended the use of extent of the destruction, the challenge is http://www.irw.org $928,000 for initial emergency projects and prime airtime in all day parts and is car- in distributing aid and providing medical Helping Hand USA is appealing for a further $3.7 million for rying a prominent display on its website, assistance to the injured. In the upcoming www.helpinghandonline.org the victims of the Java disaster. Islamic www.kfiam640.com for the efforts to raise days, aid workers are focusing on provid- Relief has begun distributing blankets, urgently needed funds for the victims. ing medical aid, water and sanitation, and International Red Cross/Crescent clean water, and food and hygiene kits to emergency shelter. http://www.ifrc.org/ the earthquake victims. “KFI is pleased to join with Islamic Relief’s efforts to raise money on behalf of the The Indonesian government has pledged International Rescue Committee http://www.theirc.org/ The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day victims of the recent earthquake in Indo- an initial 6 pounds of rice per family, and
    • Southern California InFocus ADVERTISEMENT June 2006 15
    • 16 June 2006 FEATURE Southern California InFocus MUSLIM LAW the growth of Muslim Law Students As- years Muslims’ civil rights become a non- known as MuslimJD. It was registered as sociations (MLSAs) and chapters in law issue, there is always a constant circle of a non-profit group in 2000. schools around the country are further people being oppressed. It’s an Islamic FROM PAGE 1 proof that more American-Muslims are value to help your oppressed brothers – to Working on Capitol Hill, Khera’s work choosing law. focused on the U.S. Patriot attending the University of California, Da- Act, racial and religious vis School of Law. Kahf was the youngest According to NAML’s web site, 24 profiling, and other civil person to join a Council on American- Is- MLSAs are located at several universi- liberties issues. She joined lamic Relations (CAIR) board of executives ties across the country, as well as five NAML because her Wash- by joining CAIR Southern California’s Muslim bar associations. At NAML’s ington D.C. experience Executive Committee at age 20 and served Washington D.C. conference in April, helped her recognize the until 2005 when he left to pursue his law 40 percent of attendees were students Islamic community is go- studies. and 60 percent were lawyers, according ing to grow. Khera feels to Khera. that in order to become Kahf is among a growing number of young stronger, more Muslim American-Muslims who are entering the “There was no such thing as a Muslim lawyers will be needed to legal profession and finding help along Law Students Association (when I was understand the legal and the way. a student),” said Khera, who graduated political system. from New York’s Cornell University Law Though the exact number of American- School in 1994. “There weren’t enough Among NAML’s prior- Muslim lawyers is not available, Farhana Muslim students to create a chapter.” ities, Khera said, is to Khera, executive director for the National provide legal advice for Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML), The events of September 11th were a Owais Qazi, an immigration lawyer from Corona, CA Muslims, educate non- said NAML has 500 members made up wake-up call for the Islamic community Muslims about Islam, of lawyers and law students. Moreover, to start considering other careers, she stand with the oppressed. We’re supposed protect charitable giving, said. to help fight injustice.” and help Muslim charitable institutions Job Opening improve their legal management. Khera “I do hear anecdotally that 9-11 and the Kahf was among the 200 people who at- is also working on fund-raising efforts and civil rights crisis that has been gripping tended NAML’s convention and plans to increasing membership. our nation since then has spurred young Muslims to pursue law school. While the Patriot Act has been reau- Temporary, Part-Time Editor Assistant The increase in numbers is due in part thorized, NAML’s web site provides because of 9-11, but also in part of the information on Muslim workplace Responsible for story collection, national evolution of our community,” rights, civil rights, and employment assigning, writing, editing, lay- Khera said. discrimination. out, soliciting and designing ads, managing company accounts, Most Muslim immigrants who came to “The mission broadly speaking is to pro- managing subscription & MORE the U.S. worked in engineering and sci- mote freedom and justice for all and that QUALIFICATIONS: ence-related professions. Now, the chil- includes protecting the rights of Muslim 1. Excellent command over jour- dren of these immigrants are entering a Americans and the founding values of nalistic-style writing, grammar, and variety of professions from law to jour- our country,” Khera said. English composition. nalism, Khera added. This generation 2. Demonstrated written communica- also has the advantage of understanding Paraphrasing former Supreme Court tion skills. the American culture and language bet- Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, Khera 3. Experience with Adobe InDesign, ter than their parents. said, “She was quoted as saying some- Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator pre- thing to the effect of, ‘statues and con- Muslim law students at Loyola Law stitutions don’t protect independence, ferred. School in Los Angeles set up the Mus- people do.’” 4. Good management and interper- lim Law Students Association during sonal skills and ability to aggressively the beginning of the 2005 school year to A Muslim lawyer can play an instru- meet deadlines. management and create unity among Muslims on campus mental role in educating others about interpersonal skills and ability to ag- by providing iftars (fast breaking meals) Islam, whether providing facts to law gressively meet deadlines. during Ramadan and creating a space for enforcement officials, to judges and to Interested candidates should students to pray during the day. They fellow co-workers, Khera said. submit their resume and cover letter to later found their mission to be much info@infocusnews.net greater. Baraa Kahf studying with his son Ennes Owais Qazi, an immigration lawyer, echoed Khera’s sentiments. “More than ever before, we needed a enter intellectual property law, or patent presence on campus,” wrote Firasat Tar, litigation. Kahf said he was inspired by He opened his own practice in Riverside the association’s vice president in an e- the convention and realized the impact a a year ago with a few associates working mail message. “There is a lot of misplaced Muslim has in the legal world, no matter with him. About half of his clients are anger and prejudice against Muslims and what kind of law he or she practices. Muslim. Qazi believes Muslim clients are moreover, Islam has been in the limelight comfortable with Muslim lawyers because so much recently that even if not (for the) “We believe that lawyers are needed in all there is a religious and cultural under- negative attention… I think we should use areas of the law and whatever specialty or standing between the two groups. the attention overall to be as beneficial as background people have can be very use- we can. I think we should welcome and ful,” said Khera, who spent six years as Qazi, 27, added that he understands the encourage inquiries about Islam. So as a a former counsel to U.S. Senator Russell plight of the immigrant community since Muslim group on campus we are hoping Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, before his family immigrated from Saudi Arabia to educate and promote unity, awareness she accepted the NAML position in June many years ago, giving him a deeper and understanding among Muslims and 2005. knowledge and sensitivity to his client’s non-Muslims.” needs. Khera is the association’s only full-time Tar, who is a second-year law student, will employee and recently moved to San Fran- Knowing he has helped someone’s dream become president of the group next year. cisco, where she is setting up a local branch come true or brought families together, He estimates there are about 20 Muslim of the office. The 36-year old also serves as Qazi said, “This is the one field in which I law students in the group. executive director for Muslim Advocates, can go home happy.” an expansion of NAML that provides Both Tar, 24, and Kahf said they entered educational resources. NAML began as For more information, visit www.namlnet. law school to help resolve issues facing not an e-mail discussion list in 1996 and was org or www.muslimadvocates.org. only the Islamic community, but also the American community. Farhana Khera, executive director for the “This isn’t just about Muslim rights. This National Association of Muslim Lawyers is about minority rights in general,” Kahf (NAML) said. “Even if, let’s say within the next 50 Your Complete Internet Presence Provider Web Design & Web Hosting Latest Web Technologies High Quality Design Affordable Pricing Go to www.tempestech.com/quote.php for a free website design quotation www.tempestech.com
    • Southern California InFocus ADVERTISEMENT June 2006 17
    • 18 June 2006 FEATURE Southern California InFocus ISLAMIC CENTER OF SAN GABRIEL VALLEY: Nurturing Love and Racial Harmony By Abdussalam Chouia Habib Mohamedy moved to the San Ga- ter.” Khurram Qidwai, 24, a law student, the responses came from California, from briel Valley in the late seventies from started his life’s journey as an eight-year none other than Hootan. “One thing that Victoria Caldwell knew that her Christian India, his home country. He came to find old at the center. “I grew up around this drew me to his response was his sincerity.” faith was right. She was as certain as the work and prosperity. However, his spiri- masjid,” he said. “It is great because, one, Victoria said. “He expressed himself very sky was blue. She attended Church regu- tual life had to be nurtured as well. “We well and told me everything larly and prayed with her congregation needed a place to pray Jumu’ah [Friday about himself.” with fervor and devotion. But then, her prayer],” he recalls. “There were a few strong sentiments suddenly encountered Muslims in the area and we agreed that resistance when she met a certain Muslim it must be held somewhere.” One of the Today, Victoria works with on her college campus while she was still a Muslims offered his garage as a temporary the Islamic center as a sophomore. “We started talking about Je- solution. The Friday of that same week, 15 youth counselor. She had sus,” she said. More precisely, their discus- people huddled together and offered their already had a great im- sions centered on the divinity of Jesus, a weekly congregational prayer in a carport. pact on many young teen- contentious issue that had always troubled Mohamedy, who also serves as a member age girls. Among them is on the board of trustees Fatima Salman, 15. “She of the Islamic center, always helps us with our added that two years problems,” the teen said. later the community “One day I had this problem grew to 200 and the with my mom. I told Victo- need for a bigger place ria about it and she told me was only predictable. what to do and it worked,” “We found a small shop Salman recalls with a smile. at a strip mall,” recalls Many other teenage Muslim Ashraf Jakvani, a very girls nod their heads when active middle-aged com- asked about the impact of munity member. “There Victoria’s presence in their we were able to hold it is nice to be around Muslims, and two, it midst. “She allows us to be open, we can the five daily prayers.” kind of structures your thinking,” he said. tell her anything without fear,” they all Then, in 1983, a der- “You realize who you are growing up. This said almost in unison. elict Catholic Church on environment supplements everything else Walnut Drive was put and it gives you a sense of who you are,” Teenage boys feel the same way about up for sale. The struc- Qidwai added. Hootan, who is also very active in the youth Imam Said Saddek, Mubashir Ali abotu to wrestle while Hootan ture was on the market program. On carnival day he brought an Afzali referees for the modest sum of Hootan concurs with that feeling whole- arm-wrestling table and organized a com- 125,000. “Within weeks, heartedly. The young man has made this petition for the youth. Everyone seemed her. “That was the one thing I could not we were able to raise a masjid a focus of his spiritual life. He to admire and respect him. “He is so much reconcile in my faith,” she recalls, “but I down payment,” said Jakvani, “and then commutes from his home in Irvine at least fun to be around,” said Ahmesh Shabud- really never wanted to leave it.” paid the full amount within months.” twice every week. His attachment to the din, who had just finished arm-wrestling center seems to run in his bloodstream. a much older Mubashir Ali who turned Hootan Afzali was born in Iran but spent As the community grew to about 60 fami- Almost five years ago, Hootan wanted to a certain defeat into a victory. Not far most of his childhood traveling around the lies, it inevitably turned its eyes to educa- do what every male wants out of life: Get from them, a sign on a door read “Clinic.” world with his father who was a diplomat. tion. “We were worried about our children married and raise a family. “My parents Jakvani explained that every Sunday a He lived with his family in Europe, Russia growing up in this culture,” recalls Moham- tried to fix me up with some Persian girls, volunteer doctor would treat community and the Middle East, sometimes having to edy, “So we started a Sunday school.” The but once I met them I realized right away members for free. The clinic even hands pack only six months after unpacking. His volunteer-run school went on for close to 15 out free medication. parents were Muslim but non-practicing. years. It was not until September 2005 that Hootan grew up deprived of any knowledge the community was finally able to open a Within weeks after they of God or a meaning to his existence. By full-time school. However, the tuition fees met, Victoria and Hootan age 13, he and his family have kept a lot of people at started talking on the immigrated to the United bay. “We only have about phone. A few months later, States where Hootan started fifteen students for now,” they met in person and asking the questions. “I said Michelle Dumay, the realized that the chemistry knew there was more to life school’s principal. Dumay, was right and their inten- than eating and having fun,” herself a mother, substi- tions were in line with their he remembered. “A meaning- tutes as a teacher as well. destiny. Fate brought them ful existence was something “We wanted a curriculum together in spite of the I always aspired to.” that incorporated values odds and they knew they that were also important were meant to be together. That lingering question had to us as Muslims,” she Hootan then pulled a cre- to have an answer. A friend added. Dumay is an Afri- ative and romantic stunt. of Hootan’s told him one can American who holds a He built a website, ar- day that the Islamic Center graduate degree in chem- ranged flowers to be deliv- of San Gabriel Valley was istry and is as polished ered to Victoria then called having a summer camp and Meriam Abbas, 11 getting her face and articulate as a Har- Victoria Caldwell and Hootan Afzali her from outside the house that it would be fun to go. painted- vard professor. Most of and asked her to check a With some free time on his the school’s teachers are they were not my type,” he recalls. “I specific website. When she hands, Hootan agreed. The also women. In fact, the wanted to marry a good Muslim woman, did, she found the following typed in bold experience at the camp turned out to be majority of Islamic schools across the na- someone who put Islam as the focal point letters: “Would you marry me?” There was a life-changing one. “I knew immediately tion are made up mainly of female teach- of her life.” His search was getting nowhere a “yes” and “no” option. Victoria was blown this is what I was looking for,” Hootan ers and principals. Many Muslim parents because, Hootan believes, his nationality away and could not resist directing the cur- recalls. balk at the idea of putting their children and a certain prejudice against someone sor to “yes.” Exactly five months from the in Islamic schools for reasons other than from his assumed Shia background was day they met, Victoria and Hootan were Victoria was not so sure though. Her ques- the financial burden. They seem to doubt wed in South Carolina. tions lead her to do extensive research on the capability and experience of an Islamic the Internet and read many books includ- staff that operates in some cases out of To their surprise, their families were ing Muslim/Christian dialogue. “I was a sub-standard school structure. Dumay very accepting. Hootan’s parents came to searching for something and didn’t know has a message to allay the parents’ fears. terms with the fact that their son was a what it was but I knew I wanted to find it,” “Look at the curriculum and ask yourself: practicing Muslim and serious about his she said. “Some people know that there is Is it on par with what is being offered in beliefs. Victoria’s parents also came to more to life than what they have but are the public school?” She quickly followed terms with the fact that their daughter not in a hurry to find it.” But that was with the answer, “We are exactly on if not embraced Islam out of conviction and was not the case for Victoria. She was looking above par with the curriculum offered by now married to a Muslim man originally for it and wanted to find it sooner rather the state.” from Iran. “My parents did not object to than later even if that meant betraying my wife being African American,” Hootan a faith that she believed in deeply. “I The Islamic school organizes a carnival said. “As long as I was happy, my parents fought the feeling for as long as I could. twice a year. Parents, teachers and com- Neoofer Mohamad, Victoria Caldwell, Fatima were happy too,” added Victoria. It was I didn’t necessarily want to be Muslim. munity members mingle freely in the park- Salman faith that brought two people together from But at the same time I wanted to do what ing lot of the center that gets turned tem- opposite ends of the physical, lingual and was right.” Victoria said that she resisted porarily into carnival ground with giant working to his disadvantage. Finally, he racial spectrum. And everything would Islam because it was going to revolution- inflatable water slides, food and clothing decided to join the 21st century matchmak- not have been possible without the Islamic ize her belief system and would demand stalls. Emran Khan is the school’s admin- ing lifestyle and do it the online way. Center of San Gabriel Valley. Its presence a lot more from her. All the tenets of her istrator and the organizer of the festivities. not only pioneered a faith community, but Christian faith were suddenly held hostage “This is a chance for community members In a small town in South Carolina, Vic- it also brought about racial harmony. to this new ideology, which, although not to meet and have a good time,” she said. toria Caldwell visited a matrimonial site a stretch from her own beliefs, was new to Khan is a mother of four children and as a matter of curiosity and decided to Islamic Center of San Gabriel Valley is her nevertheless. Seven months into her grandmother of a one-year old boy. “My post a profile. Within a few days, she was located on 19164 E. Walnut Dr. North, new journey, Victoria’s quest came to a children practically grew up in the masjid,” flooded with hundreds of responses. “I Rowland Heights, CA 91748 - (626) 964- fateful and undeniably obvious end. she said. “This is our sanctuary. I cannot was overwhelmed,” she recalls. “I had no 3596 - www.icsgv.com imagine my life without this Islamic cen- idea it was going to be this huge.” One of
    • Southern California InFocus ADVERTISEMENT June 2006 19
    • 20 June 2006 KIDS CORNER Southern California InFocus Special Delivery Quiz on the Early Life of By Fatima Khan “Who’s gonna eat all this food? I and before he knew it, they were on an unpaved, dusty road. Majid shook with the car on the bumpy “Yes, Zainab Aunty,” answered a little girl. Prophet don’t have that much space in my stomach!” Majid told his aunt. road. Dirt flew up as they drove past people’s homes. They were “That’s good. Now take this to your parents. Make sure they get Muhammad (PBUH) shacks made of cardboard; oth- it,” she said as she handed her a His aunt was sitting on the floor ers were made of fabric, and still bag of food. with two large pots of cooked rice others were made of tin. Here, W h a t w a s h i s f a t h e r ’s n a m e ? and curry. In her lap was a pile of too, children ran on the street, “Umar, did your dad start work- plastic bags. but their clothes were dirty, if ing at Mr. Mukaty’s yet?” she they had any, and their hair was looked at another little boy. True or false: His father died before he was “It’s not for us, silly! It’s a spe- cial delivery,” answered Zainab “Yes, Zainab Aunty. He really born. Aunty. “Come help me.” likes it there,” answered a little boy. Majid was staying with his Aunt What was his mother’s name? Zainab for his summer vacation Zainab Aunty knew every child, visit to Pakistan. Majid sat down and she asked about others who on the kitchen floor with his were not present. She knew their aunt, and together, they made families, how old they were, In what city was he born? packets of food. When they were and what was going on with all done, they loaded the car and their lives. Majid was stunned. were on their way. It seems like Zainab Aunty has How old was he when his mother died? known these people forever. Majid looked out the window as they drove past the houses on When all the bags were distrib- his aunt’s street. The sky was uted, Zainab Aunty greeted the Who was Haleemah? clear and the sun was shining. children, asking them to convey Children were playing on the her regards to their parents, and street in their clean and pressed they drove back home. What was his paternal grandfather’s brand-name clothes. Some were playing cricket and others were unmade and bleached from the On the way, Majid asked, “Zainab name? riding their BMX bikes. sun. They looked at Majid, smil- Aunty, how do you know these ing genuinely. people so well?” He looked at the humongous two He was born in the year of _________. story houses on the street. They What’re we doing here? Thought “Sweetie, everything we have is had large front lawns and several Majid. Weren’t we supposed to from Allah, and He commanded of them had security guards sit- us to give of what we have and be ting outside. He saw trees and deliver food to someone? kind to others who do not have How old was he when his paternal grandfa- grass everywhere, and the roads “Let’s stop here,” said Zainab as much. I have been coming to ther died? were paved. Aunty, as they pulled up near these people for a long time now, the children who ran to the car, so I know their families very well. Majid wondered who the food was crowding around the windows. I consider them good friends of for. Who would Zainab Aunty mine.” What was the name of the paternal uncle spend so much time on? He thought. “Assalamu alaikum!” said Zainab “I’m going to start making special who cared for him? Aunty to the kids, smiling. “Fati- ma, where is your sister? Did she deliveries, too,” Majid decided, They made a few turns on roads smiling. nurse; Abdul Muttalib; elephant (570 AD); 8 years; Abu Talib have her eye surgery?” he had not been on in the past, Abdullah Ibn Adul-Muttalib; True; Amina bint-u-Wahab; Quraish; 6 years; Mas’ Islamic Restaurant Halal Chinese Restaurant In Business for 25 years! First Chinese Halal Restaurant in Southern California Open Seven Days a Week Sun-Thurs: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM 5:00 PM - 9:30 PM Fri -Sat: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM Dine-in * Take Out* Catering * Banquets 601 E. Orangethorpe Ave. Anaheim, CA 92801 (714) 446-9553 Call for all your catering needs
    • Southern California InFocus FOOD REVIEW/ HEALTH June 2006 21 WHAT’S COOKIN’ UMMA Restaurant Review by Saaqib Rangoonwala Community Clinic Am I the only American-born Muslim who has always wanted to order a Ham ing at the words on the menu for a few minutes, I couldn’t convince myself to Health corner & Cheese sandwich just to be able to do it. It just felt strange to me. So in- say that I have ordered one? I had the chance to do just that – without compro- stead, I went with the Roast Beef, cold cut style. The thinly sliced meat was Stroke! mising my zabihah-conscious appetite flavorful, while the lettuce, tomatoes, By Khaliq Siddiq MD, MPH face, arm, or leg – at Sub Hero Sub Zero, adjacent to onions, pickles, and Provolone made it Ontario Mills. out of this world! It can be sudden and devastating, but knowing the warning signs of a stroke can What should you do? I have to admit, I used to have to make I learned that Pastrami is actually save your life. Stroke is the third leading a conscious effort to not say the name of corned beef that has been smoked. That cause of death in the US. It can lead to With stroke, time is of the essence! Vic- the place with the accent of a Bollywood is what gives it such a distinct flavor. severe long-term disability including in- tims have the best chance if symptoms are actor. (Take a Some would say ability to walk, impaired speech, difficulty recognized early and treatment is sought moment and it is an acquired imagine Am- Sub Hero Sub Zero taste, and if you eating, memory loss, and loss of aware- ness of one’s surroundings. quickly. The immediate response should be to call 9-1-1 for immediate transport to itabh Bachan 4451-A Ontario Mills Parkway have it, I would an emergency room. A drug that dissolves welcoming you suggest going out Ontario, CA 91764 What is a stroke? blood clots (tPA) can only be administered to “Sub Hero Sub on a limb to try the to those who have been evaluated and Zero.”) Upon vis- (909) 484-7244 Pastrami Sauer- A stroke results from a sudden decrease diagnosed within 3 hours, if they are iting however, Mon. - Thur: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. kraut Sandwich. in supply of oxygen and nutrients to the having an ischemic type of stroke. Time I realize what Slices of hot pastra- a clever name Friday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. mi, melted Swiss brain. As a result, brain cells begin to die. is brain tissue. The death of brain tissue is irreversible. owner Arshi Sat. & Sun.: Temporarily cheese, Thousand There are two major causes of stroke. In What can you do to prevent a Bharucha came Closed Island dressing, the first type, called an ischemic stroke, stroke? up with. The and sauerkraut all blood flow to the brain is temporarily or neat and clean on toasted white permanently blocked. As with other dis- eatery serves hot and cold sub-style bread produced an aroma that is un- In the second type of eases such as diabe- sandwiches on one side, while serving a matched. If you want to play it safe, stroke, a blood vessel tes and high blood number of flavors of ice cream, shakes, the Barbeque Beef or Barbeque Chicken in the brain breaks and pressure, lifestyle and smoothies on the other. sandwiches will suffice. Often times, bleeds into the brain. changes can decrease barbeque sauce on a sandwich becomes This is known as a your chances of hav- overwhelming. That’s not the case here, hemorrhagic stroke. ing a stroke. High During my outing to Sub Hero Sub Zero, where the barbeque sauce is dominant, About 80% of strokes blood pressure, heart I was treated well by Arshi’s sister, Neha, but not overpowering. are ischemic and 20% disease, smoking, di- who was taking care of the store that are hemorrhagic. abetes and high cho- particular day. She explained to me Sandwiches are available in six, nine, lesterol increase the that everything on the menu is available or 12 inches and are made to order, just Another term to be risk of stroke. High like at other well-known familiar with is TIA, blood pressure alone sandwich shops. The or transient ischemic increases the risk by combo deal includes attack. TIAs may have 4 to 6 times. a six-inch sub, chips, some or all the symp- and a drink for a very toms of a stroke, but before cells begin If you smoke, quit now! Look for smok- reasonable $5.99. If to die, the blood flow is restored and the ing cessation resources in your commu- you want soup with symptoms resolve without permanent nity (call 1-800-NOBUTTS). If you have your sandwich, there damage. TIAs should not be ignored, as diabetes or high blood pressure, see your is a different soup each more than one-third of people who experi- doctor regularly to make sure they are day as well. There is ence TIAs will eventually go on to have controlled. Keeping them under control also a nice salad menu, an actual stroke. will greatly reduce your chances of hav- consisting of the stan- ing a stroke. Exercise on a regular basis. dard Garden Salad, The following may represent initial warn- Also, adopt healthy eating habits by low- Chicken Caesar Salad, ing signs or onset of a stroke or TIA: ering the fat in your diet (yes, cut back on and Chef Salad or the • Sudden, severe headache that biryani) and eating more fresh fruits eye-catching Oriental • Difficulty with speech, swallowing and vegetables. Chicken Salad – shred- • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of ded lettuce and carrots, coordination, nausea/vomiting Dr. Siddiq is an internal medicine physi- in zabihah except for the Meatball Sub. roasted chicken, red cabbage, red onions, • Sudden changes in vision (seeing cian practicing in Orange County. He All employees are aware of the difference Italian parsley, chow mein noodles, and double, loss of vision) co-founded the UMMA Clinic as a student between zabihah and non-zabihah, but if sesame seeds – all tossed with Oriental • Sudden inability to move a part of at UCLA, and currently serves on its Ad- you do not appear obvious as Muslim, you dressing! Yummy! the body (paralysis) visory Board. should specify that you want zabihah. • Sudden numbness or weakness if the All zabihah sandwiches are served on For the kids who don’t know better, white bread only because Neha discov- parents have the comfort of ordering ered that all others contain gelatin. every child’s favorite Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich in a three-inch size with InFocus has 50,000 There is a great selection of cold cut sand- wiches, including Roast Beef, Salami, a drink and ice cream for $3.99. readers across California. and Almond Chicken. Hot subs include I intend to go back to Sub Hero Sub Zero Pastrami, Barbeque Beef, and Barbeque to convince myself to at least try the Ham Chicken. & Cheese, and I vow to go back as many These readers could be times as it takes to do so. Meantime, the I mentioned my opportunity to order a Roast Beef is my plan B. YOUR customers. Ham & Cheese sub, which is actually made with turkey ham. But after star- (714) 678-1820 * info@infocusnews.net Happy Dental Practice Dr. Anwar Z. Nasser D.D.S. (Female Dr.) Member of ADA, CDA, TC DS (951) 367-1666 Coupons Exam - X-rays: FREE Bleaching $10 Turbo Coupons are only good for new Cash-only (Take Home Kit) patients with $300 Treatment 6326 B. Mission Hours: 100% NO INTEREST Blvd. Financial Arrangements Mon-Fri: 9-6 Riverside, CA 92509 Saturday: 9-4
    • 22 June 2006 ADVERTISEMENT Southern California InFocus
    • Southern California InFocus ARTS AND BOOKS June 2006 23 THE DA VINCI CODE: Don’t Worry; Be Happy Or How Controversy Translates By Genene Salman that “Read in the name of Allah” was the first revelation delivered to the Prophet Don’t Be Sad (La Tahzan) by ‘Aaidh ibn Muhammad (peace be upon him), and this Into Dollars Signs! Abdullah al-Qarni is an easy-read dedi- cated to instilling optimism. It is a self- “pastime” has so many benefits that we may not realize at first glance. Also, the help book, drawing from Qur’anic verses, book describes the contagious nature of the By Salaam Abdul Khaliq celibacy of Jesus Christ are put into Prophetic sayings, and Islamic stories, act of a charity as analogous to “perfume” question. One of the characters in the along with sayings from many non-Muslim in that “it benefits the user, the seller, Okay, by now, every human on the book claims that Christian dogma as it thinkers and philosophers. The book is and the buyer.” planet has either read the book or seen is known today was concocted by pagan aimed at inspiring us to be optimists in a the film (or at least heard about it). If Emperor Constantine and a group of time when wars are raging and mental ill- One minor but interesting detail of the you are among the dozen people or so clergy at the council of Nicea in 325 A.D. nesses such as depression book is the section en- who have not, there is good news: you Constantine injected a dose of his own and anxiety are common in titled “The Blessing of have not missed much. The Da Vinci Roman-inspired paganism into Christi- this country. Pain.” It is called a Code movie has proved it anity, coining the trinity blessing, for one, be- is critics’ proof. In spite of and the concept of three From the outset, we are cause pain may moti- scathing reviews, the film gods in one. At the time, reminded of the countless vate us to pray and sup- has so far raked in over there were other gospels, blessings that Allah has plicate to Allah. Also, $230 million in worldwide which included the gospel bestowed upon us, such a thought-provoking box office glory. This is yet of Mary Magdalene. The as a peaceful night’s rest, point the book makes another tell-tale about latter contradicted the a breath of fresh air, or is that it is through the critics. Someone ought to four canonical gospels the view of the sunset. It experience of pain and tell these literary peddlers in regards to the divin- encourages us to “live in suffering that a poet or that maybe it is time to ity of Jesus. The Church the moment” and make preacher is able to touch get a real day job like the decreed that all gospels the most of our time. Call- the hearts of his audi- rest of us. that did not agree with ing idleness the cause of ence. “This is because the newborn theology ad- sadness, the book states, he himself feels pain in The film, just like the opted by the council must “To isolate yourself to the his heart, in his nerves, book, is a thrill ride from be burned. Anyone who confines of your own room, and in his blood, and start to finish, a little like believed anything other while passing the hours away with lethal as a result, he is able to infuse the same getting on a roller coaster than the new doctrine was idleness, is a certain path to self-destruc- emotions, via his work, into the hearts of and seeing the world zip persecuted and killed. tion.” others.” by in a flash. But just like being on a roller coaster, you don’t get to think Controversial? Definitely. Is it re- The book covers a variety of topics includ- One of the flaws of the books is its lack much about the fun you are having. Con- ally news? At least not to Muslims. ing “Do not Become a Mimicker,” “Patience of organization. Topics do not seem to trary to what some critics alleged, the The divinity of Jesus has never been a is Most Fitting,” and “The Art of Happi- follow any certain order and are rather film is anything but contentious issue ness.” The book connects firmness in faith scattered. Also, similar topics are re- boring. Almost two “What should matter in Islam. Although in Allah with the alleviation of sadness, peated throughout. Further, the examples and a half hours fly a much-revered by like a lightening about Jesus is not so prophet, Jesus is calling it “the greatest remedy.” Follow- given of courageous individuals who have ing the Islamic concept of pre-ordainment, overcome obstacles, such as the Prophet bolt. much his person as much as human as any the true believer can accept the past and Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his other prophet. The Also, from the open- as his teachings. That is fact that he may is ready to courageously tackle the chal- great Companions are covered superfi- lenges that lie ahead. In addition, the cially. Perhaps reading the biography of ing scene the film the core message of The or may not have strong believer considers the endurance of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon does not make any married is really pretensions that it Da Vinci Code.” not relevant to his hardships as “expiation for his sins” and as him) alone is sufficient to instill optimism, a means of drawing closer to Allah. but this is still a great book to lighten up is anything but a divinely-inspired our days. work of fiction. Everything is a pastiche message. The Priory of Scion, the keep- Practical solutions are given to uplift of reality. The characters come across ers of the not-so-secret secret, might as our spirits, which are also encouraged Recommended Reading: Change Your as mere animated wooden stiffs with well have taken their secret straight by our faith, such as reading books and Reality: Change Your Life little or no life of their own. The reason from the Quran. What should matter giving gifts. It is interesting to realize By Robin McKnight, LPC is that The Da Vinci Code is primarily about Jesus is not so much his person plot-driven. It is not a character study as much as his teachings. That is the by any stretch of the imagination. Once core message of The Da Vinci Code. It the viewer realizes this fact, the film asks the questions: What IF Jesus was becomes fun to watch. It does have seri- mortal? What IF he fathered a daugh- ������������������������������� ous flaws nonetheless. The filmmakers ter? Humanizing the Son of God and did a decent job punching up the script, thwarting people from worshipping him improving on the novel and covering would of course upset the hierarchy of major plot holes, but in the process cre- the power-driven Catholic Church and ated other plot holes large enough to ruffle the feathers of millions of faithful drive a flock of gas-guzzling hummers whose entire faith revolves around the through. divinity of Christ. Dine-in or Take-out���������������������� ���������������������� ������������������������������ The controversy surrounding The Da Ironically, The Da Vinci Code book came Vinci Code is what really whetted the out in April 2004, almost two months ��������������������������� ������������������������������ public’s appetite for the film and made after The Passion of the Christ film ������������������������� ���������������������������������� it such a huge success. Some of the alle- was released. Coincidence? Maybe not. gations made in the book have incensed Hollywood has its own way of creating ��������������������� ����� the Catholic Church and offended many controversy, then reaping the benefits �������� faithful followers. at the box office. If there is any wisdom to be learned from The Da Vinci Code ��������������������������������������������� A secret society called The Priory of (book and film) hullabaloo it is that all Scion has been protecting a deadly things in our modern world boil down ������������������������������������������� secret that, if revealed, would redefine to one thing: the bottom line, the true ������������������������������������� Christianity. Both the divinity and pseudo religion of our time. Open Monday - Saturday 8am - 9pm Sunday CLOSED (888) KHAN LAW (888) 542-6529 Email: Mkhanlaw@aol.com No fee for consultation. Serving Southern and Northern California.
    • 24 June 2006 MONEY/LEGAL Southern California InFocus Distributing Assets To Adult Children Protecting Charities, By Saghir Aslam If trusts are involved, you want Do You Need To Make Spe- Masjids, or Other Non-Profits a trustee who is impartial and cial Distributions To Even By Todd Gallinger income from the business for its When your who will deal fairly with all your Out Inheritance? religious, educational, or charita- children were children. Think twice before One of the favorite parts of my ble purposes and also protect the young, your naming one of your children as Perhaps you have paid all college job as an attorney is helping organization from any liability primary con- trustee. With one sibling in a costs for some children, while non-profit organizations and generated by the business inter- cern may have position to decide what happens other children have not yet at- masjids with their work in the est. For example, if a non-profit been how to to another sibling’s inheritance, tended college. You may want to American Muslim community. leases out part of a business it provide for them in the event this can cause disagreements ensure that all children receive Most of these groups are formed owns directly and someone sues you and your spouse died. Even between siblings. a college education and then as 501(c)(3)s, named after the them, whether for breaking a though they may now be grown distribute the rest of your estate section of the tax code that gives lease or from any accident in the up, your children are probably Have You Thought About equally among your children. tax-exempt status. In addition building, the rest of the non-prof- still the center of your estate The Consequences Of A Child to the organization itself being its assets will be at risk. Properly plan. Just because they are Divorcing? Should You Coordinate Your tax-exempt, donations to these forming a subsidiary to hold the adults doesn’t mean that you Estate Plan With Your Chil- groups are tax deductible to the real estate or other business asset have to leave their entire inheri- You probably don’t want some dren’s Estate Plans? donor. I always receive questions will generally limit the potential tance to them outright. Consider of your assets distributed to an from these groups about the legal liability only to the assets held these factors first: ex-daughter-in-law or ex-son-in- If your children have substantial restrictions they face in exchange by the subsidiary and protect the for this tax-exempt status. One of other property of the non-profit. law, so special provisions may estates of their own, it may not the most com- Do You Want To Distribute need to be added to trusts. make sense to leave additional mon inquiries is In order to ob- Your Estate Gradually? assets to them. They may prefer into the type of tain this protec- Have You Considered How those assets go directly to their activities that tion, however, If substantial assets are in- Assets Will Be Distributed children, helping to minimize they can en- the non-profit volved, you may want to set up Among Children? family estate taxes. gage in to raise must make sure trusts to distribute your assets money. that it adheres gradually, such as the thirds Perhaps one child is better off Another Way To Work On Your to all corporate when each child reaches age financially then the other chil- Estate Planning Is Gifts. 501(c)(3)s are formalities. 25, 30, and 35. You can always dren. Do you divide your estate You may give a gift of $11,000 actually not re- These formali- give the trustee power to make equally or give less to the finan- to each one of your children or stricted in the ties must be early distributions for items cially well-off child? Children grandchildren; between you and ways they can respected in such as paying for college, start- often feel a right to an equal your spouse, you can give gift up raise money. terms of the ing a business, or purchasing a share of their parents’ estate, to $22,000. If you follow this sys- Charities and non-profit and home. even if they have a substantial tem every single year, you can other groups the subsidiary. estate of their own. If you decide slowly transfer the assets to your can engage in activities that Both groups must have filed all Have You Selected A Trustee to make unequal distributions, children and grandchildren. make a “profit,” meaning gener- proper documents with the state Carefully? be sure to explain why. ate income for the group. Ex- and federal authorities. They amples of this could be selling must also have separate man- Amex Mulls Islamic Credit Card advertisements in a newsletter, holding a bake sale, or leasing a building the group owns. But agement, hopefully with some managers not in common. The managers must meet regularly in Middle East regardless of where the income of a nonprofit comes from, it has to and properly authorize the activi- ties of the group, including any Gulf News Stokes said the biggest challenge be used for the purposes stated in monetary transfers from the sub- for the credit card industry was to American Express’ credit card the group’s formation documents, sidiary to the parent non-profit. By Arif Sharif lure an increasing number of con- business in the Middle East, whether it is religious, educa- Making sure that all these rules sumers to use credit cards instead which spans some 18 countries, tional, or charitable. Also, none of are followed is also important to Dubai -- American Express, of cash although a low user base is expected to treble at the end of the profit can ordinarily go to any the managers and leaders of a the world’s biggest charge card meant there was potential for 2006 from three years ago while individual, except as a reasonable non-profit, because it can protect issuer, is evaluating the pos- rapid growth in the future. the number of its card users is salary properly approved by the them from personal liability. sibility of launching an Islamic poised to double. leaders of the non-profit. credit card and sees cash as its This is only a brief description of biggest competitor in the Middle Growth prospects The fact that a non-profit group some of the steps that charities, East, a top company official said can engage in business activi- masjids, and other non-profits yesterday. Growth will be helped by the fact ties does not necessarily mean can engage in to protect their that the average person spends that they should do so directly. assets and ensure that they are Trevor Stokes, Chief Executive on American Express cards is If the business activity is easily able to carry out their mission. of American Express’ Travel nearly three or four times that segregable from the nonprofit This article is not intended to Related Services for the Middle of a Visa or a Master Card. Be- activities, like leasing out a build- be legal advice and does not cre- East and North Africa told Gulf sides, some 20,000 new merchant ing or running a book or grocery ate any sort of attorney-client News the Islamic card was one establishments have signed up store,the business should prob- relationship. Any non-profit, of several products the bank was “The future of the credit card in the past three years to accept ably be held by a separate orga- other group, or individual is evaluating to better serve local industry is indeed rosy because American Express cards. nization. The other organization encouraged to contact a licensed consumers. cash is really historic. If you look could be a for-profit corporation attorney for more information or at the US now, some 40 percent Stokes said there were some which the nonprofit owns stock in, advice regarding the content of “Our charge card is virtually a of consumer transactions are 71 million American Express a foundation, a trust, or another this article. Sharia-compliant credit card and settled by credit cards and it cards in circulation globally but charity. This separate organiza- we could easily adapt that to fit won’t be long when there would declined to say how many it had tion, which holds the business Todd Gallinger is an attorney the needs of a Sharia-compli- be a charge on cash payments. In issued in the Middle East. Over- asset, is called a subsidiary. who often works with charities, ant card,” said Stokes in Dubai, the Middle East, though there is all, the number of card users in masjids, and other non-profit where he attended a credit card a discount on cash payments, this the Middle East was growing at Structuring the business activi- groups. He has offices based in industry event. is not a great help for the card about 30 percent a year, though ties this way could ensure that Irvine and can be reached at (949) industry.” from a small base, he said. the non-profit is able to use the 341-0207.
    • Southern California InFocus ISLAM June 2006 25 Finding Paradise What Drew Me to Islam By Yasmin Mogahed “In this world there is a paradise to be entered; he who does not enter it, will not By Ian Zacher ing favoritism to one people? I studied Where is paradise? It’s a enter the paradise of the world to come…. Buddhism and came to the conclusion question we all ask. But What can my enemies possibly do to me? In my childhood I was raised by two that there are way too many rituals to few of us know where My paradise is in my heart; wherever I go parents who would be considered Hip- remember, too many motions to act on, to find it. Many of us it goes with me, insepa¬rable from me.” pies. Religion was not a thing that I was too much superstition--it did not feel go through our entire exposed to while growing up. My father right to me. lives searching for that Paradise does indeed exist. There is a was raised in a predominately Christian contentment, and if ever paradise of this life--and a paradise of the household and my mother was raised as Then a tragic thing happened to me--my there was a pursuit that all humans share, next. But what is that paradise of this life? and is a baptized Mormon. Neither one closest friend passed away violently. This it would be that pursuit of happiness. The prophet, peace be upon him, has said, of them actually practiced their religion sent me into a curse mode. I cursed the “There are a people who leave this earth once they left the household. My parents very existence of God. About a year later, And in that pursuit, we search in all differ- without ever tasting its sweetness.” When never talked about faith or spirituality, I started to think, why do I act upon this ent places. Some of us search in wealth, he was asked what that sweetness was, he but never harbored any ill feelings to- anger towards something that I don’t status or worldly possessions. Some replied, “Knowing God.” wards any particular faith. It just never think exists? Then I got this feeling of believe that if only they could attain the came up as a topic of discussion. I think shock that there is a Creator, but what is it was this upbringing that allowed me this and how do I get to understand what to objectively look into all forms of faith it is we are here for? I looked towards the The prophet, peace be upon him, has said, “There and have an unbiased understanding of sky and asked this question. The answer are a people who leave this earth without ever each religion. came to me not long afterwards. tasting its sweetness.” When he was asked what I that sweetness was, he replied, “Knowing God.” Then I got this feeling of shock that there is a Creator, but what is this and how do I get to job or the salary they’ve always wanted, In the absence of that knowledge of God, understand what it is we are here for? they would find that ever-coveted bliss. one can never know true bliss in this life- For others, happiness is -or the next. Allah says: My first exposure to any religion was go- went to the library by my house and just sought in living this life as “Whosoever turns away ing to Catholic school. I did not go there looked into the religion section. Here was if it were the end. For them, from My remembrance, for the religion but for the discipline and this book that had writing I have never the most important goal is verily for him is a miser- the education. While I was there, I had seen before. I opened it and for the first the maximization of worldly able life, and We shall to study the Bible two hours a day five time I was being exposed to Allah. I read pleasure. raise him up blind on the days a week for three years. In my stud- lots of books after that. I studied the Day of Judgment” (Quran ies with the book, I automatically found beliefs and practices of this new religion What is most sad about this 20:124). the inherent flaw: how is this explaining called Islam. Then 9/11 happened. I be- pursuit is how deceptive God’s existence? If I had to go by this came involved with the Peace movement it can be. Like a mirage This blindness on the Day book for understanding God, then there and I met a brother named Mike Clark, in a desert, often we chase of Judgment is only a con- is no way there could be a God. I started who helped me better understand certain things only to find they were tinuation of the spiritual asking tough questions to the priests and things like fasting, praying, etc. I was nothing but illusions. After blindness of those who turn nuns but none of their answers were ever hit by the feeling of truth. I continued to spending our entire lives away from God’s remem- satisfying for me in reference to God’s study Islam for another year. I then went seeking these things, we find brance in this life. That existence. to a park and did the Shahada by myself. that once we achieve them, remembrance, which one The Prophet (pbuh) said that when look- we are still just as empty as can develop by studying the When I got into high school, I started ing for knowledge you need to search for we started. signs of God, is an essential studying science havily and this seemed it even if it takes you all around the earth, component of spiritual and emotional to make more sense to me than religion. then once it has been attained you need What many people do not understand is health. The overwhelming contentment Stuff I can feel, touch, quantify and see to hold onto it and run with it. That is that such emptiness can only be filled in that comes from pouring one’s heart into I thought was it. I became a materialist. exactly what I did. Allah had me looking one way. Allah says in the Quran: “Those prayer, standing in the middle of the night, The material world is all that is here, all over, and then once he opened up and who believe, and whose hearts find sat- or watching the greatness of God in the what is before me is it. When I die, I just showed me the real truth of His Oneness, isfaction in the remembrance of Allah. sunrise, is something that no amount of become good fertilizer. I held on to this I took it and ran with it. A year later, I For without doubt in the remembrance of money could ever buy. belief for quite some time. took Shahada at ICOI with Shaikh Sadul- Allah do hearts find satisfaction” (Quran lah Khan. In my whole life, I was never 13:28). Yet people continue to search for it in every At this time, I was still studying differ- more welcomed by a community who had other place. But the truth is, while we’re ent religions but none seemed to make no idea who I was. Shaikh Sadullah asked This satisfaction, referred to in the Quran all searching for the very same thing, only any sense. I read about Judaism and me the reason why I entered Islam, and I as ‘itmi’naan’ is what Shaykh ul Islam Ibn those who can look beyond the mirage will found out that I had to be born into this. said, because of the peace it brings me. Taymmiyah was speaking of when he said, ever truly find it. I thought, how strange this God is, show- Ian Zacher took his Shahdah during Ramadan in 2002, at the Islamic Center of AYAH TO PONDER Irvine with Shaikh Sadullah Khan. “And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your monthers while you know nothing. And he gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give If you are new to Islam, send us your thoughts on what attracted you to Islam thanks to (to Allah).” (Quran 16:78) in 500 words. Please submit it via email to submissions@infocusnews.net, with the subject “What Drew Me to Islam.” Include your name and when and PROPHETIC WISDOM where you took the shahadah. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The good deeds of any per- son will not make him enter Paradise (i.e., no one enters paradise only through his good deeds).” The Prophet’s companions asked: “Not even you?” The Prophet replied: “Not even myself, unless God bestows his favor and mercy on me. So be Points of Benefit - From al-Fawaa`id of moderate in your religious deeds and do what is within your ability. None of you Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah should wish for death, for if he is a doer of good, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to God.” “How can anyone who has common sense trade Paradise and Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 577 what is in it for the pleasure of one hour?” EXPLORE THE Scholars who participate on regular basis: Shaykh Abdul-Azzeez Aal Shaykh (Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia) Shaykh Muhammed As-Subayyal (Imaam and Khateeb of Masjid Qur’an Shaykh Abdullaah Al-Ghudyaan Al-Haraam) CAIR has launched a campaign to distribute free (Member of Council of Senior Scholars) Shaykh Abdur-Rehmaan As-Sudays Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan (Imaam and Khateeb of Masjid copies of the Qur’an. Over 30,000 copies have been (Member of Council of Senior Schoars) Shaykh Saalih Muhammed Al-Haraam) Shaykh Ali Al-Huthayfi requested so far. Help CAIR fulfill the orders. Al-Luhaydaan (Chief Justices of (Imaam and Khateeb of Prophets To Sponsor Copies of the Qur’an, call: Higher Judiciary Council) Masjid)..and many more! (714) 776-1847 www.cair-net.org
    • 26 June 2006 ADVERTISEMENT Southern California InFocus
    • Southern California InFocus TRAVEL June 2006 27 Learning Life Lessons in Egypt By Daniel Witter what these people must think of It appeared to me that some of of a pantheon of gods and god- Yes, Egypt has the pyramids, the foreigners like myself passing by the Egyptians were embarrassed desses, and they build mosques The light of day began to fade over deserts, and camels. But for a on these hotel ships. I thought by the bombings because they instead of Cairo, Egypt as I stared up at the Caucasian American like myself, they might harbor resentment made an extra effort to welcome pyramids and temples. Great Pyramids and Sphinx on the there is so much more to the toward us because of this display us. On several occasions following desert plateau above me. country of 70 million people, and of wealth, even though I am not the bombings, people warmly and But really, the Egyptian people two weeks was not enough time to wealthy. sincerely said, aren’t all that different from us. As I contemplated the magnificent absorb it all. “Welcome to Egypt.” It was im- They have similar dreams of hav- work of the Egyptian people, the Surprisingly, I was wrong. Many portant to me to thank them and ing a better life for themselves voice of a man chanting echoed off let them know that I appreciated and their children. Maybe many the walls and across the rooftops from somewhere behind me. I turned to listen. Within mo- ments, the sky was filled with chants from a half dozen other mosques within a half-mile calling Muslims to evening prayers. The sound filtered through the surrounding conversations and drowned them out. At that point, I lost interest in everything else and wanted to absorb the mo- ment – the setting, the chanting Children at the Citadel in Cairo and that I was sitting right there to hear it. I have never heard One of the things that immedi- seemed excited to see us. Children anything so unique in my life and ately struck me was the extent of stopped what they were doing to I found it to be a beautiful few poverty. All along the Nile River, wave and call out hellos to us from Saleh al-Din mosque by the Citadel overlooking Cairo moments. in villages great and small, stood the shore many yards away. buildings made of mud brick. their kindness. I wanted them to of them will continue to be farmers This experience was a long time Most homes had no electricity. The scene was a far cry from the know that I didn’t let the bomb- or housewives in small villages. in coming. I remember watch- Farmers harvested their crops by city of Dabah, where terrorists ings stain my perception of the Maybe they will become doctors ing TV documentaries about the hand and moved them by carts in April set off three bombs in a Egyptian people, who I thought and lawyers in the big cities. But pyramids and the temple ruins as and mules, while women washed marketplace, killing mostly Egyp- were quite friendly. I hope that they all carry the same hope for a child and thinking it would be laundry in the river as the chil- tians. I was in Aswan – several message got across to them. the future that we have. a great place to explore because dren played in the water. hundred miles away from Dabah it was so different from my home- – when the bombings occurred. There is much to learn from the As I climbed aboard the plane to town of Center City, Minnesota. I was shocked to see such extreme Naturally, I became concerned for Egyptian people. I found my- come home, I couldn’t help but As an adult in California, I wanted poverty. But then I took a closer my safety. But then I was relieved self envying their perseverance. look at the world a little different- to break out of my comfort zone look and soon found myself hum- to learn I was never in danger. Despite the passing ages, the ly. Good trips do that to a person. and visit a place vastly different, bled by the Egyptian people. They invaders, catastrophes and the I felt I changed a little. see another culture and learn a didn’t appear unhappy, starving, The bombings didn’t seem to dis- rise and fall of empires, Egypt little bit more about the world I or angry. On the contrary, most turb life in Aswan at all. Scores continues on. I saw things I’ve never seen before, live in. seemed relatively content and of Egyptian vacationers and resi- felt humbled by them and left with happy. dents continued on with their Today, Egyptians remain every bit a little better grasp that there is What I found in Egypt fulfilled vacations, their picnics, and their as faithful to their beliefs as they much we can learn from them. All both my childhood visions and I began to feel a bit guilty as I daily lives. did when they built the Pyramids. we have to do is look and listen. adult wishes. stood on my ship deck, wondering Today they worship Allah instead dental masters Dr. Malek Mansour, D.D.S MAGD, Ph.d Former faculty member at USC Dr. Anwaar Mansour, D.D.S Relax with head- phones, laughing gas, and comfortable pillows while Drs. Mansour take care of your dental needs • Dentistry while asleep • Laser Teeth whitening available (licensed by the • Certified Invisalign state) • TMJ (Jaw Joint) treatment • Surgical & restorative phase • Oral sedation for kids of implant done at the • Children dentisry same office • Orthodontics (braces) (949) 585-1515 16100 Sand Canyon Avenue, Suite 330 Irvine, CA 92618 Fax: (949) 585-1519 www.mansourdentalmasters.com
    • 28 June 2006 COMMENTARY Southern California InFocus Is There a Muslim Lobby in the U.S.? By Alexander Gainem “Arab and Muslim governments “References to Arab or Muslim ficiently targeted by journalists for such a group to be formed. often conspire against one an- lobbies occur only in the Arab and pro-Israel groups. Freelance Journalist – Canada other, and their rivalries, espe- and Muslim press, or in the pro- In late October 2001, former US cially in the 1970s and 1980s, paganda of pro-Israeli groups,” When CAIR contacted FOX net- ambassador to Egypt and Israel When John Mearsheimer of the were mirrored in the competition says Abukhalil. work to raise the issue of negative Edward Walker urged Arab gov- University of Chicago and Ste- and rivalries between Arab and stereotyping of Muslims on the ernments to set up measures phen Walt of Harvard published Muslim organizations popular TV thriller “24,” jour- to counter Israel’s influence in a report highlighting the efficacy in the United States,” “While the global population nalist Cliff Kincaid accused it America’s policy-making. of the Israeli lobby in molding US domestic and foreign policy, he adds. of Jews is some 15 million, of being a “lobby” attempting to intimidate the media. “But you, the Arabs, can no longer charges of malpractice and aca- The deep divisions in there are nearly 1.2 billion afford to just ignore Washington. demic dishonesty were leveled at the Arab world (along CAIR says its mission is to en- Arab governments and institu- the authors. sectarian and ethnic Muslims in the world. If the hance understanding of Islam, tions should start considering However, in the vitriol exchanged by supporters and detractors of lines) only impair the effectiveness of those logic of strength in numbers encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American how to affect public opinion in the US,” he told a political discussion the paper, an illuminating section groups. “In the case is applied, why then is there Muslims, and build coalitions forum hosted by the University is overlooked. of the Arab and Mus- that promote justice and mu- of Jordan. Mearsheimer and Walt, in com- lim lobbies, there is no Muslim lobby to balance tual understanding. It does not paring the existence of the Israeli a plethora of often the strong influence of other lobby senators and congress- “One can say that there never lobby to the likelihood of the exis- competing groups and men to affect pro-Muslim tilt in was a serious attempt to create tence of a similar Muslim or Arab organizations, which lobby groups?” US foreign policy. an Arab or Muslim lobby, and grouping, say “pro-Arab interest do not seem to adhere that whatever organizations that groups, in so far as they exist at to the same agenda,” Worldnetdaily.com, a website Compare that to AIPAC’s mis- exist today under that umbrella all, are weak, which makes the AbuKhalil remarks. that has featured commentary sion statement as follows: of a name have only succeeded Israeli lobby’s task even easier.” by writer Joseph Farah urging Through more than 2,000 meet- in effectively representing the Although there is no national Mearsheimer and Walt’s paper the killing of 100 non-combat- ings with members of Congress at interests of ruling Arab dynas- consensus data on the number points to the Jewish Americans’ ant Palestinian adults for every home and in Washington AIPAC ties,” AbuKhalil says of Saudi of Muslims in the United States, skillfulness in setting up an im- slain Israeli, regularly uses the activists help pass more than Arabian initiatives to influence estimates put the figure between pressive array of influential 100 pro-Israel legisla- US foreign policy regarding the six and seven million, equal to the organizations, of which the tive initiatives a year. Kingdom. number of Jews in the country. American-Israel Public Af- From procuring nearly Each religious group accounts fairs Committee (AIPAC) is $3 billion in aid critical “But those dynasties don’t even for two percent of the US popula- the most powerful and best to Israel’s security, to rely on those loyal groups and tion. While the global population known. funding joint US-Is- organizations when they wish of Jews is some 15 million, there raeli efforts to build to advance a particular issue: are nearly 1.2 billion Muslims in AIPAC operates in near uni- a defense against un- Instead, they hire ‘purely’ Ameri- the world. son with several think tanks, conventional weapons, can public relations and lobbying such as the Washington AIPAC members are firms in order not to allow the If the logic of strength in numbers Institute, the Heritage Foun- involved in the most Arab or Muslim stigma to hurt is applied, why then is there no dation, Project for a New crucial issues facing their lobbying efforts.” Muslim lobby to balance the American Century (PNAC), Israel. strong influence of other lobby and others who share a com- With individual Middle Eastern groups? mon denominator: pro-Israel Consequently, labeling nations opting to choose public policies. term Islamic or Muslim lobby to CAIR and other advo- relations firms to represent their As’ad AbuKhalil, professor of po- They produce monthly reports refer to advocacy groups trying cacy groups as “lobbies” is an interests in Washington, the litical science at California State culled from “experts” in Israel as to combat Islamophobia through exercise in journalistic inequity prospect of a Muslim lobby ever University at Stanislaus, says well as journalists on the ground. education and awareness cam- and willful disinformation. consolidating its efforts in the Arabs and Muslims in the United These are then used in a unified paigns. future remains murky. States are far from being united assault on the US Congress to While no real unified Arab or and are in a state of disagreement influence policy to tilt in favor One such advocacy group, the Muslim lobbying platform can be Alexander Gainem is a freelance over many issues. of Israel. Council on American-Islamic considered to be functional in the journalist who has written exten- Relations (CAIR), has been suf- United States, the need remains sively on Middle East issues.  To All Muslims brothers and sisters  PACIFIC REPRODUCTIVE CENTER Sinbad Ranch Market • In Vitro Fertilization is under new Muslim ownership! • Intrauterrine Insemination Willing to serve the Arab and Muslim • Laproscopic Laser Surgery community with halal meat, • Endometriosuis Treatment a full line of groceries and fresh produce. • Tubal Reversal • Pre Implantation Genetic Stop by and see! Diagnosis (PGD) Rifaat D. Salem 521 S Brookhurst St. Anaheim CA 92804 Tel 714-533-3671 Fax 714-533-3673 (310) 376-7000 M.D., Ph.D. Our manager is here to help you all: Mohommed K. Alyemeni 3720 LOMITA BLVD., TORRANCE, CA 90505 Where the Cross Meets the Crescent Reflections on Muslim and Christian Spirituality in the Southland By Rev. Connie Regener able learning ancient traditions His interesting story is told for in the Irvine Great Park. A by many forms of transportation. new to us. in Genesis 14, the first book place for the Melchizedeks and What is on your wish list? “I wouldn’t want to be there—all of the Hebrew Torah and the the Abrahams to mingle. What of you would be fighting.” I guess that implies I can learn Christian Old Testament. would that look like in today’s The Wisdom Pavilion. Yes! I something from other ancient Melchizedek is a Canaan- Orange County? Let’s encour- would want to be there. I’d want With those words, a fellow con- traditions. Perhaps you are not ite priest-king who age the Corporation to put to bask in the peace sculpture gar- feree shot down my idea of creat- familiar with Christians who seems to have some acreage to our com- den, walk the labyrinth, pause to ing some sacred space, such as a display such an knowledge of the mon ground vision. Send honor the symbols of my wisdom Wisdom Pavilion, at the Irvine open attitude true God apart from your ideas to InFocus at tradition, enjoy a quiet moment Great Park. of learning from our father Abraham’s rev- info@infocusnews.net. Title your of meditation, connect to the an- others. As a Christian, elation. Abraham gave a message “Great Park Sacred cient and the everlasting. How But I wasn’t about to be put down I believe the Bible is tithe (tenth) of goods to Space,” and we’ll pass them on to about you? that easily. There were others at true, but I also believe Melchizedek, declaring the Corporation. the Irvine Multicultural Associa- that not all that they worshipped the The Wisdom Pavilion: that’s tion Brain Rain (brainstorming) truth is in same God, the Maker of heaven One of the items on my wish list where I find that the cross meets meeting that championed my the Bible. and earth. Certainly, Melchize- is a spiritually-themed wedding the crescent…and the Star of cause. Are you aware dek held some Canaanite beliefs pavilion near ethnic restaurants David, and the lotus blossom, and One person pointed out that we there is an ancient story that sug- that differed from Abraham’s that would be an attractive al- the kirpan (Sikh sword). needed a neutral place where we gests there is knowledge of God beliefs, but they were able to ternative to the secular Las can come together to experience and truth outside the Hebrew and establish a common ground for Vegas wedding chapels and ca- Rev. Connie Regener, a graduate each other’s holiday celebrations Christian traditions? The central relationship. sino buffets (so-called destination of Fuller Theological Seminary and significant rights of passage. figure is Melchizedek, the king weddings). Let’s make Orange in Pasadena, is a religious com- Others spoke of a safe, public of Salem. A common ground for relation- County a sacred and dignified mentator in the Southland. place where we could feel comfort- ship—that’s what I am asking wedding destination, accessible
    • Southern California InFocus COMMENTARY June 2006 29 Health Care Not Only for AN INTERFAITH VIEW Privileged By Hussam Ayloush Every person deserves medical care be- “The Battle of Boston” cause God has decreed that every life is Q: How should peo- sacred and every person has dignity. By Lawrence Swaim Salma Kazmi, Assistant Director of ple of faith respond In another verse, God says: “...anyone who Religious liberty is one the ISB, serves with Ms. Silverman on to the growth in saves a life, it shall be as if he had saved of the most precious the Cambridge Peace Commission. “A the number of peo- the life of all humankind.” (Quran, 5:32) gifts bequeathed to us Jewish Voice for Peace is an extremely ple without ad- by the American Revo- important ally for us,” she told InFocus. Life, more importantly, a good quality of lution. We are indeed “We’re all learning a lot.” The ISB is equate health-care life, is a fundamental human right of all, lucky, then, that the also receiving support from Christians coverage? not just the privileged few. If one fails to Islamic Society of Boston (ISB)—located in the Cambridge/Somerville area, re- attain medical care because of low income in the city that gave birth to the Revolu- portedly including the Clarendon Hill A: Spiraling medical costs and a growing or a debilitating disability, it becomes the tion—is vigorously defending that same Presbyterian Church. Sources report uninsured population require that reli- responsibility of society and government precious liberty in court by advocating that Temple Beth Shalom, a synagogue gious leaders join the health-care debate to carry that burden. the right of a faith community to build a in Cambridge, has a regular discussion and offer a solution. house of worship for their own spiritual group with ISB members, co-facilitated As a society, we are as strong as our weak- and communal advancement. by Ms. Kazmi. Faced with ever-rising costs, more and est members. If America, the most power- more companies are dropping their health ful economy and most advanced in medical It’s no secret that the Islamic Society Clearly, the David Project has no interest insurance plans, depriving many families, technology, will not take care of its sick, of Boston has for years been building in protecting Boston from terrorism—if children and the elderly of much-needed poor, the elderly and children, then who a Mosque and Cultural Center in the they had any real proof of illegal activity, medical care. Today, an astounding 46mil- will? A country that can spend so many neighborhood of Roxbury—and many they’d simply turn it over to law enforce- lion Americans lack health insurance. billions on warfare can certainly find the Bostonians believe the complex can only ment. What they really want, sadly, is to necessary money to save lives at home. benefit this often-disadvantaged area. stop the construction of a house of wor- Islam teaches that God intends for us, But in early 2003, the ISB became the ship for Muslims. That is a fundamental human beings, to strive for our societies “None of you truly believes until he loves target of a series of sensational articles violation of the religious liberty of a com- to set rights and obligations for all people, for his brethren (fellow human being) in the Boston Herald and on Fox TV munity, not just of Boston’s Muslims in protect the public interest and promote what he loves for himself,” and “The most Channel 25. In 2004, a resident of a 2006 but of future generations as well. justice and compassion. beloved of people to God is the one who is nearby neighborhood filed a lawsuit This attempt to interfere with the spiri- most helpful and beneficial to people,” are alleging that the ISB had received city tual and institutional growth of a faith Many of our laws are being drafted by in- two sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. lands at rates unlawfully favorable to community can and must be defeated. terest groups and are increasingly devoid them. (Actually, the price paid by the So- of ethical and moral values. They tend Similar teachings are at the core of most ciety will far exceed the land’s assessed What really bothers the David Project is to serve the interests of some people and religions. Therefore, people of all faiths value of $480,000.) that the organized Muslim community victimize others, usually the economically must work together to present and lobby and politically weak. for a comprehensive and national health- care solution. “Supporting the right of the Muslims to build “Verily, God enjoins the doing of justice and compassion to others.” (Quran, This article is reprinted from the OC their community facilities is a growing coali- 16:90) Register tion of progressive Christians and Jews, the driving force of the latter being the new Bos- A Sensible Way To Describe Terrorists ton chapter of A Jewish Voice for Peace.” By Parvez Ahmed ism are the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, a Marxist-Leninist group whose members It turned out that the David Project, an refuses to be intimidated by them and The European Union are overwhelmingly Hindu. extreme rightwing group espousing a by other groups in the pro-Israel Lobby. (EU) will soon distribute particularly unattractive form of Jew- Instead, Muslims and their progressive new guidelines to its Diego Gambetta in “Making Sense of Sui- ish nationalism, had arranged for the allies (including A Jewish Voice for 25-member nations that cide Missions” calls suicide missions “the lawsuit against the ISB and coordinated Peace) often offer a politically savvy, recommend using “non- high-precision artillery of the militarily the negative media campaign. Also in- morally-grounded defense of the Pales- emotive lexicon for dis- challenged” yet they all have a strategic volved was discredited Islamophobe tinian right to self-determination. That cussing radicalization.” objective. Steven Emerson, who supplied much is the real reason, I believe, why righ- of the misinformation used by media twing groups hate the growing power EU officials say that the guidelines, which Pape writes, “From Lebanon to Israel to Sri outlets—a mistake that will cost them and credibility of Muslims in modern are not legally binding, will ask European Lanka to Kashmir to Chechnya, the spon- dearly, since the ISB is suing them for America. And it’s one more reason why governments to shun the phrase “Islamic sors of every campaign have been terrorist defamation. religious liberty for all the Children of terrorism” in favor of “terrorists who groups trying to establish or maintain the Book necessarily depends on the abusively invoke Islam.” Other terms political self determination by compelling Supporting the right of the Muslims right of Americans to debate the Middle being considered by the review include a democratic power to withdraw from a to build their community facilities is a East without defamation, covert attacks, “Islamist,” “fundamentalist” and “jihad.” territory they claim.” growing coalition of progressive Chris- and reckless campaigns that divide our tians and Jews, the driving force of the communities. This first of its kind effort to separate Occupation is the primary motivator and latter being the new Boston chapter of terrorism from its perceived roots is laud- religion, at best, is an “aggravating” factor. A Jewish Voice for Peace. “We’d like to able. Associating the criminal enterprise Considering this, the Iraq war has only a have a dinner or some other sit-down Lawrence Swaim is the Executive Direc- of terrorism with the faith of 1.4 billion amplified the problem. event in solidarity with the Islamic So- tor of the Interfaith Freedom Foundation. Muslims, 99.99 percent of whom will never ciety of Boston,” Hilda Silverman of the He taught for eight years at Pacific Union come near any act of terrorism, much less Today we all live in fear of terrorism. JVP told InFocus. “Of course we’d like College, and his academic specialties use Islam as a justification for their crimes, Equating terrorism with Islam makes the music and poetry, including both Arabic are American Studies and American is just plain wrong. mainstream Muslim community doubly and Sephardic songs. And personally, literature. His column addresses current vulnerable to both the random acts of ter- I’d like to have both Jewish and Muslim affairs from an American Christian and Unfortunately, all too often “Islam” and ror and the ensuing backlash. Muslims comedians. You just have to laugh at Interfaith perspective. “terrorism” are juxtaposed in news reports worldwide are the primary victims of politics these days.” and editorials. A word search on news terror. stories published in major newspapers over the past decade shows that reporters Governments in Muslim-majority na- war on terror is merely a euphemism for Islam from terrorism is imperative. are hundred times more likely to associate tions, religious establishments and the a war on Islam. Islam with terrorism or militancy than lay community have a vested interest in The EU seems to understand this crucial all other faiths combined. Such lopsided fighting back to isolate and marginalize Terrorism is stateless and yet transnation- point. Will others follow their lead or will portrayal is indicative of deep-seated the terrorists. al. It will always require a stern response. they choose to remain entrapped in their misunderstandings about Islam, and However, it will never be defeated through simplistic and counterproductive labels, sometimes just plain prejudice. Surely all Hidden from our headlines are on-going force alone. It will have to be fought ideo- which unfortunately spawn even more terrorists are not Muslim, neither are all efforts to do just that. logically by attempting to win the hearts bizarre terms such as ‘Islamo-fascism,’ or Muslims terrorists. and minds of those vulnerable to terrorist ‘militant jihadism’? Fatwas (Islamic edicts) condemning ter- manipulations. The 9-11 attacks brought home the horrors rorism and dissociating Islam from such Every religion has its own fair share of of a new form of suicidal terrorism. In order barbarism have been issued worldwide, A recent policy brief by the Stanley Foun- extremists who commit heinous acts in to eradicate terrorism, it is important to including in America. dation states that Western powers “should the name of their faith. Why is Islam being explore its root causes. not focus on the religious and cultural unfairly singled out? One of the more successful efforts was con- divisions between East and West when More and more scholarly writings are ducted by Turkey against PKK (a secular approaching this issue (of terrorism), as Parvez Ahmed, Ph.D., is board chairman delving deeper into this issue offering us group) suicide campaigns, which were part this plays into the existing grievances of of the Council on American-Islamic Rela- new insights. Robert Pape’s book “Dying of Kurdish aspirations for an independent Arab and Muslim populations and creates tions (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim to Win” uses over two decades of data to homeland. a sense of clash between civilizations, all civil rights and advocacy group. He may be show the paucity of connection between of which hinder the resolution of differ- contacted at: pahmed@cair-net.org. suicide terrorism and any of the world Falsely associating Islam with terrorism ences.” religions. The pioneering instigators and weakens the efficacy of these efforts by the largest purveyors of suicide terror- creating the impression that the global An attempt to institutionally dissociate
    • 30 June 2006 EDITORIAL/LETTERS Southern California InFocus Come Forward and Support your InFocus We began publishing InFocus 16 when we look forward, we see an months ago for free distribution infinite path lying ahead. to the community in Southern California. The monthly has We dream of a day when our InFo- since come a long way overcoming cus will be available for all Ameri- its take-off jitters and maturing cans who want to know about in its coverage of ‘glocal’ (simul- Islam and Muslims, when its taneously local and global) events model will be replicated through- and issues that concern Islam/ out the nation. We dream of a Muslims and yet are of interest day InFocus will be available for to most Americans. pick up at every store or stalls alongside the LA Times or other Now, InFocus has become the major newspapers. Before that largest circulated local newspa- moment can come, however, we per that provides a window to need to establish the model cor- understanding glocal affairs from rectly, expanding its outreach a perspective that is largely miss- and improving its quality and ing in the mainstream or ethnic range of coverage. American press. It is not enough to have dreams InFocus has gone beyond negative as they vanish unless translated and reactive news coverage that into concrete plans, and it is not characterizes the mainstream enough to have plans unless they press. InFocus has covered a are put into action. We want wide range of events and issues, to move beyond our dreaming Letters to the Editor from cases of fun and inspiration and planning to make InFocus to ones of pain and agony, from available for free pick up at domestic violence to international every major bookstore, public bloodshed, from local interfaith library, university, community dialogues to international peace center, and every newsstand in Immigration, an Im- always labels the insurgents as cult and the process of rebuilding either a “Sunni” Arab or “Shia” communities from rubble may efforts, from group terrorism the Southland. This is how we portant Issue Arab. By labeling each other the appear to be unimaginable. It is to state terrorism, and from Is- want to pursue practical action to lamophobia or anti-Islamism to reach out to and educate greater media hopes to increase the ten- a process that will take a lot of Your feature on illegal immigra- sion and animosity between the time and tremendous effort, but anti-Americanism. public about who we are and tion was very informative and what worldviews and cultures two sides. By doing this, Iraqis with the help of Allah (swt), the balanced. The feature analyzed and as well as Muslims around continuous involvement of orga- In an effort to provide a holistic are all about. the current legislation in place on view of the complexity of the the world will be caught up in the nizations, such as Islamic Relief, this issue, the reasons why people Sunni vs. Shia power struggle, and the generous contributions of community, we have presented But we are facing financial hur- choose to cross the border, the so- cover stories on Islamic centers, dles in our way forward. InFocus creating the chaos the US needs the Muslim community, it can be cietal burden illegal immigration in order to carry out its plans to accomplished. As Afghani says, profiled different faith groups is a non-profit endeavor. So creates, our moral obligation, and like the Mormons and Orthodox far we have been able to raise “democratize and liberate” the “let’s not forget again” and al- the ultimate solution to this issue. Middle East. ways remember what the prophet Jews, and featured the lives of funds for its production and free It was also interesting hearing scholars and other personalities distribution through donations, (pbuh) had said, “Allah (swt) is in what Muslims had to say about Nedda Salimian the aid of his worshiper, as long who serve as voices and role mod- subscriptions and advertise- this matter. It’s important that els for the community. We have ments. Currently, we are almost Westminster, CA as his worshiper is in the aid of we stay informed about all issues, his brother.” also highlighted cases of the com- breaking even for a circulation of not just ones we think affect us munity members who have been 25,000 copies. But to move to the directly. Fortunately, InFocus is Re: Remembering the victimized by the post-911 racial next stage of making it available Nora Qartoum profiling, witch-hunt, incarcera- for the larger community, we making sure we do just that. Oct. 8 Earthquake Yorba Linda, CA tion, and deportation orders. Our need more and more funds. N e s s r e n e A s s a r , Indeed it appears as though we commentaries have analyzed San Diego, CA have forgotten the earthquake, Write to us at the burning issues of our time, W. H. Auden said, “History to the which include the Qur’an des- defeated/ May say alas/ But can- but the fundraiser was a great info@infocusnews.net! ecration at Guantanamo, the not help or pardon.” We believe Avoid Labeling each reminder for all of us. It was very mov- Freedom House report targeting our community has overcome Other! ing to listen to all of mosques, tortures of prisoners the defeatist mentality and will in Guantanamo and Iraq, and not let us down in this noble the guest speakers, Yasmin Mogahed’s article on especially those who the Patriot Act’s infringement on endeavor. dropping the prefix and just being civil liberties. had just come from Muslim is very resonant in the Pakistan and had We have organized a fundraising United States’ current foreign Indeed, InFocus has become an banquet in support of InFocus. witnessed the tur- policy. RAND’s suggestion of moil first hand. The eye, an ear, a voice, and an edu- The eminent Muslim journal- “divide and label” has been imple- cator of and for the community. ist Michael Wolf will give the initial recovery from mented in Iraq today. When read- the catastrophe is Most importantly, InFocus has keynote speech at the banquet ing any article on Iraq, the press become a virtual training ground on June 25 in Anaheim at the without a doubt diffi- for a new generation of bud- Embassy Suites. We urge you ding journalists who are honing their skills while writing for the all to attend and get out the word about this unique event to pro- CAN YOU READ THIS? Call now for our special rates for small So can 50,000 other monthly. mote California’s largest Muslim newspaper. Briefly, in retrospect, we find that businesses. in 16 months we have come a long For tickets and more information people who read InFocus (714) 678-1820 way in reaching out, covering please call 714-678-1820 or e- and serving the community; but mail at info@infocusnews.net every month. info@infocusnews.net Subscribe & Suppor t InFocus Today ! 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    • 32 June 2006 ADVERTISEMENT Southern California InFocus