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Passion Islam I July 2009 ORLD NEWSW I 13
Muslims offer 100,000
Qurans to US leaders
America’s top Muslim civil liberties CAIR executive director Nihad Awad an opportunity for American Muslims
advocacy group launched its “Share “When he quoted the Quran on the to reach out to their fellow citizens of
the Quran” campaign, in which it fundamental values we share such as other faiths “
will hand out 100,000 free copies of sanctity of human life, racial diversity, CAIR Board Chairman State Sen.
Islam’s holy book in an effort to reach importance of speaking the truth, we Larry Shaw”Share the Quran” is a
out to the country’s elected officials believe it was a surprise to many multi-year initiative and American
and influential opinion shapers. people not familiar with Islam,” CAIR’s Muslims have been asked to
The initiative, which has been executive director Nihad Awad told donate $45 to their local officials to
labeled an educational campaign, the Washington Post. sponsor the distribution of the more
was announced by the Council on One of the group’s stated objectives expensive Qurans, which include
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) at was to target “local elected and public Arabic and English texts and English
a press conference in Washington and officials, media professionals and other commentary.
was said to be prompted by President local or national leaders who shape In 2007, a group of 24 Oklahoma
Barack Obama’s recent speech in the public opinion or determine policy” to lawmakers refused to accept a copy
Egyptian capital of Cairo in which he give them a better understanding of of the Quran as a gift from the Ethnic
repeatedly quoted from the Quran to Islam based on the Quran and not on American Advisory Council as part of
reach out to Muslims. sensationalized media stories. the state’s centennial celebration.
“ When he quoted the Quran on The initiative was “also to provide an The initiative is an outgrowth of
the fundamental values we share opportunity for American Muslims to CAIR’s “Explore the Quran” campaign
such as sanctity of human life, racial reach out to their fellow citizens of and is part of the celebration of the
diversity, importance of speaking the other faiths,” CAIR’s Board Chairman 15th anniversary of the Washington-
truth, we believe it was a surprise to State Sen. Larry Shaw said. based council, which has 35 offices
many people not familiar with Islam “ “ The initiative is also to provide across the U.S. and in Canada.
Gaza’s mud homes build hope
Muslim Woman Fired
in New Jersey for
Wearing Hijab
A US federal court has been asked
to decide whether Essex County
discriminated against Yvette Beshier,
a Muslim corrections officer, when it
fired her for refusing to remove her
head scarf.
The U.S. Justice Department
filed a lawsuit accusing the county
Department of Corrections of
wrongfully dismissing Beshier. She
had been suspended and later given
With no cement or construction even mosques from mud.
the sack for wearing a khimar, a
materials being allowed by Israel or Hamas has earmarked $1 million
Muslim head covering, on the job.
Egypt into the Gaza Strip, residents (£600,000) to develop temporary,
Corrections officials said it violated
are starting to build homes out of three-storey mud homes, inspired
mud, using earth excavated from largely by Mr Shaer’s modest house
the department’s uniform policy.
smuggling tunnels that provide an on the sand dunes outside Rafah.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
uncertain lifeline to the outside world. The house, covering 70 sq m (750
of 1964 prohibits discrimination on
One of the first people to build sq ft), took two months to build and the job on the basis of race, color,
a mud house, after two years of cost $3,000. Built just before the war
sex, religion or national origin. It
an Israeli blockade of the Hamas- began, it has withstood the winter
also requires that employers make
run coastal enclave, was Jihad rains and now protects the preacher,
“reasonable accommodation” for
Muhammad Shaer, 36, a preacher his wife and their young children
in the southern strip. With tens of from the harsh summer heat. “The
religious practices. But when Beshier
thousands left homeless after the walls are also good because they are
asked officials to make an exception
war earlier this year, Gaza’s Hamas bulletproof,” smiled Mr Shaer, before
to the uniform policy to allow her
rulers are now planning to construct adding: “But we really need rocket- to follow her religious beliefs, they
homes, clinics, kindergartens and proof homes.”
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