Articles of Interest, January 7th, 2008

Poll: Obama opens double-digit lead over Clinton

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) — With Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary fast approaching, Sen. Barack Obama has opened a double-digit lead over Sen. Hillary Clinton in the state, a CNN-WMUR poll found Sunday.

Obama, the first-term senator from Illinois who won last week’s Iowa caucuses, led the New York senator and former first lady 39 percent to 29 percent in a poll conducted Saturday and Sunday — a sharp change from a poll out Saturday that showed the Democratic front-runners tied at 33 percent.

Support for former Sen. John Edwards, who edged out Clinton for second place in Iowa, dropped from 20 percent in Saturday’s poll to 16 percent.

  • Look, I have to admit I’m becoming more of an Obama fan as the days go by. However, I still have issues with some of his policies like partial-birth abortion and illegal immigration. That aside, I have to admit that I believe Obama is going to win the Democratic nomination if current trends continue. I believe that he will win NH and SC. His viability will go through the roof and the rest of the party will rally behind him. In a general election, I believe he will also win as the Republican party doesn’t have a strong enough counter for him as they planned everything around Clinton. This of course can only happen if he isn’t “swift boated” by the Clinton campaign or a Republican campaign possibly assisted by the Clinton campaign.

 

Tehran plays down clash with the US

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) –

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that a confrontation between Iranian boats and U.S. Navy ships in Gulf over the weekend was “something normal” and was resolved. It suggested the Iranian boats had not recognized the U.S. vessels. The Pentagon said that in the incident early Sunday, five small Iranian boats repeatedly “charged” U.S. warships in the Gulf’s Hormuz Strait and dropped boxes in the water. The boats warned the U.S. ships that they would set up “explosions,” a U.S. Defense Department official said.

The U.S. craft were on the verge of opening fire when the Iranian boats fled, the official said, calling the incidident “the most serious provocation of its sort” in the Gulf. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record.

But Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Hosseini played down the incident, suggesting it was an issue of mistaken identity. He did not comment on the U.S. claims of the Iranian boats’ actions.

“That is something normal that takes place every now and then for each party, and it (the problem) is settled after identification of the two parties,” he told the state news agency IRNA.

The incident was “similar to past ones” that were resolved “once the two sides recognized each other.”

  • I don’t know who to believe on this one, but what we don’t need right now is the whole Iran thing blowing up!

Photo

Sharp to sell 108-inch LCD TV this year

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp will begin selling a 108-inch LCD television later this year, executives told the Consumer Electronics Show on Sunday.

Executives also said at a news conference that Sharp had developed a prototype 65-inch liquid crystal display TV that was just over 1 inch thick and weighed 23 percent less than previous models.

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is the industry’s largest U.S. trade show.

(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi and Scott Hillis, editing by Phil Berlowitz)

  • Now we are talking. Please donate one dollar each to the “Get Salaam a 108inch HDTV” fund today!

Obama: No Cash From Denzel, Spike, Motown, Despite Oprah Backing

Oprah Winfrey’s backing of Barack Obama for president hasn’t influenced a lot of other heavy hitting black celebrities to join her yet.

Her two most favorite authors, Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison, have not opened their pocketbooks yet for Obama. (Angelou has traditionally been a Clinton supporter.)

Neither has Spike Lee nor Denzel Washington, although the latter’s wife Pauletta sent Obama $2,300. Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr. has put his bucks in Hillary Clinton’s campaign, as has Quincy Jones.

Also missing from Obama’s list of donors in the current election cycle is BET Chairman and Founder billionaire Robert L. Johnson. The regular Democratic donor did give Hillary Clinton $4,600 in 2007. The last time he sent a check to Obama was in 2006, for $2,100.

Obama’s celeb donors include the recently controversial Will Smith, but not Chris Gardner, the multi millionaire whom Smith played in “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Obama did receive donations from the newly married Eddie Murphy and the always funny Chris Rock.

But neither Sean “Diddy” Combs nor Shawn “Jay Z” Carter has pitched in for the Illinois senator as of yet. Jay Z’s fiancée Beyonce Knowles has also remained silent. Her father, Mathew, last sent Obama $1,000 for his senate campaign.

Winfrey, meanwhile, may like Obama but hasn’t put the weight of her fortune behind him yet.

Oprah and boyfriend Stedman Graham, according to federal campaign records, donated only $2,300 each to Obama’s campaign at the party held at Winfrey’s Montecito, California mansion last September. They could have donated twice that amount.

Aside from that event, the enormously charitable Winfrey seems to have been otherwise uninterested in politics all these years. It’s been a decade since she’s donated even a penny from her hard earned empire to any candidate’s cause. Even now, her endorsement of Obama hasn’t led to any contribution to the Democratic Party in any form. Maybe she’s waiting to see if Obama is the official candidate.

  • As a Black American, I am not remotely surprised. Black people in general for some odd ball reason are not supporting Barack. For a myriad of “reasons” they have not backed a black candidate that may very well go all the way. That may change once more white people support him and he probably becomes the nominee. Believe it or not non-black audience, many blacks still harbor “issues” that prevent them from believing that a black person could achieve this much. They would rather put their stock in the “first black president” and his wife, because in the end, we just don’t believe. We are infected with a disease called the crab in a bucket syndrome.

Jerusalem Readies for Bush’s Arrival

JERUSALEM (AP) – With hundreds of hotel rooms booked and municipal crews unfolding red, white and blue flags, Jerusalem is getting ready for its highest- profile visitor in years: President Bush.

Jerusalemites are accustomed to waiting in traffic jams as convoys of black sedans shuttle visiting dignitaries around the city, the seat of Israel’s government. But Bush, who arrives for three days beginning Wednesday, constitutes a VIP of a different order.

Israel is pulling out all the stops to impress a man who is perhaps its staunchest foreign ally in his first visit as U.S. president.

Jerusalem is spending nearly $400,000 to spruce itself up for the visit, said Jacob Avishar, the city official in charge of coordinating preparations. Garbage teams are in furious race to clean the city’s often dusty streets and walls tagged with spray paint, he said.

More than 10,500 policemen and security personnel will be deployed to protect Bush and keep order during the visit—more than one-third of Israel’s entire police force, according to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

“There will be so much security nobody will be able to get anywhere near the president,” Rosenfeld said.

The security personnel will include snipers, bomb-sniffing dogs and bodyguards from the Shin Bet internal security service, including reservists called up especially for the visit, according to police officials. The operation, dubbed “Clear Skies,” will cost Israel $25,000 for every hour Bush is in the country, Israel Radio reported.

Flights in and out of Israel’s only international airport, Ben Gurion, will be suspended around the time Bush lands. From the airport, Bush will fly by helicopter to Jerusalem.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to divulge details of the preparations.

  • It’s times like this I miss my old unit. I could have gotten a trip to Jerusalem!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would have had a chance to pray in Al-Aqsa. But now I’m a civilian……I digress. Either way, I pray all works well. I may not like Bush’s policies, but he is still my President….I know, I know…..

TALK OF HILLARY EXIT ENGULFS CAMPAIGNS
Mon Jan 07 2008 09:46:28 ET

Facing a double-digit defeat in New Hampshire, a sudden collapse in national polls and an expected fund-raising drought, Senator Hillary Clinton is preparing for a tough decision: Does she get out of the race? And when?!

“She can’t take multiple double-digit losses in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada,” laments one top campaign insider to the DRUDGE REPORT. “If she gets too badly embarrassed, it will really harm her. She doesn’t want the Clinton brand to be damaged with back-to-back-to-back defeats.”

Meanwhile, Democrat hopeful John Edwards has confided to senior staff that he is staying in the race because Hillary “could soon be out.”

“Her money is going to dry up,” Edwards confided, a top source said Monday morning.

MORE

Key players in Clinton’s inner circle are said to be split. James Carville is urging her to fight it out through at least February and Super Tuesday, where she has a shot at thwarting Barack Obama in a big state.

“She did not work this hard to get out after one state! All this talk is nonsense,” said one top adviser.

But others close to the former first lady now see no possible road to victory, sources claim.

Developing…

[The dramatic reversal of fortunes has left the media establishment stunned and racing to keep up with fast-moving changes.

In its final poll before Iowa, CNN showed Clinton with a two-point lead over Obama. Editorial decisions were being made based on an understanding the Democratic primary race would be close, explained a network executive.]

  • None of this surprises me. It seems very plausible in my humble opinion.

I-Reporter’s wedding cake is a full-sized likeness of herself

  • Sometimes I believe I have seen it all, but let me tell you, some people never cease to amaze! Congratulations!

art.mccuin.ap.jpg

Man kills, cooks and possibly eats girlfriend, police say

TYLER, Texas (AP) — A man killed his girlfriend, then filleted and cooked parts of her body before calling police to tell them what he was doing, authorities said Sunday.

Christopher Lee McCuin, 25, called 911 on Saturday and told an emergency dispatcher he had killed Jana Shearer, 21, and was boiling her body parts at his mother’s home, said Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith.

When authorities arrived at the home, they found Shearer’s mutilated body, one ear boiling in a pot of water on the stove and a fork sticking out of some human flesh sitting on a plate on the kitchen table.

Authorities said it was unclear whether McCuin consumed any part of Shearer’s body.

“We cannot prove that he did,” Smith told The Associated Press. “He was either going to, had been or led us to think that he was doing it.”

Authorities believe Shearer, 21, was abducted from her home Friday night and killed. Her death and mutilation was apparently the beginning of a crime spree that also included McCuin allegedly stabbing the boyfriend of his estranged wife and breaking into a business.

The stabbing victim is in critical condition at an area hospital, officials said.

McCuin, of Tyler, about 110 miles east of Dallas, was charged with capital murder. He was being held in the Smith County Jail on a $2 million bond Sunday and did not have an attorney, officials said. He was scheduled to be arraigned Monday, Smith said.

Before he called 911, McCuin told his mother and her boyfriend to look in their garage, authorities said. There the couple saw the remains of Shearer. McCuin’s mother and her boyfriend fled the home and flagged down a police officer. McCuin dialed authorities after they left.

  • What the hell? This is how you know that there are still sick individuals in the world. Ladies, please, please be careful who entertain. This should remind you that you should really investigate those whom you get romantically involved with. May Allah (swt) reward this guy with a just punishment. My prayers go out to the families involved.

art.gates.ap.jpg

Gates on Microsoft’s expansion

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP) — Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates made the case Sunday night that its technologies are becoming even more flexible and powerful as they seep into automobiles, Internet-based TV networks and living rooms.

A few months away from leaving his daily duties at Microsoft to focus on his philanthropy, Gates used his traditional kickoff keynote at the International Consumer Electronics Show to highlight how Microsoft is extending the reach of its software beyond desktops and servers, and incorporating alternative inputs like voice and touch.

“The first digital decade has been a great success,” he said. “This is just the beginning. There’s nothing holding us back from going much faster and much further in the second digital decade.”

Traditional PC programs got less airtime than in previous keynotes. That contrast stood out considering not only the tepid response for Microsoft’s year-old Windows Vista operating system but also the way that Web-based applications are threatening Microsoft’s hold on desktop computing.

Instead Gates bounced from cars — Microsoft’s Sync technology for playing music and making phone calls should be available in all Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles in the 2009 model year — to the living room. Gates and Robbie Bach, who heads Microsoft’s entertainment division, announced an expansion of the high-definition Hollywood movies and TV shows that can be downloaded through the Xbox video game console’s online service.

Those include shows from ABC television and other properties of Walt Disney Co. (which, by the way, counts Microsoft uber-rival and Apple Inc. chief Steve Jobs as its biggest individual shareholder).

Gates also explained how Mediaroom, the Internet-based television platform that Microsoft created for telecommunications companies to sell, will work with TNT and Showtime to let users select their own camera angles when viewing sports. For example, a NASCAR fan could maintain a constant view from his favorite driver’s car or plug into a certain ringside shot in a boxing match. For now, though, Mediaroom is mainly used for TV services in other countries.

  • This is all great new for us geeks and “fat” Microsoft fans (That’s right Salman) even though I have an iphone, I’m still rooting for the home team. But Bill, why Ford? I hate to say it, but outside the Mustang, Ford sucks and has no vision……Should have went with Nissan at least their cool (Skyline GTR/ G-37 anyone?) or at least Honda and Toyota……

Water Not War

More than 1 billion people on our planet are forced to drink foul, infected water, which has killed at least 22 million people in the last decade. They could all have safe, clean water within 10 years, for just a tiny fraction of the cost of global military spending. Why isn’t it happening?

Most governments, especially rich white ones, would apparently rather buy weapons to kill other human beings than build water facilities to save the lives of black, brown and yellow poor people.

According to the Stockholm international peace research institute, in 2006 total global military expenditure topped $1.2tn; with the US accounting for $528.7bn of this spending and the UK for $59.2bn.

At a cost of about 5% of the world’s military budgets, over a period of 10 years clean, safe water could be provided to every person on earth. But this won’t happen because while the poor are deprived, the rich are depraved.

Mega-rich individuals, corporations and nations rule the world. They worship the false idols of celebrity, money, profits, consumerism, speculation and conspicuous consumption. Love, compassion, mercy and human solidarity are largely alien ideals in the ruthless, cut-throat world of free markets and stockmarkets. The super-wealthy know the price of everything and the value of nothing. People are commodities, just like sacks of maize or barrels of oil. Human needs are not important. Money is everything, and since the poor don’t have it, they are held in contempt. Hundreds of millions of non-white people are condemned to drink muddy, stinking water. If the have-a-lots care, they don’t show it. Their unspoken message seems to be: let them drink shit.

While children are dying all over the world every day from contaminated water, the rich world carries on regardless. And we, the people, are to blame. We let the rich get away with their greed. We keep electing governments who, at the drop of a hat, find billions to wage illegal, immoral wars, but who can’t bring themselves to even marginally downsize their armaments budget to finance a truly just battle – the battle to give everyone on this planet what we, in Britain and the west, assume is a fundamental right: easy access to drinking water that tastes good and won’t harm us.

Our government would not tolerate people dying of waterborne diseases in the UK. So why should we tolerate such needless deaths in developing countries? Isn’t a human being a human being, whoever they are and wherever they live on this planet? Aren’t all people’s lives equally precious? Apparently not, otherwise there would be concerted international action to tackle the shame of dirty water and the resultant obscene waste of human life.

  • Articles such as this remind me of the real tragedies in the world. We spend millions a day on frivolous things, but do very little if anything to ease human suffering in the world.

What did Muslims do in 2007- Some Good Some Bad

There was a lot of bad news for Muslims in 2007 (and we might as well look at that first). Some of the bad news was brought to us by non-Muslims, for example: Alarming statements continued to be made, mosques continued to be vandalized and attacked, there continued to be Islamophobic incidents. We also had Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week which was held on college campuses across America, a Judge upheld the U.S. entry ban for Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan; Obsession: Radical Islam’s War With the West? continues to be shown on college campuses across the country. Policy Exchange’s recent report on extremism in British mosques received a lot of publicity although the recent information that it seems evidence was fabricated [1] and [2] has not received much attention. (This trend of the original story making the front page headlines, but when they are found not guilty or innocent, that goes somewhere on the back pages in small print. is still a common occurrence.)

We are still asked to explain or respond to just about every incident involving a Muslim that happens anywhere in the world. In fact, there have been so many such responses that The American Muslim has had to divide its response section into five parts -RESPONSES TO CLAIMS MADE BY SPECIFIC INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS – RESPONSES TO MISREPRESENTATION OR MISINTERPRETATION OF QUR’AN VERSES, ARABIC TERMS, PROPHET MUHAMMAD – RESPONSES TO ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ISLAM AND MUSLIMS IN GENERAL – RESPONSES TO ALLEGATIONS & CLAIMS AGAINST SPECIFIC INDIVIDUALS & ORGANIZATIONS – RESPONSES TO ALLEGATIONS & CLAIMS MADE ABOUT SPECIFIC INCIDENTS, ISSUES AND EVENTS

According to various polls and surveys-Most Americans think the founders wanted a Christian U.S. Attitudes toward Muslims are mixed in Europe and the U.S.

However, the bad news was also brought to us by Muslims doing the wrong thing in the name of Islam.

The ISNA and WD Muhammad Conventions were still held in Chicago on the same week-end, but separately. We were unable to agree on the dates for Eid (both of them).

The annual Muslim Day Parade held in NYC was Hijacked by Extremists. We also had: The Sudanese “Teddy Bear Incident”; the murder of Aqsa Parvez; the Saudi rape case verdict; the Al-Qaeda Suicide Bombing of a Mosque in Pakistan; Abdul Rahman al-Barak, a Saudi “scholar” who issued a fatwa declaring Shiites to be infidels; the kidnapping of journalist Alan Johnston in Palestine; the Minnesota Muslim cab drivers who refused to carry blind passengers with guide dogs; the Malaysian Catholic Herald, a publication by and for Catholics in Malaysia, was told that it can no longer publish its Malaysian language edition if it continues to use the word “Allah” to mean God; the Taslima Nasreen case; and, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

THE GOOD NEWS

The most important good news stories were:

1. Muslim Scholars Appeal to Christian Scholars for Dialogue and Peace – “A Common Word” document issued in October by 138 Internationally known Muslim scholars from all schools of law. And, these same scholars followed this up with an historic Christmas greetings message, and accepted a dialogue invitation from the Vatican.

2. A number of important breakthroughs in Sunni-Shia relations (all building on the breakthrough Amman Statement issued in 2005). – The Shia-Sunni Dialogue to Save Lives in Chicago issued a communique. National Muslim leaders from Sunni & Shia communities signed a Code of Honor’ to Promote Intrafaith Harmony, and more signed on to the document at the ISNA convention. Indonesia hosted an international meeting of Sunni and Shia scholars. (see our Sunni Shia Unity Resources collection)

3. 100+ Notable Muslim leaders, scholars, and activists issued a statement affirming Freedom of Faith in Islam. We the undersigned Muslims from diverse backgrounds affirm: The freedom of faith and the freedom of changing one’s faith. In light of the Qur’anic guidance and the Prophetic legacy, the principle of freedom of faith does not lend itself to impose in this world any punishment or retribution solely for apostasy; thus there ought not to be any punishment in the name of Islam or fatwa calling for the same.

4. INTERFAITH EFFORTS: Forty-two national religious leaders (Muslims, Christians, and Jews) from around the country declared violence against women as intolerable and pledged their commitment to its eradication. The National Declaration by Religious Leaders to Address Violence Against Women will be distributed to every battered women’s program in the U.S. Women will see this list and determine whether their faith community supports them in seeking safety for themselves and their children. When people of faith join with other community leaders to address domestic violence, we will see ancient roadblocks turn into resources that save lives and bring healing. This was followed by Twenty Canadian Muslim Organizations Issuing a statement urging ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Domestic Violence.

60 nationally and internationally recognized Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders issued a plea for peace “A Pax on Both Our Houses”. which seeks to not only prevent an outright war with Iran, but for Iran & the US to achieve an outright peace.

American Muslim and Jewish groups launch joint curriculum for interfaith dialogue. “Partnership of Christian, Jewish and Muslim Americans who oppose terrorism” was announced at National Press Club. In September, 2007, high school students of INTERFAITH YOUTH ACTION gathered 400 Muslims, Jews, and Hindus to create “Sharing Sacred Seasons. ” This historic moment celebrated Ramadan, Jewish High Holy Day and Navaratri. Over 100 Muslims broke fast in a Jewish sukkah, prayed maghib, then joined the larger community for a kosher-hallal south Asian Ifthar. Three teens spoke about what the holidays meant to them. The program and menu were planned by the high school students of the Interfaith Youth Leadership Program. SEE the 1-minute video. And, on the last day of this year the Malaysian government has reversed its bad decision to ban the Malay-language section of a Catholic newspaper if it didn’t stop using the word “Allah” instead of God.

5. The Fiqh Council of North America Reaffirmed its Fatwa Against Religious Extremism.

6. IMPORTANT FATWAS – Saudi religious scholar Sheikh Salman ibn Fahad Al-Oudah rejected Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda ideology. Dr. Ali Gomah, Grand Mufti of Egypt banned female genital mutilation (see also our extensive list of fatwas)

7. Britain officially changes its terminology. The words “war on terror” will no longer be used by the British government to describe attacks on the public, the country’s chief prosecutor said Dec. 27. The term “Islamic terrorist” will also no longer be used. Officials believe it is unhelpful because it appears to directly link the religion to terrorist atrocities.

8. MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS and leadership doing the right thing in the name of Islam.

Sunni & Shia clerics join Christians for Christmas Mass in Iraq.

European Muslim leaders rejected call for a bounty offered by Al-Qaeda in Iraq against Swedish cartoonist.

British Muslim leaders introduced guidelines to fight extremism, promote a culture of “civic responsibility” and foster women’s rights in the country’s mosques, Islamic centers and Muslim schools.

Scottish Muslim Leaders organized anti-terror rally.

9. ORDINARY MUSLIMS doing the right thing in the name of Islam.

Ten thousand Muslims gathered for a ‘Muslim Live 8’ Concert held in Britain to raise cash for Darfur.

American Muslims protested at the Saudi Embassy against continuing Saudi destruction of Islamic holy sites.

The Opus cartoon “incident” was a non-incident.

American Muslims issued an appeal to sign a petition to the Taliban to honour the Pashtunwali code & release the Korean hostages.

American Muslim Doctors denounced UK Terror Plot. Muslim Peace March in Austin, Texas, rally against terrorism in St. Louis, Missouri

Laleh Bakhtiar’s Qur’an Translation was released and has caused some serious and positive discussion of the meaning of Qur’an 4:34

In NYC A Muslim man jumped to the aid of three Jewish subway riders after they were attacked by a group of young people who objected to one of the Jews saying “Happy Hanukkah”.

Noor Khazendar a Muslim student in Alabama spearheaded a project that raised over $4,000 for Toys for Tots. Chicago Muslims donate 21,000 pounds of meat to needy. 7th Annual Humanitarian Day served 25,000 Homeless in U.S. During Ramadan. The UMAA Community Clinic (free clinic) completed 10 years of service to the Los Angeles community. Fadil Bayyari a Muslim contractor is helping a Jewish congregation build a synagogue in the hills of Arkansas. Muslim Patrol Quiets Crime in Shaw neighborhood of Washington D.C. Muslim outreach feeds 30,000 in Canada. Muslim college students continue fastathon tradition to raise funds for the needy across the country. Saint Louis Muslim community sets an example for community service with many projects in 2007. Muslims in London donate meat for the needy. Detroit Muslims donate meat for the needy.

An Arab Muslim family took in a homeless Israeli Jewish family in Jerusalem.

John Butt, the Muslim chaplain at Cambridge University, has started a radio show called “Across the Border”, broadcast to Afghanistan and Pakistan which aims to battle against militants who preach violence in the name of God.

10. GENERAL GOOD NEWS

The “A Muslim a Day” site continues to post a great photo each day, breaking down stereotypes visually.

FILM: The film ‘Days of Glory’ added a Muslim page to the film history of WW II. Prince Among Slaves premieres and wins award for Best Documentary of 2007 at the American Black Film Festival. The U.S. premier of “Rumi Returning” was very well received. “American Ramadan” documentary was released.

TELEVISION: Two new sitcoms showing Muslims as just as goofy as everyone else aired on television. Aliens in America began on the CW network, and Little Mosque on the Prairie on Canadian television. Link TV introduced a special section of programs under the heading of “One Nation, Many Voices: Muslims in America, Stories Not Stereotypes”.

HUMOR: We are beginning to see lots more humor and satire coming from the Muslim community. We have groups like Allah Made Me Funny, The Holy Land Comedy Tour, Stand Up for Peace, The Watch List. Khalil Bendib is considering throwing his fez into the ring to become America’s First Muslim President. Shelina Zahra Janmohamed of Spirit 21 has come up with great Eid and moonsighting carols. Ray Hanania’s Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour is doing well as are many other Muslim and Arab comedians, for example: Azhar Usman – Maz Jobrani – Shazia Mirza – Dean Obaidallah – Preacher Moss – Ahmed Ahmed – Amro Ali – We are seeing humorous posts like – Rules for reporting Islam and regular video blogs like Salam Cafe out of Australia. Even in Iraq Muslims are finding ways to laugh. (see also our collection of articles on satire and humor). There really is such a thing as Muslim humor.

Islam-themed comic book “The 99” hits U.S. stands. Each superhero embodies one of the 99 attributes that Muslims ascribe to Allah.

MUSIC: Muslim Country-Western singer Kareem Salama released a new album.

ART: The political cartoonist, Bendib has released a new book of his work.

BOOKS: Some great books came out this year. The new edition of Muhammad Asad’s monumental translation and commentary is now available in England and in the USA. This beautiful new edition, published by the Book Foundation and designed by Ahmed Moustafa, includes completely new typography, art and a complete transliteration of the Arabic text. Feminism beyond East and West: New Gender Talk and Practice in Global Islam, Margot Badran. The Holy Cities, The Pilgrimage and The World of Islam: A History: From the earliest traditions till 1925 (1344H), Sultan Ghalib al-Qu’aiti. Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization, Akbar Ahmed. The Book of Language: A Deep Glossary of Islamic and English Spiritual Terms (The Education Project series), Kabir Helminski, now available in paperback. American Crescent, Imam Hassan Qazwini. Jasmine and Stars: Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran, Fatemeh Kashevarz. Microcredit And Poverty Alleviation, Tazul Islam. Asian Islam in the 21st Century, Esposito, Voll, Bakar. Christianity and Islam in Spain: Christianity and Islam in Spain, Charles Reginald Haines. The Garden of Truth: The Vision and Promise of Sufism, Islam’s Mystical Tradition, Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Sufism: Veil and Quintessence A New Translation with Selected Letters (The Writings of Frithjof Schuon). God’s Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe’s Religious Crisis, Philip Jenkins. Islam after Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia, Adeeb Khalid. The Inner Journey: Views from the Islamic Tradition (PARABOLA Anthology Series), Wm. C. Chittick (Editor). Liberation Theology: Islam and the Feminist Agenda in the Qur’an, Omar Naseef. Scripture, Reason, and the Contemporary Islam-West Encounter: Studying the “Other,” Understanding the “Self”, Steven Kepnes (Editor), Basit Bilal Koshul (Editor). The Sum of All Heresies: The Image of Islam in Western Thought, Frederick Quinn.

MEDIA: CAIR released “Beyond Stereotypes Ñ American Muslims: a Journalist’s Guide to Understanding Islam and Muslims” which it hopes to distribute to journalists across the U.S.

MAGAZINES & JOURNALS: For years there were really no quality Muslim print magazines and journals. Now, we have some world class publications. – Islamica Magazine – Seasons, The Journal of Zaytuna Institute – Emel – Illume – Q News

VIDEOS: We finally have a selection of good videos available (instead of only those produced by either Islamophobes or Muslim extremists). Progress Theater performance of Peace Is a Hug Away – Refuse, Resist, Say No – Shahada/Peace song in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – Ye Hum Naheen (We Are Not That) – Our World Nasheed, Zain Bhika – World Peace Song

10,000 Muslims attended Muslim Fest 2007 in Canada. 40,000 Muslims attended the ISNA Convention in Chicago.

AWARDS: Shahed Amanullah and altmuslim.com win 2007 Dewey Award. Sheila Musaji wins CAIR 2007 Community Service Award for Journalism. Gray Henry-Blakemore, Dr. Waheed Rana, Muhatar Holland, and Sulayman Nyang win Alexander Russell Webb Award from Zaytuna Institute. Jefferson Award for community service was presented to Samina Faheem Sundas. She also received the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Prize given by an interfaith and peace organization called Fellowship of Reconciliation for her publication, American Muslim Voice. Raheel Raza received an interfaith award from the National Muslim-Christian Liaison Committee of the Canadian Council of Churches at their annual Recognition Dinner in Toronto. Dekha Ibrahim Abdi (Kenya) received the Right Livelihood Award for her work in peace and development.

Actually, we now have a number of awards – The Muslim News Awards for Excellence (Britain) – Muslim Writers Award – The Brass Crescent Awards

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF COMING GOOD NEWS – Dave Chapelle has announced that he will produce a new movie which will introduce comedy fans to the world’s funniest Muslims. Allah Made Me Funny – The Official Muslim Comedy Tour featuring America’s top Muslim comics Preacher Moss, Azhar Usman and Mohammed Amer. The New York Arab American Comedy Festival is coming up again in January.

GOOD NEWS THAT WAS IGNORED

The interfaith plea for peace, “A Pax on Both Our Houses” was ignored by mainstream media.

Sheila Musaji frequently writes and contributes to americanmuslim.org

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One Comment

  1. A-O-A!
    Hello incharge,
    I visited your website, i am so impressed by your teachings and work. I found that you are doing such a wonderful work for the Islamic people in the mean time.I am a professional translator.As you know that Urdu is official or understanable language in different countries suchasIndia,Pakistan,Bangladesh,Saudi Arbia etc.I want that your work appriciated in these countries also. I am interested to work with your ministry or organization as a translator. I hope so that you will consider me for this great option. I will wait to hear from you if you have any work of translation in to Urdu . Thank you
    Sincerely,
    Zainab Naseem

    Reply

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