Islam

Hispanic American Conversions to Islam

August 19, 1999

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On August 19, 1999, The Christian Science Monitor published an article on the small but growing trend of Hispanic American conversions to Islam. Elizabeth Chawki, one of the approximately 15,000 Hispanic American converts to Islam, converted to Islam from her Christian heritage because she perceived a more direct connection to God, and she appreciated the sense of "brotherhood and sisterhood," the daily structure of life, and the inclusion of much of Jewish and Christian teachings. Benny Garcia, brother of Elizabeth...

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News Article Generates Controversy in American Muslim Community

August 14, 1999

Source: Star Tribune

On August 14, 1999, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis published Hooper's reply to PIpes' August 1st commentary. Hooper points out that Daniel Pipes has a history of a "troubling bigotry toward Muslims." Citing several quotes from the writings of Pipes and commentaries on his work, Hooper shows that Pipes has a controversial stance toward Muslims. In 1983, a Washington Post book review states that Pipes displays, "a disturbing hostility to contemporary Muslims...he professes respect for Muslims but is frequently contemptuous of...

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News Article Generates Controversy in American Muslim Community

August 1, 1999

Source: Star Tribune

On August 1, 1999, the Star Tribune published an article written by Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, on the situation of Islam in America. Pipes separates the American Muslim community - "immigrants and native-born converts alike" - into two categories: integrationists and chauvinists. The integrationists have no problem being patriotic Americans while holding fast to their Muslim beliefs. Many of these integrationists "present Islam as the fulfillment of American values and see Muslims as a very positive force to...

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Pluralism Project Affiliates Map Religious Diversity of Northern Ohio

July 31, 1999

Source: Akron Beacon Journal

On July 31, 1999 Akron Beacon Journal featured an article on the research of Northern Ohio's religious diversity by Pluralism Project affiliates. The "growth in religious diversity has been examined by two Kent State University researchers... Dr. David Odell-Scott, associate professor of philosophy... and Dr. Surinder M. Bhardwaj, a professor of geography... received a 1998 grant through the Pluralism Project at Harvard University to map the religious diversity of Northern Ohio... As a result of that work, the researchers have...

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Dar al Islam in New Mexico

July 31, 1999

Source: The Toronto Star

On July 31, 1999, The Toronto Star published an article on Dar al Islam, a Muslim village begun in 1977 by American and European converts who wanted to live amid the Native American pueblos in northern New Mexico. The village, which was constructed in Abiquiu, New Mexico, boasts an adobe mosque as its centerpiece. Completed in 1981 and situated on 1,600 acres, the mosque and adjoining madrassah include vaulted ceilings, domes, archways, gardens, courtyards, and a library. The Dar al Islam community of several dedicated families...

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Los Angeles Muslims and Jews Try to Move Beyond Conflict

July 23, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 23, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the efforts of Los Angeles Muslims and Jews to renew efforts to create a code of ethics for civilizing Muslim-Jewish relations. In the wake of the national controversy over the appointment of Salam Al-Marayati to a national counter-terrorism commission, the two sides are trying to salvage public relations. Mather Hathout, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Southern California, stated: "We have got to learn how to disagree-with respect and civility and a touch of...

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Rights of Muslim Prisoners to Attend Prayer Services Upheld

July 17, 1999

Source: Sacramento Bee

On July 17, 1999, the Sacramento Bee reported that U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton cited the California Department of Corrections in contempt of court for not fully implementing a court decision in February of 1999 that ensured the right of every Muslim inmate to attend Jumu'ah prayer services at midday on Fridays. Ernest Fenelon, a California Medical Facility inmate who is Muslim, brought suit against the Department of Corrections in 1995 for not allowing him to attend Jumu'ah services. Judge Karlton ruled in Fenelon's favor...

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Appointment of Salam Al-Marayati to Counter-Terrorism Commission Withdrawn

July 9, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 9, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that House Democratic leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-MO.) withdrew the nomination of Salam Al-Marayati to a congressional commission on counter-terrorism. Gephardt claimed that Al-Marayati would not be able to gain security clearance in time for him to join the commission. Gephardt has been under fire from Jewish organizations ever since he made the appointment. Morton A. Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, accused Al-Marayati of excusing terrorist attacks against...

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Islam in Maine

July 6, 1999

Source: Portland Press Herald Online

On July 6, 1999, the Portland Press Herald Online published an article on the Muslim population in Maine. Due to the influx of immigrants to Maine from Somalia, Iran, Iraq, and Kosovo, the Muslim population has grown to approximately 1,500. The Portland Muslim community now has a masjid and sustains the New World Market, the state's only halal meat counter. The largest Muslim groups in Maine are Afghans and Somalians, with immigrant groups also from Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Iran, and Iraq.

Appointment of Muslim to National Counter-Terrorism Commission Creates a Stir

July 5, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 5, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that the appointment of Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, by House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt to a national counter-terrorism commission has come under attack by major Jewish organizations. Muslim Americans hail the appointment as a "sign that Washington is finally giving them a voice in policymaking." Al-Marayati looks forward to the position: "I hope to broaden the discussion on terrorism by looking at its root...

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Muslim Police Officer Suspended for Goatee in New York

July 4, 1999

Source: The New York Times

On July 4, 1999, The New York Times reported that Christopher M. Letz, a six-year veteran of the New York State Park Police, was suspended on June 22nd, 1999 for insubordination because he grew a goatee, which is against department regulations. Letz, who grew the goatee to comply with Muslim teachings, was inspired by a March 1999 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals that blocked the dismissal of two Muslim police officers in Newark, New Jersey for growing beards for religious reasons. Though Officer Letz is not in favor of...

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Possible Anti-Muslim Attacks Prove to be a Hoax

July 3, 1999

Source: The Beacon News

While on July 3, 1999, The Beacon News of Aurora, Illinois reported that a Muslim man, Tarell Rodgers, had been attacked in a mosque by three white men and on July 7th, that his garage had been set on fire, by July 9th the paper reported that Rodgers admitted to fabricating these attacks.

Appointment of Muslim to National Counter-Terrorism Commission Creates a Stir

July 2, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 2, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article by Laila and Salam Al-Marayati on the attempts of Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) to disturb Jewish-Muslim relations and block appointments to federal commissions. The Al-Marayatis call for moderation and dialogue to help foster a "viable and mature Jewish-Muslim relationship." "Our major concern is not with promoting any particular foreign group but with enriching the democratic process of debate in America. Our approach is to educate American policymakers and...

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