Zulhijja 25, 1424/February 16, 2004 #22
JOURNALIST WITH MUSLIM NAME TRIES TO DEMONIZE ENTIRE MOSQUE COMMUNITY
OF BRIDGEVIEW, ILLINOIS.
Attempt to Vilify Prof Sami al-Arian and Imam Jamal
REF: February 8 report titled
"Hard-Liners Won Battle for Bridgeview Mosque" by Noreen Ahmed-Ullah,
Kim Baker, Laurie Cohen, S. Franklin and Sam Roe.
Ms. Noreen's report tries to associate an entire Islamic community with
She has done a hatchet job on a place of worship where people are
going about their business living their lives as law abiding citizens
Just because they or their Imam sympathize with
does not turn them into extremists and militants.
I teach journalism and Ms. Noreen's piece would not merit more than an
F owing to her violation of the norms of basic, good journalism.
Here are the absurdities of the main points she makes:
Sheik Jamal (the Imam at the mosque) raised $50,000 for the defense of
Prof. Sami Al-Arian.
Why is Ms. Noreen so impressed by the dollar amount when her own
article states that more than 2,000 people pray at the mosque and many
of them are physicians and other professionals?
Does she know that much bigger amounts are collected at synagogues
and sent to
to fund the occupation of Palestinian lands?
A good journalist would provide comparison so as not to be seen to
be taking sides.
She refers to Prof. Sami Al-Arian as someone accused of
Again, a journalist should remember that a person is innocent until
proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
She conveniently forgot to mention that Prof. Al-Arian is:
1. A university professor in Florida.
2. a supporter of President
3. Was invited to the White House.
4. Supported the Muslim community's drive to vote for Bush.
5. Has never been convicted of a crime.
6. There is no evidence whatever that he has "aided terrorists."
7. As such, Prof. Arian is a political prisoner being held owing to
the machinations of his
If the Bridgeview community wants to help Prof. Al-Arian with the
steep attorney fees which a university professor cannot afford,
why is that help resented by Ms. Noreen?
Shouldnít she keep her hatred against Muslims out of a supposedly
Ms. Noreen has dredged up the internal community conflicts at the
mosque in a puerile attempt to paint the mosque in the colors of
Her "evidence" of this "extremism" is laughable to say the least.
Let us look at Ms. Noreen's findings:
Ahmed Zaki Hammad "chastised women for smoking." How extreme can you get!
Has Ms. Noreen been to any good church recently or her co-writer Ms. Cohen
to any good synagogue? Are worshippers there encouraged to smoke?
Ms. Noreen is worried that the good old days are gone when
"women wore short sleeves and did not cover their hair" and "men ...
ran liquor stores."
I would urge Ms. Noreen to do some reading on basic religious values.
Even in the U.S. there are not too many places of worship
(let alone a mosque) which encourage women to wear short sleeves and
uncover their hair and urge men to sell liquor.
Imam Jamal "praised Saiyyed Qutb."
That too is used by Ms. Noreen to fill out the picture of "potential"
The last I checked, the U.S. government has not issued a list of
Qutb was a commentator on the
He opposed the
dictatorship and paid with his life.
What kind of twisted mind (full of hate for
would consider "praise for Qutb" a sign of potential terrorism?
Ms. Noreen says Shaikh Jamal called Israel "a foreign, malignant
and strange element for the blessed land."
Should a Palestinian be expected to say that Israel is an
"indigenous, healthy and familiar" element in Palestine?
Is there a list of politically correct descriptions of Israel which
Ms. Noreen would like Muslim Imams to use?
Obviously, Ms. Noreen's report is dishonest and vicious.
She comes across clearly as an Islam hater with a Muslim name.
She uses the words "Muslim Brotherhood" as if it is a sinister
organization linked to terrorism.
The irrelevance of her report comes out when one realizes that the
Muslim Brotherhood organization has NEVER WORKED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.
Even in the conflict with the dictatorship in Egypt,
the MB has chosen strictly to stay away from physical opposition to
the brutal (U.S.-funded) regime in Cairo.
Why is Ms. Noreen fighting Israel's war against the Palestinians?
I am sure that the Tribune is not an appropriate forum for such incitement.
will not gain anything from such muddled, hate-filled writing.
Funnily enough, Muslim Imams have the right to stop short sleeves
and smoking and to speak against Israel.
And surely they have the right to defend Prof. Al-Arian.
Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D
Associate Professor of English
IN RESPONSE TO OUR ARTICLE ON FATIMA MERNISSI WHO CALLED ISLAMIC
HEADCOVERING "that piece of cloth."
ISLAMIC ACTIVIST SAYS IT LIKE IT IS
This is my response to women who want to be like "them" Western
I can make this statement in all truth and not be ashamed or afraid.
To all of my sisters in America who think they want to be like "her,"
the dancer, singer, sex trade worker, politician, socialite, NOW
liberated woman please look at her real hard.
She is liberated from respect.
Most men hold her in contempt or totally disrespect her.
She is a commodity and used and abused in her youth and discarded in
When her firm body can no longer grace the covers of Playboy,
Hustler or the new Auto ads, she is discarded.
Thrown out like yesterdays trash. When she says no and means it,
she is held in contempt and hated by her men, usually called a Lesbian
(if she is or isn't).
No one brothers to ascertain the truth or give her the benefit of the doubt.
No one cares if her feelings are hurt or not.
She often is unmarried, widowed and left alone.
Her children despise her because she sold her relationship with them in
turn for a relationship with a man.
No matter if the man was good for the children or not.
No matter if the man helped himself to her daughters and maybe her sons.
"It's all about me," she says,
as she flips her new overpriced hair-do and jewelry for all to see.
My sisters, don't envy her.
If you only knew she really wishes she had the courage to be more like you.
Yes, to be like you,
a proud Muslim woman who is beautiful on the inside and outside but not
a temptress or commodity for everyone to use.
She wishes she was more like you, having men
(even if they blunder sometimes) who try to protect her.
She wishes she could be called a pearl by a man who will never see
her knees or thighs.
She wishes men would part on the street to let her by.
[Article sent by Ms. Carolyn, our Christian friend in Florida.]
Cameron Kerry and his in-laws
talk of the Democratic frontrunner
By Sharon Luckerman
DETROIT, Feb. 12 ≠ When Cameron Kerry fell in love with Kathy Weinman,
he chose to convert to Judaism from Catholicism.
Little did Kerry know that he already had a strong Jewish connection.
His fatherís parents were Jewish ≠a fact uncovered last year when the
Boston Globe hired a genealogist to check into the family roots of
Kerryís more famous brother, John Kerry,
the Democratic presidential frontrunner.
The Kerry family, thought by many to be of Irish background,
was traced back to a small town in the Austrian empire,
now part of the Czech Republic.
There, the paper discovered that before immigrating to America,
the Kerrys changed their name from Kohn and converted to Catholicism
"It was mind-blowing," says Cam Kerry about first learning of his
grandparentsí true history from the newspaper story.
Also surprising to him was the number of Jews in his synagogue who came
up to him with similar stories. "Itís an American story," he says.
It also could be a powerful Jewish story if John Kerry wins the White House.
He would be the first president of the United States with Jewish roots.
"If my zayda could see this election," says Anne Weinman,
who originally emigrated from Eastern Europe along with her husband, Joe.
"Joe, and I are first-generation Americans and it was inconceivable
back then that we could be connected to the president of the United States."
Camís wife, Kathy Weinman, says,
"We have to pinch ourselves once in a while.
Itís amazing to have a ringside seat to history in the making."
She and their two daughters, ages 13 and 17,
also have participated in this history.
They were in New Hampshire during the primary.
Her daughters campaigned for their uncle, knocking on doors,
making calls and holding up signs.
Their elder daughter worked in Iowa and volunteered for the Kerry
campaign last summer.
Cam, 53, has taken time off from his law firm, Mintz Levin in Boston,
and from his position as an adjunct telecommunications law professor
at Suffolk Law School there, to work on his brotherís presidential campaign.
Last week, prior to the Michigan Democratic caucuses on Feb. 7,
he was in Detroit stumping for his brother.
He stayed with his in-laws in Farmington Hills, where, Anne says,
she keeps a kosher kitchen, and Cam, who is knowledgeable of Jewish
dietary laws, is one of the few people she trusts in it.
Camís wife, Kathy, 49, attended public high school and went to Hebrew
school in Southfield, Mich.
Her mother is a former English teacher and her father was part owner of
a company called Murray Lighting, in Detroit.
The Weinmans now belong to Congregation Beth Ahm in West Bloomfield, Mich.
After graduating from the University of Michigan law school in 1979
magna cum laude≠ Kathy got her first job at a law firm in Washington
There she met Cam, a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College Law School.
The two were married in 1983. Though brought up Catholic,
Cam decided to convert to Judaism before the marriage.
"I was influenced by Kathy," Cam says.
"Judaism is deeply held and meaningful to her.
Early on, we established we would raise any children we had as Jewish.
So it flowed from that.
To be a full participant in their religious education, I would convert."
Cam says what appealed to him about Judaism was the role of study in
the religion, that it valued learning and intellectual pursuits,
which were comfortable and a part of his upbringing.
He adds that standing on the bimah, or synagogue podium,
for each of his daughtersí Bat Mitzvahs as a full participant made
his religious commitments well worth it.
"Judaism is central to us," says Kathy, who is active in her suburban
Boston synagogue, Brooklineís Temple Israel.
"Judaism is a core of my life and important to our family."
When asked how the Catholic and Jewish sides of the family relate,
Kathy says, "Itís a terrific relationship."
She says that candidate Kerry was supportive when his brother converted
to Judaism. He and his family have attended both niecesí baby namings
and Bat Mitzvahs. Kathy says she is very close to John Kerryís
And the Weinman and Kerry families have become mishpachah ≠family ≠says
Anne Weinman. Camís late "blue-blood" mother, Rosemary, whose heritage
goes back to colonial times with family names like Winthrop and Forbes,
and his late father, Richard, were wonderful people proud of all four
of their children: Peggy, John, Diana and Cam. She says the Kerry family
including Camís parents and John ≠ were present when Cam and Kathyís
daughters were named at the temple.
"Religion has never been an issue between Cam and his family," Kathy says.
"Johnís always loved participating in our happy occasions.
Heís always been there and part of our family."
The Weinmans say they are very active in the Kerry campaign.
They support the candidate because of his stand on the environment
and education, Anne says.
"I have a greater appreciation for the early caucus and primaries and
the role they play," Kathy says. "Our country is so big and itís
impossible for everyone to know the candidates.
But the Iowans and the people of New Hampshire get that opportunity.
We saw them get to know my brother-in-law and his opponents.
They made their judgment from the place of knowledge and understanding."
Of course, when asking Cam or the Weinmans why people should vote for Kerry,
one doesnít get a strengths-and-weaknesses kind of answer.
However, the warmth and intimacy of the reply gives another insight
into this political family of diverse backgrounds.
"Thereís nobody else I want by my side in a tough situation than my brother,"
says the easygoing Cam, who has been at his brotherís side for all of
Johnís campaigns for office.
"In times of war and great economic challenge, heís the kind of leader
2004-03-06 Sat 12:28ct