MAS Freedom Supports Congressional Resolution Calling for Freedom for Attorney Peter Erlinder from Prison in Rwanda
Muslim group buying convent in Midland Beach to take part in civic meeting tomorrow On June 9th, Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced Congressional Resolution 1426 to the floor of the House of Representatives, which calls on the government of Rwanda to release noted human rights lawyer Peter Erlinder from custody in Kigali, Rwanda. MAS Freedom continues to encourage individuals to contact Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by calling (202) 647-4000 or sending your communication via mail to U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520. In addition please contact the Ambassador of Rwanda to the United States, H.E. Eng. James Kimonyo by calling (202) 232-2882 or sending mail to 1714 New Hampshire Ave NW Washington, DC 20009 requesting the immediate release of Professor Erlinder. Also, send a letter to Congressman Ellison thanking him for his House resolution on behalf of Professor Erlinder. By calling (202) 225-4755 or sending your letter to 1122 Longworth Building, Washington, D.C. 20515.
On June 9th, Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced Congressional Resolution 1426 to the floor of the House of Representatives, which calls on the government of Rwanda to release noted human rights lawyer Peter Erlinder from custody in Kigali, Rwanda.
MAS Freedom continues to encourage individuals to contact Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by calling (202) 647-4000 or sending your communication via mail to U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520. In addition please contact the Ambassador of Rwanda to the United States, H.E. Eng. James Kimonyo by calling (202) 232-2882 or sending mail to 1714 New Hampshire Ave NW Washington, DC 20009 requesting the immediate release of Professor Erlinder. Also, send a letter to Congressman Ellison thanking him for his House resolution on behalf of Professor Erlinder. By calling (202) 225-4755 or sending your letter to 1122 Longworth Building, Washington, D.C. 20515.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Board members of the Muslim American Society recognize community concerns about their plans to buy a former convent in Midland Beach, but say they are good neighbors who are striving to meet the needs of the area¡¯s growing Muslim population.
Their comments came at a gathering with leaders of the Midland Beach Civic Association and Advance reporters and editors at the newspaper¡¯s Grasmere office, days before tomorrow¡¯s full civic association meeting with MAS members.
"The main issue is the issue of the fear," conceded MAS board member and South Beach resident Ayman Hammous, a married father of five and a physical therapist who works with disabled Staten Island children. He and three fellow MAS members said the organization denounces every aspect of terrorism, and Hammous decried allegations that have appeared on blogs and Web sites characterizing the group as a terror front, saying such stereotyping is the work of "Islamophobes."
U.S. Power Must Do the Right Thing for Gaza
Human Right Attorney Peter Erlinder Detention Upheld by Rwandan Court
MAS Freedom Urges Public to Send Letters to State Department and Rwanda Embassy
A Rwandan judge ruled that the charges against Human Rights Activist Peter Erlinder were true and ordered that he remain incarcerated and brought back to the court in 30 days.
Professor Peter Erlinder is an International Human Rights and Civil Rights Attorney and a Professor of Law at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is also a long time member of the National Lawyers Guild.
MAS Freedom Calls on Muslims to Fast on Monday, June 7th, and Pray for Gaza & the Victims of the Freedom Flotilla
MAS Freedom calls on the Muslim community to observe Monday, June 7th, as a Day of Muslim Fasting and Prayer in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Palestine, and to demonstrate our compassion and condolences for the victims, and their families and loved ones, of the Israeli attack on the Gaza humanitarian convoy.
End the Gaza Embargo Now!
Demonstration & March
Where: In Front of the White House
When: Friday June 4th, 5PM
What: "Let Gaza Live"
Solidarity for the Victims of the
Gaza Freedom Flotilla
Washington (CNN) -- Several Muslim-American groups said Wednesday they hope the Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla will pressure Israel to end its blockade against Gaza.
"No human being in the 21st century should have to be subjected to medieval tactics, like in the old days of surrounding the castle and starving the people out," said Imam Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society.
I first met Ibrahim Abdil-Mu'id Ramey after he delivered the plenary speech about Dr. Martin Luther King and the linkage between Dr. King's movement and the present work for nuclear abolition at Riverside Church in April. Ibrahim reminded us that Dr. King had focused on the three evils of racism, economic injustice, and war.
MAS Freedom Expresses Shock and Outrage Over Israeli Attack on Gaza Flotilla; Calls for Strong U.S. Government Response
Muslim American Society Freedom (MAS Freedom) issues the following statement today, May 31st, 2010, in response to the Israeli military attack on eight ships carrying international aid to Gaza. The unarmed vessels, including ships which sailed under the flags of Greece and Turkey, were carrying some 10,000 tons of building supplies destines for the people of Gaza.
¡°Today, MAS Freedom joins with the entire international community in condemning the Israeli armed attack on a this humanitarian convoy. We regard these attacks, which were executed by Israel while the ships were in international waters, and the killing of an undetermined number of activists aboard the vessels, as an act of unconscionable brutality and violence, and a grave violation of both international law and the moral law that should guide the conduct of all nations. Israeli authorities knew that these ships were unarmed, and that they constituted no threat to the security of Israel. Yet, once again, Israel has resorted to lethal violence against unarmed people, in this case individuals who sought to bring aid to the people of Gaza suffering under a crippling Israeli economic blockade.¡±
¡°The entire international community is horrified by this attack, and the killing of innocent persons that has resulted. We hold the State of Israel responsible for this criminal act, call on the community of nations to demand any and all appropriate measures to insure that this crime be addressed through the appropriate instruments of international law.¡±
¡°But in addition, we call on the President of the United States, and the American government, to respond to this act of provocation and murder committed by one of America¡¯s principal allies, and the recipient of an enormous amount of foreign assistance and military supplies from the United States. The government of the United States must not allow this act to go unpunished. Indeed, the very credibility of America as an honest advocate for justice,will be held in question if the U.S. remains silent in the face of this action, or if America does not materially respond to this Israeli act of unconscionable and unjustifiable aggression.
The world is shocked, angered, and outraged. But we must not relent in our work to free Gaza and end the economic embargo that deprives them of the basic necessities of life. We call on people of faith and conscience to join the MAS Freedom Let Gaza Live campaign and support our efforts to reach the people of the United States with our postcard and petition campaign.¡±
¡°We must honor the lives of those who were killed in this terrible attack, and those in Gaza who suffer from this injustice, by raising our voices to demand: Let Gaza Live.¡±
Organizations to Host Major Press Conference at 10 AM on Wednesday, June 2 at the National Press Club the Murrow Room, in Response to Attack and Gaza Humanitarian Crisis The Muslim American Society Freedom is declaring the week of May 31st-June 6th, 2010, as a week of action, reflection, and solidarity with the people of Gaza and Palestine. The week of action is a response to the acts of piracy committed by Israeli forces on May 31st, in which unarmed convoy of ships carrying humanitarian and building supplies destined for Gaza was attacked, resulting in the killing of activists aboard one of the ships, and the confiscation by of the cargo by Israel. The week began on May 31st, with a large demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., where hundreds of activists converged to demand justice in the aftermath of the murders, which were committed by Israeli forces while the humanitarian aid ships were still in international waters. A second demonstration major demonstration of solidarity is scheduled for Tuesday, June1st, at 12:00 Noon, in front of the White House.
Organizations to Host Major Press Conference at 10 AM on Wednesday, June 2 at the National Press Club the Murrow Room, in Response to Attack and Gaza Humanitarian Crisis
The Muslim American Society Freedom is declaring the week of May 31st-June 6th, 2010, as a week of action, reflection, and solidarity with the people of Gaza and Palestine. The week of action is a response to the acts of piracy committed by Israeli forces on May 31st, in which unarmed convoy of ships carrying humanitarian and building supplies destined for Gaza was attacked, resulting in the killing of activists aboard one of the ships, and the confiscation by of the cargo by Israel.
The week began on May 31st, with a large demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., where hundreds of activists converged to demand justice in the aftermath of the murders, which were committed by Israeli forces while the humanitarian aid ships were still in international waters. A second demonstration major demonstration of solidarity is scheduled for Tuesday, June1st, at 12:00 Noon, in front of the White House.
On Wednesday, June 2nd, MAS Freedom will also host a major press conference in the nation's capital at the National Press Club at 10am in the Murrow room, featuring interfaith leaders and human rights activists who will voice their own responses to this grave international crisis.
There will be a major rally and demonstration in front of the White House on Jun 4th at 5:00 P.M. Additionally, on the weekend of Friday through Sunday, June 4th through June 6th, MAS Freedom calls for a weekend of prayer, reflection, and solidarity with the Gaza humanitarian flotilla victims and their families and the entire population of Gaza and Palestine. This will involve congregational prayer and reflections in different faith communities throughout the nation.
Also, during the week of action and solidarity, MAS Freedom will intensify our Let Gaza Live campaign, which centers on three specific actions: (1) disseminating an on-line petition which calls for action on the part of President Obama to press Israel to end the blockade of Gaza, (2) distributing half a million post cards to make the demand to the President to support the end of the embargo, and (3) distributing lawn signs to houses of worship that convey solidarity with the people of Gaza and Palestine, and demand that Gaza be free.
Ibrahim Ramey of MAS Freedom states that the movement to end the embargo of Gaza has reached both a critical stage and a turning point as a result of the Israeli attack of the humanitarian shipment. "The whole world witnessed the naked and undeniable violence that Israel uses to oppress a captive population in Gaza", he said, "but the international community is now rallying behind support for the basic human rights of the people. What remains is securing the commitment of the government of the United States to completely support the rule of law, and human rights for the people of Gaza and Palestine. This is the objective of the Let Gaza Live campaign, and the broader movement to support freedom and an end to occupation in Palestine."
"We are intensifying our call to the Muslim community, the interfaith community, and all people who poise oppression and injustice, to demand that this illegal and immoral blockade be lifted at once," stated Imam Mahdi Bray.
MAS Freedom urges you to generously support the Let Gaza Live campaign with your financial donations, your time, and your help with our ongoing outreach to people of faith and conscience throughout the United States. Please, pledge your monetary support today! Contact MAS Freedom at:
1325 G Street, N.W., Suite 500,
Washington, DC 20005
As eight vessels, with hundreds of international activists aboard, approach the coast of Gaza, it is unclear what actions the Israeli military will take to possibly intercept the vessels and detain the persons on board. The ships are expected to arrive of the coast of Gaza on early Saturday morning, eastern U.S. time.
But regardless of the possibility of arrest and the confiscation of the ten tons of building materials and humanitarian supplies, the Gaza convoy-the largest attempt to date to end the economic blockade by Israel of some 1.4 million people in the territory-is sailing in open defiance of the Israeli embargo, with the support of numerous peace activists and political leaders throughout the world.
Among the persons with the flotilla is Mike Daly, a Senator from the Republic of Ireland, who is traveling to Gaza along with 35 other parliamentarians from the international community. Another prominent Irish leader, Nobel Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, has publicly expressed her solidarity with the efforts to break the Gaza embargo.
Ms. Maguire, herself, accompanied an earlier humanitarian voyage to Gaza, which resulted in her ship being rammed by an Israeli vessel while in international waters. One of the members of that delegation was Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the candidate for the 2008 presidency of the United States representing the Green Party.
Some Israeli officials, as reported on May 27th by the Wall Street Journal, are lamenting the fact that any Israeli interception of the flotilla would result in a "no win" situation for Israel. Throughout the U.S. and in other countries, in fact, numerous demonstrations have been staged in support of the humanitarian convoy, with Muslims, Christians, Jews, and other people of faith and conscience calling on Israel to allow for the safe passage of the vessels.
MAS Freedom, in a letter to Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, called on Israel to abide by the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying or controlling foreign power from imposing collective punishment or the denial of food and medical necessities on people under occupation.
Take Action! MAS Freedom says: Let Gaza Live! We ask for your generous financial support to help us (1) widely distribute our online petition calling for an end to the blockade, (2) print and mail half a million post cards that call on President Obama to take critical action to persuade both Israel and Egypt to allow for the free transport of humanitarian supplies to Gaza, and (3) distribute lawn signs to houses of worship throughout the United States that say Let Gaza Live.
Your contributions will help change the political climate in the United States and contribute greatly to freedom and justice for the people of Gaza.
May 28th, 2010
His Excellency Ambassador Michael Oren
Embassy of the State of Israel
3514 International Drive, NW
Washington, DC 20005-3021
By facsimile: (202) 364-5560
As you are certainly aware, an international flotilla of eight vessels is now in the Mediterranean Sea, en route to the territory of Gaza. These vessels are carrying some tens tons of humanitarian supplies and building materials designated for use by the civilian population of Gaza. The ships are accompanied by international citizens, including Irish Senator Mark Daly, and some 35 other parliamentarians. These vessels and those persons aboard them are unarmed, and they carry no items that in any way pose a security threat to Israel or to any Israeli citizens.
While numerous press reports indicate Israel's intention to intercept the ships and imprison the persons who are accompanying the voyage, the Muslim American Society Freedom writes to you, as a representative of the Israeli government, to call upon your government to abide by the norms of international law and to allow for the safe passage of these vessels to Gaza, for the purpose of delivering this humanitarian cargo to people in desperate need of the basic necessities of life.
More specifically, we bring to your attention the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which compel Israel, as the state power that effectively controls access to Gaza, to allow for the transshipment of necessary items for food and health maintenance (Articles 55 and 56), and to desist from actions that constitute the collective punishment of an occupied population (Article 33)
We firmly believe that it is in the best interest of your country, as well as the people of Gaza and the world, to allow the free passage of this flotilla to its intended destination. Building materials and crayons for children are not weapons aimed at any population; they are among the many things denied to the human beings living in Gaza as a result of the economic embargo imposed on them by Israel.
If peace is to come to the people of Palestine and Israel-and we pray to our Creator that it will be so-it must not come at the price of the deliberate cruelty of deprivation and suffering imposed on innocent civilians.
Let Gaza Live!
Imam Mahdi Bray
Executive Director, MAS Freedom
Ibrahim Abdil-Mu'id Ramey
Director, Human and Civil Rights Division
You can make a difference in the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Do your part to help end the Gaza embargo. Make your donations today to Let Gaza Live. Make you check payable to MAS Freedom Let Gaza Live, 1325 G Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005 or call us at 888-627-8471.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp went to the site of a recent pipe bombing Wednesday, meeting with leaders at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida for a tour of their mosque.Kottkamp first toured a multipurpose room and then the prayer room inside the facility before visiting the site where the pipe bomb was detonated.The FBI is still reviewing surveillance video they said shows a man carrying a gas can and a
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NEW YORK - The questions on the ads aren't subtle: Leaving Islam? Fatwa on your head? Is your family threatening you?
A conservative activist and the organizations she leads have paid several thousand dollars for the ads to run on at least 30 city buses for a month. The ads point to a website called RefugefromIslam.com, which offers information to those wishing to leave Islam, but some Muslims are calling the ads a smoke screen for an anti-Muslim agenda.
Last month, Miami-Dade Transit pulled the ads from 10 buses after deciding they "may be offensive to Islam," according to The Miami Herald. But the agency decided to reinstall them after reviewing the ads with the county attorney's office.
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Muslim American Society Freedom-MAS Freedom- has now officially launched our Let Gaza Live electronic petition drive. We encourage all of our supporters to go to our electronic petition on the internet, sign it, and forward this link to no fewer than 10 individuals and/or institutions in the community who support the human rights of the people of Gaza, and the positive engagement of the United States government in genuine support for the human rights of the Palestinian people.
After a raucous hearing, a Manhattan community board backed a proposal on Tuesday evening to build a Muslim community center near the World Trade Center.
The 29-to-1 vote, with 10 abstentions, followed a four-hour back-and-forth between those who said the community center would be a monument to tolerance and those who believed it would be an affront to victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
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The practice of Islam in America is practically as old as the country itself, however the institutionalization of it - in the form of community centers, places of worship and even organizations based on Islamic principles - is really only several decades young. In what can best be described as generational evolution, young American Muslims born and raised in the U.S. (unlike many of their immigrant parents) are searching for ways to bridge cultures they love equally: that of country and faith.
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The practice of Islam in America is practically as old as the country itself, however the institutionalization of it - in the form of community centers, places of worship and even organizations based on Islamic principles - is really only several decades young.
In what can best be described as generational evolution, young American Muslims born and raised in the U.S. (unlike many of their immigrant parents) are searching for ways to bridge cultures they love equally: that of country and faith.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Dan Fanelli is hoping to win over voters in U.S. House District 8 by promising to help protect them from terrorists, if elected.But Fanelli's ads on his website, which feature one or two Middle-Eastern men appearing to be conspiring to build a bomb and place it on a plane, have infuriated national and local Arab anti-discrimination groups.
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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. --- The Archdiocese of New York is defending St. Margaret Mary R.C. Church's decision to sell its empty former convent in Midland Beach to the Muslim American Society, saying there is no proof that the organization has terrorist links.
"I've not heard anything that says this is a terrorist organization," said Joe Zwilling, a spokesman for the archdiocese. "So I would hate to even use a word like that when that word only serves to inflame people's emotions."
Mahdi Bray, the executive director of MAS Freedom National, who is based in Washington, D.C., said he was disappointed the local chapter in Brooklyn did not reach out to the community sooner, but insisted his group was not involved with the Muslim Brotherhood or any terrorist organizations. He said community centers that the group has built elsewhere have coalesced with their neighbors, including one in Brooklyn near a police station.
"We are not insensitive to the fact that there is a fear factor out there," Bray said. "Unfortunately, there are people who behave badly, who behave criminally, and yes, even behave in the areas of terrorism. But they are not associated with us."
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The family of a Muslim man beaten in Brooklyn over the weekend says his attackers spewed hate speech when they jumped him during his lunch break.
Kamal Uddin, 57, a construction worker from Bangladesh, was beaten so severely in the Saturday attack that he thinks it's August, his family said.
He has told family from his hospital bed that the punks who jumped him in East New York targeted him because of his religion.
He was wearing a traditional Muslim prayer cap at the time, and was not robbed of valuables.
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