Saturday, September 15, 2007

Weekend News Roundup


Samaha (Blog) - ISNA: Invasion of The ISNA Deaniacs

Around me I could hear whispers of “Howard Dean” and I watched the youth all around me, all wide eyed, explaining Howard Dean to their parents, aunts and uncles.

It was quite interesting watching these fidgety late teens and twenty-something year olds turning their heads, looking towards the door anxiously awaiting Howard Dean. This was it - this right here, this vibrant young enthusiasm was what differentiated my generation from theirs. Not because they are Deaniacs, mind you, but because within these wide eyes you can see hope. You can see the innocence and yes the good naivety that none of us should ever have lost. You can see in their eyes the hidden solutions that they all carry to all of the problems of the world. You can see the simplicity of it all but somehow, somehow you just can’t see far enough to be able to touch it or grasp it, to feel it again.

Around this room sat future congresspeople, representatives, activists, philanthopists, and maybe even a future president. In this room sat our fidgety hope for a better tommorow and maybe a not so impossible world peace.

I should make note that ISNA itself insists that it is non-partisan and had invited republicans to this event but had no takers on the republican invitees - so the panel before us consisted of democrats. ~Way to go republicans~

He asked of us for the sake of America to get into politics “For the sake of America I need you to run for yourselves.”

That my friends was “The Take Back America Rally”

Charitable Tradition in Transition
Key edicts of Ramadan, which began yesterday at sunset, are to fast and promote good conduct. The devil is said to be shackled, making it easier than during the rest of the year to perform good deeds and give charity.

Mukit Hossain, 47, a telecommunications worker and Muslim activist in Northern Virginia, said holiday charity is deliberately done more publicly because Muslims are eager to build bridges after Sept. 11.
Community Times magazine, Lady Liberty, a Fellaha?

OnFaith from the Washington Post presents:
The Muslims of Jesus Camp

Islam's Up-to-Date Televangelist
Secular critics say Khaled, the son of a doctor, is fostering a religious revival rather than modern reform. Wael Abbas, a leading Egyptian blogger, said Khaled is the "first step to Islamization. He's charismatic and the girls like him. But Egypt is becoming more conservative as a result of him. More girls have started to wear veils."

The question now is whether Khaled represents a fad or an enduring trend. Khaled is most popular among the middle and upper classes. Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper described him as a "Pied Piper" leading Arab youth "to an unknown destination -- much to the discontent of the town elders.

From Finding Radical Islam to Losing an Ideology
LONDON, Sept. 11 — For four years, Maajid Nawaz, a British Pakistani university student, was imprisoned in Egypt, enduring months of solitary confinement and the screams of those being tortured.

Mr. Nawaz left Britain on his fateful trip to Egypt on Sept. 10, 2001, for a year abroad to study Arabic. In April 2002, he was charged and sentenced by the Egyptians for spreading the beliefs of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical Islamic group that is legal in Britain but banned in Egypt and other countries because it calls for the overthrow of governments in the Muslim world.

Calls in Britain for the banning of Hizb ut-Tahrir usually stress that the group is a gateway for some Muslims to turn to terrorism. As Mr. Nawaz puts it, “Hizb ut-Tahrir spearheaded the radicalization of the 1990s and cultivated an atmosphere of anger.”

Mr. Nawaz is the product of a third-generation British Pakistani family. His father recently retired as an oil engineer, and his mother works in a bank; they live in Essex, a middle-class area south of London.

When he was growing up, Islam seemed like an irrelevant, “backward village religion,” he said. That attitude changed when he was 16.

On a rare visit to a mosque, he met a Bangladeshi student, a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, who he said preyed on his confusion about his British Pakistani identity.

Reprieve for the Pint and the Ounce
BRUSSELS, Sept. 11 — Britons and the Irish can still down a pint of beer, walk a mile, covet an ounce of gold and eat a pound of bananas after the European Union ruled today that the countries could retain measurements dating back to the Middle Ages.

Under a previous European Union plan, Britain and Ireland would have been forced to adopt the metric system and phase out imperial measurements by 2009. But after a vociferous antimetric campaign by British skeptics and London’s tabloid press, European Union officials decided that an ounce of common sense (or 28.3 grams) suggested that granting a reprieve was better than braving a public backlash.

They also feared that forcing Britain to abolish the imperial system would have damaged European Union trade with the United States, one of three countries, including Liberia and Myanmar, that have not officially adopted the metric system.

A British grocer, Steve Thoburn of Sunderland, became known as the “metric martyr” when he was convicted in 2001 of measuring fruits and vegetables in pounds and ounces instead of kilograms. A court gave him a six-month conditional discharge. He died of a heart attack in 2004 just days after learning that his appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against a conviction for using nonmetric scales in his market stall had been rejected.

Under the European Union decision, they can retain miles on road signs, and pubs may continue to serve pints of beer. Other goods must be sold in metric quantities, but retailers can display imperial equivalents.
'Breast-Feeding Is Obscene'

'This is a death announcement for freedom of press in Egypt'
"This is a death announcement for the freedom of press in Egypt," Eisa said.

Qandil said the "severe" verdict would not weaken him.

Hafez Abu Seada, secretary-general of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights, said: "This is something very unique to Egypt," he said.

"I have never seen, at least in the last five years, any country that jails four editors in one day.

For China's Censors, Electronic Offenders Are the New Frontier

Prisons Purging Books on Faith From Libraries
But prison chaplains, and groups that minister to prisoners, say that an administration that put stock in religion-based approaches to social problems has effectively blocked prisoners’ access to religious and spiritual materials — all in the name of preventing terrorism.

“It’s swatting a fly with a sledgehammer,” said Mark Earley, president of Prison Fellowship, a Christian group. “There’s no need to get rid of literally hundreds of thousands of books that are fine simply because you have a problem with an isolated book or piece of literature that presents extremism.”

The lists are broad, but reveal eccentricities and omissions. There are nine titles by C. S. Lewis, for example, and none from the theologians Reinhold Niebuhr, Karl Barth and Cardinal Avery Dulles, and the influential pastor Robert H. Schuller.

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