FAIRFIELD, CT–The Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Jewish student group KADIMA at the Fairfield University in Connecticut co-hosted their first event Wednesday night, a comedy show called â€œStand Up for Peace,â€ featuring Scott Blakeman, a Jewish comedian, and Dean Obeidallah, a Palestinian-American comedian, the Mirror student newspaper reported.
The two comedians have been performing since 2002 in an effort to bring Muslim and Jewish people together and promote peace and understanding between the two groups. They began by performing shows for Seeds of Peace, an organization devoted to bringing Palestinian and Israeli teenagers together.
â€œWhen we found out about Stand Up for Peace a few months back, we thought, â€˜What better way to do this than co-sponsor this with MSA?â€™â€ said Alison Goldberg â€˜11, president of KADIMA. She said that she and Nargis Alizada â€˜12, president of MSA, had wanted the two organizations to put on an event for a while.
â€œWe wanted to raise awareness to the fact that Jewish and Muslim students donâ€™t hate each other,â€ Goldberg said.
Mosque redevelopment plans rejected by Lomita CA
LOMITA, CA–The Islamic Center of the South Bay was stopped in its tracks to redevelop its property. The Lomota Council unanimously rejected the Centerâ€™s proposed redevelopment plans last Monday. It cited traffic concerns as the major reason behind the decision.
â€œBasically it just caused too much traffic on the streets in that neighborhood,â€ Mayor Don Suminiga said. â€œPeople are coming from all over to this area. The Islamic Center in Lomita is the only one around. People are coming from Orange County, San Pedro, Torrance.â€
The mayor said that the mosque can likely be remodeled without increasing the number of people coming to the center.
Muslim claims NYPD discriminated against him
NEW York, NY–Said Hajem,a 39 year old Moroccan born immigrant, claims that he was not hired by the New York Police Department because of his faith and the fact that he was born outside of the United States. He is now suing the department for discrimination.
According to the New York Times Hajem took the police exam in February 2006 and scored 85.6 which is much higher than passing.
In June of the same year he received a letter of congratulations from Commissioner Kelly and began prepared to enter the force.
â€œI started dreaming of becoming one of the Finest,â€ Hajem told the Times. â€œAs an important person who is going to save lives and stop terrorism.â€
But in the four years since Hajem first started having those blue dreams, his application seems to have been stalled in a black hole.
Hajem, who has filed a lawsuit against the city, says that in July 2006 an officer reviewing his paperwork told him that he disapproved of people from â€œother countriesâ€ joining the NYPD, according tot he Times.
That officer, Ricardo Ramkissoon, allegedly also didnâ€™t accept references from people with Middle Eastern names.
â€œHe told me, â€˜I need American names,â€™â€ Hajem told the Times. â€œHe said, â€˜You may be a terrorist.â€
The city and police department for their part content that they have â€œsuccessfully recruited native speakers of Urdu, Farsi, Arabic, Pashto and other languages,â€ said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne. â€œOur linguist program is the envy of law enforcement worldwide.â€
Lawyers for the city filed a motion asking that Hajemâ€™s claim be thrown out, but U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Sullivan ruled on Jan 29. that there was enough evidence for the suit to go forward.