EAST ST.LOUISâ€”- East St.Louis is latest scene of conflict between immigrant liquor store owners and black Muslim owners who want their closure. Members of Nation of Islamâ€™s Mosque No.28B last week protest outside the liquor store which is too close the mosque.
The liquor store is located within 100 feet of the mosque and mosque members say that giving a liquor license to it by the city was a violation of the ordinance. The Express Market which has been open for a year is owned by Saberta Barta who claims himself to be a â€œMuslim.â€
Interim City Manager Robert Betts was at the scene of the protest, reported the Belleville Democrat. He said he would speak with Mayor Carl Officer and see whether the city made an error in issuing a liquor license to Barta. If so, he said, â€œWe have to take corrective action.â€ Betts said the liquor license at the business is due to expire June 30.
Meeting the Dietary Needs of Muslim Soldiers
Dietary requirements of Muslim and Jewish military personnel is no longer being overlooked, says a report by the Medill News Service. My Own Meals Inc. and J&M Food Products Co. are the U.S. militaryâ€™s sole suppliers of prepackaged meals that meet Muslim and Jewish dietary standards.
Produced and packaged under the careful eye of Jewish and Muslim inspectors, the kosher and halal Meals Ready to Eat have only been available in the military since the mid-1990s.
Jewish or Muslim personnel make up 0.5 percent of the U.S. military, according to Mary Anne Jackson, president of My Own Meals.
â€œWhile the numbers arenâ€™t necessarily big, the demand is changing,â€ she said. â€œA new market niche is emerging.â€
Halal meals are manufactured under the supervision of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America. â€œHalal follows the religious requirements of Islam,â€ said Joseph Dâ€™Onofrio, president of J&M Food Products. â€œThe slaughter of animals is done by Muslims and they supervise the production of the meals.â€
Before the supply of kosher and halal meals, observant Jews and Muslims in the military ate canned tuna fish, fresh vegetables and fruits, and peanut butter.
â€œThey werenâ€™t receiving enough nutrients, when left to their own devices,â€ Jackson said.
Building bridges between FBI and the community
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJâ€” The Egyptian-American Group and the FBI organized a meet-and-greet last weekend to build bridges between the area Arab community and the agency. The event, held at the Giantâ€™s practice facility, attracted about forty young Arab-Americans. According to press reports they had informal chats about Internet safety and crime-scene investigations, a guided tour of an FBI helicopter and ball playing.
Leslie Wiser, agent in charge of the Newark office, said such bridge building exercises are necessary.
â€œMost people like us when they get to meet us,â€ Wiser said, smiling. Then, more seriously, he added, â€œThese are good folks who are invested in America. If we donâ€™t have people like this helping us, we wonâ€™t win the war on terror.â€
The EgyptianAmerican group said that as Muslims they are willing to defend their country. At the same time they want to teach their children not to be scared of the badge.
Howard Dean meets with Muslim American Leaders
WASHINGTON, D.C.â€”On Wednesday, May 17, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean met with a diverse group of Muslim leaders to talk about the Democratic agenda for change along with efforts to reach out to members of the religious community early on in the election process.
Muslim leaders joined Chairman Dean in an informal discussion in which they talked about civil liberties, the Patriot Act, immigration, poverty, engagement of Muslim Americans in the political process, ways the DNC can best reach out to the community and other issues important to Muslim Americans. This meeting was part of a larger outreach by the DNCâ€™s Faith in Action Initiative, a mission to involve state parties and religious leaders from around the country in an ongoing dialogue about their shared values within the Democratic Party.
Chairman Dean issued the following statement:
â€œWith millions of Muslims in America, Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in this country. Muslims mirror the diverse melting pot that is America, including peoples of many regional, ethnic and racial backgrounds. They are deeply patriotic, and they make invaluable contributions to our society.
â€œIt is my hope that this meeting will be the first in a series of on-going discussions with leaders of the Muslim American community. We had a productive discussion about a wide range of subjects and opened a healthy dialogue on our shared values, including the protection of religious freedom and civil liberties. No American should be subjected to discrimination because of his or her race, ethnic background or religious beliefs. It is our obligation as Democrats and as Americans to speak out against such discrimination, whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head. Likewise, as part of Democratsâ€™ national outreach efforts, it is no longer enough to say that Muslim Americans should have a place at the table; more importantly, we must have diversity on our tickets.
â€œI look forward to continuing to work with the leaders of the Muslim American community to advance our shared values and goals for America.â€
Interfaith leaders call for commitment to earth
DAVIS, CAâ€” Speakers at the third Care for Godâ€™s Creation conference called on the people to re-commit to Earth. The event drew people from all over the country. Imam M.A.Azeez spoke on the importance of trees and environment in Islam.
â€œFrom the Islamic perspective, tampering with the environment is a direct challenge to the authority of God,â€ he said. â€œOur mission as Godâ€™s trustees is to preserve the environment.â€
Tree activist Julia Butterfly Hill was the featured speaker.
Chicago IMAN expanding
CHICAGO, ILâ€”- For ten years the Inner-City Muslim Action Network has been providing essential social and community services to residents of Southwest Side of Chicago. To meet its increasing needs the organization is creating a new administrative facility and health clinic.
Leaders of the Greater Southwest Development Corporation, a non-profit organization that supports commercial and residential growth in Marquette Manor and Chicago Lawn, bought the former bank building to help an entity succeed in the area instead of having the site sit empty and boarded up, reported the Southwest News-Herald.
GSDC is currently working on a lease agreement with IMAN.
â€œThis move is going to allow us to expand the services we can offer the community,â€ said Rami Nashashibi, executive director.
In the 3,500-square foot building, visitors will see a computer lab, health clinic, multipurpose room and administrative offices.
There will also be tutoring and computer classes given by voluntary leaders from various fields, as well as health programs for the community.
Indian scholar to speak in Chicago
CHICAGO, ILâ€” Renowned scholar from India Dr.Hasanuddin Ahmed will speak at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Sunday, May 28the 2006. The event will start at 12 noon and will also feature a speech on history by Dr.Muhammed Muzafferuddin Farooqui.
Halal Gets Increased Exposure
In the past months several news reports on the Halal food industry have been published in the mainstream North American press. The lifestyle section of Toronto Sun published an article by reporter David Schmeichel explaining the concept of Halal. Shahina Siddiqui, president of the Islamic Social Services Association of Canada, said, â€œ Islamic dietary restrictions are based on the premise that health and life come first. Itâ€™s explained in the Qurâ€™an (Islamâ€™s sacred book) … anything that is harmful to the human body or a threat to human life is forbidden.â€
The Redlands Daily Facts newspaper of California published an article with the title â€˜Muslim diet is strict, healthy and delicious. Columnist Gregory Elder wrote, â€œWhatever else we might say about Islam, the Muslim diet is certainly healthful and the cuisine wonderful.â€
A news report published by the Newhouse News Service and published in several newspapers around the United States focused on how the fast food chains are tapping the halal market. It featured a Subway restaurant in New Jersey which serves Halal food. The owner of the restaurant said her sales have gone up ever since she began serving halal. A & W Root Beer Restaurant and other mainstream restaurants have also reportedly introduced halal menus.