Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

March 31, 2006

Nancy Grace Revives Cold Case Murder of Iman Muhanna Mohammed Tonight on CNN

Assalamu Alaikum, Al-hamdulillah I was contacted today by a producer of the CNN program, "Nancy Grace" with the exciting news that she is bringing the cold-case of the brutal stabbing murder of Iman Muhanna Mohammed and her unborn child back to the forefront by showcasing it tonight on her show. Please share the news that this program will be broadcast at two different times the evening of Friday, March 31, 2006 and early in the morning of Saturday, April 1, 2006. Additional information below. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala facilitate bringing Iman's murderer's to justice - if not in this life, then surely in the hereafter. Ma'Salaama, ~Aishah NANCY GRACE Friday's show - March 31, 2006 Nancy takes a look at a woman's brutal slaying in New Orleans while a killer's on the loose. "Nancy Grace" airs live on Headline News at 8 p.m. and replays at 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. (All times Eastern.) See Also: Story of the Murder of Iman Muhanna Mohammed by Aishah Schwartz On the Web: MWA Women Making History Blog Copyright © 2006 Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

March 29, 2006

American Muslims Step Up Appeal for Reporter's Release

UPDATE: Journalist Released After Three Months By MARIAM FAM, (AP Writer) 5 minutes ago American reporter Jill Carroll was set free Thursday, nearly three months after she was kidnapped in a bloody ambush that killed her translator. She said she had been treated well. Carroll, 28, was dropped off near the Iraqi Islamic Party offices. She walked inside, and people there called American officials, Iraqi police said. "I was treated well, but I don't know why I was kidnapped," Carroll said in a brief interview on Baghdad television. Carroll was kidnapped Jan. 7 in Baghdad's western Adil neighborhood while going to interview Sunni Arab politician Adnan al-Dulaimi. Her translator was killed in the attack about 300 yards from al-Dulaimi's office. The previously unknown Revenge Brigades claimed responsibility. Even though the group threatened twice in videotapes to kill Carroll, she said, "They never hit me. They never even threatened to hit me." The Italian news agency ANSA reported that Carroll underwent a medical checkup at the American hospital in the Green Zone. During the TV interview, Carroll wore a light green Islamic headscarf and a gray Arabic robe. "I'm just happy to be free. I want to be with my family," she was heard to say under the Arabic voiceover. Carroll said she was kept in a furnished room with a window and a shower, but she did not know where she was. "I felt I was not free. It was difficult because I didn't know what would happen to me," she said. UPDATE: U.S. Risks Reporter's Life to Strike Tough Pose Published on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 by Inter Press Service by Gareth Porter - WASHINGTON - The George W. Bush administration went well beyond refusing to negotiate with terrorists in its handling of the threat by freelance journalist Jill Carroll's abductors to kill her if all female detainees were not released from U.S.-run prisons in Iraq. According to Iraqi officials, U.S. officials delayed the scheduled release of six female prisoners whom they knew had already been found innocent because of the kidnappers' demand for their release. Then they refused to speed up the review of the files of the five remaining female prisoners, in violation of a policy of giving priority to females in the review of detainee files for release. Had the normal policy been followed, it is very likely that all the women held by the United States would have been released by now. By delaying the releases of female detainees to strike a tough anti-terrorism pose, the administration has increased the risk to Jill Carroll's life. UPDATE: Kuwait TV: Carroll Kidnappers Set Deadline By PAUL GARWOOD, Associated Press Writer, Sat., Feb. 11, 12 minutes ago, BAGHDAD, Iraq - Kidnappers of American journalist Jill Carroll have threatened to kill her if their demands are not met by Feb. 26, the owner of a Kuwaiti TV station that has aired a new tape of the hostage said Friday. UPDATE: Kidnapped U.S. Reporter Appeals for Help By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer, Fri., Feb. 10, 2 hours 52 min. ago BAGHDAD, Iraq - Kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll appeared in a video aired Thursday on a private Kuwaiti TV station, appealing in a calm, composed voice for her supporters to do whatever it takes to win her release "as quickly as possible." Jill adds, "I sent you a letter written by my hand, but you wanted more evidence," she said. "I am here. I am fine. Please just do whatever they want, give them whatever they want as quickly as possible. There is very short time. Please do it fast. That's all." UPDATE: New Video Shows Kidnapped Reporter Weeping By PAUL GARWOOD, Associated Press Writer Tue Jan 31, 12:35 AM ET BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. journalist Jill Carroll, weeping and veiled, appeared on a new videotape aired Monday by Al-Jazeera, and the Arab television station said she appealed for the release of all Iraqi women prisoners. UPDATE: Five Iraqi women prisoners to be freed: ministry (1/25/06) UPDATE: Kidnapped reporter's father asks Iraq captors to open dialogue for daughter's release (1/23/06) American Muslims Step Up Appeal for Reporter's Release By Aishah Schwartz January 21, 2006 Arriving in Bagdad, Iraq on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2006, representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Nihad Awad and Corey Saylor, hoped to play a pivotal role in the release of kidnapped freelance reporter Jill Carroll, 28, of Ann Arbor, Michigan. At Baghdad International Airport news sources state CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, as saying, "We are the only people who have come from outside of Iraq to call for Jill's release and we are very hopeful they will hear our message on behalf of American Muslims." In an earlier plea for Carroll's release CAIR officials also stated, "Journalists must be free to report on conflicts worldwide without fear of being targeted by combatants. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Jill Carroll and for the release of all hostages held in Iraq. No cause can be served by harming those who only seek to convey the human suffering caused by war." Carroll, the first female American journalist to be kidnapped in Iraq and working there since October 2003, is said to have been on assignment for The Christian Science Monitor when she was abducted January 7, 2006 leaving the office Adnan al-Dulaimi, secretary-general of the Conference for Iraq's People, a coalition of Sunni groups. Killed at the scene of the abduction was Carroll's Iraqi interpreter, Allan Enwiyah, 32, who was reportedly shot twice in the head. Carroll's driver, who has asked not to be identified, said that one of the kidnappers pulled him from the car and sped off with Carroll and Enqwiyah. The Christian Science monitor reports the driver as stating that a remaining kidnapper shouted at him to "get away," and shot at him before he was able to run off towards safety. CNN reports the driver as saying, "It was very obvious this was by design. The whole operation took no more than a quarter of a minute. It was very highly organized. It was a setup, a perfect ambush." Awad and CAIR Government Affairs Director, Corey Saylor, had hoped to meet with Iraqi Muslims in person to explore ways to win Carroll's freedom but their mission fell short of expectations due to lack of safe transport into the city, forcing a default to telephone conferences. "We hope that the combined efforts of all those who are concerned about Ms. Carroll's safety will result in her immediate and unconditional release," said CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed. "The American Muslim community is committed to doing its part in helping to win her freedom." CAIR has its share of naysayers, but let us consider the words of Jill Carroll on why she was willing to put her life on the line in Iraq, "Covering the war gives journalists an opportunity to recall the noblest tenets of their profession and fulfill the public service role of journalism." Imagine a world filled with other Muslim representatives, organizations and even individuals like Jill, willing to stand up for the noblest tenets of their faith and to fulfill the public service role in propagating the true message of Islam. We can't expect the media to stop misrepresenting Muslims and Islam until there are enough of us willing to demonstrate by action and deed something other than the negativity they so lavishly propagate; and until there are enough of us who are bold enough to say, "We're not going to take it anymore." Islam's Stance Against Terrorism Islamic Statements Against Terrorism Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks Related: Stories by Jill Carroll 'What a Way to Make a Living' Old brutality among new Iraqi forces Sectarian strife tears at neighbors Violence threatens Iraqi coalition Iraq's rising industry: domestic kidnapping Iraqi women eye Islamic law Patchwork of progress and perils in Iraq 6 miles to the airport: The toughest commute in Iraq Ordinary Iraqis bear brunt of war An American activist who dared to help Iraqi victims On the Net: U.S. Hostages in Iraq American Islamic Group Heads to Middle East to Plead for Journalist's Release Michigan Group Appeals for Release of Kidnapped Journalist CAIR Delegation Arrives in Iraq to Plead for Reporter's Release MI: Pleas for Carroll's Release Continue MI: Muslims Step up Effort to Free Hostage MI: Muslims Work For Journalist’s Release CAIR Urges Release of US Journalist in Iraq Image © AP/Mohammed Hato Copyright © 2006 Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

March 28, 2006

Muslim Woman Wins Case vs. Dutch School

Muslim Woman Wins Case vs. Dutch School 28-03-2006 AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- A Muslim woman who refuses to shake men's hands for religious reasons cannot be barred from a Dutch teacher-training program. The Dutch Equal Treatment Commission found Monday that the Regional Education Center in the city of Utrecht illegally ''discriminated, indirectly, on the basis of religion,'' when it rejected Fatima Amghar for its program. Amghar, 20, said her religious beliefs forbid her from having physical contact with men over the age of 12. The school rejected her application, arguing that shaking hands was routine for a teaching assistant in Dutch society. But ''there are other conceivable manners of greeting that can be considered proper and respectful,'' the commission ruled. It warned that Dutch schools risk excluding Muslim women from society unless they find a way to accommodate their beliefs. Continued Join the Muslim News Mailing List

March 20, 2006

Scene from an Afternoon Walk...Now THAT's a Sidewalk!

Now if all the sidewalks were like this...and yes...95% of the cars ARE that small!
Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz

Scene from an Afternoon Walk...Got Fish? - II

Chow line starts here...under the cool shade of this nice cement block!
Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz

Scene from an Afternoon Walk...Umm...You Tell Me!

On the opposite side of the sea highway there is a long wall with various paintings incorporated into its design - this one is 3-D, so to speak, if anyone can identify it, please drop a comment and fill me in, too! Insha'Allah.
Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz

Scene from an Afternoon Walk...Got Fish?

Don't see too much in that net...but I spy a little fella who's not camera shy!
Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz

Scene from an Afternoon Walk...Laundry Free Balcony's!

Okay, I got it figured out now! No one does laundry on Monday's!
Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz

Scene from an Afternoon Walk...Young Love

One nice thing about Egypt - you can be seen out in public with your significant other - Al-hamdulillah. Getting him to invite you might be another story...
Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz

Scene from an Afternoon Walk...The Heart of a Fisherman

Well, to me this picture stands on its own - I'm talkin' National Geographic! *wink*
Copyright © 2006 Aishah Schwartz

Scene from an Afternoon Walk...Allah Akbar!

As I was returning home from my afternoon walk, it came time for Asr prayer...and subhan'Allah, a lone fisherman stopped to pray on a section of newspaper laid out on the surface of a concrete block held down at the corners with his me...this was just beautiful - subhan'Allah.
Copyright © 2006 Aishah Schwartz

March 18, 2006

At Brown a Muslim Chaplain Breaks New Ground

By M.L. Johnson (AP) PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Heads pop through the doorway of Rumee Ahmed's office at Brown University on a regular basis. Students come looking for a friend, a mentor and a teacher. "I've been harassing him since the day he came," says junior Refai Arefin, who stops by daily for 15 to 20 minutes of study to improve his understanding of the Quran. Ahmed is Brown's first Muslim chaplain and joined four other associate chaplains at the school when he started in January. Many universities have Muslim chaplains, but Ahmed is among just a handful that is paid, said Janet Cooper Nelson, chaplain at Brown. (read more)

American Muslim Women Defy Stereotypes

Washington, D.C. -- Contradicting traditional stereotypes of Muslim women as veiled and oppressed, Muslim Women in America: The Challenge of Islamic Identity Today (Oxford University Press, 2006), by Georgetown University Professor Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and co-authors Jane I. Smith and Kathleen M. Moore, reveals Muslim women in America to be diverse and active in shaping the role of Muslims in the West. "Muslim women have been empowered to participate in the public arena to pursue their interests, whether these interests are counteracting prejudice or pursuing professional dreams or serving the common welfare through community service," the authors write. "They have contributed in especially significant ways in the negotiation of what it means to be Muslim in the American context." Haddad, Smith and Moore argue that Western imperial history, the entertainment industry and the government have helped reinforce negative stereotypes of Muslim women. The authors, rather, aim to show that Muslim women in America are "members of American society who act in conformity neither with Western assumption nor, necessarily, with the dictates of Islamic traditionalism." The authors give a brief overview of Muslim women in America, looking first at trends in the history of Muslim immigration to the United States and then taking a closer look at issues such as Islamic dress, marriage, childrearing, conversion to Islam and varying degrees of Muslim participation in modern American society. They note that many female converts to Islam view the religion as uniquely supportive of women, and though women are assuming more responsibility and leadership roles in American mosques, the majority favors the separation of men and women during prayer. The authors also observe that increasing numbers of Muslim women are taking an active role in educating themselves and their community about Islam by forming local dars, or study circles, to facilitate education about the Qur’an and Islamic arts and sciences. Haddad and co-authors also look at how a growing market of Islamic toys, books and websites targeted towards American Muslim families has developed in response to a desire to maintain Islamic traditions within modern U.S. culture. The authors examine ways American Muslim women face current issues such as coping with aging parents, spousal abuse, homosexuality, and the tension that exists between individual freedoms and authority of the state in cases of divorce, workplace discrimination and passenger profiling in the post-9/11 world. The authors argue that Islam in America is rooted in the structure of family, and that many Muslims hope to help redefine and strengthen the institution of marriage and family in American society. Finally, the authors include examples of Muslim women in America assuming roles of responsibility in their communities, academia, politics and the arts, and they argue that more and more American Muslims are recognizing the "emphasis that a rightly interpreted Islam places on the full participation of women in society." "Muslim Women in America is a unique contribution to the growing body of literature on women in Islam, by three of the world’s experts in the field," says Tamara Sonn, author of A Brief History of Islam. "The authors challenge static views of the marginalized or oppressed Muslim women, and demonstrate that Muslim women in America are diverse, dynamic, and changing the face of Islam." Additional Information: Muslim Women in America: The Challenge of Islamic Identity Today Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Jane I. Smith and Kathleen M. Moore. ISBN: 0-1951-7783-5, Hardcover. Published by Oxford University Press, 2006. Purchase Other Books by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad (30) Other Books by Jane I. Smith (15) Other Books by Kathleen M. Moore (3)

March 05, 2006

MWA Celebrates March as Muslim Women in History Month

Assalamu Alaikum! March is International Women's History Month and Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) is interested in learning about YOU, the Muslim woman living in today's world making tomorrow's history!! I am inviting you to visit MWA's Muslim Women in History Blog. This is where MWA hopes to share stories about Muslim women making history TODAY in their families and communities - setting precedents, launching campaigns or initiatives, teaching, writing, sharing, educating - shining brightly as examples of Muslim women living Islam and making their mark in history! If there is an extraordinary Muslim woman in your life, or if you have heard of the story of a Muslim woman making history, send her story (or link to existing story) to: In addition to being included in the MWA Muslim Women in History blog, your story could also be featured on MWA's website! Insha'Allah. Ma'Salaama, Aishah Schwartz Founder & Director
"The best women of mankind are four: Mariam daughter of Imran, Assiya wife of Pharoah, Khadija daughter of Khuwailid, and Fatima daughter of the Messenger of Allah." The Prophet Muhammad (narrated by Anas, recorded in Bukhari and Muslim)
Sister Kasar Abdulla - Muslimah Making History March 2006

Girl Scout Leader Sees Service as Way to Assist, Educate Muslim Youths

By JEANNINE F. HUNTER Saturday, 03/04/06 Faith in Action Kasar Abdulla, 24, is neither a spiritual teacher nor a member of the leadership board at the Salahadeen Center, a south Nashville mosque where fellow Kurdish immigrants worship. But she sees serving as a leader of a local Muslim Girl Scout troop as a way to teach others about her faith while mentoring younger Muslims. "Helping the community is stressed very much in Islam," said Abdulla, who leads the nearly 5-year-old Girl Scout Troop 628, one of four Muslim girl troops in Nashville. "We emphasize the teachings and act upon them in the service we do in the community." "I feel like it's my duty and my obligation as a Muslim woman, because I believe the Muslim girls need the exposure and they need experience … they can learn about Islam and they can grow strong." (read more)