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.

July 28, 2006

Ask Congress to Support H.Res. 945 Calling for Immediate Humanatarian Intervention in Lebanon

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas submitted on Tuesday, July 25, 2006, House Resolution 945 calling for Immediate Humanitarian Intervention in Lebanon. Thus far, the resolution has 13 original Co-Sponsors. Please contact your Members of Congress and ask your friends and family to contact their Members of Congress encouraging them to co-sponsor House Resolution 945. If your Representative has already co-sponsored this resolution, please call to thank him/her. For their contact information or to learn more about the bill's progress please visit See the full text of the resolution and names of the co-sponsors below. 109TH CONGRESS, 2D SESSION - H. Res. 945 Expressing deep concern at the ongoing violence in the Middle East, and particularly the current hostilities between the State of Israel and Hezbollah, which have intensified since July 12, 2006. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations RESOLUTION Expressing deep concern at the ongoing violence in the Middle East, and particularly the current hostilities between the State of Israel and Hezbollah, which have intensified since July 12, 2006. Whereas, since the commencement of hostilities, over 350 Lebanese civilians, one third of whom are children according to the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, and 17 Israeli civilians, have been killed; Whereas, vital infrastructure, including hospitals, power plants, bridges, roads, and food and milk factories in Lebanon have been destroyed; Whereas, over 600,000 people in Lebanon and hundreds of thousands of people in Israel have been displaced; Whereas, President George W. Bush has expressed great concern over the welfare of the people of Lebanon; Whereas, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for an immediate cease-fire, Whereas, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator has warned of a humanitarian disaster in Lebanon; Whereas, the Government of Lebanon has urgently appealed for an immediate cessation to hostilities; and Whereas, the international community has expressed support for a humanitarian corridor to Lebanon to be opened immediately to get desperately-needed humanitarian supplies to the suffering people of Lebanon: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives (1) calls for the cessation of the targeting by any side of infrastructure vital to non-combatants, which also increases the likelihood of the loss of innocent civilian life; (2) calls for a secure humanitarian corridor to be opened immediately via the seaports and airports of Lebanon to alleviate the unnecessary suffering of the people of Lebanon; (3) calls for an immediate cease-fire in line with the urgent appeals of the Government of Lebanon and the United Nations Secretary General; and (4) urges a comprehensive and just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict to ensure that the peoples of the Middle East can live in peace, freedom, and prosperity. List of Current Co-Sponsors for H. Res. 945: Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [D-MI-14] - 7/25/2006 * Rep Davis, Danny K. [D-IL-7] - 7/25/2006 * Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [D-NY-22] - 7/25/2006 * Rep Kaptur, Marcy [D-OH-9] - 7/25/2006 * Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [D-MI-13] - 7/25/2006 * Rep McDermott, Jim [D-WA-7] - 7/25/2006 * Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [D-CA-6] - 7/25/2006 * Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [D-MD-7] - 7/25/2006 * Rep Hall, Ralph M. [R-TX-4] - 7/25/2006 * Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [D-TX-30] - 7/25/2006 * Rep Kildee, Dale E. [D-MI-5] - 7/25/2006 * Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [D-OH-10] - 7/25/2006 * Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [D-OH-10] - 7/25/2006 * *=original co-sponsor ---------------------------------------------- Tips for Writing Congress State your purpose for writing in the first sentence of the letter. For example: As your constituent, I am writing to urge your support for increased funding for health care. If your letter pertains to a specific piece of legislation, identify it. And make sure that you are referencing the correct legislation to the correct body of Congress. House bills are H.R.____; Senate bills are designated as S.____. It is also important to know the status of the bill. Be courteous. If appropriate, include personal information about why the issue matters to you to make your point. Address only one issue in each email. Close your letter with a restatement of your purpose and indicate the response that you expect. Addressing Your Correspondence to a Senator: The Honorable [Jimmy Stewart]__(room number)__(name of) Senate Office Building United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator [Stewart]: ---------------------------------------------- Addressing Your Correspondence to a Representative: The Honorable [Jimmy Stewart]__(room number)__(name of) House Office Building United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Dear Representative [Stewart]: ----------------------------------------------- Tips For Phoning Congress Telephone calls are usually taken by a staff member, not the member of Congress. Ask to speak with the aide who handles the issue about which you wish to comment. (See guide to Congressional staff here.) After identifying yourself as a constituent, tell the aide you would like to leave a brief message, such as: "Please tell Senator/Representative [Name] that I support/oppose [S.___/H.R.___]." State your reasons for support or opposition to the bill. Ask for your senators' or representative's position on the bill. You may also request a written response to your telephone call.

July 17, 2006

MAS Freedom Foundation Announces National 'No Justice-No Peace' March on Washington August 12, 2006

Interfaith Peace Coalition Lifts Voices for the Oppressed

July 17, 2006 By Aishah Schwartz CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - The Muslim American Society's Iowa chapter (MAS-Iowa) held its first American Justice for Palestine 'AJ4P' rally in protest of Israeli aggression this past Friday, July 14, in front of the Federal Building on First Avenue in Cedar Rapids. Those gathering for the 'AJ4P' rally represented an interfaith alliance of Christians, Jews, and Muslims, among others. Participants chanted and marched together carrying signs with slogans ranging from, "Every Soul Counts", "Not in Our Name", and "End Israeli Occupation" to "Free Palestine Now". (Photos and TV-Station coverage.) MAS-Iowa President, Ahmed Elkhaldy led the rally as participants lifted their signs and voices in protest of the U.S. government's support of Israel’s recent illegal military campaign waged against Palestinian civilians and most recently, the country of Lebanon. Miriam Amer, MAS Freedom-Iowa Director and rally organizer stated, "Israel’s recent invasions of Gaza and Lebanon, and the targeting of their civilian populations and infrastructures, constitutes a collective punishment against the Palestinian and Lebanese people; this is a blatant disregard for human life." The MAS Freedom-Iowa demonstration re-affirmed MAS Freedom National's pledge to defend the rights of the Palestinian people and to promote development of a U.S. foreign policy that embraces real peace in the Middle East. MAS Freedom-Iowa together with the Arab-American Institute will co-sponsor another 'AJ4P' Rally Friday, July 21 in Iowa City’s Pedestrian Mall at 5 PM. All are welcome to attend. For more information, contact the MAS-Iowa office at (319) 892-0256. MAS Freedom Foundation National initiated the American Justice for Palestine 'AJ4P' campaign on June 28, 2006 when it denounced Israel's June 27 invasion and bombing of Gaza. MAS Freedom subsequently began its campaign of rallies in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC on June 29 (photos), followed by subsequent rallies on July 6 (video) and July 14. MAS Freedom chapters in Arizona, New York, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota, California, Massachusetts, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan have already held or planned 'AJ4P' press conferences, vigils, and rallies. As the 'AJ4P' campaign continues to take shape across the nation additional direct action event dates will appear on MAS Freedom's 'AJ4P' Event Tracker. The event tracker, suggested guest speaker list, and information about how you can contribute to the 'AJ4P' campaign are all available at Sign MAS Freedom's Petition to President George W. Bush Today!

July 02, 2006

Women and the Mosque: Past, Present and Future

B i s m i l l a a h i r R a h m a a n i r R a h e e m Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu, Insha'Allah this message finds you in the best of health and imaan. In light of recent dialogue* on the topic of women in the mosque, I wanted to share with you that Islam Online will have a Live Dialogue session on this important topic to which I wanted to invite you! Please pass this information along. Insha'Allah we can all benefit! You might also find something helpful from another Live Dialogue held July 2, 2006 entitled, "Help for New Muslims". (TRANSCRIPT) If you haven't stopped by for a visit recently, the Muslimah Writers Alliance website has received recent updating. Hope to see you soon, insha'Allah! Ma'Salaama, ~Aishah Schwartz Founder & Director Muslimah Writers Alliance Alexandria, Egypt and Washington, DC RECENT DIALOGUE: Local Masjid Hears Sisters Concerns Masajid Still Have a Long Way to Go On the web: The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "One who helps a fellow Muslim in removing his (or her) difficulty in this world, Allah will remove the formers distress on the Day of Judgment. He who helps to remove the hardship of another, will have his difficulties removed by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. One who covers the shortcomings of another Muslim, will have his faults covered up in this world and the next by Allah. Allah continues to help a servant so long as he goes on helping his own brother (or sister)." (Muslim) MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW! WHAT: Women and the Mosque: Past, Present and Future WHEN: July 10, 2006 Makkah Time: 16:00 to 18:00 GMT Time: 13:00 to 15:00 WHERE: Islam Online Live Dialogue The Relationship Between Women and the Mosque Caught between culture and Islam, there is nothing in the Qur`an or the Sunnah of Islam that prevents women from praying in the mosque. In India, Muslim women mostly pray in buildings adjoining mosques; in some larger mosques there are separate prayer enclosures. In 2004, the idea of a women's mosque was motivated by the rising number of complaints from local Muslim women against what they see as partisan rulings by the jama`at. Of those mosques that provide space for women to pray, it is often small making women feel not welcomed. With increasing call for religious rights around the globe, Muslim women are challenging practices that have many bad influences. Early this year in Canada, saw the release of the film Me and the Mosque, by director Zarqa Nawaz which did the community circuit to stimulate debate in the community and raise awareness. Between Islam and cultural practices, what is correct and what is considered acceptable - and by whom? See - Breaking Down Barriers If you have a question you would like to ask and feel that you might not be able to participate in this session, feel free to send us your question at society_iol (at) with "Live Dialog" in the subject line. About Dr. Layla Al-Marayati Dr. Layla Al-Marayati is the spokesperson and past president of the Muslim Women’s League (MWL), a Los Angeles–based organization dedicated to disseminating accurate information about Islam and women and to strengthening the role of Muslim women in society. She has written articles and participated in numerous conferences addressing issues of concern to Muslim women; topics include basic women’s rights in Islam, reproductive health and sexuality, stereotyping, and violence against women. In addition, Dr. Al-Marayati spearheaded the MWL's efforts on behalf of rape survivors from the war in Bosnia in 1993, and she was a member of the official US Delegation to the UN Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Dr. Al-Marayati has also participated in numerous activities related to international religious freedom. She served as a presidential appointee to the Commission on International Religious Freedom from 1999 to May 2001. Prior to that, she was a member of the State Department Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad. She has testified before Congress and as part of the US delegation to the OSCE Human Dimensions meeting in Poland regarding religious intolerance against Muslims in Europe. As an American of Palestinian descent, Dr. Al-Marayati frequently speaks about the rights of Palestinians. She is a member of the board of directors of KinderUSA, a newly formed charity whose primary focus at this time is on addressing the health and educational needs of Palestinian children living in the West Bank and Gaza. Her articles have been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, on Beliefnet, Counterpunch, and in the English version of Al-Ahram Weekly published in Egypt. She has appeared on local and national television and radio programs addressing issues of concern to Muslims in America. Dr. Al-Marayati is a Board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist in private practice in Southern California. She is married to Salam Al-Marayati and is the mother of three children, Malek, Zayd and Jinan.