Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Dhu'l-Qa'dah / Zil-Hijjah 1423 H
February 2003
Volume 16-02 No : 194
Camps \ Workshops

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News


Jewish Americans and Arab Americans Demand Moderate Solution to Peace Process in the Middle East
British Museum Showcases Calligraphy Masterpieces of Khursheed Alam
Cartoon Draws Fire from Muslims
Jewish Terrorist Dies a Violent Death
Church Leaders Denounce Anti-Islam Signboards
Stock Trading in Privacy
Cair's Guide on American Muslims
New Islamic Website
Iran allows Motorbikes for Women
Shoora Council in Bahrain
Mental Blocks of Western Media
People


Jewish Americans and Arab Americans
Demand Moderate Solution to
Peace Process in the Middle East

Washington: An interesting survey of Arab and Jewish attitudes in the United States points out that 45 per cent of Jewish Americans and 65.8 per cent of Arab Americans want President George Bush to steer a middle course in its policy towards the peace process in the Middle East. The survey was jointly conducted in October 2002, by the Arab-American Institute headed by James Zogby and Americans for Peace Now (APN). It was released recently. Nearly 85 per cent of Jewish Americans and 95.4 per cent of Arab Americans said they supported a two-state solution. Each endorsed the other’s right to live in a secure and independent state of their own.

But it also reveals that both communities harbour misperception about other’s feelings with regard to a peaceful solution to the Middle East discord. Only 50.4 per cent Arab Americans agreed that a majority of Jewish Americans would want Palestinians to have a right to live in a secure and independent state of their own. Similarly, only 33.8 per cent Jewish Americans thought that the Palestinians would support Israelis to live in a state of their own. 51.7 per cent Arab-Americans and 78.9 per cent Jewish Americans wanted Jerusalem to be the shared capital of both countries.

But 74 per cent of the Jewish respondents and 59 per cent Arab Americans were pessimistic about peace in the Middle East.

CEO for APN, Debra DeLee, commenting on the survey said: “Our communities are much more moderate on the Middle East related issues than people are led to believe.” Jews make up nearly four per cent of the American population while the Arab-Americans, mostly Christians, are though considerable in number, do not make up a powerful community.

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British Museum Showcases Calligraphy Masterpieces of Khursheed Alam

 


Master piece by Khursheed AlamLondon: The British Museum has entered the calligraphy masterpieces of Pakistani calligraphist Khursheed Alam, 45, into its Islamic collection. Khursheed Alam is a former disciple of the world famous calligrapher, late Hafiz Yusuf Zaidi and is considered a master of the Nastaleeq style of calligraphy. Venetia Porter, curator of the Islamic Collection in the Museum says that Khursheed Alam’s calligraphic works are a significant addition in the British Museum’s collection. Alam’s works are also on permanent display in Teheran’s Museum of Calligraphy and Contemporary Arts. These are also on display in the Islamabad Faisal Mosque and the mosque attached to the Hazrath Dataganj Baksh mausoleum in Lahore. Alam has been given the title of Gauhar-e-Qalam by the Dean of Fine Arts, Faculty of Punjab University, Lahore. Khursheed Alam has also authored five books on the art of calligraphy. Two of them are Naqsh-e-Gauhar and Fani Khat.

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Cartoon Draws Fire from Muslims

CartoonHills borough Doug Marlette, the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist who creates his pointed vignettes from his Hillsborough home, is embroiled in a controversy over a drawing of an Arab toting a nuclear bomb. The cartoon, which was on the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat’s Web site, has angered Muslim groups. In the cartoon, a man who appears to be Middle Eastern is driving a moving truck with a nuclear bomb in the back. Marlette said its caption, “What Would Mohammed Drive?” is a play on a recent Evangelical movement to link transportation issues and morality that uses the tag line, “What Would Jesus Drive?” In an explanation, Marlette denied singling out the prophet. “My only regret is that the thousands who e-mailed me complaining felt that my drawing was an assault upon their religion or its founder,” he wrote in part. “It was not. It was an assault on the distortion of their religion by murderous fanatics and zealots.” “His reaction to our concerns is a bit disingenuous,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. “The cartoon clearly indicates that the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is driving the truck. If he had put Osama bin Laden or an extremist driving, he wouldn’t have gotten the complaints. But when you attack Prophet Muhammad directly, Muslims get upset.” The cartoon never appeared in the print version of the newspaper, and editors yanked the Web version after receiving complaints. CAIR demanded an apology from Marlette, the newspaper, and Tribune Media Services, which syndicates Marlette’s cartoons.

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Jewish Terrorist Dies a Violent Death

Washington: Jewish terrorist Irv Rubin, president of the Jewish Defence League (JDL) met a violent death on November 13, last year in a California prison. He had been charged of trying to blow up the Culver City’s King Fahd mosque and Islamic Center and had been caught with weapons and bomb-making equipment on December, 12, 2001. His arrest and death did not receive publicity reserved for arrest of “Arab or Muslim terrorists”, said Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, an anti-zionist magazine from Washington. Rubin was 57 and had been caught red-handed with his accomplice Krugel by the FBI. Rubin had reportedly slashed his throat and then jumped or fell over a prison walkway at a federal detention center. Washington Report said the American public may never know how or why Rubin was killed, or whether or not he murdered Alex Odeh, an Anti-Arab Anti-Discrimination League director who had been killed in 1985.

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Church Leaders Denounce Anti-Islam Signboards

Jacksonville, Fla: Some Florida church leaders, including the head of a group that represents 1.5 million worshippers, are denouncing a Baptist church’s decision to erect a roadside sign that asserts, that Islam approves of murder. The sign outside the First Conservative Baptist Church in Jacksonville’s Mandarin area reads: “Jesus Forbade Murder. Matthew 26:52. Muhammad Approved Murder. Surah 8:65.” Muslims say the verse reference in the sign says that those who believe and are steadfast in battle will overcome much larger armies, and is not an endorsement of murder. Rev. Fred Morris, executive director of the Florida Council of Churches, which represents 3,500 congregations statewide, called Islam a sister religion and repudiated “expressions of hatred towards any person or group.” The Rev. Tom Borland, president of the Interfaith Council of Jacksonville, also rejected the sign’s message. “As a Christian, I am disappointed at this unChristian effort to disparage Islam,”

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Stock Trading in Privacy

Women busy in Stock TradingKuwait: Kuwait has introduced separate trading rooms in stock exchange for women to participate in share trading. The exchange came up with a separate room following several representations made to the exchange authorities, according to the Exchange spokesperson Wafa Al-Rashid. Though women were allowed to participate in stock trading either through telephone, or through an agent or relatives so far, it is for the first time that they will participate directly in the share trading now. The exchange is also considering permitting women brokers to enter the trading. Last year, Kuwait emerged as one of the world’s leading stock market and registered 39 per cent growth in stock trading.

(Source: BBC.Urdu.com)

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Cair's Guide on American Muslims

Washington: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has published a 350-page The North American Muslim Resource Guide. It has been authored by Dr. Mohammad Nimer, CAIR Research Director. The book details history of Muslims in North America, chronologically establishes the various landmarks, and describes the growth of the community.

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New Islamic Website

Jeddah: The Al-Islamic Propagation Society here has launched a new Islamic website which is available at www.al-islamforall.org and has at least 80 books comprising Quranic commentaries, the holy Prophet’s life, companions of the holy Prophet, great mothers, great heroes and etiquette of Islam . Children’s section has several tales based on the Prophets and the Quran. Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi’s Quranic commentary, Tafheemul Quran too has been uploaded on the site.

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Iran allows Motorbikes for Women

Tehran: Women will now be allowed to get licences for motorbikes in Iran. Though Iranian women can drive cars, they were barred since 1979 to ride motorbikes. Thousands of women have now applied for driving motorbikes and the first women riders, of course with proper dressing are expected to be seen on the roads by Iranian Nauroze (New Year) on March 21, 2003.

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Shoora Council in Bahrain

Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa has named a Jew and six women (one among them is a Christian) to the country’s Shoora or consultative council which has powers equal to the elected Parliament. Bahrain went to polls on October,24, 2002. Women were allowed not only to vote, but also to stand for election. Though none of the eight women who contested won, two made it to the second round of voting.

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Mental Blocks of Western Media

Riyadh: A seminar, “The Image of Muslim Women in the Western Media” was held recently at King Abdul Aziz Library. It was organised by the Information Center for the Women’s Cultural Committee.The aim of the seminar was to set the record straight regarding Western misconceptions and attacks on both Islamic culture and the rights of Muslim women.

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People

Appointed : Qatar has appointed a women minister for the first time. Sheikah Hossa bin Hamad has been appointed the vice- president of the country’s Supreme Council for Family Affairs.

Elected : Rav Isak Haleve was elected the religious leader of the Turkish Jews on October 29, 2002. Turkey has a Jewish population of 27,000 people, of whom 24,500 live in Istanbul. Haleve is 63 years old and is a graduate from Jerusalem’s Porat Yosef Theology Academy. His election was necessitated by the death of former chief rabbi Rav David Asseo who occupied the position for 41 years. Election process involves voting by a 121-member council and 12 religious delegates.

Awarded : Saudi English poetess Salmah Siraj Boghari has been awarded an Association Cup and a citation by the Washington based International Poetry Association. Salmah holds a degree from King Abdulaziz University of Jeddah and began writing poems initially in Arabic and switched over to English in 1999.

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