Thursday, April 28, 2005

Extremist convicted in Virginia - FMCAT statement April 27, 2005


An extremist Muslim leader from Northern Virginia was convicted of inciting his followers to train overseas to commit violence against the United States.

Timimi, 41, was convicted of inspiring a group of his Northern Virginia followers toattend terrorist training camps in Pakistan and prepare to battle American troops among other charges. The government's case against Timimi was based on a meeting he attendedon Sept. 16, 2001.

According to court papers, Timimi allegedly told his followers that"the time had come for them to go abroad and join the mujahideen (evil doers) in violent jihad in Afghanistan,".

Nor surprisingly, many of the Muslim "leaders" in Washington DC have come to the defense of Tamimi by arguing that his conviction was nothing more than a witch hunt and that hewas merely a "Muslim scholar" exercising his rights to free speech.

The Free Muslims Against Terrorism do not share these beliefs. Ali Al-Tamimi is a well known extremist and he represents everything that has gone wrong with the Muslim world.

His evil words have cast a dark cloud over the rest of the Muslim community and we areglad that justice was served. The Free Muslims Against Terrorism have argued time and time again that the Muslim community must not tolerate people like Ali Al-Tamimi. We strongly urge American Muslim organizations to read the poison that Al-Tamimi has spread in the Muslim community and not assume that he was unjustly accused. He is an evil man and Muslims must not wait onfederal authorities to remove evil doers like Tamimi from our community. Moderate Moslems must take the initiative and discredit people like Tamimi.

The Free Muslims Against Terrorism are pleased with the verdict against Ali Al-Tamimi. We are however, disappointed in the responses of some American Muslim organizations to his verdict. By categorizing every conviction against every Muslim as a witch hunt,American Muslim leaders are closing their eyes to the sad fact that we have a problem with extremism and that Muslims are the only ones who can defeat extremist ideologies from the Muslim community.

For more information, visit or website at

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Palestinian American Congress Convention, Houston, April 22-24


6th Annual Convention-Houston Texas
April 22-24
JW Marriott Hotel on Westheimer by the Galleria5150 Westheimer Houston, Texas 77056 USA Phone: 1-713-961-1500

The Program of the 6th Annual Convention
Friday, 4/22/05:
1. Registration: 1:00PM-5:00PM
2. Reception, get together & coffee: 6:00PM-10:00PM

Saturday, 4/23/05:
1. Convention Opening: 9:00AM-10:AM
2. Workshop 1: The Palestinians Right of Return: 10:00AM-11:00AM
By Dr. Ghassan Shabaneh, PAC-New Jersey
Moderator: Mohammad Abdallah, PAC-Houston.
3. Workshop 2: Two States Solution: 11:00AM-12:00PM
By Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghouthi, Former Palestinian Presidential Candidate
Live Video Conference from Ramallah / Palestine.
4. Lunch: 12:PM-1:30PM:
Welcome Speech by PAC Houston Chapter
Key Note Speaker Dr. Mufeed Al-Shami, Chief of the North America Department at the Palestinian National Authority.
Key Note Speaker Dr. Abdallah Abdallah, Under Secretary of State / Palestine. Former Palestinian Ambassador to Canada and Greece.
5. Workshop 3: The Religious Dimension of the Palestinians struggle: 2:00PM-3:00PM
By Father Dr. Atallah Hanna
Live Video Conference from Palestine.
6. Workshop 4: Ways to utilize the media to advance the cause of the Palestinian people: 3:00PM-4:00PM
By: Adam Shapiro, co-founder and organizer with the InternationalSolidarity Movement.
Yahia Barakat, Palestinian Director/producer
Ali Al-Arabi, Palestinian-American activist.
Moderator: Dr. Marwan Masri, PAC-Boston.
7. Workshop 5: Activism: : Violence against Women in Mexico & Under Occupation in Palestine: 3:00PM-4:00PM
By: LULAC: League of Latin American Citizens Houston Chapter
Moderator: Hesham Tillawi
8. Workshop 6: Israeli colonies and the future of the two states solution: 4:00PM-5:00PM
By: Mohammad Al-Attar, Palestinians for Peace and Democracy.
Moderator: Abbas Yakoubi, PAC-Houston.
9. Workshop 7: Interfaith: 4:00PM-5:00PM
1.Suzanne Marks, Co Chair of 10,000 Kites Program Los Angeles, CA.
Topic: Flying 10,000 kites for Peace on both side of the "WALL".
2.Mr. Donald Craig,President of NAACP Orange County, CA.
Topic: UNITY: Continuing the Vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Moderator: Joanne Abu Qartoumy, PAC-Los Angeles.
10. Open Buffet Dinner: 7:00PM-9:00PM
Key Note Speaker: Dr. Ahmad Tibi, Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament).
11. Palestinian Folkloric Entertainment: 9:00PM-1:00AM
By: Ammar Hasan, Palestinian Singer and Super Star/ Palestine.
Al-Nashama Dabkeh Group/ Houston.
About the Palestinian American Congress
The Palestinian American Congress (PAC) is a non-profit grass-roots organization that speaks on behalf of the Palestinians in the United States. PAC was established to assist the community in coordinating and organizing its political, educational, cultural and social affairs. The Palestinian American Congress adheres to the principles that the Palestinian People constitute an indivisible National unit, that Palestine, an integral part of the Arab Nation, is its national home land. PAC affirms its support of the Palestinian people's struggle to realize its national rights including its right of return to its national homeland, to national self-determination, and to its national independence and sovereignty with Jerusalem as its Capital in Palestine in accordance with the United Nations Charter and Resolutions.

Nidal Zayid (Publisher/Editor)East West Newspaper "Sharq Garb"P. O. Box 571902 , Houston , TX 77257, USAOffice:713-785-2500 - Fax:832-202-2852Cellular: (713) 204

Women's Rights restrained in so-called "Free" Iraq, April 17, 2005

Women's eNews News Desk

Contact: Naomi Abraham

Women’s Hopes Restrained in Post-Election Iraq

April 17, 2005 — Female politicians and a secular Iraqi Kurd as interim president do not necessarily translate into more women’s rights in Iraq. At a women's shelter in Irbil, for instance, residents aren't expecting new protections from domestic violence.

In this week’s cover story, Women’s eNews, an independent nonprofit news service, reports on the current state of women’s rights in post-election Iraq. On April 3, in elections for Iraq's transitional national assembly, women won about 33 percent of the seats, exceeding the constitutionally required minimum of 25 percent. Although it may seem like a victory for Iraqi women, many doubt that the country's new national assembly, despite its high proportion of women, will do much to protect women against violence or help in advancing women’s rights. Instead they expect the government to be more focused on ethnic and religious politics in the coming year. Many Iraqi pro-women’s rights leaders complain that many of the elected female politicians, like some of their male counterparts, will be serving as loudspeakers for the political parties they represent.

Ala Talabani, who runs a non-governmental organization on women empowerment in Sulimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, says part of the problem lies in the fact that the elections were not decided on the basis of issues or politics, but on ethnicity, religion, nationality. "Kurds voted for Kurds, Shiites for Shiites, Sunnis for Sunnis, Turkomen for Turkomen.”

The full article can be found at:

Women’s eNews homepage also features:

Women in Chile Look Toward Rome with Apprehension by Jen Ross
As the world waits to hear who is chosen to lead the Catholic Church, women in Chile are divided on whether a new pope is likely to bring any change to the status of women in this deeply conservative and Catholic country. The full article can be found at:

Pregnant Woman’s Right to Divorce Sparks Battle by Judith Spitzer
Washington State legislators voted to protect the divorce rights of pregnant women. The bill, which goes to the governor next month, was spurred by a judge's decision to revoke the divorce of a pregnant woman married to an abuser. The full article can be found at:

Tune In to Last Gasps of Patriarchy in Rome by Anne Eggebroten
Women are not among the cardinals, priests and choristers handling the papal transition. But Anne Eggebroten says the patriarchal show of force going on in Rome cannot stop the concerted upward push by women into church hierarchy. The full article can be found at:

Plan B Access Fight May Stall FDA Nomination by Cynthia L. Cooper
Access to Plan B is topic A these days, with the latest round of the struggle engulfing Lester Crawford, the FDA's acting commissioner. Until his agency rules on Plan B access, two senators vow to use procedural powers to block his nomination. The full article can be found at:

Germany in Angst over Low Birthrate by Emma Pearse
With the German birth rate at an all-time low, politicians and demographers are wondering how to encourage women to have babies. Some say more child care is the key. Second story on the European Union, women and work. The full article can be found at:

Cheers and Jeers: Pharmacist Penalized; Maloney Muzzled in House by Rasha Elass
Cheers--A pharmacist who refused to fill a birth control prescription was punished on Wednesday in Madison, Wisc., when the state Pharmacy Examining Board reprimanded him and limited his pharmacist license, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Jeers--To pave the way for easy passage of legislation that would make it harder for debtors to get a fresh financial start by filing for bankruptcy, House Republicans forbade lawmakers from offering amendments to the measure and allowed little time for debate. The full article can be found at:

Our Story: Colonial Daughter Rides to the Rescue by Louise Bernikow
On April 26, 1777 when 2000 “Redcoats” arrived in Danbury, Conn., Sybil Ludington rode frantically to Fredericksburg, N.Y. to alert her father, militia colonel Henry Ludington of the impending danger. Stick in hand, she beat the alarm on shuttered homes, covering 40 miles. The full article can be found at:

Our Daily Lives: Taking the Gender Apartheid Tour in Saudi Arabia by Rita Henley Jensen
Women’s eNews Editor in Chief Rita Henley Jensen traveled to Saudi Arabia, to attend an economic forum. She was aware of the many restrictions on women, but once there, appreciated for the first time that the nation practiced gender apartheid. The full article can be found at:

Journalist of the Month: Bonavoglia Takes On the Men in Skirts by Ann Farmer
If those who fight for justice are truly blessed, then Angela Bonavoglia must be nearing sainthood. In "Good Catholic Girls," she tells her own charged story and that of other faithful women who seek equality and reform from within the Catholic Church. The full article can be found at:

Uncovering Gender: Nursing Shortage: It’s Also in Press and Other Media
by Sheila Gibbons
After a hospital stay deepened her appreciation of nurses, Sheila Gibbons looked into their low standing on popular TV shows and their absence as sources for news. Unless that changes, the nursing shortage, she says, will only worsen. The full article can be found at:

Commentoon by Ann Telnaes Women’s eNews Pulitzer-prize winning editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes is back! Check out this week’s Commentoon at:

Women’s eNews Special Report on Welfare by Jennifer Friedlin
This seven-part special report, featuring illustrations by Pulitzer prize-winning cartoonist Ann Telnaes and photographer Amani Willett, is now available in PDF format for a $6 fee. The report details for the first time the outcomes of the 1996 welfare law through the viewpoint of single mothers. To find out more, go to

About Women’s eNews

Women’s eNews is a prize-winning nonprofit news service supported by its readers and other donors. It is the definitive source of substantive news--unavailable anywhere else--covering issues of particular concern to women and their allies. Launched in 2000, the independent media outlet bridges the gender gap in news by covering issues of particular concern to women. Rita Henley Jensen is founder and editor in chief.

For more information or to inquire about subscribing, permissions to reprint or licensing arrangements, please contact Naomi Abraham at 212-244-1720 or send an e-mail to For interviews with Women’s eNews Editor in Chief Rita Henley Jensen, e-mail her at or call 212-244-1720.

Friday, April 15, 2005

New film screening -- Waitng for Quds April 19, Chicago

The Chicago International Documentary Festival is proud to present the poignant documentary WAITING FOR QUDS as part of the new program DocWorld@DocsPace!
Tuesday, April 19, 2005 at 7.00pm
Devorah Blachor, Israel, 79 min.
The reality of coexistence for Jew and Arab, a life constantly invaded and divided by politics and war, is epitomized by the marriage of Abedal-Ahmar, a Palestinian Muslim raised in a West Bank refugee camp and Allegra Pacheco, an Israeli human rights lawyer from a middle-class New York Jewish home.

Filmmaker Devorah Blachor, Allegra’s cousin, chronicleshow Allegra and Abed bridged the enormous gaps of religion, culture and country to come together. The film follows Allegra before and after Abed is arrested during an Israeli army raid on Bethlehem, and then imprisonedas an administrative detainee without charge or trial.

At the time of thearrest, Allegra is five months pregnant. As Allegra goes through her pregnancy and fights to get her husband out of prison, the film goes backin time to examine their disparate childhoods. For Abed and Allegra, these differences of nationality, religion and culture are not as important as what binds them – love, a commitment to a better world for all, and their son Quds.

The film will be screened at the Gallery Theatre,
Society for Arts
1112 N. Milwaukee Ave., ChicagoTicket PricesAdult: $8.50Student/Senior rate: $7.00
For more information or tickets please visit
or call 773.486.9612

Saudi Arabia kills wanted terrorists 4-15-05

Saudi Arabia in Focus

Weekly publication of the Information Office of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, DC
April 12, 2005


Saudi security forces have killed three more terrorists on the Kingdom’s list of 26 most-wanted that was issued in December 2003, bringing to 23 the total number of killed or captured. Two of them, Saud Homood Obaid Alqotaini Alotaibi (#20) and Kareem Altohami Almojati (#12), were killed during the three-day standoff that began on April 3 in the city of Ar-Rass, in Qasim Province. This incident resulted in a total of 15 killed, with five arrested and one surrendering. The third, Abdulrahman Mohammad Yazji (#24) was killed in Riyadh in a clash with a security patrol on April 6; a suspect with him was arrested. In all, over the four days, 16 militants were killed and 7 arrested. On April 9 the Interior Ministry published the names and brief bios of 11 of the dead and 3 of those in custody. [For this list, see the Embassy website,]

Crown Prince Abdullah and Prince Sultan have both praised the prudence of the security officers in the Ar-Rass incident in giving priority to evacuating residents. There were no fatalities among the security officers, although at least ten were hospitalized. Seized in the Ar-Rass raid were quantities of weapons, explosives, and equipment, incriminating documents and cash.

Crown Prince Abdullah has called for measures to combat deviant ideas by carrying out cultural and educational programs that explain the true teachings of Islam and drive home the merits of moderation and tolerance, declaring that there can be no acceptance of any aberration of Islamic principles.

Membership of the Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shura) has been expanded from 120 to 150 in addition to the Chairman Dr. Salih bin Abdullah bin Homaid and Dr. Salih bin Abdullah bin Mansour Al-Malik as Secretary-General. On April 12, King Fahd swore in the members for the Council’s fourth four-year term. At the Council of Ministers meeting on April 11, Crown Prince Abdullah commended the achievements of the Shura Council, saying it has made effective decisions in the best interests of the homeland and its citizens.

The Saudi stock market recorded an all-time high when the Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) closed on April 7 at 11,694.84 points, a rise of 11.49 percent over the week before. The total value of shares exchanged amounted to over U.S.$22 billion, up $1 billion from last week.

The awards ceremony for the winners of the 28th annual King Faisal International Prize was held on April 9. This year the prize for Arabic Language and Literature was withheld, none of the entries qualifying. The prize for Service to Islam was jointly awarded to Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ali, President of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB), for his achievements in Islamic banking; and to the Al-Hariri Foundation of Lebanon for its promotion of Islamic education and culture.

The prize for Islamic Studies was awarded to Professor Carole Hillenbrand of the University of Edinburgh, for her clarification of misconceptions about the Crusades. The prize for Medicine went to Sir Richard Doll and Sir Richard Peto of the Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU) at Oxford University, for their research linking tobacco with various diseases; and that for Science was jointly shared by Professors Federico Capasso and Frank Wilczek of the United States, and Anton Zeilinger of Austria, for their work in the field of physics.

[For details, see King Faisal Foundation website]

* * *

This is distributed by Qorvis Communications, LLC on behalf of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

Friday, April 08, 2005

New book on Arab Voices by Samar Dahmash-Jarrah

Samar Dahmash-Jarrah, a Palestinian American, has just published the new book "Arab Voices Speak to American Hearts" due out the first week of May 2005. Self published
Ms. Jarrah is from Port Charlotte, Fl.

In the aftermath of the tragedy of 9/11, journalist, teacher, and peaceadvocate Samar Dahmash-Jarrah found herself called upon by her small Floridacommunity, as well as impelled from within, to dispel stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims. After three years of speaking to audiences of up to 800 Americans-in churches, at events of professional associations and otherorganizations, and at peace rallies-Ms. Jarrah had a vision. If governmentswould do nothing to combat misunderstanding between Americans and Arabs,then she would open a direct dialogue between these peoples.

Thus, Arab Voices Speak to American Hearts was conceived. But how? A second inspiration prompted Ms. Jarrah to email friends and professional contactsin the U.S. and assemble over 100 questions that Americans wanted to ask Arabs and Muslims. A naturalized American citizen herself since 1994, Jarrah then spent the months of September and October 2004 in Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait asking these questions.

The remarkable result is found in these pages. Important themes recur throughout the 12 interviews. First, most of those interviewed liked Americans-some even had relatives married to Americans. Many of thoseinterviewed had studied in America and admired Americans as a friendly and enterprising people. Most of these also admired the American form of government.Yet nearly all of the interviewees disliked American polices toward the Middle East, especially those of the Bush administration, as well as long-standing American foreign policy toward the problem of Palestine. These two issues, along with the Iraqi war, mostly angered the Arab men and women interviewed. Yet, viewpoints varied. Some thought that American efforts to bring democracy to the Middle East were good, while others said that democracy in Arab countries could only come from within. Some thought thatAmerican troops should remain in Iraq and some did not. One theme flows throughout the book-all those interviewed were delighted to be asked todescribe their lives and views to Americans-and to ask similar questions ofAmericans.

Thus, Arab Voices Speak to American Hearts provides a cross-section of Arab society in thought-as well as in gender, age, and even religion. Of the 4 women and 8 men who speak in the book, ages range from 19 to 66, and 9 are Muslim and 3 Christian. The interviews were conducted randomly. All but one are "average" ordinary citizens, although most are well-educated. One is a well-known woman film director.

Jarrah's follow-up to Arab Voices Speak will be a book based on thequestions that her Arabic interviewees and others in the Arab world wanted to ask the American people directly.

Ms. Jarrah also has several otherbooks planned.

For more information please visit

Racist threats against Chicago Arab family


FBI probes caller who threatens to kill 'f**king Arab' family

(CHICAGO, IL, 4/8/05) - The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today reported that the FBI is investigating a number of racist phone threats made against a Chicago Ridge Muslim family.

CAIR-Chicago said the victim told police that, beginning in March, she received several phone calls from an identified man threatening to kill her and her baby son if the family does not move away from the neighborhood."I know who you are, if you do not move away from my neighborhood within a month I will shoot you and kill you and your son," said the caller, who is thought to be a neighbor living close enough to see who is in the house.

The caller's most recent death threat came on the cell phone of the mother, telling her that she is a "f**king Arab" and that he will not call again, but will kill her and her son if they do not move away within two weeks. (The Muslim mother is Hispanic. Her husband is of Middle Eastern origin.) Local law enforcement authorities and the FBI have been contacted about the case."It is important for all people of conscience to speak out against the growing anti-Muslim rhetoric in America that leads to discrimination, threats and even violence," said CAIR-Chicago Communications Director Ahmed Rehab.

Rehab noted that a Chicago-area Muslim family recently filed a civil rights lawsuit against a man who blew up their van with an explosive device. The same man was convicted of throwing a brick through the window of an Arab-owned business two days after the 9/11 attacks.

"We applaud the swift and professional response of local FBI officials to this and other anti-Muslim incidents in our area," said CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Yaser Tabbara.Tabbara said CAIR publishes a "Muslim Community Safety Kit" for American Muslims, Arab-Americans and those perceived to be "Middle Eastern" who may face religious or ethnic profiling and hate crimes. The safety kit may be obtained free of charge by e-mailing

(Include name, address and phone number when requesting the safety kit.)CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to:
- END -
Thurs April 7 ­

A delegation of Christian and Muslim academic,religious and policy leaders from four countries will visit cities acrossthe U.S. this month (Thurs April 14 ­ Sat April 30), hoping to counterprevailing American stereotypes of Muslims and Arabs as invariably pittedagainst Christians in a "clash of civilizations."Co-hosted by the Church World Service (CWS) Middle East Forum, the eightChristian, Muslim and Druze delegates from Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine andSyria will travel in teams to hold dialogue and make presentations incongregational, academic and public policy settings in cities including:o Chicago (Thurs April 14 ­ Mon April 18)o Charlotte (Tues April 19­ Wed April 20)o New York (Thurs April 21 ­ Wed April 27)o Washington, D.C (Thurs April 28 ­ Sat April 30)

"Our desire for this visit is to demonstrate to American Christians andMuslims that there is an alternative reality existing in the Middle Eastthat demonstrates positive, vital models of cooperation between Christiansand Muslims," says Rev. Dr. Riad Jarjour, General Secretary of the ArabGroup for Christian Muslim Dialogue, based in Beirut, Lebanon.David Weaver is director of global humanitarian agency Church WorldService¹s Mission Relationships and Witness Program and a founding member ofCWS¹s Middle East Forum. Weaver says, "Religious and civil society leadersof both faiths in the Middle East and U.S. are concerned about thepersistent images of religious conflict to which the American public isconstantly exposed, particularly since September 11 and the Iraq conflict."What is less visible," Weaver says, "are the efforts by Christians andMuslims to address jointly the many issues that confront them in thisturbulent period."Weaver says the delegates from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Palestine willtravel in two groups of four, concurrently visiting scheduled majormetropolitan areas to engage in dialogues in local Christian, Arab Christian and Muslim communities, with seminary students and facultyand other communitygroups. They will reconvene in Washington, D.C. for a consultation at theCenter for Christian- Muslim Understanding at Georgetown University, a discussion at the National Baptist Church and other events.The delegation ­ six men and two women­ brings together academicians, policyanalysts, peace advocates and religious leaders from the Middle East,including:

Abbas al-Halabi, a Lebanese Druze, President of the Arab Group forChristian-Muslim Dialogue, a legal advisor to the board of the Bank ofBeirut & The Arab Countries, a former Supreme Court Judge and author ofnumerous articles on reconciliation, civil peace and money launderingMuhammad Sammak, a Lebanese Muslim, former advisor to the late PrimeMinister Mr. Rafic Hariri, an advisor to the Grand Mufti of Lebanon,Secretary General of The Christian-Muslim Committee for Dialogue, TheIslamic Permanent Committee, and The Executive Committee of TheChristian-Muslim Arab Group, a member of the Lebanese Press Syndicate, andauthor of more than 20 booksRev. Dr. Riad Jarjour, a Syrian Christian, General Secretary, Arab Group forChristian Muslim Dialogue, former General Secretary of the Middle EastCouncil of Churches (MECC), and organizer of the 1996 Muslim-ChristianConference on Jerusalem held in BeirutDr. Mahdi Abd al-Hadi, a Palestinian Muslim, author of The Question ofPalestine and Peaceful Solutions, founder of the Arab Thought Forum, formerSecretary General of the Council for Higher Education in the West Bank, andfounder of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of InternationalAffairsDr. Antoine Messara, a Lebanese Christian, professor at the LebaneseUniversity Department of Communication, General Director of The Foundationof the Lebanese Association for Permanent Civil Peace in Lebanon, andfounder of the Foundation of the Lebanese Association for Permanent CivilPeace in Lebanon that brought Christians and Muslims together duringLebanon¹s civil warDr. Nadia Mahmoud Mustafa, an Egyptian Muslim, professor in the politicalscience department and on the faculty of economics and political science atCairo University, and author of numerous books including Strategy of theIslamic Cultural Activity in the West.Samir Morcos, an Egyptian Christian, former Associate General Secretary ofthe Middle East Council of Churches, a consultant for the Coptic Center for Social Studies, Al Fustat Center for Studies and Consultations, and for The Unit forCitizenship and Dialogue in Cairo, and author of numerous books ondevelopment, including The State of Civil Society in Egypt: PreliminaryObservations and Future PossibilitiesAbbas al-Halabi, President of the Arab Group for Christian-Muslim Dialogue,says the April delegation has been in the planning stages for the past twoyears. "Especially after the events of September 11, we were deeplyconcerned about the misunderstandings and lack of knowledge about our regionthat existed in the Western countries, especially in the U.S.

"We felt we could not leave people by themselves to sort it out, with nodiscussion," al-Halabi said.

"We hoped then ­ as we do now, with thisdelegation­ to build bridges, to have someone listen to our point of view."We didn¹t want Americans to think that all in the Middle East areextremists and hate all Americans."Al-Halabi says the delegates also "want to inform Americans about the commonlives shared by Christians and Muslims in our region. Christianity has beenin the Middle East for centuries," he says,"and Christians have been living and working with Muslims for a thousandyears­ not without problems," he added, "because there is friction withplurality­ but also with harmony, because we share the same values andtraditions."

CWS¹s Weaver says the idea for the interfaith delegation was "inspired bythe combined interests of the mission directors from CWS memberdenominations who have ministries in the Middle East.""From the American public and interfaith leaders we meet, we hope to takeback to the Middle East messages of understanding and shared resolves," adds al-Halabi.

Jarjour said the delegation and its hosts believe that "fostering betterChristian-Muslim relations in the U.S.­ and offering a better understandingof the good Christian-Muslim relations that do exist in the Middle East­will support more positive models for peace elsewhere in the region andglobally."

The Arab Group for Christian-Muslim Dialogue, formed in 1995, has members from Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the Sudan and the GulfEmirates. The Arab Group affirms "unity and the common heritage of Muslims and Christians," supports "dealing with internal issues through thecollaborative efforts of Arab nationals - Muslims and Christians - whobelong together to the one homeland."A faith based relief and development agency that focuses on advocacy issues,Church World Service is funded in part by and is a ministry of 36 memberdenominations in the U.S. CWS has supported humanitarian interfaithinitiatives and has provided emergency relief and development programs inthe Middle East, including aid to victims of pre-and post-war Iraq and the2004 Bam, Iran, earthquake, support for a community-based program in OldCairo Egypt addressing child labor issues, and for the Ahli Arab HospitalMobile Outreach Clinic Program in Gaza.The Church World Service Middle East Forum is one of five regional forumsestablished by the global humanitarian agency to address issues of commonconcern to its member denominations. The Middle East Forum supports itsmember communions (denominations) and related partners through sharedinformation and expertise, coordinated joint action, and recommendedhumanitarian and related faith-based policy. ###

CONTACTS:For National, Charlotte, New York & Washington:Ann Walle/CWS/New York, (212) 870-2654, awalle@churchworldservice.orgJan Dragin/New York/Boston ­ 24/7, (781) 925-1526, jdragin@gis.netFor Charloitte only: Rev. David Jordan, Providence Baptist Church, (704)366-2784, cell phone:(704) 301 5594For Chicago only:Connie Baker, (630) 834 1461,

Chicago Christian-Muslim Dialogue Group event April 20

Christian Muslim Dialogue Group is planning a lecture on April 20, 2005 at
7:00 p.m. at Trinity Christian College
6601 West College Drive
Palos Heights, IL
Title: Archeological Excavations at Dothan and the Northern West Bank
4000 B.C. to 1200 A.D.
Presentation by Wheaten College Professors John Monsoon and Edwin HollatzI already spoke to Shaft for our chapter to cosponsor this event and the following one:

Oslo Accord and the Current Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Ms. Deborah Horan
Chicago Tribune Reporter
May 3, 2005, 11:00 a.m.
Moraine Valley College
10900 S. 88th Avenue
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Rally against terrorism set in Washington DC MAY 14, 2005 Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism

Rally for Elimination of Terror and for Freedom & Democracy

Something wonderful is happening in Washington, DC. On May 14, several groups made up of Arab, Iranians, Kurds, Assyrians, Lebanese, Palestinians, Syrians, Sudanese, Muslims, Christians and Jews will converge on our nation=92s Capital for a rally against terrorism and to support freedom and democracy in the Middle East and the Muslim world.

This will be the first rally of its kind in Washington DC that is led by Muslims and Middle Easterners.Please join us and help us send a message of hope to the people of the Middle East who seek freedom, democracy and the elimination of extremism and terrorism.

This rally is NOT limited to Muslims and Middle Easterners. We request anyone and everyone who supports our message to join us at the rally. We want to send a message to the extremists and terrorists that American Muslims, Christians, Jews and people of all faiths are united in the goal of building a better world.

We welcome all endorsers and we ask that you circulate this message to as many groups and people as possible. Help us make history.To sponsor this rally, please send the name of your group to the Free Muslims Against Terrorism.

Location of the rally:Freedom PlazaNeighborhood: DowntownAddress: Pennsylvania Ave. between 13th & 14th Street, NW
Metro: Federal TriangleDate & Time: Saturday, May 14th 2005 1-5 pm
Free Muslims Against Terrorismwww.freemuslims.org202-776-7190
For more information, visit or website at

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Palestine-Israel Peace discussion -- Chicago April 15

Yalla Salam! (Palestinians for Peace Now) and the Southwest Arab Coalition are proud to host an upcoming discussion addressing the future of peace and various peace plans including the Geneva Accords

The event is Friday, April 15 beginning at 6:30 PM. The location is Al Basha Restaurant, formerly the Little Egypt Restaurant), 7216 W. College Dr. (about 119th and South Harlem Avenue) in Palos Heights, IL. The phone number of the restaurant is 708-671-1440

There is no charge for the event. Guests are encouraged to order food and refreshments individually from the menu provided by the restaurant.

The guest speakers are Daniel Levy, an Israeli involved with the Geneva Initiative Office (co-partners in drafting the Geneva Accord principles) and Rafi Dajani, executive director/media relations officer for the American Task Force on Palestine based in Washington D.C. Mr. Levy and Mr. Dajani will discuss the progress towards peace, current challenges facing peace between Palestinians and Israelis, the Geneva Accords, and will take questions from the audience.

The visit by Mr. Levy and Mr. Dajani is being sponsored by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Peace Alliance, and also by local activists and members of the Chicago Chapter of the National Arab American Journalists Association (NAAJA).

We welcome any additional groups that would like to be co-sponsors and supporters. The public is invited.

For more information, contact

Ray Hanania, NAAJA