Saturday, December 29, 2007

CAIR praises judge's decision to throw out political Boim case


(CHICAGO, IL, 12/28/07) The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today welcomed a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to overturn a controversial award judgment against American Muslim charities in an Illinois civil suit.

SEE: $156M Damage Award Thrown Out (AP)

In 2004, attorneys for 17-year-old David Boim, who was murdered at a Tel Aviv bus stop, sued local Muslim charities based on a complicated guilt-by-association argument. After today’s ruling, the case will return to trial court for further action.

The Judgment read, in part:

“Belief, assumption, and speculation are no substitutes for evidence in a court of law…We must resist the temptation to gloss over error, admit spurious evidence, and assume facts not adequately proved simply to side with the face of innocence and against the face of terrorism. Our endeavor to adhere to the dictates of law that this great nation has embodied since its founding must persevere…”

In a statement, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab said:

“Today, our nation’s great tradition of respect for the rule of law has been upheld. This landmark ruling is a strong rejection of the recent disturbing trend of political lawsuits against American Muslims who have committed no crime other than providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

“Pro-Israel groups are engaged in a broad-based attack against domestic humanitarian efforts to aid Palestinians living in dire circumstances under the Israeli occupation. It is reprehensible that groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) would fund and encourage lawsuits that seek to repress First Amendment-protected activities by Palestinian Americans under the guise of fighting terrorism.

“The defendants in this case have endured a seven-year legal battle in which their reputations have been smeared and their assets confiscated. While the destruction of American Muslim groups who have committed no wrong-doing is irreparable, today’s decision, in which the rules of law were finally applied, helps restore the American people’s trust in the system.

“CAIR deplores the murder of David Boim and hopes that the actual wrong-doers are brought to justice.”

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 33 offices, chapters and affiliates 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.”

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CONTACT: CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, 312-212-1520; 847-971-3963, E-Mail:; CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham, 312-212-1520, E-Mail:

Friday, December 28, 2007

Neiman Taylor Family Award for Fairness in newspapers

The Nieman Foundation would greatly appreciate it if you would encourage NAAJA members to apply for the 2008 Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers. The award, which carries a $10,000 prize, was established through gifts for an endowment by members of the Taylor family, who published The Boston Globe from 1872 to 1999. For the first time, second and third place finalists will receive $1,000 each. The purpose of the award, which is administered by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, is to encourage fairness in news coverage by America’s daily newspapers.

Nominations may be a single story, a photograph, an editorial or a commentary; a series of stories, photographs, editorials or commentaries; or a body of work by an individual journalist. Entries must be postmarked no later than Friday, Jan. 18, 2008, for work published in a U.S. daily newspaper during the previous calendar year.

Anyone may submit a nomination by sending to the address below five copies of the work and a letter explaining why the entry is an exemplary example of fairness in newspapers. The letter should also describe how the work was developed, reported and presented to readers in the context of fairness. In evaluating work, submitters should consider all aspects of the journalistic process: reporting, writing, editing, headlines, photographs and illustrations, and presentation.

Taylor Family Award for Fairness
Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard
One Francis Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

For more information about the Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers, visit:

Best regards,
Ellen Tuttle
Ellen Tuttle
Communications Officer
Nieman Foundation for Journalism
at Harvard University

Friday, December 21, 2007

Chicago CEO closes to go on Hajj

Chicago Based CEO Closes Down Company To Go To Hajj!

Fully adorned with his unstitched robe and sandals strapped to his feet Ahmed Abdelaziz is one of the more than 2 million who have entered Saudi Arabia for Hajj this year.

Hajj, which is the pilgrimage to Mecca is an obligation that must be carried out by every able-bodied Muslim who have the means to do so. It is the demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God. “This is the first time I am doing the Hajj. It is very important for me to fulfill this obligation early for I have learned that this life is not guaranteed and I want to be ready.” Ahmed Abdelaziz is a mere fifty years old, one of the youngest to go to Mecca.

This is a once in a lifetime experience that while very difficult and strenuous, many only dream of participating in. Some pilgrims are sleeping in tents while others are requiring only a space to lay down their mat. Physical conditions at Hajj are quite grueling with millions of people, the sun and the heat. This would be a great opportunity to discuss why Ahmed decided to close his business during one of the busiest times of the year to go to Hajj.

Please contact me to schedule an interview with Ahmed Abdelaziz.

Thank you,
Omarica Home Builders, Inc- Turning dreams into reality one renovation at a time, Omarica Home Builders is the place to go for upscale home renovation or building needs. From kitchen/bathroom installation to complete renovations of upscale hotels, no project is too big or too small for Omarica. CEO and founder, Ahmed Abdelaziz, is a self-made entrepreneur. His keen sense of design, architecture and elegance has led him to become a luxury real estate developer, general contractor, hotel renovator, and approved installer for Expo Design Center contracted with Home Depot USA. Ahmed also specializes in providing ease and luxury to relocating executives looking for a new home or those seeking to renovate in the greater Chicagoland area.

Friday, December 14, 2007

NAAJA announces 2008 Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award, Excellence in Journalism Awards

NAAJA is proud to announce the 2008 Mehdi Courage in Journalism Contest and the Excellence in Journalism Contest for Middle East, Arab American and general writing for print, TV, radio and web blogs.

The contest is open to anyone.

The deadline for submissions is Feb. 1, 2008. Winners are announced in April 2008.

Get details at:

You can't win unless you enter.

Ray Hanania