Virginia man’s challenge to no-fly list clears hurdle

January 23, 2014

 

A federal judge on Wednesday allowed a Virginia man’s challenge to his placement on the no-fly list to go forward, three years after he was stranded in Kuwait.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga issued a 32-page written ruling rejecting arguments of government lawyers who wanted the case dismissed. Trenga said that Gulet Mohamed suffers significant harm from his apparent placement on the list and the Constitution gives him the right to challenge his no-fly status.

Trenga acknowledged that Mohamed’s travel rights must be balanced against the government’s duty to protect its citizens from terrorism, but wrote that “the No Fly List implicates some of our basic freedoms and liberties as well as the question of whether we will embrace those basic freedoms when it is most difficult.”

The Justice Department is reviewing the ruling, department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said in an email late Wednesday.
The government has refused to say why it would have placed Mohamed on the no-fly list; in fact, the government won’t even confirm that Mohamed, or anyone else, is on the list at all. The government says only that people are placed on the list when it has “reasonable suspicion to believe that a person is a known or suspected terrorist.”

Mohamed, an Alexandria resident and naturalized U.S. citizen, was 19 when he was detained by Kuwaiti authorities in 2011. Mohamed says he was beaten and interrogated at the behest of the U.S. and denied the right to fly home.
U.S. authorities allowed Mohamed to fly home after he filed a federal lawsuit, but Mohamed says he remains on the list without justification.

Mohamed’s lawyer, Gadeir Abbas, who is with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called the ruling “a stinging rebuke to the government’s use of the no-fly list.”
Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/va-mans-challenge-to-no-fly-list-clears-hurdle/2014/01/23/7e063730-8432-11e3-a273-6ffd9cf9f4ba_story.html

Ramadan in Germany: A Test of Faith and Strength of Character

13 August 2010

The Islamic month of fasting began on Wednesday. Most Muslims in Germany
observe the holy month — but in an environment where the majority is
not Muslim, fasting is something many find difficult.

Azima Moustafa und Haidar Omar have lived in Germany for 13 years. As
Syrian Kurds they faithfully observed Ramadan every year in their
homeland. Now, however, they find it increasingly difficult to do
without food and drink in the fasting period.

Mohammed Al-Ibrahim spends weeks in advance preparing himself mentally
for the fasting period. The 42-year-old doctor who lives in Cologne has
been observing Ramadan faithfully for the past 20 years. The Kuwaiti
does find life in Germany a challenge however — and not only due to
fact that the takeaways and restaurants are all open. “I see other
people eating and drinking, I walk past snack bars and takeaways and
smell all the wonderful aromas. It stimulates the appetite and makes you
more aware that you are hungry. But it is finding the will to resist
female charms, particularly in summer, that is the real challenge.”

Those who choose not to observe it, however, are made aware of a certain
disapproval directed towards them from within the Muslim community.
“Some Muslims give anyone who chooses not to fast in Ramadan a hard
time. They tend to point the finger disapprovingly and don’t respect
your decision. But it is, after all, a decision between myself and God,”
says Azima Moustafa. Her decision has even brought her verbal abuse, the
31 year old says.

Muslims Not Obliged ‘Forever’ to Condemn Every Gruesome Crime

June 28, 2010

By: Khaled Aljenfawi

A Republican candidate for Congress from Tennessee Lou Ann Zelenik argued against building a mosque in a Nashville’s suburb because according to her it poses a “threat to her state’s moral and political foundation.” I do agree with Zelenik about the need for sane and rational people to condemn radicalism, terrorism and all sorts of intolerance. However, a Muslim individual whether he or she is an American, a Kuwaiti or a Somali is not obliged to condemn terrorism 24/7 nor do they need to feel guilty or feel an urge to separate themselves from any mad act of intolerance, which allegedly happen in the name of Islam!

Muslims Not Obliged ‘Forever’ to Condemn Every Gruesome Crime

June 28, 2010

By: Khaled Aljenfawi

A Republican candidate for Congress from Tennessee Lou Ann Zelenik argued against building a mosque in a Nashville’s suburb because according to her it poses a “threat to her state’s moral and political foundation.” I do agree with Zelenik about the need for sane and rational people to condemn radicalism, terrorism and all sorts of intolerance. However, a Muslim individual whether he or she is an American, a Kuwaiti or a Somali is not obliged to condemn terrorism 24/7 nor do they need to feel guilty or feel an urge to separate themselves from any mad act of intolerance, which allegedly happen in the name of Islam!

Shari’a banking comes to Germany

Germany’s Muslims are finally getting a bank offering financial products that comply with Shari’a law. It is a market worth billions, and one that many major banks around the world have long discovered.

There are four million Muslims living in Germany. They eat, drink and pray in accordance with the precepts of the Prophet Muhammad. But when it comes to monetary transactions, the principles of the Koran have played hardly any role in Germany. That is about to change.

Early next year, the first Islamic bank in Germany to offer products that are in compliance with Shari’a law will open its doors. The bank, Kuveyt Türk Beteiligungsbank, will open a branch in the downtown area of Mannheim, a city in western Germany, and branches in other cities are also planned.

The regulators with Germany’s Federal Financial Services Authority, known as BaFin, recently issued a limited license to the subsidiary of a Turkish-Kuwaiti bank. It is only permitted to collect funds that are transferred to accounts in Turkey that conform to Islamic rules.

Islamic superhero comic “The 99” among top 20 pop culture trends worldwide

The creator of a bestselling comic designed to show the world the tolerant and peaceful face of Islam has written an open letter to his young sons explaining how the project grew out of 9/11.

In the letter, written for the BBC News website, Kuwaiti psychologist Dr Naif al-Mutawa, says his superheroes – inspired by the Koran and known as THE 99 – were designed to “take back Islam” from militants who had taken it hostage.

The comics, which now sell about one million copies a year in several languages, are soon to be made into an animated film by Dutch media company Endemol. Early last year, Forbes magazine announced THE 99 were one of the 20 top pop culture trends sweeping the world.