Author celebrates lives of Islam’s four noble women

Shahada Sharelle Abdul Haqq says she became interested in studying Islam in her 20s when she learned how the Quran protects the rights of women.

Abdul Haqq laments that cultural and legal traditions in some Islamic countries contradict that egalitarian instruction. Moreover, those oppressive practices are all some Westerners know about Islamic teachings.

The book, sumptuously illustrated with Abdul Haqq’s luminous acrylic-on-canvas paintings, celebrates the women that Muhammad pointed to as providing examples of a faithful life.

“Noble Women of Faith” follows Abdul Haqq’s 2008 “Stories of the Prophets in the Holy Quran,” another illustrated book aimed at children that tells the lives of the 25 male prophets mentioned in the Quran. An art teacher who grew up in San Francisco and now lives in Alabama, Abdul Haqq’s paintings capture a child’s wide-eyed imagined views of the ancient tales.

“Stories of the Prophets,” Abdul Haqq recently learned, has become a worldwide best-seller for the Istanbul-based Tughra Books, which also has a U.S. office.

Of Islam’s “four noble women,” only Mary, the mother of Jesus, is mentioned in the Quran. The other three are from the Hadith, the collected sayings of Muhammad.

The book has been released just in time for Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, prayer and study that began July 20. Muslims are encouraged to read through the Quran during the month. Abdul Haqq’s book will give children something to study, too.

And while the book is for all children, Abdul Haqq has been especially pleased with the early reactions from young women.

Residents of San Francisco accuse the City Hall of Bilbao of having “double standards” when issuing construction permits for religious buildings

11 May 12
In Bilbao, in the neighborhood of San Francisco, a citizens’ social group, designated the 48003 movement, is considering to organize demonstrations “against the building of a mosque in the Conception street,” “since the City does not defend our interests or the law ‘, the movement claims against the City Hall administration. They feel “discriminated” by the cabinet of Inaki Azkuna, which they say it, has applied a “double standard” by stopping the edification of the Basurto mosque where as at the same time has authorized the construction of the mosque in Conception street.

Abas Idris, Muslim Security Guard, Gets $465,000 In Calif. Harassment Suit

SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco jury awarded $465,000 to a Muslim security guard who says his co-workers and supervisors called him a terrorist and an al-Qaida member.

The 27-year-old says he quit his job as a security guard for Los Angeles-based Andrews International in February 2010 after the company failed to take his complaints about harassment seriously. He had served as a guard at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio.

Jews, Muslims seek to remove initiative to ban male circumcision from San Francisco ballot

SAN FRANCISCO — An unlikely coalition of Jews and Muslims on Wednesday filed a lawsuit to block a San Francisco ballot measure that would ban the circumcision of male children, a procedure widely practiced by members of both faiths.

The case filed in San Francisco Superior Court asks the court to remove the voter initiative from the city’s Nov. 8 ballot, arguing that California law bars local governments from restricting medical procedures.
The plaintiffs include five Jews, three Muslims, two physicians who regularly perform circumcisions, the Anti-Defamation League and the local chapter of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Coalition urges halt to House hearings on Muslim radicalization

Religious and civil rights groups say the hearings headed by Republican Rep. Peter T. King will demonize Muslim Americans. King remains unmoved.

A coalition of 51 religious and civil rights groups is calling on congressional leaders to stop upcoming hearings on Muslim extremism in the U.S. or have the investigation refocused to include other hate groups.
But King remained unmoved. Asked whether he would respond to a letter Muslim Advocates sent to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), King said: “I don’t believe it warrants an answer…. I am too busy preparing for the hearings.”

King appears to have Boehner’s support. Michael Steel, a Boehner spokesman, said the speaker would not respond to the letter from Muslim Advocates. “Rep. King is chairman of the Homeland Security Committee,” Steel said.

Woman Says Abercrombie & Fitch Co. fired her over headscarf

In San Francisco, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed a complaint on behalf of Hani Khan, a former employee of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Ms. Khan says a district manager has told her that headscarf is not allowed in work and that she has been fired for not taking her scarf off. CAIR filed its Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint last week. Abercombie has another pending lawsuit regarding its alleged refusal of hiring a Muslim women wearing headscarf in Tulsa.

The San Francisco Gate examines: Will Obama’s words matter to the Muslim world?

President Obama has been criticized for his approach to the Muslim world prior to his visit to Turkey, by those who see Obama’s promise to open a dialogue with the Muslim world as endemic of being soft on terrorism. Yet, others wonder why the president would waste time on words and glowing speeches, when imported policy is imminently needed. Others point to Obama’s virtual silence on Israel’s war on Gaza.

The criticisms are based around one major concern – actions speak louder than words. While scholars and intellectuals alike agree that Barack Obama has worked to set a new tone in US-Muslim relationships and a significant shift has been made since end of the Bush era, Munir Jiwa of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkely writes that Muslims are asking to be more active and participatory in public discourse, and the misunderstandings that have amounted over the past eight years must finally be addressed and talked about instead of ignored, and active mutual understanding over just talking about finding common ground will ultimately lead to resolution.

CAIR asks Calif. radio station to reprimand anti-Muslim hosts

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on a San Francisco radio station to reprimand two talk show hosts for a recent segment in which they mocked Islam, misstated Muslim beliefs, and cast suspicion on political participation of Muslim Americans.

CAIR reported that KSFO 560-AM host Brian Sussman and co-host “Officer Vic” said during their program: “Islamic finance is about living within your means and helping the needy – unless they’re Jews,” and “The great honorable qualities of that good old time religion: honor killings, female circumcision, not allowing women to drive…Jews are monkeys, pigs.”

CAIR is asking American Muslims and people of conscience to contact KSFO officials and advertisers to share their concerns over the anti-Muslim remarks. “Radio hosts are free to hold bigoted views, but listeners have no obligation to subsidize those views by purchasing the goods or services of companies that choose to advertise on hate-filled programs,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

Muslim charities will undergo review process to win back donors

Muslim charities in the United State are turning to the Better Business Bureau to win back donors, and in an effort to gain back their confidence in their fundraising activities. Many such charities were hit hard after September 11th, 2001, where funds were seized and questions by the US government. Under this initiative, seven Muslim charities have already volunteered to commit to a review process designed by the BBB to validate their financial soundness and transparency. The effort is lead by Muslim Advocates, an advocacy group based in San Francisco.

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In Oakland, a Black Pillar Dissolves in Unrest

OAKLAND, Aug. 10 – A federal judge’s order to liquidate the assets of Your Black Muslim Bakery will shutter one of this city’s black nationalist institutions, a step called long overdue by many members of the clergy and community activists. They had veered far, far away from the basic tenets of the Muslim faith, said Amos C. Brown, senior pastor at the Third Baptist Church in San Francisco. They had become agents and perpetrators of terror and vigilantism. The bankruptcy ruling late Thursday to pay off some $900,000 in debt and back taxes came a week after the killing of a local journalist, Chauncey W. Bailey Jr., a case in which a handyman employed by the bakery is a prime suspect. Mr. Bailey, who had been investigating the bakery’s finances for a newspaper story, was shot at close range in daylight in downtown Oakland on Aug. 2.