Pakistanis in U.S. Fear for Homeland

By Verena Dobnik NEW YORK — Pakistanis across the U.S., regardless of whether they supported Benazir Bhutto, mourned her on Thursday and worried that her assassination could destabilize their homeland and threaten the safety of family members living there. “I imagine this is how the people of this country felt after Kennedy’s assassination,” said Syed Hassan, a Houston resident who moved from Pakistan 20 years ago. “When these kind of things happen, it just shatters you.”

Religious Charities Boom Under Bush

By Farah A. Chowdhury NEW YORK – Although the federal government has always been a major source of money for charities, it has become more easier for religiously affiliated charity groups to get a piece of the tax-payer pie since President George Bush introduced his Faith Based and Community Initiative in 2001. For fiscal year 2005, more than $2.1 billion in competitive social service grants were awarded to faith-based organizations. The majority of recipients of federal funding appear to be predominately of the Christian faith. According to an article in the Boston Globe, Christian faith-based organizations with operations overseas received 98.3% of all federal grants or contracts between fiscal year 2001 to 2005. In 2003, only two Islamic organizations received any type of federal funding.

Arab American, Muslim Groups Disturbed By Ports Security Rhetoric

By DEEPTI HAJELA NEW YORK — The political piling-on over a state-owned Arab business’ plan to run some American ports is causing concern among Arab American and Muslim American groups, which say the furor is fueled by racism and bigotry. “We’re very concerned about the level of rhetoric and the way that there seems to be the assumption that because a company is Arab it can’t be trusted with our security,” said Katherine Abbadi, executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee of New York.

U.S. Paper Defends Printing Mohammad Cartoon

NEW YORK — The Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the few U.S. newspapers to publish a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad from a series that sparked a wave of protests by Muslims, defended the action on Sunday by saying it was just doing its job. “This is the kind of work that newspapers are in business to do,” said Amanda Bennett, the newspaper’s editor. The Inquirer on Saturday published the most controversial image, which depicted the Prophet with a turban resembling a lit bomb, and it posted on its Web site an Internet link to the rest of the cartoons.