With the cuts in higher education, state worker pension benefits, and Medicare, Governor Bruce Rauners budget is neither just nor responsible. More »
How Twitter in Egypt started as a method of government resistance during the Arab Spring and devolved into a tool for propaganda, sectarianism, and state control. More »
Many letters of support and the presence in court of Arab women from Odehs Womens Committee undermined prosecutors demonizing and impacted the sentencing. More »
Last week the Center for Interfaith Engagement at Eastern Mennonite University held a panel discussion titled “Faith and Trauma: Abrahamic Perspectives” at the American Islamic College in Chicago. The overall theme of the event was the perspective of each Abrahamic religion – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – toward personal and communal trauma – both as a source of healing and of trauma itself. Often inter-faith dialogues on controversial topics fail to address the elephant in the room. But in this case, the panelists took aim at how each religion has been both a victim and perpetrator of trauma.
Three weeks before the April 15 deadline to file federal tax returns, the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a national education and advocacy organization based in Palos Hills, IL, has placed electronic billboards asking the question: “Have you declared Israel a dependent on your tax returns?” The ad, which ran last year in Washington DC, says Americans are “sweating April 15 so Israelis don’t have to,” and calls for an end to U.S. aid to the Israeli occupation. In Chicago, the ads can be seen on digital billboards at I-294 and 95th Street and I-294 and Southwest Highway through April 19.
On January 15, 2011, a young woman on Twitter used the hashtag #Jan25 for the first time in what would soon become a symbol of revolution and change. “over 16000 of us are taking to the streets on #jan25! join us,” @alyanumbers – then @alya1989262 – wrote. She added a link to a Facebook entitled in Arabic, “A Letter to the Youth of Egypt: Let January 25 be a Torch of Change in Egypt.”
“He mortgaged the future in order to win an election,” David Axelrod said yesterday afternoon on MSNBC.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party’s reelection last night in Israel has been entitled as a “Big Victory” by every major news station and news source yesterday. “Big Victory,” “Big Night,” “Big Election.” I think I would describe the election as anything but big. By the end of the night, the election and Likud’s victory felt hollow. Netanyahu’s campaign over the past three weeks descended into partisan, extremist, vitriolic politics that have isolated Israel and made the U.S. weary of an ally it once held close.
There is no doubt about the fact that the state of Illinois is in a dire financial situation. We need to recognize that we must critically look at our spending habits and and see what we can do to rectify the situation. But in our efforts to balance the budget, we don’t need to discount the human costs that will result. Rather, we need to remember the human element that is a part of this process. For better or for worse, government plays an integral part of our lives. Government must serve the poor, the working class, the middle class, and the upper class. It has a greater affect on some than on others. When government services are cut, there is no doubt that some people will be hurt and we should take that into account. We need to deeply contemplate what it means to have the most moral and just way to balance the budget. Does the budget proposed by the new Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner meet those criteria?
In a trial that Judge Drain declared was “not political,” Rasmea Odeh was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in prison, a $1,000 fine, immediate revocation of her citizenship, and deportation to Jordan after serving jail time. Odeh was released on bond pending appeal. As Odeh said in her statement at the hearing, “every time I try to build my life up, something comes along that puts me back to zero.”
On Thursday, four days after International Women’s Day, Rasmea Odeh will be sentenced in a Detroit court. This will be one of the final stages of a year and a half government vendetta against an award winning and loved leader of the Arab, Palestinian, and immigrant community in Chicago. Like Dr. Sami Al-Arian, the Palestinian professor and activist recently deported to Turkey, Odeh’s effectiveness in organizing for Palestinian civil rights brought her to the attention of a vindictive Justice Department.
Cartoon by Renner Larson.
The views expressed in this cartoon are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Chicago Monitor’s editorial policy.
By Aaron Irvin
Many Americans will be surprised to learn the First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects freedom of speech—though not entirely. There exists in American jurisprudence a tradition of interpretation known as “balancing theory” wherein the rights enumerated in the first amendment are weighed against the interests of the state. Should a court decide the government’s interests are vulnerable, first amendment liberties may be rescinded. How would these issues be handled if an attack like that on Charlie Hebdo occurred in the U.S.?