Category Archives: Chicago

Torture in Our Own Backyard: Chicago’s Story, America’s Dilemma

International Day of Support for Survivors of Torture

By Patrick Halpin and John Vanderkloot

As June ushered in rising temperatures, the month also brought about focus to a unique and controversial topic: torture. June was Torture Awareness Month and in light of this, Chicagoland held major events to advocate and encourage an end to its use in any form and on any governmental level. Amnesty International, the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, hosted a rally on Friday, June 26 at Federal Plaza, which brought together individuals to celebrate recent victories in the fight against torture’s use and created an open space to highlight different narratives of torture, both international and domestic.

Angela Davis and Rasmea Odeh: Sisters in a Growing Solidarity Movement

Angela Davis and Rasmea Odeh (Photo by Bill Chambers)

By Bill Chambers

Last Sunday afternoon at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a sold-out crowd of over 500  activists, community leaders, organizers, poets, and artists came together for an event titled “Freedom Beyond Occupation & Incarceration: An Afternoon with Angela Davis and Rasmea Odeh.” This was not just an event with these two community leaders, this was a show of strength for a solidarity movement that wants an end to police brutality, an end to the racist prison system, an end to profiling of all minorities, an end to criminalization of activists, and an end to the occupation of Palestine.

Chicago Arab Community Leader Rasmea Odeh Appeals Conviction


By Bill Chambers

Attorneys for Rasmea Odeh, Arab community leader in Chicago, have filed an appeal of her November 2014 conviction for “unlawful procurement of naturalization.” Her defense team states “justice requires Rasmea’s conviction be reversed and she be afforded a fair trial.”

Chicago-area Lutherans Resolution Widens Conversation About Palestine Throughout the Church

Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem

On Saturday, May 30, 2015, the Metro Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), meeting in assembly, voted to approve a resolution entitled, “Resolution on U.S. Government Aid to State of Israel.”

Thousands March for a Just Chicago and a Fair Contract for Teachers


By Bill Chambers

On Tuesday, about four thousand Chicago teachers, parents, and their supporters rallied at the Thompson Center and marched down LaSalle Street to the Chicago Board of Trade. They demanded not only a fair contract for the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), but also for the just treatment of all communities in the city. Given the hostility of the city in contract negotiations and an anti-union governor who is continuing to push education and social services cuts, as one chant had it – “This is war!”

Popular Pita Inn Reopens Skokie Location

Falah Tabahi,restaurant’s founder and head,
prepares to cut the ribbon on opening day.

Pita Inn, the famous Chicagoland Middle Eastern restaurant establishment, has expanded to meet ever-growing consumer demand. After 33 years at its 3910 Dempster St. location, the restaurant moved 1 mile down the street, 4710 Dempster St., to a brand-new facility. It officially opened June 3.

Illinois Designates May 19 as Malcolm X Day


By Bill Chambers

On this day when Malcolm X would have been 90 years old, the State of Illinois has designated “May 19, 2015 and every May 19 thereafter as “Malcolm X Day.” The Senate passed unanimously a resolution proposed by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) and sponsored by State Senator Jackie Collins (D-Chicago  16th). Malcolm X is being recognized in the words of the resolution as “a singular human rights activist and one of the most influential African-American leaders in history.” His birthday on May 19 will be commemorated as a day of service in keeping with the values that Malcolm X represented in his life.

Chicago Palestinians Parade their Heritage

Photo by Eman Shurbaji

A wedding, dance troupe and plenty of youth were just some of the highlights of the first-ever Palestinian Heritage Parade in downtown Chicago Saturday. Between 850 and 1000 Palestinians and their supporters congregated to walk among decorative floats and entertainment.

The Standardization of Education and the Just Path Forward


By Danish Murtaza

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, (NCLB) Act, signed and instituted in 2001, was a bipartisan effort first proposed by President George W. Bush with the backing of the late U.S. Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy (D-MA). It was the latest authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which was first passed and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. NCLB dramatically overhauled the U.S. education system, promising that all children would be proficient in math and reading by 2014. Moreover, this reform effort set the goal for the nation to claim the world’s top ranking in education. It is now May 2015, and that date has come and gone.

Demystifying the Rise of Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria

Dr. Ibrahim Hassan is Associate professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Jos, Nigeria.

By Bill Chambers

Dr. Ibrahim Hassan, an Associate Professor at the University of Jos in Nigeria, and a Fulbright scholar at Northwestern University spoke at the American Islamic College on the “Rise and Development of Violent Islamic Insurgency (Boko Haram) in Northern Nigeria” Students, faculty, scholars, and members of the larger Chicago community were in attendance. The Chicago Monitor also had the opportunity to interview Dr. Hassan to expand on some of the points during his presentation. Much of his presentation was focused on correcting the misconceptions about their historical development and the level of support they have within northern Nigeria.