Category Archives: Editorials
To the editor of the CBS Chicago online publication,
Monday, Jul 21, 2014, NBC Chicago posted a report about a leaflet threatening crimes against the Jewish community if Israel does not end its siege of Gaza. NBC Chicago made a mistake by connecting this hate crime to Sunday’s peaceful Chicago protest against Israel’s strikes on Gaza. The fact is, there are hate crimes against both Jews and Muslims in Chicago, and trying to make the Israel-Palestine Conflict a religious issue only adds to this problem.
Five years ago, four men in the poverty-stricken town of Newburgh, New York were sentenced to 25 years in prison for an attempted bomb plot. Prosecutors painted the suspects as homegrown Muslim terrorists, with plenty of evidence that the “Newburgh Four” planned to destroy a Bronx synagogue. What the jury did not hear was that these men were not the masterminds behind the plot, they were being paid by an FBI informant to take part in it.
On the evening of July 27, thousands of Muslims in Chicago received confirmation that Ramadan has ended and Eid al-Fitr has begun. Although Chicago has many Muslim communities- including but not limited to Bosnian, Palestinian, African-American, Nigerian, and hundreds of converts, one community in particular has an annual tradition of celebrating Eid al-Fitr in a public way. What began as a celebratory atmosphere of musical instruments, dancing, and henna- ended with one arrest, and dozens of police cars and patrol officers harassing community members.
Soon adults and children with epilepsy will gain access to the use of medical marijuana in Illinois under a law signed on July 20 by Governor Pat Quinn. This new law, SB 2636, is the latest in a series of governmental measures that loosen restrictions on cannabis in U.S. states.
On Sunday, July 20th, thousands of Chicagoans gathered downtown to protest recent events related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. While there is no exact figure on the number of attendees, estimates run as conservatively as 2,000 to as enormous as 10,000 and is arguably the largest Palestinian protest in Chicago to date. Marchers convened along Upper Wacker Drive for the start of the protest. After weaving through downtown, they concluded their march at the intersection of Madison and Canal near Chicago’s Israeli consulate. Throughout the march, chants and songs could be heard resonating within the vicinity of downtown. While there were numerous organizations, individuals, and voices, they all marched for the same cause—an end to the violence in Palestine.
In an article published by The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald and Murtaaza Hussain describe five prominent American Muslims who had long been under surveillance by the NSA and the FBI including Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of CAIR, the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country. In all of the reporting of this “revelation” based upon NSA documents from Edward Snowden, it seems strange that no one has made the obvious point that this entire scenario has happened multiple times in the past history of the FBI – most notably in the aggressive surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the entire civil rights movement. Now instead of an entire race of people fighting for equal rights being the target, it’s people who belong to one religion and are only trying to exist as American citizens.
Local activists and environmental groups recently held protests to spotlight their concern that “bomb trains” carrying highly volatile crude oil could be traveling through densely populated Chicagoland neighborhoods.
A new legislation will put African-Americans in charge of minority-focused programs. Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) proposed a bill, SB 121, allowing African-Americans to be included in the planning process and development of minority programs.
When flight attendants remind travelers to buckle their seat belts and put tray tables up for take-off, customers will no longer be asked to turn off their electronic devices when flying into the United States. Not only does The Transportation Security Administration request that phones and tablets be powered on during security checks, but “powerless devices” will not be allowed on board.
By Saher Khan
Last summer, I spent Ramadan in Saudi Arabia. The stop lights in Jedah were filled with people handing out bags of food to those driving by. The streets of Mecca were flooded with children handing bread to whomever crossed their path. In the city of Medina, we were ushered into the mosque where strangers innocuously competed to be the first to feed us. It seemed as if the Saudis were so generous that ironically, not a soul went hungry during the month of Ramadan.