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  • World View
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2005
      In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful


      masfreedom @ aol.com
      September 28, 2005
      MAS Freedom Foundation, Washington, DC
      Tel.: (202) 496-1288

      (WASHINGTON, DC) - The Muslim American Society Houston Chapter, which
      is operating a hurricane relief command center in the city, states
      that there are over 100 Muslim families who have been displaced due to
      Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and are in dire need of services in Baton
      Rouge, LA, where relief efforts, in some cases, have been scaled down.

      In launching its "Beyond Emergency Relief" Campaign, which assists
      families in transitioning from temporary emergency relief to progress
      towards permanent resettlement, MAS Houston is attempting to assist
      Muslim families in Baton Rouge by initiating the nationwide appeal in
      order for communities to raise funds this Friday and over the weekend
      in order to provide:

      - School assistance (supplies, tuition, clothes, registration fees,
      physical etc.).
      - Apartment rental assistance, at $500.00 per month per family.
      - Shopping gift cards, $200.00 per family (Wal-Mart) or other discount
      - Trucks loaded with basic necessities - need $10,000 for supplies and
      - Funding to provide Iftar (meal at the breaking of fasting) for
      evacuees and families at local Baton Rouge area Masjids -
      approximately $1,500/day.

      MAS Houston has pledged to raise $5,000 as seed money for these needs
      during and after prayers in local mosques. The total cost for this
      project is between $120,000 to $150,000.

      We, at MAS, respectfully request that Masjids nationwide collect money
      for Muslim families in Baton Rouge.

      Muslims may also help by sponsoring families interested in relocating
      by sponsoring such families for a few months until they are able to
      establish themselves in their new communities.

      As time advances, relief bureaucracy for assistance becomes more
      cumbersome and people begin to be less committed in providing
      assistance on a long-term basis. MAS initially recognized that relief
      efforts related to Katrina had to be lasting and sustainable. As such,
      MAS committed to provide sustained assistance for all victims through
      MAS's "Boots On The Ground" volunteers, medical corps and call for
      ethical reconstruction of communities destroyed by Katrina and Rita.

      See also:

      "Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Publicly Thanks MAS for Its
      Leadership and Rapid Response to Victims of Hurricane Katrina"

      "MAS Freedom Calls For Ethical Reconstruction, Fair Employment and
      Economic Opportunities for Hurricane Katrina Victims"

      MAS continues to assist all hurricane victims regardless of faith,
      race or national origin. However, MAS received an urgent request to
      aid Muslim families and felt obligated to respond immediately. Do not
      let these families slip through the cracks. Please help us assist them
      today. Once again, please make a special collection this Friday at
      your Masjids.

      Checks can be made payable to "Muslim American Society-Houston
      Hurricane Fund" and be sent to 6210 Highway 6 South Houston, TX 77083.


      No cuts for Israel funding after Katrina

      Israel aid unscathed in GOP group's proposal
      Funding for Israel would remain untouched in cuts
      proposed by conservative Republicans in the wake of
      recent hurricanes.

      Funding for Egypt, Africa, the AIDS initiative and the
      Peace Corps would take hits under a Republican Study
      Committee document, obtained by JTA, that breaks down
      offsets into several categories, including foreign
      aid. Israel is the single largest recipient of U.S.
      aid, receiving more than $2.5 billion a year, but is
      not on the list for cuts.

      Egypt, the second biggest recipient with $1.8 billion
      a year, would lose $12 million in 2006 and $400
      million over the next five years, according to the
      proposal, because its "democratic development has been
      extremely limited and its human rights record remains
      poor," according to the document prepared by Rep. Mike
      Pence (R-Ind.), the chairman of RSC, an 86-member
      conservative caucus in the House of Representatives.


      Remember the victims of Sabra and Shatila
      Nasreen Hassan-Mia
      Sunday Independent (South Africa)
      September 18, 2005

      On September 16 1982 right-wing Lebanese Christian militias allied
      with Israel entered the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in

      The sounds of gunfire echoed throughout the densely packed,
      impoverished area. For three days, members of the Phalange militia
      went on a murder spree, butchering babies and the elderly, raping and
      killing women and murdering unarmed men and boys.

      I read a story of a mother whose baby's throat was slit in front of
      her - she was told by some members of the militia that she would not
      be killed because the scene she had just witnessed would kill her.

      The exact number of victims will never be known, and reports on the
      final death toll do not include those still unaccounted for, buried in
      mass graves or carted away by militiamen, never to be seen again.

      The world was shocked by images of corpses piled up in alleys and
      heaped in doorways. While the world remembers the victims of the
      September 11 2001 attacks on New York, who remembers the thousands of
      victims of the atrocities at Sabra and Shatila?

      Nasreen Hassan-Mia



      The Katrina Pledge goes to Congress
      by Jim Wallis
      September 23, 2005

      The Katrina Pledge which circulated in SojoMail and the following
      letter from Jim Wallis were sent to every senator and representative
      to tell them of your commitment to go beyond immediate relief and
      address lasting social change.

      Dear Senator or Representative:

      The stunning images from New Orleans and the battered Gulf Coast
      revealed that we have failed the poorest in our nation, but we now
      have an opportunity to recover their trust and recapture part of the
      American spirit. As one of our nation's political leaders, you have
      the ability to lead in that effort.

      Poverty is no longer out of public sight. We have all seen the
      pictures of those who were left behind in Hurricane Katrina because
      they had been left out in America. And we pray for those who may face
      a similar fate as Hurricane Rita approaches Texas. What was hidden and
      mostly invisible is now flashing across our television screens. Our
      collective silence has been broken and the media have begun to talk
      about poor people and tell their stories more than any time in years.
      There are no longer any excuses for not knowing or caring.

      It is time to move from sound bites to sound vision; from debates to
      dialogue; from rhetoric to results. For some time now, religious
      leaders from across the theological and political spectrum have been
      standing together against poverty. Even before the current disaster,
      we have been learning to set aside other differences to lift up a
      vision for compassion and justice for those our nation and world has
      forgotten, the ones that Jesus called "the least of these." There is
      now a deep convergence among religious leaders, including conservative
      evangelicals; Catholic bishops; mainline Protestants; black, Hispanic,
      and Asian Christians; Jewish rabbis; Muslim imams, and many others.
      Our voice is growing stronger, but political action by national
      leaders is now needed to honor our nation's moral convictions.

      This is a historic moment and a unique opportunity for our country.
      Hurricane waters are washing away our national denial of just how many
      Americans are living in poverty and of the persistent connection
      between race and poverty in America. Just as we must assist those in
      dire need and begin the process of recovery, those actions must be
      accompanied by longer term commitments. But making a difference for
      poor families will not fit within the usual approaches to poverty.
      Leaders from all sectors of society must acknowledge that a
      combination of public and private initiatives will be required to help
      the less fortunate. It will require changes in culture as much as
      changes in policy.

      There are two obstacles to making real progress against poverty - the
      lack of priority and the lack of agreement on strategy. The poor have
      been near the bottom of our priority list, if on the list at all. It
      will take a moral and even religious imperative to change our
      priorities but the time has come to do so. But we have also been
      paralyzed by the debate between liberals and conservatives on
      solutions, with the right favoring cultural changes and the left
      endorsing policy changes.

      First, the critical needs of poor families must become the top
      priority of our government. The blatant inequalities of race in
      America, especially in critical areas of education, jobs, health care,
      and housing that have come to the surface must now be addressed. How
      we help families build assets and take responsibility for their
      futures must be central to the discussion. All this requires a change
      in political logic. Indeed, a new moral logic must reshape our
      political habits.

      Second, each "side" of our political landscape ignores too many valid
      concerns of the other side. Poor families don't need us to take sides
      - they need us to stand in the gap with them. Much could be
      accomplished with a merging of personal and social responsibility, a
      commitment to reverse family breakdown, a more honest assessment of
      both the personal decisions and social systems that trap people in
      poverty. That involves being more creative than looking solely to
      charity or only to government for hope. We need to acknowledge that
      budgets are moral documents and budget priorities can help or hurt the
      poor - and acknowledge that negative family and cultural values deeply
      impact low-income people. We must all confront realities of our
      national, community, and personal priorities, recognizing that there
      are multiple breakdowns of culture, family, community, and government
      that are undermining poor families and the very fabric of our nation.
      Doing so requires that leaders who care about results start to look at
      the current situation and the future differently.

      Indeed we must be disciplined by results when it comes to poverty
      reduction. It's time to move from the politics of blame to a politics
      of solutions. Liberals must start talking about the problems of
      out-of-wedlock births and strengthening both marriage and parenting.
      Conservatives must start talking about strategic public investments in
      education, health care, affordable housing, and living family incomes.
      We must focus on making work really work for low-income families.
      Those who work hard and full time in America should not have to raise
      their children in poverty - but many still do. Together, we must end
      the debate between large and small government and forge a common
      commitment to good and effective government. I hope you agree that now
      is the time to do so.



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