Led by Ashcroft, LaHood, new group aims to train DC advocates for persecuted Middle East Christians

Posted by The Washington Post on September 09, 2014

Hundreds of activists, including Christian clergy from across the Middle East and more than a dozen members of Congress on Tuesday begin a three-day conference aimed at training a serious policy-impacting force in Washington to protect persecuted Christians overseas.

Concern has been building for two decades about the plight of minority Christians in certain hot spots in the Middle East and Africa, but upheaval across Iraq and Syria in the last few years has displaced hundreds of thousands, leading some U.S. faith leaders to frame this as an unprecedented new era.

“I don’t want to have on my conscience that...

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9/11-era ignorance of Islam is infecting the age of Isis. We should know better

Posted by The Guardian on September 09, 2014

In the last two months, three major hate crimes have hit New York City, the most ethnically diverse place in the United States. Last week, a manchased a Muslim American woman into oncoming traffic in Brooklyn while threatening to behead her. Earlier this month, a group of teenagers physically assaulted a Sikh American while hurling racial slurs like “terrorist” and “Osama”. In late July, a man shouted similar epithets at Sandeep Singh before running him over with his truck and dragging him nearly 30 feet.

In the nearly 13 years since 9/11, and now in the three months since the Islamic...

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9/11-era ignorance of Islam is infecting the age of Isis. We should know better

Posted by The Guardian on September 09, 2014

In the last two months, three major hate crimes have hit New York City, the most ethnically diverse place in the United States. Last week, a manchased a Muslim American woman into oncoming traffic in Brooklyn while threatening to behead her. Earlier this month, a group of teenagers physically assaulted a Sikh American while hurling racial slurs like “terrorist” and “Osama”. In late July, a man shouted similar epithets at Sandeep Singh before running him over with his truck and dragging him nearly 30 feet.

In the nearly 13 years since 9/11, and now in the three months since the Islamic...

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James Zogby: Obama Needs to Include Arab Nations in Coalition Read Latest Breaking News from Newsma

Posted by Newsmax on September 09, 2014

As President Barack Obama develops his strategy to combat the Islamic State (ISIS), he needs to be sure to include Arab nations in his coalition, says James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute.  "What I truly hope occurs is that in addition to whatever coalition the president is assembling, that Arab states, front and center, are a part of that coalition because they've got a lot at stake here," Zogby told J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Tuesday.  "This gang has to be rolled back, they have to be defeated, but they can...

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A Time for Unity: Widespread Support for Washington Summit On Plight of Middle Eastern Christians

Posted by PR Newswire on September 09, 2014

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The deteriorating situation facing millions of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East will be the focus of a bipartisan and ecumenical conference which starts today in the nation's capital.  The three-day event sponsored by In Defense of Christians (IDC) will feature speakers from all over the globe.

The IDC Summit for Middle East Christians, whose theme is "Protecting and Preserving Christianity, Where It All Began," marks the first occasion in history where six Christian Patriarchs from the Middle East will gather together in the United States. 1,000 attendees representing over 20 states and 10 different countries are attending...

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9/11 Families Sponsor Anti-Islamophobia Campaign for Anniversary of Tragedy

Posted by The Christian Post on September 08, 2014

The organization September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows has launched a campaign against Islamophobia through a new bus ad promoting religious tolerance and interfaith unity in New York City. This comes just after a recent poll conducted by the Arab American Institute shows that Americans have an increasingly negative attitude toward Muslims in the United States.

"We wanted to make a clear statement that our 9/11 family members do not want to promote fear and hatred in our names," said Peaceful Tomorrows Project Director Terry Greene, whose brother died aboard United Flight 93, to HuffPost. "We believe that unity...

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Opinion: Muslims and extremists—we’re not the same

Posted by CNN on September 08, 2014

London (CNN) -- "Here we go again," I sigh, browsing news channels. Each one, leading with the chilling buzzwords: "Islamic State" and "Jihadist Murder."

Not since the weeks following the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York has turning on the TV been so demoralizing for Muslims across the globe.

I have that same sinking feeling whenever an atrocity takes place which is broadly placed at the feet of the "Muslim world." Because, "Hi, I am Lauren and I am a Muslim" -- should there be a new support group?

What's depressing as a "revert" (Muslims believe everyone is born into...

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Understanding persecution of Christians in the Middle East

Posted by National Catholic Reporter on September 08, 2014

Recent atrocities committed in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State have drawn attention to the plight of Christians in the Middle East. But the issue, with deep historical roots and myriad foreign policy implications, predates the incursions of the Islamic State. Who are these Christians? What is life like for them? And what should Americans committed to cause of assisting them keep in mind while attempting to raise awareness of the issue? NCR asked James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, for his thoughts.

NCR: Help us understand the bigger picture. How should we view the persecution of...

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9/11 Families Launch Anti-Islamophobia Campaign For Anniversary Of Tragedy

Posted by Huffington Post on September 06, 2014

Family members of September 11 victims are taking a stand against Islamophobia with a new bus ad campaign designed to promote religious tolerance and interfaith unity.

"Islamophobia is not pretty," the ad reads. "Let's build bridges, not walls. Hate hurts, hope heals."

Sponsored by September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, the ad's launch coincides with a symposium on gun violence and hate crimes taking place on September 6 in New York City. The symposium will encourage dialogue between panelists and audience members with the intention of discussing solutions to religious intolerance.

"We wanted to make a clear statement that...

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Local woman talks about impact of ISIS

Posted by Fox 7 Austin on September 02, 2014

The Arab American Institute Foundation reports that as of 2010 there are roughly 200,000 Arab Americans living in Texas with many right here in Austin.

Syrian born Zein Al-Jundi says she is heartbroken by the horrific images coming out of the Middle East. 

"That can't be happening to the country I know. They are beheading children. it's beyond comprehension," Al-Jundi says.

Al-Jundi owns The Arabic Bazaar, a store she says was inspired by the traditional Middle Eastern market. She used to travel to Syria several times a year to stock her shelves with wares from the country. But the civil...

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