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Policing Our Attitudes About the Police

Zainib AhmadBy Zainib Ahmad

I never thought I would dress up like a firefighter, oxygen tank and all, and put out a car fire, visit the dispatch center where 911 calls are handled or fire an actual shotgun. For the past month I have been doing that and more while spending my Thursdays at the fire station in Lino Lakes.

I am one of eight women and twelve men participating in a nine-week Citizens Public Safety Academy sponsored by the Lino Lakes Police Department and Fire Station. This experience is teaching me a lot about the hard work these brave men and women do, often putting their lives on the line on a daily basis.
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MN Writer’s New Children’s Book Inspired by Hadith

Cover art for the Runaway ScarfThe Runaway Scarf, a new book by Twin Cities-based writer Corey Habbas, is a story about human justice and freedom inspired by an Islamic hadith. The 52-page illustrated children’s book is set to be available at the end of February.

Habbas is also a regular contributor to

“I was mad after watching that movie Hidalgo,” Habbas said, “because it was such a distortion about Muslims, and that is what inspired this book. I wrote it in 2004 [after the movie was released], and it took me a long time to get it published!”

The book follows an African slave, named Ibsitu, who finds compassion and freedom once she escapes to the first Muslim community established by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the city of Madinah.

“It’s important that Muslim children learn about who they are by taking from Islamic sources, not from an entertainment industry that feeds on a climate of misunderstandings,” Habbas said in a release.

The book, issued by Muslim Writers Publishing, is now available through the publisher and and is scheduled to be available on Look for more about the book, and its journey to publication.

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For engaging the U.S. public, Congressman Ellison is a role model for Muslims

By Dr. Ghulam M. Haniff

Last spring King Abdullah II of Jordan concluded his speech to the joint session of the U.S. Congress with the familiar salutation, “Assalamu-alaikum!” Immediately, in response a booming voice rang out from the center of the chamber with a loud “Walaikum-assalam.” Everyone present was stunned.

For a long moment there was a hushed silence. No doubt, some wondered whether this was an exchange of some secret message right in their midst. By then many heads had turned around and recognized the new face. It was none other than the first-term Congressman Keith Ellison, (D-Minn.), the newly elected representative from the fifth district of Minnesota.
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Some myths in Middle East politics and religion need to be deconstructed.

By Elias Karmi

Myth: The “Ancient Feud”

Unfortunately, a few academics have fallen for this one. The myth is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rooted in an ancient feud between Ismael, the perceived ancestor of the Arabs, and Isaac, the ancestor of the Children of Israel, both of whom are the sons of Abraham from different mothers.

From the point of view of Muslims, this is particularly absurd. Muslims highly revere both Ismael and Isaac – peace be upon them – as holy prophets whose brotherhood transcends sharing one father. Prophets are the highest humans in good manners and their presumed falling into feuds would be quite substandard.
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A U.S. Muslim response to teacher’s jailing in Sudan

or, What Would Muhammad Do, Part 2

By Ibrahim Hooper

{Note: The author is a University of Minnesota graduate who worked in television and educational outreach in Minnesota before becoming national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Because of user interest in the furor over the British teacher jailed in Sudan for allegedly disrespecting the prophet, EngageMinnesota is reprinting Mr. Hooper’s commentary with permission.}

During last year’s protests over publication of the Danish cartoons designed to insult the Prophet Muhammad, I wrote a commentary called “What Would Muhammad Do?”

Given the ongoing controversy over the jailing of British teacher Gillian Gibbons in the Sudan for “insulting Islam,” perhaps it is time to remind us all how the Prophet himself reacted to insults, both real and perceived.

Even if Ms. Gibbons had the intent to cause insult, which does not seem to be the case, Islamic traditions include a number of instances in which the Prophet had the opportunity to retaliate against those who abused him, but refrained from doing so.

“You do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

That description of the Prophet Muhammad is a summary of how he reacted to personal attacks and abuse.
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