poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, May 03, 2004

Study Claims Bias Against Muslims In US Up 70% In 2003
Joe De Capua
A new report says there’s been a 70-percent jump in reported incidents of harassment, violence and discrimination against Muslims in the United States. The study, produced by the Council on American-Islamic Relations – or CAIR – says there were more than one thousand complaints in 2003 compared to just over 600 the year before.

Dr. Mohammed Nimer is the author of the report called “Unpatriotic Acts.” From the council’s Washington headquarters he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the study’s findings.

He says, “This is an annual report based on community members reporting to the council incidents of harassment, discrimination and hate crimes…. Most of the increase occurred in certain states like New York, California, New Jersey, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.” Dr. Nimer says the major increases in the types of abuses related to CAIR are complaints about discriminatory application of the law, especially in relation to the special registration procedure for immigrants from national origins rooted in Muslim world countries. Hate crimes have more than doubled actually last year. Racial and religious profiling by law enforcement personnel has also increased dramatically.”

Dr. Nimer says it’s true that some of the increase may be due to Muslims in the United States being more willing now to file complaints. “The council,” he says, “has almost tripled in its organizational capacity since 9/11. With that comes the ability to process information…that allows people to go in and tell the council officials what has happened to them.”


Presbyterian court: church law does not prohibit same-sex marriage
Associated Press
CINCINNATI - A Presbyterian Church (USA) court has ruled a minister did not violate church law by marrying same-sex couples.

The permanent judicial commission of the synod that oversees Presbyterian churches in Ohio and Michigan released its ruling Monday, reversing a lower court's conviction of the Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken. The commission, based in Maumee in northwest Ohio, ruled that the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) does not prohibit ministers from marrying same-sex couples.

The constitution of the 2.5 million-member Presbyterian denomination, based in Louisville, Ky., defines marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman. The highest Presbyterian court ruled in 2000 that ministers may bless same-sex unions, but cannot marry those couples.

A lower church court in Cincinnati ruled on April 21, 2003, that Van Kuiken violated church law by marrying same-sex couples. The judicial commission of the Cincinnati Presbytery, a cluster of Presbyterian churches, issued the ruling in that trial - the church's first on the issue. At that time, Van Kuiken received a rebuke and was told to stop marrying same-sex couples.


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