Community News

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By Ayesha K. Mustafaa
NEWARK, N.J. – In the last issue of Muslim Journal, Imam Mustafa EL-Amin reported that his mother, Ms. Annie King, suffered from a brutal beating the 85-year-old sustained in her home in a robbery attempt from a person she tried to help, giving him odd jobs.
Imam EL-Amin now informs us that his beloved mother, Ms. King, as succumbed to the injuries she sustained because on that beating in her home.
She passed nearly two weeks after the tragic event. Her neck and face were bruised with multiple fractures to her face.
Funeral arrangements are planned for Aug 8 11 a.m., at Wells Cathedral Church of God in Christ, 672 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in Newark... Read our latest issue Here.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Civil rights activist Najee Ali, one of the leading activists in Los Angeles and CEO of Project Islamic Hope, along with Pastor K.W. Tulloss, Western Regional Director of The National Action Network L.A. Chapter, Weller Street Baptist Church and a national coalition of civil rights and religious leaders, are calling for a boycott of the National Football League (NFL) until former San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick is signed to a NFL team.
Protests are also planned outside games/facilities of the L.A. Rams’  (owned by Stan Kroenke) and L.A. Chargers’ (owned by Alex Spanos) pre-season games.
According to press release from Najee Ali, “There is no doubt that Kaepernick is being blackballed by NFL owners for exercising his first amendment rights in a non-violent peaceful statement... Read our latest issue Here.

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Lucky Clover 4.11.09 [#Beginning of Shooting Data Section] Nikon D4 2014/03/14 14:50:48.00 Time Zone and Date: UTC-5, DST:ON Jpeg Fine (8-bit) Image Size: L (4928 x 3280), FX Lens: VR 70-200mm f/2.8G Artist: Copyright: Focal Length: 180mm Exposure Mode: Manual Metering: Center-Weighted Shutter Speed: 1/160s Aperture: f/11 Exposure Comp.: 0EV Exposure Tuning: ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100 Optimize Image: White Balance: Preset manual d-1, 0, 0 Focus Mode: AF-S AF-Area Mode: Single AF Fine Tune: OFF VR: OFF Long Exposure NR: OFF High ISO NR: ON (Normal) Color Mode: Color Space: sRGB Tone Comp.: Hue Adjustment: Saturation: Sharpening: Active D-Lighting: Normal Vignette Control: Normal Auto Distortion Control: OFF Picture Control: [SD] STANDARD Base: [SD] STANDARD Quick Adjust: 0 Sharpening: 3 Contrast: 0 Brightness: 0 Saturation: 0 Hue: 0 Filter Effects: Toning: Flash Mode: Optional, TTL Flash Exposure Comp.: 0EV Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain Bounce Flash Device: SB-900 Flash Mode: i-TTL, 0EV (Camera: 0EV, Speedlight: 0EV) Zoom Position: Auto Zoom Map Datum: Dust Removal: 2013/04/28 12:23:14 [#End of Shooting Data Section]

By Patricia Maryland, Dr.PH
NNPA Newswire Guest Columnist

Our heart is the engine that keeps our body running. That’s why problems with the heart – such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure or heart failure – can significantly impact a person’s well-being, and, at worst, be life-threatening.
During February, American Heart Month, we were able to shine a spotlight on heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

For African Americans, it’s also a time to raise awareness of how cardiovascular disease disproportionately impacts members of the Black community. Indeed, nearly half of African American adults suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease, compared to about a third of Whites, according to the American Heart Association.

This trend stems in part from the fact that African American men and women are more susceptible than other racial and ethnic groups to a number of health conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, including high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes... Read Mar. 10, 2017's Issue Here.

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By Inshirah Aleem

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Please join Masjid Muhammad: The Nation’s Mosque on April 21 – April 23, 2017, as we celebrate 80 years of dedicated service. The weekend will begin with THE trademark 3rd annual Interfaith Comedy Show.

We will continue with the 5th annual N.A.S.I.M. (New Africa Students of Imam Muhammad) conference. The conference was originated by young brothers Nashid Muhammad, Jamal Abdul-Malik and Shareef Abdul-Malik, who in their early teens and early 20s were inspired to highlight the language and teachings of Imam Mohammad.

The goal of the conference has been to highlight needs within our community and continue the legacy of Imam Mohammad. This year’s theme is Our Community, Our Responsibility (Past, Present, Future). Some of the panels will address Law enforcement, Islamophobia, Racism and Mental Health as well as bridging the gap between indigenous and immigrant Muslims... Read Feb. 24, 2017's Issue Here.

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By Shahid Abdul-Karim, New Haven Register

In an effort to discuss ways to curb the nation’s gun violence epidemic, faith leaders, gun violence survivors, elected officials and community activist gathered recently at the Washington National Cathedral for a “United to Stop Gun Violence” forum.

The goal was to show religious solidarity among faith communities and to hear stories from families affected by gun violence as well as to meet policy makers committed to enacting commonsense gun safety measures, according to a release by the cathedral.

Among those who attended and gave remarks were U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy, both D-Conn., and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5, who have been pushing for stricter federal background legislation.

“Before (Dylann) Roof viciously took the lives of nine innocent churchgoers, he was able to legally purchase a gun because of a glaring loophole in our background check system,” Blumenthal said in a statement to the Register, referring to the June Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shootings in South Carolina.

“Under current law, firearm sales move forward if background checks aren’t completed in 72 hours — a dangerous loophole that has allowed over (15,000) ineligible buyers to purchase a gun,” he said. “The inconvenience of waiting for a background check to complete is minor compared to the reprehensible harm that is done when dangerous people have access to weapons.”

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence website, firearm homicide is the second-leading cause of death for people ages 1-19 in the United States.

On average, 31 Americans are murdered with guns every day and 151 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room, the website said.

“A few weeks after the shooting in Newtown, both Senator Blumenthal and I went to the North End of Hartford to convene a meeting of community groups there to talk about the epidemic of gun violence that had plagued that community for decades,” said Murphy in his remarks Tuesday.

“There was anger in that room — loud visceral anger, that was hard to know what to do with, as we were still grieving in the aftermath of Newtown,” he said.

“The anger was real, because people there didn’t understand why it took this tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, for their state, for their country, for the world to wake up to what had been the simple pitter-pat of regular, almost daily and nightly gun violence in that neighborhood.”

But Murphy said the collective response over time in the state over the unfairness of tragedies being ignored comparatively, dissipated.

“And it was months after that meeting that the families of Newtown were marching arm-in-arm with the families of Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven through the streets of that neighborhood in the North End of Hartford — collectively demanding change.”

Continue Reading

 

philly

Muslim representatives from Masjid Freehaven Masjidullah and the Feed Philly organization, are pictured with Mr. Will O'Brien. Mr. O'Brien is the Special Projects Coordinator of Project Home, and the World Meetings of Families Hunger and Homelessness Committee. Mr. O'Brien invited faith communities from the Delaware Valley area together, to discuss and strategize how we can best leverage Pope Francis' visit and vision, "to energize the Philadelphia-area community of faith and conscience on issues of justice and compassion for our sisters and brothers struggling with poverty, hunger, and homelessness."

Stay up to date with their efforts at www.facebook.com/muslim.popefrancis.interfaith!

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amcrombieThe U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of a Muslim woman who sued for discrimination after being denied a sales job at age 17 at an Abercrombie & Fitch Co(ANF.N) clothing store in Oklahoma because she wore a head scarf for religious reasons.

In an 8-1 decision in the important religious rights case, the court backed Samantha Elauf, who had been rejected under Abercrombie's sales staff "look policy" after coming to her job interview wearing the head scarf, or hijab, used by many Muslim women.

The decision marked a victory for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that sued the company on Elauf's behalf after she was turned down in 2008 at an Abercrombie Kids store in Tulsa.

"Observance of my faith should not have prevented me from getting a job. I am glad that I stood up for my rights, and happy that the EEOC was there for me and took my complaint to the courts," Elauf said in a statement issued by the EEOC.

Elauf, now 24, initially won a $20,000 judgment against Abercrombie before a federal district court. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver then threw that out, ruling in favor of Abercrombie, before the high court backed Elauf. Continue Reading

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Marian Wright Edelman

By Marian Wright Edelman
Special to The Mississippi Link

In a world rife with war, religious, racial, gender, sectarian, and political strife, when so many children lack safety, enough food, shelter, health care, and education and suffer unthinkable losses of parents to disease, violence, and war, I hope this New Year will bring adults closer to our common sense and moral responsibility for children’s well being.

If the child is well, all of us are well. So I offer two prayers for the New Year:

O God of the children of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea,
of Nigeria and Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan,
of Iraq and Iran and Israel,
of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala,
of Darfur, Detroit, and Chicago,
of Ferguson, Cleveland, and New York City, help us to love and respect and protect them all.

O God of Black and Brown and White and Albino children and those all mixed together,
of children who are rich and poor and in between,
of children who speak English and Russian and Hmong and Spanish
and languages our ears cannot discern,
help us to love and respect and protect them all.

O God of the child prodigy and the child prostitute, of the child of rapture and the child of rape,
of runaway or thrown away children who struggle every day without parent or place or friend or future,
help us to love and respect and protect them all.

O God of children who can walk and talk and hear and see
and sing and dance and jump and play and of children who wish they could but can’t,
of children who are loved and unloved, wanted and unwanted,
help us to love and respect and protect them all.

O God of beggar, beaten, abused, neglected, homeless,
and AIDS-, Ebola-, drug-, violence-, and hunger-ravaged children,
of children who are emotionally and physically and mentally fragile,
and of children who rebel and ridicule, torment and taunt,
Help us to love and respect and protect them all.

O God of children of destiny and of despair, of war and of peace,
of disfigured, diseased, and dying children,
of children without hope and of children with hope to spare and to share,
help us to love and respect and act to protect them all.

Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, the great president of Morehouse College, who shaped so many of my generation - including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said: “I am disturbed. I am uneasy about men because we have no guarantee that when we train a man’s mind, we will train his heart; no guarantee that when we increase a man’s knowledge, we will increase his goodness. There is no necessary correlation between knowledge and goodness.”

So I share this prayer for 21st century children of privilege:

God, help us not to raise a new generation of children
with high intellectual quotients and low caring and compassion quotients
…. With sharp competitive edges but dull cooperative instincts
.…
With highly developed computer skills but poorly developed consciences
…. With a gigantic commitment to the big “I” but little sense of responsibility to the bigger “we”
….
With mounds of disconnected information without a moral context to determine its worth
….
With more and more knowledge and less and less imagination and appreciation for the magic of life that cannot be quantified or computerized
…. And with more and more worldliness and less and less wonder and awe for the sacred and everyday miracles of life.
…. God, help us to raise children who care.

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George Curry

By George E. Curry
NNPA Columnist

Sen. Edward BrookesSandwiched between the deaths of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and popular ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott, the passing of former Massachusetts Senator Edward W. Brooke III at the age of 95 did not get nearly the attention it deserved.    Though two African Americans were elected to the U.S. Senate during the Reconstruction Era by the Mississippi legislature - Hiram R. Revels and Blanche K. Bruce, both Republicans - Brooke was the first black elected to the upper chamber by popular vote, beginning his term in 1967.

What made his election remarkable at the time was that a black Republican Episcopalian could be elected statewide in Massachusetts, a predominantly Democratic and Catholic state with a black population of less than 3 percent.

It would be another 25 years before another African American - Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois - would win a U.S. Senate seat (1992).

Prior to his election to the Senate, Brooke served two terms as attorney general of Massachusetts. When he came to Washington, he declined to join the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

He told Time magazine: “I do not intend to be a national leader of the Negro people. I intend to do my job as a senator from Massachusetts.”

While doing his job, Brooke showed that - as did several black Republicans who would later follow him in public service, including Assistant Secretary of Labor Arthur Fletcher in the Nixon administration and William T. Coleman Jr., Secretary of Transportation under Gerald Ford - he could be a black Republican without selling out his principles or abandoning the fight for civil rights.

When Barry Goldwater won the party’s 1964 presidential nomination, for example, Brooke, the state attorney general, refused to be photographed with Goldwater or endorse the Arizona ultraconservative.

In the 1966 book titled, The Challenge of Change: Crisis in Our Two-Party System, he asked, rhetorically: “Where are our plans for a New Deal or a Great Society?”

Though fellow Republican Richard Nixon was in the White House, Brooke opposed Nixon’s attempts to abolish the Office of Economic Opportunity and the Job Corps and weaken the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

And when Nixon nominated Clement Haynsworth and Harrold Carswell to the U.S. Supreme Court, Brooke was part of a bipartisan coalition that blocked the appointment of the two nominees who were considered hostile to civil rights.

On Nov. 4, 1973, Brooke became the first Republican to call for Richard Nixon’s resignation after the famous “Saturday night massacre” that took place when Nixon ordered the firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, after Cox issued a subpoena for copies of Nixon’s taped conversations recorded in the Oval Office.

Brooke assumed an offensive posture as well, particularly on housing issues. He co-sponsored the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion or ethnicity.

It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson a week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

He continued to work on strengthening the law and in 1969, Congress passed the “Brooke Amendment” limiting public housing tenants’ out-of-pocket rent expenditure to 25 percent of the resident’s income, a percentage that has since increased to 30 percent.

With the Voting Rights Act up for renewal in 1975, Brooke engaged in an “extended debate” with John Stennis (R-Miss.) on the Senate floor that resulted in the landmark measure being extended and expanded.

He was also part of the team of legislators who retained Title IX that guarantees equal education to females and the Equal Credit Act, a measure that gave married women the right to have credit in their own name.

In 1967, Brooke served on the 11-member President’s Commission on Civil Disorders, better known as the Kerner Commission. It was established by President Johnson to investigate the causes of the 1967 race riots and to provide recommendations for the future.

At various points during his career, Brooke was at odds with civil rights leaders and liberals. As attorney general, he opposed the NAACP’s call for a boycott of Boston’s public schools to protest the city’s de facto segregation, saying the law required students to stay in school.

In the Senate, he opposed a program to recruit teachers to work in disadvantaged communities and opposed amending Senate rules to make filibusters against civil rights legislation easier to terminate.

Brooke also faced personal health challenges, including being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. He underwent a double mastectomy and was declared cancer free. Brooke spoke publicly about the illness, which strikes about 1,500 men each year, a disproportionate number of them black.

In his 2006 autobiography, Bridging The Divide: My Life (Rutgers University Press), Brooke said, “My fervent expectation is that sooner rather than later, the United States Senate will more closely reflect the rich diversity of this great country.”

Throughout his life, Brooke did that exceptionally well.

(George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA.) He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. He can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com. Also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge and George E. Curry Fan Page on Facebook)

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Imam Yahya Shabazz-OaklandCA

By Imam Yahya Shabazz

“Have We not expanded for you your breast? And We removed from you your burden,
which weighed down your back? And We exalted for you your reputation? Then, surely with hardship comes ease: Surely, with hardship comes ease. So when you have finished (with your immediate task), still strive hard (then toil), and to your Lord turn (all) your attention.” (Holy Qur’an: 94: 1-8)

An intellectual, by definition, is the man or woman who engages in critical study, thought, and reflection about the reality of society, proposes solutions for the normative problems of society, and by such discourse in the public sphere gains authority from public opinion.

Coming from the world of culture, either as a creator or as a mediator, the intellectual participates in politics, either to defend a concrete proposition or to denounce an injustice, usually by producing or by extending an ideology, and by defending one or another system of values.

In an article by the intellectualist Norm Chomsky, where he comments on a series of articles entitled The Responsibility of Peoples, and Specifically, the Responsibility of Intellectuals. The articles were written by Dwight Macdonald, and published in the Politic.

Macdonald is concerned with the question of war guilt. He asks the question: To what extent were the German or Japanese people responsible for the atrocities committed by their governments?

And, quite properly, he turns the question back to us: To what extent are the British or American people responsible for the vicious terror bombings of civilians, perfected as a technique of warfare by the Western democracies and reaching their culmination in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, surely among the most unspeakable crimes in history.

To an undergraduate in 1945-46 – to anyone whose political and moral consciousness had been formed by the horrors of the 1930s, by the war in Ethiopia, the Russian purge, the “China Incident,” the Spanish Civil War, the Nazi atrocities, the Western reaction to these events and, in part, complicity in them – these questions had particular significance and poignancy.

With respect to the responsibility of intellectuals, there are still other, equally disturbing questions. Intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments, to analyze actions according to their causes and motives and often hidden intentions.

In the Western world, at least, they have the power that comes from political liberty, from access to information and freedom of expression.

For a privileged minority, Western democracy provides the leisure, the facilities, and the training to seek the truth lying hidden behind the veil of distortion and misrepresentation, ideology and class interest, through which the events of current history are presented to us.

The responsibilities of intellectuals, then, are much deeper than what Macdonald calls the “responsibility of people,” given the unique privileges that intellectuals enjoy, according to The Responsibility of Intellectuals by Noam Chomsky, Feb. 23, 1967.

According to Edward Said, the real or “true” intellectual is therefore always an outsider, living in self-imposed exile, and on the margins of society. He or she speaks to, as well as for, a public, necessarily in public, and is properly on the side of the dispossessed, the un-represented and the forgotten.

In as much as these great thinkers of modernity felt the urge, and the necessity to raise their voices on the issues of the day, we have only to look back a little further in our own history to hear the thundering voices of great men and women, such as Booker T. Washington, David Walker, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ida B. Wells, etc., as they saw wrong in the society and lifted their voices to correct it.

It should be noted that these great thinkers spoke for the public and in the public at a time when the laws that governed free speech, assembly, etc., were not intended to protect  African Americans, but these courageous servants of God saw themselves equal to other human beings.

Therefore, they could not be silenced.

As we continue to travel through time, we encounter, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, El Hajj Malik Shabazz, Shirley Chisholm, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dr. Martin L. King Jr., who all stood on the front lines for freedom, justice, and equality for all humanity.

The evils that these great thinkers fought against were in plain sight and could easily be seen, because it was blatant and physical. Racism, the atrocities of the Jim Crow era, all ran rampant across the nation and could be recognized because of the destruction that was left in its wake.

After the passing of Dr. King and the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, and the granting of voting rights, equal employment opportunities, which were already ours by virtue of our human creation, we thought that we, as a people, had finally made it to Freedom Land.

Now that we could sit next to other races without them running for cover, we now are able to attend the schools of our choice, qualify for top paying jobs, more African American politicians in office than any other time in history, and to top it off, they even gave us an African American president, so now, we felt truly free.

As a people collectively, we never stopped to think that with freedom comes responsibility, vision, insight, wisdom, the necessities that one must have if we are to be truly free.

So with the close of the civil rights movement, and the new found freedoms we thought we had, we witnessed an entire race drop their guard of reasoning and responsibility.

We saw many African Americans reach the position of affluence, and influence, so we sat back to enjoy the rights we had fought and died so hard for. We felt we owed it to ourselves, so we took a rest.

When we see the condition of the African American community in today’s world, one would stand in disbelief that we as a people could be in such a sad state of affairs, in light of the sacrifices that was made on our behalf.

We stand in stark disbelief as we ponder the question, “What happened?” What happened is that we didn’t just take a rest, we literally sat down. We thought to ourselves, “we free now, we don’t need to struggle any more.” It was precisely at this time that Satan began his whispers into our minds, and we as a people went to sleep on all that was decent, upright, intelligent, moral and virtuous.

We began to see entertainers, athletes and show folks as our role models. And as a result, our communities became over ridden with not just crime but unspeakable crime. Shooting and killing babies, incest, total breakdown of the Black family.

Brothers have become so obsessed with sex, that the relationship between the Black man and woman have been scarred to the point that sisters don’t trust or respect brothers anymore.

One hundred percent of the music that’s pumped into the African American community deals with having sex, breaking up, loss of trust, trying to get dollar bills or cheating. The language in the music is so vulgar, that it has literally changed the very nature of our human makeup.

Unlike racism, these are ills that are not so plainly seen; we only see the results of them. The entire society seems to be hooked on sex, and it’s killing us off as a nation of strength and stability. We have become so shallow minded following after trends, fads, celebrity worship, and the like.

The beauty of the instructions of Imam W. Deen Mohammed is that he gave them to us in such a way that we have the wisdom, knowledge, and the vision to track satan and warn the people so that we can rid our communities of these deadly influences.

The Imam taught us to think deep, think with the mind’s eye; don’t just look at a thing, look through and around it. We must become critical thinkers. Allah tells us in the above surah, that we should continue to struggle, even after completing the task at hand. This instruction from God is necessary because satan never quits, so we must always be on guard.

In the above surah, we should understand that its entire platform is based on being “public.” The word for expanded in the surah is “Nasara,” and it means to spread out, to announce publicly, to resurrect. The word for breast is “Sadr.” And while it does mean the breast, it also means to be out front, speak with candor, to be broad minded.

The understanding here is that we as Muslims must began to take a position on the critical issues that are burdening the society. It is time for our voices, the voice of intelligence and reasoning to be heard in the public discourse.

As we look around at the world today, we see the whole world at war, the issue of ISIS, same sex marriage, political corruption, a fallen educational system, the gap between the haves/haves not continues to widen, Palestiniens/Isreali conflict, and much more.

Where is the voice of the Muslim Intellectuals? Those we see from the various think tanks are ill equipped to speak to the issues because they’re politically motivated, as opposed to being morally motivated. Therefore, they become tools of satan, and the ills continue.

The righteous servants of God must see these ills as burdens that gall or bother us to the point that they stay on our minds, and so we must speak to the public offering solutions regarding them.

One would have to be either dead in their humanity or just oblivious to the workings of the society for these issues not to bother them. Again I say, where are the Muslims on the university campuses, in the various masajid around the community, and the common believer who has the insight to offer solutions?

“Zahara” is the same word for the “zuhur” prayer, and it means to be or become visible, to show, be distinct, obvious, come to the light make manifest, become public. No longer can we as Muslims afford to not allow our voices to be heard in the public discourse.

What good is it to have degree, and certificates of recognition and the world doesn’t benefit from your insights? Oh ye who believe, let us come together and discuss these important issues and find ways to present them to the media, to the public.

Let us use the wisdom given to us by our Imam and bring the society back from the brink of utter chaos. This is our time, this is our day; we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

“Up you mighty Muslim! You can accomplish what you will.”

Politics

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By Nusayba Hammad, Communications Director, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (nusayba@uscpr.org) WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an act unprecedented in recent history, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand...
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