The Islamic Post Blog


Pediatricians Say: ‘Restrict Television Viewing’
December 8, 2012, 12:04 am
Filed under: 2009 June Vol. 1, World

June Vol. 1, 2009

By Laila A. Rahman

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under two years old be restricted from watching television, and that children who are older than two be restricted to watching one to two hours of quality programming per day.
Experts have assessed in two separate studies done by the American Psychological Association that some television programming is leading children into unhealthy habits and aggressive behavior as adults.
The first study –which was performed by several psychologists including L. Rowell Huesmann, Ph.D., Jessica Moise-Titus, Ph.D., and Leonard D. Eron, Ph.D of the University of Michigan– concluded that children identify personally with the characters they see on television and perceive the situations they see to be real. Researchers believe “violent situations that children are most likely to model their behavior after are [the] ones in which they identify with the perpetrator of violence, the perpetrator is rewarded for the violence and in which children perceive the scene as telling about life like it really is.”
The APA also believes that viewing such violence as adolescents makes children more prone to grow up as aggressive adults. The participants in one of the studies were interviewed again afterwards, and rated by their family members and friends, as to how often they would engage in aggressive behavior. It was found that men who viewed TV violence frequently showed to have pushed, grabbed, or shoved a person when they became angry at someone, and the women viewing similar material were found to punch, beat, or choke in situations where they were angry, both at a rate of approximately 4 times more than people who were not frequent viewers of violent programming. These same men and women were also found to have an increased rate of criminal convictions and moving traffic violations.
Researchers argue that the correlation between viewing violent material and the incidence of violent behavior is profound and underestimated. Dr. Huesmann’s research concerning this correlation concluded that, “It is more plausible that exposure to TV violence increases aggression than that aggression increases TV-violence viewing,” as well as: “For both boys and girls, habitual early exposure to TV violence is predictive of more aggression by them later in life, independent of their own initial childhood aggression.”
The American Psychological Association has also recommended that all advertising to children under the age of eight be restricted due to research that showed children under eight are not able to comprehend advertising messages like older children and adults do. Children under eight also accept advertising messages as truthful, unbiased, and accurate. Advertisers spend more than 12 billion dollars a year advertising such products as sugared cereals, candies, sweets, and sodas, an astounding proportion of which is focused towards this age group. Dr. Brian Wilcox, Director of the Center on Children, a key psychologist conducting the research, concluded: “Such advertising of unhealthy food products to young children contributes to poor nutritional habits that may last a lifetime and be a variable in the current epidemic among kids.” Foods high in sugar and lacking nutrition have increased the amount of children in recent years who are obese and also those who have developed diabetes.
There are, however, actions that can be taken, as parents, to stop these negative influences from impinging upon children. While many in society remain reliant upon television programming to occupy their children, persistent research conclusively shows that the most effective engagements for positive child development are intellectually stimulating activities away from the television.

 

 

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Bridging the Gap, MHz Networks Brings Al Jazeera English to Washington D.C.
December 8, 2012, 12:02 am
Filed under: 2009 June Vol. 1, World

June Vol. 1, 2009

Habeebah A. Samad

Beginning July 1, the award-winning Al Jazeera English (AJE) network, a 24-hour global news and current affairs channel, broadcasting in more than 100 countries, will be broadcasting seven days per week in Washington, D.C after having teamed up with MHz Networks’ prominent international channel line-up. AJE will be joining nine other international networks that MHz broadcasts and cablecasts in the region.
Like MHz’s other international networks, AJE was added in two forms. AJE programming began April 29, in the D.C. metro area. Viewers are able to watch an evening newscast anchored from AJE’s Washington, D.C. news bureau at 10 p.m. on the primary local channel known as “MHz Networks 1/MHz Worldview D.C.”
Chief Executive, Frederick Thomas, of MHz Networks says, “It was important for us to broaden the range of world news that we bring to Washington, D.C. …AJE also fits perfectly inside of our mission and I think viewers are going to find it a reliable and top-quality source for news.”
Al Jazeera English launched internationally in November 2006 as the world’s first English language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East. After only two years on the air, the channel is available in more that 140 million households worldwide and in more than 100 countries.
“We are extremely pleased to be launching on MHz and joining their impressive line-up of channels,” said Phil Lawrie, Director of Global Distribution for Al Jazeera. “For over two years, Al Jazeera English has been …providing a platform for the under-represented corners of the world. Our website receives 22 million visits every month with over 50% coming from America, and our branded YouTube page is by far the most popular news site on YouTube. We applaud MHz for being among the first US providers to air the channel.”
The thirty-minute AJE newscast will be available in the D.C. market via MHz Networks 1, on broadcast (over the air) channel 30.1. Viewers with cable may tune into Comcast channel 30 and Verizon FIOS channel 451.
In addition to Al Jazeera English, MHz Worldview (MHz Networks 1) programming in DC originates from: Asian News International (ANI), Deutsche Welle, Euronews, FCI, France 24, Israeli Broadcast Authority (IBA), MAC TV, NHK World TV, RT, and SABC as well as MBC, Bolivision, and TV Polonia. Programming also stems from local producers and international film distributors.



America Reaches Its Credit Limit with China
December 7, 2012, 11:59 pm
Filed under: 2009 June Vol. 1, World

June Vol. 1 2009

(IP) –New data from the US Treasury Department shows that Chinese investors cut back on their purchases of bonds during the months of January and February. Representative Mark Kirk was the first member of Congress to tour the Bureau of Public Debt, which trades bonds, and was distressed to find out how much debt was being bought by the US Federal Reserve, a private, non-governmental institution. This buying was due to absence of foreign investors.
China holds more US Treasury bonds than any other country, around $800 billion dollars. “It would appear, quietly and with deference and politeness, that China has canceled America’s credit card,” Kirk said to the Committee of 100, a Chinese-American group. The Chinese economy has also been affected by the worldwide financial disaster and Premier Wen Jiabao has openly expressed concern about the condition of his country’s US investments.
Last year, China lent America $400 billion—a sum equivalent to more than 10 percent of China’s gross domestic product. Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People’s Bank of China, wants to lead China away from buying more American debt. Brad Setser of the Council on Foreign Relations wrote in a recent report: “Day after day, China is the single biggest buyer of treasury bonds in the market,” he also added that, “Never before has the U.S. relied so heavily on another country’s government for financing.”
In reality China cannot completely ignore the US currency without affecting its own US holdings, but as America continues to incur even more debt. China is encouraged to quicken its pace towards investing its money elsewhere.



Survey Reveals Muslim Views
December 7, 2012, 11:56 pm
Filed under: 2009 June Vol. 1, Front Page News

June Vol. 1 2009

By Yasmin A. Atheem
Islamic Post Staff Writer

The recent appointment of an Egyptian-American Muslim, Dalia Mogahed, to US President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, brought to the forefront a study created through a collaboration between the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and the Coexist Foundation. The partnership produced The Gallup Coexist Index 2009: A Global Study of Interfaith Relations, which found that, contrary to widespread assumptions, Muslims greatly value democracy, freedom of speech, technology and equal rights for women.
In the foreword of the study, Mogadeh, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, describes the purpose of the endeavor: “This study is part of the Center’s effort to provide non-partisan, data-driven research and advice on the diversity and complexity of Muslim views around the world.”
Collected through the Gallup World Poll, the study spans the world, over 140 countries, and represents the views of 95% of the world’s population. The researchers performed a more focused probe in three countries. Mogadeh explains why in the report: “Because the discussion about the relationship among faith groups is lively in Europe, especially with respect to religious and ethnic minorities, Gallup conducted deeper studies in three European nations — the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. This research helps inform the conversation on issues such as integration, identity, values, and radicalization.”
Some survey results for Muslim Americans were:
The majority, thirty-five percent, of Muslim Americans are African-American.
Forty percent of Muslim Americans have a college degree.
But when asked if they see themselves as “thriving”, only 40% of Muslim Americans replied in the affirmative. Jews (56% and Mormons 51% scored in the top two). (Gallup)
Muslim American men and women report surprisingly similar monthly household incomes, men only dominating when making over $5,000 a month.
Muslim Americans (at 80%) find religion to be an important part of their daily lives as compared to 65% of the general population. (Gallup)
Mogadeh tells BBC News, “This research shows that many of the assumptions about Muslims and integration are wide of the mark.” Revealing why this research is important, Mogadeh explains to AFP newswire, “A billion Muslims should be the ones that we look to, to understand what they believe, rather than a vocal minority.



United Nations Honors ‘Family Day’ for World Peace
December 6, 2012, 3:30 am
Filed under: 2009 June Vol. 1, Front Page News, World

June Vol. 1 2009

By Subhana B. Yahya Abdur Rahim
Islamic Post Staff Writer

United Muslim Christian Forum Attends Peace Conference at the United Nations
NEW YORK— (IP) Several members of the United Muslim Christian Forum —an auxiliary of the Muslims of the Americas, whose goal is to promote world peace and the end of human suffering through interfaith and interreligious efforts— attended a symposium at the United Nations earlier this month. The conference, cosponsored by the Universal Peace Federation, was entitled Creating a World of Peace: One Family at a Time and focused primarily on the traditional family unit being used as a springboard for dialogue between various religions and cultures. The UN conference also focused on the reestablishment of respect for women and their roles as mother, caregiver and, in many cases, breadwinner. Guest speakers included world renowned physician and author Dr. Deepak Chopra; Secretary General of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, Mr. Taj Hamad; ambassadors representing the Missions of Iraq, Qatar, Nigeria, Non-Governmental Organizations, Mr. Taj Hamad; ambassadors representing the Missions of Iraq, Qatar, Nigeria,
The United Nations established the International Day of Families over a decade ago with the intention of focusing on familial relationships in the quest for resolution of conflict and the abolition of war. This year’s theme highlighted the need for improved maternal health care —especially in underdeveloped countries, the prevention of violence against women and an increased need for secular education for women worldwide. A recent statement issued by UPF Secretary General, Dr. Thomas Walsh, laid the groundwork for the conference: “Mothers play a critical role in the family, which is a powerful force for social cohesion and integration.”
The orators of the event sent an emphatic call to action to the audience of over 400 to bring the purity of the family unit back to the international focal point. Chairperson H.E. Mrs. U. Joy Ogwu, Nigeria’s ambassador to the United Nations, eloquently stated that “the family is the fulcrum” for worldwide peace and that the family unit makes the community stronger by strengthening bonds. H.E. Ogwu’s overall message was that once we heal our families we can begin to heal the world.
The radical departure in the past half century from traditional values and a two parent family structure was also touted as a major reason for the collapse of so many family units. Chairwoman of Women for Peace, Mrs. Lynn Walsh of UPF, made the point that children who hail from two parent families are emotionally, physically and spiritually “better off” than children who come from broken homes. She also stated that cohabiting couples are twice as likely to dissolve their union than those families in which the couple share a marital bond.
At the conclusion of the conference, many of the attendees expressed their appreciation for having been part of such an eye opening event. All were encouraged to put all their efforts towards peace under the banner of Almighty God and support of the family unit. When asked, Universal Peace Federation Representative, Gale Alves, expressed her gratitude by saying: “I was inspired to see such a diverse group of people at a high-level symposium, all expressing the theme of unity and oneness centered on God in common, and for uplifting the importance of the family unit, especially giving women the respect they deserve for the vital role they play in taking care of the family, as well as working outside the home.” United Muslim Christian Forum Board Member, Maryam Rahim, shared Ms. Alves’ sentiments: “This forum put a face on the issues of world peace and humanitarianism and gave an overall better understanding that the beginning of the resolution to the problems of the world is right at home. The way that we raise our families can surely have positive reverberating effects that can spread world wide, I agree, ‘one family at a time.’”
Members of the United Muslim Christian Forum found it vital to have attended the symposium, as the goals stated by the UN representatives reflect many of the same principles and ideals regarding world peace and the eradication of war that UMCF is striving for. Many of the programs that UMCF has sponsored in the past bring people from various faiths and cultures together with a common goal of peace. The most recent program was the Milad-un-Nabi Parade and Festival in Binghamton, NY, which took place in March of this year. This second annual event celebrated the glory and majesty of the Holy Messenger, Jesus, son of the Blessed and Chaste Mary, and the Divine Miracle of the Holy Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of the Almighty Creator be upon them). Please visit http://www.UnitedMuslimChristianForum.org for more details regarding events in which UMCF is actively participating, and/or sponsoring.



Manager of American Muslim Medical Relief Team Refused Time to Continue Work
December 5, 2012, 9:01 pm
Filed under: 2009 June Vol. 1, Front Page News, World
Senior Southeast Asia Correspondent for the Islamic Post and American Muslim Medical Relief Team manager, Atiq Shahid.

Senior Southeast Asia Correspondent for the Islamic Post and American Muslim Medical Relief Team manager, Atiq Shahid.

June Vol. 1 2009

By Abu Rashid Qadri
Islamic Post Staff Writer

On May 19, Mr. Atiq Shahid, Senior Southeast Asia Correspondent for the Islamic Post, visited the Pakistan Consulate on East 65th Street, in New York City, to apply for a Pakistan visa. Mr. Shahid was traveling on the May 28 PIA flight to Islamabad. What should have been an easy accomplishment became a complex affair when Mr. Shahid was faced with one obstacle after another.

Mr. Shahid is no stranger to Pakistan as over the last quarter century he has traveled there numerous times as a correspondent, on assignment and as a Good Will Ambassador, coordinating and participating in a number of humanitarian relief efforts, including assisting Kashmiri refugees. Most recently, Mr. Shahid managed and led the American Muslim Medical Relief Team (AMMRT), a contingent of medical professionals, to the quake-ravished region of Pakistan where they were stationed at the Ayyub Medical Center in Abbottabad.
When AMMRT arrived at the medical facility, they witnessed the substandard treatment of patients, dirty linen, drugs and medical supplies being stored in the basement, and other deplorable conditions. Patients did not even have clean bed sheets on which to be treated. The team worked 24/7 to improve conditions and extended their stay at great cost to themselves. AMMRT also sent for additional personnel, as well as medical and relief supplies. All these efforts were coordinated by Mr. Shahid, who greatly encouraged the team’s efforts.
“One thing for sure, we virtually killed ourselves working with only 2 or 3 hours rest a day for the months we were there,” recalled Mr. Shahid. “Even at the Kashmiri refugee camps, our ladies stayed there distributing food, clothes, medicines and other items that were needed. We suffered a lot and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars; no appreciation or thanks was ever extended by the Pakistan government.”
This team, without hesitation or fanfare, had answered the request of the Honorable President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, when he called for immediate assistance and help from all quarters. At great sacrifice to themselves and their families and without outside assistance they financed their own flights, raised monies for medical and relief supplies, and received absolutely no assistance or even a word of appreciation or encouragement from Pakistan government officials here or abroad.
Perhaps it was too much to believe that Mr. Shahid would be treated in some way other than the cold, callous and belligerent manner that American Muslims had grown accustomed to receiving in the past. Mr. Shahid was simply requesting a three month stay, multiple entrance, one year visa that would facilitate his reporting on current events, as well as revisiting the region stricken by the earthquake to re-evaluate the needs of those still suffering, and possibly interviewing the Honorable Secretary Minister of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Mian Iftikar Hussain.
Mr. Tanweer Khalique, the expressionless Consular Attaché in the New York Office, examined the application and a copy of the letter addressed to the Secretary Minister which was to be carried and delivered. These items detailed Mr. Shahid’s itinerary and request. Mr. Shahid briefed Mr. Khalique of his and his colleagues’ past efforts in helping the government and people of Pakistan; but without even a sigh or sign of gratitude, he denied Mr. Shahid his request for a visa to continue his medical and relief work by arranging another tour for AMMRT. Mr. Khalique remained adamant and would not budge from his frigid stance.
The Honorable Khalifa, M. Hussein Abu Bakr, reflected, “The repetitive ill treatment meted out to American Muslims by Pakistan’s government representatives here in America, makes us sure that Pakistan does not like American Muslims and intentionally treats us with disdain by making the most simplest of tasks difficult.”
“We have always helped in humanitarian efforts whether or not the victims were Muslim, Christian or any other group. We were there for the victims of 9/11, Katrina, Rita and the tsunami; we will never stop helping victims of tragedy,” he concluded.



International Quranic Open University Speaks Out: ‘DEFEAT TALIBAN, NOT CIVILIANS’
December 5, 2012, 7:49 pm
Filed under: 2009 June Vol. 1, Front Page News, World
Refugees queue for food in the Swat Valley, Pakistan. - UNHCR Photo

Refugees queue for food in the Swat Valley, Pakistan. – UNHCR Photo

June Vol. 1, 2009

By Lorna Swaine-Abdallah
& Muhammad Hasib A. Haqq
Islamic Post Staff Writers

The government of Pakistan should continue lifting the curfews imposed in the northwest of the country, in order to diminish the overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe there. The military offensive has created millions of internal refugees who now face famine and disease. While the curfew was lifted in Mingora after recapturing the town held by the Taliban since May, the military curfew in general, far from its intended aim of ferreting out the Taliban insurgents in the area, has only served to target the civilian refugees and force them into dangerous situations in which they break the curfew to obtain food and medical assistance.
The beautiful Swat Valley lies in utter ruin. After being subject to arbitrary beheadings and suicide bombing at the hands of the local Taliban, the region is now thoroughly desolate. Close to four million have been internally displaced with a good majority being sent to Peshawar, to already overburdened refugee camps there. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, has set up a fund to assist the refugees. However, outside of this undertaking, Mr. Gilani has not been able to exercise any real control of the situation, despite his sincere efforts.
In the meantime, the local Taliban leader, Mullah Fazlullah, has called upon his followers to stop fighting so that the displaced residents can be encouraged to return to their homes. The Pakistani army is reported to view this move as a mere ruse to elude capture. In fact, the Taliban have not said that they are leaving the area, but rather that they will continue to fight to establish “sharia law” to the last drop of their blood, and with their last breath.
What the world media is failing to report is that this so-called effort to establish “sharia law” is rather a fraudulent doctrine masquerading as religion, for the purposes of grabbing power. The Taliban organization is actually the latest cover used by this unscrupulous gang of Wahhabi thugs in their most recent efforts to destabilize Pakistan, along with the rest of the region. The public is now becoming fully aware that the Taliban was originally founded by the CIA, and presently has the full support of India. They have their own agenda. Unfortunately, the ripple effect of their insidious beliefs is not confined to Pakistan, but is affecting the whole world.
One impostor, Sufi Muhammad, the main culprit instigating the bloodbath in Swat, uses this traditional name and claims to favor enforcing Shariah Law when in fact, he himself has little understanding of Islam. This is one of many men causing destruction due to their ignorance. Islam is a religion of peace, and we condemn suicide bombers. This is against our teachings as Islam forbids suicide and the innocent killing of men, women, and children.
This menace to humanity, Sufi Muhammad, is a member of the deviate Wahhabi sect. For those still uninformed about Wahhabism, a reading of Confessions of a British Spy by Hempher will provide ample background information on this subject, to place the matter into the proper perspective. I.Q.O.U. is striving to expose these deviants, as well as to assist America on focusing its actions on locating and exposing Wahhabi influence in our midst before their inhumane, completely unislamic agenda reaches this soil in the form of horrific acts against us, our neighbors and brethren, thereby confusing such actions as admissible in Islam.
These despicable conspirators need no particular target. They are the enemies of all humanity and peoples of true faith throughout the world; they must be stopped at all cost.
One can go far as to say that Sufi Muhammad is not a Muslim but rather a pagan; although his beard (hence outward appearance) is widely recognised as a symbol of one practising Islam, any Muslim who rejects the tenets of Islam for any reason, is no longer within the fold of Islam.
He does not just pose a threat to Pakistan, but with monies collected from numerous sources, has accumulated enough capital to have developed into a real threat to America and England as well.
On May 28, Mr. Atiq Shahid, Senior Foreign Correspondent for the Islamic Post embarked on assignment via a Pakistan International Airline flight to Islamabad. His assignment calls for him to report from the frontline of Pakistan’s Swat Valley, where reports estimate that somewhere around 4,000 Taliban have infiltrated the valley and the bloody unrest has claimed the lives of numerous innocent men, women, and children, and caused over 4 million to flee their homes. These numbers should be enough for the Pakistan Army to re-evaluate its role in the war torn region, and determine if their pursuit of the Taliban has been worth the consequences. While Islam openly forbids acts of injustice against innocent people, both the Taliban and the Pakistani Army are guilty of either suicide attacks or the slaughter of innocent people.
The residents of Swat should now be encouraged to return to their homes and take a stand against the Taliban, in defense of their patrimony. It is precisely at this juncture that the world community should lend its assistance to the displaced residents of the valley.
Muslims, Christians and Jews, indeed all people of good conscience should join hands, and put forth a concerted effort to end the misery caused by these ruthless gangsters.