15th Anniversary Commemoration of the Arrests of
Yassin Aref & Mohammed Hossain
Free at Last
A celebration of Yassin Aref’s release and return home
Sunday, August 4, 2019
RALLY: 5:30 p.m. Masjid As-Salam Mosque, 280 Central Ave., Albany
MARCH: 5:45 p.m. to the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave., Albany
DINNER: 6:00 p.m.
SPEAKERS: 7:00 p.m.
All events are free and open to the public
Speakers: Imam Faisal Ahmad, Abu Hamza Hossain and Khadija Hossain, Yassin Aref, and “Team Yassin”
The evening presentation will begin with a slideshow and remembrance of Dr. Shamshad Ahmad, president of the Masjid As-Salam, who died on July 10. His son, Imam Faisal Ahmad, will share memories of his father. Abu Hamza Hossain and Khadija Hossain will also speak about their father, Mohammed Hossain, who is scheduled for release and homecoming to Albany in August 2020. Then Yassin Aref will join us via Skype from Kurdistan, northern Iraq, to speak about his new life as a free man and to take questions from the audience. After serving 13½ years in prison and an additional 8 months in immigration detention, he is finally home, having arrived there on June 11. “Team Yassin” (Steve Downs, Kathy Manley, Jeanne Finley, Lynne Jackson) will also answer questions. Dinner reservations are welcome but not necessary at www.endislamophobia.org/contact.
Refugees Around the World
Dinner and Community Celebration
Join us for community Iftar dinner
Saturday, June 1 beginning at 7:45 P.M.; dinner at 8:20 P.M.
Masjid As-Salam, 276 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206
All are welcome! Iftar is eaten after sunset during the celebration of Ramadan.
No charge • reservations suggested but not necessary.
Co-sponsored by the Fiqh & Dawah Center of America and the Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia
Highlights of the Peace Vigil on Monday March 18 at Delmar’s Four Corners
Singing songs and creating a community “Peace Vase” of flowers to give as a gift to the Masjid As-Salam Mosque in Albany were among the highlights of Monday’s peace vigil at the Four Corners intersection in Delmar. The vigil was in support of the grieving Muslim community in the Capital Region and the people of New Zealand where fifty people were recently killed by a gunman alleged to be a white supremacist.
At the start, vigil participants dotted the street corners with colorful signs filled with messages of peace, solidarity, and resistance. Pedestrians chatted with the sign-holders and made the V-PEACE-SYMBOLwith their fingers as drivers honked, waved and gave a thumbs up as they drove by. Then the group sang “Look To the People” and “This Land Is Your Land” led by singer-songwriter Ruth Pelham, and stood in a circle of unity as each person placed a flower in the “peace vase” as they called out wishes of hope, friendship, and resilience for the Muslim community.
Next, vigil participants Lynne Jackson, Kathleen O’Connor and Ruth Pelham transported the vase of flowers to the Masjid As-Salam Mosque at 276 Central Avenue where several adults and children enthusiastically greeted them and took a break from their after-school studies to take photos and share thoughts of mutual appreciation and warmth. “We are very touched by your group’s gesture of friendship. The kindness expressed by these flowers means so very much,” said one of the teachers as he bid the three women goodbye.
Many thanks go to Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace and the Capital District Coalition Against Islamaphobia who organized the March 18 vigil, and to all of the individuals who participated. A Peace Vigil is held each Monday from 5 - 6 PM at the Four Corners intersection in Delmar. For information, call Bethlehem Neighbors For Peace at 518 – 466 – 1192 or visit BethlehemNeighborsForPeace.org.
The two photos below are singing at the vigil and giving flowers at the Masjid As-Salam.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2019
Contact: Lynne Jackson, (518) 366-7324 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Anti-Islamophobia Group Will Sponsor Dinner, Play, Panel Discussion
On Saturday, February 2, the Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia will present a staged reading of an original play based on the 2004–2006 Aref-Hossain “sting” case, followed by a panel discussion. The play, “To Catch a Muslim (The Sting’s the Thing),” written by Steve Downs, treats the Aref-Hossain case, the sting, the informant, and the trial's aftermath with irony and a little humor, and takes some potshots at the government's legal scheming to convict innocent men. The play will be performed at 7 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave.
Preceding the play, dinner will be served at 6 p.m.
A panel discussion will follow the play at 8 p.m. Featured speakers are Tarik Shah and Dr. Shamshad Ahmad; the moderator is Kathy Manley, Esq. Discussion will focus on the impact of Islamophobia on families and community as shown through the Aref-Hossain case. Tarik Shah was ensnared in a similar sting operation in New York City. An internationally acclaimed jazz bassist, he now lives in Albany, and his case was featured as part of the 2015 documentary film (T)ERROR, which won an Emmy Award in 2017 for Outstanding Investigative Documentary. Dr. Shamshad Ahmad is a professor at the University at Albany and the president of Masjid As-Salam on Central Avenue, which was raided when Aref and Hossain were arrested. He is the author of Rounded Up: Artificial Terrorists and Muslim Entrapment After 9/11, the definitive account of the Aref-Hossain case. Kathy Manley is a criminal defense attorney who worked on Yassin Aref's appeals.
All events are free.
The Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia seeks to counter anti-Muslim hate speech, violence, and hostility. Founded in November 2015, the group includes members of several grassroots local groups that were already working to increase interfaith understanding and to end wars and military violence, racism, homophobia, economic injustice, mass incarceration, hate speech, racial and ethnic profiling, Islamophobia, and abuse of the law enforcement and judicial systems.
Event Held on Saturday, February 2, 2019
To Catch a Muslim - “The Sting’s the Thing”
followed by a