Community News (V13-I5)

Chicago conference to focus on Jewish and Muslim women

CHICAGO,IL–The modern role of women in traditional Muslim and Jewish religious life will be discussed at a conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago to be held 10-5:15 Feb. 7 at UIC’s Institute for the Humanities, Stevenson Hall, 701 S. Morgan St.

“Changing Roles?: Women in Traditional Jewish and Muslim Communities” will focus on how change can be accommodated in the religious legal systems of both Judaism and Islam, and the changing role of women in prayer, study, leadership, and other arenas.

“Women committed both to a traditional form of Judaism or Islam and to contemporary gender equality have initiated radical change in their religious communities,” said Samuel Fleischacker, UIC director of Jewish studies, professor of philosophy, and conference organizer. “Traditional Jews and Muslims have some very similar concerns related to women’s issues, so the conference presents a unique opportunity to bring them together.”

Attendance is free.

Al Safa to be acquired by Pakistani group

TORONTO–Halal food maker Al Safa is reportedly in the process of being acquired by a Pakistani company. The Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) reports that the this acquisition is subject to obtaining requisite regulatory approvals and closing of the agreement with the sellers.

Al Safa Halal is based in USA and Canada and deals in supplying a variety of packaged halal foods across North America.

Engro Corp will he setting up companies based in USA and Canada to acquire and operate the business. It is expected that the cost of acquisition of the business, inventories, and brand-building would initially be in the range of $ 10 to 15 million.

In 2007 the American Halal Company had announced a binding contract to purchase Al Safa but the deal did not materialize.

University at Buffalo offers halal options

BUFFALO, NY–Muslim students at the University of Buffalo now have a halal option in the student dining area. After much campaigning the Muslim Students Association has been able to persuade the Campus Dining & Shops (CDS) to offer a limited number of microwaveable halal meals, the student newspaper reported.

“Being one of the most diverse institutes in the country, UB is obliged to cater to the needs of its diverse student body,” said MSA president Sikander Mohammed Khan. “Steps such as these will make UB one of the most encompassing and pioneer[ing] campus[es] by 2020.”

Now students interested in dining on halal food can walk into Putnam’s in the Student Union and help themselves to refrigerated meals that are heated in microwaves. The meals themselves are provided by Salam-At Market, which delivers the pre-made carry-out to CDS for students, faculty and staff of any race or creed.

“I eat it almost every day,” Khan said. “So does every other Muslim student, and many non-Muslims, too.”

Efforts are on to increase the variety of the halal options.

U of M Human Rights Center to launch Islamic Law and Human Rights Program

The University of Minnesota Law School’s Human Rights Center will launch its Islamic Law and Human Rights Program (IHRP) on Friday, Feb. 4. Opening ceremonies will be held from 3 to 4:40 p.m. in Room 25 of Mondale Hall, 229 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

The new program will focus on current issues and debates surrounding human rights and Islamic law and will encourage and facilitate new approaches to research and real-world application. It will engage students through teaching, publications, fellowships, internships, applied research, field work, conferences and other special events on current human rights and Islamic law issues.

IHRP will function as a think-tank for issues related to Islamic law, human rights, the rule of law and terrorism in the Muslim world. Through the Human Rights Center, students will have access to advice and resources involving diverse constituencies, including students and human rights workers in organizations in the United States and around the Middle East and the Muslim world.

The program will be housed in the Law School’s Human Rights Center on the plaza level of Mondale Hall and will be directed by Abdulwahid Qalinle, an adjunct associate professor of law at the Law School since 2004.

Dr. Naila Aslam-Khan reappointed to zoning board of appeals

SANFORD,ME–Dr. Naila Aslam-Khan has been reappointed to the Town of Sanford’s Zoning Board of Appeals.Her appointment is for a three year term.


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