Amir Hussain, professor of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University, said American Muslims have profoundly impacted American society in a lecture Tuesday titled “Islam and the Building of America.”The lecture was hosted by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and took place in the Hesburgh Center for Peace Studies.Hussain highlighted the significance of various Muslims — both famous and obscure — to American history.“They’ve contributed something, and some things that I think are quite crucial, as you start peeling back the layers of the sports, of the activism, of, for me, the music,” he said.Central to any discussion of Islam’s impact on America, Hussain said, is the understanding that Muslims have been part of American history since its conception.“The rhetoric that one gets these days is that Islam is a new religious tradition in America and that it is somehow alien, foreign to American values,” he said. “And I’m going to turn that on its head and say, ‘How has America been influenced by Islam and by its Muslim population?’”Indeed, Hussain said Muslims have constituted a significant percentage of the American population even before America declared independence in 1776. He said at least 10 percent of the slaves brought to America from West Africa were Muslim.A clear example of Islam’s longstanding influence in America is in New York City, Hussain said, where the African Burial Ground National Monument is the final resting place for many Muslim Americans.“For much of American history, Muslims have come to New York seeking freedom and opportunity, like every other group of immigrants that comes to New York,” he said.But beyond the fact that Muslims have always been part of American history, Hussain said Muslims have made a lasting impression on American politics and culture. He said the life of Thomas Jefferson provides evidence of the pervasiveness of Islam in American thought.“How many of us are aware that in 1765, Thomas Jefferson — in 1765 before America is America — purchases a Koran?” Hussain said.Moreover, Hussain said in areas such as music, entertainment, architecture and popular culture, Muslim Americans have helped shape American society.He referenced numerous examples of prominent figures in each industry, including Fazlur Rahman Khan, the structural engineer who designed the Hancock and Willis Towers, and Ahmet Ertegün, the founder of Atlantic Records, the record company that signed the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Ray Charles.The presence of Muslims has been particularly strong in the sports arena, Hussain said, where athletes such as professional boxer Muhammad Ali or National Basketball Association (NBA) player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have greatly contributed to the legacy of American sports.“I would argue that perhaps Muhammad Ali is the most famous person in the world,” he said. “And what does that mean, that the most famous person in the world is yet again an American — in this case another African-American —Muslim?”Although Hussain said it is important not to overemphasize the influence of Islam in American history, he also said America would not be what it is today without the presence of its Muslim inhabitants.“Can you imagine an America without Muhammad Ali? Can you imagine the contributions that people like Ali have made to what it means to be American, really rethinking that kind of thing?” he asked the audience.Tags: American society, Hesburgh Center, Islam, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Muhammad Ali, Muslim
Source: LSC. 9.16.2009 Lyndon State College is the recipient of a $71, 590 grant from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Northern Region. The money will be used for paid student internships in Essex County in Vermont and Coos County in New Hampshire. These two areas fall in one of the nation’s most economically depressed regions, and this support will help businesses develop sustainable business models.The grant creates a promising win-win situation for businesses and Lyndon students. Not only will the businesses have access to the latest in planning and development, but students will no longer have to choose between an unpaid internship and a job.Making these types of internship opportunities available is important to both preparing the region’s future workforce as well as helping these students play an active role in building the capacity of businesses and organizations that could become their future employers. The struggling economies of the Northeast Kingdom and Coos County provide an excellent laboratory for Lyndon State College students. By working under the close supervision of experienced faculty who are coordinating with engaged employers they will have the opportunity to put theory into practice while helping to keep and create jobs in the target area.This summer, for example, Lyndon State College senior Ashley Beard and two interns from Mt. Abraham Union High School worked under a Tillotson grant to map parts of the Northern Forest. This information will make the land more accessible to businesses who have questions about types and locations of specific kinds of timber on the land. Other Tillotson money has been used by the College for work with the Northwoods Stewardship Center and the Appalachian Mountain Club.The focus of this internship program will be to help put into practice the recommendations outlined in the SEI’s (Sustainable Economy Initiative) A Strategy for Regional Economic Resurgence while developing regional capacity along with that of participating businesses and organizations. Small and emerging companies, as well as nonprofits, are often unable to pay interns, which limits the pool from which the businesses can choose. Making these types of internship opportunities available is important to both preparing the region’s future workforce as well as helping these students play an active role in building the capacity of businesses and organizations that could become their future employers. The struggling economies of the Northeast Kingdom and Coos County provide an excellent laboratory for Lyndon State College students.The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has been improving the quality of life in our communities since 1962. It builds and manages a collection of charitable funds totaling nearly $490 million, created by individuals, families and corporations. The Foundation has awarded more than $125 million in the past five years. Based in Concord, N.H., the Foundation roots itself in communities across the state through seven regions including Lakes, Manchester, Monadnock, Nashua, North Country, Piscataqua and the Upper Valley.
Barcelona: Spanish champions FC Barcelona have apologized for a tweet they posted mocking Real Betis after beating them 5-2 in their Spanish league match. Barcelona posted a photo of defender Junior Firpo holding up five fingers after the match with the caption “Junior knows.””Barcelona wishes to sincerely apologize for any offense caused to Real Betis,” the club tweeted. “No disrespect was intended, but we were wrong to publish it on a night that was very special for Junior.” FC Barcelona had signed Firpo from Betis in August. The 23-year-old made his debut during the win, coming on for Brazilian midfielder Rafinha in the 81st minute. Firpo featured in 29 games for Betis last season and was part of Spain’s U21 European Championship-winning side in June. (IANS) Also Read: FC Barcelona trample Napoli 4-0 in Pre Season Friendly Also Watch: Watch Video | Fan of Zubeen Garg washes his feet during a promotion show in Assam