In Memoriam

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, we buried a dear friend and an important thinker and scholar: Dr. Taha Jabir Al-Alwani.  He was also an important American Muslim leader.  We at KARAMAH have direct experience with his courageous leadership. Today, we take a few minutes to honor him by sharing with you one of our cherished memories about him.
 
In 1997, KARAMAH invited a select group of American Muslim leaders to attend a lecture at the Supreme Court.  After the event, some Muslim organizations complained vehemently about a frieze in the courtroom which included a generic representation of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The frieze included similar representations of major worldly and religious leaders. It was intended by the architects as a tribute to those individuals who made major contributions to the development of law throughout history. 
 
The complaints escalated into a serious crisis when some Muslim organizations demanded the removal of the Prophet's representation from the courtroom frieze by sandblasting it.  KARAMAH became determined to diffuse this unfortunate situation properly and quickly. In our fashion, KARAMAH sought scholarly opinions on the issue.  We were able to obtain two reasonably quickly: one from Dr. Taha and another from Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr. While the arguments varied, both fatwas rebutted the claim that the representation of the Prophet had to be removed.
 
At the time Dr. Taha was President of the Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) Council of North America. He provided us with a thoughtful but brief version of the fatwa (legal opinion). He followed that months later by a more comprehensive and detailed reasoned scholarly opinion.  
 
The original short fatwa and Dr. Taha's stature, along with the support we garnered from major community leaders such as Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, were sufficient to nip the crisis in the bud.
 
True to form, upon the completion of his more comprehensive opinion, Dr. Taha insisted on delivering it formally to the Supreme Court. He explained to our founder, Dr. al-Hibri, that it was important for him to take this step in order to emphasize to the Court community the Islamic legal tradition of scholarship.  So, the two of them went to the Supreme Court and formally delivered his opinion.  Later, that opinion was published in the distinguished Journal of Law and Religion, and can now also be found on the KARAMAH website.  
 
Dr. Taha's opinion helped KARAMAH set the record straight and put an end to an escalating crisis.  We will sorely miss his courage, wisdom, advice and support.  May God reward him for his service and may he rest in peace.
 
Black History Month Discussion -
 Are We Allies to one Another? 

"If they come for me in the morning, they will come for you in the night" - Angela Davis
 
On February 25, 2016, KARAMAH broached an important topic: What Does it Mean to be an 'Ally' in the Movement Towards Justice. Our esteemed panel included three amazing Muslim women: Ms. Saleema Snow, Ms. Raheemah Abdulaleem, and Ms. Rosieda Shabodien who shared their experiences of fighting for social justice through both their personal and professional lives.  Read more

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ALUMNA SPOTLIGHT
LLSP Alumna Nia Malika Dixon Making her Mark in the World of Entertainment

LLSP alumna Nia Malika Dixon is a woman of many talents. A published writer, author, poet, director, producer, and screenwriter, Nia is making her mark in the world of entertainment and is passionate about becoming a strong Muslim-American voice in the world of television and film. Read more

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MUSLIM AMERICAN STORIES
When a Muslim Child is Called "Terrorist"

When I was in elementary school, I had a good group of friends whom I got along with pretty well. This lasted until one day, out of the blue, I got called "terrorist" for the first time as a joke by someone I thought was a friend. Read more


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KARAMAH EU Launches New Project: 
"Peaceful Lives: Resolving Disputes Within Muslim Families"

The goal of this program is to empower local actors and leaders to become agents of change through their peace building role within the Muslim communities in Europe and in this way induce a profound social transformation, especially in the attitudes towards women and youth, towards greater openness to social change, gender equity, and civic engagement.   Read more

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ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mark Your Calendars!

March 13, 2016: International Sisters Network 20th Annual Sisters Only Fashion Show & Luncheon.

March 15, 2016: Dr. Azizah al-Hibri Speaks at The University of Pennsylvania.

March 19, 2016: Ms. Aisha Rahman Speaks at UN CSW Parallel Event: "Engaging Pro Bono Legal Resources for Women's Empowerment."

March 23, 2016: KARAMAH's CSW Parallel Event: "The Law and Leadership Summer Program: A New Generation of Muslim Women Change Makers."


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Submission Deadline for LLSP 2016 Applications Extended!
Apply now!
KARAMAH is accepting applications to its Law and Leadership Summer Program 2016.  KARAMAH's LLSP is specifically designed to provide training that addresses the unique challenges facing Muslim women today. For the past 13 years, the program has brought together a select group of Muslim women from around the world to study Islamic Law, Leadership and Conflict Resolution. KARAMAH's instructors are active jurists who currently study, teach, or practice law and are able to provide participants with insight on the latest research and activities in the field.  Similarly, instructors for leadership and conflict resolution courses are active practitioners or scholars in those fields, providing education of the highest quality. 
                                                               
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Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom law and justice concept blue tone
New Job Opening: 
Director of Civil Rights Law

KARAMAH kindly welcomes highly motivated applicants to apply for the position of  Director of Civil Rights Law. The position will primarily involve coordinating our annual programs and leading the organization's Civil Rights Law Department. KARAMAH is a team-oriented office environment, and this position involves working closely with and supporting all of our departments and the Executive Director. KARAMAH addresses human rights particularly those concerning Muslim women, both domestically and internationally, and the Civil Rights Law department coordinates programs targeting issues within both spheres. Read more
                                                           
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KARAMAH Accepting Applications for Summer 2016 Internship Program

If you are a motivated undergraduate or graduate student interested in human rights, notably, women's rights, Islamic studies, law, political science or communications, apply to the summer internship with KARAMAH. We are always looking for smart and motivated people to join our team. 

We will be accepting summer internship applications until March 15, 2016 


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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
A letter from KARAMAH Founder: 
A Tribute to Justice Antonin Scalia

As a civil rights organization, we often disagreed with Justice Scalia and his judicial opinions. However, in death, we are united by our common humanity. 

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KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting human rights globally, especially gender equity, religious freedom and civil rights in the United States. It pursues its mission through education, legal outreach and advocacy.
Have any questions or concerns? Email  karamah@karamah.org