: Pakistani American Leadership Center (PAL-C) [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Pakistani American Leadership Center (PAL-C)
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 1:12 AM
To: Ahmed, Ehsan - ahmedex
Subject: Community Alert / May 2010 Newsletter


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PAL-C Newsletter

Seek Legal Advice Before Talking to the FBI
May 24, 2010


PAL-C Headquarters, Washington D.C., USA

Board of National Directors

Shoaib Kothawala      Najeeb Ghauri      Salim Adaya      Dr. Salman Naqvi

Mossadaq Chughtai
      Pervaiz Lodhie      Dr. Rafiq Rahman   

Arif Mansuri      Qaisar Madad      Asim Ashary      Nayyer Ali



"I see the strength and resilience of the American people.  Terrorists want to scare us.  New Yorkers just go about their lives unafraid.  Extremists want a war between America and Islam, but Muslims are part of our national life, including those who serve in our United States Army.  Adversaries want to divide us, but we are united..."

President Barack Hussein Obama, West Point Commencement Address, May 22, 2010



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In Issuing the Following


Seek Legal Advice Before Talking to FBI

The FBI is contacting Pakistani, South-Asian and other Muslim Americans to solicit information and advice about addressing violent extremism. 


We strongly urge individuals not to speak with law enforcement officials without the presence or advice of an attorney.


You may think...

"I've done nothing wrong.  I've got nothing to hide.  I want to help law enforcement."

You should know...

· Seeking the advice of counsel before you talk to law enforcement is the smart thing to do.

· Speaking to law enforcement without an attorney present or advice of counsel--however well-intentioned--places you and your family at great risk of criminal prosecution or adverse immigration consequences (including deportation).  (In fact, in at least one recent case, individuals were arrested and jailed on charges--such as alleged immigration violations--completely unrelated to cases agents were investigating.)

· There is no legal obligation to speak to law enforcement officials.  You are only required to provide identification to law enforcement officials if asked, and immigrants are required to carry proof of immigration status at all times.  Declining to speak cannot be presumed as guilt.

· Any statements made during contact with law enforcement can be used against you at a later time.  Lying to a federal officer, even by omission, is a crime.

Steps You Can Take:


1. Be Smart.  Protect yourself.  Know your rights:  Watch the Muslim Advocates' "Got Rights?" video.   It provides crucial information about how to handle contact from law enforcement officials.  Click here to view the video online.

2. Protect your friends, family & community:  Forward this alert and share Muslim Advocates' "Got Rights?" video with your networks and listservs.  (It's available in five languages: English, Arabic, Farsi, Somali and Urdu.)

3. Learn more:  Join Muslim Advocates for a webinar to answer questions about how to safely and effectively work with law enforcement on Tuesday, May 25th at 12pm PST/ 2pm CST/ 3pm ESTClick here to register.

4. Say your lawyer will contact them:  If approached by the FBI or law enforcement, ask for their business cards and say that your lawyer will contact them.

5. Seek an attorney:  For assistance locating an attorney in your area, please visit www.muslimadvocates.org or contact Nura Maznavi at [log in to unmask] or 415.675.1495.



Pakistan and Times Sq.

By Nicholas Kristof  | New York Times

If we want Times Square to be safer from terrorists, we need to start by helping make Pakistan safer as well...

I can't tell you how frustrating it is on visits to rural Pakistan to see fundamentalist Wahabi-funded madrassas as the only game in town. They offer free meals, and the best students are given further scholarships to study abroad at fundamentalist institutions so that they come back as respected "scholars."

We don't even compete. Medieval misogynist fundamentalists display greater faith in the power of education than Americans do.

Let's hope this is changing under the Obama administration. It's promising that the Kerry-Lugar-Berman aid package provides billions of dollars for long-term civilian programs in Pakistan, although it's still unclear how it will be implemented. One useful signal would be for Washington to encourage Islamabad to send not only troops to North Waziristan but also teachers.

We continue to be oblivious to trade possibilities. Pro-American Pakistanis fighting against extremism have been pleading for years for the United States to cut tariffs on Pakistani garment exports, to nurture the textile industry and stabilize the country. Pakistan's foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, told me that his top three goals are "market access, market access, market access." But Washington wants to protect North Carolina textile mills, so we won't cut tariffs on Pakistani goods. The technical word for that: myopia.

Education and lower tariffs are not quick fixes, sometimes not even slow fixes. But they are tools that can help, at the margins, bring Pakistan back from the precipice. It has been reassuring to see the work of people like Greg Mortenson, whose brave school-building in Pakistan and Afghanistan was chronicled in "Three Cups of Tea." Ditto for Developments in Literacy, or D.I.L., which builds schools for girls in Pakistan that are the most exhilarating things I've seen there.

It costs $1,500 to sponsor a D.I.L. classroom for a year, and that's just about the best long-term counterterrorism investment available.   


New Release:
Reading Corner


 Journey into America Cover

"A timely and stimulating contribution to a critically important issue:  The West's (and especially America's) relationship to Islam." Zbigniew Brzezinski, Former National Security Advisor

The most comprehensive study ever done on the American Muslim community, Journey into America explores and documents how Muslims are fitting into U.S. society, seeking to place the Muslim experience in the U.S. within the larger context of American identity. In doing so, it is a major contribution to the study of American history and culture.

Renowned scholar Akbar Ahmed and his team of young researchers traveled through over seventy-five cities across the United States-from New York City to Salt Lake City; from Las Vegas to Miami; from large enclaves such as Dearborn, Michigan, to small towns like Arab, Alabama.

They visited over one hundred mosques and visited homes and schools to discover what Muslims are thinking, what they are reading, and how they are living every day in America.

Ahmed illuminates unexplored Muslim-American communities through his pursuit of challenging questions: Can we expect an increase in homegrown terrorism? How do American Muslims of Arab descent differ from those of other origins (e.g. Somali or South Asian)? Why are so many white women converting to Islam? He also delves into the potentially sticky area of relations with other religions. For example, is there truly a deep divide between Muslims and Jews in America? And how well do Muslims get along with other larger religious groups, such as Mormons in Utah?

Much like Ahmed's widely hailed Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization (Brookings, 2007), Journey into America is equal parts anthropological research, listening tour, and travelogue. Whereas the previous book took the reader into homes, schools, mosques, and public places in heavily Muslim nations, Journey into America takes us into the heart of America's Muslim communities in America. It is absolutely essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of America today, especially its Muslim population-the challenges it faces, the challenges it poses, and its prospects for the future.

List of Contents

Chapter 1: Muslim Odyssey


Chapter 2: Defining American Identity

Chapter 3: Searching for American Identity


Chapter 4: African-Americans as First Muslims

Chapter 5: Immigrant Muslims: Living the American Dream/American Nightmare

Chapter 6: Muslim Converts: Shame and Honor in a Time of Excess


Chapter 7: Jews and Muslims: Bridging the Great Divide

Chapter 8: Mormons and Muslims: Getting to Know You

Chapter 9: The Importance of Being America
Praise for Journey into America:

"Professor Akbar Ahmed turns his intrepid approach to cultural dialogue and inter-faith understanding onto American society, in this brilliant follow-up to "Journey into Islam". His insights should be required reading for anyone grappling with national security, national identity and national cohesion in today's complex era."
Colonel David Kilcullen, author of Washington Post Bestseller and Economist Book of the Year, The Accidental Guerrilla

"Journey to America is an essential pillar in the effort to build the interfaith bridge of understanding. It will inform, provoke, and inspire Americans of all colors, cultures, and faiths." Congressman Keith Ellison culture. 

The great Pakistan aid debate

By: David Rogers  | Politico

Jacqueline Novogratz preaches "patient capital" to an impatient world. Jim Bever is a beaver about building dams. 

Roshaneh Zafar in Lahore, Pakistan, welcomes a hybrid approach, if only the U.S. would get off the dime. And in his seventh-floor sanctum atop the State Department, Deputy Secretary Jack Lew is still the same unaffected, good-government guy from Boston City Hall and Tip O'Neill's office. Only he laughs a bit nervously now that special envoy Richard Holbrooke keeps calling him his "unindicted co-conspirator." 

Welcome to the great Pakistan aid debate: a $7.5 billion, five-year commitment; its own corporate-sounding logo, KLB; and new urgency after the Times Square car bomb attempt May 1...

In truth, AID knows it will have to transform itself if the program is to be successful. And with new leadership of the agency under Rajiv Shah, a former Gates Foundation executive who made his first visit to Pakistan as AID director in April, that's very much the hope. 

Too much foreign aid still goes to Beltway contractors and never leaves the United States. 

At a recent Senate hearing, Shah cited a technical training school in Afghanistan that he said cost taxpayers 35 percent too much. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who oversees AID's budget, is threatening to withhold his support unless the agency changes its "ivory tower" culture and an attitude that "no matter what your idea is, we know better, so we don't need you."

One who has felt that rejection is Zafar, a 41-year-old Pakistani development economist trained at the Wharton School and Yale University.

Established in 1995, her Kashf Foundation today boasts as many as 1,400 loan officers and a client list of more than 300,000, a microfinancing network with a portfolio near $40 million and a record of extending hard-to-get credit to Pakistani women. Lew himself was on hand in Islamabad last year to present an award to Zafar for her work.

But when she turned to AID, seeking money to double her operation and expand into vulnerable areas of Pakistan like Swat and Hazara, her application went nowhere, even as Washington struggled to get its programs up and running.

"Both sides need to trust one another. There are good entities," Zafar told POLITICO. "This is not about whether Kashf gets the funds. It's really about ensuring that the promise behind the Kerry-Lugar bill is fulfilled."      


What I understand about Faisal Shahzad

Fasisal Shahzad

As a Muslim Pakistani, I can't tell you why he did it. But I know one violent nut can change how Americans see me

By Wajahat Ali  |  Salon.com

Last Saturday, I was drinking my chai, reading the latest Green Lantern comic, and participating in the glorious American hobby that is Googling when I saw the news about the foiled NYC Times Square terror plot. I immediately began reciting the "Post-Crisis Minority Mantra," familiar to many ethnic minorities and religions in these troubled times:

"Please don't let it be a Muslim or Pakistani dude.
Please don't let it be a Muslim or Pakistani dude."

Back then, it wasn't. They had footage of a suspicious white guy.

"Phew! Thank God!" I said out loud.

But I had to invoke the mantra repeatedly over the next few days, as details emerged and the truth became all too clear: The terrorist was a recently naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan named Faisal Shahzad. A Muslim Pakistani.

"No! Not again! Why, God, why??"

A Muslim born and raised in America with Pakistani parents, I was the "token" at early age. Growing up, I was like any other socially awkward, overweight, dorky American kid who wanted to date Alyssa Milano and beat Contra on my Nintendo without using the secret, unlimited life code -- except my T-shirts were smeared with turmeric and lentil stains instead of PB and J, and in place of Lunchables my mom fed me homemade, green-colored, lamb patty burgers. I was the kid comfortable with all his identities -- Muslim, American, Pakistani -- and as such, I became the one people consulted when uncomfortable questions had to be asked, or misconceptions and stereotypes needed to be explained.

After news of the averted attack, I was hit with a blitzkrieg of texts, Facebook updates and gchat pings. Friends from varying backgrounds -- Mexican-American, African-American, Arab-American -- wanted to know what I thought about another "Rage Boy" foolishly attempting to commit violence with an amateurish terror plot.

Several made a similar confession: How glad they were that the suspect didn't belong to "their tribe." What I did know, with a sinking feeling, was that many moderate, peaceful Pakistani Muslims like me were further doomed to collective mistrust and suspicion...    MORE


U.S. Is Still Using Private Spy Ring, Despite Doubts

By Mark Mazzetti  |  New York Times

WASHINGTON - Top military officials have continued to rely on a secret network of private spies who have produced hundreds of reports from deep inside Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to American officials and businessmen, despite concerns among some in the military about the legality of the operation.

Earlier this year, government officials admitted that the military had sent a group of former Central Intelligence Agency officers and retired Special Operations troops into the region to collect information - some of which was used to track and kill people suspected of being militants. Many portrayed it as a rogue operation that had been hastily shut down once an investigation began.

But interviews with more than a dozen current and former government officials and businessmen, and an examination of government documents, tell a different a story. Not only are the networks still operating, their detailed reports on subjects like the workings of the Taliban leadership in Pakistan and the movements of enemy fighters in southern Afghanistan are also submitted almost daily to top commanders and have become an important source of intelligence.

The American military is largely prohibited from operating inside Pakistan. And under Pentagon rules, the army is not allowed to hire contractors for spying.     

PAL-C welcomes your feedback and strives hard to better serve the Pakistani American community. Please feel free to give us your feedback on the newsletter, suggest improvements, and please provide any thoughts on PAL-C's efforts.

We also ask that you contribute so we may continue to offer these types of services and advocate on your behalf for your rights, your interests, and so that your children may see a better and brighter tommorrow here in America.





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