Muslim Community

Jay Kanzler, the Almuttan family’s attorney for years, paces in front of Country Club Hills' empty city hall building. He says the city's mayor has been targeting the Almuttans for years.
Jenny Simeone | St. Louis Public Radio

A Muslim man has filed a lawsuit against the city of County Club Hills, Mayor Bender McKinney and three aldermen, claiming that they discriminated against him.

In a suit filed last week in St. Louis County Circuit Court, Mohammed Almuttan, who is Palestinian,  claims he was denied a business license for a laundromat based on his nationality and religion.  He and his family, their attorney, and the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations have called for McKinney's resignation.

Sophie Malik, Roberta Gutwein and Anna Crosslin joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the sixth annual Jewish and Muslim Christmas Day of Community Service.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Each year for the past six years, people of Jewish and Muslim faiths have joined together on Christmas for a day of community service

Last year, more than 500 people, including Christians and Buddhists, volunteered on the day. This year, more than 800 people are expected to volunteer.

In the past, the effort has focused on forging ties between the two communities in the aid of a variety of different services and non-profits in the St. Louis area. 

Alen Kajtezovic (center) traveled to St. Louis to attend the conference with a group of young people from the Waterloo, Iowa Islamic center.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

While Donald Trump’s pathway to the Republican nomination for president continues to strengthen, some Muslim Americans in St. Louis for a conference on social justice say they’re more concerned about the people who support him.

The Islamic Society of North America hosted the conference in west St. Louis County Saturday, which was attended by about 400 people.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The president of Maryville University’s Muslim Student Association wants to set something straight:

“People need to understand that the real face of Islam is the face you see in front of you right now,” said Shehmin Awan. “It is us three people. It’s the billions of people who are practicing peacefully. It is not the face of ISIL or ISIS or whatever you want to call it. It’s not the face of a terrorist.

Credit: Gail Wechsler, Jewish Community Relations Council

The word for charity in Hebrew is Tzedakah. The word for charity in Arabic is Sadaqah. Their pronunciation is similar. An emphasis on charity is just one of the similarities the two religions — and Christianity — share, said Gail Wechsler, one of the Jewish co-chairs for the Jewish and Muslim Day of Community Service taking place Christmas Day.

Members of a Jewish and Muslim Teen Dialogue Group packed bags at the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry last year.
Provided by Gail Wechsler

Jews and Muslims in St. Louis are hoping to bring a little extra Christmas cheer to their Christian counterparts this year.

For the fourth year, the groups will be hosting a Jewish and Muslim Day of Community Service. The event has grown since it was implemented in 2010; more than 700 people are expected to show up to help.

Gail Wechsler, one of the Jewish co-chairs for the event, said that the day is all about helping St. Louisan who are in need of assistance.

Malik Performs "Unveiled"
Courtesy of the Artist

For the last five years, playwright Rohina Malik has performed her one woman play, "Unveiled." The play focuses on the lives of five Muslim women in the wake of 9/11.  She attests her play touches audience members regardless of their background. 

“One after another young, white male college students kept coming up to me personally and saying, thank you so much, it was eye opening,” Malik said about a recent experience performing at an college in Ohio. 

Dr. Ghazala Hayat
Provided by the university

As March winds blasted the region, West County lawyer Lubabah Abdullah’s hair remained neat under a bright scarf, giving her the élan of Grace Kelly riding in a sleek convertible with Cary Grant. Abdullah, an American-born Muslim of Sudanese Arab heritage wraps her head in bright colored scarves for modesty.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Judge to consider claims of Mo. death row inmate

This week a special judge appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court will start taking another look at evidence used to convict Reggie Clemmons of murder in 1991.  

Yesterday a coalition of local and international activist held a pre-hearing rally in support of Clemmons at Kiener Plaza in St. Louis. 

President of the St. Louis branch of the NAACP, Adolphus Pruitt, said there are lingering questions about the evidence used to convict Clemmons.   

The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis says a member recently received a threatening call from a man upset over recent shootings in California that authorities say were carried out by a Muslim couple.
Courtesy Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - Imam Samuel Ansari is from St. Louis. Anjum Shariff, born in India, grew up here, too. Melissa Matos, born in New York and raised in Miami, came to St. Louis a few years ago. Imam Muhamed Hasic arrived here from Bosnia 14 years ago. Twenty years ago, Gulten Ilhan, from Turkey, came to St. Louis. And in 1970, Mir Asif, from India, made the Gateway City his home.

One word describes all of them -- Muslims.