Film: The Sultan and the Saint, A Story of Muslim-Christian Peacemaking

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Seattle premier of film on Muslim-Christian peacemaking narrated by Jeremy Irons, with opening remarks by the producer.

Date: Saturday, February 25, 2017
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Cinemark Theater Lincoln Square
700 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA  98004
Information: Event website

During the Crusades, Saint Francis of Assisi risked his life by walking across enemy lines to meet the Sultan of Egypt, the Muslim ruler Al-Malik al-Kamil. This remarkable encounter, and the commitment to peace of the two men behind it, sucked the venom out of the Crusades and changed the relationship between Muslims and Christians for the better.

Featuring dramatic reenactments and renowned scholarship, this amazing story is brought to life. Scholars interviewed include Michael Cusato (St. Bonaventure University), Sr. Kathy Warren (Sisters of St. Francis), Suleiman Mourad (Smith College), Homayra Ziad, Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, Paul Moses (The Saint and the Sultan), and others.

Join us for this film premiere to learn about the remarkable spiritual exchange between the Sultan and the Saint, and the great risks they took for peace.

Fundraiser: Rebuild the Islamic Center of the Eastside

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Please join our brothers and sisters at the Islamic Center of the Eastside for this important fundraising event.

Date: Sunday, February 5, 2017
Time: 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS)
17550 NE 67th Ct
Redmond, WA  98052
Information: Event website
RSVP: RSVP here
Donate: Donate here

Islamic Center of Eastside (ICOE) is one of the oldest masjids in the Seattle area and has been in operation for more than 20 years. On January 14, it was burnt down in an arson attack. The fire consumed the walls, the imam’s musallah, the sisters’ area, the roof, and other parts of the building. ICOE is a place of prayer, dawah, children’s classes, relief, youth and women activities. Hundreds of families live close to the masjid and hundreds of people attended the masjid every day. It is time to help one of our oldest institutions back on its feet. The community is rallying to rebuild the ICOE masjid and is requesting your assistance in this effort. Please attend the fundraiser if you can, and donate to their relief effort.


No, Trump, Not on Our Watch

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Protesters outside the White House on Sunday. (photo: Jim Lo Scalzo / European Pressphoto Agency)

What a difference a week makes.

By Charles M. Blow / The New York Times
January 30, 2017


Trump’s America is not America: not today’s or tomorrow’s, but yesterday’s. Trump’s America is brutal, perverse, regressive, insular and afraid. There is no hope in it; there is no light in it. It is a vast expanse of darkness and desolation.


When Barack Obama was in office — remember the good old days, just over a week ago, when we didn’t wake up every morning and wonder what new atrocity was emanating from the White House — Republicans were apoplectic about his use of executive orders. They called them “unilateral edicts” and “power grabs.” As Iowa Senator Charles Grassley once said in a floor speech: “The president looks more and more like a king that the Constitution was designed to replace.”

What a difference a week makes.

Now many of those Republicans are as quiet as church mice as Donald Trump pumps out executive orders at a fevered pitch, doing exactly what he said he’d do during the campaign, for all of those who were paying attention: advancing a white nationalist agenda and vision of America, whether that be by demonizing blacks in the “inner city,” Mexicans at the border or Muslims from the Middle East.

Trump’s America is not America: not today’s or tomorrow’s, but yesterday’s.

Trump’s America is brutal, perverse, regressive, insular and afraid. There is no hope in it; there is no light in it. It is a vast expanse of darkness and desolation.

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Trump Fires Acting Attorney General

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President Trump defended his executive order on Twitter, writing that there is “nothing nice about searching for terrorists before they can enter our country.” (photo: Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post)

President Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates Monday night, after Yates ordered Justice Department lawyers Monday not to defend his immigration ban.

By Matt Zapotosky, Sari Horwitz and Mark Berman / The Washington Post
January 30, 2017


Yates felt she was in an “impossible situation” and had been struggling with what to do about a measure she did not consider lawful. A Justice official confirmed over the weekend that the department’s office of legal counsel had been asked to review the measure to determine if it was “on its face lawful and properly drafted.”


President Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates Monday night, after Yates ordered Justice Department lawyers Monday not to defend his immigration order temporarily banning entry into the United States for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from around the world.

In a press release, the White House said Yates had “betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.”

The White House has named Dana Boente, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, as acting attorney general. Boente told The Washington Post that he will agree to enforce the immigration order.

Earlier on Monday, Yates ordered Justice Department not to defend President Trump’s immigration order temporarily banning entry into the United States for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from around the world, declaring in a memo that she is not convinced the order is lawful.

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Acting Attorney General Orders Justice Dept. Not to Defend Refugee Ban

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Sally Q. Yates, the acting attorney general, during a news conference in June. (photo: Pete Marovich / Getty Images)

Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates ordered the Justice Department on Monday not to defend President Trump’s executive order on immigration in court.

By Matt Apuzzo, Eric Lichtblau and Michael D. Shear / The New York Times
January 30, 2017


“I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right. At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.”


Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, ordered the Justice Department on Monday not to defend President Trump’s executive order on immigration in court.

“I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right,” Ms. Yates wrote in a letter to Justice Department lawyers. “At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.”

The decision is largely symbolic — Mr. Trump’s nominee to be attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, is likely to be confirmed soon — but it highlights the deep divide at the Justice Department and elsewhere in the government over Mr. Trump’s order.

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Trudeau Says Canada Will Take Refugees Banned by U.S.

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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (photo: Chris Bolin / Reuters)

By Rob Gillies / Associated Press
January 28, 2017


“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.”
— Justin Trudeau on Twitter


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a message for refugees rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump: Canada will take you.

He also intends to talk to Trump about the success of Canada’s refugee policy.

Trudeau reacted to Trump’s ban of Muslims from certain countries by tweeting Saturday: “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.”

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Border Agents Defy Courts on Trump Travel Ban

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(photo: Bryan R. Smith / AFP)

Congressman Don Beyer says, “We have a constitutional crisis” over refusal to release travellers from Muslim-majority countries after judge grants temporary stay.

By Edward Helmore and Alan Yuhas / The Guardian
January 30, 2017


“We continue to face border patrol’s noncompliance and chaos at airports around the country,” said Marielena Hincapie, director of the National Immigration Law Center. Officials, she said, were “Kafkaesque” in their confused responses, adding that Trump’s order “has already caused irrevocable harm, it has already caused chaos.”


Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents defied the orders of federal judges regarding Donald Trump’s travel bans on Sunday, according to members of Congress and attorneys who rallied protests around the country in support of detained refugees and travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

On Sunday afternoon, four Democratic members of the House of Representatives arrived at Dulles airport in Virginia on word that people had been detained and denied access to lawyers.

“We have a constitutional crisis today,” representative Don Beyer wrote on Twitter. “Four members of Congress asked CBP officials to enforce a federal court order and were turned away.”

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