News briefs for week of April 26, 2010

This week, thousands of women across the U.S. showed more skin to challenge a cleric’s claim that earthquakes can be caused by women who dress immodestly, a Seattle man is sentenced to 17 months for threatening a Muslim woman and her baby with a knife, Muslim and non-Muslim students clash at Minnesotan public schools, and Yemen’s most influential cleric opposes proposed law to ban child marriages.
Two hundred thousand people commit to a Facebook Event called, “Boobquake,” to test an Iranian cleric’s claim that immodestly dressed women lead men astray which consequently causes earthquakes. Today, women from across the country showed a little extra skin, reports ABC News. The experiment was spear-headed by a senior at Purdue University, Jennifer McCreight, as way of “making light-hearted mockery” of such an absurd claim. #Boobquake is also becoming a trending tweet on Twitter.

Eric Lee Garner was sentenced to a maximum 17-month sentence for making anti-Muslim remarks and threatening a Muslim woman and her 6-month-old baby with a knife in July at a Seattle health clinic. Garner pleaded guilty to the charges in March, reports the Seattle Times.

Tensions flare between Muslim and non-Muslim secondary school students in two Minnesota public school districts, reports the Twin Cities Daily Planet. Somali students may face more discrimination than other Muslim students, speculates a Minnesotan representative for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. A Facebook group, “I hate the Somalis at Tech High” was recently disbanded, reports the Minnesota Public Radio. A group of Muslim students interviewed by the Daily Planet expressed positive experiences with their public schools, while a second group shared stories of harassment they experience on a regular basis like being called, “pillow-head,” “blanket” and “towel head.” One student recalls being jokingly asked by her teacher if she was carrying a bomb in her bag.

Yemen’s most influential cleric, Sheikh Abdul Majid Al-Zindani, vows to collect a million signatures to petition a proposed law that raises the minimum age of marriage to 17. At conference held at Iman University in the capital, San’a, Al-Zindani called on several radical clerics and Islamic law students to oppose the draft law, reports the Associated Press. He said the ban “threatens our culture and society and spreads immorality.”
Shazia Riaz is Events and Publicity Editor for Altmuslimah.

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