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September 28, 2005 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-28

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NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 7

ISLAM
Continued from page 1
Mahood said he wants to provide a glimpse into Ameri-
can Muslim youth culture, which is rarely portrayed in the
general media.
In the documentary, the young snowboarders begin their
day with a "traveler's prayer," praying for a safe trip. But
most of the film portrays them as regular Americans - they
go snowboarding, throw snowballs at each other and dress
just like Americans, with thick winter coats and snowboard-
ing pants. Mahood said that he wanted to show that Muslim
communities can integrate.
The film was intended for Muslim and non-Muslim audi-
ences, Mahood said.
"For a western American, hopefully he sees the Muslim life
that he doesn't always see," he said. "For Muslims, they will
see how well the youth interacts with American culture."
Today and tomorrow's events will also take place in
Hutchins Hall. Today, three speakers will discuss their con-
version to Islam; the main speaker, Heather Laird Jackson,
converted to Islam while attending college.
Tomorrow, a speaker will focus on embryology and the
Quran. Though written long before embryology was discov-
ered, the Quran has many details about the fertilization pro-
cess, Rab said.
She added that MSA wants to bring the scientific history
of Islam to students' attention to show that modern technol-
ogy is compatible with Islam.
Friday, Preacher Moss, a comedian and former writer
for "Saturday Night Live," will do stand-up comedy in the
Pendleton Room of the Michigan Union. Moss has been per-
forming special comedy events for high school and college
students about racism since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Rab said Moss can help people realize that Muslims actu-
ally pursue fields other than medicine and engineering.
"We thought a good way to end the week was to have a
comedian come in and portray Islam," she said. "Muslims
do go to very interesting careers, and comedy is one of them.
EN TAI/Daniy Ultimately, we have fun, and we are going to show it through
Preacher Moss."

Omar Mahmood talks about his documentary "Muslim Snowboarders" at Hutchins Hall as part of Islam Awareness Week.

BENEFITS
Continued from page 1
The American Civil Liberties Union filed
a lawsuit in March asking the Ingham court
to determine if domestic partner benefits are
allowed under Michigan's constitution.
Granholm was named as a defendant in
the ACLU suit that resulted in yesterday's
decision in part because of her caution in
providing benefits to state employees, said
Jay Kaplan, staff attorney for the ACLU,
which filed the lawsuit on behalf of 21 same-
sex couples.
"It was premature," he said, referring to
the governor's action.
Kaplan said Granholm should have kept
the benefits in the contract even without an
explicit ruling in favor of benefits, as the
University has done.
He said yesterday's ruling, though issued
in a circuit court, was binding on all parties
named in the lawsuit - including Granholm
and the city of Kalamazoo.
Kalamazoo announced it would stop its
domestic partner benefits Jan. 1, 2006 after
state Attorney General Mike Cox issued a
nonbinding opinion stating that the city's
- policy was in violation of Michigan's con-
stitution, which was amended when voters
passed Proposal 2 last year.
The city has indicated it will defer to yes-
terday's decision on partner benefits.
Kaplan invoked the opinion of the state's
electorate to defend yesterday's decision.
"We don't think it was the voters' inten-
tion to take away health insurance from
same-sex partners," he said.
Supporters of Prop. 2 said before last
November's election that the ballot measure
was not intended to deny partner benefits,
merely to protect marriage as the exclusive
province of heterosexual couples.
But the Ann Arbor-based Thomas More
Law Center appealed a 2003 decision in
favor of the Ann Arbor Public Schools ear-
lier this year, claiming the school's policy of
providing partner benefits was in violation
of the new amendment. The center has indi-
cated the University may be its next target.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools case,

which is still pending, and future cases chal-
lenging partner benefits could result in deci-
sions conflicting with yesterday's ruling.
Conflicting rulings would provide a basis for
an appeal to a higher court. Yesterday's deci-
sion could be appealed on its merits by the
state's attorney general, who intervened as
a defendant in the ACLU lawsuit case, or by
another aggrieved party.
Kaplan affirmed the ACLU's commit-
ment to defend partner benefits if further
legal challenges arise.
"If it's appealed, we're prepared to take
this issue all the way through the courts,"
he said.
The ACLU's lawsuit sought a declaratory
judgment from Circuit Judge Joyce Dragan-
chuk interpreting the amendment as not pro-
hibiting domestic partner benefits.
The issue hinged on whether providing
partner benefits constituted a recognition of
same-sex marriage.
Draganchuk's opinion relied on the
wording of the amendment, which states
as its purpose the preservation of "the
benefits of marriage," to decide in favor of
partner benefits. .
"Health care benefits are not among the
statutory rights or benefits of marriage," she
wrote in her opinion.
Instead, she wrote that health care benefits
should be provided to individuals bearing
some relation to employees at the discretion
of employers.
"Health care benefits are benefits of
employment, not benefits of marriage," she
wrote, adding that hundreds of benefits
granted to heterosexual couples are cur-
rently denied to same-sex couples even when
employer benefits are factored in.
In regards to Cox's opinion that part-
ner benefits are a recognition of same-sex
unions, Draganchuk's decision stated the
provision of benefits does not establish a
union because the requirements to qualify
for benefits differ by employer and because
they cannot grant recognition to a relation-
ship not sanctioned by state law.
For the time being, the ACLU is savoring
its victory.

COUNCIL
Continued from page 1
ordinance, group homes such as fra-
ternities and sororities are allocated
three parking spots in the lot.
MSA leaders argued against the
ordinance, saying that fraternity
houses and other large student hous-
es are disproportionately left at a
disadvantage because there are gen-
erally more residents in a house with
a need for parking permits than the
ordinance allocated.
Bourque, however, pushed the
parking issue aside, saying, "I don't
see why students would need a break
on parking that citizens don't get."
Bourque added that he went without
a car for most of Law School at the
University, and parked far away from
campus when he had a car.
Rapundalo expressed more recep-
tiveness to changing the ordinance
in the future. "We should give this
parking restriction some time and
see what needs to be fixed or not."
On why he would be a good repre-
sentative on student issues, Bourque
said he would use his abilities as a
trial lawyer to analyze Ward 2 resi-
dents' concerns and respond with
ROBBERY
Continued from page 1
female suspect matched a description of
another armed robbery believed to have
been committed with a male accomplice
on Sept. 24.
This description of the female suspect
led the AAPD to believe her accomplice
was nearby. After a brief search, the
male suspect was found. The knife and
school bag were also found in the same
proximity.
There are no witnesses to the crime.
The husband and wife will likely
be arraigned by 1 p.m. tomorrow,
Abrams said.

"common sense," if elected.
"My bottom line, is, does it make
sense?" he said.
Rapundalo countered that his
experience in government and record
of getting things done makes him an
ideal candidate for the Council seat.
"I will make sure that you guys
have a say in city government," he
said, citing his proposal to bring
seven students and two Council
members together to bridge the com-
munication between University stu-
dents and the City Council through a
joint committee.
Levine said it was important for
students to hear the positions of the
two candidates.
"It's important that we as students
have the Council members on record
as being against the couch ban and in
favor of postponing the vote on park-
ing legislation," Levine said.
Except for the issue of the Oxbridge
parking ordinance, Levine said, "We
got relatively pro-students stances
on issues that matter to us."
Levine said that he intended to
educate voters in Markley before the
Oct. 8 deadline to register to vote,
which he believes will make a differ-
ence in this year's poll turnout.
They are facing charges of armed
robbery, which is a felony and has a
maximum sentence of life in prison.
The AAPD is also investigating the
couple for connections to the armed
robbery earlier this week.
Department of Public Safety Spokes-
woman Diane Brown said that robberies
near campus are uncommon and stab-
bing incidents are even more rare. In
2004, there were four reported robber-
ies on campus and three on public prop-
erty near campus. And in 2003, there
were four on campus and nine on public
property near campus.
Joling will be released from the Uni-
versity Hospital today.

Al- Qaida
operative
sentenced
MADRID, Spain (AP) - A Syrian-born businessman was sen-
tenced to 27 years in prison Monday after being convicted of lead-
ing a terrorist cell and conspiring to commit murder in the Sept. 11
attacks. He was cleared of a more serious charge in Europe's biggest
trial of suspected al-Qaida members.
Another man accused of helping one of the hijackers set up a
key meeting was acquitted of being an accessory to murder but
was convicted of collaborating with a terrorist group. Sixteen
other people were convicted of collaborating with or belonging
to the terror cell.
A third suspect facing specific Sept. 11 charges over detailed video
he shot of the World Trade Center and other U.S. landmarks was
cleared of all charges.
The three main suspects _ Imad Yarkas, Ghasoub al-Abrash
Ghalyoun and Driss Chebli - had been charged as accessories to
mass murder and could have faced sentences of more than 74,000
years each - 25 for each of the 2,973 people killed in the Sept. 11
attacks on the United States.
Prosecutor Pedro Rubira had asked for what he called "exemplary
sentences" to show terror could be fought in court, not with Guanta-
namo-style detention camps.
Yarkas led a cell that raised money and recruited men for Osama
bin Laden's terror group and "turned itself over completely to fulfill-
ing the sinister designs decided by al-Qaida," according to the three-
judge panel of the National Court.
But it said, "the only thing proven is Yarkas' conspiracy with
the suicide terrorist" Mohamed Atta and other members of the
al-Qaida cell based in Hamburg, Germany that carried out the
Sept. 11 attacks.
Twenty-one other people also stood trial but on charges not directly
related to Sept. 11. Of those, 16 were convicted of belonging to or col-
laborating with a terrorist organization and five were acquitted.
One of the 16 was Tayssir Alouni, a correspondent for the Arab TV
network Al-Jazeera. He was convicted of collaboration and sentenced
to seven years in jail.

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