Hamtramck dog attack victim says discrimination reason Wayne County prosecutor won’t charge police officer

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2012/07/hamtramck_dog_attack_victim_sa.html

Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 4:44 PM     Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 5:53 PM
 
HAMTRAMCK, MI — A pin juts from the crushed bone below a white bandage wrapped around 78-year-old Qaflah Samaha’s right arm.

Three months after Samaha of Hamtramck claims a Cane Corso leaped over a fence, mauled and nearly killed her, she has not entirely healed.

The dog’s owner, Hamtramck Police Officer Michael Stout, has never been charged with a crime related to the attack, which has “outraged” the Arab-American community, according to Samaha’s attorney, Nabih H. Ayad, who is calling for state Attorney General Bill Schuette to launch an investigation into discrimination by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office.

He believes the officer should be charged with a felony under the state’s Dangerous Animals Ordinance, which carries a punishment of up to four years in prison and a $2,000 fine. 

“Here’s a 78-year-old woman, there’s numerous, numerous laws that the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has at its disposal,” Ayad said during a press conference Wednesday in the Arab-American Civil Rights League office in Dearborn. “We think that this is outrageous, its ridiculous, it smacks this community right in the face.”

Qaflah Samaha, 78, of Hamtramck wants the Hamtramck police officer who owned the Cane Corso that attacked her on April 21 to be charged with a crime.

Ayad believes the Prosecutor’s Office is “protecting one of their own” and said the community “wants answers” as to why the office refuses to press charges, why “police officers are above the law.”

State police investigated the incident and issued a recommendation for charges to be issued, but the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, after conducting an independent investigation of it’s own, declined to follow the state police conclusion.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office issued a response to the concerns presented by the Arab-American Civil Rights League stating it “conducted an independent investigation of the facts and evidence” that “revealed that the dog was inside Officer Stout’s backyard at the time of the incident” and it is undetermined whether Samaha “trespassed on to the property” or “provoked of the dog leading up to the attack.”

“I’m surprised they would have the courage to take that position,” said Steven Ogilvie, Ayad’s partner, after hearing the response from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Samaha spent a total of five weeks in  the hospital and intensive care after the attack, including a three-week return visit after Samaha developed a blood clot that nearly caused a heart attack. 

Qaflah Samaha’s right hand after she was attacked by a Cane Corso on April 21.

The dog also tore Samaha’s right index finger from her hand. Doctors were unable to reattach it.

According to Ayad, Stout has not offered an apology or offered to pay any of Samaha’s medical expenses

Attorneys for Samaha said the Cane Corso remains in law enforcement custody, it’s not been determined if it will be euthanized and copies of the state police and Hamtramck police reports have not been released.

Dressed in traditional Muslim clothing, Samaha, of Yemen, who is 5-feet 1-inch tall and 100 pounds, sat next to her son, Wadah Fadel, 29, of Hamtramck, who acted as her translator Wednesday.

Before them on a long table lay numerous pictures, several of a stabilization bar inserted through Samah’s stitched hand to hold in place the bones crushed by the dog’s powerful jaws; another depicted a menacing looking black Cane Corso walking in the snow — not Stout’s — with hulking shoulders, described as “something out of a horror movie,” by Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. 

Samaha said she was attacked on April 21 while walking down an alley behind Stout’s home on Dorothy. 

The Cane Corso jumped onto a 4-foot-high dog house and over the 6-foot-high fence, Samaha’s attorney said.

“He went for her jugular,” Ayad said, adding that Stout also kept a pit bull and Doberman Pinscher in the fenced yard.

To illustrate a pattern of discrimination by the prosecutor’s office against the Arab-American community, Ayad noted a separate case in which the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office charged four Dearborn Heights High School football players with assault after an on-field fight.

“This was the only case in this nation’s history” where kids were charged while playing football, Ayad said. “Yet, they fail to bring charges against a police officer, in essence protecting one of its own.”

Ayad said he plans to send a letter requesting an investigation to Schuette’s office as soon as tomorrow.

Independent of the request for criminal charges, Ayad said he intends to file a civil case related to the matter.

Detroit Muslims begin month-long fasting period of Ramadan

July 20, 2012 at 1:00 am

Detroit Muslims begin month-long fasting period of Ramadan

  • By Oralandar Brand-Williams
  • The Detroit News

Detroit—Local Muslims will begin the month-long observance of the Muslim holy period of Ramadan today.

It is marked by 30 days of fasting, dawn to dusk, and daily prayers. Muslims also refrain from sex, smoking, drinking and other excessive activities.

“The vast majority of mosques in Metro Detroit will start fasting (today) while some will start on Saturday,” said Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, Michigan. “This is a yearly issue pertaining to a difference of opinion on if the crescent moon should be sighted anywhere in the world or if it has to be sighted in one’s own country or hemisphere. For instance, Saudi Arabia and UAE declared that Ramadan starts on Friday; however, their neighbor Oman will start on Saturday.”

In the past few years, Ramadan has been observed during summer. In Metro Detroit, Muslims have been faced with hot and humid weather.

“These are the longest and hottest days for those of us in the faith who fast during Ramadan,” said Walid, who noted that keeping hydrated is key and also balancing the intake of food during the iftar, the evening meal when the fast is broken for the day during Ramadan.

He said those with illnesses can be exempted from fasting or can fast at a later time. Some mosques will allow people who are not physically able to fast, such as those who are diabetic, to donate money to a local soup kitchen to feed a hungry person for a month in place for fasting.

It is also a time of worship and reflection, as well as a time of strengthening family ties and community.

Imam Abdullah El-Amin of the Muslim Center in Detroit urges Muslims to make sure they are well-nourished by making sure they don’t skip the pre-dawn meal, called the suhoor, and drinking plenty of water before the daily fast begins.

“We go from 4 a.m. to 9 at night without any food or water,” he said. “Therefore, we have to have some real spiritual connection to make it easier.”

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120720/METRO/207200348#ixzz21A14HcoP

Reminder About the Inner Fast in Ramadan Pertaining to Speech

http://manydifferentmuslims.com/2012/07/17/reminder-about-the-inner-fast-in-ramadan-pertaining-to-speech/

Reminder About the Inner Fast in Ramadan Pertaining to Speech

Posted on July 17, 2012 

By Dawud Walid

To maximize the blessings of the month of Ramadan, we need to pay extra attention to not just what goes into our mouths but also what comes out of them.  Blameworthy speech is one of the easiest things that can ruin the spirit of our fasting.  The following article will summarize different aspects of blameworthy speech and how to remedy it.

Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace be upon him and his family) said, “Whoever does not give up deceptive speech and action, Allah is in no need of his giving up food and drink.” [Al-Bukhari, An-Nasa’i & At-Tirmidhi]  Muhammad bin Idris Ash-Shafi’i (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) said, “Faith is action for Allah, and speech is part of that action.” [Al-Bayhaqi]

LYING AND OMMITTING THE TRUTH

Perhaps the worse aspect of blameworthy speech that Muslims can undertake is to promote obscenity and injustice and to bid people to disobey Al-Qur’an and matters that are universally recognized by scholars as prophetic injunctions; to do such is in fact a sign of hypocrisy. Allah (SWT) says, “The hypocrite men and women are from one another, they enjoin what is wrong and forbid what is right.” [Surah At-Tawbah, ayah 67]  “Majority of people’s sins pertain to speech, which relates to disobeying Allah,” said Salman Al-Farsi (may Allah be pleased with him.) [Al-Isfahani]

Telling outright lies in general are also sinful behavior; however, blameworthy speech is also purposeful omission of the truth when giving information or telling stories which will not give people the true picture of situations and circumstances.

RIDICULING PEOPLE

Allah (SWT) says, “Oh you who believe, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one's] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.”[Surah Al-Hujurat, ayah 11]

SPREADING SUSPICION, GOSSIPING AND BACKBITING

Allah (SWT) says, “Oh you who have believed, avoid much suspicion. Indeed, some suspicion is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And reverence Allah; indeed, Allah is the Acceptor of repentance, the Merciful Redeemer.” [Surah Al-Hujurat, ayah 12]  And Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace be upon him and his family) said, “The slandering gossiper will not enter paradise.” [Muslim & ibn Khuzaymah].  Backbiting differs from slander in that backbiting is saying something, which is true about a person behind their back, but that the person does not want exposed.  The exception for backbiting is testifying in front of a judge, giving someone advice when approached about a potential business or martial relationship or warning people about lewd or criminal behaviors, which a person openly promotes.

AVOIDING OBSCENE LANGUAGE AND THE PRAISING CORRUPT PEOPLE

Ma’ruf Al-Karkhi (may Allah sanctify his spirit) said, “Protect your tongue from praising [people] just as you protect your tongue from obscenity.” [Al-Isfahani]  Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace be upon him and his family) said,” When an openly corrupt person is praised, the Lord is angry.” [Abu Ya’la]

Since we have been reminded about what types of speech that we should not be involved in which will corrupt the spirit of our fasting, we should involve ourselves in speech and action that is meritorious in their place.

GLORIFICATION OF ALLAH AND READING Al-QUR’AN

During the fasting hours, our tongues should be moist with the glorification of Allah (SWT).  While we are off of work, we should busy ourselves with dhikr and du’a, which will take time away from potentially blameworthy speech.  Moreover during this month in which Al-Qur’an was revealed, we should spend more time reading Allah’s word.  If we set the goal to read Al-Qur’an completely at least once during Ramadan, we will not have time to be engaged in foolishness such as gossip and vain discussions.

SPEAK DIRECTLY AND TRURTHFULLY

Allah (SWT) says, “Oh you who believe, be regardful for Allah and speak a straight word.” [Surah Al-Ahzab, ayah 70]

AVOID KEEPING COMPANY WITH GOSSIPERS

Allah (SWT) says, “Oh you who believe, be regardful for Allah and be with the truthful people.” [Surah At-Tawbah, ayah 119]

ADVOCATE FOR JUSTICE

One of the more meritorious acts of devotion that we can do is to stand up for justice against tyranny and speak for the rights of the underprivileged.  Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace be upon him and his family) said, “Whoever sees a wrong, he should change it with his hand. If not, he should resist it with his tongue.  And if not, he should resist it in his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.”  [Muslim]  He (prayers and peace be upon him) also said, “The best jihad is a word of justice to a tyrannical ruler.”  [At-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, At-Tabarani & Al-Bayhaqi]  And Imam Zayd bin Ali (peace be upon both of them] said, “The best jihad is to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.”  [Musnad Zayd]

STAYING SILENT

Staying silent when there is nothing noteworthy to add to a discussion is a valuable act that we overlook at times.  In this age where everyone has an opinion to share on social media, many of us feel compelled to speak or write about something even when there is no benefit in doing so.  Though it is not the shari’ah of Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace be upon him and his family) to engage in fasting from speaking, Al-Qur’an does mention in Surah Maryam, ayah 10 of Zakariyyah (peace be upon him) making intentions to fast from speaking for three nights.  Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace be upon him said) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

May our Ramadan be filled with blessings and speech, which will be rewarded abundantly, and may our Ramadan be free from blameworthy speech and action.

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