Muslims | WAMC

Muslims

Albany City Hall at twilight.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A resolution goes before the Albany Common Council tonight expressing solidarity with the city's South Asian community.

The World Premiere of the new play, “American Underground,” by Brent Askari and directed by Julianne Boyd opens at Barrington Stage Company’s Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on October 2 and runs through October 20.

In the not-so-distant future, an interracial couple enjoys a visit from their college-aged son when a young Muslim woman arrives at their back door. She’s looking for safe passage via a new Underground Railroad as Muslims are being detained and imprisoned.

Suddenly, a government official knocks on their door wreaking havoc on the family. They must decide how much to risk to save an innocent woman.

To tell us more we welcome the playwright Brent Askari and Artistic Director of Barrington Stage Company Julianne Boyd.

Veera Hiranandani earned her MFA in creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of "The Whole Story of Half a Girl," which was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and a South Asian Book Award Finalist. A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she now teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College's Writing Institute and Writopia Lab.

In her new book "The Night Diary," it's 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.

Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn't know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it's too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home.

A map of the area
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says state police are increasing patrols around an upstate New York Muslim community that was targeted for attack "out of an abundance of caution."

Composite photo by Dave Lucas/WAMC

Activists have long insisted that the terrorism case against two Albany residents in 2004 was more of a frame-up than a sting.  The two were given 15-year federal prison sentences for their involvement in an alleged money-laundering incident tied to the sale of a fake shoulder-fired missile. The local Muslim community is hosting an annual rally Saturday, the anniversary of the arrests.

Rep. Paul Tonko
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A Capital Region Congressman is thanking protestors who demonstrated over the weekend against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:

 “I never thought I'd see the day when refugees, who have fled war-torn countries in search of a better life, would be turned away at our doorstep. We are a nation of bridges, not walls, and a great many of us still believe in the words 'give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses...'
 
"This is not who we are, and not who we should be.

"I have directed the Port Authority, the Department of State, and my Counsel's Office to jointly explore all legal options to assist anyone detained at New York airports, and ensure that their rights are protected.

"America is a nation of laws and those laws provide rights that must be respected and followed regardless of political ideology."    

A Muslim group in suburban New York says a decision to give landmark status to a house it had planned to use as a mosque is less about historical preservation and more about putting up barriers to their plans.