News from KNOW – Jan. 26, 2014

News from Kalamazoo Nonviolent Opponents of War (KNOW)
January 26, 2014

In this issue:

-KNOW friendship pot lucks

-Islam in Global Perspectives Schedule

-WMU Divest film

-Feminist lunch

-Film series on Palestine/Israel

-Soup night fund raiser

-Good news – another victory for peace

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Do you love good food and conversation?  KNOW invites you to our pot lucks! They are now held every 4th Thursday at 5pm at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Kalamazoo.  Park and enter in the rear of the building and the meals are held in the 3rd floor.  We will be inviting groups and individuals from Kalamazoo’s vibrant peace and justice community to make brief presentations.  If you can’t bring a dish to pass, please come anyway, we have plenty.  It’s magic how our pot lucks always have a satisfying variety, somehow we don’t end up with all desserts.  Although I guess that wouldn’t be so bad!

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Islam in Global Perspectives Schedule

The Department of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University announces the Islam in global Perspectives speaker series. All lectures are free and open to the public. They will take place on Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the WMU Multicultural Center in Trimpe Hall, 1081 Knollwood Hall. Parking is free in lots 39 and 100. Light refreshments will be provided. Contact Alisa Perkins for more information.  KNOW is a co-sponsor.

Jan 30, Thursday, 6p.m. “Reconfiguring the Classics of Islamic Thought in Twentieth-Century Egypt” — A Lecture by Dr. Ahmed El Shamsy, University of Chicago. Please join us for this second Islam in Global Perspectives Event! This lecture is free free and open to the public. Parking is free to all in lots #39, 62, 93, and 100 from 5:30-8:30 on event evening.

Thursday, Feb. 6

Zarinah El-Amin Naeem, Niyah Creative Living and Beautifully Wrapped, “American Muslim Identities and the Cultural Wombs that Bore Them.”

Thursday, Feb. 13

Mara Leichtman, Michigan State University, “Conversion to Shi‘i Islam and the Transformation of Religious Authority in Senegal.”

Thursday, Feb. 20

Sally Howell, University of Michigan-Dearborn, “Building on Difference: Detroit’s First Mosques, 1912-1962.”

Thursday, March 20

Dawud Walid, Council of American Islamic Relations-Michigan, “Challenges of Racism and the Acculturation of American Muslims.”

Thursday, March 27

Nathan Tabor, University of Texas, “Ethical Publics and Urdu Poetics in Muslim North India.”

Thursday, April 3

Tabassum Ruby, Western Michigan University, “The Power of Images and Muslim Women: A Critical Reflection on Sharia in Canada.”

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WMU Divest film

The WMU Divest group is showing a film to kick off the movement at WMU to divest from fossil fuel companies.

“Sweet Crude”

Thursday, February 6th 7 pm 211 Bernhard Center

Sweet Crude is  the story of Nigeria’s  Niger Delta- the human and environmental  consequences of 50 years of oil extraction and the members of a new insurgency.

Sponsored by WMU Divest,  Kalamazoo Transition Working Group and 350 Kalamazoo

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Feminist Lunch
Tuesday, February 4, 2014

12:00 pm

Not just for cisters.

For our second feminist lunch of the semester, we’ll have Dr. Kuersten, WMU Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, with us facilitating a discussion on the new Michigan Rape Legislation aka ‘rape insurance’.

Consider reading :

Please come, listen, and speak your mind! We’re all here to learn, share, and progress.

A light lunch will be offered for donation by The Kalamazoo Peace Center Collective to raise money for their Capital Campaign (a journey to raise money for our own office inside the new Wesley Foundation for 2015). Feel free to bring a sack lunch as an alternative.

Questions about the event, please contact the Co-Director of the Kalamazoo Peace Center, Nola Wiersma,

Any questions about the topic can be directed to Dr. Ashlyn Kuersten at

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Film series on Palestine/Israel

Location: WMU: Multicultural Center in Trimpe Building: on Knollwood Ave. south of the traffic circle, across from the large parking lot behind the University Bookstore.

Peace Center and KNOW are showing three films to educate people about the Israel Palestine Conflict.

Come out to WMU for entertaining and moving films that show how Israelis and Palestinians are in fact often working together for a just peace.   And come see what exactly the U.S. is supporting in this area of the world.

-Wednesday, Feb 5: Occupation 101

-Wednesday, March 12: Budrus

-Wednesday, April 2: Where Should the Birds Fly-the first film made by Palestinians living the reality of Israel’s siege and blockade of Gaza

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KNOW is sponsoring a soup night fund raiser on Friday, March 21, 2014, at

6:00 pm. Please reserve the date! You don’t want to miss out on a

wonderful evening of KNOW’s famous soups and special entertainment. This is our primary event to fund KNOW’s activities during the year.

The location and other details to be announced soon.

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Some encouraging good news on how we saved the peace talks with Iran, excerpted from a note forwarded by Tobi:

“A few weeks ago we were looking at the prospect of Senator Menendez’s sanctions bill getting a veto-proof majority in the Senate and torpedoing the President’s negotiations with Iran.

Then things changed—check out the headlines from the last two weeks:

Previous Iran Sanctions Cosponsor won’t back new sanctions now

–National Journal, January 16

Support for new Iran sanctions wanes

—MSNBC. January 17

Another blow to the Iran sanctions bill
–Washington Post, January 22

How did this turnaround happen? One Senate staffer said: “more voters contacting the Hill with phone calls and emails, voicing opposition to the bill.”

In other words, we made this happen. Over the last few weeks since this legislation was announced, over 150,000 people have taken action, we’ve made over 10,000 phone calls and had petition deliveries all across the country.

What we’re doing is working and that’s exactly why we can’t let up now. What we’ve achieved over the last few weeks is proof that not only can we fight back against war—we can help create the space for politicians to become champions for diplomacy. “

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We invite you to LIKE our facebook page.

Check out “Critical Issues/Alternative Views” cable show on Sundays at 8pm on channel 95 and Tuesdays at 9pm on channel 97.  Also the shows are posted on youtube.

Thanks for reading this far!


Daniel Smith, KNOW communications chair