June 28, 2011

Rajab 26, 1432

Issue# 3

 

IN THIS ISSUE:

 

NEWS TO KNOW:

 

Muslim shot in hate crime wants attacker forgiven (KHOU Channel 11)
A Muslim man who was shot in a hate crime following the 9/11 terrorist attacks is calling for forgiveness for his attacker.  
September 11th was a day that would forever change the nation's psyche and it set events in motion that, 10 days later, would forever change Rais Bhuiyan's life.

(Read More)

 

 

Muslim report shows rise of Islamophobia in America (Houston Chronicle)

Incidents of Islamophobia increased significantly last year and the American perspective of Muslims worsened amid heavily publicized controversies like the Islamic center near Ground Zero and a pastor’s planned Quran-burning, according to a report released Thursday, combining data collected by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and University of California, Berkeley’s Center on Race and Gender.

The Muslim community is trying to recover from falling favorability, down to 30 percent, according to the Pew Center, and CAIR charged American Muslims to become more active in their communities as a way to personally counter the negative stereotypes their neighbors may hold.

(Read More)

 

 

Houston Clergy Council opposes Perry’s prayer rally (Houston Chronicle)

Gov. Rick Perry’s upcoming prayer event has concerned progressive Christian leaders in Houston, who have written a letter criticizing the governor for excluding non-Christians, partnering with an anti-gay group and blurring boundaries between church and state. “We ask that Rick Perry leave the ministry to us and refocus his energy on the work of governing our state,” the Houston Clergy Council wrote in a letter signed by 24 local leaders, many of them Unitarian Universalists or members of other denominations that welcome GLBT Christians.
They argue that the nature of Perry’s event, scheduled for Aug. 6 at Reliant Stadium, does not fit with Houston’s religious diversity.
Their criticisms echo a chorus of concerned groups, including the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, the Houston chapter of the Council of American-Islamic relations and the Interfaith Alliance. About 300 Texans plan to protest the event, and the Houston Clergy Council may schedule a pro-tolerance speaker as counter-programming to Perry’s Christian-centric message.

(Read More)

 

 

Perry's upcoming prayer event draws sharp criticism (Houston Chronicle)
The website for the event, dubbed "The Response," includes a statement from Perry: "Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy." Mustafaa Carroll, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Houston, said he regretted that the service would be strictly Christian.
"We're down with the prayer part," Carroll said. "I just wish they would join other people in the prayer. It would be more productive to ask the whole community."

(Read More)

 

 

Muslims in America Should seek the Reset Button - CAIR, UC Berkeley Released First Annual Islamophobia Report (IslamOnline)
On Thursday, June 23, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Race and Gender held a news conference on Capitol Hill to release "Same Hate, New Target," the first-of-its-kind annual report outlining the disturbing growth of Islamophobia in the United States during 2009-2010. The report is co-sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
"This groundbreaking report creates a benchmark for examining the troubling growth of anti-Muslim sentiment in our society and offers a who's who of those promoting or challenging Islamophobia," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

(Read More)

 

 

HFD: Southwest Houston mosque deliberately set on fire (KHOU Channel 11)

At Madrasah Islamiah in southwest Houston, the sound of afternoon prayer fills the air, as does the lingering scent of smoke.  It’s a grim, yet constant, reminder that someone deliberately set fire to the mosque over the weekend.

(Read More)

 

 

FBI, ATF Monitoring Mosque Fire Investigation (Fox 26 News)

The FBI and the Bureau for Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are monitoring an investigation into southwest Houston mosque fire.

The Council for American-Islamic Relations is calling the fire at Madrasah Islamiah in the 6600 block of Bintliff Drive a possible hate crime, according to a CAIR statement.

(Read More)


Quick News: Texas Muslims to launch campaign against Islamophobia (Press TV)

On Friday, June 10, the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Texas (CAIR-Houston) will hold a news conference to launch a billboard campaign designed to help challenge growing anti-Muslim sentiment in American society. The launch of the CAIR-Houston "Peace and Unity" campaign will take place under a billboard depicting diverse representatives of the state's Muslim community, with the headline "Proud Americans, Proud Texans, Proud Muslims." Other billboards in the CAIR-Houston campaign will stress interfaith understanding.

(Read More)

 

 

 US: Texas Muslims Launch Campaign against Islamophobia (Islamonline.net Doha)
By Omer Ibrahim
On Friday,10 June 2011, the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Texas (CAIR-Houston) held a news conference to launch a billboard campaign designed to help challenge growing anti-Muslim sentiment in American society. The launch of the CAIR-Houston "Peace and Unity" campaign will take place under a billboard depicting diverse representatives of the state's Muslim community, with the headline "Proud Americans, Proud Texans, Proud Muslims." Other billboards in the CAIR-Houston campaign will stress interfaith understanding.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has urged the United States to repudiate growing Islam phobia in the American society, following an attack on a Muslim man in Florida. "Elected officials in Florida and nationwide must begin to address the rising level of Islam phobia in our society that can lead to violent incidents or acts of discrimination targeting ordinary Muslims," The Nation quoted Ramzy KiliÁ, CAIR's Communications Director in Tampa, as saying in a statement.

(Read More)

 

 

CAIR: Texas Muslims to Launch Billboard Campaign Against Islamophobia (PRN News)

On Friday, June 10, the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Texas (CAIR-Houston) will hold a news conference to launch a billboard campaign designed to help challenge growing anti-Muslim sentiment in American society.

The launch of the CAIR-Houston "Peace and Unity" campaign will take place under a billboard depicting diverse representatives of the state's Muslim community, with the headline "Proud Americans, Proud Texans, Proud Muslims." Other billboards in the CAIR-Houston campaign will stress interfaith understanding.

(Read More)

 

 

Texas Muslims Take a Trip to the Capitol (Houston Chronicle Blog)

I am so not a morning person. So you can imagine how difficult it was for me to rub the sleep from my eyes at 4:15 AM last week so I could board a charter bus to Austin. It was for a worthy cause, though, so I dragged myself out of bed and got ready to join other Houston area Muslims (and a few non-Muslims) on a trip to our capitol for “Texas Muslim Capitol Day.” The event was organized by the Texas chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to encourage civic participation among Muslims and show our representatives in Austin that we DO care about local and national issues. Like their fellow citizens, many Muslims don’t keep abreast of local politics, let alone vote, so this was a prime opportunity to change that. Representatives from the Houston Peace and Justice Center (HPJC) and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) joined us on our journey.

(Read More)

 

 

Eye Witness Account of the Texas Muslims Trip to the Capitol (The Muslim Observer)

The event was organized by the Texas chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to encourage civic participation among Muslims and show our representatives in Austin that we DO care about local and national issues. Like their fellow citizens, many Muslims don’t keep abreast of local politics, let alone vote, so this was a prime opportunity to change that.

(Read More)

 


Friendswood teacher resigns after bin Laden comment (KHOU Channel 11)
 A Clear Brook High School teacher who was accused of making an insensitive comment about the death of Osama bin Laden to a Muslim student resigned Monday, district officials said. The Clear Creek Independent School District last week placed the teacher on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of a personnel investigation after the student claimed he said to her, "I bet you’re grieving" in regard to bin Laden’s death on May 1.

(Read More)

 

 

Houston leader on bin Laden’s death, burial and whether he’s going to hell
(Houston Chronicle)

Mustafaa Carroll offers a Muslim perspective on the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Osama bin Laden’s death brings relief to the Muslim community and further inspires people of all faiths to fight hate, but people shouldn’t be so quick to do all-out celebrations or condemn the leader to hell, according to Mustafaa Caroll, the director of the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations. I chatted with Carroll this morning, the day after President Barack Obama announced U.S. forces had killed the al-Qaida head.

(Read More)

 

 

Houston Muslims react to the death of Osama bin Laden (Examiner)
Many Muslims within the Houston Islamic community are relieved to hear about the death of Osama bin Laden, the founder of the Al-Qaida organization and alleged mastermind of the September 11th attacks upon the United States World Trade Center. Muslim leaders in Houston have openly declared their relief. Mustafaa Caroll, Director of the Houston Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, also known as CAIR, has stated, "I was praying that it would bring closure to the families who had family members killed on 9/11.

(Read More)

KEEP IN TOUCH:

Phone:     (713) 838-CAIR

 

Address: 5445 Almeda Rd.                    Suite 301                                Houston, TX 77004                    

 

To make a tax deductible donation to CAIR-TX, please visit our website below.

Bismillah

"And what will explain to you what the steep path is? It is the freeing of a (slave) from bondage; or the giving of food in a day of famine to an orphan relative, or to a needy in distress. Then will he be of those who believe, enjoin fortitude and encourage kindness and compassion"

(Holy Qur'an Chapter 90, Verses 12-17)

"Show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant" (Holy Qur'an Chapter 7, Verse 199)

 

Executive Director's Message

Different Faiths, One Family, Come Together: Focus on the Good!
 

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatoh! In June CAIR-TX initiated its Peace and Unity Campaign as a response to anti-Muslim sentiment, Islamophobia, and a call for unity among all Americans. If there was ever a time to heed the call for peace and unity in America … it’s now. The current polarizing narratives that are amok in our society do not serve our country well. The freedoms that we have enjoyed as Americans cannot survive this onslaught of negativity unless we change those narratives to more peaceful, unifying overtures. On Thursday June 23, 2011 we announced the release of “Same Hate, New Target” Although this Islamophobia report had some troubling trends that must be addressed, it has more important positive trends that should be our focus. Achieving balance and focusing on “the good” in these times can be challenging for advocacy groups and community alike. You may recall Pareto’s Law or the 80/20 rule. This rule can be applied to almost any situation. It essentially says we spend 80% of the time dealing with 20% of our challenges. June 15, 2011 marked my one year anniversary with CAIR-TX, Houston Chapter, and what a year it’s been! Al hamdu-illah, we have met many of our challenges head-on. We continually have opportunities to promote an accurate image of Islam and Muslims, while empowering Muslims to be their own advocate. The Houston community seems to have embraced our outreach efforts, and we continue to build coalitions that promote justice, mutual respect, and a sense of unity. These relationships are invaluable, and we hope to make our peace and unity initiative the mantel in everything we do! Insha Allah, we will spend 80% of our time building relationships and focusing on the good in the Greater Houston Community!

 

As-Salaam'u'Alaikum!

 

Mustafaa Carroll

Executive Director

 

Latest Announcements

Save the Date For CAIR-Texas' Annual Banquet

"Different Faiths, One Family... Come Together"

July 30th, 2011 - Westin Oaks - Galleria Hotel - 6:30pm

Keynote Speaker: Professor John Esposito, Professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University and co-author of "Who Speaks for Islam: What a Billions Muslims Really Think" and

Sarwat Husain, Vice President of CAIR National and President, CAIR-San Antonio.

Click on Image to Register Now

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The Mayor’s Annual Ramadan Iftar and Dinner
Saturday, August 6th, 2011
Starts at 6:30 p.m.
George Bush Grand Ball Room (3rd Floor)
George R. Brown Convention Center

1001 Ave De Las Americas Houston, TX 77010

RSVP: Humayun Mahmood 713.524.6615 mailto:humayun@isgh.org?subject=RSVP%20To%20Mayor%27s%20Iftar; Mustafa Carroll 713.838.2247 mailto:info@cairhouston.org?subject=RSVP%20to%20Mayor%27s%20Iftar.

 
Over 1,500 people are expected to attend this event with a budget of $25,000. Please send monetary contributions to:  Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH), Mayor's Ramadan Iftar, 3110 Easeside Dr., Houston, TX. 77098. Your generosity is appreciated.

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New Outreach Coordinator at CAIR Texas:

Shireen Jasser is a new resident to Houston  from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Professionally, she is a licensed social worker with a masters degree from the University of Southern California with a concentration in Community Organizing, Planning and Administration. Shireen has both experience as a therapist and a community organizer from her time as a CAIR LA intern and living in Los Angeles and Albuquerque. She is eager to work with the Houston Muslim community. To coordinate outreach activities please email, mailto:shireen.jasser@cairhouston.org?subject=Outreach%20Activity.

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New Summer Internship Program
CAIR-Texas recently initiated an internship program, which is open to high school/college students and recent college graduates. Interns work in multiple departments - civil rights, media, government relations or outreach. They are also constantly exposed to day-to-day happenings at the office, whether it involves investigating a civil rights case, or helping organize a press conference or pushing forward the American Muslim perspective in advocacy and community meetings. This summer CAIR Houston is blessed to have two excellent interns, Muhammad and Omar Harirah who are currently attending Clear Springs High School.

To become a CAIR-Texas Intern or volunteer, please email: mailto:info@cairhouston.org?subject=Summer%20Internship.

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Follow Us On Facebook, Twitter.. and now YouTube

CAIR Texas has a new YouTube page with all the latest news. Please subscribe to the channel at: www.youtube.com/CAIRTEXAS.

 

        

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What Has CAIR-TX Been Up To?

Our civil rights has included several projects with multiple organizations, the latest includes:

 

Press Conference: Call for Compassion

(Houston, TX 6/15/11) – The Houston, Texas Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-TX, Houston) in conjunction with Greater Houston area religious leaders and human rights activists gathered Friday June 24, 2011 at the Dominican Sisters in support of Rais Bhuiyan’s call for “compassion, healing and forgiveness” on behalf of the man sentenced to death after shooting him and killing two others. 

 

SEE Interview: Muslim shot in hate crime wants attacker forgiven (KHOU Channel 11)

 

 

SEE: 9/11 Hate-Crime Victim Seeks To Save His Attacker (NPR)

 

 

SEE: A victim of 9/11 hate crime now fights for his attacker's life (MSNBC)

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Peace & Unity Billboard Launched Across Houston

Ten billboards were launched across Houston in response to increased anti-Muslim sentiment or Islamophobia resulting in an increase in civil rights complaints from Muslims, increased hate speech and anti-Muslim rhetoric that is fueling a higher potential for violence that recently included two local Mosques targeted by arsonists in the Greater Houston area.

The campaign is intended to encourage unity, to decrease polarity, and to highlight the contributions of American Muslims as productive, patriotic, “normal” citizens who make enormous contributions to our society. American Muslims embrace diversity, and have been an integral part of American Society for well over 200 years.

We need to change the vitriolic narrative of hate and intolerance that has become prevalent in discourse regarding Islam and Muslims in America. Working with people of all faiths, our coalition partners, and other Muslim organizations the Council on American Islamic Relations aims to help dispel stereotypes and misinformation in order to humanize American Muslims, to decrease Islamophobia, and stop the targeting of Muslims in hate related incidents that has steadily increased in the United States after the tragedy of 9/11.  It is our sincere hope that this initiative will encourage more peace and increased unity among all Americans. 

 

 

 

SEE Video: CAIR-Houston Launches Billboard Campaign to Promote Unity (ABC 13)


 

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Texas Muslim Capitol Day in Austin: May 26, 2011

State Representative Lon Burnam's (D-90) was the host of the meeting which encouraged civic participation of the Texas Muslim community. State House Representatives were invited to speak at the forum. Most concerning was the upcoming HB1-budget bill, and HB275 the anti-Shariah law legislation. Furthermore, coalition partners in attendance included: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Dallas Peace Center (DPC), Houston Peace and Justice Center (HPJC), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Muslim American Society (MAS), National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Shades of White (SOW).

 

SEE: Texas Muslims Take a Trip to the Capitol (Houston Chronicle Blog)

 

SEE: Eye Witness Account of the Texas Muslims Trip to the Capitol (The Muslim Observer)

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CAIR, UC Berkeley to Release First Annual Islamophobia Report

On Thursday, June 23, the Texas Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-TX) held a news conference at its Houston office to release “Same Hate, New Target,” the first-of-its-kind annual report outlining the disturbing growth of Islamophobia (unfounded fear and hostility towards Islam).  Such fear and hostility leads to discrimination against Muslims, exclusion of Muslims from mainstream political or social process, stereotyping, the presumption of guilt by association, and finally hate crimes in the United States during 2009-2010.  The report is the result of a collaborative effort between CAIR and the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender. 

Using information gathered from the PEW Research Center the report cites some disturbing trends and some encouraging trends that impact the American Muslim community. Some negative trends include the public’s view of Islam sinking from 40% in 2001 to 30% in 2010, and that 45% of Americans agree that Islam is at odds with American values.  Some more positive trends include 75% of the general public favoring Islam, and a person’s Muslim faith considered an asset in private employment and public service.  The report also makes detailed recommendations to American Muslim individuals as to what they can personally do to help stem the tide of growing Islamophobia in America.

 

The groundbreaking report also lists the “worst” Islamophobes and the “best” of those pushing back against growing anti-Muslim sentiment in American society.

“This groundbreaking report creates a benchmark for examining the troubling growth of anti-Muslim sentiment in our society and offers a who’s who of those promoting or challenging Islamophobia,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “As the recent GOP presidential debate demonstrated, Islamophobia is moving toward the mainstream and therefore must be challenged by all Americans who learned from those periods in our nation’s history when other minorities were similarly targeted.”

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Interfaith Workers Justice Center: Labor in the Pulpits, on the Bimah, in the Minbar - Featuring Speaker Brother Mustafaa Carroll

 

This conference comprised of Interfaith leaders of the Houston community, Br Mustafaa Carroll spoke on the Islamic perspective of labor and economic rights of employees.

 

SEE: Labor in the Minbar: Muslim Readings and Prayers by Hussam Ayloush - CAIR-LA Executive Director

 

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CAIR-Texas Executive Director Interviewed about Friendswood teacher resigns after bin Laden comment

A Clear Brook High School teacher who was accused of making an insensitive comment about the death of Osama bin Laden to a Muslim student resigned Monday, district officials said. The Clear Creek Independent School District last week placed the teacher on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of a personnel investigation after the student claimed he said to her, "I bet you’re grieving" in regard to bin Laden’s death on May 1. The teacher will remain on leave without pay until his current contract expires at the end of the school year.

 

SEE Video: Teacher on Leave for Teasing Muslim Student (CAIR-TX) (KHOU Channel 11)

 

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CAIR-Texas Executive Director Interviewed on Recent Targeting of Houston Mosques

 

CAIR calls on FBI to probe mosque arson as hate crime. Security video of two masked young men is being reviewed by arson investigators after a mosque in Houston suffered fire damage. The Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday issued a statement asking that the incident being investigated as a possible hate crime.

 

SEE: Arson suspected at Muslim mosque in Houston (ABC Channel 13)

 

SEE Video: CAIR Asks FBI to Probe Fires at Texas Mosque (ABC Channel 13)
                  _________________________________

 

CAIR-Texas Executive Director Interviewed on Osama Bin Laden's Death (Houston Chronicle)

Mustafaa Carroll offers a Muslim perspective on the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Osama bin Laden’s death brings relief to the Muslim community and further inspires people of all faiths to fight hate, but people shouldn’t be so quick to do all-out celebrations or condemn the leader to hell, according to Mustafaa Caroll, the director of the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

 

SEE: Houston leader on bin Laden’s death, burial and whether he’s going to hell (Houston Chronicle)

 

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Press Conference: CAIR-TX Welcomes Elimination of Osama Bin Laden (May 2, 2011)

 

In a statement issued following President Obama's announcement of bin Laden's death, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) said: "We join our fellow citizens in welcoming the announcement that Osama bin Laden has been eliminated as a threat to our nation and the world through the actions of American military personnel. As we have stated repeatedly since the 9/11 terror attacks, bin Laden never represented Muslims or Islam. In fact, in addition to the killing of thousands of Americans, he and Al Qaeda caused the deaths of countless Muslims worldwide. We also reiterate President Obama's clear statement tonight that the United States is not at war with Islam."

CAIR coordinated one of the first joint American Muslim statements condemning the 9/11 terror attacks, issued just hours after they occurred.

 

To read about CAIR's anti-terror initiatives, click here.

 

SEE: Houston Muslims react to the death of Osama bin Laden (Examiner)

 

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Other events CAIR Staff was in participation:

  • Conversation with Imam Rauf at the Rothko Chapel
  • An-Nisa' Hope Center Grand Opening,
  • Houston Unido March and Rally For All Texas Working Families and Immigrant Rights;
  • 1190 AM Radio Interview on Bin Laden Death with Rich Hancock;
  • Luncheon Forum: Hon. Vicente Fox by the Gulen Institute;
  • Discussion of "Moozlum" at Doc Bookstore in Arlington, Texas (Panelist);
  • Compassionate Houston Interfaith Leadership Breakfast at the Interfaith Ministries;
  • Indo-American Chamber event at City Hall to Honor Nash Patel with Chief McClelland;
  • RadioInterview KPFT 90.1 Arab Voices regarding Islamophobia, Billboards and Anti-Shariah Laws;
  • Houston Peace & Justice Center Vigil Honoring Victims of the War on Terror;
  • Cresent Youth Summer Volunteer Fair;
  • Radio Interview: Light of Islam Radio regarding Islamophobia;
  • Press Conference hosted by American GI Forum and LULAC denouncing HB 12 and SB 9;
  • Radio Interview on Empowerment Radio with Tunde Obazee;
  • Radio Interview on KRLD NewsRadio 1080 in Dallas regarding death of Osama Bin Laden;
  • Radio interview on KTRH on death of Osama Bin Laden
  • and others..

Upcoming Events

 

  • CAIR Texas Annual Banquet July 30th, 2011 at Westin Oaks - Galleria Hotel - REGISTER NOW
  • Mayor's Iftar: August 6th, 2011 at the George R. Brown Center

 

Want a CAIR Workshop?

If you would like CAIR-TX to schedule a workshop at your local masjid, youth group, or school please email info@cairhouston.org and send us the contact information of your local masjid's Events Coordinator or directions along with the date that you would like to have it.

 

 

 

Volunteer with CAIR

With big upcoming events at CAIR, we would appreciate your help and support advertising CAIR events or volunteerism. To volunteer at upcoming events please email: info@cairhouston.org and you will be contacted shortly.

 

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