Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida on September 29, 2002 · 65
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Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida · 65

St. Petersburg, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 29, 2002
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ARTS: The curtain rises again on the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. 8F FLORIDIAN TOCONTACTUS ABOUT FLORIDIAN: By phone: (727) 893-8221 or (800)333-7505,e)(L 8221 By fax: (727) 892-2327 By e-mail: floridiansptimes.com SECTION F SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2002 THE TIMES SUNDAY Times photo TONI L. SANDYS A school bus demonstrates the precautions Muslims are taking: school officials at the Islamic Academy of Florida in Temple Terrace painted over the word "Islamic" so the bus wouldn't draw unwanted attention on the roads. Muslim-Americans cope with stares, insidious remarks and threats of violence because in some people's minds, their faith links them with terrorism. Lessons in patience By JOCELYN WIENER Times Staff Writer A: TAMPA 1 6 every morning, before the students arrive, principal Abdulmajid Biuk checks the . premises of die Islamic Academy of Florida. He searches the bushes that line the playgrounds on the 15-acre campus of the K-12 school He tries the doors of kindergarten classrooms painted with giraffes, elephants and zebras to make sure they've remained locked overnight He notes any suspicious vehicles. When he began working at the 300-student school near the University of South Florida 2VS years ago, Biuk never imagined he would start every day this way. But then he could not have envisioned the fear and confusion that have pervaded his community since Sept 11, 2001. Although the ceremonies and media coverage surrounding the anniversary of the national tragedy have come to a halt in recent weeks, many Muslims and Arabs say they continue to be targets of profiling and suspicion. Only two days after the anniversary, three Muslim medical students on their way to a nine-week clinical rotation at a Miami hospital were arrested and held for 17 hours. Eunice Stone, a Georgia nurse, had told authorities she thought she overheard the men making vague threats, including, They mourned on 911, and they are going to mourn again on 913." As a result a 20-mile section of Interstate 75 was closed for most of a day while hundreds of law enforcement officers and dogs combed the area for evidence. Stone's allegation ultimately was determined to be a false alarm "We kept saying all along that there's some kind of double standard," Biuk says. They were not even talking about anything and all of the sudden the media and law enforcement were all over them. Please see PATIENCE 3F SUNDAY JOURNAL After death, ties still bind By MARGO HAMMOND Like animals who suddenly start washing themselves or nibbling on a piece of food when they confront overwhelming danger, those of us coping with the death of a loved one often focus on the most trivial of details. Something, anything I guess, to distract ourselves is better than looking square into the gaping abyss that we imagine death to be. So when my dad died, it was perhaps not surprising how . much my family obsessed about his necktie. By the time my younger sister and I arrived in Kenosha from out of town, my father's body already had been sent to the funeral parlor to be prepared. My two older sisters, who LVe closer by, had arrived earlier and had helped my mom decide on the attire my dad would be buried in: a favorite dark blue pin-striped suit, a white shirt and a new powdery blue tie that he had never had the chance . ' to actually wear in life. When I asked about the clothes, I was surprised by the tie my mom had picked out and told her so. "Oh, it wasn't my first choice. I had picked out another tie that tie that he wore to our 50th anniversary party, remember? He always loved that tie," she said, her voice trailing off. "So why didn't you use that one?" I asked, remembering well the tie and its many colors forming something that reminded me of a stain-glass window. "Oh, your sisters convinced me it was nicer to have the paler blue tie to match the casket" she said, adding in a voice that I found rather unconvincing, "It is a very nice tie, and it does match the casket beautifully." Match the casket' Wasn't it more important to choose something that had some meaning? Shouldn't my dad be buried in one of the many cravats that would remind us of sweet memories? The anniversary tie, for example, or that tie covered with cascading shades of blue that he wore to nearly every special event in our lives. Or how about the dark navy blue one with the little red stars I gave him, and he dragged out every time I came home for Christmas? Even that gaudy flowered tie he wore for the newspaper photographer at least would have had a story behind it (Wanting to surprise my mom about having his picture in the paper, he uncharacteristically chose the tie without consulting her. My mom was surprised all right When she saw the photograph all she could think of saying to him was: "Why on earth did you pick that tie? It doesn't match your suit') No, there was no mistake about it My younger sister and I, perhaps in some karmic attempt to finally gain ascendency over our older siblings, now had a mission in life: the new J powdery blue tie had to go. Please see JOURNAL 4F Since the day man landed on the moon, conspiracy theorists have put forth "evidence" that the missions were faked. Now the debate rages in a new kind of space cyber. 1 1111 unar lacy Tt was one small punch for a man, but it made the news. On Sept 9, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, 72, one of the two men who made the first landing on the moon in II 1969, landed a fist on the jaw of filmmaker Bart Sibrel, 37. Aldrin had gone to a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., for what he had thought was an interview with a Japanese TV show. Instead, he was confronted by Sibrel, who operates a video production company in Nashville and has made a career out of perpetuating the notion that NASA's Apollo moon missions were hoaxes. As he's done before to several Apollo astronauts, Sibrel tried to get Aldrin to swear on a Bible that he had really been on the moon. Aldrin's lawyer, Robert O'Brien, said the next day that the 6-foot-2, 250-pound Sibrel forced Aldrin up against a wall and refused to let him leave, so Aldrin launched the punch in self-defense. (On Sept 21, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced it would not file charges against Aldrin, saying that he had been provoked into hitting Sibrel) Sibrel told reporters he had confronted Aldrin twice before but didnt expect to get clocked this time. "I was very surprised that he hit me. I thought it was very foolish of him to do it in front of two video cameras," Sibrel said. "He has a good punch. It was quick, too. I didn't see it coming." About those video cameras: Sibrel's stock in trade is A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to tiie Moon, a "documentary" sold in VHS and DVD on his Web site (www.moonmovie.com). The movie expounds on the theory that the moon landings weren't moon landings at all but special-effects movies shot in terrestrial studios and broadcast to a duped world Please see LUNAR 3F STORY BY COLETTE BANCROFT PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY JEFF GOERTZEN OF THE TIMES

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