A Muslim couple hailing from Pakistan announced a $15 million gift to the University of Notre Dame, one of the top Catholic universities, The New York Times reported on Friday.Rafat and Zoreen Ansari, who have spent over 40 years working as medical doctors and raising their children, have earned a reputation as civic leaders in South Bend, Indiana.Their donation will create the Rafat and Zoreen Ansari Institute for Global Engagement With Religion at University of Notre Dame. The institute will work on deepening knowledge of religion and spread awareness about the traditions and practices of various religions.â€œWe came as immigrants, and this country has given us so much,â€ Mrs. Ansari said in an interview ahead of the announcement. â€œWe want to give something back to America, but also to humanity. We want to promote the idea of equality.â€The generous gift was a well thought out decision by the couple. â€œWeâ€™re not billionaires,â€ Mrs. Ansari, who practices family medicine, said while speaking to New York Times. â€œWe had to think, how is it going to affect us? There were a lot of parts.â€The two doctors, whose youngest child is autistic, have spent thousands of hours and donated over $1 million to nonprofit organizations associated with autism in children.The couple and their children, who identify as Muslims, began working on a larger gift a year and half ago, when they decided to fund something that would foster a better understanding of religion, including Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. The family, which believes that all religions should be treated with equal respect, aims at fostering religious harmony through a better understanding of religious beliefs.â€œSome of this money is our childrenâ€™s money,â€ Mr. Ansari said. â€œIt would have gone to them. But they came to realize this is a legacy for us,â€ he added while discussing the future inheritance of their three children who were involved in the discussions and planning of the gift.The gift comes in at a politically charged time when the US and Europe are reconsidering immigration laws for the Muslim community. The gift, which is 18 months in the making, was not extended to make a political statement according to the couple and the university. However, both parties acknowledged that the timing of the announcement could lead people to assign political motivation as a possible reason. â€œIn the last couple of years, the majority of problems have been created by the misunderstandings among the religions,â€ said Mr. Ansari, an oncologist and hematologist. â€œIs this the right time for the announcement? Yes, because there is so much going on.â€
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Next NEW YORK: The US government took the legal battle over President Donald Trump’s travel ban to a higher court on Friday, saying it would appeal a federal judge’s decision that struck down parts of the ban on the day it was set to go into effect. The Department of Justice said in a court filing it would appeal a ruling by U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. Chuang on Thursday issued an emergency halt to the portion of Trump’s March 6 executive order temporarily banning the entry of travelers from six Muslim-majority countries. He left in place the section of the order that barred the entry of refugees to the United States for four months. Another federal judge in Hawaii struck down both sections of the ban in a broader court ruling that prevented Trump’s order from moving forward. In Washington state, where the ban is also being challenged, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart put a stay on proceedings for as long as the Hawaii court’s nationwide temporary restraining order remains in place, to “conserve resources” and to avoid duplicative rulings. The decisions came in response to lawsuits brought by states’ attorneys general in Hawaii and refugee resettlement agencies in Maryland who were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center. Detractors argue the ban discriminated against Muslims in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom. Trump says the measure is necessary for national security to protect the country from terrorist attacks. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at a press briefing the government would “vigorously defend this executive order” and appeal the “flawed rulings.” He said the plan was to appeal at the 4th Circuit first and then seek clarification of Hawaii’s ruling before appealing to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The 9th Circuit court last month upheld a decision by Judge Robart that halted an original, more sweeping travel ban signed by the President on Jan. 27 in response to a lawsuit filed by Washington State. The new executive order was reissued with the intention of overcoming the legal concerns. Trump has vowed to take the fight all the way to U.S. Supreme Court. The 4th Circuit is known as a more conservative court compared to the 9th Circuit, said Buzz Frahn, an attorney at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett who has been tracking the litigation nationwide. “The Government is probably thinking that the 4th Circuit … would lend a friendlier ear to its arguments,” he said. Judges have said they are willing to look behind the text of the order, which does not mention Islam, to probe the motivation for enacting the ban, said Frahn. Trump during the campaign promised to ban Muslims from entering the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently split 4-4 between liberals and conservatives with Trump’s pick for the high court – appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch – still awaiting confirmation. Hans von Spakovsky, from the Washington D.C.-based Heritage Foundation said that the Department of Justice might want to time their appeals to reach the Supreme Court after Gorsuch is confirmed. He said the court would be likely to hear the case. “They will take it because of its national importance,” he said.
Srinagar: In occupied Kashmir, the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Gilani, and …