The story behind a story is sometimes worthy of print itself. For instance, this week’s cover package on Islam’s place in the economy looked for a while as if it would not happen. In his article on Hightstown-based pharmaceutical consultant Shazib Jamil, business editor Scott Morgan touches on the trouble he had just trying to find someone willing to represent the Muslim working-class experience in the region. Morgan turned first to Marilyn Jerry, who runs the law firm Jerry & Jerry with her husband, Chip, at 101 Poor Farm Road. Marilyn, who is not Muslim, has been a longtime member of the Princeton Middle East Society, which seeks to promote amity and eliminate prejudice where Muslims are concerned.

Over the decades, Jerry has gotten to know many Muslims, and she was eager to help U.S. 1 find a suitable profile candidate. But she immediately ran into resistance from the people she asked on our behalf. One businessman feared that his Jewish and conservative clients would react poorly to learning that he was Muslim. This same businessman, however, referred us to a friend who might be willing to talk. That friend — very politely — turned us down immediately.

Wrote Jerry in an E-mail: “Sometimes I get very discouraged because the climate of intimidation almost seems insurmountable, but I also believe that everyone who speaks out is part of the solution in that he or she has refused to be intimidated and may encourage others to do the same.”

Morgan’s second approach was to ask Dominick Mazzagetti, president of RomAsia Bank (U.S. 1, September 3, 2008) whether there was a suitable candidate among the bank’s associates and clientele. Umar Anjum, a vice president at RomAsia, suggested Jamil, who turned out to be open and accommodating.

The result of that interview, along with Bart Jackson’s article on Vali Nasr, the White House advisor speaking at Princeton University on December 8, appears on page 39. The photographs of Jamil and his mother were taken by Suzette Lucas.

#b#Mark Your Calendars#/b#

Gods of the printing press willing, U.S. 1 will deliver its annual wall calendar on Wednesday, December 22. It’s at the printer now, and people are already beginning to ask for it, so now is the time to remind all of you that this free wall calendar — one of the last extant publications of its type — is coming your way.

Parties and party crashing is the theme of the 2011 calendar, but it will not include many of the 2010 New Year’s Eve events now being planned. For that information we recommend the coming issues of U.S. 1 and the event listings at our website, www.princetoninfo.com. If your organization or entertainment venue has a December 31 event open to the public, please send the information our way so that we can include it in our listings. Fax 609-452-0033 or E-mail events@princetoninfo.com.

We look forward to your event (and promise not to crash it unless you really want us to).

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