Religious Diversity News

Showing all news articles in metro area Boston.

A Backdrop On Islam In America

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Harvard Gazette

American leaders who criticize the proposed Islamic community center in lower Manhattan are not only shamelessly exploiting American fears about Islam for political gain, but are fruitlessly flailing against a new demographic reality, said Ali Asani, professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic religion and cultures at Harvard.

Asani was among the participants at a packed teach-in on Tuesday (Sept. 21) in Boylston Hall that explored why the proposed center has become such a national controversy.

A Call to Prayer, a Long Quest Fulfilled

Author: Michael Paulson

Source: The Boston Globe

&amAt midday today, a local Muslim will clamber 185 feet up a ladder inside the narrow minaret atop the domed brick mosque and recite Islam’s haunting call to prayer, starting with the words, “Allahu akbar,’’ Arabic for

p;ldquo;God is great.’’

The chant will mark the ceremonial opening of one of the most disputed projects in Boston’s long history of prominent religious edifices, a celebration that follows 20 years of controversy, litigation, and financial challenges.

Critics of the $15.6 million mosque in Roxbury Crossing continue to assert that it is backed by extremists and will become a breeding ground for hatred.

But for many local Muslims, the criticisms are biased and racist, the controversy a tragic distraction from what they view as a joyful moment. They have succeeded, they said, in constructing a landmark facility that heralds their presence in a city founded by people fleeing religious persecution.

“This is the culmination of 20 years of the Muslim community’s aspirations and efforts in the face of various challenges,’’ said Bilal Kaleem, 29, an MIT-trained computer scientist who serves as executive director of the Muslim American Society’s Boston chapter, which is overseeing the new mosque. “It is a symbol of the Muslim community’s growth and development and a triumph of pluralism.’’

A Humanist Resolution to Overcome the Faith Gap

Author: Chris Stedman

Source: The Huffington Post

It may be mid-January, but I’m still thinking of Christmas.


The week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve just might be my favorite of the year. It is the one time that my entire family gets together. We spend several days eating our favorite foods, catching up and playing board games.

ADL Leaders Defend Opposition to Mosque Near Ground Zero

Author: David Abel

Source: The Boston Globe

Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, was confronted at the organization’s annual meeting today in Boston by members who suggested his opposition to a proposed Islamic center near the site of the terrorist attacks in New York has sullied the century-old organization’s reputation for fighting prejudice and promoting religious freedom.

After Foxman delivered an address about the rise of anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States, one audience member at the Sheraton Boston Hotel urged him to consider changing the leadership’s position about the location of the so-called Ground Zero mosque. He described it as “wrong substantively and wrong strategically” and said it put the ADL “in bed with bigots” and gives them “the cover of legitimacy.”

Ads Spur Conflict Between Jews and Muslims in Boston

Source: The Boston Globe

On January 5, 2006 The Boston Globe reported, “Controversy over the mosque being built by the Islamic Society of Boston has done serious damage to relations between Muslims and Jews in Boston, members of both groups say.

The Islamic Society and Jewish community leaders have suspended meetings to discuss their differences, and their stalemate has now been blazoned across the pages of the Jewish Advocate, the newspaper of the local Jewish community.

A full-page advertisement to be published in that paper today calls a defamation suit filed by the Islamic Society an attempt ‘to stifle public discussion and dissuade others from asking legitimate and important questions.’

The ad was a response to an earlier one paid for by the Islamic Society, which called on Jewish leaders to stand with them against intolerance… At the heart of the impasse are assertions that former and current officials of the Islamic Society of Boston had connections to terrorist groups and made anti-Jewish statements.

The Islamic Society has denied any connection to terrorism, and officials say they have repeatedly distanced themselves from anti-Jewish remarks by some of the society’s leaders.”

After Vandalism, Brandeis Imam Asks for Return Of Quran

Author: Joyce Kelly

Source: The Daily News Tribune/GateHouse News Service

After vandals wreaked havoc on the Muslim Student Association suite last week, Imam Talal Eid, Brandeis University’s Muslim chaplain, said the theft of his Quran “is what keeps me upset.”

“I use it for my sermon, and it had my notes in it – it’s the work of two years,” said Eid, his voice shaking slightly.

“The notes cannot be replaced, so I have to start all over again,” said Eid, founder of the Islamic Institute of Boston (

Eid is asking whoever has his Quran to “please return it.”

Last Friday, just four weeks after $80,000 worth of renovations were completed, the Muslim Student Association’s suite was vandalized, Eid said.

Americans for Peace And Tolerance Advise Governor Patrick And Mayor Menino – Don’t Embrace Extremist Leadership In Boston

Author: Staff Writer

Source: PRNewswire

On June 26, Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will be honored guests at the grand opening of the Islamic Society of Boston’s Cultural Center in Roxbury, Massachusetts. We wish the Boston Muslim community well in their new cultural and religious center, and we celebrate the growing religious diversity it represents.

We are deeply concerned, however, about the extremist leadership of this new i


* The ISB was founded by Abdulrahman Alamoudi, currently serving 23 years in prison on terrorism charges. An original trustee of the ISB, Yusuf Qaradawi, is the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He promotes hatred and violence against Americans, Jews, women, and homosexuals. Current ISB President Osama Kandil was a director of Taibeh International – a Muslim charity designated as a terrorist entity by the US Government in 2004.

* Jamal Badawi, a recently-appointed Trustee of the ISBCC, was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of a Muslim charity (Holy Land Foundation).(1) The Holy Land Foundation was recently convicted for sending money to the terrorist group Hamas.

Ancient Iraqi Minority Group Seeks Mass. Center

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Boston Channel

Wire Service: AP

Refugee activists are hoping to build a Mandaean cultural center somewhere in Massachusetts as more Iraqi Mandaean refugees relocate to the Bay State.

Mandaean doctor Wisam Breegi said activists are developing plans to raise $2.5 million for a cultural center that would offer job training to Mandaean refugees and teach Mandaean religion to refugee children.

Ancient Religion may Face Extinction

Author: Rich Barlow

Source: The Boston Globe–+City%2FRegion+News

As screaming children raced around the hall in joyous play, adult workers readied food in the kitchen, while others set up chairs and tables. The holiday dinner of the Zoroastrian Association of the Greater Boston Area, held in a borrowed church basement in Arlington last month, mingled fellowship and family.

A new year naturally turns the mind to the future, especially for those looking back on a long and storied past, and Zoroastrians are peering at a horizon that they may never reach. A p

ractice of not accepting converts has helped whittle the ranks of this ancient religion to fewer than 200,000 worldwide.

Assimilation further robs the community of its distinctiveness, a fact in plain view at the dinner, where partygoers whose faith predated Jesus by a millennium nonetheless decorated an artificial Christmas tree.

“Both my boys are married outside [to] non-Zoroastrians,” said Sarosh Sukhia , a Pakistan-born Virginian who attended the party during a family visit to Boston. “They’ll keep an adherence to the name, and I’ll try to teach them the prayers.”

But they’re following the faith “in a very casual way — you might say the very American sort of way,” he said.