Religious Diversity News

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Young Woman Leads Bay Area Chapter of CAIR

Source: CBS 5

On August 15, 2005 CBS 5 reported, “Just weeks before bombers attacked the London subway, Safaa [Ibrahim] — barely 30 years old — was named regional director of CAIR, the Council for American Islamic Relations. She is the first woman to ever lead the Bay Area chapter. Within days, CAIR was answering the attacks with television ads, a groundbreaking move that Ibrahim supports… While this may be one of the most difficult times for Muslims in America, Safaa Ibrahim believes it’s also a time of tremendous opportunity. After putting in hundreds of hours as a volunteer for CAIR, she has big plans for the future. She’s already scheduling a youth conference, a Muslim civil rights campaign, and an interfaith open house that will include mosques all over the Bay Area. Her priority is to promote understanding of Islam.”

Young Women Begin Peace Fellowship

Source: Catholic News Service

The Australian bishops have selected seven women from three states for the second Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship program which promotes young women’s participation in the Church.

According to a bishops’ statement, the Fellowships are being offered through the Australian bishops’ Office for Participation of Women and with the generous sponsorship of many religious orders, catholic agencies and dioceses.

The Director of the Office, Kimberly Davis says that this year’s Fellowship follows the successful inaugural program in 2006, of which she is a graduate.

“The fruits of the Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship are difficult to articulate in a short ‘outcomes-based’ statement. It was an experience that allowed personal growth, academic growth and spiritual growth,” Ms Davis said.

The Fellowship aims at promoting the participation of young women in the Church and targets the development of leadership skills in promoting interfaith relations.

Young Zambian Teens Pull Together in Service Program

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Baha’i World News Service

The Tonga tribe has lived in southern Zambia for hundreds of years, and members are proud of their longstanding traditions and strong social codes. But leaders say some of the customs are eroding – young people, for example, no longer seem to respect the elderly.

A new program involving hundreds of young teens working in small groups may help change that – and simultaneously help the youngsters get along better with each other.

Younger Generation of Muslims Turning Their Backs on Britian

Source: BBC News

On March 7, 2004 the BBC News reported, “Navid Akhtar is a practising Muslim deeply concerned about a growing trend among his contemporaries toward a separatist ideology that turns its back on Britain. He wrote this personal account for Sunday’s Five Live Report: ‘Young Muslims are opting out. They’ve renounced the Islam of their immigrant parents and feel disillusioned with a society that they perceive as racist. Many are turning their backs on democracy and Britain. And they are finding a new identity in a brand of Islam that is radical and intolerant. Out of 1.8 million Muslims living in Britain today, the highest proportion have their roots in Bangladesh and Pakistan-administered Kashmir…Settling into Britain has not been an easy experience and many feel excluded from the mainstream. The worst hit are the young, who find themselves at odds with their parents’ insular Asian culture and a Britain they believe is hostile towards them.”

Younger Muslims Tune In to Upbeat Religious Message

Author: Kevin Sullivan

Source: Washington Post

Muna el-Leboudy, a 22-year-old medical student, had a terrible secret: She wanted to be a filmmaker. The way she understood her Muslim faith, it was haram — forbidden — to dabble in movies, music or any art that might pique sexual desires.

Then one day in September, she flipped on her satellite TV and saw Moez Masoud.

A Muslim televangelist not much older than herself, in a stylish goatee and Western clothes, Masoud, 29, was preaching about Islam in youthful Arabic slang.

He said imams who outlawed art and music were misinterpreting their faith. He talked about love and relationships, the need to be compassionate toward homosexuals and tolerant of non-Muslims. Leboudy had never heard a Muslim preacher speak that way.

“Moez helps us understand everything about our religion — not from 1,400 years ago, but the way we live now,” said Leboudy, wearing a scarlet hijab over her hair.

She said she still plans a career in medicine, but she’s also starting classes in film directing. “After I heard Moez,” she said, “I decided to be the one who tries to change things.”

Masoud is one of a growing number of young Muslim preachers who are using satellite television to promote an upbeat and tolerant brand of Islam.

“Your Muslim Neighbor” Theme for Tenth Annual Islam Awareness Week

Source: IslamOnline

On November 21, 2004 IslamOnline reported, “Muslims in major cities across the United Kingdom will launch Monday, November 22, the tenth Islam Awareness Week (IAW) with activities and seminars highlighting contributions to the society.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre will play host to the national event organized by the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB) under the auspices of Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, IAW said in a statement, a copy of which was e-mailed to

‘From the launch of a major new exhibition of Muslim lives in Britain to neighborhood cleanup day involving members of the local community, people will be coming together to show how it is not only possible to have peaceful co-existence, but how all can and are contributing to each other’s well being,’ read the statement.

This year’s theme is ‘Your Muslim Neighbour’ and seeks to highlight the valuable contributions made by British Muslims to everyday life in Britain.”