Religious Diversity News

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Ramadan Reflections

Source: Los Angeles Times

On January 20, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported on
the feasts and celebrations taking place in the San Fernando Valley
for Eid al-Fitr, which means “the festival of breaking of the fast”
and signals the end of Ramadan. The feast, celebrated on January
19th, saw thousands offer morning prayers at the several mosques in
the area and approximately 700 were attracted by the Islamic Center
of Reseda to prayers held in Granada Hills.

Ramadan Reflections

Source: The Baltimore Sun

On January 20, 1999, The Baltimore Sun published an
article on the breaking of the fast celebrations held at the Masjid
al-Rahmah, the mosque of the Islamic Society of Baltimore in
Catonsville, MD. Since Ramadan began with the U.S. bombings of Iraq
and closed with the massacre of 45 Albanian Muslims in Kosovo, the
Muslim community in Baltimore was saddened and angered over the
situation of Muslims in the world. Imam Adam El-Sheikh, the spiritual
leader of Masjid al-Rahmah, called on American Muslims to organize
and speak out against the atrocities. Syed H. Ashruf, a Catonsville
physician who is the president of the Islamic Society of Baltimore,
stated, “we do not want America to sit in the world as a military
might, but we want America to stand tall in the world, morally
right.”

Buddhist Social Help Organization Making Presence Felt in New York

Source: Newsday

On January 20, 1999, Newsday published an article on the
Flushing branch of Tzu-Chi, the Buddhist Compassion Relief
Foundation, which is committed to teaching and helping the poor.
Tzu-Chi, which was founded in Taiwan in 1966, has grown to more than
4 million members in 17 countries. The Flushing branch, which has
2,000 volunteers, has flourished in the area by visiting hospitals
and nursing homes, shoveling snow, street cleaning, helping the
homeless, and offering classes in Chinese culture, language, and
philosophy. Tzu-Chi relies on donations and the work of volunteers.

Ecumenical Martin Luther King Celebration

Source: Newsday

On January 18, 1999, Newsday reported on the 14th annual
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical Celebration, which was held
this year at the Sons of Israel Synagogue in Woodmere, NY.
Approximately 500 Jews, Christians, and Muslims attended the
celebration with speakers representing all three religions.

Ramadan Reflections

Source: The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe published an article on January 17,
1999 about the presence of the Islamic population in the Greater
Boston region. The Globe reports that there are an estimated
40,000 Muslims in Massachusetts, with significant clusters in the
Shrewsbury-Northborough-Westborough area and in the Natick-Framingham
areas. Omar Khalidi of Wayland, an architect and independent scholar
at MIT, attributes the growth of the Muslim community in the
Metrowest region of Boston to the “availability of jobs in the
computer industry and area hospitals, and also because of its good
schools.” Massachusetts is also home to the only Shi’ite mosque in
New England, the Islamic Masumeen Center in Hopkinton, which has a
community of 60 families and a mailing list of 250 people in five
states.

Ramadan Reflections

Source: The Hartford Courant

On January 17, 1999, The Hartford Courant reported that
the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford is inviting outsiders to
its Berlin Mosque to break the fast at “A Taste of Islam,” which is
the group’s first open house and features food from around the world.

Ramadan Reflections

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On January 10, 1999, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported
on the growing influence of Islam in the Pittsburgh area. The
Post-Gazette mentions that Muslims in the Pittsburgh area have
conducted “some of the most effective public relations of any
religious community.” With approximately 10,000 adherents in the
Greater Pittsburgh area, Muslims have “mounted an enthusiastic effort
to introduce the community to their faith.”

Tibetan Buddhist Community Strong in Ojai, CA

Source: Los Angeles Times

On January 9, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an
article on the Tibetan Buddhist community in the small town of Ojai,
CA. Ojai, which is also home to the Krishnamurti Foundation, the
Krotona Institute and Meditation Mount, has been home to the Tibetan
Buddhist Dharma Center since 1989. The Tibetan Buddhist community in
Ojai consists of roughly 40 members, who have a total of 37 children.

Celebration of 300th Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh

Source: The Arizona Republic

On January 9, 1999, The Arizona Republic reported that the International
Symposium on Khalsa will be held on January 9-10, 1999 in
Phoenix. The symposium will be the U.S. celebration of the 300th
anniversary of when the Guru Gobind Singh established the current
Sikh identity. Yogi Bhajan, the Sikh leader in the Western
Hemisphere, is the featured speaker at the event.