Religious Diversity News

Showing all news articles with tradition Islam.

Shiite Muslim Community Denied Zoning Permit for Mosque in Connecticut

Source: The Hartford Courant

On March 9, 1999, The Hartford Courant reported that the
Jafaria Association, which has undergone a year long effort to
establish a mosque in Meriden, CT, was denied a zoning permit on the
grounds that it would create too much traffic. Although a dozen
churches have been granted permits in Meriden over the past three
decades, the Jafaria Association’s efforts were denied largely
because of a neighborhood protest that claimed the new mosque would
create too much traffic on the weekends. Syed Naqvi, president of the
Jafaria Association, stated that they probably will not appeal the
decision: “Even if we were to win and get the building, what would be
the point. If neighbors don’t want us there, we don’t want to be
upsetting to anyone.” If the permit for the mosque had been granted,
it would have been the first Shiite mosque in Connecticut.

Muslim Women File Religious Discrimination Suit

Source: The Washington Post

On March 3, 1999, The Washington Post published an
article on the religious discrimination complaint filed by five
Muslim women with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The
Muslim women contend that they were fired from a Dulles International
Airport security firm for refusing to remove their Islamic head
scarves. The suit, which names Argenbright Security Inc. and United
Airlines as respondents, alleges a civil rights violation based on
federal law that requires employers to accommodate religious
practices on the job. Argenbright was also involved in a suit at the
Denver International Airport that claimed Argenbright refused to
accept job applications from two women who were wearing head scarves.
That case was settled out of court.

Shi’ite Muslims in Connecticut Trying to Build Mosque

Source: The Hartford Courant

On February 16, 1999, The Hartford Courant published an
article on the efforts of the Jafaria Association of Connecticut to
gain city approval for a Shi’ite mosque in Meriden, CT. The
association, which only had a handful of families in 1996, has now
grown to 150 members. They began to worship in private homes in 1996
and then moved to a rented church. Now, members of the association
are trying to get a proposal approved by the Meriden town officials.
Although the association has made a deal for the property, the city
zoning board turned down the Jafaria Association’s first proposal in
December, stating that it would attract too much traffic. The Jafaria
Association is awaiting a decision from the board of appeals for
permission to build.

Nation of Islam Leader Calls For Million Family March

Source: The Hartford Courant

On February 13, 1999, The Hartford Courant reported on
the visit of Minister Benjamin F. Muhammed to Hartford. Muhammed, the
former NAACP Director Benjamin Chavis Jr. who has converted from
Christianity to Islam, is now a leader within the Nation of Islam. He
spoke at Mosque 14 in Hartford and called for a “Million Family
March” to take place in the year 2000 in Washington. “The Million
Family March has the potential to transform our society…and the
world,” Muhammed said. “There once was a time when we’d look out for
one another…because we were family. You can’t have a community
without a family.”

Muslim Leader Speaks in Indiana

Source: The Indianapolis Star

On February 12, 1999, The Indianapolis Star reported on a
message delivered by Imam W. Deen Muhammad, son of Elijah Muhammad,
of the Nation of Islam at Martin University in Indiana. Muhammad,
speaking to an audience of Muslims, Protestants, Catholics, and Jews
from across the Midwest, stated, “God originally created us to be one
family, and before this world is finished, we have to become one
community again.” Muhammad also stated that the “fundamental feature
of Islam is unity, peace, and charity. We must be that to each other
and to people of many faiths.” Breaking with the racial separatist
concept developed by his father, Muhammad has spent the last 30 years
trying to bring black Muslims in line with worldwide Orthodox Islam.

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.”

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.