Religious Diversity News

Showing all news articles with tradition Islam.

The Growth of Muslim Schools in the New York Area

Source: The New York Times

On November 10, 1998, the New York Times published an
article concerning the growth of Islamic schools in the New York
metropolitan area, which are flourishing with a curriculum that
offers religion and Arabic classes along with a traditional academic
curriculum. As recently as three years ago, fewer than 200 children
attended private Islamic schools in New York City and Long Island.
Now, over 2,400 children in 13 schools in New York and Long Island
are educated in a Muslim environment. In addition to those numbers,
New Jersey now has 10 private Islamic schools. Spurred by the vast
immigrant population in the New York area, these schools can’t grow
fast enough for the demand. Al Noor School in Brooklyn, the New York
area’s largest Islamic private school, accommodates 600 students, but
many more would like to attend. Nidal Abuasi, principal of Al Noor,
stated: “We turned down 400 kids because we don’t have space….We
have people who come hoping we have space even if their child has to
be demoted to a lower grade.”

First Mosque on a U.S. Military Base

Source: Chicago Tribune

On November 6, 1998, the Chicago Tribune reported that
the Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia is home to the military’s first
mosque, Masjid al Da’wah. The mosque was opened a year ago and
attendance for Friday services varies from 7 to 50. According to
public affairs officer Paula Keicer, the Navy has 725 enlisted
Muslims, though the Navy does not keep a count of Muslim officers.
Lt. Malak Ibn Noel, the mosque’s imam, states that “people are very,
very proud of this room.” The mosque occupies a small space in a
building which also contains a synagogue and two chapels.

Imam, Rabbi, and Cardinal in Dialogue

Source: National Catholic Register

On September 6, 1998, the National Catholic Register
reported that the Catholic Focolare movement and the Baltimore
archdiocese sponsored an event entitled “Dialogue as a Lifestyle” at
St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore on August 23rd, 1998.
The dialogue featured representatives of three faiths: William
Cardinal Keeler of Baltimore, U.S. Episcopal moderator of
Catholic-Jewish relations; Rabbi Jack Bemporad, director of the
Center for Interreligious Understanding at Ramapo College; and Imam
Abdulmalik Mohammed, leader of the Muslim America Society in
Baltimore. Rabbi Bemporad described the process of dialogue as
becoming “conscious of the other as another soul.”

Controversy Over New Movie, “The Seige”

Source: The New York Times

A New York Times article on August 24, 1998, reports on
Muslim concern over the trailers for the film “The Siege.” “American
Muslims and Arab-Americans who have seen the trailers are sounding
the alarm at what they fear is a dangerous film that will feed
suspicion and hatred of Arabs and Muslims in this country.” They are
writing in protest while the film is being edited prior to November
release. The director Mr. Zwick is quoted as saying the film “very
much touches on the themes of repression and racism that exist, I
believe, often on or just below the surface of this society.” And
while he cannot predict the impact of his work, he hopes it will be
provocative and encourage dialogue rather than reinforce stereotypes.

Offensive Strike Targets Terrorists, Not Muslims

Source: The New York Times

A New York Times article on August 22, 1998 reports on
President Clinton’s important distinction as follows: “In explaining
the decision to strike targets in Afghanistan and Sudan on Thursday,
the Clinton administration has been careful to say that the United
States was aiming at terrorist organizations and their bases, not at
a religion with adherents worldwide. “I want the world to understand
that our actions today were not aimed against Islam,” President
Clinton said Thursday, in remarks that were unusual in a speech on
national security for their recognition of the broad importance of a
religious faith, and for declaring that faith to lie beyond any goals
of U.S. foreign policy. Instead, Clinton carefully distinguished
between Muslims — followers of what he called “a great religion” —
and radical groups that hold to “a horrible distortion of their
religion to justify the murder of innocents.”

Increase in Anti-Muslim Discrimination Reported

Source: No source given.

“(WASHINGTON, DC – 7/15/98) – An annual report released today by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) showed a decrease in acts of violence against American Muslims, but indicated a 18 percent increase in total incidents and a 60 percent rise in discrimination cases.”