Religious Diversity News

Showing all news articles with tradition Islam.

12 Muslims Fined for Malaysia Hindu Temple Protest

Author: Julia Zappei

Source: Alabama Live

Wire Service: AP

A Malaysian court Tuesday fined 12 Muslims and sentenced one of them to a week in prison for illegally protesting the construction of a Hindu temple and parading a severed cow’s head.

The protest last August stoked tensions among Malaysia’s three main ethnic groups-the Malay Muslim majority and Chinese and Indian minorities, most of them Buddhists, Christians or Hindus who have complained that their religious rights are often sidelined in favor of Islam.

125,000 Secular Turks Protest over Islamic Head Scarf

Author: Selcan Hacaoglu

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

Wire Service: AP

Some 125,000 Turks, mostly women, denounced the government on Saturday over its plans to lift a decades-old ban on Islamic head scarves at universities in the mainly Muslim but secular nation.

Many Turks, including the country’s influential military establishment, see the move as a serious threat to the country’s traditional separation of church and state. The government has defended its plan as a reform needed to give its citizens religious liberty and bring Turkey in line with European Union human rights guidelines

“We want to lift all ridiculous bans in Turkey; we want everyone to freely walk and receive education, either with their miniskirts or head scarves,” said Egemen Bagis, a close aide to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is a devout Muslim.

13-Year Old Muslim Artist Paints Hindu Gods

Source: IBN Live

On February 21, 2006 IBN Live reported, “She does not paint masterpieces, but coming from a girl in early teens, her art is impressive to say the least.

Insha Manzoor, the artist, is the daughter of a Muslim truck driver from Mattan in Anantnag district. And while the world burns with protests over Prophet Mohammad’s cartoons, this 13-year-old girl from a humble background is painting Radha and Krishna.

Her paintings are a reflection of what she truly believes in and practices: A world undivided by religion.

‘Art knows no boundaries of religion. I want to say that like art, even people should not have any divides. We should all live together, peacefully,’ envisions Insha Manzoor, the young artist.

Her paintings range from portraits of Mahatma Gandhi to images from Hindu mythology.

But ask Insha about her favourite subject, and she doesn’t have to blink her eye.

‘I like painting Radha-Krishna. I paint them from my imagination,’ beams Insha.

Insha’s choice of subject did raise doubts among her family members initially. It could have been difficult for a Muslim girl to paint Radha and Krishna in a valley torn apart by religious strife.

But today, her parents are proud of their little daughter, who has followed her passion against all odds and made a difference.”

13th Street May Become Al-Rahman Street in Garden Grove, CA

Source: Los Angeles Times,0,6378380.story

On January 13, 2003 the Los Angeles Times reported that “Garden Grove [CA] officials are considering whether to change the name of a small stretch of 13th Street to Al-Rahman Street at the request of a local Islamic group… Most of the block on 13th west of Brookhurst Street is owned by the Islamic Society of Orange County, where thousands of Muslims congregate daily for prayers at the mosque or attend the Orange Crescent School. Al-Rahman, which means ‘all merciful,’ is one of several Islamic names for God… City staff is researching what other cities have done and are expected to bring the matter back to the council for review… ‘We are a multiethnic community,’ Garden Grove Mayor Bruce Broadwater said. ‘Everybody has a right to have a seat at the table. We have the largest mosque in the U.S., and we have to give them some respect. If [the Rev. Robert] Schuller [of the Crystal Cathedral] came to us and asked us to change a street name, we’d look at it. So that’s what we’re doing, we’re listening.'”

15,000 Want off the U.S. Terror Watch List

Author: Mimi Hall

Source: USA Today

WASHINGTON — More than 15,000 people have appealed to the government since February to have their names removed from the terrorist watch list that delayed their travel at U.S. airports and border crossings, the Homeland Security Department says.

The complaints have created such a backlog that members of Congress are calling for a speedier appeal system that would help innocent people clear their names so they won’t fall under future suspicion. Among those who have been flagged at checkpoints: toddlers and senior citizens with the same names as suspected terrorists on the watch list.

15 Schools Agree to Provide Arabic and Islamic Studies

Author: Siham Al Najami


Dubai: Fifteen schools in Dubai confirmed they will immediately work on providing Arabic and Islamic studies in their curriculum, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) said in a release.

A survey by the School Agency, the first body created by KHDA, had revealed that 15 private schools were not offering Arabic and Islamic studies as part of their curriculum in spite of ministerial law No. 4532 of 2005.

According to Jameela Al Muhairi, Executive Director of K-12 private education, the survey was part of a comprehensive study and analysis by KHDA to ensure that the overall education system is in line with Dubai Strategic Plan 2007-15, which stressed on protecting the Arab identity by preserving the Arabic language and culture.

170 American Muslim Groups Issue Fatwa Against Extremism

Source: Dawn

On September 26, 2005 Dawn reported, “North American Muslims have issued a religious edict against extremism and terrorism to prevent disgruntled Muslims who might be tempted to use their religion to justify violence, says a pamphlet distributed at mosques and other religious places across North America.

The fatwa has been signed by representatives of more than 250 mosques and Islamic centers and endorsed by over 170 Muslim groups, leaders and institutions.

The American fatwa followed a fatwa issued in March by the Islamic Commission of Spain, which declared Osama bin Laden an apostate and urged other Muslims to denounce the Al Qaeda leader. In both the fatwas, Muslim clerics denounced terrorism in religious vocabulary, quoting from the Holy Quran and the Hadith to make their point. ‘As Muslims, we must face up to our responsibility to clarify and advocate a faith-based, righteous and moral position with regard to this problem, especially when terrorist acts are perpetrated in the name of Islam,’ said the pamphlet distributed by the Islamic Society of North America.”

19 Dead in Afghan Mosque Suicide Bombing

Source: The New York Times

On June 2, 2005 The New York Times reported, “A suicide bomber detonated a powerful bomb during a mourning ceremony in a mosque in the southern city of Kandahar on Wednesday, killing 19 people, among them the Kabul police chief, and wounding 52 others, the Interior Ministry said. It was one of the deadliest attacks in the three and a half years since the Taliban were removed from power.

The attack took place during mourning for an eminent Muslim cleric, Maulavi Abdullah Fayaz, who was assassinated in his office by unknown gunmen on Sunday. Gen. Muhammad Akram Khakrezwal, who was recently appointed the police chief of Kabul and who died in the bombing, was among the mourners packed into the mosque on Wednesday morning.

The interior minister, Ali Ahmed Jalali, said he believed that the two attacks were linked, and he blamed ‘enemies of Afghanistan.’ The bomber was a foreigner, he said, without elaborating.

‘We label them as enemies of Islam because they are attacking Islam, attacking Muslims, attacking sacred sites of Islam,’ he said at a news conference in Kabul, the capital.”

2,000 Houston Muslims Help Hurricane Victims at Convention Center on Anniversary of 9/11

Source: The Washington Post

Wire Service: AP

On September 11, 2005 the Associated Press reported, “About 2,000 Muslim volunteers helped victims of Hurricane Katrina at the city’s downtown convention center Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Muslim leaders from around the country who were in Houston for the volunteer effort said the anniversary was coincidental. But they welcomed the opportunity to highlight their faith’s true meaning… Parvez Ahmed, chairman of the board of the nonprofit Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Muslim leaders viewed Sunday’s volunteer opportunity as another chance to show that the Sept. 11 attacks were carried out by Islamic extremists who do not represent the true meaning of their faith.

Religious and community groups who volunteered to help at shelters picked through a random drawing what day they would work. Houston’s Muslim community got Sunday… CAIR, along with other Muslim groups such as Islamic Relief and the Muslim American Society, are part of the Muslim Hurricane Relief Task Force, which is raising $10 million for victims of Katrina. Ahmed said the groups so far have raised between $3 million and $4 million.”