Religious Diversity News

Showing all news articles with tradition Islam.

2,000 In Clearwater, Faith Communities Come Together in Prayer and Compassion

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On September 10, 2005 the St. Petersburg Times reported, “The Rev. Leddy Hammock held a candle and looked up at the dozens of people at an interfaith remembrance service for Hurricane Katrina victims Tuesday.

‘We gather to rebuild a levee against all human tears,’ she told them.

A few minutes later, the lights were dimmed, and each person in the octagon-shaped sanctuary held up a single lighted candle, asking God to help the evacuees and to forgive the dead of their misdeeds, if any.

The event at the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater brought together religious leaders of several faiths and traditions, including Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Scientology and Jewish.

The idea for the special service came from Ahmed Bedier of the Council for American Islamic Relations.”

2,500 Indonesian Youth Pray Together for Peace in Interfaith Service

Source: News

On May 23, 2006 UCA News reported, “About 2,500 young people from six religions took part in an interfaith prayer service held to reinforce the climate of interreligious harmony in North Sulawesi province.

The Interfaith Youth Celebration held May 15 was organized by the recently formed Interfaith Youth Forum of North Sulawesi. It took place at the auditorium of the gubernatorial office in Manado, the provincial capital, 2,115 kilometers (about 1,310 miles) northeast of Jakarta.

Establishment of the forum, which was inaugurated March 27, was one of the recommendations from a provincial interreligious youth meeting in August 2005.

Unlike most other parts of Muslim-majority Indonesia, North Sulawesi has a Christian majority. Protestants make up 72 percent of its 2.2 million people, and the 128,000 Catholics form another 5 percent. Muslims are the second-largest community at about 21 percent. Small Hindu, Buddhist and Confucian communities account for most of the rest of the people.

Among those attending the interfaith celebration were North Sulawesi governor Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, several military officials and Nadine Chandrawinata, Miss Indonesia 2005.”

2,500 Protest Muhammad Cartoon In Norway

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Google News

Wire Service: AP

About 2,500 people marched through downtown Oslo in a protest Friday against a Norwegian newspaper that printed a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.

The demonstrators chanted “God is great” in Arabic and waved placards calling for a boycott of the Dagbladet daily.

On Feb. 3, the newspaper published a photograph showing a man in front of a computer screen with a depiction of Muhammad as a pig. The picture accompanied an article that said users were posting offensive material about Muslims and Jews on the Facebook page of Norway’s security police.

Dagbladet’s acting editor-in-chief, Lars Helle, told The Associated Press that he doesn’t regret printing the offending image and that he welcomed Friday’s protest.

“It was a test for Norwegian society — whether this would be a peaceful protest or not,” Helle said.

2 Accused Of NY Subway Station Hate Attack On Imam

Author: Jennifer Peltz

Source: The Washington Post

Wire Service: AP

Two men attacked a Muslim religious leader in a hate-fueled assault in a subway station, with one hurling slurs along with a fist, prosecutors and Muslim advocates said Thursday.

But defense lawyers said the incident was a fight spurred by an accidental bump, not bias.

Eddie Crespo, an officer with a transportation police force, and friend Albert Melendez were charged Thursday with robbery and assault, both as hate crimes.

2 Afghans Are Killed In Protests Over Koran

Author: Rob Nordland

Source: The New York Times

Two Afghans, at least one of them armed, were killed Thursday in another protest over a rumored burning of the Koran, Islam’s holy book, nearly a week after a pastor in Florida who had incited widespread outrage over his plans to incinerate Korans in a 9/11 memorial bonfire canceled those plans.

That brought to at least five the number of people killed in Afghanistan during protests about Koran burnings that in fact had not happened, in four separate attacks by demonstrators on NATO bases since Sept. 10. On Wednesday, 35 Afghan police officers were injured by stone-throwing demonstrators in Kabul, and 12 civilians were hurt, although no one died.

2 Iraqi Doctors Sue A&M, Allege Racial, Religious Bias

Author: Mary Flood

Source: The Houston Chronicle

Two Iraqi doctors who fled to the United States to avoid persecution have filed a lawsuit against Texas A&M, saying they were regularly debased and that co-workers threw animal feces and urine on their prayer rug.

In a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed in Houston federal court, two married doctors, Mundhir Ridha and Saeeda Ali Muhsen, say they endured intolerable harassment because of their national origin, race and religion. They sued the school, several of its divisions and five former co-workers. Their lawyer said others at the school have been treated badly because of their background.

“The folks at A&M treated them horribly because they looked different, ate different food and spoke differently and because they are from Iraq and Muslim,” said the couple’s Houston lawyer, Shane McClelland.

McClelland said Texas A&M did its own investigation of the matter and found there was a hostile environment in which unnecessarily harsh, abrasive and insensitive criticisms were tolerated. But the investigation nevertheless found that wasn’t discrimination the school would address.

He said other foreign students have suffered similar humiliations, and many are frightened their careers could be ruined if they complain.

Lane Stephenson, spokesman for Texas A&M, said it is policy not to discuss pending legal matters. “I can categorically state it’s the university’s policy not to discriminate against anyone,” he said.

2 Killings Near Mosque Plunge a Queens Neighborhood Into Fear – The New York Times

On Sunday afternoon, Nurul Khan changed clothes after working around his house on a sweltering day and set off on a short walk, just around the corner, to his mosque to pray. It is a stroll he takes five times a day, he said, starting each morning before the sun has risen.

Source: 2 Killings Near Mosque Plunge a Queens Neighborhood Into Fear – The New York Times

2 Local Imams Arrested in Alleged Visa Scheme

Author: Yvonne Abraham and Raja Mishra

Source: The Boston Globe

Federal immigration agents arrested imams from two Boston-area mosques yesterday on charges they were involved in a scheme that provided religious worker visas to immigrants who used them to enter the United States and work instead as gas station attendants, truck drivers, and factory laborers.
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Hafiz Abdul Hannan , imam , or leader, of the Islamic Society of Greater Lowell in Chelmsford, and Muhammed Masood , imam of the Islamic Center of New England in Sharon, were among 33 people taken into custody nationwide after a multi-year investigation led by agents in Boston and New York, said Paula Grenier , a spokeswoman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“This was a nationwide religious worker visa fraud scheme designed to help illegal aliens,” said Grenier. “These people had to be solely engaged in religious employment, and in many cases were not.”

Under the Religious Worker Program, started in 1990, churches, synagogues, and mosques can ask the government to approve visas for foreigners to fill vacant positions. Several thousand visas are issued each year that permit immigrants to enter the United States exclusively for religious employment. To obtain the visa, immigrants must have religious training and experience in their native country. Once here, they are not allowed to hold secular jobs. The religious worker permits can ultimately lead to green cards, or permanent residency.

2 Malaysian Muslims Stir Anger With Church Article

Author: Julia Zappei


Wire Service: AP

Malaysian authorities are investigating two Muslims who sparked complaints after they pretended to be Christians and took Communion at a church service to research a magazine article, officials said Tuesday.

The investigation poses a fresh challenge for the government in its efforts to reduce religious friction in this ethnic Malay Muslim-majority country, where religious minorities have complained that their rights are being sidelined in favor of Islam.

A churchgoer filed a police complaint last week after reading an article in the monthly Malay-language Al-Islam magazine written by a contributor who described how he attended a Roman Catholic Mass with his friend and hid his Muslim identity.