Islam

Supreme Court to take up case on mosque surveillance

June 7, 2021

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a long-running case stemming from surveillance of Southern California mosques by the FBI as part of a counterterrorism operation more than a decade ago.

The central legal question the justices will take up involves whether a law Congress passed in 1978 limiting and regulating electronic surveillance precludes the executive branch from invoking one of its broad and controversial powers to thwart civil litigation: the state secrets privilege.

On Monday, the justices announced they will consider a suit brought by Southern California...

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Report: Number of mosques in US grows overall, but African American mosques in decline

June 2, 2021

(RNS) — Increasing numbers of African American mosques are closing, while the overall number of mosques in the United States continues to grow, according to a new report.

“The American Mosque 2020: Growing and Evolving,” released Wednesday (June 2), shows key changes in Muslim demographics as they relate to places of worship. The report, jointly published by the Islamic Society of North America, the Center on Muslim Philanthropy and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, was written by Ihsan Bagby, who produced similar survey reports in 2001 and 2010.

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Long Island mosque vandalism: Religious flag burned, base spray painted with pro-Trump graffiti

May 20, 2021

BRENTWOOD, Long Island (WABC) -- Police on Long Island are looking for the persons who vandalized a mosque, burning a sacred flag and spray painting pro-Trump graffiti on the marble base.

It happened around 2 a.m. Monday at the Islamic Center of Suffolk County on 3rd Street in Brentwood.

Suffolk County police say two people cut through a fence to enter the facility, set the religious flag on fire, and defaced the flag base.

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American Muslim groups boycott White House Eid celebration

May 17, 2021

(RNS) — A White House event meant to mark a Muslim holiday attracted condemnation and boycotts from some Democrats and American Muslim groups in the context of growing violence in the Middle East.

The White House hosted a virtual celebration on Sunday (May 16) to mark Eid al-Fitr, an important holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. The world’s Muslims observed the holiday on Thursday.

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Close Shave: Muslim Inmate Asks 10th Circuit to Revive Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

May 16, 2021

(CN) — A Muslim man forced to shave his beard during intake by a Colorado corrections officer asked the 10th Circuit on Friday to overturn a lower court’s granting of qualified immunity to revive the case.

During intake in 2016 for a 90-day prison sentence for parole violations, Colorado Department of Corrections Sergeant Thomas Currington ordered Tajuddin Ashaheed to shave his beard. When Ashaheed asked to keep his beard as a follower of the Sunnha practice under the Islam faith, Currington said the prison’s religious exception only applied to full beards and threatened...

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Interfaith efforts strained by Israeli-Palestinian violence

May 14, 2021

The escalation of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dismaying American Muslims and Jews who’ve been working to build bridges between their communities and are now struggling to quell fear and anger in their own circles.

“We’re heartbroken,” said Muslim attorney Atiya Aftab, the New Jersey-based co-founder of a major interfaith group, the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom. She added that the situation threatens to derail the group’s work.

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Across faiths, US volunteers mobilize for India crisis

May 11, 2021

Volunteers at Hindu temples, Muslim groups and Sikh relief organizations across the United States are mobilizing to support India as the world’s second most populous country struggles to handle a devastating surge of the coronavirus.

From coast to coast, faith groups tied to the Indian diaspora have collected hundreds of oxygen concentrators and electrical transformers to ship to overwhelmed hospitals, raised millions for everything from food to firewood for funeral pyres and gathered in prayer for spiritual support for the Asian nation.

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"Radical love in action": How organizers supported vulnerable Muslim communities during Ramadan

May 10, 2021

The month of Ramadan is coming to an end. While perhaps best known as when many Muslims fast for sometimes upwards of 12 hours, the month is about much more than food. As a religion, Islam places heavy emphasis on caring for your community. During Ramadan, Muslims give zakat, an annual tax on wealth that's one of the five pillars of Islam, and even those whose income isn't zakat-eligible often pour extra time and resources into their communities.

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly changed how Muslims practice their faith. The communal iftars and crowded taraweeh prayers...

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Vaccination drives at area mosques have been successful in reaching Muslims and non-Muslims alike

May 10, 2021

On Sunday, Rizwan Jaka walked around the prayer hall of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Ashburn mosque holding a mic talking about possible side effects after being vaccinated against the coronavirus. He was speaking to a room of people who sat in chairs six feet apart on floors covered with plastic sheets, some swinging their arms to prevent soreness from the shot they just got while others checked their phones and watches to count down the 15-...

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Biden urged to appoint envoy to counter Islamophobia 'epidemic'

May 7, 2021

A coalition of Muslim organisations in the US is calling on the administration of President Joe Biden to create an envoy that would monitor and combat Islamophobia, which the groups say plays an interconnected threat to Muslims around the globe.

In a letter sent to the president, the US Council of Muslim Organisations (USCMO) led more than 80 Muslim groups in calling for the creation of the position, highlighting the current role of the administration's antisemitism envoy as a sign that an office for anti-Muslim sentiment was possible.

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