Islam

Salt Lake County taking COVID vaccines to Black churches, mosques to reach wary minority communities

February 17, 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations have been given in at least one Salt Lake County church and soon may be offered at several other religious sites — especially those serving minority communities.

Calvary Baptist Church, one of Salt Lake City’s oldest and most prominent Black congregations, gave 85 doses Monday and will do more starting March 1, when the age for eligible recipients drops to 65. Officials hope to have enough vaccine supply to offer them twice weekly...

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Muslims in America: A forgotten history

February 12, 2021

In the summer of 1863, newspapers in North Carolina announced the death of “a venerable African”, referred to, in a paternalistic manner, as “Uncle Moreau”.

Omar ibn Said, a Muslim, was born in 1770 in Senegal and by the time of his death, he had been enslaved for 56 years. In 2021, Omar, an opera about his life, will premiere at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.

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California Legislature Reconvenes With First Ever Muslim Chaplain

January 12, 2021

Imam Mohammad Yasir Khan has made history for his appointment as California’s first Muslim chaplain in the state Legislature.

Imam Khan was chosen by Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) to serve as the Assembly’s chaplain for the 2021-2022 session. 

As the new chaplain, he will be in charge of saying a prayer at the beginning of each session. However, he says leading California’s lawmakers in prayer was never part of his plan.

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Donations coming in to rebuild Missouri mosque that burned

December 31, 2020

Donations have topped $40,000 to help rebuild a Missouri mosque destroyed by fire this week.

The Islamic Society of Joplin launched a social media fundraiser Tuesday, a day after a fire in Noel, Missouri, destroyed the African Grocery Store and the mosque next door, the Joplin Globe reported. Both the store and the mosque were gathering places for refugees.

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Retiring founder of Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation leaves a legacy of strong, kind leadership

December 28, 2020

It’s hard to imagine that one of America’s greatest tragedies — the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the backlash against American Muslims — would lead to the formation of an empowering grassroots organization in Dallas-Fort Worth, the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation.

As the nonprofit celebrates 15 years of championing interfaith sisterhood and providing social services for thousands of vulnerable women and children, it’s also paying a farewell tribute to its retiring co-founder and a beloved community leader, Hind Jarrah.

A reflective Jarrah remembers those early years...

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The Qur’an on Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Nativity

December 23, 2020

A mention of the infant Jesus’s birth would likely not, for most Muslims, conjure up manger scenes, a shining star, or visits from shepherds. Instead, a more likely image would be of Mary alone and in labor at the foot of a palm. Rather than a swaddled infant resting in the hay among manger animals, the Qur’an describes mother and child resting next to a spring. No shepherds gather to rejoice at Jesus’s birth in Qur’anic accounts. Instead, Mary is heckled for having a child out of wedlock.

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Muslim Men Kicked Off Flight Over Arabic Text Messages

December 22, 2020

Two Muslim men said they were unfairly targeted by Alaska Airlines for texting in Arabic, which resulted in their removal from their flight in February 2020.

Abobakkr and Mohamed, two American citizens of Sudanese descent who are only being identified by their first names to protect their privacy, spoke at a virtual press conference on Monday and said their civil rights were violated when they were removed from a domestic flight. 

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How Muslim Women Protested in 2020

December 21, 2020

"The less fabric, the better”: That isn’t something you often hear in discussions pertaining to modest fashion. This practical style advice appeared in a June email titled “Read this before you protest in hijab” from American headscarf brand Haute Hijab, along with advice like “tuck in your hijab,” “do not wear pins,” and “bring an extra hijab” in case you’re tear-gassed, as the “residue will stay on your original scarf and potentially get back into your eyes and skin.” The advice was sent to support the Muslim women on the front lines in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. ...

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Changing Virginia county faces discrimination charges over Islamic cemetery

December 3, 2020

Over the past two decades, once-rural Stafford County has emerged as one of Virginia’s fastest-growing suburbs, one local leaders hope to turn into a new economic hub in the Washington region.

The increasingly diverse county that sits 44 miles south of D.C. voted blue in last month’s presidential election for the first time in nearly half a century. And the giant Confederate battle flag that towered over Interstate 95 from one resident’s property was ...

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Muslim, Sikh and Jewish groups seek inclusion in California’s new ethnic studies curriculum

November 19, 2020

LOS ANGELES (RNS) — Religious groups are urging California education officials to include their histories and cultures in a model ethnic studies curriculum being developed for high schools in the state.

The proposed curriculum, which the Department of Education has been planning since 2018, centers on Chicanos and Latino Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans. It is intended to serve as a guide as schools design the ethnic studies courses that could be mandated for graduation beginning later this decade.

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Making the Most of Religious Holidays Amidst a Pandemic

November 13, 2020

2020 has taken away countless events that many people were looking forward to, including many important religious holidays. For Muslims, many were unable to celebrate the end of Ramadan with Eid-al-Fitr in May, Eid-al-Adha in July and many other religious events. For Hindus, the nine-night celebration of Navaratri was unable to be celebrated in person and one of the most sacred holidays, Diwali, will ultimately not be the same as previous years. A commonality amongst all of these celebrations is that they are normally spent with large groups, typically family, friends and loved ones....

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Muslim voters want more than ‘just a seat’ at the table from President-elect Joe Biden

November 11, 2020

In the lead-up to the midterm election two years ago, Sara Deen noticed that many fellow Muslims in her South Bay community weren’t voters. Some didn’t understand the process. More lacked faith that their voice would matter or had trouble navigating a ballot. 

She decided to prepare a voter guide and hand it out to friends and members of her mosque during Friday prayers. This year, she’s seen an increase in engagement from Muslim voters —...

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Hate Has No Home In Ithaca, Local Faith Leaders Say

November 11, 2020

Following several racist and anti-Semitic incidents in Ithaca, local faith leaders are doubling down on ongoing anti-racist programming. While their approaches vary, they have a common message: Hate has no home in Ithaca.

In recent months, local religious leaders have invited speakers on anti-racism, organized anti-racist reading groups and have sought to...

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