Islam

School Board Directs FCPS to Draft New Calendar Ahead of Vote

March 9, 2021

Inundated with messages from staff and community members on proposed changes to the 2021-22 calendar, Fairfax County School Board members directed Superintendent Scott Brabrand to redraft it.

During a work session on Tuesday (Mar. 2), the board told staff to consider ways to add flexibility through floating holidays. They said the calendar...

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Religious Groups Keep Faith During Pandemic, Remote Academic Year

February 23, 2021

D. Anthony Alvarez ’21, a member of the Harvard Latter-day Saints Student Association, has attended religious services at the same congregation off campus since he arrived at Harvard as a freshman.

This semester, Alvarez said he still attends services at that same congregation. Amid Covid-19, though, he must sign up to attend ahead of time, don a mask, and eschew singing, which can spread infectious particles.

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End of religious headwear rule says athletes are more than their uniforms

February 23, 2021

(RNS) — When she was not allowed to play in her second volleyball game of the season, 14-year-old Najah Aqeel never thought her pushback would knock down nearly every obstacle in her way, like a bowling ball knocking over pin after pin.

Last September, the ninth-grader at Valor College Prep in Nashville, Tennessee, was pulled from the court after an official pointed out that her coach had not provided a waiver for her to play while wearing her hijab, or religious headscarf. When she was told she couldn’t play, Najah started crying. She received support from her family and...

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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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