Islam

Muslim man terminated after asking for prayer breaks, complaint says

June 26, 2020

A Muslim man who says he was terminated from his job in Indianapolis last year after asking his employer to allow him to pray five times a day is accusing two companies of religious discrimination.

E’Lon Brown, 37, says Automatic Distributors Corp. and StaffMax discriminated against him by denying his requests to take brief prayer breaks and attend congregational prayers known as “jumu’ah.”

The companies then retaliated against Brown for requesting the accommodation by terminating his employment, according to a complaint filed Monday with the U.S....

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Sylvania athlete inspires religious expression bill

June 25, 2020

The Ohio Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill prohibiting schools and interscholastic organizations from adopting rules banning the wearing of religious apparel during athletic and extracurricular activities.

The legislation was inspired by Noor Alexandria Abukaram, a student at The Bounty Collegium, a private school, and a member of the cross-country team at Sylvania's Northview High School. A Muslim, she was disqualified from a cross-country event in October after a race ...

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Mosque to mosque march unifies Muslim, Black community in St. Louis

June 23, 2020

Muslim residents in the area gathered on Saturday to march from one mosque to another in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Between 75 and 100 people marched a mile and a half from Masjid Bilal, 3843 West Pine Street, to Masjid Al-Mu'minun, 1435 North Grand Boulevard.

The march was organized by the Muslims of Greater St. Louis. Marilyn Aleem-Shamikh, one of the march's organizers, said various Muslim communities were planning individual protests here and there, and the group wanted to bring them all together. 

Source:...

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Justice Department sues Virginia county for blocking Muslim cemetery

June 22, 2020

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against a Virginia county for “imposing restrictive zoning requirements” that blocked an Islamic nonprofit from building a Muslim cemetery.

The suit, filed Friday (June 19), argues that Stafford County violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act by imposing overly restrictive regulations on the religious practice of All Muslim...

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In Minneapolis, a Somali-owned mental health clinic seeks to heal its community

June 18, 2020

 

In early June, Sulekha Ibrahim opened the doors of Healing Path Wellness Services, the mental health clinic she runs in South Minneapolis. 

The clinic had been closed for weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. She and her staff were eager to get back to work, meeting clients in person.

Two days later, the clinic burned down.

“People broke in, vandalized the space, destroyed it and set it ablaze,” said Ibrahim, a 28-year-old public health nurse who co-...

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Milwaukee faith leaders reconsider every element of the religious experience as they make plans to reopen facilities

June 16, 2020

 

Replacing prayer rugs with disposable paper placemats. Holding Sunday services on church lawns. Buying a carriage to transport caskets in place of pallbearers.

Milwaukee’s faith leaders have had to reconsider every element of the religious experience as they make cautious plans to reopen facilities. While state and local restrictions on gatherings are easing, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means it’s not back to business-as-usual right away.

And while each religious organization needs to find creative solutions to their unique faith traditions,...

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Muslims join to demand police reforms, back black-led groups

June 15, 2020

 

In the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody, dozens of American Muslim organizations have come together to call for reform to policing practices, and to support black-led organizations.

“The victimization of unarmed Black Muslims has a long and troubling history,” said a coalition statement signed by more than 90 civil rights, advocacy, community and faith organizations. “As American Muslims, we will draw on our diversity, our...

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Court orders dismissal of Trump Muslim travel ban challenges

June 9, 2020

 

A federal appeals court on Monday tossed out three lawsuits challenging President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries, a victory for the Trump administration in its yearslong defense of the ban.

A three-judge panel of the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that a federal judge in Maryland made a mistake when he refused to dismiss the lawsuits after the Supreme Court upheld the ban in 2018 in a separate legal challenge filed in Hawaii.

The ban, put in place just a week after Trump took office in...

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How Muslims Are Mourning Without Proper Death Care Rituals

June 4, 2020

 

In April, my family received news that my mother’s friend passed away from COVID-19. We were overcome with grief—especially because we were still grieving another recent death. Our last memory of her is watching the EMTs carry her to the ambulance outside of her house as we waved goodbye. We all feared the worst but were hopeful that that goodbye wave would eventually turn into a welcome back gesture. It didn’t. 

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, loss and grief are two themes that transcend age, race, religion, and location. The U.S. alone has...

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Amid protests, US faith leaders engage racism and politics

June 4, 2020

 

As days of anti-racism protests sparked by police killings push Americans toward a national reckoning, religious leaders are stepping more directly into the politics surrounding discrimination, entering into a dialogue that cuts across lines of faith and color.

Groups from multiple denominations across Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths have publicly called for action against racism, aligning with peaceful demonstrators’ goals following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Even beyond those statements, the amount and diversity of religious involvement...

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At protests, some clergy pray, others put their bodies and souls on the line

June 2, 2020

 

Many religious traditions call on believers to stand with the marginalized, an axiom often interpreted as a broad command to defend the rights of others.

Sometimes this means pushing for new laws or marching in streets to demand action. 

Other times it means getting pepper-sprayed in the face. 

This past weekend the Rev. Laura Young said she decided to take the edict literally, which is why she spent most of Saturday afternoon (May 30) recovering after police sprayed her in the face with noxious chemicals.

“I had it...

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Faith leaders in 50 cities observe day of 'mourning and lament' for victims of COVID-19

June 2, 2020

 

Interfaith clergy as well as civic leaders in at least 50 cities nationwide declared Monday the National Day of Mourning and Lament for the over 100,000 people who have died in the United States from coronavirus. They also took the time to grieve the deaths of the recent victims of racial injustice.

“Today, prayers of mourning and lament are taking place around the country in over 50 cities, which have organized their own events and prayer services,” said Sojourners Executive Director Adam Taylor during an hour-long ...

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From Illinois to Puerto Rico, Latino Muslims navigate faith and quarantine among their non-Muslim families

May 26, 2020

 

As someone new to Islam, Ritchie Jaimes has found quarantine restrictions particularly challenging.

Jaimes, who was raised Catholic, converted to Islam just five months ago and has experienced his first Ramadan amid a pandemic that has shut down mosques and churches and mandated stay-at-home orders that bar in-person gatherings.

He breaks fast on his own during weekends at home when he’s not working the late shift Monday through Friday. It has also been more than a month since he last saw his mentor, who was helping him learn about hadiths,...

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How mosques around America will celebrate Eid during a pandemic

May 25, 2020
With most mosques across the country still closed due to the coronavirus, Muslim communities are finding creative ways to celebrate this weekend’s Eid al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of Ramadan, while abiding by social distancing guidelines.
 
In Michigan, where a popular Ramadan lights competition will end just before Eid, Muslims have organized a televised Eid service and celebration that they expect tens of thousands to tune in for. The celebratory programming, set to air Sunday morning (May 24) on local cable news and stream on social...
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Muslim generosity in Ramadan is more than a feel-good story

May 25, 2020
Most Americans who know about Ramadan at all know it as the holy month in which Muslims abstain from eating. What many of us don’t realize is that Muslims also consider this to be the month of giving.
 
Oral traditions trace the practice of giving during Ramadan back to the Prophet Muhammad, who, according to hadith, was already “the most generous of all people” and, during the month of Ramadan, “used to be more generous than the fast wind.”
 
This year, Ramadan was met by the coronavirus pandemic. Mosques were...
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