Islam

Pilgrimage a Spiritual Experience for American Muslims

March 2, 2001

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On March 2, 2001, The Columbus Dispatch reported on the thousands of American Muslims who in recent years have made the pilgrimage, or hajj, to Saudi Arabia that all Muslims are required to make once in their lifetimes. The hajj unites people of different colors and nationalities and from different branches of Islam. For many it is an unsurpassable experience. "The trip has a spiritual effect that many, regardless of religion, attempt to achieve."

Lieberman Says Nation of Islam's Social Programs Are Eligible for Government Funds

March 2, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On March 2, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "Senator Joseph I. Lieberman...said yesterday that he would not rule out Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam from receiving federal funds through President Bush's new faith-based initiative. 'If the Nation of Islam established a separate corporation (for delivering social services), there is not a basis to deny them, presuming they are living within the civil rights laws,' Lieberman said." This position shocked many leaders who see the Nation as "a racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic, anti-...

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Socially Responsible Investing Gains Popularity

February 25, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On February 25, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "socially responsible investing...is coming into the mainstream...There are bond mutual funds as well as stock funds, funds aimed at Muslims and Mennonites, funds for animal lovers, and funds that focus on gay and lesbian rights, pro and con."

Michigan School System to Accommodate Muslim Food Regulations

February 25, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On February 25, 2001, The New York Times reported that "officials are working on a plan to serve food that is halal, or permitted under Islamic rules," in several schools in Dearborn, Michigan, by this fall. "The lack of halal meat in Dearborn has forced scores of students to throw out lunches, school officials say. Others simply break the rules...Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit, has the highest concentration of ethnic Arabs outside the Middle East, according to the Arab-American Institute. About 35 percent of Dearborn's 17,000...

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Nation of Islam Moves Toward More Inclusiveness

February 25, 2001

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On February 25, 2001, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that "the vitriolic race rhetoric that has characterized the Nation [of Islam] in the past...seems to have disappeared since last year's annual Saviour's Day celebration." At the celebration, the group's leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, said "it was time to reach out to other groups, the Nation of Islam continues to try to paint itself in a friendlier light." The president of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago sees this as a signal of "a return to the core...

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Expert Gives Tips for Teaching Islam in the Classroom

February 24, 2001

Source: The Dallas Morning News

On February 24, 2001, The Dallas Morning News reported that "Audrey Shabbas, an expert on Arab and Muslim culture," has devised a curriculum aimed at "helping students to understand how the contributions of Islam and Muslims can be taught in the same way that educators routinely weave the historical importance of Christianity and Judaism into daily school curriculum." Unveiling her curriculum at a February 10th conference sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relation, she "suggested more elaborate ideas that link...

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Muslims From Southern California Make Pilgrimage to Mecca

February 24, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On February 24, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "more than 1,000 Southland Muslims have left for Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in recent days to celebrate the most important holiday on the Islamic calendar: Hajj, the weeklong pilgrimage that begins Thursday." The pilgrimage is required at least once in their lifetimes by all able-bodied Muslims able to afford it. "More than 2 million pilgrims usually gather in Mecca annually to perform a series of rituals connected to the sacrifices made by Abraham." An estimated 10,000...

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Presbyterians Learn About Muslims in a Program at a Mosque

February 23, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On February 23, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported that about 100 Faith Presbyterian Church members came to a program at a south Phoenix mosque that was meant to address their misconceptions about Muslims. The group reported that they learned a lot about Muslims. As one church member said, "You have to learn about each other in order to get along with each other."

Muslim Public Affairs Council Wary of Faith-Based Initiatives

February 23, 2001

Source: Muslim Public Affairs Council

http://www.mpac.org/statements/pr-faithinitiative-jan00.htm

A recent press release by the Muslim Public Affairs Council "cautions the American Muslim community against a hasty endorsement of the proposed legislation." The press release cites concerns about unconstitutional entanglement between religion and state, the potential for proselytizing to accompany pure social welfare activities, and the danger that Muslims and other...

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Employers Accommodate Religious Practices of Muslim Workers

February 23, 2001

Source: CAIR Action Alert

On February 23, 2001, an Action Alert released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations reported that Muslim workers in Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio have won religious rights. "Fifty female Muslim employees at the Bloomington, Minn., facility of in-flight catering giant LSG Sky Chefs challenged a uniform policy that...violated Islamic standards of modesty." Company officials agreed to a modified uniform. An Indianapolis private security and detective agency "agreed to allow Muslim employees to keep their beards if they provided a...

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Muslims Have Unique Traditions for Finding Mates

February 22, 2001

Source: The Record

On February 22, 2001, The Record, of Bergen County, New Jersey, reported on Muslim attitudes toward dating. "According to Islamic law...Men and women are allowed to interact, but they are not supposed to form friendships unless for the intention of marriage...When the time comes to marry, it's typical for Muslim family and friends to act as matchmakers." The practice of arranged marriage is a cultural practice, however, and not one that is founded in Islamic law. Different cultures impose different kinds of restrictions. "The...

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Minneapolis Restaurant Features Aspects of Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam

February 22, 2001

Source: Star Tribune

On February 22, 2001, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on a new restaurant in Minneapolis, the Natraj India Kitchen. Although the restaurant is fairly typical in other respects, "the sound system delivers a recorded satsang -- a spiritual message delivered in Hindi by Indian Sikh guru Baba Gurindar Singh. While this recording plays, a restaurant employee makes a circuit of the dining room, stopping at each of the religious images to make an offering of burning incense." In addition, the menu features halal meats, which meet Muslim...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 21, 2001

Source: Star Tribune

On February 21, 2001, the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an article that brings up one of the biggest problems with Bush's faith-based initiative. "The state cannot be in the business of deciding which faiths pass muster and which do not. If they are law-abiding and their programs are effective, it would seem you have to take them all or take none. You allow proselytizing in all or in none." For example, the Salvation Army "injects its Christian philosophy deep into its programs." If the Salvation Army can do this, the article asked...

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Muslim Group Celebrates the Unveiling of the Eid Stamp

February 21, 2001

Source: The American Muslim Council

On February 21, 2001, the American Muslim Council issued a press release reporting that "the American Muslim Council Dallas Chapter celebrated the unveiling of the Eid Stamp at a banquet in Las Colinas, Texas." Texas senior Senator the Honorable Phil Gramm and Congressman Sam Johnson were among the guests. The executive director of the American Muslim Council in Washington D.C. outlined "the role of the Muslim Community in general on the evolution of the issuance of the Eid stamp by the United States Postal Service emphasizing...

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