Muslims join battle to stop new mosque

More than 200 people, including members of the Muslim community, joined forces at a packed public meeting to fight controversial plans for a new mosque in Walsall. People living near the planned mosque at the former Hertz Rent-A-Car and Autocrash Repair Centre, in St John’s Road, Pleck, were joined by Muslims from the area in opposing the scheme. Residents say dozens more cars would be brought on to an already busy road if the current proposals are given the go-ahead by Walsall Council planners. Representatives of an existing mosque in nearby Woodward Road said there are already enough mosques in the area. A meeting last night at Pleck Working Men’s club, next to the proposed site in Scarborough Road, resolved a committee would be set up to campaign against the application. Pat Etchells, aged 57, from Darlaston Road, said: “There are already parking problems here and we are going to have a red route down the road soon. “I am concerned about access for the emergency services as much as anything, with Walsall Manor just a short distance away.” Sue Hayward, who also lives nearby, said: “It’s not a large piece of land and certainly not big enough for all the cars there will be there.”

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Conference for Muslims in the military

A country house in Hampshire was the rarefied setting for the second conference hosting Muslims serving in Britain’s armed forces. Close to 400 Muslims serve in the military – about 300 in the Army, 50 in the RAF and 40 in the Navy. Imam Asim Hafiz, who has served as the Muslim chaplain for the last three years, organised the conference and is in charge of ministering to the spiritual needs of Muslims in all three services. “They are soldiers but at the same time they have a faith identity, a Muslim identity,” he told the BBC. He went on to explain that the conference provided Muslims with advice on tackling some of the issues they may face – like how to talk to superiors about getting regular prayer time, or having halal food available or fasting. Some of the older officers explained that when they joined the issue of halal food was not understood at all, leading to a diet that consisted largely of potatoes and peas. But while progress has been made, there was a sense that more work needed to be done to educate officers on how to deal with Muslims in their ranks and what it means to practise a religion. “It is an education for the individual on how to raise these issues and an education to the hierarchy that these are just different requirements that need to be considered,” explained one flight lieutenant in the RAF.

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In Hartford, Thousands Gather To Celebrate Islam

The annual Islamic Circle of North America convention drew thousands at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, bringing Muslims from a wide variety of backgrounds, mixing “tradition” with the “modern.” Women with headscarves holding Starbucks coffee cups, American converts, and Muslim Americans from states including Texas and the Carolinas came to the convention, drawing more than 15,000 people. Themes of the convention included family, educating young people on the “true meaning” of Islam, and helping overcome misperceptions of Muslims to non-Muslims.

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Bercy Seeks to Enable the Development of Islamic Financing in France

Christine Lagarde, Minister of the Economy and Finance, wants to facilitate the development of Islamic finances in France, stating she wants follow the model already in place in London. Known as “sukuks”, this kind of loan meets the rules of shari’ah law which prohibits claiming interest and investing in certain sectors like those related to war, alcohol and gaming.

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Czech Republic: Country’s first mosque celebrates 10-year anniversary

Czech Muslims are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the first mosque built in the country, built in the city of Brno. While the Islamic Foundation in Brno faced protests and opposition concerning the mosque’s construction, and the facility was built without a minaret, the community is now thriving and is planning to build a new, and larger mosque. Islamic Foundation head Muneeb Hassan Alrawi said “we are celebrating ten years of the Brno mosque but we consider it a success of the society, of the people in the Czech Republic. Two different entities agreeing on a common principle of co-existence is definitely a success.” Brno’s Muslim community currently has some 800 members, comprised of both Czechs and foreigners.

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Ukraine: Introducing Muslim Fashion to Ukraine

Olga Kokalits, a 25-year old Ukrainian Muslim convert, won a fashion contest as the best fashion designer contest last week in the Ukraine. Kokalits said that she felt that “it was a duty” to take part in a fashion show sponsored by the state, presenting a selection of 10 different Islamic attires varying from wedding gowns, sports outfits, and evening dresses. “I was concerned that Muslim clothes, which cover the whole body except for face and hands, will look odd and funny to an audience who are not familiar with such wearing,” said Olga. Her designs, on the contrary, received a warm welcome from audience members and judges alike. “I was surprised to see the audience showing great interest in my creations,” she said.

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Muslim Man Requests Crucifix Removal at Catholic Clinic

A Muslim man has successfully requested the removal of a crucifix from the room where his daughter was being cared for in a Catholic clinic in Bourgoin-Jallieu (Isère). The director of the Saint-Vincent de Paul Clinic, Marie-Thérèse Besson, staed “When people choose to be cared for in our establishment . . . they know they’re in a catholic care space.” The case will be further discussed at the next ethics committee meeting of the Alliance des maternités catholiques (Alliance of Catholic Caregivers).

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Fatwa Condemning Terrorism and Religious Extremism

The Fiqh Council of North America wishes to reaffirm Islam’s condemnation of terrorism and religious extremism.

Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians’ life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram – prohibited in Islam – and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not “martyrs.”

The Qur’an, Islam’s revealed text, states: “Whoever kills a person, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a person, it is as though he had saved all mankind.” (Qur’an, 5:32)

Prophet Muhammad said there is no excuse for committing unjust acts: “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

God mandates moderation in faith and in all aspects of life when He states in the Qur’an: “We made you to be a community of the middle way, so that (with the example of your lives) you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind.” (Qur’an, 2:143)

In another verse, God explains our duties as human beings when he says: “Let there arise from among you a band of people who invite to righteousness, and enjoin good and forbid evil.” (Qur’an, 3:104)

Islam teaches us to act in a caring manner to all of God’s creation. The Prophet Muhammad, who is described in the Qur’an as “a mercy to the worlds” said: “All creation is the family of God, and the person most beloved by God (is the one) who is kind and caring toward His family.”

In the light of the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah we clearly and strongly state: All acts of terrorism targeting the civilians are Haram (forbidden) in Islam. It is Haram for a Muslim to cooperate or associate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.

It is the duty of Muslims to cooperate with the law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians. We issue this fatwa following the guidance of our scripture the Qur’an and the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him. We urge all people to resolve all conflicts in just and peaceful manners. We have deep concern for the suffering and pain of millions of Muslims in different parts of the world. We deplore those who cause death and destruction to them. However, we urge Muslims to not lose their moral grounds. God’s help is with those who follow the right path.

We pray for the defeat of extremism, terrorism and injustice. We pray for the safety and security of our country United States and its people. We pray for the safety and security of all inhabitants of this globe. We pray that interfaith harmony and cooperation prevail both in United States and every where in the world.

What is The Islamic Verdict on those Participating in the British General Elections and on Voting?

The fatwa below is the one that allegedly inspired the recent twelve-page document titled, “Participation in the Elections,” circulating in Brussels. The Belgian document called for a boycott of the June 10, 2007 Belgian election.

Praise be to the almighty Allah and may the peace of Allah and his Mercy be upon the Messenger Muhammad, his family and his companions and those who ally with them.

In order to be able to answer the urgent question of participating in the British Parliament and voting for candidates who want to participate in Parliament, we must understand the reality, for the Juristic principle states part of Judging a matter is comprehending it or understanding its reality.

Therefore we must understand the reality of two things:

1- The British Parliament who some candidates want to participate in and

2- The election which the people want to be involved in i.e. voting.

We must remember that part of our Imaan and belief in Allah (SWT) is At-Tawheed which means obeying, following, worshipping and elevating Almighty Allah (SWT) exclusively, without associating with him or his attributes anyone else, and that conversely associating with God or with any of his attributes is an act of Shirk which makes a person go outside the fold of Islam and that this is why At-Tawheed is the fundamental pillar of Islam. One of Allah (SWT)’s attributes is that he is the legislator and the commander and he has the absolute right and power to command and legislate, and no one shares this absolute power with him. For Allah (SWT) says:

“Verily the absolute right of legislating is for none but Allah (SWT)” [EMQ 12:40] […]