INED Study Claims a Growing Number of French Muslims Attend Religious Services

Of the 10,079 respondents in France in an INED (French National Institute of Demographic Studies) poll who were recently asked, ¨What is your religious adherence?” only 7% claimed to participate in a faith tradition. A growing number of respondents responded “no religion.” While the number of Catholics continues to decline, the study points to an increasing number of Muslims. Less than 2% of those Muslims who were reported were between 65-79 years-old, while 7% were between 18-24 years-old. 34% of Muslim men and 14% of Muslim women claim they visit their religious centre more than twice a month.

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INED study available here.

Muslim charities will undergo review process to win back donors

Muslim charities in the United State are turning to the Better Business Bureau to win back donors, and in an effort to gain back their confidence in their fundraising activities. Many such charities were hit hard after September 11th, 2001, where funds were seized and questions by the US government. Under this initiative, seven Muslim charities have already volunteered to commit to a review process designed by the BBB to validate their financial soundness and transparency. The effort is lead by Muslim Advocates, an advocacy group based in San Francisco.

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Immigrants urge arrest of Moroccan drink-drive suspect

Immigrants in the northern city of Padua are urging for the arrest of a Moroccan man who killed a young Italian while driving under intoxication of alcohol. The group of immigrants, led by Muhammad Ahmed, a Moroccan journalist, launched their appeal during a taping that later appeared on Italian television. The unnamed Moroccan man had blood alcohol levels that were reportedly four times “normal” limits, when his car struck and killed Simone Bacchini on a scooter, and injured two others. The man is believed to have fled Italy to his native Morocco. Anti-immigrant Northern League members are also lobbying the European Parliament for the man’s arrest.

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Muslim Demonstrators Protest Outside American Actor’s Hospital Room in Nice

Dozens of Muslim residents in Nice protested outside the hospital of American actor Angelina Jolie’s, demanding more attention be given by the mayor to a local murdered youth and not to Jolie and actor Brad Pitt’s recently born twin babies. Specifically protestors were requesting that the body of the victim be released to have a proper Muslim funeral.

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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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Muslim summit in Rome looks at ways to fight radicalism

Members of Italy’s Muslim community met on Friday to find new ways to combat extremism. The meeting, held in Rome’s main mosque, was the first of its kind to be organized by the Association of Muslim Intellectuals. “We placed attention on the need to implement strategies to prevent Islamic radicalism and foster initiatives that aim to create a more accurate image of Islam,” said in a statement by the group. The group also asserted that it would support an initiative by Pope Benedict XVI who intends to read from parts of Genesis in a televised speech to be given in October. The president of the organization, Ahmad Gianpiero Vincenzo said that the group is “happy to participate in a moment of great religious and civil significance.

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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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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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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.

Muslim scholars reach out to Pope

More than 130 Muslim scholars have written to Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders urging greater understanding between the two faiths.

The letter says that world peace could depend on improved relations between Muslims and Christians.

It identifies the principles of accepting only one god and living in peace with one’s neighbours as common ground between the two religions.