31 July 2013
The municipality of Pineda de Mar (Maresme) has bought a place to set in a civic center for the Muslim community.
Jordi Masnou, Town Planning, has argued that the goal is “to provide a suitable place to the entities and associations to develop all kinds of activities.”
For more than half a year that the City and the Muslim community have been searching for a site in the industrial park suitable to be an Islamic worship center, once discarded the option of moving the site to a warehouse in the district of Les Creus due to the neighborhood’s opposition.
 According to the Organic Law of Religious Freedom “Ley Orgánica de Libertad Religiosa (7/1980); autonomous regions have full legislative powers in what concerns urban planning and funding. Therefore specific construction and legality of each of the mosques or places of worship will depend on the specific legal implementation by regional and local administrations.
It’s the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and that means the start of Ramadan – this year in July for the first time since 1980 – and most of the UK’s three million Muslims, including older children, will be fasting from dawn to sundown and focusing on being better Muslims and people. Ramadan is a great opportunity to find out more about Islam in RE lessons and beyond and also a chance for everyone to practice a little introspection. Fasting is a powerful way to empathise with those in need and give thanks for our food, and some non-Muslim students may like to practice their own controlled fasts during the Ramadan period in support of their Muslim friends. The following news stories, multimedia, teaching resources and recommended websites will help students understand the meaning behind Ramadan and how this important festival works.
The straw man of the famous post-Sept. 11 slogan, “Not every Muslim is a terrorist but every terrorist is a Muslim” was debunked by a 2005 FBI report.
It showed that only 6 percent of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by extremists calling themselves Muslims. But one group has sustained the Islamophobic rhetoric, nonetheless.
So I wonder if Muslims would rally outside the Republican National Convention this week carrying a banner stating, “Not all Republicans are Islamophobes but all Islamophobes are Republicans.” Trust me. The data supports it.
A new poll conducted by the Arab American Institute asked the attitudes of voters, analyzed along party lines, towards different religious groups, including Arabs and Muslims. Overall, 57 percent of the Republican voters viewed all Muslims unfavorably in comparison to 29 percent of Democrats who expressed a similar opinion. When it came to American Muslims, 47 percent of Republicans, in contrast with 23 percent of Democrats, held an unfavorable view.
Islamophobia in America is not innate, rather it’s the fruit of a decade-long hysteria against Muslims generated by a largely Republican machine comprised of pundits, conservative funders, media conglomerates and fiery politicians.
You can’t help but wonder: Why is it that nearly all Islamophobes are Republicans?
The president of the Austrian Islamic Religious Community (IGGiÖ), Anas Schakfeh, has been awarded the gold medal for public service to the federal state of Vienna. Thomas Oliva, chairman of the Vienna Immigration Commission, called Schakfeh a “role model,” while Michael Häupl, mayor of Vienna, thanked him for his help in the smooth cooperation between religious communities in Vienna. Schakfeh, originally from Syria and Austrian citizen since 1980, responded that living in Vienna was a privilege for him, and he was thankful to have achieved certain goals, such as establishment of a Muslim cemetery and confessional schools.
The Spanish government is preparing a draft bill for reforms of the Freedom of Religion Law. The current law was defined in the Spanish Constitution of 1978, but the text was created and approved in 1980. It is possible that this draft bill will be presented in April of this year.
The objective of this new legal text is to better reflect the changing religious situation in Spain. Currently, the details of the text have not been disclosed, but it probably includes the elimination of all religious symbols in public institutions.
Former German diplomat and author Dr. Murad Wilfried Hofmann was selected as the Muslim personality of the year during a Qoran competition of Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA). Meanwhile, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will give away awards and certificates to the winners of intense competition among 77 contestants and a rich cultural programme of 35 lectures during the closing ceremony on Thursday night at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. DIHQA annually honours an Islamic figure for their immense contributions to Islam; with this year’s 13th session granted to Hofmann. DIHQA awarded earlier important figures among Islamic wolrd such as Alija Izetbegovic and Sheikh Yusuf Al-Kardavi. Dr. Hofmann, born in Aschaffenburg, Germany 1931 is well-known German diplomat and author, was born a Catholic, but embraced Islam in 1980. His conversion to Islam was controversial due to his high profile in the German government. He has authored several books on Islam, including “Journey to Makkah and Islam: The Alternative”, other works and essays which focus on Islam in the West, UAe news agency said.
An Ottawa university has replaced a professor accused of involvement in a deadly Paris bombing nearly three decades ago. Hassan Diab was teaching a part-time summer course in sociology at Carleton University. He has been a Canadian citizen since 1993.
The university said it had hired Mr. Diab to teach in the summer session because of an unforeseen leave taken by the course’s original instructor.
Mr. Diab has maintained his innocence since he was arrested in late 2008. He was released on bail March 31, 2008, under strict conditions that include wearing a GPS-monitored ankle bracelet. A Canadian Jewish organization had criticized Mr. Diab’s hiring, saying that an alleged terrorist should not be teaching impressionable university students.
Mr. Diab is expected to face a hearing in January, when a judge will decide whether he should be sent to France to face allegations he participated in the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue that killed four people and wounded dozens of others. The university said the action was being taken “in the interest of providing its students with a stable, productive academic environment that is conducive to learning.” His colleagues at Carleton have issued several petition letters.
American Muslim nuclear physicist Abdel Moniem Ali el-Ganayni has issued a lawsuit against the US government, saying that his security clearance was revoked because of his faith and criticism of the Iraq war. El-Ganayni has worked at the government-financed Bettis laboratory for 18 years, but lost his security clearance by the Department of Energy last May – causing him to lose his job. The Department of Energy declined to give a reason for the physicist’s revoked security clearance, citing only national security. El-Ganayni was born in Egypt, but migrated to the United States in 1980, and was naturalized in 1988 after receiving his master’s and doctorate. In his lawsuit, El-Ganayni said that his rights to free speech, religion, and equal protections have been violated.
By Michael Scott Moore As the first generation of Muslim immigrants to Germany get older, over 70 percent still plan to be buried in the country of their birth. Is integration a problem even in death? Yemos Vurgun was the frail matriarch of a Turkish immigrant family when she died in 1994, aged 90, and although she’d spent her last 14 years in Berlin, her son Ali Riza put her travel papers in order: She had one last trip to make. “We had to have her passport stamped,” said Ali, who traveled with the casket to Turkey. The stamp from German officials proved she was dead. Ali needed it so Turkish officials would admit her body back into her homeland. A full five days after her death — three days of paperwork in Berlin, then two plane trips and a ride in a van — Vurgun’s casket arrived in the mountain village of Akyurt, in eastern Turkey, where the old woman was laid to rest beside her husband. “We never considered burying her in Berlin,” said Ali. “Our neighbors in Akyurt wouldn’t have forgiven us.” Vurgun’s children had left home in the ’60s as part of the first wave of guest workers from Turkey, and she’d joined them only as a widow, in 1980. She was less integrated than most immigrants to Germany, but her story is still the rule for most Muslims here. Islamic undertakers estimate that 70 to 80 percent of Muslim immigrants arrange to have their bodies sent home — mainly to Turkey, but also to other countries like Lebanon or Egypt — rather than face a nontraditional burial in cold German ground. The reasons aren’t always religious — sometimes they’re financial, sometimes just nostalgic — and the German system gets in the way as much as Islamic law. But integration, it seems, can be a problem even in death (…)