New Mexico Iraqi woman hurt in possible hate crime

June 13, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Iraqi Catholic refugee who was assaulted in her Albuquerque apartment appears to be the victim of a hate crime by an attacker who yelled obscenities about Muslims, police said.

According to Albuquerque police, a man last week forced his way into the home of Seham Jaber, shouting nasty remarks about Muslims and punching her in the head and stomach. The intruder then tore up her family’s citizenship papers in the June 5 attack, investigators said.

“The irony is the individual thought the family was Muslim, and they’re actually refugees from Iraq who are Catholic,” Albuquerque police spokesman Simon Drobik said.

Jaber, who speaks Arabic, told police the unknown assailant also stole at least $20,000 in gold, which represented her family’s life savings. The assailant also stole jewelry, she said.

The FBI now is investigating the case as a possible federal hate crime, Albuquerque police said Friday.

Franciscans publish imam’s book on Allah and his prophets

Yahya Pallavicini, imam of the mosque al-Wahid in Milan, vice-president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community and founder of the International Committee of Imams, and Rabbis and Christians for Peace UNESCO in Paris, has decided to publish his last book “The Merciful. Allah and his Prophets” with a major catholic publishing house in Italy, Edizioni Messaggero.

It is a strong choice in a country that fights the veil and mosques. In Veneto, worshipping space is denied to Muslims and non-catholic religious symbols aren’t accepted. Pallavicini believes that courage is necessary to enhance dialogue, the only way to overcome isolation, prejudices and contrasts.

Spreading knowledge about Allah’s prophets (the same for Muslims, Jewish and Catholics), discusses how to foster integration while avoiding suspicion, fear and ignorance about different traditions. The book tries to facilitate the encounter of two worlds. Following what San Francesco once said regarding the Crusades: “We don’t have to go against anybody, rather we have to go among everybody”, the book seeks to meet the Others upon ideas of mercy and dialogue.

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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Sessions Regularly Held by the Bishops’ Conference

Catholic priests are getting educated about Islam, _in order to be able to distinguish between rumors and realities’. In my neighborhood, the church is empty and the mosque is packed; that’s a reality that compels me to learn about Islam. Candidness is not at odds with caution, and this priest making this statement asked to remain anonymous. Contacts between the catholic world and Islam might be frequent, they are still heavily biased by fear, clich_s, and lack of mutual knowledge.