Radio Mollet interviews the President of the Union of Islamic Communities of Catalonia (UCIDCAT)

25 July 2013

On Wednesday, the 24th of July 2013, the President of the Union of Islamic Communities of Catalonia (UCIDCAT), El Ghaidouni[1] gave an interview on the Radio Mollet news. El Ghaidouni discussed the situation of the Al Huda Mollet del Vallés community that has been doing the prayers of the month of Ramadan in the town square as a response to the closing of its headquarters by the City Hall. The UCIDCAT President stated also that, on one hand the city must find a solution to this problem and on the other, the members of the community should assume that any proposed solution must respect the urban plan of the city. El Ghaidouni said that UCIDCAT rejected the the location of places of worship in industrial areas, because religious practice does not produce waste or chemicals.
The UCIDCAT President concluded the interview by saying “we are expecting a serious commitment from the City to resolve this conflict, and any solution should come in the next day or week.”

 


[1] https://twitter.com/El_Ghaidouni

 

Muslims accuse the city of Vila of racism for not having a place to pray

25 July 2013

 

The Muslims of Vila accused yesterday the City Hall of aplying  ‘racist’ policies against the Islamic collective for “ideological reasons” assured the president of the Islamic Community Ibiza-Maghreb, Redouan Elkharrim. The conflict arises because, according to Elkharrim, they have no sufficient conditions for prayer during the month of Ramadan.  The representative of the Muslims said that once completed the period of Ramadan, he plans to meet with the mayor of Vila, Pilar Marí, and President of the Consell, Vicent Serra, and that “if necessary” he will go to Madrid. “There is no political will or anything. Here everyone would prefer that Muslims did not exist, “he said. In this period, the group has used the mosques of Ses Figueretes and the Navarra street to pray at the lack of a better place to do it all together.

Doesn’t religion cause most of the conflict in the world?

In this extract from the book For God’s Sake, one question is asked to four Australian writers with very different beliefs.

Religion is powerfully motivating and belligerent humans fight over it. Yet it’s true, religion has been a major feature in some historical conflicts and the most recent wave of modern terrorism. Religion has taken on extra significance today because globalisation is challenging and changing everything. Religious identity not only survives but can take on heightened significance when national and political alliances break apart. That religion can be so markedly different in the hands of the power-hungry, as opposed to the altruistic and virtuous, really says more about human psychology than it does about religion. That’s why so many human conflicts unfortunately involve religion.

None of this is to excuse the undeniable barbarity unleashed by religionists over the centuries. The misogyny, beheadings, terrorism, killings, beatings and cruelty are real. They continue. Today we see a growing battle in the Middle East between Shi’ite and Sunni; a Jewish state unleashing militancy against Christian and Muslim Palestinians; and an anti-gay crusade led by some Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders that threatens the sanctity of life itself.

Claiming religion is the source of the world’s evils is a careless comment. It’s far too easy to blame the Muslim faith for honour killings. I’m under no illusion about the fact that religion is routinely used to justify the more heinous crimes. But the 20th century is filled with examples, namely Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China, that didn’t need God as an excuse to commit genocide against a state’s own people.

Turkish PvdA Members of Rotterdam District Council Resign

July 3 2013

 

The management board of the Rotterdam district council Feijenoord has resigned, following a report on the activities of Labour Party (PvdA) members of Turkish descent.

 

Turkish members of the district Labour Party leadership have allegedly participated in nepotism favoring Turkish residents and organizations, according to the Bureau for the Integrity of Netherlands Municipalities (BING). BING also names Seyit Yeyden, chairman of the Feijenoord executive, and two unnamed council members, as guilty of conflict of interest. The board announced its resignation in a letter to the district council.

D.C. area Egyptians celebrate Morsi’s ouster

Zeinab Mansour, 70, a librarian from Chevy Chase, returned to her native Cairo two years ago to participate in the democratic revolution that toppled Egypt’s longtime dictator, Hosni Mubarak. Last year, the dual citizen voted in Egypt’s first free elections, which led to the presidency of Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

On Saturday, Mansour was out on the streets again, this time joining a rally in front of the White House to celebrate Morsi’s ouster by the Egyptian army Wednesday and to ask the Obama administration to support a second chance for democracy in her homeland after a year of turmoil and religious pressure under Morsi and his Islamist followers.

 

But even as many members of the Washington area’s large, middle-class Egyptian American community welcomed Morsi’s overthrow, calling it a “revolution, not a coup,” others warned that the sudden power vacuum and ongoing violent clashes involving secular, Islamist and security forces could lead to wider religious and social conflict in the poor Middle Eastern nation of 90 million.

 

“This is a very, very dangerous situation,” said Nancy Okiel, an Egyptian Muslim and staff member at the nonprofit rights group Freedom House in the District. “I am not optimistic at all when I see people dying in the streets, and I don’t think the issue is whether there was a coup or not. The country is very divided, and no matter how it settles, a lot of lives will be lost first.”

The demonstrators, along with many online Egyptian American commentators, expressed frustration at the Obama administration’s cautious reaction to the unfolding events in Egypt. Many suspect that Washington seeks to restore stability in Egypt at the expense of popular demands. The administration, which provides huge amounts of aid to Egypt, accepted Morsi’s election but also has close ties to the army.

 

“A lot of people are very angry at President Obama, and what he said has been lost in translation,” said Samia Harris, who heads a private school in Woodbridge. “The Egyptian people want freedom, human rights, justice and respect for law, and we want Mr. Obama and his administration to listen to them. This was not a coup. It was a marching order from the Egyptian people.”

 

A Mosques in Salerno: “No” from Cirielli, Celano, Peduto

Discussed was the idea of ​​creating a mosque in Salerno, which was started days ago by the mayor Vincenzo De Luca. Not in accordance, to start with, is the deputy of Fratelli d’Italia, Edmund Cirielli: “The idea of ​​building a mosque in Salerno as a center of Islamic culture is not justifiable. I do not see a need to do so.” he said.

“Building a new structure, would mean further contributing to the overbuilding of a city that already suffers from over land use due to decisions made in recent years by De Luca: the creation of a mosque, however, could be a magnet for other Muslim immigrants and I do not think Salerno can afford this luxury with all the problems of daily life,” said Ciriello. To conclude, councilor Roberto Celano said: “At a time of great economic difficulty, such as the one we are experiencing, proposing the idea of ​​building a mosque in Salerno, is entirely misplaced and inappropriate. The mayor seems to want to pursue visibility at all costs with proposals that, in his opinion, are innovative and would focus on his administration, but in reality they are do not support the city.”

“In the absence of a national law that gives clear guidance with respect to the freedom of religion but also guarantees the safety and support of the Italian citizens, the mayor, in his current capacity, will promote a law that regulates the building of places of worship which would actually be in conflict with the Italian state, “said Peduto.

Woolwich shows that Muslim leaders have learned how to respond to terrorism

The Muslim response to Woolwich has been a quick and unstinting condemnation of the atrocity perpetrated by two Muslim youths.

The Muslim Council of Britain, within hours of the attack, said: “This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family.” They went on to point out that British Muslims have long served in the Armed forces and that “this attack on a member of the Armed Forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder.”

The significance of these words cannot be overestimated: they prove that Muslim spokesmen are not tacitly supporting jihadists in our midst; and that the Council has learned from its past mistakes.

Contrast this heartfelt condemnation with the extraordinary statement released by the Muslim Council of Britain, following the 7 July bombings in London.

“We do naturally feel deeply for the sufferings, injustices and oppression the world over. Yet we also remind ourselves of the verse of the Qur’an, “O you who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity and let not abhorrence of any people make you swerve from justice. Deal justly, that is nearer to God-fearing. Fear Allah. Allah is aware of what you do.” (Al Maidah, 5:8) We also call on the international community to work towards just and lasting peace settlements in the world’s areas of conflict and help eliminate the grievances that seem to nurture a spiral of violence.”

 

What a difference from that response to the post-Woolwich one. Muslims have had to embark on this learning curve without any help from the media. In fact, if anything, the broadcasters have been keen to keep the Islamist swivel-eyed loons at the forefront of the agenda – as a furious Baroness Warsi has quite rightly pointed out.

The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society

worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-full-reportA new Pew Research Center survey of Muslims around the globe finds that most adherents of the world’s second-largest religion are deeply committed to their faith and want its teachings to shape not only their personal lives but also their societies and politics. In all but a handful of the 39 countries surveyed, a majority of Muslims say that Islam is the one true faith leading to eternal life in heaven and that belief in God is necessary to be a moral person. Many also think that their religious leaders should have at least some influence over political matters. And many express a desire for sharia – traditional Islamic law – to be recognized as the official law of their country.

 

The survey – which involved more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in 80-plus languages with Muslims across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa – shows that Muslims tend to be most comfortable with using sharia in the domestic sphere, to settle family or property disputes. In most countries surveyed, there is considerably less support for severe punishments, such as cutting off the hands of thieves or executing people who convert from Islam to another faith. And even in the domestic sphere, Muslims differ widely on such questions as whether polygamy, divorce and family planning are morally acceptable and whether daughters should be able to receive the same inheritance as sons.

 

In most countries surveyed, majorities of Muslim women as well as men agree that a wife is always obliged to obey her husband. Indeed, more than nine-in-ten Muslims in Iraq (92%), Morocco (92%), Tunisia (93%), Indonesia (93%), Afghanistan (94%) and Malaysia (96%) express this view. At the same time, majorities in many countries surveyed say a woman should be able to decide for herself whether to wear a veil.

Overall, the survey finds that most Muslims see no inherent tension between being religiously devout and living in a modern society. Nor do they see any conflict between religion and science. Many favor democracy over authoritarian rule, believe that humans and other living things have evolved over time and say they personally enjoy Western movies, music and television – even though most think Western popular culture undermines public morality.

 

The new survey also allows some comparisons with prior Pew Research Center surveys of Muslims in the United States. Like most Muslims worldwide, U.S. Muslims generally express strong commitment to their faith and tend not to see an inherent conflict between being devout and living in a modern society. But American Muslims are much more likely than Muslims in other countries to have close friends who do not share their faith, and they are much more open to the idea that many religions – not only Islam – can lead to eternal life in heaven. At the same time, U.S. Muslims are less inclined than their co-religionists around the globe to believe in evolution; on this subject, they are closer to U.S. Christians.

 

Few U.S. Muslims voice support for suicide bombing or other forms of violence against civilians in the name of Islam; 81% say such acts are never justified, while fewer than one-in-ten say violence against civilians either is often justified (1%) or is sometimes justified (7%) to defend Islam. Around the world, most Muslims also reject suicide bombing and other attacks against civilians. However, substantial minorities in several countries say such acts of violence are at least sometimes justified, including 26% of Muslims in Bangladesh, 29% in Egypt, 39% in Afghanistan and 40% in the Palestinian territories.

worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-full-report

Christians, Muslims & Jesus by Mona Siddiqui: review

Sameer Rahim applauds a stimulating dialogue between great faiths.

 

Despite that in some parts of the world you find violent conflict between Christians and Muslims, the Muslim theologian Mona Siddiqui touches on a central doctrinal difference between the two largest monotheisms: the true nature of Jesus of Nazareth.

 

When Mohammed announced his new religion in the early seventh century, he claimed to be walking the same path as Old Testament prophets such as Abraham, Moses – and Jesus. The Koran relates that Jesus was born to a virgin called Mary, preached God’s word, gathered disciples and performed miracles. He was condemned to death by crucifixion, the Koran says, but was saved through divine intervention and ascended to heaven without dying. Jesus will return to Earth, according to Islamic tradition as the Messiah.

 

The crucial difference from the Christian narrative is that for Muslims, Jesus is emphatically not the Son of God.

 

Siddiqui raises the point that Islam might well have preserved aspects of theologically unorthodox Christianity. In Siddiqui’s final chapter she bravely questions what the crucifixion might mean to a Muslim.

Studies portray Muslims in German media

May 3

 

The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR) has published a study appraising the views of more than 9,200 people in the summer of 2011. According to the study, 74 per cent of interviewees with a migrant background and almost 71 per cent of interviewees without a migrant background described the portrayal of Muslims in the German media as either “negative” or “much too negative”. More than 82 per cent of the Muslims polled share this view.

 

The survey outlines that although the integration of second generation Muslims in Germany has been successful, the political and media would narrow the debate to “failed integration of Muslims”. In the past, German public focused at the ethnic background of immigrants debating about the “failed integration of foreigners”. The policy brief describes the negative connection of Islam with terrorism and extremism.

 

Aiman Mazyek, chairman of the Central Council for Muslims in Germany (ZMD), pointed out the increasing number of news linked to Islam. With regard to the lack of differentiation Mazyek says: “The prejudiced view that immediately associates extremism with Islam – and therefore also with Muslims – is still far too prevalent in the German media”.

 

Margreth Lünenborg, professor of journalism and director of the International Journalists’ College at Berlin’s Free University (FU), expressed her concern about the increasingly stereotyped portrayal of Muslims in the German media.

 

The Bertelsmann Foundation has published a study monitoring the attitudes of Germans towards religions. The international study involved thirteen countries including Germany: totally, 14,000 people have been interviewed about their attitudes towards Islam and other religions. More than half of the interviewees in Germany do not see Islam as an integral part of Germany. However, 85 per cent of the interviewees claim to be tolerant and open minded towards all religions. Albeit 60 per cent perceive religious plurality as enrichment, 64 per cent of the interviewed describe religion as the source of conflict.

 

The study investigated also perceptions about politics and showed that there is a high acceptance for democracy: 79 per cent of the Muslim interviewees and 88 per cent of the Christian interviewees agree strongly with the democratic political system of Germany.

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