Jewish and Muslim communities to break fast for peace

July 15, 2014

NEW HAVEN. The violent actions on display between Israelis and Palestinians is a sight Rabbi Herbert Brockman doesn’t like viewing or listening to.

But instead of hearing about casualties, Brockman, spiritual leader of Congregation Mishkan Israel of Hamden, doesn’t want to stand by.

At sundown Tuesday, Brockman and other members of the Jewish community will head to The Islamic Association of Greater Hartford in Berlin for a date with Muslims, where they will break fast together. Tuesday is Shivah Asar B’Tammuz, a fast day for Jews, while Muslims are fasting during the month of Ramadan, Mongi Dhaouadi, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Connecticut, praised the event. CAIR’s focus is to empower the Muslim community through activism.

“It was well received from both sides,” Dhaouadi of New London said. “It’s a very small gesture. I don’t think sitting on the sideline doing nothing is acceptable either.”

Saud Anwar, Connecticut’s First Muslim Mayor

November 22, 2013

 

South Windsor physician Saud Anwar is the state’s first Muslim mayor. He sat down with Where We Live to talk about his faith, his vision for the town, and how he plans to juggle his busy schedule. Anwar is a native of Pakistan, who came to Connecticut via Illinois to study medicine at Yale.

On being the first Muslim mayor in the state:
Anwar says that although his faith is important because it shapes his values, he is focused on his new responsibilities. “The fact that I am a mayor who is of Muslim faith helps the children who are in our communities in Connecticut or beyond who at times feel they are bullied or disenfranchised…when they are hearing on radio or television about their faith,” he said. “This would hopefully allow them to recognize that the people who are trying to paint them with a broad brush do not necessarily represent true America.”

On what he’ll tackle first as mayor of South Windsor:
Saud Anwar said his first step will be to unify the town. The town is divided, he said, not only across political boundaries, but across ethnic and demographic boundaries as well. “One of the main issues that we need to recognize [is] that we are all in it together,” he said. “This is our home. This is our community. We are going to do whatever it takes to stay together, and only together we’ll be able to address all the issues that we have to.” Anwar said that his job as a physician has taught him to be organized and to work with a team, all of which he plans to use in his new position.

 

Cair.com: http://cair.com/press-center/american-muslim-news/12268-saud-anwar-connecticut-first-muslim-mayor.html

Video: Statement of Muslim Community at Newtown, Conn. Interfaith Service with President Obama

Statement read by Jason Graves, Al Hedaya Islamic Center, Newtown, Conn.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
The Muslim community of the Al Hedaya Islamic Center in Newtown, in Connecticut and throughout the nation joins with our fellow Americans in grieving for those who died in this senseless tragedy and praying for them and their families.
We ask God to grant those lost a special place in paradise and we ask their families to be granted the strength to endure the unendurable.
It is in such times of almost unbearable loss that we seek comfort with our Creator and that artificial divisions of faith fall away to reveal a nation of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, son and daughters, all united in a desire to bring healing and renewed hope.
The Quran, Islam’s revealed text, tells us that God’s mercy and compassion are without limit and always available for those who ask. God says: “When my servants question you about Me, tell them that I am near. I answer the prayer of every person who calls on Me.” (2:186)
In the Quran, God also says: “Give glad tidings to those who endure with patience; who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘We belong to God and to Him we shall return.’ Such are the people on whom there are blessings and Mercy from God.” (2:155-157)
So let us all, of every faith, of every background, pray for God’s comfort at this time of heartbreaking tragedy.
“Verily, with every difficulty there is ease. Verily, with every difficulty there is ease.” (94:5-6)
Ameen

Extradited Muslim Cleric and 4 Other Terrorism Suspects Appear in American Courts after being extradited from Britain.

NEW YORK — A radical Muslim cleric whose fiery sermons at a London mosque were blamed for influencing followers to embrace a holy war against the United States arrived in New York on Saturday along with other terrorism suspects after losing a battle to fight extradition from Britain.

Abu Hamza Masri, also known as Mustafa Kamel Mustafa; Adel Abdel Bary; and Khaled Fawwaz appeared in federal court in Manhattan hours after their arrival in the U.S. to face multiple terrorism-related charges. Two other suspects were sent to Connecticut.

After a protracted battle in the British and European courts, Abu Hamza al-Masri, an incendiary Muslim preacher with links to Al Qaeda, and four other terrorism suspects implicated in an array of terrorist plots were extradited to the United States on Saturday to face federal charges in Manhattan and New Haven.

The two other defendants in Manhattan, Adel Abdul Bary, 52, and Khaled al-Fawwaz, 50, were arraigned on charges including murder and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in connection with the 1998 bombings of the American Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and in Nairobi, Kenya, in which more than 200 people died. They pleaded not guilty.

In New Haven on Saturday, the final two defendants, Seyla Talha Ahsan, 33, and Babar Ahmad, 38, pleaded not guilty to charges that included conspiring to recruit fighters, raise money and gather equipment for terrorists on Web sites hosted out of Connecticut.

Federal authorities in the United States had long been seeking the extradition of Mr. Masri, an Egyptian-born cleric, for his involvement in a 1998 kidnapping of American citizens in Yemen, supporting the establishment of a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore., and “facilitating violent jihad in Afghanistan,” according to a statement by the United States attorney in Manhattan. If convicted, Mr. Masri could face life in prison.

Conn. candidate for US House seat compares Islam to cult, wonders if it’s a religion of peace

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Republican candidate for a Connecticut seat in the U.S. House of Representatives says he did not mean to disparage “peace-loving Muslims” by calling Islam a cult and questioning if it is a religion of peace.
Mark Greenberg, one of four Republicans seeking nomination for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Chris Murphy, said in an interview on WNPR radio Thursday that Islam is a cult “in many respects.” He added: “I don’t believe that in all manner that Islam is a religion of peace.”
Greenberg, who is Jewish, later issued a statement that he was referring to terrorists. He said, “I was referring to groups and individuals who have interpreted Islam in a way that allows them to commit violence in the name of their religion.”

Americans Rally for Hijab & Hoodie Victims

CONNECTICUT – United by grief and anger, dozens of Yale students rose up Thursday, April 5, against discrimination and racism, hosting a “Hoodies and Hijabs” day in protest of the murder of Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi.

“Being discriminated against for wearing certain types of clothing, or coming from certain religious or racial backgrounds is unacceptable,” the announcement by the Yale Muslim Students Association, cited by Yale Daily News, read.

The event was held to protest the killing of Shaima Alawadi, a 32-year-old mother of five, who was found unconscious on March 21 in the living room of their home in El Cajon in San Diego County.

Three days later, she was declared dead after taking her off life support.

Police said that hate crime was an option after an apparently xenophobic note was found beside the body of the Iraqi mother.

Considering other options, hate crime remained the highest possibility considered by community activists who pointed to a history of violence and intimidation toward the local Muslim community.

Yale students also rallied on behalf of Trayvon Martin, an African-American teenager who was shot on Feb. 26
Trayvon, an unarmed black Miami teenager who donned a hoodie, was shot to death more than a month ago by George Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch volunteer in Sanford.

Muslim woman: Roller rink didn’t allow head scarf

VERNON, Conn. — A Muslim woman in Connecticut says a roller rink’s request that she either remove or cover her head scarf was discriminatory.

Marisol Rodriguez-Colon of Windsor tells WTIC-TV that she and her sister-in-law went to the Ron-A-Roll indoor rink in Vernon on Sunday for her niece’s birthday party. She says inside, a woman who identified herself as a manager told them they would have to either remove their hijabs or wear helmets. She was told the rink has a policy prohibiting headwear.

Rink management issued a statement reiterating the no headwear policy and saying helmets are offered for safety purposes.

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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