On Tuesday, September 23rd, Muslims with Twitter handles Tweeted #muslimapologies, a tongue-in-cheek response to President Obama’s speech at the United Nations where the President of the United States told the General Assembly that it is time for Muslims to stand-up against ISIS. As The Washington Post points out, “#MuslimApologies represents another reaction: Frustration over the assumption of collective responsibility.
RICHMOND — A Senate committee in the Virginia General Assembly on Tuesday narrowly endorsed a measure to amend the state’s Bill of Rights to require all public places and schools to accommodate prayer or other religious activity and allow students to be dismissed from assignments or presentations that conflict with their religious beliefs.
The resolution — sponsored by Republican Sens. William M. Stanley, Jr. (Franklin) and Charles W. “Bill” Carrico (Grayson) — would guarantee public officials, students and others the right to conduct religious activities as long as they were not disruptive and no one was coerced to participate.
Stanley told the panel that the measure was intended to ensure that people of all religions would not be penalized for exercising their right to religious beliefs. To illustrate, he said that a Muslim high school student could ask to be excused from dissecting a fetal pig in biology class, because their religion views those animals as unclean, without affecting his or her grades.
MORE than a dozen American states are considering outlawing aspects of Shariah law. Some of these efforts would curtail Muslims from settling disputes over dietary laws and marriage through religious arbitration, while others would go even further in stigmatizing Islamic life: a bill recently passed by the Tennessee General Assembly equates Shariah with a set of rules that promote “the destruction of the national existence of the United States.”
Supporters of these bills contend that such measures are needed to protect the country against homegrown terrorism and safeguard its Judeo-Christian values. The Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has said that “Shariah is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it.”
This is exactly wrong. The crusade against Shariah undermines American democracy, ignores our country’s successful history of religious tolerance and assimilation, and creates a dangerous divide between America and its fastest-growing religious minority.
Islam is not the sole cause of inequality between men and women in the Middle East, two human rights activists said. That’s the message Shirin Ebadi, the first Muslim woman and only Iranian to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, president of the U.N. General Assembly, sent a crowd of about 300 people at Rutgers University yesterday. “It is very important to inform the world about Islam,” Rashed Al Khalifa said. “Islam can absorb all the differences in the world. Concepts like jihad are against all principles we live and learn, and I can’t make justifications for it because we consider it an illness for our society.” Rashed Al Khalifa, who is from the Middle Eastern island Bahrain, also is a human rights advocate and lawyer. A descendent of the royal family there, she is the third woman and first from the Middle East to take the U.N. General Assembly presidential post.
The General Assembly of the Moslems of Belgium introduced to the Court Friday arbitrage proceedings for annulment of the law of July 2004 creating a Commission in charge of the renewal of associations representing Islam. The same step aims to arrest the royal execution of September 23, 2004 before the State Council. The reason is “unacceptable” internal interference in the associations of Muslim worship. For the cabinet minister of religion, Laurette Onkelinx, one wants to be careful with these recourse. “The institution of the Commission is only to bring back peace within the community, which is torn on the renewal of the Assembly of the Executives of the Muslims of Belgium”.