A mosque and a cultural center in Venice?

February 22, 2014

 

No Islamic cultural center and mosque is complete without a minaret muezzin calling to worshippers to prayer. A Mosque would take many Venetian Muslims into the sunlight, out of garages and stairs that have been their places of worship for all this time. A cultural center could be in the future for the City of Venice. An unnamed Saudi prince has agreed to fund the center, according to the local newspapers. Now begins a battle for a place of worship.

 

Venezia Today: http://www.veneziatoday.it/cronaca/moschea-centro-culturale-islam-venezia-principe-saudita.html

Ottawa’s Muslim call to prayer? It’s an app

Ottawa’s Muslim community, which comprised 3.9 per cent of the city’s population in the 2006 census, is out of luck if they’re listening for a public daily reminder. There is only one mosque in Ottawa with a minaret capable of performing the call, though it has never been used to do so, says Mohamed Ghadban, the president of the Ottawa Muslim Association.

Without a public call to prayer, many Muslims rely on technology to keep track of changing prayer times. “When there weren’t digital watches, no atomic clocks, and all these ways to tell time, people needed to hear something, or people needed to tell each other what time to pray,” said Amira Elmi. “I usually just Google the time.”

Mahfoudhi said he uses his smart phone for accurate prayer times. “We’ve gotten around the restriction of not being allowed to do it publicly, and we actually have a little app,” said Mahfoudhi.

German TV documentary “Allah in Ehrenfeld“

July 12

 

This 90 minute documentary shows moods and positions relatively to the construction of Germany’s biggest mosque in the city district of Collogne-Ehrenfeld. Since 2007 the construction of the mosque has been a bone of contention between the project supporters and local inhabitants, who openly oppose the construction. The documentary focuses on polarized attitudes and statements for and against the project, contributing interviews with local politicians, citizen initiatives and the Turkish-Islamic Union Institute for Religion (Ditib). Ditib had actually initiated the mosque construction but withdrew its order in 2011, after popular initiatives and the City Council raised “technical” demands for a transparent untraditional architecture and a lower height of the mosque’s minaret.

The history of mosques in Germany

June 27

 

In an article published by Die Zeit, the political scientist Claus Leggewie writes about Islamic architecture in Germany. The first mosques were built in Germany in the 18th century. In conformity with the idea of religious tolerance, the Prussian King Frederic William IV allowed the construction of the first minaret in Prussia. This gesture actually had a symbolic value: the mosque was built by the Ahmadyya community, who at the time was persecuted as heretic in Pakistan and India.

 

Leggewie shows how architecture styles, the composition of immigrant population and the attitude of German society have changed over the decades. Today, mosques in Berlin or Duisburg-Marxloh represent places of intercultural dialogue, and are capable to reduce mistrust between the religious community and the local neighborhood.

First Minaret in Saarland

18.02.2012

The Turkish Muslim community in the city of Volklingen celebrated the completion of the first minaret in the federal state of Saarland last week. The plans to build a minaret on top of the Selimiye Mosque, a former cinema, had divided Volklingen’s population last year. While the argument was reminiscent of the ban of minarets in Switzerland, opponents of the minaret in Volklingen could, however, not enforce a similar ban.

Muslim America moves away from the minaret

In post 9/11 America the construction of new mosques in the US has sometimes sparked controversy and even confrontation. Is that why some new Muslim houses of worship are being built without the most recognisable features of Islamic architecture – minarets and domes?

The National Islamic Center in Washington DC is an imposing building with a towering minaret. One of America’s iconic mosques, it is surrounded by the flags of the Islamic countries which helped pay for its construction in the 1950s.
Its design was influenced by classical and traditional architecture in Egypt. Akbar Ahmed, a professor of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington DC and one of the world’s leading experts on contemporary Islam, says it would be impossible to build such a national mosque today because of the controversy it would arouse.

“It’s a bad time for Islamic architecture,” says Mr Ahmed, former Pakistani ambassador to the UK.
“If there was some visionary with money who wanted to build the Taj Mahal in the US, he’d be attacked as a stealth Jihadist.”

Dresden Mosque Vandalized by Islamophobes

18.05.2011
On Tuesday night, someone spray-painted inflammatory anti-Muslim graffiti on a mosque in Dresden. While the perpetrators are unknown, the police suspect a politically motivated offense. Due to its construction and the lack of a minaret, the mosque cannot easily be identified as a place of worship. It has been the first attack of this kind.

“There Have Been Many Mistakes in our Integration Policy”

6 February 2011

In a recent interview, the Swiss Minister of Justice Simonetta Sommaruga has stated that the debate on immigration and integration in Switzerland needs to move beyond slogans such as “Foreigners Out!” or “Foreigners In!” Swiss citizens need to have a more engaged interest in politics, and not simply resort to “symbolic” initiatives, such as the minaret ban. Citizens have understandable reasons to feel uncomfortable, given globalization and a degree of criminality linked to foreigners, however the problem is especially when there is no contact between the two groups.

In general, Sommaruga states that there have been many mistakes made in past integration policies. In order to begin to correct these problems, Switzerland must not only attract more high-qualified workers, but also help less-qualified workers be more “fit” for the labor market, by encouraging integration and language-learning.

The mosque at the top of the world

North America’s most northern minaret opens (after an epic 2,800-mile
journey)

The most northern mosque in North America officially opened yesterday in
Inuvik, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, where there is a growing
Muslim population.

The opening marks the end of an arduous journey that saw the building
travel over rivers – atop barges – and bumpy, narrow roads to arrive
at its destination.

After being assembled in the city of Winnipeg, the mosque travelled some
4,500km (2,800 miles) and has been nicknamed ‘the little mosque of tundra’.

The most northern mosque in North America officially opened on Wednesday
in Inuvik, in the Canadian Northern Territories

The most northern mosque in North America officially opened on Wednesday
in Inuvik, in the Canadian Northern Territories

The mosque, nicknamed ‘the little mosque of tundra’, was build in
Winnipeg and travelled 2,800 miles to Inuvik

The mosque, nicknamed ‘the little mosque of tundra’, was build in
Winnipeg and travelled 2,800 miles to Inuvik

The new 1,554-sq-ft (473-sq-m) building is a step up from the
one-bedroom trailer Muslims in the town have used for prayer services
over the past 10 years

The new 1,554-sq-ft (473-sq-m) building is a step up from the
one-bedroom trailer Muslims in the town have used for prayer services
over the past 10 years

The mosque, which doubles as a community centre, is believed to be the
second most-northerly in the world, next to one in Siberia.

‘It’s a very personal achievement for all of us because we were in a
small building… and now we have this one,’ Ahmed al-Khalaf, who helped
organise fundraising efforts for the mosque, said

‘It’s a very personal achievement for all of us because we were in a
small building… and now we have this one,’ Ahmed al-Khalaf, who helped
organize

fundraising efforts for the mosque, said

At one point during the mosque’s journey to the small town in the
Arctic Circle, the building almost tipped over but was saved by a road
construction crew

Inuvik, a town of 3,300 people north of the Arctic Circle, has some 80
Muslim residents who until recently have met for prayers and religious
education inside a small trailer.

The new 1,554-sq-ft (473-sq-m) building is a step up from the
one-bedroom trailer Muslims in the town have used for prayer services
over the past 10 years.

‘It’s a very personal achievement for all of us because we were in a
small building, the old one, and now we have this one,’ Ahmed al-Khalaf,
who helped organise fundraising efforts for the mosque, said.

‘For the whole town of Inuvik, it’s another new building in town, and
everybody’s welcome here.’

Hussain Guisti, a member of a Winnipeg-based Muslim charity called The
Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, decided last year he would help design and
build a mosque for the northern community.

The group originally wanted the mosque to be built in Inuvik but soon
realized having a prefabricated building constructed in Winnipeg would
be much less expensive, even with the lengthy shipment factored in.

Inuvik Mayor Denny Rodgers said there is no sign of the type of
animosity encountered by new mosques in some parts of the United States.

‘We’re very much a multicultural town up here,’ he said. ‘Canada itself
is a melting pot, and Inuvik, when you look at all the different
cultures that are represented here, is just like that.’

Inuvik, a town of 3,300 people north of the Arctic Circle, has some 80
Muslim residents who until recently have met for prayers and religious
education inside a small trailer

Inuvik, a town of 3,300 people north of the Arctic Circle, has some 80
Muslim residents who until recently have met for prayers and religious
education inside a small trailer

There were only a handful of Muslims in the town 20 years ago, according
to Guisti. Like many northern communities, Inuvik has a near-constant
supply of job opportunities that has attracted people from all backgrounds.

They are mainly Sunni Muslims from Lebanon, Egypt and Sudan who were
drawn to northern Canada because of those job opportunities. More are
expected to make the trip now that there is a mosque in the Northern
Territories.

Pro- and Anti-Minaret Groups Launch New Initiatives

November 29, 2010

Precisely one year following the Swiss referendum banning minarets in 2009, the Swiss Islamic Central Council (IZRS) has announced that it wishes to hold another national referendum in order to remove the minaret ban from the constitution. No other Muslim organizations were consulted with regard to this plan, which had been kept secret due to tactical considerations.
Leaders of the IZRS stated that not even a ruling against Switzerland in the European Court of Human Rights would achieve would Muslims in Switzerland need, and that only way to fight the ban is by holding another referendum. Oscar Bergamin, political consultant for the IZRS, believes that there are good chances to win a second referendum, since the ban is discriminatory and unfairly singles out Muslim places of worship.
The very same day that the IZRS made their announcement, the Anti-Minaret Committee led by Ulrich Schüler of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) presented a manifesto in Berne against the Islamicization of Switzerland. The document emphasizes Switzerland’s Christian heritage and gives voice to the group’s frustration that the government has not been implementing the minaret ban, especially in the case of the Langenthal minaret project. The document goes on to denounce all practices of sharia law, and calls for all Muslims wishing to become Swiss citizens to pledge allegiance to the constitution and the laws of the country.