Tooryalai Wesa, an Afghan-Canadian academic who returned to Afghanistan to serve as governor of the volatile Kandahar province, has survived an assassination attempt.
Wesa, who lived in Coquitlam, B.C., before he was appointed to the post in late 2008, was on his way to a mosque for prayers marking the Muslim holiday of Eid.
Zelmai Ayubi, a spokesman for Mr. Wesa, says a remote-controlled roadside bomb detonated as the governor’s three-car convoy passed through the center of Kandahar city.
Mr. Ayubi says Mr. Wesa’s vehicle was damaged in the attack but the governor was not hurt.
When Mr. Wesa took over last year at the age of 58, he was the third governor of the volatile province in less than a year and he acknowledged the dangers of the job.
A proposal by Germany’s Turkish Community to have schools observe one Muslim holiday annually has set off a fierce debate in Germany. Most are opposed, though some say it would promote tolerance. German politicians and religious organizations broadly shot down a proposal by Germany’s Turkish Community (TGD) for schools to close one day out of the year to observe a Muslim holiday.
The head of the TGD, Kenan Kolat prompted the debate when he suggested that the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, could become a school holiday for all students. “That would be a sign of tolerance,” Kolat said. The Central Council of Jews supported Kolat’s proposal, and suggested that the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur be observed by schools as well.
However, many politicians and church representatives, as well as the Central Council of Muslims, came out against the idea. “I see no reason to turn this day (Eid al-Fitr) into a general school holiday or bank holiday for everybody,” Aiman Mazyek, secretary general of the Central Council of Muslims told German press agency dpa, saying it was good enough that Muslim students were excused from attending school on their religious holidays.
The chairman of Germany’s Protesant Church, Bishop Wolfgang Huber, said that there was a “priority for Christian holidays in the culture of our country” based on millennia of Christian influence in Germany.
By Khalid Hasan WASHINGTON: American Muslims have expressed outrage following the assertion by popular right-wing Fox News host Bill O’Reilly that Muslim holidays should not be observed since America is a Judeo-Christian country. On the October 27 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly called the idea of closing public schools for the observance of Muslim holidays _absurd’. He made the remark during a discussion with Hillsborough County (Florida) Commissioner Brian Blair, who opposed the Hillsborough County School board’s decision to keep public schools open on Yom Kippur and Good Friday during the 2006-07 school year, a departure from the school district’s earlier practice of closing schools on those days. In December 2004, Hillsborough County Muslims, with the backing of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), asked the school board to close schools on the Muslim holiday of Eid-ul-Fitr. Instead of giving students the day off on Eid-ul-Fitr, the school board voted to keep schools open on Yom Kippur and Good Friday during the 2006-2007 school year, arguing that the school district could close schools on days when a substantial number of students would be absent, but could not close schools specifically for the observance of religious holidays. Students however can take the day off on such occasions. In his discussion on the question with Blair, Bill O’Reilly said, So a Muslim wanted a Muslim holiday, which is absurd in a Judeo-Christian country. I mean we can’t be having Hindu and Buddha. I mean, come on. I mean this country is founded on Judeo-Christian traditions. Those traditions have been in play for more than 200 years. Christmas is a federal holiday. You know, somebody walks in and says, _Well, I just moved here and I want, you know, this Shinto shrine.’ And you’re going, _Well, look, this is a traditional American situation that we’ve done for hundreds of years.’ But now you knocked it out.