Ramadan in Murfreesboro

Id al-Fitr — the end of Ramadan’s monthlong fasting and sacrifice — has turned out to be an especially joyous holiday for the Islamic American community of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Hundreds of worshipers were finally able to occupy their new suburban mosque this month, prevailing in their constitutional right after a two-year assault of bigotry, persistent court challenges, arson and a bomb threat at the construction site.

The community’s religion became a heated issue when residents at a public hearing angrily maintained that Islam was not a religion and that the mosque was an outpost in a plot to undermine the Constitution with Shariah law. The ugly fervor quickly spread to the political arena, where an openly anti-Islamic candidate enjoyed hefty donations from a conservative Nashville businessman in a run for Congress.

To its credit, the Rutherford County government upheld the rights of the Muslim congregation and approved the new mosque. But a local judge stopped work on the mosque in May, bending to opponents in ordering local planning officials to reopen hearings because of the controversy stirred by opponents. Judge Todd Campbell of Federal District Court in Nashville put an end to this nonsense last month, ordering occupancy after federal officials filed a religious discrimination suit. With patience and dignity, the Islamic Americans of Murfreesboro learned the hard way the endless American lesson that constitutional rights don’t come guaranteed.

Last Eid for Halal Sacrifice in the Netherlands?

7 November 2011

Given the proposed ban on ritual sacrifice in the Netherlands, which has passed the lower house of parliament and is awaiting a vote by the senate on 13 December, this may be the last year it is possible for Muslims to buy sheep or lamb which has been ritually slaughtered in the country. The ban has received increased attention this week with celebration of Eid al-Adha, in which a sheep or lamb is ritually slaughtered. It is not yet clear whether the bill, sponsored by the Animal Rights Party, will pass. Muslim and Jewish organizations oppose the ban, arguing that it would put thousands of people out of work, make it more expensive to obtain halal and kosher meat, and potentially create an ‘underground’ practice of ritual slaughter.

Muslim protesters burn poppies in London

12 November 2010

As the clock struck 11:00 and people stood for Armistice Day’s two minutes of silence, Islamic protesters in London burned a model of a poppy, and shouted out messages such as “British soldiers burn in hell.” The poppy is a symbol commemorating fallen British soldiers of the First World war and all wars thereafter.
About 35 protesters, many with their faces masked, gathered near Hyde Park. They set a model of a poppy on fire at the stroke of 11am, and then marched through the area carrying signs and chanting. Messages on the signs included “Hands off Muslim lands,” “Islam will dominate,” “There is no God but Allah,” “Our dead are in paradise, your dead are in hell” and “British soldiers burn in hell.”
The protesters said they were members of a group called Muslims Against Crusades.
The Muslim Council of Britain said that while the protesters claim to speak for Muslims, many more join fellow Britons in remembering the sacrifice of the armed forces.

Shahzad Gets Life Term for Times Square Bombing Attempt

Faisal Shahzad, the would be Time Square bomber, warned of more future attacks as he heard his fate in a New York district court. “This is but one life,” said Shahzad, upon hearing his life term sentence for the attempted Times Square bombing. “If I am given a thousand lives, I will sacrifice them all for the sake of Allah, fighting this cause, defending our lands, making the word of Allah supreme over any religion or system.”

Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum; interrupted Shahzad’s threatening soliloquy and condoned him for using skewed interpretations of the Koran to suite his justifications for attempting to kill people. “I do hope that you will spend some of the time in prison thinking carefully about whether the Koran wants you to kill lots of people.”

Shahzad continued; “Blessed be” Osama bin Laden, “who will be known as no less than Saladin of the 21st-century crusade, and blessed be those who give him asylum.” To which the judge responded; “How much do you know about Saladin, as you called him?” “He didn’t want to kill people…He was a very moderate man,” the judge told the defendant.

Dutch Muslims organize charity donation

An initiative organizing the donation of meat from the Eid al-Adha festival is gaining populatity in the Netherlands. The Joint Muslim Aid Organization (SMHO) collects meat during the festival and distributes it to the needy in the Netherlands.

During the festival of Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Isaac to God, Muslims sacrifice sheep. Donating the meat to the poor is a longstanding custom, but Veyiz Gungor of the SMHO tells Radio Netherlands Worldwide that it has taken Dutch Muslims “a long time to wake up to the fact that there are poor people in the Netherlands”.

Started four years ago, the initiative is Turkish, but increasing numbers of non-Turkish Muslims are participating. “It is easy to communicate… through the Turkish mosques. But in the past years, more and more Surinamese, Moroccan and Indonesian Muslims call us to ask where they can bring their meat”, says Gungor.

Cordaid, a Catholic organization, helped collect almost 3,400kg of meat which will be processed into sausages for distribution to food banks and restaurants for the homeless nationwide.

Key questions for 9/11 civilian court trials

In his effort to adhere to Consitutional values, not sacrifice democratic ideals for security, and better defeat an unconventional enemy, President Obama decided to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantánamo Bay detainees for their actions as criminals in a NYC civilian trial. This move is a departure from former President Bush’s desires to try them in military court.

This article discusses 7 key issues the trial faces in living up to Obama’s ideals.

Comedy web series launched on youtube: ‘Living with the Infidels’

The internet is a place for experiments, for pushing boundaries that mainstream television hasn’t yet got the stomach for. Living with the Infidels falls into this category. It’s a comedy — made, it should be emphasised, with the full blessing of the Muslim Council of Great Britain — about an inept Islamic terror cell based in Bradford.

The focus of the series, unsurprisingly, is the unlikely sounding prize of the 72 virgins that will greet a Muslim martyr in heaven, rather than the carnage that will get them there. It’s when two of our potential jihadi warriors are discussing this promised paradise in episode one that a buxom blonde, Abi, walks past them, and their urge to self sacrifice waves discernibly in the presence of such attractive earthly delights. As the series evolves we will see that the qualities of the opposite sex and a good night in the pub persuade the jihadists that the West may be for them after all.

Muslims and city politics: When town halls turn to Mecca

In cities all over Europe, mayors are fretting about the coming religious festivities. No, not just Christmas lights. They want to ensure hygiene and order in the slaughter of sheep for the feast of Eid al-Adha on December 8th. This remembers the readiness of Abraham—the patriarch revered by all three monotheistic faiths—to sacrifice his son. Muslims often sacrifice a lamb, whose meat is shared with family members and the poor.

In the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, where the dominant culture is that of Morocco, a circular from the district authorities reminds residents not to kill animals at home. It invites them to a “temporary abattoir” that will function for 48 hours in a council garage. Molenbeek is one of four areas of Brussels which have set up makeshift slaughterhouses, each with a capacity of at least 500 sheep. In practice, home killing is hard to stop, despite vows by the city authorities to prosecute offenders.

In places like Molenbeek, a few miles away from the European Union’s main institutions, talk of the continent’s transformation into Eurabia doesn’t sound absurd. Although Muslims make up less than 4% of the EU’s total population, their concentration in urban areas is altering the scene in some European cities.

In some of these places bad relations between Muslims, non-Muslims and the authorities are creating political opportunities for the far right. In east London, for example, arguments are raging over plans for a “mega-mosque” near the site of the 2012 Olympics. In rough parts of northern Paris, there are fights between Muslims and Jews. In Italian cities, where Muslims are numerous but not many can vote, Catholics and secularists have united to stop the erection of mosques.

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The Brigitte Bardot Foundation Prevents Ritual Sacrifice Training

The Brigitte Bardot Foundation impeded a training meeting that was to take place in Grenoble to explain the proper ritual sacrifice of lamb for Eid al-Adha. According to the foundation, such meeting encouraged “secretive slaughters,” and the Minister of the Interior Michèle Alliot-Marie intervened so that the municipality would not allow the group to meet in a public space. The Association of Information and the Defense of Muslim Consumers (Asidcom or l’Association de sensibilisation d’information et de défense du consommateur musulman), helped organize the initial meeting, and claim that in 2007, 130,000 lambs were legally slaughtered and 70,000 clandestinely for Eid, celebrated in December.

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Islam Pluriel

Libération Lyon

Muslims warned about bogus beggers

A London Council is warning the Muslim community not to give money to beggars following reports that they are deliberately being targeted during the holy month of Ramadan. The religious festival, with its tradition of giving alms, is believed to have become a target for unscrupulous people, some of whom have even resorted to posing as Muslims by wearing prayer shawls and using prayer mats in the street. Westminster Council has put its network of City Guardians and City Inspectors on alert, particularly in the Edgware Road area and near mosques, after reports came through of the practice.

Cllr Daniel Astaire, cabinet member for community protection, said: “We’re extremely concerned that Muslims may be exploited during the holy month of Ramadan. It is both immoral and unacceptable for people to prey on the generosity and benevolence of the Muslim community at this or any time, and we would advise never to give money to beggars in the street, apart from begging being illegal, you can never be sure the funds are going to those genuinely in need. “For those who are genuinely homeless or in need of assistance the council, along with a number of charitable organisations, offers a wide network of services. There is absolutely no need for anybody to beg on our streets.” During Ramadan Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during daylight hours, and use it as a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practise self-sacrifice. Although the Muslim community has a strong tradition of giving to charity, the giving of alms is even more significant during Ramadan with its focus on improving family bonds and friendships. Dr Abdulkarim Khalil, Director of Al Manaar, the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, said: “It is sad that anybody would seek to take advantage in this way and I strongly urge Muslims to give directly to recognised charities or their mosque so they can be absolutely certain their money is going to a good cause.

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