Islam

Islamic Leaders Denounce Taliban's Destruction of Non-Islamic Art

March 3, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 3, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Taliban has ordered the "ruination of every non-Islamic religious piece of art in the country... Islamic leaders in the U.S. and other countries, including Iran and Pakistan, called on the Taliban to grant a reprieve." Muzammil H. Siddiqi, director of the Islamic Society of Orange County, said the demolition of the art is "'a very un-Islamic act.' Salam Al-Marayati, director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a national organization based in Los Angeles, agreed."

Pilgrimage a Spiritual Experience for American Muslims

March 3, 2001

Source: The Kansas City Star

On March 3, 2001, The Kansas City Star reported that "about 2 million Muslims are on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, among them a group of nine persons from Al-Inshirah Islamic Center in Kansas City." For the Kansas City group, the article said, it really is "the journey of a lifetime."

Annual Muslim Pilgrimage Requires Careful Planning

March 3, 2001

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On March 3, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported that "getting to Saudi Arabia for hajj is not as easy as hopping a plane. It requires planning - on the part of Muslim pilgrims and the Saudi government... With 1.3 million pilgrims from outside the country joining nearly 1 million Saudi citizens, organization is key...The Saudi government issued 10,876 visas to American residents for the 2000 pilgrimage, up from 5,339 in 1996," including 619 visas last year to Houston residents, compared to 195 in 1996.

Pilgrimage a Spiritual Experience for American Muslims

March 2, 2001

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On March 2, 2001, The Columbus Dispatch reported on the thousands of American Muslims who in recent years have made the pilgrimage, or hajj, to Saudi Arabia that all Muslims are required to make once in their lifetimes. The hajj unites people of different colors and nationalities and from different branches of Islam. For many it is an unsurpassable experience. "The trip has a spiritual effect that many, regardless of religion, attempt to achieve."

Lieberman Says Nation of Islam's Social Programs Are Eligible for Government Funds

March 2, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On March 2, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "Senator Joseph I. Lieberman...said yesterday that he would not rule out Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam from receiving federal funds through President Bush's new faith-based initiative. 'If the Nation of Islam established a separate corporation (for delivering social services), there is not a basis to deny them, presuming they are living within the civil rights laws,' Lieberman said." This position shocked many leaders who see the Nation as "a racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic, anti-...

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Michigan School System to Accommodate Muslim Food Regulations

February 25, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On February 25, 2001, The New York Times reported that "officials are working on a plan to serve food that is halal, or permitted under Islamic rules," in several schools in Dearborn, Michigan, by this fall. "The lack of halal meat in Dearborn has forced scores of students to throw out lunches, school officials say. Others simply break the rules...Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit, has the highest concentration of ethnic Arabs outside the Middle East, according to the Arab-American Institute. About 35 percent of Dearborn's 17,000...

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Socially Responsible Investing Gains Popularity

February 25, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On February 25, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "socially responsible investing...is coming into the mainstream...There are bond mutual funds as well as stock funds, funds aimed at Muslims and Mennonites, funds for animal lovers, and funds that focus on gay and lesbian rights, pro and con."

Nation of Islam Moves Toward More Inclusiveness

February 25, 2001

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On February 25, 2001, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that "the vitriolic race rhetoric that has characterized the Nation [of Islam] in the past...seems to have disappeared since last year's annual Saviour's Day celebration." At the celebration, the group's leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, said "it was time to reach out to other groups, the Nation of Islam continues to try to paint itself in a friendlier light." The president of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago sees this as a signal of "a return to the core...

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Muslims From Southern California Make Pilgrimage to Mecca

February 24, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On February 24, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "more than 1,000 Southland Muslims have left for Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in recent days to celebrate the most important holiday on the Islamic calendar: Hajj, the weeklong pilgrimage that begins Thursday." The pilgrimage is required at least once in their lifetimes by all able-bodied Muslims able to afford it. "More than 2 million pilgrims usually gather in Mecca annually to perform a series of rituals connected to the sacrifices made by Abraham." An estimated 10,000...

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Expert Gives Tips for Teaching Islam in the Classroom

February 24, 2001

Source: The Dallas Morning News

On February 24, 2001, The Dallas Morning News reported that "Audrey Shabbas, an expert on Arab and Muslim culture," has devised a curriculum aimed at "helping students to understand how the contributions of Islam and Muslims can be taught in the same way that educators routinely weave the historical importance of Christianity and Judaism into daily school curriculum." Unveiling her curriculum at a February 10th conference sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relation, she "suggested more elaborate ideas that link...

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Presbyterians Learn About Muslims in a Program at a Mosque

February 23, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On February 23, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported that about 100 Faith Presbyterian Church members came to a program at a south Phoenix mosque that was meant to address their misconceptions about Muslims. The group reported that they learned a lot about Muslims. As one church member said, "You have to learn about each other in order to get along with each other."

Employers Accommodate Religious Practices of Muslim Workers

February 23, 2001

Source: CAIR Action Alert

On February 23, 2001, an Action Alert released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations reported that Muslim workers in Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio have won religious rights. "Fifty female Muslim employees at the Bloomington, Minn., facility of in-flight catering giant LSG Sky Chefs challenged a uniform policy that...violated Islamic standards of modesty." Company officials agreed to a modified uniform. An Indianapolis private security and detective agency "agreed to allow Muslim employees to keep their beards if they provided a...

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Muslim Public Affairs Council Wary of Faith-Based Initiatives

February 23, 2001

Source: Muslim Public Affairs Council

http://www.mpac.org/statements/pr-faithinitiative-jan00.htm

A recent press release by the Muslim Public Affairs Council "cautions the American Muslim community against a hasty endorsement of the proposed legislation." The press release cites concerns about unconstitutional entanglement between religion and state, the potential for proselytizing to accompany pure social welfare activities, and the danger that Muslims and other...

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Interfaith Coalition Lobbies for Affordable Housing

February 23, 2001

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/02/23/MNN118531.DTL

On February 23, 2001, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the religious-based San Francisco Organizing Project will be gathering "more than 3,000 people in San Francisco to press top state and city officials to produce more affordable housing... The project draws support from 40 religious...

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Minneapolis Restaurant Features Aspects of Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam

February 22, 2001

Source: Star Tribune

On February 22, 2001, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on a new restaurant in Minneapolis, the Natraj India Kitchen. Although the restaurant is fairly typical in other respects, "the sound system delivers a recorded satsang -- a spiritual message delivered in Hindi by Indian Sikh guru Baba Gurindar Singh. While this recording plays, a restaurant employee makes a circuit of the dining room, stopping at each of the religious images to make an offering of burning incense." In addition, the menu features halal meats, which meet Muslim...

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