Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sunnis close Iraqi capital mosques in protest

Iraqi Sunni religious leaders said Saturday they closed the sect’s mosques in Baghdad indefinitely to protest attacks targeting clerics and worshippers, highlighting the country’s deepening sectarian rift. The closures came as violence across the country killed 10 people Saturday.

Sheik Mustafa al-Bayati, a member of a council of senior Sunni scholars that issue religious edicts, said the decision taken Thursday came into effect Saturday.

Many mosques appeared to comply. In Baghdad’s Sunni northern district of Azamiya, a banner at the closed gate of the hallowed Abu Hanifa mosque read: “The mosque is closed until further notice because of the targeting of imams, preachers and worshippers.”

The mosque closures were “prompted by the systematic targeting of and injustice against Sunni clerics, mosques and worshippers,” al-Bayati told The Associated Press. “Today, it is not forbidden to shed Sunni blood. ... For 11 months we have been saying peacefully that we are facing injustice but the government closes its ears.”

He didn’t accuse any group of being behind the attacks, but said “the weakness of the security forces is exploited by (Shiite) militias.” Read More ...

Saturday, 23 November 2013

124 year old woman refused to take off her Scarf

The world’s oldest woman of 124-years belongs to Palestine and has refused to remove her scarf in front of Guinness World Records Team. She was a real Muslim woman, who had lived 124 years and become the world’s oldest woman. Her son and grandson were also supporting her in refusal to remove scarf in front of none-Muslims.

Maryam Hamdan Ammash had performed Hajj (Pilgrimage) and Umrah five and ten times respectively. The Guinness Book of World Records’ team was of the view to remove the scarf, while she denied to take off her scarf, as she was not interested to put her name at Guinness Book after removing her scarf, as she was a real Muslim Woman.

Jeanne Louise Calment from France was the world’s oldest person according to the Guinness Book of World Records, who lived 122 years and 164 days. But Maryam Hamdan had set another world’s record by breaking the previous, but Guinness Team did not put her name up, as she was not removing her scarf. 

Maryam Hamdan was born in Turkey, and she was showing her Turkish Birth Certificate and Identity Card, which was clearly showing that she was of 124-years age. She was bron in 1888 and died few weeks ago, therefore she could be consider for the world’s oldest person or lady. But Guinness World Records team did not accept her record breaking age, as she was a Muslim women and not taking off her scarf.

First woman to lead Friday prayers in UK

A Canadian author will become the first Muslim-born woman to lead a mixed-gender British congregation through Friday prayers tomorrow in a highly controversial move that will attempt to spark a debate about the role of female leadership within Islam.

Raheel Raza, a rights activist and Toronto-based author, has been asked to lead prayers and deliver the khutbah at a small prayer session in Oxford.

She has been invited by Dr Taj Hargey, a self-described imam who preaches an ultra-liberal interpretation of Islam which includes, among other things, that men and women should be allowed to pray together and that female imams should lead mixed congregations in prayer.

Three of the four mainstream schools of Sunni Islam allow women to lead exclusively female congregations for prayer, but the overwhelming majority of Muslim jurists are opposed to the notion of their presiding over mixed congregations outside the home.

Raza, 60, is part of a small but growing group of Muslim feminists who have tried to challenge the mindset that has traditionally excluded women from leadership roles within the mosque. They argue that nowhere in the Koran are female imams expressly forbidden. Instead scholars rely on the hadiths (the words and sayings of the Prophet Mohamed) to exclude women – although Muslim feminists and some progressive scholars argue that even these are not clear enough to say with confidence that women are altogether banned.

Ms Raza received death threats after leading a mixed-gender prayer congregation in Toronto five years ago.

"It was a very profound experience," Ms Raza said yesterday in a telephone conversation from her home in Toronto. "It's not about taking the job of an imam. It's about reminding the Muslim community that 50 per cent of its adherents are women who are equal to men. Women are equally observant, practising Muslims who deserve to be heard." Ream More ...

Monday, 4 November 2013

US soldier and Muslim wife advert causes stir

A billboard placed on a high-traffic section of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles is drawing sharp social media remarks from the public.

A billboard placed on a high-traffic section of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles is drawing sharp social media remarks from the public.
The ad, featuring an American soldier and a Muslim woman in loving embrace, is part of a larger marketing campaign for the product SnoreStop, a throat spray product which claims to reduce snoring.
“As a snoring solution company, we’re in the business of keeping people together,” says Melody Devemark, spokesperson and member of the family-owned Camarillo company. “So we found the most polarized couple and thought: ‘If we can keep them together, we can keep anybody together’.”
The idea was inspired from a real couple. Veteran Jamie Sutton and his Muslim wife, Aleah, are the real couple behind the billboard portrait. “We realize that it’s likely to be controversial,” Devemark says. “But our family thinks it’s a beautiful story and we feel honored to be able to share it with others.”
The billboard is already going viral. Here are some selected comments and feedback on social media:
“I’m not racist, but I feel like they’re trying to shove this ‘political correctness’ thing down our throats.”
“For some people it’s just too soon. The tragedy of 9/11 is still so fresh in people’s minds and now we’re being told we have to accept the enemy being a part of our lives and culture.”
“I wonder if she needed a green card.”
“I guess she’s supposed to be one of them peace-loving ones?”
But the majority of comments were more accepting:
“It’s a wonderful message. It’s time we stopped labeling people because of their nationality. As for stopping snoring, I’m all for that too.”
“Would it make me try their product? I would try it on the basis that it stops my husband’s snoring! But the ad is nice.”
“All’s fair in love and war, right?”
“I hope it wakes people up, sorry, I’m not talking about the snoring, to the plight of the people in the Middle Eastand that the majority of them don’t want to see violence and destruction.”

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Muslim students pray in the rain after Queen Mary University denies them access to facilities

Hundreds of students at Queen Mary University in London, braved the rain today to pray outside, in protest against what they claim is inadequate resources for Muslims on their Mile End campus.

It was their second 'prayer protest' in two weeks, with the student union counting 350 demonstrators last Friday.

Muslims account for 20 per cent of the student body, according to Islamic Society representatives. 

Previously, the college's 20-year-old Islamic Society had been able able to book several large communal spaces for congregational Friday prayers. But from the start of this academic year, students have been told the rooms are unavailable.

Principal Professor Simon Gaskell suggested students attend local mosques for the mass prayer, and denied any change in policy.

"We say we're here to accommodate private acts of worship... like most universities we are very pressed for resources," said the Principal, adding that the facilities are unavailable due to demand.

However, Isoc dismisses this claim, saying that they carried out spot checks on the Great Hall and Octagon, rooms they were told were unavailable for booking, only to find them empty.

They also say that local mosques are oversubscribed. Continue Reading ...