Tag Archives | Muslims

France Bans Burqas

I suppose it's somewhat comforting to know that the United States is not the only country with xenophobic pastors and politicians who want to burn Korans, or in the case of France, ban women from wearing burqas (those head-veils) in public -- but it's not exactly going to make life any easier for the French, who have already seen a threat to the Eiffel Tower as a result!
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1 in 5 Americans Think Obama Is Muslim

Official_portrait_of_Barack_ObamaMost of the news media seem to think this is a bad thing. Personally I think it’s great – a significant number of Americans voted for a man they thought was Muslim when electing their president. Story from NPR:

Americans increasingly are convinced – incorrectly – that President Barack Obama is a Muslim, and a growing number are thoroughly confused about his religion.

Nearly one in five people, or 18 percent, said they think Obama is Muslim, up from the 11 percent who said so in March 2009, according to a poll released Thursday. The proportion who correctly say he is a Christian is down to just 34 percent.

The largest share of people, 43 percent, said they don’t know his religion, an increase from the 34 percent who said that in early 2009.

The survey, conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center and its affiliated Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, is based on interviews conducted before the controversy over whether Muslims should be permitted to construct a mosque near the World Trade Center site.

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Muslims Target ‘South Park’ Creators With Violence

RevolutionMuslim.com posted a warning following the 200th episode of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "South Park," which included a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad disguised in a bear suit. Photo: SouthParkStudios.com

The offending caricature of the Prophet Muhammad disguised in a bear suit. Source: SouthParkStudios.com

The regular refrain of “Who Killed Kenny?” could get a whole lot more serious now that South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have been threatened with violence as a result of their popular TV series making fun of Muslims, never mind that they are equally scathing of Christians, Jews, Mormons, Scientologists and others who take their religion too seriously. Reported by Fox News:

A radical Islamic website is warning the creators of “South Park” that they could face violent retribution for depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit during an episode broadcast on Comedy Central last week.

RevolutionMuslim.com [note: site appears to be down as of this posting] posted the warning following the 200th episode of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s “South Park,” which included a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad disguised in a bear suit.

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‘Jihad Jane': American Woman’s Plot To Kill Swedish Cartoonist

'Jihad Jane,' as Pennsylvania woman Colleen LaRose dubbed herself, was indicted Tuesday for helping recruit a network for suicide attacks and plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist. Seven Muslims were arrested in Ireland in connection with the alleged plot. Jonathan Adams reports for the Christian Science Monitor:

Authorities unsealed charges in the US against a woman dubbed "Jihad Jane" and arrested seven Muslims in Ireland Tuesday for their alleged involvement in a plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist.

The allegations highlight the ongoing sensitivity of cartoon renderings of the prophet Mohammad, and are a rare example of a white American woman becoming involved in global jihad over the Internet.

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I Should Have Read My Islamic Marriage Contract

Why didn’t I? Why don’t a lot of Muslim women? By Ayesha Nair, writing in Slate:

I have two master’s degrees from Columbia, keep the h silent in haute couture (you’d be surprised at how few Pakistanis like me do so), and know to scour the fine print before I sign anything. But I scrawled my signature on the most important contract of my life without reading a word. And, as I later found out, many of my also well-educated female friends did the same. Why do Pakistani women agree to marriage contracts without scrutinizing them first and making sure they won’t be sorry later?

For my nikah, or official marriage ceremony, in March 2008, I chose a majestic monument in Lahore, aptly known as the Badshahi or the King’s mosque. It was 8 a.m., and the spring sun was strong as I sat decked out in a heavily embellished duputta (long head veil).

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Muslim Punk Rock: A Mashup of Piety and Politics

When I went to Austin for the 2009 South By Southwest film festival I spent a lot of time with the director of a film we had just acquired for distribution, Rip! A Remix Manifesto. The director, Brett Gaylor, is part of a Canadian production company called Eyesteel Films and they had rented a funky little house a little way out of town. It became the place to hang after the last screening of the night, and I got to talking to another director in the Eyesteel stable, Omar Majeed, who was making a documentary about Muslim punk rock. I knew a little bit about it from the Soft Skull Press book The Taqwacores, published by my friend Richard Nash. Fast forward several months and Omar's film is now starting to screen at festivals and arthouse cinemas. Check out the official site for screening info, and here's the trailer: Meanwhile, the film is attracting some serious media attention...
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Two Million Muslims Prepare To Stone Devil At Haj

From Reuters:

MUZDALIFA, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Some two million Muslims headed to Muzdalifa on Thursday after spending the day at the plain of Arafat to prepare to cast stones at the devil in the most dangerous part of the annual haj pilgrimage.

Bright weather greeted the pilgrims after heavy rain hit the nearby city of Jeddah, gateway to Mecca, on Wednesday. Some 77 people were killed, none of them pilgrims, most of whom were swept away by currents and drowned, state television said.

At Muzdalifa, the pilgrims will collect pebbles to throw at walls at the Jamarat Bridge on three occasions over the next three days in an act that symbolizes the rejection of the devil’s temptations.

The bridge has been the scene of a number of deadly stampedes — 362 people were crushed to death there in 2006 in the worst haj tragedy since 1990…

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Creationism, Minus a Young Earth, Emerges in the Islamic World

Kenneth Chang writes in the New York Times:

AMHERST, Mass. — Creationism is growing in the Muslim world, from Turkey to Pakistan to Indonesia, international academics said last month as they gathered here to discuss the topic.

But, they said, young-Earth creationists, who believe God created the universe, Earth and life just a few thousand years ago, are rare, if not nonexistent.

One reason is that although the Koran, the holy text of Islam, says the universe was created in six days, the next line adds that a day, in this instance, is metaphorical: “a thousand years of your reckoning.”

By contrast, some Christian creationists find in the Bible a strict chronology that requires a 6,000-year-old Earth and thus object not only to evolution but also to much of modern geology and cosmology, which say the Earth and the universe are billions of years old.

“Views of scientific evolution are clearly influenced by underlying religious beliefs,” said Salman Hameed, who convened the two-day conference here at Hampshire College, where he is a professor of integrated science and humanities.

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Islamic Countries Push A Global ‘Blasphemy’ Law

As reported in the Christian Science Monitor:

Remember the Danish “Muhammad cartoons” that set off riots by offended Muslims more than three years ago? The debate pitted freedom of press and speech against notions of freedom from insult of one’s religion. It rages still – but now in a forum with international legal implications.

For years, Islamic nations have succeeded in passing “blasphemy” resolutions at the United Nations (in the General Assembly and in its human rights body). The measures call on states to limit religiously offensive language or speech. No one wants their beliefs ridiculed, but the freedom to disagree over faith is what allows for the free practice of religion. The resolutions are misguided, but also only symbolic, because they’re nonbinding.

Symbolism no longer satisfies the sponsor of these resolutions – the Organization of the Islamic Council. Under the leadership of Pakistan, the 57-nation OIC wants to give the religious antidefamation idea legal teeth by making it part of an international convention, or legally binding treaty.

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