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InterReligious Dialogue
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Grotham  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Grotham Replybullet Posted: 01 December 2010 at 9:52am

In Iran, Israeli “Jewish Muslim Metal” Band Bridges Cultural Divides


It doesn’t take much for Israel to appear on the front pages of newspapers and magazines in the Middle East. Through all of the conflict and controversy in the region, there is one particular shining ray of hope, and it comes in the form of an Israeli heavy metal band called Orphaned Land.

Just a few weeks ago, the Israeli band, which consists of Jews and Muslims, landed the cover story of ‘Divan,’ an Iranian magazine billed as Iran’s “first exclusive rock and metal magazine.”



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZUcWngEtcM&feature=player_embedded

http://www.isrealli.org/in-iran-israeli-jewish-muslim-metal-band-bridges-cultural-divides/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Isrealli+%28IsRealli+-+the+State+of+Israel+official+blog%29



It is so rank it rankles. jimdi
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 01 December 2010 at 2:07pm

Youths to join in interfaith celebration of Hanukkah

Hanukkah, a holiday that many believe commemorates religious freedom, begins today, and for the first time, Congregation Beth Israel has extended an invitation for the Muslim Youth of North America's Austin chapter to join its celebration.

On Friday, Austin Temple Teens and the Muslim youth group will celebrate together, said Chuck Vorspan, one of the founders of the Austin Muslim Jewish Community Council, a group that aims to promote understanding and performs community service projects.

Vorspan said the event came together when he mentioned the congregation's Friday evening celebration to Zafar Choudhury, an adviser for the Muslim youth group.

"When I first came to Texas, because I grew up in New York, I kind of felt like an alien during Christmas time, and I think Jews and Muslims have that in common," Vorspan said.

The celebration will include traditional food and kid-focused games. Temple rabbis will show the Muslim youths the Torah, and their trip to the synagogue will conclude with a quiz, Vorspan said.

Hanukkah celebrates the 164 B.C. victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek forces. After the victory, the Maccabees reclaimed the Jewish temple in Jerusalem.

According to Jewish tradition, the temple had to be cleaned and rededicated to Israel's God because it had been turned into a pagan shrine. At the temple, a jug of oil was used to light the menorah. The oil was expected to last for one day, but it lasted for eight. This year, the holiday will conclude Dec. 9.

For Choudhury, the event will be the first step in a monthly initiative called Children of Abraham outreach, which will involve youths from the groups visiting houses of worship in the Austin area throughout the holiday season to "help foster peace, understanding and mutual respect" among Jews, Christians and Muslims.

This year has not been particularly kind to interfaith relations internationally or locally.

In Austin, the Diocese of Austin canceled September Yom Kippur services at St. Louis Catholic Church after Rabbi Alan Freedman's position on the board of the local Planned Parenthood became a central issue. In Florida, media reports of a scheduled Quran burning and subsequent public pressure led the Rev. Terry Jones to cancel the actual event. And anti-Muslim smears and violence followed ongoing debates about the appropriateness of Park51, a planned Muslim community center and mosque near ground zero.

"Because of the Quran burning and the hate speeches and all of the propaganda, a lot of the Jewish community has come forward to support Muslims," Choudhury said. "We want to be there for them because we've found them to be good allies in our struggle for rights."

The Muslim youth group will send about 30 youths and chaperones to the Friday celebration. Choudhury said that he's focusing on the young people because they are the "future leaders of the mosques and the business leaders of the community."

La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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Grotham  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Grotham Replybullet Posted: 01 December 2010 at 5:21pm
The kids in Austin know how to show their visitors a good time, no worries, well-wisher.  This is a great article, a great thing to do.  
It is so rank it rankles. jimdi
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 03 December 2010 at 3:10pm

Montreal Mosques Welcome Non-Muslims

Muslims in the Canadian city of Montreal are opening doors of their houses of worship to non-Muslim neighbors, in a friendly gesture they hope it would shatter deep-seated misconceptions about their peaceful faith in the community.

"Our goal is to get to know our neighbours and give our neighbors an opportunity to know us better," Salam Elmenyawi, president of the Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM), told the Montreal Gazette on Friday, December 3.

Twelve mosques from all over Montreal will take part in the awareness program, titled Montreal Open Door Mosques, which will take place next Sunday, December 5, from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm.

Major Islamic centers, including Centre Islamique de Quebec, Assunnah Annabawyah mosque and Attawheed mosque are among mosques taking part in the program.

According to the program, which was proposed by the MCM, the mosques will be welcoming non-Muslims to observe prayers and ask questions about Islam.

Visitors will be asked to dress modestly and take-off their shoes before entering mosques.

“Fostering peace and goodwill in the community is the collective responsibility of all citizens,” said Elmenyawi in a press release on the MCM website.

“We hope this Open Mosque event will be a means to open the channels of communication and build bridges of mutual understanding and respect.”

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/449982-montreal-mosques-welcome-non-muslims-.html

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote searching Replybullet Posted: 05 December 2010 at 4:09am
Prior to Ramadan, a mosque that I have attended decided to open its doors to its neighbors. The masjid is basically in a residential area so people from the masjid walked door to door and invited the neighbors for an open house. They had free halal food and WhyIslam flyers about many aspects of Islam.

Also, a large masjid in Sacramento, CA opened its doors to non-Muslims during Ramadan. The ate iftar together and the masjid had a seminar too. Then the non-Muslims actually observed the maghreb prayer. It was really nice. I wasn't part of the event but my friend was there to pray (before I reverted). I may have already posted these things so forgive me if I did. I just thought both events were wonderful ways to open communication and general goodwill.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 05 December 2010 at 10:28am
Thank you for sharing your personal experiences Sister Searching
 
 
Highlights: INTERFAITH SUMMIT ON HAPPINESS
 
 
Understanding and Promoting Happiness in Today's Society What do Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam teach us about the concept of happiness? What do these ancient traditions hold in common about this often elusive state of being, and what are their greatest points of difference? How do they define happiness? Is happiness the purpose of life, or is it a reward only available after life? Listen to  Dalai Lama discuss happiness with Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church; Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth; and George Washington University Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr, a world-renowned scholar on Islam.
 
 
(About 8 Mins)
 
 
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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New PBS Documentary Highlights Careers of Two American Muslim Preachers
 
A two-part documentary, "The Calling," will be airing on various public broadcasting (PBS) channels throughout the United States starting on 20 December 2010.

The film explores the lives of seven young Americans pursuing leadership roles in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions.

Danny Alpert, the film's executive producer, and four directors spent years with their subjects and whittled 1,400 hours of material into a four-hour film.
 
As the documentary follows the seven people through their journey, we get the sense that they won't simply be leading their particular faith communities but will help shape national discussions on faith, social justice, politics and other issues of serious import.

Alpert said he wanted to show the American religious experience.

"It's about faith in the United States," he said, adding that American Islam is developing its own identity within world Islam. "American Muslims are a ... very fascinating experiment of what happens to Islam in this melting pot, in this multicultural society."

But ultimately, for Alpert, the film transcends religion.

"We didn't want to make a film that was preaching to the converted," he said. "We wanted to make a film that could speak to secular audiences. ... I think it's about people and, in my mind, beyond denomination."

http://en.islamtoday.net/artshow-236-3877.htm


 


Edited by a well wisher - 07 December 2010 at 3:04pm
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Imams, rabbis in Brussels to improve Muslim-Jewish ties
 
BRUSSELS – A delegation of Muslim and Jewish religious leaders from Europe met with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in Brussels on Monday to share their initiatives for bettering the relations between the communities, as well as legislation to ensure the rights of the religious groups in Europe.
 
Since the condition of the relations between the faith groups differ from country to country, imams and rabbis from the UK, France, Germany and Italy presented, in turn, the key issues and action they were taking to face the challenges of their specific communities.
 
“Today, we have hopefully kick-started a movement that will spread across Europe,” he said. “The recipe really is quite simple: Our two communities must focus more on what unites us than what separates us...
 
 
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D.C. Man Funds Meals for Homeless Year Round

A D.C. millionaire spends $250,000 of his own money to feed the city's homeless every night throughout the year.
 
 
(2.30 mins)
 
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Muslim and Mormon Youth Gather School Supplies for The Needy Children

What would it be like for a child to go through a school year without any pencils, paper, or other school supplies? 

The principal of the 68th Street Elementary School in South Central Los Angeles, Joanne Doram, was determined that none of her 1200 students would find out. On December 4th the students in need were given an opportunity to earn their school supplies. 

"Because of drastic cuts in the school budget and a local economy which left many of our parents unable to buy needed school materials for their children, I turned to the local UMMA Community Clinic for help because I knew they provide important services," Doram said. The University Muslim Medical Association Community Clinic, provides free medical and other services for those in need. Their leaders contacted Steve Gilliland, the director of Muslim relations for the LDS Public Affairs Council of Southern California and asked for help. He had previously been discussing possible service projects where LDS youth and the youth of the Islamic Center of Southern California could work together. Nathan Richardson, youth leader of the Islamic Center, accepted the opportunity to help as well as the presidents of the Los Angeles and Inglewood Stakes (which include 18 congregations) of the LDS Church. 

Early in September, these organizations began gathering donations of materials for the project. The LDS Church trucked 800 school packets from Salt Lake City for the cause. Costco and other local businesses have also contributed backpacks and supplies for the children. Most of the donations, however, came from the families and youth of the participating faiths. 

Doram explained that on December 4th the school held a fair where the children visited 20 booths sponsored by agencies that serve the local community. During the fair, the nearly 200 Mormon and Muslim youth met in the school auditorium where they assembled the school supplies and filled the backpacks while more than twenty of them helped with the fair at the face painting booth and passed out balloons to the children. More than 650 backpacks and school packets were distributed. After the assembling was completed, and while some of the volunteers passed out the backpacks and school packets to the school  children, the Mormon and Muslim teens played "Human Bingo," a get-acquainted mixer. They then had a discussion about similarities in belief and practices among the Latter-day Saints and those who follow Islam. 

They all left feeling good about what they had accomplished and the people they had met that day. 

On behalf of the many who benefitted from this project, Doram expressed gratitude.  "Our students, their families and our community appreciate the UMMA Community Clinic, the Mormons and the Islamic Center for the service and school supplies they provided."

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UM-Ann Arbor discussion focuses on Muslim women stereotypes

ANN ARBOR — A diverse group of audience members came to Haven Hall for an event discussing stereotypes about Muslim women on  December 7 at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a host of questions, but the topic of hijabs and veils took center stage during the event, which was hosted by Students for Challenging Perspectives and the Arab American Studies department.

"It really is the common question that I get and it fascinates me that this small piece of material really has a lot of issues behind it," said guest speaker Najah Bazzy, the executive director and founder of the Dearborn-based Zaman International charity.

"I see the hijab as a symbol of love and humility but unfortunately others also see it as something that creates hesitancy and also fear." Bazzy is also a trans-cultural nurse clinical specialist and diversity specialist in Dearborn who has addressed similar issues in publications such as The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and on NPR as well.

The discussion was coordinated as part of a final project by student Rebecca Beagan and her group for an Arab American Studies class on campus taught by Nadine Naber.

"We decided to focus on breaking the stereotypes of Muslim women with this event; we chose to launch an educational campaign and wanted to take on the issues of Muslim women, Islam, and Arab Americans from different angles," Beagan said.

http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Community&article=3698


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 13 December 2010 at 2:35pm
Coptic art revisited for Centennial
 
New exhibition of Coptic art displayed at Al-Amir Taz palace highlights Egypt’s cultural diversity
 
The exhibition displays 205 objects that were put in a dramatic-themed setting, revealing the splendour of Coptic art and shedding light on Copts’ outstanding contribution to Egypt’s divers and rich heritage.One of the most remarkable features of Coptic art is that it represents the mixture of influences of a multicultural milieu, combining the impact of the Mediterranean region while maintaining the local artistic traditions.“This exhibition shows Egypt’s cultural diversity as well the nation’s unity as it is a Coptic exhibition in an Islamic monument,” Culture Minister Farouk Hosni told reporters, adding that the exhibition celebrates Coptic art as a part of the long and proud tradition that left an indelible mark on the pages of the world history. According to Hosni, the exhibition also brings to life a facet of the timeless personality of the people of the Nile.
 

Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the SCA, said that the exhibition will last for two months and will be sent abroad to Austria and Germany to shed light on Egypt of Late Antiquity.

Nadja Tomoum, the exhibition creator and director, said that objects displayed were carefully selected from several museum collections in Egypt. They included treasures from the Coptic Museum’s storage department and significant artworks from its permanent display, as well as pieces from the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat and the Museum of Islamic Art in Babul Khalq. Items from the National Museum, the Graeco-Roman Museum and the Museum of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria were also selected, as were several items from the Beni-Suef and Al-Arish museums.


Among the attendees of the exhibition were Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Ali Gomaa, and well-known Egyptian actor Omar El-Sherif, who were very delighted with the show.
 
 
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Environmentalism building global bridges
 
Cairo - In late March, global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the CN Tower in Toronto, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome's Colosseum and Egypt's pyramids all stood in darkness, along with more than 4,000 cities in 128 countries that officially switched off their electricity to pledge their support for the planet. Earth Hour 2010 was the world's largest global climate change initiative.

The desire to create a new global community focused not on political action but on environmental responsibility is uniting environmental experts, organisations and activists from the West and the Middle East. As one environmentalist at a recent conference in Cairo on the emergence of solar power told me, "We all live on the same planet."

We usually think of defence, security and economics as the key issues between the West and the Middle East, but preserving and protecting our planet may prove to be what actually links us together.

For example, Egypt had a strong presence during this year's Earth Hour, with hundreds of people heading to the pyramids to promote pro-environmental action in the face of climate change. At the appointed hour, the lights at the pyramids went off and people across the country stopped to think about international efforts to save the planet and how many of us take it for granted.

When it comes to environmentalism, goals are easy to pinpoint and are overwhelmingly the same: combating climate change, reducing greenhouse gases, protecting the world's ecosystems and marine life, ending reliance on oil and cracking down on companies who fail to meet internationally recognised environmental needs.

And where political activism has largely been unable to bridge international divides, environmentalism is succeeding. For instance, in Middle East politics religion is all too often used as a source of division or strife, especially when it comes to its contested role in politics.

Environmentalism, however – here in the Middle East as in the West – serves far more often as a unifying force: when a Muslim talks about the need for sustainable alternative energy solutions, for example, a Christian or Jew can identify similar needs.


At Earth Hour, a quick glance at the participants demonstrated that people of all nationalities and cultures were interconnected in their shared concern for the world.

Unlike almost any other movement, environmentalism is proving to be a worthy mutual goal, one truly transcending borders, cultures and people in the Middle East, the West and beyond.

http://www.radicalmiddleway.org/topics/citizenship/environmentalism-building-global-bridges-11


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Premier of "Muslims Down Under" Documentary about Muslims in Australian History
 
The documentary, “In the footsteps of the ancestors- Muslims down under”, explores the positive contribution a diverse range of Muslim individuals and communities have made and are continuing to make to the development of Australia.

The new documentary, which was produced by filmmaker Nada Roude, was recently premiered at the Regional Arts Gallery in the town of Broken Hill in New South Wales.

According to Ms Roude, Broken Hill (pictured) has a great importance to the Islamic faith in Australia. She says in the late 1880s, Afghan cameleers in Broken Hill were among the first Muslims to bring Islam to New South Wales and Australia.

"In the longer timelines of Australian history, Muslim people have a little known story. This documentary seeks to explore the story, in the footsteps of the ancestors," she continued.

The Broken Hill Mosque, erected in 1887, is one of Australia's first Mosques and was built on the site of a camel camp. Broken Hill Mayor, Mr Wincen Cuy said. "Australians from five different states and territories have passed through the historic Mosque and with more than a century of history behind it, the Mosque remains an important part of Broken Hill’s and the nation’s heritage. This is why Broken Hill City Council and the Broken Hill community are proud and privileged to host the premiere screening of this important work of film history, awareness and understanding."

"It has to be included as part of the educational curriculum - to send a message to the wider community that Australian Muslims or Muslims have always been a part of the Australian landscape."

"Their history is to be recognised and celebrated by ensuring that all members of our society get an opportunity to understand who has made a contribution to the development of Australia."
 
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