New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 18 Sept 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

American Band of Sufi Mystics Aims to go Global

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission backs hijab-wearing job applicant: Bomb blasts Pakistani market

Extremist group claims responsibility for deadly suicide attack in Pakistan

Yemen declares ceasefire in fighting with Shia rebels

7 Mumbai attack suspects to be charged soon: Pakistan

Iran Condemns Israel in Quds Day March

Bangladesh To Ban 84 Online Adult Websites by Rhett Pardon

Iraq, Syria Ministers Meet, No Major Breakthrough

Baloch amnesty linked to renouncing of terrorism by Khawar Ghumman

Imam's Daughter: Israel Aims to Occupy Islamic World in Long Term

Karachi:  Islamic World To Celebrate Eid Together This Year: ISPA

Muslim Brotherhood faces rift in Jordan by Suha Philip Ma’ayeh

Muslim and Jewish customs strikingly similar at this special time of year

Portrayal of Islam: The burquini ban" expressed an extremely inaccurate portrayal of Islam. Sharia actually condemns forced marriages and so-called "honor killings."

Israelis welcome Jewish New Year while skeptical that elusive peace is near by Aron Heller

ISLAMABAD: Jihad is not terrorism, says Hafiz Saeed

Iranian President Ahmadinejad: Confronting Israel is a national duty

Obama policies will help launch worldwide jihad by Royal A. Brown III, Winter Haven

Fathima Rifqa Bary, who left Islam for Christianity is being sent back to her family against her will By Amy Alkon

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/american-band-of-sufi-mystics-aims-to-go-global/d/1766

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American Band Of Sufi Mystics Aims To Go Global

Friday, 18 Sep, 2009

 

DEPOK, Indonesia: With a discombobulating mix of blonde hair and ecstatic cries of 'Allah, Allah!', the members of Islamic band Debu sway on stage at a strip mall on the edge of Indonesia's capital.

Led by a clutch of American siblings, the band of adherents of Sufi Islamic mysticism have become a perennial hit during the holy month of Ramazan here in the world's largest Muslim-majority country.

The band - who live communally under the tutelage of a 60-something California-born Sufi teacher in Jakarta's southern sprawl - make an often confusing blur of the lines between the West and Islam.

A tour of Iran last year netted the band wildly popular TV appearances and an audience with President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, though bureaucratic red tape over their US passports meant they were unable to perform live.

'One of the things that totally blows them out of the water is that, okay, there are these Americans and the women are all in hijabs (head scarves), singing in Indonesian,' lead singer Mustafa Daood, a 28-year-old with an American accent and a blonde ponytail, told AFP.

'Or in Turkey we're singing in Turkish, from Indonesia, so they have no idea where to put us,' Daood said, laughing.

Asked what Ahmedinejad was like, Daood hesitated before saying that in their brief meeting the leader reviled as a bogeyman in much of the West seemed to be a 'really sweet person.' Debu, whose name means 'dust' in the Indonesian language, formed in 2001 and play instruments ranging from the oud, a type of Middle Eastern lute, to tabla drums, flamenco guitar and electric bass.

That sound has seen the band sell around 200,000 albums in Indonesia and win their own daily show on national television before evening prayers during Ramazan, Daood said.

But while the 12-member band - which includes Indonesians and one Briton - sings about religious themes, it is cautious over being labelled religious.

Singing in nine languages including Indonesian, English, Arabic, Spanish, Turkish and Persian, the band says it is not about an Islam of dour moralising.

'Religious' is like 'oh, you need to pray five times a day, you need to...'' Daood said, trailing off, 'these are basic things that they teach kids in pre-school - you don't need to sing about these things anymore.

'We try to reach them on a much deeper level, on a meaning level, as opposed to just a kind of ritualistic Islam.

'We have one of our songs which says: 'If my path and my religion doesn't fill this heart of mine with honey and illumination, I don't want to waste my time.'

-- 'Many Muslims Take Islam and Box It Up ' --

Before the band, Debu members say, there was the Shaykh.

Shaykh Fattaah is a bearded Californian who converted to Islam in his thirties and turned teacher in the esoteric ways of Sufism, a broad set of Islamic disciplines that aims to bring people to a closer experience of God.

The band, which includes four of the Shaykh's children, is just part of a community that has followed him around the world.

The group of around 60 people moved from homes and trailers in the US state of New Mexico to the Dominican Republic and then, in a move they say was directly inspired by God, to Indonesia.

The group now lives in a housing complex at the city's edge, where families gather together on the tiled floor of the Shaykh's house to pray, study and eat. Costs are shared communally.

'Most of us are related, many of us. And if we're not exactly blood related somehow, we've been together so long it's like we consider it family,' percussionist Naseem Nahid, 32, said.

Although money can be short, 'We just makes things work with what we've got and we never go without. We always have a good time,' she said.

The Shaykh himself is rarely seen, only occasionally descending from his room for communal meals. His influence instead carries through lyrics written for the band in a poetic style inspired by Sufi masters such as Rumi.

Replete with images of drunkenness and passion - 'Your wine of love intoxicates/ This state my mind cannot conceive/ So I can't differentiate/ Between Adam and his wife Eve' - the lyrics may at first seem startlingly un-Islamic.

But the band says it is all firmly within the Sufi tradition and part of efforts to break Islam away from mere ritual.

The spiritual message is also, according to 30-year-old bassist Ali Mujahid, part of the band's push to go from being a Ramazan act to mainstream, global success.

'(Many Muslims) tend to take 'Islamic' and box it up and use it on Fridays and Ramazan,' Mujahid said.

'Our message from the music and the message from the poetry is that we want (Islam) to be daily, it's a daily thing.'

Source: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/entertainment/03-american-band-of-sufi-mystics-aims-to-go-global-ss-02

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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission backs hijab-wearing job applicant

September 18, 8:13

PM Sebastian County Libertarian Examiner Brian Leach

Apparently the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found merit in the plight of 17-year-old Samantha Elauf of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Elauf apparently wore a hijab when she applied for a job at Abercrombie & Fitch and was turned down because the Muslim headgear violates the clothing retailer’s “look policy.”

Seriously, did Elauf really think the store would allow her to wear traditional Muslim garb while working at the store?  Of course she didn’t...this girl, or perhaps a pro-Muslim group backing a bigger cause, was looking for a fight.

Abercrombie & Fitch is famous for its very un-Muslim brand.  The clothing is targeted at the 18-25 crowd and nobody else.  The store generates a “club” atmosphere with pounding techno music playing at a volume that requires significant effort to communicate with sales staff.  Honestly, I find the music annoying but, of course, I’m not the target sales audience of the store am I?

Neither are teenage Muslims who wear hijabs according to Sharia law.  According to the Islamic belief system, the headgear is worn to preserve the modesty, morality, and privacy of women.  Once again, the store chain could not possibly be misconstrued to be a brand that fulfils the image of a modest Muslim woman.  Abercrombie & Fitch is notorious for its catalogues of exhibitionist male and female models frolicking about – none of them wearing hijabs, or yarmulkes, or turbans either.

No it seems to me that Miss Elauf had political motivation here.  To me it seems this case will be thrown out as businesses have every right to develop and retain their brand image.  I don’t think the clothing chain plans on selling hijabs any time soon.

The alleged incident happened in June of 2008 yet the EEOC has only now filed a lawsuit on her behalf.  In the filing it is said that Elauf first approached the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Oklahoma where she was directed to file a complaint with the EEOC.  Who else did the Muslim teenager speak with in the 15 months that have passed since she was passed over for the job?

Once again here we have a representative of the Muslim faith seeking to force its ways on the rest of society.  Never mind that Jews have worn their yarmulkes and Sikhs their impressive turbans in the United States without any high-profile lawsuits backed by the EEOC.  Businesses operate largely outside of a religious context or they specifically target a religious niche.  I bet there are even stores that cater to the Islamic faith.

Perhaps if Miss Elauf really wants to earn some extra cash in her teenage years, but doesn’t want to abandon her hijab, then she should seek employment where her belief system isn’t offended just like anyone else.  Similarly, in order to avoid offense, I stay out of the Abercrombie & Fitch store because of the horrible music.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-21021-Sebastian-County-Libertarian-Examiner~y2009m9d18-EEOC-backs-hijabwearing-job-applicant

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Bomb blasts Pakistani market

September 19, 2009

A suicide car bomb tore through a Pakistan market, killing up to 18 people and gutting shops yesterday as families stocked up on supplies for a major religious festival.

The explosion destroyed vehicles and shops near a bus stop in Ustarzai, a small mountain town in the north-west between the garrison city of Kohat and Hangu, another Shiite-dominant town with a history of sectarian violence.

The area was packed with shoppers buying food and delicacies for the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. Police said the attack occurred near a bus stop where buses arrive and depart from other towns across north-west Pakistan.

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/world/bomb-blasts-pakistani-market-20090918-fvd8.html

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Extremist group claims responsibility for deadly suicide attack in Pakistan

2009-09-19

    ISLAMABAD, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- An extremist group has claimed responsibility for Friday's deadly suicide car bomb attack in north-western Pakistan, in which at least 33 people were killed, a police officer said.

    A spokesman for the extremist group "Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Alami", Usman Haider phoned media organizations that the attack was a revenge of the killing of a cleric Maulana Amin, who was killed in an air strike by the Pakistani forces a few months ago.

    According to police officer Ali Hasan, a bomber rammed his explosive-filled vehicle with a crowded roadside market in Kohat district at 11 a.m. on Friday, killing 33 people and causing huge destruction to buildings.

    Hasan said that many shops on both sides of the road collapsed at Kacha Pakha bazaar, some 25 kilometers from Kohat city, and a large number of people were trapped in the buildings.

    The police officer said that 36 other persons were injured and several of them are in critical condition.

    Ambulances were sent to the blast site to shift the injured to Kohat city as there is no hospital in the area where the blast had happened, officials said.

    Officials said that troops were also sent to the area to help the local authorities in relief activities, and heavy machinery was sent to the site to remove debris of the destroyed buildings.

Full Report at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-09/19/content_12077632.htm

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Yemen declares ceasefire in fighting with Shia rebels

(DPA), 19 September 2009

SANA’A, Yemen - Yemeni authorities late Friday declared a ceasefire in fighting with Shiite rebels in north-western areas in order to secure the passage of humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of people.

The truce, which begins at midnight and would last for the Eid al- Fetr holiday, was announced in response to appeals from international relief agencies, the official Saba news agency reported. It did not give a specific time when the truce would end, but the Eid holiday ends September 28.

The Defence Ministry said in a statement the ceasefire was conditional on the rebels complying with five terms. It said the rebels should withdraw from areas they control and release soldiers they captured during the fighting.

Among the other conditions were the rebels’ compliance with the constitution and their surrender of military equipment seized from the army.

This is the second truce declared by the government since the army launched it latest offensive on bases of the Houthis rebels on August 11. It is the latest flare-up in the fighting that has raged on and off since the Houthis revolt began in mid-2004. On September 4, authorities announced a truce to allow access for humanitarian aid to civilians displaced by the fighting in the Saada and Amran provinces. The first truce collapsed three hours after it took effect, and both sides traded blame for breaking it. Hundreds of insurgents, troops and civilians have been killed and around 150,000 people were forced to leave their villages during the past five weeks, according to unofficial estimates.

Earlier Friday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on the Yemeni government and the rebels to cease the fighting and allow humanitarian workers access to refugees.

Full Report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2009/September/middleeast_September452.xml&section=middleeast

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7 Mumbai attack suspects to be charged soon: Pakistan

AGENCIES 19 September 2009

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Inerior minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday a court will indict seven suspects in last year's attack on Mumbai in the coming week. Malik also told reporters that Pakistan wants more forensic evidence from India.

Pakistan has made considerable progress in its probe into Mumbai attacks despite sketchy information (from India), Rehman Malik added.

The suspects have been in the midst of closed-door pretrial hearings at a court in a maximum security prison in Rawalpindi. So far they have not had charges presented against them. Their next hearing is set for Sept. 26.

Rehman Malik, who met Indian high commissioner Sharat Sabharwal and briefed him about the probe, also said boats used by 26/11 attackers are now under Pakistan's custody and has information about 35 terrorist hideouts.

"Hafiz Mohammad Saeed is under investigation," he told reporters, adding "we want to take the entire investigation to its logical conclusion."

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/world/pakistan/7-Mumbai-attack-suspects-to-be-charged-soon-Pakistan/articleshow/5030971.cms

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Iran Condemns Israel in Quds Day March

Fri, 18 Sep 2009

Iranian nation on Friday harshly condemned Israeli regime's atrocities in the Palestinian territories, taking part in mass rallies across the country on Quds Day.

Millions of people attended the annual rallies across the country.

The late founder of 1979 Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, had declared the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan as Quds Day and called for mass rallies against Israeli regime and in support of Palestine.

At the end of the rallies, a statement was issued in support of Palestinians.

The 8-point resolution reads:

 “In the Name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful

 “Glorious is He Who initiated the migration of His servant by night, from the Sacred Mosque to the Remote Mosque whose environs We did bless that We might show him of Our Signs. He is the Hearer, the Seer. Holy Quran 17:1

 “Praise be to Allah Almighty, who gave us the opportunity to benefit from the blessings of the holy month of Ramadan and to comply with the legacy of the late Imam Khomeini to lend our support, in unison with the great masses of the world freedom lovers and Islamic nations, for the holy Quds and the Intifada of the oppressed people of Palestine and to show our disgust at the Zionist regime and its advocates in international circles.

 “Three decades have passed since the miraculous initiative of the late Imam in designating the last Friday of the month of Ramadan as the Universal Day of Quds. The invaluable achievements of this global congregation have contributed to greater vigilance and global campaign against oppression. With the disclosure of the treacherous schemes of arrogant powers and supporters of the usurper Zionist regime, world nations are now ever more determined to resolve the issue of Palestine. Without a doubt the suspicious efforts made regionally and internationally aimed at imposing unilateral plans for a compromise on the issue of Palestine and according recognition to the illegitimate regime of Israel will all end up in a complete fiasco.

 “Beseeching God in supplication, the fasting people of Islamic Iran pin their hopes in the blessings of Imam Mahdi (May God Hasten His Reappearance), and inspired by the everlasting teachings of the architect of the Islamic Revolution, renew allegiance to the great leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei. We have massively participated in the rally to highlight the fact that the Day of Quds is the day of Islam and the scene of Muslim unity as well as all-sided backing for the aspirations of Palestine and the holy Quds.

Full Report at: http://www.alalam.ir/english/detail.aspx?id=79964

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Bangladesh To Ban 84 Online Adult Websites

By Rhett Pardon, Sep 17 2009

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Government officials here have signed off on a request to block 84 websites with content depicting Bangladeshi citizens it considers obscene.

The request, brought on by a police investigation, had identified the websites carrying video clips of Bangladeshi men and women or doctored pictures falsely depicting well-known Bangladeshi celebrities in obscene poses.

Directed to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the request said many people in the country had been "socially defamed" by the vulgar content, which were contrary to the social values of the country. Personal relationships had been compromised by the sites, the request noted.

All of the sites, police said, were of online adult sites streaming from abroad and immune from prosecution under Sections 292 and 293 of the Bangladesh Constitution, which provides punishment for obscene publication in print, broadcast or the web.

Full Report at: http://www.xbiznewswire.com/view.php?id=112932

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Iraq, Syria Ministers Meet, No Major Breakthrough

18 September 2009

ISTANBUL - The foreign ministers of Iraq and Syria held talks in Istanbul on Thursday mediated by Turkey to improve ties after a row between Baghdad and Damascus over militant attacks.

Iraq and Syria recalled their ambassadors last month after Baghdad accused Damascus of sheltering militants it blames for a string of bombings, including two huge truck bombs outside Iraqi government ministries on Aug. 19 that killed 95 people.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has asked the U.N. Security Council to launch an inquiry into the bombs but the Iraqi government has said that request could be withdrawn if Syria decides to be more cooperative.

There had been uncertainty that the talks, arranged by Turkey and the Arab League, would take place amid a public war of words between Baghdad and Damascus.

Full Report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2009/September/middleeast_September413.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Baloch amnesty linked to renouncing of terrorism

By Khawar Ghumman, 18 Sep, 2009

ISLAMABAD, Sept 17: President Asif Ali Zardari is seriously contemplating invoking Article 45 of the Constitution and announcing a general amnesty for politicians and political workers of Balochistan against whom cases have been filed.

According to government sources, the amnesty will be announced if Baloch militants and activists promise to renounce anti-state activities.

Article 45 empowers the president to grant pardon as well remission and reprieve to convicts.President Zardari has been discussing the article’s application with political aides and experts for quite some time while pursuing his agenda to end a low-intensity insurgency in the province through political reconciliation.

There is, however, no indication yet when such an announcement would be made because the president is currently abroad.

Asked about such a possibility, Attorney-General Sardar Latif Khan Khosa told Dawn he did not know what course of action the government would take in offering a general amnesty in Balochistan, but under Article 45 the president had the power to do so.

He said that besides working on a constitutional package, the government intended to organise an all-parties conference on Balochistan and if an agreement was reached on asking the president to invoke Article 45 “there is no problem in that”.

Mr Khosa explained that Article 45 had two parts —- one relating to pardon before prosecution and the other to remission and reprieve of convicts. The article says: “The president shall have power to grant pardon, reprieve and respite, and to remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court, tribunal or other authority.”

Full Report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/baloch-amnesty-linked-to-renouncing-of-terrorism-899

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Imam's Daughter: Israel Aims to Occupy Islamic World in Long Term

2009-09-17

TEHRAN (FNA)- Secretary General of Union for Organizations Supporting Palestinian Ideals said Israel's long term objective is not limited to occupation of Palestine, as they intend to occupy the entire Islamic world.

The daughter of the late Imam Khomeini (P), Zahra Mostafavi, who was speaking at a gathering of South African elite Muslim women added on Wednesday, "Fortunately the Muslim nation's sensitivity about the Holy Qods does not permit the criminals to achieve their objectives so easily, as they each year renew their strong support for the Palestinian nation."

She was quoted by the Islamic republic news agency as saying that replying positively to the late Imam's call for launching a global movement aimed at liberation of the Holy Qods is a sheer duty for every single Muslim around the globe today, adding, "Imam Khomeini (P) was an Iranian, but had no prejudice about his Iranian nationality and therefore, he established the International Qods Day as a shared concern for the entire world Muslims as a foundation stone at the service of the greater objective Islamic unity and solidarity."

Mostafavi reiterated, "For us Muslims Fridays are sacred, just as for the Jews Saturdays, and for the Christians Sundays are, and that was the reason why the late Imam (P) chose the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan, which is doubly as sacred, as the Qods Day, so that the entire Muslims would unite and upraise for materializing a sacred objective."

The late Imam's daughter added, "By doing so my father meant to keep alive the Palestinian ideal for good."

She is scheduled to meet the families of Iranians commissioned to work in South Africa, or those residing there, as well as the representatives of the Islamic groups that support the Palestinian cause there.

Source: http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8806260527

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Karachi:  Islamic World To Celebrate Eid Together This Year: ISPA

Friday, September 18, 2009

Karachi

According to the Institute of Space and Planetary Astrophysics (ISPA), University of Karachi, first Shawwal 1430 would fall on Monday, 21st September.

In a release issued here on Thursday, it was stated that the new moon would take place on 19th September and would only be visible in Southern part of Africa and in Southern America.

Crescent will set in Makkah after sunset for only 16.5 minutes and 3.3 degrees above horizon. In these conditions, it is impossible to see the crescent in Makkah on 19th September. The moon will set within 11 minutes of sunset in Karachi and thus cannot be seen on Saturday. Similarly the crescent would not be visible in all Islamic countries, Australia, Far East, Asia, Europe and Central and North Africa on 19th September.

On Sunday, 20th September, the crescent will be easily visible in all Islamic countries except for the Central Asian countries.

Thus according to actual visibility, first of Shawwal should be on the same day throughout the Islamic world this year. Any difference would be there if Saudi Arabia follows the Ummul Qura Calendar.

Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=199005

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Muslim Brotherhood faces rift in Jordan

Suha Philip Ma’ayeh, September 18. 2009

AMMAN // Internal rifts have deepened within the Muslim Brotherhood’s ranks in recent weeks as the movement attempts to define the balance of power between hardliners affiliated to Hamas and moderates who believe the movement’s priorities should be Jordanian.

The divisions are mostly related to the movement’s relationship with Hamas – an offshoot of the Jordanian Brotherhood that was founded in Gaza in 1987.

The moderates, mostly pro-Jordanian Islamists, want Jordanian members of Palestinian origin working in its regional administrative offices in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and elsewhere in the region, to end their duplicate membership in both the Hamas Shura Council and the Jordananian Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council. They hope such a move will help end the Brotherhood’s ties with Hamas.

The administrative offices were formed as part of Jordan’s Brotherhood in 1978 when it was merged with the Palestinian branch of the movement under what was called the Levant Organisation, or Bilad Al Sham organisation.

Since Hamas became independent from the Jordanian movement three years ago, the number of seats these expatriates claimed in the 51- member Shura Council fell from 12 to four.

Now, however, the hardliners in the movement, led by Hamam Saeed, the Brotherhood’s leader of Palestinian origin, want their seats back to 12 because they do not want Hamas to lose its clout within the Brotherhood.

They want the Brotherhood to be under Hamas’ control because they believe that Hamas represents Palestinians in the diaspora, including Jordanians of Palestinian origin.

During last month’s Shura Council meeting, Jordananian Muslim Brotherhood members had trouble containing their differences over the duplicate membership. The moderates managed to delay voting on the matter until the next Shura Council convenes. No date has been set.

Full Report at: http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090918/FOREIGN/709179815/1002/NEWS

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Muslim and Jewish customs strikingly similar at this special time of year

September 18, 2009

It's probably no coincidence that Elul, the Jewish month of introspection and repentance, and Ramadan, the month of fasting on the Islamic calendar, occur around the same time. Both faiths use a lunar calendar and both mark the onset of holy days at sunset the day before.

This year, Eid ul-Fitr, the festive holiday that heralds the end of Ramadan, falls on Rosh Hashana, which ushers in the 10 Days of Awe, during which Jews ask forgiveness for their sins against man and God, leading up to the the fast of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. Rosh Hashana begins at sundown tonight, Eid ul-Fitr at sundown Saturday.

The parallels between these holy days for Jews and Muslims are uncanny. Elul and Ramadan share more than a calendar date, they serve an identical purpose for their respective followers. Both are times of reflection, making amends and intense prayer. On these days, Jews and Muslims read from their sacred texts, the Torah and the Koran respectively, perhaps a little more devoutly than at other times in the year. Muslims fast during the days of Ramadan. Some Jews also fast during Elul although most wait for Yom Kippur, when they abstain from food and drink for a period that typically spans 28 hours.

So similar are these holy day traditions that they lend credence to the legend that when Mohammed and his followers arrived at Medina in 622 AD they fasted on Yom Kippur at the same time as the Jews, both praying while facing in the direction of Jerusalem.

Full Report at: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Muslim+Jewish+customs+strikingly+similar+this+special+time+year/2007182/story.html

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Sep 18, 2009

Portrayal of Islam: I was disappointed that the letters you chose to run in response to your Aug. 22 editorial "The burquini ban" expressed an extremely inaccurate portrayal of Islam. Sharia actually condemns forced marriages and so-called "honor killings." Furthermore, allowing a woman to dress in accordance with her faith would not "undermine core Western values," as one letter writer wrote on Sept. 1. If anything, it exemplifies those values.

Another letter writer wrote that if Western women dress modestly when visiting a Muslim country, then a Muslim woman should be expected to abide by "our" Western ways ("Banning burquinis," Voice of the People, Sept. 1).

This argument is inapplicable, as many Muslim women are in fact natives of the West, and not foreign visitors.

The Chicago Tribune should be a place for intellectual debate, and not bigotry and misinformation.

Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0918vplettersbriefs5sep18,0,4836268.story

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Israelis welcome Jewish New Year while skeptical that elusive peace is near

By Aron Heller, September 18, 2009

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israelis were welcoming the Jewish New Year on Friday, grateful for the recent calm spell in the region but sceptical that the coming year would see the achievement of ever-elusive peace.

The Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashana, coincides this year with Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim feast marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Capping a year that saw Israel battle Hamas militants in a bloody three-week long war in Gaza, followed by elections that brought a more hawkish government to power, Israelis remained doubtful that an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was in sight.

"We hope that this year will be better, that it will be quiet, that there will be peace, but I don't believe it will happen," said Yosef Cohen, a 40-year-old merchant at Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda open-air market. "How many years have we been talking about it?"

An editorial in Haaretz newspaper was equally gloomy.

"On the national level, Israel enters the holiday season without many reasons for levity or celebration," it said. "More isolated than ever on the international scene...despairing of a solution to the conflict."

However, Israel's 86-year-old president remained optimistic.

"The international community is keen to support endeavours to move the peace process forward," Shimon Peres said in a holiday greeting, "and I am confident that with concerted efforts, the vision of a comprehensive peace can be realized. This will create stability, tranquillity, security and prosperity for our children and their children after them."

Defence Minister Ehud Barak took a middle course.

"I am in favour of sober optimism," he told the Yediot Ahronot daily.

Rosh Hashana, which begins at sundown, begins 10 days of Jewish soul-searching — known as the "Days of Awe" — capped by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The New Year holiday itself is a time for festive meals, which traditionally include fish, wine and an apple dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet new year.

Israelis flocked to markets on the eve of the holiday to stock up on goods, greeting one another with blessings of a happy new year.

Full Report at: http://www.ktla.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-ml-israel-new-year,0,5470964.story

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ISLAMABAD: Jihad is not terrorism, says Hafiz Saeed

18th September, 2009

ISLAMABAD: Jamaat ul Dawat Pakistan Ameer Professor Hafiz Muhammad Saeed on Thursday underlined that undoubtedly Jihad is not terrorism adding wrong notion is being projected all over the world.

While talking to Online on Thursday, Hafiz Muhammad said that such conspiracies are maligning the image of Islam adding Islam teaches us tolerance, unity and brotherhood rather than violence.

We have to expose terrorism and extremism in front of India and world, he held.

US and India are quite worried after courts verdict in my favor adding foreign forces cannot suppress him as truth wins and pack of lies fades away, he added.

Source: http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php?id=152050

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18th September, 2009

Iranian President Ahmadinejad: Confronting Israel is a national duty

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday the Holocaust was a "lie" and a pretext to create a Jewish state that Iranians had a religious duty to confront.

"The pretext (Holocaust) for the creation of the Zionist regime (Israel) is false ... It is a lie based on an approvable and mythical claim," he told worshippers at Tehran University at the end of annual anti-Israel Quds Day rally.

"Confronting the Zionist regime is a national and religious duty," the Iranian president said.

Ahmadinejad's critics say his fiery anti-Western speeches and questioning of the Holocaust have isolated Iran, which is at odds with the West over its disputed nuclear program. The hard-line president warned leaders of Western-allied Arab and Muslim countries about dealing with Israel.

"This regime [Israel] will not last long. Do not tie your fate to it?. This regime has no future. Its life has come to an end," he said in the speech broadcasted live on state radio.

On Firday, tens of thousands of Iranian government supporters and dozens of opposition activists poured out onto the streets of Tehran for coinciding marches marking an annual pro-Palestinian commemoration.

Baton-totting police and security troops, along with the pro-government Basij militia that helped crush mass street protests this summer against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election, were deployed along main squares and boulevards but the rallies kicked off peacefully.

Full Report at: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1115637.html

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Obama policies will help launch worldwide jihad

Royal A. Brown III, Winter Haven

Armageddon may be coming to the Middle East, and the Obama administration and mainstream media seem oblivious to the danger. Instead, they focus on rushing through big government-control programs, such as the health-care bill. Dictatorial Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently sealed an agreement with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of the world's leading exporters of Islamic terrorism, to export 20,000 barrels of gasoline per day to Iran.

Despite all of its oil resources, Iran lacks the refinery capacity to meet its own fuel demand and must buy vast quantities of commercial-ready fuel on the open market. This significant development, the deal with Venezuela, curbs U.S. plans to impose sanctions on gasoline imports to Iran and attempts to curb Tehran's nuclear weapons development.

Full Report at: http://www.newschief.com/article/20090919/NEWS/909195012/1014/OPINION?Title=Obama-policies-will-help-launch-worldwide-jihad

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Fathima Rifqa Bary, who left Islam for Christianity is being sent back to her family against her will

September 18, 2009

By Amy Alkon

Muslim Girl Sentenced To Death By U.S. Court

Islam demands Muslims kill apostates -- but that's just so barbaric that many westerners refuse to believe it. Unfortunately, that could mean the death of a 17-year-old Muslim girl, Fathima Rifqa Bary, who left Islam for Christianity, and is now being sent back to her family against her will. Jamie Glazov interviews Dave Gaubatz, an FBI agent who gets it:

Gaubatz: I have visited over 200 Islamic Centres throughout America. The vast majority teach the worshippers 'Apostates should be killed' because it is a major sign of disrespect to Allah, the family of the Apostate is dishonoured, and it may lead others to leave Islam.

FP: Tell us about some evidence you have of Islamic leaders in America advocating killing Muslims who leave Islam?

Gaubatz: I have never written or verbally stated anything pertaining to Islam that I do not have first-hand evidence to substantiate. This is why I always challenge any Islamic leader to come forward and not simply 'spout' off that Dave Gaubatz is wrong, but instead to indicate the issue I discussed in a sworn affidavit and say what I have said is inaccurate and they would be willing to again swear under oath in a U.S. court of law my statements are incorrect.

 

Specifically in regards to Apostasy, I request any Islamic scholar or Imam in America to provide a sworn statement under risk of perjury that Rifqa Bary has not committed a major sin and is subject to the death penalty. The scholar should also include in the sworn statement that Rifqa should not have any concerns about other relatives or friends of her father who will seek justice for the father because his daughter dishonoured Allah and him. Lastly, I ask any Islamic leader to include in a sworn statement (again under oath and with the penalty of perjury) that they are not aware of any materials used in any U.S. mosques that call for the death of any Muslims who leave Islam.

Jamie, there will be no Islamic leader who will take me up on this offer. Why? Because they would be lying. Not that lying and deception is not conducted on a regular basis by CAIR and ISNA executives, but they will hesitate to do so under the risk of perjury and imprisonment. I will be preparing a sworn affidavit with several references I have obtained from numerous mosques across America (to include Ohio) that clearly state Rifqa and any Muslim who leaves Islam is subject to death.

He asks some great questions at the bottom. Here are two of them:

[1] Why are our elected officials not prosecuting Islamic leaders who advocate death in America for children who decide to change their religion? If a Christian minister were to distribute material calling for the death of an innocent child like Rifqa Bary for leaving Christianity, would not our authorities and liberal media be calling for the arrest and prosecution of the minister?

[2] When will non Muslims in America begin to understand Islamic Sharia law is violent and is a serious threat to innocent people and to our country? Note: Sharia law also covers 'physical Jihad' against our country.

Source: http://mensnewsdaily.com/amyalkon/?p=680

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/american-band-of-sufi-mystics-aims-to-go-global/d/1766

 

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