Swiss minaret vote and vague fears about Islam

General concern about creeping Islamic power, rather than a critical national problem with mosques, appears to have produced the Swiss minaret vote banning construction of the towers.

By the Monitor’s Editorial Board

Europe and its Muslim residents have enough problems with each other that Europe doesn’t need to manufacture new ones. Yet that’s what the Swiss have done by voting in a referendum Sunday to ban the building of new minarets at Islamic mosques.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

Switzerland to Vote on Banning Minarets

By Imogen Foulkes

BBC News, Geneva

On Sunday Swiss voters will have their say on a controversial proposal to impose a constitutional ban on the building of minarets.

The proposal is backed by conservative Christian groups and by the biggest party in Switzerland’s parliament, the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which says allowing minarets would lead to the Islamisation of the country.

Note:  There are only four minarets in Switzerland.

FULL ARTICLE FROM BBC NEWS

US Muslims are Americans Too

New York (CNN) — The serendipitous occurrence of this year’s Thanksgiving holiday on the same evening as the Muslim Eid-ul-Adha is a festive occasion to reflect on the place of Islam in American collective consciousness and on Muslims as Americans.

On the same evening that millions of Americans gather around their Thanksgiving dinner to celebrate this most American of holidays, even more millions of Muslims around the globe, including the growing number of American Muslims, will do the same — celebrating as well one of the most definitive moments of their faith — Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son for his God.

FULL ARTICLE FROM CNN

Christian-Muslim Group Talks Past Religious Divides

People love labels: black, white, Democrat, Republican, Protestant, Catholic, conservative, liberal, Jew, Christian, Muslim.

Labels tell who is similar to us and who is different.

Human conflict — from ancient wars to the terrorism that dominates today’s headlines — has often resulted from people focusing on their differences, rather than their similarities.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

Muslim Soldier at Fort Hood Says Army, Islam Share Common Values

By GRETEL C. KOVACH / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

KILLEEN, Texas – Sgt. Fahad Kamal awoke before dawn the morning after the attack. In his Army uniform, he stood before his prayer mat, the one his mother bought him in Houston. He smoothed the top right corner folded over against the evil eye, touched his forehead to the velvet rug the color of sand, and held his palms toward heaven.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS

Muslims Must Condemn Religious Extremists

by Sheila Musaji

I am reading and hearing in the media a barrage of articles and editorials demanding that Muslims take a stand against those who condone or commit acts of violence.  I would like to go on record as condemning all religious extremism, bigotry, violence, hatred, and terrorism by both Muslims and non-Muslims.  I see no difference between any of these.  These merchants of hate no matter what their supposed religious affiliation have more in common with each other than they do with the majority of individuals in their respective religious faiths.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE AMERICAN MUSLIM

Jordan’s Religious Freedom Lauded by State Department

By Taylor Luck

AMMAN – Jordan has been highlighted as a model of interfaith dialogue in a report recently released by the US State Department.

The US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report of 2009, which was released on Monday, indicated that there were “no reports that the practice of any faith was prohibited” in the Kingdom between July 1, 2008 and June 30 of this year.

During the official release of the report on Monday, Michael Posner, US assistant secretary of state for human rights, singled out Jordan among other countries for efforts and initiatives promoting interfaith dialogue.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE JORDAN TIMES

Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, on Tour After 33 Years

By Douglas MacLaurin
November 13, 2009

LONDON (Reuters) – British folk singer Yusuf Islam takes the stage on Sunday on his first full tour since 1976, when he was still known as Cat Stevens and was famous the world over for hits like “Wild World” and “Morning Has Broken.”

Now 61, Islam is about to seal his gradual comeback to the world of pop music after disappearing from the scene altogether following his conversion to Islam in 1977.

He has made sporadic stage appearances around the world in recent years, recorded a new pop album “An Other Cup” in 2006 and followed it up with “Roadsinger” earlier this year.

The singer said his recent recordings had encouraged him to embark on his first tour in 33 years.

FULL ARTICLE