CAIRO — Egypt’s Coptic Christian leader Pope Shenouda III apologized in a television interview Sunday to any Muslims who were offended after his top bishop reportedly disputed the authenticity of some verses of the Quran.
The remarks come during a period of heightened tension in Egypt between the majority Muslims and a Christian minority that feels discriminated against.
Shenouda’s apology comes a day after the premier institute of Islamic learning in the Sunni Muslim world, Al-Azhar, criticized Bishop Bishoy, the Coptic Church’s No. 2, for provoking sectarian tension.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE ASSOCIATE PRESS
“Our great enemy is Roman Catholicism,” wrote David Gregg, pastor of Boston’s Park Street Church, in 1888. “This is a system thoroughly organized, and if we are to take it at its own word, it is root and branch, in toto, anti-American.”
“The jihad is coming quietly to America by the intentional building of Muslim populations in small to medium American cities,” blogger Pamela Geller wrote in 2007. “Islam is a political ideology and it is incompatible with democracy,” she wrote in 2008.
Has Islam replaced Catholicism in American religious politics?
FULL ARTICLE FROM CHRISTIANITY TODAY
by Ussama Makdisi
Islamophobia has reached America. In Austin today, a resolution by members of the Texas State Board of Education to rectify “pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias” in “past Texas Social Studies textbooks” is being put to a vote.
The board determines Texas public school curriculum standards for well over 4 million public school children. There is nothing wrong with honest debate, but there is something wrong with xenophobia, fear-mongering and patently obvious distortions of basic historical truths in the name of education and objectivity. The resolution egregiously takes different quotations out of context from different textbooks and strings them together to create the misleading impression of a pro-Muslim narrative.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE
The Texas State Board of Education has come up with another way to rewrite history, and this time it concerns what they perceive as potential “anti-Christian” bias in the state’s world history textbooks. The culprit? A “pro-Islamic” slant, of course.
The board kicked off a three-day convening in Texas yesterday to discuss, among other things, an innocuous enough sounding resolution to ensure the “balanced treatment of religious groups in textbooks.” The resolution, which is on the board’s agenda for tomorrow, would ban from Texas classrooms textbooks that “offend Texas law with respect to treatment of the world’s major religious groups by significant inequalities of coverage space-wise and/or by demonizing or lionizing one or more of them over others.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM COLORLINES.COM
Spokesman Shaik Ubaid said the Muslim leaders met Sunday in an effort to arrive at a united stand. The organizations also hope to address what they see as a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment and rhetoric that has accompanied the nationwide debate over the project.
Groups participating in the summit include the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Muslim Alliance of North America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The private meetings are taking place at a hotel near Kennedy Airport. The groups plan to hold a news conference Monday at the site.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION
What happened on Sept. 11, 2001, was not about Islam any more than it was Christianity, or Judaism, or Mormonism. What happened on 9/11 was about terrorism. All Muslims are not terrorists any more than all Christians are terrorists.
As a matter of fact, the wide and vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists, just like the vast majority of Christians and Jews and Hindus are not terrorists. Islam is not a terrorist religion. Christianity is not a terrorist religion. Judaism is not a terrorist religion; Catholicism is not a terrorist religion.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE DENVER POST
Sometime in 1999, a construction electrician received a new work assignment from his union. The man, Sinclair Hejazi Abdus-Salaam, was told to report to 2 World Trade Center, the southern of the twin towers.
In the union locker room on the 51st floor, Mr. Abdus-Salaam went through a construction worker’s version of due diligence. In the case of an emergency in the building, he asked his foreman and crew, where was he supposed to reassemble? The answer was the corner of Broadway and Vesey.
Over the next few days, noticing some fellow Muslims on the job, Mr. Abdus-Salaam voiced an equally essential question: “So where do you pray at?” And so he learned about the Muslim prayer room on the 17th floor of the south tower.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
For a glimpse of how venomous and debased the discourse about Islam has become, consider a blog post in The New Republic this month. Written by Martin Peretz, the magazine’s editor in chief, it asserted: “Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims.”
Mr. Peretz added: “I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
Deploring a “anti-muslim frenzy” underway from Manhattan to Florida and across the country, a score of clergy and religious leaders from all faiths held a summit today and charged believers and leaders of all faiths with …
... a moral responsibility to stand together and to denounce categorically derision, misinformation or outright bigotry directed against any religious group in this country. Silence is not an option.
Following their meeting in Washington D.C. the clergy summit participants said at their press conference that they…
… denounce categorically the derision, misinformation and outright bigotry being directed against America’s Muslim community. We bear a sacred responsibility to honor America’s varied faith traditions and to promote a culture of mutual respect and the assurance of religious freedom for all. In advance of the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we announce a new era of interfaith cooperation.
FULL ARTICLE FROM USA TODAY
The Rev. Terry Jones, pastor of a small evangelical Christian church in Gainesville, Fla., has a legal right to burn the Koran. But understanding why this act, planned for Sept. 11, is so inflammatory, means understanding the special reverence with which devout Muslims view the Koran.
Muslims see it as the uninterrupted, unchangeable, and eternal word of God. Burning the Koran is akin to directly burning the word of God.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR