Egypt May Ease Barriers to Church Building

Egypt’s government and ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) are considering a set of proposals to better facilitate the construction of churches, according to State Minister for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Moufid Shehab.

The reforms “will be achieved through full coordination with the Egyptian Coptic Church,” Shehab told reporters in a statement given at the NDP’s seventh annual conference on Saturday.

Pointing to a law already in place that regulates the matter, the minister added that President Hosni Mubarak has never turned down a request to build a church that complied with licensing requirements.

Egypt’s parliament has yet to pass a law that standardizes procedure relating to places of worship. The law was first proposed in 2005 and may help reduce Muslim-Christian tensions given the heated Christian opposition to current laws regarding church construction.

FULL ARTICLE FROM AL MASRY AL YOUM (ENGLISH EDITION)

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Islam-Bashing Bigots Train Counter-Terrorism Agents

“Kill them…including the children.”

That’s how to solve the threat of militant Muslims?

This quote is from what one official involved in homeland security said was the theme of a speech by Walid Shoebat at an anti-terrorism training in Las Vegas in October 2010.

Our source had turned around after Shoebat’s speech and asked the woman in the chair behind them at the conference what she though was the solution offered by Shoebat.

“Kill them…including the children…you heard him,” was the full response.

Shoebat’s Las Vegas speech was described by our source as “frightening.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST

NYC Mayor Speaks out Against Congressman’s Call for Hearings on “Radical Islam”

NEW YORK — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says a New York congressman’s planned hearings on radical Islam are not appropriate.

Rep. Peter King said in an opinion piece in Sunday’s Newsday that he intends to “break down the wall of political correctness” in the debate about what he calls Islamic radicalization.

Bloomberg was asked Monday about King’s plans.

The mayor said he does not agree with King and said the hearings are not appropriate.

The mayor was among the first and strongest defenders of the right for Muslims to build a mosque in lower Manhattan, near ground zero.

King is a Republican from Long Island. Bloomberg is a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent.

—Copyright 2010 Associated Press

LINK FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Islamic-Christian Conference in Bethlehem Seeks Peace

In a quest for peace, more than 400 Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders from across Palestine—and around the world—gathered on Wednesday at the first International Islamic-Christian Conference in Bethlehem.

Organized by Religions for Peace – Palestine, in cooperation with the Palestinian Islamic Christian Commission, the event aimed to advance dialogue and cooperation among Christians and Muslims in Palestine, and to enhance the culture of co-existence and mutual respect.

Led by Sheikh Mohammad Husein, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine and His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem and a Religions for Peace co-president, this was the first conference of its kind in Palestine.

FULL ARTICLE FROM CHARISMA ONLINE

 

Top Ten Good News Stories from the Muslim World

The Top Ten Good News stories from the Muslim World in 2009 – that you never heard about are . . .

10. Saudi Arabia opened its first coeducational college campus, the King Abdullah Science and Technology University. In a country where the sexes have been so separated in public that some have spoken of ‘gender Apartheid,’ this move, which came from King Abdullah, provoked raging controversy. When a prominent cleric criticized having male and female students on the same campus and the teaching of modern scientific theories like Darwinism, the king summarily fired his ass. It may seem a small thing, but many big social processes start small. Most Americans forget that Princeton U. did not become coed until 1969.

FULL ARTICLE FROM PLANETARY MOVEMENT

Undercover in a Hijab: A Reporter Dons the Garb

Hijab
Last month, I climbed out of my “lap” and wore a hijab, the Muslim headscarf.  I thought this temporary modification of my appearance would bring me closer to an understanding of the Muslim community, but in retrospect, I learned more about my place in the world.

Simplified, one piece of fabric is all it takes to turn perspectives upside-down.

The hijab is a contested, sacred and sometimes controversial symbol, but it is just a symbol. It is a symbol of Islam, a misconstrued, misunderstood religion that represents the most diverse population of people in the world — a population of more than one billion people.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE KENTUCKY KERNEL

One Small Town’s Battle for Tolerance

SIDNEY CENTER, N.Y. — The cemetery lies beneath a grove of maples on a hill overlooking the farm. On a crisp November day in 2009, it received its first guest — a 28-year old stonemason killed in a car accident two days earlier.

Somberly, his Sufi Muslim brethren carried his coffin up the hill, their colorful turbans and baggy tunics a striking contrast to the rolling hills all around. Beneath a vibrant green headstone — the color of the Osmanli Naksibendi Hakkani order, which runs a 50-acre farm and mosque here — the shrouded body of Amir Celoski was lowered into the ground. Mourners bowed their heads and prayed: May he rest in peace.

But that was not to be.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL