Scores of Christians, Jews, and Muslims today joined Philadelphia elected officials for a rally in Love Park designed to protest the incendiary bus ads, which link Adolf Hitler to Islam.
“We have to speak out against hate,” said Bilal Qayyum, who converted to Islam more than 45 years ago. “It does nothing to help the city if we separate people by religion and races. We have to come together.”
Qayyum says he and many other Muslims who attended the rally were personally offended by the ads. But Imam Mikal Shabazz, who also attended, encouraged Muslims to stand in peace in spite of the offensive statements in the advertisements.
“It’s the antithesis of Islam to go berserk and cause destruction, violence, and vandalism against Septa — don’t do that,” he said, noting that despite disagreements between Muslims and Jews in the Middle East, there is a history of cooperation between the two groups.
FULL ARTICLE FROM CBS PHILLY
Five years ago, I lost close friends in one of the most gruesome terrorist attack on Pakistani soil. In twin attacks on two Mosques in Lahore, 88 Ahmadi Muslim worshippers were killed at the hands of the Taliban. It was a painfully bloody day. This last weekend, I woke up to sad news from Pakistan that made me relive some of that pain.
Fourteen worshipers were killed, and more than 70 were injured, when two Taliban suicide bombers blew themselves up outside churches in the Youhanabad neighborhood of Lahore, Pakistan.
These attacks on Pakistan’s Christian community are not a sporadic event. They are a part of a very tragic trend. Just over a year ago, another suicide attack at a Peshawar church claimed 78 lives. Not long before this, an angry mob torched over a hundred houses in Lahore’s Joseph Colony, following blasphemy allegations against a Christian man. Another Christian couple — Shama and Shahzad — were recently lynched and burnt alive in a kiln on similar blasphemy charges. As in the Joseph Colony rampage, this mob violence was also led by a local cleric.
While Pakistan’s minority communities are frequently attacked by religious extremists, the state does very little to protect them. Even in the rare instance that the perpetrators of such attacks are caught alive, they get away with a mere slap on the wrist. Pakistan’s ruling party, the PML-N, is especially notorious in sponsoring hateagainst minority communities in an attempt to appease extremist elements that serve their vote bank. In fact, we now know that the Punjab Government under Mr. Shahbaz Sharif reportedly carried out negotiations with al Qaeda.
The reaction from the masses in Pakistan is not very encouraging either. The majority continue to remain apathetic to the ongoing persecution of minorities. The few that speak up are threatened and intimidated into silence. All this, while the Islamic faith requires that all Muslims stand up to such injustice.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST
Catholic World News – March 20, 2015
The 21 Coptic Christians who were slaughtered by the Islamic State in Libya are “true martyrs” and will be recognized as such, an Egyptian bishop has said.
Bishop Kyrillos William Samaan of Assiut told Aid to the Church in Need that the Coptic Catholic Church will follow the Coptic Orthodox Church in recognizing the 21 martyrs. “Pope Francis himself recognised them as martyrs,” he observed. “They were killed because they were Christians.”
Bishop Samaan said that Egyptian Christians have been moved by the response of the government to the killings. Egypt’s President el Sisi visited the Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros to express his personal condolences; the prime minister visited the town from which most of the slain Copts came. The governor of that province has announced plans to build a church in their honor, and their village has been renamed “Village of the Martyrs.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM CATHOLIC CULTURE
An experiment where a man walks through the streets of Milan for five hours dressed in stereo-typical Islamic dress. See the responses and ask: “what’s wrong here?”
This Open Letter is dedicated to all my sisters in Islam, and it is written with you in mind. However, my brothers are also welcome to read it too.
I am writing it because, even though I myself am a young man, and not a woman, I feel that our faith, as it is practiced and understood today, privileges men over women, and thus, me over you.
However, after much reflection, study of the Koran and historical Islamic figures, and readings of the works of lesser known, and for the most part, female Islamic scholars, I have come to see that this privilege has absolutely nothing to do with God, and everything to do with patriarchal readings, interpretations, and translations of our holy book that over time have become crystallized as an integral part of the faith and blindly accepted, without criticism, by the vast majority of Muslims today. Obviously, there is more to it than only this, and hopefully I will be able to shed some light on some of the other reasons further on in this letter.
I will now share with you my Islamic journey, from the moment I took my Shahada until now, when I find myself writing these words on a cold swedish winter day. Since the words are only written with you in mind, there are many things that I will omit from the letter and thus all my reasons for my belief in God and my conversion to Islam will not be included. I will only write about the main reasons.
FULL ARTICLE FROM SOLAMEANSPEACEINPASHTO BLOG
From the horrific attacks against schoolchildren in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Dec. 16, 2014, the Jan. 7 brutal attacks in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo offices, the bombing of an Islamic Center during Friday prayers in Shikarpur, Pakistan, on Jan. 30, 2015, the vicious and unthinkable killing of the Jordanian pilot, and all the barbaric beheadings, along with every brutality that has been committed by ISIL/ISIS, our deepest heartfelt condolences to the families and to humanity. Our prayers and thoughts are with the victims and their families.
Time again and again, horrendous killings of innocent people are committed by those who profess an Islamic identity. Yet there is absolutely nothing Islamic exhibited in their actions, though the perpetrators themselves may believe so. From them comes the self-proclaimed title “Islamic State.”
The Paris attack was committed earlier this year over the magazine satirizing the personality of the Holy Prophet. Extremists felt justified in carrying out their crime; however the horrible crime committed is, in itself, contradictory. Prophet Muhammad during his life never avenged any personal attacks against him; rather he prayed for those who mocked and harassed him.
We are often reminded about the incident of the lady who threw garbage on the Prophet as he passed by her home every day in hopes of humiliating and angering him. She never gained the desired reaction, so she persisted each day. One day, she wasn’t by her window, so Prophet Muhammad inquired about her, found out she was ill and then visited her and asked her if he could be of any assistance.
She initially thought he had come to seek revenge. Instead, he assisted in giving her food and cleaned her house until she was well. The lady was remorseful and asked for forgiveness. She found in him the mercy and gentleness that had brought hundreds into the folds of Islam. Still today, these teachings have moved a billion Muslims to profess the faith as propagated by Prophet Muhammad.
FULL ARTICLE FROM MCALL.COM