I wanted to kill Muslims, too. But then I saw the light.

cbb0caf2-1a98-46f1-8dab-02ce26762196-Richard_MacKinney_1When news broke about the attacks at mosques in New Zealand, it felt horribly familiar to me. That’s because several years ago, I aspired to bomb a mosque, and I came close to doing it.

I’m a white American. I grew up in the rust belt, attended church camp, joined the Marine Corp after high school, and ultimately retired from the Army. I fought around the globe, including in the Middle East and Somalia. I decided my enemy was Islam. I’m proud of my service, but I’m not proud of everything I did. There comes a time when you’ve seen and done too much to let it go. After my final deployment, it seemed like vodka and my hatred for Muslims were what was keeping me alive.

So I devised a plan: Build a homemade bomb and set it off outside the Islamic center in my hometown of Muncie. In my hate-fueled mind, this was the final thing I would do for my country. I knew I would face the death penalty, but I didn’t care.

FULL ARTICLE FROM INDY STAR

Within hours of the Christchurch mosque attacks, people of various faiths rallied around Muslims

190315124115-church-of-england-nz-super-tease(CNN)Churches are opening their doors after mosques were told to close for security issues in the wake of the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attacks. Mosques are receiving messages of solidarity and flowers. A fundraiser for the victims is nearing $400,000. And a UK-based national forum for Christian-Muslim engagement is calling on Christians to go along to Friday prayers at their local mosques — a call the archbishop of Canterbury endorsed.

These are only a few examples of how people and institutions are showing solidarity and offering help to Muslim communities all over the world after Friday’s shooting attacks on two Christchurch mosques that killed at least 49 people and seriously injured 20 others.
In some of the worst terror attacks and mass shootings of recent years, Muslim communities have stepped up to help in different ways. In the aftermath of October’s Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, for example, the Muslim-American nonprofit groups CelebrateMercy and MPower Change launched a crowdfunding appeal that raised thousands for the victims.

New Zealand mosque attacks and the scourge of white supremacy

546765b6b5814223a6ecb13543c999ec_18Today’s New Zealand mosque shootings, which killed at least 49 people and were allegedly carried out by white supremacists, are only the latest on a long list of recent acts of white supremacist terrorism. Despite the growing and constant threat, Western governments have failed to adequately address the danger of white supremacy.

An abbreviated list of recent acts of white supremacist terrorism includes Robert Gregory Bowers’ killing of 12 Jewish worshippers at a Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018; Alexandre Bissonnette’s massacre of six Muslims in the Quebec City mosque in 2017; Dylann Roof’s murdering of nine black Christian parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina church in 2015; and Anders Behring Breivik’s slaughter of 77 people in Norway in 2011.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, numerous other white supremacist plots, including some that planned to kill as many as 30,000 people, have been foiled by law enforcement in the United States. Just last month, the American FBI arrested Christopher Paul Hasson, a white supremacist and lieutenant in the US coastguard, for allegedly plotting terrorist attacks against black and liberal politicians and media personalities.

FULL ARTICLE FROM AL JAZEERA 

Hong Kong Muslim group in new push for mosque as community grows

asia-china-hong-kong-skylineThe Muslim community in Hong Kong has so far amassed about HK$300,000 (US$38,200) in a drive to build a mosque project that has been held up for over a decade.

“We are slowly but surely accumulating the amount we need,” she said.

The association sought to collect HK$10 million (US$1.27 million) within this year, the figure needed to initiate construction in Sheung Shui, in the New Territories, where the local Muslim population has been growing and no mosque exists.

“With the influx of migrants and more Muslims in Hong Kong, it is really necessary to have a place of gathering not only for religious reasons but also for social reasons,” Castro said. “We are a service-orientated organisation. We have schools, elderly homes … services that the Muslim community in Hong Kong has long been involved in. This is why this project is important. It’s not only a mosque but also a social centre.”

There are an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 Muslims in the city. Many hail from countries such as Pakistan, India and Malaysia, with domestic workers from Indonesiarepresenting a large portion. Ethnic Chinese Muslims are believed to account for about 40,000.

Hong Kong currently has five permanent mosques and a temporary one, along with dozens of madrassas – Islamic learning centres – spread across the city. The lack of proper spaces has led many Muslims to pray in makeshift mosques.

The idea of the Sheung Shui project emerged in the 1990s. The association in 2006 bought a plot of land from the government for HK$9.8 million (US$1.24 million), and was expected to complete the project by 2011.

However, the mosque ended up never getting off the ground due to a lack of funding and struggles within the association. Meanwhile, local officials have imposed high fines on the group for not building the project within the agreed time.

Saudi Arabia in 2009 pledged to finance its construction. But about two years ago, the country claimed it could not support the project after a fall in global oil prices.

FULL ARTICLE FROM SCMP.COM

Muslims Debate First Mixed-Gender Mosque in France

dwfmnsgw0aaoravKahina Bahloul, a Muslim woman who was born for an Algerian father and a French mother, has established an association for Muslims in France and it is called: “Tell Me About Islam.” The association aims to discuss controversial debates that are not discussed among Muslims.

Bahloul was the first to suggest the idea of a mixed-gender mosque in France where is doing her PhD on Islamic studies.

In an interview with French Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya, Bahloul said the mosque is going to be named “Fatima Mosque” and it is the first of its kind in France.

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Translation: “A mixed-gender mosque in Paris where women are not covering their heads.. French newspaper, Le Monde revealed proposals to establish a “liberal and mixed-gender” mosque in Paris where it gathers Muslim men and women who feel current mosques in France do not represent them.”

Bahloul also confirmed the mosque idea was first inspired by the “discrimination” Muslim women are facing when praying in mosques where they are seperated in a different room than men. However, Muslim women should not be any less than men when performing religious rituals.

Accordingly, the proposed project will also emphasize other interpretations of Quran to reflect more intolerant and less radical image about Islam in the world.

The mosque will not be mixed-gender only, but it will also welcome non-hijabi women to pray without covering their heads despite all criticism this idea had received.

Between supporters and critics, Bahloul’s idea had stirred wide controversy among the Muslim world.

Many had fiercely criticized it suggesting it breaks Islamic taboos and this is only part of a “conspiracy theory” that is targeting Islam and Muslims.

FULL ARTICLE FROM ALBAWABA.COM

London mosque to honor Muslims who rescued Jews in the Holocaust

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JTA — A mosque that opened recently amid protests in a heavily Jewish part of London announced plans to host an exhibition celebrating Muslims who saved Jews during the Holocaust.

Golders Green Mosque is set to feature the exhibition prepared by the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Israel at the beginning of the new year, The Jewish News of London reported Thursday.

 

FULL ARTICLE FROM TIMES OF ISRAEL 

Mitzvah Day: Jews and Muslims come together to cook chicken soup

Traditional Jewish dish is prepared at East London mosque on day of social action.

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 Jewish and Muslim volunteers prepare the soup for distribution to homeless centres. Photograph: Yakir Zur

It is a beloved Jewish dish, served at Shabbat dinners to family and friends and reputed to have powerful medicinal properties. It is not normally cooked or served in a mosque.

But on Sunday, vast quantities of chicken soup – often known as “Jewish penicillin” – were being made at the East London mosque by Jewish and Muslim volunteers to be distributed to homeless centres.

Mounds of carrots, garlic, onions and celery were peeled and chopped on long benches by Muslim scouts, volunteers from Muslim Aid, members of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organisation and the New Stoke Newington Shul.

Tahir Iqbal, events director of Elite Caterers, was in charge of preparing 90 halal chickens for the pot. His company, which caters for Asian weddings and corporate events, donated the ingredients, equipment and transport for the cookathon.

“This is a new experience for us. I’ve never made Jewish chicken soup before, but I’ve been practising for two weeks, including on my family,” he said. The nearest Asian equivalent was chicken yakhni, a spicy broth, he added.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE GUARDIAN (UK)