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Tag Archives: Muslims
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Eid Celebrated with fervor;Images

9 Aug

New Delhi:9th Aug

Indian Muslims celebrated Eid with great fervor and Joy in all parts of the country.

Children’s at Aligarh Muslim University Mosque

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Sikh man joined Muslims in their Eid Prayers in New Delhisikh

                                                                            A Muslim girl Showing Henna on Eid in India girl 1098428_444649272315341_723547050_n

Muslims prayed at Jama Mosque in Ahmedabad Gujrat on Eid

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Breaking News:Hazrat Khalid bin Waleed’s shrine destroyed in Syria

23 Jul

BEIRUT – Shelling destroyed the centuries-old mausoleum of a companion of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the central city of Homs on Monday, a monitoring group and activists said.

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Reports of the destruction of the Muslim pilgrimage site emerged as an intense army campaign to reclaim rebel-held areas of Homs, a strategic junction city, entered its fourth week.
“Activists from the Khaldiyeh neighbourhood in the city of Homs have reported the destruction by army shelling of the mausoleum of the prophet’s companion Khaled bin Walid,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Housed in the rebel area of Khaldiyeh, the Khaled bin Walid mosque had already suffered significant damage during earlier fighting for control of the city.
Amateur video distributed by activists showed the mosque, renowned for its two towering minarets, and images of what was identified as the destroyed mausoleum.
“The Khaled bin Walid mosque was shelled, and the shrine was completely destroyed,” said the unnamed activist filming the footage.
The images show mounds of rubble, stone and metal at the site identified as the mausoleum.
The video also shows an unidentified man lashing out at the world over the destruction of the shrine. “I want to tell Arabs and Muslims, how will you face God after Khalid bin Walid’s shrine has been destroyed? Why have you abandoned besieged Homs?” says the man. Speaking to AFP via the Internet, Khaldiyeh-based activist Yazan said the mosque holds symbolic importance not only for Homs’ residents but for Sunnis as a whole.
“People used to come and visit the shrine from the world over,” Yazan said, adding that the mosque housing the shrine is “practically destroyed”.
Khaldiyeh and the Old City neighbourhoods of Homs, still under rebel control, have been under suffocating army siege and near-daily bomb attacks for more than a year. The mosque housing Khalid bin Walid’s shrine, an important pilgrimage site for Muslims, was built over several centuries. The shrine itself dates to the 11th century, while the mosque was constructed by the Mameluks in the mid-13th century.
Known for his military prowess, Khalid bin Walid’s forces captured Damascus from the Byzantine empire. A military commander under Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and under two successive caliphs, he died around the year 642, in Homs.
Bin Walid’s mausoleum is the latest of a series of Syrian religious and cultural sites damaged or destroyed in the course of the country’s 28-month war.
In the war-torn northern city of Aleppo, the minaret of the landmark Umayyad mosque was destroyed in April, while parts of the ancient souks were burnt down in September last year.

Quran desecrated in Kashmir,Seven protesters killed

18 Jul

Kashmir: At least seven persons were killed and nearly 30 injured after the Border Security Force (BSF) fired at protesters outside their camp in Gool area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban district on Thursday.

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According to locals, the protests erupted after the brother of a religious leader was allegedly roughed up by the BSF and Quran was desecrated on Wednesday night following an argument over offering late-night prayers during Ramzan.

Thousands of protesters surrounded the camp of 76 BSF Battalion around 5am and started throwing stones. Early reports said BSF personnel fired teargas shells to drive away the protesters, but opened fire after the camp came under attack.

The BSF did not immediately comment on the firing in Ramban, around 200 km from Jammu city. A high security alert was sounded for the entire state even as the injured were airlifted to Government Medical College, Jammu.

Senior police and paramilitary officials rushed to the spot. According to reports, locals took away four bodies.

In Srinagar, religious and separatist leaders called for a statewide shutdown in protest on Friday.

Tension had built up in Ramban, where the 76 BSF Battalion is deployed for the security of an under construction railway line, ominously since Wednesday night.  A local who did not want to be named said BSF personnel asked some people who had assembled in the local mosque to desist from late-night prayers.

“Following heated exchanges, the people moved away. The brother of the moulvi of the mosque, Abdul Latif, however, started offering prayers at an unused bridge nearby. There was an altercation between Abdul Latif and BSF personnel, who allegedly thrashed him.”

Preliminary reports from the government had a different version. Minister of state for home Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo said a BSF patrolling party had intercepted a youngster roaming under suspicious circumstances. The youngster, identified as one Shabir, was questioned about his presence in the area and may have been beaten up by the security personnel, Kitchloo added.

He said disturbance was fuelled by statements from the moulvi of a local madrasa who denounced the action of the security personnel as having been sacrilegious.

Converts to Islam Growing in Number

17 Jul

By Hajer Naili

WeNews correspondent

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

For one woman it started with a quest for a closer connection to God. For another it was the surprising discovery that Islam might help her resist the domination of her Catholic father. First of two stories for Ramadan about Muslim women in the U.S.

NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)– For Zainab Ismail, a Bronx-born Hispanic woman, the turning point came in March 2009 after a wedding ceremony at a Catholic church.

“For some unknown reason, obviously now I know it was Allah–God–putting that thought and feeling in my heart, I no longer wanted to be Catholic. I didn’t know what I wanted to be but I no longer wanted to be Catholic,” Ismail recalls.

Less than three months later, Ismail embraced Islam and converted in June 2009.

“As a Latina, you are raised, if you got it, to show it, to flaunt it as much as possible,” says Ismail, 44, raised in a Puerto Rican Catholic family.

Now she shows very little of her skin. Instead she wears the hijab, the Islamic veil or headscarf.

Since the 9/11 tragedy, the Hispanic community in the United States has witnessed a significant rise in conversions to Islam, especially among women, says Imam Shamsi Ali, a Muslim scholar and imam of the 96th street mosque in Manhattan, on the border of the city’s Upper East Side and Harlem. They are “mostly educated, young and professional women.”

Although 9/11 incited bias and discrimination against Muslims, many non-Muslims, who some had never heard about Islam, also started to question the meaning of the religion, explains Ali.

The percentage of new female converts to Islam in the U.S. has increased 9 percent since 2000, from 32 percent to 41 percent, according to the 2011 U.S. Mosque Survey, which interviewed leaders at 524 mosques across the country. Latinos–men and women–accounted for 12 percent of all new converts in the United States in 2011.

In 2006, the number of Hispanic Muslims was estimated at about 200,000 by the American Muslim Council, which has not provided any new figures since then.

Ahmad Akhar, the Ibn Khaldun chair of Islamic studies at American University in Washington, D.C., gave several explanations for this increase in a 2011 story in Illume Mag on the rise of Hispanics converting to Islam in the United States. The most attractive part of Islam to Latinos seeking spirituality, he said, is its strict monotheistic orientation and structured belief system. Much more literature on Islam has been translated into Spanish in the United States, he added, which has made the religion more accessible to non-Arabic readers. By converting to Islam, some Latinos may also feel as if they’re connecting to their Spanish roots, which are embedded for 800 years in Islamic history in Spain’s southeast population centers ofGranada, Cordova, Seville and Andalusia.

Over the next two decades the number of Muslims living in the United States will more than double, rising from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030, according to a study published by the Pew Research Center in2011. The study also found that about 20 percent of the estimated 1.8 million Muslims currently in America, 18 and older, are converts.

Focus on Gender Equality

Imam Ali says that the strength of Islam for some female converts is linked to gender equality. “Islam came with the idea that all human beings are equal, including male and female,” he said an interview at the Indonesian consulate in Manhattan. “Women have an important role in societies, not only at home.”

He adds that it’s important to differentiate between “what Muslims do in Muslim lands and what Islam is about,” in response to some Westerners’ ideas about traditional Muslim societies where gender roles are well defined and sharply divided.

Shortly before converting to Islam, Ismail described feeling a “lack of connection with God.” At the time she was working as a fitness trainer and a fitness competitor.

“I was living the lifestyle of a celebrity personal trainer, traveling between Las Vegas, Miami and Hollywood, regularly. My lifestyle was what you see in the magazines, the videos, and all the parties. I wasn’t thinking about religion but when it was quiet I knew I was lacking a connection with God,” she remembers.

Her first exposure to Islam came in elementary school through hip hop culture, particularly Zulu Nation, a global hip hop group formed by Afrika Bambaataa in New York in the 1970s. The movement incorporated many doctrines, including Islam. But it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that she became more familiar with Islam when a friend, also a bodybuilder competitor, gave her a Quran.

Her mother has readily supported her choice of a new religion but it took her about eight months to tell her father, a born-again Christian pastor living in Orlando, Fla. He finally accepted her decision but they have agreed to “try not to speak about politics and religion.”

Now once a week Ismail teaches a fitness and nutrition class for women, called Fit for Allah, at M.E.C.C.A (Muslim Education and Converts Center of America) in Manhattan, which mainly provides Islamic education to new Muslims such as herself.

Living Under Male Authority

S.A. is another Hispanic female convert. She was born in Chicago and has Mexican parents, growing up between the United States and Mexico. S.A., 34, now resides in Queens, N.Y., and requested anonymity for this article.

She describes her Catholic family as conservative, with a strong patriarchal structure. She lived under the authority of her father and brothers for years although she supported the family financially as she was the oldest child. “I supported my family because I wanted to and because of the cultural belief that this is the duty of the eldest son or daughter,” says S.A., adding that her father is a well-off businessman in Mexicoand the United States. S.A. has worked as a chief financial officer and aviation broker.

S.A. never thought of becoming Muslim. In fact, she says she had “bad connotations” about Islam after 9/11. Like many non-Muslims, she felt resentment toward Islam after the tragedy. She eventually turned to Islam after learning more about women’s rights in the Islamic faith, discovering she could have rights she had never had in her male-dominated household.

Islam helped her stand up against her father and his beliefs, S.A. says. “There are a lot of injustices, and when I started learning about Islam and the rights of women it definitely helped me liberate and, of course, caused chaos in my house,” she said in an interview at the Islamic Center of N.Y.U. in Manhattan. She was dressed in a long royal blue skirt and a black blouse, her face and neck veiled by a niqab, which covers everything but her eyes. Her family in Chicago doesn’t know yet she covers her face.

Her journey toward Islam began a few years ago, when she started to question the existence of God and decided to attend classes about religions. She was reluctant to learn about Islam. As hard as she tried to stay away, however, she remembers that her Internet searches kept ending up on Islamic websites. Eventually, she decided to look closer, even though she wasn’t thinking about leaving her Catholic faith.

“Little by little, I started identifying with a lot of teachings of Islam,” S.A. explains.

In particular, the rights of women in Islam caught her attention. S.A. says she was surprised to find out that men are asked to help women in the daily household chores. She was also pleased to learn that she had no obligation to share her salary with her father or any other male relative as mentioned in Islam.

“If it wasn’t about the balance I found in Islam between men and women, I think I would still be doing a lot of things that made me suffer,” S.A. says, referring to the years she stayed silent and lived under her father’s domination.

“My dad expects me to do everything: to go to work, to bring home the paycheck, to take care of my brothers and my sisters like they are my kids, to pay half of the bills. He’s never thought about me,” says S.A.

Fear of Backlash

Guadalupe Marcado, who goes by the name Lupz Muslimah, was hesitant to convert to Islam because of her sexual orientation. She is a member of the LGBT community. “It was one of the main reasons I was scared to come to Islam. You hear all these stories about how they treat LGBT members in other countries; and it’s frightening.”

Born and baptized Catholic, Lupz Muslimah, 24, converted to Islam in November 2011. Her father is Puerto Rican and her mother is from Andalusia.

Her journey to Islam started when listening to rap music, especially what she calls “revolutionary songs,” where she says she found several mentions to the Prophet Muhammad and religions. This led her to beginning questioning her faith.

She now attends Rutgers University in New Jersey and expects to graduate in October with a major in criminal justice and a minor in psychology and LGBT studies.

She says she has been facing “a lot of backlash” from some Muslims because of her sexual orientation, but she will keep advocating for the LGBT community. She remembers a Muslim woman who told her one day that she would never pray next to her because of her sexual orientation; but Lupz Muslimah was also pleasantly surprised to hear other women saying they would pray next to her no matter what her sexuality.

Within her own family, Lupz Muslimah has also battled stereotypes. She recalls her father telling her “you wanna be a terrorist now!” after he saw her during her first prayer. To ease tensions within her family, Lupz Muslimah used the Bible and the Quran to show her parents that both texts are quite similar. They slowly accepted her choice.

When she decided to cover her hair, Lupz Muslimah had a hard time with family and friends who knew her as a model wearing “tight clothes or barely any clothes.” Some Muslims didn’t spare her either. “You shouldn’t wear the hijab because your jeans are too tight, or you shouldn’t wear the hijab because your shirt is too low or too tight,” some Muslims told her.

She has also had remarks because of her lip piercings and tattoos. For a short time, Lupz Muslimah took out her piercings to avoid being judged. She eventually put them back as she realized she “will always be judged no matter what.”

She admits to being always nervous to go out but she tends now to ignore people’s remarks and keeps remembering she is “not doing this for the people.” “I am doing this for me and God,” she says.

Hajer Naili is a New York-based reporter for Women’s eNews. She has worked for several radio stations and publications in France and North Africa and specializes in Middle East and North Africa.

http://www.womensenews.org/help-making-comments-womens-enews-stories.

Future of Islam in the United States

17 Jul

By Reihan Salam

One of the central questions surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings is whether they portend a larger wave of terror attacks by homegrown Islamic radicals. The culprits, two brothers of Chechen origin, one of whom was a naturalized U.S. citizen, had both lived in the country for more than a decade. While the older brother is reported to have been sullen, resentful and ill at ease in his adopted country, the younger brother was by all accounts a well-mannered kid, whose main vice was marijuana. Many fear that if these two men could turn viciously against the country that gave them refuge, the same might be true of at least some small number of their co-religionists.

I grew up in a Muslim household in New York City’s polyglot outer boroughs, and the Tsarnaev brothers strike me, in broad outline, as recognizable figures. The younger brother’s Twitter feed, which has attracted wide attention, reads like dispatches from the collective id of at least a quarter of my high school classmates. Also recognizable is the brothers’ lower-middle-class but gentrifying Cambridge milieu, which bears a strong resemblance to the neighborhood in which I was raised. So like many Americans of Muslim origin, I’ve been struggling to understand what exactly went wrong in their heads. How could a “douchebag” and a “stoner” and here I’m paraphrasing the words of the Tsarnaev brothers’ acquaintances and friends ‑ have committed one of the most gruesome terror attacks in modern American history? We might never have a good answer to this question, and certainly won’t have a good answer anytime soon. But what we can do is get a sense of what we do and don’t know about U.S. Muslims, and what it might mean for our future.

Although I can’t claim to be representative of U.S. Muslims as a whole, my experience leads me to believe that America’s Muslim community will grow more secular over time. My parents are originally from Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority country of 150 million that is currently in the throes of a violent clash over the role of Islam in public life. While Bangladesh has made impressive strides in a number of social indicators in recent decades, its poverty has sent large numbers of migrants to India, the Persian Gulf, Europe, Southeast Asia and, over the past two decades in particular, the United States.

The Bangladeshi community has largely escaped notice in the United States, as it remains relatively small; when I was growing up, it was smaller still. My first years were thus spent not in a Bangladeshi enclave but rather in a neighborhood with a large Hasidic Jewish population. We later moved to a neighborhood that was home to large numbers of African evangelicals, Tibetan Buddhists, Russian Jews and South Asian Muslims. Although hard numbers are difficult to come by, New York City’s Muslim population appeared to have grown considerably over the course of my childhood. Head scarves and other traditional modes of dress are common in heavily Muslim precincts of Brooklyn and Queens, particularly among more recent immigrants. Yet it remains to be seen if this kind of very visible religious devotion will persist among second-generation South Asian Muslims, particularly if religious belief continues to fade in the population as a whole. I certainly haven’t seen it among my peers, but I know only a narrow spectrum of second-generation South Asian Muslims. These people identify more as Asian Americans than as members of a global Islamic community.

The best survey evidence offers only a limited and inconclusive portrait of America’s Muslim community. The Pew Research Center estimates that there are 2.75 million Muslims living in the United States, and that 63 percent were born outside of the country. Of this foreign-born slice of the Muslim population, 45 percent arrived in the United States after 1990 and 70 percent are naturalized U.S. citizens. This population is incredibly diverse. Roughly 13 percent of all U.S. Muslims are native-born African-Americans. Some U.S. Muslims are highly educated professionals leading integrated lives, while others are less-skilled workers earning poverty-level incomes in ethnic enclaves.

According to Pew, 69 percent of U.S. Muslims claim that religion is an important part of their lives; 47 percent report attending worship services on a weekly basis. These numbers closely parallel the numbers for U.S. Christians. It is also true, however, that one-fifth of U.S. Muslims seldom or never attend worship services, a sure sign of secularization.

Another sign is that a large majority of U.S. Muslims appear to be comfortable with religious pluralism. Pew found that 56 percent of U.S. Muslims believe that many different religions can lead to eternal life while 35 percent believe that only Islam will get you there. Similarly, 57 percent of U.S. Muslims believe that there are many valid ways to interpret Islamic teachings, as opposed to 37 percent who maintain that only one interpretation is valid. Suffice it to say, the notion that many different religions are of equal value is not likely to be embraced by the religiously orthodox. Indeed, one possibility is that this more relaxed approach to the demands of religion represents a way station on the road to abandoning religion entirely.

Americans of all stripes are abandoning organized religion at a brisk pace. While less than a 10th of Americans born from 1928 to 1945 are religiously unaffiliated, the same is true of one-third of Americans born from 1990 to 1994, according to a Pew Research Center survey released late last year. This dynamic seems to apply to U.S. Muslims as much as it applies to U.S. Christians. Part of the reason could be that the hold of religious communities on our lives has grown more tenuous. Peter Skerry, a political scientist at Boston College who has been studying the cultural and political integration of U.S. Muslims and Arabs for more than a decade, has observed that only one-third of U.S. Muslims report going to a mosque for social or religious activities apart from regular services. It doesn’t appear that mosques have become the kernels of tight-knit communities, as the churches that were so central to immigrant life a century ago did.

Even if secularization does take hold, there is no reason to believe that religious extremism will fade away. Indeed, the opposite could come to pass, as a shrinking number of moderate Muslims leaves behind a more isolated core of orthodox Muslim believers who see themselves in conflict with an increasingly secular America. Even as the vast majority of U.S. Muslims integrate into U.S. cultural, political and economic institutions, some small minority might continue to find in Islam a convenient excuse for anti-American rhetoric and action. The Tsarnaev brothers, after all, didn’t live in a hotbed of Islamic radicalism; they lived in Inman Square, a neighborhood that is best known for its large Portuguese-speaking population. Perhaps the brothers would have been less likely to embrace extremism had they been rooted in a stronger Muslim religious community, complete with stronger role models. Or perhaps we need to accept the fact that some irreducible number of people will commit vile, despicable crimes no matter what we as a society do to prevent them.

Our best hope is that just as the terrorist violence committed by left-wing radicals in the 1960s and 1970s eventually burned out, Islamic radicalism will soon be an unhappy memory. But we’d be foolish to dismiss the darker possibility that a tiny subgroup of Muslim fanatics will continue to pose a threat for many decades to come.

Ramazan in India

16 Jul

Ramadan Friday in Jama Mosque New Delhi

Ramadan in Makkah Mosque Hyderabad

 

Aside

Mumbai terror attack was faked?

16 Jul

An Indian home ministry former officer has disclosed that a member of the secret service team had accused incumbent governments of ‘orchestrating’ the terror attack on Parliament and the 26/11 carnage in Mumbai.
The former Indian investigator Satish Verma has said that India itself was behind Parliament in Delhi and Mumbai terror attacks.
According to Indian media‚ the fake encounter case involving a senior officer Under-Secretary of Interior Ministry Ishrat Jahan has submitted an affidavit in the court stating that a member of CBI and SIC investigation team Satish Verma told him that in the terrorists attacks on Parliament in Delhi and Mumbai terror attacks were pre-planned.
A key government official, R V S Mani said that Satish Verma, until recently a part of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe team, told him that both the terror attacks were set up “with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation (sic).
Mani has said that Verma narrated that the 13.12. 2001(attack on Parliament) was followed by Pota (Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act) and 26/11 2008 (terrorists’ siege of Mumbai) was followed by amendment to the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).
The official has alleged Verma levelled the damaging charge while debunking IB’s inputs labelling the three killed with Ishrat in the June 2004 encounter as Lashkar terrorists.
Contacted by Times of India, Verma refused to comment. “I don’t know what the complaint is, made when and to whom. Nor am I interested in knowing. I cannot speak to the media on such matters. Ask the CBI,” said the Gujarat cadre IPS officer who after being relieved from the SIT is working as principal of the Junagadh Police Training College.
The attacks were launched to strengthen the anti-terrorism laws.
It may be recalled that India had accused Pakistan of its involvement in both of the attacks and started a propaganda campaign maligning Pakistan based organizations and its agencies for the attacks.
Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab have already been hanged by Indian government in parliament and 26/11 cases respectively.

 

Largest gathering Ijtema after Haj in Kerala Maadin

16 Jul

हज के बाद मुसलमानों का सबसे बड़ा इज्तेमा ,
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केरल के मलप्पुरम के सलात नगर में सुन्नी मादिन अकादेमी के ज़रिये रमजान की 27 वी रात (इस साल चार अगस्त ) को रोज़ा ,इफ्तार ,नमाज़ ज़िक्र और दुरूद की महफिल और इज्तेमाई दुआ !मेन मैदान के अलावा बीस आस पास की दूसरी जगहें भी बुक की गयी हैं!पिछले साल सात लाख मुसलमान मग़रिब की नमाज़ में शरीक हुए थे और दस लाख रोज़ा इफ्तार में !
इस साल उम्मीद है की तादाद और ज्यादा बढ़ेगी ! बगदाद के बुज़ुर्ग हज़रात,केरल के बुज़ुर्ग शैख़ अबूबक्र अहमद,सय्यद इब्राहीम खलील बुखारी समेत बड़े उलेमा ए दीन की सरपरस्ती में मुनाक्किद होगा!Kerala’s Malappuram district is gearing up to host India’s largest Ramzan prayer congregation on August 4 where believers would take a pledge against terrorism and alcoholism, the organisers said on Sunday.At the last edition of this religious get together, a record 7,00,000 people had offered prayers and

Islam on the rise in Europe:Islam in the United Kingdom

15 Jul

British Mosques Ghamkol shareef Mosque Leister Mosque WIMManchestar Central Mosque, Ghamkol Shareef Mosque and Leis tor Central Mosque in UK.

One in 10 people under 25 are Muslim, while Christianity is in decline, the 2011 UK census reveals. An explosion in the Muslim population and an aging Christian demographic could mean Islam will be the dominant religion in the UK in 10 years.

A new analysis of the 2011 census by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the number of Christians was falling 50 per cent faster than had previously been thought. Earlier analysis of the statistics showed only a 15 per cent decline, but the ONS found that this figure had been beefed up by 1.2 million foreign-born Christians.

Furthermore, the re-analysis showed that the majority of Christians were over the age of 60 and for the first time less than half of young people describe themselves as Christian. As a result the ONS has calculated that in a decade only a minority will classify themselves as Christians in England. Christianity is still the dominant religion in the UK with over 50 per cent of the population regarding themselves as believers.

However, this may be set to change as the British Muslim population has surged dramatically over the past 15 years, increasing by 75 per cent in England and Wales. The 2011 census puts the Muslim population of the UK at around 5 per cent, a total that has been boosted by around 600,000 Muslim immigrants who have arrived in the UK over the past decade.

Muslims attend Friday prayers on a rainy first day of Ramadan, at the courtyard of a housing estate next to a small BBC community centre and mosque in east London (Reuters/Chris Helgren)

Muslims attend Friday prayers on a rainy first day of Ramadan, at the courtyard of a housing estate next to a small BBC community centre and mosque in east London (Reuters/Chris Helgren)

Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, said to UK daily the Telegraph that the decline of Christianity is

“inevitable.” “In another 20 years there are going to be more active Muslims than there are churchgoers,” he said.

Moreover the number of people identifying themselves as atheists has increased by 10 per cent, rising from 15 per cent to 25 per cent. The change has been dubbed as a “significant cultural shift” by the British Humanist Association, while the Church of England has shrugged off the statistics, maintaining they still retain a strong base of believers.

“While this is a challenge, the fact that six out of 10 people in England and Wales self-identify as Christians is not discouraging. Christianity is no longer a religion of culture but a religion of decision and commitment. People are making a positive choice in self-identifying as Christians,” said a spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales told press in December.

In addition the census registered an increase in followers of Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Judaism.

‘Sleepwalking into segregation’

The rising number of immigrants and different ethnicities in the UK has given rise to increasing levels of segregation. Think tank ‘Demos’ has labeled the phenomenon ‘white flight’, citing the falling number of ethnic whites in areas where they are minorities.

Demos’ investigation revealed that new ethnic minorities like Somalis where moving into areas where older most established ethnic populations like Afro-Caribbeans had previously been dominant.

Muslims attend Friday prayers on the first day of Ramadan, in the courtyard of a housing estate next to a small BBC community centre and mosque in east London (Reuters)

Muslims attend Friday prayers on the first day of Ramadan, in the courtyard of a housing estate next to a small BBC community centre and mosque in east London (Reuters)

The population of London is indicative of the change in the British demographic with 600,000 white Londoners moving out of the capital in the past decade. In spite of the fact that the British capital’s population has grown by more than a million, the number of white British residents has decreased from 4.3 million to 3.7 million.

“We do have an integration problem,” said Demos director David Goodhart to RT. The

“changing ethnic composition” of the British capital is causing a large exodus of ethnic white out of the city, he added.

Goodhart went on to say that the problem of integration was not confined to Great Britain and is prevalent all around the EU despite attempts to eradicate segregation.

“Part of the point of the euro was to disperse German power and prevent the rise of nationalism in Europe, but it has done precisely the opposite on both fronts. We now have serious national resentments in countries like Greece,” he stressed.

Trevor Phillips, the former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission warned that the statistics did not spell good news for integration in the UK and warned the country was

Indian Muslims demanded protection of lives of Muslims from the government

10 Oct

New Delhi: A high-level delegation of eminent Muslim organizations met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram at his North Block office here on Saturday (8th October). The leaders demanded immediate halt to the communal violence in Rudrapur town of Uttarakhand and establishment of peace. They also demanded compensation for the victim families and legal action against the culprits.

The delegation comprising Syed Babar Ashraf (Secretary, All India Ulema Mashaikh Board), Yaseen Akhtar Misbahi (Raza Academy, New Delhi), Maulana Ghulam Abdul Qaudir Habibi (MOI) ,Maulana Ali darimi of Sunni Jamiatul Ulema Kerala and Adv. Shahnawaz Warsi (General Secretary, Muslim Students Organization of India –MSO) submitted a memorandum to the home minister demanding safety and security of lives and dignity of Muslims in Rudrapur, a compensation of Rs 20 lakh each to the family of deceased, Rs 5 lakh each to the injured and proper compensation after enquiry to those whose shops and homes were looted and destroyed. They also demanded legal action on those who incited the violence.

“In this riot one of the most important points is that this is first such kind of communal riot in this whole region before or after the Independence. In which many innocent people lost their lives and hundreds of them got injuries as well as several dozen of shops and houses have been looted in the broad day light. The riot was preplanned by some communal elements, they instigated by tearing down the Holy Book of Muslims, Quran and keeping it wrapped in blood at a Shiv Mandir. When some Muslims complained it to the Police and demanded stern action they were refused and Police did not take any action. Then after passing of two days on 2nd Oct when Muslims again went to complain, then their Holy Book was again desecrated by Communal elements. Thereafter started Lathi charge, direct Police firing without use of water canon or tear gas and looting and burning of shops, all belonging to Muslim community,” says the memorandum.


“Local newspapers have reported and shown faces of rioters along with Policemen. It shows that they were shooting, looting and putting on fire the Muslims and their property. Curfew was imposed in only Muslim areas allowing miscreants to do whatever they can do at their will,” it added.

Demands:

1. Ensure the safety and security of its citizens specially civilians of Rudrapur and protect the life property and dignity.

2. Initiate a high level inquiry into the whole incident to inquire the role of local Police, local communal organizations and of politicians.

3. Provide at least Rs 20 lac in compensation or govt. job to a next family member of the victims killed in the riot and Rs 5 lac to each of those who have suffered injuries and proper compensation to those whose shops and home have been set on fire or have been looted.

4. Government must ensure at least 20% representation of Muslim Community in the Police and paramilitary forces deployed during Communal riots.

5. Harsh punishment should be given through fast track courts to all those involved in starting and planning riot and are involved in killing, rioting and looting the life and property of victims.

6. Confidence building measures from the Centre Government, to send a high level delegation of Ministers to meet and realize the seriousness of the riot.

7. Immediate release of innocent students picked up by Police from the Madarsa Ghosia Rudrapur and withdrawing of charges against innocent Muslims.

8. Inquiry into all the recent blind Police firing on Muslims whether it may be Forbesganj (Bihar), Gopalgadh (Rajasthan) or Rudrapur (Uttarakhand).

 

केंद्रीय गृह मंत्री से की उच्च स्तरीय जांच की मांग जाका,

मुस्लिम संगठनों के प्रतिनिधियों ने केंद्रीय गृहमंत्री पी चिदंबरम से मुलाकात कर रुद्रपुर दंगे की उच्च स्तरीय जांच की मांग की। उन्होंने मृतकों के परिजनों को बीस-बीस लाख मुआवजे क…ी मांग के साथ ही जान माल की सुरक्षा की गुहार की। संसद भवन में श्री चिदंबरम से मुलाकात कर प्रतिनिधियों ने आठ सूत्रीय ज्ञापन सौंप रुद्रपुर के दंगे को सुनियोजित साजिश करार दिया। उन्होंने कहा इसकी उच्च स्तरीय जांच कर फास्ट ट्रैक कोर्ट में सुनवाई की जानी चाहिये। प्रतिनिधि मंडल ने मंत्रियों के समूह का गठन कर पीडि़तों से मुलाकात कर दंगे की गंभीरता को जानने के लिए भेजने की भी मांग की। इस मौके पर रजा एकेडमी दिल्ली के अध्यक्ष मौलाना यासीन अख्तर मिसबाही, आल इंडिया उलेमा मशाईख बोर्ड के सचिव सैय्यद बाबर अशरफ, मुस्लिम स्टूडेंट आर्गनाइजेशन ऑफ इंडिया के महासचिव आदि मौजूद थे।

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