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ISLAM PROGRESSES IN USA, PROTESTED BY SOME FEW Why ???

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ISLAM PROGRESSES IN USA, PROTESTED BY SOME FEW Why ???

Post by Jewel on Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:21 pm







updated
8/8/2010 4:03:03 AM ET



While a high-profile battle rages over a mosque near ground zero
in Manhattan, heated confrontations have also broken out in communities
across the country where mosques are proposed for far less hallowed
locations.


In Murfreesboro, Tenn., Republican candidates have denounced plans
for a large Muslim center proposed near a subdivision, and hundreds of
protesters have turned out for a march and a county meeting.
In late June, in Temecula, Calif., members of a local Tea Party group
took dogs and picket signs to Friday prayers at a mosque that is
seeking to build a new worship center on a vacant lot nearby.
In Sheboygan, Wis., a few Christian ministers led a noisy fight
against a Muslim group that sought permission to open a mosque in a
former health food store bought by a Muslim doctor
.
At one time, neighbors who did not want mosques in their backyards
said their concerns were over traffic, parking and noise — the same
reasons they might object to a church or a synagogue. But now the gloves
are off.


In all of the recent conflicts, opponents have said their problem is
Islam itself. They quote passages from the Koran and argue that even the
most Americanized Muslim secretly wants to replace the Constitution
with Islamic Shariah law.

These local skirmishes make clear that there is now widespread debate
about whether the best way to uphold America’s democratic values is to
allow Muslims the same religious freedom enjoyed by other Americans, or
to pull away the welcome mat from a faith seen as a singular threat.



“What’s different is the heat, the volume, the level of hostility,”
said Ihsan Bagby, associate professor of Islamic studies at the
University of Kentucky. “It’s one thing to oppose a mosque because
traffic might increase, but it’s different when you say these mosques
are going to be nurturing terrorist bombers, that Islam is invading,
that civilization is being undermined by Muslims.”


Feeding the resistance is a growing cottage industry of authors and
bloggers — some of them former Muslims — who are invited to speak at
rallies, sell their books and testify in churches. Their message is that
Islam is inherently violent and incompatible with America

.
But they have not gone unanswered. In each community, interfaith
groups led by Protestant ministers, Catholic priests, rabbis and clergy
members of other faiths have defended the mosques. Often, they have been
slower to organize than the mosque opponents, but their numbers have
usually been larger.


The mosque proposed for the site near ground zero in Lower Manhattan
cleared a final hurdle last week before the city’s Landmarks
Preservation Commission, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg hailed the
decision with a forceful speech on religious liberty. While an array of
religious groups supported the project, opponents included the
Anti-Defamation League, an influential Jewish group, and prominent
Republicans like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, the former House
speaker

.
'Nobody notices'

A smaller controversy is occurring in Temecula, about 60
miles north of San Diego, involving a typical stew of religion, politics
and anti-immigrant sentiment.

A Muslim community has been there for
about 12 years and expanded to 150 families who have outgrown their
makeshift worship space in a warehouse, said Mahmoud Harmoush, the imam,
a lecturer at California State University, San Bernardino. The group
wants to build a 25,000-square-foot center, with space for classrooms
and a playground, on a lot it bought in 2000.


Mr. Harmoush said the Muslim families had contributed to the local
food bank, sent truckloads of supplies to New Orleans after Hurricane
Katrina, and participated in music nights and Thanksgiving events with
the local interfaith council.


“We do all these activities and nobody notices,” he said. “Now that
we have to build our center, everybody jumps to make it an issue.”
Recently, a small group of activists became alarmed about the mosque.


Diana Serafin, a grandmother who lost her job in tech support this
year, said she reached out to others she knew from attending Tea Party
events and anti-immigration rallies. She said they read books by critics
of Islam, including former Muslims like Walid Shoebat, Wafa Sultan and
Manoucher Bakh. She also attended a meeting of the local chapter of ACT!
for America, a Florida-based group that says its purpose is to defend Western civilization against Islam.




“As a mother and a grandmother, I worry,” Ms. Serafin said. “I
learned that in 20 years with the rate of the birth population, we will
be overtaken by Islam, and their goal is to get people in Congress and
the Supreme Court to see that Shariah is implemented. My children and
grandchildren will have to live under that.”
“I do believe everybody has a right to freedom of religion,” she
said. “But Islam is not about a religion. It’s a political government,
and it’s 100 percent against our Constitution.”



Outnumbered


Ms. Serafin was among an estimated 20 to 30 people who
turned out to protest the mosque, including some who intentionally took
dogs to offend those Muslims who consider dogs to be ritually unclean.
But they were outnumbered by at least 75 supporters. The City of
Temecula recently postponed a hearing on whether to grant the mosque a
permit.



Larry Slusser, a Mormon and the secretary of the Interfaith Council
of Murietta and Temecula, went to the protest to support the Muslim
group. “I know them,” he said. “They’re good people. They have no ill
intent. They’re good Americans. They are leaders in their professions.”



Of the protesters, he said, “they have fear because they don’t know them.”
Religious freedom is also at stake, Mr. Slusser said, adding,
“They’re Americans, they deserve to have a place to worship just like
everybody else.”



There are about 1,900 mosques in the United States, which run the
gamut from makeshift prayer rooms in storefronts and houses to large
buildings with adjoining community centers, according to a preliminary
survey by Mr. Bagby, who conducted a mosque study 10 years ago and is
now undertaking another.



A two-year study by a group of academics on American Muslims and
terrorism concluded that contemporary mosques are actually a deterrent
to the spread of militant Islam and terrorism. The study was conducted
by professors with Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and the
University of North Carolina. It disclosed that many mosque leaders had
put significant effort into countering extremism by building youth
programs, sponsoring antiviolence forums and scrutinizing teachers and
texts.


Radicalization of alienated Muslim youths is a real threat, Mr. Bagby
said. “But the youth we worry about,” he said, “are not the youth that
come to the mosque.




In central Tennessee, the mosque in Murfreesboro is the third one in
the last year to encounter resistance. It became a political issue when
Republican candidates for governor and Congress declared their
opposition. (They were defeated in primary elections on Thursday.)



'Place where war is started'

A group called Former Muslims United put up a billboard saying “Stop
the Murfreesboro Mosque.” The group’s president is Nonie Darwish, also
the founder of Arabs for Israel, who spoke against Islam in Murfreesboro
at a fund-raising dinner for Christians United for Israel, an
evangelical organization led by the Rev. John Hagee.
“A mosque is not just a place for worship,” Ms. Darwish said in an
interview. “It’s a place where war is started, where commandments to do
jihad start, where incitements against non-Muslims occur. It’s a place
where ammunition was stored.”



Camie Ayash, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro,
lamented that people were listening to what she called “total
disinformation” on Islam.



She said her group was stunned when what began as one person raising
zoning questions about the new mosque evolved into mass protests with
marchers waving signs about Shariah.


“A lot of Muslims came to the U.S. because they respect the
Constitution,” she said. “There’s no conflict with the U.S. Constitution
in Shariah law. If there were, Muslims wouldn’t be living here.”


In Wisconsin, the conflict over the mosque was settled when the Town
Executive Council voted unanimously to give the Islamic Society of
Sheboygan a permit to use the former health food store as a prayer
space.



Dr. Mansoor Mirza, the physician who owns the property, said he was trying to take the long view of the controversy.
“Every new group coming to this country — Jews, Catholics, Irish,
Germans, Japanese — has gone through this,” Dr. Mirza said. “Now I think
it’s our turn to pay the price, and eventually we will be coming out of
this, too.”
This story, "
Across Nation, Mosque Projects Meet Opposition
," first appeared in The New York Times.

Copyright © 2010 The New York Times





http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38612000/ns/us_news-the_new_york_times


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Jewel
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Re: ISLAM PROGRESSES IN USA, PROTESTED BY SOME FEW Why ???

Post by Ateo on Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:33 am

It is the liberal atheist majority in New York that protects your mosques here, Jewel. It brings to mind a fundamental point in advocating for human rights. It is oftentime the enlightened members of the majority who advocates for the rights of minority. It is wrong to assume the following:

a. that only Muslims fight for their rights to have a mosque here.
b. that only gays fight for gay rights
c. that only women fight for women's rights

Enlightened, straight, Christian and atheist men are crucial here in the fight for human rights.

I hope you will do the same in your context and contribute in helping protect human rights in Saudi for women, Christians, atheists, and gays.

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Re: ISLAM PROGRESSES IN USA, PROTESTED BY SOME FEW Why ???

Post by Jewel on Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:02 pm

Ateo wrote:It is the liberal atheist majority in New York that protects your mosques here, Jewel. It brings to mind a fundamental point in advocating for human rights. It is oftentime the enlightened members of the majority who advocates for the rights of minority. It is wrong to assume the following:

a. that only Muslims fight for their rights to have a mosque here.
b. that only gays fight for gay rights
c. that only women fight for women's rights

Enlightened, straight, Christian and atheist men are crucial here in the fight for human rights.

I hope you will do the same in your context and contribute in helping protect human rights in Saudi for women, Christians, atheists, and gays.

Im not rally focusing on emotions ateo,

I know something about legal system local and international;

A certain state may allow certain practices but it may not be the case in other states;

the bottom line is that whether or not it is allowed in the constitution of that state concerned because as you know the Constitution is the highest law of the state. So what is allowed in USA may not necessarily be allowed in KSA or any other states - look for the Constitution - the constitution over rules the international laws.


Thanks
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