Lorsqu'il sillonnait la France pour son entreprise d'informatique, Baddre-Eddine Benta ïb, ingénieur commercial, pestait souvent de ne pouvoir localiser un lieu de prière pour l' accueillir . Au fil de ces dé placements , ce musulman pratiquant s'est donc constitué sa propre cartographie des mosquées de France. Une base de données inédite pour des lieux de culte en plein essor : le site Trouvetamosquee.fr était né. L'affaire remonte à 2008 ; depuis, Baddre-Eddine Bentaïb a profité d'un plan social pour se consacrer à plein temps à ce projet, qu'il enrichit au fil des mois. En 2011, s'inspirant d'une initiative de deux Américains qui, en trente jours de ramadan avaient visité trente mosquées à New York , le jeune homme de 31 ans s'est lancé dans son propre "ramadan road trip".
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In Iran, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani faces the death penalty for the "crime" of leaving Islam as a teenager and converting to Christianity. A translated Iranian Supreme Court brief from 2010 states that 32-year-old Nadarkhani "is convicted of turning his back on Islam, the greatest religion, the prophesy of Mohammad at the age of 19." While there is widespread public outcry of support for his specific case, some are speaking broadly about the punishment for apostasy. Many -- Muslim and non-Muslim -- mistakenly believe that Islam supports this barbaric practice. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There is an interesting headline moving through Muslim community listservs: “Did an Islamic cleric really ban women from touching bananas and cucumbers?” This past week, an email pinged around the world, claiming that a Muslim cleric “residing in Europe” issued a, well, interesting fatwa, or religious ruling, banning Muslim women from touching bananas or cucumbers: “He said that these fruits and vegetables ‘resemble the male penis’ and hence could arouse women or ‘make them think of sex,’” according to a report in a supposed Egyptian website, BikyaMasr . The Times of India ran the story: “Islamic cleric bans women from touching bananas.”
Contemporary Muslim family laws and practices are increasingly under attack for their unjust treatment of women. At the heart of unequal gender rights in Muslim laws lie the twin concepts of qiwamah and wilayah , which are commonly understood as having mandated men’s authority over women, and as justifying and institutionalising a patriarchal model of the family. The Qur’anic verse (4: 34) from which the concept of qiwamah is derived reads (in a new translation by Kecia Ali): Men are qawwamun [protectors/maintainers] in relation to women,
Shadia Alem In God’s Eye , by the Saudi Arabian artist Shadia Alem, showing Muslim pilgrims around the Ka’aba, the black cube believed to have been built by the Prophet Abraham that stands at the center of the Meccan sanctuary, 2010 The pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj, is the supreme expression of global Islam. This year more than 2.5 million Muslims will undertake the journey from towns and villages around the world; during their absence, they will be in the thoughts and prayers of a much larger circle of family and friends.
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Sadakat Kadri on Muslim and Western ignorance of what Shari'a law really means--and the real concerns that should be targeted. Photograph Courtesy of lecercle Muslims agree that Shari’a is God’s law.
Last summer a friend of mine was driving his elderly mother from the north coast to Cairo and on the way his mother, a diabetic, suddenly felt ill. He looked for a pharmacy and when he found one he went in and found a bearded pharmacist. My friend asked him if he would give his mother an insulin injection.
The same spotlight of historical enquiry that scholars have long been shedding on the biblical past is now starting to illumine the origins of Islam, as Tom Holland explains. The baptism of Christ depicted in 'The Chronology of Ancient Nations' by Al-Biruni, Islamic school, 14th century. AKG Images/Edinburgh University Library Midway through the eighth century a monk living in the monastery of Beth Hale in Iraq recorded the arrival there of an eminent visitor. A ‘Son of Ishmael’ – one of the Arab dignitaries who served at the court of the caliph – had fallen ill. Naturally enough, since Christian holy men were renowned for effecting miracle cures, he had turned to the monks to help him with his convalescence.
Are the values of the West – democracy, individualism, free speech and so on – really compatible with those of Islam, or will there always be a tension between the two? I think when people talk about a clash of civilisations, we are actually talking about a clash of perceptions. If we have a superficial understanding of what Western values are and where they are coming from, and a very superficial understanding of what Muslim values are, we end up thinking that there are tensions and conflicts. But if you study deeply the values of both, you can see that there are overlapping objectives and understanding. The tensions are no more than you can find sometimes with Christians, Jews and people of other religions.
Islam saved Jewry. This is an unpopular, discomforting claim in the modern world. But it is a historical truth.