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So far Zeinab Asfour has created 8 blog entries.
13 06, 2016

MABDA Report 13/6/2016

June 13th, 2016|Interfaith / Islamophobia News|

Muhammad Ali funeral: A fitting interfaith service for The Greatest

The superlatives had been exhausted. A legend. An inspiration. The fastest. The prettiest. And as he tirelessly, and playfully, pronounced until the bitter end, the Greatest.

All that remained was for Muhammad Ali to be laid to rest.

In the somehow fitting setting of the KFC-YUM sports arena named after Kentucky’s second most famous son, Colonel Sanders, an unlikely collection of dignitaries gathered on Friday for an interfaith funeral service, to bid farewell to the greatest sporting personality of his, or any other time, and a man who in his pomp was inarguably the most famous person on the planet.



Jews, Christians and Muslims come together in Dutchess County for solidarity on first night of Ramadan

Members of some 40 faith groups throughout Dutchess County and the region, representing Christianity, Judaism and Islam, joined Sunday evening — the first night of Ramadan — in a display of solidarity to celebrate the Dutchess County Interfaith Council’s first-ever, Iftar.

The Iftar gathering, honouring the traditional meal after sunset breaking the fast during Ramadan that is currently being celebrated by Muslims, was meant to follow a “Walk the Walk” solidarity march on the Walkway over the Hudson, but, due to heavy rains, the walk was cancelled.



Interfaith service celebrates Ramadan in downtown Montreal

For the first time in Montreal, the United Church of Canada held an interfaith celebration Tuesday night with the Muslim Association of Canada to mark the start of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.


The service began at 8 p.m. outside the St. James United Church on Ste-Catherine St. W. Along with music and communal prayer, at sundown participants broke their daily fast by sharing dates, water, milk and Syrian sweets with passers-by.



6 06, 2016

MABDA Report 6/6/2016

June 6th, 2016|Interfaith / Islamophobia News|

Istanbul joins international ‘open iftar’ event to foster interfaith dialogue during Ramadan

An international project led by young students is setting up open ‘iftars’ – fast breaking meals – across several countries to foster interfaith dialogue during Ramadan.

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a time when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, with the practice forming one of the five fundamentals or “pillars” of Islam.




President Bill Clinton Will Give a Eulogy for Muhammad Ali at Interfaith Service Friday

Former President Bill Clinton will be among those giving a eulogy for Muhammad Ali at an interfaith service Friday in the boxer’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, the family announced today.

In a speech in California today, Clinton reflected on watching Ali light the Olympic torch in Atlanta while his hands shook from Parkinson’s Disease.

“Once the most graceful, powerful athlete in the world, with his hands shaking, holding on, he did his job,” Clinton said. “And in the very end he was actually astonishingly good humored about the burden of his later years. So by the time he died, who he was as a person was greater than his legend.”




A Quick Lesson About Ramadan, The Muslim Month Of Fasting

Ramadan is a month of fasting many Muslims observe to commemorate the first revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad according to Islamic history.

What are the dates of Ramadan?

Because the cycle of the lunar calendar does not match the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan shift by approximately 11 days each year. In 2016, Ramadan is expected to begin on Monday, June 6, in the United States, although the date is only confirmed once the moon is sighted.

The ending of Ramadan is marked by the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, which takes place either 29 or 30 days after the beginning of the month. On Eid ul-Fitr, morning prayers are followed by feasting and celebration among family and friends.






30 05, 2016

MABDA Report 30/5/2016

May 30th, 2016|Interfaith / Islamophobia News|

King receives Coptic Metropolitan of Jerusalem and Jordan

His Majesty King Abdullah II, Sunday, received His Eminence Metropolitan, Anba Antonious, on the occasion of his enthronement on the seat as the Coptic Metropolitan of Jerusalem and Jordan.

At the meeting, attended by HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, Chief Advisor to HM King Abdullah for Religious and Cultural Affairs and the King’s Personal Envoy, King Abdullah congratulated the Metropolitan on his appointment to the post and wished him success in promoting dialogue and understanding among followers of different religions.



Al-Azhar imam, Pope Francis embrace in historic Vatican meeting

Pope Francis embraced the grand imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque at the Vatican on Monday in a historic encounter both sides hope will lead to greater understanding and dialogue between the two faiths.

The first Vatican meeting between the leader of the world’s Catholics and the highest authority in Sunni Islam marks the culmination of a significant improvement in relations between the two faiths since Francis took office in 2013.




The United Arab Emirates has adopted a comprehensive vision for combating extremism and terrorism, taking into account the intellectual and cultural dimensions feeding them, said Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance.

In a speech she gave on behalf of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, on Friday at the session of the 4th Interfaith Dialogue Conference in Copenhagen, Sheikha Lubna lauded the conference’s main theme of confronting extremism, saying that extremism is the main source of terrorism.



23 05, 2016

MABDA Report 23/5/2016

May 23rd, 2016|Interfaith / Islamophobia News|

Interfaith Iftars Aim to Bring Communities Together This Ramadan

With Ramadan quickly approaching, when Muslims around the world will fast from sunrise to sunset, Rev. Cynthia Bronson Sweigert has her plate full.

For the second year in a row, the Minnesota-based Episcopal priest is organizing a state-wide effort to bring Christians and people of other faiths into mosques during the Muslim holy month. And if last year’s program is any indication, close to a thousand non-Muslim Minnesotans will be breaking bread with their Muslim neighbors this summer.



Praying together in Jerusalem unites Christians, Muslims and Jews

Rabbi Nahman of Breslov taught that it is best to pray with the simplicity of a child; talking to God as if He were your best friend.

But what about praying alongside your neighbors as if they were your friends, with the ease of children on the playground? These ideas of simplicity and kinship in prayer are being utilized in Jerusalem on a monthly basis by Praying Together in Jerusalem, a group co-founded by Peta Jones Pellach of the Elijah Interfaith Institute and Russell McDougall, rector at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute.

When asked about the impetus to start Praying Together, Pellach said, “We were having a seminar on envisioning our future last summer, hosted by the Abrahamic Reunion, where many delegates came representing different organizations. We were brainstorming ideas, and it was out of this that Praying Together was born. We came to the conclusion that we really needed to pray side-by-side publicly and visibly.”



Interfaith event focuses on the environment

More than 60 scholars from around the world will present research papers on the environmental perspectives of different religions during an upcoming conference at Nazareth College in Pittsford.

“Sacred Texts and Human Contexts: Nature and Environment in World Religions” will take place May 23-25 at the college and will feature panel presentations and keynote addresses about nature and the environment as seen through the lens of such religions as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.


18 05, 2016

MABDA Report 25/4/2016

May 18th, 2016|Interfaith / Islamophobia News|

European Council President Praises Indonesia’s Democracy and Religious Tolerance

President Joko Widodo met with European Council President Donald Tusk at the Europa building, seat of the European Council, in Brussels, an official statement said on Thursday (21/04).

In the meeting, Joko said Indonesia is a “living laboratory” where Islam, democracy and religious tolerance exist side by side.



Fr. Cleenewreck Honored by King Abdullah II for Contribution to Interfaith Dialogue

With the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco, the V. Rev. Laurent Cleenewerck, rector of St Innocent Orthodox Church in Eureka, CA, traveled last week to Amman, Jordan, at the invitation of King Abdullah II to be recognized for his recent contribution to Christian-Muslim and interfaith dialogue.

Every year since 2009, with the support of formal United Nations resolution, a World Interfaith Harmony Week is organized every first week of February, under the patronage of the King of Jordan and with the personal participation of His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem.



Countering Islamophobia, Muslim Father and Son Go to US Congress

Caldoun Abuhakel and his 12-year-old son, Baraa, traveled from their Minnesota home to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress and key staffers.

Some 300 Muslim-Americans from across the United States gathered Monday on Capitol Hill to talk with their representatives about Muslim-American issues.


Baraa told VOA that he has experienced taunting at school, when other kids told him to “stop being so Muslim, stop being so terrorist.”



18 05, 2016

MABDA Report 18/4/2016

May 18th, 2016|Interfaith / Islamophobia News|

Winners of World Interfaith Harmony Week award honoured

His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday honoured the winners of the King Abdullah II World Interfaith Harmony Week award, a Royal Court statement said.

The award, connected to an initiative launched by the King at the 65th session of the United Nation General Assembly, aims at spreading awareness and understanding among interfaith dialogue groups through various international activities.



King patronizes World Interfaith Harmony Week prize ceremony

His Majesty King Abdullah Sunday patronized the annual award ceremony of the King Abdullah II World Interfaith Harmony Week Prize, which seeks to spread awareness and understanding among religious dialogue groups via holding various international activities and events.

The King presented medals and diplomas to winners of the prize, which emanates from the World Interfaith Harmony Week Initiative His Majesty launched at the 65th session of the United Nations’ General Assembly, and had been unanimously adopted by the world body in Oct., 2010.



Napa speakers highlight kinship of Islam, Christianity and Judaism

Common forefathers, four millennia of shared history and three faiths embraced by billions – and yet no end of discord. How do individual Muslims, Jews and Christians move beyond the fear, suspicion and hatred that have marked their encounters through generations?



18 05, 2016

MABDA Report 4/4/2016

May 18th, 2016|Interfaith / Islamophobia News|

‘50 Mosque Man’ asks people of all faiths to find commonalities

If you meet Jameel Syed, be prepared to have your photo taken with him.

It’s a simple action he initiates to build connections. Syed prefers action to talk, although he’s skilled at the latter as he demonstrated with his message Sunday morning at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lawrence.



Interfaith group bonds together to support Syrian refugee family

Humanity has no religion, and three religious groups here in Calgary are proving just that.

Members of Temple B’nai Tikvah, Living Spirit United Church and Friends Church have joined forces to sponsor a Syrian refugee family despite their differences in religious beliefs.

“The point is there is no point to be made,” said DeAnn Watson of Friends Church.  “We go to our churches to satisfy our souls but we don’t need that to govern every other part of our lives. We break down the walls because the base of any religion is the same: compassion.”



Church to discuss commonalities among Islam, other religions

Since the deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels last month, the negative dialogue aimed toward members of the Muslim community has only intensified, according to Rev. Lee Bluemel.

Bluemel, the minister of The North Parish of North Andover Unitarian Universalist Church, has heard concerns from her parishioners about the “anti-Muslim rhetoric” that has made its way into the news around the country and in the Merrimack Valley.


18 05, 2016

MABDA report 21/3/2016

May 18th, 2016|Interfaith / Islamophobia News|

The Bible And Quran Are More Similar Than You May Think

Islamophobia has become frighteningly commonplace in the U.S. There’s a lot of hatred, misinformation and misplaced fear being directed at Muslims and the faith that they follow. And it’s coming from all levels of society — from GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who capitalizes on this fear for votes, to local hate groups who take it upon themselves to vandalize American Muslims’ houses of prayer.



Catholic, Jewish, Muslim Scholars Offer Perspectives on Mercy

Perhaps every year should be a year of mercy.”

That was the observation of Rabbi Daniel Polish, a speaker at “Mercy in the Scriptures,” an interfaith trialogue marking the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis. It took place March 6 at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie.

Rabbi Polish is the spiritual leader of Congregation Shir Chadash in Poughkeepsie and an author and scholar. Also speaking were Father Patrick J. Ryan, S.J., the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University, and Dr. Mehnaz Afridi, assistant professor of religious studies at Manhattan College and director of its Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center.



Interfaith Association unites diverse believers

One worship service will find atheists and Roman Catholics at the local mosque.

Next week, catch Muslims and Protestants across town at the synagogue.

What you won’t find among Lubbock Interfaith Association participants, though, are “My religion is better than your religion” judgments.