Thursday, February 11, 2016

My Mosque Doesn't Exclude Women, It Empowers Us

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As a Muslim woman born and raised in this country, some of my earliest and fondest memories were of me accompanying my mother, grandmother and sister (that's three generations!) to the Mosque. It was the highlight of our week, topped off with a McFlurry or bucket of KFC.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: The Huffington Post
By Madiha Walker | February 10, 10/02/2016

The statement "no women allowed" is something which is hurled at many Muslim women across the UK and world. And by guess whom? Men. Of course, not all men and Mosques impose this restriction, but far too many do!

Despite tremendous advancements in women's rights over the past century, many religious spaces in the UK and across the world still remain women free-explicitly banning women from entering them. While this form of gender apartheid is not limited to Islamic places of worship, as a British Muslim woman I hope that my personal experiences of British Mosques can help to highlight both the problem and the opportunities for positive change.

The reality of 'women-free' Mosques first came to my attention when I was in my early twenties. To their frustration, disheartened Muslim friends shared their experiences of being told that they could not enter their local Mosques. This experience, they told me, caused them to feel as though they were being discriminated against and alienated, particularly for converts to Islam. This was made all the more difficult to deal with because it did not seem to fit with the teachings of Islam that they were familiar with.

UK: Scunthorpe Ahmadiyya Muslim mosque plan approved

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A council report recommended the application be approved, saying it would not be "detrimental to the character of the site" and would not impact on neighbouring properties.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch |
Source/Credit:
By February 10, 2016

Plans to build a new mosque in Scunthorpe have been approved despite a number of objections.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Association applied to build a mosque on the site of a bungalow in Cliff Closes Road currently used by the group for worship.

A total of 37 letters of objection were submitted, saying the mosque would cause issues with traffic and noise and was out of character with the area.

However, the plans were approved by North Lincolnshire Council.

The existing property has been used as a mosque since 2002 but the group want to the replace the "dated and dilapidated" property with a purpose-built mosque with living accommodation for the religious leader.

A council report recommended the application be approved, saying it would not be "detrimental to the character of the site" and would not impact on neighbouring properties.

It also said the mosque would not have any effect on "highway safety or efficiency".

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Indonesia: Depriving Ahmadiyah of Their Rights

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The home affairs minister must act against the Bangka regent. It is also time that the home affairs and religious affairs ministers, as well as the attorney-general, revoke the June 2008 joint ministerial decision.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: TEMPO.CO, Jakarta
By TEMPO.CO | February 10, 2015

The expulsion of Ahmadiyah followers from Bangka has shown once again the weakness of the state when it comes to protecting minorities. It is even more unfortunate that local government officials were involved in the eviction. This means that the state supports and participates in acts of discrimination.

Last week, hundreds of Sri Menanti villagers at Sungai Liat in Bangka Induk regency asked Ahmadiyah followers to leave not just Bangka but Belitung province as well. Their mosque was sealed. They were ordered to convert to Sunni Islam. Instead of ordering these fanatics to be tolerant, Bangka Regency Secretary Ferry Inani called for the Ahmadiyah followers to repent. Bangka Regent Tarmizi Saat even gave them a deadline, telling them to leave Bangka by February 5.

UK: Khalifa of Islam launches 'Voice of Islam' radio in London

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Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community launches 'Voice of Islam' radio to spread the peaceful teachings of Islam

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: AMJ International
By Press Release | February 10, 2015

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivers inspirational and historic on-air message to launch the radio station 

 The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is pleased to announce that on 7 February 2016, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad inaugurated the new ‘Voice of Islam’ Radio station.

The station, which will offer news, discussion and insight on Islamic perspectives regarding current affairs and will explain the true and peaceful teachings of Islam, will broadcast daily from its premises located at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in South West London.

Perspective: Muslim Women & Observing The Hijab | Shabnam Jheengoor

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It is true that some Muslim women are forced into the hijab and Muslim women who choose not to wear the hijab are harassed and face violence in some Muslim communities.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: BerNews
By Shabnam Jheengoor | February 9, 2016

World Hijab day, an annual event celebrated on the February 1st, was founded by New York native Nazma Khan in 2013. ‘Hijab’ refers to the headscarf worn by Muslim women. The goal of this event is to foster dialogue and understanding regarding the wearing of the hijab by Muslim woman with the aim of ending the discrimination that comes with wearing a hijab. It is a day where non-Muslim women are invited to wear the hijab for a day to experience it.

While the event itself is a laudable initiative, it is somewhat distressing that the need for such an event was felt by Muslim women. This speaks of the high level of judgment, rudeness and sometimes violence that Muslim women face due to their hijab. The hijab evokes strong fears and anger in some individuals who associate it with extremism and radicalization.  ‘Terrorist’ and ‘extremist’ are  angrily hurled at the woman wearing a hijab. Due to her hijab, the woman is viewed as a hate-filled oppressor.

Indonesia: Ahmadis in Bangka told to convert or leave

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The local authorities visited the group on Friday, asking them to convert or leave. The media reported that 20 Ahmadis left the area that day.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: The Jakarta Post
By TJP | February 9 2016

An Ahmadi group in Srimenanti, Bangka, has reportedly been discriminated against by the local administration, including being evicted.

Indonesian Ahmadiyah Congregation (JAI) spokesperson Yendra Budiana said that men from the group had been denied identity cards.

“There were pressures from certain groups for them to not be granted ID cards,” he said on Monday, as quoted by tribunnews.com.

Yendra said that Ahmadis in West Nusa Tenggara, East Java, Central Java and West Java had experienced similar treatment.

He cited as an example around 5,000 Ahmadis living in Kuningan, West Java, who often encountered problems when applying for IDs and getting married.

New Zealand: South Auckland's Ahmadiyya Muslims share message of tolerance

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An example of the ways in which Qamar is reaching out to others is his recent visit, with youths from his mosque, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meeting house in Wiri.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Manukau Carrier
By Chris Harrowell | February 10, 2015

The pious life of a spiritual missionary may not be to everyone's taste.

But it's a calling for a new member of South Auckland's Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

Mustenser Qamar, 26, is living in a unit beside the mosque in Dalgety Dr, Manurewa, while serving as a missionary and imam, or leader.

Originally from the United Kingdom, he will work wherever his faith's spiritual leader or Caliph, his Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, sends him.

Qamar trained in the UK, Spain and Pakistan for seven years to become a missionary.

Perspective: Hidden in plain sight -- The obsession over Muslim women | Atif Rashid

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In 2016, isn’t it about time we leave Muslim women alone and let them continue the great, productive and essential work they do in society?

Women of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community set up a display to explain their
beliefs, and why they wear Hijab, at the BWG Leisure Centre in Bradford, Ont.
Canada, on Saturday December 19, 2015.
Photo: Miriam King/Bradford Times/Postmedia Network
Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: The Huffington Post
By Atif Rashid | February 7, 2016

Once again there appears to be an endless pursuit of issues regarding Muslim women by our leaders. Considering how our society strongly stands for freedom of expression, justice and plurality, it’s ironic that the very thing which Muslim women use to express their identity and liberty – the hijab – is the exact reason they are highlighted so much more.

It’s almost as if they say, ‘these Muslim women aren’t conforming to our ways of freedom and liberty and they must be stopped and brought under our idea of freedom!’. Of course, this xenophobic assault on Muslim women is done under the pretext of security and liberty.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who I wish all politicians would emulate expounded the folly of Western animosity against the Hijab saying, ‘It is a cruel joke to claim you are liberating people from oppression by dictating in law what they can and cannot wear.’ If only Cameron and the many other European countries opposing the Hijab would pay attention. It’s little surprise. If we’d go to war on the pretext of freedom, liberty and democracy, using that as an excuse for anything else is fair game.

UK Paliament: Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims and other religious minorities in Pakistan

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Attacks against ethnic Hazara Shia in Balochistan occurred throughout the year. There were targeted killings of Shia Muslims and those accused of committing blasphemy.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: UK Parliament
By UK Parliament | February 8, 2016

The House of Commons Library prepares a briefing in hard copy and/or online for most non-legislative debates in the Chamber and Westminster Hall other than half-hour debates. Debate Packs are produced quickly after the announcement of parliamentary business. They are intended to provide a summary or overview of the issue being debated and identify relevant briefings and useful documents, including press and parliamentary material. More detailed briefing can be prepared for Members on request to the Library. Jump to full report >>

According to the International Religious Freedom Report 2014, released by the US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor:

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 196.2 million (July 2014 estimate). According to the most recent census conducted in 1998, 95 percent of the population is Muslim (75 percent of the Muslim population is listed officially as Sunni and 25 percent as Shia). There are also an estimated two to four million Ahmadi and 500,000 to 800,000 Zikri Muslims. Groups officially constituting the remaining 5 percent of the population include Hindus, Christians, Parsis/Zoroastrians, Bahais, Sikhs, Buddhists, and others. Other religious groups include Kalasha, Kihals, and Jains. There is one known Jew. Less than 0.5 percent of the population is silent on religious affiliation or claims not to adhere to a particular religious group.

Australia: Ahmadi Muslims' pledge of faith to country and religion

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The imam told diners that Ahmadis were persecuted throughout the world, particularly in Pakistan, and were grateful to have been allowed to settle in Australia.

Imam Inamul Haq Kauser says children of Ahmadi Muslims
will be Australia’s “best citizens”
Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch |
Source/Credit: MP News
By MP New | February 8, 2016

CHILDREN brought up within the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are being taught to be loyal to Australia.

“We will prove it with our actions and deeds that our youth are the best citizens of Australia and they will be well educated,” Inamul Haq Kauser said when speaking at an Australia Day dinner.

Guests at the dinner Sunday 31 January for 300 at the Baitu-us-Salam (House of Peace) Mosque, Langwarrin, included members of parliament, councillors and police.

Imam Kauser, national president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, gave assurances that the children of Ahmadi Muslims “will be loyal to this country”.

The imam told diners that Ahmadis were persecuted throughout the world, particularly in Pakistan, and were grateful to have been allowed to settle in Australia.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sri Lanka: Holy Qur’an Sinhala Translation gifted to schools in hilly areas

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Mrs. Mallika opened the Holy Qur’an and read out the meaning of First Chapter (Sura Fathiha) and remarked that the beginning of the verses of this chapter resembles with beginning of the Buddhist Scripture

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: AMJ Sri Lanka
By Press Release | February 10, 2015

A two member delegation from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Sri Lanka (AMJSL) comprising Mr.A. Abdul Aziz, Press Secretary and National Director Faith Outreach - AMJSL and Moulavi K. Muneer Ahmad (Missionary - Pasyala), visited one of the Sri Lanka’s hilly place Kegalle District recently to gift Holy Qur’an Sinhala Translation to Schools in the area.

The delegation met Principal St. Joseph’s Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Kegalle Mrs. Mallika Ranasinghe and gifted copy of Holy Qur’an Sinhala Translation. Principal warmly welcomed the delegation and said she will read this Holy Book as she is in longing of to know about what it says. Mrs. Mallika opened the Holy Qur’an and read out the meaning of First Chapter (Sura Fathiha) and remarked that the beginning of the verses of this chapter resembles with beginning of the Buddhist Scripture and recited and explained. She immediately called the Chief Librarian of the School and introduced Jama’at delegation and asked her to touch the Holy Book while the delegation took the photograph.

Canada: Demystifying Islam At The Port Hope Library

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The Open House focused on Justice and World Peace and included conversations about Islam and Muslims to help to eliminate preconceptions and to answer questions. 

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Northumberland View
By Northumberland View | February 8, 2016

As part of a nation wide campaign, called Demystify Islam, Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association welcomed residents to an Open House at the Port Hope Public Library on Saturday, February 6th.

The Open House focused on Justice and World Peace and included conversations about Islam and Muslims to help to eliminate preconceptions and to answer questions.

The Demystify Islam Campaign started in December 2015 in response to the attacks carried out by terrorist groups in Paris.

During this campaign, the youth of Ahmadiyyat will hold over 135 Open Houses and make 270+ visits to more than 35 towns all across Canada, in an attempt to spread peace, demystify Islam and create religious harmony. http://www.ahmadiyya.ca/

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