During the second exchange day, we learned that the New Horizons students would be leading the afternoon call to prayer. When my teacher first told our class that we were going to be having an exchange with a Muslim school, I didn’t really know how to feel. Eventually our Principal got up to give a welcome speech, and as we sat there, something changed. In another class, we created a civility machine and watched people act out situations of discrimination while wearing funky wigs. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Be sure to check your inbox for a confirmation email, and click the "confirm" link to activate your subscription. Muslim immigrants are finding a much more welcoming atmosphere in traditionally Catholic Ireland than in Europe or America, according to an article in The Atlantic magazine. The 2011 census recorded 49,204 Muslims, nearly a quarter of them school-aged children, but the number is projected to reach 125,000 by 2030. Other Muslims said they like the numerous single-sex schools offered by the Catholic-dominated education system, and said that school officials typically accommodate the needs of Muslim students, including dietary restrictions and uniform modifications. Daniel Berrigan, a poet and Jesuit priest who for decades was among the most prominent voices for absolute pacifism in the American Catholic church, died on Saturday at 94. Even by the standards of medical horror stories that have filled our papers of late, it's a tale that beggars belief. Can you see the Obama administration blowing up a Muslim prayer hall here in America even if it were filled with explosives? Explosives found in an illegal Muslim prayer hall near the Russian city of Samara was eliminated right inside the building.
The video of the controlled explosion shows a considerable part of the building being destroyed in the blast. A police dog helped to find a cache with more than a kilogram of explosives of unknown origin.
The federal highway M5 passing right in front of the house was blocked in both directions and people were evacuated from all nearby buildings. The house was used for gatherings of Salafis, followers of an ultra-conservative movement within Sunni Islam, and it was not registered with the regional Muslim community as an official house of worship.
Inside the house, the FSB’s special forces detained 53 young men, at least one of whom was promoting the Islamic State terror group online. According to an FSB source, the arrests made at the illegal prayer hall triggered a series of house raids, which helped uncover more explosives, handguns, grenades and ammo. The same source said other known members of that particular Salafi community are currently fighting in Syria for the jihadists.
The post VIDEO: Muslim prayer hall blown up in Russia after POLICE FIND EXPLOSIVES INSIDE appeared first on Freedom Outpost.
Mydiaspora finds matches based on answers to a given questionnaire, as well as by religion and nationality.
A Russian dating app, Mydiaspora, aims to help Muslim men find additional wives in an Islamic way. The app, which is currently available in English, Russian and Farsi, would soon be available worldwide on various platforms, including iOS and Android.
The creator of the mobile application, Arsen Kazibekov, said that his app allowed men and women to communicate in accordance with Islam and Sharia law.
Further, Kazibekov said the app was automatically Sharia compliant because it allowed women to share chats with their father or brother. As they faced growing suspicion, Muslim women began to speak out to clear their image and highlight the true face of their faith. Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population. A 2007 poll taken by the Issues Deliberation Australia (IDA) think-tank found that Australians basically see Islam as a threat to the Australian way of life.
A recent governmental report revealed that Muslims are facing deep-seated Islamophobia and race-based treatment like never before. She recalls being approached by a Muslim women group to document their experiences in Australian society.
As she got closer to Muslims, Ho found that Muslim women have developed a strong sense of identity to tell the Australian public about themselves and their faith. When I was first told about the school exchange between Sinai Akiba Academy middle school students and the middle school students from New Horizons, an Islamic-based school, I was dubious. As you’ll read in Sinai Akiba student Leila Mahboubi’s blog below, whatever nerves and inhibitions the students had quickly melted away as shared interests, gossip, jokes and snacks led these young adults to form bonds quickly and eagerly engage with each other. As an educator, I was anxious about how the students would behave as they watched these young men and women pray in a way that most, if not all, of them had never seen. The foundation laid by the fantastic administration and staff at both schools allowed their students to feel safe, supported, challenged and encouraged throughout.

I’ve spent my entire life learning how to be accepting of other races and religions, but my own family history made it difficult to wrap my head around the cultural and religious differences that these students would bring.
Marah came to classes with me that day, and while they were fun and interesting, they weren’t what made my day special. During lunch, I sat with Marah and her friends as we passed juicy gossip about who had a crush on whom. She received her BA from American Jewish University and her Masters Degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Providing your students with this experience was so clearly transformative and life-changing. The stream of students continued for decades and some stayed, forged careers, married, and had children.
Peter Kreeft is a brilliant theologian, philosopher, and a Evangelical Protestant convert to the Catholic faith. The cause was a cardiovascular ailment, said Father James Yannarell, a priest affiliated with the Fordham Jesuit community.
According to the latest figures, some 24 women have recently had their virginities "restored", not by some divine miracle or act of magic, but by a surgical procedure paid for by our already hard-pressed National Health Service.How ridiculous, how dangerous and how indefensible. The British NHS should simply not be paying for a cosmetic procedure that is unnecessary, demeaning to women and totally at odds with modern British culture. But be must require US mosques to institute transparent, inspectable programs teaching against the al-Qaeda & ISIS view of Islam. A bomb-disposal expert said extracting the explosives would be definitely unsafe and bomb technicians rolled in a water cannon, a source within Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) told RT.
I pictured a room full of children seated across each other, shifting in their seats uncomfortably as teachers dutifully explained how much the two faiths had in common. Peter Hall, a renowned British stage director once said (and I’m paraphrasing here) you “have to build up structure in order to break it.” That’s just what the teachers and administrators accomplished. Emily works with Day Schools, Congregational Schools and local organizations to help bring Facing History’s unique, impactful pedagogy and resources to teachers and students across Southern California. That experience can only pay dividends over time as the true meaning of what transpired settles deep into their hearts and ripples outward from them into their daily lives.
These teachers annually reach over 170,000 middle and high school students in over 250 public, religious, and independent schools throughout Southern California. Not simply a twitch of the lips, but a light from within that changes a face, making the eyes glow, and turning a mouth into a speechless shape of love. At a time when cancer and Alzheimer's patients are routinely deprived of drugs, the idea that a single penny of NHS funding is spent on repairing something as fragile, ephemeral and medically useless as a woman's hymen is absurd. The report accompanying the figures is too politically correct to identify the religion of the women who have had the operation, but it's my informed guess that most of them - all of them, perhaps - will turn out to be Muslim.As the daughter of parents who arrived in Britain from Pakistan in the mid-Sixties, I'm a Muslim myself but I'm appalled by the sort of cultural pressures these women must be under to seek such a procedure. We must require that they teach against Islamic Jew-hatred and misogyny and teach Constitutional values, especially free speech and equality of rights for all. Eye rolls, brief head nods and snack time would follow, with students clustered in bunches, talking in hushed voices about the “other” kids standing a few feet away. As the New Horizon students prayed, the Sinai Akiba students stood in an almost reverent silence, respectful, interested, engaged and curious.
Using Facing History resources and exercises, along with hours of planning and preparation, these amazing educators created an environment that felt so safe, the students were ready, willing and able to break out of their comfort zones and participate in two days that brought them new perspective, new insight and new friendships.
Soon we were telling jokes, sharing secrets, and laughing at the stupid guys who think that acting like idiots make them cool. We shared everything from our favorite foods to our crushes, but most of all, we shared our faith. In a group, we learned about a man named Jesus Colon and his personal story of how discrimination affected him. Ortiz now serves as the editor of Education for Justice, a project of the Center of Concern. Only where a young woman has been raped or violently sexually assaulted can there even be the slightest justification for the NHS to pay for such a procedure. That silence soon filled up with the surprise of learning how similarly the two faiths prayed. As Leila so eloquently writes at the end of her blog, the exchange “helped me to realize that the only way we can create a society that embraces differences is by using those differences, not only to add diversity and value to our society, but to bring us closer together as individuals.” You can’t ask for anything better than that. When the day was over, I began to count down the days until next Wednesday, when we would get to visit Marah’s school. Although I hate to admit it, I had been a bit prejudiced toward Marah at first, even before we met. By paying for and performing such operations, the NHS isn't furthering the integration of the Muslim community into the British way of life; in fact, it's doing quite the opposite. A rich, meaningful experience that truly changed the way these children viewed each other, certainly not. As the second exchange day ended, instead of the cautious looks and hesitant interactions, the students said goodbye with hugs, exchanges of phone numbers and the promise to meet again soon.

I saw our differences as burdens and obstacles, things keeping us apart instead of pulling us closer together. It's effectively condoning an increasingly fundamentalist Islamic culture that is patriarchal, regressive and increasingly demeaning to women. Facing History has given me the tools to experience, firsthand, how we can discriminate against people we don’t even know – even if we aren’t aware we are doing it.
And, over the past few weeks, it has helped me to realize that the only way we can create a society that embraces differences is by using those differences, not only to add diversity and value to our society, but to bring us closer together as individuals.
The prizing of a woman's virginity is a cultural tradition rather than a religious practice - and it's an archaic one at that.
True, the Koran does encourage both sexes to abstain from sex before marriage, but so do the religious texts that provide the basis for most of the world's religions. Most, of course, are routinely ignored in modern Western societies, where both sexes are free to experiment or abstain as they choose. But not, increasingly, in Britain's Muslim communities today, where the differences between the sexes is in real danger of becoming a gulf. Muslim young men in Britain are generally at liberty to live their lives as freely as any of their non-Muslim friends, with a blind eye being turned to their nights out and their sexual encounters with girls of all faiths or none. I’ve never been good at breaking the ice, so we just sat there, awkwardly exchanging facts about our lives.
Their sisters, by contrast, are having a far tougher time - under mounting pressure to wear the veil, cover their bodies and not even to glance at a non-Muslim boy. For them, sex before marriage could result in their being ostracised, beaten or even worse by their male relatives.
You can see why those who have strayed sexually might be desperate to restore their virginity, especially with so many young British Muslim women being sent abroad to enter into arranged marriages in parts of the world where their new in-laws will still expect to fly a blood-spotted sheet from the window of the wedding-night bedroom. For a bride to fail to live up to these expectations of purity is to risk becoming a social pariah - or, worse, another sad statistic in the shameful roll call of "honour killings". What we desperately need now are British politicians to stand up and say this sort of practice is not compatible with the British way of life. But none of them will, terrified they'll be accused of being racist, anti-Islamic or politically incorrect. Well, let me, as a British-Asian Muslim and a woman, say it for them: those of us who choose to live in Britain must follow and respect British values - and the most precious of those is equality of the sexes. Even my father, a devout Muslim from a Kashmiri village who read his Koran every day, understood that. He knew - and was profoundly grateful for the fact - that it was the British taxpayer who paid for my free school lunches and my free school uniform and, until Mrs Thatcher enabled him to buy it, our Derbyshire council house.
He accepted that he had to adapt his religious beliefs accordingly, which is why my sister and I were educated every bit as well as our brothers, didn't have to go to mosque, and why we learned our Koran in English rather than Arabic. And, although the minute I turned 17 unknown Muslim men would arrive on our doorstep asking for my hand in marriage, my father knew that nothing would happen without my agreement. In Pakistan, you can live according to Pakistani values and customs, but once you come to Britain, you have to live according to British values. The trouble is, too many of those who wield political influence in Britain today seem to lack the courage to stand up and say what those British values are.
And as such, they grant unwitting approval to practices that have no place in a modern, civilised nation such as ours.
No one in government would dream of condoning female circumcision - a barbaric practice still carried out in some Islamic communities in North Africa. Yet the prizing of a woman's virginity is on the same oppressive continuum that subjugates women to men in a way that is totally unacceptable in Britain.
By offering "virginity restoration" on the NHS, the State is effectively signalling its approval for such backward-looking attitudes.
It is not only unacceptable, it is downright dangerous.For what is the point in the Government spending millions on creating a "Fortress Britain" to protect ourselves against terrorism when it is allowing the roots of Islamic extremism to spread into our hospital wards?Two decades on from my 17th birthday, I'm still living life by my father's enlightened approach to cultural integration.
On the one hand, I'm delighted that my mother is about to go to Hajj, the spiritual pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims must make once in their life. But on the other hand, I'm pregnant, married to Steve, a lovely man from Essex and looking forward to celebrating Christmas as much as I am the festival of Eid ul-Adha that precedes it. I'm delighted that, following my lead, three other British Muslim women I know have felt confident enough to marry white men without fear of reprisals from their own community.
But I'm also aware that we are in danger of becoming a fortunate minority among British Muslim women, a generation raised and educated before the fundamentalists got hold of Islam and before Britain became so politically correct it lost sight of the values that made this country such a great place to live. For all our sakes, it's those values that need to be restored, not surrendered virginities.

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