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Author: iqradotca

Canada’s First Nations Leader Reaches Out to Muslims

(June 23, 2009) – One of Canada’s First Nations Elders and spiritual leaders, Dave Courchene Jr from the Anishnabe Nation, Eagle Clan, met with Imams and Muslim leaders in Toronto last Friday seeking to establish a relationship with Canada’s Muslims and to work for restoring sacredness in people’s lives. “I believe that the biggest challenge that we have today is to understand the significance and importance of that spiritual reality that exists whether we accept or deny it in our lives,” Courchene told Muslim leaders. “Spiritual people must be at the forefront to bring back sacredness in today’s world,” he added. Dave Courchene Jr. is the visionary behind The Turtle Lodge, the First Nation’s Center for Learning and Healing in Sagkeeng, Manitoba, Canada. Through the teachings of elders from across Canada that began more than 20 years ago, Courchene promotes traditional ways to health and well-being. His knowledge of First Nations spiritual teachings has led him to travel around the world, including to the Middle East, Japan, the Philippines and South Korea. In addition to briefing Muslim leaders about the First Nations spiritual beliefs, Courchene spoke extensively about their relationship to the Earth and the urgency for humanity to address the environmental crisis. “We are damaging the environment, we are damaging our home. We need to derive a way to live as human beings,” he said. “I pray that...

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Portraying Ottawa’s Muslims

(June 23, 2009) – Ottawa Citizen reporter, Jennifer Green, is trying to piece together a portrait of the city’s Muslim community which she thinks is the ‘most complex, fastest growing single group in the city.’ In a posting on her blog (Ottawa’s multifaceted Muslims), Green is soliciting input from the city’s Muslims to the following questions: What does it mean to you to be Muslim? Can you tell us about Ottawa from your perspective? What are your hopes and fears for the future here? Green has been covering the ongoing debate at the Ottawa Muslim Association over the choice of the new Imam. The Imam, who was brought in from Al Azhar University in Egypt, is being criticized by segments of the community for his communication skills, his lack of experience and familiarity with Canadian social conditions. The debate became very public when a number of articles written by Jennifer Green were printed in the Ottawa Citizen. source:...

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The Core of Concern for Earth Teachings

By Dawood Zwink (June 21, 2009) – Muslims along with most of the world’s population are caught in the web of the dominant worldview. Critical values that characterize this worldview include a belief in the opportunity for social advancement, a belief that the goal of life is comfort and convenience, a persistent attitude of racism, and a faith in technology and progress. There is also a secular humanism that is anthropocentric in its assumptions. The value of the quality of the natural environment, the value of maintaining biological diversity, or the inherent worth of species other than humans is a minority view. There is a pervasive sense of individualism and little assertion of the value of the community of humans, much less the “land community.” Taken in its entirety, the increase in mankind’s strength has brought about a decisive, many-sided shift in the balance of strength between man and the earth. Nature, once a harsh and feared master [sic], now lies in subjection, and needs protection against man’s powers. Yet because man, no matter what intellectual and technical heights he may scale, remains embedded in nature, the balance has shifted against him, too, and the threat that he poses to the earth is a threat to him as well. – Jonathan Schell, The Fate of the Earth (1982) The work called cultivating Earth awareness or ecological consciousness involves becoming...

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Open-mindedness leads to shared understanding

By Batuhan Görgülü (June 20, 2009) – I had much to look forward to when I was accepted as an exchange student a few years ago for the AFS Intercultural Programs, a community-based volunteer organisation dedicated to building a more just and peaceful world through international student exchange. Moving from Turkey to live in the United States with a host family for a year was an entirely new experience for me. When I arrived in America, I met my host brother, Jeremy. After spending only a few hours together we were surprised to learn that even though we live on nearly opposite sides of the world we still enjoy watching similar television shows, engaging in many of the same activities and listening to some of the same music. We were brought up in different cities with different cultures by different parents, but all that mattered to us was who we were as individuals and that we were not going to be strangers. Before arriving, I informed my host family that I would be fasting for Ramadan and that this practice is one of Islam’s five pillars. In a show of camaraderie and caring, my host family told me that they would wait to have dinner until it was time for me to break my fast. The respect that I sensed from my friends and host family in the United...

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Obama’s Muslim Advisor to address ISNA Convention

(June 18, 2009) – Dalia Mogahed will be addressing American Muslims at the Annual Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) convention in Washington set to take place on July 3 – 6, in Washington, D.C. Mogahed was appointed in April by U.S. President Barack Obama to serve on the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. “I am very honored to be given this opportunity to serve my country in this way,” Mogahed, who will be Obama’s window into the Muslim American community, told AlArabiya.net. In this position, Dalia Mogahed will be the first Muslim woman to sit on the council which advises the President about the opinions, values, perceptions, attitudes, and desires of more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide. Mogahed will be a keynote speaker at ISNA’s Community Service Recognition Luncheon that is set to take place on Saturday, July 4. Dalia Mogahed’s family came to the United States from Egypt when she was 5 years old. She is a naturalized U.S. citizen and lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and two sons. Ms. Mogahed has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Pittsburg. She served as a Senior Analyst at Gallup and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, a position in which she organized global research surveys to examine Muslims’...

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