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Author: iqradotca

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 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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Elevating the Friday Sermon

By Hind Al-Abadleh (June 18, 2009) – For most Muslims, Friday is not only the last work day in a given week, but a much anticipated day when a visit to the masjid (mosque) for Friday prayers means spiritual re-charging and fulfillment of a religious obligation on believing men. Yet, a growing number of Muslims who regularly attend Friday prayers and listen to the khutbas express their dissatisfaction with the abilities of traditionally trained Imams in addressing contemporary issues and challenges facing Muslim communities in Canada (Nasir, 2009). Muslims from all walks of life listen attentively to topics presented during Friday sermons, which they hope to take home for implementation in their every day lives. Naturally, Imams would choose topics that they are most comfortable with and which they feel are important. Given the high expectations Muslims place on the position of the Imam, the topics he presents, and its relevance to their personal and communal lives, members of the community should be proactive in offering feedback and expertise to aid the Imam in accomplishing his weekly task. We live in an era where almost every masjid in Canada has a website. Muslims who attend Friday prayers should be given the opportunity to vote online on the topics of Friday sermons.   A detailed schedule of the topic, name of person to deliver the khutba (for masjids with rotating khateebs),...

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A Virtual Muslim World

(June 16, 2009) – A beta version of the world’s first Muslim-friendly virtual world was recently launched, where users can create an online persona, design their own rooms, buy virtual items and interact with others.  Muxlim Pal ( has been created by the Finnish-based company, the English-language site that caters to Muslims living who long to reconnect with other Muslims and Muslim culture. According to the creators, “Muxlim Pal is the first Muslim virtual world providing a new kind of family friendly social online environment for your entertainment.” “Muxlim Pal is just another channel for our users to socialise, have fun and express themselves using social media in a safe and friendly atmosphere,” Muxlim chief executive Mohamed El-Fatatry, 23, told AFP. On Muxlim Pal, which is free of charge to join, users can shop for clothes for their avatar at the mall, hang out at the beach cafe, pray at the mosque or go to concerts. Muxlim Inc. runs and operates, the world’s largest Muslim social media network of websites and services. The company was founded in Finland by Mohamed El-Fatatry and Pietari Päivänen, aiming to provide cutting-edge online services to the Muslim-Lifestyle Market around the world. The company was chosen as a finalist for the Red Herring Europe 100, and the top 100 high growth success stories in Finland 2008 by Helsingin Sanomat the largest Finnish...

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Iran’s Disputed Election – The Big Picture

Following up from last Friday’s entry about Iran’s Presidential Election, Tehran and other cities have seen the largest street protests and rioting since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Supporters of reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, upset at their announced loss and suspicions of voter fraud, took to the streets both peacefully and, in some cases, violently to vent their frustrations. Iranian security forces and hardline volunteer militia members responded with force and arrests, attempting to stamp out the protests – meanwhile, thousands of Iranians who were happy with the election outcome staged their own victory demonstrations à See the BIG PICTURE at...

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