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Author: iqradotca

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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Don’t Give Up On Us – A Rwandan Experience

(June 14, 2009) – Toronto resident, Ashmead Ali, launched his first book, Don’t Give Up On Us – A Rwandan Experience, based on a visit to Rwanda at an event in Scarborough today. Ali’s outlook in life has made him form an interest in the developing world – in its history, politics, poverty, and injustice.  In today’s “small” world, where people discuss poverty and international development issues at their dinner tables, Canadians need to have a clearer understanding of these matters. This book, using Rwanda as its backdrop, presents a simple and unmuddled understanding of complex issues that afflict the poor African. Although many books have been written on poverty, they are of a serious nature, with page after page of information that is sometimes difficult for the ordinary reader to understand, to follow, and to remember. Don’t Give Up On Us reads like a story, in language for anyone to grasp without much effort, but in a serious tone. The reader is introduced to: brief geography and history; education; youth; unemployment; small enterprise; trade; health and sanitation; African brain drain and diaspora; the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and their development programs; Africa’s crippling debt; etc. Yet the book still reads like a novel. “Ashmead Ali has used his time in Rwanda to masterly examine and address important issues that affect poor and rich countries of the world,”...

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How global citizens can “do unto others”

By Susan Koscis (June 14, 2009) – My mother, who immigrated to America from Poland, often told me to follow the Golden Rule, to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”   This fundamental principle, which transcends nations, peoples and time, was echoed in US President Barack Obama’s speech at Cairo University last Thursday. While his words focused on improving US-Muslim relations, it was also about the fundamental values that speak to who we, as global citizens, want to be in the world.   Obama noted that “the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart”, and added that “there must be a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from each other, to respect one another and to seek common ground.” The principles of seeking common ground are the foundation upon which the conflict resolution field was founded. In this approach, individuals, groups or nations seek solutions to problems based on shared values and mutual interests.   Having spent the past 12 years working in an international conflict prevention and resolution organisation, I have seen first-hand illustrations of these principles in action. It was unthinkable, for instance, that Hutus and Tutsis could live together peacefully after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, yet 15 years later and after the implementation of peace-building programmes, this is the remarkable...

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