July 25, 2016 |
For many years, I read about the rich history of Persia and yearned to see the wonders left behind in Iran, but when I told my friends I wanted to visit Iran, they thought I was crazy. They didn't believe it was safe, or they thought Iranians would be hostile toward Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth: The people's friendly welcome was rivaled only by the beautiful remains of Persian culture. I started my 11-day tour of Iran in April in the ancient Persian city of Persepolis, where 3,000-year-old palaces and gateways built by Xerxes and Darius the Great still stand.
July 23, 2016 |
Bensalem Township has temples, synagogues, and churches, but in 2014 Bucks County's largest municipality declined to grant a permit for a mosque. That, said the U.S. Justice Department in a suit filed Thursday, constituted religious discrimination. The suit seeks to have the township give the Bensalem Masjid approval to build the mosque, provide training for township employees regarding religious land-use laws, and pay unspecified damages. The Bensalem Masjid has been embroiled in litigation with the township since 2014.
June 11, 2016
ISSUE | NORTH PHILA. Neighborly mosque Thanks to the Inquirer for writing about the mosque we are building north of Temple University ("Ahmadiyya mosque rising in N. Phila.," May 31). The story quoted residents who said they had been unaware of the project until construction began. We did conduct a community meeting at the Cookman United Methodist Church on April 15, 2010, to an overwhelmingly positive response, before construction began. The mosque will include a community center and soup kitchen in addition to teaching the peaceful principles of Islam.
June 1, 2016 |
JUST MORE than a mile north of Temple University, a 21,000-square-foot mosque is rising next to a struggling neighborhood in North Philadelphia. The 56-foot-tall structure stands on a former factory lot, next to Amtrak's main line that rolls through the neighborhood. The mosque, on West Glenwood Avenue near 13th Street, will serve Philadelphia's Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and its growing membership, said Bilal Salaam, its imam. It was designed by Olaya Studio, and was based on the White Minaret, an iconic symbol that represents the Ahmadiyya community in Qadian, India.
January 30, 2016 |
The rabbinic students had come to the mosque for a lesson on interfaith dialogue, and the West Oak Lane building was perhaps the perfect place. Masjidullah, where Muslims pray daily, was built as a synagogue, later became a church, and now is a mosque. Mimi Polin Ferraro, a student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, had her bat mitzvah there more than 40 years ago, when it was Temple Sinai. On Tuesday, she returned with her classmates, marveling at the building and its history.
January 12, 2016 |
ASIM ABDUR RASHID, imam of Masjid Mujahideen on south 60th Street in West Philadelphia, said he was stunned Friday when his son called and said that someone near the mosque shot a police officer in the name of Islam. "I said, 'What?' " Rashid recalled yesterday. Friday afternoon, Rashid denounced the shooting and said he did not know the gunman, whom police identified as Edward Archer, 30, of Philadelphia and Yeadon. A few hours later, members of the masjid set Rashid straight by citing Archer's Muslim name.
January 11, 2016 |
Mayor Kenney slipped rather quietly into the basement room of Al-Aqsa Islamic Society, where dozens of children and adults, Muslims, Jews, Christians - and probably an atheist or two - were busy wielding paint brushes Saturday, rolling out clay, and cutting and decorating unfired tiles. People were dabbing paint onto sections of fabric that, within the next several months, will cover the mosque's huge north wall with colorful geometric designs and faux arches - a complement to the murals and tiles created in 2004 that now cover the mosque's front facade and part of its south wall.
December 14, 2015 |
After a desecration at its front door prompted goodwill messages from as far away as Australia, the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society decided to say thank you in its own backyard. So on a May-like day in December, the society hosted a cookout in the parking lot. The gathering of the group's interfaith array of friends and supporters Saturday served as both a gesture of gratitude and a show of solidarity nearly a week after a pig's head was thrown on the sidewalk outside the mosque in North Philadelphia.
December 10, 2015 |
Shoulder to shoulder they stood: imams in kufis, ministers in robes, rabbis in skullcaps, elected officials and community leaders in business suits. Against that backdrop at City Hall on Tuesday, Mayor Nutter condemned the "ignorant act" of the person who left a severed pig's head outside the Al Aqsa Islamic Society mosque and school in North Philadelphia. The head was found Monday morning. Dropping part of a pig at a mosque has a special significance because pigs are anathema to Muslims who observe halal dietary laws.