August 16, 2010 |
A place is made sacred by a widespread belief that it was visited by the miraculous or the transcendent (Lourdes, the Temple Mount), by the presence there once of great nobility and sacrifice (Gettysburg), or by the blood of martyrs and the indescribable suffering of the innocent (Auschwitz). When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there - and that such ownership obliges us, the living, to preserve the dignity and memory of the place, never allowing it to be forgotten, trivialized, or misappropriated.
October 13, 2003 |
In August, my family and I visited Toronto, where we offered our daily prayers in a mosque within a few minutes of where we were staying. This afforded us a great opportunity to meet local people and learn their issues and culture. To promote this practice, we are working on establishing a mosque at Berlin Road and Lafayette Avenue in Voorhees. A coalition of people of various faiths will meet at my home Thursday to build support for the project. Some have tried to equate a mosque with terrorism, which is appalling rhetoric designed to scare people.
August 18, 2010
MY FAMILY and friends ask, "Why do you bother?" Bother to state my opinion on what I read in the papers, and hear on the news. Why? Because I care that our forefathers fought in wars many sacrificed their lives for democracy and freedom. My grandfather in World War I, and my father in World War II, went over there. They didn't ask, "Why?" - they just did. If there was the mere mention that a foreign religious structure be built in or around the Arizona in Pearl Harbor, they would have turned their aim and fired.
February 2, 2004 |
In this small town on the White Horse Pike, a house meant to be a mosque has stood empty and boarded-up for two years. For the Bangladeshi immigrants who hoarded tiny donations for nearly a decade to buy it, the house represents their hope for a place to worship in their own language. The zoning officials who ruled that they couldn't use the graffiti-marked house to pray said it would cause more chaos at a snarled intersection and mean the loss of tax revenues in their borough.
August 21, 1999 |
The piercing melody of a 14-year-old boy's singing drew Yilmaz Ekiz and his Turkish Muslim brothers into the fold of prayer at yesterday's Salatul Jumah, the Islamic sabbath service. Ekiz sank into the rituals of the prayer, his nose dipped in the carpet of the sanctuary. Three days before, he had lost friends vacationing in Izmit, Turkey, the epicenter of Tuesday's earthquake that killed more than 10,000, injured almost 35,000, and buried thousands more. It has been hard to get any news from Izmit because most families now are living in streets rather than homes, Ekiz said.
November 13, 1994 |
The skinny, mustard-colored tower that began to sprout from a storefront mosque six years ago now looms 12 stories above Shoubra, one of the most crowded quarters on earth. First, on the ground floor, came a rudimentary health clinic, attracting a stream of veiled women, ragged laborers, and even a few professionals in jackets and ties. Then came schools. Children's faces now press against the window bars above a street perpetually choked with cars, taxis and horse carts. As the tower kept rising, a 24-bed hospital, medical lab and pharmacy were added.
November 13, 2003 |
The Inquirer obviously has taken a biased position on the proposed mosque in Voorhees. The newspaper has sensationalized the topic by printing articles with headlines such as "Mosque plan divides Voorhees residents" and "Mosque deserves approval," and has served as a mouthpiece for Zia Rahman, managing trustee of the American Muslim Community, the group that hopes to build the mosque. Not enough opinion from Voorhees residents who have concerns has been printed. Ask more residents in the Lafayette Avenue section of Voorhees why they are against the mosque at that location - Lafayette Avenue and Berlin Road (Route 561)
September 18, 2010
It's a sign of the current political discourse that the right of the Muslim community to build a mosque close to the World Trade Centers site has been comingled with the question of whether it should be built at the current location. Those are two very different topics. I accept and would defend the constitutional right of a religious organization to build a house of worship wherever it meets the local legal requirements for doing so. My issue with the Cordoba project and the building of a mosque next to the WTC site is the clear insensitivity to the feelings of a large number of Americans.
September 30, 2007 |
Asra Husain's life at Pennsbury High School was about sticking close to the only other Muslim girl in the school. The two students received special permission to pray in a quiet place during the day, and to be excused from the cafeteria during religious fasts. In middle school, classmates yanked the scarves off their heads. "It was the first Gulf war," said Husain, of Morrisville. "It was rough. My name was Husain. " Now, more than 15 years later, the surrounding community has evolved, and as Husain celebrates the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, she is no longer one of a few. Husain's family is among the founding members of a mosque that opened three months ago in Lower Makefield.
January 7, 1988 |
When the sun rose today, there was no call to prayer inside the chamber of the Masjid An-Nur mosque in downtown Camden. The mosque, whose name means Home of Light, stood blackened and gutted, victim of a pre-dawn fire yesterday. Only the walls remain, said Fareed Munir, leader of the Muslim mosque, part of the al-Islam movement. Gone were an extensive library including rare copies of the Koran - the religion's sacred writings - from around the world, the supplies and records of the elementary school and the works of a successful Muslim restaurant - all were gone.