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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Indonesians tune in to digital Koran

Ahmad Pathoni, Reuters
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2007,
A boy reads the Koran during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in the West Bank city of Hebron, September 17, 2007. REUTERS/Nayef Hashlamoun JAKARTA (Reuters) - With her tiny earphones and slim digital player, Jakarta office worker Mira Indriarti looks like any other young music lover -- only she's not listening to the latest tunes, but to a recording of the Koran. Digital Koran is increasingly popular in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, where such gadgets sell especially well during the fasting month of Ramadan when... continue reading

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Three things we must do to facilitate Interfaith Dialogue

Asra Nomani asks the Dalai Lama: "What is it that our leaders can do to transcend the issues of power that make them turn the people of different religions against each other?"

He looked at me intently and said: "There are three things we must do. Read the scholars of each other's religions. Talk to the enlightened beings in each other's religions. Finally, do the pilgrimages of each other's religions." source

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

To Muslims, Ram is their Imam-e-Hind

[PS. the idea of Imam-e-hind or the leader of India, is based on the poem of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, a poet philosopher of India and Pakistan, ]

To Muslims, Ram is their Imam-e-Hind [read in hindustantimes]

Rama Setu: peoples’ anger @ Hinducivilization
Study of dharma and traditions of over one billion people, hindu.

Rama, a Muslim perspective @ FoundationforPluralism [quote] on Behalf of all Muslims who believe in reason and sanity, I declare that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) affidavit (since withdrawn) questioning the existence of Hindu god Ram was vitriolic, scathing, unfortunate and blasphemous - not just to Hindus but to all those who cherish our pluralistic cultural heritage. How can a government decide the veracity of a figure like Ram? -- He Ram ke wajood pe Hindostan ko naaz/Ahl-e-nazar samajhtey hein usko Imam-e-Hind! Iqbal, the poet of the East, has written a wonderful and moving poem on the authenticity of the existence of Ram. Logic and science have their say but not in matters of faith. In a nation where religion percolates to all levels of culture, secularism and modernity, themes like Ram, Mohammed, Mary and Moses are all interwoven within the existence of the people. A denial can drive people into a frenzy."

A lifelong affair: In love with love by nida Fazil [quote:] Iqbal called Lord Ram as Imam-e-Hind, adding, "Ye Sheikh o Brahmin hume acche nahin lagte, hum jitne hain ye itne bhi sacche nahin lagte". [end quote]

Thespian Dilip Kumar on Gujarat and the Divisive Politics of Hate: “My Heart Is Lacerated” Firoz Bakht Ahmed had the following interview with veteran actor Dilip Kumar. [Quote:] India is a land of Ram and of Allah. Iqbal once said about Ra: Hai Ram ke wajood pe Hindustan ko naaz/ Ahle nazar samajhte hein us ko Imam-e-Hind. Why should the followers of Ram and Allah be bloodthirsty? [end quote]

Muslims & Mainstream by Asghar Ali Engineer [quote] "It is wrong to say the Muslims refuse to respect Hindu gods such as Ram and Krishna. It amounts to saying all Indian Muslims conform to this behaviour. It is again homogenising the entire community. At best, it is only one trend among many. There are thousands of Muslims who deeply revere them.
The Sufis, of course, had an outlook different from that of the theologians. Mazhar Jani Janan, an eminent 18th century Sufi saint, was of the view that since Allah promised to send His prophets to all the peoples of the world for religious guidance (for every people, there is a religious guide) how could He forget the Indians? And since Indians highly revered Ram and Krishna, they must be His Prophets.
A 20th century Sufi Khwaja Hasan Nizami wrote that Ram and Krishna were the prophets of Allah. Hasrat Mohani, Urdu poet and freedom-fighter who gave a call for complete freedom in 1921 itself and rejected the concept of Home Rule, was a great admirer of Lord Krishna. He performed Haj every year and also visited Brindavan on the occasion of Janmashtami regularly. Some of the Farangi Mahli Ulema in Lucknow also held Lord Krishna in great respect. The Urdu poet Iqbal, described Lord Ram and Imam-e-Hind, i.e., revered religious leader of India."

Islam Is A Faith Like Any Other by Prof. Tahir Mahmood [quote] "In accordance with the Qur'anic exhortation that God sent His messengers to all parts of the globe only some of whom the Holy Book names, include among them Moses and Christ, Buddha and Mahavir, Ram and Krishna, and give them equal respect. The Holy Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita are, like the Torah and the Bible, covered by the Qur'anic concept of suhif-il-oula or earlier scriptures." see also: Lord Ram's existence is India's pride
Woh hadi-e-azeem woh Bharat ka rahnuma
Hai kaun jis ney naam na ho Ram ka suna
Ruhaaniyat ka taaj tha sar par dhara hua
Insaaniyat ka haar galey mein para hua
Lakhon labon pe aj bhi bas uska nam hai
Jo uska naam hai who sabhika salam hai

That great Spiritual Guide, the Leader of India
Who is there who hasn't heard Ram's name?
The crown of spirituality on his head he wore
Garland of humanism in his neck he adorned
On millions of lips is his name until this day
For people, his name remains a greeting way

Innervoice of Tahir Mahmood

  • This Ram devotee was born a Muslim
  • Sunday, September 23, 2007

    'I Sold My Soul on eBay' - Faithwise Review of the Week

    A self-described 'friendly atheist' auctioned himself off to a Christian minister, agreeing to visit dozens of churches and record his impressions. Here's what he found. Read the Interview
  • Life After 'Eat, Pray, Love' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-selling spiritual memoir, on keeping the inner flame lit, Hollywood a-calling, and what happened with her sublime Brazilian lover. Watch the Video
  • Muslims seek French advice for fasting without feasting
    But clerics and medics say the iftar meal to break the fast after sunset has become ever more lavish in recent times, encouraged by the Arab cultural emphasis on big family meals.

    Alain Delabos, a doctor who has written several books on dieting, said some Muslims turned the iftar meal into "a nocturnal orgy of sugary food from sunset to sunrise".

    "That leads some to end Ramadan with more weight than they had before and others... to see signs of diabetes or an excess in cholesterol emerge," Delabos writes in his book "Chrono-nutrition - Ramadan special" which came out last month.

    Providing recipes ranging from roasted figs to red mullet with fennel or lentil soup, Delabos advises Muslims to eat one sugary dish at the end of the day's fast, another light, savoury dish before going to bed and a savoury meal before sunrise. continue reading Zee News
  • Romance on Iranian TV Crosses Cultures
    All Things Considered, September 20, 2007 · Iran state-controlled TV is featuring a mini-series about a love story between an Iranian Muslim man and a French Jewish woman during World War II: Zero Degree Turn. Farnaz Fassihi of The Wall Street Journal has written about the show and discusses it with Robert Siegel.
  • EEOC: Discrimination against Sikhs in the Workplace Continues Unabated Since 9/11
  • Why is he in exile? by Ram Rahman
    It’s not his art. It’s that M.F Husain has become a pawn for mobilising communal political forces. And so, one of India’s greatest artists will spend his 92nd birthday, on September 17,away from his country
    by Sabina England
  • Religion is pluralistic, so let's make sure it stays that way Daily Star Lebanon
    By Ali Noer Zaman Commentary by Tuesday, September 04, 2007 One of the much-debated religious issues in Indonesia today is that of pluralism. Its opponents, such as the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI), believe that pluralist theology is harmful for Islamic theological foundations, as it would undermine the idea that a particular religion is supreme and that other religious beliefs are apocryphal. A MUI fatwa of 2005, which called for the abolishment of pluralistic theology, alarmed the Muslim community of the danger of pluralist theology. continue reading
  • ‘No freedom of religion for Muslims in Goa’ * Gomantak Times says Hindus and Christians, not Muslims, enjoy religious freedom, Daily Times Monitor
  • Let Her Be Covered Part One
    That was her question. In response, my companion assured her that the wearing of the headcovering is a Biblical teaching recorded in 1 Corinthians 11....
  • Let Her Be Covered Part Two
  • Knowing Hinduism or Hindu Religion, by Ravikumar Uppaluri
  • Minorities Under Attack: Sangh Prepares for the Coming Elections
  • BJP distances itself from ‘fatwa’ controversy The Hindu,
    Bhopal: In an apparent damage control excerise, the BJP on Saturday sought to distance itself from the “Vedanti fatwa” controversy and backed the claim of the VHP leader that he was misquoted.

    Ram Vilas Vedanti, a senior VHP leader and former BJP MP, said in Ayodhya that whosoever chopped the head and tongue of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, for saying Lord Ram did not exist, would be rewarded with gold.
  • Friday, September 21, 2007

    Mosque made of chocolate

    Chefs give finishing touches to a chocolate model of a mosque at a hotel in Jakarta. The model made from 150 kg of chocolate will be displayed at the hotel during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. (Reuters Photo)

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    Church bans toddlers' yoga group - Faithwise Review of the Week

    A children's group has been banned from a church hall after their yoga lessons were denounced as "unchristian".
    Teacher Louise Woodcock from Taunton, Somerset, was told the Yum Yum Yoga classes for pre-school children did not share the church's Christian ethos. continue reading BBC News 31 August 2007 / Watch the news Video
  • International reaction to kids yoga ban, Sommerset County Gazette, UK - 4 Sep 2007
  • Sikhs flay RSS for saying Granth Sahib known for Ram's praise
    New Delhi, Sep 15 (PTI) Sikh religious leaders opposed to the BJP today condemned the RSS for stating in its mouthpiece 'Organiser' that their sacred texts were "known for their salutations to Sri Rama".
  • Britain's First Hindu School Gets Okay
  • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar raps government for Ram affidavit
    Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday criticised the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for its judicial affidavit that said there was no historical evidence to prove the existence of Lord Ram.

    In a statement issued from Germany, Sri Sri said: "Ramayana and Mahabharata are called "Itihasas" (histories). Itihas means it happened. That Sri Ram did exist is recorded in the epic Ramayana.

    "The ancient seers had made clear distinction between "Puranas" (classical literature) and Itihasas. Puranas are mythological, symbolic stories, while Itihasas are that which actually happened."

  • God, math, and Ramanujan's fascinating story
    For his 12th novel The Indian Clerk, David Leavitt, one of America's distinguished writers, chose to work on the relationship between mathematicians G H Hardy and Srinivasa Ramanujan.

    Leavitt, a National Endowment for the Arts fellow and professor of literature, offers a complicated and intriguing story starting with Hardy receiving a letter filled with prime number theorems from Ramanujan, a young accounts clerk in Madras (now Chennai).

    Hardy and his collaborator J E Littlewood soon decide Ramanujan is a genius and invite him to work with them.

    The book explores the difficult relationship between Hardy and Ramanujan, and the various indignities and health problems the Indian genius suffered, leading to an avoidable tragedy. continue reading the process of writing the book with Rediff India Abroad Managing Editor (Features) Arthur J Pais.
  • Inside the beggars' jail, nemesis of every Indian panhandler
    Activists working on behalf of the beggars call the system inhumane.

    "One has the right to dignity, right to life, which the government today is denying by putting these destitute people into jails," said Indu Prakash Singh of ActionAid, a nonprofit activist aid group.
  • One law for one and all, consistently applied (veiled voting vent), Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star, September 13, 2007
  • Voters almost split on funding of religious schools, survey finds
  • Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Prayers of the Day: Relationships in a Multifaith Domain

    Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
    Where there is injury, pardon
    Where there is doubt, faith,
    Where there is despair, hope,
    Where there is darkness, light,
    Where there is sadness, joy.
    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
    seek to be consoled as to console,
    not so much to be understood as to understand,
    not so much to be loved, as to love;
    for it is in giving that we receive,
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    it is in dying that we awake to eternal life.

    - St. Francis of Assisi [source: @ Prayer of the Day]
    See also:
    Prayers: 71

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Jewish High Holidays and the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan Coincide This Year

    By Adam Phillips New York11 September 2007, VOA NEWS
    Phillips report — Download 2.14MB (mp3)

    Listen to Phillips report — Download 2.14MB (mp3)

    Wednesday evening September 12th marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year, or Rosh haShana. It's the start of a ten-day period of reflection, repentance and celebration that climaxes on the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur. This year, the Jewish High Holidays coincide with Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of daylong fasts that mark the giving of the Qur'an to Mohammed.

    See also: Religious holidays start for Jews and Muslims
    Rabbi holds torah
    Muslim woman reads the Quran <br />during fasting month of Ramadan

  • Sweet calendars set for Ramadan, BBC News [see alos on countdown calendars: Ramadan Activities and Countdown Calendar]
  • Religious feasts feed soul
  • Ramadan & Rosh Hashanah: A Beautiful Clash of Civilizations
  • Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Indian imams to work with Israel for peace - Faithwise Review of the Week

  • Historic Israel mission to boost Jewish-Muslim relations
  • Time to end violence
  • Indian imams to work with Israel for peace
    The All-India Organisation of Imams has entered into an agreement with the Chief Rabbinet of Israel to “work together” for peace. Funded by the American Jewish Committee, a group of maulanas led by the general secretary of the Organisation of Imams, Mr Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, spent eight days in Israel and found commonalties with “our cousins, all sons of Ibrahim” to a point where they have decided to help enthuse other Indian Muslims to visit Israel.
    The American Jewish Committee's Rabbi David Rosen (seated, second from right) in India in February 2007.
    The visit sparked off a storm of protest here with the Urdu media in particular highlighting the controversy in detail. Most other Muslim organisations attacked the visit, maintaining that Mr Ilyasi and others in the delegation had basically supported the Israeli position on Palestine. Mr Ilyasi, however, termed the opposition as motivated, saying that those opposed to the visit were working to foster fundamentalism. He held the view that he had communicated in Israel to a Washington Post reporter, who asked him about Osama bin Laden and jihad, that the mission of the delegation to Israel for peace was “Islam’s real jihad”.
    President Peres with Indian Muslim clerics (photo: Yisrael Noy)
    Jamiat Ulema Hind secretary Abdul Hameed Naumani did not even want to speak of the visit, seeing it as highly condemnable. Muslim leaders pointed out that the delegation went to make peace with those who were at war with the Palestinians and did not share Mr Ilyasi’s optimism that he could work as an effective mediator between the two sides. The maulanas, accompanied by three journalists from the Urdu media, were given a grand reception and participated in several high-level meetings during their visit to Israel.

    They spoke at length on terrorism with their Israeli hosts with both sides condemning this in no uncertain words. It was not clear, however, whether these maulanas looked upon the Palestinian struggle for their own land as terrorism. This is the first Muslim group from India that has had such an extended stay in Israel. Mr Ilyasi’s father, Khwaja Iftikhar Ilyasi, had earned some fame for tying a turban on the late Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao after the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Mr Ilyasi was contacted by members of the American Jewish Committee, who arranged a meeting for him with Israel’s chief rabbi, Yona Metzel, at a five star hotel in Delhi earlier this year. The Australian Jewish Council was also involved with their members visiting India and meeting Muslim leaders like Mr Ilyasi.

    Mr Ilyasi was particularly happy with his visit where he reminded almost everyone he met that Muslims and Jews were “cousins”, both being sons of “Ibrahim (Abraham)”. He said he had suggested that visas should be made easily available for Indian Muslims to encourage them to visit Israel. The government leaders he had met, Mr Ilyasi said, were amenable to the idea. He is now waiting to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to apprise them of the visit, and communicate to them the new understanding that had been forged between his delegation and those they had met in Israel. He appeared to think that this was going to be a long-term relationship where “both sides have developed a lot of affection for each other”.
    [source: Deccan Chronicle]
  • Joel Kilpatricks Field Guide to Evangelicals
  • Homosexuality: The Creative Work of Conservative Evangelicals
  • Faith Binds Society Together and Powers Civilization's Development
  • Let your house have the zing things
    Your home reflects your personality. Liven it up with accessories that give it that special look and literally transform a dull picture of bricks and stones to an exciting one of imagination and colour, says Bindu Gopal Rao.
  • MXODUS: The Search for Knowledge
    By Mother Tynnetta Muhammad
  • Nepal follows in Turkey's footsteps
    Nepal's state run airline sacrificed two goats earlier this week in the hope that it would please the gods and resolve technical problems with a troubled jet, reports said yesterday, an incident akin to officials at Turkish Airlines (THY) sacrificing a camel.
  • Saturday, September 01, 2007

    Inspiration on the Go - Faithwise Review of the Week

    Morning Practice: Spreading Goodness at the Station
    Did you know that goodness spreads? In this video, a train announcer brightens commuters' mornings with silly, inspiring messages. He believes that most people are good, they just need someone to remind them.

  • Faith-based Schools Must Get Public Funding by By Kanayalal Raina
    The Catholic system has existed in this province for decades. It has proven very successful at producing hardworking, productive, and responsible Ontario citizens. Faith-based schools are for the minority who wish their children to be literate in their religion and culture, and able to pass it on to future generations. It is fine in theory to talk about how young children should be educated together so they will be able to share their different cultures with each other, but in reality a young child starting school does not have the cultural literacy yet established to have much to share. Continue reading

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  • Multiculturalism? Canada Should Take A Page From India by By Gauri d'Gama Rose

  • Knowledge as Path to Truth by Dr. Col.(Reted) K. Prabhakar rao

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