Originally posted on CNN Belief Blog:

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) –
When the nation pauses to remember 9/11 next week, a group of Tennesseans will gather at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Franklin for a commemoration. But it will be more than that.

On the program, called “The Threat in Our Backyard,” is a lecture on Islam in public schools and a short film on Sharia finance.

It’s a program organized by people who feel the American way of life is threatened by Islam — in particular, Sharia, or Islamic law.

Sharia would bring ruin to America, says Greg Johnson, vice president of the 9/12 Project Tennessee, a sponsor of the event that advocates for shifting government back to the intent of the Constitution’s authors.

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Lack of Terror Leads from NYPD Muslim Spying

Lack of Terror Leads from NYPD Muslim Spying

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Jewish-Muslim Inter-relationship and Christians

by Irshad Alam on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 6:42pm·

My Moroccan-Jewish sister Renee Leavy Kohn wrote on Jewish-Muslim-Christian inter-relationship:

Jews have been expelled 108 times from Christian countries as well as suffering countless genocides, massacres, pogroms, Crusades, Inquisitions and the Holocaust all of which occurred in Christian countries.

In every instance where a Christian country colonized a Muslim country, the beginning of the domination and enslavement of the native population was marked with a pogrom or massacre against the Jews.

Too many Jews do not remember that in the early centuries of the Common Era, after the Roman defeat of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE, Jews were banned from Jerusalem. Under Constantine I, Jews were given permission to enter the city only once a year, on the ninth day of the month of Av, to lament the loss of the Temple at the wall. An Imperial decree from Rome barred Jews from living in Jerusalem!

In 637 Caliph Omar ibn Khattab made an oath that should he succeed in conquering Jerusalem, he would restore the ruins of the Temple. After his victory, he sought out the ruins, but they had been hidden beneath heaps of rubbish. The king ordered the place be cleared and built a magnificent mosque and left the Western Wall for the Jews, who resorted there to pray.

In 1517, the Turkish Ottoman Empire under Selim I conquered Jerusalem from the Mamluks who had held it since 1250. The Ottomans had a benevolent attitude towards the Jews, having welcomed hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees who had recently been expelled from Spain by Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in 1492. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent was so taken with Jerusalem and its plight that he ordered a magnificent fortress-wall built around the entire city, today’s Old City wall.

In the second half of the 16th century, Suleiman the Magnificent gave the Jews rights to worship at the Western Wall and had his court architect Mimar Sinan build an oratory for them there.

Throughout the ages, Jews fleeing persecution have sought and been granted refuge in Muslim lands.

During the Holocaust Turkey was Operation Central for the rescue efforts despite Turkey’s former alliance with Germany. The Muslim governments commitment to doing what is right morally under Islam was greater than any political treaty and because of this Turkey saved Jews fleeing Christian Europe during the Holocaust. It is estimated that 500,000 Jews were saved from Hitler by Turkey.

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Originally posted on CNN Belief Blog:

By Yasmin Amer and Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) – To mark the end of Islam’s holiest month, Iftikhar Ali will head not to a mosque but to a convention center guarded by law enforcement officers.

That’s because this month, during Ramadan, the mosque in Joplin, Missouri, burned to the ground. Its rubble smoldered for two days as a shocked Muslim community came to terms with what had happened.

“I think there are a few people who don’t like anybody,” Ali said. “They don’t like a different color than their color or different religions.”

Ali, who is the president of the Joplin mosque said the congregation rented a convention center so people would have a place to pray and celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the feast that marks the end of fasting for Ramadan.

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Originally posted on CNN Belief Blog:

Editor’s Note: Eboo Patel is founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core. His new book is called “Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America.”

By Eboo Patel, Special to CNN

Paul Ryan has set off joyous cheers in the land of conservatives largely because of his fiscal views but also because of his Catholic faith.

He is just the most recent member of his church – think House Speaker John Boehner, Republican runner-ups Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, and Supreme Court justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia – to be viewed as a flag-bearer for the conservative cause, a movement whose foot soldiers are largely evangelical Protestants.

The dynamic of evangelicals cheering for Catholics is one of the most stunning shifts in American political history. Just 50 years ago, evangelicals were ringing the alarm about the rising prominence of Catholics in American politics, not falling…

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Christians in Jerusalem want Jews to stop spitting on them – Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

Christians in Jerusalem want Jews to stop spitting on them – Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper.

A few weeks ago, a senior Greek Orthodox clergyman in Israel attended a meeting at a government office in Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul quarter. When he returned to his car, an elderly man wearing a skullcap came and knocked on the window. When the clergyman let the window down, the passerby spat in his face.

The clergyman prefered not to lodge a complaint with the police and told an acquaintance that he was used to being spat at by Jews. Many Jerusalem clergy have been subjected to abuse of this kind. For the most part, they ignore it but sometimes they cannot.

On Sunday, a fracas developed when a yeshiva student spat at the cross being carried by the Armenian Archbishop during a procession near the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City. The archbishop’s 17th-century cross was broken during the brawl and he slapped the yeshiva student.

Both were questioned by police and the yeshiva student will be brought to trial. The Jerusalem District Court has meanwhile banned the student from approaching the Old City for 75 days.

But the Armenians are far from satisfied by the police action and say this sort of thing has been going on for years. Archbishop Nourhan Manougian says he expects the education minister to say something.

“When there is an attack against Jews anywhere in the world, the Israeli government is incensed, so why when our religion and pride are hurt, don’t they take harsher measures?” he asks.

According to Daniel Rossing, former adviser to the Religious Affairs Ministry on Christian affairs and director of a Jerusalem center for Christian-Jewish dialogue, there has been an increase in the number of such incidents recently, “as part of a general atmosphere of lack of tolerance in the country.”

Rossing says there are certain common characeristics from the point of view of time and location to the incidents. He points to the fact that there are more incidents in areas where Jews and Christians mingle, such as the Jewish and Armenian quarters of the Old City and the Jaffa Gate.

There are an increased number at certain times of year, such as during the Purim holiday.”I know Christians who lock themselves indoors during the entire Purim holiday,” he says.

Former adviser to the mayor on Christian affairs, Shmuel Evyatar, describes the situation as “a huge disgrace.” He says most of the instigators are yeshiva students studying in the Old City who view the Christian religion with disdain.

“I’m sure the phenomenon would end as soon as rabbis and well-known educators denounce it. In practice, rabbis of yeshivas ignore or even encourage it,” he says.

Evyatar says he himself was spat at while walking with a Serbian bishop in the Jewish quarter, near his home. “A group of yeshiva students spat at us and their teacher just stood by and watched.”

Jerusalem municipal officials said they are aware of the problem but it has to be dealt with by the police. Shmuel Ben-Ruby, the police spokesman, said they had only two complaints from Christians in the past two years. He said that, in both cases, the culprits were caught and punished.

He said the police deploy an inordinately high number of patrols and special technology in the Old City and its surroundings in an attempt to keep order.

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