Munich, NU Online
Bayern Munich, champion of German football Bundesliga, has decided to build a mosque in the Allianz Arena stadium to serve its Muslim players and fans.<>
The request was originally made by Bayern Munich Muslim midfielder Bilal Franck Ribery who asked for specifying a small room for Muslim players’ prayers.
To his surprise, the club administration approved the construction of a mosque in the Alaleanz Arena stronghold of the Bavarian club.
The new mosque would serve Muslim players and fans with a full time imam, an Islamic library and Islamic sessions.
The administration also announced that they will finance 85% of the costs of the building, leaving 15% to Muslim players and fans who want to participate in the mosque.
The news about the new mosque were made public via the club's official site.
Ribery, the Bayern Munich midfielder, is believed to have reverted to Islam in 2006 after marrying a Muslim woman of Moroccan origin.
Though he rarely speaks about his faith, Ribery recently told Le Paris Match magazine that he felt “safe” with Islam.
Bayern is not the first European club to build a mosque for its Muslim players after new Castle United specified a prayer room for Muslim players.
There are seven Muslim players in the leading British football club.
Muslims pray five times a day, with each prayer made of a series of postures and movements, each set of which is called a rak‘ah.
The five prayer times are divided all through the day which starts with Fajr prayer at dawn.
Editor: Sudarto Murtaufiq
Cairo, NU Online
Egypt yesterday condemned Israeli airstrikes on Syria, with the Arab League also demanding that the UN Security Council act to stop what it called “Israeli attacks” against the war-torn country.<>
The Egyptian presidency said in a statement the airstrikes “violated international law and principles that will further complicate the situation.” The raids reportedly targeted rockets destined for Lebanon's Hezbollah.
The Arab League, which like Egypt sides with rebels against Syrian President Bashar Assad, demanded the Security Council “act immediately to end Israeli attacks on Syria,” which it called a “dangerous violation of an Arab state's sovereignty.”
The presidency in Cairo affirmed “its extreme opposition” to the Syrian regime's brutal crackdown on rebel-held areas, but accused Israel of “exploiting its internal conflict”.
A senior Israeli source said an overnight aerial assault hit Iranian weapons destined for the Hezbollah, which is closely allied to the Syrian regime.
A diplomatic source in Beirut told AFP three sites were targeted — a military facility, a nearby weapons depot and an anti-aircraft unit in Sabura, west of the capital Damascus.
Syria's information minister said that Israeli air raids against three targets on the outskirts of Damascus “open the door to all possibilities.”
Omran Zoabi's comments in Damascus yesterday came after an emergency Cabinet meeting organized to respond to the new attack.
Although Zoabi did not hint at a concrete course of action, he said it was Damascus's duty to protect the state from any “domestic or foreign attack through all available means.”
Meanwhile, the commander of the Minnigh military airport in northern Syria, the scene of fierce fighting between government troops and opposition forces, has been killed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said yesterday.
“Gen. Ali Mahmud was killed on Saturday with two of his bodyguards inside the airport, where fighting is ongoing,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
“The rebels have advanced, but they have not yet taken control” of the facility, he added.
Since the beginning of this year, rebel fighters have been trying to seize a string of northern airports, including Aleppo international airport, and the Jarrah, Kwiyres, Minnigh and Nayrab military fields.
They took Jarrah military airport on Feb. 12. Elsewhere, the Observatory reported regime air raids on the Jobar neighborhood of the capital Damascus and against the rebel-held town of Raqa.
Editor: Sudarto Murtaufiq
Illinois, NU Online
Colonel Donald S. Rockwell was born in Illinois, United States. He completed his studies in universities of Washington and Columbia where he received many honorary degrees. He was a poet, literary critic as well as editorial director at Radio Personalities.<>
He gained the rank of colonel while participating in conscription during World War II, when the US fought against Germany and Japan. As a writer he wrote the book, “Beyond the Brim” and “Bazaar of Dreams.” Equality in Islam always attracted Donald. The rich and the poor have an equal right on the floor of the mosque, kneel in humble worship.
In his book, he wrote down his views on Islam and why he ultimately chose to embrace Islam.
The simplicity of Islam, the powerful appeal and the compelling atmosphere of its mosques, the earnestness of its faithful followers, the confidence inspiring realization of millions throughout the world who answer the five daily calls to prayer, these factors attracted me from the first.
But after I had determined to become a follower of Islam, I found many deeper reasons for confirming my decision. The mellow concept of life — fruit of the combined course of action and contemplation, the wise counsel, the admonitions to charity and mercy of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
The broad humanitarianism, the pioneer declaration of women’s rights, these and other factors of the teachings of the man of Makkah, were to me among the first obvious evidence of a practical religion so tersely and so aptly epitomized in the cryptic words of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): ‘Trust in God and tie your camel.’ He gave us a religious system of normal action, not blind faith in the protection of an unseen force in spite of our own neglect, but confidence that if we do all things rightly and to the best of our ability, we may trust in what comes as the Will of God...
When I stood in the inspiring mosques of Istanbul, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, Algiers, Tangier, Fez and other cities, I was conscious of a powerful reaction — the potent uplift of Islam’s simple appeal to the sense of higher things, unaided by elaborate trappings, ornamentation, figures, pictures, music and ceremonial ritual. The mosque is a place of quiet contemplation and self-effacement in the greater reality of the true God.
The democracy of Islam has always appealed to me. Potentate and pauper have the same rights on the floor of the mosque, on their knees in humble worship. There are no rented pews or special reserved seats.
The Muslim accepts no man as mediator between himself and his God. He goes direct to the invisible source of creation and life — Allah — without reliance on a saving formula of repentance of sins and belief in the power of a teacher to afford him salvation. The universal brotherhood of Islam, regardless of race, politics, color or country, has been brought home to me most keenly many times in my life, and this is another feature which drew me towards the Faith.
Medieval Islam was technologically advanced and open to innovation. It achieved far higher literacy rates than in contemporary Europe; it assimilated the legacy of classical Greek civilization to such a degree that many classical books are now known to us only through Arabic copies. It invented windmills, trigonometry, lateen sails and made major advances in metallurgy, mechanical and chemical engineering and irrigation methods. In the middle ages the flow of technology was overwhelmingly from Islam to Europe rather from Europe to Islam. Only after the 1500’s did the net direction of flow begin to reverse.
The baseless claim that Islam converted the peoples it had ‘conquered by force’ has also been refuted by prominent non-Muslims.
Editor: Sudarto Murtaufiq
New York, NU Online
The anti-Islam forces have reunited once again in the United States as this time they have chosen metro stations in New York to advertise anti-Islam ads calling “Islamic apartheid.”<>
After pro-Palestine billboards went up in Metro-North stations this week that link the Israeli government to apartheid, a pro-Israel group has planned to fire back with posters that depict what it is calling “Islamic apartheid.”
The advertisements, which have been submitted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for approval, feature a picture of men about to be hanged with a caption that reads: “This Is Islamic Apartheid. Gay Under Islamic Law. Stop U.S. Aid to Islamic States.”
The ad also includes a picture of a woman being whipped with the caption: “In many Islamic countries, rape victims are tortured or killed unless they agree to marry their rapist.”
According to the reports, ads paid for by the American Muslims for Palestine are set to go up at 25 Metro-North stations in the area. The ads call for the US to stop giving aid to Israel with the message: “End Apartheid Now!”
Kristin Szremski, spokeswoman for American Muslims for Palestine, argued that there is a difference between her group’s messages, which focus on US and Israeli policies, and the counter campaign led by political activist Pamela Geller.
“Geller’s ads ... are racist and attack an entire religion,” she said. “They’re bigoted and counterproductive to any hopes of creating dialogue.”
Szremski also said that her group’s ads have been defaced or ripped down at some Metro-North stations and need to be replaced.
Scott Richman, Regional Director of AJC Westchester, a Jewish advocacy group, denounced American Muslims for Palestine’s ads, but said AJC doesn’t support counterattacks.
“It just tends to bring to light this tit-for-tat and give the other side more publicity, which is exactly what they crave,” he said.
Editor: Sudarto Murtaufiq