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16 I ORLD NEWSW Passion Islam I December 2008
US church lets Muslim pray
A church in the north-central US Milwaukee. But many Muslims prefer because of what we believe,” said
state of Wisconsin is hosting Muslim to pray with others, and five daily trips Pastor Rev. Deb Bergeson-Graham.
worshippers to perform prayers twice to the mosque can be burdensome, She said the church decision
a day, The Faith Presbyterian Church he said. drew an overwhelming support from
in Franklin city in southern Wisconsin The prayer sites, Sadlon said, parishioners, adding that the move is
has allowed Muslims to perform allow them to meet their obligations in line with the Christian teachings.
prayers five days a week. closer to home or work. But the decision was objected by
Since last week Muslims have There are 150 Muslim families some church members. “I told him,
gathered at the Church’s Sunday in Franklin city. Muslims pray five ‘I’m sorry you feel this way, and I hope
school space to perform the Fajr times a day at the appointed times: you continue to worship with us,’ “ said
(Dawn) and `Isha` (night) prayers. Fajr (dawn), Zhuhr (noon), `Asr (mid- one older member.
The Islamic Center of Milwaukee afternoon), Maghrib (sunset) and Sadlon, the Islamic Center
pays a nominal rental fee to cover `Isha’ (night). Prayer is one of the Executive Director, was not surprised.
church expenses. The move was most important obligations of Islam, “We don’t take it personally,” said
taken as there are no close mosques being one of the five pillars of Islam. Sadlon, who was raised Catholic
for Muslims to perform their prayers. Allowing Muslims to pray at the church but reverted to Islam about 20 years
The prayers can be performed drew a mixed reaction from church ago. Sometimes your worst enemy
anywhere, at home, outside, at the members. becomes your best friend. But it takes
airport, said Isa Sadlon, the Executive “I think we’re doing this, not time.”
Director of the Islamic Center of because of what they believe, but
Muslims die
in Mumbai
In the greatest irony of the Mumbai said the maulana. “All of India should Everyone is scared to come out. Both
attacks, more than 40 Muslims, at stand up to fight against terrorism. Hindus and Muslims are suffering
the present count, died in acts of I don’t consider these terrorists because of their actions.”
terror carried out in the name of their Muslims.” Maulana Mehmood Daryabadi,
religion. At least 183 people died in The sentiment is echoed by other general secretary, All India Ulema
the attacks. Muslims in Mumbai, aghast that the Council (Sunni), said Muslim clerics
One survivor was Hussain Rizvi, attacks were committed in the name were condemning the terrorists
20, a front desk executive at the of jihad. Fashion designer-artist through the media and through
Taj hotel who hid himself in a small Nahid Merchant, 49, a Muslim who sermons in mosques across the city.
second-floor pantry at 10 pm on prays five times a day and attends “We doubt that these terrorists are
Wednesday. He emerged dehydrated weekly workshops that discuss Islam Muslims, because jihad does not
42 hours later on Friday, narrowly as a way of life, said, “These terrorists mean perpetrating violence,” he said.
escaping death at the hands of men are the worst enemies of Muslims. I A Muslim woman, who did not wish
who proclaimed they were fighting for hang my head in shame when the to be named, conducts workshops
the cause of Indian Muslims. terrorists compare their victory to that for followers to build faith and lead
Hussain’s father, Maulana Zaheer of the historic Battle of Badar, which their lives as devoted Muslims. “In
Abbas Rizvi, general secretary of the was fought to save Islam.” Islam, we greet each other by saying
All India Shia Personal Law Board, “They say they are taking revenge ‘Assalaamu’ Alaykum’, which means
stood outside the Taj for hours, for what happened in Gujarat, but ‘Peace be unto you’. These acts have
watching grenades and gunfire rip two wrongs can never make a nothing to do with our religion. They
apart the hotel in which his son was right,”Merchant added. have been committed by human
captive. Though Hussain’s smses Mohammed Naeem, 30, a fruit machine guns that are evil beyond
provided intermittent relief, the seller in Bandra, equally angry, said, imagination,” she said.
maulana could only pray helplessly. “Because of them, my business
“There is no justification (for this),” has gone down by more than half.
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