By Rosemary Westwood - Monday, December 17, 2012 - 0 Comments
A global movement promotes a more progressive reading of the Quran
France’s first gay-friendly mosque recently opened in Paris to widespread criticism from Muslim groups. A local Islamic leader, rector of the city’s Grand Mosque, said it goes against Islam. A Facebook post labelled its members’ sexuality a “disease.” Founder Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed is ignoring the hateful comments: “We don’t care.” Rather, he points to the praise he has received, including an email from a lesbian Muslim, who told him he was “opening the doors of the Islam of tomorrow.” Zahed, a gay Muslim married to a man, opened the mosque in a donated room on the outskirts of the city, but plans to reopen next year with a library and office in central Paris.
He is part of a growing global movement promoting a more progressive reading of the Quran. The Paris mosque is a member of Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), a U.S.-based organization with chapters in Ottawa, Toronto and five U.S. cities (and plans for a Danish chapter). The movement focuses on inclusivity, says MPV’s L.A.-based founder Ani Zonneveld, a singer-songwriter. “In 20 years it will be the norm for women to be leading prayers,” she says, and for gays and lesbians “to be included as equals.” She asks, “How can you say Islam is a religion of peace, when you discriminate, when you are unjust? Justice is the foundation of peace.”
By Adnan R. Khan - Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 3:00 PM - 19 Comments
Salafi preachers travel the globe preaching the ‘true’ Islam. Their converts are fertile ground for jihadists.
Canada’s Muslim community is reeling again after the arrests of three of its own last week in another alleged homegrown terrorist plot. In particular, the case of the dancing doctor, Khurram Syed Sher, has raised some serious questions, not only for those who practise Islam but for those who make their living from identifying threats to Canada’s security. How does an educated, Canadian-born Muslim and Canadian Idol aspirant with all the apparent hallmarks of moderation allegedly turn to violent jihad?
That question has become central to the discourse on the future of jihad, in Canada and among Muslims around the world. Canadians, who have already witnessed the case of the Toronto 18, are not alone in their concern over the radicalization of young Muslims previously considered immune to violent ideologies. In Pakistan, a spate of attacks over the past year has focused attention on a growing trend of radicalization among educated young people. One attack, in December 2009 near the capital of Islamabad, on a mosque frequented by Pakistani military officers, led to the arrest of a group of middle-class Pakistanis who had studied at some of the top universities in the country, and hailed from families with addresses in the posh, tree-lined laneways of Islamabad. They certainly did not fit the typical militant trope: the madrasa-educated fanatic out to cleanse the world of the infidel.