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 Erica Alini - Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:24 PM - 9 Comments
With Santa soon to climb down (the believers’) chimneys, a new study found rather un-Christmassy evidence that ethnic and religious diversity tends to drive down charitable giving in Canada.
McMaster University’s Abigail Payne and David Karp, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Justin D. Smith, along with James Andreoni from the University of California, San Diego, found that a 10 percentage point increase in a neighbourhood’s ethnic diversity leads the average household to give $27 less per year to charity, out of an average donation of about $200. That’s a 14 per cent drop. Increases in a neighborhood’s religious diversity also tend to make households stingier—albeit to a lesser degree. A 10 percentage point increase reduces donations by $20, or 10 per cent. Continue…