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Tag Archive | "Holidays"

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Islam Takes Another Step to German Recognition

Posted on 29 January 2013 by Emperor


Islam Takes Another Step to German Recognition

(Deutsche Welle)

For Erol Pürlü, spokesman for the German Muslim coordination council, the signing of the contract with the city-state of Bremen marked a “day of joy”. Three Muslim associations were officially recognized as religious bodies. “That sends a clear signal that Islam belongs to Germany,” said Pürlü.

Bremen is the third German state to confer this status on Islamic organizations. Hamburg made a similar agreement last November, while Hesse officially recognized two Islamic organizations and allowed them to offer their own religious classes in schools in December.

The relationship between German states and Muslim associations had been stalled for decades until the breakthrough came in 2010. Large organizations like the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) and the Association of Islamic Cultural Centers (VIKZ) had been campaigning to be recognized as religious bodies for a long time.

Among other privileges, the status gave communities the right to offer their own religion classes in schools. But for a long time the state governments resisted all applications, on the grounds that the associations did not fulfill all the legal and structural preconditions. In order to still offer Islamic lessons and create Islamic theological professorships at universities, “advisory councils” were created, on which sit representatives of the state governments. These committees take the place of a recognized religious organization and approve teaching appointments.

Islamic holidays recognized

Now Hamburg, Bremen and Hesse have all gone one step further, though in different ways. In the two city-states, three different Islamic celebrations are now recognized religious holidays. That means school children and employees can take the day off if they want. Officially recognized religious bodies also have the right to minister to Muslims in prisons, hospitals and other public institutions. Also, Muslims are allowed – within certain legal constraints – to build Mosques and bury their dead by their own religious rites – in other words, without a coffin.

Essentially, the state contracts merely bring together and summarize a number of regulations that have been in practise for many years. Little will change in the everyday lives of the approximately 130,000 Muslims in Hamburg and the 40,000 in Bremen. And yet for Pürlü, the contracts are more than just a symbol. The new holidays regulation, for instance, has given the Muslims a whole new freedom, he explains. “It is no longer decided at the discretion of the authorities or the schools or the employers,” he said. “Muslims now have a legal right to a holiday.”

Read the rest…

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The Meaning of the New Year’s Holiday

Posted on 31 December 2012 by Ilisha

Circumcision Fresco

Circumcision of Christ, fresco from the Preobrazhenski Monastery, Bulgaria

by Ilisha

I’ve always thought of New Year’s as a purely secular holiday, widely celebrated with champagne, confetti, and kisses at midnight. In the US, the most famous New Year’s celebration centers on the drop of the Times Square Ball in New York City, an event that attracts an audience of over a billion worldwide.

If it had any religious significance at all, I might have guessed it was a tribute to Dionysis, the Greek god of wine and revelry. Or perhaps to Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions, after which the month of January is named.

As it turns out, New Year’s is a traditional Christian holiday, commemorating the circumcision of Jesus Christ. The Feast of the Circumcision is still celebrated in some Christian communities around the world, eight days after Christmas, on January 1 of the Gregorian calendar.

Jesus is said to have been circumcised according to Jewish Law (Genesis 17:10-14).  The New Testament specifically mentions Jesus’ circumcision in the Gospel of Luke:

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. ~ Luke 2:21

Traditional celebrations include all-night vigils, the singing of hymns, reflection, and prayer.

Whatever it means to you, we wish you a safe and happy new year in 2013.

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Video: Opponent of Fla. Muslim School Holidays Warns of ‘Camels’

Posted on 04 November 2012 by Emperor

Some Broward County Muslim parents have requested that Muslim holidays be added to the school calendar at a public diversity hearing.

The response from some of the prolific anti-Muslim groups in Broward (home of Rep. Allen West) including loon Joe Kaufman was to scream about “terrorism,” “cultural Jihad,” and “camels” entering your home.

Video: Opponent of Fla. Muslim School Holidays Warns of ‘Camels’

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Happy Passover and Easter Weekend

Posted on 07 April 2012 by Admin

To all those celebrating and reflecting on Passover and Easter, may this be a blessed time for you all.

May it be a time free of hate and filled with peace, security and spiritual renewal.

Happy Passover:

Happy Easter:


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