Obama backs NY mosque project

President Barack Obama backed construction of a proposed mosque and Muslim cultural centre near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York — a project opposed by U.S. conservatives and many New Yorkers.

“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country,” Obama said at an event on Friday attended by diplomats from Islamic countries and members of the U.S. Muslim community.

“That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances,” he said.

Earlier this month a New York city agency cleared the way for construction of the center, which will include a prayer room, two blocks from the site of the Sept 11 attacks, popularly known as “Ground Zero.”

“This is America and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable,” said Obama, who has made improving ties between the United States and the Muslim world a cornerstone of his foreign policy.

Obama was speaking during an Iftar dinner he hosted at the White House. Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims break their daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

He said the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution had established the freedom of religion “and that right has been upheld ever since.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The Chosen One

Kelantan launches gold dinar


Kelantan paved the way to become the first state to introduce the gold dinar and silver dirham currency today.

Speaking when launching the syariah currency, Menteri Besar Kelantan Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said the state would strive to expand the use of gold dinar and silver dirham in all transactions, including paying civil servants’ remuneration.

However, there are still many technicalities that had to be addressed by the state government, he told reporters after launching the gold dinar and silver dirham here today.

The gold dinar and silver dirham is managed by Kelantan Gold Trade (KGT), a subsidiary of Kelantan Menteri Besar Incorporated (PMBK).

Read the rest of this entry »